The treasurer's lamp

There was a very kind-hearted king. In every way he was appreciated, admired, adored and loved by his subjects. Unfortunately he received complaints against two of his very high-ranking officers that they were accepting bribes. These officers were so close to him that he could not believe it. Then he said, “How can I trust any human being? These two were so close to me for so many years. Now they are misbehaving. I do not know how I can solve this problem. It will be very painful for me now to fire them. They have been with me for a long time, and it will create many problems for me.”

Then he said, “All right. Let me have some consolation. They say that my treasurer is the most honest man in our kingdom. Let me see if it is true or if my treasurer is also of the same type. Two I have caught. I had such faith in them. Let me see if the treasurer also belongs to that group.”

In disguise, the king went to the treasurer’s place. He was dressed like an ordinary citizen. He said to the treasurer, “I need your urgent advice.”

The treasurer could not recognise the king. He said, “Please wait, wait.” The treasurer was busy working, so the king sat down and waited. After some time the treasurer said, “I am so sorry that you had to wait. But as you know, I am working for the king and I have to submit my report to the king tomorrow.”

The king saw that his treasurer was not using electric light. He had only a kerosene lamp. The king said, “How can it be? This is how he saves my money? He is so kind-hearted.”

That was not all. Right in front of the king, the treasurer lit another kerosene lantern, and he extinguished the one he was using previously. The king said, “Why did you not continue to use the previous lamp?”

The treasurer replied, “That one belongs to the king. When I do the king’s work, I use that one. But now you have come here for private advice. How can I use the lamp that I use for the king’s work? Yours is a private matter. My lamp is for my private use, and you have come here for private advice. What little I know, I will share with you gladly, but for this kind of thing I am not authorised to use the king’s lamp.”

The king was so pleased with the treasurer. Right in front of him, the king took off his mask and the rest of his disguise. Then the king embraced him and said, “You are, indeed, the most honest person in my kingdom. Now I know that I can trust another human being.”