Slaves of the Lamp Part II

Notes on the text

These notes are based on those written by Isabel Quigly for the OXFORD WORLD’S CLASSICS edition of The Complete Stalky & Co. (1987) with the kind permission of Oxford University Press. The page numbers below refer to the Macmillan Uniform Edition of Stalky & Co. (1899), the collection in which this story first appeared.

[Page 246, line 2] Boh a chief of dacoits in Burma.

[Page 246, line 17] detrimentals slang, meaning younger brothers of heirs, or unsuitable suitors.

[Page 247, line 7] cut the service resign my commission.

[Page 247, line 12] Tamar a troopship, used mainly to take soldiers to and from the UK on change of station or on leave.

[Page 247, line 26] a lean Irishman M‘Turk.

[Page 247, line 27] baize doors doors covered with green cloth.

[Page 248, line 4] dak-bungalow Indian rest-house.

[Page 248, line 17] princess-skirt see note to Page 41, line 19.

[Page 250, line 1] broke here means cashiered, dismissed from the army.

[Page 250, line 9] Tommies British soldiers.

[Page 250, line 10] Fuzzies Muslim tribesmen from southern Egypt with elaborate hairstyles. See the poem “Fuzzy-Wuzzy”.

[Page 250, line 29] Khye-Kheen Hills an invented name, not a real place, though the story is based in part on the defence of Chitral in 1895.

[Page 251, line 33] summo ingenio with the greatest cleverness.

[Page 252, line 4] nucleused possibly an invented word; it means `made a nucleus of’.

[Page 252, line 14] D.A.Q.M.G. Deputy Assistant Quartermaster General.

[Page 252, line 18] hack A horse kept for hire, in this case a quiet steady old animal.

[Page 252, line 120] like a shot immediately.

[Page 252, line 25] Umbala Umbala or Ambala, city in the Punjab (now Pakistan).

[Page 252, line 30] Durbar Sahib at Amritzar the Golden Temple at Amritsar. One of the oldest and the most significant place of worship of the Sikhs.

[Page 253, line 6] khud a deep ravine or chasm; a precipitous cleft or descent in a hillside.

[Page 253, line 9] Old, old story reference to the hymn `Tell me the old, old story’ by Katherine Hankey.

[Page 253, line 22] poshteen according to the OED, it should be `posteen’. An Afghan leather pelisse, generally of sheepskin, with the fleece on it; a sheepskin coat worn with the wool inside.

[Page 254, line 8] grub food.

[Page 254, line 9] whack rations.

[Page 254, line 32] sungars breastworks of stone.

[Page 255, line 1] promiscuous in no special order or position.

[Page 255, line 29] Jullunder a good recruiting area between Ludhiana.

[Page 256, line 1] Guru a wise holy man who dispenses wisdom to his disciples.

[Page 256, line 14] snaffle to capture, literally, to put a bridle on.

[Page 256, line 29] pow-wow consultation, from the American Indian word.

[Page 257, line 15] nullah riverbed.

[Page 258, line 5] scragged strangled.

[Page 258, line 5] privatim Medieval Latin, meaning privately.

[Page 258, line 28] grabbed his boots made obeisance.

[Page 259, line 2] Jemadar a native officer of junior rank.

[Page 259, line 8] crab spoil.

[Page 259, line 10] Pushtu The language of the Afghans, intermediate between the Iranian and Sanskrit families of the Arian languages.

[Page 260, line 14] Koran Sahib Indian pronunciation of Corkran Sahib.

[Page 260, line 33] `Kubbadar! Tumbleinga!’ `Careful, you’ll fall!’ `Kubbadar’ means `news’, `tumbleinga’ is a mixture of English and Urdu.

[Page 261, line 9] Dera Ismail a large trading town in the Punjab.

[Page 261, line 21] Martinis the service rifles of the Indian Army at the time.

[Page 261, line 24] brownin’ firing into the mass without taking precise aim.

[Page 262, line 8] à la pas de charge at the double.

[Page 262, line 22] Arrah, Patsy … Baby see note to page 39, line 22.

[Page 263, line 4] Sepoy native soldier in Indian Army.

[Page 263, line 32] gram-bags bags containing horse-fodder.

[Page 264, line 17] a Brahmini bull sacred bull of the Brahmin, which must not be interfered with in any way.

[Page 264, line 25] consilio et auxilio with the advice and help [of].

[Page 265, line 3] Engadine Swiss district of resorts, the main one St Moritz.

[Page 265, line 27] Naick corporal in the Indian Army.

[Page 266, line 1] Ghuznees there was no such regiment: this is an invented name.

[Page 266, line 9] take safeguard a way of getting into tribal territory on leave with an enlisted man from that area, who would act as a safeguard.

[Page 247, line 12] nullah riverbed.

[Page 266, line 12] rapparree originally an Irish pikeman or irregular soldier, hence Irish bandit, robber, or freebooter. Here it means a disreputable rascal.

[Page 266, line 16] Bancroft Sir Squire Bancroft (1841-1926), a famous actormanager who specialized in drawing-room comedy; at the Haymarket Theatre from 1880-5.

[Page 266, line 33] pukka Anglo-Indian word meaning regular, good, sound, proper.

[Page 267, line 13] Bahadur title of respect in India appended to a person’s name; from a Hindi word meaning gallant.

[Page 268, line 1] Pledged the State’s ticker, eh? promised more than he was entitled to. `Ticker’ recalls the pawning of Beetle’s watch at school(see page 45).

[Page 268, line 11] image and superscription Matthew 22, 20.

[Page 268, line 16] Warren Hastings 1732-1818; Governor-General of Bengal, initiated many reforms. He was impeached after his retirement in 1783, his trial lasted for seven years (17885), and he was finally acquitted.

[Page 268, line 20] stinger a severe reprimand.

[Page 269, line 6] horns of the altar. 1 Kings 1, 50. The popular misconception is that (as Kipling obviously thought) victims could be offered up on the horns of the altar. In fact, they were to provide someone seeking sanctuary with a support to cling to.

[Page 270, line 4] basket-hanger see note to page 50 line 21.

[Page 270, line 8] femme incomprise misunderstood woman; phrase possibly coined by Sardou, the very popular and successful 19th century French playwright, played by Sara Bernhardt, and mocked by George Bernard Shaw (‘Sardoodledom’). Sardou wrote the play on which the opera Tosca is based.

[Page 270, line 31] doab tongue of land between two rivers.

[Page 271, line 7] bhai brother.

[I. Q.]