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THE tall individual came and silently sat by Dalani’s side.

Dalani had been weeping, but terror had dried up her tears and she remained motionless. The stranger also remained silent.

During the time all this happened another heavy calamity had been brewing for her elsewhere.

Secret orders had been sent to Mahammad Taqui Khan to send Dalani to Monghyr after rescuing her from the hands of the English. Taqui had thought that as soon as the Englishmen were captured or killed, Dalani would naturally fall into his hands; therefore, he did not think it necessary to give any special instructions to his people with regard to her. Subsequently when he discovered that the Begum was not in the boat of the defunct Englishmen, he found himself in a quandary. One cannot tell what unknown miseries the Nawab’s wrath might prepare for him on account of his remissness and neglect. Oppressed with this apprehension he boldly struck out a plan to hoodwink the Nawab. A rumour had been afloat that as soon as war broke out, the English would release Mir Jafar from his captivity and replace him on the throne. If the English came out victorious, then Mir Kasim’s subsequent knowledge of the deception could not possibly harm him. It was enough if he could save his neck for the present. If, on the other hand, Mir Kasim turned out victorious, then some means must be devised for keeping the truth from him. One must be careful to guard against any severe orders for the present. When he had fixed on this wicked resolve, he