References in The Rainbow Affair by David McDaniel

compiled by Barry & Lee Gold

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Refers to


With thanks to John Gosling, Det. Supt. (ret)...

British founder member of New Scotland Yard's Ghost Squad. Wrote the book Ghost Squad based on his experiences. In retirement he wrote and acted as a technical advisor on police procedures and issues.

He also co-wrote The Great Train Robbery (1963) with Dennis Craig, which David McDaniel read. Google Books has a minimally searchable version:


With thanks to ...Uncle Harry, for three-a-day

Uncle Harry was a local codeword for marijuana.


yellow fog

"The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes" T. S. Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"


"Down Went McGinty"

The last chorus of "Down Went McGinty," © 1889 by Spaulding and Kornder, made popular by singer Joseph Flynn and others.


Dingo Harry, face marked with a vicious scar, Head Surgeon, white slave racket

A reference to Gosling's The Great Train Robbery (based on doing "Search Within" on the Google Books version).


chapter titles starting with "How"..

These are reminiscent of Leslie Charteris chapter titles: "How Simon Templar fell from grace, and Stanislaus was unfortunate," "How Monty Hayward Slept uneasily, and Simon Templar warbled about worms," Saint's Getaway..


Section I: "God loves an idle rainbow."

"God loves an idle rainbow, No less than laboring seas", "A Word Song," Ralph Hodgson


"A travelogue photographer by the name of Devlin..."

Possibly a reference to the silent travelogue series, The Screen Traveler, made by Andrè de la Varre and Paul B. Devlin. McDaniel often visited the Silent Movie Theatre at 611 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA, and some of the older travelogues were shown there. Or he may have picked up the name Devlin from some other source.


"that limping devil"

Haydn's first opera was "The Limping Devil"


Ward Baldwin

Dean Ward Dickensheet

Dean was a Science Fiction fan who lived in San Francisco. He created the bacronym "Technical Hierarchy for the Removal of Undesirables and the Subjugation of Humanity" for Thrush. Ward Baldwin is the head of the San Francisco Satrapy of Thrush. He first appears in The Dagger Affair, #4 in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. series and Dave's first contribution to the series.


"As we used to say, Luck Counts"

"Luck counts" was one of Dave's sayings. Whether he got what he wanted by skill or sheer good luck, he was happy to accept the win.


during that DAGGER affair a couple years ago

The Dagger Affair (Man from UNCLE #4), 1965, by David McDaniel, Dave's first Man from UNCLE book


'Mr. Kuryakin, we're needed"

The Avengers, TV series. Mr. Steed would turn to Emma Peel and say, "Mrs. Peel, we're needed."


Johnnie Rainbow

The name "Rainbow" is the basis of several puns in the book.

In Gosling's The Great Train Robbery, "Johnnie Rainbow" was the code-name for the mastermind of the robbery, a cashiered British army officer.


Buster Edwards

A member of the gang that committed the Great Train Robbery..


A retired Superintendent of Detectives

John Gosling


"guns which squirted a blinding spray...supplied by THRUSH"

The US introduced pepper spray through the US Postal Service in the 1980s as a dog repellent, ten years after this book.


moved to a new address

The headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Service of London was named "Scotland Yard" from its original location at 4 Whitehall Place, which had a rear entrance on Great Scotland Yard, which was its public entrance.

The Metropolitan Police moved away from Scotland Yard in 1890, and the name "New Scotland Yard" was adopted for the new headquarters.

In 1967 New Scotland Yard moved to 10 Broadway, still in Westminster.


Trans World Airlines (not TransWorld)

In 1967, it was the world's third-largest airline by passenger miles, behind Aeroflot and United..


"Ah to be in April, that England's here."

A twisting of Robert Browning's "Home-Thoughts from Abroad": "O, to be in England/ Now that April 's there,..."

This phrase may also reference April Dancer, aka The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.. The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. aired from September 16, 1966 to April 11, 1967. The Rainbow Affair has a Copyright date of 1967.

We are not sure of the exact publication date of The Rainbow Affair, but internal evidence (see pages 155-6) suggests that The Rainbow Affair was written after the Six-Day War, which started in June of 1967.

