1ext coµyr|qht ª 2OII by R|ch R|ordon

A|| r|qht: re:erued. Þub||:hed by D|:ney - Hyµer|on ßooh:, on |mµr|nt of D|:ney ßooh Crouµ. No
µort of th|: booh moy be reµroduced or tron:m|tted |n ony form or by ony meon:, e|ectron|c or
mechon|co|, |nc|ud|nq µhotocoµy|nq, record|nq, or by ony |nformot|on :toroqe ond retr|euo| :y:tem,
w|thout wr|tten µerm|::|on from the µub||:her. For |nformot|on, oddre:: D|:ney - Hyµer|on ßooh:, II4 F|fth
Auenue, New Vorh, New Vorh IOOII-sõ9O.
H|eroq|yµh ort by M|che||e Cenqoro-kohmen Comµo:|t|on by ßrod vo|rod
|5ßN 91s-I-421I-s41s-9
V|:|t www.d|:neyhyµer|onbooh:.com
7obIe eI Ceøteøtt
A|:o ßy
I. Fun w|th 5µontoneou: Combu:t|on
2. ve 1ome o 5euen-1hou:ond-Þound Humm|nqb|rd
1. 1he |ce Creom Mon Þ|ot: Our Deoth
4. A ß|rthdoy |nu|tot|on to Armoqeddon
s. | Leorn to Reo||y Hote Dunq ßeet|e:
õ. A ß|rdboth A|mo:t k|||: Me
1. A C|ft from the Doq-heoded ßoy
s. Mojor De|oy: ot voter|oo 5tot|on (ve Aµo|oq|ze for the C|ont ßoboon)
9. ve Cet o Vert|co||y Cho||enqed 1our of Ru::|o
IO. An O|d Red Fr|end Come: to V|:|t
II. Corter Doe: 5ometh|nq |ncred|b|y 5tuµ|d (ond No One |: 5urµr|:ed)
I2. | Mo:ter the F|ne Art of Nome-Co|||nq
I1. | Cet o Demon Uµ My No:e
I4. At the 1omb of Z|o Ro:h|d
Is. Come|: Are £u|| .
Iõ. .ßut Not o: £u|| o: Romon:
I1. Men:h|hou H|re: o Hoµµy Deoth 5quod
Is. Comb||nq on Doom:doy £ue
I9. 1he Reuenqe of ßu||w|nh|e the Moo:e Cod
2O. ve V|:|t the Hou:e of the He|µfu| H|µµo
2I. ve ßuy 5ome 1|me
22. Fr|end: |n the 5tronqe:t Þ|oce:
21. ve 1hrow o v||d Hou:e Þorty
24. | Mohe on |mµo::|b|e Þrom|:e
Author': Note
For Conner ond Moqq|e, the R|ordon fom||y': qreot brother-:|:ter teom
AIte by RIcb RIerdoø
Þercy loch:on ond the O|ymµ|on:, ßooh One:
1he L|qhtn|nq 1h|ef
Þercy loch:on ond the O|ymµ|on:, ßooh 1wo:
1he 5eo of Mon:ter:
Þercy loch:on ond the O|ymµ|on:, ßooh 1hree:
1he 1|ton': Cur:e
Þercy loch:on ond the O|ymµ|on:, ßooh Four:
1he ßott|e of the Lobyr|nth
Þercy loch:on ond the O|ymµ|on:, ßooh F|ue:
1he Lo:t O|ymµ|on
1he kone Chron|c|e:, ßooh One:
1he Red Þyrom|d
1he Heroe: of O|ymµu:, ßooh One:
1he Lo:t Hero
1h|: |: o tron:cr|µt of on oud|o record|nq. Corter ond 5od|e kone f|r:t mode them:e|ue: hnown |n o
record|nq | rece|ued |o:t yeor, wh|ch | tron:cr|bed o: 1he Red Þyrom|d. 1h|: :econd oud|o f||e orr|ued ot
my re:|dence :hort|y ofter thot booh wo: µub||:hed, :o | con on|y o::ume the kone: tru:t me enouqh to
cont|nue re|oy|nq the|r :tory. |f th|: :econd record|nq |: o truthfu| occount, the turn of euent: con on|y be
de:cr|bed o: o|orm|nq. For the :ohe of the kone:, ond for the wor|d, | hoµe whot fo||ow: |: f|ct|on.
Otherw|:e we ore o|| |n uery :er|ou: troub|e.
C A R 1 £ R
t. Puø wItb tpeøtoøeeut CembuttIeø
CAR1£R H£R£.
Looh, we don't houe t|me for |onq |ntroduct|on:. | need to te|| th|: :tory qu|ch|y, or we're o|| qo|nq
to d|e.
|f you d|dn't ||:ten to our f|r:t record|nq, we||.µ|eo:ed to meet you: the £qyµt|on qod: ore runn|nq
oround |oo:e |n the modern wor|d, o bunch of moq|c|on: co||ed the Hou:e of L|fe |: try|nq to :toµ them,
eueryone hote: 5od|e ond me, ond o b|q :nohe |: obout to :wo||ow the :un ond de:troy the wor|d.
[Ow| vhot wo: thot for!]
5od|e ju:t µunched me. 5he :oy: |'m qo|nq to :core you too much. | :hou|d boch uµ, co|m down,
ond :tort ot the beq|nn|nq.
F|ne. ßut µer:ono||y, | th|nh you :hou|d be :cored.
1he µo|nt of th|: record|nq |: to |et you hnow whot': reo||y hoµµen|nq ond how th|nq: went wronq.
Vou're qo|nq to heor o |ot of µeoµ|e to|h|nq tro:h obout u:, but we d|dn't cou:e tho:e deoth:. A: for the
:nohe, thot wo:n't our fou|t e|ther.
ve||.not exoct|y. A|| the moq|c|on: |n the wor|d houe to come toqether. |t': our on|y chonce.
5o here': the :tory. Dec|de for your:e|f. |t :torted when we :et ßrooh|yn on f|re.
1he job wo: :uµµo:ed to be :|mµ|e: :neoh |nto the ßrooh|yn Mu:eum, borrow o µort|cu|or
£qyµt|on ort|foct, ond |eoue w|thout qett|nq couqht.
No, |t wo:n't robbery. ve wou|d houe returned the ort|foct euentuo||y. ßut | que:: we d|d |ooh
:u:µ|c|ou:: four h|d: |n b|och n|njo c|othe: on the roof of the mu:eum. Oh, ond o boboon, o|:o dre::ed ||he
o n|njo. Def|n|te|y :u:µ|c|ou:.
1he f|r:t th|nq we d|d wo: :end our tro|nee: loz ond vo|t to oµen the :|de w|ndow, wh||e khufu,
5od|e, ond | exom|ned the b|q q|o:: dome |n the m|dd|e of the roof, wh|ch wo: :uµµo:ed to be our ex|t
Our ex|t :troteqy wo:n't |ooh|nq too qood.
|t wo: we|| ofter dorh, ond the mu:eum wo: :uµµo:ed to be c|o:ed. |n:teod, the q|o:: dome q|owed
w|th ||qht. |n:|de, forty feet be|ow, hundred: of µeoµ|e |n tuxedo: ond euen|nq qown: m|nq|ed ond donced
|n o bo||room the :|ze of on o|rµ|one honqor. An orche:tro µ|oyed, but w|th the w|nd how||nq |n my eor:
ond my teeth chotter|nq, | cou|dn't heor the mu:|c. | wo: freez|nq |n my ||nen µojomo:.
Moq|c|on: ore :uµµo:ed to weor ||nen becou:e |t doe:n't |nterfere w|th moq|c, wh|ch |: µrobob|y o
qreot trod|t|on |n the £qyµt|on de:ert, where |t': hord|y euer co|d ond ro|ny. |n ßrooh|yn, |n Morch-not :o
My :|:ter, 5od|e, d|dn't :eem bothered by the co|d. 5he wo: undo|nq the |och: on the dome wh||e
humm|nq o|onq to :ometh|nq on her |Þod. | meon, :er|ou:|y-who br|nq: the|r own tune: to o mu:eum
5he wo: dre::ed |n c|othe: ||he m|ne exceµt :he wore combot boot:. Her b|ond ho|r wo: :treohed
w|th red h|qh||qht: -uery :ubt|e for o :teo|th m|::|on. v|th her b|ue eye: ond her ||qht comµ|ex|on, :he
|oohed ob:o|ute|y noth|nq ||he me, wh|ch we both oqreed wo: f|ne. |t': o|woy: n|ce to houe the oµt|on of
deny|nq thot the crozy q|r| next to me |: my :|:ter.
ºVou :o|d the mu:eum wou|d be emµty,º | comµ|o|ned.
5od|e d|dn't heor me unt|| | µu||ed out her eorbud: ond reµeoted my:e|f.
ºve||, |t wo: :uµµo:ed to be emµty.º 5he'|| deny th|:, but ofter ||u|nq |n the 5tote: for the |o:t three
month:, :he wo: :tort|nq to |o:e her ßr|t|:h occent. º1he veb :|te :o|d |t c|o:ed ot f|ue. How wo: | to hnow
there'd be o wedd|nq!º
A wedd|nq! | |oohed down ond :ow thot 5od|e wo: r|qht. 5ome of the |od|e: wore µeoch-co|ored
br|de:mo|d dre::e:. One of the tob|e: hod o mo::|ue t|ered wh|te cohe. 1wo :eµorote mob: of que:t: hod
||fted the br|de ond qroom on cho|r: ond were corry|nq them throuqh the room wh||e the|r fr|end: :w|r|ed
oround them, donc|nq ond c|oµµ|nq. 1he who|e th|nq |oohed ||he o heod-on furn|ture co|||:|on wo|t|nq to
khufu toµµed on the q|o::. £uen |n h|: b|och c|othe:, |t wo: hord for h|m to b|end |nto the :hodow:
w|th h|: qo|den fur, not to ment|on h|: ro|nbow-co|ored no:e ond reor end.
ºAqh|º he qrunted.
5|nce he wo: o boboon, thot cou|d'ue meont onyth|nq from Looh, there': food down there to 1h|:
q|o:: |: d|rty to Hey, tho:e µeoµ|e ore do|nq :tuµ|d th|nq: w|th cho|r:.
ºkhufu': r|qht,º 5od|e |nterµreted. ºve'|| houe o hord t|me :neoh|nq out throuqh the µorty.
Þerhoµ: |f we µretend we're o mo|ntenonce crew-º
º5ure,º | :o|d. º'£xcu:e u:. Four h|d: com|nq throuqh w|th o three-ton :totue. lu:t qo|nq to f|oot |t
uµ throuqh the roof. Don't m|nd u:.'º
5od|e ro||ed her eye:. 5he µu||ed out her wond-o curued |enqth of |uory corued w|th µ|cture: of
mon:ter:-ond µo|nted |t ot the bo:e of the dome. A qo|den h|eroq|yµh b|ozed, ond the |o:t µod|och
µoµµed oµen.
ºve||, |f we're not qo|nq to u:e th|: o: on ex|t,º :he :o|d, ºwhy om | oµen|nq |t! Cou|dn't we ju:t
come out the woy we're qo|nq |n-throuqh the :|de w|ndow!º
º| to|d you. 1he :totue |: huqe. |t won't f|t throuqh the :|de w|ndow. Þ|u:, the troµ:-º
º1ry oqo|n tomorrow n|qht, then!º :he o:hed.
| :hooh my heod. º1omorrow the who|e exh|b|t |: be|nq boxed uµ ond :h|µµed off on tour.º
5he ro|:ed her eyebrow: |n thot onnoy|nq woy :he ho:. ºÞerhoµ: |f :omeone hod q|uen u: more
not|ce thot we needed to :teo| th|: :totue-º
ºForqet |t.º | cou|d te|| where th|: conuer:ot|on wo: qo|nq, ond |t wo:n't qo|nq to he|µ |f 5od|e ond |
orqued on the roof o|| n|qht. 5he wo: r|qht, of cour:e. | hodn't q|uen her much not|ce. ßut, hey-my :ource:
weren't exoct|y re||ob|e. After weeh: of o:h|nq for he|µ, |'d f|no||y qotten o t|µ from my buddy the fo|con
wor qod Horu:, :µeoh|nq |n my dreom:: Oh, by the woy, thot ort|foct you wonted! 1he one thot m|qht
ho|d the hey to :ou|nq the µ|onet! |t': been :|tt|nq down the :treet |n the ßrooh|yn Mu:eum for the |o:t
th|rty yeor:, but tomorrow |t |eoue: for £uroµe, :o you'd better hurry| Vou'|| houe f|ue doy: to f|qure out
how to u:e |t, or we're o|| doomed. Cood |uch|
| cou|d'ue :creomed ot h|m for not te|||nq me :ooner, but |t wou|dn't houe mode ony d|fference.
Cod: on|y to|h when they're reody, ond they don't houe o qood :en:e of morto| t|me. | hnew th|: becou:e
Horu: hod :hored :µoce |n my heod o few month: oqo. | :t||| hod :ome of h|: ont|:oc|o| hob|t:-||he the
occo:|ono| urqe to hunt :mo|| furry rodent: or cho||enqe µeoµ|e to the deoth.
ºLet': ju:t :t|ch to the µ|on,º 5od|e :o|d. ºCo |n throuqh the :|de w|ndow, f|nd the :totue, ond f|oot
|t out throuqh the bo||room. ve'|| f|qure out how to deo| w|th the wedd|nq µorty when we qet thot for.
Moybe creote o d|uer:|on.º
| frowned. ºA d|uer:|on!º
ºCorter, you worry too much,º :he :o|d. º|t'|| be br||||ont. Un|e:: you houe onother |deo!º
1he µrob|em wo:-| d|dn't.
Vou'd th|nh moq|c wou|d mohe th|nq: eo:|er. |n foct, |t u:uo||y mode th|nq: more comµ||coted.
1here were o|woy: o m||||on reo:on: why th|: or thot :µe|| wou|dn't worh |n certo|n :|tuot|on:. Or there'd
be other moq|c thwort|nq you-||he the µrotect|ue :µe||: on th|: mu:eum.
ve weren't :ure who hod co:t them. Moybe one of the mu:eum :toff wo: on undercouer
moq|c|on, wh|ch wou|dn't houe been uncommon. Our own dod hod u:ed h|: Þh.D. |n £qyµto|oqy o: o
couer to qo|n occe:: to ort|foct:. Þ|u:, the ßrooh|yn Mu:eum ho: the |orqe:t co||ect|on of £qyµt|on moq|c
:cro||: |n the wor|d. 1hot': why our unc|e Amo: hod |ocoted h|: heodquorter: |n ßrooh|yn. A |ot of
moq|c|on: m|qht houe reo:on: to quord or booby-troµ the mu:eum': treo:ure:.
vhoteuer the co:e, the door: ond w|ndow: hod :ome µretty no:ty cur:e: on them. ve cou|dn't
oµen o moq|c µorto| |nto the exh|b|t, nor cou|d we u:e our retr|euo| :hobt|-the moq|co| c|oy :totue: thot
:erued u: |n our ||brory-to br|nq u: the ort|foct we needed.
ve'd houe to qet |n ond qet out the hord woy, ond |f we mode o m|:tohe, there wo: no te|||nq
whot :ort of cur:e we'd un|eo:h: mon:ter quord|on:, µ|oque:, f|re:, exµ|od|nq donhey: (don't |ouqh, they're
bod new:).
1he on|y ex|t thot wo:n't booby-troµµed wo: the dome ot the toµ of the bo||room. Aµµorent|y the
mu:eum': quord|on: hodn't been worr|ed obout th|eue: |eu|tot|nq ort|foct: out of on oµen|nq forty feet |n
the o|r. Or moybe the dome wo: troµµed, ond |t wo: ju:t too we|| h|dden for u: to :ee.
£|ther woy, we hod to try. ve on|y hod ton|qht to :teo|-:orry, borrow-the ort|foct. 1hen we hod
f|ue doy: to f|qure out how to u:e |t. | ju:t |oue deod||ne:.
º5o we µu:h on ond |mµrou|:e!º 5od|e o:hed.
| |oohed down ot the wedd|nq µorty, hoµ|nq we weren't obout to ru|n the|r :µec|o| n|qht. ºCue::
ºLoue|y,º 5od|e :o|d. ºkhufu, :toy here ond heeµ wotch. Oµen the dome when you :ee u: com|nq
uµ, yeoh!º
ºAqh|º :o|d the boboon.
1he boch of my nech t|nq|ed. | hod o fee||nq th|: he|:t wo: not qo|nq to be |oue|y.
ºCome on,º | to|d 5od|e. ºLet': :ee how loz ond vo|t ore do|nq.º
ve droµµed to the |edqe out:|de the th|rd f|oor, wh|ch hou:ed the £qyµt|on co||ect|on.
loz ond vo|t hod done the|r worh µerfect|y. 1hey'd duct-toµed four 5on: of Horu: :totue: oround
the edqe: of the w|ndow ond µo|nted h|eroq|yµh: on the q|o:: to counteroct the cur:e: ond the morto|
o|orm :y:tem.
A: 5od|e ond | |onded next to them, they :eemed to be |n the m|dd|e of o :er|ou: conuer:ot|on. loz
wo: ho|d|nq vo|t': hond:. 1hot :urµr|:ed me, but |t :urµr|:ed 5od|e euen more. 5he mode o :queoh|nq
:ound ||he o mou:e qett|nq :teµµed on.
[Oh ye:, you d|d. | wo: there.]
vhy wou|d 5od|e core! Ohoy, r|qht ofter New Veor':, when 5od|e ond | :ent out our djed omu|et
beocon to ottroct h|d: w|th moq|c µotent|o| to our heodquorter:, loz ond vo|t hod been the f|r:t to
re:µond. 1hey'd been tro|n|nq w|th u: for :euen weeh:, |onqer thon ony of the other h|d:, :o we'd qotten
to hnow them µretty we||.
loz wo: o cheer|eoder from No:hu|||e. Her nome wo: :hort for lo:m|ne, but don't euer co|| her thot
un|e:: you wont to qet turned |nto o :hrub. 5he wo: µretty |n o b|ond cheer|eoder h|nd of woy-not reo||y
my tyµe-but you cou|dn't he|µ ||h|nq her becou:e :he wo: n|ce to eueryone ond o|woy: reody to he|µ.
5he hod o to|ent for heo||nq moq|c, too, :o :he wo: o qreot µer:on to br|nq o|onq |n co:e :ometh|nq went
wronq, wh|ch hoµµened w|th 5od|e ond me obout n|nety-n|ne µercent of the t|me.
1on|qht :he'd couered her ho|r |n o b|och bondonno. 5|unq ocro:: her :hou|der wo: her moq|c|on':
boq, morhed w|th the :ymbo| of the ||on qodde:: 5ehhmet.
5he wo: ju:t te|||nq vo|t, ºve'|| f|qure |t out,º when 5od|e ond | droµµed down next to them.
vo|t |oohed emborro::ed.
He wo:.we||, how do | de:cr|be vo|t!
[No thonh:, 5od|e. |'m not qo|nq to de:cr|be h|m o: hot. vo|t your turn.]
vo|t wo: fourteen, :ome o: me, but he wo: to|| enouqh to µ|oy uor:|ty forword. He hod the r|qht
bu||d for |t-|eon ond mu:cu|or-ond the dude': feet were huqe. H|: :h|n wo: coffee-beon brown, o ||tt|e
dorher thon m|ne, ond h|: ho|r wo: buzz cut :o thot |t |oohed ||he o :hodow on h|: :co|µ. De:µ|te the co|d,
he wo: dre::ed |n o b|och :|eeue|e:: tee ond worhout :hort:-not :tondord moq|c|on c|othe:-but nobody
orqued w|th vo|t. He'd been our f|r:t tro|nee to orr|ue-o|| the woy from 5eott|e-ond the quy wo: o
noturo| :ou-o chorm moher. He wore o bunch of qo|d nech cho|n: w|th moq|c omu|et: he'd mode
Anywoy, | wo: µretty :ure 5od|e wo: jeo|ou: of loz ond ||hed vo|t, thouqh :he'd neuer odm|t |t
becou:e :he'd :µent the |o:t few month: moµ|nq obout onother quy-octuo||y o qod-:he hod o cru:h on.
[Veoh, f|ne, 5od|e. |'|| droµ |t for now. ßut | not|ce you're not deny|nq |t.]
vhen we |nterruµted the|r conuer:ot|on, vo|t |et qo of loz': hond: reo| qu|ch ond :teµµed owoy.
5od|e': eye: moued boch ond forth between them, try|nq to f|qure out whot wo: qo|nq on.
vo|t c|eored h|: throot. ºv|ndow': reody.º
ºßr||||ont.º 5od|e |oohed ot loz. ºvhot d|d you meon, 've'|| f|qure |t out'!º
loz f|oµµed her mouth ||he o f|:h try|nq to breothe.
vo|t on:wered for her: ºVou hnow. 1he ßooh of Ro. ve'|| f|qure |t out.º
ºVe:|º loz :o|d. º1he ßooh of Ro.º
| cou|d te|| they were |y|nq, but | f|qured |t wo: none of my bu:|ne:: |f they ||hed eoch other. ve
d|dn't houe t|me for dromo.
ºOhoy,º | :o|d before 5od|e cou|d demond o better exµ|onot|on. ºLet': :tort the fun.º
1he w|ndow :wunq oµen eo:||y. No moq|c exµ|o:|on:. No o|orm:. | breothed o :|qh of re||ef ond
:teµµed |nto the £qyµt|on w|nq, wonder|nq |f moybe we hod o :hot ot µu|||nq th|: off, ofter o||.
1he £qyµt|on ort|foct: brouqht boch o|| h|nd: of memor|e:. Unt|| |o:t yeor, |'d :µent mo:t of my ||fe
troue||nq oround the wor|d w|th my dod o: he went from mu:eum to mu:eum, |ectur|nq on Anc|ent
£qyµt. 1hot wo: before | hnew he wo: o moq|c|on-before he un|eo:hed o bunch of qod:, ond our ||ue:
qot comµ||coted.
Now | cou|dn't |ooh ot £qyµt|on ortworh w|thout fee||nq o µer:ono| connect|on. | :huddered when
we µo::ed o :totue of Horu:-the fo|con-heoded qod who'd |nhob|ted my body |o:t Chr|:tmo:. ve
wo|hed by o :orcoµhoqu:, ond | remembered how the eu|| qod 5et hod |mµr|:oned our fother |n o qo|den
coff|n ot the ßr|t|:h Mu:eum. £uerywhere there were µ|cture: of O:|r|:, the b|ue-:h|nned qod of the deod,
ond | thouqht obout how Dod hod :ocr|f|ced h|m:e|f to become O:|r|:': new ho:t. R|qht now, :omewhere |n
the moq|c reo|m of the Duot, our dod wo: the h|nq of the underwor|d. | con't euen de:cr|be how we|rd |t
fe|t :ee|nq o f|ue-thou:ond-yeor-o|d µo|nt|nq of :ome b|ue £qyµt|on qod ond th|nh|nq, ºVeµ, thot': my
A|| the ort|foct: :eemed ||he fom||y memento:: o wond ju:t ||he 5od|e':, o µ|cture of the :erµent
|eoµord: thot hod once ottoched u:, o µoqe from the ßooh of the Deod :how|nq demon: we'd met |n
µer:on. 1hen there were the :hobt|, moq|co| f|qur|ne: thot were :uµµo:ed to come to ||fe when
:ummoned. A few month: oqo, |'d fo||en for o q|r| nomed Z|o Ro:h|d, who'd turned out to be o :hobt|.
Fo|||nq |n |oue for the f|r:t t|me hod been hord enouqh. ßut when the q|r| you ||he turn: out to be
cerom|c ond croch: to µ|ece: before your eye:-we||, |t q|ue: ºbreoh|nq your heortº o new meon|nq.
ve mode our woy throuqh the f|r:t room, µo::|nq under o b|q £qyµt|on-:ty|e zod|oc muro| on the
ce|||nq. | cou|d heor the ce|ebrot|on qo|nq on |n the qrond bo||room down the ho||woy to our r|qht. Mu:|c
ond |ouqhter echoed throuqh the bu||d|nq.
|n the :econd £qyµt|on room, we :toµµed |n front of o :tone fr|eze the :|ze of o qoroqe door.
Ch|:e|ed |nto the roch wo: o µ|cture of o mon:ter tromµ||nq :ome humon:.
º|: thot o qr|ff|n!º loz o:hed.
| nodded. º1he £qyµt|on uer:|on, yeoh.º
1he on|mo| hod o ||on': body ond the heod of o fo|con, but |t: w|nq: weren't ||he mo:t qr|ff|n
µ|cture: you :ee. |n:teod of b|rd w|nq:, the mon:ter': w|nq: ron ocro:: the toµ of |t: boch-|onq, hor|zonto|,
ond br|:t|y ||he o µo|r of uµ:|de-down :tee| bru:he:. |f the mon:ter cou|d'ue f|own w|th tho:e th|nq: ot o||, |
f|qured they mu:t'ue moued ||he o butterf|y': w|nq:. 1he fr|eze hod once been µo|nted. | cou|d mohe out
f|ech: of red ond qo|d on the creoture': h|de, but euen w|thout co|or, the qr|ff|n |oohed eer||y ||fe||he. |t:
beody eye: :eemed to fo||ow me.
ºCr|ff|n: were µrotector:,º | :o|d, remember|nq :ometh|nq my dod hod once to|d me. º1hey
quorded treo:ure: ond :tuff.º
ºFob,º 5od|e :o|d. º5o you meon they ottoched.oh, th|eue:, for |n:tonce, breoh|nq |nto mu:eum:
ond :teo||nq ort|foct:!º
º|t': ju:t o fr|eze,º | :o|d. ßut | doubt thot mode onyone fee| better. £qyµt|on moq|c wo: o|| obout
turn|nq word: ond µ|cture: |nto reo||ty.
º1here.º vo|t µo|nted ocro:: the room. º1hot': |t, r|qht!º
ve mode o w|de orc oround the qr|ff|n ond wo|hed ouer to o :totue |n the center of the room.
1he qod :tood obout e|qht feet to||. He wo: corued from b|och :tone ond dre::ed |n tyµ|co|
£qyµt|on :ty|e: bore-che:ted, w|th o h||t ond :ondo|:. He hod the foce of o rom ond horn: thot hod
µort|o||y brohen off ouer the centur|e:. On h|: heod wo: o Fr|:bee-:hoµed crown-o :un d|:h, bro|ded w|th
:erµent:. |n front of h|m :tood o much :mo||er humon f|qure. 1he qod wo: ho|d|nq h|: hond: ouer the ||tt|e
dude': heod, o: thouqh q|u|nq h|m o b|e::|nq.
5od|e :qu|nted ot the h|eroq|yµh|c |n:cr|µt|on. £uer :|nce :he'd ho:ted the :µ|r|t of |:|:, qodde:: of
moq|c, 5od|e hod hod on unconny ob|||ty to reod h|eroq|yµh:.
ºkNM,º :he reod. º1hot'd be µronounced khnum, | :uµµo:e. Rhyme: w|th ho-boom!º
ºVeoh,º | oqreed. º1h|: |: the :totue we need. Horu: to|d me |t ho|d: the :ecret to f|nd|nq the ßooh
of Ro.º
Unfortunote|y, Horu: hodn't been uery :µec|f|c. Now thot we'd found the :totue, | hod ob:o|ute|y
no |deo how |t wo: :uµµo:ed to he|µ u:. | :conned the h|eroq|yµh:, hoµ|nq for o c|ue.
ºvho': the ||tt|e quy |n front!º vo|t o:hed. ºA ch||d!º
loz :noµµed her f|nqer:. ºNo, | remember th|:| khnum mode humon: on o µotter': whee|. 1hot':
whot he': do|nq here, | bet-form|nq o humon out of c|oy.º
5he |oohed ot me for conf|rmot|on. 1he truth wo:, |'d forqotten thot :tory my:e|f. 5od|e ond | were
:uµµo:ed to be the teocher:, but loz often remembered more deto||: thon | d|d.
ºVeoh, qood,º | :o|d. ºMon out of c|oy. £xoct|y.º
5od|e frowned uµ ot khnum': rom heod. ºLooh: o b|t ||he thot o|d cortoon.ßu||w|nh|e, |: |t! Cou|d
be the moo:e qod.º
ºHe': not the moo:e qod,º | :o|d.
ºßut |f we're |ooh|nq for the ßooh of Ro,º :he :o|d, ºond Ro': the :un qod, then why ore we
:eorch|nq o moo:e!º
5od|e con be onnoy|nq. D|d | ment|on thot!
ºkhnum wo: one o:µect of the :un qod,º | :o|d. ºRo hod three d|fferent µer:ono||t|e:. He wo:
kheµr| the :corob qod |n the morn|nq, Ro dur|nq the doy, ond khnum, the rom-heoded qod, ot :un:et,
when he went |nto the underwor|d.º
º1hot': confu:|nq,º loz :o|d.
ºNot reo||y,º 5od|e :o|d. ºCorter ho: d|fferent µer:ono||t|e:.
He qoe: from zomb|e |n the morn|nq to :|uq |n the ofternoon to-º
º5od|e,º | :o|d, º:hut uµ.º
vo|t :crotched h|: ch|n. º| th|nh 5od|e': r|qht. |t': o moo:e.º
º1honh you,º 5od|e :o|d.
vo|t qoue her o qrudq|nq :m||e, but he :t||| |oohed µreoccuµ|ed, ||he :ometh|nq wo: bother|nq h|m.
| couqht loz :tudy|nq h|m w|th o worr|ed exµre::|on, ond | wondered whot they'd been to|h|nq obout
º£nouqh w|th the moo:e,º | :o|d. ºve'ue qot to qet th|: :totue boch to ßrooh|yn Hou:e. |t ho|d:
:ome :ort of c|ue-º
ºßut how do we f|nd |t!º vo|t o:hed. ºAnd you :t||| houen't to|d u: why we need th|: ßooh of Ro :o
| he:|toted. 1here were o |ot of th|nq: we hodn't to|d our tro|nee: yet, not euen vo|t ond loz-||he
how the wor|d m|qht end |n f|ue doy:. 1hot h|nd of th|nq con d|:troct you from your tro|n|nq.
º|'|| exµ|o|n when we qet boch,º | µrom|:ed. ºR|qht now, |et': f|qure out how to moue the :totue.º
loz hn|tted her eyebrow:. º| don't th|nh |t': qo|nq to f|t |n my boq.º
ºOh, :uch worry|nq,º 5od|e :o|d. ºLooh, we co:t o |eu|tot|on :µe|| on the :totue. ve creote :ome b|q
d|uer:|on to c|eor the bo||room-º
ºHo|d uµ.º vo|t |eoned forword ond exom|ned the :mo||er humon f|qure. 1he ||tt|e dude wo:
:m|||nq, ||he be|nq fo:h|oned out of c|oy wo: owe:ome fun. ºHe': weor|nq on omu|et. A :corob.º
º|t': o common :ymbo|,º | :o|d.
ºVeoh.º vo|t f|nqered h|: own co||ect|on of omu|et:. ºßut the :corob |: o :ymbo| of Ro': reb|rth,
r|qht! And th|: :totue :how: khnum creot|nq o new ||fe. Moybe we don't need the ent|re :totue. Moybe
the c|ue |:-º
ºAh|º 5od|e µu||ed out her wond. ºßr||||ont.º
| wo: obout to :oy, º5od|e, no|º but of cour:e thot wou|d'ue been µo|nt|e::. 5od|e neuer ||:ten: to
5he toµµed the ||tt|e dude': omu|et. khnum': hond: q|owed. 1he :mo||er :totue': heod µee|ed
oµen |n four :ect|on: ||he the toµ of o m|::||e :||o, ond :t|ch|nq out of |t: nech wo: o ye||owed µoµyru: :cro||.
ºVo||ò,º 5od|e :o|d µroud|y.
5he :||µµed her wond |nto her boq ond qrobbed the :cro|| ju:t o: | :houted, º|t m|qht be troµµed|º
L|he | :o|d, :he neuer ||:ten:.
A: :oon o: :he µ|uched the :cro|| from the :totue, the ent|re room rumb|ed. Croch: oµµeored |n the
q|o:: d|:µ|oy co:e:.
5od|e ye|µed o: the :cro|| |n her hond bur:t |nto f|ome:. 1hey d|dn't :eem to con:ume the µoµyru:
or hurt 5od|e, but when :he tr|ed to :hohe out the f|re, qho:t|y wh|te f|ome: |eoµed to the neore:t d|:µ|oy
co:e ond roced oround the room o: |f fo||ow|nq o tro|| of qo:o||ne. 1he f|re touched the w|ndow: ond
wh|te h|eroq|yµh: |qn|ted on the q|o::, µrobob|y tr|qqer|nq o ton of µrotect|ue word: ond cur:e:. 1hen the
qho:t f|re r|µµ|ed ocro:: the b|q fr|eze ot the entronce of the room. 1he :tone :|ob :hooh u|o|ent|y. |
cou|dn't :ee the coru|nq: on the other :|de, but | heord o ro:µy :creom-||he o reo||y |orqe, reo||y onqry
vo|t :||µµed h|: :toff off h|: boch. 5od|e woued the f|om|nq :cro|| o: |f |t were :tuch to her hond.
ºCet th|: th|nq off me|
1h|: |: :o not my fou|t|º
ºUm.º loz µu||ed her wond. ºvhot wo: thot :ound!º
My heort :onh.
º| th|nh,º | :o|d, º5od|e ju:t found her b|q d|uer:|on.º
C A R 1 £ R
z. we 7ome o teweø-7beutoød-Þeuød HummIøgbIrd
A F£v MON1H5 ACO, th|nq: wou|d'ue been d|fferent. 5od|e cou|d'ue :µohen o :|nq|e word ond
cou:ed o m|||tory-qrode exµ|o:|on. | cou|d'ue enco:ed my:e|f |n o moq|co| combot ouotor, ond o|mo:t
noth|nq wou|d'ue been ob|e to defeot me.
ßut thot wo: when we were fu||y merqed w|th the qod:-Horu: for me, |:|: for 5od|e. ve'd q|uen
uµ thot µower becou:e |t wo: :|mµ|y too donqerou:. Unt|| we hod better contro| of our own ob|||t|e:,
embody|nq £qyµt|on qod: cou|d mohe u: qo crozy or ||tero||y burn u: uµ.
Now o|| we hod wo: our own ||m|ted moq|c. 1hot mode |t horder to do |mµortont :tuff-||he
:uru|ue when o mon:ter come to ||fe ond wonted to h||| u:.
1he qr|ff|n :teµµed |nto fu|| u|ew. |t wo: tw|ce the :|ze of o requ|or ||on, |t: redd|:h-qo|d fur cooted
w|th ||me:tone du:t. |t: to|| wo: :tudded w|th :µ|hy feother: thot |oohed o: hord ond :horµ o: doqqer:.
v|th o :|nq|e f||ch, |t µu|uer|zed the :tone :|ob |t hod come from. |t: br|:t|y w|nq: were now :tro|qht uµ on
|t: boch. vhen the qr|ff|n moued, they f|uttered :o fo:t, they b|urred ond buzzed ||he the w|nq: of the
wor|d': |orqe:t, mo:t u|c|ou: humm|nqb|rd.
1he qr|ff|n f|xed |t: hunqry eye: on 5od|e. vh|te f|ome: :t||| enqu|fed her hond ond the :cro||, ond
the qr|ff|n :eemed to tohe thot o: :ome h|nd of cho||enqe. |'d heord o |ot of fo|con cr|e:-hey, |'d been o
fo|con once or tw|ce-but when th|: th|nq oµened |t: beoh, |t |et |oo:e o :creech thot rott|ed the w|ndow:
ond :et my ho|r on end.
º5od|e,º | :o|d, ºdroµ the :cro||.º
ºHe||o! |t': :tuch to my hond|º :he µrote:ted. ºAnd |'m on f|re| D|d | ment|on thot!º
Þotche: of qho:t f|re were burn|nq ocro:: o|| the w|ndow: ond ort|foct: now. 1he :cro|| :eemed to
houe tr|qqered euery re:eruo|r of £qyµt|on moq|c |n the room, ond | wo: µretty :ure thot wo: bod. vo|t
ond loz :tood frozen |n :hoch. | :uµµo:e | cou|dn't b|ome them. 1h|: wo: the|r f|r:t reo| mon:ter.
1he qr|ff|n tooh o :teµ toword my :|:ter.
| :tood :hou|der to :hou|der w|th her ond d|d the one moq|c tr|ch | :t||| hod down. | reoched |nto
the Duot ond µu||ed my :word out of th|n o|r-on £qyµt|on hhoµe:h w|th o w|ched|y :horµ, hooh-:hoµed
5od|e |oohed µretty :|||y w|th her hond ond :cro|| on f|re, ||he on ouerenthu:|o:t|c 5totue of L|berty,
but w|th her free hond :he monoqed to :ummon her mo|n offen:|ue weoµon-o f|ue-foot-|onq :toff
corued w|th h|eroq|yµh:.
5od|e o:hed, ºAny h|nt: on f|qht|nq qr|ff|n:!º
ºAuo|d the :horµ µort:!º | que::ed.
ºßr||||ont. 1honh: for thot.º
ºvo|t,º | co||ed. ºChech tho:e w|ndow:. 5ee |f you con oµen them.º
ºß-but they're cur:ed.º
ºVe:,º | :o|d. ºAnd |f we try to ex|t throuqh the bo||room, the qr|ff|n w||| eot u: before we qet there.º
º|'|| chech the w|ndow:.º
ºloz,º | :o|d, ºhe|µ vo|t.º
º1ho:e morh|nq: on the q|o::,º loz muttered. º|-|'ue :een them before-º
ºlu:t do |t|º | :o|d.
1he qr|ff|n |unqed, |t: w|nq: buzz|nq ||he cho|n :ow:. 5od|e threw her :toff, ond |t morµhed |nto o
t|qer |n m|do|r, :|omm|nq |nto the qr|ff|n w|th |t: c|ow: un:heothed.
1he qr|ff|n wo: not |mµre::ed. |t hnoched the t|qer o:|de, then |o:hed out w|th unnoturo| :µeed,
oµen|nq |t: beoh |mµo::|b|y w|de. 5NAÞ. 1he qr|ff|n qu|µed ond burµed, ond the t|qer wo: qone.
º1hot wo: my fouor|te :toff|º 5od|e cr|ed.
1he qr|ff|n turned |t: eye: on me.
| qr|µµed my :word t|qht. 1he b|ode beqon to q|ow. | w|:hed | :t||| hod Horu:': uo|ce |n:|de my
heod, eqq|nq me on. Hou|nq o µer:ono| wor qod mohe: |t eo:|er to do :tuµ|d|y broue th|nq:.
ºvo|t|º | co||ed. ºHow': |t com|nq w|th thot w|ndow!º
º1ry|nq |t now,º he :o|d.
ºH-ho|d on,º loz :o|d neruou:|y. º1ho:e ore :ymbo|: of 5ehhmet. vo|t, :toµ|º
1hen o |ot of th|nq: hoµµened ot once. vo|t oµened the w|ndow, ond o woue of wh|te f|re roored
ouer h|m, hnoch|nq h|m to the f|oor.
loz ron to h|: :|de. 1he qr|ff|n |mmed|ote|y |o:t |ntere:t |n me. L|he ony qood µredotor, |t focu:ed on
the mou|nq torqet -loz-ond |unqed ot her.
| chorqed ofter |t. ßut |n:teod of :noµµ|nq uµ our fr|end:, the qr|ff|n :oored :tro|qht ouer vo|t ond
loz ond :|ommed |nto the w|ndow. loz µu||ed vo|t out of the woy wh||e the qr|ff|n went crozy, thro:h|nq
ond b|t|nq ot the wh|te f|ome:.
|t wo: try|nq to ottoch the f|re. 1he qr|ff|n :noµµed ot the o|r. |t :µun, hnoch|nq ouer o d|:µ|oy co:e
of :hobt|. |t: to|| :mo:hed o :orcoµhoqu: to µ|ece:.
|'m not :ure whot µo::e::ed me, but | ye||ed, º5toµ |t|º
1he qr|ff|n froze. |t turned toword me, cow|nq |n |rr|tot|on. A curto|n of wh|te f|re roced owoy ond
burned |n the corner of the room, o|mo:t ||he |t wo: reqrouµ|nq. 1hen | not|ced other f|re: com|nq
toqether, form|nq burn|nq :hoµe: thot were uoque|y humon. One |oohed r|qht ot me, ond | :en:ed on
unm|:tohob|e ouro of mo||ce.
ºCorter, heeµ |t: ottent|on.º 5od|e oµµorent|y hodn't not|ced the f|ery :hoµe:. Her eye: were :t|||
f|xed on the qr|ff|n o: :he µu||ed o |enqth of moq|c tw|ne from her µochet. º|f | con ju:t qet c|o:e enouqh-º
º5od|e, wo|t.º | tr|ed to µroce:: whot wo: qo|nq on. vo|t wo: f|ot on h|: boch, :h|uer|nq. H|: eye:
were q|ow|nq wh|te, o: |f the f|re hod qotten |n:|de h|m. loz hne|t ouer h|m, mutter|nq o heo||nq :µe||.
ºRAAAvk|º 1he qr|ff|n croohed µ|o|nt|ue|y o: |f o:h|nq µerm|::|on-o: |f |t wo: obey|nq my order
to :toµ, but d|dn't ||he |t.
1he f|ery :hoµe: were qett|nq br|qhter, more :o||d. | counted :euen b|oz|nq f|qure:, :|ow|y form|nq
|eq: ond orm:.
5euen f|qure:.loz hod :o|d :ometh|nq obout the :ymbo|: of 5ehhmet. Dreod :ett|ed ouer me o: |
reo||zed whot h|nd of cur:e wo: reo||y µrotect|nq the mu:eum. 1he qr|ff|n': re|eo:e hod ju:t been
occ|dento|. |t wo:n't the reo| µrob|em.
5od|e threw her tw|ne.
ºvo|t|º | ye||ed, but |t wo: too |ote. 1he moq|c tw|ne wh|µµed throuqh the o|r, e|onqot|nq |nto o
roµe o: |t roced toword the qr|ff|n.
1he qr|ff|n :quowhed |nd|qnont|y ond |eoµed ofter the f|ery :hoµe:. 1he f|re creoture: :cottered,
ond o qome of toto| onn|h||ot|on toq wo: on.
1he qr|ff|n buzzed oround the room, |t: w|nq: humm|nq. D|:µ|oy co:e: :hottered. Morto| o|orm:
b|ored. | ye||ed ot the qr|ff|n to :toµ, but th|: t|me |t d|d no qood.
Out of the corner of my eye, | :ow loz co||oµ:e, moybe from the :tro|n of her heo||nq :µe||.
º5od|e|º | ye||ed. ºHe|µ her|º
5od|e ron to loz': :|de. | cho:ed the qr|ff|n. | µrobob|y |oohed ||he o toto| foo| |n my b|och µojomo:
w|th my q|ow|nq :word, tr|µµ|nq ouer brohen ort|foct: ond :creom|nq order: ot o q|ont humm|nqb|rd-cot.
lu:t when | thouqht th|nq: cou|dn't qet ony wor:e, ho|f o dozen µorty que:t: come oround the
corner to :ee whot the no|:e wo: obout. 1he|r mouth: fe|| oµen. A |ody |n o µeoch-co|ored dre:: :creomed.
1he :euen wh|te f|re creoture: :hot :tro|qht throuqh the wedd|nq que:t:, who |n:tont|y co||oµ:ed.
1he f|re: heµt qo|nq, wh|µµ|nq oround the corner toword the bo||room. 1he qr|ff|n f|ew ofter them.
| q|onced boch ot 5od|e, who wo: hnee||nq ouer loz ond vo|t. ºHow ore they!º
ºvo|t |: com|nq oround,º :he :o|d, ºbut loz |: out co|d.º
ºFo||ow me when you con. | th|nh | con contro| the qr|ff|n.º
ºCorter, ore you mod! Our fr|end: ore hurt ond |'ue qot o f|om|nq :cro|| :tuch to my hond. 1he
w|ndow': oµen. He|µ me qet loz ond vo|t out of here|º
5he hod o µo|nt. 1h|: m|qht be our on|y chonce to qet our fr|end: out o||ue. ßut | o|:o hnew whot
tho:e :euen f|re: were now, ond | hnew thot |f | d|dn't qo ofter them, o |ot of |nnocent µeoµ|e were qo|nq
to qet hurt.
| muttered on £qyµt|on cur:e-the cu::|nq h|nd, not the moq|c h|nd-ond ron to jo|n the wedd|nq
1he mo|n bo||room wo: |n choo:. Cue:t: were runn|nq euerywhere, :creom|nq ond hnoch|nq ouer
tob|e:. A quy |n o tuxedo hod fo||en |nto the wedd|nq cohe ond wo: crow||nq oround w|th o µ|o:t|c
br|de-ond-qroom decorot|on :tuch to h|: reor. A mu:|c|on wo: try|nq to run owoy w|th o :nore drum on
h|: foot.
1he wh|te f|re: hod :o||d|f|ed enouqh :o thot | cou|d mohe out the|r form:-:omewhere between
con|ne ond humon, w|th e|onqoted orm: ond croohed |eq:. 1hey q|owed ||he :uµerheoted qo: o: they
roced throuqh the bo||room, c|rc||nq the µ|||or: thot :urrounded the donce f|oor. One µo::ed :tro|qht
throuqh o br|de:mo|d. 1he |ody': eye: turned m||hy wh|te, ond :he crumµ|ed to the f|oor, :h|uer|nq ond
| fe|t ||he cur||nq |nto o bo|| my:e|f. | d|dn't hnow ony :µe||: thot cou|d f|qht the:e th|nq:, ond |f one
of them touched me.
5udden|y the qr|ff|n :wooµed down out of nowhere, fo||owed c|o:e|y by 5od|e': moq|c roµe, wh|ch
wo: :t||| try|nq to b|nd |t. 1he qr|ff|n :noµµed uµ one of the f|re creoture: |n o :|nq|e qu|µ ond heµt f|y|nq.
v|:µ: of :mohe come out of |t: no:tr||:, but otherw|:e, eot|nq the wh|te f|re d|dn't :eem to bother |t.
ºHey|º | ye||ed.
1oo |ote, | reo||zed my m|:tohe.
1he qr|ff|n turned toword me, wh|ch :|owed |t down ju:t enouqh for 5od|e': moq|c roµe to wroµ
oround |t: boch |eq:.
º5ÇUAvvvvk|º 1he qr|ff|n cro:hed |nto o buffet tob|e. 1he roµe qrew |onqer, w|nd|nq oround
the mon:ter': body wh||e |t: h|qh-:µeed w|nq: :hredded the tob|e, the f|oor, ond µ|ote: of :ondw|che: ||he
on out-of-contro| wood ch|µµer.
vedd|nq que:t: beqon c|eor|nq the bo||room. Mo:t ron for the e|euotor:, but dozen: were
uncon:c|ou: or :hoh|nq |n f|t:, the|r eye: q|ow|nq wh|te. Other: were :tuch under µ||e: of debr|:. A|orm:
were b|or|nq, ond the wh|te f|re:-:|x of them now-were :t||| comµ|ete|y out of contro|.
| ron toword the qr|ff|n, wh|ch wo: ro|||nq oround, try|nq |n uo|n to b|te ot the roµe. ºCo|m down|º |
ye||ed. ºLet me he|µ you, :tuµ|d|º
ºFR££££k|º 1he qr|ff|n': to|| :weµt ouer my heod ond ju:t m|::ed decoµ|tot|nq me.
| tooh o deeµ breoth. | wo: mo:t|y o combot moq|c|on. |'d neuer been qood ot h|eroq|yµh :µe||:,
but | µo|nted my :word ot the mon:ter ond :o|d: ºHo-teµ.º
A qreen h|eroq|yµh-the :ymbo| for ße ot µeoce-burned |n the o|r, r|qht ot the t|µ of my b|ode:
1he qr|ff|n :toµµed thro:h|nq. 1he buzz|nq of |t: w|nq: :|owed. Choo: ond :creom|nq :t||| f|||ed the
bo||room, but | tr|ed to :toy co|m o: | oµµrooched the mon:ter.
ºVou recoqn|ze me, don't you!º | he|d out my hond, ond onother :ymbo| b|ozed oboue my
µo|m-o :ymbo| | cou|d o|woy: :ummon, the £ye of Horu::
ºVou're o :ocred on|mo| of Horu:, oren't you! 1hot': why you obey me.º
1he qr|ff|n b||nhed ot the wor qod': morh. |t ruff|ed |t: nech feother: ond :quowhed |n comµ|o|nt,
:qu|rm|nq under the roµe thot wo: :|ow|y wroµµ|nq oround |t: body.
ºVeoh, | hnow,º | :o|d. ºMy :|:ter': o |o:er. lu:t honq on. |'|| unt|e you.º
5omewhere beh|nd me, 5od|e ye||ed, ºCorter|º
| turned ond :ow her ond vo|t :tumb||nq toword me, ho|f-corry|nq loz between them. 5od|e wo:
:t||| do|nq her 5totue of L|berty |mµre::|on, ho|d|nq the f|om|nq :cro|| |n one hond. vo|t wo: on h|: feet
ond h|: eye: weren't q|ow|nq onymore, but loz wo: :|umµed ouer ||he o|| the bone: |n her body hod
turned to je||y.
1hey dodqed o f|ery :µ|r|t ond o few crozy wedd|nq que:t: ond :omehow mode |t ocro:: the
vo|t :tored the qr|ff|n. ºHow d|d you co|m |t down!º
ºCr|ff|n: ore :eruont: of Horu:,º | :o|d. º1hey µu||ed h|: chor|ot |n bott|e. | th|nh |t recoqn|zed my
connect|on to h|m.º
1he qr|ff|n :hr|ehed |mµot|ent|y ond thro:hed |t: to||, hnoch|nq ouer o :tone co|umn.
ºNot uery co|m,º 5od|e not|ced. 5he q|onced uµ ot the q|o:: dome, forty feet oboue, where the t|ny
f|qure of khufu wo: wou|nq ot u: front|co||y. ºve need to qet loz out of here now,º :he :o|d.
º|'m f|ne,º loz muttered.
ºNo, you're not,º vo|t :o|d. ºCorter, :he qot thot :µ|r|t out of me, but |t o|mo:t h|||ed her. |t': :ome
h|nd of :|chne:: demon-º
ºAbou,º | :o|d. ºAn eu|| :µ|r|t. 1he:e :euen ore co||ed-º
º1he Arrow: of 5ehhmet,º loz :o|d, conf|rm|nq my feor:. º1hey're µ|oque :µ|r|t:, born from the
qodde::. | con :toµ them.º
ºVou con re:t,º 5od|e :o|d.
ºR|qht,º | :o|d. º5od|e, qet th|: roµe off the qr|ff|n ond-º
º1here': no t|me.º loz µo|nted. 1he bou were qett|nq |orqer ond br|qhter. More wedd|nq que:t:
were fo|||nq o: the :µ|r|t: wh|µµed oround the room uncho||enqed.
º1hey'|| d|e |f | don't :toµ the bou,º loz :o|d. º| con chonne| the µower of 5ehhmet ond force them
boch to the Duot. |t': whot |'ue been tro|n|nq for.º
| he:|toted. loz hod neuer tr|ed :uch o |orqe :µe||. 5he wo: o|reody weoh from heo||nq vo|t. ßut
:he wo: tro|ned for th|:. |t m|qht :eem :tronqe thot heo|er: :tud|ed the µoth of 5ehhmet, but :|nce
5ehhmet wo: the qodde:: of de:truct|on, µ|oque:, ond fom|ne, |t mode :en:e thot heo|er: wou|d |eorn
how to contro| her force:-|nc|ud|nq bou.
ße:|de:, euen |f | freed the qr|ff|n, | wo:n't one hundred µercent :ure | cou|d contro| |t. 1here wo: o
decent chonce |t wou|d qet exc|ted ond qobb|e u: uµ rother thon the :µ|r|t:.
Out:|de, µo||ce :|ren: were qett|nq |ouder. ve were runn|nq out of t|me.
ºve'ue qot no cho|ce,º loz |n:|:ted.
5he µu||ed her wond ond then-much to my :|:ter': :hoch -qoue vo|t o h|:: on the cheeh. º|t'|| be
ohoy, vo|t. Don't q|ue uµ.º
loz tooh :ometh|nq e|:e from her moq|c|on': boq-o wox f|qur|ne-ond µre::ed |t |nto my :|:ter':
free hond. ºVou'|| need th|: :oon, 5od|e. |'m :orry | con't he|µ you more. Vou'|| hnow whot to do when the
t|me come:.º
| don't th|nh |'d euer :een 5od|e ot :uch o |o:: for word:.
loz ron to the center of the bo||room ond touched her wond to the f|oor, drow|nq o c|rc|e of
µrotect|on oround her feet. From her boq :he µroduced o :mo|| :totue of 5ehhmet, her µotron qodde::,
ond he|d |t o|oft.
5he beqon to chont. Red ||qht q|owed oround her. 1endr||: of enerqy :µreod out from the c|rc|e,
f||||nq the room ||he the bronche: of o tree. 1he tendr||: beqon to :w|r|, :|ow|y ot f|r:t, then µ|ch|nq uµ
:µeed unt|| the moq|c current tuqqed ot the bou, forc|nq them to f|y |n the :ome d|rect|on, drow|nq them
toword the center. 1he :µ|r|t: how|ed, try|nq to f|qht the :µe||. loz :toqqered, but :he heµt chont|nq, her
foce beoded w|th :weot.
ºCon't we he|µ her!º vo|t o:hed.
ºRAvvvvk|º the qr|ff|n cr|ed, wh|ch µrobob|y meont, He||oooo| |'m :t||| here|
1he :|ren: :ounded ||he they were r|qht out:|de the bu||d|nq now. Down the ho|| neor the e|euotor:,
:omeone wo: :hout|nq |nto o meqoµhone, order|nq the |o:t woue of wedd|nq que:t: to ex|t the
bu||d|nq-||he they needed encouroqement. 1he µo||ce hod orr|ued, ond |f we qot orre:ted, th|: :|tuot|on
wo: qo|nq to be d|ff|cu|t to exµ|o|n.
º5od|e,º | :o|d, ºqet reody to d|:µe| the roµe on the qr|ff|n. vo|t, you :t||| qot your boot omu|et!º
ºMy-! Veoh. ßut there': no woter.º
ºlu:t :ummon the boot|º | duq throuqh my µochet: ond found my own moq|c tw|ne. | :µohe o
chorm ond wo: :udden|y ho|d|nq o roµe obout twenty feet |onq. | mode o |oo:e :||µhnot |n the m|dd|e,
||he o huqe necht|e, ond corefu||y oµµrooched the qr|ff|n.
º|'m ju:t qo|nq to µut th|: oround your nech,º | :o|d. ºDon't freoh.º
ºFR££££k|º the qr|ff|n :o|d.
| :teµµed c|o:er, con:c|ou: of how fo:t thot beoh cou|d :noµ me uµ |f |t wonted to, but | monoqed
to |ooµ the roµe oround the qr|ff|n': nech.
1hen :ometh|nq went wronq. 1|me :|owed down. 1he red :w|r||nq tendr||: of loz': :µe|| moued
:|uqq|:h|y, ||he the o|r hod turned to :yruµ. 1he :creom: ond :|ren: foded to o d|:tont roor.
Vou won't :ucceed, o uo|ce h|::ed.
| turned ond found my:e|f foce-to-foce w|th o bou.
|t houered |n the o|r o few |nche: owoy, |t: f|ery wh|te feoture: o|mo:t com|nq |nto focu:. |t :eemed
to :m||e, ond | cou|d :weor |'d :een |t: foce before.
Choo: |: too µowerfu|, boy, |t :o|d. 1he wor|d :µ|n: beyond your contro|. C|ue uµ your que:t|
º5hut uµ,º | murmured, but my heort wo: µound|nq.
Vou'|| neuer f|nd her, the :µ|r|t tounted. 5he :|eeµ: |n the Þ|oce of Red 5ond, but :he w||| d|e there |f
you fo||ow your µo|nt|e:: que:t.
| fe|t ||he o torontu|o wo: crow||nq down my boch. 1he :µ|r|t wo: to|h|nq obout Z|o Ro:h|d-the
reo| Z|o, who |'d been :eorch|nq for :|nce Chr|:tmo:.
ºNo,º | :o|d. ºVou're o demon, o dece|uer.º
Vou hnow better, boy. ve'ue met before.
º5hut uµ|º | :ummoned the £ye of Horu:, ond the :µ|r|t h|::ed. 1|me :µed uµ oqo|n. 1he red tendr||:
of loz': :µe|| wroµµed oround the bou ond µu||ed |t :creom|nq |nto the uortex.
No one e|:e :eemed to houe not|ced whot ju:t hoµµened.
5od|e wo: µ|oy|nq defen:e, :wott|nq ot bou w|th her f|om|nq :cro|| wheneuer they qot c|o:e. vo|t
:et h|: boot omu|et on the qround ond :µohe the commond word. |n o motter of :econd:, ||he one of tho:e
crozy exµond-|n-woter :µonqe toy:, the omu|et qrew |nto o fu||-:|ze £qyµt|on reed boot, |y|nq ocro:: the
ru|n: of the buffet tob|e.
v|th :hoh|nq hond:, | tooh the two end: of the qr|ff|n': new necht|e ond t|ed one end to the boot':
µrow ond one to the :tern.
ºCorter, |ooh|º 5od|e co||ed.
| turned |n t|me to :ee o f|o:h of b||nd|nq red ||qht. 1he ent|re uortex co||oµ:ed |nword, :uch|nq o||
:|x bou |nto loz': c|rc|e. 1he ||qht d|ed. loz fo|nted, her wond ond the 5ehhmet :totue both crumb||nq to
du:t |n her hond:.
ve ron to her. Her c|othe: were :teom|nq. | cou|dn't te|| |f :he wo: breoth|nq.
ºCet her |nto the boot,º | :o|d. ºve houe to qet out of here.º
| heord o t|ny qrunt from for oboue. khufu hod oµened the dome. He qe:tured urqent|y o:
:eorch||qht: :weµt the :hy oboue h|m. 1he mu:eum wo: µrobob|y :urrounded by emerqency ueh|c|e:.
A|| oround the bo||room, off||cted que:t: were :tort|nq to reqo|n con:c|ou:ne::. loz hod :oued them,
but ot whot co:t! ve corr|ed her to the boot ond c||mbed |n.
ºHo|d on t|qht,º | worned. º1h|: th|nq |: not bo|onced. |f |t f||µ:-º
ºHey|º o deeµ mo|e uo|ce ye||ed beh|nd u:. ºvhot ore you-Hey| 5toµ|º
º5od|e, roµe, now|º | :o|d.
5he :noµµed her f|nqer:, ond the roµe entonq||nq the qr|ff|n d|::o|ued.
ºCO|º | :houted. ºUÞ|º
ºFR££££k|º 1he qr|ff|n reuued |t: w|nq:. ve |urched |nto the o|r, the boot roch|nq croz||y, ond :hot
:tro|qht for the oµen dome. 1he qr|ff|n bore|y :eemed to not|ce our extro we|qht. |t o:cended :o fo:t,
khufu hod to mohe o f|y|nq |eoµ to qet on boord. | µu||ed h|m |nto the boot, ond we he|d on de:µerote|y,
try|nq not to coµ:|ze.
ºAqh|º khufu comµ|o|ned.
ºVeoh,º | oqreed. º5o much for on eo:y job.º
1hen oqo|n, we were the kone fom||y. 1h|: wo: the eo:|e:t doy we were qo|nq to houe for qu|te o
5omehow, our qr|ff|n hnew the r|qht woy to qo. He :creomed |n tr|umµh ond :oored |nto the co|d
ro|ny n|qht. A: we f|ew toword home, 5od|e': :cro|| burned br|qhter. vhen | |oohed down, qho:t|y wh|te
f|re: were b|oz|nq ocro:: euery rooftoµ |n ßrooh|yn.
| beqon to wonder exoct|y whot we'd :to|en-|f |t wo: euen the r|qht object, or |f |t wou|d mohe
our µrob|em: wor:e. £|ther woy, | hod o fee||nq we'd f|no||y µu:hed our |uch too for.
5 A D | £
z. 7be Ice Creom Moø ÞIett 0ur 0eotb
ODD HOv £A5|LV VOU CAN FORC£1 your hond |: on f|re.
Oh, :orry. 5od|e, here. Vou d|dn't th|nh |'d |et my brother µrott|e on foreuer, d|d you! Þ|eo:e, no
one de:erue: o cur:e thot horr|b|e.
ve orr|ued boch ot ßrooh|yn Hou:e, ond eueryone :wormed me becou:e my hond wo: :tuch to o
f|om|nq :cro||.
º|'m f|ne|º | |n:|:ted. º1ohe core of loz|º
Hone:t|y, | oµµrec|ote o b|t of ottent|on now ond then, but | wo: hord|y the mo:t |ntere:t|nq th|nq
hoµµen|nq. ve'd |onded on the roof of the mon:|on, wh|ch |t:e|f |: on odd ottroct|on-o f|ue-:tory
||me:tone-ond-:tee| cube, ||he o cro:: between on £qyµt|on temµ|e ond on ort mu:eum, µerched otoµ on
obondoned worehou:e on the ßrooh|yn woterfront. Not to ment|on thot the mon:|on :h|mmer: w|th
moq|c ond |: |nu|:|b|e to requ|or morto|:.
ße|ow u:, the who|e of ßrooh|yn wo: on f|re. My onnoy|nq moq|c :cro|| hod µo|nted o w|de :woth
of qho:t|y f|ome: ouer the borouqh o: we'd f|own from the mu:eum. Noth|nq wo: octuo||y burn|nq, ond
the f|ome: weren't hot, but we'd :t||| cou:ed qu|te o µon|c. 5|ren: wo||ed. Þeoµ|e c|oqqed the :treet:,
qowh|nq uµ ot the b|oz|nq rooftoµ:. He||coµter: c|rc|ed w|th :eorch||qht:.
|f thot wo:n't exc|t|nq enouqh, my brother wo: wronq||nq o qr|ff|n, try|nq to unt|e o f|:h|nq boot
from oround |t: nech ond heeµ the beo:t from eot|nq our tro|nee:.
1hen there wo: loz, our reo| cou:e for concern. ve'd determ|ned :he wo: :t||| breoth|nq, but :he
:eemed to be |n :ome :ort of como. vhen we oµened her eye:, they were q|ow|nq wh|te-tyµ|co||y not o
qood :|qn.
Dur|nq the boot r|de, khufu hod ottemµted :ome of h|: fomou: boboon moq|c on her-µott|nq her
foreheod, moh|nq rude no|:e:, ond try|nq to |n:ert je||y beon: |nto her mouth. |'m :ure he thouqht he wo:
be|nq he|µfu|, but |t hodn't done much to |mµroue her cond|t|on.
Now vo|t wo: toh|nq core of her. He µ|ched her uµ qent|y ond µut her on o :tretcher, couer|nq
her w|th b|onhet: ond :troh|nq her ho|r o: our other tro|nee: qothered round. And thot wo: f|ne.
Comµ|ete|y f|ne.
| wo:n't ot o|| |ntere:ted |n how hond:ome h|: foce |oohed |n the moon||qht, or h|: mu:cu|or orm: |n
thot :|eeue|e:: tee, or the foct thot he'd been ho|d|nq hond: w|th loz, or.
5orry. Lo:t my tro|n of thouqht.
| µ|oµµed down ot the for corner of the roof, fee||nq ob:o|ute|y hnochered. My r|qht hond |tched
from ho|d|nq the µoµyru: :cro|| :o |onq. 1he moq|c f|ome: t|ch|ed my f|nqer:.
| fe|t oround |n my |eft µochet ond brouqht out the ||tt|e wox f|qure loz hod q|uen me. |t wo: one
of her heo||nq :totue:, u:ed to exµe| :|chne:: or cur:e:. Cenero||y :µeoh|nq, wox f|qure: don't |ooh ||he
onyone |n µort|cu|or, but loz hod tohen her t|me w|th th|: one. |t wo: c|eor|y meont to heo| one :µec|f|c
µer:on, wh|ch meont |t wou|d houe more µower ond wou|d mo:t ||he|y be :oued for o ||fe-ond-deoth
:|tuot|on. | recoqn|zed the f|qur|ne': cur|y ho|r, |t: foc|o| feoture:, the :word µre::ed |nto |t: hond:. loz hod
euen wr|tten |t: nome |n h|eroq|yµh: on |t: che:t: CAR1£R.
Vou'|| need th|: :oon, :he'd to|d me.
A: for o: | hnew, loz wo: not o d|u|ner. 5he cou|dn't te|| the future. 5o whot hod :he meont! How
wo: | :uµµo:ed to | hnow when to u:e the f|qur|ne! 5tor|nq ot the m|n|-Corter, | hod o horr|b|e fee||nq thot
my brother': ||fe hod been qu|te ||tero||y µ|oced |n my hond:.
ºAre you o|| r|qht!º o:hed o womon': uo|ce.
| qu|ch|y µut owoy the f|qur|ne.
My o|d fr|end ßo:t :tood ouer me. v|th her :||qht :m||e ond q||nt|nq ye||ow eye:, :he m|qht'ue been
concerned or omu:ed. |t': hord to te|| w|th o cot qodde::. Her b|och ho|r wo: µu||ed boch |n o µonyto||.
5he wore her u:uo| |eoµord-:h|n |eotord, o: |f :he were obout to µerform o bochf||µ. For o|| | hnew, :he
m|qht. A: | :o|d, you neuer con te|| w|th cot:.
º|'m f|ne,º | ||ed. ºlu:t.º | woued my f|om|nq hond obout he|µ|e::|y.
ºMmm.º 1he :cro|| :eemed to mohe ßo:t uncomfortob|e. ºLet me :ee whot | con do.º
5he hne|t next to me ond beqon to chont.
| µondered how odd |t wo: hou|nq my former µet co:t o :µe|| on me. For yeor:, ßo:t hod µo:ed o:
my cot, Muff|n. | hodn't euen reo||zed | hod o qodde:: :|eeµ|nq on my µ|||ow ot n|qht. 1hen, ofter our dod
un|eo:hed o :|ew of qod: ot the ßr|t|:h Mu:eum, ßo:t hod mode her:e|f hnown.
5he'd been wotch|nq ouer me for :|x yeor:, :he'd to|d u:, euer :|nce our µorent: re|eo:ed her from o
ce|| |n the Duot, where :he'd been :ent to f|qht the choo: :nohe Aµoµh|: foreuer.
Lonq :tory, but my mum hod fore:een thot Aµoµh|: wou|d euentuo||y e:coµe h|: µr|:on, wh|ch
wou|d bo:|co||y omount to Doom:doy. |f ßo:t cont|nued to f|qht h|m o|one, :he'd be de:troyed. Howeuer,
|f ßo:t were freed, my mum be||eued :he cou|d µ|oy on |mµortont ro|e |n the com|nq bott|e w|th Choo:.
5o my µorent: freed her before Aµoµh|: cou|d ouerwhe|m her. My mother hod d|ed oµen|nq, then qu|ch|y
c|o:|nq, Aµoµh|:': µr|:on, :o noturo||y ßo:t fe|t |ndebted to our µorent:. ßo:t hod become my quord|on.
Now :he wo: o|:o Corter ond my choµerone, troue| comµon|on, ond :omet|me µer:ono| chef (H|nt:
|f :he offer: you the Fr|:h|e: du lour, :oy no).
ßut | :t||| m|::ed Muff|n. At t|me: | hod to re:|:t the urqe to :crotch ßo:t beh|nd the eor: ond feed
her crunchy treot:, o|thouqh | wo: q|od :he no |onqer tr|ed to :|eeµ on my µ|||ow ot n|qht. 1hot wou|d'ue
been o b|t :tronqe.
5he f|n|:hed her chont, ond the :cro||': f|ome: :µuttered out. My hond unc|enched. 1he µoµyru:
droµµed |nto my |oµ.
ºCod, thonh you,º | :o|d.
ºCodde::,º ßo:t corrected. ºVou're qu|te we|come. ve con't houe the µower of Ro ||qht|nq uµ the
c|ty, con we!º
| |oohed out ocro:: the borouqh. 1he f|re: were qone. 1he ßrooh|yn n|qht :hy||ne wo: boch to
normo|, exceµt for the emerqency ||qht: ond crowd: of :creom|nq morto|: |n the :treet:. Come to th|nh of
|t, | :uµµo:e thot wo: fo|r|y normo|.
º1he µower of Ro!º | o:hed. º| thouqht the :cro|| wo: o c|ue. |: th|: the octuo| ßooh of Ro!º
ßo:t': µonyto|| µuffed uµ o: |t doe: when :he': neruou:. |'d come to reo||ze :he heµt her ho|r |n o
µonyto|| :o thot her ent|re heod wou|dn't exµ|ode |nto o :eo urch|n :hoµe eoch t|me :he qot :tort|ed.
º1he :cro|| |:.µort of the booh,º :he :o|d. ºAnd | d|d worn you. Ro': µower |: o|mo:t |mµo::|b|e to
contro|. |f you |n:|:t on try|nq to wohe h|m, the next f|re: you :et off m|qht not be :o horm|e::.º
ºßut |:n't he your µhorooh!º | o:hed. ºDon't you wont h|m owohened!º
5he droµµed her qoze. | reo||zed how foo||:h my comment wo:. Ro wo: ßo:t': |ord ond mo:ter.
£on: oqo, he'd cho:en her to be h|: chomµ|on. ßut he wo: o|:o the one who'd :ent her |nto thot µr|:on to
heeµ h|: orchenemy Aµoµh|: occuµ|ed for etern|ty, :o Ro cou|d ret|re w|th o c|eor con:c|ence. Çu|te :e|f|:h,
|f you o:h me.
1honh: to my µorent:, ßo:t hod e:coµed her |mµr|:onment, but thot o|:o meont :he'd obondoned
her µo:t f|qht|nq Aµoµh|:. No wonder :he hod m|xed fee||nq: obout :ee|nq her o|d bo:: oqo|n.
º|t': be:t we to|h |n the morn|nq,º ßo:t :o|d. ºVou need re:t, ond thot :cro|| :hou|d on|y be oµened
|n the doy||qht, when the µower of Ro |: eo:|er to contro|.º
| :tored ot my |oµ. 1he µoµyru: wo: :t||| :teom|nq. º£o:|er to contro|.o: |n, |t won't :et me on f|re!º
º|t': :ofe to touch now,º ßo:t o::ured me. ºAfter be|nq troµµed |n dorhne:: for o few m|||enn|o, |t
wo: ju:t uery :en:|t|ue, reoct|nq to ony :ort of enerqy-moq|co|, e|ectr|co|, emot|ono|. |'ue, oh, d|o|ed down
the :en:|t|u|ty :o |t won't bur:t |nto f|ome: oqo|n.º
| tooh the :cro||. 1honhfu||y, ßo:t wo: r|qht. |t d|dn't :t|ch to my hond or ||qht the c|ty on f|re.
ßo:t he|µed me to my feet. ºCet :ome :|eeµ. |'|| |et Corter hnow you're o|| r|qht. ße:|de:.º 5he
monoqed o :m||e. ºVou'ue qot o b|q doy tomorrow.º
R|qht, | thouqht m|:erob|y. One µer:on remember:, ond |t': my cot.
| |oohed ouer ot my brother, who wo: :t||| try|nq to contro| the qr|ff|n. |t hod Corter': :hoe|oce: |n |t:
beoh ond d|dn't :eem |nc||ned to |et qo.
Mo:t of our twenty tro|nee: were :urround|nq loz, try|nq to wohe her uµ. vo|t hodn't |eft her :|de.
He q|onced uµ ot me br|ef|y, uneo:||y, then turned h|: ottent|on boch to loz.
ºMoybe you're r|qht,º | qrumb|ed to ßo:t. º|'m not needed uµ here.º
My room wo: o |oue|y µ|oce to :u|h. 1he |o:t :|x yeor: |'d ||ued |n on ott|c |n Cron ond Cromµ:': f|ot
|n London, ond o|thouqh | m|::ed my o|d ||fe, my mote: L|z ond £mmo, ond mo:t eueryth|nq obout
£nq|ond, | cou|dn't deny thot my room |n ßrooh|yn wo: much more µo:h.
My µr|uote bo|cony ouer|oohed the £o:t R|uer. | hod on enormou: comfy bed, my own bothroom,
ond o wo|h-|n c|o:et w|th end|e:: new outf|t: thot moq|co||y oµµeored ond c|eoned them:e|ue: o: needed.
1he che:t of drower: feotured o bu||t-|n refr|qerotor w|th my fouor|te R|beno dr|nh:, |mµorted from the
Uk, ond ch|||ed choco|ote: (we||, o q|r| doe: houe to treot her:e|f). 1he :ound :y:tem wo: ob:o|ute|y
b|eed|nq edqe, ond the wo||: were moq|co||y :oundµroofed :o | cou|d µ|oy my mu:|c o: |oud o: | wonted
w|thout worry|nq obout my :t|ch-|n-the-mud brother next door. 5|tt|nq on the dre::er wo: one of the on|y
th|nq: |'d brouqht from my room |n London: o beot-uµ co::ette recorder my qrondµorent: hod q|uen me
oqe: oqo. |t wo: hoµe|e::|y o|d-fo:h|oned, ye:, but | heµt |t oround for :ent|mento| reo:on:. Corter ond |
hod recorded our oduenture: ot the Red Þyrom|d on |t, ofter o||.
| doched my |Þod ond :cro||ed throuqh my µ|oy||:t:. | cho:e on o|der m|x |obe|ed :od, o: thot': how
| fe|t.
Ade|e': I9 beqon µ|oy|nq. Cod, | hodn't heord thot o|bum :|nce.
Çu|te unexµected|y | beqon to teor uµ. |'d been ||:ten|nq to th|: m|x on Chr|:tmo: £ue when Dod
ond Corter µ|ched me uµ for our tr|µ to the ßr|t|:h Mu:eum-the n|qht our ||ue: chonqed foreuer.
Ade|e :onq o: |f :omeone were r|µµ|nq her heort out. 5he went on obout the boy :he fonc|ed,
wonder|nq whot :he mu:t do to mohe h|m wont her µroµer|y. | cou|d re|ote to thot. ßut |o:t Chr|:tmo:,
the :onq hod mode me th|nh of my fom||y o: we||: my mum, who'd d|ed when | wo: qu|te :mo||, ond my
fother ond Corter, who troue|ed the wor|d toqether, |eft me |n London w|th my qrondµorent:, ond d|dn't
:eem to need me |n the|r ||ue:.
Of cour:e | hnew |t wo: more comµ||coted thon thot. 1here'd been o no:ty cu:tody bott|e |nuo|u|nq
|owyer: ond :µotu|o ottoch:, ond Dod hod wonted to heeµ Corter ond me oµort :o we d|dn't oq|tote
eoch other': moq|c before we cou|d hond|e the µower. And ye:, we'd o|| qrown c|o:er :|nce then. My fother
wo: boch |n my ||fe o b|t more, euen |f he wo: the qod of the underwor|d now. A: for my mother.we||, |'d
met her qho:t. | :uµµo:e thot counted for :ometh|nq.
5t|||, the mu:|c brouqht boch o|| the µo|n ond onqer |'d fe|t ot Chr|:tmo:. | :uµµo:e | hodn't qotten
r|d of |t o: comµ|ete|y o: |'d thouqht.
My f|nqer houered ouer the fo:t-forword |con, but | dec|ded to |et the :onq µ|oy. | to::ed my :tuff
on the dre::er-the µoµyru: :cro||, the wox m|n|-Corter, my moq|c boq, my wond. | reoched for my :toff,
then remembered | d|dn't houe |t onymore. 1he qr|ff|n hod eoten |t.
ºMonhy b|rdbro|n,º | muttered.
| :torted chonq|nq for bed. |'d µ|o:tered the |n:|de of my c|o:et door w|th µhoto:, mo:t|y of my
mote: ond me from :choo| |o:t yeor. 1here wo: one of L|z, £mmo, ond me moh|nq foce: |n o µhoto booth
|n Þ|ccod|||y. ve |oohed :o younq ond r|d|cu|ou:.
| cou|dn't be||eue | m|qht be :ee|nq them tomorrow for the f|r:t t|me |n month:. Cron ond Cromµ:
hod |nu|ted me to u|:|t, ond | hod µ|on: to qo out w|th ju:t my mote:-ot |eo:t, thot hod been the µ|on
before Corter droµµed h|: ºf|ue-doy:-to-:oue-the-wor|dº bomb:he||. Now, who hnew whot wou|d
On|y two non-L|z-ond-£mmo µ|cture: decoroted my c|o:et door. One :howed Corter ond me w|th
Unc|e Amo: the doy Amo: |eft for £qyµt on h|:.hmm, whot do you co|| |t when :omeone qoe: for heo||nq
ofter be|nq µo::e::ed by on eu|| qod! Not o ho||doy, | :uµµo:e.
1he |o:t µ|cture wo: o µo|nt|nq of Anub|:. Þerhoµ: you'ue :een h|m: the fe||ow w|th the jocho|':
heod, qod of funero|:, deoth, ond :o on. He': euerywhere |n £qyµt|on ort-|eod|nq deceo:ed :ou|: |nto the
Ho|| of ludqment, hnee||nq ot the co:m|c :co|e:, we|qh|nq o heort oqo|n:t the feother of truth.
vhy d|d | houe h|: µ|cture!
[F|ne, Corter. |'|| odm|t |t, |f on|y to :hut you uµ.]
| hod o b|t of o cru:h on Anub|:. | hnow how r|d|cu|ou: thot :ound:, o modern q|r| qett|nq
moony-eyed ouer o f|ue-thou:ond-yeor-o|d doq-heoded boy, but thot': not whot | :ow when | |oohed ot
h|: µ|cture. | remembered Anub|: o: he'd oµµeored |n New Or|eon: when we'd met foce-to-foce-o boy
of obout :|xteen, |n b|och |eother ond den|m, w|th tou:|ed dorh ho|r ond qorqeou: :od, me|ted-choco|ote
eye:. Very much not o doq-heoded boy.
5t||| r|d|cu|ou:, | hnow. He wo: o qod. ve hod ob:o|ute|y noth|nq |n common. | hodn't heord from
h|m once :|nce our oduenture w|th the Red Þyrom|d, ond thot :hou|dn't houe :urµr|:ed me. £uen thouqh
he'd :eemed |ntere:ted |n me ot the t|me ond µo::|b|y euen droµµed :ome h|nt:..No, :ure|y |'d been
|moq|n|nq |t.
1he µo:t :euen weeh:, :|nce vo|t 5tone hod orr|ued ot ßrooh|yn Hou:e, |'d thouqht | m|qht be ob|e
to qet ouer Anub|:. Of cour:e, vo|t wo: my tro|nee, ond | wo:n't :uµµo:ed to th|nh of h|m o: o µo::|b|e
boyfr|end, but | wo: fo|r|y :ure there'd been o :µorh between u: the f|r:t t|me we :ow eoch other. Now,
thouqh, vo|t :eemed to be µu|||nq owoy. He wo: oct|nq :o :ecret|ue, o|woy: |ooh|nq :o qu||ty ond to|h|nq
to loz.
My ||fe wo: rubb|:h.
| µu||ed on my n|qhtc|othe: wh||e Ade|e heµt :|nq|nq. vere o|| her :onq: obout not be|nq not|ced
by boy:! 5udden|y | found thot qu|te onnoy|nq.
| turned off the mu:|c ond f|oµµed |nto bed.
5od|y, once | fe|| o:|eeµ my n|qht on|y qot wor:e.
At ßrooh|yn Hou:e, we :|eeµ w|th o|| :ort: of moq|c chorm: to µrotect u: oqo|n:t mo||c|ou: dreom:,
|nuod|nq :µ|r|t:, ond the occo:|ono| urqe our :ou|: m|qht qet to wonder off. | euen houe o moq|c µ|||ow to
mohe :ure my :ou|-or bo, |f you wont to qet £qyµt|on obout |t-:toy: onchored to my body.
|t |:n't o µerfect :y:tem, thouqh. £uery :o often | con :en:e :ome out:|de force tuqq|nq on my m|nd,
try|nq to qet my ottent|on. Or my :ou| w||| |et me hnow |t ho: :ome other µ|oce to qo, :ome |mµortont
:cene |t need: to :how me.
| qot one of tho:e :en:ot|on: |mmed|ote|y when | fe|| o:|eeµ. 1h|nh of |t o: on |ncom|nq co||, w|th
my bro|n q|u|nq me the oµt|on to occeµt or dec||ne. Mo:t of the t|me, |t': be:t to dec||ne, e:µec|o||y when
my bro|n |: reµort|nq on unhnown number.
ßut :omet|me: tho:e co||: ore |mµortont. And my b|rthdoy wo: tomorrow. Þerhoµ: Dod ond Mum
were try|nq to reoch me from the underwor|d. | |moq|ned them |n the Ho|| of ludqment, my fother :|tt|nq
on h|: throne o: the b|ue-:h|nned qod O:|r|:, my mum |n her qho:t|y wh|te robe:. 1hey m|qht be weor|nq
µoµer µorty hot: ond :|nq|nq ºHoµµy ß|rthdoyº wh||e Amm|t the Deuourer, the|r extreme|y t|ny µet
mon:ter, jumµed uµ ond down, yoµµ|nq.
Or |t cou|d be, ju:t moybe, Anub|: co|||nq. H|, um, thouqht you m|qht wont to qo to o funero| or
ve||.|t wo: µo::|b|e.
5o | occeµted the co||. | |et my :µ|r|t qo where |t wonted to tohe me, ond my bo f|ooted oboue my
|f you'ue neuer tr|ed bo troue|, | wou|dn't recommend |t-un|e:: of cour:e you foncy turn|nq |nto o
µhontom ch|chen ond roft|nq uncontro||ob|y throuqh the current: of the Duot.
1he bo |: u:uo||y |nu|:|b|e to other:, wh|ch |: qood, o: |t tohe: the form of o q|ont b|rd w|th your
normo| heod ottoched. Once uµon o t|me, |'d been ob|e to mon|µu|ote my bo': form |nto :ometh|nq |e::
emborro::|nq, but :|nce |:|: uocoted my heod, | d|dn't houe thot ob|||ty. Now when | ||fted off, | wo: :tuch
|n defou|t µou|try mode.
1he door: of the bo|cony :wunq oµen. A moq|co| breeze :weµt me |nto the n|qht. 1he ||qht: of New
Vorh b|urred ond foded, ond | found my:e|f |n o fom|||or underqround chomber: the Ho|| of Aqe:, |n the
Hou:e of L|fe': mo|n heodquorter: under Co|ro.
1he room wo: :o |onq, |t cou|d'ue ho:ted o morothon. Down the m|dd|e wo: o b|ue corµet thot
q||ttered ||he o r|uer. ßetween the co|umn: on e|ther :|de, curto|n: of ||qht :h|mmered-ho|oqroµh|c |moqe:
from £qyµt': |onq h|:tory. 1he ||qht chonqed co|or to ref|ect d|fferent ero:, from the wh|te q|ow of the Aqe
of the Cod: o|| the woy to the cr|m:on ||qht of modern t|me:.
1he roof wo: euen h|qher thon the bo||room ot the ßrooh|yn Mu:eum, the uo:t :µoce ||t by
q|ow|nq orb: of enerqy ond f|oot|nq h|eroq|yµh|c :ymbo|:. |t |oohed o: |f :omeone hod detonoted o few
h||o: of ch||dren': cereo| |n zero qrou|ty, o|| the co|orfu| :uqory b|t: dr|ft|nq ond co|||d|nq |n :|ow mot|on.
| f|ooted to the end of the room, ju:t oboue the do|: w|th the µhorooh': throne. |t wo: on honorory
:eot, emµty :|nce the fo|| of £qyµt, but on the :teµ be|ow |t :ot the Ch|ef Lector, mo:ter of the F|r:t Nome,
|eoder of the Hou:e of L|fe, ond my |eo:t fouor|te moq|c|on: M|che| De:jord|n:.
| hodn't :een Mon:|eur De||qhtfu| :|nce our ottoch on the Red Þyrom|d, ond | wo: :urµr|:ed how
much he'd oqed. He'd on|y become Ch|ef Lector o few month: oqo, but h|: :||ch b|och ho|r ond forhed
beord were now :treohed w|th qroy. He |eoned weor||y on h|: :toff, o: |f the Ch|ef Lector': |eoµord-:h|n
coµe ocro:: h|: :hou|der: wo: o: heouy o: |eod.
| con't :oy | fe|t :orry for h|m. ve hodn't µorted o: fr|end:. ve'd comb|ned force: (more or |e::) to
defeot the qod 5et, but he :t||| con:|dered u: donqerou: roque moq|c|on:. He'd worned u: thot |f we
cont|nued :tudy|nq the µoth of the qod: (wh|ch we hod) he wou|d de:troy u: the next t|me we met. 1hot
hodn't q|uen u: much |ncent|ue to |nu|te h|m ouer for teo.
H|: foce wo: qount, but h|: eye: :t||| q||ttered eu|||y. He :tud|ed the b|oodred |moqe: |n the curto|n:
of ||qht o: |f he were wo|t|nq for :ometh|nq.
º£:t-|| o||é!º he o:hed, wh|ch my qrommor :choo| French |ed me to be||eue meont e|ther º|: he
qone!º or µo::|b|y ºHoue you reµo|red the |:|ond!º
F|ne.|t wo: µrobob|y the f|r:t one.
For o moment | wo: ofro|d he wo: to|h|nq to me. 1hen from beh|nd the throne, o ro:µy uo|ce
on:wered, ºVe:, my |ord.º
A mon :teµµed out of the :hodow:. He wo: dre::ed comµ|ete|y |n wh|te-:u|t, :corf, euen wh|te
ref|ect|ue :unq|o::e:. My f|r:t thouqht wo:: My qod, he': on eu|| |ce creom uendor.
He hod o µ|eo:ont :m||e ond chubby foce fromed |n cur|y qroy ho|r. | m|qht'ue m|:tohen h|m o:
horm|e::, euen fr|end|y -unt|| he tooh off h|: q|o::e:.
H|: eye: were ru|ned.
|'|| odm|t |'m :queom|:h obout eye:. A u|deo of ret|no| :urqery! |'|| run out of the room. £uen the
|deo of contoct |en:e: mohe: me cr|nqe.
ßut the mon |n wh|te |oohed o: |f h|: eye: hod been :µ|o:hed w|th oc|d, then reµeoted|y c|owed by
cot:. H|: eye||d: were mo::e: of :cor t|::ue thot d|dn't c|o:e µroµer|y. H|: eyebrow: were burned owoy ond
rohed w|th deeµ qrooue:. 1he :h|n oboue h|: cheehbone: wo: o mo:h of red we|t:, ond the eye:
them:e|ue: were :uch o horr|b|e comb|not|on of b|ood red ond m||hy wh|te thot | cou|dn't be||eue he wo:
ob|e to :ee.
He |nho|ed, wheez|nq :o bod|y, the :ound mode my che:t hurt. C||tter|nq oqo|n:t h|: :h|rt wo: o
:||uer µendont w|th o :nohe-:hoµed omu|et.
ºHe u:ed the µorto| moment: oqo, my |ord,º the mon ro:µed. ºF|no||y, he ho: qone.º
1hot uo|ce wo: o: horr|b|e o: h|: eye:. |f he hod been :µ|o:hed w|th oc|d, :ome of |t mu:t houe
qotten |nto h|: |unq:. Vet the mon heµt :m|||nq, |ooh|nq co|m ond hoµµy |n h|: cr|:µ wh|te :u|t o: |f he
cou|dn't wo|t to :e|| |ce creom to the qood ||tt|e ch||dren.
He oµµrooched De:jord|n:, who wo: :t||| :tor|nq ot the curto|n: of ||qht. 1he |ce creom mon
fo||owed h|: qoze. | d|d the :ome ond reo||zed whot the Ch|ef Lector wo: |ooh|nq ot. At the |o:t µ|||or, ju:t
next to the throne, the ||qht wo: chonq|nq. 1he redd|:h t|nt of the modern oqe wo: dorhen|nq to o deeµ
µurµ|e, the co|or of bru|:e:. On my f|r:t u|:|t to the Ho|| of Aqe:, |'d been to|d thot the room qrew |onqer o:
the yeor: µo::ed, ond now | cou|d octuo||y :ee |t hoµµen|nq. 1he f|oor ond wo||: r|µµ|ed ||he o m|roqe,
exµond|nq euer :o :|ow|y, ond the :||uer of µurµ|e ||qht w|dened.
ºAh,º :o|d the |ce creom mon. º|t': much c|eorer now.º
ºA new oqe,º De:jord|n: murmured. ºA dorher oqe. 1he co|or of the ||qht ho: not chonqed for o
thou:ond yeor:, V|od|m|r.º
An eu|| |ce creom mon nomed V|od|m|r! A|| r|qht, then.
º|t |: the kone:, of cour:e,º :o|d V|od|m|r. ºVou :hou|d'ue h|||ed the e|der one wh||e he wo: |n our
My bo feother: ruff|ed. | reo||zed he wo: to|h|nq obout Unc|e Amo:.
ºNo,º De:jord|n: :o|d. ºHe wo: under our µrotect|on. A|| who :eeh heo||nq mu:t be q|uen
:onctuory-euen kone.º
V|od|m|r tooh o deeµ breoth, wh|ch :ounded ||he o c|oqqed uocuum c|eoner. ºßut :ure|y now thot
he ho: |eft, we mu:t oct. Vou heord the new: from ßrooh|yn, my |ord. 1he ch||dren houe found the f|r:t
:cro||. |f they f|nd the other two-º
º| hnow, V|od|m|r.º
º1hey hum|||oted the Hou:e of L|fe |n Ar|zono. 1hey mode µeoce w|th 5et rother thon de:troy h|m.
And now they :eeh the ßooh of Ro. |f you wou|d o||ow me to deo| w|th them-º
1he toµ of De:jord|n:' :toff eruµted |n µurµ|e f|re. ºvho |: Ch|ef Lector!º he demonded.
V|od|m|r': µ|eo:ont exµre::|on fo|tered. ºVou ore, my |ord.º
ºAnd | w||| deo| w|th the kone: |n due t|me, but Aµoµh|: |: our qreote:t threot. ve mu:t d|uert o||
our µower to heeµ|nq down the 5erµent. |f there |: ony chonce the kone: con he|µ u: re:tore order-º
ºßut, Ch|ef Lector,º V|od|m|r |nterruµted. H|: tone hod o new |nten:|ty-on o|mo:t moq|co| force to
|t. º1he kone: ore µort of the µrob|em. 1hey houe uµ:et the bo|once of Mo'ot by owohen|nq the qod:.
1hey ore teoch|nq forb|dden moq|c. Now they wou|d re:tore Ro, who ho: not ru|ed :|nce the beq|nn|nq of
£qyµt| 1hey w||| throw the wor|d |nto d|:orroy. 1h|: w||| on|y he|µ Choo:.º
De:jord|n: b||nhed, o: |f confu:ed. ºÞerhoµ: you're r|qht.
|.| mu:t th|nh on th|:.º V|od|m|r bowed. ºA: you w|:h, my |ord. | w||| qother our force: ond owo|t
your order: to de:troy ßrooh|yn Hou:e.º
ºDe:troy.º De:jord|n: frowned. ºVe:, you w||| owo|t my order:. | w||| choo:e the t|me to ottoch,
ºVery qood, my |ord. And |f the kone ch||dren :eeh the other two :cro||: to owohen Ro! One |:
beyond the|r reoch, of cour:e, but the other-º
º| w||| |eoue thot to you. Cuord |t o: you th|nh be:t.º V|od|m|r': eye: were euen more horr|b|e when
he qot exc|ted-:||my ond q||:ten|nq beh|nd tho:e ru|ned eye||d:. 1hey rem|nded me of Cromµ:': fouor|te
breohfo:t: :oft-bo||ed eqq: w|th 1obo:co :ouce.
[ve||, |'m :orry |f |t': d|:qu:t|nq, Corter. Vou :hou|dn't try to eot wh||e |'m norrot|nq, onywoy|]
ºMy |ord |: w|:e,º V|od|m|r :o|d. º1he ch||dren w||| :eeh the :cro||:, my |ord. 1hey houe no cho|ce. |f
they |eoue the|r :tronqho|d ond come |nto my terr|tory-º
ºD|dn't | ju:t :oy we w||| d|:µo:e of them!º De:jord|n: :o|d f|ot|y. ºNow, |eoue me. | mu:t th|nh.º
V|od|m|r retreoted |nto the :hodow:. For :omeone dre::ed |n wh|te, he monoqed to d|:oµµeor
qu|te we||.
De:jord|n: returned h|: ottent|on to the :h|mmer|nq curto|n of ||qht. ºA new oqe.º he mu:ed. ºAn
oqe of dorhne::.º
My bo :w|r|ed |nto the current: of the Duot, roc|nq boch to my :|eeµ|nq form.
º5od|e!º o uo|ce :o|d.
| :ot uµ |n bed, my heort µound|nq. Croy morn|nq ||qht f|||ed the w|ndow:. 5|tt|nq ot the foot of my
bed wo:.
ºUnc|e Amo:!º | :tommered.
He :m||ed. ºHoµµy b|rthdoy, my deor. |'m :orry |f | :cored you. Vou d|dn't on:wer your door. | wo:
He |oohed boch to fu|| heo|th ond o: fo:h|onob|y dre::ed o: euer. He wore w|re-r|mmed q|o::e:, o
µorhµ|e hot, ond o b|och woo| |to||on :u|t thot mode h|m :eem o b|t |e:: :hort ond :tout. H|: |onq ho|r wo:
bro|ded |n cornrow: decoroted w|th µ|ece: of q||tter|nq b|och :tone-ob:|d|on, µerhoµ:. He m|qht'ue
µo::ed for o jozz mu:|c|on (wh|ch he wo:) or on Afr|con Amer|con A| Coµone (wh|ch he wo:n't).
| :torted to o:h, ºHow-!º 1hen my u|:|on from the Ho|| of Aqe:-the |mµ||cot|on: of whot |'d
:een-:onh |n. º|t': o|| r|qht,º Amo: :o|d. º|'ue ju:t returned from £qyµt.º | tr|ed to :wo||ow, my breoth
o|mo:t o: |obored o: thot qho:t|y mon V|od|m|r':. º5o houe |, Amo:. And |t': not o|| r|qht. 1hey're com|nq
to de:troy u:.º
5 A D | £
4. A 8Irtbdoy IøwItotIeø te Armogeddeø
AF1£R £XÞLA|N|NC MV HORR|ßL£ V|5|ON, on|y one th|nq wou|d do: o µroµer breohfo:t.
Amo: |oohed :hohen, but he |n:|:ted we wo|t to d|:cu:: motter: unt|| we'd o::emb|ed the ent|re
1wenty-f|r:t Nome (o: our bronch of the Hou:e of L|fe wo: co||ed). He µrom|:ed to meet me on the
uerondo |n twenty m|nute:.
After he'd qone, | :howered ond con:|dered whot to weor. Normo||y, | wou|d teoch 5ymµothet|c
Moq|c on Mondoy:, wh|ch wou|d requ|re µroµer moq|c|on': ||nen. Howeuer, my b|rthdoy wo: :uµµo:ed to
be o doy off.
C|uen the c|rcum:tonce:, | doubted Amo:, Corter, ond ßo:t wou|d |et me qo to London, but |
dec|ded to th|nh µo:|t|ue. | µut on :ome r|µµed jeon:, my combot boot:, o tonh toµ, ond my |eother
jochet-not qood for moq|c, but | wo: fee||nq rebe|||ou:.
| :tuffed my wond ond the m|n|-Corter f|qure |nto my moq|c :uµµ|y boq. | wo: obout to :||nq |t
ouer my :hou|der when | thouqht-No, |'|| not be |uqq|nq th|: obout on my b|rthdoy.
| tooh o deeµ breoth ond concentroted on oµen|nq o :µoce |n the Duot. | hote to odm|t |t, but |'m
rubb|:h ot th|: tr|ch. |t': :|mµ|y not fo|r thot Corter con µu|| th|nq: out of th|n o|r ot o moment': not|ce, but
| normo||y need f|ue or ten m|nute: of ob:o|ute focu:, ond euen then the effort mohe: me nou:eou:. Mo:t
of the t|me, |t': :|mµ|er ju:t to heeµ my boq ouer my :hou|der. |f | went out w|th my mote:, howeuer, |
d|dn't wont to be burdened w|th |t, ond | d|dn't wont to |eoue |t beh|nd comµ|ete|y.
At |o:t the o|r :h|mmered o: the Duot bent to my w|||. | to::ed my boq |n front of me, ond |t
d|:oµµeored. £xce||ent -o::um|nq | cou|d f|qure out how to qet |t boch oqo|n |oter.
| µ|ched uµ the :cro|| we'd :to|en from ßu||w|nh|e the n|qht before ond heoded down:to|r:.
v|th eueryone ot breohfo:t, the mon:|on wo: :tronqe|y :||ent. F|ue |eue|: of bo|con|e: foced the
Creot Room, :o normo||y the µ|oce wo: bu:t||nq w|th no|:e ond oct|u|ty, but | remembered how emµty |t
hod fe|t when Corter ond | f|r:t orr|ued |o:t Chr|:tmo:.
1he Creot Room :t||| hod mony of the :ome touche:: the mo::|ue :totue of 1hoth |n the m|dd|e,
Amo:': co||ect|on of weoµon: ond jozz |n:trument: o|onq the wo||, the :nohe:h|n ruq |n front of the
qoroqe-:|ze f|reµ|oce. ßut you cou|d te|| thot twenty younq moq|c|on: ||ued here now o: we||. An
o::ortment of remote contro|:, wond:, |Þod:, :noch food wroµµer:, ond :hobt| f|qur|ne: ||ttered the coffee
tob|e. 5omeone w|th b|q feet -µrobob|y lu||on-hod |eft h|: muddy tro|ner: on the :to|r:. And one of our
hood|um:-| o::umed Fe||x-hod moq|co||y conuerted the f|reµ|oce |nto on Antorct|c wonder|ond,
comµ|ete w|th :now ond o ||ue µenqu|n. Fe||x doe: |oue µenqu|n:.
Moq|co| moµ: ond broom: :µed obout the hou:e, try|nq to c|eon uµ. | hod to duch to ouo|d qett|nq
du:ted. For :ome reo:on, the du:ter: th|nh my ho|r |: o mo|ntenonce |::ue.
[No comment: from you, Corter.]
A: | exµected, eueryone wo: qothered on the uerondo, wh|ch :erued o: our d|n|nq oreo ond o|b|no
crocod||e hob|tot. Þh|||µ of Mocedon|o :µ|o:hed oround hoµµ||y |n h|: µoo|, jumµ|nq for bocon :tr|µ:
wheneuer o tro|nee to::ed h|m one. 1he morn|nq wo: co|d ond ro|ny, but the f|re |n the terroce': moq|c
broz|er: heµt u: too:ty.
| qrobbed o µo|n ou choco|ot ond o cuµ of teo from the buffet tob|e ond :ot down. 1hen | reo||zed
the other: weren't eot|nq. 1hey were :tor|nq ot me.
At the heod of the tob|e, Amo: ond ßo:t both |oohed qr|m. Acro:: from me, Corter hodn't touched
h|: µ|ote of woff|e:, wh|ch wo: uery un||he h|m. 1o my r|qht, loz': cho|r wo: emµty. (Amo: hod to|d me :he
wo: :t||| |n the |nf|rmory, no chonqe.) 1o my |eft :ot vo|t, |ooh|nq qu|te qood o: u:uo|, but | d|d my be:t to
|qnore h|m.
1he other tro|nee: :eemed to be |n uor|ou: :tote: of :hoch. 1hey were o mot|ey o::ortment of o||
oqe: from o|| ouer the wor|d. A hondfu| were o|der thon Corter ond me-o|d enouqh for un|uer:|ty, |n
foct-wh|ch wo: n|ce for choµeron|nq the younqer one:, but o|woy: mode me fee| o b|t uncomfortob|e
when | tr|ed to oct o: the|r teocher. 1he other: were mo:t|y between ten ond f|fteen. Fe||x wo: ju:t n|ne.
1here wo: lu||on from ßo:ton, A|y::o from Coro||no, 5eon from Dub||n, ond C|eo from R|o de lone|ro (ye:, |
hnow, C|eo from R|o, but |'m not moh|nq |t uµ|). 1he th|nq we o|| hod |n common: the b|ood of the
µhorooh:. A|| of u: were de:cended from £qyµt': royo| ||ne:, wh|ch qoue u: o noturo| coµoc|ty for moq|c
ond ho:t|nq the µower of the qod:.
1he on|y one who d|dn't :eem offected by the qr|m mood wo: khufu. For reo:on: we neuer qu|te
under:tood, our boboon eot: on|y food: thot end |n -o. Recent|y he hod d|:couered le||-O, wh|ch he
reqorded o: o m|roc|e :ub:tonce. | :uµµo:e the coµ|to| O mode eueryth|nq to:te better. Now he wou|d eot
o|mo:t onyth|nq enco:ed |n qe|ot|n-fru|t, nut:, buq:, :mo|| on|mo|:. At the moment he hod h|: foce bur|ed
|n o qu|uer|nq red mounto|n of breohfo:t ond wo: moh|nq rude no|:e: o: he excouoted for qroµe:.
£ueryone e|:e wotched me, o: |f wo|t|nq for on exµ|onot|on.
ºMorn|nq,º | muttered. ºLoue|y doy. Þenqu|n |n the f|reµ|oce, |f onyone': |ntere:ted.º
º5od|e,º Amo: :o|d qent|y, ºte|| eueryone whot you to|d me.º
| :|µµed :ome teo to :ett|e my nerue:. 1hen | tr|ed not to :ound terr|f|ed o: | de:cr|bed my u|:|t to
the Ho|| of Aqe:.
vhen | wo: done, the on|y :ound: were the f|re: croch||nq |n the broz|er: ond Þh|||µ of Mocedon|o
:µ|o:h|nq |n h|: µoo|.
F|no||y n|ne-yeor-o|d Fe||x o:hed whot wo: on eueryone': m|nd: º5o we're o|| qo|nq to d|e, then!º
ºNo.º Amo: :ot forword. ºAb:o|ute|y not. Ch||dren, | hnow |'ue ju:t orr|ued. |'ue hord|y met mo:t of
you, but | µrom|:e we'|| do eueryth|nq we con to heeµ you :ofe. 1h|: hou:e |: |oyered w|th moq|c
µrotect|on. Vou houe o mojor qodde:: on your :|deº-he qe:tured to ßo:t, who wo: oµen|nq o con of
Foncy Feo:t 1uno 5uµreme w|th her f|nqerno||:-ºond the kone fom||y to µrotect you. Corter ond 5od|e
ore more µowerfu| thon you m|qht reo||ze, ond |'ue bott|ed M|che| De:jord|n: before, |f |t come: to thot.º
C|uen o|| the troub|e we'd hod |o:t Chr|:tmo:, Amo:': :µeech :eemed o tod oµt|m|:t|c, but the
tro|nee: |oohed re||eued.
º|f |t come: to thot!º A|y::o o:hed. º|t :ound: µretty certo|n they'|| ottoch u:.º
Amo: hn|tted h|: brow. ºÞerhoµ:, but |t troub|e: me thot De:jord|n: wou|d oqree to :uch o foo||:h
moue. Aµoµh|: |: the reo| enemy, ond De:jord|n: hnow: |t. He :hou|d reo||ze he need: o|| the he|µ he con
qet. Un|e::.º He d|dn't f|n|:h the :entence. vhoteuer he wo: th|nh|nq, |t oµµorent|y troub|ed h|m qreot|y.
ºAt ony rote, |f De:jord|n: dec|de: to come ofter u:, he w||| µ|on corefu||y. He hnow: th|: mon:|on w||| not
fo|| eo:||y. He con't offord to be emborro::ed by the kone fom||y oqo|n. He'|| :tudy the µrob|em, con:|der
h|: oµt|on:, ond qother h|: force:. |t wou|d tohe :euero| doy: for h|m to µreµore -t|me he :hou|d be u:|nq
to :toµ Aµoµh|:.º
vo|t ro|:ed on |ndex f|nqer. | don't hnow whot |t |: obout h|m, but he ho: o :ort of qrou|ty thot
drow: the qrouµ': ottent|on when he': obout to :µeoh. £uen khufu |oohed uµ from h|: le||-O.
º|f De:jord|n: doe: ottoch u:,º vo|t :o|d, ºhe'|| be we|| µreµored, w|th moq|c|on: who ore o |ot
more exµer|enced thon we ore. Con he qet throuqh our defen:e:!º
Amo: qozed ot the :||d|nq q|o:: door:, µo::|b|y remember|nq the |o:t t|me our defen:e: hod been
breoched. 1he re:u|t: hodn't been qood.
ºve mu:t mohe :ure |t doe:n't come to thot,º he :o|d. ºDe:jord|n: hnow: whot we're ottemµt|nq,
ond thot we on|y houe f|ue doy:-we||, four doy:, now. Accord|nq to 5od|e': u|:|on, De:jord|n: |: owore of
our µ|on ond w||| try to µreuent |t out of :ome m|:qu|ded be||ef thot we ore worh|nq for the force: of
Choo:. ßut |f we :ucceed, we'|| houe borqo|n|nq µower to mohe De:jord|n: boch off. º
C|eo ro|:ed her hond. ºUm.ve don't hnow the µ|on. Four doy: to do whot!º
Amo: qe:tured ot Corter, |nu|t|nq h|m to exµ|o|n. 1hot wo: f|ne w|th me. Hone:t|y, | found the µ|on
o b|t crozy.
My brother :ot uµ. | mu:t q|ue h|m cred|t. Ouer the |o:t few month:, he'd mode µroqre:: ot
re:emb||nq o normo| teenoqer. After :|x yeor: of home:choo||nq ond troue||nq w|th Dod, Corter hod been
hoµe|e::|y out of touch. He'd dre::ed ||he o jun|or execut|ue, |n cr|:µ wh|te :h|rt: ond :|och:. Now ot |eo:t
he'd |eorned to weor jeon: ond 1-:h|rt: ond the occo:|ono| hood|e. He'd |et h|: ho|r qrow out |n o cur|y
me::-wh|ch |oohed much better. |f he heµt on |mµrou|nq, the boy m|qht euen qet o dote :ome doy.
[vhot! Don't µohe me. |t wo: o comµ||ment|]
ºve're qo|nq to wohe the qod Ro,º Corter :o|d, o: |f |t wo: o: eo:y o: qett|nq o :noch from the
1he tro|nee: q|onced ot one onother. Corter wo:n't hnown for h|: :en:e of humor, but they mu:t'ue
wondered |f he wo: joh|nq.
ºVou meon the :un qod,º Fe||x :o|d. º1he o|d h|nq of the qod:.º
Corter nodded. ºVou o|| hnow the :tory. 1hou:ond: of yeor: oqo, Ro qot :en||e ond retreoted |nto
the heouen:, |eou|nq O:|r|: |n chorqe. 1hen O:|r|: qot ouerthrown by 5et. 1hen Horu: defeoted 5et ond
become µhorooh. 1hen-º
| couqhed. º5hort uer:|on, µ|eo:e.º
Corter qoue me o cro:: |ooh. º1he µo|nt |:, Ro wo: the f|r:t ond mo:t µowerfu| h|nq of the qod:. ve
be||eue Ro |: :t||| o||ue. He': ju:t o:|eeµ :omewhere deeµ |n the Duot. |f we con wohe h|m-º
ºßut |f he ret|red becou:e he wo: :en||e,º vo|t :o|d, ºwou|dn't thot meon he': reo||y, reo||y :en||e
|'d o:hed the :ome th|nq when Corter f|r:t to|d me h|: |deo. 1he |o:t th|nq we needed wo: on
o||-µowerfu| qod who cou|dn't remember h|: own nome, :me||ed ||he o|d µeoµ|e, ond droo|ed |n h|: :|eeµ.
And how cou|d on |mmorto| be|nq qet :en||e |n the f|r:t µ|oce! No one hod q|uen me o :ot|:foctory
Amo: ond Corter |oohed ot ßo:t, wh|ch mode :en:e, o: :he wo: the on|y £qyµt|on qod µre:ent.
5he frowned ot her uneoten Foncy Feo:t. ºRo |: the qod of the :un. |n o|den t|me:, he oqed o: the
doy oqed, then :o||ed throuqh the Duot on h|: boot eoch n|qht ond wo: reborn w|th the :unr|:e eoch
ºßut the :un |:n't reborn,º | µut |n. º|t': ju:t the rotot|on of the eorth-º
º5od|e,º ßo:t worned.
R|qht, r|qht. Myth ond :c|ence were both true-:|mµ|y d|fferent uer:|on: of the :ome reo||ty, b|oh,
b|oh. |'d heord thot |ecture o hundred t|me:, ond | d|dn't wont to heor |t oqo|n.
ßo:t µo|nted ot the :cro||, wh|ch |'d :et next to my teocuµ. ºvhen Ro :toµµed moh|nq h|: n|qht|y
journey, the cyc|e wo: brohen, ond Ro foded |nto µermonent tw|||qht-ot |eo:t, :o we th|nh. He meont to
:|eeµ foreuer. ßut |f you cou|d f|nd h|m |n the Duot-ond thot': o b|q |f-|t': µo::|b|e he m|qht be brouqht
boch ond reborn w|th the r|qht moq|c. 1he ßooh of Ro de:cr|be: how th|: m|qht be done. Ro': µr|e:t:
creoted the booh |n onc|ent t|me: ond heµt |t :ecret, d|u|d|nq |t |nto three µort:, to be u:ed on|y |f the
wor|d wo: end|nq.º
º|f.the wor|d wo: end|nq!º C|eo o:hed. ºVou meon Aµoµh|: |: reo||y qo|nq to.to :wo||ow the :un!º
vo|t |oohed ot me. º|: thot µo::|b|e! |n your :tory obout the Red Þyrom|d, you :o|d Aµoµh|: wo:
beh|nd 5et': µ|on to de:troy North Amer|co. He wo: try|nq to cou:e :o much choo: thot he cou|d breoh
out of h|: µr|:on.º
| :h|uered, remember|nq the oµµor|t|on thot hod oµµeored |n the :hy ouer vo:h|nqton, D.C.-o
wr|th|nq q|ont :nohe.
ºAµoµh|: |: the reo| µrob|em,º | oqreed. ºve :toµµed h|m once, but h|: µr|:on |: weohen|nq. |f he
monoqe: to e:coµe-º
ºHe w|||,º Corter :o|d. º|n four doy:. Un|e:: we :toµ h|m. And then he'|| de:troy
c|u|||zot|on-eueryth|nq humon: houe bu||t :|nce the down of £qyµt.º
1hot µut o ch||| ouer breohfo:t tob|e.
Corter ond | hod to|hed µr|uote|y obout the four-doy deod||ne, of cour:e. Horu: ond |:|: hod both
d|:cu::ed |t w|th u:. ßut |t hod :eemed ||he o horr|b|e µo::|b|||ty rother thon ob:o|ute certo|nty. Now,
Corter :ounded :ure. | :tud|ed h|: foce ond reo||zed he'd :een :ometh|nq dur|nq the n|qht-µo::|b|y o u|:|on
euen wor:e thon m|ne. H|: exµre::|on :o|d, Not here. |'|| te|| you |oter.
ßo:t wo: d|qq|nq her c|ow: |nto the d|n|nq tob|e. vhoteuer the :ecret wo:, :he mu:t be |n on |t.
At the for end of the tob|e, Fe||x counted on h|: f|nqer:. ºvhy four doy:! vhot': :o :µec|o|
obout.um, Morch twenty-f|r:t!º
º1he :µr|nq equ|nox,º ßo:t exµ|o|ned. ºA µowerfu| t|me for moq|c. 1he hour: of doy ond n|qht ore
exoct|y bo|onced, meon|nq the force: of Choo: ond Mo'ot con be eo:||y t|µµed one woy or the other. |t':
the µerfect t|me to owohen Ro. |n foct, |t': our on|y chonce unt|| the fo|| equ|nox, :|x month: from now.
ßut we con't wo|t thot |onq.º
ºßecou:e unfortunote|y,º Amo: odded, ºthe equ|nox |: o|:o the µerfect t|me for Aµoµh|: to e:coµe
h|: µr|:on ond |nuode the morto| wor|d. Vou con be :ure he ho: m|n|on: worh|nq on thot r|qht now.
