The Dark Room & The Death of a King

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Withers to develop the film. As he did, his hands shook. The first picture I looked at was Dr. King laying behind the railing. I never did photograph him full in the face. I felt I had to keep my distance and respect. Write to Eliza Berman at eliza. Civil rights leader Andrew Young L and others standing on balcony of Lorraine motel pointing in direction of assailant after assassination of civil rights ldr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. By Eliza Berman April 3, Not published in LIFE. The Lorraine Motel photographed in the hours after Dr. King's assassination, April 4, Campbell, alone on the Lorraine Motel balcony, gazes out into the night. The following day, King's widow, Coretta Scott King, went to Memphis and led the striking sanitation workers in a peaceful march. Tens of thousands of mourners lined the streets of Atlanta to watch King's casket being carried by two mules to Morehouse College, King's alma mater, for a public memorial service. A week later, the Memphis sanitation strike ended when the city council agreed to boost the workers' wages and improve working conditions.

Ray, a year-old convicted robber and prison escapee, was identified as King's killer after his fingerprint was found on the rifle used in the assassination and discarded near the murder scene. Police believe Ray shot King from a boarding house across from the Lorraine Motel, after stalking the civil rights leader for more than two weeks. He was arrested in London on June 8, , and extradited back to the United States to face prosecution.

In March , Ray pleaded guilty in a Memphis courtroom to King's murder to avoid the death penalty. He was sentenced to 99 years in prison. He died from kidney disease on April 23, , at the age of What you need to know about the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Hispanic lawmakers head to border for answers in death of 7-year-old Jakelin Maquin. Ex-Trump adviser Stone admits to InfoWars lies, settles suit. Asylum seekers stake claims on patch of US soil at border.

Trump Organization plots return to Dominican Republic, sparking ethics concerns. Town rallies around mom who alerted police to 'imminent danger' of school shooting. Ex-business associates of Michael Flynn charged in plot centered on Turkish cleric. North Korea warns US over stalled nuclear negotiations. Google announces massive expansion in New York, promises thousands of jobs.

Coast Guardsman kills wife, 7-year-old son before taking own life: Federal workers could face furloughs and retro pay amid looming shutdown. Supporters warn of 'poison pill' amendments in criminal justice reform bill battle. Republicans treading cautiously on Trump's potential legal trouble. Giuliani says 'parking tickets and jaywalking' all that's left for investigators. Russia targeted African-American vote, made Instagram 'key battleground': You must do exactly as I have told you. Let there be no mistake of any kind. There shall be no mistake. The Queen Sudarshana's mansions are in the Yes, sire, I have seen the place well.

What you have got to do is to set fire to the garden, and then you will take advantage of the bustle and confusion to accomplish your object straightway. Look here, Sir Pretender, I cannot help thinking that a needless fear is troubling us-there is really no King in this country. My sole aim is to rid this country of this anarchy.

Your common man cannot live without a King, whether a real one or a fraud! Anarchy is always a source of danger. Pious benefactor of the people, your wonderful self- sacrifice should really be an example to all of us. I am thinking of doing this extraordinary service to the people myself. What is the matter? I cannot make out what is all this! We are going out of the garden. We do not know where-the King has called us. Why, the King is in the garden. Which King has called you? The King we have been serving all our life, of course. Will you all go? Yes, all-we have to go instantly. Otherwise we might get into trouble.

I cannot understand their words They are scampering off like wild animals that fly just before the bank of a river breaks down into the water. Rohini, do you know where your King and Kanchi have gone? They are somewhere in the garden, but I could not tell you where.

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I cannot really understand their intentions. I have not done well to put my trust in Kanchi. What is this dark affair going on amongst these kings? Something dreadful is going to happen soon. Shall I too be drawn into this affair? Rohini, do you know where the other princes are? It is difficult to say which of them is where. The King of Koshala just passed by in this direction. I am not thinking of Koshala. Where are your King and Kanchi? I have not seen them for a long time. Kanchi is always avoiding us.

He is certainly planning to deceive us all. I have not done well to put my hand in this imbroglio. Friend, could you kindly tell me any way out of this garden? Is there no man here who will show me the way out? The servants have all left the garden. Why did they do so? I could not exactly understand what they meant.

They said the King had commanded them to leave the garden at once. Rohini They could not say exactly. This does not sound well. I shall have to find a way out at any cost. I cannot stay here a single moment more. Where shall I find the King? When I gave him the flowers the Queen had sent, he did not seem much interested in me at the time; but ever since that hour he has been showering gifts and presents on me.

