(May 13th to 19th)

Format: Triple

‘Hicksey and I were thick as thieves. He had some Burma mounted police – rummy chaps, armed with sword and snider carbine. They rode punchy Burma ponies with string stirrups, red cloth saddles, and red bell-rope head-stalls. Hicksey used to lend me six or eight of them when I asked him – nippy little devils, keen as mustard…’


This is from “A Conference of the Powers” in Many Inventions.

The Infant, a massive young officer, is back in London from overseas, telling a tale of a ‘subalterns’ war’ in Burma, where little contingents of British troops were fighting dacoit terrorists in the jungle.

‘…whether they tuk us, all white an’ wet, for a new breed av divil, or a new kind of dacoit, I don’t know. They ran as though we was both, an’ we wint into them, baynit an’ butt, shrikin’ wid laughin’. ‘


This is from “The Taking of Lungtungpen” in Plain Tales from the Hills. Mulvaney is recounting how a small platoon of young British soldiers swam across a Burmese river and stormed the town of Luntungpen, stark naked.

There was a rush from without, the short hough-hough of the stabbing spears, and a man on a horse, followed by thirty or forty others, dashed through, yelling and hacking. The right flank of the square sucked in after them, and the other sides sent help. The wounded, who knew that they had but a few hours more to live, caught at the enemies feet and brought them down …


This is from “The Light that Failed”.

Dick Heldar, a young war artist, and Torpenhow, a special correspondent, on war service in the Sudan, are caught up in an attack on a square of British troops by a crazed mob of the Mahdi’s fanatical soldiers.