فصل 02

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فصل 02

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CHAPTER TWO

Who is Dr Farrow?

When Salahadin was having breakfast the next morning, he was called to the telephone. It was his friend, Dr Earl.

‘Welcome back to London,’ said Dr Earl. ‘My wife and I want to know if you’d like to lunch with us today?’

‘Yes, I’d like that. Thanks very much. I’ll get a train from Waterloo and I’ll be at your house by twelve.’

Peter Earl lived in Richmond, a suburb of London. Salahadin knew it well - he had been there many times before.

After breakfast, Salahadin had some time to wait before starting out on his journey to Richmond.

He remembered the book he had bought the night before. He unwrapped it and read what was written on the back cover.

Salahadin started to read the book, but soon it was time to leave for his train to Richmond.

THE MYSTERY OF QUEEN AXTARTE

Dr John Farrow

Dr Farrow’s research provides new answers to some of the many questions about Queen Axtarte. These questions have puzzled archeologists for many years: * Who was Queen Axtarte?

  • What was the Curse of Queen Axtarte?

  • Why was she called the Queen of Death?

Dr Farrow also gives his answer to the most important question:

  • Where was Queen Axtarte buried?

In Dr Peter Earl’s sitting-room, Salahadin looked out across the street to the Richmond park. He watched an old man with his dog.

‘An Englishman and his dog,’ said Salahadin. ‘I’ve never been able to understand the English and their love of dogs.’

‘And you Egyptians, my friend,’ replied Peter Earl, ‘what about your cats? Your ancestors - the Ancient Egyptians - loved cats, didn’t they?’

They both laughed.

‘Talking of Ancient Egyptians reminds me of something,’ said Salahadin. ‘I found a new book in a bookshop in Piccadilly last night. It’s written by a man called Farrow - Dr John Farrow. Have you heard of him?’

‘Dr John Farrow - now that is strange. I was going to ask you about him. Have you read this morning’s papers?’

Peter Earl handed Salahadin a copy of The Sunday Times.

‘There’s a report on page three that puzzles me,’ went on Peter Earl.

Salahadin opened the paper at page three and found the report near the bottom of the page.

The Tomb of the Queen of Death

Dr John Farrow, the young archeologist who claims to have discovered the secret burial place of Queen Axtarte - flew with his wife to Cairo last Thursday. Dr Farrow has studied the writing on an ancient stone pillar kept in the British Museum. The pillar was brought to Britain many years ago. It was found in the ancient temple of Karnak, which is a few kilometres north of Luxor in Upper Egypt.

Dr Farrow believes that the writing was made by someone who was at Queen Axtarte’s burial. That person lived for only a few hours after the burial, but lived long enough to write down where she was buried. Dr Farrow is going to Luxor to find the tomb and to prove that his claims are correct.

‘This pillar from the Temple of Karnak . . .’ Salahadin began. ‘Is there really such a pillar in the Museum?’

‘Yes, there is. And it’s got some marks on it which might be writing. But no one is certain.’

‘It seems that Dr John Farrow is certain,’ said Salahadin.

‘Who is Dr Farrow? Why haven’t I heard his name before?’ Peter Earl told Salahadin what he knew about Dr Farrow.

‘Farrow is about twenty-eight years old. He was a brilliant student at Cambridge. One of the best there has ever been. But after he got his doctorate, he changed completely. He left Cambridge about three years ago and went to live with some friends in Wales. He didn’t write any letters. He didn’t tell anyone about his visits to the British Museum and his interest in the pillar from Karnak. He has written this book and now he has gone off to Cairo.’

‘And his wife has gone with him,’ said Salahadin.

‘I didn’t even know that he was married,’ said Peter Earl.

‘And he’s never been to Egypt before,’ went on Salahadin. ‘He doesn’t know how hot it is. It’s too hot to search for a tomb near Luxor at this time of the year.’

‘Yes, he’s not going to find it easy.’

‘Who else knows about the writing on this pillar?’ asked Salahadin.

‘The man who knows most about it is your friend, Professor Gomouchian. And he’s in Cairo.’

‘Perhaps I ought to be in Cairo too,’ said Salahadin slowly and thoughtfully. ‘Many people would like to know where the tomb of Queen Axtarte is. And I’m not speaking about scholars and archeologists. I’m thinking of smugglers like the Amsterdam Ring.’

‘Yes, you could be right,’ Peter Earl agreed. ‘The Amsterdam Ring would like to know where the Queen of Death is buried. The treasure in her tomb will be worth millions of pounds.’

‘And here is a report in The Sunday Times, where everyone can read about it,’ said Salahadin.

The two men sat silently for a few moments.

‘I’ll be late coming to the Museum tomorrow,’ said Salahadin. ‘I’ll have to go to our Embassy and get in touch with my assistant, Leila Osman.’

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