The lama jibbed at the open door of a crowded third-class carriage. 'Were it not better to walk?' said he weakly.
A burly Sikh artisan thrust forth his bearded head. 'Is he afraid? Do not be afraid. I remember the time when I was afraid of the te-rain. Enter! This thing is the work of the Government.' (2.12-13)
'My sister's brother's son is naik [corporal] in that regiment,' said the Sikh craftsman quietly. 'There are also some Dogra companies there.' The soldier glared, for a Dogra is of other caste than a Sikh, and the banker tittered.
'They are all one to me,' said the Amritzar girl.
'That we believe,' snorted the cultivator's wife malignantly.
'Nay, but all who serve the Sirkar with weapons in their hands are, as it were, one brotherhood. There is one brotherhood of the caste, but beyond that again'—she looked round timidly—'the bond of the Pulton—the Regiment—eh?' (2.38-41)
'Let him live out his life.' The coiled thing hissed and half opened its hood. 'May thy release come soon, brother!' the lama continued placidly. 'Hast thou knowledge, by chance, of my River?'
'Never have I seen such a man as thou art,' Kim whispered, overwhelmed. 'Do the very snakes understand thy talk?'
'Who knows?' He passed within a foot of the cobra's poised head. It flattened itself among the dusty coils.
'Come, thou!' he called over his shoulder.
'Not I,' said Kim. 'I go round.'
'Come. He does no hurt.'
Kim hesitated for a moment. The lama backed his order by some droned Chinese quotation which Kim took for a charm. He obeyed and bounded across the rivulet, and the snake, indeed, made no sign.
'Never have I seen such a man.' Kim wiped the sweat from his forehead. 'And now, whither go we?' (3.23-30)