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4
INTRODUCTION.

Ganges. Several people were swimming there. “Shaibalini, come let us swim,” proposed Protap. Both began to swim, both were expert in the natatory art, no other children in the village could swim like them. It was the rainy season, the water of the Ganges ran up to the brim—it glided along, swimming, dancing and racing. They clove the waters, churned and scattered them, and swam along. Their handsome youthful figures shone in the foaming eddies like twin gems set in a silver orb.

When the—bathing-folk in the ghât saw them swim off to a considerable distance, they called them back, but they paid no heed—they went on. Again the bathers called them back, rated them, abused them, but neither of the two would listen—they went on. When they had gone a long way, Protap said, “Shaibalini, now is the time for our tying the nuptial knot.”

“What is the use of going any further? Let it be even here,” answered Shaibalini.

Protap sank.

Shaibalini could not; she was afraid. “Why should I die?" thought she. “Who is Protap to me? I feel afraid, I cannot die.” Shaibalini could not sink; she turned and swam back to the shore.



CHAPTER III.
THE BRIDEGROOM FOUND.

NOT very far from where Protap sank, a skiff was rowing along. One of the passengers saw Protap sink and leapt into the water. The passenger was Chandrashekhar Sharma[1]

  1. Sharma is the generic title of a Brahmin.