I was young then, and had fought in the war, and Pata Matara had fought by my side.
He went up to Matara's country and obtained permission to build a house.
"Then Pata Matara's sister fled from the campong and went to live in the Dutchman's house.
Matara and I watched him from the fighting platform behind the pointed stakes.
"Thrice Matara, standing by my side, called aloud her name with grief and imprecations.
Sometimes Matara would whisper, 'Here is the man,' and we waited, crouching.
I watched over Matara. He had my last handful of rice; if there was water enough for one he drank it; I covered him up when he shivered with cold; and when the hot sickness came upon him I sat sleepless through many nights and fanned his face.
We had earned a little money, and had bought a gun from some Selangore traders; only one gun, which was fired by the spark of a stone; Matara carried it.
Matara, curled up in the grass, shivered in his sleep.
I saw nothing again till I heard Matara breathe quickly where he lay, and then outside the house I saw her.
Matara burst out of the thicket; before him the petals of torn flowers whirled high as if driven by a tempest.