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Aunts Aren't Gentlemen CHAPTER ONE My attention was drawn to the spots on my chest when I was in my bath, singing, if I remember rightly, the Toreador. When the doctor advises Bertie to live the quiet life, he and Jeeves head for the pure air and peace of Maiden Eggesford. However, they hadn't reckoned on Bertie's irrepressible but decidedly scheming Aunt Dahlia around whom an imbroglio of impressive proportions develops. Aunts Aren't Gentlemen. Jeeves and Wooster. by P.G. Wodehouse. ebook But Jeeves, of course, can cope with everything - even aunts, and even the country.

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Enjoy, You can download **Aunts Aren't Gentlemen-Book PDF Now download Aunts Aren T Gentlemen (Jeeves and Wooster) Unabridged by P. G. the strangeness of the title Aunts Aren't Gentlemen and by the sad history that That “aunt” and “aren't” are homonyms is something of a stretch in English. eBook Editions . Home; Aunts Aren't Gentlemen But Jeeves, of course, can cope with everything - even aunts, and even the country.

With an OverDrive account, you can save your favorite libraries for at-a-glance information about availability. Find out more about OverDrive accounts. Bertie Wooster has been overdoing metropolitan life a bit, and the doctor orders fresh air in the depths of the country. But after moving with Jeeves to his cottage at Maiden Eggesford, Bertie soon finds himself surrounded by aunts - not only his redoubtable Aunt Dahlia but an aunt of Jeeves's too. But Jeeves, of course, can cope with everything - even aunts, and even the country. The final Jeeves and Wooster novel shows P. Wodehouse still able to delight, well into his nineties. Random House Imprint: Cornerstone Digital Publication Date: Wodehouse Author Pelham Grenville Wodehouse always known as 'Plum' wrote about seventy novels and some three hundred short stories over seventy-three years. He is widely recognised as the greatest 20th-century writer of humour in the English language. Perhaps bes We want your feedback!

Bertie responds: And make it strong,' I said, hoping that it would take the taste of Plank's tobacco pouch away. Wodehouse frequently alludes to Sherlock Holmes , with references to Holmes being present in his writing from up through Aunts Aren't Gentleman , his last completed novel. Jeeves is a close parallel to Holmes, since he is the problem solver, while Bertie resembles Watson, being the admiring onlooker who chronicles their adventures.

However, instead of having them be two social equals sharing a flat, Wodehouse gains additional humour by making Bertie the master and Jeeves the servant—then making it clear that Jeeves is really the one in charge. Jeeves and Bertie mimic the language of Holmes and Watson multiple times though occasionally Bertie presumes to compare himself to Holmes before his plan inevitably fails.

The most extended Holmes-Watson style conversation between Bertie and Jeeves occurs in Aunts Aren't Gentleman , chapter 5, when Jeeves knows why Cook has accused Bertie of stealing his cat, even though he was not on the scene and has never met Cook:. I felt like Doctor Watson hearing Sherlock Holmes talking about the one hundred and forty-seven varieties of tobacco ash and the time it takes parsley to settle in the butter dish. You really mean the pieces of the jig-saw puzzle have come together and fallen into their place?

According to his notes, Wodehouse considered having "someone landing B with the racetrack cat" in Jeeves in the Offing Ultimately, the idea was not included in that novel, but became a major part of the plot of Aunts Aren't Gentlemen.

The Briscoe family and the town of Maiden Eggesford that feature in this novel had appeared previously in the Drones Club short story " Tried in the Furnace " Angelica Briscoe, who is the daughter of Colonel Briscoe and the niece of a parson in Aunts Aren't Gentlemen , was originally the parson's daughter in "Tried in the Furnace".

This story was not adapted for any Jeeves and Wooster episode. The story was abridged by Richard Hamilton and the voices were provided by Blake Ritson.

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First edition. Print hardcover and paperback. He has a big house in the country with a stable of racehorses, as he can well afford to after his years of grinding the faces of the widow and the orphan. I was conscious of a passing thought that Vanessa Cook would not be remaining long in London now that she had developed this habit of socking policemen, but I did not share this with Orlo Porter, not wishing to rub salt into the wound.

