The boys actually love building up the altar for Set, which originally was a bit bare. They bring all sorts of gross, creepy things to decorate the altar.
Um, thanks, guys.
Toby also brings pencils and paper so that they can create hieroglyphics to go along with their game.
He tells them that if they have a hieroglyphic system, they can write each other notes and no one else will be able to understand them. They can communicate about the Egypt Game easily even when they are at school.
They start off by creating hieroglyphics that represent their names, then make a new scroll and add it to their secret records.
The kids spend the next few meetings working on the hieroglyphics.
They decide that they want to add colors to their messages as well, so they go to Schmitt's Variety Store to pick up some new colored pens. Just like the ancient Egyptians. (No, not really.)
It takes them just about forever to buy the pens, because Schmitt takes a long time to serve the kids, and his cousin—the only other person who works there—doesn't work the cashier. Come on, Schmitt.
The pens are totally worth it though, because the kids can communicate in beautiful, rainbow-colored hieroglyphics.
Even when one of their notes gets loose at school, no one can figure it out. Not even the teachers.
The pluses of a secret language keep adding up.
Marshall is only four, so he doesn't do a lot of reading or writing. The hieroglyphics thing is a bit boring to him, and so he spends time watching the window at the Professor's antiques shop. Almost forgot that was lurking in the background, huh?
One day, a cat breaks into the apartment building and kills poor Elizabeth's pet parakeet. This is getting pretty dark for a kid's book.
That's when the kids come up with their next activity: The Ceremony for the Dead.