Have His Carcase

The page numbers are from the U.S. Avon paperback edition of “Have His Carcase,” copyright 1932 by Dorothy Leigh Sayers Fleming.

Chapter 1

9 ~ The track was slippery with spouting blood
Quoted from “Rodolph” by Thomas Lovell Beddoes (1803-1849). In her letters, Sayers writes that she first encountered Beddoes’ poetry as early as 14. She found them “curious and ghastly” and was impressed by their “grimness.”

10 ~ Except for an occasional tradesman’s van, or a dilapidated Morris, and the intermittent appearance of white smoke from a distant railway-engine, the landscape was as rural and solitary as it might have been two hundred years before
Morris: There were several models of the Morris car with its distinctive bullnose on the road at this time. This one is the 1921 Oxford Bullnose F-Type.

10 ~ her luggage was not burdened by skin-creams, insect-lotion, silk frocks, portable electric irons or other impedimenta beloved of the “Hikers’ Column”
Not traced, except to note that the sportsperson’s need to acquire the latest invention for one’s hobby is not a recent invention

10 ~ little else beyond a pocket edition of “Tristram Shandy”, a vest-pocket camera, a small first-aid kit and a sandwich lunch.
Tristram Shandy: A novel by Laurence Sterne (1713-68).

13 ~ He must feel like a bannock on a hot griddle
bannock: An unleavened flat bread or biscuit made from oats or barley meal and baked on a griddle.
(Contributed by Leigh Gerfin)

13 ~ Schoolmasters don’t get off the lead till the end of July
lead: leash, as in dog leash

13 ~ but no doubt Dr. Thorndyke would do so at once
Thorndyke: A detective created by R. Austin Freeman who relied more on science than intuition for his deductions.
(Contributed by Leigh Gerfin)

14 ~ Mr. Samuel Weare of Lyons Inn
A murder notorious for its time, immortalized in an 1839 ballad by William Webb:

“His throat they cut from ear to ear,
His brains then punched in;
His name was Mr. William Weare,
Wot lived in Lyon’s Inn.”

14 ~ she had not reckoned with the horrid halitus of blood
halitus: a smell or stink. “Halitosis,” the villain seen in mouthwash commercials, is bad breath.
(Contributed by Leigh Gerfin)

15 ~ She conjured up this phantom before her in the suit of rather loud plus-fours with which she was accustomed to invest him, and took counsel with him in spirit
plus-fours: loosely tailored slacks cut 4 inches below the knee. Worn most frequently on golf courses during the 1920s and ’30s. The late PGA golfer Payne Stewart favored them.
(Contributed by Leigh Gerfin)

15 ~ Bodies reduced to jelly by falling from aeroplanes
A reference probably inspired by the Alfred Loewenstein case. The international tycoon had fallen from his aeroplane into the English Channel on July 4, 1928, under mysterious circumstances. The story is recounted in “The Man Who Fell from the Sky” by William Norris.

15 ~ charred into “unrecognisable lumps” by fire
Sayers is probably referring to at least two notorious murder cases — the Alfred Rouse and Samuel Furnace cases — involving men who killed and their bodies set on fire to hide the evidence. One case forms the basis for the Sayers’ short story “In the Teeth of the Evidence.”

16 ~ No weapon, no suicide — that was a law of the Medes and Persians
Medes and Persians: The kings in these empires were considered gods, and their laws, therefore, could not be changed. They can be found in the Bible books of Esther / Hadassah.
(Contributed by Leigh Gerfin)

Chapter 2

20 ~None sit in doors,
Except the babe, and his forgotten Grandsire,
And such as, out of life, each side to lie
Against the shutter of the grave or womb.

Quoted from Thomas Lovell Beddoes, “The Second Brother” of which no copies online seem to be available.

28 ~ acid drops
Also knowns as antacid tablets or soda mints. Or, hard candy with a sour tang taste.
(Contributed by Leigh Gerfin)

Chapter 3

29 ~ “Little and grisly, or bony and big.” Death’s Jest-Book
Not traced

30 ~ Nautical Almanack
Nautical Almanack: Publication of the British Admiralty containing information used by British sailors to navigate the seas.

30 ~ priority call

31 ~ I’ve had a trunk-call
trunk-call: A long-distance call.
(Contributed by Leigh Gerfin)

33 ~ Edgar Wallace
Wallace (1875-1932): Prolific British crime novelist, writer and playwright. Wikipedia

37 ~ Autres temps, autres maeurs
“Other times, other customs”
(Contributed by Leigh Gerfin)

38 ~ S.A.
Sex appeal

40 ~ Where the carcase is, there shall the eagles be gathered together.
Quoted from Matthew 24:28

24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

24:28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

41 ~ Have-His-Carcase Act
There is a mention of this in Charles Kingsley’s “The Water Babies” in chapter 8:

And there he found all the wise people instructing mankind in the science of spirit-rapping, while their house was burning over their heads: and when Tom told them of the fire, they held an indignation meeting forthwith, and unanimously determined to hang Tom’s dog for coming into their country with gunpowder in his mouth. Tom couldn’t help saying that though they did fancy they had carried all the wit away with them out of Lincolnshire two hundred years ago, yet if they had had one such Lincolnshire nobleman among them as good old Lord Yarborough, he would have called for the fire-engines before he hanged other people’s dogs. But it was of no use, and the dog was hanged: and Tom couldn’t even have his carcase; for they had abolished the have-his-carcase act in that country, for fear lest when rogues fell out, honest men should come by their own.

