The Son of his Father

Notes on the text

These notes, edited by John McGivering, are partly new, and partly based on the ORG. The page and,, line numbers below refer to the Macmillan (London) Standard Edition of Land and Sea Tales for Scouts and Guides, as published and frequently reprinted between 1923 and 1950.


[Page 219 line 1] Mrs. Strickland – see “Miss Youghal’s Sais” (PlainTales from the Hills) for courtship and marriage with Strickland, and “A Deal in Cotton” (Actions and Reactions) the action of which takes place some years later. (This story was published in 1893-94. “A Deal in Cotton” was published in 1908 when Adam might well have been about 20.

[Page 219 line 4] Adam ‘So God created man in his own image’ Genesis 1,27. ‘And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them. Genesis 2,19. See also “Wee Willie Winkie” (Wee Willie Winkie and Other Stories) page 261, line 1.

[Page 319 line 6] Eve ‘And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof. And the rib which he had taken from the man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man;. Genesis 2. 21-22.

[Page 219 line 9] levée originally the reception of visitors on rising from bed, but by now an afternoon assembly when a sovereign, governor etc. receives visitors

[Page 219 line 12] Imam Din he appears in “A Deal in Cotton” as Adam’s servant some twenty years later (Actions and Reactions page 174, lines 28-29) Others of the same name appear in “The Story of Muhammad Din” (Plain Tales from the Hills) and The Smith Administration (From Sea to Sea, Volume 2).
sword-hilt the other men have sabres – be that as it may. ‘ pushing forward the hilt as a sign of service was an honour paid only to viceroys, governors ,generals, or to little children whom one loves dearly.’ “The Tomb of His Ancestors” (The Day’s Work, page 111, lines 7-9).

[Page 220 line 1] Naik in Hindi refers to several varieties of leader but the word is usually taken to signify a corporal in the police or army. See Hobson-Jobson, p. 614.)

[Page 220 line 22] Long Coat Horse Indian cavalry.

[Page 220 line 18] belaitee-panee Soda Water. (bilayut is Hindi for England or Europe. Pani is water. See Hobson-Jobson, p. 93)

[Page 220 lines 23 – 25] the Empress … fifty years of rule Queen Victoria (1819-1901) ascended the throne in 1837 and celebrated her Golden Jubilee in 1887 and her Diamond Jubilee in 1897. She became Empress of India in 1876. Kipling wrote of her in prose and verse.

[Page 221 line 1] glass palace this was the ‘Crystal Palace’, erected in Hyde Park in central London for the Great Exhibition of 1851, taken down and moved to Sydenham in south London in 1854; destroyed by fire in 1936.

[Page 221 line 19] padre father (Portuguese) – used of a minister of one of the Christian religions in India and of chaplains in the armed services generally.

[Page 221 line 29] faquir (fakeer, etc) Hindi from Arabic fakir, ‘one poor in the sight of God’ – a Muslim religious mendicant. See Hobson-Jobson, p. 347.

[Page 222 line 2] the great earthquake 1 May 1885 at Srinagar, Kashmir. Kim (page 56, line 15) refers to his birth on May 1st: upon the hour that I cried first fell the great earthquake in Srinagur, which is in Kashmir.’

[Page 222 line 14] Eden the garden from which Adam and Eve were expelled. See Genesis 3.

[Page 222 line 18] St. Paul’s the great cathedral in the City of London built by Christopher Wren and completed in 1708.

[Page 222 line 19] cassowaries large flightless birds of the genus Casuarius related to the ostrich,

[Page 223 line 12] where the Police were picketed in a double line this is unclear – perhaps ‘horses’ should follow Police.

[Page 223 line 25] Mata the steed of Kali, representing the grave illness smallpox, mentioned in several of the Indian stories including “The Bridge Builders” (The Day’s Work). See also Dr. Sheehan’s notes on smallpox.

[Page 223 line 26] Heza See Dr. Sheehan’s notes on cholera.

[Page 232 line 28] smallpox See Dr. Sheehan’s notes on smallpox.

[Page 223 line 28] Booka not traced – information would be appreciated.
Kismet destiny, fate, from Arabic kisma; a man’s fate is believed to be written on his forehead.

[Page 224 line 6] blinkers leather patches on a horse’s bridle preventing him from seeing sideways.

[Page 224 line 23] Genesis Chapter 1 tells of the creation of the world in seven days.

[Page 224 line 25] Noah see Genesis, Chapter 6 onwards for the story of the Flood, construction of the Ark and his other activities.

[Page 224 line 29] born and brought up in England but see “Miss Youghal’s Sais” (Plain Tales from the Hills) for her experiences in Simla.

[Page 225 line 7] sent home when I was seven this was the usual age for European children to go back to the U.K for education and the benefit of their health. See David Gilmour’s The Ruling Caste (Murray 2005) Chapter 15 “Families and Exiles.” See also the note to “Tods’ Amendment” (Plain Tales from the Hills) page 198, line 13.

[Page 225 line 14] Harrow A celebrated English public school – see the headnote to “An English School” next in this volume.

[Page 226 line 4] to paw in this contest to scrape the ground with the hooves – a sign of restiveness.

