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From: ????????????????????????
Subject: Pipes Digest #191 - May 31, 1995

		  Pipes Digest #191 - May 31, 1995
	     Copyright (C) 1995 by Stephen P. Masticola.
	   All rights reserved. Commercial use prohibited.

		     Circulation this issue: 1147

Welcome to new members:

	 Michael Guentzel	(???????????????????????)
	 ???			(?????????????????)
	 Otto Fajen		(????????????????????????)
	 ???			(?????????????????)
	 Larry Wolfe		(???????????????????????)
	 Fritz Neumann		(??????????????)
	 John Pilkington	(?????????????)
	 Paul Murphy		(??????????????????????)
	 Michal Milewicz	(????????????????????????????)
	 Michael A. Natale	(???????????????????)
	 Douglas Sommer		(?????????????????????????)
	 Don Koeberle		(??????????????????)
	 Rush Dawson		(??????????????????)
	 John Peter Giunta	(????????????????????)
	 Sam Hines		(???????????????)
	 Kevin Clay		(?????????????????????)
	 ???			(??????????????????)
	 ???			(??????????????????????)
	 Bill Thorne		(??????????????)
	 Paul Corrado		(????????????????????)
	 Steve Shcolnik		(??????????????)
	 ???			(?????????????????)
	 Michael Binder		(??????????????????)
	 Murray Erens		(??????????????????)
	 Dave Kane		(??????????????????)
	 Scott Bukofsky		(????????????????????????????)
	 Kristian Milec		(????????????????????)
	 David D. Slabodnick	(??????????????????????)
	 Scot McIsaac		(????????????????????????????????????)
	 Bob Spear M.D.		(???????????????)
	 Roger Greene		(???????????????????)
	 Peter V. Yeager	(???????????????????)
	 Julia Boyle		(???????????????)
	 James Macdonald	(?????????????????)
	 Carl Timmons		(???????????????)
	 Frank J. Rose		(??????????????????????)
	 John McCulloch		(???????????)
	 Fred H. Kelley		(??????????????????)

[PIPE] I've been reading the new Ephemeris a bit, and noticed that
there's a really nice guide to the Peterson stamps. They change every
year, so you can identify the year any Peterson was made!  Good
scanner material, hint hint :-)

And join us now for an evening smoke as we explore the Holmes canon,
Haight-Ashbury, hookahs, the French language, and the Wicket City...


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             Help Stop Prohibition -- Keep Tobacco Legal
                        Call -- Write -- Vote
                        Then, Smoke in Peace.

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From: "Mario D. Santana" <??????????????????????????????>
Subject: <swoosh>..<puff>..<swoosh>..Ahh

Hello, all. I'm a newcomer to the list, having read only two of
them. It's really a big deal to me to see so many people in love with
smoking pipes -- I still haven't met anyone who smokes pipes, or
cigars for that matter, on a regular basis.

I guess I should shed some background light..

I'm 20 years old and a few days, and have been smoking my pipe for
about a year. That should teach most of the people who think they're
in the young end of the spectrum! ;-) I work as sysadmin here at
Florida State University's Nuclear Physics Dept, and am going to
school to earn my BS in Computer Science, so that I can travel at my
whim and be assured of finding a good job waiting for me at the end of
the trail. I also want to keep studying, since my true interests don't
lie in CS: math, physics, electronics, literature, psychology and
philology are just a few of the things I'm interested in.

I smoke cigars at the rate of about one a fortnight. They're just too
expensive. Except for the ones I like the best. In my hometown,
Miami, old Cuban guys, including my grandfather, spend their days
handmaking cigars and smoking them while they play dominos. To pay for
their losses there, they sell what cigars are left over to people
passing by. I tend to be one of those people anytime I get a
chance. Going home with an assortment of about 10 cigars, I only paid
about as many dollars! And I like them as much or better than any of
the expensive brands.. Macanudo, Dunhill, etc. 

But really I like to smoke my pipe. I had a rough time of it for the
first period, since there was noone to teach me what to do or how to
do it. I bought a small plastic pipe and an ounce of black cavendish
from a local store, since everyone told me I wouldn't like it. Now I
have 6 briars (one with meerschaum lining), and 3 cobs. My favorite
pipe was my meerschaum, but I broke it at the shank while trying to
remove the stem for a cleaning. After that I've been more careful. I
also gave my cousin my falcon pipe (nowhere to hold it, really, but it
looked nice), and had my favourite briar stolen. Slowly building a
modest collection, and trying more types of leaf, are my goals.

Anyway, now I like to smoke a wide variety of tobaccos, but my
favourite is still black cavendish, especially from a meerschaum. Add
a snifter of brandy (or cognac), "and that's what it's all about."

I have a little nasty trick I play on restaurants that won't let me
smoke a pipe: I have a clove! They smell almost as strongly, and not
necessarily as nicely, and if they make a fuss, I call the manager,
etc, and make a fuss right back. I know, it's not nice, and it makes
people even madder at smokers in the big picture of things, but it
abates my childish anger..

I hope there are people reading this in the Tallahassee area, and I
hope they would like to get together for a while and chat. It gets
kinda lonely, but that's a good feeling, too. 

I'd like to present to everyone a small endeavor I've been working on,
my Smokin' HomePage. It's not very fancy, but it has some useful
things in it already, and it's growing fast. Take this road, make a
left, three blocks down, and you'll come to:

	http://nucalf.physics.fsu.edu/~santana/smokin/

That's all,
 .dave

[ I'll have a look at the homepage! Thanks! -S. ]


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From: ????????????????????? (Fritz Neumann)
Subject: Subscribe

subscribe

Hello, and please sign me up for the Pipes mailgroup!

Here's a little about myself and my tobacco interests:

I am 29 and began smoking pipes at age 18, because a friend and I were
so influenced by Tolkien. We waited until we were about out of high
school, and treated our first pipe purchase and use to be a
"coming-of-age" event. I still have that pipe, an Israeli Alpha
oom-paul, and still smoke and cherish it. I still buy my tobacco from
the same tobacconist I bought that pipe from.

Since then, I have experimented with many popular pipe brands and
styles and have come to prefer bent Savinelli pipes with the Dry
System filter. After similar experimentation with tobaccos, I confess
to still preferring the aromatics, usually mild cavendish & burley
blends, not too heavily sugared, although a little Virginia or Perique
adds some needed spice. Latakia and English blends don't generally
agree with me, although I'm still open to suggestions.

About two years ago another friend introduced me to the pleasures of
smoking premium handmade cigars, and I have enjoyed exploring this new
angle on tobacco enjoyment. So far, I consistently enjoy just about
anything from Partagas, Arturo Fuente, and Avo. I've also recently
become a fan of Dunhill Monte Cruz robustos, but my absolute
hands-down favorite (unfortunately for my wallet) are the three Avo XO
varieties.

I treat tobacco as a special treat and thus smoke infrequently - maybe
once or twice a week. I have never been interested in habitual tobacco
use; I guess a still carry my adolescent motives around, and I just
can't see Gandalf strung out on nicotine!  ;)

I'm looking forward to hearing from group members: for example, do
y'all agree that the Avo XOs add anything significant to the regular
Avos? My tobacconist says he can't taste much significant difference,
but I certainly do!
______________________________

Fritz Neumann (??????????????)
VMIC System Administrator

VME Microsystems International Corporation (VMIC)
12090 South Memorial Parkway
Huntsville AL 35803


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From: ?????????????????????????????????
Subject: Howdy!

Hi Steve (and everyone),
	I just wanted to take the time to stop lurking (for a few months) and 
introduce myself. My name is Daniel Meaney (yes, another Irish-American :] ). 
I am 35, and I live in what we call "The Middle Kingdom", San Luis Obispo 
County, California. I'm a Radiation Health Physics\RadioChemistry Technician 
at a little Nuclear plant we have here (yes..It's safe..and I don't glow :] ).

I have been a Cigar Enthusiast for about 2 years, ever since discovering our 
local Cigar store called "The Sanctuary" (It's called this due to the fact 
that it is a crime to smoke anything, inside anyplace, in San Luis Obispo 
except this One store).

My favorites are Avo #9's and R&J #3 Vintage ( as you can see, I do like the 
Robusto!), preferably with a wee dram of Laphroig or Lagavulin. I have yet to 
try a Cuban, but have been pestering a few friends that are traveling to other 
realms to maybe check out a few shops for me. 

