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A Professor of Egyptology
     

A Professor of Egyptology

4.5 2
by Guy Boothby
 
From seven o'clock in the evening until half past, that is to say for
the half-hour preceding dinner, the Grand Hall of the Hotel Occidental,
throughout the season, is practically a lounge, and is crowded with the
most fashionable folk wintering in Cairo. The evening I am anxious to
describe was certainly no exception to the rule. At the foot of the

Overview

From seven o'clock in the evening until half past, that is to say for
the half-hour preceding dinner, the Grand Hall of the Hotel Occidental,
throughout the season, is practically a lounge, and is crowded with the
most fashionable folk wintering in Cairo. The evening I am anxious to
describe was certainly no exception to the rule. At the foot of the fine
marble staircase--the pride of its owner--a well-known member of the
French Ministry was chatting with an English Duchess whose pretty, but
somewhat delicate, daughter was flirting mildly with one of the Sirdar's
Bimbashis, on leave from the Soudan. On the right-hand lounge of the
Hall an Italian Countess, whose antecedents were as doubtful as her
diamonds, was apparently listening to a story a handsome Greek attaché
was telling her; in reality, however, she was endeavouring to catch
scraps of a conversation being carried on, a few feet away, between a
witty Russian and an equally clever daughter of the United States.
Almost every nationality was represented there, but unfortunately for
our prestige, the majority were English. The scene was a brilliant one,
and the sprinkling of military and diplomatic uniforms (there was a
Reception at the Khedivial Palace later) lent an additional touch of
colour to the picture. Taken altogether, and regarded from a political
point of view, the gathering had a significance of its own.

At the end of the Hall, near the large glass doors, a handsome, elderly
lady, with grey hair, was conversing with one of the leading English
doctors of the place--a grey-haired, clever-looking man, who possessed
the happy faculty of being able to impress everyone with whom he talked
with the idea that he infinitely preferred his or her society to that of
any other member of the world's population. They were discussing the
question of the most suitable clothing for a Nile voyage, and as the
lady's daughter, who was seated next her, had been conversant with her
mother's ideas on the subject ever since their first visit to Egypt (as
indeed had been the Doctor), she preferred to lie back on the divan and
watch the people about her. She had large, dark, contemplative eyes.
Like her mother she took life seriously, but in a somewhat different
fashion.

One who has been bracketed third in the Mathematical Tripos can scarcely
be expected to bestow very much thought on the comparative merits of
Jger, as opposed to dresses of the Common or Garden flannel. From this,
however, it must not be inferred that she was in any way a blue
stocking, that is, of course, in the vulgar acceptation of the word. She
was thorough in all she undertook, and for the reason that mathematics
interested her very much the same way that Wagner, chess, and, shall we
say, croquet, interest other people, she made it her hobby, and it must
be confessed she certainly succeeded in it. At other times she rode,
drove, played tennis and hockey, and looked upon her world with calm,
observant eyes that were more disposed to find good than evil in it.
Contradictions that we are, even to ourselves, it was only those who
knew her intimately, and they were few and far between, who realised
that, under that apparently sober, matter-of-fact personality, there
existed a strong leaning towards the mysterious, or, more properly
speaking, the occult. Possibly she herself would have been the first to
deny this--but that I am right in my surmise this story will surely be
sufficient proof.

Product Details

BN ID:
2940013693555
Publisher:
WDS Publishing
Publication date:
01/20/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
24 KB

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Professor of Egyptology 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It has no lies. That adds true flavor.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoy the legends. The action the confusional acts of the egypt gods