“She” by Henry Rider Haggard Part VI

Now a journey–everybody packs.  Billali and a lot of the mutes
will be going, with a litter to carry Ayesha (She-who-must-be-
obeyed).

Ayesha is in charge, of course, and leads the way.  “After
stopping for breakfast” (Denny’s) they travel until after two
o’clock.  Two o’clock!  Where in heck are they going?  This is
on foot—-with some pretty treacherous trails and terrain.
See photo of Leo below :

"Leo" from She by Henry Rider Haggard ©booksandbuttons

“Leo” from She by Henry
Rider Haggard ©booksandbuttons

Luckily the mutes are carrying the stuff at this point.  After a while
more, as the sun is setting they arrive at the ancient city of Kor.  Here
the walls around the city aren’t that high–forty feet–but they are
as wide as they are tall—so! clever defense (de-fence) by those
ancient peoples methinks.

There are several pages of descriptions of the columns and passages
and scientific breakthroughs of these crumbling buildings.  “There,
all bathed in the red glow of the sinking sun, were miles upon miles
of ruins–columns, temples, shrines, and the palaces of kings . . .”
Probably was a pretty scene I’ll admit.

They stop for a rest, make a fire using (uck!) bits of an old mummy
for tinder.  Then some cold meat is passed around—but not for
Ayesha.  Remember, She only eats fruits, cakes of flour and a little
bit of water.  She wishes aloud that Kallikrates (Leo) would only
eat fruit and shun the meat. (already nagging and not yet a bride).
They stopped in this particular place for a rest because it’s the
place where Ayesha-She killed Kallikrates years (2000) ago.
Sentimental, isn’t She?

Now the moon is up and off they go to see a special temple.  (Does
this sound a little like Indiana Jones to you?)  There they see a
huge BALL that is 20 feet in diameter (!) with a statue of a
winged beauty on top.  Cameras click away.

The next morning the mutes wake them and they prepare for
that day’s journey.  Ayesha hasn’t slept well–bad dreams.  She
wonders aloud: “If I died, Kallikrates, would you wait years (2000)
for me to be reborn?”  What do you think?

This time they travel for awhile and then A. says that Billali and
the mutes must wait there for them to come back.  Wait as long
as it takes.  They vow they will.

She only wants Leo and Holly to go with her, but old Job doesn’t
want to be left behind, perhaps to be “hot-potted”.  She agrees
and says he can carry a lamp and “this”.  She points to a wooden
plank of SIXTEEN feet.  (They are about to climb a sheer cliff . . .
and that will be handy to carry, won’t it?)  He agrees, and Holly
takes another oil lamp, and an extra jar of oil, and Leo takes the
“rest of the provisions” (!) and they follow Ayesha.

She springs from rock to rock with her gauzy outfit flying out
in the wind (in fact her heavy robe is torn from her in a particularly
gusty wind later), and the others follow like crabs, clinging to
the rocks and trying not to look down.

They arrive on a narrow ledge where they walk along—sheer drop
on their right, sheer cliff to their left:

from "She" by Henry Rider Haggard ©booksandbuttons

from “She” by Henry Rider Haggard ©booksandbuttons

Somehow, no one falls off (yet) and at the top they are faced with an
inner chasm to the mountain or whatever it is, and they must cross
that chasm to a small flat rock, “size of a tabletop”.  The rock across
the way, She remembers and warns, is a little wiggily, so be careful.
At this point I would have just jumped into the chasm.

Thus the board that Job has carried comes into play.  And it is a
little springy, but strong She assures them.  To prove it, she
dances across to the rock effortlessly.  My hands are sweating as
I type this . . .Remember, they all have those lamps and provisions
they are carrying!  She shames Leo into following her—and then–
oh, OK, they all make it over.  Problem: board falls into chasm.
How will they get back?

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