VIII.The Painter and the Wood-carver
When the Son of the Chan had, as on all the former occasions, spoken the words of threatening, placed the dead one in the sack, and journeyed forth with him, Ssidi spake this time also as follows:—“The day is long, and the distant journey will tire us: do you relate a tale unto me, or I will relate one unto you.” But the Son of the Chan shook his head without saying a word, and Ssidi began as follows:—
“Many years ago there lived in the land of Gujassmunn a Chan, whose name was Gunisschang. This Chan, however, died, and his son Chamuk Sakiktschi was elected Chan in his place. Now there lived among the people of that country a painter and a wood-carver, who bore similar names, and were evilly disposed towards each other.
“Once upon a time the painter, Gunga, drew nigh unto the Chan, and said unto him, ‘Thy father hath been borne into the kingdom of the Tângâri, and hath said unto me, “Come unto me!” Thither I went, and found thy father in great power and splendour; and I have brought for you this letter from him.’ With these words the painter delivered unto the Chan a forged letter, the contents of which were as follows:—
“‘This letter is addressed to my son Chamuk Sakiktschi.
“‘When I departed this life, I was borne to the kingdom of the Tângâri. An abundance of all things reigns in this land; but since I am desirous of erecting a pagoda, and there are no wood-carvers to be found here, do you despatch unto me Cunga, the wood-carver. The means by which he is to reach this place he may learn from the painter.’
“After he had perused this letter, the Chan of Gujassmunn said, ‘If my father has really been carried into the realms of the Tângâri, that would indeed be a good thing. Call hither the wood-carver.’ The wood-carver was called, and appeared before the Chan, and the Chan said unto him, ‘My father has been carried into the realms of the Tângâri. He is desirous of erecting a pagoda, and because there are no wood-carvers there he is desirous that you should be despatched unto him.