Egypt (Chapter 3)

Benia delivers Dinah’s carved box as promised, but Dinah looks at it only in shame, feeling that her lowly status does not deserve such a treasure. Meryt scolds Dinah for not returning Benia’s affection, but Dinah will not be moved.

The women continue their work and are summoned to the home of a priest to attend his young concubine. Both mother and child can not be saved, and the priest blames Dinah for their deaths and claims she is a foreign witch. In her native tongue, Dinah curses the man as a pervert.

Dinah returns to the house of Nakht-re; shortly after, Re-nefer dies in her sleep. Dinah does not feel that it is her place to attend the rites in Memphis, so she stays behind. Soon Nakht-re passes on as well, and Dinah laments the death of the family that cared for her when she had no one else. But Dinah realizes that her time in the house is over—Herya goes to live with her brother and does not invite Dinah to come with her.

Since the death of the priest’s concubine, rumors have been flying about Dinah and Meryt, so Meryt thinks they should relocate. Meryt has received a request from her son, Menna, to join him and his family in the Valley of the Kings. When Menna’s wife, Shif-re, pays honor to both her mother-in-law and Dinah, they leave on the ferry to greet a new life.

Dinah is well received Meryt’s sons and their families; Shif-re in particular treats her like her own aunt. Dinah begins attending the births of women in the city, and soon her name is well known among women as one of great skill. Meryt finds out that Benia the woodcarver has also moved to the valley, and she bids him come to her son’s home to find Dinah. When the two meet again, they are once again smitten, and Benia takes Dinah to his home. She is not afraid and does not resist. Benia shows her all the fine furniture that he has made for the home, and they make love. Dinah moves into the house as Benia’s wife, and Meryt and her family and friends throw a celebration for the new couple. Dinah and Benia are visited regularly by Kiya, one of Meryt’s granddaughters. Dinah is ever grateful for her new life.