Ancient History & Civilisation

Chapter 89

Valley of the Kings

November 26, 1922

UNFORTUNATELY, THERE WOULD BE a major problem in looking for the mummy.

The wording of Lord Carnarvon’s concession to dig in the valley implied that a tomb’s discoverer had the right to enter first. However, as Trout Engelbach had made abundantly clear two days earlier, the Antiquities Service’s understanding of the wording was quite different.

Acting under orders from his boss—a Frenchman named Pierre Lacau—Engelbach now demanded that a member of his staff be on hand for the opening of any chamber. The penalty for ignoring that order was severe—Carter and Carnarvon could forfeit much of their claim to the treasure inside.

After all those years of searching, impatience now could mean they’d end up with nothing.

And though Engelbach had left Carter’s dig site, he had designated his Egyptian deputy, Ibrahim Effendi, to carry out that task in his absence. But as Carter and his group stood before the second doorway, Effendi too was no longer in the valley. He had returned to Luxor, awaiting news from Carter.

Now Carter and his group were faced with a dilemma: send for Effendi, or break on through to the other side without him.

Carter did both.

Swearing everyone in the tunnel to secrecy, including the Egyptian diggers, Carter wrote a hasty note informing the Antiquities Service of what he’d found. Then he handed the note to one of the diggers and ordered him to wait until nightfall before delivering it.

Next, he again turned his attention to the wall. He enlarged the hole even more.

He was going inside to find the mummy.

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