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An ounce of chemicals

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  • An ounce of chemicals

    Found this report of a cross-dressing amateur detective in the Evening News 8 Oct, but am puzzled by the meaning of the last line. Can anyone shed any light on what is meant?

    DISGUISED AS A FEMALE DECOY. ​​​​​
    "A well known journalist and ex Parliamentary reporter, and formerly editor of an East end paper, living in South London, started as a female decoy from Peckham shortly before midnight on Saturday for Whitechapel, believing, in common with most others, that the early hours of yesterday morning would see the commital of another murder. After a peculiar experience he got as far as St. George's Church in the Borough, where some women came up and asseverated that he was a man, while a cabman offered to bet "A pound to a shilling on it." He thought that, under these circumstances, the best policy to pursue was to walk over to Southwark Police station, inviting the cabman and some others to accompany him. At the station, where he was well known, the incident came to an end. It is understood that the gentleman in question depended solely for his safety upon an ounce of chemicals."

  • #2
    Now that’s strange Joshua.

    It reads as if the decoy used chemicals (drugs) to placate or to bribe someone into not harming him. If you’d have said that the story was in yesterday’s paper it wouldn’t have been all that surprising but in 1888? I’d be interested in other opinions too.
    Regards

    Herlock






    "There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact!"

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    • #3
      You could have a look at 'Confessions Of An English Opium Eater' by Thomas de Quincey, published in 1821.

      G
      We are suffering from a plethora of surmise, conjecture and hypothesis. - Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure Of Silver Blaze

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Graham View Post
        You could have a look at 'Confessions Of An English Opium Eater' by Thomas de Quincey, published in 1821.
        Hehe! I was thinking maybe he had a vial of acid, but are you suggesting that he'd already imbibed the chemicals when he set out on his little adventure?
        Thanks, I will check it out.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Joshua Rogan View Post

          Hehe! I was thinking maybe he had a vial of acid, but are you suggesting that he'd already imbibed the chemicals when he set out on his little adventure?
          Thanks, I will check it out.
          I'd think a vial of acid, or some sort of debilitating chemical to use against an attacker. Intoxication with opium, or anything else, would surely make him less, rather than more, safe. And I think accusing him of using opium, even if his identity was somewhat veiled, would put the Evening News at substantial risk of a libel action.
          - Ginger

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Ginger View Post
            I'd think a vial of acid, or some sort of debilitating chemical to use against an attacker. Intoxication with opium, or anything else, would surely make him less, rather than more, safe. And I think accusing him of using opium, even if his identity was somewhat veiled, would put the Evening News at substantial risk of a libel action.
            Oh, I don't know Ginger...
            Taking drugs might not actually have made him safer, but it may have made him feel invincible!
            Besides, opium wasn't illegal at the time, far from it. It was widely available as a medicine, even given to babies to help them sleep.
            Now I want to know what the "peculiar experience" was that he had on his way.

            ​​​​​​​
            ​​​​​​

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