Thursday, September 29, 2005

Bull's-Eye Brightness

We all know what the term “bull’s-eye” means in target practice—dead center (literally “dead” center, in the lingo of police officers who are training at the firing range to protect themselves and to stop capital criminals). It has other meanings, though. A new one, to me, occurs in Sir Gilbert Campbell’s “The Mystery of Essex Stairs,” an 1891 story we're currently typesetting and proofreading for inclusion in the Vintage Short Mystery Classics e-book series ( A bull’s-eye in Victorian days sometimes referred to a type of lantern which had a convex lens, via which a bobby on a murky night beat in London could illuminate an object of suspicion in some dark corner or alleyway. In the same sense, a modern-day flashlight might be called a bulls-eye.


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