He had to flee
Once upon a time, Ram was the richest and most powerful man in the world. To protect his wealth, he built a strong private bank to hold his treasure. But one of the bank’s architects secretly created a hidden back door.
Years later, as the architect was dying, he told his sons what he had done, and how they could become rich. The two brothers snuck inside the bank through the secret door and stole a large amount, but couldn’t carry it all out in one night.
The next day Ram entered the bank and saw immediately that some of his money had been stolen. But how had the thieves entered? All his security systems were in place.
So Ram made traps to catch the thieves.
When the thieves entered again, one of them was ensnared in a trap. And as much as they tried, he could not escape. He told his brother: "If my body is discovered, they will identify me, and our families will be slaughtered. This is what you must do…" His brother reluctantly agreed.
He cut off his trapped brother’s head and took it with him.
In the morning, Ram found the headless man, and still had no clue how he’d gotten into the vault. He ordered the body be strung up in public and guarded. He told his men to watch and seize anyone who cried when they saw the corpse, since they might have information about the thieves.
The grieving mother heard about her son hanging dead in public, and pressured her son to retrieve the body for burial, or she herself would tell Ram his identity.
The son devised a plan. He loaded a vehicle with liquor, drove by the body, and crashed. He cursed and screamed as cases of alcohol broke open. The guards recovered some of the liquor, and confiscated them. The brother pretended to be angry. They eventually calmed him down and helped him clean up. They began to drink together. He gave them a bottle of expensive liquor, and then another and another.
When the guards were passed out from drinking, the thief stole his brother’s body.
Next, Ram decided to use sex to catch the thief. He announced a contest – his daughter would be the judge and listen to men tell her the most wicked and clever thing they’d ever done.
Ram hoped the thief would appear, and then his daughter would seize him.
The brother did appear before the daughter, and told her he had stolen the money, cut off the head of his own brother, and gotten the guards drunk to steal the body. She grabbed and shackled his arm.
However, the thief, who knew what Ram was planning, easily escaped. He had gotten hold of a fresh corpse, cut off the arm at the shoulder, and lightly attached it under his sleeve as his own arm. That was the arm held by the daughter.
Ram was so impressed by the shrewd and bold maneuvers of this thief that he honestly asked him to join forces with him. The thief did so, married his daughter and became more powerful than Ram himself.
Based on The Thief versus King Rhampsinitus, a story by the Greek historian Herodotus from the 5th Century BC. Herodotus made little attempt to distinguish true history from myth, and has been called by some "The Father of Lies".
This version is adapted from one found in The lock and key library: classic mystery and detective stories, Volume 2, edited by Julian Hawthorne, at Google Books>>