Scylla and Charybdis

Notes on the text

The page and line numbers below refer to the March 2004 edition of the Kipling Journal, No 309 (pp. 11-17), for which these notes have been specially written by Jeffrey Lewins and Lisa Lewis.

[Page 8, line 11, note 1] A Diversity of Creatures MS University of Edinburgh.

[Page 8, line 11, note 2] Debits and Credits MS University of Durham.

[Page 8, line 15, note 3] The Complete Stalky & Co. ‘A.L.Corkran’ appears in the post-school stories “The Honours of War” (A Diversity of Creatures) as ‘Lieutenant-Colonel, I.A.’ (Indian Army), and in the earlier “A Deal in Cotton” (Actions and Reactions), as ‘Colonel Corkran’. Neither story was collected in The Complete Stalky & Co.

‘The Infant’, who appears in “Slaves of the Lamp, Part II.” and “A Conference of the Powers” (Many Inventions) also appears in “Letters on Leave, II” (Abaft the Funnel), but as this was first published in The Pioneer (20 Oct 1890 p. 436), this precedes all known dates for writing ‘Stalky’ stories. Similarly ‘De Vitre’, of the Poona Irregular Moguls, is a name used in “Letters on Leave, I”; ‘De Vitré’ (with an accent on the ‘e’) figures in “ ‘Stalky’ ” (The Complete Stalky & Co.) The stories in that collection have already been annotated for this Guide by Isabel Quigly and Lisa Lewis, together with background material from Lancelyn Green.

[Page 11, heading, note 4] Scylla and Charybdis or, as the Americans would say, ‘between a rock and a hard place’. [See also notes 13 and 27]

[Page 11, line 12, note 5] wadys A wady or wadi (Arabic) is a rocky watercourse, dry save in the rainy season.

[Page 11, line 13, note 6] nullahs to an Anglo-Indian a stream or ravine (Hindi nala).

[Page 11, line 14, note 7] driver a No 1 wooden club to tee off and drive down the fairway, the short-cropped area between tee and hole (as opposed to the ‘rough’ on either side). At this time, circa 1880, club shafts would normally be of hickory rather than metal, with a wooden head that might be faced with a metal plate. Cf. ‘the rattle of broken golf-clubs’ (“ ‘Stalky’ ” in Land and Sea Tales for Scouts and Guides).

[Page 11, line 14, note 8] cleek a No. 1 or No. 2 iron with little lift to the club face. “’In Ambush’ ” has Colonel Dabney practising with a cleek, illustrated by L. Raven-Hill in the first magazine publication of that story.

[Page 11, line 17, note 9] caddy or ‘caddie’: a golfer’s attendant for carrying clubs, etc. Original Scottish from the French ‘cadet’ (junior).

[Page 11, line 20, note 10] gutty Gutta-percha (Malaysian): golf ball core made of blackish latex (gum of the percha tree).

[Page 11, line 20, note 11] lost balls Golf balls are thrown up and down on the gravel outside the college windows, in what is clearly a familiar recreation, in “An Unsavoury Interlude” in Stalky & Co. [pp. 92-93]

[Page 11, line 21, note 12] bents Stiff-stemmed reedy or rush-like grasses.

[Page 11, line 22, note 13] Charybdis This was one of the pair of dangers described for Odysseus by Circe when advising him on the best way of returning from her island home, Aeaea, to Ithaca,

“A great fig-tree with luxuriant foliage grows upon the crag, and it is below this that dread Charybdis sucks the dark waters down. Three times a day she spews them up, and three times she swallows them down once more in her horrible way.”
The Odyssey, Bk.12, Homer – Translated by E.V. Rieu, The Penguin Classics, 1946. [See also note 27 below]

[Page 11, line 35, note 14] Corkran A.L.Corkran (“The Last Term”); Arthur Lionel Corkran, No.104 (“ ‘Stalky’ ”, Land and Sea Tales for Scouts and Guides).

[Page 11, line 41, note 15] McTurk In the two collected volumes of Stalky stories, the name is spelt ‘M’Turk’. It is only in the Land and Sea Tales version of “ ‘Stalky’ ”, and the Debits and Credits versions of “The United Idolaters” and “The Propagation of Knowledge” that McTurk is used. The magazine versions also use McTurk.

[Page 12, line 1, note 16] Fairburn ‘Molly’ Fairburn is identified as a bully in “The Moral Reformers” [Page 151, line 14].

