The servants ran
into the room and seeing the young master stretched unmoving on the
floor, cried Out. Javni commenced to wail.
be a fool, his mother snapped. Help
me to put him on the couch, then run for the doctor.
Madhav was proud of
his mother's efficiency. How well she kept her head! It seemed that
her youth and vigor had returned. But he knew what a strain this was
putting her to. What a cruel joke it was! He longed to put an end to
it. Yet there was this force that prevented his every muscle from
moving; he could not prevail against it. Suddenly, it occurred to
him not to try. He surrendered as though into great and loving arms,
giving up to a will infinitely superior to his own. The same will
that had impelled every movement of his body all through his life
now arrested every movement. What could he do? What could his mother
do? What could anyone do? He was filled with a sense of deep peace,
content now to watch the drama taking place around him, in which he,
or at least his inert body, played an important part. The words of
the sannyasin came back to him: No doubt
God is depending on you. Had he been able to move the
muscles of his face and chest, he would have laughed.
The servants lifted
his board stiff body to the couch, his mother directing. Javni left
hurriedly for the doctor; Ramu rubbed his master's legs to restore
circulation. His mother, sitting beside him, took his hand and
massaged it. He. could feel her tears hot on his skin.
Madhav! What has happened! Madhav! He is dead! Ramu, is he dead? He
is dead! From Ramu there was
only a choked sob.
Madhav's sense of
peace and detachment vanished. He struggled to move his hand, to
speak, to reassure her in some way. But it was as though the nerves
that relayed messages to his muscles were severed from his brain.
How long must he subject her to this anguish?