You may take it for a fact that anything of this kind is not only noticed and discussed by a man’s own race, but by some hundred and fifty natives as well.(from Beyond the Pale)
This puts the suggestion of John Holden’s double life being a secret as quite out the question and knowing by not-knowing as the Rudyard rood-yard of his art.
And in Beyond the Pale there is a young Hindu widow:
She was a widow, about fifteen years old, and she prayed the Gods, day and night, to send her a lover; for she did not approve of living alone.
‘Benefit’ has another girl of a similar age, a coincidence but in the Eastenrn view of things there are no coincidences. A lively young man full of the health of England and with strong affiliations to the indiginous population through having been reared with them perhaps even suckled by one, with Hindi as his first language might be supposed to be drawn in that direction. Surmise is a poor guide but what logicians call abduction or inference to the likliest possibility is good practice. Did Kipling wander down a gully in his time? He knows too much not to have.
Durga Charan was careless of his women but in the end defended them according to his lights. The Charan caste would be regarded by the Raj army recruiters as a military race, Hindoo of course similar to the Rajputs. Good manly sort of chap, you know, has this thing about self-immolation and mutilation as a way of warding off threats. My blood be on your heads and on your children’s. Effective curse. Native princes kept them in the vanguard. Fierce fighters. Acquainted with spirituous licquour and opium and known to sacrifice animals to the Godess during Dassara. Not to be trifled with.
Trejago got that limp from riding. Not a word of a lie old chap, good read though.
Find at Beyond the Pale
(Adelaide University site for ebooks, excellent stock)