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|Right Ho, Jeeves||P. G. Wodehouse|
|Page 3 of 5||
"Good heavens, no. We wouldn't have a fellow like that at Eton. At a kid's school before I went there. A grubby little brute he was, I recollect. Covered with ink and mire generally, washing only on alternate Thursdays. In short, a notable outsider, shunned by all."
I paused. I was more than a bit perturbed. Apart from the agony of having to talk in this fashion of one who, except when he was looping back rings and causing me to plunge into swimming baths in correct evening costume, had always been a very dear and esteemed crony, I didn't seem to be getting anywhere. Business was not resulting. Staring into the bushes without a yip, she appeared to be bearing these slurs and innuendos of mine with an easy calm.
I had another pop at it:
"'Uncouth' about sums it up. I doubt if I've ever seen an uncouther kid than this Glossop. Ask anyone who knew him in those days to describe him in a word, and the word they will use is 'uncouth'. And he's just the same today. It's the old story. The boy is the father of the man."
She appeared not to have heard.
"The boy," I repeated, not wishing her to miss that one, "is the father of the man."
"What are you talking about?"
"I'm talking about this Glossop."
"I thought you said something about somebody's father."
"I said the boy was the father of the man."
"The boy Glossop."
"He hasn't got a father."
"I never said he had. I said he was the father of the boy--or, rather, of the man."
I saw that the conversation had reached a point where, unless care was taken, we should be muddled.
"The point I am trying to make," I said, "is that the boy Glossop is the father of the man Glossop. In other words, each loathsome fault and blemish that led the boy Glossop to be frowned upon by his fellows is present in the man Glossop, and causes him--I am speaking now of the man Glossop--to be a hissing and a byword at places hike the Drones, where a certain standard of decency is demanded from the inmates. Ask anyone at the Drones, and they will tell you that it was a black day for the dear old club when this chap Glossop somehow wriggled into the list of members. Here you will find a man who dislikes his face; there one who could stand his face if it wasn't for his habits. But the universal consensus of opinion is that the fellow is a bounder and a tick, and that the moment he showed signs of wanting to get into the place he should have been met with a firm nolle prosequi and heartily blackballed."
I had to pause again here, partly in order to take in a spot of breath, and partly to wrestle with the almost physical torture of saying these frightful things about poor old Tuppy.
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|Right Ho, Jeeves
P. G. Wodehouse
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