I’m not sure what kind of connection there is. The Habeas Corpus Act of 1679 guaranteed that a person detailed has to be brought before a court of law. Habeas Corpus has been misinterpreted as believing that there has to be a body produced in order for a murder charge to be filed. Perhaps Wimsey is spouting piffle, as usual, which over breakfast would give any woman used to late rising pause to consider a lifetime of this nonsense.

43 ~You know what people are. The minute they see anyone having a peaceful feed they gather in from the four points of the compass and sit down beside one, and the place is like the Corner House in the rush hour
The Corner House: A chain of elaborate restaurants founded in 1909 by the J. Lyons & Co. Each consisted of a four- or five-story building, with usually a food hall on the ground floor and a different restaurant on each floor. [url=”http://www.kzwp.com/lyons/cornerhouses.htm]This site devoted to the history of J. Lyons[/url] says the Houses also offered “hair dressing salons, telephone booths, theatre booking agencies and a food delivery service to any address in London, twice a day.” There were several in London, and spread to Tunbridge Wells, Brighton, Bristol, Gloucester and elsewhere. Changing tastes in food and economic troubles caused the Corner Houses to close in the years after World War II.
(Contributed by Tanya Lees)

45 ~ mufti
Street clothes, worn by a soldier instead of his uniform
(Contributed by Leigh Gerfin)

47 ~ comerlongerme
“come along with me”

52 ~ the only young Endicott was killed in the Salient, poor chap
Salient: The Ypres Salient. During World War I, Allied forces held a salient east of the Belgian city of Ypres that became one of the bloodiest battlegrounds for the rest of the war.

53 ~ Blossoms of the honey-sweet and honey-coloured menuphar
From Oscar Wilde’s “The Sphinx”

Or did huge Apis from his car
Leap down and lay before your feet
Big blossoms of the honey-sweet,
And honey-coloured nenuphar?

Chapter 5

56 ~ phenacetin
phenacetin: Also known as acetophenetidin, used to ease pain and fever.
(Contributed by Leigh Gerfin)

Chapter 6

64 ~ Megatherium scandal
A scandal concocted by DLS. The scandal is also mentioned in passing in “Strong Poison.”

Chapter 7

68 ~ entrain … a merveille … Que voulez-vous … Ce pauvre Alexis energy … a gem … What would you want? … that poor Alexis

69 ~ desagrement

70 ~ N’avez pas peur, je m’en charge

Fear not, I am in charge

(Contributed by Carl Distefano)

70 ~ in Mr. Micawber’s phrase, already “provided for”
Quoted from chapter 28 of “David Copperfield” by Charles Dickens.

I also took the opportunity of my holding a candle over the banisters to light them down, when Mr. Micawber was going first, leading Mrs. Micawber, and Traddles was following with the cap, to detain Traddles for a moment on the top of the stairs.

“Traddles,” said I, “Mr. Micawber don’t mean any harm, poor fellow: but, if I were you, I wouldn’t lend him anything.”

“My dear Copperfield,” returned Traddles, smiling, “I haven’t got anything to lend.”

“You have got a name, you know,” said I.

“Oh! You call THAT something to lend?” returned Traddles, with a thoughtful look.


“Oh!” said Traddles. “Yes, to be sure! I am very much obliged to you, Copperfield; but – I am afraid I have lent him that already.”

“For the bill that is to be a certain investment?” I inquired.

“No,” said Traddles. “Not for that one. This is the first I have heard of that one. I have been thinking that he will most likely propose that one, on the way home. Mine’s another.”

“I hope there will be nothing wrong about it,” said I.

“I hope not,” said Traddles. “I should think not, though, because he told me, only the other day, that it was provided for. That was Mr. Micawber’s expression, ‘Provided for.'”

Mr. Micawber looking up at this juncture to where we were standing, I had only time to repeat my caution. Traddles thanked me, and descended. But I was much afraid, when I observed the good-natured manner in which he went down with the cap in his hand, and gave Mrs. Micawber his arm, that he would be carried into the Money Market neck and heels.

(David proved correct, as seen by this note he received at the end of the chapter)

“SIR – for I dare not say my dear Copperfield,

“It is expedient that I should inform you that the undersigned is rushed. Some flickering efforts to spare you the premature knowledge of his calamitous position, you may observe in him this day; but hope has sunk beneath the horizon, and the undersigned is Crushed.

“The present communication is penned within the personal range (I cannot call it the society) of an individual, in a state closely bordering on intoxication, employed by a broker. That individual is in legal possession of the premises, under a distress for rent. His inventory includes, not only the chattels and effects of every description belonging to the undersigned, as yearly tenant of this habitation, but also those appertaining to Mr. Thomas Traddles, lodger, a member of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple.

“If any drop of gloom were wanting in the overflowing cup, which is now “commended” (in the language of an immortal Writer) to the lips of the undersigned, it would be found in the fact, that a friendly acceptance granted to the undersigned, by the before-mentioned Mr. Thomas Traddles, for the sum Of 23l 4s 9 1/2d is over due, and is NOT provided for. Also, in the fact that the living responsibilities clinging to the undersigned will, in the course of nature, be increased by the sum of one more helpless victim; whose miserable appearance may be looked for – in round numbers – at the expiration of a period not exceeding six lunar months from the present date.

“After premising thus much, it would be a work of supererogation to add, that dust and ashes are for ever scattered


Poor Traddles! I knew enough of Mr. Micawber by this time, to foresee that he might be expected to recover the blow; but my night’s rest was sorely distressed by thoughts of Traddles, and of the curate’s daughter, who was one of ten, down in Devonshire, and who was such a dear girl, and who would wait for Traddles (ominous praise!) until she was sixty, or any age that could be mentioned.

