Outside the sky rained down waves of quivering light from its metallic blue on the tawny desert. Every now and then, on a sudden puff of hot wind from nowhere, the sand danced in little whirls and dust-devils, and shimmered beneath it, and then subsided again into a goblin quiet. Some Arabs stood in a tense silence waiting, with their tools laid beside them—waiting—and for what? The shaft, cutting the sand like a gash, shored up with beams and planks, led down to the mysteries below, and about the opening lay two painted coffin lids, with rings and pottery and many broken fragments, the relics of a dead ancientry. Men, burrowing like moles in the drift of time, had upheaved these things to the light of day and they lay there lamentably, their very use forgotten. There were great heaps of sand and rocks where the work had gone on beneath the crags tumbled from the huge honeycombed cliffs above. It was a rubble of débris with neither end nor beginning, unsightly, repulsive.