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CHANDRASHEKHAR.

“Is there any sin in suicide?” asked Shaibalini. She had been gazing intently at Chandrashekhar, and her bright lotus-like eyes were swimming with tears.

“Yes, there is. Why do you want to die?”

Shaibalini again shuddered and said, “Oh! I can not die, I shall fall into that hell.”

“By your expiation, I am sure you will be saved from this hell.”

“But what is the expiation to save oneself from this mental hell?”

“What do you mean?”

“The gods are in the habit of frequenting this hill. I do not know what they have done to me; day and night I am dreaming of hell.”

Chandrashekhar saw that Shaibalini’s eyes had been set in a stare on the further end of the cave, as if they were straining after some distant object. He found her thin face had dried up, the eyes were swelling out, the lids were fixed, her nostrils contracted and dilated alternately, a thrill was passing through her frame and she was trembling all over.

“What are you gazing at?” asked Chandrashekhar.

Shaibalini remained speechless and kept staring as before.

“Why are you frightened?” again asked Chandrashekhar.

She sat as one struck to stone. Chandra shekhar was amazed and in silence he gazed for a while at Shaibaiini’s face.

He could not make out anything. Suddenly Shaihalini gave a hideous scream and cried, “Lord! save me, save me; thou art my husband, who can do it, if not thou!” and she fainted on the ground.