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In placing a check Amyatt asked Johnson, “What is that?” “Whose check has captured the king, yours or mine?” abstractedly asked Johnson in return.

The wail waxed sharper. The voice was not unpleasant, but in that silent waste of waters this nocturnal cry appeared hideous.

Amyatt left the game and stood up. He went out and looked round. He could see no one; nor was there any cremation-ground near by anywhere. The sound started from somewhere in the middle of the sandy plain.

Amyatt alighted from the boat and followed the sound. After proceeding a little, he saw somebody sitting alone in that sandy plain.

He drew near and found a woman wailing aloud. Amyatt did not know Hindustani well. “Who are you?” he asked, “Why are you crying?”

The woman could not understand anything of his Hindustani and continued to cry lustily. Unable to get any answer time after time, he waved her to follow him. The woman got on her feet. Amyatt, went in advance and she walked behind weeping. The woman was no other than that vile sinner Shabalini.


ON returning to the barge Amyatt said to Galstaun, “This woman was crying alone on the sandy plain. She does not understand my language nor do I understand hers, you had better question her.”

Galstaun was about equally learned with Amyatt, but he had a high reputation among his own people for his