The next morning, the Colonel of the regiment receives a letter.
It does indeed say that they have to march north to fight.
Father Victor is deeply impressed.
Everyone in the regiment is totally fascinated with Kim (mainly because he is such a weirdo).
When the soldiers of the regiment head north, Kim gets left behind with the women and children.
A teacher finds Kim and drags him into school; Kim does not find this experience pleasant, since he's bored and barely knows how to read.
Kim slips away, but a fourteen-year old kid catches him.
This drummer-boy has been specifically assigned to keep an eye on Kim.
The drummer-boy tells Kim he's not allowed to go past a tree down the road.
So Kim hangs around that tree and waits for someone to pass by.
A sweeper walks past, and Kim demands that he bring a letter-writer to meet Kim.
The sweeper is so amazed at being spoken to in his own language by a white kid that he does what Kim asks.
The letter-writer arrives and takes down Kim's letter to Mahbub Ali.
In it, Kim explains everything that has happened to him.
He begs for Mahbub Ali to help him escape the horrors of School.
For The First Time Possibly Ever, Kim Doesn't Fit In
The drummer-boy mocks Kim for being able to talk in an Indian language (because the drummer-boy is obviously a complete idiot).
Kim listens to the drummer-boy speak about England, but Kim's opinion of the drummer-boy is obviously about as low as ours is.
Father Victor lets Kim know that he has received a letter from the lama offering to pay three hundred rupees a year so that Kim can be educated at St. Xavier's, the best school in India.
The lama also mentions that he is going south to Benares on his own because he can't stand the Kulu woman's talk any longer.
As Father Victor explains all of this to him, Kim sits quietly thinking about: (1) who will beg for the lama if he is on his own, and (2) how he can stay in touch with his old friend Mahbub Ali.
Kim continues to hate school and to hate the drummer-boy, who keeps beating him up for no reason.
Luckily, after three days, Mahbub Ali comes riding up, hits the drummer-boy, and grabs Kim; that same day, Father Victor receives a check from the lama for three hundred rupees to pay for Kim's education.
Sorry, Kim, You've Got To Make The Best Of This Whole School Thing
Mahbub Ali has to tell Kim that he can't just help him escape.
Mahbub Ali has lots of English contacts, and he'd get arrested if he helped a British kid to disappear.
An Englishman comes running up to talk to Mahbub Ali about buying a horse.
It's the man from Umballa, to whom Kim slipped Mahbub Ali's message.
The Englishman spots Kim, whose face he has never seen before, since Kim was hiding in a hedge when he passed on the message.
Mahbub Ali explains the boy's whole history, including his great abilities with disguise—Kim is furious: he wanted to keep all of that to himself.
But Kim does not say a word against Mahbub Ali to the Englishman.
Mahbub Ali returns Kim to Father Victor, and the Englishman goes with him.
The Englishman introduces himself as Colonel Creighton, and he starts asking after Kim.
Meanwhile, Mahbub Ali tells Kim not to worry—things are bad now, but in the long run, they will get better.
Father Victor talks Creighton's ear off about Kim's strange origins and about whether or not he should trust the lama to keep paying Kim's tuition.
Creighton reassures him: if the lama says he'll pay, then he'll pay.
Creighton also asks Father Victor to keep quiet about Kim's upbringing, and claims that he wants to write a paper about Kim's weird beliefs surrounding the Red Bull.
Mahbub Ali gives Kim some money for letter writers and wishes him luck.
Creighton talks to Kim in Urdu: stay put, and you'll get to go to school in Lucknow.
Lucknow is closer to Benares—and the lama—than Umballa is.
Kim agrees to stay, even though it will be horrible.