To celebrate this coup, Rupert had arranged today’s luncheon for officials from the university, the Horizon Foundation, and the Egyptian embassy. And Julie and Gideon. Bruno was to make the after-lunch speech.

“And speak of the devil,” Rupert said, “here he is now.”

Bruno and a few of the other guests, having just come in from a reception at the museum, were clustering at the bar. Bruno, catching sight of them, came smiling to their table, martini in hand.

“Ah, just the people I wanted to see.”

There was news on several fronts, it turned out. First, gifts and donations to the foundation were up almost twenty percent, no doubt attributable to all the recent publicity. And demand for Reclaiming History, its editing complete, was beyond anything they’d hoped, which boded well for the future.

Second, TJ, whom everyone had been expecting to accept the directorship of Horizon House when it was offered, had amazed them by turning it down.

“I can’t say I’m really surprised,” Gideon said. “She’s an archaeologist, not an administrator.”

“She put it another way: ‘I’d rather be down on my knees in dirt than up to my eyeballs in crap.” “

On the other hand, Bruno told them, Arlo, who had been expected to turn down the directorship if offered, had also amazed them—by accepting.

“You know,” Gideon said, thinking about it, “that just might work out.”

“I think Arlo will do fine,” Julie said. “All he needs is a chance to spread his wings.”

“I just hope he has wings,” Bruno said.

And third, he continued, third, some really exciting news. In the late spring he would be taking another film crew to Giza, Saqqara, and Medum. Stimulated by the success of Reclaiming History, he was producing a documentary of his own, something he hoped would be a lasting contribution to Egyptology: the first completely scientific and unbiased examination of the powers of pyramids. Did they know, by the way, that new studies had shown that sleeping in a pyramid could extend the human lifespan by fifteen percent and also inhibit male-pattern baldness? That keeping butter in a pyramidal container could keep it fresh indefinitely?

“I don’t suppose,” he said, rolling his chair a little closer to Gideon’s, “that, um, you’d be interested in coming along to narrate? Another exciting, no-expenses-spared trip to the Land of the Pharaohs?”

Gideon laughed and waved over the bartender for another round.

“Talk to me after I’ve healed up from the last one,” he said.

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