Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/470

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434 Some Matrimonial Problems of

already at the mature age of sixteen when the wrangle began, saw herself reach the shelving age of twenty and was still not sent to her mate. She lived to be twenty-five, and nothing happened. As her age drew near to thirty, she began to think she had a right to move in the matter herself, and began a series of clandestine meetings with one Chakur. These things are not easy to conceal in an Eastern village, and there came a day when, to escape with her life from the vengeance of her irate sire, she had to take refuge with the chief of the tribe. This was now a matter that required official interference, because the old ruffian would certainly have destroyed his erring daughter, had he got hold of her, and would have felt himself quite justified in doing so. It is indeed something that we have got to the stage of the chief assisting in adjusting such quarrels without bloodshed. In their hearts many chiefs would like to let Brahim deal faith- fully with his daughter. However, the matter was settled by a council of elders, who broke off the Brahim-Nibahu betrothals altogether, fined Chakur a smart sum for his conduct, and ordered the old man to marry off his daughter within two months to any of the tribe except a man of Chakur's clan. It was especially laid down that she was not to marry Chakur, which is very contrary to our own ideas. The Biloch idea in this case ran that, however much compen- sation Chakur might pay, Brahim could not bear to see him married to the girl after he had wronged, not the girl as we should think, but her father. I think I have mentioned that there are those who gloss over these transactions with finer words, and the council of elders merely mentioned that her marriage must be arranged. Before giving their decision the impress of authority, it was necessary for me to hear all parties. Chakur protested strongly that he had made his private bargain with the old man to keep his inamorata in exchange for his sister now and the prospective chance of any two daughters his wife and he might have, but this was denied and overruled. The old man, who I have already