Then Krishna, Arjuna's charioteer, at the nick of time, pressed the
vehicle down five fingers deep in the mud, so that the serpent- shaft just missed Partha's
head but struck off his helmet! Arjuna was red with shame and anger and he fixed a dart on
his bow to make an end of Karna.
And Karna's fated hour was come, and as had been foretold, the left
wheel of his chariot suddenly sank in the bloody mire. He jumped down on the ground to
lift the wheel up from the mud.
"Wait a minute!" he cried. "My chariot has sunk in the
ground. Great warrior as you are, and knowing dharma as you do, you would certainly not
take unfair advantage of this accident. I shall presently set my car right and give you
all the battle you want."
Arjuna hesitated. Karna was nowsomewhat perturbed on account of the
mishap. He remembered the curse that bad been pronounced on him, and again appealed to
Arjuna's sense of honour.
Krishna intervened. "Ha, Karna!" be exclaimed, "it is
well that you too remem- ber that there are things like fairplay and chivalry!