Driving Miss Daisy

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The author’s preface begins by stating of Miss Daisy being a real person his grandmother knew in Georgia in the 1940s. Daisy was a spinster and the last of her large clan. There was also a real Hoke, whom was a part-time bartender at a country club, and Boolie was the brother of Uhry’s aunt’s friend, and the characters aren’t like the people, he only used their names. Miss Daisy was partially his grandmother, her four sisters, and his mother. Hoke comes from his grandmother’s driver, but also other black drivers he’d known in his youth, and Boolie is made up of not only Uhry, but many men he couldn’t identify from his past, and Florine’s character’s real-life counterpart is refused to be revealed. As for the play itself, Uhry didn’t realize the hype it would bring, originally given five weeks on stage, a 74-seater, then the play was given an extra five weeks for popularity and moved to a much larger theater. Uhry had been currently writing the screenplay when he’d written this introduction, and had won the Pulitzer, he stating of writing what he knew and people shining to his perspective without seeking publicity.

Daisy, whom is 72-years-old, is heard announcing of going grocery shopping, starting her car, and then noises of a terrible wreck occurring. She is then arguing with Boolie, her 42-year-old son, he noting how lucky she’d been not to have gotten hurt or worse. Daisy stubbornly declares of the car being faulty, her old one not having acted this way, but Boolie stating how it wasn’t the car’s idea to hit their neighbor’s garage. Daisy denies his idea of hiring a driver, he trying to convince her of the likelihood she’ll be able to stay insured after wrecking her car with only two weeks of use so far, he then attempting to ease her mind with knowing he’d work out all the details, but she not wanting to be hassled with someone whom would take advantage by using her things and eating at her home. When he fails to convince her and she defends herself by stating how she was brought up to rely on herself and hiring “them” wasn’t affordable, Boolie gives her a hard time upon hearing her usage of “them”, he sharing he and his wife, Florine had plans for the evening, and Daisy passive-aggressively commenting. Boolie dismisses this, and then relays he’d be interviewing men for the job and would phone the next day, she still resisting, and then sings a song to conclude the argument.

Boolie is found in his office, Hoke walks in, currently around the age of 60, and looking like he needed work, but attempted to look nice. Boolie finishes a bit of work as he invites him to sit, Hoke agreeable to allow him to finish his task, Boolie then asking how long he’d been unemployed and where he’d worked before. Hoke responds of it being about a year, he then sharing how he preferred working for Jews which led into whom he’d worked for before having attempted to rip him off by selling him over-priced shirts, he then driving for a Jewish man whom Boolie knew, Hoke having worked for him for 7 years before he’d died. Hoke inquires who he’d be driving, Boolie relaying whom it was for and the reason he was looking rather than his mother, assuring him since he was hiring, she wouldn’t be able to let him go. Hoke is satisfied and accepts the job after Boolie offers his pay rate at 20 dollars a week.

Daisy is next seen coming into her living room, reading the news and ignoring Hoke, she only replies to his greeting her. She answers smartly to his weather chat, and then states of taking the trolley to the grocer’s when Hoke relays what the housemaid had told him of certain supplies running low, she refusing to let him take her. Hoke attempts an offer at caring for her flowers and when denied, states of being able to start a vegetable garden, but again is refused, Hoke then resigning himself to sit in the kitchen like he had for six days, but upon discussing how she’d been raised, he offers to water her front steps, this being when she gives him permission to drive her, instead. Hoke makes conversation on the car’s new smell, Daisy speaking of how she’d been taught to drive by her husband and she wanted him to drive well below the speed limit, she then freaking out about the route he was taking, but he gets her there, and once relinquishing the keys to her, she gives him a death stare after he reminds her of getting cleanser, then he calls Boolie from a pay phone, he seeing she’d caught him calling from inside the store and expected she’d have a fit.

Daisy is now peeved when Hoke picks her up from temple directly at the front doors, the two arguing why it would be a big deal Daisy’s acquaintances would see her with a driver and looked wealthy, Hoke giving up on talking about it, and next Boolie receiving a call from Daisy, he agreeing to visit her later, she speaking quickly. When he sees her, Daisy is going off on how Hoke had taken a can of her salmon, Boolie not getting what the issue was, he now tired of arguing and stating she do what she wanted, Hoke then arriving and sharing how he’d had the can of salmon and bought a replacement, Daisy attempting nonchalance and going upstairs to change from her robe. Daisy and Hoke are now at a graveyard, she carrying a mini-shovel and Hoke commenting how often they’d come in the past month, she having cleaned her husband’s stone thoroughly, and how she didn’t allow the staff to tend to it, she instructing him to retrieve some flowers from the car to set on a friend’s husband’s grave, she directing where it would be, but Hoke returning and guiltily confessing of not being able to read, Daisy not believing him at first, since she’d seen him look at the paper, he confiding he was looking at the pictures. Daisy then learns he knew the alphabet, and so actually could read and didn’t know it, having him listen to the sound of “B” and “R”, the first and last letter of the last name he was searching for, she declaring he’d locate it, and Hoke sharing how much he was grateful for her help, she dismissing this and sending him off, claiming of getting hot.

It’s now Christmas and Boolie is speaking on the phone and looking festive, he asking Daisy if she had coconut, to bring it along, since Florine needed it for her ambrosia. Daisy and Hoke are leaving, she not caught up with the Christmas spirit (hwhat a surprise…), she giving Florine the most crap for how many decorations she put up, Hoke agreeing, but enjoying himself. He points out how she’d also put a Rudolph up in a tree, Daisy declaring how Florine’s grandfather would’ve responded to viewing this, but then changes the subject to a book she’d given to Hoke, she vehemently denying it being a present, and to tell no one, Hoke assuring her and attempting to hide his feelings, the two then walking up the drive.

Boolie is now in his late 40s, dressed for golf, and waiting for Hoke, whom comes out to share of Daisy not coming, he relating how defensive she’d been with this new car lately, she chasing some man around when he’d set his case on the hood for a moment, and how she disliked using the A/C, he going on to describe of having purchased the old car and allowing Daisy to ride in it once in awhile, he warning Boolie to mind his ashes. Daisy is then shown carrying out a large suitcase, looking around apprehensively, then getting a dress bag and wicker basket, after which she brings out a wrapped present, Hoke then coming out with a small suitcase and fussing about how she’d brought out all the heavy items unnecessarily, she going on about the time, and he assuring they weren’t late, Boolie then coming out with Florine’s gift for his uncle, whom was turning 90, Daisy stating how inconsiderate they were for not attending and instead going to a show, My Fair Lady in New York. Boolie gives Hoke some emergency money, makes sure they’re set with map, and then wishes Hoke well. Hoke is eating deviled eggs with enjoyment whilst he drove, they discussing their first times out of Georgia, Daisy’s being when she was 12, and Hoke’s being right then, she getting agitated when realizing they’d made a wrong turn, she regretting having been driven and getting talked into it by Boolie instead of going by train. As they are still driving, Hoke soon has to relieve himself, Daisy demanding he wait, but Hoke insisting, and declares of taking the keys, after which a few moments pass, and Daisy at first sounding furious, and then scared as she waited in the dark silence. Hoke is then entering Boolie’s office and relating how he’d heard from Boolie’s cousin’s wife about wanting to hire him, Hoke bringing it up, since putting the idea of a raise in his head, Boolie agreeing and offering 75 dollars a week, Hoke accepting this sounded right, and mentions how being in demand was a nice feeling.

