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She blended with the shadows, a striking, cream-skinned nude with flower petals drifting down from her mouth, ochre, mauve, bright red.
The first she heard of the man was his voice. She looked up at Paul. His eyes were wide with alarm. She felt totally helpless and exposed.
Not that the guy could see anything. He turned his head toward the man. Jean could feel his heart drumming, his penis shrinking inside her.
And started to get up. Jean jammed her shoes against his buttocks, tightened her arms around his back. Later, she knew it was a shotgun.
She jerked her head sideways to get away from them. Jerked it the wrong way. Saw the clotted wetness on the moonlit trunk of a nearby tree, saw his ear cling to the bark for a moment, then fall.
A torrent of blood blinded her. She started to scream. The man stomped her belly. He scooped her up, swung her over his shoulder, and started to run.
She wheezed, trying to breathe. His foot had smashed her air out and now his shoulder kept ramming into her. She felt as if she were drowning.
Only a dim corner of her mind seemed to work, and she wished it would blink out. Better total darkness, better no awareness at all. The man stopped running.
He bent over, and Jean flopped backward. Beside her was a windshield plated with moonlight. She tried to lift her head.
So she lay there, struggling to suck in air. The man came back. Jean felt as if she had missed a chance to save herself. He leaned over, clutched both sides of her open blouse, and yanked her into a sitting position.
He snapped a handcuff around her right wrist, passed the other bracelet beneath her knee, and cuffed her left hand. Then he lifted her off the hood.
Through the windshield, Jean saw him rush past the front of the car. She drove her knee up. It bumped her chin, but she managed to slip the handcuff chain down her calf and under the sole of her running shoe.
She grabbed the door handle. She levered it up and threw her shoulder against the door and started to tumble out, but her head jerked back with searing pain as if the hair were being torn from her scalp.
Her cheekbone struck the steering wheel. A hand clasped the top of her head. Another clutched her chin.
And he rammed the side of her face again and again on the wheel. She felt his hand kneading her breast. The car was moving fast.
From the engine noise and the hiss of the tires on the pavement, she guessed they were on the Interstate. He looked down at her and smiled.
It had the crewcut right, and the weird crazy eyes, but his nose was a little larger, his lips a lot thicker. Jean started to lift her head.
Did you see how they hit that tree? She gritted her teeth. Just goes to show what a twelve-gauge can do to a fellow.
Just sweet young things like you. It came as no surprise, no shock. Only one body had been found. Everyone talked as if the Reaper had killed the other six, but really they were only missing.
Maybe he takes them someplace and keeps them. But he just now said he kills sweet young things: He killed them all. Jean was tempted to grab his hand and bite it.
If she did that, he would hurt her again. He plans to make me scream. But that was later. Maybe she could get away from him before it came to that.
The best thing, for now, was to give him no trouble. And I know who you are, too. Maybe followed me around on campus, asked someone my name.
Have you read any books like that? The bittersweet story of your brief but passionate relationship with that guy. What was his name? You were the intended victim, Paul simply an unlucky jerk who got in the way.
He got lucky, then he got unlucky. He got off and got offed. Did he go out with a bang? Air hissed in through her teeth. Of course, some of the notoriety may be a trifle embarrassing for you.
Who was the last person to see you alive. People read that, a lot of them are going to think you were asking for it.
So your demented roommate can listen through the wall and make noises. We can find a place by the stream. I ask you a question, you answer.
It tipped upward a bit, pressing her cheek against his belt buckle. An off-ramp, she thought. The car stopped, then made a sharp turn.
A cold tremor swept through Jean. You were just too horny to care? I hate those sniveling, whiny pouters. Take me, for instance—I never pout.
I make other people lose. His face was a vague blur. There were no more streetlights, Jean realized. Nothing but moonlight, now.
I killed a girl once. It was just two years ago. I was going with this guy, Jim Smith, and… I really loved him. And then all of a sudden he started going with this bitch, Mary Jones.
So one night I snuck into her room in the sorority and smothered her with a pillow. And I enjoyed it.
I laughed when she died. I can see some advantages to an arrangement like that. You could lure the pretty young things into my car, help me subdue them.
What do you think? His offer was just what she had wanted to hear—and he knew it. He knew it, all right. But she went along, just in case.
The front of the car tipped upward. Four out of eight. The other one said she pushed her kid sister out of the tree house. What are the chances of that?
