THE JEWELLED ARROW.
In the city of Vardhamana in India there lived a powerful king named Vira-Bhuja, who, as was the custom in his native land, had many wives, each of whom had several sons. Of all his wives this king loved best the one named Guna-Vara, and of all his sons her youngest-born, called Sringa-Bhuja, was his favourite. Guna-Vara was not only very beautiful but very good. She was so patient that nothing could make her angry, so unselfish that she always thought of others before herself, and so wise that she was able to understand how others were feeling, however different their natures were from her own.
Sringa-Bhuja, the son of Guna-Vara, resembled his mother in her beauty and her unselfishness; he was also very strong and very clever, whilst his brothers were quite unlike him. They wanted to have everything their own way, and they were very jealous indeed of their father's love for him. They were always trying to do him harm, and though they often quarrelled amongst themselves, they would band together to try and hurt him.