Then he put them in position, ready for ambush. Soon
a messenger arrived to invite Mr. Bag to dinner for the
celebration of the minister’s daughter’s wedding, followed
by a marksmanship competition. Bag went to the dinner party
but left immediately after the meal to join his followers
in the shrubs along the roadside.
After a long wait they heard music and soon the procession
came into view: musicians, followed by bearers carrying
boxes containing the bride’s trousseau, then female attendants
carrying baskets full of the finest garments, and finally
the bride herself, carried in a litter and heavily veiled.
As soon as they had reached the favorable spot, Bag ordered
his men to surround the entire procession, whereupon he
opened the bride’s litter and ordered her out. “Strip her,”
he told his men.
At first, they hesitated, but they obeyed. When her
last undergarment was ripped off, they found that “she”
was, in fact, a man. The man in the bride’s clothes was
the leader of a gang of robbers and murderers. When the
shooting match started, the gang, mingling with the guests,
had shot every single one of them—most of the guests were
drowsy after the excellent dinner. Even the minister, his
wife, and his aides had been shot and robbed of all their
bearers were carrying boxes full of stolen goods, and
the female attendants were not female either; all the goods
in their baskets had been stolen. The arrest of all these
robbers in one well-planned ambush became the talk of the
country, so that even the king heard about it.
The king summoned Bag to his audience hall and told
him: “We have heard of your exploits, carried out with great
bravery. We have been informed of your repeated successes
in arresting dangerous criminals whom the police had sought
for years but had failed to apprehend. As you know, one
of our prominent ministers has been shot down by the most
dangerous of all the bandits, who is now, thanks to your
well-planned action, in prison together with all his accomplices.
“We have seen a need for replenishing the rank of our
ministers of state. It has pleased us to appoint you as
our youngest minister, to begin your work as from today.
In the light of your special talents and abilities, it has
furthermore pleased us to bestow upon you the title of minister
Knappert lectures at the School of Oriental and African
Languages at the University of London.