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datatime: 2022-09-25 16:32:59 Author:IJWtOEFQ

The words in the diary came back to her with painful clarity. You are immortal, my love, she said. My father's seen to it. You may curse us for opening your tomb, but thousands will come to see you; thousands will eventually speak your name. You will live forever. ...

Rita had come to the door, was waiting as if for instructions.

Would it now, my dear? He removed the cape as he walked arrogantly towards her, his eyes sweeping the Egyptian room as if he did not entirely approve of it. You never let me down, do you? he asked, and flashed that bitter smile again. My childhood playmate, my cousin, my little sister I loathe coffee. I want some port or sherry.

No, this is not good for you, is it? she asked, glancing up at the thing's eyes as if it were rude to do otherwise. But I don't want them to take you away. I '11 miss you when you're no longer here. But I won't let them cut you open. That much, I promise you.

Oscar's gone till tomorrow. Perhaps you should have coffee, besides. That would do you the most good.

Don't be absurd, Rita. Bring me some coffee, like a good girl. She drew even closer to the thing. After all, there was no one here to stop her. She could touch it if she wished. She listened for Rita's retreat. Heard the kitchen door open and close. Then she did reach out and touch the linen bandages that covered the right arm. Too soft, too fragile. And hot from the sun

Where's the key to the drinks cupboard? It's locked, you know. Why the devil does Oscar do that?

Too many years in the desert heat squandering money on corpses and statues and trinkets and trash.

Too many years in the desert heat squandering money on corpses and statues and trinkets and trash.

How his words stung her. So careless, yet so hateful. He paused before one of the jars, with his back to her. In the mirror she saw him scowling down at it.

The words in the diary came back to her with painful clarity. You are immortal, my love, she said. My father's seen to it. You may curse us for opening your tomb, but thousands will come to see you; thousands will eventually speak your name. You will live forever. ...

Too many years in the desert heat squandering money on corpses and statues and trinkets and trash.

It was his money, wasn't it? she asked. He made enough for all of us, or so he thought.

No, this is not good for you, is it? she asked, glancing up at the thing's eyes as if it were rude to do otherwise. But I don't want them to take you away. I '11 miss you when you're no longer here. But I won't let them cut you open. That much, I promise you.

Rita had come to the door, was waiting as if for instructions.

Too many years in the desert heat squandering money on corpses and statues and trinkets and trash.

Too many years in the desert heat squandering money on corpses and statues and trinkets and trash.

So strange that she was on the verge of tears. Father dead. And this which had meant so much to him. Father in an unmarked grave in Cairo as he had wanted it to be; and Ramses the Damned the toast of London.

How his words stung her. So careless, yet so hateful. He paused before one of the jars, with his back to her. In the mirror she saw him scowling down at it.

Suddenly she was startled by Henry's voice.

He stood in the archway between the two drawing rooms, his long serge cape hanging loosely from one shoulder. Unshaven, very likely drunk. And that smile of his. It was chilling.

Good Lord, I didn't know you were here Where did you come from?

The words in the diary came back to her with painful clarity. You are immortal, my love, she said. My father's seen to it. You may curse us for opening your tomb, but thousands will come to see you; thousands will eventually speak your name. You will live forever. ...

Yes, talked to it as if it could talk back. And Latin of all things. If you ask me, your father had been sick for some time.

What's that supposed to mean?

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