Page:Hindu Tales from the Sanskrit.djvu/80

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great a distance. The very day he had meant to visit his ill-treated wife, he missed this arrow from the place in which he kept it concealed. This distressed him very much; and after seeking it in vain, he summoned all those who were employed in the palace to his presence, and asked if any of them knew anything about the arrow. He promised that he would forgive any one who helped him to get it back, even if it were the thief himself; but added that, if it was not found in three days, he would have all the servants beaten until the one who had stolen it confessed.

3. Do you think this was the best way to find out who had taken the arrow?

4. How would you have set about learning the truth if you had been the king?


Now the fact of the matter was that Ayasolekha, who had told the wicked story about Guna-Vara, knew where the king kept the arrow, had taken it to her private rooms, and had sent for her own sons and those of the other wives, all of whom hated Sringa-Bhuia, to tell them of a plot to get their brother into disgrace. "You know," she said to them, "how much better your father loves Sringa-Bhuja than he does any of you; and that, when he dies, he will leave the kingdom and all his money to him. Now I will help you to prevent this by getting rid of Sringa-Bhuja.