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"Possibly there was a certain suggestion of the piscine, sir."
"Then it must be Gussie, I suppose. But what on earth can have brought
him up to London?"
"I am in a position to explain that, sir. Mr. Fink-Nottle confided to me
his motive in visiting the metropolis. He came because the young lady is
"You don't mean he's in love?"
"Well, I'm dashed. I'm really dashed. I positively am dashed, Jeeves."
And I was too. I mean to say, a joke's a joke, but there are limits.
Then I found my mind turning to another aspect of this rummy affair.
Conceding the fact that Gussie Fink-Nottle, against all the ruling of the
form book, might have fallen in love, why should he have been haunting my
flat like this? No doubt the occasion was one of those when a fellow
needs a friend, but I couldn't see what had made him pick on me.
It wasn't as if he and I were in any way bosom. We had seen a lot of each
other at one time, of course, but in the last two years I hadn't had so
much as a post card from him.
I put all this to Jeeves:
"Odd, his coming to me. Still, if he did, he did. No argument about that.
It must have been a nasty jar for the poor perisher when he found I
"No, sir. Mr. Fink-Nottle did not call to see you, sir."
"Pull yourself together, Jeeves. You've just told me that this is what he
has been doing, and assiduously, at that."
"It was I with whom he was desirous of establishing communication, sir."
"You? But I didn't know you had ever met him."
"I had not had that pleasure until he called here, sir. But it appears
that Mr. Sipperley, a fellow student of whom Mr. Fink-Nottle had been at
the university, recommended him to place his affairs in my hands."
The mystery had conked. I saw all. As I dare say you know, Jeeves's
reputation as a counsellor has long been established among the
cognoscenti, and the first move of any of my little circle on discovering
themselves in any form of soup is always to roll round and put the thing
up to him. And when he's got A out of a bad spot, A puts B on to him. And
then, when he has fixed up B, B sends C along. And so on, if you get my
drift, and so forth.
That's how these big consulting practices like Jeeves's grow. Old Sippy,
I knew, had been deeply impressed by the man's efforts on his behalf at
the time when he was trying to get engaged to Elizabeth Moon, so it was
not to be wondered at that he should have advised Gussie to apply. Pure
routine, you might say.
"Oh, you're acting for him, are you?"
"Now I follow. Now I understand. And what is Gussie's trouble?"
"Oddly enough, sir, precisely the same as that of Mr. Sipperley when I
was enabled to be of assistance to him. No doubt you recall Mr.
Sipperley's predicament, sir. Deeply attached to Miss Moon, he suffered
from a rooted diffidence which made it impossible for him to speak."
"I remember. Yes, I recall the Sipperley case. He couldn't bring himself
to the scratch. A marked coldness of the feet, was there not? I recollect
you saying he was letting--what was it?--letting something do something.
Cats entered into it, if I am not mistaken."
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