Release from Dorje Ling, Northern India January 1840
Release from Dorje Ling, Northern India February 1840
Unknowning, the party are surprized to hear a cry from the kitchens, and rush to investigate. They find a tall swarthy looking Afghan disrobing in the kitchen to the great surprize of the cook; without pausing in the removal of his heavy garments he introduces himself as LeiutenantJamesOutram a British agent. As his disguise falls away he is greeted as an old friend by Archibald Campbell, and looses no time in picking up the situation.
He was part of the entourage of Sri Sri Sri Kancha Maharani Rajya Lakshmi Devi of Nepal (he gives her full title) when the negotiations in the KalimpongFort fell apart, and the Chogyans troops killed or captured the fighting parties, he and a number of MarhariniLakshmi 's entourage escaped and have been watching from the hills - despite the attempts by the Chogyan's troops to find them (as the 'bandits' that were mentioned the previous day ).He indicates that the Marharini is essential to the stability of the Nepali area, and that is essential for the 'good of the Raj' - especially with General Elphinstone in Afghanistan needing supply.
The party, with the exception of Rev.Spooner, elect to return to the fort and try to find the location of the Maharini (who Wallace has already discovered, much to the trial of his self control). Upon their return they are greeted by a senior servant and shown to their respective rooms. The Rev. decides to stay at the hill station and assist with the set-up of the recouperative hospice that Archibald is building. Leitenant Outram returns to his 'bandits' and promises to keep a watch on the fort, and to ensure that the news of the events and involvment of Count Iganoff makes it back to Calcutta.
Lady Elsbeth rages at the fact that her two male servants are housed separately from her, but it is explained that there are no men allowed in the womens area. She is just settling in, trying to be comfortable with an armoury of side arms and ammunition in her corsetry.
Meanwhile Wallace has recovered enough to ask for some breakfast and to be allowed to sit outside on a veranda, the food is brought by a huge eunuch, who seems to have taken against Wallace for some reason and serves him with the utmost of surlyness.
Gladstone immediately starts roaming the fort looking for clues to the distress of the officers obviously detailed to contain him, he nearly discovers Wallace but is distracted at the last minute by the sight of a squad of Sikkim soldiers being (poorly) drilled in the defence of the walls etc. He enthusiastically joins the officers drilling them offering no end of helpful comments - and is indulged for hours by his relieved escort, to the distress of the poor squaddies.
Once Lady Elsbeth is settled into the ladies quarters, she requests tea and this is brough in by a most curious servant who lacks the usual servility. It almost instantly transpires that this is MarhariniLakshmi who has somehow managed to evade or dupe the guards and gain access to the 'new' guest. The Marharini is up for any escape plan, and asks only that her two closest aids/friends also be allowed to join. The Marharini also indicates that Wallace is in the hospital area - which is accessible from the womens area, and arranges a meeting between Lady Elsbeth and Wallace.
In his perpetual state of arousal, and envigorated by a hearty breakfast, the arrival of Elsbeth tests Wallaces mettle as a gentlemen to the core. He eventually has to claim he needs to 'rest' after her awkward attempts to mop his fevered brow lead to him seeing more than a couple of pistols in Elsbeths' corset. He finally manages to arrange a 'liasion' with one of the Marharini's ladies in waiting and the 'urgency' of his situation is relieved, putting back his recovery a couple of days.
Hamilton elects to play a different game, and waits patiently in his room asking for tea and writing materials; passing his time quietly writing erotic poetry. His estimate that his seniority will finally bring events to him is right when CountVladimirIvanoff visits him and explains carefully that the Chogyan has found himself in a difficult position, with the heads of many local tribes as guests who he has angered too much to release, but cannot be seen to have killed. Ignaoff suggests that Hanmilton as a senior Marharaja (Maharajas of Kolhapur) could step in to assist, even if by some 'accident' some of the released leaders escape at Hamiltons' discretion. When Hamilton agrees Iganoff leaves immediately promising to set up the meeting.. he does however ask one favour, that the Marahrini Lakshmi of Nepal should be one who does not escape.
Hamilton is shortly invited to an audience with the Chogyan, and in a careful conversation about the Thongsa Gompa, or Bhutanese Monastery, that spoils the view of his valley from his fort he uses allegory to discuss both the potential worth of a railroad into the valley as a reward for someone who would remove a troublesome problem; and could act with discretion.
Before the party can hatch any further plans they are all invited to a superb meal with the Chogyan and told that their stay has been delightful but that Hamilton has to urgently take his leave so the Chogyan has made the arrangements for them to set out first thing tomorrow with their complete baggage train, and a 'consignment of tea'. He presents Lady Elsbeth with a very fine gold and sapphire necklace as a token of his admiration, and thanks Gladstone for his help with his troops, offering him a place a cheif trainer to the Sikkim army if he wishes to return.
The following morning the party awake to find their elephants already loaded with large tea-chests and their escorts and staff all duly retored to them, they are given a cheerful goodby by the people of Kalimpong, and make their way down the valley with an honor guard of Sikkim troops.
Gladstone and his lancers dash back to the Dorje Ling station to explain what has gone on, and Archibald returns with them to "see the party off". During the day's travel he listens carefully to Hamiltons request that the 'samplings around the main tea-plant must be trimmed' but councils that the East india company only buys the tea and manages the plantation, it does not perform such 'gardening' - Hamilton's request for revenge on the sons of the Chogyan for the killing of the eldest sons of his cousin (local tribal leader in Northern Bihar) will have to wait.
At the end of the day's travelling they reach the end of the valley which marks the end of Sikkim territory, and the honor guard turn back.