Thursday, February 23, 2012

Clouds of Witness ch 4 cont

Here he hunted along like a terrier, nose foremost, the tip of his tongue caught absurdly between his teeth, then jumped over, and, turning to Parker, said:
“Did you ever read The Lay of the Last Minstrel?”
"The Lay of the Last Minstrel" (1805) is a long narrative poem by Walter Scott. ( It should not to be confused with The Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, also by Walter Scott, compiled three years previously.)

In the poem, Lady Margaret Scott of Buccleuch, the "Flower of Teviot" is beloved by Baron Henry of Cranstown an ally of the Ker Clan, but a deadly feud exists between the two border clans of Scott and Carr/Ker, which has resulted in the recent murder of Lady Margaret's father, Sir Walter Scott of Buccleuch by the Kers on the High Street in Edinburgh. Maragaret's widowed mother - Lady Janet - hates the Ker clan as a result: and is adamant in refusing her consent to any suggestion of marriage between the lovers.

“I learnt a good deal of it at school,” said Parker. “Why?”
“Because there was a goblin page-boy in it,” said Lord Peter, “who was always yelling 'Found! Found! Found!' at the most unnecessary moments. I always thought him a terrible nuisance, but now I know how he felt. See here.”
Close under the wall, and sunk heavily into the narrow and muddy lane which ran up here at right angles to the main road, was the track of a side-car combination.
A sidecar is a one-wheeled device attached to the side of a motorcycle, scooter, or bicycle, producing a three-wheeled vehicle.

A sidecar appeared in a cartoon by George Moore in the January 7, 1903, issue of the British newspaper Motor Cycling. Three weeks later, a provisional patent was granted to Mr. W. J. Graham of Graham Brothers, Enfield, Middlesex. He partnered with Jonathan A. Kahn to begin production. A motorcycle with a sidecar is sometimes called a combination, an outfit, a rig or a hack.

“Very nice too,” said Mr. Parker approvingly. “New Dunlop tyre on the front wheel.
Dunlop Rubber was a company based in the United Kingdom which manufactured tyres and other rubber products for most of the 20th century. It was acquired by BTR plc in 1985. Since then, ownership of the Dunlop trade-names has been fragmented.

Early history
The company originated in 1889, when Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Co. Ltd was formed in Oriel House in Dublin in Westland Row, to acquire and commercialise John Boyd Dunlop's patent for pneumatic tyres for bicycles. This was the period of great demand for bicycles, and Willie Hume had created a publicity storm by winning seven out of the first eight races in which the pneumatic tyre was ever used, both in Ireland and England. Commercial production began in late 1890 in Belfast, and quickly expanded to fulfill consumer demand. After losing a patent battle to the assignees of an earlier pneumatic tyre patent filed by inventor Robert William Thomson, Dunlop assigned his patent to William Harvey Du Cros in return for 1,500 shares in the resultant company, and in the end did not make any great fortune by his invention.

In the early 1890s Dunlop Tyre established divisions in Europe and North America. In 1893 a branch office and factory was established in Australia, in Melbourne. In 1896 the company registered a trademark and incorporated a subsidiary in England.

Although the pneumatic tyre was successful, Dunlop had financial difficulties, and had to sell its overseas operations. A significant disposal was the sale of the Australian division in 1899 to a Canadian consortium, which incorporated it as the Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Company of Australasia Ltd. Since then, Dunlop Australia has not been associated with the parent company, except for a 25% share of Dunlop Australia owned by the British company from 1927 to 1984. As a result, the right to the Dunlop brands in Australia and New Zealand have had different ownership from those in the remainder of the world.

Initially the company subcontracted manufacture, but by 1902 it had its own manufacturing subsidiary, Dunlop Rubber Co. Ltd, in Birmingham, England.

In 1900 the company started production of tyres for motorcars. The company continued its expansion, and in 1918 production started at a new plant in Birmingham, known commonly as "Fort Dunlop" because of the fortress-like appearance of the main building. By 1920 the company had selling subsidiaries or divisions in South Africa, South America, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Spain and India, manufacturing operations in France, Japan and the USA, and rubber plantations in Malaya and Ceylon.

Old tyre on the back. Gaiter on the side-car tyre.
On a vehicle, a gaiter or boot refers to a protective flexible sleeve covering a moving part, intended to keep the part clean.

Nothing could be better. Tracks come in from the road and go back to the road. Fellow shoved the machine in here in case anybody of an inquisitive turn of mind should pass on the road and make off with it, or take its number. Then he went round on shank's mare to the gap he'd spotted in the daytime and got over.
More obscure terms for walking include "to go by Marrow-bone stage", "to take one's daily constitutional", "to ride Shanks' pony", "to ride Shanks' mare", or "to go by Walker's bus".

After the Cathcart affair he took fright, bolted into the preserve, and took the shortest way to his bus, regardless. Well, now.”
He sat down on the wall, and, drawing out his note-book, began to jot down a description of the man from the data already known.

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