The Corpse Of The Raja's Son





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.





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