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'Does she write in Hindustani?' she said. 'But some women go twice as asked.

'English,' I answered.

'Can the girls read English? Where did they learn? I will learn English.'

She wanted to go inside and investigate each bottle, but I persuaded her to see the rest of the buildings with her mother-in-law. In the wards where I took them, she fired at me an explosion of questions that no one before had thought to ask. In the kitchen she inquired into every detail of marketing and cooking. When we looked in through the glass doors of the operating room, she was overcome with wonder.

'What are all those things in glass cases?' she cried. 'I did n't know there were so many things! I will learn doctari.'

The mother-in-law, who was proud enough of the girl's cleverness, laughed heartily at this absurd idea.

'No, but I will learn it,' insisted Farkhanda. 'You teach me.'

long as that. And they used to say where I went, that if one took all the courses, studied all the subjects, you know, it would take a hundred and twenty-eight years to do it all.'

I had to repeat this to her, and when she understood it, she cried piously, 'God in Heaven! What do they study all that time?''

I had heard that question until I could almost sing the answer.

"The sun and the moon and the stars and the light,' I began, ‘and rivers and mountains and all the earth. And blood and medicines and livers and lungs, and counting and measuring and making books, and Greek and Arabic and Persian and tongues; and some study music all their lives, and some paint pictures all their lives, and die before they have finished-'

'God in Heaven!' repeated the girl. 'Aren't they married?'

'Oh, men, I mean,' I explained.

I explained humbly that I did n't 'Men - and some women.' know doctari.

'Men and women!' she exclaimed.

'It takes years and years to learn it,' 'Did you study with men?' I assured her.

'But you've been to school,' she insisted, surprised at my stupidity. 'But one has to go to college to learn doctari.'

'But you've been there, too,' she replied.

"Then to other colleges-years and years like men; and then to learn to make medicine you must go to other colleges.'

'Oh,' she cried in surprise, 'I did n't know there were so many colleges. I thought you knew everything.'

I am a modest person. I explained that there were a few subjects that I had not completely mastered. And then, for the pleasure of seeing her amazement, I told her something I have enjoyed telling many women.

'I went to college only four years,' I

'Yes, I did,' I said. 'We can. Yes, unveiled. Barefaced.'

Farkhanda was thoroughly shocked. 'Were n't you ashamed?' she cried. 'I was not,' I assured her. 'It is our custom. Men don't mind us being about. They don't pay much attention to us. And if they do, it does n't hurt us. They are not that kind of men.'

'But what kind are they?' the girl gasped. 'Angels?'

'Well, not exactly,' I answered. I am afraid I never explained this point satisfactorily. "They are just - Americans, decent men to work with.'

The mother-in-law was listening to me with a wise smile.

Farkhanda said, 'I could study, too, if I were there. I could learn everything. I could study a thousand years. But' with a sigh-'I'm married!'

I took them over to the bungalow, to show them through it, and, excusing myself for a moment, left them sitting in the drawing-room. When I returned, they were opening the drawers of the dining-room sideboard and examining the silverware.

'I wanted to see what was in this thing,' the girl told me, without the least embarrassment. 'What sort of 'What sort of spoons are these?'

They were forks. Then she proceeded to explore each room and closet of our house.

After that morning Farkhanda became what we reluctantly call a 'hospital haunter.' She managed some way to need treatment three or four days a week, and the other days she came for amusement. I suppose her hospital experience was to her what a year in Europe is to an American girl. It amused the doctor, who loved her for Betsey's sake, to see that the hospital girls, who generally maintain a deplorable attitude of superiority to uneducated women, received her as one of themselves. I got to know her well. Her mother she did not remember, she told me, but of the great maulvie, her father, she told me many proud stories.

'He had so many followers,' she declared, 'that we had no place to store the gifts they brought him, so he fed butter to his shining ponies, which he rode in nezabazi. Do you know that game, Miss Sahib, where men riding furiously down a race-course pick up from the ground on their long spears a little stake?' Her eyes shone when she recalled that. 'How I loved being taken to those games! And the crowds! My father always won. But when I was seven, he would n't let me go any more. Said I was too big to be out.. And he had a little burqua made for me. How I hated that veil! And every day I'd get punished by my grand

mother for going out without it. "Why can't you stay in the house," she'd say, "like a decent child? Do women go outside?" Every day I'd get punished. But after my brother was born, I never ran away again. That was the highest day. I shall never forget it. I used to look at him by the hour, and hold him. I was never lonely then. He was the loveliest baby! I taught him all his games and his tricks. Little moon, he was. And when he got bumped, it was to me he came crying. I nearly died after I was married, and I could never see him again.'