71 ~ a dog with two tails about it

This is Lord Peter’s twist on a common bit of slang: “as happy as a dog with two tails.” If a dog is happy to wag one tail, he would naturally be twice as happy to have two.
(Contributed by Tony Morris)

72 ~ pour s’amuser … Que voulez-vous? Ce n’est pas rigolo que d’etre gigolo
for your own amusement … What would you want?It’s not much fun being a giglio.
(Contributed by Nadia Bambridge)

74 ~ Sa maitresse
his mistress
(Contributed by Keith Francis)

Chapter 8

75 ~ designed by H.M. Bateman in a moment of more than ordinary inspiration
Henry Mayo Bateman was a cartoonist for Punch and other publications. www.hmbateman.com

Chapter 9

81 ~ The police are quite clear about how Alexis came here, and there doesn’t seem to be any doubt about the matter, which is a blessing.
As this was probably written after “Five Red Herrings” — in which railroad timetables figure heavily — one wonders if this was DLS’ reflection on the matter.

87 ~ if you’re not what the Leopard called ‘too vulgar big’
‘too vulgar big’: A phrase found in Rudyard Kipling’s “Just So Stories,” specifically “How the Leopard Got Its Spots.”

‘I’ll take spots, then,’ said the Leopard; ‘but don’t make ’em too vulgar-big. I wouldn’t look like Giraffe — not for ever so.’

(Contributed by Leigh Gerfin)

89 ~ It may have been a disguise. They may have been quite plain glass — I didn’t examine them a la Dr. Thorndyke, to see whether they reflected a candle-flame upside-down or right way up
Dr Thorndyke: Long before “CSI,” R. Austin Freeman’s Dr. John Thorndyke was using his medical knowledge and training to solve cases. “It consists in the interrogation of things rather than persons; of the ascertainment of physical facts which can be made visible to eyes other than his own. And the facts which he seeks tend to be those which are apparent only to the trained eye of the medical practitioner,” Freeman wrote.

89 ~ True, O Queen. Live for ever.

Nebuchadnezzar’s counsellors address the king in various forms of this address in the book of Daniel, as he investigates why the Jews Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego could be cast into the fiery furnace yet survive. In 3:24, for example, “Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king.”

Contributed by Andrew Abbott

Chapter 10

95 ~ And left him a low, lorn crittur, with all the world contrairy with him.
These words were spoken by Mrs. Gummidge, in chapter 3 of “David Copperfield”

Mrs. Gummidge had been in a low state all day, and had burst into tears in the forenoon, when the fire smoked. ‘I am a lone lorn creetur’,’ were Mrs. Gummidge’s words, when that unpleasant occurrence took place, ‘and everythink goes contrary with me.’

(Contributed by Catherine Carter)

95 ~ that it says in the Bible that the infernal regions, begging your pardon, knows no fury like a woman scorned.
Quoted from William Congreve’s “The Mourning Bride”. The line runs: “Heav’n has no rage like love to hatred turn’d Nor Hell a fury, like a woman scorn’d.””The Mourning Bride is your usual “king orders beheading of enemy prince upon finding he is secretly married to king’s daughter but gets it himself in a case of mistaken identity resulting in another mistaken identity with subsequent suicide by poisoning revolution and reunion of happy lovers” tragedy. The first line of the play is another oft-misquote: “Music has charms to soothe a savage breast.”

The theme of women’s power to anger when betrayed is an old, old story, going all the way back to the Medea, who took a horrifying revenge when she was betrayed by her lover.
(Contributed by Leigh Gerfin)

98 ~ because anybody coming from Lesston Hoe would have seen her and put his crime off to a more convenient season, as Shakespeare says
more convenient season: Inspector Umpelty must be mistaken. The phrase appears in Acts 24:25, when Antonius Felix, the governor of Judea is questioning Paul about accusations laid against him:

And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.

The phrase also appears in Young’s Literal Translation of Luke, chapter 4. verse 13, dealing with the temptation of Christ.

And having ended all temptation, the Devil departed from him till a convenient season.

(Contributed by Leigh Gerfin)

Chapter 11

102 ~ Three hundred round, golden jimmy o’ goblins
jimmy o’goblins: rhyming slang for sovereigns

102 ~ Gladstone sort of collar … four-in-hand tie … big green gamp
Gladstone collar: a type of high collar. It originated by an artist named Harry Furniss, who drew Gladstone in this fashion.
four-in-hand tie: the most common way of tying a tie. Probably named for the Four-in-Hand gentlemen’s club, whose members began to wear the new style of neckwear and making it fashionable. (The club’s name is derived from a carriage with four horses and one driver. Obviously, the owner had to be wealthy enough to afford such an extravagence.)
gamp: an umbrella, named for Mrs. Gamp, a character in “Martin Chuzzlewit” by Charles Dickens, who habitually carried a large, baggy umbrella.

103 ~ Old Abel wasn’t averse to a buckshee twenty quid
buckshee: An extra gratuity, derived from the Hindi word baksheesh.
(Contributed by Leigh Gerfin)

111 ~ Get ’em to put it in black lettering–you know.
This is not much seen anymore, but newspapers would highlight in bold type certain paragraphs in the middle of a newspaper story.

Chapter 12

115 ~ when Mr. Gubbins, the vicar’s warden, had drawn a consolation prize in the Grand National sweep.
Grand National: A horse race that has run annually (except during the world wars and in 1993) since 1839. As a side note, the 1993 race — the 150th, was canceled after two false starts. The second time, a flag man failed to indicate the false start, and seven horses continued to race.

