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The Day's Work - Part I by Rudyard Kipling

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were in front of them, and they could feel the hand of Jimmy
Hawkins from far off. They waited in extemporised sidings while
processions of empty trucks returned to the north, and were
coupled on to slow, crawling trains, and dropped at midnight,
Heaven knew where; but it was furiously hot, and they walked to
and fro among sacks, and dogs howled. Then they came to an India
more strange to them than to the untravelled Englishman - the
flat, red India of palm-tree, palmyra-palm, and rice - the India
of the picture-books, of "Little Harry and His Bearer" - all dead
and dry in the baking heat. They had left the incessant
passenger-traffic of the north and west far and far behind them.
Here the people crawled to the side of the train, holding their
little ones in their arms; and a loaded truck would be left
behind, the men and women clustering round it like ants by
spilled honey. Once in the twilight they saw on a dusty plain a
regiment of little brown men, each bearing a body over his
shoulder; and when the train stopped to leave yet another truck,
they perceived that the burdens were not corpses, but only
foodless folk picked up beside dead oxen by a corps of Irregular
troops. Now they met more white men, here one and there two,
whose tents stood close to the line, and who came armed with
written authorities and angry words to cut off a truck. They were
too busy to do more than nod at Scott and Martyn, and stare
curiously at William, who could do nothing except make tea, and
watch how her men staved off the rush of wailing, walking
skeletons, putting them down three at a time in heaps, with their
own hands uncoupling the marked trucks, or taking receipts from
the hollow-eyed, weary white men, who spoke another argot
than theirs. They ran out of ice, out of soda-water, and out of
tea; for they were six days and seven nights on the road, and it
seemed to them like seven times seven years.

At last, in a dry, hot dawn, in a land of death, lit by long red
fires of railway-sleepers, where they were burning the dead,
they came to their destination, and were met by Jim Hawkins, the
Head of the Famine, unshaven, unwashed, but cheery, and entirely
in command of affairs.

Martyn, he decreed then and there, was to live on trains till
further orders; was to go back with empty trucks, filling them
with starving people as he found them, and dropping them at a
famine-camp on the edge of the Eight Districts. He would pick
up supplies and return, and his constables would guard the loaded
grain-cars, also picking up people, and would drop them at a
camp a hundred miles south. Scott Hawkins was very glad to see
Scott again - would that same hour take charge of a convoy of
bullock-carts, and would go south, feeding as he went, to yet
another famine-camp, where he would leave his starving -there
would he no lack of starving on the route - and wait for orders
by telegraph.Generally, Scott was in all small things to act as
he thought best.

William bit her under lip. There was no one in the wide world
like her one brother, but Martyn's orders gave him no discretion.

She came out on the platform, masked with dust from head to foot,
a horse-shoe wrinkle on her forehead, put here by much thinking
during the past week, but as self-possessed as ever. Mrs. Jim -
who should have been Lady Jim but that no one remembered the
title - took possession of her with a little gasp.

"Oh, I'm so glad you're here," she almost sobbed. "You oughtn't
to, of course, but there -there isn't another woman in the
place, and we must help each other, you know; and we've all the
wretched people and the little babies they are selling."

"I've seen some," said William.

"Isn't it ghastly? I've bought twenty; they're in our camp; but
won't you have something to eat first? We've more than ten
people can do here; and I've got a horse for you. Oh, I'm so
glad you've come, dear. You're a Punjabi, too, you know."

"Steady, Lizzie," said Hawkins, over his shoulder. "We'll look
after you, Miss Martyn. 'Sorry I can't ask you to breakfast,
Martyn. You'll have to eat as you go. Leave two of your men to
help Scott. These poor devils can't stand up to load carts.
Saunders" (this to the engine-driver, who was half asleep in the
cab), "back down and get those empties away. You've 'line clear'
to Anundrapillay; they'll give you orders north of that. Scott,
load up your carts from that B. P. P. truck, and be off as soon
as you can. The Eurasian in the pink shirt is your interpreter
and guide. You'll find an apothecary of sorts tied to the yoke of
the second wagon. He's been trying to bolt; you'll have to look
after him. Lizzie, drive Miss Martyn to camp, and tell them to
send the red horse down here for me."

Scott, with Faiz Ullah and two policemen, was already busied with
the carts, backing them up to the truck and unbolting the
sideboards quietly, while the others pitched in the bags of
millet and wheat. Hawkins watched him for as long as it took to
fill one cart.

"That's a good man," he said. "If all goes well I shall work him
hard." This was Jim Hawkins's notion of the highest compliment
one human being could pay another.

An hour later Scott was under way; the apothecary threatening him
with the penalties of the law for that he, a member of the
Subordinate Medical Department, had been coerced and bound
against his will and all laws governing the liberty of the
subject; the pink-shirted Eurasian begging leave to see his
mother, who happened to be dying some three miles away: "Only
verree, verree short leave of absence, and will presently
return, sar -"; the two constables,armed with staves, bringing
up the rear; and Faiz Ullah, a Mohammedan's contempt for all
Hindoos and foreigners in every line of his face, explaining to
the drivers that though Scott Sahib was a man to be feared on
all fours, he, Faiz Ullah, was Authority Itself.

The procession creaked past Hawkins's camp - three stained tents
under a clump of dead trees, behind them the famine-shed, where
a crowd of hopeless ones tossed their arms around the
cooking-kettles.

"'Wish to Heaven William had kept out of it," said Scott to
himself, after a glance. "We'll have cholera, sure as a gun,
when the Rains break."

But William seemed to have taken kindly to the operations of the
Famine Code, which, when famine is declared, supersede the
workings of the ordinary law. Scott saw her, the centre of a mob
of weeping women, in a calico riding-habit, and a blue-grey felt
hat with a gold puggaree.

"I want fifty rupees, please. I forgot to ask Jack before he
went away. Can you lend it me? It's for condensed-milk for the
babies," said she.

Scott took the money from his belt, and handed it over without a
word. "For goodness sake, take care of yourself," he said.

"Oh, I shall be all right. We ought to get the milk in two days.
By the way, the orders are, I was to tell you, that you're to
take one of Sir Jim's horses.There's a grey Cabuli here that I
thought would be just your style, so I've said you'd take him.
Was that right?"

"That's awfully good of you. We can't either of us talk much
about style, I am afraid."

Scott was in a weather-stained drill shooting-kit, very white at
the seams and a little frayed at the wrists. William regarded
him thoughtfully, from his pith helmet to his greased
ankle-boots. "You look very nice, I think. Are you sure you've
everything you'll need - quinine, chlorodyne, and so on?"

"'Think so," said Scott, patting three or four of his
shooting-pockets as he mounted and rode alongside his convoy.

"Good-bye," he cried.

"Good-bye, and good luck," said William. "I'm awfully obliged for
the money." She turned on a spurred heel and disappeared into
the tent, while the carts pushed on past the famine-sheds, past
the roaring lines of the thick, fat fires, down to the baked
Gehenna of the South.

End of "WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR - PART I"

WILLIAM THE CONQUERER

PART II

So let us melt and make no noise, No tear-floods nor
sigh-tempests move; 'Twere profanation of our joys to tell the
Laity our love. A Valediction.

It was punishing work, even though he travelled by night and
camped by day; but within the limits of his vision there was no
man whom Scott could call master. He was as free as Jimmy
Hawkins - freer, in fact, for the Government held the Head of
the Famine tied neatly to a telegraph-wire, and if Jimmy had ever
regarded telegrams seriously, the death-rate of that famine
would have been much higher than it was.

At the end of a few days' crawling Scott learned something of the
size of the India which he served, and it astonished him. His
carts, as you know, were loaded with wheat, millet, and barley,
good food-grains needing only a little grinding. But the people
to whom he brought the life-giving stuffs were rice-eaters. They
could hull rice in their mortars, but they knew nothing of the
heavy stone querns of the North, and less of the material that
the white man convoyed so laboriously. They clamoured for rice -
unhusked paddy, such as they were accustomed to - and, when they
found that there was none, broke away weeping from the sides of
the cart. What was the use of these strange hard grains that
choked their throats? They would die. And then and there very
many of them kept their word. Others took their allowance, and
bartered enough millet to feed a man through a week for a few
handfuls of rotten rice saved by some less unfortunate. A few put
their share into the rice-mortars, pounded it, and made a paste
with foul water; but they were very few. Scott understood dimly
that many people in the India of the South ate rice, as a rule,
but he had spent his service in a grain Province, had seldom seen
rice in the blade or ear, and least of all would have believed
that in time of deadly need men could die at arm's length of
plenty, sooner than touch food they did not know. In vain the
interpreters interpreted; in vain his two policemen showed in
vigorous pantomime what should be done. The starving crept away
to their bark and weeds, grubs, leaves, and clay, and left the
open sacks untouched. But sometimes the women laid their phantoms
of children at Scott's feet, looking back as they staggered away.

Faiz Ullah opined it was the will of God that these foreigners
should die, and it remained only to give orders to burn the
dead. None the less there was no reason why the Sahib should lack
his comforts, and Faiz Ullah, a campaigner of experience, had
picked up a few lean goats and had added them to the procession.
That they might give milk for the morning meal, he was feeding
them on the good grain that these imbeciles rejected. "Yes," said
Faiz Ullah; "if the Sahib thought fit, a little milk might be
given to some of the babies"; but, as the Sahib well knew, babies
were cheap, and, for his own part, Faiz Ullah held that there was
no Government order as to babies. Scott spoke forcefully to Faiz
Ullah and the two policemen, and bade them capture goats where
they could find them. This they most joyfully did, for it was a
recreation, and many ownerless goats were driven in. Once fed,
the poor brutes were willing enough to follow the carts, and a
few days' good food - food such as human beings died for lack of
- set them in milk again.

