is a big boat and slow, mine is a small one, so I caught you up quickly.”
“How could you come alone?”
It was on the tip of Sundari’s tongue to return, “You blackfaced! how could you come riding in an Englishman’s palanquin alone?” But ﬁnding it ill—suited for the occasion she held back and said :—
“I have not come alone, my husband is with me. Leaving our boat a little way off I assumed the garb of a barber-woman and came.”
“Then put on my sari, take this lacdye-cotton basket, draw your veil close and get away; no one will know you. Follow the bank of the Ganges, you will ﬁnd my husband in the boat. Don’t feel ashamed on account of his being the husband of your husband’s sister; you will go straight into the boat. As soon as you reach there, he will row off and take you home.”
Shaibalini reﬂected for a time and said, “Very well, I grant it shall be so, but then what will become of you?”
“Don't you trouble yourself for me. The Englishman, who can conﬁne the Brahmin woman Sundari in a boat has not set his foot in Bengal yet. We are born of Brahmin parents, we are the wives of Brahmins, if our minds be ﬁrm there can be no danger for us in this world. Do you go, I will reach home in course of the night anyhow. The God who overcometh all evil is my hope. Don’t delay any longer. My husband hasn’t had his meal yet, I don’t know whether he will have any to-day at all.”
- It is against the rules of domestic propriety among the Bengal Hindus, for a lady to appear before such a relation.