A SOLITARY FIGURE MOVED like a ghost through the pharaoh’s bedroom—an angry, vengeful ghost.
He was a soldier in the Egyptian army, a man named Sefu, who had been conscripted at the age of eight and spent every day since in the service of the pharaoh. He had no wife, no children, and his parents had long since entered the afterworld. This warrior, in essence, was a nobody who had nothing. He had never risen above the rank of foot soldier. On the eve of his fortieth birthday, his left eye had been put out by a Hittite lance, but other than that he had few visible scars to show for a lifetime of war.
Sefu was unused to the finery of the palace. He felt certain that he would be discovered at every turn in the hallway. But he’d only seen the queen leaving Tut’s bedroom. It was as if the guards had all been told to take the night off. Had that been arranged too?
He had left his sandals at the barracks, knowing that his feet would be quieter on tile. His chest was bare, and his kilt was a faded blue. He wore nothing on his head, but in his hand he clutched a special implement prepared for him by one of General Horemheb’s top weapon makers.
A smooth Nile stone the size of a grapefruit had been tied with leather straps to the end of a two-foot length of polished ebony.
By all appearances, it was a most attractive and suitable war club. Sefu knew, however, that the club was too pretty for combat.
But it would be perfect for murdering a young pharaoh.