”The Man Who Would Be King” (1888) is a story by Rudyard Kipling about two British adventurers in British India who become kings of Kafiristan, a remote part of Afghanistan. The story was first published in The Phantom Rickshaw and other Eerie Tales (1888). It also appeared in Wee Willie Winkie and Other Child Stories (1895), and numerous later editions of that collection. It has been adapted for other media a number of times.
The narrator of the story is an Indian journalist in 19th century India - Kipling himself, in all but name. Whilst on a tour of some Indian native states he meets two scruffy adventurers, Daniel Dravot and Peachey Carnehan. Softened by their stories, he agrees to help them in a minor errand, but later he regrets this and informs the authorities about them - preventing them from blackmailing a minor rajah. A few months later the pair appear at his newspaper office in Lahore.