Main Julius Zebra: Entangled with the Egyptians!

Julius Zebra: Entangled with the Egyptians!

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EGYPTI

AN

S

!

E

LED
G
N
A
NT

WITH
THE

GARY NORTHFIELD

CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION
VI
SHIP OF FOOLS
XIII
BEACHED WAILS
XXVI
THE CHOSEN ONE
XXXVII
HERO WORSHIP
LI
SOMETHING FISHY
LXI
A WARM WELCOME
LXX
THE ORACLE
LXXXII
ROMANS OUT!
XCVI
BATH TIME!
CIV
BURNING QUESTIONS 
CXIII
FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES
CXXXV
DRESSED TO THRILL
CLVI
CORONATION CHEAT
CLXV
TOMB RAIDER
CLXXVIII
CHAMBER OF HORRORS
CLXXXVIII
DON’T RAIN ON MY PARADE
CCII
HORSING AROUND
CCXVI
THE GAME’S UP!
CCXXXVII
WHEEL OF FORTUNE
CCXLIV
I WANT MY MUMMY!
CCLI
MEET THE BEETLES
CCLXVII
CURSE OF THE MUMMY
CCLXXVIII
CROCODILES ROCK
CCXCIV
TIME TO GO HOME
CCCII
EPILOGUE
CCCVI
ROMAN NUMERALS
CCCX
WRITE YOUR NAME IN HIEROGLYPHICS
CCCXII
THE ART OF MUMMIFICATION
CCCXIV
GARY’S GLOSSARY
CCCXVI

Why yes I do!
So you think you know about

JULIUS
ZEBRA?

Our
ha n dsome
he r o!

WOOHOO!

Well, you’re probably

WRONG!
HOW VERY
DARE YOU!

WHAT YOU THIN K
YOU KNOW ABOUT
Easy
JULIUS ZEBRA! peasy!

Kno w le
dge
g nu a ble

m p io n
He’s a cha o r!
gladiat

Thank
you,
fans!
d the
He b o otes o ut
Roma n nia!
of B rita n

Finally reu nited
w ith his b rothe r!

And don’t
come back!

Woohoo!
Wedgie!

How I’ve
missed you,
Brutus!

Actually
I hate you.
I knew
all of this.

But I bet y o u do n’t kno w what
Julius has bee n u p to since we
This
last sa w him?!
I gotta
see.

e Roma n
Vo wed to sto p tha ny mo re
Em p ire training iato rs!
a nimal glad
No more
Yay!
shall we be
SLAVES!
Travelled acr oss als
a nim
Eu ro p e freeing atres!
fr om am p hithe

Oi!
Hooray!

Run!
Be free!
Nearly captured his old
boss, Septimus, the Roman
training the animals!
Curse
you!

See ya
losers!

Well, you learn
something new
every day!

Julius wasn’t like other zebras and he was determined
to prove it!

We’ll catch that
scoundrel Septimus,
won’t we, gang?
YEAH!

Exciting, right?

Whatever! You
can’t catch me!

Se ptimu

s

C HAPT ER ONE

SHIP OF FOOLS

Are you sure
this is how you
sail a ship,
Cornelius?

XIII

“YES!” cried Cornelius, as he desperately stood on
his tiptoes grasping the wet tiller. “JUST HOLD THE
BIG STICK STEADY!”
Julius wiped the blinding rain from his eyes.
“BUT I’M SURE WE’RE GOING ROUND IN
CIRCLES!” he shouted. “DOUBLE-CHECK THOSE
INSTRUCTIONS AGAIN!”
With a huff, Cornelius reached into the pouch tied
round his waist and pulled out a crumpled scrap of
parchment. The soggy note flapped furiously in the
wind as he struggled to read it.
“WE’RE DOING EXACTLY WHAT IT SAYS!”
Cornelius called out. “‘HOLD THE TILLER STEADY
IN A HEAVY STORM’!”

See?

XI V

But, just as Cornelius held his note proudly aloft,
a great gust of wind snatched it from his hoof and
tossed it into the sea.

Oi!

“Oh, that’s just brilliant,” groaned Julius.

HOW ARE
WE SUPPOSED
TO CATCH
SEPTIMUS
NOW?

XV

“FORGET SEPTIMUS! WE SHOULD TURN
AROUND!” Cornelius squealed. “OR ELSE THIS
STORM WILL SWALLOW US WHOLE!”
But Julius was having none of it. “Wait here!” he
growled through gritted teeth, pulling himself along
the deck. “HOLD HER STEADY, CORNELIUS! I’M
FETCHING HELP!”

I REFUSE
TO LET
SEPTIMUS
GET AWAY
AFTER ALL
OUR HARD
WORK!

A huge wave crashed against the side and Julius
stumbled as he headed towards the captain’s cabin.
He reached the open hatch and, grabbing hold of the
slippery ladder, he climbed down gingerly into the
dank, dark underbelly of the ship.
XVI

In the gloom, Julius pushed past Milus the lion,
who was lying in a tatty hammock. On his belly
gently slept Pliny the mouse, their tiny combat trainer.
Displeased at being woken, Milus growled at Julius.

Are we there
yet, donkey?

“No, we’re not!” snapped Julius. “And the way
things are looking, we’ll never get there.”
Julius clambered over a pile of soggy crates
and sacks, where he finally found the rest of his
companions huddled in a circle.
X V II

Woohoo! Finding this
board game is the
best thing EVER!
B rutu s – Ju liu s’s
big- headed idiotic
br othe r

Tap!

Felix – Dim -w itted
antelo pe an d av id
ro ck collecto r

Ooh! He’s got
you there!

Hmm...

Rufus – enthu siastic
gladiator an d Lu cia’s
wingman

Get out
of that
one!

Lucia – Vegetarian
cha riot- racing crocodile,
always ready with a
cunning plan

OI! YOU LAZY
BONEHEADS!
STOP PLAYING
YOUR STUPID
GAME AND COME
UP AND HELP US!

Everyone jumped out of their skins, apart from
his brother, Brutus, who refused to look up. “You’ll
have to wait, Julius!” he growled. “This is a very tense
match!” He waved his hoof to shoo his brother away.

WILL YOU
LISTEN! WE’RE
SAILING INTO A
STORM AND WE
NEED ALL HANDS
ON DECK!!

XX

Rufus, Lucia and Felix all leapt up in horror.
“WHAT?!” they screamed.
“I thought the ship was swaying a bit,” gasped
Felix. “It’s been hard work trying to watch the game!”

Can we
NOT just
finish the
game first?
Do you
have to spoil
EVERYTHING?

Before Julius could reply, there was a great BANG
as the ship buckled and twisted under the force of
an enormous wave. It tipped over sideways, hurling
everyone and all the cargo into the air.

X XI

Hmm ...
let me
think...

The ship quickly righted itself, but Julius knew
another big wave could hit at any moment and rip the
old ship apart. He hurried up the wet ladder. “COME
ON! WE NEED TO GET THIS SHIP THROUGH THE
STORM!”
Suddenly Lucia started screaming. “WE’RE
LETTING IN WATER! WE’RE LETTING IN WATER!”
She pointed frantically at a big leak spurting water.
“YOU, RUFUS AND MILUS BLOCK THAT HOLE!”
ordered Julius. “THE REST OF YOU, FOLLOW ME!”
X XII

That game totally
counted as a win
though, right?

Not now,
Rufus!

Climbing out of the hatch, Julius raced over to poor
Cornelius, who was still wrestling with the big tiller.

HELP
ME!!
QUICK!!

Lucia and Julius leapt onto the big stick and held
it as steadily as possible. “GRAB THE OTHER ONE
AND HOLD IT!” yelled Julius to Felix and Brutus,
who quickly ran to the other side of the boat and
grasped the second flailing tiller.
X XIII

As the rain lashed down from pitch-black clouds,
the sea looked like a crazy mountain range thrusting
high into the sky, before crashing back down into
swirling chasms.
The wind screamed as it ripped through the sail,
dragging the ship from one frightening lunge to
another.
We need to get that
sail down before it
pulls us under!

“BUT HOW?!” cried Julius.
Suddenly the great gale whipped through the
ship, sweeping the stricken vessel high up on a
mountainous wave. There was a loud CRACKING
noise as the sail was buffeted out as if fit to burst.
“LOOK OUT!” screamed Brutus, as the heavy
ropes that held the sail to the ship pinged off like they
were mere washing lines.
X XI V

With another frightening CRACK the mast and sail
were torn off into the raging turmoil of storm clouds.

Well, that’s
sorted THAT
problem out!

Then, at that moment, Cornelius looked past Julius,
the blood draining from his little face. “I – I think it
might just be the BEGINNING of our problems!” he
squeaked, pointing upwards.
Julius turned to see a monstrous wall of water
rising and blocking out the sky.
“C-can you swim, Julius?” stuttered Cornelius.
“We’ll soon find out!” he gulped. And he held his
breath, squeezed his eyes shut and clung on to the
tiller for dear life.
XXV

C HAPT ER T WO

BEACHED WAILS
Julius was woken by a voice calling his name.
He blinked open his eyes to find a familiar face
staring at him.

Look,
it’s Julius!
I’ve found
him!

Julius,
wake up!
Julius groaned. His ribs were bruised and he had a
very sore head. Cold water sloshed around his legs.
Then he heard more voices calling his name and the
splish-sploshing of paddling hooves.
XXVI

Squinting from the dazzling sun, Julius opened his
eyes a little wider.

Julius,
you’re
alive!

Julius slowly pulled himself up, wincing at his
aches and pains. “Where ... where are we?” he
murmured. He looked around the beach, shielding
his eyes from the sun with his hoof. Strewn across
the golden, sandy shore were broken crates, smashed
jugs, twisted rope and hundreds of pieces of wood of
all shapes and sizes. In the sea even more fragments
were floating idly on the tide. The familiar figures
of Brutus, Pliny and Milus were picking through the
debris.
X X V II

Woohoo!
I found it!
I found
the board
game!

YES!

“We’re alive!” gasped Julius. “Somehow we’re
alive!”
“That was quite the storm!” said Cornelius chirpily.
“And it seems the gods were on our side, as we were
fortunate enough to be near land as it hit!”
Julius finally stood up, stretched his back and again
looked around the beach. He took in a deep breath,
the hot air burning his nostrils.
“Cor!” he blurted out. “Now there’s a smell I
haven’t smelt in a VERY long time!” Kneeling, he
sniffed a big rock and let out a big jolly gasp of air.
X X V III

Then he grabbed a big hoof-ful of shrubs and gave
them a big sniff too.

This place
smells like
home.

“Can it be true: are we home?”
“That’s a very good question!” replied Cornelius.
“In fact, we’ve been having quite a debate about it.
I’m pretty sure we’re in Africa!”
He scampered off ahead round some big sand
dunes. “Follow me!”
“Where are you going?” asked Julius, his achy legs
barely able to carry him.
“Lucia’s got something to show you!” announced the
warthog.
X XI X

Crocodiles!
Hundreds
of them!

“JULIUS!” cried Lucia. She dashed over to her old
friend and gave him a big hug. “We thought we’d lost
you!”

Isn’t it wonderful
to be back in
AFRICA!

“We can go HOME!” she sang gleefully.
“How can you be so sure?” exclaimed Julius.
“Well, where ELSE do you find so many
crocodiles?”
Milus strode up to Julius and patted him on
the shoulder. “So, donkey, even though it’s been
wonderful hanging out with the likes of a zebra and
an antelope, it’s time I left,” he growled.
“But you can’t leave us now, Milus!” pleaded Julius.
X X XII

“We still need to find Septimus and stop him training
any more animals!”
“If you think Septimus survived that storm,”
said Milus, walking off, “then you’re a bigger fool
than you look!”

But WE
survived
it!

“Which means we can get our lives back again,”
said Milus. “Goodbye.”
Julius called over to Pliny the mouse, who was
hopping through the flotsam of the shipwreck.
“PLINY! CAN’T YOU HAVE A WORD?”
Pliny threw his paws up in despair. “Don’t ya think
I tried?” he squeaked. “Ain’t nothing going to change
his mind!”
X X XIII

“You know,” Julius sighed, “even though he kept
calling me a donkey, I think I’m going to miss the old
grump.”

Come
on,
Julius!
This’ll
cheer
you up!

Come and
wear a
seaweed
wig!!

“Very nice, Brutus! But that doesn’t help with
finding Septimus.”
Lucia patted Julius’s shoulder. “Forget Septimus,”
she said kindly. “Milus is right: he’s either lost at sea,
or shipwrecked who knows where.” She gave Julius
a big smile. “We’re finally FREE to do whatever we
want!”
X X XI V

“Come on, Debra!” Pliny squeaked. “We can
chillax, check out the local landmarks!” He started
darting about in the sand, throwing shapes and
cartwheeling.

I’m hoping to pick up
some new fighting moves.
Peeyow!
Peeyow!

Felix ran across the beach. “Don’t worry, Julius!” he
shouted. “I’m not going anywhere, not when there
are lots of amazing rocks to collect!”
“Yeah, you’re right,” laughed Julius. “In fact,
thinking about it, I’m glad to see the back of Milus.
If I never see him again, it will be too soon!”
XXXV

Then I’m sorry to
disappoint you.

MILUS!

C HAPT ER T HR EE

THE CHOSEN ONE
“EVERYONE, DOWN ON YOUR KNEES!” ordered
one of the soldiers. He pushed Milus into the sand
with the butt of his spear.

OOF!

