Letter From Abroad: From Mistress to Master

August 5, 1906 ·

Sir,

I trust that you are well and hope that your journey with the delegation’s first wave was not too dull nor perilous. Your personal Mayhems have been updating Father and I with regular telegraphs concerning what we can only deduce has become somewhat of a holiday for you.

The Old Boy proclaimed that you should “take less interest in the hot nights, exotic food and dusky maidens and concentrate on generating some bloody capital like the Beer Baron”. He sends his warmest of regards, naturally.

News of the delegation’s success has reached us back home; I must say Father has been less than impressed that you chose to part company with the main party, and head north on a royal charm offensive to the court of.. Padishah… What was his name again? But then I suppose the nature of wares you are inclined to trade are somewhat more esoteric and, some would say, downright immoral.

I can certainly say that if the Foreign Secretary knew you were bartering for land, labour and influence with what I can only refer to as sensitive material, he and the big boys on the Clean Air Committee would be screaming bloody murder. At least the Government and our esteemed former colleagues are too tied up courting the return of The Clockwork Project, licking Ranbir’s

boots and easing civil disquiet to pay much heed. That is, at least, something. You never know, perhaps a round of tit-for-tat will reveal something damning concerning our much lauded engineering messiah.

It may interest you to learn that in the light of home events the Harvest Initiative has been brought forward. The Germans have consented to undertake crucial parts of The Reaper’s build though I have endeavored to keep them in the dark as to what their contract is exactly for.

I had hoped that by now you would have found a suitable textile source – but perhaps I do not understand how business operates on the other side of the world. Or is the weather just too pleasant for business?

One last question before I sign off. I have learned that you are now the proud owner of a five year old bull elephant: what, in the name of all that is good and holy, do you want with an elephant, Uncle?

Fondly

E

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