Right Ho, Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse


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Page 4

"Letting 'I dare not' wait upon 'I would', sir."

"That's right. But how about the cats?"

"Like the poor cat i' the adage, sir."

"Exactly. It beats me how you think up these things. And Gussie, you say,
is in the same posish?"

"Yes, sir. Each time he endeavours to formulate a proposal of marriage,
his courage fails him."

"And yet, if he wants this female to be his wife, he's got to say so,
what? I mean, only civil to mention it."

"Precisely, sir."

I mused.

"Well, I suppose this was inevitable, Jeeves. I wouldn't have thought
that this Fink-Nottle would ever have fallen a victim to the divine _p_,
but, if he has, no wonder he finds the going sticky."

"Yes, sir."

"Look at the life he's led."

"Yes, sir."

"I don't suppose he has spoken to a girl for years. What a lesson this is
to us, Jeeves, not to shut ourselves up in country houses and stare into
glass tanks. You can't be the dominant male if you do that sort of thing.
In this life, you can choose between two courses. You can either shut
yourself up in a country house and stare into tanks, or you can be a
dasher with the sex. You can't do both."

"No, sir."

I mused once more. Gussie and I, as I say, had rather lost touch, but all
the same I was exercised about the poor fish, as I am about all my pals,
close or distant, who find themselves treading upon Life's banana skins.
It seemed to me that he was up against it.

I threw my mind back to the last time I had seen him. About two years
ago, it had been. I had looked in at his place while on a motor trip, and
he had put me right off my feed by bringing a couple of green things with
legs to the luncheon table, crooning over them like a young mother and
eventually losing one of them in the salad. That picture, rising before
my eyes, didn't give me much confidence in the unfortunate goof's ability
to woo and win, I must say. Especially if the girl he had earmarked was
one of these tough modern thugs, all lipstick and cool, hard, sardonic
eyes, as she probably was.

"Tell me, Jeeves," I said, wishing to know the worst, "what sort of a
girl is this girl of Gussie's?"

"I have not met the young lady, sir. Mr. Fink-Nottle speaks highly of her
attractions."

"Seemed to like her, did he?"

"Yes, sir."

"Did he mention her name? Perhaps I know her."

"She is a Miss Bassett, sir. Miss Madeline Bassett."

"What?"

"Yes, sir."

I was deeply intrigued.

"Egad, Jeeves! Fancy that. It's a small world, isn't it, what?"

"The young lady is an acquaintance of yours, sir?"

"I know her well. Your news has relieved my mind, Jeeves. It makes the
whole thing begin to seem far more like a practical working proposition."

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Books | Photos | Paul Mutton | Fri 28th Feb 2020, 13:01