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|Right Ho, Jeeves||P. G. Wodehouse|
|Page 2 of 5||
I considered it best, however, before doing so, to ease things along with a little informal chitchat. You don't want to rush a delicate job like the one I had in hand. And so for a while we spoke of neutral topics. She said that what had kept her so long at the Stretchley-Budds was that Hilda Stretchley-Budd had made her stop on and help with the arrangements for their servants' ball tomorrow night, a task which she couldn't very well decline, as all the Brinkley Court domestic staff were to be present. I said that a jolly night's revelry might be just what was needed to cheer Anatole up and take his mind off things. To which she replied that Anatole wasn't going. On being urged to do so by Aunt Dahlia, she said, he had merely shaken his head sadly and gone on talking of returning to Provence, where he was appreciated.
It was after the sombre silence induced by this statement that Angela said the grass was wet and she thought she would go in.
This, of course, was entirely foreign to my policy.
"No, don't do that. I haven't had a chance to talk to you since you arrived."
"I shall ruin my shoes."
"Put your feet up on my lap."
"All right. And you can tickle my ankles."
Matters were accordingly arranged on these lines, and for some minutes we continued chatting in desultory fashion. Then the conversation petered out. I made a few observations in re the scenic effects, featuring the twilight hush, the peeping stars, and the soft glimmer of the waters of the lake, and she said yes. Something rustled in the bushes in front of us, and I advanced the theory that it was possibly a weasel, and she said it might be. But it was plain that the girl was distraite, and I considered it best to waste no more time.
"Well, old thing," I said, "I've heard all about your little dust-up So those wedding bells are not going to ring out, what?"
"Definitely over, is it?"
"Well, if you want my opinion, I think that's a bit of goose for you, Angela, old girl. I think you're extremely well out of it. It's a mystery to me how you stood this Glossop so long. Take him for all in all, he ranks very low down among the wines and spirits. A washout, I should describe him as. A frightful oik, and a mass of side to boot. I'd pity the girl who was linked for life to a bargee like Tuppy Glossop."
And I emitted a hard laugh--one of the sneering kind.
"I always thought you were such friends," said Angela.
I let go another hard one, with a bit more top spin on it than the first time:
"Friends? Absolutely not. One was civil, of course, when one met the fellow, but it would be absurd to say one was a friend of his. A club acquaintance, and a mere one at that. And then one was at school with the man."
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|Right Ho, Jeeves
P. G. Wodehouse
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