Myths and Legends of Ancient Egypt
Page: 105Here the papyrus ends. It is tantalizing not to know how Ounamounou managed to return to Egypt, but we may be sure a person of such infinite resource and determination, not to say doggedness, accomplished all he desired.
The Treasure-chamber of Rhampsinites—Evelyn Paul.
The oldest form of this legend has been handed down to us by Herodotus. It occurs in the ancient folklore of both Eastern and Western peoples and its origin has often been debated. If not really of Egyptian origin, it had certainly become Egyptianized when Herodotus found it. It relates how King Rhampsinites possessed so much treasure that none of his successors ever surpassed or even came near to having a like amount.
To ensure its safety he had a seemingly impregnable stone house built, in which he placed all his great wealth. By a clever trick, however, the architect contrived to provide access to the treasure. He made one of the stones in two parts, so that one part could be removed; but so skilfully were the two parts placed together that they presented a perfectly even surface, as of one single stone. Before he died he acquainted his two sons with the secret of the treasure-house, and after his death they did not delay in putting their knowledge into practice. They went by night, found the stone without any difficulty, withdrew it, stole a large sum of money, and replaced it in position.