The soldier, who was obviously in command,
stepped forward to examine the strange animals, his
red and white striped headpiece flapping in the wind.
He prodded Julius with his spear.
X X X V II

“Who are you that enters our land UNINVITED?”
he barked.
One of the other soldiers called out from behind,
“And what a mess you’ve made of our beach!”
All the other soldiers nodded and grumbled in
agreement.
The commander leant in towards Julius, “Yes,” he
rasped, “and what a horrible mess you have made of
our beautiful beach.”

What have
you to say
for yourself,
INTRUDER?

“Look, we’re sorry about your beach,” said
Julius, “but we arrived here by accident. We were
SHIPWRECKED!”
“PAH!” the commander scoffed, forcing Julius to
the ground. “A likely story! You are SPIES, and in
Egypt we KILL all spies!”
X X X V III

Cornelius slapped his forehead. “EGYPT! Of
course! I knew it!”
“No, you didn’t!” retorted Julius crossly. “You said

Africa!”
“Egypt is IN Africa!” corrected Cornelius. “So I
think you’ll find I WAS right!”
“I’m with Julius,” interjected Felix. “You can’t take
credit just by saying a whole CONTINENT; that’s
cheating!”
This isn’t a
competition,
you know.

I said Africa
and we’re in
Africa, so I think
you’ll find I’m
RIGHT!

“I think you’ll find it WAS a competition!” Felix said
indignantly. “I personally said we were in Greece and
Rufus said we were in Carthage. We ALL had a go!”
“Well, if it was a competition,” agreed Cornelius,
“what was the prize, hmm?”
X X XI X

Felix looked blank for a moment. “Er ... a starfish?”
“You’ve just MADE that UP!” protested Cornelius.

WILL
YOU ALL
BE QUIET!

“I don’t know where you spies are from,”
thundered the commander, “but it must be a land full
of IDIOTS!!!”
“Actually, Mr Soldier, sir,” said Julius, “we’re
not idiots from Idiotland; we are GLADIATORS,
FUGITIVES from ROME!”
The soldiers nearly choked.
“Yeah, and you’d better not mess with this one,”
added Cornelius, pointing at Julius. “He’s their worldfamous CHAMPION!”
XL

CH–CHAMPION?!

The commander wiped a tear from his eye. “That
is possibly the funniest joke I have ever heard, beast.
I am going to be VERY sorry when we have to kill
you.”
Julius quickly grabbed two big sticks and adopted
an attacking stance.
XLI

YOU’D BE
WISE TO
STAND BACK,
SOLDIER,
FOR I AM
JULIUS ZEBRA,
CHAMPION
OF ROME,
SAVIOUR OF
BRITANNIA AND
LIBERATOR
OF ENSLAVED
BEASTS!

The commander stepped back, shocked and
wide-eyed.
“Good work!” whispered Cornelius. “You’ve
caught them off guard!”
XLII

Look how he
holds the sticks!
Can it be...?

The commander shook his head in disbelief. “No,
no! Don’t be RIDICULOUS! He couldn’t possibly be...”
He didn’t complete his sentence; instead he
narrowed his eyes and thrust his spear at the zebra.
“For a horse, you are either very brave, or very, very
stupid,” he spat.
“Oh, don’t YOU start! I’m not a horse; I’m a—”
But, before Julius could finish, he became aware of
the ground shuddering underfoot. Startled, he quickly
spun round.
XLIII

Julius waved them away. “No, it’s OK, thank you,”
he said gratefully. “This isn’t anything I can’t handle!”
The crocodiles bowed dutifully and stood back as
requested.

See
how he
commands
the
crocodilus!

Are these boys
giving you trouble?

Cra

ck!

The frightened soldiers were flabbergasted.
“Who are you that enters our lands, bears the
symbols of our long-dead pharaohs and commands
the crocodiles?” cried one of them.
“Look,” Julius said, raising his arms. “I just want
everything to be cool!” And he gave them a big
friendly smile.
Suddenly, as if on cue, dark storm clouds gathered
overhead, there was a crack of thunder and the skies
opened with a huge downpour of rain.

XLV

YOU
THE BRIN
RA IN G
!

“Oh, he’s good at that!” laughed Felix. “You should
have seen him in Britannia. It rained everywhere he
went!”
The soldiers threw themselves down at Julius’s
hooves. “Then it is as we suspected! You are the
bringer of good fortune; you are THE CHOSEN ONE
returned!”

Wait ... are
you praying
TO ME?

“Now I’ve seen EVERYTHING!” Milus scoffed,
laughing uncontrollably.
“But I don’t understand,” said Cornelius. “Why do
you think HE is the Chosen One?”
XLV III

“Because he brings the RAIN!” said one of the
soldiers.
“But surely you must have had lots of rain during
last night’s storm?” Cornelius was very confused.
The soldier shook his head. “The storm at sea
never reached our shores. Our crops are failing, but
HETER has renewed our HOPE! He has answered our
prayers!”
Julius was feeling even more perplexed. “HETER?
Who’s HETER?”

YOU are HETER, the
HORSE GOD, bearer of
good fortune! Your return
has been FORETOLD!

XLI X

“Did ... did he just call me a horse?” Julius
protested. “I’m nothing like a horse!”
The commander turned to one of his soldiers.
“Make haste to Alexandria. Tell them to begin
preparations!”

Tell them the
Chosen One
has arrived!

C HAPT ER FOUR

HERO WORSHIP
“Come!” beckoned the commander. “We must hurry
to our great city of Alexandria, where, as you are a
returning god, our priests will surely proclaim you
PHARAOH!”

Julius turned to Cornelius in disbelief. “But aren’t
pharaohs KINGS?”
Cornelius was just as bemused as Julius. “Well,
they were last time I looked,” he said. “You know, the
LI

Egyptians do worship their animals and many ARE
gods to them, as are the pharaohs!”
Little Pliny the mouse came running over. “What’s
all the big kerfuffle?” he asked.

They think
I’m a GOD!

“Not only THAT,” interrupted Cornelius, “they
want to make him PHARAOH!”
Pliny nearly fainted with shock. “I knew all that
‘champion’ gubbins would go to your head!”
he squeaked.
“You know what?” Julius declared. “Maybe this
is the BEST thing that could have happened to us!”
Cornelius looked sceptical. “What do you mean?!”
LII

“Well, think about it,” reasoned Julius. “For one
thing, they don’t want to kill us. Secondly, after all
the nonsense we’ve been through, we deserve a bit of
fun, a taste of luxury!”
Julius tapped the Egyptian commander on the
shoulder. “Excuse me, will there be palaces and gold
and stuff?”
“Of course!” replied the commander. “You will be
ruler of Egypt; you can have whatever you want!”
Julius turned round to his chums. “See? We’ll be
living in palaces and EVERYTHING!”

We’re
finally
going
on our
HOLIBOBS!

?

LIII

WE’RE GOING
ON OUR
HOLIBOBS!

WE’RE GOING
ON OUR
HOLIBOBS!

Give me
the strength.

Milus suddenly grabbed hold of Julius. “If you
think ruling a country is going to be FUN, then you
are in for a shock, donkey!”
Julius pushed the lion away. “You’ve always got to
spoil things, you big grump.”
“They also think you’re a HORSE!” growled Milus.

When are you
going to tell them
you’re a ZEBRA?

Before Julius had a chance to reply, the Egyptian
commander gestured to them. “Come! We must be
on our way,” he ordered. “Word of your arrival has
spread and the people of the Nile are overjoyed that
you are here to save them and their crops!”
LV I

The commander was right. Along the road, farmers
and fishermen had already gathered to witness the
arrival of their new horse god.

Is it really
him?

What a
remarkablelooking horse!

Can he cure
baldness?

Julius walked towards the eager crowd and began
waving regally to them. “Stop worrying, Milus. Come
on, let’s have some fun for once!”
There was a sudden shrill cry of “OI!” from the
beach. Everyone looked back to see what the fuss
was.
LV II

Where are you lot
off to, then?

“Everyone thinks Julius is a magic horse and they’re
going to make him king of Egypt!” replied Felix
gleefully.
“They do?!” Brutus was very excited. “Cor! What a
laugh!” He ran up to Julius and the soldiers. “Hey! I’m
a magic horse too! Can I be a king? I’ve got a seaweed
wig and everything!”
Julius and one of the soldiers turned round to face
Brutus.
“Well?” asked Brutus indignantly, flicking his
seaweed wig away from his eyes.
LV III

The soldier pulled the seaweed off Brutus’s head
and held it up disdainfully.

When our country
is in need of a king
of buffoons …

we will know
where to come.

“Sorry!” said Julius apologetically, shrugging his
shoulders. “It’s out of my hooves. I’m sure you can
still have fun with us in my palace, though!”
The soldier tossed the wig onto the ground and
escorted Julius back to the road.
Brutus frantically scrambled after the seaweed,
picked it up and dusted off all the sand. He looked
up to see his brother disappearing into the distance.
“Hey, wait!” he cried, plopping his wig back on.
LI X

DON’T
FORGET ME!!

C HAPT ER FIVE

SOMETHING FISHY
The crowds of people lining the road to Alexandria
grew bigger and bigger as word of Julius’s magical
deeds spread.

As Julius and his friends were led through a small
fishing village, many well-wishers spilled out from
the strange, square buildings. Julius could see young
children, all sorts of traders and women carrying
heavy pots on their heads. All of them seemed to be
worshipping him!
L XI

Julius was really starting to enjoy the attention!

Ooh!
Not the
face!

But Cornelius was becoming concerned. “Julius!”
he whispered. “Maybe Milus is right. What will you
do if they figure out you’re not ACTUALLY a horse?
They might kill you, or WORSE!”

Stop
panicking,
Cornelius!
Pr o p e
p a nicki r
ng

“We’ll have a bit of fun, fill our bellies with lovely
food; then, when we’ve had enough, we’ll run off one
night when no one is looking.”
L XII

As they made their way along the road, a small
commotion erupted ahead, and the people began
chanting “Heter!”. There was a sudden great cheer,
and cries of “Yippee!” and “Yahoo!”.
“Wait a minute, what’s happened?” cried Julius.
In the crowd, a little old man was hopping about
with bountiful glee.
“Look! Someone seems very happy!” chuckled Felix.

I haven’t worn
this old loincloth
since last summer.
Yet when I put
it on just now, I
found a gold coin
in the pocket!

The old man pointed at Julius. “And it’s all because
of HETER!”
Another great cheer went up and everybody
started chanting Heter’s name once again.
L XIII

Felix and Rufus started clapping their hooves. “Oh,
good work, Heter!” they said, deeply impressed.
“I’m really starting to believe in you!” laughed
Felix, nudging Julius in the ribs. “You have AMAZING
magical powers!” Then he leant closer and whispered
in his ear.

In fact, I bet
with your
powers, you
could easily
find me a lovely
Egyptian rock
for my collection!
Julius pointed at a big stone right in front of
them. “What are you talking about, you weirdo?”
he scoffed. “There are rocks lying on the ground all
OVER Egypt!”

OMIGOSH!
THAT IS
AMAZING!

L XI V

Felix held up the drab, dusty brown rock as if it
were a lost treasure. “BEHOLD! HETER HAS FOUND
ME A BEAUTIFUL ROCK FOR MY COLLECTION!”
Everyone gasped at this miracle and once more
began reciting the name of Heter.
Lucia started skipping along to the chanting crowd.
“You’re right, Julius, this really IS going to be fun!”

I can’t remember the
last time I felt this
happy and free!

“Yeah, Julius,” agreed Rufus. “Although I still
haven’t figured out how you made it rain; that was
PRETTY weird!”
“My brother has ALWAYS been weird!” sniggered
Brutus, joining in the skipping.
LXV

“Obviously I have hitherto unknown amazing
powers!” chuckled Julius. “Who am I to question my
godly abilities?” He wafted a hoof at Brutus. “Can
you do something about that lump of seaweed on
your head? It STINKS!”

You keep
your mitts
off my
lovely wig!

Milus turned and snarled at Julius. “If you want to
be a god, then carry on. Just let me go home!”
Pliny hopped onto Milus’s shoulders and started
giving them a good massage. “Come on, Mr Grumpy,
if anyone needs this holiday, it’s YOU!”
LXVI

Aargh! Gerroff!

Ooh, so
tense!
!
Kneadd!
Knea

Julius put his arm round Milus. “Yeah, come on,
grouchy. You can go home ANY TIME! Come and
have a few days of fun with us!”
Milus gazed at all their smiling, encouraging faces
and let out a big sigh. “Okaay...”
Pliny leapt off Milus’s shoulders. “Wahey! I knew
we’d twist your noggin!”

But if you ever put
your arm round
me again …

I’ll bite
it off!
?

L X V II

The commander beckoned the procession to
continue. “We must march quickly if we are to reach
Alexandria before sunset!” he urged impatiently. “Let
us be on our way.”
Julius clapped his hooves to attract everyone’s
attention. “Listen, everybody!” he yelled. “Today is
probably the GREATEST day of my life!”

Let’s
have a
SINGSONG!

Julius cleared his throat and began to belt out
an old favourite of his zebra herd. “SHE’LL BE ...
COMING ROUND THE MOUNTAIN WHEN SHE
COMES!” He waved his hooves, signalling everyone
to join in.
L X V III

SHE’LL BE COMING
ROUND THE MOUNTAIN
WHEN SHE COMES!

“EXCELLENT!” cried Julius, and the procession
trooped off towards Alexandria, merrily singing
away.

Singing aye aye
yippie yippie aye!

Kill me
now.

C HAPT ER SIX

A WARM WELCOME

Alexandria!