His left hand kept jogging the steering wheel from side to side as he maneuvered up the hill. She could reach up and grab the wheel and maybe make them crash.
At this speed, the crash might not hurt him at all. But the car stopped. He swung the steering wheel way over and started ahead slowly.
The car bumped and rocked. Its tires crunched dirt. Leafy branches whispered and squeaked against its sides. Most of them start about now.
Sometimes they hold off till we get out. He stopped the car and turned off the engine. Sit up slowly and open the door. As she levered the handle, he clutched the collar of her blouse.
He held onto it while she climbed out. Then he was standing, still gripping her collar, knuckles shoving at the back of her neck to guide her around the door.
The door slammed shut. They passed the front of the car and moved toward a clearing in the forest. The clearing was milky with moonlight. In the center, near a pale dead tree, was a ring of rocks that someone had stacked up to enclose a campfire.
A pile of twigs and broken branches stood near the fire ring. The Reaper steered Jean toward the dead tree. She saw wood already piled inside the wall of rocks, ready for a match.
And she felt a quick glimmer of hope. Someone had laid the fire. He probably did it. He was up here earlier, preparing.
She saw a rectangular box at the foot of the tree. She began to whimper. She tried to stop walking, but he shoved her forward.
He took a key from the pocket of his pants and held it in front of her face. His forearm caught her under the chin, forcing her back as she started to double.
Her legs gave out. She slid down the trunk, the barkless wood snagging her blouse and scraping her skin. A knob of root pounded her rump.
She started to tumble forward, but he was there in front of her upthrust knees, blocking her fall. She was hurting and dazed and breathless.
She was folded, back tight against the tree, legs mashing her breasts, arms stretched out over her knees, toes pinned to the ground by his boots.
She knew she had lost. Jean felt as if she were outside herself, observing. It was someone else being grabbed under the armpits, someone else being lifted.
She was watching a movie and the heroine was being prepared for torture. The loose cuff was being passed over the top of a limb.
The Reaper lifted her off her feet and carried her out away from the trunk. Then he let go. The man walked away from his captive. He crouched on the other side of the ring of rocks and struck a match.
Flames climbed the tented sticks. They wrapped thick, broken branches. Pale smoke drifted up. He stood and returned to the girl. His voice sounded as faint as the snapping of the fire behind him.
This is okay, she thought. She stood rigid and stared at the dark blade. Her heart felt like a hammer trying to smash its way out of her chest.
It cut her clothes instead—the straps of her bra, the sleeves of her blouse, the waistband of her skirt. He took the clothes to the fire.
Here in the mess hall. I leave a meal for him and his forest friends, and they do the cleanup for me. No fuss, no bother. And you, sweet thing, will be spared the embarrassment of returning to campus bare-ass.
He took out pliers and a screwdriver. He set the pliers on the flat top of a rock. He picked up the screwdriver. Its shank was black even before he held it over the fire.
Jean saw the flames curl around it. Smiling, he rolled the screwdriver in his hand. No need to rush. Are you savoring the anticipation?
Done it plenty of times before. Scream, twitch, cry, kick, beg, drool… bleed. Not necessarily in that order, of course. Pliers in one hand, screwdriver in the other, he walked slowly toward Jean.
Wisps of pale smoke rose off the shank of the screwdriver. He stopped in front of her. So many choice areas to choose from.
Jean jerked her head aside. The tip moved closer. She shut her eye. Felt heat against its lid. But the heat faded.
After all, half the fun for you will be watching. He had simply touched her with the nose of the pliers. Jean tried to jerk away, but the handcuffs stopped her.
As the edge of her shoe glanced off his hip, he stroked her thigh with the screwdriver. She twisted away, and he flopped beside her.
She gazed down at him, hardly able to believe he was actually sprawled there. She was dreaming and pretty soon she would come to with a burst of pain and… No, she thought.
She looked for the rock thrower. And spotted a dim shape standing beside a tree on the far side of the clearing. It limped toward the glow of the fire.
From the shape, Jean guessed that her savior was a woman. Others began to appear across the clearing. One stepped out from behind a tree.
Another rose behind a clump of bushes. Jean glimpsed movement over to the right, looked and saw a fourth woman. She heard a growl behind her, twisted around, and gasped at the sight of someone crawling toward her.
Toward the Reaper, she hoped. The flesh had been stripped from one side of her back, and Jean glimpsed pale curving ribs before she whirled away.