Based on that evidence, it seems likely that McDaniel would have been aware of The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., so it is plausible that he intended this as a secondary reference.


Claude...A stomach walked out, closely followed by a red-faced man carrying a bowler hat. He glanced at them sleepily....and....unpacked a stick of gum and engulfed it.

Claude Eustace Teal (from Leslie Charteris's Saint books) who is very fond of chewing gum


Rollison file

The "Rollison file" refers to John Creasey's character the Honourable Richard Rollison aka "The Toff".


Inspector West

Roger West (fictional) of the London Metropolitan Police who appeared in John Creasey's Inspector West Takes Charge, 1940, the first of more than forty Inspector West novels.


Inspector Neddie Seagoon

Ned Seagoon, played by Max Geldray on The Goon Show


"You may remember from a year ago that the greatest advantage a real vampire would have..."

The Vampire Affair, also by McDaniel.


Ramillies Places (should be Place)

Our heroes are about six blocks from Soho Square, and near Carnaby Street, trendy in this era for boutiques and underground music bars..


the juncture of Newburgh and Broadwick Streets

Google Maps shows them as not intersecting; Newburgh ends a block north.



Fu Manchu often hired Lascars to do his dirty work.

From Wikipedia: A lascar was a sailor or militiaman from the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, the Arab world, British Somaliland or other lands east of the Cape of Good Hope who was employed on European ships from the 16th century until the mid-20th century. A. Conan Doyle's "The Man with the Twisted Lip" has a lascar as one of its characters.

The Online Etymology Dictionary gives the following origin for "lascar":
1620s, "East Indian sailor," from Portuguese lachar, from Hindi lashkari "soldier, native sailor," from lashkar "army, camp," from Persian lashkar. Compare Arabic al-'askar "the army," which is perhaps from Persian. Later in Anglo-Indian the word appears in the sense "native tent-pitcher, camp follower, or regimental servant" (1798).


Ganton, Regent Street, Foubert's Place

Other streets in the same area.


A tall, thin Chinese with a marmoset perched on his shoulder

Dr. Fu Manchu, from the books by Sax Rohmer and perhaps the films based on them. The marmoset is Peko, who first appeared as Fu Manchu's pet in The Mystery of Fu-Manchu (1913)


"My race was already decadent when your ancestors were staining themselves blue."

Julius Caesar said the Britanni used to color their bodies blue with vitrum. (Some people think this meant woad; others say it was a copper or iron-based pigment.) The statement seems reminiscent of Disraeli's "Yes, I am a Jew, and when the ancestors of the right honorable gentleman were brutal savages in an unknown island, mine were priests in the temple of Solomon." There's a version of this quote in which Disraeli supposedly says "when your ancestors were painting themselves blue."


Tiny slender Oriental girl...violet eyes

Maybe Fleurette (daughter of Dr. Petrie and Kâramanèh), who is said to have violet eyes in Bride of Fu Manchu (1933), but many of Rohmer's heroines had violet eyes. Kâramanèh had black eyes; Fah lo Suee had green eyes.


tall gaunt Englishman

Denis Nayland Smith is described as tall and gaunt in President Fu Manchu.


WHitehall 9213

Sir Denis Nayland Smith's telephone number in The Eyes of Fu Manchu.



British Naval Intelligence named its English operatives by numbers (and Kipling's Kim also has British Intelligence doing this: "he has no name but only a number and a letter"). Ian Fleming's British Naval Intelligence codename was 17F. He wrote the adventures of James Bond, 007, beginning in 1952.


flat overlooking St. James park

Tommy Hambledon's flat in the Manning Coles books [except that it should have had an elevator, not stairs]


"We seem bound to encounter everyone else engaged in the never-ending fight against crime."

Yes — because Dave made it so.


A sleek aristocratic redhead

Emma Peel (The Avengers TV show, played by Diana Rigg)


elegantly, almost foppishly-dressed gentleman...setting a bowler above his broad British face with mathematical precision.

Mr. Steed (The Avengers TV show, played by Patrick Macnee)


a short, spare man with bright eyes and a lined face

Tommy Hambledon, from the stories by Manning Coles (pseud. of Adelaide Frances Oke Manning and Cyril Henry Coles)


New Bond Street (Mayfair)

Lucie Campbell jewelry store has been on 26 New Bond St. since 1961.


