Page:The Home and the World.djvu/150
on them, not on us. If they go to law, we must retaliate by burning down their granaries!—What startles you, Amulya? It is not the prospect of a grand illumination that delights me! You must remember, this is War. If you are afraid of causing suffering, go in for love-making, you will never do for this work!'
The second problem I solved by deciding to allow no compromise with foreign articles, in any circumstance whatever. In the good old days, when these gaily coloured foreign shawls were unknown, our peasantry used to manage well enough with plain cotton quilts,—they must learn to do so again. They may not look as gorgeous, but this is not the time to think of looks.
Most of the boatmen had been won over to refuse to carry foreign goods, but the chief of them, Mirjan, was still insubordinate.
'Could you not get his boat sunk?' I asked our manager here.
'Nothing easier, sir,' he replied. 'But what if afterwards I am held responsible?'
'Why be so clumsy as to leave any loophole for responsibility? However, if there must be any, my shoulders will be there to bear it.'
Mirjan's boat was tied near the landing-place after its freight had been taken over to the market-place. There was no one on it, for the manager had arranged for some entertainment to which all had been invited. After dusk the boat, loaded with