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Kim

Chapter 12
Who hath desired the Sea - the sight of salt-water unbounded?
The heave and the halt and the hurl and the crash of the comber wind-hounded?
The sleek-barrelled swell before storm - grey, foamless, enormous, and growing?
Stark calm on the lap of the Line - or the crazy-eyed hurricane blowing?
His Sea in no showing the same - his Sea and the same 'neath all showing -
His Sea that his being fulfils?
So and no otherwise - so and no otherwise hill-men desire their Hills!
The Sea and the Hills.
'I have found my heart again,' said E23, under cover of the platform's tumult. 'Hunger and
fear make men dazed, or I might have thought of this escape before. I was right. They
come to hunt for me. Thou hast saved my head.'
A group of yellow-trousered Punjab policemen, headed by a hot and perspiring young
Englishman, parted the crowd about the carriages. Behind them, inconspicuous as a cat,
ambled a small fat person who looked like a lawyer's tout.
'See the young Sahib reading from a paper. My description is in his hand,' said E23.
'Thev go carriage by carriage, like fisher-folk netting a pool.'
When the procession reached their compartment, E23 was counting his beads with a
steady jerk of the wrist; while Kim jeered at him for being so drugged as to have lost the
ringed fire-tongs which are the Saddhu's distinguishing mark. The lama, deep in
meditation, stared straight before him; and the farmer, glancing furtively, gathered up his
belongings.
'Nothing here but a parcel of holy-bolies,' said the Englishman aloud, and passed on amid
a ripple of uneasiness; for native police mean extortion to the native all India over.
'The trouble now, ' whispered E23, 'lies in sending a wire as to the place where I hid that
letter I was sent to find. I cannot go to the tar-office in this guise.'
'Is it not enough I have saved thy neck?'
'Not if the work be left unfinished. Did never the healer of sick pearls tell thee so? Comes
another Sahib! Ah!'
This was a tallish, sallowish District Superintendent of Police - belt, helmet, polished
spurs and all - strutting and twirling his dark moustache.
'What fools are these Police Sahibs!' said Kim genially.
E23 glanced up under his eyelids. 'It is well said,' he muttered in a changed voice. 'I go to
drink water. Keep my place.'
 
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