Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/474

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438 Some Matrimonial Problems of

to settle disputes is the shortest, and after Bahadur's own marriage had been solemnized with Shadi's daughter, (as his second wife, by the bye), Shadi was put out of the way by murder on the eve of his marriage with Sohagan, Both Kabul and Umar were tried by a tribunal applicable to the Border areas before my predecessor. Kabul was acquitted by the council of elders, and Umar, aged sixteen, was sentenced to a long term of transportation. Kabul cele- brated his release by taking Sohagan and eloping with her across the river Indus. He had formally to renounce his alliance with Sahib. [Jews after the time of Jacob, and Muhammedans, alike have the prohibition against marrying a second sister during the lifetime of a first.]

Now you can see that Bahadur made a muddle of his settlement of the question. He has a wife now, and so has Kabul, but one man is dead, and Umar is in jail. Besides, — and here comes the point in accordance with tribal usages, — Shadi is dead, but his family is not. Shadi parted with a young lady of his family, and made her a portion of the family of Bahadur, but no young lady of Bahadur's family has joined that of Shadi. The mere death of Shadi does not abate the claim of his relations. If Shadi himself is dead, he has other relatives to receive a recompense in marriage. Bahadur tried to shift the onus on to Kabul, who had taken Sohagan, but Shadi's family said that was no concern of theirs. It was he who had married their girl, and it was he who must effect the settlement. Bahadur thought the position was very hard on him. He had one wife, and would not have gone to the expense of a second one, had he not got her on a simple exchange. Besides, he might have taken the widow instead of his giving her to his fourth brother, if he had known of this pow-wow. There was all the makings of a fresh set of murders, and so intervention by authority was necessitated. The council of elders convened by me as arbitrators settled matters by arranging the marriage of