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Let's Do The Pharaoh!, страница 1


Let's Do The Pharaoh!

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Let's Do The Pharaoh!

  This is the Pharaoh Sennapod, and his cat, Crusher of Worms.

  And these two are Jelly and Grimstone. They’re determined to steal the Pharaoh’s treasure.

  But first they have to get out of prison…

  Books by Jeremy Strong

























  Jeremy Strong once worked in a bakery, putting the jam into three thousand doughnuts every night. Now he puts the jam in stories instead, which he finds much more exciting. At the age of three, he fell out of a first-floor bedroom window and landed on his head. His mother says that this damaged him for the rest of his life and refuses to take any responsibility. He loves writing stories because he says it is ‘the only time you alone have complete control and can make anything happen’. His ambition is to make you laugh (or at least snuffle). Jeremy Strong lives near Bath with four cats and a flying cow.

  Jeremy Strong

  Let’s Do the PHARAOH!

  Illustrated by Rowan Clifford



  Published by the Penguin Group

  Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

  Penguin Putnam Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA

  Penguin Books Australia Ltd, 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia

  Penguin Books Canada Ltd, 10 Alcorn Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4V 3B2

  Penguin Books India (P) Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park,

  New Delhi – 110 017, India

  Penguin Books (NZ) Ltd, Cnr Rosedale and Airborne Roads, Albany, Auckland, New Zealand

  Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank 2196, South Africa

  Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

  First published 2004


  Text copyright © Jeremy Strong, 2004

  Illustrations copyright © Rowan Clifford, 2004

  All rights reserved

  The moral right of the author and illustrator has been asserted

  Except in the United States of America, this book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher’s prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser

  British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

  A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

  This is for Daisy


  1 The Queen of Where?

  2 Here Comes Trouble

  3 What a Shower!

  4 Cherry Surprise

  5 Walk Like an Egyptian

  6 Plan Number One

  7 A Bit of a Mistake

  8 Hospitalized!

  9 Bandages and Bedpans

  10 Doing the Pharaoh

  1 The Queen of Where?

  The Pharaoh Sennapod, High King and Ruler of 27 Templeton Drive, sat in front of the mirror and gazed back at himself with a pleased smile. He also happened to be High King and Ruler of Upper and Lower Egypt, but that had been four and a half thousand years earlier. Nowadays he led a rather quieter life with Mr and Mrs Lightspeed and their children, Carrie and Ben.

  He was a real Pharaoh, from the almost forgotten Four Fifths Dynasty, and because nobody was supposed to utter his real name, he was also called He Whose Name Shall Rumble Down The Ages.

  ‘Your eyeliner is on crooked,’ Carrie pointed out.

  ‘Do you dare criticize the Lord of all Egypt?’ grunted Sennapod.

  ‘Yes.’ Carrie was quite used to Senny trying to throw his weight about. She didn’t care if he was Arch-Emperor of the Entire Universe, he wasn’t going to boss her around. After all, she was fifteen, and no sane person tries to boss a fifteen-year-old girl about.

  The pair of them were sitting at Carrie’s dressing table, putting on their make-up. It was something that Carrie was still not quite used to. The idea of men in make-up seemed pretty weird to Carrie, but her younger brother Ben had told her that even the poorest Ancient Egyptian men wore make-up – at least for special occasions: parties, barbecues, raves, clubbing, that sort of thing.

  ‘The Ancient Egyptians did not go clubbing,’ snorted Carrie.

  ‘Of course they did. They had musicians and dancing and all that stuff.’

  ‘Yeah, but not clubbing.’

  ‘It was the same sort of thing,’ Ben insisted. ‘Loads of people dancing to loud music and looking stupid, like you.’

  ‘I do not look stupid when I dance.’

  ‘I didn’t mean you look stupid when you dance,’ said Ben, moving in for the kill. ‘I meant, you look stupid all the time.’

  Carrie leapt up from her chair, trying to grab him, but Sennapod growled at both of them. ‘Must you behave like young jackals?’ he demanded.

  ‘Ben must, he is one,’ snapped Carrie. ‘Anyhow, it just feels odd having you sitting next to me shoving my make-up all over your face. I wish you’d buy your own.’

  ‘I am the Pharaoh. I do what I wish. But you are not an Ancient Egyptian, Carrie, so why do you use make-up?’

  ‘That’s easy,’ snorted Ben. ‘If she didn’t, she’d scare people to death because she’s so ugly.’

  Carrie could scare people to death? Sennapod was impressed. Even he didn’t possess that sort of power and he was a living god, as he frequently told everyone. ‘Is this true?’ he asked.

  ‘Of course it isn’t. Never believe anything

  Ben says. If you must know, I’m preparing for a competition.’ Carrie fetched a teen mag from her bed and passed it across. A whole page was devoted to the competition.




  Take part in our fabulous competition. Simply

  send in a photograph of yourself and YOU

  might be selected to dress in the latest styles

  and walk the catwalk in our fantastic


  competition to find the next supermodel!

