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life full of darkness?——you. Despaired of all hopes of happiness for whom did I lose all sense of right and wrong?——it is for you. For whom am I thus miserable?——it is for you. For whom was I not able to fix my mind on my domestic duties?——it is for you. You should not scold me.”

“You are a vile sinner,” replied Protap, “therefore, I reproach you. Is it my fault? God knows, I am not guilty in any way. Heaven only knows how of late I have shunned your path in terror as of a serpent. In dread of your venom I left Vedagram. Your own heart is at fault. Your own inclinations are to blame. You are a wicked sinner, therefore you blame me. What harm have I done to you?”

Shaibalini flared up, and continued, “What harm you have done, you ask? Why, why did you again hold up that matchless divine figure of yours before my eyes ? In my budding youth swelling in bloom why did you light the flame of your beauty before me. What I once forgot, why did you kindle up? Oh, why did I see you! If I did see you, then why couldn’t I get you! If I couldn’t get you, then why didn’t I die! Don’t you know that in contemplation of your beauty my home was converted into a wilderness for me? Don’t you know that in a vague uncertain hope of getting you, I snapped all ties with you in connection with Vedagram and left my home, otherwise who is Foster to me?”

At these words it seemed as if a thunder-bolt had come down on Protap’s head. He shot out of the place like one stung by a scorpion. At that time there was a great tumult at the outer gate.