A Chief Inspector vouching for you will serve as a pass to all sorts of social functions

Hambledon's friend Chief Inspector William Bagshott


"Department Zed" (which would, of course, be spelled "Department Z," but pronounced Zed in British English)

Referring to John Creasey's "Department Z Adventures"


"lucky with taxis"

a recurrent motif in the Manning Coles stories: Tommy Hambledon was always lucky with taxis


Section II: "Look upon the rainbow."

Apocrypha Sirach 43 "11. Look upon the rainbow, and praise him that made it; very beautiful it is in the brightness thereof. 12 It compasseth the heaven about with a glorious circle, and the hands of the most High have bended it."


...a figure...[extracted] a matched pair of beautifully delicate throwing knives...He was tall and elegantly slim...impeccably dressed...[after hand-to-hand fighting] not a hair of his perfectly parted hair appeared to have been disturbed.

Simon Templar, from the Saint stories by Leslie Charteris. Charteris referred to him as (see page 57) "the Robin Hood of modern crime" and one collection of Saint stories was titled The Brighter Buccaneer.



The Saint often referred to his opponents as "ungodly."


the luminous dial of his watch

This was probably a dial with the hour numbers painted in radium. (Page 102 notes that the watch has glowing hands.)


communicator...little silver fountain pen

This was the third and last stage of the communicator shown on the TV series.


Section Five should start work on something new to hide the tiny long-distance radio in. A shoe-heel, for instance...

Maxwell Smart (Agent 86) had a shoe phone on the TV series Get Smart


battleship grey Bentley

In the early Bond stories Fleming gave Bond a battleship-grey Bentley 4½ Litre with an Amherst Villiers supercharger.


little slip of a girl [on a motorcycle]

Dave's friend Gail Thompson (née Josephine Gail Knuth). In real life she rode a Honda 50cc cycle. Dave himself rode a (bigger) motorcycle (a 150?).

71 was Josephine, though she preferred to be called Joey.


Baycombe (North Devon)

The location of Leslie Charteris' first novel about Simon Templar ("The Saint"), Meet the Tiger, 1928.


Aunt Jane

Jane Marple (from the Miss. Marple stories by Agatha Christie)


...a stout, roly-poly man with a round face, beaming with childlike innocence above his clerical collar... "May I present Father John"

Father Brown (from the stories by G. K. Chesterton). Chesterton once refers to him as "J. Brown" (and based him on Father John O'Connor) but also once refers to him as "Paul."

On page 76, McDaniel refers to the priest as "Father Brown" instead of as "Father John."


Wuxton junction

There isn't a Wuxton (let alone a Wuxton Junction) in England, let alone in Devonshire, and there wasn't back in the 1960s.


HOLborn 2600

Unidentified. Holborn is an area of central London.


Donzerly island

Johnnie Rainbow's headquarters is in and under the old lighthouse on Donzerly. It is traditional to refer to such places as the so-and-so light, e.g., the Eddystone Light.

"Oh say, can you see, by the dawn's early light...."


"Their acronym is Thrush"

Technological Hierarchy for the Removal of Undesirables and the Subjugation of Humanity. This acronym was created by Dean Dickensheet.


Supreme Council

The Supreme Council is higher than the Satraps. But Johnstone (McDaniel) wrote an article, "A Postulation on the Nature of THRUSH," originally published in the fiction fanzine The Third Foundation. Images of that publication: page 1 and page 2.


Section III: "Add another hue unto the rainbow"

"Therefore, to be possess'd with double pomp,/ To guard a title that was rich before, / To gild refined gold, to paint the lily, / To throw a perfume on the violet,/ To smooth the ice, or add another hue/ Unto the rainbow, or with taper-light/ To seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish,/ Is wasteful and ridiculous excess." Shakespeare, King John, Act IV, Scene 2, said by Lord Salisbury.

This section includes "Chapter 10: How the Heel Stone Proved an Achilles Heel, and Napoleon Solo Crossed Salisbury Plain on a Bicycle." The repetition of Salisbury is probably not a coincidence."