One of the Hi-Lites of the past few months was a Cigar Dinner put on by The 
Sanctuary. We started with H.Upmann Churchill's, and ended with Santa Domina 
#100's. Our guest speaker was Richard Hacker (The Ultimate Cigar Book). We 
also left with a pocket full of different Consolidated Cigar Co.'s products. 
This was my first experience with a room full of Enthusiasts, boy was it a 
blast! And the food was excellent also! 

I want to thank you for doing a great job with the list, and to keep 'em 
coming!

Smoke 'em if ya got 'em,
Daniel

     **************************************************************
     * Daniel J. Meaney III        *   "I didn't know operating a *
     * ????????????                *    nuclear power plant could *
     * ??????????????????          *    be so complicated!"       *
     * Brew Free or Die            *       - Homer J. Simpson     *
     **************************************************************

[ If you have the address/phone of The Sanctuary, it sounds like good
Guide material! Welcome! -S. ]


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From: Sami Mikhail <????????????????????????>
Subject: Plano/Dallas Pipe Club?

Hi Steve:

I've looked through the resource guide and did'nt find any. I was 
wondering if anyone on the list was aware of a Pipe Smokers'/Collectors' 
club in the Plano or Dallas area, or if anyone would be interested in 
starting one. 

If anyone has any info or would be interested in starting something, 
please drop me an E-Mail.

Puff in Peace!

Sami Mikhail
(??????????????????)

[ Please let us know the details if you find or start one, Sami! -S. ]


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From: ?????????????????????
Subject: Re: Pipes Digest #190 - May 22, 1995 

1.  Thanks for maintaining this mailing list; I really enjoy it, even if it has
become rather cigar centered lately.  Nothing all that wrong with cigars but
they lack my favorite thing about pipes - the variety of flavor.  Sure there
is alot of variety, but it's not as much as that provided by pipe tobacco when
you include aromatics.  Where could I find a virginia/burley mix with some
perique in it in a cigar?  (Watch, someone will know of one..;)

2.  I agree that the Falcon is simply the best pipe I've ever seen or smoked.
I don't think mine's the prettiest I've ever seen but for smoking a bowl down
to the bottom without relights, gurgles, sour, or overly hot smoke it's the
absolute best - nothing else comes anywhere near it for pleasant smoking or
easy cleaning.  Well, I haven't tried a calabash, and water pipes are in some
senses more pleasant than any other kind of pipe.

3. I notice most tobaccos people say they prefer have a brand name.  I've seen
brand name tobaccos but always opted for the loose jarred tobaccos, or had the
tobacconist mix a custom blend.  My two favorites are the 50/50 vir/bur mix w/
perique mentioned above (adjust perique level to taste; the burley cools the
hot burning virginia and takes the edge off its taste, while the VA keeps the
cool burley from going out too easily and lends its sweetness).  Two is an even
mix of RB Light (which your tobacconist probably has, though it may be known by
a better sounding label name.  1-Q works also, both are very mild virginias) 
with a cherry cavendish.  I find pure CC a bit too sweet and it tends to smoke
too moist without being cut with a drier tobacco.

4. Cigarretes seem to have a bad name around here but I've been
handrolling them lately with Three Castles or American Spirit (pure
VA) tobacco and they're as tasty as any pipe that way.  I notice
American Spirit is selling manufactured cigarettes with their natural
tobacco now, but they're filters which I tend not to like so well.  I
tried rolling with an aromatic pipe tobacco but that was a bit much.
The RB/Cherry blend almost worked, maybe an American Spirit & Cherry
would really work.

5.  The web site is impressive, even if it did take me a bit to discover the 
new address.  Shame that Cray couldn't stay in business.

Klisma #1 @ 5442 WWIVnet   --- the person Andy Wallace mentioned who was
                               forwarding these digests, that's me.


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From: ?????????????????
Subject: Pipe purchase

Dear Steve,

Hi there! Would you be kind enough to advise me on the purchase of a pipe?

For the past several years, I have smoked a filtered Medico pipe. I would
like to place my faithful pipe aside and purchase a good filterless pipe. I
honestly considered a Dunhill, but the bottomline price was above what I was
willing to invest in my first real pipe purchase. Prehaps for Christmas, but
not as my 35th birthday gift.
 
Yesterday, I visited the Connoisseur Pipe Shop here in New York City (1285
Avenue of the Americas). I spoke at great length with Ed Burak, the shop
owner. I explained about my lack of knowledge as well as my lack of pipes. I
am currently smoking a "straight" pipe. Ed quickly showed me a pipe with just
a slight bend in it. He said it was all briar and all made in his shop. The
cost $125.00. Now I must honestly tell you that I have no problem paying
$125.00 for a pipe which will last for years to come.

My questions are simple:

1. Have you ever heard anything about the quality of pipes produced by this
shop?

2. Due to my lack of knowledge (limited to reading the Pipe Digest, The
Ultimate Pipe Book by Hacker and based upon my limited experience), I called
the Connoisseur Pipe Shop this morning. I asked Ed if I would be permitted to
place the pipe in my mouth. He flatly said NO due to "my safety and that of
his other customers". I told him that I wanted to see how it felt. His
response was "Would I make a bit that was not comfortable?" Is it common not
to allow a customer the option of seeing how a pipe feels prior to it's
purchase? He barely allowed me to hold it and look at it. I honestly wonder
if I'm in the wrong place. After all, I fell in love with the pipe, but I
really have not looked at other pipes in the same shop. Should I take his
advise and purchase a slightly bent pipe as my first "real" pipe?
He did sell me some very good tobak called Scottish Ribbon.

Steve, can you please advise me before this Friday (the date of the intended
purchase).

Thank you!!

Karl Leeds    ?????????????????

[ I own two Connoisseur pipes; they're both good values.  Re holding
the pipe in your mouth, it's not something that any shopkeeper would
likely have let you do, for sanitary reasons and also because you
could have gotten tooth marks in the stem. -S. ]


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From: ??????????????
Subject: Tobacco Museum/Tobacco Seeds

Dear Steve:

Not sure if this is indeed the same museum to which Kent Walker refers to in
PD#189, but I have the following contact info: Tobacco Farm Life Museum, P.O.
Box 88, Highway 301 North, Kenly, North Carolina 27542, Tel: (919) 284-3432.
Purpose: "To preserve and interpret the history of flue-cured tobacco
 production in eastern North Carolina and the heritage of those families who
produced the crop and other commodities."

[ Thanks for the info! -S. ]


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From: ???????????????? (Mark Newman)
Subject: building a humidor

Dear Digestees,

I need some help with humidor plans.  I am building a poolhouse, the
upstairs of which will be my "smoking room", flytying room, etc.  I want to
build a chest type or walk-in closet type humidor that might hold 2-3
thousand cigars.  My builder is an excellent cabinetmaker, but he is a
little daunted by the prospect of building this beast.  Does anybody have
any plans or any suggestions about this?  Any advice either commercial in
nature or not, will be welcome by e-mail to ?????????????????

Thanks in advance!
     *____
                )
               /
              /
             /   
    --O--/
      {|}
___/_\_____^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
                                    <><
Mark Newman, MD
Lowcountry Women's Specialists
Russian/American Technology Alliance
Charleston, SC; Atlanta, GA
Moscow and St. Petersburg, CIS

"...if you have never picked up a fly rod
before,you will soon find it factually and
theologically true that man by nature is
 a damn mess."
		-Norman Maclean


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From: ??????????????????
Subject: L'art de Fumer la pipe (Part 2)

Steve,

In Digest #190, I translated 7 rules for the pipe smoker from a brochure I
picked up in a French pipe shop.  The brochure is by Ch. CORRIEU.  Here is
the rest of the brochure with, what I hope, is an accurate translation.
 Again, I am NOT a French-language scholar and I will have omitted the
different accent markings over certain words.  I do not wish to offend.  :)

Le fumeur de pipe se distingue des autres par son caractere et sa
personnalite.  Il a confiance en lui; il sait reflechir, se concentrer, il
possede surtout la faculte de prendre le temps de vivre et de savourer des
instants de tranquillite que la plupart des hommes ne connaissent pas.
(The pipe smoker differs from other men by his character and personality.  He
is self-confidant, he is able to think and concentrate; also he is able to
take time for life and to enjoy quiet moments that most people do not
experience.)

