44. The Thief Who Became A Disciple

One evening as Shichiri Ko-Jun was reciting Sutras, a thief with a sharp sword entered, demanding either his money or his life.

Shichiri told him, "Do not disturb me. You can find the money in that drawer." Then he resumed his recitation.

A little while afterward he stopped and called, "Don't take it all. I need some to pay taxes with to-morrow."

The intruder gathered up most of the money and started to leave. "Thank a person when you receive a gift," Shichiri added. The man thanked him and made off.

A few days afterwards the fellow was caught and confessed, among others, the offence against Shichiri. When Shichiri was called as a witness, he said, "This man is no thief, at least as far as I am concerned. I gave him the money and he thanked me for it."

After had finished his prison term, the went to Shichiri and became his disciple.