The Adventures of the Champion Badang.
THERE was a man at Salwang who cultivated the ground, and who had a slave named Badang. He was a native of the country of Sayang, and his master was in the constant habit of sending him to clear the jungle. It happened on a time, that Badang had set in the river a snare for fish; and on his going next morning to examine it, he found no fish; but he found the scales and bones of them. These he cleared out into the river, and again prepared the snare; and from the scales which were thrown into the river on this occasion, it has acquired the name of the scaly river, or Sungey basisi. The same circumstance occurred for several days successively, when the curiosity of Badang was excited ; " And come," says he, " let us try to see what it is that constantly eats our fish." Badang accordingly concealed himself one night among the reeds to watch the snare, when he saw a hantu, or spectre, who came to eat the fish that were caught. His eyes were red as fire, his hair coarse and matted as a basket, his beard hanging down to his navel, and in his hand was a whittle knife without the haft. On seeing this he made his heart strong, and fortified his courage, and rushed to seize the spectre. Having secured it, he said, " You are constantly coming and eating my fish, but now you perish by me."
The spectre was greatly frightened at Badang's oration, and wished to make his escape, but was unable to effect it. Then said the spectre: " Pray don't kill me, and I will give you any gift you please." Badang listened to this proposal: " And if I should desire riches," thought he, " they would all belong to my master; or if I should ask the gift of invisibility, I might nevertheless die; but if, in like manner, I were to ask for strength to perform my master's business, —yes, truly, that would be of some advantage to me. Give me strength then," said he, " so that I may be able to rend up with one hand by the roots, trees of one or two fathoms girt." " Very well," said the hantu, " if you wish for strength, I will give it to you, provided you can agree to lick up my vomit." " Very well," said Badang to the hantu, " Vomit, and I will eat it up." Then the spectre vomited an immense vomit, and Badang swallowed it up, holding, however, the spectre by the beard.
When he had eat it up, he then tried his hand on the largest trees, and shivered them to pieces with the greatest facility. On this he released the spectre's beard, and returned to his master's dwelling, shivering all the trees before him, and clearing away the brushwood with the waving of his hand, till he had cleared away the deep forest almost like a plain. When his master saw this scene, he inquired who had cleared the forest; Badang replied, "I have done it." " How could such a person as you do it," said his master; " and what faculty have you for the purpose?" Then Badang related the whole affair to his master, who thereupon gave him his freedom.
Immediately the news reached Singhapura, and Sri Rama Vicrama sent to invite Badang, to appoint him a Raden. One day the raja of Singhapura wished to eat of the kuras leaf, which grows at Cowala Sayang, and Badang departed alone in a prow eight fathoms in length, with a trunk of the campas tree for an oar, which was a fathom in girt. When he reached Cowala Sayang, he ascended the kuras tree; but the branch of the kuras tree broke with him, and he fell down with his head on a huge stone, which stone was split in two; but not his skull. This stone is still to be seen at Cowala Sayang, and is named Batu Blah, or the split stone; and that said prow, with the trunk of the tree which he used for an oar, are still to be seen at Cowala Sayang. However, Badang returned to Singhapura the next day after he set out, bringing with him a cargo of plantains, and sugar-canes, for his food. After his meal he again set out for Johor-lama.
On a certain occasion, the raja of Singhapura constructed a prow, of the kind named Pilang, fifteen fathoms in length, at the rajah's residence. When it was finished, he ordered fifty men to launch it, but they were unable. It was then essayed by two or three hundred, and afterwards by two or three thousand, all of whom were unable to succeed. Then the raja ordered Badang to attempt it alone, and he launched it with such force that it flew directly to the opposite shore. After this exploit, the king appointed him a champion, or hulubalang, and his fame extended even to the land of Kling.
There was in the land of Kling at this time a champion of such amazing force that nobody could venture to contend with him, who was named Nadi Vijaya Vicrama. This personage the raja of Kling, on hearing of the prowess of Badang, sent to Singhapura to contend with him in wrestling, desiring him to stake seven ships, with their loading, on the issue of the contest. The champion arrived at Singhapura with his seven vessels, and paid his respects to Sri Rama Vicrama, informing him that he was a champion who had come to enter the lists of wrestling, and the stake that he was ready to lay on the issue of the contest. The raja ordered Badang to contend with him, and they began the contest and continued to play for some time, during which Badang always appeared to have the advantage in a small degree.
There was a huge stone lying before the raja's hall, and the Kling champion said to Badang, " Let us now come to a serious exertion of strength, and lift up this stone, and let him be reckoned worsted who shall be unable to lift it." " Very well," said Badang, "do me however the favour to lift it up first." The Kling champion began, and proved unable to lift it up; at last, exerting all his strength, he lifted it up to his knee and then let it fall. " Now take your turn," said he to Badang; " Very well," said Badang, and taking up the stone, he poised it easily several times, and then threw it out into the mouth of the river, and that is the rock which is at this day visible at the point of Singhapura or Tanjong Singhapura. Then the Kling champion delivered up to Badang the seven ships which had been staked with their contents, and owned that he was conquered. He then returned with great sorrow and shame to the land of Kling.
