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|Right Ho, Jeeves||P. G. Wodehouse|
|Page 6 of 8||
"Madeline Bassett," I said.
He seemed stunned.
"You stand there and tell me you were in love with that Bassett disaster?"
"I wouldn't call her 'that Bassett disaster', Tuppy. Not respectful."
"Dash being respectful. I want the facts. You deliberately assert that you loved that weird Gawd-help-us?"
"I don't see why you should call her a weird Gawd-help-us, either. A very charming and beautiful girl. Odd in some of her views perhaps--one does not quite see eye to eye with her in the matter of stars and rabbits--but not a weird Gawd-help-us."
"Anyway, you stick to it that you were in love with her?"
"It sounds thin to me, Wooster, very thin."
I saw that it would be necessary to apply the finishing touch.
"I must ask you to treat this as entirely confidential, Glossop, but I may as well inform you that it is not twenty-four hours since she turned me down."
"Turned you down?"
"Like a bedspread. In this very garden."
"Call it twenty-five. So you will readily see that I can't be the chap, if any, who stole Angela from you at Cannes."
And I was on the brink of adding that I wouldn't touch Angela with a barge pole, when I remembered I had said it already and it hadn't gone frightfully well. I desisted, therefore.
My manly frankness seemed to be producing good results. The homicidal glare was dying out of Tuppy's eyes. He had the aspect of a hired assassin who had paused to think things over.
"I see," he said, at length. "All right, then. Sorry you were troubled."
"Don't mention it, old man," I responded courteously.
For the first time since the bushes had begun to pour forth Glossops, Bertram Wooster could be said to have breathed freely. I don't say I actually came out from behind the bench, but I did let go of it, and with something of the relief which those three chaps in the Old Testament must have experienced after sliding out of the burning fiery furnace, I even groped tentatively for my cigarette case.
The next moment a sudden snort made me take my fingers off it as if it had bitten me. I was distressed to note in the old friend a return of the recent frenzy.
"What the hell did you mean by telling her that I used to be covered with ink when I was a kid?"
"My dear Tuppy----"
"I was almost finickingly careful about my personal cleanliness as a boy. You could have eaten your dinner off me."
"And all that stuff about having no soul. I'm crawling with soul. And being looked on as an outsider at the Drones----"
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|Right Ho, Jeeves
P. G. Wodehouse
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