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|Right Ho, Jeeves||P. G. Wodehouse|
|Page 2 of 6||
"This little trouble of yours. Jeeves has told me everything."
He didn't seem any too braced. It's always difficult to be sure, of course, when a chap has dug himself in behind a Mephistopheles beard, but I fancy he flushed a trifle.
"I wish Jeeves wouldn't go gassing all over the place. It was supposed to be confidential."
I could not permit this tone.
"Dishing up the dirt to the young master can scarcely be described as gassing all over the place," I said, with a touch of rebuke. "Anyway, there it is. I know all. And I should like to begin," I said, sinking my personal opinion that the female in question was a sloppy pest in my desire to buck and encourage, "by saying that Madeline Bassett is a charming girl. A winner, and just the sort for you."
"You don't know her?"
"Certainly I know her. What beats me is how you ever got in touch. Where did you meet?"
"She was staying at a place near mine in Lincolnshire the week before last."
"Yes, but even so. I didn't know you called on the neighbours."
"I don't. I met her out for a walk with her dog. The dog had got a thorn in its foot, and when she tried to take it out, it snapped at her. So, of course, I had to rally round."
"You extracted the thorn?"
"And fell in love at first sight?"
"Well, dash it, with a thing like that to give you a send-off, why didn't you cash in immediately?"
"I hadn't the nerve."
"We talked for a bit."
"Birds? What birds?"
"The birds that happened to be hanging round. And the scenery, and all that sort of thing. And she said she was going to London, and asked me to look her up if I was ever there."
"And even after that you didn't so much as press her hand?"
"Of course not."
Well, I mean, it looked as though there was no more to be said. If a chap is such a rabbit that he can't get action when he's handed the thing on a plate, his case would appear to be pretty hopeless. Nevertheless, I reminded myself that this non-starter and I had been at school together. One must make an effort for an old school friend.
"Ah, well," I said, "we must see what can be done. Things may brighten. At any rate, you will be glad to learn that I am behind you in this enterprise. You have Bertram Wooster in your corner, Gussie."
"Thanks, old man. And Jeeves, of course, which is the thing that really matters."
I don't mind admitting that I winced. He meant no harm, I suppose, but I'm bound to say that this tactless speech nettled me not a little. People are always nettling me like that. Giving me to understand, I mean to say, that in their opinion Bertram Wooster is a mere cipher and that the only member of the household with brains and resources is Jeeves.
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|Right Ho, Jeeves
P. G. Wodehouse
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