Wow, thought Julius, this is a city to rival Rome itself!
As they trekked past the tidy patchwork fields
and smart temples and villas that lined the route to
Alexandria, more and more people gathered to greet
their new idol.
And as the great wooden doors to the city opened,
Julius’s eyes nearly popped out of his head at the
sight of thousands cheering and crying out the name
HETER!

HET

ER

HETER!

HETER!

They REALLY must
be keen on having
a new pharaoh!

L X XII

!

The crowds parted to reveal a grand boulevard,
hundreds of metres wide. Julius had never seen a road
like it!

Wow! This makes
a Roman road look
like a garden path!
Julius boggled at the huge, gleaming temples and
great statues lining the road as far as the eye could
see. Giant columns painted with colourful figures
were dotted everywhere.

What funny
little people!

“Those are hieroglyphics!” said Cornelius helpfully.
“The Egyptians use little pictures to tell stories instead
of writing.”
“Wow!” he marvelled, looking intently at the little
carvings. “Hypergluesticks!”
Suddenly Julius spotted a MASSIVE tower in the
harbour, just beyond the pillars and temples.

Cor! What’s THAT
thing? It’s HUGE!

“That ‘thing’,” replied the commander proudly, “is
our great lighthouse, Pharos. It is one of the Wonders
of the World!”
Cornelius, not wanting to be left out from sharing
interesting facts, butted in. “Yes,” he agreed, “it uses a
mirror to reflect the sun’s rays during the day and
a fire is lit on top during the night.”
L X XI V

How is it a little warthog
knows so much about our
great lighthouse?

“Well, you know,” said Cornelius modestly, “I’ve
read the odd parchment.”
The commander laughed. “The odd parchment,
you say? Then, my little friend, you are going to
LOVE our library!”

YOU
STILL
HAVE THE
LIBRARY?
I THOUGHT IT HAD
BURNT DOWN?!
“It is true,” said the commander. “Julius Caesar
himself tried to destroy it many years ago.” He halted
the procession and threw his arm out to the left.
LXXV

BUT, AS YOU CAN
SEE – HE FAILED!

Julius was feeling a bit lost. “What are you
guys even talking about? First a lighthouse, now
a libra-HAIRY!”
Cornelius was hopping about with glee. “A library,
Julius, a LIBRARY! The greatest library the world has
ever KNOWN!” He laughed. “Centuries of knowledge
and wisdom from all over the world, stored here for
everybody to read on scrolls and parchments.”

Whatever you
want to know,
ANYTHING,
you will find
it in HERE!

Julius looked intrigued. “What, even about zebras
and grass and stuff?”
Cornelius grinned from ear to ear. “Yes! Even about
zebras and grass!”
L X X V III

Felix sauntered over and put his hooves on his hips.
“So, are you telling me,” mused the intrigued
antelope, “that in there somewhere, there’s a scroll
about all the rocks that have ever existed on earth?”
Cornelius laughed again. “EVERY ROCK, ON
HUNDREDS OF SCROLLS!”

GASP!
I’ve got
him!!

“But first we must meet with the priests,” said the
commander. “Then, when your friend is crowned
pharaoh, you can visit the library whenever you
please!”
L X XI X

The procession turned off the great avenue and
continued along a road, much more narrow, though
no less grand. Mighty statues of fantastic-looking
beasts lined the street, alongside excited well-wishers
all hoping to catch a glimpse of their new god.

Those
animals look
CRAZY!

The commander laughed. “Those are your fellow
gods. It would be unwise, perhaps, to mock them!”
He suddenly thrust up his hand and the procession
came to an abrupt halt.
“Hey, why have we stopped?” asked Julius.
“Because we are here!” exclaimed the commander.
“Where’s ‘here’?”
LXXX

The temple of
our ever-watchful
god Serapis.

“Let’s hope he’s not watching TOO carefully,”
growled Milus under his breath.

C HAPT ER SEVEN

THE ORACLE
Julius could just make out the figure of a small bald
man wearing a plaited white skirt standing at the top
of the steps to the temple. The sun glinted off the
man’s head as he beckoned the zebra towards him.

Go on,
he’s calling
for you!

“Wait, aren’t you all coming with me?” asked Julius
nervously.
The commander shook his head. “Only priests and
gods can enter the temple.”
L X X XII

“Oh, right,” gulped Julius as he anxiously began to
climb the steps. “Just me, then...”
Cornelius scampered after his friend. “Hold up, I’m
not letting you go on your own!” he cried.

Is this really
necessary?

Come on,
Milus!

Wait
for us!!

“WAIT!” shouted the commander. “ONLY GODS
ALLOWED!”
Felix turned and shouted back, “BUT WE’RE
ANIMALS! YOU EGYPTIANS WORSHIP US,
RIGHT?”
And with that, they all dashed up the steps after
Cornelius and Julius, leaving the commander behind.
L X X XIII

Come on! Race
you to the top!
Hey!

“Watch him, Julius!” warned Cornelius. “He’ll try
to pretend HE is the horse god!”
“We can’t have that idiot ruling Egypt! Quick!” And
Julius sprinted after his brother.

COME BACK
HERE, YOU!!

L X X XI V

Brutus raced off far ahead. “You can’t catch me!” he
laughed, skipping nimbly up the last few steps.
Julius took a deep breath, snorted through his
nostrils and, with an extra burst of energy, flew up
the rest of the marble stairs.

Coo! He’s
a blur!

“You stop right there, you rascal!” bellowed Julius,
leaping into the air and tackling Brutus.
“Oi! WATCH IT!” screamed Brutus as he slammed
to the floor. “I was only messing about!”
LXXXV

What is the
meaning of this
OUTRAGE?

Julius immediately leapt to his hooves and saluted
the priest. “Heter, god of instant rain and magic coins,
at your service!”
The priest was not impressed.
Brutus pulled himself up too and adjusted his very
smelly seaweed wig, then grabbed the priest’s hand
and shook it vigorously. “And I’m Brutus, brother of
Julius, I mean HETER!”

By the way,
seeing as I’m his
more handsome
brother, can I
be a god too?

“Get your filthy hoof OFF me, you stinking
BEAST!”
Brutus glanced at Julius, confused. “’Ere, I thought
you said they liked animals?”
Cornelius and the others finally caught up with
Julius and Brutus at the top of the steps. “Going well,
then, is it?” puffed an out-of-breath Cornelius.
“Oh, brilliantly,” replied Julius with a sigh.

There has
obviously been
a mistake. You
buffoons do not
fit the description
of any gods
that I know of!

Cornelius nudged Julius hard in the ribs. “Quick!
Give him that speech you gave those soldiers on the
beach this morning!”
L X X X V II

Julius stood puzzled for a moment, then suddenly
realized what Cornelius was on about.
“Oh, yeah!” he said. “That proper did the trick,
didn’t it!” He stood in dramatic fashion. “Now, what
was it I said? I’m not sure I remember.” He gave a
little cough to clear his throat.

I AM
JULIUS ZEBRA,
ENSLAVER OF
THE CHAMPIONS,
DESERTER OF
ROME AND, ER,
... SAVIOUR OF
THE BISCUITS!

Julius rubbed his chin, thinking hard. “No, wait,”
he said, waving his hoof at the priest. “That doesn’t
sound right. Well, it was something like that,
anyway!” He chuckled.
L X X X V III

Now,
where’s
my
crown?

“There will be NO crown for you, cretin!” cried the
priest. “Nor do we look kindly upon those who seek
fame and fortune by grasping the crown FALSELY for
themselves!”
“Didn’t I tell you?” muttered Milus.
All of a sudden a voice called out from the
courtyard behind them. “Stand aside, Imhotep,” the
voice wheezed. “Let the creature through!”
The priest was caught off guard. “But, Your
Holiness, there is no way this fool—”
L X X XI X

Let him
through!
I wish to see
him for myself.

The priest reluctantly stepped aside and waved
Julius on. “Please,” he hissed, “the Oracle in his
infinite wisdom wishes to speak to you.”
Julius turned to his friends and shrugged. As he
made his way through the pillars, Cornelius and the
others began to follow him, but the priest thrust his
staff in front of them. “Not you lot,” he said firmly.
Julius entered a large courtyard alone. To the
left stood an imposing temple, very similar to all
the Roman ones he’d seen on his travels, with its
triangular roof and multiple columns.
XC

Step this
way, young
creature.

As Julius drew closer to the temple, the butterflies
in his stomach whirled around. He didn’t much like
the sound of the icy, creepy voice that came from
inside and had to stop himself from running away.
“Do not be afraid, young zebra,” said the voice.
Julius was shocked. “But how do you know I’m a
ZEBRA?”
Through the gloom, Julius could see a small figure
in the shadows.
“When word reached me of a brash horse claiming
to be the ‘Champion of Rome’ and ‘Liberator of
XCI

Enslaved Beasts’, well,” the voice chuckled, “there
could only be one creature in the entire Roman
Empire fitting THAT description!”

At least
you
didn’t
think I
was a
HORSE!

We’re
NOTHING
like
horses!

“Come closer, young gladiator.” The shadowy figure
beckoned to Julius to step inside the temple. “I am an
Oracle. I see things that no other man or beast sees.”
Julius stepped gingerly into the darkness. “Do you
have magic eyes, or something?” he asked.
The figure laughed. “Yes, something like that.” He
shuffled over to Julius and gazed up at him. “I come
from a long line of Oracles. We see into the future
and we see into the past.”
XCII

“How about round corners?”
The shadowy figure ignored him. “My greatgreat-great-great-grandfather once met a soldier
called Alexander in the desert many miles from here,
many, many years ago. He saw in him a GREAT
man, a man who could unite the warring tribes and
empires. This was the very same man who went on
to conquer Egypt and numerous other countries, and
whose children and grandchildren ruled our lands for
hundreds of years.”

I too have
met many
great heroes
in my time.
And now I
have finally
met you.

XCIII

The man pulled out a piece of parchment from his
cloak and held it up to Julius.
This is it! thought Julius. The Oracle has foreseen my
coming and I’m to be PHARAOH OF EGYPT!
The Oracle coughed nervously. “Young zebra,
would you make an old man happy and let me have
your autograph?”

“If it’s not too much trouble.” He strolled over to a
pile of papers on a desk behind him. “I have quite a
collection, you know.” He held up an old parchment.
“Look, here’s Cleopatra’s signature! Isn’t it beautiful?”
He shuffled through some more papers. “This is
Theseus, the Greek who defeated the Minotaur. Such
a nice chap.”
XCI V

“But I thought you were going to see whether I
was worthy of being a god and a pharaoh? Not ask
for autographs!”
The figure ambled back over to Julius. “Oh,
goodness, yes, by all means, be our pharaoh. You
can’t do much worse than the rotters who run the
place at the moment!” He held out his parchment
again.

If you could just
stick your hoofprint
here, right next
to the pawprint
of Julius Caesar’s
favourite cat, Spot.

C HAPT ER EIGHT

ROMANS OUT!
Julius emerged from the temple to a great roar from
the crowd. The priest stopped him and looked him
up and down. “Well, what did the Oracle say?”
Julius pushed him to one side and addressed the
crowd.

The Oracle
has spoken:
I AM YOUR
NEW PHARAOH!

As the onlookers once again roared their approval,
Cornelius went up to Julius. “Gosh! Well done, Julius!
XC V I

That’s AMAZING! You must have really impressed
him. Oracles are very wise old men.”
“Nice work, Julius!” exclaimed Felix. “But where’s
your crown?”
“Good point!” Julius turned to the priest. “Have
you got my crown then, please?”
The priest, still unimpressed with Julius’s earlier
shenanigans, could barely bring himself to look
at the zebra. “Patience,

Your Highness,” he
growled. “There will

I may as well
look the part
while I’m here!

be a coronation
for you in three
days’ time.
Arrangements
will be made for
the ceremony at
the old city of
Memphis, in the
shadow of the
great pyramids.”
XC V II

Cornelius could barely contain his excitement.
“Did you say THE PYRAMIDS?! WOW! This trip just
gets better and better!”
Julius was none the wiser. “What’s so exciting
about a pair of mitts? Chilly Romans wear them all
the time in Gaul!”

The pyramids,
Julius! The Great
Pyramid is one
of the Wonders
of the World!
“Cor, they do like their wonders out here,” said
Julius.
“But these are the wonders of ALL wonders!” cried
Cornelius. “Huge mountainous triangular tombs that
practically touch the sky, so they say.” He folded his
arms smugly. “To this day, scholars still don’t know
how they built them. Each stone block weighs a ton!”
“Ooh, I must get one for my rock collection!”
enthused Felix. “Imagine one of those on my
mantelpiece!”
XC V III

Suddenly a short fat man in a smart toga came
puffing and panting up the steps.
“I suggest you take care,” warned the priest. “Here
comes Titus Flavius, the prefect. He is the man in
charge from Rome!”
Julius was baffled. “Rome? What have they got to
do with the price of eggs?”
“Egypt is a Roman province, Julius!” replied
Cornelius. “They OWN Egypt!”

What’s all
this nonsense?
Why are the
people rioting?

What’s
going
on?

“They’re not rioting!” protested Julius. “They’re
cheering for me! I’m the Chosen One. The new
PHARAOH!”
XCI X

Flavius nearly exploded with rage. “PHARAOH?!”
he squealed, his face red like a big tomato. “Have you
lost your SENSES? Our Great Imperator, HADRIAN,
is ruler of these lands. No other!”
“Try telling it to THAT lot!” said Julius, pointing to
the crowd.

