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|Right Ho, Jeeves||P. G. Wodehouse|
|Page 5 of 13||
"You might just slide down and fetch it, will you?"
"Very good, sir."
"Right ho, Jeeves."
And presently I was sauntering towards the drawing-room with me good old j. nestling snugly abaft the shoulder blades.
And Dahlia was in the drawing-room. She glanced up at my entrance.
"Hullo, eyesore," she said. "What do you think you're made up as?"
I did not get the purport.
"The jacket, you mean?" I queried, groping.
"I do. You look like one of the chorus of male guests at Abernethy Towers in Act 2 of a touring musical comedy."
"You do not admire this jacket?"
"I do not."
"You did at Cannes."
"Well, this isn't Cannes."
"But, dash it----"
"Oh, never mind. Let it go. If you want to give my butler a laugh, what does it matter? What does anything matter now?"
There was a death-where-is-thy-sting-fullness about her manner which I found distasteful. It isn't often that I score off Jeeves in the devastating fashion just described, and when I do I like to see happy, smiling faces about me.
"Tails up, Aunt Dahlia," I urged buoyantly.
"Tails up be dashed," was her sombre response. "I've just been talking to Tom."
"No, listening to him. I haven't had the nerve to tell him yet."
"Is he still upset about that income-tax money?"
"Upset is right. He says that Civilisation is in the melting-pot and that all thinking men can read the writing on the wall."
"Old Testament, ass. Belshazzar's feast."
"Oh, that, yes. I've often wondered how that gag was worked. With mirrors, I expect."
"I wish I could use mirrors to break it to Tom about this baccarat business."
I had a word of comfort to offer here. I had been turning the thing over in my mind since our last meeting, and I thought I saw where she had got twisted. Where she made her error, it seemed to me, was in feeling she had got to tell Uncle Tom. To my way of thinking, the matter was one on which it would be better to continue to exercise a quiet reserve.
"I don't see why you need mention that you lost that money at baccarat."
"What do you suggest, then? Letting Milady's Boudoir join Civilisation in the melting-pot. Because that is what it will infallibly do unless I get a cheque by next week. The printers have been showing a nasty spirit for months."
"You don't follow. Listen. It's an understood thing, I take it, that Uncle Tom foots the Boudoir bills. If the bally sheet has been turning the corner for two years, he must have got used to forking out by this time. Well, simply ask him for the money to pay the printers."
"I did. Just before I went to Cannes."
"Wouldn't he give it to you?"
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|Right Ho, Jeeves
P. G. Wodehouse
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