Dick Donaldson, who in deference to the sundown tradition of the East, was having his first drink of the day, thanked God when he sipped it that this one, unlike all other drinks he had had in Ceylon, was made not with arak, but with real English gin.

“There’s someone,” Mrs. Potter said, pointing. “Over there. I can introduce you to them. They speak English—after a fashion. He had a year somewhere—law or medicine—I don’t know what.” She led Dick to the edge of the terrace where an exquisite young couple was standing near a flaming hibiscus. They were a small, delicately made man and a smaller, more delicate woman. He was dressed in grey flannel and she in a black and gold sari. Dick was amazed at the size of the diamond she wore attached to one of her nostrils.