118 ~ All right, and I hope your rabbit dies.
The rest of the insult runs, “and you can’t sell the hutch.”

122 ~ What was yours? Martell Three-Star?
Martell is a brand of cognac

122 ~ I hunted pretty regularly with the Quorn and the Pytchley
The Quorn and Pytchley are two hunt clubs founded in the 1770s.
(Contributed by Leigh Gerfin)

125 ~ Qu’est-ce que je vous ai dit? L’elan, c’est trouve.
“What did I tell you? The momentum is found.”
(Contributed by Laura Dick)

Chapter 13

129 ~ Do you favour the Michael Finsbury method by double entry as in The Wrong Box?
A reference to the story by Robert Louis Stevenson, in which a character attempts to work out a tricky problem on paper:

He entered a place of public entertainment, ordered bread and cheese, and writing materials, and sat down before them heavily. He tried the pen. It was an excellent pen, but what was he to write? ‘I have it,’ cried Morris. ‘Robinson Crusoe and the double columns!’ He prepared his paper after that classic model, and began as follows:

1. I have lost my uncle's body.1. But then Pitman has found it.

‘Stop a bit,’ said Morris. ‘I am letting the spirit of antithesis run away with me. Let’s start again.’

1. I have lost my uncle's body. 1. But then I no longer require to bury it.
2. I have lost the tontine. 2. But I may still save that if Pitman disposes of the body, and if I can find a physician who will stick at nothing.
3. I have lost the leather business and the rest of my uncle's succession. 3. But not if Pitman gives the body up to the police.

‘O, but in that case I go to gaol; I had forgot that,’ thought Morris. ‘Indeed, I don’t know that I had better dwell on that hypothesis at all; it’s all very well to talk of facing the worst; but in a case of this kind a man’s first duty is to his own nerve. Is there any answer to No. 3? Is there any possible good side to such a beastly bungle? There must be, of course, or where would be the use of this double-entry business? And–by George, I have it!’ he exclaimed; ‘it’s exactly the same as the last!’ And he hastily re-wrote the passage:

3. I have lost the leather business and the rest of my uncle's succession.3. But not if I can find a physician who will stick at nothing.

‘This venal doctor seems quite a desideratum,’ he reflected. ‘I want him first to give me a certificate that my uncle is dead, so that I may get the leather business; and then that he’s alive–but here we are again at the incompatible interests!’ And he returned to his tabulation:

4. I have almost no money.4. But there is plenty in the bank.
5. Yes, but I can't get the money in the bank.5. But--well, that seems unhappily to be the case.
6. I have left the bill for eight hundred pounds in Uncle Joseph's pocket.6. But if Pitman is only a dishonest man, the presence of this bill may lead him to keep the whole thing dark and throw the body into the New Cut.
7. Yes, but if Pitman is dishonest and finds the bill, he will know who Joseph is, and he may blackmail me. 7. Yes, but if I am right about Uncle Masterman, I can blackmail Michael.
8. But I can't blackmail Michael (which is, besides, a very dangerous thing to do) until I find out. 8. Worse luck!
9. The leather business will soon want money for current expenses, and I have none to give. 9. But the leather business is a sinking ship.
10. Yes, but it's all the ship I have. 10. A fact.
11. John will soon want money, and I have none to give.
12. And the venal doctor will want money down.
13. And if Pitman is dishonest and don't send me to gaol, he will want a fortune. 13.

‘O, this seems to be a very one-sided business,’ exclaimed Morris. ‘There’s not so much in this method as I was led to think.’ He crumpled the paper up and threw it down; and then, the next moment, picked it up again and ran it over. ‘It seems it’s on the financial point that my position is weakest,’ he reflected. ‘Is there positively no way of raising the wind? In a vast city like this, and surrounded by all the resources of civilization, it seems not to be conceived! Let us have no more precipitation. Is there nothing I can sell? My collection of signet–‘ But at the thought of scattering these loved treasures the blood leaped into Morris’s check. ‘I would rather die!’ he exclaimed, and, cramming his hat upon his head, strode forth into the streets.

138 ~ derisory
derisory: expression derision or worthy of derision

138 ~ irruption
irruption: to rush in with force or violence

138 ~ King Cophetua

The legend tells that the African King Cophetua refused to marry until he was entranced at the sight of a beautiful beggar woman, whereby he resolved that she shall become his queen. The story was the subject of a painting by Sir Edward Burne-Jones.

Tennyson also told the story in “The Beggar Maid.”

Her arms across her breast she laid;
She was more fair than words can say:
Barefooted came the beggar maid
Before the king Cophetua.
In robe and crown the king stepped down,
To meet and greet her on the way:
‘It is no wonder,’ said the lords,
‘She is more beautiful than day.’
In the end, Cophetua swore a royal oath:
“This beggar maid shall be my queen!”

The story also appears in Shakespeare: “The magnanimous and most illustrate king Cophetua set eye upon the pernicious and indubitate beggar Zenelophon.” Love’s Labour’s Lost, iv. 1.

140 ~ Like Alan Breck, I’m a bonny fighter.
Breck: A character in “Kidnapped” by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894).

In Chapter 7, Stewart is a passenger aboard the “Covenant,” in which the kidnapped hero, David, is being held. The ship strikes another boat and picks up the sole survivor, Stewart, who is a passenger hoping to be taken to Scotland. After David hears the captain and crew planning to murder Stewart for his gold, he warns him and they fight off the crew’s attack.

