Donkey's Whistle : Whistler : Spots

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Mohamed Hamed

Senior Member
Arabic
Here's the quote with difficulties marked in bold:

(The priest) "but I saved the cross, as the cross will always be saved. It is at Westminster by now. I rather wonder you didn't stop it with the Donkey's Whistle."

"With the what?" asked Flambeau. (the criminal)
"I'm glad you've never heard of it," said the priest, making a face. "It's a foul thing. I'm sure you're too good a man for a Whistler. I couldn't have countered it even with the Spots myself; I'm not strong enough in the legs."
"What on earth are you talking about?" asked the other. "Well, I did think you'd know the Spots," said Father Brown, agreeably surprised.

From "The Blue Cross", one of Father Brown's short stories.
Famous (and forgotten) Fiction-Writings- Valentin Follows a Curious Trail (The Blue Cross) by G. K. Chesterton

My question is what could be Donkey's Whistle, and Whistler and Spots?
 
  • Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    They seem to be something unique to that story. Have you read the whole story?

    (I suspect, but this is just a guess, that they're meaningless terms that Father Brown's made up for some reason.)
     

    Mohamed Hamed

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    They seem to be something unique to that story. Have you read the whole story?

    (I suspect, but this is just a guess, that they're meaningless terms that Father Brown's made up for some reason.)
    I read the whole story and these things have nothing to do with the rest of the story. All I managed to get is that Father Brown is explaining to the criminal that he knows the underworld of crime even better than him.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    All three, the donkey's whistle, the Whistler, and the Spots, are fictitious devices invented by Father Brown to mystify Flambeau, and make the criminal feel naive in his understanding of criminal proceedings, compared to the, apparently innocent, unworldly priest.

    They have no meaning at all, and you must accept them as part of an elaborate confidence trick by Father Brown.

    I'm not strong enough in the legs is particularly good in the context, to enhance the deception.
     
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