Vetalas, from N.M. Penzer (ed.), `Ocean of Story´, 1923

„… Then Vidushaka said: `Well, I will do it. I will cut off the noses of those robbers by night and bring them from the cemetery.´ Then those fools, thinking the task a difficult one, said to him: `If you do this you shall be our lord; we make this agreement.´ When night had set in, Vidushaka took leave of those Brahmans and went to the cemetery. So the hero entered the cemetery, awful as his own undertaking, with the sword of the Fire God, that came with a thought, as his only companion. And in the middle of that cemetery, where the cries of vultures and jackals were swelled by the screams of witches and the flames of the funeral pyres were reinforced by the fires in the mouths of the fire-breathing demons, he beheld those impaled men with their faces turned up, as if through fear of having their noses cut off. And when he approached them those three, being tenanted by demons, struck him with their fists; and he for his part slashed them in return with his sword, for Fear has not learned to bestir herself in the breast of the resolute. Accordingly the corpses ceased to be convulsed with demons, and then the successful hero cut off their noses and brought them away, binding them up in his garment.

And as he was returning he beheld in that cemetery a religious mendicant sitting on a corpse muttering charms, and through curiosity to have the amusement of seeing what he was doing he stood concealed behind that mendicant. In a moment the corpse under the mendicant gave forth a hissing sound, and flames issued from its mouth, and from its navel mustard-seeds. And then the mendicant took the mustard-seeds, and rising up struck the corpse with the flat of his hand, and the corpse, which was tenanted by a mighty demon, stood up, and then that mendicant mounted on its shoulder and began to depart at a rapid rate, and Vidushaka silently followed him unobserved, and after he had gone a short distance Vidushaka saw an empty temple with an image of Durga in it. Then the mendicant got down from the shoulder of the demon, and entered the inner shrine of the temple, while the demon fell flat on the earth. But Vidushaka was present also, contriving to watch the mendicant, unperceived by him. The mendicant worshipped the goddess there and offered the following prayer: – `If thou art pleased with me, O Goddess, grant me the desired boon. If not, I will propitiate thee with the sacrifice of myself.´ When the mendicant, intoxicated with the success of his powerful spells, said this, a voice coming from the inner shrine thus addressed the mendicant: `Bring here the maiden daughter of king Adityasena, and offer her as a sacrifice, then thou shalt obtain thy desire.´ When the mendicant heard this he went out, and striking once more with his hand the demon, who hissed at the blow, made him stand upright. And, mounting on the shoulder of the demon, from whose mouth issued flames of fire, he flew away through the air to bring the princess …“



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