At Howli Thana

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 Soldiers Three and Other Stories, as published and frequently reprinted between 1899 and 1950.)


[Title and Heading] Neither ‘Howli Thana’ nor the heading have been traced. Both may be inventions. [information from readers will be appreciated; Ed.]

[Page 258, line 1] the Presence an elaborate form of address to one whom the speaker wishes to propitiate.

[Page 258, line 2] six rupees about 48 pence Sterling today.

[Page 258, line 16] a Delhi Pathan a down-country man with a Pathan’s skill and ways which ORG does not believe to be a compliment.

[Page 259, line 8] Thana a police-station.

[Page 259, line 9] Havildar from the Hindi – a Sergeant.

[Page 259, line 14] Gokral-Seetarum scene of some of the action of The Naulahka. A Maharanee’s palanquin appears in “The Incarnation of Krishna Mulvaney” in Life’s Handicap.

[Page 259, line 14] dacoits robbers (right).

[Page 259, line 15] Rustrums Rustrum was a national hero of Persia who appears in the poem “Sohrab and Rustrum” (1853) by the English poet Matthew Arnold (1822-1888)

[Page 259, line 27] in the jail among the carpets prisoners were often employed making carpets.

[Page 260, line 2] charpoys beds.

[Page 260, line 5] Stunt in this context, how an uneducated man would pronounce “assistant.”

[Page 260, line 5] Yunkum Young.

[Page 260, line 13] Tehsildars officials in charge of sub-districts.

[Page 260, line 16] devil-carriage a tricycle – see lines 17-19 below.

[Page 260, line 23] rapport presumably his pronunciation of report.

[Page 260, line 24] Rohestri not traced

[Page 261, line 5] a kid in this context, a young goat.

[Page 261, line 5] Tulwar Hindi talwar, a sabre. A curved sword, occasionally elaborately decorated.

[Page 262, line 15] Dipty Deputy.

[Page 262, line 21] tehsil sub-district.

[Page 263, line 12] Sirkar the State, the Government.

[Page 263, line 12] the irons handcuffs,

[Page 263, lines 29-31] the mark of a string on the temples … the Cold Draw he had been tortured – a string round the head is twisted up with a stick like a tourniquet.

[Page 264, line23] Memsahib polite address to an European lady – the equivalent of “Madam.”

[Page 264, line23] Peri in Persian legend, beautiful but malevolent sprites who developed into good-natured women of surpassing beauty.

[Page 264, line 30] Sidar a military leader, a General.

[J H McG.]

©John McGivering 2005 All rights reserved