The Fantastic Horror of the Cat in the Bag

The page numbers are from “Lord Peter” published by Harper & Row. The excerpts are copyrighted 1972 by Harper & Row.

52 ~ o.h.v. Norton
Abbreviation for overhead valves, a modification of a motorcycle’s engine proposed by James Norton and produced in 1922. Note that on page 54, when the Scott man says “I suppose that overhead gear of yours makes so much noise, you can’t hear anything else,” he’s throwing a jibe against the o.h.v.

1926 Norton motorcycle

1926 Norton motorcycle

Scott Flying-Squirrel
Yes, there is such a bike. Here’s a shot of the 1927 model

Motorcycles were a recent invention, and its development proceeded in much the same way that Apple, IBM, Commodore and Atari battled it out in the 1980s. It was a time when nothing was standardized, which gave ample scope for racing competitions and “feuds” between cyclists arguing with a passion seen today between Macs and PC users (or between “Star Trek” and “Star Wars” fans).

charabanc
An early form of truck. From the French, meaning literally wagon with benches.

53 ~ R.A.C. post
The Royal Automobile Club.
(Contributed by Marc van der Poel)

A.A. man

AA motorcycle badge

AA motorcycle badge

Short for the Auto Association, a group which is still in operation today.. The man was looking for the AA badge, which was mounted above the registration number over the front wheel. The circular disc behind it contained verification that the tax on the vehicle had been paid. A photo of it can be see on the “Clouds of Witness” page.
(Contributed by Jonathan Morton)

traction-engine
An example of one can be found at the national trust for traction engines.

Brooklands
Brooklands: A motor racing track that was used for races and to test cars.

56 ~ Eaton Socon
A parish

57 ~ Finsbury Park
A neighborhood in the Islington section of London.

58 ~ it wasn’t a Douglas
A brand of motorcycle.

59 ~ forward the Light Brigade
From Tennyson’s poem, “The Charge of the Light Brigade”

(c) 1995-2016 by Bill Peschel