|A Conspiracy Of Thieves
Author: Lady Water Mirror PM
Amelia Peabody series Different ending for Crocodile on the Sandbank. What if there were more people involved than just Lucas and Alberto? Major spoilers for CotS. AE and EW. Abandoned for now.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Adventure - Chapters: 2 - Words: 2,834 - Reviews: 3 - Updated: 05-07-05 - Published: 10-05-04 - id: 2083487
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Just a note, since we know these events from Amelia's perspective, this is told by every one else, but Emerson's version is the only one told in first person. I own nothing. Hey wait, I own Jack! Though I don't know why anyone would want to, but oh well...
The bright Egyptian sun was just rising as I made my trek from the wharves to the Amarnian cliffs, in an uncharacteristic tempermantal mood. Such moods are, of course extremely rare in my case, since I have the most even and calm disposition of any man I have ever come in contact with. It is all her bloody fault. It could be no one elses. Peabody's damnable self confidence will most likely be the death of us all. It nearly was last night. I ought to have known better than to trust Miss Evelyn's safety in the hands of the indomitable Amelia Peabody and that cursed idiot Lord Elesmere.
I had had a somewhat disturbed night, though I am not aware as to why, perhaps something of a foreboding. I had ordered Michael to watch over the ship and his proprietress and keep an eye on Lord Elesmere. I never trusted that man. Far too congenial for my liking, and his phisigonomy was almost too good. I had prepared myself for the thought that there might be an altercation on the ship because of Miss Evelyn, and wished them to be prepared for it.
Of course, I did have an ulterior motive. With Peabody out of the way I could get on with my excavations in peace for once. I have long believed that there were other painted pavements in that area of Amarna and it seems I was correct (though I did not have much doubt). Also, I am quite worried about Walter. He has a strong disposition of course, but seemed in very much pain and spends far too much time jumping to obey Peabody's orders as it is.
Because of my disturbed rest I set out before sunset for the wharves to find out what had happened and to recconnoiter with Michael at our designed meeting place. I stopped by on the chance I might see him, but seeing no one about went to speak with Reis Hassan instead.
Well, Hassan and the crew are now scared witless of some damned mummy who now seems to have obtained supernatural powers! He assured me as to everyone's safety, but politely suggested that we leave and take the 'curse' elsewhere. I had hoped to get back to Walter quickly, so I only took a quick look into their cabin to reassure myself. They were both sleeping soundly, but I noticed with some surprise that Peabody really did look somewhat ill. That is all we need now, Mohammed has ruined all our chances of getting to Cairo should she become extremely sick.
I waited for close to an hour for Michael to show up at our designated spot, but he never did! I asked some of the crewmen where he was and no one claimed to have seen him since last night. This quite complicates things. I can't keep an eye on Lord Elesmere, Peabody, Walter, Miss Evelyn and the excavation all at once! I suppose I could have asked Peabody to watch Walter or Miss Evelyn at least, but she could be cursed idiotic enough to set herself up as bait for this 'mummy'. Not that I believe her bloody nonsense about it wanting to come after her. These cursed women, always wanting to complain about something.
After I quickly looked in on Walter, I went back to my pavement, at something of a loss as to what to do about it. It was in such a position that Peabody eventually come upon me, with her characteristic tact. She hit me over the shoulder with that bloody parasol and looked as though she thought herself seven feet tall and I the one who was barely five. I admit I was a trifle out of sorts, but of course she lost her temper and berated me for my 'audacity' in getting on with my work. Damned nonsense. If she wants to her herself killed or kidnapped she could at least have the courtesy of leaving my excavation alone as she does it. I greeted her cordially and she squatted beside me.
She was describing my numerous failings while I moved the sand away from the pavement. "You are the most despicable, selfish... That is a great waste of time, you know, scooping at the sand with your bare hands. You will never clear the pavement that way. The sand trickles down as fast as you pull it away."
Well, thank you for stating the obvious. Of course, I did not say that as I was not looking forward to another brush with that cursed parasol. "Tsk, tsk, Peabody, you are losing track of what you were saying. I am despicable, selfish-" And naturally I was interrupted, to be interrogated as to my opinion on the events last night. "Matters traspired as I expected. The mummy appeared and was duly routed by you-"
"By Lucas." And interrupted once more. I don't see what she likes about that pernicious aristocrat. He's a coward and a bloody nuisance. I went back to scooping at the sand.
"Have you taken leave of your senses?" she asked, her expression clearly showing her impenetrable hatred of me and all my doings. "You have had one painting destroyed; uncover this and it will meet the same fate. Its only safety now lies in obscurity."
She looked so self righteous that I was ready to scream in agravation. Why on earth should she have such a horrid opinion of me? Probably still holding a grudge from my scolding her at the museum. I have done nothing else to incur her displeasure, unless she dislikes me without reason, as women are wont to do. I am a gentleman however, whatever her thoughts may be.
"Perhaps its survival is not my cheif concern." I said, somewhat abruptly. "We must have some lure for our mysterious visitor; better to lose this than Miss Evelyn." Surprisingly enough, I found this to be true. Although I have devoted myself to my work and would be loath to see such a perfect historic specimen go to waste, it would be better that the waste of an innocent life.
At least this remark left her speechless for a moment. " I cannot believe you mean that." she said finally.
And why not! For reasons I cannot fully explain, I sincerely wanted an answer to this question. However, I do have my pride intact so instead remarked, " No, I am sure you have the lowest possible opinion of me and all my works. It is true, nevertheless."
"I do not have a low opinion of you." She said this so quietly, I thought that I was hearing things at first.
"What did you say?" I asked shocked. This cannot be true! I tried to catch her eye, but she quickly looked away. Apparently it is not true. She would not have avoided my eyes unless she was being untruthful.I found myself becoming extremely angry. So she considers herself completely benevolent and free from hatred of anyone! To polite to admit that she really wishes me dead!
I probably would have exclaimed in anger, had not Walter came by at that moment to berate me about leaving the ladies alone last night. Even my own brother is against me now.
Lucas was certain that this was unnecessary and possibly dangerous, but Jack had forced him into it. There was obviously little love in his family if he wanted to murder his own sister in such a cold-blooded way.He was now beginning to regret asking for Jack's help in the first place, he was far too violent and unscrupulousfor his liking.
He slipped inside the tomb and sat the cage down on the makeshift bed. Carefully he opened the door of the cage and poked its occupant with a (very long) stick to get it out. The vile creature hissed, but made itself at home on the bed, where Lucas threw a blanket overtop to hide the large cobra.
When the others came back to take tea, they found Lucas sitting calmly outside the tomb, though inside he was frozen in fear.
Despite my rationalizations earlier, I doubted there was a tomb I had not yet discovered at Amarna. I could not have missed anything. However, it was a good excuse to keep an eye on Lord Ellesmere. He must be behind this, though I do not yet know how or why. I was pacing outside the tombs at that moment, but mostly to watch over Lucas and Amelia. She was right about one thing, she was the only one of us other than Miss Evelyn to have been harmed. Now would be a perfect time to do so.
It was silent in her tomb, but I felt compelled to take a look, if only to reassure myself. I paused before the opening. I hoped she was asleep already, or I would cause myself no little embarassment. Setting my fears aside I pulled back the curtain.