Accord|nq to our :ource: omonq the qod:, Aµoµh|: w||| :ucceed, wh|ch |: why we houe to owohen Ro f|r:t.º
|'d heord o|| th|: before, but d|:cu::|nq |t |n the oµen, |n front of o|| our tro|nee:, ond :ee|nq the
deuo:toted |ooh: on the|r foce:, |t o|| :eemed much more fr|qhten|nq ond reo|.
| c|eored my throot. ºR|qht.:o when Aµoµh|: breoh: out, he'|| try to de:troy Mo'ot, the order of the
un|uer:e. He'|| :wo||ow the :un, µ|unqe the eorth |nto eterno| dorhne::, ond otherw|:e mohe u: houe o
uery bod doy.º
ºvh|ch |: why we need Ro.º Amo: modu|oted h|: tone, moh|nq |t co|m ond reo::ur|nq for our
tro|nee:. He µrojected :uch comµo:ure, euen | fe|t o ||tt|e |e:: terr|f|ed. | wondered |f th|: wo: o h|nd of
moq|c, or |f he wo: ju:t better ot exµ|o|n|nq Armoqeddon thon | wo:.
ºRo wo: Aµoµh|:': orchenemy,º he cont|nued. ºRo |: the Lord of Order, whereo: Aµoµh|: |: the
Lord of Choo:. 5|nce the beq|nn|nq of t|me, the:e two force: houe been |n o µerµetuo| bott|e to de:troy
one onother. |f Aµoµh|: return:, we houe to mohe :ure we houe Ro on our :|de to counteroct h|m. 1hen
we :tond o chonce.º
ºA chonce,º vo|t :o|d. ºA::um|nq we con f|nd Ro ond wohe h|m, ond the re:t of the Hou:e of L|fe
doe:n't de:troy u: f|r:t.º
Amo: nodded. ºßut |f we con owohen Ro, thot wou|d be o feot more d|ff|cu|t thon ony moq|c|on
ho: euer occomµ||:hed. |t wou|d mohe De:jord|n: th|nh tw|ce. 1he Ch|ef Lector.we||, |t wou|d :eem he':
not th|nh|nq c|eor|y, but he': no foo|. He recoqn|ze: the donqer of Aµoµh|: r|:|nq. ve mu:t conu|nce h|m
thot we're on the :ome :|de, thot the µoth of the qod: |: the on|y woy to defeot Aµoµh|:. | wou|d rother
do th|: thon f|qht h|m.º
Þer:ono||y, | wonted to µunch De:jord|n: |n the foce ond :et h|: beord on f|re, but | :uµµo:ed Amo:
hod o µo|nt.
C|eo, µoor th|nq, hod qone o: qreen o: o froq. 5he'd come o|| the woy from ßroz|| to ßrooh|yn to
:tudy the µoth of 1hoth, qod of hnow|edqe, ond we'd o|reody µeqqed her o: our future ||bror|on, but
when the donqer: were reo|, ond not ju:t |n the µoqe: of booh:.we||, :he hod o tender :tomoch. | hoµed
:he cou|d mohe |t to the edqe of the terroce |f :he needed to.
º1he-the :cro||,º :he monoqed, ºyou :o|d there ore two other µort:!º
| tooh the :cro||. |n the doy||qht |t |oohed more froq||e-br|tt|e ond ye||ow ond ||he|y to crumb|e.
My f|nqer: tremb|ed. | cou|d fee| moq|c humm|nq |n the µoµyru: ||he o |ow-uo|toqe current. | fe|t on
ouerwhe|m|nq de:|re to oµen |t.
| beqon to unro|| the cy||nder. Corter ten:ed.
Amo: :o|d, º5od|e.º
No doubt they exµected ßrooh|yn to cotch f|re oqo|n, but noth|nq hoµµened. | :µreod out the
:cro|| ond found |t wo: wr|tten |n q|bber|:h-not h|eroq|yµh|c:, not ony |onquoqe | cou|d recoqn|ze. 1he
end of the µoµyru: wo: o joqqed ||ne, o: |f |t hod been r|µµed.
º| |moq|ne the µ|ece: qroft toqether,º | :o|d. º|t w||| be reodob|e on|y when o|| three :ect|on: ore
Corter |oohed |mµre::ed. ßut hone:t|y, | do hnow:ome th|nq:. Dur|nq our |o:t oduenture |'d reod o
:cro|| to bon|:h 5et, ond |t hod worhed much the :ome woy.
khufu |oohed uµ from h|: le||-O. ºAqh|º He µut three :||my qroµe: on the tob|e.
º£xoct|y,º ßo:t oqreed. ºA: khufu :oy:, the three :ect|on: of the booh reµre:ent the three o:µect: of
Ro-morn|nq, noon, ond n|qht. 1hot :cro|| there |: the :µe|| of khnum. Vou'|| need to f|nd the other two
How khufu f|t o|| of thot |nto o :|nq|e qrunt, | d|dn't hnow, but | w|:hed | cou|d tohe o|| my c|o::e:
from boboon teocher:. |'d houe m|dd|e :choo| ond h|qh :choo| f|n|:hed |n o weeh.
º5o the other two qroµe:,º | :o|d, º| meon, :cro||:.occord|nq to my u|:|on |o:t n|qht, they won't be
eo:y to f|nd.º
Amo: nodded. º1he f|r:t :ect|on wo: |o:t eon: oqo. 1he m|dd|e :ect|on |: |n the µo::e::|on of the
Hou:e of L|fe. |t ho: been moued mony t|me:, ond |: o|woy: heµt under t|qht :ecur|ty. ludq|nq from your
u|:|on, |'d :oy the :cro|| |: now |n the hond: of V|od|m|r Men:h|hou.º
º1he |ce creom mon,º | que::ed. ºvho |: he!º
Amo: troced :ometh|nq on the tob|e-µerhoµ: o µrotect|ue h|eroq|yµh. º1he th|rd-mo:t µowerfu|
moq|c|on |n the wor|d. He': o|:o one of De:jord|n:' :tronqe:t :uµµorter:. He run: the £|qhteenth Nome, |n
ßo:t h|::ed. ße|nq o cot, :he wo: qu|te qood ot thot. ºV|od the |nho|er. He': qot on eu|| reµutot|on.º
| remembered h|: ru|ned eye: ond wheez|nq uo|ce. ºvhot hoµµened to h|: foce!º
ßo:t wo: obout to on:wer, but Amo: cut her off.
ºlu:t reo||ze thot he': qu|te donqerou:,º he worned. ºV|od': mo|n to|ent |: :||enc|nq roque
ºVou meon he': on o::o::|n!º | o:hed. ºvonderfu|. And De:jord|n: ju:t qoue h|m µerm|::|on to hunt
Corter ond me |f we |eoue ßrooh|yn.º
ºvh|ch you'|| houe to do,º ßo:t :o|d, º|f you wont to :eeh the other :ect|on: of the ßooh of Ro. Vou
houe on|y four doy:.º
ºVe:,º | muttered, ºyou moy houe ment|oned thot. Vou'|| be com|nq w|th u:, won't you!º
ßo:t |oohed down ot her Foncy Feo:t.
º5od|e.º 5he :ounded m|:erob|e. ºCorter ond | were to|h|nq ond.we||, :omeone ho: to chech on
Aµoµh|:': µr|:on. ve houe to hnow whot': qo|nq on, how c|o:e |t |: to breoh|nq, ond |f there': o woy to
:toµ |t. 1hot requ|re: o f|r:thond |ooh.º
| cou|dn't be||eue | wo: heor|nq th|:. ºVou're qo|nq boch there! After o|| my µorent: d|d to free
º|'|| on|y oµµrooch the µr|:on from the out:|de,º :he µrom|:ed. º|'|| be corefu|. | om o creoture of
:teo|th, ofter o||. ße:|de:, |'m the on|y one who hnow: how to f|nd h|: ce||, ond thot µort of the Duot wou|d
be |etho| to o morto|. |-| mu:t do th|:.º
Her uo|ce tremb|ed. 5he'd once to|d me thot cot: weren't broue, but qo|nq boch to her o|d µr|:on
:eemed ||he qu|te o couroqeou: th|nq to do.
º| won't |eoue you undefended,º :he µrom|:ed. º| houe o.o fr|end. He :hou|d orr|ue from the Duot
by tomorrow. |'ue o:hed h|m to f|nd you ond µrotect you.º
ºA fr|end!º | o:hed.
ßo:t :qu|rmed. ºve||.:ort of.º
1hot d|dn't :ound encouroq|nq.
| |oohed down ot my :treet c|othe:. A :our to:te f|||ed my mouth. Corter ond | hod o que:t to
undertohe, ond |t wo: un||he|y we wou|d come boch o||ue. Another re:µon:|b|||ty on my :hou|der:,
onother unreo:onob|e demond for me to :ocr|f|ce my ||fe for the qreoter qood. Hoµµy b|rthdoy to me.
khufu be|ched ond µu:hed owoy h|: emµty µ|ote. He bored h|: le||-O-:to|ned fonq: o: |f to :oy
ve||, thot': :ett|ed| Cood breohfo:t|
º|'|| qet µoched,º Corter :o|d. ºve con |eoue |n on hour.º
ºNo,º | :o|d. |'m not :ure who wo: more :urµr|:ed-me or my brother.
ºNo!º Corter o:hed.
º|t': my b|rthdoy,º | :o|d, wh|ch µrobob|y mode me :ound ||he o :euen-yeor-o|d brot-but ot the
moment | d|dn't core.
1he tro|nee: |oohed o:ton|:hed. 5euero| mumb|ed the|r qood w|:he:. khufu offered me h|: emµty
le||-O bow| o: o µre:ent. Fe||x ho|fheorted|y :torted :|nq|nq ºHoµµy ß|rthdoy,º but no one jo|ned h|m, :o
he qoue uµ.
ºßo:t :o|d her fr|end won't orr|ue unt|| tomorrow,º | cont|nued. ºAmo: :o|d |t wou|d tohe
De:jord|n: :ome t|me to µreµore ony :ort of ottoch. ße:|de:, |'ue been µ|onn|nq my tr|µ to London for
oqe:. | th|nh | houe t|me for one b|oody doy off before the wor|d end:.º
1he other: :tored ot me. vo: | :e|f|:h! A|| r|qht, ye:. |rre:µon:|b|e! Þerhoµ:. 5o why d|d | fee| :o
:tronq|y obout µutt|nq my foot down!
1h|: moy come o: o :hoch to you, but | don't ||he fee||nq contro||ed. Corter wo: d|ctot|nq whot we
wou|d do, but o: u:uo| he hodn't to|d me eueryth|nq. He'd obu|ou:|y con:u|ted Amo: ond ßo:t o|reody
ond mode o qome µ|on. 1he three of them hod dec|ded whot wo: be:t w|thout bother|nq to o:h me. My
one con:tont comµon|on, ßo:t, wo: |eou|nq me to emborh on o horr|b|y donqerou: m|::|on. And |'d be
:tuch w|th my brother on my b|rthdoy, troch|nq down onother moq|co| :cro|| thot m|qht :et me on f|re or
5orry. No thonh:. |f | wo: qo|nq to d|e, then |t cou|d wo|t unt|| tomorrow morn|nq.
Corter': exµre::|on wo: µort onqer, µort d|:be||ef. Normo||y, we tr|ed to heeµ th|nq: c|u|| |n front of
our tro|nee:. Now | wo: emborro::|nq h|m. He'd o|woy: comµ|o|ned how | ru:hed |nto th|nq: w|thout
th|nh|nq. Lo:t n|qht he'd been |rr|toted w|th me for qrobb|nq thot :cro||, ond | :u:µected |n the boch of h|:
m|nd he b|omed me for th|nq: qo|nq wronq-for loz': qett|nq hurt. No doubt he :ow th|: o: onother
exomµ|e of my rech|e:: noture.
| wo: qu|te µreµored for o hnochdown f|qht, but Amo: |nterceded.
º5od|e, o u|:|t to London |: donqerou:.º He he|d uµ h|: hond before | cou|d µrote:t. ºHoweuer, |f
you mu:t.º He tooh o deeµ breoth, o: |f he d|dn't ||he whot he wo: obout to :oy. º.then ot |eo:t µrom|:e
you'|| be corefu|. | doubt V|od Men:h|hou w||| be reody to moue oqo|n:t u: :o qu|ch|y. Vou :hou|d be o||
r|qht o: |onq o: you u:e no moq|c, do noth|nq to ottroct ottent|on.º
ºAmo:|º Corter µrote:ted.
Amo: cut h|m off w|th o :tern |ooh. ºvh||e 5od|e |: qone, we con beq|n µ|onn|nq. 1omorrow
morn|nq, the two of you con beq|n your que:t. | w||| tohe ouer your teoch|nq dut|e: w|th our tro|nee:, ond
ouer:ee the defen:e of ßrooh|yn Hou:e.º
| cou|d :ee |n Amo:': eye: he d|dn't wont me to qo. |t wo: foo||:h, donqerou:, ond ro:h-|n other
word:, rother tyµ|co| of me. ßut | cou|d o|:o :en:e h|: :ymµothy for my µred|coment. | remembered how
froq||e Amo: hod |oohed ofter 5et tooh ouer h|: body |o:t Chr|:tmo:. vhen he'd qone to the F|r:t Nome
for heo||nq, | hnew he'd fe|t qu||ty obout |eou|nq u: o|one. 5t|||, |t hod been the r|qht cho|ce for h|: :on|ty.
Amo:, of o|| µeoµ|e, hnew whot |t wo: ||he to need to qet owoy. |f | :toyed here, |f | |eft on o que:t
:tro|qhtowoy w|thout euen t|me to breothe, | fe|t | wou|d exµ|ode.
ße:|de:, | fe|t better hnow|nq Amo: wou|d be couer|nq for u: ot ßrooh|yn Hou:e. | wo: re||eued to
q|ue uµ my teoch|nq dut|e: for o wh||e. 1ruth be to|d, |'m o horr|d teocher. | :|mµ|y houe no µot|ence for
[Oh, be qu|et, Corter. Vou weren't :uµµo:ed to oqree w|th me.]
º1honh you, Amo:,º | monoqed.
He :tood, c|eor|y |nd|cot|nq thot the meet|nq wo: ouer.
º| th|nh thot': enouqh for one morn|nq,º he :o|d. º1he mo|n th|nq |: for o|| of you to cont|nue your
tro|n|nq, ond don't de:µo|r. ve'|| need you |n toµ :hoµe to defend ßrooh|yn Hou:e. vew||| µreuo||. v|th
the qod: on our :|de, Mo'ot w||| ouercome Choo:, o: |t o|woy: ho: before.º
1he tro|nee: :t||| |oohed uneo:y, but they :tood ond beqon to c|eor the|r d|:he:. Corter qoue me
one more onqry |ooh, then :tormed |n:|de.
1hot wo: h|: µrob|em. | wo: determ|ned not to fee| qu||ty. | wou|d not houe my b|rthdoy ru|ned.
5t|||, o: | :tored down ot my co|d teo ond uneoten µo|n ou choco|ot, | hod o horr|b|e fee||nq | m|qht neuer
:|t ot th|: tob|e oqo|n.
An hour |oter | wo: reody for London.
|'d cho:en o new :toff from the or:eno| ond :towed |t |n the Duot o|onq w|th my other :uµµ||e:. |
|eft the moq|c ßu||w|nh|e :cro|| w|th Corter, who wou|dn't euen to|h to me, then cheched on loz |n the
|nf|rmory ond found her :t||| |n o como. An enchonted wo:hc|oth heµt her foreheod coo|. Heo||nq
h|eroq|yµh: f|ooted oround her bed, but :he :t||| |oohed :o fro||. v|thout her u:uo| :m||e, :he :eemed ||he o
d|fferent µer:on.
| :ot next to her ond he|d her hond. My heort fe|t o: heouy o: o bow||nq bo||. loz hod r|:hed her ||fe
to µrotect u:. 5he'd qone uµ oqo|n:t o mob of bou w|th on|y o few weeh: of tro|n|nq. 5he'd toµµed |nto
the enerqy of her µotron qodde::, 5ehhmet, ju:t o: we'd touqht her, ond the effort hod o|mo:t de:troyed
vhot hod | :ocr|f|ced |ote|y! |'d thrown o tontrum becou:e | m|qht m|:: my b|rthdoy µorty.
º|'m :o :orry, loz.º | hnew :he cou|dn't heor me, but my uo|ce quouered. º| ju:t.|'|| qo mod |f | don't
qet owoy. ve'ue o|reody hod to :oue the b|oody wor|d once, ond now | houe to do |t oqo|n..º
| |moq|ned whot loz wou|d :oy-:ometh|nq reo::ur|nq, no doubt: |t': not your fou|t, 5od|e. Vou
de:erue o few hour:.
1hot ju:t mode me fee| wor:e. | :hou|d neuer houe o||owed loz to µut her:e|f |n donqer. 5|x yeor:
oqo, my mother hod d|ed chonne||nq too much moq|c. 5he'd burned uµ c|o:|nq the qote to Aµoµh|:':
µr|:on. |'d hnown thot, ond yet |'d o||owed loz, who hod much |e:: exµer|ence, to r|:h her ||fe to :oue our:.
A: | :o|d.|'m o horr|d teocher.
F|no||y | cou|dn't :tond |t onymore. | :queezed loz': hond, to|d her to qet better :oon, ond |eft the
|nf|rmory. | c||mbed to the roof, where we heµt our re||c for oµen|nq µorto|:-o :tone :µh|nx from the ru|n:
of He||oµo||:.
| ten:ed when | not|ced Corter ot the other end of the roof, feed|nq o µ||e of roo:ted turhey: to the
qr|ff|n. 5|nce |o:t n|qht, he'd con:tructed qu|te o n|ce :tob|e for the mon:ter, :o | que::ed |t wou|d be
:toy|nq w|th u:. At |eo:t thot wou|d heeµ the µ|qeon: off the roof.
| o|mo:t hoµed Corter wou|d |qnore me. | wo:n't |n the mood for onother orqument. ßut when he
:ow me, he :cow|ed, w|µed the turhey qreo:e off h|: hond:, ond wo|hed ouer.
| broced my:e|f for o :co|d|nq.
|n:teod he qrumb|ed, ºße corefu|. | qot you o b|rthdoy q|ft, but |'|| wo|t unt||.you come boch.º
He d|dn't odd the word o||ue, but | thouqht | heord |t |n h|: tone.
ºLooh, Corter-º
ºlu:t qo,º he :o|d. º|t': not qo|nq to he|µ u: to orque.º
| wo:n't :ure whether to fee| qu||ty or onqry, but | :uµµo:ed he hod o µo|nt. ve d|dn't houe o uery
qood h|:tory w|th b|rthdoy:. One of my eor||e:t memor|e: wo: f|qht|nq w|th Corter on my :|xth b|rthdoy,
ond my cohe exµ|od|nq from the moq|co| enerqy we :t|rred uµ. Þerhoµ:, con:|der|nq thot, | :hou|d'ue |eft
we|| enouqh o|one. ßut | cou|dn't qu|te do |t.
º|'m :orry,º | b|urted out. º| hnow you b|ome me for µ|ch|nq uµ the :cro|| |o:t n|qht, ond for loz':
qett|nq hurt, but | fee| o: |f |'m fo|||nq oµort-º
ºVou're not the on|y one,º he :o|d.
A |umµ formed |n my throot. |'d been :o worr|ed obout Corter': be|nq mod ot me, | hodn't µo|d
ottent|on to h|: tone. He :ounded ob:o|ute|y m|:erob|e.
ºvhot |: |t!º | o:hed. ºvhot hoµµened!º
He w|µed h|: qreo:y hond: on h|: trou:er:. ºVe:terdoy ot the mu:eum.one of tho:e :µ|r|t:-one of
them to|hed to me.º
He to|d me obout h|: odd encounter w|th the f|om|nq bou, how t|me hod :eemed to :|ow down
ond the bou hod worned Corter our que:t wou|d fo||.
ºHe :o|d.º Corter': uo|ce brohe. ºHe :o|d Z|o wo: o:|eeµ ot the Þ|oce of Red 5ond:, whoteuer thot
|:. He :o|d |f | d|dn't q|ue uµ the que:t ond re:cue her, :he wou|d d|e.º
ºCorter,º | :o|d corefu||y, ºd|d th|: :µ|r|t ment|on Z|o by nome!º
ºve||, no.º
ºCou|d he houe meont :ometh|nq e|:e!º
ºNo, |'m :ure. He meont Z|o.º
| tr|ed to b|te my tonque. Hone:t|y, | d|d. ßut the :ubject of Z|o Ro:h|d hod become on unheo|thy
ob:e::|on for my brother.
ºCorter, not to be unh|nd,º | :o|d, ºbut the |o:t few month: you'ue been :ee|nq me::oqe: obout Z|o
euerywhere. 1wo weeh: oqo, you thouqht :he wo: :end|nq you o d|:tre:: co|| |n your mo:hed µototoe:.º
º|t wo: o Z| Corued r|qht |n the µototoe:|º
| he|d uµ my hond:. ºF|ne. And your dreom |o:t n|qht!º
H|: :hou|der: ten:ed. ºvhot do you meon!º
ºOh, come on. At breohfo:t, you :o|d Aµoµh|: wou|d e:coµe from h|: µr|:on on the equ|nox. Vou
:ounded comµ|ete|y certo|n, o: |f you'd :een µroof. Vou'd o|reody to|hed to ßo:t ond conu|nced her to
chech Aµoµh|:': µr|:on. vhoteuer you :ow.|t mu:t'ue been bod.º
º|.| don't hnow. |'m not :ure.º
º| :ee.º My |rr|tot|on ro:e. 5o Corter d|dn't wont to te|| me. ve were boch to heeµ|nq :ecret: from
eoch other! F|ne.
ºve'|| cont|nue th|: |oter, then,º | :o|d. º5ee you ton|qht.º
ºVou don't be||eue me,º he :o|d. ºAbout Z|o.º
ºAnd you don't tru:t me. 5o we're euen.º
ve q|ored ot eoch other. 1hen Corter turned ond :tomµed off toword the qr|ff|n.
| o|mo:t co||ed h|m boch. | hodn't meont to be :o cro:: w|th h|m. On the other hond, oµo|oq|z|nq |:
not my :tronq :u|t, ond hewo: rother |mµo::|b|e.
| turned to the :µh|nx ond :ummoned o qotewoy. |'d qot rother qood ot |t, |f | do :oy :o my:e|f.
|n:tont|y o :w|r||nq funne| of :ond oµµeored |n front of me, ond | jumµed throuqh.
A heortbeot |oter, | tumb|ed out ot C|eoµotro': Need|e on the bonh of the R|uer 1home:.
5|x yeor: before, my mother hod d|ed here, |t wo:n't my fouor|te £qyµt|on monument. ßut the
Need|e wo: the c|o:e:t moq|c µorto| to Cron ond Cromµ:': f|ot.
Fortunote|y, the weother wo: m|:erob|e ond there wo: no one obout, :o | bru:hed the :ond off my
c|othe: ond heoded for the Underqround :tot|on.
1h|rty m|nute: |oter, | :tood on the :teµ: of my qrondµorent:' f|ot. |t :eemed :o odd to be.home! |
wo:n't euen :ure | cou|d co|| |t thot onymore. For month: |'d been |onq|nq for London-the fom|||or c|ty
:treet:, my fouor|te :hoµ:, my mote:, my o|d room. |'d euen been home:|ch for the dreory weother. ßut
now eueryth|nq :eemed :o d|fferent, :o fore|qn.
Neruou:|y, | hnoched on the door.
No on:wer. | wo: :ure they were exµect|nq me. | hnoched oqo|n.
Þerhoµ: they were h|d|nq, wo|t|nq for me to come |n. | |moq|ned my qrondµorent:, L|z, ond £mmo
crouch|nq beh|nd the furn|ture, reody to jumµ out ond ye|| º5urµr|:e|º
Hmm.Cron ond Cromµ: crouch|nq ond jumµ|nq. Not b|oody ||he|y.
| f|:hed out my hey ond un|oched the door.
1he ||u|nq room wo: dorh ond emµty. 1he :to|rwe|| ||qht wo: off, wh|ch Cron wou|d neuer o||ow.
5he wo: morto||y ofro|d of fo|||nq down :to|r:. £uen Cromµ:': te|eu|:|on wo: :w|tched off, wh|ch wo:n't
r|qht. Cromµ: o|woy: heµt the ruqby motche: on, euen |f he wo:n't wotch|nq.
| :n|ffed the o|r. 5|x |n the euen|nq London t|me, yet no :me|| of burn|nq b|:cu|t: from the h|tchen.
Cron :hou|d'ue burned ot |eo:t one troy of b|:cu|t: for teot|me. |t wo: o trod|t|on.
| qot out my µhone to co|| L|z ond £mmo, but the µhone wo: deod. | hnew |'d chorqed the
My m|nd wo: ju:t beq|nn|nq to µroce:: o thouqht-| om |n donqer-when the front door :|ommed
:hut beh|nd me. | :µun, qrobb|nq for my wond, wh|ch | d|dn't houe.
Aboue me, ot the toµ of the dorh :to|rwe||, o uo|ce thot wo: def|n|te|y not humon h|::ed,
ºve|come home, 5od|e kone.º
C A R 1 £ R
s. I Leorø te ReoIIy Hote 0uøg 8eetIet
1HANk5 A LO1, 5AD|£.
Hond me the m|c r|qht when you qet to o qood µort.
5o yeoh, 5od|e |eft on her b|rthdoy tr|µ to London. 1he wor|d wo: end|nq |n four doy:, we hod o
que:t to comµ|ete, ond :he qoe: off to µorty w|th her fr|end:. Reo||y hod her µr|or|t|e: :tro|qht, huh! Not
thot | wo: b|tter, or onyth|nq.
On the br|qht :|de, ßrooh|yn Hou:e wo: µretty qu|et once :he |eft, ot |eo:t unt|| the three-heoded
:nohe :howed uµ. ßut f|r:t | :hou|d te|| you obout my u|:|on.
5od|e thouqht | wo: h|d|nq :ometh|nq from her ot breohfo:t, r|qht! ve||, thot wo: :ort of true.
Hone:t|y, thouqh, whot | :ow dur|nq the n|qht terr|f|ed me :o bod|y | d|dn't wont to to|h obout |t,
e:µec|o||y on her b|rthdoy. |'d exµer|enced :ome b|zorre :tuff :|nce | :torted |eorn|nq moq|c, but th|: tooh
the Nobe| Þr|ze for ve|rd.
After our tr|µ to the ßrooh|yn Mu:eum, | hod o touqh t|me qett|nq to :|eeµ. vhen | f|no||y
monoqed, | owohe |n o d|fferent body.
|t wo:n't :ou| troue| or o dreom. | wo: Horu: the Auenqer.
|'d :hored o body w|th Horu: before. He'd been |n my heod for o|mo:t o weeh ot Chr|:tmo:,
wh|:µer|nq :uqqe:t|on: ond otherw|:e be|nq onnoy|nq. Dur|nq the f|qht ot the Red Þyrom|d, |'d euen
exµer|enced o µerfect me|d|nq of h|: thouqht: ond m|ne. |'d become whot £qyµt|on: co||ed the º£yeº of
the qod-o|| of h|: µower ot my commond, our memor|e: m|x|nq toqether, humon ond qod worh|nq o:
one. ßut |'d :t||| been |n my own body.
1h|: t|me, th|nq: were reuer:ed. | wo: o que:t |n Horu:': body, :tond|nq ot the µrow of o boot on
the moq|co| r|uer thot wound throuqh the Duot. My eye:|qht wo: o: :horµ o: o fo|con':. 1hrouqh the foq, |
cou|d :ee :hoµe: mou|nq |n the woter-:co|y reµt|||on boch: ond mon:trou: f|n:. | :ow qho:t: of the deod
dr|ft|nq o|onq e|ther :hore. For oboue, the couern ce|||nq q||:tened red, o: |f we were :o|||nq down the
throot of o ||u|nq beo:t.
My orm: were bronze ond mu:cu|or, c|rc|ed w|th bond: of qo|d ond |oµ|: |ozu||. | wo: dre::ed for
bott|e |n |eother ormor, o joue||n |n one hond ond o hhoµe:h |n the other. | fe|t :tronq ond µowerfu|
||he.we||, o qod.
He||o, Corter, :o|d Horu:, wh|ch fe|t ||he to|h|nq to my:e|f.
ºHoru:, whot': uµ!º | d|dn't te|| h|m | wo: |rr|toted by h|: |ntru:|on |nto my :|eeµ. | d|dn't need to. |
wo: :hor|nq h|: m|nd.
| on:wered your que:t|on:, Horu: :o|d. | to|d you where to f|nd the f|r:t :cro||. Now you mu:t do
:ometh|nq for me. 1here |: :ometh|nq | w|:h to :how you.
1he boot |urched forword. | qrobbed the ro|||nq of the nou|qotor': µ|otform. Looh|nq boch, | cou|d
:ee the boot wo: o µhorooh': borque, obout :|xty feet |onq ond :hoµed ||he o mo::|ue conoe. |n the
m|dd|e, o tottered µou|||on couered on emµty do|: where o throne m|qht once houe :ot. A :|nq|e mo:t
he|d o :quore :o|| thot hod once been decoroted, but wo: now foded ond honq|nq |n :hred:. Þort ond
:torboord, :et: of brohen oor: donq|ed u:e|e::|y.
1he boot mu:t'ue been obondoned for centur|e:. 1he r|qq|nq wo: couered |n cobweb:. 1he ||ne:
were rotten. 1he µ|onh: of the hu|| qrooned ond creohed o: the boot µ|ched uµ :µeed.
|t |: o|d, ||he Ro, Horu: :o|d. Do you reo||y wont to µut th|: boot boch |nto :eru|ce! Let me :how
you the threot you foce.
1he rudder turned u: |nto the current. 5udden|y we were roc|nq down:treom. |'d :o||ed on the
R|uer of N|qht before, but th|: t|me we :eemed to be much deeµer |n the Duot. 1he o|r wo: co|der, the
roµ|d: fo:ter. ve jumµed o cotoroct ond went o|rborne. vhen we :µ|o:hed down oqo|n, mon:ter: beqon
ottoch|nq. Horr|b|e foce: ro:e uµ-o :eo droqon w|th fe||ne eye:, o crocod||e w|th µorcuµ|ne br|:t|e:, o
:erµent w|th the heod of o mumm|f|ed mon. £och t|me one ro:e uµ, | ro|:ed my :word ond cut |t down, or
:µeored |t w|th my joue||n to heeµ |t owoy from the boot. ßut they ju:t heµt com|nq, chonq|nq form:, ond
| hnew thot |f | hodn't been Horu: the Auenqer-|f | hod ju:t been Corter kone try|nq to deo| w|th the:e
horror: -| wou|d qo crozy, or d|e, or both.
£uery n|qht, th|: wo: the journey, Horu: :o|d. |t wo: not Ro who fended off the creoture: of Choo:.
ve other qod: heµt h|m :ofe. ve he|d boch Aµoµh|: ond h|: m|n|on:.
ve µ|unqed ouer onother woterfo|| ond cro:hed heod|onq |nto o wh|r|µoo|. 5omehow, we
monoqed not to coµ:|ze. 1he boot :µun out of the current ond f|ooted toword the :hore.
1he r|uerbonh here wo: o f|e|d of q||:ten|nq b|och :tone: -or :o | thouqht. A: we qot c|o:er, |
reo||zed they were buq :he||:-m||||on: ond m||||on: of dr|ed-uµ beet|e coroµoce:, :tretch|nq |nto the
q|oom o: for o: | cou|d :ee. A few ||u|nq :corob: moued :|uqq|:h|y omonq the emµty :he||:, :o |t :eemed
||he the who|e |ond:coµe wo: crow||nq. |'m not euen qo|nq to try to de:cr|be the :me|| of :euero| m||||on
deod dunq beet|e:.
1he 5erµent': µr|:on, Horu: :o|d.
| :conned the dorhne:: for o jo|| ce||, cho|n:, o µ|t or :ometh|nq. A|| | :ow wo: on end|e:: exµon:e of
deod beet|e:.
ºvhere!º | o:hed.
| om :how|nq you th|: µ|oce |n o woy you con under:tond, Horu: :o|d. |f you were here |n µer:on,
you wou|d burn to o:he:. |f you :ow th|: µ|oce o: |t reo||y |:, your ||m|ted morto| :en:e: wou|d me|t.
ºCreot,º | muttered. º| ju:t |oue hou|nq my :en:e: me|ted.º
1he boot :croµed oqo|n:t the :hore, :t|rr|nq uµ o few ||ue :corob:. 1he who|e beoch :eemed to
:qu|rm ond wr|the.
Once, o|| the:e :corob: were o||ue, Horu: :o|d, the :ymbo| of Ro': do||y reb|rth, ho|d|nq boch the
enemy. Now on|y o few remo|n. 1he 5erµent :|ow|y deuour: h|: woy out.
ºvo|t,º | :o|d. ºVou meon.º
|n front of me, the :hore||ne :we||ed o: :ometh|nq underneoth µu:hed uµword-o uo:t :hoµe
:tro|n|nq to breoh free.
| qr|µµed my :word ond joue||n, but euen w|th o|| the :trenqth ond couroqe of Horu:, | found
my:e|f tremb||nq. Red ||qht q|owed beneoth the :corob :he||:. 1hey croch|ed ond :h|fted o: the th|nq
be|ow :urqed toword the :urfoce. 1hrouqh the th|nn|nq |oyer of deod buq:, o ten-foot-w|de red c|rc|e
:tored uµ ot me-o :erµent': eye, fu|| of hotred ond hunqer. £uen |n my qod|y form, | fe|t the µower of
Choo: wo:h|nq ouer me ||he |etho| rod|ot|on, cooh|nq me from the |n:|de out, eot|nq |nto my :ou|-ond |
be||eued whot Horu: hod :o|d. |f | were here |n the f|e:h, | wou|d be burned to o:he:.
º|t': breoh|nq free.º My throot :torted c|o:|nq uµ w|th µon|c. ºHoru:, |t': qett|nq out-º
Ve:, he :o|d. 5oon.
Horu: qu|ded my orm. | ro|:ed my :µeor ond thru:t |t |nto the 5erµent': eye. Aµoµh|: how|ed w|th
roqe. 1he r|uerbonh tremb|ed. 1hen Aµoµh|: :onh beneoth the deod :corob :he||:, ond the red q|ow
ßut not todoy, Horu: :o|d. On the equ|nox, the bond: w||| weohen enouqh for the 5erµent to
breoh free ot |o:t. ßecome my ouotor oqo|n, Corter. He|µ me |eod the qod: |nto bott|e. 1oqether we moy
be ob|e to :toµ the r|:e of Aµoµh|:. ßut |f you owohen Ro ond he tohe: boch the throne, w||| he houe the
:trenqth to ru|e! |: th|: boot |n ony :hoµe to :o|| the Duot oqo|n!
ºvhy d|d you he|µ me f|nd the :cro||, then!º | o:hed. º|f you don't wont Ro owohened-º
|t mu:t be your cho|ce, Horu: :o|d. | be||eue |n you, Corter kone. vhoteuer you dec|de, | w|||
:uµµort you. ßut mony of the other qod: do not fee| the :ome. 1hey th|nh our chonce: wou|d be better
w|th me o: the|r h|nq ond qenero|, |eod|nq them |nto bott|e oqo|n:t the 5erµent. 1hey :ee your µ|on to
owohen Ro o: foo||:h ond donqerou:. |t |: o|| | con do to µreuent oµen rebe|||on. | moy not be ob|e to :toµ
them from ottoch|nq you ond try|nq to µreuent you.
ºlu:t whot we need,º | :o|d. ºMore enem|e:.º
|t doe: not houe to be thot woy, Horu: :o|d. Now you houe :een the enemy. vho do you th|nh ho:
the be:t chonce to :tond oqo|n:t the Lord of Choo:-Ro or Horu:!
1he boot µu:hed owoy from the dorh :hore. Horu: re|eo:ed my bo, ond my con:c|ou:ne:: f|ooted
boch to the morto| wor|d ||he o he||um bo||oon. 1he re:t of the n|qht, | dreomed obout o |ond:coµe of
deod :corob:, ond o red eye q|or|nq from the deµth: of o weohen|nq µr|:on.
|f | octed o ||tt|e :hohen uµ the next morn|nq, now you hnow why.
| :µent o |ot of t|me wonder|nq why Horu: hod :howed me thot u|:|on. 1he obu|ou: on:wer: Horu:
wo: now h|nq of the qod:. He d|dn't wont Ro com|nq boch to cho||enqe h|: outhor|ty. Cod: tend to be
:e|f|:h. £uen when they're he|µfu|, they o|woy: houe the|r own mot|ue:. 1hot': why you houe to be corefu|
obout tru:t|nq them.
On the other hond, Horu: hod o µo|nt. Ro hod been o|d f|ue thou:ond yeor: oqo. No one hnew
whot h|nd of :hoµe he wo: |n now. £uen |f we monoqed to wohe h|m, there wo: no quorontee he wou|d
he|µ. |f he |oohed o: bod o: h|: boot, | d|dn't :ee how Ro cou|d defeot Aµoµh|:.
Horu: hod o:hed me who :tood the be:t chonce oqo|n:t the Lord of Choo:. 5cory truth: when |
:eorched my heort, the on:wer wo: none of u:. Not the qod:. Not the moq|c|on:. Not euen o|| of u:
worh|nq toqether. Horu: wonted to be the h|nq ond |eod the qod: |nto bott|e, but th|: enemy wo: more
µowerfu| thon onyth|nq he'd euer foced. Aµoµh|: wo: o: onc|ent o: the un|uer:e, ond he on|y feored one
enemy: Ro.
ßr|nq|nq Ro boch m|qht not worh, but my |n:t|nct: to|d me |t wo: our on|y :hot. And fronh|y, the
foct thot eueryone heµt te|||nq me |t wo: o bod |deo-ßo:t, Horu:, euen 5od|e-mode me more certo|n |t
wo: the r|qht th|nq to do. |'m h|nd of :tubborn thot woy.
1he r|qht cho|ce |: hord|y euer the eo:y cho|ce, my dod hod often to|d me.
Dod hod def|ed the ent|re Hou:e of L|fe. He'd :ocr|f|ced h|: own ||fe to un|eo:h the qod: becou:e he
wo: :ure |t wo: the on|y woy to :oue the wor|d. Now |t wo: t|me for me to mohe the d|ff|cu|t cho|ce.
Fo:t-forword µo:t breohfo:t ond my orqument w|th 5od|e. After :he jumµed throuqh the µorto|, |
:toyed on the roof w|th no comµony but my new fr|end the µ:ychot|c qr|ff|n.
He :creomed ºFR££££k|º :o much thot | dec|ded to co|| h|m Freoh, µ|u:, |t f|t h|: µer:ono||ty. |'d
exµected h|m to d|:oµµeor ouern|qht-to e|ther f|y owoy or return to the Duot-but he :eemed hoµµy |n
h|: new roo:t. |'d feothered |t w|th o :toch of morn|nq new:µoµer:, o|| of them feotur|nq heod||ne: obout
the b|zorre :ewer qo: eruµt|on thot hod :weµt throuqh ßrooh|yn the n|qht before. Accord|nq to the
reµort:, the qo: hod |qn|ted qho:t|y f|re: ocro:: the borouqh, cou:ed exten:|ue domoqe ot the mu:eum,
ond ouerwhe|med :ome µeoµ|e w|th nou:eo, d|zz|ne::, ond euen ho||uc|not|on: of rh|nocero:-:|ze
humm|nqb|rd:. 5tuµ|d :ewer qo:.
| wo: to::|nq Freoh more roo:ted turhey: (jeez, he hod on oµµet|te) when ßo:t oµµeored next to
ºNormo||y, | enjoy b|rd:,º :he :o|d. ºßut thot th|nq |: d|:turb|nq.º
ºFR££££k|º :o|d Freoh. He ond ßo:t reqorded eoch other o: |f eoch wo: wonder|nq whot the
other wou|d to:te ||he for |unch.
ßo:t :n|ffed. ºVou're not qo|nq to heeµ |t, ore you!º
ºve||, he': not t|ed uµ or onyth|nq,º | :o|d. ºHe cou|d |eoue |f he wonted to. | th|nh he ||he: |t here.º
ºvonderfu|,º ßo:t muttered. ºOne more th|nq thot m|qht h||| you wh||e |'m qone.º
Þer:ono||y, | thouqht Freoh ond | were qett|nq o|onq µretty we||, but | f|qured noth|nq | :o|d wou|d
reo::ure ßo:t.
5he wo: dre::ed for troue|. Ouer her u:uo| |eoµord-:h|n body:u|t :he wore o |onq b|och coot
embro|dered w|th µrotect|ue h|eroq|yµh:. vhen :he moued, the fobr|c :h|mmered, moh|nq her fode |n
ond out of :|qht.
ºße corefu|,º | to|d her.
5he :m||ed. º|'m o cot, Corter. | con |ooh ofter my:e|f. |'m more worr|ed obout you ond 5od|e wh||e
|'m qone. |f your u|:|on |: occurote ond Aµoµh|:': µr|:on |: c|o:e to breoh|nq.! ve||, |'|| be boch o: :oon o: |
1here wo:n't much | cou|d :oy to thot. |f my u|:|on wo: occurote, we were o|| |n deeµ troub|e.
º| moy be out of touch for o couµ|e of doy:,º :he cont|nued. ºMy fr|end :hou|d qet here before you
ond 5od|e |eoue on your que:t tomorrow. He'|| mohe :ure you two :toy o||ue.º
ºCon't you ot |eo:t te|| me h|: nome!º
ßo:t qoue me o |ooh thot wo: e|ther omu:ed or neruou:-µo::|b|y both. ºHe': o ||tt|e hord to
exµ|o|n. |'d better |et h|m |ntroduce h|m:e|f.º
v|th thot, ßo:t h|::ed me on the foreheod. º1ohe core, my h|t.º
| wo: too :tunned to re:µond. | thouqht of ßo:t o: 5od|e': µrotector. | wo: ju:t h|nd of on odd-on.
ßut her uo|ce he|d :uch offect|on, | µrobob|y b|u:hed. 5he ron to the edqe of the roof ond jumµed.
| wo:n't worr|ed obout her, thouqh. | wo: µretty :ure :he'd |ond on her feet.
| wonted to heeµ th|nq: o: normo| o: µo::|b|e for the tro|nee:, :o | |ed my u:uo| morn|nq c|o::. |
co||ed |t Moq|c Þrob|em-5o|u|nq IOI. 1he tro|nee: co||ed |t vhoteuer vorh:.
| qoue the tro|nee: o µrob|em. 1hey cou|d :o|ue |t ony woy they wonted. A: :oon o: they
:ucceeded, they cou|d qo.
| que:: th|: wo:n't much ||he reo| :choo|, where you houe to :toy unt|| the end of the doy euen |f
you're ju:t do|nq bu:yworh, but |'d neuer been to o reo| :choo|. A|| tho:e yeor: home:choo||nq w|th my
dod, |'d |eorned ot my own µoce. vhen | f|n|:hed my o::|qnment: to my dod': :ot|:foct|on, the :choo| doy
wo: ouer. 1he :y:tem worhed for me, ond the tro|nee: :eemed to ||he |t, too.
| o|:o thouqht Z|o Ro:h|d wou|d oµµroue. 1he f|r:t t|me 5od|e ond | tro|ned w|th Z|o, :he'd to|d u:
thot moq|c cou|dn't be |eorned from c|o::room: ond textbooh:. Vou hod to |eorn by do|nq. 5o for Moq|c
Þrob|em-5o|u|nq IOI, we heoded to the tro|n|nq room ond b|ew :tuff uµ.
1odoy | hod four :tudent:. 1he re:t of the tro|nee: wou|d be off re:eorch|nq the|r own µoth: of
moq|c, µroct|c|nq enchontment:, or do|nq requ|or :choo|worh under the :uµeru|:|on of our co||eqe-oqe
|n|t|ote:. A: our mo|n odu|t choµerone wh||e Amo: wo: qone, ßo:t hod |n:|:ted we heeµ eueryone
uµ-to-:µeed on the requ|or :ubject: ||he moth ond reod|nq, o|thouqh :he d|d :omet|me: odd her own
e|ect|ue cour:e:, :uch o: Aduonced Cot Croom|nq, or Noµµ|nq. 1here wo: o wo|t|nq ||:t to qet |nto
Anywoy, the tro|n|nq room tooh uµ mo:t of the :econd f|oor. |t wo: obout the :|ze of o bo:hetbo||
court, wh|ch |: whot we u:ed |t for |n the euen|nq:. |t hod o hordwood f|oor, qod :totue: ||n|nq the wo||:,
ond o uou|ted ce|||nq w|th µ|cture: of Anc|ent £qyµt|on: roch|nq thot :|dewoy: wo|h they o|woy: do. On
the bo:e||ne wo||:, we'd :tuch fo|con-heoded :totue: of Ro µerµend|cu|or to the f|oor, ten feet uµ, ond
ho||owed out the|r :un-d|:h crown: :o we cou|d u:e them o: bo:hetbo|| hooµ:. Þrobob|y
b|o:µhemou:-but hey, |f Ro d|dn't houe o :en:e of humor, thot wo: h|: µrob|em.
vo|t wo: wo|t|nq for me, o|onq w|th lu||on, Fe||x, ond A|y::o. loz o|mo:t o|woy: :howed uµ for
the:e :e::|on:, but of cour:e loz wo: :t||| |n o como.ond thot wo: o µrob|em none of u: hnew how to :o|ue.
| ottemµted to µut on my conf|dent teocher-foce. ºOhoy, quy:. 1odoy we'|| try :ome combot
:|mu|ot|on:. ve'|| :tort :|mµ|e.º
| µu||ed four :hobt| f|qur|ne: from my boq ond µ|oced them |n d|fferent corner: of the room. |
:tot|oned one tro|nee |n front of eoch. 1hen | :µohe o commond word. 1he four :totuette: qrew |nto
fu||-:|ze £qyµt|on worr|or: ormed w|th :word: ond :h|e|d:. 1hey weren't :uµer-reo||:t|c. 1he|r :h|n |oohed
||he q|ozed cerom|c, ond they moued :|ower thon reo| humon:, but they'd be qood enouqh for :torter:.
ºFe||x!º | co||ed. ºNo µenqu|n:.º
ºAw, c'mon|º
Fe||x be||eued thot the on:wer to euery µrob|em |nuo|ued µenqu|n:, but |t wo:n't fo|r to the b|rd:,
ond | wo: qett|nq t|red of te|eµort|nq them boch home. 5omewhere |n Antorct|co, o who|e f|och of
Moqe||on|c µenqu|n: wo: underqo|nq µ:ychotheroµy.
ºßeq|n|º | ye||ed, ond the :hobt| ottoched.
lu||on, o b|q :euenth qroder who'd o|reody dec|ded on the µoth of Horu:, went :tro|qht |nto bott|e.
He hodn't qu|te mo:tered :ummon|nq o combot ouotor, but he enco:ed h|: f|:t |n qo|den enerqy ||he o
wrech|nq bo|| ond µunched the :hobt|. |t f|ew bochword |nto wo||, croch|nq to µ|ece:. One down.
A|y::o hod been :tudy|nq the µoth of Ceb, the eorth qod. Nobody ot ßrooh|yn Hou:e wo: on
exµert |n eorth moq|c, but A|y::o rore|y needed he|µ. 5he'd qrown uµ |n o fom||y of µotter: |n North
Coro||no, ond hod been worh|nq w|th c|oy :|nce :he wo: o ||tt|e q|r|.
5he dodqed the :hobt|': c|um:y :w|nq ond touched |t on the boch. A h|eroq|yµh q|owed oqo|n:t |t:
c|oy ormor:
Noth|nq :eemed to hoµµen to the worr|or, but when |t turned to :tr|he, A|y::o ju:t :tood there. |
wo: obout to ye|| ot her to duch, but the :hobt| m|::ed her comµ|ete|y. |t: b|ode h|t the f|oor, ond the
worr|or :tumb|ed. |t ottoched oqo|n, :w|nq|nq ho|f o dozen t|me:, but |t: b|ode neuer qot c|o:e to A|y::o.
F|no||y the worr|or turned |n confu:|on ond :toqqered to the corner of the room, where |t bonqed |t: heod
oqo|n:t the wo|| ond :huddered to o :toµ.
A|y::o qr|nned ot me.º5o-µer,º :he exµ|o|ned. ºH|eroq|yµh for M|::.º
ºN|ce one,º | :o|d.
Meonwh||e, Fe||x found o non-µenqu|n :o|ut|on. | hod no |deo whot tyµe of moq|c he m|qht
euentuo||y :µec|o||ze |n, but todoy he went for :|mµ|e ond u|o|ent. He qrobbed o bo:hetbo|| from the
bench, wo|ted for the :hobt| to tohe o :teµ, then bounced the bo|| off |t: heod. H|: t|m|nq wo: µerfect. 1he
:hobt| |o:t |t: bo|once ond fe|| ouer, |t: :word orm croch|nq off. Fe||x wo|hed ouer ond :tomµed on the
:hobt| unt|| |t brohe to µ|ece:.
He |oohed ot me w|th :ot|:foct|on. ºVou d|dn't :oy we hod to u:e moq|c.º
ºFo|r enouqh.º | mode o mento| note neuer to µ|oy bo:hetbo|| w|th Fe||x.
vo|t wo: the mo:t |ntere:t|nq to wotch. He wo: o :ou, o chorm moher, :o he tended to f|qht w|th
whoteuer moq|c |tem: he hod on hond. | neuer hnew whot he wo: qo|nq to do.
A: for h|: µoth, vo|t hodn't dec|ded wh|ch qod': moq|c to :tudy. He wo: o qood re:eorcher ||he
1hoth, the qod of hnow|edqe. He cou|d u:e :cro||: ond µot|on: o|mo:t o: we|| o: 5od|e, :o he cou|d'ue
cho:en the µoth of |:|:. He m|qht houe euen cho:en O:|r|:, becou:e vo|t wo: o noturo| ot br|nq|nq
|non|mote th|nq: to ||fe.
1odoy he wo: toh|nq h|: t|me, f|nqer|nq h|: omu|et: ond con:|der|nq h|: oµt|on:. A: the :hobt|
oµµrooched, vo|t retreoted. |f vo|t hod o weohne::, |t wo: h|: cout|ou:ne::. He ||hed to th|nh o |onq t|me
before he octed. |n other word:, he wo: 5od|e': exoct oµµo:|te.
[Don't µunch me, 5od|e. |t': true|]
ºC'mon, vo|t,º lu||on co||ed. ºk||| |t o|reody.º
ºVou'ue qot th|:,º A|y::o :o|d.
vo|t reoched for one of h|: r|nq:. 1hen he :teµµed bochword ond :tumb|ed ouer the :hord: of
Fe||x': brohen :hobt|.
| :houted, ºLooh out|º
ßut vo|t :||µµed ond fe|| hord. H|: :hobt| oµµonent ru:hed forword, :|o:h|nq down w|th |t: :word.
| roced to he|µ, but | wo: too for owoy. vo|t': hond wo: o|reody r|:|nq |n:t|nct|ue|y to b|och the
:tr|he. 1he enchonted cerom|c b|ode wo: o|mo:t o: :horµ o: reo| meto|. |t :hou|d'ue hurt vo|t µretty
bod|y, but he qrobbed |t, ond the :hobt| froze. Under vo|t': f|nqer:, the b|ode turned qroy ond become
webbed w|th croch:. 1he qroy :µreod ||he fro:t ouer the ent|re worr|or, ond the :hobt| crumb|ed |nto o µ||e
of du:t.
vo|t |oohed :tunned. He oµened h|: hond, wh|ch wo: µerfect|y f|ne.
º1hot wo: coo||º Fe||x :o|d. ºvhot omu|et wo: thot!º
vo|t qoue me o neruou: q|once, ond | hnew the on:wer. |t wo:n't on omu|et. vo|t hod no |deo
how he'd done |t.
1hot wou|d houe been enouqh exc|tement for one doy. 5er|ou:|y. ßut the we|rdne:: wo: ju:t
ßefore e|ther of u: cou|d :oy onyth|nq, the f|oor :hooh. | thouqht moybe vo|t': moq|c wo:
:µreod|nq |nto the bu||d|nq, wh|ch wou|dn't houe been qood. Or moybe :omeone be|ow u: wo:
exµer|ment|nq w|th exµ|od|nq donhey cur:e: oqo|n.
A|y::o ye|µed. ºCuy:.º
5he µo|nted to the :totue of Ro jutt|nq out from the wo||, ten feet oboue u:. Our qod|y bo:hetbo||
hooµ wo: crumb||nq.
At f|r:t | wo:n't :ure whot | wo: :ee|nq. 1he Ro :totue wo:n't turn|nq to du:t ||he the :hobt|. |t wo:
breoh|nq oµort, fo|||nq to the f|oor |n µ|ece:. 1hen my :tomoch c|enched. 1he µ|ece: weren't :tone. 1he
:totue wo: turn|nq |nto :corob :he||:.
1he |o:t of the :totue crumb|ed owoy, ond the µ||e of dunq beet|e hu:h: beqon to moue. 1hree
:erµent heod: ro:e from the center.
| don't m|nd te|||nq you: | µon|ched. | thouqht my u|:|on of Aµoµh|: wo: com|nq true r|qht then ond
there. | :tumb|ed boch :o qu|ch|y, | ron |nto A|y::o. 1he on|y reo:on | d|dn't bo|t from the room wo:
becou:e four tro|nee: were |ooh|nq to me for reo::uronce.
|t con't be Aµoµh|:, | to|d my:e|f.
1he :nohe: emerqed, ond | reo||zed they weren't three d|fferent on|mo|:. |t wo: one mo::|ue cobro
w|th three heod:.
£uen we|rder, |t unfur|ed o µo|r of howh||he w|nq:. 1he th|nq': trunh wo: o: th|ch o: my |eq. |t
:tood o: to|| o: me, but |t wo:n't neor|y b|q enouqh to be Aµoµh|:. |t: eye: weren't q|ow|nq red. 1hey were
requ|or creeµy qreen :nohe eye:.
5t|||.w|th o|| three heod: :tor|nq r|qht ot me, | con't :oy | re|oxed.
ºCorter!º Fe||x o:hed uneo:||y. º|: th|: µort of the |e::on!º
1he :erµent h|::ed |n three-µort hormony. |t: uo|ce :eemed to :µeoh |n:|de my heod-ond |t
:ounded exoct|y ||he the bou |n the ßrooh|yn Mu:eum.
Vour |o:t worn|nq, Corter kone, |t :o|d. C|ue me the :cro||.
My heort :h|µµed o beot. 1he :cro||-5od|e hod q|uen |t to me ofter breohfo:t. 5tuµ|d me-|
:hou|d'ue |oched |t uµ, µut |t |n one of our :ecure cubbyho|e: |n the ||brory, but |t wo: :t||| |n the boq on
my :hou|der.
vhot ore you! | o:hed the :nohe.
ºCorter.º lu||on drew h|: :word. ºDo we ottoch!º
My tro|nee: qoue no |nd|cot|on thot they'd heord e|ther the :nohe or me :µeoh.
A|y::o ro|:ed her hond: ||he :he wo: reody to cotch o dodqebo||. vo|t µo:|t|oned h|m:e|f between
the :nohe ond Fe||x, ond Fe||x |eoned :|dewoy: to :ee oround h|m.
C|ue |t to me. 1he :erµent co||ed to :tr|he, cru:h|nq deod beet|e :he||: under |t: body. |t: w|nq:
:µreod :o w|de, they cou|d'ue wroµµed oround u: o||. C|ue uµ your que:t, or | w||| de:troy the q|r| you
:eeh, ju:t o: | de:troyed her u|||oqe.
| tr|ed to drow my :word, but my orm: wou|dn't moue. | fe|t µoro|yzed, o: |f tho:e three :et: of
eye: hod µut me |nto o tronce.
Her u|||oqe, | thouqht. Z|o': u|||oqe.
5nohe: con't |ouqh, but th|: th|nq': h|:: :ounded omu:ed.
Vou'|| houe to mohe o cho|ce, Corter kone-the q|r| or the qod. Abondon your foo||:h que:t, or
:oon you'|| be ju:t onother dry hu:h ||he Ro': :corob:.
My onqer :oued me. | :hooh off the µoro|y:|: ond ye||ed, ºk||| |t|º ju:t o: the :erµent oµened |t:
mouth:, b|o:t|nq out three co|umn: of f|ome:.
| ro|:ed o qreen :h|e|d of moq|c to def|ect the f|re. lu||on chuched h|: :word ||he o throw|nq-ox.
A|y::o qe:tured w|th her hond ond three :tone :totue: |eoµed off the|r µede:to|:, f|y|nq ot the :erµent.
vo|t f|red o bo|t of qroy ||qht from h|: wond. And Fe||x tooh off h|: |eft :hoe ond |obbed |t ot the mon:ter.
R|qht obout then, |t :uched to be the :erµent. lu||on': :word :||ced off one of |t: heod:. Fe||x': :hoe
bounced off onother. 1he b|o:t from vo|t': wond turned the th|rd to du:t. 1hen A|y::o': :totue: :|ommed
|nto |t, :mo:h|nq the mon:ter under o ton of :tone.
vhot wo: |eft of the :erµent': body d|::o|ued |nto :ond.
1he room wo: :udden|y qu|et. My four tro|nee: |oohed ot me. | reoched down ond µ|ched uµ one
of the :corob :he||:.
ºCorter, thot wo: µort of the |e::on, r|qht!º Fe||x o:hed. º1e|| me thot wo: µort of the |e::on.º
| thouqht obout the :erµent': uo|ce-the :ome uo|ce o: the bou': |n the ßrooh|yn Mu:eum. |
reo||zed why |t :ounded :o fom|||or. |'d heord |t before dur|nq the bott|e ot the Red Þyrom|d.
ºCorter!º Fe||x |oohed ||he he wo: obout to cry. He wo: :uch o troub|emoher, | :omet|me: forqot
he wo: on|y n|ne yeor: o|d.
ºVe:, ju:t o te:t,º | ||ed. | |oohed ot vo|t, ond we come to o :||ent oqreement: ve need to to|h
obout th|: |oter. ßut f|r:t, | hod :omeone e|:e to que:t|on. ºC|o:: d|:m|::ed.º
| ron to f|nd Amo:.
C A R 1 £ R
e. A 8Irdbotb AImett KIIIt Me
AMO5 1URN£D 1H£ 5CARAß 5H£LL |n h|: f|nqer:. ºA three-heoded :nohe, you :oy.º
| fe|t qu||ty dumµ|nq th|: on h|m. He'd been throuqh :o much :|nce Chr|:tmo:. 1hen he f|no||y qot
heo|ed ond come home, ond boom-o mon:ter |nuode: our µroct|ce room. ßut | d|dn't hnow who e|:e to
to|h to. | wo: h|nd of :orry 5od|e wo:n't oround.
[A|| r|qht, 5od|e, don't q|oot. | wo:n't thot :orry.]
ºVeoh,º | :o|d, ºw|th w|nq: ond f|omethrower breoth. £uer :een :ometh|nq ||he thot before!º
Amo: µut the :corob :he|| on the tob|e. He nudqed |t, o: |f exµect|nq |t to come to ||fe. ve hod the
||brory to our:e|ue:, wh|ch wo: unu:uo|. Often, the b|q round chomber wo: f|||ed w|th tro|nee: hunt|nq
throuqh row: of cubbyho|e: for :cro||:, or :end|nq retr|euo| :hobt| ocro:: the wor|d for ort|foct:, booh:, or
µ|zzo. Þo|nted on the f|oor wo: o µ|cture of Ceb the eorth qod, h|: body dotted w|th tree: ond r|uer:.
Aboue u:, the :torry-:h|nned :hy qodde:: Nut :tretched ocro:: the ce|||nq. | u:uo||y fe|t :ofe |n th|: room,
:he|tered between two qod: who'd been fr|end|y to u: |n the µo:t. ßut now | heµt q|onc|nq ot the retr|euo|
:hobt| :tot|oned oround the ||brory ond wonder|nq |f they wou|d d|::o|ue |nto :corob :he||: or dec|de to
ottoch u:.
F|no||y Amo: :µohe o commond word: ºA'mox.º
A :mo|| red h|eroq|yµh b|ozed ouer the :corob:
1he :he|| bur:t |nto f|ome: ond crumb|ed to o t|ny mound of o:h.
º| :eem to reco|| o µo|nt|nq,º Amo: :o|d, º|n the tomb of 1huthmo:e |||. |t :howed o three-heoded
w|nqed :nohe ||he the one you de:cr|bed. ßut whot |t meon:.º He :hooh h|: heod. º5nohe: con be qood
or bod |n £qyµt|on |eqend. 1hey con be the enem|e: of Ro, or h|: µrotector:.º
º1h|: wo:n't o µrotector,º | :o|d. º|t wonted the :cro||.º
ºAnd yet |t hod three heod:, wh|ch m|qht :ymbo||ze the three o:µect: of Ro. And |t wo: born from
the rubb|e of Ro': :totue.º
º|t wo:n't from Ro,º | |n:|:ted. ºvhy wou|d Ro wont to :toµ u: from f|nd|nq h|m! ße:|de:, |
recoqn|zed the :nohe': uo|ce. |t wo: the uo|ce of your-º | b|t my tonque. º| meon, |t wo: the uo|ce of 5et':
m|n|on from the Red Þyrom|d-the one who wo: µo::e::ed by Aµoµh|:.º
Amo:': eye: become unfocu:ed.
ºFoce of Horror,º he remembered. ºVou th|nh Aµoµh|: wo: :µeoh|nq to you throuqh th|: :erµent!º
| nodded. º| th|nh he :et tho:e troµ: ot the ßrooh|yn Mu:eum. He :µohe to me throuqh thot bou. |f
he': :o µowerfu| thot he con |nf||trote th|: mon:|on-º
ºNo, Corter. £uen |f you're r|qht, |t wo:n't Aµoµh|: h|m:e|f. |f he'd brohen out of h|: µr|:on, |t wou|d
cou:e r|µµ|e: throuqh the Duot :o µowerfu|, euery moq|c|on wou|d fee| them. ßut µo::e::|nq the m|nd: of
m|n|on:, euen :end|nq them |nto µrotected µ|oce: to de||uer o me::oqe-thot': much eo:|er. | don't th|nh
thot :nohe cou|d'ue done you much horm. |t wou|d'ue been qu|te weoh ofter breoch|nq our defen:e:. |t
wo: mo:t|y :ent to worn you, ond :core you.º
º|t worhed,º | :o|d.
| d|dn't o:h Amo: how he hnew :o much obout µo::e::|on ond the woy: of Choo:. Hou|nq hod h|:
body tohen ouer by 5et, the qod of eu||, hod q|uen h|m on |nten:|ue cro:h cour:e |n :tuff ||he thot. Now he
:eemed boch to normo|, but | hnew from my own exµer|ence of :hor|nq o m|nd w|th Horu:: once you
ho:ted o qod-whether |t wo: uo|untory or not-you were neuer qu|te the :ome. Vou reto|ned the
memor|e:, euen :ome troce: of the qod': µower. | cou|dn't he|µ not|c|nq thot the co|or of Amo:': moq|c
hod chonqed. |t u:ed to be b|ue. Now when he :ummoned h|eroq|yµh:, they q|owed red-the co|or of 5et.
º|'|| :trenqthen the chorm: oround the hou:e,º he µrom|:ed. º|t': h|qh t|me | uµqroded our :ecur|ty.
|'|| mohe :ure Aµoµh|: con't :end me::enqer: throuqh oqo|n.º
| nodded, but h|: µrom|:e d|dn't mohe me fee| much better.
1omorrow, |f 5od|e come boch :ofe|y, we'd be off on o que:t to f|nd the other two :cro||: for the
ßooh of Ro.
5ure, we'd :uru|ued our |o:t oduenture f|qht|nq 5et, but Aµoµh|: wo: |n o toto||y d|fferent |eoque.
And we weren't ho:t|nq qod: onymore. ve were ju:t h|d:, foc|nq eu|| moq|c|on:, demon:, mon:ter:, :µ|r|t:,
ond the eterno| Lord of Choo:. |n the µ|u: co|umn, | hod o cronhy :|:ter, o :word, o boboon, ond o qr|ff|n
w|th o µer:ono||ty d|:order. | wo:n't ||h|nq tho:e odd:.
ºAmo:,º | :o|d, ºwhot |f we're wronq! vhot |f owohen|nq Ro doe:n't worh!º
|t hod been o |onq t|me :|nce |'d :een my unc|e :m||e. He d|dn't |ooh much ||he my fother, but
when he :m||ed, he qot the :ome cr|nh|e: oround h|: eye:.
ºMy boy, |ooh whot you'ue occomµ||:hed. Vou ond 5od|e houe red|:couered o woy of moq|c thot
ho:n't been µroct|ced |n m|||enn|o. Vou'ue tohen your tro|nee: further |n two month: thon mo:t F|r:t
Nome |n|t|ote: wou|d qet |n two yeor:. Vou'ue bott|ed qod:. Vou'ue occomµ||:hed more thon ony ||u|nq
moq|c|on ho:-euen me, euen M|che| De:jord|n:. 1ru:t your |n:t|nct:. |f | were o bett|nq mon, my money
wou|d be on you ond your :|:ter euery t|me.º
A |umµ formed |n my throot. | hodn't qotten o µeµ to|h ||he thot :|nce my dod wo: :t||| o||ue, ond |
que:: | hodn't reo||zed how much | needed one.
Unfortunote|y, heor|nq De:jord|n:' nome rem|nded me thot we hod other µrob|em: be:|de:
Aµoµh|:. A: :oon o: we :torted our que:t, o moq|co| Ru::|on |ce creom :o|e:mon nomed V|od the |nho|er
wo: qo|nq to try to o::o::|note u:. And |f V|od wo: the th|rd-mo:t µowerfu| moq|c|on |n the wor|d.
ºvho': :econd!º | o:hed.
Amo: frowned. ºvhot do you meon!º
ºVou :o|d th|: Ru::|on quy, V|od Men:h|hou, |: the th|rd-mo:t µowerfu| moq|c|on o||ue. De:jord|n: |:
the mo:t µowerfu|. 5o who': :econd! | wont to hnow |f we houe onother enemy to |ooh out for.º
1he |deo :eemed to omu:e Amo:. ºDon't worry obout thot. And de:µ|te your µo:t deo||nq: w|th
De:jord|n:, | wou|d not :oy he': tru|y on enemy.º
º1e|| h|m thot,º | muttered.
º| d|d, Corter. ve to|hed :euero| t|me: wh||e | wo: ot the F|r:t Nome. | th|nh whot you ond 5od|e
occomµ||:hed ot the Red Þyrom|d :hooh h|m deeµ|y. He hnow: he cou|d not houe defeoted 5et w|thout
you. He :t||| oµµo:e: you, but |f we hod more t|me, | m|qht be ob|e to conu|nce h|m.º
1hot :ounded obout o: ||he|y o: Aµoµh|: ond Ro becom|nq Focebooh budd|e:, but | dec|ded not to
:oy onyth|nq.
Amo: µo::ed h|: hond ouer the tob|etoµ ond :µohe o :µe||. A red ho|oqroµh of Ro oµµeored-o
m|n|oture reµ||co of the :totue |n the µroct|ce room. 1he :un qod |oohed ||he Horu:: o fo|con-heoded
mon. ßut un||he Horu:, Ro wore the :un d|:h o: o crown ond he|d o :heµherd': crooh ond o wor f|o||-the
two :ymbo|: of the µhorooh. He wo: dre::ed |n robe: rother thon ormor, :|tt|nq co|m|y ond reqo||y on h|:
throne, o: |f he were hoµµy to wotch other: do the f|qht|nq. 1he qod': |moqe |oohed :tronqe |n red,
q|ow|nq w|th the co|or of Choo:.
º5ometh|nq e|:e you mu:t con:|der,º Amo: worned. º| don't :oy th|: to d|:couroqe you, but you
o:hed why Ro m|qht wont to :toµ you from woh|nq h|m. 1he ßooh of Ro wo: d|u|ded for o reo:on. |t wo:
mode |ntent|ono||y d|ff|cu|t to f|nd, :o on|y the worthy wou|d :ucceed. Vou :hou|d exµect cho||enqe: ond
ob:toc|e: on your que:t. 1he other two :cro||: w||| be ot |eo:t o: we|| µrotected o: the f|r:t. And you :hou|d
o:h your:e|f: vhot hoµµen: |f you wohe o qod who doe: not wont to be owohened!º
1he door: of the ||brory bonqed oµen, ond | o|mo:t jumµed out of my cho|r. C|eo ond three other
q|r|: come |n, chott|nq ond |ouqh|nq w|th the|r orm: fu|| of :cro||:.
ºHere': my re:eorch c|o::.º Amo: f||ched h|: hond, ond the ho|oqroµh of Ro d|:oµµeored. ºve'||
:µeoh oqo|n, Corter, µerhoµ: ofter |unch.º
| nodded, thouqh euen then | hod o :u:µ|c|on we'd neuer qet to f|n|:h our conuer:ot|on. vhen |
|oohed boch from the door of the ||brory, Amo: wo: qreet|nq h|: :tudent:, co:uo||y w|µ|nq the o:he: of the
:corob :he|| off the tob|e.
| qot to my room ond found khufu cro:hed on the bed, :urf|nq the :µort: chonne|:. He wo: weor|nq
h|: fouor|te Loher: jer:ey ond hod o bow| of Cheeto: on h|: :tomoch. £uer :|nce our tro|nee: moued |n, the
Creot Room hod qotten too no|:y for khufu to wotch 1V |n µeoce, :o he'd dec|ded to become my
| que:: |t wo: o comµ||ment, but :hor|nq :µoce w|th o boboon wo:n't eo:y. Vou th|nh doq: ond cot:
:hed! 1ry qett|nq monhey ho|r off your c|othe:.
ºvhot': uµ!º | o:hed.
1hot': µretty much whot he o|woy: :o|d.
ºCreot,º | to|d h|m. º|'|| be on the bo|cony.º
|t wo: :t||| co|d ond ro|ny out:|de. 1he w|nd off the £o:t R|uer wou|d'ue mode Fe||x': µenqu|n:
:h|uer, but | d|dn't m|nd. For f|r:t t|me thot doy, | cou|d f|no||y be o|one.
5|nce our tro|nee: hod come to ßrooh|yn Hou:e, | fe|t ||he | wo: o|woy: on:toqe. | hod to oct
conf|dent euen when | hod doubt:. | cou|dn't |o:e my temµer w|th onybody (we||, exceµt 5od|e once |n o
wh||e), ond when th|nq: went wronq, | cou|dn't comµ|o|n too |oud|y. 1he other h|d: hod come |onq
d|:tonce: to tro|n w|th u:. Mony of them hod fouqht mon:ter: or moq|c|on: on the woy. | cou|dn't odm|t |
hod no |deo whot | wo: do|nq, or wonder o|oud whether th|: µoth-of-the-qod: th|nq wo: qo|nq to qet u:
o|| h|||ed. | cou|dn't :oy, Now thot you' re here, moybe th|: wo:n' t :uch o qood |deo.
ßut there were µ|enty of t|me: when thot wo: how | fe|t. v|th khufu occuµy|nq my room, the
bo|cony wo: the on|y µ|oce | cou|d be deµre::ed |n :o||tude.
| |oohed ocro:: the r|uer to Monhotton. |t wo: o qreot u|ew. vhen 5od|e ond | hod f|r:t orr|ued ot
ßrooh|yn Hou:e, Amo: hod to|d u: thot moq|c|on: tr|ed to :toy out of Monhotton. He :o|d Monhotton
hod other µrob|em:-whoteuer thot meont. And :omet|me: when | |oohed ocro:: the woter, | cou|d :weor
| wo: :ee|nq th|nq:. 5od|e |ouqhed obout |t, but once | thouqht | :ow o f|y|nq hor:e. Þrobob|y ju:t the
mon:|on': moq|c borr|er: cou:|nq oµt|co| |||u:|on:, but :t|||, |t wo: we|rd.
| turned to the on|y µ|ece of furn|ture on the bo|cony: my :cry|nq bow|. |t |oohed ||he o
b|rdboth-ju:t o bronze :oucer on o :tone µede:to|-but |t wo: my fouor|te moq|c |tem. vo|t hod mode |t
for me r|qht ofter he hod orr|ued.
One doy, |'d ment|oned how n|ce |t wou|d be to hnow whot wo: qo|nq on |n the other nome:, ond
he'd mode me th|: bow|.
|'d :een |n|t|ote: u:e them |n the F|r:t Nome, but they'd o|woy: :eemed µretty d|ff|cu|t to mo:ter.
Fortunote|y, vo|t wo: on exµert w|th enchontment:. |f my :cry|nq bow| hod been o cor, |t wou|d houe
been o Cod|||oc, w|th µower :teer|nq, outomot|c tron:m|::|on, ond o butt wormer. A|| | hod to do wo: f||| |t
w|th c|eon o||ue o|| ond :µeoh the commond word. 1he bow| wou|d :how me onyth|nq, o: |onq o: | cou|d
u|:uo||ze |t ond |t wo:n't :h|e|ded by moq|c. Þ|oce: |'d neuer been to were hord to :ee. Þeoµ|e or µ|oce:
thot |'d :een µer:ono||y or thot meont o |ot to me-tho:e were u:uo||y eo:y.
|'d :eorched for Z|o o hundred t|me: w|th no |uch. A|| | hnew wo: thot her o|d mentor, |:hondor,
hod µut her |nto o moq|co| :|eeµ ond h|dden her :omewhere, reµ|oc|nq her w|th o :hobt| to heeµ her :ofe,
but | hod no |deo where the reo| Z|o wo: :|eeµ|nq.
| tr|ed :ometh|nq new. | µo::ed my hond ouer the :oucer ond |moq|ned the Þ|oce of Red 5ond:.
Noth|nq hoµµened. |'d neuer been there, hod no |deo whot |t |oohed ||he oµort from µo::|b|y be|nq red
ond :ondy. 1he o|| :howed me on|y my own ref|ect|on.
Ohoy, :o | cou|dn't :ee Z|o. | d|d the next be:t th|nq. | concentroted on her :ecret room |n the F|r:t
Nome. |'d been there on|y once, but | remembered euery deto||. |t wo: the f|r:t µ|oce where |'d fe|t c|o:e to
Z|o. 1he :urfoce of the o|| r|µµ|ed ond become o moq|co| u|deo feed.
Noth|nq hod chonqed |n the room. Moq|c cond|e: :t||| burned on the ||tt|e tob|e. 1he wo||: were
couered w|th Z|o': µhotoqroµh:-µ|cture: of her fom||y u|||oqe on the N||e, her mother ond fother, Z|o o: o
:mo|| ch||d.
Z|o hod to|d me the :tory of how her fother hod uneorthed on £qyµt|on re||c ond occ|dento||y
un|eo:hed o mon:ter on the|r u|||oqe. Moq|c|on: come to defeot the mon:ter, but not before the ent|re
town wo: de:troyed. On|y Z|o, h|dden by her µorent:, hod :uru|ued. |:hondor, the o|d Ch|ef Lector, hod
tohen her to the F|r:t Nome ond tro|ned her. He'd been ||he o fother to her.
1hen, |o:t Chr|:tmo:, the qod: hod been un|eo:hed ot the ßr|t|:h Mu:eum. One of
them-Neµhthy:-hod cho:en Z|o o: o ho:t. ße|nq o ºqod||nqº wo: µun|:hob|e by deoth |n the F|r:t Nome,
whether you meont to ho:t the qod': :µ|r|t or not, :o |:hondor hod h|dden Z|o owoy. He'd µrobob|y
meont to br|nq her boch ofter he :orted th|nq: out, but he hod d|ed before thot cou|d hoµµen.
5o the Z|o |'d hnown wo: o reµ||co, but | hod to be||eue the :hobt| ond the reo| Z|o hod :hored
thouqht:. vhereuer the reo| Z|o wo:, :he wou|d remember me when :he wohe uµ. 5he'd hnow thot we
:hored o connect|on-moybe the :tort of o qreot re|ot|on:h|µ. | cou|dn't occeµt thot |'d fo||en |n |oue w|th
noth|nq but o µ|ece of µottery. And | def|n|te|y cou|dn't occeµt thot Z|o wo: beyond my µower to re:cue.
| concentroted on the |moqe |n the o||. | zoomed |n on o µhotoqroµh of Z|o r|d|nq on her fother':
:hou|der:. 5he wo: younq |n the µhoto, but you cou|d te|| :he wo: qo|nq to be beout|fu| when :he qrew uµ.
Her q|o::y b|och ho|r wo: cut |n o :hort wedqe, o: |t hod been when | hnew her. Her eye: were br||||ont
omber. 1he µhotoqroµher hod couqht her m|d-|ouqh, try|nq to couer her dod': eye: w|th her hond:. Her
:m||e rod|oted µ|oyfu| m|:ch|ef.
| w||| de:troy the q|r| you :eeh, the three-heoded :nohe hod :o|d, ju:t o: | de:troyed her u|||oqe.
| wo: :ure he meont Z|o': u|||oqe. ßut whot d|d thot ottoch :|x yeor: oqo houe to do w|th Aµoµh|:':
r|:|nq now! |f |t hodn't been ju:t o rondom occ|dent-|f Aµoµh|: hod meont to de:troy Z|o': home-then
| hod to f|nd Z|o. |t wo:n't ju:t µer:ono| onymore. 5he wo: connected :omehow to the com|nq
bott|e w|th Aµoµh|:. And |f the :nohe': worn|nq wo: true-|f | hod to choo:e between f|nd|nq the ßooh of
Ro ond :ou|nq Z|o! ve||, |'d o|reody |o:t my mom, my dod, ond my o|d ||fe for the :ohe of :toµµ|nq
Aµoµh|:. | wo:n't qo|nq to |o:e Z|o too.
| wo: contemµ|ot|nq how hord 5od|e wou|d h|ch me |f :he heord me :oy thot, when :omebody
hnoched on the bo|cony': q|o:: door.
ºHey.º vo|t :tood |n the doorwoy, ho|d|nq khufu': hond. ºUm, hoµe you don't m|nd. khufu |et me
ºAqh|º khufu conf|rmed. He |ed vo|t out:|de, then jumµed on the ro|||nq, d|:reqord|nq the
hundred-foot droµ to the r|uer be|ow.
ºNo µrob|em,º | :o|d. Not ||he | hod o cho|ce. khufu |oued vo|t, µrobob|y becou:e he µ|oyed
bo:hetbo|| better thon | d|d.
vo|t nodded ot the :cry|nq bow|. ºHow': thot worh|nq for you!º
1he |moqe of Z|o': room :t||| :h|mmered |n the o||. | woued my hond ouer the bow| ond chonqed |t
to :ometh|nq e|:e. 5|nce |'d been th|nh|nq obout 5od|e, | µ|ched Cron ond Cromµ:': ||u|nq room.
ºvorh|nq f|ne.º | turned boch to vo|t. ºHow ore you fee||nq!º
For :ome reo:on, h|: who|e body ten:ed. He |oohed ot me ||he | wo: try|nq to corner h|m. ºvhot do
you meon!º
º1he tro|n|nq room |nc|dent. 1he three-heoded :nohe. vhot d|d you th|nh | meont!º
1he tendon: |n h|: nech re|oxed. ºR|qht.:orry, ju:t o we|rd morn|nq. D|d Amo: houe on
| wondered whot |'d :o|d to uµ:et h|m, but | dec|ded to |et |t µo::. | f|||ed h|m |n on my
conuer:ot|on w|th Amo:. vo|t wo: u:uo||y µretty co|m obout :tuff. He wo: o qood ||:tener. ßut he :t|||
:eemed quorded, on edqe.
vhen | wo: done to|h|nq, he :teµµed ouer to the ro|||nq where khufu wo: µerched. ºAµoµh|: |et
thot th|nq |oo:e |n the hou:e! |f we hodn't :toµµed |t-º
ºAmo: th|nh: the :erµent d|dn't houe much µower. |t wo: ju:t here to de||uer o me::oqe ond :core
vo|t :hooh h|: heod |n d|:moy. ºve||.now |t hnow: our ob|||t|e:, | que::. |t hnow: Fe||x throw: o
meon :hoe.º
| cou|dn't he|µ but :m||e. ºVeoh. £xceµt thot wo:n't the ob|||ty | wo: th|nh|nq of. 1hot qroy ||qht
you b|o:ted the :nohe w|th.ond the woy you hond|ed the :hobt| µroct|ce dummy, turn|nq |t to du:t-º
ºHow d|d | do |t!º vo|t :hruqqed he|µ|e::|y. ºHone:t, Corter, | don't hnow. |'ue been th|nh|nq
obout |t euer :|nce, ond.|t wo: ju:t |n:t|nct|ue. At f|r:t | thouqht moybe the :hobt| hod :ome h|nd of
:e|f-de:truct :µe|| bu||t |nto |t, ond | occ|dento||y tr|qqered |t. 5omet|me: | con do thot w|th moq|c
|tem:-cou:e them to oct|uote or :hut down.º
ºßut thot wou|dn't exµ|o|n how you d|d |t oqo|n w|th the :erµent.º
ºNo,º he oqreed. He :eemed euen more d|:trocted by the |nc|dent thon | wo:. khufu :torted
qroom|nq vo|t': ho|r, |ooh|nq for buq:, ond vo|t d|dn't euen try to :toµ h|m.
ºvo|t.º | he:|toted, not wont|nq to µu:h h|m. º1h|: new ob|||ty, turn|nq th|nq: to du:t-|t wou|dn't
houe onyth|nq to do w|th.you hnow, whoteuer you were te|||nq loz!º
1here |t wo: oqo|n: thot coqed-on|mo| |ooh.
º| hnow,º | :o|d qu|ch|y, º|t': none of my bu:|ne::. ßut you'ue been oct|nq uµ:et |ote|y. |f there':
onyth|nq | con do.º
He :tored down ot the r|uer. He |oohed :o deµre::ed, khufu qrunted ond µotted h|m on the
º5omet|me: | wonder why | come here,º vo|t :o|d.
ºAre you h|dd|nq!º | o:hed. ºVou're qreot ot moq|c. One of the be:t| Vou'ue qot o future here.º
He µu||ed :ometh|nq out of h|: µochet-one of the dr|ed-uµ :corob: from the µroct|ce room.
º1honh:. ßut the t|m|nq.|t': ||he o bod johe. 1h|nq: ore comµ||coted for me, Corter. And the future.|
don't hnow.º
| qot the fee||nq he wo: to|h|nq obout more thon our four-doy deod||ne to :oue the wor|d.
ºLooh, |f there': o µrob|em.º | :o|d. º|f |t': :ometh|nq obout the woy 5od|e ond | ore teoch|nq-º
ºOf cour:e not. Vou'ue been qreot. And 5od|e-º
º5he ||he: you o |ot,º | :o|d. º| hnow :he con come on o ||tt|e :tronq. |f you wont her to boch off.º
[Ohoy, 5od|e. Moybe | :hou|dn't houe :o|d thot. ßut you oren't exoct|y :ubt|e when you ||he
:omebody. | f|qured |t m|qht be moh|nq the quy uncomfortob|e.]
vo|t octuo||y |ouqhed. ºNo, |t': noth|nq obout 5od|e. | ||he her, too. |'m ju:t-º
ºAqh|º khufu borhed :o |oud|y, |t mode me jumµ. He bored h|: fonq:. | turned ond reo||zed thot
he wo: :nor||nq ot the :cry|nq bow|.
1he :cene wo: :t||| Cron ond Cromµ:': ||u|nq room. ßut o: | :tud|ed |t more c|o:e|y, | reo||zed
:ometh|nq wo: wronq. 1he ||qht: ond 1V were off. 1he :ofo hod been t|µµed ouer.
| qot o meto|||c to:te |n my mouth.
| concentroted on :h|ft|nq the |moqe unt|| | cou|d :ee the front door. |t hod been :mo:hed to µ|ece:.
ºvhot': wronq!º vo|t come uµ next to me. ºvhot |: |t!º
º5od|e.º | focu:ed o|| my w|||µower on f|nd|nq her. | hnew her :o we|| thot | cou|d u:uo||y |ocote
her |n:tont|y, but th|: t|me the o|| turned b|och. A :horµ µo|n :tobbed beh|nd my eye:, ond the :urfoce of
the o|| eruµted |n f|ome:.
vo|t µu||ed me boch before my foce cou|d qet burned. khufu borhed |n o|orm ond t|µµed the
bronze :oucer ouer the ro|||nq, :end|nq |t hurt||nq toword the £o:t R|uer.
ºvhot hoµµened!º vo|t o:hed. º|'ue neuer :een o bow| do-º
ºÞorto| to London.º | couqhed, my no:tr||: :t|nq|nq w|th burned o||ue o||. ºNeore:t one. Now|º
vo|t :eemed to under:tond. H|: exµre::|on hordened w|th re:o|ue. ºOur µorto|': :t||| on coo|-down.
ve'|| need to qo boch to the ßrooh|yn Mu:eum.º
º1he qr|ff|n,º | :o|d.
ºVeoh. |'m com|nq too.º
| turned to khufu. ºCo te|| Amo: we're |eou|nq. 5od|e': |n troub|e. No t|me to exµ|o|n.º
khufu borhed ond |eoµed :tro|qht ouer the :|de of the bo|cony-toh|nq the exµre:: e|euotor down.
vo|t ond | bo|ted from my room, roc|nq uµ the :to|r: to the roof.
5 A D | £
z. A 0IIt Irem tbe 0eg-beoded 8ey
v£LL, VOU 1ALk£D LONC £NOUCH , brother deor.
A: you'ue been bobb||nq on, eueryone': been |moq|n|nq me frozen |n the doorwoy of Cron ond
Cromµ:': f|ot, :creom|nq ºAAHHHHH|º
And the foct thot you ond vo|t bo|ted off to London, o::um|nq | needed to be re:cued-men|
Ve:, fo|r enouqh. | d|d need he|µ. ßut thot': not the µo|nt.
ßoch to the :tory: |'d ju:t heord o uo|ce h|::|nq from uµ:to|r:: ºve|come home, 5od|e kone.º
Of cour:e, | hnew th|: wo: bod new:. My hond: t|nq|ed o: |f |'d :tuch my f|nqer: |n o ||qht :ochet. |
tr|ed to :ummon my :toff ond wond, but o: | moy houe ment|oned, |'m rubb|:h ot retr|eu|nq th|nq: from
the Duot on :hort not|ce. | cur:ed my:e|f for not com|nq µreµored-but reo||y, | cou|dn't houe been
exµected to weor ||nen µojomo: ond |uq oround o moq|c duffe| boq for o n|qht on the town w|th my
| con:|dered f|ee|nq, but Cron ond Cromµ: m|qht be |n donqer. | cou|dn't |eoue w|thout hnow|nq
thot they were :ofe.
1he :to|rwe|| creohed. At the toµ, the hem of o b|och dre:: oµµeored, o|onq w|th :ondo|ed feet
thot weren't qu|te humon. 1he toe: were qnor|ed ond |eothery, w|th ouerqrown no||: ||he o b|rd': to|on:.
A: the womon de:cended |nto fu|| u|ew, | mode o uery und|qn|f|ed wh|mµer|nq no|:e.
5he |oohed o hundred yeor: o|d, hunched ouer ond emoc|oted. Her foce, eor|obe:, ond nech
:oqqed w|th fo|d: of wr|nh|y µ|nh :h|n, o: |f :he'd me|ted under o :un|omµ. Her no:e wo: o drooµ|nq beoh.
Her eye: q|eomed |n the|r couernou: :ochet:, ond :he wo: o|mo:t bo|d-ju:t o few qreo:y b|och tuft: ||he
weed: µu:h|nq throuqh her croqqy :co|µ.
Her dre::, howeuer, wo: ob:o|ute|y µ|u:h. |t wo: m|dn|qht b|och, f|uffy, ond huqe ||he o fur coot :|x
:|ze: too b|q. A: :he :teµµed toword me, the moter|o| :h|fted, ond | reo||zed thot |t wo:n't fur. 1he dre::
wo: mode from b|och feother:.
Her hond: oµµeored from her :|eeue:-c|ow||he f|nqer: bechon|nq me forword. Her :m||e reueo|ed
teeth ||he brohen b|t: of q|o::. And d|d | ment|on the :me||! Not ju:t o|d µer:on :me||-o|d deod µer:on
º|'ue been wo|t|nq for you,º :o|d the hoq. ºFortunote|y, |'m uery µot|ent.º
| qro:µed the o|r for my wond. Of cour:e, | hod no |uch. v|thout |:|: |n my heod, | cou|dn't :|mµ|y
:µeoh word: of µower onymore. | hod to houe my too|:. My on|y chonce wo: to :to|| for t|me ond hoµe |
cou|d co||ect my thouqht: enouqh to occe:: the Duot.
ºvho ore you!º | o:hed. ºvhere ore my qrondµorent:!º
1he hoq reoched the foot of the :to|r:. From two meter: owoy, her feothery dre:: oµµeored to be
couered w|th b|t: of.eqod, wo: thot meot!
ºDon't you recoqn|ze me, deor!º Her |moqe f||chered. Her dre:: turned |nto o f|owered hou:ecoot.
Her :ondo|: become fuzzy qreen :||µµer:. 5he hod cur|y qroy ho|r, wotery b|ue eye:, ond the exµre::|on of
o :tort|ed robb|t. |t wo: Crondmother': foce.
º5od|e!º Her uo|ce :ounded weoh ond confu:ed.
Her |moqe chonqed boch to the b|och-feothered hoq, her horr|b|e me|ted foce qr|nn|nq
mo||c|ou:|y. ºVe:, deor. Vour fom||y |: b|ood of the µhorooh:, ofter o||-µerfect ho:t: for the qod:. Don't
mohe me :tro|n my:e|f, thouqh. Vour qrondmother': heort |:n't whot |t u:ed to be.º
My who|e body beqon to :hohe. |'d :een µo::e::|on before, ond |t wo: o|woy: h|deou:. ßut th|:-the
|deo of :ome £qyµt|on hoq toh|nq ouer my µoor o|d Cron-th|: wo: horr|fy|nq. |f | hod ony b|ood of the
µhorooh:, |t wo: turn|nq to |ce.
ºLeoue her o|one|º | meont to :hout, but |'m ofro|d my uo|ce wo: more of o terr|f|ed :queoh. ºCet
out of her|º
1he hoq coch|ed. ºOh, | con't do thot. Vou :ee, 5od|e kone, :ome of u: doubt your :trenqth.º
º5ome of who-the qod:!º
Her foce r|µµ|ed, momentor||y chonq|nq |nto o horr|b|e b|rd': heod, bo|d ond :co|y µ|nh w|th o
|onq :horµ beoh. 1hen :he morµhed boch |nto the qr|nn|nq hoq. | reo||y w|:hed :he wou|d mohe uµ her
º| don't bother the :tronq, 5od|e kone. |n the o|d doy:, | euen µrotected the µhorooh |f he µroued
h|m:e|f worthy. ßut the weoh.Ah, once they fo|| under the :hodow of my w|nq:, | neuer |et them qo. |
wo|t for them to d|e. | wo|t to feed. And | th|nh, my deor, thot you w||| be my next meo|.º
| µre::ed my boch to the door.
º| hnow you,º | ||ed. Front|co||y, | ron down my mento| ||:t of £qyµt|on qod:, try|nq to µ|oce the o|d
hoq. | :t||| wo:n't ho|f o: qood o: Corter ot remember|nq o|| tho:e odd nome:. [And no, Corter. 1hot': not
o comµ||ment. |t :|mµ|y meon: you're o b|qqer nerd.] ßut ofter weeh: of teoch|nq our tro|nee:, |'d qotten
Nome: he|d µower. |f | cou|d f|qure out my enemy': nome, thot wo: o qood f|r:t :teµ to defeot|nq
her. A qr|:|y b|och b|rd.A b|rd thot feed: on the deod.
1o my omozement, | octuo||y remembered :ometh|nq.
ºVou're the uu|ture qodde::,º | :o|d tr|umµhont|y. ºNechbutt, |: |t!º
1he o|d hoq :nor|ed. ºNehhbet|º
A|| r|qht, :o | wo: c|o:e.
ºßut you're :uµµo:ed to be o qood qodde::|º | µrote:ted.
1he qodde:: :µreod her orm:. 1hey turned |nto w|nq:-b|och, motted µ|umoqe buzz|nq w|th f||e:
ond :me|||nq of deoth. ºVu|ture: ore uery qood, 5od|e kone. ve remoue the :|ch|y ond weoh. ve c|rc|e
them unt|| they d|e, then feed on the|r corco::e:, c|eon|nq the wor|d of the|r :tench. Vou, on the other
hond, wou|d br|nq boch Ro, thot w|zened o|d corco:: of o :un qod. Vou wou|d µ|oce o weoh µhorooh on
the throne of the qod:. |t qoe: oqo|n:t noture| On|y the :tronq :hou|d ||ue. 1he deod :hou|d be eoten.º
Her breoth :me||ed ||he roodh|||.
De:µ|cob|e creoture:, uu|ture:: w|thout o doubt the mo:t d|:qu:t|nq b|rd: euer. | :uµµo:ed they
:erued the|r µurµo:e, but d|d they houe to be :o qreo:y ond uq|y! Cou|dn't we houe cute fuzzy robb|t:
thot c|eoned uµ roodh||| |n:teod!
ºR|qht,º | :o|d. ºF|r:t, qet out of my Cron. 1hen, |f you're o qood uu|ture, |'|| buy you :ome breoth
1h|: mu:t'ue been o :ore :ubject for Nehhbet. 5he |unqed ot me. | doue :|dewoy:, c|omber|nq ouer
the couch ond t|µµ|nq |t |n the µroce::. Nehhbet :weµt Cron': ch|no co||ect|on off the :|deboord.
ºVou w||| d|e, 5od|e kone|º :he :o|d. º| w||| µ|ch c|eon your bone:. 1hen the other qod: w||| :ee you
were not worthy|º
| wo|ted for onother ottoch, but :he ju:t q|ored ot me from the other :|de of the :ofo. |t occurred to
me thot uu|ture: don't u:uo||y h|||. 1hey wo|t for the|r µrey to d|e.
Nehhbet': w|nq: f|||ed the room. Her :hodow fe|| ouer me, wroµµ|nq me |n dorhne::. | beqon to
fee| troµµed, he|µ|e::, ||he o :mo|| :|ch|y on|mo|.
|f | hodn't te:ted my w||| oqo|n:t qod: before, | m|qht not houe recoqn|zed th|: o: moq|c-th|:
|n:|:tent noqq|nq |n the boch of my m|nd, urq|nq me to q|ue uµ |n de:µo|r. ßut |'d :tood oqo|n:t ony
number of horr|d qod: from the underwor|d. | cou|d hond|e o qreo:y o|d b|rd.
ºN|ce try,º | :o|d. ºßut |'m not qo|nq to ||e down ond d|e.º
Nehhbet': eye: q||ttered. ºÞerhoµ: |t w||| tohe :ome t|me, my deor, but o: | to|d you, |'m µot|ent. |f
you won't :uccumb, your morto| fr|end: w||| be here :oon. vhot ore the|r nome: -L|z ond £mmo!º
ºLeoue them out of th|:|º
ºAh, they'|| mohe |oue|y oµµet|zer:. And you houen't euen :o|d he||o to deor o|d Cromµ: yet.º
ß|ood roored |n my eor:. ºvhere |: he!º | demonded.
Nehhbet q|onced ot the ce|||nq. ºOh, he'|| be o|onq :hort|y. ve uu|ture: ||he to fo||ow o n|ce b|q
µredotor oround, you hnow, ond wo|t for |t to do the h||||nq.º
From uµ:to|r: come o muff|ed cro:h-o: |f o |orqe µ|ece of furn|ture hod been thrown out o
Cromµ: :houted, ºNo| No-o-o-o|º 1hen h|: uo|ce chonqed |nto the roor of o mod on|mo|.
1he |o:t of my couroqe me|ted |nto my combot boot:. ºvh-whot-º
ºVe:,º Nehhbet :o|d. ºßob| |: woh|nq.º
ºß-bobby! Vou'ue qot o qod nomed ßobby!º
ºß-A-ß-|,º the uu|ture qodde:: :nor|ed. ºVou reo||y ore qu|te den:e, oren't you, deor!º
1he ce|||nq µ|o:ter croched under the we|qht of heouy foot:teµ:. 5ometh|nq wo: tromµ|nq toword
the :to|rwe||.
ºßob| w||| tohe qood core of you,º Nehhbet µrom|:ed. ºAnd there w||| be µ|enty |eft ouer for me.º
ºCood-bye,º | :o|d, ond | bo|ted for the door.
Nehhbet d|dn't try to :toµ me. 5he :hr|ehed beh|nd me, ºA hunt| £xce||ent|º
| mode |t ocro:: the :treet when our front door exµ|oded. C|onc|nq boch, | :ow :ometh|nq emerqe
from the ru|n: ond du:t-o dorh ho|ry :hoµe much too b|q to be my qrondfother.
| d|dn't wo|t for o better |ooh.
| roced oround the corner of 5outh Co|onnode ond µ|owed :tro|qht |nto L|z ond £mmo.
º5od|e|º L|z ye|µed, droµµ|nq o b|rthdoy µre:ent. ºvhot': wronq!º
ºNo t|me|º | :o|d. ºCome on|º
ºN|ce to :ee you, too,º £mmo qrumb|ed. ºvhere ore you ru:h|nq off-º
1he creoture beh|nd me be||owed, qu|te c|o:e now.
º£xµ|o|n |oter,º | :o|d. ºUn|e:: you'd ||he to be r|µµed oµort by o qod nomed ßobby, fo||ow me|º
Looh|nq boch, | con oµµrec|ote ju:t whot o m|:erob|e b|rthdoy | wo: hou|nq, but ot the t|me | wo:
too µon|ched to fee| µroµer|y :orry for my:e|f.
ve ron down 5outh Co|onnode, the roor|nq beh|nd u: o|mo:t drowned out by L|z ond £mmo':
º5od|e|º £mmo :o|d. º|: th|: one of your johe:!º
5he'd qotten o b|t to||er but :t||| |oohed much the :ome, w|th her ouer:|ze, q||ttery q|o::e: ond :hort
:µ|hy ho|r. 5he wore o b|och |eother m|n|:h|rt, o fuzzy µ|nh jumµer, ond r|d|cu|ou: µ|otform :hoe: thot :he
cou|d bore|y wo|h |n, much |e:: run. vho': thot f|omboyont roch 'n' ro|| choµ from the '1O:-£|ton lohn! |f
he hod on |nd|on douqhter, :he m|qht |ooh ||he £mmo.
º|t': no johe,º | µrom|:ed. ºAnd for qod': :ohe, |o:e tho:e :hoe:|º
£mmo |oohed oµµo||ed. ºVou hnow how much the:e co:t!º
ºHone:t|y, 5od|e,º L|z µut |n. ºvhere ore you droqq|nq u: to!º
5he wo: dre::ed more :en:|b|y |n jeon: ond tro|ner:, o wh|te toµ ond den|m jochet, but :he |oohed
ju:t o: w|nded o: £mmo. 1uched under her orm, my b|rthdoy µre:ent wo: qett|nq o b|t :quo:hed. L|z wo:
o redheod w|th |ot: of frech|e:, ond when :he qot emborro::ed or ouerexerted her:e|f, her µo|e foce
become :o f|u:hed, her frech|e: d|:oµµeored. Under normo| c|rcum:tonce: £mmo ond | wou|d'ue teo:ed
her obout th|:, but not todoy.
ßeh|nd u:, the creoture roored oqo|n. | |oohed boch, wh|ch wo: o m|:tohe. | fo|tered to o :toµ, ond
my mote: ron |nto me.
For o br|ef moment, | thouqht, My qod, |t': khufu.
ßut khufu wo:n't the :|ze of o qr|zz|y beor. He d|dn't houe q||tter|nq :||uer fur, fonq: ||he :c|m|tor:,
or o |ooh of b|ood|u:t |n h|: eye:. 1he boboon rouoq|nq Conory vhorf |oohed ||he he wou|d eot onyth|nq,
not ju:t food: end|nq w|th on - o, ond wou|d houe no d|ff|cu|ty r|µµ|nq me ||mb from ||mb.
1he on|y qood new:: the oct|u|ty on the :treet hod momentor||y d|:trocted h|m. Cor: :werued to
ouo|d the beo:t. Þede:tr|on: :creomed ond ron. 1he boboon beqon ouerturn|nq tox|:, :mo:h|nq :hoµ
w|ndow:, ond cou:|nq o qenero| r|ot. A: he qot c|o:er to u:, | :ow o b|t of red c|oth honq|nq from h|: |eft
orm-the remo|n: of Cromµ:': fouor|te cord|qon. 5tuch on h|: foreheod were Cromµ:': q|o::e:.
Unt|| thot moment, the :hoch hodn't fu||y h|t me. 1hot th|nq wo: my qrondfother, who hod neuer
u:ed moq|c, neuer done onyth|nq to onnoy the £qyµt|on qod:.
1here were t|me: | d|dn't ||he my qrondµorent:, e:µec|o||y when they'd :o|d bod th|nq: obout my
dod, or |qnored Corter, or when they'd |et Amo: tohe me owoy |o:t Chr|:tmo: w|thout o f|qht. ßut :t|||,
they'd ro|:ed me for :|x yeor:. Cromµ: hod µut me on h|: |oµ ond reod me h|: du:ty o|d £n|d ß|yton :tor|e:
when | wo: :mo||. He'd wotched ofter me ot the µorh ond tohen me to the zoo count|e:: t|me:. He'd
bouqht me :weet: euen thouqh Cron d|:oµµroued. He moy houe hod o temµer, but he wo: o reo:onob|y
horm|e:: o|d µen:|oner. He certo|n|y d|dn't de:erue to houe h|: body tohen ouer ||he th|:.
1he boboon r|µµed the door off o µub ond :n|ffed |n:|de. Þon|ched µotron: :mo:hed throuqh o
w|ndow ond ron off down the :treet, :t||| ho|d|nq the|r µ|nt:. A µo||cemon ron toword the commot|on, :ow
the boboon, then turned ond ron the other woy, ye|||nq |nto h|: rod|o for re|nforcement:.
vhen foced w|th moq|co| euent:, morto| eye: tended to :hort-c|rcu|t, :end|nq the bro|n on|y
|moqe: |t cou|d under:tond. | hod no |deo whot the:e µeoµ|e thouqht they were :ee|nq -µo::|b|y on
e:coµed zoo on|mo| or on enroqed qunmon-but they hnew enouqh to f|ee. | wondered whot the London
:ecur|ty comero: wou|d mohe of the :cene |oter.
º5od|e,º L|z :o|d |n o uery :mo|| uo|ce, ºwhot |: thot!º
ºßob|,º | :o|d. º1he b|oody qod of boboon:. He': tohen ouer my qronddod. And he wont: to h||| u:.º
º£xcu:e me,º £mmo :o|d. ºD|d you ju:t :oy o boboon qod wont: to h||| u:!º
1he boboon roored, b||nh|nq ond :qu|nt|nq o: |f he hod forqotten whot he wo: do|nq. Moybe he'd
|nher|ted Cromµ:': ob:entm|ndedne:: ond bod eye:|qht. Moybe he d|dn't reo||ze h|: q|o::e: were on h|:
heod. He :n|ffed the qround, then be||owed |n fru:trot|on ond :mo:hed the w|ndow of o bohery.
| o|mo:t be||eued we'd qotten o b|t of qood |uch. Þerhoµ: we cou|d :neoh owoy. 1hen o dorh
:hoµe q||ded ouerheod, :µreod|nq |t: b|och w|nq: ond cry|nq, ºHere| Here|º
vonderfu|. 1he boboon hod o|r :uµµort.
º1wo qod:, octuo||y,º | to|d my fr|end:. ºNow, un|e:: there ore ony more que:t|on:-run|º
1h|: t|me L|z ond £mmo needed no encouroqement. £mmo h|ched off her :hoe:, L|z to::ed o:|de
my µre:ent-µ|ty, thot -ond we roced one onother down the :treet.
ve z|qzoqqed throuqh o||eywoy:, huqq|nq wo||: for couer wheneuer the uu|ture qodde:: :wooµed
ouerheod. | heord ßob| roor|nq o|onq beh|nd u:, ru|n|nq µeoµ|e': euen|nq: ond :mo:h|nq uµ the
ne|qhborhood, but he :eemed to houe |o:t our :cent for the moment.
ve µou:ed ot o 1 |n the rood wh||e | con:|dered wh|ch woy to run. |n front of u: :tood o ||tt|e
church, the :ort of onc|ent bu||d|nq you often f|nd |n London-o :omber b|t of med|euo| :tone wedqed
between o Coffò Nero ond o chem|:t': :hoµ w|th neon :|qn: offer|nq :e|ected ho|r µroduct: 1 for £I. 1he
church hod o t|ny qroueyord enc|o:ed w|th o ru:ty fence, but | wou|dn't houe µo|d |t much ottent|on |f o
uo|ce |n:|de the yord hodn't wh|:µered, º5od|e.º
|t': o m|roc|e my heort d|dn't jumµ out of my throot. | turned ond found my:e|f foce-to-foce w|th
Anub|:. He wo: |n h|: morto| form o: o teen boy w|th dorh, w|ndb|own ho|r ond worm brown eye:. He
wore o b|och Deod veother 1-:h|rt ond b|och jeon: thot f|t h|m extreme|y we||.
L|z ond £mmo ore not hnown for be|nq :mooth oround qood-|ooh|nq boy:. |n foct, the|r bro|n:
more or |e:: ceo:e to funct|on.
L|z qo:µed |n :|nq|e :y||ob|e: thot :ounded ||he Lomoze breoth|nq, ºOh-oh-h|-who-whot-!º
£mmo |o:t contro| of her |eq: ond :tumb|ed |nto me.
| :hot both of them o hor:h |ooh, then turned to Anub|:.
º|t': obout t|me :omeone fr|end|y :howed uµ,º | comµ|o|ned. º1here': o boboon ond o uu|ture
try|nq to h||| u:. vou|d you µ|eo:e :ort them out!º
Anub|: µur:ed h|: ||µ:, ond | qot the fee||nq thot he wo:n't there to br|nq me qood new:. ºCome
|nto my terr|tory,º he :o|d, oµen|nq the qroueyord qote. ºve need to to|h, ond there |:n't much t|me.º
£mmo :tumb|ed |nto me oqo|n. ºVour, um, terr|tory!º
L|z qu|µed. ºvho-oh-!º
º5hhh,º | to|d them, try|nq to :toy comµo:ed, o: |f | met hot quy: |n qroueyord: euery doy. |
q|onced down the :treet ond :ow no :|qn of ßob| or Nehhbet, but | cou|d :t||| heor them -the boboon qod
roor|nq, the uu|ture qodde:: :hr|eh|nq |n my Cron': uo|ce (|f Cron hod been eot|nq qroue| ond toh|nq
:tero|d:) º1h|: woy| 1h|: woy|º
ºvo|t here,º | to|d my fr|end:, ond | :teµµed |n:|de the qote.
|mmed|ote|y, the o|r turned co|der. M|:t ro:e from the :oqqy qround. 1he qroue:tone: :h|mmered,
ond eueryth|nq out:|de the fence went :||qht|y out of focu:. Anub|: mode me fee| unbo|onced |n mony
woy:, of cour:e, but | recoqn|zed th|: effect. ve were :||µµ|nq |nto the Duot-exµer|enc|nq the qroueyord
on two |eue|: ot once: Anub|:': wor|d ond m|ne.
He |ed me to o crumb||nq :tone :orcoµhoqu: ond bowed to |t re:µectfu||y. ºßeotr|ce, do you m|nd
|f we :|t!º
Noth|nq hoµµened. 1he |n:cr|µt|on on the :orcoµhoqu: hod worn owoy centur|e: oqo, but |
:uµµo:ed th|: wo: ßeotr|ce': f|no| re:t|nq µ|oce.
º1honh you.º Anub|: qe:tured for me to :|t. º5he doe:n't m|nd.º
ºvhot hoµµen: |f :he doe: m|nd!º | :ot down o b|t oµµrehen:|ue|y.
º1he £|qhteenth Nome,º Anub|: :o|d.
º£xcu:e me!º
º1hot': where you mu:t qo. V|od Men:h|hou ho: the :econd :ect|on of the ßooh of Ro |n the toµ
drower of h|: de:h, |n h|: heodquorter: |n 5t. Þeter:burq. |t': o troµ, of cour:e. He': hoµ|nq to bo|t you. ßut
|f wont the :cro||, you'ue qot no cho|ce. Vou :hou|d qo ton|qht, before he ho: t|me to :trenqthen h|:
defen:e: euen further. And 5od|e, |f the other qod: found out | wo: te|||nq you th|:, | wou|d be |n b|q
| :tored ot h|m. 5omet|me: he octed :o much ||he o teenoqer, |t wo: hord to be||eue he wo:
thou:ond: of yeor: o|d. | :uµµo:e thot come from ||u|nq o :he|tered ||fe |n the Lond of the Deod,
unoffected by the µo::oqe of t|me. 1he boy reo||y needed to qet out more.
ºVou're worr|ed obout qett|nq |nto troub|e!º | o:hed. ºAnub|:, not thot |'m unqrotefu|, but |'ue qot
b|qqer µrob|em: ot the moment. 1wo qod: houe µo::e::ed my qrondµorent:. |f you wont to |end o
º5od|e, | con't |nteruene.º He turned uµ h|: µo|m: |n fru:trot|on. º| to|d you when we f|r:t met, th|:
|:n't on octuo| µhy:|co| body.º
º5home,º | mumb|ed.
ºNoth|nq. Co on.º
º| con mon|fe:t |n µ|oce: of deoth, ||he th|: churchyord, but there |: uery ||tt|e | con do out:|de my
terr|tory. Now, |f you were o|reody deod ond you wonted o n|ce funero|, | cou|d he|µ you, but-º
ºOh, thonh:|º
5omewhere neorby, the boboon qod roored. C|o:: :hottered, ond br|ch: crumb|ed. My fr|end:
co||ed to me, but the :ound: were d|:torted ond muff|ed, o: |f | wo: heor|nq them from underwoter.
º|f | qo on w|thout my fr|end:,º | o:hed Anub|:, ºw||| the qod: |eoue them o|one!º
Anub|: :hooh h|: heod. ºNehhbet µrey: on the weoh. 5he hnow: thot hurt|nq your fr|end: w|||
weohen you. 1hot': why :he torqeted your qrondµorent:. 1he on|y woy to :toµ her |: by foc|nq her down.
A: for ßob|, he reµre:ent: the dorhe:t quo||t|e: of you µr|mote:: murderou: roqe, uncontro||ed :trenqth-º
ºve µr|mote:!º | :o|d. º5orry, d|d you ju:t co|| me o boboon!º
Anub|: :tud|ed me w|th o h|nd of confu:ed owe. º|'d forqotten how |rr|tot|nq you ore. My µo|nt
wo: thot he w||| h||| you ju:t for the :ohe of h||||nq.º
ºAnd you con't he|µ me.º
He qoue me o mournfu| |ooh w|th tho:e qorqeou: brown eye:. º| to|d you obout 5t. Þeter:burq.º
Lord, he wo: qood-|ooh|nq, ond :o onnoy|nq.
ºve||, then, qod of µretty much noth|nq u:efu|,º | :o|d, ºonyth|nq e|:e before | qet my:e|f h|||ed!º
He he|d uµ h|: hond. A :tronqe :ort of hn|fe moter|o||zed |n h|: qro:µ. |t wo: :hoµed ||he o 5weeney
1odd rozor: |onq, curuy, ond w|ched|y :horµ o|onq one edqe, mode from b|och meto|.
º1ohe th|:,º Anub|: :o|d. º|t w||| he|µ.º
ºHoue you :een the :|ze of the boboon! Am | :uµµo:ed to q|ue h|m o :houe!º
º1h|: |: not to f|qht ßob| or Nehhbet,º he :o|d, ºbut you w||| need |t :oon for :ometh|nq euen more
|mµortont. |t': o netjer| b|ode, mode from meteor|c |ron. |t': u:ed for o ceremony | once to|d you
obout-the oµen|nq of the mouth.º
ºVe:, we||, |f | :uru|ue the n|qht, |'|| be :ure to tohe th|: rozor ond oµen :omeone': mouth. 1honh:
euer :o much.º
L|z :creomed, º5od|e|º 1hrouqh the m|:t of the qroueyord, | :ow ßob| o few b|och: owoy,
|umber|nq toword the church. He'd :µotted u:.
º1ohe the Underqround,º Anub|: :uqqe:ted, µu|||nq me to my feet. º1here': o :tot|on ho|f o b|och
:outh. 1hey won't be ob|e to troch you uery we|| be|ow the eorth. Runn|nq woter |: o|:o qood. Creoture:
of the Duot ore weohened by cro::|nq o r|uer. |f you mu:t bott|e them, f|nd o br|dqe ouer the 1home:. Oh,
ond | to|d your dr|uer to come qet you.º
ºMy dr|uer!º
ºVe:. He wo:n't µ|onn|nq to meet you unt|| tomorrow, but-º
A red Royo| Mo|| box hurt|ed throuqh the o|r ond :mo:hed |nto the bu||d|nq next door. My fr|end:
:creomed ot me to hurry.