'Why could n't you?' I asked.

'Oh, my father died after all my wedding clothes were ready, and my stepmother wanted to break my engagement. "Why should this girl get out of the family?" her people said. But my grandmother was furious and would not allow them to carry out their plans. So that quarrel was a wall unto heaven, and my stepmother took the baby and went to her people away up north. He was three then. And I was married, and then my grandmother died. So now I have no home to go to visit. But when my brother is grown, I will go to see him. When fathers are gone, what have women but brothers?'

Husbands, of course, do not count. Farkhanda's did not. I saw him once when he was home during the vacation of a school in Amritsar. He was a loose-jointed, languid, untidy sort of a schoolboy, about sixteen. One could not imagine a girl so unsentimental as Farkhanda taking very much interest in him. Fortunately he was seldom at home. This left her free - perhaps too free to spend much of her time in the hospital, where she made the best of her opportunities. She had always a book in her hand, and she stood about the verandah, 'ripening her lessons,' as she said, and getting new ones all the time, in spite of our objections.

She waylaid me every time I passed with, 'What's that word?' or 'What does this mean?' She stood with the women who waited at the half-door of the compounding room, and pushed her book in front of the compounder every time a patient turned away satisfied. Undaunted she crept in, between the turns of the impatient women, to the table where the doctor sat in the dispensary, with, ‘Tell me how to say this' and the doctor never could resist her, until one day, when this eager young reader walked calmly into the operating-room when she was removing a cataract.

She spent many hot afternoons, contrary to our most cherished rules, in the big room where the nurses were supposed to be resting. I came in suddenly upon them one day at three o'clock, when they were having a very hilarious rehearsal, in extreme negligée, of the play they intended giving.

'Farkhanda,' I began very soberly, 'what are you doing here?'

'Miss Sahib,' she answered humbly, 'I'm learning my lessons. Let me stay. I want to play with these girls. I've nothing to do at home. It's lonely.'

'Your father-in-law would be very angry if he knew you were away all day,' I continued.

'But he won't know it,' she reasoned, 'I'll get home first. My mother-in-law does n't mind.'

All the nurses began pleading for her. They were to have a 'drama,' the story of Joseph, and a little 'drami,' the Prodigal Son and Farkhanda of course must be the Pharaoh, the king. Would n't I just let her come afternoons till they had the play ready?

They were such nice girls, after all, that I had to agree. They gave their play by starlight, in the courtyard, to an audience of bewildered convalescents and a few Moslem friends who could get permission to come by night

to see it. It was a most extraordinary performance. Moses himself would not have known the story. The doctor and I sat together, enjoying it as much as any not the play, but the shining eyes of the audience, and Farkhanda's radiant abandonment of herself to the joy of the occasion. The stars that shone down on us have seen many an Indian king in their day. But I doubt if they ever saw a king more elated, more amusing, or more lovable than Pharaoh was that night.

When Farkhanda's servant, some time after that, asked me to go to see her, I suddenly remembered that the girl had not been in the hospital for some days.

When I entered her home, I knew it was out of tune.

'I have n't seen you for a long time,' I ventured to say.

'No!' she answered scornfully. 'I'm not allowed to go out now. She's made a fuss about my going out my husband's brother's wife.' She looked venomously at a woman carrying a baby down the stairs. 'Lord! how I hate her! I'll get even.'

I suggested that this attitude was hardly worthy of a woman who wished to learn doctari; and besides, it was unbecoming.

'Unbecoming!' she cried. "How? She's always saying I'm plain and sallow, and she pities my husband because he's childless. Just because she has two little beasts of her own!'

I had seldom heard an Indian woman speak with so little reverence of children.

'Do you think she's pretty?' 'Indeed I don't,' I said honestly. 'I'd much rather look at you.'

The other woman was round and pink and stupid. Farkhanda's thin face was all one bright ivory color except for her carmine lips; and her dark eyes and even the shadows and sweet


curves around them seemed to glow as she looked straight at me, eagerly, unafraid.

One summer, a long time afterward,

'One sees something more than face, it happened that the doctor could find

looking at you.'

Her mind jumped with characteristic energy to this idea. What did I mean?

I told her of faces made beautiful by character; of what Ruskin said of the things which mar beauty. And for some reason I told her of the grit and victory of our Betsey. The story roused her to protest.

'Oh I'm not like that,' she cried. 'Not at all. You don't see nice things when you look at my face. There's none for you to see. What can I do? I won't stand this.'

I wanted to make her happy again. "Your brother-in-law will go away soon. Then you'll be allowed to go to the hospital as before; and I'll come often.'

