Since it’s Miss Smail’s first evening with us, I make a dinner party of it for the teachers as well. I order the khansama to prepare a simple meal of mulligatawny soup, roasted chicken with peas and potatoes, and caramel custard for dessert, which is the best we can afford.
The clock chimes eight o’clock. At quarter past eight, Miss Smail still isn’t here. The teachers sit in their places around the long table on the veranda, conversing quietly as I fume.
“Sajiva, you may begin serving,” I say. Ten minutes later Miss Smail arrives.
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