Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936), English writer and Nobel laureate, wrote novels, poems, and short stories, most of them set in India and Myanmar (Burma) during the time of British rule. Kipling was born on December 30, 1865, in Bombay, India, where his father was principal of a new art school. Kipling’s literary reputation was established with six stories of English life in India, published in India between 1888 and 1889. In 1889, Kipling returned to England and continued to write.
In 1891 he published “The Light that Failed”, a long narrative about a blind war artist and an experiment in the fin de siècle decadent style. Barrack-Room Ballads, which contains the popular poems “Danny Deever”, “Mandalay”, and “Gunga Din”, was published in 1892, the year that Kipling married Caroline Balestier, an American. The couple travelled extensively in Asia and the United States, then lived briefly in Vermont where Kipling continued to write prolifically. It was during this period that much of his most popular work was written.
Short fictional works dating to this time include “Many Inventions” (1893) and “The Jungle Book” (1894) and “The Second Jungle Book” (1895), two collections of animal stories, which many consider his finest writing and that were immediately very successful. Summary The Chenab River falls into the Indus fifteen miles above the village of Chachuran. Five miles west of Chachuran lies Bubbling Well Road, and the house of the priest of Arti-goth. Five miles west of Chachuran, there is a patch of ten to twenty feet tall jungle grass in an area of three to four square miles.
In the middle of this patch hides the priest. The priest is a one-eyed man with the impress of two copper coins burnt between his brows. Some say that in the days of Ranjit Singh, this old man must have been tortured for his mischief. The narrator is told by the villagers that a sounder of pigs, one of them with foot-long tushes, entered the grass patch. The narrator is immediately tempted and goes into the patch to hunt it though he does not know much about hunting pigs. He carries a gun and is accompanied by his dog, Mr. Wardle.
The dog easily slips in and out of the grass clumps, but the narrator finds it hard to move through the thick grass and feels as if he is in the heart of Central African deep forest. The grass stems are as hot as boiler tubes. In no time the narrator gets tired as does his dog and starts cursing himself for this misadventure. Fortunately, after a while he comes to a six-inch narrow path and desperately hopes that it would lead him to some safe place. After fifty yards, he finds his dog missing. He wonders where it has gone.
At this moment he observes that whatever words he speaks are echoed from beneath his feet. When he is silent, he hears an offensive laughter. The heat and laughter make the writer sweat and shiver. He pokes his gun around but it does not seem to touch the ground. The grunting sound he makes is also repeated. The narrator moves forward inch by inch and finds a deep, black hole in the ground right in front of him. It is a very dark and deep well. Very black things are circling round and round in the black water.
On one side of the well, a little spring of water falling into the water with a splutter is creating the sound of laughter. Something in the well turns over on its back and moves round and round with one hand and half an arm held high. The narrator is scared. He creeps on his chest round the well and after walking through the grass for some time, comes to a clear path. This path takes him to the priest’s hut. The priest is scared on seeing the white-skinned narrator and falls on his feet begging for mercy.
Being tired, he goes to sleep on a bedstead outside the priest’s hut without saying anything. After waking up, he asks the priest to lead him out of the grass into an open ground. When they reach the open, the priest runs back into the thick grass. The villagers throw stones at him if they see him. The narrator walks to the village of Arti-goth for a drink. The narrator learns from the villagers of Arti-goth that the patch of grass is full of devils and ghosts. They are all in the service of the priest. Men, women and children who enter the grass never return.
The priest uses their lives for his witchcraft. The villagers did not tell the author all this because they were expecting some reward from the author for bringing the news about the pig. Before leaving, the narrator tries to burn the grass in an effort to unravel the mystery of the Bubbling Well Road to the villagers. But the grass is too green. He decides to come back in next summer with a bundle of newspapers and a match-box and put an end to the mystery of the Bubbling Well Road. 1. Why did the writer’s dog go with him into the grass patch? Mr.
Wardle, the terrier, went with the writer because he believed that the writer was incapable of existing even for an hour without his presence and advice. 2. What did the writer see when he pushed his way through a thick clump of grass? The dog easily slips in and out of the grass clumps, but the narrator finds it hard to move through the thick grass and feels as if he is in the heart of Central African deep forest. In no time the narrator gets tired as does his dog and starts cursing himself for this misadventure. After fifty yards, he finds his dog missing.
He wonders where it has gone. At this moment he observes that whatever words he speaks are echoed from beneath his feet. When he is silent, he hears an offensive laughter. The heat and laughter sweat and shiver. He pokes his gun around but it does not seem to touch the ground. The grunting sound he makes is also repeated. 3. What was the priest’s reaction when the writer suddenly appears at his hut? The narrator after getting scared by what he sees and hears in the patch of the grass and in the well, at last reaches the priest’s hut with a great difficulty.
The priest is scared on seeing the narrator who is carrying a rifle and accompanied by a dog. He falls on his feet begging for mercy. 4. Why did the villagers not share their fears about the patch of grass with the writer before he set out to hunt wild boar? The villagers informed the writer only about the sounder of pigs going into the forest but did not tell him anything about the old man his powers or the devils and ghosts in the forest. They did not share any of these fears with the writer because they were afraid that they would lose the reward for bringing the news of the pig. . What was the secret promise the writer made to himself before he left the village? The writer realized that the fears of the villagers about the old man and the devils and ghost under his control were only baseless. Before leaving, the narrator tried to set the grass patch alight, but was not successful because it was too green. He was determined to come back the next summer with a bundle of newspapers and a match-box and put an end to the mystery of the Bubbling Well Road.