VIII.The Painter and the Wood-carver
That thou rulest the kingdom in peace; it is very good. Since thy wood-carver has completed his work, it is needful that he should be rewarded according to his deserts. Since, moreover, for the decoration of the pagoda, many coloured paintings are necessary, send unto me the painter, as thou hast already sent this man.’
“The wood-carver then drew nigh unto the Chan with this letter. ‘What!’ cried the Chan, ‘art thou returned from the kingdom of the Tângâri?’ The wood-carver handed the letter unto him, and said, ‘I have, indeed, been in the kingdom of the Tângâri, and from it I am returned home again.’
“The Chan was greatly rejoiced when he heard this, and rewarded the wood-carver with costly presents. ‘Because the painter is now required,’ said the Chan, ‘for the painting of the pagoda, let him now be called before me.’
“The painter drew nigh accordingly, and when he saw the wood-carver, fair, and in white-shining robes, and decorated with gifts, he said unto himself, ‘Then he is not dead!’ And the Chan handed over to the painter the forged letter, with the seal thereto, and said, ‘Thou must go now.’
“And when the seventh night from that time arrived, the people came forward as before with a contribution of the fat of the Gunsa; and in the midst of the field a pile of fagots was kindled. The painter seated himself in the midst of the fire, with his materials for painting, and a letter and gifts of honour for the Chan Gunisschang, and sang songs of rejoicing; and as the fire kept growing more and more intolerable, he lifted up his voice and uttered piercing cries; but the noise of the instruments overpowered his voice, and at length the fire consumed him.”
“He was properly rewarded!” exclaimed the Son of the Chan.
“Ruler of Destiny, thou hast spoken words! Ssarwala missdood jakzang!” Thus spake Ssidi, and burst from the sack through the air.
Thus Ssidi’s eighth relation treats of the Painter and the Wood-carver.
Next - IX.The Stealing of the Heart