Monday, June 7, 2010

Chapter 18

What occurred next was unusual. Rather than consummating the marriage, Nel wanted to be certain that his bride was willing to leave her home in Egypt. He spent hours telling her of his plans to colonize a large island in the North Sea. "There is one thing you must not tell the pharaoh," he whispered. "We will not worship your gods." "If not Re or Baal, who then?" "My father allows Horus, but there will be no statues of gods in the new land. I saw some horrible things in the city of Nimrod....the bellies of women and children sliced open, people screaming as they are thrown into the flames.... Scota, I do not believe that God requires human sacrifice and chose to worship him on my own terms." "My father communes with the gods, he is one of them," she insisted. "That is why you must not tell him." Warning: US and International Copyright Restrictions Apply.
"But who will you worship?" "The God of Noah." She stared blankly into the eyes of Nel. She had no knowledge of this God. He tried to explain. "Do you know of Ham?" She nodded. "I know that his daughter Egyptus found this land and that her son was the first pharaoh. And that pharaoh worshipped idols." "Few people remember the God of Noah. That is why we must go where we are free." "What sacrifice did Noah make?" "Sheep were sacrificed as a symbolism of the son of the living God who is yet to come. This is my belief." "I have never heard this." "I will not worship the statues of your father. Scota, do you understand?" "How do you see your god if you have no statue?" "I know in my heart that he exists. But I will not force you to accept my religion. The decision is yours." "If you return me to my father, he will keep your treasure and kill you," she said truthfully. Nel took a deep breath and stared deeply into her eyes. She was so lovely, so petite, a rose in bloom. He wanted to reach out and caress her soft skin, kiss her plump red lips, but would she love him? His voice quaked when he spoke the final ultimatum. "If you choose to go with me, you must forsake the idols. If you do not, then I would rather suffer the wrath of your father than
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to begin a nation without you." His quivered with emotion and tears came into his eyes. "But if you do choose to go with me, I will put you above all women on the earth and love you forever." "No man has ever spoken so profoundly and convincingly. I desire very much to be loved forever!" This legend of Nel and Scota's wedding night would be told to their children and their children's children. No greater happiness had Nel ever known than with his Scota. The eleven ships were loaded with the paraphernalia of the Scythian empire, including several herds of horses and all of tents which the nation had occupied for so many years. The day that the sailors strung the wide linen sails and flew them against the wind into the Mediterranean sea a far distance from shore, Nel dumped overboard all of the pharaoh’s statuary. Nel and Scota would find a new world. Where was the lion? I last saw him tracking the caravan to the city of Nimrod. The pharaoh delivered on his promise by acquiring eleven of the finest vessels honed and crafted by the Greeks and hired mercenaries for the voyage. My accommodations were in the belly of the command ship with Nel's favorite al khamsa. They were his spirited breeding stallions, of finely chiseled bone structure, concave profiles, arched necks and high-carried tails. He kept a close watch on them. They were boarded into narrow stalls which prevented the animals from toppling over. My job was to groom and keep the legs wrapped in thick protecting bandages. The conversations had with Nel were instructive in the delicate care of his animals. "This one is faster than the zebra and gazelle," he told me, "and is called zad el-rahab" because he is a gift to his rider." Nel was a kind and gentle prince. He never raised his voice and his demeanor exuded with patience and trust. He stood shorter than me, his body was inordinately narrow but had broad shoulders and muscled arms. He wore a long sweeping cape which concealed a jeweled breastplate and a wide sash sewn with pearls thus exhibiting the refined taste of a Scythian prince. Nel was my source for finding the key. Whatever happened, I had to await my opportunity just as I'd done with the other ancestors. They had all spoken the legend of Nel and
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