[Page 12, line 15, note 17] Gating A punishment confining boys to school premises.

black-marks a record that might accumulate, attracting more dire punishment.

imposition a punishment requiring the delinquent to copy out “lines”, commonly of Latin classics. (see “Regulus” in A Diversity of Creatures)

[Page 12, line 16, note 18] tuck from ‘tuck in’, meaning ‘eat heartily’, thus private food at school stored in a ‘tuck-box’ or bought at a ‘tuck-shop’. Birkenhead quotes Major-General A.S. Little, R.M., as meeting Kipling, when he revisited the school, in the tuck-shop (1893).

[Page 12, line 17, note 19] post-office order a money order form cashable at the local Post Office.

[Page 12, line 23, note 20] links The sandy dunes of the seaside, covered with turf or coarse grasses, where golf originated; esp. Scottish links.

[Page 12, line 23, note 21] grown men in red-coats See “An English School” in Land and Sea Tales for Scouts and Guides for an autobiographical account by Kipling.

[Page 12, line 33, note 22] “Rowena” a boarding house at Westward Ho!. Presumably named after the Walter Scott heroine in Ivanhoe (Ronald Mayo, The Story of Westward Ho!, Marland Press, Torrington, undated.)

[Page 12, line 37, note 23] cad ill-bred person; abbr. of ‘caddie’.

[Page 12, line 40, note 24] spats short gaiters covering the instep; abbr. of ‘spatterdash’.

[Page 12, line 41, note 25] knickerbockers an invented term for a New Yorker of Dutch descent, and then for his garment – loose-fitting breeches gathered below the knee.

[Page 13, line 24, note 26] Dicky Yeo Cf. Mother Yeo and her daughter Mary in “The Last Term” in Stalky & Co.

[Page 14, line 5, note 27] Scylla This was the second danger described by Circe in Homer’s Odyssey. She lives in a cave on a crag opposite Charybdis, at a distance of ‘no more than a bowshot’.

‘She has twelve feet, all dangling in the air, and six long necks, each ending in a grisly head with triple row of teeth . . . No crew can boast that they ever sailed passed Scylla without loss.’

Sure enough, Odysseus loses six crewmen to Scylla in avoiding Charybdis.[see also note 13 above]

[Page 14, line 15, note 28] Niblick Golf-club with large, round, iron head especially for playing out of bunkers.

[Page 14, line 42, note 29] St Andrews the Royal and Ancient, the founding club of the game of golf, is outside the city of the same name in Scotland. The maker might be Pascall and his brand name for the ball ‘St Andrews’.

[Page 14, line 43, note 30] Bags I! to ‘bag’ was to claim aloud in schoolboy slang; rather like putting the first towel on a beach-chair.

[Page 15, line 10-12, notes 31/33] sally or ‘sallie’: slang for a saloon-pistol adapted for use over short range in a shooting saloon. Sallies figure in “An Unsavoury Interlude” and “The Satisfaction of a Gentleman”.

[Page 15, line 11, note 32] senior (sic) We take ‘senior’ to be a copying error. The first draft has ‘term’.

[Page 15, line 16, note 34] Wigram Later ‘Ingram’. Both names appear in the first draft.

[Page 15, line 20, note 35] tweaker as being pulled back in use. According to the ORG, ‘tweaker’ and ‘sally’ were actual United Services College’s slang.

[Page 15, line 22, note 36] Catapult Boy’s contrivance of forked stick and elastic with a “supple chamois leather pouch” to fire pebbles, etc., (“ ‘Stalky’ ”).

[Page 15, line 24, note 37] Belgium Notable for its armaments manufacture in the 19th Century. See “The Satisfaction of a Gentleman” (The Complete Stalky & Co.): ‘lock-jawed twenty-two rim-fire Belgian saloon pistol’.

[Page 15, line 38, note 38] Gobby The first draft has ‘Cobby’ [possibly Colby] Adams who afterwards became a naturalist of renown. The second draft has already introduced Cobby Adams but at this point has Cobby crossed-out replaced with Plaistow in the previous line. The first Gobby has the ‘G’ heavily inked. ‘Gobby’ Maunsell appears in “ “Stalky” ”.

[Page 16, line 5, note 39] accursed blood red coat We read this as the old gentleman bringing the sides of the bunker down.

[Page 16, line 18, note 40] foozler Golfing slang: bungler, making a mess of things. See later Kafoozelum. Known schoolboy golfing slang of 1918: (James Kenward, Prep School, p.92, Penguin Books, 1961, Michael Joseph, 1958).

[Page 16, line 25, note 41] threepence Pre-decimal money, when there were 240 pence to a £ sterling. Nominally threepence would be one and a quarter ‘new’ (decimal) pence but would be equivalent to, say, 25p today (AD 2004). [See also note 52 – Ed.]

[Page 16, line 37, note 42] a Major The first draft has the old gentleman a Colonel Martin.

[Page 17, line 23, note 43] [had] The word is partially crossed out.

