in the Camp"
|notes on the text|
‘It isn’t that I mind dying,’ he said. ‘It’s leaving Polly and the district. Thank God! we have no children. Dick, you know, I’m dipped—awfully dipped—debts in my first five years’ service. It isn’t much of a pension, but enough for her. She has her mother at home. Getting there is the difficulty. And—and—you see, not being a soldier’s wife—’“The Head of the District” first appeared in Macmillan’s Magazine for January 1890, in the same month and year as “A Death in the Camp”, although in a different continent.
‘We’ll arrange the passage home, of course,’ said Tallantire quietly.
‘It’s not nice to think of sending round the hat; but, good Lord! how many men I lie here and remember that had to do it! Morten’s dead—he was of my year. Shaughnessy is dead, and he had children; I remember he used to read us their school-letters; what a bore we thought him! Evans is dead—Kot-Kumharsen killed him! Ricketts of Myndonie is dead—and I’m going too. “Man that is born of a woman is small potatoes and few in the hill.”
(see the Notes on “The Head of the District”).
. . . in a score or more of his stories of Indian life that he gave to the English reading public in the early nineties he tells them of Death ever present, death of children, death of young men on the edge of attainment or at the peak of their powers ... the refusal to face death as inevitable is something that strikes him most forcibly, in contrast to India. (pp.150-151).