TITLE: The Girl From Everywhere
GENRE: YA Historical Fantasy
It was summer in Calcutta and the year was 1774, although only for a few more hours, and we had just loaded a pair of Bengal tigers into the hold of The Temptation when I realized we might be in trouble.
I could say the trouble started in the market, when Kashmir, moving too quickly to be careful, bumped into a British Company officer, causing the man to drop the mail he’d been carrying. After picking up his letters, the Englishman checked his pockets. When he found his gold watch missing, he grabbed the constable who’d been standing close by and set off after us. Hearing their shouts, Kashmir dropped his mangoes and ran. What could I do but follow?
Perhaps the trouble started earlier, though, with the tigers, although I’m not trying to blame them for it. Indeed, I was rather proud of them, as acquiring them had been my idea -- and my responsibility. I had negotiated with a local soldier-turned-hunter for two magnificent specimens -- the likes of which can no longer be found after centuries of poaching -- to be delivered alive. Unfortunately, I hadn’t been as clear regarding the rest of the details of the delivery; they were dumped on the dock in flimsy wooden cages heavily drugged, although not heavily enough. They were twitching their tails as we wrestled them onboard with the help of several men hired from the dockside. The sun was panting in the sky, and Kashmir and I were sweating beside the locals.