Page:Chandrashekhar (1905).djvu/177

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“Yes, I do.”

“Who is she?”

“She is Shaibalini, Chandrashekhar’s wife.”

“How do you know her? ”

“You can order any punishment you choose, I am not going to answer your questions any more.”

“My choice is that you be devoured by dogs.”

Foster’s face withered up, his hands and feet began to tremble; but he soon recovered himself and said, “If you have decided upon my destruction, then kindly direct some other form of death.”

“No,” said the Nawab. “A tradition of an old punishment is current in this country. The culprir is first buried in the earth waist-deep. Then trained dogs are let loose upon him. When he is torn by the dogs, salt is scattered over the wounded parts. The dogs retire after gorging themselves with the flesh and the culprit is allowed to continue half dead and half consumed till the dogs return with renewed hunger and finish off the remainder. I direct that you and Taqui Khan do meet such a death.”

A loud yell, like that of a wounded animal went out of the captive Taqui. Foster bent his knees on the ground and with upturned eyes and clasped hands offered up a silent prayer : “I never prayed to you before, O God ! I never even thought of you but have only sinned all my life. That you exist, never occurred to me. But to-day I am helpless and I call on you. O Thou support of the forlorn, refuge of the destitute, save me, O save me!”

None need be surprised. He who has no faith in God, in times of difficulty, even he calls on Him, and calls in all sincerity of heart. Foster also did the same.