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and thus the point was decided. Quarrels like this were not of rare occurrence with them; there being times when the boy would fetch the young brood from the nest of birds, and pluck ripe mellow mangoes in the season and give them to Shaibalini in exchange for the garland.

In the soft sky of the gloaming when the stars were up, they would start counting. Who has seen them first? Which of them first came in view? How many do you see? Are they four? I see five. There is one, there is another, another, another, and another. It is a fib. Shaibalini could not see more than three.

Now let us count the boats. Tell me how many boats are passing? Are they sixteen? Come, a wager! it is eighteen. Shaibalini did not know to count; her first counting gave the number at nine, but the next raised it to twenty-one. Then they gave up the counting, and both fixed their gaze intently on one single boat. Who was in the boat-whither was it going—whence had it come P—were questions which puzzled their speculative powers. Look how the gold is flashing in the splashes of the oar.


THUS affection came into being. Call it love or not, just as you fancy. A lover of sixteen, a sweetheart of eight; but in any case no one knows to love like children.

I believe there is a curse on the love of childhood. How few of those whom you have loved in childhood you come across in youth, how few of them live so long, and how few remain worthy of your love! In old