They were glad to see daylight again. There seemed to be a bit of a wind up outside, its keen sounds carrying even into the rock.
As their eyes adjusted they could see a figure stood before them: a handsome egyptian man, with a shaven head, and wearing a white tropical suit and spats. Several turbaned heads bobbed from the rocks around them.
“I am your God Imhotep. For the desecration of my beloveds tomb, you must die. If you have harmed her, you will die slowly. Either way, your pitiful lives are over.”
“I’m C of E I’m afraid” said Sebastian, and shot one of the flunkies: the fight was on.
A barrage of gunfire felled the majority of the sabre wielding attackers, but Imhotep merely adjusted his lapels, raised both hands and muttered something in a dead tongue. From the rocks and tomb entrance behind them a swarm of beetles, scorpions and vermin swarmed out, and climbed over Lady Glossop, Esmeralda and Henry. Bertie rushed up some ruined steps leading above them, and fired at another of their turbaned foes.
From the sands around them, silently and purposefully, the bedraggled bandage wrapped forms they had encountered in the tomb started to emerge. One of them throttled lady Glossop from behind. Another appeared behind Bertie on the steps, which Marko head butted backwards hard into the rock face.
“You need more bandages now” he said laconically, re adjusting his cap..
Saleem too was felled by one of the mummies, while with his seemingly strange powers Imhotep continued to avoid damage, and wreak havoc, with swarms of vermin briefly biting and stinging the group, and then dispersing.
Esmeralda crept around the wings of the conflict, and fired her pistol at Imhotep. She missed, and he turned and smiled at her, walking towards her and wagging his finger.
“No. No. " he smiled. “Allow me to snap your neck, and cease with this nonsense.” . He staked towards her, and she attempted to flee.
Meanwhile the others were preoccupied with the remaining mummy.
“My minions are defeated, but they were merely a diversion. You will all fall before my power” smiled Imhotep. With the final mummy fallen (along with lady Glossop and Saleem), this was about to be put to the test.
No longer summoning vermin Imhotep merely sought to grab or strike his attackers: he didn’t even bother using a weapon. Marko, Bertie and Sebastian closed in, while Henry stood off and tried to shoot. Unfortunately a faulty cartridge blew back rendering Molly useless, and he was forced to draw his Le Mat.
Marko and Sebastian managed to put in some good blows, but Imhotep always seemed to bounce back. It was Esmeralda who noticed first.
“That cut from Sebastian has just healed! " she observed. “Maybe he is immortal!” A nagging at the back of her mind gave her the feeling that she missing something important. And then she remembered.
“I have hidden the Ring of Thoth in the safest of all possible places—in my beloved’s arms. With her protecting it, no one will be able to use it against me.”
The Ring of Thoth: she trawled her memory for some reference and recalled that it was supposedly a tool fashioned by the God of Magic to cow Seth and bring him to heel: because it was a weapon which could kill an immortal. Could the ring slay Imhotep?
Ducking away from Imhotep she ran over to the fallen lady Glossop, and after frantic searching produced the inscribed golden ring, with its fierce snarling baboon head. She ran close to Bertie.
“Bertie! The ring. There’s likely some trick to it – I think it can harm him!” she called excitedly in Latin.
“Er, Righto” said Bertie fumbling. They could certainly do with some help. Apart from a damaged suit Imhotep seemed completely unharmed, but his iron fists had battered all of them. Both Bertie’s and Sebatian sabres had snapped, and Henry was out of bullets and reduced to a Bowie Knife.
As he fumbled the head shifted slightly, and a pair of wicked looking fangs emerged from the baboon head.
“Now see here Mr. Imhotep” taunted Bertie. “I’m going to biff you with this jolly old baboon ring, and then we’ll see if you’re quite so cocky Feller – Me -Lad.”
Imhotep noticed, and a look of genuine panic flashed across his face.
“The Ring of Thoth!” he screamed, “I will make you all pay for this!”
He opened his mouth and screamed in his deep voice, and then it seemed that the sand around him whipped up, stinging their eyes and sending them staggering backwards. But when they looked around again, Imhotep was gone.
“Just as well” said Sebastian. “He had the better of us. Good thinking young Esmeralda.” Esmeralda beamed.
Saleem and Lady Glossop were alive, but in poor shape: they were in no condition to pursue ancient Gods or mysterious cigar smokers.
“Let’s get out of here” said Henry. “The sooner the better.”