The Roman prefect recoiled in shock. “But this ...
this is MADNESS!” He stared at Julius. “Who are you
that DARES come here to claim the throne?”
“I am HETER, the horse god, bringer of magic rain
and coins,” declared Julius proudly. “Although you
might also know me as Julius Zebra, Champion of the
Colosseum!”
C

Flavius gasped in surprise and leant forward,
squinting at Julius. “It cannot be...?” Rotten fruit
splattered against the prefect’s lovely clean toga.
“HEATHENS!” he yelled, waving angrily at the
crowd, which roared angrily back. Fearing their
wrath, Flavius scurried off towards the temple. Once
safely on the threshold, Flavius turned and risked a
final shout at the onlookers below.

HADRIAN
WILL HEAR
ABOUT THIS!
JUST YOU
WAIT!

And with that, he was gone.
“He’s not going to get very far in that temple,”
observed Julius. “Isn’t that the only entrance?”
“No,” replied the priest. “There are many
CI

secret tunnels and corridors throughout this city.
Flavius will easily find his way out.”
Julius clapped his hooves. “Does this mean I’m free
to rule Egypt, then?”
“I would say so,” replied the priest. “But we should
be prepared for a visit from Hadrian and his army.
Now that word is out about your arrival, he won’t be
a stranger to our shores.”
“Oh, don’t worry about him,” laughed Julius. “I
easily kicked his butt back in Britannia!” He turned to
the priest, who was standing nearby, arms crossed,
staring grumpily at the zebra. “And you and me,
we’re all square, right?”

Perhaps, beast,
perhaps not.

CII

We
shall
see.

The priest sloped off back to the temple.
“What did THAT mean?” worried Julius.
“I warned you, Julius,” said Milus. “There will be
those in Egypt who won’t be happy that you’ve just
strolled up and taken the crown.”
The lion started walking back down the steps.
“Have your fun for a few days, then let’s leave this
crazy place, before it’s too late.”
Julius just tutted and shook his head. “Some people
are no fun AT ALL!”

Right
then,
who’s
ready to
PARTY?!

C HAPT ER NINE

BATH TIME!
Julius lazily splashed the milk in his bath as he took
another swig of grape juice.

Ah! This is
the life!

From the other side of the room, Felix let out a
satisfied groan. A big Egyptian, built like an
CI V

elephant, was massaging the antelope’s shoulders as
he lay flat on a marble slab.

Omigosh, this feels
amaaaazing!

Julius laughed. “Soon you’ll feel like a new
antelope!” He dunked his head under the milk, then
rose out of his bath. The waiting handservant quickly
threw a towel around the dripping zebra. “And how
about you, Milus?” he called out. “Are you still in a
rush to head back home?”

Don’t push your
luck, donkey.

CV

Cornelius trotted into the room looking quite
sprightly. He chuckled at the lion. “Don’t be so
dismissive of donkeys, Milus!”
“Why?” Milus said, narrowing his eyes. “What’s
it to you?”
“Well!” the little warthog said, grinning, “that milk
you’re sitting in is DONKEY’S milk!”

Cornelius tottered over to Julius, who was sniffing
his wet arms. “You know,” he said, “I was told
Cleopatra swore by this stuff. Makes your skin look
young and beautiful, apparently!”
CVI

Julius rubbed his chin thoughtfully. “I wonder if I
can get zebra milk imported?”
“Most likely,” replied Cornelius. “You, Lord Heter,
can have whatever your heart desires, from what
I can gather.”
Julius turned to a little Egyptian sitting patiently
next to the bath. “SCRIBE!”
The little man jumped to attention.

Yes,
Your
Highness!

“Make a note that I would like to import zebra
milk,” demanded Julius regally.
“Yes, my gracious lord,” said the scribe, hurriedly
scratching away on his parchment.
C V II

And let’s have a look at getting hold
of the milk of gnus too. We may as
well try all the different milks!
Yes, Your
Highness!

With that, the little man left the room.
Cornelius sidled closer to Julius and glanced around
to see if anybody was listening. “Julius, I’ve been
thinking about what Milus has been saying and I’m
worried about some of those things the priest said
yesterday.” He looked around again. “If they find out
you’re not who they think you are, you might be in
grave danger,” he whispered.

Before we set off
for your coronation
at Memphis
tomorrow, I want
to pay a visit to
the library.

“Bah! You worry too much, Cornelius!” scoffed
Julius. “Why do you need to go to the library?”
“I want to read more about this prophecy of the
Chosen One!” replied an anxious Cornelius.
“What are you two whispering about?” asked Felix.
“Cornelius wants to go to the library to doublecheck the prophecy!” Julius told him quite loudly.

Ooh!
How
exciting!

THE LIBRARY!
SHH!

Lucia swanned in, flanked by Rufus, Brutus and
Pliny. “Ooh! Did someone say something about
libraries?” she asked.
“GOOD GRIEF!!!” exclaimed Julius, his eyes
nearly popping out. “What on EARTH are you lot
WEARING?!”
CI X

What do
you think?
I thought we may as
well dress the part
while we’re here!

Pretty bling,
right?

“I want me some of these crazy clothes,” declared
Julius. “I am the new pharaoh after all!”
“Me too!” exclaimed Felix. “Where did you find
them?”
“In the Royal Wardrobe,” said Lucia. “I’m sure
we can rustle up a lovely skirt and headdress for
you, Felix!”
Cornelius was at the end of his tether. “Chaps,
seriously!” he huffed. “We need to visit the library
now, before it closes at sunset!”
“All right!” tutted Julius. “Don’t get your tusks in a
twist.”

Can we find a
lovely skirt for
Milus too?

Oh, of
course!

C HAPT ER T EN

BURNING QUESTIONS

o n!
Comee o n!
Com

“Wait for me!” cried Julius as he tottered up the
marble steps uneasily. “It’s flippin’ hard getting
around in this tight skirt!”
CXIII

As well as his ill-fitting clothes, Julius also had to
deal with the eager crowds desperate to touch their
new pharaoh.

So much
for secrecy!

Brutus decided to jump in and help his poor
brother. He roughly pushed the onlookers to one side.
“Keep back!” he ordered. “I, Brutus, brother of the
Chosen One, command you to keep back!”
A young Egyptian boy was impressed. “Ooh, are
you Heter’s brother?”
“That’s right,” replied Brutus, trying to look regal.
“We’re completely related to each other.”
CXI V

“Then you TOO must be a god!”
Brutus nodded in agreement. “You’d think so,
wouldn’t you? Try telling that to the PRIEST though!”
Julius grabbed Brutus and dragged him away. “Oi!
Stop all that!” muttered Julius. “Why don’t you just let
it drop. It’s becoming ever so slightly annoying now!”

Well, it’s not fair!
How come you get
to be a god?
I’m just as
brilliant as you!
“Perhaps when you make it rain out of nowhere,
or summon coins from the sky,” said Julius, “then
we might have a second look at your magical
credentials.”
Brutus stood at the bottom of the stairs, fuming, as
Julius and the others carried on towards the library’s
entrance.
CX V

“WELL, MAYBE I CAN!” he cried out. “WATCH
THIS!”
Julius turned round to see Brutus with his arms
in the air, his face scrunched up in desperate
concentration.
“What IS he doing?” wondered Felix.
Julius shrugged. “Trying to make it rain, I think.”
Brutus’s face was starting to go scarlet as he
willed with all his might for it to rain. “I can feel
it coming!” he gasped. “I DEFINITELY have magic
powers too!”
The Egyptians burst into laughter at poor Brutus.
“Why’s everyone
laughing?” he cried.

Squawk!

“At least I got one
raindrop!”
“Keep it up!”
sniggered Julius.
“You might get
a downpour if
you’re lucky!”
CX V I

With that, Julius hitched up his skirt and they all
scooted up the remaining steps into the gleaming
white marble courtyard.
At last they reached the entrance to the library,
which was guarded by grim-looking statues of lions
wearing stripy Egyptian headpieces.

Look at
those grumpy
lions! They
must be
relatives of
yours, Milus!

“Come on!” urged Julius as he sprinted into the
library. “Cornelius ran on ahead. He must already
be inside!”

Grrr.

Milus plopped
himself under a
lion statue. “You
lot carry on. I’m
staying right here.”
CX V II

Oh,
wow!

“That warthog could be anywhere!” cried Julius.
“Come on, let’s ask the chap at the desk.”
Julius sauntered up to the desk and gave a polite
little cough to attract the attention of the busy
librarian.

Yes, what
is it?

“Well, first point,” said Julius, slightly put out at not
being recognized. “I’m your new pharaoh, so you’ll
address me as ‘Your Majesty’.”
The librarian sighed indignantly and rolled his
eyes. “Yes, what is it ... Your Majesty?” He inclined
his head.
“THAT’S BETTER!” laughed Julius and held up his
hoof for a high five.
CX X

Julius’s hoof hung awkwardly for a few seconds,
before he realized the gesture wasn’t going to be
reciprocated. He lowered his hoof and gave a second,
more nervous, cough. “Um,” he stammered, “you, er
... didn’t happen to see a little warthog come in, did
you?”
The librarian’s left eyebrow arched upwards.
“If you are referring to Phacochoerus africanus, then
yes, he proceeded through the doorway to the west.”
He pointed to the door behind Julius.

?

Facochy-whooo?

Lucia grabbed Julius by the arm and dragged him
away. “It’s the posh name for warthog!” she hissed.
CX XI

“It IS?” blurted Julius. “How do you know?”
“Let’s just say Cornelius has referred to himself by
that name on more than one occasion,” she replied.
“Well, our Cornelius does like posh words,”
nodded Julius.
They walked through the tall doorway to find a
room filled from floor to ceiling with scrolls. Each
wall was crammed with neatly stacked V-shaped
shelves that were marked by subject matter. At the
far end, among a group of browsing scholars, was
Cornelius, surrounded by many scrolls scattered on
the floor.

Shh!

Yes!
I found
it!

CX XII

“What does it say?” asked Julius excitedly. “Am I in
there?”
Cornelius turned round and scrunched the scroll up
very quickly. “SHH!” he said, putting his little hoof
to his lips. “No, Julius, you are not in here. Well, not
exactly.”

Give it here;
let me have
a look!
JULIUS!

Julius read the scroll carefully, making murmuring
noises as he did. “Interesting, verrry interesting,” he
muttered, tapping his chin thoughtfully.
CX XIII

Cornelius snatched the scroll back. “You’re reading
it upside down, you idiot!”
“Yeah, I know!” protested Julius. “We pharaohs can
read in ALL sorts of directions!”
“CAN you now?” huffed Cornelius.
“Oh, stop being a grump! Just tell us what it says.”

What are
all these
ones?
They look
very old!

“All these scrolls are about the history of the
Egyptian people and, in particular, prophecies,”
explained Cornelius.
CX XI V

He unrolled the scroll Julius had pretended to
read and pointed to a small passage. “See here, it
talks about the return of a Chosen One to save the
Egyptian people from hardship and to restore the
country to its former glory.”

SEE!

I’ve been
FORETOLD!

Cornelius nodded. “Yes, you have. Well, Heter has,
to be precise.”

Woohoo!
I am
TOTALLY
the
Chosen
One!

CX X V

Cornelius grabbed Julius’s arm and dragged him
back down. “Hush, you two! Try not to make a scene.”
The other scholars were tutting and shaking their
heads.
The little warthog continued. “That is only part of
it—”
But before Cornelius could finish, Felix dashed over
clutching an armful of scrolls.
“Check it out!” he cried, and threw the scrolls at his
friends.

WATCH
IT!

FELIX!

“I must protest!” spluttered Cornelius. “These
scrolls are IMPORTANT artefacts and must be treated
with GREAT CARE!”
CX X V I

“That’s EXACTLY what the librarian said,” reflected
Felix. “You should get a job here, Cornelius!” The
antelope unravelled one of the scrolls. “This place is
amazing, look!”

Every
rock
EVER
discovered.
EVER!
My
mind is
BLOWN!

Suddenly Brutus, Pliny and Rufus appeared
clutching their own scrolls.
“Wotcha, lads!” said Pliny. “How’s all yer learning
going?” The little mouse brandished his scroll. “These
drawings show fighting techniques from around the
empire. I’m proper learning these!”
CX X V II

“I’ve already got one of the moves worked out!”
squeaked Pliny. “Watch THIS!” He grabbed Felix by
the ankles and tossed him through the air like a caber.

That’s an
Hispanic
Ankle
Throw,
apparently!

Very
useful.

CX X X

Rufus also showed off his scroll excitedly. “I found
one which has all the rules for my board game! Did
you know it’s called Ludus? We might actually know
what we’re doing now!”
“And you, Brutus?” asked Julius, raising his
eyebrows and expecting the worst.

I am going
to learn
GASTROMANCY!

“Come again?” blurted Julius.
“Gastromancy,” announced Brutus, reading aloud
the words on his parchment, “is the ancient Greek art
of conversing with the voices who speak to us via our
stomachs.”
“He’s lost the plot!” said Lucia.
CX X XI

“No, hear me out,” protested Brutus. “You know
all that bleeping and blooping that goes on in your
stomach? It’s ACTUALLY your belly trying to talk
to you!” He tapped his scroll. “According to this, the
voices can even predict the future.”

He sounds
quite
grumpy,
your
stomach!

“Never mind all THAT!” shouted Julius, before
realizing all the scholars were frowning at him. He
motioned for everyone to huddle closer. “Cornelius
was about to tell me something important,” he
whispered. “Weren’t you, Cornelius?”
CX X XII

Cornelius unravelled his scroll again solemnly.
“Yes, I was, Julius. But I’m afraid it’s not good news.”

