“What a misfortune!” Ledscha reproachfully exclaimed.
“It could not be helped,” the boy protested. “People from Tennis suddenly rushed in. The first—a big, furious fellow-killed our Loule and the fierce Judas. Now he has to pay for it. Little Chareb threw the black powder into his eyes, while Hanno himself thrust the torch in his face.”
“And Bias, the blackbeard’s slave?”
“I don’t know. Oh, yes! Wounded, I believe, on board the ship.”
Meanwhile the lad, a precocious fourteen-year-old cabin-boy from the Hydra, pointed to the boat which lay ready, and took Ledscha’s bundle in his hand; but she sprang into the light skiff before him and ordered it to be rowed to the Owl’s Nest, where she must bid Mother Tabus good-bye. The cabin-boy, however, declared positively that the command could not be obeyed now, and at his signal two black sailors urged it with swift oar strokes toward the northwest, to Satabus’s ship. Hanno wished to receive his bride as a wife from his father’s hand.
Ledscha had not insisted upon the fulfilment of her desire, but as the boat passed the Pelican Island her gaze rested on the lustreless waning disk of the moon. She thought of the torturing night, during which she had vainly waited here for Hermon, and a triumphant smile hovered around her lips; but soon the heavy eyebrows of the girl who was thus leaving her home contracted in a frown—she again fancied she saw, where the moon was just fading, the body of a gigantic, hideous spider. She banished the illusion by speaking to the boy—spiders in the morning mean misfortune.
The early dawn, which was now crimsoning the east, reminded her of the blood which, as an avenger, she must yet shed.
Camels, which were rarely seen in Egypt
By Georg Ebers
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.