By Thalassa Ali
In a land of unique attractiveness, a tender Englishwoman reveals herself father or mother of an orphan baby believed through a demise maharajah to be endowed with magical presents. it's a function that would take her on a deadly trip right into a kingdom’s walled urban to guard a baby she doesn’t comprehend from a tradition she doesn’t understand...
The 12 months is 1838. Mariana Givens, a lively younger girl of twenty, has been despatched to India to discover an appropriate husband. touring as a translator, she joins the entourage of Lord Auckland, the British Governor-General, as he trips throughout India with a military 10000 powerful to fulfill the fabled Ranjit Singh, Maharajah of the Punjab.
Eager younger officials compete for Mariana’s want, however it is with India that she falls in love: the bags elephants tramping via nation colossal and wild; the smell of unique meals at distant campsites; the enigmatic coach who's her advisor to local languages and methods. Lord Auckland needs to forge an alliance with Ranjit Singh that might convey Afghanistan into British regulate, yet as he negotiates his the most important treaty, Mariana is drawn right into a perilous conspiracy surrounding the one-eyed Maharajah’s child hostage—a baby of mystical reputation named Saboor.
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A few good agues and pouf, you are primrose! Mrs. Warrenton next door has survived here for fifty years. ” She pursed her lips. “We must get you one or two new gowns. ” Determined to supply her father with interesting letters, Mariana had thrown herself into investigating India. Her imagination afire, she had questioned everyone she met about the natives and their customs, but had found to her astonishment that no one wanted to tell her anything. Calcutta, she quickly discovered, was as rigid as Weddington village.
It is most unsuitable for you to be seen with young laborers. We shall not tell your mother of this,” he added. “We shall say only that you fell in while retrieving your bonnet. ” Never see him again? “But Papa,” she begged, “Jeremy is my friend. ” He sighed. “You have a natural curiosity, Mariana, and a quick sympathy for others, but you act too rashly. You should have known that a friendship like this one would only end in loss. “From what you have told me,” her father went on, “it was your own heedlessness in getting out of the boat that nearly killed the lad.
The officer's hungry gaze made her more uncomfortable than the curious stares of the native cavalrymen. She tugged on the reins and turned back toward the horse lines of her own camp. She reached up under her wisp of veil and wiped her forehead. What an adventure this was, and all because of what had happened twelve hundred miles away in Calcutta, one summer afternoon. SITTING idly in her window at her uncle's house one stifiing morning, Mariana had noticed a piece of cloth lying on the ground near the front gate.
A Singular Hostage by Thalassa Ali