KUPTI AND IMANI
ought not to be allowed to live. What is the matter with him ? '
' No man knows,' replied the second monkey, ' but the birds, who see all and carry all messages, say that he is dying of poisoned glass that Kupti the king's daughter spread upon his bed.'
' Ah !' said the first monkey, ' that is sad news ; but if they only knew it, the berries of the very tree we sit in, steeped in hot water, will cure such a disease as that in three days at most.'
' True !' said the other, ' it's a pity that we can't tell some man of a medicine so simple, and so save a good man's life. But men are so silly; they go and shut themselves up in stuffy houses in stuffy cities instead of living in nice airy trees, and so they miss knowing all the best things.'
Now when Imani heard that Subbar Khan was dying she began to weep silently; but as she listened she dried her tears and sat up; and as soon as daylight dawned over the forest she began to gather the berries from the tree until she had filled her cloth with a load of them. Then she walked on as fast as she could, and in two days reached the city of Dur. The first thing she did was to pass through the market crying:
' Medicine for sale ! Are any ill that need my medicine ?' And presently one man said to his neighbour:
' See, there is a young fakir with medicine for sale, perhaps he could do something for the king.'
' Pooh!' replied the other, ' where so many greybeards have failed, how should a lad like that be of any use ?'
' Still,' said the first, 'he might try.' And he went up and spoke to Imani, and together they set out for the palace and announced that another doctor was come to try and cure the king.
After some delay Imani was admitted to the sick room, and, whilst she was so well disguised that the king