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Kipling-Steam_Tactics

THE SATUKDAY EVENING POST HINCHCLIFF HAD GIVEN THE CAR A GENEROUS THROTTLE Copyright, 1902, by THE CUR cis PUBLISHING COMPANY, in the United States and Great Britain. Founded Ac!D! 17 2 8 by Beni.Franklin Published Weekly at 425 Arch Street by THE CURTIS PUBLISHING COMPANY London : Hastings Hoose, 10, Norfolk Street, Strand, W. C. Entered at the Philadelphia Post-Office as Second-Class Matter. VOLUME 175 PHILADELPHIA, DECEMBER 6, 1902 NUMBER 23 STEAM TACTICS "OH, 'EAVENS!" SAID HINCHCLIFF. "SHALL I STOP, OR SHALL I CUT 'IM DOWN?" " To P. 0. EMANUEL PYECROFT, "Cape Station: H. M. S. Postulant. " DEAR PVECROFT — This should reach you about the time you turn over to the Hierophant at Zanzibar, and I hope finds you as fit as when we parted. I always thought, as you said three years ago, that it would be a sin and a shame not to make a story out of some of the things that have happened between you and Hincifcliff and me, every time we met. " Now I have written out some of the tales. Of course, I ought to have stuck to what I knew would go down quietly ; but one thing leading to another, I put it all in, and it made six Number One tales. I put in about the reply-telegram at Wool—when you and Cordery tried to help the dumb girl with the pig ;- I put in about the Plymouth baby —the night after the Belligerent paid off; and I put in about Portland Station and the Captain, and the penny-piece which we saw. Nevertheless, when it was all done, a man that I can trust in the literary line said that, to go down at all, those- three lagt numbers would have to be translated into French; and he recommended me to hand them over to a captain in the French Navy called Loti. I did not care to accede to this, so I took them out and laid them by till happier times, and now people will never know what they have lost. However, enough residuum remains to amuse, if not to instruct; and I can always put the rest into a large, fine book. "Hinchcliff had the Djinn at the Coronation Review. I met him on the beach afterwards, and I got him to check the story of our trips in the motors. He said he could guarantee your being agreeable to it, if I cut out all about what happened on the Cramberhurst Road, as it would hurt Agg's feelings. I know, from what you said at the time, that you didn't care about Agg's feelings; so I suppose Hinchcliff and Agg have made it up. " The other two tales you checked yourself, viva voce, before last Manoeuvres; but I put some more to them on my own later, and ii t is very likely that I have not got all the Navy minutice quite right. About Antonio, you were not then in a condition to he accurate all through; and about No. 267, I was then in strange surroundings and rather excited myself. Therefore there may be much that is not technically true; but Hinchcliff says I have got the spirit all correct. You will see, as these stories come out, the care that I have taken to disguise your name and rating, and everything else that might reflect upon you. Unless you care to give yourself away, which I have never known you do yet, detection is quite impossible for you or Hinchcliff. Hence I am writing freely, and though accused of extravaganzas by some people, can rest confident that there is much more in these literary efforts of mine than meets the casual eye. " Yours as before, " RUDYARD KIPLING. " P.S. —Since writing the above there has been a hitch about the Antonio tale and the proceedings of No. 267; it being freely alleged that Antonio won't go down, because it is a bit too thick (this shows how much people know), and 267 would be subversive to discipline as well as likely to annoy admirals. Consequently I have had to begin at the wrong end—with the motor trips— which is about the same as securing arms at the beginning of G. Q.'s, if I am right in my technical inferences. Both you and Hinchcliff will thus suffer from being presented to the public manoeuvring upon the land, which is not your natural element, instead of upon the sea, which is. Me, being an author, am not supposed to have any feelings." I CAUGHT sight of their faces as we came up behind the cart in the narrow Sussex lane; but though it was not eleven o'clock, they were both asleep. That the carrier was on the wrong side of the road made no difference to his language when I rang my bell. He said aloud of motor-cars, and specially of steam ones, all the things which I had read in the faces of superior coachmen. Then he pulled slantwise across me. There is a vociferous steam air-pump attached to my car which can be applied at pleasure. . . . The cart was removed about a bowshot's length in seven and a quarter seconds, to the accompaniment of parcels clattering. At the foot of the next hill the horse stopped and the two men came out over the tailboard. My engineer hacked and swung the car, ready to move out of reach. "The blighted egg-boiler has steam up,- said Mr. Hinchcliff, pausing to gather a large stone. " Temporise with the beggar, Pye, till the sights come on!" " I can't leave my 'orse," cried the carrier; " but bring 'em up 'ere, an' I'll kill 'em all over again." . " Good-morning, Mr. Pyecroft," I called cheerfully. " Can I give you a lift anywhere? " The attack broke up round my fore wheels. " Well, we do 'ave the knack o' meeting in puris naturalibus, as I've so often said." Mr. Pyecroft wrung my hand. " Yes, I'm on leaf. So's Hinch. We're visiting friends among these kopjes." A monotonous bellowing up the road persisted, where the carrier was still calling for corpses. " That Agg, He's H inch's cousin. You aren't fortunit in your fam'ly connections, Hinch. 'E's usin' language in derogation of good manners. Go and abolish 'im." Henry Salt Hinchcliff stalked back to the cart and spoke to his cousin. I recall much By Rudyard Kipling Copyright, 1902, by Railyard c,pyright iu Great Eraeizn


Kipling-Steam_Tactics
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