This causeless generosity makes me more afraid Where are the birds flying at such an hour of the night? What has frightened them all of a sudden? This is not the usual time of their flight, certainly, Why is the Queen's pet deer running that way? She does not even hear my call. I have never seen a night like this! The horizon on every side suddenly becomes red, like a madman's eye!

The sun seems to be setting at this untimely hour on all sides at the same time. What madness of the Almighty is this! Oh, I am frightened! What is this you have done, Kanchi? I wanted to fire only this part of the garden near the palace. I had no idea that it would spread so quickly on all sides. Tell me, quick, the way out of this garden. I can tell you nothing about it.

Those who brought us here have all fled away. You are a native of this country-you must know the way. I have never entered these inner royal gardens before.

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I won't hear of it-you must show me the way, or I shall split you into halves. You may take my life by that means, but it would be a very precarious method of finding the way out of this garden. Why were you, then, going about saying that you were the King of this country? I am not the King-I am not the King. Save me, oh, save me! I am a rebel-punish me, but do not kill me! What is the use of shouting and cringing to the empty air? It is a much better way of spending the time to search for the way. I shall lie down here-I shall not move an inch. Come what will, I shall not complain.

I will not allow all this nonsense. If I am to be burnt to death, you will be my companion to the very end. Oh, save us, save us, our King! The fire is on all sides of us! Fool, get up, lose no more time. I am surrounded by fire. Who is the King?


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I am no King. You are not the King? No, I am a hypocrite, I am a scoundrel. He is not the King? Then, O thou God of fire, burn me, reduce me to ashes! I shall throw myself into thy hands, O thou great purifier; burn to ashes my shame, my longing, my desire. All your inner chambers are shrouded in raging fire-do you not enter there.

I will enter those burning chambers! It is the fire of my death! Do not be afraid-you have no cause for fear. The fire will not reach this room. I have no fear-but oh, shame has accompanied me like a raging fire. My face, my eyes, my heart, every part of my body is being scorched and burnt by its flames. It will be some time before you get over this burning.

This fire will never cease-will never cease! Do not be despondent, Queen! O King, I shall not hide anything from you I have another's garland round my neck. That garland, too, is mine-how else could he get it? He stole it from my room. When the fire came roaring on all sides of me, I thought of throwing this garland into the fire. But no, I could not. My mind whispered, "Let that garland be on you in your death. What fire is this, O King, into which I, who had come out to see you, leaped like a moth that cannot resist the flame?

What a pain is this, oh, what agony! The fire keeps burning as fiercely as ever, but I go on living within its flames! But you have seen me at last-your desire has been fulfilled. But did I seek to see you in the midst of this fearful doom? I know not what I saw, but my heart is still beating fast with fear. What did you see? Terrible,-oh, it was terrible! I am afraid even to think of it again. Black, black-oh, thou art black like the everlasting night! I only looked on thee for one dreadful instant. The blaze of the fire fell on your features-you looked like the awful night when a comet swings fearfully into our ken- oh, then I closed my eyes-I could not look on you any more.

Black as the threatening storm-cloud, black as the shoreless sea with the spectral red tint of twilight on its tumultuous waves! Have I not told you before that one cannot bear my sight unless one is already prepared for me? One would want to run away from me to the ends of the earth. Have I not seen this times without number? That is why I wanted to reveal myself to you slowly and gradually, not all too sudden.

But sin came and destroyed all your hopes-the very possibility of a union with you has now become unthinkable to me. It will be possible in time, my Queen. The utter and bleak blackness that has to-day shaken you to your soul with fear will one day be your solace and salvation. What else can my love exist for? It cannot be, it is not possible. What will your love only do? Beauty has cast its spell on me-this frenzy, this intoxication will never leave me-it has dazzled and fired my eyes, it has thrown its golden glamour over my very dreams!

I have told you all now-punish me as you like. The punishment has already begun. But if you do not cast me off. I will leave you. You have the utmost liberty to do as you like. I cannot bear your presence! My heart is angry at you. Why did you-but what have you done to me? Why are you like this? Why did they tell me you were fair and handsome? Thou art black, black as night-I shall never, I can never, like you. It is false as a mirage, empty as a bubble.

Let it be-but I cannot stand near you-I simply cannot! I must fly away from here. Union with you, it cannot be possible! It cannot be anything but a false union-my mind must inevitably turn away from you. Will you not even try a little? I have been trying since yesterday-but the more I try, the more rebellious does my heart become. If I stay with you I shall constantly be pursued and hounded by the thought that I am impure, that I am false and faithless. Well then, you can go as far from me as you like.

