The story begins with the narrator, Malcolm Ross being summoned to the home of a beautiful young woman, Margaret Trelawyny. Her father has been brutal attacked almost to the point of death. Everything about the situation is strange. It appears that Mr. Trelawny’s wrist has been nearly ripped off; and Trelawny’s body was found underneath a safe in the room. Doctor Winchester speculates that it looked like the claws of a wild animal. Trelawny isn’t dead but seems to be in some sort of deep hypnotic state. To befuddle matters even further, Trelawny left specific instruction to his daughter in the event of such a circumstance. Namely, if he was found unconscious he was to be placed in his room, and watched over day and night by a male and female. Nothing in the room was to be removed or disturbed. The first night of the vigil, he is attacked despite the watchers best efforts. He suffers the exact same injury as the previous night. Margaret, Ross, and Winchester are at a loss to explain the supernatural events surrounding the house. However, clarity comes in the form of one of Trelawny’s confidante’s Mr. Corbeck. Trelawny remains hypnotic for four days total. Meanwhile, the following tale is revealed.
Both Corbeck and Trelawny share a love of Egyptian antiquities. During the course of their study they came across the writings of a 17th century Dutch explorer who found a strange yet wondrous tomb in the Valley of the Sorcerer. The tomb did not follow the pattern of Egyptian tombs in many ways. The most unusual was that the sarcophagus contained a mummy with one of its hands unwrapped. It was clear from the hand that the mummy was a woman. What was unusual was that the hand had 7 fingers- two middle and two index. Clasped in the palm was a huge ruby in the shape of a scarab beetle with magical words written on it and 7 seven point stars in the configuration of the Sickle (Ursa Major), which is a constellation that did not exist in the Queen’s day. The explorer took some trinkets, including the ruby, and left the tomb, but one of the native guides decided to take the hand of the mummy as an amulet. That night, the explorer slept with the ruby in hand, the rest of his band were slaughtered. He found the hand next to the body of the Shiek who led him to the tomb- the man had been strangled by a hand with seven fingers.
Corbeck and Twelawny took an expedition to the Valley and found the tomb. They were hesitant to enter as the tomb was cursed. The royal within had their name erased from time and they were cursed in the Underworld, Earth, and Heavens. The priests who had cursed the tomb claimed that the royal had claimed to have conquered the gods.
Within the tomb, the men discovered that the royal was Queen Tera. She was the ruler of the Upper and Lower Kingdoms in her own right as she was the only child of her father. In order to make sure his daughter could keep the priests, who were growing stronger, at bay, the pharaoh had his daughter educated in everything including “Black” magic. She became quite adept at magic and astronomy. As she explored knowledge she became adept at the theory of astral projection and discovered what she felt was a way to resurrect herself. She felt the secret lay in the number 7. She had been born in the seven month on the seventh day. On that day a meteor fell from the sky, which is where the ruby came from. with the rest of the stone she created her sarcophagus.
The expedition took as much as they could out of the tomb- including the mummy. On their way out of the desert they were caught in a sand storm. Almost everyone was slaughtered off and the mummy was gone. The two men returned to the tomb to find the mummy back where it belonged. They took the mummy again successfully. On the way back Trelawny received news that his wife had died in child birth, but his daughter had lived. Over the next ten plus years, Trelawny worked to discover how the resurrection was to occur. By the time he is attacked he has worked everything out. The one strange occurrence in all of this is that Margaret looks like the paintings of Tera and nothing like her mother. She also starts going through periods were she seems to be channeling a different personality. Most interestingly, she has a birthmark on her wrist that looks like a severing with drops of blood.
Trelawny takes the group to his ancestral home were the experiment is to take place. As part of it, they unwrap the Queen’s mummy. Wonder upon wonder, the Queen is preserved identical to the way she looked in life. In fact Trelawny observes that Tera looks like a dead Margaret. Even stranger still is that the Queen is covered by what looks like an ancient bridal gown.
The group conducts the experiment on the July 31st which corresponds to the ancient Egyptian’s calendar of the seven day of the seventh month; they began the experiment seven hours after sunset.
So anyway, this was really good!! Ok it was creepy at certain parts, but there is nothing like a good thriller. I’ve been a little jumpy since reading it especially since I took the dog out for a walk around 9 and it’s pitch black outside. (I live in a very rural area). I’m surprised this work is so unknown, because I think it is as good as Dracula. So I think we should bring this book into popularity. I command you all to go out and buy it.