The Mummy Case (Amelia Peabody)

By Elizabeth Peters

Radcliffe Emerson, the irascible husband of fellow archaeologist and Egyptologist Amelia Peabody, has earned the nickname "Father of Curses"—and at Mazghunah he demonstrates why. Denied permission to dig on the pyramids of Dahshoor, he and Amelia are resigned to excavating mounds of rubble in the midst of nowhere. and there's not anything within the barren quarter useful in their interest—until an antiquities broker is murdered in his personal store. A moment sighting of a sinister stranger from the crime scene, a mysterious scrap of papyrus, and a lacking mummy case have all whetted Amelia's interest. but if the Emersons begin digging for solutions in an historic tomb, occasions take a darker and deadlier turn—and there's no surviving the very smooth terrors their efforts exhibit.

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In a few pyramids the burial chamber and the passages resulting in it have been equipped into the pyramid itself. the interior chambers of others have been dug utterly or partly into the rock of the plateau on which the pyramid stood. Ours used to be one of many latter variety, yet now my goals of exploring its mysterious inside have been over. Ramses heard the tragic information together with his regular visual appeal of equanimity, remarking simply, "I surmised as a lot whilst de wall fell on Mohammed. " I had all started to think he may have inherited my enthusiasm for pyramids, yet this phlegmatic response solid grave doubts on any such speculation. He didn't sign up for us once we lower back to paintings after a hasty luncheon. Early within the afternoon the boys got here on a component to wall over 40 inches thick. Deducing that this was once a part of the enclosure wall of the pyramid, and that its define outlined the level of the pyramid foundations, Emerson set the staff to paintings tracing its 4 facets. i'll see it'll take numerous weeks to transparent the full enclosure, for the free sand stored trickling again into the trenches virtually as speedy because it used to be dug out. Ramses went to his room instantly after supper, whereas Emerson and that i became to the clerical and recording chores which are an important if dull a part of any archaeological excursion. tomorrow was once payday; with John's tips Emerson begun totaling the men's wages, which diversified based on the hours each one had installed, the kind of paintings, and the rewards given for gadgets came across. Our evenings were so full of life, with burglaries and detective investigations, that to cross one quietly was once an anticlimax. i discovered myself yawning over my paintings and was once approximately to indicate we retire early while I heard voices outdoors. One used to be the voice of our unswerving Abdullah, raised in peremptory problem. the opposite was once softer; i couldn't make out the phrases it spoke. After a second Abdullah knocked on the door. "A guy introduced this, Sitt," he stated, handing me a folded paper. "What guy? " Abdullah shrugged. "One of the infidels. " "Thank you, my buddy. " Abdullah bowed and withdrew. "Well, Peabody, what's it? " Emerson requested, including a comprehensive web page to the stack of pay sheets. "It seems to be a notice. it's addressed to me. i do not realize the writing, yet i feel i will guess—" "Stop guessing and open it," Emerson stated impatiently. I shook off the unusual apprehension that had seized me. by no means prior to had I had so robust a sensation of evil—of a few huge shadow ready within the darkness with fangs bared. And all from a folded sheet of paper! anything in my expression as I learn alerted the others. Emerson threw down his pen and rose. John sat staring, mute and expectant. "It is from Charity," I stated. "Your caution was once now not in useless in any case, Emerson. She asks for our aid. " "When? " "Now. This very evening. " John leaped to his ft. "Wot 'as 'appened? " he cried, wringing his palms. "Where is she? Is she at risk? " "Now, John, calm your self. She is in no speedy risk. She asks us to fulfill her... " I checked myself. John's staring eyes and pallid cheeks testified to the intensity of his drawback.

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