THE JOGI'S PUNISHMENT 35
the more the king pressed him the more silent and mysterious he became. At last, after much persuasion, he said :
' Let me tell you, then, that there is in this city a creature which, if you do not put an end to it, will kill every single person in the place.'
The king, who was easily frightened, grew pale.
' What ? ' he gaspedó' what is this dreadful thing ? How am I to know it and to catch it ? Only counsel me and help me, and I will do all that you advise.'
' Ah ! ' replied the jogi, ' it is indeed dreadful. It is in the shape of a beautiful girl, but it is really an evil spirit. Last evening it came to visit me, and when I looked upon it its beauty faded into hideousness, its teeth became horrible fangs, its eyes glared like coals of fire, great claws sprang from its slender fingers, and were I not what I am it might have consumed me.'
The king could hardly speak from alarm, but at last he said :
' How am I to distinguish this awful thing when I see it ? '
' Search,' said the jogi, ' for a lovely girl with a lance wound in her leg, and when she is found secure her safely and come and tell me, and I will advise you what to do next.'
Away hurried the king, and soon set all his soldiers scouring the country for a girl with a lance wound in her leg. For two days the search went on, and then it was somehow discovered that the only person with a lance wound in the leg was the princess herself. The king, greatly agitated, went off to tell the jogi, and to assure him that there must be some mistake. But of course the jogi was prepared for this, and had his answer ready.
' She is not really your daughter, who was stolen
away at her birth, but an evil spirit that has taken her
form,' said he solemnly. ' You can do what you like,