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|Right Ho, Jeeves||P. G. Wodehouse|
|Page 2 of 5||
"Stap my vitals, Tuppy, old corpse," I said, concerned, "you're looking pretty blue round the rims."
Jeeves slid from the presence in that tactful, eel-like way of his, and I motioned the remains to take a seat.
"What's the matter?" I said.
He came to anchor on the bed, and for awhile sat picking at the coverlet in silence.
"I've been through hell, Bertie."
"Oh, hell? And what took you there?"
Once more he became silent, staring before him with sombre eyes. Following his gaze, I saw that he was looking at an enlarged photograph of my Uncle Tom in some sort of Masonic uniform which stood on the mantelpiece. I've tried to reason with Aunt Dahlia about this photograph for years, placing before her two alternative suggestions: (a) To burn the beastly thing; or (b) if she must preserve it, to shove me in another room when I come to stay. But she declines to accede. She says it's good for me. A useful discipline, she maintains, teaching me that there is a darker side to life and that we were not put into this world for pleasure only.
"Turn it to the wall, if it hurts you, Tuppy," I said gently.
"That photograph of Uncle Tom as the bandmaster."
"I didn't come here to talk about photographs. I came for sympathy."
"And you shall have it. What's the trouble? Worrying about Angela, I suppose? Well, have no fear. I have another well-laid plan for encompassing that young shrimp. I'll guarantee that she will be weeping on your neck before yonder sun has set."
He barked sharply.
"A fat chance!"
"I mean 'Tush, Tuppy.' I tell you I will do it. I was just going to describe this plan of mine to Jeeves when you came in. Care to hear it?"
"I don't want to hear any of your beastly plans. Plans are no good. She's gone and fallen in love with this other bloke, and now hates my gizzard."
"It isn't rot."
"I tell you, Tuppy, as one who can read the female heart, that this Angela loves you still."
"Well, it didn't look much like it in the larder last night."
"Oh, you went to the larder last night?"
"And Angela was there?"
"She was. And your aunt. Also your uncle."
I saw that I should require foot-notes. All this was new stuff to me. I had stayed at Brinkley Court quite a lot in my time, but I had no idea the larder was such a social vortex. More like a snack bar on a race-course than anything else, it seemed to have become.
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|Right Ho, Jeeves
P. G. Wodehouse
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