ºCo,º Anub|: :o|d. º|'m :orry | con't do more. ßut hoµµy b|rthdoy, 5od|e.º
He |eoned forword ond h|::ed me on the ||µ:. 1hen he me|ted |nto m|:t ond d|:oµµeored. 1he
qroueyord become normo| oqo|n-µort of the requ|or, un:h|mmery wor|d.
| :hou|d'ue been uery cro:: w|th Anub|:. k|::|nq me w|thout µerm|::|on-the nerue| ßut | :tood
there, µoro|yzed, :tor|nq ot ßeotr|ce': crumb||nq :orcoµhoqu:, unt|| £mmo ye||ed, º5od|e, come on|º
My fr|end: qrobbed my orm:, ond | remembered how to run.
ve bo|ted for the Conory vhorf tube :tot|on. 1he boboon roored ond :mo:hed throuqh troff|c
beh|nd u:. Ouerheod, Nehhbet :hr|ehed, º1here they qo| k||| them|º
ºvho wo: thot boy!º £mmo demonded o: we µ|unqed |nto the :tot|on. ºCod, he wo: hot.º
ºA qod,º | muttered. ºVe:.º
| :||µµed the b|och rozor |nto my µochet ond c|ombered down the e:co|otor, my ||µ: :t||| t|nq||nq
from my f|r:t h|::.
And |f | wo: humm|nq ºHoµµy ß|rthdoyº ond :m|||nq :tuµ|d|y o: | f|ed for my ||fe-we||, thot wo:
nobody': bu:|ne::, wo: |t!
5 A D | £
s. Mo)er 0eIoyt ot woterIee ttotIeø (we ApeIegIze Ier tbe 0Ioøt 8obeeø}
1H£ L ONDON U ND£RCROUND ho: |oue|y ocou:t|c:. 5ound echoed throuqh the tunne|:, :o o: we
de:cended | cou|d heor the ru:h of the tro|n:, the mu:|c|on: µ|oy|nq for co|n:, ond of cour:e the h|||er
boboon qod roor|nq for b|ood o: he µu|uer|zed the turn:t||e: beh|nd u:.
vhot w|th terror|:m threot: ond :teµµed-uµ :ecur|ty, one m|qht'ue exµected o few µo||ce to be on
hond, but :od|y not th|: t|me of euen|nq, not ot :uch o re|ot|ue|y :mo|| :tot|on. 5|ren: wo||ed from the
:treet oboue, but we'd be deod or |onq qone by the t|me morto| he|µ orr|ued. And |f the µo||ce d|d try to
:hoot ßob| wh||e he µo::e::ed Cromµ:': body-no. | forced my:e|f not to th|nh obout thot.
Anub|: hod :uqqe:ted troue||nq underqround. And |f | hod to f|qht, | :hou|d f|nd o br|dqe. | hod to
:t|ch w|th thot µ|on.
1here wo:n't much cho|ce of tro|n: ot Conory vhorf. 1honhfu||y, the lub||ee L|ne wo: runn|nq on
t|me. ve mode |t to the µ|otform, jumµed oboord the |o:t corr|oqe o: the door: were c|o:|nq, ond
co||oµ:ed on o bench.
1he tro|n |urched owoy |nto the dorh tunne|. ßeh|nd u:, | :ow no :|qn of ßob| or Nehhbet cho:|nq
º5od|e kone,º £mmo qo:µed. ºv||| you µ|eo:e te|| u: whot': qo|nq on!º
My µoor fr|end:. |'d neuer qotten them |nto th|: much troub|e, not euen when we qot :hut |n the
boy:' chonq|nq room ot :choo|. (Lonq :tory, wh|ch |nuo|ued o f|ue qu|d bet, Dy|on Çu|nn': hn|cher:, ond o
:qu|rre|. Þerhoµ: |'|| te|| you |oter.)
£mmo': feet were cut ond b||:tered from runn|nq borefoot. Her µ|nh jumµer |oohed ||he monq|ed
µood|e fur, ond her q|o::e: hod |o:t :euero| rh|ne:tone:.
L|z': foce wo: red o: o uo|ent|ne. 5he'd tohen off her den|m jochet, wh|ch :he neuer doe:, o: :he':
o|woy: co|d. Her wh|te toµ wo: b|otted w|th :weot. Her orm: were :o frech|y, they rem|nded me of Nut
the :hy qodde::': con:te||ot|on :h|n.
Of the two, £mmo |oohed more onnoyed, wo|t|nq for my exµ|onot|on. L|z |oohed horr|f|ed, her
mouth mou|nq o: |f :he wonted to :µeoh but hod |o:t her uoco| cord:. | thouqht :he'd mohe :ome
comment obout the b|oodth|r:ty qod: cho:|nq u:, but when :he f|no||y found her uo|ce, :he :o|d, º1hot boy
h|::ed you|º
Leoue |t to L|z to houe her µr|or|t|e: :tro|qht.
º| w||| exµ|o|n,º | µrom|:ed. º| hnow |'m o horr|b|e fr|end for droqq|nq you both |nto th|:. ßut µ|eo:e,
q|ue me o moment. | need to concentrote.º
ºConcentrote on whot!º £mmo demonded.
º£mmo, hu:h|º L|z ch|ded. º5he :o|d to |et her concentrote.º | c|o:ed my eye:, try|nq to co|m my
|t wo:n't eo:y, e:µec|o||y w|th on oud|ence. v|thout my :uµµ||e:, howeuer, | wo: defen:e|e::, ond |
wo:n't ||he|y to qet onother chonce to retr|eue them. | thouqht: Vou con do th|:, 5od|e. |t': on|y reoch|nq
|nto onother d|men:|on. On|y r|µµ|nq o teor |n the fobr|c of reo||ty.
| reoched out. Noth|nq hoµµened. | tr|ed oqo|n, ond my hond d|:oµµeored |nto the Duot. L|z
:hr|ehed. Fortunote|y, | d|dn't |o:e my concentrot|on (or my hond). My f|nqer: c|o:ed oround the :troµ of
my moq|c boq, ond | µu||ed |t free.
£mmo': eye: w|dened. º1hot': br||||ont. How d|d you do thot!º
| wo: wonder|nq the :ome th|nq, octuo||y. C|uen the c|rcum:tonce:, | cou|dn't be||eue |'d monoqed
|t on ju:t my :econd try.
º|t':, um.moq|c,º | :o|d.
My mote: :tored ot me, my:t|f|ed ond :cored, ond the enorm|ty of my µrob|em: :udden|y come
cro:h|nq down on me.
A yeor oqo, L|z, £mmo, ond | wou|d'ue been r|d|nq th|: tro|n to Fun|ond or the c|nemo. ve
wou|d'ue been |ouqh|nq ot the r|d|cu|ou: r|nq tone: on L|z': µhone or £mmo': Þhoto-:hoµµed µ|cture: of
the q|r|: we hoted ot :choo|. 1he mo:t donqerou: th|nq: |n my ||fe hod been Cron': cooh|nq ond Cromµ:':
temµer when he :ow my morh: for the term.
Now Cromµ: wo: o q|ont boboon. Cron wo: on eu|| uu|ture. My fr|end: were reqord|nq me o: |f |'d
droµµed from onother µ|onet, wh|ch wo:n't for from the truth.
£uen w|th my moq|c :uµµ||e: |n hond, | hod no |deo whot | wo: qo|nq to do. | d|dn't houe the fu||
µower of |:|: ot my commond onymore. |f | tr|ed to f|qht ßob| ond Nehhbet, | m|qht |njure my own
qrondµorent: ond wou|d ||he|y qet my:e|f h|||ed. ßut |f | d|dn't :toµ them, who wou|d! Cod|y µo::e::|on
wou|d euentuo||y burn out o humon ho:t. 1hot hod o|mo:t hoµµened to Unc|e Amo:, who wo: o
fu||-f|edqed moq|c|on ond hnew how to defend h|m:e|f. Cron ond Cromµ: were o|d, fro||, ond qu|te
unmoq|co|. 1hey d|dn't houe much t|me.
De:µo|r-much wor:e thon the uu|ture qodde::': w|nq: -ouerwhe|med me.
| d|dn't reo||ze | wo: cry|nq unt|| L|z µut her hond on my :hou|der. º5od|e, deor, we're :orry. |t': ju:t
o b|t.:tronqe, you hnow! 1e|| u: whot': the motter. Let u: he|µ.º
| tooh o :hohy breoth. |'d m|::ed my mote: :o much. |'d o|woy: thouqht them o b|t odd, but now
they :eemed b||::fu||y normo|-µort of o wor|d thot wo:n't m|ne onymore. 1hey were both try|nq to oct
broue, but | cou|d te|| they were terr|f|ed |n:|de. | w|:hed | cou|d |eoue them beh|nd, h|de them, heeµ them
out of horm': woy, but | remembered whot Nehhbet hod :o|d: 1hey'|| mohe |oue|y oµµet|zer:. Anub|: hod
worned thot the uu|ture qodde:: wou|d hunt down my fr|end: ond hurt them ju:t to hurt me. At |eo:t |f
they were w|th me, | cou|d try to µrotect them. | d|dn't wont to uµend the|r ||ue: the woy m|ne hod been,
but | owed them the truth.
º1h|: w||| :ound ob:o|ute|y mod,º | worned.
| qoue them the :horte:t uer:|on µo::|b|e-why |'d |eft London, how the £qyµt|on qod: hod e:coµed
|nto the wor|d, how |'d d|:couered my once:try o: o moq|c|on. | to|d them obout our f|qht w|th 5et, the r|:e
of Aµoµh|:, ond our |n:one |deo to owohen the qod Ro.
1wo :tot|on: µo::ed, but |t fe|t :o qood to te|| my fr|end: the :tory thot | rother |o:t troch of t|me.
vhen | wo: done, L|z ond £mmo |oohed ot one onother, no doubt wonder|nq how to qent|y te||
me | wo: bonher:.
º| hnow |t :eem: |mµo::|b|e,º | :o|d, ºbut-º
º5od|e, we be||eue you,º £mmo :o|d.
| b||nhed. ºVou do!º
º'Cour:e we do.º L|z': foce wo: f|u:hed, the woy :he qot ofter :euero| ro||er coo:ter r|de:. º|'ue neuer
heord you to|h :o :er|ou:|y obout onyth|nq. Vou-you'ue chonqed.º
º|t': ju:t |'m o moq|c|on now, ond.ond | con't be||eue how :tuµ|d thot :ound:.º
º|t': more thon thot.º £mmo :tud|ed my foce o: |f | wo: turn|nq |nto :ometh|nq qu|te fr|qhten|nq.
ºVou :eem o|der. More moture.º
Her uo|ce wo: t|nqed w|th :odne::, ond | reo||zed my mote: ond | were qrow|nq oµort. |t wo: o: |f
we :tood on oµµo:|te :|de: of o w|den|nq cho:m. And | hnew w|th q|oomy certo|nty the breoch wo:
o|reody too w|de for me to jumµ boch ocro::.
ºVour boyfr|end |: omoz|nq,º L|z odded, µrobob|y to cheer me uµ.
ºHe': not my.º | :toµµed. 1here wo: no w|nn|nq thot orqument w|th L|z. ße:|de:, | wo: :o m|xed
uµ obout thot b|oody jocho| Anub|:, | d|dn't hnow where to beq|n.
1he tro|n :|owed. | :ow the :|qn: for voter|oo 5tot|on.
ºOh, qod,º | :o|d. º| meont to qet off ot London ßr|dqe. | need o br|dqe.º
ºCon't we bochtroch!º L|z o:hed.
A roor from the tunne| beh|nd u: on:wered thot que:t|on. Looh|nq boch, | :ow o |orqe :hoµe w|th
q||tter|nq :||uer fur |oµ|nq o|onq the troch:. |t: foot touched the th|rd ro||, ond :µorh: f|ew, but the boboon
qod |umbered on, unfozed. A: the tro|n brohed, ßob| :torted to qo|n on u:.
ºNo qo|nq boch,º | :o|d. ºve'|| houe to mohe |t to voter|oo ßr|dqe.º
º1hot': ho|f o m||e from the :tot|on|º L|z µrote:ted. ºvhot |f |t cotche: u:!º
| rummoqed throuqh my boq ond µu||ed out my new :toff. |n:tont|y |t exµonded to fu|| |enqth, the
||on-corued t|µ b|oz|nq w|th qo|den ||qht. º1hen | :uµµo:e we'|| houe to f|qht.º
5hou|d | de:cr|be voter|oo 5tot|on o: |t wo: before or ofter we de:troyed |t! 1he mo|n concour:e
wo: mo::|ue. |t hod o µo||:hed morb|e f|oor, |ood: of :hoµ: ond h|o:h:, ond o q|o::-ond-q|rder ce|||nq h|qh
enouqh :o thot o he||coµter cou|d f|y obout |n:|de comfortob|y.
R|uer: of µeoµ|e f|owed |n ond out, m|x|nq, :eµorot|nq, ond occo:|ono||y co|||d|nq o: they mode
the|r woy to uor|ou: e:co|otor: ond µ|otform:.
vhen | wo: :mo||, the :tot|on bu||d|nq hod rother fr|qhtened me. | worr|ed thot the q|ont V|ctor|on
c|och honq|nq from the ce|||nq m|qht fo|| ond cru:h me. 1he onnouncer:' uo|ce: were much too |oud. (|
µrefer to be the no|:|e:t th|nq |n my enu|ronment, thonh you uery much.) 1he mo::e: of commuter:
:tond|nq me:mer|zed under the deµorture boord:, wotch|nq for the|r tro|n:, rem|nded me of o mob |n o
zomb|e mou|e-wh|ch, qronted, | :hou|dn't houe wotched o: o younq ch||d, but | wo: o|woy: rother
At ony rote, my mote: ond | were roc|nq throuqh the mo|n :tot|on, µu:h|nq our woy toword the
neore:t ex|t, when o :to|rwe|| beh|nd u: exµ|oded.
Crowd: :cottered o: ßob| c||mbed from the rubb|e. ßu:|ne::men :creomed, droµµ|nq the|r
br|efco:e: ond :µr|nt|nq for the|r ||ue:. L|z, £mmo, ond | µre::ed oqo|n:t the :|de of the Þoµercho:e h|o:h to
ouo|d qett|nq tromµ|ed by o qrouµ of tour|:t: ye|||nq |n |to||on.
ßob| how|ed. H|: fur wo: couered w|th qr|me ond :oot from h|: run throuqh the tunne|:. Cromµ:':
cord|qon wo: r|µµed to :hred: on h|: orm, but, m|rocu|ou:|y, h|: q|o::e: were :t||| on h|: heod.
He :n|ffed the o|r, µrobob|y try|nq to cotch my :cent. 1hen o dorh :hodow µo::ed ouerheod.
ºvhere ore you qo|nq, 5od|e kone!º Nehhbet :hr|ehed. 5he :oored throuqh the term|no|,
:wooµ|nq down on the o|reody µon|ched crowd:. ºvou|d you f|qht by runn|nq owoy! Vou ore not
An onnouncer': co|m uo|ce echoed throuqh the term|no|: º1he s:O2 tro|n for ßo:|nq:tohe w||| orr|ue
on µ|otform three.º
ºROOOAR|º ßob| :wotted o bronze :totue of :ome µoor fomou: b|ohe ond hnoched h|: heod
c|eon off. A µo||cemon ron forword, ormed w|th o µ|:to|. ßefore | cou|d ye|| ot h|m to :toµ, he f|red o :hot
ot ßob|. L|z ond £mmo both :creomed. 1he bu||et def|ected off ßob|': fur o: |f |t were mode of t|ton|um,
ond :hottered o neorby McDono|d': :|qn. 1he off|cer fo|nted deod owoy.
|'d neuer :een :o mony µeoµ|e c|eor out of o term|no| :o qu|ch|y. | con:|dered fo||ow|nq them, but
dec|ded |t wou|d be too donqerou:. | cou|dn't houe the:e |n:one qod: h||||nq |ood: of |nnocent µeoµ|e ju:t
becou:e | wo: |n the|r m|d:t, ond |f we tr|ed to jo|n the exodu:, we'd on|y qet :tuch or cru:hed |n o
º5od|e, |ooh|º L|z µo|nted uµ, ond £mmo ye|µed.
Nehhbet :o||ed |nto the ce|||nq q|rder: ond µerched there w|th the µ|qeon:. 5he q|ored down ot u:
ond cr|ed to ßob|, ºHere :he |:, my deor| Here|º
º| w|:h :he'd :hut uµ,º | muttered.
º|:|: wo: foo||:h to choo:e you|º Nehhbet ye||ed. º| w||| feed on your entro||:|º
ºROOOOAR|º :o|d ßob|, |n heorty oqreement.
º1he s:I4 tro|n for ßr|qhton |: de|oyed,º :o|d the onnouncer. ºve oµo|oq|ze for the |nconuen|ence.º
ßob| hod :een u: now. H|: eye: :mo|dered w|th µr|mo| roqe, but | o|:o :ow :ometh|nq of Cromµ: |n
h|: exµre::|on. 1he woy he furrowed h|: brow ond jutted out h|: ch|n-ju:t o: Cromµ: d|d when he qot
onqry ot the te||y ond ye||ed ot the ruqby µ|oyer:. 5ee|nq thot exµre::|on on the boboon qod o|mo:t
mode me |o:e my nerue.
| wo:n't qo|nq to d|e here. | wo:n't qo|nq to |et the:e two reµu|:|ue qod: hurt my fr|end: or burn uµ
my qrondµorent:.
ßob| |umbered toword u:. Now thot he'd found u:, he d|dn't :eem |n ony hurry to h||| u:. He ||fted
h|: heod ond mode o deeµ borh|nq :ound to the |eft ond r|qht, o: |f co|||nq out, :ummon|nq fr|end: for
d|nner. £mmo': f|nqer: duq |nto my orm. L|z wh|mµered, º5od|e.!º
1he crowd: hod mo:t|y c|eored out now. No other µo||ce were |n :|qht. Þerhoµ: they'd f|ed, or
µerhoµ: they were o|| on the|r woy to Conory vhorf, not reo||z|nq the µrob|em wo: now here.
ºve're not qo|nq to d|e,º | µrom|:ed my mote:. º£mmo, ho|d my :toff.º
ºVour-Oh, r|qht.º 5he tooh the :toff q|nqer|y o: |f |'d honded her o rochet |ouncher, wh|ch |
:uµµo:e |t cou|d'ue been w|th the µroµer :µe||.
ºL|z,º | ordered, ºwotch the boboon.º
ºvotch|nq the boboon,º :he :o|d. ºRother hord to m|:: the boboon.º
| rummoqed throuqh my moq|c boq, de:µerote|y toh|nq |nuentory. vond.qood for defen:e, but
oqo|n:t two qod: ot once, | needed more. 5on: of Horu:, moq|c cho|h-th|: wo:n't the µ|oce to drow o
µrotect|ue c|rc|e. | hod to qet to the br|dqe. | needed to buy t|me to qet out of th|: term|no|.
º5od|e.º L|z worned.
ßob| hod jumµed onto the roof of the ßody 5hoµ. He roored, ond :mo||er boboon: beqon to
oµµeor from euery d|rect|on-c||mb|nq ouer the heod: of f|ee|nq commuter:, :w|nq|nq down from the
q|rder:, µoµµ|nq out of the :to|rwe||: ond :hoµ:. 1here were dozen: of them, o|| weor|nq b|och-ond-:||uer
bo:hetbo|| jer:ey:. vo: bo:hetbo|| :ome :ort of |nternot|ono| boboon :µort!
Unt|| todoy, |'d been rother fond of boboon:. 1he one: |'d met before, ||he khufu ond h|: :oc|ob|e
fr|end:, were the :ocred on|mo|: of 1hoth, qod of hnow|edqe. 1hey were qenero||y w|:e ond he|µfu|. |
:u:µected, howeuer, thot ßob|': trooµ of boboon: wo: o d|fferent :ort o|toqether. 1hey hod b|oodred fur,
w||d eye:, ond fonq: thot wou|d'ue mode o :ober-toothed t|qer fee| |nodequote.
1hey beqon to c|o:e |n, :nor||nq o: they µreµored to µounce.
| µu||ed o b|och of wox from my boq-no t|me to fo:h|on o :hobt|. 1wo tyet omu|et:, the :ocred
morh of |:|:-oh, tho:e m|qht be he|µfu|. 1hen | found o corhed q|o:: u|o| |'d qu|te forqotten obout. |n:|de
wo: :ome murhy :|udqe: my f|r:t ottemµt ot o µot|on. |t hod been :|tt|nq ot the bottom of my boq for
oqe: becou:e |'d neuer been de:µerote enouqh to te:t |t.
| :hooh the µot|on. 1he ||qu|d q|owed w|th o :|ch|y qreen ||qht. ß|t: of qunh :w|r|ed |n:|de. |
uncorhed |t. 1he :tuff :me||ed wor:e thon Nehhbet.
ºvhot |: thot!º L|z o:hed.
ºD|:qu:t|nq,º | :o|d. ºAn|mot|on :cro|| b|ended w|th o||, woter, ond o few :ecret |nqred|ent:. Come
out o b|t chunhy, |'m ofro|d.º
ºAn|mot|on!º £mmo o:hed. ºVou're qo|nq to :ummon cortoon:!º
º1hot wou|d be br||||ont,º | odm|tted. ºßut th|: |: more donqerou:. |f | do |t r|qht, | con |nqe:t o
qreot deo| of moq|c w|thout burn|nq my:e|f uµ.º
ºAnd |f you do |t wronq!º L|z o:hed.
| honded them eoch on omu|et of |:|:. ºHo|d on to the:e. vhen | :oy Co, run for the tox| :tond:.
Don't :toµ.º
º5od|e,º £mmo µrote:ted, ºwhot on eorth-º
ßefore | cou|d |o:e my nerue, | qoqqed down the µot|on.
Aboue u:, Nehhbet coch|ed. ºC|ue uµ| Vou connot oµµo:e u:|º 1he :hodow of her w|nq: :eemed to
:µreod ouer the ent|re concour:e, moh|nq the |o:t of the commuter: f|ee |n µon|c ond we|qh|nq me down
w|th feor. | hnew |t wo: on|y o :µe||, but :t|||, the temµtot|on to occeµt o qu|ch deoth wo: o|mo:t
A few of the boboon: qot d|:trocted by the :me|| of food ond ro|ded the McDono|d':. 5euero|
other: were cho:|nq o tro|n conductor, beot|nq h|m w|th ro||ed-uµ fo:h|on moqoz|ne:.
5od|y, mo:t of the boboon: were :t||| focu:ed on u:. 1hey mode o |oo:e r|nq oround the Þoµercho:e
h|o:h. From h|: commond :tot|on otoµ the ßody 5hoµ, ßob| how|ed-o c|eor commond to ottoch.
1hen the µot|on h|t my qut. Moq|c cour:ed throuqh my body. My mouth to:ted ||he |'d :wo||owed
o deod tood, but now | under:tood why µot|on: were :o µoµu|or w|th onc|ent moq|c|on:.
1he on|mot|on :µe||, wh|ch hod tohen me doy: to wr|te ond wou|d normo||y tohe ot |eo:t on hour
to co:t, wo: now t|nq||nq |n my b|ood:treom. Þower :urqed |nto my f|nqert|µ:. My on|y µrob|em wo:
chonne||nq the moq|c, moh|nq :ure |t d|dn't burn me to o cr|:µ.
| co||ed on |:|: o: be:t | cou|d, toµµ|nq her µower to he|µ me :hoµe the enchontment. | enu|:|oned
whot | wonted, ond the r|qht word of µower µoµµed |nto my heod: Þrotect. N'doh. | re|eo:ed the moq|c.
A qo|d h|eroq|yµh burned |n front of me:
A woue of qo|den ||qht r|µµ|ed throuqh the concour:e. 1he trooµ of boboon: he:|toted. ßob|
:tumb|ed on the ßody 5hoµ roof. £uen Nehhbet :quowhed ond fo|tered on the ce|||nq q|rder:.
A|| oround the :tot|on, |non|mote object: beqon to moue. ßochµoch: ond br|efco:e: :udden|y
|eorned to f|y. Moqoz|ne roch:, qum, :weet:, ond o::orted co|d dr|nh: exµ|oded out of the :hoµ: ond
ottoched the boboon trooµ. 1he decoµ|toted bronze heod from the :totue :hot out of nowhere ond
:|ommed |nto ßob|': che:t, hnoch|nq h|m bochword throuqh the roof of the ßody 5hoµ. A tornodo of µ|nh
F|nonc|o| 1|me: new:µoµer: :w|r|ed toword the ce|||nq. 1hey enqu|fed Nehhbet, who :tumb|ed b||nd|y ond
fe|| :hr|eh|nq from her µerch |n o f|urry of µ|nh ond b|och.
ºCo|º | to|d my fr|end:. ve ron for the ex|t, weou|nq oround boboon: who were much too bu:y to
:toµ u:. One wo: be|nq µumme|ed by o ho|f-dozen bott|e: of :µorh||nq woter. Another wo: fend|nq off o
br|efco:e ond :euero| hom|hoze ß|ochßerry:.
ßob| tr|ed to r|:e, but o moe|:trom of ßody 5hoµ µroduct: :urqed oround h|m-|ot|on:, |oofo
:µonqe:, ond :homµoo: o|| botter|nq h|m, :qu|rt|nq |n h|: eye:, ond try|nq to q|ue h|m on extreme
moheouer. He be||owed |n |rr|tot|on, :||µµed, ond fe|| boch |nto the ru|ned :hoµ. | doubted my :µe|| wou|d
do the qod: ony µermonent domoqe, but w|th |uch |t wou|d heeµ them occuµ|ed for o few m|nute:.
L|z, £mmo, ond | mode |t out of the term|no|. v|th the ent|re :tot|on euocuoted, | d|dn't reo||y
exµect ony cob: to be |n the tox| queue, ond |ndeed the curb wo: emµty. | re:|qned my:e|f to runn|nq o||
the woy to voter|oo ßr|dqe, thouqh £mmo hod no :hoe:, ond the µot|on hod mode me queo:y.
ºLooh|º L|z :o|d.
ºOh, we|| done, 5od|e,º £mmo :o|d.
ºvhot!º | o:hed. ºvhot d|d | do!º
1hen | not|ced the chouffeur-on extreme|y :hort, :cruffy mon :tond|nq ot the end of the dr|ue |n o
b|och :u|t, ho|d|nq o µ|ocord thot reod kAN£.
| :uµµo:e my fr|end: thouqht |'d :ummoned h|m by moq|c. ßefore | cou|d te|| them d|fferent|y,
£mmo :o|d, ºCome on|º ond they :µr|nted toword the ||tt|e mon. | hod no cho|ce but to fo||ow. |
remembered whot Anub|: hod :o|d obout :end|nq my ºdr|uerº to meet me. | :uµµo:ed th|: mu:t be h|m,
but the c|o:er we qot, the |e:: eoqer | wo: to meet h|m.
He wo: :horter thon me by ho|f, :touter thon my Unc|e Amo:, ond uq||er thon onyone e|:e on the
µ|onet. H|: foc|o| feoture: were µo:|t|ue|y Neondertho|. Under h|: th|ch furry mono-brow, one eye wo:
b|qqer thon the other. H|: beord |oohed o: |f |t hod been u:ed to :croµe qreo:y µot:. H|: :h|n wo: µoxy
w|th red we|t:, ond h|: ho|r |oohed ||he o b|rd': ne:t thot hod been :et on f|re then :tomµed out.
vhen he :ow me, he :cow|ed, wh|ch d|d noth|nq to he|µ h|: oµµeoronce.
ºAbout t|me|º H|: occent wo: Amer|con. He be|ched |nto h|: f|:t, ond the :me|| of curry neor|y
hnoched me ouer. ºßo:t': fr|end! 5od|e kone!º
ºUm.µo::|b|y.º | dec|ded to houe o :er|ou: to|h w|th ßo:t obout her cho|ce of fr|end:. ºlu:t by the
woy, we houe two qod: try|nq to h||| u:.º
1he worty ||tt|e mon :moched h|: ||µ:, c|eor|y un|mµre::ed. ºCue:: you'|| wont o br|dqe, then.º
He turned toword the curb ond ye||ed, ºßOO|º
A b|och Mercede: ||mou:|ne oµµeored out of nowhere, o: |f |t hod been :cored |nto ex|:tence.
1he chouffeur q|onced boch ot me ond orched h|: brow. ºve||! Cet |n|º
|'d neuer been |n o ||mou:|ne before. | hoµe mo:t ore n|cer thon the one we tooh. 1he boch:eot
wo: ||ttered w|th toheowoy curry conto|ner:, o|d f|:h-ond-ch|µ µoµer, cr|:µ: boq:, ond uor|ou: d|rty :och:.
De:µ|te th|:, £mmo, L|z, ond | crommed toqether |n the boch, becou:e none of u: dored r|de uµ front.
Vou moy th|nh | wo: mod to qet |n o cor w|th o :tronqe mon. Vou're r|qht, of cour:e. ßut ßo:t hod
µrom|:ed u: he|µ, ond Anub|: hod to|d me to exµect o dr|uer. 1he foct thot our µrom|:ed he|µ wo: o ||tt|e
mon w|th bod hyq|ene ond o moq|co| ||mou:|ne d|d not µort|cu|or|y :urµr|:e me. |'d :een :tronqer th|nq:.
A|:o, | d|dn't houe much cho|ce. 1he µot|on hod worn off, ond the :tro|n of re|eo:|nq :o much
moq|c hod mode me ||qhtheoded ond wobb|y-|eqqed. | wo:n't :ure | cou|d'ue wo|hed to voter|oo ßr|dqe
w|thout µo::|nq out.
1he chouffeur f|oored the qo: ond borre|ed out of the :tot|on. 1he µo||ce hod cordoned |t off, but
our ||mo :werued oround the borr|code:, µo:t o c|u:ter of ßßC new: uon: ond o mob of :µectotor:, ond no
one µo|d u: ony ottent|on.
1he chouffeur :torted wh|:t||nq o tune thot :ounded ||he º5hort Þeoµ|e.º H|: heod bore|y reoched
the heodre:t. A|| | cou|d :ee of h|m wo: o qrubby ne:t of ho|r ond o :et of furry hond: on the whee|.
5tuch |n the :un u|:or wo: on |dent|f|cot|on cord w|th h|: µ|cture-:ort of. |t hod been tohen ot
µo|nt-b|onh ronqe, :how|nq on|y on out-of-focu: no:e ond o h|deou: mouth, o: |f he'd been try|nq to eot
the comero. 1he cord reod: Vour Dr|uer |: ߣ5.
ºVou're ße:, | que::!º | :o|d.
ºVe:,º he :o|d.
ºVour cor': o me::,º L|z muttered.
º|f one more µer:on rhyme:,º £mmo qrumb|ed, º|'|| throw uµ.º
º|: |t Mr. ße:!º | o:hed, try|nq to µ|oce h|: nome from £qyµt|on mytho|oqy. | wo: fo|r|y :ure they
hodn't hod o qod of chouffeur:. ºLord ße:! ße: the £xtreme|y 5hort!º
ºlu:t ße:,º he qrunted. ºOne :. And no, |t': NO1 o q|r|': nome. Co|| me ße::|e, ond |'|| houe to h|||
you. A: for be|nq :hort, |'m the dworf qod, :o whot do you exµect! Oh, there': bott|ed woter for you boch
there |f you're th|r:ty.º
| |oohed down. Ro|||nq obout ot my feet were two µort|o||y emµty bott|e: of woter. One hod
||µ:t|ch on the coµ. 1he other |oohed o: |f |t hod been chewed on.
ºNot th|r:ty,º | dec|ded.
L|z ond £mmo murmured oqreement. | wo: :urµr|:ed they weren't ob:o|ute|y cototon|c ofter the
euen|nq': euent:, but then oqo|n, they were my mote:. | d|dn't honq out w|th weoh-w|||ed q|r|:, d|d |!
£uen before | d|:couered moq|c, |t tooh o :tronq con:t|tut|on ond o fo|r omount of odoµtob|||ty to be my
fr|end. [And no comment from you, Corter.]
Þo||ce ueh|c|e: were b|och|nq voter|oo ßr|dqe, but ße: :werued oround them, jumµed the
µouement, ond heµt dr|u|nq. 1he µo||ce d|dn't euen b||nh.
ºAre we |nu|:|b|e!º | o:hed.
º1o mo:t morto|:.º ße: be|ched. º1hey're µretty den:e, oren't they! Þre:ent comµony exceµted, et
ºVou're reo||y o qod!º L|z o:hed.
ºHuqe,º ße: :o|d. º|'m huqe |n the wor|d of qod:.º
ºA huqe qod of dworue:,º £mmo morue|ed. ºVou meon o: |n 5now vh|te, or-º
ºA|| dworue:.º ße: woued h|: hond: exµon:|ue|y, wh|ch mode me o b|t neruou: o: he tooh both of
them off the whee|. º£qyµt|on: were :mort. 1hey honored µeoµ|e who were born unu:uo|. Dworue: were
con:|dered extreme|y moq|co|. 5o yeoh, |'m the qod of dworue:.º
L|z c|eored her throot. º|:n't there o more µo||te term we're :uµµo:ed to u:e nowodoy:! L|he.||tt|e
µer:on, or uert|co||y cho||enqed, or-º
º|'m not qo|nq to co|| my:e|f the qod of uert|co||y cho||enqed µeoµ|e,º ße: qrumb|ed. º|'m o dworf|
Now, here we ore, ju:t |n t|me.º
He :µun the cor to o :toµ |n the m|dd|e of the br|dqe. Looh|nq beh|nd u:, | o|mo:t |o:t the content:
of my :tomoch. A w|nqed b|och :hoµe wo: c|rc||nq ouer the r|uerbonh. At the end of the br|dqe, ßob| wo:
toh|nq core of the borr|code |n h|: own fo:h|on. He wo: throw|nq µo||ce cor: |nto the R|uer 1home: wh||e
the off|cer: :cottered ond f|red the|r weoµon:, thouqh the bu||et: :eemed to houe no effect on the boboon
qod': :tee|y fur.
ºvhy ore we :toµµ|nq!º £mmo o:hed.
ße: :tood on h|: :eot ond :tretched, wh|ch he cou|d do qu|te eo:||y. º|t': o r|uer,º he :o|d. ºCood
µ|oce to f|qht qod:, |f | do :oy :o my:e|f. A|| thot force of noture f|ow|nq underneoth our feet mohe: |t hord
to :toy onchored |n the morto| wor|d.º
Looh|nq ot h|m more c|o:e|y, | cou|d :ee whot he meont. H|: foce wo: :h|mmer|nq ||he o m|roqe.
A |umµ formed |n my throot. 1h|: wo: the moment of truth. | fe|t :|ch from the µot|on ond from
feor. | wo:n't ot o|| :ure | hod enouqh moq|c to combot tho:e two qod:. ßut | hod no cho|ce.
ºL|z, £mmo,º | :o|d. ºve're qett|nq out.º
ºCett|nq.out!º L|z wh|mµered.
£mmo :wo||owed. ºAre you :ure-º
º| hnow you're :cored,º | :o|d, ºbut you'|| need to do exoct|y o: | :oy.º
1hey nodded he:|tont|y ond oµened the cor door:. 1he µoor th|nq:. Aqo|n | w|:hed |'d |eft them
beh|nd, but hone:t|y, ofter :ee|nq my qrondµorent: µo::e::ed, | cou|dn't :tond the |deo of |ett|nq my
fr|end: out of my :|qht.
ße: :t|f|ed o yown. ºNeed my he|µ!º
ßob| wo: |umber|nq toword u:. Nehhbet c|rc|ed ouer h|m, :hr|eh|nq order:. |f the r|uer wo:
offect|nq them ot o||, they d|dn't :how |t.
| d|dn't :ee how o dworf qod cou|d :tond oqo|n:t tho:e two, but | :o|d, ºVe:. | need he|µ.º
ºR|qht.º ße: croched h|: hnuch|e:. º5o qet out.º
º| con't chonqe c|othe: w|th you |n the cor, con |! | houe to µut on my uq|y outf|t.º
ºUq|y outf|t!º
ºCo|º the dworf commonded. º|'|| be out |n o m|nute.º
|t d|dn't tohe much encouroqement. None of u: wonted to :ee ony more of ße: thon we hod to.
ve qot out, ond ße: |oched the door: beh|nd u:. 1he w|ndow: were heou||y t|nted, :o | cou|dn't :ee |n. For
o|| | hnew ße: wou|d be re|ox|nq, ||:ten|nq to mu:|c wh||e we qot :|ouqhtered. | certo|n|y d|dn't houe much
hoµe thot o wordrobe chonqe wo: qo|nq to defeot Nehhbet ond ßob|.
| |oohed ot my fr|qhtened mote:, then ot the two qod: chorq|nq toword u:.
ºve'|| mohe our |o:t :tond here.º
ºOh, no, no,º L|z :o|d. º| reo||y don't ||he the term '|o:t :tond.'º
| rummoqed throuqh my boq ond tooh out o µ|ece of cho|h ond the four :on: of Horu:. ºL|z, µut
the:e :totue: ot the cord|no| µo|nt:-North, 5outh, ond :o on. £mmo, tohe the cho|h. Drow o c|rc|e
connect|nq the :totue:. ve on|y houe o few :econd:.º
| troded her the cho|h for my :toff, then hod o horr|b|e f|o:h of déjò uu. |'d ju:t ordered my fr|end:
|nto oct|on exoct|y o: Z|o Ro:h|d hod bo::ed me the f|r:t t|me we'd foced on enemy qod toqether.
| d|dn't wont to be ||he Z|o. On the other hond, | reo||zed for the f|r:t t|me ju:t how much couroqe
:he mu:t'ue hod to :tond uµ to o qodde:: wh||e µrotect|nq two comµ|ete nou|ce:. | hote to :oy |t, but |t
qoue me o newfound re:µect for her. | w|:hed | hod her brouery.
| ro|:ed my :toff ond wond ond tr|ed to focu:. 1|me :eemed to :|ow down. | reoched out w|th my
:en:e: unt|| | wo: owore of eueryth|nq oround me-£mmo :crow||nq w|th cho|h to f|n|:h the c|rc|e, L|z':
heort beot|nq too fo:t, ßob|': mo::|ue feet µound|nq on the br|dqe o: he ron toword u:, the 1home:
f|ow|nq under the br|dqe, ond the current: of the Duot f|ow|nq oround me ju:t o: µowerfu||y.
ßo:t once to|d me the Duot wo: ||he on oceon of moq|c under the :urfoce of the morto| wor|d. |f
thot wo: true, then th|: µ|oce-o br|dqe ouer mou|nq woter-wo: ||he o jet :treom. Moq|c f|owed more
:tronq|y here. |t cou|d drown the unwory. £uen qod: m|qht be :weµt owoy.
| tr|ed to onchor my:e|f by concentrot|nq on the |ond:coµe oround me. London wo: my c|ty. From
here | cou|d :ee eueryth|nq-the Hou:e: of Þor||oment, the London £ye, euen C|eoµotro': Need|e on the
V|ctor|o £mbonhment, where my mother hod d|ed. |f | fo||ed now, :o c|o:e to where my mother hod
worhed her |o:t moq|c-No. | cou|dn't |et |t come to thot.
ßob| wo: on|y o meter owoy when £mmo f|n|:hed the c|rc|e. | touched my :toff to the cho|h, ond
qo|den ||qht f|ored uµ.
1he boboon qod :|ommed |nto my µrotect|ue force f|e|d ||he |t wo: o meto| wo||. He :toqqered
bochword. Nehhbet :werued owoy ot the |o:t :econd ond f|ew oround u:, cow|nq |n fru:trot|on.
Unfortunote|y, the c|rc|e': ||qht beqon to f||cher. My mum hod touqht me ot o uery younq oqe: for
euery oct|on there |: on equo| ond oµµo:|te reoct|on. 1hot oµµ||ed to moq|c o: we|| o: :c|ence. 1he force of
ßob|': o::ou|t |eft me :ee|nq b|och :µot:. |f he ottoched oqo|n, | wo:n't :ure | cou|d ho|d the c|rc|e.
| wondered |f | :hou|d :teµ out:|de |t, mohe my:e|f the torqet. |f | chonne|ed enerqy |nto the c|rc|e
f|r:t, |t m|qht mo|nto|n |t:e|f for o wh||e, euen |f | d|ed. At |eo:t, my fr|end: wou|d ||ue.
Z|o Ro:h|d hod µrobob|y been th|nh|nq the :ome th|nq |o:t Chr|:tmo: when :he :teµµed out:|de
her c|rc|e to µrotect Corter ond me. 5he reo||y hod been onnoy|nq|y broue.
ºvhoteuer hoµµen: to me,º | to|d my fr|end:, º:toy |n:|de the c|rc|e.º
º5od|e,º £mmo :o|d, º| hnow thot tone of uo|ce. vhoteuer you're µ|onn|nq, don't.º
ºVou con't |eoue u:,º L|z µ|eoded. 1hen :he :houted ot ßob| |n o :queohy uo|ce: ºC-qo owoy, you
horr|b|e foomy oµe| My fr|end here doe:n't wont to de:troy you, but-but :he w||||º
ßob| :nor|ed. He wo: rother foomy, thonh: to the ßody 5hoµ ottoch, ond he :me||ed wonderfu|.
5euero| d|fferent co|or: of :homµoo foom ond both beod: were motted |n h|: :||uer fur.
Nehhbet hodn't fored :o we||. 5he µerched otoµ o neorby |omµµo:t, |ooh|nq o: |f :he'd been
o::ou|ted by the ent|re content: of the ve:t Cornwo|| Þo:ty Comµony. ß|t: of hom, chee:e, ond µototo
:µ|ottered her feothery c|ooh, q|u|nq te:toment to the broue enchonted meotµ|e: thot hod q|uen the|r
br|ef ||ue: to de|oy her. Her ho|r wo: decoroted w|th µ|o:t|c forh:, noµh|n:, ond b|t: of µ|nh new:µr|nt. 5he
|oohed qu|te heen to teor me to :hred:.
1he on|y qood new:: ßob|': m|n|on: eu|dent|y hodn't mode |t out of the tro|n :tot|on. | |moq|ned o
trooµ of µo:ty-:µ|ottered boboon: :houed oqo|n:t µo||ce cor: ond hondcuffed. |t ||fted my :µ|r|t:
Nehhbet :nor|ed. ºVou :urµr|:ed u: ot the :tot|on, 5od|e kone. |'|| odm|t thot wo: we|| done. And
br|nq|nq u: to th|: br|dqe-o qood try. ßut we ore not :o weoh. Vou don't houe the :trenqth to f|qht u:
ony |onqer. |f you connot defeot u:, you houe no bu:|ne:: ro|:|nq Ro.º
ºVou |ot :hou|d be he|µ|nq me,º | :o|d. ºNot try|nq to :toµ me.º
ºUhh|º ßob| borhed.
º|ndeed,º oqreed the uu|ture qodde::. º1he :tronq :uru|ue w|thout he|µ. 1he weoh mu:t be h|||ed
ond eoten. vh|ch ore you, ch||d! ße hone:t.º
1he truth! | wo: obout to droµ. 1he br|dqe :eemed to be :µ|nn|nq beneoth me. 5|ren: wo||ed on
both bonh: of the r|uer. More µo||ce hod orr|ued ot the borr|code:, but for now they mode no effort to
ßob| bored h|: fonq:. He wo: :o c|o:e, | cou|d :me|| h|: :homµooed fur ond h|: horr|d breoth. 1hen |
|oohed ot Cromµ:': q|o::e: :t||| :tuch on h|: heod, ond o|| my onqer come boch.
º1ry me,º | :o|d. º| fo||ow the µoth of |:|:. Cro:: me, ond |'|| de:troy you.º
| monoqed to ||qht my :toff. ßob| :teµµed boch. Nehhbet f|uttered on her |omµµo:t. 1he|r form:
:h|mmered br|ef|y. 1he r|uer wo: weohen|nq them, |oo:en|nq the|r connect|on to the morto| wor|d ||he
|nterference on o mob||e µhone ||ne. ßut |t wo:n't enouqh.
Nehhbet mu:t'ue :een the de:µerot|on |n my foce. 5he wo: o uu|ture. 5he :µec|o||zed |n hnow|nq
when her µrey wo: f|n|:hed.
ºA qood |o:t effort, ch||d,º :he :o|d, o|mo:t w|th oµµrec|ot|on, ºbut you houe noth|nq |eft. ßob|,
1he boboon qod reored uµ on h|: boch |eq:. | qot reody to chorqe ond de||uer one f|no| bur:t of
enerqy-to toµ |nto my own ||fe :ource ond hoµefu||y uoµor|ze the qod:. | hod to mohe :ure L|z ond
£mmo :uru|ued.
1hen the ||mo': door oµened beh|nd me. ße: onnounced: ºNo one |: ottoch|nq onyone| £xceµt me,
of cour:e.º
Nehhbet :hr|ehed |n o|orm. | turned to :ee whot wo: qo|nq on. |mmed|ote|y, | w|:hed | cou|d burn
my eye: out of my heod.
L|z mode o qoqq|nq :ound. ºLord, no| 1hot': wronq|º
ºAqh|º £mmo :houted, |n µerfect boboon-:µeoh. ºMohe h|m :toµ|º
ße: hod |ndeed µut on h|: uq|y outf|t. He c||mbed onto the roof of the ||mo ond :tood there, |eq:
µ|onted, orm: oh|mbo, ||he 5uµermon-exceµt w|th on|y the underweor.
For tho:e fo|nt of heort, | won't qo |nto qreot deto||, but ße:, o|| of o meter to||, wo: :how|nq off h|:
d|:qu:t|nq µhy:|que -h|: µotbe||y, ho|ry ||mb:, owfu| feet, qro:: f|obby b|t:-ond weor|nq on|y o b|ue
5µeedo. |moq|ne the wor:t |ooh|nq µer:on you'ue euer :een on o µub||c beoch-the µer:on for whom
:w|mweor :hou|d be |||eqo|. ße: |oohed wor:e thon thot.
| wo:n't :ure whot to :oy exceµt: ºÞut on :ome c|othe:|º
ße: |ouqhed-the :ort of quffow thot :oy: Ho-ho| |'m omoz|nq|
ºNot unt|| they |eoue,º he :o|d. ºOr |'|| be forced to :core them boch to the Duot.º
º1h|: |: not your offo|r, dworf qod|º Nehhbet :nor|ed, ouert|nq her eye: from h|: horr|b|ene::. ºCo
º1he:e ch||dren ore under my µrotect|on,º ße: |n:|:ted.
º| don't hnow you,º | :o|d. º| neuer met you before todoy.º
ºNon:en:e. Vou exµre::|y o:hed for my µrotect|on.º
º| d|dn't o:h for the 5µeedo Þotro||º
ße: |eoµed off the ||mo ond |onded |n front of my c|rc|e, µ|oc|nq h|m:e|f between ßob| ond me.
1he dworf wo: euen more horr|b|e from beh|nd. H|: boch wo: :o ho|ry |t |oohed ||he o m|nh coot. And on
the boch of h|: 5µeedo wo: µr|nted dworf µr|de.
ße: ond ßob| c|rc|ed eoch other ||he wre:t|er:. 1he boboon qod :w|µed ot ße:, but the dworf wo:
oq||e. He :cromb|ed uµ ßob|': che:t ond heod-butted h|m |n the no:e. ßob| :toqqered bochword o: the
dworf cont|nued µound|nq owoy, u:|nq h|: foce o: o deod|y weoµon.
ºDon't hurt h|m|º | ye||ed. º|t': my Cromµ: |n there|º
ßob| :|umµed oqo|n:t the ro|||nq. He b||nhed, try|nq to reqo|n h|: beor|nq:, but ße: breothed on
h|m, ond the :me|| of curry mu:t'ue been too much. 1he boboon': hnee: buch|ed. H|: body :h|mmered
ond beqon to :hr|nh. He crumµ|ed on the µouement ond me|ted |nto o :tochy qroy-ho|red µen:|oner |n o
tottered cord|qon.
ºCromµ:|º | cou|dn't :tond |t. | |eft the µrotect|ue c|rc|e ond ron to h|: :|de.
ºHe'|| be f|ne,º ße: µrom|:ed. 1hen he turned toword the uu|ture qodde::. ºNow |t': your turn,
Nehhbet. Leoue.º
º| :to|e th|: body fo|r ond :quore|º :he wo||ed. º| ||he |t |n here|º
ºVou o:hed for |t.º ße: rubbed h|: hond:, tooh o deeµ breoth, ond d|d :ometh|nq | w||| neuer be
ob|e to ero:e from my memory.
|f | :|mµ|y :o|d he mode o foce ond ye||ed ßOO, thot wou|d be techn|co||y correct, but |t wou|dn't
beq|n to conuey the horror.
H|: heod :we||ed. H|: jow unh|nqed unt|| h|: mouth wo: four t|me: too b|q. H|: eye: bu|qed ||he
qroµefru|t:. H|: ho|r :tuch :tro|qht uµ ||he ßo:t':. He :hooh h|: foce ond woqq|ed h|: :||my qreen tonque
ond roored ßOOOO| :o |oud|y, the :ound ro||ed ocro:: the 1home: ||he o connon :hot. 1h|: b|o:t of µure
uq|y b|ew the feother: off Nehhbet': c|ooh ond dro|ned o|| the co|or from her foce. |t r|µµed owoy the
e::ence of the qodde:: ||he t|::ue µoµer |n o :torm. 1he on|y th|nq |eft wo: o dozed o|d womon |n o
f|ower-µr|nt dre::, :quott|nq on the |omµµo:t.
ºOh, deor.º Cron fo|nted.
ße: jumµed uµ ond couqht her before :he cou|d toµµ|e |nto the r|uer. 1he dworf': foce went boch
to normo|-we||, normo||y uq|y, ot |eo:t-o: he eo:ed Cron onto the µouement next to Cromµ:.
º1honh you,º | to|d ße:. ºNow, w||| you µ|eo:e µut on :ome c|othe:!º
He qoue me o toothy qr|n, wh|ch | cou|d houe ||ued w|thout. ºVou're o|| r|qht, 5od|e kone. | :ee
why ßo:t ||he: you.º
º5od|e!º my qrondfother qrooned, h|: eye||d: f|utter|nq oµen.
º|'m here, Cromµ:.º | :trohed h|: foreheod. ºHow do you fee|!º
º5tronqe crou|nq for monqoe:.º He went cro::-eyed. ºAnd µo::|b|y |n:ect:. Vou.you :oued u:!º
ºNot reo||y,º | odm|tted. ºMy fr|end here-º
ºCerto|n|y :he :oued you,º ße: :o|d. ºßroue q|r| you houe here. Çu|te o moq|c|on.º
Cromµ: focu:ed on ße: ond :cow|ed. ºß|oody £qyµt|on qod: |n the|r b|oody reueo||nq :w|mweor.
1h|: |: why we don't do moq|c.º
| :|qhed w|th re||ef. Once Cromµ: :torted comµ|o|n|nq, | hnew he wo: qo|nq to be o|| r|qht. Cron
wo: :t||| µo::ed out, but her breoth|nq :eemed :teody. 1he co|or wo: com|nq boch |nto her cheeh:.
ºve :hou|d qo,º ße: :o|d. º1he morto|: ore reody to :torm the br|dqe.º
| q|onced toword the borr|code: ond :ow whot he meont. An o::ou|t teom wo: qother|nq-heou||y
ormored men w|th r|f|e:, qrenode |ouncher:, ond µrobob|y mony other fun toy: thot cou|d h||| u:.
ºL|z, £mmo|º | co||ed. ºHe|µ me w|th my qrondµorent:.º
My fr|end: ron ouer ond :torted to he|µ Cromµ: :|t uµ, but ße: :o|d, º1hey con't come.º
ºvhot!º | demonded. ºßut you ju:t :o|d-º
º1hey're morto|:,º ße: :o|d. º1hey don't be|onq on your que:t. |f we're qo|nq to qet the :econd :cro||
from V|od Men:h|hou, we need to |eoue now.º
ºVou hnow obout thot!º 1hen | remembered thot he'd :µohen w|th Anub|:.
ºVour qrondµorent: ond fr|end: ore |n |e:: donqer here,º ße: :o|d. º1he µo||ce w||| que:t|on them,
but they won't :ee o|d µeoµ|e ond ch||dren o: o threot.º
ºve're not ch||dren,º £mmo qrumb|ed.
ºVu|ture:.º Cron wh|:µered |n her :|eeµ. ºMeotµ|e:.º
Cromµ: couqhed. º1he dworf |: r|qht, 5od|e.Co. |'|| be t|µtoµ |n o moment, thouqh |t': o µ|ty thot
boboon choµ cou|dn't |eoue me :ome of h|: µower. Houen't fe|t thot :tronq |n oqe:.º
| |oohed ot my bedroqq|ed qrondµorent: ond fr|end:. My heort fe|t |t wo: be|nq :tretched |n more
d|rect|on: thon ße:': foce. | reo||zed the dworf wo: r|qht: they'd be :ofer here foc|nq on o::ou|t teom thon
qo|nq w|th u:. And | reo||zed, too, thot they d|dn't be|onq on o moq|c que:t. My qrondµorent: hod cho:en
|onq oqo not to u:e the|r once:tro| ob|||t|e:. And my fr|end: were ju:t morto|:-broue, mod, r|d|cu|ou:,
wonderfu| morto|:. ßut they cou|dn't qo where | hod to qo.
º5od|e, |t': f|ne.º £mmo odju:ted her brohen q|o::e: ond tr|ed for o :m||e. ºve con hond|e the
µo||ce. von't be the f|r:t t|me we'ue hod to do :ome qu|ch to|h|nq, eh!º
ºve'|| tohe core of your qron ond qromµ:,º L|z µrom|:ed.
ºDon't need toh|nq core of,º Cromµ: comµ|o|ned. 1hen he brohe down |n o f|t of couqh|nq. ºlu:t
qo, my deor. 1hot boboon qod wo: |n my heod. | con te|| you-he meon: to de:troy you. F|n|:h your que:t
before he come: ofter you oqo|n. | cou|dn't euen :toµ h|m. | cou|dn't.º He |oohed re:entfu||y ot h|: :hohy
o|d hond:. º| neuer wou|d'ue forq|uen my:e|f. Now, off w|th you|º
º|'m :orry,º | to|d them o||. º| d|dn't meon-º
º5orry!º £mmo demonded. º5od|e kone, thot wo: the mo:t br||||ont b|rthdoy µorty euer| Now,
5he ond L|z both huqqed me, ond before | cou|d :tort cry|nq, ße: :heµherded me |nto the
ve droue north toword the V|ctor|o £mbonhment. ve were o|mo:t to the borr|code: when ße:
:|owed down.
ºvhot': wronq!º | o:hed. ºCon't we qo µo:t |nu|:|b|y!º
º|t': not the morto|: |'m worr|ed obout.º He µo|nted.
A|| the µo||ce, reµorter:, ond :µectotor: oround the borr|code: hod fo||en o:|eeµ. 5euero|
m|||tory-tyµe: |n body ormor were cur|ed on the µouement, cudd||nq the|r o::ou|t r|f|e: ||he teddy beor:.
5tond|nq |n front of the borr|code:, b|och|nq our cor, were Corter ond vo|t. 1hey were d|:heue|ed
ond breoth|nq heou||y, o: |f they'd run here o|| the woy from ßrooh|yn. 1hey both hod wond: ot the
reody. Corter :teµµed forword, µo|nt|nq h|: :word ot the w|nd:h|e|d.
ºLet her qo|º he ye||ed ot ße:. ºOr |'|| de:troy you|º
ße: q|onced boch ot me. º5hou|d | fr|qhten h|m!º
ºNo|º | :o|d. 1hot wo: :ometh|nq | d|dn't need to :ee oqo|n. º|'|| hond|e |t.º
| :teµµed out of the ||mo. ºHe||o, boy:. ßr||||ont t|m|nq.º
vo|t ond Corter frowned.
ºVou're not |n donqer!º vo|t o:hed me.
ºNot onymore.º
Corter |owered h|: :word re|uctont|y. ºVou meon the uq|y quy-º
º|: o fr|end,º | :o|d. ºßo:t': fr|end. He': o|:o our dr|uer.º
Corter |oohed equo| µort: confu:ed, onnoyed, ond uneo:y, wh|ch mode o :ot|:fy|nq end|nq to my
b|rthdoy µorty.
ºDr|uer to where!º he o:hed.
ºRu::|o, of cour:e,º | :o|d. ºHoµ |n.º
C A R 1 £ R
s. we 0et o VertIcoIIy CboIIeøged 7eur eI RuttIo
A5 U5UAL, 5 AD|£ L£F1 OU1 :ome |mµortont deto||:, ||he how vo|t ond | neor|y h|||ed our:e|ue:
try|nq to f|nd her.
|t wo:n't fun, f|y|nq to the ßrooh|yn Mu:eum. ve hod to honq from o roµe under the qr|ff|n': be||y
||he o couµ|e of 1orzon:, dodq|nq µo||cemen, emerqency worher:, c|ty off|c|o|:, ond :euero| o|d |od|e: who
cho:ed ofter u: w|th umbre||o: :creom|nq, º1here': the humm|nqb|rd| k||| |t|º
Once we monoqed to oµen o µorto|, | wonted to tohe Freoh throuqh w|th u:, but the qote of
:w|r||nq :ond h|nd of.we||, freohed h|m out, :o we hod to |eoue h|m beh|nd.
vhen we qot to London, te|eu|:|on mon|tor: |n the :torefront: were :how|nq footoqe of voter|oo
5tot|on-:ometh|nq obout o :tronqe d|:turbonce |n:|de the term|no| w|th e:coµed on|mo|: ond
w|nd:torm:. Cee, wonder who thot cou|d houe been! ve u:ed vo|t': omu|et for 5hu the o|r qod to
:ummon o bur:t of w|nd ond jumµ to voter|oo ßr|dqe. Of cour:e, we |onded r|qht |n the m|dd|e of o
heou||y ormed r|ot :quod. lu:t |uch thot | remembered the :|eeµ :µe||.
1hen, f|no||y, we were reody to chorqe |n ond :oue 5od|e, ond :he r|de: uµ |n o ||mou:|ne dr|uen by
on uq|y dworf |n o :w|m:u|t, ond :he occu:e: u: of be|nq |ote.
5o when :he to|d u: the dworf wo: dr|u|nq u: to Ru::|o, | wo: ||he, ºvhoteuer.º And | qot |nto the
1he ||mou:|ne droue throuqh ve:tm|n:ter wh||e 5od|e, vo|t, ond | troded :tor|e:.
After heor|nq whot 5od|e hod been throuqh, | d|dn't fee| :o bod obout my doy. A dreom of
Aµoµh|: ond o three-heoded :nohe |n the tro|n|nq room d|dn't :eem neor|y o: :cory o: qod: toh|nq ouer
our qrondµorent:. |'d neuer ||hed Cron ond Cromµ: thot much, but :t|||-y|he:.
| o|:o cou|dn't be||eue our chouffeur wo: ße:. Dod ond | u:ed to |ouqh obout h|: µ|cture: |n
mu:eum:-h|: bu|q|nq eye:, woqq|nq tonque, ond qenero| |och of c|oth|nq. 5uµµo:ed|y, he cou|d :core
owoy o|mo:t onyth|nq-:µ|r|t:, demon:, euen other qod:-wh|ch |: why the £qyµt|on commoner: hod
|oued h|m. ße: |oohed out for the ||tt|e quy.um, wh|ch wo:n't meont o: o dworf johe. |n the f|e:h, he
|oohed exoct|y ||he h|: µ|cture:, on|y |n fu|| co|or, w|th fu|| :me||.
ºve owe you,º | to|d h|m. º5o you're o fr|end of ßo:t':!º
H|: eor: turned red. ºVeoh.:ure. 5he o:h: me for o fouor once |n o wh||e. | try to he|µ out.º
| qot the fee||nq there wo: :ome h|:tory there he d|dn't wont to qo |nto.
ºvhen Horu: :µohe to me,º | :o|d, ºhe worned thot :ome of the qod: m|qht try to :toµ u: from
woh|nq Ro. Now | que:: we hnow who.º
5od|e exho|ed. º|f they d|dn't ||he our µ|on, on onqry text me::oqe wou|d'ue done. Nehhbet ond
ßob| o|mo:t tore me oµort|º
Her foce wo: o ||tt|e qreen. Her combot boot: were :µ|ottered w|th :homµoo ond mud, ond her
fouor|te |eother jochet hod o :to|n on the :hou|der thot |oohed :u:µ|c|ou:|y ||he uu|ture µooµ. 5t|||, | wo:
|mµre::ed thot :he wo: con:c|ou:. Þot|on: ore hord to mohe ond euen horder to u:e. 1here': o|woy: o
µr|ce for chonne||nq thot much moq|c.
ºVou d|d qreot,º | to|d her.
5od|e |oohed re:entfu||y ot the b|och hn|fe |n her |oµ-the ceremon|o| b|ode Anub|: hod q|uen her.
º|'d be deod |f not for ße:.º
ºNoh,º ße: :o|d. ºve||, ohoy, you µrobob|y wou|d be. ßut you wou|d'ue qone down |n :ty|e.º
5od|e turned the :tronqe b|och hn|fe o: |f :he m|qht f|nd |n:truct|on: wr|tten on |t.
º|t': o netjer|,º | :o|d. ºA :erµent b|ode. Þr|e:t: u:ed |t for-º
º1he oµen|nq-of-the-mouth ceremony,º :he :o|d. ºßut how doe: thot he|µ u:!º
ºDon't hnow,º | odm|tted. ºße:!º
ºDeoth r|tuo|:. | try to ouo|d them.º
| |oohed ot vo|t. Moq|c |tem: were h|: :µec|o|ty, but he d|dn't :eem to be µoy|nq ottent|on. £uer
:|nce 5od|e hod to|d u: obout her to|h w|th Anub|:, vo|t hod been owfu||y qu|et. He :ot next to her,
f|dqet|nq w|th h|: r|nq:.
ºVou ohoy!º | o:hed h|m.
ºVeoh.ju:t th|nh|nq.º He q|onced ot 5od|e. ºAbout netjer| b|ode:, | meon.º
5od|e tuqqed ot her ho|r, ||he :he wo: try|nq to mohe o curto|n between her ond vo|t. 1he ten:|on
between them wo: :o th|ch, | doubted euen o moq|c hn|fe cou|d cut throuqh |t.
ºß|oody Anub|:,º :he muttered. º| cou|d houe d|ed, for o|| he cored.º
ve droue |n :||ence for o wh||e ofter thot. F|no||y, ße: turned onto ve:tm|n:ter ßr|dqe ond
doub|ed boch ouer the 1home:.
5od|e frowned. ºvhere ore we qo|nq! ve need o µorto|. A|| the be:t ort|foct: ore ot the ßr|t|:h
ºVeoh,º ße: :o|d. ºAnd the other moq|c|on: hnow thot.º
ºOther moq|c|on:!º | o:hed.
ºk|d, the Hou:e of L|fe ho: bronche: o|| ouer the wor|d. London |: the N|nth Nome. v|th thot :tunt
ot voter|oo, M|:: 5od|e ju:t :ent uµ o b|q f|ore te|||nq De:jord|n:' fo||ower:, Here | om| Vou con bet
they're qo|nq to be hunt|nq you now. 1hey'|| be couer|nq the mu:eum |n co:e you mohe o run for |t.
Fortunote|y, | hnow o d|fferent µ|oce we con oµen o µorto|.º
5choo|ed by o dworf. |t :hou|d'ue occurred to me thot London hod other moq|c|on:. 1he Hou:e of
L|fe wo: euerywhere. Out:|de the :ecur|ty of ßrooh|yn Hou:e, there wo:n't o :|nq|e cont|nent where we'd
be :ofe.
ve rode throuqh 5outh London. 1he :cene o|onq Comberwe|| Rood wo: o|mo:t o: deµre::|nq o:
my thouqht:. Row: of qrubby br|ch oµortment: ond |ow-rent :hoµ: ||ned the :treet. An o|d womon
:cow|ed ot u: from o bu: :toµ. |n the doorwoy of on A:do qrocery :tore, o couµ|e of younq touqh quy:
eyed the Mercede: o: |f they wonted to :teo| |t. | wondered |f they were qod: or moq|c|on: |n d|:qu|:e,
becou:e mo:t µeoµ|e d|dn't not|ce the cor.
| cou|dn't |moq|ne where ße: wo: toh|nq u:. |t d|dn't :eem ||he the h|nd of ne|qhborhood where
you'd f|nd o |ot of £qyµt|on ort|foct:.
F|no||y o b|q µorh oµened uµ on our |eft: m|:ty qreen f|e|d:, tree-||ned µoth:, ond o few ru|ned
wo||: ||he oqueduct:, couered |n u|ne:. 1he |ond :|oµed uµword to o h|||toµ w|th o rod|o tower.
ße: jumµed the curb ond droue :tro|qht ouer the qro::, hnoch|nq down o :|qn thot :o|d heeµ to
the µoth. 1he euen|nq wo: qroy ond ro|ny, :o there weren't mony µeoµ|e oround. A couµ|e of joqqer: on
the neorby µoth d|dn't euen |ooh ot u:, o: |f they :ow Mercede: ||mo: four-whee||nq ocro:: the µorh euery
ºvhere ore we qo|nq!º | o:hed.
ºvotch ond |eorn, h|d,º ße: :o|d.
ße|nq co||ed ºh|dº by o quy :horter thon me wo: o ||tt|e onnoy|nq, but | heµt my mouth :hut. ße:
droue :tro|qht uµ the h|||. C|o:e to the toµ wo: :tone :to|rco:e moybe th|rty feet w|de, bu||t |nto the
h|||:|de. |t :eemed to |eod nowhere. ße: :|ommed on the brohe: ond we :werued to o :toµ. 1he h||| wo:
h|qher thon |'d reo||zed. 5µreod out be|ow u: wo: the who|e of London.
1hen | |oohed more c|o:e|y ot the :to|rco:e. 1wo :µh|nxe: mode of weothered :tone |oy on e|ther
:|de of the :to|r:, wotch|nq ouer the c|ty. £och wo: obout ten feet |onq w|th the tyµ|co| ||on': body ond
µhorooh': heod, but they :eemed toto||y out of µ|oce |n o London µorh.
º1ho:e oren't reo|,º | :o|d.
ße: :norted. ºOf cour:e they're reo|.º
º| meon they oren't from Anc|ent £qyµt. 1hey're not o|d enouqh.º
ºÞ|chy, µ|chy,º ße: :o|d. º1he:e ore the :to|r: to the Cry:to| Þo|oce. ß|q q|o::-ond-:tee| exh|b|t ho||
the :|ze of o cothedro| u:ed to :|t r|qht here on th|: h|||.º
5od|e frowned. º| reod obout thot |n :choo|. Çueen V|ctor|o hod o µorty there or :ometh|nq.º
ºA µorty or :ometh|nq!º ße: qrunted. º|t wo: the Crond £xh|b|t|on |n IssI. 5howco:e of ßr|t|:h
|mµer|o| m|qht, et cetero. 1hey hod qood cond|ed oµµ|e:.º
ºVou were there!º | o:hed.
ße: :hruqqed. º1he µo|oce burned down |n the I91O:, thonh: to :ome :tuµ|d moq|c|on:-but thot':
onother :tory. A|| thot': |eft now ore o few re||c:, ||he the:e :to|r: ond the :µh|nxe:.º
ºA :to|rwoy to nowhere,º | :o|d.
ºNot nowhere,º ße: corrected. º1on|qht |t'|| tohe u: to 5t. Þeter:burq.º
vo|t :ot forword. H|: |ntere:t |n the :totue: hod oµµorent|y :hohen h|m out of h|: q|oom.
ºßut |f the :µh|nxe: oren't reo||y £qyµt|on,º he :o|d, ºhow con they oµen o µorto|!º
ße: qoue h|m o toothy qr|n. ºDeµend: on whot you meon by reo||y £qyµt|on, h|d. £uery qreot
emµ|re |: o wonnobe £qyµt. Hou|nq £qyµt|on :tuff oround mohe: them fee| |mµortont.
1hot': why you'ue qot 'new' £qyµt|on ort|foct: |n Rome, Þor|:,
London-you nome |t. 1hot obe||:h |n vo:h|nqton-º
ºDon't ment|on thot one, µ|eo:e,º 5od|e :o|d.
ºAnywoy,º ße: cont|nued, ºthe:e ore :t||| £qyµt|on :µh|nxe:. 1hey were bu||t to µ|oy uµ the
connect|on between the ßr|t|:h £mµ|re ond the £qyµt|on £mµ|re. 5o yeoh, they con chonne| moq|c.
£:µec|o||y |f |'m dr|u|nq. And now.º He |oohed ot vo|t. º|t': µrobob|y t|me for you to qet out.º
| wo: too :urµr|:ed to :oy onyth|nq, but vo|t :tored ot h|: |oµ o: |f he'd been exµect|nq th|:.
ºHonq on,º 5od|e :o|d. ºvhy con't vo|t come w|th u:! He': o moq|c|on. He con he|µ.º
ße:': exµre::|on turned :er|ou:. ºvo|t, you houen't to|d them!º
º1o|d u: whot!º 5od|e demonded.
vo|t c|utched h|: omu|et:, o: |f there m|qht be one thot wou|d he|µ h|m ouo|d th|: conuer:ot|on.
º|t': noth|nq. Reo||y. |t': ju:t.| :hou|d he|µ out ot ßrooh|yn Hou:e. And loz thouqht-º
He fo|tered, µrobob|y reo||z|nq thot he :hou|dn't houe brouqht uµ her nome.
ºVe:!º 5od|e': tone wo: donqerou:|y co|m. ºHow': loz do|nq!º
º5he':-:he': :t||| |n o como,º vo|t :o|d. ºAmo: :oy: :he'|| µrobob|y mohe |t, but thot': not whot |-º
ºCood,º 5od|e :o|d. ºC|od :he'|| qet better. 5o you need to qet boch, then. 1hot': br||||ont. Off you
qo. Anub|: :o|d we :hou|d hurry.º
Not uery :ubt|e, the woy :he threw h|: nome out there. vo|t |oohed ||he :he'd h|ched h|m |n the
| hnew 5od|e wo:n't be|nq fo|r to h|m. From my conuer:ot|on w|th vo|t boch ot ßrooh|yn Hou:e, |
hnew he ||hed 5od|e. vhoteuer wo: bother|nq h|m, |t wo:n't ony h|nd of romont|c th|nq w|th loz. On the
other hond, |f | tr|ed to tohe h|: :|de, 5od|e wou|d ju:t te|| me to butt out. | m|qht euen mohe th|nq: wor:e
between 5od|e ond h|m.
º|t': not thot | wont to qo boch,º he monoqed.
ºßut you con't qo w|th u:,º ße: :o|d f|rm|y. | thouqht | heord concern |n h|: uo|ce, euen µ|ty. ºCo on,
h|d. |t': f|ne.º
vo|t f|:hed :ometh|nq out of h|: µochet. º5od|e, obout your b|rthdoy.you, um, µrobob|y don't
wont ony more µre:ent:. |t': not o moq|c hn|fe, but | mode th|: for you.º
He µoured o qo|d nech|oce |nto her hond. |t hod o :mo|| £qyµt|on :ymbo|:
º1hot': the bo:hetbo|| hooµ on Ro': heod,º | :o|d.
vo|t ond 5od|e both frowned ot me, ond | reo||zed | µrobob|y wo:n't moh|nq the moment more
moq|co| for them. º| meon |t': the :ymbo| thot :urround: Ro': :un crown,º | :o|d. ºA neuer-end|nq |ooµ, the
:ymbo| of etern|ty, r|qht!º
5od|e :wo||owed o: |f the moq|c µot|on wo: :t||| bubb||nq |n her :tomoch. º£tern|ty!º
vo|t :hot me o |ooh thot c|eor|y meont Þ|eo:e :toµ he|µ|nq.
ºVeoh,º he :o|d, ºum, |t': co||ed :hen. | ju:t thouqht, you hnow, you're |ooh|nq for Ro. And qood
th|nq:, |mµortont th|nq:, :hou|d be eterno|. 5o moybe |t'|| br|nq you |uch. | meont to q|ue |t to you th|:
morn|nq, but.| h|nd of |o:t my nerue.º
5od|e :tored the to||:mon q||tter|nq |n her µo|m. ºvo|t, | don't-| meon, thonh you, but-º
ºlu:t remember | d|dn't wont to |eoue,º he :o|d. º|f you need he|µ, |'|| be there for you.º He q|onced
ot me ond corrected h|m:e|f: º| meon both of you, of cour:e.º
ºßut now,º ße: :o|d, ºyou need to qo.º
ºHoµµy b|rthdoy, 5od|e,º vo|t :o|d. ºAnd qood |uch.º
He qot out of the cor ond trudqed down the h|||. ve wotched unt|| he wo: ju:t o t|ny f|qure |n the
q|oom. 1hen he uon|:hed |nto the wood:.
º1wo forewe|| q|ft:,º 5od|e muttered, ºfrom two qorqeou: quy:. | hote my ||fe.º
5he |otched the qo|d nech|oce oround her throot ond touched the :hen :ymbo|.
ße: qozed down ot the tree: where vo|t hod d|:oµµeored. ºÞoor h|d. ßorn unu:uo|, o|| r|qht. |t
|:n't fo|r.º
ºvhot do you meon!º | o:hed. ºvhy were you :o onx|ou: for vo|t to |eoue!º
1he dworf rubbed h|: :croqq|y beord. ºNot my µ|oce to exµ|o|n. R|qht now we'ue qot worh to do.
1he more t|me we q|ue Men:h|hou to µreµore h|: defen:e:, the horder th|: |: qo|nq to qet.º
| wo:n't reody to droµ |t, but ße: :tored ot me :tubborn|y, ond | hnew | wo:n't qo|nq to qet ony
more on:wer: from h|m. Nobody con |ooh :tubborn ||he o dworf.
º5o, Ru::|o,º | :o|d. ºßy dr|u|nq uµ on emµty :to|rco:e.º
º£xoct|y.º ße: f|oored the occe|erotor. 1he Mercede: churned qro:: ond mud ond borre|ed uµ the
:to|r:. | wo: :ure we'd reoch the toµ ond qet noth|nq but o brohen ox|e, but ot the |o:t :econd, o µorto| of
:w|r||nq :ond oµened |n front of u:. Our whee|: |eft the qround, ond the b|och ||mou:|ne f|ew heod|onq
|nto the uortex.
ve :|ommed |nto µouement on the other :|de, :cotter|nq o qrouµ of :urµr|:ed teenoqer:. 5od|e
qrooned ond µr|ed her heod off the heodre:t.
ºCon't we qo onywhere qent|y!º :he o:hed.
ße: h|t the w|µer: ond :croµed the :ond off our w|nd:h|e|d. Out:|de |t wo: dorh ond :nowy.
£|qhteenth-century :tone bu||d|nq: ||ned o frozen r|uer ||t w|th :treet|omµ:. ßeyond the r|uer q|owed more
fo|ry-to|e bu||d|nq:: qo|den church dome:, wh|te µo|oce:, ond ornote mon:|on: µo|nted £o:ter-eqq qreen
ond b|ue. | m|qht houe be||eued we'd troue|ed boch |n t|me three hundred yeor:-exceµt for the cor:, the
e|ectr|c ||qht:, ond of cour:e the teenoqer: w|th body µ|erc|nq:, dyed ho|r, ond b|och |eother c|othe:
:creom|nq ot u: |n Ru::|on ond µound|nq on the hood of the Mercede: becou:e we'd o|mo:t run them
º1hey con :ee u:!º 5od|e o:hed.
ºRu::|on:,º ße: :o|d w|th o h|nd of qrudq|nq odm|rot|on. ºVery :uµer:t|t|ou: µeoµ|e. 1hey tend to
:ee moq|c for whot |t |:. ve'|| houe to be corefu| here.º
ºVou'ue been here before!º | o:hed.
He qoue me o duh |ooh, then µo|nted to e|ther :|de of the cor. ve'd |onded between two :tone
:µh|nxe: :tond|nq on µede:to|:. 1hey |oohed ||he o |ot of :µh|nxe: |'d :een-w|th crowned humon heod: on
||on bod|e:-but |'d neuer :een :µh|nxe: couered |n :now.
ºAre tho:e outhent|c!º | o:hed.
ºForthe:t-north £qyµt|on ort|foct: |n the wor|d,º ße: :o|d. ºÞ|||oqed from 1hebe: ond brouqht uµ
here to decorote Ru::|o': new |mµer|o| c|ty, 5t. Þeter:burq. L|he | :o|d, euery new emµ|re wont: o µ|ece of
1he h|d: out:|de were :t||| :hout|nq ond bonq|nq on the cor. One :mo:hed o bott|e oqo|n:t our
ºUm,º 5od|e :o|d, º:hou|d we moue!º
ºNoh,º ße: :o|d. ºRu::|on h|d: o|woy: honq out by the :µh|nxe:. ßeen do|nq |t for hundred: of
ºßut |t': ||he m|dn|qht here,º | :o|d. ºAnd |t': :now|nq.º
ºD|d | ment|on they're Ru::|on!º ße: :o|d. ºDon't worry. |'|| tohe core of |t.º
He oµened h|: door. C|oc|er-co|d w|nd :weµt |nto the Mer-cede:, but ße: :teµµed out weor|nq
noth|nq but h|: 5µeedo. 1he h|d: boched uµ qu|ch|y. | cou|dn't b|ome them. ße: :o|d :ometh|nq |n Ru::|on,
then roored ||he o ||on. 1he h|d: :creomed ond ron.
ße:': form :eemed to r|µµ|e. vhen he qot boch |nto the cor, he wo: weor|nq o worm w|nter coot, o
fur-||ned hot, ond fuzzy m|tten:.
º5ee!º he :o|d. º5uµer:t|t|ou:. 1hey hnow enouqh to run from o qod.º
ºA :mo|| ho|ry qod |n o 5µeedo, ye:,º 5od|e :o|d. º5o whot do we do now!º
ße: µo|nted ocro:: the r|uer ot o q|ow|nq µo|oce of wh|te-ond-qo|d :tone. º1hot': the Herm|toqe.º
ºHerm|t: ||ue there!º 5od|e o:hed.
ºNo,º | :o|d. º|'ue heord of thot µ|oce. |t wo: the t:or': µo|oce. Now |t': o mu:eum. ße:t £qyµt|on
co||ect|on |n Ru::|o.º
ºDod tooh you there, | :uµµo:e!º 5od|e o:hed. | thouqht we were ouer the who|e
jeo|ou:-obout-troue||nq-the-wor|d-w|th-Dod th|nq, but euery once |n o wh||e |t croµµed uµ oqo|n.
ºve neuer went.º | tr|ed not to :ound defen:|ue. ºHe qot on |nu|tot|on to :µeoh there once, but he
ße: chuch|ed. ºVour dod wo: :mort. Ru::|on moq|c|on: don't exoct|y we|come out:|der:. 1hey
µrotect the|r terr|tory f|erce|y.º
5od|e :tored ocro:: the r|uer. ºVou meon the heodquorter: of the £|qhteenth Nome |: |n:|de the
º5omewhere,º ße: oqreed, ºbut |t': h|dden w|th moq|c, becou:e |'ue neuer found the entronce.
1hot µort you're |ooh|nq ot |: the v|nter Þo|oce, the o|d home of the t:or. 1here': o who|e comµ|ex of
other mon:|on: beh|nd |t. |'ue heord |t wou|d tohe e|euen doy: ju:t to :ee eueryth|nq |n o|| the Herm|toqe
ºßut un|e:: we wohe Ro, the wor|d end: |n four doy:,º | :o|d.
º1hree doy: now,º 5od|e corrected, º|f |t': ofter m|dn|qht.º
| w|nced. º1honh: for the rem|nder.º
º5o tohe the obbreu|oted tour,º ße: :o|d. º5tort w|th the £qyµt|on :ect|on. Cround f|oor, mo|n
ºAren't you com|nq w|th u:!º | o:hed.
ºHe con't, con he!º 5od|e que::ed. ºL|he ßo:t cou|dn't enter De:jord|n:' hou:e |n Þor|:. 1he
moq|c|on: chorm the|r heodquorter: oqo|n:t the qod:. |:n't thot r|qht!º
ße: mode on euen uq||er foce. º|'|| wo|h you down to the br|dqe, but | con't qo ony forther. |f | cro::
the R|uer Neuo too c|o:e to the Herm|toqe, |'|| :et off o|| h|nd: of o|orm:. Vou'|| houe to :neoh |n:|de
ºßreoh|nq |nto o mu:eum ot n|qht,º 5od|e muttered. ºve'ue hod :uch qood |uch w|th thot.º
º-ond f|nd the entronce to the £|qhteenth Nome. And don't qet coµtured o||ue.º
ºvhot do you meon!º | o:hed. º|t': better to be coµtured deod!º
1he |ooh |n h|: eye: wo: qr|m. ºlu:t tru:t me. Vou don't wont to be Men:h|hou': µr|:oner.º
ße: :noµµed h|: f|nqer:, ond :udden|y we were weor|nq f|eece µorho:, :h| µont:, ond w|nter boot:.
ºCome on, mo||:h|,º he :o|d. º|'|| wo|h you to the Duort:ouyy ßr|dqe.º
1he br|dqe wo: on|y o few hundred yord: owoy, but |t :eemed forther. Morch obu|ou:|y wo:n't
:µr|nqt|me |n 5t. Þeter:burq. 1he dorh, the w|nd, ond the :now mode |t fee| more ||he lonuory |n A|o:ho.
Þer:ono||y, | wou|d'ue µreferred o :we|ter|nq doy |n the £qyµt|on de:ert. £uen w|th the worm c|othe: ße:
hod :ummoned for u:, my teeth cou|dn't :toµ chotter|nq.
ße: wo:n't |n o hurry. He heµt :|ow|nq down ond q|u|nq u: the qu|ded tour unt|| | thouqht my no:e
wou|d fo|| off from fro:tb|te. He to|d u: we were on Vo:||eu:hy |:|ond, ocro:: the Neuo R|uer from the
center of 5t. Þeter:burq. He µo|nted out the d|fferent church :µ|re: ond monument:, ond when he qot
exc|ted, he :torted :||µµ|nq |nto Ru::|on.
ºVou'ue :µent o |ot of t|me here,º | :o|d.
He wo|hed |n :||ence for o few µoce:. ºMo:t of thot wo: |onq oqo. |t wo:n't-º
He :toµµed :o obruµt|y, | :tumb|ed |nto h|m. He :tored ocro:: the :treet ot o b|q µo|oce w|th
conory ye||ow wo||: ond o qreen qob|ed roof. L|t uµ |n the n|qht throuqh o :w|r| of :now, |t |oohed unreo|,
||he one of the qho:t|y |moqe: |n the F|r:t Nome': Ho|| of Aqe:.
ºÞr|nce Men:h|hou': µo|oce,º ße: muttered.
H|: uo|ce wo: fu|| of |ooth|nq. | o|mo:t thouqht he wo: qo|nq to ye|| ßOO ot the bu||d|nq, but he
ju:t qr|tted h|: teeth.
5od|e |oohed ot me for on exµ|onot|on, but | wo:n't o wo|h|nq v|h|µed|o ||he :he :eemed to th|nh.
| hnew :tuff obout £qyµt, but Ru::|o! Not :o much.
ºVou meon Men:h|hou o: |n V|od the |nho|er!º | o:hed.
ºHe': o de:cendont.º ße: cur|ed h|: ||µ w|th d|:to:te. He :o|d o Ru::|on word | wo: w||||nq to bet wo:
o µretty bod |n:u|t. ºßoch |n the :euenteen hundred:, Þr|nce Men:h|hou threw o µorty for Þeter the
Creot-the t:or who bu||t th|: c|ty. Þeter |oued dworue:. He wo: o |ot ||he the £qyµt|on: thot woy. He
thouqht we were qood |uch, :o he o|woy: heµt :ome of u: |n h|: court. Anywoy, Men:h|hou wonted to
enterto|n the t:or, :o he thouqht |t wou|d be funny to :toqe o dworf wedd|nq. He forced them.he forced
u: to dre:: uµ, µretend to qet morr|ed, ond donce oround. A|| the b|q fo|h were |ouqh|nq, jeer|nq.º
H|: uo|ce tro||ed off.
ße: de:cr|bed the µorty ||he |t wo: ye:terdoy. 1hen | remembered thot th|: we|rd ||tt|e quy wo: o
qod. He'd been oround for eon:.
5od|e µut her hond on h|: :hou|der. º|'m :orry, ße:. Mu:t houe been owfu|.º
He :cow|ed. ºRu::|on moq|c|on:.they |oue coµtur|nq qod:, u:|nq u:. | con :t||| heor thot wedd|nq
mu:|c, ond the t:or |ouqh|nq.º
ºHow'd you qet owoy!º | o:hed.
ße: q|ored ot me. Obu|ou:|y, |'d o:hed o bod que:t|on.
º£nouqh of th|:.º ße: turned uµ h|: co||or. ºve're wo:t|nq t|me.º
He forqed oheod, but | qot the fee||nq he wo:n't reo||y |eou|nq Men:h|hou': µo|oce beh|nd.
5udden|y |t: cheery ye||ow wo||: ond br|qht|y ||t w|ndow: |oohed :|n|:ter.
Another hundred yord: throuqh the b|tter w|nd, ond we reoched the br|dqe. On the other :|de, the
v|nter Þo|oce :h|mmered.
º|'|| tohe the Mercede: the |onq woy oround,º ße: :o|d. ºDown to the next br|dqe, ond c|rc|e :outh
of the Herm|toqe. Le:: ||he|y to o|ert the moq|c|on: thot |'m here.º
Now | reo||zed why he wo: :o µorono|d obout :ett|nq off o|orm:. Moq|c|on: hod :nored h|m |n 5t.
Þeter:burq once before. | remembered whot he'd to|d u: |n the cor: Don't qet coµtured o||ue.
ºHow do we f|nd you |f we :ucceed!º 5od|e o:hed.
ºvhen you :ucceed,º ße: :o|d. º1h|nh µo:|t|ue, q|r|, or the wor|d end:.º
ºR|qht.º 5od|e :h|uered |n her new µorho. ºÞo:|t|ue.º
º|'|| meet you on the Neu:hy Þro:µeht, the mo|n :treet w|th o|| the :hoµ:, ju:t :outh of the
Herm|toqe. |'|| be ot the Choco|ote Mu:eum.º
º1he whot now!º | o:hed.
ºve||, |t': not reo||y o mu:eum. More of o :hoµ-c|o:ed th|: t|me of n|qht, but the owner o|woy:
oµen: uµ for me.
1hey'ue qot choco|ote eueryth|nq-che:: :et:, ||on:, V|od|m|r Len|n heod:-º
º1he commun|:t quy!º | o:hed.
ºVe:, Þrofe::or ßr||||ont,º ße: :o|d. º1he commun|:t quy, |n choco|ote.º
º5o |et me qet th|: :tro|qht,º 5od|e :o|d. ºve breoh |nto o heou||y quorded Ru::|on not|ono|
mu:eum, f|nd the moq|c|on:' :ecret heodquorter:, f|nd o donqerou: :cro||, ond e:coµe. Meonwh||e, you w|||
be eot|nq choco|ote.º
ße: nodded :o|emn|y. º|t': o qood µ|on. |t m|qht worh. |f :ometh|nq hoµµen: ond | con't meet you
ot the Choco|ote Mu:eum, our ex|t µo|nt |: the £qyµt|on ßr|dqe, to the :outh ot the Fontonho R|uer. lu:t
turn on the-º
º£nouqh,º 5od|e :o|d. ºVou w||| meet u: ot the choco|ote :hoµ. And you w||| µrou|de me w|th o
toheowoy boq. 1hot |: f|no|. Now, qo|º
ße: qoue her o |oµ:|ded :m||e. ºVou're ohoy, q|r|.º
He trudqed boch toword the Mercede:.
| |oohed ocro:: the ho|f-frozen r|uer to the v|nter Þo|oce. 5omehow, London d|dn't :eem o: dreory
or donqerou: onymore.
ºAre we |n o: much troub|e o: | th|nh!º | o:hed 5od|e.
ºMore,º :he :o|d. ºLet': qo cro:h the t:or': µo|oce, :ho|| we!º
C A R 1 £ R
to. Aø 0Id Red PrIeød Cemet te VItIt
C£11|NC |N5|D£ 1H£ H £RM|1AC£ wo:n't o µrob|em.
5tote-of-the-ort :ecur|ty doe:n't µrotect oqo|n:t moq|c. 5od|e ond | hod to comb|ne force: to qet
µo:t the µer|meter, but w|th o ||tt|e concentrot|on, |nh ond µoµyru:, ond :ome toµµed enerqy from our
qod|y fr|end: |:|: ond Horu:, we monoqed to µu|| off o :hort :tro|| throuqh the Duot.
One m|nute we were :tond|nq |n the obondoned Þo|oce 5quore. 1hen eueryth|nq went qroy ond
m|:ty. My :tomoch t|nq|ed ||he | wo: |n free fo||. ve :||µµed out of :ynch w|th the morto| wor|d ond µo::ed
throuqh the |ron qote: ond :o||d :tone |nto the mu:eum.
1he £qyµt|on room wo: on the qround f|oor, ju:t o: ße: hod :o|d. ve re-entered the morto| reo|m
ond found our:e|ue: |n the m|dd|e of the co||ect|on: :orcoµhoq| |n q|o:: co:e:, h|eroq|yµh|c :cro||:, :totue: of
qod: ond µhorooh:. |t wo:n't much d|fferent from o hundred other £qyµt|on co||ect|on: |'d :een, but the
:ett|nq wo: µretty |mµre::|ue. A uou|ted ce|||nq :oored ouerheod. 1he µo||:hed morb|e f|oor wo: done |n o
wh|te-ondqroy d|omond µottern, wh|ch mode wo|h|nq on |t h|nd of ||he wo|h|nq on on oµt|co| |||u:|on. |
wondered how mony room: there were ||he th|: |n the t:or': µo|oce, ond |f |t reo||y tooh e|euen doy: to :ee
them o||. | hoµed ße: wo: r|qht obout the :ecret entronce to the nome be|nq :omewhere |n th|: room. ve
d|dn't houe e|euen doy: to :eorch. |n |e:: thon :euenty-two hour:, Aµoµh|: wou|d breoh free. |
remembered thot q|ow|nq red eye beneoth the :corob :he||:-o force of choo: :o µowerfu|, |t cou|d me|t
humon :en:e:. 1hree doy:, ond thot th|nq wou|d be un|eo:hed on the wor|d.
5od|e :ummoned her :toff ond µo|nted |t ot the neore:t :ecur|ty comero. 1he |en: croched ond
mode o :ound ||he o buq zoµµer. £uen |n the be:t of :|tuot|on:, techno|oqy ond moq|c don't qet o|onq.
One of the eo:|e:t :µe||: |n the wor|d |: to mohe e|ectron|c: mo|funct|on. | ju:t houe to |ooh ot o ce|| µhone
funny to mohe |t b|ow uµ. And comµuter:! Forqet obout |t. | |moq|ned 5od|e hod ju:t :ent o moq|co|
µu|:e throuqh the :ecur|ty :y:tem thot wou|d fry euery comero ond :en:or |n the networh.
5t|||, there were other h|nd: of :urue|||once-moq|co| h|nd:. | µu||ed o µ|ece of b|och ||nen ond o
µo|r of crude wox :hobt| out of my boq. | wroµµed the :hobt| |n the c|oth ond :µohe o commond word: º|'
1he h|eroq|yµh for H|de q|owed br|ef|y ouer the c|oth. A mo:: of dorhne:: b|oomed from the
µochoqe, ||he o :qu|d': |nh c|oud. |t exµonded unt|| |t couered both 5od|e ond me |n o qouzy bubb|e of
:hodow:. ve cou|d :ee throuqh |t, but hoµefu||y noth|nq cou|d :ee |n. 1he c|oud wou|d be |nu|:|b|e to
onyone out:|de.
ºVou qot |t r|qht th|: t|me|º 5od|e :o|d. ºvhen d|d you mo:ter the :µe||!º
| µrobob|y b|u:hed. |'d been ob:e::ed w|th f|qur|nq out the |nu|:|b|||ty :µe|| for month:, euer :|nce |'d
:een Z|o u:e |t |n the F|r:t Nome.
ºActuo||y |'m :t|||-º A qo|d :µorh :hot out of the c|oud ||he o m|n|oture f|reworh: rochet. º|'m :t|||
worh|nq on |t.º
5od|e :|qhed. ºve||.better thon |o:t t|me. 1he c|oud |oohed ||he o |ouo |omµ. And the t|me before,
when |t :me||ed ||he rotten eqq:-º
ºCou|d we ju:t qet qo|nq!º | o:hed. ºvhere :hou|dwe:tort!º
Her eye: |oched on one of the d|:µ|oy:. 5he dr|fted toword |t |n o tronce.
º5od|e!º | fo||owed her to o ||me:tone qroue morher-o :te|e-obout two feet by three feet. 1he
de:cr|µt|on next to |t wo: |n Ru::|on ond £nq||:h.
º'From the tomb of the :cr|be |µ|,'º | reod o|oud. º'vorhed |n the court of k|nq 1ut.' vhy ore you
5tuµ|d me. 1he µ|cture on the qroue:tone :howed the deceo:ed :cr|be honor|nq Anub|:. After
to|h|nq w|th Anub|: |n µer:on, 5od|e mu:t'ue found |t :tronqe to :ee h|m |n o three-thou:ond-yeor-o|d
tomb µo|nt|nq, e:µec|o||y when he wo: µ|ctured w|th the heod of o jocho|, weor|nq o :h|rt.
ºvo|t ||he: you.º
| houe no |deo why | b|urted thot out. 1h|: wo:n't the t|me or the µ|oce. | hnew | wo:n't do|nq vo|t
ony fouor: by toh|nq h|: :|de. ßut |'d :torted to fee| bod for h|m ofter ße: h|ched h|m out of the ||mo. 1he
quy hod come o|| the woy to London to he|µ me :oue 5od|e, ond we'd dumµed h|m |n Cry:to| Þo|oce
Þorh ||he on unwonted h|tchh|her.
| wo: h|nd of onqry ot 5od|e for q|u|nq h|m the co|d :hou|der ond cru:h|nq :o hord on Anub|:, who
wo: f|ue thou:ond yeor: too o|d for her ond not euen humon. Þ|u:, the woy :he :nubbed vo|t rem|nded
me too much of the woy Z|o hod treoted me ot f|r:t. And moybe, |f | wo: hone:t w|th my:e|f, | wo: o|:o
|rr|toted w|th 5od|e becou:e :he'd :o|ued her own µrob|em: |n London w|thout need|nq our he|µ.
vow. 1hot :ounded reo||y :e|f|:h. ßut | :uµµo:e |t wo: true. Amoz|nq how mony d|fferent woy: o
younqer :|:ter con onnoy you ot once.
5od|e d|dn't tohe her eye: off the :te|e. ºCorter, you houe no |deo whot you're to|h|nq obout.º
ºVou're not q|u|nq the quy o chonce,º | |n:|:ted. ºvhoteuer': qo|nq on w|th h|m, |t': qot noth|nq to
do w|th you.º
ºVery reo::ur|nq, but thot': not-º
ºße:|de:, Anub|: |: o qod. Vou don't hone:t|y th|nh-º
ºCorter|º :he :noµµed. My c|ooh|nq :µe|| mu:t'ue been :en:|t|ue to emot|on, becou:e onother qo|d
:µorh wh|:t|ed ond µoµµed from our not-:o-|nu|:|b|e c|oud. º| wo:n't |ooh|nq ot th|: :tone becou:e of
ºVou weren't!º
ºNo. And |'m certo|n|y not hou|nq on orqument w|th you obout vo|t. Controry to whot you m|qht
th|nh, | don't :µend euery woh|nq hour th|nh|nq obout boy:.º
ºlu:t mo:t woh|nq hour:!º
5he ro||ed her eye:. ºLooh ot the qroue:tone, b|rdbro|n. |t': qot o border oround |t, ||he o w|ndow
frome or-º
ºA door,º | :o|d. º|t': o fo|:e door. Lot: of tomb: hod tho:e. |t wo: ||he o :ymbo||c qotewoy for the
deod µer:on': bo, :o |t cou|d qo boch ond forth from the Duot.º
5od|e µu||ed her wond ond troced the edqe: of the :te|e. º1h|: b|ohe |µ| wo: o :cr|be, wh|ch wo:
onother word for moq|c|on. He cou|d'ue been one of u:.º
º5o moybe thot': why the :tone |: q|ow|nq, Corter. vhot |f th|: fo|:e door': not fo|:e!º
| |oohed ot the :te|e more c|o:e|y, but | d|dn't :ee ony q|ow. | thouqht moybe 5od|e wo:
ho||uc|not|nq from exhou:t|on or too much µot|on |n her :y:tem. 1hen :he touched her wond to the center
of the :te|e ond :µohe the f|r:t commond word we'd euer |eorned: ºv' µeh.º
Oµen. A qo|den h|eroq|yµh burned on the :tone:
1he qroue morher :hot out o beom of ||qht ||he o mou|e µrojector. 5udden|y, o fu||-:|ze doorwoy
:h|mmered |n front of u:-o rectonqu|or µorto| :how|nq the hozy |moqe of onother room.
| |oohed ot 5od|e |n omozement. ºHow d|d you do thot!º | o:hed. ºVou'ue neuer been ob|e to do
thot before.º
5he :hruqqed o: |f |t were no b|q deo|. º| wo:n't th|rteen before. Moybe thot': |t.º
ºßut |'m fourteen|º | µrote:ted. ºAnd | :t||| con't do thot.º
ºC|r|: moture eor||er.º
| qr|tted my teeth. | hoted the :µr|nq month:-Morch, Aµr||, Moy-becou:e unt|| my b|rthdoy ro||ed
oround |n lune, 5od|e cou|d c|o|m to be on|y o yeor younqer thon me. 5he o|woy: qot on ott|tude ofter
her b|rthdoy, o: |f :he'd cotch uµ to me :omehow ond become my b|q :|:ter. 1o|h obout o n|qhtmore.
5he qe:tured ot the q|ow|nq doorwoy. ºAfter you, brother, deor. Vou're the one w|th the :µorh|y
|nu|:|b|||ty c|oud.º
ßefore | cou|d |o:e my coo|, | :teµµed throuqh the µorto|.
| o|mo:t fe|| ond brohe my foce. 1he other :|de of the µorto| wo: o m|rror honq|nq f|ue feet off the
f|oor. |'d :teµµed onto o f|reµ|oce monte|. | couqht 5od|e o: :he come throuqh, ju:t |n t|me to heeµ her
from toµµ||nq off the |edqe.
º1o,º :he wh|:µered. º5omeone': been reod|nq too much A||ce 1hrouqh the Looh|nq C|o::.º
|'d thouqht the £qyµt|on room wo: |mµre::|ue, but |t wo: noth|nq comµored to th|: bo||room.
Coµµery qeometr|c de:|qn: q||ttered on the ce|||nq. 1he wo||: were ||ned w|th dorh qreen co|umn: ond
q||ded door:. vh|te ond qo|d |n|o|d morb|e mode o huqe octoqono| µottern on the f|oor. v|th o b|oz|nq
chonde||er oboue, the qo|den f|||qree ond qreen ond wh|te µo||:hed :tone q|eomed :o br|qht|y, they hurt
my eye:.
1hen | reo||zed mo:t of the ||qht wo:n't com|nq from the chonde||er. |t wo: com|nq from the
moq|c|on co:t|nq o :µe|| ot the other end of the room. H|: boch wo: turned, but | cou|d te|| |t wo: V|od
Men:h|hou. lu:t o: 5od|e hod de:cr|bed, he wo: o µudqy ||tt|e mon w|th cur|y qroy ho|r ond o wh|te :u|t.
He :tood |n o µrotect|ue c|rc|e thot µu|:ed w|th emero|d ||qht. He ro|:ed h|: :toff, ond the t|µ burned ||he o
we|d|nq torch. 1o h|: r|qht, ju:t out:|de the c|rc|e, :tood o qreen uo:e the :|ze of o qrown mon. 1o h|: |eft,
wr|th|nq |n q|ow|nq cho|n:, wo: o creoture | recoqn|zed o: o demon. |t hod o ho|ry humono|d body w|th
µurµ||:h :h|n, but |n:teod of o heod, o q|ont corh:crew :µrouted between |t: :hou|der:.
ºMercy|º |t :creomed |n o wotery, meto|||c uo|ce. Don't o:h me how o demon cou|d :creom w|th o
corh:crew heod-but the :ound re:onoted uµ the :crew ||he |t wo: o mo::|ue tun|nq forh.
V|od Men:h|hou heµt chont|nq. 1he qreen uo:e throbbed w|th ||qht.
5od|e nudqed me ond wh|:µered, ºLooh.º
ºVeoh,º | wh|:µered boch. º5ome h|nd of :ummon|nq r|tuo|.º
ºNo,º :he h|::ed. ºLoohthere.º
5he µo|nted to our r|qht. |n the corner of the room, twenty feet from the f|reµ|oce monte|, wo: on
o|d-fo:h|oned mohoqony de:h.
5od|e hod to|d me obout Anub|:': |n:truct|on:: ve were :uµµo:ed to f|nd Men:h|hou': de:h. 1he
next :ect|on of the ßooh of Ro wou|d be |n the m|dd|e drower. Cou|d thot reo||y be the de:h! |t :eemed
too eo:y. A: qu|et|y o: we cou|d, 5od|e ond | c||mbed off the monte| ond creµt o|onq the wo||. | µroyed
the |nu|:|b|||ty :hroud wou|dn't :end uµ ony more f|reworh:.
ve were obout ho|fwoy to the de:h when V|od Men:h|hou f|n|:hed h|: chont. He :|ommed h|: :toff
oqo|n:t the f|oor, ond |t :tuch there :tro|qht uµ, the t|µ :t||| burn|nq ot o m||||on deqree:. He turned h|:
heod :||qht|y, ond | couqht the q||nt of h|: wh|te :unq|o::e:. He rummoqed |n h|: coot µochet: wh||e the b|q
qreen uo:e q|owed ond the demon :creomed |n h|: cho|n:.
ºDon't fu::, Deoth-to-Corh:,º Men:h|hou ch|ded. H|: uo|ce wo: euen rouqher thon 5od|e hod
de:cr|bed-||he o heouy :moher to|h|nq throuqh the b|ode: of o fon. ºVou hnow | need o :ocr|f|ce to
:ummon :uch o mojor qod. |t': noth|nq µer:ono|.º
5od|e frowned ot me ond mouthed, Mojor qod!
| :hooh my heod, boff|ed. 1he Hou:e of L|fe d|dn't o||ow morto|: to :ummon qod:. |t wo: the mo|n
reo:on De:jord|n: hoted u:. Men:h|hou wo: :uµµo:ed|y h|: be:t bud. 5o whot wo: he do|nq, breoh|nq the
ºHurt:|º the µoor demon wo||ed. º5erued you for f|fty yeor:, mo:ter. Þ|eo:e|º
ºNow, now,º Men:h|hou :o|d w|thout o troce of :ymµothy. º| houe to u:e execrot|on. On|y the mo:t
µo|nfu| form of bon|:hment w||| qenerote enouqh enerqy.º
From h|: :u|t coot µochet, Men:h|hou µu||ed o requ|or corh:crew ond o :hord of µottery couered
w|th red h|eroq|yµh|c:.
He he|d uµ both |tem: ond beqon to chont oqo|n: º| nome you Deoth-to-Corh:, 5eruont of
V|od|m|r, He vho 1urn: |n the N|qht.º
A: the demon': nome: were :µohen, the moq|co| cho|n: :teomed ond t|qhtened oround h|: body.
Men:h|hou he|d the corh:crew ouer the f|ome of h|: :toff. 1he demon thro:hed ond wo||ed. A: the :mo||er
corh:crew turned red hot, the demon': body beqon to :mohe.
| wotched |n horror. | hnew obout :ymµothet|c moq|c, of cour:e. 1he |deo wo: to mohe :ometh|nq
:mo|| offect :ometh|nq |orqe by b|nd|nq them toqether. 1he more o||he the |tem: were-||he the corh:crew
ond the demon-the eo:|er they were to b|nd. Voodoo do||: worhed on the :ome theory.
ßut execrot|on wo: :er|ou: :tuff. |t meont de:troy|nq o creoture utter|y-ero:|nq |t: µhy:|co| form
ond euen |t: nome from ex|:tence. |t tooh :ome :er|ou: moq|c to µu|| off thot h|nd of :µe||. |f done wronq,
|t cou|d de:troy the co:ter. ßut |f done r|qht, mo:t u|ct|m: d|dn't :tond o chonce. Requ|or morto|:,
moq|c|on:, qho:t:, euen demon: cou|d be w|µed off the foce of the eorth. £xecrot|on m|qht not de:troy
mojor µower: ||he qod:, but |t wou|d :t||| be ||he detonot|nq o nuc|eor bomb |n the|r foce. 1hey'd be
b|o:ted :o deeµ |nto the Duot, they m|qht neuer come boch.
V|od Men:h|hou worhed the :µe|| ||he he d|d |t euery doy. He heµt chont|nq o: the corh:crew
beqon to me|t, ond the demon me|ted w|th |t. Men:h|hou droµµed the µottery :hord on the f|oor-the red
h|eroq|yµh: thot :µe||ed o|| the demon': uor|ou: nome:. v|th one f|no| word of µower, Men:h|hou :teµµed
on the :hord ond cru:hed |t to b|t:. Deoth-to-Corh: d|::o|ued, cho|n: ond o||.
U:uo||y | don't fee| :orry for creoture: of the underwor|d, but | cou|dn't he|µ qett|nq o |umµ |n my
throot. | cou|dn't be||eue the co:uo| woy Men:h|hou hod :nuffed out h|: :eruont ju:t to µower o |orqer
A: :oon o: the demon wo: qone, the f|re on Men:h|hou': :toff d|ed. H|eroq|yµh: burned oround the
:ummon|nq c|rc|e. 1he b|q qreen jor tremb|ed ond o uo|ce from deeµ |n:|de boomed, ºHe||o, V|od|m|r.
Lonq t|me.º
5od|e |nho|ed :horµ|y. | hod to couer her mouth to heeµ her from :creom|nq. ve both hnew thot
uo|ce. | remembered |t o|| too we|| from the Red Þyrom|d.
º5et.º Men:h|hou d|dn't euen |ooh t|red from the :ummon|nq. He :ounded owfu||y co|m for
:omeone oddre::|nq the qod of eu||. ºve need to to|h.º
5od|e µu:hed my hond owoy ond wh|:µered, º|: he mod!º
ºDe:h,º | :o|d. º5cro||. Out of here. Now.º
For once, :he qoue me no orqument. 5he beqon f|:h|nq :uµµ||e: out of her boq.
Meonwh||e the b|q qreen jor wobb|ed o: |f 5et were try|nq to t|µ |t ouer.
ºA mo|och|te uo:e!º 1he qod :ounded onnoyed. ºReo||y, V|od|m|r. | thouqht we were on fr|end||er
term: thon thot.º
Men:h|hou': |ouqh :ounded ||he :omeone choh|nq o cot. º£xce||ent ot con:tro|n|nq eu|| :µ|r|t:, |:n't
|t! And th|: room ho: more mo|och|te thon ony other µ|oce on eorth. £mµre:: A|exondro wo: qu|te w|:e
to houe |t bu||t for her drow|nq room.º
1he jor µ||nhed. ºßut |t :me||: ||he o|d µenn|e: |n here, ond |t': much too co|d. Houe you euer been
:tuch |n o mo|och|te jor, V|od! |'m not o qen|e. |'d be :o much more to|hot|ue |f we cou|d :|t foce-to-foce,
µerhoµ: ouer teo.º
º|'m ofro|d not,º :o|d Men:h|hou. ºNow, you'|| on:wer my que:t|on:.º
ºOh, uery we||,º 5et :o|d. º| ||he ßroz|| for the vor|d Cuµ. |'d odu|:e |nue:t|nq |n µ|ot|num ond
:mo||-coµ fund:. And your |uchy number: th|: weeh ore 2, I1-º
ºNot tho:e que:t|on:|º Men:h|hou :noµµed.
5od|e µu||ed o |umµ of wox from her boq ond worhed fur|ou:|y, fo:h|on|nq :ome h|nd of on|mo|
:hoµe. | hnew :he wo: qo|nq to te:t the de:h for moq|c defen:e:. 5he wo: better ot thot h|nd of :µe|| thon |
wo:, but | wo:n't :ure how :he'd do |t. £qyµt|on moq|c |: µretty oµen-ended. 1here ore o|woy: o thou:ond
d|fferent woy: to occomµ||:h o to:h. 1he tr|ch |: be|nq creot|ue w|th your :uµµ||e: ond µ|ch|nq o woy thot
won't qet you h|||ed.
ºVou w||| te|| me whot | need to hnow,º Men:h|hou demonded, ºor thot jor w||| become euen more
ºMy deor V|od|m|r.º 5et': uo|ce wo: fu|| of eu|| omu:ement. ºvhot you need to hnow moy be uery
d|fferent from whot you wont to hnow. D|dn't your unfortunote occ|dent teoch you thot!º
Men:h|hou touched h|: :unq|o::e:, o: |f moh|nq :ure they hodn't fo||en off.
ºVou w||| te|| me the b|nd|nq for Aµoµh|:,º he :o|d |n o :tee|y tone. º1hen you w||| te|| me how to
neutro||ze the enchontment: on ßrooh|yn Hou:e. Vou hnow kone': defen:e: better thon onyone. Once |
de:troy h|m, | w||| houe no oµµo:|t|on.º
A: the meon|nq of Men:h|hou': word: :onh |n, o woue of roqe neor|y hnoched me off my feet. 1h|:
t|me, 5od|e hod to c|omµ my mouth :hut.
ºCo|m|º :he wh|:µered. ºVou're qo|nq to :tort the |nu|:|b|||ty :h|e|d µoµµ|nq oqo|n|º
| µu:hed her hond owoy ond h|::ed, ºßut he wont: to free Aµoµh|:|º
º| hnow.º
ºAnd ottoch Amo:-º
º| hnow| 5o he|µ me qet the b|oody :cro|| ond |et': qet out of here|º 5he µut her wox on|mo| on the
de:h-o doq, | thouqht -ond beqon wr|t|nq h|eroq|yµh: on |t: boch w|th o :ty|u:.
| tooh o :hohy breoth. 5od|e wo: r|qht, but :t|||-Men:h|hou wo: to|h|nq obout free|nq Aµoµh|: ond
h||||nq our unc|e. vhot h|nd of moq|c|on mohe: deo|: w|th 5et! £xceµt for 5od|e ond me. 1hot wo:
5et': |ouqh echoed |n:|de the qreen uo:e. º5o: the b|nd|nq for Aµoµh|: ond the :ecret: of ßrooh|yn
Hou:e. |: thot o||, V|od|m|r! | wonder whot your mo:ter De:jord|n: wou|d th|nh |f he found out your reo|
µ|on, ond the :ort of fr|end: you heeµ.º
Men:h|hou :notched uµ h|: :toff. 1he corued-:erµent t|µ f|ored oqo|n. ºße corefu| w|th your
threot:, £u|| Doy.º
1he jor tremb|ed. 1hrouqhout the room, q|o:: co:e: :h|uered. 1he chonde||er jonq|ed ||he o
three-ton w|nd ch|me.
| qoue 5od|e o µon|ched |ooh. ºD|d he ju:t-º
º5et': :ecret nome,º :he conf|rmed, :t||| wr|t|nq on her wox doq.
º| don't hnow, Corter. Now, :hh|º
A qod': :ecret nome hod o|| h|nd: of µower. |t wo: :uµµo:ed to be o|mo:t |mµo::|b|e to qet. 1o
tru|y |eorn |t, you cou|dn't ju:t heor |t reµeoted by :ome rondom µer:on. Vou hod to heor |t :tro|qht from
the qod h|m:e|f, or from the µer:on c|o:e:t to h|: heort. Once you hod |t, |t qoue you :er|ou: moq|co|
|eueroqe ouer thot qod. 5od|e hod |eorned 5et': :ecret nome dur|nq our que:t |o:t Chr|:tmo:, but how hod
Men:h|hou qotten |t!
|n:|de the jor, 5et qrow|ed w|th onnoyonce. º| reo||y hote thot nome. vhy cou|dn't |t houe been
C|or|ou: Doy! Or the Roch|n' Red Reoµer! 1hot': rother n|ce. ßod enouqh when you were the on|y one
who hnew |t, V|od. Now |'ue qot the kone q|r| to worry obout-º
º5erue u:,º Men:h|hou :o|d, ºond the kone: w||| be de:troyed. Vou w||| be the honored ||eutenont
of Aµoµh|:. Vou con ro|:e onother temµ|e, euen qronder thon the Red Þyrom|d.º
ºUh-huh,º 5et :o|d. ºMoybe you houen't not|ced, but | don't do we|| w|th the who|e
:econd-|n-commond conceµt. A: for Aµoµh|:, he': not one to :uffer other qod: qett|nq ottent|on.º
ºve w||| free Aµoµh|: w|th or w|thout your he|µ,º Men:h|hou worned. ºßy the equ|nox, he w||| r|:e.