Any man or beast
found seeking
the crown of
Egypt based on
falsities, deception
or treachery will
immediately be
put to death.
Julius gave a big gulp and sat down heavily.
Felix patted Julius on the shoulder. “Oh, hard luck,
Julius. It’s been nice knowing you.”
Cornelius held up his hoof. “But that’s not all.”

THAT’S
NOT ALL?!
IT DOESN’T GET
MORE FINAL
THAN DEATH!!
CX X XIII

Cornelius hushed Julius then carried on reading
from the scroll. “Any collaborators, conspirators or
parties found colluding with the accused shall also be
put to death.”
“WHAT?!” screamed Felix. “But isn’t that US?!”
“I’m afraid so,” replied Cornelius, rolling up the
scroll firmly.

We have
to leave.

And we
have to
leave
NOW.

C HAPT ER ELEVEN

FRIENDS IN
HIGH PLACES
As they hurried back to the palace, they were greeted
by Imhotep the priest.
“Your Majesty,” said the priest impatiently, before
bowing dramatically to Julius. “We were just about
to send a search party. Your presence is urgently
needed!”
The flustered zebra tried to squeeze past Imhotep.
“Can it not wait?” he blustered nervously. “I, er ...
have my own urgent business!”

We are
to leave
immediately
for Memphis!

CX X X V

“But I thought the coronation was tomorrow?” said
Julius.
“It IS,” replied Imhotep. “But we must set off now
to begin preparations.”
Julius gulped in despair and dashed up the stairs to
his room. “We’ll be back down in a minute!” he called
out.

What
are we
going
to do?!

That priest
will have us
if he finds
me out!

Stop
biting your
hooves!

“Fear not!” said Cornelius confidently. “We’ll
escape through those hidden tunnels and catacombs
the priest was talking about. The palace must be rife
with them!”
CX X X V I

The animals ran into the pharaoh’s main chamber
and Julius set them all to work immediately. “Right,
this is the plan!” he announced. “I want everyone
to check each nook and cranny for a SECRET
TUNNEL!”

Oh, I DO love
a puzzle!

“This isn’t fun and games,” snapped Julius. “This is
LIFE OR DEATH!” He clapped his hooves. “Quickly,
before baldy-locks gets back!”
CX X X V II

How about
down this
pot?

I’d give
this way
a miss.

I’m back
here again.

This way,
surely?

Don’t
ANY of the
tunnels lead
out of the
palace?

This is
RIDICULOUS!

The sound of hard sandals galloping up the marble
stairs caught everyone’s attention and Julius swivelled
just in time to see Imhotep burst into the room.
“Rats!” muttered Julius. “We’re too late!”
“Your Majesty,” sneered the priest. “We can wait
NO LONGER. We must leave immediately, before
the sun sets.”

The Royal
Barge awaits!

CXL

As they were herded down the stairs, Julius
whispered in Cornelius’s ear, “We’ll just have to go
along with it and hope for the best!”
Cornelius nodded. “It doesn’t look like we have
much choice.”
Outside, they were met by an impressive
entourage.
“This way to the jetty, Your Majesty.” The priest
beckoned to the steps leading down to the harbour.

Cor!
It’s SO
golden!

CXLI

As Julius stood on the jetty, he was overwhelmed
by a sweet fragrance. He stuck his nose in the air and
took a deep breath. “Whew! What an AMAZING
smell of flowers! Check it out, everyone!”

It makes a change
from you stinky lot!
Wow! I’ve never
whiffed anything so
heavenly before!

Waiting to greet them on the barge was a very
smart and very smiley Egyptian. He clapped
approvingly at everyone’s royal garments.
CXLII

So lovely to see
you’ve already dressed
for the occasion!
Cla p!
Cla p!

The Egyptian held out his hand to clasp Julius’s
hoof and bowed. “It is a great honour to meet you,
Lord Heter,” he said. “My name is Apepi and I am the
captain of today’s flotilla.”
“Very nice to meet you, Apoopi,” said Julius
graciously.
“Apepi, Your Majesty.”
“Of course,” replied Julius. “That’s what I said. And
may I say what a lovely-smelling boat you have.”
Apepi bowed again. “My pleasure, Your Majesty.
My family and I are eternally grateful for the rain that
you brought to save our harvest.”
CXLIII

Apepi showed Julius to his seat. “Your Royal
Majesty may sit here under this silk canopy, if it
pleases you.”
“Ooh, very snug!” said Julius, plumping himself
among the big cushions.
“And your friends,” continued the captain, “can sit
under the poop.”

I ain’t sitting
under no POOP!
I’m the
pharaoh’s
brother,
dontcha
know?

Cornelius pulled Brutus under the small golden
canopy at the back. “It’s not THAT sort of poop, you
fool!” he chided. “It’s just another word for the roof
of a cabin!”
CXLI V

All the other animals made their way to the small
cabin and tried their best to find a place to sit.
“Shove up!” said Pliny. “There’s room for all of us!”
Brutus still had the grumps. “How come we have
to squash in, while old pharaoh-face gets to sit on
those big cushions up front?”

COS HE’S
THE FLIPPING
PHARAOH!

SO SHUT UP
MOANING FOR
FIVE MINUTES
SO WE CAN
ALL ENJOY
THIS LOVELY
BOAT TRIP!
AND DO SOMETHING
ABOUT THAT STINKY WIG!

“Yeah, please don’t wind up Pliny,” warned
Felix, “or he’s liable to chuck one of us into some
bookshelves.”
CXLV

Rufus nudged up to Brutus and pulled out his old
board game and a pouch of stones. “Come on, let’s
have a game of Ludus to take your mind off it all.”
Brutus reluctantly joined in a game, but he still
wasn’t happy. “I’ve been talking to my stomach and it
totally agrees that I should be pharaoh too.”

You’ll be swimming
with the crocodiles
and talking to their
stomachs if you don’t
shut your beak.

The barges finally set off from the jetty and Apepi
called over to Julius. “Would Your Majesty like some
music for the journey?”
Julius clapped his hooves together excitedly. “Ooh,
YES PLEASE!” he squealed. He leant over to his
friends at the stern. “Right, you lot, stop squabbling. I
want to hear this!”
CXLV I

From one of the barges at the front, a small group
of musicians began playing a soft melodic tune.
“Oh, I like this!” Julius grinned.
Forgetting all his troubles, Julius sank back into his
soft cushions and soaked up the view as they left the
harbour of Alexandria.

Ta-ta
Alexandria!

CXLV II

After a short distance the flotilla turned into the
mouth of the Nile. Julius waved at all the crocodiles
floating idly in the river. “Cooee!” he called out.

You’ve seen
one royal
barge, you’ve
seen them all.

Julius waved regally at the various people and
animals on the riverbank they passed. You know, I

could get used to this pharaoh malarkey, he thought.
But, as the day wore on, Julius began to feel rather
hot under the blazing sun.
CXLV III

Coo, I forgot
how boiling it
gets in
Africa!

“Take your headdress off!” suggested Cornelius.
“No point in overheating.”
“Yeah,” agreed Julius. “Good plan, Cornelius. My
head is getting proper sticky.”
He reached up and removed his headpiece. A small
but welcome breeze blew across his forehead.

Aaah!
That’s better!

CXLI X

N ice
breeze.

But no sooner had he exposed his head, than a
voice called out from a small crowd on the riverbank.
“Cooee! Julius! Hello! It’s me!”
Julius sat up with a shot. “Did someone just call out
my NAME?!” he gasped, diving for cover behind his
silk cushions.

Julius! I’d know that
face anywhere!

“I can’t believe it!” cried Julius. “Who knows me
out HERE?!” He slowly peeked through the crack of
two cushions. “Omigosh,” he exclaimed, closing the
gap shut. “Isn’t that Annie the gnu from the lake back
home?”
CL

“What, that weird one who’s always yapping to
Mum?” asked Brutus, straining to see who it was.
“Yeah, that’s the one!” said Julius. “I’d recognize
that beard anywhere. What’s she doing all the way up
here in EGYPT?!”

If she gives the
game away about
your true identity ...

we’ve
HAD IT!

Everyone lay flat on the deck until the barge was
well and truly far away from the gnu.

How strange. I
could’ve sworn that
was young Julius.

When they thought they were far enough away,
Julius finally flopped back onto his cushions.

I don’t think
my heart can
take all this
pretending!

“Let’s just hope old Imhotep didn’t see or hear her!”
replied Cornelius ominously.
The barge sailed down the Nile for a few, less
eventful, hours. Julius carefully waved to all the
happy well-wishers in their boats lined up along the
riverbank, careful to keep a beady eye out for any
more familiar faces. But, thankfully, he didn’t see
anyone else he knew. Julius was in fact quite struck
by just how pleased everyone was to see him. What

will they do when they find out who I really am?
he thought.
CLII

As the sun started to set and a cool breeze floated
across the river, Apepi came over and bowed to
Julius. “Good news, Lord Heter!”
Julius sat up and rubbed his tired eyes. The captain
pointed to the horizon, where three triangular
silhouettes seemed to rise up from the Nile.

We have
arrived!

Julius sprang to his feet. “CORNELIUS, LOOK!” he
yelled. “You were right!”
Cornelius woke from a slumber. “Wait ... I was?
What about?”
CLIII

They
really are
a wonder!

The captain ushered them all to
their feet as the flotilla arrived at
the riverside Royal Apartments in
Memphis. “And now you must rest, for
tomorrow will be the greatest day of
your life!”

C HAPT ER T WELVE

DRESSED TO THRILL
Julius was woken by a banging on his door. He
cuddled up to his pillow even tighter, reluctant to
leave the cosiness of his slumber.
“When I go home,” he sighed to himself, “the first
thing I’m doing is buying myself a big comfy bed.
This is PURE heaven.”
The banging came again, accompanied by an
urgent voice. “Lord Heter, it is time to get up! Your
kingdom awaits!”

Just another
five minutes!

CLV I

Suddenly the door burst open and Imhotep
stormed in. “I’m SORRY, Lord Heter,” he hissed, “but
I must insist that you arise from your bed. Tributes
must be paid to the gods before the coronation.”
Two women followed Imhotep, carrying
decorative gold clothes and jewellery.
“Your ceremonial garments have been prepared,
so hop to it.” He clapped his hands twice and the
women immediately dropped a huge gold garment
over Julius’s sleepy head.

Yawn!
What’s
going
on?

CLV II

Then they strapped to his chin a length of tightly
plaited hair, that had been interwoven with gold.
“’Ere!” he protested, grabbing the weird sausagelike lump of hair. “What’s this?”
“That is your beard, Your Highness,” replied
Imhotep wearily. “It represents your divinity.”

Scratch! !
Scratch

Does it
have to
be so
itchy?
The priest was unimpressed. “That is the very
beard that CLEOPATRA wore on her coronation,
so I would caution you to be RESPECTFUL!”
At that moment, Cornelius and Felix rushed into
the room. Julius was very pleased to see them.
“Hey, Cornelius, did you know that Cleopatra had
a BEARD?”
CLV III

“Of course I did!” replied Cornelius, slightly hurt
that Julius was questioning his boundless knowledge.
“THIS IS IT!” cried Julius, pointing excitedly to his
ceremonial beard. “This is ACTUALLY Cleopatra’s
beard!”

Wow! That’s
pretty impressive!

With a loud gasp, Imhotep slapped Felix’s hoof
away. “Do NOT touch the Royal Beard!” Imhotep
clapped twice again and the royal dressers scurried
obediently out of the room.
The priest grabbed Julius’s arm and yanked him
off the bed. “This way, Your Highness. Your carriage
awaits.”
Cornelius scuttled alongside, trying to catch Julius’s
attention.
CLI X

“Did Imhotep say anything about your friend the
gnu?”
“No, I think we got away with it!” replied Julius.
As Julius was taken out of the palace, he was
greeted by a large golden throne which sat upon a
great litter held aloft by eight men. Imhotep escorted
Julius up to his seat.

CHECK ME
OUT ON
MY MAD
THRONE!

A blast of horns filled the air and the grand
procession rumbled into life as a stream of soldiers
and dignitaries slowly marched along the boulevard,
with Julius’s throne at the vanguard.
CL X

The procession arrived at a very grand-looking
temple. Following Imhotep’s instructions, Julius
dutifully enacted the ancient rituals of paying tribute
to the old gods. The priest led him to three temples
in all, representing Lower Egypt, Upper Egypt and
finally the Two Lands, where Julius laid presents out
for the gods and past pharaohs.

Don’t eat
it all in
one go!

Once the formal presentation ceremonies were
over, Julius couldn’t wait to get back on his mobile
throne and head off for the next part. He turned to
CL XII

Imhotep and clapped his hooves. “What’s next? I
hope it’s more fun than shuffling around boring old
temples!”
Imhotep sniffed scornfully, careful to bite his
tongue. “Next, Your Highness, we present you to
the people of Egypt for your coronation, then we
celebrate with a feast.”
“Hooray!” cheered Julius. “A feast! Let’s make sure
we don’t miss that!”
“The feast lasts a whole year,” replied Imhotep, “so
there’s little chance of missing it.”

Ooh, how
exciting! Did
you hear that?

We can eat
like kings for a
whole year!

CL XIII

If we’re
not careful,
we’ll be lucky
to last a
WEEK!

