THE THIRD WHEEL OF NO. 2704

  FROM THE EDITOR

The Hansoms of John Clayton welcome you to Wheelwrightings, a forum for the study and celebration of things Sherlockian. (I am quite aware that proper grammatical form would have me saying "welcomes you" but frankly it sounds odd, and I prefer to use "Hansoms" as a plural, rather than a collective singular.) "The Third Wheel of No. 2704" is devoted to correspondence, notices of no little import, and editorial ramblings; but for this first issue, we have a special letter from our Founder ...

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11 May 1978

    Not so long ago there was a president of the United States who used to ask his cronies, "Will it play in Peoria?" He was refering to political and economic issues, of course. But Peoria, Illinois, was considered to be the epitome of Averagesville, a dull middle-class midwestern city to be used as a laboratory for reaction to national issues and policies. What Peoria felt was what the majority of American's would feel. Or so went the theory.

    Peoria had many things, the vast industrial complex of Caterpillar Tractor, Hiram Walker (the largest distillery in the U.S.), a Pabst brewery, a scenic drive which Theodore Roosevelt called the most beautiful in the world, a pigeon-dirt-spotted bronze statue of Robert Ingersoll, and the honor of being the oldest white settlement west of the Appalachians.

    What it did not have to make it truly cosmopolitan was a Baker Street Irregulars Scion Society. Happily, that grave lack has been rectified as of late last year. The Hansoms of John Clayton is (are?) wheeling along fine, thank you, and stopping now and then to pick up more fares. May it (they?) never wear out, and may the passengers always enjoy the ride.

    If this issue should happen to fall in the hands of a very old bee-keeper in Sussex, we extend an invitation to you to visit us any time--expenses paid. And an honorarium of no small size. Or, my dear Holmes, if you can't make it, we'd be happy to come to your place. Just send the address.

        -- Philip Josť Farmer