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datatime: 2022-12-02 03:16:36 Author:pxmefntx

"You crazy old fool." He forced a grin at me. "What, in the name of Horus, were you laughing about?"

When it finally happened, and our spies on the east side of the river opposite Asyut warned us of the approach of this fleet from the Delta, Tanus rushed his own ships northwards to meet them. His fleet was superior in every way to the one which Salitis and Intef had assembled, but the battle they fought lasted for almost a week before Tanus destroyed or drove them back into the Delta.

I had realized that this must happen, but I had refrained from warning either Tanus or my mistress of the likelihood, for I did not wish to add to the feeling of gloom, and heighten the despondency of our people. I had searched my heart for a counter to this move when Salitis and Intef made it, but there was none that I could think of. Therefore, since I could do nothing to allay these fears, I thought it best to keep them to myself.

When we were alone, Tanus said softly, "Salitis has four regiments across the river. Six hundred chariots. It is over."

For a moment it did not penetrate my aching skull, then I realized that it had happened. Tanus had quashed his pride, and given in to me. My orphan chariot squadron was at last to be part of the standing army, and he would give me the men and gold to build five hundred more. He would even ride with me again, if only I could fix my wheels.

"You crazy old fool." He forced a grin at me. "What, in the name of Horus, were you laughing about?"

I tried to sit up, but my head ached abominably and I groaned, then clutched his arm as it all came back to me.

When it finally happened, and our spies on the east side of the river opposite Asyut warned us of the approach of this fleet from the Delta, Tanus rushed his own ships northwards to meet them. His fleet was superior in every way to the one which Salitis and Intef had assembled, but the battle they fought lasted for almost a week before Tanus destroyed or drove them back into the Delta.

"I can fight on, of course," Tanus agreed. "But in the end it will all be the same. We cannot prevail against their chariots."

"Now that he is across the river, can you check the barbarian?"

"You crazy old fool." He forced a grin at me. "What, in the name of Horus, were you laughing about?"

"No" my mistress's voice shook with the force of her denial. "The gods cannot desert this very Egypt now. Our civilization cannot perish. We have too much to give to the world."

However, Salitis had brought his transports up behind the screen of fighting galleys, and while the river battle still raged, he was able to embark almost two full regiments of horse and chariot, and ferry them intact to our side of the river, without our galleys being able to reach them.

Iwoke again under the awning on the deck of Tanus" flagship. I found myself lying on a sheepskin mattress, with Tanus leaning over me. As soon as he saw that I was conscious, he masked the expression of concern and worry that had twisted his features.

"You crazy old fool." He forced a grin at me. "What, in the name of Horus, were you laughing about?"

While we thus debated, another messenger arrived, this time from the south. He had fled to us on the current and the wind, so his news was only a day old. Tanus ordered him into the council chamber, and the messenger fell to his knees before Queen Lostris.

"I can slow him down, perhaps," he replied frankly. "We have learned a great deal about him. We can wait for him behind walls of stone, or behind barriers of the sharp staves that Taita has equipped us with. But Salitis need not give battle. His chariots are so fast that he can swing around our positions as he did at Asyut. No, I cannot stop him."

None of us spoke until Tanus had sent the man away with orders that he be fed and cared for. The messenger, who had expected to be killed, kissed Queen Lostris" sandals.

Iwoke again under the awning on the deck of Tanus" flagship. I found myself lying on a sheepskin mattress, with Tanus leaning over me. As soon as he saw that I was conscious, he masked the expression of concern and worry that had twisted his features.

"You crazy old fool." He forced a grin at me. "What, in the name of Horus, were you laughing about?"

When we were alone, Tanus said softly, "Salitis has four regiments across the river. Six hundred chariots. It is over."

Queen Lostris looked at me. "Taita, what about your chariots? Can they not give battle to the Hyksos?"

When it finally happened, and our spies on the east side of the river opposite Asyut warned us of the approach of this fleet from the Delta, Tanus rushed his own ships northwards to meet them. His fleet was superior in every way to the one which Salitis and Intef had assembled, but the battle they fought lasted for almost a week before Tanus destroyed or drove them back into the Delta.

"You crazy old fool." He forced a grin at me. "What, in the name of Horus, were you laughing about?"

I tried to sit up, but my head ached abominably and I groaned, then clutched his arm as it all came back to me.

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