During that same day at the Consulate, I was haunted by the apprehension about my return journey, and sure enough, my misgivings were justified. The return journey was a painful repetition of the morning’s nightmare. In the evening, at the Lexington Avenue and 59th Street station, my attention was drawn to a frail octogenarian. He drew forth all my sympathy with the spell of his pitiful look. He had completely lost his way and in this crowd he was quite helpless. I was not much more fortunate, by way of knowledge, than he, but my sympathy boldly surpassed my discretion. On learning where he was going, I caught him by the hand and led him into what I believed to be the correct train. We managed this only with great difficulty. By pushing and elbowing with my former athletic heart, I managed to procure a seat for this old man.
As he sat down, another aged man, looking at me, inquired of him, “Who is he?” The immediate reply was, “My son, my Indian son.” I was surprised at his affectionate words and delighted that he had guessed my nationality. Lo, his gratitude could not remain inactive. He started pushing along the seat, gradually and quietly, a fraction of an inch at a time. The young girl sitting beside him could make neither head nor tail of his odd manoeuvring. He continued his efforts for about twenty minutes, until he had acquired enough room for me to sit down beside him. Great indeed was his triumph as he bade me, in his Scottish brogue, to sit. “A true father,” my grateful heart voiced forth. “My Scottish father!”