The trick of wazir Budhiman.

When wazir Budhiman went home, he took a sheep in hand, and in its hair he scattered some earth and mustard-seed, and then pour­ed water. He continued (this treat­ment) for several days and nights, till the whole (animal) became green (by the seeds sending off shoots). He then drove it out, and crowds of people, great and low, urban and rural, gazed at it in wonder. This went on for 3 days. Thereafter though the sheep wandered all about the town, no one paid any attention to it, and it was clean forgotten. The wazir (then) said: “O king whatever happens, whether good or evil, the people's tongues wag about it for 3 days only; thereafter no one remembers whether it was good or evil. Anyhow, you ought so to act that you may not be out off from the kingdom —that this matter may be (quietly) settled, and this assembly (of nobles) may not fall off from their allegiance to you.” Dáhar then turned for advice to those 500 men, on whose word he placed full reliance, and in whose valour and courage he always trusted, and who, on their part, used to listen to his commands attentively, and conform to his words and deeds. These men unanimously declared: “We are ready to obey the king's order with all our heart. There is no doubt that kings derive pleasure from a kingdom. If this State is transferred to some other person, whether he be the king's brother or a stranger, the loss to the king will be all the same.” Thus when all of them agreed to the proposal, Dáhar went and put his own scarf on his sister's head, and adorned her with rings and other ornaments (as his bride). He then placed his own sword in her lap, and with that (in lieu of the bridegroom) all the familiar nuptial ceremonies were performed. Then he tied a corner of her scarf to that of his own, and seated her on the throne of the kingdom by his side under the (royal) canopy.*

Dáhar writes a letter to Daharsiah by way of apo­logy.

This event became the talk of high and low, and attained (great) notoriety and pub­licity. Then Dáhar wrote a letter to his brother, couched in gentle words, and in it he referred to the horoscope of Bái, and said: “The astrologers divined, by means of their science, that this princess would be the queen of Alór, and her husband would be the king who was to hold fast all these territories. To remedy and avert this unpleasant consequence, I took it upon myself to commit this shameful breach of royal etiquette and social rules. We now make the apology that what we considered expedient to do was done through necessity, and not of our own free will. Do therefore excuse us.”

When Daharsiah received this letter, he sent a reply in which he said: “What you have done is wicked and infamous. Whether you did it through necessity or of your own free will, you can never be excused, and whether you considered it allowable to do such an illegal and detestable act, in order to secure worldly pomp and power, or took the initial step by reason of the tempta­tion of the devil, what you now ought to do is to turn from your evil ways, to forswear year sin, and to grieve (for your transgression), so that you may not be shut off from (the communion of) our religion, and our alliance with you may not be cancelled. If you fail to turn from this sin, in accordance with our suggestion and advice, you will make yourself deserving of opprobrium and will receive (your) punishment. You would have then to thank yourself for the consequences of these ugly deeds.”

When this letter of Daharsiah came to Dahar, he thought of going to his brother. He consulted the wazir, saying: “Let me go to him at Brahmanábád,” but the wazir said: “What good will that do you?”

Wazir Budhiman dis­suades the king from going to Daharsiah.

The wazir continued: “Long life to the king! You have committed a great mistake in thinking of such an enterprise, (an enterprise) which can by no means secure you your heart's desire, while its dangerous issue can no way be averted, except by the destruction of your life. When you are once in the presence of your brother, you must bid adieu to all hopes of your safety. If you believe that your brother will do you no despite, then you are harbouring what is a great impossibility in your mind. In matters relating to terri­tory, wealth and woman, partnership or negligence is not allowable; for (if allowed) it is sure to end in danger to life. In such matters, even a son does not consider it proper to repose trust in his father, and a father does not consider it proper to repose trust in his son. If, however, you are determined to have your way, you must wash your hands of your life. From no point of view does this step appear to me a right one.”

“Then what is the counsel of perfection for us in this matter?” asked Dáhar. “The counsel of perfection,” replied the wazir, “for you is that you should shun your brother's love and friendship and not be anxious to meet him. Better secure yourself within the walls of the fort, and act according to the words of the astrologers and sooth sayers and follow their advice. No other plan will be of any good to you in this matter.” According to this suggestion, Dáhar made up his mind and took shelter in the fort, and laid up stores of the articles that he consi­dered necessary for the garrison, like grain, grass and firewood. He collected men, arms and appliances of war, and made himself quite ready to repulse the attack of the enemy.

