The British Government had known for some time that the French were anxious to enlarge their possessions in the East and Khmer seemed an easy place to intrude into and eventually possess.
“The French are very clever and I am sure if they have set their hearts on owning Khmer they will in some way of their own infiltrate into the country before the King is hardly aware of what they are up to.” - like Britain did with India etc...
That she had turned out to be a pseudo man did not surprise them nearly as much as it might have surprised anyone else. - she would be transgender in today's world.
She was reading, as he expected, one of the books that he himself enjoyed. It was one he had discussed with his men friends, but thought too heavy for a woman to appreciate. - Cartland really seems to love putting her sex down. Men and women can equally be brainless, insipid, bland creatures.
Amina walked to him, moving, he thought, much more like a man with long strides rather than the pretty somewhat affected way a woman would have done. - oh good God! Even their walk is stunted!!
“The beginning is that Siam is extremely worried about French interest in Khmer. We have also been warned that they are anxious to get a hold on that country which would, of course, upset the balance of power that we in Great Britain have very carefully maintained in that part of the world.” - again France is doing only what Britain had done time and again!
After all you are not, as you must admit, very attractive as a woman. - ...😒
“I have a few friends,” Amina told him, “but they are mostly men, who treat me as if I was one of them.” “I am a man,” she said aloud as she wrinkled her nicely turned up nose, “and that is how I intend to be now and for ever.” - yup, transgender
“The trouble with England,” Lord Templeton said, “is that we think we have a right to rule the world into doing exactly what we do. And, of course, we have to admit most of the countries in which we have established ourselves are happier and on the whole less quarrelsome than those over which we have no control.” “That is true,” Amina agreed. “Equally because we are so successful we do help people and in the end they are very much happier when we are concerned with them than they were before.” - that's the trouble with every conqueror...
“So you heard that too! I was told it in great detail. If you ask me, the whole farrago is a farce to impress us British that they need our help. Most of all if they can possibly achieve it, the Union Jack to fly alongside their own flag over The Palace in Bangkok.” - Remember the UK only finished paying the debt to slave owners in 2015... I'm pretty sure people preferred freedom over indentured labour!
“That is what I rather expected,” Lord Templeton replied. “I think it is a mistake when you are natural as a woman, which you are. To me it is delightful to look at you and interesting to listen to everything that you have to say.” - this guy is treating her in this manner because they agreed from the start that neither were interested in marriage...
Actually she thought to herself that it was a great pity that the people could not be left alone. Why should they have to put up with Europeans ordering them about and changing their lives and doubtless their beliefs that had been theirs for centuries. Then she told herself that the countries who were expanding like the French thought that they were giving a more modern way of living to those who they conquered or captured, “This is a lovely country,” she said, “and so far it has not been ruined by civilisation. We must do whatever we can to prevent the French from taking it over and then ruining it.” - France and England were the SAME!
Lord Templeton smiled to himself and he knew that she was feeling ashamed of being so feminine when a man would have shown more control. - doubtful...
At the same time she thought to herself that more than likely they would want to change something that is beautiful because it is old and dear to those who are part of it.