"But I am no goatherd," said Faiz Ullah. "It is against my izzat
[my honour]."

"When we cross the Bias River again we will talk of izzat," Scott
replied. "Till that day thou and the policemen shall be sweepers
to the camp, if I give the order."

"Thus, then, it is done," grunted Faiz Ullah, "if the Sahib will
have it so"; and he showed how a goat should be milked, while
Scott stood over him.

"Now we will feed them," said Scott; "twice a day we will feed
them"; and he bowed his back to the milking, and took a horrible
cramp.

When you have to keep connection unbroken between a restless
mother of kids and a baby who is at the point of death, you
suffer in all your system. But the babies were fed. Each morning
and evening Scott would solemnly lift them out one by one from
their nest of gunny-bags under the cart-tilts. There were always
many who could do no more than breathe, and the milk was dropped
into their toothless mouths drop by drop, with due pauses when
they choked. Each morning, too, the goats were fed; and since
they would straggle without a leader, and since the natives were
hirelings, Scott was forced to give up riding, and pace slowly at
the head of his flocks, accommodating his step to their
weaknesses. All this was sufficiently absurd, and he felt the
absurdity keenly; but at least he was saving life, and when the
women saw that their children did not die, they made shift to eat
a little of the strange foods, and crawled after the carts,
blessing the master of the goats.

"Give the women something to live for," said Scott to himself, as
he sneezed in the dust of a hundred little feet, "and they'll
hang on somehow. This beats William's condensed-milk trick all to
pieces. I shall never live it down, though."

He reached his destination very slowly, found that a rice-ship
had come in from Burmah, and that stores of paddy were
available; found also an overworked Englishman in charge of the
shed, and, loading the carts, set back to cover the ground he
had already passed. He left some of the children and half his
goats at the famine-shed. For this he was not thanked by the
Englishman, who had already more stray babies than he knew what
to do with. Scott's back was suppled to stooping now, and he
went on with his wayside ministrations in addition to
distributing the paddy. More babies and more goats were added
unto him; but now some of the babies wore rags, and beads round
their wrists or necks. "That" said the interpreter, as though
Scott did not know, "signifies that their mothers hope in
eventual contingency to resume them offeecially."

The sooner, the better," said Scott; but at the same time he
marked, with the pride of ownership, how this or that little
Ramasawmy was putting on flesh like a bantam. As the
paddy-carts were emptied he headed for Hawkins's camp by the
railway, timing his arrival to fit in with the dinner-hour, for
it was long since he had eaten at a cloth. He had no desire to
make any dramatic entry, but an accident of the sunset ordered
it that when he had taken off his helmet to get the evening
breeze, the low light should fall across his forehead, and he
could not see what was before him; while one waiting at the tent
door beheld with new eyes a young man, beautiful as Paris, a god
in a halo of golden dust, walking slowly at the head of his
flocks, while at his knee ran small naked Cupids. But she
laughed - William, in a slate-coloured blouse, laughed
consumedly till Scott, putting the best face he could upon the
matter, halted his armies and bade her admire the kindergarten.
It was an unseemly sight, but the proprieties had been left ages
ago, with the tea-party at Amritsar Station, fifteen hundred
miles to the north.

"They are coming on nicely," said William. "We've only
five-and-twenty here now. The women are beginning to take them
away again."

"Are you in charge of the babies, then?"

"Yes - Mrs. Jim and I. We didn't think of goats, though. We've
been trying condensed-milk and water."

"Any losses?"

More than I care to think of;" said William, with a shudder.
"And you?"

Scott said nothing. There had been many little burials along his
route - one cannot burn a dead baby - many mothers who had wept
when they did not find again the children they had trusted to
the care of the Government.

Then Hawkins came out carrying a razor, at which Scott looked
hungrily, for he had a beard that he did not love. And when
they sat down to dinner in the tent he told his tale in few
words, as it might have been an official report. Mrs. Jim
snuffled from time to time, and Jim bowed his head judicially;
but William's grey eyes were on the clean-shaven face, and it
was to her that Scott seemed to appeal.

"Good for the Pauper Province!" said William, her chin on her
hand, as she leaned forward among the wine~glasses. Her cheeks
had fallen in, and the scar on her forehead was more prominent
than ever, but the well-turned neck rose roundly as a column
from the ruffle of the blouse which was the accepted
evening-dress in camp.

"It was awfully absurd at times," said Scott. "You see, I didn't
know much about milking or babies. They'll chaff my head off, if
the tale goes up North."

"Let 'em," said William, haughtily. "We've all done coolie-work
since we came. I know Jack has." This was to Hawkins's address,
and the big man smiled blandly.

"Your brother's a highly efficient officer, William," said he,
"and I've done him the honour of treating him as he deserves.
Remember, I write the confidential reports."

"Then you must say that William's worth her weight in gold," said
Mrs. Jim. "I don't know what we should have done without her. She
has been everything to us." She dropped her hand upon William's,
which was rough with much handling of reins, and William patted
it softly. Jim beamed on the company. Things were going well with
his world. Three of his more grossly incompetent men had died,
and their places had been filled by their betters. Every day
brought the Rains nearer. They had put out the famine in five of
the Eight Districts, and, after all, the death-rate had not been
too heavy - things considered. He looked Scott over carefully, as
an ogre looks over a man, and rejoiced in his thews and iron-hard
condition.

"He's just the least bit in the world tucked up," said Jim to
himself, "but he can do two men's work yet." Then he was aware
that Mrs. Jim was telegraphing to him, and according to the
domestic code the message ran: "A clear case. Look at them!"

He looked and listened. All that William was saying was: "What
can you expect of a country where they call a bhistee [a
water-carrier] a tunni-cutch?" and all that Scott answered was:
"I shall be glad to get back to the Club. Save me a dance at the
Christmas Ball, won't you?"

"It's a far cry from here to the Lawrence Hall," said Jim.
"Better turn in early, Scott. It's paddy-carts to-morrow;
you'll begin loading at five."

"Aren't you going to give Mr. Scott a single day's rest?"

"'Wish I could, Lizzie, but I'm afraid I can't. As long as he can
stand up we must use him."

"Well, I've had one Europe evening, at least. By Jove, I'd nearly
forgotten! What do I do about those babies of mine?"

"Leave them here," said William -" we are in charge of that - and
as many goats as you can spare. I must learn how to milk now."

"If you care to get up early enough to-morrow I'll show you. I
have to milk, you see. Half of 'em have beads and things round
their necks. You must be careful not to take 'em off; in case
the mothers turn up."

"You forget I've had some experience here."

"I hope to goodness you won't overdo." Scott's voice was
unguarded.

"I'll take care of her," said Mrs. Jim, telegraphing hundred-word
messages as she carried William off; while Jim gave Scott his
orders for the coming campaign. It was very late - nearly nine
o'clock.

"Jim, you're a brute," said his wife, that night; and the Head of
the Famine chuckled.

"Not a bit of it, dear. I remember doing the first Jandiala
Settlement for the sake of a girl in a crinoline, and she was
slender, Lizzie. I've never done as good a piece of work since.
He'll work like a demon."

"But you might have given him one day."

"And let things come to a head now? No, dear; it's their
happiest time."

"I don't believe either of the darlings know what's the matter
with them. Isn't it beautiful? Isn't it lovely?"

"Getting up at three to learn to milk, bless her heart! Oh, ye
Gods, why must we grow old and fat?"

"She's a darling. She has done more work under me -"

"Under you? The day after she came she was in charge and you
were her subordinate. You've stayed there ever since; she
manages you almost as well as you manage me."

"She doesn't, and that's why I love her. She's as direct as a
man - as her brother."

"Her brother's weaker than she is. He's always to me for orders;
but he's honest, and a glutton for work. I confess I'm rather
fond of William, and if I had a daughter -"

The talk ended. Far away in the Derajat was a child's grave more
than twenty years old, and neither Jim nor his wife spoke of it
any more.

All the same, you're responsible," Jim added, a moment's silence.

"Bless 'em!" said Mrs. Jim, sleepily.

Before the stars paled, Scott, who slept in an empty cart, waked
and went about his work in silence; it seemed at that hour
unkind to rouse Faiz Ullah and the interpreter. His head being
close to the ground, he did not hear William till she stood over
him in the dingy old riding-habit, her eyes still heavy with
sleep, a cup of tea and a piece of toast in her hands. There
was a baby on the ground, squirming on a piece of blanket, and a
six-year-old child peered over Scott's shoulder.

"Hai, you little rip," said Scott, "how the deuce do you expect
to get your rations if you aren't quiet?"

A cool white hand steadied the brat, who forthwith choked as the
milk gurgled into his mouth.

"'Mornin'," said the milker. "You've no notion how these little
fellows can wriggle."

"Oh, yes, I have." She whispered, because the world was asleep.
"Only I feed them with a spoon or a rag. Yours are fatter than
mine. .And you've been doing this day after day?" The voice was
almost lost.

"Yes; it was absurd. Now you try," he said, giving place to the
girl. "Look out! A goat's not a cow."

The goat protested against the amateur, and there was a scuffle,
in which Scott snatched up the baby. Then it was all to do over
again, and William laughed softly and merrily. She managed,
however, to feed two babies, and a third.

"Don't the little beggars take it well?" said Scott. "I trained
'em."

They were very busy and interested, when lo! it was broad
daylight, and before they knew, the camp was awake, and they
kneeled among the goats, surprised by the day, both flushed to
the temples. Yet all the round world rolling up out of the
darkness might have heard and seen all that had passed between
them.

