We have been surprisingly lucky in our transport on this trip I must say. Once again, we've found a ship with an excellent cook. I suppose the fact that we are still trailing the coast has helped as there hasn't been a need for days old food yet, but I imagine that our new chef will be up to the task of providing good food even with that challenge.
Moza joined us as my new companion on this trip, although he is dreadfully unsure of being on ship. He has absolutely refused to leave the cabin, and even though I have tried to feed him, I'm afraid he is finding the sea not to his liking. No doubt he will acclimatise, but I do hope it happens soon. He seems so frightened and has even taken to sleeping nestled up beside me. Anytime I am here in the cabin he insists on being in contact with me, and I write this with him huddled in my lap. I'd love to imagine that it was due to my new found calling, but I imagine he is merely seeking comfort from someone familiar.
At any rate, I am blithering on aimlessly and owe you a real explanation so I shall attempt to somehow relay the rest of the what occurred on the night of the New Moon.
I left off when we were cowled in the robes, pressed in among all sides, and facing the Monolith (well, one of them) at the foot of the Sphinx. A hush had fallen over the masses, and when that many people choose to fall silent it feels dreadfully ominous.
That feeling of dread certainly was not relieved when Omar Shakti and the rest of the Clive Expedition stepped forward to the Monolith. He threw back his hood, and in clear defiance of what he had told us, began speaking what I was told later by Lord Covington was Ancient Egyptian. His words were loud and clear, although I hadn't a clue what was being said. Covington later explained that Shakti had been saying something along the lines of "mighty is the god whose breath brings death and whose form-" He never had the chance to finish it, but it was even not knowing the words you could be certain there was a gravity and weight to them. It carried over the eerily silent crowd, and his voice swelled and rose until Lord Covington made some noise and Louis sprayed the air with bullets.
Instant pandemonium! I now know why Mother always insisted we leave when the suffragette rallies began to fill with common rabble. A frightened crowd with violence occurring is a thoroughly unsafe place to be. And yet that was where we were.
Space materialised surrounding us. Where we had been packed like un-shucked corn, suddenly nobody wanted to be close to the gun-wielding Americans. Lord Covington and Doctor Webber surged forward, as Louis and Violet closed ranks.
Louis kept firing, clearing the crowd in the immediate surroundings. Violet shot a man grabbing for Louis and all of a sudden I could see them, flowing together and working as one. It was beautiful. I mean, I know, it was terrible and awful and violent, but they moved so perfectly in unison, like they knew exactly what the other was thinking. True love in motion. But I digress.
That dreadful Winfield was there, and shot at Covington. Those two became locked in trading bullets and I daresay it would have been quite the standoff had the rest of the ruckus not been going on.
Doctor Webber, meanwhile, was deftly parrying with that blade he was given by the Muslims. Men hacked and slashed at him, but he moved like the wind, closing in on Omar Shakti.
I was still amongst the crowd as it pushed past the fighting, but I turned back to see Shakti's head come off as Webber swung his sword. And then the most extraordinary thing happened. The fluffy white cat that never left Shakti's side mutated onto its hind legs, stood up with tongue lolling, and attacked Doctor Webber. It was a bit of a surprise, and some of the crowd seemed quite disturbed by it.
I will admit I was torn. Was I obligated to protect that cat by my vow to Bast? It no longer resembled the cats you or I would know, nor did it look like the big wild cats of Africa I have yet to encounter. It was a roiling, furry, two legged monster. I sang out, crying to it in Bast's name, but it did not respond. I suppose that was just as well as Doctor Webber then sliced off its tongue.
Lord Covington, good man, was still trading shots with the company. He shot Winfield, and kept trading shots with Professor Clive who certainly resembled nothing like a well-mannered professor anymore with his face purpling in rage.
And then there was a sound unlike I've ever heard. A section of the crowd behind me simply evaporated as dust and smoke and noise exploded. Later I learned Louis had started throwing grenades to keep the crowd back, but really, it is quite the dizzying experience.
When I looked up, things were getting grim for my friends. Violet and Louis were still defending each other, Webber swinging that sword and Covington reloading and shooting. There was good reason for Louis's grenades though, which he was continuing to lob into the crowd.
The crowd was no longer a panicked frightened mass and was starting to turn on my friends. I could see them closing in and searched about for something to help with when my hands found the pouch Louis had given me earlier.
I'll admit, I had not been particularly attentive when he explained the ins and outs of everything that he wanted from me if fighting occurred. I honestly had not thought it would come to this, certainly prayed it wouldn't. But when my hand closed over the cold thick stick of dynamite I suddenly knew exactly what should be done. I pushed out of the crowd and dashed for the monolith.
Suddenly there was another almighty sound, this one much closer, and I was knocked down by the blast. It took a good few moments to understand what had happened and to stop the ringing in my ears, but I got up before I could get caught in the blast of another grenade and ran on as soon as I could.
The monolith, for all its importance, was surprisingly bare. When I reached it, I crouched at the far side, away from the fighting. The crowds on either side were still jostling to escape Louis's grenades, the occasional bullet zinged past me, but I felt this odd sense of peace in the middle of everything.
I drew the dynamite out of the pack and shoved it as close to the base of the monolith as I could. Then I lit the fuse, and ran.
I may have had a better plan than that at some point in time, but it did not survive for long. I paused in my fleeing only long enough to shout that I'd lit the fuse, enabling my compatriots to turn and flee as well. I ran into the crowd, pushing my way as far as possible. Moments passed, and I began to doubt myself. Had I actually lit the fuse? I had almost convinced myself that I had failed and was about to turn back when the explosion occurred.
Louis's grenades were nothing compared to that deep rumble and quake. The monolith did not survive, falling over part of the crowd. I wasn't to see that, as the air was choked with debris and the explosion knocked a large swathe of the crowd, myself included to the ground.
In the chaos that happened, I managed to find my way back to the car. I was exhausted, hacking from all the sand and dust in the air. There was a cut on my cheek that I don't know how I got, and I felt bruised all over. It took me ages to find my way to the car, as I had not exactly been paying attention to where I ran. Fortunately, my compatriots all arrived as well. I stop remembering things that evening after I saw Doctor Webber's face all covered in blood.
It has grown late with these writings, and Moza is begging me to turn out the light and come to bed. I will tell you of our leaving Cairo later, after I have slept.
Good night, my cousin,