Le  vrai fumeur de pipe est exigeant sur la qualite de la bruyere.  Il
choisit sa pipe avec soin, en tenant compte de la vieillesse de la bruyere,
de la legerete de la pipe et de la veine du bois.
(The true pipe-smoker is difficult to please where the quality of the briar
is concerned.  He chooses his pipe carefully and considers the age of the
briar, the lightness of the pipe, and the grain of the wood.)

C'est en pensant aux veritables connaisseurs que les "CORRIEU", depuis
plusieurs generations, selectionnent minutieusement et laissent secher
pendant des annees les meilleures bruyeres qu'ils recoltent dans le Massif
des Maures.
(This is for true connoisseurs, that "Corrieu" has been carefully selecting
and drying for years, for several generations, the best briars of the
"Maures" mountains.)

Here is the address given:
Ch. CORRIEU
Fabricant des Pipes de Cogolin
58, av Clemenceau 83310 Cogolin France
I have no connection whatsoever with this company.  I do own several of their
pipes and smoke them regularly.
******************************************************************
James Lawson  (??????????????????)

"Gentlemen, you can't fight in here.  This is the War Room."  From the movie
"Dr. Strangelove"
******************************************************************


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From: Bill Unger <???????????????????????????????>
Subject: Steve Weiner: Pipemaker (fwd)

Steve, one of the ideas I had for the Ohio Pipe Collectors newsletter was
a series of pipemaker profiles, starting of course with Ohio pipemakers. 
This is the first in that series, which I would like to share with your
readers if you can print it.
                           STEVE WEINER
The Artisan
	Steve Weiner, Ohio pipemaker, lives in Olmstead Falls, Ohio (a
suburb of Cleveland), with his wife, Bonnie.  Their daughter graduated
from Ohio University a year ago.  Steve is president of his own utility
bill consulting business, which performs electric, gas and local telephone
billing audits and verifications for such clients as businesses and
schools.  He carves pipes in his basement workshop in the time remaining.
	After smoking cigarettes for many years, Steve decided to
experiment with pipes in 1979, mostly, as he says, "out of curiosity. 
Pipe smoking quickly turned into pipe collecting, and I was hooked on the
hobby."  Then, in 1989, Steve's 89-year-old grandfather, a pattern maker
by trade, died and left Steve the contents of his workshop: a drill press,
two motors, hand files and countless drill bits and other odds and ends. 
Steve had previously toyed with the idea of crafting a pipe, but this
legacy helped him make up his mind.  He built a workbench, set up a shop
and began producing pipes--"or at least what I called pipes.  They
certainly didn't look like the Ascorti, Jacapo and Butera pipes I had been
smoking, but I kept at it, and after a while they started to look like
something."
	In the summer of 1990, Steve got a "real break"--a visit with Mike
Butera in his Houston shop.  As Steve says, "During one long Saturday, I
learned more about pipemaking than I had in the entire previous year. 
When I got back home, I applied what I learned from Mike and, with some
practice, began getting results that actually surprised me."  Steve
attended his first PCCA show as a pipemaker in 1991.  He was honored as
best Pipemaker at the 1991 and 1994 C.O.R.P.S. shows in Richmond, VA and
received an award of merit at the 1993 PCCA show in Washington, D.C.
	When I asked Steve what ideal, in terms of craftsmanship and
smoking qualities, he strives for, he answered that, in his opinion, "the
best pipes being made today are those by Mike Butera.  This is the
standard to which I compare my pipes.  I have yet to meet it, but I will
keep trying.
	I remarked to Steve that, as with every craftsman/artist, times
must occur when he rises above the workmanlike job of producing a good,
aesthetically pleasing product of which he can be proud and becomes
inspired.  What, I asked, causes such moments of inspiration?  "Luck," he
replied.  "What inspires me is an exceptionally nice piece of wood.  When
I come across a nicely grained, flawless piece of wood, I tend to increase
my effort to make the perfect pipe."
	Steve doesn't have one favorite tobacco but enjoys latakia blends
and is currently smoking a matured Virginia from John B. Hayes called
Tom's Red & Black.
The Pipes
	Steve Weiner makes his pipes from plateau briar and Italian
lucite stems.  The dot he puts in the stem is also briar, and his stem
inlays are briar or lucite.  He stamps each pipe with his name and
"U.S.A.," and he numbers and dates each one.  For example, the pipe
stamped "00594" is the fifth pipe he finished in 1994.
	Steve subjects his pipes to a two-step treatment process, the
first to remove any excess resin from the wood and the second to coat the
inside of the bowl with his special carbonizing formula to ease the
break-in process and protect the wood.
	Steve hand shapes every pipe, using sanding disks, hand files
and sandpaper.  He turns the tenons on a small lathe and then buffs
them for an exact fit.  He hand sands his smooth pipes to 320 grit and
then buffs, stains and waxes them.  He hand carves his rough-finished
pipes.
	Because Steve was a dedicated pipe smoker long before he started
making pipes, he has definite ideas about what is needed to make a
satisfying smoke:
*	He tapers his tobacco holes but not so severely that a tamper will
	not fit into the bottom of the bowl.
*	His air holes are relatively large to make for an easy draw.
*	He constructs each pipe so that you can slide a pipe cleaner all
	the way to the bottom of the bowl without removing the stem.
*	He slightly rounds the lip so it is not uncomfortable to the tongue.
	Steve's production varies with the time he can spend on his craft.
 For 1993 and 1994, he averaged 116 pipes.  He has no philosophical
objections to sandblasted pipes, but, because of space and expense
considerations, he has not invested in sandblasting equipment.  Therefore,
when a briar block will not yield a smooth piece, he carves it.  About 80%
of his pipes are carved, and virtually all of his pipes are standard
shapes or variations thereof.  His retail prices start at $140 for a basic
carved piece but can go up to $400 to $500 for smooth pieces with
exceptional size and grain.  Steve sells many of his pipes through Barclay
Pipe & Tobacco in Columbus, but he has also placed pipes in shops in
Akron, Chagrin Falls, Cleveland and San Francisco and in Virginia and
North and South Carolina.

Steve Weiner--artisan, OPC member, and all-around good guy--can be
contacted at 6683 Laurel Lane, Olmstead Falls, Ohio 44138 or call (216)
235-9338.  Steve has rented a table at the September 23 OPC show and will
be there to display, talk about and sell his pipes.  And he has also
promised to donate one of them to the raffle.
	--Bill Unger (reprinted from the May Ohio Pipe Collectors newsletter)

 If you've got one pipe, you're a pipesmoker.  If you've got more than one,
 you're a pipe collector.
Bill Unger
Secretary, Ohio Pipe Collectors


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From: ?????????????????????????? (Joseph Bowman)
Subject: Re: Pipes Digest #190 - May 22, 1995

Hi Steve.

The posting that follows was a really good one from last week.  I've included
the whole thing, but just wanted to point out an error in translation in
point # 6.  As a translator by profession, I feel in my element here.

My continued thanks for all your hard work.

Joe

[ Other points deleted. -S. ]

ERROR IN # 6

> 6.  Nettoyez regulierement votre pipe avec un cure-pipe.  Enlevez aussi les
> debris de tabac et de cendres qui restent au fond, pour etre sur de fumer
> "sec".
> (Trans.  Consistently clean your pipe with pipe cleaners.  You should remove
> the dottle and ashes, that remain in the bowl, so as not to smoke dry. (?))

Consistently clean your pipe with pipe cleaners. You should remove the dottle
and ashes that remain in the bowl TO BE CERTAIN TO SMOKE DRY.

[ Quite a few readers have pointed this out; since you're a
professional in this field, I've just printed your response.  Thanks
to you, and all the others!  -S. ]


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From: ??????????????
Subject: Re: #3(3) Pipes Digest #190 -...

I wanted to thank you for sending me Pipes Digest, reading them has been a
lot of fun.  I've only briefly flirted with pipes, cigars have been my main
source of tobacco enjoyment.  I started out with mild panatelas and coronas
but lately have been enjoying thicker ring gauge robustos, etc..  Currently
my mild mainstay is a Macanudo Hyde Park (5 1/2 x 49) but for true bliss I
love Romeo y Julieta Vintage cigars.  I'd be interested to hear what cigars
your readers were enjoying.  I'm a little frustrated with all the cuban cigar
reviews in C.A.  But I suppose it's just a U.S. problem due to our
chickenshit trade embargo.  My wife's brother in law is a Spaniard and says
that the Cuban smokes available in Spain are inconsistent in quality at best.
 I'd be interested to hear what our friend in Barcelona thinks about that.  