"Oh," said William, unsteadily, snatching up the tea and toast,
"I had this made for you. It's stone-cold now. I thought you
mightn't have anything ready so early. 'Better not drink it.
It's - it's stone-cold."

"That's awfully kind of you. It's just right. It's awfully good
of you, really. I'll leave my kids and goats with you and Mrs.
Jim, and, of course, any one in camp can show you about the
milking."

"Of course," said William; and she grew pinker and pinker and
statelier and more stately, as she strode back to her tent,
fanning herself with the saucer.

There were shrill lamentations through the camp when the elder
children saw their nurse move off without them. Faiz Ullah
unbent so far as to jest with the policemen, and Scott turned
purple with shame because Hawkins, already in the saddle,
roared.

A child escaped from the care of Mrs. Jim, and, running like a
rabbit, clung to Scott's boot, William pursuing with long, easy
strides.

"I will not go - I will not go!" shrieked the child, twining his
feet round Scott's ankle. They will kill me here. I do not know
these people."

"I say," said Scott, in broken Tamil, "I say, she will do you no
harm. Go with her and be well fed."

"Come!" said William, panting, with a wrathful glance at Scott,
who stood helpless and, as it were, hamstrung.

"Go back," said Scott quickly to William. I'll send the little
chap over in a minute."

The tone of authority had its effect, but in a way Scott did not
exactly intend. The boy loosened his grasp, and said with
gravity: "I did not know the woman was thine. I will go." Then
he cried to his companions, a mob of three-, four-, and
five-year-olds waiting on the success of his venture ere they
stampeded: "Go back and eat. It is our man's woman. She will
obey his orders."

Jim collapsed where he sat; Faiz Ullah and the two policemen
grinned; and Scott's orders to the cartmen flew like hail.

"That is the custom of the Sahibs when truth is told in their
presence," said Faiz Ullah. "The time comes that I must seek new
service. Young wives, especially such as speak our language and
have knowledge of the ways of the Police, make great trouble for
honest butlers in the matter of weekly accounts."

What William thought of it all she did not say, but when her
brother, ten days later, came to camp for orders, and heard of
Scott's performances, he said, laughing: "Well, that settles it.
He'll be Bakri Scott to the end of his days." (Bakri in the
Northern vernacular, means a goat.) "What a lark! I'd have given
a month's pay to have seen him nursing famine babies. I fed some
with conjee [rice-water], but that was all right."

"It's perfectly disgusting," said his sister, with blazing eyes.
"A man does something like -like that - and all you other men
think of is to give him an absurd nickname, and then you laugh
and think it's funny."

"Ah," said Mrs. Jim, sympathetically.

"Well, you can't talk, William. You christened little Miss Demby
the Button-quail, last cold weather; you know you did. India's
the land of nicknames."

"That's different," William replied. "She was only a girl, and
she hadn't done anything except walk like a quail, and she does.
But it isn't fair to make fun of a man."

"Scott won't care," said Martyn. "You can't get a rise out of old
Scotty. I've been trying for eight years, and you've only known
him for three. How does he look?"

"He looks very well," said William, and went away with a flushed
cheek. "Bakri Scott, indeed!" Then she laughed to herself, for
she knew her country. "But it will he Bakri all the same"; and
she repeated it under her breath several times slowly,
whispering it into favour.

When he returned to his duties on the railway, Martyn spread the
name far and wide among his associates, so that Scott met it as
he led his paddy-carts to war. The natives believed it to be
some English title of honour, and the cart-drivers used it in
all simplicity till Faiz Ullah, who did not approve of foreign
japes, broke their heads. There was very little time for milking
now, except at the big camps, where Jim had extended Scott's
idea and was feeding large flocks on the useless northern
grains. Sufficient paddy had come now into the Eight Districts
to hold the people safe, if it were only distributed quickly,
and for that purpose no one was better than the big Canal
officer, who never lost his temper, never gave an unnecessary
order, and never questioned an order given. Scott pressed on,
saving his cattle, washing their galled necks daily, so that no
time should be lost on the road; reported himself with his rice
at the minor famine-sheds, unloaded, and went back light by
forced night-march to the next distributing centre, to find
Hawkins's unvarying telegram: "Do it again." And he did it
again and again, and yet again, while Jim Hawkins, fifty miles
away, marked off on a big map the tracks of his wheels
gridironing the stricken lands. Others did well - Hawkins
reported at the end they all did well - but Scott was the most
excellent, for he kept good coined rupees by him, settled for
his own cart-repairs on the spot, and ran to meet all sorts of
unconsidered extras, trusting to be recouped later on.
Theoretically, the Government should have paid for every shoe
and iinchpin, for every hand employed in the loading; but
Government vouchers cash themselves slowly, and intelligent and
efficient clerks write at great length, contesting unauthorised
expenditures of eight annas. The man who wants to make his work
a success must draw on his own bank-account of money or other
things as he goes.

"I told you he'd work," said Jimmy to his wife, at the end of six
weeks. "He's been in sole charge of a couple of thousand men up
north, on the Mosuhl Canal, for a year; but he gives less
trouble than young Martyn with his ten constables; and I'm
morally certain - only Government doesn't recognise moral
obligations - he's spent about half his pay to grease his
wheels. Look at this, Lizzie, for one week's work! Forty miles
in two days with twelve carts; two days' halt building a
famine-shed for young Rogers. (Rogers ought to have built it
himself, the idiot!) Then forty miles back again, loading six
carts on the way, and distributing all Sunday. Then in the
evening he pitches in a twenty-page Demi-Official to me, saying
the people where he is might be 'advantageously employed on
relief-work,' and suggesting that he put 'em to work on some
broken-down old reservoir he's discovered, so as to have a good
water-supply when the Rains break. 'Thinks he can cauk the dam
in a fortnight. Look at his marginal sketches - aren't they
clear and good ~ I knew he was pukka, but I didn't know he was
as pukka as this."

"I must show these to William," said Mrs. Jim. "The child's
wearing herself out among the babies."

"Not more than you are, dear. Well, another two months ought to
see us out of the wood. I'm sorry it's not in my power to
recommend you for a V. C."

William sat late in her tent that night, reading through page
after page of the square handwriting, patting the sketches of
proposed repairs to the reservoir, and wrinkling her eyebrows
over the columns of figures of estimated water-supply."And he
finds time to do all this," she cried to herself, "and-well, I
also was present. I've saved one or two babies.

She dreamed for the twentieth time of the god in the golden dust,
and woke refreshed to feed loathsome black children, scores of
them, wastrels picked up by the wayside, their bones almost
breaking their skin, terrible and covered with sores.

Scott was not allowed to leave his cart-work, but his letter was
duly forwarded to the Government, and he had the consolation,
not rare in India, of knowing that another man was reaping where
he had sown. That also was discipline profitable to the soul.

"He's much too good to waste on canals," said Jimmy. "Any one can
oversee coolies. You needn't be angry, William; he can - but I
need my pearl among bullock-drivers, and I've transferred him to
the Khanda district, where he'll have it all to do over again. He
should be marching now.

"He's not a coolie," said William, furiously. "He ought to be
doing his regulation work."

"He's the best man in his service, and that's saying a good deal;
but if you must use razors to cut grindstones, why, I prefer the
best cutlery."

"Isn't it almost time we saw him again?" said Mrs. Jim. "I'm sure
the poor boy hasn't had a respectable meal for a month. He
probably sits on a cart and eats sardines with his fingers."

"All in good time, dear. Duty before decency - wasn't it Mr.
Chucks said that?"

"No; it was Midshipman Easy," William laughed. "I sometimes
wonder how it will feel to dance or listen to a band again, or
sit under a roof. I can't believe I ever wore a ball-frock in my
life."

"One minute," said Mrs. Jim, who was thinking. "If he goes to
Khanda, he passes within five miles of us. Of course he'll ride
in."

"Oh, no, he won't," said William.

"How do you know, dear?"

"It will take him off his work. He won't have time."

"He'll make it," said Mrs. Jim, with a twinkle.

"It depends on his own judgment. There's absolutely no reason
why he shouldn't, if he thinks fit," said Jim.

"He won't see fit," William replied, without sorrow or emotion.
"It wouldn't be him if he did."

"One certainly gets to know people rather well in times like
these," said Jim, drily; but William's face was serene as ever,
and even as she prophesied, Scott did not appear.

The Rains fell at last, late, but heavily; and the dry, gashed
earth was red mud, and servants killed snakes in the camp, where
every one was weather-bound for a fortnight - all except
Hawkins, who took horse and plashed about in the wet, rejoicing.
Now the Government decreed that seed-grain should be distributed
to the people, as well as advances of money for the purchase of
new oxen; and the white men were doubly worked for this new duty,
while William skipped from brick to brick laid down on the
trampled mud, and dosed her charges with warming medicines that
made them rub their little round stomachs; and the milch goats
throve on the rank grass. There was never a word from Scott in
the Khanda district, away to the southeast, except the regular
telegraphic report to Hawkins. The rude country roads had
disappeared; his drivers were half mutinous; one of Martyn's
loaned policemen had died of cholera; and Scott was taking thirty
grains of quinine a day to fight the fever that comes with the
rain: but those were things Scott did not consider necessary to
report. He was, as usual, working from a base of supplies on a
railway line, to cover a circle of fifteen miles radius, and
since full loads were impossible, he took quarter-loads, and
toiled four times as hard by consequence; for he did not choose
to risk an epidemic which might have grown uncontrollable by
assembling villagers in thousands at the relief-sheds. It was
cheaper to take Government bullocks, work them to death, and
leave them to the crows in the wayside sloughs.

