Consequences (Kipling Story)

Consequences is the title of a short story by Rudyard Kipling, first published in the Civil and Military Gazette on December 9, 1886; and first in book form in the first Indian edition of Plain Tales from the Hills (1888), and in subsequent editions of that collection.

The story is an illustration of the power of Mrs Hauksbee. (It is Kipling's third story about her in book form.) Tarrion, a "clever and amusing" young officer in an unfashionable regiment, longs for a permanent appointment in Simla. There he has the good fortune to do Mrs Hauksbee a favour (by forging a date on her invitation, so that she can attend the more prestigious Ball, rather than the smaller "dance" to which she has been sent an invitation by the Governor's A.-D.-C. with whom she has quarrelled). So she owes Tarrion a favour, and asks what she can do. He admits that "I haven't a square inch of interest here in Simla" - but says that he wants a permanent post in that most desirable Hill Station. She agrees to help him.

Now by chance (an ill-written address, and a stupid orderly) she comes into possession of some official papers. These she reads with Tarrion, and he uses them to persuade "the biggest and strongest man that the Government owned" to give him a permanent post. It is not particularly well-paid, but it is finally granted because the Viceroy has an obsession with 'Diplomatic secrecy', and believes that "a boy so well supplied with information would be worth" promoting.

At the end, Tarrion thinks "'If Mrs Hauksbee were twenty years younger, and I her husband, I should be Viceroy of India in fifteen years.'" Mrs Hauksbee thinks "'What fools men are!'"

All quotations in this article have been taken from the Uniform Edition of Plain Tales from the Hills published by Macmillan & Co., Limited in London in 1899. The text is that of the third edition (1890), and the author of the article has used his own copy of the 1923 reprint. Further comment, including these page-by-page notes are on the Kipling Society's website.
Rudyard Kipling
  • The Light that Failed (1891)
  • Captains Courageous (1896)
  • Kim (1901)
  • Plain Tales from the Hills (1888)
  • Soldiers Three (1888)
  • The Story of the Gadsbys (1888)
  • In Black and White (1888)
  • Under the Deodars (1888)
  • The Phantom 'Rickshaw and other Eerie Tales (1888)
  • Wee Willie Winkie and Other Child Stories (1888)
  • Under the Deodars (1888)
  • From Sea to Sea and Other Sketches, Letters of Travel (1889)
  • Barrack-Room Ballads (1892, poetry)
  • The Jungle Book (1894)
    • "Mowgli's Brothers"
    • "Kaa's Hunting"
    • "Tiger! Tiger!"
    • "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi"
  • The Second Jungle Book (1895)
    • "Letting in the Jungle"
    • "Red Dog"
  • All the Mowgli Stories (c. 1895)
  • The Day's Work (1898)
  • Stalky & Co. (1899)
  • Just So Stories for Little Children (1902)
  • Puck of Pook's Hill (1906)
  • Rewards and Fairies (1910)
  • The Fringes of the Fleet (1915, non-fiction)
  • Debits and Credits (1926)
  • Rudyard Kipling's Verse: Definitive Edition (1940)
  • "The Absent-Minded Beggar"
  • "The Ballad of the "Clampherdown""
  • "The Ballad of East and West"
  • "The Bell Buoy"
  • "The Betrothed"
  • "Big Steamers"
  • "Cold Iron"
  • "Danny Deever"
  • "The Female of the Species"
  • "Fuzzy-Wuzzy"
  • "Gentleman ranker"
  • "The Gods of the Copybook Headings"
  • "Gunga Din"
  • "Hymn Before Action"
  • "If—"
  • "The King's Pilgrimage"
  • "The Last of the Light Brigade"
  • "The Lowestoft Boat"
  • "Mandalay"
  • "My Boy Jack"
  • "Recessional"
  • "A Song in Storm"
  • "Sons of Martha"
  • "Submarines"
  • "The Sweepers"
  • "Ubique"
  • "The White Man's Burden"
  • "The Widow at Windsor"
Short Stories
  • .007
  • The Arrest of Lieutenant Golightly
  • Baa Baa, Black Sheep
  • The Butterfly that Stamped
  • Consequences
  • The Conversion of Aurelian McGoggin
  • Cupid's Arrows
  • Drums of the Fore and Aft
  • False Dawn
  • A Germ-Destroyer
  • His Chance in Life
  • His Wedded Wife
  • In the House of Suddhoo
  • Kidnapped
  • Learoyd, Mulvaney and Ortheris
  • Lispeth
  • The Man Who Would Be King
  • Miss Youghal's Sais
  • The Mother Hive
  • Ortheris
  • The Other Man
  • The Rescue of Pluffles
  • The Sing-Song of Old Man Kangaroo
  • The Taking of Lungtungpen
  • Three and – an Extra
  • The Three Musketeers
  • Thrown Away
  • Toomai of the Elephants
  • Watches of the Night
  • Yoked with an Unbeliever
  • John Lockwood Kipling (father)
  • MacDonald sisters (mother's family)
  • Stanley Baldwin (cousin)
  • Edward Burne-Jones (uncle)
  • Edward Poynter (uncle)
  • Alfred Baldwin (uncle)
  • Indian Railway Library
  • The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer
  • The Law of the Jungle
  • Rudyard Kipling bibliography
  • Aerial Board of Control

Famous quotes containing the word consequences:

    Results are what you expect, and consequences are what you get.
    schoolgirl’s definition, quoted in Ladies’ Home Journal (New York, Jan. 1942)