The pistol in Chapter 31

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Esmond
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The pistol in Chapter 31

Post by Esmond » Tue 20 May, 2008 04:52:59

In Chapter 31 'The Man With the Jagged Ear' is the following:
De Richleau caught the bankers glance, and with his quick, cat-like step had reached the ornate desk. He pulled out a few drawers, and then found the weapon that he felt certain must be there. It was a tiny .2 pistol, but deadly enough.
One wonders if this was a typo or if it was a common reference to a certain calibre/caliber firearm in England at the time. I would have guessed the pistol to be either a .25ACP or a .22 rimfire although there have been odd calibers/calibres of old. Have been rereading this classic and it is just so good. I do so wish I could have told him how much enjoyment and also how profound his insights into human nature and, may I add, the spiritual, that he brought to us all.

I would hope one day to be able to at least get this title in a fine leatherbound edition.
Even the greatest seekers after Truth have done little more than lift the corner of the veil which hides the vast Unknown...
--Duke de Richleau

parabellum
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Post by parabellum » Wed 28 May, 2008 18:44:42

Esmond,

I feel sure that it must be a typo for .22. The .22 automatic was popular amongst thriller writers. It was often known as the "ladies pistol" because it could easily be concealed in a handbag or if you believe it a stocking top!

DW was fond of the ladies pistol. Two immediate references I can find:

The Scarlet Imposter Chapter XII - Erika holds up Gregory Sallust with "a pocket Mauser" describing the weapon as "only a toy" but large enough to kill him

Come Into My Parlour Chapter VII - Erika goes to meet von Osterberg and Einholtz with "a small automatic in her handbag."

Nick
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Post by Nick » Thu 29 May, 2008 21:33:10

My mother had a pistol like this. It was broken but still recognisable. It was a .22 with an ivory handle with a silver plated body. It fired one shot only and was about four and a half inches long. I think it came from eastern europe into our family (a long story), and my sister probably has it somewhere. The ivory had matured into a light yellow colour and it was a subject of some curiosity for a ten year old when I first discovered it in my mothers bedroom. Lucky for me it wasn't loaded.

Esmond
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Very interesting

Post by Esmond » Mon 2 Jun, 2008 00:03:24

Thank you my dear sirs for those insightful remarks.

I would think you are correct I was brought to recall, after reading your posts, of the "Baby Browning" made in Belgium by Fabrique Nationale however, as noted, there were so many little automatics made on the Continent in those days that a little .22 would be exactly what is referred to in The Devil Rides Out.

Currently Beretta makes a small .22 however tiny as it is those older models were even smaller.

It is so very nice to find that this Library has so many knowledgeable members it is surely a delight.
Even the greatest seekers after Truth have done little more than lift the corner of the veil which hides the vast Unknown...
--Duke de Richleau

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