I cannot fly away from you-just because you do not prevent my going. Why do you not hold me back, hold me by the hair, saying, "You shall not go"? Why do you not strike me?

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Oh, punish me, strike me, beat me with violent hands! But your unresisting silence makes me wild-oh, I cannot bear it! How do you think that I am really silent? How do you know that I am not trying to keep you back? I shall leave you free, but why should I let you break away from me? You will not let me? Well then, I must go! Then I am not to blame at all. You could have held me back by force, but you did not! You have not hindered me-and now I shall go away. Command your sentinels to prevent my going.

No one will stand in your way. You can go as free as the broken storm-cloud driven by the tempest. I can resist no more-something in me is impelling me forward-I am breaking away from my anchor! Perhaps I shall sink, but I shall return no more. What will of thine is this that sends me afar! Again shall I come back at thy feet from all my wanderings.

It is thy love that feigns this neglect-thy caressing hands are pushing me away-to draw me back to thy arms again! O my King, what is this game that thou art playing throughout thy kingdom? He has gone away. I have come back, but he could not wait a single instant for me! Very well, then, I am now perfectly free. Surangama, did he ask you to keep me back? No, he said nothing. Why should he say anything? Why should he care for me? I am then free, perfectly free. But, Surangama, I wanted to ask one thing of the King, but could not utter it in his presence.

Tell me if he has punished the prisoners with death. My King never punishes with death. What has he done to them, then? He has set them at liberty. Kanchi has acknowledged his defeat and gone back to his kingdom. Ah, what a relief!

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My Queen, I have one prayer to make to you. You will not have to utter your prayer in words, Surangama. Whatever jewellery and ornaments the King gave me, I leave to you-I am not worthy to wear them now. No, I do not want them, my Queen. My master has never given me any ornaments to wear-my unadorned plainness is good enough for me. He has not given me anything of which I can boast before people. What do you want of me then? I too shall go with you, my Queen. Consider what you are saying; you are wanting to leave your master.

What a prayer for you to make! I shall not go far from him-when you are going out unguarded he will be with you, close by your side. You are talking nonsense, my child. I wanted to take Rohini with me, but she would not come. What gives you courage enough to wish to come with me? I have got neither courage nor strength. But I shall go-courage will come of itself, and strength too will come. No, I cannot take you with me; your presence will constantly remind me of my shame; I shall not be able to endure that.

O my Queen, I have made all your good and all your evil my own as well; will you treat me as a stranger still? I must go with you. I heard everything before her arrival. The princess is waiting alone outside the city gates on the bank of the river. Shall I send people to welcome her home? She who has faithlessly left her husband-do you propose trumpeting her infamy and shame to every one by getting up a show for her? Shall I then make arrangements for her residence at the palace?

You will do nothing of the sort. She has left her place as the Empress of her own accord-here she will have to work as a maid-servant if she wants to stay in my house. It will be hard and bitter to her, Your Highness. If I seek to save her from her sufferings, then I am not worthy to be her father. I shall arrange everything as you wish, Your Highness. Let it be kept a secret that she is my daughter; otherwise we shall all be in an awful trouble. Why do you fear such disaster, Your Highness? When woman swerves from the right path, then she appears fraught with the direst calamity.

You do not know with what deadly fear this daughter of mine has inspired me-she is coming to my home laden with peril and danger. Go away from me, Surangama! A deadly anger rages within me-I cannot bear anybody-it makes me wild to see you so patient and submissive. Whom are you angry with?

I do not know; but I wish to see everything destroyed and convulsed in ruin and disaster! I left my place on the throne as the Empress in a moment's time. Did I lose my all to sweep the dust, to sweat and slave in this dismal hole? Why do the torches of mourning not flare up for me all over the world? Why does not the earth quake and tremble? Is my fall but the unobserved dropping of the puny bean-flower? Is it not more like the fall of a glowing star, whose fiery blazon bursts the heavens asunder?

A mighty forest only smokes and smoulders before it bursts into a conflagration: I have thrown my queen's honour and glory to the dust and winds-but is there no human being who will come out to meet my desolate soul here? Alone-oh, I am fearfully, terribly alone! You are not alone. Surangama, I shall not keep anything from you. When he set the palace on fire, I could not be angry with him.