That was the time when eight years of clean living and hard
condition told, though a man's head were ringing like a bell
from the cinchona, and the earth swayed under his feet when he
stood and under his bed when he slept. If Hawkins had seen fit
to make him a bullock-driver, that, he thought, was entirely
Hawkins's own affair. There were men in the North who would
know what he had done; men of thirty years' service in his own
department who would say that it was "not half bad"; and above,
immeasurably above, all men of all grades, there was William in
the thick of the fight, who would approve because she understood.
He had so trained his mind that it would hold fast to the
mechanical routine of the day, though his own voice sounded
strange in his own ears, and his hands, when he wrote, grew
large as pillows or small as peas at the end of his wrists. That
steadfastness bore his body to the telegraph-office at the
railway-station, and dictated a telegram to Hawkins saying that
the Khanda district was, in his judgment, now safe, and he
"waited further orders."

The Madrassee telegraph-clerk did not approve of a large, gaunt
man falling over him in a dead faint, not so much because of the
weight as because of the names and blows that Faiz Ullah dealt
him when he found the body rolled under a bench. Then Faiz Ullah
took blankets, quilts, and coverlets where he found them, and lay
down under them at his master's side, and bound his arms with a
tent-rope, and filled him with a horrible stew of herbs, and set
the policeman to fight him when he wished to escape from the
intolerable heat of his coverings, and shut the door of the
telegraph-office to keep out the curious for two nights and one
day; and when a light engine came down the line, and Hawkins
kicked in the door, Scott hailed him weakly but in a natural
voice, and Faiz Ullah stood back and took all the credit.

"For two nights, Heaven-born, he was pagal" said Faiz Ullah.
"Look at my nose, and consider the eye of the policeman. He beat
us with his bound hands; but we sat upon him, Heaven-born, and
though his words were tez, we sweated him. Heaven-born, never has
been such a sweat! He is weaker now than a child; but the fever
has gone out of him, by the grace of God. There remains only my
nose and the eye of the constabeel. Sahib, shall I ask for my
dismissal because my Sahib has beaten me?" And Faiz Ullah laid
his long thin hand carefully on Scott's chest to be sure that the
fever was all gone, ere he went out to open tinned soups and
discourage such as laughed at his swelled nose.

"The district's all right," Scott whispered. "It doesn't make
any difference. You got my wire?" I shall be fit in a week.
'Can't understand how it happened. I shall be fit in a few
days."

"You're coming into camp with us," said Hawkins.

"But look here - but -"

"It's all over except the shouting. We sha'n't need you Punjabis
any more. On my honour, we sha'n't. Martyn goes back in a few
weeks; Arbuthnot's returned already; Ellis and Clay are putting
the last touches to a new feeder-line the Government's built as
relief-work. Morten's dead - he was a Bengal man, though; you
wouldn't know him. 'Pon my word, you and Will - Miss Martyn -
seem to have come through it as well as anybody."- "Oh, how is
she, by-the-way"." The voice went up and down as he spoke.

"Going strong when I left her. The Roman Catholic Missions are
adopting the unclaimed babies to turn them into little priests;
the Basil Mission is taking some, and the mothers are taking the
rest. You should hear the little beggars howl when they're sent
away from William. She's pulled down a bit, but so are we all.
Now, when do you suppose you'll be able to move?"

"I can't come into camp in this state. I won't," he replied
pettishly.

"Well, you are rather a sight, but from what I gathered there it
seemed to me they'd be glad to see you under any conditions.
I'll look over your work here, if you like, for a couple of
days, and you can pull yourself together while Faiz Ullah feeds
you up."

Scott could walk dizzily by the time Hawkins's inspection was
ended, and he flushed all over when Jim said of his work that it
was "not half bad," and volunteered, further, that he had
considered Scott his right-hand man through the famine, and
would feel it his duty to say as much officially.

So they came back by rail to the old camp; but there were no
crowds near it; the long fires in the trenches were dead and
black, and the famine-sheds were almost empty.

"You see!" said Jim. "There isn't much more to do. 'Better ride
up and see the wife. They've pitched a tent for you. Dinner's at
seven. I've some work here."

Riding at a foot-pace, Faiz Ullah by his stirrup, Scott came to
William in the brown-calico riding-habit, sitting at the
dining-tent door, her hands in her lap, white as ashes, thin and
worn, with no lustre in her hair. There did not seem to be any
Mrs. Jim on the horizon, and all that William could say was: "My
word, how pulled down you look!"

"I've had a touch of fever. You don't look very well yourself."

"Oh, I'm fit enough. We've stamped it out. I suppose you know?"

Scott nodded. "We shall all be returned in a few weeks. Hawkins
told me."

"Before Christmas, Mrs. Jim says. Sha'n't you be glad to go back
~ I can smell the wood-smoke already"; William sniffed. "We
shall be in time for all the Christmas doings. I don't suppose
even the Punjab Government would be base enough to transfer Jack
till the new year?"

"It seems hundreds of years ago - the Punjab and all that -
doesn't it? Are you glad you came?"

"Now it's all over, yes. It has been ghastly here, though. You
know we had to sit still and do nothing, and Sir Jim was away so
much."

"Do nothing! How did you get on with the milking?"

"I managed it somehow - after you taught me. 'Remember?"

Then the talk stopped with an almost audible jar. Still no Mrs.
Jim.

"That reminds me, I owe you fifty rupees for the condensed-milk.
I thought perhaps you'd be coming here when you were transferred
to the Khanda district, and I could pay you then; but you
didn't."

"I passed within five miles of the camp, but it was in the middle
of a march, you see, and the carts were breaking down every few
minutes, and I couldn't get 'em over the ground till ten o'clock
that night. I wanted to come awfully. You knew I did, didn't
you?"

"I - believe - I - did," said William, facing him with level
eyes. She was no longer white."

"Did you understand?"

"Why you didn't ride in? Of course I did."

"Why?""Because you couldn't, of course. I knew that."

"Did you care?"

"If you had come in - but I knew you wouldn't - but if you had, I
should have cared a great deal. You know I should."

"Thank God I didn't! Oh, but I wanted to! I couldn't trust myself
to ride in front of the carts, because I kept edging 'em over
here, don't you know?"

"I knew you wouldn't," said William, contentedly. "Here's your
fifty."

Scott bent forward and kissed the hand that held the greasy
notes. Its fellow patted him awkwardly but very tenderly on the
head.

"And you knew, too, didn't you?" said William, in a new voice.

"No, on my honour, I didn't. I hadn't the - the cheek to expect
anything of the kind, except . . I say, were you out riding
anywhere the day I passed by to Khanda?"

William nodded, and smiled after the manner of an angel surprised
in a good deed.

"Then it was just a speck I saw of your habit in the -"

"Palm-grove on the Southern cart-road. I saw your helmet when you
came up from the mullah by the temple - just enough to be sure
that you were all right. D' you care?"

This time Scott did not kiss her hand, for they were in the dusk
of the dining-tent, and, because William's knees were trembling
under her, she had to sit down in the nearest chair, where she
wept long and happily, her head on her arms; and when Scott
imagined that it would be well to comfort her, she needing
nothing of the kind, she ran to her own tent; and Scott went out
into the world, and smiled upon it largely and idiotically. But
when Faiz Ullah brought him a drink, he found it necessary to
support one hand with the other, or the good whisky and soda
would have been spilled abroad. There are fevers and fevers.

But it was worse - much worse - the strained, eye-shirking talk
at dinner till the servants had withdrawn, and worst of all when
Mrs. Jim, who had been on the edge of weeping from the soup down,
kissed Scott and William, and they drank one whole bottle of
champagne, hot, because there was no ice, and Scott and William
sat outside the tent in the starlight till Mrs. Jim drove them in
for fear of more fever.

Apropos of these things and some others William said: "Being
engaged is abominable, because, you see, one has no official
position. We must be thankful we've lots of things to do."

"Things to do!" said Jim, when that was reported to him.
"They're neither of them any good any more. I can't get five
hours' work a day out of Scott. He's in the clouds half the
time."

"Oh, but they're so beautiful to watch, Jimmy. It will break my
heart when they go. Can't you do anything for him?"

"I've given the Government the impression - at least, I hope I
have - that he personally conducted the entire famine. But all
he wants is to get on to the Luni Canal Works, and William's
just as bad. Have you ever heard 'em talking of barrage and
aprons and waste-water ~ It's their style of spooning, I
suppose."

Mrs. Jim smiled tenderly. "Ah, that's in the intervals - bless
'em."

And so Love ran about the camp unrebuked in broad daylight, while
men picked up the pieces and put them neatly away of the Famine
in the Eight Districts.

Morning brought the penetrating chill of the Northern December,
the layers of wood-smoke, the dusty grey-blue of the tamarisks,
the domes of ruined tombs, and all the smell of the white
Northern plains, as the mail-train ran on to the mile-long Sutlej
Bridge. William, wrapped in a poshteen - a silk-embroidered
sheepskin jacket trimmed with rough astrakhan - looked out with
moist eyes and nostrils that dilated joyously. The South of
pagodas and palm-trees, the overpopulated Hindu South, was done
with. Here was the land she knew and loved, and before her lay
the good life she understood, among folk of her own caste and
mind.

They were picking them up at almost every station now - men and
women coming in for the Christmas Week, with racquets, with
bundles of polo-sticks, with dear and bruised cricket-bats, with
fox-terriers and saddles. The greater part of them wore jackets
like William's, for the Northern cold is as little to be trifled
with as the Northern heat. And William was among them and of
them, her hands deep in her pockets, her collar turned up over
her ears, stamping her feet on the platforms as she walked up and
down to get warm, visiting from carriage to carriage and
everywhere being congratulated. Scott was with the bachelors at
the far end of the train, where they chaffed him mercilessly
about feeding babies and milking goats; but from time to time he
would stroll up to William's window, and murmur: "Good enough,
isn't it?" and William would answer with sighs of pure delight:
"Good enough, indeed." The large open names of the home towns
were good to listen to. Umballa, Ludianah, Phillour, Jullundur,
they rang like the coming marriage-bells in her ears, and William
felt deeply and truly sorry for all strangers and outsiders -
visitors, tourists, and those fresh-caught for the service of the
country.

