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her stupor. But her mind was still wandering and the stones were pricking her back. Yet labouring under an illusion, though completely awake, she cried—

“What will become of me? Is there no means for mv salvation?”

“Yes, there is,” came the sonorous reply from the cave. What is this? Was Shaibalini really in hell? Confused, bewildered and terrified, Shaibalini asked, “What means?"

“Take a twelve-year vow of expiation,” said the voice from the cave again.

What, is it an oracle? Shaibalini went on in a woeful tone

“What is that vow? Who is to initiate me?”

“I will.”

“Who are you?”

“Take the vow.”

“What have I got to do?”

“Put off your silk cloth and take the one I am giving you. Now stretch out your hand.”

Shaibalini did as told. A piece of cloth was placed on her out-stretched hand; she cast of the old cloth and after putting on the new said,

“What else have I got to do?”

“Where is your husband’s home?”

“In Vedagram. Have I got to go there?”

“Yes; go there and build yourself a hut at one end of the village.”

“Anything else?”

“You shall sleep on the ground.”

“What more?”

“You shall eat nothing but fruits and vegetables, and that only once a day.”

“What next?”