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CHANDRSHEKHAR.

sentry before him, the gun in his hand falling on the boat with a crash.

At that very instant, Protap unsheathed a knife from his girdle and cut the rope which confined the barge. The water being shallow at that place and the current being feeble, the boatmen did not cast anchor; and even if they had done so, it could not stand in the way of the supple-fingered and powerful Protap. Then at one bound Protap sprang into the boat.

All these happened within a hundreth part of the time taken in narrating these events. The fall of the sentry, the coming out of Foster, then his fall, and again the entrance of Protap into the boat, all these happened before the men in the other boat could come up. But they did come at last.

They found that Protap’s skill had set the barge adrift. One of them tried to swim up and overtake it, but Protap took up a pole and struck him on the head. This sent him spinning back and no one else made any further attempt. Protap punted the boat, the boat veered into a deep current and darted of in an easterly direction.

Pole in hand, Protap turned round and saw that another Telinga sepoy resting his knee against the roof of the boat was taking aim at him. Protap raised his pole aloft and struck him on the hand. Disabled by the stroke, the gun fell from his hands. Protap took it up, and also the one which had fallen from Foster’s hands, and then addressed the men of the boat in the following words :—

“Now listen to me! Know me as Protap Ray. Even the Nawab does not despise me. With these two guns and my pole, I think, I alone can settle you all If you follow my advice, I will not molest you. I am