...from Chapter 4
Kate's eyes were wide as she stared at the open velvet boxes scattered across Swati's bed. Massive, heavy gold shone up at her, some solid, some studdied with gems; rubies, diamonds, sapphires, emeralds. No lesser stones. And the gold was darker, more lustrous than any gold she'd seen before.
"What is this stuff?" There had been many more boxes in Swati's mother's closet -- Kate had only taken the ones that Swati had told her to bring.
"My dowry, I suppose." Swati picked up a slender rope of triply braided gold and let it pour through her hands, her eyes distant, dreamy.
Kate looked up from the jewelry, startled. "I thought your parents weren't planning on marrying you off."