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December 2009_KIPLING JOURNAL_1

2_KIPLING JOURNAL_December 2009

December 2009_KIPLING JOURNAL__3


Registered Charity No. 278885


Field Marshal Sir John Chappie. G.C.B., C.B.E., D.L.


Sir George Engle. K.C.B.. Q.C.


Joseph R. Dunlap, D.L.S. Mrs Margaret Newsom

Mrs L.A.F. Lewis Professor Thomas Pinney, Ph.D.

Mrs Rosalind Kennedy Mrs Anne Shelford

J.H. McGivering, R.D. J.W. Michael Smith

David Alan Richards


Sharad Keskar, M.A. (Chairman) Lt-Colonel R.C. Ayers, O.B.E.

Prof Leonee Ormond (Deputy Chairman) Ray Beck

Prof Janet Montefiore Bryan Diamond

Miss Anne Harcombe


John Lambert (Membership Secretary)
[his e-mail address is:]
Frank Noah (Treasurer)
Jane Keskar (Secretary)
[her address is: 6 Clifton Road, London W9 1SS; Tel & Fax 020 7286 0194;
her e-mail address is: jmkeskar(]
Andrew Lycett (Meetings Secretary)
John Radcliffe (On Line Editor)
[his e-mail address is:]
John Walker. M.A. (Librarian)
Robin Mitchell (Bateman's Liaison Officer)
David Page, B.Sc. (Editor, Kipling Journal)
[his e-mail address is:]

Independent Financial Examiner
Professor G.M. Selim. M.Com., Ph.D., F.I.I.A.


Post: 6 Clifton Road, London W9 1SS; Fax: 020 7286 0194;


David Alan Richards, 18 Forest Lane, Scarsdale.
New York, NY 10583, U.S.A.
Tel: (212) 609-6817. Fax: (212) 593-4517. e-mail: drichards


David Watts, Box 421, Wyong, NSW 2259. Australia
Tel: 02 43927180. Fax: 02 43511109. e-mail:

4_KIPLING JOURNAL_December 2009



Wednesday 20 January 2010, 5.30 for 6.00 p.m. at the City
University*, John Radcliffe our Online Editor & John
Walker our Librarian, on accessing the New Readers'

Wednesday 10 February 2010, 5.30 for 6.00 p.m. in the
Mountbatten Room, Royal Over-Seas League, David A.
Richards on "The Books He Left Behind: A New
Bibliography of Rudyard Kipling".

Wednesday 7 April 2010, 5.30 for 6 p.m. in the Mountbatten
Room, Royal Over-Seas League, Alastair Wilson on
"Kipling and the Navy".

Wednesday 5 May 2010, 12.30 for 1 p.m., in the Hall of India
and Pakistan, Royal Over-Seas League, The Society's
Annual Luncheon. Guest Speaker: Lady Juliet
Townsend: "The Elephant in the Room". For details and
advanced booking see enclosed flyer.

Wednesday 7 July 2010, 4.30 p.m. in the Mountbatten Room,
Royal Over-Seas League, The Society's A.G.M. A compli-
mentary tea will be served at 4.00 p.m. in the Wrench Room
for members who inform the Secretary in advance. The talk
(5.30 for 6.00p.m.) will be announced later.

*    The City University

Northampton Square, London EC1V 0HB

Please check with the front desk for the meeting room.

We also hope to visit the Library.

Nearest Underground: The Angel, Islington

A map is available from the Honorary Secretary.

December 2009                             JANE KESKAR & ANDREW LYCETT


published quarterly since 1927 by the Kipling Society
(6 Clifton Road, London W9 1SS)
and sent free to all members worldwide

Volume 83 December 2009 Number 334










IN "STEAM TACTICS'"? by Alastair Wilson 31-42


KIPLING'S KIM by Dr Naveen K. Mehta 43-47

THE COMET OF A SEASON by Rudyard Kipling 48-53

GALLIHAUK'S PUP by Rudyard Kipling 54-58


SOME NOTES by The Editor 59-61

MEMBERSHIP NOTES by John Lambert 62



Rudyard Kipling Copyright by The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or

Natural Beauty.

Cover Image with Acknowledgements to Macmillan & Co Ltd

All rights arc reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced.
stored in a retrieved system or transmitted in any form or by any means,
electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise, without prior permission
in writing from the Kipling Society. London.

6_KIPLING JOURNAL_December 2009



This new CD is scheduled for release on 9 November. It includes the
first professional orchestral recording since 1917 of Elgar's The
Fringes of the Fleet, based upon four of Kipling's poems from his
Work of that title plus one by Sir Gilbert Parker. The CD also includes
revivals of John Ansell's Plymouth Hoe and Windjammer overtures,
and 50th anniversary recordings of Haydn Wood's Manx Overture and
Elizabeth of England together with new arrangements and orchestra-
tions of songs by Elgar, John Ireland and Edward German.

The results are the culmination of six years research by the con-
ductor Tom Higgins, who has directed the Guildford Philharmonic
Orchestra in this recording, with four baritone singers – Roderick
Williams with Nicholas Lester, Laurence Meikle and Duncan Rock.
The recording was made possible by support from the R C Sheriff
Trust, the South East Music Trust, Michael Hartnall, the Ralph
Vaughan Williams Trust, the Ireland Trust, the Kipling Society, and Dr
Robin Darwall-Smith.

Issued by Somm Recordings, the price for CDSOMM 243 will be
£14.99 and it will be available at all CD and internet outlets.


Members may recall the Editorial in the June 2008 Journal (no.327) in
which I recorded the donation by Mr Tom Aiken of a book of verse that
had been owned by Mrs Alice Kipling (wife of Lockwood), and passed
on to her daughter Mrs Alice ("Trix") Fleming. One of the minor points
of interest was that Mrs Kipling had signed herself as Elsie rather than
Alice, and this has been acknowledged as being quite usual for her.

By chance I have found that this was not something restricted to
Mrs Kipling alone but was clearly common practice in the 1800s. Elsie,
whilst being a name in its own right, was also regularly used as a
diminutive or nickname for Alice. I came upon examples of this when
rereading The Last of the Mohicans by James Fennimore Cooper, a
book first published in 1826 based upon events that took place in 1757.

The sentences which sparked this off are where Alice, one of the
two heroines, is speaking of her father. In chapter 6:

"And did he not speak of me, Heyward?" demanded Alice, with
jealous affection. "Surely, he forgot not altogether his little Elsie!"

Continued on page 63.

December 2009_KIPLING JOURNAL_7



[Ms Omomo is a PhD candidate at the University of Sheffield. She is currently working
on her dissertation in Tokyo, and her thesis deals with Kipling's representation of chil-
dren and its transition from Just So Stories to Debits and Credits. – Ed.]

The main theme of Traffics and Discoveries (1904), a collection of sto-
ries written during and after the Boer War, is an unknown power, and
the people and society affected by it. In these texts, an irrational force
threatening not only the integrity of people's minds but also the frame-
work of the British Empire is called 'It' or 'the Power'. It/the Power is
a destructive force related to both electrical devices and a man's desire
for a woman. In this paper, I focus especially on the former to illustrate
how Kipling reveals It/the Power through modern technologies, which
is the key component of Kipling's vision of the British Empire.

Early in the 1890s, Kipling put forth the notion of the global inter-
colonial relationship sustained by the nexus of transport and
communication in his poem, "A Song of the English" (1893). The
poem shows how the Empire consists of interlacing peripheries.
However distant the territories of the Empire are geographically scat-
tered, they are linked together by a bond forged by technologies which
convey messages from place to place. Kipling frequently describes the
state of connection between England and its colonies in terms of elec-
trical communication. Although his post-Boer War stories inherit the
same model, the link that Kipling supposes to preserve the integrity of
the Empire appears irretrievably severed. Furthermore, in Traffics and
Discoveries, the moments of connection, which ought to restore the
damaged linkage, are always associated with traumatic and fatal
events. Eventually Kipling sets himself to the task of seeking an alter-
nate version of the imperial communication by setting up a link
between a generator and the power of the English stemming from the
soil of rural England.

I begin this paper by examining "A Song of the English", which
demonstrates the ruling model of the Empire: a network conveying
words on a global scale. I subsequently suggests that " 'Wireless' " in
Traffics and Discoveries demonstrates how the former vision of the
imperial network collapses because of the advent of a more elaborate
communication. New invention is dangerous because it may reveal the
unaccountable power lurking beneath the surface. Then through an

8_KIPLING JOURNAL_December 2009

examination of "Mrs. Bathurst", I explore how a state of disjunction
prevails in the representation of post-war South Africa and how a new
item of technology, a cinematograph, assists the process of It/the
Power's revelation. Finally, I look at "Below the Mill Dam", which
advances the idea of setting up a more manageable linkage using elec-
trical devices within the boundary of a country. The alteration in this
tale indicates that Kipling eventually turns from a cosmopolitan impe-
rialism to a more insular one at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Through his reading of Kipling's Boer War poetry, M. Van Wyk Smith
points out that the Boer War occurred when Kipling shifted from his
earlier subjects, 'the celebration of the colourful characters of empire',
to his exalted and abstract vision of imperial ideology.1 According to
Smith, Kipling began to foster his own concept of the Empire when he
left India in 1889. Unfortunately for Kipling, the South African war
forced him to put his crude vision to the test. As a result, South Africa
showed Kipling the fact that 'his own grandiose concept of empire too
brittle to outlast a real imperial war'.2 Although the imperial vision
expressed in "A Song of the English", one of Kipling's unaesthetic
attempts to form a notion of the Empire, is tasteless as well as unripe,
just as Smith insists, it has a significant role in that it help us understand
the development of the imperial idea envisaged by Kipling. When he
was asked to write a poem for The Times in commemoration of Queen
Victoria's Diamond Jubilee on 22 June 1897, Kipling declined the
offer saying 'he had used his best notion on "A Song of the English" '.3
The central theme of the poem is the worldwide imperial bond
established by the exchange of words. What makes the transaction pos-
sible is the communication technologies which connect the
metropolitan centre and the colonial outposts spread worldwide. That
Kipling divides "A Song of the English" into seven sections is not
meaningless. The structure of the poem allegorically shows that the
British Empire as a whole is perceived as an association of geographi-
cally diverse groups. For instance, in 'The Deep-Sea Cables', the
fourth section of the poem, the telegraph cable laid at the bottom of the
sea conveys 'Words' identified with 'a Power', which vibrates the dead
silence of the deep sea—'a new Word runs between: whispering, "Let
us be one!" '.4 This celebration of a technological achievement which
linked Britain and America indicates Kipling's larger vision: every part
of the Empire shall be united and interactions between the parts should
be perfectly smooth. Peter Keating argues that lack of structural
integrity in "A Song of the English" corresponds to Kipling's failure to
'invoke a spiritual justification and support for England's imperial

December 2009_KIPLING JOURNAL_9

success'.5 In Keating's view, it is quite natural that Kipling calls the
poem 'a song of broken interlude' in his untitled prelude. The poem's
apparent formal fragmentation, however, does not contradict Kipling's
wish to hold them together as a whole. 'Words' in the poem call for the
separated parts of the poem: 'Let us be one!'.

A similar comprehensive vision is also illustrated in "The
Coastwise Lights". The lighthouse on the English shore sends its light
to various ships, which are symbolised as 'Swift shuttles of an
Empire's loom that weave us main to main' (172). The undisturbed
linkage of the English colonial cities brings forth the larger fabric
spread across the world. In "The Song of the Cities", fifteen colonial
cities pay tribute to Mother England, which also evokes the cohesive
imperial association on a global scale:


From East to West the circling word has passed,
Till West is East beside our land-locked blue;

From East to West the tested chain holds fast,
The well-forged link rings true! (176)

The 'tested chain' or 'the well-forged link' enables 'the circling word',
'Words' or 'a Power' transmitted from one colonial post to another, to
draw the separate parts of the Empire closer and closer until it abol-
ished the distance. By means of inter-colonial communication, Kipling
goes so far as to say that it is possible that East becomes West and West
becomes East.

It is this gleeful vision envisioned in the poem that was tested and
abandoned at the time of the Boer War. The image of an integrated net-
work dependent on immediate connection re-emerges but is recurrently
undermined in Traffics and Discoveries. We must first examine how
Kipling represents the theme of the chronic failure of the interlacing
communication in " 'Wireless' ". Second, we will argue the way in
which Kipling confronts the cause of dysfunction in "Mrs. Bathurst".
Finally, through an analysis of "Below the Mill Dam", I shall suggest
that there is a major shift in Kipling's political views, going along with
his physical and ideological return to England.


In " 'Wireless' ", Kipling explores how a wireless apparatus and a per-
son are galvanised by an intangible and eerie power. The story is set in
the days of technological change when the telegraph was replaced with
the new device invented by Guglielmo Marconi in 1896.6 On a winter's

10_KIPLING JOURNAL_December 2009

night, an electrician sets up a wireless installation at a chemist's shop and
waits for a message from Poole. In the adjacent room, the narrator, who
comes to see the experiment, spends a night with the chemist's assistant,
Mr Shaynor. The young compounder falls into a type of trance and
begins to write down and recompose Keats' poems as though he were a
medium possessed by the spirit of the poet. The narrator becomes a wit-
ness to a spiritualist transmission instead of a wireless communication.
Eventually, both transmissions turn out to be beyond control. Mr
Shaynor recovers from the trance before he finishes composing a new
version of Keats' poems; the electrician receives not the expected mes-
sage from Poole but the signals of two ships trying to make contact with
each other in vain. The electrician and the narrator listen to one of them
complaining 'Disheartening—most disheartening' ?

Sandra Kemp suggests that this story is concerned with the elusive
authorship and the process of writing. In the pursuit of 'the mystery of
poetic inspiration', " 'Wireless' " carves the way to the unknown:
something 'subversive, repressed and represented within the aesthetic
as a fragmentary and (sometimes) poetic force'.8 This uncanny revela-
tion is brought about because the theme of incarnation explored here is
analogically related to the artistic inspiration which lets the presence of
the unspeakable ascend to the surface. Although Kemp is right in her
comment that" 'Wireless' " is a story of the return of the repressed, she
overlooks the fact that, in Kipling's text, the function of wireless is
double-layered. In Kemp's view, wireless telegraphy which attracts
men's attention works to mask the uncomfortable question of artistic
inspiration. Yet the detailed elucidation of new technology is not a
cover to divert the reader from the enigmatic theme. As Hermione Lee
acutely observes, 'the "otherness" in Kipling is not simply split off
from the safe, loud, public voice: it inhabits it'.9 Wireless is not only
installed in a story of the Royal Navy, "The Bonds of Discipline", but
also in a dreamlike story, " 'Wireless' ".10

In concentrating on the theme of electricity, the parallel between
electrical induction and psychic communication should not be over-
looked. In the late nineteenth century, the spiritualists believed that
they could make contact with the spirits of the dead. People assumed
that the spirits try to get in touch with the living. In a spiritualist's
imagination, the line between science and occultism was often blurred.
If one can talk with people at a distance by telegraph or telephone,
would it not be possible to talk with the dead in a similar way? The
newly invented technological transmission device was considered to
carry messages from the realm of the dead just as the spiritualistic
seances did. According to Erik Davis, spiritualism 'was bound up from
the beginning with the electromagnetic imaginary and the telegraph's

December 2009_KIPLING JOURNAL_11

groundbreaking transformation of electricity into information'."
Spiritualists even considered that the raps, creaks and table-turning
which occurred during a seance could be explained as the results of a
transformation of electric current.

I shall focus, however, on the process of electrographic induction
rather than on spiritual contact with the dead. While in "A Song of the
English" the 'Words', which are equated with 'a Power', connect the
fragmented parts of the Empire into a harmonious unity, the power
transmitted in " 'Wireless' " has a less rational nature:

'But what is it?' I asked. 'Electricity is out of my beat alto-

'Ah, if you knew that you'd know something nobody knows.
It's just It—what we call Electricity, but the magic—the manifesta-
tions—the Hertzian waves—are all revealed by this. The coherer,
we call it'

. . . 'That is the thing that will reveal to us the Powers—what-
ever the Powers may be—at work—through space—a long distance
away.' (185)

Unlike the comprehensible message conveyed by the deep-sea cable,
the Power in " 'Wireless' " is rather ungovernable. The young electri-
cian confesses that he can 'never get over the strangeness of it' when
he works a sending-machine filled with 'the Power—our unknown
power—kicking and fighting to be let loose' (191).

