In the previous episode, Kristi and Edmund had a baffling conversation with an antiques dealer who accosted them outside of the police station. Later, at dinner that night, Alan Wright saw the torn photograph they found in Lord Davies’s pocket. Readers voted that he turned white and stood staring at the sight of the photograph.
Alan stared at the picture, his face white against the darkness. Without a word, he handed it back to Kristi and left. Her eyes met Edmund’s across the table and he frowned slightly, but no one else appeared to have noticed.
“We start work at six,” Geoffrey shouted at Alan’s retreating back. “And that goes for everyone. Especially you.” He pointed at Kristi with his fork. “You’re both a damned sight behind. There are several paintings that need to be photographed and sketched before we can go any further.”
Kristi squirmed. She had been the despair of her high school art teacher, but that didn’t seem like a disappointment he was going to take well.
“It may be wise to stop work on the tomb,” Aziah said, reaching for one of the empty dishes.
“Why?” Kristi asked.
“The men are nervous.” Aziah’s eyes were dark and troubled above her veil. “There are rumors that the gentleman who died today was the first victim of the curse. They worry one of them may be next.”
“Balderdash,” Geoffrey snorted.
“Some of them speak of finding other work.”
“That’s absurd,” Edith frowned. “Edmund said the man was poisoned.”
“I’m not sure a murderer on the loose is better than a curse,” Edmund said mildly. “But I’ll talk to them after dinner.”
“What is the curse, anyway?” Kristi asked.
“Don’t tell me you believe in such nonsense.” Edith raised her eyebrows.
“No, I meant . . . What happens if you don’t stop work on the tomb?”
“The usual sort of thing,” Geoffrey leaned back in his chair. “The tomb we’re working on is said to be that of a powerful Egyptian priest, so anyone who disturbs his rest will die in terrible agony, etcetera.”
“But there is one odd thing,” Edmund added. “There are supposed to be seven pyramids painted along the walls of the tunnel leading to the burial chamber. The more you’ve found, the closer you are to death, or something like that.”
“We’ve uncovered five so far,” Edith said.
“Perhaps the death today was a warning,” Aziah said quietly.
Geoffrey shrugged. “A warning that those damned tourists ought to stay away from the excavations.”
“But why pyramids?” Kristi asked, chewing on her thumb thoughtfully.
“Yeah. I mean, aren’t Egyptian paintings usually of gods and that sort of thing? Why choose pyramids?”
“Who knows?” Geoffrey said. “The owner of the tomb, whoever he was, must have been a creative bugger. The burial chamber should be interesting.”
“If you reach it.” Aziah’s voice floated out of the darkness and hung in the silence. Kristi shivered. . .
Later that night, Kristi tossed and turned on the narrow cot. The events of the day were bewildering . . . and impossible.
She stood up and pulled a blanket around her shoulders. Outside, the air was heavy and exotic. Above the cliffs a golden moon hung low in the sky.
The sound of footsteps on the path startled her. Vote below on what will happen next or if reading in email click Take our Poll.