That's all for now.  Happy Smoking! 


~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U

From: "A.W. Donovan-Shead" <?????????????????????????>
Subject: Smoke Signal #16 [PIPE][CIGAR]

Smoke Signal #16
?????????????????

One day during a visit to England this month, I stopped for lunch, in the
ancient town of Tewkesbury. On my way back to the car, I passed a bookshop
dealing in used books and was inexorably drawn into its dusty interior. It was
there that I came across a portfolio of papers that I discovered once belonged
to Dr. John H. Watson, M. D. Unaware of the nature of these papers, the
proprietor of the shop sold them to me in return for a five-pound note.

>From this portfolio I have cobbled together the short story that
follows in the file attachment. A story that I believe will be of
interest to many of the subscribers to the Internet Pipes Digest. It
is for your enjoyment and may not be used for any commercial
purpose. I reserve the right to retain the copyright and be named as
the author of this work.

            The Adventure of the Pipe-Smoking Woman

                              by
                     Andrew Donovan-Shead
                               
                             after
                    Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
                      and with apology to
                        Patrick O'Brian

            Copyright 1995 by Andrew Donovan-Shead

     It is so often the problem with the numerous cases of my friend
Mr. Sherlock Holmes that I, as his biographer, am hard pressed
to choose which ones to place before the public. Usually, I try
to put forth those cases that have provided ample exercise for
my friend's extraordinary deductive powers. In course of events,
not all problems brought to Holmes' notice needed him to strain
every sinew in the sifting and weighing of facts. And so it is
with the problem of the pipe- smoking woman. It hardly taxed
Holmes as a criminal expert, but it did draw upon his store of
arcane knowledge, a knowledge that allowed him to cut off one
arm of an ungodly, depraved, and wicked trade, the mere thought
of which still sickens me, even I who have been privileged to
see so much of the world.
     London had been enjoying something of an Indian summer that year
and it was towards the end of this period that Holmes and I were
in our rooms sitting either side of a cheerful fire, one of the
first to take the chill off the evening. We had partaken of a
hearty dinner and were at our ease digesting, helped by a noble
brandy and a couple of fine cigars, when the final post of the
day brought a letter for Holmes.
     "It is from my brother Mycroft," said Holmes.
     "He has something of interest for you, no doubt?"
     "No doubt, Watson," said Holmes, tossing the envelope across to
me.
     My first acquaintance with Holmes' brother was in the not
altogether successful 'Adventure of the Greek Interpreter.' Then
as now Mycroft Holmes was the provenance of our case. His letter
read thus:

     "Will you dine with me tomorrow at the club? I have something
out of the ordinary for you."

     "You will come too, I hope," said Holmes as I passed him the
letter.
     "I have nothing doing tomorrow and should be delighted to wait
upon you."
     "Excellent, Watson, we must be there at Noon precisely. The
Diogenes Club is most particular to have its luncheon with the
sun at its zenith."

