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CHANDRASHEKHAR

do not know, but he is the burning flame Which draws the moth Shaibalini. In this desert of my life he is the first lightning flash in the midst of a parching drought—he is my death. Alas! why did I leave my home and come away with a man of alien religion, why did I not go back with Sundari?” She smote her forehead with the palm of her hand and began to shed tears. The house at Vedagram rose before her mind. The sweet-oleander planted with her own hands along the boundary wall, its tallest spray with its crimson spread at the top reaching beyond the wall and nodding in aspiration of the blue skies, with the bumble-bee and the little birds ever and anon lighting among them, came back to her mind. The platform of the holy basil with its clean swept grounds, the domestic cat, the talking-bird in the cage, the big mango trees of sapid fruit beside the house, all began to be depicted on the canvas of her memory. What a panorama of sweet impressions was unrolled before her mind’s eye! How often she sat on the terrace of her house and gazed at the beautiful azure of cloudless skies; how many white, blooming, sweet-scented flowers she used to wash in clear water and keep in potfuls for Chandrashekhar’s devotional use; how frequently she inhaled the soft, balmy, fragrant breeze, on the banks of the Bheema; how often she watched the tiny ripples throw up their crystal spray and listened to the cuckoo call on the banks! She again heaved a sigh, and pursued the train of her thought— “I had an idea that as soon as I left home I should be able to meet Protap; I thought that some day I would go back to the Purandarpore factory, which is close to Protap’s house, and there sitting at my window I would spread the snare of my glances and inveigle my bird Protap; that with a favourable chance I would