Regarding the Freddy Chronology Chart in FAQ #23
I thank Mr. Forrest Bede,
a professed non-FOFer, but nevertheless an astute student of the Freddy
books and Mr. Eha's Place, who has pointed out some information about North
Pole which I, in my dotage, missed. See my comments (in red) in the entry
for North Pole. He also pointed out some erroneous conclusions and calculations
on my part. If you have an idle moment or two, you can check out the consequent
additions and revisions in the chart. There will no doubt be other revisions suggested
by other readers as time goes by, so check back now and then. Click here: FAQ
Question: Do you have
any more Boomschmidt circus memorabilia? If so, please, is any of it for sale?
I am a serious collector of circus keepsakes, and I promise you'll never see anything
you might sell me later on eBay!
Answer: Other than the
poster and the pencil box giveaway, I have this ticket from a show in 1950. I
remember buying it earlier that week and then coming down with a terrible
summer cold and being unable to attend. I used the ticket as a bookmark for
years. When the questions about Boomschmidt artifacts came rolling in after I
published the picture of the old poster, I remembered that I had last seen it
in my copy of Edwin Abbott's Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions. Maybe
I do have some other circus stuff, but it's probably up in the attic, and if I
start looking for it, I know I'll start cleaning out the attic, and do
I really want to do that? No, I don't. If I happen to run across
any more circus stuff in the course of my normal activities, I'll publish it,
but none of the circus stuff is for sale. I have the poster nicely framed
now and hanging in my study. I use the pencil box for--guess what? The
ticket goes right back in Flatland. The only items I ever sell are surplus
from EHA Industries and assorted odds and ends at my annual Internet Yard Sale, the next
one of which will occur in Spring 2000.
Question: I know you
do not hold the Freddy series in high regard, but are there any juvenile
book series that you do like?
Answer: Well, yes, there are. I may have covered this topic to some extent
somewhere else on this site, but I don't remember how much or where, so I'll give
you the short list. These books are splendidly written and delightful to read...much
better than the rubbishy twaddle that comprises most of children's so-called "literature"
these days. I like the Mushroom Planet series and the Catfish Bend books.
Question: I'm one of
those people without a complete Freddy collection. I know he assumes many
disguises throughout the series, and I'd like to know what all of them are. Can
you please help?
Answer: Only because I'm staying inside this blustery, rainy day with nothing
better to do! I don't know that I have them all in my research notes, but
the list below is fairly complete. Not all of the costumes Freddy wears could
be described as "disguises" either--"get-ups" would be a more appropriate term
in some cases, and I will include some of them, too.
of Freddy's Disguises, Get-ups, and Aliases
||Traveling home from their
adventures in the South, the animals disguise themselves to get by the two men
who had earlier taken Hank and Mrs. Wiggins prisoner. Freddy sports a shawl
and painted-on spectacles.
Chinese mask...touched up with some radium paint so that it glowed fearsomely
in the dark" and a sheet are what Freddy wears as the animals try
to frighten the sailors away so that Santa Claus may resume normal operations.
||A false mustache, pipe,
Sherlock Holmes cap, and an old suit of Mr. Bean's are just the garb for detecting!
||A wild boar with a "black
stripe down his back, a sharp nose, and two wicked-looking tusks that made his
upper lip curl into a ferocious sneer" = a disguise Freddy briefly wears during
his investigation of "Mr. Hackenmeyer."
||An old gingham dress
of Mrs. Bean's, a sunbonnet, two corkscrew curls, black lace mitts, and a
shopping bag--that's Freddy's disguise when he looks for Byram at the orphanage
in Dutch Flats.
||He dons "...the white
robe of an Arab sheik" which he wears in Mrs. Wiggins' parade. Also when he
escapes from imprisonment and hides from the woodpeckers he wears basically the
same disguise he invented in Clockwork: "an old gingham dress of Mrs.
Bean's, a sunbonnet into which were pinned two long corkscrew curls, a pair of
black lace mitts, and a shopping bag with a picture of the Bridge of Sighs on
it." He gives the name "Mrs. Bridget O'Halloran from Dutchman's Meadows"
when offered a ride by Jason Binks, the detective hired by Mr. Weezer of the Centerboro
||He plays Sherlock Holmes
(suitably attired) in the play the animals put on. He also puts on "his
favorite disguise of a sunbonnet and an old dress of Mrs. Bean's" and lies
in the road to impede the Snedeckers' flight with the silver teapot.
||From a scarecrow Freddy
steals a long-tailed black coat and striped trousers, a high silk hat, and
white cotton gloves. The scarecrow's white cloth head is turned into a stock
which he wears around his neck, and the crosspiece becomes a cane. Thusly
attired and when talking to the sheriff, Freddy calls himself "Jonas P. Whortleberry
from Orinoco Flats."
