(Feb 12th to 18th)

Format: Triple

‘But though we were dead-tired, we did not forget to go to the Boy’s rooms and put away his revolver with the proper amount of cartridges in the pouch. Also to set his writing-case on the table. We found the Colonel and reported the death, feeling more like murderers than ever.’


This is from “Thrown Away” in Plain Tales from the Hills. Two friends have found a young officer lying dead in his tent, having shot himself in despair. They have taken pains to conceal the suicide to spare the feelings of his people at home.

‘The exploded shell of an old brown cartridge dropped out of one of the pockets and rolled at my feet. Gunga Dass had not seen it; and I fell to thinking that a man does not carry exploded cartridge-cases, especially ‘browns,’ which will not bear loading twice, about with him when shooting. In other words, that cartridge-case had been fired inside the crater.’


This is from ‘The Strange Ride of Morrowbie Jukes’ from Wee Willie Winkie. On a night ride across the sand hills, Morrowbie Jukes has fallen into a crater which is a prison for the ‘living dead’, people who have seemingly died of cholera, and recovered just as their bodies are to be burned. There is no way out, and they live in burrows and eat crows. Jukes has just found the body of another Englishman who had been trapped there, and had been murdered …

‘…He shouted wanst or twice, an’ thin I heard him say: “They shud ha’ got the range long ago. Maybe they’ll fire at the flash.” Thin he fired again, an’ that dhrew a fresh volley, and the long slugs thay they chew in their teeth came floppin’ among the rocks like tree-toads of a hot night…’


This is from ‘Love o’ Women’ in Many Inventions. A philandering soldier, who has betrayed one woman after another, and in later years is suffering from a deadly disease, is seized with remorse, and longs to die in battle. But ironically, he seems to lead a charmed life.