diverting her mind anyhow, and said, “Yes, I will.” Then, with the guard’s permission, the servant-woman sent the barber-woman inside the boat, herself remaining busy in the cooking-place as before.
On facing Shaibalini the barber-woman drew her veil a little deeper, and taking one of her feet began to paint. “Barber-woman, where do you live?” asked Shaibalini after surveying her for some time.
She did not answer. “Barber-woman “what is your name?” again asked Shaibalini.
Still no answer.
“Barber-woman are you weeping?”
“No,” came the soft reply.
“Yes, you are weeping,” and Shaibalini pulled back the barber—woman’s veil. She had been actually weeping; when the veil had been removed, she smiled softly.
“I made you out as soon as you came in,” said Shaibalini. “A veil before me, you silly! Never mind, but where do you come from?"
The barber-woman was no other than sister-in-law Sundari. Wiping her tears she said, “Be off with you, quick. Now take my sari and put it on, I am taking it off for you. Take this lacdye-cotton basket, draw your veil close and clear out of the boat.”
“How have you come?” vacantly repeated Shaibalini.
“Whence I have come, how I have come, I will explain to you later on, if I ﬁnd a suitable time for it. I have come here in search of you. I was told that the palanquin had gone in the direction of the Ganges. I got up in the morning, and without exchanging a word with a single soul, walked up to the river. Then I came to know that the boat had started northwards. I was to have walked a long way, but my feet began to ache, when I hired a boat and followed you. Yours