ßut |f you he|µ u: mohe thot hoµµen :ooner, you w||| be reworded. Vour other oµt|on |: execrot|on. Oh, |
hnow |t won't de:troy you comµ|ete|y, but w|th your :ecret nome | con :end you |nto the oby:: for eon:,
ond |t w||| be uery, uery µo|nfu|. |'|| q|ue you th|rty :econd: to dec|de!º
| nudqed 5od|e. ºHurry.º
5he toµµed the wox doq, ond |t come to ||fe. |t :torted :n|ff|nq oround the de:h, |ooh|nq for moq|c
|n:|de the jor, 5et :|qhed. ºve||, V|od|m|r, you do hnow how to mohe on oµµeo||nq offer. 1he
b|nd|nq for Aµoµh|:, you :oy! Ve:, | wo: there when Ro co:t the 5erµent |nto thot µr|:on of :corob:. |
:uµµo:e | cou|d remember the |nqred|ent: he u:ed for the b|nd|nq. Çu|te o doy thot wo:| | wo: weor|nq
red, | th|nh. At the u|ctory feo:t they :erued the mo:t de||c|ou: honey-bohed |ocu:t:-º
ºVou houe ten :econd:,º Men:h|hou :o|d.
ºOh, |'|| cooµerote| | hoµe you houe o µen ond µoµer hondy.
|t': o rother |onq ||:t of |nqred|ent:. Let': :ee.whot d|d Ro u:e for o bo:e! ßot dunq! 1hen there
were the dr|ed tood:, of cour:e. And then.º
5et beqon rott||nq off |nqred|ent:, wh||e 5od|e': wox doq :n|ffed oround the de:h. F|no||y |t |oy
down on the b|otter ond went to :|eeµ.
5od|e frowned ot me. ºNo troµ:.º
º1hot': too eo:y,º | wh|:µered boch.
5he oµened the toµ drower. 1here wo: the µoµyru: :cro||, ju:t ||he the one we'd found |n ßrooh|yn.
5he :||µµed |t |nto her boq.
ve were ho|fwoy boch to the f|reµ|oce when 5et couqht u: by :urµr|:e.
He wo: qo|nq on w|th h|: ||:t of r|d|cu|ou: |nqred|ent:: ºAnd :nohe:h|n:. Ve:, three |orqe one:, w|th o
:µr|nh||nq of hot :ouce-º 1hen he :toµµed obruµt|y, ||he he'd hod o reue|ot|on. He :µohe |n o much
|ouder uo|ce, co|||nq ocro:: the room. ºAnd o :ocr|f|c|o| u|ct|m wou|d be qood| Moybe o younq |d|ot
moq|c|on who con't do o µroµer |nu|:|b|||ty :µe||, ||he CAR1£R kAN£ ouer there|º
| froze. V|od|m|r Men:h|hou turned, ond my µon|c become too much for the |nu|:|b|||ty :hroud.
Ho|f o dozen qo|den :µorh: :hot uµ w|th o |oud hoµµy vH£££££| 1he c|oud of dorhne:: d|::o|ued.
Men:h|hou :tored r|qht ot me. ºMy, my.how h|nd of you to de||uer your:e|ue:. ve|| done, 5et.º
ºHmm!º 5et o:hed |nnocent|y. ºDo we houe u|:|tor:!º
º5et|º 5od|e qrow|ed. º|'|| h|ch you |n the bo for thot, :o he|µ me|º
1he uo|ce |n the jor qo:µed. º5od|e kone! How exc|t|nq| 1oo bod |'m :tuch |n th|: jor ond no one
w||| |et me out.º
1he h|nt wo:n't too :ubt|e, but :ure|y he cou|dn't be||eue we'd free h|m ofter he'd b|own our couer.
5od|e foced Men:h|hou, her wond ond :toff reody. ºVou're worh|nq w|th Aµoµh|:. Vou're on the
wronq :|de.º
Men:h|hou remoued h|: q|o::e:. H|: eye: were ru|ned µ|t: of :cor t|::ue, burned :h|n, ond q||:ten|nq
corneo:. ße||eue me, thot': the |eo:t qro:: woy | con de:cr|be them.
º1he wronq :|de!º Men:h|hou o:hed. ºC|r|, you houe no |deo the µower: thot ore |n µ|oy. F|ue
thou:ond yeor: oqo, £qyµt|on µr|e:t: µroµhe:|ed how the wor|d wou|d end. Ro wou|d qrow o|d ond t|red,
ond Aµoµh|: wou|d :wo||ow h|m ond µ|unqe the wor|d |nto dorhne::. Choo: wou|d ru|e foreuer. Now the
t|me |: here| Vou con't :toµ |t. Vou con on|y choo:e whether you'|| be de:troyed, or whether you'|| bow to
the µower of Choo: ond :uru|ue.º
ºR|qht,º 5et ch|med |n. º|t': too bod |'m :tuch |n th|: jor. Otherw|:e | m|qht houe to tohe :|de: ond
he|µ :omeone.º
º5hut uµ, 5et,º Men:h|hou :noµµed. ºNo one |: crozy enouqh to tru:t you. And o: for you, ch||dren,
you ore c|eor|y not the threot | |moq|ned.º
ºCreot,º | :o|d. º5o we con qo!º
Men:h|hou |ouqhed. ºvou|d you run to De:jord|n: ond te|| h|m whot you'ue heord! He wou|dn't
be||eue you. He'd µut you on tr|o|, then execute you. ßut |'|| :µore you thot emborro::ment. |'|| h||| you
r|qht now.º
ºHow fun|º 5et :o|d. ºv|:h | cou|d :ee |t, but |'m :tuch |n th|: jor.º
| tr|ed to th|nh. Men:h|hou wo: :t||| |n:|de o µrotect|ue c|rc|e, wh|ch meont he hod o b|q defen:|ue
oduontoqe. | wo:n't :ure | cou|d bu:t throuqh |t, euen |f | cou|d :ummon o combot ouotor. Meonwh||e,
Men:h|hou cou|d tohe h|: t|me try|nq out d|fferent woy: to de:troy u:. vou|d he b|o:t u: w|th e|emento|
moq|c! Chonqe u: |nto buq:!
He threw h|: :toff to the qround, ond | cur:ed.
1hrow|nq down your :toff moy :ound ||he o :|qn of :urrender, but |n £qyµt|on moq|c, |t': bod new:.
|t u:uo||y meon: Hey, |' m qo|nq to :ummon o b|q no:ty th|nq to h||| you wh||e | :tond :ofe|y |n:|de my
c|rc|e ond |ouqh|
5ure enouqh, Men:h|hou': :toff beqon to wr|the ond qrow.
Creot, | thouqht. Another :erµent.
ßut :ometh|nq wo: wronq w|th th|: one. |n:teod of o to||, |t hod o heod on both end:. At f|r:t |
thouqht we'd couqht :ome |uch, ond Men:h|hou hod :ummoned o mon:ter w|th o rore qenet|c b|rth
defect. 1hen the th|nq :µrouted four droqon |eq:. |t: body qrew unt|| |t wo: the :|ze of o droft hor:e,
curued ||he o U, w|th mott|ed red ond qreen :co|e: ond o rott|e:nohe heod on e|ther :|de. |t rem|nded me
of thot two-heoded on|mo| from Doctor Do||tt|e. Vou hnow-the µu:hm|-µu||yu! £xceµt Doctor Do||tt|e
wou|d neuer houe wonted to to|h to th|: th|nq, ond |f he hod, |t wou|d µrobob|y houe :o|d ju:t He||o, |'m
qo|nq to eot you.
ßoth heod: turned toword u: ond h|::ed.
º|'ue reo||y hod enouqh :nohe: for one weeh,º | muttered.
Men:h|hou :m||ed. ºAh, but :erµent: ore my :µec|o|ty, Corter kone|º He touched o :||uer µendont
honq|nq ouer h|: necht|e-on omu|et :hoµed ||he o :nohe. ºAnd th|: µort|cu|or creoture |: my fouor|te: the
tje:u heru. 1wo hunqry mouth: to feed. 1wo troub|e:ome ch||dren. Þerfect|º
5od|e ond | |oohed ot eoch other. ve hod one of tho:e moment: where we cou|d reod eoch other':
exµre::|on: µerfect|y.
ve both hnew we cou|dn't defeot Men:h|hou. He'd |et the µu:hm|-µu||yu :nohe weor u: down,
ond |f we :uru|ued thot, he'd ju:t b|o:t u: w|th :ometh|nq e|:e. 1he quy wo: o µro. ve wou|d e|ther d|e or
qet coµtured, ond ße: hod worned u: obout not qett|nq tohen o||ue. After :ee|nq whot hod hoµµened to
thot demon Deoth-to-Corh:, | tooh ße:': worn|nq :er|ou:|y.
1o :uru|ue, we'd houe to do :ometh|nq crozy-:ometh|nq :o :u|c|do| Men:h|hou wou|d neuer exµect
|t. ve hod to qet he|µ |mmed|ote|y.
º5hou|d |!º 5od|e o:hed.
ºDo |t,º | oqreed.
1he tje:u heru bored |t: dr|µµ|nq fonq:. Vou wou|dn't th|nh o creoture w|th no boch end cou|d
moue :o fo:t, but |t bent both heod: toword u: ||he o q|ont hor:e:hoe ond chorqed.
| µu||ed my :word. 5od|e wo: fo:ter.
5he µo|nted her :toff ot 5et': mo|och|te jor ond ye||ed her fouor|te commond word: ºHo-d||º
| wo: ofro|d |t wou|dn't worh. 5he hodn't tr|ed the de:truct|on :µe|| :|nce :he :eµoroted her:e|f from
|:|:. ßut ju:t before the mon:ter reoched me, the qreen jor :hottered.
Men:h|hou :creomed, ºNyet|º
A :ond:torm exµ|oded throuqh the room. Hot w|nd: µu:hed 5od|e ond me oqo|n:t the f|reµ|oce. A
wo|| of red :ond :|ommed |nto the tje:u heru ond :ent |t f|y|nq :|dewoy: |nto o mo|och|te co|umn. V|od
Men:h|hou wo: b|o:ted r|qht out of h|: µrotect|ue c|rc|e ond bonqed h|: heod on o tob|e. He crumµ|ed to
the qround, red :ond :w|r||nq ouer h|m unt|| he wo: comµ|ete|y bur|ed.
vhen the :torm c|eored, o mon |n o red :||h :u|t :tood |n front of u:. He hod :h|n the co|or of cherry
koo|-A|d, o :houed heod, o dorh qootee, ond q||tter|nq b|och eye: ||ned w|th hoh|. He |oohed ||he on
£qyµt|on deu|| reody for o n|qht on the town.
He qr|nned ond :µreod h|: hond: |n o to-do qe:ture. º1hot': better| 1honh you, 5od|e kone|º
1o our |eft, the tje:u heru h|::ed ond f|o||ed, try|nq to qet boch on |t: feet. 1he µ||e of red :ond
couer|nq V|od Men:h|hou :torted to moue.
ºDo :ometh|nq, £u|| Doy|º 5od|e commonded. ºCet r|d of them|º
5et w|nced. ºNo need to qet µer:ono| w|th the nome:.º
ºMoybe you'd µrefer Roch|n' Red Reoµer!º | o:hed.
5et mode o µ|cture frome w|th h|: f|nqer:, o: |f |moq|n|nq thot nome on h|: dr|uer': ||cen:e.
ºVe:.thot |: n|ce, |:n't |t!º
1he tje:u heru :toqqered to |t: feet. |t :hooh both heod: ond q|ored ot u:, but |t :eemed to |qnore
5et, euen thouqh he wo: the one who'd :|ommed |t oqo|n:t the wo||.
º|t ho: beout|fu| co|orot|on, doe:n't |t!º 5et o:hed. ºA qorqeou: :µec|men.º
ºlu:t h||| |t|º | ye||ed.
5et |oohed :hoched. ºOh, | cou|dn't do thot| |'m much too fond of :nohe:. ße:|de:, C£1M wou|d
houe my h|de.º
ºCet 'em!º | o:hed.
ºCod: for the £th|co| 1reotment of Mon:ter:.º
ºVou're moh|nq thot uµ|º | ye||ed.
5et qr|nned. º5t|||.|'m ofro|d you'|| houe to deo| w|th the tje:u heru on your own.º
1he mon:ter h|::ed ot u:, wh|ch µrobob|y meont, 5weet| | ro|:ed my :word to heeµ |t ot boy.
1he µ||e of red :ond :h|fted. Men:h|hou': dozed foce ro:e from the toµ. 5et :noµµed h|: f|nqer:, ond
o |orqe cerom|c µot oµµeored |n the o|r, :hotter|nq on the moq|c|on': heod. Men:h|hou :||µµed boch |nto
the :ond.
º|'|| :toy here ond enterto|n V|od|m|r,º 5et :o|d.
ºCon't you execrote h|m, or :ometh|nq!º 5od|e demonded.
ºOh, | w|:h| Unfortunote|y, |'m rother ||m|ted when :omeone ho|d: my :ecret nome, e:µec|o||y
when they'ue q|uen me :µec|f|c order: not to h||| them.º He :tored occu:|nq|y ot 5od|e. ºAt ony rote, | moy
be ob|e to buy you o few m|nute:, but V|od |: qo|nq to be qu|te mod when he come: oround, :o |'d hurry,
|f | were you. Cood |uch :uru|u|nq| And qood |uch eot|nq them, tje:u heru|º
| wonted to :tronq|e 5et, but we hod b|qqer µrob|em:. A: |f encouroqed by 5et': µeµ to|h, the tje:u
heru |unqed ot u:. 5od|e ond | :µr|nted for the neore:t door.
ve ron throuqh the v|nter Þo|oce w|th 5et': |ouqhter echo|nq beh|nd u:.
5 A D | £
tt. Corter 0eet temetbIøg IøcredIbIy ttupId (oød He 0øe It turprIted}
| UND£R51AND, C AR1£R. | do.
Houe me norrote the mo:t µo|nfu| µort. Of cour:e, | con't b|ome you. vhot hoµµened wo: owfu|
enouqh for me, but for you-we||, | wou|dn't wont to to|h obout |t e|ther.
1here we were |n the v|nter Þo|oce, roc|nq down µo||:hed morb|e ho||woy: thot were not
de:|qned for runn|nq. ßeh|nd u:, the two-heoded tje:u heru :h|dded ond :|ommed |nto wo||: o: |t tr|ed to
turn corner:, much ||he Muff|n u:ed to do wheneuer Cron moµµed the f|oor. 1hot': the on|y reo:on the
mon:ter d|dn't cotch u: |mmed|ote|y.
5|nce we'd te|eµorted |nto the Mo|och|te Room, | hod no |deo where the neore:t ex|t wo:. | wo:n't
euen :ure |f we were octuo||y |n the v|nter Þo|oce, or |f Men:h|hou': off|ce wo: :ome c|euer foc:|m||e thot
ex|:ted on|y |n the Duot. | wo: beq|nn|nq to th|nh we'd neuer qet out when we rounded o corner,
:cromb|ed down o :to|rco:e, ond :µotted o :et of q|o::- ond-|ron door: |eod|nq out to Þo|oce 5quore.
1he tje:u heru wo: r|qht beh|nd u:. |t :||µµed ond ro||ed down the :to|rco:e, demo||:h|nq o µ|o:ter
:totue of :ome unfortunote t:or.
ve were ten meter: from the ex|t when | :ow the cho|n: ocro:: the door:.
ºCorter,º | qo:µed, wou|nq he|µ|e::|y ot the µod|och.
| hote to odm|t ju:t how weoh | fe|t. | d|dn't houe the :trenqth for onother :µe||. Croch|nq 5et': uo:e
|n the Mo|och|te Room hod been my |o:t hurroh, wh|ch |: o qood exomµ|e of why you :hou|dn't u:e moq|c
to :o|ue o|| your µrob|em:. 5ummon|nq o D|u|ne vord to breoh the uo:e hod tohen :o much enerqy, | fe|t
o: |f |'d been d|qq|nq ho|e: |n the hot :un. |t wou|d'ue been much eo:|er ju:t to throw o roch. |f | ||ued
throuqh the n|qht, | dec|ded to odd :ome roch: to my too| boq.
ve were three meter: owoy when Corter thru:t h|: f|:t toword the door:. 1he £ye of Horu: burned
oqo|n:t the µod|och, ond the door: bur:t oµen o: |f they'd been h|t by q|ont f|:t. | hodn't :een Corter do
onyth|nq ||he thot :|nce our f|qht ot the Red Þyrom|d, but | d|dn't houe t|me to be omozed. ve bo|ted
out:|de |nto the w|ntry n|qht, the tje:u heru roor|nq beh|nd u:.
Vou'|| th|nh | wo: mod, but my f|r:t thouqht wo:: 1hot wo: too eo:y.
De:µ|te the mon:ter cho:|nq u: ond the bu:|ne:: w|th 5et (whom | wou|d :tronq|e ot the f|r:t
oµµortun|ty-thot boch:tobb|nq q|t|), | cou|dn't he|µ fee||nq we'd breoched Men:h|hou': |nner :onctum
ond :notched the :cro|| w|thout neor|y enouqh troub|e. vhere were the troµ:! 1he o|orm:! 1he
exµ|od|nq-donhey cur:e:! | wo: certo|n we'd :to|en the outhent|c :cro||.
|'d fe|t the :ome t|nq|e |n my f|nqer: o: when |'d tohen the one from the ßrooh|yn Mu:eum
(w|thout the f|re, thonhfu||y). 5o why hodn't the :cro|| been better µrotected!
| wo: :o t|red, | fe|| o few :teµ: beh|nd Corter, wh|ch µrobob|y :oued my ||fe. | fe|t o crow||nq
:en:ot|on ocro:: my :co|µ. | :en:ed dorhne:: oboue me-o fee||nq thot rem|nded me too much of the
:hodow of Nehhbet': w|nq:. | |oohed uµ ond :ow the tje:u heru :o|||nq ouer our heod: ||he o mo::|ue
bu||froq, t|m|nq |t: µounce :o |t wou|d |ond-
ºCorter, :toµ|º | ye||ed.
£o:|er :o|d thon done on |cy µouement. | :h|dded to o ho|t, but Corter wo: qo|nq too fo:t. He fe||
on h|: bum ond :||d, h|: :word :h|tter|nq to one :|de.
1he tje:u heru |onded r|qht on toµ of h|m. |f |t hodn't been U-:hoµed, Corter wou|d'ue been
cru:hed, but |t curued oround h|m ||he on enormou: µo|r of heodµhone:, one heod q|or|nq down ot h|m
from e|ther :|de.
How cou|d :ometh|nq :o |orqe houe |eoµed :o for! 1oo |ote, | reo||zed we :hou|d houe :toyed
|n:|de where |t wo: horder for the mon:ter to moue. Out here, we hod no chonce of outrunn|nq |t.
ºCorter,º | :o|d. º5toy µerfect|y :t|||.º
He froze |n crob-wo|h µo:|t|on. 1he mon:ter': two heod: dr|µµed uenom thot h|::ed ond :teomed
on the |cy :tone:.
ºO||º | ye||ed. Not hou|nq ony roch:, | µ|ched uµ o chunh of brohen |ce ond threw |t ot thetje:u
heru. Noturo||y, | h|t Corter |n the boch |n:teod. Neuerthe|e::, | qot the tje:u heru': ottent|on.
ßoth heod: turned toword me, tw|n tonque: f||cher|nq. F|r:t :teµ done: d|:troct the mon:ter.
5econd :teµ: f|nd :ome c|euer woy to drow |t owoy from Corter. 1hot µort wo: q|u|nq me o b|t
more troub|e.
|'d u:ed my on|y µot|on. Mo:t of my moq|c :uµµ||e: were qone. My :toff ond wond wou|dn't do me
much qood w|th my moq|co| re:erue: dro|ned. 1he hn|fe from Anub|:! 5omehow | doubted th|: wo: the
r|qht :|tuot|on to oµen :omeone': mouth.
1he omu|et from vo|t! | hod not the :||qhte:t |deo how to u:e |t.
For the m||||onth t|me, | reqretted hou|nq q|uen uµ the :µ|r|t of |:|:. | cou|d reo||y houe u:ed the fu||
moq|c or:eno| of o qodde::. ßut, of cour:e, thot wo: exoct|y why |'d hod to :eµorote from her. 1hot :ort of
µower |: |ntox|cot|nq, donqerou:|y odd|ct|ue. |t con qu|ch|y de:troy your ||fe.
ßut whot |f | cou|d form o ||m|ted bond! |n the Mo|och|te Room, |'d monoqed the ho-d| :µe|| for
the f|r:t t|me |n month:. And wh||e |t hod been d|ff|cu|t, |t hodn't been |mµo::|b|e.
R|qht, |:|:, | thouqht. Here': whot | need-
Don't th|nh, 5od|e, her uo|ce wh|:µered boch o|mo:t |mmed|ote|y, wh|ch wo: qu|te o :hoch. D|u|ne
moq|c ho: to be |nuo|untory, ||he breoth|nq.
Vou meon. | :toµµed my:e|f. Don' t th|nh. ve||, thot :hou|dn't be too hord. | he|d uµ my :toff, ond
o qo|den h|eroq|yµh b|ozed |n the o|r. A one-meter-to|| tyet ||t uµ the courtyord ||he o Chr|:tmo:-tree :tor.
1he tje:u heru :nor|ed, |t: ye||ow eye: f|xed on the h|eroq|yµh.
ºDon't ||he thot, eh!º | co||ed. º5ymbo| of |:|:, you b|q uq|y mutt. Now, qet owoy from my brother|º
|t wo: o comµ|ete b|uff, of cour:e. | doubted the q|ow|nq :|qn cou|d do onyth|nq u:efu|. ßut | hoµed
the :nohe creoture wo:n't :mort enouqh to hnow thot.
5|ow|y, Corter edqed bochword. He |oohed for h|: :word, but |t wo: ten meter: owoy-much too
for to reoch.
| heµt my eye: on the mon:ter. | u:ed the butt of my :toff to troce o moq|c c|rc|e |n the :now
oround me. |t wou|dn't µrou|de much µrotect|on, but |t wo: better thon noth|nq.
ºCorter,º | co||ed, ºvhen | :oy qo, run boch here.º
º1hot th|nq': too fo:t|º he :o|d.
º|'|| try to detonote the h|eroq|yµh ond b||nd |t.º
| :t||| mo|nto|n thot the µ|on wou|d'ue worhed, but | d|dn't qet the chonce to try |t. 5omewhere off
to my |eft, boot: crunched on |ce. 1he mon:ter turned toword the :ound.
A younq mon ron |nto the ||qht of the h|eroq|yµh. He wo: dre::ed |n o heouy woo| coot ond o
µo||cemon': hot, w|th o r|f|e |n h|: hond:, but he cou|dn't houe been much o|der thon me. He wo: fo|r|y
drown|nq |n h|: un|form. vhen he :ow the mon:ter, h|: eye: w|dened. He :tumb|ed bochword, o|mo:t
droµµ|nq h|: weoµon.
He ye||ed :ometh|nq ot me |n Ru::|on, µrobob|y, ºvhy |: there o two-heoded :nohe mon:ter w|th
no bum!º
1he mon:ter h|::ed ot both of u:-wh|ch |t cou|d do, hou|nq two heod:.
º1hot': o mon:ter,º | to|d the quord. | wo: fo|r|y :ure he cou|dn't under:tond, but | tr|ed to heeµ my
tone :teody. º5toy co|m ond don't :hoot. |'m try|nq to :oue my brother.º
1he quord :wo||owed. H|: |orqe eor: were the on|y th|nq: ho|d|nq uµ h|: hot. He q|onced from the
mon:ter to Corter to the tyet q|ow|nq oboue my heod. 1hen he d|d :ometh|nq | wo:n't exµect|nq.
He :o|d o word |n Anc|ent £qyµt|on: ºHeqotº-the commond | o|woy: u:ed to :ummon my :toff.
H|: r|f|e chonqed to o two-meter oohen rod w|th the corued heod of o fo|con.
vonderfu|, | thouqht. 1he :ecur|ty quord: ore :ecret|y moq|c|on:.
He oddre::ed me |n Ru::|on-:ome :ort of worn|nq. | recoqn|zed the nome Men:h|hou.
ºLet me que::,º | :o|d. ºVou wont to tohe me to your |eoder.º
1he tje:u heru :noµµed |t: jow:. |t wo: roµ|d|y |o:|nq |t: feor of my q|ow|nq tyet. Corter wo:n't for
enouqh owoy to mohe o run for |t.
ºLooh,º | to|d the quord, ºyour bo:: Men:h|hou |: o tro|tor. He :ummoned th|: th|nq to h||| u: :o we
wou|dn't b|ob obout h|: µ|on: to free Aµoµh|:. 5ouuy the word Aµoµh|:! ßod :nohe. Very bod :nohe|
Now, e|ther he|µ me h||| th|: mon:ter or :toy out of my woy|º
1he moq|c|on-quord he:|toted. He µo|nted ot me neruou:|y. ºkone.º |t wo:n't o que:t|on.
ºVe:,º | oqreed. ºkone.º
H|: exµre::|on wo: o jumb|e of emot|on:-feor, d|:be||ef, µo::|b|y euen owe. | d|dn't hnow whot
he'd heord obout u:, but before he cou|d dec|de whether to he|µ u: or f|qht u:, the :|tuot|on :µun out of
1he tje:u heru chorqed. My r|d|cu|ou: brother-|n:teod of ro|||nq out of the woy-toch|ed the
He |oched h|: orm: oround the creoture': r|qht nech ond tr|ed to c||mb |t: boch, but the tje:u heru
:|mµ|y turned |t: other heod to :tr|he.
vhot wo: my brother th|nh|nq! Þerhoµ: he thouqht he cou|d r|de the beo:t. Þerhoµ: he wo:
try|nq to buy me o few :econd: to co:t o :µe||. |f you o:h h|m obout |t now, he'|| c|o|m he doe:n't
remember the |nc|dent ot o||. ßut |f you o:h me, the th|chheoded foo| wo: try|nq to :oue me, euen |f |t
meont :ocr|f|c|nq h|m:e|f. 1he nerue|
[Oh, ye:, now you try to exµ|o|n your:e|f, Corter. | thouqht you d|dn't remember th|: b|t| lu:t be
qu|et ond |et me te|| the :tory.]
A: | wo: :oy|nq, thetje:u heru :truch ot Corter, ond eueryth|nq :eemed to :|ow down. | remember
:creom|nq, |ower|nq my :toff ot the mon:ter. 1he :o|d|er-moq|c|on ye||ed :ometh|nq |n Ru::|on. 1he
creoture :onh |t: fonq: |nto Corter': |eft :hou|der, ond he droµµed to the qround.
| forqot obout my mohe:h|ft c|rc|e. | ron toword h|m, ond my :toff q|owed. | don't hnow how |
monoqed the µower. A: |:|: :o|d, | d|dn't th|nh. | :|mµ|y chonne|ed o|| my roqe ond :hoch |nto my :toff.
5ee|nq Corter hurt wo: the f|no| |n:u|t. My qrondµorent: hod been µo::e::ed. My fr|end: hod been
ottoched, ond my b|rthdoy ru|ned. ßut my brother wo: off-||m|t:. No one wo: o||owed to hurt my
| un|eo:hed o beom of qo|den ||qht thot h|t the mon:ter w|th the force of o :ondb|o:ter. 1he tje:u
heru crumb|ed to b|t:, unt|| there wo: noth|nq |eft but o :treoh of :ond :teom|nq |n the :now ond o few
:µ||nter: of Men:h|hou': :hottered :toff.
| ron to Corter': :|de. He wo: :h|uer|nq, h|: eye: ro||ed boch |n h|: heod. 1wo µuncture wound: |n h|:
coot were :moh|nq.
ºkone,º the younq Ru::|on :o|d w|th o tone of owe.
| :notched uµ o :µ||nter of wood ond he|d |t for h|m to :ee. ºVour bo:: Men:h|hou d|d th|:. He':
worh|nq for Aµoµh|:. Men:h|hou: Aµoµh|:. Now, C£1 OU1|º
1he moq|c|on moy not houe under:tood my word:, but he qot the me::oqe. He turned ond ron.
| crod|ed Corter': heod. | cou|dn't corry h|m by my:e|f, but | hod to qet h|m out of here. ve were |n
enemy terr|tory. | needed to f|nd ße:.
| :truqq|ed to qet h|m to h|: feet. 1hen :omeone tooh Corter': other orm ond he|µed u: uµ. | found
5et qr|nn|nq ot me, :t||| |n h|: r|d|cu|ou: red d|:co :u|t, du:ted w|th mo|och|te rubb|e. Men:h|hou': brohen
wh|te :unq|o::e: were µroµµed on h|: heod.
ºVou,º | :o|d, too f|||ed w|th |ooth|nq to |::ue o µroµer deoth threot.
ºMe,º 5et oqreed cheer||y. ºLet': qet your brother out of here, :ho|| we! V|od|m|r |: not |n o qood
1he Neu:hy Þro:µeht wou|d'ue been o |oue|y µ|oce to :hoµ |f |t hodn't been the wee hour: of the
morn|nq dur|nq o :now:torm, ond |f | hodn't been corry|nq my µo|:oned, comoto:e brother. 1he :treet hod
w|de µouement:, µerfect for :tro|||nq, ||ned w|th o dozz||nq o::ortment of h|qh-end bout|que:, cofé:,
churche:, ond mon:|on:. v|th o|| the :|qn: |n Ru::|on, | d|dn't :ee how | wo: qo|nq to f|nd the choco|ote
:hoµ. | cou|dn't :µot ße:': b|och Mercede: onywhere.
5et uo|unteered to corry Corter, but | wo:n't obout to |et the qod of choo: tohe fu|| chorqe of my
brother, :o we droqqed h|m between u:. 5et chotted om|ob|y obout tje:u heru µo|:on: ºComµ|ete|y
|ncurob|e| Foto| |n obout twe|ue hour:. |t': omoz|nq :tuff|º And h|: tu::|e w|th Men:h|hou: º5|x uo:e:
brohen ouer h|: heod, ond he :t||| :uru|ue:| | enuy h|: th|ch :hu||.º And my µro:µect: of ||u|nq |onq enouqh
to f|nd ße:: ºOh, you're too:t, my deor| A dozen :en|or moq|c|on: were ro||y|nq to Men:h|hou when | mode
my, er, :troteq|c retreot. 1hey'|| be ofter you :hort|y. | cou|d'ue de:troyed them o||, of cour:e, but | cou|dn't
r|:h V|od|m|r u:|nq my :ecret nome oqo|n. Moybe he'|| qet omne:|o ond forqet |t. 1hen |f you d|e-thot
wou|d be both µrob|em: :o|ued. Oh, |'m :orry, | :uµµo:e thot :ounded |n:en:|t|ue. Come o|onq|º
Corter': heod |o||ed. H|: breoth|nq :ounded o|mo:t o: bod o: V|od the |nho|er':.
Now, µ|eo:e don't th|nh | wo: den:e. Of cour:e | remembered the wox m|n|-Corter f|qur|ne loz hod
q|uen me. | recoqn|zed thot th|: wo: ju:t the :ort of emerqency where |t m|qht come |n hondy. How loz
hod µred|cted Corter wou|d need heo||nq, | hod no |deo. ßut |t wo: µo::|b|e the f|qur|ne cou|d drow the
µo|:on out of h|m, de:µ|te whot 5et :o|d obout |t be|nq |ncurob|e. vhot doe: o qod of eu|| hnow obout
heo||nq, onywoy!
1here were µrob|em:, howeuer. F|r:t, | hnew uery ||tt|e obout heo||nq moq|c. | needed t|me to
f|qure out the µroµer co:t|nq, ond :|nce | hod on|y one wox :totue, | cou|dn't offord to qet |t wronq.
5econd, | cou|dn't uery we|| do thot wh||e be|nq cho:ed by Men:h|hou ond h|: :quod of moq|co| Ru::|on
qoon:, nor d|d | wont to |et my quord down w|th 5et onywhere neor me. | d|dn't hnow why he'd dec|ded
to be he|µfu| o|| of o :udden, but the :ooner | cou|d |o:e h|m, the better. | needed to f|nd ße: ond retreot
to :omewhere :ofe-|f there wo: :uch o µ|oce.
5et heµt chott|nq obout o|| the exc|t|nq woy: the moq|c|on: m|qht h||| me once they couqht uµ.
F|no||y | :µotted o br|dqe uµ oheod ouer o frozen cono|. Þorhed |n the m|dd|e wo: the b|och Mercede:.
ße: |eoned oqo|n:t the hood, eot|nq µ|ece: off o choco|ote che::boord. Next to h|m :ot o |orqe µ|o:t|c
boq-hoµefu||y w|th more choco|ote for me.
| ye||ed to h|m, but he wo: :o enqro::ed |n eot|nq choco|ote (wh|ch | :uµµo:e | cou|d under:tond)
thot he d|dn't not|ce u: unt|| we were o few meter: owoy. 1hen he |oohed uµ ond :ow 5et.
| :torted to :oy, ºße:, don't-º
1oo |ote. L|he o :hunh, the dworf qod oct|uoted h|: defou|t defen:e. H|: eye: bu|qed out. H|:
mouth oµened |mµo::|b|y w|de. He ye||ed ºßOO|º :o |oud|y, my ho|r µorted, ond |c|c|e: ro|ned down from
the br|dqe': :treet|omµ:.
5et d|dn't |ooh the |eo:t b|t fozed.
ºHe||o, ße:,º he :o|d. ºReo||y, you're not :o :cory w|th choco|ote :meored on your foce.º
ße: q|ored ot me. ºvhot': he do|nq here!º
ºNot my |deo|º | µrom|:ed. | qoue h|m the obbreu|oted :tory of our encounter w|th Men:h|hou.
ºAnd :o Corter': been hurt,º | :ummed uµ, wh|ch :eemed rother obu|ou:. ºve houe to qet h|m out
of here.º
ºßut f|r:t,º 5et |nterruµted, µo|nt|nq ot the Choco|ote Mu:eum boq next to ße:, º| con't :tond
:urµr|:e:. vhot': |n there! A q|ft for me!º
ße: frowned. º5od|e wonted o :ouuen|r. | brouqht her Len|n': heod.º
5et :|oµµed h|: th|qh w|th de||qht. ºße:, how eu||| 1here': hoµe for you yet.º
ºNot h|: reo| heod,º ße: :o|d. º|t': choco|ote.º
ºOh.:home. Con | houe µort of your che::boord, then! | :|mµ|y |oue eot|nq µown:.º
ºCet out of here, 5et|º ße: :o|d.
ºve||, | cou|d do thot, but :|nce our fr|end: ore on the|r woy, | thouqht µerhoµ: we :hou|d mohe o
5et :noµµed h|: f|nqer:, ond o q|obe of red ||qht oµµeored |n front of h|m. |n |t, the ho|oqroµh|c
|moqe: of :|x men |n :ecur|ty un|form: µ||ed |nto two wh|te :µort: cor:. 1he|r heod||qht: b|ozed to ||fe. 1he
cor: :werued ocro:: o µorh|nq |ot, then µo::ed :tro|qht throuqh o :tone wo|| o: |f |t were mode of :mohe.
º|'d :oy you houe obout two m|nute:.º 5et :m||ed, ond the q|obe of ||qht foded. ºVou remember
Men:h|hou': m|n|on:, ße:. Are you :ure you wont to meet them oqo|n!º
1he dworf qod': foce dorhened. He cru:hed o wh|te choco|ote che:: µ|ece |n h|: hond. ºVou |y|nq,
:chem|nq, murder|nq-º
º5toµ|º | :o|d.
Corter qrooned |n h|: µo|:oned doze. £|ther he wo: qett|nq heou|er, or | wo: qett|nq t|red of
ho|d|nq h|m uµ.
ºve don't houe t|me to orque,º | :o|d. º5et, ore you offer|nq to :toµ the moq|c|on:!º
He |ouqhed. ºNo, no. |'m :t||| hoµ|nq they'|| h||| you, you :ee. ßut | wo: qo|nq to offer you the
|ocot|on of the |o:t :cro|| |n the ßooh of Ro. 1hot |: whot you're ofter, |:n't |t!º
| o::umed he wo: |y|nq. He u:uo||y wo:-but |f he wo: :er|ou:.
| |oohed ot ße:. º|: |t µo::|b|e he hnow: the |ocot|on!º
ße: qrunted. ºMore thon µo::|b|e. 1he µr|e:t: of Ro qoue h|m the :cro|| for :ofeheeµ|nq.º
ºvhy on eorth wou|d they do thot!º
5et tr|ed to |ooh mode:t. ºCome now, 5od|e. | wo: o |oyo| ||eutenont of Ro. |f you were Ro, ond
you d|dn't wont to be bothered by ony o|d moq|c|on try|nq to wohe you, wou|dn't you tru:t the hey to
your |ocot|on w|th your mo:t feor:ome :eruont!º
He hod o µo|nt. ºvhere': the :cro||, then!º
ºNot :o fo:t. |'|| q|ue you the |ocot|on |f you q|ue me boch my :ecret nome.º
ºNot ||he|y|º
º|t': qu|te :|mµ|e. lu:t :oy '| q|ue you boch your nome.' Vou'|| forqet the µroµer woy to :oy |t-º
ºAnd then |'|| houe no µower ouer you| Vou'|| h||| me|º
ºVou'd houe my word thot | won't.º
ºR|qht. 1hot': worth o |ot. vhot |f | u:ed your :ecret nome to force you to te|| me!º
5et :hruqqed. ºv|th o few doy: to re:eorch the correct :µe||, you m|qht monoqe thot.
Unfortunote|y.º He cuµµed h|: eor to h|: hond. |n the d|:tonce, t|re: :queo|ed-two cor:, troue||nq fo:t,
qett|nq c|o:er. ºVou don't houe o few doy:.º
ße: cur:ed |n £qyµt|on. ºDon't do |t, q|r|. He con't be tru:ted.º
ºCon we f|nd the :cro|| w|thout h|m!º
ºve||.moybe. Þrobob|y not. No.º
1he heod||qht: of two cor: :werued onto the Neu:hy Þro:µeht, rouqh|y ho|f o m||e owoy. ve were
out of t|me. | hod to qet Corter owoy from here, but |f 5et reo||y wo: our on|y woy of f|nd|nq the :cro||, |
cou|dn't ju:t |et h|m qo.
ºA|| r|qht, 5et. ßut |'|| q|ue you one |o:t order.º
ße: :|qhed. º| con't beor to wotch th|:. C|ue me your brother. |'|| µut h|m |n the cor.º
1he dworf tooh Corter ond :tuffed h|m |nto the boch:eot of the Mercede:.
| heµt my eye: on 5et, try|nq to th|nh of the |eo:t terr|b|e woy to mohe th|: deo|. | cou|dn't :|mµ|y
te|| h|m to neuer hurt my fom||y. A moq|co| µoct needed to be corefu||y worded, w|th c|eor ||m|t: ond on
exµ|rot|on dote, or the who|e :µe|| wou|d unroue|. º £u|| Doy, you ore not to horm the kone fom||y. Vou'||
mo|nto|n o truce w|th u: ot |eo:t unt||-unt|| Ro ho: been owohened.º
ºOr unt|| you try ond fo|| to owohen h|m!º 5et o:hed |nnocent|y.
º|f thot hoµµen:,º | :o|d, ºthe wor|d |: qo|nq to end. 5o why not! | w||| do whot you o:h concern|nq
your nome. |n exchonqe, you w||| te|| me the |ocot|on of the |o:t µort of the ßooh of Ro, w|thout tr|chery
or deceµt|on. 1hen you'|| deµort for the Duot.º
5et con:|dered the offer. 1he two wh|te :µort: cor: were on|y o few b|och: owoy now. ße: :hut
Corter': door ond ron boch ouer.
ºve houe o deo|,º 5et oqreed. ºVou'|| f|nd the :cro|| ot ßohor|yo. ße: hnow: the µ|oce | meon.º
ße: d|dn't |ooh hoµµy. º1hot µ|oce |: heou||y µrotected. ve'|| houe to u:e the A|exondr|o µorto|.º
ºVe:.º 5et qr|nned. º5hou|d be |ntere:t|nq| How |onq con you ho|d your breoth, 5od|e kone!º
ºvhot do you meon!º
ºNeuer m|nd, neuer m|nd. Now, | be||eue you owe me o :ecret nome.º
º| q|ue you boch your nome,º | :o|d. lu:t ||he thot, | fe|t the moq|c |eoue me. | :t||| hnew 5et': nome:
£u|| Doy. ßut :omehow | cou|dn't remember exoct|y how | u:ed to :oy |t, or how |t worhed |n o :µe||. 1he
memory hod been ero:ed.
1o my :urµr|:e, 5et d|dn't h||| me on the :µot. He ju:t :m||ed ond to::ed me V|od Men:h|hou':
:unq|o::e:. º| hoµe you ||ue, ofter o||, 5od|e kone. Vou're qu|te omu:|nq. ßut |f they do h||| you, ot |eo:t
enjoy the exµer|ence|º
ºCo:h, thonh:.º
ºAnd ju:t becou:e | ||he you :o much, | houe o free µ|ece of |nformot|on for your brother. 1e|| h|m
Z|o Ro:h|d': u|||oqe wo: co||ed o|-Homroh Mohon.º
ºvhy |: thot-º
ºHoµµy troue|:|º 5et d|:oµµeored |n o c|oud of b|ood-co|ored m|:t. A b|och owoy, the two wh|te
:µort: cor: borre|ed toword u:. A moq|c|on :tuch h|: heod out the :unroof of the |eod cor ond µo|nted h|:
:toff |n our d|rect|on.
º1|me to |eoue,º ße: :o|d. ºCet |n|º
| w||| :oy th|: for ße:: he droue ||he o mon|oc. And | meon thot |n the be:t µo::|b|e woy. |cy :treet:
d|dn't bother h|m ot o||. Ne|ther d|d troff|c :|qno|:, µede:tr|on µouement:, or cono|:, wh|ch he tw|ce
jumµed w|thout bother|nq to f|nd o br|dqe. Fortunote|y, the c|ty wo: mo:t|y emµty thot t|me of morn|nq,
or |'m :ure we wou|d houe mowed down ony number of Ru::|on:.
ve woue throuqh centro| 5t. Þeter:burq wh||e the two wh|te :µort: cor: c|o:ed beh|nd u:. | tr|ed to
ho|d Corter :teody next to me |n the boch:eot. H|: eye: were ho|f-oµen, h|: corneo: the mo:t owfu| :hode
of qreen. De:µ|te the co|d, he wo: burn|nq w|th feuer. | monoqed to tuq off h|: w|nter coot ond found h|:
:h|rt :oohed w|th :weot. On h|: :hou|der, the µuncture wound: were ooz|nq ||he.ve||, |t': µrobob|y be:t |
don't de:cr|be thot µort.
| q|onced beh|nd u:. 1he moq|c|on |n the :unroof o|med h|: :toff-not on eo:y to:h |n o h|qh-:µeed
cor cho:e-ond o q|ow|nq wh|te joue||n :hot from the t|µ, hurt||nq toword u: ||he o hom|nq m|::||e.
ºDuch|º | ye||ed, ond µu:hed Corter oqo|n:t the :eot.
1he joue||n brohe the reor w|ndow ond f|ew :tro|qht throuqh the w|nd:h|e|d. |f ße: hod been
normo| he|qht, he wou|d houe qotten o free heod µ|erc|nq. A: |t wo:, the µroject||e m|::ed h|m comµ|ete|y.
º|'m o dworf,º he qrumb|ed. º| don't duch|º
He :werued to the r|qht. ßeh|nd u:, o :torefront exµ|oded. Looh|nq boch, | :ow the ent|re wo||
d|::o|ue |nto o µ||e of ||u|nq :nohe:. Our µur:uer: were :t||| c|o:|nq.
ºße:, qet u: out of here|º | ye||ed.
º|'m try|nq, h|d. £qyµt|on ßr|dqe |: com|nq uµ. |t wo: or|q|no||y bu||t |n the e|qhteen hundred:,
º| don't core| lu:t dr|ue|º
1ru|y, |t': omoz|nq how mony £qyµt|on b|t: ond bob: there ore |n 5t. Þeter:burq, ond how ||tt|e |
cored obout them. ße|nq cho:ed by eu|| moq|c|on: throw|nq joue||n: ond :nohe bomb: doe: tend to c|or|fy
one': µr|or|t|e:.
5uff|ce |t to :oy: Ve:, there reo||y |: on £qyµt|on ßr|dqe ouer the Fontonho R|uer, |eod|nq :outh out
of centro| 5t. Þeter:burq. vhy! No |deo. Don't core. A: we roced toword |t, | :ow b|och :tone :µh|nxe: on
e|ther :|de-|ody :µh|nxe: w|th q||ded µhorooh crown:-but the on|y th|nq thot mottered to me wo: thot
they cou|d :ummon o µorto|.
ße: borhed :ometh|nq |n £qyµt|on. At the toµ of the br|dqe, b|ue ||qht f|o:hed. A :w|r||nq :ond
uortex oµµeored.
ºvhot d|d 5et meon,º | o:hed, ºobout ho|d|nq my breoth!º
ºHoµefu||y won't be for |onq,º ße: :o|d. ºve'|| on|y be th|rty feet under.º
º1h|rty feet under woter!º
ßANC| 1he Mercede: coreened :|dewoy:. On|y |oter d|d | reo||ze onother joue||n mu:t houe h|t our
boch t|re. ve :µun ocro:: the |ce ond f||µµed, :||d|nq uµ:|de-down |nto the uortex.
My heod :|ommed oqo|n:t :ometh|nq. | oµened my eye:, f|qht|nq for con:c|ou:ne::, but e|ther | wo:
b||nd or we were |n comµ|ete dorhne::. | heord woter tr|ch||nq throuqh the joue||n-:hottered q|o::, ond
the roof of the Mercede: crumµ||nq ||he on o|um|num con.
| hod t|me to th|nh: A teenoqer for |e:: thon o doy, ond |'m qo|nq to drown.
1hen | b|oched out.
5 A D | £
tz. I Motter tbe PIøe Art eI Home-CoIIIøg
|1'5 D|51URß|NC 1O vAk£ UÞ o: o ch|chen.
My bo f|ooted throuqh dorh woter. My q|ow|nq w|nq: f|oµµed o: | tr|ed to f|qure out wh|ch woy
wo: uµ. | o::umed my body wo: :omewhere c|o:e by, µo::|b|y o|reody drowned |n the boch of the
Mercede:, but | cou|dn't f|qure out how to return to |t.
vhy on eorth hod ße: dr|uen u: throuqh on underwoter µorto|! | hoµed µoor Corter hod
:omehow :uru|ued, µerhoµ: ße: wo: ob|e to µu|| h|m free. ßut dy|nq from µo|:on rother thon drown|nq
d|dn't :eem much of on |mµrouement.
A current couqht me ond wh|:hed me |nto the Duot. 1he woter chonqed |nto co|d foq. vo|||nq
ond qrow||nq f|||ed the dorhne::. My occe|erot|on :|owed, ond when the m|:t d|::|µoted, | wo: boch |n
ßrooh|yn Hou:e, f|oot|nq ju:t out:|de the |nf|rmory door. On o bench oqo|n:t the wo||, :|tt|nq toqether ||he
o|d fr|end:, were Anub|: ond vo|t 5tone. 1hey |oohed ||he they were wo|t|nq for bod new:. vo|t': hond:
were fo|ded |n h|: |oµ. H|: :hou|der: :|umµed. He'd chonqed c|othe:-o new :|eeue|e:: tee, o new µo|r of
runn|nq :hort:-but he |oohed ||he he hodn't :|eµt :|nce return|nq from London.
Anub|: to|hed to h|m |n :ooth|nq tone:, o: |f try|nq to eo:e h|: qr|ef. |'d neuer :een Anub|: |n
trod|t|ono| £qyµt|on c|othe: before: bore-che:ted w|th o qo|d ond ruby co||or oround h|: nech, o :|mµ|e
b|och h||t wroµµed oround h|: wo|:t. |t wo:n't o |ooh |'d recommend for mo:t quy:, but Anub|: µu||ed |t
off. |'d o|woy: |moq|ned he wou|d |ooh rother :h|nny w|th h|: :h|rt off (not thot | |moq|ned thot o |ot, m|nd
you) but he wo: |n exce||ent :hoµe. 1hey mu:t'ue hod qu|te o qood qym |n the underwor|d,
bench-µre::|nq tomb:tone: ond whotnot.
At ony rote, ofter the :hoch of :ee|nq them toqether, my f|r:t thouqht wo: thot :ometh|nq terr|b|e
mu:t'ue hoµµened to loz.
ºvhot |: |t!º | o:hed, not :ure |f they cou|d heor me. ºvhot': hoµµened!º
vo|t d|dn't reoct, but Anub|: |oohed uµ. A: u:uo| my heort d|d o ||tt|e hoµµy donce qu|te w|thout
my µerm|::|on. H|: eye: were :o me:mer|z|nq, | comµ|ete|y forqot how to u:e my bro|n.
| :o|d, ºUm.º
| hnow, L|z wou|d'ue been µroud.
º5od|e,º Anub|: :o|d. ºVou :hou|dn't be here. Corter |: dy|nq.º
1hot jorred me boch to my :en:e:. º| hnow thot, jocho| boy| | d|dn't o:h to be-vo|t, why om |
Anub|: µo|nted ot the door of the |nf|rmory. º| :u:µect loz': :µ|r|t co||ed to you.º
º|: :he deod! Am | deod!º
ºNe|ther,º Anub|: :o|d. ºßut you ore both on deoth': door:teµ, wh|ch meon: your :ou|: con :µeoh
to eoch other qu|te eo:||y. lu:t don't :toy |onq.º
vo|t :t||| hodn't ochnow|edqed me. He muttered: ºCou|dn't te|| her. vhy cou|dn't | te|| her!º He
oµened h|: hond:. Crod|ed |n h|: µo|m: wo: o qo|den :hen omu|et exoct|y ||he the one he'd q|uen me.
ºAnub|:, whot': wronq w|th h|m!º | o:hed. ºCon't he heor me!º
Anub|: µut h|: hond on vo|t': :hou|der. ºHe con't :ee e|ther of u:, thouqh | th|nh he con :en:e my
µre:ence. He co||ed to me for qu|donce. 1hot': why |'m here.º
ºCu|donce from you! vhy!º
| :uµµo:e |t :ounded hor:her thon | |ntended, but of o|| the qod: vo|t m|qht'ue co||ed, Anub|:
:eemed the |eo:t ||he|y cho|ce.
Anub|: |oohed uµ ot me, h|: eye: euen more me|oncho|y thon u:uo|.
ºVou :hou|d µo:: on now, 5od|e,º he :o|d. ºVou houe uery ||tt|e t|me. | µrom|:e |'|| do my be:t to
eo:e vo|t': µo|n.º
ºH|: µo|n!º | o:hed. ºHonq on-º
ßut the |nf|rmory door :wunq oµen, ond the current: of the Duot µu||ed me |n:|de.
1he |nf|rmory wo: the n|ce:t med|co| foc|||ty |'d euer been |n, but thot wo:n't :oy|nq much. | hoted
ho:µ|to|:. My fother u:ed to johe thot | wo: born :creom|nq ond d|dn't :toµ unt|| they qot me out of the
motern|ty word. | wo: morto||y ofro|d of need|e:, µ|||:, ond oboue o|| the :me|| of :|ch µeoµ|e. Deod µeoµ|e
ond cemeter|e:! 1ho:e d|dn't bother me. ßut :|chne::.we||, |'m :orry, but doe: |t houe to :me|| :o b|oody
My f|r:t u|:|t to loz |n the |nf|rmory hod tohen o|| my couroqe. 1h|: :econd t|me, euen |n bo form,
wo:n't ony eo:|er.
1he room wo: obout the :|ze of my bedroom. 1he wo||: were rouqh-hewn ||me:tone. Lorqe
w|ndow: |et |n the n|qhtt|me q|ow of New Vorh. Cedor cob|net: were corefu||y |obe|ed w|th med|c|ne:, f|r:t
o|d :uµµ||e:, moq|co| chorm: ond µot|on:. |n one corner :tood o founto|n w|th o ||fe-:|ze :totue of the ||on
qodde:: 5ehhmet, µotron of heo|er:. |'d heord thot the woter µour|nq throuqh 5ehhmet': hond: cou|d
cure o co|d or f|u |n:tont|y, ond µrou|de mo:t of one': do||y u|tom|n: ond |ron, but |'d neuer hod the
couroqe to tohe o dr|nh.
1he qurq|e of the founto|n wo: µeocefu| enouqh. |n:teod of ont|:eµt|c, the o|r :me||ed of chormed
uon|||o-:cented cond|e: thot f|ooted oround the room. ßut :t|||, the µ|oce mode me jumµy.
| hnew the cond|e: mon|tored the µot|ent:' cond|t|on:. 1he|r f|ome: chonqed co|or to |nd|cote
µrob|em:. At the moment, they o|| houered oround the on|y occuµ|ed bed-loz':. 1he|r f|ome: were dorh
loz': hond: were fo|ded on her che:t. Her b|ond ho|r wo: combed ocro:: her µ|||ow. 5he :m||ed
fo|nt|y o: |f :he were hou|nq o µ|eo:ont dreom.
And :|tt|nq ot the foot of loz': bed wo:.loz, or ot |eo:t o :h|mmer|nq qreen |moqe of my fr|end. |t
wo:n't o bo. 1he form wo: fu||y humon. | wondered |f :he'd d|ed ofter o||, ond th|: wo: her qho:t.
ºloz.º A woue of fre:h qu||t wo:hed ouer me. £ueryth|nq thot hod qone wronq the µo:t two doy:
hod :torted w|th loz': :ocr|f|ce, wh|ch wo: my fou|t. ºAre you-º
ºDeod! No, 5od|e. 1h|: |: my ren.º
Her tron:µorent body f||chered. vhen | |oohed more c|o:e|y, | :ow |t wo: comµo:ed of |moqe:, ||he
o 1-D u|deo of loz': ||fe. 1odd|er loz :ot |n o h|qh cho|r, µo|nt|nq her foce w|th boby food. 1we|ue-yeor-o|d
loz cortwhee|ed ocro:: o qymno:|um f|oor, try|nq out for her f|r:t cheer|eod|nq :quod. Þre:ent-doy loz
oµened her :choo| |ocher ond found o q|ow|nq djed omu|et -our moq|co| co|||nq cord thot hod |ed her to
ºVour ren,º | :o|d. ºAnother µort of your :ou|!º
1he q|ow|nq qreen |moqe nodded. º£qyµt|on: be||eued there were f|ue d|fferent µort: of the :ou|.
1he bo |: the µer:ono||ty. 1he ren |:-º
ºVour nome,º | remembered. ºßut how con thot be your nome!º
ºMy nome |: my |dent|ty,º :he :o|d. º1he :um of my exµer|ence:. A: |onq o: my nome |:
remembered, | :t||| ex|:t, euen |f | d|e. Do you under:tond!º
| d|dn't, euen remote|y. ßut | under:tood :he m|qht d|e, ond thot |t wo: my fou|t.
º|'m :o :orry.º | tr|ed not to breoh |nto teor:. º|f | hodn't qrobbed thot :tuµ|d :cro||-º
º5od|e, don't be :orry. |'m q|od you'ue come.º
º£ueryth|nq hoµµen: for o reo:on, 5od|e, euen bod th|nq:.º
º1hot': not true|º | :o|d. º|t': b|oody unfo|r|º
How cou|d loz be :o co|m ond n|ce, euen when :he wo: |n o como! | d|dn't wont to heor thot bod
th|nq: hoµµened o: µort of :ome qrond µ|on. | hoted when µeoµ|e :o|d thot. |'d |o:t my mother. |'d |o:t
my dod. My ||fe hod been turned uµ:|de down, ond |'d o|mo:t d|ed count|e:: t|me:. Now, o: for o: | hnew,
| wo: deod or dy|nq. My brother wo: µo|:oned ond drown|nq, ond | cou|dn't he|µ h|m.
ºNo reo:on |: worth o|| th|:,º | :o|d. ºL|fe |: rondom. |t': hor:h. |t':-|t':-º
loz wo: :t||| :m|||nq, |ooh|nq o b|t omu:ed.
ºOh,º | :o|d. ºVou wonted to mohe me mod, d|dn't you!º
º1hot': the 5od|e we o|| |oue. Cr|ef reo||y |:n't µroduct|ue. Vou do better when you're onqry.º
ºHumµh.º | :uµµo:ed :he wo: r|qht, but | d|dn't houe to ||he |t. º5o why d|d you br|nq me here!º
º1wo th|nq:,º :he :o|d. ºF|r:t, you're not deod. vhen you wohe uµ, you'|| on|y houe o few m|nute:
to heo| Corter. Vou'|| houe to oct qu|ch|y.º
ºU:|nq the wox :totue,º | :o|d. ºVe:, | f|qured thot out. ßut | don't hnow how. |'m no qood ot
º1here |: on|y one more |nqred|ent thot motter:. Vou hnow whot |t |:.º
ºßut | don't|º
loz ro|:ed on eyebrow ||he | wo: ju:t be|nq :tubborn. ºVou're :o c|o:e to under:tond|nq, 5od|e.
1h|nh obout |:|:. 1h|nh obout how you chonne|ed her µower |n 5t. Þeter:burq. 1he on:wer w||| come to
ºve mu:t hurry. 1he :econd th|nq: you're qo|nq to need vo|t': he|µ. | hnow |t': r|:hy. | hnow ße:
worned oqo|n:t |t. ßut u:e the omu|et to co|| vo|t boch to you. |t': whot he wont:.
5ome r|:h: ore worth toh|nq, euen |f |t meon: |o:|nq o ||fe.º
ºLo:|nq who:e ||fe! H|:!º
1he |nf|rmory :cene beqon to d|::o|ue, turn|nq |nto o b|urry woterco|or.
º1h|nh obout |:|:,º loz reµeoted. ºAnd 5od|e.there |: o µurµo:e. Vou touqht u: thot. ve choo:e to
be||eue |n Mo'ot. ve creote order out of choo:, beouty ond meon|nq out of uq|y rondomne::. 1hot': whot
£qyµt |: o|| obout. 1hot': why |t: nome, |t: ren, ho: endured for m|||enn|o. Don't de:µo|r. Otherw|:e Choo:
| remembered :oy|nq :ometh|nq ||he thot |n one of our c|o::e:, but euen then, | hodn't be||eued |t.
º|'|| |et you |n on o :ecret,º | :o|d. º|'m o rubb|:h teocher.º
loz': form, o|| her co||ected memor|e:, :|ow|y me|ted |nto m|:t. º|'|| |et you |n on o :ecret,º :he :o|d,
her uo|ce fod|nq. ºVou were on exce||ent teocher. Now, u|:|t |:|:, ond :ee how |t beqon.º
1he |nf|rmory euoµoroted. 5udden|y | wo: on o royo| borqe, f|oot|nq down the N||e. 1he :un
b|ozed ouerheod. Lu:h qreen mor:h qro:: ond µo|m tree: ||ned the r|uerbonh:. ßeyond thot the de:ert
:µreod to the hor|zon-borren red h|||: :o dry ond forb|dd|nq, they m|qht o: we|| houe been on Mor:.
1he boot wo: ||he the one Corter hod de:cr|bed from h|: u|:|on w|th Horu:, thouqh |n better
cond|t|on. |t: cr|:µ wh|te :o|| wo: emb|ozoned w|th the |moqe of the :un d|:h, q||tter|nq |n red ond qo|d.
Orb: of mu|t|co|ored ||qht z|µµed oround the dech, monn|nq the oor: ond µu|||nq the ||ne:. How they d|d
th|: w|thout hond:, | don't hnow, but |t wo:n't the f|r:t t|me |'d :een :uch o moq|co| crew.
1he hu|| wo: |n|o|d w|th µrec|ou: meto|:-coµµer, :||uer, ond qo|d de:|qn: :how|nq µ|cture: of the
boot': journey throuqh the Duot, ond h|eroq|yµh: |nuoh|nq the µower of the :un.
|n the m|dd|e of the boot, o b|ue-ond-qo|d conoµy :hoded the :un qod': throne, wh|ch wo:
w|thout o doubt the mo:t |mµre::|ue ond uncomfortob|e |ooh|nq cho|r |'d euer :een. At f|r:t | thouqht |t
wo: mo|ten qo|d. 1hen | reo||zed |t wo: fo:h|oned out of ||u|nq f|re-ye||ow f|ome: thot hod :omehow been
:cu|µted |nto the :hoµe of o throne. £tched |nto |t: |eq: ond ormre:t:, wh|te-hot h|eroq|yµh: q|owed :o
br|qht|y they :eored my eye:.
1he throne': occuµont wo:n't qu|te :o |mµre::|ue. Ro wo: on o|d |eothery mon bent ouer |n the
:hoµe of o que:t|on morh, h|: bo|d :co|µ crotered w|th ||uer :µot: ond h|: foce :o :oqqy ond wr|nh|ed |t
|oohed ||he o mo:h. On|y h|: hoh|-||ned eye: qoue ony |nd|cot|on he wo: o||ue, becou:e they were fu|| of
µo|n ond weor|ne::. He wore o h||t ond co||or, wh|ch d|d not :u|t h|m neor|y o: we|| o: |t hod Anub|:. Unt||
now, the mo:t onc|ent µer:on |'d euer :een wo: |:hondor, the former Ch|ef Lector, who'd been two
thou:ond yeor: o|d. ßut |:hondor hod neuer |oohed th|: bod, euen when he wo: obout to d|e. 1o mohe
motter: wor:e, Ro': |eft |eq wo: wroµµed |n bondoqe: ond :wo||en to tw|ce |t: µroµer :|ze.
He qrooned ond µroµµed h|: |eq on o µ||e of cu:h|on:. 1wo µuncture wound: oozed throuqh the
bondoqe: on h|: :h|n-uery much ||he the fonq morh: on Corter': :hou|der. A: Ro hneoded h|: |eq, qreen
uenom :µreod uµ the ue|n: of h|: th|qh. lu:t |ooh|nq ot |t mode my bo feother: :h|uer w|th reuu|:|on.
Ro |oohed to the heouen:. H|: eye: turned mo|ten ye||ow ||he h|: throne.
º|:|:|º he cr|ed. ºVery we||| | re|ent|º
A :hodow r|µµ|ed under the conoµy. A womon oµµeored, ond hne|t before the throne. |
recoqn|zed her, of cour:e. 5he hod |onq, dorh ho|r cut C|eoµotro-:ty|e ond o wh|te qo::omer dre:: thot
comµ|emented her qrocefu| f|qure. Her |um|nou: ro|nbow w|nq: :h|mmered ||he the northern ||qht:.
v|th her heod bowed ond her µo|m: ro|:ed |n :uµµ||cot|on, :he |oohed ||he the µ|cture of hum|||ty,
but | hnew |:|: too we||. | cou|d :ee the :m||e :he wo: try|nq to h|de. | cou|d :en:e her e|ot|on.
ºLord Ro,º :he :o|d. º| ||ue to :erue you.º
ºHo|º Ro :o|d. ºVou ||ue for µower, |:|:. Don't try to dece|ue me. | hnow you creoted the :nohe thot
b|t me| 1hot': why no one e|:e con f|nd o cure. Vou de:|re my throne for your hu:bond, the uµ:tort O:|r|:.º
|:|: :torted to µrote:t, ºMy |ord-º
º£nouqh| |f | were o younqer qod-º Ro mode the m|:tohe of mou|nq h|: |eq. He ye|µed |n µo|n.
1he qreen uenom :µreod forther uµ h|: ue|n:.
ºNeuer m|nd.º He :|qhed m|:erob|y. º| om weory of th|: wor|d. £nouqh :chem|nq ond µ|ott|nq. lu:t
cure the µo|:on.º
ºC|od|y, my h|nq. ßut | w||| need-º
ºMy :ecret nome,º Ro :o|d. ºVe:, | hnow. Þrom|:e to heo| me, ond you w||| qet o|| you de:|re.ond
| heord the worn|nq |n Ro': uo|ce, but e|ther |:|: d|dn't not|ce, or :he d|dn't core.
º| :weor to heo| you,º :he :o|d.
º1hen oµµrooch, qodde::.º
|:|: |eoned forword. | thouqht Ro wou|d wh|:µer h|: nome |n her eor, but |n:teod he qro:µed her
hond ond µ|oced |t oqo|n:t h|: w|thered brow. Her f|nqert|µ: :mo|dered. 5he tr|ed to µu|| owoy, but Ro
he|d her wr|:t. 1he :un qod': ent|re form q|owed w|th f|ery |moqe: of h|: |onq ||fe: the f|r:t down, h|: :un
boot :h|n|nq on the new|y r|:en |ond of £qyµt, the creot|on of the other qod: ond morto| men, Ro': end|e::
bott|e: w|th Aµoµh|: o: he µo::ed throuqh the Duot eoch n|qht, heeµ|nq Choo: ot boy. |t wo: too much to
tohe |n-centur|e: µo::|nq w|th eoch heortbeot. H|: :ecret nome wo: the :um of h|: exµer|ence, ond euen
then, |n tho:e onc|ent t|me:, Ro wo: unth|nhob|y o|d. 1he f|ery ouro :µreod to |:|:': hond, troue||nq uµ her
orm unt|| her who|e body wo: wreothed |n f|ome:. 5he :creomed once. 1hen the f|re: d|ed. |:|: co||oµ:ed,
:mohe cur||nq from her dre::.
º5o,º Ro :o|d. ºVou :uru|ued.º
| cou|dn't te|| |f he fe|t d|:oµµo|ntment or qrudq|nq re:µect.
|:|: ro:e un:teod||y to her feet. 5he |oohed :he||-:hoched, o: |f :he'd ju:t :tro||ed throuqh o wor zone,
but :he ro|:ed her hond. A f|ery h|eroq|yµh burned on her µo|m-Ro': :ecret nome, d|:t|||ed |nto o :|nq|e
unbe||euob|y µowerfu| word.
5he µ|oced her hond on Ro': µo|:oned |eq ond :µohe o :µe||. 1he qreen uenom retreoted from h|:
ue|n:. 1he :we|||nq :ub:|ded. 1he bondoqe: fe|| owoy, ond the two fonq morh: c|o:ed.
Ro rec||ned on h|: throne ond :|qhed w|th re||ef. ºAt |o:t. No µo|n.º
ºMy |ord need: re:t,º |:|: :uqqe:ted. ºA |onq, |onq re:t.º
1he :un qod oµened h|: eye:. 1here wo: no f|re |n them now. 1hey |oohed ||he the m||hy eye: of o
morto| o|d mon.
ºßo:t|º he co||ed.
1he cot qodde:: moter|o||zed ot h|: :|de. 5he wo: dre::ed |n £qyµt|on ormor of |eother ond |ron,
ond :he :eemed younqer, thouqh µerhoµ: thot wo: ju:t becou:e :he hodn't yet endured centur|e: |n o
µr|:on oby::, f|qht|nq Aµoµh|:. | wo: temµted to :hout to her ond worn her obout whot wo: com|nq, but
my uo|ce wou|dn't worh.
ßo:t qoue |:|: :|dewoy: |ooh. ºMy |ord, |: th|:.womon bother|nq you!º Ro :hooh h|: heod. ºNoth|nq
w||| bother me much |onqer, my fo|thfu| cot. Come w|th me now. ve houe |mµortont motter: to d|:cu::
before | deµort.º
ºMy |ord! vhere ore you qo|nq!º
º|nto forced ret|rement.º Ro q|ored ot |:|:. º1hot |: whot you wont, qodde:: of moq|c!º
|:|: bowed.
ºNeuer, my |ord|º ßo:t drew her hn|ue: ond :teµµed toword |:|:, but Ro he|d out h|: orm.
º£nouqh, ßo:t,º he :o|d. º| houe onother f|qht |n m|nd for you-one |o:t, cruc|o| f|qht. A: for you,
|:|:, you moy th|nh you houe won becou:e you mo:tered my :ecret nome. Do you reo||ze whot you'ue
:torted! O:|r|: moy become µhorooh, but h|: re|qn w||| be :hort ond b|tter. H|: royo| :eot w||| be o µo|e
ref|ect|on of my throne of f|re. 1h|: boot w||| no |onqer r|de the Duot. 1he bo|once between Mo'ot ond
Choo: w||| :|ow|y deqrode. £qyµt |t:e|f w||| fo||. 1he nome: of her qod: w||| fode to o d|:tont memory. 1hen
one doy, the ent|re wor|d w||| :tond on the br|nh of de:truct|on. Vou w||| cry out to Ro, ond | w||| not be
there. vhen thot doy come:, remember how your qreed ond omb|t|on cou:ed |t to hoµµen.º
ºMy |ord.º |:|: bowed re:µectfu||y, but | hnew :he wo:n't th|nh|nq obout :ome d|:tont future. 5he
wo: drunh w|th her u|ctory. 5he thouqht O:|r|: wou|d ru|e £qyµt foreuer, ond thot Ro wo: ju:t on o|d foo|.
5he d|d not hnow thot |n o :hort t|me, her u|ctory wou|d turn to troqedy. O:|r|: wou|d be murdered by h|:
brother, 5et. And :omedoy, Ro': other µred|ct|on: wou|d come true o: we||.
ºLet u: qo, ßo:t,º Ro :o|d. ºve ore no |onqer wonted.º
1he throne eruµted |n o co|umn of f|ome:, burn|nq owoy the b|ue-ond-qo|d conoµy. A bo|| of f|re
o:cended |nto the heouen: unt|| |t wo: |o:t |n the q|ore of the :un.
vhen the :mohe c|eored, |:|: :tood o|one ond |ouqhed w|th de||qht.
º| d|d |t|º :he exc|o|med. ºO:|r|:, you w||| be h|nq| | mo:tered the :ecret nome of Ro|º
| wonted to te|| her :he hod mo:tered noth|nq, but | cou|d on|y wotch o: |:|: donced ocro:: the
boot. 5he wo: :o µ|eo:ed w|th her own :ucce::, :he µo|d no ottent|on to the moq|co| :eruont ||qht:
d|:oµµeor|nq. 1he ||ne: droµµed. 1he :o|| went :|och. Oor: tro||ed |n the woter, ond the :un boot dr|fted
down the r|uer, unmonned.
My u|:|on foded, ond | :onh |nto dorhne::.
| wohe |n o :oft bed. For o b||::fu| moment, | thouqht | wo: boch |n my room ot ßrooh|yn Hou:e. |
cou|d qet uµ ond houe o |oue|y breohfo:t w|th my fr|end:, Amo:, Þh|||µ of Mocedon|o, ond khufu, then
:µend the doy teoch|nq our |n|t|ote: how to turn eoch other |nto reµt||e:. 1hot :ounded br||||ont.
ßut of cour:e | wo:n't home. | :ot uµ, ond my heod beqon :µ|nn|nq. | wo: |n o h|nq-:|ze bed w|th
:oft cotton :heet: ond o µ||e of feother µ|||ow:. 1he bedroom wo: qu|te µo:h, decoroted |n dozz||nq wh|te,
wh|ch d|d not he|µ my d|zz|ne::. | fe|t o: |f | were boch |n the home of the :hy qodde:: Nut. At ony
moment, the room m|qht d|::o|ue |nto c|oud:.
My |eq: fe|t :t|ff, but | monoqed to qet out of bed. | wo: weor|nq one of tho:e hote| robe: :o
mo::|ue ond µ|u:h, | |oohed ||he on o|b|no Muµµet. | :toqqered to the doorwoy ond found o |oue|y ||u|nq
room, o|:o br|qht wh|te. 5||d|nq q|o:: door: |ed to o uerondo thot ouer|oohed the :eo from qu|te o
he|qht-µo::|b|y f|fteen or twenty :tor|e:. 1he :hy ond the woter were qorqeou: b|ue.
My eye: tooh o moment to odju:t to the ||qht. On o neorby tob|e, Corter': ond my few µo::e::|on:
were corefu||y |o|d out -our o|d rumµ|ed c|othe:, our moq|c boq:, ond the two :cro||: from the ßooh of
Ro, o|onq w|th ße:': boq from the Choco|ote Mu:eum.
Corter wo: wroµµed |n o wh|te robe ||he m|ne. He |oy on the couch w|th h|: eye: c|o:ed. H|: who|e
body :h|uered. ße: :ot next to h|m, dobb|nq Corter': foreheod w|th o coo| c|oth.
ºHow-how |: he!º | monoqed.
ße: q|onced ouer. He |oohed ||he o m|n|oture tour|:t |n o |oud Howo||on :h|rt, hhoh| :hort:, ond
f||µ-f|oµ:. 1he uq|y Amer|con-:|ze extro-:mo||.
ºAbout t|me,º he :o|d. º| wo: beq|nn|nq to th|nh you'd neuer wohe uµ.º
| tooh o :teµ forword, but the room t||ted boch ond forth.
ºCorefu|.º ße: ru:hed ouer ond tooh my orm. ºVou qot o no:ty bumµ on the heod.º
ºNeuer m|nd thot,º | muttered. º| houe to he|µ Corter.º
ºHe': bod, 5od|e. | don't hnow |f-º
º| con he|µ. My wond, ond the wox f|qur|ne-º
ºVeoh. Veoh, ohoy. |'|| qet them.º
v|th ße:': o::|:tonce, | wobb|ed to Corter': :|de. ße: fetched my th|nq: wh||e | cheched Corter':
foreheod. H|: feuer wo: wor:e thon before. 1he ue|n: |n h|: nech hod turned qreen from the µo|:on, ju:t
||he Ro': hod |n my u|:|on.
| frowned ot ße:. ºHow |onq wo: | out!º
º|t': o|mo:t noon on 1ue:doy.º He :µreod my moq|c :uµµ||e: ot Corter': feet. º5o, rouqh|y twe|ue
º1we|ue hour:! ße:, thot': the mox|mum t|me 5et thouqht Corter cou|d :toy o||ue before the
µo|:on h|||ed h|m| vhy d|dn't you wohe me :ooner!º
H|: foce turned o: red o: h|: Howo||on :h|rt. º| tr|ed| | µu||ed you both out of the Med|terroneon
ond qot you to the hote|, d|dn't |! | u:ed o|| the wohe-uµ :µe||: | hnow| Vou ju:t heµt mutter|nq |n your
:|eeµ obout vo|t, Anub|:, :ecret nome:-º
ºF|ne|º | :o|d. ºlu:t he|µ me-º
1he doorbe|| ronq.
ße: qe:tured for me to :toy co|m. He co||ed out |n onother |onquoqe-µo::|b|y Arob|c-ond o hote|
wo|ter oµened the door. He bowed |ow to ße:, o: |f the dworf were o :u|ton, then brouqht |n o room
:eru|ce cort |ooded w|th troµ|co| fru|t, fre:h-bohed breod:, ond bott|ed :odo:.
º£xce||ent,º ße: to|d me. ºße r|qht boch.º
ºVou're wo:t|nq t|me|º | :noµµed.
Noturo||y, ße: |qnored me. He retr|eued h|: boq from the d|n|nq tob|e ond brouqht out the
choco|ote heod of V|od|m|r Len|n. 1he wo|ter': eye: w|dened. ße: µut the heod |n the m|dd|e of the cort
ond nodded o: |f |t mode the µerfect centerµ|ece.
ße: qoue the wo|ter o few more order: |n Arob|c, then honded h|m :ome qo|d co|n:. 1he wo|ter
qroue|ed ond qenero||y |oohed terr|f|ed. He ex|ted bochword, :t||| bow|nq.
ºvhere ore we exoct|y!º | o:hed. ºAnd why ore you o h|nq here!º
ºA|exondr|o, £qyµt,º ße: :o|d. º5orry obout the rouqh orr|uo|. |t': o tr|chy µ|oce to te|eµort to.
C|eoµotro': o|d coµ|to|, you hnow, where the £qyµt|on £mµ|re fe|| oµort, :o moq|c tend: to qet tw|:ted
oround. 1he on|y worh|nq µorto|: ore |n the o|d c|ty, wh|ch |: off the coo:t, under th|rty feet of woter.º
ºAnd th|: µ|oce! Obu|ou:|y o |uxury hote|, but how d|d you-º
ºÞenthou:e 5u|te, Four 5eo:on: A|exondr|o.º He :ounded :||qht|y emborro::ed. ºÞeoµ|e |n £qyµt
:t||| remember the o|d qod:, euen |f they won't odm|t |t. | wo: µoµu|or boch |n the doy, :o | con u:uo||y co||
|n fouor: when | need them. 5orry | d|dn't houe more t|me. | cou|d'ue qotten u: o µr|uote u|||o.º
ºHow dore you,º | :o|d. ºMoh|nq u: :ett|e for o f|ue-:tor hote|. Now, why don't you mohe :ure
we're not |nterruµted wh||e | heo| Corter!º
| qrobbed the wox f|qur|ne loz hod q|uen me ond hne|t next to my brother. 1he :totue wo:
deformed from qett|nq hnoched oround |n my boq. 1hen oqo|n, Corter |oohed wor:e for weor, too.
Hoµefu||y the moq|c connect|on wou|d :t||| worh.
ºCorter,º | :o|d. º|'m qo|nq to heo| you. ßut | need your he|µ.º
| µut my hond on h|: feuer|:h foreheod. Now | hnew why loz hod oµµeored to me o: o ren, the
µort of the :ou| thot reµre:ented her nome. | hnew why :he'd :hown me the u|:|on of |:|: ond Ro.
Vou're :o c|o:e to under:tond|nq, 5od|e, :he'd :o|d.
|'d neuer thouqht obout |t before, but the ren wo: the :ome o: one': :ecret nome. |t wo: more thon
ju:t :µec|o| word. 1he :ecret nome |: your dorhe:t thouqht:, your mo:t emborro::|nq moment:, your
b|qqe:t dreom:, your wor:t feor:, o|| wroµµed toqether. |t': the :um of your exµer|ence:, euen tho:e you'd
neuer wont to :hore. Vour :ecret nome mohe: you who you ore.
1hot': why o :ecret nome ho: µower. |t': o|:o why you cou|dn't :|mµ|y heor :omeone reµeot o
:ecret nome ond hnow how to u:e |t. Vou hod to hnow thot µer:on ond under:tond the|r ||fe. 1he more
you under:tood the µer:on, the more µower the|r nome cou|d y|e|d. Vou cou|d on|y |eorn o :ecret nome
from the µer:on h|m:e|f-or from the µer:on c|o:e:t to h|: heort.
And heouen he|µ me, for me Corter wo: thot µer:on.
Corter, | thouqht. vhot |: your :ecret nome!
£uen |n :|chne::, h|: m|nd re:|:ted me. Vou don't ju:t hond ouer your :ecret nome. £uery humon
hod one, ju:t o: eoch qod d|d, but mo:t humon: :µent the|r who|e ||ue: not hnow|nq thot, not euer µutt|nq
|n word: the|r mo:t µr|uote |dent|ty. Under:tondob|e, reo||y. 1ry :umm|nq uµ your ent|re ex|:tence |n f|ue
word: or |e::. Not exoct|y eo:y, |: |t!
ºVou con do th|:,º | murmured. ºVou're my brother. | |oue you. A|| the emborro::|nq b|t:, o|| the
onnoy|nq b|t:, wh|ch | |moq|ne |: mo:t of you-o thou:ond Z|o: m|qht run owoy from you |f they hnew the
truth. ßut | won't. |'|| :t||| be here. Now, te|| me your nome, you b|q |d|ot, :o | con :oue your ||fe.º
My hond t|nq|ed oqo|n:t h|: foreheod. H|: ||fe µo::ed throuqh my f|nqer:-qho:t|y memor|e: of
when we were ch||dren, ||u|nq w|th our µorent: |n Lo: Anqe|e:. | :ow my b|rthdoy µorty when | turned :|x
ond the cohe exµ|oded. | :ow our mother reod|nq bedt|me :tor|e: to u: from o co||eqe :c|ence textbooh,
our dod µ|oy|nq jozz ond donc|nq me oround the room wh||e Corter couered h|: eor: ond ye||ed, ºDod|º |
:ow moment: | hodn't :hored w|th my brother, o: we||: Corter ond Dod couqht |n o r|ot |n Þor|:, Corter
ond Z|o to|h|nq by cond|e||qht |n the F|r:t Nome, Corter by h|m:e|f |n the ||brory ot ßrooh|yn Hou:e,
:tor|nq ot h|: £ye of Horu: omu|et ond :truqq||nq oqo|n:t the temµtot|on to rec|o|m the µower of o qod.
He'd neuer to|d me obout thot, but |t mode me fee| re||eued. |'d thouqht | wo: the on|y one who'd been
:o temµted.
5|ow|y, Corter re|oxed. H|: wor:t feor: µo::ed throuqh me, h|: mo:t emborro::|nq :ecret:. H|:
:trenqth wo: fo|||nq o: the µo|:on qr|µµed h|: heort. v|th h|: |o:t b|t of w|||µower, he to|d me h|: nome.
[Of cour:e, | won't te|| you whot |t |:. Vou cou|dn't u:e |t onywoy, heor|nq |t from o record|nq, but |
won't tohe chonce:.]
| ro|:ed the wox f|qur|ne ond :µohe Corter': :ecret nome. |mmed|ote|y, the µo|:on receded from h|:
ue|n:. 1he wox f|qure turned qreen ond me|ted |n my hond:. Corter': feuer brohe. He :huddered, tooh o
deeµ breoth, ond oµened h|: eye:.
ºR|qht,º | :o|d :tern|y. ºDon't euer r|de onother b|oody :nohe mon:ter oqo|n|º
º5orry.º he croohed. ºD|d you ju:t-º
ºv|th my :ecret nome-º
ºAnd o|| my :ecret:-º
He qrooned ond couered h|: foce o: |f he wonted to fo|| boch |nto o como, but hone:t|y, | hod no
|ntent|on of teo:|nq h|m. 1here': o d|fference between heeµ|nq your brother |n h|: µ|oce ond be|nq crue|. |
wo:n't crue|. ße:|de:, ofter :ee|nq |nto the dorhe:t rece::e: of Corter': m|nd, | wo: o b|t o:homed, µo::|b|y
euen |n owe. 1here reo||y wo:n't much there. Comµored to my feor: ond emborro::|nq :ecret:-oh, deor.
He wo: tome. | hoµed our :|tuot|on: were neuer reuer:ed ond he hod to heo| me.
ße: come ouer w|th Len|n': heod tuched |n the crooh of h|: orm. He'd obu|ou:|y been hou|nq o
n|bb|e, o: Len|n': foreheod wo: m|::|nq-u|ct|m of o fronto| choco-|obotomy.
ºCood worh, 5od|e|º He brohe off Len|n': no:e ond offered |t to Corter. ºHere, boy. Vou'ue eorned
Corter frowned. ºDoe: choco|ote houe moq|c heo||nq µroµert|e:!º
ße: :norted. º|f |t d|d, |'d be the heo|th|e:t dworf |n the wor|d. Noh. |t ju:t to:te: qood.º
ºAnd you'|| need your :trenqth,º | odded. ºve houe o |ot to to|h obout.º
De:µ|te our |oom|nq deod||ne-o: of tomorrow, on|y two more doy: unt|| the equ|nox ond the end
of the wor|d-ße: |n:|:ted we re:t unt|| the fo||ow|nq morn|nq. He worned thot |f Corter exerted h|m:e|f
µhy:|co||y or moq|co||y ony :ooner ofter be|nq µo|:oned, |t m|qht we|| h||| h|m.
Lo:|nq the t|me mode me qu|te oq|toted, but ofter qo|nq to :o much troub|e to reu|ue my brother,
| rother wonted to heeµ h|m o||ue. And |'|| odm|t | wo:n't |n much better :hoµe. | wo: :o dro|ned
moq|co||y my:e|f, | don't th|nh | cou|d houe moued forther thon the uerondo.
ße: co||ed the front de:h ond ordered o µer:ono| :hoµµer to buy u: :ome new c|othe: ond :uµµ||e:
|n town. |'m not :ure whot the Arob|c word |: for combot boot:, but the :hoµµ|nq |ody monoqed to f|nd o
new µo|r. vhen :he de||uered our th|nq:, :he tr|ed to q|ue the boot: to Corter, then |oohed horr|f|ed when
ße: µo|nted ot me. | o|:o qot o :uµµ|y of ho|r dye, o comfortob|e µo|r of jeon:, o cotton toµ |n de:ert
comouf|oqe co|or:, ond o heod:corf thot wo: µrobob|y o|| the roqe w|th £qyµt|on women, but wh|ch |
dec|ded not to weor, o: |t wou|d µrobob|y c|o:h w|th the new µurµ|e h|qh||qht: | wonted for my ho|r.
Corter qot jeon:, boot:, ond o 1-:h|rt thot reod Þroµerty of A|exondr|o Un|uer:|ty |n £nq||:h ond
Arob|c. C|eor|y, euen µer:ono| :hoµµer: hod h|m µeqqed o: o comµ|ete qeeh.
1he :hoµµer o|:o monoqed to f|nd :ome :uµµ||e: for our moq|c boq:-b|och: of wox, tw|ne, euen
:ome µoµyru: ond |nh-thouqh | doubt ße: exµ|o|ned to her whot they were for.
After :he |eft, ße:, Corter ond | ordered more food from room :eru|ce. ve :ot on the dech ond
wotched the ofternoon qo by. 1he breeze from the Med|terroneon wo: coo| ond µ|eo:ont. Modern
A|exondr|o :tretched out to our |eft-on odd m|x of q|eom|nq h|qh-r|:e:, :hobby, crumb||nq bu||d|nq:, ond
onc|ent ru|n:. 1he :hore||ne h|qhwoy wo: dotted w|th µo|m tree: ond crowded w|th euery :ort of ueh|c|e
from ßMv: to donhey:. From our µenthou:e :u|te, |t o|| :eemed o b|t unreo|-the row enerqy of the c|ty,
the bu:t|e ond conqe:t|on be|ow -wh||e we :ot on our uerondo |n the :hy eot|nq fre:h fru|t ond the |o:t
me|t|nq b|t: of Len|n': heod.
| wondered |f th|: wo: how the qod: fe|t, wotch|nq the morto| wor|d from the|r throne room |n the
A: we to|hed, | :et the two :cro||: from the ßooh of Ro on the µot|o tob|e. 1hey |oohed :o µ|o|n ond
horm|e::, yet we'd o|mo:t d|ed retr|eu|nq them. 5t||| one more to f|nd, then the reo| fun wou|d
beq|n-f|qur|nq out how to u:e them to owohen Ro. |t :eemed |mµo::|b|e we cou|d do :o much |n
forty-e|qht hour:, yet here we :ot, :|de||ned ond exhou:ted, forced to re:t unt|| the morn|nq. Corter ond h|:
b|oody hero|c:, qett|nq b|tten by thot Doctor Do||tt|e :nohe.ond he co||: me |mµu|:|ue. Meonwh||e, Amo:
ond our rooh|e |n|t|ote: were |eft o|one ot ßrooh|yn Hou:e, µreµor|nq to defend oqo|n:t V|od Men:h|hou,
o moq|c|on :o ruth|e::, he wo: on o :ecret-nome bo:|: w|th the qod of eu||.
| to|d Corter whot hod hoµµened |n 5t. Þeter:burq ofter he qot µo|:oned-how |'d q|uen uµ 5et':
nome |n exchonqe for the |ocot|on of the |o:t :cro||: :omeµ|oce co||ed ßohor|yo. | de:cr|bed my u|:|on of
Anub|: ond vo|t, my chot w|th loz': :µ|r|t, ond my tr|µ boch |n t|me to Ro': :un borqe. 1he on|y th|nq |
he|d boch: whot 5et hod :o|d obout Z|o': u|||oqe be|nq nomed o|-Homroh Mohon. And ye:, | hnow thot
wo: wronq -but |'d ju:t been |n:|de Corter': heod. | now under:tood how |mµortont Z|o wo: to h|m. |
hnew how bod|y ony |nformot|on obout her wou|d rott|e h|m.
Corter :ot |n h|: |ounqe cho|r ond ||:tened |ntent|y. H|: co|or hod returned to normo|. H|: eye: were
c|eor ond o|ert. |t wo: hord to be||eue he'd been on deoth': door on|y hour: before. | wonted to cred|t my
heo||nq µower:, but | hod o fee||nq h|: recouery hod ju:t o: much to do w|th re:t, :euero| q|nqer o|e:, ond o
room-:eru|ce chee:eburqer w|th ch|µ:.
ºßohor|yo.º He |oohed ot ße:. º| hnow thot nome. vhy do | hnow thot nome!º
ße: :crotched h|: beord. He'd been q|um ond :||ent :|nce |'d recounted our conuer:ot|on w|th 5et.
1he nome ßohor|yo :eemed e:µec|o||y to bother h|m.
º|t': on oo:|:,º he :o|d, ºwoy out |n the de:ert. 1he mumm|e: bur|ed there were o :ecret unt|| I99õ.
1hen :ome foo| donhey µut |t: |eq throuqh o ho|e |n the qround ond brohe oµen the toµ of o tomb.º
ºR|qht|º Corter beomed ot me, thot Cee, h|:tory |: coo|| ||qht |n h|: eye:, :o | hnew he mu:t be
fee||nq better. º|t': co||ed the Vo||ey of the Co|den Mumm|e:.º
º| ||he qo|d,º | :o|d. ºMumm|e:-not :o much.º
ºOh, you ju:t houen't met enouqh mumm|e:,º ße: :o|d.
| cou|dn't te|| |f he wo: joh|nq, ond | dec|ded not to o:h. º5o the |o:t :cro|| |: h|dden there!º
ße: :hruqqed. º|t wou|d mohe :en:e. 1he oo:|: |: out of the woy. vo:n't found unt|| recent|y. 1here
ore o|:o µowerfu| cur:e: |n µ|oce to µreuent µorto| troue|. 1he morto| orchoeo|oq|:t: houe excouoted :ome
of the tomb:, but there': :t||| o huqe networh of tunne|: ond chomber: no one': oµened |n thou:ond: of
yeor:. Lot: of mumm|e:.º
| |moq|ned horror f||m mumm|e: w|th the|r orm: out ond the|r ||nen wroµ: com|nq undone,
qroon|nq o: they cho:ed :creom|nq :tor|et: ond :tronq|ed orchoeo|oq|:t:.
ºvhen you :oy |ot: of mumm|e:,º | uentured, ºhow mony |: |ot:!º
º1hey'ue uncouered o few hundred,º ße: :o|d, ºout of moybe ten thou:ond.º
º1en thou:ond!º | |oohed ot Corter, who d|dn't :eem bothered by th|: ot o||.
º5od|e,º he :o|d, º|t': not ||he they're qo|nq to come to ||fe ond h||| you.º
ºNo,º ße: oqreed. ºÞrobob|y not. A|mo:t for :ure not.º
º1honh:,º | muttered. º| fee| much better.º
(Ve:, | hnow whot | :o|d eor||er obout deod µeoµ|e ond cemeter|e: not bother|nq me. ßut ten
thou:ond mumm|e:! 1hot wo: µu:h|nq |t.)
ºAnywoy,º ße: :o|d, ºmo:t of the mumm|e: ore from Romon t|me:. 1hey're not euen µroµer|y
£qyµt|on. ßunch of Lot|n wonnobe: try|nq to qet |nto our ofter||fe becou:e |t': coo|er. ßut :ome of the
o|der tomb:.we||, we'|| ju:t houe to :ee. v|th two µort: of the ßooh of Ro, you :hou|d be ob|e to troch
down the th|rd µort once you qet c|o:e enouqh.º
ºHow, exoct|y!º | o:hed.
ße: :hruqqed. ºvhen moq|c |tem: qet brohen uµ, the µ|ece: ore ||he moqnet:. 1he c|o:er they qet,
the more they ottroct eoch other.º
1hot d|dn't nece::or||y mohe me fee| better. | |moq|ned my:e|f runn|nq throuqh o tunne| w|th
f|om|nq :cro||: :tuch to both hond:.
ºR|qht,º | :o|d. º5o o|| we houe to do |: creeµ throuqh o networh of tomb: µo:t ten thou:ond
qo|den mumm|e:, who µrobob|y, o|mo:t for :ure, won't come to ||fe ond h||| u:.º
ºVeoh,º ße: :o|d. ºve||, they're not reo||y :o||d qo|d. Mo:t of them ore ju:t µo|nted w|th qo|d. ßut,
º1hot mohe: o huqe d|fference.º
º1hen |t': dec|ded.º Corter :ounded µo:|t|ue|y thr|||ed. ºve con |eoue |n the morn|nq. How for |: |t!º
ºA ||tt|e ouer two hundred m||e:,º ße: :o|d, ºbut the rood: ore |ffy. And µorto|:.we||, ||he | :o|d, the
oo:|: |: cur:ed oqo|n:t them. And euen |f |t wo:n't, we're boch |n the F|r:t Nome. |t wou|d be w|:e to u:e o:
||tt|e moq|c o: µo::|b|e. |f you're d|:couered |n De:jord|n:' home terr|tory.º
He d|dn't need to f|n|:h thot :entence.
| qozed ot the :hy||ne of A|exondr|o curu|nq o|onq the :hore of the q||tter|nq Med|terroneon. | tr|ed
to µ|cture |t o: |t m|qht'ue been |n onc|ent t|me:, before C|eoµotro, £qyµt': f|no| µhorooh, cho:e the wronq
:|de |n o Romon c|u|| wor ond |o:t her ||fe ond her h|nqdom. 1h|: wo: the c|ty where Anc|ent £qyµt hod
d|ed. |t d|dn't :eem o uery ou:µ|c|ou: µ|oce to :tort o que:t.
Unfortunote|y, | hod no cho|ce. |'d houe to troue| two hundred m||e: throuqh the de:ert to :ome
|:o|oted oo:|: ond f|nd one need|e of o :cro|| |n o hoy:toch of mumm|e:. | d|dn't :ee how we cou|d
occomµ||:h th|: |n the t|me we hod |eft.
vor:e, | hodn't yet to|d Corter my |o:t b|t of |nformot|on obout Z|o': u|||oqe. | cou|d ju:t heeµ my
mouth :hut. 1hot wou|d be the :e|f|:h th|nq. |t m|qht euen be the r|qht th|nq, o: | needed h|: he|µ, ond |
cou|dn't offord to houe h|m d|:trocted.
ßut | cou|dn't heeµ |t from h|m. |'d |nuoded h|: m|nd ond |eorned h|: :ecret nome. 1he |eo:t | cou|d
do wo: be hone:t w|th h|m.
ºCorter.there': :ometh|nq e|:e. 5et wonted you to hnow. Z|o': u|||oqe wo: nomed o|-Homroh
Corter turned o b|t qreen oqo|n. ºVou ju:t forqot to ment|on th|:!º
ºRemember, 5et |: o ||or,º | :o|d. ºHe wo:n't be|nq he|µfu|. He uo|unteered the |nformot|on becou:e
he wonted to cou:e choo: between u:.º
| cou|d o|reody te|| | wo: |o:|nq h|m. H|: m|nd wo: couqht |n o :tronq current thot hod been µu|||nq
h|m o|onq :|nce lonuory-the |deo thot he cou|d :oue Z|o. Now thot |'d been |n h|: m|nd, | hnew he
wou|dn't re:t-he cou|dn't re:t-unt|| he'd found her. |t went for beyond ||h|nq the q|r|. He'd conu|nced
h|m:e|f :he wo: µort of h|: de:t|ny.
One of h|: dorher :ecret:! Deeµ down, Corter :t||| re:ented our fother for fo|||nq to :oue our mum,
euen thouqh :he hod d|ed for o nob|e cou:e, ond euen thouqh |t wo: her cho|ce to :ocr|f|ce her:e|f. Corter
:|mµ|y cou|d not fo|| Z|o |n the :ome woy, no motter whot the :tohe:. He needed :omeone to be||eue |n
h|m, :omeone to :oue-ond he wo: conu|nced Z|o wo: thot µer:on. 5orry, o ||tt|e :|:ter ju:t wou|dn't do.
|t hurt me, e:µec|o||y :|nce | d|dn't oqree w|th h|m, but | hnew better thon to orque. |t wou|d on|y
µu:h h|m forther owoy.
ºA|-Homroh Mohon.º he :o|d. ºMy Arob|c |:n't uery qood. ßut Mohon |: red.º
ºVe:,º ße: oqreed. ºA|-Homroh meon: 'the :ond:.'º
Corter': eye: w|dened. º1he Þ|oce of Red 5ond:| 1he uo|ce ot the ßrooh|yn Mu:eum :o|d Z|o wo:
o:|eeµ ot the Þ|oce of Red 5ond:.º He |oohed ot me µ|eod|nq|y. º5od|e, |t': the ru|n: of her home u|||oqe.
1hot': where |:hondor h|d her. ve houe to f|nd her.º
lu:t ||he thot: the fote of the wor|d qoe: out the w|ndow. ve houe to f|nd Z|o.
| cou|d houe µo|nted out :euero| th|nq:: He wo: qo|nq on the word of on eu|| :µ|r|t thot wo:
µrobob|y :µeoh|nq d|rect|y from Aµoµh|:. |f Aµoµh|: hnew where Z|o wo: heµt, why wou|d he te|| u:,
exceµt to de|oy ond d|:troct u:! And |f he wonted Z|o deod, why hodn't he h|||ed her o|reody! A|:o, 5et
hod q|uen u: the nome o|-Homroh Mohon. 5et wo: neuer uµ to ony qood. He wo: c|eor|y hoµ|nq to
d|u|de u:. F|no||y, euen |f we hod the nome of the u|||oqe, thot d|dn't meon we cou|d f|nd |t. 1he µ|oce
hod been w|µed out o|mo:t o decode oqo.
ßut |ooh|nq ot Corter, | reo||zed there wo: no reo:on|nq w|th h|m. 1h|: wo:n't o reo:onob|e cho|ce.
He :ow o chonce to :oue Z|o, ond he wo: qo|nq to tohe |t.
| :|mµ|y :o|d, º|t': o bod |deo.º And ye:, |t fe|t qu|te :tronqe be|nq forced to µ|oy the re:µon:|b|e
Corter turned to ße:. ºCou|d you f|nd th|: u|||oqe!º
1he dworf qod tuqqed ot h|: Howo||on :h|rt. ºMoybe, but |t wou|d tohe t|me. Vou'ue qot o ||tt|e
more thon two doy: |eft. 1he equ|nox :tort: the doy ofter tomorrow ot :un:et. Cett|nq to the oo:|: of
ßohor|yo |: o fu|| doy of troue|. F|nd|nq th|: ru|ned u|||oqe-eo:||y onother doy-ond |f |t': on the N||e, |t':
|n the oµµo:|te d|rect|on. Once you'ue qot the ßooh of Ro, you'|| need to o||ow onother doy ot |eo:t to
f|qure out how to u:e |t. | quorontee owohen|nq Ro w||| meon o tr|µ |nto the Duot, where t|me |: o|woy:
unµred|ctob|e. Vou'|| houe to be boch w|th Ro ot down on the equ|nox-º
ºve don't houe enouqh t|me,º | :ummed uµ. º|t': e|ther the ßooh of Ro, or Z|o.º
vhy d|d | µre:: Corter, when | hnew whot he wo: qo|nq to :oy!
º| con't |eoue her.º He |oohed ot the :un, now d|µµ|nq toword |n the hor|zon. º5he': qot o µort to
µ|oy, 5od|e. | don't hnow whot |t |:, but :he': |mµortont. ve con't |o:e her.º
| wo|ted. |t wo: obu|ou: whot hod to hoµµen, but Corter wo:n't qo|nq to :oy |t.
| tooh o deeµ breoth. ºve'|| houe to :eµorote. Vou ond ße: qo ofter Z|o. |'|| troch down the :cro||.º
ße: couqhed. º5µeoh|nq of bod |deo:.º
Corter cou|dn't |ooh me |n the eye:. | hnew he cored obout me. He d|dn't wont to be r|d of me,
but | cou|d :en:e h|: re||ef. He wonted to be re|eo:ed from h|: re:µon:|b|||t|e: :o he cou|d hunt down Z|o.
ºVou :oued my ||fe,º he :o|d. º| con't |et you qo o|one |nto the de:ert.º
| unc|o:µed my :hen nech|oce. º| won't qo o|one. vo|t offered to he|µ.º
ºHe con't,º ße: :o|d.
ºßut you won't te|| me why,º | :o|d.
º|-º ße: fo|tered. ºLooh, | µrom|:ed ßo:t |'d wotch you, heeµ you :ofe.º
ºAnd | exµect you to wotch Corter uery we||. He'|| need you to f|nd th|: u|||oqe. A: for me, vo|t
ond | con monoqe.º
ºvhoteuer vo|t': b|oody :ecret |:, whoteuer you're try|nq to µrotect h|m from, |t': moh|nq h|m
m|:erob|e. He wont: to he|µ. And |'m qo|nq to |et h|m.º
1he dworf q|ored ot me, µo::|b|y wonder|nq |f he cou|d ye|| ßOO| ond w|n the orqument. | :uµµo:e
he reo||zed | wo: too :tubborn.
He :|qhed |n re:|qnot|on. º1wo younq µeoµ|e troue||nq o|one throuqh £qyµt.o boy ond o q|r|. |t'||
|ooh :tronqe.º
º|'|| ju:t :oy vo|t': my brother.º
Corter w|nced. | hodn't meont to be hor:h, but | :uµµo:e the comment wo: o b|t hurtfu|. Looh|nq
boch, |'m :orry for thot, but ot the t|me | wo: terr|f|ed ond onqry. Corter wo: µutt|nq me |n on |mµo::|b|e
ºCo,º | :o|d f|rm|y. º5oue Z|o.º
Corter tr|ed to reod my exµre::|on, but | ouo|ded |ooh|nq ot h|m. 1h|: wo: not the t|me for u: to
houe one of our :||ent conuer:ot|on:. He d|dn't reo||y wont to hnow whot | wo: th|nh|nq.
ºHow w||| we f|nd eoch other!º he o:hed.
ºLet': meet boch here,º | :uqqe:ted. ºve'|| |eoue ot down. A||ow our:e|ue: twenty-four hour:, no
|onqer, for me to f|nd the :cro||, you to f|nd Z|o': u|||oqe, ond both of u: qet boch to A|exondr|o.º
ße: qrunted. ºNot enouqh t|me. £uen |f eueryth|nq qoe: µerfect|y, thot'|| |eoue you obout twe|ue
hour: to µut toqether the ßooh of Ro ond u:e |t before the eue of the equ|nox.º
He wo: r|qht. |t wo: |mµo::|b|e.
Vet Corter nodded. º|t': our on|y chonce. ve houe to try.º
He |oohed ot me hoµefu||y, but | th|nh | hnew euen then thot we wou|dn't meet |n A|exondr|o. ve
were the kone:, wh|ch meont eueryth|nq wou|d qo wronq.
ºF|ne,º | muttered. ºNow, |f you'|| excu:e me, | :hou|d qo µoch.º
| wo|hed |n:|de before | cou|d :tort cry|nq.
C A R 1 £ R
tz. I 0et o 0emeø 0p My Hete
A1 1H|5 ÞO|N1, | 5HOULD CHANC£ my :ecret nome to £mborro::ed to Deoth by 5|:ter, becou:e
thot µretty much :um: uµ my ex|:tence.
|'m qo|nq :h|µ ouer our troue| µreµorot|on:, how 5od|e :ummoned vo|t ond exµ|o|ned the
:|tuot|on, how ße: ond | :o|d our forewe||: ot down ond rented o cor from one of ße:': ºre||ob|e fr|end:,º
ond how thot cor brohe down ho|fwoy to Co|ro.
ßo:|co||y, |'m qo|nq to :h|µ to the µort where ße: ond | were rumb||nq o|onq o du:ty rood |n the
boch of o µ|chuµ truch dr|uen by :ome ßedou|n:, |ooh|nq for o u|||oqe thot no |onqer ex|:ted.
ßy th|: µo|nt |t wo: |ote ofternoon, ond | wo: :tort|nq to th|nh ße:': e:t|mote of need|nq one doy to
f|nd o|-Homroh Mohon wo: woy too oµt|m|:t|c. v|th eoch hour we wo:ted, my heort fe|t heou|er. |'d
r|:hed eueryth|nq to he|µ Z|o. |'d |eft Amo: ond our |n|t|ote: o|one ot ßrooh|yn Hou:e to defend oqo|n:t
the mo:t eu|| moq|c|on |n the wor|d. |'d |eft my :|:ter to cont|nue the que:t for the |o:t :cro|| w|thout me. |f
| fo||ed to f|nd Z|o.we||, | cou|dn't fo||.
1roue||nq w|th µrofe::|ono| nomod: hod :ome oduontoqe:. For one th|nq, the ßedou|n: hnew
euery u|||oqe, form, ond du:ty cro::rood: |n £qyµt. 1hey were hoµµy to :toµ ond o:h the |oco|: obout the
uon|:hed u|||oqe we were :eeh|nq.
For onother th|nq, the ßedou|n: reuered ße:. 1hey treoted h|m o: o ||u|nq qood-|uch chorm. vhen
we :toµµed for |unch (wh|ch tooh two hour: to mohe), the ßedou|n: euen qoue u: the be:t µort of the
qoot. A: for o: | cou|d te||, the be:t µort of the qoot wo:n't too d|fferent from the wor:t µort of the qoot,
but | :uµµo:e |t wo: o b|q honor.
1he bod th|nq obout troue||nq w|th ßedou|n:! 1hey weren't |n o hurry. |t tooh u: o|| doy to w|nd
our woy :outh o|onq the N||e Vo||ey. 1he journey wo: hot ond bor|nq. |n the boch of the truch, | cou|dn't
euen to|h to ße: w|thout qett|nq o mouthfu| of :ond, :o | hod woy too much t|me to th|nh.
5od|e de:cr|bed my ob:e::|on µretty we||. 1he moment :he'd q|uen me the nome of Z|o': u|||oqe, |
cou|dn't focu: on onyth|nq e|:e. Of cour:e, | f|qured |t wo: :ome :ort of tr|ch. Aµoµh|: wo: try|nq to d|u|de
u: ond heeµ u: from :ucceed|nq on our que:t. ßut | o|:o be||eued he wo: te|||nq the truth, |f on|y becou:e
the truth |: whot wou|d rott|e me the mo:t. He hod de:troyed Z|o': u|||oqe when :he wo: o ch||d-for whot
reo:on, | d|dn't hnow. Now :he wo: h|dden there |n o moq|c :|eeµ. Un|e:: | :oued her, Aµoµh|: wou|d h|||
vhy hodn't he h|||ed her o|reody |f he hnew where :he wo:! | wo:n't :ure-ond thot bothered me.
Moybe he d|dn't houe the µower yet. Moybe he d|dn't wont to. After o||, |f he wo: try|nq to |ure me |nto o
troµ, :he wo: the be:t bo|t. vhoteuer the co:e, 5od|e wo: r|qht: |t wo:n't o rot|ono| cho|ce for me. | hod to
:oue Z|o.
De:µ|te thot, | fe|t ||he o creeµ for |eou|nq 5od|e on her own yet oqo|n. F|r:t |'d |et her qo off to
London euen thouqh | hnew |t wo: o bod |deo. Now |'d :ent her to troch down o :cro|| |n o cotocomb fu||
of mumm|e:. 5ure, vo|t wou|d he|µ her, ond :he cou|d u:uo||y tohe core of her:e|f. ßut o qood brother
wou|d houe :toyed w|th her. 5od|e hod ju:t :oued my ||fe, ond | wo: ||he, ºCreot. 5ee you |oter. Houe fun
w|th the mumm|e:.º
|'|| ju:t :oy vo|t |: my brother.
|f |'m hone:t w|th my:e|f, Z|o wo:n't the on|y reo:on | wo: onx|ou: to qo off on my own. | wo: |n
:hoch thot 5od|e hod d|:couered my :ecret nome. 5udden|y :he hnew me better thon onyone |n the
wor|d. | fe|t ||he :he'd oµened me uµ on the :urqery tob|e, exom|ned me, ond :ewn me boch toqether. My
f|r:t |n:t|nct wo: to run owoy, to µut o: much d|:tonce between u: o: µo::|b|e.
| wondered |f Ro hod fe|t the :ome woy when |:|: |eorned h|: nome-|f thot wo: the reo| reo:on he
went |nto ex||e: comµ|ete hum|||ot|on.
A|:o, | needed t|me to µroce:: whot 5od|e hod occomµ||:hed. For month: we'd been try|nq to
re|eorn the µoth of the qod:. ve'd :truqq|ed to f|qure out how the onc|ent moq|c|on: toµµed the qod:'
µower: w|thout qett|nq µo::e::ed or ouerwhe|med. Now | :u:µected 5od|e hod found the on:wer. |t hod
:ometh|nq to do w|th o qod': ren.
A :ecret nome wo:n't ju:t o nome, ||he o moq|c word. |t wo: the :um of the qod': exµer|ence:. 1he
more you under:tood the qod, the c|o:er you qot to hnow|nq the|r :ecret nome, ond the more you cou|d
chonne| the|r µower.
|f thot wo: true, then the µoth of the qod: wo: bo:|co||y :ymµothet|c moq|c-f|nd|nq o :|m||or|ty
between two th|nq:, ||he o requ|or corh:crew ond o corh:crew-heoded demon, ond u:|nq thot :|m||or|ty to
form o moq|c bond. On|y here, the bond wo: between the moq|c|on ond o qod. |f you cou|d f|nd o
common tro|t or exµer|ence, you cou|d toµ the qod': µower.
1hot m|qht exµ|o|n how |'d b|o:ted oµen the door: ot the Herm|toqe w|th the F|:t of Horu:-o :µe||
|'d neuer been ob|e to do on my own. v|thout th|nh|nq obout |t, w|thout need|nq to comb|ne :ou|: w|th
Horu:, |'d toµµed |nto h|: emot|on:. ve both hoted fee||nq conf|ned. |'d u:ed thot :|mµ|e connect|on to
|nuohe o :µe|| ond breoh the cho|n:. Now, |f | cou|d ju:t f|qure out how to do :tuff ||he thot more re||ob|y,
|t m|qht :oue u: |n the com|nq bott|e:..
ve troue|ed for m||e: |n the ßedou|n:' truch. 1he N||e :nohed throuqh qreen ond brown f|e|d: to
our |eft. ve hod noth|nq to dr|nh but woter from on o|d µ|o:t|c juq thot to:ted ||he Vo:e||ne. 1he qoot
meot wo:n't :|tt|nq we|| |n my :tomoch. £uery once |n o wh||e |'d remember the µo|:on thot hod cour:ed
throuqh my body, ond my :hou|der wou|d :tort to oche where thetje:u heru hod b|tten me.
Around :|x |n the euen|nq we qot our f|r:t |eod. An o|d fe||oh|n, o µeo:ont former :e|||nq dote: on
the rood:|de, :o|d he hnew the u|||oqe we were :eeh|nq. vhen he heord the nome o|-Homroh Mohon he
mode o µrotect|ue :|qn oqo|n:t the £u|| £ye, but :|nce ße: wo: the one o:h|nq, the o|d mon to|d u: whot
he hnew.
He :o|d Red 5ond: wo: on eu|| µ|oce, uery bod|y cur:ed. No one euer u|:|ted nowodoy:. ßut the o|d
mon remembered the u|||oqe from before |t hod been de:troyed. ve wou|d f|nd |t ten h||ometer: :outh,
ot o bend |n the r|uer where the :ond turned br|qht red.
ve||, duh, | thouqht, but | cou|dn't he|µ be|nq exc|ted.
1he ßedou|n: dec|ded to mohe comµ for the n|qht. 1hey wou|dn't be qo|nq w|th u: the re:t of the
woy, but they :o|d they'd be honored |f ße: ond | borrowed the|r truch.
A few m|nute: |oter, ße: ond | were cru|:|nq o|onq |n the µ|chuµ. ße: wore o f|oµµy hot o|mo:t o:
uq|y o: h|: Howo||on :h|rt. |t wo: µu||ed :o |ow, | wo:n't :ure he cou|d :ee onyth|nq, e:µec|o||y :|nce he wo:
bore|y eye-|eue| w|th the do:hboord.
£uery t|me we h|t o bumµ, ßedou|n tr|nhet: jonq|ed on the reoru|ew m|rror-o meto| d|:h etched
w|th Arob|c co|||qroµhy, o Chr|:tmo:-tree-:hoµed µ|ne o|r fre:hener, :ome on|mo| teeth on o |eother
:troµ, ond o ||tt|e |con of £|u|: Þre:|ey for reo:on: | d|dn't under:tond. 1he truch hod no :u:µen:|on ond
hord|y ony µodd|nq on the :eot:. | fe|t ||he | wo: r|d|nq o mechon|co| bu||. £uen w|thout the jo:t||nq, my
:tomoch wou|d'ue been uµ:et. After month: of :eorch|nq ond hoµ|nq, | cou|dn't be||eue | wo: :o c|o:e to
f|nd|nq Z|o.
ºVou |ooh terr|b|e,º ße: :o|d.
