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to Monghyr were being banded together and Protap Roy was collecting them. Gurgan Khan grew anxious at the news.


IN an intensely dark rocky cave, Shaibalini was lying on a bed of sharp piercing stones. The stalwart individual had left her there. The wind and rain had ceased, but inside the cave was darkness——nothing but darkness, and in that darkness a deep stillness reigned. Shut your eyes, open them, the same darkness still. Silence! Only here and there drops of water trickling down the rocky fissures on the stony navement below occasionally emitted a dripping sound, and inside some creature—man or beast, who knows?—seemed to draw breath.

Shaibalini now lay under a fear. Fear?—it is not exactly that. There is a limit to the equipoise of man’s soul and Shaibalini had outstripped that limit. She had no fear, for life had become unbearable to her, it had become an insufferable burden—to lay it down was a relief. Whatever was left—happiness, religion, caste, family-name and honour—had all gone. What else had she to lose? What was the fear?

But the hope which she had carefully and secretly nourished in her innermost heart from her infancy upwards, that day or even before, she had plucked out; him, for whom she had given up her all, even him she had now given up; her mind was entirely out of gear and altogether prostrate. Then again, for nearly two days she had gone without food; over and above, were the