Page:Chandrashekhar (1905).djvu/159

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

brother and sister had bound themselves to a compact for mutual support.”

Then she related in detail all the occurrences of the night when she and Dalani went to Gurgan’s house. She also repeated the conversation between Dalani and Gurgan Khan which she had heard from the former. Then she described their return to the fort, their shutting out, the ascetic’s help, their abode in Protap‘s house, the attack of the English, the mistaken apprehension of Dalani for Shaibalini, their confinement in the boat, the death of Amyatt and others, their flight with Foster, and lastly, Foster’s desertion of Dalani on the bank of the Ganges. After relating all these she wound up in the following words :—

“The devil was in me at the time I have no doubt; otherwise why should I forsake the Begum at such a moment? Touched with compassion at the sufferings of the wicked Englishman I felt towards him—— I thought—— never mind, it does not matter. I was confident that the Government boat which was coming behind would pick up the Begum, otherwise why should I let her go. But I have got my deserts for my folly. For soon after I earnestly entreated Foster to put me down on the shore, but he refused. On reaching Calcutta I beseeched everyone I met to send me here, but no one paid any heed. Then I was told that Mr. Hastings was a very kind-hearted man. I went to him, fell at his feet and wept. B.y his favour alone I am here to-day. Now I am ready. You can give your orders for my death. I have no desire to live.”

After delivering herself thus, Kulsam began to weep. On a costly throne, buried in a profusion of jewels flashing out their thousand beams, the Nawab of Bengal sat with down—cast looks. The sceptre of his