The Rayar’s Sincerity Tested
Tennalirama appeared to be very sorry one day, and the Rayar on seeing him said: “Why are you sorry? what do you want?” Tennalirama replied “Alas! The astrologers have said that I shall die in the course of a month or two. But I am not at all thinking of my life now. I am only grieving that after I am gone there will be none to protect my family as I have been protecting it.” The Rayar spoke, “Do not at all be anxious about it. I shall protect your family ten times more carefully than you have been doing. This is not at all a great affair. Thus the Rayar consoled him. Then Tennalirama pretended to get worse daily and at last contrived to spread a rumour that he was no more. He had already secured in a safe place all the money, jewels and vessels that were in his box, and put himself into that big box. As soon as the Rayar heard that Tennalirama was dead, he sent some soldiers and ordered them to bring away at once the jester’s money box, expecting to find in it a large fortune. And they accordingly brought it to the place. The moment it came, the Rayar with great avarice opened the box and looked in. On seeing Tennalirama there, he exclaimed, “What! they all said that you were dead.” Tennalirama said:- “How can I die confiding in you? are you the person who will protect my family?” The Rayar was ashamed and remained silent.