It was a glorious return, and when the bachelors gave the
Christmas Ball, William was, unofficially, you might say, the
chief and honoured guest among the Stewards, who could make
things very pleasant for their friends. She and Scott danced
nearly all the dances together, and sat out the rest in the big
dark gallery overlooking the superb teak floor, where the
uniforms blazed, and the spurs clinked, and the new frocks and
four hundred dancers went round and round till the draped flags
on the pillars flapped and bellied to the whirl of it.

About midnight half a dozen men who did not care for dancing came
over from the Club to play "Waits," and that was a surprise the
Stewards had arranged - before any one knew what had happened,
the band stopped, and hidden voices broke into "Good King
Wenceslaus," and William in the gallery hummed and beat time with
her foot:

"Mark my footsteps well, my page,
Tread thou in them boldly.
Thou shalt feel the winter's rage
Freeze thy blood less coldly!"

"Oh, I hope they are going to give us another! Isn't it pretty,
coming out of the dark in that way? Look - look down. There's
Mrs. Gregory wiping her eyes!"

"It's like Home, rather," said Scott. "I remember -"

"Hsh! Listen! - dear." And it began again:

"When shepherds watched their flocks by night -"

"A-h-h!" said William, drawing closer to Scott.

"All seated on the ground,
The Angel of the Lord came down,
And glory shone around.
'Fear not,' said he (for mighty dread
Had seized their troubled mind);
'Glad tidings of great joy I bring
To you and all mankind.'"

This time it was William that wiped her eyes.

End of WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR - PART II

THE SON OF HIS FATHER

"It is a queer name," Mrs. Strickland admitted, "and none of our
family have ever borne it, but, you see, he is the first man to
us."

So he was called Adam, and to that world about him he was the
first of men - a man-child alone. Heaven sent him no Eve for a
companion, but all earth, horse and foot, was at his feet. As
soon as he was old enough to appear in public, he held a levee;
and Strickland's sixty policemen, with their sixty clanking
sabres, bowed to the dust before him. When his fingers closed a
little on Imam Din's sword-hilt, they rose and roared - till Adam
roared, too, and was withdrawn.

"Now, that was no cry of fear," said Imam Din, afterwards,
speaking to his companions in the Police Lines. "He was angry -
and so young! Brothers, he will make a very strong Police
officer."

"Does the Memsahib give him the breast?" said a new Phillour
recruit, the dye smell not yet out of his yellow cotton uniform.

"Ho!" said an up-country Naik, scornfully. "It has not been known
for more than ten days that my woman suckles him." He curled his
moustaches as lordly as ever an Inspector could afford to do, for
he knew that the husband of the foster-mother of the son of the
District Superintendent of Police was a man sure of
consideration.

"I am glad," said Imam Din, loosening his belt. "Those who drink
our blood become of our own blood, and I have seen, in these
thirty years, that the sons of the Sahibs, once being born here,
return when they are men. Yes, they return after they have been
to Belait [Europe]."

"And what do they do in Belait?" asked the recruit, respectfully.

"Get instruction - which thou hast not," returned the Naik. "Also
they drink of belaitee-panee [soda-water], enough to give them
that devil's restlessness which endures for all their lives.
Whence we of Hind have trouble."

"My father's uncle," said Imam Din, slowly, with importance, "was
Ressaldar of the Longcoat Horse; and the Empress called him to
Belait in the year that she had accomplished fifty years of
rule. He said (and there were also other witnesses) that the
Sahibs there drink common water, even as do we; and that the
belaitee-panee does not run in all the rivers.

"He said also that there was a Shish Mahal - half a glass palace
- half a koss in length and that the rail-gbarri ran under the
roads, and that there are boats bigger than a village. He is a
great talker." The Naik spoke scornfully. He had no well-born
uncles.

"He is a man of good birth," said Imam Din, with the least
possible emphasis on the first word, and the Naik was silent.

"Ho! ho!" Imam Din reached out to his pipe, chuckling until his
fat sides shook again. "Strickland Sahib's foster-mother was the
wife of an Arain in the Ferozepur district. I was a young man
then, ploughing while the English fought. This child will also be
suckled here, and he will have double wisdom, and when he is a
Police officer it will be very bad for the thieves in this
illakha."

"There will be no English in the land then. They are asking
permission of clerks and low-caste men to continue their rule
even now," said the Naik.

"All but foolish men - such as those clerks are - would know that
this asking is but an excuse for making trouble, and thus
holding the country more strictly. Now, in an investigation, is
it not our custom to permit the villagers to talk loosely and
give us abuse for a little time? Then do we not grow hot, and
walk them to the thana two by two - as these clerks will be
walked? Thus do I read the new talk."

"So do not I," said the Naik, who borrowed the native
newspapers.

"Because thou art young, and wast born in time of peace. I saw
the year that was to end the English rule. Men said it was
ended, indeed, and that all could now take their neighbour's
cattle. This I saw ploughing, and I was minded to fight too,
being a young man. My father sent me to Gurgaon to buy cattle,
and I saw the tents of Van Corlin Sahib(1) in the wheat, and I
saw that he was going up and down collecting the revenue,
neither abating nor increasing it, though Delhi was all afire,
and the Sahibs lay dead about the fields. I have seen what I have
seen. This Raj will not be talked down; and he who builds on the
present madness of the Sahib-log, which, O Naik, covers great
cunning, builds for himself a lock-up. My father's uncle has seen
their country, and he says that he is afraid as never he feared
before. So Strickland Sahib's boy will come back to this country,
and his son after him. Naik, have they named him yet?"

"The butler spoke to my household, having heard the talk at
table, and he says that they will call him Adam, and no
jaw-splitting English name. Ud-daam. The padre will name him at
their church in due time."(1) Van Cortland?

"Who can tell the ways of Sahibs? Now, Strickland Sahib knows
more of the Faith than ever I had time to learn-prayers, charms,
names, and stories of the Blessed Ones. Yet he is not a
Musalman," said Imam Din, thoughtfully.

"For the reason that he knows as much of the gods of Hindustan,
and so rides with a rein in each hand. Remember that he sat
under the Baba Atall, a fakir among fakirs, for ten days:
whereby a man came to be hanged for the murder of the
dancing-girl on the night of the great earthquake," said the
Naik.

"True - it is true - and yet . . . they are one day so wise, the
Sahibs, and another so foolish. But he has named the child well:
Adam. Huzrut Adam! Ho! ho! Father Adam we must call him."

"And all who minister to the child," said the Naik, quietly, but
with meaning, "will come to great honour."

Adam throve, being prayed over before the gods of at least three
creeds, in a garden almost as fair as Eden. There were gigantic
clumps of bamboo that talked continually, and enormous plantains
on whose soft paper skin he could scratch with his nails; green
domes of mango-trees as huge as the dome of St. Paul's, full of
parrots as big as cassowaries, and grey squirrels the size of
foxes. At the end of the garden stood a hedge of flaming
poinsettias higher than any-thing in the world, because,
childlike, Adam's eye could not carry to the tops of the
mango-trees. Their green went out against the blue sky, but the
red poinsettias he could just see. A nurse who talked
continually about snakes and pulled him back from the mouth of a
fascinating dry well, and a mother who believed that the sun hurt
little heads, were the only drawbacks to this loveliness. But, as
his legs grew under him, he found that by scaling an enormous
rampart -three feet of broken-down mud wall at the end of the
garden - he could come into a ready-made kingdom where every one
was his slave. Imam Din showed him the way one evening, and the
police troopers cooking their supper received him with rapture,
and gave him pieces of very indigestible but altogether
delightful spiced bread.

Here he sat or sprawled in the horse-feed where the police horses
were picketed in a double line, and he named them, men and
beasts together, according to his ideas and experiences, as his
First Father had done before him. In those days everything had a
name, from the mud mangers to the heel-ropes; for things were
people to Adam, exactly as people are things to folk in their
second childhood. Through all the conferences - one hand twisted
into Imam Din's beard, and the other on his polished belt-buckle
- there were two other people who came and went across the talk -
Death and Sickness - persons stronger than Imam Din, and stronger
than the heel-roped stallions. There was Mata, the small-pox, a
woman in some way connected with pigs; and Heza, the cholera, a
black man, according to Adam; and Booka, starvation; and Kismet,
who quietly settled all questions, from the choking of a pet
mungoose in the kitchen drain, to the absence of a young
policeman who once missed a parade and never came back. It was
all very wonderful to Adam, but not worth much thinking over; for
a child's mind is bounded by his eyes exactly as a horse's view
of the road is limited by blinkers. Between all these
objectionable shadowy vagrants stood a ring of kind faces and
strong arms, and Mata and Heza would never touch Adam, the first
of men. Kismet might do so, because - and this was a mystery no
staring into the looking-glass would solve - Kismet, who was a
man, was also written, like police orders for the day, in or on
Adam's head. Imam Din could not explain how this might be, and
it was from that grey fat Muhammadan that Adam learned through
every inflection the Khuda janta (God knows) that settled
everything in his mind.

