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|Right Ho, Jeeves||P. G. Wodehouse|
|Page 3 of 6||
"Exceedingly offensive. Purely on the strength of my having let fall some casual remark--simply by way of saying something and keeping the conversation going--to the effect that I wondered what Anatole was going to give us for dinner, she said that I was too material and ought not always to be thinking of food. Material, my elbow! As a matter of fact, I'm particularly spiritual."
"I don't see any harm in wondering what Anatole was going to give us for dinner. Do you?"
"Of course not. A mere ordinary tribute of respect to a great artist."
"All the same----"
"I was only going to say that it seems a pity that the frail craft of love should come a stinker like this when a few manly words of contrition----"
He stared at me.
"You aren't suggesting that I should climb down?"
"It would be the fine, big thing, old egg."
"I wouldn't dream of climbing down."
"No. I wouldn't do it."
"But you love her, don't you?"
This touched the spot. He quivered noticeably, and his mouth twisted. Quite the tortured soul.
"I'm not saying I don't love the little blighter," he said, obviously moved. "I love her passionately. But that doesn't alter the fact that I consider that what she needs most in this world is a swift kick in the pants."
A Wooster could scarcely pass this. "Tuppy, old man!"
"It's no good saying 'Tuppy, old man'."
"Well, I do say 'Tuppy, old man'. Your tone shocks me. One raises the eyebrows. Where is the fine, old, chivalrous spirit of the Glossops."
"That's all right about the fine, old, chivalrous spirit of the Glossops. Where is the sweet, gentle, womanly spirit of the Angelas? Telling a fellow he was getting a double chin!"
"Did she do that?"
"Oh, well, girls will be girls. Forget it, Tuppy. Go to her and make it up."
He shook his head.
"No. It is too late. Remarks have been passed about my tummy which it is impossible to overlook."
"But, Tummy--Tuppy, I mean--be fair. You once told her her new hat made her look like a Pekingese."
"It did make her look like a Pekingese. That was not vulgar abuse. It was sound, constructive criticism, with no motive behind it but the kindly desire to keep her from making an exhibition of herself in public. Wantonly to accuse a man of puffing when he goes up a flight of stairs is something very different."
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|Right Ho, Jeeves
P. G. Wodehouse
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