Notes on the text
These notes, by Alastair Wilson, are partly new, and partly based on the notes on this tale in the ORG. We have also drawn extensively on John W. Reading's comments on the story. The page and line numbers below refer to the Macmillan (London) Standard Edition of The Day's Work, as published and frequently reprinted between 1898 and 1950.
“Since the author was an educated Englishman writing in English, there is no need for controversy as to the pronunciation of the title, which he would naturally have given as “point (or decimal) nought nought seven”. Readers in countries where the nought is called “zero” (e.g. France and the USA) will no doubt pronounce it in that wise, but nowhere, it is hoped, except in the world of telephone operators, will “owe owe (or double-owe) seven” be employed.”The ORG was written before Ian Fleming’s James Bond, special agent 007, had made an impact, and it is feared that many, if not most, readers today would use “owe owe seven” – even (whisper it) the author of these notes.
“season ticket holders. The word is now creeping into English use in this sense. If this word had originated, it would probably have been “commutator” – one who commutes, i.e., pays a lump sum rather than a daily fare for his journey to business.”The word is now current usage, and has taken on the meaning of anyone who makes a regular journey to their place of work, by any means of transport.
"I come from the city of Boston,[Page 232, line 5] outrecuidance overweening conceit, presumption, audacity, arrogance, bumptiousness, cheek. (French). The Mogul takes this to be a reference to outside cylinders (which he possessed).
The home of the bean and the cod,
Where the Lowells speak only to Cabots,
And the Cabots speak only to God."
“In case the feasibility of .007’s being an 0-8-0 should be doubted, the writer of this note can say from his personal memories that the Great Eastern Railway (now the Eastern Section of British Railways) at the beginning of the century produced a locomotive named “Lord Claud Hamilton”, with ten coupled drivers, or 0-10-0. This magnificent decapod was a brave sight as it stormed through the eastern suburbs at 60 m.p.h., with all its coupling rods moving in unison, and hauling a full load of passenger coaches forming the boat train to Harwich.”It ill becomes a later writer to disagree with someone who cannot reply, but the plain fact is that the ORG author has got his facts mixed up. The Great Eastern Railway did, indeed, in 1900 produce a locomotive named “Lord Claud Hamilton”, after the company’s then chairman. It was (like .007) a 4-4-0, express passenger locomotive. In 1902, the company also produced a decapod (it was so described in the railway press of the period), which was an extremely powerful 0-10-0 tank engine, a one-off, designed to convince the directors, who were contemplating electrification of their suburban system, that a steam locomotive could produce the acceleration and performance of an electric train.
“The old man had been a driver in his youth, and beguiled the way with cheery anecdotes of what might be expected if we fouled a young calf.[Page 248, line 26] ‘Sally, Sally Waters’ John Reading tells us that ‘Little Sally Waters’ is an Alabama folksong: two lines are:
‘You see, they get their legs under the cow-catcher, and that’ll put an engine off the line. I remember when a hog wrecked an excursion train and killed sixty people. ’Guess the engineer will look out, though’.”
Bow to the EastThis is, perhaps, how the Mogul felt as he turned on his side.
Bow to the West
It is hardly surprising that Kipling, himself a fully accredited Master Mason, should introduce a touch of Freemasonry into the close of this story, and invest the protagonist locomotive with the privileges and freedom of the railroad tracks and all that they imply. However, it may be objected that his anthropomorphism has already gone far enough without that.It is understood that Kipling could scarcely claim to be “a fully accredited Master Mason”, but nonetheless, it is suggested that the “touch of Freemasonry” is not inappropriate under the circumstances. The world of the railroad was a world apart for those who worked in it. They tended to live in small, self-contained, hierarchical communities, whose life was centred on the requirements of ‘The Line’. Anthopomorphically, the same applied to the locomotives.