It was a place full of restlessness, full of fright. Even he could not pass this barrier without
feeling the fierce presence of his own fears.
He removed his ritual drum, and prayed earnestly. Little by little the light of courage grew in his mind,
and he passed through the black valleys.
On the other side he met the demon’s herdsmen, some of
them captives carried away from Ling long before. And while they knew the prophecy of Gesar’s coming, they could not
believe they spoke with their hero himself. But when Gesar marked out only the heavenly sheep—stolen like their
herders—from their vast flocks, they believed. “Oh gracious King, sent to bring us deliverance in this and all
lives, now we can certainly reveal everything about that
demon Lutsan. He is away at present in the west, so if you
hurry you will find his wife Dzemo alone in his castle. Do not hesitate before the castle gates, before
the giant sentries, fearsome as tigers and leopards. They are empty, stuffed with straw. And you can enter without fear.”
So the hero went forward and opened the gates in order.
Entering the courtyard, he called to Dzemo.
Shocked, she answered back, “What man are you?
How have you come to this giant’s nest?
Not even a bird or insect flies near this castle.
And no man has ever reached me alive!”
“It is a mystery,” nodded Gesar. “If you must know the answer, why not ask me
So curiosity got the best of Dzemo, and she brought
Gesar into King Lutsan’s chamber and served him tea, tsampa
flour, and meat.
“Dzemo,” Gesar spoke softly, “are you not fearful of
your husband’s violent tempers and have you not wished the
fabled King Gesar would one day rescue you?”
Dzemo was silent, but her eyes reflected the fears
she had so carefully hidden for so long.
“Don’t you know I left my wife Dukmo just to make
your acquaintance? You
could find safety as my wife, in this life and the next.” Dzemo smiled shyly, “You will not regret your
words. I know Lutsan’s
we will have done with him.”
Several weeks passed, and one day a strong wind blew
so that the very ground quaked.
But Dzemo seemed used to such occasions.
“It is only King Lutsan returning home,” she said
to the hero. “Come, now I must hide you.” Hurriedly she dug a pit under the kitchen floor
and, offering Gesar some blankets and food, settled him
inside. Roofing was laid over the hole and a cauldron
of steaming food placed on top.