Chapter 28

IT is related of Raja Zenel, the brother of Sultan Mahmud Shah, that he was a very handsome person, and nobody could be compared to him in these times; pleasant and sweet in his whole conduct, with quickness and alacrity of action. When he put on a long cloth, with a hanging point, and it did not hang fair, he would make nothing of cutting its point even. He had a horse named Ambangan, (the skiddler,) of which he was extremely fond, and which he stabled hard by his sleeping apartment, and emptied a lower room for that purpose, and twice or thrice in a night he would go to see him, and whenever he mounted, he would perfume himself, and when he had done, he would bring civet and rub upon the body of the horse, and then he would set out. 

When he came into the market, there would be a complete bustle in all its lanes, from the people crowding to see Raja Zenel pass by, and even the young wives would leave the embraces of their husbands and spring to the doors to see him; others would look from the windows, and others from the roofs, others would tear the latticed screens, to get a peep, and others would mount the paling of the enclosures; some would look out at peep-holes; others through the interstices of the paling; and the presents offered him on these occasions, were of all descriptions, and so numerous that they could not be received by all his lineage. 

Every sort of prepared betel, ginta lalat, or prepared betel, made up in rolls of many dozen of folds, posies of champaka flowers stuffed into each other; melor or jasmine flowers set in pots, betel leaf folded every variety of ways, too numerous to be mentioned. The young Prince would accept what pleased him, and present the rest to the lads that followed him. Such was the display whenever Raja Zenel went to the market place; and great impropriety of manners prevailed through the land of Malaca at this time. 

This state of matters was reported to Sultan Mahmud, with the whole conduct of Raja Zenel, at which the raja was greatly incensed, but retained his resentment in his own breast. On a day he called two or three of his most trusty men, and said, "Who of you is there who will slay Raja Zenel?" But no person would undertake it; and he ordered them to return to their own houses. When everybody was fast asleep, the raja called the keeper of the gate, Hang Bercat, and said to him, "Hang Bercat, can you undertake to kill Raja Zenel, so that no person may be acquainted with the fact?" "It is I that can do it," said Hang Bercat. "If you can do this," said the raja, "you may count on me as a brother." At dead of night, when all were fast asleep, Hang Bercat went to the house of Raja Zenel, and  found every body fast asleep; he then ascended from the horse's stall, and found Raja Zenel fast asleep, and instantly stabbed him through the breast quite to the back. 

When Raja Zenel found himself wounded, he groped for his creese, but could not find it; and he began to welter like a fowl when it is killed. Then Hang Bercat descended, and Raja Zenel expired; and the people raised a loud hubbub, that Raja Zenel was murdered, and stabbed by an assassin. The noise reached Sultan Mahmud, who came forth, and called out, "Who is below there?" Then Hang Bercat said, "We are all here, four or five below." He asked, "Who makes  that noise?" Hang Bercat replied, "Your Majesty, I have not enquired." He said, "Go and see what the noise is about." 

Then he went under the pretext of seeing what was the matter, and returned, saying, "The paduca, your younger brother, has been secretly stabbed, but the assassin is not known." The Prince comprehended that this was Hang Bercat's deed; and he called to him, "Go, assemble the people, and all the King's servants." These were immediately assembled together, with all the great men; and the Prince went to the corpse of his brother, and caused it to be buried in a manner befitting a Prince; after which he returned to the palace. 

In a short time, he conferred on him the name of Sang Sura, and acknowledged him as a brother. In a short time, the wife of Hang Bercat committed adultery with Sang Guna, and Sang Sura was acquainted  with the fact, and lay in wait for Sang Guna. Now Sang Guna was a very handsome man in person, and of a stout make; but Sang Sura was of slender, shrill voice, and short stature. The King was informed of this affair, that Sang Sura was laying wait for Sang Guna. Now the Prince was very fond of Sang Guna, who was no common man at this time, but was the first man who manufactured at Malaca, creeses of three spans and a half in length; and the Prince was also very fond of Sang Sura; but in a situation of this kind, he had no resource left. 

He summoned Sang Sura, who presented himself, and having taken him to a private place, he said to him, "Sang Sura, there is something which I wish you to do for me, will you agree to it?" Sang Sura replied, "If it depends on me to do it, Your Majesty may be sure I shall not hesitate; for the brain of my head is devoted to your service." The raja said, "I hear that you are lying in wait for Sang Guna; if you have any regard for me, I entreat this alone of you, that  you would lay aside your design." 

When Sang Sura heard this he tucked up the sleeve of his coat. "That Sire," said he, "is a want of consideration for my disgrace; but when you suffered disgrace yourself, there was no person to repel it, but this person who now looks so ugly before you." "Very well," said the Prince, "All that is true; but nevertheless, for once I must earnestly request this of you, that you do not set yourself on the watch for Sang Guna. 

Besides, I will order him not to go out of doors, nor to amuse himself at the houses of his brothers; and if I have any occasion for him I will summon him." "Very well," said Sang Sura, "What resource have I left, since you are my liege-lord, whom it is not proper to oppose; but whose orders on the contrary I am bound to respect, for if I did not, I should not deserve the name of a servant."

He accordingly gave up his design. As for Sang Guna, the Prince would not permit him to go abroad, and forbade him to go to amuse himself among the young men; and whenever he heard that he was standing at the outer gate of his house, he would send a peon to express his dissatisfaction. But Sang Guna would say, "Very well, if this be the King's orders, it is better to take me at once, and bind me, and deliver me over to Sang Sura, and let him put me to death immediately."