Hiding out from the police
at Boomschmidt's circus, Freddy wears "Abdullah's" turban and robe and darkens
his face with Bill Wonks's hair dye.
||Freddy poses as the
sheriff's nephew, "Longfellow Higgins," and dresses in Mr. Bean's old-fashioned
boy's sailor suit.
At Mrs. U.'s party, Freddy
avoids capture by appropriating Senator A. P. Blunder's long black coat and
wide-brimmed black hat.
||Going up to the Big Woods
with Theodore to find the Ignormus, Freddy gets himself up as a hunter in a
suit with bright yellow and green checks that had been cut down to size for
him by Mrs. Bean. There is a matching cap. Freddy "borrows" Mr. Bean's
gun as a prop. In this guise he calls himself "O'Houlihan" when playing
with Minx's mind.
||Not a disguise to be sure,
a smock and beret comprise Freddy's artist's outfit.
Freddy wears a dark suit
and cap of Mr. Camphor's to make himself less visible while framing the Winches
and while posing as the Winches' nephew.
||The improved scarecrow
's outfit from Perilous is what Freddy wears to Mrs. Church's
niece's wedding. He has added Mr. Bean's best necktie (red velvet with hand-painted
calla lilies) and a pink rose to complete the ensemble. Mr. Pontoon, the groom's
father, mistakes him for Ambassador Dunkle.
||To keep warm while walking
to Centerboro, Freddy wears an old shawl he borrows from Mrs. Bean. He
wears this same shawl and affects his terrible Irish brogue when hitchhiking
to Tallmanville to rescue Leo. Adding black gloves, assuming the name "Mrs.
J. Perkins Vandertwiggen," and dropping the accent, he takes on Mrs. Guffin,
who holds Leo prisoner.
||A loud checkered sports
coat serves as Freddy's magician's coat throughout the book.
The old-fashioned sailor suit
of News is tried on, but not used to disguise Freddy as Ollie Groper's
nephew, "Marshall Groper." Instead, Freddy wears an Indian suit "complete
with feathered war bonnet and fringed leggings" which he purchases at the
Busy Bee Department Store.
When visiting the jail, he
disguises himself as "a poor widdy woman," Mrs. O'Halloran, wife of the late
Freddy wears the war bonnet
and his magician's coat to Zingo's performance.
||As Dr. Henry Hopper
"from the city," Freddy goes camping dressed in a lumberman's flannel shirt
with big black and red checks, a pair of blue work pants, red and white striped
woolen socks, high-laced boots, and an old-fashioned coonskin cap that once belonged
to Mr. Camphor's grandfather, a trapper.
Phones "Mr. Eha "and represents
himself as "Horace Green, formerly proprietor of the Ocean House at Wophasset,
To further investigate "Mr.
Eha," poses as "Henry Hopper, M.D." and dresses in a derby hat and black
suit he borrows from Mr. Camphor. To complete the ensemble, he carries a
In a dress with big roses
all over it, a floppy garden hat, and high-heeled shoes, Freddy investigates
Joe Platt at his niece's wedding at 22 Elm Street, believing him to be "Mr. Eha."
Putting a dent in his derby,
Freddy disguises himself as a plumber to get away from the cook who has
discovered him in the cellar at 22 Elm.
||When investigating Aaron
Doty, Freddy poses as Mrs. Aaron Doty (Bridget) in an old woman disguise--bonnet,
skirt, spectacles, and black cotton gloves and again employs his "terrible
Later he tries to pass himself
off to Herb Garble as Aaron Doty, dressed in a too-big, bright checked suit,
hat, and black beard. He puts a pebble in his mouth to disguise his voice.
Freddy goes to school in brown
pants, blue sweater, and a green cap.
||On a search for adventure,
Freddy wears a red and green checked suit that Mr. Bean had bought in Paris.
Of course, Mrs. Bean has cut it down to size.
Freddy's cowboy get-up consists
of a bright red shirt with yellow and blue lightning flashes, a water pistol,
and Zingo's gun (loaded with blanks).