C H APT ER T HIRT EEN

CORONATION CHEAT
Julius’s mobile throne bumped and weaved slowly
through the crowds alongside the Nile. Once again he
was struck with awe by the pyramids, which loomed
large in the background. “Those things really DO
touch the sky!” he marvelled.
After a while, the pyramids receded from view and
a small rocky valley appeared. Julius was amazed to
see colossal ancient statues carved into the mountains
themselves, solemnly watching over their procession.

Cor! You can
see right up
his nostril!

CL X V

Then, as they made their way around the rocky
outcrop, Julius was greeted by the sight of thousands
of people and an oddly familiar-looking colossus!

I present
to you …
HETER!
Wow! I can’t
believe it!
It really
IS me!

Julius nearly choked; he’d NEVER seen so many
people before, not even in the stadia of Rome. Up till
now it had all been a bit of jolly fun, but seeing the
statue and the sea of faces all staring at him suddenly
made it VERY real indeed!
The Egyptians really DID believe he was a god
and were expecting him to RULE the country. The
WHOLE country! I’ve never run a shop, let alone a
country, Julius thought. WHAT WAS I THINKING?!

Guys, I can’t
go through
with it!

What am
I going
to do?!

CL X V III

“It’s a bit late to be having second thoughts!”
scoffed Milus.

I told you this
was all a big
mistake
DAYS
ago!

But Julius was in a panic. “Seriously, Milus, now
isn’t the time for ‘I told you so!’” he gasped, shaking
like a leaf. “You HAVE to get me out of here!”
Julius felt a tug on his arm. It was Imhotep. “This
way, Your Highness. Your subjects await!”
The priest frogmarched Julius through a great
parting in the crowd, who all cheered and chanted
“HETER!”. Then Julius, prodded by Imhotep, climbed
up the steps of the giant podium, the deafening roar
of the masses in his ears.
CL XI X

Can we just get
this over with?

From the other side of the podium a troop of
priests wearing animal masks appeared, chanting and
waving their arms in the air.
“I want to go home now!” sobbed Julius.
The animal priests began splashing water onto the
petrified Julius.

Oi! Watch it!
Some of that
went in my
eye!

Imhotep started waving a metal ball on a chain
through the air which billowed pungent smoke
into Julius’s face. “Blargh! Help! Ack!” he coughed.
“They’re trying to KILL me!”
The priests stood in front of Julius’s throne and
bowed down to him, each of them mumbling strange
words over and over behind their animal masks.
CL X XII

“GOOD WORK, JULIUS!” encouraged Cornelius
from the base of the podium. “Stick at it; you’re doing
brilliantly!”
“But I can’t see anything!” wailed Julius. “These
idiots threw soapy water in my eyes!”

PEOPLE
OF EGYPT,
LORD HETER
HAS BEEN
PURIFIED!

This is
ridiculous!

HETER!

HETER!

CL X XIII

Julius wiped the water from his eyes, just in time
to see a priest wearing a bird’s head approach him
carrying a weird object.

What are you
supposed to be,
then? A pigeon?

Ignoring him, the bird priest placed the object on
Julius’s head.
“What is THAT?” Julius asked. “Some kind of urn?”
Imhotep turned to Julius in disgust. “URN? URN?!
Rarely have I heard such IMPUDENCE!” he seethed.
“It is your CROWN, you cretin! You bear the symbols
of the two ancient Egyptian kingdoms coming
together as one!” Shaking with rage, he pointed his
finger at Julius. “In all my years I have NEVER heard
CL X XI V

this sacred artefact referred to as an URN!”
Julius nodded his head approvingly. “Well, you
learn something new every day.”
Finally the animal priests pushed a stick into each
of Julius’s front hooves – one a stripy stick with a
hook on the end, the other with three sticks swinging
from the top.
“And what are THESE?” asked Julius, swinging the
sticks about.
“They are the symbols of your authority!”
declared Imhotep. “The crook is the symbol of your
KINGSHIP, and the flail—”

What,
this
one?

CL X X V

“Yes,” replied the priest, dodging out of the way.
“THAT represents the fruitfulness of the land.”
Suddenly, at the bottom of the podium, Cornelius
leapt up in the air. “THAT’S IT!” he called. “Julius,
that’s why those soldiers thought you were a god in
the first place!”
“Eh? What do you mean?”
“Don’t you remember back at the beach? You were
holding those two sticks!”

What,
like
this?

CL X X V I

“YES!” cried Cornelius. “Those sticks looked
EXACTLY like your crook and flail!”
Julius slapped his forehead with his hoof. “THAT’S
why they thought I was a god!” he laughed.
Perplexed, Imhotep put his hands on his hips.
“What are you blathering on about?”
“Oh, er ... nothing...” blustered Julius, hiding the
sticks behind his back. “Let’s just carry on and get this
over with, shall we?”
Imhotep took Julius by the hoof and presented him
to the crowd. “SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF EGYPT,
I GIVE TO YOU YOUR NEW KING, HETER!”

HETER! HETER!
HETER!

C H APT ER FOURT EEN

TOMB RAIDER

Now that I have
been officially
crowned the horse
god, we can EAT
LIKE KINGS!

“Right!” said Julius proudly. “I think that went
pretty well, all told!” He put his arm round his
brother, who was deep in a game of Ludus with
Rufus. “Did you see me up there?” he said. “Didn’t
I look brilliant!”
“Up where?” asked Brutus, not glancing up from
his game.
“ON THE PODIUM!” Julius blurted.

I’m now
officially
PHARAOH!

“Oh, that’s nice,” replied Brutus, pretending to be
disinterested.
CL X X X

“Pff!” complained Julius, plopping down on his seat
grumpily.
“Well done, Julius,” said Lucia, patting him on the
arm. “I thought you were very brave up there!”
Pliny walked over chomping on a big lobster claw.
“Good work, Debra,” he slurped. “You smell proper
fragrant too.”

Just so you
know, the
lobster here is
AMAZING!

“You played it well, donkey,” admitted Milus,
nibbling on a honey-covered mouse. “You’ve been
lucky so far, but we should leave before our cover is
blown.”
CL X X XI

“Milus is right,” Cornelius agreed. “The longer we
stay, the deeper the trouble we’re in.”
Suddenly Julius did a double take and sprang up
from his chair. “Hey! Wait a minute, where’s Felix?
I haven’t seen him since the coronation!”

That idiot! I told
him to stay put in
case we have to go!

“THAT STUPID ANTELOPE!” Milus roared,
pulling at his mane in frustration.
Julius quickly put his hoof over the lion’s mouth.
“SHH!” he hissed. “Let’s not draw attention to
ourselves!”
CL X X XII

Batting away the zebra’s hoof, Milus glared at
Julius. “Just try sticking your hoof over my mouth
again and see what happens!”
A familiar voice interrupted them. “Cor blimey! I
leave you for five minutes and you’re already trying
to kill one another!”
Everyone spun round to see Felix standing in front
of them, bold as brass.
“And where have you been?” scolded Julius.

Check out
this CRAZY
rock.

Isn’t it a
beauty?
Cornelius took a closer look at the big blue gem,
his eyes nearly popping out. “Felix! WHERE did you
find this?!”
CL X X XIII

“It was in a cave back there,” he said, pointing
behind him. He lowered his voice to a whisper and
beckoned everyone closer. “The place was FULL of
treasure!”

A cave?!
If it’s treasure,
it probably
came from
a TOMB!
“Ooh, a tomb...” repeated Felix blankly, not really
knowing what that meant.
“Yes, a tomb!” replied Cornelius. “Ancient
pharaohs would keep all their prized possessions
in there along with their sarcophagus.”
Felix’s mouth dropped open.
“A COFFIN, before you ask,” said Cornelius.
“Yeah, I know!” huffed Felix. “I was just yawning.”
And he opened his mouth even wider, stretched his
arms and made a big yawny sound like a cow falling
down a hole.
CL X X XI V

So! Not only
am I a brilliant
rock collector,
but I’m also
a master
tomb raider!
“Yeah, I’m not sure that’s something you wanna
go shouting about!” snarled Pliny, spitting out an
expensive prawn tail.
Felix popped the jewel back into his knapsack and
patted it shut. “Righto! What are we all doing then?
Lots of eating and drinking?”
“No!” cried Cornelius, wrestling the knapsack away
from Felix. “You can’t just steal stuff from pharaohs’
tombs!”

What about
THE CURSE!

CL X X X V

Pliny shook his head in despair. “What curse?” he
scoffed. “The hairy piglet’s gone bonkers!”
“No, it’s true!” said Cornelius. “Pharaohs protect
their tombs with terrible curses to deter thieves. If
you don’t put it back, we’ll all die really horribly!”

Blimey,
WHATEVER
we do here
seems to mean
certain death!

Julius patted Felix on his shoulder. “Come on,
Cornelius is right; we’d better put it back. I’m quite
keen to live a long jolly life, thank you very much!”
Poor Felix looked forlorn.
“Don’t worry, Felix, there are plenty of rocks lying
around that will be JUST as great, trust me!”
“Not like this one,” sighed the antelope.
CL X X X V I

Julius turned to his friends. “The rest of you wait
here for five minutes, while Cornelius and I make
sure Felix puts this back.”

And if
anyone
asks where
I am ...
tell them
I went to
the toilet or
something.

Classy.

C HAPT ER FIFT EEN

CHAMBER OF
HORRORS
Julius, Cornelius and Felix sneaked out through a flap
at the back of the tent and scurried over to the feet of
the giant statue of Heter.
“OK,” said Cornelius. “Which way now?”
Felix scoured the landscape to get his bearings.
“This way!” he announced confidently and scooted
off towards the far end of the rocky outcrop.

Here it is, by
this tiled floor!

Julius was impressed. “Cor, you’re very brave!”
“How do you mean?” asked Felix.
“Well,” said Julius, peering into the hole, “it’s very
dark in there. I wouldn’t have gone in on my own!”

If I’m
honest ...

I tripped over that
big rock and fell
down the steps.

Cornelius gave Felix a little nudge. “Go on then,
show us the way!”
Felix stepped to one side. “I’m not going down
there NOW!” he protested. “Not after all your talk of
curses and stuff!”
Cornelius gave the antelope a big shove. “There
WON’T be a curse if you put it back!”
With a big “TUT!” Felix had a rummage in his
knapsack and pulled out a tiny oil lamp.
CL X X XI X

He quickly bashed his little metal fire striker against
his pocket flint and lit the wick with the sparks.
“Impressive!” said Julius.

No true rock
collector leaves
home without
his lamp!

Julius and Cornelius followed Felix as he gingerly
tiptoed down the steps. When they finally reached
the bottom, they found a door covered in strange oval
markings. Cornelius’s eyes nearly popped out.
“Cartouches!” he cried.
“Bless you!” replied Julius.
“No!” said Cornelius. “Cartouches are the Egyptian
symbol to denote a pharaoh. You really did find an
ancient royal tomb!”
CXC

Julius pushed his shoulder against the door. “And
we really ought to be putting back what we shouldn’t
take!” he huffed.
As the door creaked open, a gust of air whistled
past them, blowing out Felix’s lamp.
They squeezed
through the tight

Well,
that’s
a bit
annoying!

gap between
the door and
the wall into
a cold, musty,
pitch-black room.

“Hurry up, Felix!” urged Julius. “Get that lamp lit.
This place is starting to give me the creeps!”
Felix bashed hard at his flint. “Come on, come on!”
he huffed impatiently under his breath. Finally, with
one big chip at his flint, the tiny sparks lit the small
wick. “Got it!” he declared.
But Julius and Cornelius weren’t listening.
“By the gods,” whispered Cornelius, his jaw hitting
the floor, “what IS this place?”
CXCI

Cornelius dragged Felix and his lamp over to one
of the walls. “Look at these images; the colours are as
fresh as the day they were painted!”
Julius held up a statuette. “All this stuff – golden
chairs, chariot wheels, pots – what’s it all for?”
“Whoever’s chamber this is,” replied Cornelius,
scrutinizing a small pot carefully, “this is the stuff
they were taking with them into the afterlife!”
Felix let out a little squeal. “’Ere! There’s loads of
cats in here! LOOK!”

DEAD ONES!!!

CXCI V

“Mummies,” whispered Cornelius.
“I don’t care WHOSE they are,” cried Felix. “I don’t
like ’em!”
Julius was examining two big statues. “Hey, Felix,
bring your lamp over here. Look at these giants next
to this door!”

They look
like guards!

Cornelius rushed up and placed his little hooves
on the door. “They ARE guards!” he declared. “And
they’re probably guarding another chamber!”
CXC V

Julius gave the door a big shove with his shoulder.
“What are you doing?!” exclaimed Cornelius.
“Opening the door! What does it look like?”
Cornelius dived in front of the door protectively.
“But you CAN’T!” shouted the little warthog. “That’s
probably where the TOMB is!”
“And?” demanded Julius indignantly. “Don’t you
want to know who’s in there?”
“You can’t DISTURB the tomb!” cried Cornelius in
horror, and he spread his arms wide.

Think
of the
CURSE!

CXC V I

“Let’s just put the stone back and leg it!” he said.
Felix came up and leant on the door. “I
promise to put the stone back if you let us look
behind this door.”

Promise?

Pinky
swear!

And with that, they all HEAVED on the heavy
door. As it creaked open, the light from Felix’s lamp
glinted off something very big and VERY golden
inside.
CXC V II

Wow! So
beautiful!

“Look, it even has a face painted on it!” cried Julius.

And it’s
a SHE!
“Who’s this chap, then?” asked Felix.
“What do you mean?” replied Cornelius, distractedly.
Felix held up his light. “In this other sarcophagus!”
CXC V III

He
doesn’t look
Egyptian
AT ALL!

