Sounds like a great read!! Hi Lane! Did it help you in your writing?? Sorry for the late post. Hope you all had a good time! Hi Andra, sorry I'm so late to this, but yes! It did help me in my writing.
Continue the Enlightenment
Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts!! Jeb, a former slave, rescues his brother-in-law Crispus from the Ku Klux Klan, only to be drawn into a world of Creole Voodoo, racism, time travel, and redemption. Verdiss, the leader of the Ku Klux Klan has gained possession of the Pharaoh's Staff, a magical artifact from ancient Egypt and concocted a diabolical plan far more insidious than himself. In the end, Jeb and Crispus must stop an entire people from eradication and each find redemption for their own past sins.
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The most prominent was Thule, a land ruled by a blond, blue-eyed race far superior to mankind. Scholars placed it near Norway. He spoke of leading the world back to the glorious age when Thule dominated the world. He hated performing these accursed rites, but they were a necessity.
An unnatural wind. Power tingled in the air.
It seemed as if the western region, sated with excess of life, hurled with regal generosity to the other side flowers and vegetables, but the desert in eternal hunger devoured them in the following year and turned them into ashes. The stunted vegetation, exiled to cliffs and sands, clung to the lower places until, by means of ditches made in the sides of the raised highroad, men conducted water from the canals to it. In fact, hidden oases between naked hills along that highway drank in the divine water. In these oases grew wheat, barley, grapes, palms, and tamarinds.
The whole of such an oasis was sometimes occupied by one family, which when it met another like itself at the market in Pi-Bailos might not even know that they were neighbors in the desert. On the fifteenth of Mesore the concentration of troops was almost finished. The regiments of Prince Rameses, which [ Pg 9] were to meet the Asiatic forces of Nitager, had assembled on the road above the city of Pi-Bailos with their camp and with some military engines. The heir himself directed all the movements. He had organized two parties of scouts.
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Of these the first had to watch the enemy, the other to guard its own army from attack, which was possible in a hilly region with many ravines. Rameses, in the course of a week, rode around and examined all the regiments, marching by various roads, looking carefully to see if the soldiers had good weapons and warm mantles for the night hours, if in the camps there was dried bread in sufficiency as well as meat and dried fish.
He commanded, besides, that the wives, children, and slaves of warriors marching to the eastern boundary should be conveyed by canal; this diminished the number of chariots and eased the movements of the army. The oldest generals admired the zeal, knowledge, and caution of the heir, and, above all, his simplicity and love of labor. His court, which was numerous, his splendid tent, chariots, and litters were left in the capital, and, dressed as a simple officer, he hurried from regiment to regiment on horseback, in Assyrian fashion, attended by two adjutants.
Thanks to this concentration, the corps itself went forward very swiftly, and the army was near Pi-Bailos at the time appointed. The staff, collected in Memphis, had the shortest road to travel; hence it moved latest, bringing an immense camp with it. Nearly every officer, and they were young lords of great families, had a litter with four negroes, a two-wheeled military chariot, a rich tent, and a multitude of boxes with food and clothing, also jars full of beer and wine.
Besides, a numerous troop of singers and dancers, with music, had betaken themselves to journey behind the officers; each woman must, in the manner of a great lady, have a car drawn by one or two pair of oxen, and must have also a litter. When this throng poured out of Memphis, it occupied more space on the highway than the army of Prince Rameses. The march was so slow that the military engines which were [ Pg 10] left at the rear moved twenty-four hours later than was ordered.
To complete every evil the female dancers and singers, on seeing the desert not at all dreadful in that place, were terrified and fell to weeping. To calm these women it was necessary to hasten with the night camp, pitch tents, arrange a spectacle, and a feast afterward. The night amusement in the cool, under the starry sky, with wild nature for a background, pleased dancers and singers exceedingly; they declared that they would travel thenceforth only through the desert. Meanwhile Prince Rameses sent an order to turn all women back to Memphis at the earliest and urge the march forward.
