Each rat was to have the care of one of the little boys and to bring him suitable food, and the old Bandicote who had found them would care for the little girl. This was done, and so well were the children fed that they grew rapidly. Before long they were large enough to leave the rat hole and go out to play among the ash heaps, but at night they always returned to the hole.
The old Bandicote warned them that if they saw anyone coming they must at once hide in the hole, and under no circumstances must any one see them. The little boys were always careful to do this, but the little girl was very curious. Now it so happened that one day the wicked nurse came past the ash heaps. The little boys saw her coming and ran back into the hole to hide.
Now, close to the well was a little temple dedicated to Gunputti, containing a small shrine and a little clay image of the god. The labourers pulled down the well, but they found nothing there but a poor old Bandicote, which they killed. Then, by order of the twelve wicked Ranees, they sacrilegiously destroyed the little temple. But they found no children there, either.
Meanwhile a Bandicote had heard the pitiful cries of the children, and taking pity on them, dragged them all, one by one, into her hole, out of the way of kites and vultures. She assembled all the Bandicotes from far and near, and told them what she had done, begging them to assist in finding food for the children.
This plan was approved and forthwith carried into execution; but the good Bandicote, who happened that day to be out on a foraging expedition in the palace, heard all about it there, and immediately running home, took all the children from her hole to a large well some distance off, where she hid them in the hollows behind the steps leading down to the well, laying one child under each step.
He still loved Guzra Bai too much to put her to death, but he had her imprisoned in a high tower, and would not see her nor speak with her. But meanwhile the little children who had been thrown out on the ash heap were being well taken care of. A large rat, of the kind called Bandicote, had heard them crying and had taken pity on them.