Saturday, September 12, 2015

9/12/1938 When Archie Met Lily

September 12, 1938.  This is a day that should be marked with honor on the calendar of all Rex Stout fans.  It is the day that Archie Goodwin met the love of his life, Lily Rowan. This happens in the first chapter of the sixth Nero Wolfe novel, Some Buried Caesar, and it is certainly one of the most memorable openings in that long series.

The fat sleuth is in upstate New York, heading to a flower show, when his car has an accident.  Wolfe and Archie take a short cut through a pasture, which turns out to have a bull in it.  Archie has to run and tumble over a fence, nearly getting mangled to death by an angry beast, and as he struggles to his feet he hears a woman applauding and  cheering as if he were a circus act.  And that, of course, is Lily Rowan.

But my favorite line in the book is from Wolfe: "If you regard it as a rational project to find a legitimate nocturnal pickwasher, go ahead."  You had to be there.


  1. Sounds like a fun read. Now I'm going to Google "pick washer" lol.

  2. This is one of my favorite Nero Wolfe / Archie Goodwin books. And I like it primarily for the reason you mention, the first time Lily Rowan shows up.