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|My Man Jeeves||P. G. Wodehouse|
Rallying Round Old George
|Page 8 of 12||
Everything went right till lunch-time. George sat in the shade on the foredeck talking to Stella most of the time. When the gong went and the rest had started to go below, he drew me back. He was beaming.
"It's all right," he said. "What did I tell you?"
"What did you tell me?"
"Why, about Stella. Didn't I say that Alfred would fix things for George? I told her she looked worried, and got her to tell me what the trouble was. And then----"
"You must have shown a flash of speed if you got her to confide in you after knowing you for about two hours."
"Perhaps I did," said George modestly, "I had no notion, till I became him, what a persuasive sort of chap my brother Alfred was. Anyway, she told me all about it, and I started in to show her that George was a pretty good sort of fellow on the whole, who oughtn't to be turned down for what was evidently merely temporary insanity. She saw my point."
"And it's all right?"
"Absolutely, if only we can produce George. How much longer does that infernal sleuth intend to stay here? He seems to have taken root."
"I fancy he thinks that you're bound to come back sooner or later, and is waiting for you."
"He's an absolute nuisance," said George.
We were moving towards the companion way, to go below for lunch, when a boat hailed us. We went to the side and looked over.
"It's my uncle," said George.
A stout man came up the gangway.
"Halloa, George!" he said. "Get my letter?"
"I think you are mistaking me for my brother," said George. "My name is Alfred Lattaker."
"I am George's brother Alfred. Are you my Uncle Augustus?"
The stout man stared at him.
"You're very like George," he said.
"So everyone tells me."
"And you're really Alfred?"
"I'd like to talk business with you for a moment."
He cocked his eye at me. I sidled off and went below.
At the foot of the companion-steps I met Voules,
"I beg your pardon, sir," said Voules. "If it would be convenient I should be glad to have the afternoon off."
I'm bound to say I rather liked his manner. Absolutely normal. Not a trace of the fellow-conspirator about it. I gave him the afternoon off.
I had lunch--George didn't show up--and as I was going out I was waylaid by the girl Pilbeam. She had been crying.
"I beg your pardon, sir, but did Mr. Voules ask you for the afternoon?"
I didn't see what business if was of hers, but she seemed all worked up about it, so I told her.
"Yes, I have given him the afternoon off."
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|My Man Jeeves
P. G. Wodehouse
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