[Page 19, line 16, note 44] Stalky It will be noted that ‘Stalky’ is used more often in the first draft than the second. In neither is it made explicit why Corkran has this soubriquet although it is evidently School slang, meaning wily, or cunning.

[Page 20, line 32, note 45] Kafoozalum From a song, mentioned in “The Maltese Cat” (The Day’s Work). Perhaps chosen for its association with ‘foozle’ q.v. Note 40.

[Page 20, line 43, note 46] Mark To note the position of a ball when it lands on behalf of his player.

[Page 21, line 4, note 47] mighty Charybdis The MS here is written around a sketch of the lip of Charybdis.

[Page 22, line 11, note 48] perk Perquisite.

[Page 23, line 8, note 49] turning their caps Turning them inside out to prevent identification of the College or House colours.

[Page 23, line 13, note 50] point blank At short range, probably from the white (blank) centre of a conventional rifle range target.

[Page 23, line 37, note 51] the mist Or ‘the wit at…’

[Page 24, line 8, note 52] 3d. Three (old, pre-decimal) pennies – denarius. Perhaps worth 25p in modern currency, AD 2004. [See also note 41 – Ed.]

[Page 24, line 14, note 53] sassingers Sausages. Cf. “The Flag of Their Country”, in Stalky & Co.

[Page 25, line 26, note 54] [127] The first MSS page 5 [126] would have been expected to appear at this point.

[Page 25, line 28, note 55] …drawn; The MS has ‘not’ before ‘and’. However, this seems to be overlooked in crossing out the preceding phrase ‘not five yards from him’.

[Page 25, line 31, note 56] twenty yards law A gentleman’s margin before pursuing an outlaw.

[Page 26, line 17, note 57] The Major Colonel crossed out, the first indication of demotion by the author.

[Page 26, line 22, note 58] destroyed by the sea See “An English School” (Land and Sea Tales for Scouts and Guides).

[Page 27, line 23, note 59] dropped in We omit a stray word, ‘raised’. This occurs at the beginning of a line in the manuscript and seems to belong to the previous sentence, the rest of which has been crossed out.

[Page 27, line 26, and page 33, line 3; note 60] “Pot” Not to be confused with ‘Pot’ Mullins, Captain of Games in “The United Idolaters” (Debits and Credits), and Head of Games in “Regulus” (A Diversity of Creatures).

[Page 28, line 9, note 61] cloddin’ The MS has “talkin’ ” crossed out. ‘Clodding’ may be throwing clods.

[Page 28, line 10, note 62] buzzin’ gutties Cf. ‘We’ve been throwing golf-balls,’ said Rattray (“An Unsavoury Interlude”).

[Page 28, line 14, and page 30, line 41; note 63] [tranter] ‘Troller’, ‘Tanter’, ‘trantter’ or ‘tranter’? Kipling’s handwriting is so unclear in these references that transcription is very much a best guess. The word seems to begin with a ‘t’ and end with ‘er’ but the decoding of the central portion is very uncertain. Although dictionary definitions can be found for both ‘troller’ and ‘tranter’ with meanings that could relate to golf balls, they are thought to be stretching the bounds of credibility.

[Page 28, line 25, and page 33, line 26; note 64] Raikes Later identified as Captain Raikes and presumably the Club Captain who would take responsibility for dealing with cheating.

[Page 28, line 43, note 65] the tale total, or tally (arch.).

[Page 29, line 5, note 66] the young men It is not clear from the MS if the following reported speech is from the young man or McTurk.

[Page 29, line 30, note 67] rocked Hit. Cf. ‘Rabbits-Eggs’ rocking King’s study in “Slaves of the Lamp, Part I.”, (Stalky & Co.) with flints.

[Page 29, line 42, note 68] unearthed… The MS is difficult here and we have made our own attribution of the next four speeches.

[Page 30, line 13, note 69] called you out The challenge to a duel (cf. “The Satisfaction of a Gentleman”). Only a gentleman, however, would be challenged; a cad could not. The implication would be better known in 1880 only fifty years after the Regency period when duelling might be practised.

[Page 32, heading, note 70] FIRST PAGE 5 This is the MS page mentioned in note 54.

[Page 33, line 12, note 71] Ingram The capital I in the MS is overwritten slightly as if changed from an incipient ‘Wigram’.

[Page 33, line 30, note 72] two-to-one The MS has ‘two-to one—’ with various interpretations.

[Page 35, line 16, note 73] two MSS Similarly there are first and second drafts of “The Flag of Their Country” and “Slaves of the Lamp, Part II.”

[Page 35, line 20, note 74] Typical of Kipling See “Something of Myself” on ‘Working Tools’.