Thanks for the ride. I've got spots on my chest. A keen gogetter look came into his face, and I could seem that Orlo Porter the lover had been put in storage for the time being, his place taken by Orlo Porter the zealous employee of the London and Home Counties Insurance Company. You'd better take out a policy with me. He shook his head. What you must have now is a life policy, and most fortunately,' he said, drawing papers from his pocket like a conjuror taking rabbits from a hat, 'I happen to have one on me.

Sign here, Wooster,' he said, this time producing a fountain pen. And such was his magnetism that I signed there. He registered approval. Whatever the doctor may tell you when you see him, however brief your span of life, it will be a comfort to you to know that your widow and the little ones are provided for.

Drop me here, Wooster. I took a seat and was flitting idly through the pages of an Illustrated London News of the previous December when the door of E. Jimpson Murgatroyd's private lair opened and there emerged an elderly character with one of those square, empire-building faces, much tanned as if he was accustomed to sitting out in the sun without his parasol.

Seeing me, he drank me in for a while and then said 'Hullo', and conceive my emotion when I recognized him as Major Plank the explorer and Rugby football aficionado, whom I had last seen at his house in Gloucestershire when he was accusing me of trying to get five quid out of him under false pretences. A groundless charge, I need scarcely say, self being as pure as the driven snow, if not purer, but things had got a bit difficult and the betting was that they would become difficult now.

I sat waiting for him to denounce me and was wondering what the harvest would be, when he spoke, to my astonishment, in the most bonhomous way, as if we were old buddies. I never forget a face. Isn't your name Allen or Allenby or Alexander or something?

I had been anticipating a painful scene. He clicked his tongue. It's this malaria of mine.

Picked it up in Equatorial Africa, and it affects my memory. So you've changed your name, have you? Secret enemies after you? I had to change mine that time I shot the chief of the 'Mgombis. In self-defence, of course, but that made no difference to his widows and surviving relatives who were looking for me. If they had caught me, they would have roasted me alive over a slow fire, which is a thing one always wants to avoid.

But I baffled them. Plank was the man they were trying to contact, and it never occurred to them that somebody called George Bernard Shaw could be the chap they were after. They are not very bright in those parts. Well, Wooster, how have you been since we last met? Pretty bobbish? That's bad. How many? One of my native bearers got spots on his chest, and we buried him before sundown.

Had to. Delicate fellows, these native bearers, though you wouldn't think so to look at them. Catch everything that's going around — sprue, bubonic plague, schistosomiasis, jungle fever, colds in the head — the lot. Well, Wooster, it's been nice seeing you again. I would ask you to lunch, but I have a train to catch. I'm off to the country. Bertram Wooster, as is well known, is intrepid and it takes a lot to scare the pants off him. But his talk of native bearers who had to be buried before sundown had caused me not a little anxiety.

Nor did the first sight of E. Jimpson Murgatroyd do anything to put me at my ease. Tipton had warned me that he was a gloomy old buster, and a gloomy old buster was what he proved to be. He had sad, brooding eyes and long whiskers, and his resemblance to a frog which had been looking on the dark side since it was a slip of a tadpole sent my spirits right down into the basement.

However, as so often happens when you get to know a fellow better, he turned out to be not nearly as pessimistic a Gawd-help-us as he appeared to be at first sight. By the time he had weighed me and tied that rubber thing round my biceps and felt my pulse and tapped me all over like a whiskered woodpecker he had quite brightened up and words of good cheer were pouring out of him like ginger beer from a bottle.

What gave you the idea it might be?

The chap who was in here before me. We were at school together. Barmy Plank we used to call him. No, the spots are of no importance. They will disappear in a few days. This chipped a bit off my joie de vivre. I forgot to mention that he had bushy eyebrows — and I could see that this was where I got the bad news.

You drink too much. Last night, for instance, I was helping a pal to celebrate the happy conclusion of love's young dream, and it may be that I became a mite polluted, but that rarely happens. One Martini Wooster, some people call me. You stay up too late at night. You don't get enough exercise. At your age you ought to be playing Rugby football for the old boys of your school.

