There tumbled into the compartment, as the train was moving off, a mean, lean little person - a Mahratta, so far as Kim could judge by the cock of the tight turban.
'Oh, there is no caste where men go to - look for tarkeean,' the Mahratta replied, in the prescribed cadence.
'And a Son of the Charm,' said Kim under his breath, as the Kamboh made haste to prepare a pipe lest the Mahratta should beg.
'And who is that?' the Mahratta asked, glancing sideways nervously.
I am ten leagues deep in calamity,' cried the Mahratta, picking up the cue.
'Show me the cuts.' Kim bent over the Mahratta's neck, his heart nearly choking him; for this was the Great Game with a vengeance.
At Bandakui, where lives one of Us, I thought to slip the scent by changing my face, and so made me a Mahratta. Then I came to Agra, and would have turned back to Chitor to recover the letter.
The Mahratta twitched his fingers with pain from time to time.
Be quick!' gasped the Mahratta. 'The train may stop.'
'But - whither went the Mahratta? What hast thou done?'