Daisy, now in her 80s, is shown in her house, walking by candlelight, the lights having gone out, but phones still working. Boolie called to inform her it was the neighborhood and would update her after checking the car radio. Daisy is then startled when hearing her door open, but then Hoke greets her as usual, telling how he’d learned to drive on ice long ago and had stopped to get her coffee, she pleasantly surprised. They then go through their routine of she stating he clean up the water he’d tracked in and he replying of who she thought he was, she then picking up Boolie’s return call and learning of when the ice would melt, she replying he could stay put, since Hoke had come, Boolie giving her a hard time about she complimenting Hoke for the first time he’d heard. Next, Daisy’s in the car, Hoke returning to inform of the major damage up ahead. Daisy states how it was so late she wouldn’t make it to temple anyways, Hoke replying it had been bombed, so she wouldn’t have been able to, regardless. Daisy is in denial, then hoping no one had been hurt, unable to fathom why a reformed temple would be hit, Hoke describing the sort of people who make such destruction didn’t care, he sharing a childhood story of a buddy’s father getting strung up, Daisy not seeing the relation, and then disbelieving the news he’d heard from the cop being a lie. Hoke decides he’d attempt to return her home, she commanding he end the conversation.

Next, Boolie is in his late 50s, walking in to a room whilst being applauded, carrying a silver bowl, and attending due to being elected man of the year by the Atlanta Business Council and preparing to share his speech of thanks and his one-liner jokes about himself, then sharing his family’s origin of their business having been in alignment with the view of the people in their city, due to the success they had, concluding his speech with humble, gratefulness and mention of the upcoming sport’s event on Sunday, and regarding whom he wished to win (football, most like). Daisy is then shown attempting to make a phone call with effort, she becoming more decrepit. She gets a hold of Boolie’s secretary and only has her relay of having acquired the tickets to the honor banquet for Martin Luther King, Jr, then reassures the lady of how late in life her cousin had married.

Later, Boolie joins Daisy, whom is now 90, he inquiring how she was, Daisy not seeing the question as suitable for someone her age, and they moving on to his receiving her message. Daisy suggests Hoke drive them, but then offers Boolie to do so when he states of they needing to discuss these plans further, he broaching the subject by stating of realizing MLK Jr’s accomplishments and progressive acts being many, Daisy stopping him by announcing he should get to the point of whether he’d rather decline attendance. He explains how the ignorant men he worked with may affect his success if they found out, he suggesting she invite Hoke, Boolie then leaving. After Daisy gets ready, Hoke comes in to collect her and help her into the car. They’re on their way before Daisy starts harping on Hoke for being blind, he denying this accusation, and she stating how he’d almost hit a mailbox, the car thoroughly scratched. Hoke contradicts this, again and she repeats her accusation of him being blind, which was unfortunate, since the new car looked so nice. Hoke then states how it was rounding a couple years of she owning it, she replying he was going the wrong way.

The two compete about their length of time in Atlanta until he trumps (bad choice of word) her on she not having driven for 2 decades, she then changing the subject to Boolie, dancing around how he’d mentioned MLK Jr. and how easy it was for Hoke to see him preach at his church, Boolie believing Hoke wanted her to invite him, he then getting worked up with how she’d brought this up whilst he was driving her, she flustered he was over-reacting to how she’d asked, getting out and walking herself to the entrance. Boolie is now shown on the phone with Hoke, the latter having called to discuss Daisy being aggravated, different than normal, she calling to him, Hoke then describing how she thought she was teaching school and talking nonsense, Boolie assuring he was on his way.

Daisy looks unkempt and inquires where he’d left her school work, he denying there was any at all, she certain she put them in a particular spot after grading them. He tells her she’d lost her mind, she ignoring him to state how popular she was with her students for diligently returning their school work a day later after they’d handed them in. She becomes upset when convinced she had ruined everything, Hoke attempting to calm her and convince her she wasn’t a teacher any longer, how lucky she was for being looked after, and if she wanted to see misery, to visit the “state home”. She still doesn’t register the subject and so Hoke instead resorts to stating how Boolie would sic a doctor on her to admit her into a loony bin instead, if she wasn’t careful. She then sobers her tone and asks after the first car he’d bought which she’d previously owned, Hoke updating it would be in a junkyard by now, and she stating, then insisting he was her “best friend”, he convinced by her conviction.

Boolie is shown browsing around Daisy’s living room, he now 65. He pockets his mother’s address book as Hoke, 85 walks in, greeting Boolie. He asks how Hoke had come by, he stating his granddaughter had taken him, she 37 and teaching Biology at a local college. Boolie then inquires if Hoke wanted anything from the house before Goodwill came to clean it out, he already exhausting what he wished to keep from Daisy’s possessions. Hoke declines, Boolie then confessing how odd it was to put Daisy’s house on the market whilst she was still living, Hoke understanding, and Boolie rationalizing the decision, since she hadn’t been there for over a couple years. He then confides of Hoke’s weekly check indefinitely being sent to him, Hoke relating how he was grateful, and he attempting to see Daisy as much as he could without a bus going to the stop necessary, he resorting to cab it over when he could. Boolie acknowledges Daisy most likely was happy when he could come by, then states of they moving along to visit her now, since they both more than likely had plans later for turkey day, and should let his granddaughter know he’d give him a ride back.

Daisy, 97 is shown moving about with a walker, Boolie and Hoke arriving, the two greeting her, and Boolie helping her sit, the two including her in the conversation of what she’d been up to, but she not speaking, acknowledging them at first with a nod and then seeming distant. Boolie provides general chat until Daisy bursts out with Hoke having come to visit her and not him. Hoke notes she was having one of her better days, she then commanding Boolie to go flirt with the nurses, her son stating how she wanted Hoke to herself and she being “a doodle” before leaving. She snoozes lightly and then sees Hoke, asking if he was still getting paid by Boolie, he admitting this and still wouldn’t divulge the amount, the two agreeing they were living life as well as they could. When Hoke notices she’d left her turkey day pie and sees her struggling with the fork, he offers to accommodate, proceeding to cut easy bite-size pieces for her.

I didn’t expect how sweet the characters were with only my knowledge from the film (which was fine from my recollection), but this being quaint and engaging. Quite enjoyable story, and it’s so short it won’t take any time to read it, so if it’s a nice, lazy story one’s after, this’ll do.

Jeeves in the Morning

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I regret not keeping the original, “Joy in the Morning”, regardless of it being a hardcover, but alas, it is done. So I begin this movie-scenic story with the easing lightness it throws, with gladness. Bertie relates how he’d only recently gotten out of a dire situation at Steeple Bumpleigh and confided to Jeeves the moments in which he had been close to losing hope. Bertie is then helped to remember the quote of “Joy cometh in the morning…”, he believing it was the most succinct way of describing the Steeple Bumpleigh Horror. He had the foresight to want to avoid Steeple Bumpleigh, but believed the place should’ve had a sign warning those unaware. The surrounding area told of as being idyllic, but what brought it down was Bertie’s Aunt Agatha, her second husband, Lord Percival Worplesdon, his daughter Florence, and another demon, his son Edwin. Those were the reasons Bertie continuously refused the invite of Boko Fittlesworth’s to get together at his home, he living nearby. Bertie also had to swat Jeeves’ suggestion to rent a cottage there for reasons above, Jeeves in for the fishing, but letting Bertie believe he’d let it go.

Bertie therefore, was completely taken off-guard when Steeple Bumpleigh entered his life forcefully, the day beginning quite comfortably. Jeeves informs him of a Miss Hopwood insistent on seeing him, but having been turned away since he’d still been sleeping. Bertie liked Jeeves’ looking out, but also wished to have seen her, Zenobia (Nobby) Hopwood being a good friend and also happens to be Worplesdon’s ward, he taking responsibility for her when a buddy of his left the country. Bertie then learns how long she’d be in the city, her visits infrequent lately, and having come up to see Aunt Agatha, whom was in town for Thomas, her son from her first hubby, the boy having the mumps and still at school.

