Master. He also thought it would be a grave offence to be happy with
a son of his own after what had happened to his master’s little child.
Indeed, if it had not been for a widowed sister, who mothered the
new baby, it would not have lived long.
( 26 ) But a change gradually came over Raicharan’s mind. A
wonderful thing happened. This new baby in turn began to crawl
about, and cross the doorway with mischief in its face. It also showed
an amusing cleverness in making its escape to safety. Its voice, its
sounds of laughter and tears, its gestures, were those of the little
( 27 ) Master. On some days, when Raicharan listened to its crying,
his heart suddenly began thumping wildly against his ribs, and it
seemed to him that his former little Master was crying somewhere in
the unknown land of death because he had lost his Chan-na.
( 28 ) Phailna (for that was the name Raicharan’s sister gave to the
new baby) soon began to talk. It learnt to say Ba-ba and Ma-ma with
a baby accent. When Raicharan heard those familiar sounds the
mystery suddenly became clear. The little Master could not cast off
the spell of his Chan-na, and therefore he had been reborn in his own
( 29 ) The arguments in favour of this were, to Raicharan, altogether
(i.) The new baby was born soon after his little master’s death.
(ii.) His wife could never have accumulated such merit as to give birth
to a son in middle age.
(iii.) The new baby walked with a toddle and called out Ba-ba and
Ma-ma. There was no sign lacking which marked out the future
( 30 ) Then suddenly Raicharan remembered that terrible accusation