This announcement will be followed by
rejoicings and by new rites. And who will profit by all this if
not the family priest?
At first the Guru had some misgivings, and swore by everything
sacred that the vampire bat was veritably inhabited by the brother
of Sham Rao. But the Babu knew better than to give in. The Guru
ended by understanding that his skillful opponent saw through
his tricks, and that he was well aware that the Shastras exclude
the possibility of such a transmigration. Growing alarmed, the
Guru also grew meek, and asked only ten rupees and a promise of
silence for the performance of a samadhi.
On our way back we were met at the gate by Sham Rao, who was simply
radiant. Whether he was afraid of our laughing at him, or was at
loss to find an explanation of this new metamorphosis in the
positive sciences in general, and Haeckel in particular, he did
not attempt to explain why the affair had taken such an unexpectedly
good turn. He merely mentioned awkwardly enough that his mother,
owing to some new mysterious conjectures of hers, had dismissed
all sad apprehensions as to the destiny of her elder son, and he
then dropped the subject completely.
- - - - -
In order to wipe away the traces of the morning's perplexities
from our minds, Sham Rao invited us to sit on the verandah, by
the wide entrance of his idol room, whilst the family prayers
were going on.