Bertie regards this with the passing entertainment of Agatha getting infected, then learning Nobby had come by, since they hadn’t seen each other for awhile, Bertie agreeing with the sentiment, but once hearing she’d been hoping he would come see her at Steeple Bumpleigh, he again refusing the idea. Jeeves then mentions of Nobby having dropped by with a fellow called Stilton, whom claimed to know Bertie, he deducing the young man with a pumpkin-shaped head must be a friend from long ago called, G. D’Arcy Cheesewright, his nickname being Stilton. Bertie thinks it strange he was acquainted with Nobby, learning how he also resided at Steeple Bumpleigh, Jeeves then answering a call from Worplesdon, Bertie’s reaction being looked back on with astonishment, since not having felt the bad juju of the call.

Jeeves then relates of Worplesdon having requested to speak with him and more detail given upon his arrival, Bertie sensing the man needed his expertise and bidding him his blessing, offering to pick him up a gift, he asking for the new edition of philosophy by Spinoza (the TV show must having covered this one as well, since I confused having read it already). Bertie makes his way out, thinking about what sort of situation Worplesdon could have needed counseling, he then reveals how Agatha had hooked this new man eighteen months previously, he feeling sorry for him before learning whom it was, due to Agatha’s rough and torturous nature. Then when he found out it was Worplesdon, he realized she had met her violent match, Bertie recalling having a run-in with the man over a cigar he had taken. Worplesdon’s personality only making Bertie wonder of the severity of the situation he could be in, then begins his correspondence of making his book order, and as the shop-keeper goes to uncover the work, Bertie is startled by Florence Cray, Worplesdon’s daughter, whom walked up behind him, he still reeling from the not-so-distant time they’d been engaged, he traumatized from the close call, hence his reaction to her, and attempting to recover with a “hullo”.

Bertie weighs Madeline Bassett and Honoria Glossop against Florence Craye for the most traumatizing, and Florence wins for her attempts at changing Bertie. He provides an example by a book she’d given him, he quoting from the text, it heavy on explanation of ethical theory. Florence then shares why she was in town and inquires whether he was stopping in the shop for brain dead reading material, but upon seeing what he’d been given by the shop-keeper, Bertie is taken aback with her reaction of light tone and blushing. He gets the picture though, when she inscribes the book for him, she now even more impressed when learning what the shop-keeper was looking for, and needing to order for him, Bertie knowing he was too deep to back out, but having terrible fear consume him. He regrets his endorsement of Spinoza and being caught with her work in his hands, realizing his mistake now building him up in Florence’s mind. Bertie saw his main way to escape was to state of a previous engagement, but he not out the door before having to agree to a hang-out sesh, finally dismissed and alighting to a bar. After giving his nerves a bit of a break, he sees outside something which caught his interest.

The area around the Bollinger bar also gave plenty of entertainment, but currently especially across the street, which Bertie was at this moment deciding whether to check in at the jeweler’s for a cigarette case, he normally going upon the whim of wanting to purchase some kind of bijouterie, or collection of jewelry or trinkets. As he looks upon the jeweler’s entrance, he sees a man attempting to cross the threshold a few times, but stopping short. Bertie then places the large figure being his old buddy Stilton, he completely in the dark as to why he’d be bouncing back and forth outside the shop. Bertie plans on inquiring into it, but whilst crossing the street, Stilton had slung himself through the door. Bertie found him poring over some product the assistant was helping him with at the case when Bertie poked his butt with his umbrella, and cordially greeted him, Stilton looking shifty, and Bertie sensing he wasn’t wanted at the mo to reminisce over their youth, Stilton setting him straight when leading him away from the counter to confess he hadn’t enjoyed the booty poke, Bertie apologizing, but couldn’t resist a good opp. knocking.

Bertie attempts to continue their pleasantries which didn’t last long before Stilton was trying to bid him farewell, Bertie surprised he thought he could stop him so simply. He confides his thoughts plainly, then reminds Stilton of his drop-in with Nobby. Bertie getting his quiz since Stilton answered the following questions as monosyllabic as possible. Bertie fails to learn what Stilton did at Steeple Bumpleigh, so decides to try the question which had brought him to his verbal harassment, the reason for Stilton’s dancing about outside, and his buying plans, he relenting and confessing he was getting an engagement ring, Bertie believing he had laughed jovially, but had stopped when Stilton took it as insult, he flashing back to their school days when Bertie had pouted his tummy out whilst being taught to row by Stilton.

As Bertie back-pedaled his insulting laugh, then his terrible explanation of said laugh, only to have to explain his attempting to agree with Stilton on his being allowed to engage a girl, Bertie finally reaches a point where he’s able to wish their happiness together, which doesn’t get met with defensiveness, but also not getting the level of gratitude he had expected. Bertie then receives details of, whilst not Nobby, whom he thought, she being engaged to Boko, but to Florence. Bertie’s reaction brought defensive questioning again, he believing he no longer needed to fear Florence going after him what with Stilton’s hand secured. Bertie tries to veer the questions away with nonchalance, the table having turned, and he not wanting Stilton to know he also had been engaged to his love. Bertie halfway explained his way out with her father having married his aunt, but Stilton’s suspicion stays noticeable as he spoke of how odd it was Florence hadn’t mentioned Bertie regardless of their acquaintanceship, Bertie “pip-pip”-ing on his way out.

Bertie has a spectrum of feelings as he walks home, one in particular to do with Stilton, he at first placated by being off the hook with Florence, but then feeling sorry and fearing for what Stilton was about to put himself through. He then describes Stilton’s character as one whom is all for his immortal betterment, but Bertie looking after the side which would decide he’d grown enough, whilst Florence would still be on the path to further growth. Bertie was on the case though, light-bulbing of writing to Nobby to gently put the chap straight since she’d known Florence since youth.

Bertie added some bullet-points of his own to build from as a back-up for her, if needed, and when satisfied, posted it. When returning to see Jeeves attending to household matters, Bertie goes right in with Cheesewright’s current difficulty and how he’d handled it, then asking Jeeves for an update on his Uncle Percy, his Uncle wanting Jeeves’ opinion, but Bertie unable to coax him into further detail until giving his word it would go no further, the information regarding a sensitive business prospect, which even Jeeves wasn’t confided in knowing, but imagined it was the same one written of in the papers, which was about a unification with an American company.

Jeeves clarifies how a meeting between Percy and the other company man would need to be planned carefully so no one jumped to conclusions before a deal was made and effect both sides of shares in stock, Bertie on his game currently and completely sensing the hardship. Also deducing Percy wanted to buy some shares before the word got out (oooOOO, bad), Jeeves responding with the Latin: “Rem acu tetigisti” – “You have touched the matter with a needle”. Bertie then works out how the two would be seeking a secluded meeting place, Jeeves having supplied the possibility of turning to someone Percy knew to lend them a country cottage to wheel and deal, Bertie sensing a problem with whomever allowed the use of said cottage would come to the same conclusion as Percy, and elbow in to the deal of stocking up on shares, as well.

Jeeves had considered this, so elected Bertie to reside in one of the cottages at Steeple Bumpleigh to be used by the meeting at some point after. Bertie relays his feeling of betrayal, Jeeves apologizing then listing the finer details of the property, he not taken in due to knowing Jeeves’ motives, whom plays none-the-wiser, but once Bertie hears the name of the place, ends the idea promptly, then whilst temporarily side-tracked, gets “back on the res” – the crux of the matter (Thank you, Madame Eulalie, the only one whom could help my quest in finding out what res meant). Jeeves then brings logic to the table as Bertie considers the repercussions he’d be in for by his Aunt Agatha if he backed out now, he then relenting begrudgingly and has Jeeves begin packing.

