Melanie and April have become friends over the summer break. April has just moved to this university town to live with her father's mother, Caroline. She meets Melanie and, after an intial distance, the two become fast friends. They begin to spend all their time together.
April has a very active imagination, and a love of ancient Egypt. The grandeur of the old civilization, combined with the mythology, seems exciting to her. April soon gets Melanie just as interested in Egypt, and the two spend much of their summer at the library, researching.
It is just before school when the girls go through the fence into the Professor's yard. An abondoned yard covered in weeds would seem like a good place to find ancient relics, looking in its own way like an archaelogical site. The girls are intrigued immediately. When they then find the bust of Nefertiti, it seems as if they were destined to find it. To have found it in the street would have been magical enough, seeing as they have been studying Egypt so much. But to find it in this abondoned yard just adds to the mystery and the excitement.
"But a bright and beautiful blur, no matter how distant, was better than a reality that was dull and gray." (Chapter 4, The Egypt Girls)