Kim HTML version

Chapter 2
And whoso will, from Pride released;
Contemning neither creed nor priest,
May feel the Soul of all the East.
About him at Kamakura.
Buddha at Kamakura.
They entered the fort-like railway station, black in the end of night; the electrics sizzling
over the goods-yard where they handle the heavy Northern grain-traffic.
'This is the work of devils!' said the lama, recoiling from the hollow echoing darkness,
the glimmer of rails between the masonry platforms, and the maze of girders above. He
stood in a gigantic stone hall paved, it seemed, with the sheeted dead third-class
passengers who had taken their tickets overnight and were sleeping in the waiting-rooms.
All hours of the twenty-four are alike to Orientals, and their passenger traffic is regulated
'This is where the fire-carriages come. One stands behind that hole' -Kim pointed to the
ticket-office - 'who will give thee a paper to take thee to Umballa.'
'But we go to Benares,' he replied petulantly.
'All one. Benares then. Quick: she comes!'
'Take thou the purse.'
The lama, not so well used to trains as he had pretended, started as the 3.25a.m. south-
bound roared in. The sleepers sprang to life, and the station filled with clamour and
shoutings, cries of water and sweetmeat vendors, shouts of native policemen, and shrill
yells of women gathering up their baskets, their families, and their husbands.
'It is the train - only the te-rain. It will not come here. Wait!' Amazed at the lama's
immense- simplicity (he had handed him a small bag full of rupees), Kim asked and paid
for a ticket to Umballa. A sleepy clerk grunted and flung out a ticket to the next station,
just six miles distant.
'Nay,' said Kim, scanning it with a grin. 'This may serve for farmers, but I live in the city
of Lahore. It was cleverly done, Babu. Now give the ticket to Umballa.'
The Babu scowled and dealt the proper ticket.
'Now another to Amritzar,' said Kim, who had no notion of spending Mahbub Ali's
money on anything so crude as a paid ride to Umballa. 'The price is so much. The small
money in return is just so much. I know the ways of the te-rain ... Never did yogi need
chela as thou dost,' he went on merrily to the bewildered lama. 'They would have flung