“Saying ‘So be it,’ they then all went away to their respective quarters. And as soon as the night had passed away, Karna came to the king. And coming to him, Karna smilingly spoke unto Duryodhana, saying, ’A plan hath been contrived by me. Listen to it, O lord of men! Our herds are now waiting in the woods of Dwaitavana in expectation of thee! Without doubt, we may all go there under the pretext of supervising our cattle stations, for, O monarch, it is proper that kings should frequently repair to their cattle stations. If this be the motive put forth, thy father, O prince, will certainly grant thee permission!’ And while Duryodhana and Karna were thus conversing laughingly, Sakuni addressed them and said, ’This plan, free from difficulties, was what I also saw for going thither! The king will certainly grant us permission, or even send us thither of his own accord. Our herds are now all waiting in the woods of Dwaitavana expecting thee. Without doubt, we may all go there under the pretext of supervising our cattle stations!’
“They then all three laughed together, and gave their hands unto one another. And having arrived at that conclusion, they went to see the chief of Kurus.”
Vaisampayana said, “They then all saw king Dhritarashtra, O Janamejaya, and having seen him, enquired after his welfare, and were, in return, asked about their welfare. Then a cow-herd named Samanga, who had been instructed beforehand by them, approaching the king, spoke unto him of the cattle. Then the son of Radha and Sakuni, O king, addressing Dhritarashtra, that foremost of monarchs, said, ’O Kaurava, our cattle-stations are now in a delightful place. The time for their tale as also for marking the calves hath come. And, O monarch, this also is an excellent season for thy son to go ahunting! It behoveth thee, therefore, to grant permission to Duryodhana to go thither.’
“Dhritarashtra replied, ’The chase of the deer, as also the examination of cattle is very proper, O child! I think, indeed, that the herdsmen are not to be trusted. But we have heard that those tigers among men, the Pandavas, are now staying in the vicinity of those cattle stations. I think, therefore, ye should not go thither yourselves! Defeated by deceitful means they are now living in the deep forest in great suffering. O Radheya, they are mighty warriors and naturally able, they are now devoted to ascetic austerities. King Yudhishthira will not suffer his wrath to be awakened, but Bhimasena is naturally passionate. The daughter of Yajnasena is energy’s self. Full of pride and folly, ye are certain to give offence. Endued with ascetic merit she will certainly consume you, or perhaps, those heroes, armed with swords and weapons! Nor, if from force of numbers, ye seek to injure them in any respect, that will be a highly improper act, although, as I think, ye will never be able to succeed.