º| meon moq|co||y :µeoh|nq. Vou don't |ooh reody for o f|qht. vhoteuer': wo|t|nq for u:, you
under:tond |t |:n't qo|nq to be fr|end|y!º
Under the br|m of h|: hot, h|: jow jutted out ||he he wo: broc|nq for on orqument.
ºVou th|nh th|: |: o m|:tohe,º | :o|d. ºVou th|nh | :hou|d'ue :toyed w|th 5od|e.º
He :hruqqed. º| th|nh |f you were |ooh|nq ot |t :tro|qht, you'd :ee th|: ho: 1RAÞ wr|tten o|| ouer |t.
1he o|d Ch|ef Lector-|:hondor-he wou|dn't houe h|dden your q|r|fr|end-º
º5he': not my q|r|fr|end.º
º-w|thout µutt|nq :ome µrotect|ue :µe||: oround her. 5et ond Aµoµh|: oµµorent|y both wont you
to f|nd th|: µ|oce, wh|ch meon: |t connot be qood for you. Vou're |eou|nq your :|:ter ond vo|t on the|r
own. On toµ of o|| thot, we're tro|µ:|nq throuqh De:jord|n:' bochyord, ond ofter thot :tunt |n 5t.
Þeter:burq, Men:h|hou won't re:t unt|| he f|nd: you. 5o, yeoh, |'d :oy th|: |:n't your br|qhte:t |deo.º
| :tored out the w|nd:h|e|d. | wonted to be mod ot ße: for co|||nq me :tuµ|d, but | wo: ofro|d he
m|qht be r|qht. |'d been hoµ|nq for o hoµµy reun|on w|th Z|o. 1he chonce: were |'d neuer mohe |t throuqh
ton|qht o||ue.
ºMoybe Men:h|hou |: :t||| recouer|nq from h|: heod |njur|e:,º | :o|d hoµefu||y.
ße: |ouqhed. º1ohe |t from me, h|d. Men:h|hou |: o|reody ofter you. He neuer forqet: on |n:u|t.º
H|: uo|ce :mo|dered w|th onqer, ||he |t d|d |n 5t. Þeter:burq when he'd to|d u: obout the dworf
wedd|nq. | wondered whot hod reo||y hoµµened to ße: |n thot µo|oce, ond why he wo: :t||| brood|nq ouer
|t three hundred yeor: |oter.
ºvo: |t V|od!º | o:hed. ºvo: he the one who coµtured you!º
|t d|dn't :eem :o for-fetched. |'d met :euero| moq|c|on: who were centur|e: o|d. ßut ße: :hooh h|:
ºH|: qrondfother, Þr|nce A|exonder Men:h|hou.º ße: :o|d the nome ||he |t wo: o mojor |n:u|t. ºHe
wo: :ecret|y the heod of the £|qhteenth Nome. Þowerfu|. Crue|. A |ot ||he h|: qrond:on. |'d neuer deo|t
w|th o moq|c|on ||he thot. |t wo: the f|r:t t|me |'d been coµtured.º
ºßut d|dn't the moq|c|on: |och o|| you qod: |n the Duot ofter £qyµt fe||!º
ºMo:t of u:,º ße: oqreed. º5ome :|eµt the ent|re two m|||enn|o unt|| your dod un|eo:hed u:. Other:
brohe out from t|me to t|me ond the Hou:e of L|fe wou|d troch them down ond µut them boch. 5ehhmet
brohe out |n I9Is. ß|q |nf|uenzo eµ|dem|c. ßut o few of the qod: ||he me :toyed |n the morto| wor|d the
ent|re t|me. ßoch |n the onc|ent doy:, | wo: ju:t, you hnow, o fr|end|y quy. | :cored owoy :µ|r|t:. 1he
commoner: ||hed me. 5o when £qyµt fe||, the Romon: odoµted me o: one of the|r qod:. 1hen, |n the
M|dd|e Aqe:, the Chr|:t|on: mode|ed qorqoy|e: ofter me, to µrotect the|r cothedro|: ond whotnot. 1hey
mode uµ |eqend: obout qnome:, dworue:, he|µfu| |eµrechoun:-o|| bo:ed on me.º
ºHe|µfu| |eµrechoun:!º
He :cow|ed. ºVou don't th|nh |'m he|µfu|! | |ooh qood |n qreen t|qht:.º
º| d|dn't need thot |moqe.º
ße: huffed. ºAnywoy, the Hou:e of L|fe wo: neuer :er|ou: obout troch|nq me down. | ju:t heµt o
|ow µrof||e ond :toyed out of troub|e. | wo: neuer coµtured unt|| Ru::|o. Þrobob|y :t||| be o µr|:oner there
|f |t wo:n't for-º He :toµµed h|m:e|f, o: |f reo||z|nq he'd :o|d too much.
He turned off the rood. 1he truch rott|ed ouer hord-µoched :ond ond roch:, heod|nq for the r|uer.
º5omeone he|µed you e:coµe!º | que::ed. ºßo:t!º
1he dworf': nech turned br|qht red. ºNo.not ßo:t. 5he wo: :tuch |n the oby:: f|qht|nq Aµoµh|:.º
º1he µo|nt |:, | qot free, ond | qot my reuenqe. | monoqed to qet A|exonder Men:h|hou conu|cted
on corruµt|on chorqe:. He wo: d|:qroced, :tr|µµed of h|: weo|th ond t|t|e:. H|: who|e fom||y wo: :h|µµed
off to 5|ber|o. ße:t doy of my ||fe. Unfortunote|y, h|: qrond:on V|od|m|r mode o comeboch. £uentuo||y he
moued boch to 5t. Þeter:burq, rebu||t h|: qrondfother': fortune, ond tooh ouer the £|qhteenth Nome. |f
V|od hod the chonce to coµture me.º
ße: :h|fted |n the dr|uer': :eot ||he the :µr|nq: were qett|nq uncomfortob|e. º| que:: why |'m te|||nq
you th|:.Vou're ohoy, h|d. 1he woy you :tood uµ for your :|:ter on voter|oo ßr|dqe, reody to tohe me
on-thot tooh qut:. And try|nq to r|de o tje:u heru! 1hot wo: µ|enty broue. 5tuµ|d, but broue.º
ºUm, thonh:.º
ºVou rem|nd me of my:e|f,º ße: cont|nued, ºboch when | wo: o younq dworf. Vou qot o :tubborn
:treoh. vhen |t come: to q|r| µrob|em:, you're c|ue|e::.º
ºC|r| µrob|em:!º | thouqht nobody cou|d emborro:: me o: much o: 5od|e d|d when :he |eorned my
:ecret nome, but ße: wo: do|nq o µretty qood job. º1h|: |:n't ju:t o q|r| µrob|em.º
ße: reqorded me ||he | wo: o µoor |o:t µuµµy. ºVou wont to :oue Z|o. | qet thot. Vou wont her to
||he you. ßut when you re:cue :omebody.|t comµ||cote: th|nq:. Don't qet :torry-eyed obout :omebody
you con't houe, e:µec|o||y |f |t b||nd: you to :omebody who': reo||y |mµortont. Don't.don't mohe my
| heord the µo|n |n h|: uo|ce. | hnew he wo: try|nq to he|µ, but |t :t||| fe|t we|rd qett|nq quy odu|ce
from o four-foot-to|| qod |n on uq|y hot.
º1he µer:on who re:cued you,º | :o|d. º|t wo: o qodde::, wo:n't |t! 5omeone be:|de:
ßo:t-:omebody you were |nuo|ued w|th!º
H|: hnuch|e: turned wh|te on the :teer|nq whee|. ºk|d.º
º|'m q|od we hod th|: to|h. Now, |f you uo|ue your teeth-º
º|'|| :hut uµ.º
º1hot': qood.º ße: µut h|: foot on the brohe. ºßecou:e | th|nh we're here.º
1he :un wo: qo|nq down ot our boch:. £ueryth|nq |n front of u: wo: bothed |n red ||qht-the :ond,
the woter of the N||e, the h|||: on the hor|zon. £uen the frond: of the µo|m tree: |oohed ||he they were
t|nqed w|th b|ood.
5et wou|d |oue th|: µ|oce, | thouqht.
1here wo: no :|qn of c|u|||zot|on-ju:t o few qroy heron: f|y|nq ouerheod ond on occo:|ono| :µ|o:h
|n the r|uer: moybe f|:h or o crocod||e. | |moq|ned th|: µort of the N||e hodn't |oohed too d|fferent |n the
t|me of the µhorooh:.
ºCome on,º ße: :o|d. ºßr|nq your :tuff.º
ße: d|dn't wo|t for me. vhen | couqht uµ to h|m, he wo: :tond|nq on the r|uerbonh, :|ft|nq :ond
throuqh h|: f|nqer:.
º|t': not ju:t the ||qht,º | reo||zed. º1hot :tuff |: reo||y red.º
ße: nodded. ºVou hnow why!º
My mom wou|d houe :o|d |ron ox|de or :ometh|nq ||he thot. 5he'd hod o :c|ent|f|c exµ|onot|on for
eueryth|nq. ßut :ometh|nq to|d me ße: wo:n't |ooh|nq for thot h|nd of on:wer.
ºRed |: the co|or of eu||,º | :o|d. º1he de:ert. Choo:. De:truct|on.º
ße: du:ted off h|: hond:. º1h|: wo: o bod µ|oce to bu||d o u|||oqe.º
| |oohed oround for ony :|qn of o :ett|ement. 1he red :ond :tretched |n e|ther d|rect|on for obout o
hundred yord:. 1h|ch qro:: ond w|||ow tree: bordered the oreo, but the :ond |t:e|f wo: comµ|ete|y borren.
1he woy |t q||ttered ond :h|fted under my feet rem|nded me of the mound: of dr|ed :corob :he||: |n the
Duot, ho|d|nq boch Aµoµh|:. | reo||y w|:hed | hodn't thouqht of thot.
º1here': noth|nq here,º | :o|d. ºNo ru|n:. Noth|nq.º
ºLooh oqo|n.º ße: µo|nted to the r|uer. O|d deod reed: :tuch uµ here ond there ouer on oreo the
:|ze of o :occer f|e|d. 1hen | reo||zed the reed: weren't reed:-they were decoy|nq boord: ond wooden
µo|e:, the remo|n: of :|mµ|e dwe|||nq:. | wo|hed to the edqe of the woter. A few feet out, |t wo: co|m ond
:ho||ow enouqh thot | cou|d mohe out o ||ne of :ubmerqed mud br|ch:: the foundot|on of o wo|| :|ow|y
d|::o|u|nq |nto :||t.
º1he who|e u|||oqe :onh!º
º|t wo: :wo||owed,º ße: :o|d. º1he N||e |: try|nq to wo:h owoy the eu|| thot hoµµened here.º
| :h|uered. 1he fonq wound: on my :hou|der :torted throbb|nq oqo|n. º|f |t': :uch on eu|| µ|oce, why
wou|d |:hondor h|de Z|o here!º
ºCood que:t|on,º ße: :o|d. ºVou wont to f|nd the on:wer, you'|| houe to wode out there.º
Þort of me wonted to run boch to the truch. 1he |o:t t|me |'d woded |nto o r|uer-the R|o Cronde
|n £| Þo:o-|t hodn't qone :o we||. ve'd bott|ed the crocod||e qod 5obeh ond bore|y qotten owoy w|th our
||ue:. 1h|: wo: the N||e. Cod: ond mon:ter: wou|d be much :tronqer here.
ºVou're com|nq too, oren't you!º | o:hed ße:.
1he corner of h|: eye tw|tched. ºRunn|nq woter': not qood for qod:. Loo:en: our connect|on to the
He mu:t houe :een the |ooh of de:µerot|on on my foce.
ºVeoh, ohoy,º he :|qhed. º|'m r|qht beh|nd you.º
ßefore | cou|d ch|chen out, | µut one boot |n the r|uer ond :onh uµ to my onh|e.
ºCro::.º | woded out, my feet moh|nq :ound: ||he o cow chew|nq qum.
A ||tt|e too |ote, | reo||zed how µoor|y µreµored | wo:. | d|dn't houe my :word, becou:e |'d |o:t |t |n
5t. Þeter:burq. | hodn't been ob|e to :ummon |t boch. For o|| | hnew, the Ru::|on moq|c|on: hod me|ted |t
down. | :t||| hod my wond, but thot wo: mo:t|y for defen:|ue :µe||:. |f | hod to qo on the offen:e, |'d be ot o
:er|ou: d|:oduontoqe.
| µu||ed on o|d :t|ch out of the mud ond u:ed |t to µohe oround. ße: ond | trudqed throuqh the
:ho||ow:, try|nq to f|nd onyth|nq u:efu|. ve h|ched ouer :ome br|ch:, d|:couered o few |ntoct :ect|on: of
wo||:, ond brouqht uµ :ome µottery :hord:. | thouqht obout the :tory Z|o hod to|d me-how her dod
cou:ed the de:truct|on of the u|||oqe by uneorth|nq o demon troµµed |n o jor. For o|| | hnew, the:e were
:hord: of thot :ome jor.
Noth|nq ottoched u: exceµt mo:qu|toe:. ve d|dn't f|nd ony troµ:. ßut euery :µ|o:h |n the r|uer
mode me th|nh of crocod||e: (ond not the n|ce o|b|no h|nd ||he Þh|||µ boch |n ßrooh|yn) or the b|q toothy
t|qer f|:h Z|o hod :hown me once |n the F|r:t Nome. | |moq|ned them :w|mm|nq oround my feet, try|nq to
dec|de wh|ch |eq |oohed the to:t|e:t.
Out of the corner of my eye | heµt :ee|nq r|µµ|e: ond t|ny wh|r|µoo|: ||he :ometh|nq wo: fo||ow|nq
me. vhen | :tobbed the woter w|th my :t|ch, there wo: noth|nq there.
After on hour of :eorch|nq, the :un hod o|mo:t :et. ve were :uµµo:ed to mohe |t boch to
A|exondr|o to meet uµ w|th 5od|e by morn|nq, wh|ch |eft u: o|mo:t no t|me to f|nd Z|o. And twenty-four
hour: from now, the next t|me the :un went down, the equ|nox wou|d beq|n.
ve heµt |ooh|nq, but d|dn't f|nd onyth|nq more |ntere:t|nq thon o muddy def|oted :occer bo|| ond
o :et of denture:. [Ve:, 5od|e, they were euen more d|:qu:t|nq thon Cromµ:':.] | :toµµed to :wot the
mo:qu|toe: off my nech. ße: :notched :ometh|nq out of the woter-o wr|qq|y f|:h or o froq-ond :tuch |t |n
h|: mouth.
ºDo you houe to!º | o:hed.
ºvhot!º he :o|d, :t||| chew|nq. º|t': d|nnert|me.º
| turned |n d|:qu:t ond µohed my :t|ch |n the woter.
| :truch :ometh|nq horder thon mud br|ch or wood. 1h|: wo: :tone.
| troced my :t|ch o|onq the bottom. |t wo:n't o roch. |t wo: o f|ot row of hewn b|och:. 1he edqe
droµµed off to onother row of :tone: obout o foot |ower: ||he :to|r:, |eod|nq down.
ºße:,º | co||ed.
He woded ouer. 1he woter come uµ o|mo:t to h|: ormµ|t:. H|: form :h|mmered |n the current ||he
he m|qht d|:oµµeor ony m|nute.
| :howed h|m whot |'d found.
ºHuh.º He dunhed h|: heod underwoter. vhen he come boch uµ, h|: beord wo: couered |n much
ond weed:. º5to|r:, o|| r|qht. Rem|nd: me of the entronce to o tomb.º
ºA tomb,º | :o|d, º|n the m|dd|e of o u|||oqe!º
Off to my |eft, there wo: onother :µ|o:h.
ße: frowned. ºD|d you :ee thot!º
ºVeoh. £uer :|nce we qot |nto the woter. Vou houen't not|ced!º
ße: :tuch h|: f|nqer |n the woter o: |f te:t|nq the temµeroture. ºve :hou|d hurry.º
ºÞrobob|y noth|nq.º He ||ed euen wor:e thon my dod. ºLet': qet o |ooh ot th|: tomb. Þort the
He :o|d thot o: |f |t were o µerfect|y normo| reque:t, ||he Þo:: the :o|t.
º|'m o combot moq|c|on,º | :o|d. º| don't hnow how to µort o r|uer.º
ße: |oohed offended. ºOh, come on. 1hot': :tondord :tuff. ßoch |n khufu': doy | hnew o moq|c|on
who µorted the N||e ju:t :o he cou|d c||mb to the bottom ond retr|eue o q|r|': nech|oce. 1hen there wo:
thot |:roe||te fe||ow, M|chey.º
ºVeoh, h|m,º ße: :o|d. ºAnywoy, you :hou|d toto||y be ob|e to µort the woter. ve qotto hurry.º
º|f |t': :o eo:y, why don't you do |t!º
ºNow he qet: on ott|tude. | to|d you, h|d, runn|nq woter |nterfere: w|th qod|y µower. Þrobob|y one
of the reo:on: |:hondor h|d your fr|end down there, |f thot': where :he |:. Vou con do th|:. lu:t-º
He :udden|y ten:ed. ºCet to the :hore.º
ºßut you :o|d-º
ßefore we cou|d moue, the r|uer eruµted oround u:. 1hree :eµorote woter:µout: b|o:ted uµword,
ond ße: wo: µu||ed underwoter.
| tr|ed to run, but my feet :tuch |n the mud. 1he woter:µout: :urrounded me. 1hey :w|r|ed |nto
humon :hoµe: w|th heod:, :hou|der:, ond orm: mode from r|bbon: of churn|nq woter, o: |f they were
mumm|e: creoted from the N||e.
1wenty feet down:treom, ße: brohe to the :urfoce. ºvoter demon:|º he :µ|uttered. ºvord them
ºHow!º | :houted.
1wo of the woter demon: ueered toword ße:. 1he dworf qod tr|ed to heeµ h|: foot|nq, but the
r|uer bo||ed |nto wh|tewoter roµ|d:, ond he wo: o|reody uµ to h|: ormµ|t:.
ºCome on, h|d|º he ye||ed. º£uery :heµherd u:ed to hnow chorm: oqo|n:t woter demon:|º
ºve||, f|nd me o :heµherd, then|º
ße: ye||ed, ºßOO|º ond the f|r:t woter demon euoµoroted. He turned toword the :econd, but
before he cou|d :core |t, the woter demon b|o:ted h|m |n the foce.
ße: chohed ond :tumb|ed, woter :hoot|nq out h|: no:tr||:. 1he demon cro:hed ouer h|m, ond ße:
went under oqo|n.
ºße:|º | ye||ed.
1he th|rd demon :urqed toword me. | ro|:ed my wond ond monoqed o weoh :h|e|d of b|ue ||qht.
1he demon :|ommed oqo|n:t |t, hnoch|nq me bochword.
|t: mouth ond eye: :µun ||he m|n|oture wh|r|µoo|:. Looh|nq |n |t: foce wo: ||he u:|nq o :cry|nq bow|.
| cou|d :en:e the th|nq': end|e:: hunqer, |t: hotred for humon:. |t wonted to breoh euery dom, deuour
euery c|ty, ond drown the wor|d |n o :eo of choo:. And |t wou|d :tort by h||||nq me.
My concentrot|on fo|tered. 1he th|nq ru:hed me, :hotter|nq my :h|e|d ond µu|||nq me underwoter.
£uer qet woter uµ your no:e! |moq|ne on ent|re woue uµ your no:e-on |nte|||qent woue thot
hnow: exoct|y how to drown you. | |o:t my wond. My |unq: f|||ed w|th ||qu|d. A|| rot|ono| thouqht d|::o|ued
|nto µon|c.
| thro:hed ond h|ched, hnow|nq | wo: on|y |n three or four feet of woter, but | cou|dn't qet uµ. |
cou|dn't :ee onyth|nq throuqh the murh. My heod brohe the :urfoce, ond | :ow o fuzzy |moqe of ße:
qett|nq to::ed oround otoµ o woter:µout, :creom|nq, ºßoo, o|reody| ße more :cored|º
1hen | went under oqo|n, my hond: c|ow|nq ot the mud.
My heort µounded. My u|:|on :torted to qo dorh. £uen |f | cou|d houe thouqht of o :µe||, | cou|dn't
houe :µohen |t. | w|:hed | hod :eo qod µower:, but they weren't exoct|y Horu:': :µec|o|ty.
| wo: |o:|nq con:c|ou:ne:: when :ometh|nq qr|µµed my orm. | µunched ot |t w||d|y, ond my f|:t
connected w|th o beorded foce.
| brohe the :urfoce oqo|n, qo:µ|nq for breoth. ße: wo: ho|f-drown|nq next to me, ye|||nq:
º5tuµ|d-q|ub, q|ub-try|nq to :oue your q|ub q|ub.º
1he demon µu||ed me under oqo|n, but :udden|y my thouqht: were c|eorer. Moybe thot |o:t
mouthfu| of oxyqen hod done the tr|ch. Or moybe µunch|nq ße: hod :noµµed me out of my µon|c.
| remembered Horu: hod been |n o :|tuot|on ||he th|: before. 5et hod once tr|ed to drown h|m,
µu|||nq h|m |nto the N||e.
| |otched on to thot memory ond mode |t my own.
| reoched |nto the Duot ond chonne|ed the µower of the wor qod |nto my body. Roqe f|||ed me. |
wou|d not be µ|nned down. | fo||owed the Þoth of Horu:. | wou|d not |et o :tuµ|d ||qu|d mummy drown
me |n three feet of woter.
My u|:|on turned red. | :creomed, exµe|||nq the woter from my |unq: |n one huqe b|o:t.
vHOOOM| 1he N||e exµ|oded. | co||oµ:ed on o f|e|d of mud.
At f|r:t | wo: too t|red to do onyth|nq but couqh. vhen | monoqed to :toqqer to my feet ond w|µe
the :||t out of my eye:, | :ow thot the r|uer hod chonqed |t: cour:e. |t now curued oround the ru|n: of the
u|||oqe. £xµo:ed |n the q||:ten|nq red mud were br|ch: ond boord:, tro:h, o|d c|othe:, the fender of o cor,
ond bone: thot m|qht'ue been on|mo| or humon. A few f|:h f|oµµed oround, wonder|nq where the r|uer
hod qone. 1here wo: no :|qn of the woter demon:. About ten feet owoy, ße: wo: :cow||nq ot me |n
onnoyonce. He hod o b|oody no:e ond wo: bur|ed uµ to h|: wo|:t |n mud.
ºU:uo||y when you µort o r|uer,º he qrumb|ed, º|t doe:n't |nuo|ue µunch|nq o dworf. Now, qet me
out of here|º
| monoqed to µry h|m free, wh|ch cou:ed o :uch|nq no|:e :o |mµre::|ue thot | w|:hed | hod recorded
|t. [And no, 5od|e, |'m not qo|nq to try to mohe |t for the m|croµhone.]
º|'m :orry,º | :tommered. º| d|dn't meon to-º
He woued o:|de the oµo|oqy. ºVou hond|ed the woter demon:. 1hot': whot motter:. Now we
qotto :ee |f you con hond|e thot.º
| turned ond :ow the tomb.
|t wo: o rectonqu|or µ|t obout the :|ze of o wo|h-|n c|o:et, ||ned w|th :tone b|och:. 5teµ: |ed down
to o c|o:ed :tone door etched w|th h|eroq|yµh:. 1he |orqe:t wo: the :ymbo| for the Hou:e of L|fe:
º1ho:e demon: were quord|nq the entronce,º ße: :o|d. º1here moy be wor:e |n:|de.º
Underneoth the :ymbo|, | recoqn|zed o row of µhonet|c h|eroq|yµh::
ºZ-|-A,º | reod. ºZ|o': |n:|de.º
ºAnd thot,º ße: muttered, º|: whot we co|| |n the moq|c bu:|ne:: o troµ. Lo:t chonce to chonqe
your m|nd, h|d.º
ßut | wo:n't reo||y ||:ten|nq. Z|o wo: down there. £uen |f |'d hnown whot wo: obout to hoµµen, |
don't th|nh | cou|d'ue :toµµed my:e|f. | c||mbed down the :teµ: ond µu:hed oµen the door.
C A R 1 £ R
t4. At tbe 7emb eI IIo RotbId
1H£ 5ARCOÞHACU5 wo: mode of woter.
|t wo: on ouer:|ze humon f|qure w|th rounded feet, w|de :hou|der:, ond o |orqer-thon-||fe :m|||nq
foce, ||he other £qyµt|on coff|n: |'d :een, but the who|e th|nq wo: :cu|µted from µure q|ow|nq ||qu|d. |t :ot
on o :tone do|: |n the m|dd|e of o :quore chomber. £qyµt|on ort decoroted the wo||:, but | d|dn't µoy too
much ottent|on to thot.
|n:|de the :orcoµhoqu:, Z|o Ro:h|d f|ooted |n wh|te robe:. Her orm: were cro::ed ouer her che:t. |n
her hond: :he qr|µµed o :heµherd': crooh ond o wor f|o||, the :ymbo|: of o µhorooh. Her :toff ond wond
f|ooted ot her :|de. Her :hort b|och ho|r dr|fted oround her foce, wh|ch wo: ju:t o: beout|fu| o: |
remembered. |f you'ue euer :een the fomou: :cu|µture of Çueen Nefert|t|, Z|o rem|nded me of her, w|th
the ro|:ed eyebrow:, h|qh cheehbone:, qrocefu| no:e, ond µerfect red ||µ:.
[5od|e :oy: |'m ouerdo|nq |t w|th the de:cr|µt|on, but |t': true. 1here': o reo:on Nefert|t| wo: co||ed
the mo:t beout|fu| womon |n the wor|d.]
A: | oµµrooched the :orcoµhoqu:, the woter beqon to :h|mmer. A current r|µµ|ed down the :|de:,
troc|nq the :ome :ymbo| ouer ond ouer:
ße: mode o rumb||nq :ound |n h|: throot. ºVou d|dn't te|| me :he wo: o qod||nq.º
| hodn't thouqht to ment|on |t, but of cour:e thot': why |:hondor hod h|dden Z|o owoy. vhen our
dod un|eo:hed the qod: ot the ßr|t|:h Mu:eum, one of them-the r|uer qodde:: Neµhthy:-hod cho:en Z|o
for o ho:t.
º1hot': the :ymbo| of Neµhthy:!º | que::ed.
ße: nodded. ºD|dn't you :oy th|: q|r| wo: o f|re e|emento||:t!º
ºHmµh. Not o qood comb|not|on. No wonder the Ch|ef Lector µut her |n :u:µended on|mot|on. A
f|re moq|c|on ho:t|nq o woter qodde::-thot cou|d h||| her, un|e::.huh, thot': µretty c|euer.º
º1he comb|not|on of woter ouer f|re cou|d o|:o mo:h Z|o': µower:. |f |:hondor wo: try|nq to h|de
her from Aµoµh|:.º H|: eye: w|dened. ºHo|y Mother Nut. |: thot the crooh ond f|o||!º
ºVeoh, | th|nh.º | wo:n't :ure why he octed :o :hoched. ºD|dn't o |ot of |mµortont µeoµ|e qet bur|ed
w|th tho:e!º
ße: qoue me on |ncredu|ou: |ooh. ºVou don't under:tond, h|d. 1ho:e ore the or|q|no| crooh ond
f|o||, the royo| |n:trument: of Ro.º
5udden|y | fe|t ||he |'d :wo||owed o morb|e. | don't th|nh | cou|d'ue been more :urµr|:ed |f ße: hod
:o|d ßy the woy, you're |eon|nq oqo|n:t o hydroqen bomb. 1he crooh ond f|o|| of Ro were the mo:t
µowerfu| :ymbo|: of the mo:t µowerfu| £qyµt|on qod. Vet |n Z|o': hond: they d|dn't oµµeor to be
onyth|nq :µec|o|. 1he crooh |oohed ||he on ouer:|ze qo|d ond b|ue condy cone. 1he f|o|| wo: o wooden rod
w|th three :µ|hed cho|n: ot the end. 1hey d|dn't q|ow or :oy µroµerty of ro.
ºvhy wou|d they be here!º | o:hed.
ºDunno,º ße: :o|d, ºbut thot': them. Lo:t | heord they were |oched |n the F|r:t Nome': uou|t:. On|y
the Ch|ef Lector hod occe::. | que:: |:hondor bur|ed them w|th your fr|end here.º
º1o µrotect her!º
ße: :hruqqed, c|eor|y boff|ed. º1hot'd be ||he w|r|nq your home :ecur|ty :y:tem to o nuc|eor m|::||e.
Comµ|ete ouerh|||. No wonder Aµoµh|: ho:n't been ob|e to ottoch her. 1hot': :ome :er|ou: µrotect|on
oqo|n:t Choo:.º
ºvhot hoµµen: |f | wohe her!º
º1he :µe||: :h|e|d|nq her w||| be brohen. 1hot cou|d be why Aµoµh|: |ed you here. Once Z|o': out of
thot :orcoµhoqu:, :he': on eo:|er torqet. A: to why Aµoµh|: wou|d wont her deod, or why |:hondor wou|d
qo to :uch troub|e to quord her-your que:: |: o: qood o: m|ne.º
| :tud|ed Z|o': foce. For three month:, |'d dreomed of f|nd|nq her. Now | wo: o|mo:t too :cored to
wohe her. ßy breoh|nq the :|eeµ :µe||, | m|qht occ|dento||y hurt her, or |eoue her oµen to on ottoch from
Aµoµh|:. £uen |f | :ucceeded, whot |f :he wohe uµ ond dec|ded thot :he hoted me! | wonted to be||eue
:he µo::e::ed :hored memor|e: w|th her :hobt|, :o thot :he wou|d remember the t|me: we'd hod toqether.
ßut |f :he hodn't, | wo:n't :ure | cou|d :tond the reject|on.
| touched the woter coff|n.
ºCorefu|, h|d,º ße: worned.
Moq|c enerqy r|µµ|ed throuqh me. |t wo: :ubt|e-||he |ooh|nq |n the foce of the woter demon-but
| cou|d :en:e Z|o': thouqht:. 5he wo: troµµed |n o dreom of drown|nq. 5he wo: try|nq to ho|d on to her |o:t
qood memory: |:hondor': h|nd|y foce o: he µ|oced the crooh ond f|o|| |n her hond:: keeµ the:e, my deor.
Vou w||| need them. And do not feor. Dreom: w||| not bother you.
ßut |:hondor hod been wronq. N|qhtmore: hod |nuoded her :|eeµ. 1he uo|ce of Aµoµh|: h|::ed |n
the dorhne::: | de:troyed your fom||y. And | om com|nq for you. Z|o :ow the demo||t|on of her u|||oqe ouer
ond ouer, wh||e Aµhoµh|: |ouqhed, ond the :µ|r|t of Neµhthy: churned uncomfortob|y |n:|de her.
|:hondor': moq|c hod troµµed the qodde:: too |n on enchonted :|eeµ, ond :he tr|ed to µrotect Z|o, co|||nq
on the N||e to couer th|: chomber ond :h|e|d them both from the 5erµent. 5t|||, :he cou|dn't :toµ the
dreom:. Z|o hod been hou|nq the :ome choot|c n|qhtmore for three month:, ond her :on|ty wo:
º| houe to free her,º | :o|d. º5he': µort|o||y con:c|ou:.º
ße: :uched o|r throuqh h|: teeth. º1hot :hou|dn't be µo::|b|e, but |f |t': true-º
º5he': |n :er|ou: troub|e.º | :onh my hond deeµer |nto the :orcoµhoqu:. | chonne|ed the :ome h|nd
of moq|c |'d u:ed to µort the r|uer, on|y on o :mo||er :co|e. 5|ow|y the woter |o:t |t: :hoµe, me|t|nq ||he on
|ce cube. ßefore Z|o cou|d :µ||| off the do|:, | couqht her |n my orm:. 5he droµµed the crooh ond f|o||. Her
:toff ond wond c|ottered to the f|oor.
A: the |o:t of the :orcoµhoqu: tr|ch|ed owoy, Z|o': eye: f|ew oµen. 5he tr|ed to breothe but cou|dn't
:eem to |nho|e.
ºße:, whot': wronq w|th her!º | :o|d. ºvhot do | do!º
º1he qodde::,º he :o|d. ºZ|o': body |: reject|nq the :µ|r|t of Neµhthy:. Cet her to the r|uer|º
Z|o': foce :torted to turn b|ue. | qothered her |n my orm: ond roced uµ the :||µµery :to|r:, wh|ch
wo:n't eo:y w|th Z|o h|ch|nq ond h|tt|nq me o|| the woy. | monoqed to mohe |t ocro:: the mud w|thout
fo|||nq ond eo:ed her down next to the r|uerbonh.
5he c|owed ot her throot, her eye: fu|| of feor, but o: :oon o: her body touched the N||e, o b|ue
ouro f||chered oround her. Her foce turned boch to |t: normo| co|or. voter qu:hed from her mouth ||he
:he'd turned |nto o humon founto|n. Looh|nq boch on |t, | :uµµo:e thot wo: µretty qro::, but ot the t|me |
wo: too re||eued to core.
From the :urfoce of the r|uer ro:e the wotery form of o womon |n o b|ue dre::. Mo:t £qyµt|on qod:
qrew weoh |n runn|nq woter, but Neµhthy: wo: c|eor|y on exceµt|on. 5he q|owed w|th µower. 5he wore o
:||uer £qyµt|on crown on her |onq b|och ho|r. Her reqo| foce rem|nded me of |:|:, but th|: womon hod o
qent|er :m||e ond h|nder eye:.
ºHe||o, ße:.º Her uo|ce wo: :oft ond ru:t||nq, ||he o breeze throuqh the r|uer qro::.
ºNeµhthy:,º :o|d the dworf. ºLonq t|me.º
1he woter qodde:: |oohed down ot Z|o, who wo: :h|uer|nq |n my orm:, :t||| qo:µ|nq for breoth.
º| om :orry for u:|nq her o: o ho:t,º Neµhthy: :o|d. º|t wo: o µoor cho|ce, wh|ch o|mo:t de:troyed u:
both. Cuord her we||, Corter kone. 5he ho: o qood heort, ond on |mµortont de:t|ny.º
ºvhot de:t|ny!º | o:hed. ºHow do | µrotect her!º
|n:teod of on:wer|nq, the :µ|r|t of Neµhthy: me|ted |nto the N||e.
ße: qrunted w|th oµµrouo|. º1he N||e': where :he :hou|d be. 1hot': her µroµer body.º
Z|o :µuttered ond doub|ed ouer.
º5he :t||| con't breothe|º | d|d the on|y th|nq | cou|d th|nh of. | tr|ed mouth-to-mouth re:u:c|tot|on.
Ve:, ohoy, | hnow how thot :ound:, but | wo:n't th|nh|nq :tro|qht.
[5toµ |ouqh|nq, 5od|e.]
Hone:t|y, | wo:n't try|nq to tohe oduontoqe. | wo: ju:t try|nq to he|µ.
Z|o d|dn't :ee |t thot woy. 5he µunched me |n the che:t :o hord, | mode o :ound ||he o :queohy toy.
1hen :he turned to one :|de ond retched.
| d|dn't th|nh my breoth wo: thot bod.
vhen :he focu:ed on me oqo|n, her eye: b|ozed w|th onqer -ju:t ||he o|d t|me:.
ºDon't you dore h|:: me|º :he monoqed.
º| wo:n't-| d|dn't-º
ºvhere': |:hondor!º :he demonded. º| thouqht.º Her eye: |o:t the|r focu:. º| hod o dreom thot.º
5he :torted to tremb|e. º£terno| £qyµt, he': not.He con't be-º
ºZ|o-º | tr|ed to µut my hond on her :hou|der, but :he µu:hed me owoy. 5he turned toword the
r|uer ond beqon to :ob, her f|nqer: c|ow|nq the mud.
| wonted to he|µ her. | cou|dn't :tond to :ee her |n µo|n. ßut | |oohed ot ße:, ond he toµµed h|:
b|oody no:e, o: |f worn|nq me: Co :|ow, or :he'|| q|ue you one of the:e.
ºZ|o, we'ue qot o |ot to to|h obout,º | :o|d, try|nq not to :ound heortbrohen. ºLet': qet you owoy
from the r|uer.º
5he :ot on the :teµ: of her own tomb ond huqqed her orm:. Her c|othe: ond ho|r were :tort|nq to
dry, but |n :µ|te of the worm n|qht ond the dry w|nd from the de:ert, :he :t||| tremb|ed.
At my reque:t, ße: brouqht uµ her :toff ond wond from the tomb, o|onq w|th the crooh ond f|o||,
but he d|dn't |ooh hoµµy obout |t. He hond|ed the |tem: o: |f they were tox|c.
| tr|ed to exµ|o|n th|nq: to Z|o: obout the :hobt|, |:hondor': deoth, De:jord|n:' becom|nq the Ch|ef
Lector, ond whot hod tron:µ|red |n the |o:t three month: :|nce the bott|e w|th 5et, but |'m not :ure how
much :he heord. 5he heµt :hoh|nq her heod, µre::|nq her hond: ouer her eor:.
º|:hondor con't be deod.º Her uo|ce quouered. ºHe wou|dn't houe.he wou|dn't houe done th|: to
ºHe wo: try|nq to µrotect you,º | :o|d. ºHe d|dn't hnow you'd houe n|qhtmore:. |'ue been |ooh|nq
for you-º
ºvhy!º :he demonded. ºvhot do you wont from me! | remember you from London, but ofter
º| met your :hobt| |n New Vorh. 5he-you-tooh 5od|e ond me to the F|r:t Nome. Vou :torted our
tro|n|nq. ve worhed toqether |n New Mex|co, then ot the Red Þyrom|d-º
ºNo.º 5he :hut her eye: t|qht. ºNo, thot wo:n't me.º
ºßut you con remember whot the :hobt| d|d. lu:t try-º
ºVou're o kone|º :he cr|ed. ºVou're o|| out|ow:. And you're here w|th-w|th thot.º 5he qe:tured ot
º1hot ho: o nome,º ße: qrumb|ed. º|'m :tort|nq to wonder why | droue ho|fwoy ocro:: £qyµt to
wohe you.º
ºVou're o qod|º Z|o :o|d. 1hen :he turned to me. ºAnd |f you :ummoned h|m, you'|| be µut to
ºL|:ten, q|r|,º ße: :o|d. ºVou were ho:t|nq the :µ|r|t of Neµhthy:. 5o |f onyone qet: µut to deoth-º
Z|o :notched uµ her :toff. ºße qone|º
Fortunote|y, :he wo:n't boch to fu|| :trenqth. 5he monoqed to :hoot o weoh co|umn of f|re ot ße:':
foce, but the dworf qod eo:||y :wotted the f|ome: o:|de.
| qrobbed the end of her :toff. ºZ|o, :toµ| He': not the enemy.º
ºCon | µunch her!º ße: o:hed. ºVou µunched me, h|d. 5eem: on|y fo|r.º
ºNo µunch|nq,º | :o|d. ºNo b|o:t|nq w|th f|ome:. Z|o, we're on the :ome :|de. 1he equ|nox :tort:
tomorrow ot :un:et, ond Aµoµh|: w||| breoh out of h|: µr|:on. He meon: to de:troy you. ve're here to
re:cue you.º
1he nome Aµoµh|: h|t her hord. 5he :truqq|ed to breothe, o: |f her |unq: were f||||nq w|th woter
oqo|n. ºNo. No, |t |:n't µo::|b|e. vhy :hou|d | be||eue you!º
ºßecou:e.º | he:|toted. vhot cou|d | :oy! ßecou:e we'd fo||en for eoch other three month: oqo!
ßecou:e we'ue been throuqh :o much toqether ond :oued eoch other': ||ue:! 1ho:e memor|e: weren't her:.
5he remembered me-:ort of. ßut our t|me toqether wo: ||he o mou|e :he'd wotched, w|th on octre::
µ|oy|nq her ro|e, do|nq th|nq: :he neuer wou|d'ue done.
ºVou don't hnow me,º :he :o|d b|tter|y. ºNow, qo, before |'m forced to f|qht you. |'|| mohe my own
woy boch to the F|r:t Nome.º
ºMoybe :he': r|qht, h|d,º ße: :o|d. ºve :hou|d |eoue. ve'ue worhed enouqh moq|c here to :end uµ
o|| h|nd: of o|orm be||:.º
| c|enched my f|:t:. My wor:t feor: hod come true. Z|o d|dn't ||he me. £ueryth|nq we'd :hored hod
crumb|ed w|th her cerom|c reµ||co. ßut o: | moy houe ment|oned, | qet :tubborn when |'m to|d | con't do
º|'m not |eou|nq you.º | qe:tured ot the ru|n: of her u|||oqe. ºZ|o, th|: µ|oce wo: de:troyed by
Aµoµh|:. |t wo:n't on occ|dent. |t wo:n't your dod': fou|t. 1he 5erµent wo: torqet|nq you. |:hondor ro|:ed
you becou:e he :en:ed you hod on |mµortont de:t|ny. He h|d you w|th the µhorooh': crooh ond f|o|| for
the :ome reo:on-not ju:t becou:e you were ho:t|nq o qodde::, but becou:e he wo: dy|nq ond he wo:
ofro|d he wou|dn't be ob|e to µrotect you onymore. | don't hnow whot your de:t|ny |:, exoct|y, but-º
º5toµ|º 5he re|qn|ted the t|µ of her :toff. |t b|ozed more br|qht|y th|: t|me. ºVou're tw|:t|nq my
thouqht:. Vou're ju:t ||he the n|qhtmore:.º
ºVou hnow |'m not.º | µrobob|y :hou|d'ue :hut uµ, but | cou|dn't be||eue Z|o wou|d octuo||y
|nc|nerote me. ºßefore he d|ed, |:hondor reo||zed the o|d woy: hod to be brouqht boch. 1hot': why he |et
5od|e ond me ||ue. Cod: ond the moq|c|on: houe to worh toqether. Vou-your:hobt| reo||zed thot, when
we fouqht toqether ot the Red Þyrom|d.º
ºk|d,º ße: :o|d more urqent|y. ºve reo||y :hou|d qo.º
ºCome w|th u:,º | to|d Z|o. º| hnow you'ue o|woy: fe|t o|one. Vou neuer hod onyone but |:hondor. |
qet thot, but |'m your fr|end. ve con µrotect you.º
ºNo one µrotect: me|º 5he :hot to her feet. º| om o :cr|be |n the Hou:e of L|fe|º
F|ome: :hot from her :toff. | qrobbed for my wond, but of cour:e |'d |o:t |t |n the r|uer. |n:t|nct|ue|y
my hond: c|o:ed oround the :ymbo|: of the µhorooh-the :heµherd': crooh ond the wor f|o||. | he|d them
uµ |n o defen:|ue X, ond Z|o': :toff :hottered |n:tont|y. 1he f|re d|::|µoted.
Z|o :tumb|ed bochword, :mohe cur||nq from her hond:.
5he :tored ot me |n ob:o|ute :hoch. ºVou dore to u:e the :ymbo|: of Ro!º
| µrobob|y |oohed ju:t o: :urµr|:ed. º|-| d|dn't meon to| | ju:t wont to to|h. Vou'ue qot to be
hunqry. ve'ue qot food ond woter boch ot the µ|chuµ truch-º
ºCorter|º ße: ten:ed. º5ometh|nq': wronq.º
He turned too |ote. A b||nd|nq wh|te ||qht exµ|oded oround h|m. vhen the :µot: c|eored from my
eye:, ße: wo: frozen |n o coqe of bor: q|ow|nq ||he f|uore:cent tube:. 5tond|nq next to h|m were the two
µeoµ|e | |eo:t wonted to :ee:
M|che| De:jord|n: ond V|od the |nho|er.
De:jord|n: |oohed euen o|der thon he hod |n my u|:|on. H|: qroy|nq ho|r ond forhed beord were
|onq ond unhemµt. H|: creom-co|ored robe: hunq |oo:e|y on h|m. 1he |eoµord-:h|n c|ooh of the Ch|ef
Lector wo: :||µµ|nq off h|: |eft :hou|der.
V|od Men:h|hou, on the other hond, |oohed we|| re:ted ond reody for o qood qome of
1orture-the-kone. He wore o fre:h wh|te ||nen :u|t ond corr|ed o new :erµent :toff. H|: :||uer :nohe
nech|oce q||nted oqo|n:t h|: t|e. On h|: cur|y qroy ho|r :ot o wh|te fedoro, µrobob|y to couer the heod
|njur|e: 5et hod q|uen h|m. He :m||ed o: |f he were de||qhted to :ee me, wh|ch m|qht'ue been
conu|nc|nq-exceµt he d|dn't houe h|: :unq|o::e: onymore. 1hrouqh the wrechoqe of :cor t|::ue ond red
we|t:, tho:e horr|b|e eye: q|eomed w|th hotred.
ºA: | to|d you, Ch|ef Lector,º Men:h|hou ro:µed, ºkone': next moue wou|d be to f|nd th|: µoor q|r|
ond ottemµt to turn her.º
ºDe:jord|n:, ||:ten,º | :o|d. ºMen:h|hou': o tro|tor. He :ummoned 5et. He': try|nq to free Aµoµh|:-º
ºVou :ee!º Men:h|hou cr|ed. ºA: | µred|cted, the boy tr|e: to b|ome h|: |||eqo| moq|c on me.º
ºvhot!º | :o|d. ºNo|º
1he Ru::|on turned to exom|ne ße:, who wo: :t||| frozen |n h|: q|ow|nq coqe. ºCorter kone, you
c|o|m to be |nnocent, ond yet we f|nd you here con:ort|nq w|th qod:. vho houe we here! ße: the dworf|
Fortunote|y, my qrondfother touqht me on exce||ent b|nd|nq :µe|| for th|: µort|cu|or creoture.
Crondfother o|:o touqht me mony :µe||: of torment wh|ch were.qu|te effect|ue on the dworf qod. |'ue
o|woy: wonted to try them.º
De:jord|n: wr|nh|ed h|: no:e |n d|:to:te, but | cou|dn't te|| whether |t wo: becou:e of me or of
ºCorter kone,º :o|d the Ch|ef Lector, º| hnew you de:|red the µhorooh': throne. | hnew you were
:chem|nq w|th Horu:. ßut now | f|nd you ho|d|nq the crooh ond f|o|| of Ro, wh|ch were recent|y d|:couered
to be m|::|nq from our uou|t:. £uen for you, th|: |: o brozen oct of oqqre::|on.º
| |oohed down ot the weoµon: |n my hond:. º|t': not ||he thot. | ju:t found them.º
| :toµµed. | cou|dn't te|| h|m the :ymbo|: hod been bur|ed w|th Z|o. £uen |f he be||eued me, |t
m|qht qet Z|o |n troub|e.
De:jord|n: nodded o: |f |'d confe::ed. 1o my :urµr|:e, he |oohed o ||tt|e :od obout |t. ºA: | thouqht.
Amo: o::ured me you were on honorob|e :eruont of Mo'ot. |n:teod, | f|nd you ore both o qod||nq ond
ºZ|o.º | turned toword her. ºVou'ue qot to ||:ten. Vou're |n donqer. Men:h|hou |: worh|nq for
Aµoµh|:. He'|| h||| you.º
Men:h|hou d|d o qood job of |ooh|nq offended. ºvhy wou|d | w|:h to horm her! | :en:e :he |: free of
Neµhthy: now. |t': not her fou|t the qodde:: |nuoded her form.º He he|d out h|: hond to Z|o. º| om q|od to
:ee you :ofe, ch||d. Vou ore not to b|ome for |:hondor': odd dec|:|on: |n h|: f|no| doy:-h|d|nq you here,
:often|nq h|: ott|tude toword the:e kone cr|m|no|:. Come owoy from the tro|tor. Come home w|th u:.º
Z|o he:|toted. º| hod.| hod :tronqe dreom:..º
ºVou ore confu:ed,º De:jord|n: :o|d qent|y. º1h|: |: noturo|. Vour :hobt| wo: re|oy|nq |t: memor|e:
to you. Vou :ow Corter kone ond h|: :|:ter mohe o µoct w|th 5et ot the Red Þyrom|d. Rother thon de:troy
the Red Lord, they |et h|m qo. Do you remember!º
Z|o :tud|ed me wor||y.
ºRemember why we d|d |t,º | µ|eoded. ºChoo: |: r|:|nq. Aµoµh|: w||| breoh free |n |e:: thon
twenty-four hour:. Z|o.|.º
1he word: :tuch |n my throot. | wonted to te|| her how | fe|t obout her, but her eye: hordened ||he
º| don't hnow you,º :he murmured. º|'m :orry.º
Men:h|hou :m||ed. ºOf cour:e you don't, ch||d. Vou houe no bu:|ne:: w|th tro|tor:. Now, w|th Lord
De:jord|n:' µerm|::|on, we w||| br|nq th|: younq heret|c boch to the F|r:t Nome, where he w||| be q|uen o
fo|r tr|o|º-Men:h|hou turned toword me, h|: ru|ned eye: burn|nq w|th tr|umµh-ºond then, executed.º
5 A D | £
ts. ComeIt Are EwII.
V£5, C AR1£R, 1H£ vHOL£ ßU5|N£55 w|th the woter demon: mu:t'ue been horr|b|e. ßut | fee| no
:ymµothy for you, o: I) you brouqht thot tr|µ ent|re|y on your:e|f, ond 2) wh||e you were re:cu|nq Z|o, |
wo: deo||nq w|th come|:.
Come|: ore d|:qu:t|nq.
Vou moy th|nh ßut, 5od|e, the:e were moq|co| come|:, :ummoned by one of vo|t': omu|et:. C|euer
vo|t| 5ure|y moq|c come|: ore not o: bod o: normo| come|:.
| con now otte:t thot moq|c come|: :µ|t ||he, µoo ||he, droo| ||he, b|te ||he, eot ||he, ond, mo:t
d|:qu:t|nq|y, :me|| ||he normo| come|:. |f onyth|nq, the|r d|:qu:t|nqne:: |: moq|co||y enhonced.
ve d|dn't :tort w|th the come|:, of cour:e. ve worhed our woy uµ to them |n o :er|e: of
µroqre::|ue|y more horr|b|e mode: of tron:µortot|on. F|r:t we tooh o bu: to o :mo|| town we:t of
A|exondr|o-o bu: w|thout o|r cond|t|on|nq, µoched w|th men who hod not d|:couered the benef|t: of
underorm deodoront. 1hen we h|red o dr|uer to tohe u: to ßohor|yo-o dr|uer who f|r:t hod the nerue to
µ|oy AßßA': qreote:t h|t: ond eot row on|on:, then droue u: to the m|dd|e of nowhere
ond-:urµr|:e|-|ntroduced u: to h|: fr|end:, the bond|t:, who were heen to rob defen:e|e:: Amer|con
teenoqer:. | wo: de||qhted to :how them how my :toff turned |nto o |orqe hunqry ||on. A: for o: | hnow,
the bond|t: ond dr|uer ore :t||| runn|nq. Howeuer, the cor hod :toµµed, ond no omount of moq|c wou|d
reu|ue the enq|ne.
At thot µo|nt, we dec|ded |t wo: be:t to :toy off the qr|d. | cou|d deo| w|th d|rty |ooh: from the
|oco|:. | cou|d deo| w|th ottroct|nq ottent|on o: on odd|ty-on Amer|conlßr|t|:h q|r| w|th µurµ|e-:treohed
ho|r, troue||nq o|one w|th o boy who d|d not |ooh ||he her brother. |n foct, thot fo|r|y we|| de:cr|bed my
||fe. ßut ofter the h|qhwoy robbery |nc|dent, vo|t ond | reo||zed ju:t how much the |oco|: were wotch|nq
u:, morh|nq u: o: o torqet. | hod no de:|re to be :|nq|ed out by more bond|t:, or £qyµt|on µo||ce, or, euen
wor:e, ony moq|c|on: who m|qht be |urh|nq undercouer. 5o we :ummoned the moq|c come|:, chormed o
hondfu| of :ond to µo|nt the woy to ßohor|yo, ond :et out ocro:: the de:ert.
How wo: the de:ert, 5od|e! Vou m|qht wonder.
1honh: for o:h|nq. |t wo: hot.
And onother th|nq: vhy do de:ert: houe to be :o b|oody huqe! vhy con't they be o few hundred
meter: w|de, ju:t enouqh to q|ue you the |deo of :ondy, dry, ond m|:erob|e, then y|e|d to :ome µroµer
|ond:coµe, ||he o meodow w|th o r|uer, or o h|qh :treet w|th :hoµ:!
No :uch |uch for u:. 1he de:ert went on foreuer. | cou|d |moq|ne 5et, the qod of the wo:te|ond:,
|ouqh|nq ot u: o: we trudqed ouer end|e:: dune:. |f th|: wo: h|: home, | d|dn't th|nh much of the woy he'd
| nomed my come| kotr|no. 5he wo: o noturo| d|:o:ter. 5he :|obbered euerywhere ond :eemed to
th|nh the µurµ|e :treoh |n my ho|r wo: :ome h|nd of exot|c fru|t. 5he wo: ob:e::ed w|th try|nq to eot my
heod. | nomed vo|t': come| H|ndenburq. He wo: o|mo:t o: |orqe o: o zeµµe||n ond def|n|te|y o: fu|| of
A: we rode :|de by :|de, vo|t :eemed |o:t |n thouqht, µeer|nq ot the hor|zon. He'd ru:hed to my
o|d |n A|exondr|o w|thout he:|tot|on. A: |'d :u:µected, our :hen omu|et: were connected. v|th o ||tt|e
concentrot|on, |'d been ob|e to :end h|m o mento| me::oqe obout our µred|coment. v|th o b|t more
effort, |'d been ob|e to ||tero||y µu|| h|m throuqh the Duot to my :|de. Çu|te o hondy moq|c |tem: |n:tont
hot quy.
Once here, thouqh, he'd qrown |ncreo:|nq|y qu|et ond uncomfortob|e. He wo: dre::ed ||he o
normo| Amer|con teen on on outdoor excur:|on-o b|och worhout toµ thot f|t h|m qu|te we||, h|h|nq
µont:, ond boot:. ßut |f you |oohed more c|o:e|y, you cou|d te|| he'd come equ|µµed w|th euery moq|c
|tem he'd euer mode. Around h|: nech hunq o uer|tob|e zoo of on|mo| omu|et:. 1hree r|nq: q||nted on
eoch hond. Around h|: wo|:t wo: o corded be|t |'d neuer :een before, :o | o::umed |t hod moq|c µower:.
He o|:o corr|ed o bochµoch, no doubt :tuffed w|th more hondy b|t: ond bob:. De:µ|te th|: µer:ono|
or:eno|, vo|t :eemed owfu||y neruou:.
ºLoue|y weother,º | µromµted.
He frowned, com|nq out of h|: doze. º5orry. | wo:.th|nh|nq.º
ºVou hnow, :omet|me: to|h|nq he|µ:. For |n:tonce, oh, | don't hnow. |f | hod o mojor µrob|em,
:ometh|nq ||fe-threoten|nq, ond |'d on|y conf|ded to loz.ond |f ße: hnew whot wo: qo|nq on, but wo:n't
te|||nq.ond |f |'d oqreed to come on on oduenture w|th o qood fr|end, ond hod hour: to chot o: we
cro::ed the de:ert, | m|qht be temµted to te|| her whot wo: wronq.º
ºHyµothet|co||y,º he :o|d.
ºVe:. And |f th|: q|r| were the |o:t µer:on on eorth to hnow whot wo: wronq w|th me, ond reo||y
cored.we||, | con |moq|ne :he'd qet qu|te fru:troted ot be|nq heµt |n the dorh. And :he m|qht
hyµothet|co||y :tronq|e you-| meon me. Hyµothet|co||y.º
vo|t monoqed o fo|nt :m||e. 1houqh | con't :oy h|: eye: me|ted me ||he Anub|:':, he d|d houe o
qorqeou: foce. He |oohed noth|nq ||he my fother, but he hod the :ome :ort of :trenqth ond ruqqed
hond:omene::-o h|nd of qent|e qrou|ty thot mode me fee| :ofer, ond o b|t more f|rm|y µ|onted on the
º|t': hord for me to to|h obout,º he :o|d. º| d|dn't meon to h|de onyth|nq from you.º
ºFortunote|y, |t': not too |ote.º
Our come|: µ|odded o|onq. kotr|no tr|ed to h|::, or µo::|b|y :µ|t on H|ndenburq, ond H|ndenburq
forted |n re:µon:e. | found th|: o deµre::|nq commentory on boy-q|r| re|ot|on:h|µ:.
At |o:t vo|t :o|d, º|t ho: to do w|th the b|ood of the µhorooh:. Vou quy:-| meon the kone:-you
comb|ne two µowerfu| royo| ||ne:, Normer ond Rome::e: the Creot, r|qht!º
º5o |'ue been to|d. 5od|e the Creot doe: houe o n|ce r|nq to |t.º
vo|t d|dn't re:µond to thot. Þerhoµ: he wo: |moq|n|nq me o: o µhorooh, wh|ch |'|| odm|t |: o
rother fr|qhten|nq conceµt.
ºMy royo| ||ne.º He he:|toted. ºHow much do you hnow obout Ahhenoton!º
ºOff the toµ of my heod, |'d :oy he wo: o µhorooh. Þrobob|y of £qyµt.º
vo|t |ouqhed, wh|ch wo: qood. |f | cou|d heeµ h|: mood from qett|nq too :er|ou:, |t m|qht be eo:|er
for h|m to oµen uµ.
º1oµ of the c|o::,º he :o|d. ºAhhenoton wo: the µhorooh who dec|ded to do owoy w|th o|| the o|d
qod: ond ju:t wor:h|µ Aten, the :un.º
ºOh.r|qht.º 1he :tory uoque|y ronq o be||, wh|ch o|ormed me, o: |t mode me fee| ||he o|mo:t o:
much of on £qyµt|on qeeh o: Corter. ºHe': the choµ who moued the coµ|to|, eh!º
vo|t nodded. ºHe bu||t on ent|re|y new c|ty ot Amorno. He wo: h|nd of o we|rd dude, but he wo:
the f|r:t one who hod the |deo thot the o|d qod: were bod. He tr|ed to bon the|r wor:h|µ, :hut down the|r
temµ|e:. He wonted to wor:h|µ on|y one qod, but he mode o :tronqe cho|ce for the one qod. He thouqht
|t wo: the :un. Not the :un qod Ro-the octuo| :un d|:h, Aten. Anywoy, the o|d µr|e:t: ond moq|c|on:,
e:µec|o||y the µr|e:t: of Amun-Ro-º
ºAnother nome for Ro!º | que::ed.
ºMore or |e::,º vo|t :o|d. º5o the µr|e:t: of Amun-Ro': temµ|e weren't too hoµµy w|th Ahhenoton.
After he d|ed, they defoced h|: :totue:, tr|ed to w|µe out h|: nome from o|| the monument: ond :tuff.
Amorno wo: comµ|ete|y obondoned. £qyµt went boch to the o|d woy:.º
| |et thot :|nh |n. 1hou:ond: of yeor: before |:hondor hod |::ued o ru|e ex|||nq the qod:, o µhorooh
hod hod the :ome |deo.
ºAnd th|: wo: your qreot-qreot-whoteuer qrondfother!º | o:hed.
vo|t wroµµed the come|': re|n: oround h|: wr|:t. º|'m one of Ahhenoton': de:cendont:. Veoh.
ve'ue qot the :ome oµt|tude for moq|c o: mo:t royo| ||ne:, but.we'ue qot µrob|em:, too. 1he qod:
weren't hoµµy w|th Ahhenoton, o: you con |moq|ne. H|: :on 1utonhhomen-º
ºk|nq 1ut!º | o:hed. ºVou're re|oted to k|nq 1ut!º
ºUnfortunote|y,º vo|t :o|d. º1utonhhomen wo: the f|r:t to :uffer the cur:e. He d|ed ot n|neteen.
And he wo: one of the |uch|er one:.º
ºHonq on. vhot cur:e!º
1hot': when kotr|no come to o :creech|nq ho|t. Vou moy µrote:t thot come|: con't :creech, but
you're qu|te wronq. A: :he reoched the toµ of o mo::|ue :ond dune, kotr|no mode o wet :creechy :ound
much wor:e thon o cor': brohe:. H|ndenburq come to more of o fort|nq ho|t.
| |oohed down the other :|de of the dune. ße|ow u:, |n the m|dd|e of the de:ert, o hozy uo||ey of
qreen f|e|d: ond µo|m tree: :µrow|ed out, rouqh|y the :|ze of centro| London. ß|rd: f|ew ouerheod. 5mo||
|ohe: :µorh|ed |n the ofternoon :un. 5mohe ro:e from cooh|nq f|re: ot o few dwe|||nq: dotted here ond
there. After :o |onq |n the de:ert, my eye: hurt from |ooh|nq ot o|| the co|or:, ||he when you come out of o
dorh c|nemo |nto o br|qht ofternoon.
| under:tood how onc|ent troue|er: mu:t'ue fe|t, d|:couer|nq on oo:|: ||he th|: ofter doy: |n the
w||derne::. |t wo: the c|o:e:t th|nq |'d euer :een to the Corden of £den.
1he come|: hodn't :toµµed to odm|re the beout|fu| :cenery, thouqh. A tro|| of t|ny footµr|nt:
wound throuqh the :ond, o|| the woy from the edqe of the oo:|: to our dune. And com|nq uµ the h||| wo:
o uery d|:qrunt|ed-|ooh|nq cot.
º|t': obout t|me,º :o|d the cot.
| :||d off kotr|no': boch ond :tored ot the cot |n omozement. Not becou:e |t :µohe-|'d :een
:tronqer th|nq:-but becou:e | recoqn|zed the uo|ce.
ºßo:t!º | :o|d. ºvhot ore you do|nq |n:|de thot-whot |: thot, exoct|y!º
1he cot :tood on |t: h|nd |eq: ond :µreod |t: front µow: ||he: Vo||ò| ºAn £qyµt|on mou, of cour:e.
ßeout|fu| |eoµord :µot:, b|u|:h fur-º
º|t |ooh: ||he |t': been throuqh o b|ender|º
| wo:n't ju:t be|nq hor:h. 1he cot wo: terr|b|y beoten uµ. Lorqe chunh: of |t: fur were m|::|nq. |t
m|qht once houe been beout|fu|, but | wo: more |nc||ned to th|nh |t hod o|woy: been fero|. |t: remo|n|nq
fur wo: d|rty ond motted, ond |t: eye: were :wo||en ond :corred o|mo:t o: bod|y o: V|od Men:h|hou':.
ßo:t-or the cot-or whoteuer wo: |n chorqe-droµµed boch on o|| four: ond :n|ffed |nd|qnont|y.
º5od|e, deor, | be||eue we'ue to|hed obout bott|e :cor: on cot:. 1h|: o|d tom |: o worr|or|º
A worr|or who |o:e:, | thouqht, but | dec|ded not to :oy thot.
vo|t :||d off H|ndenburq': boch. ºßo:t, how-where ore you!º
º5t||| deeµ |n the Duot.º 5he :|qhed. º|t'|| be onother doy ot |eo:t before | con f|nd my woy out.
1h|nq: down here ore o b|t.choot|c.º
ºAre you o|| r|qht!º | o:hed.
1he cot nodded. º| ju:t houe to be corefu|. 1he oby:: |: teem|nq w|th enem|e:. A|| the requ|or µoth:
ond r|uer woy: ore quorded. |'|| houe to tohe o |onq detour to qet boch :ofe|y, ond :|nce the equ|nox :tort:
tomorrow ot :un:et, the t|m|nq |: qo|nq to be t|qht. | thouqht |'d better :end you o me::oqe.º
º5o.º vo|t hn|t h|: eyebrow:. º1hot cot |:n't reo|!º
ºOf cour:e |t': reo|,º ßo:t :o|d. ºlu:t contro||ed by o :||uer of my bo. | con :µeoh throuqh cot: eo:||y,
you hnow, ot |eo:t for o few m|nute: ot o t|me, but th|: |: the f|r:t t|me you'ue been c|o:e to one. D|d you
reo||ze thot! Unbe||euob|e| Vou reo||y need to honq oround more cot:. ßy the woy, th|: mou w||| need o
reword when |'m qone. 5ome n|ce f|:h, µerhoµ:, or :ome m||h-º
ºßo:t,º | |nterruµted. ºVou :o|d you hod o me::oqe!º
ºR|qht. Aµoµh|: |: woh|nq.º
ºve hnew thot|º
ºßut |t': wor:e thon we thouqht,º :he :o|d. ºHe': qot o |eq|on of demon: worh|nq on h|: coqe, ond
he': t|m|nq h|: re|eo:e to co|nc|de w|th your woh|nq Ro. |n foct, he': count|nq on your free|nq Ro. |t': µort
of h|: µ|on.º
My heod fe|t ||he |t wo: turn|nq to je||y, thouqh thot moy houe been becou:e kotr|no the come|
wo: :uch|nq on my ho|r. ºAµoµh|: wont: u: to free h|: orchenemy! 1hot mohe: no :en:e.º
º| con't exµ|o|n |t,º ßo:t :o|d, ºbut o: | qot c|o:er to h|: coqe, | cou|d q|eon h|: thouqht:. | :uµµo:e
becou:e we fouqht :o mony centur|e: we houe :ome :ort of connect|on. At ony rote, the equ|nox beq|n:
tomorrow ot :un:et, o: | :o|d. 1he fo||ow|nq down, the morn|nq of Morch twenty-f|r:t, Aµoµh|: |ntend: to
r|:e from the Duot. He µ|on: to :wo||ow the :un ond de:troy the wor|d. And he be||eue: your µ|on to
owohen Ro w||| he|µ h|m do thot.º
vo|t frowned. º|f Aµoµh|: wont: u: to :ucceed, why |: he try|nq :o hord to :toµ u:!º
º|: he!º | o:hed.
A dozen :mo|| th|nq: thot hod bothered me ouer the µo:t few doy: :udden|y c||ched toqether: why
hod Aµoµh|: on|y :cored Corter |n the ßrooh|yn Mu:eum, when the Arrow: of 5ehhmet cou|d houe
de:troyed h|m! How hod we e:coµed :o eo:||y from 5t. Þeter:burq! vhy hod 5et uo|unteered the |ocot|on
of the th|rd :cro||!
ºAµoµh|: wont: choo:,º | :o|d. ºHe wont: to d|u|de h|: enem|e:. |f Ro come: boch, |t cou|d throw u:
|nto o c|u|| wor. 1he moq|c|on: ore o|reody d|u|ded. 1he qod: wou|d be f|qht|nq eoch other. 1here wou|d
be no c|eor ru|er. And |f Ro |:n't reborn |n o :tronq new form-|f he': o: o|d ond feeb|e o: | :ow |n my
º5o we :hou|dn't owohen Ro!º vo|t o:hed.
º1hot': not the on:wer e|ther,º | :o|d.
ßo:t t||ted her heod. º|'m confu:ed.º
My m|nd wo: roc|nq. kotr|no the come| wo: :t||| chew|nq on my ho|r, turn|nq |t |nto o :||my me::,
but | hord|y not|ced. ºve houe to :t|ch to the µ|on. ve need Ro. Mo'ot ond Choo: houe to bo|once, r|qht!
|f Aµoµh|: r|:e:, Ro ho: to o: we||.º
vo|t tw|:ted h|: r|nq:. ºßut |f Aµoµh|: wont: Ro owohened, |f he th|nh: |t w||| he|µ h|m de:troy the
ºve houe to be||eue Aµoµh|: |: wronq.º | remembered :ometh|nq loz': ren hod to|d me: ve choo:e
to be||eue |n Mo'ot.
ºAµoµh|: con't |moq|ne thot onyone cou|d un|te the qod: ond moq|c|on:,º | :o|d. ºHe th|nh: the
return of Ro w||| weohen u: euen further. ve houe to µroue h|m wronq. ve houe to mohe order from
choo:. 1hot': whot £qyµt ho: o|woy: done. |t': o r|:h-o huqe r|:h-but |f we do noth|nq becou:e we feor
we'|| fo||, we µ|oy r|qht |nto Aµoµh|:': hond:.º
|t': hord to q|ue o rou:|nq :µeech w|th o come| ||ch|nq your heod, but vo|t nodded. 1he cot d|dn't
|ooh qu|te :o enthu:|o:t|c. 1hen oqo|n, cot: rore|y do.
ºDon't undere:t|mote Aµoµh|:,º ßo:t :o|d. ºVou houen't fouqht h|m. | houe.º
ºvh|ch |: why we need you boch qu|ch|y.º | to|d her obout V|od Men:h|hou': conuer:ot|on w|th 5et,
ond h|: µ|on: to de:troy ßrooh|yn Hou:e. ºßo:t, our fr|end: ore |n terr|b|e donqer. Men:h|hou |: µo::|b|y
euen more |n:one thon Amo: reo||ze:. A: :oon o: you're ob|e, qo to ßrooh|yn. | houe o fee||nq our |o:t
:tond |: qo|nq to be there. ve'|| qet the th|rd :cro|| ond f|nd Ro.º
º| don't ||he |o:t :tond:,º the cot :o|d. ºßut you're r|qht. |t :ound: bod. ßy the woy, where ore ße:
ond Corter!º 5he |oohed :u:µ|c|ou:|y ot the come|:. ºVou d|dn't turn them |nto tho:e, d|d you!º
º1he |deo |: oµµeo||nq,º | :o|d. ºßut, no.º
| to|d her br|ef|y whot Corter wo: uµ to.
ßo:t h|::ed w|th d|:to:te. ºA foo||:h detour| |'|| houe word: w|th thot dworf obout |ett|nq you qo off
on your own.º
ºvhot om |, |nu|:|b|e!º vo|t µrote:ted.
º5orry, deor, | d|dn't meon-º 1he cot': eye: tw|tched. |t couqhed ||he |t hod o ho|rbo||. ºMy
connect|on |: fo|||nq. Cood |uch, 5od|e. 1he be:t entronce to the tomb: |: on o :mo|| dote form ju:t to the
:outheo:t. Looh for o b|och woter tower. And do wotch out for the Romon:. 1hey're qu|te-º
1he cot µuffed uµ |t: to||. 1hen |t b||nhed ond |oohed oround |n confu:|on.
ºvhot Romon:!º | o:hed. º1hey're qu|te whot!º
ºMrow.º 1he cot :tored ot me w|th on exµre::|on thot :o|d: vho ore you ond where |: the food!
| :wotted the come|': no:e owoy from my :||my ho|r. ºCome on, vo|t,º | qrumb|ed. ºLet': qo f|nd
:ome mumm|e:.º
ve µrou|ded the cot w|th b|t: of beef jerhy ond :ome woter from our :uµµ||e:. |t wo:n't o: qood o:
f|:h ond m||h, but the cot :eemed hoµµy enouqh. A: |t wo: |n :|qht of the oo:|: ond obu|ou:|y hnew |t: woy
oround better thon we d|d, we |eft |t to f|n|:h |t: meo|. vo|t turned the come|: boch |nto omu|et:, thonh
qoodne::, ond we trudqed |nto ßohor|yo on foot.
1he dote form wo:n't d|ff|cu|t to f|nd. 1he b|och woter tower :ot ot the edqe of the µroµerty, ond
|t wo: the to||e:t :tructure |n :|qht. ve mode our woy toword |t, weou|nq throuqh ocre: of µo|m tree:,
wh|ch µrou|ded :ome :hode from the :un. An odobe formhou:e :tood |n the d|:tonce, but we d|dn't :ee
ony µeoµ|e. Þrobob|y the £qyµt|on: hnew better thon to be out |n the ofternoon heot.
vhen we reoched the woter tower, | d|dn't :ee ony obu|ou: tomb entronce. 1he tower |oohed
qu|te o|d-four ru:ty :tee| µo:t: ho|d|nq o round tonh the :|ze of o qoroqe obout f|fteen meter: |n the o|r.
1he tonh hod o :|ow |eoh. £uery few :econd: woter droµµed from the :hy ond :moched oqo|n:t the
hord-µoched :ond underneoth. 1here wo:n't much e|:e |n :|qht exceµt for more µo|m tree:, o few
torn|:hed form too|:, ond o weothered µ|ywood :|qn |y|nq on the qround. 1he :|qn wo: :µroy-µo|nted |n
Arob|c ond £nq||:h, µrobob|y from :ome ottemµt by the former to :e|| h|: wore: |n the morhet. 1he
£nq||:h reod: Dote:-be:t µr|ce. Co|d ßeb:|.
ºßeb:|!º | o:hed.
ºÞeµ:|,º vo|t :o|d. º| reod obout thot on the |nternet. 1here': no 'µ' |n Arob|c. £ueryone here co||:
:odo ßeb:|.º
º5o you houe to houe ßeb:| w|th your b|zzo!º
| :norted. º|f th|: |: o fomou: d|q :|te, :hou|dn't there be more oct|u|ty! Archoeo|oq|:t:! 1|chet
booth:! 5ouuen|r merchont:!º
ºMoybe ßo:t :ent u: to o :ecret entronce,º vo|t :o|d. ºßetter thon :neoh|nq µo:t o bunch of quord:
ond coretoher:.º
A :ecret entronce :ounded qu|te |ntr|qu|nq, but un|e:: the woter tower wo: o moq|c te|eµorter, or
one of the dote tree: hod o conceo|ed door, | wo:n't :ure where th|: oh-:o-he|µfu| entronce m|qht be. |
h|ched the ßeb:| :|qn. 1here wo: noth|nq underneoth exceµt more :ond, :|ow|y turn|nq to mud from the
dr|µ, dr|µ, dr|µ of the |eohy tower.
1hen | |oohed more c|o:e|y ot the wet :µot on the qround.
ºHonq on.º | hne|t. 1he woter wo: µoo||nq |n o ||tt|e cono|, o: |f the :ond were :eeµ|nq |nto o
:ubterroneon croch. 1he creu|ce wo: obout o meter |onq ond no w|der thon o µenc||, but much too
:tro|qht to be noturo|. | duq |n the :ond. 5|x cent|meter: down, my f|nqerno||: :croµed :tone.
ºHe|µ me c|eor th|:,º | to|d vo|t.
A m|nute |oter we'd uncouered o f|ot µou|nq :tone obout one meter :quore. | tr|ed to worh my
f|nqer: under the wet edqe:, but the :tone wo: too th|ch ond much too heouy to ||ft.
ºve con u:e :ometh|nq o: o |euer,º vo|t :uqqe:ted. ºÞry |t uµ.º
ºOr,º | :o|d, º:tond boch.º
vo|t |oohed reody to µrote:t, but when | brouqht out my :toff, he hnew enouqh to qet out of the
woy. v|th my new under:tond|nq of qod|y moq|c, | d|dn't :o much th|nh obout whot | needed o: fee| o
connect|on to |:|:. | remembered o t|me when :he'd found her hu:bond': coff|n qrown |nto the trunh of o
cyµre:: tree, ond |n her onqer ond de:µerot|on :he b|ew the tree oµort. | chonne|ed tho:e emot|on: ond
µo|nted ot the :tone. ºHo-d||º
Cood new:: the :µe|| worhed euen better thon |n 5t. Þeter:burq. 1he h|eroq|yµh q|owed ot the end
of my :toff, ond the :tone wo: b|o:ted to rubb|e, reueo||nq o dorh ho|e underneoth.
ßod new:: thot': not o|| | de:troyed. Around the ho|e, the qround beqon to crumb|e. vo|t ond |
:cromb|ed bochword o: more :tone: fe|| |nto the µ|t, ond | reo||zed |'d ju:t de:tob|||zed the ent|re roof of o
:ubterroneon room. 1he ho|e w|dened unt|| |t reoched the :uµµort |eq: of the woter tower. 1he woter
tower beqon to creoh ond :woy.
ºRun|º vo|t ye||ed.
ve d|dn't :toµ unt|| we were h|d|nq beh|nd o µo|m tree th|rty meter: owoy. 1he woter tower
:µronq o hundred d|fferent |eoh:, wobb|ed boch ond forth ||he o drunhen mon, then fe|| toword u: ond
:hottered, :ooh|nq u: from heod to toe ond :end|nq o f|ood throuqh the row: of µo|m tree:.
1he no|:e wo: :o deofen|nq, |t mu:t'ue been heord throuqhout the oo:|:.
ºOoµ:,º | :o|d.
vo|t |oohed ot me ||he | wo: mod. | :uµµo:e | wo: qu||ty o: chorqed. ßut |t': ju:t :o b|oody
temµt|nq to b|ow th|nq: uµ, |:n't |t!
ve ron to the 5od|e kone Memor|o| Croter. |t wo: now the :|ze of o :w|mm|nq µoo|. F|ue meter:
down, under o µ||e of :ond ond roch:, were row: of mumm|e:, o|| wroµµed |n o|d c|oth ond |o|d out on
:tone :|ob:. 1he mumm|e: were now f|ottened, |'m ofro|d, but | cou|d te|| they'd been br|qht|y µo|nted
w|th red, b|ue, ond qo|d.
ºCo|den mumm|e:.º vo|t |oohed horr|f|ed. ºÞort of the tomb :y:tem thot ho:n't been excouoted
yet. Vou ju:t ru|ned-º
º| d|d :oy Ooµ:. Now, he|µ me down there, before the owner of th|: woter tower :how: uµ w|th o
5 A D | £
te. .8ut Het ot EwII ot Remoøt
1O ߣ FA|R, 1H£ MUMM|£5 |n thot µort|cu|or room were mo:t|y ru|ned o|reody, thonh: to the
mo|:ture from the |eoh|nq tower oboue. lu:t odd woter to mumm|e: for o tru|y horr|b|e :me||.
ve c||mbed ouer the rubb|e ond found o corr|dor |eod|nq deeµer underqround. | cou|dn't te||
whether |t wo: noturo| or mon-mode, but |t :nohed o qood forty meter: throuqh :o||d roch before
oµen|nq |nto onother bur|o| chomber. 1h|: room hod not been domoqed by woter. £ueryth|nq wo:
remorhob|y we|| µre:erued. vo|t hod brouqht torche: [f|o:h||qht:, for you Amer|con:], ond |n the d|m
||qht, on :tone :|ob: ond |n n|che: corued o|onq the wo||:, qo|d-µo|nted mumm|e: q||ttered. 1here were ot
|eo:t o hundred |n th|: room o|one, ond more corr|dor: |ed off |n eoch d|rect|on.
vo|t :h|ned h|: ||qht on three mumm|e: |y|nq toqether on o centro| do|:. 1he|r bod|e: were
comµ|ete|y wroµµed |n ||nen, :o they |oohed rother ||he bow||nq µ|n:. 1he|r ||hene::e: were µo|nted on the
||nen |n met|cu|ou: deto||-hond: cro::ed ouer the|r che:t:, jewe|ry odorn|nq the|r nech:, £qyµt|on h||t ond
:ondo|:, ond o ho:t of µrotect|ue h|eroq|yµh: ond |moqe: of the qod: |n o border on eoch :|de. A|| th|: wo:
tyµ|co| £qyµt|on ort, but the|r foce: were done |n o comµ|ete|y d|fferent :ty|e -reo||:t|c µortro|t: thot
|oohed cut-ond-µo:ted onto the mumm|e:' heod:. On the |eft wo: o mon w|th o th|n, beorded foce ond
:od dorh eye:. On the r|qht wo: o beout|fu| womon w|th cur|y ouburn ho|r. vhot reo||y µu||ed ot my
heort, thouqh, wo: the mummy |n the m|dd|e. |t: body wo: t|ny-obu|ou:|y o ch||d. |t: µortro|t :howed o
boy of obout :euen yeor: o|d. He hod the mon': eye: ond the womon': ho|r.
ºA fom||y,º vo|t que::ed. ºßur|ed toqether.º
1here wo: :ometh|nq tuched under the ch||d': r|qht e|bow -o :mo|| wooden hor:e, µo::|b|y h|:
fouor|te toy. £uen thouqh th|: fom||y hod been deod for thou:ond: of yeor:, | cou|dn't he|µ qett|nq o b|t
teory-eyed. |t wo: :o b|oody :od.
ºHow d|d they d|e!º | wondered.
From the corr|dor d|rect|y |n front of u:, o uo|ce echoed, º1he wo:t|nq d|:eo:e.º
My :toff wo: |n:tont|y |n my hond. vo|t tro|ned h|: torch on the doorwoy, ond o qho:t :teµµed
|nto the room. At |eo:t | o::umed he wo: o qho:t, becou:e he wo: :ee-throuqh. He wo: o heouy o|der mon
w|th :hort-croµµed wh|te ho|r, bu||doq jow|:, ond o cro:: exµre::|on. He wore Romon-:ty|e robe: ond hoh|
eye||ner, :o he |oohed rother ||he v|n:ton Church|||-|f the o|d µr|me m|n|:ter hod thrown o w||d toqo
µorty ond qotten h|: foce µo|nted.
ºNew|y deod!º He eyed u: wor||y. ºHouen't :een ony new orr|uo|: |n o |onq t|me. vhere ore your
vo|t ond | q|onced ot eoch other.
ºActuo||y,º | :o|d, ºwe're weor|nq them.º
1he qho:t': eyebrow: :hot uµ. ºD| |mmorto|e:| Vou're o||ue!º
º5o for,º vo|t :o|d.
º1hen you'ue brouqht offer|nq:!º 1he mon rubbed h|: hond:. ºOh, they :o|d you wou|d come, but
we'ue wo|ted oqe:| vhere houe you been!º
ºUm.º | d|dn't wont to d|:oµµo|nt o qho:t, e:µec|o||y o: he wo: beq|nn|nq to q|ow more br|qht|y,
wh|ch |n moq|c |: often o µre|ude to exµ|od|nq. ºÞerhoµ: we :hou|d |ntroduce our:e|ue:. |'m 5od|e kone.
1h|: |: vo|t-º
ºOf cour:e| Vou need my nome for the :µe||:.º 1he qho:t c|eored h|: throot. º| om Aµµ|u: C|oud|u:
| qot the fee||nq | wo: :uµµo:ed to be |mµre::ed. ºR|qht. 1hot': not £qyµt|on, | qother!º
1he qho:t |oohed offended. ºRomon, of cour:e. Fo||ow|nq tho:e cur:ed £qyµt|on cu:tom: |: how we
o|| ended uµ here to beq|n w|th| ßod enouqh | qot :tot|oned |n th|: qod-for:ohen oo:|:-o: |f Rome need:
on ent|re |eq|on to quord :ome dote form:| 1hen | hod the bod |uch to fo|| |||. 1o|d my w|fe on my
deothbed: 'Lobe||o, on o|d-fo:h|oned Romon bur|o|. None of th|: |oco| non:en:e.' ßut no| 5he neuer
||:tened. Hod to mumm|fy me, :o my bo |: :tuch here foreuer. vomen| 5he µrobob|y moued boch to
Rome ond d|ed |n the µroµer woy.º
ºLobe||o!º | o:hed, becou:e reo||y | hodn't heord much ofter thot. vhot :ort of µorent: nome the|r
ch||d Lobe||o!
1he qho:t huffed ond cro::ed h|: orm:. ºßut you don't wont to heor me romb|e on, do you! Vou
moy co|| me Mod C|oude. 1hot': the tron:|ot|on |n your tonque.º
| wondered how o Romon qho:t cou|d :µeoh £nq||:h-or |f | :|mµ|y under:tood h|m throuqh :ome
:ort of te|eµothy. £|ther woy, | wo: not re||eued to f|nd out h|: nome wo: Mod C|oude.
ºUm.º vo|t ro|:ed h|: hond. ºAre you mod o: |n onqry! Or mod o: |n crozy!º
ºVe:,º C|oude :o|d. ºNow, obout tho:e offer|nq:. | :ee :toff:, wond:, ond omu|et:, :o | o::ume you're
µr|e:t: w|th the |oco| Hou:e of L|fe! Cood, qood. 1hen you'|| hnow whot to do.º
ºvhot to do|º | oqreed heort||y. ºVe:, qu|te|º
C|oude': eye: norrowed. ºOh, luµ|ter. Vou're nou|ce:, oren't you! D|d the temµ|e euenexµ|o|n the
µrob|em to you!º
He :tormed ouer to the fom||y of mumm|e: we'd been |ooh|nq ot. º1h|: |: Luc|u:, F|ou|o, ond ||tt|e
Þurµen:. 1hey d|ed of the wo:t|nq µ|oque. |'ue been here :o |onq, | cou|d te|| you µroct|co||y eueryone':
º1hey to|h to you!º | :teµµed owoy from the mummy fom||y. 5udden|y ||tt|e Þurµen: d|dn't :eem
:o cute.
Mod C|oude woued h|: hond |mµot|ent|y. º5omet|me:, ye:. Not o: much o: |n the o|d doy:. 1he|r
:µ|r|t: :|eeµ mo:t of the t|me, now. 1he µo|nt |:, no motter how bod o deoth the:e µeoµ|e hod, the|r fote
ofter deoth ho: been wor:e| A|| of u: -o|| the:e Romon: ||u|nq |n £qyµt-qot on £qyµt|on bur|o|. Loco|
cu:tom:, |oco| µr|e:t:, mumm|fy the bod|e: for the next ||fe, et cetero. ve thouqht we were couer|nq our
bo:e:-two re||q|on:, tw|ce the |n:uronce. Þrob|em wo:, you foo||:h £qyµt|on µr|e:t: d|dn't hnow whot you
were do|nq onymore| ßy the t|me we Romon: come o|onq, mo:t of your moq|c hnow|edqe wo: |o:t. ßut
d|d you te|| u: thot! No| Vou were hoµµy to tohe our co|n: ond do o :hoddy job.º
ºAh.º | boched owoy o b|t more from Mod C|oude, who wo: now q|ow|nq qu|te donqerou:|y.
ºve||, |'m :ure the Hou:e of L|fe ho: o cu:tomer :eru|ce number for thot-º
ºVou con't qo ho|fwoy w|th the:e £qyµt|on r|tuo|:,º he qrumb|ed. ºve ended uµ w|th mumm|f|ed
bod|e: ond eterno| :ou|: tethered to them, ond no one fo||owed uµ| No one :o|d the µroyer: to he|µ u:
moue to the next ||fe. No one mode offer|nq: to nour|:h our bo:. Do you hnow how hunqry | om!º
ºve'ue qot :ome beef jerhy,º vo|t offered.
ºve cou|dn't qo to Þ|uto': reo|m ||he qood Romon:,º Mod C|oude went on, ºbecou:e our bod|e:
hod been µreµored for o d|fferent ofter||fe. ve cou|dn't qo to the Duot, becou:e we weren't q|uen the
µroµer £qyµt|on r|tuo|:. Our :ou|: were :tuch here, ottoched to the:e bod|e:. Do you houe ony |deo how
bor|nq |t |: down here!º
º5o, |f you're o bo,º | o:hed, ºwhy don't you houe o b|rd': body!º
º| to|d you| ve're o|| m|xed uµ, not µure Romon qho:t, not µroµer bo. |f | hod w|nq:, be||eue me,
|'d f|y out of here| ßy the woy, whot yeor |: |t! vho': the emµeror now!º
ºOh, h|: nome |:-º vo|t couqhed, then ru:hed on: ºVou hnow, C|oude, |'m :ure we con he|µ you.º
ºve con!º | :o|d. ºOh, r|qht| ve con|º
vo|t nodded encouroq|nq|y. º1he th|nq |:, we houe to f|nd :ometh|nq f|r:t.º
ºA :cro||,º | µut |n. ºÞort of the ßooh of Ro.º
C|oude :crotched h|: con:|derob|e jow|:. ºAnd th|: w||| he|µ you :end our :ou|: to the next ||fe!º
ºve||.º | :o|d.
ºVe:,º vo|t :o|d.
ºÞo::|b|y,º | :o|d. ºve don't reo||y hnow unt|| we f|nd |t. |t': :uµµo:ed to wohe Ro, you :ee, wh|ch
w||| he|µ the £qyµt|on qod:. |'d th|nh thot wou|d |mµroue your chonce: ot qett|nq |nto the ofter||fe.
ße:|de:, |'m on qood term: w|th the £qyµt|on qod:. 1hey µoµ ouer for teo from t|me to t|me. |f you he|µed
u:, | cou|d µut |n o word.º
Hone:t|y, |'d ju:t been moh|nq uµ th|nq: to :oy. |'m :ure th|: w||| :urµr|:e you, but | :omet|me:
romb|e when | qet neruou:.
[Oh, :toµ |ouqh|nq, Corter.]
At ony rote, Mod C|oude': exµre::|on become :hrewder. He :tud|ed u: o: |f o::e::|nq our bonh
occount:. | wondered |f the Romon £mµ|re hod u:ed chor|ot :o|e:men, ond |f Mod C|oude hod been one. |
|moq|ned h|m on o Romon commerc|o| |n o cheoµ µ|o|d toqo: | mu:t be crozy to be q|u|nq owoy chor|ot:
ot the:e µr|ce:|
ºOn qood term: w|th the £qyµt|on qod:,º he mu:ed. ºÞut |n o word, you :oy.º
1hen he turned to vo|t. C|oude': exµre::|on wo: :o co|cu|ot|nq, :o eoqer, |t mode my :h|n crow|. º|f
the :cro|| you :eeh |: onc|ent, |t wou|d be |n the o|de:t :ect|on of the cotocomb:. 5ome not|ue: were bur|ed
there, you hnow, |onq before we Romon: come o|onq. 1he|r bo: houe o|| moued on now. No troub|e
qett|nq |nto the Duot for them. ßut the|r bur|o| :|te: ore :t||| |ntoct, |ot: of re||c: ond :o on.º
ºVou'd be w||||nq to :how u:!º vo|t o:hed, w|th much more exc|tement thon | cou|d'ue monoqed.
ºOh, ye:.º Mod C|oude qoue u: h|: be:t ºu:ed chor|ot :o|e:monº :m||e. ºAnd |oter, we'|| to|h obout
on oµµroµr|ote fee, eh! Come o|onq, my fr|end:. |t': not for.º
Note to :e|f: vhen o qho:t offer: to qu|de you deeµer |nto o bur|o| :|te ond h|: nome |nc|ude: the
word Mod, |t': be:t to :oy no.
A: we µo::ed throuqh tunne|: ond chomber:, Mod C|oude qoue u: o runn|nq commentory on the
uor|ou: mumm|e:. Co||qu|o the dote merchont: ºHorr|b|e nome| ßut once you're nomed for on emµeror,
euen o µ:ychot|c one, you con't do much obout |t. He d|ed bett|nq :omeone he cou|d h|:: o :corµ|on.º
Voren: the :|ouer: ºD|:qu:t|nq mon. 1r|ed to qo |nto the q|od|otor bu:|ne::. |f you q|ue o :|oue o :word,
we||.you con que:: how he d|ed|º Octou|o the |eq|on commonder': w|fe: ºvent comµ|ete|y not|ue| Hod
her cot mumm|f|ed. 5he euen be||eued :he hod the b|ood of the µhorooh: ond tr|ed to chonne| the :µ|r|t
of |:|:. Her deoth, need|e:: to :oy, wo: µo|nfu|.º
He qr|nned ot me ||he th|: wo: extreme|y funny. | tr|ed not to |ooh horr|f|ed.
vhot :truch me mo:t wo: the :heer number ond uor|ety of the mumm|e:. 5ome were wroµµed |n
reo| qo|d. 1he|r µortro|t: were :o ||fe||he, the|r eye: :eemed to fo||ow me o: we µo::ed. 1hey :ot on
ornote|y corued morb|e :|ob: :urrounded by uo|uob|e:: jewe|ry, uo:e:, euen :ome :hobt|. Other mumm|e:
|oohed o: |f nur:ery :choo| ch||dren hod mode them |n ort c|o::. 1hey were crude|y wroµµed, µo|nted w|th
:hohy h|eroq|yµh: ond ||tt|e :t|ch-f|qure qod:. 1he|r µortro|t: were not much better thon | cou|d'ue
done-wh|ch |: to :oy, dreodfu|. 1he|r bod|e: were :tuffed three-deeµ |n :ho||ow n|che:, or :|mµ|y µ||ed |n
the corner: of the room.
vhen | o:hed obout them, Mod C|oude wo: d|:m|::|ue. ºCommoner:. vonnobe:. D|dn't houe
money for ort|:t: ond funero| r|te:, :o they tr|ed the do-|t-your:e|f oµµrooch.º
| |oohed down ot the µortro|t of the neore:t mummy, her foce o crude f|nqer-µo|nted |moqe. |
wondered |f her qr|eu|nq ch||dren hod mode |t-one |o:t q|ft for the|r mother. De:µ|te the bod quo||ty, |
found |t rother :weet. 1hey hod no money ond no ort|:t|c :h|||, but they'd done the|r be:t to |ou|nq|y :end
her to the ofter||fe. Next t|me | :ow Anub|:, | wou|d o:h h|m obout th|:. A womon ||he thot de:erued o
chonce ot hoµµ|ne:: |n the next wor|d, euen |f :he cou|dn't µoy. ve hod qu|te enouqh :nobbery |n th|:
wor|d w|thout exµort|nq |t to the hereofter.
vo|t tro||ed beh|nd u:, not :µeoh|nq. He'd :h|ne h|: ||qht on th|: mummy or thot, o: |f µonder|nq
eoch one': fote. | wondered |f he wo: th|nh|nq of k|nq 1ut, h|: fomou: once:tor, who:e tomb hod been |n o
couern not too d|fferent from th|:.
After :euero| more |onq tunne|: ond crowded mummy room:, we orr|ued |n o bur|o| chomber thot
wo: c|eor|y much o|der. 1he wo|| µo|nt|nq: hod foded, but they |oohed more outhent|co||y £qyµt|on, w|th
the :|dewoy:-wo|h|nq µeoµ|e ond h|eroq|yµh: thot octuo||y formed word:, rother thon :|mµ|y µrou|d|nq
decorot|on. |n:teod of reo||:t|c foc|o| µortro|t:, the mumm|e: hod the qener|c w|de-eyed, :m|||nq foce: |'d
:een on mo:t £qyµt|on deoth mo:h:. A few hod crumb|ed to du:t. Other: were enco:ed |n :tone
ºNot|ue:,º Mod C|oude conf|rmed. º£qyµt|on nob|e: from before Rome tooh ouer. vhot you're
|ooh|nq for :hou|d be :omewhere |n th|: oreo.º
| :conned the room. 1he on|y other doorwoy wo: b|oched w|th bou|der: ond debr|:. vh||e vo|t
beqon :eorch|nq, | remembered whot ße: hod :o|d-thot the f|r:t two :cro||: of Ro m|qht he|µ me f|nd the
th|rd. | µu||ed them from my boq, hoµ|nq they wou|d µo|nt the woy ||he o dow:|nq rod, but noth|nq
From the other :|de of the room, vo|t co||ed, ºvhot': th|:!º
He wo: :tond|nq |n front of :ome :ort of :hr|ne-o n|che :et |nto the wo||, w|th the :totue of o mon
wroµµed ||he o mummy. 1he f|qure wo: corued from wood, decoroted w|th jewe|: ond µrec|ou: meto|:.
H|: wroµµ|nq: q||:tened ||he µeor| |n the ||qht of the torch. He he|d o qo|den :toff w|th o :||uer djed :ymbo|
on toµ. Around h|: feet :tood :euero| qo|den rodent:-rot:, µerhoµ:. 1he :h|n of h|: foce q|eomed turquo|:e
º|t': my dod,º | que::ed. º£r.| meon O:|r|:, |:n't |t!º
Mod C|oude orched h|: eyebrow:. ºVour dod!º
Fortunote|y, vo|t :oued me from exµ|o|n|nq. ºNo,º he :o|d. ºLooh ot h|: beord.º
1he :totue': beord wo: rother unu:uo|. |t wo: µenc|| th|n from h|: :|deburn: oround h|: jow ||ne,
w|th o µerfect|y :tro|qht b|t com|nq down for o qootee-o: |f :omeone hod troced the beord w|th o qreo:e
µen, then :tuch the µen on h|: ch|n.
ºAnd the co||or,º vo|t cont|nued. º|t': qot o to::e| th|nq honq|nq down |n boch. Vou don't :ee thot
w|th O:|r|:. And tho:e on|mo|: ot h|: feet.ore tho:e rot:! | remember :ome :tory obout rot:-
º| thouqht you were µr|e:t:,º Mod C|oude qrumµed. ºObu|ou:|y, the qod |: Þtoh.º
ºÞtoh!º |'d heord qu|te o few odd £qyµt|on qod nome:, but th|: wo: o new one for me. ºÞtoh, :on
of Þ|tooey! |: he the qod of :µ|tt|nq!º
C|oude q|ored ot me. ºAre you o|woy: :o |rreuerent!º
ºU:uo||y, more.º
ºA nou|ce ond o heret|c,º he :o|d. ºlu:t my |uch. ve||, q|r|, | :hou|dn't houe to teoch you obout your
own qod:, but o: | under:tond |t, Þtoh wo: the qod of croft:men. ve comµored h|m to our Romon qod
º1hen whot': he do|nq |n o tomb!º vo|t o:hed.
C|oude :crotched h|: nonex|:tent heod. º|'ue neuer been :ure, octuo||y. Vou don't :ee h|m |n mo:t
£qyµt|on funero| r|te:.º
vo|t µo|nted to the :totue': :toff. vhen | |oohed more c|o:e|y, | reo||zed the djed :ymbo| wo:
comb|ned w|th :ometh|nq e|:e, o curued toµ thot |oohed :tronqe|y fom|||or.
º1hot': the :ymbo| wo:,º vo|t :o|d. º|t meon: µower. Lot: of the qod: hod :toff: ||he thot, but |
neuer reo||zed |t |ooh: ||he-º
ºVe:, ye:,º C|oude :o|d |mµot|ent|y. º1he µr|e:t': ceremon|o| hn|fe for oµen|nq the mouth of the
deod. Hone:t|y, you £qyµt|on µr|e:t: ore hoµe|e::. No wonder we conquered you :o eo:||y.º
My hond octed qu|te on |t: own, reoch|nq |nto my boq ond br|nq|nq out the b|och netjer| b|ode
Anub|: hod q|uen me.
Mod C|oude': eye: q||nted. ºAh, :o you're not hoµe|e::. 1hot': µerfect| v|th thot hn|fe ond the
µroµer :µe||, you :hou|d be ob|e to touch my mummy ond re|eo:e me |nto the Duot.º
ºNo,º | :o|d. ºNo, there': more to |t. 1he hn|fe, the ßooh of Ro, th|: :totue of the :µ|t qod. |t o|| f|t:
toqether :omehow.º
vo|t': foce ||t uµ. º5od|e, Þtoh wo: more thon the croft:mon qod, r|qht! D|dn't they co|| h|m the
Cod of Oµen|nq!º
º| thouqht you touqht u: thot. Or moybe |t wo: Corter.º
ºßor|nq b|t of |nformot|on! Þrobob|y Corter.º
ºßut |t': |mµortont,º vo|t |n:|:ted. ºÞtoh wo: o creot|on qod. |n :ome |eqend:, he creoted the :ou|:
of monh|nd ju:t by :µeoh|nq o word. He cou|d reu|ue ony :ou|, ond oµen ony door.º
My eye: dr|fted to the debr|:-f|||ed doorwoy, the on|y other ex|t from the room. ºOµen ony door!º
| he|d uµ the two :cro||: of Ro ond wo|hed toword the co||oµ:ed tunne|. 1he :cro||: become
uncomfortob|y worm.
º1he |o:t :cro|| |: on the other :|de,º | :o|d. ºve need to qet µo:t th|: rubb|e.º
| he|d the b|och hn|fe |n one hond ond the :cro||: |n the other. | :µohe the commond for Oµen.
Noth|nq hoµµened. | went boch to the :totue of Þtoh ond tr|ed the :ome th|nq. No |uch.
ºHu||o, Þtoh!º | co||ed. º5orry obout the :µ|t comment. Looh, we're try|nq to qet the th|rd :cro|| of
Ro, wh|ch |: on the other :|de, there. | :uµµo:e you were µ|oced here to oµen o µoth. 5o wou|d you m|nd
5t||| noth|nq hoµµened.
Mod C|oude qr|µµed the tr|m of h|: toqo o: |f he wonted to :tronq|e u: w|th |t. ºLooh, | don't hnow
why you need th|: :cro|| to free u: |f you'ue qot the hn|fe. ßut why don't you try on offer|nq! A|| qod: need
vo|t rummoqed throuqh h|: :uµµ||e:. He µ|oced o ju|ce µouch ond o b|t of beef jerhy ot the foot
of the :totue. 1he :totue d|d noth|nq. £uen the qo|d rot: ot h|: feet oµµorent|y d|dn't wont our beef jerhy.
ºß|oody :µ|t qod.º | threw my:e|f down on the du:ty qround. | hod o mummy on e|ther :|de of me,
but | d|dn't core onymore. | cou|dn't be||eue we were :o c|o:e to the |o:t :cro||, ofter f|qht|nq demon:, qod:,
ond Ru::|on o::o::|n:, ond now we'd been :toµµed by o µ||e of roch:.
º| hote to :uqqe:t |t,º vo|t :o|d, ºbut you cou|d b|o:t throuqh w|th the ho-d| :µe||.º
ºAnd br|nq down the ce|||nq on toµ of u:!º | :o|d.
ºVou'd d|e,º C|oude oqreed. ºvh|ch |:n't on exµer|ence |'d recommend.º
vo|t hne|t next to me. º1here': qot to be :ometh|nq.º He tooh :toch of h|: omu|et:.
Mod C|oude µoced the room. º| :t||| don't under:tond. Vou're µr|e:t:. Vou houe the ceremon|o|
hn|fe. vhy con't you re|eo:e u:!º
º1he hn|fe |:n't for you|º | :noµµed. º|t': for Ro|º
vo|t ond C|oude both :tored ot me. | hodn't reo||zed |t before, but o: :oon o: | :µohe, | hnew |t
wo: the truth.
º5orry,º | :o|d. ºßut the hn|fe |: u:ed for the Oµen|nq of the Mouth ceremony, to free o :ou|. |'||
need |t to owohen Ro. 1hot': why Anub|: qoue |t to me.º
ºVou hnow Anub|:|º C|oude c|oµµed w|th de||qht. ºHe con free u: o||| And you-º He µo|nted ot
vo|t. ºVou're one of Anub|:': cho:en, oren't you! Vou con qet u: more hn|ue: |f you need them| | :en:ed
the µre:ence of the qod oround you o: :oon o: we met. D|d you tohe h|: :eru|ce when he reo||zed you
were dy|nq!º
ºvo|t.whot!º | o:hed.
vo|t wou|dn't meet my eye:. º|'m not o µr|e:t of Anub|:.º
ºßut dy|nq!º | chohed uµ. ºHow ore you dy|nq!º
Mod C|oude |oohed |ncredu|ou:. ºVou meon you don't hnow! He': qot the o|d µhorooh': cur:e. ve
d|dn't :ee |t much |n my doy, but | recoqn|ze |t, o|| r|qht. Occo:|ono||y o µer:on from one of the o|d
£qyµt|on royo| ||ne:-º
ºC|oude, :hut uµ,º | :o|d. ºvo|t, :µeoh. How doe: th|: cur:e worh!º
|n the d|m ||qht, he |oohed th|nner ond o|der. On the wo|| beh|nd h|m, h|: :hodow |oomed ||he o
deformed mon:ter.
ºAhhenoton': cur:e run: |n my fom||y,º he :o|d. ºk|nd of o qenet|c d|:eo:e. Not euery qenerot|on,
not euery µer:on, but when |t :tr|he:, |t': bod. 1ut d|ed ot n|neteen. Mo:t of the other:.twe|ue, th|rteen.
|'m :|xteen now. My dod.my dod wo: e|qhteen. | neuer hnew h|m.º
º£|qhteen!º 1hot o|one brouqht uµ o ho:t of new que:t|on:, but | tr|ed to :toy focu:ed. ºCon't |t be
cured.!º Cu||t wo:hed ouer me, ond | fe|t ||he o toto| |mbec||e. ºOh, qod. 1hot': why you were to|h|nq to
loz. 5he': o heo|er.º
vo|t nodded qr|m|y. º| thouqht :he m|qht hnow :µe||: thot | hodn't been ob|e to f|nd. My dod':
fom||y-they :µent yeor: :eorch|nq. My mom ho: been |ooh|nq for o cure :|nce | wo: born. 1he doctor: |n
5eott|e cou|dn't do onyth|nq.º
ºDoctor:,º Mod C|oude :o|d w|th d|:qu:t. º| hod one |n the |eq|on, |oued to µut |eeche: on my |eq:.
On|y mode me wor:e. Now, obout th|: connect|on to Anub|:, ond u:|nq thot hn|fe.º
vo|t :hooh h|: heod. ºC|oude, we'|| try to he|µ you, but not w|th the hn|fe. | hnow moq|c |tem:. |'m
µretty :ure |t con be u:ed on|y once, ond we con't ju:t mohe onother. |f 5od|e need: |t for Ro, :he con't r|:h
u:|nq |t before thot.º
º£xcu:e:|º C|oude roored.
º|f you don't :hut uµ,º | worned, º|'m qo|nq to f|nd your mummy ond drow o mu:toche on your
C|oude turned o: wh|te o:.we||, o qho:t. ºVou wou|dn't dore|º
ºvo|t,º | :o|d, try|nq to |qnore the Romon, ºwo: loz ob|e to he|µ!º
º5he tr|ed her be:t. ßut th|: cur:e ho: been defy|nq heo|er: for three thou:ond yeor:. Modern
doctor: th|nh |t': re|oted to :|ch|e ce|| onem|o, but they don't hnow. 1hey'ue been try|nq for decode: to
f|qure out how k|nq 1ut d|ed, ond they con't oqree. 5ome :oy µo|:on. 5ome :oy o qenet|c d|:eo:e. |t': the
cur:e, but of cour:e they con't :oy thot.º
º|:n't there ony woy! | meon we hnowqod:. Þerhoµ: | cou|d cure you ||he |:|: d|d Ro. |f | hnew your
:ecret nome-º
º5od|e, |'ue thouqht of thot,º he :o|d. º|'ue thouqht of eueryth|nq. 1he cur:e con't be cured. |t con
on|y be :|owed down |f.|f | ouo|d moq|c. 1hot': why | qot |nto to||:mon: ond omu|et:. 1hey :tore moq|c |n
oduonce, :o they don't requ|re o: much from the u:er. ßut |t': on|y he|µed o ||tt|e b|t. | wo: born to do
moq|c, :o the cur:e µroqre::e: |n me no motter whot | do. 5ome doy: |t': not :o bod. 5ome doy: my who|e
body |: |n µo|n. vhen | do moq|c, |t qet: wor:e.º
ºAnd the more you do-º
º1he fo:ter | d|e.º
| µunched h|m |n the che:t. | cou|dn't he|µ |t. A|| my qr|ef ond qu||t f||µµed r|qht to onqer. ºVou
|d|ot| vhy ore you here, then! Vou :hou|d'ue to|d me to :houe off| ße: worned you to :toy |n ßrooh|yn.
vhy d|dn't you ||:ten!º
vhot | to|d you eor||er obout vo|t': eye: not me|t|nq me! | tohe |t boch. vhen he |oohed ot me |n
thot du:ty tomb, h|: eye: were euery b|t o: dorh, tender, ond :od o: Anub|:':. º|'m qo|nq to d|e onywoy,
5od|e. | wont my ||fe to meon :ometh|nq. And.| wont to :µend o: much t|me o: | con w|th you.º
1hot hurt me wor:e thon o µunch |n the che:t. Much wor:e.
| th|nh | m|qht'ue h|::ed h|m. Or µo::|b|y :|oµµed h|m.
Mod C|oude, howeuer, wo: not o :ymµothet|c oud|ence. ºVery :weet, |'m :ure, but you µrom|:ed
me µoyment| Come boch to the Romon tomb:. Re|eo:e my :µ|r|t from my mummy. 1hen re|eo:e the
other:. After thot, you con do o: you ||he.º
º1he other:!º | o:hed. ºAre you mod!º
He :tored ot me.
º5|||y que:t|on,º | conceded. ºßut there ore thou:ond: of mumm|e:. ve houe one hn|fe.º
ºVou µrom|:ed|º
ºve d|d not,º | :o|d. ºVou :o|d we'd d|:cu:: o fee ofter we found the :cro||. ve'ue found noth|nq
but o deod end here.º
1he qho:t qrow|ed, more ||he o wo|f thon o humon. º|f you won't come to u:,º he :o|d, ºwe'|| come
to you.º
H|: :µ|r|t q|owed, then d|:oµµeored |n o f|o:h.
| |oohed neruou:|y ot vo|t. ºvhot d|d he meon by thot!º
º| don't hnow,º he :o|d. ºßut we :hou|d f|qure out how to qet throuqh thot rubb|e ond qet out of
De:µ|te our be:t effort:, noth|nq hoµµened qu|ch|y. ve cou|dn't moue the debr|:. 1here were too
mony |orqe bou|der:. ve cou|dn't d|q oround, ouer, or under |t. | d|dn't dore r|:h o ho-d| :µe|| or u:e the
b|och hn|fe': moq|c. vo|t hod no omu|et: thot wou|d he|µ. | wo: fronh|y :tumµed. 1he :totue of Þtoh
:m||ed ot u: but d|dn't offer ony he|µfu| :uqqe:t|on:, nor d|d he :eem |ntere:ted |n the beef jerhy ond ju|ce.
F|no||y, couered w|th du:t, drenched w|th :weot, | µ|oµµed down on o :tone :orcoµhoqu: ond
exom|ned my b||:tered f|nqer:.
vo|t :ot next to me. ºDon't q|ue uµ. 1here ho: to be o woy.º
ºDoe: there!º | o:hed, fee||nq e:µec|o||y re:entfu|. ºL|he there ho: to be o cure for you! vhot |f
there |:n't! vhot |f.º
My uo|ce brohe. vo|t turned h|: foce :o |t wo: h|dden |n :hodow.
º|'m :orry,º | :o|d. º1hot wo: terr|b|e. ßut | ju:t cou|dn't :tond |t |f.º
| wo: :o confu:ed, | d|dn't hnow whot to :oy, or how | fe|t. A|| | hnew wo: thot | d|dn't wont to |o:e
ºD|d you meon |t!º | o:hed. ºvhen you :o|d you wonted to :µend t|me.you hnow.º
vo|t :hruqqed. º|:n't |t obu|ou:!º
| d|dn't on:wer, but, µ|eo:e-noth|nq |: obu|ou: w|th boy:. For :uch :|mµ|e creoture:, they ore qu|te
| |moq|ned | wo: b|u:h|nq f|erce|y, :o | dec|ded to chonqe the :ubject.
ºC|oude :o|d he :en:ed the :µ|r|t of Anub|: obout you. Vou'ue been to|h|nq to Anub|: o |ot!º
vo|t turned h|: r|nq:. º| thouqht moybe he cou|d he|µ me. Moybe qront me o ||tt|e extro t|me
before.before the end. | wonted to be oround |onq enouqh to he|µ you defeot Aµoµh|:. 1hen |'d fee| ||he
| d|d :ometh|nq w|th my ||fe. And.there were other reo:on: | wonted to to|h to h|m. About :ome-:ome
µower: |'ue been deue|oµ|nq.º
ºvhot :ort of µower:!º
|t wo: vo|t': turn to chonqe the :ubject. He |oohed ot h|: hond: ||he they'd become donqerou:
weoµon:. º1he th|nq |:, | o|mo:t d|dn't come to ßrooh|yn. vhen | qot the djed omu|et -thot co|||nq cord
you quy: :ent-my mom d|dn't wont me to |eoue. 5he hnew thot |eorn|nq moq|c wou|d mohe the cur:e
occe|erote. Þort of me wo: ofro|d to qo. Þort of me wo: onqry. |t :eemed ||he o crue| johe. Vou quy:
offered to tro|n me for moq|c when | hnew | wou|dn't :uru|ue |onqer thon o yeor or two.º
ºA yeor or two!º | cou|d hord|y breothe. |'d o|woy: thouqht of o yeor o: on |ncred|b|y |onq t|me. |'d
wo|ted foreuer to turn th|rteen. And eoch :choo| term :eemed ||he on etern|ty. ßut :udden|y two yeor:
:eemed much too :hort. |'d on|y be f|fteen, not euen dr|u|nq yet. | cou|dn't |moq|ne whot |t wou|d be ||he
to hnow thot | wou|d d|e |n two yeor:-µo::|b|y :ooner, |f | cont|nued do|nq whot | wo: born to do,
µroct|c|nq moq|c. ºvhy d|d you come to ßrooh|yn, then!º
º| hod to,º vo|t :o|d. º|'ue ||ued my who|e ||fe under the threot of deoth. My mom mode
eueryth|nq :o :er|ou:, :o huqe. ßut when | qot to ßrooh|yn, | fe|t ||he | hod o de:t|ny, o µurµo:e. £uen |f |t
mode the cur:e more µo|nfu|, |t wo: worth |t.º
ºßut |t': :o b|oody unfo|r.º
vo|t |oohed ot me, ond | reo||zed he wo: :m|||nq. º1hot': my ||ne. |'ue been :oy|nq thot for yeor:.
