Ramose and the Tomb Robbers

Ramose and the Tomb Robbers by Carole Wilkinson Read Free Book Online

Book: Ramose and the Tomb Robbers by Carole Wilkinson Read Free Book Online
Authors: Carole Wilkinson
on the boat. “Find the entrance to the tomb.”
    Ramose had guessed that the men were tomb robbers. He hated the idea of helping them, but at that moment he didn’t think that he had a choice. He peered at the papyrus in the dim light of an oil lamp. “It says:
    Read these words well, they will teach you
.
    If you disturb the great one’s place of rest, you will feel the wrath of the gods
.
    If riches come to you by theft, they will not stay the night with you
.
    The greedy man will have no tomb
.
    He will be tortured for eternity by the spirits
.”
    “Maybe this isn’t such a good idea,” said Seth, glancing around nervously.
    “Don’t worry about that stuff. It’s just to scare us off,” Hori said. “Get to the important bit. Where’s the tomb entrance?”
    Ramose read on.
    “
Seek the truth where you least expect it
.”
    “What’s that supposed to mean?” asked Intef, his brow furrowed with confusion.
    “Tomb entrances are always facing north, aren’t they?” said Hori. “Aligned with certain stars.”
    Ramose nodded.
    “So maybe the entrance is on the south face of the pyramid,” said Seth.
    Hori nodded. “Yes but where? What else does it say, Scribe?”
    “It says:
    The sun rises twenty and seven cubits from the east and climbs to a height of ten and five cubits
.”
    “That must be the measurements to find the entrance,” said Hori.
    Ramose was sure he was right, but he didn’t say anything. He was thinking about what the scroll had said about feeling the wrath of the gods. The tomb robbers were hurrying to the south side of the pyramid. Ramose reluctantly followed them.
    The men measured out the distances that Ramose read out from the papyrus. Intef clambered up the side of the pyramid with the aid of a rickety ladder that they made out of tamarisk branches and reeds. Intef had a large stone hammer tied around his waist.
    “There’s no sign of a doorway,” said Intef.
    “Of course there isn’t,” snapped Hori. “It’s a hidden entrance!”
    “Are you sure this is where it is?”
    “Twenty and seven cubits from the eastern corner. Ten and five cubits up the side, that’s what it says isn’t it, boy?”
    Ramose nodded, feeling a wave of guilt at helping the criminals.
    Intef took the hammer from his belt and with a mighty swing smashed it into the side of the pyramid. The sound seemed deafeningly loud in the quiet of the evening. Ramose winced. The robbers listened anxiously to see if the noise had attracted anyone.
    “It hardly made a mark,” said Intef.
    “It’s solid stone,” said Seth impatiently. “It’s going to take more than one whack to break it.”
    Intef swung the hammer again and again. It took a dozen blows before the stone block even cracked. It looked like the ladder might give way before he broke it. The big man continued to swing the hammer, grunting louder with the exertion of each blow. His body glistened in the moonlight as the sweat ran down him.
    “This is getting nowhere,” he called down.
    “That’s because you’re useless,” Hori shouted. “Do I have to come up and do it myself?”
    Even though Intef was plainly stupid, he didn’t like anybody saying so. He swung his hammer with a growl of anger. The stone exploded under the blow, pieces of rock showered down on those watching below.
    “That’s more like it,” said Hori with an ugly grin, aware that his jibe had worked.
    “Don’t get too excited,” said Intef. “There’s another layer underneath that one.”
    “Well, you better get into it, otherwise it’ll be daybreak and we’ll still be on the outside.”
    The second layer was thicker but made of mud brick. With a lot of grumbling and a few more hefty blows, Intef’s hammer disappeared inside the pyramid. Seth cheered.
    “Shut up, you fool,” said Hori. “We don’t want to bring the temple guards over here. Get the lamps and the bag, Scribe. You’re going in with him.”
    “What about you?”
    “Seth and I will keep

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