|Date:||Sat, 26 Aug 2006 22:56:59 +0300|
I know, Belus, /I/ know; and my face will tell the tale or I shall gomad and babble it.
Now, Belus, went on Amasis, tell me, you who are wise in counsel,what shall I do?
May not a man take a wife who pleases him andwhom he pleases? Give me one of those drugs of yours,Belus, that which kills so swiftly, for all is done. Scarcely was I prepared when a messenger summonedme to the great hall of audience. Come to me at midnight andI will tell you all. Spare me this task, Pharaoh, I muttered, for it is one that mayprove too hard for me.
Then Pharaoh lifted his sceptre and there was silence.
I grieve for you as I grieve for myself, whose danger is greater thanyour own, she said. At least Pharaoh will kill you because she was inyour charge.
It was as though some icy hand of fear had gripped it bythe roots. He struck; I caught his arm with such a grip that the swordfell from his hand. All goes awry and I would that Iwere dead.
She looked at me and there was pity in her eyes. Am I safe with you and if I needit, will you protect me when you grow great? Belus gave some password; also he showed a ring and spoke in theguards ear.
My medicines have worked well and that sleepis a presage of her recovery.
You, the young and ardent, must play the part ofthe aged and the cold.
But forthis, how can she escape from blame? Yet, why do you turn from Pharaohwho has sheltered you ever since you escaped from Babylon?
Then with his foot he stamped out the pattern on the sand and we wenton.
Thus in formal, stately words was the lady Atyra set in my charge.
But if you fail, why then,farewell to you. I and you have others todiscuss that Pharaoh would think dull.
The lovely queen bent before Pharaoh and he kissed herhand.
Whoever Pharaoh chooseswill be welcome to me.
He greeted mecourteously enough, but in his eyes was a fierce look that I could notmisunderstand. For know, I love this child, my only one, and myheart is racked.
She looked at me and there was pity in her eyes. Now, General, here in this campI am in your power. You are safe and I will protect you now and always. Whoever Pharaoh chooseswill be welcome to me. Whilethey did so I ate a little and drank a cup of wine that was brought tome.
Give me one of those drugs of yours,Belus, that which kills so swiftly, for all is done.
I fled away, and as I fled, still she laughed. Do not young men wander out at night and meet with adventures thathave been known to end evilly? Nay, like me he flies from Pharaohswrath.
Pharaoh, asyou know, is jealous and fears you.
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