Arthur MacMurrough Kavanagh stared in shock at the letter from his mother. She had written to say that she was cutting off his money. As he reread the page, the sensations of India intruded – a peacock’s cry, the smell of spices, a gentle wind through palm leaves. An Irishman alone in a foreign land, he was twenty years old and had just thirty shillings left in his pocket. This situation would be hard enough for most people, even today, but this was the year 1851, and he had been born with only partial stumps in place of normal functioning arms and legs. What could he do? Instead of despairing, he decided to get a job.