A seductive dancer is invited by the forces of law and order to disturb a district's too-perfect peace at the dawn of Egyptian civilization. A wise and popular pharaoh is betrayed by his own son, and by his dearest friends - then makes a most peculiar decision. A mummy returns to life after 3000 years, to confront the arrogant new race that now rules the land. A favoured prince flees to a faraway country when the king dies suddenly, leaving his true love behind - only to come back to question her about their lost 40 years. A famous young writer, composer of a legendary epic of Pharaoh's greatest battle with the Hittites, is carried off without warning by a mysterious disease - then speaks to us in this life from beyond the veil of death. These are the tales that make up this volume of five stories by the young Naguib Mahfouz, winner of the Nobel Prize for literature. All the stories are inspired by the Egypt of the pharaohs. Like three novels set in ancient times that he also published early in his career, these stories reveal his wide reading of Egypt's (and the world's) oldest history and literature.