Monday, January 14, 2008

11. A young warrior fails to carry out orders and is punished

King Rajadhirat erected a stockade at Kyat Le near Dala. From there he mounted the elephant sired by Hsin Ye and escorted by 1,000 troops entered Dala where he was jubilantly received by Prince Binnya Dala, Smim Awananaing and the citizenry of Dala. Rajadhirat showered gifts on them.

Rajadhirat asked Smim Awananaing whether the Burmese prince was given to charging out from his stockaded camp. Awananaing assured the king that Minyekyawswa was like a fighting cock ever eager to launch itself against any rooster it happened to see.

"Then we are certain of getting the Burmese prince," said Rajadhirat.

Turning to Thwe Lagunsan, his personal attendant and bearer of his betel box and water goblet, he issued orders:

"Your elephant is nimble and quick. Go with an escort of 300 warriors to Minyekyawswa's camp and try and draw him out. If he pursues you don't turn and fight but come back with all speed. "

Thwe Lagunsan made the gesture of obeisance and departed on his mission. When they were detected, Minyekyawswa sent the Governor of Kale with 1,000 horsemen after him.

Thwe Lagunsan turned back on seeing the cavalry emerge. The Burmese horsemen pressed on with vigour and started to catch up to them. At this point, Thwe Lagunsan turned and fought back.

Feinting, the elephant turned left and right during the skirmish and suffered around one hundred spear wounds.

When Rajadhirat heard of this, he clapped his hands and slapped his thighs in anger. When Thwe Lagunsan arrived he handed him over to Emuntaya with the orders:

"He has violated my orders. Cut off his arms and legs and throw him away."

Awa-nan-naing protested, "Thwe Lagunsan erred because he is young and not very clever. As a Buddha would, please spare his life." Acceding to this request, Thwe Lagunsan was put in irons instead.

(edited version of U San Lwin's translation, page 144)