Chapter 1Ritual: Fear Grows Under the Fur
In March, still the early spring, of 1890, the dockhands at the Liverpool port were, as always, sick of their unloading procedure. The load of that day was "fertilizer" that had come all the way from Alexandria in Egypt. The men could smell the moldy, dusty odor from branded wooden crates.
"Ugh. Smells like the inside of a catacomb," one of them even commented, in a quiet voice. They all wanted to be done with the tedious work so that they could go and swig a half-pint of beer, wet their parched throats. No fertilizer from Egypt could be that good.
The dockhands were right. That day's crates were suspicious, both in terms of their sender and their content. This fertilizer that was bought in mass quantity and sent to the port in England by an Alexandrian speculator actually consisted of the debris of countless cat mummies excavated from Ben Hassan's pyramid. An endless number of cat mummies wrapped in linen had come out of that grave. They had struck a bottomless mine that would provide a stable year's supply of fertilizer. So first, 8000 cat bodies, and then countless others had ended up in the ground of this region.