Then, Bertie is told of being the sort whom preferred looking for the bright side. One aspect which supported this being Agatha not being present for a little while during Bertie’s first moments at Steeple Bumpleigh. He speaks to Jeeves with high hopes of she being away through all of his stay, for Thos’ mumps. Jeeves then saving the good news of a fancy dress ball the next night, Bertie ready to dance better than Fred Astaire, as he puts it, he choosing his costume, then being informed Nobby would be carpooling with him, so Jeeves planned on traveling by train, afterward relaying Agatha had requested Bertie pick up a broach she’d bought, he miffed he’d been chosen to carry out the task, but once learning it was for Florence and he wouldn’t need to supply a gift, as well he was a bit more accepting. Bertie admits being one of a hardy character being difficult, and he didn’t want Florence getting the wrong impression (She was referred to as a beasel, which presumably is meant in the definition of being like a flapper, since she doesn’t seem to have a shaved head and pointed ears). He then states how he would need one for Nobby what with her engagement, Jeeves agreeing to hope good tidings to them, Bertie allowing how it wasn’t usual he’d agreed with the marriage match-ups between his buddies.

Bertie then has breakfast and begins his broach-getting, as well as his party costume acquirement, after which Nobby is discovered waiting for Bertie, everything being put up in the vehicle whilst the two chatted, Bertie then beginning their journey and looking forward to hearing about the finer details in regards to the build-up to the proposal. He brings up how he’d heard and how level-headed she was, he readying to pose his quiz on the subj., she content to answer, the engagement having stemmed from the two’s immediate affection for each other, Bertie a bit in the dark as to how she’d loved the sight of Boko from the first, due to his quite specific look which was cringe-worthy to even Jeeves.

Bertie then becomes more specific about how Boko must’ve gotten to this point in around two months, the matter going from whether he’d wooed her to Nobby believing it may not happen since her Uncle Percy didn’t agree to their union. He is stunned with this development since Percy’s word had clout due to his looking after her, Nobby relaying how even despite Boko’s success as a writer, Percy distrusted his ability to stick to his obligations. The idea also being of Boko’s popularity not lasting him a lifetime and Percy being left to foot their bills. Nobby then describes how Percy saw Boko as a “butterfly”, he having first been engaged to Florence, so this making the wooing impossible.

So those two facts soured Percy’s view of him, Bertie getting the reasoning, he then remembering Nobby would only need to wait for a certain time, once discovering it was only another year, thinking he’d cracked it, but she reminding him of Boko going to Hollywood in a month, she thinking he’d need a wife to keep his head on straight whilst out there, Bertie is unable to accept her line of reasoning and spouting what he believed was a line from Jeeves about trust, she not buying it because of Boko’s simple nature of being easily swayed, Bertie then coming up with a plan of talking Percy into it upon his owing him for his presence at the cottage.

Nobby is immediately warmed by his selfless gesture and starts suggesting ideas to help talk up Boko, Bertie assuring her he had it handled and as they approached, restoring her certainty he would do everything he could. After dropping her off, he goes to Boko’s for a nip, Boko responding to Bertie’s whistle outside his window by issuing forth a little piece of flying dishware. When Bertie calls out in surprise due to how close he’d almost been clipped on the head, Boko has a look out, at first looking annoyed and after recognizing whom it was, couldn’t believe it was the one and only. Bertie guessed he’d interrupted Boko at a difficult juncture in his writing due to his frumpiness, Boko then explains why he’d chucked the china being due to Edwin making a nuisance of dropping in.

Bertie shares his reasons for being there involving the party and Jeeves’ fishing. They then have some dry-throat-quelling drink as they chat of Boko’s marriage halting. Bertie confides how he’d be putting in his word with Percy, Boko warning him his lunch may have made his cause more grueling a task. Bertie then supplies how Boko’s appearance might not be helping his cause. Foregoing further reasoning for this, Boko relates how he’d messed up the lunch by overdoing the happy kindness Nobby had insisted upon. Boko then backtracks to see if Bertie remembered when Freddy Widgeon used to bring his gag toys to the Drones, Bertie reminiscing happily until realizing the implication, especially after learning which gag Boko had used, Bertie deciding to move along, and Boko bidding him farewell as he wrote an apology letter he hoped not to have to send if Bertie worked enough magic on Percy. Bertie wasn’t as keen to get into his request of Percy so much now, he only hoping his assistance with the merger-hosting would lighten Percy’s view. Bertie then hears his name being called as he drove, and upon stopping, seeing Stilton upon bicycle approaching with an unfriendly gaze. Bertie sensed Stilton would have an issue with his presence so close to his love, he seeing the problem of being unable to confess his true reasons for being there. What Bertie was truly stumped by though, was Stilton’s outfit of a policeman.

Bertie inquires after the duds whilst Stilton asks why Bertie was in town, he ignoring the question to repetitiously ask about Stilton’s cop-hood. He realizes why Stilton had kept his position secret, Bertie understanding it was due to his penchant for cheeky statements and he unable to deny this, for already having come up with a few. He instead thinks of how many mates had joined the Force since an academy had been opened, Stilton declaring his drive in becoming a part of Scotland Yard. Bertie’s response colored with doubt, considering Stilton’s interest in college being out of step with his current goal and believing he’d be the sort to make a mockery of the profession like those read about in Sherlock Holmes. Bertie anticipates Stilton returning to his own line of topic, he giving Stilton the easy answer of taking some time from the city and allowing Jeeves to fish. Stilton gets straight into how he wasn’t buying the story since learning from Florence of their engagement, Bertie going on to declare how over they were. Unfortunately, Stilton wasn’t going for it, also having seen the inscription of the book Bertie left in the shop, he maintaining Bertie return to the city, even after hearing Bertie’s explanation of helping Boko and Nobby.

Stilton goes on his way with a half spoken threat before leaving, Florence then riding up and relating of having set some flowers in Bertie’s cottage, her thoughts of Stilton regarding how he’d been acting foolish lately, since his reason for becoming a cop hadn’t struck her as fruitful, especially since his uncle offered to fund him for politics, she leaving after venting. Bertie takes a smoke break for all the new stresses to consider before completing his journey to Wee Nooke. Upon estimating Wee Nooke for himself, he found it to be old, but livable, and once hearing weird sounds, he thought it possible the place haunted, but upon tripping over a bucket, Florence’s younger brother, Edwin comes through a door, he greeting Bertie and quite ready to perform first aid in whatever capacity he could, Bertie resisting resolutely. As Edwin planned on cleaning the chimney, Bertie notices his Aunt Agatha’s present to Florence had fallen from out of his jacket, Edwin first to detect it, and Bertie nimbly swiping it back. When the little mite’s inquiry has Bertie sharing what and whom it was for, he refuses his messenger service, Bertie then concluding their chat amiably and walking back outside, knowing how reacquiring the gift had saved his ass from hearing about it constantly, later. He was then debating repaying Edwin with a present for his keen eye when Wee Nooke burst in flames, giving Bertie a scare.

Bertie watched the blaze with the usual satisfaction of fire-gazing, until remembering Edwin could still be inside, and being the only person able to conduct a rescue mission, he debates the thought of whether to save Edwin, regardless of his kindly thoughts from earlier, since it quite possible Edwin had caused the fiery eruption. When Bertie has decided to attempt the task though, Edwin moseys out looking gratified, minus eyebrows, and explaining how the explosion was caused by gunpowder in the chimney and water-looking petrol when he attempted to douse the flames.

Once Bertie realizes what this meant for him, his General Headquarters well and gone, he felt he needed to impose some violence on the boy, but hadn’t the means nor felt Edwin’s lack of eyebrows warranted a sign of kicking the boy whilst impaired. Bertie was then reminded of why Edwin was obsessed with completing his kindly duties, this being among the tasks given to the ranks of Boy Scouts. He realizes the suitcase containing his costume was currently within the tinderbox, Bertie dashing in without regret, and seeing everything was quite stable at the mo, and so toddles to the case and brings it out unscathed.

Bertie does notice Percy has arrived though, Edwin gone, and Bertie playing calm, collected, and cheerful, he truly none of the above. Percy is in shock whilst Bertie confirms the state of Wee Nooke, then inquires after his uncle, but Percy regains some speech to accuse Bertie of the pyromania and should’ve expected such behavior from him, and when Bertie attempts to set him straight of his son’s good-doings, it doesn’t make a dent in Percy’s bend, he still blaming him for supplying the gunpowder to Edwin, and when Bertie explains further what the boy had used in lieu of water, Percy reacts like Bertie had done this himself, and settles with the idea in the end, of Bertie and Edwin having egged each other on, team-work style.

