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CHANDRASHEKHAR.

the Nawab, then it occurred to her that the Begum had been taken away hy the Englishmen. Shaibalini fell into a brown study.

“Have you seen her?” asked the Nawab when he found her silent.

“Yes, I have.”

“Where did you see her?”

“In the place where we were last night.”

“Where is that? In Protap Roy’s house?”

“Yes, if you please.”

“Do you know where the Begum has gone from there?”

“Two Englishmen have forcibly carried her away.”

“What do you say?”

Shaibalini repeated her answer. The Nawab remained silent. He bit his underlip, tore his beard, and sent for Gurgan Khan.

“Do you know,” continued the Nawab, “why the Englishmen took the Begum away?”

“No, I do not.”

“Where was Protap at the time?”

“He also has been taken away in that company.”

“Was there any one else in his house?”

“There was a servant, and he too has been taken away.

“Can you tell me,” again asked the Nawab, “why they have been taken away?”

Hitherto Shaibalini had kept to the truth, now she began falsehoods and said, “No, I can not.”

“Who is Protap? Where does he come from?”

“Shaibalini gave a correct account of him.”

“Why did he come here?”

“He was in search of employment under your Highness.”

“How is he related to you?”