Bubbling Well Road

Notes on the text

These notes, by John McGivering, are partly new, and partly based on the ORG. The page and line numbers below refer to the Macmillan (London) Standard Edition of Life’s Handicap, as published and frequently reprinted between 1891 and 1950.

[Page 365, line 2] Chenab this river joins the Indus near Chachuran in Bahawalpur State having already been joined by the other three of the five rivers of the Punjab – Jehlum, Ravi and Sutlej.

[Page 365, line 3] Five miles west of Chachuran As reported in the headnote to this story, a writer in KJ 133/22 identifies the sites of various stories by Kipling but finds this one puzzling, placing the well in the bed of the Indus

[Page 365, line 5] gosain one who has subdued his passions and renounced the world, usually living as a religious mendicant. See Hobson-Jobson, p. 389.

[Page 365, line 20] Runjit Singh (1780-1839) founder of the Sikh kingdom of the Punjab.

[Page 365, line 21] a halter in this context, a rope for restraining or hanging criminals.

[Page 365, line 22] the care of the British Government – strictly speaking, the Indian Government – a euphemism for imprisonment.

[Page 366, line 2] a sounder the collective name for a herd of pigs.

[Page 366, line 4] I knew nothing of pig-hunting Wild pigs were usually hunted by mounted men with eight-foot spears – ‘Pig-sticking’, a dangerous business – or driven up to guns by beaters.

See “The Boar of the Year” and its alternative title in Early Verse, ed. Rutherford, p. 248. It consists of 42 lines describing pig-sticking which was regularly reported in the Civil and Military Gazette and would obviously have been a sport well-known to Kipling, even though there is no record of his participation in it. See also “Letters of Marque IX” in From Sea to Sea Vol I.

[Page 366, line 7] tushes long pointed tusks.

[Page 366, line 9] ridden him down in fair chase this is ‘pig-sticking’ – see above.

[Page 366, line 10] a gun in a sporting context, usually a shotgun but see the note below to page 367 line 28.

[Page 366, line 13] Mr. Wardle named after the character in The Pickwick Papers (1836-37) by Charles Dickens (1812-1870)

[Page 366, line 26] boiler-tubes see the note to “The Devil and the Deep Sea” (The Day’s Work) p. 154, line 18.

[Page 367, line 28] my rifle … triggers double-barrelled rifles with two triggers were available, also weapons with one rifled barrel and one smooth – a combined rifle and shotgun. There is also some confusion over such weapons in “Tiglath Pileser” (Abaft the Funnel) and “The Killing of Hathim Tai” (in “The Smith Administration” From Sea to Sea Volume 2)

[Page 368, line 11] a well so deep see the note to page 365, line 3 above.

[Page 368, line 16] a little spring The ‘Ex-Settlement-Officer’ quoted above (page 365 line 3) points out that a well in such a location would be no deeper than four feet (1·2 metres) to the water, and that there would be no spring in the side in this part of the country.

[Page 369, line 26] both barrels see the note to page 367, line 28 above.

[J H McG]

©John McGivering 2006 All rights reserved