Page 1 states that high summer has now engulfed Egypt. This would
suggest that the story is set in July 1938 (high summer in the
northern hemisphere). If this is true, then it would follow that
Alex's birthday is sometime in July because he is already 12 in July
Revenge of the Scorpion King,
we know that
The Mummy Chronicles Book III (Curse
of the Nile) takes place in later 1937 or early 1938,
and he has not yet turned 13 here.
Page 1 mentions the Bedouin caravans of the Sahara. The Bedouin are
an Arab ethnic group, formerly mostly desert nomadic tribes, now
mostly settled. At the time of this story there would still have
been numerous Bedouin tribes roaming the Sahara desert of Egypt.
On page 4, Alex sees that the old woman in the cave has an enormous
bronze bow and he wonders if it might be the bow of Odysseus. This
is a reference to the bow carried by the legendary Greek king and
warrior whose tale is told in Homer's The Odyssey.
Alex also sees on page 4, a gorgeous silver goblet which he imagines
could be the Holy Grail itself. The Holy Grail is the cup used by
Jesus at the Last Supper.
On page 6, Alex reveals that his parents, Rick and Evie, are on a
belated honeymoon for a week. "Belated" doesn't begin to describe it
if they're taking their honeymoon 12+ years later! I guess they
never resumed their original honeymoon when it was interrupted in
"Valley of the Gods".
Or maybe Alex meant to say "second honeymoon".
Also on page 6, the old woman grabs a knot of greasewood from the
fire. As far as I have been able to determine, greasewood, a
deciduous shrub, is known only in western North America, so it seems
unlikely she would be burning it in Egypt.
Alex makes reference to flying serpents met by Moses' people in the
desert on page 10. This is from the Numbers chapter of the Old
Testament, in which Moses' people were said to have been bitten
by flying serpents and Moses healed them in some manner with his
brass rod in the form of a serpent.
On page 10, the old woman makes reference to the flying serpents as
phoenix birds, draktferions, or dragons. Most mythological accounts
of the phoenix do not describe it as a serpent, merely as a type of bird,
who could arise anew from it's own ashes (or that it gave rise to
its offspring in this manner). The phoenix is not normally said to
be able to breathe fire as described by the old woman on page 11.
The old woman describes "draktferions" as the
Greek term for the Phoenix, but I have not been able to confirm such
Alex's musing on page 12 about the amulet of Osiris he once held and
was witness to its powers, is a reference to events in
Curse of the Nile.
On page 16, Rachel tells Alex that her father has gone to the Congo
on business. In the time period of this story, "the Congo" most
likely is a reference to the Belgian Congo (now known as the
Democratic Republic of the Congo), a nation in central Africa.
On page 18, Matt sings a camp song about Twiddly Frog and Twaddly
Duck. I've been unable to uncover any songs with those specific
names, but it may refer to a Boy or Girl Scout campfire song, many
of which mention such animals as frogs and ducks.
On page 20, Baraba makes reference to the sunbird. Sunbirds are a
family of birds (Nectariniidae) found in Africa, Asia, and
On page 22, Matt sings "Buffalo Gals, Won't You Come Out Tonight".
This is a reference to the 1844 song "Buffalo Gals" by John Hodges.
On page 28, Alex recalls his last experience swimming in the Nile
when he was almost eaten by crocodiles. This is another reference to
Curse of the Nile.
Also on page 28, Alex takes sips of water from the Nile to assuage
his thirst as he swims towards the Bedouin camp. I'm not sure how
comfortable I'd be drinking directly from the Nile without treating
it to sterilization first! In
Curse of the Nile,
Alex's parents and the ship's captain were worried about him
catching swamp fever after his dunk in the Nile (possibly
which can be caught from contact with water that has been
contaminated with animal urine).
On page 30, Alex pulls an ancient silver Medjai's dagger given to
him by Ardeth Bay. He received the gift in
Revenge of the Scorpion King.
On page 34, Alex cuts a slit in the floor of the Bedouin tent and
digs the sand below away to make a place for himself to hide in. But
where did he put the sand he dug out of the hole? Wouldn't it be
seen one way or another?
On page 47, Ismael comforts a dying Bedouin with a prayer from the
Koran. The Koran, of course, is the chief holy
book of Islam.
Page 49 reveals that Ismael's father was one of the Medjai who died
fighting the Anubis warriors of the Scorpion King in
The Mummy Returns.
Page 55 makes mention of Rachel's presence during the battle with
the Scorpion King and when Anthony and Cleopatra set sail for
heaven. These are references to the events of
Revenge of the Scorpion King
Heart of the Pharaoh.
On page 57, Ismael tells his friends that they are in the Wadi in
Hajar, the Vale of Stones. "Wadi" is Arabic for "valley". As far as
I can determine, Hajar,
the Vale of Stones is a fictional location in Egypt.
On page 66, Matt makes mention of Ali Baba. This was the protagonist
of the story "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves" from the Arabic story
collection One Thousand and One Nights, believed to have
originated around the 8th Century AD.
On page 69, one of the slaves in the robbers' dungeon refers to Alex
as "Saiyid" as he begs to be freed. "Saiyid" is an Arabic term of
respect, implying a descendancy from Muhammad, the founder of Islam.
What happened to the phoenix who hatched in this story? It flew off
into the desert, seemingly not to be seen again.
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