Anandamath (Dawn over India)/Part 1/Chapter 9

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During the fray Mahendra had leaped from the cart, snatched a sword from a sepoy, and was getting ready to attack his captors. But at second thought he felt convinced that these new people were really robbers. They had attacked the sepoys only for money. So he stepped aside, feeling that if he helped the robbers in any way he would have to bear a share of the sin of this hold-up. When the fight was over, he threw the sword aside, and began slowly to walk away. It was then that Bhavan walked towards him, and stood close to him.

'Gentleman, sir, may I know who you are?' Mahendra inquired.

'It is not necessary for you to know that.'

'Yes, I need to know it. I am greatly indebted to you today.'

'I did not realise that you had that much sense in you,' the other replied. 'During the fight you stood aloof with a sword in your hand. You are a wealthy zamindar. In consuming lavish dishes for breakfast, luncheon and dinner you are second to none. Yet when it comes to doing something useful, you are nothing better than a baboon.'

'You were engaged in sin,' Mahendra said contemptuously. 'This was robbery, pure and simple!'

'It might be robbery. But you cannot deny the fact that we did some good to you and may render further favours.'

'Yes, you have indeed done some good to me. But what more can you do for me? And again, it is certainly correct behaviour not to accept favours from robbers.'

'It rests with you to accept or to reject favours from us! But you may come with me if you so desire. I want you to meet your wife and child again.'

'What did I hear you say?' Mahendra inquired, quite surprised.

Bhavan said no more, but started walking. Mahendra, of course, followed him while he thought within himself: 'These are strange robbers indeed!'