Just then, Harischandra, who
was like a dragon keeping vigil in the cremation ground, hurtled there, snatched the
lighter-faggot from Chandramati's hand and hurled it. He held the child's corpse by the
toe and threw it away from the funeral pyre. Chandramati was preplexed. She wept bitterly
and remonstrated with him: " Nay, nay! He is not my son, he is your son. Please
permit me to cremate him."
'Before you cremate the body, remove the clothes and give them to me. Also pay up the
prescribed fees for the cremation licence, " said Harischandra
"I am a poor serf. I have no money to pay."
"Then remove your 'mangala-sutra', pawn it with some moneylender and bring me the
money," he said.
Her grief welled up without end. She knew that her 'mangala-sutra' would be visible
only to her husband the others would see it only when the husband's life was in peril.
When the watchman of the cremation grounds referred to her 'mangala sutra', she was
anxious for the safety of her husband's life too. She trembled with fear; she bemoaned her
luckless condition. Her son, a prince, was dying a wretched death and she - Harischandra's
queen - was unable to pay the funeral charges.