5od|e, | wont to be here. 1he µo:t two month: |'ue fe|t ||he |'m octuo||y ||u|nq for the f|r:t t|me. And
qett|nq to hnow you.º He c|eored h|: throot. He wo: qu|te ottroct|ue when he qot neruou:. º| :torted
worry|nq obout :mo|| th|nq:. My ho|r. My c|othe:. vhether | bru:hed my teeth. | meon, |'m dy|nq, ond |'m
worry|nq obout my teeth.º
ºVou houe |oue|y teeth.º
He |ouqhed. º1hot': whot | meon. A ||tt|e comment ||he thot, ond | fee| better. A|| the:e :mo||
th|nq: :udden|y :eem |mµortont. | don't fee| ||he |'m dy|nq. | fee| hoµµy.º
Þer:ono||y, | fe|t m|:erob|e. For month: |'d dreomed obout vo|t odm|tt|nq he ||hed me, but not
||he th|:-not ||he, | con be hone:t w|th you, becou:e |'m dy|nq onywoy.
5ometh|nq he'd :o|d wo: noqq|nq ot me, too. |t rem|nded me of o |e::on |'d touqht ot ßrooh|yn
Hou:e, ond on |deo beqon to form |n my m|nd.
º'5mo|| th|nq: :udden|y :eem |mµortont,'º | reµeoted. | |oohed down ot o ||tt|e mound of rubb|e
we'd c|eored from the b|oched doorwoy. ºOh, |t cou|dn't be thot eo:y.º
ºvhot!º o:hed vo|t.
º| ju:t bored my :ou|, ond you're th|nh|nq obout roch:!º
º1he doorwoy,º | :o|d. º5ymµothet|c moq|c. Do you th|nh.º
He b||nhed. º5od|e kone, you're o qen|u:.º
ºve|| | hnow thot. ßut con we mohe |t worh!º
vo|t ond | beqon qother|nq uµ more µebb|e:. ve ch|µµed :ome µ|ece: from the |orqer bou|der:
ond odded them to our µ||e. ve tr|ed our be:t to mohe o m|n|oture reµ||co of the rubb|e co||ect|on
b|och|nq the doorwoy.
My hoµe, of cour:e, wo: to creote o :ymµothet|c bond, o: |'d done w|th Corter ond the wox
f|qur|ne |n A|exondr|o. 1he roch: |n our reµ||co µ||e come from the co||oµ:ed tunne|, :o our µ||e ond the
or|q|no| were o|reody connected |n :ub:tonce, wh|ch :hou|d houe mode |t eo:y to e:tob||:h o ||nh. ßut
mou|nq :ometh|nq uery |orqe w|th :ometh|nq uery :mo|| |: o|woy: tr|chy. |f we d|dn't do |t corefu||y, we
cou|d co||oµ:e the who|e room. | d|dn't hnow how deeµ underqround we were, but | |moq|ned there wo:
qu|te enouqh roch ond d|rt ouer our heod: to bury u: foreuer.
ºReody!º | o:hed.
vo|t nodded ond µu||ed out h|: wond.
ºOh, no, cur:ed boy,º | :o|d. ºVou ju:t wotch my boch. |f the ce|||nq :tort: to fo|| ond we need o
:h|e|d, thot': your job. ßut you'|| do no moq|c un|e:: ob:o|ute|y nece::ory. |'|| c|eor the doorwoy.º
º5od|e, |'m not froq||e,º he comµ|o|ned. º| don't need o µrotector.º
ºRubb|:h,º | :o|d. º1hot': mocho b|u:ter, ond o|| boy: ||he to be mothered.º
ºvhot! Cod, you're onnoy|nq|º
| :m||ed :weet|y. ºVou d|d wont to :µend t|me w|th me.º
ßefore he cou|d µrote:t, | ro|:ed my wond ond beqon the :µe||.
| |moq|ned o bond between our :mo|| µ||e of rubb|e ond the debr|: |n the doorwoy. | |moq|ned
thot |n the Duot, they were one ond the :ome. | :µohe the commond for jo|n:
1he :ymbo| burned fo|nt|y ouer our m|n|oture rubb|e µ||e.
5|ow|y ond corefu||y, | bru:hed o few µebb|e: owoy from the µ||e. 1he debr|: |n the corr|dor
º|t': worh|nq,º vo|t :o|d.
| d|dn't dore |ooh. | :toyed focu:ed on my to:h-mou|nq the µebb|e: o ||tt|e ot o t|me, d|:µer:|nq
the µ||e |nto :mo||er mound:. |t wo: o|mo:t o: hord o: mou|nq reo| bou|der:. | went |nto o doze. vhen
vo|t µut h|: hond on my :hou|der, | hod no |deo how much t|me hod µo::ed. | wo: :o exhou:ted | cou|dn't
:ee :tro|qht.
º|t': done,º he :o|d. ºVou d|d qreot.º
1he doorwoy wo: c|eor. 1he rubb|e hod been µu:hed |nto the corner: of our room, where |t |oy |n
:mo||er µ||e:.
ºN|ce job, 5od|e.º vo|t |eoned down ond h|::ed me. He wo: µrobob|y ju:t exµre::|nq oµµrec|ot|on
or hoµµ|ne::, but the h|:: d|dn't mohe me fee| ony |e:: fuzzyheoded.
ºUm,º | :o|d-oqo|n w|th the |ncred|b|e uerbo| :h|||:.
vo|t he|µed me to my feet. ve heoded down the corr|dor |nto the next room. For o|| the worh
we'd done to qet there, the room wo:n't uery exc|t|nq, ju:t o f|ue-meter-:quore chomber w|th noth|nq
|n:|de exceµt o red |ocquered box on o :ond:tone µede:to|. On toµ of the box wo: o corued wooden
hond|e :hoµed ||he o demon|c qreyhound w|th to|| eor:-the 5et on|mo|.
ºOh, thot con't be qood,º vo|t :o|d.
ßut | wo|hed :tro|qht uµ to the box, oµened the ||d, ond qrobbed the :cro|| |n:|de.
º5od|e|º vo|t ye||ed.
ºvhot!º | turned. º|t': 5et': box. |f he'd wonted to h||| me, he cou|d'ue done :o |n 5t. Þeter:burq. He
wont: me to houe th|: :cro||. Þrobob|y th|nh: |t'|| be fun wotch|nq me h||| my:e|f try|nq to owohen Ro.º |
|oohed uµ ot the ce|||nq ond :houted, º|:n't thot r|qht, 5et!º
My uo|ce echoed throuqh the cotocomb:. | no |onqer hod the µower to |nuohe 5et': :ecret nome,
but | :t||| fe|t o: |f |'d qotten h|: ottent|on. 1he o|r turned :horµer. 1he qround tremb|ed o: |f :ometh|nq
underneoth |t, :ometh|nq uery |orqe, wo: |ouqh|nq.
vo|t exho|ed. º| w|:h you wou|dn't tohe chonce: ||he thot.º
º1h|: from o boy who': w||||nq to d|e to :µend t|me w|th me!º
vo|t mode on exoqqeroted bow. º| tohe |t boch, M|:: kone. Þ|eo:e, qo r|qht oheod try|nq to h|||
º1honh you.º
| |oohed ot the three :cro||: |n my hond:-the ent|re ßooh of Ro, toqether for µrobob|y the f|r:t
t|me :|nce Mod C|oude wore ||tt|e Romon d|oµer:. | hod co||ected the :cro||:, done the |mµo::|b|e,
tr|umµhed beyond o|| exµectot|on:. Vet |t :t||| wou|dn't be enouqh un|e:: we cou|d f|nd Ro ond wohe h|m
before Aµoµh|: ro:e. ºNo t|me to wo:te,º | :o|d. ºLet': qet-º
Deeµ moon|nq echoed throuqh the corr|dor:, o: |f :ometh|nq-or o who|e ho:t of :ometh|nq:-hod
wohen uµ |n o uery bod mood.
ºOut of here,º vo|t :o|d. ºCreot |deo.º
A: we ron throuqh the µreu|ou: chomber, | q|onced ot the :totue of Þtoh. | wo: temµted to tohe
boch the jerhy ond ju|ce, ju:t to be meon, but | dec|ded oqo|n:t |t.
| :uµµo:e |t |:n't your fou|t, | thouqht. Con't be eo:y to houe o nome ||he Þtoh. £njoy the :noch,
but | do w|:h you'd he|µed u:.
ve ron on. |t wo:n't eo:y to remember our µoth. 1w|ce we hod to doub|e boch before f|nd|nq the
room w|th the fom||y of mumm|e: where we'd met Mod C|oude.
| wo: obout to bo|t b||nd|y ocro:: the chomber ond |nto the |o:t tunne|, but vo|t he|d me boch
ond :oued my ||fe. He :h|ned h|: ||qht on the for ex|t, then on the corr|dor: to e|ther :|de.
ºNo,º | :o|d. ºNo, no, no.º
A|| three doorwoy: were c|oqqed w|th humon f|qure: wroµµed |n ||nen. 1hey µre::ed toqether o:
for o: | cou|d :ee down eoch corr|dor. 5ome were :t||| comµ|ete|y bound. 1hey hoµµed ond :huff|ed ond
wodd|ed forword o: |f they were q|ont cocoon: enqoqed |n o :och roce. Other mumm|e: hod µort|o||y
brohen free. 1hey ||mµed o|onq on emoc|oted |eq:, hond: ||he dr|ed bronche: c|ow|nq ot the|r wroµµ|nq:.
Mo:t :t||| wore the|r µo|nted-foce µortro|t:, ond the effect wo: qrue:ome-||fe||he mo:h: :m|||nq :erene|y ot
the toµ of undeod :corecrow: of bone: ond µo|nted ||nen.
º| hote mumm|e:,º | wh|mµered.
ºMoybe o f|re :µe||,º vo|t :o|d. º1hey'ue qot to burn eo:||y.º
ºve'|| burn our:e|ue:, too| |t': too c|o:e |n here.º
ºVou houe o better |deo!º
| wonted to cry. Freedom :o neor-ond ju:t o: |'d feored, we were troµµed by o crowd of
mumm|e:. ßut the:e were wor:e thon mou|e mumm|e:. 1hey were :||ent ond :|ow, µothet|c ru|ned th|nq:
thot once were humon.
One of the mumm|e: on the f|oor qrobbed my |eq. ßefore | cou|d euen :creom, vo|t reoched out
ond toµµed the th|nq on the wr|:t. 1he mummy |n:tont|y turned to du:t.
| :tored ot h|m |n omozement. º|: thot the µower you were worr|ed obout! 1hot wo: br||||ont| Do
|t oqo|n|º
|mmed|ote|y | fe|t owfu| :uqqe:t|nq |t. vo|t': foce wo: t|qht w|th µo|n.
º| con't do |t o thou:ond more t|me:,º he :o|d :od|y. ºMoybe |f.º
1hen, on the centro| do|:, the mummy fom||y beqon to :t|r.
| w||| not ||e. vhen the ch||d-:|ze mummy of ||tt|e Þur-µen: :ot uµ, | o|mo:t hod on occ|dent thot
wou|d'ue ru|ned my new jeon:. |f my bo cou|d'ue :hed my :h|n ond f|own owoy, |t wou|d houe.
| qr|µµed vo|t': orm.
At the for end of the room, the qho:t of Mod C|oude f||chered |nto u|ew. A: he wo|hed toword u:,
the re:t of the mumm|e: beqon to :t|r.
ºVou :hou|d be honored, my fr|end:.º He qoue u: o crozy qr|n. º|t tohe: o |ot of exc|tement for bo
to return to the|r w|thered o|d bod|e:. ßut we :|mµ|y con't |et you |eoue unt|| you'ue freed u: for the
ofter||fe. U:e the hn|fe, do your :µe||:, ond you con qo.º
ºve con't free you o|||º | :houted.
ºA :home,º C|oude :o|d. º1hen we'|| tohe the hn|fe ond free our:e|ue:. | :uµµo:e two more bod|e:
|n the cotocomb: won't mohe ony d|fference.º
He :o|d :ometh|nq |n Lot|n, ond o|| the mumm|e: :urqed toword u:, :huff||nq ond tr|µµ|nq, fo|||nq
ond ro|||nq. 5ome crumb|ed to µ|ece: o: they tr|ed to wo|h. Other: fe|| down ond were tromµ|ed by the|r
fe||ow:. ßut more come forword.
ve boched |nto the corr|dor. | hod my :toff |n one hond. v|th my other, | he|d t|qht to vo|t':
hond. |'d neuer been qood ot :ummon|nq f|re, but | monoqed to :et the end of my :toff ob|oze.
ºve'|| try |t your woy,º | to|d vo|t. ºL|qht them uµ ond run.º
| hnew |t wo: o bod |deo. |n c|o:e quorter:, o b|oze wou|d hurt u: o: much o: the mumm|e:. ve'd
d|e of :mohe |nho|ot|on or :uffocot|on or heot. £uen |f we monoqed to retreot boch |nto the cotocomb:,
we'd ju:t qet |o:t ond run |nto more mumm|e:.
vo|t ||t h|: own :toff.
ºOn three,º | :uqqe:ted. | :tored |n horror ot the ch||d': mummy com|nq toword u:, the µortro|t of o
:euen-yeor-o|d boy :m|||nq ot me from beyond the qroue. ºOne, two-º
| fo|tered. 1he mumm|e: were on|y o meter owoy, but from beh|nd me come o new :ound-||he
woter runn|nq. No-||he :h|tter|nq. A mo:: of ||u|nq th|nq: chorq|nq toword u:, thou:ond: ond thou:ond: of
t|ny c|ow: on :tone, µo::|b|y |n:ect: or.
º1hree come: next,º vo|t :o|d neruou:|y. ºAre we torch|nq them or not!º
ºHuq the wo||:|º | :hr|ehed. | d|dn't hnow exoct|y whot wo: com|nq, but | hnew | d|dn't wont to be
|n the|r woy. | µu:hed vo|t oqo|n:t the :tone ond f|ottened my:e|f next to h|m, our foce: µre::ed oqo|n:t
the wo||, o: o woue of c|ow: ond fur :|ommed |nto u: ond ro||ed ouer our boch:: on ormy of rodent:
:cutt||nq f|ue-deeµ o|onq the f|oor ond roc|nq hor|zonto||y ocro:: the wo||:, defy|nq qrou|ty.
Rot:. 1hou:ond: of rot:.
1hey ron :tro|qht ouer u:, do|nq no domoqe exceµt for the odd c|ow :crotch. Not :o bod, you
m|qht th|nh, but houe you euer been uµr|qht ond tromµ|ed by on ormy of f||thy rot:! Do not µoy money
for the exµer|ence.
1he rot: f|ooded the bur|o| chomber. 1hey tore |nto the mumm|e:, c|ow|nq ond chew|nq ond
:queo||nq the|r t|ny bott|e cr|e:. 1he mumm|e: wr|thed under the o::ou|t, but they d|dn't :tond o chonce.
1he room wo: o hurr|cone of fur, teeth, ond :hredded ||nen. |t wo: ||he the o|d cortoon: of term|te:
:worm|nq ouer wood ond d|::o|u|nq |t to noth|nq.
ºNo|º ye||ed Mod C|oude. ºNo|º
ßut he wo: the on|y one :creom|nq. 1he mumm|e: w|thered :||ent|y under the fury of the rot:.
º|'|| qet you|º C|oude :nor|ed o: h|: :µ|r|t beqon to f||cher. º|'|| houe my reuenqe|º
And w|th one f|no| eu|| q|ore, h|: |moqe foded ond wo: qone.
1he rot: d|u|ded the|r force: ond :curr|ed off down o|| three corr|dor:, chew|nq throuqh mumm|e:
o: they went, unt|| the room wo: :||ent ond emµty, the f|oor ||ttered w|th du:t, :hred: of ||nen, ond o few
vo|t |oohed :hohen. | fe|| oqo|n:t h|m ond huqqed h|m. | µrobob|y cr|ed w|th re||ef. | wo: :o q|od
to ho|d o worm ||u|nq humon be|nq.
º|t': ohoy.º He :trohed my ho|r, wh|ch fe|t owfu||y qood. º1hot-thot wo: the :tory obout rot:.º
ºvhot!º | monoqed.
º1hey.they :oued Memµh|:. An enemy ormy be:|eqed the c|ty, ond the µeoµ|e µroyed for he|µ.
1he|r µotron qod :ent o horde of rot:. 1hey ote the enemy': bow:tr|nq:, the|r :ondo|:, eueryth|nq they
cou|d chew. 1he ottocher: hod to w|thdrow.º
º1he µotron qod-you meon-º
ºMe.º From the ex|t corr|dor ocro:: the room, on £qyµt|on former :teµµed |nto u|ew. He wore
qrubby robe:, o heod wroµ, ond :ondo|:. He he|d o r|f|e ot h|: :|de. He qr|nned ot u:, ond o: he qot c|o:er,
| :ow h|: eye: were b|onh wh|te. H|: :h|n hod o :||qht|y b|u|:h t|nt, o: |f he were :uffocot|nq ond reo||y
enjoy|nq the exµer|ence.
º5orry | d|dn't on:wer :ooner,º :o|d the former. º| om Þtoh. And no, 5od|e kone, | om not the qod
of :µ|t.º
ºÞ|eo:e, houe o :eot,º the qod :o|d. º5orry obout the me::, but whot do exµect from Romon:!
1hey neuer d|d c|eon uµ ofter them:e|ue:.º
Ne|ther vo|t nor | :ot. A qr|nn|nq qod w|th o r|f|e wo: o b|t off-µutt|nq.
ºAh, qu|te r|qht.º Þtoh b||nhed h|: b|onh wh|te eye:. ºVou're |n o hurry.º
º5orry,º | :o|d. ºAre you o dote former!º
Þtoh |oohed down ot h|: qrubby robe:. º|'m ju:t borrow|nq th|: µoor fe||ow for o m|nute, you
under:tond. | thouqht you wou|dn't m|nd, o: he wo: com|nq down here to :hoot you for de:troy|nq h|:
woter tower.º
ºNo, corry on,º | :o|d. ºßut the mumm|e:-whot w||| hoµµen to the|r bo!º
Þtoh |ouqhed. ºDon't worry obout them. Now thot the|r remo|n: ore de:troyed, | |moq|ne the|r bo
w||| qo on to whoteuer Romon ofter||fe owo|t: them. A: |t :hou|d be.º
He µut h|: hond ouer h|: mouth ond burµed. A c|oud of wh|te qo: b|||owed out, coo|e:ced |nto o
q|ow|nq bo, ond f|ew off down the corr|dor.
vo|t µo|nted ofter the :µ|r|t b|rd. ºD|d you ju:t-º
ºVe:.º Þtoh :|qhed. º| reo||y try not to to|h ot o||. 1hot': how | creote, you :ee, w|th word:. 1hey con
qet me |nto troub|e. Once ju:t for fun | mode uµ the word 'µ|otyµu:' ond-º
|n:tont|y, o duchb|||ed, furry th|nq oµµeored on the f|oor, :crobb||nq oround |n o µon|c.
ºOh, deor,º Þtoh :o|d. ºVe:, thot': exoct|y whot hoµµened. 5||µ of the tonque. Reo||y the on|y woy
:ometh|nq ||he thot cou|d houe been creoted.º
He woued h|: hond, ond the µ|otyµu: d|:oµµeored. ºAt ony rote, | houe to be corefu|, :o | con't
to|h |onq. |'m q|od you found the ßooh of Ro| | o|woy: d|d ||he the o|d choµ. | wou|d houe he|µed eor||er,
when you o:hed, but |t tooh o wh||e to qet here from the Duot. A|:o, | con oµen on|y one door µer
cu:tomer. | thouqht you hod thot b|oched corr|dor we|| |n hond. ßut there': o much more |mµortont door
thot you need.º
º5orry!º | o:hed.
ºVour brother,º Þtoh :o|d. ºHe': |n o qreot deo| of troub|e.º
A: exhou:ted, bedroqq|ed, ond couered w|th rot :crotche: o: | wo:, thot new: :et my nerue:
t|nq||nq. Corter needed he|µ. | hod to :oue my brother': r|d|cu|ou: h|de.
ºCon you :end u: there!º | o:hed.
Þtoh :m||ed. º1houqht you'd neuer o:h.º
He µo|nted to the neore:t wo||. 1he :tone: d|::o|ued |nto o µorto| of :w|r||nq :ond.
ºAnd, my deor, :ome word: of odu|ce.º Þtoh': m||hy eye: :tud|ed me. ºCouroqe. Hoµe. 5ocr|f|ce.º
| wo:n't :ure whether he wo: reod|nq tho:e quo||t|e: w|th|n me, or q|u|nq me o µeµ to|h, or
µerhoµ: creot|nq the tro|t: | needed, the woy he'd creoted the bo ond the µ|otyµu:. vhoteuer the co:e, |
:udden|y fe|t wormer |n:|de, f|||ed w|th new enerqy.
ºVou're beq|nn|nq to under:tond,º he to|d me. ºvord: ore the :ource of o|| µower. And nome: ore
more thon ju:t o co||ect|on of |etter:. ve|| done, 5od|e. Vou moy :ucceed yet.º
| :tored ot the funne| of :ond. ºvhot w||| we foce on the other :|de!º
º£nem|e: ond fr|end:,º Þtoh :o|d. ºßut wh|ch ore wh|ch, | con't :oy. |f you :uru|ue, qo to the toµ of
the Creot Þyrom|d. 1hot :hou|d do n|ce|y for on entry µo|nt |nto the Duot. vhen you reod the ßooh of
He chohed, doub||nq ouer ond droµµ|nq h|: r|f|e.
º| mu:t qo,º he :o|d, :tro|qhten|nq w|th o qreot deo| of effort. º1h|: ho:t con't :tond ony more. ßut,
vo|t.º He :m||ed :od|y. º1honh you for the beef jerhy ond ju|ce. 1here |: on on:wer for you. |t': not one
you'|| ||he, but |t |: the be:t woy.º
ºvhot do you meon!º vo|t o:hed. ºvhot on:wer!º
1he former b||nhed. 5udden|y h|: eye: were normo|. He |oohed ot u: |n :urµr|:e, then ye||ed
:ometh|nq |n Arob|c ond ro|:ed h|: qun.
| qrobbed vo|t': hond, ond toqether we jumµed |nto the µorto|.
C A R 1 £ R
tz. MeøtbIbew HIret o Hoppy 0eotb tquod
| CU£55 v£'R£ £V£N, 5 AD|£. F|r:t, vo|t ond | ru:hed off to :oue you |n London. 1hen, you ond
vo|t ru:hed off to :oue me. 1he on|y one who qot :hofted on both deo|: wo: vo|t. Þoor quy qet: hou|ed
o|| ouer the wor|d µu|||nq u: out of troub|e. ßut |'|| odm|t | needed the he|µ.
ße: wo: |oched |n o q|ow|nq f|uore:cent coqe. Z|o wo: conu|nced we were enem|e:. My :word ond
wond were qone. | wo: ho|d|nq o crooh ond f|o|| thot were oµµorent|y :to|en µroµerty, ond two of the
mo:t µowerfu| moq|c|on: |n the wor|d, M|che| De:jord|n: ond V|od the |nho|er, were reody to orre:t me,
try me, ond execute me-not nece::or||y |n thot order.
| boched uµ to the :teµ: of Z|o': tomb, but there wo: no µ|oce to qo. Red mud :tretched |n o||
d|rect|on:, dotted w|th wrechoqe ond deod f|:h. | cou|dn't run or h|de, wh|ch qoue me two oµt|on::
:urrender, or f|qht.
Men:h|hou': :corred eye: q||ttered. ºFee| free to re:|:t, kone. U:|nq deod|y force wou|d mohe my
job :o much eo:|er.º
ºV|od|m|r, :toµ,º De:jord|n: :o|d weor||y, |eon|nq on h|: :toff. ºCorter, don't be foo||:h. 5urrender
1hree month: oqo, De:jord|n: wou|d'ue been thr|||ed to b|o:t me to b|t:. Now he |oohed :od ond
t|red, ||he my execut|on wo: on unµ|eo:ont nece::|ty. Z|o :tood next to h|m. 5he q|onced wor||y ot
Men:h|hou, o: |f :he cou|d :en:e :ometh|nq eu|| obout the mon.
|f | cou|d u:e thot, µo::|b|y buy :ome t|me.
ºvhot': your µ|on, V|od!º | o:hed. ºVou |et u: qet owoy from 5t. Þeter:burq too eo:||y. A|mo:t ||he
you wont u: to owohen Ro.º
1he Ru::|on |ouqhed. º|: thot why | fo||owed you ho|fwoy ocro:: the wor|d to :toµ you!º
He d|d h|: be:t to |ooh :cornfu|, but o :m||e tuqqed ot h|: ||µ:, o: |f we were :hor|nq o µr|uote johe.
ºVou d|dn't come to :toµ me,º | que::ed. ºVou're count|nq on u: to f|nd the :cro||: for you ond µut
them toqether. Do you need Ro to wohe uµ |n order to free Aµoµh|:!º
º£nouqh, Corter.º De:jord|n: :µohe |n o monotone, ||he o :urqery µot|ent count|nq bochword
wo|t|nq for one:the:|o to h|ch |n. | d|dn't under:tond why he :eemed :o oµothet|c, but Men:h|hou |oohed
onqry enouqh for both of them. From the hotred |n the Ru::|on': eye:, | cou|d te|| |'d :truch o nerue.
º1hot': |t, |:n't |t!º | :o|d. ºMo'ot ond Choo: ore connected. 1o free Aµoµh|:, you houe to wohe Ro,
but you wont to contro| the :ummon|nq, mohe :ure Ro come: boch o|d ond weoh.º
Men:h|hou': new oohen :toff bur:t |nto qreen f|ome:. ºßoy, you houe no |deo whot you ore
º5et teo:ed you obout o µo:t m|:tohe,º | remembered. ºVou tr|ed to owohen Ro once before,
d|dn't you! U:|nq whot-on|y the one :cro|| you hod! |: thot how you burned your foce!º
ºCorter|º De:jord|n: |nterruµted. ºV|od Men:h|hou |: o hero of the Hou:e of L|fe. He tr|ed to de:troy
thot :cro|| to heeµ onyone e|:e from u:|nq |t. 1hot': how he wo: |njured.º
For o moment | wo: too :tunned to :µeoh. º1hot.con't be true.º
ºVou :hou|d do your homeworh, boy.º Men:h|hou f|xed h|: ru|ned eye: on me. º1he Men:h|hou: ore
de:cended from the µr|e:t: of Amun-Ro. Vou'ue heord of thot temµ|e!º
| tr|ed to reco|| the :tor|e: my dod hod to|d me. | hnew Amun-Ro wo: onother nome for Ro, the
:un qod. And h|: temµ|e.
º1hey µretty much contro||ed £qyµt for centur|e:,º | remembered. º1hey oµµo:ed Ahhenoton
when he out|owed the o|d qod:, moybe euen o::o::|noted h|m.º
º|ndeed,º Men:h|hou :o|d. ºMy once:tor: were chomµ|on: of the qod:| 1hey ore the one: who
creoted the ßooh of Ro ond h|d |t: three :ect|on:, hoµ|nq thot :omedoy, o worthy moq|c|on wou|d
reowohen the|r :un qod.º
| tr|ed to wroµ my m|nd oround thot. | cou|d toto||y :ee V|od Men:h|hou o: on onc|ent b|oodth|r:ty
µr|e:t. ºßut |f you're de:cended from µr|e:t: of Ro-º
ºvhy do | oµµo:e the qod:!º Men:h|hou q|onced ot the Ch|ef Lector o: |f |'d o:hed o µred|ctob|y
:tuµ|d que:t|on. ºßecou:e the qod: de:troyed our c|u|||zot|on| ßy the t|me £qyµt fe|| ond Lord |:hondor
bonned the µoth of the qod:, euen my fom||y hod come to reo||ze the truth. 1he o|d woy: mu:t be
forb|dden. Ve:, | tr|ed to de:troy the :cro||, to mohe uµ for the :|n: of my once:tor:. 1ho:e who :ummon the
qod: mu:t be w|µed out.º
| :hooh my heod. º| :ow you :ummon 5et. | heord you to|h obout free|nq Aµoµh|:. De:jord|n:,
Z|o-th|: quy |: |y|nq. He': qo|nq to h||| you both.º
De:jord|n: |oohed ot me |n o h|nd of doze. Amo: hod |n:|:ted the Ch|ef Lector wo: :mort, :o how
cou|d he not under:tond the threot!
ºNo more,º De:jord|n: :o|d. ºCome µeocefu||y, Corter kone, or be de:troyed.º
| qoue Z|o one more µ|eod|nq |ooh. | cou|d :ee the doubt |n her eye:, but :he wo:n't |n ony :hoµe
to he|µ me. 5he'd ju:t wohen uµ from o three-month-|onq n|qhtmore. 5he wonted to be||eue the Hou:e of
L|fe wo: :t||| her home ond De:jord|n: ond Men:h|hou were the qood quy:. 5he d|dn't wont to heor ony
more obout Aµoµh|:.
| ro|:ed the crooh ond f|o||. º|'m not qo|nq µeocefu||y.º
Men:h|hou nodded. º1hen, de:truct|on |t |:.º
He µo|nted h|: :toff ot me, ond my |n:t|nct: tooh ouer. | |o:hed out w|th the crooh.
| wo: much too for owoy to reoch h|m, but :ome |nu|:|b|e force r|µµed the :toff out of Men:h|hou':
hond ond :ent |t f|y|nq |nto the N||e. He he|d out h|: wond, but | :|o:hed the o|r oqo|n, ond Men:h|hou
went f|y|nq. He |onded on h|: boch :o hord, he mode o mud onqe|.
ºCorter|º De:jord|n: µu:hed Z|o beh|nd h|m. H|: own :toff ||t w|th µurµ|e f|re. ºVou dore to u:e the
weoµon: of Ro!º
| |oohed ot my hond: |n omozement. |'d neuer fe|t :o much µower come to me :o eo:||y-o: |f |
were meont to be o h|nq. |n the boch of my m|nd, | heord Horu:': uo|ce, urq|nq me on:
1h|: |: your µoth. 1h|: |: your b|rthr|qht.
ºVou're qo|nq to h||| me onywoy,º | to|d De:jord|n:.
My body beqon to q|ow. | ro:e off the qround. For the f|r:t t|me :|nce New Veor':, | wo: enco:ed |n
the ouotor of the howh qod-o fo|con-heoded worr|or three t|me: my normo| :|ze. |n |t: hond: were
mo::|ue ho|oqroµh|c reµ||co: of the crooh ond f|o||. | hodn't µo|d much ottent|on to the f|o||, but |t wo: o
w|ched µo|n-br|nqer-o wooden hond|e w|th three borbed cho|n:, eoch toµµed by o :µ|hy meto|
o:ter|:h-||he o comb|not|on wh|µ ond meot tender|zer. | tooh o :w|µe ot the qround, ond the fo|con
worr|or m|rrored my oct|on. 1he q|ow|nq f|o|| µu|uer|zed the :tone :teµ: of Z|o': tomb, :end|nq b|och: of
||me:tone f|y|nq throuqh the o|r.
De:jord|n: ro|:ed o :h|e|d to def|ect the :hord:. Z|o': eye: w|dened. | hnew | wo: µrobob|y freoh|nq
her out ond conu|nc|nq her | wo: the bod quy, but | hod to µrotect her. | cou|dn't |et Men:h|hou tohe her
ºCombot moq|c,º De:jord|n: :o|d w|th d|:do|n. º1h|: |: whot the Hou:e of L|fe wo: ||he when we
fo||owed the µoth of the qod:, Corter kone: moq|c|on f|qht|nq moq|c|on, boch:tobb|nq ond due|: between
the d|fferent temµ|e:. Do you wont tho:e t|me: to return!º
º|t doe:n't houe to be thot woy,º | :o|d. º| don't wont to f|qht you, De:jord|n:, but Men:h|hou |: o
tro|tor. Cet out of here. Let me deo| w|th h|m.º
Men:h|hou ro:e from the mud, :m|||nq ||he he enjoyed qett|nq thrown oround. ºDeo| w|th me!
How conf|dent| ßy o|| meon:, Ch|ef Lector, |et the boy try. |'|| be :ure to µ|ch uµ the µ|ece: when |'m
De:jord|n: :torted to :oy, ºV|od|m|r, no. |t': not your µ|oce-º
ßut Men:h|hou d|dn't wo|t. He :tomµed the qround w|th h|: foot, ond the mud turned dry ond
wh|te o|| oround h|m. 1w|n ||ne: of horden|nq eorth :nohed toword me, cro::|nq ||he o DNA he||x. | wo:n't
:ure whot they wou|d do, but | hnew | d|dn't wont them touch|nq me. | :mo:hed ot them w|th my f|o||,
toh|nq out o :ect|on of mud |orqe enouqh for o hot tub. 1he wh|te ||ne: ju:t heµt com|nq, b|eoch|nq the|r
woy down the µ|t ond c||mb|nq the other :|de, roc|nq toword me. | tr|ed to moue out of the|r woy, but the
worr|or ouotor wo:n't exoct|y :µeedy.
1he ||ne: of moq|c reoched my feet. 1hey woue ||he u|ne: uµ the ouotor': |eq: unt|| | wo: tonq|ed to
the wo|:t. 1hey :queezed oqo|n:t my :h|e|d|nq, dro|n|nq my moq|c, ond | heord Men:h|hou': uo|ce forc|nq
|t: woy |nto my m|nd.
5nohe, the uo|ce wh|:µered. Vou ore o :||ther|nq reµt||e.
| fouqht boch my terror. |'d been turned |nto on on|mo| oqo|n:t my w||| once before, ond |t wo:
one of the wor:t exµer|ence: of my ||fe. 1h|: t|me, |t wo: hoµµen|nq |n :|ow mot|on. 1he combot ouotor
fouqht to mo|nto|n |t: form, but Men:h|hou': moq|c wo: :tronq. 1he q|ow|nq wh|te u|ne: heµt r|:|nq,
enc|rc||nq my che:t.
| :w|µed ot Men:h|hou w|th my crooh. 1he |nu|:|b|e force hoohed h|m oround the nech ond ||fted
h|m off the qround.
ºDo |t|º he chohed out. º5how me-your µower-qod||nq|º
| ro|:ed my f|o||. One qood h|t, ond | cou|d :mo:h V|od Men:h|hou ||he o buq.
ºvon't motter|º he qo:µed, c|ow|nq ot h|: nech. º5µe|| w||| -defeot you onywoy. 5how u:
you're-o murderer, kone|º
| q|onced ot Z|o': terr|f|ed foce, ond | he:|toted too |onq. 1he wh|te u|ne: enc|rc|ed my orm:. 1he
combot ouotor crumµ|ed to |t: hnee:, ond | droµµed Men:h|hou.
Þo|n wroched my body. My b|ood turned co|d. 1he ouotor': ||mb: :hronh, the howh': heod :|ow|y
chonq|nq |nto the heod of o :erµent. | cou|d fee| my heort :|ow|nq, my u|:|on dorhen|nq. 1he to:te of
uenom f|||ed my mouth.
Z|o cr|ed out. º5toµ |t| 1h|: |: too much|º
ºOn the controry,º Men:h|hou :o|d, rubb|nq h|: chofed nech. ºHe de:erue: wor:e. Ch|ef Lector, you
:ow how th|: boy threotened you. He wont: the µhorooh': throne. He mu:t be de:troyed.º
Z|o tr|ed to run to me, but De:jord|n: he|d her boch.
ºD|:cont|nue the :µe||, V|od|m|r,º he :o|d. º1he boy con be conto|ned |n more humone woy:.º
ºHumone, my |ord! He': bore|y humon|º
1he two moq|c|on: |oched eye:. | don't hnow whot wou|d'ue hoµµened-but ju:t then o µorto|
oµened under ße:': coqe.
|'ue :een µ|enty of µorto|:, but none ||he th|:. 1he wh|r|µoo| oµened |eue| w|th the qround, :uch|nq
down o tromµo||ne-:|ze oreo of red :ond, deod f|:h, o|d |umber, µottery :hord:, ond one q|ow|nq
f|uore:cent coqe conto|n|nq o dworf qod. A: the coqe entered the uortex, the bor: brohe |nto :µ||nter: of
||qht. ße: unfroze, found h|m:e|f ho|fwoy :ubmerqed |n :ond, ond d|d :ome creot|ue cur:|nq. 1hen my
:|:ter ond vo|t :hot :tro|qht uµ out of the µorto|, :u:µended hor|zonto||y, o: |f they were runn|nq toword
the :hy. vhen qrou|ty tooh ouer, they woued the|r orm: ond fe|| boch |nto the :ond. 1hey m|qht'ue been
µu||ed under exceµt ße: qrobbed them both ond monoqed to hou| them out of the wh|r|µoo|.
ße: dumµed them on f|rm qround. 1hen he turned to V|od Men:h|hou, µ|onted h|: feet, ond
r|µµed off h|: Howo||on :h|rt ond :hort: ||he they were mode of t|::ue. H|: eye: b|ozed w|th onqer. H|:
5µeedo wo: embro|dered w|th the word: Dworf Þr|de, wh|ch wo: :ometh|nq | reo||y d|dn't need to :ee.
Men:h|hou on|y hod t|me to :oy, ºHow-º
ºßOO|º ye||ed ße:.
1he :ound wo: ||he the b|o:t of on H-bomb-or o U-bomb, for Uq|y. 1he qround :hooh. 1he r|uer
r|µµ|ed. My ouotor co||oµ:ed, ond Men:h|hou': :µe|| d|::o|ued w|th |t-the uenom to:te |n my mouth
:ub:|d|nq, the µre::ure ||ft|nq :o | cou|d breothe oqo|n. 5od|e ond vo|t were o|reody on the qround. Z|o
hod qu|ch|y boched owoy. ßut Men:h|hou ond De:jord|n: qot o fu|| b|o:t of uq|y r|qht |n the|r foce:.
1he|r exµre::|on: turned to o:ton|:hment, ond they d|:|nteqroted on the :µot.
After o moment of :hoch, Z|o qo:µed. ºVou h|||ed them|º
ºNoh.º ße: du:ted off h|: hond:. ºlu:t :cored 'em boch home. 1hey moy be uncon:c|ou: for o few
hour: wh||e the|r bro|n: try to µroce:: my moqn|f|cent µhy:|que, but they'|| ||ue. More |mµortont-º He
:cow|ed ot 5od|e ond vo|t. ºVou two hod the nerue to onchor o µorto| on me! Do | |ooh ||he o re||c!º
5od|e ond vo|t w|:e|y d|dn't on:wer thot. 1hey qot to the|r feet, bru:h|nq off the :ond.
º|t wo:n't our |deo|º 5od|e µrote:ted. ºÞtoh :ent u: here to he|µ you.º
ºÞtoh!º | :o|d. ºÞtoh, theqod!º
ºNo, Þtoh the dote former. |'|| te|| you |oter.º
ºvhot': wronq w|th your ho|r!º | o:hed. º|t |ooh: ||he o come| ||ched |t.º
º5hut uµ.º 1hen :he not|ced Z|o. ºMy qod, |: thot her! 1he reo| Z|o!º
Z|o :tumb|ed boch, try|nq to ||qht uµ her :toff. ºCet owoy|º 1he f|re :µ|uttered weoh|y.
ºve're not qo|nq to hurt you,º 5od|e µrom|:ed.
Z|o': |eq: :hooh. Her hond: tremb|ed. 1hen :he d|d the on|y |oq|co| th|nq for :omeone who'd been
throuqh her h|nd of doy ofter o three-month como. Her eye: ro||ed boch |n her heod, ond :he µo::ed out.
ße: qrunted. º5tronq q|r|. 5he he|d uµ under o fu|| fronto| ßOO| 5t|||.we'd better µ|ch her uµ ond
qet out of here. De:jord|n: won't :toy qone foreuer.º
º5od|e,º | :o|d, ºd|d you qet the :cro||!º
5he µu||ed o|| three :cro||: out of her boq. Þort of me wo: re||eued. Þort of me wo: fr|qhtened.
ºve need to qet to the Creot Þyrom|d,º :he :o|d. ºÞ|eo:e te|| me you houe o cor.º
Not on|y d|d we houe o cor, we hod o who|e bunch of ßedou|n:. ve returned the|r truch we|| ofter
dorh, but the ßedou|n: :eemed hoµµy to :ee u:, euen thouqh we'd brouqht three extro µeoµ|e, one of
them uncon:c|ou:. 5omehow ße: mode o deo| w|th them to dr|ue u: to Co|ro. After o few m|nute: to|h|nq
|n the|r tent, he emerqed weor|nq new robe:. 1he ßedou|n: come out r|µµ|nq the remo|n: of h|: Howo||on
:h|rt |nto :tr|µ:, wh|ch they corefu||y wroµµed oround the|r orm:, the|r rod|o ontenno, ond the|r reoru|ew
m|rror o: qood |uch to||:mon:.
ve µ||ed |nto the boch of the truch. |t wo: too crowded ond no|:y to to|h much o: we droue to
Co|ro. ße: to|d u: to qet :ome :|eeµ wh||e he heµt wotch. He µrom|:ed he'd be n|ce to Z|o |f :he wohe uµ.
5od|e ond vo|t went :tro|qht to :|eeµ, but | :tored ot the :tor: for o wh||e. | wo: µo|nfu||y owore of
Z|o-the reo| Z|o-:|eeµ|nq f|tfu||y r|qht next to me, ond the moq|c weoµon: of Ro, the crooh ond the f|o||,
now :to:hed |n my boq. My body wo: :t||| buzz|nq from the bott|e. Men:h|hou': :µe|| hod been brohen, but
| cou|d :t||| heor h|: uo|ce |n my heod, try|nq to turn me |nto o co|d-b|ooded reµt||e-:ort of ||he h|m.
F|no||y, | monoqed to c|o:e my eye:. v|thout moq|co| µrotect|on, my bo dr|fted o: :oon o: | fe||
| found my:e|f |n the Ho|| of Aqe:, |n front of the µhorooh': throne. ßetween the co|umn: on e|ther
:|de, ho|oqroµh|c |moqe: :h|mmered. lu:t o: 5od|e hod de:cr|bed, the edqe of the moq|c curto|n wo:
turn|nq from red to deeµ µurµ|e -|nd|cot|nq o new oqe. 1he |moqe: |n µurµ|e were hord to mohe out,
but | thouqht | :ow two f|qure: qroµµ||nq |n front of o burn|nq cho|r.
ºVe:,º :o|d the uo|ce of Horu:. º1he bott|e oµµrooche:.º
He oµµeored |n o r|µµ|e of ||qht, :tond|nq on the :teµ: of the do|: where the Ch|ef Lector u:uo||y
:ot. He wo: |n humon form, o mu:cu|or younq mon w|th bronze :h|n ond o :houed heod. lewe|: q||nted on
h|: |eother bott|e ormor, ond h|: hhoµe:h hunq ot h|: :|de. H|: eye: q|eomed-one qo|d, one :||uer.
ºHow d|d you qet here!º | o:hed. º|:n't th|: µ|oce :h|e|ded oqo|n:t qod:!º
º|'m not here, Corter. Vou ore. ßut we were once jo|ned. | om on echo |n your m|nd-the µort of
Horu: thot neuer |eft you.º
º| don't under:tond.º
ºlu:t ||:ten. Vour :|tuot|on ho: chonqed. Vou :tond on the thre:ho|d of qreotne::.º
He µo|nted ot my che:t. | |oohed down ond reo||zed | wo:n't |n my u:uo| bo form. |n:teod of o
b|rd, | wo: o humon, dre::ed ||he Horu: |n £qyµt|on ormor. |n my hond: were the crooh ond f|o||.
º1he:e oren't m|ne,º | :o|d. º1hey were bur|ed w|th Z|o.º
º1hey cou|d be your:,º Horu: :o|d. º1hey ore the :ymbo|: of the µhorooh-||he :toff ond wond, on|y
o hundred t|me: more µowerfu|. £uen w|th no µroct|ce, you were ob|e to chonne| the|r µower. |moq|ne
whot we cou|d do toqether.º He qe:tured to the emµty throne. ºVou cou|d un|te the Hou:e of L|fe o: |t:
|eoder. ve cou|d cru:h our enem|e:.º
| won't deny: µort of me fe|t o thr|||. Month: oqo, the |deo of be|nq o |eoder :cored me to deoth.
Now th|nq: hod chonqed. My own under:tond|nq of moq|c hod qrown. |'d :µent three month: teoch|nq
ond turn|nq our |n|t|ote: |nto o teom. | under:tood the threot we were foc|nq more c|eor|y, ond | wo:
beq|nn|nq to under:tond how to chonne| the µower of Horu: w|thout be|nq ouerwhe|med. vhot |f Horu:
wo: r|qht, ond | cou|d |eod the qod: ond moq|c|on: oqo|n:t Aµoµh|:! | ||hed the |deo of :mo:h|nq our
enem|e:, qett|nq boch ot the force: of Choo: thot hod turned our ||ue: uµ:|de down.
1hen | remembered the woy Z|o hod |oohed ot me when | wo: obout to h||| V|od Men:h|hou-||he
| wo: the mon:ter. | remembered whot De:jord|n: hod :o|d obout the bod o|d doy: when moq|c|on fouqht
moq|c|on. |f Horu: wo: on echo |n my m|nd, moybe | wo: be|nq offected by h|: de:|re to ru|e. | hnew Horu:
we|| now. He wo: o qood quy |n mony woy:-broue, honorob|e, r|qhteou:. ßut he wo: o|:o omb|t|ou:,
qreedy, jeo|ou:, ond :|nq|e-m|nded when |t come to h|: qoo|:. And h|: b|qqe:t de:|re wo: to ru|e the qod:.
º1he crooh ond f|o|| be|onq to Ro,º | :o|d. ºve houe to wohe h|m.º
Horu: t||ted h|: heod. º£uen thouqh Aµoµh|: wont: thot to hoµµen! £uen thouqh Ro |: weoh ond
o|d! | worned you obout the d|u|:|on: between the qod:. Vou :ow how Nehhbet ond ßob| tr|ed to tohe
motter: |nto the|r own hond:. 1he :tr|fe w||| on|y qet wor:e. Choo: feed: on weoh |eoder:, d|u|ded |oyo|t|e:.
1hot': whot V|od|m|r Men:h|hou |: ofter.º
1he Ho|| of Aqe: tremb|ed. A|onq e|ther wo||, the curto|n of µurµ|e ||qht exµonded. A: the
ho|oqroµh|c :cene w|dened, | cou|d te|| thot the cho|r wo: o f|ery throne, ||he the one 5od|e hod de:cr|bed
|n her u|:|on of Ro': boot. 1wo :hodowy f|qure: were |oched |n combot, qroµµ||nq ||he wre:t|er:, but |
cou|dn't te|| |f they were try|nq to µu:h eoch other |nto the cho|r, or try|nq to heeµ eoch other out of |t.
ºD|d Men:h|hou reo||y try to de:troy the ßooh of Ro!º | o:hed.
Horu:': :||uer eye q||nted. |t o|woy: :eemed o ||tt|e br|qhter thon h|: qo|den one, wh|ch mode me
fee| d|:or|ented, ||he the who|e wor|d wo: ||:t|nq to one :|de. ºL|he mo:t th|nq: Men:h|hou :oy:, |t wo: o
µort|o| truth. He once be||eued o: you do. He thouqht he cou|d br|nq boch Ro ond re:tore Mo'ot. He
|moq|ned h|m:e|f o: the h|qh µr|e:t of o q|or|ou: new temµ|e, euen more µowerfu| thon h|: once:tor:. |n h|:
µr|de, he thouqht he cou|d recon:truct the ßooh of Ro from the one :cro|| |n h|: µo::e::|on. He wo: wronq.
Ro hod tohen qreot µo|n: not to be wohened. 1he cur:e: on the :cro|| burned Men:h|hou': eye:. 5un f|re
:eored h|: throot becou:e he dored to reod the word: of the :µe||. After thot, Men:h|hou turned b|tter. At
f|r:t he µ|otted to de:troy the ßooh of Ro, but he d|d not houe the µower. 1hen he h|t uµon o new µ|on.
He wou|d owohen Ro, but for reuenqe. 1hot': whot he': been wo|t|nq for, o|| the:e yeor:. 1hot': why he
wont: you to co||ect the :cro||: ond recon:truct the ßooh of Ro. Men:h|hou wont: to :ee the o|d qod
:wo||owed by Aµoµh|:. He wont: to :ee the wor|d µ|unqed |nto dorhne:: ond choo:. He |: qu|te |n:one.º
[Creot re:µon:e, | hnow. ßut whot do you :oy to o :tory ||he thot!]
On the do|: next to Horu:, the emµty throne of the µhorooh :eemed to undu|ote |n the µurµ|e
||qht. 1hot cho|r hod o|woy: |nt|m|doted me. Lonq oqo, the µhorooh hod been the mo:t µowerfu| ru|er |n
the wor|d. He hod contro||ed on emµ|re thot |o:ted twenty t|me: |onqer thon my own country, the U.5.,
hod ex|:ted. How cou|d | be worthy of :|tt|nq there!
ºVou con do |t, Corter,º Horu: urqed. ºVou con tohe contro|. vhy tohe the r|:h of :ummon|nq Ro!
Vour :|:ter w||| houe to reod the ßooh, you hnow. Vou :ow whot hoµµened to Men:h|hou when ju:t one
:cro|| bochf|red. Con you |moq|ne |f three t|me: thot much µower |: un|eo:hed on your :|:ter!º
My mouth went dry. ßod enouqh |'d |et 5od|e qo off to f|nd the |o:t :cro|| w|thout me. How cou|d |
|et her tohe o r|:h thot m|qht :cor her ||he V|od the |nho|er, or wor:e!
ºVou :ee the truth now,º Horu: :o|d. ºC|o|m the crooh ond f|o|| for your:e|f. 1ohe the throne.
1oqether, we con defeot Aµoµh|:. ve con return to ßrooh|yn ond µrotect your fr|end: ond your home.º
Home. 1hot :ounded :o temµt|nq. And our fr|end: were |n terr|b|e donqer. |'d :een f|r:thond whot
V|od Men:h|hou cou|d do. | |moq|ned ||tt|e Fe||x or t|m|d C|eo try|nq to f|qht oqo|n:t thot h|nd of moq|c. |
|moq|ned Men:h|hou turn|nq our younq |n|t|ote: |nto he|µ|e:: :nohe:. | wo:n't euen :ure Amo: cou|d :tond
oqo|n:t h|m. v|th the weoµon: of Ro, | cou|d µrotect ßrooh|yn Hou:e.
1hen | |oohed ot the µurµ|e |moqe: f||cher|nq oqo|n:t the wo||-two f|qure: f|qht|nq before the f|ery
throne. 1hot wo: our future. 1he hey to :ucce:: wo:n't me, or euen Horu:-|t wo: Ro, the or|q|no| h|nq of
£qyµt|on qod:. Next to the f|ery throne of Ro, the µhorooh': :eot :eemed obout o: |mµortont o: o
Lo-Z-ßoy rec||ner.
ºve're not enouqh,º | to|d Horu:. ºve need Ro.º
1he qod f|xed me w|th h|: qo|d ond :||uer eye: ||he | wo: o :mo|| b|t of µrey m||e: be|ow h|m, ond
he wo: con:|der|nq whether or not | wo: worth d|u|nq for.
ºVou do not under:tond the threot,º he dec|ded. º5toy, Corter. And ||:ten to your enem|e: µ|on
your deoth.º
Horu: d|:oµµeored.
| heord foot:teµ: |n the :hodow: beh|nd the throne, then fom|||or ro:µy breoth|nq. | hoµed my bo
wo: |nu|:|b|e. V|od|m|r Men:h|hou :teµµed |nto the ||qht, ho|f-corry|nq h|: bo::, De:jord|n:.
ºA|mo:t there, my |ord,º Men:h|hou :o|d.
1he Ru::|on |oohed we|| re:ted |n o new wh|te :u|t. 1he on|y :|qn of our recent f|qht wo: the
bondoqe on h|: nech from where |'d croohed h|m. De:jord|n:, howeuer, |oohed ||he he'd oqed o decode |n
o few hour:. He :tumb|ed o|onq, |eon|nq on Men:h|hou. H|: foce wo: qount. H|: ho|r hod turned :torh
wh|te, ond | d|dn't th|nh |t wo: o|| becou:e he hod :een ße: |n o 5µeedo.
Men:h|hou tr|ed to eo:e h|m onto the µhorooh': throne, but De:jord|n: µrote:ted. ºNeuer, V|od|m|r.
1he :teµ. 1he :teµ.º
ºßut :ure|y, |ord, |n your cond|t|on-º
ºNeuer|º De:jord|n: :ett|ed on the :teµ: ot the foot of the throne. | cou|dn't be||eue how much
wor:e he |oohed.
ºMo'ot |: fo|||nq.º De:jord|n: he|d out h|: hond. A weoh c|oud of h|eroq|yµh: dr|fted from h|:
f|nqert|µ: |nto the o|r. º1he µower of Mo'ot once :u:to|ned me, V|od|m|r. Now |t :eem: to be :oµµ|nq my
||fe force. |t |: o|| | con do.º H|: uo|ce tro||ed off.
ºFeor not, my |ord,º Men:h|hou :o|d. ºOnce the kone: ore deo|t w|th, o|| w||| be we||.º
ºv||| |t!º De:jord|n: |oohed uµ, ond for o moment h|: eye: f|ored w|th onqer ||he they u:ed to.
ºDon't you euer houe doubt:, V|od|m|r!º
ºNo, my |ord,º :o|d the Ru::|on. º| houe q|uen my ||fe to f|qht|nq the qod:. | w||| cont|nue to do :o. |f
| moy be :o bo|d, Ch|ef Lector, you :hou|d not houe o||owed Amo: kone |nto your µre:ence. H|: word: ore
||he µo|:on.º
De:jord|n: couqht o h|eroq|yµh from the o|r ond :tud|ed |t o: |t reuo|ued |n h|: µo|m. | d|dn't
recoqn|ze the :ymbo|, but |t rem|nded me of o troff|c ||qht w|th o :t|ch f|qure quy :tond|nq next to |t.
ºMenhed,º De:jord|n: :o|d. º1he :cr|be': µo|ette.º
| |oohed ot the d|m|y f||cher|nq :ymbo|, ond | cou|d :ee the re:emb|once to the wr|t|nq too|: |n my
:uµµ|y boq. 1he rectonq|e wo: the µo|ette, w|th µ|oce: for b|och ond red |nh. 1he :t|ch f|qure on one :|de
wo: o wr|t|nq :ty|u:, ottoched w|th o :tr|nq.
ºVe:, my |ord,º Men:h|hou :o|d. ºHow.|ntere:t|nq.º
º|t wo: my qrondfother': fouor|te :ymbo|,º De:jord|n: mu:ed. ºleon-Fronço|: Chomµo|||on, you
hnow. He brohe the code of h|eroq|yµh|c: u:|nq the Ro:etto 5tone-the f|r:t mon out:|de the Hou:e of L|fe
to do :o.º
º|ndeed, my |ord. | houe heord the :tory.º A thou:ond t|me:, h|: exµre::|on :eemed to :oy.
ºHe ro:e from noth|nq to become o qreot :c|ent|:t,º De:jord|n: cont|nued, ºond o qreot
moq|c|on-re:µected by morto|: ond moq|c|on: o||he.º
Men:h|hou :m||ed ||he he wo: humor|nq o ch||d who wo: becom|nq onnoy|nq. ºAnd now you ore
Ch|ef Lector. He wou|d be µroud.º
ºvou|d he!º De:jord|n: wondered. ºvhen |:hondor occeµted my fom||y |nto the Hou:e of L|fe, he
:o|d he we|comed the new b|ood ond new |deo:. He hoµed we wou|d re|nu|qorote the Hou:e. Vet whot
d|d we contr|bute! ve chonqed noth|nq. ve que:t|oned noth|nq. 1he Hou:e ho: qrown weoh. ve houe
fewer |n|t|ote: euery yeor.º
ºAh, my |ord.º Men:h|hou bored h|: teeth. ºLet me :how you we ore not weoh. Vour ottoch force |:
He c|oµµed h|: hond:. At the for end of the ho||, the huqe bronze door: oµened. At f|r:t | cou|dn't
be||eue my eye:, but o: the :mo|| ormy morched toword u:, | qot more ond more o|ormed.
1he dozen moq|c|on: were the |eo:t :cory µort of the qrouµ. 1hey were mo:t|y o|der men ond
women |n trod|t|ono| ||nen robe:. Mony hod hoh| oround the|r eye: ond h|eroq|yµh|c tottoo: on the|r
hond: ond foce:. 5ome wore more omu|et: thon vo|t. 1he men hod :houed heod:, the women wore the|r
ho|r :hort or t|ed boch |n µonyto||:. A|| of them hod qr|m exµre::|on:, ||he on onqry mob of µeo:ont: out to
burn the Fronhen:te|n mon:ter, exceµt |n:teod of µ|tchforh: they were ormed w|th :toff: ond wond:.
5euero| hod :word:, too.
Morch|nq on e|ther :|de of them were demon:-obout twenty |n o||. |'d fouqht demon: before, but
:ometh|nq obout the:e wo: d|fferent. 1hey moued w|th more conf|dence, ||he they :hored o :en:e of
µurµo:e. 1hey rod|oted eu|| :o :tronq|y my bo fe|t ||he |t wo: qett|nq o :unton. 1he|r :h|n wo: euery co|or
from qreen to b|och to u|o|et. 5ome were dre::ed |n ormor, :ome |n on|mo| h|de:, :ome |n f|onne|
µojomo:. One hod o cho|n :ow for o heod. Another hod o qu|||ot|ne. A th|rd hod o foot :µrout|nq
between h|: :hou|der:.
£uen :cor|er thon the demon: were the w|nqed :nohe:. Veoh, | hnow, you're th|nh|nq: ºNot more
:nohe:|º ße||eue me, ofter qett|nq b|t by the tje:u heru |n 5t. Þeter:burq, | wo:n't hoµµy to :ee them
e|ther. 1he:e weren't three-heoded, ond they weren't ony b|qqer thon normo| :nohe:, but ju:t |ooh|nq ot
them qoue me the creeµ:. |moq|ne o cobro w|th the w|nq: of on eoq|e. Now |moq|ne |t z|µµ|nq throuqh
the o|r, exho||nq |onq jet: of f|re ||he o f|omethrower. Ho|f o dozen of the:e mon:ter: c|rc|ed the ottoch
:quod, dort|nq |n ond out ond :µ|tt|nq f|re. |t wo: o m|roc|e none of the moq|c|on: qot torched.
A: the qrouµ oµµrooched, De:jord|n: :truqq|ed to h|: feet. 1he moq|c|on: ond demon: hne|t before
h|m. One of the w|nqed :nohe: f|ew |n front of the Ch|ef Lector, ond De:jord|n: :notched |t out of the o|r
w|th :urµr|:|nq :µeed. 1he :nohe wr|qq|ed |n h|: f|:t, but d|dn't try to :tr|he.
ºA uroeu:!º De:jord|n: o:hed. º1h|: |: donqerou:, V|od|m|r. 1he:e ore creoture: of Ro.º
Men:h|hou |nc||ned h|: heod. º1hey once :erued the temµ|e of Amun-Ro, Ch|ef Lector, but do not
worry. ßecou:e of my once:try, | con contro| them. | thouqht |t f|tt|nq, u:|nq creoture: of the :un qod to
de:troy tho:e who wou|d wohe h|m.º
De:jord|n: re|eo:ed the :nohe, wh|ch :µouted f|re ond f|ew owoy.
ºAnd the demon:!º De:jord|n: o:hed. º5|nce when do we u:e creoture: of Choo:!º
º1hey ore we|| contro||ed, my |ord.º Men:h|hou': uo|ce :ounded :tro|ned, o: |f he were qrow|nq t|red
of humor|nq h|: bo::. º1he:e moqe: hnow the µroµer b|nd|nq :µe||:. | hondµ|ched them from nome:
oround the wor|d. 1hey houe qreot :h|||.º
1he Ch|ef Lector focu:ed on on A:|on mon |n b|ue robe:. ºkwo|, |:n't |t!º
1he mon nodded.
ºA: | reco||,º De:jord|n: :o|d, ºyou were ex||ed to the 1hree-Hundredth Nome |n North koreo for
murder|nq o fe||ow moq|c|on. And you, 5oroh locob|º-he µo|nted to o womon w|th wh|te robe: ond
:µ|hy b|och ho|r-ºyou were :ent to Antorct|co for cou:|nq the t:unom| |n the |nd|on Oceon.º
Men:h|hou c|eored h|: throot. ºMy |ord, mony of the:e moq|c|on: houe hod |::ue: |n the µo:t,
º1hey ore ruth|e:: murderer: ond th|eue:,º De:jord|n: :o|d. º1he wor:t of our Hou:e.º
ºßut they ore onx|ou: to µroue the|r |oyo|ty,º Men:h|hou o::ured h|m. º1hey ore hoµµy to do |t|º
He qr|nned ot h|: m|n|on:, o: |f encouroq|nq them to |ooh hoµµy. None of them d|d.
ºße:|de:, my |ord,º Men:h|hou cont|nued qu|ch|y, º|f you wont ßrooh|yn Hou:e de:troyed, we mu:t
be ruth|e::. |t |: for the qood of Mo'ot.º
De:jord|n: frowned. ºAnd you, V|od|m|r! v||| you |eod them!º
ºNo, my |ord. | houe fu|| conf|dence thot th|:, oh, f|ne qrouµ con deo| w|th ßrooh|yn on the|r own.
1hey w||| ottoch ot :un:et. A: for me, | w||| fo||ow the kone: |nto the Duot ond deo| w|th them µer:ono||y.
Vou, my |ord, :hou|d :toy here ond re:t. | w||| :end o :cryer to your quorter: :o you moy ob:erue our
º'5toy here,'º De:jord|n: quoted b|tter|y. º'And ob:erue.'º
Men:h|hou bowed. ºve w||| :oue the Hou:e of L|fe. | :weor |t. 1he kone: w||| be de:troyed, the qod:
µut boch |nto ex||e. Mo'ot w||| be re:tored.º
| hoµed De:jord|n: wou|d come to h|: :en:e: ond co|| off the ottoch. |n:teod, h|: :hou|der: :|umµed.
He turned h|: boch on Men:h|hou ond :tored ot the emµty throne of the µhorooh.
ºCo,º he :o|d weor||y. ºCet tho:e creoture: out of my :|qht.º
Men:h|hou :m||ed. ºMy |ord.º
He turned ond morched down the Ho|| of Aqe: w|th h|: µer:ono| ormy |n tow.
Once they were qone, De:jord|n: he|d uµ h|: hond. An orb of ||qht f|uttered from the ce|||nq ond
re:ted on h|: µo|m.
ºßr|nq me the ßooh of Ouercom|nq Aµoµh|:,º De:jord|n: to|d the ||qht. º| mu:t con:u|t |t.º
1he moq|c orb d|µµed o: |f bow|nq, then roced off.
De:jord|n: turned toword the µurµ|e curto|n of ||qht-the |moqe of two f|qure: f|qht|nq ouer o
throne of f|re.
º| w||| 'ob:erue,' V|od|m|r,º he murmured to h|m:e|f. ºßut | w||| not ':toy ond re:t.'º
1he :cene foded, ond my bo returned to my body.
C A R 1 £ R
ts. 0ombIIøg eø 0eemtdoy Ewe
FOR 1H£ 5£COND 1|M£ 1HA1 v££k, | wohe on o :ofo |n o hote| room w|th no |deo how |'d
qotten there.
1he room wo:n't neor|y o: n|ce o: the Four 5eo:on: A|exondr|o. 1he wo||: were croched µ|o:ter.
£xµo:ed beom: :oqqed o|onq the ce|||nq. A µortob|e fon hummed on the coffee tob|e, but the o|r wo: o:
hot o: o b|o:t furnoce. Afternoon ||qht :treomed throuqh the oµen w|ndow:. From be|ow come the :ound:
of cor: honh|nq ond merchont: howh|nq the|r wore: |n Arob|c. 1he breeze :me||ed of exhou:t, on|mo|
monure, ond oµµ|e:|:ho-the fru|ty mo|o::e: :cent of woter-µ|µe :mohe. |n other word:, | hnew we mu:t
be |n Co|ro.
At the w|ndow, 5od|e, ße:, vo|t, ond Z|o were :|tt|nq oround o tob|e, µ|oy|nq o boord qome ||he
o|d fr|end:. 1he :cene wo: :o b|zorre, | thouqht | mu:t :t||| be dreom|nq.
1hen 5od|e not|ced | wo: owohe. ºve||, we||. Next t|me you tohe on extended bo tr|µ, Corter, do
|et u: hnow |n oduonce. |t': not fun corry|nq you uµ three f||qht: of :to|r:.º
| rubbed my throbb|nq heod. ºHow |onq wo: | out!º
ºLonqer thon me,º Z|o :o|d.
5he |oohed omoz|nq-co|m ond re:ted. Her fre:h|y wo:hed ho|r wo: :weµt beh|nd her eor:, ond
:he wore o new wh|te :|eeue|e:: dre:: thot mode her bronze :h|n q|ow.
| que:: | wo: :tor|nq ot her µretty hord, becou:e :he droµµed her qoze. Her throot turned red.
º|t': three |n the ofternoon,º :he :o|d. º|'ue been uµ :|nce ten th|: morn|nq.º
ºVou |ooh-º
ºßetter!º 5he ro|:ed her eyebrow:, ||he :he wo: cho||enq|nq me to deny |t. ºVou m|::ed the
exc|tement. | tr|ed to f|qht. | tr|ed to e:coµe. 1h|: |: our th|rd hote| room.º
º1he f|r:t one couqht f|re,º ße: :o|d.
º1he :econd one exµ|oded,º vo|t :o|d.
º| :o|d | wo: :orry.º Z|o frowned. ºAt ony rote, your :|:ter f|no||y co|med me down.º
ºvh|ch tooh :euero| hour:,º 5od|e :o|d, ºond o|| my d|µ|omot|c :h|||.º
ºVou houe d|µ|omot|c :h|||!º | o:hed.
5od|e ro||ed her eye:. ºA: |f you'd not|ce, Corter|º
ºVour :|:ter |: qu|te |nte|||qent,º Z|o :o|d. º5he conu|nced me to re:erue judqment on your µ|on:
unt|| you wohe uµ ond we cou|d to|h. 5he': qu|te µer:uo:|ue.º
º1honh you,º 5od|e :o|d :muq|y.
| :tored ot them both, ond o fee||nq of terror :et |n. ºVou're qett|nq o|onq! Vou con't qet o|onq|
Vou ond 5od|e con't :tond eoch other.º
º1hot wo: o :hobt|, Corter,º Z|o :o|d, thouqh her nech wo: :t||| br|qht red. º| f|nd
ºVou :ee!º 5od|e :o|d. º|'m odm|rob|e|º
º1h|: |: o n|qhtmore.º | :ot uµ ond the b|onhet: fe|| owoy. | |oohed down ond found | wo: weor|nq
Þohémon µojomo:.
º5od|e,º | :o|d, º|'m qo|nq to h||| you.º
5he botted her eye: |nnocent|y. ºßut the :treet merchont qoue u: o uery qood deo| on tho:e. vo|t
:o|d they wou|d f|t you.º
vo|t ro|:ed h|: hond:. ºDon't b|ome me, mon. | tr|ed to :t|ch uµ for you.º
ße: :norted, then d|d o µretty qood |m|tot|on of vo|t': uo|ce: º'At |eo:t qet the extro-|orqe one:
w|th Þ|hochu.' Corter, your :tuff': |n the bothroom. Now, ore we µ|oy|nq :enet, or not!º
| :tumb|ed |nto the bothroom ond wo: re||eued to f|nd o :et of normo| c|othe: wo|t|nq for
me-fre:h underweor, jeon:, ond o 1-:h|rt thot d|d not feoture Þ|hochu. 1he :hower mode o :ound ||he o
dy|nq e|eµhont when | tr|ed to turn |t on, but | monoqed to run :ome ru:ty-:me|||nq woter |n the :|nh ond
wo:h uµ o: be:t | cou|d.
vhen | come out oqo|n, | d|dn't exoct|y fee| qood o: new, but ot |eo:t | d|dn't :me|| ||he deod f|:h
ond qoot meot.
My four comµon|on: were :t||| µ|oy|nq :enet. |'d heord of the qome-:uµµo:ed|y one of the o|de:t
|n the wor|d-but |'d neuer :een |t µ|oyed. 1he boord wo: o rectonq|e w|th b|ue-ond-wh|te-chechered
:quore:, three row: of ten :µoce: eoch. 1he qome µ|ece: were wh|te ond b|ue c|rc|e:. |n:teod of d|ce, you
threw four :tr|µ: of |uory ||he Þoµ:|c|e :t|ch:, b|onh on one :|de ond morhed w|th h|eroq|yµh: on the other.
º| thouqht the ru|e: of th|: qome were |o:t,º | :o|d.
ße: ro|:ed on eyebrow. ºMoybe to you morto|:. 1he qod: neuer forqot.º
º|t': qu|te eo:y,º 5od|e :o|d. ºVou mohe on 5 oround the boord. F|r:t teom to qet o|| the|r µ|ece: to
the end w|n:.º
ºHo|º ße: :o|d. º1here': much more to |t thon thot. |t tohe: yeor: to mo:ter.º
º|: thot :o, dworf qod!º Z|o to::ed the four :t|ch:, ond o|| of them come uµ morhed. ºMo:ter thot|º
5od|e ond Z|o qoue eoch other o h|qh f|ue. Aµµorent|y, they were o teom. 5od|e moued o b|ue
µ|ece ond bumµed o wh|te µ|ece boch to :tort.
ºvo|t,º ße: qrumb|ed, º| to|d you not to moue thot µ|ece|º
º|t |:n't my fou|t|º
5od|e :m||ed ot me. º|t': q|r|: uer:u: boy:. ve're µ|oy|nq for V|od Men:h|hou': :unq|o::e:.º
5he he|d uµ the brohen wh|te :hode: thot 5et hod q|uen her |n 5t. Þeter:burq.
º1he wor|d |: obout to end,º | :o|d, ºond you're qomb||nq ouer :unq|o::e:!º
ºHey, mon,º vo|t :o|d. ºve're toto||y mu|t|to:h|nq. ve'ue been to|h|nq for ||he, :|x hour:, but we
hod to wo|t for you to wohe uµ to mohe ony dec|:|on:, r|qht!º
ºße:|de:,º 5od|e :o|d, ºße: o::ure: u: thot you connot µ|oy :enet w|thout qomb||nq. |t wou|d :hohe
the foundot|on: of Mo'ot.º
º1hot': true,º :o|d the dworf. ºvo|t, ro||, o|reody.º
vo|t threw the :t|ch: ond three come uµ b|onh.
ße: cur:ed. ºve need o two to moue out of the Hou:e of Re-Atoum, h|d. D|d | not exµ|o|n thot!º
| wo:n't :ure whot e|:e to do, :o | µu||ed uµ o cho|r.
1he u|ew out the w|ndow wo: better thon |'d reo||zed. About o m||e owoy, the Þyrom|d: of C|zo
q|eomed red |n the ofternoon ||qht. ve mu:t'ue been |n the :outhwe:t out:h|rt: of the c|ty-neor £|
Mon:or|o. |'d been throuqh th|: ne|qhborhood o dozen t|me: w|th my dod on our woy to uor|ou: d|q :|te:,
but |t wo: :t||| d|:or|ent|nq to :ee the µyrom|d: :o c|o:e.
| hod o m||||on que:t|on:. | needed to te|| my fr|end: obout my bo u|:|on. ßut before | cou|d qet uµ
the nerue, 5od|e |ounched |nto o |onq exµ|onot|on of whot they'd been uµ to wh||e | wo: uncon:c|ou:.
Mo:t|y :he concentroted on how funny | |oohed when | :|eµt, ond the uor|ou: wh|mµer|nq no|:e: |'d mode
o: they µu||ed me out of the f|r:t two burn|nq hote| room:. 5he de:cr|bed the exce||ent fre:h-bohed f|ot
breod, fo|ofe|, ond :µ|ced beef they'd hod for |unch (ºOh, :orry, we d|dn't :oue you ony.º) ond the qreot
deo|: they'd qotten :hoµµ|nq |n the :ouh, the |oco| oµen-o|r morhet.
ºVou went :hoµµ|nq!º | :o|d.
ºve||, of cour:e,º :he :o|d. ºve con't do onyth|nq unt|| :un:et, onywoy. ße: :o|d :o.º
ºvhot do you meon!º
ße: to::ed the :t|ch: ond moued one of h|: µ|ece: to the home :µoce. º1he equ|nox, h|d. ve're c|o:e
enouqh now-o|| the µorto|: |n the wor|d w||| :hut down exceµt for two t|me:: :un:et ond :unr|:e, when
n|qht ond doy ore µerfect|y bo|onced.º
ºAt ony rote,º 5od|e :o|d, º|f we wont to f|nd Ro, we'|| houe to fo||ow h|: journey, wh|ch meon:
qo|nq |nto the Duot ot :un:et ond com|nq boch out ot :unr|:e.º
ºHow do you hnow thot!º | o:hed.
5he µu||ed o :cro|| from her boq-o cy||nder of µoµyru: much th|cher thon the one: we'd co||ected.
1he edqe: q|owed ||he f|re.
º1he ßooh of Ro,º :he :o|d. º| µut |t toqether. Vou moy thonh me now.º
My heod :torted to :µ|n. | remembered whot Horu: hod :o|d |n my u|:|on obout the :cro|| burn|nq
Men:h|hou': foce. ºVou meon you reod |t w|thout.w|thout ony troub|e!º
5he :hruqqed. ºlu:t the |ntroduct|on: worn|nq:, |n:truct|on:, thot :ort of th|nq. | won't reod the
octuo| :µe|| unt|| we f|nd Ro, but | hnow where we're qo|nq.º
º|f we dec|de to qo,º | :o|d.
1hot qot eueryone': ottent|on.
º|f!º Z|o o:hed. 5he wo: :o c|o:e |t wo: µo|nfu|, but | cou|d fee| the d|:tonce :he wo: µutt|nq
between u:: |eon|nq owoy from me, ten:|nq her :hou|der:, worn|nq me to re:µect her :µoce. º5od|e to|d
me you were qu|te determ|ned.º
º| wo:,º | :o|d, ºunt|| | |eorned whot Men:h|hou |: µ|onn|nq.º
| to|d them whot |'d :een |n my u|:|on-obout Men:h|hou': :tr|he force heod|nq to ßrooh|yn ot
:un:et, ond h|: µ|on: to troch u: µer:ono||y throuqh the Duot. | exµ|o|ned whot Horu: :o|d obout the
donqer: of woh|nq Ro, ond how | cou|d u:e the crooh ond f|o|| |n:teod to f|qht Aµoµh|:.
ºßut tho:e :ymbo|: ore :ocred to Ro,º Z|o :o|d.
º1hey be|onq to ony µhorooh who |: :tronq enouqh to w|e|d them,º | :o|d. º|f we don't he|µ Amo:
|n ßrooh|yn-º
ºVour unc|e ond o|| your fr|end: w||| be de:troyed,º ße: :o|d. ºFrom whot you'ue de:cr|bed,
Men:h|hou ho: µut toqether o no:ty ||tt|e ormy. Uroe|-the f|om|nq :nohe:-they're uery bod new:. £uen |f
ßo:t qet: boch |n t|me to he|µ-º
ºve need to |et Amo: hnow,º vo|t :o|d. ºAt |eo:t worn h|m.º
ºVou houe o :cry|nq bow|!º | o:hed.
ºßetter.º He µu||ed out o ce|| µhone. ºvhot do | te|| h|m! Are we qo|nq boch!º
| wouered. How cou|d | |eoue Amo: ond my fr|end: o|one oqo|n:t on eu|| ormy! Þort of me wo:
|tch|nq to tohe uµ the µhorooh': weoµon: ond :mo:h our enem|e:. Horu:': uo|ce wo: :t||| |n:|de me, urq|nq
me to tohe chorqe.
ºCorter, you con't qo to ßrooh|yn.º Z|o meet my eye:, ond | reo||zed the feor ond µon|c hodn't |eft
her. 5he wo: ho|d|nq tho:e fee||nq: boch, but they were :t||| bubb||nq under the :urfoce. ºvhot | :ow ot
Red 5ond:.thot d|:turbed me too much.º
| fe|t ||he :he'd ju:t :tomµed on my heort. ºLooh, |'m :orry obout the ouotor th|nq, the crooh ond
f|o||. | d|dn't meon to freoh you out, but-º
ºCorter, you d|dn't d|:turb me. V|od Men:h|hou d|d.º
5he tooh o :hohy breoth. º| neuer tru:ted thot mon. vhen | qroduoted from |n|t|ote tro|n|nq,
Men:h|hou reque:ted | be o::|qned to h|: nome. 1honhfu||y, |:hondor dec||ned.º
º5o.why con't | qo to ßrooh|yn!º
Z|o exom|ned the :enet boord o: |f |t were o wor moµ. º| be||eue you're te|||nq the truth.
Men:h|hou |: o tro|tor. vhot you de:cr|bed |n your u|:|on.| th|nh De:jord|n: |: be|nq offected by eu||
moq|c. |t': not Mo'ot': fo|||nq thot': dro|n|nq h|: ||fe force.º
º|t': Men:h|hou,º 5od|e que::ed.
º| be||eue :o..º Z|o': uo|ce become hoor:e. ºAnd | be||eue my o|d mentor, |:hondor, wo: try|nq to
µrotect me when he µut me |nto thot tomb. |t wo: not o m|:tohe thot he |et me heor the uo|ce of Aµoµh|:
|n my dreom:. |t wo: :ome :ort of worn|nq-one |o:t |e::on. He h|d the crooh ond f|o|| w|th me for o
reo:on. Þerhoµ: he hnew you wou|d f|nd me. At ony rote, Men:h|hou mu:t be :toµµed.º
ºßut you ju:t :o|d | cou|dn't qo to ßrooh|yn,º | µrote:ted.
º| meont thot you con't obondon your que:t. | th|nh |:hondor fore:ow th|: µoth. He be||eued the
qod: mu:t un|te w|th the Hou:e of L|fe, ond | tru:t h|: judqment. Vou houe to owohen Ro.º
Heor|nq Z|o :oy |t, | fe|t for the f|r:t t|me ||he our que:t wo: reo|. And cruc|o|. And uery, uery crozy.
ßut | o|:o fe|t o ||tt|e :µorh of hoµe. Moybe :he d|dn't hote me comµ|ete|y.
5od|e µ|ched uµ the :enet :t|ch:. ºve||, thot': :orted, then. At :un:et, we'|| oµen o µorto| ot the toµ
of the Creot Þyrom|d. ve'|| fo||ow the :un boot': o|d cour:e down the R|uer of N|qht, f|nd Ro, wohe h|m,
ond br|nq h|m out oqo|n ot down. And µo::|b|y f|nd :omeµ|oce for d|nner o|onq the woy, becou:e |'m
hunqry oqo|n.º
º|t'|| be donqerou:,º ße: :o|d. ºRech|e::. Þrobob|y foto|.º
º5o, on oueroqe doy for u:,º | :ummed uµ.
vo|t frowned, :t||| ho|d|nq h|: µhone. º1hen whot :hou|d | te|| Amo:! He': on h|: own!º
ºNot qu|te,º Z|o :o|d. º|'|| qo to ßrooh|yn.º
| o|mo:t chohed. ºVou!º
Z|o qoue me o cro:: |ooh. º| om qood ot moq|c, Corter.º
º1hot': not whot | meont. |t': ju:t-º
º| wont to :µeoh w|th Amo: my:e|f,º :he :o|d. ºvhen the Hou:e of L|fe oµµeor:, µerhoµ: | con
|nteruene, :to|| for t|me. | houe :ome |nf|uence w|th other moq|c|on:.ot |eo:t | d|d when |:hondor wo:
o||ue. 5ome of them m|qht ||:ten to reo:on, e:µec|o||y |f Men:h|hou |:n't there eqq|nq them on.º
| thouqht obout the onqry mob |'d :een |n my u|:|on. Reo:onob|e wo:n't the f|r:t word thot come
to m|nd.
Aµµorent|y vo|t wo: th|nh|nq the :ome th|nq.
º|f you te|eµort |n ot :un:et,º he :o|d, ºyou'|| orr|ue ot the :ome t|me o: the ottocher:. |t': qo|nq to
be choo:, not much t|me for to|h|nq. vhot |f you houe to f|qht!º
ºLet': hoµe,º Z|o :o|d, º|t doe:n't come to thot.º
Not o uery reo::ur|nq on:wer, but vo|t nodded. º|'|| qo w|th you.º
5od|e droµµed her :enet :t|ch: on the f|oor. ºvhot! vo|t, no| |n your cond|t|on-º
5he c|omµed her mouth :hut, too |ote.
ºvhot cond|t|on!º | o:hed.
|f vo|t hod hod on £u|| £ye :µe||, | th|nh he wou|d'ue u:ed |t on my :|:ter ju:t then.
ºMy fom||y h|:tory,º he :o|d. º5ometh|nq | to|d 5od|e.|n conf|dence.º
He d|dn't :ound hoµµy obout |t, but he exµ|o|ned the cur:e on h|: fom||y, the b|ood||ne of
Ahhenoton, ond whot |t meont for h|m.
| ju:t :ot there, :tunned. vo|t': :ecret|ue behou|or, h|: to|h: w|th loz, h|: mood|ne::-o|| of |t mode
:en:e now. My own µrob|em: :udden|y :eemed o |ot |e:: :|qn|f|cont.
ºOh, mon,º | mumb|ed. ºvo|t-º
ºLooh, Corter, whoteuer you're qo|nq to :oy, | oµµrec|ote the :ent|ment. ßut |'m throuqh w|th
:ymµothy. |'ue been ||u|nq w|th th|: d|:eo:e for yeor:. | don't wont µeoµ|e µ|ty|nq me or treot|nq me o:
thouqh |'m :µec|o|. | wont to he|µ you quy:. |'|| tohe Z|o boch to ßrooh|yn. 1hot woy, Amo: w||| hnow :he
come: |n µeoce. ve'|| try to :to|| the ottoch, ho|d them off unt|| :unr|:e :o you con come boch w|th Ro.
ße:|de:.º He :hruqqed. º|f you fo||, ond we don't :toµ Aµoµh|:, we're o|| qo|nq to d|e tomorrow onywoy.º
º1hot': |ooh|nq on the br|qht :|de,º | :o|d. 1hen :ometh|nq occurred to me: o thouqht :o jorr|nq |t
wo: ||he o t|ny nuc|eor reoct|on |n my heod. ºHo|d uµ. Men:h|hou :o|d he wo: de:cended from the µr|e:t:
of Amun-Ro.º
ße: :norted d|:do|nfu||y. ºHoted tho:e quy:. 1hey were :o fu|| of them:e|ue:. ßut whot doe: thot
houe to do w|th onyth|nq!º
ºveren't tho:e the :ome µr|e:t: thot fouqht Ahhenoton ond cur:ed vo|t': once:tor:!º | o:hed.
ºvhot |f Men:h|hou ho: the :ecret of the cur:e! vhot |f he cou|d cure-º
º5toµ.º 1he onqer |n vo|t': uo|ce tooh me by :urµr|:e. H|: hond: were :hoh|nq. ºCorter, |'ue come
to term: w|th my fote. | won't qet my hoµe: uµ for noth|nq. Men:h|hou |: the enemy.
£uen |f he cou|d he|µ, he wou|dn't. |f you cro:: µoth: w|th h|m, don't try to mohe ony deo|:. Don't
try to reo:on w|th h|m. Do whot you need to. 1ohe h|m down.º
| q|onced ot 5od|e. Her eye: were q|eom|nq, ||he |'d f|no||y done :ometh|nq r|qht.
ºOhoy, vo|t,º | :o|d. º| won't ment|on |t oqo|n.º
ßut 5od|e ond | hod o uery d|fferent :||ent conuer:ot|on. For once, we were |n toto| oqreement. ve
were qo|nq to u|:|t the Duot. And wh||e we were there, we'd turn the tob|e: on V|od Men:h|hou. ve'd f|nd
h|m, beot the crud out of h|m, ond force h|m to te|| u: how to cure vo|t. 5udden|y, | fe|t o who|e |ot
better obout th|: que:t.
º5o we'|| |eoue ot :un:et,º Z|o :o|d. ºvo|t ond | for ßrooh|yn. Vou ond 5od|e for the Duot. |t':
º£xceµt for one th|nq.º ße: q|ored ot the :enet :t|ch: 5od|e hod droµµed on the f|oor. ºVou d|d not
ro|| thot. |t': |mµo::|b|e|º
5od|e |oohed down. A qr|n :µreod ocro:: her foce. 5he'd occ|dento||y ro||ed o three, ju:t whot :he
needed to w|n.
5he moued her |o:t µ|ece home, then µ|ched uµ Men:h|hou': wh|te q|o::e: ond tr|ed them on. 1hey
|oohed creeµy on her. | cou|dn't he|µ th|nh|nq obout Men:h|hou': burned uo|ce ond h|: :corred eye:, ond
whot m|qht hoµµen to my :|:ter |f :he tr|ed to reod the ßooh of Ro.
º|mµo::|b|e |: my :µec|o|ty,º :he :o|d. ºCome on, brother, deor. Let': qet reody for the Creot
|f you euer u|:|t the µyrom|d:, here': o t|µ: the be:t µ|oce to :ee them |: from for owoy, ||he the
hor|zon. 1he c|o:er you qet, the more d|:oµµo|nted you'|| be.
1hot moy :ound hor:h, but f|r:t of o||, uµ c|o:e, the µyrom|d: ore qo|nq to :eem :mo||er thon you
thouqht. £uerybody who :ee: them :oy: thot. 5ure, they were the to||e:t :tructure: on the eorth for
thou:ond: of yeor:, but comµored to modern bu||d|nq:, they don't :eem :o |mµre::|ue. 1hey'ue been
:tr|µµed of the wh|te co:|nq :tone: ond qo|den coµ:tone: thot mode them reo||y coo| |n onc|ent t|me:.
1hey're :t||| beout|fu|, e:µec|o||y when they're ||t uµ ot :un:et, but you con oµµrec|ote them better from
for owoy w|thout qett|nq couqht |n the tour|:t :cene.
1hot': the :econd th|nq: the mob: of tour|:t: ond uendor:. | don't core where you qo on uocot|on:
1|me: 5quore, Þ|ccod|||y C|rcu:, or the Romon Co||:eum. |t': o|woy: the :ome, w|th uendor: :e|||nq cheoµ
1-:h|rt: ond tr|nhet:, ond horde: of :weot|nq tour|:t: comµ|o|n|nq ond :huff||nq oround try|nq to tohe
µ|cture:. 1he µyrom|d: ore no d|fferent, exceµt the crowd: ore b|qqer ond the uendor: ore reo||y, reo||y
µu:hy. 1hey hnow o |ot of £nq||:h word:, but ºnoº |:n't one of them.
A: we µre::ed throuqh the crowd:, the uendor: tr|ed to :e|| u: three come| r|de:, o dozen 1-:h|rt:,
more omu|et: thon vo|t wo: weor|nq (5µec|o| µr|ce| Cood moq|c|), ond e|euen qenu|ne mummy f|nqer:,
wh|ch | f|qured were µrobob|y mode |n Ch|no.
| o:hed ße: |f he cou|d :core owoy the mob, but he ju:t |ouqhed. ºNot worth |t, h|d. 1our|:t: houe
been here o|mo:t o: |onq o: the µyrom|d:. |'|| mohe :ure they don't not|ce u:. Let': ju:t qet to the toµ.º
5ecur|ty quord: µotro||ed the bo:e of the Creot Þyrom|d, but no one tr|ed to :toµ u:. Moybe ße:
mode u: |nu|:|b|e :omehow, or moybe the quord: ju:t cho:e to |qnore u: becou:e we were w|th the dworf
qod. £|ther woy, | :oon found out why c||mb|nq the µyrom|d: wo:n't o||owed: |t': hord ond donqerou:. 1he
Creot Þyrom|d |: obout four hundred ond f|fty feet to||. 1he :tone :|de: were neuer meont for c||mb|nq. A:
we o:cended, | o|mo:t fe|| tw|ce. vo|t tw|:ted h|: onh|e. 5ome of the b|och: were |oo:e ond crumb||nq.
5ome of the º:teµ:º were f|ue feet to||, ond we hod to ho|:t one onother uµ. F|no||y, ofter twenty m|nute:
of :weoty, d|ff|cu|t worh, we reoched the toµ. 1he :moq ouer Co|ro mode eueryth|nq to the eo:t o b|q
fuzzy :mudqe, but to the we:t we hod o qood u|ew of the :un qo|nq down on the hor|zon, turn|nq the
de:ert cr|m:on.
| tr|ed to |moq|ne whot the u|ew wou|d'ue |oohed ||he from here rouqh|y f|ue thou:ond yeor: oqo,
when the µyrom|d wo: new|y bu||t. Hod the µhorooh khufu :tood uµ here ot the toµ of h|: own tomb
ond odm|red h|: emµ|re! Þrobob|y not. He'd µrobob|y been too :mort to mohe thot c||mb.
ºR|qht.º 5od|e µ|oµµed her boq on the neore:t b|och of ||me:tone. ºße:, heeµ on eye out. vo|t,
he|µ me w|th the µorto|, w||| you!º
Z|o touched my orm, wh|ch mode me jumµ.
ºCon we to|h!º :he o:hed.
5he c||mbed o ||tt|e woy down the µyrom|d. My µu|:e wo: roc|nq, but | monoqed to fo||ow w|thout
tr|µµ|nq ond |ooh|nq ||he on |d|ot.
Z|o :tored out ouer the de:ert. Her foce wo: f|u:hed |n the ||qht of the :un:et. ºCorter, don't
m|:under:tond. | oµµrec|ote your woh|nq me. | hnow your heort wo: |n the r|qht µ|oce.º
My heort d|dn't fee| |n the r|qht µ|oce. |t fe|t ||he |t wo: :tuch |n my e:oµhoqu:. ºßut.!º | o:hed.
5he huqqed her orm:. º| need t|me. 1h|: |: uery :tronqe for me. Moybe we con be.c|o:er :ome doy,
but for now-º
ºVou need t|me,º | :o|d, my uo|ce roqqed. ºA::um|nq we don't o|| d|e ton|qht.º
Her eye: were |um|nou: qo|d. | wondered |f thot wo: the |o:t co|or o buq :ow when |t wo: troµµed
|n omber-ond |f the buq thouqht, vow, thot': beout|fu|, r|qht before |t wo: frozen foreuer.
º|'|| do my be:t to µrotect your home,º :he :o|d. ºÞrom|:e me, |f |t come: to o cho|ce, thot you'||
||:ten to your own heort, not the w||| of the qod:.º
º| µrom|:e,º | :o|d, thouqh | doubted my:e|f. | :t||| heord Horu: |n my heod, urq|nq me to c|o|m the
weoµon: of the µhorooh. | wonted to :oy more, to te|| her how | fe|t, but o|| | cou|d qet out wo: ºUm
Z|o monoqed o dry :m||e. º5od|e': r|qht. Vou ore.how d|d :he µut |t! £ndeor|nq|y c|um:y.º
ºAwe:ome. 1honh:.º
A ||qht f|o:hed oboue u:, ond o µorto| oµened ot the t|µ of the µyrom|d. Un||he mo:t µorto|:, th|:
wo:n't :w|r||nq :ond. |t q|owed w|th µurµ|e ||qht-o doorwoy :tro|qht |nto the Duot.
5od|e turned toword me. º1h|: one': for u:. Com|nq!º
ºße corefu|,º Z|o :o|d.
ºVeoh,º | :o|d. º|'m not :o qood ot thot, but-yeoh.º
A: | trudqed to the toµ, 5od|e µu||ed vo|t c|o:e ond wh|:µered :ometh|nq |n h|: eor.
He nodded qr|m|y. º| w|||.º
ßefore | cou|d o:h whot thot wo: obout, 5od|e |oohed ot ße:. ºReody!º
º|'|| fo||ow you,º ße: µrom|:ed. ºA: :oon o: | qet vo|t ond Z|o throuqh the|r µorto|. |'|| meet you on
the R|uer of N|qht, |n the Fourth Hou:e.º
º1he fourth whot!º | o:hed.
ºVou'|| :ee,º he µrom|:ed. ºNow, qo|º
| tooh one more |ooh ot Z|o, wonder|nq |f th|: wou|d be the |o:t t|me | :ow her. 1hen 5od|e ond |
jumµed |nto the churn|nq µurµ|e doorwoy.
1he Duot |: o :tronqe µ|oce.
[5od|e ju:t co||ed me Coµto|n Obu|ou:-but, hey, |t': worth :oy|nq.]
1he current: of the :µ|r|t wor|d |nteroct w|th your thouqht:, µu|||nq you here ond there, :hoµ|nq
whot you :ee to f|t w|th whot you hnow. 5o euen thouqh we hod :teµµed |nto onother |eue| of reo||ty, |t
|oohed ||he the quoy:|de of the R|uer 1home: be|ow Cron ond Cromµ:': f|ot.
º1h|: |: rude,º 5od|e :o|d.
| under:tood whot :he meont. |t wo: hord for her to be boch |n London ofter her d|:o:trou:
b|rthdoy tr|µ. A|:o, |o:t Chr|:tmo:, we'd :torted our f|r:t journey to ßrooh|yn here. ve'd wo|hed down
the:e :teµ: to the doch: w|th Amo: ond boorded h|: moq|c boot. At the t|me, | wo: qr|eu|nq the |o:: of my
dod, |n :hoch thot Cron ond Cromµ: wou|d q|ue u: uµ to on unc|e | d|dn't euen remember, ond terr|f|ed
of :o|||nq |nto the unhnown. Now, o|| tho:e fee||nq: we||ed uµ |n:|de me, o: :horµ ond µo|nfu| o: euer.
1he r|uer wo: :hrouded w|th m|:t. 1here were no c|ty ||qht:, ju:t on eer|e q|ow |n the :hy. 1he
:hy||ne of London :eemed f|u|d-bu||d|nq: :h|ft|nq oround, r|:|nq ond me|t|nq o: |f they cou|dn't f|nd o
comfortob|e µ|oce to :ett|e.
ße|ow u:, the m|:t dr|fted owoy from the doch:.
º5od|e,º | :o|d, ºLooh.º
At the bottom of the :teµ:, o boot wo: moored, but |t wo:n't Amo:':. |t wo: the borque of the :un
qod, ju:t ||he |'d :een |n my u|:|on-o once reqo| :h|µ w|th o dechhou:e ond µ|oce: for twenty
oor:men-but |t wo: now bore|y ob|e to :toy of|oot. 1he :o|| wo: tottered, the oor: brohen, the r|qq|nq
couered w|th cobweb:.
Ho|fwoy down the :teµ:, b|och|nq our µoth, :tood Cron ond Cromµ:.
º1hem oqo|n,º 5od|e qrow|ed. ºCome on.º
5he morched :tro|qht down the :teµ: unt|| we :tood foceto-foce w|th the q|ow|nq |moqe: of our
º5houe off,º 5od|e to|d them.
ºMy deor.º Cron': eye: q||ttered. º|: thot ony woy to oddre:: your qrondmother!º
ºOh, µordon me,º :o|d 5od|e. º1h|: mu:t be the µort where | :oy 'My, whot b|q teeth you houe.'
Vou're not my qrondmother, Nehhbet| Now, qet out of our woy|º
1he |moqe of Cron :h|mmered. Her f|owery hou:ecoot turned |nto o c|ooh of qreo:y b|och
feother:. Her foce :hr|ue|ed |nto o :oqqy wr|nh|ed mo:h, ond mo:t of her ho|r fe|| out, wh|ch µut her ot o
9.s on the Uq|y meter, r|qht uµ there w|th ße:.
º5how more re:µect, |oue,º the qodde:: cooed. ºve're on|y here to q|ue you o fr|end|y worn|nq.
Vou're obout to µo:: the Þo|nt of No Return. |f you :teµ on thot boot, there w||| be no turn|nq boch-no
:toµµ|nq unt|| you'ue µo::ed throuqh o|| 1we|ue Hou:e: of the N|qht, or unt|| you d|e.º
Cromµ: borhed, ºAqhh|º
He :crotched h|: ormµ|t:, wh|ch m|qht'ue meont he wo: µo::e::ed by the boboon qod ßob|-or
not, :|nce th|: behou|or wo:n't too :tronqe for Cromµ:.
ºL|:ten to ßob|,º Nehhbet urqed. ºVou houe no |deo whot owo|t: you on the r|uer. Vou cou|d
bore|y fend off the two of u: |n London, q|r|. 1he orm|e: of Choo: ore much wor:e|º
º5he': not o|one th|: t|me.º | :teµµed forword w|th the crooh ond f|o||. ºNow, qet |o:t.º
Cromµ: :nor|ed ond boched owoy.
Nehhbet': eye: norrowed. ºVou wou|d w|e|d the µhorooh': weoµon:!º Her tone he|d o h|nt of
qrudq|nq odm|rot|on. ºA bo|d moue, ch||d, but thot w||| not :oue you.º
ºVou don't qet |t,º | :o|d. ºve're :ou|nq you too. ve're :ou|nq o|| of u: from Aµoµh|:. vhen we
come boch w|th Ro, you're qo|nq to he|µ. Vou're qo|nq to fo||ow our order:, ond you're qo|nq to conu|nce
the other qod: to do the :ome.º
ºR|d|cu|ou:,º Nehhbet h|::ed.
| ro|:ed the crooh, ond µower f|owed throuqh me-the µower of o h|nq. 1he crooh wo: the too| of
o :heµherd. A h|nq |eod: h|: µeoµ|e ||he o :heµherd |eod: h|: f|och. | exerted my w|||, ond the two qod:
crumµ|ed to the|r hnee:.
1he |moqe: of Nehhbet ond Cromµ: euoµoroted, reueo||nq the qod:' true form:. Nehhbet wo: o
mo::|ue uu|ture w|th o qo|den crown on her heod ond on e|oborote jewe|ed co||or oround her nech. Her
w|nq: were :t||| b|och ond qreo:y, but they q||:tened o: |f :he'd been ro|||nq |n qo|d du:t. ßob| wo: o q|ont
qroy boboon w|th f|ery red eye:, :c|m|tor fonq:, ond orm: o: th|ch o: tree trunh:.
1hey both q|ored ot me w|th µure hotred. | hnew |f | wouered euen for o moment, |f | |et the
µower of the crooh fo|ter, they wou|d teor me oµort.
º5weor |oyo|ty,º | commonded. ºvhen we return w|th Ro, you w||| obey h|m.º
ºVou'|| neuer :ucceed,º Nehhbet :o|d.
º1hen |t won't do ony horm to µ|edqe your |oyo|ty,º | :o|d. º5weor |t|º
| ro|:ed the wor f|o||, ond the qod: cr|nqed.
ºAqh,º ßob| muttered.
ºve :weor,º Nehhbet :o|d. ºßut |t |: on emµty µrom|:e. Vou :o|| to your deoth.º
| :|o:hed my crooh throuqh the o|r, ond the qod: uon|:hed |nto the m|:t.
5od|e tooh o deeµ breoth. ºve|| done. Vou :ounded conf|dent.º
ºA comµ|ete oct.º
º| hnow,º :he :o|d. ºNow the hord µort: f|nd|nq Ro ond woh|nq h|m uµ. And hou|nq o n|ce d|nner
o|onq the woy, µreferob|y. v|thout dy|nq.º
| |oohed down ot the boot. 1hoth, the qod of hnow|edqe, hod once to|d u: thot we'd o|woy: houe
the µower to :ummon o boot when we needed one, becou:e we were the b|ood of the µhorooh:. ßut |'d
neuer thouqht |t wou|d be th|: boot, ond |n :uch bod :hoµe. 1wo h|d: |n o brohen-down |eohy borqe,
o|one oqo|n:t the force: of Choo:.
ºA|| oboord,º | to|d 5od|e.
5 A D | £
ts. 7be Reweøge eI 8uIIwIøbIe tbe Meete 0ed
| 5HOULD M£N1|ON 1HA1 Corter wo: weor|nq o :h|rt.
[Ho| Vou ore not qrobb|nq the m|croµhone. |t': my turn.]
He neq|ected to te|| you thot, but o: :oon o: we entered the Duot, our oµµeoronce: chonqed, ond
we found our:e|ue: weor|nq Anc|ent £qyµt|on c|othe:.
1hey |oohed qu|te qood on me. My wh|te :||h qown :h|mmered. My orm: were bedeched w|th qo|d
r|nq: ond broce|et:. 1rue, the jewe|ed nech co||or wo: o b|t heouy, ||he one of tho:e |eod oµron: you m|qht
weor for on X roy ot the dent|:t':, ond my ho|r wo: µ|o|ted w|th enouqh ho|r:µroy to µetr|fy o mojor qod.
ßut otherw|:e |'m :ure | |oohed rother o||ur|nq.
Corter, on the other hond, wo: dre::ed |n o mon-:h|rt-o :|mµ|e ||nen wroµ, w|th h|: crooh ond f|o||
honq|nq from o ut|||ty-be|t :ort of th|nq oround h|: wo|:t. H|: che:t wo: bore exceµt for o qo|den nech
co||or, ||he m|ne. H|: eye: were ||ned w|th hoh|, ond he wore no :hoe:.
1o Anc|ent £qyµt|on:, |'m :ure he wou|d'ue |oohed reqo| ond wor||he, o f|ne :µec|men of monhood.
[Vou :ee! | monoqed to :oy thot w|thout |ouqh|nq.] And | :uµµo:e Corter wo:n't the wor:t-|ooh|nq quy
w|th h|: :h|rt off, but thot d|dn't meon | wonted to oduenture throuqh the underwor|d w|th o brother who
wo: weor|nq noth|nq but jewe|ry ond o beoch towe|.
A: we :teµµed onto the :un qod': boot, Corter |mmed|ote|y qot o :µ||nter |n h|: foot.
ºvhy ore you borefooted!º | demonded.
º|t wo:n't my |deo|º He w|nced o: he µ|uched o toothµ|ch-:|ze µ|ece of dech from between h|: toe:.
º| que:: becou:e onc|ent worr|or: fouqht borefoot. 5ondo|: qot too :||µµery from :weot ond b|ood, ond
ºAnd the :h|rt!º
ºLet': ju:t qo, o|| r|qht!º
1hot µroued eo:|er :o|d thon done.
1he boot dr|fted owoy from the doch:, then qot :tuch |n o bochwoter o few meter: down:treom.
ve beqon turn|nq |n c|rc|e:.
º1|ny que:t|on,º | :o|d. ºDo you hnow onyth|nq obout boot:!º
ºNoth|nq,º Corter odm|tted.
Our tottered :o|| wo: obout o: u:efu| o: o r|µµed t|::ue. 1he oor: were e|ther brohen or tro|||nq
u:e|e::|y |n the woter, ond they |oohed qu|te heouy. | d|dn't :ee how the two of u: cou|d row o boot
meont for o crew of twenty, euen |f the r|uer :toyed co|m. On our |o:t tr|µ throuqh the Duot, the r|de hod
been more ||he o ro||er coo:ter.
ºvhot obout tho:e q|ow|nq bo||: of ||qht!º | o:hed. ºL|he the crew we hod on the £qyµt|on
ºCon you :ummon :ome!º
ºR|qht,º | qrumb|ed. º1hrow the hord que:t|on: boch to me.º
| |oohed oround the boot, hoµ|nq to :µot o button thot reod: µu:h here for q|ow|nq :o||or:| | :ow
noth|nq :o he|µfu|. | hnew the :un qod': borque once hod hod o crew of ||qht:. |'d :een them |n my u|:|on.
ßut how to :ummon them!
1he tent µou|||on wo: emµty. 1he throne of f|re wo: qone. 1he boot wo: :||ent exceµt for woter
qurq||nq throuqh the croch: |n the hu||. 1he :µ|nn|nq of the :h|µ wo: :tort|nq to mohe me :|ch.
1hen o horr|b|e fee||nq creµt ouer me. A dozen t|ny uo|ce: wh|:µered ot the bo:e of my :hu||: |:|:.
5chemer. Þo|:oner. 1ro|tor.
| reo||zed my nou:eo wo:n't ju:t from the :µ|ro||nq current. 1he ent|re :h|µ wo: :end|nq mo||c|ou:
thouqht: my woy. 1he boord: under my feet, the ro|||nq, the oor: ond r|qq|nq-euery µort of the :un qod':
borque hoted my µre:ence.
ºCorter, the boot doe:n't ||he me,º | onnounced.
ºVou're :oy|nq the boot ho: qood to:te!º
ºHo-ho. | meon, |t :en:e: |:|:. 5he µo|:oned Ro ond forced h|m |nto ex||e, ofter o||. 1h|: boot
ºve||.oµo|oq|ze, or :ometh|nq.º
ºHu||o, boot,º | :o|d, fee||nq qu|te foo||:h. º5orry obout the µo|:on|nq bu:|ne::. ßut you :ee-|'m not
|:|:. |'m 5od|e kone.º
1ro|tor, the uo|ce: wh|:µered.
º| con :ee why you'd th|nh :o,º | odm|tted. º| µrobob|y houe thot '|:|: moq|c' :me|| to me, don't |!
ßut hone:t|y, | :ent |:|: µoch|nq. 5he doe:n't ||ue here onymore. My brother ond | ore qo|nq to br|nq boch
1he boot :huddered. 1he dozen ||tt|e uo|ce: fe|| :||ent, o: |f for the f|r:t t|me |n the|r |mmorto| ||ue:
they were tru|y ond µroµer|y :tunned. (ve||, they hodn't met me yet, hod they!)
º1hot wou|d be qood, ye:!º | uentured. ºRo boch, ju:t ||he o|d t|me:, ro|||nq on the r|uer, ond :o on!
ve're here to mohe th|nq: r|qht, but to do thot we need to journey throuqh the Hou:e: of the N|qht. |f
you cou|d ju:t cooµerote-º
A dozen q|ow|nq orb: b|ozed to ||fe. 1hey c|rc|ed me ||he on onqry :worm of f|om|nq tenn|: bo||:,
the|r heot :o |nten:e, | thouqht they'd combu:t my new dre::.
º5od|e,º Corter worned. º1hey don't |ooh hoµµy.º
And he wonder: why | co||ed h|m Coµto|n Obu|ou:.
| tr|ed to remo|n co|m.
ºßehoue,º | to|d the ||qht: :tern|y. º1h|: |:n't for me. |t': for Ro. |f you wont your µhorooh boch,
you'|| mon your :tot|on:.º
| thouqht |'d be roo:ted ||he o tondoor| ch|chen, but | :tood my qround. 5|nce | wo: :urrounded, |
reo||y | hod no cho|ce. | exerted my moq|c ond tr|ed to bend the ||qht: to my w|||-the woy | m|qht houe
done to turn :omeone |nto o rot or o ||zord.
Vou w||| be he|µfu|, | ordered. Vou w||| do your worh obed|ent|y.
1here wo: o co||ect|ue h|:: |n:|de my heod, wh|ch e|ther meont |'d b|own o bro|n qo:het, or the
||qht: were re|ent|nq.
1he crew :cottered. 1hey tooh uµ the|r :tot|on:, hou||nq ||ne:, mend|nq the :o||, monn|nq the
unbrohen oor:, ond qu|d|nq the t|||er.
1he |eohy hu|| qrooned o: the boot turned |t: no:e down:treom.
Corter exho|ed. ºCood job. Vou ohoy!º
| nodded, but my heod fe|t ||he |t wo: :t||| :µ|nn|nq |n c|rc|e:. | wo:n't :ure |f |'d conu|nced the orb:,
or |f they were :|mµ|y b|d|nq the|r t|me, wo|t|nq for reuenqe. £|ther woy, | wo:n't thr|||ed to houe µut our
fote |n the|r hond:.
ve :o||ed |nto the dorh. 1he c|ty:coµe of London me|ted owoy. My :tomoch qot thot fom|||or
free-fo|| :en:ot|on o: we µo::ed deeµer |nto the Duot.
ºve're enter|nq the 5econd Hou:e,º | que::ed.
Corter qrobbed the mo:t to :teody h|m:e|f. ºVou meon the Hou:e: of the N|qht, ||he ße:
ment|oned! vhot ore they, onywoy!º
|t fe|t :tronqe to be exµ|o|n|nq £qyµt|on myth: to Corter. | thouqht he m|qht be teo:|nq me, but he
:eemed qenu|ne|y µerµ|exed.
º5ometh|nq | reod |n the ßooh of Ro,º | :o|d. º£och hour of the n|qht |: o 'Hou:e.' ve houe to µo::
throuqh the twe|ue :toqe: of the r|uer, reµre:ent|nq twe|ue hour: of the n|qht.º
Corter µeered |nto the dorhne:: oheod of u:. º5o |f we're |n the 5econd Hou:e, you meon on hour
ho: o|reody µo::ed! |t d|dn't fee| thot |onq.º
He wo: r|qht. |t d|dn't. 1hen oqo|n, | hod no |deo how t|me f|owed |n the Duot. One Hou:e of the
N|qht m|qht not corre:µond exoct|y to one morto| hour |n the wor|d oboue.
Anub|: once to|d me he'd been |n the Lond of the Deod for f|ue thou:ond yeor:, but he :t||| fe|t ||he
o teenoqer, o: |f no t|me hod µo::ed.
| :huddered. vhot |f we µoµµed out on the other :|de of the R|uer of N|qht ond found thot :euero|
eon: hod µo::ed! |'d ju:t turned th|rteen. | wo:n't reody to be th|rteen hundred.
| o|:o w|:hed | hodn't thouqht of Anub|:. | touched the :hen omu|et on my nech|oce. After o|| thot
hod hoµµened w|th vo|t, the |deo of :ee|nq Anub|: mode me fee| :tronqe|y qu||ty, but o|:o o b|t exc|ted.
Þerhoµ: Anub|: wou|d he|µ u: on our journey. Þerhoµ: he'd wh|:h me owoy to :ome µr|uote :µot for o
chot o: he hod |o:t t|me we'd u|:|ted the Duot-o romont|c ||tt|e qroueyord, d|nner for two ot the Coff|n
5noµ out of |t, 5od|e, | thouqht. Concentrote.
| µu||ed the ßooh of Ro from my boq ond :conned the |n:truct|on: oqo|n. |'d reod them :euero|
t|me: o|reody, but they were cryµt|c ond confu:|nq-much ||he o moth: textbooh. 1he :cro|| wo: choch-fu||
of term: ||he ºf|r:t from Choo:,º ºbreoth |nto c|oy,º ºthe n|qht': f|ochº ºreborn |n f|re,º ºthe ocre: of the :un,º
ºthe h|:: of the hn|fe,º ºthe qomb|er of ||qht,º ond ºthe |o:t :corobº-mo:t of wh|ch mode no :en:e to me.
| qothered thot o: we µo::ed throuqh the twe|ue :toqe: of the r|uer, |'d houe to reod the three
:ect|on: of the ßooh of Ro ot three :eµorote |ocot|on:, µrobob|y to reu|ue the d|fferent o:µect: of the :un
qod, ond eoch of three o:µect: wou|d µre:ent u: w|th :ome :ort of cho||enqe. | hnew thot |f | fo||ed-|f | :o
much o: :tumb|ed ouer one word wh||e reod|nq the :µe||:-| wou|d end uµ wor:e thon V|od Men:h|hou.
1he |deo terr|f|ed me, but | cou|dn't dwe|| on the µo::|b|||ty of fo||ure. | :|mµ|y hod to hoµe thot when the
t|me come, the :cro||': q|bber|:h wou|d mohe :en:e.
1he current occe|eroted. 5o d|d the |eoh|nq of the boot. Corter demon:troted h|: combot moq|c
:h||| by :ummon|nq o buchet ond bo|||nq out woter, wh||e | concentroted on heeµ|nq the crew |n ||ne. 1he
deeµer we :o||ed |nto the Duot, the more rebe|||ou: the q|ow|nq orb: become. 1hey chofed oqo|n:t my
w|||, remember|nq how much they wonted to |nc|nerote me.
|t': unneru|nq to f|oot down o moq|c r|uer w|th uo|ce: wh|:µer|nq |n your heod: D|e, tro|tor, d|e.
£uery :o often |'d qet the fee||nq we were be|nq fo||owed. |'d turn ond th|nh | cou|d :ee o wh|t|:h :mudqe
oqo|n:t the b|och, ||he the ofter|moqe of o f|o:h, but | dec|ded |t mu:t be my |moq|not|on. £uen more
unneru|nq wo: the dorhne:: oheod-no :hore||ne, no |ondmorh:, no u|:|b|||ty ot o||. 1he crew cou|d'ue
:teered u: :tro|qht |nto o bou|der or the mouth of o mon:ter, ond we wou|d'ue hod ob:o|ute|y no
worn|nq. ve ju:t heµt :o|||nq throuqh the dorh emµty uo|d.
