A Clever Escape - 448

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A Clever Escape.

On the fiftieth birthday of the Emperor Aurangzeb rulers and other great men from all parts of India were present at the durbar at Agra. Among them was the Maharaja Shivaji with his son Sambhaji. At some overbold word spoken by Shivaji the Emperor took offence, and confined father and son to their dwelling house, as if they were no longer guests but prisoners.

Shivaji was a very shrewd man, and he determined to escape. He pretended to be quite at home, and began to send large baskets of sweetmeats as presents to various friends in Agra. These baskets were at first carefully examined, but nothing wrong with them was found. Then it was reported that Shivaji was very ill. Doctors were sent to him and soon he recovered. This gave him an excuse to send out more baskets. He also sent three horses as a gift to some Brahmans who had prayed for his recovery.

One evening Shivaji asked his brother to take his place in his bed, while he and his son got into sweetmeat baskets and were carried away. They reached the horses he had sent, and so escaped to Mathura, from where he travelled in the disguise of a pilgrim till he safely reached Poona.

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