The fort was made over to the Rana, but he did not long retain it, Sindhia having recaptured it. He soon afterwards took Gohad also , and the descendants of the Jat chief are now known as Ranas of Dholpur.
The man whom the slave ushered in a few minutes later was old, spare and bent, but he was alert and restless. His eyes were brilliant and over them arched eyebrows that were almost white. He made a jerky obeisance. "Greeting, son of Mentu. Dost thou remember me?" The young man looked at his visitor for a moment. "I remember," he said at last. "Thou art Ranas, courier to Snofru, priest of On.
The great artist had prepared to be absent a month, and had left no work for his son to do. But the coming of Ranas with the news of his mission's failure had filled Kenkenes with angry discomfiture. He dismissed his slave and rowed down-stream toward Masaarah. As he approached the abandoned wharf, a glance showed him that some effort toward restoring it had been made.
"They are scarce three hours old. Who reached thee with them before me?" Atsu interposed and explained the interchange of letters. "Oh," said Horemheb. "So the correct message came to thee, nevertheless, good Atsu. But I can not tell thee aught of the other. It is lost." "Lost!" Ranas shrieked. "Gods! old man. It was only pigment and papyrus, not gold or jewels.
A bent and withered servitor was standing in the bow of the boat, wildly gesticulating, as if he feared Kenkenes would insist on pulling away despite his efforts. The young man recognized the servant of Snofru, old Ranas. The large bari was beached and the servitor alighted with agility and, beckoning to Kenkenes, took him aside.
Within the house of Atsu, Ranas delivered into the hands of the soldier the message that Kenkenes had brought to Snofru. While Atsu undid the roll the old servant made voluble apologies for the broken seal. The commander stepped to the doorway for better light and read the writing.
Ranas, indifferently clad in a hastily donned kamis, at this moment parted the curtains of his retreat and came forth with an apologetic courtesy. "And thy messenger, sir? What of him?" he asked eagerly. "Dead, and left at a wayside house." "And the message?" the old man persisted. Horemheb surveyed him with increasing astonishment. "Where hast thou these tidings?" he demanded.
What was he like? Where does he dwell?" "A murrain on the maniac!" Horemheb exploded. "He called himself Aaron!" Ranas staggered against the wall for support and beat the air with his arms. "Aaron, the brother of Mesu! O ye inscrutable Hathors!" he babbled. "A Bedouin made off with it! Oh! Oh! What idiocy!"
The Ranas and the Mewar nobility were depicted hunting in the local landscape, watching elephant fights or moving in procession. Similar fashions prevailed in Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Bundi and Kotah. Only, in fact, in two Rajasthan States and then for only brief periods was there any major celebration of the Krishna theme.
Then Ranas shifted his position so that he might watch his host's face most intelligently, and turned to the real purpose of his visit. "Thou canst see, my master, that if thy message bore the wrapping for the epistle to Snofru, the message to the holy father must have borne thy name. Thou hast received no letter as yet which was not intended for thee?"