Kim HTML version

Chapter 3
To life that strove from rung to rung
When Devadatta's rule was young,
The warm wind brings Kamakura.
Buddha at Kamakura.
Behind them an angry farmer brandished a bamboo pole. He was a market-gardener,
Arain by caste, growing vegetables and flowers for Umballa city, and well Kim knew the
'Such an one,' said the lama, disregarding the dogs, 'is impolite to strangers, intemperate
of speech and uncharitable. Be warned by his demeanour, my disciple.'
'Ho, shameless beggars!' shouted the farmer. 'Begone! Get hence!'
'We go,' the lama returned, with quiet dignity. 'We go from these unblessed fields.'
'Ah,' said Kim, sucking in his breath. 'If the next crops fail, thou canst only blame thine
own tongue.'
The man shuffled uneasily in his slippers. 'The land is full of beggars,' he began, half
'And by what sign didst thou know that we would beg from thee, O Mali?' said Kim
tartly, using the name that a market-gardener least likes. 'All we sought was to look at
that river beyond the field there.'
'River, forsooth!' the man snorted. 'What city do ye hail from not to know a canal-cut? It
runs as straight as an arrow ' and I pay for the water as though it were molten silver.
There is a branch of a river beyond. But if ye need water I can give that - and milk.'
'Nay, we will go to the river,' said the lama, striding out.
'Milk and a meal.' the man stammered, as he looked at the strange tall figure. 'I - I would
not draw evil upon myself - or my crops. But beggars are so many in these hard days.'
'Take notice.' The lama turned to Kim. 'He was led to speak harshly by the Red Mist of
anger. That clearing from his eyes, he becomes courteous and of an affable heart. May his
fields be blessed! Beware not to judge men too hastily, O farmer.'
'I have met holy ones who would have cursed thee from hearthstone to byre,' said Kim to
the abashed man. 'Is he not wise and holy? I am his disciple.'
He cocked his nose in the air loftily and stepped across the narrow field-borders with
great dignity.
Yea, voice of every Soul that clung