The Naulahka


Chapter II

Notes on the text


by Sharad Keskar

The page and line numbers below refer to the Macmillan Uniform Edition of The Naulahka, first published in 1892 and frequently reprinted since).



[Jan 27 2009]

[Heading] The four-line verse attributed to “The Buck and the Saw” has not been collected by Kipling, but is in the Definitive Edition of his poems. [1940]

[Page 9, line 11] look them up visit them or, in this case, attend to them.

[Page 9, line 12] the Three C’s i.e. the Colorado & California Central Railway.

Topaz there is a town of this name. It was in the State of Idaho, 120 miles north of Salt Lake City, but is now in Colorado. But Tarvin's Topaz seems to be further south, and nearer Denver, the state capital of Colorado.

[Page 9, line 20] communicating being candid and open.

[Page 10, line 20] flatness lack of response, dullness.

[Page 11, line 11] dissonance discordance.

[Page 11, line 14] daunting discouraging.'

[Page 11, line 29] milk-cans in England babies have been fed from bottles from the 1880's and certainly no milk-cans were used in any American hospital for feeding babies nor even in houses, as recently as 1880: milk bottles with rubber nipples were used since 1888 and possibly from an earlier date. Thie reference to milk-cans could fix the date of the story to pre-1880.

[Page 12, line 13] Arkansas the Southern State to the west of the Mississippi River, and north of Louisiana.

[Page 13, line 13] walled-up women in India purdah-nashin, or behind the curtain.

[Page 13, line 29] inward monitor conscience and mental or spiritual conviction.

[Page 16, line 2] take into court go to law about.

[Page 16, line 33] canvass political campaign.

[Page 17, line 12] Denver the chief city and capital of the State of Colorado, U.S.A.

[Page 17, line 15] Capitol the Capitol building in Washington D.C.m which houses Congress, the legislature of the United States.

[Page 18, line 1] Rhatore an imaginary town in a “real” State in North-West India. At that time Rajputana [Rajasthan] was a group of Princely States of which Gokral Seetarum was supposed to be a large one.

[Page 18, line 7] nether rim the edge of the underworld.

[Page 18, line 8] Arabian Nights The Arabian Nights or The Tliousand and One Nights is a collection of stories set in Baghdad in the days of the great Caliph Harun al Rashid (763-809). They are written in Arabic and were introduced into Europe in the 18th century by their translation into French, and later into English by Edward William Lane in 1840. The unexpurgated edition by Sir Richard Burton in 1885-8 is better known. The source of the tales is uncertain.

[Page 19, line 13] softer snap easier task.

[Page 20, line 6] stumping making 'stump speeches', because in the early days when America West of the Alleghenies was being settled, the political candidate often stood on the stump of a tree with his listeners in front of him.


[S.K.]