Beyond the fact that "Khuda" was a very good man and kept lions,
Adam's theology did not run far. Mrs. Strickland tried to teach
him a few facts, but he revolted at the story of Genesis as
untrue. A turtle, he said, upheld the world, and one-half the
adventures of Huzrut Nu (Father Noah) had never been told. If
Mamma wanted to hear them, she must ask Imam Din. Adam had heard
of a saint who had made wooden cakes and pressed them to his
stomach when he felt hungry, and the Feeding of the Multitude did
not impress him. So it came about that a reading of miracle
stories generally ended in a monologue by Adam on other and much
more astonishing miracles.

"It's awful," said Mrs. Strickland, half crying, "to think of his
growing up like a little heathen." Mrs. Strickland (Miss Youghal
that was, if you remember her) had been born and brought up in
England, and did not quite understand things.

"Let him alone," said Strickland; "he'll grow out of it all, or
it will only come back to him in dreams.""Are you sure?" said
his wife, to whom Strickland's least word was pure truth.

"Quite. I was sent home when I was seven, and they flicked it
out of me with a wet towel at Harrow. Public schools don't
encourage any-thing that isn't quite English."

Mrs. Strickland shuddered, for she had been trying not to think
of the separation that follows motherhood in India, and makes
life there, for all that is written to the contrary, not quite
the most desirable thing in the world. Adam trotted out to hear
about more miracles, and his nurse must have worried him beyond
bounds, for she came back weeping, saying that Adam Baba was in
danger of being eaten alive by wild horses.

As a matter of fact, he had shaken off Juma by bolting between a
couple of picketed horses and lying down under their bellies.
That they were personal friends of his, Juma did not understand,
nor Strickland either. Adam was settled at ease when his father
arrived, breathless and white, and the stallions put back their
ears and squealed.

"If you come here," said Adam, "they will hit you kicks. Tell
Juma I have eaten my rice and wish to be alone."

"Come out at once," said Strickland, for the horses were
beginning to paw violently.

"Why should I obey Juma's order? She is afraid of horses."

"It is not Juma's order. It is mine. Obey!"

"Ho!" said Adam, "Juma did not tell me that." And he crawled out
on all fours among the shod feet. Mrs. Strickland was crying
bitterly with fear and excitement, and as a sacrifice to the
home gods Adam had to be whipped. He said with perfect justice:
"There was no order that I should not sit with the horses, and
they are my horses. Why is there this tamasha?"

Strickland's face showed him that the whipping was coming, and
the child turned white. Mother-like, Mrs. Strickland left the
room, but Juma, the foster-mother, stayed to see.

"Am I to be whipped here?" he gasped.

"Of course."

"Before that woman? Father, I am a man -I am not afraid. It is my
izzat - my honour."

Strickland only laughed (to this day I cannot imagine what
possessed him), and gave Adam the little tap-tap with a
riding-cane that was whipping sufficient for his years.

When it was all over, Adam said quietly: "I am little, and you
are big. If I stayed among my horse folk I should not have been
whipped. You are afraid to go there."

The merest chance led me to Strickland's house that afternoon.
When I was half-way down the drive Adam passed me, without
recognition, at a fast run. I caught one glimpse of his face
under his big hat, and it was the face of his father as I had
once seen that in the grey of morning when it bent above a
leper. I caught the child by the shoulder.

"Let me go!" he screamed, and he and I were the best of friends,
as a rule. "Let me go!"

"Where to, Father Adam?" He was quivering like a new-haltered
colt.

"To the well. I have been beaten. I have been beaten before
women! Let me go!" He tried to bite my hand.

"That is a small matter," I said. "Men are horn to beatings."

"Thou hast never been beaten," he said savagely.

"Indeed I have. Times past counting."

"Before women?"

"My mother and the ayah saw. By women too, for that matter. What
of it?"

"What didst thou do?" He stared beyond my shoulder up the long
drive.

"It is long ago, and I have forgotten. I was older than thou art;
but even then I forgot, and now the thing is but a jest to be
talked of"

Adam drew one big breath and broke down utterly in my arms. Then
he raised his head, and his eyes were Strickland's eyes when
Strickland gave orders.

"Ho! Imam Din."

The fat orderly seemed to spring out of the earth at our feet,
crashing through the bushes, and standing to attention.

"Hast thou ever been beaten?" said Adam."Assuredly. By my father
when I was thirty years old. He beat me with a plough-beam before
all the women of the village.""Wherefore?"

"Because I had returned to the village on leave from the
Government service, and had said of the village elders that they
had not seen the world. Therefore he beat me, to show that no
seeing of the world changed father and son."

"And thou?"

"I stood up. He was my father."

"Good," said Adam, and turned on his heel without another word.

Imam Din looked after him. "An elephant breeds but once in a
lifetime, but he breeds elephants. Yet I am glad I am no father
of tuskers," said he.

"What is it all?" I asked.

"His father beat him with a whip no bigger than a reed. But the
child could not have done what he desired to do without leaping
through me. And I am of some few pounds weight. Look!"

Imam Din stepped back through the bushes, and the pressed grass
showed that he had been lying curled round the mouth of the dry
well.

"When there was talk of beating I knew that one who sat among
horses, such as ours, was not like to kiss his father's hand. So
I lay down in this place." We both stood still looking at the
well-curb.

Adam came back along the garden path to us. "I have spoken to my
father," he said simply. "Imam Din, tell thy Naik that his woman
is dismissed my service."

"Huzoor!" said Imam Din, stooping low.

"For no fault of hers."

"Protector of the Poor!"

And to-day."

"Khodawund!"

"It is an order! Go!"

Again the salute, and Imam Din departed, with that same set of
the back which he wore when he had taken an order from
Strickland. I thought that it would be well to go too, but
Strickland beckoned me from the verandah. When I came up he was
perfectly white, and rocking to and fro in his chair, repeated
"Good God!" half a dozen times.

"Do you know that he was going to chuck himself down the well -
because I tapped him just now ~" he said helplessly.

"I ought to," I replied. "He has just dismissed his nurse - on
his own authority, I suppose?"

"He told me just now that he wouldn't have her for a nurse any
more. I never supposed he meant it for an instant. I suppose
she'll have to go."

It is written elsewhere that Strickland was feared through the
length and breadth of the Punjab by murderers, horse-thieves,
and cattle-lifters.

Adam returned, halting outside the verandah, very white about the
lips.

"I have sent away Juma because she saw that - that which
happened. Until she is gone I do not come in the house," he
said.

But to send away thy foster-mother ~" said Strickland, with
reproach.

"I do not send her away. It is thy blame, and the small
forefinger was pointed to Strickland. "I will not obey her; I
will not eat from her hand, and I will not sleep with her. Send
her away."

Strickland stepped out and lifted the child into the verandah.

"This folly has lasted long enough," he said. "Come, now, and be
wise."

"I am little, and you are big," said Adam, between set teeth.
"You can beat me before this man or cut me to pieces. But I will
not have Juma for my ayah any more. I will not eat till she goes.
I swear it by - my father's head."

Strickland sent him indoors to his mother, and we could hear
sounds of weeping, and Adam's voice saying nothing more than,
"Send Juma away." Presently Juma came in and wept too, and Adam
repeated, "It is no fault of thine, but go!"

And the end of it was that Juma went, with all her belongings,
and Adam fought his own way alone into his little clothes until
a new ayah came. His address of welcome to her was rather
amazing. In a few words it ran: "If I do wrong send me to my
father. If you strike me I will try to kill you. I do not wish my
ayah to play with me. Go and eat rice."

>From that day Adam forswore the society of ayahs and small
native girls as much as a small boy can, confining himself to
Imam Din and his friends of the police. The Naik, Juma's
husband, had been presuming not a little on his position, and
when Adam's favour was withdrawn from his wife he judged it best
to apply for a transfer to another post. There were too many
companions anxious to report his shortcomings to Strickland.

Towards his father Adam kept a guarded neutrality. There was not
a touch of sulkiness in it, for the child's temper was as clear
as a bell. But the difference and the politeness worried
Strickland.

If the other men had loved Adam before the affair of the well,
they worshipped him now.

He knows what honour means," said Imam Din; "he has justified
himself upon a point thereof. He has carried an order through
his father's household as a child of the blood might do.
Therefore he is not altogether a child any longer. Wah! He is a
tiger's cub." The next time that Adam made his little
unofficial inspection of the line, Imam Din, and by consequence
all the others, stood upon their feet, with their hands to their
sides, instead of calling out from where they lay, "Salaam,
Babajee," and other disrespectful things.

But Strickland took long counsel with his wife, and she with the
cheque-book and their lean bank-account, and they decided that
Adam must go "home" to his aunts. But England is not home to a
child that has been born in India, and it never becomes
home-like unless he spends all his youth there. The bank-book
showed that if they economised through the summer by going to a
cheap hill-station instead of to Simla, where Mrs. Strickland's
parents lived, and where Strickland might be noticed by the
powers, they could send Adam home in the next spring. It would be
hard pinching, but it could be done. In India all the money that
people in other lands save against a rainy day runs off in loss
by exchange, which to-day cuts a man's income down almost exactly
to one-half There is nothing to show for money when all is put
by, and that is what makes married life there so hard. Strickland
used to say, sometimes, that he envied the convicts in the jail.
They had no position to keep up, and the ball and chain that the
worst of them wore was only a few pounds weight of iron.

Dalhousie was chosen as being the cheapest of the hill-stations;
Dalhousie and a little five-roomed cottage full of mildew,
tucked away among the rhododendrons.

Adam had been to Simla three or four times, and knew by name the
most of the Tonga drivers from Kalka to Tara Deva; but this new
plan disquieted him. He came to me for information, his hands
deep in his knickerbocker pockets, walking, step for step, as
his father walked.

