66.THE THIRD DAY'S BATTLE
I am an old man and what I am doing is quite my utmost." Saying thus, the grandsire resumed his operations. The turn of events in the forenoon had been so much in their favor that the delighted Pandavas were now somewhat careless. They did not expect Bhishma to rally his forces and attack them again. But stung by Duryodhana's reproaches, the grandsire raged about the field like a destroying fire. He rallied his men and delivered the most severe attack yet made on the Pandava army. The latter thought that the grandsire had multiplied himself into a number of Bhishmas fighting at several points. So swift were his movements that afternoon. Those who opposed him were struck down and perished like months in the fire. The Pandava army was thoroughly broken and began to scatter. Vasudeva, Partha and Sikhandin tried hard to restore order and confidence, but were unsuccessful. "Dhanjaya," said Krishna, "now has the critical time come. Be true to your decision not to flinch from your duty to kill in battle Bhishma, Drona and all the other friends and relatives and respected elders. You have pledged yourself to it and you have now to carry it out. Otherwise our army is lost beyond redemption. You must now attack the grandsire." "Drive on," said Arjuna. As Dhananjaya's chariot sped on towards Bhishma, it met a hot reception from the grandsire, who covered it with his arrows. But, Arjuna bent his bow and discharged three shafts that broke the grandsire's bow. Bhishma picked up another bow but it too met the same fate. The grandsire's heart was gladdened when he saw Arjuna's skill in archery. "Hail, brave warrior!" applauded the grandsire, even as, taking up another bow; he poured shafts on Arjuna's chariot with unerring aim. Krishna was not happy at the way Arjuna met the attack. The grandsire's bow was working fiercely. But Arjuna's hands did not do their best, for his heart was not in it.