Percy eventually pushes off after instructing Bertie to direct Jeeves to him when he came, the man doing so not long after by taxi, Bertie ready to unload the woe of Steeple Bumpleigh and hopefully to push Jeeves’ buttons for talking him into the mess. Bertie wastes not a mo to point out the trouble of Steeple Bumpleigh and ends with a poetic question to which Jeeves agrees with, Bertie then making plain the current events (Bertie makes a comment about relating to King Herod in reference to seeing his point on doing away with the first born sons, which had me reminded of an episode of Vicar of Dibley, where Geraldine mentions a similar scenario). Jeeves then confirms having spoken with Percy on his way to Wee Nooke, the man wanting him to settle at the Hall, so his brain could be all the closer.

Bertie rightly assumes he wasn’t invited and likened he and Jeeves to gazelles per the poet Moore, he then speaking Jeeves’ thought of bunking with Boko, he then appraising Jeeves of Boko’s situation with Nobby, and his own scapegoated position with Percy, Jeeves aware of the importance his plan-making skills were to the group. Bertie lastly informs Jeeves of Stilton’s job title, Jeeves’ look making Bertie think he was shocked by the news, and helped Bertie decide he would need to be the model citizen, he then realizing he’d misplaced the brooch, Jeeves noting how worrisome the prospect was, he then retracing his steps to the point of where he’d most likely dropped it whilst retrieving his suitcase in Wee Nooke, the fire now too low to enter, Jeeves taking some time to reflect on the matter.

Bertie took the time to decide whether fleeing was a viable way to handle Agatha, when Jeeves shares a possible easy remedy, which involved he going back to London to order a second identical brooch, Bertie warming to the idea as he spoke of the last situation which Jeeves implemented the switcheroo being the Aberdeen McIntosh. Jeeves then game-plans by allowing first, time to transfer Bertie’s luggage to Boko’s, then going to make the brooch order, whilst Bertie roamed about the area, to double check the grounds on the off-chance it had fallen outdoors. No luck though, so it’s whilst he walked, Nobby rode up upon bicycle, Bertie eager to chat with her about Stilton and his personal affairs.

Nobby had freshened up, which Bertie didn’t understand, what with she meeting a goofy man dressed to the frumpiness. Bertie bids to have a word with her after agreeing he was off to see Boko, as well. Nobby interrupts him with the subj. Bertie was after, so wasn’t as annoyed by her inattentiveness. She mentions of how mad Stilton was, Bertie sharing the reason for this and how Stilton didn’t believe his pure intentions. He then eventually gets to the danger of Stilton’s career having affected Florence’s love which could affect Bertie’s relationship status. Nobby then considers his predicament, and realizes how Florence had seemed attached to Bertie the most out of all her fiancés.

Bertie’s necessity to rectify Florence and Stilton’s lovey-doveyness hits him hard, and in despair, he asks for Nobby to talk to either side and do some convincing for both to see reason. Nobby agrees to do as best she can, and the two then enter Boko’s residence, he letting Bertie know his luggage had arrived safely, and assuring Nobby of his lunch with Percy going fine, but when she heard of Bertie no longer being able to knock home Percy’s acceptance, Boko shares his back-up plan of saving Percy’s home from a burglar to prove his worth. Then, once describing the finer details, Bertie is readying to back out, due to the part he was meant to play, but Boko and Nobby speak of his goodness so much, his resolve dies and turns to reluctant agreement.

The lack of gusto persists until the time was nigh, Bertie’s feeling getting worse as the two reached their destination, Boko intermittently makes comment to the nice qualities of the garden about them, but  Bertie wasn’t feeling it, and preparing to leave his buddy at his time of need. He remembers his terrible experiences with trespassing and policemen interruptions, Bertie relating this possibility to Boko, whom turns down the idea, believing Stilton would already be in the depths of sleepy-time, which Bertie allowed, but the aunt and uncle still being a worry, Boko disregarding this, as well and making certain Bertie had his accouterments ready to break the window, Boko biffing off to give Bertie time to do his part. Bertie at first is satisfying his imagination by contemplating how burglars must discover ways to aid their stress, but then figures Boko could return soon, since he’d wasted a few minutes with this line of fancy, and sets up the treacled paper upon the window. Then, metaphorically dancing about the window in preference to completing his task, Bertie likens the thought to how he saw Stilton outside the jewelers, acting similarly.

As Bertie gathered his nerve, he heard Edwin call from above him, Bertie knowing the boy was baiting him when he’d announced he could see him, so Bertie stayed silent and still, comforted in knowing it was a dark night. When Edwin withdraws, Boko returns, not sympathetic to the necessity of silence, Bertie informing him of their little Boy Scout, Boko showing disapproval with tongue-clicking when Bertie blamed Edwin as the cause of not breaking the window, Bertie now hyper-aware of the noise Boko made (his metaphor bringing a pleasant image to mind), he having Bertie stay focused on how this would help he and Nobby. Boko then leaves Bertie with another ten minutes time frame, Bertie thinking the new tactic of taking a stroll could help his resolve, he doing so, but wasn’t calmed, esp. when viewing a shadowy shape, but then recognizing Jeeves’ voice.

The two greet each other cordially and relate the shock they’d received from the other, Jeeves then moving on to Bertie’s timing for an evening stroll being an ideal one, even poetically speaking of the stars, which is when Bertie attempts to quiet him. Jeeves then informs of acquiring the brooch and had given it to Florence, Bertie glad for it due to his current issue, which he readily shares with Jeeves. Upon finishing, Jeeves speaks of the timing certainly being in their favor to go through with such an idea since Percy had yet renewed his security insurance, he having Jeeves send it in the same day, before Agatha became aware, Bertie quite surprised by Percy’s place in his household not being the top dog.

Bertie was reinforced by this information so he could finish his task, but then Jeeves adds how the real-time timing was a bit off since Percy was about to meet a Chichester Clam at the potting shed, he explaining this was the gentleman Percy was attempting to merge companies with. Bertie felt sympathetic toward the American’s ignorance of Steeple Bumpleigh, he knowing the place most likely wouldn’t let Clam off with a warning. Bertie then became aware of the hour which Percy was to meet Clam was upon them, Jeeves warning of his approach. Bertie wasn’t quite ecstatic with being viewed by the uncle-figure, but greets him as he got closer, scaring him to bits, which helped Bertie’s mood toward the positive, even getting Percy’s usual repetitive response of whatting, whilst Bertie shared how Jeeves and he had been chatting of stars, and during the quotation Jeeves had spoken earlier, Percy “what”-ed his way through the retelling.

Percy then gets a closer look at Bertie, whom has to explain he had only been walking about the premises. Percy demands he be off and away, Bertie catching the clue, and about to do so when Stilton scares him into the air, possibly more so then Uncle. Percy loses his shit by this point and indignantly demands why there’s so many people milling in his garden, expletives included. Stilton didn’t take this outburst without offense, due to Percy’s upper-hand on more than one level, Stilton apologizes and shares his reason for coming was caused by a call from Edwin, Percy momentarily adrenalized upon why Edwin had contacted the Force, but calmed when Jeeves confirms his letter had been sent, Boko next to arrive with pride of detaining a burglar in the potting shed. Bertie realizing Clam must now have the knowledge of Steeple Bumpleigh’s curse.