"There will be none of my bhai-bund [Brotherhood] up there," said
he, disconsolately, "and they say that I must lie still in a
doolie for a day and a night, being carried like a sheep. I wish
to take some of my mounted men to Dalhousie."

I told him that there was a small boy called Victor, at
Dalhousie, who had a calf for a pet, and was allowed to play
with it on the public roads. After that Adam could not
sufficiently hurry the packing.

"First," said he, "I shall ask that man Victor to let me play
with the cow's child. If he is mug-gra [ill-conditioned] I shall
tell my policemen to take it away."

"But that is unjust," said Strickland, "and there is no order
that the police should do injustice."

"When the Government pay is not sufficient, and low-caste men are
promoted, what can an honest man do?" he replied, in the very
touch and accent of Imam Din, and Strickland's eyebrows went up.

"You talk too much to the police, my son," he said.

"Always, about everything," said Adam, promptly. "They say that
when I am an officer I shall know as much as my father." "God
forbid, little one!"

"They say, too, that you are as clever as Shaitan to know
things."

"They say that, do they?" said Strickland, looking pleased. His
pay was small, but he had his reputation, and that was dear to
him.

"They say also - not to me, but to one another when they eat rice
behind the wall - that in your own heart you esteem yourself as
wise as Suleiman, who was cheated by Shaitan."

This time Strickland did not look so pleased. Adam, in all
innocence, launched into a long story about Suleiman-bin-Daoud,
who once, out of vanity, pitted his wits against Shaitan, and
because God was not on his side Shaitan sent "a little devil of
low caste," as Adam put it, who cheated him utterly, and put him
to shame before "all the other Rajas."

"By Jove!" said Strickland, when the tale was done, and went
away, while Adam took me to task for laughing at Imam Din's
story. I did not wonder that he was called Huzrut Adam, for he
looked old as all time in his grave childhood, sitting
cross-legged, his battered little helmet far at the back of his
head, his forefinger wagging up and down, native fashion, and
the wisdom of serpents on his unconscious lips.

That May he went up to Dalhousie with his mother, and in those
days the journey ended in fifty or sixty miles of uphill travel
in a doolie or palanquin, along a road winding through the
Himalayas. Adam sat in the doolie with his mother,and Strickland
rode and tied with me, a spare doolie following. The march began
after we got out of the train at Pathankot, in a hot night among
the rice - and poppy-fields.

It was all new to Adam, and he had opinions to advance - notably
about a fish that jumped on a wayside pond.

"Now I know," he shouted, "how Khuda puts them there. First He
makes them and then He drops them down. That was a new one."
Then, lifting his head to the stars, he cried, "O God, do it
again, but slowly, that I, Adam, may see."

But nothing happened, and the doolie-bearers lit the noisome,
dripping rag torches, and Adam's eyes shone big in the dancing
light, and we smelt the dry dust of the plains that we were
leaving after eleven months' hard work.

At stated times the men ceased their drowsy, grunting tune, and
sat down for a smoke. Between the guttering of their water-pipes
we could hear the cries of the beasts of the night, and the wind
stirring in the folds of the mountain ahead. At the changing
stations the voice of Adam, the first of men, would be lifted to
rouse the sleepers in the huts till the fresh relays of bearers
shambled from their cots, and the relief-pony with them.

Then we would re-form and go on, and by the time the moon rose
Adam was asleep, and there was no sound in the night except the
grunting of the men, the husky murmur of some river a thousand
feet down in the valley, and the squeaking of Strickland's
saddle. So we went up from the date-palm to deodar, till the dawn
wind came round a corner all fresh from the snows, and we
snuffed it. I heard Strickland say: "Wife, my overcoat, please,"
and Adam, fretfully: "Where is Dalhousie, and the cow's child?"
and then I slept till Strickland turned me out of the warm doolie
at seven o'clock, and I stepped into the splendour of a cool hill
day, the plains sweltering twenty miles back and three thousand
feet below.

Adam waked too, and needs must ride in front of me to ask a
million questions, and shout at the monkeys, and clap his hands
when the painted pheasants bolted across our road, and hail
every wood-cutter and drover and pilgrim within sight, till we
halted for breakfast at a staging-house. After breakfast, being a
child, he went out to play with a train of bullock-drivers
haltered by the road-side, and we had to chase him out of a
native liquor-shop where he was bargaining with a naked
seven-year-old for a mynah in a bamboo cage.

Said he, wriggling on my pommel, as we went on again: "There were
four men behosh [insensible] at the back of that house.
Wherefore do men grow behosh from drinking?"

"It is the nature of the water," l said, and calling back:
"Strick, what's that grog-shop doing so close to the road? It's
a temptation to any one's servants."

"Dun'no," said a sleepy voice in the doolie. "This is Kennedy's
district. 'Twasn't here in my time."

"Truly the water smells bad," Adam went on. "I smelt it, but I
did not get the mynah even for six annas. The woman of the house
gave me a love-gift, that I found, playing near the verandah."

"And what was the gift, Father Adam?"

"A nose-ring for my ayah. Ohe! ohe! Look at that camel with a
bag on his nose." A string of loaded camels came cruising round
the corner, as a fleet rounds a cape.

"Ho, Malik! why does not a camel salaam like an elephant? His
neck is long enough," Adam cried.

"The Angel Jibrail made him a fool from the beginning," said the
driver, as he swayed on the top of the led beast, and laughter
ran all along the line of red-bearded men.

"That is true," said Adam, and they laughed again.

At last, in the late afternoon, we came to Dalhousie, loveliest
of the hill-stations, and separated.Adam hardly could be
restrained from setting out at once to find Victor and the
"cow's child." I found them both, something to my trouble, next
morning. The two young sinners had a calf on a taut line just at
a sharp turn in the Mall, and were pretending that he was a
Raja's elephant who had gone mad. But it was my horse that
nearly went mad, and they shouted with delight. Then we began to
talk, and Adam, by way of crushing Victor's repeated reminders
that he and not "that other" was the owner of the calf, said:
"It is true I have no cow's child, but a great dacoity has been
done on my father."

"We came up together yesterday. There could have been nothing," I
said.

"It was my mother's horse. She has been dacoited with beating
and blows, and now it is so thin." He held his hands an inch
apart. "My father is at the tar-house sending tars. Imam Din
will cut off all their heads. I desire your saddle-cloth for a
howdah to my elephant. Give it me."

This was exciting, but not lucid. I went to the telegraph-office
and found Strickland in a bad temper among many telegraph-forms.
A dishevelled, one-eyed groom stood in a corner, whimpering at
intervals. He was a man whom Adam invariably addressed as
"Be-shakl be-ukl, be-ank" - ugly, stupid, eyeless. It seemed,
according to Strickland, that he had sent his wife's horse up to
Dalhousie by road, a fortnight's march. This is the custom in
Upper India. Among the foot-hills near Dhunnera or Dhar, horse
and man had been violently set upon in the night by four men, who
had beaten the groom (his leg was bandaged from knee to ankle in
proof), had incidentally beaten the horse, and had robbed the
groom of the bucket, and all his money eleven rupees, nine
annas, three pie. Last, they had left him for dead by the
wayside, where wood-cutters had found and nursed him. Then the
one-eyed howled with anguish, thinking over his bruises. "They
asked me if I was Strickland Sahib's servant, and I, thinking the
protection of the name would be sufficient, spoke the truth.
Then they beat me grievously."

"Hm!" said Strickland. "I thought they wouldn't dacoit as a
business on the Dalhousie road. This is meant for me personally
- sheer badmashi [impudence]. All right."

In justice to a very hard-working class, it must be said that the
thieves of Upper India have the keenest sense of humour. The
last compliment that they can pay a Police officer is to rob
him, and if, as once they did, they can loot a Deputy
Inspector-General of Police, on the eve of his retirement, of
everything except the clothes on his back, their joy is
complete. They cause letters of derision and telegrams of
condolence to be sent to the victim; for of all men, thieves are
most compelled to keep up with modern progress.

Strickland was a man of few words where his business was
concerned. I had never seen a Police officer robbed before, and
I expected some excitement; but Strickland held his tongue. He
took the groom's deposition and retired into himself for a time,
evolving thieves. Then he sent Kennedy, of the Pathankot charge,
an official letter and an unofficial note. Kennedy's reply was
purely unofficial, and it ran thus: "This seems a compliment
solely intended for you. My wonder is, you didn't get it before.

The men are probably back in your district by this time. The
Dhunnera and foot-hill people are highly respectable cultivators,
and seeing my Assistant is an unlicked pup, and I can't trust my
Inspector out of my sight, I am not going to turn their harvest
upside down with a police investigation. I am run off my feet
with vaccination police work. You'd better look at home. The
Shubkudder Gang were through here a fortnight back. They laid up
at the Amritsar Serai, and then worked down. No cases against
them in my charge, but remember you lagged their malik for
receiving in Prub Dyal's burglary. They owe you one."

"Exactly what I thought," said Strickland. "I had a notion it was
the Shubkudder Gang from the first. We must make it pleasant
for them at Peshawur, and in my district too. They are just the
kind that would lie up under Imam Din's shadow."

>From this point onward the wires began to he worked heavily.
Strickland had a very fair knowledge of the Shubkudder Gang,
gathered at first hand.

They were the same syndicate that had once stolen a Deputy
Commissioner's cow, put horse-shoes on her, and taken her forty
miles into the jungle before they lost interest in the joke.
They added insult to insult by writing that the Deputy
Commissioner's cows and horses were so much alike that it took
them two days to find out the difference, and they would not
lift the like of such cattle any more.

The District Superintendent at Peshawur replied to Strickland
that he was expecting the gang, and Strickland's Assistant in
his own district, being young and full of zeal, sent up the most
amazing clues.