Julius examined the second casket, which was
also covered in delicate patterns and hieroglyphics.
Then something caught his eye. “Wait! Look at these
markings. Aren’t they ROMAN NUMERALS?”
Cornelius leapt to Julius’s side to take a look and,
sure enough, carved in blue against the gold were the
very familiar markings of Roman numerals.
“Well spotted, Julius!” he praised. Cornelius studied
the face on the sarcophagus and let out a little gasp.
“And you’re right too, Felix! The chap in here is
definitely NOT Egyptian. He’s a ROMAN!”
CXCI X

Cornelius stood back from the coffin in awe.
“Which can mean only one thing...” he whispered.

This is the
LOST tomb
of Cleopatra
and Mark
Antony!

“Oh, goody!” Felix clapped. “They’ll be pleased we
found it again!”
“No, they WON’T!” scolded Cornelius. “They’ll be
FURIOUS!”
“But who are Cleo Claptrap and Mark Anchovy?”
asked Julius.
“Cleopatra,” replied Cornelius, “was the last
pharaoh of Egypt. Mark Antony was her Roman
lover. They were defeated by Julius Caesar more than
a hundred and fifty years ago, bringing to an end the
age of the pharaohs.”
CC

“Well, until I came along!” said Julius proudly.
Cornelius grabbed Felix’s knapsack. “Look, these
tombs are SACRED and we really shouldn’t be here!”
he cried. “Put the stone back, Felix, and let’s leave
now!”
Felix wrenched his bag out of Cornelius’s hooves.
“NO, CORNELIUS, YOU CAN’T MAKE ME! I
DON’T CARE ABOUT YOUR STUPID CURSES!!”
he bawled. “I’M KEEPING MY SHINY STONE, SO
THERE!!”
With that, Felix blew out his lamp and vanished
into the dark.

C HAPT ER SIX T EEN

DON’T RAIN ON
MY PARADE
Julius and Cornelius scrambled out of the pitch-black
tomb and into the blinding glare of daylight.
“That idiotic antelope!” fumed Cornelius, shielding
his eyes. “He’ll be the death of us!”
Julius patted him on the back. “Don’t be so hard on
him. He’s just passionate about his rocks, that’s all!”

But it’s
not HIS
rock!

CCII

“If my head drops off because that fool’s put a
curse on us, I’ll be FURIOUS!” raged Cornelius.
They soon reached the big tent where the party
was in full swing and sneaked back in through their
secret flap.
“He can’t have got far!” reasoned Julius.

Who can’t
have got
far?

“Felix!” Julius answered, wafting the stench of the
seaweed away from his nostrils. “He’s run off with
his stupid gem.”
“Never mind all that!” spluttered Brutus, putting his
arm round his brother. “You and me need to TALK!”
CCIII

Brutus gently ruffled Julius’s mane. “When are you
going to make me a god too? Eh?”
Julius shrugged Brutus’s arm off. “What do you
mean?”
“Oh, come on, Julius,” pleaded Brutus, throwing
his arms in the air. “WE’RE BROTHERS!”

If YOU’RE a
god, then I
should be a
god TOO!

Julius shoved his hoof in front of Brutus’s mouth.
“Hush!” he hissed. “Look, they don’t dish out their
godhoods willy-nilly. You have to EARN it!”
CCI V

“EARN IT?!” jeered Brutus, pushing Julius away.
“What have YOU done to EARN IT?”
Julius tried desperately to quieten his brother.
“Brutus, please!”
But Brutus was getting redder with anger,
swaggering about and waving his arms. “This whole
thing is RIDICULOUS!” he sneered loudly.
Some of the dignitaries were now looking round,
irritated by the disturbance.
“They all think you’re a HORSE god!” he shouted.

But you’re
not even
a horse,
you’re a
ZEBRA!

CC V

Julius clamped a hoof over Brutus’s mouth. “Please
be QUIET!” he insisted. “You’ve eaten too many
lobsters and it’s gone to your head!”
Julius became aware that someone was standing
right behind him. He spun round to find the frowning
face of Imhotep the priest.
“Is there a problem?” he hissed menacingly.
Julius let go of Brutus, dropping him to the floor,
then put his arms behind his back, looking the picture
of innocence.

Nope!
Nothing to
see here!
Ha ha ha!

Oi!

“Good,” said Imhotep. “We’ve been looking for
you. Your presence is needed once more.” He gazed
CC V I

for a few seconds at Brutus, who was sitting on the
floor rubbing his head, then eyed Julius suspiciously
before letting out a big “Humph!” He turned on
his sandals and walked briskly away. “Follow me,
‘horse’!”
Julius glared at Brutus angrily. “Now you’ve done
it!” he snapped. “Imhotep probably heard you!”
“Oh, who cares?” huffed Brutus grumpily.
Before he could say any more, Julius was whisked
away out of the tent and back to the great podium
where his coronation had taken place. Imhotep
impatiently waved Julius towards the rear stairs that
led to the summit.

Your people
await!
It is time for
your first
PROCLAMATIONS!

CC V II

As Imhotep shoved him up the steps, Julius began
to panic. “But I’m not ready!” he protested. “I need
my special adviser, Cornelius!”
The priest glared at the whimpering zebra. “Your
friend is not with you this time, horse,” he snarled.
“Besides, you are a god; you do not need the advice
of mere mortals!”

I suppose
not...!

Julius poked his head over the summit. A great
cheer went up as the crowd spotted his crown and
familiar face. With a big gulp, Julius stepped fully
into view on the podium, waving his hooves at his
adoring fans.
CC V III

Julius tried to address the cheering masses, but
he could barely hear himself shout above the roar!
As he waved, he suddenly realized that his fans had
stopped chanting “Heter”. What on earth are they

shouting now? he thought.
He leant towards them and put his hoof to his ear.
“YOU WHAT?!!” he yelled.

MAKE IT
MAK

RA IN!

E IT

RA IN

!

CCI X

Julius realized with horror what they were saying
and held up his hooves. The crowd fell silent.
“I’M AFRAID I CAN’T MAKE IT RAIN TODAY!”
The crowd became restless and started to boo.
Julius panicked. He spotted Imhotep at the foot of the
steps looking up at him, arms folded and foot tapping
impatiently.
“OK, OK!” he said, turning back to the crowd.

I SHALL
MAKE IT
RAIN!

It happened on cue before, he reasoned to himself,
so why shouldn’t it happen again? He raised both his
arms high in the air and closed his eyes.
CCX

There was a long silence as everyone looked to the
heavens, waiting expectantly for any sign of rain.
Nothing.
Julius slowly opened his eyes to see clear blue
skies. If anything, it was sunnier than before he’d
started this charade.
The crowd began chanting again.

A IN!

IT R
MAKE

MAKE IT

RA IN!

MAKE IT RAIN!

Julius held up his hooves apologetically. “I’M
SORRY!” he shouted. “BUT I DON’T THINK IT’S
GOING TO HAPPEN TODAY!”
CCXI

This was NOT what they wanted to hear! The
sound of boos rippled through the crowd again.
Pieces of food were thrown at Julius.

Some god
YOU are!

You’re the worst horse
god I’ve ever seen!

Julius grew frightened as his adoring fans turned
into an angry mob, and he started to edge backwards.
Suddenly he noticed a solitary figure break through
the crowd and climb up one of the steps at the front.
“HE’S NOT A HORSE!” called out the mysterious
figure.
CCXII

Julius leant over to try to get a better glimpse of the
speaker. It looks like a GNU, he thought.
The gnu called up to Julius. “IT IS YOU!” she cried.
“JULIUS ZEBRA!”

COOOEEE!

I’D KNOW
THAT FACE
ANYWHERE!

Julius dived to the floor. It’s that gnu again! What

am I going to do? he thought. I need to get out of
here!
He became aware of a pair of sandalled feet
directly in front of his nose.
CCXIII

“AS I SUSPECTED!”
Julius timidly peeked up to see the twisted, angry
face of Imhotep the priest.

You’re not even
a HORSE, let
alone a GOD.
You’ve made a
MOCKERY out
of me and the
people of EGYPT!

Julius scrambled to his hooves. “Listen, it’s not
what you think!” he pleaded.
“I’m not listening to YOU!” spat the priest. He
beckoned to some nearby guards to grab the zebra.
“You are a CHARLATAN!” He leant in close to Julius
as the guards prepared to drag him away. “And Egypt
does NOT look favourably upon CHARLATANS!”
CCXI V

As Imhotep gestured to the guards to take him
away, a familiar-looking crocodile leapt into their path.
“LUCIA!” cried Julius.

He IS a
horse
and
he can
PROVE
IT!

C H APT ER SEVENT EEN

HORSING AROUND
’ERE! NO ONE SAID I
WAS GOING TO BE
TIED TO THIS IDIOT!

humph!

Lucia skipped over gleefully to the chariot and tugged
at the reins to make sure they were tightly fastened.
“Lucia, this time you’ve gone TOO FAR!” railed
Julius. “You’ve finally gone CRACKERS!”
Lucia patted Julius on the head. “Quiet now,
Julius,” she soothed. “What better way to prove once
CCX V I

and for all that you’re a horse, than by winning a
CHARIOT RACE?”
Julius let out a big huff. “One, don’t pat the Royal
Head, thank you; and two, I’d rather be strapped to
ANYONE other than this stinky imbecile!”
Brutus ignored him and brushed his beloved mop
of seaweed, disturbing a dozen flies as he did so.
Lucia skipped up onto the carriage, where her
charioteer partner, Rufus, waited patiently. “Have
faith in your brother!” she urged with a laugh.

With your zebra
speed and my
superior chariotracing skills, this
race will be a
no-brainer!

CCX V II

Brutus grinned smugly at Julius. “See, bruv? People
think we’re GREAT together!”
The rest of the gang arrived to wish them luck.
Cornelius patted Julius on the head. “Good luck,
chaps; there’s only one winner in this race!”

Will people PLEASE stop
patting me on my HEAD!

Julius now turned his anger on Felix who was
meekly hiding behind Cornelius. “This is all your
fault, Felix!” he fumed. “You’ve put a curse on me
ever since you pinched that stupid stone!”
Felix hid a little bit further behind the warthog.
Also looking on were Milus and Pliny, sitting
disgruntled on a rock.
CCX V III

One could
argue that
since I met
YOU, donkey,
my life has
been cursed!

Pliny jumped up and stood in front of the two
zebras. “Ignore that grump!” he said. “But listen to
Lucia. Old teeth-face is RIGHT!”
The little mouse hopped about as if he were a
horse zipping around a race track. “You zebras have
hooves of FIRE!”
Julius looked at his front left hoof. “We do?”
“YES!” replied Pliny. He pointed to the horses next
to them. “Forget those mollycoddled nags; when’s the
last time they were chased by a hungry lion?”
CCXI X

Julius watched as their rivals were harnessed to
their chariot. Two great muscular horses, they looked
powerful enough to take on the whole Roman army!

Maybe never,
but I still wouldn’t
mess with ’em!

“Have you seen who their charioteer is?” added
Cornelius.

IMHOTEP!!

CCX X

“Word is,” said Cornelius, “that before he became a
priest, he was a champion chariot racer in his youth!”
“Well, that’s THAT then!” sighed Julius
despondently. “We’re DEFINITELY doomed.”
Pliny leapt onto Julius’s head and eyeballed him.
“Now, that ain’t the talk of a ROMAN CHAMPION!”
He backflipped off Julius’s head and deftly landed on
his little feet. He gave Julius’s hoof a big kick. “You
might have feet of fire...”

But you also
need some
FIRE in
your belly!

CCX XI

A big smile spread across Brutus’s face. “That’s
where I come in!” He grinned. “I had some very spicy
food at that party and it’s proper set MY belly on fire!”
Julius creased up his nose. “I don’t want to know!”
Lucia tugged on the reins for a final test of the
buckles. “That’s it!” she announced. “We’re ready to go!”
They trotted over to the starting line as Pliny
and the others scurried to the sidelines and found
themselves a good spot to watch the race from.

NOW GO
KICK SOME
EGYPTIAN
BUTT!

The two chariots stood side by side, ready for the
final signal. Julius looked over at Imhotep, who bared
his teeth and growled.
CCX XII

“We’re all going to die!” whimpered Julius.
“Don’t worry, chaps,” Lucia said confidently. “I’ve
watched hundreds of these races. I know EXACTLY
what I’m doing.”
“I flippin’ hope so!” Julius burbled. “We’re all for
the chop if we lose!”

Don’t worry, bruv, I’m feeling
extra super speedy! We’ll
win this by a country mile!

“Just don’t do anything STUPID!” Julius begged.
But, before Brutus had a chance to reply, the gong
rang out and the chariots were OFF!
CCX XIII

Whee!

Their lives at stake, Julius and Brutus galloped at
top speed. In the chariot, Lucia nimbly held the reins,
carefully steering them around the tight bends.
But Imhotep was fast too! The powerful Egyptian
horses ferociously pounded their hooves into the hot
sand, easily whisking the priest past the two zebras.

QUICK! THEY’RE ZIPPING AHEAD!

Julius and Brutus put their heads down, picked up
the pace and pushed every sinew and muscle to the
limit. Lucia clung on tightly, tugging the reins sharply
as they approached the next turn. They screeched
round in a great cloud of dust and sand, almost
clipping the Great Pyramid itself.
CCX X V I

They had taken the corner too fast! The chariot
careened onto one wheel, nearly tipping Lucia and
Rufus out. But Rufus grabbed hold of the chariot with
one hoof and Lucia with the other, and they managed
to keep Julius and Brutus on track!

