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.