     Next day, just short of the Noon hour, Holmes and I were walking
down Pall Mall from the St. James end towards The Carlton and
the unassuming door that was the entrance to the Diogenes Club.
As usual we entered mumchance and were shown past the glass
panelling to the strangers room where we found Mycroft Holmes
larger, more corpulent than I remembered. He was sitting at a
table containing covered dishes, in the bow-window overlooking
the street.
     "Ah! Sherlock, how good of you to come," said Mycroft, "I
received your note. I hope you walked up an appetite. Here there
are some cutlets that should dull its edge. Please be seated."
     Holmes and I sat down and a servant removed the covers of the
dishes and helped us to our lunch.
     "You are beginning to find the weather disagreeable Doctor,"
said Mycroft, taking me by surprise.
     "Why, yes I am finding the first chills of winter uncomfortable,
but how can you know?"
     Mycroft smiled, "From your chronicles I collect that you were
wounded in Afganistan. I saw you and Sherlock walking down the
street and I noticed you limping more than when last we met. My
inference is that the chilly nights are making themselves felt."
     "Well, it's true," said I with a laugh.
     "Watson is an interesting study, I know, but Mycroft, your
letter indicated that you had something of interest to me," said
Holmes in some impatience.
     "Yes, Sherlock, it may be nothing, but it is curious," said
Mycroft as he tucked into his cutlets and mashed potatoes.
     Holmes leant back in his chair and touched together the
finger-tips of each hand, rested his elbows on the arms of the
chair, and put his two index fingers just under his lower lip.
It was an attitude I knew well. He left his food uneaten and
listened to Mycroft who went on with his story between
mouthfuls. . . .
     "A fellow lodger in my building is Admiral William Babbington of
the Admiralty. He is a zealous officer who once sailed with
Lucky Jack Aubrey.  He is also known for having an eye for the
ladies."
     Holmes remained unmoved and had assumed that familiar,
heavy-lidded expression of eye indicating deep concentration.
     "Each day," Mycroft continued, "Admiral Babbington lunches at
Black's, his club. He is an officer of an older Navy and likes
his lunch at two o'clock. It is his custom to spend the
preprandial hour between one and two in the reading room at
Black's drinking gin and bitters, while seated in the window
overlooking the street and Button's club opposite; a vantage
point from which he can admire the skirts passing to and fro
below."
     Holmes sat perfectly still.
     "About a week ago Admiral Babbington was on watch as usual and,
getting ready to go to table, raised his glass to his lips,
cocking back his head to drain his drink. In so doing he
happened to glance across the street and saw a handsome woman
sitting at a garret window in the building next door to
Button's."
     "My dear Mycroft, there is nothing unusual about that," said
Holmes in a bored drawl.  "Next door to Button's is Mother
Abbott's, a notorious bawdy house for the wealthy rakes that
belong to Button's and other hot-blooded young men about town.
There are sure to be handsome young women sitting in the windows
of the top floors. Is that not where they live when not on duty?"
     "Yes, indeed. However, what struck the Admiral as odd is that
the young woman in question was smoking a pipe."
     "Well, well, there is nothing too odd about that either, these
days."
     "No, but the Admiral said that she smoked like a pirate and did
the same every day this past week, more so since the young woman
has detected Babbington's interest in her."
     "Ha! Is that so," said Holmes leaning forward in his chair.
     "I thought you would see the possibilities," said Mycroft,
wiping his mouth on his napkin. "What is more, if you present
yourself at Black's today you will find the Admiral ready to
receive you between one and two o'clock. There are fifteen
minutes wanting before one. I will leave you to make your own
way there as I have some reading to do next door in one of those
supportive armchairs."
     Holmes gave a quick smile and said: "Come, Watson, let us see
this pipe-smoking woman for ourselves."
     We left Mycroft sunk in a deep leather armchair with the Times
over his face and made our way to Black's club. As we walked
along the pavement Holmes chuckled to himself.
     "Well, Watson, what do you think of this case of the
pipe-smoking woman?"
     "As you said, Holmes, a woman who smokes a pipe, while not
common, is not all that unusual, and I would not be surprised at
the activity amongst the employees of a place such as Mother
Abbott's. What does surprise me is that Admiral Babbington
should have noticed such a person."
     "That the Admiral should notice a woman does not surprise me in
the least," said Holmes. "In his day he was notorious for his
amours. That he should have noticed a woman in a garret window
is sheer luck, since his attention was focussed in the street
below. Few people, Watson, see much above fifteen degrees from
the horizontal. It was only the chance of his tossing off a
drink coupled with his roving eye, sensitised as it is from a
lifetime of admiration for the female form, that led him to
notice the woman in the first place. He noticed her and her
voracious habit of pipe.  It is a fortuitous combination of
events that leads us to Black's and the possibility of an
instructive half-hour."
     As Holmes finished his didactic speech we came to the steps of
Black's and went up into the foyer of the club. Holmes gave his
card to the attendant and asked after Admiral Babbington.  Soon
a pageboy appeared and took us up to the reading-room on the
first floor front. We crossed the room and were met by a small,
ruddy complected man of weather beaten aspect.  Admiral
Babbington appeared to be well into his seventh decade of life.
     "Ah! Mr. Holmes," he said addressing my tall, lean companion.
"How good of you to come. It may be just one of the whores
enjoying her baccy, but it struck me as such a queer thing that
I mentioned it to your brother, who is my neighbour, and he
thought you might be interested in her as a curiosity. He said
that you take interest in the smallest details."
     "It is the details that count, Admiral," said Holmes. "This is
my friend and collegue Dr.  Watson."
     "Pleased to know you Sir," said the Admiral, his sea-going voice
coming strong from his aging body. His handshake could still
crack walnuts. I observed that when younger he was a man of
barrel-chest, active and vigorous. Although in age his pot-belly
was now larger than his chest.  The Admiral ushered us to the
chairs drawn close to the window overlooking the street. Below,
the population of London ebbed and flowed, bustled and jostled.
     "Will you join me in a tot. The sun's over the yardarm and I
like to whet my appetite."
     The steward brought Holmes and me a decanter of brandy and a
gasogene.  When we were settled with our drinks, the Admiral
raised his glass.
     "Gentlemen, the Queen. God bless her."
     "The Queen," said Holmes and I, standing.
     Remaining seated, the Admiral noticed my look of surprise.
     "In the navy we have a dispensation to take the Loyal Toast
seated; saves broken heads you know, the deckheads being so low.
     "With luck our woman with the pipe should be at her station,"
the Admiral continued and looked up towards the garret rooms of
Mother Abbott's across the street.
     "Yes, there she is. By Jove, what a charming face."
     Admiral Babbington moved out of his chair to make room for
Holmes. I knelt down beside his chair and, looking over his
shoulder, saw in the distance a fine featured woman with a mass
of blond hair about her head. She was sitting in one of the
garret windows smoking a short clay pipe of the type known as a
cutty. Catching sight of us, she increased her rate of smoking
to the point where it appeared positively rhythmical. Holmes
watched for several minutes in silence and then stiffened into a
quivering bodily excitement typical of him when his mental
faculties are stimulated to fever pitch. A demeanour
unnoticeable to those unacquainted with Holmes, but of deep
meaning to me as I know him so well.
     "You will not mind me smoking, Admiral?" Said Holmes.
     "Of course not, Sir, by all means light your pipe. There is
nothing like a pipe to calm a man's nerves; swear by it, that
and Bosun's grog."
     Holmes pulled a battered briar from his pocket, one with a most
capacious bowl, and filled it with his fulsome, extra strong
shag tobacco. Soon he was puffing away with such passionate fury
that the Admiral and I fell back to a safe distance from the
cloud of blue smoke.
     "By Heavens, Doctor! Mr. Holmes is more of a smoker than that
unusual woman. Is he always so?"
     I had always known Holmes as a voracious smoker, particularly
when working out a knotty problem. Three pipes an hour was quite
usual, but never have I seen him smoke with such singular
intensity of purpose. The Admiral and I retired to the other
side of the room and watched Holmes smoke three pipes in thirty
minutes. He sat in the window gazing up at the woman in the
garret, pausing in his rythmical puffing from time to time to
lean back in his chair and gaze up across the street.
     "Do ye think he has taken a fancy to her?" Said the Admiral.
     "Well, there certainly seems to be a meeting of minds," said I,
"but I have never known Holmes to take anything other than a
strictly professional interest in the sex. His pleasure is
derived solely from intellectual stimulation."
     "But a quite charming figurehead, don't ye think Doctor?"
     I could do nothing but agree with the Admiral, for the woman
appeared to be of some beauty even from a distance. After forty
minutes of vigorous smoking, Holmes knocked out the ash from his
pipe, rose from his chair and walked across the room to us.
     "This is more serious than I thought, Watson. Admiral, where is
the nearest point from here that one could get passage down the
Thames?"
     "Why, Mr. Holmes, I should think on the South side of Lambeth
bridge.  There is a pier at which you could board a cutter."
     "Thank you. I may need your help later today. May I prevail upon
your naval experience?"
     "Of course, Sir, I should be proud to be associated with you."
     "Capital! In that case, Admiral, allow me to ask if you have
ships at your command in the estuary of the Thames?"
     "Why yes, Sir, there is the gunboat Vengence anchored at the
Nore. Her captain, James Croaker, dined with me yesterday. He
was a squeaker with me years ago when I was first made post. We
can signal him by sending a despatch from here to Sheerness."
     "Come, Watson, there is no time to be lost. I will send a
special messenger with instructions later, Admiral. Until then,
good day to you Sir. A most instructive hour. Thank you for
bringing this curiosity to my attention."
     As we left Black's, Holmes paused on the steps and scrutinised
Mother Abbott's and Button's club across the street. Moving on,
he was silent as we walked. I could see that he was thinking
deeply and, not willing to break in upon his train of thought,
held my counsel.
     "This is a black business," said Holmes at last, "with some
similarity to our case of the Greek Interpreter, but I hope to
prevent something altogether darker by far."
     "Do you mean to say that the death of that emaciated man was not
dark enough?" Said I with some heat.
     "Not at all, Watson, in many respects this case may have a fate
worse than death in store for this lady, Miss LaVada Sorensen,
unless we can intervene and effect a rescue."
     This revelation stopped me in my tracks.
     "My dear Holmes, this is too much. How can you presume to know
this woman's name?  By what small clues have you deduced it?"
     "You have seen what I have seen," said Holmes as we continued
walking, "but there are no clues from which you can make such a
deduction. No, Watson, the fact is that you do not know, and
cannot know what I know.  Now, I must leave you here and press
on to Scotland Yard for an interview with Inspector Stanley
Hopkins. We will meet again at our rooms in time for dinner.
Until then, goodbye."
     And there Holmes left me, he to see the well-known Hopkins of
the Yard and me for a puzzling afternoon back at Baker Street.
No matter how I cogitated on the events of the morning I could
not discover the means by which Holmes came about his
information. There was nothing left for me to do but wait.

