Read the previous part here…
When it was morning, the bound husband was taken to the king, along with his injured wife. The king, on hearing the story, ordered the husband to be put to death, for grievously injuring his wife and attempting to murder her.
ततो ज्ञत्वैव तच् चौरे तस्मिन्न् अपसृते लघु ।
कोलाहलेन तस्यां च व्यतीतायां क्रमान् निशि ॥ १२,१०.७९ ॥
स निन्ये वणिजा तेन श्वशुरेण वणिक्सुतः ।
राजान्तिकं तया सार्धं भार्यया छिन्ननासया ॥ १२,१०.८० ॥
राजा च कृतविज्ञप्तिः स्वदारद्रोह्य् असाव् इति ।
तस्यादिशद् वणिक्सूनोर् वधं न्यक्कृततद्वचाः ॥ १२,१०.८१ ॥
ततो वध्यभुवं तस्मिन् नीयमाने सडिण्डिमम् ।
उपागम्य स चौरो ऽत्र बभाषे राजपूरुषान् ॥ १२,१०.८२ ॥
निःकारणं न वध्यो ऽयं यथावृत्तं तु वेद्म्य् अहम् ।
मां प्रापयत राजाग्रं यावत् सर्वं वदाम्य् अतः ॥ १२,१०.८३ ॥
इत्य् ऊचिवान् स नीतस् तैर् नृपस्याग्रं वृताभयः ।
आ मूलाद् रात्रिवृत्तान्तं चौरः सर्वं न्यवेदयत् ॥ १२,१०.८४ ॥
अब्रवीच् च न चेद् देव मद्वाचि प्रत्ययस् तव ।
तत् सा नासा मुखे तस्य शवस्याद्यापि वीक्ष्यताम् ॥ १२,१०.८५ ॥
तच् छ्रुत्वा वीक्षितुं भृत्यान् प्रेष्य सत्यम् अवेत्य तत् ।
स राजा तं वणिक्पुत्रं मुक्तवान् वधनिग्रहात् ॥ १२,१०.८६ ॥
तां च कर्णाव् अपि छित्वा दुष्टां देशान् निरस्तवान् ।
तद् भार्यां श्वशुरं चास्य तं सर्वस्वम् अदण्डयत् ॥ १२,१०.८७ ॥
चौरं च तं पुराध्यक्षं तुष्टश् चक्रे स भूपतिः ।
एवं स्त्रियो भवन्तीह निसर्गविषमाः शठाः ॥ १२,१०.८८ ॥
He was then paraded on the street on the way to the place of execution, with royal guards beating drums and announcing the despicable act that he had committed. The thief, who had just woken up, heard the commotion and came outside, only to see the poor husband being led to his death.
“No, this is not right”, he thought to himself, and approached the guards. ” You cannot put this man to death without fully understanding what had happened. I know the whole story. Take me to the king, so that I can narrate it to him”, said the thief.
The guards took him to the king, and the thief repeated what he had said. “But, I will only reveal all, if I receive a promise of pardon”, he said.
The king agreed.
The thief then told him the entire story, from the previous night to the events of the morning.
“And if you don’t believe my words”, he concluded, “ask the guards to check the corpse in the garden, which should still have the dried blood and cartilage of her nose in it’s teeth.”
The king asked his guards to verify the thief’s statement. They returned in a while, and said that it was true – the corpse did have dried blood and cartilage from the nose of the girl. Hearing this, the king freed the husband, and banished the wife from the kingdom, but not before cutting her ears off. He punished her father as well, by seizing all his wealth, and the thief?
Well he was made a judge in the city court!
इत्य् उक्तवान् एव शुको भूत्वा चित्ररथाभिधः ।
क्षीणेन्द्रशापो गन्धर्वो दिव्यरूपो दिवं ययौ ॥ १२,१०.८९ ॥
शारिका सापि तत्कालं भूत्वा स्वःस्त्री तिलोत्तमा ।
तथैव क्षीणतच्छापा जगाम सहसा दिवम् ॥ १२,१०.९० ॥
विवादश् चाप्य् अनिर्णीतः सभायां सो ऽभवत् तयोः ।
इत्य् आख्याय कथां भूयस् तं वेतालो ऽब्रवीन् नृपम् ॥ १२,१०.९१ ॥
तद् भवान् वक्तु किं पापाः पुरुषाः किमुत स्त्रियः ।
अजल्पतो जान तस् ते शिरो यस्यति खण्डशः ॥ १२,१०.९२ ॥
“And this is why”, concluded the parrot, “I say that females are wicked and deceitful by nature!”
As soon as the parrot told this tale, he was freed from his curse and he came into his true form of Gandharva Citraratha, the king of the Gandharvas. The maina also turned into the Apsara Tilottamā, and both flew away to swarga.
And so, their dispute remained unresolved.
The Vetāla finished his story, and then addressed King Vikram and said…
Now I have a question for you. Are men wicked, or women? Who is more wicked and deceitful? Tell me, o wise king. Remember, if you know the answer, and don’t tell me the truth, your head will burst into a hundred pieces!
King Vikram replied…
to be continued…