On her homeward journey Sarah meets Count Bronowsky, the Nawab's chief minister. He is taking the Nawab's secretary Ahmed Kasim to meet his father, the ex-chief minister of Ranpur, released from prison where he has been detained with other Congress leaders since 1942. Ahmed's elder brother Sayed has been captured fighting alongside the Japanese as a member of the Indian National Army, and he must break the news to his father. By the time Sarah returns to Pankot, Susan's baby has been born and Mabel has been buried - but not as Barbie believes she should have been. Merrick returns secretly to Pankot, badly disfigured by burns, to have an artificial arm fitted. Failure and pain drive him almost to the point of madness - but it is Susan whose hold on sanity suddenly snaps. Re-enacting an old ritual for dispatching a scorpion, she wraps her baby son in his christening gown and surround him with a ring of burning kerosene. As her terrified young ayah looks on, she chants 'Little prisoner, go free.'