  Ben sniggered. ‘Dream on, sis!’ He started to do the kind of silly dance he imagined his sister doing – not that he’d ever seen her dancing, but he had a good imagination and he knew it would wind her up. Carrie ignored him, which wound up Ben instead.

  The family cat, Rustbucket, peered into the room for a second and wisely decided not to get involved. She went to find somewhere quiet and peaceful.

  ‘What are you doing?’ Sennapod asked him, applying another layer of black eyeliner.
br />   ‘Dancing.’

  ‘That is dancing? I’d like to do that again. I haven’t danced for more than four and a half thousand years. Not since I was covered in bandages and stuffed into that coffin.’

  ‘Were you a good dancer?’ asked Ben.

  ‘The Pharaoh was always the best. Everyone said so.’

  ‘Yeah, but that was because if you didn’t say the Pharaoh was best, you ended up being thrown to the crocodiles,’ Carrie pointed out.

  ‘Of course. We had to feed the crocodiles with something, and they are sacred animals. Nearly all the animals in Ancient Egypt were sacred, especially cats.’ He gazed fondly at Crusher of Worms (alias Tiddles), a sleek and elegant black cat with a gold earring in one ear. Crusher of Worms was Sennapod’s cat, also brought back to life from thousands of years ago. Both Tiddles and Rustbucket were very fond of Sennapod. The Pharaoh seemed to have a special way with all cats and often found himself being followed by moggies he’d never seen before.

  Carrie jumped up and switched on the radio. ‘OΚ, Senny, show us what you can do. Strut your stuff.’

  ‘Strut my stuff?’ repeated the Pharaoh.

  ‘She means, show us a dance,’ interpreted Ben.

  Sennapod got to his feet and began a slow, stiff series of movements. His arms shot out at strange angles. He raised and lowered his legs at odd moments. Every so often he

  would slowly turn himself round while making weird, hen-pecking movements with his head and rolling his eyes.

  Ben and Carrie had never seen anything like it. Ben collapsed in hysterics, but Carrie just stared, gob-smacked.

  ‘Senny! That is so cool!’

  ‘Cool?’ queried the Pharaoh, and Ben laughed.

  ‘Yeah, you know, cool, like hot.’

  ‘Cool is hot?’ Now Sennapod was totally confused.

  ‘Hot is the new cool,’ Ben declared.

  But Carrie grabbed Sennapod and insisted that he show her his weird dance routine again while she followed, step by step. ‘My friends are going to love this,’ she murmured happily. ‘It is just so brilliant.’

  Sennapod slowly bent his body into yet another gawky shape. He stopped and frowned. ‘If you do not dance like this, how do you dance?’

  Carrie grinned and leapt on to her bed, where she began the wildest series of twists and contortions, leaping up, shaking her head and hair, punching the air with her fists and gyrating her hips like every pop star on telly.

  The High Lord of All Egypt, the Supreme Pharaoh Sennapod, He Whose Name Shall Rumble Down The Ages, watched with increasing astonishment, while Ben fell about laughing. As far as he was concerned, Carrie was making a fool of herself; but Sennapod was gripped by the performance.

  He climbed on to Carrie’s bed and began to bounce up and down, faster and faster. A smile crept on to his lips. He started to punch the air. He shook his head so hard his

  crown fell off. He swayed his hips. He wiggled his bottom. Crusher of Worms fled the room in disgust.

  ‘Fantastic!’ Carrie panted, turning the radio up even louder. ‘You’re really good!’ The pair of them were now deep into a copy-cat routine. Carrie showed Sennapod the moves, and the Pharaoh copied her.

  ‘I am hot!’ he shouted. ‘I am the new cool!’

  ‘Me too,’ yelled Carrie.

  The door burst open. Mrs Lightspeed hurried in and switched off the radio. ‘Are you trying to deafen the entire street? Did you know there’s a crack on the ceiling downstairs where you two have been leaping up and down? Get off that bed at once, both of you.’

  Carrie duly got down but Sennapod remained, glaring back at Mrs Lightspeed. ‘And you, Senny – get down.’

  Sennapod drew himself up to his full height, planted his hands on his hips and fixed Mrs Lightspeed with a look of utter contempt. ‘Begone, foul woman!’ he roared. ‘How dare you interrupt the Royal Dance of the Pharaoh! You are nothing but a worm in my presence. I am He Whose Name Shall –’

  ‘Yes, we know,’ interrupted Mrs Lightspeed. ‘But while you are living in my house, you will behave yourself because I am the Queen of…’ She hesitated for a moment.

  ‘Kwiggly Kwoo?’ Ben suggested quietly.

  ‘Kwiggly Kwoo,’ said Mrs Lightspeed with a regal nod of the head.

  Sennapod raised his eyebrows with interest and stepped down from the bed. ‘The Queen of Kwiggly Kwoo? Why have you never told me this before?’

  ‘You never asked,’ said Mrs Lightspeed evenly. ‘Enough of this nonsense. If you want to dance, that’s fine by me, but you do not deafen the whole area for miles around and you do not leap about on the beds. Is that understood?’

