quotes_may31_2009.htm

(May 31st to June 6th)



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The old Tower musket went off with a bang, and a young buffalo bellowed in pain.
‘More sorcery!’ shouted the villagers. ‘He can turn bullets. Buldeo, that was thy buffalo.’

  

This is from “Tiger! Tiger!” in The Jungle Book.

Mowgli has made an end of the lame tiger, Shere Khan, trampled to death by the village buffalo herd. Buldeo, the village hunter, had found him skinning the tiger, protected by his wolves, and fled back to the village. When Mowgli drives the herd home, Buldeo looses off at him with his musket, and hits his own buffalo.


…There were seven native policemen in Tibasu, and four crazy smooth-bore muskets among them. All the men were gray with fear, but not beyond leading. Michele dropped the key of the telegraph instrument, and went out, at the head of his army, to meet the mob…

   

This is from “His Chance in Life”, in Plain Tales from the Hills.

Michele D’Cruze is a lowly railway clerk, of mixed ancestry, seven eighth Indian and one eighth English. He needs promotion before he can marry. Then he has his chance. There is a riot in the small town he has been posted to, and – aware of his European blood – he takes command of the situation, and keeps order, armed with a musket, until the Assistant Collector arrives. He is promoted, and marries in great state.


I had seen the equipment of the infantry. One-third of it was an old muzzle-loading fowling piece, with a ragged rust-hole where the nipples should have been, one-third a wire-bound matchlock with a worm-eaten stock, and one third a four-bore flint duck-gun, without a flint…

   

This is from “Namgay Doola” in Life’s Handicap

The narrator is visiting a remote hill state, where the authorities are much perplexed about a wild ungovernable family, led by a red-haired Thibetan called Namgay Doola. He realises that Namgay is of Irish descent, and advises the King to make him chief of the Army.

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