Quotes Strickland

April 23rd to 29th


DEAR OLD MAN,—Please give bearer a box of cheroots—
Supers, No. I, for preference. They are freshest at the
Club. I’ll repay when I reappear ; but at present I’m out of
society, Yours,—


Thie is from “Miss Youghal’s Sais”, collected in Plain Tales from the Hills.

Strickland, a police officer with deep knowledge of the local Indian people, falls in love with Miss Youghal, but is disapproved of by her parents. He disguises himself as a native servant, and is taken on as her groom.

When an elderly general flirts with the girl, Strickland listens for a while, and then jumps out and threatens in fluent English to throw the general over the cliff. The general is amused and impressed, and puts in a good word for Strickland with her parents. He is accepted, and the story ends happily.

These lines are from a note to a friend, written while he was away in  disguise.

“If thou hadst spoken then, time and money and trouble to me and to others had all been spared. Baba, thou hast done a wrong greater than thy knowledge, and thou hast put me to shame, and set me out upon false words, and broken my honour. Thou hast done very wrong. But perhaps thou didst not think?”

“Nay, but I did think. Father, my honour was lost when that happened that—that happened in Juma’s presence. Now it is made whole again.”


This is from “The Son of his Father” another story about Strickland.

Little Adam  has been beaten by his father for a minor offence, in front of his nurse/ Adam, steeped in the Muslim values of his father’s servants, feels that his honour – his izzat – has been damaged. He is determined to avenge himself.

There is a disturbance when one of Strickland’s horses is apparently stolen. Strickland takes a lot of trouble to track the thieves  down. Adam knows all along that robbery never happened, but does not tell his fathertill ne has made a fool of  himself.

Strickland is furious, but Adam;s  honour r is satisfied.

Before we could stop him, Fleete dashed up the steps, patted two priests on the back, and was gravely grinding the ashes of his cigar-butt in to the forehead of the red stone image of Hanuman.


This is from “The Mark of the Beast”  (1890) a gruesome tale collected in Life’s Handicap.

A drunken Englishman desecrates a Hindu temple.  A leper priest sets a mark om his chest,  Soon after he starts to behave like a man possessed, gnawing raw meat, grovelling in the earth of the garden, and howling like a wolf.   .

Strickland and the story-teller capture the priest and brutally force him to take off the spell.