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HOME > Classical Novels > The Last Egyptian > CHAPTER XXII. THE DRAGOMAN’S INSPIRATION.
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They left the train at the station opposite Fedah, and the dragoman secured a native to row them in his skiff across the river. Consinor asked no questions and appeared wholly indifferent as to their destination. Indeed, his life had been so aimless since his disgraceful flight from Cairo that he welcomed any diversion that might relieve its dull monotony.

When they arrived at Fedah, Tadros took him secretly to the hut of old Nefert, the bread-baker, which was directly across the street from the dwelling of Hatatcha, now owned by Kāra. The viscount was inclined to resent the filthiness of the hovel wherein he must hide, until the dragoman led him to the shade of the opposite archway and explained to him something of the project he had in mind.

Tadros began by relating the “royal one’s” early history, emphasizing the fact that old Hatatcha had been able to support herself and Kāra without any labor whatever. Then he told of Hatatcha’s death, and how he, Tadros, had discovered the valuable rolls of papyrus in Kāra’s possession. From thence to the brilliant advent of the “prince” in Cairo was but a step, and the entire history permitted but one explanation—the fact{248} that Kāra had knowledge of an ancient tomb containing great riches.

“Once,” said the dragoman, “Kāra and I made a visit to Fedah; but I did not suspect his errand and so neglected to watch him, being at the time greatly occupied with a certain maiden. In the morning I found he had loaded his traveling cases with treasures—wonderful gems that have enabled him to live in princely fashion ever since.”

“Where did he get them?” asked Consinor, eagerly.

“As I said, from some hidden tomb, the secret of which is known only to himself.”

“Do you think he has carried all of the treasure away?”

“I have reason to believe that more remains than has ever been taken. Once, in an unguarded moment, Kāra told me that he could not spend it all in a thousand years.”

“Do you suppose we can discover this tomb?”

“Yes, if we are clever. It is no use to hunt without a clew, but Kāra will furnish us the clew we need.”

“In what way?” the viscount inquired.

“He is coming here presently.”

Consinor frowned.

“I do not care to meet him,” he said, hastily.

“Nor do I,” rejoined Tadros, with a shudder; “but it will not be necessary for us to meet Kāra, who will not suspect we are in the village.”

“What then?”{249}

“He is coming to secure more treasure, his former supply being exhausted, as I have reason to know. He has promised ............
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