Page:The Home and the World.djvu/268

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NIKHIL'S STORY

'You have saved me, my little brother,' said Bimal.

'With your image in my mind, I have not uttered a single lie,' Amulya continued. 'My watchword Bande Mataram has been cast away at your feet for good. I have also received my reward, your prasad, as soon as I came to the palace.'

Bimal looked at him blankly, unable to follow his last words. Amulya brought out his handkerchief, and untying it showed her the cakes put away inside. 'I did not eat them all,' he said. 'I have kept these to eat after you have helped me with your own hands.'

I could see that I was not wanted here. I went out of the room. I could only preach and preach, so I mused, and get my effigy burnt for my pains. I had not yet been able to bring back a single soul from the path of death. They who have the power, can do so by a mere sign. My words have not that ineffable meaning. I am not a flame, only a black coal, which has gone out. I can light no lamp. That is what the story of my life shows,—my row of lamps has remained unlit.


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I returned slowly towards the inner apartments. The Bara Rani's room must have been drawing me again. It had become an absolute necessity for me, that day, to feel that this life of mine had been able to strike some real, some responsive chord in some

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