Now there were five in front of her, closing in and near enough to the fire so she could see them clearly. She stared at them. Came out of herself, became an observer.
The girl cuffed beneath the tree was amazed that a one-eyed girl had been able to throw a rock with such fine aim. It was even more amazing, since she was obviously dead.
How can she walk? How can any of them walk? The troops had really feasted on her. One arm was missing entirely.
The other arm was bone, and gone from the elbow down. Where she still had flesh, it looked black and lumpy. Some of her torso was intact, but mostly hollowed out.
The right-hand side of her rib cage had been broken open. The ribs on the left were still there, and a shriveled lung was visible through the bars. Her face had no eyes, no nose, no lips.
She looked as if she might be grinning. Of course not, dope. How can she see? One of the others still had eyes. They were wide open and glazed.
She had a very peculiar stare. She still had most of her skin. But it looked shiny and slick with a coating of white slime. Had she been peeled?
She was black all over except for the whites of her eyes and teeth—and hundreds of white things as if she had been showered with rice.
But the rice moved. The rice was alive. The last of the five girls approaching from the front was also black. Her body was a crust of char, cracked and leaking fluids that shimmered in the firelight.
She bore only a rough resemblance to a human being. Her crust made papery, crackling sounds as she shuffled past the fire, and pieces flaked off.
A motley crew, thought the girl cuffed to the limb. She wondered if any of them would have enough sense to find the key and unlock the handcuffs.
They were limping and hobbling straight toward the Reaper. Whose shriek now shattered whatever fragile force had allowed Jean to stay outside the cuffed stranger.
She tried to keep her distance. Was sucked back inside the naked, suspended girl. Felt a sudden rush of horror and revulsion… and hope.
Whatever else they might be, they were the victims of the Reaper. He was still shrieking, and Jean looked down at him. He was on his hands and knees.
The scalped girl, also on her knees and facing him, had his head caught between her hands. She was biting the top of his head. Jean heard a wet ripping sound as the girl tore off a patch of hair and flesh.
He flopped and skidded backward, dragged by the rock thrower and the one with the slimy skin. Each had him by a foot. The scalped girl started to crawl after him, then grunted and stopped and tried to pick up the pliers.
Her right hand had no fingers. She pawed at the pliers, whimpering with frustration, then sighed when she succeeded in picking up the tool using the thumb and two remaining fingers of her other hand.
Quickly, she crawled along trying to catch up to her prize. She scurried past Jean. One of her buttocks was gone, eaten away to the bone.
She gained on the screaming Reaper, reached out and clamped the pliers to the ridge of his ear and ripped out a chunk. Halfway between Jean and the fire, the girls released his feet.
All six went at him. He bucked and twisted and writhed, but they turned him onto his back. While some held him down, others tore at his clothes.
Others tore at him. The scalped one took the pliers to his right eyelid and tore it off. The burnt one snatched up a hand and opened her lipless black mouth and began to chew his fingers off.
While this went on, the armless girl capered like a madcap skeleton, her trapped lung bouncing inside her ribcage.
His pants and boxer shorts were bunched around his cowboy boots. The scalped girl had ripped his other eyelid off, and now was stretching his upper lip as he squealed.
The rock thrower, kneeling beside him, clawed at his belly as if trying to get to his guts. Slime-skin bit off one of his nipples, chewed it, and swallowed.
No longer shrieking, he choked and wheezed. The dancing skeleton dropped to her bare kneecaps, bent over him, and clamped her teeth on his penis. She pulled, stretching it, gnawing.
The scalped girl tore his lip off. She gave the pliers a snap, and watched the lip fly. Jean watched it too. Then felt its soft plop against her thigh.
It stuck to her skin like a leech. She stomped her foot on the ground, trying to shake it off. And then she was throwing up. She leaned forward as far as she could, trying not to vomit on herself.
A small part of her mind was amused. And she had watched the corpses do unspeakable things to the Reaper. At least she was missing herself. Most of it was hitting the ground in front of her shoes, though a little was splashing up and spraying her shins.
Finally the heaving subsided. She gasped for air and blinked tears out of her eyes. And saw the scalped girl staring at her.
The others kept working on the Reaper. The scalped girl stabbed the pliers down. She rammed them deep into his mouth and partway down his throat, left them there, and started to crawl toward Jean.
