The Naulahka – III

Notes on the text

by Sharad Keskar

[Heading] This is the fifth of “Certain Maxims of Hafiz” (Departmental Ditties and Other Verses) ‘make thee L.G.’ means ‘make you Lieutenant Governor.’

[Page 24, line 13] done Kate’s father the office done him a disservice.

[Page 27, line 33] board of trade local commercial Council or Chamber of Commerce.

[Page 28, line 6] Rustler an imaginary town.

[Page 28, line 20] losing her clutch letting her position slip.

[Page 29, line 10] convenient hating distance near enough to know, far enough not to like.

[Page 30, line 16] smother of plushes so luxurious as to be stifling. ‘Plush’ is a velvet-like fabric.

[Page 30, line 17] of no kindred neither matching nor harmonious.

[Page 30, line 21] The President of the embryu Colorado and California Central Tarvin considers Topaz and its suitability as the end of a Division; five miles from the beginning of the severe gradients, just the place to change engines and get a run at the mountains with the advantage of excellent sites for roundhouses and workshops, also a good hinterland. As a experienced man of affairs he is keenly alive to the importance of these technical considerations in determining the routing of the line as it drove westwards.

[Page 30, line 28] flaccid limp and drooping.

[Page 31, line 8] guaranteed promised it would meet with her approval.

[Page 31, line 9] graced gave it all the graces.

[Page 31, line 29] Omaha a city on the Missouri River in Nebraska.

[Page 32, line 22] the Grand Canyon of the Arkansas The Arkansas River leaves the Rocky Mountains at Pueblo. The canyon, known generally as “The Royal Gorge” to distinguish it from the Grand Canyon (of the Colorado) in Arizona. The railroad from Denver turns west at Pueblo into the mountains, then north up the river.

The route of the Denver and Rio Grande Railway goes up the Gorge which is a spectacular cleft some two thousand feet deep, so narrow that in many places the tracks are bracketed out over the foaming river torrent.

[Page 32, line 32] immitigably relentlessly.

[Page 32, line 33] racketing profanely with much noise and callously.

[Page 34, line 6] real live ones? ‘genuine ones ?’

[Page 35, line 5] by the front foot by the foot run of frontage. These are auctioneers’ and estate agents’ abbreviations, which refer to the length of a piece of land along the street.

[Page 35, line 6] minor chords in the larger harmony unimportant by comparison to the whole.

[Page 35, line 20] Topeka a town on the Kansas River, west of Kansas City.

St. Jo a town in Kansas.

[Page 35, line 31] I.D.B. illicit diamond broker.

[Page 36, line 5] Galileo Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), Italian astronomer, physicist and philosopher, who advanced understanding of uniformly accelerated motion. He faced the Inquisition in 1633 for denying that the Earth was the centre of the Universe.

Newton Sir Isaac (1642-1727), English scientist and philosopher and another of the great figures in the history iof science and mathematics. His communications to the Royal Society, of which he was President for 25 years, included the theory of universal gravitation.

[Page 36, line 18] brilliant a pattern of facets cut to show a diamond at its sparkling best.

[Page 36, line 26] drummers commercial travellers.

[Page 37, line 5] I think I know a necklace you’d like… This is the first mention of the necklace, though it is not named until Page 64. It seems probable that Balestier wrote this chapter, but Tarvin had reached India by Chapter V (page 56) and so we can imagine Kipling then taking over the story. A part of Lahore was known as “Naulakha” at the time, and Kipling lived in Lahore for five years as a young journalist. He would have known the word, which is printed as “Naulakha” on a contemporary map. (See the introduction.

[S.K.]