(June 17th to 26th)

Format: Triple

‘I went forward; but I cannot say whither I went, and there was no more food for myself or the sister. And upon a hot night, she weeping and calling for food, we came to a well, and I bade her sit upon the kerb, and thrust her in, for, in truth, she could not see; and it is better to die than to starve.’


This is from “Little Tobrah” in
Life’s Handicap. His father and mother had died of the smallpox, and their family livelihood destroyed. Now his little sister is dead. But Little Tobrah is alive.

‘Muhammad Din never had any companions. He used to trot about the compound, in and out of the castor-oil bushes, on mysterious errands of his own. One day I stumbled upon some of his handiwork far down the grounds. He had half buried the polo-ball in dust, and stuck six shrivelled old marigold flowers in a circle round it. Outside that circle again was a rude square, traced out in bits of red brick alternating with fragments of broken china …


This is from “The Story of Muhammed Din” in Plain Talas from the Hills. The child, like Kipling in his childhood, was creating his own magical kingdom. It is carelessly destroyed, and Muhammad Din does not live long.

The child paid no attention, but moved about the room, investigating everything that came in her way—the yellow cut-glass handles of the chest of drawers, the stamped bronze hook to hold back the heavy puce curtains, and the mauve enamel, New Art finger-plates on the door. Frau Ebermann watched indignantly.

‘Aie! That is bad and rude. Go away!’ she cried,


This is from “Swept and Garnished” in A Diversity of Creatures. The children who appear to Frau Ebermann in her elegant Berlin apartment, have come from the destruction and death of the muderous German assault on Belgium, that was going firward.