The round-house was like a shambles; three were dead inside, another lay in his death agony across the threshold; and there were Alan and I victorious and unhurt.

He came up to me with open arms. “Come to my arms!” he cried, and embraced and kissed me hard upon both cheek. “David,” said he, “I love you like a brother. And O, man,” he cried in a kind of ecstasy, “am I no a bonny fighter?”

Thereupon he turned to the four enemies, passed his sword clean through each of them, and tumbled them out of doors one after the other. As he did so, he kept humming and singing and whistling to himself, like a man trying to recall an air; only what HE was trying was to make one. All the while, the flush was in his face, and his eyes were as bright as a five-year-old child’s with a new toy. And presently he sat down upon the table, sword in hand; the air that he was making all the time began to run a little clearer, and then clearer still; and then out he burst with a great voice into a Gaelic song.

Chapter 14

142 ~ for malt does more than Milton can to justify God’s ways to man
Quoted from A.E. Housman’s “Terence, This is Stupid Stuff”:

Oh many a peer of England brews
Livelier liquor than the Muse,
And malt does more than Milton can
To justify God’s ways to man.
Ale, man, ale’s the stuff to drink
For fellows whom it hurts to think.

Chapter 15

151 ~ detraque
detraque: upset

152 ~ like in that story, “The Trail of the Purple Python.”
A fictional Sexton Blake story made up by DLS

152 ~ ” … and he has a secret house full of steel-lined rooms and luxurious divans and obelisks–”
“Well, you know. Ladies who weren’t quite respectable.”

obelisks: He meant odalisques: the concubines of the harem.

153 ~ And this young man, so timid, so complaisant, cuts his throat with a big, ugly gash because you turn him down. C’est inoui
C’est inoul: That’s unheard of.

154 ~ “Mais si quelqu’un venoit de la part de Cassandre,
Ouvre-luy tost la porte, et ne le fais attendre,
Soudain entre dans ma chambre, et me vien accoustrer.”

Quoted from a sonnet by Pierre de Ronsard (1524-1585), a cleric in minor orders who wrote poetry inspired by classical culture. Late in life, he fell in love with Cassandra, a lady-in-waiting in the court of Eleanor of Acqutaine. She rejected him, inspiring him to write a series of sonnets, of which this is one.

The lines spoken by Antoine (as translated by James Kirkup)

But should someone come
with news of my Cassandra,
open wide the doors,
and do not keep him waiting:
bring him straight to see me here.

157 ~ emerging victorious with an inclusive charge of two and a half guineas per week, or twelve shillings and find yourself.
inclusive: Meaning that room, board and sometimes laundry was included in the charge. find yourself: Room only.
(Contributed by Leigh Gerfin)

159 ~ you’ll be marrying the Princess of China, you will, like Aladdin in the Panto.
Pantos are comic plays generally performed around Christmas. They were originally mime shows that appeared after the conclusion of the serious play, but they became popular performances in their own right. Over time, new elements have been added to the plays so that they little resemble their original source materials.

In the case of “Aladdin,” the story first appeared on stage in 1788. During the nineteenth century, plays featuring fairy tales became popular and grew into full-length shows featuring speciality acts. “Aladdin” gained oriental elements during this time, when there was a great vogue for anything oriental. His mother was renamed Widow Ching Mustapha, then Twankey for the Chinese green tea by the writer H.J. Bryon. Later, she was given a Chinese laundry and another son called Wishee Washee.

Chapter 16

162 ~ Fishers of men, I fancy
fishers of men: Quoted from Matthew 4:19: And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

163 ~ Alas! Alas! What boots it to repeat.
Quoted from FitzGerald’s “The Rubiyacht of Omar Khayyam”:

Ah, fill the Cup: — what boots it to repeat
How Time is slipping underneath our Feet:
Unborn To-morrow, and dead Yesterday
Why fret about them if To-day be sweet!

166 ~ The shoe hasn’t been worn thin by the ‘ammer, ‘ammer, ‘ammer on the ‘ard ‘igh road
Quoted from the caption of a Punch cartoon from around 1849. The full caption reads: “It ain’t the ‘eavy ‘auling wot ‘urts the orses’s ‘ooves; hit’s the ‘ammer, ‘ammer, ‘ammer on the ‘ard ‘ighway!”

167 ~When I kiss you, it will be an important event — one of those things which stand out among their surroundings like the first time you tasted li-chee.
li-chee: Small, sun-dried fruit from China that has a hard, scaly outer covering and sweet flesh inside. Also commonly called lichee or litche nut today.
(Contributed by Leigh Gerfin)

167 ~ I know two things about the horse and one of them is rather coarse.
A couplet by Naomi Royde-Smith, “Weekend Book” 1928

172 ~ Tramp, tramp along the land they rode, Splash, splash along the sea.
Quoted from Walter Scott’s “Lenore”:

Tramp! tramp! along the land they rode,
Splash! splash! along the sea;
The scourge is white, the spur is bright,
The flashing pebbles flee.

172 ~ under a spreading chestnut tree the village smithy stands
Quoted from “The Village Smithy” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

Under a spreading chestnut-tree?
The village smithy stands;
The smith, a mighty man is he,
With large and sinewy hands;
And the muscles of his brawny arms?
Are strong as iron bands.

