A collection of essays on the Short Stories of Rudyard Kipling. Among those considered are Mary Postgate - once described as the wickedest story ever told; The Gardener - Kipling's tale of a tragic, lifelong deception; 'They', -a modern ghost story, with a haunting wisp of back-story; A Sahib's War - in which a Sikh and a Muslim discuss the mess the British are making of the Boer War; The Debt - in which service and obligation are analysed.in the aftermath of The Great War. Through them all there runs Kipling's sleight of hand as he confounds and undermines his narrators, misleads his readers with subtle ambiguities and hints of truths that are all so easy to overlook. Mike Smith casts a writer's eye eye over the stories that have excited and intrigued him as both reader and writer (his own short stories are published under the name Brindley Hallam Dennis), asking both the reader's question, 'what's it about?', and the writer's, 'how does he do that?'.