She stopped at the puddle of vomit and lowered her face into it. Jean heard lapping sounds, and gagged. The girl raised her head, stared up at Jean, licked her dripping lips, then crawled forward.
The head snapped back. The girl tumbled away. A chill spread through Jean. Her skin prickled with goosebumps. Her heart began to slam.
The scalped girl, whose torso was an empty husk, rolled over and started to push herself up. Her body swept down and backward.
As she started forward again, she pumped her legs high. She kicked and swung, making herself a pendulum that strained higher with each sweep. Her legs hooked over the barkless, dead limb.
She drew herself up against its underside and hugged it. Twisting her head sideways, she saw the scalped girl crawling toward her again. Jean had never seen her stand.
But the others could stand. They were still busy with the Reaper. Ripping off flesh with their teeth. He choked around the pliers and made high squeaky noises.
As Jean watched, the charred girl crouched over the fire and put both hands into the flames. When she straightened up, she had a blazing stick trapped between the fingerless flaps of her hands.
The pants, pulled down until they were stopped by his boot tops, wrapped him just below the knees. In seconds they were ablaze. The Reaper started screaming again.
He squirmed and kicked. Jean was surprised he had that much life left in him. The key, she thought. If I live that long. Jean began to shinny out along the limb.
It scraped her thighs and arms, but she kept moving, kept inching her way along. The limb sagged slightly. She scooted farther, farther.
Heard a faint crackling sound. Then was stopped by a bone white branch that blocked her left arm. She thrust herself forward and rammed her arm against the branch.
The impact shook it just a bit. A few twigs near the far end of it clattered and fell. The branch looked three inches thick where it joined the main limb.
The branch barred her way like the arm and hand of a skeleton pleased to keep her treed until its companions finished with the Reaper and came for her.
She clamped it between her teeth, bit down hard on the dry wood, gnashed on it. Her teeth barely seemed to dent it. She lowered her head.
Spat dirt and grit from her mouth. The Reaper was no longer moving or making any sounds. Pale smoke drifted up from the black area where his pants had been burning.
The charred girl who had set them ablaze now held his severed arm over the campfire. The slimy, breastless girl was pulling a boot onto one of her feet.
At first Jean thought she was pinching herself with them. One at a time, she was squashing the maggots that squirmed on her belly.
She reared up, coils of intestine drooping from her mouth. Though he was apparently dead, his victims all still seemed contented.
Straining to look down past her shoulder, Jean saw the scalped girl directly below. Reaching up, pawing the air with the remains of her hands.
Could just see the others turning their heads toward the sound of her voice. If I could just kill her! Good luck on that one. Jean clamped the limb hard with her hands.
Jean released the limb with her legs. She felt a breeze wash over her sweaty skin as she dropped.
She thrashed her feet like a drowning woman hoping to kick to the surface. A heel of her shoe struck something. Then she was swinging upward and saw her.
Turning on her knees and reaching high, grinning. Jean kicked hard as she swept down. The toe of her shoe caught the bitch in the throat, lifted her off her knees and knocked her sprawling.
Jean dangled by her hands, swaying slowly back and forth. She bucked and tried to fling her legs up to catch the limb.
Lost her hold and cried out as the steel edges of the bracelets cut into her wrists. Her feet touched the ground.
The scalped girl rolled over and crawled toward her. She grabbed the limb. She pulled herself up to it and drove her knees high but not fast enough.
She pulled at Jean, stretching her, dragging her down, reaching higher, climbing her. Her grip on the limb started to slip.
She squealed as teeth ripped into her thigh. She dropped straight down. Falling, she shoved the limb sideways. It hammered her shoulder as she landed, knees first, on the girl.
The weight drove Jean forward, smashed her down. Though the girl no longer hugged her legs, she felt the head beneath her thigh shake from side to side.
She writhed and bucked under the limb. The teeth kept their savage bite on her. Then had their chunk of flesh and lost their grip.
Clutching the limb, Jean bore it down, her shoulder a fulcrum. She felt the wood rise off her back and rump. Its splintered end pressed into the ground four or five feet in front of her head.
Bracing herself on the limb, she scurried forward, knees pounding at the girl beneath her. Not with the missing fingers. Teeth snapped at her, scraping the skin above her right knee.
Jean jerked her leg back and shot it forward. Then Jean was off her, rising on the crutch of the broken limb. And saw the others coming.
The breastless girl with runny skin wore both his boots. Her arms were raised, already reaching for Jean though she was still a few yards away.
