First published in Quartette (the Christmas Annual of the Civil and Military Gazette for 1885, which included four stories by the nineteen-year-old Kipling with other items of prose and verse by his parents and sister) with ”C.E.” ('Civil Engineer') after the name. This is the third story in No. 5 of the Indian Railway Library, The Phantom 'Rickshaw and other Eerie Tales. It was collected in Wee Willie Winkie and Other Stories in 1895, and in numerous later editions of that collection.
Morrowbie Jukes, out on a moonlight ride, falls with his horse down an unexpectedly steep slope of sand, into a crater. He finds himself in a sort of village of the living dead, where people who appear to have died of - for instance cholera - but revived when their bodies were about to be burned, are imprisoned. Led by Gunga Dass, a murderous Brahmin, they sleep in burrows in the sand, and live on crows. There is no way out past the steep slopes of sand, or the quicksands of the river. Jukes joins them, despairingly, until he is rescued by his servant, who has tracked him across the sands.