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The Corpse Of The Raja's Son






Category: Part I.

Source: Folklore Of The Santal Parganas

There was once a blacksmith named Chitru who had a very pretty
wife; and the woman attracted the attention of the son of the
Raja. Chitru suspected that his wife was unfaithful to him, and one
night he pretended to go away from home, but really he lay in wait
and surprised the prince visiting his wife; then he sprang out upon
him and strangled him.

But when he found himself with the corpse of the prince on his hands,
he began to wonder what he should do to avoid being convicted of the
murder. At last he took up the corpse and carried it to the house
of two dancing girls who lived in the village, and laid it down
inside. Soon after the dancing girls woke up and saw the corpse
lying in their room; they at once aroused their parents, and when
they found that it was the corpse of the Prince, they were filled
with consternation.

Now Chitru had a reputation for cunning, so they decided to send
for him quietly and take his advice. When he came they begged him to
save them; he pretended to be much surprised and puzzled and at last
undertook to get them out of their difficulty, if they paid him one
hundred rupees; they gladly paid him the money, and then he took up
the corpse and carried it off and laid it down on the verandah of the
house of a mahajan who lived near. Soon after some one came out of
the house and found the corpse; at once they were all in consternation
and sent for the clever Chitru to help them out of their difficulty.

Chitru refused to lift a finger unless he were paid two hundred rupees,
and when he had got the money he took up the corpse and put it in a
sitting position in a little patch of brinjals which a Koeri had
planted by his front door. At dawn the Koeri came out and saw what
he thought was a thief stealing his brinjals, and promptly threw
a stone at the man. The corpse fell over, and when the Koeri went
to see who it was he found the dead body of the Raja's son. As it
was daylight, he had no opportunity of making away with the body,
so he was arrested and sent for trial. He was acquitted, because he
had acted unwittingly, but he was too frightened of the Raja to stay
any longer in the village and absconded as soon as he could.

Chitru, who was the real murderer, made his wife promise to keep
silence by threats and was three hundred rupees the better for the
business.





Next: The Sham Child

Previous: Fuljhari Raja



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