In August 1947 Guy Perron, now a Cambridge history lecturer, returns to India on the eve of Independence to observe the last days of British rule. He discovers that Merrick has married Susan, but has subsequently been killed, ostensibly in a riding accident. No-one is anxious to discuss the details. Sarah is distant when they meet again - she is involved, with Ahmed Kasim, in managing the Nawab's household. The Nawab himself faces a dilemma - whether to opt for political independence for his small state, or to integrate with the forthcoming Indian Union Territory. In the end, he chooses integration. Perron questions Nigel Rowan about Merrick's death, and learns the non-unexpected truth - Merrick was murdered. The facts are recorded, but a murdered Englishman is a undesirable fact at a time when India's independence is threatening to release a Pandora's Box of troubles.