The rock thrower had found a rock. The skinned girl aswarm with maggots picked at herself with the pliers as she shambled closer. She ducked, grabbed the limb low, hugged it to her side and whirled as the branchy top of it swept down in front of her.
It dropped from its height slashing sideways, its bony fingers of wood clattering and bursting into twigs as it crashed through the cadavers.
Three of them were knocked off their feet. A branch struck the face of the scalped girl crawling toward her, popped, and flew off.
Then the crawling girl was behind Jean again and the others were still down. All except the rock thrower. Now her arm was cocked back, ready to hurl a small block of stone.
Jean, spinning, released the limb. Its barkless wood scraped her side and belly. It flew from her like a mammoth, tined lance. Free of its pull, Jean twirled.
The rock flicked her ear. She fell to her knees. Who scurried toward her moaning as if she already knew she had lost. Driving both fists against the ground, Jean pushed herself up.
She took two quick steps toward the crawler and kicked her in the face. Then she staggered backward. The rock thrower was down, arms batting through the maze of dead branches above her.
The others were starting to get up. Jean ran through them, cuffed hands high, twisting and dodging as they scurried for her, lurched at her, grabbed.
Then they were behind her. All but the Reaper and the armless thing sprawled between his legs, chewing on him. Gotta get the handcuff key, she thought.
The car key was in the ignition. She leaped the Reaper. And staggered to a stop on the other side of his body.
Gasping, she bent over and lifted a rock from the ring around the fire. Though its heat scorched her hands, she raised it overhead. The corpses were coming, crawling and limping closer.
It struck with a wet, crunching sound. It stayed on his face as if it had made a nest for itself. Jean stomped on it once, pounding it in farther.
Then she swung around. She leaped the fire and dashed through the clearing toward the waiting car. If they were better able to afford one than he was, Bright wished them luck.
Now that it was daylight, he could see into all the lowest rooms of the high rise opposite, but there was no sign of life on the first two floors.
Perhaps all the tenants were singing the hymns he could hear somewhere in the suburb. He took his time about making himself presentable, and then he went downstairs.
The lifts were out of order. Presumably it was a repairman who peered at him through the smeary window of one scrawled metal door on the landing below his.
The blurred face startled him so much that he was glad to see people on the third floor. The woman they had come to visit was losing a smiling contest with them.
She stepped back grudgingly, and Bright heard the bolt and chain slide home as he reached the stairs. The public library was on the ground floor.
First he strolled to the job center among the locked and armored shops. There was nothing for a printer on the cards, and cards that offered training in a new career were meant for people thirty years younger.
They needed the work more than he did, even if they had no families to provide for. He ambled back to the library, whistling a wartime song.
The young job-hunters had finished with the newspapers. Bright started with the tabloids, saving the serious papers for the afternoon, though even those suggested that the world over the horizon was seething with disease and crime and promiscuity and wars.
Still, it was no wonder that most readers came to the library for fiction rather than for the news. He supposed the smiling couple who were filling cartons with books would take them to the housebound, although some of the titles he glimpsed seemed unsuitable for the easily offended.
He watched the couple stalk away with the cartons, until the smoke of a distant bonfire obscured them. The library closed at nine.
Usually Bright would have been home for hours and listening to his radio cassette player, to Elgar or Vera Lynn or the dance bands his father used to play on the wind-up record player, but something about the day had made him reluctant to be alone.
He read about evolution until the librarian began to harrumph loudly and smite books on the shelves. Perhaps Bright should have gone up sooner.
When he hurried round the outside of the building to the lobby, he had never seen the suburb so lifeless. Identical gray terraces multiplied to the horizon under a charred sky; a pair of trampled books lay amid the breathless litter on the anonymous concrete walks.
He thought he heard a cry, but it might have been the start of the hymn that immediately was all he could hear, wherever it was. The few lights that were working had been spray-painted until they resembled dying coals.
Gangs of shadows flattened themselves against the walls, waiting to mug him. As he climbed, a muffled sound of hymns made him feel even more isolated.
They must be on television, he could hear them in so many apartments. One pair of lift doors on the fifth floor had jammed open. He labored upstairs to his landing, where the corresponding doors were open too.
Once his head stopped swimming, he ventured to the edge of the unlit shaft. There was no movement, and nothing on the cable except the underside of the lift on the top floor.
