465Bathing (tag Patrick, Emily)
- Nov 24, 2013((Ali Masjed))
Both Jack and Patrick were back home for the evening, and it turned out that the wives had arranged to have the Tindalls come over for dinner. While they were getting ready, they discussed other things, like the upcoming costume party, and Patrick asked Indra how her lessons were coming along.
“And, how are your lessons going?”
Indra put on a big smile. “I am a good student, Dahdee! Miss Jones says I am very good in writing and in numbers! Can I show you some of my papers?”
“Yes, dear; please get your work. I like to know how you are getting on.”
Indra ran into the room used as a schoolroom and she was quickly back in the parlor with some papers with writing and arithmetical problems. “Look, Dahdee! Everything is good!” She had no mistakes on the papers.
“Good girl! I’m proud of you! We’ll let you choose a treat the next time you’re in the market,” he said, handing her a three-penny piece.
“Indra, this is for your money box.”
“OH, Dahdee! You are the best and sweetest Dahdee in the world! I am saving my money to get a picture book when we go to the market! And, I can read, very well, now. I can read it to you, my Dahdee! MY DAHDEE! I love you!!” She hugged him, although she was so much shorter than he that her arms only reached his upper legs.
Lakshmi was also very proud of her daughter, though Indra was actually adopted. Patrick, responding to a report of a village being attacked, had found her as a newborn baby among the ruins of a village that had been burned by Afghani raiders. Indra was the only survivor. But, since then, Patrick and Lakshmi had had many more children. Indra remained special to them. Lakshmi wanted all her children, from Indra on down, to be educated and have more advantages in life than she’d had, although she couldn’t have done better than she had, becoming the wife of a British officer, a member of the ruling caste of India. But, she had been lucky; she wanted her kids to not have to depend entirely on luck to get ahead.
They employed a governess to help both the Tindall and de Montfort children, an Englishwoman named Miss Jones, who was the sister of one of the officer’s wives on post. Miss Jones had come to India hoping to find a husband among the British officers, a very common thing, but had not succeeded and didn’t want to go back to England.
“Pahtreck, my love, we have a little while before we go over. The children are all ready. I have a hot bath ready for you, and some lemonade.”
“I could use it we were horse training today, and you know how dusty it gets.”
Lakshmi smirked. “I will be happy to help you bathe.”
“Come with me.”
Soon there was more splashing than bathing, and Indra came to check on them.
Indra peaked in the doorway to the bathroom and saw something she didn’t often see, namely Mummy and Dahdee in a tub of hot, soapy water. The water was up to their shoulders, so she couldn’t see most of them, but somehow she had the impression that they didn’t have all their clothes on. Of course, they had given her baths, and when she was in the bathtub, she didn’t have any clothes on, but she was not old enough to “translate” the idea to adults. “Mummy, Dahdee, what are you doing?”
“We are taking a bath, Indra.”
“All right, dear; could you see the other kids are ready, and mummy and daddy will be ready in a minute.”
“Yes, Indra; please go and see to your younger brothers and sisters. Be good, now. And, close the door when you leave.”
Over in the de Montfort’s bungalow, Jack said, “I think I’ll draw a hot bath, love. Would you like to help me, maybe even bathe together?”
“Do we have time? Judging by the noise coming from the Tindall bungalow, I think we do. What about it, Jack? Put your hand here,” she said, indicating her swollen belly. And, as the baby kicked, she said, “Did you feel that, Jack? It’s a lively one; do you reckon it will be a boy?”
“Well, who knows? It would be nice to have another boy, but we’ll not know until he or she gets here. Maybe that means he or she will be a prankster, in the Tindall tradition. But, let us get a bath.”
Soon, they were in a tub of hot, soapy bathwater, and at first, Jack and Emily just sighed and relaxed in the hot, steamy water. In a few minutes, they decided they should wash, so they started washing, and they started washing each other, which eventually led to more splashing around and laughing and giggling than washing. And, eventually, the same thing happened as had happened next door. The door opened, and Miriam and Sayankala peaked in, with puzzled looks.
“What are you doing, Mummy, Daddy?”
“Oh, we are bathing. It’s just like when we used to bathe you two. You remember, Mummy or I would bathe you, right?”
“Uh, yes,” they chorused.
“All right, then. I am bathing your Mummy, and she is bathing me.” He looked at Emily, sitting next to him in the tub. “Right, Emily?”
The two girls looked at each other. Such a thing had never occurred to them.
The de Montforts and the Tindalls
Ali Masjed- K. B. Charles"This we'll defend."