I was feeling like a badly wrapped brown-paper parcel.
She was rather like one of those innocent-tasting American drinks which creep imperceptibly into your system so that, before you know what you’re doing, you’re starting out to reform the world by force if necessary and pausing on your way to tell the large man in the corner that, if he looks at you like that, you will knock his head off.
I was so darned sorry for poor old Corky that I hadn’t the heart to touch my breakfast. I told Jeeves to drink it himself.
She fitted into my biggest arm-chair as if it had been built round her by someone who knew they were wearing arm-chairs tight about the hips that season.
Lady Malvern tried to freeze him with a look, but you can’t do that sort of thing to Jeeves. He is look-proof.
[Regarding to Jeeves objecting to his moustache.] It seemed to me that it was getting a bit too thick if he was going to edit my face as well as my costume.
I’m not much of a ladies’ man, but on this particular morning it seemed to me that what I really wanted was some charming girl to buzz up and ask me to save her from assassins or something.
He lugged them out of the drawer as if he were a vegetarian fishing a caterpillar out of the salad.
. . . he always looked like something that had been dug up by the roots.
Something bumped into the Wooster waistcoat just around the third button, and I collapsed on to the settee and rather lost interest in things for the moment.
I knew that young Bingo, when in form, could fall in love with practically anything of the other sex; but this time I couldn’t see any excuse for him at all.
On the occasions when Aunt is calling to Aunt like mastodons bellowing across primeval swamps . . .
I was feeling more or less like something the Pure Food Committee had rejected.
It was my Uncle George who discovered that alcohol was a food well in advance of modern medical thought.
He got after me with a hunting crop just at the moment when I was beginning to realize that what I wanted most on earth was solitude and repose, and chased me more than a mile across difficult country.
It was one of those still evenings you get in the summer, when you can hear a snail clear its throat a mile away.
He came in looking as if nothing had happened or was ever going to happen.
“But lots of folks have asked me who my tailor is.” “Doubtless to avoid him, sir.”
I have never been in the West Indies but I am in the position to state that in certain of the fundamentals of life they are streets ahead of our European civilization. The man behind the counter, as kindly a bloke as I ever wish to meet, seemed to guess our requirements the moment we hove in view. Scarcely had our elbows touched the wood before he was leaping to and fro, bringing down a new bottle with each leap. A planter, apparently, does not consider he has had a drink unless it contains at least seven ingredients, and I’m not saying, mind you, that he isn’t right. The man behind the bar told us the things were called Green Swizzles, and, if I ever marry and have a son, Green Swizzle Wooster is the name that will go down on the register, in memory of the day his father’s life was saved at Wembley.
“We must think, sir.” “You think. I haven’t the machinery.”
It is a nasty thing to see this bald and bushy bloke advancing on you when you haven’t prepared the strategic railroads in your rear.
“I fear,” Jeeves sighed, “that when it comes to a matter of cooks, ladies have but a rudimentary sense of morality.”
“I had no idea young girls were such demons.” “More deadly than the male, sir.”
For when it is a question of a pal being in the soup, we Woosters no longer think of self; that poor old Bingo was knee-deep in the bisque was made plain by his mere appearance – which was that of a cat which has just bee struck by a half-brick and is expecting another shortly.
“Unless right-thinking people take strong steps through the proper channels, my name will be mud.”
The going was sticky and took about eight and elevenpence off the value of my Sure-Grip tennis shoes in the first two yards.
There was a hissing noise like a tyre bursting in a nest of cobras.
The Right Hon. was a tubby little chap who looked as if he had been poured into his clothes and had forgotten to say ‘When!’
I didn’t like his collar, and Jeeves would have had a thing or two to say about the sit of his trousers; but nevertheless, he was authoritative.
He withdrew, leaving a gap in the atmosphere about ten feet by six.
Now, setting a booby-trap for a respectable citizen like a head master (even of an inferior school to your own) is not a matter to be approached lightly and without careful preparation. I don’t suppose I’ve ever selected a lunch with more thought than I did that day. And after a nicely-balanced meal, preceded by a couple of dry Martinis, washed down with a half a bot. of nice light, dry champagne, and followed by a spot of brandy, I could have set a booby-trap for a bishop.
. . . a laugh like waves breaking on a stern and rock-bound coast.
. . . rather like when you take one of those express elevators in New York at the top of the building and discover, on reaching the twenty-seventh floor, that you have carelessly left all your insides up on the thirty-second, and it’s too late now to stop and fetch them back.
In one second, without any previous training or upbringing, he had become the wettest man in Worcestershire.
The brow was furrowed, the eye lacked that hearty sparkle, and the general bearing and demeanour were those of a body discovered after being several days in the water.
One of the first lessons life teaches us is that on these occasions of back-chat between the delicately-nurtured a man should retire into the offing, curl up in a ball, and imitate the prudent tactics of the opossum, which, when danger is in the air, pretends to be dead, frequently going to the length of hanging out crepe and instructing its friends to stand round and say what a pity it all is.
I sauntered along the passage, whistling carelessly, and there on the mat was Aunt Agatha. Herself. Not a picture.
“Remember what the poet Shakespeare said, Jeeves.” “What was that, sir?” “’Exit hurriedly, pursued by bear.’ You’ll find it in one of his plays. I remember drawing a picture of it on the side of the page, when I was at school.”
He was so crusted with alluvial deposits that one realized how little a mere bath would ever be able to effect. To fit him to take his place once more in polite society, he would certainly have to be sent to the cleaner’s. Indeed, it was a moot point whether it wouldn’t be simpler just to throw him away.
My Aunt Agatha, the one who chews broken bottles and kills rats with her teeth . . .
“I follow you, yes,” I said, a little dubiously. “What you have in mind is something on the lines of Mary’s lamb. I don’t know if you happen to know the poem – I used to recite it as a child – but, broadly, the nub was that Mary had a little lamb with fleece as white as snow, and everywhere that Mary went the lamb was sure to go. You want me to model my technique on that of Mary’s lamb?”
I was thinking that if God wasn’t in His heaven and all right with the world, these conditions prevailed as near as made no matter.
I’ve often wondered about that scarlet woman. Was she scarlet all over, or was it just her that her face was red?
Considerations like these prevent one feasting the eye on Tudor architecture with genuine enjoyment and take from fifty to sixty percent off the entertainment value of spreading lawns and gay flower-beds.
Many a fellow who looks like the dominant male and has himself photographed smoking a pipe curls up like carbon paper when confronted with one of these relatives.