This is a well told tale that is of a young man seeking his fortune in Egypt and his trials and tribulations. As suggested, many aspects do lead to profitable contemplation and that is its proclaimed purpose for inclusion.
Folk live humbly around about the rare palaces of the wealthy and human nature plays itself out. Yet we see no mention of Gods generally except in passing at bast. They are not part of the narrative unlike what we find elsewhere.
He came upon Bethshemis close to nightfall, when it was not good to enter the city, and therefore as darkness closed about him he prepared to lay himself down beneath the wall of a vineyard. This was owned by a wealthy widow who, seeing the young man preparing for the night, sent men out to bring him into her guest house. The widow was neither old nor unbeautiful and when she saw the comeliness of the young man her heart was gladdened and she bade him welcome. Hiram did not depart with the light of the morning and it came to pass that the widow offered him a high place on her estates. Hiram accepted, for he was young and pleased with the honour, but in the course of time the widow had become enamoured with him and sought to make him her husband. Hiram sought a way of release from this, for he had already heard tales of the woman's many lovers.
She called upon her servants and they beat Hiram with sticks and drove him off her estate. With a little more wisdom in his heart, he continued on his way into Egypt and after many days he arrived at the city of On.
Hiram dwelt among the Southern Men [ Nubians ]on the outskirts of the city, for many had been captured during the wars and made slaves. When lustfully aroused the bodies of these men exude a sweet odour like honey, which no man can detect and it makes all women succumb to them. This is the manner in which the nation of Egypt sacrificed its purity. In the days when Hiram came to Egypt the Pharaoh Athmos ruled.
Hiram dwelt long in Egypt and absorbed its wisdom, but the thing which delighted his heart the most was the tale of its long-hidden treasures. He learnt about the nest-burning bird whose wondrous many-hued egg granted men the gift of eternal life. He heard about the serpent pearls and the bright jewels which glowed with the light of the sun even on the darkest night. All these things he desired to possess for himself.
The nesting place of the nest-buming bird was among the Mothbenim, eastward of Egypt, but among the treasures of Egj^t was one of its eggs. The egg, the pearls and the jewels were safeguarded in a dark cave upon an island called Inmishpet, which was set in the middle of a lake called Sidana. In the waters of the lake were fearsome water monsters, part beast, part fish. On the shores of the lake dwelt the shapeshifting priests, guardians of the treasures.
One day, while the sheep still suckled their lambs, Hiram was out in the pastures, sitting near the cool waters because of the heat. As he reclined in the shade he played gay shepherd tunes on his flute and in the many times he had been there no one had ever disturbed him. Yet not far away was the House of the Virgins of Eire, but the maidens who dwelt there rarely went abroad.
While she did so he entertained her with sweet melodies on his flute.
Among these was the great boat of Erab, kept in memory of the day when the Scorcher of Heaven rose with the sun, and earth was overwhelmed. From this boat the sacrificial lambs were offered to the watermonsters and on it served Asu and eight virgins. There, too, the High Priest officiated.
On the night before the festival, Hiram slept with his small flock beside the boats and at first light they were put aboard. As the sun rose upon high the High Priest came with many other priests and princes, and the virgins came also. They offered sacrifices at the Temple of Departure and then set out upon the waters. In another boat were Naymin and his wife and there were other boats filled with people.
And none was the strange craft that clove the waters of the lake of Sidana that night. Hiram returned to the shepherd hut of Naymin and nothing was said to him, for Naymin thought he had joined with the people sorrowing in the temples, and always many remained about for several days.
She brought him to a place in a hollow enclosed by thickets, and lo there was Asu. When the embraces and the greetings were over and the explanations given, the wife of Naymin said, "Here you cannot remain. There are clothes and food and no pursuers will follow the maiden, and none will query your departure. Go this night, taking thought for nothing here, for you are young, with a lifetime of joy before you, after the pangs of parting have passed."
Therefore, let Asu, the maiden disguise herself and together we will depart to a safe place without the treasure, none suspecting she still lives. Then in the fullness of time I will return and recover the treasure, for no man can discover its hiding place. However, I will not depart in haste but wait and bid Naymin farewell and go in the fullness of time."