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CHANDRASHEKHAR.

From a neighbouring spring Chandrashekhar fetched water and sprinkled her face. He fanned her with his wrapping scarf, and after a time Shaibalini recovered her senses. She sat up and wept in silence.

“What were you staring at?” asked Chandrashekhar.

“Oh, that hell!” cried Shaibalini.

Chandrashekhar found that Shaibalini had begun to suffer the agonies of hell even in this very life.

“ I cannot die,” she said after a short silence, “I am in dread of a terrible hell. I am sure to, go there as soon asI die, therefore I must live. But how shall I live for twelve years all alone? Conscious or unconscious, I see nothing but hell.”

“You need not be frightened,” said Chandrashekhar.

“Fasting and mental suffering are the root of your present distemper. The physicians call it nervous disorder. Go to Vedagram and build yourself a hut at one end of the village. Sundari will be able to look after you there and place you in the hands of a doctor. All of a sudden Shaibalini closed her eyes. At the further end of the cave it seemed to her, as if the figure of Sundari, carved out of stone, stood with uplifted finger. Shaibalini found that Sundari had grown very tall, and gradually she grew up to the height of a palm-tree. She looked terrible; suddenly a hell was created there; again that same putrid smell, that same fearful crackling of fire, the same heat, the same cold, the same wilderness of serpents and the same sky darkened with the same hideous worms. In that hell the ghouls descended carrying ropes of thorns and canes of scorpions in their hands; they bound Shaibalini with the rope and dragged her along striking her all the while with the scorpion—canes. The stony Sundari tall as a palm-tree, raised her arm and cheered them on. “Lay on, lay on; I