I Dont Know

Topics: Rudyard Kipling, Thou, Kim Pages: 350 (108366 words) Published: March 7, 2013

Rudyard Kipling
A Penn State Electronic Classics Series Publication

Kim by Rudyard Kipling is a publication of the Pennsylvania State University. This Portable Document file is furnished free and without any charge of any kind. Any person using this document file, for any purpose, and in any way does so at his or her own risk. Neither the Pennsylvania State University nor Jim Manis, Faculty Editor, nor anyone associated with the Pennsylvania State University assumes any responsibility for the material contained within the document or for the file as an electronic transmission, in any way. Kim by Rudyard Kipling, the Pennsylvania State University, Electronic Classics Series, Jim Manis, Faculty Editor, Hazleton, PA 18202-1291 is a Portable Document File produced as part of an ongoing student publication project to bring classical works of literature, in English, to free and easy access of those wishing to make use of them.

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Copyright © 2004 The Pennsylvania State University

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Rudyard Kipling


the Punjab, for the great green-bronze piece is always first of the conqueror’s loot.
There was some justification for Kim–he had kicked Lala
Dinanath’s boy off the trunnions–since the English 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


Rudyard Kipling
Chapter I

very poorest. The half-caste woman who looked after him
(she smoked opium, and pretended to keep a second-hand

O ye who tread the Narrow Way
By Tophet-flare to judgment Day,
Be gentle when ‘the heathen’ pray
To Buddha at Kamakura!
Buddha at Kamakura.
HE SAT, in defiance of municipal orders, astride the gun Zam Zammah on her brick platform opposite the old Ajaib-Gher
-the Wonder House, as the natives call the Lahore Museum.
Who hold Zam-Zammah, that ‘fire-breathing dragon’, hold

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 of the
Mavericks, an Irish regiment. He afterwards took a post on
the Sind, Punjab, and Delhi Railway, and his Regiment went
home without him. The wife died of cholera in Ferozepore,
and O’Hara fell to drink and loafing up and down the line
with the keen-eyed three-year-old baby. Societies 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 written below his signature thereon, and another his ‘clearance-certificate’. The third was Kim’s birth-certificate. Those things, he 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

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 hundred devils.’
‘Ah,’ said Kim, ‘I shall remember. A Red Bull and a Colonel on a horse will come, but first, my father said, will come

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
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