(Cover Image & Source: Punishment in Ancient Egypt by Mark Miller @ Ancient Origins)

(continued from In the Kingdom of the Desert Rose (Part VII.)…)

…But she also knew she can’t wander around in a torn dress covered with blood. Everybody will knew that she made something bad, she killed someone for the money. They will think that she’s the local robber or the prostitute that tried to get paid for her night services. She has to remove this dress and get the new one. And all of their clothes are at her masters house.

Quickly, soon after the first beams of sunlight covered the streets of Hut-Ka-Ptah, she entered secretly into her slave chambers of her masters house, like she did so many times before, threw away the remains of her bloody dress, washed her face and hands, put on her new clothes, and went out to the house’s garden.

She tried to get away through the main gates, but someone stopped her. It was her only true friend that she had in this cursed and lustful place. Her friend, a slave girl from the south lands of the Kingdom of Kush, small tribal kingdom and the everlasting rivals of the almighty Egypt. Her black slave friend knew that Moshea did something bad. She could see that in her eyes, in her trembling hands and in the way she dressed and got prepared to run across the garden and onto the street of this dusty old town. She was always taking care of her white friend from the north. Always stood for her, making excuses when Moshea was late in the morning, excuses that she made to convince their slave master that her white friend fell asleep, again.

But not this time. She will make no more excuses. Just to give her advice to be careful, to get away from the streets, especially from the city’s guards, and never to come again in that old filthy tavern at the edge of the town.

After a short farewell, Moshea sneaked through the garden and over the big white wall, because she knew that at this time of the morning, the guardians of her slave master were already standing at the main gates, and she knew they wouldn’t let her go outside again.

When she got again on the street, now full of passers-by, merchants, foreigners, beggars, slaves sent to be sold on the big slave market and the thieves disguised as normal citizens. And city’s guardians, always marching up and down the city’s biggest blocks.

So many times she passed by them, never looking back, never cared for them. Now, when she was a murderer, she knew that she has to get away as far as possible from all the people, especially the guardians.

When she was walking around the streets that she knew so well, trying to think what she has to do, where to go, where to hide, she stumbled upon a message written in blood on the wall in the centre of the big marketplace. The message said that somebody found a dead body of the young man, a foreigner from the desert, a Bedouin, and that his people and friends are trying to get the revenge for the murder. They offer to pay anyone that knew anything about the murderer, any valuable information that could get them to the one who committed the worst crime against a human being. A crime where the victim had no chance to fight back, unarmed against a dreadful enemy, armed with a blade of the short, spy knife.

She knew now that there was no more place for her in this town, that she has to get away, and as soon as possible. But, as long as they thought that a murderer was a man, which was a common belief for the most of the citizens, including the foreigners, she had some time to think about everything once more again.

But she knew she need to find a hideout, some place where nobody knows her, at least before she makes a decision when and how to exit this town, and which is more important, how to pass by the guards that are standing in front of the main town’s gates.

It was a common practice of the guardians, according to the commands of the king, that every foreigner has to be checked before leaving the town, especially if they are suspect in a crimes that are so common in this desert kingdom. Most of the crimes that were committed here are not murders or theft, but buying or stealing relics from the old tombs, which was considered to be one of the most vicious crimes, penalised by death, either as decapitation, drowning or burning on stake. You had only a slightly better chance to live and be penalised by paying money (and that was considered only for buying relics from others) if you were a noblemen, who had to chance to stand in front of the court, a king’s deputy and an official who were dealing with the most problematic court cases.

Moshea knew she had no chance to get to the trial, being a foreigner, woman and a slave, even do she was the real victim in all the mess that happened on that damned dawn, when she thought that that was just an ordinary night that was passing by, like many nights before.

(continued to In the Kingdom of the Desert Rose (Part IX.)…)