How could he have been so blind?
He had believed he was leaving his papyrus business in safe hands when he traveled to Ephesus.
On his return to Egypt, Simon discovered the son he had entrusted to manage the business had embraced the Wadjet heresy and had been progressively taking over the entire business in his absence.
Why was it Simon had no idea what had been happening?
His son had managed the papyrus works In Buto efficiently. So he had thought.
◆ Perhaps he should have traveled there more often.
◆ When had his son changed his name to Sefu, meaning sword?
◆ More to the point, who did he plan using the sword on?
Simon’s plan to transfer the business to the eldest son who had betrayed him could no longer go ahead.
His return to Ephesus must be given up or significantly delayed.
A faithful Jew, Simon had no intention of losing his life’s work to the Wadjet cult.
Open war with the strengthened cult would result in defeat.
His fight to regain control had to be subtle, but determined.
Would he succeed?
Background of the novella
Wadjet was claimed as the patron goddess and protector of the whole of Lower Egypt and became associated with Nekhbet, depicted as a white vulture, who held unified Egypt. After the unification the image of Nekhbet joined Wadjet on the crown, thereafter shown as part of the uraeus.
Image above is the Mask of Tutankhamun’s mummy featuring a uraeus, from the eighteenth dynasty. The cobra image of Wadjet with the vulture image of Nekhbet representing of the unification of Lower and Upper Egypt
Wadjet was associated with the Nile Delta region and was more associated with the world of the living. She was closely linked to pharaohs as a protective deity. She was associated, along with other goddesses, as the ‘eye of Ra’. Wadjet was often depicted as an erect cobra with its hood extended as though she were ready to strike. At times she was depicted wearing the Red Crown of Lower Egypt. Wadjet was depicted many times in her cobra form alongside her Upper Egyptian counterpart Nekhbet, in her vulture form wearing the Red Crown on wall paintings or on the pharaoh’s headdress.