The transition of the power from 'Words' to 'It' reflects the advent
of wireless at the turn of the century and its impact on people's imagi-
nation. Examining a cultural history of electrical presence, especially
the electronic fiction generated around telecommunication technolo-
gies, Jeffery Scounce points out the significance of the replacement of
the telegraph by the wireless. Although wired telegraph suggested the
possibility of extraordinary contact which annihilated the old concept
of distance, the birth of wireless makes such communion an impossi-
bility because wireless is considered to cut the flow of electricity which
telegraphic communication achieved. Telegraph lines carry not only
human messages from city to city but also human consciousness from
one person to another. This telepathic image of communication is
based on the idea that electricity, human consciousness and informa-
tion are interrelated and transmutable. Yet the current of the telegraph
was shut off by the wireless, a different version of electrical presence.
The wireless is portrayed 'not only as a medium of mass communica-
tion, but as a marker of personal isolation where the loss of wire
allowed for extraordinary yet potentially terrifying forms of electrical
disembodiment'.12 Scounce argues that the wireless stories, including

12_KIPLING JOURNAL_December 2009

Kipling's " 'Wireless' " as one of the earliest responses, arouse the
futility and frustration of radio communication due to 'mysterious
forces' which evoke lingering fear as well as fascination, portraying the
intermediary's presence as an omnipresent and inescapable force that
can occupy the human body and mind. The novelty of the disjunction
of bodies and voices, according to Scounce, threatened 'the security
and stability of an older social order in which body and mind had been
for the most part coterminous'.13 If the boundary of time, space and
social framework no longer seems to apply in the age of wireless com-
munication, it is likely that people's bodies and minds will be energised
and possessed by some invisible external power. A person is nothing
but a victim of this external and unfathomable force.

According to the electrician in Kipling's wireless story, however,
'That's where so many people make the mistake' (189). The young
electrician, Mr Cashell, denies the narrator's speculation that the mas-
sive Hertzian waves arriving from somewhere set the coherer at work
'just like an ordinary telegraph-office ticker' (189). Wireless differs
from telegraphic communication in that the electricity of the receiving
set rather than the waves sent from the remote place makes the instru-
ment operate by induction, since those waves are not strong enough to
actuate it. Thus, the electrical power resides inside of the coherer, not
outside of it. To describe the wireless mechanism, the electrician uses
a steam engine metaphor:

'Well, the coherer is like a steam-valve. Any child can open a valve
and start a steamer's engines, because a turn of the hand lets in the
main steam, doesn't it? Now, this home battery here ready to print is
the main steam. The coherer is the valve, always ready to be turned
on. The Hertzian wave is the child's hand that turns it.' (190)

Compared to the electricity installed in the wireless machine, the
Hertzian wave is as subtle as a child's hand. The current which the
chemistry shop applied from the home battery is the real site of It/the
Power. The shop, which 'looked like a Paris-diamond mine' 'by the
light of the many electrics', is the ideal place for the mysterious wire-
less communication (183). By the same token, this model is also
applied to that of a person's mind. Kipling represents It/the Power as a
stimulus generated from inside of a person's psychic apparatus, not
from outside of it. Thus, Mr Shaynor is not possessed by the spirit of
Keats but is overwhelmed by his own libido.

It is interesting that the model of the unlimited inner force explored
in " 'Wireless' " bears a close similarity to the account of imperialism
given by a contemporary economist. It is well known that J.A. Hobson

December 2009_KIPLING JOURNAL_13

developed his criticism of imperialism under the influence of the Boer
War. Hobson denounces the small group of financiers who employed
the public policy and force to extend the field of their private invest-
ment; however, he warns us not to jump to the conclusion that financial
matters are the single determining cause of imperialism: 'finance is
rather the governor of the imperial engine, directing the energy and
determining its work: it does not constitute the fuel of engine, nor does
it directly generate the power'.14 Imperialism, according to Hobson, is
incited by 'the power' of public opinion aroused by several factors:

Finance manipulates the patriotic forces which politicians, soldiers,
philanthropists, and traders generate; the enthusiasm for expansion
which issues from these sources, though strong and genuine, is
irregular and blind; (59)

Hobson claims that the English nation which employed imperialism
is galvanised by the power of blind impetus stirred by patriotism. If we
use Kipling's terms, a small number of financiers correspond to the
Hertzian wave, and the power—fuelled by patriotism—corresponds to
the electricity called It. What really set imperialism at work were not
foreign investors but the people of England. Therefore, it is easy for
Hobson to seek a solution: the inculcation of the English people.
Education of 'national intelligence and national will' can foster 'the
ability of a nation to shake off this dangerous usurpation of its power,
and to employ the national resources in the national interests.'15 In
Kipling's case, being unable to make out what It/the Power is, he had
to inquire further into the problem. In the next section, I shall examine
how Kipling struggles to capture It/the Power through the image of a
female figure in "Mrs. Bathurst".

Even though It/the Power is indescribable, I shall discuss how the
Freudian concept of It or the id, an unknown and unaccountable force
which exerts intense pressure on the ego, can be applied to explain the
way in which Mrs Bathurst becomes an embodiment of It/the Power.
Freud believes that the internal excitation originates from the id. While
human consciousness is equipped with a barrier which protects it from
the stimuli in the external world, it has no protection against the stim-
uli it receives from within. The protective barrier covering the
conscious system lessens the quantity of excitation which arrives from
the outside. Yet the excitation which comes from deep within us
directly assaults the consciousness without diminution. When respond-
ing to the massive inner excitations which brings about unpleasure, we

14_KIPLING JOURNAL_December 2009

tend to 'treat them as if they came from without rather than within, in
order to deploy the protective barrier's defensive capabilities against
them'.16 Freud calls this process, which converts inner stimuli into
outer stimuli, 'projection'. Projection is necessary to transform the
excessive amount of excitation from within into a more tolerable one.
In "Mrs. Bathurst", the intense excitation originating from It/the Power
is displaced on to an eponymous character. Yet this does not mean that
Kipling is a misogynist who attributes all evil things to women. Since
the unconscious is absolutely inaccessible, it is the only way for a per-
son to face It/the Power.

"Mrs. Bathurst", the tenth story in Traffics and Discoveries, is set
near Simon's Town at Glengariff, the naval base near Cape Town,
shortly after the end of the Boer War. On an afternoon in May 1903, the
narrator happens to be spending his time drinking beer and talking with
three men. Mrs Bathurst is the name of a mysterious woman that the
men's idle chat conjures up. Yet their stories of Mrs Bathurst do not
reveal exactly what becomes of her. The reader, from the story of
Pyecroft, a Petty Officer, can assume that Mrs Bathurst, a widow who
keeps a small hotel at Auckland, has had an affair with a warrant officer
named Vickery. Pyecroft tells his audience that in December 1902
Vickery took him to Phyllis's [Fillis's] Circus, which was, for five
nights, showing a cinematograph which included the image of Mrs
Bathurst arriving at Paddington Station. Vickery insisted that the woman
in the picture was looking for him. After the circus finished its perfor-
mance in Cape Town, Vickery was sent inland where the circus was
being held. He went missing, and later his corpse was found. He was
struck by lightning up-country near a railway line which runs through a
teak forest. At the site of his death, there was another body which was 'as
black as charcoal' and fell to bits when a railway man tried to move it.

"Mrs. Bathurst" has so powerful an allure that it makes numerous
critics attempt to seek the answer to questions the story poses. For
instance, one of the biggest questions which has fretted critics is the
identity of the second corpse found charred beside Vickery. C.A.
Bodelsen suggests that it is Mrs Bathurst's ghost. Elliot L. Gilbert
denies this insisting that the second tramp is not a woman; Kipling puts
a total stranger beside Vickery in order to emphasize the intensity of
warrant officer's desire. While Nora Crooks identifies Vickery's com-
panion with the ghost of Boy Niven, Daniel Karlin supposes that the
second figure is a man, if he has to choose. 17 However, he maintains
that his choice has no importance because 'Kipling asks us, and allows
us, not to choose'.18

Apparently Kipling refuses let the reader know who this corpse is.
The hole is put at the centre of the story on purpose. Kingsley Amis

December 2009_KIPLING JOURNAL_15

points out the story's obscurity attracts attention so that Kipling's
'authorial self-indulgence can leave out too much as well as put too
much in'.19 Angus Wilson indignantly calls the story's deliberate
obliqueness 'pretentious'. He claims that 'the difficulty of not knowing
what Kipling really means in "Mrs Bathurst" ... is of little interest, for,
in the last resort, the story is empty'.20

David Lodge is more favourable to the omission in "Mrs. Bathurst".
He describes the structure of "Mrs. Bathurst" as characteristic of modern
narratives which end 'before all the questions are answered'.21 His analy-
sis of the narrative of this text shows us that it has a 'Chinese box'
structure consisting of several stories inside one another. As the narrative
progresses, each story reveals itself as one of the 'frames for the real
story, the story of Vickery's entanglement with Mrs Bathurst, which is at
the centre of the last box, which is a hole, an absence, an insoluble enig-
ma'.22 Although the solution of what is essentially a mystery story is
absent, Lodge argues that the text paradoxically requires more involve-
ment from the reader due to the 'indeterminacy of [its] meaning'. If it is
impossible to comprehend the meaning of "Mrs. Bathurst", all we can do
here is consider what makes the core of "Mrs. Bathurst" empty, not by
finding out the hidden episode and filling the hole but by accounting for
the reason Kipling leaves it undetermined. While Lodge attributes this
structural choice to the nature of modern narrative, we shall attempt to
read "Mrs. Bathurst" as a story of It/the Power. The core of the story
remains empty because the story is controlled by the unknowable force.

Now let us consider how It/the Power works among the fragmental
images in "Mrs. Bathurst". The story offers a sharp contrast between
the state of connection and disconnection. In general, this fragmentary
story seems to be engaged with the latter theme. The incongruousness
in "Mrs. Bathurst" is detected in the interface between land and sea,
and between trains and ships. For example, the narrator who tries to
change from the train to the ship in Simon's Bay is left behind at the
coast and finds himself 'stranded, lunchless, on the sea-front with no
hope of return to Cape Town before 5 p.m.' (268). Moreover, the pro-
posal of Boy Niven, who 'lured seven or eight able-bodied seamen and
marines into the woods of British Columbia' (270), is never carried out.
Pritchard, the Sergeant of Marines, and Hooper, the Inspector of Cape
Government Railways, are momentarily on bad terms and make 'an
uneasy little break in the conversation' (273). Two means of transport
which sustained the British Empire in the nineteenth century appear to
be dissolving. Any attempt to restore the linkage is perpetually
thwarted unless It/the Power intervenes.

What is significant here is that It/the Power does not invalidate the
existing means of mediating between land and sea but connects them. In

16_KIPLING JOURNAL_December 2009

"Mrs. Bathurst", there are two moments when the ship and the railway
meet: in a cinematograph and in the electrocution of Vickery and
another tramp who may or may not be Mrs Bathurst. In the first con-
nection, the cinema contains all the fragmented elements of the imperial
landscape – a ship, a train and people – in one single reel. It shows

'London Bridge with the omnibuses—a troopship goin' to the
war—marines on parade at Portsmouth, an' the Plymouth Express
arrivin' at Paddin'ton'. (278)

Among the passengers arriving at the metropolitan station, Mrs
Bathurst, who is thought to be in Auckland, comes forward until 'she
melted out of the picture' (279). The new technology seems to succeed
in bringing fragmentary parts of colonial transport together. The sec-
ond moment of connection is when Vickery is hit by lightning. The
officer who deserts after he accomplished his duty to collect some
Navy ammunition left in Bloemfontein is wandering inland at the
moment of his death.

Kipling describes both moments of connection in electrical terms.
First, a film projector charged with electric power displays the com-
bined image of the Empire on a screen. Moreover, when Vickery takes
out Pyecroft for a round of drinking after they are fascinated with the
picture of Mrs Bathurst at the circus, he is ' "clickin' 'is four false teeth
like a Marconi ticker" ' (281). Second, Vickery is struck dead by a
massive electrical power. Furthermore, the men conversing about Mrs
Bathurst clearly identify her as It/the Power. Recalling the memory of
Mrs Bathurst at the bar in Auckland, Pyecroft and the others compare
a seductive woman to lightning: ' "An' if a man gets struck with that
kind of woman, Mr Hooper?" Pritchard went on. "He goes crazy—or
just saves himself," was the slow answer' (277). Pyecroft accounts for
her unforgettable nature, which indelibly impresses on men's minds, as
follows: ' " 'Tisn't beauty, so to speak, nor good talk necessarily. It's
just It" '(277, italics added).

These moments of connection can be compared to the moment of
harrowing experience as painful as traumatic neurosis. When inner
impulses deriving from our drives overwhelm our psychic apparatus,
'all that has been forgotten and repressed' is summoned back again.23
As the patients with accident-induced neurosis are thrust back into their
original traumatic situations in their dreams again and again, the sub-
jects experience a 'compulsion to repeat' when their conscious systems
are assaulted by direct inner excitation. Therefore, it is no wonder that
Vickery returns to the cinema five times to see the image of Mrs
Bathurst—the woman called It/the Power.

December 2009_KIPLING JOURNAL_17

In " 'Wireless' ", It/the Power is detected in the electricity charged
in the coherer and in the mind of a young man who falls madly in love
with an ordinary girl who is eventually transformed into a gaudy image
of advertisement. That is, on the one hand, It/the Power indicates the
internal power symbolised in electricity residing the wireless machine
and a man's compelling desire for a woman. In "Mrs. Bathurst", on the
other hand, it is the absent female figure that is associated with It/the
Power. A man like Vickery is supposed to be an unfortunate victim
caught by the woman who is nothing but a manifestation of the most
destructive force.

We should not overlook, however, another aspect of Mrs
Bathurst's character, which is incompatible with Kipling's attempt to
identify her with It/the Power. Pritchard, an enthusiastic admirer of
Mrs Bathurst, affirms that she does not have any destructive designs.
Pyecroft also agrees that she does not acknowledge that she destroys
men. Therefore, Mrs Bathurst is a vessel of the power for which she is
not responsible. The state of mind symbolised in her 'blindish look'
can be compared to that of a medium at a seance. During their inter-
course with the unseen world, according to Alex Owen, 'spiritualist
mediums became the "repositories", the "vessel", the bearer of the
spiritual message and channels for Divine communication'.24 It is
female passivity, the renunciation of the self that connects the medium
with the power called It. Her state of mind suggests that at the core,
Mrs Bathurst is empty.

Thus, Kipling's sincere inquiry of It/the Power ends up with empti-
ness. Unlike Hobson, who has no difficulty identifying the source of
It/the Power with the British people, Kipling is unable to detect it.
Although he persists in regarding the correlated network formed by
electric communications as a model of the Empire, Kipling cannot get
hold of the irrational and unfathomable force which sets the intercon-
nected system at work. It is upon this failure, and in this anxiety, that
Kipling aspires to continue his imaginative efforts, minimally within
the limited rural area of England. Returning to England, he displaces
the centre of the imperial system with the power generated from the
land of the English countryside.


