A king named Veerketu used to rule in the city of Ayodhya. In his kingdom there was a moneylender named Ratnadatta, who had a girl named Ratnavati. She was beautiful. She used to live in the guise of a man and did not want to marry anyone. His father was very sad.
Meanwhile there was a great increase in cases of theft in the town. The subjects became sad. Even after trying, when the thief could not be caught, the king himself went out to catch him. One night when the king was roaming around in disguise, he saw a man near the wall. The king followed him silently. The thief said, “Then you are my companion. Come, come to my house.”
Both reached home. After making him sit the thief went to do some work. Meanwhile her maid came and said, “Why have you come here? The thief will kill you. Run away.”
The king did the same. Then with the help of the army, the thief’s house was surrounded. When the thief saw this, he got ready to fight. Both fought fiercely. The thief surrendered at last. The king caught him and brought him to the capital and ordered him to be hanged on the cross.
Coincidentally Ratnavati saw him and she fell in love with him. She said to her father, “I will marry her, otherwise I will die.
But the king did not listen to him and hanged the thief on the cross. Before hanging on the cross, the thief first cried a lot, then laughed a lot. Ratnavati reached there and took the head of the thief and sat on the funeral pyre. At the same time, the goddess said in the sky, “I am pleased with your devotion to your husband. Ask whatever you want.”
Ratnavati said, “My father has no sons. So give me a boon, that he may have hundred sons.”
The goddess appeared and said, “That will happen. Ask for something else.”
She said, “May my husband live.”
Goddess brought her back to life. Both of them got married. When the king came to know about this, he made the thief his commander.
After telling such a story, Betal asked, ‘O king, tell me why the thief wept loudly before being hanged on the cross and then why did he die laughing?
The king said, “Wept because he would not be able to do any good to King Ratnadatta. Laughed because Ratnavati left big kings and rich people and got ready to die after being infatuated with him. No one can control the movement of a woman’s mind. Can understand.”
Hearing this, Betal disappeared and went to hang on the tree. The king again went there and took her, then on the way he told this story.