[Page 35, line 29, note 75] the MSSof the stories One draft that did not appear in the printed version of “The Last Term” is irresistible; the School mathematics exam paper was adjusted to read:

[Page 36, line 7, note 76] a crowned oval There is some, but not a complete, resemblance to the watermark for much of the MS of Kim in the British Library where we have noted pages being marked with a Britannia crest but with the words PALMER and 1897. They seem to have been made to a common specification for much of Kipling’s writings from 1894 onwards. See Lisa Lewis, “The Manuscript of Kim”, in the Kipling Conference Papers, Sep 2001.

[Page 36, line 11, note 77] (Feb 1899) The dates given are for the first publication in magazine form.

[Page 37, line 25, note 78] against Mrs Kipling’s wishes See “The Ramsay – Mrs Kipling Letters”, Magdalene College Occasional Paper No.25, 2001.

[Page 38, line 1, note 79] a bust of Kipling The original is in the National Portrait Gallery in London.

[Page 40, line 11, note 80] one of the earliest champion amateur golfers H.G.Hutchinson (1859-1932) subsequently Captain of the Royal and Ancient; entered U.S.C. in September 1874.(ORG).

[Page 40, line 23, note 81] “The Satisfaction of a Gentleman” The Complete Stalky & Co.

[Page 40, line 28, note 82] on the College Board of Council So titled in “The Flag of Their Country”, (Stalky & Co.).

[Page 40, line 10, note 83] …after playing had deformed them However, in “The Satisfaction of a Gentleman”, a ‘gutty’ is melted in a sardine can on the study-room fire to create a foul smell.

[Page 43, line 7, note 84] …was the first. Quoted by Green with italics in his contribution to ORG, vol 1. See the diaries.

[Page 43, line 9, note 85] “In the Rukh” In Many Inventions.

[Page 44, line 29, note 86] Dear Warrior John Kipling, at Wellington, had been on a Field Day with the school cadet force.

[page 45, line 18, note 87]a passage of Slaves of the Lamp Page 60 in the Macmillan Pocket [and Uniform] editions of Stalky & Co.; page 93 in The Complete Stalky & Co..

[Page 46, line 3, note 88] an alternative chronological beginning In his autobiography, Kipling refers to starting Puck of Pook’s Hill with a story retailed by Defoe set in a brickyard, which he found unsatisfactory, and similarly another involving Samuel Johnson in the schoolroom (Something of Myself, “The Very-Own House”).

[Page 46, line 6, note 89] unexplained omission This is even more puzzling since the Windsor Magazine series entitled “STALKY & Co.” carries “ ‘Stalky’ ” as well as the other stories of the book but the Windsor Magazine omits “Slaves of the Lamp” (Parts I and II) published elsewhere. A further anomaly lies in the use of quotation marks. These seem acceptable for the story “ ‘Stalky’ ”, and Kipling also uses them on the title “ ‘In Ambush’ ”, but not on subsequent titles.

[Page 49, line 35, note 90] Professor Connell Connell T.J., “Roger and Francis Bacon and some comparisons with Rudyard Kipling”, Kipling Journal, No.304, March 2003, p.27.

[Page 54, line 24, note 91] ‘begins “Slaves of the Lamp”. In a letter to Cormell Price dated 18 Dec.1896, (Pinney, Thomas, Ed. The Letters of Rudyard Kipling, Vol.2.), Kipling says he is writing a story about U.S.C.: ‘in which Dunsty, Beresford, Crofts and all the rest of ’em come in.’ He goes on to say it may be published in Cosmopolis, which enables Pinney to identify it definitely as “Slaves of the Lamp”. This raises the question of whether Dunsterville was indeed called ‘Stalky’ at school and by Carrie Kipling in the diaries, or ‘Dunsty’ as here. In his reminiscences, Dunsterville says that he and Kipling never said that he was ‘Stalky’, but his title makes that remark disingenuous. Beresford is similarly equivocal in referring to ‘Stalky’ in his reminiscences (vide Orel). Kipling’s letter to Price dated 5 Nov 1895 (ibid.) is perhaps the earliest reference to the ‘Stalky’ canon: ‘old days at Westward Ho! Sometime I think I’ll write a boys book and pitch the scene there.’

[Page 56, line 22, note 92] “To the Companions”. But not the original title of the Magdalene College gift poem later called “Samuel Pepys”.

[Page 56, line 24, note 93] Mac The Livingston bibliography has Strand Magazine (June 1924) which is certainly wrong, but Stewart has MacLean’s Magazine 1 June 1924. The title is spelled ‘Idolators’ in Livingston and in Stewart, whereas Nash’s, Debits and Credits and The Complete Stalky & Co. have ‘Idolaters’).

[J.D.L. / L.L.]