The old man was almost beyond eighty. The young man was not more than thirty – healthy, strong. But out of fear and nervousness – it was not a cold night – he was shivering. But he was amazed that his father was going ahead of him so normally, so casually, like somebody going for a morning walk. And they were going to the king’s palace, which is the most dangerous place to enter.
And then to steal, to get away…the young man was already losing hope. The old man dug a hole in the palace wall, but with such care, with such awareness that there was no noise at all. Brick by brick he removed…and the young man standing by his side could not believe that you could do such a thing in somebody else’s house in the night. And the father was doing it as if it was his own house.
The hole was made, the father went in and he asked the young man to come in and follow. Now he was repenting why in the first place he had asked to learn this art – this was dangerous! “I cannot imagine how I am going to get back home. And this man has chosen the king’s palace to teach me. He is dangerous, he has no love for his own son. He should have started from a small place – some poor man’s hut.”
The whole house was surrounded by guards, but the old man went on working. He had many keys, he managed to enter to the very innermost room of the palace and he told the young man, “Go inside the cupboard because I know the king has immensely precious treasures studded with diamonds, emeralds and other precious stones. So you collect as many you can and I will wait outside.”
The man went into the cupboard. He could not believe his eyes – he had never seen such jewelry. But while he was looking at the treasures the old man gave him a shock. He closed the door of the cupboard, locked it, and shouted loudly, “Thief, thief!” He ran out from the same hole he had come in, leaving the young man locked inside the cupboard.
You can imagine what happened to the young man. He wanted to kill his father! But he had no hope that he would ever see him again. He would go directly to jail for his whole life. It was such an unfortunate moment that he had asked…but now nothing could be done.
The whole house was awake. Servants were running here and there, and they found the hole in the wall. It was certain a thief had been in. They found all the doors open.
One maidservant went, following the doors which were open, and reached to the innermost chamber – there was nobody. The man was inside the cupboard but he could see that some light had come in; the maidservant was carrying a candle in her hand. He could hear her footsteps, and suddenly he started making scratching noises as if some rat was inside the cupboard. He was amazed at himself, what he was doing. And the maidservant, thinking that there was a rat inside, unlocked the door. And as she opened the door, the young man blew out the candle, pushed the maidservant, ran away as fast as he could, and jumped out of the hole. A crowd of guards, and the neighbors, and the master of the house, and other servants…all were following him with torches in their hands.