173 ~ Mafeking year, that wur
Mafeking: 1900, the year the settlement of Mafeking was relieved during the Boer War.Or, 1898, when the Boers besieged the village.
(Contributed by Leigh Gerfin)

174 ~ dealing with the distribution of tenancies and glebe round about that district
tenancies: the holding of an estate or possession of a house. Glebe: a plot of church-owned farmland.
(Contributed by Leigh Gerfin)

174 ~ And so to bed.
A common ending to a diary entry by Samuel Pepys (1633-1703)

Chapter 20

209 ~ I’m a most skilful go-between and an accomplished gooseberry.
gooseberry: an unwanted extra person, usually to a courting couple who want to be left alone.

219 ~ He spoke as an Empire Free-Trader and member of the Public Health Committee

223 ~ A contempt for money, Inspector, is the root — or at any rate, the very definite sign — of all evil.
A variation on 1 Timothy 6:9-10:

9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.

10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

225 ~ but failed to detect either the petitio eleuchi, the undistributed middle or the inaccurate major premise which it contrived to combine.
petitio eleuchi: begging the question “using as a premise in an argument something that should be the conclusion.”
undistributed middle: The official definition is “The middle term in the premises of a standard form categorical syllogism never refers to all of the members of the category it describes.”

226 ~ Pause there, Morocco.
Quoted from Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice,” Act II, Scene 7

Some god direct my judgment! Let me see;
I will survey the inscriptions back again.
What says this leaden casket?
‘Who chooseth me must give and hazard all he hath.’
Must give: for what? for lead? hazard for lead?
This casket threatens. Men that hazard all
Do it in hope of fair advantages:
A golden mind stoops not to shows of dross;
I’ll then nor give nor hazard aught for lead.
What says the silver with her virgin hue?
‘Who chooseth me shall get as much as he deserves.’
As much as he deserves! Pause there, Morocco,
And weigh thy value with an even hand:
If thou be’st rated by thy estimation,
Thou dost deserve enough; and yet enough
May not extend so far as to the lady:
And yet to be afeard of my deserving
Were but a weak disabling of myself.
As much as I deserve! Why, that’s the lady:
I do in birth deserve her, and in fortunes,
In graces and in qualities of breeding;
But more than these, in love I do deserve.
What if I stray’d no further, but chose here?
Let’s see once more this saying graved in gold
‘Who chooseth me shall gain what many men desire.’
Why, that’s the lady; all the world desires her;
From the four corners of the earth they come,
To kiss this shrine, this mortal-breathing saint:
The Hyrcanian deserts and the vasty wilds
Of wide Arabia are as thoroughfares now
For princes to come view fair Portia:
The watery kingdom, whose ambitious head
Spits in the face of heaven, is no bar
To stop the foreign spirits, but they come,
As o’er a brook, to see fair Portia.
One of these three contains her heavenly picture.
Is’t like that lead contains her? ‘Twere damnation
To think so base a thought: it were too gross
To rib her cerecloth in the obscure grave.
Or shall I think in silver she’s immured,
Being ten times undervalued to tried gold?
O sinful thought! Never so rich a gem
Was set in worse than gold. They have in England
A coin that bears the figure of an angel
Stamped in gold, but that’s insculp’d upon;
But here an angel in a golden bed
Lies all within. Deliver me the key:
Here do I choose, and thrive I as I may!

Chapter 22

229 ~ in Ruritanian fiction
Ruritania is the fictional country in which Anthony Hope’s “A Prisoner of Zenda” is set. The book’s success spawned a host of imitators.

229 ~ “A Bid for the Throne”
Not found; presumed to be a title concoted by DLS

231 ~ quantity of pantiles
pantiles: Curved roofing tiles, particularly found on churches

231 ~ which adjoins the washes of the 100-foot level

234 ~ representing the Lincoln Imp
Lincoln imp: A stone decoration who inhabits a pillar above the angel choir in Lincoln Cathedral. Several legends are told about this creation of a workman’s fancy. The basic story, about the imp sent by Satan to cause trouble only to be petrified by angel, has several more detailed variations. The imp has become an icon of Lincoln, used by businesses and the local football club.

236 ~ second law of thermo-dynamics
One of the fundamental laws of the universie, which states that heat always flows from higher to lower temperature regions, although I believe Wimsey was being, well, whimsical when he says it “holds the universe in its path, and without which time would run backwards like a cinema film wound the wrong way.”

There are three laws of thermodynamics, and British scientist and author C.P. Snow created this way of remembering them:

1. You cannot win (that is, you cannot get something for nothing, because matter and energy are conserved).

2. You cannot break even (you cannot return to the same energy state, because there is always an increase in disorder; entropy always increases).

3. You cannot get out of the game (because absolute zero is unattainable).

236 ~ “Altars may reel,” said Wimsey, “Mr. Thomas may abandon his dress-suit and Mr. Snowden renounce Free Trade, but the second law of thermo-dynamics will endure while memory holds her seat in this distracted globe, by which Hamlet meant his head but which I, with a wider intellectual range, apply to the planet which we have the rapture of inhabiting. … “
distracted globe: Quoted from “Hamlet”, Act I, Scene 5:

O all you host of heaven! O earth! what else?
And shall I couple hell? O, fie! Hold, hold, my heart;
And you, my sinews, grow not instant old,
But bear me stiffly up. Remember thee!
Ay, thou poor ghost, while memory holds a seat
In this distracted globe. Remember thee!
Yea, from the table of my memory
I’ll wipe away all trivial fond records,
All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past,
That youth and observation copied there;
And thy commandment all alone shall live
Within the book and volume of my brain,
Unmix’d with baser matter: yes, by heaven!
O most pernicious woman!
O villain, villain, smiling, damned villain!
My tables,–meet it is I set it down,
That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain;
At least I’m sure it may be so in Denmark.