Before we examine the effect of Kipling's return to England, a short
detour would be helpful to understand what kind of nationalistic view
Kipling formed in the post-Boer War period. In his discussion of late
modernism in the thirties and forties, Jed Esty uses the term 'anthropo-
logical turn' to explain Tate modernism's indirect and mediated
representations of imperial contraction . . . manifested in both cultural

18_KIPLING JOURNAL_December 2009

doctrine and literary style'.25 When the gradual decline of the Empire
was acknowledged, English intellectuals, who had sought the living
modes of organic communities in the primitive societies overseas,
began to engage their attentions on the English national culture.
English modernists such as T.S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf and E.M. Forster
shift their subjects from metropolitan urbanism to English particular-
ism aiming at social and aesthetic renewal. The conception of
anthropological turn can be observed when the approaching end of the
Empire leads the way to a resurgence of a redemptive agency of culture
operated within national borders. About thirty years earlier than mod-
ernist writers, Kipling's attempt to restrain the uncontrollable force
inherited in his model of the Empire bears a certain similarity. Kipling
discovers the English landscape to endorse the British imperialism, not
to abandon it.

"Below the Mill Dam", the last tale collected in Traffics and
Discoveries, reflects on Kipling's return to England. This story of engi-
neering innovation is based on the Kiplings' settlement in Sussex in
1902. In order to bring electricity to his newly purchased house,
Kipling exchanged its old water wheel for a turbine and laid deep-sea
cables under the ground leading from the generator to storage batteries.
As we can see in Something of Myself, Sir William Willcocks, a
designer of the Assouan Dam, supervised the construction. In one of
Kipling's accounts of the process, he mentions that Willcocks told him
the following:

'Don't run your light cable on poles. Bury it.' So we got a deep-sea
cable which had failed under test at twelve hundred volts—our volt-
age being one hundred and ten—and laid him in a trench from the
Mill to the house, a full furlong, where he worked for a quarter of
a century.26

The deep-sea cable no longer runs at the bottom of the sea, bringing
enormous power which sustains the frame of the Empire. In the
enclosed enclave of Sussex, a dynamo and the house are connected by
a deep-sea cable which 'had failed under test at twelve hundred volts'.
Within the narrowly bounded space of England, the cable is supposed
to bring the attenuated power so that no one has to worry that the mas-
sive electrical power may disrupt the overloaded device.

The similar model of a powerhouse is observed in "Below the Mill
Dam". In this story, it is significant that the power which brightens the
Mill is derived from England itself. In order to illuminate the Mill, the
stream of Water is gathered from several corners of Sussex:

December 2009_KIPLING JOURNAL_19

'And Batten's Ponds, that are fed by springs, have been led
through Trott's Wood, taking the spare water from the old
Witches' Spring under Churt Haw, and we—we—we are their
combined waters!' (291).

It is the Water that moves a water-wheel and yields power 'by means
of cogs and gearing'. That is to say, the Water, which is a dynamic of
everything, goes hand in hand with the new technology without dis-
turbing anything.

If the power transferred into tamed electricity is no longer called
It/the Power which always entails destructive events, what occupies the
centre of the social model instead of this uncontrollable potency is the
spirit of the land, especially that of England. 'The power' is safely sent
to an electric installation and then to the light bulbs in the Mill. When
the Mill is illuminated by electricity the useless old generation sym-
bolised in the figures of the Cat and the Rat is ousted from the Mill
because they can no longer face up to the change. At the same time,
'the power' rejuvenates every old thing in the house such as the Wheel.
Confounded at first, however, the old Wheel accepts the new situation
and begins to work more than ever. At the end of the story, it is sug-
gested that turbines are going to replace the Wheel. Although the voice
of the Wheel is completely lost, the Spirit of the Mill, which abandons
the old body of the Wheel, begins to talk. The Mill becomes a place
where the land and people are reinvigorated and united.

Thus, Kipling chooses the land of Sussex, the heart of the Empire
as well as England, as the source of the power and the key to re-estab-
lishing the nation in peril at the turn of the century. This theme of the
spirit of England is further explored in Puck of Pook's Hill (1906) and
Rewards and Fairies (1910). Therefore, "Below the Mill Dam" holds
a liminal position in Kipling's works. While it can be regarded as a
forerunner of these Sussex stories, it offers an answer to Kipling's
long-term struggle to establish the imperial vision germane to the mod-
ern technologies and the Power they possess: the return to England.

Through his representations of the electrical devices, we have
traced the transition of Kipling's vision of the British Empire. In "A
Song of the English", the telegraph line fuelled by 'a Power' or
'Words' provides the framework for the Empire consisting of interac-
tions between England and colonial posts spread all over the world.
Yet in Traffics and Discoveries, the state of connection which guaran-
tees the imperial integrity seems no longer sustainable. " 'Wireless' "
reveals that both It/the Power inherent in the modern technology and
human mind are beyond control. The attempt to seize It/the Power pro-
jected on the female figure in "Mrs. Bathurst" ends up in failure. In

20_KIPLING JOURNAL_December 2009

order to preserve his vision of the imperial network, Kipling sets up the
small-scale electrical communication at the centre of the Empire.
Kipling returns to rural England not for retirement from the political
life but for re-adjustment and reinforcement of his imperial vision.


1. M. Van Wyk Smith, Drummer Hodge: The Poetry of the Anglo-Boer War (1899– 1902) (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1978), p.98.

2. ibid.

3. Andrew Lycett, Rudyard Kipling (London: Phoenix, 2000), p.401.

4. Rudyard Kipling, "A Song of the English", Rudyard Kipling's Verse, (London:
Hodder and Stoughton, 1945), p.174. Further references are to this edition.

5. Peter Keating, Kipling: The Poet (London: Secker &Warburg, 1994), p. 101.

6. In 1899, Kipling met Marconi and heard a lecture on his new invention. On this bio-
graphical account, see Kipling: Interviews and Recollections, ed. by Harold Orel,
vol.2, (London: Macmillan, 1983), p.241: 'I got Marconi to talk about wireless, and
at the end of an hour I felt that I knew as much about wireless as it was possible for
a layman to learn.'

7. Rudyard Kipling, " 'Wireless' ", Traffics and Discoveries (Harmondsworth:
Penguin, 1987), p. 199. Further references are to this edition.

8. Sandra Kemp, Kipling's Hidden Narratives (Oxford: Brackwell, 1988), p.30.

9. Hermione Lee, "Introduction", Traffics and Discoveries (Harmondsworth: Penguin,
1987), p.13.

10. In a motorcar tale, " 'They' ", the car leads the narrator to 'the other side of the
county' where his secret is buried. His encounter with the ghost of his dead child is
stunning because it is obvious that he repressed the existence of the child from the
unknown reason. In similar way, stories collected in Traffics and Discoveries cast the
modern invention the role as a key to summon up something irrational from the bot-
tom of people's mind.

11. Erik Davis, TechGnosis: Myth, Magic and Mysticism in the Age of Information (New
York: Harmony Books, 1998), p.75.

12. Jeffrey Scounce, Haunted Media: Electronic Presence from Telegraphy to
Television (Durham: Duke University Press, 2000), p.15.

13. ibid, p.63.

14. J.A. Hobson, Imperialism: A Study (London: George Allen, 1938), p.59.

15. ibid, p.362.

16. Sigmund Freud, "Beyond the Pleasure Principle", Beyond the Pleasure Principle
and Other Writings, trans. by John Reddick (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 2003), p.68.

17. See C.A. Bodelsen, Aspects of Kipling's Art (Manchester: Manchester University
Press, 1964), pp.141-142., Elliot L. Gilbert, 'What happens in "Mrs Bathurst" ',
Kipling Journal, No.147 (1963), pp.15-16, Nora Crook, Kipling's Myths of Love and
Death (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1989), pp.79-84.

18. Daniel Karlin, Rudyard Kipling, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), p.617.

19. Kingsley Amis, Rudyard Kipling and His World (London: Themes and Hudson,
1975) p.97.

20. Angus Wilson, The Strange Ride of Rudyard Kipling: His Life and Works (London:
Secker & Warburg, 1977), p.221. Wilson attributes this emptiness to the faults of

December 2009_KIPLING JOURNAL_21

Kipling's late work: the unnecessary omission of the most significant part of his

21. David Lodge, After Bakhtin: Essays on Fiction and Criticism, (London: Routledge,
1990), p.146.

22. ibid, p.148.

23. Freud, p.72.

24. Alex Owen, The Darkened Room: Women, Power, and Spiritualism in Late
Victorian England (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1990), p. 10.

25. Jed Esty, A Shrinking Island: Modernism and National Culture in England
(Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004), p.2.

26. Rudyard Kipling, Something of Myself: For My Friends Known and Unknown
(Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1977), p.135.


Amis, Kingsley, Rudyard Kipling and His World (London: Thames and Hudson, 1975).
Bodelsen, C.A., Aspects of Kipling's Art (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1964).
Crook, Nora, Kipling's Myths of Love and Death (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1989).
Davis, Erik, TechGnosis: Myth, Magic ad Mysticism in the Age of Information (New

York: Harmony Books, 1998).
Esty, Jed, A Shrinking Island: Modernism and National Culture in England (Princeton:

Princeton University Press, 2004).
Freud, Sigmund, Beyond the Pleasure Principle and Other Writings, trans. by John

Reddick (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 2003).
Gilbert, Elliot L., 'What happens in "Mrs Bathurst" ', Kipling Journal, No.147 (1963),


Hobson, J.A., Imperialism: A Study (London: George Allen, 1938).

Karlin, Daniel, Rudyard Kipling, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999).

Keating, Peter, Kipling: The Poet (London: Secker& Warburg, 1994).

Kemp, Sandra, Kipling's Hidden Narratives (Oxford: Brackwell, 1988).

Kipling, Rudyard, The Definitive Edition of Rudyard Kipling's Verse (London: Hodder

and Stoughton, 1945).
—, Something of Myself: For My Friends Known and Unknown (Harmondsworth:

Penguin, 1977).

—, Traffics and Discoveries (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1987).

Kipling: Interviews and Recollections, ed. by Harold Orel, vol. 2, (London: Macmillan,

Lee, Hermione, "Introduction", Traffics and Discoveries (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1987).
Lodge, David, After Bakhtin: Essays on Fiction and Criticism, (London: Routledge, 1990).
Lycett, Andrew, Rudyard Kipling (London: Phoenix, 2000).

Owen, Alex, The Darkened Room: Women, Power, and Spiritualism in Late Victorian

England (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1990).
Scounce, Jeffrey, Haunted Media: Electronic Presence from Telegraphy to Television

(Durham: Duke University Press, 2000).
Smith, M. Van Wyk, Drummer Hodge: The Poetry of the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902)

(Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1978).
Wilson, Angus, The Strange Ride of Rudyard Kipling: His Life and Works (London:

Secker & Warburg, 1977).

22_KIPLING JOURNAL_December 2009



[Ray Beck, one of our Council Members, has been reading and enjoying Kipling's Works
since he was a teenager and for several years has been particularly interested in the prob-
able inspiration for "Danny Deever".

The execution of Private Flaxman has been discussed in at least three issues of the
Journal over the years, KJ020, KJ110, and KJ229, summarised by Roger Ayers in the
New Readers' Guide to "Danny Deever". However, Ray Beck's freshly-researched arti-
cle includes useful references, and, having gone back to the original "witness" report,
which as he notes, is written in a very clear hand and without any breaks for paragraphs.
He very kindly sent me a photocopy of the original and so I have incorporated the two
corrections into the text but struck through, just as they were in the original. – Ed.]

Few of us can read Rudyard Kipling's poem "Danny Deever" without
being profoundly affected by the pictures it produces in the imagina-
tion. The lonely death of one man on a parade ground, surrounded by
the silent ranks of his comrades as they look on in stark horror. Cut off
from his friends and rejected by the regiment that has controlled his life
since his arrival in India, the military ritual proceeds from one stage to
the next until finally Danny Deever is put to death. It is one of Rudyard
Kipling's most powerful works.

There has been deposited in the archives of the Leicestershire,
Leicester and Rutland Records Office, a hand written document enti-
tled "A Military Execution in India". In words both poignant and
sometimes harrowing, it seems to be an eyewitness account of the pub-
lic hanging of No.2638 Private George Flaxman of the 2nd Battalion
Leicestershire Regiment at Lucknow on 10 January 1887.

For many years now it has been supposed by some, that the execu-
tion of Private Flaxman could well have been the inspiration that
prompted Rudyard Kipling to compose his poem "Danny Deever".

Most people would agree that Kipling told stories from life, that for
most of the images he created there was, at the core of them a real
human inspiration. Either something that he had seen or heard, or
maybe a conversation with someone who had witnessed an event of
interest. In these interviews Kipling seems to have a way of teasing out
the most obscure details and revealing the smallest, but perhaps the
most relevant aspects of their experiences. If this was the case could
Danny Deever have had its roots in reality?

An examination of the Court Martial Register for India1 reveals
that there were eight regimental hangings during Kipling's "Seven
Years' Hard" in India and such events would most likely have been
widely discussed. Also there would have been quite a large number

December 2009_KIPLING JOURNAL_23

of officers and men present, for we are told that at Private Flaxman's

The 17th Lancers were formed up on the right front Bengal Native
Cavalry, Bengal Infantry and the Royal Horse Artillery were facing
the left front and the 2nd Battalion Leicestershire Regiment were
facing the scaffold.2

Major General Sir Charles Gough R.C.B. V.C. and his staff were
also in attendance. So it seems that many people saw the death of
Private Flaxman and therefore it is surely not unlikely that Kipling
should have encountered one of them during his time as a reporter
in India.

Writing many years later Mr R.E. Harbord, a former Kipling
Society Council Member, says of "Danny Deever":

I have not the slightest doubt that it was the murder of Provost
Sergeant Carmody at Ranikhet by No. 2638 Private George
Flaxman of the 17th Foot 2nd Battalion Leicestershire Regiment in
1886 and his subsequent hanging at Lucknow on 10th January
1887, that Kipling had in mind when he wrote the poem.3

The great authority on the "origins" of Kipling's stories was Sir
George McMunn recently deceased, and many is the time we have
talked of this one among others, when I was on his staff for a short
time and at Sackville College East Grinstead.

He (Sir George) reached India in 1888 with his Battery. In 1889
one of his officers was shot dead by a Gunner in Ranikhet; the
Gunner too was military executed.

Later Mr. Harbord goes on to say:

Knowing how Kipling worked, I suggest that when he heard of the
execution (Flaxman's) he started his poem, but left it partly done
for the time being. Hearing about the murder of the Gunner Officer
at about the time he was leaving India and having leisure, he took
up the subject again and produced this masterpiece.

So how does Kipling's poem tally with the eye witness account?
One aspect is the solemn music. Kipling says

For they're hangin' Danny Deever, you can hear the Dead
March play,

24_KIPLING JOURNAL_December 2009

The eye witness says:

. . . the Drum Major gave the word slow march and the Band struck
up the Dead March in Saul which sent a thrill through every living
soul on that parade ground,4

The witness continues later:

A number of native soldiers and a few British soldiers asked leave
to fall out of the ranks for they could not bear to see the sight.5

Kipling writes:

'What makes that front rank man fall down?' says Files-on-

The eye witness seems to be very sympathetic to the condemned man
and whenever he mentions him it is compassionate terms:

... he marched with a firm step with his head slightly bent and the
minister praying as they marched slowly along it was very touching
to all.6

In another passage he later says:

The prisoner looked stout and well though a little pale, he was a
smart young fellow of about 27 years of age and not much appear-
ance of murderer about him.7

He was presumably hanged in public as an example to the rest of the
Regiment, but it seems they just felt sympathy for a comrade enduring
a lonely death, or as Kipling put it:

'I've drunk 'is beer a score o' times,' said Files-on-Parade.
' 'E's drinkin' bitter beer alone,' the Colour-Sergeant said.

There are two instances where the account is at variance with the
poem "Danny Deever".

They've taken of 'is buttons off an' cut 'is stripes away,

There is no mention in the account of Flaxman having his buttons cut
off and being a Private he would not have had any stripes to remove.

December 2009_KIPLING JOURNAL_25

Although it is worth noting that the eight soldiers executed during
Kipling's time in India were all Privates.
The other instance is:

They 'ave 'alted Danny Deever by 'is coffin on the ground;

The eye witness states that Private Flaxman is made to march behind
his coffin that is being carried on a gun carriage, a truly cruel and bar-
baric refinement. But it has never been suggested that Kipling actually
witnessed the execution in person, so it is perhaps unsurprising that
some of the details differ. Yet the overall feel and atmosphere of the
account and the poem seem so similar, they both tend to inspire the
same mental images in the imagination.

