Rudyard Kipling's Tales of Horror and Fantasy

BOOK: Rudyard Kipling's Tales of Horror and Fantasy
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Mark of the Beast
& Other Fantastical Tales

Rudyard Kipling

Fantasy Masterworks Volume 50



  1. The Vampire
  2. The Dream of Duncan Parrenness
  3. The City of Dreadful Night
  4. An Indian Ghost Story in England
  5. The Phantom ’Rickshaw
  6. The Strange Ride of Morrowbie Jukes
  7. The Unlimited Draw of Tick Boileau
  8. In the House of Suddhoo
  9. The Bisara of Pooree
  10. Haunted Subalterns
  11. By Word of Mouth
  12. The Recurring Smash
  13. The Dreitarbund
  14. Bubbling Well Road
  15. The Sending of Dana Da
  16. My Own True Ghost Story
  17. Sleipner, Late Thurinda
  18. The Man Who Would Be King
  19. The Solid Muldoon
  20. Baboo Mookerji’s Undertaking
  21. The Joker
  22. The Wandering Jew
  23. The Courting of Dinah Shadd
  24. The Mark of the Beast
  25. At the End of the Passage
  26. The Recrudescence of Imray
  27. The Finances of the Gods
  28. The Finest Story in the World
  29. Children of the Zodiac
  30. The Lost Legion
  31. A Matter of Fact
  32. The Bridge-Builders
  33. The Brushwood Boy
  34. The Tomb of His Ancestors
  35. Wireless
  36. ‘They’
  37. With the Night Mail: A Story of 2000 AD
  38. The House Surgeon
  39. The Knife and the Naked Chalk
  40. In the Same Boat
  41. As Easy as A.B.C.: A Tale of 2150 AD
  42. Swept and Garnished
  43. Mary Postgate
  44. The Village That Voted the Earth Was Flat
  45. A Madonna of the Trenches
  46. The Wish House
  47. The Gardener
  48. The Eye of Allah
  49. On the Gate: A Tale of ’16
  50. The Appeal


Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following individuals for their help and inspiration in the compiling of this volume: Jo Fletcher, Mandy Slater, Peter Haining, Sara and Randy Broecker, Kim Newman and The Kipling Society (
). Very special thanks to Mike Ashley.

Introduction: Neil Gaiman copyright © September 2006.

‘The Vampire’ from
The Vampire

‘The Dream of Duncan Parrenness’ from
Civil and Military Gazette
, December 25, 1884.

‘The City of Dreadful Night’ from
Civil and Military Gazette
, September 10, 1885.

‘An Indian Ghost Story in England’ from
, December 10,1885.

‘The Phantom ’Rickshaw’ from
, December 1885.

‘The Strange Ride of Morrowbie Jukes’ from
, December 1885.

‘The Unlimited Draw of Tick Boileau’ from
, December 1885.

‘In the House of Suddhoo’ from
Civil and Military Gazette
, April 30, 1886.

‘The Bisara of Pooree’ from
Civil and Military Gazette
, March 4,1887.

‘Haunted Subalterns’ from
Civil and Military Gazette
, May 27, 1887.

‘By Word of Mouth’ from
Civil and Military Gazette
, June 10, 1887.

‘The Recurring Smash’ from
Civil and Military Gazette
, October 13,1887.

‘The Dreitarbund’ from
Civil and Military Gazette
, October 22, 1887.

‘Bubbling Well Road’ from
Civil and Military Gazette
, January 18,1888.

‘The Sending of Dana Da’ from
The Week’s News
, February 11, 1888.

‘My Own True Ghost Story’ from
The Week’s News
, February 25,1888.

‘Sleipner, Late Thurinda’ from
The Week’s News
, May 12,1888.

‘The Man Who Would Be King’ from
The Phantom ’Rickshaw & Other Eerie Tales

‘The Solid Muldoon’ from
The Week’s News
, June 2, 1888.

‘Baboo Mookerji’s Undertaking’ from
Civil and Military Gazette
, September 1, 1888.

‘The Joker’ from
, January 1, 1889.

‘The Wandering Jew’ from
Civil and Military Gazette
, April 4,1889.

‘The Courting of Dinah Shadd’ from
Macmillan’s Magazine
Harper’s Weekly
, March 1890.

‘The Mark of the Beast’ from
, July 12 and 14, 1890.

‘At the End of the Passage’ from
The Boston Herald
, July 20,1890.

‘The Recrudescence of Imray’ from
Life’s Handicap: Being Stories of Mine Own People

‘The Finances of the Gods’ from
Life’s Handicap: Being Stories of Mine Own People

‘The Finest Story in the World’ from
The Contemporary Review
, July 1891.

‘Children of the Zodiac’ from
Harper’s Weekly
, December 1891.

‘The Lost Legion’ from
The Strand Magazine
, May 1892.

‘A Matter of Fact’ from
A Matter of Fact

‘The Bridge-Builders’ from
Illustrated London News
, Christmas Number, 1893.

‘The Brushwood Boy’ from
Century Magazine
, December 1895.

