The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

book - 'Naga Path', by Ursula Graham Bower, published John Murray 1950

caption: Chapter thirty-three. The Man Who Came to Catch Butterflies
caption: proposal of marriage
medium: books
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
text: On the fourth day of his stay he came home particularly early. I, who hadn't expected him back before tea-time, was in the kitchen baking a cake when Namkia came in and said the Colonel wanted to see me. Leaving the cake, I dusted as much flour as possible off my trousers and went across to hear what my guest wanted. He was pacing up and down on the far side of the grass as though in some agitation. I wondered if he'd been recalled and had to go back at once.
text: We fell into step and quarterdecked up and down beside the garden. The Colonel was certainly agitated. He was slightly incoherent. I was listening with only half an ear, most of my mind on the cake, and supposing that we should come to the point some time, when, as we came abreast of the cannas, I found myself receiving a proposal of marriage.
text: The next few minutes were quite chaotic. At the next lucid interval, we were in the bungalow. We seemed somehow to have become engaged. I was not at all certain it was what I intended I had, really, been thinking about the cake. But this was hardly the moment to explain. He was so terribly pleased about it all. It wasn't, either, as though he weren't a suitable Colonel. He was a charming man. I couldn't think offhand of one I liked better. Still, it did all seem rather sudden.
text: Then he kissed me. He was tall and strong. A chair got in the way. The scene resembled a struggle more than an embrace. I was in panic lest Namkia come in. My staff held strong views on that sort of thing, and should he draw the wrong conclusion - he certainly would - the Colonel was in for a mass assault. But the embrace concluded, the crisis passed, and nobody came in.