rward a short distance along the vineyard-fringed banks of Lake Mareotis. Heraklas lifted up his eyes, and marked how the vines by the lake's side contrasted with the burning whiteness of the desert beyond. The glaring sand shimmered in the heat of the flaming Egyptian sun. A thin, vapory mist seemed to move above the heated, barren surface of the grim sea of sand. Heraklas stretched out his hands in agony toward the desert, and cried aloud, "O my brother, my brother Timokles! How shall I live without thee?"
The soft ripple of the lake beside him seemed like mockery. The tears rolled slowly down his cheeks, as he looked toward the pitilessly unresponsive desert of the west and southwest. Then Heraklas, helpless in his misery, raised his hands with the palms outward before him, after the custom of an Egyptian in prayer, and addressed him whom the Egyptians thought the maker of the sun, the god Phthah, "the father of the beginnings," "the first of the gods of the upper world."
"Hail to thee, O Pta
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