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|Right Ho, Jeeves||P. G. Wodehouse|
|Page 7 of 8||
"But, my dear old chap, I explained that. It was all part of my ruse or scheme."
"It was, was it? Well, in future do me a favour and leave me out of your foul ruses."
"Just as you say, old boy."
"All right, then. That's understood."
He relapsed into silence, standing with folded arms, staring before him rather like a strong, silent man in a novel when he's just been given the bird by the girl and is thinking of looking in at the Rocky Mountains and bumping off a few bears. His manifest pippedness excited my compash, and I ventured a kindly word.
"I don't suppose you know what au pied de la lettre means, Tuppy, but that's how I don't think you ought to take all that stuff Angela was saying just now too much."
He seemed interested.
"What the devil," he asked, "are you talking about?"
I saw that I should have to make myself clearer.
"Don't take all that guff of hers too literally, old man. You know what girls are like."
"I do," he said, with another snort that came straight up from his insteps. "And I wish I'd never met one."
"I mean to say, it's obvious that she must have spotted you in those bushes and was simply talking to score off you. There you were, I mean, if you follow the psychology, and she saw you, and in that impulsive way girls have, she seized the opportunity of ribbing you a bit--just told you a few home truths, I mean to say."
He snorted once more, causing me to feel rather like royalty receiving a twenty-one gun salute from the fleet. I can't remember ever having met a better right-and-left-hand snorter.
"What do you mean, 'home truths'? I'm not fat."
"And what's wrong with the colour of my hair?"
"Quite in order, Tuppy, old man. The hair, I mean."
"And I'm not a bit thin on the top.... What the dickens are you grinning about?"
"Not grinning. Just smiling slightly. I was conjuring up a sort of vision, if you know what I mean, of you as seen through Angela's eyes. Fat in the middle and thin on the top. Rather funny."
"You think it funny, do you?"
"Not a bit."
"You'd better not."
It seemed to me that the conversation was becoming difficult again. I wished it could be terminated. And so it was. For at this moment something came shimmering through the laurels in the quiet evenfall, and I perceived that it was Angela.
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|Right Ho, Jeeves
P. G. Wodehouse
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