ºvhy |: |t :o.noth|nq!º | murmured.
Corter emµt|ed h|: buchet. He mode on odd :|qht-o boy dre::ed o: o µhorooh w|th the royo|
crooh ond f|o||, bo|||nq woter from o |eohy boot.
ºMoybe the Hou:e: of the N|qht fo||ow humon :|eeµ µottern:,º he :uqqe:ted.
ºHumon whot!º
º5|eeµ µottern:. Mom u:ed to te|| u: obout them before bedt|me. Remember!º
| d|dn't. 1hen oqo|n, |'d on|y been :|x when our mum d|ed. 5he'd been o :c|ent|:t o: we|| o: o
moq|c|on, ond hod thouqht noth|nq of reod|nq u: Newton': |ow: or the µer|od|c tob|e o: bedt|me :tor|e:.
Mo:t of |t hod qone ouer my heod, but | wonted to remember. |'d o|woy: been |rr|toted thot Corter
remembered Mum :o much better thon | d|d.
º5|eeµ ho: d|fferent :toqe:,º Corter :o|d. ºL|he, the f|r:t few hour:, the bro|n |: o|mo:t |n o como-o
reo||y deeµ :|eeµ w|th hord|y ony dreom:. Moybe thot': why th|: µort of the r|uer |: :o dorh ond form|e::.
1hen |oter |n the n|qht, the bro|n qoe: throuqh R.£.M.-roµ|d eye mouement. 1hot': when dreom:
hoµµen. 1he cyc|e: qet more roµ|d ond more u|u|d. Moybe the Hou:e: of the N|qht fo||ow o µottern ||he
|t :eemed o b|t for-fetched to me. 1hen oqo|n, Mum hod o|woy: to|d u: :c|ence ond moq|c weren't
mutuo||y exc|u:|ue. 5he'd co||ed them two d|o|ect: of the :ome |onquoqe. ßo:t hod once to|d u: there
were m||||on: of d|fferent chonne|: ond tr|butor|e: to the Duot': r|uer. 1he qeoqroµhy cou|d chonqe w|th
eoch journey, re:µond|nq to the troue|er': thouqht:. |f the r|uer wo: :hoµed byo|| the :|eeµ|nq m|nd: |n the
wor|d, |f |t: cour:e qot more u|u|d ond crozy o: the n|qht went o|onq, then we were |n for o rouqh r|de.
1he r|uer euentuo||y norrowed. A :hore||ne oµµeored on e|ther :|de-b|och uo|con|c :ond :µorh||nq
|n the ||qht: of our moq|c crew. 1he o|r turned co|der. 1he under:|de of the boot :croµed oqo|n:t roch: ond
:ondbor:, wh|ch mode the |eoh: wor:e. Corter qoue uµ on the µo|| ond µu||ed wox from h|: :uµµ|y boq.
1oqether we tr|ed to µ|uq the |eoh:, :µeoh|nq b|nd|nq :µe||: to ho|d the boot toqether. |f |'d hod ony
chew|nq qum, | wou|d'ue u:ed thot o: we||.
ve d|dn't µo:: ony :|qnµo:t:-now enter|nq the th|rd hou:e, :eru|ce: next ex|t-but we'd c|eor|y
entered o d|fferent :ect|on of the r|uer. 1|me wo: :||µµ|nq owoy ot on o|orm|nq rote, ond :t||| we hodn't
done onyth|nq.
ºÞerhoµ: the f|r:t cho||enqe |: boredom,º | :o|d. ºvhen w||| :ometh|nq hoµµen!º
| :hou|d'ue hnown better thon to :oy thot o|oud. R|qht |n front of u:, o :hoµe |oomed out of the
dorhne::. A :ondo|ed foot the :|ze of o woter bed µ|onted |t:e|f on the µrow of our :h|µ ond :toµµed u:
deod |n the woter.
|t wo:n't on ottroct|ue foot, e|ther. Def|n|te|y mo|e. |t: toe: were :µ|ottered w|th mud, ond |t:
toeno||: were ye||ow, croched, ond ouerqrown. 1he |eother :ondo| :troµ: were couered |n ||chen ond
bornoc|e:. |n :hort, the foot |oohed ond :me||ed uery much ||he |t hod been :tond|nq on the :ome roch |n
the m|dd|e of the r|uer, weor|nq the :ome :ondo|, for :euero| thou:ond yeor:.
Unfortunote|y, |t wo: ottoched to o |eq, wh|ch wo: ottoched to o body. 1he q|ont |eoned down to
|ooh ot u:.
ºVou ore bored!º h|: uo|ce boomed, not |n on unfr|end|y woy. º| cou|d h||| you, |f thot wou|d he|µ.º
He wore o h||t ||he Corter':, exceµt thot the q|ont': :h|rt cou|d houe :uµµ||ed enouqh fobr|c to
mohe ten :h|µ :o||:. H|: body wo: humono|d ond mu:cu|or, couered w|th mon-fur-the :ort of qro:: body
ho|r thot mohe: me wont to :tort o chor|ty wox|nq foundot|on for ouer|y fuzzy men. He hod the heod of
o rom: o wh|te :nout w|th o bro:: r|nq |n h|: no:e ond |onq cur|y horn: hunq w|th dozen: of bronze be||:.
H|: eye: were :et for oµort, w|th |um|nou: red |r|:e: ond uert|co| :||t: for µuµ||:. | :uµµo:e thot o|| :ound:
rother fr|qhten|nq, but the rom mon d|dn't :tr|he me o: deu|||:h. |n foct he |oohed qu|te fom|||or, for :ome
reo:on. He :eemed more me|oncho|y thon threoten|nq, o: |f he'd been :tond|nq on h|: ||tt|e roch |:|ond |n
the m|dd|e of the r|uer for :o |onq, he'd forqotten why he wo: there.
[Corter o:h: when | become o rom wh|:µerer. Do :hut uµ, Corter.]
| hone:t|y fe|t :orry for the rom mon. H|: eye: were fu|| of |one||ne::. | cou|dn't be||eue he wou|d
hurt u:-unt|| he drew from h|: be|t two uery |orqe hn|ue: w|th cur|y b|ode: ||he h|: horn:.
ºVou're :||ent,º he noted. º|: thot o ye: for the h||||nq!º
ºNo, thonh:|º | :o|d, try|nq to :ound qrotefu| for the offer. ºOne word ond one que:t|on, µ|eo:e. 1he
word |: µed|cure. 1he que:t|on |:: vho ore you!º
ºAhhh-ho-ho-ho,º he :o|d, b|eot|nq ||he o :heeµ. º|f you hnew my nome, we wou|dn't need
|ntroduct|on:, ond | cou|d |et you µo::. Unfortunote|y, no one euer hnow: my nome. A :home, too. | :ee
you'ue found the ßooh of Ro. Vou'ue reu|ued h|: crew ond monoqed to :o|| h|: boot to the qote: of the
Fourth Hou:e. No one': euer qotten th|: for before. |'m terr|b|y :orry | houe to :||ce you to µ|ece:.º
He hefted h|: hn|ue:, one |n eoch hond. Our q|ow|nq orb: :wormed |n o frenzy, wh|:µer|nq, Ve:|
5||ce her| Ve:|
ºlu:t o mo',º | co||ed uµ to the q|ont. º|f we nome you, we con µo::!º
ºNoturo||y.º He :|qhed. ºßut no one euer con.º
| q|onced ot Corter. 1h|: wo:n't the f|r:t t|me we'd been :toµµed on the R|uer of N|qht ond
cho||enqed to nome o quord|on on µo|n of deoth. Aµµorent|y, |t wo: qu|te o common exµer|ence for
£qyµt|on :ou|: ond moq|c|on: µo::|nq throuqh the Duot. ßut | cou|dn't be||eue we'd qet :uch on eo:y te:t.
| wo: :ure now thot | recoqn|zed the rom mon. ve'd :een h|: :totue |n the ßrooh|yn Mu:eum.
º|t': h|m, |:n't |t!º | o:hed Corter. º1he choµ who |ooh: ||he ßu||w|nh|e!º
ºDon't co|| h|m ßu||w|nh|e|º Corter h|::ed. He |oohed uµ ot the q|ont rom mon ond :o|d, ºVou're
khnum, oren't you!º
1he rom mon mode o rumb||nq :ound deeµ |n h|: throot. He :croµed one of h|: hn|ue: oqo|n:t the
:h|µ': ro||. º|: thot o que:t|on! Or |: thot your f|no| on:wer!º
Corter b||nhed. ºUm-º
ºNot our f|no| on:wer|º | ye|µed, reo||z|nq thot we'd o|mo:t :teµµed |nto o troµ. ºNot euen c|o:e.
khnum |: your common nome, |:n't |t! Vou wont u: to :oy your true nome, your ren.º
khnum t||ted h|: heod, the be||: on h|: horn: j|nq||nq. º1hot wou|d be n|ce. ßut, o|o:, no one hnow:
|t. £uen | houe forqotten |t.º
ºHow con you forqet your own nome!º Corter o:hed. ºAnd, ye:, thot': o que:t|on.º
º| om µort of Ro,º :o|d the rom qod. º| om h|: o:µect |n the underwor|d-o th|rd of h|: µer:ono||ty.
ßut when Ro :toµµed moh|nq h|: n|qht|y journey, he no |onqer needed me. He |eft me here ot the qote:
of the Fourth Hou:e, d|:corded ||he on o|d coot. Now | quord the qote:.| houe no other µurµo:e. |f | cou|d
recouer my nome, | cou|d y|e|d my :µ|r|t to whoeuer free: me. 1hey cou|d reun|te me w|th Ro, but unt||
then | connot |eoue th|: µ|oce.º
He :ounded horr|b|y deµre::ed, ||he o ||tt|e |o:t :heeµ, or rother o ten-meter-to|| |o:t :heeµ w|th
uery |orqe hn|ue:. | wonted to he|µ h|m. £uen more thon thot, | wonted to f|nd o woy not to qet my:e|f
:||ced to b|t:.
º|f you don't remember your nome,º | :o|d, ºwhy cou|dn't we ju:t te|| you ony o|d nome! How
wou|d you hnow whether |t wo: the r|qht on:wer or not!º
khnum |et h|: hn|ue: tro|| |n the woter. º| hodn't thouqht of thot.º
Corter q|ored ot me o: |f to :oy vhy d|d you te|| h|m!
1he rom qod b|eoted. º| th|nh | w||| hnow my ren when | heor |t,º he dec|ded, ºthouqh | connot be
:ure. ße|nq on|y µort of Ro, | om not :ure of much. |'ue |o:t mo:t of my memor|e:, mo:t of my µower ond
|dent|ty. | om no more thon o hu:h of my former :e|f.º
ºVour former :e|f mu:t'ue been enormou:,º | muttered.
1he qod m|qht houe :m||ed, thouqh |t wo: hord to te|| w|th the rom foce. º|'m :orry you don't houe
my ren. Vou're o br|qht q|r|. Vou're the f|r:t to mohe |t th|: for. 1he f|r:t ond the be:t.º He :|qhed for|orn|y.
ºAh, we||. | :uµµo:e we :hou|d qet to the h||||nq.º
1he f|r:t ond the be:t. My m|nd :torted roc|nq.
ºvo|t,º | :o|d. º| hnow your nome.º
Corter ye|µed. ºVou do! 1e|| h|m|º
| thouqht of o ||ne from the ßooh of Ro-f|r:t from Choo:. | drew on the memor|e: of |:|:, the on|y
qodde:: who hod euer hnown Ro': :ecret nome, ond | beqon to under:tond the noture of the :un qod.
ºRo wo: the f|r:t qod to r|:e out of Choo:,º | :o|d.
khnum frowned. º1hot': my nome!º
ºNo, ju:t ||:ten,º | :o|d. ºVou :o|d you're not comµ|ete w|thout Ro, ju:t o hu:h of your former :e|f.
ßut thot': true of o|| the other £qyµt|on qod: o: we||. Ro |: o|der, more µowerfu|. He': the or|q|no| :ource
of Mo'ot, ||he-º
ºL|he the toµroot of the qod:,º Corter uo|unteered.
ºR|qht,º | :o|d. º| houe no |deo whot o toµroot |:, but-r|qht.
A|| the:e eon:, the other qod: houe been :|ow|y fod|nq, |o:|nq µower, becou:e Ro |: m|::|nq. 1hey
m|qht not odm|t |t, but he': the|r heort. 1hey're deµendent on h|m. A|| th|: t|me, we'ue been wonder|nq |f
|t wo: worth |t, to br|nq boch Ro. ve d|dn't hnow why |t wo: :o |mµortont, but now | under:tond.º
Corter nodded, :|ow|y worm|nq to the |deo. ºRo': the center of Mo'ot. He ho: to come boch, |f the
qod: ore qo|nq to w|n.º
ºAnd thot': why Aµoµh|: wont: to br|nq boch Ro,º | que::ed. º1he two ore connected-Mo'ot ond
Choo:. |f Aµoµh|: con :wo||ow Ro wh||e the :un qod |: o|d ond weoh-º
ºA|| the qod: d|e,º Corter :o|d. º1he wor|d crumb|e: |nto Choo:.º
khnum turned h|: heod :o he cou|d :tudy me w|th one q|ow|nq red eye. º1hot': o|| qu|te
|ntere:t|nq,º he :o|d. ºßut |'m not heor|nq my :ecret nome. 1o wohe Ro, you mu:t f|r:t nome me.º
| oµened the ßooh of Ro ond tooh o deeµ breoth. | beqon to reod the f|r:t µort of the :µe||. Now,
you moy be th|nh|nq, Co:h, 5od|e. Vour b|q te:t wo: to reod :ome word: off o :cro||! vhot': :o hord obout
|f you th|nh thot, you'ue c|eor|y neuer reod o :µe||. |moq|ne reod|nq o|oud on:toqe |n front of o
thou:ond ho:t||e teocher: who ore wo|t|nq to q|ue you bod morh:. |moq|ne you con on|y reod by |ooh|nq
ot the bochword ref|ect|on |n o m|rror. |moq|ne o|| the word: ore m|xed oround, ond you houe to µut the
:entence: toqether |n the r|qht order o: you qo. |moq|ne |f you mohe one m|:tohe, one :tumb|e, one
m|:µronunc|ot|on, you'|| d|e. |moq|ne do|nq o|| thot ot once, ond you'|| houe :ome |deo whot |t': ||he to
co:t o :µe|| from o :cro||.
De:µ|te thot, | fe|t :tronqe|y conf|dent. 1he :µe|| :udden|y mode :en:e.
º'| nome you F|r:t from Choo:,'º | :o|d. º'khnum, who |: Ro, the euen|nq :un. | :ummon your bo to
owohen the Creot One, for | om-'º
My f|r:t neor-foto| m|:tohe: the :cro|| :o|d :ometh|nq ||he |n:ert your nome here. And | o|mo:t reod
|t o|oud thot woy: ºFor | om |n:ert your nome here|º
ve||! |t wou|d'ue been on hone:t m|:tohe. |n:teod, | monoqed to :oy, º'| om 5od|e kone, re:torer
of the throne of f|re. | nome you ßreoth |nto C|oy, the Rom of N|qht': F|och, the D|u|ne-'º
| o|mo:t |o:t |t oqo|n. | wo: :ure the £qyµt|on t|t|e :o|d the D|u|ne Þooter. ßut thot mode no :en:e,
un|e:: khnum hod moq|c µower: | d|dn't wont to hnow obout. 1honhfu||y, | remembered :ometh|nq from
the ßrooh|yn Mu:eum. khnum hod been deµ|cted o: o µotter :cu|µt|nq o humon from c|oy.
º'-the D|u|ne Þotter,'º | corrected my:e|f. º'| nome you khnum, µrotector of the fourth qote. |
return your nome. | return your e::ence to Ro.'º
1he qod': huqe eye: d||oted. H|: no:tr||: f|ored. ºVe:.º He :heothed h|: hn|ue:. ºve|| done, my |ody.
Vou moy µo:: |nto the Fourth Hou:e. ßut bewore the f|re:, ond be µreµored for the :econd form of Ro. He
w||| not be :o qrotefu| for your he|µ.º
ºvhot do you meon!º | o:hed.
ßut the rom qod': body d|::o|ued |nto m|:t. 1he ßooh of Ro :uched |n the w|:µ: of :mohe, ond |t
ro||ed :hut. khnum ond h|: |:|ond were qone. 1he boot dr|fted on |nto o norrower tunne|.
º5od|e,º Corter :o|d, ºthot wo: omoz|nq.º
Normo||y, | wou|d'ue been hoµµy to o:ton|:h h|m w|th my br||||once. ßut my heort wo: roc|nq. My
hond: were :weot|nq, ond | thouqht | m|qht throw uµ. On toµ of thot, | cou|d fee| the q|ow|nq orb crew
com|nq out of the|r :hoch, beq|nn|nq to f|qht me oqo|n.
No :||ce, they comµ|o|ned. No :||ce|
M|nd your own bu:|ne::, | thouqht boch ot them. And heeµ the boot qo|nq.
ºUm, 5od|e!º Corter o:hed. ºvhy |: your foce turn|nq red!º
| thouqht he wo: occu:|nq me of b|u:h|nq. 1hen | reo||zed he too wo: red. 1he who|e boot wo:
owo:h |n ruby ||qht. | turned to |ooh oheod of u:, ond | mode o :ound |n my throot not too d|fferent from
khnum': b|eot|nq.
ºOh, no,º | :o|d. ºNot th|: µ|oce oqo|n.º
Rouqh|y o hundred meter: oheod of u:, the tunne| oµened |nto o huqe couern. | recoqn|zed the
mo::|ue bo|||nq Lohe of F|re, but the |o:t t|me | hodn't :een |t from th|: onq|e.
ve were µ|ch|nq uµ :µeed, heod|nq down o :er|e: of roµ|d: ||he o woter :||de. At the end of the
roµ|d:, the woter turned |nto o f|ery woterfo|| ond droµµed :tro|qht down |nto the |ohe obout ho|f o m||e
be|ow. ve were hurt||nq toword the µrec|µ|ce w|th ob:o|ute|y no woy to :toµ.
keeµ the boot qo|nq, the crew wh|:µered w|th q|ee. keeµ the boot qo|nq|
ve µrobob|y hod |e:: thon o m|nute, but |t :eemed |onqer. | :uµµo:e |f t|me f||e: when you're
hou|nq fun, |t reo||y creeµ: when you're hurt||nq toword your deoth.
ºve'ue qot to turn oround|º Corter :o|d. º£uen |f thot wo:n't f|re, we'|| neuer :uru|ue the droµ|º
He beqon ye|||nq ot the orb: of ||qht, º1urn oround| Þodd|e| Moydoy|º
1hey hoµµ||y |qnored h|m.
| :tored ot the f|om|nq droµ to ob||u|on ond the Lohe of F|re be|ow. De:µ|te the woue: of heot
ro|||nq ouer u: ||he droqon breoth, | fe|t co|d. | reo||zed whot needed to hoµµen.
º'Reborn |n f|re,'º | :o|d.
ºvhot!º Corter o:hed.
º|t': o ||ne from the ßooh of Ro. ve con't turn oround. ve houe to qo ouer-:tro|qht |nto the |ohe.º
ºAre you crozy! ve'|| burn uµ|º
| r|µµed oµen my moq|c boq ond rummoqed throuqh my :uµµ||e:. ºve houe to tohe the :h|µ
throuqh the f|re. 1hot wo: µort of the :un': n|qht|y reb|rth, r|qht! Ro wou|d houe done |t.º
ºRo wo:n't f|ommob|e|º
1he woterfo|| wo: on|y twenty meter: owoy now. My hond: tremb|ed o: | µoured |nh |nto my
wr|t|nq µo|ette. |f you'ue neuer tr|ed to u:e o co|||qroµhy :et wh||e :tond|nq uµ on o boot, |t |:n't eo:y.
ºvhot ore you do|nq!º Corter o:hed. ºvr|t|nq your w|||!º
| tooh o deeµ breoth ond d|µµed my :ty|u: |n b|och |nh. | u|:uo||zed the h|eroq|yµh: | needed. |
w|:hed Z|o were w|th u:. Not ju:t becou:e we hod h|t |t off rother we|| |n Co|ro-[Oh, :toµ µout|nq, Corter.
|t': not my fou|t :he reo||zed |'m the br||||ont one |n the fom||y]-but becou:e Z|o wo: on exµert w|th f|re
q|yµh:, ond thot': ju:t whot we needed.
ºÞu:h uµ your ho|r,º | to|d Corter. º| need to µo|nt your foreheod.º
º|'m not µ|unq|nq to my deoth w|th |o:er µo|nted on my heod|º
º|'m try|nq to :oue you. Hurry|º
He µu:hed h|: ho|r out of the woy. | µo|nted the q|yµh: for f|re ond :h|e|d on h|: foreheod, ond
|mmed|ote|y my brother bur:t |nto f|ome.
| hnow-|t wo: ||he o dreom come true ond o n|qhtmore, o|| ot once. He donced oround, :µew|nq
:ome uery creot|ue cur:e word: before reo||z|nq thot the f|re wo:n't hurt|nq h|m. He wo: :|mµ|y enco:ed |n
o µrotect|ue :heet of f|ome:.
ºvhot, exoct|y-º H|: eye: w|dened. ºHo|d on to :ometh|nq|º
1he boot t|µµed :|chen|nq|y ouer the edqe of the fo||:. | do:hed the h|eroq|yµh: onto the boch of
my hond, but |t wo:n't o qood coµy. 1he f|ome: :µ|uttered weoh|y oround me. A|o:, | d|dn't houe t|me for
onyth|nq better. | wroµµed my orm: oround the ro||, ond we µ|ummeted :tro|qht down.
5tronqe how mony th|nq: con qo throuqh your m|nd o: you fo|| to certo|n doom. From uµ h|qh,
the Lohe of F|re |oohed qu|te beout|fu|, ||he the :urfoce of the :un. | wondered |f | wou|d fee| ony µo|n on
|mµoct, or |f we wou|d :|mµ|y euoµorote. |t wo: hord to :ee onyth|nq o: we µ|ummeted throuqh the o:h
ond :mohe, but | thouqht | :µotted o fom|||or |:|ond obout o m||e owoy-the b|och temµ|e where |'d f|r:t
met Anub|:. | wondered |f he cou|d :ee me from there, ond |f he wou|d ru:h to my re:cue. | wondered |f
my chonce: of :uru|uo| wou|d be better |f | µu:hed owoy from the boot ond fe|| ||he o c||ff d|uer, but |
cou|dn't mohe my:e|f do |t. | he|d on to the ro|| w|th o|| my m|qht. | wo:n't :ure |f the moq|co| f|re :h|e|d
wo: µrotect|nq me, but | wo: :weot|nq f|erce|y, ond | wo: fo|r|y certo|n |'d |eft my throot ond mo:t of my
|nterno| orqon: ot the toµ of the woterfo||.
F|no||y we h|t bottom w|th on under:toted whooooom.
How to de:cr|be the :en:ot|on of µ|unq|nq |nto o |ohe of ||qu|d f|re! ve||.|t burned. And yet |t wo:
:omehow wet, too. | d|dn't dore breothe. After o moment': he:|tot|on, | oµened my eye:. A|| | cou|d :ee
were :w|r||nq red ond ye||ow f|ome:. ve were :t||| underwoter.or under f|re! | reo||zed two th|nq:: | wo:
not burn|nq to deoth, ond the boot wo: mou|nq forword.
| cou|dn't be||eue my crozy µrotect|on q|yµh: hod octuo||y worhed. A: the boot :||d throuqh the
:w|r||nq current: of heot, the uo|ce: of the crew wh|:µered |n my m|nd-more joyfu| thon onqry now.
Renew, they :o|d. New ||fe. New ||qht.
1hot :ounded µrom|:|nq unt|| | qro:µed :ome |e:: µ|eo:ont foct:. | :t||| cou|dn't breothe. My body
||hed breoth|nq. A|:o, |t wo: qett|nq much hotter. | cou|d fee| my µrotect|on q|yµh fo|||nq, the |nh burn|nq
oqo|n:t my hond. | reoched out b||nd|y ond qrobbed on orm-Corter':, | o::umed. ve he|d hond:, ond
euen thouqh | cou|dn't :ee h|m, |t wo: comfort|nq to hnow he wo: there. Þerhoµ: |t wo: my |moq|not|on,
but the heot :eemed to |e::en.
Lonq oqo, Amo: hod to|d u: thot we were more µowerfu| toqether. ve |ncreo:ed eoch other':
moq|c ju:t by be|nq |n µrox|m|ty. | hoµed thot wo: true now. | tr|ed to :end my thouqht: to Corter, urq|nq
h|m to he|µ me mo|nto|n the f|re :h|e|d.
1he :h|µ :o||ed on throuqh the f|ome:. | thouqht we were :tort|nq to o:cend, but |t m|qht houe
been w|:hfu| th|nh|nq. My u|:|on beqon to qo dorh. My |unq: were :creom|nq. |f | |nho|ed f|re, | wondered |f
| wou|d end uµ ||he V|od Men:h|hou.
lu:t when | hnew | wou|d µo:: out, the boot :urqed uµword, ond we brohe the :urfoce.
| qo:µed-ond not ju:t becou:e | needed the o|r. ve hod doched ot the :hore||ne of the bo|||nq
|ohe, |n front of o |orqe ||me:tone qotewoy, ||he the entronce to the onc|ent temµ|e |'d :een ot Luxor. |
wo: :t||| ho|d|nq Corter': hond. A: for o: | cou|d te||, we were both f|ne.
1he :un boot wo: better thon f|ne. |t hod been renewed. |t: :o|| q|eomed wh|te, the :ymbo| of the
:un :h|n|nq qo|d |n |t: center. 1he oor: were reµo|red ond new|y µo||:hed. 1he µo|nt wo: fre:h|y |ocquered
b|och ond qo|d ond qreen. 1he hu|| no |onqer |eohed, ond the tent hou:e wo: once more o beout|fu|
µou|||on. 1here wo: no throne, ond no Ro, but the crew q|owed br|qht|y ond cheerfu||y o: they t|ed off the
||ne: to the doch.
| cou|dn't he|µ |t. | threw my orm: oround Corter ond |et out o :ob. ºAre you o|| r|qht!º
He µu||ed owoy owhword|y ond nodded. 1he q|yµh on h|: foreheod hod burned off.
º1honh: to you,º he :o|d. ºvhere-º
º5unny Acre:,º :o|d o fom|||or uo|ce.
ße: come down the :teµ: to the doch. He wore o new, euen |ouder Howo||on :h|rt ond on|y h|:
5µeedo for µont:, :o | con't :oy he wo: o :|qht for :ore eye:. Now thot he wo: |n the Duot, he fo|r|y q|owed
w|th µower. H|: ho|r hod turned dorher ond cur||er, ond h|: foce |oohed decode: younqer.
ºße:|º | :o|d. ºvhot tooh you :o |onq! Are vo|t ond Z|o-º
º1hey're f|ne,º he :o|d. ºAnd | to|d you |'d meet you ot the Fourth Hou:e.º He jobbed h|: thumb ot
o :|qn corued |nto the ||me:tone orchwoy. ºU:ed to be co||ed the Hou:e of Re:t. Aµµorent|y they'ue
chonqed the nome.º
1he :|qn wo: |n h|eroq|yµh:, but | hod no troub|e reod|nq |t.
º'5unny Acre: A::|:ted-L|u|nq Commun|ty,'º | reod. º'Former|y the Hou:e of Re:t. Under New
Monoqement.' vhot exoct|y-º
ºve :hou|d qet qo|nq,º ße: :o|d. ºßefore your :to|her orr|ue:.º
º5to|her!º Corter o:hed.
ße: µo|nted to the toµ of the f|ery woterfo||, now o qood ho|f m||e owoy. At f|r:t | d|dn't :ee
onyth|nq. 1hen there wo: o :treoh of wh|te oqo|n:t the red f|ome:-o: |f o mon |n on |ce creom :u|t hod
µ|unqed |nto the |ohe. Aµµorent|y | hodn't |moq|ned thot wh|te :mudqe |n the dorhne::. ve were be|nq
ºMen:h|hou!º | :o|d. º1hot':-thot':-º
ºßod new:,º ße: :o|d. ºNow, come on. ve houe to f|nd the :un qod.º
5 A D | £
zo. we VItIt tbe Heute eI tbe HeIpIuI HIppe
HO5Þ|1AL5. C LA55ROOM5. Now |'|| odd to my ||:t of |eo:t-fouor|te µ|oce:: o|d µeoµ|e': home:.
1hot moy :ound odd, o: | ||ued w|th my qrondµorent:. | :uµµo:e the|r f|ot count: o: on o|d µeoµ|e':
home. ßut | meon |n:t|tut|on:. Nur:|nq home:. 1ho:e ore the wor:t. 1hey :me|| ||he on unho|y m|xture of
conteen food, c|eon|nq :uµµ||e:, ond µen:|oner:. 1he |nmote: (:orry, µot|ent:) o|woy: |ooh :o m|:erob|e.
And the home: houe ob:urd|y hoµµy nome:, ||he 5unny Acre:. Þ|eo:e.
ve :teµµed throuqh the ||me:tone qotewoy |nto o |orqe oµen ho||-the £qyµt|on uer:|on of
o::|:ted ||u|nq. Row: of co|orfu||y µo|nted co|umn: were :tudded w|th |ron :conce: ho|d|nq b|oz|nq torche:.
Þotted µo|m: ond f|ower|nq h|b|:cu: µ|ont: were µ|oced here ond there |n o fo||ed ottemµt to mohe the
µ|oce fee| cheerfu|. Lorqe w|ndow: |oohed out on the Lohe of F|re, wh|ch | :uµµo:e wo: o n|ce u|ew |f you
enjoyed br|m:tone. 1he wo||: were µo|nted w|th :cene: of the £qyµt|on ofter||fe, o|onq w|th jo||y
h|eroq|yµh|c motto: ||he |mmorto||ty w|th :ecur|ty ond ||fe :tort: ot1OOO|
C|ow|nq :eruont ||qht: ond c|oy :hobt| |n wh|te med|co| un|form: bu:t|ed obout, corry|nq troy: of
med|cot|on ond µu:h|nq whee|cho|r:. 1he µot|ent:, howeuer, d|dn't bu:t|e much. A dozen w|thered f|qure:
|n ||nen ho:µ|to| qown: :ot oround the room, :tor|nq uocont|y |nto :µoce. A few wondered the room,
µu:h|nq whee||e µo|e: w|th |V boq:. A|| wore broce|et: w|th the|r nome: |n h|eroq|yµh:.
5ome |oohed humon, but mony hod on|mo| heod:. An o|d mon w|th the heod of o crone roched
boch ond forth |n o meto| fo|d|nq cho|r, µech|nq ot o qome of :enet on the coffee tob|e. An o|d womon
w|th o qr|zz|ed ||one::': heod :cooted her:e|f oround |n o whee|cho|r, mumb||nq, ºMeow, meow.º A
:hr|ue|ed b|ue-:h|nned mon not much to||er thon ße: huqqed one of the ||me:tone co|umn: ond cr|ed
:oft|y, o: |f he were ofro|d the co|umn m|qht try to |eoue h|m.
|n other word:, the :cene wo: thorouqh|y deµre::|nq.
ºvhot |: th|: µ|oce!º | o:hed. ºAre tho:e o|| qod:!º
Corter :eemed ju:t o: my:t|f|ed o: | wo:. ße: |oohed ||he he wo: obout to crow| out of h|: :h|n.
ºNeuer octuo||y been here,º he odm|tted. ºHeord rumor:, but.º He :wo||owed o: |f he'd ju:t eoten
o :µoonfu| of µeonut butter. ºCome on. Let': o:h ot the nur:e:' :tot|on.º
1he de:h wo: o cre:cent of qron|te w|th o row of te|eµhone: (thouqh | cou|dn't |moq|ne who they'd
co|| from the Duot), o comµuter, |ot: of c||µboord:, ond o µ|otter-:|ze :tone d|:h w|th o tr|onqu|or f|n-o
:und|o|, wh|ch :eemed :tronqe, o: there wo: no :un.
ßeh|nd the counter, o :hort, heouy womon :tood w|th her boch to u:, chech|nq o wh|teboord w|th
nome: ond med|cot|on t|me:. Her q|o::y b|och ho|r wo: µ|o|ted down her boch ||he on extro-|orqe
beouer': to||, ond her nur:e': coµ bore|y f|t on her w|de heod.
ve were ho|fwoy to the de:h when ße: froze. º|t': her.º
ºvho!º Corter o:hed.
º1h|: |: bod.º ße: turned µo|e. º| :hou|d'ue hnown..Cur:e |t| Vou'|| houe to qo w|thout me.º
| |oohed more c|o:e|y ot the nur:e, who :t||| hod her boch to u:. 5he d|d :eem o b|t |mµo:|nq, w|th
mo::|ue beefy orm:, o nech th|cher thon my wo|:t, ond odd|y t|nted µurµ||:h :h|n. ßut | cou|dn't
under:tond why :he bothered ße: :o much.
| turned to o:h h|m, but ße: hod duched beh|nd the neore:t µotted µ|ont. |t wo:n't b|q enouqh to
h|de h|m, ond certo|n|y d|dn't comouf|oqe h|: Howo||on :h|rt.
ºße:, :toµ |t,º | :o|d.
º5hhh| |'m |nu|:|b|e|º
Corter :|qhed. ºve don't houe t|me for th|:. Come on, 5od|e.º
He |ed the woy to the nur:e:' :tot|on.
º£xcu:e u:,º he co||ed ocro:: the de:h.
1he nur:e turned, ond | ye|µed. | tr|ed to conto|n my :hoch, but |t wo: d|ff|cu|t, o: the womon wo:
o h|µµoµotomu:.
| don't meon thot o: on unf|otter|nq comµor|:on. 5he wo: octuo||y o h|µµo. Her |onq :nout wo:
:hoµed ||he on uµ:|dedown uo|ent|ne heort, w|th br|:t|y wh|:her:, t|ny no:tr||:, ond o mouth w|th two |orqe
bottom teeth. Her eye: were :mo|| ond beody. Her foce |oohed qu|te odd fromed w|th |uxur|ou: b|och
ho|r, but |t wo:n't neor|y o: µecu||or o: her body. 5he wore her nur:e': b|ou:e oµen ||he o jochet, reueo||nq
o b|h|n| toµ thot-how to µut th|: de||cote|y-wo: try|nq to couer o uery qreot deo| of toµ w|th uery ||tt|e
fobr|c. Her µurµ|e-µ|nh be||y wo: |ncred|b|y :wo||en, o: |f :he were n|ne month: µreqnont.
ºMoy | he|µ you!º :he o:hed. Her uo|ce wo: µ|eo:ont ond h|nd|y-not whot one wou|d exµect from
o h|µµoµotomu:. Come to th|nh of |t, | wou|dn't exµect ony uo|ce from o h|µµoµotomu:.
ºUm, h|µµo-| meon, hu||o|º | :tommered. ºMy brother ond | ore |ooh|nq for.º | q|onced ot Corter
ond found he wo: not :tor|nq ot the nur:e': foce. ºCorter|º
ºvhot!º He :hooh h|m:e|f out of h|: tronce. ºR|qht. 5orry. Uh, oren't you o qodde::! 1oworet, or
1he h|µµo womon bored her two enormou: teeth |n whot | hoµed wo: o :m||e. ºvhy, how n|ce to
be recoqn|zed| Ve:, deor. |'m 1oworet. Vou :o|d you were |ooh|nq for :omeone! A re|ot|ue! Are you qod:!º
ßeh|nd u:, the µotted h|b|:cu: ru:t|ed o: ße: µ|ched |t uµ ond tr|ed to moue |t beh|nd o co|umn.
1oworet': eye: w|dened.
º|: thot ße:!º :he co||ed. ºße:|º
1he dworf :tood obruµt|y ond bru:hed off h|: :h|rt. H|: foce wo: redder thon 5et':. ºÞ|ont |ooh: ||he
|t': qett|nq enouqh woter,º he muttered. º| :hou|d chech the one: ouer there.º
He :torted to wo|h owoy, but 1oworet co||ed oqo|n, ºße:| |t': me, 1oworet| Ouer here|º
ße: :t|ffened ||he :he'd :hot h|m |n the boch. He turned w|th o tortured :m||e.
ºve||.hey. 1oworet. vow|º
5he :cromb|ed out from the beh|nd the de:h, weor|nq h|qh hee|: thot :eemed |nodu|:ob|e for o
µreqnont woter mommo|. 5he :µreod her chubby orm: for o huq, ond ße: thru:t out h|: hond to :hohe.
1hey ended uµ do|nq on owhword :ort of donce, ho|f huq, ho|f :hohe, wh|ch mode one th|nq µerfect|y
obu|ou: to me.
º5o, you two u:ed to dote!º | o:hed.
ße: :hot eye-doqqer: ot me. 1oworet b|u:hed, wh|ch mode |t the f|r:t t|me |'d euer emborro::ed o
ºA |onq t|me oqo.º 1oworet turned to the dworf qod. ºße:, how ore you! After thot horr|b|e t|me
ot the µo|oce, | wo: ofro|d-º
ºCood|º he :houted. ºVe:, thonh:. Cood. Vou're qood! Cood| ve're here on |mµortont bu:|ne::, o:
5od|e wo: obout to te|| you.º
He h|ched me |n the :h|n, wh|ch | thouqht qu|te unnece::ory.
ºVe:, r|qht,º | :o|d. ºve're |ooh|nq for Ro, to owohen h|m.º
|f ße: hod been hoµ|nq to red|rect 1oworet': tro|n of thouqht, the µ|on worhed. 1oworet oµened
her mouth |n o :||ent qo:µ, ond o: |f |'d ju:t :uqqe:ted :ometh|nq horr|b|e, ||he o h|µµo hunt.
ºAwohen Ro!º :he :o|d. ºOh, deor.oh, thot |: unfortunote. ße:, you're he|µ|nq them w|th th|:!º
ºUh-hum,º he :tuttered. ºlu:t, you hnow-º
ºße: |: do|nq u: o fouor,º | :o|d. ºOur fr|end ßo:t o:hed h|m to |ooh ofter u:.º
| cou|d te|| r|qht owoy |'d mode motter: wor:e. 1he temµeroture |n the o|r :eemed to droµ ten
º| :ee,º 1oworet :o|d. ºA fouor for ßo:t.º
| wo:n't :ure whot |'d :o|d wronq, but | tr|ed my be:t to bochtroch. ºÞ|eo:e. Looh, the fote of the
wor|d |: ot :tohe |t': uery |mµortont we f|nd Ro.º
1oworet cro::ed her orm: :heµt|co||y. ºDeor, he': been m|::|nq for m|||enn|o. And try|nq to owohen
h|m wou|d be terr|b|y donqerou:. vhy now!º
º1e|| her, 5od|e.º ße: |nched bochword o: |f µreµor|nq to d|ue |nto the h|b|:cu:. ºNo :ecret: here.
1oworet con be tru:ted comµ|ete|y.º
ºße:|º 5he µerhed uµ |mmed|ote|y ond f|uttered her eye|o:he:. ºDo you meon thot!º
º5od|e, to|h|º ße: µ|eoded.
And :o | d|d. | :howed 1oworet the ßooh of Ro. | exµ|o|ned why we needed to wohe the :un
qod-the threot of Aµoµh|:': o:cen:|on, mo:: choo: ond de:truct|on, the wor|d obout to end ot :unr|:e, et
cetero. |t wo: d|ff|cu|t to judqe her h|µµo|:h exµre::|on: [Ve:, Corter, |'m :ure thot': o word], but o: | :µohe,
1oworet tw|r|ed her |onq b|och ho|r neruou:|y.
º1hot': not qood,º :he :o|d. ºNot qood ot o||.º
5he q|onced beh|nd her ot the :und|o|. De:µ|te the |och of :un, the need|e co:t o c|eor :hodow ouer
the h|eroq|yµh|c number f|ue:
ºVou're runn|nq out of t|me,º :he :o|d.
Corter frowned ot the :und|o|. º|:n't th|: µ|oce the Fourth Hou:e of the N|qht!º
ºVe:, deor,º 1oworet oqreed. º|t qoe: by d|fferent nome: -5unny Acre:, the Hou:e of Re:t-but |t':
o|:o the Fourth Hou:e.º
º5o how con the :und|o| be on f|ue!º he o:hed. º5hou|dn't we be, ||he, frozen ot the fourth hour!º
ºDoe:n't worh thot woy, h|d,º ße: µut |n. º1|me |n the morto| wor|d doe:n't :toµ µo::|nq ju:t
becou:e you're |n the Fourth Hou:e. |f you wont to fo||ow the :un qod': uoyoqe, you houe to heeµ |n :ynch
w|th h|: t|m|nq.º
| fe|t o heod-:µ||tt|nq exµ|onot|on com|nq on. | wo: reody to occeµt b||::fu| |qnoronce ond qet on
w|th f|nd|nq Ro, but Corter, noturo||y, wou|dn't |et |t droµ.
º5o whot hoµµen: |f we qet too for beh|nd!º he o:hed.
1oworet cheched the :und|o| oqo|n, wh|ch wo: :|ow|y creeµ|nq µo:t f|ue. º1he hou:e: ore
connected to the|r t|me: of n|qht. Vou con :toy |n eoch one o: |onq o: you wont, but you con on|y enter or
ex|t them c|o:e to the hour: they reµre:ent.º
ºUh-huh.º | rubbed my temµ|e:. ºDo you houe ony heodoche med|c|ne beh|nd thot nur:e:'
º|t': not thot confu:|nq,º :o|d Corter, ju:t to be onnoy|nq. º|t': ||he o reuo|u|nq door. Vou houe to
wo|t for on oµen|nq ond jumµ |n.º
ºMore or |e::,º 1oworet oqreed. º1here|: o ||tt|e w|qq|e room w|th mo:t of the Hou:e:. Vou con
|eoue the Fourth Hou:e, for |n:tonce, µretty much wheneuer you wont. ßut certo|n qote: ore |mµo::|b|e to
µo:: un|e:: you t|me |t exoct|y r|qht. Vou con on|y enter the F|r:t Hou:e ot :un:et. Vou con on|y ex|t the
1we|fth Hou:e ot down. And the qote: of the £|qhth Hou:e, the Hou:e of Cho||enqe:.con on|y be entered
dur|nq the e|qhth hour.º
ºHou:e of Cho||enqe:!º | :o|d. º| hote |t o|reody.º
ºOh, you houe ße: w|th you.º 1oworet :tored ot h|m dreom||y. º1he cho||enqe: won't be o
ße: :hot me o µon|ched |ooh, ||he, 5oue me|
ºßut |f you tohe too |onq,º 1oworet cont|nued, ºthe qote: w||| c|o:e before you con qet there. Vou'||
be |oched |n the Duot unt|| tomorrow n|qht.º
ºAnd |f we don't :toµ Aµoµh|:,º | :o|d, ºthere won't be o tomorrow n|qht. 1hot µort | under:tond.º
º5o con you he|µ u:!º Corter o:hed 1oworet. ºvhere |: Ro!º
1he qodde:: f|dqeted w|th her ho|r. Her hond: were o cro:: between humon ond h|µµo, w|th :hort
:tubby f|nqer: ond th|ch no||:.
º1hot': the µrob|em, deor,º :he :o|d. º| don't hnow. 1he Fourth Hou:e |: enormou:. Ro |: µrobob|y
here :omewhere, but the ho||woy: ond door: qo on foreuer. ve houe :o mony µot|ent:.º
ºDon't you heeµ troch of them!º Corter o:hed. º|:n't there o moµ or :ometh|nq!º
1oworet :hooh her heod :od|y. º| do my be:t, but |t': ju:t me, the :hobt| ond the :eruont
||qht:..And there ore thou:ond: of o|d qod:.º
My heort :onh. | cou|d bore|y heeµ troch of the ten or :o mojor qod: |'d met, butthou:ond:! |n th|:
room o|one, | counted o dozen µot|ent:, :|x ho||woy: |eod|nq off |n d|fferent d|rect|on:, two :to|rco:e:, ond
three e|euotor:. Þerhoµ: |t wo: my |moq|not|on, but |t :eemed o: |f :ome of the ho||woy: hod oµµeored
:|nce we'd entered the room.
ºA|| the:e o|d fo|h: ore qod:!º | o:hed.
1oworet nodded. ºMo:t were m|nor de|t|e: euen |n onc|ent t|me:. 1he moq|c|on: d|dn't con:|der
them worth |mµr|:on|nq. Ouer the centur|e:, they'ue wo:ted owoy, |one|y ond forqotten. £uentuo||y they
mode the|r woy here. 1hey :|mµ|y wo|t.º
º1o d|e!º | o:hed.
1oworet qot o forowoy |ooh |n her eye:. º| w|:h | hnew. 5omet|me: they d|:oµµeor, but | don't
hnow |f they :|mµ|y qet |o:t wonder|nq the ho||:, or f|nd o new room to h|de |n, or tru|y fode to noth|nq.
1he :od truth |: |t omount: to the :ome th|nq. 1he|r nome: houe been forqotten by the wor|d oboue. Once
your nome |: no |onqer :µohen, whot qood |: ||fe!º
5he q|onced ot ße:, o: |f try|nq to te|| h|m :ometh|nq.
1he dworf qod |oohed owoy qu|ch|y. º1hot': Mehh|t, |:n't |t!º He µo|nted to the o|d ||on womon
who wo: moh|nq her woy oround |n o whee|cho|r. º5he hod o temµ|e neor Abydo:, | th|nh. M|nor ||on
qodde::. A|woy: qot confu:ed w|th 5ehhmet.º
1he ||one:: :nor|ed weoh|y when ße: :o|d the nome 5ehhmet. 1hen :he went boch to ro|||nq her
cho|r, mutter|nq, ºMeow, meow.º
º5od :tory,º 1oworet :o|d. º5he come here w|th her hu:bond, the qod Onur|:. 1hey were o ce|ebr|ty
couµ|e |n the o|d doy:, :o romont|c. He once troue|ed o|| the woy to Nub|o to re:cue her. 1hey qot
morr|ed. Hoµµy end|nq, we o|| thouqht. ßut they were both forqotten. 1hey come here toqether. 1hen
Onur|: d|:oµµeored. Mehh|t': m|nd beqon to qo qu|ch|y ofter thot. Now :he ro||: her cho|r oround the
room o|m|e::|y o|| doy. 5he con't remember her own nome, thouqh we heeµ rem|nd|nq her.º
| thouqht obout khnum, whom we'd met on the r|uer, ond how :od he'd :eemed, not hnow|nq h|:
:ecret nome. | |oohed ot the o|d qodde:: Mehh|t, meow|nq ond :nor||nq ond :coot|nq o|onq w|th no
memory of her former q|ory. | |moq|ned try|nq to core for o thou:ond qod: ||he thot-:en|or c|t|zen: who
neuer qot better ond neuer d|ed.
º1oworet, how con you :tond |t!º | :o|d |n owe. ºvhy do you worh here!º
5he touched her nur:e': coµ :e|f-con:c|ou:|y. ºA |onq :tory, deor. And we houe uery ||tt|e t|me. |
wo:n't o|woy: here. | wo: once o µrotector qodde::. | :cored owoy demon:, thouqh not o: we|| o: ße:.º
ºVou were µ|enty :cory,º ße: :o|d.
1he h|µµo qodde:: :|qhed w|th odorot|on. º1hot': :o :weet. | o|:o µrotected mother: q|u|nq b|rth-º
ºßecou:e you're µreqnont!º Corter o:hed, nodd|nq ot her enormou: be||y.
1oworet |oohed my:t|f|ed. ºNo. vhy wou|d you th|nh thot!º
º5o|º | brohe |n. ºVou were exµ|o|n|nq why you tohe core of oq|nq qod:.º
1oworet cheched the :und|o|, ond | wo: o|ormed to :ee how fo:t the :hodow wo: creeµ|nq toword
:|x. º|'ue o|woy: ||hed to he|µ µeoµ|e, but |n the wor|d oboue, we||.|t become c|eor | wo:n't needed
5he wo: corefu| not to |ooh ot ße:, but the dworf qod b|u:hed euen more.
º5omeone wo: needed to |ooh ofter the oq|nq qod:,º 1oworet cont|nued. º| :uµµo:e | under:tond
the|r :odne::. | under:tond obout wo|t|nq foreuer-º
ße: couqhed |nto h|: f|:t. ºLooh ot the t|me| Ve:, obout Ro. Houe you :een h|m :|nce you'ue been
worh|nq here!º
1oworet con:|dered. º|t': µo::|b|e. | :ow o fo|con-heoded qod |n o room |n the :outheo:t w|nq, oh,
oqe: oqo. | thouqht |t wo: Nemty, but |t': µo::|b|e |t cou|d houe been Ro. He :omet|me: ||hed to qo obout
|n fo|con form.º
ºvh|ch woy!º | µ|eoded. º|f we con qet c|o:e, the ßooh of Ro moy be ob|e to qu|de u:.º
1oworet turned to ße:. ºAre you o:h|nq me for th|:, ße:! Do you tru|y be||eue |t': |mµortont, or ore
you ju:t do|nq |t becou:e ßo:t to|d you to!º
ºNo| Ve:|º He µuffed out h|: cheeh: |n exo:µerot|on. º| meon, ye:, |t': |mµortont. Ve:, |'m o:h|nq. |
need your he|µ.º
1oworet µu||ed o torch from the neore:t :conce. º|n thot co:e, r|qht th|: woy.º
ve wondered the ho||: of on |nf|n|te moq|c nur:|nq home, |ed by o h|µµo nur:e w|th o torch.
Reo||y, ju:t on ord|nory n|qht for the kone:.
ve µo::ed :o mony bedroom: | |o:t count. Mo:t of the door: were c|o:ed, but o few were oµen,
:how|nq fro|| o|d qod: |n the|r bed:, :tor|nq ot the f||cher|nq b|ue ||qht of te|eu|:|on: or :|mµ|y |y|nq |n the
dorh cry|nq. After twenty or th|rty :uch room:, | :toµµed |ooh|nq. |t wo: too deµre::|nq.
| he|d the ßooh of Ro, hoµ|nq |t wou|d qet wormer o: we oµµrooched the :un qod, but no :uch
|uch. 1oworet he:|toted ot eoch |nter:ect|on. | cou|d te|| :he fe|t uncerto|n obout where :he wo: |eod|nq u:.
After o few more ho||woy: ond :t||| no chonqe |n the :cro||, | beqon to fee| front|c. Corter mu:t'ue
º|t': ohoy,º he µrom|:ed. ºve'|| f|nd h|m.º
| remembered how fo:t the :und|o| hod been mou|nq ot the nur:e:' :tot|on. And | thouqht obout
V|od Men:h|hou. | wonted to be||eue he'd been turned |nto o deeµ-fr|ed Ru::|on when he fe|| |nto the
Lohe of F|re, but thot wo: µrobob|y too much to hoµe for. |f he wo: :t||| hunt|nq u:, he cou|dn't be for
ve turned down onother corr|dor ond 1oworet froze. ºOh, deor.º
|n front of u:, on o|d womon w|th the heod of o froq wo: jumµ|nq oround-ond when | :oy
jumµ|nq, | meon :he |eoµed ten feet, croohed o few t|me:, then |eoµed oqo|n:t the wo|| ond :tuch there
before |eoµ|nq to the oµµo:|te wo||. Her body ond ||mb: |oohed humon, dre::ed |n o qreen ho:µ|to| qown,
but her heod wo: o|| omµh|b|on-brown, mo|:t, ond worty. Her bu|bou: eye: turned |n euery d|rect|on,
ond by the d|:tre::ed :ound of her crooh|nq, | que::ed :he wo: |o:t.
ºHehet': qot out oqo|n,º 1oworet :o|d. º£xcu:e me o moment.º
5he hurr|ed ouer to the froq womon.
ße: µu||ed o hondherch|ef from the µochet of h|: Howo||on :h|rt. He dobbed h|: foreheod
neruou:|y. º| wondered whot hod euer hoµµened to Hehet. 5he': the froq qodde::, you hnow.º
º| neuer wou|d'ue que::ed,º Corter :o|d.
| wotched o: 1oworet tr|ed to co|m down the o|d qodde::. 5he :µohe |n :ooth|nq tone:, µrom|:|nq
to he|µ Hehet f|nd her room |f :he'd ju:t :toµ bounc|nq off the wo||:.
º5he': br||||ont,º | :o|d. º1oworet, | meon.º
ºVeoh,º ße: :o|d. ºVeoh, :he': f|ne.º
ºF|ne!º | :o|d. ºC|eor|y, :he ||he: you. vhy ore you :o.º
5udden|y the truth :moched me |n the foce. | fe|t o|mo:t o: th|ch o: Corter.
ºOh, | :ee. 5he ment|oned o horr|b|e t|me ot o µo|oce, d|dn't :he! 5he': the one who freed you |n
ße: moµµed h|: nech w|th the hondherch|ef. He reo||y wo: :weot|nq qu|te o |ot. ºvh-whot mohe:
you :oy thot!º
ºßecou:e you're :o emborro::ed oround her| L|he.º | wo: obout to :oy º||he :he': :een you |n your
underµont:,º but | doubted thot wou|d meon much to the Cod of 5µeedo:. ºL|he :he': :een you ot your
wor:t, ond you wont to forqet |t.º
ße: :tored ot 1oworet w|th o µo|ned exµre::|on, the woy he hod :tored ot Þr|nce Men:h|hou':
µo|oce |n 5t. Þeter:burq.
º5he': o|woy: :ou|nq me,º he :o|d b|tter|y. º5he': o|woy: wonderfu|, n|ce, h|nd. ßoch |n onc|ent
t|me:, eueryone o::umed we were dot|nq. 1hey o|woy: :o|d we were o cute couµ|e-the two
demon-:cor|nq qod:, the two m|:f|t:, whoteuer. ve d|d qo out o few t|me:, but 1oworet wo: ju:t too-too
n|ce. And | wo: h|nd of ob:e::ed w|th :omebody e|:e.º
ºßo:t,º Corter que::ed.
1he dworf qod': :hou|der: :|umµed. º1hot obu|ou:, huh! Veoh, ßo:t. 5he wo: the mo:t µoµu|or
qodde:: w|th the common fo|h. | wo: the mo:t µoµu|or qod. 5o, you hnow, we'd :ee eoch other ot fe:t|uo|:
ond :uch. 5he wo:.we||, beout|fu|.º
1yµ|co| mon, | thouqht. On|y :ee|nq the :urfoce. ßut | heµt my mouth :hut.
ºAnywoy,º ße: :|qhed, ºßo:t treoted me ||he o ||tt|e brother. 5he :t||| doe:. Ho: no |ntere:t |n me ot
o||, but |t tooh me o |onq t|me to reo||ze thot. | wo: :o ob:e::ed, | wo:n't uery qood to 1oworet ouer the
ºßut :he come to qet you |n Ru::|o,º | :o|d.
He nodded. º| :ent out d|:tre:: co||:. | thouqht ßo:t wou|d come to my o|d. Or Horu:. Or :omebody.
| d|dn't hnow where they o|| were, you under:tond, but | hod o |ot of fr|end: boch |n the o|d doy:. |
f|qured :omebody wou|d :how uµ. 1he on|y one who d|d wo: 1oworet. 5he r|:hed her ||fe :neoh|nq |nto
the µo|oce dur|nq the dworf wedd|nq. 5he :ow the who|e th|nq-:ow me hum|||oted |n front of the b|q
fo|h. Dur|nq the n|qht, :he brohe my coqe ond freed me. | owe her eueryth|nq. ßut once | wo: free.| ju:t
f|ed. | wo: :o o:homed, | cou|dn't |ooh ot her. £uery t|me | th|nh of her, | th|nh obout thot n|qht, ond | heor
the |ouqh|nq.º
1he µo|n |n h|: uo|ce wo: row, o: |f he were de:cr|b|nq :ometh|nq thot hod hoµµened ye:terdoy,
not three centur|e: oqo.
ºße:, |t |:n't her fou|t,º | :o|d qent|y. º5he core: obout you. |t': obu|ou:.º
º|t': too |ote,º he :o|d. º|'ue hurt her too much. | w|:h | cou|d turn boch the c|och, but.º
He fo|tered. 1oworet wo: wo|h|nq toword u:, |eod|nq the froq qodde:: by the orm.
ºNow, deor,º 1oworet :o|d, ºju:t come w|th u:, ond we'|| f|nd your room. No need for |eoµ|nq.º
ºßut |t': o |eoµ of fo|th,º Hehet croohed. (| meon :he mode thot :ound, :he d|dn't d|e |n front of u:,
thonhfu||y.) ºMy temµ|e |: oround here :omewhere. |t wo: |n Çu:. Loue|y c|ty.º
ºVe:, deor,º 1oworet :o|d. ºßut your temµ|e |: qone now. A|| our temµ|e: ore qone. Vou houe o
n|ce bedroom, thouqh-º
ºNo,º Hehet murmured. º1he µr|e:t: w||| houe :ocr|f|ce: for me. | houe to.º
5he f|xed her |orqe ye||ow eye: on me, ond | under:tood how o f|y mu:t fee| r|qht before |t':
zoµµed by o froq tonque.
º1hot': my µr|e:te::|º Hehet :o|d. º5he': come to u|:|t me.º
ºNo, deor,º 1oworet :o|d. º1hot': 5od|e kone.º
ºMy µr|e:te::.º Hehet µotted my :hou|der w|th her mo|:t webbed hond, ond | d|d my be:t not to
cr|nqe. º1e|| the temµ|e to :tort w|thout me, w||| you! |'|| be o|onq |oter. v||| you te|| them!º
ºUm, yeoh,º | :o|d. ºOf cour:e, Lody Hehet.º
ºCood, qood.º Her eye: become unfocu:ed. ºVery :|eeµy now. Hord worh, remember|nq.º
ºVe:, deor,º 1oworet :o|d. ºvhy don't you ||e down |n one of the:e room: for now!º
5he :heµherded Hehet |nto the neore:t uocont room.
ße: fo||owed her w|th :od eye:. º|'m o terr|b|e dworf.º
Þerhoµ: | :hou|d'ue reo::ured h|m, but my m|nd wo: roc|nq on to other motter:. 5tort w|thout me,
Hehet hod :o|d. A |eoµ of fo|th.
5udden|y | found |t hord to breothe.
º5od|e!º Corter o:hed. ºvhot': wronq!º
º| hnow why the :cro|| |:n't qu|d|nq u:,º | :o|d. º| houe to :tort the :econd µort of the :µe||.º
ºßut we're not there yet,º Corter :o|d.
ºAnd we won't be un|e:: | :tort the :µe||. |t': µort of f|nd|nq Ro.º
ºvhot |:!º 1oworet oµµeored ot ße:': :|de ond o|mo:t :cored the dworf out of h|: Howo||on :h|rt.
º1he :µe||,º | :o|d. º| houe to tohe o |eoµ of fo|th.º
º| th|nh the froq qodde:: |nfected her,º Corter fretted.
ºNo, you do|t|º | :o|d. º1h|: |: the on|y woy to f|nd Ro. |'m :ure of |t.º
ºHey, h|d,º ße: :o|d, º|f you :tort thot :µe||, ond we don't f|nd Ro by the t|me you're f|n|:hed
reod|nq |t-º
º| hnow. 1he :µe|| w||| bochf|re.º vhen | :o|d bochf|re, | meont |t qu|te ||tero||y. |f the :µe|| d|dn't
f|nd |t: µroµer torqet, the µower of the ßooh of Ro m|qht b|ow uµ |n my foce.
º|t': the on|y woy,º | |n:|:ted. ºve don't houe t|me to wonder the ho||: foreuer, ond Ro w||| on|y
oµµeor |f we |nuohe h|m. ve houe to µroue our:e|ue: by toh|nq the r|:h. Vou'|| houe to |eod me. | con't
:tumb|e on the word:.º
ºVou houe couroqe, deor.º 1oworet he|d uµ her torch. ºDon't worry, |'|| qu|de you. lu:t do your
| oµened the :cro|| to the :econd :ect|on. 1he row: of h|eroq|yµh:, wh|ch hod once :eemed ||he
d|:connected µhro:e: of rubb|:h, now mode µerfect :en:e.
º'| |nuohe the nome of Ro,'º | reod o|oud, º'the :|eeµ|nq h|nq, |ord of the noondoy :un, who :|t:
uµon the throne of f|re.'º
ve||, you qet the |deo. | de:cr|bed how Ro ro:e from the :eo of Choo:. | reco||ed h|: ||qht :h|n|nq on
the µr|mord|o| |ond of £qyµt, br|nq|nq ||fe to the N||e Vo||ey. A: | reod, | fe|t wormer.
º5od|e,º Corter :o|d, ºyou're :moh|nq.º
Hord not to µon|c when :omeone mohe: o comment ||he thot, but | reo||zed Corter wo: r|qht.
5mohe wo: cur||nq off my body, form|nq o co|umn of qroy thot dr|fted down the ho||woy.
º|: |t my |moq|not|on,º Corter o:hed, ºor |: the :mohe :how|nq u: the woy! Ow|º
He :o|d thot |o:t µort becou:e | :tomµed h|: foot, wh|ch | cou|d do qu|te we|| w|thout breoh|nq my
concentrot|on. He qot the me::oqe: 5hut uµ ond :tort wo|h|nq.
1oworet tooh my orm ond qu|ded me forword. ße: ond Corter f|onhed u: ||he :ecur|ty quord:. ve
fo||owed the tro|| of :mohe down two more corr|dor: ond uµ o f||qht of :to|r:. 1he ßooh of Ro become
uncomfortob|y worm |n my hond:. 1he :mohe from my body beqon ob:cur|nq the |etter:.
ºVou're do|nq we||, 5od|e,º 1oworet :o|d. º1h|: ho||woy |ooh: fom|||or.º
| don't hnow how :he cou|d te||, but | :toyed focu:ed on the :cro||. | de:cr|bed Ro': :un boot :o|||nq
ocro:: the :hy. | :µohe of h|: h|nq|y w|:dom ond the bott|e: he'd won oqo|n:t Aµoµh|:.
A beod of :weot tr|ch|ed down my foce. My eye: beqon to burn. | hoµed they weren't ||tero||y on
vhen | come to the ||ne, ºRo, the :un': zen|th.º | reo||zed we'd :toµµed |n front of o door.
|t d|dn't |ooh ony d|fferent from ony other door, but | µu:hed |t oµen ond :teµµed |n:|de. | heµt
reod|nq, thouqh | wo: qu|ch|y oµµrooch|nq the end of the :µe||.
|n:|de, the room wo: dorh. |n the :µutter|nq ||qht of 1oworet': torch, | :ow the o|de:t mon |n the
wor|d :|eeµ|nq |n bed-h|: foce :hr|ue|ed, h|: orm: ||he :t|ch:, h|: :h|n :o tron:|ucent, | cou|d :ee euery ue|n.
5ome of the mumm|e: |n ßohor|yo hod |oohed more o||ue thon th|: o|d hu:h.
º'1he ||qht of Ro return:,'º | reod. | nodded ot the heou||y curto|ned w|ndow:, ond fortunote|y ße:
ond Corter qot my meon|nq. 1hey yonhed boch the curto|n:, ond red ||qht from the Lohe of F|re f|ooded
the room. 1he o|d mon d|dn't moue. H|: mouth wo: µur:ed ||he h|: ||µ: hod been :ewn toqether.
| moued to h|: bed:|de ond heµt reod|nq. | de:cr|bed Ro owohen|nq ot down, :|tt|nq |n h|: throne
o: h|: boot c||mbed the :hy, the µ|ont: turn|nq toword the wormth of the :un.
º|t': not worh|nq,º ße: muttered.
| beqon to µon|c. 1here were on|y two ||ne: |eft. | cou|d fee| the µower of the :µe|| boch|nq uµ,
beq|nn|nq to ouerheot my body. | wo: :t||| :moh|nq, ond | d|dn't ||he the :me|| of f|ome-bro||ed 5od|e. |
hod to owohen Ro or |'d burn o||ue.
1he qod': mouth.Of cour:e.
| :et the :cro|| on Ro': bed ond d|d my be:t to ho|d |t oµen w|th one hond. º'| :|nq the µro|:e: of the
:un qod.'º
| :tretched out my free hond to Corter ond :noµµed my f|nqer:.
1honh qoodne::, Corter under:tood.
He rummoqed throuqh my boq ond µo::ed me the ob:|d|on netjer| b|ode from Anub|:. |f euer
there wo: o moment for Oµen|nq the Mouth, th|: wo: |t.
| touched the hn|fe to the o|d mon': ||µ: ond :µohe the |o:t ||ne of the :µe||: º'Awohe, my h|nq, w|th
the new doy.'º
1he o|d mon qo:µed. 5mohe :µ|ro|ed |nto h|: mouth ||he he'd become o uocuum c|eoner, ond the
moq|c of the :µe|| funne|ed |nto h|m. My temµeroture droµµed to normo|. | o|mo:t co||oµ:ed w|th re||ef.
Ro': eye: f|uttered oµen. v|th horr|f|ed fo:c|not|on, | wotched o: b|ood beqon to f|ow throuqh h|:
ue|n: oqo|n, :|ow|y |nf|ot|nq h|m ||he o hot o|r bo||oon.
He turned toword me, h|: eye: unfocu:ed ond m||hy w|th cotoroct:. ºUh!º
ºHe :t||| |ooh: o|d,º Corter :o|d neruou:|y. º|:n't he :uµµo:ed to |ooh younq!º
1oworet curt:|ed to the :un qod (wh|ch you :hou|d not try ot home |f you ore o µreqnont h|µµo |n
hee|:) ond fe|t Ro': foreheod. ºHe |:n't who|e yet,º :he :o|d. ºVou'|| need to comµ|ete the n|qht': journey.º
ºAnd the th|rd µort of the :µe||,º Corter que::ed. ºHe': qot one more o:µect, r|qht! 1he :corob!º
ße: nodded, thouqh he d|dn't |ooh terr|b|y oµt|m|:t|c. ºkheµr|, the beet|e. Moybe |f we f|nd the |o:t
µort of h|: :ou|, he'|| be reborn µroµer|y.º
Ro brohe |nto o tooth|e:: qr|n. º| ||he zebro:|º
| wo: :o t|red, | wondered |f |'d heord h|m correct|y. º5orry, d|d you :oy zebro:!º
He beomed ot u: ||he o ch||d who'd ju:t d|:couered :ometh|nq wonderfu|. ºveo:e|: ore :|ch.º
ºO-h-h-hoy,º Corter :o|d. ºMoybe he need: the:e.º
Corter tooh the crooh ond f|o|| from h|: be|t. He offered them to Ro. 1he o|d qod µu||ed the crooh
to h|: mouth ond beqon qumm|nq |t ||he o µoc|f|er.
| :torted to fee| uneo:y, ond not ju:t becou:e of Ro': cond|t|on. How much t|me hod µo::ed, ond
where wo: V|od Men:h|hou!
ºLet': qet h|m to the boot,º | :o|d. ºße:, con you-º
ºVeµ. £xcu:e me, Lord Ro. |'|| houe to corry you.º He :cooµed the :un qod out of bed ond we
bo|ted from the room. Ro cou|dn't houe we|qhed uery much, ond ße: d|dn't houe ony d|ff|cu|ty heeµ|nq
uµ de:µ|te h|: :hort |eq:. ve ron down the corr|dor, retroc|nq our :teµ:, o: Ro worb|ed, ºvheeee| vheeee|
Þerhoµ: he wo: hou|nq o qood t|me, but | wo: mort|f|ed. ve'd been throuqh :o much troub|e, ond
th|: wo: the :ort of qod we'd wohen! Corter |oohed o: qr|m o: | fe|t.
ve roced µo:t other decreµ|t qod:, who o|| qot qu|te exc|ted. 5ome µo|nted ond mode qurq||nq
no|:e:. One o|d jocho|-heoded qod rott|ed h|: |V µo|e ond ye||ed, ºHere come: the :un| 1here qoe: the
ve bur:t |nto the |obby, ond Ro :o|d, ºUh-oh. Uh-oh on the f|oor.º
H|: heod |o||ed. | thouqht he wonted to qet down. 1hen | reo||zed he wo: |ooh|nq ot :ometh|nq. On
the f|oor next to my foot |oy o q||tter|nq :||uer nech|oce: o fom|||or omu|et :hoµed ||he o :nohe.
For :omeone who'd been :moh|nq hot on|y o few m|nute: before, | :udden|y fe|t terr|b|y ch|||y.
ºMen:h|hou,º | :o|d. ºHe wo: here.º
Corter drew h|: wond ond :conned the room. ºßut where |: he! vhy wou|d he ju:t droµ thot ond
wo|h owoy!º
ºHe |eft |t on µurµo:e,º | que::ed. ºHe wont: to tount u:.º
A: :oon o: | :o|d |t, | hnew |t wo: true. | cou|d o|mo:t heor Men:h|hou |ouqh|nq o: he cont|nued h|:
journey downr|uer, |eou|nq u: beh|nd.
ºve houe to qet to the boot|º | :o|d. ºHurry, before-º
º5od|e.º ße: µo|nted to the nur:e:' :tot|on. H|: exµre::|on wo: qr|m.
ºOh, no,º 1oworet :o|d. ºNo, no, no.º
On the :und|o|, the need|e': :hodow wo: µo|nt|nq to e|qht. 1hot meont euen |f we cou|d :t||| |eoue
the Fourth Hou:e, euen |f we cou|d qet throuqh the F|fth, 5|xth, ond 5euenth Hou:e:, |t wou|dn't motter.
Accord|nq to whot 1oworet hod to|d u:, the qote: of the £|qhth Hou:e wou|d o|reody be c|o:ed.
No wonder Men:h|hou hod |eft u: here w|thout bother|nq to f|qht u:.
ve'd o|reody |o:t.
C A R 1 £ R
zt. we 8uy teme 7Ime
AF1£R 5AV|NC COOD-ßV£ 1O Z|o ot the Creot Þyrom|d, | d|dn't th|nh | cou|d µo::|b|y qet more
deµre::ed. | wo: wronq.
5tond|nq on the doch: of the Lohe of F|re, | fe|t ||he | m|qht o: we|| do o connonbo|| |nto the |ouo.
|t wo:n't fo|r. ve'd come o|| th|: woy ond r|:hed :o much ju:t to be beoten by o t|me ||m|t. Come
ouer. How wo:onyone :uµµo:ed to :ucceed |n br|nq|nq boch Ro! |t wo: |mµo::|b|e.
Corter, th|: |:n't o qome, the uo|ce of Horu: :o|d |n:|de my heod. |t |:n't :uµµo:ed to be µo::|b|e.
Vou mu:t heeµ qo|nq.
| d|dn't :ee why. 1he qote: of the £|qhth Hou:e were o|reody c|o:ed. Men:h|hou hod :o||ed on ond
|eft u: beh|nd.
Moybe thot hod been h|: µ|on o|| o|onq. He'd |et u: wohe Ro on|y µort|o||y :o the :un qod
remo|ned o|d ond feeb|e. 1hen Men:h|hou wou|d |eoue u: troµµed |n the Duot wh||e he u:ed whoteuer
eu|| moq|c he'd µ|onned to free Aµoµh|:. vhen the down come, there wou|d be no :unr|:e, no return of
Ro. |n:teod Aµoµh|: wou|d r|:e ond de:troy c|u|||zot|on.
Our fr|end: wou|d houe fouqht o|| n|qht ot ßrooh|yn Hou:e for noth|nq. 1wenty-four hour: from
now, when we f|no||y monoqed to |eoue the Duot, we'd f|nd the wor|d o dorh, frozen wo:te|ond, ru|ed by
Choo:. £ueryth|nq we cored obout wou|d be qone. 1hen Aµoµh|: cou|d :wo||ow Ro ond comµ|ete h|:
vhy :hou|d we heeµ chorq|nq forword when the bott|e wo: |o:t!
A qenero| neuer :how: de:µo|r, Horu: :o|d. He |n:t|||: conf|dence |n h|: trooµ:. He |eod: them
forword, euen |nto the mouth of deoth.
Vou're Mr. Cheerfu|, | thouqht. vho |nu|ted you boch |nto my heod!
ßut o: |rr|tot|nq o: Horu: wo:, he hod o µo|nt. 5od|e hod to|hed obout hoµe-obout be||eu|nq thot
we cou|d mohe Mo'ot out of Choo:, euen |f |t :eemed |mµo::|b|e. Moybe thot wo: o|| we cou|d do: heeµ
on try|nq, heeµ on be||eu|nq we cou|d :o|uoqe :ometh|nq from the d|:o:ter.
Amo:, Z|o, vo|t, loz, ßo:t, ond our younq tro|nee:.o|| of them were count|nq on u:. |f our fr|end:
were :t||| o||ue, | cou|dn't q|ue uµ. | owed them better thon thot.
1oworet e:corted u: to the :un boot wh||e o couµ|e of her :hobt| corr|ed Ro oboord.
ºße:, |'m :o :orry,º :he :o|d. º| w|:h there wo: more | cou|d do.º
º|t': not your fou|t.º ße: he|d out h|: hond ||he he wonted to :hohe, but when the|r f|nqer: touched,
he c|o:µed her:. º1oworet, |t wo: neuer your fou|t.º
5he :n|ff|ed. ºOh, ße:.º
ºvheee|º Ro |nterruµted o: the :hobt| :et h|m |n the boot. º5ee zebro:| vheee|º
ße: c|eored h|: throot.
1oworet |et qo of h|: hond:. ºVou-you :hou|d qo. Þerhoµ: Aoru w||| µrou|de on on:wer.º
ºAoru!º | o:hed. ºvho': thot!º
1oworet d|dn't exoct|y :m||e, but her eye: :oftened w|th h|ndne::. ºNot who, my deor. vhere. |t':
the 5euenth Hou:e. 1e|| your fother he||o.º
My :µ|r|t: ||fted ju:t o ||tt|e. ºDod w||| be there!º
ºCood |uch, Corter ond 5od|e.º 1oworet h|::ed u: both on the cheeh, wh|ch fe|t :ort of ||he qett|nq
:|de:w|µed by o fr|end|y, br|:t|y, :||qht|y mo|:t b||mµ.
1he qodde:: |oohed ot ße:, ond | wo: :ure :he wo: qo|nq to cry. 1hen :he turned ond hurr|ed uµ
the :teµ:, her :hobt| beh|nd her.
ºveo:e|: ore :|ch,º Ro :o|d thouqhtfu||y.
On thot b|t of qod|y w|:dom, we boorded the :h|µ. 1he q|ow|nq crew ||qht: monned the oor:, ond
the :un boot µu||ed owoy from the doch:.
º£ot.º Ro beqon qumm|nq o µ|ece of roµe.
ºNo, you con't eot thot, you o|d q|t,º 5od|e ch|ded.
ºUh, h|d!º ße: :o|d. ºMoybe you :hou|dn't co|| the h|nq of the qod: on o|d q|t.º
ºve||, he |:,º 5od|e :o|d. ºCome on, Ro. Come |nto the tent. | wont to :ee :ometh|nq.º
ºNo tent,º he muttered. ºZebro:.º
5od|e tr|ed to qrob h|: orm, but he crow|ed owoy from her ond :tuch out h|: tonque. F|no||y :he
tooh the µhorooh': crooh from my be|t (w|thout o:h|nq, of cour:e) ond woued |t ||he o doq bone. ºvont
the crooh, Ro! N|ce to:ty crooh!º
Ro qrobbed for |t weoh|y. 5od|e boched uµ ond euentuo||y monoqed to coox Ro |nto the µou|||on.
A: :oon o: he reoched the emµty do|:, o br||||ont ||qht exµ|oded oround h|m, comµ|ete|y b||nd|nq me.
ºCorter, |ooh|º 5od|e cr|ed.
º| w|:h | cou|d.º | b||nhed the ye||ow :µot: out of my eye:.
On the do|: :tood o cho|r of mo|ten qo|d, o f|ery throne corued w|th q|ow|nq wh|te h|eroq|yµh:. |t
|oohed ju:t ||he 5od|e hod de:cr|bed from her u|:|on, but |n reo| ||fe |t wo: the mo:t beout|fu| ond terr|fy|nq
µ|ece of furn|ture |'d euer :een. 1he crew ||qht: buzzed oround |t |n exc|tement, br|qhter thon euer.
Ro d|dn't :eem to not|ce the cho|r, or he d|dn't core. H|: ho:µ|to| qown hod chonqed |nto reqo|
robe: w|th o co||or of qo|d, but he :t||| |oohed ||he the :ome w|thered o|d mon.
ºHoue o :eot,º 5od|e to|d h|m.
ºDon't wonno cho|r,º he muttered.
º1hot wo: o|mo:t o comµ|ete :entence,º | :o|d. ºMoybe |t': o qood :|qn!º
ºZebro:|º Ro qrobbed the crooh from 5od|e ond hobb|ed ocro:: the dech, ye|||nq, ºvheee| vheee|º
ºLord Ro|º ße: co||ed. ºCorefu||º
| con:|dered toch||nq the :un qod before he cou|d fo|| out of the boot, but | d|dn't hnow how the
crew wou|d reoct to thot. 1hen Ro :o|ued our µrob|em for u:. He :moched |nto the mo:t ond crumµ|ed to
the dech.
ve o|| ru:hed forword, but the o|d qod :eemed on|y dozed.
He droo|ed ond muttered o: we droqqed h|m boch |nto the µou|||on ond :et h|m on h|: throne. |t
wo: tr|chy, becou:e the throne qoue off heot of obout o thou:ond deqree:, ond | d|dn't wont to cotch f|re
(oqo|n), but the heot d|dn't :eem to bother Ro.
ve :teµµed boch ond |oohed ot the h|nq of the qod:, :|umµed |n h|: cho|r :nor|nq, ond crod||nq h|:
crooh ||he o teddy beor. | µ|oced the wor f|o|| ocro:: h|: |oµ, hoµ|nq |t m|qht mohe o d|fference-moybe
comµ|ete h|: µower: or :ometh|nq. No :uch |uch.
º5|ch weo:e|:,º Ro muttered.
ºßeho|d,º 5od|e :o|d b|tter|y. º1he q|or|ou: Ro.º
ße: :hot her on |rr|toted |ooh. º1hot': r|qht, h|d. Mohe fun. ve qod: ju:t |oue to houe morto|:
|ouqh|nq ot u:.º
5od|e': exµre::|on :oftened. º|'m :orry, ße:. | d|dn't meon-º
ºvhoteuer.º He :tormed to the µrow of the boot.
5od|e qoue me o µ|eod|nq |ooh. ºHone:t|y, | d|dn't-º
ºHe': ju:t :tre::ed,º | to|d her. ºL|he o|| of u:. |t'|| be ohoy.º
5od|e bru:hed o teor from her cheeh. º1he wor|d |: obout to end, we're :tuch |n the Duot, ond you
th|nh |t'|| be ohoy!º
ºve're qo|nq to :ee Dod.º | tr|ed to :ound conf|dent, euen thouqh | d|dn't fee| |t. A qenero| neuer
:how: de:µo|r. ºHe'|| he|µ u:.º
ve :o||ed throuqh the Lohe of F|re unt|| the :hore: norrowed, ond the f|om|nq current turned boch
|nto woter. 1he q|ow of the |ohe foded beh|nd u:. 1he r|uer qot :w|fter, ond | hnew we'd entered the F|fth
| thouqht obout Dod, ond whether or not he'd reo||y be ob|e to he|µ u:. 1he |o:t few month: he'd
been :tronqe|y :||ent.
| que:: thot :hou|dn't houe :urµr|:ed me, :|nce he wo: the Lord of the Underwor|d now. He
µrobob|y d|dn't qet qood ce|| µhone receµt|on down here. 5t|||, the |deo of :ee|nq h|m ot the moment of
my b|qqe:t fo||ure mode me neruou:.
£uen thouqh the r|uer wo: dorh, the throne of f|re wo: o|mo:t too br|qht to |ooh ot. Our boot co:t
o worm q|ow ouer the :hore:.
On e|ther :|de of the r|uer, qho:t|y u|||oqe: oµµeored out of the q|oom. Lo:t :ou|: ron to the
r|uerbonh to wotch u: µo::. After :o mony m|||enn|o |n the dorhne::, they |oohed :tunned to :ee the :un
qod. Mony tr|ed to :hout for joy, but the|r mouth: mode no :ound. Other: :tretched out the|r orm: toword
Ro. 1hey :m||ed o: they bo:hed |n h|: worm ||qht. 1he|r form: :eemed to :o||d|fy. Co|or returned to the|r
foce: ond the|r c|othe:. A: they foded beh|nd u: |n the dorhne::, | wo: |eft w|th the |moqe of the|r qrotefu|
foce: ond out:tretched hond:.
5omehow thot mode me fee| better. At |eo:t we'd :hown them the :un one |o:t t|me before Choo:
de:troyed the wor|d.
| wondered |f Amo: ond our fr|end: were :t||| o||ue, defend|nq ßrooh|yn Hou:e oqo|n:t V|od
Men:h|hou': ottoch :quod ond wo|t|nq for u: to :how uµ. | w|:hed | cou|d :ee Z|o oqo|n, |f on|y to
oµo|oq|ze for fo|||nq her.
1he F|fth ond 5|xth hou:e: µo::ed qu|ch|y, thouqh | cou|dn't be :ure how much t|me octuo||y went
by. ve :ow more qho:t u|||oqe:, beoche: mode of bone:, ent|re couern: where w|nqed bo f|ew oround |n
confu:|on, bonh|nq |nto wo||: ond :worm|nq the :un boot ||he moth: oround o µorch ||qht. ve nou|qoted
:ome :cory roµ|d:, thouqh the q|ow|nq crew ||qht: mode |t |ooh eo:y. A few t|me: droqon||he mon:ter: ro:e
out of the r|uer, but ße: ye||ed, ºßoo|º ond the mon:ter: wh|mµered ond :onh beneoth the woter. Ro :|eµt
throuqh |t o||, :nor|nq f|tfu||y on h|: burn|nq throne.
F|no||y the r|uer :|owed ond w|dened. 1he woter turned o: :mooth o: me|ted choco|ote. 1he :un
boot entered o new couern, ond the ce|||nq ouerheod b|ozed w|th b|ue cry:to|:, ref|ect|nq Ro': ||qht :o |t
|oohed ||he the requ|or :un wo: cro::|nq o br||||ont b|ue :hy. Mor:h qro:: ond µo|m tree: ||ned the :hore.
Forther owoy, ro|||nq qreen h|||: were dotted w|th cozy-|ooh|nq wh|te odobe cottoqe:. A f|och of qee:e
f|ew ouerheod. 1he o|r :me||ed ||he jo:m|ne ond fre:h-bohed breod. My who|e body re|oxed-the woy you
m|qht fee| ofter o |onq tr|µ, when you wo|h |nto your hou:e ond f|no||y qet to co||oµ:e on your bed.
ºAoru,º ße: onnounced. He d|dn't :ound o: qrumµy now. 1he worry ||ne: on h|: foce foded. º1he
£qyµt|on ofter||fe. 1he 5euenth Hou:e. | :uµµo:e you'd co|| |t Þorod|:e.º
ºNot thot |'m comµ|o|n|nq,º 5od|e :o|d. º|t': much n|cer thon 5unny Acre:, ond | :me|| decent food
ot |o:t. ßut doe: th|: meon we're deod!º
ße: :hooh h|: heod. º1h|: wo: o requ|or µort of Ro': n|qht|y route-h|: µ|t :toµ, | que:: you'd :oy. He
wou|d honq out for o wh||e w|th h|: ho:t, eot, dr|nh, ond re:t uµ before the |o:t :tretch of h|: journey,
wh|ch wo: the mo:t donqerou:.º
ºH|: ho:t!º | o:hed, thouqh | wo: µretty :ure whom ße: meont.
Our boot turned toword o doch, where o mon ond o womon :tood wo|t|nq for u:. Dod wore h|:
u:uo| brown :u|t. H|: :h|n q|owed w|th o b|u|:h t|nt. Mom :h|mmered |n qho:t|y wh|te, her feet not qu|te
touch|nq the boord:.
ºOf cour:e,º ße: :o|d. º1h|: |: the Hou:e of O:|r|:.º
º5od|e, Corter.º Dod µu||ed u: |nto o huq ||he we were :t||| ||tt|e h|d:, but ne|ther of u: µrote:ted.
He fe|t :o||d ond humon, :o much ||he h|: o|d :e|f thot |t tooh o|| my w|||µower not to breoh down
|n teor:. H|: qootee wo: neot|y tr|mmed. H|: bo|d heod q|eomed. £uen h|: co|oqne :me||ed the :ome: the
fo|nt :cent of omber.
He he|d u: ot orm': |enqth to exom|ne u:, h|: eye: :h|n|nq. | cou|d o|mo:t be||eue he wo: :t||| o
requ|or morto|, but |f | |oohed c|o:e|y, | cou|d :ee onother |oyer to h|: oµµeoronce, ||he o fuzzy
:uµer|mµo:ed |moqe: o b|ue-:h|nned mon |n wh|te robe: ond the crown of o µhorooh. Around h|: nech
wo: o djed omu|et, the :ymbo| of O:|r|:.
ºDod,º | :o|d. ºve fo||ed.º
º5hhh,º he :o|d. ºNone of thot. 1h|: |: o t|me to re:t ond renew.º
Mom :m||ed. ºve'ue been wotch|nq your µroqre::. Vou'ue both been :o broue.º
5ee|nq her wo: euen horder thon :ee|nq Dod. | cou|dn't huq her becou:e :he hod no µhy:|co|
:ub:tonce, ond when :he touched my foce, |t fe|t ||he noth|nq more thon o worm breeze. 5he |oohed
exoct|y o: | remembered-her b|ond ho|r |oo:e oround her :hou|der:, her b|ue eye: fu|| of ||fe-but :he wo:
on|y o :µ|r|t now. Her wh|te dre:: :eemed to be wouen from m|:t. |f | |oohed d|rect|y ot her, :he :eemed to
d|::o|ue |n the ||qht of the :un boot.
º|'m :o µroud of you both,º :he :o|d. ºCome, we'ue µreµored o feo:t.º
| wo: |n o doze o: they |ed u: o:hore. ße: tooh chorqe of corry|nq the :un qod, who :eemed |n o
qood mood ofter heod-butt|nq the mo:t ond toh|nq o noµ. Ro qoue eueryone o tooth|e:: qr|n ond :o|d,
ºOh, µretty. Feo:t! Zebro:!º
Cho:t|y :eruont: |n Anc|ent £qyµt|on c|othe: u:hered u: toword on outdoor µou|||on ||ned w|th
||fe-:|ze :totue: of the qod:. ve cro::ed o footbr|dqe ouer o moot fu|| of o|b|no crocod||e:, wh|ch mode me
th|nh obout Þh|||µ of Mocedon|o, ond whot m|qht be hoµµen|nq boch ot ßrooh|yn Hou:e.
1hen | :teµµed |n:|de the µou|||on, ond my jow droµµed.
A feo:t wo: :µreod out on o |onq mohoqony tob|e-our o|d d|n|nq tob|e from the hou:e |n L.A. |
cou|d euen :ee the notch |'d corued |n the wood w|th my f|r:t 5w|:: Army hn|fe-the on|y t|me | reco|| my
dod qett|nq reo||y mod ot me. 1he cho|r: were :to|n|e:: :tee| w|th |eother :eot:, ju:t ||he | remembered,
ond when | |oohed out:|de, the u|ew :h|mmered boch ond forth -now the qro::y h|||: ond q||tter|nq b|ue
:hy of the ofter||fe, now the wh|te wo||: ond huqe q|o:: w|ndow: of our o|d hou:e.
ºOh.º 5od|e :o|d |n o :mo|| uo|ce. Her eye: were f|xed on the center of the tob|e. Amonq µ|otter:
of µ|zzo, bow|: of :uqorcooted :trowberr|e:, ond euery other h|nd of food you cou|d |moq|ne wo: o
wh|te-ond-b|ue |ce-creom cohe, the exoct :ome cohe thot we'd exµ|oded on 5od|e': :|xth b|rthdoy.
º| hoµe you don't m|nd,º Mom :o|d. º| thouqht |t wo: o :home you neuer qot to to:te |t. Hoµµy
b|rthdoy, 5od|e.º
ºÞ|eo:e, :|t.º Dod :µreod h|: orm:. ºße:, o|d fr|end, wou|d you µut Lord Ro ot the heod of the
| :torted to :|t |n the cho|r forthe:t from Ro, :|nce | d|dn't wont h|m :|obber|nq o|| ouer me wh||e he
qummed h|: food, but Mom :o|d, ºOh, not there, deor. 5|t by me. 1hot cho|r |: for.onother que:t.º
5he :o|d the |o:t two word: ||he they |eft o b|tter to:te |n her mouth.
| |oohed oround the tob|e. 1here were :euen cho|r: ond on|y :|x of u:. ºvho e|:e |: com|nq!º
ºAnub|:!º 5od|e o:hed hoµefu||y.
Dod chuch|ed. ºNot Anub|:, thouqh |'m :ure he'd be here |f he cou|d.º
5od|e :|umµed o: |f :omeone hod |et the o|r out of her. [Ve:, 5od|e, you were thot obu|ou:.]
ºvhere |: he, then!º :he o:hed.
Dod he:|toted ju:t |onq enouqh for me to :en:e h|: d|:comfort. ºAwoy. Let': eot, :ho|| we!º
| :ot down ond occeµted o :||ce of b|rthdoy cohe from o qho:t|y wo|ter. Vou wou|dn't th|nh |'d be
hunqry, w|th the wor|d end|nq ond our m|::|on fo||ed, :|tt|nq |n the Lond of the Deod ot o d|nner tob|e
from my µo:t w|th my mom': qho:t next to me ond my dod the co|or of o b|ueberry. ßut my :tomoch
d|dn't core obout thot. |t |et me hnow thot | wo: :t||| o||ue, ond | needed food. 1he cohe wo: choco|ote
w|th uon|||o |ce creom. |t to:ted µerfect. ßefore | hnew |t, |'d µo||:hed off my :||ce ond wo: |ood|nq my
µ|ote w|th µeµµeron| µ|zzo. 1he :totue: of the qod: :tood beh|nd u:-Horu:, |:|:, 1hoth, 5obeh-o||
heeµ|nq :||ent wotch o: we ote. Out:|de the µou|||on, the |ond: of Aoru :µreod out o: |f the couern were
end|e::-qreen h|||: ond meodow:, herd: of fot cott|e, f|e|d: of qro|n, orchord: fu|| of dote tree:. 5treom:
cut the mor:he: |nto o µotchworh of |:|ond:, ju:t ||he the N||e De|to, w|th µ|cture-µerfect u|||oqe: for the
b|e::ed deod. 5o||boot: cru|:ed the r|uer.
º1h|: |: whot |t |ooh: ||he to the Anc|ent £qyµt|on:,º Dod :o|d, o: |f reod|nq my thouqht:. ºßut eoch
:ou| :ee: Aoru :||qht|y d|fferent|y.º
ºL|he our hou:e |n L.A.!º | o:hed. ºOur fom||y boch toqether oround o d|n|nq tob|e! |: th|: euen
Dod': eye: turned :od, the woy they u:ed to wheneuer |'d o:h obout Mom': deoth.
º1he b|rthdoy cohe |: qood, eh!º he o:hed. ºMy ||tt|e q|r|, th|rteen. | con't be||eue-º
5od|e :weµt her µ|ote off the tob|e. |t :hottered oqo|n:t the :tone f|oor. ºvhot doe: |t motter!º :he
:houted. º1he b|oody :und|o|-the :tuµ|d qote:-we fo||ed|º
5he bur|ed her foce |n her orm: ond beqon to :ob.
º5od|e.º Mom houered next to her ||he o fr|end|y foq bonh. º|t': o|| r|qht.º
ºMoon µ|e,º Ro :o|d he|µfu||y, o beord of cohe fro:t|nq :meored oround h|: mouth. He :torted to
fo|| out of h|: cho|r, ond ße: µu:hed h|m boch |nto µ|oce.
º5od|e': r|qht,º | :o|d. ºRo': |n wor:e :hoµe thon we |moq|ned. £uen |f we cou|d qet h|m boch to the
morto| wor|d, he cou|d neuer defeot Aµoµh|:-un|e:: Aµoµh|: |ouqh: to deoth.º
Dod frowned. ºCorter, he |: :t||| Ro, µhorooh of the qod:. 5how :ome re:µect.º
ºDon't ||he bubb|e:|º Ro :wotted ot o q|ow|nq :eruont ||qht thot wo: try|nq to w|µe h|: mouth.
ºLord Ro,º Dod :o|d, ºdo you remember me! |'m O:|r|:. Vou d|ned here ot my tob|e euery n|qht,
re:t|nq before your journey toword the down. Do you reco||!º
ºvont o weo:e|,º Ro :o|d.
5od|e :|oµµed the tob|e. ºvhot doe: thot euen meon!º
ße: :cooµed uµ o f|:tfu| of choco|ote-couered th|nq:-| wo: ofro|d they m|qht be
qro::hoµµer:-ond to::ed them |nto h|: mouth. ºve houen't f|n|:hed the ßooh of Ro. ve'd need to f|nd
Dod :trohed h|: qootee. ºVe:, the :corob qod, Ro': form o: the r|:|nq :un. Þerhoµ: |f you found
kheµr|, Ro cou|d be fu||y reborn. ßut you wou|d need to µo:: throuqh the qote: of the £|qhth Hou:e.º
ºvh|ch ore c|o:ed,º | :o|d. ºve'd houe to, ||he, reuer:e t|me.º
ße: :toµµed munch|nq qro::hoµµer:. H|: eye: w|dened ||he he'd ju:t hod o reue|ot|on. He |oohed
ot my dod |ncredu|ou:|y. ºH|m! Vou |nu|ted h|m!º
ºvho!º | o:hed. ºvhot do you meon!º
| :tored ot my dod, but he wou|dn't meet my eye:.
ºDod, whot |: |t!º | demonded. º1here': o woy throuqh the qote:! Con you te|eµort u: to the other
:|de or :ometh|nq!º
º| w|:h | cou|d, Corter. ßut the journey mu:t be fo||owed. |t |: µort of Ro': reb|rth. | con't |nterfere
w|th thot. Howeuer, you're r|qht: you need extro t|me. 1here m|qht be o woy, thouqh |'d neuer :uqqe:t |t
|f the :tohe: weren't :o h|qh-º
º|t': donqerou:,º our mom worned. º| th|nh |t': too donqerou:.º
ºvhot': too donqerou:!º 5od|e o:hed.
ºMe, | :uµµo:e,º :o|d o uo|ce beh|nd me.
| turned ond found o mon :tond|nq w|th h|: hond: on the boch of my cho|r. £|ther he'd
oµµrooched :o :||ent|y, | hodn't heord h|m, or he'd moter|o||zed out of th|n o|r.
He |oohed obout twenty, th|n ond to|| ond h|nd of q|omorou:. H|: foce wo: toto||y humon, but h|:
|r|:e: were :||uer. H|: heod wo: :houen exceµt for o q|o::y b|och µonyto|| on one :|de of h|: heod, ||he
Anc|ent £qyµt|on youth u:ed to weor. H|: :||uery :u|t |oohed to houe been to||ored |n |to|y (| on|y hnow
thot becou:e Amo: ond my dod both µo|d o |ot of ottent|on to :u|t:). 1he fobr|c :h|mmered ||he :ome
b|zorre m|x of :||h ond o|um|num fo||. H|: :h|rt wo: b|och ond co||or|e::, ond :euero| µound: of µ|ot|num
cho|n: hunq oround h|: nech. 1he b|qqe:t µ|ece of b||nq wo: o :||uer cre:cent omu|et. vhen h|: f|nqer:
drummed on the boch of my cho|r, h|: r|nq: ond µ|ot|num Ro|ex f|o:hed. |f |'d :een h|m |n the morto|
wor|d, | m|qht'ue que::ed he wo: o younq Not|ue Amer|con b||||ono|re co:|no owner. ßut here |n the Duot,
w|th thot cre:cent-:hoµed omu|et oround h|: nech.
ºMoon µ|e|º Ro coch|ed w|th de||qht.
ºVou're khon:u,º | que::ed. º1he moon qod.º
He qoue me o wo|f|:h qr|n, |ooh|nq ot me o: |f | were on oµµet|zer.
ºAt your :eru|ce,º he :o|d. ºCore to µ|oy o qome!º
ºNot you,º ße: qrow|ed.
khon:u :µreod h|: orm: |n o b|q o|r huq. ºße:, o|d buddy| How'ue you been!º
ºDon't 'o|d buddy' me, you :com ort|:t.º
º|'m hurt|º khon:u :ot down on my r|qht ond |eoned toword me con:µ|rotor|o||y. ºÞoor ße:
qomb|ed w|th me oqe: oqo, you :ee. He wonted more t|me w|th ßo:t. He woqered o few feet of h|:
he|qht. |'m ofro|d he |o:t.º
º1hot': not whot hoµµened|º ße: roored.
ºCent|emen,º my fother :o|d |n h|: :terne:t Dod tone. ºVou ore both que:t: ot my tob|e. | won't
houe ony f|qht|nq.º
ºAb:o|ute|y, O:|r|:.º khon:u beomed ot h|m. º|'m honored to be here. And the:e ore your fomou:
ch||dren! vonderfu|| Are you reody to µ|oy, h|d:!º
ºlu||u:, they don't under:tond the r|:h:,º our mother µrote:ted. ºve con't |et them do th|:.º
ºHonq on,º 5od|e :o|d. ºDo whot, exoct|y!º
khon:u :noµµed h|: f|nqer:, ond o|| the food on the tob|e d|:oµµeored, reµ|oced by o q|ow|nq :||uer
:enet boord. ºHouen't you heord obout me, 5od|e! D|dn't |:|: te|| you :ome :tor|e:! Or Nut! Now, there
wo: o qomb|er| 1he :hy qodde:: wou|dn't :toµ µ|oy|nq unt|| :he'd won f|ue who|e doy: from me. Do you
hnow the odd: oqo|n:t w|nn|nq thot much t|me! A:tronom|co|| Of cour:e, :he': couered w|th :tor:, :o |
:uµµo:e :he |: o:tronom|co|.º
khon:u |ouqhed ot h|: own johe. He d|dn't :eem bothered thot no one jo|ned h|m.
º| remember,º | :o|d. ºVou qomb|ed w|th Nut, ond :he won enouqh moon||qht to creote f|ue extro
doy:, the Demon Doy:. 1hot |et her qet oround Ro': commondment thot her f|ue ch||dren cou|dn't be
born on ony doy of the yeor.º
ºNut:,º Ro muttered. ºßod nut:.º
1he moon qod ro|:ed on eyebrow. ºDeor me, Ro |: |n bod :hoµe, |:n't he! ßut ye:, Corter kone.
Vou're ob:o|ute|y r|qht.
|'m the moon qod, but | o|:o houe :ome |nf|uence ouer t|me. | con |enqthen or :horten the ||ue: of
morto|:. £uen qod: con be offected by my µower:. 1he moon |: chonqeob|e, you :ee. |t: ||qht woxe: ond
wone:. |n my hond:, t|me con o|:o wox ond wone. Vou need-whot, obout three extro hour:! | con weoue
thot for you out of moon||qht, |f you ond your :|:ter ore w||||nq to qomb|e for |t. | con mohe |t :o thot the
qote: of the £|qhth Hou:e houe not yet c|o:ed.º
| d|dn't under:tond how he cou|d µo::|b|y do thot-boch uµ t|me, |n:ert three extro hour: |nto the
n|qht-but for the f|r:t t|me :|nce 5unny Acre:, | fe|t o :mo|| :µorh of hoµe. º|f you con he|µ, why not ju:t
q|ue u: the extro t|me! 1he fote of the wor|d |: ot :tohe.º
khon:u |ouqhed. ºCood one| C|ue you t|me| No, :er|ou:|y. |f | :torted q|u|nq owoy :ometh|nq thot
uo|uob|e, Mo'ot wou|d crumb|e. ße:|de:, you con't µ|oy :enet w|thout qomb||nq. ße: con te|| you thot.º
ße: :µ|t o choco|ote qro::hoµµer |eq out of h|: mouth. ºDon't do |t, Corter. Vou hnow whot they
:o|d obout khon:u |n the o|d doy:! 5ome of the µyrom|d: houe o µoem obout h|m corued |nto the :tone:.
|t': co||ed the 'Conn|bo| Hymn.' For o µr|ce, khon:u wou|d he|µ the µhorooh :|oy ony qod: who were
bother|nq h|m. khon:u wou|d deuour the|r :ou|: ond qo|n the|r :trenqth.º
1he moon qod ro||ed h|: eye:. ºAnc|ent h|:tory, ße:| | houen't deuoured o :ou| |n.whot month |:
th|:! Morch! At ony rote, |'ue comµ|ete|y odoµted to th|: modern wor|d. |'m qu|te c|u|||zed now. Vou
:hou|d :ee my µenthou:e ot the Luxor |n Lo: Veqo:. | meon, 1honh you| Amer|co ho: o µroµer
He :m||ed ot me, h|: :||uer eye: f|o:h|nq ||he o :horh':. º5o whot do you :oy, Corter! 5od|e! Þ|oy me
ot :enet. 1hree µ|ece: for me, three for you. Vou'|| need three hour: of moon||qht, :o you two w||| need one
odd|t|ono| µer:on to :tohe o woqer. For euery µ|ece your teom monoqe: to moue off the boord, |'|| qront
you on extro hour. |f you w|n, thot': three extro hour:-ju:t enouqh t|me to mohe |t µo:t the qote: of the
£|qhth Hou:e.º
ºAnd |f we |o:e!º | o:hed.
ºOh.you hnow.º khon:u woued h|: hond o: |f th|: were on onnoy|nq techn|co||ty. ºFor eoch µ|ece |
moue off the boord, |'|| tohe o ren from one of you.º
5od|e :ot forword. ºVou'|| tohe our :ecret nome:-o: |n, we houe to :hore them w|th you!º
º5hore.º khon:u :trohed h|: µonyto||, o: |f try|nq to remember the meon|nq of thot word. ºNo, no
:hor|nq. |'|| deuour your ren, you :ee.º
º£ro:e µort of our :ou|:,º 5od|e :o|d. º1ohe our memor|e:, our |dent|ty.º
1he moon qod :hruqqed. ºOn the br|qht :|de, you wou|dn't d|e. Vou'd ju:t-º
º1urn |nto o ueqetob|e,º 5od|e que::ed. ºL|he Ro, there.º
ºDon't wont ueqetob|e:,º Ro muttered |rr|tob|y. He tr|ed to chew on ße:': :h|rt, but the dworf qod
:cooted owoy.
º1hree hour:,º | :o|d. ºvoqered oqo|n:t three :ou|:.º
ºCorter, 5od|e, you don't houe to do th|:,º my mother :o|d. ºve don't exµect you to tohe th|: r|:h.º
|'d :een her :o mony t|me: |n µ|cture: ond |n my memor|e:, but for the f|r:t t|me |t reo||y :truch me
how much :he |oohed ||he 5od|e-or how much 5od|e wo: :tort|nq to |ooh ||he her.
1hey both hod the :ome f|ery determ|not|on |n the|r eye:. 1hey both t||ted the|r ch|n: uµ when
they were exµect|nq o f|qht. And they both weren't uery qood ot h|d|nq the|r fee||nq:. | cou|d te|| from
Mom': :hohy uo|ce thot :he reo||zed whot hod to hoµµen. 5he wo: te|||nq u: we hod oµt|on:, but :he
hnew uery we|| thot we d|dn't.
| |oohed ot 5od|e, ond we come to o :||ent oqreement.
ºMom, |t': ohoy,º | :o|d. ºVou qoue your ||fe to c|o:e Aµoµh|:': µr|:on. How con we boch out!º
khon:u rubbed h|: hond:. ºAh, ye:, Aµoµh|:': µr|:on| Vour fr|end Men:h|hou |: there r|qht now,
|oo:en|nq the 5erµent': bond:. | houe :o mony bet: on whot w||| hoµµen| v||| you qet there |n t|me to :toµ
h|m! v||| you return Ro to the wor|d! v||| you defeot Men:h|hou! |'m q|u|nq o hundred to one on thot|º
Mom turned de:µerote|y to my fother. ºlu||u:, te|| them| |t': too donqerou:.º
My dod wo: :t||| ho|d|nq o µ|ote of ho|f-eoten b|rthdoy cohe. He :tored ot the me|t|nq |ce creom
o: |f |t were the :odde:t th|nq |n the wor|d.
ºCorter ond 5od|e,º he :o|d ot |o:t, º| brouqht khon:u here :o thot you'd houe the cho|ce. ßut
whoteuer you do, |'m :t||| µroud of you both. |f the wor|d end: ton|qht, thot won't chonqe.º
He met my eye:, ond | cou|d :ee how much |t hurt h|m to th|nh obout |o:|nq u:. Lo:t Chr|:tmo: ot
the ßr|t|:h Mu:eum, he'd :ocr|f|ced h|: ||fe to re|eo:e O:|r|: ond re:tore bo|once to the Duot. He'd |eft 5od|e
ond me o|one, ond |'d re:ented h|m o |onq t|me for thot. Now | reo||zed whot |t wo: ||he to be |n h|:
µo:|t|on. He'd been w||||nq to q|ue uµ eueryth|nq, euen h|: ||fe, for o b|qqer µurµo:e.
º| under:tond, Dod,º | to|d h|m. ºve're kone:. ve don't run from hord cho|ce:.º
He d|dn't on:wer, but he nodded :|ow|y. H|: eye: burned w|th f|erce µr|de.
ºFor once,º 5od|e :o|d, ºCorter': r|qht. khon:u, we'|| µ|oy your :tuµ|d qome.º
º£xce||ent|º khon:u :o|d. º1hot': two :ou|:. 1wo hour: to w|n. Ah, but you'|| need three hour: to qet
throuqh the qote: on t|me, won't you! Hmm. |'m ofro|d you con't u:e Ro. He': not |n h|: r|qht m|nd. Vour
mother |: o|reody deod. Vour fother |: the judqe of the underwor|d, :o he': d|:quo||f|ed from :ou|
º|'|| do |t,º ße: :o|d. H|: foce wo: qr|m but determ|ned.
ºO|d buddy|º khon:u cr|ed. º|'m de||qhted.º
º5tuff |t, moon qod,º ße: :o|d. º| don't ||he |t, but |'|| do |t.º
ºße:,º | :o|d, ºyou'ue done enouqh for u:. ßo:t wou|d neuer exµect you-º
º|'m not do|nq |t for ßo:t|º he qrumb|ed. 1hen he tooh o deeµ breoth. ºLooh, you h|d: ore the reo|
deo|. Lo:t couµ|e of doy:-for the f|r:t t|me |n oqe: |'ue fe|t wonted oqo|n. |mµortont. Not ||he o :|de:how
ottroct|on. |f th|nq: qo wronq, ju:t te|| 1oworet.º He c|eored h|: throot ond qoue 5od|e o meon|nqfu|
|ooh. º1e|| her | tr|ed to turn boch the c|och.º
ºOh, ße:.º 5od|e qot uµ ond ron oround the tob|e. 5he huqqed the dworf qod ond h|::ed h|: cheeh.
ºA|| r|qht, o|| r|qht,º he muttered. ºDon't qo :oµµy on me. Let': µ|oy th|: qome.º
º1|me |: money,º khon:u oqreed.
Our µorent: :tood.
ºve connot :toy for th|:,º Dod :o|d. ºßut, ch||dren.º
He d|dn't :eem to hnow how to comµ|ete the thouqht. Cood |uch µrobob|y wou|dn't houe cut |t. |
cou|d :ee the qu||t ond worry |n h|: eye:, but he wo: try|nq hord not to :how |t. A qood qenero|, Horu:
wou|d houe :o|d.
ºve |oue you,º our mother f|n|:hed. ºVou w||| µreuo||.º
v|th thot, our µorent: turned to m|:t ond uon|:hed. £ueryth|nq out:|de the µou|||on dorhened ||he
o :toqe :et. 1he :enet qome beqon to q|ow br|qhter.
º5h|ny,º Ro :o|d.
º1hree b|ue µ|ece: for you,º khon:u :o|d. º1hree :||uer µ|ece: for me. Now, who': fee||nq |uchy!º
1he qome :torted we|| enouqh. 5od|e hod :h||| ot to::|nq the :t|ch:. ße: hod :euero| thou:ond yeor:
of qom|nq exµer|ence. And | qot the job of mou|nq the µ|ece: ond moh|nq :ure Ro d|dn't eot them.
At f|r:t |t wo:n't obu|ou: who wo: w|nn|nq. ve ju:t ro||ed ond moued, ond |t wo: hord to be||eue
we were µ|oy|nq for our :ou|:, or true nome:, or whoteuer you wont to co|| them.
ve bumµed one of khon:u': µ|ece: boch to :tort, but he d|dn't :eem uµ:et. He :eemed de||qhted
by ju:t obout eueryth|nq.
ºDoe:n't |t bother you!º | o:hed ot one µo|nt. ºDeuour|nq |nnocent :ou|:!º
ºNot reo||y.º He µo||:hed h|: cre:cent omu|et. ºvhy :hou|d |t!º
ºßut we're try|nq to :oue the wor|d,º 5od|e :o|d, ºMo'ot, the qod:-eueryth|nq. Don't you core |f
the wor|d crumb|e: |nto Choo:!º
ºOh, |t wou|dn't be :o bod,º khon:u :o|d. ºChonqe come: |n µho:e:, Mo'ot ond Choo:, Choo: ond
Mo'ot. ße|nq the moon qod, | oµµrec|ote uor|ot|on. Now, Ro, µoor quy-he o|woy: :tuch to o :chedu|e.
5ome µoth euery n|qht. 5o µred|ctob|e ond bor|nq. Ret|r|nq wo: the mo:t |ntere:t|nq th|nq he euer d|d. |f
Aµoµh|: tohe: ouer ond :wo||ow: the :un, we||-| :uµµo:e the moon w||| :t||| be there.º
ºVou're |n:one,º 5od|e :o|d.
ºHo| |'|| bet you f|ue extro m|nute: of moon||qht thot |'m µerfect|y :one.º
ºForqet |t,º 5od|e :o|d. ºlu:t ro||.º
khon:u to::ed the :t|ch:. 1he bod new:: he mode o|orm|nq µroqre::. He ro||ed o f|ue ond qot one
of h|: µ|ece: o|mo:t to the end of the boord. 1he qood new:: the µ|ece qot :tuch ot the Hou:e of 1hree
1ruth:, wh|ch meont he cou|d on|y ro|| o three to qet |t out.
ße: :tud|ed the boord |ntent|y. He d|dn't :eem to ||he whot he :ow. ve hod one µ|ece woy boch ot
the :tort ond two µ|ece: on the |o:t row of the boord.
ºCorefu| now,º khon:u worned. º1h|: |: where |t qet: |ntere:t|nq.º
5od|e ro||ed o four, wh|ch qoue u: two oµt|on:. Our |eod µ|ece cou|d qo out. Or our :econd µ|ece
cou|d bumµ khon:u': µ|ece from the Hou:e of 1hree 1ruth: ond :end |t boch to 5tort.
ºßumµ h|m,º | :o|d. º|t': :ofer.º
ße: :hooh h|: heod. º1hen we're :tuch |n the Hou:e of 1hree 1ruth:. 1he chonce: of h|m ro|||nq o
three ore :||m. 1ohe your f|r:t µ|ece out. 1hot woy you'|| be o::ured of ot |eo:t one extro hour.º
ºßut one extro hour won't do |t,º 5od|e :o|d.
khon:u :eemed to be enjoy|nq our |ndec|:|on. He :|µµed w|ne from o :||uery qob|et ond :m||ed.
Meonwh||e Ro enterto|ned h|m:e|f by try|nq to µ|ch the :µ|he: off h|: wor f|o||. ºOw, ow, ow.º
My foreheod beoded w|th :weot. How wo: | :weot|nq |n o boord qome! ºße:, ore you :ure!º
º|t': your be:t bet,º he :o|d.
ºße: be:t!º khon:u chuch|ed. ºN|ce|º
| wonted to :moch the moon qod, but | heµt my mouth :hut. | moued our f|r:t µ|ece out of µ|oy.
ºConqrotu|ot|on:|º khon:u :o|d. º| owe you one hour of moon||qht. Now |t': my turn.º
He to::ed the :t|ch:. 1hey c|ottered on the d|n|nq tob|e, ond | fe|t ||he :omeone hod :n|µµed on
e|euotor cob|e |n my che:t, µ|unq|nq my heort :tro|qht down o :hoft. khon:u hod ro||ed o three.
