24.HOW RAJA RASALU JOURNEYED TO THE CITY OF KING SARKAP

Now, after he had reigned a while in Hodinagari, Rasalu gave up his kingdom, and started off to play pachisi with King Sarkap. As he journeyed there came a fierce storm of thunder and lightning, so he looked for shelter, and found an old graveyard, where a headless corpse lay upon the ground. So Rasalu, sitting down beside it, said,”There is no one here except this breathless corpse so cold and grim.  If he came to life again, it would be less lonely to talk to him.’

Immediately the headless corpse arose and sat beside Raja Rasalu.
Raja Rasalu said to it, “Oh corpse why can’t you find rest.

Then the headless corpse replied­,”When I lived I was like you; a prince who had fun and adventures, bravely fighting my enemies and living my life to the full. Now I am dead and my sins will give me no rest in my grave.”

So the night passed on, dark and dreary, while Rasalu sat in the graveyard and talked to the headless corpse. Now when morning broke and Rasalu said he must continue his journey, the headless corpse asked him where he was going; and when he said. ‘To play pachisi with King Sarkap,’ the corpse begged him to give up the idea, saying, ‘I am King Sarkap’s brother, and I know his ways. Every day, before breakfast, he cuts off the heads of two or three men, just to amuse himself. One day no one else was at hand, so he cut off mine, and he will surely cut off yours for some reason or another. However, if you are determined to go and play pachisi with him, take some of the bones from this graveyard, and make your dice out of them, and then the enchanted dice with which my brother plays will lose their power. Otherwise he will always win.’

So Rasalu took some of the bones lying about, and made them into dice, and these he put into his pocket. Then, saying farewell to the headless corpse, he went on his way to play pachisi with the King.