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CHANDRASHEKHAR

ing at my name. I am the master of Bengal. Am I really the master of Bengal? Then who if not I? No, the English merchants are the master, and Mir Kasim is their slave. I am the slave of Mir Kasim, therefore, I am the slave of the master’s slave. A very high position indeed! Why shouldn’t I be the master of Bengal? Who can stand before my guns? The English? Let me once catch them! But unless I cast them out of this country I cannot be the master. I want to be the ruler of Bengal. I don't mind Mir Kasim; I will tear him away from the throne the very day I shall wish it. He is merely my ladder to mount up to my exalted position. Now that I have got up to the terrace, I can safely kick it. The rascally English are the only thorn. They want to have me under their thumb, I want to have them under mine. But they will never come under my thumb; therefore, I must drive them away. Let Mir Kasim continue on the throne for the present; I will co-operate with him and obliterate the British-name from Bengal. With that object I am contriving to bring about this war; all this done, I will bid adieu to Mir Kasim. This is the right path. But why do I get this letter so unexpectedly today? Why has this girl launched in this reckless adventure?”

Just then the person who occupied his mind entered appearance and stood before him. Gurgan Khan conducted her to a separate seat. She was Dalani Begum.

“I am very glad,” said Gurgan Khan, “to see you after such a length of time. I have not had the pleasure of seeing you since you entered the Nawab’s seraglio. But why have you embarked in this mad adventure?”

“How mad? ” asked Dalani.