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Chapter 37: Each Moment Is Insecure

He inquired the next day and he found out that this was a great master. He had not done well - it was absolutely ugly to go to that poor man; he had nothing. But he was a great master.

The thief said, “That I can understand myself - that he is a very strange kind of man. In my whole life I have been coming in contact with different kinds of people, from the poorest to the richest, but never.even remembering him, a shivering goes through my body.

“When he called me back I could not run away. I was absolutely free, I could have taken the things and run away, but I could not. There was something in his voice that pulled me back.”

After a few months the thief was caught, and in the court the magistrate asked him, “Can you name a person who knows you in this vicinity?”

He said, “Yes, one person knows me” - and he named the master.

The magistrate said, “That’s enough - call the master. His testimony is worth that of ten thousand people. What he says about you will be enough to give judgment.”

The magistrate asked the master, “Do you know this man?”

He said, “Know him? We are partners. He is my friend. He even visited me one night in the middle of the night. It was so cold that I gave him my blanket. He is using it, you can see. That blanket is famous all over the country; everybody knows it is mine.”

The magistrate said, “He is your friend? And does he steal?”

The master said, “Never! He can never steal. He is such a gentleman that when I gave him my blanket he said to me, ‘Thank you, sir.’ When he went out of the house, he silently closed the doors. He is a very polite, nice fellow.”

The magistrate said, “If you say so, then all the testimonies of the witnesses who have said that he is a thief are canceled. He is freed.” The master went out and the thief followed him.

The master said, “What are you doing? Why are you coming with me?”

He said, “Now I can never leave you. You have called me your friend, you have called me your partner. Nobody has ever given me any respect. You are the first person who has said that I am a gentleman, a nice person. I am going to sit at your feet and learn how to be like you. From where have you got this maturity, this power, this strength, this seeing of things in a totally different way?”

The master said, “Do you know that night how bad I felt? You had gone; it was so cold. Without a blanket sleep was not possible. I was just sitting by the window seeing the full moon, and I wrote a poem: ‘If I was rich enough I would have given this perfect moon to that poor fellow, who had come in the dark to search for something in a poor man’s house. I would have given the moon if I had been rich enough, but I am poor myself.’ I will show you the poem, come with me.

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