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range. Soon he took them far away from the scene of battle. On the way he heard from Chandrashekhar all that had transpired at the Durbar including the details At the end Chandrashekhar said, “All honour to thee; Protap! I know every thing.”

Protap was astonished and kept staring at him. “I now know,” continued Chandrashekhar with a voice choking with rheum “that this girl is pure. If I am required to undergo any expiatory ceremony for the sake of society, I will do it and then take her back; but I can never be happy any more.”

“Why, has not the Swami’s medicine done her any good?” asked Protap.

“No, not yet,” replied Chandrashekhar.

Protap saddened and tears started in his eyes. Shaibalini saw everything through her veil. She moved aside a little and beckoned to him with her finger. Protap dismounted and went to her. “Will you listen to a word of mine?” she said in a whisper. “I am not going to propose anything wrong.”

“Is your madness a sham?” asked Protap in astonishment.

“It is so for the time being,” replied Shaibalini. “Since I left my bed in the morning things are getting clear. Have I been really mad all this while?”

Protap’s face brightened up. Shaibalini divined what was passing in his mind and said, “Bush! don’t say anything now. I will tell them everything myself. It all depends on your advice.”

“Why my advice?"

“If my husband takes me back, do you think it will be right for me to conceal from him my sinful thoughts and allow him to bestow his unsuspecting love on me?”