Commander Horatio Dascoyn

This seems to refer to a character in Kind Hearts and Coronets, Admiral Lord Horatio D'Ascoyne (who went down with his ship).


William Escott, retired detective, keeps bees on his Sussex farm...

Violin case (page 94)

Sherlock Holmes (from the stories by Arthur Conan Doyle). In His Last Bow, Holmes retires to a farm in the Sussex Downs and takes up beekeeping as a hobby.

Holmes used the name "William Escott" in Doyle's " The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton.".


...a great antedeluvian [should be antediluvian] oak...a grove of ash ancient thorn bush [should be a hawthorn tree]

"A Tree Song" by Rudyard Kipling:

England shall bide till Judgement Tide,
By Oak and Ash and Thorn!

Dave said he was deliberately associating Holmes with the abiding virtues of England.


After Escott explains why the airdrop will occur between 1AM and 3AM:

"Oh, of course," said Napoleon, "That's really quite elementary."
Escott winced visibly...

No comment needed


Chapter 10: How the Heel Stone Proved an Achilles Heel, and Napoleon Solo Crossed Salisbury Plain on a Bicycle.

The second part of the title alludes to "The Nightmare Song" from Iolanthe by W. S. Gilbert & Arthur Sullivan (as well as to Lord Salisbury: see note on page 89):

And you find you're as cold as an icicle,...
Crossing Salisbury Plain on a bicycle


He found a bicycle leaning against a wall....He was now, uh, southeast of Stonehenge.


"I'm freezing"


retired UNCLE agent...our friend at Clouds Hill, near Dorchester... Brough-Superior vintage 1935

Clouds Hills was the home of T. E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia), who supposedly died in a motorcycle accident. May 18, 1935, riding a Brough Superior SS 100. This model was tested at 100 mph before delivery. The motorcycle was only slightly damaged in the accident and was repaired by George Brough.

Clouds Hill is now a National Trust museum, including a motorbike shed (but doesn't have Lawrence's motorbike). There is a Brough Superior quite nearby in Bovington in the Tank Museum, home of the Tank Corps where Lawrence spent two years under the name of T. E. Shaw.


violin playing Chopin's Fantasie Impromptu

The middle section of Fantasie Impromptu provides the melody for the popular song "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows" (whose music is credited to Harry Carroll).

And, of course, Holmes played the violin as a hobby.


military pillbox...looks as if someone tried to convert it into a cottage.

Simon Templar's home in The Saint Meets the Tiger was a Pill Box, which had been "built during the war [WW I] as a coast defence station..... A gang of workmen from Ilfracombe had worked without rest for thirty-six hours to make it habitable."

This might be a Martello tower (see the Wikipedia article) such as the one where Buck Mulligan and Stephen Daedalus lived in James Joyce's Ulysses. Dave was proud of having been born on Bloomsday (June 16th) in 1939 and might have at least read the start of the book featuring the tower.


A young man — about six feet tall and quite athletic. He had an older man with him and was quite well off.

Simon Templar and Orace, his ex-military manservant


"It has to be the right place."
"There's no place like it anywhere near here."

An old catch phrase: "There's no other place like this place anywhere near this place so this must be the place."


Dauringa Island

Directly refers to The Monster Wheel Affair, but there is a deeper reference. "Dauringa" is an anagram of "Guardian".

As a young fan, McDaniel was involved in imagining a shared universe called "Coventry." Some fans were concerned that McDaniel and others were too deeply involved in this fantasy, and created a character for the purpose of destroying it. This character was called "The Guardian".

Dickensheet was one of the guiding hands in "The Guardian". He later pointed out that all three of his names were synonyms for "Guardian": Dean, Ward (as in "warden"), and Dickensheet, from Duykenshutz, someone who watches over the dykes in the Netherlands.


"find a Rainbow at the end of the storm"

This seems to be a standard phrase of well-wishing, perhaps an allusion to the story of Noah. The chapter title "a Rainbow in the midst of the Storm" shows up occasionally in commentaries on Ezekiel's vision: a whirlwind (1:4) with a rainbow (1:28)..


"The Rainbow Comes and Goes"

See the lines quoted on page 154.


