The forces of law and order disturb a district's too-perfect peace at the dawn of Egyptian civilization. A wise and popular pharaoh is betrayed by his own son, and by his dearest friends - then makes a most peculiar decision. A mummy returns to life after three thousand years, to confront the arrogant new race that now rules the land. A favored prince flees to a faraway country when the king dies suddenly, leaving his true love behind - only to come back to question her about their forty lost years. A famous young writer, composer of a legendary epic of Pharaoh's greatest battle with the Hittites, is carried off without warning by a mysterious disease - then speaks to us in this life from beyond the veil of death. Such are the tales that make up this volume of five masterly stories by the young Naguib Mahfouz, all inspired by the Egypt of the pharaohs. Like three novels set in ancient times that he also published early in his career, these stories reveal his wide reading of Egypt's (and the world's) oldest history and literature. All of these gems, however, are very much his own creations. Their voices speak with the familiar genius of Egypt's greatest modern writer - though they call from a very different world than the one for which he is best known.