This is a biographical novel book. The ayah looked at him stupidly. She was terribly frightened; she had never been so frightened before. Her eyes wandered from the doctor’s face to the ruined south wall of the hut, where the sun of July, when it happens to shine on the plains of India, was beating fiercely upon the mud floor. That ruin had happened only an hour ago, with a terrible noise just outside, such a near and terrible noise that she, Tooni, had scrambled under the bed the mistress was lying on, and had hidden there until the doctor-sahib came and pulled her forth by the foot, and called her a poor sort of person. Then Tooni had lain down at the doctor-sahib’s feet, and tried to place one of them upon her head, and said that indeed she was not a worthless one, but that she was very old and she feared the guns; so many of the sahibs had died from the guns! She, Tooni, did not wish to die from a gun, and would the Presence, in the great mercy of his heart, tell her whether there would be any more shooting? There would be no more shooting, the Presence had said; and then he had given her a bottle and directions, and the news about going down the river in a boat. Tooni’s mind did not even record the directions, but it managed to retain the words about going away in a boat, and as she stood twisting the bottle round and round in the folds of her ragged red petticoat it made a desperate effort to extract their meaning.