The fame of Badang now reached far and wide, and at last extended to the land of Perlac, where there was a celebrated champion, named Bandrang, of great strength and high reputation. When the champion heard of the fame of Badang, he presented himself before the raja, and requested his permission to visit Singhapura, and enter the lists of play with him. The raja of Perlac consented, and sent a mangcu-bumi, named Tun Parpatih Pendek to conduct him to Singhapura, and sent a letter along with him. When they arrived at Singhapura, they were conducted into the presence of Sri Rama Vicrama, surrounded with all his inferior rajas, paramantris, seda-sidas, banderas and champions, by Maha Indra B'hupala, mounted on an elephant of state, and presented the letter of the raja of Perlac, where it was read by the khateb, and appeared to be couched in the finest terms. Then the raja, after Tun Parpatih Pendek had paid his respects to him, ordered him to be seated beside Tun Janboga Dinding, while Bandrang seated himself with Badang.
Then the raja enquired of the ambassador on what business his brother raja had sent him. He replied, "he has sent me to conduct this champion, Bandrang, to essay his strength with Badang: if Bandrang is conquered, my master is content to quit one store-house full of commodities, and if Badang is worsted do you the same." Sri Rama Vicrama assented, and appointed them to play next morning: then the raja retired, and the assembly retired to their place. Then Sri Rama Vicrama summoned Badang, and told him that he was to play with Bandrang tomorrow. Badang represented that Bandrang was the most powerful champion of the time, and that no one was reckoned equal to him ; " if therefore I should be conquered, do not be disconcerted: perhaps, therefore, it may be best for you to invite him this evening to an entertainment, when I shall endeavour to discover if I can contend with him." The raja assented, and immediately invited Tun Parpatih Pendek and Bandrang, with their Followers, to an entertainment.
They came accordingly, and Bandrang and Badang were seated together. Then Badang approached Bandrang, who immediately pressed his knee down upon that of Badang, but Badang quickly extricated himself, and having raised his own knee pressed down that of Bandrang, who could not, with all his efforts, raise his knee: this was done so secretly, that none observed it except themselves. After an hour's sitting, the ambassador and all his men were intoxicated, and asked permission to retire to their prow. Then Sri Rama Vicrama asked Badang if he was ready to engage Bandrang, to which he said, " If it be your Majesty's pleasure, I will encounter him tomorrow." When Tun Parpatih Pendek returned on board his vessel, Bandrang requested him to find some method of breaking off the contest with Badang, for he perceived his strength to be superior.
Next morning the raja rose, and when he saw the ambassador he said, "now let us have the contest between Bandrang and Badang:" " perhaps," said the ambassador, " it were better to put it off altogether, as it may possibly excite dissatisfaction between your Majesty and your younger brother the raja of Perlac." Sri Rama Vicrama smiled and assented. The raja then desired Bandrang and Badang, to fix a large and heavy iron chain behind the streight of Sri Kama, to prevent the passing of vessels, and they fixed it accord-ingly. Then Tun Parpatih Pendek asked permission to take his departure, and was furnished with a letter by the raja for his master the raja of Perlac, and was honoured with rich presents, after which he set sail and returned to Perlac. The raja of Perlac had the letter brought upon an elephant, and read, at which he was greatly delighted. He then asked Tun Parpatih Pendek, why he had prevented the contest between Bandrang and Badang. He related what had happened at the entertainment, when the raja was silent.
After a long time, Badang also died, and was buried at the point of the streights of Singhapura, and when the tidings of his death reached the land of Kling, the raja sent two stone pillars, to be raised over his grave as a monument, and these are the pillars which are still at the point of the bay. Sri Raja Vicrama reigned a long time, and had two children, a son and a daughter. The name of the son was Dasya Raja, who was extremely handsome, and in beauty of countenance excelled all his contemporaries. When he grew up, he married the daughter of Tun Parpatih Parmuka Rar-jaja, who was named Dasya Putri. The raja's daughter also married the son of Tun Parpatih Parmuka Rarjaja, named Tun Parpatih Tulos, and all the parties lived long in great success. After a long time, the end of the earthly period of Sri Rama Vicrama arrived, and he departed from this vain world, and was succeeded by his son Dasya Raja, under the title of Paduca Sri Maharaja. His queen, Dasya Putri, became pregnant, and produced a son, whose skull was flattened in the birth by the midwife, and who was named Raja Secander Zulkarneini.