(notes edited by John McGivering)


The story was published in the Civil and Military Gazette on December 9th 1886, in the first Indian edition of Plain Tales from the Hills in 1888, and in subsequent editions of that collection. See David Alan
p. 17, passim.

The story

Tarrion is an able, charming young officer, who wants an appointment in Simla. He makes friends with Mrs Hauksbee, who promises to do what she can for him. When, by chance, some confidential papers fall into her hands, she shows them to him. Confidential information is a valuable currency under a Viceroy who believes strongly in reticence on official matters, and Tarrion uses the information in the papers to talk his way into an official post. He points out to the senior official he sees that, unlike some, he has no influential relation to speak for him. He is appointed, and prospers.

[J H McG]

©John McGivering 2012 All rights reserved