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|Right Ho, Jeeves||P. G. Wodehouse|
|Page 2 of 8||
He said, yes, he was here.
"Been here long?"
"Fine. I wanted to see you."
"Well, here I am. Come out from behind that bench."
"No, thanks, old man. I like leaning on it. It seems to rest the spine."
"In about two seconds," said Tuppy, "I'm going to kick your spine up through the top of your head."
I raised the eyebrows. Not much good, of course, in that light, but it seemed to help the general composition.
"Is this Hildebrand Glossop speaking?" I said.
He replied that it was, adding that if I wanted to make sure I might move a few feet over in his direction. He also called me an opprobrious name.
I raised the eyebrows again.
"Come, come, Tuppy, don't let us let this little chat become acrid. Is 'acrid' the word I want?"
"I couldn't say," he replied, beginning to sidle round the bench.
I saw that anything I might wish to say must be said quickly. Already he had sidled some six feet. And though, by dint of sidling, too, I had managed to keep the bench between us, who could predict how long this happy state of affairs would last?
I came to the point, therefore.
"I think I know what's on your mind, Tuppy," I said. "If you were in those bushes during my conversation with the recent Angela, I dare say you heard what I was saying about you."
"I see. Well, we won't go into the ethics of the thing. Eavesdropping, some people might call it, and I can imagine stern critics drawing in the breath to some extent. Considering it--I don't want to hurt your feelings, Tuppy--but considering it un-English. A bit un-English, Tuppy, old man, you must admit."
"Really?" I said. "I never knew that before. Rummy how you don't suspect a man of being Scotch unless he's Mac-something and says 'Och, aye' and things like that. I wonder," I went on, feeling that an academic discussion on some neutral topic might ease the tension, "if you can tell me something that has puzzled me a good deal. What exactly is it that they put into haggis? I've often wondered about that."
From the fact that his only response to the question was to leap over the bench and make a grab at me, I gathered that his mind was not on haggis.
"However," I said, leaping over the bench in my turn, "that is a side issue. If, to come back to it, you were in those bushes and heard what I was saying about you----"
He began to move round the bench in a nor'-nor'-easterly direction. I followed his example, setting a course sou'-sou'-west.
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|Right Ho, Jeeves
P. G. Wodehouse
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