Guide to Moral Living in Examples: Revenge is Best Served Dry

Sir Alfred Winnipeg sat in his library, staring at the clock that loomed large over his mantlepiece. The pendulums swung in time with the seconds, ticking down to his safety.

The mummy swore that it would have its revenge on those that dare desecrate his tomb before the stroke of midnight one year after they entered that musty, cursed chamber.

And now, one year later, Sir Alfred alone remained of the party of six. Sir Lawrence and Professor Humphrey had been found by Professor Humphrey's secretary. Their mouths were still stuffed with the strips of natron-encrusted linen bandages that had caused them to suffocate. Ettlesby, Sir Lawrence's butler, had flipped his motorbike into a ravine. The only evidence of foul play was a mummified humerus found wedged in the spokes. The two Egyptian workers, Moeris and Amenophis, who had opened the door of the tomb had their skulls cracked open by Canopic jars.

Sir Alfred didn't believe in the reports. He hadn't looked on the scenes of the accidents himself (and he was sure that they were accidents) and, as he always said, he didn't believe what he couldn't see with his own eyes.

The brandy in his glass shook along with his hand as his eyes flicked to the dark window that opened onto his garden. The door to his study was locked, the skeleton key safely tucked in the pocket of his robes. A revolver sat by his side. And now he waited and listened to the well-oiled mechanisms of the clock whisper against each other and watched his own eyes in his reflection in the window to the garden.


Sir Alfred spilled his brandy all over the carpet as he erupted from the chair and cocked his pistol, aiming at the window.

"Show yourself!" he bellowed, not caring if the footmen heard him. They had strict orders to patrol the grounds that evening, so they knew better than to let him know that they weren't doing their jobs.

A bat crawled along the outside of the windowsill.

"Oh, dear," Sir Alfred said. He glanced at the clock. "Only three more minutes," he said. He reached into his pocket for his handkerchief, used it to wipe the cold sweat from his brow, and paused.

He smelled something familiar.

Something that he'd smelled a year ago.

To his dawning horror he realized that his handkerchief had been replaced with a natron-encrusted strip of linen.

"Gurgle," the mummy would've said as it emerged from the shadows, if mummies could gurgle with their dessicated throats. One of its arms was gone. Dust fell off of it onto the floor. The bandages were stained and torn and dried, pale prunes stared out of its eye sockets.

The servants found him later that day. He'd been bashed, once, on top of the head, hard enough to crack the skull. The weapon was a piece of stone tablet carved with hieroglyphics. A fellow Egyptologist translated it.

"That's all wrapped up!" the mummy had carved.

The Moral: Handkerchiefs are unsanitary, tissues are wasteful, just blow your nose on the curtains.

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