Quotes Same Boat


‘A throbbing vein,’ said Dr. Gilbert soothingly, ‘is the mother of delusion.’ ‘Then how do you account for my knowing when the thing is due?’ Conroy’s voice rose almost to a break.

‘Of course, but you should have consulted a doctor before using—palliatives.’ ‘It was driving me mad. And now I can’t give them up.’


This is from “In the Same Boat” (1917) in A Diversity of Creatures, one of Kipling’s later stories about the healing of sick minds.

Conroy, a wealthy, physically powerful young man, is haunted by terrifying recurrent dreams. He knows when they are coming, and is powerless to stave them off. He takes strong drugs to try to escape them. Through his doctor he is introduced to a Miss Henschil, who is having much the same experience.

At the suggestion of their doctors, the two take train journeys together, make friends, and help each other through the crisis time, avoiding the use of drugs. They discover that their mothers had had terrifying experiences while pregnant, which as adults they are re-living in their dreams. That knowledge frees them. They are healed, and go their separate ways.