     Holmes returned to our rooms a little after seven o'clock. He
sat down to table and peered under the covers of the dishes.
     "I am famished, Watson, having taken nothing to eat since this
morning, but I think Mrs.  Hudson's steak and kidney pie will
restore me."
     Holmes ate in silence and I knew that it would be fruitless to
question him about his movements that afternoon. He would tell
me in his own time.  I sat beside the fire reading the evening
paper.
     "Watson, I owe you an explanation. . ."
     I put down my paper. Holmes wiped his mouth on his napkin, came
across and sat in his chair, loaded his old and blackened clay
pipe with a plug of tobacco from the toe of the Persian slipper.
With the tongs, he picked up a glowing ember from the grate of
the fire and applied it to the tobacco.  When he had the pipe
going to his satisfaction, he leant back in his chair and
thrust his feet towards the fire.
     "Yes, Watson, I owe you an explanation."
     "Well, Holmes, I confess to being entirely in the dark over this
affair."
     "Time was of the essence. I could not delay to bring you fully
into my confidence. Even now I am not sure there are not gaps in
my net through which these evil people may escape."
     "Is it as bad as that?"
     "Yes, Watson, it is. However, let me bring you up to the moment
with events as I have seen them. We have time for there is
nothing we can do until later this evening when I expect to hear
from Hopkins.
     "Cast your mind back to this morning and let me tell you that
Miss LaVada Sorensen is an American of Scandinavian descent. She
is a telegraphist lately come to London. She has no relatives
and has fallen prey to white slavers."
     "My God, Holmes, this is monstrous, but how do you know?"
     "Miss Sorensen told me so, she is a telegraphist and like her I
am familiar with Mr.  Samuel Morse's code, it being my
professional duty to a nodding acquaintence with codes and
ciphers of many types."
     "So, Miss Sorensen signalled you with Morse's code, but how?"
     "With her pipe, Watson. She is a lady with a keen mind. I sat
there in Admiral Babbington's chair. She saw me and started
sending a smoke signal encoded in Morse -- four short puffs; one
short puff; one short, one long, two short puffs; followed by
one short, two long puffs, one short puff. I recognised a rhythm
at once but it was only after the third repeat that I understood
that it was Morse that I was seeing. By the fourth repeat I
understood that I was seeing HELP."
     "A distress," I cried.
     "Precisely, Watson. It was at that point that I lit my pipe and
sent back the reply: Who are you? Followed by: What is wrong?
She gave me her name in answer to the first question. To the
second she replied: White slave; prisoner. Then I replied: Do
not despair. I regret I could not send and receive faster, but
clarity of signal was of the utmost importance, the pipe not
being the most facile means of communication."
     "Very good, Holmes, but how do you know that she is an American
of Scandinavian descent and alone in the world?"
     "That is information I deduced from her answers to my questions.
Her Christian name, LaVada, is of peculiarly American origin.
Her surname, Sorensen, is Scandinavian, hence my deduction, a
deduction supported in part by her blond hair and the bone
structure of her face.  Obviously, if she is being held against
her will she must have no relatives or friends because if she
did they would have instituted enquiries as to her whereabouts,
and I have seen none such in the newspapers in recent weeks.
Also, her captors must know this or they would not have made so
bold as to kidnap her."
     "Wonderful, but is she not lucky to have attracted the Admiral's
eye? Why not someone in the street?"
     "She is extremely lucky, Watson. In the first place, city
dwellers rarely look up, and if they did they could not see the
garret windows from ground level, they are only visible from the
upper floors of Black's. As it is, the chances of being seen are
a thousand to one against someone taking notice from the upper
windows of Black's. Most people when they look out of a window
look down into the street below. As chance would have it,
Admiral Babbington happened to look up and his eye was attracted
by a pretty woman. Anyone else would have dismissed her as one
of Mother Abbott's girls and not given her a second glance.
Lucky for her, the Admiral is something of a connoisseur of the
female form no matter what line of business that form might be
engaged in. And to make the odds even larger against her gaining
help, the Admiral happened to mention the curiosity to Mycroft
who thought it might be of interest to me. So, you see, Watson,
the chances of Miss Sorensen's rescue relies on a long chain of
remote coincidence. So much so that if I were less of a
scientific and pragmatic man I should be inclined to attribute
her luck to divine intervention. Even now the forces of evil are
not checked, her luck could run out."
     "By God, Holmes, what are we doing sitting here? We must rescue
this distressed lady at once."
     "Ah! Always the man of action, Watson. We cannot charge into
Mother Abbott's brothel and demand possession of this lady's
person, the law is against us. We must be warranted in our
actions, which is why I went in haste to Scotland Yard to
convince Hopkins to raid the place. But the machinery of the law
is slow moving. A warrant must be issued and the constables
marshalled. I fear. . . but hark, that wheel grinding the curb
outside must be the cab containing Hopkins himself. It is almost
twelve o'clock and the raid should be complete."
     We heard the front door slam and Hopkins heavy tread upon the
stair. The boy in buttons opened the door and showed in our
visitor. We could tell by Hopkins' dejected appearance that all
was not well.
     "Well, Hopkins?" said Holmes as the inspector slumped into the
spare chair.
     "The birds have flown, Mr. Holmes. I think they had warning."
     "I am not surprised. I expected as much," said Holmes, "Mother
Abbott's is used by some of the most distinguished names in the
government. What did you find?"
     "As you said Mr. Holmes, the garret rooms had been occupied.
There was a table, two chairs, and a bed. We found smoking
materials on the table and we could see the reading room windows
of Black's. We questioned the girls, but none of them could say
who was in the room as they were closely guarded. Mother Abbott
is not to be found."
     "All is not lost," said Holmes as he scribbled in haste on a
page from his notebook. He pulled the bell-knob and gave the
note to the boy with instructions to take it to Admiral
Babbington.
     "If you will return for breakfast in the morning, Hopkins, I
think I may have an answer to this."
     "I'll be glad to, Mr. Holmes, and I don't mind saying that I'm
at risk from this botched raid. Disturbing high society whores
for no reason. My job's at stake," Hopkins rose and turned to
leave.
     "Do not worry. We should have something by morning."
     "I hope you're right, Mr. Holmes, I hope you're right."
     Our door slammed again and Holmes said: "We had better turn in
ourselves and see what the morning brings when the tide turns."

     Next morning, I came down as the clock struck eight to find
Holmes about already with several telegrams opened on the table
in front of him. I poured myself a cup of coffee and heard the
sound of the doorbell.
     "Good morning, Watson, I trust you slept well?"
     "Yes, Holmes, I did, but who is that at this hour?"
     "It is the boy from the telegraph office if I am not mistaken."
     There was a knock at the door and in came Billy with a telegram
that he gave to Holmes who opened and quickly read it.
     "Excellent! Excellent! There is no reply. It is as I expected.
Have you seen the report of Hopkins' raid in 'The Times',
Watson? You will just have time to read it before he arrives."
     I picked up the paper, reading the leader while sipping my
coffee.
     "The leader writer doesn't show Hopkins in very good light,"
said I.
     "No, Watson, he does not, but I hope to rectify that this very
morning. We will wait until he arrives for his breakfast and
then I will put him at his ease for he is anxious as you will
see."
     At a quarter before the hour, Hopkins was shown up to our rooms
and he did indeed look careworn. His face showed the strain he
was under and his mouth was drawn into a thin, tight line. He
sat heavily into the spare chair and Holmes passed him a cup of
coffee.
     "It's a bad business Mr. Holmes. Have you seen 'The Times' this
morning?" Holmes nodded his assent. "The Commissioner is making
my life very difficult. I hope you have some better news for
me."
     "Indeed, I do have better news," said Holmes. "The watch we set
at the Cinque Ports proved fruitless, as I expected, but
nevertheless it was a safety measure only. This telegram from
Sheerness is of good report. See for yourself."
     Hopkins snatched the proffered telegram from Holmes' hand and
read eagerly.
     "Thank heavens we're not on a wild goose chase after all!
Captain Croaker detained them, taking them out of the cutter on
its way out of the Thames estuary early this morning.  What a
relief to me Mr. Holmes."
     "Yes, Hopkins, I apologise for putting you at such a
disadvantage, but I think you will find that the publicity
surrounding your successful capture of the London end of this
vile trade will more than make up for the temporary
inconvenience. Pray, sit up to the table and enjoy your
breakfast. There are some excellent kippers in that chafing
dish; fried bacon, eggs, kidneys, and tomatoes; toast and
marmalade."
     "Mr. Holmes, you have quite restored my appetite. Indeed, I find
myself sharp set all of a sudden. Pray, tell me how you came to
draw all these threads into your hands."
     I joined Hopkins in breaking our fast while Holmes stood in
front of the fire, leaning his left elbow on the mantlepiece and
propping his foot on the fender, his blackened clay pipe in his
right hand, it charged with the dottles of yesterday's smoking,
blue smoke rising from the bowl.  He related the events leading
up to this capture alluded to in the last telegram. Hopkins and
I listened while we ate.
     "Doctor Watson is not privy to the events from last night," said
Holmes, "so, I will begin there, Hopkins, if you don't mind."
     "Not at all, Mr. Holmes. Not at all," said Hopkins in some
lightness of heart.
     "As you know, Watson, the raid on Mother Abbott's yielded
nothing, the abbess having been forewarned in time for her to
steal a march from us. As soon as I knew the outcome I sent a
special message to Admiral Babbington.  Hopkins had the Cinque
Ports watched. . . ."
     "Yes, Mr. Holmes, at your suggestion," said he.
     "As I thought would happen, this information was also passed to
the abbess and her associates, which left them with one avenue
of escape. . . ."
     "By water down the Thames," said I.
     "Exactly. My message to the Admiral warned him to send a signal
to Captain James Croaker in 'The Vengence' who detained the
cutter off the Nore and took the occupants prisoner.  He is
bringing Miss LaVada Sorensen up the Thames on the flood tide
and Mother Abbott's accomplices are being held in chains until
they can be brought before the proper authorities. The captain
and Miss Sorensen should be with us by one o'clock."
     "Marvellous," said Hopkins.
     "Wonderful," said I.
     Hopkins finished his breakfast and then left us for the Yard to
make arrangements to receive the prisoners and to write his
report. Holmes and I spent the morning reading the papers while
waiting for the arrival of Captain Croaker and Miss Sorensen.