You do all the things I have said. You abuse your health in a hundred ways. Total collapse may come at any moment. Unless —' 'Unless? Go to the country. Breathe pure air. Go to bed early. And get plenty of exercise. If you do not do this, I cannot answer for the consequences.

P. G. Wodehouse - Aunts Aren't Gentlemen (Jeeves & Wooster)

When a doctor, even if whiskered, tells you he cannot answer for the consequences, that's strong stuff. But I was not dismayed, because I had spotted a way of following his advice without anguish. Bertram Wooster is like that. He thinks on his feet.

He had been doing this at intervals during our get-together, being evidently one of the scratchers, like Barbara Frietchie. The poet Nash would have taken to him. Whereabouts in Worcestershire does she live? The early dinner, the restful spell with a good book or the crossword puzzle and so to bed. I'll ring her up right away. Aunt Dahlia is as good a sort as ever said 'Tally Ho' to a fox, which she frequently did in her younger days when out with the Quorn or Pytchley.

If she ever turned into a werewolf, it would be one of those jolly breezy werewolves whom it is a pleasure to know. It was very satisfactory that he had given me the green light without probing further, for an extended quiz might have revealed that Aunt Dahlia has a French cook who defies competition, and I need scarcely explain that the first thing a doctor does when you tell him you are going to a house where there's a French cook is to put you on a diet.

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Lovely weather we are having, are we not? Good morning, good morning, good morning. I had given up all idea of driving to Brighton for lunch.

I had stern work before me — viz. In her darker moods, when some domestic upheaval is troubling her, she has been known to ask me if I have a home of my own and, if I have, why the hell I don't stay in it. I got her after the delays inseparable from telephoning a remote hamlet like Market Snodsbury, where the operators are recruited exclusively from the Worcestershire branch of the Jukes family. Talk quick, because I'm packing. Unless you'd like to rally round and keep Tom company.

I am very fond of Uncle Tom, but the idea of being cooped up alone with him in his cabin didn't appeal to me. He collects old silver and is apt to hold you with a glittering eye and talk your head off about sconces and foliations and gadroon borders, and my interest in these is what you might call tepid. Why have you got to go anywhere? Are you on the run from the police? You've always been as fit as ten fiddles. His view is that they are caused by my being a typical young man about town who doesn't go to bed early enough.

He says I must leg it to the country and breathe pure air, so I shall need a cottage. Any idea how one sets about getting a cottage of that description? Jimmy Briscoe has dozens. And Maiden Eggesford, where he lives, is not far from the popular seaside resort of Bridmouth-on-Sea, notorious for its invigorating air.

Corpses at Bridmouth-on-Sea leap from their biers and dance round the maypole. You'll like Maiden Eggesford. Jimmy has a racing stable, and there's a big meeting coming on soon at Bridmouth; so you'll have not only pure air but entertainment.

One of Jimmy's horses is running, and most of the wise money is on it, though there is a school of thought that maintains that danger is to be expected from a horse belonging to a Mr Cook.

And now for heaven's sake get off the wire.

Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen

I'm busy. I would have preferred, of course, to be going to the aged relative's home, where Anatole her superb chef dished up his mouth-waterers, but we Woosters can rough it, and life in a country cottage with the aged r. All that remained now was to break the news to Jeeves, and I rather shrank from the prospect.

You see, we had practically settled on a visit to New York, and I knew he was looking forward to it. I don't know what he does in New York, but whatever it is it's something he gets a big kick out of, and disappointment, I feared, would be inevitable. I am sorry to hear that. He had, of course, leaped to the conclusion that I was about to tell him that the medicine man had given me three months to live, or possibly two.

Most encouraging. He said the spots qua spots. Is it qua? They will pass by me like the idle wind which I respect not.

But pause before you go out and dance in the streets, because there's more to come. It was to this that I was alluding when I said I had bad news. I've got to withdraw to the country and lead a quiet life. He says if I don't, he cannot answer for the consequences. So I'm afraid New York is off. Not a cry escaped him, merely an 'Indeed, sir? Everybody in New York is getting mugged these days or shot by youths, and being mugged and shot by youths doesn't do a fellow any good.

