Page:Chandrashekhar (1905).djvu/183

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dust and putting the dust on his head he said,[1] “Thou art a prince of men, I give you my word, I will not harm Foster in any way.”

With these words Protap remounted his steed and pursued his way towards the battle.

“For what else do you go to the battle-field Protap?" asked Chandrashekhar. Protap faced round and smiling a soft and sweet smile said, “I have got some business there” With these words he whipped his horse and quickly disappeared.

Ramananda Swami felt very much perturbed at that smile. Addressing Chandrashekhar he said, “Take your wife home with you. I will start for a bath in the Ganges. After a day or two I will meet you again.”

“My mind is very much troubled for Protap,” remarked Chandrashekhar. “I will soon follow with his news,” said Ramananda Swami.

After bidding them farewell, Ramananda Swami started for the battle-field. In that terrible field of slaughter, horrid with the wail of the wounded, amidst a cloud of smoke and a rain of fire Ramananda Swami moved about in search of Protap. Heaps of the slain lay piled upon one another, some altogether dead, some half dead, some with mutilated bodies, some pierced in the breast and some plaintively crying out, “Water, water, Oh, for a drop of water!” Some were calling out by name on their parents, brothers, friends and other dear ones in doleful lamentation. Among these

Ramananda Swami searched for Protap, but could not find him. He saw riders with gory limbs fling their weapons down and fly on the back of their bleeding

  1. This is a mode of showing one's veneration for another, and the dust is supposed to carry a blessing.