Page:Chandrashekhar (1905).djvu/43

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

The door was closed. On hearing his knock outside, the servant opened the door. At the sight of Chandrashekhar he set up a weeping. “What is the matter?” anxiously enquired the former.

The servant without making any reply went away weeping.

Chandrashekhar inwardly offered up prayers to the god of his worship. He found the yard unswept, the hall-of-worship full of dust, burnt torches were lying about, and here and there were broken doors. He entered the inner house and found all the doors fastened from outside. The serving-woman slunk away on his appearance. He heard her loud cries of weeping, coming from beyond the house. Then he took his stand in the centre of the courtyard, and with a loud distorted voice called out “Shaibalini.”

No one answered, Chandrashekhar’s distorted voice quieted the weeping maid-servant.

He again called out. The sound of his voice was echoed back from the rooms; no one answered.

By that time over Shaibalini’s painted boat, the red English flag was fluttering in a current of gentle breeze, which came skimming over the waters of the Ganges; the oarsmen were singing their own peculiar boat song.

Chandrashekhar heard everything. Thereupon, he carefully carried the stone family-idol in his house to Sundari’s father and left it with him. He then called his poor neighbours together and distributed the crockery, clothes and other household articles to them. Upto dusk he remained busy in this way. At night-fall he brought out one by one and collected together all the books, both studied and unstudied and dear as his life-blood. One by one he began to pile them up in the