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CHANDRASHEKHAR.

Shaibalini was frightened and said, “Why Protap, why should you drown yourself? Come let us get up on the bank.”

“I am not going to do it. I am determined to die to-day.”

Protap loosed his hold of the log.

“Why, Protap?”

“I am serious. I will surely die——it all depends on you.”

“What do you want, Protap? Tell me, I will do whatever you wish.”

"First make a solemn promise, then I will get out.”

"What promise, Protap?”

Shaibalini also let go her hold of the log. In her eyes the stars died out, the moon wore a dun complexion, the blue water of the Ganges began to burn like blue fire, and Foster came and stood before her with a naked sword. “What promise, Protap?” she repeated panting.

Both had left the log and were swimming side by side. In the bubbling, purling waters this awful conversation was going on and amidst the surrounding, scattering spray the moon was smiling. Oh, the tyranny of Nature!

“What promise, Protap?” again asked Shaibalini.

“Swear by these waters of the Ganges."

“What is the Ganges to me?”

“Then swear by your religion—”

“What religion have I got?”

“Then swear by me.”

“Come closer, give me your hand.”

Protap drew near; after an age he took her hand in his. It became very hard for them to keep themselves afloat. They caught hold of the log again.