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30                       Ramavijaya.

even kill me one day or other. I have, therefore, made up
my mind to carry off Sita, his wife, to Lanka and kill Ra~
ma and Lakshuman. Please, therefore, be a beautiful
haran* and fr6lic at the paranakutika of Rama ; and
when he comes with his dhanushaban f to kill you, run
to the heart of the forest. Rama will pursue you ; and aa
soon as he is separated from Sita, I shall carry her off to
Lanka." "It is sinful to covet one?s wife," replied Maricha,
"and if you carry her off, you will lose .your life and
everything. I, therefore, advise you to change your mind
and attend to your affairs." At this advice Ravana got
enraged and said, "It is a bad thing to advise me that
way. It is your duty to help me on such occasions. I,
therefore, command you to come with me and do what I tell
you to do.'* Whereupon Maricha accompanied Ravana to
Panchawati with the greatest reluctance. On their arrival
there Ravana stood behind a thicket near the abode of Ra-
ma, and his uncle, forming himself into a stag, played tricks
in front of it. Sita saw the stag and said to Rama,
" Dearest, look at that stag. What a beautiful creature
it is. I wish I would get its skin for my waistcoat.
Please take this dhanushaban and kill it for me, so that
I may have its skin for my waistcoat.'' To comply with
the wishes of his wife Rama took up his dhanushaban and
aimed at the stag. The animal began to run, and Rama
went after it. When he went far off from the paranaku-
tika, Ravana who was standing behind the thicket unobser-
ved, imitated the voice of Rama and cried out with a view
to separate Lakshuman from Sita, "Lakshuman help me>
takshuman help me, I am in distress.'*" Sita heard this
vdice and said to Lakshuman in alarm, " Rama is in dis-
tress. I have just heard him cry out for help." " You
need not be afraid," said Lakshuman. " Hone can hurt
Rama. lam sure some demon has done the mischief
v * A stag, f A bow and an arrow.