We shall avoid all that sort of thing at Maiden Eggesford. Aunt Dahlia is visiting friends there and is going to get me a cottage. It's near Bridmouth-on-Sea. Have you ever been to Bridmouth?

An aunt of mine lives there. What a coincidence. He had probably been looking on beetling off to the country as going into the wilderness, and the ecstasy of finding that the first thing he would set eyes on would be a loved aunt must have been terrific. So that was that.

And having got the bad news broken, I felt at liberty to turn the conversation to other topics, and I thought he would be interested in hearing about my encounter with Plank. The explorer bloke who accused me of trying to chisel him out of five quid and was going to call the police, and you came along and said you were Inspector Witherspoon of Scotland Yard and that I was a notorious crook whom you had been after for ages, and I was known as Alpine foe because I always wore an Alpine hat.

And you took me away. He remembered my face, but nothing more except that he said he knew my name began with Al.

It's a great relief to think that I shall never see him again. Jeeves had gone on ahead with the luggage and would be there to greet me on my arrival, no doubt all braced and refreshed from communing with his aunt. It was in jocund mood that I set forth. There were rather more astigmatic loonies sharing the road with me than I could have wished, but that did nothing to diminish my euphoria, as I have heard it called. The weather couldn't have been better, blue skies and sunshine all over the place, and to put the frosting on the cake E.

Jimpson Murgatroyd had been one hundred per cent right about the spots. They had completely disappeared, leaving not a wrack behind, and the skin on my chest was back to its normal alabaster. I reached journey's end at about the hour of the evening cocktail and got my first glimpse of the rural haven which was to be the Wooster home for I didn't know how long.

Well, I had had a sort of idea that there would be what they call subtle but well-marked differences between Maiden Eggesford and such resorts as Paris and Monte Carlo, and a glance told me I had not erred. It was one of those villages where there isn't much to do except walk down the main street and look at the Jubilee wateringtrough and then walk up the main street and look at the Jubilee watering-trough from the other side. Jimpson Murgatroyd would have been all for it.

The only thing wrong with the place was that it appeared to be haunted, for as I alighted from the car I distinctly saw the phantasm or wraith of Major Plank. It was coming out of the local inn, the Goose and Grasshopper, and as I gazed at it with bulging eyes it vanished round a corner, leaving me, I need scarcely say, in something of a twitter. I am not, as I mentioned earlier, a fussy man, but nobody likes to have spectres horsing around, and for a while my jocund mood became a bit blue about the edges.

I speedily pulled myself together. I reasoned the thing out. If Plank had come to a sticky end since I had seen him last and had started on a haunting career, I said to myself, why should he be haunting Maiden Eggesford when the whole of equatorial Africa was open to him? He would be much happier scaring the daylights out of natives whom he had cause to dislike — the widows and surviving relatives of the late chief of the 'Mgombis, for instance.

Fortified by these reflections, I went into the cottage. A glance told me it was all right. I think it must have been built for an artist or somebody like that, for it had all the modern cons including electric light and the telephone, being in fact more a desirable bijou residence than a cottage.

Jeeves was there, and he brought me a much-needed refresher — in deference to E. Jimpson Murgatroyd a dry ginger ale. Sipping it, I decided to confide in him, for in spite of the clarity with which I had reasoned with myself I was still not altogether convinced that what I had seen had not been a phantom.

True, it had looked solid enough, but I believe the best ghosts often do. Major Plank would be quite likely to come to the village. He is the guest of Mr Cook of Eggesford Court. When he had told me he was off to the country, I had naturally assumed that he meant he was returning to his home in Gloucestershire. Not, of course, that there's any reason why someone who lives in Gloucestershire shouldn't visit Somerset.

Aunt Dahlia lives in Worcestershire, and she was visiting Somerset. You have to look at these things from every angle. Nevertheless, I was perturbed. Still, what you say has given me a shock. Plank is the last person I want in my neighbourhood.

I think, as my nervous system has rather taken the knock, we might discard this ginger ale and substitute for it a dry martini. The result of this following of doctor's orders was sensational. Say what you might about his whiskers and his habit of looking as if he had been attending the funeral of a dear friend, E.

