Inspector Iqbal Khan was in a bad mood. He had never been inside a jungle.
The closest he had come to a wooded experience was when as a kid he and his cousins had scaled the seven-foot-high walls of the sprawling farmhouse adjacent to their ancestral village house and scurried back again, the pockets of their cotton half pants bulging with ripened Alphonsos, the King of Indian mangoes.
‘Sir, be careful. There are a lot of snakes around here,’ said his prisoner, adding, ‘every year quite a few people die here of snake bites.’
Inspector Khan felt froth forming in his mouth.
A stab of pain shot up his chest.
Though only mid afternoon, darkness had descended.