Page:Chandrashekhar (1905).djvu/175

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
165
CHANDRASHEKHAR.

“Do you know this slave?” asked the Nawab.

“Yes, I do.”

“Who is she?”

“She is your slave.”

“Call Mahammad Taqui,” said the Nawab.

Mahammad Irfan brought in Taqui Khan in chains. Taqui Khan had wavered all his time; he could not make up his mind which side to join, consequently he had not gone over to the enemy yet. But the Nawab’s generals knowing him to be a man of doubtful integrity had narrowly watched his proceedings. Hence Ali Ibrahim Khan found no difficulty in bringing him under arrest.

Without casting a look on Taqui the Nawab said, “Kulsam, tell us how you went to Calcutta from Monghyr.”

Kulsam described every thing in detail and told all about Dalani Begum. After finishing her story, with folded hands and tearful eyes she said in a loud voice, “My Liege! in this tent of public audience, I charge this scoundrel, this woman-murderer, Mahammad Taqui. Deign to admit my suit. He deceived my master with a false accusation against the character of his wife, and has crushed like an ant the very pearl of her kind in this world—the Begum Dalani. My Liege! I say he has done it, and I pray that this wretch might in his turn be as pitilessly crushed.”

“That is false,” faltered Taqui in a choking voice. "Who is your witness?”

With dilated eyes Kulsam yelled out, “You want my witness? Look above—my witness is God. Lay thy hand on thy heart and then ask—-even thou art my witness! If any other testimony is required, then ask that Englishman there.”