THE SOLDIER, SEFU, silently tiptoed into Tut’s bedroom. He had stood behind a statue as the queen left her ailing husband, right on schedule. He knew that he had only a few minutes to do the deed and escape the palace and then Thebes.
The young pharaoh looked so innocent and helpless as he lay in his bed, like a child. A sliver of remorse flitted through the soldier’s mind but was quickly replaced with grim resolve and the knowledge that what he was about to do was for the good of Egypt. The general had promised him money and a promotion in rank. The royal vizier had sweetened the deal with a land grant and some cattle.
So the cold-blooded assassin walked to the edge of the pharaoh’s bed. He planted his feet wide. Now balanced and stable, he grasped the club with two hands and brought it up high over his head. Though he wasn’t tall, he was broad shouldered.
Could it really be this easy to murder a pharaoh? He kept waiting for a guard to spring from hiding or for Tut to rise up and catch him in the act, to forbid his own murder.
The soldier felt the smooth ebony in his hands, and the heft of the stone seemed right for what he was about to do—not so light that it would bounce off the king’s head, and not so heavy that it would throw him off balance as he swung.
He was startled as the pharaoh spoke softly in his sleep. “Mother,” Tut said.
The soldier put down the club. It wouldn’t be right to kill the pharaoh like this. Instead, he placed his strong hands firmly on either side of Tut’s windpipe and applied great pressure.
Tut’s eyes opened wide. He tried to fight back but was too weak. And then he was dead.
The soldier picked up his club and left the room as quickly and quietly as he’d entered. Later that night, the soldier himself was hacked to death.