Notes on the text
These notes, by John McGivering and Alastair Wilson, are partly new, and partly based on the ORG. Alastair Wilson has contributed the notes on railway matters, which are in black text. The page and line numbers below refer to the Macmillan (London) Standard Edition of A Diversity of Creatures, as published and frequently reprinted between 1917 and 1950.
. We got to Waterloo at eleven, and asked where the eleven-five started from. Of course, nobody knew; nobody at Waterloo ever does know where a train is going to start from, or where a train when it does start is going to, or anything about it. The porter who took our things thought it would go from number two platform, while another porter, with whom he discussed the question, had heard a rumour that it would go from number one. The stationmaster, on the other hand, was convinced it would start from the local.Dr. Gilbert clearly wanted to make sure that his patient got to the right train at the right time. [A.W.]
To put an end to the matter we went upstairs and asked the traffic superintendent, and he told us that he had just met a man who said he had seen it at number three platform. We went to number three platform, but the authorities there said that they rather thought that train was the Southampton express, or else the Windsor loop. But they were sure it wasn’t the Kingston train, though why they were sure it wasn’t they couldn’t say.
Then our porter said he thought it must be on the high-level platform; said he thought he knew the train. So we went to the high-level platform and saw the engine driver, and asked him if he was going to Kingston. He said he couldn’t say for certain of course, but that he rather though he was. Anyhow, if he wasn’t the 11.5 for Kingston, he said he was pretty confident he was the 9.32 for Virginia Water, or the 10 a.m. express for the Isle Of Wight, or somewhere in that direction, and we should all know when we got there. We slipped half-a-crown into his hand, and begged him to be the 11.5 for Kingston.
“Nobody will ever know on this line,” we said, "what you are, or where you are going. You know the way, you slip off quietly and go to Kingston.”
“Well, I don’t know, gents,” replied the noble fellow, “but I suppose some train’s got to go to Kingston; and I’ll do it Gimme the half-crown.”
Thus we got to Kingston by the London and South Western Railway.
Three superb glass jars — red green and blue — ... blazed in the broad plate-glass windows...[Page 90 line 12] two hundred horses were then often priced in guineas (one pound, one shilling) – some £14,500 in 2007.
Shall I Sir Pandarus of Troy becomePandarus is a character from legend, he is borrowed by Chaucer and Shakespeare, giving his name to a pandar or pander who procures women for men. Chartres is asking whether the doctors should take responsibility for bringing Conroy and Miss Henschil together. As will be seen, however, Miss Henschil and Conroy, though great friends in time of trouble, do not fall in love.
And by my side wear steel ? Lucifer take all !
The popular belief that prenatal influences on the mother affect the offspring physically, producing moles or other birth-marks, or even malformations of a more or less serious character, is said to be entirely unsupported by any trustworthy facts and is also rejected by physiologists on theoretical grounds.See also “The Ballad of Boh Da Thone” (1888). It is not known if Kipling was aware of current thinking on pre-natal influence on an unborn child [G.S.]