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North Koptos – “He turned to the haven, and sailed down, and delayed not in the north of Koptos. When he was come to the place where we fell into the river, he said to his heart: ‘shall I not better turn back again to Koptos that I may lie by them? For, if not, when I go down to Memphis, and the King asks after his children, what shall I say to him? Can I tell him, “I have taken your children to the Thebaid, and killed them, while I remained alive, and I have come to Memphis still alive”?

Then he made them bring him a linen cloth of striped byssus; he made a band, bound the book firmly, and tied it upon him. Na.nefer.ka.ptah then went out of the awning of the royal boat and fell into the river. He cried on Ra; and all those who were on the bank made an outcry, saying: ‘Great woe! Sad woe! Is he lost, that good scribe and able man that has no equal?’

“The royal boat went on, without anyone on earth knowing where Na.nefer.ka.ptah was. It went on to Memphis, and they told all this to the King. Then the King went down to the royal boat in mourning, and all the soldiers and high priests of Ptah were in mourning, and all the officials and courtiers. And when he saw Na.nefer.ka.ptah, who was in the inner cabin of the royal boat—from his rank of high scribe—he lifted him up. And they saw the book by him; and the King said, ‘Let one hide this book that is with him.’

And the officers of the King, the priests of Ptah, and the high priest of Ptah, said to the King, ‘Our Lord, may the King live as long as the sun! Na.nefer.ka.ptah was a good scribe, and a very skillful man.’ In addition, the King had him laid in his Good House to the sixteenth day, and then had him wrapped to the thirty-fifth day, laid him out to the seventieth day, and then had him put in his grave in his resting place.

“I have now told you the sorrow which has come upon us because of this book for which you ask, saying, ‘Let it be given to me.’ You have no claim to it; and, indeed, for the sake of it, we have given up our life on earth.”

And Setna said to Ahura, “Give me the book which I see between you and Na.nefer.ka.ptah; for if you do not I will take it by force.” Then Na.nefer.ka.ptah rose from his seat and said: “Are you Setna, to whom my wife has told of all these blows of fate, which you have not suffered? Can you take this book by your skill as a good scribe? If, indeed, you can play games with me, let us play a game, then, of 52 points.” And Setna said, “I am ready,” and the board and its pieces were put before him. And Na.nefer.ka.ptah won a game from Setna; and he put the spell upon him, and defended himself with the game board that was before him, and sunk him into the ground above his feet.

North Koptos

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“He turned to the haven, and sailed down, and delayed not in the north of Koptos. When he was come to the place where we fell into the river, he said to his heart:...

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