Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 312

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Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.


Page 312

Father Kipling was, in every sense, a choice spirit: gentle, kindly, and of a most remarkably even temperament. His knowledge of art, his wide reading, his extensive travel, and an interest in every phase of the world’s doings, made him a rare conversationalist, when inclined to talk, and an encyclopædia of knowledge as extensive as it was accurate. It was very easy to grow fond of Father Kipling, and he won Bok’s affection as few men ever did.

Father Kipling’s conversation was remarkable in that he was exceedingly careful of language and wasted few words.

One day Kipling and Bok were engaged in a discussion of the Boer problem, which was then pressing. Father Kipling sat by listening, but made no comment on the divergent views, since, Kipling holding the English side of the question and Bok the Dutch side, it followed that they could not agree. Finally Father Kipling arose and said: “Well, I will take a stroll and see if I can’t listen to the water and get all this din out of my ears.”

Both men felt gently but firmly rebuked and the discussion was never again taken up.

Bok tried on one occasion to ascertain how the father regarded the son’s work.

“You should feel pretty proud of your son,” remarked Bok.

“A good sort,” was the simple reply.

“I mean, rather, of his work. How does that strike you?” asked Bok.

“Which work?”

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