By William Lace

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He grew weak and lost several teeth. He was prone to moody sulks and violent tantrums. He was furious, for instance, at some reporters who—jealous of the exclusive rights given to the Times—began to criticize him and Carter for invading the sanctity of the burial chamber, hinting that nothing but evil could come of it. In reply, the Times ran an article quoting an “eminent Egyptologist,” probably Jean Capart, as saying, Some people are seized with pity for the hapless fate of poor King Tutankhamen, who finds himself disturbed in his earthly rest by the curiosity of archaeologists.

For instance, it had been reported the previous year that Carter had found a lamp with the inscription, “It is I who hinder the sand from choking the secret chamber. ”63 Sudden Panic Such reports frightened some people who had bought souvenir items in Egypt that supposedly had been in tombs, especially anything to do with mummies. London’s Daily Express reported, “The death of Lord Carnarvon has been followed by a panic among collectors of Egyptian antiques. ”64 Reporters also reprinted Corelli’s earlier letter in which she claimed to have an ancient book warning that death would come on wings to anyone disturbing the tomb of a pharaoh.

45 They were so interested, in fact, that they would return three more times within the next week. The Glittering Serpent Carter and Carnarvon prepared a special treat for the queen’s fourth visit. As she watched, Carter opened one of the sealed boxes that had been found in the treasury. He carefully removed the royal seal—a jackal and nine bound slaves—to reveal a linen-wrapped package. When the wrapping was removed, the queen saw a snake made of gilded wood that had quartz eyes that seemed to flash in the lamplight.

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