Jimpson knew his job. After about ten hours of restful sleep I sprang from between the sheets, leaped to the bathroom, dressed with a song on my lips and headed for the breakfast table like a two-year-old. I had cleaned up the eggs and b.

The spots didn't turn out to be fatal. I wouldn't have liked introducing a piebald nephew to the Briscoes, and they want you to come to lunch today. If the Drones Club tie has a fault, it is a little on the loud side and should not be sprung suddenly on nervous people and invalids, and I had no means of knowing if Mrs Briscoe was one of these.

You cannot miss the house. It is large and stands in extensive grounds. It is a walk of about a mile and a half, if you were intending to walk. Murgatroyd would advise it. You, I take it, in my absence will go and hobnob with your aunt.

Have you seen her yet? I learn from the lady behind the bar of the Goose and Grasshopper, where I looked in on the night of my arrival, that she has gone to Liverpool for her annual holiday. Sometimes one feels that aunts live for pleasure alone. I made an early start.

If these Briscoes were courting my society, I wanted to give them as much of it as possible. Reaching the high road, where Jeeves had told me to turn to the left, I thought I had better make sure.

He had spoken confidently, but it is always well to get a second opinion. And by jove I found that he had goofed. I accosted a passing centenarian — everybody in Maiden Eggesford seemed to be about a hundred and fifty, no doubt owing to the pure air — and asked which way I turned for Eggesford Court, and he said to the right. It just showed how even Jeeves can be mistaken.

On one point, however, he had been correct. A large house, he had said, standing in extensive grounds, and I had been walking what must have been a mile and a half when I came in sight of just such a residence, standing in grounds such as he had described. There were gates opening on a long drive, and I was starting to walk up this, when it occurred to me that I could save time by cutting across country, because the house I could see through the trees was a good deal to the nor'-nor'- east.

They make these drives winding so as to impress visitors. Bless my soul, the visitor says, this drive must be three-quarters of a mile long; shows how rich the chap is. Whether I was singing or not I can't remember — more probably whistling — but be that as it may I made good progress, and I had just come abreast of what looked like stables when there appeared from nowhere a cat.

It was a cat of rather individual appearance, being black in its general colour scheme but with splashes of white about the ribs and also on the tip of its nose. I chirruped and twiddled my fingers, as is my custom on these occasions, and it advanced with its tail up and rubbed its nose against my leg in a manner that indicated clearly that in Bertram Wooster it was convinced that it had found a kindred soul and one of the boys.

Nor had its intuition led it astray. One of the first poems I ever learned — I don't know who wrote it, probably Shakespeare — ran: I love little pussy; her coat is so warm; And if I don't hurt her, she'll do me no harm; and that is how I have been all my life. Ask any cat with whom I have had dealings what sort of a chap I am cat-wise, and it will tell you that I am a thoroughly good egg in whom complete confidence can safely be placed.

Cats who know me well, like Aunt Dahlia's Augustus, will probably allude to my skill at scratching them behind the ear. I scratched this one behind the ear, and it received the attention with obvious gratification, purring like the rumble of distant thunder. Cordial relations having now been established, I was proceeding to what you might call Phase Two — viz.

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There are many ways of saying 'Hi'. In America it is a pleasant form of greeting, often employed as a substitute for 'Good morning'. Two friends meet. One of them says 'Hi, Bill. But this 'Hi' was something very different. I believe the sort of untamed savages Major Plank mixes with do not go into battle shouting 'Hi', but if they did the sound would be just like the uncouth roar which had nearly shattered my eardrums.

Turning, I perceived a red-faced little half-portion brandishing a hunting crop I didn't much like the look of. I have never been fond of hunting crops since at an early age I was chased for a mile across difficult country by an uncle armed with one, who had found me smoking one of his cigars.

In frosty weather I can still feel the old wounds. But now I wasn't really perturbed. This, I took it, was the Colonel Briscoe who had asked me to lunch, and though at the moment he had the air of one who would be glad to dissect me with a blunt knife, better conditions would be bound to prevail as soon as I mentioned my name.

