“Why have you come here?” asked Shaibalini.
“This is my lodging,” answered Protap.
As a matter of fact Shaibalini had not yet recovered. A ﬁre was burning within her; she was trembling to the tips of her nails, and a thrill was passing through her entire being. She remained silent for a little while. and somewhat recovered, she resumed,
“Who has brought me here?”
“We have brought you?”
“We! who are the we?”
“I and my servant.”
“Why have you brought me here? What do you want with me?”
Protap got very much irritated and said, “One should not look upon the face of a miserable sinner like you. I have saved you from the hands of the Englishman, and you ask me, ‘why have you brought me here?"
Shaibalini did not return passion for passion. In a tearful voice she meekly said :—
“If the Englishman’s company seemed to you such an abomination for me, then why didn’t you put an end to my life then and there? You had the gun in your hand.”
Protap was further incensed and said,
“I would have done that even; but the sin of a woman’s death stayed my hand, nevertheless, it is better you should die.”
Shaibalini wept. After stanching her tears, she went on, ‘Yes, it is better I should die, but let others say what they like, you shouldn't say so. Who is the author of this miserable plight of mine ?——you. Who has rendered my