The page numbers are from “Lord Peter” published by Harper & Row. The excerpts are copyrighted 1972 by Harper & Row.
154 ~ guard’s van
The last car of the train, where the guards sit and watch the world go by. In the U.S., it is called the caboose.
Les Invalides is a collection of buildings in Paris that include a hospital for war veterans, museums, and tombs of notable French military leaders, led of course, by Napoleon.
The prime, first-rate car, equivalent to traveling by air in first class.
156 ~ Chemin de Fer de l’Ouest
An early French railway company, also known as L’Ouest or Ouest. Wikipedia [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemins_de_Fer_de_l'Ouest]has a history of the company.[/url]
157 ~ jalousies
A neoclassical style of dress, furniture, and ornament popular in France during the period of the Directory (1795-99) during the French Revolution.
“The hoist with his own petard touch”
A reference to “Hamlet”, Act III, Scene 4: “For ’tis sport to have the engineer/ Hoist with his own petard.” A petard is a small, bell-shaped bomb used during seiges against walls. The Straight Dope, that fount of all information, describes further [url=http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a1_295b.html]what a petard is and how to be hoisted by it.[/url]
158 ~ armoire normande
A tall piece of furniture in which clothing and linens may be stored.
permis de sejour
A residence permit, entitling one to live temporarily in France.
159 ~ “Quite a little boom in Richmonds today”
162 ~ “In vino veritas”
A classical Latin expression: “In wine, there is truth.”
163 ~ “Chateau Yquem, 1911 – ah! The queen of white wines, sir, as what’s-his-name says.”
Wine from the Sauternes region of France. [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ch%C3%A2teau_d'Yquem]Wikipedia mentions[/url] “In a good year, a bottle will only begin to show its qualities after a decade or two of cellaring and with proper care, will keep for a century or more, gradually adding layers of taste and hitherto undetected fruity overtones.” The person who tagged the wine with royalty wasn’t identified, but it is known that it is a favorite of Queen Elizabeth.
164 ~ consomme marmite
A very strong soup made from beef stock.
A jam confection or preserve.
165 ~ poulet
Also known as salt marsh lamb, a highly regarded lamb from the French coast overlooking the English Channel.