     Captain Croaker made good time. At half past twelve, Miss
Sorensen was shown into our rooms on the arm of Captain James
Croaker, a fine example of a seafaring officer, six feet tall,
dressed in brass-buttoned sea-going rig, grey eyed, auburn
haired, and possessed of a fine, luxurient beard.  Leaning
heavily on his arm, Miss Sorensen was the most remarkably
striking figure of womanhood that I have had the good fortune to
look upon. She was dressed in a high- necked dress of dark
violet taffeta, of full bosom and slim waist, her fine blond
hair escaping in wisps from a hastily contrived chignon. Her
eyes were of a peculiar and startling blue, contrasted by the
dark circles of skin below wrought by her vicissitudes; her fine
Scandinavian features were haggard by the long days of
captivity. Shorter than the captain, she was about five feet,
six inches in height. Together they made a handsome couple.
     "Miss Sorensen, Captain Croaker, please sit down," said Holmes
indicating the settee.
     With remarkable solicitude, the gallant captain helped the
weakened Miss Sorensen be comfortable, arranging pillows behind
her in support of her back.
     "I am glad you received our signal, Captain, and were entirely
successful in your endeavour," said Holmes.
     "So am I, Sir. We caught the cutter coming out on the remains of
the ebb tide and, with little room to manoeuvre, hove to when I
had the master gunner put a nine-pound ball across her bow. I
sent my first officer across in a boat with an armed boarding
party. They found Miss Sorensen bound and gagged in the
forepeak. We have handed those blackguards over to the police."
     "Well done, Captain. There are one or two points about which I
am unclear and I wonder if I might prevail upon Miss Sorensen to
give me and Dr.  Watson a brief summary of the circumstances of
her kidnap."
     "I must thank you Mr. Holmes, and the other gentlemen for my
rescue for I was in despair of ever being free again and
thinking of taking my own life rather than suffer the
indignities to which I was destined," said Miss Sorensen in soft
accents of North America. She continued: "My mother died while
giving birth to me. I was brought up by my father who was in
business in Chicago. He was afflicted with a weak heart and
joined my mother just before I graduated from Vassar College. My
father believed in the benefit of a sound education and sent me
there to attain it. After my graduation, I took a job as a
telegraphist in Chicago and learned Sam Morse's code. This job
was a temporary step to keep me from dwelling too much on my
loss and to give me time to decide what I should do with my
life. While at Vassar, I had studied much about the ancient
philosophers and systems of government common in the Old
Countries of Europe. I decided that I would like to see for
myself the mode of living and the foundations on which the
countries of Great Britain and Europe are based.  However,
despite my father's success in business, I did not have
unlimited funds at my disposal. To support myself I would need
some form of employment and hit upon the notion of using my
education in conjunction with acting as governess to the
children of some wealthy family.
     "From Chicago, I came to London and stayed in a boarding house
where I met a charming man, an explorer and traveller, Mr.
Fortesque Bland. While letting it be known that I was seeking a
position as a governess, I was rash enough to reveal that I was
alone in the world.  On the pretext of going to meet a
prospective employer, Bland decoyed me into Mother Abbott's
house where I was held prisoner in the rooms in the upper part
of the house. Bland had lived amongst the people of Persia and
the Levant, and had contracted with Mother Abbott to sell me
into the slavery of some Eastern Potentate's hareem. Apparently,
I would fetch a high price on account of my stature and blond
hair. . . ."
     "Damn fiends! I would very much like to have them flogged around
the fleet and then run up to the yardarm by the neck," said the
Captain in an angry voice that rattled the windows.
     "Part of the preparation for my journey was to habituate me to
opium in an effort to make me more pliable. Mother Abbott had
been feeding it to me in my food. Each day, I would recover from
the stupor and sit at the window.  Looking down, I noticed a man
sitting in the window of the building opposite. I had discovered
that I could steady my nerves by smoking tobacco as I have done
in the loneliness of my past. All I was provided with was a pipe
and coarse tobacco. Sitting in the window smoking and looking
down on the man across the street, I felt that if I could
attract his attention I might succeed in rescue. You may imagine
the intensity with which I looked at that man, but each day he
would turn away after sitting for an hour, and each day my
despair grew until one day he chanced to look up.
     "Always there was someone in the room with me while I was
conscious. When the man in the window below and across the
street took notice I would puff the letters HELP in Sam Morse's
code. I noticed that he wore a uniform and thought that he would
understand, but I found that the code is not commonly known and
my despair deepened. As the days passed, I began to think how I
could take my life to prevent the abuse waiting for me.
Yesterday, the man was at his window and again I started sending
my cry for help in tobacco smoke.
     "Imagine my disappointment when the man looked up at me as usual
and left his chair, and my astonishment when he was replaced by
Mr. Holmes who, after three or four sends, lit his own pipe and
sent me: Who are you? My heart stopped and I cried out but
managed to cover my confusion with a fit of coughing, so that my
guard was not suspicious. I sent my replies and was able to rest
easier than at any time during the month long eternity that was
my prelude to Hell.  My dismay, Mr. Holmes. . . . My dismay at
the sudden move from the house. . . . It was too much to bear.
Some word was brought to Mother Abbott and her cohort causing me
to be hustled from the house in a cab to the river and a boat
that set sail on the ebb tide.  It was too much for me and, half
stupified, I cried and cried until I was gagged by those
ruffians.
     "Hope returned when we were stopped in our flight by good
Captain Croaker and his crew. At last I am free and I can only
thank you from the depths of my heart."
     So said the unfortunate Miss LaVada Sorensen who had begun to
shake and burst into the most piteous sobbing. Captain Croaker
was at her side instantly, offering her the use of his
handkerchief.
     "I am so sorry, gentlemen, but I am feeling the effects of the
opium."
     "And the nervous strain of your captivity," said I, feeling her
pulse.  "You must have complete rest."
     "Dr. Watson is quite corrrect, Miss Sorensen," said Holmes. "I
think you have completed all the details for me. You must rest
and recuperate and be ready to give evidence at the trial of
these people."
     "I have a friend, Dr. Frederick Clenchwater who has a nursing
home by the sea in Bournemouth. I will give you a letter of
introduction. He will take you in and effect a cure."
     "Alas, Dr. Watson, I have not the money for such a treatment."
     "Do not worry," said Holmes, "I think we can take care of that."
     "Certainly. Certainly," said the Captain.
     "Could you leave your ship long enough to escort Miss Sorensen
to Bournemouth, Captain? There is a four o'clock train from
Waterloo today."
     "I should be delighted to be of service. My first officer will
take care of the ship until I return."
     "I will give Miss Sorensen a mild sedative to steady her for the
journey until she can reach the care of Clenchwater," said I.
     "Then, Captain, you and Miss Sorensen should stay and take a
bite for lunch and then go on to Bournemouth as soon as
possible," said Holmes, ringing the bell for Mrs. Hudson.

     After our guests had departed, Holmes said: "That lady was very
lucky," and picked up his violin. Soon he was engrossed in a
series of melancholy improvisations upon a theme.

     All that remains for me to say is that six months later, Captain
James Croaker and Miss LaVada Sorensen were married. They now
live at Hambledon, in the county of Hampshire and have two sons
and a daughter.

                         *** Finis ***
Andrew
?????????????????

[ Proving once again the value of a cutty pipe and a knowledge of the
principles of electricity! -S. ]


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From: Mark Lathem <??????????????????>
Subject: PCI Show, St Louis, MO

I just returned from the PCI show in St Louis and thought I'd take a
couple of minutes to type up a brief trip report.  I'm sure others will
cover the event in greater detail, but some may find this of some
interest.
  
Military life causes me to travel a great deal--and enables me to visit
far-flung tobacconists--but until now my travels had never brought me to 
the correct place and time to attend a major show.  Unfortunately, I was 
only able to drive over for Saturday, so I missed the Organization of 
Online Pipe Smokers (OOPS) smoker Friday evening.  Craig Tarler must have 
sent 25 pounds of tobacco as his contribution, and "Dr. Ray" and gang made a 
valiant effort to finish it off.  They failed in this task (leaving
more than enough to maintain a pipe "filling station" Saturday), but did
manage to set off the smoke detector.  I am disappointed to have missed 
this particular bit of excitement <G>.
   
It was very exciting to be able to meet face-to-face with folks I had
previously known only from e-mail exchanges, letters, and telephone
calls.  Several PD and a.s.p denizens were in attendance, and I am
pleased to report that they are--without exception--as nice in person as
they are online.  It was also a pleasure to be able to meet Nikos Levin,
Jack Ehrmantraut, Bob Hamlin, Roswitha Anderson, and several folks I
knew only by reputation.  My firmly held opinion that pipe smokers are
the best people ramains unshaken.
   
I went to the show with the intent of purchasing an Ashton (I didn't
have one) and a 1963 Dunhill (for some strange egocentric reason, I have 
always craved a pipe made during my birth year), and I was able to achieve 
both goals.
   
