The wise minister of the King of Kamboj once thought, “I ought to choose a deputy who can shoulder the burden of my office when I retire.”
He announced his decision to recruit a deputy and asked the candidates to meet him at a place situated far from the capital.
He interviewed several people, but finally selected only two, Dharmadutta and Sumitra. He was to try them further and appoint one of them to the post. He handed over to them a letter addressed to the king, with the instruction that one of them should carry it for the first half of the way and the other one for the remaining half.
Sumitra, while carrying for the first half of the way, could not check his temptation to read it. He passed it on to Dharmadutta hurriedly and left for home, saying that he had no desire for the post.
Dharmadutta reached the court and handed over the letter to the court-jester to be present ed to the king.
“Do you know the content of the letter?” the King asked Dharmadutta.
“No, my lord, I was not supposed to know it!”
“The letter says that the one who hands it to me should be hanged!” said the king.
“My lord, I’m sorry for the Court jester. It is he who handed it to you!” said Dharmadutta.
Everybody laughed. Dharmadutta, who proved his honesty as well as his presence of mind, was appointed to the post.