Page:Nil Durpan.djvu/29

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thirst. I told my brother-in-law[1] so much, but he did not hear me.

Sadhu enters and Khetromany goes away

Sadhu.   Ray, why did you come so early?

Ray.   O my brother, the vile Amin has marked off the piece of ground in Sanpoltola. What shall we eat; and how shall I pass the year? Ah, our land was bright as the golden champah[2]. By the produce of only one corner of the field, we satisfied the mahajans[3]. What shall we eat now, and what shall our children take? This large family may die without food. Every morning two recas (nearly 5 Lbs) of rice are necessary. What shall we eat then? Oh, my ill-fortune! (burnt forehead); what has the Indigo of this whiteman done?

Sadhu.   We were living in the hope of cultivating these bigahs of land and now, if these are gone, then what use is there of remaining here any more? And the one or two bigahs which are become saltish yield no produce. Again, the ploughs are to remain in the Indigo-field; and what can we do? Don't weep now; tomorrow we shall sell off the ploughs and cows, leave this village, and go and live in the zemindary of Babu Basanta.

Khetromany and Reboti enter with water

Now, drink the water, drink the water; what do you fear? He, who has given life, will provide also food. Now, what did you say to the Amin?

Ray.   What could I say? He began to mark off the ground, on which it seemed as if he began to thrust burnt sticks into my breast. I entreated, holding him by his feet, and wanted to give him money; but he heard nothing. He said, "Go to your eldest Babu; go to your father." When I returned, I only

  1. Brother-in-law: Here the word is used sarcastically; and is taken to mean the brother of the wife—Ed.
  2. Champah: The name of a beautiful yellow flower—Ed.
  3. Mahajan: The village money-lender—Ed.