As Boko reached their little pow-wow, Bertie entertained the idea of Clam’s viewpoint of this oddness, Bertie listing the typical day he presumed the man was used to, Steeple Bumpleigh being a mismatch for such a normal schedule. So, as Boko is readying to lead Percy to his proud find, he reiterates of the troublemaker he’d trapped in the potting shed, in case they hadn’t heard, and was getting too comfortable poking Percy in the chest, which the latter exclaims for the nonsense to end, Boko defending his detection of the thief by relating Bertie’s having stuck the treacled paper to the window. Stilton gives Boko props for his foresight and announces of going off to apprehend the fellow, Percy growing more agitated as they speak, whatting reflexively once more. As Boko attempts to sooth Percy of his feeling of upset, Florence comes out to them, she not at all in pleasant spirit for being awoken by shouting. Boko takes responsibility proudly, not aware of Percy’s disfavor of him, Bertie feeling sad for the rube. As Boko then attempts to answer Florence’s inquiries as to how and why he was there to offer his services in implementing his gloriously selfless task, Percy pipes in with wanting to learn the same, building off of this framework to add his bewilderment for his tromping about his property when Boko had one of his own. Boko is flummoxed by this tirade against him, and when regaining his speech states of how ungrateful Percy was, having Jeeves quote Shakespeare about “ingratitude”.

Percy then decides the man housed in his potting shed was most likely a harmless homeless man, and wouldn’t be pressing charges, then gives Jeeves ten shillings to give to the man for shelter. Boko is properly disgusted, stating how next time he’ll help the intruder succeed getting inside. Boko then stalks off, Bertie accustomed to this behavior since he understood this response could come from even a not so moody sort, what with the circumstances being as they were. Bertie also felt terrible for Boko’s plan being dead in the water, since now the young lovers would remain detached, the odds not in his favor. Bertie then hears an avian-sounding whistle and recognizes Nobby from afar, he meeting her. Nobby was effervescing with fervor in being updated, Bertie reluctant, but giving the unfortunate mishaps of the night, she thinking Bertie must’ve dropped the ball, but he explaining how crowded the place had gotten fairly quickly before execution could fully begin. He describes Boko’s mistake of communicating so insultingly to Percy, Nobby finally aware of the hole Boko had dug, and she now going after him to give him a piece of her mind. Jeeves appears to inform of having let Clam go, but Bertie focuses on Boko, asking Jeeves to help him remedy the issue, and when sending him off after him, Bertie stresses over the situation when Boko pops back.

Boko looks properly put in his place, Bertie thinking Nobby had located him, which Boko confirms after asking if Bertie carried any libation, which he wasn’t, Boko then half explaining how Nobby had truly slapped him about with her words, she declaring they were over and Bertie convincing him not to read too much into it. Boko slowly is convinced Bertie had a point, especially after he quoted Jeeves on the strength of love. Boko was verging on a comeback of confidence when Nobby is heard calling to him, he sobered, and following her command to join her, giving Bertie a moment to think over what had occurred. His thoughts then turn to how common this situation was for his friends who are couples, he believing his estimation of Nobby’s next move being proven correct as he sees Boko’s look of elation upon returning.

Boko relates as much and also shares of Jeeves and Nobby thinking up the next course of action, Bertie stating of the work ahead of them being tough, but Boko explaining how Jeeves had come up with a doozy, Boko needing to have Percy’s back, he then sharing a scenario where he’d defend Percy from Bertie, which the latter was horrified upon hearing the description of what Boko thought he would do, Bertie plainly making clear he didn’t fit well into this plan whatsoever, Boko shocked by his not rallying round, he taking a similar route as some of his other pals when reminding Bertie of their school days, as well as Bertie’s affection for Nobby and how this would upset her, Boko giving him the chance by deciding he hadn’t heard him properly, but Bertie sticks to his guns. Boko makes certain Bertie truly declined to aid him in his plan, Boko stating of his disappointment and not believing the day would ever have arrived to discover Bertie not volunteering his help, his resolve almost breaking when he mentions of hosting him, but the vision of Percy setting him straight. Boko then reminds him of how upset Nobby would be, he then retreating with tsk-tsks, Bertie having then been snuck up on with a hit to the back of his head, sending him grass-ward.

Bertie now has an ouchy on the back of his skull, he hearing Edwin above him, impressed with his handiwork and realizing it was Bertie afterward, the latter demanding why he’d conked him, Edwin focusing on the part of his inquiry to do with his weapon of choice, he getting the confirmation of its validity as a painful piece of artillery, Edwin apologizing and confessing Bertie was the second victim he had mistaken for the thief, the first his pop. When Bertie hears how well Edwin had conked his pater, he relates to his heart jumping for joy, Edwin going on to relate how Florence had stuck up for him when Percy was readying to whoop Edwin good. Then, Bertie shares how his head still hurt and he had a lump, Edwin inquiring after his physical state, and then the former denying him the honor of performing first aid. Edwin changes topics about the reason for Bertie’s presence, and shares how Florence’s engagement could be possibly cancelled since he’d overheard a fight between she and Stilton. Bertie takes intent interest in this, and interrogates Edwin on the details, only learning their exchange was decently serious. Bertie’s soaring heart takes a dive, he knowing Florence’s intellect kept her style of fighting to be reckoned with more soberly than Nobby’s kind. Edwin reveals how he’d been distracted from listening to much by his act of whacking Bertie during their heated back-and-forth. Knowing this gave Bertie slight hope, since the two could’ve winded down their blow up before going too far. Edwin then confirms whether his acts of kindnesses from earlier still counted, despite his back-step, the two debating the day Edwin had reached, until Bertie realized Edwin had located the brooch twice, the second time at Wee Nooke. After stating of Florence’s delight having received the brooch by Edwin’s hand and giving Bertie the credit, he dashes away. Bertie then hears noisy breathing and puts together it was Florence.

Bertie couldn’t read the look on her face, only knowing she was feeling something compelling, she bluntly speaking of Stilton, to which Bertie regards her phrasing quite soberly, noting how she wasn’t seeing Stilton in a pleasant light and her view worried him as to the likelihood of the two working through this. Bertie determines her view would warm her more to his side, which prompted him to speak on Stilton’s behalf, this not succeeding in changing her low opinion, she then sharing how Stilton had insulted Percy when he wasn’t given permission to arrest the man in the shed. Bertie grasped at the straw of Stilton having been kidding about his harsh statements, but Florence states otherwise. Bertie feels for Percy’s plight as much as one could for the sort of his ilk, he having quite a time what with Boko, Edwin, and now Stilton. Bertie again attempts to spin Stilton’s temper in a positive light, Florence denying this by relating how he’d blasted her with his words when she’d voiced supporting her father’s side. Bertie was impressed with Stilton’s courage to stand up to Florence, but also knew it’d be the death of their love. Florence is unable to repeat Stilton’s insult of her reply about the quality of life for those in prison, the thought renewing her anger. She then shares of the fear Bertie’d been thinking of, the cancellation of their wedding, his reaction being to speak of Stilton highly, trying to have her let it go, he then spurring into a well-worded support to Stilton’s actions caused by the lack of crime in Steeple Bumpleigh, he unprepared by Florence’s response not being to take his words logically, but to become enchanted with him, she thinking he’d said all of this with the idea of wanting to get hitched to her. She then explains the brooch had helped her form her opinion, she accepting her title as hubby, sharing the sort of wedding she’d like, and left him to numbly catch up to her plans for him.

Bertie stays frozen to the ground for quite awhile, not moving even when flying pests knocked into his face, nor when other sorts crawled upon his neck. After he finally gets moving and back to Boko’s, he discovers the latter in the living room, Bertie buzzing over to the liquid refreshment, Boko not noticing him until hearing him pour, the man welcoming him, but also shocked he could detect the will to make a drink, after all which had occurred. Boko then eyeballs him as he informs Bertie he’d seen Nobby and she’d been quite upset due to Bertie’s stance, Boko again mentioning how he hadn’t foreseen the day coming when Bertie would fall through, he going on to inquire what had taken so long to return, he starting with Edwin, which pleased Boko, but Bertie pleading with him to save his chill nature for a later time since he required ideas and pity, he revealing his enchainment to Florence. After hearing Bertie’s tale, Boko admits how terrible it was Stilton had screwed up what with his true affection for her being apparent, and if he’d quit being a cop, he would still have a chance at a reunion. Bertie didn’t see the value of thinking about Stilton, he wanting a plan, so Boko asks if he could use the one which had worked the first time, Bertie stating to the negative. Boko then mentions how his style of having Florence break it off was tried and true, but Bertie not worthy for not helping Nobby and he, the former now reconsidering, but only after being reassured Boko’s plan was solid, he agreeing to share after he’d completed the job of angering Percy, Bertie acquiescing and Boko all smiles afterward, he deciding to jot down some ideas for Bertie to implement.