‘The Tomb of His Ancestors’ from
Pearson’s Magazine
McClure’s Magazine
, December 1897.

‘Wireless’ from
Scribner’s Magazine
, August 1902.

‘They’ from
Scribner’s Magazine
, August 1904.

‘With the Night Mail: A Story of 2000 AD’from
Mclure’s Magazine
, November 1905.

‘The House Surgeon’ from
Harper’s Magazine
, September and October 1909.

‘The Knife and the Naked Chalk’ from
Rewards and Fairies

‘In the Same Boat’ from
Harper’s Magazine
, December 1911.

‘As Easy as A.B.C.: A Tale of 2150 AD’from
Family Magazine
, February-March 1912.

‘Swept and Garnished’ from
Pall Mall Magazine
Century Magazine
, January 1915.

‘Mary Postgate’ from
Nash’s Magazine
Century Magazine
, September 1915.

‘The Village That Voted the Earth Was Flat’ from
A Diversity of Creatures

‘A Madonna of the Trenches’ from
Pall Mall Magazine
, September 1924.

‘The Wish House’ from
Maclean’s Magazine
, October 15, 1924.

‘The Gardener’ from
, April 1925.

‘The Eye of Allah’ from
McCall’s Magazine
The Strand Magazine
, September 1925.

‘On the Gate: A Tale of ‘16’ from
McCall’s Magazine
, June 1926.

‘The Appeal’ from
Collected Verse

Afterword: ‘Rudyard Kipling: A Life in Stories’ copyright © Stephen Jones 2006.

Your Gods and my Gods –

do you of I know which are the stronger?

—Native Proverb


Years ago, back when I was just starting to write
I was interviewed, and in the interview I was asked to name some of my favourite authors. I listed happily and with enthusiasm. Several weeks later, when the interview had been printed, a fan letter arrived at DC Comics for me, and was forwarded to me. It was from three young men who wanted to know how I could possibly have listed Kipling as a favourite author, given that I was a trendy young man and Kipling was, I was informed, a fascist and a racist and a generally evil person.

It was obvious from the letter that they had never actually read any Kipling. More to the point, they had been told not to.

I doubt I am the only person who writes replies to letters in his head he never sends. In my head I wrote many pages in reply, and then I never wrote it down or sent it.

In truth, Kipling’s politics are not mine. But then, it would be a poor sort of world if one were only able to read authors who expressed points of view that one agreed with entirely. It would be a bland sort of world if we could not spend time with people who thought differently, and who saw the world from a different place. Kipling was many things that I am not, and I like that in my authors. And besides, Kipling is an astonishing writer, and was arguably at his best in the short story form.

I wanted to explain to my correspondents why ‘The Gardener’ had affected me so deeply, as a reader and as a writer – it’s a story I read once, believing every word, all the way to the end, where I understood the encounter the woman had had, then started again at the beginning, understanding now the tone of voice and what I was being told. It was a tour de force. It’s a story about loss, and lies, and what it means to be humanand to have secrets, and it can and does and should break your heart.

I learned from Kipling. At least two stories of mine (and a children’s book I am currently writing) would not exist had he not written.

Kipling wrote about people, and his people feel very real. His tales of the fantastic are chilling, or illuminating or remarkable or sad, because his people breathe and dream. They were alive before the story started, and many of them live on once the last line has been read. His stories provoke emotion and reaction – at least one of the stories in this volume revolts me on a hundred levels, and has given me nightmares, and I would not have missed reading it for worlds. Besides, I would not have told my correspondents, Kipling was a poet, as much a poet of the dispossessed as he was a poet of Empire.

I said none of those things back then, and I wished that I had. So when Steve Jones asked me to write the introduction to this book, I said yes. Because I’ve said them now, to you. Trust the tale, not the teller, as Stephen King reminded us. And the best of Rudyard Kipling’s tales are, simply, in the first rank of stories written in the English language.

Enjoy them.

Neil Gaiman


A fool there was and he made his prayer

(Even as you or I!)

To a rag and a bone and a hank of hair,

(We called her the woman who did not care),

But the fool he called her his lady fair—

(Even as you or I!)

Oh, the years we waste and the tears we waste,

And the work of our head and hand

Belong to the woman who did not know

(And now we know that she never could know)

And did not understand!

A fool there was and his goods he spent,

(Even as you or I!)

Honour and faith and a sure intent

(And it wasn’t the least what the lady meant),

But a fool must follow his natural bent

(Even as you or I!)

Oh, the toil we lost and the spoil we lost

And the excellent things we planned

Belong to the woman who didn’t know why

(And now we know that she never knew why)

And did not understand!

The fool was stripped to his foolish hide,

(Even as you or I!)

Which she might have seen when she threw him aside—

(But it isn’t on record the lady tried)

So some of him lived but the most of him died—

(Even as you or I!)

‘And it isn’t the shame and it isn’t the blame

That stings like a white-hot brand—

It’s coming to know that she never knew why

(Seeing, at last, she could never know why)

And never could understand!’

BOOK: Rudyard Kipling's Tales of Horror and Fantasy
2.01Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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