The word appears 6 times.
This is an amazing book about a orphaned white boy (sahib) that is has grown up in the streets of Lahore, India during the British rule there. He is so steeped in the culture of India, and so dark from his exposure to the sun, that no one knows he is actually Caucasian, and assume him to be a Hindu child.
The book is fantastic in the portrait is paints of Indian life, religion, culture and castes. There is so much in here about the Indian way of life during that period that you can't help but come away with some sense of the magic of that place and time. India was the original multicultural country, if ever there was one, as it occupies the perfect place between east, west and Africa.
Of course, when cultures clash prejudice happens. The word nigger appears several times in this book, which is not remarkable as caste and religious prejudice are more explored here than racial issues.
"What was you bukkin' to that nigger about?", said the drummer-boy when Kim returned to the veranda. "I was watch-in you."
"I was only talking' to him."
"You talk the same as a nigger, don't you?"
"No-ah! No-ah! I onlee speak a little. What shall we do now?"
Kim knew and despised them all long ago. The boy resented his silence and lack of interest by beating him, as was only natural. He did not care for any of the bazaars which were in bounds. He styled all natives "niggers"; yet servants and sweepers called him abominable names to his face, and, misled by their deferential attitude, he never understood. This somewhat consoled Kim for the beatings.
He returned alone, weeping, with news that the young O'Hara, to whom he had been doing noting in particular, had hailed a scarlet-beared nigger on horseback; that nigger had then and there laid into him with a peculiarly adhesive quiret, picked up young O'Hara, and borne him off at full gallop.
-- In this scene Kim is being disguised to make his skin darker
"That is true. Hold thy face still while I dab on the juice."
"Not too black, Naikan. I would not appear to har as a hubshi (nigger)."
"Oh, love makes nought of these things. And how old is she?"
"Twelve years, I think," said the shameless Kim. "Spread it also on the breast. It may be her father will tear my clothes off me and if I am piebald -" he laughed.