[Camels are never represented on the Egyptian monuments, whereas they were in great use among the Arabians and Persians, and are now a necessity on the Nile. They must have existed in Egypt, however. Hekekyan-Bey discovered the bones of a dromedary in a deep bore. Representations of these creatures were probably forbid We know this was the case with the cock, of which bird there were large numbers in Egypt: It is remarkable, that camels were not introduced into Barbary until after the birth of Christ.]
“As these animals can bear thirst very long, they are to be used in conveying food and water for our army on the Ethiopian campaign. There must be no delay. Take leave of your wife, and (I speak by the king’s command) be ready to start before dark. You will be absent at least a month. I am to accompany you as far as Pelusium. Kassandane wishes to have your wife and child near her during your absence. Send them to Memphis as soon as possible; under the protection of the queen mother, they will be in safety.”
Prexaspes’ short, constrained way of speaking did not strike Bartja. He rejoiced at what seemed to him great moderation on the part of his brother, and at receiving a commission which relieved him of all doubt on the question of leaving Egypt, gave his friend, (as he supposed him to be), his hand to kiss and an invitation to follow him into the palace.
In the cool of the evening, he took a short but very affectionate farewell of Sappho and his child, who was asleep in Melitta’s arms, told his wife to set out as soon as possible on her journey to Kassandane, called out jestingly to his mother-in-law, that at least this time she had been mistaken in her judgment of a man’s character, (meaning his brother’s), and sprang on to his horse.
As Prexaspes was mounting, Sappho whispered to him, “Take care of that reckless fellow, and remind him of me and his child, when you see him running into unnecessary danger.”
“I shall have to leave him at Pelusium,” answered the envoy, busying himself with the bridle of his horse in order to avoid meeting her eyes.
“Then may the gods take him into their keeping!” exclaimed Sappho, clasping her husband’s hand, and bursting into tears, which she could not keep back. Bartja looked down and saw his usually trustful wife in tears. He felt sadder than he had ever felt before. Stooping down lovingly from his saddle, he put his strong arm round her waist, lifted her up to him, and as she stood supporting herself on his foot in the stirrup, pressed her to his heart, as if for a long last farewell. He then let her safely and gently to the ground, took his child up to him on the saddle, kissed and fondled the little creature, and told her laughingly to make her mother very happy while he was away, exchanged some warm words of farewell with Rhodopis, and then, spurring his horse till the creature reared, dashed through the gateway of the Pharaohs’ palace, with Prexaspes at his side.