Format: Single

It was a hot, dark, breathless evening, heavy with the smell of the newly-watered Mall. The flowers in the Club gardens were dead and black on their stalks, the little lotus-pond was a circle of caked mud, and the tamarisk-trees were white with the dust of days.


This is from “William the Conqueror” in The Day’s Work.

It is the hot season and there is famine in southern India. Administrators from the Punjab are being called in to help deliver relief supplies, including Scott, an Engineer, and Martyn, a Police officer. Martyn’s sister, ‘William’, who keeps house for him, will not be deterred from accompanying her brother. On arrival at the central famine relief camp, they are at once set to work, the men in charge of distributing relief supplies by rail and bullock cart, while William stays in the camp to help with the abandoned children. Scott and William meet but once: but it is clear that their casual acquaintance is ripening to something more, and when they return to Lahore, at Christmas time, they are engaged to be married.