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
Short for the Auto Association, a group which is still in operation today.. Judging by the reference to the “swift glance over the two sets of handlebars to assure himself that the black sheep were not of his flock,” I would assume that members of the AA would have their identifying badges there.

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