Tales of Bengal eBook

Surendranath Banerjea
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 145 pages of information about Tales of Bengal.

At seven o’clock Amarendra Babu, with his son and an uncle named Rashbehari, arrived at Jogesh’s house in a second-class cab.  No procession attended them, partly because the last had cost so much money, partly owing to the fear that another hitch might cover them with ridicule.  After exchanging hearty salutations with Jogesh, they asked him to exhibit the ornaments prepared for the bride-elect.  He took them to a side room and left them there a while, presently introducing a well-dressed man as his family goldsmith.  The latter unlocked a tin box which he was carrying and took out a number of glittering gold trinkets, one by one.  After examining them carefully, Amarendra Babu asked him to weigh them, which he did, proving that their weight exceeded 120 bharis (forty-eight ounces), and their total value, at Rs. 20 per bhari, no less than Rs. 2,400.  This was far more than he had bargained for, and Amarendra Babu was highly delighted; but his uncle insisted on sending for his own goldsmith to weigh the ornaments.  Jogesh at once fell in with the suggestion, and this tradesman, on arrival, valued them at Rs. 2,700.

Rashbehari Babu’s scepticism vanished, and he assented to his nephew’s whispered hint that they need not ask Jogesh to produce the barabharan.  He, however, insisted on satisfying them as to its worth and placed in their hands a heavy gold watch by McCabe, with an albert chain, equally ponderous; and assured them that he had paid Rs. 800 for the two.  Amarendra’s joy was perhaps excessive, and when the lagna (auspicious time) came round, he permitted the marriage to be celebrated.  Every ceremony went off without a hitch, and the evening closed in feasting and mirth.

On the following afternoon Amarendra Babu took the bridegroom and bride with the box of ornaments to his own home, while Rashbehari Babu remained behind at Jogesh’s to receive the cash.  On mentioning this little formality he was assured that the sum of Rs. 1,001 had been duly counted out to his nephew; so he took his leave.  When he reached home, he discovered the dirty trick that had been played by Jogesh.  Amarendra stoutly denied having received any cash; and the tin box was proved to contain only fragments of brick neatly wrapped in paper, and covered with pink cotton wool.

The pair of dupes hurried to Jogesh’s house for an explanation.  He sat in the parlour, in evident expectation of their arrival, and asked with an air of unconcern what was the matter.

“You son of a pig!” roared Amarendra Babu, shaking his clenched fist close to Jogesh’s nose.  “Tell me where are the ornaments—­where is the cash?”

“Why, did you not take away a box full of trinkets? and you must admit that the Rs. 1,001 were handed you in a cotton bag,”

Project Gutenberg
Tales of Bengal from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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