And as we were talking, standing by the inner curtain, her brother-in-law pushed the curtain aside and came in. Farkhanda had little time to pull her veil down over her face, but most women in such circumstances would have managed it. In our city an elder brother must not look on the face of a younger brother's wife. This elder brother did it, and enjoyed it. His face lighted up as if he had bent over a flame. Any man's would, looking at her. In a moment he was gone.

'Farkhanda,' I whispered, 'be care


'Oh, trust me for that,' she laughed flippantly. 'Don't bother about me,' she added. 'It does n't matter.'

The next week, the brother-in-law returned, a day earlier than his family had planned, to his work on the northern frontier. Farkhanda went with him. When I told the doctor this, she said with a great deal of energy, 'Of course!'

no women of sufficient experience and discretion to take charge of the Katur dispensary. So for two months I went out Tuesdays and Fridays on the train, with a young Indian girl who could manage simple cases. We slept in the walled dispensary courtyard at night, began clinic at six in the morning, and went home by the noon train. We used to get to the dispensary about eight, and always prepared for bed at once. And then, because every fifteen miles the vocabulary, inflections, and idioms of the language of our women change, I used to listen for hours to the yarns that the women who crept down from adjoining high roofs would spin for us, filling up a note-book in the dark with sentences hard to read in the morning. I remember distinctly that a gentle old Hindu woman was telling me about the amazing things that happen the day a snake a hundred years old turns into a beautiful youth, and I was thinking how fortunate it is that most snakes die young, when some one rattled the outside chain of the door, and my discreet teachers disappeared over the wall.

'A woman's here,' the watchman called sleepily.

I opened the door a little crack.

'Oh, let me in! Let me hide!' some one begged, pushing against the door. 'Miss Sahib, you know me. Let me in. I shall be killed.'

I had no desire to become involved in a neighborhood quarrel in Katur, with a young girl and an old watchman on my hands. But the woman's distress I could not withstand. She pushed in, and locked the door after her. In 'the starlight I could see from her full silk skirt and shameless veils that she was a dancer.

She looked quickly around her. At one end of the courtyard were three living-rooms and a verandah; at the other, three dispensary rooms. She made toward the open living-rooms. 'I'll hide there,' she whispered.

I was asking for some explanation. I could see she was trembling.

'Don't you know me?' she answered. 'I'm Farkhanda.'

She was inside the room now, and as I turned up the lantern, she shut the door, and then the barred window which opened into the street. When the light fell on her face, as she turned to me, I remembered the girl who was like Betsey. The fire had gone out of her face. I saw only ashes there. I opened the door into the court, turned out the lantern, and sat down by her. She was rocking back and forth on the floor, her face hidden in her knees.

'What's the matter?' I asked. 'Where did you come from, here?'

She said nothing, but sat rocking and groaning. After a while she cried, 'O God! O God! That man was my brother!'

I remembered then that she had a brother, and that she had left our city suddenly.

'You came back to your brother?' I asked. And then because I could not think of Betsey and this girl's costume at once, I said the worst thing possible. 'Farkhanda, why are you wearing those clothes?'

'Ask God,' she moaned. 'I don't know. Why am I wearing these clothes! Why am I wearing these clothes!'

We sat still a long while, until she had groaned 'O Miss Sahib!' two or three times.

"Tell me what's the matter,' I urged. 'Did n't he receive you?'

'Oh, he received me,' she echoed. 'How he received me! Why did n't he kill me first? I don't want to hide. I want to die.'

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To help her on, I said, 'But you knew your brother was here, did n't you?'

'No, I did n't know. I should have known he would find me out some time. I saw in the crowd over there a man more handsome than them all, as proud as a conqueror. He sat there looking so disgusted-looking disgusted at me. I would n't have it. And so - Oh, Lord, I can't tell you Lord, I can't tell you I've learned horrible things. I sang at him—I— made him come up where I stood close to me, looking at me and singing. We were in the centre of hundreds of men-in a garden. And then the man who asked me to come cried out to us, laughing. He shouted he said, "Aziz Shah, kiss your sister."


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'My heart died just then. But he went on singing. Then that man cried, "Men, see Sheik Alim Shah's children! Are n't they loving?"

'And when he heard our father's name in jest, my brother turned around angrily toward the man. But he sneered, "You did n't know you had a sister? I'm making you know!"

"The world was silent. My brother stood looking at me looking. Stillness. He asked, "Is this true?"

'I said yes. I forgot my shame. I stretched out my hand to him. Somebody laughed. The way he looked at me was worse than all curses. Then he rushed away, stumbling-'

She sat moaning, and crying, 'My brother! my brother! I heard them laughing, recalling things about my father. I cursed my way through them.

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