106 THE THANKSGIVING OF THE WAZIR
very red and angry indeed, and he led the badshah up to where the rajah sat wondering.
' Behold! O rajah,' he said, ' this sacrifice is useless, the tip of his finger is gone ! A sacrifice is no sacrifice unless it is complete.' And he began to weep with rage and mortification.
But instead of wailing likewise, the rajah gave a sigh of relief, and answered: ' Well, that settles the matter. If it had been anyone else I should not have minded; but, somehow—a king and all—well, it doesn't seem quite right to sacrifice a king.' And with that he jumped up and with his jewelled dagger cut the badshah's cords, and marched with him out of the temple back to the palace.
After having bathed and refreshed his guest, the rajah loaded him with gifts, and himself accompanied him with a large escort as far as the frontier between their kingdoms, where, amidst salutes and great rejoicings, they tore up the old agreement and drew up another in which each king promised welcome and safe conduct to any of the other's people, from the least to the greatest, who came over the border on any errand whatever. And so they embraced, and each went his own way.
When the badshah got home that very evening he sent for his imprisoned wazir.
' Well, O wazir ! ' he said, when the old man had been brought before him, ' what think you has been happening to me ? '
' How can a man in prison know what is happening outside it ? ' answered the wazir.
Then the badshah told him all his adventures. And when he had reached the end he added:
' I have made up my mind, as a token of gratitude for my escape, to pardon you freely, if you will tell me why you gave thanks when I cut off the tip of my finger.'
' Sire,' replied the old wazir, ' am I not right in