At the end of 1913, Tilly and Robin travel to Nairobi with the Palmers to ring in the new year. They leave Eslpeth in the care of Mrs. Nimmo, whose husband is still away. On New Year's eve, Mrs. Nimmo has a party and invites Alec Wilson and another couple. A good time is had by all - even when one of the guests begins to shoot up the place. A friend of the Palmers, Ian Crawford, arrives after acquiring horses in Abyssinia and Elspeth receives a very special gift. Crawford is very much attracted to Lettice but she resists his advances.