Page:Chandrashekhar (1905).djvu/184

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horses trampling to death the hapless wounded who chanced to fall under the hoofs. In this crowd also, Ramananda Swami looked for Protap, but with equal success. He also saw many of the infantry bathed in blood and with empty hands running away in precipitate flight. Among these again, he looked for Protap, but with no better success.

Tired with the search Ramananda. Swami sat down at the foot of a tree; a sepoy ran past him. Accosting the latter he said, “I see everyone of you running away, who has done the fighting then?”

“No one,” answered the sepoy, “Only a Hindu has fought very bravely.”

“Where is he?” inquired the Swami. “You will find him near the trenches,” said the sepoy as he fled.

Ramananda Swami went in the direction suggested. He saw no fighting there; the dead bodies of a few Englishmen and Hindus were lying together in a heap. The Swami began to search for Protap among these. From some one among the fallen Hindus a deep groan was heard Ramananda Swami pulled him out and found he was Protap-—Protap wounded, dying, but not dead.

He fetched some water and sprinkled his face. Protap recognised him and tried to lift his arm in salutation but failed.

“I bless you even without the salutation and wish you a speedy cure,” said the Swami.

“Cure!” groaned Protap. “That is not very far off. Will you kindly put the dust of your feet on my head?

“We all dissuaded you,” said Ramananda Swami. “Why did you come to this impossible battle? Did Shaibalini put you up to it?”

“You should not say so,” remonstrated Protap.