(Jan 7th to 13th)

Format: Triple

‘What is caste to a cut-throat .. we must make thee a yellow Saddhu all over. Strip – strip swiftly, and shake thy hair over thy eyes while I scatter the ash. Now, a caste-mark on thy forehead.’…With a yellow –ochre paint cake he smeared the legs and the breast, great streaks against the background of flour, ash, and turmeric.
‘The blood on them is enough to hang thee, brother’…


This is from Kim.

The boy, fresh from his training, has entered upon the Great Game of espionage and counter-espionage. On a train journey, by chance, he has encountered a fellow agent, pursued by enemies who would take his life. Using the skills he has learnt from Lurgan Sahib in Simla, Kim helps disguise him as a Hindu holy man.

…He was perpetually ‘going Fantee’ among natives, which, of course, no man with any sense believes in. He was initiated into the Sat Bhai at Allahabad once, when he was on leave; he knew the Lizzard-Song of the Sansis, and the Hálli-Hukk dance, which is a religious can-can of a startling kind. When a man knows who dance the Hálli-Huk, and how and when and where, he knows something to be proud of…


This is from “Miss Youghal’s Sais” in Plain Tales from the Hills. Strickland is a policeman with a taste for dressing as an Indian, stepping down into the ‘brown crowd’, and exploring native life from the inside. Later in the tale, forbidden to speak or write to the girl he loves, he disguises himself as her groom, and goes with her everywhere – until a General tries to flirt with her, and he breaks cover to protect her.

‘I will go even now !’ shouted the priest. ‘I will depart upon my winged camels, and be at Peshawar in a day ! Ho ! Hazar Mir Khan,’ he yelled to his servant, ‘drive out the camels, but let me first mount my own.
He leapt on the back of his beast as it knelt, and turning round to me, cried: ‘Come thou also, Sahib, a little along the road, and I will sell you a charm…’


This is from “The Man who would be King” in Wee Willie Winkie and other stories’. Two adventurers, Peachey Carnehan and Daniel Dravot, are making their way in disguise up into the wild hills of Kafiristan to seek their fortune. Carrnehan does indeed make himself a king, but they are found out, and he dies a terrible death. Dravot is crucified, but only survives, a broken man, just long enough to tell the tale of their adventures.