Quotes Kim, the boy

April 7th to 13th


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 mouth. He headed straight for the shop, well knowing his privileges as a sacred beast, lowered his head, and puffed heavily along the line of baskets ere making his choice. Up flew Kim’s hard little heel and caught him on his moist blue nose. He snorted indignantly, and walked away across the tram rails, his hump quivering with rage.



Kim, orphan son of an Irish soldier, brought up in the old city of Lahore, street-wise and fearless, has just joined forces with Teshoo Lama, a venerable abbott from Tibet, who is searching for a sacred river.

He needs a chela, a disciple who will look after his needs and acquire wisdom.  Kim is seeking adventure.   Here in chapter one he is saving a stall-holder’s vegetables to win a meal for them both.

They are at the beginning of great journeys and many strange encounters as they traverse Northern India, a great and wonderful land.

“I say, throw it back.”

Kim pitched it at random. It fell short and crashed into fifty pieces, while the water dripped through the rough veranda boarding.

“I said it would break.”  “All one. Look at it. Look at the largest piece.”  …  Kim looked intently; Lurgan Sahib laid one hand gently on the nape of the neck, stroked it twice or thrice, and whispered: “Look! It shall come to life again…



This is from the ninth chapter of Kim. The boy has now finished his schooling and has been sent to stay with the mysterious Lurgan Sahib in Simla. Lurgan’s role is to test his wits and force of character, and train him as a secret agent for the Great Game of intelligence.

Here he is trying to hypnotise Kim into thinking a broken pot is mending itself. He shows his mettle by resisting.

It was too late. Before Kim could ward him off, the Russian struck the old man full on the face. Next instant he was rolling over and over down hill with Kim at his throat. The blow had waked every unknown Irish devil in the boy’s blood, and the sudden fall of his enemy did the rest.



Up in the mountains in chapter thirteen Kim and the lama have encountered a Russian and a Frenchman, agents of the Russian government who have been gathering intelligence in the border regions of India.

When, after a misunderstanding, the Russian strikes the lama, Kim fights him off, and the hillmen carrying their baggage, Buddhists all, drive the spies away downhill.

Kim gets the lama away to safety, and is left with all the secret records of the spies, a major coup.