So what is known of the original document? It first came to the
attention of the Kipling Society shortly after August 1952, when a type
written copy was published in The Green Tiger the regimental maga-
zine of the Leicestershire Regiment. It was printed with an introduction
that said:

The following account was found by Mr. Arthur Stocks, 89, Dover
Road, Burton on Trent, when his parent's house was broken up.
It has been presented to the Museum by Mr T.A. Allen, 24,
Junction Road, Wigston, and is published herewith as a true copy
of the manuscript.8

After its publication it seems to have been filed away and almost
forgotten in the Leicestershire Regimental Museum, until 2001 when
it was presented to the Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland Records

The eye witness account fills just over five pages with neat hand-
written script of almost a thousand words. Curiously it contains no
spelling mistakes at all. But the writer seems to be completely oblivi-
ous of the use of paragraphs and of speech punctuation, none is used in
the account at all, it is just a solid block of script where the spoken
words just flow in and out of the narrative. It does not seem that the
account was meant to be presented for others to read at this stage, for
there are a couple of instances where words have been crossed out.
Upon reading it now, one has the feeling that it was written very soon
after the execution, perhaps in an attempt to dispel some of the horror
that had just been witnessed.

Who wrote the account is not now known. But it seems most likely
to be someone from the 2nd Battalion Leicestershire Regiment, who
faced the scaffold, as the writer could very plainly hear the last words

26_KIPLING JOURNAL_December 2009

of Private Flaxman just before he was executed, and he also had a clear
view of his last moments.

What do we now know of No.2638 Private George Flaxman, late a
soldier of the Leicestershire Regiment? Formed in 1688 the Regiment
itself had a proud history of service in India. It's cap badge depicted a
Bengal Tiger with the battle honour Hindoostan in a scroll above it.
Sadly, as with so many regiments it was amalgamated almost into
oblivion in 1970. From then it became a part of the East Anglian
Regiment. A faint echo of its former proud nickname the "Tigers" can
still be found in the Leicester Tigers Rugby Team.

Not surprisingly the historical record of the Leicestershire
Regiment makes no mention of Private Flaxman's death, after all it was
probably regarded by

Nine 'undred of'is county an' the regiment's disgrace,

Although the matter is not mentioned in the historical record, it may
have been alluded to indirectly by Major General Sir Charles Gough,
when he is quoted in his valedictory address to the Battalion on its leav-
ing the Oudh Division on 12 November 1888. Sir Charles observes that
a marked improvement had been made over the last eight months

which I attribute to you having got rid of some bad characters who
were bringing disgrace to the Regiment.9

But was Private Flaxman a bad character? The Regiment operated
a system of Good Conduct Pay and the Battalion Muster Rolls record
Flaxman as being in Band C, which would have made him a soldier of
reasonably good conduct. Neither does his name feature in the Court
Martial Register of the time, which recorded the more minor and usu-
ally drink-related military offences such as "asleep on sentry" or
"drunk on duty."

The Battalion Muster Rolls do show that Flaxman was admitted
to hospital in May 1886, and this seems to be the beginning of his
downfall. The Muster Rolls state that from Lucknow the Regiment's
sick were sent to Ranikhet for rest and recuperation, and sometime in
the next few weeks Flaxman must have been transferred there to aid
in his recovery.

Today a popular tourist resort, Ranikhet in Flaxman's time was a
hill station approximately two hundred and fifty miles from Lucknow,
and from contemporary accounts seems to be an excellent place to be
stationed. Built by British Engineers in 1869, set in the foothills of the
Himalayas,   surrounded   by   forest   and   snow   covered   peaks,

December 2009_KIPLING JOURNAL_27

Rani(Queen's) khet (field) must have seemed paradise after the heat
and dust of Lucknow. Yet a few weeks later on 9 September Flaxman
was to commit murder there. Two more references can be found in the
military records on Private George Flaxman. One is in the General
Court Martial India Register10, this book deals with the crimes of
Officers and more serious Other Ranks crimes. After stating the name
of the accused, the offence and the date of the trial, the sentence is then
pronounced: "Death by hanging."

The final entry for Private Flaxman is in the Regimental Muster
Rollsu, where he is still recorded as receiving his Good Conduct Pay
until the end of January 1887, then in February a thin red line of ink is
drawn through his name and "Deceased 10th January," is written.

It is curious to note that in the eye witness account it seems to be
common knowledge that Flaxman was operating in concert with other
men, as it states:

The Minister did not think that he did the deed, but he was one of
the party.12

Also later, probably citing a barrack room rumour, it goes on to say:

There were 3 men dealt a pack of cards and agreed that the one who
had the ace of spades should shoot the Sergeant, it was supposed
that he had the ace and did the deed.13

Could it perhaps be that Private Flaxman, suffering illness, in strange
surroundings, and cut off from his friends and comrades, was
"befriended" by a group for the sole purpose of manipulating him into
a position, where he could be incriminated for a murder they were plan-
ning, leaving him to pay the ultimate penalty, while they carefully
managed to avoid being implicated at all. A similar plot was hatched in
Kipling's story "Black Jack", except that Mulvaney was too wily for
them and, because he removed the breech pin from the falling block of
his rifle, the plan backfired in their faces in more senses than one.
Perhaps it is worth noting that in "Black Jack" the conspirators dealt a
pack of cards and he that received the Ace of Spades "did the deed." It
is also strange that a similar murder, this time of an Officer, should
have occurred in Ranikhet less than three years later, leading to the exe-
cution of a Gunner.

Did Private George Flaxman's death provide Rudyard Kipling's
inspiration for Danny Deever? The truth is we shall probably never
know for certain. Therefore each of us will have to make our own per-
sonal assessment after reading the eye witness account of:

28_KIPLING JOURNAL_December 2009

A Military Execution in India.14
On January 10th 1887 at Lucknow Bengal East India. This morning
at 8.15 a.m. the battalion fell in for parade for the purpose of going
to witness the execution of No.2638 Pt. George Flaxman of the 2nd
Battalion Leicestershire Regiment for the wilful murder of Lance
Sergeant William Carmody of the 1st Battalion Leicestershire
Regiment at Ranakit on or about the 9th of September 1886. After
being inspected and formed up we were marched on to the General
Parade Ground and formed into line. The 17th Lancers were formed
up on the right front Bengal Native Cavalry, Bengal Native Infantry
and the Royal Horse Artillery were facing the left front and the 2nd
Battalion Leicestershire Regiment facing the scaffold. After stand-
ing at ease for a few minutes the Major General Sir Charles Gough
R.C.B. V.C. and his staff arrived and inspected the scaffold and
shortly after that the condemned man arrived in a covered con-
veyance accompanied by the church of England Minister and an
escort of twelve men with fixed bayonets, about 200 yards in the
rear of the troops of the garrison the band of the Leicestershire
Regiment was formed up in readiness to play the culprit to the scaf-
fold. In the rear of the Band was a gun carriage drawn by two
bullocks on which they placed a coffin, when the condemned man
dismounted from the covered waggon he was escorted up to the
Gun Carriage his chest nearly touching his own coffin after being
halted a few minutes the Drum Major gave the word slow march in
Saul and the Band struck up with the Dead March in Saul which
sent a thrill through every living soul on that parade ground, he
marched with a firm step with his head slightly bent and the minis-
ter praying as they marched slowly along it was very touching to
all. A number of native soldiers and a few British soldiers asked
leave to fall out of the ranks for they could not bear to see the sight.
The Band played the culprit to the scaffold and then halted and the
escort and prisoner turned about facing the Regiment. The Brigade
Major then galloped up to the The prisoner looked stout and well
though a little pale he was a smart and young fellow and about 27
years of age and not much appearance of a murderer about him. The
Brigade Major then galloped up to the escort and prisoner and cried
in a loud voice. Pay attention to the proceeding of the General Court
Martial. Every soldier stood firmly to attention except the con-
demned man and then the Brigade Major read as follows. Adjutant
Generals office January 17th 1887 at a General Court Martial held
at Ranakit on the 20th day of October 1886 N°2638 Pt. George
Flaxman 2nd Battalion Leicestershire Regiment is brought up on the
following charge in some place more than 100 miles away in the

December 2009_KIPLING JOURNAL__29

Could Private Flaxman have been the original Danny Deever? After
120 years it is now impossible to make a positive judgement. One thing
is undeniable though, George Flaxman was a very brave man. He
endured a spiteful ritual death with a dignity and courage that seems
unimaginable in this modern age. Far from being ' 'is regiments dis-
grace', he comes down to us as being a great credit to it. The ones who
appear to be a little less than glorious in this affair are the military
authorities. Who having paraded Private Flaxman around with all the

straight line from any town or city in which he could be tried by a
civil court for the offence of murder, at this the prisoner exclaimed
it is false sir I am dying an innocent mans death. In that he at
Ranakit on the 9th of September 1886 feloniously and of Malice did
kill and murder Lance Sargeant William Carmody the Court finds
the prisoner guilty of the charge and sentences him to suffer death
by hanging by the neck until dead. The General of India approves
of the sentence being carried out then the chief warder and two
assistants from Lucknow Military Prison went up to him and bade
him Goodbye and took the handcuffs off him, they then bound his
hands behind him with a part of the silk rope they were to hang him
with. They next said quick march and when he got to the scaffold
he halted and kicked his boots off and then ran up the steps of the
scaffold as if he was the executioner and not the condemned man
who was to die. When he got under the rope one of the warders
adjusted the Black Cap and then a native ran up the steps and placed
the rope round his neck. Now he was not aware that the native was
going to hang him but anyhow he must have smelt him for he said
go away you black the native then drew the bolt and he was no
more. After hanging a few minutes the black cloth that covered the
grave was removed and all the troops marched past him, he hung
with his head on one side and there was blood on the coat, he
looked an awful sight. They gave him a drop of 8ft. 3in. Twenty
Three minutes from the time he was paraded he was in the coffin
and on the way to the graveyard. During the time he was waiting for
his death the Minister visited him but he would not confess, nor
would he pray, for he always said that he was innocent. The
Minister did not think he was the one that did the deed but he was
one of the party. A Military Execution is one of the worst sights a
man can ever witness to see a man marching behind his own coffin
and the drums trimmed with crepe, the band playing his own dead
march it is most solemn. There were three men dealt a pack of cards
and agreed that the one who had the ace of Spades should shoot the
sergeant it was supposed that he had the Ace and did the deed.

30_KIPLING JOURNAL_December 2009

pomp and cruelty they could contrive, at the last moments of his life,
when he is bound, hooded and helpless on the scaffold, do not have the
nerve to execute him. Bringing on an Indian to put the noose around his
neck and slip the bolt.

Was Private Flaxman a murderer? The general feeling from the
account is that he probably was not. His words still come down to us.

'It is false sir, I am dying an innocent mans death.'

All that remains of No.2438 Private George Flaxman lies now in an
unmarked grave somewhere in Lucknow. But for me, the poem "Danny
Deever" will always be a memorial to him.

He was a brave British Soldier.


1. Public Record Office Kew, W.O.88/1 2.

2. "A Military Execution In India", Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland Records
Office, DE6007/147.

3. The Green Tiger, Nov. 1952. Leicestershire Leicester and Rutland Records Office.

4. "A Military Execution in India", Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland Records
Office, DE6007/147.

5. ibid.

6. ibid.

7. ibid.

8. The Green Tiger, .Aug. 1952 Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland Records Office.

9. Historical Records of the 2nd Batt. Leicestershire Regiment. Leicestershire,
Leicester and Rutland Records Office, DE8757/5.

10. Public Records Office Kew, W.O.90/7.

11. Public Records Office Kew, W.0.16/2803.

12. "A Military Execution in India", Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland Records
Office, DE6007/147.

13. ibid.

14. ibid.

With my thanks to Mr. Robin P. Jenkins, Keeper of Archives Leicestershire, Leicester
and Rutland Records Office,

December 2009_KIPLING JOURNAL_31



[As most members will know, Cdr Alastair Wilson has just completed his term as
Chairman of Council. He lives in Sussex, and has been a keen Kiplingite almost since
birth. Furthermore, as an ex-Naval man, he has taken a proprietary interest in the Pyecroft
stories and supplied annotations to them for our web-based New Readers' Guide, as well
as to all those works which benefit from maritime knowledge. He is also the author of
the general NRG essay on "Kipling and the Royal Navy".

For those who are curious to see what a Locomobile steam-driven car looked like, you
can find a fascinating video clip at It
shows a rebuilt 1901 two-seater rather than the Kiplings' 1900 four-seat model being dri-
ven at Knebworth on 25 August 2008. – Ed.]

In preparing the New Readers' Guide notes for "Steam Tactics",
[Traffics and Discoveries] I read through the text of the Old Readers'
Guide notes on the tale, and this re-kindled my interest in the question
which has crossed my mind occasionally in the sixty years or so since
I first read the story: where exactly did Kipling et al. take the unfortu-
nate bobby in their punitive tour round Sussex?

It is an observable fact that the road pattern in Sussex has not altered
markedly in the 106 years since the tale was written: inside the County
boundaries, a few miles of the M23 parallel the old Brighton road in
their approach to Gatwick airport; a new section of the Brighton road
south from Handcross was created in the 1920s – the old coaching road
went south-east from Handcross through Cuckfield and Hassocks; a
longer section of trunk road now forms a bypass to Brighton, Hove and
Shoreham, taking the main south coast road, the A27, over the south-
ern slopes of the South Downs; and the building of Crawley new town
has resulted in a slight diversion of the northern route across the county
from east to west, the A264. Other than those changes, and one or two
lesser by-passes to individual towns and villages, the structure of the
main roads is unchanged (see the map on the centrespread). And the
web of lesser roads, tracks and byways is certainly unchanged. So the
meanderings of the Locomobile steamer, and the more purposeful
flight of Kysh's twenty-four horse Octopod can fairly readily be trans-
ferred to today's roads.

32_KIPLING JOURNAL_December 2009

December 2009_KIPLING JOURNAL_33


Based upon a map in Sussex by Esther
MeynelL, (Robert Hale Ltd, 1947).The
original map was credited to Serial Map

34_KIPLING JOURNAL_December 2009

The question has been discussed in these pages before, and most
recently, Michael Smith has touched on the subject in Kipling's Sussex.
But a detailed analysis of the route taken has only, so far as I know,
appeared in the pages of the Old Readers' Guide (Harbord). In an
addendum to the notes on the tale (now repeated in the New Readers'
Guide, to be found on our website), the late Sir Henry Knight (who
died in 1960) wrote 'The Topography of "Steam Tactics" '. This
seemed to me to be an admirable examination of the route, but I hope
that our membership will allow me to re-examine the matter, to see if
we can clarify any points.

Sir Henry observed 'The route falls into two parts, the early part of
perhaps 15 miles which is minutely particularised, and the latter part of
some 100 miles which is not given in detail. This latter part is fairly
easy to follow, viz: 'Park Row' is Forest Row, though this is not in
Surrey; 'Cramberhurst' is Lamberhurst; the Long Man of 'Hillingdon'
is that of Wilmington; 'Trevington' is Jevington, near Eastbourne;
'Cassocks' is Hassocks, and 'Penfield Green' is Henfield. Sir William
Gardener's zoo is that of Sir Edmund Loder at Lower Beeding;
Horsham is under its own name.'

He went on: 'This is quite a possible afternoon's run for a 10 h.p.
Lanchester car of about 1901—I followed a 1904 Lanchester for sev-
eral miles from Eastbourne only the other day [this would probably
have been in the mid 1950s] and it was travelling very well. I think we
can accept this part of the route without further consideration'. Agreed,
but it is worth examining the route in greater detail later – there are
points of interest.

Then we come to the meat of the matter: Sir Henry wrote: 'The
early part of the route presents various topographical difficulties.
Kipling presumably started from Rottingdean where he then lived, and
his original destination was Instead Wick'.

