IT took Johnston some time to realize that he was being squeezed out. His initial welcome indeed surpassed all expectations. Sir Clement Hill gave an official dinner. Lord Salisbury asked him to Hatfield. The King's interest in his mission seemed more than perfunctory. An outstandingly appreciative letter from Lord Lansdowne followed him to Guernsey, whither he had retreated for the summer months to rest and to write. The high honour of the G.C.M.G. came in due course. Yet already by the autumn of 1901 the future was beginning to look a little ominous. He had returned from Guernsey in October and was living in a borrowed house near Shere in Surrey, writing The Uganda Protectorate and waiting for his next appointment. He had made it clear that he could not serve again in any part of the tropics where he might be liable to a recurrence of blackwater fever. This made him, he realized, more difficult to promote. Even if East Africa had been unified according to his recommendations, he could not have consented to be the first Governor-General. Still, he thought he could reasonably hope for one of the minor Colonial office governorships— Cyprus, perhaps, or Malta—or, that failing, at least for one of the lesser Legations, perhaps not even necessarily as far afield as Bangkok or Bagota.
But he was wrong. Chamberlain was still at the Colonial Office and determined to exercise his patronage without assistance from an ageing Prime Minister or a new Foreign Secretary. And at the Foreign Office things had changed distinctly for the worse. It was not only Hill in place of Anderson and Lansdowne in place of Salisbury. Barrington still ruled the Private Office, but it was a Barrington who was noticeably less cordial than he who had served Lord Salisbury. It was not that Lansdowne himself was unfriendly, but that the permanent officials were once more firmly in control of appointments. In December Lady Johnston's uncle, Lord de Saumarez, warned him not to expect too much. 'The Office as a body hates the introduction of new blood into the service, and I am not surprised that you find the officials hostile. I saw Edward Malet last week in Paris, and in talking over sundry changes in the heads of missions, I asked