Quotes William


They were picking them up at almost every station now—men and women coming in for the Christmas Week, with racquets, with bundles of polo-sticks, with dear and bruised cricket-bats, with fox-terriers and saddles. The greater part of them wore jackets like William’s, for the Northern cold is as little to be trifled with as the Northern heat.


This is from William the Conqurer, collected in The Day’s Work (1898)  about a famine, which is also one of Kipling’s love stories.

There has been famine in South India, and administrators from all departments have been called in to help.  From the Punjab come, among others, Scott, an Engineer, and Martyn, a Police officer, with his sister ‘William’,  who keeps house for him. She would not be deterred from coming with her brother, despite his protests.

After great efforts – since it was very hard to persuade Southerners, who lived on rice, to eat grain – food is successfully distributed, and the famine is staunched.  Scott had found himself in charge of a band of little children, who see him as their adopted father.

Now they are on their way home to Lahore just before Christmas. Here,Scott and William declare their love. The story ends with Christmas festivities, and a ball, as they would have enjoyed at home in England.