Mystery of the Missing Necklace [Chap
1. One Crime Leads to Another]
upon a time, King Brahmadatta was ruling in Benares in northern
India. After completing his education, the Enlightenment Being became
one of his ministers.
day the king went on an outing to his pleasure garden. A big crowd
from the court went with him. They visited many parts of the lovely
park. Near a cool forest they came upon a beautiful clear pond.
The king decided to go for a swim. So he dove into the water. Then
he invited all the ladies of his harem to join him in the refreshing
together, the harem women took off all their ornaments and jewelry
- from their heads, necks, ears, wrists, fingers, waists, ankles
and toes. Along with their outer clothing, they handed all these
over to their servant girls for safekeeping. Then they jumped into
the pond with King Brahmadatta.
king had given one of his favorite queens a very valuable pearl
necklace. She was so fond of it that she called it by a pet name,
just so happened that a curious she-monkey had been watching all
this from a branch of a nearby tree. Peering between the green leaves,
she had paid very close attention. When she had caught sight of
the Most Precious pearl necklace, her eyes had nearly popped out
of her head!
how grand she would look wearing the queen's beautiful necklace,
she patiently watched the servant girl who was guarding it. In the
beginning the girl watched very carefully. But the heat of the day
soon made her drowsy. When the she-monkey saw her start to snooze,
she swung down from the tree as fast as the wind. In a flash she
grabbed the necklace called Most Precious, put it around her neck,
and ran back up the tree.
that the other monkeys would see it, the little thief hid the gleaming
pearl necklace in a hollow of the tree. Then she sat guarding her
loot, remaining silent and pretending to be as innocent as a nun!
a minute or two the servant girl awoke from her accidental nap.
Frightened, she immediately looked over the queen's possessions.
When she saw the necklace was missing she yelled out in terror,
"Help! Help! Some man has taken the queen's pearl necklace,
the one called Most Precious!"
running to her side, security guards went and reported the theft
to the king. He ordered them to stop at nothing, and to catch the
thief immediately. Frightened of the king's wrath, the guards began
dashing madly around the pleasure garden searching for the thief.
that very moment there happened to be a poor man walking just outside
the garden. He was on his way back to his far-off home village after
paying his meager taxes to the royal treasury. The commotion from
inside the park scared him and he started running away.
the security guards saw him running and said to each other, "That
must be the thief!" They rushed through the garden gate and
after a short chase easily captured the innocent man. They began
beating him as they shouted, "You no good thief! Confess that
you robbed the queen's pearl necklace, the one she calls Most Precious."
poor man thought, "If I say I didn't take it, these men will
beat me to death for sure. But if I confess, they will have to take
me to the king." So he said, "Yes, I admit it, I took
the necklace." Hearing this the security guards handcuffed
him and hauled him off to the king.
being told of the man's confession, the king asked him, "Where
is the Most Precious necklace now? What have you done with it?"
a somewhat clever fellow, the prisoner replied, "My lord king,
I am a very poor man indeed. I have never in my life owned anything
at all valuable, not a Most Precious bed or a Most Precious chair
- and certainly not a Most Precious pearl necklace. It was your
majesty's own Chief Financial Adviser who made me steal this Most
Precious. I gave it to him. He alone knows where it is now."
Brahmadatta summoned his Chief Financial Adviser and asked, "Did
you take Most Precious from this man's hands?" "Yes my
lord," said he. "Where is it now?" asked the king.
"I gave it to the Royal Teacher Priest."
Royal Teacher Priest was called for and asked about the stolen necklace.
He claimed, "I gave it to the Official Court Musician."
in turn was summoned and questioned. He answered, "I gave Most
Precious to a high class prostitute."
she was identified and brought to the king, he demanded to know
what she had done with the queen's pearl necklace. But she alone
replied, "Your majesty, I don't know anything about a pearl
the sun began to set, the king said, "Let us continue this
investigation tomorrow." He handed the five suspects over to
his ministers and returned to his palace for the night.