- 39 - These events grew ever worse. Then God sent the punishment, which was terrible but just. He let the springs go dry. He sent a heat wave, which got to all things; everything withered. Yet the people would not pray to Him. Had they recognized His omnipotence, He would not have judged them too harshly, but there was no one who prayed to Him. Finally, God sent His vengeance: the complete destruction of the apostate people that would not acknowledge Him as their Creator. They could have come to know the true God, for there were astrologers and wise men who proclaimed the truth and who were supposed to prepare the people for the day of reckoning and did so, but they were scorned and laughed at by the masses. Their warnings went unheeded, and they were slain. One day the heavens darkened. Gray clouds gathered, and the sky turned black. A storm arose. Lightning flashed, shattering the idols until not an atom of them could be found. Then followed the calamities that destroyed the people: fire and brimstone rained from heaven, fouling the air with vapours that smothered the people. Stone palaces collapsed, burying everything beneath their rubble. Then God sent a furious tempest and covered the face of the land with a mantle of grey and yellow sand in an earthquake. Such was His vengeance for the offense done to Him; it was an act of justice. When the destruction came, both of us were already dead. I, Arras, died by the dagger of a priest who coveted my wife. My friend and blood brother Isaris, to whom I remained faithful all my life, died fighting against Zyclov, who was one of his commanders and lived under the same roof with him. Zyclov, impure of heart and lusting for power, sought to undermine the throne of his master, rebelled against him and slew him. • Our city and our tombs are buried and have not yet been unearthed. • We lived five thousand years before the birth of Christ. The whole of Egypt was governed by a number of princes all under one ruler who today would be called ‘emperor’. They were princes of federated states and both of us were among them, but Isaris was also the administrator for the entire empire, or, as you would say today, imperial chancellor. • The capital of the empire was Memphis. The sovereign was always a member of a certain family and was chosen by the leading families, the priests and the military chiefs.” When I asked him what other nations existed at the time, the reply was: • “The peninsula of Arabia was inhabited by tribes of nomadic Arabs. There was a great empire near the mouth of the Euphrates extending as far as the Ganges, and another empire, later inhabited by the Moors, which may still be traced on ancient charts.” When the mediums regained consciousness, they were surprised at seeing the drawings they had made and disclaimed all knowledge of their significance. All told, these young men came seven times in three months; I never knew when to expect them. One morning as I was on the point of leaving my parish for the city to go to the office of the charitable organization, the farmer boy who was the speaking medium came into the rectory and said he had received instructions to accompany me to the city on this occasion; why, he did not know. I therefore took him with me, knowing from experience that whenever the boy received such instructions something important was at stake.