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|Right Ho, Jeeves||P. G. Wodehouse|
|Page 5 of 7||
The word was like one of Jeeves's pick-me-ups. Just as if a glassful of meat sauce, red pepper, and the yolk of an egg--though, as I say, I am convinced that these are not the sole ingredients--had been shot into me, I expanded like some lovely flower blossoming in the sunshine. It was all right, after all. My guardian angel had not been asleep at the switch.
"--but I am afraid it is impossible."
"Impossible," she repeated.
I had been so busy feeling saved from the scaffold that I didn't get on to it for a moment that an early reply was desired.
"Oh, right ho," I said hastily.
"Quite all right."
"Sorrier than I can say."
"Don't give it another thought."
"We can still be friends."
"Then shall we just say no more about it; keep what has happened as a tender little secret between ourselves?"
"We will. Like something lovely and fragrant laid away in lavender."
There was a longish pause. She was gazing at me in a divinely pitying sort of way, much as if I had been a snail she had happened accidentally to bring her short French vamp down on, and I longed to tell her that it was all right, and that Bertram, so far from being the victim of despair, had never felt fizzier in his life. But, of course, one can't do that sort of thing. I simply said nothing, and stood there looking brave.
"I wish I could," she murmured.
"Could?" I said, for my attensh had been wandering.
"Feel towards you as you would like me to feel."
"But I can't. I'm sorry."
"Absolutely O.K. Faults on both sides, no doubt."
"Because I am fond of you, Mr.--no, I think I must call you Bertie. May I?"
"Because we are real friends."
"I do like you, Bertie. And if things were different--I wonder----"
"After all, we are real friends.... We have this common memory.... You have a right to know.... I don't want you to think----Life is such a muddle, isn't it?"
To many men, no doubt, these broken utterances would have appeared mere drooling and would have been dismissed as such. But the Woosters are quicker-witted than the ordinary and can read between the lines. I suddenly divined what it was that she was trying to get off the chest.
"You mean there's someone else?"
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|Right Ho, Jeeves
P. G. Wodehouse
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