Chapter 4 : The Gift of Tha’Jun
“The king of Tha’Jun has sent you a gift,” said the First Minister, stopping the king in the middle of a daydream.
“A gift? To what end?” the king asked.
“For peace and prosperity,” the First Minister replied.
“It is surely an assassin,” said the Second Minister.
“Then a beautiful assassin she is,” said the First.
The king’s eyes alighted, and he ordered for the gift to be brought. The double doors were opened, and in wheeled a box, much like the gift from Jarma, only covered instead with a white sheet. Through this sheet already the king could see three shapes and this excited him very much. He knew the Tha’Jun king also had a lovely daughter, so he called, “Come out! Come out, princess, and show me my gift!”
For it was apparent to all he was after the cat and cared little for the girl. But out she came, and she was small, tiny even, with large eyes, thick hair, and a round face that bespoke charm and mystery. With only a nod to the king, she grasped the edge of the white silk, and wrapped it around itself in her hands until she held a great white ball — but who cared? for in the cage was a mother snow leopard and her little cub.
The princess held the silk ball in front of her, so that when the king finally finished admiring the cats, he took it from her, and at her motion cast it inside the cage. The cub ran after it and batted it with his huge paws, and the king laughed. The princess reached in the cage and touched the ear of the cub; he nosed her away but did not object to her presence, and the king was delighted. Side by side with the Tha’Jun princess, he stroked the snow leopard’s beautiful fur.
The Tha’Jun princess came to be the second wife of Buthraman Satti.