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78 CHANDRASHEKHAR.

should be out of Monghyr; next, it was desirable to keep Amyatt in hand a little——he might be of service later on.

The Nawah dismissed Gurgan Khan from his presence. While the latter retired the Nawab threw a furtive glance at him as if to say, “I will keep my own counsel for the present—you'are my chief weapon in the war; once it is over, I will pay off the debt of Dalani’s wrong with your blood.”

The Nawab then sent for the Chief Secretary and passed an order to the following effect :—

That a mandate should go to Mahammed Taqui Khan at Murshidabad to arrest Amyatt as soon as his boat reached Murshidabad and send his prisoners to the Nawab. It must be further noted that the matter is to be managed by skill, and not by open violence. The mandate should go via land route in the hands of a courier, so that it might reach beforehand.

On his return to the harem, the Nawab sent for Shaibalini again. “Just now,” said he, “your husband’s release cannot be effected. The Englishmen have started with him for Calcutta. I have sent orders to Murshidabad, they will be arrested there, you can now.”

Shaibalini broke in, and with folded hands said, “You will pardon the volubility of a woman’s tongue—could not they be captured if men were despatched now?”

“A handful of men will not do to capture the Englishmen, and a big boat is necessary to send more men with arms. The Englishmen are sure to reach Murshidabad before we can come up to them. Then again, who knows they would not kill the prisoners when they should find preparations going on for a serious struggle? There are clever officers at Murshidabad, they will manage the business by skill.”