46. PRINCE UTTARA
Those of the Kaurava army, who could see this spectacle, found it amusing. Drona was puzzled at the sight of Brihannala who, albeit dressed fantastically, seemed a man rigged out as a woman and to remind him curiously of Arjuna. When he remarked about this, Karna said: "How can this be Arjuna? What does it matter even if he is? What can Arjuna alone do against us in the absence of the other Pandavas? The king has left his son alone in the city and gone with his whole army to fight against Susarma. The young prince has brought the attendant of the ladies of the palace as his charioteer. That is all." Poor Uttara was imploring Brihannala to let him go, promising untold wealth if he did so. He appealed to his pity: "I am the only son of my mother. I am a child grown up on my mother's lap. I am full of fear." But, Brihannala wanted to save him from himself, and would not let him go. He pursued him, seized him and dragged him to the chariot by force. Uttara began to sob and said: "What a fool I was to brag! Alas! What will happen to me?" Arjuna said kindly, soothing the prince's fears: "Be not afraid. I shall fight with the Kauravas. Help me by looking after the horses and driving the chariot, and I shall do the rest. Believe me, no good ever came of flight. We will rout the enemy and recover your cows. You will have all the glory." With these words Arjuna lifted the prince on to the chariot and, putting the reins in his hands, asked him to drive towards a tree near the burial ground. Drona, who was watching all this intently, knew that the fantastically dressed charioteer was Arjuna and shared his knowledge with Bhishma.