The Fruits Of Honesty

A washer-man would collect soiled clothes from the house of Mrs. Malik everyday for washing. One day he noticed a gold chain entangled with the one of embroidered dresses of Mrs. Malik. It was a beautiful chain and the washer-man thought, “Mrs. Malik has so much jewellery. Surely she won’t miss this little chain. She’ll never know that I have it.” So, he wrapped the chain into a shiny paper and gave it to his wife. He said, “Look, my dear, I have brought a gift for you, because I love you so much.” The washerwoman was overjoyed with the gift, but only for an instant. She asked, “Where from did you get it. Surely this would have cost you a lot of money!” He kept a straight face and said, “I’ve been saving for this for a long time. I always wanted to buy you a nice gold chain.”

In the morning, when the washer-man went to deliver the washed and ironed clothes to Mrs. Malik, he saw that the maidservant was crying bitterly. “I didn’t take it Ma’am, I tell you I did not steal your chain.” He just turned a deaf ear and walked away.

An hour later, the washerwoman came to visit Mrs. Malik. She said, “Ma’am, my husband found this chain amongst some clothes, we were wondering if it could possibly be yours, so he asked me to find out from you. Does it belong to you?”

Mrs. Malik was quite taken aback, She said, “Oh Lord! I hit my maidservant because I thought it was she who had picked it up. Your husband is an honest man. Thank you so much.”

The following day when the washer-man went to Mrs. Malik house, she said, “You are an honest man, I am very happy with you. Here is a reward for you.” So saying she gave the same gold chain to him. He looked at it disbelievingly. He did not understand. When he reached home clutching the chain in his hand, he asked his wife where the chain was, she said, “I returned it to the one to whom it belonged. Money comes and goes. Morality comes and grows. If you become a thief, where’s the joy in wearing the chain?”