I was shopping for a Dunhill shell, as I prefer their looks and the
price is usually right.  While going over the tables, however, I picked
up a beautiful straight grain--a "DRC".  I was turning the little pipe 
over in my hands, admiring it, when I noticed that there was a "3" after 
"England".  I believe in fate, so after some protracted dickering (which 
included the addition of a Dunhill folding tamper to the bargain) I walked 
away with my first Dunhill Dead Root and my "birthday pipe" at a very
good price.
    
I bought the Ashton (actually a "Taylor Made") from Dennis Congos of the 
Carolina Briar Friars.  Dennis visited Bill Taylor in 1990 and Bill made 
this pipe for him.  Dennis selected the bowl, and Bill hand-cut the brindled 
vulcanite stem for him on the spot.  It is a huge, gorgeous, thick-walled 
pipe with a marvelous straight grain, reminiscent of an old Charatan 
freehand.  I showed the pipe to Bob Hamlin, and he is of the opinion that 
the bowl was turned by Sid Cooper.  The pipe cannot have been smoked a dozen 
times and still retains its original finish.  The fact that I know the story 
behind the pipe makes owning it even more enjoyable.
   
I drove back to Leavenworth, Kansas (my very temporary home) a very happy 
man and look forward to attending next year's show in Dallas (only three
hours from my slightly less temporary home).  [Wonder if I can get the
Army to send me to Virginia for the C.O.R.P.S. show... <G>]
   
--
 Mark Lathem   
"I'll smoke a pipe with you with pleasure" (CROO)

[ Thank you for the trip report! -S. ]


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From: "Lawrence K. Iwaki" <?????????????????????????>
Subject: Response to hookah experience

Steve:
    I just thought that I would relate to the good people of PD how my 
experience with the hookah that I just got in last week went. First, I 
ordered the largest one in stock from the Haight-Ashbury Tobacco Center 
in San Francisco. It turned out to be about three feet in height. I also 
ordered some little disks of charcoal and the tobacco that usually goes 
with it. The tobacco is from Egypt and India and is extremely wet-my 
guess is that it is soaked in molasses and other flaovoring is added in. 
The stuff will not ignite unless you place one of the charcoal disks on 
top of the little mound. I filled the glass bottom with water and a 
little bit of some Lebanese liquor called "arak". Placing the top part on 
and sealing the connection with the rubber gasket provided, I inserted 
the hose and tested for leaks. There were none. I put a small amount of 
the apricot -flavored Egyptian tobak on the ceramic plug on top along 
with a charcoal disk. The little disk throws off quite a bit of sparks 
when it first ignites but then settles down to a nice hot glow. Smoking 
this thing involved drawing on the hose which produced a vacuum in the 
glass, causing the smoke from the burning leaf to be drawn down into the 
water/arak solution. The smoke then bubbled up into the container where I 
was able to access it with the hose. The smoke was very cool and had a 
hint of the arak taste. All in all, a different experience which I intend 
on exploring further.

Larry

[ Interesting! Perhaps you'll inspire some others to journey down to
the Haight... -S. ]


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From: ?????????????????? (John Paine)
Subject: Pipe store in Paris

Steve:  An offering for the Directory.

Au Ca=EFd
24, Boulevard Saint-Michel
75006 PARIS
This shop has been around a while.  It carries Butz-Choquin, Ropp pipes,
several other French and other brands, also Meerschaum pipes, lighters, ash
trays, accessories.  Pretty neat store, easy to find, in the Latin Quarter.

I also recommend =C0 la Civette, just across from the Palais Royal on the ru=
e
St. Honor=E9 (quite near the Louvre).  Upscale store, nice pipes, lighters,
cigars, etc.

[ Sounds good, and I'd like to put it in, but the message got a bit
garbled... Perhaps some special characters? -S. ]


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From: ??????????????????
Subject: Blind Maduro Smoker

On Wednesday, June 14th, The General's Cigar Club  will be presenting the
"Blind Maduro Test" Smoker. 

This unique event will feature our specially prepared six course cigar dinner
at the Roma with the added feature of the "Blind Maduro Test."  Each
participant will have 10  unlabled cigars,  that have been specially color
coded for rating purposes, to smoke, not all at once, over the next week to
ten days.  You will also receive a rate card and return mailer to rate the
cigars on their various qualities and attributes.

This will be a unique experience for all that attend and for days to come
while you finish smoking the cigars for rating.

The Dinner and all Cigars, plus an open bar and wine with the meal is only
 $75.00   

If you are interested in attending or need additional information, please
e-mail "GeneralJym" as soon as possible or call 301-320-4227.  Seating is
limited.

Keep On Smokin'

General Jym


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From: ??????????????????
Subject: Calabash and Meerschaum questions

A few years ago when my great uncle passed away I came across a pipe
collection of his that no one knew he had.  There were only about 6 or so
pipes: one a Digby bulldog, one from a state park in Ky., one with a carved
monkey face on it (!), and another with a broken mouthpiece that had a club
on the shank of the pipe.  However, the two pipes that caught my attention
was an old calabash pipe with a porcelain bowl, and  the largest carved
meerschaum I have ever seen in real life. Larger than my fist, it is a
carving of a woman holding up a flower, which is the bowl of the pipe.  It is
a precolored meerschaum and the manufacturer's label on the inside of the
case is called "WDC -  genuine meerschaum". My questions are these:  while
the pipes seem in good condition in terms of stem and body of the pipes, I am
unable to get a good draw off of the calabash due to the cork being either
rotted or worn away from years of use.  Can calabash pipes be recorked or
refitted to provide a better draw?  Additionally, the draw on the meerschaum
is not very good and the stem on this pipe appears to have been replaced at a
later date (black vulcanite).  Can this too be reconditioned to a smokable
order, and can old amber stems be replaced on to old meerschaum pipes? If any
of these pipes can be reconditioned, where can it be done, and should I even
smoke them due to their age and possible value? Finally, has anyone ever
heard of the abovementioned meerschaum company so I could get an approximate
date and value on this meerschaum pipe?  I know these are  a LOT of
questions, but I feel that these two pipes are among the most interesting in
my collection, if not the most valuable, and would like to gather any info
about their repair and history from the any readers of Pipe Digest if there
is any information to give.  Thanks a million for your time, and happy
smoking.

- LenrdZelig

[ I'd suggest getting in touch with Jim Cooke about the repair, unless
anyone knows of a calabash expert. Good luck! -S. ]


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                       Today's Snappy Comeback:

(To a shrink:) "What's _really_ bothering you?"

                                - From "101 Ways to Answer the
                                  Question, 'Would You Please Put Out
                                  that #(!&*!$ Cigar'," Hague et. al.,
                                  1987. 

 U/~ U/~ U/~ U/~ U/~ U/~ U/~ U/~ U/~ U/~    |||_______{@}__)  (__{@}_______|||
(                                      *   *                                  )
 ) Pipe smokers will rule the world!    * *        Internet Pipes Mailgroup  (
( (if they don't run out of matches...)  *  (for all who enjoy fine tobacco)  )
 )                                       *                                   (
(  Mosaic/Web:                           *      http://www.tacoma.net/~pipes  )
 ) Steve Beaty, Maintainer               *         ????????????????????????? (
(                                        *                                    )
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(  Richard Geller, Maintainer            *             (???????????????????)  )
 )                                       *                                   ( 
(  Steve Masticola, moderator            *        (????????????????????????)  )
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Article Index

  1. Subject: Pipes Digest #191 - May 31, 1995
  2. Subject: <swoosh>..<puff>..<swoosh>..Ahh
  3. Subject: Subscribe
  4. Subject: Howdy!
  5. Subject: Plano/Dallas Pipe Club?
  6. Subject: Re: Pipes Digest #190 - May 22, 1995
  7. Subject: Pipe purchase
  8. Subject: Tobacco Museum/Tobacco Seeds
  9. Subject: building a humidor
  10. Subject: L'art de Fumer la pipe (Part 2)
  11. Subject: Steve Weiner: Pipemaker (fwd)
  12. Subject: Re: Pipes Digest #190 - May 22, 1995
  13. Subject: Re: #3(3) Pipes Digest #190 -...
  14. Subject: Smoke Signal #16 [PIPE][CIGAR]
  15. Subject: PCI Show, St Louis, MO
  16. Subject: Response to hookah experience
  17. Subject: Pipe store in Paris
  18. Subject: Blind Maduro Smoker
  19. Subject: Calabash and Meerschaum questions
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