IT WAS LATE MAY, almost June. Howard Carter, now seventeen, strode up the Watteau Walk toward the white columns marking the south entrance of Didlington Hall.
There was a fragrance of fresh grass in the air but a weariness in his step. He had spent the day as he spent most every other day, sketching household pets. It was a living—not a good living, and certainly not an exciting living, but he had no other skills and little formal education. Though he had grown accustomed to being treated as family by the Amhersts, the fact of the matter was that while he could put on airs with the best of the nobility and was always welcome to spend hours in Lord Amherst’s library, he was doomed to a life of very modest income and minimal prestige.
He simply had to accept the fact that he would be a nobody, accomplishing nothing. But it made him grumpy. Very much so.