Jack and Emily turned in
after a very good evening at home. Jack smiled at his wife and said,
“With pleasure, love.”
After an enjoyable night, with both activity and sleep, they got up, and Jack
got the breakfast and took care of the children while Emily got things ready
for a ride into the hills for a picnic.
the way out, Jack noticed Saya and Miriam looking at the hills.
“Are you girls looking for something?”
“Father, only to see if there are any
Jack rolled his eyes. “No caves!” He looked at Emily. “Tell them, Emily! No
“Sorry, girls; your father is right. We
do not want to mess with time caves anymore. They are far too dangerous."
“But, mummy,” said Saya, “would it not be
“Sorry, no; a nice open field will do me fine.”
Next door, Patrick was enjoying the
comforts of family, too.
After dinner, they all sat in the parlour
while Patrick and Indra took turns reading, with the twins listening. Lakshmi
listened as she fed the babies and sewed.
Patrick continued, and as the twins fell
asleep, Indra’s eyelids also grew heavy, and soon all the kids were in bed.
“Lakshmi, it’s a holiday, tomorrow. What
do you think indjrid will choose has her treat.”
Next morning, the family were dressed in
their best as they went to the market.
“Lakshmi, is there anything you need?”
“Babuji, we need some rice and fruit and
bread, and I’d like to get some candles and a few yards of cotton. Oh, and we
need some soap.” Lakshmi could have made her own soap but she preferred to save
time- something essential when you had seven children- and have it already on hand.
In fact, now that they had seven children, she bought whatever she could
instead of making it. She could afford it because of Pahtreck’s salary.
Compared to her family, she was very well off since she was married to a
British officer. She didn’t want to flaunt it, and she definitely wasn’t a
spendthrift, but she did take advantage of it when she needed to.
“And, Indra, which store would you like?
All right, Vicky and Ranjit, we’ll be at the sweet store, soon.”
Smiling, he said, “I think we better make it first.”
“I think you are right, babuji.”
“Then, dear,” he said, “you, too, can shop
“You are a very smart man, Pahtreck.”
They went in to a sweet shop and soon all
three kids were stuffing themselves with sugary fruit bars. Lakshmi had the
idea that one could have too much sugar and that it would be bad for one, so
she tried to limit the kids’ intake of sugar, but they’d been good, so she let
them have what they wanted, today.
Lakshmi smiled at the thought that later
in the day, after dark, she and Pahtreck could give each other a different type
Once they were outside that shop, Indra
saw a peddler come to town with some big picture books. “Dahdee! Dahdee! Can I
have one of those picture books?”
Going over to the peddler’s cart, he said, “Which one would you like, dear?”
Indra carefully looked through them and picked
out one that had Indian fairy stories.
“Good choice, love.” Patrick looked as well and picked out a
couple of others. “We’ll take these,” he
said, as he gave the peddler his money.
“Your book’s a good choice, love. It will grow
up with you.”
meet mummy over at the material store. Has
mummy taught you to sew yet?”
They went to the store, which had quite a
variety of materials in quite a variety of colors.
“Lakshmi!” he smiled. “Has Indra an apron
of her own?”
“Right,” said her adored Dahdee. “Choose some material and the chose some
material and the cotton to go with it and I will ask Aunt Emily to start you on
The family, excited by their purchases, made
their way home, with the twins filled up with candy.
After everyone was long abed and Lakshmi
asleep, Patrick slipped out in the middle of the night. He had a plan.
He had found some spices in the market
that looked very like tea. He slipped a
small packet into both Jack’s and the Colonel’s tea pot. Including the sugar, it would be hot chili
they’d be drinking tomorrow.
As a final touch, he carefully arranged
honey over the desks, so it looked like varnish.
After that, he sneaked back home, even
managing not to wake Lakshmi up as he got back in bed.
For once, Patrick was not late to
work. He saw Ranjit smile as he came
“Well, you know what day it is, Ranjit, and
I wanted to be in time to see the fun.”
To Ranjit’s enquiring look, he said, “No, I’m not telling you,” as he
discreetly noted the tea pot that Ranjit was taking in to Jack. “I just hope he likes his tea nice and spicy.”
Patrick was unaware that after he left several
hungary ants had found their way into Jack’s office, and Jack was trying to get
rid of the mess.
Hearing his name called Patrick went in
and looked at Jack. He merrily burst out
laughing and said, “Well, how do you like your ants, Jack,” forgetting he was
on duty, “and how would you like a nice to go with it?”
Lt. Patrick Tindall, XO
B Co, 1st Bn, 5th Khyber Rifles