Johnny Sweeny ?

< Previous | Next >


With Johnny Sweeny a cloud of dust down the road, and the dinner-hour
approaching, I hurried on with my investigations.

The above sentence is a part of 'Circular Staircase' (1908) by Mary Roberts Rinehart.

The name above suddenly appear in the text without any relation to the novel, so I reckon it has something to do with ways to description of weather or time in English language at the time the novel was written. (Definitely it has nothing to do with present days 'Sweeney Todd' or something, I believe.)

Simply can't figure out, waiting someboy to clear my ignorance.

Thank you.

  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    Are you sure that Rinehart didn't mention "Johnny Sweeny" earlier in the novel? I'm certainly not familiar with "Johnny Sweeny" as a fixed expression that has some strange meaning. It should refer to some person that the narrator saw earlier in the story.


    Senior Member
    English UK
    In the previous couple of paragraphs, the narrator talks about frightening the paper-boy, who dropped his papers in fright and "bolted across the lawn to the road without stopping to look around".

    Johnny Sweeny is evidently the name of the paper-boy:).
    < Previous | Next >