They arrived safely, and made their way to the palace, where they were received, with great rejoicings. None of the wives, said a word of reproach to, the husbands who had deserted them; and as for Putraka, he was so overjoyed at having his father back, that he gave him a beautiful house to live in and a great deal of money. He was very good to his uncles too, and felt that he had now really nothing left to wish for.
9. Do you think Putraka showed strength or weakness of character in the way he received the travellers?
10. How do you think the king ought to have behaved to his father and uncles?
The three wives very soon had good reason to wish their husbands had stayed away. Instead of being grateful for all Putraka’s generosity, they were very unkind and exacting, never pleased with anything; and whatever they had given them, they were always trying to get more. In fact, they were silly as well as wicked; for they did not realize that this was not the way to make the king love them or wish to keep them with him. Presently they became jealous of Putraka, and began to wish to get rid of him. His father hated to feel that his son was king, whilst he was only one of that king’s subjects; and he made up his mind to kill him, hoping that if he could only get rid of him he might rule over the country in his stead. He thought and thought how best to manage this, and did not at first mean to tell his brothers anything about it; but in the end he decided he had better have them on his side. So he invited them to go with him to a secret place to talk the matter over.
11. What qualities did Putraka’s father show in this plot against his son?
12. Was there any other way in which the king’s father could have gained a share in governing the land?
After many meetings the three wicked men decided that they would pay some one to kill the king, first making the murderer they chose swear that he would never tell who had ordered him to do the terrible deed. It was not very difficult to find a man bad enough to take money for such an evil purpose, and the next thing to do was to decide where and when the deed was to be done. Putraka had been very well brought up by his mother, and he often went to a beautiful temple near his palace to pray alone. He would sometimes stop there a long time, winning fresh wisdom and strength to do the work he was trusted with, and praying not only for himself, but for his father, his mother, his aunts and uncles, and for the people he loved so much.