As "Snake Peters" from
"Buzzard's Gulch, Wyoming," Freddy wears a false mustache; a
wig with lank, long, black hair like General Custer; a green shirt with a yellow
pistol design; and a new gunbelt studded with rhinestones. Later when visiting
the jail, he tells the sheriff and prisoners that he's from "Squealing Snake,
Fleeing from Cal Flint, Freddy
masquerades as a salesgirl in the Busy Bee. He pins his wig up, yanks
off the rat-tail mustache, rouges his cheeks, makes an "enormous Cupid's bow mouth...with
lipstick," applies eye shadow, and pulls a scarf over his shoulders.
||In this sequel Freddy's
cowboy outfit consists of jeans, boots, a thunder and lightning shirt, gun
belt, ten-gallon hat, and his water pistol and Zingo's gun. As the "Comanche
Kid" from "Spavin Creek, Texas," he adds a thin rat-tail mustache and a shoulder-length
When scouting around for Billy
Margarine, Freddy wears an old raincoat of Mr. Bean's and a punched-in hat.
||Donning a new disguise
obtained from Mrs. Winfield Church, Freddy wears "a thin dress with big flowers
on it, and high-heeled shoes, and a very broad-brimmed picture hat with a veil.
It was a sort of garden party outfit."
While detecting Mr. Condiment,
Freddy, as "Lorna Del Pardo," a.k.a. "Lorna the Leopard Woman," puts
on a Spanish accent and a Spanish dancer's costume consisting of a long, full,
black skirt, high-heeled shoes, a shawl, flat hat, castanets, and a rose between
is Freddy's alias as he passes himself off as an extraterrestrial visitor. He
paints his face blue, sticks a heavy black false beard upright on his head, glues
on the "Snake Peters" rat-tail mustaches as eyebrows, and dons his Busy Bee space
||Pumping the rats who
are disguised as Martians for information, Freddy wears a trench coat and Bill
Wonks's felt hat as he poses as a representative of the U.S. Immigration Bureau.
||To check Mr. Anderson out,
Freddy assumes the name "Henry Arquebus" and attires himself in: a long, black,
old-fashioned Prince Albert Coat that Mr. Bean had worn at his wedding; black
trousers and old, shapeless felt hat; a white wig and long beard; Mrs. Bean's
father's spectacles; a corncob pipe; and a cane.
Freddy becomes "a creature"
as he drapes a plum-colored cape with a hood over himself after blowing
his cover while hiding in Mrs. Church's closet and eavesdropping on Mr. Anderson
and Mrs. Church.
Freddy becomes "Bridget
'Bridie' O'Halloran," posing as a cook to infiltrate the Kurtz's house and
free Squeak-squeak. His get-up will seem familiar: an old gingham dress
of Mrs. Bean's, sunbonnet, black mitts, and two "handsome chestnut curls" pinned
to the sunbonnet. Of course he affects his infamous Irish brogue.
||When spying on the animal
revolutionaries at the old Grimby house, Freddy wears a black morning coat,
gray striped trousers, a derby, and a dark false beard.
Freddy dresses in the Dr.
Hopper disguise and further embellishes it with a curly wig and a false
beard trimmed to a point when attempting to help Camphor get out of running
The camping outfit complete
with a bright checked shirt and a coonskin cap is resurrected when Freddy
goes to find Camphor, who is hiding out with the Indians.
||To avoid capture by the
State Police (so that the spies can steal the saucer plans from him), Freddy dresses
up in a farmer's hat and overalls and poses as the farmer in whose house he
Freddy wears an elaborate
gypsy disguise as "Zelda Field," wife of Jasper Field (a.k.a. Bill Wonks)
to fool the foreign spies. The costume consists of a bright colored skirt Mrs.
Bean had once shortened for him, a black wig with two long braids, two brass
curtain rings for earrings, a red and green scarf, and gloves stuffed with sand.
To complete his illusion, he dyes himself with butternut water. He and Bill
Wonks ride in an old-fashioned gypsy caravan that Madame Delphine had once
By the way, on page 196 of
my edition, there is an explanation of why no one ever seems to notice that Freddy,
when disguised, has a pig's nose : "It always seemed to Freddy's friends that
in even the most elaborate of his disguises, his nose should have given him away.
It was not a human nose, it was a pig's nose. But Freddy in disguise was
like those puzzle pictures that are captioned: 'What is wrong with this picture?'
You have to hunt for the detail that is wrong. And there was no caption under
Freddy. You saw a gypsy woman--the swarthy complexion, the black braids, the head
tied in a bright scarf, the big earrings, the full, gaudy skirts. People see what
they expect to see. You never noticed the pig's nose."
||Freddy goes undercover
for the last time as "Peppercorn 'Peppy' Talcum," Mrs. Talcum's grandson from
Syracuse. He wears the sailor suit that had belonged to the young
William Bean topped off with a round hat with a black ribbon upon which "H.M.S.
Inscrutable" was written in gold letters.