It is now August 1947 and Guy Perron, who has returned to academic life, is in India to observe the transition to independence. His arrival in Mirat was meant to be a joyous occasion with Nigel Rowan, Susan and Count Bronowski planning to meet him at the station. Unfortunately, Ronald Merrick accidental death the previous week has put a damper on everything. Merrick had been working in Mirat with the police and had been successful in re-organizing the force. At the last moment, Guy decides to accompany Sarah, Susan aunt Fenny and Ahmed Kasim on the train to Ranpur.