Let us leave the ORG and Sir Henry there, and make our own
examination of the circumstances and the route, using only those clues
which Kipling has left us. However, at the outset it must be said, as will
become apparent, that although the setting of the first part of the day's
shenanigans is, in Sir Henry's words, 'minutely particularised', many
of the clues are contrary, or set out so as to call for an impossibility.
Indeed, one is forced to the conclusion that Kipling, though he no doubt
had a general idea of the route he wanted the steam car to take, took a
series of western Sussex place names, varied them slightly, and dotted
them around an imaginary countryside which had the characteristics of
the low Weald.

The tale was written in 1902, and first published in December that
year. That was the year of their move to Bateman's. So the motoring

December 2009_KIPLING JOURNAL_35

experiences on which the tale was based were gained in the summers
and autumns of 1900 and 1901, and some of 1902. (The tale has to
have been completed by mid-November at the very latest: he moved
into Bateman's on 2nd September.) Therefore the assumption that the
journey started in Rottingdean is fully justified, but his wider experi-
ence of Sussex cannot have been very great at this time: he seems not
to have visited either the extreme east nor the extreme west of the
county by this date, though he had made some surprisingly venture-
some journeys already.

At the start of the tale, he is going to meet his friend Kysh for lunch
at 'Instead Wick'. (Let us refer to the narrator as Kipling – we have his
own word that the tale was based on personal experience, suitably
embroidered.) Sir Henry said 'Leaving aside the identity of Instead
Wick' – but later provisionally identifies it as Crawley. The only other
place names in the whole saga which are real ones are: St Leonard's
Forest – near which the steam car finally breaks down 'in floods of
tears'; the Hastings road – on which 'Cramberhurst' lies 'in a pit';
Eastbourne – where the policeman's aunt lives; and finally Horsham,
where they had 'a great meal' at the end of what must have been a very
long day. And although it is not named, Sir Edmund Loder's park at
Leonardslee, with its open-air zoo, is clearly indicated. These names
provide the framework on which the journey is based

Kipling and his engineer were on their way to 'Instead Wick' when
they met Pyecroft and Hinchcliffe. Is 'Instead Wick' a place, or a
House – as one might say Goodwood, Chatsworth or Montacute? It is
almost certainly not the latter, for Kysh was stopped near there that
morning by the police for 'leaving car unattended'. Were it the private
estate of a wealthy land-owner, the zeal of the police might have been
less. So 'Instead Wick' is a place – probably quite a sizeable one, since
it has a hostelry where two gentlemen can enjoy a good lunch. Today,
when every pub offers food, sometimes extremely good food, it may
not be realised that this is a phenomenon of the last fifty years. In 1902,
a pub sold beer, wines and spirits, with the emphasis very much on the
first. One might – but only might – get bread and cheese or ham and
eggs (the latter, especially if you were the hero of one of Jeffery
Farnol's novels). So 'Instead Wick' is probably a market town, some-
where in mid-Sussex. At that date, the only towns of any size in that
area were Crawley and Horsham. It has been suggested that Kipling
had West Grinstead in mind but, although it had a railway station, West
Grinstead is only a village, nor does it lie below a hill ('It's down hill
to Instead Wick' – p.200, line 15). Crawley is relatively lower than the
forest ridge where the steam car gave up the ghost.

36_KIPLING JOURNAL_December 2009

But where was the car when it met the carrier's cart with Pyecroft
and Hinchcliffe? If 'Instead Wick' is Crawley, then their route from
Rottingdean would have been straight up the old Brighton
Road – from Rottingdean to Brighton, up to Patcham, Pyecombe
(where the new 1920s road rejoins the old road), Hassocks, Ansty,
Cuckfield, Handcross, Pease Pottage and so to Crawley. But this was
a main road, although deserted by the mail and stage coaches, and
sporting curricles and phaetons of the Regency era. Why then are
they, at the start of "Steam Tactics", in a 'narrow Sussex lane'?
Clearly, 'Instead Wick' isn't where Crawley is, even if it has the
right characteristics.

Sir Henry has placed them on what is now the A281, a secondary
main road which branches northwestward off the Brighton-London
road at Pyecombe, and then runs through Henfield, Cowfold and
Horsham to Guildford (passing close by Leonardslee and its zoo on the
way, between Cowfold and Horsham). This is one road in Sussex
which Kipling pretty certainly knew by this date, since he had been to
visit St Loe Strachey at Guildford by motor. Certainly the road fits a
feasible pattern for Agg, the carrier: road and rail meet at Henfield (not
identified at this stage of the story), but then the railway veers off to the
northwest, while the road links a string of villages running north. We
know that Agg has been to 'Parsley Green' earlier (p. 179), which bears
a nominal similarity to Partridge Green: if the latter is a correct identi-
fication, it could have been the starting point, because Partridge Green
is also on the railway, though off the A281 – a mile to the west. So
Agg's route might have been from Partridge Green east to the A281 at
Shermanbury, then north to Cowfold, being overtaken by Kipling
somewhere north of Shermanbury. The road there is on a steady rise as
one goes north, matching the slope on which Hinchcliffe had difficulty
with the brakes (p.182).

There is a further contradictory clue provided by Kipling. In the let-
ter from Kipling to Pyecroft, which appeared in the first magazine
versions of the tale, before it was collected, Kipling speaks of some
unpublished tales, and makes reference, it would seem, to "Steam
Tactics" as follows:

He said he could guarantee your being agreeable to it, if I cut out all
that happened on the Cramberhurst Road, as it would hurt Agg's
feelings. I know, from what you said at the time, that you didn't
care about Agg's feelings; so I suppose Hinchcliffe and Agg have
made it up. [The full text of the letter appears in the opening notes
of the New Readers' Guide notes to "Steam Tactics".]

December 2009_KIPLING JOURNAL_37

This suggests that Agg, the carrier, was operating somewhere in the
vicinity of 'Cramberhurst'. Now 'Cramberhurst', as all we "experts"
agree, is Lamberhurst – which is just over the East Sussex border, in
Kent. And if Agg was 'on the Cramberhurst road', then that places his
carrier's round in East Sussex – probably between Tunbridge Wells
and Lamberhurst/'Cramberhurst'. But all the other indications, as I and
my predecessors who have played this game agree, are that Agg's
round was some fifty miles further west, in West Sussex, where there
would have been no 'Cramberhurst road'. At the end of this article, I
remark "Kipling's clues do not leave us with a definitive route, and
some of them just do not fit the topography. Furthermore, it is always
dangerous to try to fit a fictionalised landscape into the Ordnance
Survey map." This additional clue, which is not available to most mod-
ern readers, is a shining example of such pit-falls.

From the meeting with Pyecroft, they 'paved [their] way towards
Linghurst, distant by mile-post 1 PA miles' (the mile-post confirms that
the road was a relatively major one – mileposts would not be found on
minor lanes). So where is 'Linghurst'? The name has similarities to
Billingshurst, a smallish village then, which lies at the intersection of
two important roads, the A29 London-Bognor road, and the A272, one
of the three main east-west roads across the county. But Billingshurst
and Crawley lie in differing directions from the A281, so why are they
now going to 'Linghurst', rather than towards 'Instead Wick'?
Furthermore, it later appears that 'Linghurst' has both a police station,
and a Magistrate's Court, and Sir Henry confirmed that at that date,
Billingshurst had neither. The nearest town which fulfils the latter cri-
teria is Horsham, which is, indeed the next major town on the route of
the A281. So it may be suggested that 'Linghurst' is a fictionalised
Horsham (even though it appears under its own name at the end of the
tale). Horsham/'Linghurst' is also not all that far (about eight miles)
from Crawley/'Instead Wick', so Kipling might have envisaged drop-
ping his two passengers at the former, and continuing to fulfil his
luncheon engagement.

There is a further problem, in that our presumed meeting place
between Pyecroft and Kipling is only about six miles from
Horsham/'Linghurst', rather than '113/4 miles', but I think we must put
that down to Kipling's writer's licence. The next place named is
'secluded Bromlingleigh', which is somewhere on the road to
'Linghurst'. Sir Henry, sticking more closely to the mileage clue in the
tale, suggests that it may be Shermanbury, which would match with
Agg's carrier's route starting at Henfield rather than Partridge Green.
On the other hand, Michael Smith has suggested that 'Bromlingleigh'
is sound-alike Bolney, which, although in the right general area, is on

38_KIPLING JOURNAL_December 2009

neither of the routes leading to the presumed 'Instead Wick', nor
'Linghurst'. The next clue – of a sort – comes from the meeting with
Sir Michael Gregory, who has a large estate in the vicinity – he 'owned
many acres' and 'his park ran for miles'. In the rectangle whose cor-
ners lies at Bolney, Cowfold, Lower Beeding and Handcross – bounded
by today's A272, A281, A279 and A23 – there are a number of sub-
stantial gentleman's estates with a park, the largest of which is
Wykehurst Park. It may be that this was the park Kipling had in mind,
though it is not near the A281. Indeed, if the next clue, the naming of
'Pigginfold' from Cowfold is correct, there are no similar estates south
of Cowfold on the A281, up which we have assumed the steam car is
laboriously progressing. Once again, I think this is writer's licence.

Cowfold/'Pigginfold', it is suggested, is an entirely reasonable
identification. In 1902, there were no petrol stations nor garages. An
enterprising blacksmith might advertise cycle repairs – possibly one or
two in the whole country might have claimed to do motor-car repairs,
and to sell petrol, and Cowfold, at the junction of the A272 and A281
is the most likely place in the vicinity to have found one such.
(Members who have read Dorothy L. Sayers' Nine Tailors may recall
that when Lord Peter Wimsey's Daimler slides into a drainage ditch in
rural Norfolk (the tale is set in the early 1930s), it is the village black-
smith who undertakes to straighten the bent front axle.)

From Cowfold/'Pigginfold' we proceed northwards, mostly uphill,
on the A281 towards Horsham/'Linghurst', and it is, on the map, in the
vicinity of Monk's Gate ('three miles short of Linghurst') that the 'for-
ward eccentric-strap screw' dropped off, and another running repair
has to be made. That done, they have got to within a mile-and-a-half of
Horsham/'Linghurst' when they are stopped by the policeman. They
have been, it would seem, timed over a measured quarter-of-a-mile
from 'the top of the hill' – this would be, realistically, from where,
today, the A281 and the A279 diverge shortly after passing the present
entrance to Leonardslee Gardens. There is a level-ish quarter of a mile
there, on which cars might be expected to be picking up speed after the
climb through Crabtree to the top of the Wealden ridge. The end of the
quarter-mile and the arresting constable have to have been close to tele-
graph offices, so that the details of the offending car can be telegraphed
ahead. In fact, since the presumed site of the speeding offence, and the
constable's ambush are less than two miles apart, in reality they would
have been hard put to it to get a message from the constable who took
the time, via a close-by telegraph office, prepare it for transmission,
and transmit it, write it down at the receiving office, and give it to the
arresting constable, all in the time it took the steam car to cover the two
miles – normally a maximum of ten minutes at the legal limit. Luckily,

December 2009_KIPLING JOURNAL_39

the car broke down, and so time was taken while the missing eccentric-
strap screw was 'crept' for, found, and the machinery repaired: as the
constable said 'I've been waiting for you for some time'.

After they have agreed to proceed to 'Linghurst' to pay their fine,
Leggatt is told to 'cut across Sir Michael Gregory's park to find 'my
friend', Kysh. This cannot be fitted into the topography in any way. We
assume that 'Instead Wick' is nearby, but Sir Michael Gregory's park,
even if it 'ran for miles', had been left behind before they reached
'Pigginfold', itself several miles away. Leggatt must have been some-
thing of an orienteer, to have run several miles (in chauffeur's coat,
boots and leggings?) across-country, to find someone who might, or
might not, have been where he ought to have been.

From this point, to where the steam car finally breaks down, Sir
Henry's identification of the road seems to fit exactly Kipling's
description, although he himself was rather dubious about some of it.
He wrote;

The lane down which Hinchcliffe turned must have been that which
runs from A281 to Doomsday Green. A modern map shows this as
a narrow metalled road with a bridge over a stream; a road map of
soon after the First War marks the road as indifferent but is less
clear about a bridge. We should have to assume that in 1901 the
stream was unbridged and that the steam car crossed in Military
Tournament style, or that Kipling altered the facts to suit the story.

Presumably after crossing the stream they came out on to the
lane which runs through Doomsday Green to Ashfold Crossways,
and north of this lane lies St Leonard's Forest, on the edge of which
they filled with water and then 'made shift to climb the ridge above
'Instead Wick. ... On the roof of the world' – presumably in St.
Leonard's forest – the steam car finally broke down 'in floods of

Then the deus in machine appeared, Kysh on his way to
Horsham, presumably from 'Instead Wick' (p.201), and with him
Kipling's driver. I have, however, no explanation of how Leggat
had contacted Kysh: the last we had heard of Leggat was when he
'skipped into the bracken like a rabbit' near Coolhurst (p. 193).

The steam car was on the ridge above 'Instead Wick' to which
the road was downhill (p.200). This probably indicates Crawley as
'Instead Wick' and as the original luncheon rendez-vous. But if
Kysh were on his way from Crawley to Horsham in order to testify
to Kipling's character, he would presumably gone by the direct road
A264 north of St. Leonard's Forest, for Leggat could not have
known that the steam car had gone off north-east into the wilds of

40_KIPLING JOURNAL_December 2009

the Forest. I can see no explanation why Kysh should have been
going from Crawley to Horsham by an indirect by-road and so met
Kipling by chance.

1 have reluctantly come to the conclusion that from leaving the
uniformed policeman on the A281 (p.195) until the Octopod
arrived at Forest Row ('Park Row', p.204) the route given in the
story is imaginary and cannot be identified. It seems to compress a
trip starting from St. Leonard's Forest and going through Ashdown
Forest to the east into a shorter trip which took them to Forest Row.

I hesitate to dispute the identity of 'Park Row' with Forest Row,
for the road to the latter does drop 300 feet in half a mile or so

I had also hoped that the 'four miles of yellow road cut through
the barren waste' down which the Octopod 'sang like a six-inch
shell' was the narrow, lonely and straight road from Pease Pottage
southwest to join the Doomsday Green-Ashfold Crossways road,
and that it was the bridge below the hammer pond there which
brought Kipling's 'few remaining grey hairs much nearer the grave'
(p.204). But this direction does not fit with the road to Forest Row.

The first part of the quote above is fair enough. Kipling has exercised
his writer's licence again, Leggatt has found Kysh, and together they
have providentially come across Kipling's car. Thereafter, Sir Henry
has expressed doubts about how they got to Forest Row/'Park Row'.
But he does himself less than justice. If his identification of the place
of breakdown of the steam car is correct – on today's A279, between
Plummer's Plain and Handcross, close to Ashfold Crossways, then
Kysh's first move takes them back down the hill up which they have
just come and up the slope the other side – exactly as is shown on the
Ordnance Survey map today – the approaches to the dip at the bottom
of the hill are marked as 1 in 7 or steeper. And just beyond the bottom
of the dip, heading northeastwards toward Pease Pottage, is indeed a
narrow, lonely and straight road running to Pease Pottage, exactly as
Sir Henry said, but he wished them to be coming down it the other
way which, as he says, would not fit. But if they are going north-east-
wards, then it does fit, and takes them to Pease Pottage, and from
there they can head eastwards towards East Grinstead and Forest
Row/'Park Row'.

The fixed points of this second part of their circular tour are Forest
Row/'Park Row' and Lamberhurst/'Cramberhurst'. We know that they
went off-road at some stage, and we know that they 'passed with decency
through some towns': we also know that they strayed briefly into Surrey,
and also into Kent – well, they would: Lamberhurst/'Cramberhurst' is

December 2009_KIPLING JOURNAL_41

in Kent. But again, Kipling is taking liberties with the topography. It is
clear that the towns through which they passed would have been East
Grinstead and Tunbridge Wells – the first, because it is directly on the
route from Pease Pottage to Forest Row/'Park Row'. However, Kipling
has them pass into Surrey after passing through the latter, whereas, the
only real location where Surrey comes anywhere near their route is
before they reached East Grinstead.