I mean, you don't ask a fellow to lunch and start assaulting and battering him as soon as he clocks in. I mentioned it, accordingly, rather surprised by his size, for I had thought they made colonels somewhat larger. Still, I suppose they come in all sizes, like potatoes or, for the matter of that, girls. Vanessa Cook, for instance, was definitely on the substantial side, whereas others who had turned me down from time to time were practically midgets.

I had anticipated an instant cooling of the baser passions, possibly a joyful cry and a 'How are you, my dear fellow, how are you? He continued to effervesce, his face now a rather pretty purple. I preserved a dignified calm. I didn't like his tone, but then one often doesn't like people's tones. I have been accused of a good many things in my time, notably by my Aunt Agatha, but never of stealing cats, and the charge gave deep offence to the Wooster pride.

Heated words were on the tip of my tongue, but I kept the min status quo, as the expression is. After all, the man was my host. With an effort to soothe, I said: 'You wrong me, Colonel. I wouldn't dream such a thing. And don't call me Colonel. When you've got an aunt staying with you, you ought to be able to supply enquirers with a bulletin, if only a sketchy one, of her state of health.

I began to wonder if the little shrimp I was chatting with wasn't a bit fuzzy in the upper storey. Certainly, as far as the conversation had gone at present, he would have aroused the professional interest of any qualified brain specialist. But I didn't give up. We Woosters don't. I tried another tack altogether.

I don't say he actually frothed at the mouth. There was no question, however, that my words had displeased him: 'Ask you to lunch? Ask you to lunch? I wouldn't ask you to lunch —' I think he was about to add 'with a ten-foot pole', but at this moment from off-stage there came the sound of a robust tenor voice singing what sounded like the song hit from some equatorial African musical comedy, and the next moment Major Plank appeared, and the scales fell from my eyes.

Plank being on the premises meant that this wasn't the Briscoe residence by a damn sight. By losing faith in Jeeves and turning to the right on reaching the high road, instead of to the left as he had told me to, I had come to the wrong house. For an instant I felt like blaming the centenarian, but we Woosters are fair minded and I remembered that I had asked him the way to Eggesford Court, which this joint presumably was, and if you say Court when you mean Hall, there's bound to be confusion.

I didn't know you knew Cook. Met him at my place in Gloucestershire, though under what circumstances I've forgotten. It'll come back, but at the moment all I know is that he has changed his name. It used to be something beginning with Al, and now it's Wooster. I suppose the original name was something ghastly which he couldn't stand any longer. I thought it very sensible of him, but it didn't do him much good, poor chap, because he had scarcely got used to signing his IOUs Gilbert Westmacote-Trevelyan when he was torn asunder by a lion.

Still, that's the way it goes. How did you come out with the doctor, Wooster? Was it bubonic plague? You could have come here. Been company for Vanessa.

But you'll join us at lunch? I was right! I knew you were Briscoe's hireling! I know what I'm talking about. This man is in the pay of Briscoe, and he came here to steal my cat. You know as well as I do that Briscoe stops at nothing. Look at this man. Look at his face. Guilt written all over it. I caught him with the cat in his arms. Hold him there, Plank, while I go and telephone the police. I confess to being a little uneasy when I heard him tell Plank to hold me, because I had had experience of Plank's methods of holding people.

I believe I mentioned earlier that at our previous meeting he had proposed to detain me with the assistance of his Zulu knobkerrie, and he had in his grasp now a stout stick, which, if it wasn't a Zulu knob-kerrie, was unquestionably the next best thing. Fortunately he was in a friendly mood. He's upset. He's been having a spot of domestic trouble. That's why he asked me to come and stay. He thought I might have advice to offer. He allowed his daughter Vanessa to go to London to study Art at the Slade, if that's the name of the place, and she got in with the wrong crowd, got pinched by the police and so on and so forth, upon which Cook did the heavy father and jerked her home and told her she had got to stay there till she learned a bit of sense.

She doesn't like it, poor girl, but I tell her she's lucky not to be in equatorial Africa, because there if a daughter blots her copybook, her father chops her head off and buries her in the back garden. Well, I hate to see you go, Wooster, but I think you had better be off. I don't say Cook will be back with a shotgun, but you never know.

