Page:Indira and Other Stories.pdf/18

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water-birds were joyously playing; a gentle breeze caused tiny waves to break in drops that glittered in the sunshine, and the lotuses rocked on the crest of the waves. I noticed that my armed guardians were in the water bathing. As they splashed they threw up drops that shone like diamonds in the brilliant rays of the afternoon sun. Then I observed that, with the exception of the bearers, all my attendants were in the water. Near me were only two helpless women, one my own maid, the other the woman my father-in-law had sent. I began to feel a little perturbed. There was no one near but my women. The place had an ill fame. I was fairly frightened. But what was I to do? A zenana lady, it was not for me to call even my own people to my rescue.

At this moment I heard a sound on the other side of my palanquin, as if some heavy object had fallen from one of the trees. I opened the door on that side, and peeped out. Before me was a tall, dark-visaged man. As I gazed, horrified, another and yet another man jumped