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CHANDRASHEKHAR.

following, but Ramcharan forbade and warned her off. In fear she abided in the boat. At Ramcharan’s request Shaibalini got into the palanquin. He took it to Protap’s house.

Dalani and Kulsam were still staying in that house. Lest there should be any interruption to their sleep, Ramcharan avoided them and took shaibalini upstairs, and with a request that she might take her rest, he set a light before her, made her obeisance, and left the place after closing the door behind him.

Shaibalini had asked—“whose house is this?”—but it suited Ramcharan to pay a deaf ear to it.

Contrary to Protap’s instructions, Ramcharan in the exercise of his own discretion, had taken Shaibalini to Protap’s house. Protap had told him to take the palanquin to Jagat Shetth’s house. On the way it struck Ramcharan— “Who knows if I should find the gate of Jagat Shetth’s house open at this time of night? Would the gatekeeper give us admittance ? How should we introduce ourselves when asked? Should I invite my own ruin by giving a true account? It is much safer to avoid all that and go to our own lodging.” With this decision he had taken the palanquin to Protap’s house.

When Protap found that the palanquin was fairly out of sight, he got out of the boat. Hitherto the sight of the guns in Protap’s hand had made the men hold their tongue, but now the presence of the clubmen effectually silenced them. Alighting from the boat, Protap took the way to his lodging. Reaching the door of his house he gave a knock. Ramcharan came and opened the door. That Ramcharan had acted against his instructions, he heard as soon as he reached home from Ramcharan himself. He was a little put out and said, “There is time yet, take her to Jagat Shetth’s house. Go fetch her.”