The Smith Administration IV

The Serai Cabal

(notes by David Page)

First Publication

8th August 1887 in the Civil and Military Gazette.

The story

In which “Smith” supports and advances Karim Baksh, the lowly scullion who had caused great upset in the Administration by reporting the peccadilloes of the Butler and the other inhabitants of the “Smith” compound to “Smith”.

Notes on the Text

This is the fourth of the “Smith” stories to appear in the collection, but was the second to be published.

[Page 355, Title] Serai usually refers to a building for the accommodation of travellers with their pack-animals [Hobson-Jobson]. Kipling is using it here for the buildings used by “Smith’s” servants in the compound or garden of his bungalow.

Cabal refers to a small group of people united for some secret purpose, such as political intrigue.

[Page 357, line 8] hookah a tobacco-pipe with which the smoke is inhaled through water.

[Page 358, line 4] I.P.C. the Indian Penal Code.

[Page 358, line 25] Hanuman the Monkey God is good tempered and his grin infectious.

[Page 358, line 29] ‘The zeal of thy house has eaten me up.’ a direct quotation from The Bible. Psalms 69,9.

[Page 359, line 8] Griff a griffin or ‘green’ (ignorant) newcomer. [ORG]

[Page 359, line 9] Apollo Bunder the passenger landing stage at Bombay. [ORG]

©David Page 2008 All rights reserved