  ‘I have never heard of Kwiggly Kwoo,’ said the Pharaoh. ‘Where is it?’

  ‘Over there,’ said Mrs Lightspeed, pointing vaguely beyond the bedroom door.

  ‘Do you have many subjects?’

  ‘You do not question a queen,’ said Mrs Lightspeed stiffly. ‘Now, if you are going to continue dancing, go out into the garden.’

  Carrie could no longer bear this nonsense. ‘Senny, Mum is not the Qu–’

  ‘I said you do not question the Queen of Kwiggly Kwoo!’ insisted Mrs Lightspeed, with a twinkle in her eye. Sennapod hurried downstairs without looking back, pushing Carrie in front of him.

  As soon as they were safely at the bottom, Mrs Lightspeed shut the bedroom door and collapsed on the bed in hysterics.

  Underneath her, and getting rather rumpled and crumpled by her wriggling

  weight, was the magazine with the competition. Not only had Carrie cut out and filled in the entry form, it was already in an envelope, post box, waiting for the postman to collect it.

  If Mrs Lightspeed had known what that letter was going to lead to, she would not have found anything funny at all, no matter whether she was the Queen of Kwiggly Kwoo or not.

  2 Here Comes Trouble

  Of course it is highly unusual to find a four-and-a-half-thousand-year-old Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh living with a small family in a small house in a small town in Britain. It had happened in a highly unusual way, beginning with an ill-matched pair of treasure-seeking criminals.

  Grimstone had once been the head of the local museum’s Ancient Egyptian collection. He was tall and thin, with a large, narrow, sharp-edged nose and chilling eyes. Grimstone was the mastermind and a man who would stop at nothing to get his hands on riches.

  And then there was Professor Jelly – short, fat, and willing to do anything as long as he was paid in sweets. The mere thought of a gumdrop made his mouth dribble. Jelly was an Egyptologist and he had worked in the museum with Grimstone, where there were several Ancient Egyptian mummies and also their sacred animals, especially cats.

  These two men had discovered that hidden in one mummy case at the museum was a map that held the key to a treasure even more fabulous than that of Tutankhamun. Above everything else that he desired (and he desired an awful lot), Grimstone wanted to get his hands on that priceless treasure. The mere thought of it made him start drooling.

  These two dribbling criminals (because that is what they really were) had opened up the mummy case. Inside they found the mummified body of Sennapod, He Whose Name Shall Rumble Down The Ages, a forgotten Pharaoh from the Four Fifths Dynasty. Jelly had found a manuscript inside the coffin and he translated the hieroglyphs and read them out. Unfortunately the hieroglyphs turned out to be a curse that awoke Sennapod from the dead – and his mummified cat, Crusher of Worms.

  The two crooks were quite naturally terrified and fainted on the spot. Sennapod wandered off into the night, feeling pretty bad because he hadn’t had anything to eat for four and a half thousand years. (Besides, it was his birthday and nobody had sent him a card.)

  Eventually the exhausted Pharaoh had collapsed with hunger outside a Mister Freezee ice-cream van. Luckily for him, the owner of the van, Tony Lightspeed, was the sort of kind person who rescues birds with broken wings and hedgehogs with tyre marks. He took Sennapod home, and the Pharaoh had been living w
ith them ever since.

  The two crooks had done everything they could to track down the Pharaoh and get the treasure map. They were pretty sure it was in the Lightspeeds’ house, but they had no idea where. Sennapod was the only person who knew that, and he wasn’t telling anyone.

  Jelly and Grimstone had once tried to force the secret from Sennapod and had ended up in jail as a result. That would probably have been the end of their wicked schemes to get their beastly mitts on the unspeakably sparkly treasure, had it not been for Grimstone’s mother, Seraphina.

  Where her son was thin, Seraphina Grimstone bulged. She bulged in every direction. Her body was rammed and crammed into clothes at least two sizes too small. The result was that she looked like a lumpy and inedible sausage on the point of bursting out of its skin.

  And where her son was scowly and angry and miserable, Seraphina was bubbly and cheerful and full of smiles. In fact, Seraphina and her son had only one thing in common: they both had evil minds that were constantly dreaming up plans of wickedness and cunning that were beyond belief.

  Seraphina knew all about the treasure and, like her son, she had not stopped thinking about how to get her hands on it ever since. Today she was visiting Grimstone and Jelly in jail. It was something she did quite regularly, so that they could discuss plans for (1) The Great Escape, and (2) Getting the Treasure, and (3) Spending It.

  Seraphina leant towards them and whispered, hoping that the ever-present guard could not hear their discussion.

  ‘I’ve brought you some yummy chocolate cake,’ she said.

  ‘Has it got a file in it?’ demanded Grimstone. ‘Then I can file through the bars and escape.’

  ‘Good Lord, no,’ chuckled Seraphina.

  ‘But it has got hundreds and thousands sprinkled on the top.’

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