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|Right Ho, Jeeves||P. G. Wodehouse|
|Page 4 of 7||
She looked at me, and I saw that she was putting in a bit of the old drenched-irises stuff.
"It was like you to say that, Bertie. I respect you for it."
"Yes. You have a splendid, chivalrous soul."
"Not a bit."
"Yes, you have. You remind me of Cyrano."
"Cyrano de Bergerac."
"The chap with the nose?"
I can't say I was any too pleased. I felt the old beak furtively. It was a bit on the prominent side, perhaps, but, dash it, not in the Cyrano class. It began to look as if the next thing this girl would do would be to compare me to Schnozzle Durante.
"He loved, but pleaded another's cause."
"Oh, I see what you mean now."
"I like you for that, Bertie. It was fine of you--fine and big. But it is no use. There are things which kill love. I can never forget Augustus, but my love for him is dead. I will be your wife."
Well, one has to be civil.
"Right ho," I said. "Thanks awfully."
Then the dialogue sort of poofed out once more, and we stood eating cheese straws and cold eggs respectively in silence. There seemed to exist some little uncertainty as to what the next move was.
Fortunately, before embarrassment could do much more supervening, Angela came in, and this broke up the meeting. Then Bassett announced our engagement, and Angela kissed her and said she hoped she would be very, very happy, and the Bassett kissed her and said she hoped she would be very, very happy with Gussie, and Angela said she was sure she would, because Augustus was such a dear, and the Bassett kissed her again, and Angela kissed her again and, in a word, the whole thing got so bally feminine that I was glad to edge away.
I would have been glad to do so, of course, in any case, for if ever there was a moment when it was up to Bertram to think, and think hard, this moment was that moment.
It was, it seemed to me, the end. Not even on the occasion, some years earlier, when I had inadvertently become betrothed to Tuppy's frightful Cousin Honoria, had I experienced a deeper sense of being waist high in the gumbo and about to sink without trace. I wandered out into the garden, smoking a tortured gasper, with the iron well embedded in the soul. And I had fallen into a sort of trance, trying to picture what it would be like having the Bassett on the premises for the rest of my life and at the same time, if you follow me, trying not to picture what it would be like, when I charged into something which might have been a tree, but was not--being, in point of fact, Jeeves.
"I beg your pardon, sir," he said. "I should have moved to one side."
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|Right Ho, Jeeves
P. G. Wodehouse
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