Phew!
That was a
close call!

“He’s getting away!” yelled Julius. “Come on,
Brutus. RUN FASTER!”
With an extra burst they caught up with Imhotep.
CCX X V II

The priest didn’t like this one bit; taking out his
spear, he tried to ram it into Lucia’s wheel!

CHARLATANS!

LOOK
OUT!

“YOU DIRTY CHEAT!” roared Rufus, waving his
hoof angrily. “If baldy had stuck his spear into our
spokes, we’d have HAD it!”
Lucia kept her focus on the track ahead. “Get ready
if he comes again!” she ordered. “We NEED to pull
ahead!”
“HOW MANY TIMES DO WE HAVE TO GO
ROUND?” Brutus puffed.
“THREE TIMES!” she replied.
CCX X V III

“AND HOW MANY TIMES HAVE WE BEEN
ROUND ALREADY?” Brutus shouted.
“NEARLY ONCE!” cried Lucia.

NEARLY ONCE?!

YOU’RE
HAVING A
LAUGH!

But Julius was easily keeping up the pace. “Stick
with it, brother!” he gasped. “If being a gladiator has
given me one thing, it’s stamina!”
Thanks to Julius’s pace and Lucia’s steady steering,
they were soon gaining on Imhotep’s chariot once
more.
“NOW LET’S TRY TO GET PAST WITHOUT
GIVING THEM A CHANCE TO TAKE US OUT!”
cried Julius.
CCX XI X

“Don’t worry,” replied Brutus with a cheeky grin.
“I’ve got a better idea!” And with that he PULLED the
chariot right into the path of the Egyptians!

The Egyptian chariot bounced dangerously into the
air as it was shoved off course, but the experienced
Imhotep somehow kept it all in one piece on the track.
CCX X XI

“WOOHOOHOOO!” laughed Brutus. “THAT
SHOWED ’EM!”
“You FLIPPIN’ IDIOT!” screamed Julius. “You
nearly took us ALL out!”
Brutus took no notice of his brother. “Oh, stop
being such a wimp! Chariot racing is SUPPOSED
to be dangerous!”
Julius risked a sideways glance at Brutus. “Well,
more fool you! You’re the one who lost his stupid
wig in the melee!”

“WE HAVE TO GO BACK FOR IT!” howled
Brutus, desperately looking behind.
“We’ll get it on the next circuit!” said Julius.
CCX X XII

“Then we’d better HURRY!” And Brutus burst
forward with renewed energy, pulling the chariot
faster than ever before.
The spectators went wild as Julius’s chariot zipped
past Imhotep and round the next bend.
The chariot hurtled down the next straight and
round the final corner. In the distance Brutus spied his
beloved green locks. “THERE IT IS!” he exclaimed.

Cor! You really love
that wig, don’t you!

But as Brutus twisted the racing chariot towards
the clump of seaweed, he clattered his hooves into
Julius.
“CAREFUL!” yelped Julius, as he felt his legs
crumple underneath him. He tried to steady himself,
but it was too late.
CCX X XIII

LO O

KO

UT!

As the dust settled, Julius wondered if he was still
alive. Then a pungent, fishy stench wafted up his
nostrils. Yes, he was very much alive.

Got it!

Julius was just about to berate his imbecilic brother,
when the rush and thunder of Imhotep’s chariot
speeding on past took his breath away. In the distance
the chariot crossed the finishing line to great cheers
and applause.
“Brilliant,” said Julius, and he flopped back to the
ground, exhausted.

C H APT ER EIG HT EEN

THE GAME’S UP!
Lucia jumped out from the overturned chariot and
rushed over to Julius. “Are you all right?” she cried.
“I ... I think so,” he mumbled, rubbing his elbow.
“Just a couple of grazes.”
Julius’s friends came running over, fearful of their
plight.

What
happened? You
took a turn for
the worse!

CCX X X V II

“It was THIS bonehead!” growled Julius, thumbing
his hoof towards his brother. “He pulled us all over
trying to get his WIG!”

Well, I
got it,
didn’t I?

“I’ll give him more than a wig if someone doesn’t
stop me!” vowed Julius, lunging at his brother.
But before he could make good his threat, a cry
of “ARREST THEM!” rang out across the makeshift
arena.
Flanked by a small group of soldiers, Imhotep
stormed over, tossing his helmet into the sand.
“Uh-oh,” warned Cornelius. “Now we’re for it!”
CCX X X V III

and now
you’re MINE!

You LOST,
“horse”...

Julius gingerly pulled himself up and attempted to
reason with the furious priest. “Look! This proves
nothing!” he argued, waving his hooves wildly. “Let
me race on my own, unhindered by my useless
brother. I’ll PROVE to you that I’m a god!”
But, as Julius waved his arms around, Imhotep let
out a great, theatrical gasp and took a step back.
CCX X XI X

This horse
is no god!

He bleeds
like a
mortal!

GASP!

Julius was confused. “Wait ... what?” He looked
over his body to see where he’d been injured.
Cornelius grabbed him by the arm. “It’s your
elbow. You’ve cut your elbow!”
“Yeah, so?” Julius didn’t understand why it was
such a big problem to have a graze.
“Gods DON’T bleed, Julius,” Cornelius told him.
“It said so in those old scrolls I read. The game is truly
up.”
The restless crowd began to surge towards Julius
and his friends.
“We’ve all had it!” panicked Julius.
“Not necessarily!” cried out Lucia.

Help us lift
this thing up!
It’s still
in one
piece!

They all rushed over to help lift the chariot, which
tipped back onto its wheels with a huge CRASH!
Julius gazed at the unbroken chariot with relief.
“Maybe our luck has changed after all!”

Oh, finally!
My rock is
not to blame
for everything
going wrong!

Milus grabbed the antelope and shoved him on the
chariot. “If you don’t button it, I’ll make you wish
you’d never set eyes on that rotten rock!”

C H APT ER NINET EEN

WHEEL OF FORTUNE
Julius and Brutus quickly grabbed hold of the reins
just as Imhotep and his guards approached.
“STOP THEM!” bellowed the priest as he realized
what they were doing. “THEY’RE GETTING AWAY!”
With everyone on board, the two zebras dashed
off, bashing their way through the crowds.

Sorry!

The chariot quickly zoomed away from the
pyramids and the angry mob, heading off along the
riverbank.

Slow down! It’s
too bumpy!

Lucia quickly steered them onto a smoother road
that led towards a range of hills. “Hold on tight!” she
said. “Once we get past those hills, we’ll be well on
our way out of this place!” She turned to Rufus to
give him a high five, when there was a sudden great
CLUNK underneath the chariot.
CCXLV

LOOK
OUT!

THE WHEEL!!!

The chariot and all its passengers tumbled down
the riverbank in a crunching, screaming cloud of dust.

Did we
make it?

As everybody hauled themselves up and dusted
themselves down, Julius spotted Felix rummaging
CCXLV I

through the wreckage. The antelope pulled out his
prized gem and polished it with his hoof. “Phew!” he
gasped. “I thought I’d lost it!”

THIS IS ALL YOUR
FAULT WITH YOUR
STUPID CURSED
GEM!

Felix tried to grab it back. “IT’S NOT CURSED!”
he wailed. “IT’S NOT MY FAULT YOU’RE STUPID
AND UNLUCKY!”
Milus grabbed the gem out of Julius’s hoof. “The
goat is right, for once,” he growled. “You’ve always
been a clumsy nincompoop, gem or no gem.”

Told ya so!

But Cornelius wasn’t having any of it and snatched
the gem from Milus’s paw.
“No no no NO! You don’t UNDERSTAND!” he
said. “Pharaohs’ curses aren’t just fanciful fairy tales.
THEY’RE REAL!”
“YEAH! EVERYTHING has gone wrong since you
turned up with this jinxed gem!” Julius agreed.

I had the world at
my hooves before
that thing turned up!

“Now, anything that COULD go wrong, DOES go
wrong!” Julius said, sitting down in a huff.
Lucia suddenly leapt to her feet. “Seriously!” she
cried. “That stone IS cursed!” She pointed down the
river, fear in her eyes.
CCXLV III

Wait, are those
ROMAN ships?!

“And if I’m not very much mistaken, that is the
crest of HADRIAN himself!” observed Cornelius in
alarm.
“HADRIAN?!” blurted Pliny. “What’s that loser
doing in EGYPT?”
“WHO CARES!” spluttered Julius.

WE HAVE
TO GET
OUT OF
HERE, AND
FAST!

Abandoning the wreckage of the chariot, the
animals headed towards the hills as fast as their legs
could carry them. As they ran, Julius turned to Felix.
“I don’t care what you say, Felix!” he panted.
“We’re putting that gem back, WHETHER YOU LIKE
IT OR NOT!”

C HAPT ER T WENT Y

I WANT MY MUMMY!
Milus raised his paw. “Could someone please remind
me why we’re dressing up in old bandages?”
Poor Lucia was becoming quite exasperated at
having to explain everything again.

It’s a DISGUISE, MILUS!

CCLI

“Egyptians wrap their dead bodies in bandages so
they’ll be nicely preserved for their journey to the
underworld!”
Felix put up his hoof. “Does that mean we’ll
be going to the underworld, now we’re dressed
as mummies?”

You’ll definitely be going
to the underworld if
you don’t button it!

Gulp!

“But won’t people be freaked out by seeing
mummies wandering around?” asked Julius as he
wrapped the last bit of bandage around his face.
“No, no. Mummies are quite common,” replied
Lucia breezily. “It’s perfectly normal!”
CCLII

Yeah, I’m
not sure
about that...

Shh! It’s the only
plan we’ve got!

Lucia clapped her claws to get everyone’s attention.
“So, do we all understand the plan? We sneak into
Cleopatra’s tomb, return Felix’s cursed stone, then
head back home before anyone notices. Simple!”

Don’t forget, if
anyone sees us,
stick your arms
out in front
and groan like
you’ve risen
from the dead!

CCLIII

I can’t see
where I’m
going!
Look
out!

Oof!

Whose stupid
idea was this?

As they fumbled their way through the rocky
outcrops, Julius grabbed Felix and jostled him to the
front. “You’ll have to show us the way. I’ve only been
there once!”

But all
these
rocks
look
the
same!

Cornelius trotted up to join them. “Wasn’t there a
tiled floor that led to the tomb?”
“Oh, yes!” laughed Felix in relief. “Well
remembered, Cornelius. It was also only a short walk
from the big statue of Heter. So we need to make sure
that’s nearby!”
CCLV I

Julius lifted up the bandage from his face to have a
peek. “We’re not too far away. Look, there’s the
statue!” He pointed to the enormous familiar figure of
Heter ahead.
“Excellent!” said Felix, groping the walls. “Then it
must be right round here somewhere...”
Suddenly, there was a sharp whistle.

Look out,
someone’s
coming!
Act like
mummies!

Everyone immediately stuck their arms out in
front of them and made weird groaning and gurgling
noises.
CCLV II

Kill me
now.

Eurgh...
Ooooh!

Grooo...

Julius peeked out from under his bandage again.
“Did it work? Did we manage to sneak past them?”
Milus yanked his bandage off his face and threw it
on the ground.

MUMMY!

“Well, if you call running away and screaming a
success, then yes, our disguises completely worked.”
CCLV III

Urrrr!

Gragh!
Greurgh!
eep!

“Let’s just hope he doesn’t tell anyone,” worried
Cornelius. “In my opinion, a bunch of idiots running
around dressed as mummies is bound to raise
suspicion.”
As they carried on walking along the rocky valley,
Felix stopped and started tapping his hoof on the
ground. “’Ere, Cornelius, check this out.”

I think we’ve
found our
tiling!

“Good work, Felix!” praised Cornelius. He turned
to the rest of the group. “This is it! Quickly, down
these steps!”

LOOK
OUT!

I ca n
see! ’t

A IE

E!

HELP!

A rr g

h!

CCL X

Everyone tumbled through the heavy doors into
the pitch-black chamber.
“Felix!” shouted Julius. “Turn your lamp on!”
For a few, very long seconds, everyone sat quietly
in the dark. There was a faint scratching noise and the
tiniest of sparks flew into the air then disappeared.
Finally, Felix’s face lit up as the flame from his lamp
burned brightly.

Here we
are...

Uh-oh!

“‘Uh-oh’ what?” asked Julius, concerned.
“Well,” replied Felix, “either someone’s cleaned this
place out and scrubbed all the walls, or we’re in the
wrong tomb.”
“WRONG TOMB?!” gasped Julius.
CCL XI

“You absolute BONEHEAD!” shouted Julius.
Everyone got to their feet and dusted themselves
down.
“Can’t we just leave the stone here?” suggested
Brutus hopefully. “No one’s going to notice, right?”
“No, Brutus!” replied Cornelius. “We need to return
this to its rightful place, or we’ll NEVER break the
curse.”
As they all made their way back to the doorway,
Felix skipped to the front. “I bet it’s just next door!”
he laughed. “We’ll be off home before you know it!”
But as Felix went to squeeze between the stone
doors, he found a mysterious figure blocking his way.

IMHOTEP!

CCL XI V

The irate priest stood motionless in the doorway.
“Yes, it is I!” he declared. “Word reached me of a
group of animals dressed as mummies and I knew it
had to be you.”

Your discarded
bandages led
me directly
to this
tomb.

He tossed them into Julius’s face. “YOU, foul
vermin,” cried Imhotep, pointing at the zebra. “YOU
have defrauded an ENTIRE NATION!”
Brutus pushed himself in front of Julius. “Don’t you