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Bisara Of Puri

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Soine natives say that it came from the ether side of Kulu, where the 11 inch temple sapphire is; others that it was ruade at the devil shrine of AoChung, in Tibet, was stolen by a Kaffir, from him by a Gurkha, from him again by a Lahouli, from him by a khitmatgar, and by this latter sold to au Englishman, so all its virtue was lost, because, to work properly, the Bisara of Puri must be stolen - with bloodshed if possible, but at any rate stolen. These storiesof the coming into India are all false. It was made at Puri ages since - the inanner of its inaking would fill a small book - was stolen by one of the temple dancing girla there for her own purposes, and then passed on from hand to hand, steadily northward, till it reached Hanla, ahvays bearing the same name, the Bisara of Puri. In shape it is a tiny square box of silver, studded outside with eight email balas rubíes. Inside the box, which opens with a spring, is a little eyeless flsh, carved from some sort of dark, shiny nut and wrapped in a shred of faded gold cloth. That is the Bisara of Puri, and it were better for a man to take a kiug cobra in his hand than to touch the Bisara of Puri. All kinds of rnagic are ont of date, and done away with except in India, where nothing changes in spite of the shiny, toy scuni stuff that people cali "civilization. " Any man who knows about the Bisara of Puri will teil yon what its powers are, always supposing that it has been honestly stolen. It is ! the only regularly working, trustworthy love cisarm in the country, with one exception. (The other charru is in the hands of a trooper uf the Nizam's Horse, at a place called Tnprani, due north of Haidarabad. ) This can be depended upon for a fact. Some one else rnay explain it. If the Bisara be uot stolen, but given or bought or found, it turas against its owner in three years, and leads to ruin or death. This is auother fact which you luay explain when you have time. Meanwhile you can laugh at it. At present the Bisara is safe on an ekka pony's neck, inside the blue bead necklace that keeps off the evil eye. If the ekka driver ever finds it and wears it or gives it to his wife, I ana sorry for him. A very dirty hill cooly womau, with goiter, owned it at Theog in 1884. It carne into Simia from the north before Churton's kbitmatgar bought it and sold itfor three times its silver valué to Churton, who collected curiosities. The servant knew no more what he hac bought thau the master, but a inan looking over Churton's collection of curiosities - Churtou was an assistaut commissioner, by the way - saw and held his tongue. He was an Euglishman, but knew how to believe - which shows that he was different from most Englishmen. He knew that it was dangerous to have any share in the littjí box when working or dorinant, for unsought love is a terrible gift. Pack - "Grubby" Pack, as we nseá to cali him - was in every way a nasty little man who must have crawled into the army by rnistake. He was three inches taller than his sword, but uot half so strong. And the sword was a 50 shilling, tailor made one. Nobody liked him, and I suppose it was his wizenedness and worthlessness that made him fall so hopelessly in love with Miss Hollis, who was good and sweet, and five foot seven in her tennis shoes. He was not content with falliug in lovequietly, bnt brought all the strength of his able little nature into the business. If he had not been so objectionable, one mighthave pitied him. He vapored and fretted and i'umed and trotted up and down and tried to ruake himself pleasing in Miss Hollis' big, quiet, gray eyes, and failed. It was one of the cases that you sornetimes meet, even in the country where we marry by code, of a really blind attachraent all on one side, without the faintest possibility of return. Miss Hollis looked on Pack as some sort of vermin running about the road. He had no prospects beyond captain 's pay, and uo wits to help that out by one anna. In u large sized man love like his would have been touchiug. In a good Ban it would have been grand. He being what he was, it was only a nuisance. You will believe this much. What you will not believe is what follows : Churtou, and the man who knew what the Bisara was, were lunching at the Simia club together. Churton was complaining of life in general. His best mare had rolled out of the stable down tbe hill and had broken her back. His decisions were being reversed by the upper courts more than an assistant commissiuner of eight years' standing has a right to expect. He knew liver and fever, and for weeks past had feit out of gorts. Altogether he was disgusted and disheartened. Simia rlub diniug room is built, au all the world knows, in two sections, with a aren arrangement Qii'iding theiu. Come iu, turn te left, take the table Tinder the window and tou uauuot see auy 011e who bas come iu, turued to the right, and taken a table on the right side of the arch. Curiously euough every word that you say can be heard, uot ouly by the other diner, but by the servante beyond the screen through which they bring