Page:Chandrashekhar (1905).djvu/103

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Foster and brought about the sentry’s end. Taking him for a common menial, Amyatt had given him leave to depart when he started from Monghyr. “Your master is a great scoundrel," he said, “we will punish him, but we have no concern with you; you can go wherever you choose.” In reply, with folded hands Ramcharan salaamed and said, “I am a rustic cow-keeper, I do not know how to talk, you will excuse me, I should like to know if I am in any way related to you.”

When some one had explained, Amyatt asked, “ Why?”

“Otherwise why should you be poking fun at me?”

"What fun you mean?”

“When you break my leg, and then ask me to go about wherever I choose—doesn’t it show that I am related to you by marriage? I am a cowherd’s son, if I were to marry an Englishman's sister I should lose my caste.” [1]

In spite of the interpreter’s explanation Amyatt could not grasp anything. He took it in the light of a particular species of Indian flattery. Just as the Indians called them mother, father, brother, and such other terms of kinship for humouring them, Ramcharan was similarly calling him brother-in-law. Amyatt was not very much displeased, and asked, “What do you want?”

“Order my leg to be set straight,” said Ramcharan.

“Very well,” said Amyatt smiling. “you had better stay with us for some time, we shall have you looked after.”

Ramcharan wanted exactly that much; Protap was going as a prisoner, and Ramcharan wanted to accompany him. Thus Ramcharan had accompanied Amyatt of his own free-will and not as a prisoner.

  1. This is an indirect way of calling Mr. Amyatt. wife's brother, which in Bengali, is a term of abuse.