Allahabad: Published by Messrs. A.H. Wheeler & Co., n.d.. 2 preliminary pp + 7 pp undated ads. Original decorated cream wrappers.
First Edition of this collection of eight early Indian tales by Kipling -- one of only 1,500 copies published as No. 3 in Wheeler's Indian Railway Library, priced at one rupee. The first four volumes of the Indian Railway Library, all by Kipling, were (per the ads) satires of "the four main features of Anglo-Indian Life, viz: the Military [SOLDIERS THREE], the Domestic [THE STORY OF THE GADSBYS], the Native [IN BLACK AND WHITE] & the Social [UNDER THE DEODARS]." Seven of these eight stories had appeared earlier in 1888 in "Week's News"; the last one ("On the City Wall") had not previously appeared anywhere.
According to Richards this undated first edition was published in January 1889 (before Richards's amazing bibliography came out in 2010, this book's date was generally posited as 1888); there were also a "second [Indian] edition" dated 1889 and a "third" dated 1890, and after that (undated but 1890) came the first of numerous editions printed in England that add Sampson Low's imprint.
This copy is complete in the original cream wrappers (all of the other Kipling Indian Railway titles appeared in greyish-green wrappers), and is in remarkably near-fine condition (bottom inch of spine chipped away, a small ink-spot on the fore-edge, but otherwise without wear or soil). Quite uncommon in this condition. Richards A16; Stewart 37. Housed in a handsome morocco-backed slipcase with inner chemise. Provenance: bookplate (in the case) of renowned collector Christian Heuer. Item #14354