dinner. This is worth knowiug. Au echoiug room is a trap to be forewarned against. Half in fuu and half hoping to be believed, the mau who knew told Churton the story of the Bisara of Puri at rather greater length than I have told it toyou in this place, winding up with a suggestion that Churton raight as well throw the iittle bos dowu the hill and see whether all bis troubles wonid go with it. In ordinary ears - English ears - the tale was only an interesting bit of folklore. Churton laugbed, said that he feit better for his breakfast, and went out. Pack hadbeeu breakfasting by hirnself to the right of the arch, and had heard everything. He was nearly mad with his absurd infatuation for Miss Hollis, that all Simia had been laughing about. It is a curious thing that when a man hates or loves beyond reasou he is ready to go beyond reasou to gratify his feelings - which he would not do for money or power merely. Depend upou it Solomon would never have built altars to Ashteroth and aü those ladies with queer names if there had uot been trouble of some kind in his zeuaua and nowhere else. But this is beside the story. The facts of the case are these : Pack called on Churtou nest day when Churton was out, left his card and stole the Bisara' of Puri from its place under the clock ou the mantelpiece ! Stole it like the thief he was by nature. Three days later all Simia was electrifled by the news that Miss Hollis had accepted Pack - the shriveled rat, Pack 1 Do you desire olearer evidence than this? The Bisara of Puri had been stolen, and it worked as it had always done wheu won by foul means. There are three or four times in a man 's life when he is justifled in meddling with other people's affairs to play Providence. The man who knew feit that he was justifled, but believing and acting on a belief are quite different things. The insolent satisfactiou of Pack as he ambled by the side of Miss Hollis and Churton 's striking release from liver as soon as the Bisara of Puri bad gone, decided the man. Heexplained toChurton, and Chnrton laugbed, beoause he was uot brought up tü believe that men on the governruent house list steal - at least little things. But the miraculous aoceptanoe by Miss Hollisof that tailor, Pack, decided bina to take steüs on suspicion. He vowed that he oníy wanted to find out where his ruby studded silver box had vanished to. You cannot acuuse a man of the governinent house list of stealing. And if you rifle his room you are a thief yourself. Churtou, prompted by the man who knew, decided on burglary. If he found uothing in Pack's room, but it is not nice to think of what would have happened in that' case. Pack went to a dance at Benrnore - Benmore was Ben more in those days, and not an office - and danced 15 waitzes ont of 2á with Miss Hollis. Churton and the man took all the keys that they could lay hauds on and went to Pack's room in the hotel, certain that his servants would be away. Pack was a cheap soul. He had not purchased a decent cash box to keep his papers in, but one of those native imications that you buy for 10 rupees. It opened to any sort of key, and there at the bottom, nader Pack's insurance policy, lay tin Bisara of Puri ! Churton called Pack ñames, put the Bisara of Puri in his pocket, aud went to the dance with the man - at least he carne in time for supper and saw the beginning of the end in Miss Hollis' eyes. She was hystencal after supper, and was taken away by her mamma. At the dance, with the abominable Bisara in his pocket, Churton twisted his foot on one of the steps leading down to the old rink, and had to be sent home in a rickshaw grumbling. He did not believe in the Bisara of Puri any the more for this oianifestation, but he sought out Pack and called him some ugly names, and "thief" was the mildest of theru. Pack took the names with the nervous sinile of a little man who wants both soul and body to resent an insult, and went his way. There was no public scandal. A week later Pack got his definite dismissal from Miss Hollis. There had been a mistake in the placing of her affections she said. So he went away to Madras, where he can do no great harrn even if he lives to be a colouel. Churton insisted upon the man who knew taking the Bisara of Puri as a gift. The man took it, went down to the oart road at once, found an ekka pony with a blue bead necklace, fastened the Bisara of Puri inside the necklace with a piece of shoestring and thanked heaven that he was rid of a danger. Remember, in case you ever find it, that yon must not destroy the Bisara of Puri. I have not time to explain why .iust now, but the power lies in the little wooden fish. Mister Gubernatis or Max Muller could teil you more aboat it than I. You will say that all this story is made up. Very well. If ever you come across a little silver, ruby stndded box, seven-eighths of an inch long by threequarters wide, with a dark brown wooden fish, wrapped in gold cloth, inside it, keep it. Keep it for three years, and then you will discover for yourself whether my story is true or false. Better still, steal it, as Pack did, and you will be sorry that you had not


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