Page:Nil Durpan.djvu/32

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villages. You will never learn without Shamchand (the leather strap).

Gopi.   My Lord, I am your servant. It is through favour only that you have raised me from the peshkari business to the Dewani. You are my only Lord, you can either kill me or can cut me in pieces. Certain powerful enemies have arisen against this Factory; and without their punishment, there is no cultivation of Indigo.

Wood.   How can I punish without knowing them? As for money, horses, latyals (club-men), I have a sufficiency; can they not be punished by these? The former Dewan made known to me about those enemies. You do not. I have scourged those wicked people, taken away their kine, and kept their wives in confinement which is a very severe punishment for them. You are a very great fool; you know nothing at all. The business of the Dewan is not that of the Kayt[1] caste; I shall drive you off, and give the business to a Keaot.[2]

Gopi.   My Lord, although I am by caste a Kaystha, I do my work like a Keaot (a shoe-maker)[3]. The service I have rendered in stopping the rice cultivation and making the Indigo to grow in the field of the Mollahs, and also to take (Lakhroj) his rent-free lands of seven generations from Goluk Chunder Bose, and to take away his holdings which were royal gifts; the work I have done for these, I can dare say, can never be done by a Keaot or even by a shoe-maker. It is my ill-fortune only (evil-forehead) that I don't get the least praise for doing so much.

Wood.   That fool, Nobin Madhab, wants the whole account settled. I shall not give him a single cowrie. That fellow is

  1. Kayt: Kayastha, a certain caste of Bengal, inferior only to the Brahmins.
  2. Keaot: Another and lowest caste of the Bengal.
  3. Shoe-maker: A shoe-maker does not belong to the Keaot caste. This has been a mistake.—Ed.

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