Time to head for home (tag Lakshmi, Jack)
- (Ali Masjed)Due to mishaps in the time caves, William, Sita and Willie have ended up at Ali Masjed, on April 1, 1885. They and the de Montforts came to the post in time to see Patrick and the Colonel. They all decide to pick up Lakshmi and go see the holy man who lives in a mountainside cave, outside Ali Masjed village.
Presently, leaving a somewhat disappointed Indra, and the other kids, including Miriam and Saya and Emmy and John, at Lhasa's, they proceeded through the village and out to the hills on the other side. They rode up to the cave where the holy man stayed. He was sitting in the sun, reading a religious text. He looked up, as the wagon of sahibs and memsahibs approached, but said nothing.The group dismounted from the wagon and Lakshmi stepped forward and, with hands together as if in prayer, bowed to the holy man and said, "Oh, wise man of the hills, we have need of your advice."Regarding the whole party, he smiled and said, "I thought, oh, daughter of the hills, that that might be the case." He paused, then said, "I have understanding of the sahibs' language, anglezi, so you may tell me, young man." He gestured to William.
"Sir," replied William, "my family and I need to return to our own time. We do not want to contaminate the time line.do you have any suggestions regarding the mist?"
The Holy man, originally from Tibet, thought for a moment. "Tis best, young sahib, to step into the mists when there is a breeze blowing into the cave. At this time of year, wait until sunset and there is usually a breeze from the hills. Wait by the cave until it is blowing into the cave. The mist will arise; 'tis best to step into it then."
"Thank you sir we try that. As much as I love history, I know I cannot remain in your time."
Sita glanced, none too surreptitiously, at the sky. It was midafternoon. Sunset would be along in about four hours. She was all for going to the cave immediately and camping out in front of it.Patrick spoke in a low tone. "Do I escape punishment this year? I thought it was rather s good one this year. No, your tea's safe. I know it's expensive but I could not resist the colonel; he never learns, does he? Besides the old man can afford to replace it," said he, with an evil grin on his face.
"Young sahib," said the Holy man, "I don't see anything unusual in store for you, for the year.""Thank you, sir. I just hope the Colonel's calmed down by the time we get back."Lakshmi saw it and spoke to Sita. "He's either up to something or he's done it. Do you know that look, Sita?""I sure do! Some things do not change!"Both women sighed and rolled their eyes."Jack?" she asked, forgetting the formal "sir."
"He has already done it, at least for now. I don't think the Colonel was pleased. The pot was a gift from his wife.""Pahtreck!" said Lakshmi, in tones of dismay. She looked at Sita. "I will have to call on Mrs. Alwynn and apologize.""Oh, I feel sorry for you, Lakshmi.""Lakshmi, leave it with me, and I'll talk to the Colonel. I'll pay for the replacement tea, and whatever else he throws at me. But, hopefully, by the time we return to camp, he'll see the funny side of it. What do you think, Jack?"<Lakshmi/Jack>"But, now I think we'd better get the youngsters here home."<Jack>
The Tindalls and de Montforts,
Ali Masjed- K. B. Charles"This we'll defend."