"Making one hundred exactly." Technically, Yasmini was as much maharanee of Sialpore as she would ever be, the moment that the fourteen-gun salute boomed out across the river. For the English do not recognize a maharanee, except as courtesy title. The reigning prince is maharajah, and, being Hindu, can have one wife or as many as he pleases.
Come closer and let me " "Child!" Tess protested. "Do you realize that you're dressed up like an extremely handsome man, and are kissing me through a window in the sight of all Sialpore? How much reputation do you suppose I shall have left within the hour? "There is only one kind of reputation worth the having," laughed Yasmini; "that of knowing how to win!" "But what's this about poison?"
"But tell me about yourself," Tess insisted, offering the cigarettes again. And this time her guest accepted one. "My mother was the Russian wife of Bubru Singh, who had no son. I am the rightful maharanee of Sialpore, only those fools of English put my father's nephew on the throne, saying a woman can not reign. They are no wiser than apes!
He was superstitious enough to believe in the alleged vision of Jinendra's priest, that the clue to the treasure of Sialpore would be found in the cellar of that house, where Jengal Singh had placed it; impious enough to double-cross the priest, and to use any means whatever, foul preferred, to get possession of the clue.
Whoever was awake that night in Sialpore, and was daring enough to venture in the dark streets, followed the line of destruction and excitement, gloating over the broken property of enemies or awakening friends to make them miserable with condolences. The dog-cart threaded through the streets unseen, for even the scarce night-watchmen left their posts to take part in the hunt.
It was tempting enough to have a hand in substituting Yasmini for Gungadhura on the throne of Sialpore if the chance of doing it were real. Yasmini seemed able to read her thoughts, or at all events to guess them. "When I am maharanee," she said, "there will be an end of Gungadhura's swinishness. Moreover, promises will all be kept, unwritten ones as well as written.
And when people scolded them for blasphemy, they made such outrageously funny and improper jokes that everybody laughed again. Sialpore put itself to bed in great good temper, sure that princes and elephants and ceremony were the cream of life, and that whoever did not think so did not deserve to have any pageantry and pomp, and that was all about it.
There has been no chance to to bring any to put pressure to reestablish our rights. Nevertheless, our rights in the matter were never surrendered." "What do you mean by that exactly?" "The English are now the real rulers of Sialpore." Samson nodded. That was a significant admission, coming from a Brahman priest. "They should claim the treasure.
By the time they have believed that we will think of more to add to it! We return by elephant to Sialpore together, timing our arrival for the polo game. There we separate. You watch the game together with your husband. I shall be in a closed carriage part of the time. I shall be there all the time, but I don't think you will see me." "But you say they have rifled your palace.
Meanwhile Samson sahib would claim praise from his government, and they would put some more initials at the end of his name, and promote him to a bigger district with more pay. No! Samson sahib shall have another district surely, but even he in his conceit will not consider it promotion! There will not be room for Samson sahib in Sialpore when I am maharanee!" "You maharanee?