He turned toward his apartment. Two men were waiting for him. They were staring at his door and rubbing their hands stiffly. They wore black T-shirts and voluminous black overalls, and sandals on their otherwise bare feet.
They turned together, holding out their hands as if to show him how gray their palms looked under the stained lamp. Their narrow bland faces were already smiling.
They might be two men or even two women, despite their close-cropped hair. They gazed at him as if nothing he might say would stop them smiling, their eyes wide as old pennies stuck under the lids.
When he pulled out his key and marched forward, they stepped aside, but only just. He pushed the door open, no wider than he needed to let himself in.
His visitors came plodding in, bumping the door against the wall. Their expressions seemed more generalized than ever. They seemed no surer who should talk than who should close the door behind them.
The one by the hinges elbowed it shut, almost trapping the other before he was in, until the other blundered through and squashed his companion behind the door.
They might be fun, Bright supposed, and he could do with some of that. They tried to lumber into the main room together. One barged through the doorway and the other stumped after him, and they stared about the room.
He resented the disapproval, but he was more disconcerted by how his visitors looked in the light of his apartment: God only knew how long it would take them to stand up.
Whichever responded, the voice through the fixed smile sounded more pinched than ever. The gray ingrained in their flesh suggested disuse rather than hard work, and disused was how they smelled in the small room.
The sight of their faces stretched tight by their smiles was so disagreeably fascinating that he jumped, having lost his sense of time passing, when one spoke.
The jerky hand produced a videocassette that bore a picture of a priest. His visitors pivoted sluggishly to survey the room.
Their smiles turned away from him, turned back unchanged. They must have seen that his radio could play cassettes, for now the righthand visitor was holding one.
He held open the door to the vestibule and shrank back as one floundered in the doorway while the other fumbled at the outer door.
He held his breath as the second set of footsteps plodded through the vestibule, and let out a gasp of relief as the outer door slammed. Perhaps deodorants were contrary to their faith.
He opened the window and leaned into the night to breathe. More of the building opposite was unlit, as if a flood of darkness were rising through the floors, and he would have expected to see more houses lit by now.
He could hear more than one muffled hymn, or perhaps the same one at different stages of its development. When the smoke of a bonfire began to scrape his throat, he closed the window.
He set up the ironing board and switched on the electric iron. Perhaps he could remind himself. He carried the radio to his chair by the window.
As he lifted the cassette out of its plastic box, he winced. A sharp corner of the cassette had pricked him. He sucked his thumb and gnawed it to dislodge the sliver of plastic that had penetrated his skin.
He dropped the cassette into the player and snapped the aperture shut, then he switched on, trying to ignore the ache in his thumb.
He heard a hiss, the click of a microphone, a voice. Bright knew the name; perhaps he would be able to place it now that the ache was fading.
The absence of the pain was unexpectedly comforting: I have not cut the dam " of a canal. I have not extinguished a fire when it should burn.
I I " " have not turned away the "have not repulsed the god " I am cattle [intended for] offerings. In the second part of Chapter.
I am I pure. When the deceased had repeated the magical names of the doors of the Hall, he entered it and saw these gods arranged in two rows, twenty-one on each side of the Hall.
At the end, near Osiris, were the Great Scales, under the charge of Anpu Anubis , and the assist him. The deceased advanced along the Hall and, addressing each of the Forty-Two gods by his name, declared that he had not committed a certain sin, thus: Neha-hau, comer forth from Re-stau, I have not killed men.
Neba, comer forth in retreating, I have not plundered the property of God. Set-qesu, comer forth from Hensu, I have not lied.
Uammti, comer forth from Khebt, I have not defiled any man's wife. The Set-qesu means ings. He says " Homage to you, O ye gods who dwell in your Hall: Let me not under your slaughtering knives.
Bring not my wickedness god whose followers ye are. Let not the to the notice of the affair [of "'ye the judgment] come under your my Law concerning or truth me jurisdiction.
I live upon testimony? I have performed the behests "of men, and the things that satisfy the gods. I have given bread to the to the thirsty, raiment to the naked, and a boat water hungry, " I have made holy offerings to the to him that needed one.
I have purified myself with washings in water, my " back hath been cleansed with salt, and my inner parts are in "the Pool of Truth.
There is not a member of mine that " lacketh truth. At all events, after questioning him about the performance of certain ceremonies, they invited him to enter the Hall of Maati, but when he was about to do so the porter, and the door-bolts, and the various parts of the door and its frame, and the floor, refused to permit him to enter until he had repeated their magical names.
