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|Right Ho, Jeeves||P. G. Wodehouse|
|Page 3 of 7||
"Oh, I see."
So that was straightened out. Nevertheless, instead of proceeding she took time off once more. She stood twisting the fingers and scratching the gravel with her foot. When finally she spoke, it was to deliver an impressive boost:
"Bertie, do you read Tennyson?"
"Not if I can help."
"You remind me so much of those Knights of the Round Table in the 'Idylls of the King'."
Of course I had heard of them--Lancelot, Galahad and all that lot, but I didn't see where the resemblance came in. It seemed to me that she must be thinking of a couple of other fellows.
"How do you mean?"
"You have such a great heart, such a fine soul. You are so generous, so unselfish, so chivalrous. I have always felt that about you--that you are one of the few really chivalrous men I have ever met."
Well, dashed difficult, of course, to know what to say when someone is giving you the old oil on a scale like that. I muttered an "Oh, yes?" or something on those lines, and rubbed the billowy portions in some embarrassment. And there was another silence, broken only by a sharp howl as I rubbed a bit too hard.
I heard her give a sort of gulp.
"Bertie, will you be chivalrous now?"
"Rather. Only too pleased. How do you mean?"
"I am going to try you to the utmost. I am going to test you as few men have ever been tested. I am going----"
I didn't like the sound of this.
"Well," I said doubtfully, "always glad to oblige, you know, but I've just had the dickens of a bicycle ride, and I'm a bit stiff and sore, especially in the--as I say, a bit stiff and sore. If it's anything to be fetched from upstairs----"
"No, no, you don't understand."
"I don't, quite, no."
"Oh, it's so difficult.... How can I say it?... Can't you guess?"
"No. I'm dashed if I can."
"Bertie--let me go!"
"But I haven't got hold of you."
And then I suddenly got it. I suppose it was fatigue that had made me so slow to apprehend the nub.
I staggered, and the left pedal came up and caught me on the shin. But such was the ecstasy in the soul that I didn't utter a cry.
I didn't want any confusion on the point.
"You mean you want to call it all off? You're going to hitch up with Gussie, after all?"
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|Right Ho, Jeeves
P. G. Wodehouse
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