“He is noble and of a lofty soul, and all the Gods dwell in him when he speaks. Formerly we used to go to sleep in the lecture-hall; but his words carry us away, and if we do not take in the full meaning of his thoughts, yet we feel that they are genuine and noble.”
Bent-Anat breathed quicker at these words, and her eyes hung on the boy’s lips.
“You know him, Bent-Anat,” continued Rameri. “He was with you at the paraschites’ house, and in the temple-court when Ameni pronounced you unclean. He is as tall and handsome as the God Mentli, and I feel that he is one of those whom we can never forget when once we have seen them. Yesterday, after you had left the temple, he spoke as he never spoke before; he poured fire into our souls. Do not laugh, Katuti, I feel it burning still. This morning we were informed that he had been sent from the temple, who knows where—and had left us a message of farewell. It was not thought at all necessary to communicate the reason to us; but we know more than the masters think. He did not reprove you strongly enough, Bent-Anat, and therefore he is driven out of the House of Seti. We have agreed to combine to ask for him to be recalled; Anana is drawing up a letter to the chief priest, which we shall all subscribe. It would turn out badly for one alone, but they cannot be at all of us at once. Very likely they will have the sense to recall him. If not, we shall all complain to our fathers, and they are not the meanest in the land.”
“It is a complete rebellion,” cried Katuti. “Take care, you lordlings; Ameni and the other prophets are not to be trifled with.”
“Nor we either,” said Rameri laughing, “If Pentaur is kept in banishment, I shall appeal to my father to place me at the school at Heliopolis or Chennu, and the others will follow me. Come, Bent-Anat, I must be back in the trap before sunset. Excuse me, Katuti, so we call the school. Here comes your little Nemu.”
The brother and sister left the garden.
As soon as the ladies, who accompanied them, had turned their backs, Bent-Anat grasped her brother’s hand with unaccustomed warmth, and said:
“Avoid all imprudence; but your demand is just, and I will help you with all my heart.”
As soon as Bent-Anat had quitted Mena’s domain, the dwarf Nemu entered the garden with a letter, and briefly related his adventures; but in such a comical fashion that both the ladies laughed, and Katuti, with a lively gaiety, which was usually foreign to her, while she warned him, at the same time praised his acuteness. She looked at the seal of the letter and said:
“This is a lucky day; it has brought us great things, and the promise of greater things in the future.” Nefert came close up to her and said imploringly: “Open the letter, and see if there is nothing in it from him.”
Katuti unfastened the wax, looked through the letter with a hasty glance, stroked the cheek of her child, and said: