A Book of Words Soldiers Three, The Story of the
Actions and Reactions Gadsbys, and In Black and White
A Kipling Pageant Songs for Youth
Captains Courageous Songs from Books
Collected Dog Stories Stalky & Co.
Collected Verse Supplication of the Black
Debits and Credits Aberdeen
Departmental Ditties and Ballads The Complete Stalky & Co.
and Barrack-Room Ballads The Day's Work
Diversity of Creatures The Eyes of Asia
France at War The Five Nations
From Sea to Sea The Humorous Tales of Rudyard
His Apologies Kipling
I The Irish Guards in the Great
Independence The Jungle Book
Just So Song Book The Jungle Book, Special
Just So Stories Illustrated Edition
Kim The Kipling Birthday Book
Land and Sea Tales The Light That Failed
Letters of Travel The Naulahka (With Wolcott
Life's Handicap: Being Stories of Balestier)
Mine Own People The Second Jungle Book
Limits and Renewals S
The Seven Seas
Plain Tales from the Hills The Two Jungle Books
Puck of Pook's Hill The Years Between
Rewards and Fairies "Thy Servant A Dog"
Rudyard Kipling's Inclusive Traffics and Discoveries
Verse, x885-1932 Under the Deodars, the Phantom
Soldier Stories 'Rickshaw, and Wee Willie Winkie
,..;..' . : .
.,- .,'. .- o.. .. .*':. .
"' : .'. .. ... : : ". '.'.'.
Doubleday, Doran y Company, Inc.
COPYRIGHT, 1900, I901
BY RUDYARD KIPLING
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
*, i t" t S t o
Printed in the United States of America
'Oh ye who tread the Narro'w Way
By Tophet-flare to Judgment' Day,
Be gentle when the heathen pray
To Buddha at Kamakura! '
HE sat, in defiance of municipal orders, astride the
gun Zam-Zammah on her brick platform oppo-
site the old Ajaib-Gher-the Wonder House, as
the natives call the Lahore Museum. Who hold Zam-
Zammah, that 'fire-breathing dragon,' hold the Punjab,
for the great green-bronze piece is always first of the
There was some justification for Kim,-he had kicked
Lala Dinanath's boy off the trunnions,-since the Eng-
lish held the Punjab and Kim was English. Though he
was burned black as any native; though he spoke the
vernacular by preference, and his mother-tongue in a
clipped uncertain sing-song; though he consorted on
terms of perfect equality with the small boys of the
bazar; Kim was white-a poor white of the very poorest.
The half-caste woman who looked after him (she smoked
opium, and pretended to keep a second-hand furniture
shop by the square where the cheap cabs wait) told the
missionaries that she was Kim's mother's sister; but his
mother had been nursemaid in a colonel's family and
had married Kimball O'Hara, a young colour-sergeant
Af the Mavericks, an Irish regiment. He afterwards
took a post on the Sind, Punjab, and Delhi railway, and
his regiment we'pt home without him. The wife died of
cholera in Ferozcpore, and O'Hara fell to drink and loaf-
ing up and dowiq the line with the keen-eyed three-year-
old baby. Soci ties and chaplains, anxious for the child,
tried to catch him, but O'Hara drifted away, till he
came across the, woman who took opium and learned
the taste from her, and died as poor whites die in India.
His estate at death consisted of three papers-one he
called his 'ne varietur' because those words were writ-
ten below his s',gnature thereon, and another his 'clear-
ance-certificate.' The third was Kim's birth-certificate.
Those things, ,e was used to say, in his glorious opium-
hours, would yet make little Kimball a man. On no
account was Kim to part with them, for they belonged
to a great piece of magic-such magic as men practised
over yonder behind the Museum, in the big blue and
white Jadoo-Gher-the Magic House, as we name the
Masonic Lodge. It would, he said, all come right some
day, and Kim's horn would be exalted between pillars-
monstrous pillars-of beauty and strength. The Colo-
nel himself, riding on a horse, at the head of the finest
regiment in the world, would attend to Kim,-little
Kim that should have been better off than his father.
Nine hundred first-class devils, whose god was a Red
Bull on a green field, would attend to Kim, if they had
not forgotten O'Hara-poor O'Hara that was gang-
foreman on the Ferozepore line. Then he would weep
bitterly in the broken rush chair on the veranda. So it
came about after his death that the woman sewed
parchment, paper, and birth-certificate into a leather
amulet-case which she strung round Kim's neck.
'And some day,' she said, confusedly remembering
O'Hara's prophecies, 'there will come for you a great
Red Bull on a green field, and the Colonel riding on his
tall horse, yes, and'-dropping into English--'nine
'Ah,' said Kim, 'I shall remember. A Red Bull and
a Colonel on a horse will come, but first, my father said,
will come the two men making ready the ground for
these matters. That is how, my father said, they
always did; and it is always so when men work magic.'
If the woman had sent Kim up to the local Jadoo-
Gher with those papers, he would, of course, have been
taken over by the Provincial Lodge and sent to the
Masonic Orphanage in the Hills; but what she had
heard of magic she distrusted. Kim, too, held views of
his own. As he reached the years of indiscretion, he
learned to avoid missionaries and white men of serious
aspect who asked who he was, and what he did. For
Kim did nothing with an immense success. True, he
knew the wonderful walled city of Lahore from the
Delhi Gate to the outer Fort Ditch; was hand in glove
with men who led lives stranger than anything Haroun
al Raschid dreamed of; and he lived in a life wild as that
of the Arabian Nights, but missionaries and secretaries
of charitable societies could not see the beauty of it.
His nickname through the wards was 'Little Friend of
all the World'; and very often, being lithe and incon-
spicuous, he executed commissions by night on the
crowded housetops for sleek and shiny young men of
fashion. It was intrigue, of course,-he knew that
much, as he had known all evil since he could speak,-
but what he loved was the game for its own sake-the
stealthy prowl through the dark gullies and lanes, the
crawl up a water-pipe, the sights and sounds of the
women's world on the flat roofs, and the headlong flight
from housetop to housetop under cover of the hot dark.
Then there were holy men, ash-smeared faquirs by their
brick shrines under the trees at the riverside, with whom
he was quite familiar-greeting them as they returned
from begging-tours, and, when no one was by, eating
from the same dish. The woman who looked after him
insisted with tears that he should wear European clothes
-trousers, a shirt, and a battered hat. Kim found it
easier to slip into Hindu or Mohammedan garb when
engaged on certain businesses. One of the young men
of fashion-he who was found dead at the bottom of a
well on the night of the earthquake-had once given
him a complete suit of Hindu kit, the costume of a low,
caste street boy, and Kim stored it in a secret place
under some baulks in Nila Ram's timber-yard, beyond
the Punjab High Court, where the fragrant deodar logs
lie seasoning after they have driven down the Ravee.
When there was business or frolic afoot, Kim would use
his properties, returning at dawn to the veranda, all
tired out from shouting at the heels of a marriage pro-
cession, or yelling at a Hindu festival. Sometimes
there was food in the house, more often there was not,
and then Kim went out again to eat with his native
As he drummed his heels against Zam-Zammah he
turned now and again from his king-of-the-castle game
with little Chota Lal, and Abdullah the sweetmeat-
seller's son, to make a rude remark to the native police-
man on guard over rows of shoes at the Museum door.
The big Punj abi grinned tolerantly: he knew Kim of old.
So did the water-carrier, sluicing water on the dry road
from his goat-skin bag. So did Jawahir Singh, the
Museum carpenter, bent over new packing-cases. So
did everybody in sight except the peasants from the
country, hurrying up to the Wonder House to view the
things that men made in their own Province and else-
where. The Museum was given up to Indian arts and
manufactures, and anybody who sought wisdom could
ask the curator to explain.
'Off! Off! Let me up !' cried Abdullah, climbing up
'Thy father was a pastry-cook, Thy mother stole the
ghi,' sang Kim. 'All Mussalmans fell off Zam-Zammah
'Let me up!' shrilled little Chota Lal in his gilt-em-
broidered cap. His father was worth perhaps half a
million sterling, but India is the only democratic land
in the world.
'The Hindus fell off Zam-Zammah too. The Mussal-
mans pushed them off. Thy father was a pastry-
He stopped; for there shuffled round the corner, from
the roaring Motee Bazar, such a man as Kim, who
thought he knew all castes, had never seen. He was
nearly six feet high, dressed in fold upon fold of dingy
stuff like horse-blanketing, and not one fold of it could
Kim refer to any known trade or profession. At his
belt hung a long open-work iron pencase and a wooden
rosary such as holy men wear. On his head was a gi-
gantic sort of tam-o'-shanter. His face was yellow and
wrinkled, like that of Fook Shing, the Chinese boot-
maker in the bazar. His eyes turned up at the corners
and looked like little slits of onyx.
'Who is that?' said Kim to his companions.
'Perhaps it is a man,' said Abdullah, finger in mouth
'Without doubt,' returned Kim; 'but he is no man o
India that I have ever seen.'
'A priest, perhaps,' said Chota Lal, spying the rosary
'See! He goes into the Wonder House I'
'Nay, nay,' said the policeman, shaking his head.
do not understand your talk.' The constable spok,
Punjabi. 'Oh, Friend of all the World, what does h,
'Send him hither,' said Kim, dropping from Zam
Zammah, flourishing his bare heels. 'He is a foreigner
and thou art a buffalo.'
The man turned helplessly and drifted towards thi
boys. He was old, and his woollen gaberdine still
reeked of the stinking artemisia of the mountain passes
'0 Children, what is that big house?' he said in ver
'The Ajaib-Gher, the Wonder House!' Kim gave hin
no title-such as Lala or Mian. He could not divine
the man's creed.
'Ah! The Wonder House! Can any enter?'
'It is written above the door-all can enter.'
'I go in and out. I am no banker,' laughed Kim.
'Alas! I am an old man. I did not know.' Then
fingering his rosary, he half turned to the Museum.
'What is your caste? Where is your house? Havw
you come far?' Kim asked.
'I came by Kulu-from beyond the Kailas-but wha'
know you? From the hills where'-he sighed-' the ai
and water are fresh and cool.'
'Ahal Khitai' (a Chinaman), said Abdullah proudly
Fook Shing had once chased him out of his shop for spit-
ting at the joss above the boots.
'Pahari?' (a hillman), said little Chota Lal.
'Aye, child-a hillman from hills thou'lt never see.
Didst hear of Bhotiyal (Tibet)? I am no Khitai, but a
Bhotiya (Tibetan), since you must know-a lama--or,
say a guru in your tongue.'
'A guru from Tibet,' said Kim. 'I have not seen
such a man. They be Hindus in Tibet, then?'
'We be followers of the Middle Way, living in peace
in our lamasseries, and I go to see the Four Holy Places
before I die. Now do you, who are children, know as
much as I do who am old.' He smiled benignantly on
'Hast thou eaten?'
He fumbled in his bosom and drew forth a worn
wooden begging-bowl. The boys nodded. All priests
of their acquaintance begged.
'I do not wish to eat yet.' He turned his head like
an old tortoise in the sunlight. 'Is it true that there
are many images in the Wonder House of Lahore?'
He repeated the last words as one making sure of an
'That is true,' said Abdullah. 'It is full of heathen
buts. Thou also art an idolater.'
'Never mind him,' said Kim. 'That is the Govern-
ment's house and there is no idolatry in it, but only a Sahib
with a white beard. Come with me and I will show.'
'Strange priests eat boys,' whispered Chota Lal.
'And he is a stranger and a but-parast' (idolater), said
Abdullah, the Mohammedan.
Kim laughed. 'He is new. Run to your mothers'
laps, and be safe. Come!'
Kim clicked round the self-registering turnstile; the
old man followed and halted amazed. In the entrance-
hall stood the larger figures of the Greco-Buddhist sculp-
tures done, savants know how long since, by forgotten
workmen whose hands were feeling, and not unskilfully,
for the mysteriously transmitted Grecian touch. There
were hundreds of pieces, friezes of figures in relief, frag-
ments of statues and slabs crowded with figures that had
encrusted the brick walls of the Buddhist stupas and
viharas of the North Country and now, dug up and
labelled, made the pride of the Museum. In open-
mouthed wonder the lama turned to this and that, and
finally checked in rapt attention before a large alto-
relief representing a coronation or apotheosis of the
Lord Buddha. The Master was represented seated on
a lotus the petals of which were so deeply undercut as
to show almost detached. Round Him was an ador-
ing hierarchy of kings, elders, and old-time Buddhas.
Below were lotus-covered waters with fishes and water-
birds. Two butterfly-winged dewas held a wreath over
His head; above them another pair supported an umbrella
surmounted by the jewelled headdress of the Bodhisat.
'The Lord! The Lord! It is Sakya Muni himself,'
the lama half sobbed; and under his breath began the
wonderful Buddhist invocation:-
'To Him the Way-the Law-Apart-
Whom Maya held beneath her heart
Ananda's Lord-the Bodhisat.'
'And He is here! The Most Excellent Law is here also!
My pilgrimage is well begun. And what work! What
'Yonder is the Sahib,' said Kim, and dodged sideways
among the cases of the arts and manufacture wing. A
white-bearded Englishman was looking at the lama,
who gravely turned and saluted him and after some
fumbling drew forth a note-book and a scrap of paper.
'Yes, that is my name,' smiling at the clumsy, childish
'One of us who had made pilgrimage to the Holy
Places-he is now Abbot of the Lung-Cho Monastery-
gave it me,.' stammered the lama. 'He spoke of these.'
His lean hand moved tremulously round.
'Welcome, then, 0 lama from Tibet. Here be the
images, and I am here'-he glanced at the lama's face-
'to gather knowledge. Come to my office awhile.'
The old man was trembling with excitement.
The office was but a little wooden cubicle partitioned off
from the sculpture-lined gallery. Kim laid himself down,
his ear against a crack in the heat-split cedar door, and,
following his instinct, stretched out to listen and watch.
Most of the talk was altogether above his head. The
lama, haltingly at first, spoke to the curator of his own
lamassery, the Suchzen, opposite the Painted Rocks,
four months' march away. The curator brought out a
huge book of photos and showed him that very place,
perched on its crag, overlooking the gigantic valley of
'Ay, ay!' The lama mounted a pair of horn-rimmed
spectacles of Chinese work. 'Here is the little door
through which we bring wood before winter. And thou
-the English know of these things? He who is now
Abbot of Lung-Cho told me, but I did not believe.
The Lord-the Excellent One-He has honour here too?
And His life is known?'
'It is all carven upon the stones. Come and see, if
thou art rested.'
Out shuffled the lama to the main hall, and, the cura-
tor beside him, went through the collection with the
reverence of a devotee and the appreciative instinct of a
Incident by incident in the beautiful story he identi-
fied on the blurred stone, puzzled here and there by the
unfamiliar Greek convention, but delighted as a child at
each new trove. Where the sequence failed, as in the
Annunciation, the curator supplied it from his mound of
books-French and German, with photographs and re-
Here was the devout Asita, the pendant of Simeon in
the Christian story, holding the Holy Child on his knee
while mother and father listened; and here were inci-
dents in the legend of the cousin Devadatta. Here was
the wicked woman who accused the Master of impurity,
all confounded; here was the teaching in the Deer-park;
the miracle that stunned the fire-worshippers; here was
the Bodhisat in royal state as a prince; the miraculous
birth; the death at Kusinagara, where the weak disciple
Fainted; while there were almost countless repetitions of
the meditation under the Bodhi tree; and the adoration
Af the alms-bowl was everywhere. In a few minutes
the curator saw that his guest was no mere bead-telling
mendicant, but a scholar of parts. And they went at
it all over again, the lama taking snuff, wiping his spec-
tacles, and talking at railway speed in a bewildering
mixture of Urdu and Tibetan. He had heard of the
travels of the Chinese pilgrims, Fo-Hian and Hwen-
Thiang, and was anxious to know if there was any trans-
lation of their record. He drew in his breath as he
turned helplessly over the pages of Beal and Stanisla.s
Julien. ''Tis all here. A treasure locked.' Then hE
composed himself reverently to listen to fragments,
hastily rendered into Urdu. For the first time he heard
of the labours of European scholars, who by the help ol
these and a hundred other documents have identified
the Holy Places of Buddhism. Then he was shown o
mighty map, spotted and traced with yellow. The
brown finger followed the curator's pencil from point tc
point. Here was Kapilavastu, here the Middle King-
dom, and here Mahabodi, the Mecca of Buddhism; and
here was Kusinagara, sad place of the Holy One's death,
The old man bowed his head over the sheets in silence
for a while, and the curator lit another pipe. Kim had
fallen asleep. When he waked, the talk, still in spate,
was more within his comprehension.
'And thus it was, 0 Fountain of Wisdom, that I
decided to go to the Holy Places which His foot had trod
-to the Birth-place, even to Kapila; then to Maha
Bodhi, which is Buddh Gaya-to the Monastery-tc
the Deer-park-to the place of His death.'
The lama lowered his voice. 'And I come here alone,
For five-seven-eighteen-forty years it was in my
mind that the Old Law was not well followed; beinE
overlaid, as thou knowest, with devildom, charms, and
idolatry. Even as the child outside said but now. Ay,
even as the child said, with but-parasti.'
'So it comes with all faiths.'
'Thinkest thou? The books of my lamassery I read,
and they were dried pith; and the later ritual with whicl
we of the Reformed Law have cumbered ourselves-that,
too, had no worth to these old eyes. Even the followers
nf thp Fi.YP.llpnt Onp arp at zfpild nn fP11rl urifh rno on.
other. It is all illusion. Ay, maya, illusion. But I
have another desire'-the seamed yellow face drew
within three inches of the curator, and the long forefin-
ger nail tapped on the table. 'Your scholars, by these
books, have followed the Blessed Feet in all their wan-
derings; but there are things which they have not sought
out. I know nothing,-nothing do I know,-but I go
to free myself from the Wheel of Things by a broad and
open road.' He smiled with most simple triumph.
'As a pilgrim to the Holy Places I acquire merit. But
there is more. Listen to a true thing. When our gra-
cious Lord, being as yet a youth, sought a mate, men
said, in His father's court, that He was too tender for
marriage. Thou knowest?'
The curator nodded, wondering what would come
'So they made the triple trial of strength against all
comers. And at the test of the Bow, our Lord first
breaking that which they gave Him, called for such a
bow as none might bend. Thou knowest?'
'It is written. I have read.'
'And, overshooting all other marks, the arrow passed
far and far beyond sight. At the last it fell; and, where
it touched earth, there broke out a stream which pres-
ently became a River, whose nature, by our Lord's
beneficence, and that merit He acquired ere He freed
himself, is that whoso bathes in it washes away all taint
and speckle of sin."
'So it is written,' said the curator sadly.
The lama drew a long breath. 'Where is that River?
Fountain of Wisdom, where fell the arrow?'
'Alas, my brother, I do not know,' said the curator.
'Nay, if it please thee to forget-the one thing only
that thou hast not told me. Surely thou must know?
See, I am an old man! I ask with my head between thy
feet, 0 Fountain of Wisdom. We know He drew the
bow! We know the arrow fell! We know the stream
gushed Where, then, is the River? My dream told
me to find it. So I came. I am here. But where is
'If I knew, think you I would not cry it aloud?'
'By it one attains freedom from the Wheel of Things,'
the lama went on, unheeding. 'The River of the Ar-
row Think again! Some little stream, may be-dried
in the heats? But the Holy One would never so cheat
an old man.'
'I do not know. I do not know.'
The lama brought his thousand-wrinkled face once
more a handsbreadth from the Englishman's. 'I see
thou dost not know. Not being of the Law, the matter
is hid from thee.'
'We are both bound, thou and I, my brother. But
I'-he rose with a sweep of the soft thick drapery-' I go
to cut myself free. Come also!'
'I am bound,' said the curator. 'But whither goest
'First to Kashi (Benares): where else? There I shall
meet one of the pure faith in a Jain temple of that city.
He also is a Seeker in secret, and from him haply I may
learn. May be he will go with me to Buddh Gaya.
Thence north and west to Kapilavastu, and there will I
seek for the River. Nay, I will seek everywhere as I go
-for the place is not known where the arrow fell.'
'And how wilt thou go? It is a far cry to Delhi, and
farther to Benares.'
T - 1
*And thou art sure of thy road?' said the curator.
'Oh, for that one but asks a question and pays moi
and the appointed persons despatch all to the appoir
place. That much I knew in my lamassery from ,
report,' said the lama proudly.
'And when dost thou go?' The curator smiled at
mixture of old-world piety and modern progress tha
the note of India to-day.
'As soon as may be. I follow the places of His life
I come to the River of the Arrow. There is, more'
a written paper of the hours of the trains that go sou
'And for food?' Lamas, as a rule, have good stor
money somewhere about them, but the curator wis'
to make sure.
'For the journey, I take up the Master's begging-bc
Yes. Even as He went so go I, forsaking the ease of
monastery. There was with me when I left the hil:
chela (disciple) who begged for me as the Rule demar
but halting in Kulu awhile a fever took him and
died. I have now no chela, but I will take the alms-b,
and thus enable the charitable to acquire merit.'
nodded his head valiantly.
Learned doctors of a lamassery do not beg, but
lama was an enthusiast in this quest.
'Be it so,' said the curator, smiling. 'Suffer me r
to acquire merit. We be craftsmen together, thou ,
Here is a new book of white English paper: here be
.arpened pencils two and three-thick and thin, all
iod for a scribe. Now lend me thy spectacles.'
The curator looked through them. They were heavily
watched, but the power was almost exactly that of his
vn pair, which he slid into the lama's hand, saying:
'A feather! A very feather upon the face' The old
an turned his head delightedly and wrinkled up his
se. 'How scarcely do I feel them! How clearly do
'They be bilaur-crystal and will never scratch.
:ay they help thee to thy River, for they are thine.'
'I will take them and the pencils and the white note-
>ok,' said the lama, 'as a sign of friendship between
iest and priest-and now'-he fumbled at his belt,
tached the open iron-work pencase, and laid it on the
.rator's table. 'That is for a memory between thee
Id me-my pencase. It is something old-even as I
It was a piece of ancient design, Chinese, of an iron
at is not smelted these days; and the collector's heart
the curator's bosom had gone out to it from the first.
)r no persuasion would the lama resume his gift.
'When I return, having found the River, I will bring
ee a written picture of the Padma Samthora-such as
used to make on silk at the lamassery. Yes-and of
e Wheel of Life,' he chuckled, 'for we be craftsmen
gether, thou and I.'
The curator would have detained him: they are few in
e world who still have the secret of the conventional
ush-pen Buddhist pictures which are, as it were, half
written and half drawn. But the lama strode out, head
Ur UFUlIK. VVllaL I~ Lime custom 01 cnarity in tnm
In silence, as we do of Tibet. or sneaking a1nud9?'
quoting a native proverb. The lama tried to rise, bul
sank back again, sighing for his disciple, dead in far.
away Kulu. Kim watched-head to one side, consider.
ing and interested.
'Give me the bowl. I know the people of this city-
all who are charitable. Give, and I will bring it bacd
Simply as a child the old man handed him the bowl.
'Rest thou. I know the people.'
He trotted off to the open shop of a kunjri, a low-caste
vegetable-seller, which lay opposite the belt-tramway
line down the Motee Bazar. She knew Kim of old.
'Oho, hast thou turned yogi with thy begging-bowl?'
'Nay,' said Kim proudly. 'There is a new priest in
the city-a man such as I have never seen.'
'Old priest-young tiger,' said the woman angrily,
'I am tired of new priests! They settle on our wares
like flies. Is the father of my son a well of charity tc
give to all who ask?'
'No,' said Kim. 'Thy man is rather yagi (bad.
tempered) than yogi (a holy man). But this priest is
new. The Sahib in the Wonder House has talked tc
him like a brother. 0 my mother, fill me this bowl,
'That bowl indeed That cow-bellied basket! Thou
hast as much grace as the holy bull of Shiv. He has
taken the best of a basket of onions already, this morn;
and forsooth, I must fill thy boy He comes here
The huge, mouse-coloured Brahminee bull of the
ward was shouldering his way through the many-
coloured crowd, a stolen plantain hanging out of his
nouth. He headed straight for the shop, well knowing
kis privileges as a sacred beast, lowered his head, and
)uffed heavily along the line of baskets ere making his
choice Up flew Kim's hard little heel and caught him on
lis moist blue nose. He snorted indignantly, and walked
Iway across the tram rails, his hump quivering with rage.
'See! I have saved more than the bowl will cost
.hrice over. Now, mother, a little rice and some dried
ish atop-yes, and some vegetable curry.'
A growl came out of the back of the shop, where a man
'He drove away the bull,' said the woman in an under-
,one. 'It is good to give to the poor.' She took the
)owl and returned it full of hot rice.
'But my yogi is not a cow,' said Kim gravely, making
i hole with his fingers in the top of the mound. 'A
little curry is good, and a fried cake, and a morsel of
:onserve would please him, I think.'
'It is a hole as big as thy head,' said the woman fret-
ully. But she filled it, none the less, with good, steam-
ng vegetable curry, clapped a dried cake atop, and a
norsel of clarified butter on the cake, dabbed a lump of
sour tamarind conserve at the side; and Kim looked at
,he load lovingly.
'That is good. When I am in the bazar the bull shall
lot come to this house. He is a bold beggarman.'
'And thou?' laughed the woman. 'But speak well of
>ulls. Hast thou not told me that some day a Red Bull
vill come out of a field to help thee? Now hold all
straight and ask for the holy man's blessing upon me.
Perhaps, too, he knows a cure for my daughter's sore
,yes. Ask him that also, 0 thou Little Friend of all the
But Kim had danced off ere the end of the sentence,
dodging pariah dogs and hungry acquaintances.
'Thus do we beg who know the way of it,' said he
proudly to the lama, who opened his eyes at the con-
tents of the bowl. 'Eat now and-I will eat with thee.
Ohe bhistie!' he called to the water-carrier, sluicing the
crotons by the Museum. 'Give water here. We men
'We men!' said the bhistie, laughing. 'Is one skinful
enough for such a pair? Drink then, in the name of the
He loosed a thin stream into Kim's hands, who drank
native fashion; but the lama must needs pull out a cup
from his inexhaustible upper draperies and drink cere-
'Pardesi' (a foreigner), Kim explained, as the old man
delivered in an unknown tongue what was evidently a
They ate together in great content, clearing the
beggar's bowl. Then the lama took snuff from a por-
tentous wooden snuff-gourd, fingered his rosary awhile,
and so dropped into the easy sleep of age, as the shadow
of Zam-Zammah grew long.
Kim loafed over to the nearest tobacco-seller, a rather
lively young Mohammedan woman, and begged a rank
cigar of the brand that they sell to students of the Pun-
jab University who copy English customs. Then he
smoked and thought, knees to chin, under the belly of
the gun, and the outcome of his thoughts was a sudden
and stealthy departure in the direction of Nila Ram's
The lama did not wake till the evening life of the city
had begun with lamp-lighting and the return of white-
robed clerks and subordinates from the Government
offices. He stared dizzily in all directions, but none
looked at him save a Hindu urchin in a dirty turban and
Isabella-coloured clothes. Suddenly he bowed his head
on his knees and wailed.
'What is this?' said the boy, standing before him.
'Hast thou been robbed?'
'It is my new chela (my disciple) that is gone away
from me, and I know not where he is.'
'And what like of man was thy disciple?'
'It was a boy who came to me in place of him who
died, on account of the merit which I had gained when
I bowed before the Law within there.' He pointed
towards the Museum. 'He came upon me to show me
a road which I had lost. He led me into the Wonder
House, and by his talk emboldened to speak to the
Keeper of the Images, so that I was cheered and made
strong. And when I was faint with hunger he begged
for me, as would a chela for his teacher. Suddenly was
he sent. Suddenly has he gone away. It was in my mind
to have taught him the Law upon the road to Benares.'
Kim stood amazed at this, because he had overheard
the talk in the Museum, and knew that the old man was
speaking the truth, which is a thing a native on the road
seldom presents to a stranger.
'But I see now that he was but sent for a purpose.
By this I know that I shall find a certain River for which
'The River of the Arrow?' said Kim, with a superior
'Is this yet another Sending?' cried the lama. 'To
none have I spoken of my search, save to the Priest of
the Images. Who art thou?'
'Thy chela,' said Kim simply, sitting on his heels. 'I
have never seen any one like to thee in all this my life,
I go with thee to Benares. And, too, I think that sc
old a man as thou, speaking the truth to chance-met
people at dusk, is in great need of a disciple.'
' But the River-the River of the Arrow?'
'Oh, that I heard when thou wast speaking to the
Englishman. I lay against the door.'
The lama sighed. 'I thought thou hadst been a guide
permitted. Such things fall sometimes-but I am not
worthy. Thou dost not, then, know of the River?'
'Not I.' Kim laughed uneasily. 'I go to look for-
for a bull-a Red Bull on a green field who shall help
me.' Boylike, if an acquaintance had a scheme, Kimn
was quite ready with one of his own; and, boylike, he
had really thought for as much as twenty minutes at a
time of his father's prophecy.
'To what, child?' said the lama.
'God knows, but so my father told me. I heard thy
talk in the Wonder House of all those new strange places
in the Hills, and if one so old and so little-so used to
truth-telling-may go out for the small matter of a river,
it seemed to me that I too must go a-travelling. If it is
our fate to find those things we shall find them-thou,
thy River; and I, my Bull, and the strong Pillars and
some other matters that I forget.'
'It is not pillars but a Wheel from which I would be
free,' said the lama.
'That is all one. Perhaps they will make me a king,'
said Kim, serenely prepared for anything.
'I will teach thee other and better desires upon the
road,' the lama replied in the voice of authority. 'Let
us go to Benares.'
'Not by night. Thieves are abroad. Wait till the day.'
'But there is no place to sleep.' The old man was
used to the order of his monastery, and though he slept
on the ground, as the Rule decrees, preferred a decency
in these things.
'We shall get good lodging at the Kashmir Serai,'
said Kim, laughing at his perplexity. 'I have a friend
The hot and crowded bazars blazed with light as they
made their way through the press of all the races in
Upper India, and the lama mooned through it like a
man in a dream. It was his first experience of a large
manufacturing city, and the crowded tram-car with its
continually squealing brakes frightened him. Half
pushed, half towed, he arrived at the high gate of the
Kashmir Serai: that huge open square over against the
railway station, surrounded with arched cloisters where
the camel and horse caravans put up on their return
from Central Asia. Here were all manner of Northern
folk, tending tethered ponies and kneeling camels; load-
ing and unloading bales and bundles; drawing water for
the evening meal at the creaking well-windlasses; piling
grass before the shrieking, wild-eyed stallions; cuffing
the surly caravan dogs; paying off camel-drivers; taking
on new grooms; swearing, shouting, arguing, and chaf-
fering in the packed square. The cloisters, reached by
three or four masonry steps, made a haven of refuge
around this turbulent sea. Most of them were rented
to traders, as we rent the arches of a viaduct; the space
between pillar and pillar being bricked or boarded off
into rooms, which were guarded by heavy wooden doors
and cumbrous native padlocks. Locked doors showed
that the owner was away, and a few rude-sometimes
very rude-chalk or paint scratches told where he ha
gone. Thus: 'Lutuf Ullah is gone to Kurdistan
Below, in coarse verse: '0 Allah, who sufferest lice t
live on the coat of a Kabuli, why hast thou allowed th
louse Lutuf to live so long?'
Kim, fending the lama between excited men and e3
cited beasts, sidled along the cloisters to the far enr
nearest the railway station, where Mahbub Ali, tl
horsetrader, lived when he came in from that mystery
ous land beyond the Passes of the North.
Kim had had many dealings with Mahbub in his litt]
life,-especally between his tenth and his thirteen
year,-and the big burly Afghan, his beard dyed scarl<
with limt (for he was elderly and did not wish his gra
hairs to'show), knew the boy's value as a gossip. Somi
times he would tell Kim to watch a man who had notl
ing whatever to do with horses: to follow him for or
whoAe day and report every soul with whom he talked
Kim would deliver himself of his tale at evening, an
Mahbub would listen without a word or gesture. ]
was intrigue of some kind, Kim knew; but its worth la
in saying nothing whatever to any one except Mahbul
who gave him beautiful meals all hot from the cooksho
at the head of the serai, and once as much as eight annm
'He is here,' said Kim, hitting a bad-tempered cam,
on the nose. 'Ohe, Mahbub Ali!' He halted at a dar
arch and slipped behind the bewildered lama.
The horse-trader, his deep, embroidered Bokhari(
belt unloosed, was lying on a pair of silk carpet saddle
bags, pulling lazily at an immense silver hookah. F
turned his head very slightly-at.the.cry; andseeing on]
the tall silent .fiAgoptlhluckldeei iis.dleap chest.
'Allah! A lama! A Red Lama! It is far from
-ahore to the Passes. What dost thou do here?'
The lama held out the begging-bowl mechanically.
'God's curse on all unbelievers!' said Mahbub. 'I
o not give to a lousy Tibetan; but ask my Baltis over
wonder behind the camels. They may value your bless-
igs. Oh, horse-boys, here is a countryman of yours.
ee if he be hungry.'
A shaven, crouching Balti, who had come down with
ie horses, and who was nominally some sort of degraded
*uddhist, fawned upon the priest, and in thick gutturals
sought the Holy One to sit at the horse-boys' fire.
'Go!' said Kim, pushing him lightly, and. the lama
,rode away, leaving Kim at the edge of the cloister.
'Go!' said Mahbub Ali, returning to his :ookah.
little Hindu, run away. God's curse on all unbe-
evers! Beg from those of my tail who are of thy iith.'
'Maharaj,' whined Kim, using the Hindu form o" ad-
ress, and thoroughly enjoying the situation; 'my father
dead-my mother is dead-my stomach is empty.'
'Beg from my men among the horses, I say. There
iust be some Hindus in my tail.'
'Oh, Mahbub Ali, but am I a Hindu?' said Kim in
The trader gave no sign of astonishment, but looked
under shaggy eyebrows.
'Little Friend of all the World,' said he, 'what is this?'
'Nothing. I am now that holy man's discipi>, wlcd
e go a pilgrimage together-to Benares, he says. He
quite mad, and I am tired of Lahore city. I wish new
r and water.'
'But for whom dast -thpt worlk?. Why come to me?'
he voice was barsb Witi tsispicion.:'" -..
'To whom else should I come? I have no money. II
is not good to go about without money. Thou wilt sell
many horses to the officers. They are very fine horses,
these new ones: I have seen them. Give me a rupee,
Mahbub Ali, and when I come to my wealth I will give
thee a bond and pay.'
'Um,' said Mahbub Ali, thinking swiftly. 'Thou
hast never before lied to me. Call that lama-stand
back in the dark.'
'Oh, our tales will agree,' said Kim laughing.
'We go to Benares,' said the lama, as soon as heunder.
stood the drift of Mahbub Ali's questions. 'The bo)
and I. I go to seek for a certain River.'
'Maybe-but the boy?'
'He is my disciple. He was sent, I think, to guide
me to that River. Sitting under a gun was I when h(
came suddenly. Such things have befallen the fortu-
nate to whom guidance was allowed. But I remember
now, he said he was of this world-a Hindu.'
'And his name?'
'That I did not ask. Is he not my disciple?'
'His country-his race-his village? Mussalman-
Sikh-Hindu-Jain-low caste or high?'
'Why should I ask? There is neither high nor low ir
the Middle Way. If he is my chela-does-will--car
any one take him from me? for, look you, without him I
shall not find my River.' He wagged his head solemnly
'None shall take him from thee. Go, sit among m)
Baltis,' said Mahbub Ali, and the lama drifted off,
soothed by the promise.
'Is he not quite mad?' said Kim, coming forward t(
the light again. 'Why should I lie to thee, Hajji?'
Mnhbub muffed his hookah in silence. Then he be.
gan, almost whispering: 'Umballa is on the road to
Benares-if indeed ye two go there.'
'Tck! Tck! I tell thee he does not know how to lie
-as we two know.' Q
'And if thou wilt carry a message for me as far as
Umballa, I will give thee money. It concerns a horse-
a white stallion which I have sold to an officer upon the
last time I returned from the Passes. But then-stand
nearer and hold up hands as begging-the pedigree of
the white stallion was not fully established, and that
officer, who is now at Umballa, bade me make it clear.'
(Mahbub here described the horse and the appearance
of the officer.) 'So the message to that officer will be:
"The pedigree of the white stallion is fully established."
By this will he know that thou comest from me. He
will then say "What proof hast thou?" and thou wilt
answer: "Mahbub Ali has given me the proof."'
'And all for the sake of a white stallion,' said Kim,
with a giggle, his eyes aflame.
'That pedigree I will give thee now-in my own
fashion-and some hard words as well.' A shadow
passed behind Kim, and a feeding camel. Mahbub Ali
raised his voice.
'Allah! Art thou the only beggar in the city? Thy
mother is dead. Thy father is dead. So is it with all
of them. Well, well-' he turned as feeling on the floor
beside him and tossed a flap of soft, greasy Mussalman
bread to the boy. 'Go and lie down among my horse-
boys for to-night-thou and the lama. To-morrow I
may give thee service.'
Kim slunk away, his teeth in the bread, and, as he
expected, he found a small wad of folded tissue-paper
wrapped in oil-skin, with three silver rupees-enormous
largesse. He smiled and thrust money and paper intc
his leather amulet-case. The lama, sumptuously fed
by Mahbub's Baltis, was already asleep in a corner of
one of the stalls. Kim lay down beside him and laughed.
He knew he had rendered a service to Mahbub Ali, and
not for one little minute did he believe the tale of the
But Kim did not suspect that Mahbub Ali, known' as
one of the best horse-dealers in the Punjab, a wealthy
and enterprising trader, whose caravans penetrated far
and far into the Back of Beyond, was registered in one
of the locked books of the Indian Survey Department
as C.25.1B. Twice or thrice yearly C.25 would send
in a little story, badly told but most interesting, and
generally-it was checked by the statements of R.17
and M.4-quite true. It concerned all manner of out-
of-the-way mountain principalities, explorers of nation-
alities other than English, and the gun-trade-was, in
brief, a small portion of that vast mass of 'information
received' on which the Indian Government acts. But,
recently, five confederated Kings, who had no business
to confederate, had been informed by a kindly Northern
Power that there was a leakage of news from their terri-
tories into British India. So those Kings' prime minis-
ters were seriously annoyed and took steps, after the
Oriental fashion. They suspected, among many others,
the bullying red-bearded horse-dealer whose caravans
ploughed through their fastnesses belly deep in snow.
At least, his caravan that season had been ambushed
and shot at twice on the way down, when Mahbub's
men accounted for three strange ruffians who might,
or might not, have been hired for the job. Therefore
Mahbub had avoided halting at the insalubrious city of
Peshawur, and had come through without stop to La.
hore, where, knowing his country-people, he anticipated
And there was that on Mahbub Ali which he did nol
wish to keep an hour longer than was necessary-a wad
of closely folded tissue-paper, wrapped in oil-skin-an
impersonal, unaddressed statement, with five micro-
scopic pin-holes in one comer, that most scandalously
betrayed the five confederated Kings, the sympathetic
Northern Power, a Hindu banker in Peshawur, a firm
of gun-makers in Belgium, and an important, semi-
independent Mohammedan ruler to the south. This
last was R.17's work, which Mahbub had picked up
beyond the Dora Pass and was carrying in for R.17,
who, owing to circumstances over which he had no con-
trol, could not leave his post of observation. Dynamite
was milky and innocuous beside that report of C.25;
and even an Oriental, with an Oriental's views of the
value of time, could see that the sooner it was in the
proper hands the better. Mahbub had no particular
desire to die by violence, because two or three family
blood-feuds across the border hung unfinished on his
hands, and when these scores were cleared he intended
to settle down as a more or less virtuous citizen. He
had never passed the serai gate since his arrival two
days ago, but had been ostentatious in sending telegrams
to Bombay, where he banked some of his money; to
Delhi, where a sub-partner of his own clan was selling
horses to the agent of a Rajputana state; and to Um-
balla, where an Englishman was excitedly demanding
the pedigree of a white stallion. The public letter-
writer, who knew English, composed excellent telegrams,
such as:-' Creighton, Laurel Bank, Umballa.-Horse is
Arabian as already advised. Sorrowful delayed-pedi.
tree which am translating.' And later to the same
address: 'Much sorrowful delay. Will forward pedi-
tree.' To this sub-partner at Delhi he wired: 'Lutuf
Jllah.--Have wired two thousand rupees your credit
,uchman Narain's bank.' This was entirely in the
vay of trade, but every one of those telegrams was dis-
:ussed and re-discussed, by parties who conceived them-
elves to be interested, before they went over to the
'ailway station in charge of a foolish Balti, who allowed
ill sorts of people to read them on the road.
When, in Mahbub's own picturesque language, he
iad muddied the wells of inquiry with the stick of pre-
:aution, Kim had dropped on him, sent from heaven;
ind, being as prompt as he was unscrupulous, Mahbub
Ui, used to taking all sorts of gusty chances, pressed
iim into service on the spot.
A wandering lama with a low-caste boy-servant
night attract a moment's interest as they wandered
bout India, the land of pilgrims; but no one would
suspect them or, what was more to the point, rob.
He called for a new light-ball to his hookah, and con-
idered the case. If the worst came to the worst, and
he boy came to harm, the paper would incriminate
nobody. And he would go up to Umballa leisurely and
-at a certain risk of exciting fresh suspicion-repeat
lis tale by word of mouth to the people concerned.
But R.17's report was the kernel of the whole affair,
nd it would be distinctly inconvenient if that failed to
ome to hand. However, God was great, and Mahbub
di felt he had done all he could for the time being.
iim was the one soul in the world who had never told
Lim a lie. That would have been a fatal blot on Kim's
character if Mahbub had not known that to others, for
his own ends or Mahbub's business, Kim could lie like
Then Mahbub Ali rolled across the serai to the Gate
of the Harpies who paint their eyes and trap the stranger,
and was at some pains to call on the one girl who, he had
reason to believe, was a particular friend of a smooth-
faced Kashmiri pundit who had waylaid his simple
Balti in the matter of the telegrams. It was an utterly
foolish thing to do; because they fell to drinking per-
fumed brandy against the Law of the Prophet, and
Mahbub grew wonderfully drunk, and the gates of his
mouth were loosened, and he pursued the Flower of
Delight with the feet of intoxication till he fell flat
among the cushions, where the Flower of Delight, aided
by a smooth-faced Kashmiri pundit, searched him from
head to foot most thoroughly.
About the same hour Kim heard soft feet in Mahbub's
deserted stall. The horse-trader, curiously enough,
had left his door unlocked, and his men were busy cele-
brating their return to India with a whole sheep of
Mahbub's bounty. A sleek young gentleman from
Delhi, armed with a bunch of keys which the Flower
had unshackled from the senseless one's belt, went
through every single box, bundle, mat, and saddle-bag
in Mahbub's possession even more systematically than
the Flower and the pundit were searching the owner.
'And I think,' said the Flower scornfully an hour
later, one rounded elbow on the snoring carcase, 'that
he is no more than a pig of an Afghan horse-dealer, with
no thought except women and horses. Moreover, he
may have sent it away by now-if ever there were such
'Nay-in a matter touching Five Kings it would be
next his black heart,' said the pundit. 'Was there
The Delhi man laughed and resettled his turban as he
entered. 'I searched between the soles of his slippers
as the Flower searched his clothes. This is not the man
but another. I leave little unseen.'
'They did not say he was the very man,' said the
pundit thoughtfully. 'They said, "Look if he be the
man, since our councils are troubled."'
'That North country is full of horse-dealers as an old
coat of lice. There is Sikandar Khan, Nur Ali Beg,
and Farrukh Shah-all heads of Kafilas-who deal
there,' said the Flower.
'They have not yet come in,' said the pundit. 'Thou
must ensnare them later.'
'Phew!' said the Flower with deep disgust, rolling
Mahbub's head from her lap. 'I earn my money.
Farrukh Shah is a bear, Ali Beg a swashbuckler, and old
Sikandar Khan-yaie! Go! I sleep now. This swine
will not stir till dawn.'
When Mahbub woke, the Flower talked to him
severely on the sin of drunkenness. Asiatics do not
wink when they have out-manceuvred an enemy, but
as Mahbub Ali cleared his throat, tightened his belt, and
staggered forth under the early morning stars, he came
very near to it.
'What a colt's trick,' said he to himself. 'As if every
girl in Peshawur did not use it! But 'twas prettily
done. Now God He knows how many more there be
upon the road who have orders to test me-perhaps
with the knife. So it stands that the boy must go to
Umballa-and by rail-for the writing is something
urgent. I abide here, following the Flower and drink-
ing wine as an Afghan coper should.'
He halted at the stall next but one to his own. His
men lay there heavy with sleep. There was no sign of
Kim or the lama.
'Up!' He stirred a sleeper. 'Whither went those
who lay here last even-the lama and the boy? Is
'Nay,' grunted the man; 'the old madman rose at
second cockcrow saying he would go to Benares, and the
young one led him away.'
'The curse of Allah on all unbelievers,' said Mahbub
heartily, and climbed into his own stall, growling in his
But it was Kim who had wakened the lama-Kim
with one eye laid against a knot-hole in the planking,
who had seen the Delhi man's search through the boxes.
This was no common thief that turned over letters, bills,
and saddles-no mere burglar who ran a little knife
sideways into the soles of Mahbub's slippers, or picked
the seams of the saddle-bags so deftly. At first Kim
had been minded to give the alarm-the long-drawn
'cho-or--choorl' (thief! thief I) that sets the serai ablaze
of nights; but he looked more carefully, and, hand on
amulet, drew his own conclusions.
'It must be the pedigree of that made-up horse-lie,' said
he, 'the thing that I carry to Umballa. Better that we
go now. Those who search bags with knives may pres-
ently search bellies with knives. Surely there is a woman
behind this. Hai! Hai!' in a whisper to the light-sleep-
ing old man. 'Come. It is time-time to go to Benares.'
The lama rose obediently, and they passed out of the
serai like shadows.
'For whoso will, from Pride released,
Contemning neither creed nor priest,
May hear the Soul of all the East
About him at Kamakura.'
THEY entered the fort-like railway station, black
in the end of night; the electrics sizzling over
the goods yard where they handle the heavy
'This is the work of devils' said the lama, recoiling
'rom the hollow echoing darkness, the glimmer of rails
betweenn the masonry platforms, and the maze of girders
Lbove. He stood in a gigantic stone hall paved, it
;eemed, with the sheeted dead-third-class passengers
v~ho had taken their tickets overnight and were sleeping
n the waiting-rooms. All hours of the twenty-four
ire alike to Orientals, and their passenger traffic is regu-
'This is where the fire-carriages come. One stands
behindd that hole'-Kim pointed to the ticket-office-
who will give thee a paper to take thee to Umballa.'
'But we go to Benares,' he replied petulantly.
'All one. Benares then. Quick: she comes!'
'Take thou the purse.'
The lama, not so well used to trains as he had pre-
,ended. started as the 3.25 a. m. south bound roared in.
The sleepers sprang to life, and the station filled witn
clamour and shouting, cries of water and sweetmeat
vendors, shouts of native policemen, and shrill yells of
women gathering up their baskets, their families, and
'It is the train-only the te-rain. It will come here.
Wait!' Amazed at the lama's immense simplicity (he
had handed him a small bag full of rupees), Kim asked
and paid for a ticket to Umballa. A sleepy clerk
grunted and flung out a ticket to the next station, just
six miles distant.
'Nay,' said Kim, scanning it with a grin. 'This may
serve for farmers, but I live in the city of Lahore. It was
cleverly done, babu. Now give the ticket to Umballa.'
The babu scowled and dealt the proper ticket.
'Now another to Amritzar,' said Kim, who had no
notion of spending Mahbub All's money on anything
so crude as a paid ride to Umballa. 'The price is so
much. The small money in return is just so much. I
know the ways of the te-rain. . Never did yogi
need chela as thou dost,' he went on merrily to the
bewildered lama. 'They would have flung thee out at
Mian Mir but for me. This way! Come.' He re-
turned the money, keeping only one anna in each rupee
of the price of the Umballa ticket as his commission-
the immemorial commission of Asia.
The lama jibbed at the open door of a crowded third-
class carriage. 'Were it not better to walk?' said he
A burly Sikh artisan thrust forth his bearded head.
'Is he afraid? Do not be afraid. I remember the time
when I was afraid of the te-rain. Enter! This thing
is the work of the Government.'
'Beggars a plenty have I met, and holy men to boot, but never such
a yogi nor such a disciple.'
'I do not fear,' said the lama. 'Have ye room within
'There is no room even for a mouse,' shrilled the wife
a well-to-do cultivator-a Hindu Jat from the rich
llundur district. Our night trains are not as well
ked after as the day ones, where the sexes are very
*ictly kept to separate carriages.
'Oh, mother of my son, we can make space,' said the
le-turbaned husband. 'Pick up the child. It is a
ly man, see'st thou?'
'And my lap full of seventy times seven bundles
hy not bid him sit on my knee, Shameless? But men
- ever thus!' She looked round for approval. An
nritzar courtesan near the window sniffed behind her
'Enter! Enter!' cried a fat Hindu money-lender, his
ded account-book in a cloth under his arm. With an
y smirk:'It is well to be kind to the poor.'
'Ay, at seven per cent a month with a mortgage on
e unborn calf,' said a young Dogra soldier going south
leave; and they all laughed.
'Will it travel to Benares?' said the lama.
'Assuredly. Else why should we come? Enter, or
Share left,' cried Kim.
'See!' shrilled the Amritzar girl. 'He has never
tered a train. Oh see!'
'Nay, help,' said the cultivator, putting out a large
own hand and hauling him in. 'Thus is it done,
light have gone I
OCIJ.% LJL llUl UO&luall, aJlul LllUO lJ V C 0 CV U IVllu lilUUVcy
'Yes-and spent twice over what we saved on foo(
the way. That was talked out ten thousand times.'
'Ay, by ten thousand tongues,' grunted he.
'The Gods help us poor women if we may not spi
Oho He is of that sort which may not look at or r(
to a woman.' For the lama, constrained by his R
took not the faintest notice of her. 'And his disciple
'Nay, mother,' said Kim most promptly. 'Not w
the woman is well-looking and above all charitable
'A beggar's answer,' said the Sikh, laughing. 'T
hast brought it on thyself, sister!' Kim's hands v
crooked in supplication.
'And whither goest thou?' said the woman, hanc
him the half of a cake from a greasy package.
'Even to Benares.'
'Jugglers belike?' the young soldier suggested. 'H
ye any tricks to pass the time? Why does not t
yellow man answer?'
'Because,' said Kim stoutly, 'he is holy, and thi
upon matters hidden from thee.'
'That may be well. We of the Loodhiana Sikhs,'
rolled it out sonorously, 'do not trouble our heads m
doctrine. We fight.'
'My sister's brother's son is naik (corporal) in that
fiment,' said the Sikh craftsman quietly. 'There are
,o some Dogra companies there.' The soldier glared,
* a Dogra is of other caste than a Sikh, and the banker
'They are all one to me,' said the Amritzar girl.
'That we believe,' snorted the cultivator's wife malig- I.
'Nay, but all who serve the Sirkar with weapons in
eir hands are, as it were, one brotherhood. There is
e brotherhood of the caste, but beyond that again'-
- looked round timidly-' the bond of the Pulton--the
'My brother is in a Jat regiment,' said the cultivator.
ogras be good men.'
'Thy Sikhs at least were of that opinion,' said the
dier, with a scowl at the placid old man in the corner.
hy Sikhs thought so when our two companies came
help them at the Pirzai Kotal in the face of eight
reedee standards on the ridge not three months gone.'
He told the story of a border action in which the Dogra
npanies of the Loodhiana Sikhs had acquitted them-
ves well. The Amritzar girl smiled; for she knew
tale was to win her approval.
Alas!' said the cultivator's wife at the end. 'So
eir villages were burnt and their little children made
'They had marked our dead. They paid a great
yment after we of the Sikhs had schooled them. So
?as. Is this Amritzar?'
Ay, and here they cut our tickets,' said the banker,
nbling at his belt.
The lamps were paling in the dawn when the half-
caste guard came round. Ticket-collecting is a sl
business in the East, where people secrete their ticl
in all sorts of curious places. Kim produced his
was told to get out.
'But I go to Umballa,' he protested. 'I go with 1
'Thou canst go to Jehannum for aught I care. 1I
ticket is only to Amritzar. Out!'
Kim burst into a flood of tears, protesting that
lama was his father and his mother, that he was
prop of the lama's declining years, and that the la
would die without his care. All the carriage bade
guard be merciful,-the banker was specially eloqu
here,-but the guard hauled Kim on to the platfo
The lama blinked, he could not overtake the situatj
and Kim lifted up his voice and wept outside the 4
'I am very poor. My father is dead-my mothe
dead. Oh, charitable ones, if I am left here, who s'
tend that old man?'
'What-what is this?' the lama repeated. 'He rr
go to Benares. He must come with me. He is
chela. If there is money to be paid-'
'Oh, be silent,' whispered Kim; 'are we Raj ahs to thl
away good silver when the world is so charitable?'
The Amritzar girl stepped out with her bundles, an
was on her that Kim kept his watchful eye. Ladie
that persuasion, he knew, were generous.
'A ticket-a little tikkut to Umballa-O Breake:
Hearts!' She laughed. 'Hast thou no charity?'
'Does the holy man come from the North?'
'From far and far in the North he comes,' cried K
'From among the hills.'
here is snow among the pine trees in the North-in
hills there is snow. My mother was from Kulu.
thee a ticket. Ask him for a blessing.'
Fen thousand blessings,' shrilled Kim. 'O*Holy
, a woman has given us in charity so that I can come
i thee-a woman with a golden heart. I run for the
he girl looked up at the lama, who had mechanically
)wed Kim to the platform. He bowed his head that
night not see her, and muttered in Tibetan as she
ed on with the crowd.
Light come-light go,' said the cultivator's, wife
;he has acquired merit,' returned the lama. 'Be-
d doubt it was a nun.'
here be ten thousand such nuns in Amritzar alone.
urn, old man, or the train may depart without thee,'
d the banker.
qot only was it sufficient for the ticket, but for a
e food also,' said Kim, leaping to his place. 'Now
Holy One. Look. Day comes!'
olden, rose, saffron, and pink, the morning mists
ked away across the flat green levels. All the rich
jab lay out in the splendour of the keen sun. The
a flinched a little as the telegraph-posts swung by.
3reat is the speed of the train,' said the banker, with
tronising grin. 'We have gone farther since Lahore
1 thou couldst walk in two ,days: at even, we shall
nd that is still far from Benares,' said the lama
rily, mumbling over the cakes that Kim offered.
y all unloosed their bundles and made their morning
1. Then the banker, the cultivator, and the soldier
prepared their pipes and wrapped the compartme
choking, acrid smoke, spitting and coughing and ei
ing themselves. The Sikh and the cultivator's
chewed pan; the lama took snuff and told his b
while Kim, cross-legged, smiled over the comfort
'What rivers have ye by Benares?' said the lamc
sudden to the carriage at large.
'We have Gunga,' returned the banker, where
little titter had subsided.
'What other than Gunga?'
'Nay, but in my mind was the thought of a ce
River of healing.'
'That is Gunga. Who bathes in her is made i
and goes to the gods. Thrice have I made pilgrih
to Gunga.' He looked round proudly.
'There was need,' said the young sepoy drily, an,
travellers' laugh turned against the banker.
'Clean-to return again to the Gods,' the
muttered. 'And to go forth on the round of lives
-still tied to the Wheel.' He shook his head te
'But maybe there is a mistake. Who, then, i
Gunga in the beginning?'
'The Gods. Of what known faith art thou?'
banker said, appalled.
'I follow the Law-the Most Excellent Law.
was the Gods that made Gunga. What like of
The carriage looked at him in amazement. It
inconceivable that any one should be ignorant of Gi
'What-what is thy God?' said the money-lend
[ear!' said the lama, shifting the rosary to his hand.
tr: for I speak of Him now! 0 people of Hind, listen !'
e began in Urdu the tale of the Lord Buddha, but,
e by his own thoughts, slid into Tibetan and long-
ed texts from a Chinese book of the Buddha's life.
gentle, tolerant folk looked on reverently. All
a is full of holy men stammering gospels in strange
ues; shaken and consumed in the fires of their own
dreamers, babblers, and visionaries: as it has been
the beginning and will continue to the end.
Fm!' said the soldier of the Loodhiana Sikhs.
xre was a Mohammedan regiment lay next to us at
?irzai Kotal, and a priest of theirs,-he was, as I
mber, a naik,-when the fit was on him, spake
hecies. But the mad all are in God's keeping.
officerss overlooked much in that man.'
ie lama fell back on Urdu, remembering that he
in a strange land. 'Hear the tale of the Arrow
h our Lord loosed from the bow,' he said.
lis was much more to their taste, and they listened
>usly while he told it. 'Now, 0 people of Hind, I
) seek that River. Know ye aught that may guide
or we be all men and women in evil case.'
'here is Gunga-and Gunga alone-who washes
r sin,' ran the murmur round the carriage.
hough past question we have good Gods Jullundur-
' said the cultivator's wife, looking out of window.
how they have blessed the crops.'
lo search every river in the Punjab is no small
er,' said her husband. 'For me, a stream that
is good silt on my land suffices, and I thank Bhumia,
jod of the Homestead.' He shrugged one knotted,
inmK you our Lora came so xar nortnnt" sale
lama, turning to Kim.
'It may be,' Kim replied soothingly, as he spa-
pan-juice on the floor.
\/'The last of the Great Ones,' said the Sikh
authority, 'was Sikander Julkarn (Alexander the Gi
He paved the streets of Jullundur and built a great
near Umballa. That pavement holds to this day;
the tank is there also. I never heard of thy God.'
'Let thy hair grow long and talk Punjabi,' saic
young soldier jestingly to Kim, quoting a Nort
proverb. 'That is all that makes a Sikh.' But hi
not say this very loud.
The lama sighed and shrank into himself, a dingy, sl
less mass. In the pauses of their talk they could hea
low droning-' Om mane pudmehum I Om mane pu
hum '--and the thick click of the wooden rosary be,
'It irks me,'6 he said at lasL 'The speed and
clatter irk me. Moreover, my ela, I think that
be we have overpassed that Rive
'Peace, peace,' said Kim. 'Wa ot the River
Benares? We are yet far from the p e.'
'But-if our.Lord came north, it ny be any oi
these little ones that we have run across.
'I do not know.' \
'But thou wast sent to me-wast thou nt to m
for the merit I had acquired over yonder |t Such
From beside the cannon didst thou come airing
faces- and two garbs.' L u -
'Peace. One must not speak of t ing6 h
whispered Kim. 'There was but on bf me. T
again and thou wilt remember. A boy-a Hindu b<
by the great green cannon.'
'But was there not also an Englishman with a whit
beard-holy-among images-who himself made more
sure my assurance of the River of the Arrow?'
'He-we-went to the Ajaib-Gher in Lahore to pray
before the gods there,' Kirn explained to the openly lis-
tening company. 'And the Sahib of the Wonder House
talked to him-yes, this is truth-as a brother. He is a
very holy man, from far beyond the hills. Rest thou.
In time we come to Umballa.'
'But my River-the River of my healing?'
'And then, if it please thee, we will go hunting for that
River on foot. So that we miss nothing-not even a
little rivulet in a field-side.'
'But thou hast a Search of thine own?' The lama-
very pleased that he remembered so well-sat bolt up-
'Ay,' said Kim, humouring him. The boy was en-
tirely happy to be out chewing pan and seeing new
people in the great gol-tempered world.
'It was a Bull--a ed Bull that shall come and help
thee-and carry jEee-whither? I have forgotten.
A Red Bull on a en field, was it not2'
'Nay, it will frry me nowhere,' said Kim. 'It is but
a tale I told '
'What is lis?' the cultivator's wife leaned forward,
her bracelet clinking on her arm. 'Do ye both dream
dreams? f Red Bull on a green field, that shall carry
thee to t Ieavens-or what? Was it a vision? Did
one ll h ophecy? We have a Red Bull in our
village be-pllundur city, and he grazes by choice
in the very gr est of our fields!'
'Give a woman an old wife's tale and a weaver-bird a
leaf and a thread, they will weave wonderful things,'
#u, the Sikh. 'All holy men dream dreams, and
following holy men their disciples attain that power.'
'A Red Bull on a green field, was it?' the lama
peated. 'In a former life it may be thou hast acquj
merit, ahd the Bull will come to reward thee.'
'Nay-nay-it was but a tale one told to me-f(
jest belike. But I will seek the Bull about Umb,
and thou canst look for thy River and rest from
clatter of the train.'
'It may be that the Bull knows-that he is seni
guide us both,' said the lama, hopefully as a ch
Then to the company, indicating Kim: 'This one '
sent to me but yesterday. He is not, I think, of
' 'Bkggars a plenty have I met, and holy men to b(
but never such a yogi nor such a disciple,' said
Her husband touched his forehead lightly with
finger and smiled. But the next time the lama wo
eat they took care to give him their best.
And at last-tired, sleepy, and dusty-they reach
Umballa City Station.
'We abide here upon a law-suit,' said the cultilat,
wife to Kim. 'We lodge with my man's cous
younger brother. There is room also in the court
for thy yogi and for thee. Will-will he give m
0 holy man A woman with a heart of gold give
lodging for the night. It is a kindly land, this lanC
the South. See how we have been helped since
The lama bowed his head in benediction.
'To fill my cousin's younger brother's house with ,
trels-' the husband began, as he shouldered his heavy
bamboo staff' '.
'Thy cousin's younger brother owes my father's
cousin something yet on his daughter's marriage-feast,'
said the woman crisply. 'Let him put their food to
that account. The yogi will beg, I doubt not.'
'Ay, I beg for him,' said Kim, anxious only to get the
lama under shelter for the night, that he might seek
Mahbub Ali's Englishman and deliver himself of the
white stallion's pedigree.
'Now,' said he, when the lama had come to an anchor
in the inner courtyard of a decent Hindu house behind
the cantonments, 'I go away for a while-to-to buy us
victual in the bazar. Do not stray abroad till I return.'
'Thou wilt return? Thou wilt surely return?' The
old man caught at his wrist. 'And thou wilt return in
this very same shape? Is it too late to look to-night for
'Too late and too dark. Be comforted. Think how
far thou art on the road-an hundred kos from Lahore
'Ye~a-and farther from my monastery. Alas! It
is a great and terrible world.'
Kim stole out and away, as unremarkable a figure as
ever carried his own and a few score thousand other
folk's fate slung round his neck. Mahbub Ali's direc-
tions left him little doubt of the house in which his
Englishman lived; and a groom, bringing a dog-cart
home from the Club, made him quite sure. It remained
only to identify his man, and Kim slipped through the
garden hedge and hid in a clump of plumed grass close
to the veranda. The house blazed with lights, and
servants moved about tables dressed with flowers,- lass-
and silver. Presently forth came an Englishm
dressed in black and White, humming a tune. It i
too dark to see his face, so Kim, beggar-wise, tried
'Protector of the Poorl'
The man backed towards the voice.
'Mahbub Ali says-'
'Hah! What says Mahbub Ali?' He made no
tempt to look for the speaker, and that showed P
that he knew.
'The pedigree of the white stallion is fully establish
'What proof is there?' The Englishman switches
the rose-hedge in the side of the drive.
'Mahbub Ali has given me this proof.' Kim flip]
the wad of folded paper into the air, and it fell on
path beside the man, who put his foot on it as a f
dener came round the corner. When the servant pas
he picked it up, dropped a rupee,-Kim could hear
clink,--and strode into the house, never turning rou
Swiftly Kim took up the money; but, for all his train
he was Irish enough by birth to reckon silver the 1(
part of any game. What he desired was the visJ
effect of action; so, instead of slinking away, he lay cl
in the grass and wormed nearer to the house.
He saw-Indian bungalows are open through
through-the Englishman return to a small dressi
room, in a corner of the veranda, that was half-ofl
littered with papers and despatch-boxes, and sit dowi
study Mahbub Ali's message. His face, by the full
of the kerosene lamp*, changed and darkened, and K
used as every beggar must be to watching countenan
took good note.
'Will! Will, dear I' called a woman's voice. '
ught to be in the drawing-room. They'll be here in a
The man still read intently.
'Will!' said the voice, five minutes later. 'He's
ome. I can hear the troopers in the drive.'
The man dashed out bareheaded as a big landau with
our native troopers behind it halted at the veranda,
.nd a tall, black-haired man, erect as an arrow, swung
,ut, preceded by a young officer who laughed pleasantly.
Flat on his belly lay Kim, almost touching the high
heels. His man and the black stranger exchanged
'Certainly, sir,' said the young officer promptly.
Everything waits while a horse is concerned.'
'We shan't .be more than twenty minutes,' said Kim's
nan. 'You can do the honours-keep 'em amused,
Lnd all that.'
'Tell one of the troopers to wait,' said the tall man,
Ind they both passed into the dressing-room together,
.s the landau rolled away. Kim saw their heads bent
>ver Mahbub Ali's message, and heard the voices-one
ow and deferential, the other sharp and decisive.
'It isn't a question of weeks. It is a question of days
-hours almost,' said the elder. 'I'd been expecting it
or some time, but this'-he tapped Mahbub Ali's
paper-' clenches it. Grogan's dining here to-night,
'Yes, sir, and Macklin too.'
'Very good. I'll speak to them myself. That
natter will be referred to the Council, of course, but
,his is a case where one is justified in assuming that we
,ake action at once. Warn the Pindi and Peshawur
)rigades. It will disorganise all the summer reliefs, but
we can't help that. This comes of not smashing the
thoroughly the first time. Eight thousand should
'What about artillery, sir?'
'I must consult Macklin.'
'Then it means war?'
'No. Punishment. When a man is bound by t
action of his predecessor-'
'But C.25 may have lied.'
'He bears out the other's information. Practical]
they showed their hand six months back. But Deve
ish would have it there was a chance of peace. Of coui
they used it to make themselves stronger. Send i
those telegrams at once,-the new code, not the old,
mine and Wharton's. I don't think we need keep t
ladies waiting any longer. We can settle the rest oN
the cigars. I thought it was coming. It's punishme
As the trooper cantered off Kim crawled round to t
back of the house, where, going on his Lahore expe
ences, he judged there would be food-and informatic
The kitchen was crowded with excited scullions, one
whom kicked him.
'Aie,' said Kim, feigning tears. 'I came only
wash dishes in return for a bellyful.'
'All Umballa is on the same errand. Get hen(
They go in now with the soup. Think you that we w.
serve Creighton Sahib need strange scullions to help
through a big dinner?'
'It is a very big dinner,' said Kim, looking at t
'Small wonder. The guest of honour is none oth
than the Jang-i-Lat Sahib' (the Commander-in-Chie
'Ho!' said Kim, with the correct guttural note of
wonder. He had learned what he wanted, and when
the scullion turned he was gone.
'And all that trouble,' said he to himself, thinking as
usual in Hindustanee, 'for a horse's pedigree! Mahbub
Ali should have come to me to learn a little lying.
Every time before that I have borne a message it con-
cerned a woman. Now it is men. Better. The tall
man said that they will loose a great army to punish
some one-somewhere-the news goes to Pindi and
Peshawur. There are also guns. Would I had crept
nearer. It is big news I'
He returned to find the cultivator's cousin's younger
brother discussing the family law-suit in all its bearings
with the cultivator and his wife and a few friends, while
the lama dozed. After the evening meal some one
passed him a water-pipe; and Kim felt very much of a
man as he pulled at the smooth cocoanut-shell, his legs
spread abroad in the moonlight, his tongue clicking in
remarks from time to time. His hosts were most polite;
for the cultivator's wife had told them of his vision of
the Red Bull, and of his probable descent from another
world. Moreover, the lama was a great and venerable
curiosity. The family priest, an old, tolerant Sarsut
Brahmin, dropped in later, and naturally started a
theological argument to impress the family. By creed,
of course, they were all on their priest's side, but the
lama was the guest and the novelty. His gentle kind-
liness, and his impressive Chinese quotations, that
sounded like spells, delighted them hugely; and in this
sympathetic, simple air he expanded like the Bodhisat's
own lotus, speaking of his life in the great hills of Such-
zen, before, as he said, 'I rose up to seek enlightenment.'
Then it came out that in those worldly days he h
been a master-hand at casting horoscopes and nativiti
and the family priest led him on to describe his method
each giving the planets names that the other could i
understand, and pointing upwards as the big stars sai]
across the dark. The children of the house tugged un
buked at his rosary; and he clean forgot the Rule whi
forbids looking at women as he talked of enduring snoi
landslips, blocked passes, the remote cliffs where m
find sapphires and turquoise, and that wonderful i
land road that leads at last into Great China itself.
'How thinkest thou of this one?' said the cultival
aside to the priest.
'A holy man-a holy man indeed. His Gods are r
the Gods, but his feet are upon the Way,' was the answ
'And his methods of nativities, though that is beyo
thee, are wise and sure.'
'Tell me,' said Kim lazily, 'whether I find my B
Bull on a green field, as was promised me.'
'What knowledge hast thou of thy birth-hour?' t
priest asked, swelling with importance.
'Between first and second cockcrow of the first ni6
'Of what year?'
'I do not know; but upon the hour that I cried fi:
fell the great earthquake in Srinagur which is in Ka,
mir.' This Kim had from the woman who took care
him, and she again from Kimball O'Hara. The earl
quake had been felt in India, and for long stood a les
ing date in the Punjab.
'Ail' said a woman excitedly. This seemed to ma
Kim's supernatural origin more certain. 'Was r
such an one's daughter born then-'
'And her mother bore her husband four sons in four
mars-all likely boys,' cried the cultivator's wife, sitting
itside the circle in the shadow.
'None reared in the knowledge,' said the family
'iest, 'forget how the planets stood in their Houses
)on that night.' He began to draw in the dust of the
urtyard. 'At least thou hast good claim to a half of
e House of the Bull. How runs thy prophecy?'
'Upon a day,' said Kim, delighted at the sensation he
is creating, 'I shall be made great by means of a Red
ill on a green field, but first there will enter two men
making all things ready.'
'Yes: thus ever at the opening of a vision. A thick
trkness that clears slowly; anon one enters with a
'oom making ready the place. Then begins the Sight.
wo men-thou sayest? Ay, ay. The Sun, leaving
e House of the Bull, enters that of the Twins. Hence
e two men of the prophecy. Let us now consider.
itch me a twig, little one.'
He knitted his brows, scratched, smoothed out, and
watched again in the dust mysterious signs-to the
)nder of all save the lama, who, with fine instinct, for-
)re to interfere.
At the end of half an hour he tossed the twig from him
ith a grunt.
'Hm. Thus say the stars. Within three days come
e two men to make all things ready. After them
Lows the Bull; but the sign over against him is the
in of War and armed men.'
'There was indeed a man of the Loodhiana Sikhs in
e carriage from Lahore,' said the cultivator's wife
'Tck! Armed men-many hundreds. What con-
cern hast thou with war?' said the priest to Kh
'Thine is a red and an angry sign of War to be loos,
'None-none,' said the lama earnestly. 'We se,
only peace and our River.'
Kim smiled, remembering what he had overheard
the dressing-room. Decidedly he was a favourite of t'
The priest brushed his foot over the rude horoscor
'More than this I cannot see. In three days comes ti
Bull to thee, boy.'
'And my River, my River,' pleaded the lama.
had hoped his Bull would lead us both to the River.'
'Alas, for that wondrous River, my brother,' tl
priest replied. 'Such things are not common.'
Next morning, though they were pressed to stay, t]
lama insisted on departure. They gave Kim a lar,
bundle of good food and nearly three annas in copp
money for the needs of the road, and with many bleE
ings watched the two go southward in the dawn.
'Pity it is that these and such as these could not'.
freed from the Wheel of Things,' said the lama.
'Nay, then would only evil people be left on the heart
and who would give us meat and shelter?' quoth Ki
stepping merrily under his burden.
'Yonder is a small stream. Let us look,' said t
lama, and he led from the white road across the fielc
walking into a very hornets'-nest of pariah dogs.
'Yea, voice of every Soul that clung
To Life that strove from rung to rung
When Devadatta's rule was young,
The warm wind brings Kamakura.'
EHIND them an angry farmer brandished a bam-
) boo pole. He was a market-gardener, Arain by
caste, growing vegetables and flowers for Umballa
, and well Kim knew the breed.
Such an one,' said the lama, disregarding the dogs,
polite to strangers, intemperate of speech and un-
ritable. Be warned by his demeanour, my disciple.'
Ho, shameless beggars!' shouted the farmer. 'Be-
e! Get hence!'
We go,' the lama returned, with quiet dignity. 'We
rom these unblessed fields.'
Ah,' said Kim, sucking in his breath. 'If the next
?s fail, thou canst only blame thy own tongue.'
'he man shuffled uneasily in his slippers. 'The land
ill of beggars,' he began, half apologetically.
And by what sign didst thou know that we would
from thee, 0 Mali?' said Kim tartly, using the name
t a market-gardener least likes. 'All we sought was
ook at that river beyond the field there.'
River, forsooth!' the man snorted. 'What city do
lail from not to know a canal-cut? It runs as straight
as an arrow, and I pay for the water as though it were
molten silver. There is a branch of a river beyond,
But if ye need water I can give that-and milk.'
'Nay, we will go to the river,' said the lama, striding
'Milk and a meal,' the man stammered, as he looked
at the strange tall figure. 'I-I would not draw evil
upon myself-or my crops; but beggars are so many in
these hard days.'
'Take notice,' the lama turned to Kim. 'He was led
to speak harshly by the Red Mist of anger. That clear-
ing from his eyes, he becomes courteous and of an affa-
ble heart. May his fields be blessed. Beware not tc
judge men too hastily, 0 farmer.'
'I have met holy ones who would have cursed thec
from hearthstone to byre,' said Kim to the abashed man.
'Is he not wise and holy? I am his disciple.'
He cocked his nose in the air loftily and stepped across
the narrow field-borders with great dignity.
'There is no pride,' said the lama, after a pause,
'there is no pride among such as follow the Middl(
'But thou hast said he was low caste and discourteous.'
'Low caste I did not say, for how can that be which i,
not? Afterwards he amended his discourtesy, and ]
forgot the offence. Moreover, he is as we are, bound
upon the Wheel of Things; but he does not tread th(
way of deliverance.' He halted at a little runlet amon
the fields, and considered the hoof-pitted bank.
'Now, how wilt thou know thy River?' said Kim
squatting in the shade of some tall sugar-cane.
'When I find it, an enlightenment will surely be given
This, I feel, is not the place. 0 littlest among the
ters, if only thou couldst tell me where runs my River!
t be thou blessed to make the fields bear !'
Look! Look!' Kim sprang to his side and dragged
a back. A yellow and brown streak glided from the
rple rustling stems to the bank, stretched its neck to
water, drank, and lay still-a big cobra with fixed,
I have no stick-I have no stick,' said Kim. 'I will
.me one and break his back.'
Why? He is upon the Wheel as we are-a life ascend-
r or descending-very far from deliverance. Great
1 must the soul have done that is cast into this shape.'
I hate all snakes,' said Kim. No native training can
inch the white man's horror of the Serpent.
Let him live out his life.' The coiled thing hissed
I half opened its hood. 'May thy release come soon,
ther,' the lama continued placidly. 'Hast thou
owledge, by chance, of my River?'
Never have I seen such a man as thou art,' Kim
ispered, overwhelmed. 'Do the very snakes under-
nd thy talk?'
Who knows?' He,passed within a foot of the cobra's
.sed head. It flattened itself among the dusty coils.
Come thou !' he called over his shoulder.
Not I,' said Kim. 'I go round.'
Come. He does no hurt.'
Kim hesitated for a moment. The lama backed his
ler by some droned Chinese quotation which Kim
>k for a charm. He obeyed and bounded across the
ulet, and the snake, indeed, made no sign.
Never have I seen such a man.' Kim wiped the
eat from his forehead. 'And now, whither go we?'
That is for thee to say. I am old, and a stranger-
far from my own place. But that the rel-carriage fills
my head with noises of devil-drums I would go in it to
Benares now. . Yet by so going we may miss
the River. Let us find another river.'
Where the hard-worked soil gives three and even four
crops a year-through patches of sugar-cane, tobacco,
long white radishes, and nol-kol, all that day they
strolled on, turning aside to every glimpse of water;
rousing village dogs and sleeping villages at noonday;
the lama replying to the vollied questions with an un-
swerving simplicity. They sought a River-a River of
miraculous healing. Had any one knowledge of such
a stream? Sometimes men laughed, but more often
heard the story out to the end and offered them a place
in the shade, a drink of milk, and a meal. The women
were always kind, and the little children as children
are the world over, alternately shy and venturesome.
Evening found them at rest under the village tree of a
mud-walled, mud-roofed hamlet, talking to the head-
man as the cattle came in from the grazing-grounds and
the women prepared the day's last meal. They had
passed beyond the belt of market-gardens round hungry
Umballa, and were among the mile-wide green of the
He was a white-bearded and affable elder, used to
entertaining strangers. He dragged out a string bed-
stead for the lama, set warm cooked food before him,
prepared him a pipe, and, the evening ceremonies being
finished in the village temple, sent for the village priest.
Kim told the older children tales of the size and
beauty of Lahore, of railway travel, and such-like city
things, while the men talked, slowly as their cattle chew
cannot fathom it,' said the headman at last to the
st. 'How readest thou this talk?' The lama, his
told, was silently telling his beads.
Ie is a Seeker,' the priest answered. 'The land is
)f such. Remember him who came only last month
e faquir with the tortoise?'
Ly, but that man had right and reason, for Krishna
.self appeared in a vision promising him Paradise
.out the burning-pyre if he journeyed to Prayag.
, man seeks no god who is within my knowledge.'
'eace, he is old: he comes from far off, and he is
lame is Friend of
.L L IV, i Luat. 011 >111JtU .At .U Li '1lJllrlU U1 U11
World,' he cried across the sharp-smelling smoke, 'w
'This Holy One's disciple,' said Kim.
'He says thou art a but' (a spirit).
'Can buts eat?' said Kim, with a twinkle. 'For I
'It is no jest,' cried the lama. 'A certain astrolo
of that city whose name I have forgotten-'
'That is no more than the city of Umballa where
slept last night,' Kim whispered to the priest.
'Ay, Umballa was it? He cast a horoscope and
dared that my chela should find his desire within t
days. But what said he of the meaning of the st;
Friend of all the World?'
Kim cleared his throat and looked around at
'The meaning of my Star is War,' he replied pompous,
Somebody laughed at the little tattered figure str
ting on the brickwork plinth under the great ti
Where a native would have lain down, Kim's wt
blood set him upon his feet.
'Ay, War,' he answered.
'That is a sure prophecy,' rumbled a deep voi
'For there is always war along the Border-as I kno
was an old, withered man, who had served the Gov-
ient in the days of the Mutiny as a native officer
newly raised cavalry regiment. The Government
given him a good holding in the village, and though
demands of his sons, now gray-bearded officers on
r own account, had impoverished him, he was still a
on of consequence. English officials-Deputy Com-
ioners even-turned aside from the main road to visit
, and on those occasions he dressed himself in the uni-
i of ancient days, and stood up like a ramrod.
lut this shall be a great war-a war of eight thou-
[,' Kim's voice shrilled across the quick-gathering
id, astonishing himself.
redcoats or our own regiments?' the old man
)ped, as though he were asking an equal. His tone
.e men respect Kim.
Redcoats,' said Kim at a venture. 'Redcoats and
3ut-but the astrologer said no word of this,' cried
lama, snuffing prodigiously in his excitement.
3ut I know. The word has come to me, who am
Holy One's disciple. There will rise a war-a war
eight thousand redcoats. From Pindi and Peshawur
r will be drawn. This is sure.'
The boy has heard bazar-talk,' said the priest.
3ut he was always by my side,' said the lama. 'How
lid he know? I did not know.'
ie will make a clever juggler when the old man is
I,' muttered the priest to the headman. 'What
* trick is this?'
k sign. Give me a sign,' thundered the old soldier
denly. 'If there were war my sons would have told
'When all is ready, thy sons, doubt not, will be ti
But it is a long road from thy sons to the man in wl
hands these things lie.' Kim warmed to the game,
it reminded him of experiences in the letter-carry
line, when, for the sake of a few pice, he pretended
know more than he knew. But now he was play
for larger things-the sheer excitement and the sens,
power. He drew a new breath and went on.
'Old man, give me a sign. Do underlings order
goings of eight thousand redcoats-with guns?'
'No.' Still the old man answered as though I
were an equal.
'Dost thou know who He is then that gives the ord(
'I have seen Him.'
'To know again?'
'I have known Him since he was a lieutenant in
topkhana' (the Artillery).
'A tall man. A tall man with black hair, walk
thus?' Kim took a few paces in a stiff, wooden style
'Ay. But that any one may have seen.' The crc
were breathless-still through all this talk.
'That is true,' said Kim. 'But I will say mi
Look now. First the great man walks thus. Then
thinks thus. (Kim drew a forefinger over his foreh
and downwards till it came to rest by the angle of
jaw.) Anon He twitches his fingers thus. Anon
thrusts his hat under his left armpit.' Kim illustra
the motion and stood like a stork.
The old man groaned, inarticulate with amazemi
and the crowd shivered.
'So-so-so. But what does He when He is ab
to give an order?'
'To rnohe tfa eL-in cht +ho haf->lr nf hie no -V-0
,n iaus one linger on tne lamee anu ne maKes a smaii
fling noise through his nose. Then He speaks, say-
: "Loose such and such a regiment. Call out such
'he old man rose stiffly and saluted.
"For"'-Kim translated into the vernacular the
ching sentences he had heard in the dressing-room at
Lballa-' "For," says He, "we should have done this
g ago. It is not war-it is a chastisement. Snff!"'
Enough. I believe. I have seen Him thus in the
)ke of battles. Seen and heard. It is He I'
I saw no smoke'-Kim's voice shifted to the rapt
,-song of the wayside fortune-teller. 'I saw this in
kness. First came a man to make things clear. Then
ie horsemen. Then came He, standing in a ring of
it. The rest followed as I have said. Old man,
'e I spoken truth?'
It is He. Past all doubt it is He.'
'he crowd drew a long, quavering breath, staring
.rnately at the old man, still at attention, and ragged
n against the purple twilight.
Said I not-said I not he was from the other world?'
;d the lama proudly. 'He is the Friend of all the
rid. He is the Friend of the Stars!'
At least it does not concern us,' a man cried. 'O0
u young soothsayer, if the gift abides with thee at all
sons, I have a red-spotted cow. She may be sister
hy Bull for aught I know-'
Or I care,' said Kim. 'My Stars do not concern
mselves with thy cattle.'
Nay, but she is very sick,' a woman struck in. 'My
a is a buffalo, or he would have chosen his words
ter. Tell me if she recover?'
Had Kim been at all an ordinary boy, he would ha
carried on the play; but one does not know Lahore cil
and least of all the faquirs by the Taksali Gate, I
thirteen years without also knowing human nature.
The priest looked at him sideways, something bitter
-a dry and blighting smile.
'Is there no priest then in the village? I though
had seen a great one even now,' cried Kim.
'Ay-but-' the woman began.
'But thou and thy husband hoped to get the c<
cured for a handful of thanks.' The shot told: th
were notoriously the closest-fisted couple in the villa
'It is not well to cheat the temples. Give a young c
to thy own priest, and, unless thy gods are angry p;
recall, she will give milk within a month.'
'A master-beggar art thou,' purred the priest apprc
ingly. 'Not the cunning of forty years could have do
better. Surely thou hast made the old man rich?'
'A little flour, a little butter and a mouthful of c:
damoms,' Kim retorted, flushed with the praise, b
still cautious--'does one grow rich on that? And,
thou canst see, he is mad. But it serves me while
learn the road at least.'
He knew what the faquirs of the Taksali Gate w(
like when they talked among themselves, and copied t
very inflection of their lewd disciples.
'Is his Search, then, truth or a cloak to other enc
It may be treasure.'
'He is mad-many times mad. There is nothi
Here the old soldier hobbled up and asked if K
would accept his hospitality for the night. The pri<
recommended him to do so, but insisted that the honor
entertaining the lama belonged to the temple-at
.ich the lama smiled guilelessly. Kim glanced from
e face to the other, and drew his own conclusions.
'Where is the money?' he whispered, beckoning the
I man off into the darkness.
'In my bosom. Where else?'
'Give it me. Quietly and swiftly give it me.'
'But why? Here is no ticket to buy.'
;Am I thy chela, or am I not? Do I not safeguard
7 old feet about the ways? Give me the money and
dawn I will return it.' He slipped his hand above the
na's girdle and brought away the purse.
Be it so-be it so.' The old man nodded his head.
his is a great and terrible world. I never knew there
re so many men alive in it.'
SText morning the priest was in a very bad temper,
t the lama was quite happy; and Kim had enjoyed a
,st interesting evening with the old man, who brought
t his cavalry sabre and, balancing it on his dry knees,
d tales of the Mutiny and young captains thirty
irs in their graves, till Kim dropped off to sleep.
Certainly the air of this country is good,' said the
la. 'I sleep lightly, as do all old men; but last night
ept unwaking till broad day. Even now I am heavy.'
Drink a draught of hot milk,' said Kim, who had
Tied not a few such remedies to opium-smokers of his
[uaintance. 'It is time to take the road again.'
The long road that overpasses all the rivers of Hind,'
d the lama gaily. 'Let us go. But how thinkest thou,
,la, to recompense these people, and especially the
est, for their great kindness? Truly they are but-
-ast, but in other lives, may be, they will receive
ightenment. A rupee to the temple? The thing
within is no more than stone and red paint, but tl
heart of man we must acknowledge when and whei
it is good.'
'Holy One, hast thou ever taken the road alone'
Kim looked up sharply, like the Indian crows so bus
about the fields.
'Surely, child: from Kulu to Pathankot-from Kuh
where my first chela died. When men were kind to t
we made offerings, and all men were well-dispose
throughout all the Hills.'
'It is otherwise in Hind,' said Kim drily. 'Their god
are many-armed and malignant. Let them alone.'
'I would set thee on thy road for a little, Friend of a
the World--thou and thy yellow man.' The old soldie
ambled up the village street, all shadowy in the dawr
on a gaunt, scissor-hocked pony. 'Last night brok
up the fountains of remembrance in my so-dried hear
and it was as a blessing to me. Truly there is wa
abroad in the air. I smell it. See! I have brought
He sat long-legged on the little beast, with the bi
sword at his side,-hand dropped on the pommel,-
staring fiercely over the flat lands towards the north
'Tell me again how He showed in thy vision. Come u]
and sit behind me. The beast will carry two.'
'I am this Holy One's disciple,' said Kim, as the:
cleared the village-gate. The villagers seemed almost
sorry to be rid of them, but the priest's farewell wa
cold and distant. He had wasted some opium on
man who carried no money.
'That is well spoken. I am not much used to hol.
men, but respect is always good. There is no respect
in these days-not even when a Commissioner Sahil
times to see me. But why should one whose Star leads
m to war follow a holy man?'
'But he is a holy man,' said Kim earnestly. 'In
uth, and in talk and in act, holy. He is not like the
hers. I have never seen such an one. We be not
rtune-tellers, or jugglers, or beggars.'
'Thou art not, that I can see; but I do not know that
her. He marches well, though.'
The first freshness of the day carried the lama for-
ard with long, easy, camel-like strides. He was deep
meditation, mechanically clicking his rosary.
They followed the rutted and worn country road that
found across the flat between the great dark-green
ango-groves, the line of the snow-capped Himalayas
int to the eastward. All India was at work in the
JIds, to the creaking of well-wheels, the shouting of
oughmen behind their cattle, and the clamour of the
ows. Even the pony felt the good influence and
most broke into a trot as Kim laid a hand on the
'It repents me that I did not give a rupee to the
irine,' said the lama on the last bead of his eighty-one.
The old soldier growled in his beard, so that the lama
r the first time was aware of him.
'Seekest thou the River also?' said he, turning.
'The day is new,' was the reply. 'What need of a
ver save to water at before sundown? I come to
.ow thee a short lane to the Big Road.'
'That is a courtesy to be remembered, 0 man of good
ill; but why the sword?'
The old soldier looked as abashed as a child inter-
.pted in his game of make-believe.
'The sword' he said, fumbling it. 'Oh, that was a
manner of life hast thou led, not to know The
S __1 1 11A .LL 1 1 ___1 1_1
'The greater merit.'
'Merit! We did not consider it merit in those days.
My people, my friends, my brothers fell from me.
They said: "The time of the English is accomplished.
Let each strike out a little holding for himself." But I
had talked with the men of Sobraon, of Chillianwallah,
of Moodkee and Ferozeshah. I said: "Abide a little
and the wind turns. There is no blessing in this work."
In those days I rode seventy miles with an English mem-
sahib and her babe on my saddle-bow. (Wow I That
was a horse fit for a man!) I placed them in safety, and
back came I to my officer-the one that was not killed
of our five. "Give me work," said I, "for I am an out-
cast among my own kin, and my cousin's blood is wet
on my sabre." "Be content," said he. "There is
great work forward. When this madness is over there
is a recompense."'
'Ay, there is a recompense when the madness is over,
surely?' the lama muttered half to himself.
'They did not hang medals in those days on all who
by accident had heard a gun fired. No! In nineteen
pitched battles was I; in six-and-forty skirmishes of
horse; and in small affairs without number. Nine
wounds I bear; a medal and four clasps and the medal
of an Order, for my captains who are now generals,
remembered me when the Kaiser-i-Hind had accom-
plished fifty years of her reign, and all the land rejoiced.
They said: "Give him the order of Berittish India." I
carry it upon my neck now. I have also my jaghir
(holding) from the hands of the State-a free gift to me
and mine. The men of the old days-they are now
Commissioners-come riding to me through the crops,
-high upon horses so that all the village sees,-and we
talk out the old skirmishes, one dead man's name lead-
ing to another.'
'And after?' said the lama.
'Oh, afterwards they go away, but not before my
village has seen.'
'And at the last what wilt thou do?'
'At the last I shall die.'
'Let the Gods order it. I have never pestered Them
with prayers: I do not think they will pester me. Look
you, I have noticed in my long life that those who eter-
nally break in upon Those Above with complaints and
reports and bellowings and weepings are presently sent
for in haste, as our colonel used to send for slack-jawed
down-country men who talked too much. No, I have
never wearied the Gods. They will remember this, and
give me a quiet place where I can drive my lance in the
shade, and wait to welcome my sons: I have no less than
three-ressaldar-majors all-in the regiments.'
'And they likewise, bound upon the Wheel, go forth
from life to life-from despair to despair,' said the lama
below his breath,' hot, uneasy, snatching.'
'Ay,' the old soldier chuckled. 'Three ressaldar-
majors in three regiments. Gamblers a little, but so
am I. They must be well mounted; and one cannot
take the horses as in the old days one took women.
Well, well, my holding can pay for all. How thinkest
thou? It is a well-watered strip, but my men cheat me.
I do not know how to ask save at the lance's point.
Ugh! I grow angry and I curse them, and they feign
penitence, but behind my back I know they call me a
toothless old ape.'
'Hast thou never desired any other thing?'
'Yes-yes-a thousand times! A straight back and
a close-clinging knee once more; a quick wrist and a
keen eye; and the marrow that makes a man. Oh, the
old days-the good days of my strength !'
'That strength is weakness.'
'It has turned so; but fifty years since I could have
proved it otherwise,' the old soldier retorted, driving
his stirrup-edge into the pony's lean flank.
'But I know a River of great healing.'
'I have drunk Gunga-water to the edge of dropsy.
All she gave me was a flux, and no sort of strength.'
'It is not Gunga. The River that I know washes
from all taint of sin. Ascending the far bank one is
assured of Freedom. I do not know thy life, but thy
face is the face of the honourable and courteous. Thou
hast clung to thy Way, rendering fidelity when it was
hard to give, in that Black Year of which I now remem-
ber other tales. Enter now upon the Middle Way,
which is the path to Freedom. Hear the Most Excel-
lent Law, and do not follow dreams.'
'Speak then, old man,' the soldier smiled, half salut-
ing. 'We be all babblers at our age.'
The lama squatted under the shade of a mango,
whose shadow played checkerwise over his face; the
soldier sat stiffly on the pony; and Kim, making sure
that there were no snakes, lay down in the crotch of the
There was a drowsy buzz of small life in hot sunshine,
a cooing of doves, and a sleepy drone of well-wheels
across the fields. Slowly and impressively the lama
began. At the end of ten minutes the old soldier slid
from his pony, to hear better as he said, and sat with the
Smins round his wrist. The lama's voice faltered-the
periods lengthened. Kim was busy watching a gray
squirrel. When the little scolding bunch of fur, close
pressed to the branch, disappeared, preacher and audi-
ence were fast asleep, the old officer's strong-cut head
pillowed on his arm, the lama's thrown back against the
tree bole, where it showed like yellow ivory. A naked
child toddled up, stared, and, moved by some quick
impulse of reverence made a solemn little obeisance
before the lama-only the child was so short and fat
that it toppled over sideways, and Kim laughed at the
sprawling, chubby legs. The child, scared and indig-
nant, yelled aloud.
'Hai! Hai!' said the soldier leaping to his feet. 'What
is it? What orders? . It is . a child!
I dreamed it was an alarm. Little one-little one-do
not cry. Have I slept? That was discourteous indeed!'
'I fear! I am afraid I' roared the child.
'What is it to fear? Two old men and a boy? How
wilt thou ever make a soldier, Princeling?'
The lama had waked too, but, taking no direct notice
of the child, clicked his rosary.
'What is that?' said the child, stopping a yell midway.
'I have never seen such things. Give them me.'
'Aha,' said the lama, smiling, and trailing a loop of it
on the grass:
'This is a handful of cardamoms,
This is a lump of ghi:
This is millet and chillies and rice,
A supper for thee and me !'
The child shrieked with joy, and snatched at the dark,
'0ho!' said the old soldier. 'Whence had thou thf
song, despiser of this world?'
'I learned it in Pathankot-sitting on a door-step
said the lama shyly. 'It is good to be kind to babes.'
'As I remember, before the sleep came on us, the
hadst told me that marriage and bearing were darkened
of the true light, stumbling-blocks upon the way. E
children drop from heaven in thy country? Is it tl
Way to sing them songs?'
'No man is all perfect,' said the lama gravely, ri
coiling the rosary. 'Run now to thy mother, little one
'Hear him!' said the soldier to Kim. 'He is ashamed
for that he has made a child happy. There was a vei
good householder lost in thee, my brother. Hai, child
He threw it a pice. 'Sweetmeats are always sweet
And as the little figure capered away into the sunshine
'They grow up and become men. Holy One, I grie\
that I slept in the midst of thy preaching. Forgii
'We be two old men,' said the lama. 'The fault
mine. I listened to thy talk of the world and its mac
ness, and one fault led to the next.'
'Hear him! What harm do thy Gods suffer froi
play with a babe? And that song was very well sung
Let us go on and I will sing thee the song of Nikal Sey
before Delhi-the old song.'
And they fared out from the gloom of the mango topi
the old man's high, shrill voice ringing across the fielh
as wail by long-drawn wail he unfolded the story (
Nikal Seyn (Nicholson)-the song that men sing in t1
Punjab to this day. Kim was delighted, and the lam
listened with deep interest.
'Ahi! Nikal Seyn is dead-he died before Delh
Lances of North take vengeance for Nikal Seyn.' He
quavered it out to the end, marking the trills with the,
flat of his sword on the pony's rump.
'And now we come to the Big Road,' said he, after
receiving the compliments of Kim; for the lama was
markedly silent. 'It is long since I have ridden this
way, but thy boy's talk stirred me. See, Holy One-
the Great Road which is the backbone of all Hind.
For the most part it is shaded, as here, with four lines of
trees; the middle road-all hard-takes the quick traffic.
In the days before rail-carriages the Sahibs travelled up
and down here in hundreds. Now there are only
country-carts and such like. Left and right is the
rougher road for the heavy carts-grain and cotton and
timber, bhoosa, lime and hides. A man goes in safety
here-for at every few kos is a police-station. The police
are thieves and extortioners (I myself would patrol it with
cavalry--young recruits under a strong captain), but at
least.they do not suffer any rivals. All castes and kinds
of men move here. Look! Brahmins and chumars,
bankers and tinkers, barbers and bunnfas, pilgrims and
potters-all the world going and coming. It is to me as
a river from which I am withdrawn like a log after a flood.'
And truly the Grand Trunk Road is a wonderful
spectacle. It runs straight, bearing without crowding
India's traffic for fifteen hundred miles-such a river of
life as nowhere else exists in the world. They looked a l
the green-arched, shade-flecked length of it, the while
breadth speckled with slow-pacing folk; and the two-
roomed police-station opposite.
'Who bears arms against the law?' a constable called
out laughingly, as he caught sight of the soldier's sword,
'Are not the police enough to destroy evil-doers?'
'It was because of the police I bought it,' was th
; answer. 'Does all go well in Hind?'
'Ressaldar Sahib, all goes well.'
'I am like an old tortoise, look you, who puts hi
head out from the bank and draws it in again. Ay
this is the road of Hindustan. All men come by thi
'Son of a swine, is the soft part of the road meant fo
thee to scratch thy back upon? Father of all th
daughters of shame and husband of ten thousand virtue
less ones, thy mother was devoted to a devil, being lei
thereto by her mother; thy aunts have never had
nose for seven generations! Thy sister- What owl'
folly told thee to draw thy carts across the road? I
broken wheel? Then take a broken head and put th
two together at leisure!'
The voice and a venomous whip-cracking ca"^ out o
a pillar of dust fifty yards away, where a cart liacDbrokei
down. A thin, high Kattiwar mare, with eyek an(
nostrils aflame,,rocketed out of the jam, snorting'-an
wincing as her rider bent her across the road in chaste o
a shouting man. He was tall and gray-bearded, sitting
the almost mad beast as a piece of her, and scientifically.
lashing his victim between plunges.
The old man's face lit with pride. 'My child' sai<
he briefly, and strove to rein the pony's neck to a fittin!
'Am I to be beaten before the police?' cried the carter
'Justice! I will have Justice-'
'Am I to be blocked by a shouting ape who upsets tei
thousand sacks under a young horse's nose? That i
the way to ruin a mare.'
'He speaks truth. He speaks truth. But she follow
her man close,' said the old man. The carter ran under
the wheels of his cart and thence threatened all sorts of
'They are strong men, thy sons,' said the policeman
serenely, picking his teeth.
The horseman delivered one last vicious cut with his
whip and came on at a canter.
'My father!' He reined back ten yards and dis-
The old man was off his pony in an instant, and they
embraced as do father and son in the East.
Good Luck, she is never a lady,
< But the cursedest quean alive.
Tricksy, wincing, and jady-
Kittle to lead or drive.
Greet her-she's hailing a stranger!
Meet her-she's busking to leave!
Let her alone for a shrew to the bone
And the hussy comes plucking your sleeve I
Largesse I Largesse, 0 Fortunel
Give or hold at your will
If I've no care for Fortune,
Fortune must follow me still I
'The Wishing Caps.'
Kim came to rest under a tree, but the lama
tugged impatiently at his elbow.
'Let us go on. The River is not here.'
'Hai mai? Have we not walked enough for a little?
Our River will not run away. Patience, and he will
give us a dole.'
'That,' said the old soldier suddenly, 'is the Friend of
the Stars. He brought me the news yesterday. Hav-
ing seen the very man Himself, in a vision, giving orders
for the war.'
TT7 lk r
'Hml' said his son, all deep in his broad chest. 'He
came by a bazar-rumour and made profit of it.'
His father laughed. 'At least he did not ride to me
begging for a new charger and the gods know how many
rupees. Are thy brothers' regiments also under orders?'
'I do not know. I took leave and came swiftly to
thee in case-'
'In case they ran before thee to beg. 0 gamblers and
spendthrifts all! But thou hast never yet ridden in a
charge. A good horse is needed there, truly. A good
follower and a good pony also for the marching. Let
us see-let us see.' He thrummed on the pommel.
'This is no place to cast accounts in, my father. Let
us go to thy house.'
'At least pay the boy then: I have no pice with me,
and he brought auspicious news. Ho! Friend of all
the World, a war is toward as thou hast said.'
'Nay, as I know, the war,' returned Kim composedly.
'Eh?' said the lama, fingering his beads, all eager for
'My master does not trouble the Stars for hire. We
brought the news-bear witness we brought the news,
and now we go.' Kim half-crooked his hand at his
The son tossed a silver coin through the sunlight,
grumbling something about beggars and jugglers. It
was a four-anna piece, and would feed them well for some
days. The lama, seeing the flash of the metal, droned a
'Go thy way, Friend of all the World,' piped the old
soldier, wheeling his scrawny mount. 'For once in all
my days I have met a true prophet-who was not in
Father and son swung round together: the old man
sitting as erect as the younger.
A Punj abi constable in yellow linen trousers slouched
across the road. He had seen the money pass.
'Halt!' he cried in impressive English. 'Know ye not
that there is a takkus of two annas a head, which is four
annas, on those who enter the road from this side-road.
It is the order of the Sirkar, and the money is spent for
the planting of trees and the beautification of the ways.'
'And the bellies of the police,' said Kim, skipping out
of arm's reach. 'Consider for a while, man with a mud
head. Think you we came from the nearest pond like
the frog, thy father-in-law. Hast thou ever heard the
name of thy brother?'
'And who was he? Leave the boy alone,' cried a
senior constable, immensely delighted, as he squatted
down to smoke his pipe in the veranda.
'He took a label from a bottle of belaitee-pani (soda-
water), and, affixing it to a bridge, collected taxes for a
month from those who passed, saying that it was the
Sirkar's order. Then came an Englishman and broke his
head. Ah, brother, I am a town-crow, not a village-crow !'
The policeman drew back abashed, and Kim hooted
at him all down the road.
'Was there ever such a disciple as I?' he cried merrily
to the lama. 'All earth would have picked thy bones
within ten mile of Lahore city if I had not guarded thee.'
'I consider in my own mind whether thou art a spirit,
sometimes, or sometimes an evil imp,' said the lama,
'I am thy chela.' Kim dropped into step at his side
-that indescribable gait of the long-distance tramp all
ihe world over.
'Now let us walk,' muttered the lama, and to the click
of his rosary they walked in silence mile upon mile.
The lama, as usual, was deep in meditation, but Kim's
bright eyes were open wide. This broad, smiling river
of life, he considered, was a vast improvement on the
cramped and crowded Lahore streets. There were new
people and new sights at every stride-castes he knew
and castes that were altogether out of his experience.
They met a troop of long-haired, strong-scented San-
sis with baskets of lizards and other unclean food on
their backs, their lean dogs sniffing at their heels. These
people kept their own side of the road, moving at a
quick, furtive jog-trot, and all other castes gave them
ample room; for the Sansi is deep pollution. Behind
them, walking wide and stiffly across the strong shadows,
the memory of his leg-irons still on him, strode one
newly released from the jail; his full stomach and shiny
skin to prove that the Government fed its prisoners
better than most honest men could feed themselves.
Kim knew that walk well, and made broad jest of it as
they passed. Then an Akali, a wild-eyed, wild-haired
Sikh devotee in the blue-checked clothes of his faith,
with polished-steel quoits glistening on the cone of his
tall blue turban, stalked past, returning from a visit to
one of the independent Sikh States, where he had been
singing the ancient glories, of the Khalsa to College-
trained princelings in top-boots and white-cord breeches.
Kim was careful not to irritate that man; for the Akali's
temper is short and his arm quick. Here and there
they met or were overtaken by the gaily dressed crowds
of whole villages turning out to some local fair; the
women, with their babes on their hips, walking behind
the men, the older boys prancing on sticks of sugar-cane,
dragging rude brass models of locomotives such as they
sell for a halfpenny, or flashing the sun into the eyes of
their betters from cheap toy mirrors. One could see at
a glance what each had bought; and if there were any
doubt it needed only to watch the wives comparing,
brown arm against brown arm, the newly purchased
dull glass bracelets that come from the North-West
These merry-makers stepped slowly, calling one to the
other and stopping to haggle with sweetmeat-sellers, or
to make a prayer before one of the wayside shrines-
sometimesHindu, sometimes Mussalman-which the low
caste of both creeds share with beautiful impartiality.
A solid line of blue, rising and falling like the back of a
caterpillar in haste, would swing up through the quiver-
ing dust and trot past to a chorus of quick cackling.
That was a gang of changars-the women who have
taken all the embankments of all the Northern rail-
ways under their charge-a flat-footed, big-bosomed,
strong-limbed, blue-petticoated clan of earth-carriers,
hurrying north on news of a job, and wasting no time
by the road.. They belong to the caste whose men do
not count, and they walked with squared elbows, swing-
ing hips, and heads on high, as suits women who carry
heavy weights. A little later a marriage procession
would strike into the Grand Trunk with music and
shouting, and a smell of marigold and jasmine stronger
even than the reek of the dust. One could see the
bride's litter, a blur of red and tinsel, staggering through
the haze, while the bridegroom's bewreathed pony
turned aside to snatch a mouthful from a passing fodder-
cart. Then Kim would join the Kentish-fire of good
wishes and bad jokes, wishing the couple a hundred
sons and no daughters, as the saying is. Still more
interesting and more to be shouted over it was when a
strolling juggler with some half-trained monkeys, or a
panting, feeble bear, or a woman who tied goats' horns
to her feet, and with these danced on a slack-rope, set
the horses to shying and the women to shrill, long-drawn
quavers of amazement.
The lama never raised his eyes. He did not note the
money-lender on his goose-rumped pony, hastening
along to collect the cruel interest; or the long-shouting,
deep-voiced little mob-still in military formation-of
native soldiers on leave, rejoicing to be rid of their
breeches and puttees, and saying the most outrageous
things to the most respectable women in sight. Even
the seller of Ganges-water he did not see, and Kim
expected that he would at least buy a bottle of that
precious stuff. He looked steadily at the ground, and
strode as steadily hour after hour, his soul busied else-
where. But Kim was in the seventh heaven of joy.
The Grand Trunk at this point was built on an embank-
ment to guard against winter floods from the foothills,
so that one walked, as it were, a little above the country,
along a stately corridor, seeing all India spread out to
left and right. It was beautiful to behold the many-
yoked grain and cotton waggons crawling over the
country-roads: one could hear their axles, complaining
a mile away, coming nearer, till with shouts and yells
and bad words they climbed up the steep incline and
plunged on to the hard main road, carter reviling carter.
It was equally beautiful to watch the people, little clumps
of red and blue and pink and white and saffron, turning
aside to go to their own villages, dispersing and growing
small by twos and threes across the level plain. Kim
felt these things, though he could not give tongue to his
feelings, and so contented himself with buying peeled
sugar-cane and spitting the pith generously about his
path. From time to time the lama took snuff, and at
last Kim could endure the silence no longer.
'This is a good land-the land of the Southl' said he.
'The air is good; the water is good. Eh?'
'And they are all bound upon the Wheel,' said the
lama. 'Bound from life after life. To none of these
has the Way been shown.' He shook himself back to
'And now we have walked a weary way,' said Kim.
'Surely we shall soon come to a parao (a resting-place).
Shall we stay there? Look, the sun is sloping.'
'Who will receive us this evening?'
'That is all one. This country is full of good folk.
Besides,'-he sunk his voice beneath a whisper,--'we
The crowd thickened as they neared the resting-place
which marked the end of their day's journey. A line of
stalls selling very simple food and tobacco, a stack of
firewood, a police-station, a well, a horse-trough, a few
trees, and, under them, some trampled ground dotted
with the black ashes of old fires, are all that mark a
parao on the Grand Trunk; if you except the beggars
and the crows-both hungry.
By this time the sun was driving broad golden spokes
through the lower branches of the mango trees; the
parakeets and doves were coming home in their hun-
dreds; the chattering, gray-backed Seven Sisters, talk-
ing over the day's adventures, walked back and forth in
twos and threes almost under the feet of the travellers;
and shufflings and scufflings in the branches showed
that the bats were ready to go out on the night-picket.
Swiftly the light gathered itself together, painted for an
instant the faces and the cart-wheels and the bullocks'
horns as red as blood. Then the night fell, changing
the touch of the air, drawing a low, even haze, like a
gossamer veil of blue, across the face of the country,
and bringing out, keen and distinct, the smell of wood-
smoke and cattle and the good scent of wheaten cakes
cooked on ashes. The evening patrol hurried out of
the police-station with important coughings and re-
iterated orders; and a live charcoal ball in the cup of a
wayside carter's hookah glowed red while Kim's eye
mechanically watched the last flicker of the sun on the
The life of the parao was very like that of the Kash-
mir Serai on a small scale. Kim dived into the happy
Asiatic disorder which, if you only allow time, will bring
you everything that a simple man needs.
His wants were few, because, since the lama had no
caste scruples, cooked food from the nearest stall would
serve; but, for luxury's sake, Kim bought a handful of
dung-cakes to build a fire. All about, coming and going
round the little flames, men cried for oil, or grain, or
sweetmeats, or tobacco, jostling one another while they
waited their turn at the well; and under the men's voices
you heard from halted, shuttered carts the high squeals
and giggles of women whose faces should not be seen in
Nowadays, well-educated natives are of opinion that
when their womenfolk travel-and they visit a good
deal-it is better to take them quickly by rail in a
The Lama and Kim walked a little to one side; Kim chewing h
no one under the status of
re are always the old women,-more conservative
n the men,-who toward the end of their days go a
image. They, being withered and undesirable, do
, under certain circumstances, object to unveiling.
er their long seclusion, during which they have
ays been in business touch with a thousand outside
rests, they love the bustle and stir of the open road,
gatherings at the shrines, and the infinite possibili-
of gossip with like-minded dowagers. Very often
aits a long-suffering family that a strong-tongued,
I-willed old lady should disport herself about India
his fashion; for certainly pilgrimage is grateful to the
Is. So all about India, in the most remote places, as
hie most public, you find some knot of grizzled servi-
in nominal charge of an old lady who is more or less
gainedd and hid away in a bullock-cart. Such men are
d and discreet, and when a European or a high-caste
.ve is near will net their charge with most elaborate
,autions; but in the ordinary haphazard chances of
rimage the precautions are not taken. The old lady
after all, intensely human, and lives to look upon life.
.im marked down a gaily ornamented ruth or family
ock-cart, with a broidered canopy of two domes,
a double-humped camel, which had just been drawn
the parao. Eight men made its retinue, and two of
eight were armed with rusty sabres-sure signs that
r followed a person of distinction, for the common
do not bear arms. An increasing cackle of com-
ats, orders, and jests, and, .what to a European would
- been bad language, came from behind the curtains.
a was evidently a woman used to command.
im looked over the retinue critically. Half of them
thin-legged, gray-bearded Ooryas from down
country. The other half were duffle-clad, felt-hati
hillmen of the North: and that mixture told its own ti
even if he had not overheard the incessant sparr:
between the two divisions. The old lady was goJ
south on a visit-probably to a rich relative, m
probably to a son-in-law, who had sent up an escort
a mark of respect. The hillmen would be of her o
people-Kulu or Kangra folk. It was quite clear tl
she was not taking her daughter down to be wedded,
the curtains would have been laced home and the gui
would have allowed no one near the car. A merry a
a high-spirited dame, thought Kim, balancing the dui
cake in one hand, the cooked food in the other, a
piloting the lama with a nudging shoulder. Somethi
might be made out of the meeting. The lama woi
give him no help, but, as a conscientious chela, K
was delighted to beg for two.
He built his fire as close to the cart as he dared, wa
ing for one of the escort to order him away. The lai
dropped wearily to the ground, much as a heavy fru
eating bat cowers, and returned to his rosary.
'Stand farther off, beggar!' The order was shout
in broken Hindustanee by one of the hillmen.
'Huh! It is only a pahari' (a hillman), said K
over his shoulder. 'Since when have the hill-as:
owned all Hindustan?'
The retort was a swift and brilliant sketch of Kir
pedigree for three generations.
'Ahl' Kim's voice was sweeter than ever, as he bro
the dung-cake into fit pieces. 'In my country we c
that the beginning of love-talk.'
A harsh, thin cackle behind the curtains put the h:
man on his mettle for a second shot.
Not so bad-not so bad,' said Kim with calm. 'But
re a care, my brother, lest we-we, I say-be minded
,ive a curse or so in return. And our curses have the
Lck of biting home.'
'he Ooryas laughed; the hillman sprang forward
eateningly; the lama suddenly raised his head, bring-
his huge tam-o'-shanter cap into the full light of
n's new-started fire.
What is it?' said he.
'he man halted as though struck to stone. 'I-I-
saved from a great sin,' he stammered.
The foreigner has found him a priest at last,' whis-
ed one of the Ooryas.
Hai! Why is that beggar-brat not well beaten?' the
The hillman drew back to the cart and whispered
lething to the curtain. There was dead silence, then
This goes well,' thought Kim, pretending neither to
When-when-he has eaten,'-the hillman fawned
Kim--'it-it is requested that the Holy One will do
honour to talk to one who would speak to him.'
After he has eaten he will sleep,' Kim returned
tily. He could not quite see what new turn the game
I taken, but stood resolute to profit by it. 'Now, I
I get him his food.' The last sentence, spoken loudly,
led with a sigh as of faintness.
I-I myself and the others of my people will look to
.t-if it is permitted.'
It is permitted,' said Kim, more loftily than ever.
oly One, these people will bring us food.'
The land is good. All the country of the South is
good-a great and a terrible world,' mumbled the lai
'Let him sleep,' said Kim, 'but look to it that we:
well fed when he wakes. He is a very holy man.'
Again one of the Ooryas said something contemp
'He is not a faquir. He is not a down-couni
beggar,' Kim went on severely, addressing the sta
'He is the most holy of holy men. He is above
castes. I am his chela.'
'Come here!' said the flat thin voice behind the c
tain; and Kim came, conscious that eyes he could i
see were staring at him. One skinny brown fin
heavy with rings lay on the edge of the cart, and 1
talk went this way:
'Who is that one?'
'An exceedingly holy one. He comes from far i
He comes from Tibet.'
'Where in Tibet?'
'From behind the snows-from a very far place.
knows the stars; he makes horoscopes; he reads nati
ties. But he does not do this for money. He does it
kindness and great charity. I am his disciple. I
called also the Friend of the Stars.'
'Thou art no hillman.'
'Ask him. He will tell thee I was sent to him fr
the stars to show him an end to his pilgrimage.'
'Humph Consider, brat, that I am an old wonrr
and not altogether a fool. Lamas I know, and to th
I give reverence, but thou art no more a lawful ch
than this my finger is the pole of this waggon. TI
art a casteless Hindu-a bold and unblushing begg
attached, belike, to the Holy One for the sake of gain.
)o we not all work for gain?' Kim changed his
- promptly to match that altered voice. 'I have
rd'-this was a bow drawn at a venture--'I have
Mhat hast thou heard?' she snapped, rapping with
Nothing that I well remember, but some talk in the
irs, which is doubtless a lie, that even Rajahs-small
3ut none the less of good Rajput blood.'
Assuredly of good blood. That these even sell the
e comely of their womenfolk for gain. Down south
r sell them-to zemindars and such-all of Oudh.
'there be one thing in the world that the small hill
ahs deny it is just this charge; but it happens to be
thing that the bazars believe, when they discuss the
terious slave-traffics of India. The old lady ex-
ned to Kim, in a tense, indignant whisper, precisely
t manner and fashion of malignant liar he was.
I Kim hinted this when she was a girl, he would have
i pommelled to death that same evening by an
hant. This was perfectly true.
khai! I am only a beggar's brat, as the Eye of
uty has said,' he wailed in extravagant terror.
lye of Beauty, forsooth! Who am I that thou
ildst fling beggar-endearments at me?' And yet
laughed at the long-forgotten word. 'Forty years
that might have been said, and not without truth.
thirty years ago. But it is the fault of this gadding
mnd down Hind that a king's widow must jostle all
scum of the land, and be made a mock by beggars.'
Great Queen,' said Kim promptly, for he heard her
king with indignation, 'I am even what the Great
Queen says I am; but none the less is my master h
He has not yet heard the Great Queen's order that-
'Order? I order a Holy One-a Teacher of the ]
-to come and speak to a woman? Never!'
'Pity my stupidity. I thought it was given at
'It was not. It was a petition. Does this maki
A silver coin clicked on the edge of the cart. I
took it and salaamed profoundly. The old lady rei
nised that, as the eyes and the ears of the lama, he
to be propitiated.
'I am but the Holy One's disciple. When he
eaten perhaps he will come.'
'Oh, villain and shameless rogue!' The jewe
forefinger shook itself at him reprovingly; but he cc
hear the old lady's chuckle.
'Nay, what is it?' he said, dropping into his n
caressing and confidential tone-the one, he well kr
that few could resist. 'Is-is there any need of a
in thy family? Speak freely, for we priests-' '1
last was a direct plagiarism from a faquir by the Tak
'We priests! Thou art not yet old enough tc
She checked the joke with another laugh. 'Believe
now and again, we women, 0 priest, think of ol
matters than sons. Moreover, my daughter has bc
her man-child.' ,
'Two arrows in the quiver are better than one;
three are better still.' Kim quoted the proverb wil
meditative cough, looking discreetly earthward.
'True-oh, true. But perhaps that will co
Certainly those down-country Brahmins are utterly 1
I sent gifts and monies and gifts again to them.
. they prophesied.'
Ah,' drawled Kim, with infinite contempt, 'they
phesied!' A professional could have done no better.
And it was not till I remembered my own Gods that
prayers were heard. I chose an auspicious hour, and
perhaps thy Holy One has heard of the Abbot of the
ig-Cho lamassery. It was to him I put the matter,
i behold in the due time all came about as I desired.
e Brahmin in the house of the father of my daughter's
has since said that it was through his prayers-which
little error that I will explain to him when we reach
journey's end. And so afterwards I go to Buddh Gaya,
nake shraddha for the father of my children.'
Thither go we.'
Doubly auspicious,' chirruped the old lady. 'A sec-
I son at least!'
0 Friend of all the World!' The lama had waked,
I, simply as a child bewildered in a strange bed,
led for Kim.
I come! I come, Holy One!' He dashed to the fire,
are he found the lama already surrounded by dishes
ood, the hillmen visibly adoring him and the South-
ers looking sourly.
Go back! Withdraw!' Kim cried. 'Do we eat
)licly like dogs?' They finished the meal in silence,
h turned a little from the other, and Kim topped it
h a native-made cigarette.
Have I not said an hundred times that the South is a
id land? Here is a virtuous and high-born widow of
lill Rajah on pilgrimage, she says, to Buddh Gaya.
Sit is sends us those dishes; and when thou art well
Led she would speak to thee.'