“The wife accordingly wrote a letter, and in the letter were the following words:—‘Because it was known unto me that the lost wondrous stone retained some evil influence over the Chan, I have, for the obviating of that influence, desired of him the dog and the fox. What I may receive for my reward depends upon the pleasure of the Chan.’


“The Chan read the letter through, and sent costly presents to the magician. And the magician lived pleasantly and happily.

“Now in a neighbouring country there dwelt seven Chans, brethren. Once upon a time they betook themselves, for pastime, to an extensive forest, and there they discovered a beauteous maiden with a buffalo, and they asked, ‘What are you two doing here? Whence come you?’ The maiden answered, ‘I come from an eastern country, and am the daughter of a Chan. This buffalo accompanies me.’ At these words these others replied, ‘We are the seven brethren of a Chan, and have no wife. Wilt thou be our wife?’[1] The maiden answered, ‘So be it.’ But the maiden and the buffalo were two Mangusch (a species of evil spirit like the Schumnu), and were seeking out men whom they might devour. The male Mangusch was a buffalo, and the female, she who became wife to the brethren.

[1] It is in accordance with the customs of Thibet for a woman of that country to have several husbands.


“After the Mangusch had slain, yearly, one of the brethren of the Chan, there was only one remaining. And because he was suffering from a grievous sickness, the ministers consulted together and said, ‘For the sickness of the other Chans we have tried all means of cure, and yet have found no help, neither do we in this case know what to advise. But the magician with the swine’s head dwells only two mountains off from us, and he is held in great estimation; let us, without further delay, send for him to our assistance.’

“Upon this four mounted messengers were despatched for the magician, and when they arrived at his dwelling, they made known to him the object of their mission. ‘I will,’ said the magician, ‘consider of this matter in the course of the night, and will tell you in the morning what is to be done.’

“During the night he related to his wife what was required of him, and his wife said, ‘You are looked upon, up to this time, as a magician of extraordinary skill; but from this time there is an end to your reputation. However, it cannot be helped, so go you must.’

“On the following morning the magician said to the messengers, ‘During the night-time I have pondered upon this matter, and a good omen has presented itself to me in a dream. Let me not tarry any longer but ride forth to-day.’ The magician, thereupon, equipped himself in a large cloak, bound his hair together on the crown of his head, carried in his left hand the rosary, and in his right the swine’s head, enveloped in the cloths of five colours.


“When in this guise he presented himself before the dwelling-place of the Chan, the two Mangusch were sorely frightened, and thought to themselves, ‘This man has quite the appearance, quite the countenance, of a man of learning.’ Then the magician, first placing a baling on the pillow of the bed, lifted up the swine’s head, and muttered certain magic words.

“The wife of the Chan seeing this discontinued tormenting the soul of the Chan, and fled in all haste out of the room. The Chan, by this conduct being freed from the pains of sickness, sank into a sound sleep. ‘What is this?’ exclaimed the magician, filled with affright. ‘The disease has grown worse, the sick man uttereth not a sound; the sick man hath departed.’ Thus thinking, he cried, ‘Chan, Chan!’ But because the Chan uttered no sound, the magician seized the swine’s head, vanished through the door, and entered the treasure-chamber. No sooner had he done so, than ‘Thief, thief!’ sounded in his ears, and the magician fled into the kitchen; but the cry of ‘Stop that thief! stop that thief!’ still followed him. Thus pursued the magician thought to himself, ‘This night it is of no use to think of getting away, so I will, therefore, conceal myself in a corner of the stable.’ Thus thinking, he opened the door, and there found a buffalo, that lay there as if wearied with a long journey. The magician took the swine’s head, and struck the buffalo three times between the horns, whereupon the buffalo sprang up and fled like the wind.


“But the magician followed after the buffalo, and when he approached the spot where he was, he heard the male Mangusch say to his female companion, ‘Yonder magician knew that I was in the stable; with his frightful swine’s head he struck me three blows—so that it was time for me to escape from him.’ And the Chan’s wife replied, ‘I too am so afraid, because of his great knowledge, that I would not willingly return; for, of a certainty, things will go badly with us. To-morrow he will gather together the men with weapons and arms, and will say unto the women, “Bring hither firing;” when this is done he will say, “Lead the buffalo hither.” And when thou appearest, he will say unto thee, “Put off the form thou hast assumed.” And because all resistance would be useless, the people perceiving thy true shape will fall upon thee with swords, and spears, and stones; and when they have put thee to death, they will consume thee with fire. At last the magician will cause me to be dragged forth and consumed with fire. Oh, but I am sore afraid!’

“When the magician heard these words, he said to himself, ‘After this fashion may the thing be easily accomplished.’ Upon this he betook himself, with the swine’s head to the Chan, lifted up the baling, murmured his words of magic, and asked, ‘How is it now with the sickness of the Chan?’ And the Chan replied, ‘Upon the arrival of the master of magic the sickness passed away, and I have slept soundly.’ Then the magician spake as follows: ‘To-morrow, then, give this command to thy ministers, that they collect the whole of the people together, and that the women be desired to bring firing with them.’

“When, in obedience to these directions, there were two lofty piles of fagots gathered together, the magician said, ‘Place my saddle upon the buffalo.’ Then the magician rode upon the saddled buffalo three times around the assembled people, then removed the saddle from the buffalo, smote it three times with the swine’s head, and said, ‘Put off the form thou hast assumed.’


“At these words the buffalo was transformed into a fearful ugly Mangusch. His eyes were bloodshot, his upper tusks descended to his breast, his bottom tusks reached up to his eyelashes, so that he was fearful to behold. When the people had hewed this Mangusch to pieces with sword and with arrow, with spear and with stone, and his body was consumed upon one of the piles of fagots, then said the magician, ‘Bring forth the wife of the Chan.’ And with loud cries did the wife of the Chan come forth, and the magician smote her with the swine’s head, and said, ‘Appear in thine own form!’ Immediately her long tusks and bloodshot eyes exhibited the terrific figure of a female Mangusch.

“After the wife of the Chan had been cut in pieces, and consumed by fire, the magician mounted his horse; but the people bowed themselves before him, and strewed grain over him, presented him with gifts, and regaled him so on every side, that he was only enabled to reach the palace of the Chan on the following morning. Then spake the Chan, full of joy, to the magician, ‘How can I reward you for the great deed that thou hast done?’ And the magician answered, ‘In our country there are but few nose-sticks for oxen to be found. Give me, I pray you, some of these nose-sticks.’ Thus spake he, and the Chan had him conducted home with three sacks of nose-sticks, and seven elephants bearing meat and butter.

“Near unto his dwelling his wife came with brandy to meet him; and when she beheld the elephants, she exclaimed, ‘Now, indeed, thou art become a mighty man.’ Then they betook themselves to their house, and at night-time the wife of the magician asked him, ‘How camest thou to be presented with such gifts?’ The magician replied, ‘I have cured the sickness of the Chan, and consumed with fire two Mangusch.’ At these words she replied, ‘Verily, thou hast behaved very foolishly. After such a beneficial act, to desire nothing but nose-sticks for cattle! To-morrow I myself will go to the Chan.’

dwelt seven Chans

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