I can hardly bear to sit upright. Too much Madeira perhaps, after such a long day—though I’d never say anything to that effect. I sit on the reclining sofa and swing my legs around so that my back is against the reclining arm and my skirt drapes over the side. Mr. Hastie’s eyes nearly pop out of his head. I remember when I went to Scotland on furlough two years ago, the women sat ramrod straight at all times. But we aren’t so strict in Calcutta, and I’m too tired to meet his expectation. Mr. Steele and Mr. Wilson don’t notice Mr. Hastie’s reaction, so I let it pass.
“Whiskey, gentlemen?” Mr. Steele asks turning from the sideboard. “I import it from the Auchentoshan Distillery near Glasgow.”
“A bit light for evening, don’t you think?” Mr. Hastie asks.
“Given the climate, I think lighter whiskey is better suited,” Mr. Steele replies. “And it’s from home. What do you think, Mr. Wilson?”
“I think it’s a rare treat to indulge. To your health, sir,” Mr. Wilson toasts.
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