Having reached Pease Pottage, I suggest they went due east on a
minor road which peters out into an unmade track immediately after
crossing the main London-Brighton railway line, about half-a-mile
north of the north portal of Balcombe tunnel. The unmade track crosses
Oldhouse Warren, and brings them out, after crossing today's B road
which runs north from Balcombe, and a corner of Worthlodge Forest,
on to the B2110, the easterly extension of the road along the Wealden
ridge on which the steam car had finally surrendered. It would have
been on this part of their route that they 'whooped into veiled hollows
of elm and Sussex oak' (the Windsor Magazine version has 'Sussex
weed' for 'Sussex oak' – presumably the change had been made
because he had used the phrase in the poem "Sussex", verse 10: 'Huge
oaks and old, the which we hold / No more than Sussex weed:').

Thence they could have headed direct for East Grinstead, or, if they
must pass into Surrey somewhere on our fictional route, they could
have diverted north at Turners Hill through Crawley Down to reach the
direct road from Crawley to East Grinstead, today's A264, which is in
Surrey for about a mile-and-a-half near Felbridge.

Once through East Grinstead, and on the way to Forest Row/'Park
Row', Kysh has committed them to going along the south side of the
upper reaches of the Medway valley. At Forest Row/'Park Row' he
might have curtailed the tour, and headed straight down the A22
towards Eastbourne, but clearly he had some more spleen to vent on the
representative of the Law, and he continued along the B2110 again
through Hartfield, crossing into Kent just west of Tunbridge Wells to
join the A264, which they followed decorously through the town until
it joined the Hastings road at Pembury. They might have gone more
directly to Lamberhurst/'Cramberhurst' from Tunbridge Wells, along
the B2169, but the approaches to Lamberhurst from this direction lie
along the valley of the little river Teise, rather than the descent into 'a
deep pit' as on the Hastings road. Then it was on to the Sussex border
just north of Flimwell, still heading east of south. Two miles or so fur-
ther on, they might have turned west along the A265 road from Hurst
Green to Heathfield and Lewes (a road which Kipling came to know
very well – it passes through Burwash and was his route to the railway
station, whether Etchingham or Heathfield). But that route would not

42_KIPLING JOURNAL_December 2009

have led them, other than indirectly, to the 'green flats fringed by
martello towers'. It is suggested they went on southwards to Battle,
there turning west and southwest to pass through Ninfield and Hooe,
down on to the Pevensey levels.

Thence, they passed close to the north of Eastbourne, past the Long
Man of Wilmington/ 'Hillingdon', along the All under the north scarp
of the Downs, to Lewes. There, they could have continued along the
main road which then disjointedly skirted the back of Brighton and
Hove, before turning north again up the valley of the Adur towards
Steyning and Henfield/'Penfield Green'. But since mention is made of
Hassocks/'Cassocks', I suggest they went through the Ouse gap at
Lewes to follow the road which runs west, always close under the
Downs, through Plumpton towards Ditchling and Hassocks/'Cassocks'.
Today this is a B road, B2116, but it is one of the more 'B' of B roads:
if there were a lower classification it would qualify, in parts, anyway,
especially at the western end where, instead of turning north at
Westmeston to Hassocks/'Cassocks', an unclassified road continues to
Clayton to join the old Brighton road in 'the longitude of Cassocks'.

Thence it was simple – they were nearing journey's end. From
Clayton they went south a mile or so to Pyecombe to rejoin the route
taken by the steam car that morning: thence it was the A281 again
through Henfield/'Penfield Green', and shortly afterwards, in the vicin-
ity of Cowfold/'Pigginfold' once more, they turned in at the south end
of Sir William Gardner's estate to charge cross-country to somewhere
near the furnace ponds, still shown on the Ordnance Survey maps.

Kipling's clues do not leave us with a definitive route, and some of
them just do not fit the topography. Furthermore, it is always danger-
ous to try to fit a fictionalised landscape into the Ordnance Survey map:
this author has been trying to do it ever since reading the first of Arthur
Ransome's books some sixty-five years ago. It certainly can be an
unprofitable exercise, but it can help a reader to more closely imagine
the setting of the tale he is reading.

December 2009_KIPLING JOURNAL_43




[Dr Mehta is currently a member of the Faculty-Board of Studies, The Institute of
Chartered Accountants of India, New Delhi, concentrating on Business Communication.

The page numbers against the quotations refer to a reprint edition of Kim, published
by Surjeet Publications, New Delhi, 1999. – Ed.]

Kipling occupies an important position among modern novelists. His
literary masterpieces reveal his craftsmanship and genius in depicting
the Indian life style. In the novels and short stories with an Indian back-
ground and vivid characters, he is very much concerned with his
mystical and spiritual quest for real India. His Kim highlights a deep
insight and knowledge about the great Indian land and its never ending
charm of life. India's colourful beauty, diversity, characters, religion
and ancient culture all mystically and spiritually attracted and appealed
to Kipling throughout his career as an artist. This paper is an attempt to
discuss aspects of the Indian notions of spirituality in Kim.

Rudyard Kipling has an immaculate power to express the sentiments
and primal passions of the common Indian people. He has provided us
with a graphic panorama of Indian life as his imagination is vast and
vivid. He is skilful in describing the Indian notions of spirituality in
Kim. He knows well that the real strength of India lies in its deep faith
in spiritualism which is opposite to the Western belief in materialism.

All India is full of holy men stammering gospels in strange tongues;
shaken and consumed in the fires of their own zeal; dreamers, bab-
blers and visionaries; as it has been from the beginning and will
continue to the end. (p.40)

Kipling recognized India as a land of Buddha and Buddhism that had
extended beyond the frontiers of India, gone to China and Japan, and
across the ranges of Himalaya. He considered that the West stands for
action while the East stands for meditation. The Indian concept of spir-
ituality always appealed to Kipling. He had great admiration for the
Buddhist principles of renunciation. A close study of Kim reveals that
Kipling also believed in the great Indian Guru1 – Shishya2 tradition.
Hence, Kim, the embodiment of action, falls at the feet of the lama. The
white man serves the lama with utmost care and adoration.

44_KIPLING JOURNAL_December 2009

Kipling remarkably described the submissiveness and the services
to the lama:

It was never more than a couple of miles a day now, and Kim's
shoulders bore all the weight of it—the burden of an old man, the
burden of the heavy food-bag with the locked books, the load of the
writings on his heart, and the details of the daily routine. He begged
in the dawn, set blankets for the lama's meditation, held the weary
head on his lap through the noonday heats, fanning away the flies
till his wrists ached, begged again in the evenings, and rubbed the
lama's feet, who rewarded him with promise of Freedom—to-day,
to-morrow, or, at furthest, the next day. (p.292)

This shows Kim's exemplary attitude of affection and devotion
towards his Guru. It also brings out that Kipling does not go deep into
the spiritual and mystical questions, yet has developed a great under-
standing of Indian rituals and principles. Kim regarded the lama as his
Guru, and served him in every way possible. He was completely trans-
formed and his Western habits had been forgotten.

Kim had become a Buddhist in every sense. His mental habits were
similar to that of a Buddhist. Kipling as an artist has tried to depict his
characters impartially and impersonally. Whatever he has observed
inside the Indian spiritual sites and scenes, he looked with amazement
and wonder at the spiritual figures of India. Kipling has two sides of his
mind. One is purely Eastern and the other Western, which is clearly
reflected from the preface of chapter VIII of Kim.

Something I owe to the soil that grew—

More to the life that fed—
But most to Allah Who gave me two

Separate sides to my head

I would go without shirts or shoes,

Friends, tobacco or bread
Sooner than for an instant lose

Either side of my head.

It is the other side of Kipling's mind that has a great zeal and quest for
the Indian concept of spirituality that lies in meditation, thoughtfulness,
Upright Living , levity of life, classless society and the principles of
Buddhism. Kim learned the teaching of Buddha through diagrams and
other sketches.

December 2009_KIPLING JOURNAL_45

My brother kneels (so saith Kabir3)

To stone and brass in heathen-wise,
But in my brother's voice I hear

My own unanswered agonies.
His God is as his Fates assign—
His prayer is all the world's—and mine.

(KABIR, Chapter XIV, Kim)

It highlights that Kipling is well versed in Indian philosophic thoughts.
Kipling considered India as his home. The Indian spirit has great
importance for Kipling. Kipling's Kim represents the English spirit and
the lama represents the ancient wisdom of the Indian land.

Kim is really a quest for the motif of life. The hero is in search of
the holy river of Arrow which is hidden in the ranges of Himalaya. He
is in search of it as he thinks that the river will reveal him the 'true
meaning of birth on this planet.' Therefore, he had decided to visit all
the Buddhist places of Pilgrimage. The quest for Buddhism is deep
rooted in the mind of lama. The great question that is put forward by
Kipling on meditation and action continues throughout the novel. At
last the lama reached a place where he found great solace. The Indian
concept of Karma4 and Moksha5 paves the way for Kim that he should
go to the active live and the lama should liberate his soul from the great
bondage of life. Kipling is a wanderer. He is not interested in the India
of the Sahib but of the common man.

'Thou hast said there is neither black nor white. Why plague me
with this talk, Holy One? Let me rub the other foot. It vexes me. I
am not a Sahib. I am thy chela, and my head is heavy on my shoul-
ders.' (p.292)

For Kipling, India is not a country of sahib but of the streets and villages.

Kipling has selected Kim as a leading figure, as through him he has
tried to unfold the Indian concept of renunciation and salvation. Some
critics have remarked that Kim is Kipling. Kim is on a quest for some-
thing, Kipling is also in search of Indianness. Kipling as Kim likes
Buddhism. His description of the museum of Lahore shows that he
likes and loves Buddhism. Kim was very happy in the company of the
lama, with whom he travelled over a long distance. The enchanting
scenery of India flashes before our eyes as we turn the pages of Kim.

In India, Kipling had all the advantages of new settings and through
his unique style he could observe and depict the strange beauty and
colours of India. It has been noted that Kipling is very much against the
backwardness and ignorance of Indian people but age-long religions

46_KIPLING JOURNAL_December 2009

and customs were a big challenge to him. He saw a spiritual richness in
India and was fascinated by the medieval culture of India. He looked
with amazement at the spiritual Gurus of India. He is deeply impressed
with wonderful occultism of the Indian land.

Therefore, in Kim, Kim never regards the materialistic life as illu-
sion as the lama does but as they travel together an important change
comes over him. He had become almost a Buddhist. His mental habits
were similar to those of a Buddhist. It is through Kim that Kipling
shows his personal likes and dislikes. Kim shows his disregard for the
materialistic world of the West and joins the world of search and sal-
vation. Moreover, Kim moves gradually away from his race and his
mother tongue and slips

back to thinking and dreaming in the vernacular, and mechanically
followed the lama's ceremonial observances at eating, drinking,
and the like. (p.304)

Kim as Kipling is highly affected by the spiritual thoughts of the lama
and can express his wonder to the lama " 'Never have I seen such a
man as thou art... Do the very snakes understand thy talk?' " (pp.61-
62) Kipling is quite successful in presenting the beautiful description
of the release of lama's Soul. The description is impressionistic. A
person of Kipling's calibre and talent who knows mythology can jus-
tify it. It shows Kipling's deep study of the Indian concept of Atma6
and Parmatma7.

'Yea, my Soul went free, and, wheeling like an eagle, saw indeed
that there was no Teshoo Lama nor any other soul. As a drop draws
to water, so my soul drew near to the Great Soul which is beyond
all things. At that point, exalted in contemplation, I saw all Hind,
from Ceylon in the sea to the Hills, and my own Painted Rocks at
Suchzen; ... By this I knew that I was free.' (p.311)

Thus, Kipling's lama reflects his quest for the Indian concept of non-
attachment, self-sacrifice, self-realization, salvation, renunciation etc.
The lama's belief in Ahimsa8 is clearly reflected in the various events
and incidents.


1. Guru: The word 'Guru7 literally means the 'weighted one' i.e. the one who is pro-
foundly endowed with spiritual knowledge or divine wisdom. It also signifies the
one who leads his disciples from the darkness of ignorance to spiritual enlightenment
by imparting divine knowledge. Among the followers of Hindu, Buddhist, or Sikh

December 2009_KIPLING JOURNAL_47

beliefs, this title has a consecrated importance as it refers to a spiritual master or
teacher. A true Guru has attained an extreme high degree of spiritual development
before acting as a Guru.

2. Shishya or Chela: The word 'Shishya' or 'Chela' simply means a disciple; one who,
practices spirituality as advised by the Guru, with the motive of making spiritual
progress. According to one of the Hindu scriptures the one who surrenders every-
thing, that is, his body, wealth and life unto the Guru and learns lessons of
spirituality from him is called a Shishya. The relationship between a Guru and his
Shishya is a spiritual relationship where teachings are transmitted from a Guru
to Shishya. A Guru once selected remains the Guru for a particular Shishya until
his Shishya has reached God-Realization and God-Union himself.

3. Kabir: He was a mystic poet and saint of India. He was a weaver by profession.
He boldly criticized all the sects of his time and gave a new direction to Indian

4. Karma: 'Karma' is a Sanskrit word that translates into 'action'. It literally means
'deed or act', but broadly describes the principle of cause and effect. In Hinduism,
Karma is the law of the phenomenal cosmos that is integral part of living within the
dimensions of time and space. It is considered that through this Law of Karma, the
effects of all deeds actively create past, present and future experiences, thus making
one responsible for one's own life, and the pain and joy it brings to them and others.
In Buddhism, however, Karma refers to one's intention or motivation while doing
an action. It is also observed that that the Bible [King James's Version] certainly
conveys the same essence as:

Be not deceived: God is not mocked: for whatever a man soweth, that shall he
also reap. (Galatians, 6:7)

Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even
so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. (Matthew, 7:12)

5. Moksha: 'Moksha' is the liberation of the soul from the materialistic world, the
cycle of death and rebirth or reincarnation and all of the sufferings and limitations of
the worldly existence. It is seen as a transcendence of phenomenal being, a state of
higher consciousness. Moksha is the ultimate goal of human existence rewarded in
turn by Supreme Peace and Bliss. In Hinduism, self-realization is the key to attain-
ing Moksha. In Buddhism, it is treated as Nirvana; it occurs when the self is
extinguished from the cycle of rebirth.

6. Atma: In Hinduism, the 'Atma' or 'Atman' is the soul or eternal self that reincar-
nates again and again. It is eternal, unchanging, and indistinguishable from the
essence of the universe. On the other hand, the Lord Buddha denied the existence of
the Atma and so used the term 'Anatman', or no-self.

7. Paramatma: The word 'Paramatma' is coined from two words, 'Param' meaning
Supreme and 'Atma' meaning soul or self. Thus, Paramatma is the supreme soul or
sublime spirit. It is considered beyond knowledge, ignorance, devoid of all material
attributes. It is also perceived that this super soul is in the heart of every individual.

8. Ahimsa: The word 'Ahimsa' denotes respect for all living things and the avoidance
of violence towards others both in thought and deed.

48_KIPLING JOURNAL_December 2009


[From the Supplement to the St. James's Gazette, 21 November 1889.]

But we, brought forth and reared in hours
Of change, alarm, surprise,
What shelter to grow ripe is ours?
What leisure to grow wise?

Mr. Ralph Etheredge was a young writer, and it occurred to him to
write a book about a woman who had her throat cut and a horse
drowned while crossing a ford. You would never suppose that these
incidents and a little ink comprised in themselves the elements of glory.
That is because you do not know the great British public. People had
been suffering from a surfeit of shuddering kisses, or Pyramids, or pur-
ple heather, or dialects, or something indigestible, and demanded
change of food. They found what they wanted in Mr. Etheredge's book,
and they told him so.

