quotes woman in life


A handful of sand dropped from the roof and crumbled between his neck and coat-collar. He had but to retire an inch or two and the pressure would be relieved, and he could widen the bottlenecked passage with his spade; but terror beyond all terrors froze him


This is from “The Woman in his Life”  in Kipling’s last collection Limits and Renewals (1932)

John Marden, who has served on the Western Front as a Royal Engineer, has a crippling breakdown. He is haunted by the war-time terrors of mining under the Messines Ridge in constant fear of being buried alive.

He acquires Dinah, a little terrier, who becomes his much loved companion. One day on a walk she disappears up a  fox-hole and is caught on a root by her collar.  Marden  finds her and in great terror crawls up the hole to the rescue.

Afterwards , he finds that that this act of courage had freed him from his  nightmares.