part II Egypt & The Mummy
Short story fiction/mystery
Finally, that fateful day arrived and they received the letter that would change their lives forever…..
Jeff and Harry received an invitation from one of the premier universities of USA viz. Pacific Lutheran University to join hands in participating in archaeological projects in the regions of the Fayyum (on prehistoric sites) and in the Nile Delta. With the kind permission of the Egyptian Antiquities Organization (now the Supreme Council for Antiquities) They were soon engaged in archaeological work and conservation studies in the Valley of the Kings near Luxor in the south of Egypt. Their excitement new no bounds. They were realizing their lifelong dream and relishing every moment.
Their team very soon managed to rediscover a long lost tomb on the very first day of work! The damaged contents of this crudely carved tomb were splendidly preserved and included funerary food provisions, broken bits of burial equipment, the remains of a shattered gilded coffin and a female mummy. This mummy, that of an older individual, was embalmed in what is believed to the pose of a royal female: the left arm bent at the elbow, forearm diagonally across the chest, left hand clenched and the right arm straight alongside the body. Although there has been much, often inappropriate, speculation, the specific identity of this mummy has not been determined. After this find, Jeff and Harry
were beset by a great .longing. They wanted to possess their very own mummy to take home to Goa where they had bought a house of their very own with their earnings and a Bank loan. They shared this house in perfect harmony and the central hall was filled with wonderful historic artifacts that they had collected over the years. Both wanted to add a mummy to their collection as they felt it would be a feather to their cap- a sort of crowning glory to their archaeological achievement. In this house in Goa they also had a cat, a Himalayan, a colorpoint Persian named Mr Jinx. They both doted on this cat and whenever they travelled, their neighbor Rick D’cruz felt honored to look after Mr. Jinx and was even willing to pay them for it!!! Mr Jinx had it made in such loving atmosphere.
The royal mummy of course belonged to the Egyptian Govt. but they had heard from the grapevine that there was a parallel trade in mummies on the side and they could easily buy a mummy of their own. One day, after work for the day was over- they took a two day break and left to keep the appointment with a merchant who had some standing in this shadowy business world and would keep his promise and deliver the goods as promised. They met in a hush hush atmosphere wandering through the labyrinth of narrow streets full of workshops and stalls selling all manner of things from woodwork, glassware and leather goods to perfumes, fabrics and Pharaonic curiosities- (all pics from internet- mummy, egyptian bazaar and cat-not mine)
till they reached a courtyard with a fountain leading to a cool place inside. Soon they were ensconced In a cool comfortable living room full of hookah smoke and reeking of olive oil and some Unidentifiable cloying incense. Their host was a portly gentleman who looked very genial but his looks were deceiving as he was quite steely in negotiations. Soon a bargain was reached and he promised to ship a mummy to them directly to India as part of an Egyptian shipment of antiquities that was being sent by the Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt on loan to the Indian Government as a cultural exchange. Jeff and Harry could then extricate their mummy from this shipment and bring it home to Goa.
Soon, the mummy was on its way to India…. to be contd…part 3