He was impressionable. When you praised him little twitches
would crumple the corners of his lips. When you ceased awhile from
praising, he would interrupt the conversation to make clear how utterly
indifferent he was to praise. This, of course, re-established the current.
His eyes were blue and his eyelashes were curly, and the craving of his
soul was Sympathy with a gently whispered capital S. His two ideas,
being direct inspirations, he naturally valued them much more than
other things which had cost him time and headaches: for the sovereign
picked up at the bottom of the cab is not to be compared with the
shilling earned by virtuous driving. Cabmen say so. They get drunk on
the larger trove; exactly as Mr. Etheredge did on easily won praise.
And so he became upset, and his lips twitched more than ever, and his
need for sympathy grew with his disease. Sympathy is a beautiful
thing. It can best be found in the corners of second-tier boxes, between
the acts, after little dinners, and in country-houses at five-o'clock teas
before the candles are brought in and voices naturally sink with the sun.
Mr. Etheredge used to hunt for it in those places. There was not so
much in billiard-rooms or corner divans of clubs, where men warm
their toes and prove that all their acquaintances are impostors.
Sympathy is a God-given emotion; but when a man seeks and obtains
the sympathy of eight or ten very nice ladies who would sympathize
unutterably with all things new—and when he, at various times and
places, squeezes their eight or ten right hands and severally assures

December 2009_KIPLING JOURNAL_49

them they are his respective and more than respected Egerias,—the
mental horizon and the power of absorbing tender speech seem to grow
wider and washier every day.

And with the sympathy came the publishers and the fat green
cheque-books. Their demands were as simple as those of the man at the
telephone. They rang Mr. Etheredge's bell and shouted "Repeat." They
assured him that he had struck out a line, occupied untrodden ground,
developed a new field, and done several other things of the greatest
possible importance to the world and themselves. He was to till that
field diligently and to produce that line as far as it would run. And he
was never to forget that Codlin was his true friend and Short was a
brigand: and when did he think that he would throw off a shilling's-
worth of, say, one hundred and sixty closely printed pages, etc., etc.; to
be followed by, let us say, etc.; which would naturally lead up to, etc.,
etc.? Red hot with many sympathies, deafened with the five-o'clock
litany that told him he had only to go forward—"and accomplish any-
thing and everything, Frank, dear; for I may call you Frank"—Mr.
Etheredge arranged his contracts on much the same lines as the morn-
ing sun would arrange to warm the earth. Messrs. Kilt, Milt, and Roe
were the "mortgagees of the property hereinafter mentioned of the one
part," and one Gallihauk was their reader. He was a brutal man, unfit
for society. He modelled himself on Doctor Johnson—at least the veins
used to stand out on his forehead when he ate his food, and the front of
his waistcoat was speckled with gravy, and his language was the lan-
guage of thieves. It was he who took the trouble to call on Mr.
Etheredge, who fancied he came about the rent of his chambers till he
said without preface: "I was what you are. My line was mist, sea, and
a headland, with a girl falling from the top, and the tide bumping the
body against a rock. That ruined me; but I recovered, and now bump
other bodies. You won't recover. My unofficial advice to you is, Dry
up. What I have to tell you is, Continue to gush till you are dry. Go on.
Keep yourself en evidence, get two suits of dress-clothes and never
refuse an invitation. You can write between dinner parties, you know;
and, above all things, don't forget the throat and horse trick. No thanks.
I should like you to remember, however, that there is no discharge in
this war; and if you dip out of a bucket without putting back, you arrive
at the bottom."

Mr. Etheredge took as much of this advice as related to the evidence
and the dress-suits, and wandered from centre-piece to centre-piece
fantastically comparing Gallihauk to Mr. Wemmick, while everybody
laughed. No establishment pretending to completeness could, after the
due and proper formalities, dispense with Mr. Etheredge between half-
past seven and half-past eleven p.m. His theory, which he explained at

50_KIPLING JOURNAL_December 2009

length to the ladies, was that he was studying certain side-lights of soci-
ety; and in the studying he learned to talk from the top of his palate and
the left-hand upper canine and between his two front teeth, and to pet
particular words as old ladies pet black-and-tan terriers, according to
the needs and customs of his company. A young man with blue eyes,
whose lips twitch and whose fingers drum in ordinary conversation can
give out at a three hours' dinner-party, where he has, for his unmade
reputations sake, to talk well and epigrammatically, quite as much ner-
vous force as would carry him through six hours' desk-work and a
stubborn plot. Mr. Etheredge never minded explaining how inspira-
tions came to him, and what were the difficulties of controlling a large
troupe of headstrong characters, and the ladies in the alcoves to the left
of the soft pink lamps used to coo, "How interesting! How wonderful!
Tell us mo-oor!" Thereupon he told all over again; and Gallihauk
would fluctuate on the outer rim of the hearthrug afar off and murmur,
"Dam fool!"

So in a very little time—for he drove through his work like a
cyclone— his shilling's-worth was born. A shilling's-worth is, for
reasons which do not matter, an excellent—indeed, an indispensable—
performance for a man who keeps three dress-suits and eighteen
top-hats, and studies English society by the light of pink-shaded lamps.
It was called "Blind Kamartha:" and of course Kamartha had her throat
cut through two chapters; and there was a horse who got drowned in
another forty pages, beginning with his birth and early parentage and
his views on life and death as he went under; and the remaining pages
led up and round to these two central facts. "Ha!" said Gallihauk
unguardedly at a dinner, "he has enlarged the aperture. The wind is
escaping." Another man "jackalled" this on the spot, and in the chorus
of praise that went up round "Blind Kamartha" the still small voice of
one paper was heard repeating it. The cruelty of the thing was that it
was just short enough for the public to remember; and Mr. Etheredge
met it out at dinner and was sympathized with about it, and would kick
the cat all round his chambers afterwards. But the book sold in its thou-
sands, and was stolen by the Americans, and rewritten to suit political
exigencies in that country. And that was glory; and Kilt, Milt, and Roe
know how much they gained by it.

Then there were some more dinner-parties and dances, and country
houses, and club dinners, and first nights, and other steadying influ-
ences; and Mr. Etheredge made the discovery that if he epigrammed
too fluently other gentlemen would steal his ideas and sell them. This
led him often to refer to himself as a walking gold-mine, and later to
surround himself with chosen friends, chiefly female, who would
respect his words. Thereafter another book was born: in which a

December 2009_KIPLING JOURNAL_       51

woman was bowstringed, and an elephant was engulfed in a quicksand
and so went round roaring to the tip end of his trunk; and that was the
horse slightly swelled at the extremities, with attachments. By a small
oversight, due to having half heard the tail-halves of two stories, he
wrote as though elephants were the natural inhabitants of Turkey, and
bowstringed his woman in the one place in Europe where the
yataghan—his legitimate throat-cutting—would have been employed.
A disgustingly literal man found that out, and recommended him in
print to return to his horses and blunt knives. Kilt, Milt, and Roe wrote
that, though the book was selling, it seemed to them, without presum-
ing to dictate to so well known an author, that a more serious reputation
was to be built up by more serious work.

Gallihauk said nothing, but that he had known four-and-twenty
leaders of revolts in Faenza, and the Russians on the other side of
Europe began to harry the Jews; the newspapers were full of it, and the
Mansion House opened a subscription. Then rose Mr. Etheredge and
bought a Josephus, an S.P.C.K. Bible in speckled calf, a Cook's ticket,
and a paid [sic pair?] of blue goggles; for he saw his chance. He
loathed to leave the pink lamps; but Art was Art, as he explained to
some lady-friends; and he was going to "take up the dear Jews" and
saturate himself with local colour between Jerusalem and the Red Sea,
particularly the Red Sea. Gallihauk grinned when he heard that.
Etheredge arranged to write for some home papers and sent back
amazing articles depicting himself in camp with the children of the
desert, and hooking up Pharoah's chariot wheels with the kedge-
anchors of British-India steamers.

After six months there was produced "at all the libraries" his "Passed
Over by Azrael." And it told how one of the first-born of Egypt had
escaped the night of death, and, tied up in a baking-trough, had jour-
neyed with his foster-mother and the flying Israelites. There was a moral
in the tale. Unfortunately the Russians had left off killing and outraging
the Jews, and were doing something else when it came out; but there
was Josephus in it; there were Liberty portieres and Ben-Hur dialogues
and high-peaked saddles in it, and, most of all, there were horses—all
the horses of Pharoah's host drowning together in the Red Sea.
Etheredge made one big washing-day of the event. He choked his ani-
mals by squadrons and troops and regiments against most tempestuous
backgrounds of sea and foam. So greatly and completely did he drown
them that there was a distinct sense of reaction in the reader's mind
when he turned his Israelites loose to cut the throats of the Jebusite and
Hivite women, though that slaughter was even more complete than the
horse killing. The two together, with all the properties thereunto apper-
taining, were called a novel, and sold at the regulation tariffs.

52_KIPLING JOURNAL_December 2009

Do not imagine that the British public would have wearied of him
on his own merits. But a man elbowed his way through the crowd,
bearing blood in a horse-bucket with wild oats atop. Slit-throats were
fair; but this was the genuine article, Etheredge's tents were on the Red
Sea. Long before he returned his public were crowding with their
forefeet in the food held out by the other man.

It is not good to surround yourself with adoring friends. They may
love, but they cannot foresee, and the more they know the less will they
tell. Etheredge returned hungrily to his pink lamps, and related imagi-
native stories of adventures under the stars; while Kilt, Milt, and Roe
squabbled with the libraries on points of business and batches of
returned books. They were large batches; for the tide was running out,
and spits of sand showed. Gallihauk took it upon himself to speak the
very bitter truth early one morning, when he had thrust his way into
Etheredge's rooms and found him undressing after a dance.

"The game is up," said Gallihauk, who never wasted his words except
for so much a column. "The boom is finished. How can you get clear?"

These be no cheering words to hear in the dawn. Moreover,
Gallihauk had not had his breakfast, and desired to finish that interview.

"Listen here. They are tired of you—you, and your throats and your
drowned horses. The new man, the horse-bucket man—you can hear the
public lapping it up if you stick your head out of window. On what I
have left of a reputation—and I know books better than some men know
stocks—you've come to the end of yourself. You're ridden out, written
out, talked out, used up—as I was. A year's rest might give you fresh
material to go on, but I doubt it; and you couldn't afford to take it."

"But by what right ?. . ." began Etheredge; and his lips twitched, for
he knew that if his pass-book spoke truth, and bankers seldom lie, he
could afford himself no rest.

"By the right of a man who has passed through it all," said
Gallihauk, drumming on a calf-bound copy of "Passed Over;" only,
thank God! I had a better education than yours to go on with after my
collapse. What can you do? To-morrow you'll hear the whips crack. In
three months your market-value will be depreciated 50 per cent, and
Kilt and Co. will be running the horse-bucket man. You'll have the
profits on your sales as by contract, and I know what those sales will
be. You haven't even had the strength to plagiarize from yourself. The
people don't take the trouble to call you good, bad, or indifferent. They
don't want you, that's all. What'll you do? A year hence you may earn
three hundred a year if you work hard. How far will that carry you
among the sets you frequent? You haven't the stamina, if you had the
ability, for journalism, and you can't give up the rotten dinner-party
and pet-dog demoralization that you call studying society. I care less

December 2009_KIPLING JOURNAL_53

But let us suppose for a minute that there had been no wife available?

than a tinker's curse for you—I know the way you have been sharpen-
ing your wits on me at the De Tompkinses and Van Robinsons; but
I . . . have I spoken the truth?"

Gallihauk does not often take the trouble to speak the truth, his pro-
fession being literary; but when he does he enforces belief with every flap
of his coat-tails, which are weighted with a pipe and a tobacco-pouch.

"I believe you have," said Etheredge, after a long pause; and no one
should have known better than he.

Then Gallihauk developed surprising craft, unsuspected knowledge
of society, and not a little tenderness, if all be true. He was at great
pains to curse the British public, which always was, and until another
public arises always will be, waste of breath; but he never allowed
Etheredge to forget that he must either start an entirely new line and run
the gauntlet of those who would drive him back to his horses, or die the
death or ... . That was where the craft began. It was connected with
banking accounts.

Etheredge waited till Kilt, Milt, and Roe had written him a letter
with some enclosures, and he had read a few things not in the letters.
Then he also wrote a letter, but not to Kilt, Milt, and Roe; and four
hours later took a cab across town, and after dinner returned to his own
place with the smile of a newly washed baby—half pleasure and half
soap in the mouth.

"You see I was right," said Gallihauk, "there must be some who
believe in you—even you. But be quick and hurry things forward, for
you cannot afford to wait even through a six months' engagement."

The fall of "Passed over by Azrael" is written large in many papers,
but now happily forgotten in even greater falls. The public clambered
over the horse-bucket man till he fell, and another gave them honey-
suckles and wood-anemones; and so forth, and so forth. It all comes to the
same in the waste paper basket, as the love-letter said to the tailor's bill.

Four months after the wedding, when Etheredge had apparently set-
tled the problem of living with a wife some years older than himself,
who told every one about "the basest conspiracy that ever disgraced the
history of journalism" (she wrote things occasionally), Gallihauk was
to be found chaunting Gounod's "Funeral March of a Marionette" over
a small volume of poetry—an inch and a half of type, three inches of
margin, with a lily sprinkled vellum back—bearing the name of Mr.
and Mrs. Etheredge.

That was the nearest approach to a review that Gallihauk ever gave it.

54_KIPLING JOURNAL_December 2009


[First published in the St. James's Gazette, 30 November 1889]

Keen was his woe; but keener far to feel

He nursed the pinion that compelled the steel.

He was occasionally called Ishmael, but more often referred to as
above; his real name being Hognaston, which is just as bad and does
not make a particle of difference.

Stewart-Atherley, who writes for the Eclectic Emporium and is
arrayed in the borrowed fragments of a new creed every month, lisps
that it was entirely Gallihauk's fault for taking an interest in a New
Man. But Atherley would not stretch a hand to save living soul or body
if he had to rise from his armchair to do it.

Gallihauk was greatly to be excused. He was a lonely soul, austere,
and, without any attachments, and chiefly at war with all his acquain-
tances. No one would have credited his taking up a New Man. No one
more fiercely attacked the New Men as they came up and went into the
Outer Darkness where there is job-work and decay of power. It was a
proverb in the Deucalion Club that whoso passed with a decent degree
of success the double-shotted guns of Gallihauk would go far. His the-
ory was that most new writers were possessed not with fancy but flux;
and he was used to elaborate the theory offensively and medically in
his own chair at the Deucalion. Hence the large surprise when Stewart-
Atherley, who always knows things twenty minutes before he should,
announced that Gallihauk had discovered a New Man eating the bind-
ings off the historical sections in the British Museum Library, had fed
him with raw meat behind a door, and would presently introduce him
to the Deucalion. Marple—who believes in the complete selfishness of
the human race, and consequently writes about its perfectibility and the
ringing grooves of change—denied that Gallihauk would ever concern
himself over any human being not 120 years dead. But it befell as
Atherley had said; and after a season, in which the Deucalion heard
much of writers and rumours of writers, Gallihauk surged down the
smoking-room with what, for the sake of brevity, must be called his
New Man. Atherley, promptly christened it "The underhung
Aberdonian" (it was of northern extraction and rattled its r's like the
cog-wheels of a coffee-mill); and other men, moved by their own
unholy fancies, called it other names and less quotable. It was not
lovely, and seemed but newly introduced to a dress coat and a white tie.

December 2009_KIPLING JOURNAL_55

Gallihauk gave all the world to understand that it was his trove and pro-
tege, and drove Steinwürth, of the Gasometer into a corner for half an
hour while he rehearsed its perfections. "He's rough, I admit that," said
Gallihauk (and when Gallihauk admits that a man is rough the subject
is generally more than rugged); "but it is the roughness of the diamond
in the matrix." "Amen;" said Steinwürth, "but why not leave it there?
You can buy three-and-sixpenny Brazilian articles in the Lowther
Arcade." Gallihauk said that that had nothing whatever to do with the
case; and Steinwürth could not get away in time for his whist.
Wherefore he detested Gallihauk and the New Man, henceforward to
be called the Pup.