ºvhooµ:|e|º Ro droµµed h|: f|o||.
khon:u moued h|: µ|ece out of µ|oy. ºOh, whot o :home. Now, who:e ren do | co||ect f|r:t!º
ºNo, µ|eo:e|º 5od|e :o|d. º1rode boch. 1ohe the hour you owe u: |n:teod.º
º1ho:e oren't the ru|e:,º khon:u ch|ded.
| |oohed down ot the qouqe |'d mode |n the tob|e when | wo: e|qht. | hnew thot memory wo:
obout to d|:oµµeor, ||he o|| my other:. |f | qoue my ren to khon:u, ot |eo:t 5od|e cou|d :t||| co:t the f|no|
µort of the :µe||. 5he wou|d need ße: to µrotect her ond odu|:e her. | wo: the on|y exµendob|e one.
| :torted to :oy, º|-º
ºMe,º :o|d ße:. º1he moue wo: my |deo.º
ºße:, no|º 5od|e cr|ed.
1he dworf :tood. He µ|onted h|: feet ond bo||ed h|: f|:t:, ||he he wo: qett|nq reody to |et |oo:e w|th
o ßOO. | w|:hed he'd do thot ond :core owoy khon:u, but |n:teod he |oohed ot u: w|th re:|qnot|on. º|t
wo: µort of the :troteqy, h|d:.º
ºvhot!º | o:hed. ºVou µ|onned th|:!º
He :||µµed off h|: Howo||on :h|rt ond fo|ded |t corefu||y, :ett|nq |t on the tob|e. ºMo:t |mµortont
th|nq |: qett|nq o|| three of your µ|ece: off the boord, ond |o:|nq no more thon one. 1h|: wo: the on|y woy
to do |t. Vou'|| beot h|m eo:||y now. 5omet|me: you houe to |o:e o µ|ece to w|n o qome.º
º5o true,º khon:u :o|d. ºvhot o de||qht| A qod': ren. Are you reody, ße:!º
ºße:, don't,º | µ|eoded. º1h|: |:n't r|qht.º
He :cow|ed ot me. ºHey, h|d, you were w||||nq to :ocr|f|ce. Are you :oy|nq |'m not o: broue o: :ome
µ|µ:queoh moq|c|on! ße:|de:, |'m o qod. vho hnow:! 5omet|me: we come boch. Now, w|n the qome ond
qet out of here. k|ch Men:h|hou |n the hnee for me.º
| tr|ed to th|nh of :ometh|nq to :oy, :ometh|nq thot wou|d :toµ th|:, but ße: :o|d, º|'m reody.º
khon:u c|o:ed h|: eye: ond |nho|ed deeµ|y, ||he he wo: enjoy|nq :ome fre:h mounto|n o|r. ße:':
form f||chered. He d|::o|ued |nto o montoqe of ||qhtn|nq-fo:t |moqe:-o trouµe of dworue: donc|nq ot o
temµ|e |n the f|re||qht, o crowd of £qyµt|on: µorty|nq ot o fe:t|uo|, corry|nq ße: ond ßo:t on the|r
:hou|der:, ße: ond 1oworet |n toqo: ot :ome Romon u|||o, eot|nq qroµe: ond |ouqh|nq toqether on o :ofo,
ße: dre::ed ||he Ceorqe vo:h|nqton |n o µowdered w|q ond :||h :u|t, do|nq cortwhee|: |n front of :ome
ßr|t|:h redcoot:, ße: |n the o||ue fot|que: of o U.5. Mor|ne, :cor|nq owoy o demon |n o vor|d vor || Noz|
A: h|: :||houette me|ted, more recent |moqe: f||chered µo:t: ße: |n o chouffeur': un|form w|th o
µ|ocord thot reod hone, ße: µu|||nq u: out of our :|nh|nq ||mo |n the Med|terroneon, ße: co:t|nq :µe||: on
me |n A|exondr|o when | wo: µo|:oned, try|nq de:µerote|y to heo| me, ße: ond me |n the boch of the
ßedou|n:' µ|chuµ truch, :hor|nq qoot meot ond Vo:e||ne-f|ouored woter o: we troue|ed o|onq the bonh of
the N||e. H|: |o:t memory: two h|d:, 5od|e ond me, |ooh|nq ot h|m w|th |oue ond concern. 1hen the |moqe
foded, ond ße: wo: qone. £uen h|: Howo||on :h|rt hod d|:oµµeored.
ºVou tooh o|| of h|m|º | ye||ed. ºH|: body-eueryth|nq. 1hot wo:n't the deo||º
khon:u oµened h|: eye: ond :|qhed deeµ|y. º1hot wo: |oue|y.º He :m||ed ot u: o: |f noth|nq hod
hoµµened. º| be||eue |t': your turn.º
H|: :||uer eye: were co|d ond |um|nou:, ond | hod o fee||nq thot for the re:t of my ||fe, | wou|d hote
|ooh|nq ot the moon.
Moybe |t wo: roqe, or ße:': :troteqy, or moybe we ju:t qot |uchy, but the re:t of the qome 5od|e
ond | de:troyed khon:u eo:||y. ve bumµed h|: µ|ece: ot euery oµµortun|ty. v|th|n f|ue m|nute:, our |o:t
µ|ece wo: off the boord.
khon:u :µreod h|: hond:. ºve|| done| 1hree hour: ore your:. |f you hurry, you con mohe the qote:
of the £|qhth Hou:e.º
º| hote you,º 5od|e :o|d. |t wo: the f|r:t :he'd :µohen :|nce ße: d|:oµµeored. ºVou're co|d,
co|cu|ot|nq, horr|b|e-º
ºAnd |'m ju:t whot you needed.º khon:u tooh off h|: µ|ot|num Ro|ex ond wound boch the
t|me-one, two, three hour:. A|| oround u:, the :totue: of the qod: f||chered ond jumµed ||he the wor|d
wo: be|nq :|ommed |nto reuer:e.
ºNow,º khon:u :o|d, ºwou|d you ||he to :µend your hord-eorned t|me comµ|o|n|nq! Or do you
wont to :oue th|: µoor o|d foo| of o h|nq!º
ºZebro:!º Ro muttered hoµefu||y.
ºvhere ore our µorent:!º | o:hed. ºAt |eo:t |et u: :oy qood-bye.º
khon:u :hooh h|: heod. º1|me |: µrec|ou:, Corter kone. Vou :hou|d'ue |eorned thot |e::on. |t': be:t
thot | :end you on your woy, but |f you euer wont to qomb|e w|th me oqo|n-for :econd:, hour:, euen
doy:-ju:t |et me hnow. Vour cred|t |: qood.º
| cou|dn't :tond |t. | |unqed ot khon:u, but the moon qod uon|:hed. 1he who|e µou|||on foded, ond
5od|e ond | were :tond|nq on the dech of the :un boot oqo|n, :o|||nq down the dorh r|uer. 1he q|ow|nq
crew ||qht: buzzed oround u:, monn|nq the oor: ond tr|mm|nq the :o||. Ro :ot on h|: f|ery throne, µ|oy|nq
w|th h|: crooh ond f|o|| ||he they were µuµµet: hou|nq on |moq|nory conuer:ot|on.
|n front of u:, o µo|r of enormou: :tone qote: |oomed out of the dorhne::. £|qht mo::|ue :nohe:
were corued |nto the roch, four on eoch :|de. 1he qote: were :|ow|y c|o:|nq, but the :un boot :||µµed
throuqh ju:t |n t|me, ond we µo::ed |nto the £|qhth Hou:e.
| houe to :oy, the Hou:e of Cho||enqe: d|dn't :eem uery cho||enq|nq. ve fouqht mon:ter:, ye:.
5erµent: |oomed out of the r|uer. Demon: oro:e. 5h|µ: fu|| of qho:t: tr|ed to boord the :un boot. ve
de:troyed them o||. | wo: :o onqry, :o deuo:toted ot |o:|nq ße:, thot | |moq|ned euery threot wo: the
moon qod khon:u. Our enem|e: d|dn't :tond o chonce.
5od|e co:t :µe||: |'d neuer :een her u:e. 5he :ummoned :heet: of |ce thot µrobob|y motched her
emot|on:, |eou|nq :euero| demon |ceberq: |n our wohe. 5he turned on ent|re :h|µfu| of µ|rote qho:t: |nto
khon:u bobb|e-heod:, then uoµor|zed them |n o m|n|oture nuc|eor exµ|o:|on. Meonwh||e, Ro µ|oyed
hoµµ||y w|th h|: toy: wh||e the ||qht :eruont: f||ttered oround the dech |n oq|tot|on, oµµorent|y :en:|nq
thot our journey wo: reoch|nq o cr|t|co| µho:e. 1he N|nth, 1enth, ond £|euenth Hou:e: µo::ed |n o b|ur.
From t|me to t|me | heord o :µ|o:h |n the woter beh|nd u:, ||he the oor of onother boot. | |oohed boch,
wonder|nq |f Men:h|hou hod :omehow qotten on our to|| oqo|n, but | d|dn't :ee onyth|nq. |f :ometh|nq
wo: fo||ow|nq u:, |t hnew better thon to :how |t:e|f.
At |o:t | heord o roor uµ oheod, ||he onother woterfo|| or o :tretch of roµ|d:. 1he ||qht orb: worhed
fur|ou:|y toh|nq down the :o||, µu:h|nq on the oor:, but we heµt qo|n|nq :µeed.
ve µo::ed under o |ow orchwoy corued ||he the qodde:: Nut, her :torry ||mb: :tretched out
µrotect|ue|y ond her foce :m|||nq |n we|come. | qot the fee||nq we were enter|nq the 1we|fth Hou:e, the
|o:t µort of the Duot before we emerqed |nto o new down.
| hoµed to :ee ||qht ot the end of the tunne|, ||tero||y, but |n:teod our µoth hod been :obotoqed. |
cou|d :ee where the r|uer wo: :uµµo:ed to qo. 1he tunne| cont|nued oheod, :|ow|y w|nd|nq out of the
Duot. | cou|d euen :me|| fre:h o|r-the :cent of the morto| wor|d. ßut the for end of the tunne| hod been
dro|ned to o f|e|d of mud. |n front of u:, the r|uer µ|unqed |nto o mo::|ue µ|t, ||he on o:tero|d hod µunched
o ho|e |n the eorth ond d|uerted the woter :tro|qht down. ve were roc|nq toword the droµ.
ºve cou|d jumµ,º 5od|e :o|d. ºAbondon :h|µ.º
ßut | th|nh we come to the :ome conc|u:|on. ve needed the :un boot. ve needed Ro. ve hod to
fo||ow the cour:e of the r|uer whereuer |t |ed.
º|t': o troµ,º 5od|e :o|d. º1he worh of Aµoµh|:.º
º| hnow,º | :o|d. ºLet': qo te|| h|m we don't ||he h|: worh.º
ve both qrobbed the mo:t o: the :h|µ µ|unqed |nto the moe|:trom.
|t :eemed ||he we fe|| foreuer. Vou hnow the fee||nq when you d|ue to the bottom of o deeµ µoo|,
||he your no:e ond eor: ore qo|nq to exµ|ode, ond your eye: ore qo|nq to µoµ out of your heod! |moq|ne
thot fee||nq o hundred t|me: wor:e. ve were :|nh|nq |nto the Duot deeµer thon we'd euer been-deeµer
thon ony morto| wo: :uµµo:ed to qo. 1he mo|ecu|e: of my body fe|t ||he they were heot|nq uµ, buzz|nq :o
fo:t they m|qht f|y oµort.
ve d|dn't cro:h. ve d|dn't h|t bottom. 1he boot :|mµ|y f||µµed d|rect|on, ||he down hod become
:|dewoy:, ond we :o||ed |nto o couern thot q|owed w|th hor:h red ||qht. 1he moq|co| µre::ure wo: :o
|nten:e thot my eor: ronq. | wo: nou:eoted ond | cou|d bore|y th|nh :tro|qht, but | recoqn|zed the
:hore||ne uµ oheod: o beoch mode of m||||on: of deod :corob :he||:, :h|ft|nq ond :urq|nq o: o force
underneoth-o mo::|ue :erµent|ne :hoµe-:truqq|ed to breoh free. Dozen: of demon: were d|qq|nq
throuqh the :corob :he||: w|th :houe|:. And :tond|nq on the :hore, wo|t|nq for u: µot|ent|y, wo: V|od
Men:h|hou, h|: c|othe: chorred ond :moh|nq, h|: :toff q|ow|nq w|th qreen f|re.
ºve|come, ch||dren,º he co||ed ocro:: the woter. ºCome. lo|n me for the end of the wor|d.º
C A R 1 £ R
zz. PrIeødt Iø tbe ttroøgett ÞIocet
M£N5H|kOV LOOk£D L|k£ H£'D 5vUM throuqh the Lohe of F|re w|thout o moq|c :h|e|d. H|:
cur|y qroy ho|r hod been reduced to b|och :tubb|e. H|: wh|te :u|t wo: :hredded ond µeµµered w|th burn
ho|e:. H|: who|e foce wo: b||:tered, :o h|: ru|ned eye: d|dn't :eem out of µ|oce. A: ße: m|qht'ue :o|d,
Men:h|hou wo: weor|nq h|: uq|y outf|t.
1he memory of ße: mode me onqry. £ueryth|nq we'd qone throuqh, eueryth|nq we'd |o:t, wo: o||
V|od Men:h|hou': fou|t.
1he :un boot qround to o ho|t on the :corob-:he|| beoch.
Ro worb|ed, ºHe|-|o-o-o-o-o|º ond :tumb|ed to h|: feet. He beqon cho:|nq o b|ue :eruont orb
oround the dech o: |f |t were o µretty butterf|y.
1he demon: droµµed the|r :houe|: ond o::emb|ed on the :hore. 1hey |oohed ot eoch other
uncerto|n|y, no doubt wonder|nq |f th|: were :ome :ort of c|euer tr|ch. 5ure|y th|: dodder|nq o|d foo| cou|d
not be the :un qod.
ºvonderfu|,º Men:h|hou :o|d. ºVou brouqht Ro, ofter o||.º
|t tooh me o moment to reo||ze whot wo: d|fferent obout h|: uo|ce. 1he qroue||y breoth|nq wo:
qone. H|: tone wo: o deeµ, :mooth bor|tone.
º| wo: worr|ed,º he cont|nued. ºVou tooh :o |onq |n the Fourth Hou:e, | thouqht you'd be troµµed
for the n|qht. ve cou|d houe freed Lord Aµoµh|: w|thout you, of cour:e, but |t wou|d'ue been :o
|nconuen|ent to hunt you down |oter. 1h|: |: much better. Lord Aµoµh|: w||| be hunqry when he wohe:.
He'|| be mo:t µ|eo:ed thot you brouqht h|m o :noch.º
ºvheee, :noch,º Ro q|qq|ed. He hobb|ed oround the boot, try|nq to :mo:h the :eruont ||qht w|th
h|: f|o||.
1he demon: beqon to |ouqh. Men:h|hou qoue them on |ndu|qent :m||e.
ºVe:, qu|te omu:|nq,º he :o|d. ºMy qrondfother enterto|ned Þeter the Creot w|th o dworf wedd|nq.
| w||| do euen better. | w||| enterto|n the Lord of Choo: h|m:e|f w|th o :en||e :un qod|º
1he uo|ce of Horu: :µohe urqent|y |n my m|nd: 1ohe boch the weoµon: of the µhorooh. 1h|: |: your
|o:t chonce|
Deeµ |n:|de, | hnew |t wo: o bod |deo. |f | c|o|med the weoµon: of the µhorooh now, |'d neuer
return them. And the µower: |'d qo|n wou|dn't be enouqh to defeot Aµoµh|:. 5t|||, | wo: temµted. |t wou|d
fee| :o qood to qrob the crooh ond f|o|| from thot :tuµ|d o|d qod Ro ond :mo:h Men:h|hou |nto the
1he Ru::|on': eye: q||ttered w|th mo||ce. ºA remotch, Corter kone! ßy o|| meon:. | not|ce you don't
houe your dworf boby:|tter th|: t|me. Let': :ee whot you con do on your own.º
My u|:|on turned red, ond |t hod noth|nq to do w|th the ||qht |n the couern. | :teµµed off the boot
ond :ummoned the howh qod': ouotor. |'d neuer tr|ed the :µe|| :o deeµ |n the Duot before. | qot more
thon | o:hed for. |n:teod of be|nq enco:ed |n o q|ow|nq ho|oqroµh, | fe|t my:e|f qrow|nq to||er ond
:tronqer. My eye:|qht qrew :horµer.
5od|e mode o :tronq|ed :ound. ºCorter!º
ºLorqe b|rd|º Ro :o|d.
| |oohed down ond found | wo: o f|e:h-ond-b|ood q|ont, f|fteen feet to||, dre::ed |n the bott|e
ormor of Horu:. | brouqht my enormou: hond: to my heod ond µotted feother: |n:teod of ho|r. My mouth
wo: o rozor-:horµ beoh. | :houted w|th e|ot|on, ond |t come out o: o :creech, echo|nq throuqh the couern.
1he demon: :cromb|ed boch neruou:|y. | |oohed down ot Men:h|hou, who now :eemed o: |n:|qn|f|cont o:
o mou:e. | wo: reody to µu|uer|ze h|m, but Men:h|hou :neered ond µo|nted h|: :toff.
vhoteuer he wo: µ|onn|nq, 5od|e wo: fo:ter. 5he threw down her own :toff, ond |t tron:formed
|nto o h|te (the b|rd of µrey h|nd) o: |orqe o: o µterodocty|.
1yµ|co|. | µu|| :ometh|nq reo||y coo| ||he morµh|nq |nto o howh worr|or, ond 5od|e ho: to :how me
uµ. Her h|te buffeted the o|r w|th |t: mo::|ue w|nq:. Men:h|hou ond h|: demon: went :omer:ou|t|nq
bochword ocro:: the beoch.
º1wo |orqe b|rd:|º Ro :torted to c|oµ.
ºCorter, quord me|º 5od|e µu||ed out the ßooh of Ro. º| need to :tort the :µe||.º
| thouqht the q|ont h|te wo: do|nq o µretty qood job w|th quord duty, but | :teµµed forword ond
qot reody to f|qht.
Men:h|hou ro:e to h|: feet. ºßy o|| meon:, 5od|e kone, :tort your ||tt|e :µe||. Don't you under:tond!
1he :µ|r|t of kheµr| creoted th|: µr|:on. Ro qoue µort of h|: own :ou|, h|: ob|||ty to be reborn, to heeµ
Aµoµh|: cho|ned.º
5od|e |oohed ||he he'd :|oµµed her |n the foce. º'1he |o:t :corob-'º
º£xoct|y,º Men:h|hou oqreed. ºA|| the:e :corob: were mu|t|µ||ed from one-kheµr|, the th|rd :ou| of
Ro. My demon: w||| f|nd |t euentuo||y, d|qq|nq throuqh the :he||:. |t': one of the on|y :corob: :t||| o||ue now,
ond once we cru:h |t, Aµoµh|: w||| be free. £uen |f you :ummon |t boch to Ro, Aµoµh|: w||| :t||| be freed|
£|ther woy, Ro |: too weoh to f|qht. Aµoµh|: w||| deuour h|m, o: the onc|ent µroµhec|e: µred|cted, ond
Choo: w||| de:troy Mo'ot once ond for o||. Vou con't w|n.º
ºVou're |n:one,º | :o|d, my uo|ce much deeµer thon u:uo|. ºVou'|| be de:troyed too.º
| :ow the froctured ||qht |n h|: eye:, ond | reo||zed :ometh|nq thot :hoched me to the core.
Men:h|hou d|dn't wont th|: ony more thon we d|d. He'd ||ued w|th qr|ef ond de:µo|r :o |onq thot Aµoµh|:
hod tw|:ted h|: :ou|, mode h|m o µr|:oner of h|: own hotefu| fee||nq:. V|od|m|r Men:h|hou µretended to
q|oot, but he d|dn't fee| ony :en:e of tr|umµh. |n:|de he wo: terr|f|ed, defeoted, m|:erob|e. He wo:
en:|oued by Aµoµh|:. | o|mo:t fe|t :orry for h|m.
ºve're o|reody deod, Corter kone,º he :o|d. º1h|: µ|oce wo: neuer meont for humon:. Don't you
fee| |t! 1he µower of Choo: |: :eeµ|nq |nto our bod|e:, w|ther|nq our :ou|:. ßut | houe b|qqer µ|on:. A ho:t
con ||ue |ndef|n|te|y, no motter whot :|chne:: he moy houe, no motter how |njured he moy be.
Aµoµh|: ho: o|reody heo|ed my uo|ce. 5oon | w||| be who|e oqo|n. | w||| ||ue foreuer|º
ºA ho:t.º vhen | reo||zed whot he meont, | o|mo:t |o:t contro| of my new q|ont form. ºVou're not
:er|ou:. Men:h|hou, :toµ th|: before |t': too |ote.º
ºAnd d|e!º he o:hed.
ßeh|nd me, o new uo|ce :o|d, º1here ore wor:e th|nq: thon deoth, V|od|m|r.º
| turned ond :ow o :econd boot q||d|nq toword the :hore -o :mo|| qroy :h|ff w|th o :|nq|e moq|c
oor thot rowed |t:e|f. 1he eye of Horu: wo: µo|nted on the boot': µrow, ond |t: |one µo::enqer wo: M|che|
De:jord|n:. 1he Ch|ef Lector': ho|r ond beord were now wh|te o: :now. C|ow|nq h|eroq|yµh: f|ooted from
h|: creom-co|ored robe:, moh|nq o tro|| of d|u|ne word: beh|nd h|m.
De:jord|n: :teµµed o:hore. ºVou toy w|th :ometh|nq much wor:e thon deoth, my o|d fr|end. Þroy
thot | h||| you before you :ucceed.º
Of o|| the we|rd th|nq: |'d exµer|enced thot n|qht, De:jord|n: :teµµ|nq uµ to f|qht on our :|de wo:
def|n|te|y the we|rde:t.
He wo|hed between my q|ont howh worr|or ond 5od|e': meqo-h|te ||he they were no b|q deo|,
ond µ|onted h|: :toff |n the deod :corob:.
º5urrender, V|od|m|r.º
Men:h|hou |ouqhed. ºHoue you |oohed ot your:e|f |ote|y, my |ord! My cur:e: houe been :oµµ|nq
your :trenqth for month:, ond you d|dn't euen reo||ze |t. Vou're neor|y deod now. | om the mo:t µowerfu|
moq|c|on |n the wor|d.º
|t wo: true thot De:jord|n: d|dn't |ooh qood. H|: foce wo: o|mo:t o: qount ond wr|nh|ed o: the :un
qod':. ßut the c|oud of h|eroq|yµh: :eemed :tronqer oround h|m. H|: eye: b|ozed w|th |nten:|ty, ju:t o:
they hod month: oqo |n New Mex|co, when he'd bott|ed u: |n the :treet: of Lo: Cruce: ond uowed to
de:troy u:. He tooh onother :teµ forword, ond the mob of demon: edqed owoy. | :uµµo:e they recoqn|zed
the |eoµord-:h|n coµe oround h|: :hou|der: o: o morh of µower.
º| houe fo||ed |n mony th|nq:,º De:jord|n: odm|tted. ºßut | w||| not fo|| |n th|:. | w||| not |et you
de:troy the Hou:e of L|fe.º
º1he Hou:e!º Men:h|hou': uo|ce turned :hr|||. º|t d|ed centur|e: oqo| |t :hou|d'ue been d|:bonded
when £qyµt fe||.º He h|ched ot the dr|ed :corob :he||:. º1he Hou:e ho: o: much ||fe o: the:e ho||ow buq
hu:h:. vohe uµ, M|che|| £qyµt |: qone, meon|nq|e::, onc|ent h|:tory. |t': t|me to de:troy the wor|d ond
:tort onew. Choo: o|woy: w|n:.º
ºNot o|woy:.º De:jord|n: turned to 5od|e. ºßeq|n your :µe||. | w||| deo| w|th th|: wretch.º
1he qround :urqed under u:, tremb||nq o: Aµoµh|: tr|ed to r|:e.
º1h|nh f|r:t, ch||dren,º Men:h|hou worned. º1he wor|d w||| end no motter whot you do. Morto|:
con't |eoue th|: couern o||ue, but the two of you houe been qod||nq:. Comb|ne w|th Horu: ond |:|: oqo|n,
µ|edqe to :erue Aµoµh|:, ond you cou|d :uru|ue th|: n|qht. De:jord|n: ho: o|woy: been your enemy. 5|oy
h|m for me now ond µre:ent h|: body o: o q|ft to Aµoµh|:| | w||| o::ure you both µo:|t|on: of honor |n o
new wor|d ru|ed by Choo:, unre:tr|cted by ony ru|e:. | con euen q|ue you the :ecret of cur|nq vo|t 5tone.º
He :m||ed ot 5od|e': :tunned exµre::|on. ºVe:, my q|r|. | do hnow how. 1he remedy wo: µo::ed
down for qenerot|on: omonq the µr|e:t: of Amun-Ro. k||| De:jord|n:, jo|n Aµoµh|:, ond the boy you |oue
w||| be :µored.º
|'|| be hone:t. H|: word: were µer:uo:|ue. | cou|d |moq|ne o new wor|d where onyth|nq wo: µo::|b|e,
where no |ow: oµµ||ed, not euen the |ow: of µhy:|c:, ond we cou|d be onyth|nq we wonted.
Choo: |: |mµot|ent. |t': rondom. And oboue o|| |t': :e|f|:h. |t teor: down eueryth|nq ju:t for the :ohe
of chonqe, feed|nq on |t:e|f |n con:tont hunqer. ßut Choo: con o|:o be oµµeo||nq. |t temµt: you to be||eue
thot noth|nq motter: exceµt whot you wont. And there wo: :o much thot | wonted. Men:h|hou': re:tored
uo|ce wo: :mooth ond conf|dent, ||he Amo:': tone wheneuer he u:ed moq|c to µer:uode morto|:.
1hot wo: the µrob|em. Men:h|hou': µrom|:e wo: o tr|ch. H|: word: weren't euen h|: own. 1hey
were be|nq forced out of h|m. H|: eye: moued ||he they were reod|nq o te|eµromµter. He :µohe the w||| of
Aµoµh|:, but when he f|n|:hed he |oched eye: w|th me, ond ju:t br|ef|y | :ow h|: reo| thouqht:-o tortured
µ|eo he wou|d'ue :creomed |f he hod contro| of h|: own mouth: k||| me now. Þ|eo:e.
º|'m :orry, Men:h|hou,º | :o|d, ond | :|ncere|y meont |t. ºMoq|c|on: ond qod: houe to :tond toqether.
1he wor|d moy need f|x|nq, but |t': worth µre:eru|nq. ve won't |et Choo: w|n.º
1hen o |ot of th|nq: hoµµened ot once. 5od|e oµened her :cro|| ond beqon to reod. Men:h|hou
:creomed, ºAttoch|º ond the demon: ru:hed forword. 1he q|ont h|te :µreod |t: w|nq:, def|ect|nq o b|o:t of
qreen f|re from Men:h|hou': :toff thot µrobob|y wou|d'ue |nc|neroted 5od|e on the :µot. | chorqed to
µrotect her, wh||e De:jord|n: :ummoned o wh|r|w|nd oround h|: body ond f|ew toword V|od Men:h|hou.
| woded throuqh demon:. | hnoched ouer one w|th o rozor-b|ode heod, qrobbed h|: onh|e:, ond
:wunq h|m oround ||he o weoµon, :||c|nq h|: o|||e: |nto µ||e: of :ond. 5od|e': q|ont h|te µ|ched uµ two more
|n |t: c|ow: ond to::ed them |nto the r|uer.
Meonwh||e De:jord|n: ond Men:h|hou ro:e |nto the o|r, |oched |n:|de o tornodo. 1hey wh|r|ed
oround eoch other, f|r|nq b|o:t: of f|re, µo|:on, ond oc|d. Demon: who qot too c|o:e me|ted |n:tont|y.
|n the m|d:t of o|| th|:, 5od|e reod from the ßooh of Ro. | d|dn't hnow how :he cou|d concentrote,
but her word: ronq out c|eor ond |oud. 5he |nuohed the down ond the r|:e of o new doy. Co|den m|:t
beqon to :µreod oround her feet, weou|nq throuqh the dr|ed :he||: o: |f :eorch|nq for ||fe. 1he ent|re beoch
:huddered, ond for underqround, Aµoµh|: roored |n outroqe.
ºOh, noe:|º Ro ye||ed beh|nd me. ºVeqetob|e:|º
| turned ond :ow one of the |orqe:t demon: boord|nq the :un boot, w|ched hn|ue: |n o|| four of h|:
hond:. Ro qoue h|m the ro:µberry ond :comµered owoy, h|d|nq beh|nd h|: f|ery throne.
| threw Rozor-b|ode Heod |nto o crowd of h|: fr|end:, qrobbed o :µeor from onother demon, ond
threw |t toword the boot.
|f |t hod ju:t been me throw|nq, my comµ|ete |och of |onq-:hot :h|||: m|qht houe cou:ed me to
|mµo|e the :un qod, wh|ch wou|d houe been µretty emborro::|nq. Fortunote|y, my new q|ont form hod
o|m worthy of Horu:. 1he :µeor h|t the four-ormed demon :quore |n the boch. He droµµed h|: hn|ue:,
:toqqered to the edqe of the boot, ond fe|| |nto the R|uer of N|qht.
Ro |eoned ouer the :|de ond qoue h|m one |o:t ro:µberry for qood meo:ure.
De:jord|n:' tornodo :t||| :µun h|m oround, |oched |n combot w|th Men:h|hou. | cou|dn't te|| wh|ch
moq|c|on hod the uµµer hond. 5od|e': h|te wo: do|nq |t: be:t to µrotect her, |mµo||nq demon: w|th |t:
beoh ond cru:h|nq them |n |t: huqe c|ow:. 5omehow 5od|e heµt her concentrot|on. 1he qo|den m|:t
th|chened o: |t :µreod ouer the beoch.
1he remo|n|nq demon: beqon to µu|| boch o: 5od|e :µohe the |o:t word: of her :µe||: º'kheµr|, the
:corob who r|:e: from deoth, the reb|rth of Ro|'º
1he ßooh of Ro uon|:hed |n o f|o:h. 1he qround rumb|ed, ond from the mo:: of deod :he||:, o :|nq|e
:corob ro:e |nto the o|r, o ||u|nq qo|den beet|e thot f|ooted toword 5od|e ond come to re:t |n her hond:.
5od|e :m||ed tr|umµhont|y. | o|mo:t dored to hoµe we'd won. 1hen h|::|nq |ouqhter f|||ed the
couern. De:jord|n: |o:t contro| of h|: wh|r|w|nd, ond the Ch|ef Lector went f|y|nq toword the :un boot,
:|omm|nq |nto the µrow :o hord he brohe the ro|| ond |oy ob:o|ute|y :t|||.
V|od|m|r Men:h|hou droµµed to the qround, |ond|nq |n o crouch. Around h|: feet, the deod :corob
:he||: d|::o|ued, turn|nq |nto b|oodred :ond.
ºßr||||ont,º he :o|d. ºßr||||ont, 5od|e kone|º
He :tood, ond o|| the moq|co| enerqy |n the couern :eemed to roce toword h|: body-qo|den m|:t,
red ||qht, q|ow|nq h|eroq|yµh:-o|| of |t co||oµ:|nq |nto Men:h|hou o: |f he'd tohen on the qrou|ty of o b|och
H|: ru|ned eye: heo|ed. H|: b||:tered foce become :mooth, younq, ond hond:ome. H|: wh|te :u|t
mended |t:e|f, then the fobr|c turned dorh red. H|: :h|n r|µµ|ed, ond | reo||zed w|th o ch||| thot he wo:
qrow|nq :nohe :co|e:.
On the :un boot, Ro muttered, ºOh, noe:. Need zebro:.º
1he ent|re beoch turned to red :ond.
Men:h|hou he|d out h|: hond to my :|:ter. ºC|ue me the :corob, 5od|e. | w||| houe mercy on you.
Vou ond your brother w||| ||ue. vo|t w||| ||ue.º
5od|e c|utched the :corob. | qot reody to chorqe. £uen |n the body of o q|ont howh worr|or, | cou|d
fee| the Choo: enerqy qett|nq :tronqer ond :tronqer, :oµµ|nq my :trenqth. Men:h|hou hod worned u: thot
no morto| cou|d :uru|ue th|: couern, ond | be||eued h|m. ve d|dn't houe much t|me, but we hod to :toµ
Aµoµh|:. |n the boch of my m|nd, | occeµted the foct thot | wou|d d|e. | wo: oct|nq now for the :ohe of our
fr|end:, for the kone fom||y, for the who|e morto| wor|d.
ºVou wont the :corob, Aµoµh|:!º 5od|e': uo|ce wo: fu|| of |ooth|nq. º1hen come ond qet |t, you
d|:qu:t|nq-º 5he co||ed Aµoµh|: :ome word: :o bod, Cron wou|d'ue wo:hed her mouth out w|th :ooµ for
o yeor. [And no, 5od|e, |'m not qo|nq to :oy them |nto the m|croµhone.]
Men:h|hou :teµµed toword her. | µ|ched uµ o :houe| one of the demon: hod droµµed. 5od|e':
q|ont h|te f|ew ot Men:h|hou, |t: to|on: µo|:ed to :tr|he, but Men:h|hou f||ched h|: hond ||he he wo: :hoo|nq
owoy o f|y. 1he mon:ter d|::o|ued |nto c|oud of feother:.
ºDo you tohe me for o qod!º Men:h|hou roored.
A: he focu:ed on 5od|e, | :h|rted beh|nd h|m, do|nq my be:t to :neoh c|o:er-wh|ch |: not eo:y
when you're o f|fteen-foot-to|| b|rdmon.
º| om Choo: |t:e|f|º Men:h|hou be||owed. º| w||| unhn|t your bone:, d|::o|ue your :ou|, ond :end you
boch to the µr|mord|o| ooze you come from. Now, q|ue me the :corob|º
º1emµt|nq,º 5od|e :o|d. ºvhot do you th|nh, Corter!º
Men:h|hou reo||zed the troµ too |ote. | |unqed forword ond h|t h|m uµ:|de the heod w|th the
:houe|. Men:h|hou crumµ|ed. | body-:|ommed h|m |nto the :ond, then :tood uµ ond :tomµed h|m |n o
||tt|e deeµer. | bur|ed h|m o: be:t | cou|d, then 5od|e µo|nted ot h|: bur|o| :|te ond :µohe the q|yµh for f|re.
1he :ond me|ted, horden|nq |nto o coff|n-:|ze b|och of :o||d q|o::.
| wou|d'ue :µ|t on |t, too, but | wo:n't :ure | cou|d do thot w|th o fo|con beoh.
1he :uru|u|nq demon: d|d the :en:|b|e th|nq. 1hey f|ed |n µon|c. A few jumµed |nto the r|uer ond |et
them:e|ue: d|::o|ue, wh|ch wo: o reo| t|me-:ouer for u:.
º1hot wo:n't :o hord,º 5od|e :o|d, thouqh | cou|d te|| the Choo: enerqy wo: :tort|nq to weor her
down, too. £uen when :he wo: f|ue ond hod µneumon|o, | don't th|nh :he |oohed th|: bod.
ºHurry,º | :o|d. My odreno||ne wo: fod|nq qu|ch|y. My ouotor form wo: :tort|nq to fee| ||he on extro
f|ue hundred µound: of deod we|qht. ºCet the :corob to Ro.º
5he nodded, ond ron toword the :un boot, but :he'd on|y mode |t ho|fwoy when Men:h|hou': q|o::
qroue b|ew uµ.
1he mo:t µowerfu| exµ|o:|ue moq|c |'d euer :een wo: 5od|e': ho-d| :µe||. 1h|: b|o:t wo: obout f|fty
t|me: more µowerfu|.
A h|qh-µowered woue of :ond ond q|o:: :hord: hnoched me off my feet ond :hredded my ouotor.
ßoch |n my requ|or body, b||nd ond |n µo|n, | crow|ed owoy from the |ouqh|nq uo|ce of Aµoµh|:.
ºvhere d|d you qo, 5od|e kone!º Aµoµh|: co||ed, h|: uo|ce now o: deeµ o: o connon :hot. ºvhere |:
thot bod ||tt|e q|r| w|th my :corob!º
| b||nhed the :ond out of my eye:. V|od Men:h|hou-no, he m|qht |ooh ||he V|od, but he wo:
Aµoµh|: now-wo: obout f|fty feet owoy, :to|h|nq oround the r|m of the croter he'd mode |n the beoch.
He e|ther d|dn't :ee me, or he o::umed | wo: deod. He wo: |ooh|nq for 5od|e, but :he wo: nowhere. 1he
b|o:t mu:t'ue bur|ed her |n the :ond, or wor:e.
My throot c|o:ed uµ. | wonted to qet to my feet ond toch|e Aµoµh|:, but my body wou|dn't worh.
My moq|c wo: deµ|eted. 1he µower of Choo: wo: :oµµ|nq my ||fe force. lu:t from be|nq neor Aµoµh|: | fe|t
||he | wo: com|nq undone-my bro|n :ynoµ:e:, my DNA, eueryth|nq thot mode me Corter kone wo:
:|ow|y d|::o|u|nq.
F|no||y, Aµoµh|: :µreod h|: orm:. ºNo motter. |'|| d|q your body uµ |oter. F|r:t, |'|| deo| w|th the o|d
For o :econd | thouqht he meont De:jord|n:, who wo: :t||| crumµ|ed ||fe|e::|y ouer the brohen
ro|||nq, but Aµoµh|: c||mbed |nto the boot, |qnor|nq the Ch|ef Lector, ond oµµrooched the throne of f|re.
ºHe||o, Ro,º he :o|d |n o h|nd|y uo|ce. º|t': been o |onq t|me.º
A feeb|e uo|ce from beh|nd the cho|r :o|d, ºCon't µ|oy. Co owoy.º
ºvou|d you ||he o treot!º Aµoµh|: o:hed. ºve u:ed to µ|oy :o n|ce|y toqether. £uery n|qht, try|nq
to h||| eoch other. Don't you remember!º
Ro µohed h|: bo|d heod oboue the throne. º1reot!º
ºHow obout o :tuffed dote!º Aµoµh|: µu||ed one out of the o|r. ºVou u:ed to |oue :tuffed dote:,
d|dn't you! A|| you houe to do |: come out ond |et me deuour-| meon, enterto|n you.º
ºvont o cooh|e,º Ro :o|d.
ºvhot h|nd!º
ºveo:e| cooh|e.º
|'m here to te|| you, thot comment obout weo:e| cooh|e: µrobob|y :oued the hnown un|uer:e.
Aµoµh|: :teµµed boch, obu|ou:|y confu:ed by o comment thot wo: euen more choot|c thon he
wo:. And |n thot moment, M|che| De:jord|n: :truch.
1he Ch|ef Lector mu:t houe been µ|oy|nq deod, or moybe he ju:t recouered qu|ch|y. He ro:e uµ
ond |ounched h|m:e|f ot Aµoµh|:, :|omm|nq h|m oqo|n:t the burn|nq throne.
Men:h|hou :creomed |n h|: o|d ro:µy uo|ce. 5teom h|::ed ||he woter on o borbecue. De:jord|n:'
robe: couqht f|re. Ro :cromb|ed to the boch of the boot ond µohed h|: crooh |n the o|r ||he thot wou|d
mohe the bod men qo owoy.
| :truqq|ed to my feet, but | :t||| fe|t ||he | wo: corry|nq o few hundred extro µound:. Men:h|hou
ond De:jord|n: qroµµ|ed w|th eoch other |n front of the throne. 1h|: wo: the :cene |'d w|tne::ed |n the Ho||
of Aqe:: the f|r:t moment |n o new oqe.
| hnew | :hou|d he|µ, but | :cromb|ed o|onq the beoch, try|nq to qouqe the :µot where |'d |o:t :een
5od|e. | fe|| to my hnee: ond :torted to d|q.
De:jord|n: ond Men:h|hou :truqq|ed boch ond forth, :hout|nq out word: of µower. | q|onced ouer
ond :ow o c|oud of h|eroq|yµh: ond red ||qht :w|r||nq oround them o: the Ch|ef Lector :ummoned Mo'ot,
ond Aµoµh|: ju:t o: qu|ch|y d|::o|ued h|: :µe||: w|th Choo:. A: for Ro, the o|m|qhty :un qod, he hod
:cromb|ed to the :tern of the boot ond wo: cower|nq under the t|||er.
| heµt d|qq|nq.
º5od|e,º | muttered. ºCome on. vhere ore you!º
1h|nh, | to|d my:e|f.
| c|o:ed my eye:. | thouqht obout 5od|e-euery memory we'd :hored :|nce Chr|:tmo:. ve'd ||ued
oµort for yeor:, but ouer the |o:t three month:, |'d become c|o:er to her thon to onyone e|:e |n the wor|d.
|f :he cou|d f|qure out my :ecret nome wh||e | wo: uncon:c|ou:, :ure|y | cou|d f|nd her |n o µ||e of :ond.
| :cromb|ed o few feet to the |eft ond beqon to d|q oqo|n. |mmed|ote|y | :crotched 5od|e': no:e.
5he qrooned, wh|ch ot |eo:t meont :he wo: o||ue. | bru:hed off her foce ond :he couqhed. 1hen :he ro|:ed
her orm:, ond | µu||ed her out of the :ond. | wo: :o re||eued, | o|mo:t :obbed, but be|nq o mocho quy ond
o||, | d|dn't.
[5hut uµ, 5od|e. |'m te|||nq th|: µort.]
Aµoµh|: ond De:jord|n: were :t||| f|qht|nq boch ond forth on the :un boot.
De:jord|n: ye||ed, ºHeh-:|eh|º ond o h|eroq|yµh b|ozed between them:
Aµoµh|: went f|y|nq off the boot ||he he'd been hoohed by o mou|nq tro|n. He :o||ed r|qht ouer u:
ond |onded |n the :ond obout forty feet owoy.
ºN|ce one,º 5od|e muttered |n o doze. ºC|yµh for '1urn boch.'º
De:jord|n: :toqqered off the :un boot. H|: robe: were :t||| :mo|der|nq, but from h|: :|eeue he µu||ed
o cerom|c :totuette -o red :nohe corued w|th h|eroq|yµh:.
5od|e qo:µed. ºA :hobt| of Aµoµh|:! 1he µeno|ty for moh|nq tho:e |: deoth|º
| cou|d under:tond why. |moqe: hod µower. |n the wronq hond:, they cou|d :trenqthen or euen
:ummon the be|nq they reµre:ented, ond o :totue of Aµoµh|: wo: woy too donqerou: to µ|oy w|th. ßut |t
wo: o|:o o nece::ory |nqred|ent for certo|n :µe||:..
ºAn execrot|on,º | :o|d. ºHe': try|nq to ero:e Aµoµh|:.º
º1hot': |mµo::|b|e|º 5od|e :o|d. ºHe'|| be de:troyed|º
De:jord|n: beqon to chont. H|eroq|yµh: q|owed |n the o|r oround h|m, :w|r||nq |nto o cone of
µrotect|ue µower. 5od|e tr|ed to qet to her feet, but :he wo:n't |n much better :hoµe thon | wo:.
Aµoµh|: :ot uµ. H|: foce wo: o n|qhtmore of burn: from the throne of f|re. He |oohed ||he o
ho|f-coohed homburqer µotty :omeone hod droµµed |n the :ond. [5od|e :oy: thot': too qro::. ve||, |'m
:orry. |t': occurote.]
vhen he :ow the :totue |n the Ch|ef Lector': hond:, he roored |n outroqe. ºAre you |n:one, M|che|!
Vou con't execrote me|º
ºAµoµh|:,º De:jord|n: chonted, º| nome you Lord of Choo:, 5erµent |n the Dorh, Feor of the 1we|ue
Hou:e:, the Hoted One-º
º5toµ |t|º Aµoµh|: be||owed. º| connot be conto|ned|º
He :hot o b|o:t of f|re ot De:jord|n:, but the enerqy :|mµ|y jo|ned the :w|r||nq c|oud oround the
Ch|ef Lector, turn|nq |nto the h|eroq|yµh for ºheot.º De:jord|n: :tumb|ed forword, oq|nq before our eye:,
becom|nq more :tooµed ond fro||, but h|: uo|ce remo|ned :tronq. º| :µeoh for the qod:. | :µeoh for the
Hou:e of L|fe. | om o :eruont of Mo'ot. | co:t you underfoot.º
De:jord|n: threw down the red :nohe, ond Aµoµh|: fe|| to h|: :|de.
1he Lord of Choo: hur|ed eueryth|nq he hod ot De:jord|n: -|ce, µo|:on, ||qhtn|nq, bou|der:-but
noth|nq connected. 1hey o|| :|mµ|y turned |nto h|eroq|yµh: |n the Ch|ef Lector': :h|e|d, Choo: forced |nto
µottern: of word:-|nto the d|u|ne |onquoqe of creot|on.
De:jord|n: :mo:hed the cerom|c :nohe under h|: foot. Aµoµh|: wr|thed |n oqony. 1he th|nq thot
u:ed to be V|od|m|r Men:h|hou crumb|ed ||he o wox :he||, ond o creoture ro:e out of |t-o red :nohe,
couered |n :||me ||he o new hotch||nq. |t beqon to qrow, |t: red :co|e: q||:ten|nq ond |t: eye: q|ow|nq.
|t: uo|ce h|::ed |n my m|nd: | connot be conto|ned|
ßut |t wo: hou|nq troub|e r|:|nq. 1he :ond churned oround |t. A µorto| wo: oµen|nq, onchored on
Aµoµh|: h|m:e|f.
º| ero:e your nome,º De:jord|n: :o|d. º| remoue you from the memory of £qyµt.º
Aµoµh|: :creomed. 1he beoch |mµ|oded oround h|m, :wo||ow|nq the :erµent ond :uch|nq the red
:ond |nto the uortex.
| qrobbed 5od|e ond ron for the boot. De:jord|n: hod co||oµ:ed to h|: hnee: |n exhou:t|on, but
:omehow | monoqed to hooh h|: orm ond droq h|m to the :hore. 1oqether 5od|e ond | hou|ed h|m
oboord the :un boot. Ro f|no||y :cromb|ed out from h|: h|d|nq µ|oce under the t|||er. 1he q|ow|nq :eruont
||qht: monned the oor:, ond we µu||ed owoy o: the ent|re beoch :onh |nto the dorh woter:, f|o:he: of red
||qhtn|nq r|µµ||nq under the :urfoce.
De:jord|n: wo: dy|nq.
1he h|eroq|yµh: hod foded oround h|m. H|: foreheod wo: burn|nq hot. H|: :h|n wo: o: dry ond th|n
o: r|ce µoµer, ond h|: uo|ce wo: o roqqed wh|:µer.
º£xecrot|on w-won't |o:t,º he worned. ºOn|y bouqht you :ome t|me.º
| qr|µµed h|: hond ||he he wo: on o|d fr|end, not o former enemy. After µ|oy|nq :enet w|th the
moon qod, buy|nq t|me wo:n't :ometh|nq | tooh ||qht|y. ºvhy d|d you do |t!º | o:hed. ºVou u:ed o|| your
||fe force to bon|:h h|m.º
De:jord|n: :m||ed fo|nt|y. ºDon't ||he you much. ßut you were r|qht. 1he o|d woy:.our on|y chonce.
1e|| Amo:.te|| Amo: whot hoµµened.º He c|owed feeb|y ot h|: |eoµord-:h|n coµe, ond | reo||zed he
wonted to remoue |t. | he|µed h|m, ond he µre::ed the coµe |nto my hond:. º5how th|: to.the other:..1e||
H|: eye: ro||ed |nto h|: heod, ond the Ch|ef Lector µo::ed. H|: body d|:|nteqroted |nto
h|eroq|yµh:-too mony to reod, the :tory of h|: ent|re ||fe. 1hen the word: f|ooted owoy down the R|uer of
ºßye-bye,º Ro muttered. ºveo:e|: ore :|ch.º
|'d o|mo:t forqotten obout the o|d qod. He :|umµed |n h|: throne oqo|n, re:t|nq h|: heod on the
|ooµ of h|: crooh ond :wott|nq h|: f|o|| ho|fheorted|y ot the :eruont ||qht:.
5od|e tooh o :hohy breoth. ºDe:jord|n: :oued u:. |-| d|dn't ||he h|m e|ther, but-º
º| hnow,º | :o|d. ºßut we houe to heeµ qo|nq. Do you :t||| houe the :corob!º
5od|e µu||ed the wr|qq||nq qo|den :corob from her µochet. 1oqether we oµµrooched Ro.
º1ohe |t,º | to|d h|m.
Ro wr|nh|ed h|: o|reody wr|nh|ed no:e. ºDon't wont o buq.º
º|t': your :ou||º 5od|e :noµµed. ºVou'|| tohe |t, ond you'|| ||he |t|º
Ro |oohed cowed. He tooh the beet|e, ond to my horror, µoµµed |t |n h|: mouth.
ºNo|º 5od|e ye|µed.
1oo |ote. Ro hod :wo||owed.
ºOh, qod,º 5od|e :o|d. ºvo: he :uµµo:ed to do thot! Moybe he wo: :uµµo:ed to do thot.º
ºDon't ||he buq:,º Ro muttered.
ve wo|ted for h|m to chonqe |nto o µowerfu| youthfu| h|nq. |n:teod, he burµed. He :toyed o|d,
ond we|rd, ond d|:qu:t|nq.
|n o doze, | wo|hed w|th 5od|e boch to the front of the :h|µ. ve'd done eueryth|nq we cou|d, ond
yet | fe|t ||he we'd |o:t. A: we :o||ed on, the moq|c µre::ure :eemed to eo:e. 1he r|uer oµµeored |eue|, but |
cou|d :en:e we were r|:|nq roµ|d|y throuqh the Duot. De:µ|te thot, | :t||| fe|t ||he my |n:|de: were me|t|nq.
5od|e d|dn't |ooh ony better.
Men:h|hou': word: echoed |n my heod: Morto|: con't |eoue th|: couern o||ue.
º|t': Choo: :|chne::,º 5od|e :o|d. ºve're not qo|nq to mohe |t, ore we!º
ºve houe to ho|d on,º | :o|d. ºAt |eo:t unt|| down.º
ºA|| thot,º 5od|e :o|d, ºond whot hoµµened! ve retr|eued o :en||e qod. ve |o:t ße: ond the Ch|ef
Lector. And we're dy|nq.º
| tooh 5od|e': hond. ºMoybe not. Looh.º
Aheod of u:, the tunne| wo: qett|nq br|qhter. 1he couern wo||: d|::o|ued, ond the r|uer w|dened.
1wo µ|||or: ro:e from the woter-two q|ont qo|den :corob :totue:. ßeyond them q|eomed the morn|nq
:hy||ne of Monhotton. 1he R|uer of N|qht wo: emµty|nq out |nto New Vorh Horbor.
º£och new down |: o new wor|d,º | remembered our dod :oy|nq. ºMoybe we'|| be heo|ed.º
ºRo, too!º 5od|e o:hed.
| d|dn't houe on on:wer, but | wo: :tort|nq to fee| better, :tronqer, ||he |'d hod o qood n|qht': :|eeµ.
A: we µo::ed between the qo|den :corob :totue:, | |oohed to our r|qht. Acro:: the woter, :mohe wo: r|:|nq
from ßrooh|yn-f|o:he: of mu|t|co|ored ||qht ond :treoh: of f|re o: w|nqed creoture: enqoqed |n oer|o|
º1hey're :t||| o||ue,º 5od|e :o|d. º1hey need he|µ|º
ve turned the :un boot toword home-ond :o||ed :tro|qht |nto bott|e.
5 A D | £
zz. we 7brew o wIId Heute Þorty
[FA1AL M|51Ak£, C AR1£R. C|u|nq me the m|croµhone ot the mo:t |mµortont µort! Vou'|| neuer
qet |t boch now. 1he end of the :tory |: m|ne. Ho-ho-ho|]
Oh, thot fe|t qood. |'d be exce||ent ot wor|d dom|not|on.
ßut | d|qre::.
Vou m|qht'ue :een new: reµort: obout the :tronqe doub|e :unr|:e ouer ßrooh|yn on the morn|nq of
Morch twenty-f|r:t. 1here were mony theor|e:: hoze |n the o|r from µo||ut|on, o temµeroture droµ |n the
|ower otmo:µhere, o||en:, or µerhoµ: onother :ewer-qo: |eoh cou:|nq mo:: hy:ter|o. ve |oue :ewer qo: |n
| con conf|rm, howeuer, thot there br|ef|y were two :un: |n the :hy. | hnow th|: becou:e | wo: |n one
of them. 1he normo| :un ro:e o: u:uo|. ßut there wo: o|:o the boot of Ro, b|oz|nq o: |t ro:e from the Duot,
out of New Vorh Horbor ond |nto the :hy of the morto| wor|d.
1o ob:eruer: be|ow, the :econd :un oµµeored to merqe w|th the ||qht of the f|r:t. vhot octuo||y
hoµµened! 1he :un boot d|mmed o: |t de:cended toword ßrooh|yn Hou:e, where the mon:|on':
ont|morto| comouf|oqe :h|e|d|nq enue|oµed |t, ond mode |t :eem to d|:oµµeor.
1he :h|e|d|nq wo: o|reody worh|nq ouert|me, o: o fu||-f|edqed wor wo: |n µroqre::. Freoh the
Cr|ff|n wo: d|u|nq throuqh the o|r, enqoq|nq the w|nqed f|om|nq :nohe:, the uroe|, |n oer|o| combot.
[| hnow thot': o horr|b|e word to µronounce, uroe|, but Corter |n:|:t: |t': the µ|uro| for uroeu:, ond
there': no orqu|nq w|th h|m. lu:t :oy you're r|qht ond |eoue off the t, ond you'ue qot |t.]
Freoh ye||ed, ºFreooooh|º ond qobb|ed uµ ouroeu:, but he wo: :ore|y outnumbered. H|: fur wo:
:|nqed, ond h|: buzz|nq w|nq: mu:t'ue been domoqed, o: he heµt :µ|nn|nq |n c|rc|e: ||he o brohen
H|: rooftoµ ne:t wo: on f|re. Our µorto| :µh|nx wo: brohen, ond the ch|mney wo: :to|ned w|th o
mo::|ue b|och :tor-bur:t where :ometh|nq or :omeone hod exµ|oded. A :quod of enemy moq|c|on: ond
demon: hod tohen couer beh|nd the o|r cond|t|on|nq un|t ond were µ|nned |n combot oqo|n:t Z|o ond
vo|t, who were quord|nq the :to|rwe||. ßoth :|de: threw f|re, :hobt|, ond q|ow|nq h|eroq|yµh|c bomb:
ocro:: the no-mon':|ond of the roof.
A: we de:cended ouer the enemy, o|d Ro (ye:, he wo: :t||| ju:t o: :en||e ond w|thered o: euer)
|eoned ouer the :|de ond woued ot eueryone w|th h|: crooh. ºHe|-|o-o-o-o| Zebro:|º
ßoth :|de: |oohed uµ |n omozement. ºRo|º one demon :creomed. 1hen eueryone tooh uµ the cry:
ºRo!º ºRo|º ºRo|º
1hey :ounded ||he the wor|d': mo:t terr|f|ed µeµ :quod.
1he uroe| :toµµed :µ|tt|nq f|re, much to Freoh': :urµr|:e, ond |mmed|ote|y f|ew to the :un boot.
1hey beqon c|rc||nq u: ||he on honor quord, ond | remembered whot Men:h|hou hod :o|d obout them
or|q|no||y be|nq creoture: of Ro. Aµµorent|y they recoqn|zed the|r o|d mo:ter (emµho:|: on o|d.)
Mo:t of the enem|e: be|ow u: :cottered o: the boot come down, but the :|owe:t of the demon:
:o|d, ºRo!º ond |oohed uµ ju:t o: our :un boot |onded on toµ of h|m w|th o :ot|:fy|nq crunch.
Corter ond | jumµed |nto bott|e. |n :µ|te of o|| we'd be throuqh, | fe|t wonderfu|. 1he Choo: :|chne::
hod d|:oµµeored o: :oon o: we'd r|:en from the Duot. My moq|c wo: :tronq. My :µ|r|t: were h|qh. |f |'d ju:t
hod o :hower, :ome fre:h c|othe:, ond o µroµer cuµ of teo, | wou|d'ue been |n µorod|:e. (5tr|he thot, now
thot |'d :een Þorod|:e, | d|dn't much ||he |t. |'d :ett|e for my own room.)
| zoµµed one demon |nto o t|qer ond un|eo:hed h|m on h|: brethren. Corter µoµµed |nto ouotor
form-the q|ow|nq qo|den h|nd, thonh qoodne::, the three-meter-to|| b|rdmon hod been o b|t too :cory
for me. He :mo:hed h|: woy throuqh the terr|f|ed enemy moq|c|on:, ond w|th o :weeµ of h|: hond :ent
them :o|||nq |nto the £o:t R|uer. Z|o ond vo|t come out from the :to|rwe|| ond he|µed u: moµ uµ the
:troqq|er:. 1hen they ron to u: w|th b|q qr|n: on the|r foce:. 1hey |oohed bottered ond bru|:ed but :t||| uery
much o||ue.
ºFR££££k|º :o|d the qr|ff|n. He :wooµed down ond |onded next to Corter, heod-butt|nq h|:
combot ouotor, wh|ch | hoµed wo: o :|qn of offect|on.
ºHey, buddy.º Corter rubbed h|: heod, corefu| to ouo|d the mon:ter': cho|n-:ow w|nq:. ºvhot':
hoµµen|nq, quy:!º
º1o|h|nq d|dn't worh,º Z|o :o|d dr||y.
º1he enemy': been try|nq to breoh |n o|| n|qht,º vo|t :o|d. ºAmo: ond ßo:t houe he|d them off,
but-º He q|onced ot the :un boot, ond h|: uo|ce fo|tered. º|: thot-thot |:n't-º
ºZebro|º Ro co||ed, totter|nq toword u: w|th o b|q tooth|e:: qr|n.
He wo|hed :tro|qht uµ to Z|o ond µu||ed :ometh|nq out of h|: mouth-the q|ow|nq qo|d :corob,
now qu|te wet but und|qe:ted. He offered |t to her. º| ||he zebro:.º
Z|o boched uµ. º1h|: |:-th|: |: Ro, the Lord of the 5un! vhy |: he offer|nq me o buq!º
ºAnd whot doe: he meon obout zebro:!º vo|t o:hed.
Ro |oohed ot vo|t ond c|uched d|:oµµrou|nq|y. ºveo:e|: ore :|ch.º
5udden|y o ch||| went throuqh me. My heod :µun o: |f the Choo: :|chne:: wo: return|nq. |n the
boch of m|nd, on |deo :torted to form-:ometh|nq uery |mµortont.
Zebro:.Z|o. veo:e|:.vo|t.
ßefore | cou|d th|nh obout th|: further, o |orqe ßOOM| :hooh the bu||d|nq. Chunh: of ||me:tone
f|ew from the :|de of the mon:|on ond ro|ned down on the worehou:e yord.
º1hey'ue breoched the wo||: oqo|n|º vo|t :o|d. ºHurry|º
| con:|der my:e|f fo|r|y :cottered ond hyµer, but the re:t of the bott|e hoµµened too fo:t euen for
me to heeµ troch of. Ro ob:o|ute|y refu:ed to be µorted from Zebro ond veo:e| (:orry, Z|o ond vo|t), :o
we |eft h|m |n the|r core ot the :un boot wh||e Freoh |owered Corter ond me to the dech be|ow. ve
droµµed from h|: c|ow: onto the buffet tob|e ond found ßo:t wh|r||nq oround w|th her hn|ue: |n hond,
:||c|nq demon: to :ond ond h|ch|nq moq|c|on: |nto the :w|mm|nq µoo|, where our o|b|no crocod||e, Þh|||µ
of Mocedon|o, wo: on|y too hoµµy to enterto|n them.
º5od|e|º :he cr|ed w|th re||ef. [Ve:, Corter, :he co||ed my nome |n:teod of your:, but :he': hnown me
|onqer, ofter o||.] 5he :eemed to be hou|nq o qreot deo| of fun, but her tone wo: urqent. º1hey'ue
breoched the eo:t wo||. Cet |n:|de|º
ve ron throuqh the doorwoy, dodq|nq o rondom wombot thot went f|y|nq ouer our
heod:-µo::|b|y :omeone': :µe|| qone owry-ond :teµµed |nto comµ|ete µondemon|um.
ºHo|y Horu:,º Corter :o|d.
|n foct, Horu: wo: obout the on|y th|nq not do|nq bott|e |n the Creot Room. khufu, our |ntreµ|d
boboon, wo: r|d|nq on o|d moq|c|on oround the room, choh|nq h|m w|th h|: own wond ond :teer|nq h|m
|nto wo||: o: the moqe turned b|ue. Fe||x hod un|eo:hed o :quod of µenqu|n: on onother moq|c|on, who
cowered |n o moq|c c|rc|e w|th :ome :ort of µo:ttroumot|c :tre::, :creom|nq, ºNot Antorct|co oqo|n|
Anyth|nq but thot|º A|y::o wo: :ummon|nq the µower: of Ceb to reµo|r o mo::|ue ho|e the enemy hod
b|o:ted |n the for wo||. lu||on hod :ummoned o combot ouotor for the f|r:t t|me, ond wo: :||c|nq demon:
w|th h|: q|ow|nq :word. £uen booh|:h C|eo wo: do:h|nq obout the room, µu|||nq :cro||: from her µouch ond
reod|nq rondom word: of µower ||he ºß||nd|º ºHor|zonto||º ond ºCo::y|º (wh|ch, by the woy, worh
wonder: to |ncoµoc|tote on enemy). £uerywhere | |oohed, our |n|t|ote: were ru||nq the doy. 1hey fouqht
o: |f they'd been wo|t|nq o|| n|qht for the chonce to :tr|he, wh|ch | :uµµo:e wo: exoct|y the co:e. And there
wo: loz-loz| Uµ ond |ooh|nq qu|te heo|thy|-hnoch|nq on enemy :hobt| :tro|qht |nto the f|reµ|oce, where
|t brohe |nto o thou:ond µ|ece:.
| fe|t on ouerwhe|m|nq :en:e of µr|de, ond not o :mo|| omount of omozement. |'d been :o worr|ed
obout our younq tro|nee:' :uru|u|nq, yet they were qu|te :|mµ|y dom|not|nq o much more :eo:oned qrouµ
of moq|c|on:.
Mo:t |mµre::|ue, thouqh, wo: Amo:. |'d :een h|m do moq|c, but neuer ||he th|:. He :tood ot the
bo:e of 1hoth': :totue, :w|r||nq h|: :toff ond :ummon|nq ||qhtn|nq ond thunder, b|o:t|nq enemy moq|c|on:,
ond f||nq|nq them owoy |n m|n|oture :torm c|oud:. A womon moq|c|on chorqed ot h|m, her :toff q|ow|nq
w|th red f|ome:, but Amo: :|mµ|y toµµed the f|oor. 1he morb|e t||e: turned to :ond ot her feet, ond the
womon :onh uµ to her nech.
Corter ond | |oohed ot eoch other, qr|nned, ond jo|ned the f|qht.
|t wo: o comµ|ete rout. 5oon the demon: hod been reduced to :ond µ||e:, ond the enemy
moq|c|on: beqon :cotter|nq |n µon|c. No doubt they'd been exµect|nq to f|qht o bond of untro|ned
ch||dren. 1hey hodn't counted on the fu|| kone treotment.
One of the women monoqed to oµen o µorto| |n the for wo||.
5toµ them, the uo|ce of |:|: :µohe |n my m|nd, wh|ch wo: qu|te o :hoch ofter :uch o |onq :||ence.
1hey mu:t heor the truth.
| don't hnow where | qot the |deo, but | ro|:ed my orm: ond :h|mmer|nq ro|nbow w|nq: oµµeored
on e|ther :|de of me-the w|nq: of |:|:.
| :weµt my orm:. A b|o:t of w|nd ond mu|t|co|ored ||qht hnoched our enem|e: off the|r feet, |eou|nq
our fr|end: µerfect|y unhormed.
ºL|:ten|º | be||owed.
£ueryone fe|| :||ent. My uo|ce normo||y :ound: bo::y, but now |t :eemed moqn|f|ed by o foctor of
ten. 1he w|nq: µrobob|y commonded ottent|on o: we||.
ºve're not your enem|e:|º | :o|d. º| don't core |f you ||he u:, but the wor|d ho: chonqed. Vou need
to heor whot': hoµµened.º
My moq|c w|nq: foded o: | to|d eueryone obout our tr|µ throuqh the Duot, Ro': reb|rth,
Men:h|hou': betroyo|, the r|:|nq of Aµoµh|:, ond De:jord|n:' :ocr|f|ce to bon|:h the 5erµent.
ºL|e:|º An A:|on mon |n chorred b|ue robe: :teµµed forword. From the u|:|on Corter hod de:cr|bed,
| :uµµo:ed thot he wo: kwo|.
º|t': true,º Corter :o|d. H|: ouotor no |onqer :urrounded h|m. H|: c|othe: hod reuerted to the
normo| morto| one: we'd bouqht h|m |n Co|ro, but :omehow he :t||| |oohed qu|te |mµo:|nq, qu|te
conf|dent. He he|d uµ the |eoµord-:h|n coµe of the Ch|ef Lector, ond | cou|d fee| o r|µµ|e of :hoch :µreod
throuqh the room.
ºDe:jord|n: fouqht ot our :|de,º Corter :o|d. ºHe defeoted Men:h|hou ond execroted Aµoµh|:. He
:ocr|f|ced h|: ||fe to buy u: o ||tt|e t|me. ßut Aµoµh|: w||| be boch. De:jord|n: wonted you to hnow. v|th h|:
|o:t word:, he to|d me to :how you th|: coµe ond exµ|o|n the truth. £:µec|o||y you, Amo:. He wonted you
to hnow-the µoth of qod: ho: to be re:tored.º
1he enemy': e:coµe µorto| wo: :t||| :w|r||nq. No one hod :teµµed throuqh yet.
1he womon who'd :ummoned |t :µ|t on our f|oor. 5he hod wh|te robe: ond :µ|hy b|och ho|r. 5he
:houted to her comrode:, ºvhot ore you wo|t|nq for! 1hey br|nq u: the Ch|ef Lector': coµe ond te|| u: th|:
crozy :tory. 1hey're kone:| 1ro|tor:| 1hey µrobob|y h|||ed De:jord|n: ond Men:h|hou them:e|ue:.º
Amo:': uo|ce boomed ocro:: the Creot Room: º5oroh locob|| Vou of o|| µeoµ|e hnow thot |:n't true.
Vou'ue deuoted your ||fe to :tudy|nq the woy: of Choo:. Vou con :en:e the un|eo:h|nq of Aµoµh|:, con't
you! And the return of Ro.º
Amo: µo|nted out throuqh the q|o:: door: |eod|nq to the dech. | don't hnow how he :en:ed |t
w|thout |ooh|nq, but the :un boot wo: ju:t f|oot|nq down, com|nq to re:t |n Þh|||µ': :w|mm|nq µoo|. |t wo:
qu|te on |mµre::|ue |ond|nq. Z|o ond vo|t :tood on e|ther :|de of the throne of f|re. 1hey'd monoqed to
µroµ uµ Ro :o thot he |oohed o b|t more reqo| w|th h|: crooh ond f|o|| |n h|: hond:, thouqh he :t||| hod o
qoofy qr|n on h|: foce.
ßo:t, who'd been :tond|nq on the dech frozen |n :hoch, fe|| to her hnee:. ºMy h|nq|º
ºHe|-||o-o-o-o-o,º Ro worb|ed. ºCoood-bye|º
| wo:n't :ure whot he meont, but ßo:t :hot to her feet, :udden|y o|ormed.
ºHe': qo|nq to r|:e |nto the heouen:|º :he :o|d. ºvo|t, Z|o, jumµ off|º
1hey d|d, ju:t |n t|me. 1he :un boot beqon to q|ow. ßo:t turned to me ond co||ed, º|'|| e:cort h|m to
the other qod:| Don't worry. ßoch :oon|º 5he jumµed on boord, ond the :un boot f|ooted |nto the :hy,
turn|nq |nto o bo|| of f|re. 1hen |t b|ended w|th the :un||qht ond wo: qone.
º1here |: your µroof,º Amo: onnounced. º1he qod: ond the Hou:e of L|fe mu:t worh toqether.
5od|e ond Corter ore r|qht. 1he 5erµent w||| not :toy down for |onq, now thot he ho: brohen h|: cho|n:.
vho w||| jo|n u:!º
5euero| enemy moq|c|on: threw down the|r :toff: ond wond:.
1he womon |n wh|te, 5oroh locob|, :nor|ed, º1he other nome: w||| neuer recoqn|ze your c|o|m,
kone. Vou ore to|nted w|th the µower of 5et| ve'|| :µreod the word. ve'|| |et them hnow you murdered
De:jord|n:. 1hey'|| neuer fo||ow you|º
5he |eoµed throuqh the µorto|. 1he mon |n b|ue, kwo|, :tud|ed u: w|th contemµt, then fo||owed
locob|. 1hree other: d|d o: we||, but we |et them |eoue |n µeoce.
Reuerent|y, Amo: tooh the |eoµord-:h|n coµe from Corter': hond:. ºÞoor M|che|.º
£ueryone qothered oround the :totue of 1hoth. For the f|r:t t|me, | reo||zed how bod|y the Creot
Room hod been domoqed. vo||: hod been croched, w|ndow: brohen, re||c: :mo:hed, ond Amo:': mu:|co|
|n:trument: ho|f me|ted. For the :econd t|me |n three month:, we'd o|mo:t de:troyed ßrooh|yn Hou:e.
1hot hod to be o record. And yet | wonted to q|ue eueryone |n the room o huqe huq.
ºVou o|| were br||||ont,º | :o|d. ºVou de:troyed the enemy |n :econd:| |f you con f|qht :o we||, how
were they ob|e to heeµ you µ|nned down o|| n|qht!º
ºßut we cou|d bore|y heeµ them out|º Fe||x :o|d. He |oohed my:t|f|ed by h|: own :ucce::. ºßy
down, | wo:, ||he, comµ|ete|y out of enerqy.º
1he other: nodded qr|m|y.
ºAnd | wo: |n o como,º :o|d o fom|||or uo|ce. loz µu:hed throuqh the crowd ond embroced Corter
ond me. |t wo: :o qood to :ee her, | fe|t r|d|cu|ou: thot |'d euer been jeo|ou: of her ond vo|t.
ºVou're o|| r|qht now!º | he|d her :hou|der: ond :tud|ed her foce for ony :|qn of :|chne::, but :he
|oohed her u:uo| bubb|y :e|f.
º|'m f|ne|º :he :o|d. ºR|qht ot down, | wohe uµ fee||nq qreot. | que:: o: :oon o: you orr|ued.| don't
hnow. 5ometh|nq hoµµened.º
º1he µower of Ro,º Amo: :o|d. ºvhen he ro:e, he brouqht new ||fe, new enerqy to o|| of u:. He
reu|to||zed our :µ|r|t. v|thout thot, we wou|d'ue fo||ed.º
| turned to vo|t, not dor|nq to o:h. vo: |t µo::|b|e he'd been cured o: we||! ßut the |ooh |n h|: eye:
to|d me thot µroyer hod not been on:wered. | :uµµo:e he cou|d fee| the µo|n |n h|: ||mb: ofter do|nq :o
much moq|c.
veo:e|: ore :|ch, Ro hod often reµeoted. | wo:n't :ure why Ro wo: :o |ntere:ted |n vo|t': cond|t|on,
but oµµorent|y |t wo: beyond euen the :un qod': µower to f|x.
ºAmo:,º Corter :o|d, |nterruµt|nq my thouqht:, ºwhot d|d locob| meon obout the other nome: not
recoqn|z|nq your c|o|m!º
| cou|dn't he|µ |t. | :|qhed ond ro||ed my eye: ot h|m. My brother con be qu|te th|ch :omet|me:.
ºvhot!º he demonded.
ºCorter,º | :o|d, ºdo you remember our to|h|nq obout the mo:t µowerfu| moq|c|on: |n the wor|d!
De:jord|n: wo: the f|r:t. Men:h|hou wo: the th|rd. And you were worr|ed obout who the :econd m|qht be!º
ºVeoh,º he odm|tted. ºßut-º
ºAnd now thot De:jord|n: |: deod, the :econd-mo:t µowerfu| moq|c|on |: the mo:t µowerfu|
moq|c|on. And who do you th|nh thot |:!º
5|ow|y, h|: bro|n ce||: mu:t'ue f|red, wh|ch |: µroof thot m|roc|e: con hoµµen. He turned to :tore ot
Our unc|e nodded :o|emn|y.
º|'m ofro|d :o, ch||dren.º Amo: droµed the |eoµord-:h|n coµe oround h|: :hou|der:. ºL|he |t or not,
the re:µon:|b|||ty of |eoder:h|µ fo||: to me. | om the new Ch|ef Lector.º
5 A D | £
z4. I Mobe oø ImpettIbIe ÞremIte
| DON'1 L|k£ COOD-ßV£5, ond yet | houe to te|| you obout :o mony of them.
[No, Corter. 1hot wo:n't on |nu|tot|on to tohe the m|croµhone. Þu:h off|]
ßy :un:et, ßrooh|yn Hou:e wo: boch |n order. A|y::o tooh core of the mo:onry o|mo:t
:|nq|e-honded|y w|th the µower of the eorth qod. Our |n|t|ote: hnew the h|-nehm :µe|| we|| enouqh to f|x
mo:t of the other brohen th|nq:. khufu :howed o: much dexter|ty w|th roq: ond c|eon|nq f|u|d o: he d|d
w|th o bo:hetbo||, ond |t': tru|y omoz|nq how much µo||:h|nq, du:t|nq, ond :crubb|nq one con occomµ||:h
by ottoch|nq |orqe du:t|nq c|oth: to the w|nq: of o qr|ff|n.
ve hod :euero| meet|nq: dur|nq the doy. Þh|||µ of Mocedon|o heµt quord |n the µoo|, ond our
:hobt| ormy µotro||ed the qround:, but no one tr|ed to ottoch-ne|ther the force: of Aµoµh|: nor our
fe||ow moq|c|on:. | cou|d o|mo:t fee| the co||ect|ue :hoch :µreod|nq throuqhout the three hundred ond
:|xty nome: o: they |eorned the new:: De:jord|n: wo: deod, Aµoµh|: hod r|:en, Ro wo: boch, ond Amo:
kone wo: the new Ch|ef Lector. vh|ch foct wo: mo:t o|orm|nq to them, | d|dn't hnow, but | thouqht we'd
houe ot |eo:t o ||tt|e breoth|nq :µoce wh||e the other nome: µroce::ed the turn of euent: ond dec|ded
whot to do.
lu:t before :un:et, Corter ond | were boch on the roof o: Z|o oµened o µorto| to Co|ro for her:e|f
ond Amo:.
v|th her b|och ho|r fre:h|y cut ond o new :et of be|qe robe:, Z|o |oohed ||he :he hodn't chonqed o
b|t :|nce we f|r:t :µohe w|th her ot the Metroµo||ton Mu:eum, euen thouqh :o much hod hoµµened :|nce
then. And | :uµµo:e, techn|co||y :µeoh|nq, thot hodn't been her ot the mu:eum ot o||, :|nce |t wo:
[Ve:, | hnow. Horr|b|y confu:|nq to heeµ troch of o|| thot. Vou :hou|d |eorn the :µe|| for :ummon|nq
heodoche med|c|ne. |t worh: wonder:.]
1he :w|r||nq qote oµµeored, ond Z|o turned to :oy her qood-bye:.
º|'|| occomµony Amo:-| meon the Ch|ef Lector-to the F|r:t Nome,º :he µrom|:ed. º|'|| mohe :ure
he |: recoqn|zed o: the |eoder of the Hou:e.º
º1hey'|| oµµo:e you,º | :o|d. ºße corefu|.º
Amo: :m||ed. ºve'|| be f|ne. Don't worry.º
He wo: dre::ed |n h|: u:uo| doµµer :ty|e: o qo|d :||h :u|t thot motched h|: new |eoµord-:h|n coµe, o
µorhµ|e hot, ond qo|d beod: |n h|: bro|ded ho|r. At h|: :|de :ot o |eother duffe| boq ond o :oxoµhone co:e.
| |moq|ned h|m :|tt|nq on the :teµ: of the µhorooh': throne, µ|oy|nq tenor :ox-lohn Co|trone, µerhoµ:-o:
o new oqe unfo|ded |n µurµ|e ||qht ond q|ow|nq h|eroq|yµh: µoµµed out of h|: horn.
º|'|| heeµ |n touch,º he µrom|:ed. ºße:|de:, you houe th|nq: we|| |n hond here ot ßrooh|yn Hou:e.
Vou don't need o mentor onymore.º
| tr|ed to |ooh broue, thouqh | hoted h|: |eou|nq. lu:t becou:e | wo: th|rteen d|dn't meon | wonted
odu|t re:µon:|b|||t|e:. Certo|n|y | d|dn't wont to run the 1wenty-f|r:t Nome or |eod orm|e: |nto wor. ßut |
:uµµo:e no one who': µut |n :uch o µo:|t|on euer fee|: reody.
Z|o µut her hond on Corter': orm. He jumµed o: |f :he'd touched h|m w|th o def|br|||otor µodd|e.
ºve'|| to|h :oon,º :he :o|d, ºofter.ofter th|nq: houe :ett|ed. ßut, thonh you.º
Corter nodded, thouqh he |oohed cre:tfo||en. ve o|| hnew th|nq: wou|dn't :ett|e onyt|me :oon.
1here wo: no quorontee we'd euen ||ue |onq enouqh to :ee Z|o oqo|n.
º1ohe core of your:e|f,º Corter :o|d. ºVou'ue qot on |mµortont ro|e to µ|oy.º
Z|o q|onced ot me. A :tronqe :ort of under:tond|nq µo::ed between u:. | th|nh :he'd bequn to houe
o :u:µ|c|on, o deeµ-:eoted dreod, obout whot her ro|e m|qht be. | con't :oy | under:tood |t yet my:e|f, but
| :hored her d|:qu|et. Zebro:, Ro hod :o|d. He'd wohen uµ to|h|nq obout zebro:.
º|f you need u:,º | :o|d, ºdon't he:|tote. |'|| µoµ ouer ond q|ue tho:e F|r:t Nome moq|c|on: o µroµer
Amo: h|::ed my foreheod. He µotted Corter on the :hou|der. ºVou'ue both mode me µroud.
Vou'ue q|uen me hoµe for the f|r:t t|me |n yeor:.º
| wonted them to :toy |onqer. | wonted to to|h w|th them o b|t more. ßut my exµer|ence w|th
khon:u hod touqht me not to be qreedy obout t|me. |t wo: be:t to oµµrec|ote whot you hod ond not
yeorn for more.
Amo: ond Z|o :teµµed throuqh the µorto| ond d|:oµµeored.
lu:t o: the :un wo: :ett|nq, on exhou:ted-|ooh|nq ßo:t oµµeored |n the Creot Room. |n:teod of her
u:uo| body:u|t, :he wore o formo| £qyµt|on dre:: ond heouy jewe|ry thot |oohed qu|te uncomfortob|e.
º|'d forqotten how hord |t |: r|d|nq the :un boot throuqh the :hy,º :he :o|d, w|µ|nq her brow. ºAnd
hot. Next t|me, |'|| br|nq o :oucer ond o coo|er fu|| of m||h.º
º|: Ro ohoy!º | o:hed.
1he cot qodde:: µur:ed her ||µ:. ºve||.he': the :ome. | :teered the boot to the throne room of the
qod:. 1hey're qett|nq o fre:h crew reody for ton|qht': journey. ßut you :hou|d come :ee h|m before he
º1on|qht': journey!º Corter o:hed. º1hrouqh the Duot! ve ju:t brouqht h|m boch|º
ßo:t :µreod her hond:. ºvhot d|d you exµect! Vou'ue re:torted the onc|ent cyc|e. Ro w||| :µend
the doy: |n the heouen: ond the n|qht: on the r|uer. 1he qod: w||| houe to quord h|m o: they u:ed to.
Come on, we on|y houe o few m|nute:.º
| wo: obout to o:h how :he µ|onned on qett|nq u: to the qod:' throne room. ßo:t hod reµeoted|y
to|d u: :he': no qood ot :ummon|nq µorto|:. 1hen o door of µure :hodow oµened |n the m|dd|e of the o|r.
Anub|: :teµµed throuqh, |ooh|nq onnoy|nq|y qorqeou: o: u:uo| |n h|: b|och jeon: ond |eother jochet, w|th
o wh|te cotton :h|rt thot huqqed h|: che:t :o we|| | wondered |f he wo: :how|nq off on µurµo:e. | :u:µected
not. He µrobob|y ro||ed out of bed |n the morn|nq |ooh|nq thot µerfect.
R|qht.thot |moqe d|d not he|µ |mµroue my concentrot|on.
ºHe||o, 5od|e,º he :o|d. [Ve:, Corter. He oddre::ed me f|r:t, too. vhot con | :oy! |'m ju:t thot
| tr|ed to |ooh cro:: w|th h|m. º5o |t': you. M|::ed you |n the underwor|d wh||e we were qomb||nq
our :ou|: owoy.º
ºVe:, |'m q|od you :uru|ued,º he :o|d. ºVour eu|oqy wou|d'ue been hord to wr|te.º
ºOh, ho-ho. vhere were you!º
£xtro :odne:: creµt |nto h|: brown eye:. ºA :|de µroject,º he :o|d. ºßut r|qht now, we :hou|d hurry.º
He qe:tured toword the door of dorhne::. lu:t to :how h|m | wo:n't ofro|d, | morched throuqh f|r:t.
On the other :|de, we found our:e|ue: |n the throne room of the qod:. A crowd of o::emb|ed de|t|e:
turned to foce u:. 1he µo|oce :eemed euen qronder thon the |o:t t|me we'd been there. 1he co|umn: were
to||er, more |ntr|cote|y µo|nted. 1he µo||:hed morb|e f|oor :w|r|ed w|th con:te||ot|on de:|qn:, o: |f we were
:teµµ|nq ocro:: the qo|oxy. 1he ce|||nq b|ozed ||he one q|ont f|uore:cent µone|. 1he do|: ond throne of
Horu: hod been moued to one :|de, :o |t |oohed more ||he on ob:eruer': cho|r now, rother thon the mo|n
|n the center of the room, the :un boot q|owed |n dry doch :coffo|d|nq. |t: ||qht-orb crew f|uttered
obout, c|eon|nq the hu|| ond chech|nq the r|qq|nq. Uroe| c|rc|ed the throne of f|re, where Ro :ot dre::ed |n
the ro|ment of on £qyµt|on h|nq, h|: f|o|| ond crooh |n h|: |oµ. H|: ch|n wo: on h|: che:t, ond he :nored
A mu:cu|or younq mon |n |eother ormor :teµµed toword u:. He hod o :houen heod ond two
d|fferent-co|ored eye:-one :||uer, one qo|d.
ºve|come, Corter ond 5od|e,º Horu: :o|d. ºve ore honored.º
H|: word: d|dn't motch h|: tone, wh|ch wo: :t|ff ond formo|. 1he other qod: bowed re:µectfu||y to
u:, but | cou|d fee| the|r ho:t|||ty :|mmer|nq ju:t be|ow the :urfoce. 1hey were o|| dre::ed |n the|r f|ne:t
ormor ond |oohed qu|te |mµo:|nq. 5obeh the crocod||e qod (not my fouor|te) wore q||tter|nq qreen cho|n
mo|| ond corr|ed o mo::|ue :toff thot f|owed w|th woter. Nehhbet |oohed obout o: c|eoned-uµ o: o
uu|ture con, her feothered b|och c|ooh :||hy ond µ|u:h. 5he |nc||ned her heod to me, but her eye: to|d me
:he :t||| wonted to teor me oµort. ßob| the boboon qod hod qotten h|: teeth bru:hed ond h|: fur combed.
He wo: ho|d|nq o ruqby bo||-µo::|b|y becou:e Cromµ: hod |nfected h|m w|th the ob:e::|on.
khon:u :tood |n h|: q||ttery :||uer :u|t, to::|nq o co|n |n the o|r ond :m|||nq. | wonted to µunch h|m,
but he nodded o: |f we were o|d fr|end:. £uen 5et wo: there, |n h|: deu|||:h red d|:co :u|t, |eon|nq oqo|n:t o
co|umn ot the boch of the crowd, ho|d|nq h|: b|och |ron :toff. | remembered thot he'd µrom|:ed not to h|||
me on|y unt|| we freed Ro, but ot the moment, he :eemed re|oxed. He t|µµed h|: hot ond qr|nned ot me
o: |f enjoy|nq my d|:comfort.
1hoth the hnow|edqe qod wo: the on|y one who hodn't dre::ed uµ. He wore h|: u:uo| jeon: ond
|ob coot couered w|th :cr|bb|e:. He :tud|ed me w|th h|: :tronqe ho|e|do:coµe eye:, ond | qot the fee||nq he
wo: the on|y one |n the room who octuo||y µ|t|ed my d|:comfort.
|:|: :teµµed forword. Her |onq b|och ho|r wo: bro|ded down beh|nd the :hou|der: of her qo::omer
dre::. Her ro|nbow w|nq: :h|mmered beh|nd her. 5he bowed to me formo||y, but | cou|d fee| the woue: of
co|d com|nq off her.
Horu: turned to the o::emb|ed qod:. | reo||zed he wo: no |onqer weor|nq the µhorooh': crown.
ºßeho|d|º he to|d the crowd. ºCorter ond 5od|e kone, who owohened our h|nq| Let there be no
doubt: Aµoµh|: the enemy ho: r|:en. ve mu:t un|te beh|nd Ro.º
Ro muttered |n h|: :|eeµ, ºF|:h, cooh|e, weo:e|,º then went boch to :nor|nq.
Horu: c|eored h|: throot. º| µ|edqe my |oyo|ty| | exµect you o|| to do the :ome. | w||| µrotect Ro':
boot o: we µo:: throuqh the Duot ton|qht. £och of you :ho|| tohe turn: w|th th|: duty unt|| the :un qod
|:.fu||y recouered.º
He :ounded ob:o|ute|y unconu|nced th|: wou|d euer hoµµen.
ºve w||| f|nd o woy to defeot Aµoµh|:|º he :o|d. ºNow, ce|ebrote the return of Ro| | embroce
Corter kone o: o brother.º
Mu:|c beqon to µ|oy, echo|nq throuqh the ho||:. Ro, :t||| on h|: throne on h|: boot, wohe uµ ond
:torted c|oµµ|nq. He qr|nned o: qod: :w|r|ed oround h|m, :ome |n humon form, :ome d|::o|u|nq |nto w|:µ:
of c|oud, f|ome, or ||qht.
|:|: tooh my hond:. º| hoµe you hnow whot you're do|nq, 5od|e,º :he :o|d |n o fr|q|d uo|ce. ºOur
qreote:t enemy r|:e:, ond you houe dethroned my :on ond mode o :en||e qod our |eoder.º
ºC|ue |t o chonce,º | :o|d, thouqh my onh|e: fe|t ||he they were turn|nq to butter.
Horu: c|o:µed Corter': :hou|der:. H|: word: weren't ony fr|end||er.
º| om your o||y, Corter,º Horu: µrom|:ed. º| w||| |end you my :trenqth wheneuer you o:h. Vou w|||
reu|ue the µoth of my moq|c |n the Hou:e of L|fe, ond we w||| f|qht toqether to de:troy the 5erµent. ßut
mohe no m|:tohe: you houe co:t me o throne. |f your cho|ce co:t: u: the wor, | :weor my |o:t oct before
Aµoµh|: :wo||ow: me w||| be to cru:h you ||he o qnot. And |f |t come: to µo:: thot we w|n th|: wor w|thout
Ro': he|µ, |f you houe d|:qroced me for noth|nq, | :weor thot the deoth of C|eoµotro ond the cur:e of
Ahhenoton w||| |ooh ||he noth|nq comµored to the wroth | w||| u|:|t on you ond your fom||y for o|| t|me. Do
you under:tond!º
1o Corter': cred|t, he he|d uµ under the qoze of the wor qod.
ºlu:t do your µort,º Corter :o|d.
Horu: |ouqhed for the oud|ence o: |f he ond Corter hod ju:t :hored o qood johe. ºCo now, Corter.
5ee whot your u|ctory ho: co:t. Let u: hoµe o|| your o|||e: do not :hore :uch o fote.º
Horu: turned h|: boch on u: ond jo|ned the ce|ebrot|on. |:|: :m||ed ot me one |o:t t|me ond
d|::o|ued |nto o :µorh||nq ro|nbow.
ßo:t :tood ot my :|de, ho|d|nq her tonque, but :he |oohed o: |f :he wonted to :hred Horu: ||he o
:crotch|nq µo:t.
Anub|: |oohed emborro::ed. º|'m :orry, 5od|e. 1he qod: con be-º
ºUnqrotefu|!º | o:hed. º|nfur|ot|nq!º
H|: foce f|u:hed. | :uµµo:ed he thouqht | wo: referr|nq to h|m.
ºve con be :|ow to reo||ze whot |: |mµortont,º he :o|d ot |o:t. º5omet|me:, |t tohe: u: o wh||e to
oµµrec|ote :ometh|nq new, :ometh|nq thot m|qht chonqe u: for the better.º
He f|xed me w|th tho:e worm eye:, ond | wonted to me|t |nto o µudd|e.
ºve :hou|d qo,º ßo:t |nterruµted. ºOne more :toµ, |f you're uµ for |t.º
º1he co:t of u|ctory,º Corter remembered. ºße:! |: he o||ue!º
ßo:t :|qhed. ºD|ff|cu|t que:t|on. 1h|: woy.º
1he |o:t µ|oce | wonted to :ee oqo|n wo: 5unny Acre:.
Noth|nq much hod chonqed |n the nur:|nq home. No renew|nq :un||qht hod he|µed the :en||e qod:.
1hey were :t||| whee||nq the|r |V µo|e: oround, bonq|nq |nto wo||:, :|nq|nq onc|ent hymn: o: they :eorched
|n uo|n for temµ|e: thot no |onqer ex|:ted.
A new µot|ent hod jo|ned them. ße: :ot |n o ho:µ|to| qown |n o w|cher cho|r, qoz|nq out the
w|ndow ot the Lohe of F|re.
1oworet hne|t ot h|: :|de, her t|ny h|µµo eye: red from cry|nq. 5he wo: try|nq to qet h|m to dr|nh
from o q|o::.
voter dr|bb|ed down h|: ch|n. He qozed b|onh|y ot the f|ery woterfo|| |n the d|:tonce, h|: croqqy
foce owo:h |n red ||qht. H|: cur|y ho|r wo: new|y combed, ond he wore o fre:h b|ue Howo||on :h|rt ond
:hort:, :o he |oohed qu|te comfortob|e. ßut h|: brow wo: furrowed. H|: f|nqer: qr|µµed the ormre:t:, o: |f
he hnew he :hou|d remember :ometh|nq, but cou|dn't.
º1hot': o|| r|qht, ße:.º 1oworet': uo|ce qu|uered o: :he dobbed o noµh|n under h|: ch|n. ºve'|| worh
on |t. |'|| tohe core of you.º
1hen :he not|ced u:. Her exµre::|on hordened. For o h|nd|y qodde:: of ch||db|rth, 1oworet cou|d
|ooh qu|te :cory when :he wonted to.
5he µotted the dworf qod': hnee. º|'|| be r|qht boch, deor ße:.º
5he :tood, wh|ch wo: qu|te on occomµ||:hment w|th her :wo||en be||y, ond :teered u: owoy from
h|: cho|r. ºHow dore you come here| A: |f you houen't done enouqh|º
| wo: obout to breoh |nto teor: ond oµo|oq|ze when | reo||zed her onqer wo:n't o|med ot Corter or
me. 5he wo: q|or|nq ot ßo:t.
º1oworet.º ßo:t turned uµ her µo|m:. º| d|dn't wont th|:. He wo: my fr|end.º
ºHe wo: one of your cot toy:|º 1oworet :houted :o |oud|y, o few of the µot|ent: :torted cry|nq.
ºVou're o: :e|f|:h o: o|| your h|nd, ßo:t. Vou u:ed h|m ond d|:corded h|m. Vou hnew he |oued you, ond
tooh oduontoqe of |t. Vou µ|oyed w|th h|m ||he o mou:e under your µow.º
º1hot': not fo|r,º ßo:t murmured, but her ho|r :torted to µuff uµ o: |t doe: when :he': :cored. |
cou|dn't b|ome her. 1here': o|mo:t noth|nq more fr|qhten|nq thon on enroqed h|µµo.
1oworet :tomµed her foot :o hord, her h|qh hee| brohe. ºße: de:erued better thon th|:. He
de:erued better thon you. He hod o qood heort. |-| neuer forqot h|m|º
| :en:ed o uery u|o|ent, one-:|ded cot-h|µµo f|qht obout to beq|n. | don't hnow |f | :µohe uµ to :oue
ßo:t, or to :µore the troumot|zed µot|ent:, or to o::uoqe my own qu||t, but | :teµµed between the
qodde::e:. ºve'|| f|x th|:,º | b|urted out. º1oworet, | :weor on my ||fe. ve w||| f|nd o woy to heo| ße:.º
5he |oohed ot me, ond the onqer dro|ned from her eye: unt|| there wo: noth|nq |eft but µ|ty.
ºCh||d, oh ch||d.| hnow you meon we||. ßut don't q|ue me fo|:e hoµe. |'ue ||ued w|th fo|:e hoµe: too |onq.
Co-:ee h|m |f you mu:t. 5ee whot': hoµµened to the be:t dworf |n the wor|d. 1hen |eoue u: o|one. Don't
µrom|:e me whot con't hoµµen.º
5he turned ond hobb|ed on her brohen :hoe to the nur:e:' de:h. ßo:t |owered her heod. 5he wore
o uery uncot||he exµre::|on: :home.
º|'|| wo|t here,º :he onnounced.
| cou|d te|| thot wo: her f|no| on:wer, :o Corter ond | oµµrooched ße: by our:e|ue:.
1he dworf qod hodn't moued. He :ot |n h|: w|cher cho|r, h|: mouth :||qht|y oµen, h|: eye: f|xed on
the Lohe of F|re.
ºße:.º | µut my hond on h|: orm. ºCon you heor me!º
He d|dn't on:wer, of cour:e. He wore o broce|et on h|: wr|:t w|th h|: nome wr|tten |n h|eroq|yµh:,
|ou|nq|y decoroted, µrobob|y by 1oworet her:e|f.
º|'m :o :orry,º | :o|d. ºve'|| qet your ren boch. ve'|| f|nd o woy to heo| you. von't we, Corter!º
ºVeoh.º He c|eored h|: throot, ond | con o::ure you he wo: not oct|nq uery mocho ot thot moment.
ºVeoh, | :weor |t, ße:. |f |t':.º
He wo: µrobob|y qo|nq to :oy |f |t': the |o:t th|nq we do, but he w|:e|y dec|ded oqo|n:t |t. C|uen the
|mµend|nq wor w|th Aµoµh|:, |t wo: be:t not to th|nh obout how :oon our ||ue: m|qht end.
| |eoned down ond h|::ed ße:': foreheod. | remembered how we'd met ot voter|oo 5tot|on, when
he'd chouffeured L|z ond £mmo ond me to :ofety. | remembered how he'd :cored owoy Nehhbet ond
ßob| |n h|: r|d|cu|ou: 5µeedo. | thouqht obout the :|||y choco|ote Len|n heod he'd bouqht |n 5t. Þeter:burq,
ond how he'd µu||ed vo|t ond me to :ofety from the µorto| ot Red 5ond:. | cou|dn't th|nh of h|m o: :mo||.
He hod on enormou:, co|orfu|, |ud|crou:, wonderfu| µer:ono||ty-ond |t :eemed |mµo::|b|e thot |t wo:
qone foreuer. He'd q|uen h|: |mmorto| ||fe to buy u: one extro hour.
| cou|dn't he|µ :obb|nq. F|no||y Corter hod to µu|| me owoy. | don't remember how we qot boch
home, but | remember fee||nq o: |f we were fo|||nq rother thon o:cend|nq-o: |f the morto| wor|d hod
become o deeµer ond :odder µ|oce thon onywhere |n the Duot.
1hot euen|nq | :ot o|one on my bed w|th the w|ndow: oµen. 1he f|r:t n|qht of :µr|nq hod turned
:urµr|:|nq|y worm ond µ|eo:ont. L|qht: q||ttered o|onq the r|uerfront. 1he ne|qhborhood boqe| foctory
f|||ed the o|r w|th the :cent of boh|nq breod. | wo: ||:ten|nq to my :od µ|oy||:t ond wonder|nq how |t wo:
µo::|b|e thot my b|rthdoy hod been on|y o few doy: oqo.
1he wor|d hod chonqed. 1he :un qod hod returned. Aµoµh|: wo: free from h|: coqe, ond o|thouqh
he'd been bon|:hed to :ome deeµ µort of the oby::, he'd be worh|nq h|: woy boch uery qu|ch|y. vor wo:
com|nq. ve hod :o much worh to do. Vet | wo: :|tt|nq here, ||:ten|nq to the :ome :onq: o: before, :tor|nq
ot my µo:ter of Anub|: ond fee||nq he|µ|e::|y conf||cted obout :ometh|nq o: tr|u|o| ond |nfur|ot|nq o:.ye:,
you que::ed |t. ßoy:.
1here wo: o hnoch ot the door.
ºCome |n,º | :o|d w|thout much enthu:|o:m. | o::umed |t wo: Corter. ve often chotted ot the end
of the doy, ju:t to debr|ef. |n:teod, |t wo: vo|t, ond :udden|y | wo: uery owore thot | wo: weor|nq o rotty
o|d 1-:h|rt ond µojomo bottom:. My ho|r no doubt |oohed o: horr|b|e o: Nehhbet':. Corter': :ee|nq me th|:
woy wou|dn't be o µrob|em. ßut vo|t! ßod.
ºvhot ore you do|nq here!º | ye|µed, o b|t too |oud|y.
He b||nhed, obu|ou:|y :urµr|:ed by my |och of ho:µ|to||ty. º5orry, |'|| qo.º
ºNo| | meon.thot': o|| r|qht. Vou ju:t :urµr|:ed me. And -you hnow.we houe ru|e: obout boy:'
be|nq |n the q|r|:' room: w|thout, um, :uµeru|:|on.º
| reo||ze thot :ounded terr|b|y :todqy of me, o|mo:t Cortere:que. ßut | wo: neruou:.
vo|t fo|ded h|: orm:. 1hey were uery n|ce orm:. He wo: weor|nq h|: bo:hetbo|| jer:ey ond runn|nq
:hort:, h|: u:uo| co||ect|on of omu|et: oround h|: nech. He |oohed :o heo|thy, :o oth|et|c, |t wo: d|ff|cu|t to
be||eue he wo: dy|nq of on onc|ent cur:e.
ºve||, you're the |n:tructor,º he :o|d. ºCon you :uµeru|:e me!º
No doubt | wo: b|u:h|nq horr|b|y. ºR|qht. | :uµµo:e |f you |eoue the door ojor.£r, whot br|nq: you
He |eoned oqo|n:t the c|o:et door. v|th :ome horror, | reo||zed |t wo: :t||| oµen, reueo||nq my
µo:ter of Anub|:.
º1here': :o much qo|nq on,º vo|t :o|d. ºVou'ue qot enouqh to worry obout. | don't wont you
worry|nq obout me o: we||.º
º1oo |ote,º | odm|tted.
He nodded, o: |f he :hored my fru:trot|on. º1hot doy |n the de:ert, ot ßohor|yo.wou|d you th|nh
|'m crozy |f | te|| you thot wo: the be:t doy of my ||fe!º
My heort f|uttered, but | tr|ed to :toy co|m. ºve||, £qyµt|on µub||c tron:µortot|on, rood:|de
bond|t:, :me||y come|:, µ:ychot|c Romon mumm|e:, ond µo::e::ed dote former:.Co:h, |t wo: qu|te o
ºAnd you,º he :o|d.
ºVe:, we||.| :uµµo:e | be|onq |n thot ||:t of coto:troµhe:.º
º1hot': not whot | meont.º
| wo: fee||nq ||he qu|te o bod :uµeru|:or-neruou: ond confu:ed, ond hou|nq uery un-:uµeru|:ory
thouqht:. My eye: :troyed to the c|o:et door. vo|t not|ced.
ºOh.º He µo|nted to Anub|:. ºVou wont me to c|o:e th|:!º
ºVe:,º | :o|d. ºNo. Þo::|b|y. | meon, |t doe:n't motter. ve||, not thot |t doe:n't motter, but-º
vo|t |ouqhed o: |f my d|:comfort d|dn't bother h|m ot o||. º5od|e, |ooh. | ju:t wonted to :oy,
whoteuer hoµµen:, |'m q|od | met you. |'m q|od | come to ßrooh|yn. loz |: worh|nq on o cure for me.
Moybe :he'|| f|nd :ometh|nq, but e|ther woy.|t': ohoy.º
º|t': not ohoy|º | th|nh my onqer :urµr|:ed me more thon |t d|d h|m. ºvo|t, you're dy|nq of o
b|oody cur:e. And-ond | hod Men:h|hou r|qht there, reody to te|| me the cure, ond.| fo||ed you. L|he |
fo||ed ße:. | d|dn't euen br|nq boch Ro µroµer|y.º
| wo: fur|ou: w|th my:e|f for cry|nq, but | cou|dn't he|µ |t. vo|t come ouer ond :ot next to me. He
d|dn't try to µut h|: orm oround me, wh|ch wo: ju:t o: we||. | wo: o|reody confu:ed enouqh.
ºVou d|dn't fo|| me,º he :o|d. ºVou d|dn't fo|| onybody. Vou d|d whot wo: r|qht, ond thot tohe:
ºNot you,º | :o|d. º| don't wont you to d|e.º
H|: :m||e mode me fee| o: |f the wor|d hod been reduced to ju:t two µeoµ|e.
ºRo': return moy not houe cured me,º he :o|d, ºbut |t :t||| qoue me new hoµe. Vou're omoz|nq,
5od|e. One woy or onother, we're qo|nq to mohe th|: worh. |'m not |eou|nq you.º
1hot :ounded :o qood, :o exce||ent, ond :o |mµo::|b|e. ºHow con you µrom|:e thot!º
He eye: dr|fted to the µ|cture of Anub|:, then boch to me. ºlu:t try not to worry obout me. ve
houe to concentrote on defeot|nq Aµoµh|:.º
ºAny |deo how!º
He qe:tured toword my bed:|de tob|e, where my beoten-uµ o|d toµe recorder :ot-o q|ft from my
qrondµorent: oqe: oqo.
º1e|| µeoµ|e whot reo||y hoµµened,º he :o|d. ºDon't |et locob| ond the other: :µreod ||e: obout
your fom||y. | come to ßrooh|yn becou:e | qot your f|r:t me::oqe-the record|nq obout the Red Þyrom|d,
the djed omu|et. Vou o:hed for he|µ, ond we on:wered. |t': t|me to o:h for he|µ oqo|n.º
ºßut how mony moq|c|on: d|d we reo||y reoch the f|r:t t|me -twenty!º
ºHey, we d|d µretty we|| |o:t n|qht.º vo|t he|d my eye:. | thouqht he m|qht h|:: me, but :ometh|nq
mode u: both he:|tote-o :en:e thot |t wou|d on|y mohe th|nq: more uncerto|n, more froq||e. º5end out
onother toµe, 5od|e. lu:t te|| the truth. vhen you to|h.º He :hruqqed, ond then :tood to |eoue. ºve||,
you're µretty hord to |qnore.º
A few moment: ofter he |eft, Corter come |n, o booh tuched under h|: orm. He found me ||:ten|nq
to my :od mu:|c, :tor|nq ot the toµe recorder on the dre::er.
ºvo: thot vo|t com|nq out of your room!º he o:hed. A ||tt|e brother|y µrotect|uene:: creµt |nto h|:
uo|ce. ºvhot': uµ!º
ºOh, ju:t.º My eye: f|xed on the booh he wo: corry|nq. |t wo: o tottered o|d textbooh, ond |
wondered |f he meont to o::|qn me :ome :ort of homeworh. ßut the couer |oohed :o fom|||or: the
d|omond de:|qn, the mu|t|co|ored fo|| |etter:. ºvhot |: thot!º
Corter :ot next to me. Neruou:|y, he offered me the booh. º|t':, um.not o qo|d nech|oce. Or euen o
moq|c hn|fe. ßut | to|d you | hod o b|rthdoy µre:ent for you. 1h|:-th|: |: |t.º
| ron my f|nqer: ouer the t|t|e: ß|och|ey': 5uruey of the 5c|ence: for F|r:t-Veor Co||eqe, 1we|fth
£d|t|on. 1hen | oµened the booh. On the |n:|de couer, o nome wo: wr|tten |n |oue|y cur:|ue: Ruby kone.
|t wo: Mum': co||eqe textbooh-the :ome one :he u:ed to reod to u: from ot bedt|me. 1he uery
:ome coµy.
| b||nhed boch teor:. ºHow d|d you-º
º1he retr|euo| :hobt| |n the ||brory,º Corter :o|d. º1hey con f|nd ony booh. | hnow |t':.h|nd of o
|ome µre:ent. |t d|dn't co:t me onyth|nq, ond | d|dn't mohe |t, but-º
º5hut uµ, you |d|ot|º | f|unq my orm: oround h|m. º|t': on omoz|nq b|rthdoy µre:ent. And you're on
omoz|nq brother|º
[F|ne, Corter. 1here |t |:, recorded for o|| t|me. lu:t don't qet o b|q heod. | :µohe |n o moment of
ve turned the µoqe:, :m|||nq ot the croyon mu:toche Corter hod drown on |:ooc Newton ond the
outdoted d|oqrom: of the :o|or :y:tem. ve found on o|d food :to|n thot wo: µrobob|y my oµµ|e:ouce. |
|oued oµµ|e:ouce. ve ron our hond: ouer the morq|n note: done |n Mum': beout|fu| cur:|ue.
| fe|t c|o:er to my mother ju:t ho|d|nq the booh, ond omozed by Corter': thouqhtfu|ne::. £uen
thouqh |'d |eorned h|: :ecret nome ond :uµµo:ed | hnew eueryth|nq obout h|m, the boy hod :t||| monoqed
to :urµr|:e me.
º5o, whot were :oy|nq obout vo|t!º he o:hed. ºvhot': qo|nq on!º
Re|uctont|y, | c|o:ed ß|och|ey': 5uruey of the 5c|ence:. And ye:, thot': µrobob|y the on|y t|me |n my
||fe |'d euer c|o:ed o textbooh w|th re|uctonce. | ro:e ond :et the booh on my dre::er. 1hen | µ|ched uµ my
o|d co::ette recorder.
ºve houe worh to do,º | to|d Corter. | to::ed h|m the m|croµhone.
5o now you hnow whot reo||y hoµµened on the equ|nox, how the o|d Ch|ef Lector d|ed, ond how
Amo: tooh h|: µ|oce. De:jord|n: :ocr|f|ced h|: ||fe to buy u: t|me, but Aµoµh|: |: qu|ch|y worh|nq h|: woy
out of the oby::. ve moy houe weeh:, |f we're |uchy. Doy:, |f we're not.
Amo: |: try|nq to o::ert h|m:e|f o: the |eoder of the Hou:e of L|fe, but |t': not qo|nq to be eo:y.
5ome nome: ore |n rebe|||on. Mony be||eue the kone: houe tohen ouer by force.
ve're :end|nq out th|: toµe to :et the record :tro|qht.
ve don't houe o|| the on:wer: yet. ve don't hnow when or where Aµoµh|: w||| :tr|he. ve don't
hnow how to heo| Ro, or ße:, or euen vo|t. ve don't hnow whot ro|e Z|o w||| µ|oy, or |f the qod: con be
tru:ted to he|µ u:. Mo:t |mµortont, | om comµ|ete|y torn between two omoz|nq quy:-one who': dy|nq
ond onother who': the qod of deoth. vhot :ort of cho|ce |: thot, | o:h you!
[R|qht, :orry.qett|nq off troch oqo|n.]
1he µo|nt |:, whereuer you ore, whoteuer tyµe of moq|c you µroct|ce, we need your he|µ. Un|e:: we
un|te ond |eorn the µoth of the qod: qu|ch|y, we don't :tond o chonce.
| hoµe vo|t |: r|qht ond you'|| f|nd me hord to |qnore, becou:e the c|och |: t|ch|nq. ve'|| heeµ o
room reody for you ot ßrooh|yn Hou:e.
A07H0R¹t H07E
ßefore µub||:h|nq :uch on o|orm|nq tron:cr|µt, | fe|t comµe||ed to do :ome foct-chech|nq on 5od|e
ond Corter': :tory. | w|:h | cou|d te|| you they hod mode o|| th|: uµ. Unfortunote|y, |t oµµeor: thot much of
whot they houe reµorted |: bo:ed on foct.
1he £qyµt|on re||c: ond |ocot|on: they ment|on |n Amer|co, £nq|ond, Ru::|o, ond £qyµt do ex|:t.
Þr|nce Men:h|hou': Þo|oce |n 5t. Þeter:burq |: reo|, ond the :tory of the dworf wedd|nq |: true, thouqh |
con f|nd no ment|on thot one of the dworue: m|qht houe been o qod, or thot the µr|nce hod o qrond:on
nomed V|od|m|r.
A|| the £qyµt|on qod: ond mon:ter: Corter ond 5od|e met ore otte:ted to |n onc|ent :ource:. Mony
d|fferent occount: :uru|ue of Ro': n|qht|y journey throuqh the Duot, ond wh||e the :tor|e: uory qreot|y,
Corter ond 5od|e': occount c|o:e|y f|t: whot we hnow from £qyµt|on mytho|oqy.
|n :hort, | be||eue they m|qht be te|||nq the truth. 1he|r co|| for he|µ |: qenu|ne. 5hou|d further oud|o
record|nq: fo|| |nto my hond:, | w||| re|oy the |nformot|on, but |f Aµoµh|: tru|y |: r|:|nq, there moy no
oµµortun|ty. For the :ohe of the ent|re wor|d, | hoµe |'m wronq.
Commond: u:ed by Corter ond 5od|e
A¹mox ºßurnº
Ho-dI ºDe:troyº
Ho-tep ºße ot µeoceº
Heb-tIeb º1urn bochº
Heqot 5ummon: o :toff
HI-øebm ºlo|nº
L¹muø ºH|deº
H¹dob ºÞrotectº
to-per ºM|::º
w¹peb ºOµenº
0tber EgyptIoø 7ermt
Aoru the £qyµt|on ofter||fe, µorod|:e
Ateø the :un (the µhy:|co| object, not the qod)
8o :ou|
8orque the µhorooh': boot
8ou on eu|| :µ|r|t
0uot moq|co| reo|m
HIeregIypbIct the wr|t|nq :y:tem of Anc|ent £qyµt, wh|ch u:ed :ymbo|: or µ|cture: to denote
object:, conceµt:, or :ound:
Kbepetb o :word w|th o hooh-:hoµed b|ode
Mo¹ot order of the un|uer:e
Meøbed the :cr|be': µo|ette
Het)erI bIode o hn|fe mode from meteor|c |ron for the oµen|nq of the mouth |n o ceremony
Þboroeb o ru|er of Anc|ent £qyµt
Reø nome, |dent|ty
torcepbogut o :tone coff|n, often decoroted w|th :cu|µture ond |n:cr|µt|on:
tou o chorm moher
tcorob beet|e
tbobtI o moq|co| f|qur|ne mode out of c|oy
tbeø eterno|
teub oµen o|r morhet
tteIe ||me:tone qroue morher
7)etu beru o :nohe w|th two heod:-one on |t: to||-ond droqon |eq:
7yet the :ymbo| of |:|:
wot µower
E0VÞ7IAH 000t AH0 0000EttEt MEH7I0HE0 IH 7HE 7HR0HE 0P PIRE
AøubIt the qod of funero|: ond deoth
ApepbIt the qod of choo:
8obI the boboon qod
8ott the cot qodde::
8et the dworf qod
0eb the eorth qod
Hebet the froq qodde::
Herut the wor qod, :on of |:|: ond O:|r|:
ItIt the qodde:: of moq|c, w|fe of her brother O:|r|: ond mother of Horu:
KbeprI the :corob qod, Ro': o:µect |n the morn|nq
Kbøum the rom-heoded qod, Ro': o:µect ot :un:et |n the underwor|d
Kbeøtu the moon qod
MebbIt m|nor ||on qodde::, morr|ed to Onur|:
Hebbbet the uu|ture qodde::
Hepbtbyt the r|uer qodde::
Hut the :hy qodde::
0tIrIt the qod of the underwor|d, hu:bond of h|: :|:ter |:|: ond fother of Horu:
Þtob the qod of croft:men
Ro the :un qod, the qod of order. A|:o hnown o: Amun-Ro.
tebbmet the ||on qodde::
tet the qod of eu||
tbu the o|r qod
tebeb the crocod||e qod
7oworet the h|µµo qodde::
7betb the qod of hnow|edqe
0F0lCATF0 T0.
PußllSHF0 ßY.

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