Dalani contracted her eyebrows. Like the ripples on the placid water of the Ganges, wrinkles gathered on her forehead; the string of thought was tied to the bow of her eyebrow and Mahammad Taqui felt the ground sliding from under him. “Why did you write that?” she asked. In reply Mahammad Taqui related everything from the beginning to the end.
“Come,” said Dalani, “let me see the order once more, please.”
Mahamrnad Taqui handed over the document again. After carefully perusing it she found it to be genuine and not forged. “Where is the poison?” she asked. Her words took Mahammad Taqui by surprise and he asked, “What do you want the poison for?”
“What does the order direct?"
“To administer poison to you.”
“Then let me have it."
“Do you seriously mean to take it?”
“Why not? It is the order of my King. VVhy shouldn’t I obey it?”
Mahammad Taqui felt in his heart of hearts as if he was dying for very shame and said, “What is done, can not be undone; you shall not have to take the poison, I will see to that.”
Dalani’s eyes ﬂashed ﬁre and straightening up her slender ﬁgure she stood up and said,
“Whoever takes the gift of life at the hand of such a vile wretch as you, is herself a greater wretch; come, let me have the poison.”
Mahammad Taqui gazed at Dalani in admiration Dalani, beautiful— Da1ani young——the stream of beauty just beginning to ﬁll up in the rainy torrent of youth, the full spring of youth opening in their fullest bloom her blossoming limbs. The spring had blended with the