The Light that Failed
Rudyard Kipling
Novels
8:32 h
Level 6
The Light That Failed is the first novel by the Nobel Prize-winning English author Rudyard Kipling, first published in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine in January 1891. Most of the novel is set in London, but many important events throughout the story occur in Sudan and Port Said. It follows the life of Dick Heldar, an artist and painter who goes blind, and his unrequited love for his childhood playmate, Maisie. The story begins with Dick and Maisie as orphan children in a seaside boarding house under the care of Mrs. Jennet (a sadist drawn from Kipling's own childhood experience with a Mrs Holloway). Dick confesses his infatuation with Maisie but she informs him that she will soon be leaving to complete her education. Years later, Dick is working as a painter and artist among the British armed forces in Sudan. He meets a war correspondent named Torpenhow who, witnessing his skill, arranges for Dick to be hired by the syndicate that he works for. The two men quickly strike a friendship and help each other in their respective trades.

The Light that Failed

by
Rudyard Kipling


Dedication

If I were hanged on the highest hill,
Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine!
I know whose love would follow me still,
Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine!

If I were drowned in the deepest sea,
Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine!
I know whose tears would come down to me,
Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine!

If I were damned of body and soul,
I know whose prayers would make me whole,
Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine!


Preface

This is the story of The Light that Failed as it was originally conceived by the writer.

RUDYARD KIPLING


Chapter I

So we settled it all when the storm was done
As comf’y as comf’y could be;
And I was to wait in the barn, my dears,
Because I was only three;
And Teddy would run to the rainbow’s foot,
Because he was five and a man;
And that’s how it all began, my dears,
And that’s how it all began.

Big Barn Stories.

“What do you think she’d do if she caught us? We oughtn’t to have it, you know,” said Maisie.

“Beat me, and lock you up in your bedroom,” Dick answered, without hesitation. “Have you got the cartridges?”

“Yes; they’re in my pocket, but they are joggling horribly. Do pin-fire cartridges go off of their own accord?”

“Don’t know. Take the revolver, if you are afraid, and let me carry them.”