The First Edition of 1892 by Arrowsmith Press
Forced to go off-base as a result of uncertainty we availed of Thommo's hospitality at his home where nine of us and a guest fitted snugly. As a bonus KumKum provided the readers with zesty salmon sandwiches; Pamela brought us Carmelo chocolates and Geetha served nimbu pani.
CJ, Gopa, Priya
The refreshments were necessary to accompany the readings which are full of references to Kinahan, port, champagne, and whiskey, moderately consumed throughout the Cummings and Gowings in the brief novel.
KumKum, Preeti, Pamela
Our anticipation of enjoying the humour was well rewarded. We did not merely 'roar' with laughter at the droll narrations in the book, but enhanced the situations by describing some of our own, supplied by Sunil and Priya in response to the episode of the obstreperous spoiled child, Master Percy.
It is a wonder, as Thommo pointed out, that a century and a quarter after publication the book remains in print, and its humour about late-Victorian middle-class London is still accessible to us in Kochi (barring some topical references). One reason may be that the archetypes in the novel continue to exist in a different form in modern India.
The group at the end (Preeti had to leave early):
(standing) Thommo, Sunil, Joe, CJ
(seated) Priya, Pamela, KumKum, Gopa