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CHANDRASHEKHAR.

woman,” demurred Shaibalini, “how can I take food touched by you?" [1]

The servant went away and informed the Englishmen about the matter. “Isn’t there any Brahmin in any of the boats?” enquired Amyatt.

“There is a Brahmin sepoy,” said the servant, “and there is a Brahmin prisoner also.”

“If any of them has got boiled rice, let her have some,” said the Englishmen.

At first the servant took her to the sepoy. The sepoy had nothing to give. Then he took her to the boat where the Brahmin prisoner had heen kept.

The prisoner was Protap Roy. In a small skiff Protap Roy was alone. Sentries were mounting guard fore, aft and all, and inside there was darkness.

“Ho, Brahmin, are you there?” shouted the servant.

“What do you want?” asked Protap.

“Have you got any rice left in your pot?”

“Why?”

“A Brahmin woman is fasting, can you let her have some? ”'

Protap also had no rice left. But he did not acknowledge it and said, “Yes, I can. Ask somebody to take of my handcuffs.”

The servant asked one of the sentries to remove the handcuffs. “Get me the order first,” objected the latter.

The servant went away to procure the necessary order. Who ever took the trouble of bothering himself so much for a stranger? Particularly, Peer Bux was an Englishman’s servant, and he would not willingly do a

  1. According to the caste rules of the Hindus a Brahmin cannot take food touched by a non—Hindu.