As you exit the crude excuse for a lavatory you are bumped in the back by a thin girl wearing only a turban and loincloth. As you turn around she pardons herself in her native tongue.

"Careful there, watch where..." you begin.

"I'm sorry," she explains, "I was looking for my tourists who have eluded me. A thousand pardons. I should look where I am walking."

"As well you should. What are you doing here?"

"I am an orphan. My name is Elam. My father and mother came here to make money, but like many of those you see they could not read or write. I will save my money and read and write and speak the words of foreigners. I can guide you through the city of Calcutta for a few coppers."

"Are your parents dead?"

"No, I am abandoned, they went home and left me with my grandmother here to care for her, but she is now dead. I will stay here. I want to go to University and then travel the world like the people I guide through Calcutta. There have been two Americans just today who paid handsomely to be guided here." Elam says.

"Right now my friends are in danger, and I must help them. I don't need a guide now, but follow me to my room and I will help you." you say, feeling sorry for her while feeling homesick for your own parents. "Why are you dressed like a boy?"

"It is so much easier go places. There are ones who would kidnap me and sell me to a life of slavery here. I must conceal my identity. I am almost twelve years of age and I should be able to go to university if I am considered a boy." she says as you lead her around the corner of your bungalow. "Halt!" she whispers commandingly, "There is my host now." pointing to Eric, "I am afraid he no longer has the blowgun. He and his chum frighten me. I have seen few men of such mystery and I must be cautious."

Eric descends the stairs as William emerges from the shrubs to assist him with his cloths.

Should you:
Follow them, turn to
Page 43.
Bring Elam upstairs with you when they leave. Turn to Page 44.

Rope Bridge line

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