I'd leave, if I were you. I took it. By the time I got there I should have done three miles of foot-slogging and I proposed to give the leg muscles a bit of time off, and if E.

Jimpson Murgatroyd didn't like it, let him eat cake. I was particularly anxious to get together with Jeeves and hear what he had to say about the strange experience through which I had just passed, as strange an e. I could make nothing of the attitude Cook had taken up. Plank's theory that his asperity had been due to the fact that Vanessa had got into the wrong crowd in London seemed to me pure apple sauce.

I mean, if your daughter picks her social circle unwisely and starts clobbering the police, you don't necessarily accuse the first person you meet of stealing cats. The two things don't go together. You have known me a good time. No hesitation, no humming and hawing, just 'No, sir'. Just what anyone at the Drones or elsewhere would say. And yet cat-stealing is what I have been accused of. He listened attentively, and when I had finished came as near to smiling as he ever does.

That is to say, a muscle at the corner of his mouth twitched slightly as if some flying object such as a mosquito had settled there momentarily. I felt like Doctor Watson hearing Sherlock Holmes talking about the one hundred and forty-seven varieties of tobacco ash and the time it takes parsley to settle in the butter dish. You really mean the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle have come together and fallen into their place? I found the habitues of the Goose and Grasshopper a ready source of information.

Not much to do except think what a tick your neighbour is. Colonel Briscoe is chairman of the board of magistrates and in that capacity recently imposed a substantial fine on Mr Cook for moving pigs without a permit. I could see how this must have rankled.

I do not keep pigs myself, but if I did I should strongly resent not being allowed to give them a change of air and scenery without getting permission from a board of magistrates. Are we in Russia? Furthermore, they are rival owners of racehorses, and that provides another source of friction. Most of the big owners are very chummy. They love one another like brothers. It is different with those whose activities are confined to small local meetings.

There the rivalry is more personal and acute. All the other entries are negligible. There is consequently no little friction between the two gentlemen as the date of the contest approaches, and it is of vital importance to both of them that nothing shall go wrong with the training of their respective horses.

Rigid attention to training is essential. An old hand like myself knows how vital rigid training is for success on the turf. I have not forgotten the time at Aunt Dahlia's place in Worcestershire when I had a heavy bet on Marlene Cooper, the gardener's niece, in the Girls' Under Fifteen Egg and Spoon race on Village Sports Day, and on the eve of the meeting she broke training, ate pounds of unripe gooseberries, and got abdominal pains which prevented her showing up at the starting post.

You ought to have seen his blood pressure. It shot up like a rocket. He couldn't have been more emotional if he had been a big shot in the Foreign Office and I a heavily veiled woman diffusing a strange exotic scent whom he had caught getting away with the Naval exotic scent whom he had caught getting away with the Naval Treaty. The cat was a stray which appeared one morning in the stable yard, and Potato Chip took an instant fancy to it. This, I understand, is not unusual with highly bred horses, though more often it is a goat or a sheep which engages their affection.

First I'd ever heard of it. I take it that the friendship ripened? The cat now sleeps nightly in the horse's stall and is there to meet him when he returns from his daily exercise. I'd have thought a human vampire bat like Cook would have had a stray cat off the premises with a single kick. Potato Chip became listless and refused his food. Then one day the cat returned, and the horse immediately recovered both vivacity and appetite. Time was getting on, and I had a vision of the Briscoes with their noses pressed to the drawing-room window, looking out and telling each other that surely their Wooster ought to have shown up by now.

But for you I should have passed sleepless nights wondering what on earth Cook thought he was playing at. I now feel kindlier towards him. I still wouldn't care to have to go on a long walking tour with the son of a what-not, and if he ever gets himself put up for the Drones, I shall certainly blackball him, but I can see his point of view.

He finds me clutching his cat, learns that I am on pally terms with his deadly rival the Colonel, and naturally assumes that there is dirty work afoot. No wonder he yelled like a soul in torment and brandished his hunting crop. He deserves considerable credit for not having given me six of the best with it. But it wasn't. Not that there was anything about the new faces on the other side to give me the pip.

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