Dáhar sends a letter to Daharsiah.

Dáhar then wrote a letter to Daharsiah, in which he expressed his respect and reverence and submission, (but) as to the affair of Bái he wrote as follows:—

“Though Bái is connected with our father, she was born of a daughter of the Jats who, by their origin, are an adverse and criminal tribe. You will specially find when you come to know their true nature that, they are unworthy of trust and confidence, and are far from being honest and faithful. There is a well-known proverb which says ‘whoever caught hold of a sheep's leg, got milk for himself, and whoever caught the hand of a Jat fell down on his face.’ Thus when she is of foreign extraction, my marriage with her is lawful. Do not, therefore, insist any more upon your view. But if you still have any sus­picion against me, I hereby solemnly promise and swear that, in everything I shall consider you my superior and will hold the fort of Alór as an agent of yours, and will never oppose you or quarrel with you. (Accept) my compliments.”

Daharsiah goes t Alór in order to seize Dáhar.

When Daharsiah received this letter, he understood that Dáhar refused to come, and that he laid flattering unction to his soul and paid no attention to the advice of his brother. He (therefore) ordered preparations to be made for his journey, and the necessary provisions collect­ed, and in an auspicious hour, he started with great expedition. For some days he had to travel through dangerous deserts and valleys interspersed with running streams. (While journeying through deserts) he made tanks and caused leather bags and pitchers of water to be carried, that his men might have a sufficient supply of water and not feel thirsty. In this manner, he travelled for some days and then halted for some days. He acted with much dissimulation, his object being to deceive Dáhar, and, by some contrivance or stratagem, to secure him. He went on sending men to bring news of Dáhar, and moved here and there, on his route, in search of game, so that it might be believed that he was on a hunting excursion, and Dáhar should not avoid him. Dáhar, on the other hand, was spending his whole day in the enjoy­ment of pleasures and kept himself busy that way. (But), from time to time, he sent spies to public roads and hunting places, and was very watchful. He posted faithful warriors fully armed, on every side, and kept trust­worthy men and confidential intelligencers on all the four gates of the castle in order that they might protect the entrance with zeal and concentrated attention and without interruption. Daharsiah thought that Dáhar might have repented of his folly. But, when he came to within 3 days' journey from Alóŕ, his spies came and informed him that Dáhar and his men were busy the whole day with pleasures and amusements, and did not trouble their thoughts about Daharsiah.

Daharsiah tries to seize Dáhar.

Daharsiah entertained hopes that, if Dáhar remained negligent and careless, the fort would fall into his hands. He therefore made efforts in that direction. He rode on very fast, in the fashion of cavaliers giving exer­cise to their horses, and in one day and night he travelled twenty leagues, and early the next morning he arrived at Alór. Dáhar (meanwhile) had made preparations to go on a hunting excursion. Just as his horse was brought to him, however, a horseman suddenly appeared, accompanied by a few other men riding by his side. When he reached the gate of the fort the gate was closed, and armed men appeared over the battlements. Daharsiah stood at the gate, and asked the gate-keeper to open it, and admit him into the fort. But the man in charge of the fort did not open the gate, and stood ready for a fight. Daharsiah (then) sent a man to Dáhar with the following message: “I have not come to fight with you. This fort was the capital city of my father, and from him it has descended to me. You received charge of it from me as my agent and the kingdom is mine. There never have been two crowns in one country. Give up the possession of this territory, and hand over the fort to my trustworthy officer.” Dáhar replied: “Fix your camp outside the fort, and send your confidential nobles to assure me of your good faith. Then I shall come out and surrender the fort to you.” When Daharsiah understood that Dáhar meant to evade his demand, and that his (Dharsiah's) stratagem had failed, he crossed the river Mehrán and encamped (on the other side). He then began to ponder the best method for securing Dáhar. He thought he should, at first, evince friendliness and kindness, and behave gently as a brother and kinsman, so that Dáhar might easily come out of the castle. (With that object) he sent some of his nobles and grandees to him, hoping that he would be gained over by them, but (this plau) also miscarried.