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Georg Ebers
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 58 pages of information about Arachne Volume 05.

ARACHNE

By Georg Ebers

Volume 5.

While the market place in Tennis was filling, Archias’s white house had become a heap of smouldering ruins.  Hundreds of men and women were standing around the scene of the conflagration, but no one saw the statue of Demeter, which had been removed from Hermon’s studio just in time.  The nomarch had had it locked up in the neighbouring temple of the goddess.

It was rumoured that the divinity had saved her own statue by a miracle; Pamaut, the police officer, said that he had seen her himself as, surrounded by a brilliant light, she soared upward on the smoke that poured from the burning house.  The strategist and the nomarch used every means in their power to capture the robbers, but without the least success.

As it had become known that Paseth, Gula’s husband, had cast off his wife because she had gone to Hermon’s studio, the magistrates believed that the attack had been made by the Biamites; yet Paseth was absent from the city during the assault, and the innocence of the others could also be proved.

Since, for two entire years, piracy had entirely ceased in this neighbourhood, no one thought of corsairs, and the bodies of the incendiaries having been consumed by the flames with the white house, it could not be ascertained to what class the marauders belonged.

The blinded sculptor could only testify that one of the robbers was a negro, or at any rate had had his face blackened, and that the size of another had appeared to him almost superhuman.  This circumstance gave rise to the fable that, during the terrible storm of the previous clay, Hades had opened and spirits of darkness had rushed into the studio of the Greek betrayer.

The strategist, it is true, did not believe such tales, but the superstition of the Biamites, who, moreover, aided the Greeks reluctantly to punish a crime which threatened to involve their own countrymen, put obstacles in the way of his measures.

Not until he heard of Ledscha’s disappearance, and was informed by the priest of Nemesis of the handsome sum which had been found in the offering box of the temple shortly after the attack, did he arrive at a conjecture not very far from the real state of affairs; only it was still incomprehensible to him what body of men could have placed themselves at the disposal of a girl’s vengeful plan.

On the second day after the fire, the epistrategus of the whole Delta, who had accidentally come to the border fortress, arrived at Tennis on the galley of the commandant of Pelusium, and with him Proclus, the grammateus of the Dionysian artists, the Lady Thyone, Daphne, and her companion Chrysilla.

The old hero Philippus was detained in the fortress by the preparations for war.

Althea had returned to Alexandria, and Philotas, who disliked her, had gone there himself, as Chrysilla intimated to him that he could hope for no success in his suit to her ward so long as Daphne had to devote herself to the care of the blinded Hermon.

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