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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 course of nowhere. and there's not anything within the barren zone worthwhile 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 commence digging for solutions in an old tomb, occasions take a darker and deadlier turn—and there is no surviving the very smooth terrors their efforts exhibit.

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The negative previous wretch did have whatever on his brain. A pity he made up our minds to finish all of it prior to he talked to us. " "What are you announcing? " I exclaimed. "Abd de Atti didn't dedicate suicide. He was once murdered. " "Amelia, that's the merest surmise. I confess I had anticipated you will concoct a few wild idea. Sensationalism is your meat and drink. yet you cannot—" "Oh, Emerson, do not be ridiculous. You observed the homicide room. used to be there whatever close to the body—a desk, a chair, a stool— on which Abd el Atti may need stood whereas he tied the noose round his neck? " "Damnation," acknowledged Emerson. "No doubt. He was once murdered, Emerson—our previous pal used to be foully slain. And after he had appealed to us to avoid wasting him. " "Pray don't insult my intelligence by way of trying to circulate me with such sentimental tosh," Emerson exclaimed furiously. "If Abd el Atti used to be murdered, the killer was once considered one of his legal affiliates. It has not anything to do with us. in simple terms an unsatisfied coincidence—or, extra correctly, your incurable behavior of meddling in different people's business—put us instant on the mistaken time. we'll notify the police, as is our accountability, and that might be the top of it. i've got adequate on my brain this 12 months. i can't let my specialist actions to be interrupted.... " I permit him grumble on. Time may turn out me correct; the inexorable strain of occasions might strength our involvement. So why argue? a number of hours' sleep restored me to my traditional energy and spirits. while I woke up the solar used to be excessive within the heavens. My first act, even sooner than consuming the tea the safragi introduced me, used to be to open the door to the adjacent room. It used to be empty. A notice, put prominently at the desk, defined that John and Ramses, now not wishing to waken us, had long past out to discover town. "Do now not fear, sir and madam," John had written. "I will watch over grasp Ramses. " Emerson used to be no longer reassured by way of the message. "You see what occurs if you burst off in your absurd adventures," he grumbled. "We overslept and now our helpless younger son is wandering the streets of this depraved urban, unprotected and weak. " "I too am deeply concerned," I guaranteed him. "I dare no longer think what Ramses can do to Cairo within the house of some hours. doubtless we are going to quickly be receiving delegations of outraged voters, with accounts for damages. " I spoke part in jest. I did anticipate a war of words, now not with Ramses' sufferers, yet with the police; for notwithstanding Emerson resolutely refused to debate the homicide of Abd el Atti, I felt convinced our involvement with that affair used to be no longer over. And certainly the message got here as we have been completing breakfast, which have been delivered to our room. The white-robed safragi bowed nearly to the ground as he added it. might we, in our limitless condescension, come to the manager's workplace, the place an agent of the police needed to refer to us? Emerson flung down his serviette. "There, you spot? extra hold up, extra vexation. it's all your fault, Amelia. Come alongside, let's get this over and performed with. " Mr. Baehler, the executive of Shepheard's, rose to greet us as we entered his place of work.

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