"She gave him the dancing-girls' salutation in mockery. "

The professional dancing-girl that aids Kim with his beggar-boy disguise is a Nautch girl. Nautch girls traditionally perform secular dances for the pleasure of their audiences, rather than in holy places.

During the nineteenth century, Nautch girls often doubled as prostitutes. That Kim has escaped to a brothel is implied by Kipling's allusive reference to the abode as a 'certain house' and through a woman's exclamation: 'Doest thou know what kind of woman we be in this quarter?'