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by Rudyard Kipling

Kim Chapter 14 Summary

Mission Accomplished

  • That night, the bearers promise to bring the Europeans' papers to Kim and the lama.
  • As the lama goes to sleep, he admits to Kim that he continues to feel that he has failed—in that split second after the Russian hit him, the lama wanted revenge on him.
  • So the lama knows that this dark world still has a grasp on him.
  • The next morning, the bearers bring the Europeans's documents, which Kim is supposed to be exorcising.
  • In private, Kim sorts through them out quickly, finding letters, maps, and messages from the Five Kings; he keeps what seems important and throws away all of their heavy surveying equipment and whatnot.
  • A woman from this village of Shamlegh lets Kim know that she is aware of the Babu.
  • Kim passes a message to her to tell the Babu that he has all of the documents they need.
  • The woman is clearly flirting with Kim, even though he is a priest and she is married.
  • The Shamlegh villagers (at this woman's command) all welcome Kim and the lama.
  • Kim lets the lama know that he has sent for the medicine peddler to help treat the lama's injury.

Next On The Agenda: Enlightenment

  • The lama continues to beat himself up for his human weakness.
  • He fears that, in that moment of wanting to hurt the Russian, he gave up on his quest for the River of the Arrow.
  • Kim tries to reassure the lama that this is all dark thinking thanks to shock from his injury, but the lama decides that he has been proud and selfish in deciding to travel in the mountains.
  • He has been boasting of his great hiking abilities—it's the sin of pride.
  • The lama shows Kim his picture of the Wheel of Things, which now has a big tear across it.
  • All of these things are signs that it's time to go south again to find the River of the Arrow at last.

Persistent Lady Trouble

  • The woman from Shamlegh comes back to say that she has found the Babu and he is coming.
  • And now isn't Kim going to give her a reward for her help? (She has already offered him her village as a place for him to live.)
  • Kim makes excuses: the lama says they need to go now, so he has to leave the village in an hour. Sorry, lady.
  • The woman is angry at him and gives Kim a seriously hard time.
  • She tells Kim that she was once in a relationship with a Christian white man, but that he grew ill, went away, and never came back.
  • Although she has been really hurt by Kim's behavior, she still packs a bag of food for Kim and the lama to take with them.
  • As they prepare to leave Shamlegh, Kim gives her a kiss on the cheek and says to her in English, "Thank you very much, my dear" (14.142).
  • She thanks him in halting English.
  • Kim and the lama leave the village on a litter carried by the woman's husbands.

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