The elephant suddenly trumpeted loudly and started running wildly. It did not care for the trees and branches in front of it. The earth shook. Frightened birds shrieked and flew out of the way. Small animals scurried out of the way. Poonkuzhali felt fear envelop her.
“Parthibendran and I did not know what happened inside the hut. We recently got to know that it was a girl who had given refuge to Veerapandiyan. She had stood between Karikalan and her lover, the Pandiya King. Karikalan had kicked her aside and beheaded the King.”
The General said in a slow voice, “Prince, that girl inside the hut – she was Nandini. “
“Oh yes, General. I had half a dozen armed soldiers near the door for company. The house was large. And for dinner, they sent me a cat. Just when I was about to finish off the cat, this Veera Vaishnavan came and disturbed me. The cat, which was a staunch Shaivite did not like this man one bit, and scratched his skin and drew blood.”