There was an earnestness about that animal which after dinner meant
nothing less than indigestion—a grim and Carlylese earnestness express-
ing itself in copybook headings and vehement twistings of the nose. The
last two inches of the Pup's nose were hinged and prehensile They used
to frighten Stewart-Atherley into blinking stupor. No man knew whence
the Pup had sprung—whether from the nowhere in particular or a county
paper. He was the property of Gallihauk, the austere man, and Stewart-
Atherley's version of the discovery might have been correct after all.
Gallihauk never told. He introduced the Pup as a shining and significant
fact—as a sort of undeveloped Titan destined to upheave the Deucalion
and the rest of the earth as understanded by the Deucalion, which is to
say the four-mile cab radius. Gallihauk, who never believed in three pens
this side of Doctor Johnson, who swore by and at and with Smollett, who
considered Prior a much-misunderstood man, and who knew Swift's
soul as the Dean himself never knew it, pinned his newly found faith
upon his New Man—his own discovery. "And hereby," said Stewart-
Atherley, "you may see how much superior is a man to a woman.
Gallihauk has yet to learn how much a man differs from a woman."
Stewart-Atherley's pet vice is unsubstantial epigram.

Gallihauk exerted himself immensely to find work for the Pup, who
really possessed the rudiments of a style and the beginnings of power.
He had been carefully educated, and had acquired at some mysterious
university a degree. Yet his appearance was of one who had never seen
even the roofs of Burlington House, and his hands were rough as with
the handling of agricultural implements. Gallihauk would refer to
Burns when men referred to these blemishes; but the Pup was not
Burns. Gallihauk did his best to convert him into a sort of "Kinmont
Willie" of the reviews and the lighter walks of literature, where all the
paths carry labels, saying "Please keep off the grass," and it is rigor-
ously defended to trample on the flowers of fancy. It is said that
Gallihauk and the Pup would together sharpen their pens on their
lonely hearthstone and sing wild war-songs of the North for a week at

56_KIPLING JOURNAL_December 2009

a time, and then descend upon a herd of new books and disembowel
them. That was when the Pup "devilled" for Gallihauk and was sitting
at his feet learning grim wisdom. In the evening he would come to the
Deucalion; and you could hear his voice all down the corridors, croak-
ing to some amazed senior, "That's all vara well; but it's not A-r-r-r-t!"
And when men, so to speak, kicked off the boots of toil and put on the
embroidered slippers of fancy and the dressing-gown of abandon and
talked sheer nonsense, as men must for the good of the soul, the Pup
would rush out growling from under a billiard-table and bristlingly
argue with them. He could never talk without arguing, and his red-
headed earnestness irritated. Nor did he much care whom he corrected;
and he had a fascinating custom of saying "Hoo!" just like an angry
owl, when he differed from but despised his opponents.

Gallihauk saw no harm in these eccentricities—not even when
Stewart-Atherley said, "I wish to goodness you'd take your Pup out of
this place and tie him up. He bites." The man honestly seemed to love
the Pup and be proud of him, and overlook in his work absences of taste
and temper that in another's he would have double-thonged. He should
have married and had a son of his own instead of adopting literary
infants late in life He smiled at the Pup's broad-shouldered brutality
and want of proportion, and very weakly trumpeted work that were bet-
ter left to find its way on its own merits. He introduced the Pup to
valuable commanders, who enlisted him and gave him guns and swords
far too deadly for one so intemperate and earnest. In private he used to
lecture the Pup, and teach him his own philosophy, which was sum-
marized from another writer: "Never go back, never think twice. Be
alone." So the Pup throve and grew fat, and learned to scrub his nails
before dinner, and was always the terror of the Deucalion on account
of his disputatiousness.

It happened upon an occasion—an ordinary every-day occasion—
that half a dozen men were talking nonsense, the ball flying from hand
to hand round the fire, and each man developing theories wilder than
the last. Tintwhistle had taken upon himself to prove the precise
amount of Carlyle's. teaching which was directly traceable to the
rooster that crowed and disturbed him, or the baker's cart that called
inopportunely. "Here," said Tintwhistle, quoting something from
"Sartor Resartus," "an Eternal Verity of a costermonger came by. Here
you trace the pessimistic influence of a Pickford van rumbling in the
street And here" . . . The Pup arrived, his bristles alift on his back; for
if you touched Carlyle you profaned one of his high gods. But even he
might have seen that he interrupted a game of pure skittles. He dashed
in armed at all points— offensive, raucous, irrepressible, and earnest.
Tintwhistle tried elaborate sarcasm, and suggested the writing out of

December 2009_KIPLING JOURNAL__57

his views. Then the voice of Gallihauk, always somewhere near the
Pup, fell like a rough-cut log across foaming water.

"Don't you be so dee clever! You're making yourself a nuisance
over there."

The Pup flushed scarlet. To be lectured in private is one thing; to be
checked across the manful width of a club-room is otherwise.
Tintwhistle declared that that was the Psychological Moment. The Pup
sulked furiously and with ostentation; and later, in the cloak-room,
Gallihauk was overheard abasing himself before this Border Ruffian,
whose raw Scotch pride was in revolt. "/ should have kicked him," said
Stewart-Atherley—"kicked him first and reviewed him afterwards."
Gallihauk did not kick. He honestly loved the Pup, and believed in his
future, and—this is quite true—he apologized when the Pup talked
wild nonsense about having been insulted before he flung out of the
door and—into the arms of Leftwhich. May that man die on a crowded
pavement from a cab accident with a costermonger's heel in his left
eye; and the only woman he ever loved audibly asking his rival "Who
is that drunken person?" Knowing that Gallihauk loathed Leftwhich,
the abandoned Pup quitted the club with him while Gallihauk was fum-
bling for his stick all alone in the cloak-room. Leftwhich does not talk
about Psychological Moments; but he knows when he meets them, and
he also is in charge of the Record of Lost Endeavour, where gentlemen
and ladies—who, never having had any of their own, naturally do not
believe in success—explain monthly why Shakspeare is over-rated, or
in what respects they could improve on Homer, and other more nearly
living folk. Only the smallness of the motive could have justified the
scale of the revenge. Because he owed his little name, his every step,
and (if report be true) several meals to Gallihauk—because he had been
brought forward, taught, and cherished by that much misguided man—
the Pup sought satisfaction from the inkpot. As Stewart-Atherley said,
"even a woman would not have done it." Very naturally Leftwhich
secured the Pup for the Record, and thereby won a better writer than
many; and in process of time—Gallihauk still roaming disconsolate
through the Deucalion, and seeking his lost child—there appeared in
the Record's "Touches in Aquafortis," a brutal bitter sketch of
Gallihauk, engendered in rebellion, developed in flippant sin, and bit-
ten in with the malice of the intimate inferior—the valet or the pot-boy.
That was the Pup's satisfaction—tasteless, tactless, butcherly, and
incomplete even in its completeness. It was bad with the badness of
baseness; and it grieved Gallihauk for many reasons. When Stewart-
Atherley, forgotten of man and God, once called him "the tattered Thug
of the more jejeune jungles of Journalism," Gallihauk laughed and said
that Atherley did not understand alliteration. But the Pup's attack was

58_KIPLING JOURNAL_December 2009

another affair entirely, and I believe he was moved more by sorrow for
the boy than any personal consideration. All the faults out of which he
had carefully trained him reappeared in that production, the more lux-
uriant for having been pruned so long. The want of balance, the
slovenly county-journal diction and the slack-set sentences tailing into
"and whichs" were all there, with the close personal knowledge of
Gallihauk's failings and peculiarities that the Pup had so recklessly
employed. Gallihauk mourned over the workman more than the work;
though the Pup had managed, not unskilfully, to convey the impression
that Gallihauk was a Bottle-nosed Shark. Gallihauk was sensitive about
his nose, which is a fine, large, and, above all, erudite feature—a thing
that suggests whole libraries in half calf with yellow busts atop and
ragged volumes of the Fathers in the lower shelves. The Pup sneered at
that nose,

No man in the Deucalion said anything to Gallihauk till he
broached the subject one day of his own accord.

"Have—have any 'f you seen that—that thing in the Record—
'bout me?"

"Yes," said one man, while the rest looked every other way at once.
They were all sorry for Gallihauk.

"It's no sort of Literature," he said, "but I suppose it's every sort of
human nature."

Then he went out of the club looking very straight in front of him,
while Stewart-Atherley quoted the immensely original lines at the
beginning of this sketch.

Infamous, infamous Pup!

But the judgment of Heaven overtook him later; and to-day he
writes extended leading articles in Leftwhich's Record proving that
Mr. Gladstone is the only authority upon everything in the world.

December 2009_KIPLING JOURNAL_59



These two stories were not collected by Kipling, even in the Sussex
Edition. Both were originally published in the St. James's Gazette in
November 1889, just after he had arrived in London in mid-October
and set up home in Villiers Street, but neither had any indication of the
authorship. The two stories were later produced as pamphlets in
Unauthorised Private Editions by E.W. Martindell of London and
Hampshire and Ellis Ames Ballard of Philadelphia, or possibly only for
Martindell in this particular case1 & 2. After her father's death, Kipling's
daughter Elsie indicated to A.W. Yeats that "The Comet of a Season"
was not written by Kipling.2

There is no problem with the authorship of "Gallihauk's Pup" since
it is included in a bound volume of Press Cuttings of Stories, Poems,
Articles 1887-1891,3 but the provenance of "The Comet of a Season"
requires a different approach, even though the character 'Gallihauk' is
common to both. Fortunately there is a diary-letter by Kipling to Mrs
Edmonia Hill for the period 8-16 November 1889 which Prof T.
Pinney has made available to us4. In the entry for Saturday, 9
November Kipling wrote:

Found a letter from the St. James's at home demanding a "Plain
Tale" connected with literature. Lighted a pipe and thought out a
notion which I slept upon.

Then for Sunday, 10 November he wrote:

My notion of the literary tale for the Jimmy still hot and disposed
myself unto a complete day. Began at ten, stopped for lunch at two
and went on till five weaving the yarn of a young man who started
in a literary career in London and wrote himself out in the desire to
accumulate money. He used and reused his incidents all over again
till the public sickened of him and he married a rich wife just in the
nick of time.

The following day he wrote the poem "In Partibus", and by 16 November
had completed "My Great and Only" for the Civil and Military Gazette.

1. J.McG. Stewart, ed. A.W. Yeats, Bibliography, p.637, Dalhousie University, 1959.

2. D.R. Richards, Bibliography, 1st Proof, p.721, Oak Knoll Press, 2009.

60_KIPLING JOURNAL_December 2009

3. University of Sussex Library, Special Collections, Catalogues, Kipling, 28/4.

4. T. Pinney ed., The Letters of Rudyard Kipling Vol.1: 1872-89, 1990, p.360.

"The Comet of a Season"

The epigraph comes from the eighteenth stanza of Matthew Arnold's
poem "Stanzas in Memory of the Author of Obermann", written in
November 1849. Kipling had also used it in "The Last of the Stories",
the Week's News, Allahabad, 15 September 1888.

Egeria. It seems to me that this most probably refers to one of the
Roman nymphs who gave religious instruction to Numa, rather than the
4th century Gallic Christian woman who undertook a pilgrimage to the
Holy Land and wrote a letter about her travels.

bowstringed his woman Kipling is incorrect in this statement.
Strangling with a bowstring was a normal method of Turkish execution.

yataghan a type of sword used extensively in Turkey and areas under
Turkish influence, such as the Balkans.

four-and-twenty leaders of revolts A quotation from Robert Browning's
"A Soul's Tragedy" (1846), a drama set in Faenza, NE Italy. Kipling
uses the same quotation in "Below the Mill Dam" which he began writ-
ing in June 1902.

Pharoah spelled twice like this rather than the more usual current
spelling, Pharaoh.

kedge-anchors small ship's anchors used mainly for work inside a

British-India steamers. Kipling had travelled on two of these vessels,
the S.S. Madura and the S.S. Africa, in March 1889 from Calcutta to
Singapore. [From Sea to Sea]

Jebusite and Hivite. Tribes of Canaan. See Genesis, x, 15-17.

"Gallihauk's Pup"

The epigraph is a slight misquotation from Lord Byron's verse on
Henry Kirke White in English Bards and Scotch Reviewers: A Satire.
The original reads:

December 2009_KIPLING JOURNAL__61

Keen were his pangs; but keener far to feel
He nursed the pinion which impell'd the steel;

[The Works of Lord Byron, . . George Gordon Byron Byron, Fitz-Greene Halleck, 1833]

Deucalion, in Greek mythology, was the son of Prometheus and
Clymene. With his wife Pyrrha, they survived the floods loosed on the
world by Zeus thus becoming the Greek version of Noah.

The Lowther Arcade was a shop-lined passage leading from north side
of the Strand, opposite Charing Cross Station, to Adelaide Street. It
was almost opposite the northern end of Villiers Street.

Carlylese earnestness. In "An English School" (1893), Kipling relates
that one of his study compatriots, M'Turk / Beresford, was addicted to
Carlyle's Fors Clavigera.

Burlington House on the north side of Piccadilly. It has been the home
of the Royal Academy of Arts and six scientific Societies since 1874.

"Kinmont Willie" Armstrong was a Border reiver (or raider), active at
the end of the 16th century. He was eventually caught but was rescued
by Scott of Buccleugh before he could be hanged. "The Ballad of
Kinmont Willie" recounts the story.

"That's all vara well; but it's not A-r-r-r-t!". a phrase that is very rem-
iniscent of the Devil's question in "The Conundrum of the Workshops"
(Scots Observer, 13 September 1890).

Double-thonged refers to a whip with two thongs.

"Sartor Resartus" by Thomas Carlyle (1831), subtitled "The Life and
Opinions of Herr Teufelsdrockh".

Aquafortis or 'strong water', the alchemical term applied to the
strongly corrosive nitric acid.

62_KIPLING JOURNAL_December 2009


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amount for their subscription by checking the information on the back
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Members are reminded of the due date of their subscription on their
address label when they receive The Journal. The date given as such
08/09 refers to August / 2009.

If you are in doubt please contact me by the methods also given on the
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December 2009_KIPLING JOURNAL_63

EDITORIAL continued from page 6.

And again in chapter 14:

"Father! Father!" exclaimed a piercing cry from out the mist. "It is
I! Alice! Thy own Elsie! Spare, oh! save your daughters!"

I put the information to John Walker, our Hon Librarian, for an inde-
pendent view and he contacted Mr George F. Sanborn Jr., a Fellow of
the American Society of Genealogists. Mr Sanborn wrote that

in my 50+ years of doing professional genealogical research, writ-
ing, editing, and publishing, I have seen many, many examples of
this, as well as numerous other names often considered to be names
in their own right but which started out as nicknames for older,
more established forenames. My own great-great-great-grand-
mother was Alice Quinn, always known as Elsie. She was born in
Prince Edward Island in 1810, and died in New Brunswick in 1894.



From: Dr John Wyatt , 9 West Close, Middleton-on-Sea, Bognor Regis, West Sussex
P022 7RP

Dear Sir,

Can any reader please help me to find the earliest publication of a map
which accompanies the novel Kim?

I am researching map makers, and in particular the important
printer, engraver and friend of William Morris, Sir Emery Walker. My
edition of Kim is 1946, Macmillan produced a number of editions, but
I cannot trace when this map, inscribed "Emery Walker Ltd" was pub-
lished. There was a map in a Canadian school edition in the 1930s, and
the Penguin Classics edition has a different map, not Emery Walker's.
Mine has the title , "A Sketch Map of North West India" and interest-
ingly it does not include the railways, although Kim is a rail traveller!
Walker produced maps for Kipling's History of the Irish Guards in the
Great War.

If anyone can help, I can be contacted at the above address or by
email to

Yours faithfully

64_KIPLING JOURNAL_December 2009


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