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The Nawab remained absorbed in thought for a while and then continued, “ And that woman Shaihalini? Could any of you bring her to me?”

“By this time,” said Mahammad Irfan with folded hands, “she must have gone back to her home. I will go and fetch her.” Irfan took his leave preliminary to his departure.

“Could any of you,” further inquired the Nawab, “find out the ascetic who gave shelter to the Begum at Monghyr?”

“If it pleases Your Highness,” said Irfan, “I will go to Monghyr for him after finding out Shaibalini."

"How far is Gurgan Khan?” he inquired last of all.

“We hear that he is coming to Udaynala with the army,” said the ministers, “but he has not arrived yet.”

“Army, army, whose army!” muttered the Nawab to himself.

Someone whispered, “His.”

The ministers took their leave.

Then the Nawab rose from his jewelled throne, threw his diamond head-gear at a distance, tore off the pearl-strings from his neck, flung away the jewelled dress from his body, and rolling on the ground wept aloud, “Dalani, Dalani, O my Dalani !”

Such is the glory of a Nawah of this mundane world.


IT has transpired in the foregoing chapter that Kulsam had an interview with Warren Hastings. In giving the details of her own story she had to describe Foster’s doings in extenso.