Bertie sleeps terribly, ridden by nightmares of Percy, but morning brought sunny goodness, birds a-twitter, this not helping Bertie’s attitude toward the day, though. He was plagued by his duty, he even having risen earlier for his troubled thoughts. He prepares for a refreshing bath, when he sees a note under his door, and reading of the statements Boko had come up with for him to spout to Percy, which worried him as he read. He brings up his Headmaster and the failed biscuit-stealing again, to relate how Boko had continued from where the Headmaster had left off, Bertie gauging of the estimated six hundred words, six of them acceptable enough for Bertie to muster the courage to speak, only if he were imbibed to the gills. Boko expected Bertie to follow the plan by ten in the A.M., but Bertie learns Percy was currently river swimming, he discovering him happily sloshing about. When Bertie sees Stilton was along for the water fun, he decides his best course was to stay unnoticed, he puttering along the sloping edge and spotting Jeeves fishing, whom he greets aloofly, and explains the reason. Bertie is peeved over what he now had to attempt to say to Percy, he essentially asking if it was worth his head to Jeeves, the reaction from the latter being a slight, quizzical look. Jeeves replies how Bertie could’ve backed out, to which Bertie derisively singly laughs over the idea, relaying the events of the previous night with Edwin, Florence, and ending with Boko and his information withholding on how to detour Florence. Jeeves, not having heard of their couple-hood, couldn’t guess what Boko had done and offers to inquire the house-staff, Bertie all for this.

The two agree to a meeting time and place to speak of Jeeves’ findings, Bertie returning to the house and seeing Boko at breakfast, Bertie inquiring about his knowledge of porpentines, Boko ignoring this and asking after Bertie’s thoughts regarding his list. He confesses the list’s horrifying qualities and confides of possibly deciding to nix going through with the plan, Boko shocked by this being the real Bertie’s feelings, again. Boko takes this badly, and states his displeasure on such cowardice, Bertie not phased by Boko’s retaliative approach by keeping his secret Florence-begone to himself, the former reminding him he hadn’t decided to withdraw yet, and the two leaving each other on good terms, they agreeing to enter the Hall individually. Bertie meets Jeeves, whom he can sense has good news, Jeeves sharing the source of his information coming from the boy whom cleans the silverware and boots, he having seen the happenings first-hand. Edwin had played a part in the events, he tracking something which Florence saw as she tended to a part of the garden, Boko walks up to Edwin and speeds up as he bends over some flowers, Boko then whopping him a kick, Florence not accepting his explanation and ending their engagement. Jeeves then points out Edwin was currently hunched over peering at something the ground.

Bertie caught Jeeves’ point along with the look he gave him to solidify his meaning, but whilst Bertie had the inclination, the circumstances gave him pause. He could also see Boko’s advantage when it came to his enactment, he in mid-question as to Jeeves’ surety of this being his best course, and even adding how Florence’s presence would and should be had, Jeeves offering to give her a reason to meet Bertie outside. His hesitance still holds him, and when confessing this to Jeeves, he posits Hamlet being in a similar boat, but what gets Bertie on-board though, was knowing the time rounding ten, his qualms bothering him no more, and Jeeves informing the length of time necessary to retrieve Florence. Bertie chats up Edwin in the serene atmosphere as he waits, Edwin sharing how close he was to catching up on his kind deeds and his current preoccupation. Edwin goes off on his ant knowledge until remembering Bertie’s bruised head, this having been related to how ants talk to each other, Edwin sharing how much enjoyment he maintained from the memory.

This only helps spur Bertie’s resolve, and as Edwin speaks, gets up to demonstrate or to stretch his legs as Florence finally comes outside, Bertie quickly coming up with a reason for him to bend again, he bringing his attention to a bit of ‘change’ under a shrub, Bertie noting his posture perfect for his swing, and upon execution, Edwin flying, but Florence isn’t furious, she happy has a clam, calling Edwin back, but he wandering off, and Florence explaining her reason for being pleased being in relation to Edwin’s hack job of her clippings being pasted upside down. She leaves Bertie to attend to the issue, he not noticing Nobby had been attempting to engage his attention for a little while, she having come to remind him of his meeting with Percy having arrived. Bertie mentions once more of how adept he was in obtaining those “silver-lining” moments, he declaring to Nobby of having found it in the form of his ability to back out, which Nobby then remembers his letter to her about Florence being a good back-up plan, he realizing the validity in this, and readies his entrance, flying to Percy’s sanctum sanctorum.

Bertie’s description of Percy’s study is everything one would expect a study to exude, the one article missing being Percy, himself. This new situation threw him as to where he should proceed, he deducing by cigar smoke smell he’d been there recently and most likely had gone outside to ponder his Clam troubles, Bertie attempting to decide whether to follow, his fire cooling as he stood, and so upon reluctantly following, he hears the man himself speaking with Boko, Bertie seeing the two walk into his line of sight with a gardener and mutt. As Boko is led away, Percy heads toward Bertie, he realizing there was no point going through with the plan if Boko couldn’t hear, and so goes back to the study to notice what he decided must be a painting of his Aunt Agatha he hadn’t been aware of earlier, but then hears her voice, which fortunately turns out to be only an audial hallucination, but by this point, Percy had caught up to him, he ranting about Boko turning up regardless of the hour.

Percy registers Bertie’s presence and speaks unusually cordially to him, throwing Bertie off, understandably what with their troubled history, he continuing by listing his normal temperament, his look similar to a cricketer turned actor (the picture of whom gives a fair idea what hilarity could come from the comparison), and whom had gone rabid (quite an image). So, to now see Percy looking agreeably at him, he was weak with disbelief, Percy then insisting he have a libation, sharing how he’d tromped on Boko, Bertie empathizing with his bud after imagining what area Percy must have stepped, but then extending his sympathies to Percy, as well. When Percy inquires about Boko’s friendship with Bertie, he sees a return of his old self, he letting this go to inform why the gardener had been pointing a pitchfork at Boko’s rump. Percy then offers a cigar to Bertie, he declining, which gives Percy reason to mention the hunting crop incident, and then giving Bertie the cigar so he could speak of why he’d wanted to chat, this an attempt at getting Bertie to loosen up.

After they have a drink, Percy commends him on his kick of Edwin, he going so far as to shake Bertie by the hand, and then asking him to excuse his aggressive temper due to his son, he then confessing his change of mood toward Bertie was because of his conduct with Edwin, and now wanted Bertie’s opinion about how he should proceed with his meeting with Clam, since the man was so skittish, he now wanting to forget about it and only return home. Percy finally gets around to asking what thoughts Bertie had on where to meet safely, upon his mentioning already having gone to Jeeves and learning he’d been told the man didn’t have a plan surprised Bertie, but when discovering when Percy had been told this, remained hopeful due to this being said the previous night. Bertie goes on to relate there was even better chance, since Jeeves would’ve most likely dined on his catch from this morning, his brain properly stimulated, Percy adopting Bertie’s optimism, and so calling his butler for a refresher on drinks and Jeeves. When the two return and his butler withdraws, Bertie informs Jeeves of what he’d mentioned to Percy about his regiment on producing new ideas, but Jeeves still had nada. Percy didn’t let this keep his spirits down though, and put his hope back on Bertie, whom decides to have a walk around and think, Nobby popping up when he left.