[Page 227 line 20] Men are born to beatings an echo of Job 5,7: ‘Man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward. .

[Page 229 line 26] Khodawund ! [Heaven-born] The Persian word khudavind or khudawand means, “a king, prince, lord, master; or man of great authority.” Kipling has chosen to trabslate it as Heaven-Born, an honorific he often  uses when  servants are addressing their mastters.  Harish Trivedi notes that it is not a direct translation of a phrase in Punjabi or Hindi.

See the last line of each verse of “A Ballade of Bad Entertainment “.  [J.R.]

[Page 232 line 16] a child of the Blood one of royal or noble birth.

[Page 232 line 23] Salaam, Babajee ! Salaam in this context is a greeting. See Hobson-Jobson, p. 783. Babaji is a respectful form of address.

[Page 232 line 28] England is not home… Kipling called it ‘the most marvellous of all foreign countries that I have ever been in’ (Charles Carrington, p. 369) but see the whole of Carrington’s Chapter 15, “A Home in Sussex.” and Something of Myself, Chapter 7.

[Page 233 line 6] noticed by the Government at Simla a man might meet an influential person who would organise promotion or a better job for him. See “Consequences” (Plain Tales from the Hills) and the poems “Army Headquarters”, ““Study of an Elevation in Indian Ink”, and “Delilah”.

[Page 233 line 21] doolie (dhooley, etc) a covered litter hanging from a bamboo pole and carried by two or four men, in use in hilly districts with poor roads and also as ambulances in the army. See Hobson-Jobson, p. 313.)

[Page 234 line 20] Shaitan from the Arabic – see Hobson-Jobson, p. 818.

[Page 234 line 27] Suleiman Solomon (c. 974-937 B.C.) King of Israel, the Books of Proverbs, the Song of Solomon and Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament are attributed to him. He appears in Kipling’s “The Butterfly that Stamped” (Just So Stories), “Banquet Night”, “The Merchantmen” etc.

[Page 235 line 7] By Gum ! a schoolboy expletive, particularly in the North of England, believed to be an abbreviation of “By God Almighty !” and known in 1806. (A Word in your Shell-Like, by Nigel Rees, Collins, 2004, p. 200.)

[Page 235 line 21] ride and tied the OED notes ‘ride and tie’ – of two or three persons. To travel with one horse by alternating riding and walking.

[Page 235 line 23] Pathankot the railhead for Dalhousie.

[Page 236 line 8] rag-torches presumably bundles of rags dipped in paraffin (kerosene) – information would be appreciated.

[Page 236 line 14] water-pipes hookahs.

[Page 236 line 28] date-palm to deodar from the tropical tree in the plains to the cedar of the hills.

[Page 237 line 24] grog usually rum diluted with water but also used for any intoxicating drink.

[Page 238 line 3] six annas the rupee was then divided into sixteen annas See Hobson-Jobson, p. 31.

[Page 238 line 10] Malik master, proprietor.

[Page 238 line 13] The Angel Jibrail Gabriel – one of the four principal angels in the Muslim religion.

[Page 238 line 26] raja Sanskrit for ‘king’ and applied to local rulers etc. Hobson-Jobson, p.754.

[Page 239 line 10] telegrams messages sent by the electrical system introduced by Samuel Morse (1791-1872)

[Page 239 line 12] howdah a ‘saddle’ for an elephant – a large box with seats. The luxurious versions here is from Lockwood Kipling’s Beast and Man in India. A more work-a-day model is to be found in An Indian Affair by Archie Baron [Channel 4 Books/Pan Macmillan, 2001] p.110. See also Hobson-Jobson, p. 427.

[Page 239 line 24] Dhunnera … Dhar not traced.

[Page 241 line 8] unlicked pup untrained, not presentable – from a bitch licking her puppies when they are born. But a ‘licking’ in schoolboy slang of the day meant a beating; see “An Unqualified Pilot” at page 75, lines 14 onwards in this volume, where ‘unlicked whelp’ is, in this context, slang for a youngster who had not been thrashed.

[Page 241 line 13] Shrubkudder a small town about twenty miles north of Peshawar, then in Mohamaand Border country with a fort commanded in 1916 by R.E. Harbord, East Kent regiment (Editor of the ORG, and office-holder and President of the Kipling Society); see (KJ 140/05). Brigadier-General Dunsterville, the original of ‘Stalky’, built the line of blockhouses. See ORG Volume 1, p. 413 for his reminiscences.

[Page 242 line 20] country-born applied to people and horses born in India – see the poem “The Native- Born.”

[Page 243 lines 3-4] Amritsar etc. Towns and cities in the Punjab and adjoining States.

[Page 245 line 1] billiard-marker the person who keeps the score in a billiards-room.

[Page 245 line 20] Tietjens Strickland’s hound – see “The Return of Imray” (Life’s Handicap).

[Page 245 line 29] mango a delicious tropical fruit – Mangifera indica.

[Page 248 line 12] curb-chain passes under the lower jaw of a horse.

[Page 249 line 24] Multan a city in the Punjab, 200 miles south-west of Lahore.

[Page 250 line 21] Oh, my Aunt! an expression of surprise in vogue at the time.

[J H McG]

©John McGivering 2007 All rights reserved