238 ~ Sounds like the tiger who conveyed the young lady of Riga.
A limerick by that prolific writer, Anonymous:

There was a young lady of Riga
Who smiled as she rode on a tiger;
They returned from the ride
With the lady inside,
And the smile on the face of the tiger.

240 ~ The Vorm is a good Vorm, Sullivan, as Shakespeare says, but he ain’t on the market.
Quoted from “Anthony and Cleopatra” Act V, Scene 1:

Very many, men and women too. I heard of one of
them no longer than yesterday: a very honest woman,
but something given to lie; as a woman should not
do, but in the way of honesty: how she died of the
biting of it, what pain she felt: truly, she makes
a very good report o’ the worm; but he that will
believe all that they say, shall never be saved by
half that they do: but this is most fallible, the
worm’s an odd worm.

(Contributed by Leigh Gerfin)

242 ~ Hollow-cheeked beggar with a voice like Mother Siegel’s Syrup.

242 ~ Can’t see him in Act V, though. All right for the bit with the citizens. You know. Enter Richard above, reading, between two monks.

The scene about the strawberries — that’s clearly all put on.

But the scene with Buckingham and the clock

All three are references to scenes in “Richard III.”

The strawberries scene exemplies one-half of Mr. Sullivan’s complaint about Richard being “a wormy, plotting sort of fellow and the other’s a bold, bustling sort of chap who chops people’s heads off and flies into tempers.” It refers to Act III, Scene 4, in which Richard of Gloucester, the future king, schemes during a council meeting:

My lord of Ely!

Bishop of Ely
My lord?

When I was last in Holborn,
I saw good strawberries in your garden there
I do beseech you send for some of them.

Bishop of Ely
Marry, and will, my lord, with all my heart.

Although Ely had submitted to the Richard’s House of York — an extended warring familiy contending with the House of Lancaster for the crown — his loyalty to the Yorkists was weak and Richard knew it. When Ely returns from his errand, he finds Richard in a rage, accusing several lords — including Ely — of plotting against him. He orders their arrest and two were executed on the spot. This breaks the back of the baronial opposition to Richard’s grab for the throne.
(Contributed by Leigh Gerfin)

243 ~ he made a hit as the dear old silver-haired vicar in Roses Round the Door.
No trace found; presumed a fictional play concocted by DLS

Chapter 24

246 ~ L.C.C. School
London County Council
(Contributed by Leigh Gerfin)

Chapter 25

261 ~ ‘Do I look like it? Said the Knave. Which he certainly did not, being made entirely of cardboard.’
Quoted from “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll:

The jury all wrote down on their slates, “SHE doesn’t believe there’s an atom of meaning in it,” but none of them attempted to explain the paper.

“If there’s no meaning in it,” said the King, “that saves a world of trouble, you know, as we needn’t try to find any. And yet I don’t know,” he went on, spreading out the verses on his knee, and looking at them with one eye; “I seem to see some meaning in them, after all. ‘–SAID I COULD NOT SWIM–‘ you can’t swim, can you?” he added, turning to the Knave.

The Knave shook his head sadly. “Do I look like it?” he said. (Which he certainly did NOT, being made entirely of cardboard.)

“All right, so far,” said the King, and he went on muttering over the verses to himself: “‘WE KNOW IT TO BE TRUE–‘ that’s the jury, of course– ‘I GAVE HER ONE, THEY GAVE HIM TWO–‘ why, that must be what he did with the tarts, you know–‘

`But, it goes on ‘THEY ALL RETURNED FROM HIM TO YOU,'” said Alice.

265 ~ Little flower in the crannied wall I pluck you out of the crannies, but, as the poet goes on to say, if I could understand I should know who the guilty man is. But I don’t understand.
Quoted from “Flower in the Crannied Wall” by Tennyson.

Chapter 26

274 ~ As he went, he put the whole elaborate structure of his theories together, line by line, and like Euclid, wrote at the bottom of it: WHICH IS IMPOSSIBLE

Chapter 27

278 ~ I know he’s hoping to get taken on by the Westshire Tigers
Westshire Tigers: A presumably fiction football team (soccer to Americans).

Chapter 30

306 ~ in the crypt of St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields
St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields: a church in London where worship services have been held for at least 800 years.The crypt has been turned into a cafe.

306 ~ subfusc
Sub?fusc: drab or dusky. From the Latin word “subfuscus,” meaning dark brown. At Oxford, it describes a formal way of dressing. For men, it would have been a black suit, white shirt, white bow tie with cap and gown, and for women, the same only with black tie, black skirt, gown and ladies’ cap. This uniform is still used today for university functions and during exams.

306 ~ Edgar Wallace
Wallace (1875-1932): Prolific British crime novelist, writer and playwright.

308 ~ flinging a florin to his driver

A two-shilling coin, worth 24 pence or one-tenth of a pound.
(Contributed by Tony Morris)

309 ~ This room was the exact twin of the first, except that, instead of a male orchestra in evening dress playing “My Canary has Circles under His Eyes,” it possessed a female orchestra in blue playing excerpts from “The Gondoliers.”
My Canary Has Circles Under His Eyes: A popular song of the 1930s, recorded by in quick succession by Debroy Summers, Sophie Tucker, Al Bowlly with The Waldorfians and Lawrence Welk’s Novelty Orchestra.

