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In the morning Ramcharan came, and found that no preparations had been made for the self-immolation of the ladies.

In the upper story of the house another man was sleeping. It is necessary to give some account of him here. In delineating his character, this pen -of mine tainted with the stain of Shaibalini’s sin, will be hallowed.


IN high dudgeon indeed, Sundari had left Shaibalini’s boat. The whole of her return-journey she railed at Shaibalini to her husband. Investing her with such endearing epithets as, “ill-starred,” “black face,” "oven-faced,” and other good set terms, she materially contributed to his amusement. On returning home she wept long. Then Chandrashekhar returned and abandoned his native village. After that came a lull for a few days. No news of Shaibalini or Chandrashekhar could be obtained. Then Sundari donned her Dacca sari and began to put on her ornaments.

We have said that Sundari was the daughter of one of Chandrashekhar’s neighbours, by courtesy his sister. Her father was not entirely without means. As a rule, Sundari used to live with her father. Without exactly being a domesticated[1] son—in-law, her husband Sreenath occasionally lived with her father. We have also said that Sreenath was living in Vedagram at the time of Shaibalini’s misfortune. Sundari was practically the mistress of the house as her mother was a confirmed

  1. In India rich parents sometimes marry their daughters to poor men and maintain the sons-in-law in their own house.