The Jewelled Arrow
"Before I go," she said, "I will tell you my own password, which will save you from death if you should be discovered. It is LOTUS FLOWER; and everyone to whom you say it, will know that you are under my protection."
When Rupa-Sikha reached the palace she found her father in a very bad humour, because she had not been to ask how the wound in his breast was getting on. She did her best to make up for her neglect; and when she had dressed the wound very carefully, she prepared a dainty meal for her father with her own hands, waiting upon him herself whilst he ate it. All this pleased him, and he was in quite an amiable mood when she said to him:
"Now I must tell you that I too have had an adventure. As I was gathering herbs in the forest, I met a man I had never seen before, a tall handsome young fellow looking like a prince, who told me he was seeking the palace of a great and wonderful magician, of whose marvellous deeds he had heard. Who could that magician have been but you, my father?" She added, "I told him I was your daughter, and he entreated me to ask you to grant him an interview."
Agni-Sikha listened to all this without answering a word. He was pleased at this fresh proof that his fame had spread far and wide; but he guessed at once that Rupa-Sikha had not told him the whole truth. He waited for her to go on, and as she said no more, he suddenly turned angrily upon her and in a loud voice asked her:
"And what did my daughter answer?"
Then Rupa-Sikha knew that her secret had been discovered. And rising to her full height, she answered proudly, "I told him I would seek you and ask you to receive him. And now I will tell you, my father, that I have seen the only man I will ever marry; and if you forbid me to do so, I will take my own life, for I cannot live without him."
"Send for the man immediately," cried the magician, "and you shall hear my answer when he appears before me."
"I cannot send," replied Rupa-Sikha, "for none knows where I have left him; nor will I fetch him till you promise that no evil shall befall him.