When he had pronounced these correctly the porter took him in and presented him to Maau? When asked by him why he had come the " I have come that report may be made of deceased answered, " " And me.
Then Thoth said, " I am purified from evil things, I am free the deceased replied, " from the wickedness of those who lived in my days I am not " " Thou shalt be reported.
Wlio is " The deceased having repHed Osiris," Thoth then led him forward to the god Osiris, who received him, and promised that subsistence should be provided for him from the " serpents, he Eye "?
By ; these stands the Great Balance, and on its pillar sits the dog- headed ape Astes, or Astenu, the associate of Thoth.
The pointer of the Balance is in the charge of Anpu. Behind Anpu are Thoth the scribe of the gods, and the monster Amemit, with the head of a crocodile, the forepaws and shoulders of a lion, and the hindquarters of a hippopotamus the duty of the lastnamed was to eat up the hearts that were light in the balance.
Since the heart was considered to be the seat of all will, emotion, feeling, reason and intelligence, Ani's heart, one pan of the Balance, and in the other is O, is seen in the feather, n, symbolic of truth and righteousness.
Thou shalt come forth to my my and strengthening the happiness to which we advance. No wickedness hath been found in him.
He " did not filch offerings from the temples. He did not act "crookedly, and he did not vilify folk when he was on earth. Let there be given unto him offerings of food and an ' [I.
This suggests that " the gods did not expect the heart of the deceased to kick the when beam," but were quite Truth. His heart is righteous It hath no sin [and] hath come forth from the Balance.
Let there be given unto him of the bread and beer which appear Let him be like the Followers of Horus for before Osiris. I have not uttered a lie know"!
Grant that I may be like [I have] no duplicity? The Kingdom of Osiris. He was introduced into the Sekhet islands, his saints.
Heteput or the " a section of the Elysian Fields " Sekhet Aaru, i. Near this spot were moored two boats that were always ready for the use of the " denizens of that region they appear to Jiave been spirit boats," ix,, boats which moved of themselves and carried the beatified wheresoever they wanted to go without any trouble ; or fatigue on their part.
How the beatified passed their time in the Kingdom of Osiris may be seen from the pictures cut on the alabaster sarco- phagus of now preserved in Sir John Soane's Museum in Here we see them occupied in producing food on which they and the god lived.
In the texts that accompany these scenes the " ears of wheat are said to be the members of Osiris," and the wheat plant is called the madt plant.
Osiris was the Wheat-god and also the personification of Madt i. The beatified are " Those who have offered up incense to the gods, described as " and whose kau i.
They have been reckoned up and they are madt i. Take says, of the Great again Osiris " 33 rest because of who as those are in Him whose of " and ye Soul my is what ye have done, becoming even following, and who direct the House Ye holy.
As the live, " land. Thou risest, thou shinest, thou shinest at the dawn. Thou art King of the Gods, and the Maati goddesses embrace thee.
The Company of the Gods praise thee at sunrise and at sunset. Thou sailest over the heights of heaven and thy heart is glad.
Thy Morning Boat meeteth thy Evening Boat with fair winds. Thy father is the Sky-god and thy mother is the Sky-goddess, and thou art Horus of the Eastern and Western skies.
O thou Only One, O thou Perfect One, O thou who art eternal, who art never weak, whom no mighty one can abase none hath dominion over the things which appertain to thee.
Homage to thee in thy characters of Horns, Tem, and Khepera, thou Great Hawk, who makest man to rejoice by thy beautiful face. When thou risest men and women live.
Thou renewest thy youth, and dost thou Homage risest ;. Thou didst create the earth, and man, thou didst make the sky and the celestial river Hep ; thou didst make the waters terrestriaJ.
Thou hast knit together the mountains, thou hast made mankind and the beasts of the field to come into being, and hast made the heavens and the earth.
The fiend Nak is overthrown, his arms are cut off. O thou Divine Youth, thou heir of everlastingness, self-begotten and forms and aspects.
Thou art unknowable, thou existest alone. Horus In the welcome which Ra receives from the dwellers in " Hades " is Amentt i. They shout praises of him in his form of Tem Thou didst rise and put on strength, and thou [i.
The gods of settest, a Uving being, and thy glories are in Amentt. Amentt rejoice in thy beauties or beneficence.
