(Feb 11th to 17th)

Format: Triple

A yellow and brown streak glided from the purple rustling stems to the bank, stretched its neck to the water, drank, and lay still – a big cobra with fixed lidless eyes…
…’Let him live out his life.’ The coiled thing hissed and half opened its hood. ‘May thy release come soon, brother.’…He passed within a foot of the cobra’s poised head. It flattened itself among the dusty coils…


This is from Kim.

Kim and the Lama are making their way through the fields outside Umballa, on the way to the Grand Trunk Road. They meet a cobra, and Kim’s instinct is to break its back. But to the Lama the snake is just another being, bound like them upon the Wheel of Things.

…At each jarring bump he believed an axle had smashed, and he took the eighty-foot bridge without the guard-rail like a hunted cat on top of a fence. Then a wet leaf stuck against the glass of his headlight and threw a flying shadow on the track, so that he thought it was some little dancing animal that would feel soft if he ran over it; and anything soft underfoot frightens a locomotive as it does an elephant. But the men behind seemd quite calm…


This is from ‘007 in ‘The Day’s Work’.

.007, a big new eight-wheeled ‘American’ locomotive, is on his first fast run, on a rescue mission following a wreck. It is all new to him, and he is very nervous.

…he took the lantern and dived under the drive-wheels, where he lay face up, investigating among spurts of hot water.
“Doocid plucky”, said the subaltern. “I shouldn’t like to do that myself. What’s gone wrong ?”
“Cylinder-head blown off, coupler-rod twisted, and several more things. She is very badly wrecked. Oah yes, she is a tottal wreck,” said young Ottley between the spokes of the right-hand driver.
“Awkward,” said the subaltern…


This is from ‘The Bold ‘Prentice’ in ‘Land and Sea Tales for Scouts and Guides’. Young Ottley, an apprentice on the D.I.R. Railway in Bengal, has made friends with Olaf Swanson, a Swede who drives the big Mail train, and Olaf has made him learn engineering from his book on “The Art of Road Locos Repair’ . Here, on a wet Bengal night, an engine has blown up, and her incompetent driver has given up. Young Ottley is on the train, goes forward to assess the damage, and carries through the risky job of stripping the engine, and moving the train forward to safety on a single cylinder.