Quotes Dreams

April 28th to May 4th


…we closed—her name-plate ten feet above ours, looking down into our forehatch. I heard the grinding as of a hundred querns, the ripping of the tough bow-plates, and the pistol-like report of displaced rivets followed by the rush of the sea. We were sinking in mid-ocean…


This is from The Red Lamp, collected in Abaft the Funnel.

The story-teller, up in the bows of a steamship at sea on a hot dark night, is terrified to see the approaching red lamp of another vessel heading straight for them. Powerless, he witnesses a dreadful collision…

But it is a dream, a nightmare. He had fallen asleep, and is woken by the quartermaster, who quietly assures him that all is well.


At the end of one’s third pipe the dragons used to move about and fight. I’ve watched ’em many and many a night through. I used to regulate my Smoke that way, and now it takes a dozen pipes to make ’em stir.


This is from “The Gate of the Hundred Sorrows“, written when Kipling was eighteen, and collected in Plain Tales from the Hills.

It is a monologue by Gabrel Misquitta, an opium addict, six weeks before his death. It  has been suggested that the young Kipling may have taken it down verbatim.


As Shackles went short to take the turn and came abreast of the brick-mound, Brunt heard, above the noise of the wind in his ears, a whining, wailing voice on the offside, saying ‘God ha’ mercy, I’m done for!’


This is from “The Broken Link Handicap” collected in Plain Tales from the Hills.

A champion race-horse Shackles, is competing in “The Broken Link Handicap”, thus called because many people want his arrogant owner to lose the race. Shackles is ahead at the final fence, when Brunt, his jockey, hears a well-recalled hideous voice in his ear – the last words of a rider who had been killed in a dreadful fall years ago.

He screams and digs his heels in, the horse slides to a halt, and the race is lost.