"Now that's just what I want that young fool not to do," said
Strickland. "He hasn't passed the lower standard yet, and he's
an English boy born and bred, and his father before him. He has
about as much tact as a bull, and he won't work quietly under my
Inspector. I wish the Government would keep our service for
country-born men. Those first five or six years give a man a
pull that lasts him his life. Adam, if you were only old enough
to be my 'Stunt"!" He looked down at the little fellow on the
verandah. Adam was deeply interested in the dacoity, and, unlike
a child, did not lose interest after the first week. On the
contrary, he would ask his father every evening what had been
done, and Strickland had drawn him a picture on the white wall of
the verandah showing the different towns in which policemen were
on the lookout for the thieves. They were Amritsar, Jullundur,
Phillour, Gurgaon, in case the gang were moving south; Rawal
Pindi and Peshawur, with Multan. Adam looked up at the picture
as he answered:

"There has been great dikh [trouble] in this case."

"Very great trouble. I wish thou wert a young man and my
assistant to help me."

"Dost thou need help, my father?" Adam asked curiously, with his
head on one side.

"Very much."

"Leave it all alone. It is bad. Let loose everything."

"That must not be. Those beginning a business continue to the
end."

"Thou wilt continue to the end? Dost thou not know who did the
dacoity?"

Strickland shook his head. Adam turned to me with the same
question, and I answered it in the same way.

"What foolish people!" he said, and turned his back on us. He
showed plainly in all our dealings afterwards how we had fallen
in his opinion. Strickland told me that he would sit at the
door of his work-room and stare at him for half an hour at a
time as he went through his papers. Strickland seemed to work
harder over the case than if he had been in office on the
plains.

"And sometimes I look up and I fancy the little chap's laughing
at me. It's an awful thing to have a son. You see, he's your own
and his own, and between the two you don't know quite how to
handle him," said Strickland. "I wonder what in the world he
thinks about?"

I asked Adam this on my own account. He put his head on one side
for a moment and replied: "In these days I think about great
things; I do not play with Victor and the cow's child any more.
He is only a baba."

At the end of the third week of Strickland's leave the result of
Strickland's labours - labours that had made Mrs. Strickland
more indignant against dacoits than any one else - came to hand.
The police at Peshawur reported that half the Shubkudder Gang
were held at Peshawur to account for the possession of some
blankets and a horse-bucket. Strickland's Assistant had also
four men under suspicion in his charge; and Imam Din must have
stirred up Strickland's Inspector to investigations on his own
account, for a string of incoherent telegrams came in from the
Club Secretary, in which he entreated, exhorted, and commanded
Strickland to take his "mangy havildars" off the club premises.
"Your men, in servants' quarters here, examining cook. Marker
indignant. Steward threatens resignation. Members furious.
Saises stopped on roads. Shut up, or my resignation goes to
committee."

"Now, I shouldn't in the least wonder," said Strickland,
thoughtfully, to his wife, "if the club was not just the place
where a man would lie up. Bill Watson isn't at all pleased,
though. I think I shall have to cut my leave by a week and go
down there. If there's anything to be told, the men will tell me.
It will never do for the gang to think they can dacoit my
belongings."

That was in the forenoon, and Strickland asked me to tiff in to
leave me some instructions about his big dog, with authority to
rebuke those who did not attend to her. Tietens was growing too
old and too fat to live in the plains in summer. When I came,
Adam had climbed into his high chair at the table, and Mrs.
Strickland seemed ready to weep at any moment over the general
misery of things.

"I go down the hill to-morrow, little son," said Strickland.

"Wherefore?" said Adam, reaching out for a ripe mango and burying
his head in it.

"Imam Din has caught the men who did the dacoity, and there are
also others at Peshawur under suspicion. I must go to see."

"Bus!" said Adam, between the sucks at his mango, as Mrs.
Strickland tucked the napkin round his neck. "It is enough.
Imam Din speaks lies. Do not go."

"It is necessary. There has been great dikhdari
(trouble-giving]."

Adam came out of the fruit for a minute and laughed. Then,
returning, he spoke between slow and deliberate mouthfuls.

"The dacoits live in Beshakl's head. They will never be caught.
All people know that. The cook knows, and the scullion, and
Rahim Baksh here."

"Nay," said the butler behind his chair, hastily. "What should I
know? Nothing at all does the servant of the Presence know."

"Accha," said Adam, and sucked on. "Only it is known."

"Speak, then," said Strickland. "What dost thou know? Remember
the sais was beaten insensible."

"That was in the bad-water shop where I played when we came here.
The boy who would not sell me the mynah for six annas told me
that a one-eyed man had come there and drunk the bad waters and
gone mad. He broke bedsteads. They hit him with a bamboo till he
fell senseless, and, fearing he was dead, they nursed him on
milk like a little baba. When I was playing first with the cow's
child I asked Beshakl if he were that man, and he said no. But I
knew, because many wood-cutters asked him whether his head were
whole now."

"But why," I interrupted, "did Beshakl tell lies?"

"Oh! he is a low-caste man, and desired consideration. Now he is
a witness in a great law-case, and men will go to the jailkhana
on his account. It was to give trouble and obtain notice."

"Was it all lies?" said Strickland,

"Ask him," said Adam, cheerily, through the mango-juice.

Strickland passed through the door; there was a howl of despair
in the servants' quarters up the hill, and he returned with the
one-eyed groom.

"Now," said Strickland, "it is known. Declare!" "Beshakl," said
Adam, while the man gasped. "Imam Din has caught four men, and
there are some more at Peshawur. Bus! Bus! Bus! Tell about the
mare and how she rolled."

"Thou didst get drunk by the wayside, and didst make a false case

to cover it. Speak!"

Like many other men, Strickland, in possession of a few facts,
was irresistible. The groom groaned.

"I - I did not get drunk - till - till - Protector of the Poor,
the mare rolled."

"All horses roll at Dhunnera. The road is too narrow before
that, and they smell where the other horses have rolled. This
the bullock-drivers told me when they came there," said Adam.

"She rolled. The saddle was cut, and the curb-chain was lost."

"See!" said Adam, tugging a curb-chain from his pocket. "That
woman in the shop gave it to me for a love-gift. Beshakl said
it was not his when I showed it. But I knew."

"Then they in the grog-shop, knowing that I was the servant of
the Presence, said that unless I drank and spent money they
would tell."

"A lie. A lie," said Strickland. "Son of an owl, speak truth
now at least."

"Then I was afraid because I had lost the curb-chain, so I cut
the saddle across and about."

"She did not roll, then?" said Strickland, bewildered and very
angry.

"It was the curb-chain that was lost. That was the beginning of
all. I cut the saddle to look as though she had rolled, and
went to drink in the shop. I drank, and there was a fray. The
rest I have forgotten, till I was recovered."

"And the mare the while? What of the mare?"

The man looked at Strickland, and collapsed. "I will speak truth.

She bore fagots for a wood-cutter for a week."

"Oh, poor Diamond!" said Mrs. Strickland.

"And Beshaki was paid four annas for her hire three days ago by
the wood-cutter's brother, who is the left-hand man of the
jhampanis here," said Adam, in a loud and joyful voice. "We all
knew. We all knew. I and all the servants."

Strickland was silent. His wife stared helplessly at the child -
the soul called out of the Nowhere, that went its own way alone.

"Did no man help thee with the lies?" I asked of the groom.

"None, Protector of the Poor - not one."

"They grew, then?"

"As a tale grows in the telling. Alas! I am a very bad man," and
he blinked his one eye dole-fully.

"Now four men are held at my station on thy account, and God
knows how many more at Peshawur, besides the questions at
Multan, and my izzat is lost, and the mare has been pack-pony to
a wood-cutter. Son of devils, what canst thou do to make
amends?"

There was just a little break in Strickland's voice, and the man
caught it. Bending low, he answered in the abject, fawning whine
that confounds right and wrong more surely even than most modern
creeds, "Protector of the Poor, is the police service shut to an
honest man?"

"Out!" cried Strickland, and swiftly as the groom departed he
must have heard our shout of laughter behind him.

"If you dismiss that man, Strick, I shall engage him. He's a
genius," I said. "It will take you months to put this mess
right, and Billy Watson won't give you a minute's peace."

"You aren't going to tell him?" said Strickland, appealingly.

"I couldn't keep this to myself if you were my own brother. Four
men held in your district -four or forty at Peshawur - and what
was that you said about Multan?"

"Oh, nothing. Only some camel men there have been -"

"On account of a curb-chain. Oh, my aunt!"

"And whose memsahib was thy aunt?" said Adam, with the mango
stone in his fist. We began to laugh again.

"But here," said Strickland, pulling his face together, "is a
very bad child who has caused his father to lose honour before
all the policemen of the Punjab."

"Oh, they know," said Adam. "It was only for the sake of show
that they caught the people. Assuredly they all knew it was
bunao [make-up]."

"And since when hast thou known?" said the first policeman in
India to his son.

"Four days after we came here - after the wood-cutter had asked
Beshakl of the health of his head. Beshaki all but slew a
wood-cutter at that bad-water place."

"If thou hadst spoken then, time and money and trouble to me and
to others had all been spared. Baba, thou hast done a wrong
greater than thy knowledge, and thou hast put me to shame, and
set me out upon false words, and broken my honour. Thou hast
done very wrong. But perhaps thou didst not think?"

"Nay, but I did think. Father, my honour was lost when that
happened that - that happened in Juma's presence. Now it is made
whole again."

And, with the most enchanting smile in the world, Adam climbed on

to his father's lap.

End of "THE SON OF HIS FATHER"

End of "THE DAY'S WORK" - PART I

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