Study Guide

The Egypt Game Chapter 23

By Zilpha Keatley Snyder

Chapter 23

Christmas Keys

  • On Christmas Eve, Caroline tells April that she's had a phone call from the Professor and that he's coming over, just for a few minutes. Intriguing.
  • He wants to talk to all the members of the Egypt Game—and he won't tell them what this is about beforehand. Double intriguing.
  • April calls all her friends and tells them to come over for all the mystery and excitement.
  • The Professor waits until they're all there, and then starts in on a story about how he fell in love with his wife, Anne, when she enrolled in one of his classes.
  • Side note: that's not allowed in most colleges. But as far as the story's concerned, it's pretty romantic.
  • They traveled together and did research in anthropology. But one day Anne was caught in the middle of a local rebellion and was killed. Makes the whole college rules things seem pretty trivial.
  • After that, the Professor returned and opened the shop. But because of his loss, his heart just wasn't in it, and he didn't really care what happened.
  • At least, until one day, when he looked outside and saw a bunch of kids playing in the yard.
  • He says that he started watching the kids more and more, fascinated by their games and rituals. He was also the one who found Security and responded as the oracle.
  • Guess there were no ghosts after all.
  • The Professor suspected that Marshall saw him watching, but he didn't know for sure until the night that April was attacked—and he saw Marshall staring right at him, as though asking him to help. How could he say no to a stare like that?
  • Then the Professor reaches into his pocket and pulls out a bunch of keys. Each one has a name engraved on it, and he hands them out to their new owners—all the kids.
  • You guessed it: they're keys to Egypt!
  • The kids are super excited. The Professor tells them that he's had a new padlock installed, which means they'll be the only ones with access to the yard. And they can do whatever they want.
  • They all make a date to meet up in Egypt again the day after Christmas, and ask the Professor if he intends to keep watching them. He says that he's too busy for that now, with business taking off and all.
  • Later that afternoon, Melanie and April talk about Egypt, and how they're sad because they feel like it won't be the same after all that's happened.
  • But then April turns to Melanie with a gleam in her eye…and asks her what she knows about gypsies.
  • New game alert! Also, end of the book, with a whole new beginning promised beyond its pages.

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