The Smith Administration

(Introductory notes by David Page)

First Publication of the Individual stories

I. The Cow-House Jirga 4 November 1887 CMG
II. A Bazar Dhulip 21 November 1887 CMG
III. The Hands of Justice 15 July 1887 CMG
IV. The Serai Cabal 8 August 1887 CMG
V. The Story of a King 17 October 1887 CMG
VI. The Great Census 9 January 1888 CMG
VII. The Killing of Hatim Tai 12 May 1888 CMG
VIII. A Self-Made Man 10 May 1888 CMG
IX. The Vengeance of Lal Beg 3 November 1887 CMG
X. Hunting a Miracle 10 October 1887 CMG
XI. The Explanation of Mir Baksh 1 June 1888 CMG
XII. A Letter from Golam Singh 10 September 1886 CMG
XIII. The Writing of Yakub Khan 18 January 1888 Pioneer
XIV A King’s Ashes 30 December 1887 Pioneer
XV. The Bride’s Progress 8 February 1888 Pioneer Mail
XVI. ‘A District at Play’ 27 August 1886 CMG
XVII. What it Comes To 5 November1886 CMG
XVIII. The Opinions of Gunner Barnabas 7 October 1887 CMG



Of this series of eighteen stories, collected in From Sea to Sea, vol.II, only the first six listed below are to do with “Smith” and his household staff.

Kipling has added a footnote on the first page which reads:

The following are newspaper articles written between 1887 and 1888 for my paper.—R.K.

In November 1887 Kipling was transferred from the Civil and Military Gazette (or CMG for short) in Lahore to the Pioneer in Allahabad.

Publication History of the Collected Series

In 1891 a volume of this title was published in India but that was immediately suppressed. It contained the same 18 stories now collected in “The Smith Administration”, From Sea to Sea, Volume II, together with two additional stories, neither of which were subsequently collected.


The ‘Private Services Commission’ is referred to in three of the “Smith” stories. In order of publication they are “The Hands of Justice”, “The Serai Cabal”, and “The Great Census”.

Kipling was satirising the Public Services Commission, which was set up in 1886 to look at recruitment to the Indian Civil Service (see his article for the CMG published on 29 June 1887.

©David Page 2008 All rights reserved