The hidden ones worship thee, the aged ones bring thee offerings and protect thee. Their eyes follow thee, they press forward to see thee, and their hearts rejoice at the sight of thy face.
Thou hearkenest to ' '! Thou givest breath to their Thou art greatly feared, thy form is majestic, and very greatly axt thou beloved by those who dwell in the Other World.
The Introductory Hymn Ra to Osiris, in which the deceased says: Thou art the Governor of gods and of men sceptre, the whip, and the rank of thy Divine Let thy heart in Amentt be content, for thy son Horus Thou art Lord of Tetu Busiris and is seated upon thy throne.
Governor of Abtu Abydos. Thy power is widespread, and great is the terror of thy name Thou endurest for all eternity in thy name of Un-Nefer Osiris.
Governor of governors, who from the womb of the Sky-goddess hast ruled the World and the Under World. Thy limbs are as silvergold, thy hand is blue like lapis-lazuli, and the space on either side of and hast received the Fathers.
They hold thee bowing low. They withdraw and retreat upon thee; the [thought] of the frar. I have come unto thee, my hands hold Truth, and there is no falsehood in my Thou hast set Truth before thee I know on what heart.
I have committed no sin in this land, and I have defrauded no man of his possessions. Chapters II-IV are short spells written to give the deceased power to revisit the earth, to join the and to travel about the sky.
VI was cut on figures made of stone, wood, which were placed in the tomb, and wken the deceased recited it these figures became alive and did everything The text of Chapter etc.
Chapter XIV is a entreated to put away aay feeling of may have for the deceased, who says, is Wash away my sins, Lord of Truth wickedness and iniquity, O God of destroy my transgressions, Truth.
May this god be at ; " peace with me. Destroy the things that are obstacles between Give me peace, and remove all dissatisfaction from thy us.
The Jackal-gods and the Hawk-gods hymns of praise to Ra at sunset. I am the Only One. I am Ra, who rose in " of ruler what he had made.
These addresses formed a very powerful spell which was used by Horns, and when he recited it four times all his enemies were overthrown and cut to pieces.
Thoth recited spells over the gods whilst Ptah untied the bandages mouths with an iron? This prayer was still in use in the early years of the of it.
A spell to prevent the decapitation of the deceased, who assumes in it the character of Osiris the Lord of Eternity. An ancient and mighty speU, the of which prevented the deceased from dying a second of the VI preserved the time.
Chapter L enabled the deceased to avoid the block of execution of the god Shesmu. Chapters LI-LIII provided the deceased with pure food and clean water from the table of the gods he lived upon what they lived upon, and so became one with them.
Chapters LIV-LXII gave the deceased ; power to obtain cool water from the Celestial Nile and the springs and being identified with Shu, the god of and he was enabled to pass over all the earth at will.
The protection character and suggests that the deceased could, through its recital, either absorb the gods into his being, or become himself absorbed by them.
Its rubric orders abstention from meats, the and women on part of those who were to recite it. The Mesqet was originally a bull's skin in which the deceased was wrapped.
The recital of Chapter XCVI 1 1 provided the deceased with a boat in which to sail over the northern heavens, and a ladder by which to ascend to heaven.
In this region lived the terrible Serpent-god Ami-hem-f he was 30 cubits 50 feet long. Chapter CX and its vignette of the Elysian Fields have already been described see p.
Chapter refers to the ceremony of reconstituting Osiris, and Chapters CXL-CXLII deal with the setting up of twelve altars, and the making of offerings to all the gods and to the various forms of Osiris.
The gate of each Hall was guarded by a porter, a watchman, and a messenger the first in three of ; kept the door, the second looked out for the arrival of visitors, and the third took their names to Osiris.
No one could enter a Hall Nsithout repeating the name watchman, and of the messenger. Chapter CLIa and CLIb give a picture of the mummy chamber and the magical texts that were necessary for the protection of both the chamber and the mummy in it.
I shall have my being, " I shall live, I shall flourish, I shall rise up in peace. A few contain hymns that are not older than the XVIIIth dynasty, and one is an extract from the text on the Pyramid is, perhaps.
Chapter and CLXXV, In this chapter the deceased is " Thou shalt live for assured of immortailty in the words, millions of millions of years, a life of millions of years.
Coloured facsimile of the Papyrus of Anhai, XXIst dynasty, with hieroglyphic transcript and translation, 8 plates, large 3.
II plates, large 2. Museum have Collotype folio.