Rasheed, having heard enough from Zalmai, sends him upstairs. Zalmai understands the trouble he's started and looks at Laila and Mariam in distress. Laila, knowing the boy meant no real harm, urges him to obey his father. Rasheed whips Laila with his belt. Mariam claws at Rasheed, trying to stop him from hurting Laila. He drops the belt and lunges at her. A new vigor rises in Mariam: What has she ever done to deserve this, she wonders? Laila smashes a vase over Rasheed's head and he turns back to her, pressing her to the floor with his hands wrapped around her throat. Realizing Rasheed has murder in mind, Mariam runs out to the tool-shed, grabs a shovel, and returns to whack Rasheed over the head with it. Stunned, Rasheed looks up at Mariam, an evil smirk forming on his face. Mariam knows she has no choice but to kill him. She raises the shovel and brings it
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