A great inward joy set my heart a-flutter all the while. What a stupendous crime! It was this courage that made me strong and fired my own spirits. It was this terrible joy that enabled me to leave everything behind me in a moment's time. But is it all my imagination only? Why is there no sign of his coming anywhere? He of whom you are thinking did not set fire to the palace-it is the King of Kanchi who did it.

But is it possible? So handsome, so bewitching, and yet no manhood in him! Have I deceived myself for the sake of such a worthless creature? But, Surangama, don't you think that your King should yet have come to take me back?

Even if the King really came I should not have returned. Not even once did he forbid me to come away, and I found all the doors wide open to let me out! And the stony and dusty road over which I walked-it was nothing to it that a queen was treading on it. It is hard and has no feelings, like your King; the meanest beggar is the same to it as the highest Empress. Well, I tell you, your King's behaviour is-mean, brutal, shameful! Every one knows that my King is hard and pitiless-no one has ever been able to move him.

Why do you, then, call him day and night? May he ever remain hard and relentless like rock-may my tears and prayers never move him! Let my sorrows be ever mine only-and may his glory and victory be for ever! A cloud of dust seems to rise over the eastern horizon across the fields. Yes, I see it. Is that not like the banner of a chariot?

Indeed, a banner it is. Then he is coming. He has come at last! How could he live without me? It is a wonder how he could hold out even for these days. No, no, this cannot be the King. As if you know everything! Your King is hard, stony, pitiless, isn't he? Let us see how hard he can be. I knew from the beginning that he would come-that he would have to rush after me. But remember, Surangama, I never for a single moment asked him to come. You will see how I make your King confess his defeat to me! Just go out, Surangama, and let me know everything.

I will not go! It is not the King, my Queen. Are you quite sure? No, my King never raises so much dust when he comes. Nobody can know when he comes at all. Do you know his name? His name is Suvarna. It is he, then. I thought, "I am lying here like waste refuse and offal, which no one cares even to touch. Did you know Suvarna? When I was at my father's home, in the gambling den. No, no, I won't hear anything of him from you. He is my own hero, my only salvation. I shall know him without your telling stories about him.

But just see, a nice man your King is! He did not care to come to rescue me from even this degradation. You cannot blame me after this. I could not have waited for him all my life here, toiling ignominiously like a bondslave. We are on our way back to our kingdoms, but we are waiting to rescue Queen Sudarshana from the servitude and degradation to which she is condemned here. Your Highness, you will remember that the princess is in her father's house.

A daughter may stay in her father's home only so long as she remains unmarried. But her connections with her father's family remain intact still. She has abjured all such relations now. Such relationship can never be abjured, Your Highness, on this side of death: You may take this as my last word.

Your Highness, do not forget that our King too is bound by the same code. It is idle to expect that he will deliver up his daughter by merely hearing your threats. Tell your King that I have come prepared for such an answer. King of Kanchi, it seems to me that we are daring too much. What pleasure would there be in this adventure if it were otherwise? It does not cost much courage to challenge Kanya Kubja-but If you once begin to be afraid of "but," you will hardly find a place in this world safe enough for you. I have just received the news that the Kings of Koshala, Avanti, and Kalinga are coming this way with their armies.

Just what I was afraid of! The report of Sudarshana's flight has spread abroad-now we are going to be in for a general scramble which is sure to end in smoke. It is useless now, Your Highness. These are not good tidings. I am perfectly certain that it is our Emperor himself who has secretly spread the report everywhere. Why, what good will it bring him? The greedy ones will tear one another to pieces in the general rivalry and scramble-and he will take advantage of the situation to go back with the booty. Now it becomes clear why your King never shows himself.

His trick is to multiply himself on every side-fear makes him visible everywhere. But I will still maintain that your King is but an empty fraud from top to bottom. But, please Your Highness, will you have the kindness to let me off? I cannot let you go-I have some use for you in this affair. Your Highness, Virat, Panchal, and Vidarbha too have come. They have encamped on the other side of the river. In the beginning we must all fight together. Let the battle with Kanya Kubja first be over, then we shall find some way out of the difficulty.

Please do not drag me into your plans-I shall be happy if you leave me alone-I am a poor, mean creature-nothing can-. Look here, king of hypocrites, ways and means are never of a very exalted order-roads and stairs and so forth are always to be trodden under our feet. The advantage of utilising men like you in our plans is that we have to make use of no mask or illusion.

But if I were to consult my prime minister, it would be absurd for me to call theft by any name less dignified than public benefit. I will go now, and move the princes about like pawns on the chessboard; the game cannot evidently go on if all the chessmen propose moving like kings! Is the fight still going on? As fiercely as ever.