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Great anger surged among the peasants of Zhaq when Rajan, their luxury-loving king, levied a fresh tax on them. “We will not pay it!” they shouted in unison. On hearing that news, the king snarled that they should be shown their place.


“Rip off their skin,” he thundered. “Flog them to death! Not a single insurgent should be spared.”


“Sir, will strict action be wise?” The Chief Minister, who was himself (secretly) unhappy about the new tax, asked.

“Of course!” roared the king. “If those fools have the audacity to rebel, they must pay its price. What did they think? That they will croak and I will quail? No minister, they are mistaken! I will quash this insurrection of theirs. I will teach them a lesson that they, and the others, will not forget in 10 lifetimes.”


The police was bestial to the peasants. They killed 300 with their sticks and kicks, and tethered another 100 to their horses, and dragged them till each of them was dead.


Such extraordinary violence outraged the whole kingdom. Everybody rushed out into the streets. The police, the army tried to stop them, to hold them back, but the angry mob just rolled over them and surgedtowards the royal palace. When they found that the king had already escaped, they burnt the palace in frustration.

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