Page:Chandrashekhar (1905).djvu/52

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
42
CHANDRASHEKHAR

also, to know me as such. I will remain your mortal enemy in the palace.”

With these words Dalani flung out of the room and went away.

When Dalani had gone away Gurgan Khan began to reflect. He knew that Dalani was no longer his, she was Mir Kasim’s. She might have a sister’s affection for him but her love for Mir Kasim was far stronger. When she has known, or will know, that the brother is no well-wisher of the husband, she might do the brother an ill-turn for the good of the husband. Therefore, she must not be allowed to enter the fort again. With this decision Gurgan Khan called to a servant.

One of the armed attendants appeared. Gurgan Khan sent orders through him that the sentries must not allow Dalani to enter the fort.

On horseback the courier reached the gate of the fort in advance. Dalani duly arrived there, and was told that her admittance had been forbidden.

At this, she slowly sank on the ground like a torn creeper. Torrents of tears flowed from her eyes, and she exclaimed, “Alas, my brother! you have made me completely desolate.”

“Come,” suggested Kulsam, “let us go back to the Commander-in-Chief’s house.”

“You can go if you like,” said Dalani, “I will take shelter within the billows of the Ganges.”

In that dark night Dalani stood on the public highway and wept. The stars were shimmering overhead; the scent of new-blown flowers came floating from the trees; the leaves, mantled in darkness were rustling in a current of gentle breeze; and Dalani, through her tears muttered “ Kulsam.”