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MAHALAXMI AND THE TWO QUEENS

the queen doubted and asked her, "By what sign shall I know you?" The goddess replied, "In the morning I shall take the shape of a little girl. In the afternoon I shall take that of a young married woman. In the evening I shall become an old hag." After the goddess had taken all three shapes, Queen Chimadevrani called her into the palace and bathed and anointed her. She gave her a silk skirt and a platform to sit upon. Then she sent for Wonderways, and both of them worshipped the old beggar-woman and blew on earthen pots in her honour. The king heard the blowing on the pots and told a sepoy to find out why there was such a noise in Queen Chimadevrani's quarters. The sepoy went there, and when he saw what was happening joined also in the worship. After a little while he went back and told the king. The king said that he would go there too. He followed the sepoy, and Queen Chimadevrani came to the steps and met him and took him upstairs, where both played at saripat until dawn. And all the time Mahalaxmi sat by and watched them. At dawn Queen Chimadevrani asked Mahalaxmi for her blessing. She blessed the

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