Since making whoopee became all the rage
It’s even got to the old birdcage
My canary has circles under his eyes

He used to whistle The Prisoner’s Song
Now he does snake-hips the whole day long
My poor canary has circles under his eyes

His only pals are the yellow lark
And just a tiny sparrow
But I am scared when he’s in the park
He leaves the straight and narrow

My place is steady, in manners so strict
Yet I’ve a feeling I’m being tricked
‘Cause my canary has circles under his eyes

The Gondoliers: The title of a Gilbert & Sullivan operetta.

Chapter 31

317 ~ They picked them up and weighed them in their palms; they held them between their fingers, passing inquisitive fingers along the milled edges and over the smooth relief of the gleaming George and Dragon (1930s gold sovereigns)

320 ~ I’ll go no more a-sleuthing with you, fair maid. O, now, for ever farewell the tranquil mind! Farewell content! Farewell, Othello’s occupation’s gone. Are you sure about it?
no more a-sleuthing with you, fair maid: A paraphrase from “Maid of Amsterdam” a song by Robert Heywood that first appeared in 1608 in the play “The Rape of Lucrece.” It may have originated as a sea chanty.

In Amsterdam there lived a maid
Mark you well what I say!
In Amsterdam there lives a maid,
And this fair maid my trust betrayed.

I’ll go no more a rovin, with you fair maid.
A roving, A roving, since roving’s been my ru-i-in,
I’ll go no more a roving, with you fair maid.

Her eyes are like two stars so bright
Mark you well what I say
Her eyes are like two stars so bright,
Her face is fair, her step is light.


I asked this fair maid to take a walk,
Mark well what I do say
I asked this maid out for a walk
That we might have some private talk.


Then I took this fair maid’s lily white hand,
Mark well what I do say
I took this fair maid’s lily white hand
In mine as we walked along the strand.


Then I put my arm around her waist
Mark well what I do say!
For I put my arm around her waist
And from her lips snatched a kiss in haste!


Then a great big Dutchman rammed my bow
Mark well what I do say
For a great big Dutchman rammed my bow,
And said, “Young man, dis bin mein vrow!”


Then take warning boys, from me,
Mark well what I do say!
So take a warning, boys, from me,
With other men’s wives don’t make too free.


For if you do you will surely rue
Mark well what I do say!
For if you do you will surely rue
Your act, and find my words come true.

Othello’s occupation’s gone: Quoted from “Othello”, Act III, Scene 3

I had been happy, if the general camp,
Pioners and all, had tasted her sweet body,
So I had nothing known. O, now, for ever
Farewell the tranquil mind! farewell content!
Farewell the plumed troop, and the big wars,
That make ambition virtue! O, farewell!
Farewell the neighing steed, and the shrill trump,
The spirit-stirring drum, the ear-piercing fife,
The royal banner, and all quality,
Pride, pomp and circumstance of glorious war!
And, O you mortal engines, whose rude throats
The immortal Jove’s dead clamours counterfeit,
Farewell! Othello’s occupation’s gone!

322 ~ Seeking the bubble reputation even in the cannon’s mouth.
Quote from Shakespeare’s “As You Like It,” Act II, Scene 7:

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth.
And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

322 ~ We must stoop to conquer.

A reference to “She Stoops to Conquer,” a comedy by Oliver Goldsmith, first performed in London in 1773.
(Contributed by Tony Morris)

Chapter 32

326 ~ “The Girl who Gave All”

328 ~ morganatic marriage
Marriage between two people from wildly different social classes. To keep the husband’s wealth and bloodlines from crossing class barriers, morganatic marriage was institutionalized. The bride would receive a dower, as usual, but would not be eligible for any titles, and any children from this marriage would not inheirit anything. This practice was common in the German states.
(Contributed by Leigh Gerfin and Alexander Campbell)

image329 ~ Ninon de l’Enclos
Ninon de l’Enclos:French author and patron of the arts (1620-1705) who ran a Paris salon.
(Contributed by Leigh Gerfin)

331 ~ if he could only find the record of somebody’s marriage to Perkin Warbeck

Warbeck (c. 1474-1499) claimed that, as Richard of Shrewsbury, 1st Duke of York, he was the rightful king of England. Richard, if you know your Shakespeare, was one of the two princes confined to the Tower of London and alledgedly ordered killed by Richard III. He found some support in Burgendy and landed three times in an attempt to enforce his claim. He was captured and killed in 1499.
(Contributed by Alexander Campbell)

Chapter 33

337 ~ There’s the Roger Sheringham method … there’s the Philo Vance method … There’s the Inspector French method … There’s the Thorndyke type of solution

339 ~ Didn’t you say you knew of an English novel that had an explanation of the Playfair cipher?”
“Yes — one of John Rhode’s. Why?”

340 ~ Look at Patrick Mahon and the chopper, for instance.
A reference to a notorious 1924 murder case, in which the adulterous Mahon killed his girlfriend Emily Kaye, and tried to dispose of the body by chopping it up, boiling the flesh, burning the head in the fire, breaking up the pieces and scattering them outdoors.

340 ~ It would never have done for him simply to disappear like snow upon the desert’s dusty face.
Quote from “The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam”

341 ~ That number-plate was pure bunce for them
bunce: a sudden happening that brings good fortune

348 ~ that it completely busts up and spiflicates the medical evidence
spiflicates: utterly destroys

349 ~ Unlike Mr. Weldon, you can spot the petitio elenchi
Latin for “begging the question”

351 ~ King Death has asses’ ears with a vengeance
Quote from “Death’s Jest-Book” by Thomas Lovell Beddoes (1803-1849)

(c) 1995-2016 by Bill Peschel