A creation of the French pistol maker Charles Francois Galland in the late 19th century, the Velodog was a small pocket revolver popular in France and Belgium in the late 19th and early 20th century. While there were many makers of Velodog revolvers in Europe at the time, most share common characteristics. First, they were small five or six shot double action revolvers, often hammerless and lacking a trigger guard. Instead of a trigger guard, for the safety most Velodogs had a folding trigger, which also made the pistol more compact for carrying. Secondly, most Velodogs were of small caliber. At first they were produced in a caliber called 5.75 Velodog, a 5.5mm (.22 caliber) jacket cartridge similar to the .22 magnum today. Later Velodogs were produced in other small calibers such a .22 long rifle and .25 ACP.
The purpose of the velodog was very specific, for bicyclers to defend themselves against dog attacks. The name “velodog” is a portmanteau of the words “velocipede”, an early type of bicycle (pictured above), and “dog”. While this may seem laughable today, remember that at the time, bicycles were crude, slow vehicles and that 19th century Paris was infested with thousands of dangerous, rabid dogs. For those seeking a more humane solution, 5.75 Velodog cartridges were produced loaded with cayenne pepper.
In the Henry universe, how does Scully react when Mulder finds someone else?
She’s sorting lunch components for the twins into plastic
bins in the refrigerator; bags of chips and carrot sticks and foil-wrapped
triangles of pizza. Her phone rings as she picks up a webbed bag of
“Hey,” Mulder says, his voice a warm pulse.
Scully lets the oranges slump back onto the counter. “Hey.”
“I’m, uh, I’m headed up to New York to talk to my publisher
this afternoon,” he tells her.
She can hear the noisy old dishwasher going in the
background, imagines Mulder fidgeting at the kitchen table. There’s a chair
with a wobbly leg he likes to rock in. “They still talking about the
Scully chews her lip, considering. She tucks the phone
against her shoulder. “That’s not why you called, though.”
A long pause. “No.”
“Okay.” She shuts the fridge and begins assembling
sandwiches on the counter. Teasing information from Mulder can take a quiet,
“I met someone,” he says at last.
Scully sets the knife down, knuckling the cool granite. “Did
“I just, you know, I wanted to call you. You were very open
about Henry so I thought I should extend you the same courtesy.” In the
background, the squeak of the chair leg.
“Mulder, that’s great. I’m happy to hear it.” She is, she
is, she doesn’t want him alone.
He coughs. “Thanks. Um, well, I guess that’s it, really. I
should go pack.”
“No!” she exclaims. “Mulder, I need some detail.” As a friend. As a concerned friend who is wary of his
general taste for women who will betray him.
“Oh, Scully, you don’t have t-“
“Really, I do. Let’s have the 411.” She hopes she sounds
casually interested, and begins spreading peanut butter on a slice of bread.
Mulder guffaws. “The 411? Scully, let me tell you about the
She blushes, waves her hand. “Whatever. Details, something.”
Scully imagines him pacing now, tossing and catching an
invisible baseball. “You know, it’s okay, I don’t want to pressure you.”
“No, hey, I’m sorry. Just trying to generate a quick
dossier. Uh, well, her name is Elizabeth. She works for the EPA, coastal
“Science nerd, huh?” she says, and immediately wishes she
hadn’t. She swallows, stabs a spoon into the jam jar.
“Yeah,” Mulder says. “She does something with zebra mussels
and ship ballast water that I need to brush up on.”
“Probably invasive species in coastal communities. I’ll give
you a crash course if you like.” She picks up the sandwich to tuck into a
‘It’s okay. I’ll Google it; you remember that internet thing
I mentioned before. It’s got lots of stuff on it.”
She is stung, and words sticks in her throat like lumpy
oatmeal. “Oh,” she manages. “Okay, then.”
Mulder coughs again. “I just figured you’re pretty busy,
with work and the kids and everything.”
“Yeah. Yeah, it’s pretty crazy.” She toys with the jam jar,
rolling it in her hands. It is cool against her palms “Well, you know, enjoy
your research. Look up copepods too.”
Seconds tick by on the kitchen clock.
“When’s the second book out?” Scully asks. She picks up the
sandwich, zipping and unzipping the plastic bag.
“Around Thanksgiving, I think. You want an advance copy? I’ll
sign it for you.”
She laughs. “No, don’t give them away. I want to buy it,
boost your sales.”
“In that case, stock up and send them out with the Christmas
cards. Even mine.”
“I’ll pre-order on the….what did you call it? The in-ter-net?”
Mulder chuckles. “Have them shipped right to your house, or
take your velocipede down to the book-seller to fetch them.”
A lengthy pause, but they don’t hang up.
Scully finds that the sandwich in her hand has been wadded
into a dense ball, peanut butter and jam squeezed all over the inside of the
bag. She hastily shoves it into the trash can. “Mulder, um, when you get back
in town, why don’t you give me a call? We’d love to have dinner with you and
Elizabeth.” She says it so smoothly she believes it.
“Oh,” he says. “That sounds nice, that sounds really good.
“Okay.” She squeezes her eyes closed, her stomach sour.
Mulder breathes for a long moment. Then he says, “Well, hey.
I’ve got to get going, but thanks for listening. I know how busy you are.”
“Yeah,” she says. “Sure.” She holds back this time, doesn’t
say she always has time for him.
An empty silence now, the call disconnected.
Scully sits on a bar stool, hands clasped beneath her chin,
elbows on the breakfast bar. She sees the absurd expectation she’s held onto,
the cruelty of it. Mulder like a sundial in the garden of her life, static and
reliable as she moves through the seasons around him. Ticking off her hours as
she spends them.
Scully goes to the sink and slaps cold water on her face.
She sees Elizabeth in her mind’s eye. Lanky and brunette, of course. Long legs
and khaki shorts, probably lots of trips to REI. She assigns her a sporty dog
too. Maybe with a bandanna.
She says a prayer for his happiness, and leaves it to God to
sort out what exactly she means by the idea.
Mugshot of Albin Wennström, 1902, Sweden. He was arrested for velocipede (bike) theft. He’s described as 1.80m (5′11″) with blue gray eyes and light hair. He drowned in 1907 while traveling between England and Australia on the ship Mount Stewart.
Sylvester Howard Roper was an American inventor and a pioneering builder of early automobiles and motorcycles from Boston, Massachusetts. In 1863 he built a steam carriage (one of the earliest automobiles) and The Roper Steam Velocipede of 1867-1869 may have been the first motorcycle for which he was inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2002. He is also the inventor of the shotgun choke and a revolver repeating shotgun. On June 1, 1896 Roper rode one of his later velocipede model to Tthe Charles River bicycle track (near Harvard Bridge, Cambridge, Massachusetts) where he made several laps pacing bicyclists there. Roper was clocked at 2 minutes 1.4 seconds for the flying mile for a top speed 64 km/h. He was seen to wobble and then fall on the track suffering a head wound and was found dead. After autopsy the cause of death was found to be heart failure although it’s unknown if the crash was the cause of the stress on his heart or if his heart failed prior to the crash.