His dignity Herhor, minister of war, was with the staff, but only as a spectator. He had not brought singers himself, but he made no remarks to officers. He gave command to carry his litter at the head of the column, and accommodating himself to its movements, advanced or rested under the immense fan with which his adjutant shaded him.
Herhor was a man of forty and some years of age, strongly built, concentrated in character. He spoke rarely, and looked at people as rarely from under his drooping eyelids. He went with arms and legs bare, like every Egyptian, his breast exposed; he had sandals on his feet, a short skirt about his hips, an apron with blue and white stripes. As a priest, he shaved his beard and hair and wore a panther skin hanging from his left shoulder. As a soldier, he covered his head with a small helmet of the guard; from under this helmet hung a kerchief, also in blue and white stripes; this reached his shoulders.
Around his neck was a triple gold chain, and under his left arm a short sword in a costly scabbard.
His litter, borne by six black slaves, was attended always by three persons: one carried his fan, another the mace of the minister, and the third a box for papyrus. This third man was Pentuer, a priest, and the secretary of Herhor. He was a lean ascetic who in the greatest heat never covered his shaven head. He came of the people, but in spite of low birth he occupied a high position in the state; this was due to exceptional abilities.
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Though the minister with his officials preceded the staff and held himself apart from its movements, it could not be said [ Pg 11] that he was unconscious of what was happening behind him. That word Pentuer recorded sometimes, but more frequently he remembered it, for his memory was amazing. No one in the noisy throng of the staff paid attention to these details.
The officers, sons of great lords, were too much occupied by running, by noisy conversation, or by singing, to notice who approached the minister; all the more since a multitude of people were pushing along the highway. On the sixteenth of Mesore the staff of Prince Rameses, together with his dignity the minister, passed the night under the open sky at the distance of five miles from the regiments which were arranged in battle order across the highway beyond the city of Pi-Bailos.
A rosy light flowed over the land of Goshen. Villages, temples, palaces of magnates, and huts of earth-tillers looked like sparks and flames which flashed up in one moment from the midst of green spaces. Soon the western horizon was flooded with a golden hue, and the green land of Goshen seemed melting into gold, and the numberless canals seemed filled with molten silver. But the desert hills grew still more marked with violet, and cast long shadows on the sands, and darkness on the plant world.
The guards who stood along that highway could see with the utmost clearness fields, edged with palms, beyond the canal. Some fields were green with flax, wheat, clover; others were gilded with ripening barley of the second growth. Now earth-tillers began to come out to field labor, from huts concealed among trees; they were naked and bronze-hued; their whole dress was a short skirt and a cap. Some turned to canals to clear them of mud, or to draw water.
Others dispersing among the trees gathered grapes and ripe figs. Many naked children stirred about, and women were busy in white, yellow, or red shirts which were sleeveless. In the sky birds of prey from the desert pursued pigeons and daws in the land of Goshen. Along the canal squeaking sweeps moved up and down, with buckets of fertilizing water; fruit-gatherers appeared and disappeared among the trees, like colored butterflies.
But in the desert, on the highway, swarmed the army and its servants. A division of mounted lancers shot past. Behind them marched bowmen in caps and petticoats; they had bows in their hands, quivers on their shoulders, and broadswords at their right sides. The archers were accompanied by slingers who carried bags with missiles and were armed with short swords.
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A hundred yards behind them advanced two small divisions of footmen, one division armed with darts, the other with spears. Both carried rectangular shields; on their breasts they had thick coats, as it were armor, and on their heads caps with kerchiefs behind to ward off the sun-rays. The caps and coats had blue and white stripes or yellow and black stripes, which made those soldiers seem immense hornets. Behind the advance guard, surrounded by a retinue of mace-bearers, pushed on the litter of the minister, and behind it, with bronze helmets and breastplates, the Greek companies, whose measured tread called to mind blows of heavy hammers.
Above all this rose a cloud of golden dust, and heat also. Suddenly from the vanguard galloped up a mounted soldier and informed Herhor that Prince Rameses, the heir to the throne, was approaching.
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