Pete, Willy // Bert (page 134) // Harry (page 145) may be Dingo Harry but is probably another Harry. // Bill (page 147)

These seem to be run of the mill names, not references.


watch the telly

In England, any household watching live broadcast television is supposed to purchase an annual television license. In 1967, the monochrome-only single-channel BBC television service cost £5. But perhaps the Rainbow gang didn't get its telly legally.


"Although my dark career sometimes involves the crime of stealing," he quoted, "I do prefer to draw the line at cold-blooded murder."

"Although our dark career/ Sometimes involves the crime of stealing" — the Pirate King, from Pirates of Penzance.


Pete, Willy // Bert (page 134) // Harry (page 145) may be Dingo Harry but is probably another Harry. // Bill (page 147)

These seem to be run of the mill names, not references.


watch the telly

In England, any household watching live broadcast television is supposed to purchase an annual television license. In 1967, the monochrome-only single-channel BBC television service cost £5. But perhaps the Rainbow gang didn't get its telly legally.


"Although my dark career sometimes involves the crime of stealing," he quoted, "I do prefer to draw the line at cold-blooded murder."

"Although our dark career/ Sometimes involves the crime of stealing" — the Pirate King, from Pirates of Penzance.


Robin Hood's cave (a cave in the Creswell Cratgs between Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire).


Chapter 15: ...and the Dawn Truly Came Up Like Thunder

From "Mandalay" by Rudyard Kipling: "The dawn comes up like thunder outer China 'crost the Bay!"


"After all, a man's castle is his home"

"A man's home is his castle": a saying dating back to Cicero, and the basis for the "Castle Doctrine" in US law.


North Africa...Palestine...Korea...

[found in Gosling's book, using Google search] "He followed his dream through the African desert, occupied Europe, through the Palestine desert, Egypt, and Cyprus...."


green flash...Ulsenite

In Green Hazard by Manning Coles, Hambledon finds himself in the role of Professor Ulseth, pretending to develop a new explosive, Ulsenite, which explodes with a green flash.



A usage in Dave's immediate social circle. When a marijuana cigarette ("joint") has burned down to where you can't hold it in your fingers, the leftover bit is a "roach". Put ten roaches together in a rolling paper and you have a "Ming". (The resin concentrates in the end, so this is considerably stronger than an ordinary joint). The roaches of ten Mings would make a "Ming-Two". And the roaches of ten Ming-Twos would make a "Ming-Three".


an old Chinese with a brow like Shakespeare, a face like Satan, and eyes of the true tiger green, lay dreaming.

"a brow like Shakespeare and a face like Satan, ...and long, magnetic eyes of the true cat-green" The Mystery of Dr. Fu Manchu, 1913.


"'But yet I know, where'er I go, That there hath past away a glory from the earth.'"

From the same source as the earlier lines:
Wordsworth, William, Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood," [1st pub Poems, in Two Volumes: 1807], stanza II.


Thrush "Public Relations" division

McDaniel and friends actually formed this (wearing formal black with THRUSH arm badges made by Don Simpson (using buckram and black acrylic paint). They attended Robert Vaughn's opening night in Hamlet in the LA area, where they met Vaughn's professional colleagues.

Mrs. Norman Felton said, "But we invented you, didn't we?" "If you invented us, what did you say THRUSH stands for?" "It doesn't stand for anything; it's a bird." ""We think it stands for Technological Hierarchy for the Removal of Undesirables and the Subjugation of Humanity."

Dave wrote up these "THRUSH flights" in a fanzine, and that was how he got an invitation from Terry Carr of Ace Books to try writing an UNCLE book.


"There are signs of imminent war in the Middle East again....The sudden strain between Egypt and Israel......You will probably be asked to remain on station until the end of the war."

The Six-Day War...took place June 5-10, 1967, between Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt (known at the time as the United Arab Republic), Jordan, and Syria..


the stamp of three heraldic bugle-horns in their wax seals

The heraldic bugle-horn is also termed a "hanchet" or "hunting horn." This is probably a reference to the supposed Holmes' family arms as "Argent three bugle-horns sable arranged two and one." Dave was a Baker Street Irregular.