A Snap-shot of RK
A writer in the Evening News of 20 February 1901 recalled how some time ago he had spent six weeks in the company of Rudyard Kipling, whose aversion to the reporter amounted to a harmless mania. Kipling, he states, is not to be interviewed, and he quotes some sentiments, which Kipling expressed one day when seated alongside a trout-stream in the Canadian Rockies. ‘I am always attracted to people with ink-fever,’ said Kipling, ‘it is irrestible while the temperature remains high, but how rarely it lasts!’ Not one in fifty of those who make the trial tide over the often unbearable beginning. It wants grit — an essential quality in a journalist. Editors as a rule are very good fellows; the yarns about their desire to crush new talent is unmitigated rot. But journalists are dangerous! They may be the most kindly and honourable members of society in other relations, but the moment it is a question of copy they are without principles. A journalist myself? ‘Ah,’ with a chuckle, ‘that is, of course, another story.’ The writer goes on to say that there does not exist a person below the ’teens, who can resist Kipling. He remembered a case when a delicate, fretful baby of ten months or so, on board ship, whom even the mother could not comfort, at the sight of Kipling at the far end of the deck would cease wailing and, as Kipling drew near, the poor mite would stretch out his arms to him and sit quite satisfied resting against his knee.