in Indian ink
(notes by Roberta Baldi. We have been grateful for critical comments and suggestions from Alastair Wilson)
The magic lies in the Brush and the Ink. For the pen, when it is writing, can only scratch; and bottled ink is not to compare with the ground Chinese stick.Kipling liked to have an ink-boy prepare the ink for him (p. 230). It is not clear why 'Indian Ink' figures in the title - perhaps a suggestion that written messages had something to do with the rise of 'Gubbins'.
... the half-pitying things that he himself had said when Lockhart’s new waterworks burst and broke down in brick-heaps and sludge, and Lockhart’s spirit broke in him and he died. He remembered what he himself had said when the Sumao Bridge went out in the big cyclone by the sea; and most he remembered poor Hartopp’s face three weeks later, when the shame had marked it...One of the most recent bridge disasters in Kipling's day, was the failure of the Tay railway bridge in Scotland in December 1879. [A.W.]