Nobby was close to literally dying to know how it had gone, she describing how little she could hear, but how she’d expected to hear Bertie’s voice more and couldn’t hear Boko at all, which finally gave Bertie the chance once more to dispel her hopefulness, confessing Boko’s absence, and once revealing to her the events, she readying to turn on her beau, but Bertie reminding her of how big Percy’s feet were, Boko’s inability to escape them slim, he being relatively unharmed and Percy’s view of him not positive, still. Bertie was then able to share the new standing he had with Percy though, and how it may yet help them, he sharing how if he succeeded thinking up a stellar meeting spot, he’d be able to help the two. When she attempts to help him with ideas and can’t, she suggests Jeeves be brought in, surprised to learn he couldn’t come through, and having Boko help wasn’t going to help once Bertie told her why it would only complicate matters. Nobby soon biffs off to locate Jeeves for still disbelieving his failure to formulate a plan, Bertie left to think. Jeeves appears, and when Bertie doesn’t see him coming, is reminded of Indians astral projecting, Nobby accompanying him and looking quite happy since stating how Jeeves was no longer blocked, and in fact had pretended to be without plan so Bertie could have the upper hand and could get even more bosomy with Percy, but the plan needed to be handled gently when it came to sharing it with him, and so Jeeves offers to bear the news to him on Bertie’s behalf, his plan being for Clam and Percy to meet at the dress party (TV show pops to mind, once more, possibly in a different episode). Bertie had completely forgotten the party, what with Steeple Bumpleigh’s overpowering effects.

Bertie then brings up his hope of Percy having the attire needed, Nobby having forgotten this requirement, and Jeeves stating how Bertie would need to lend his costume, which struck him with the strength of a mother cat being separated from her babies, but when being assured it was the only way, agrees bravely, Nobby not getting why he’d care, this being after Jeeves had gone off to speak with Percy, Bertie declaring how he’d wanted to show off his Sinbad costume, which he states of Nobby not having experienced life until she had, also now realizing he and Boko both should be in attendance so as to take advantage of Percy’s inevitable good mood once finalizing his deal, and whilst Bertie paces over this, Jeeves returns, he rejoining them, and Jeeves regarding Bertie’s idea which Nobby had related to him, he agreeing; this after stating Percy had accepted the idea and Jeeves planned to next see Clam on the subj., deciding Boko would drive him so he could secure the costumes whilst they were in town, Bertie wondering how safe the costume selection was in Boko’s hands, but Jeeves certain Bertie should stay to ease Percy’s mind, since he had flip-flopped in his agreement every time he saw Agatha’s painting, and would need periodic reassurance, Bertie accepting this what with his own run-in with it, Jeeves then confirming with Nobby of Boko being home and off to begin his journey.

Bertie discovers how time consuming keeping Percy’s spirits up would be, upon viewing the man’s anxious manner whilst sitting in his study and staring at his Aunt’s portrait. Finally, when evening hit, Percy is called by Clam, whom agreed to the scheme, Clam’s costume including a bushy beard. Now everything had been confirmed, Percy opens up to how he used to hit the Ball’s fairly hard in his youth (pun most definitely intended), and if not for an indiscretion at one of them, would’ve had the chance to tie the knot with Agatha thirty years sooner than he had, she having called it off after seeing his negative press in the paper. This episode colored his reason for paranoia she stay in the dark, but then upon stating how he would stealthily get to the party without being spotted by Edwin or Florence, he steps right back into despair, Bertie eventually getting him to calm, and then deciding a good submerging in the river was needed due to his hours long babysit, and once refreshed and drying off, sees Stilton watching him. Bertie knows upon speaking to him, he was definitely sour on his presence, Stilton solidifying this notion with one of his facial expressions of pure hate.

Bertie attempts to lighten his mood with conversation on their surroundings, but Stilton uses it as a way to reference Bertie’s betrayal. To distract Stilton from this, Bertie brings up Boko’s being stepped on by Percy, and Stilton showing confusion why he’d step on Boko rather than Bertie, after which comes silence and then he stating of seeing Florence and a wedding date already having been set, Stilton yearning to have cause to arrest Bertie, he finally giving Bertie the opportunity to leave, but he feeling down for having lost a buddy in such a way. When getting back to Boko’s, whom had already arrived from his mission and was currently sitting with Nobby, quite pleased, Bertie mentions the need for her to present the letter soon, what with the impending engagement date and she relaying of delivering it to Florence next morning if all concluded positively this evening, easing his mind. Although, when Boko mentions the costumes he’d gotten for himself and Bertie, he gets a slap in the face when hearing he’d been stuck with Pierrot, and he wouldn’t fit into the Cavalier outfit for his wonderfully svelte bod. To soothe Bertie, Boko attempts to quiet him with how un-Pierrot-like it truly was, they all getting a shock when seeing it wasn’t Pierrot at all, but a footballer outfit.

It remained quiet for some time before Nobby broke the silence by inquiring if they were all seeing the same outfit, she and Bertie confirming certain areas which drew their eyes, she then exclaiming how Boko had flubbed up again, he denying this, but even Bertie being unable to ignore the obvious. Boko then realizes whom was actually the cause being a chap called Catsmeat, Boko having taken a detour to the Drones where he and Catsmeat chatted about their collective attendance at parties, he leaving first and most likely having picked up the wrong case, Boko hoping this would get him off the hook as being damned. Nobby and Bertie effectively understanding, Boko offers to wear the get-up, Bertie then reminding him of how he still didn’t have anything to wear, the two deflated, but when Jeeves enters, Bertie posing their issue to him.

Jeeves decides a brief walk would be required to push an idea out, the trio discussing the problem as they waited, their optimism “conspicuous by its a[bsence].” they aware of time running short, the possibility of securing a fresh costume not applicable due to the lateness of evening, and Steeple Bumpleigh having naught an offering, Boko’s plan of Bertie slathering boot polish over himself and going as a Zulu chief being the best they could muster. Jeeves enters to state of coming up with an idea, everyone waxing impressed feelings, Boko disagreeing when Bertie suggested Napoleon was anywhere near the level of Jeeves, but when he hears where Jeeves had come upon this outfit, he quakes at whom it must belong “s[uspicion]” having been correctly felt on Bertie’s part. He then attempts to use the mot juste (appropriate expression) to indicate his tone as he commanded Jeeves get the uniform back where he found it, and hastily, shocking both Nobby and Boko from their celebratory backslapping, they attempting to make Bertie see how important it was he use this uniform to everyone’s advantage.

Bertie again describes how thin of ice he was currently standing in regard to Stilton, Boko reminding him he’d only be wearing it at the party, not constantly, but Bertie makes clear he wouldn’t be taking the chance. Until, of course Nobby weighs in with the letter not reaching Florence, Bertie understanding again he was against the wall. The two satisfied, Boko goes over the order of events, then stating of grabbing a raincoat for Stilton, he and Nobby off to bequeath said coat. Bertie rants to Jeeves after, of how he’d helped stick him in this non-helpful situation, Jeeves relaying he was doing his best at getting Bertie through the party properly, Bertie relenting, but maintaining how precarious a spot he was in. Then he complains a bit by how laughable he was going to look in Stilton’s larger-framed uniform, but knew the choice was no longer his own, Jeeves agreeing and quoting Shaw, Bertie gathering courage and requesting Jeeves show him the duds.

Boko decides he and Bertie should carpool in case any pressing issues popped to mind, it being more easily dealt with if they rode together. Bertie wasn’t quite as receptive to this idea, since he’d lived through being shotgun to Boko and had no intention of scaring himself repeatedly, Boko’s tendency to immerse himself in conversation, and gesturing with his hands at less than fruitful moments keeping Bertie from agreeing willingly. Another reason he’d rather drive himself being so he could get out of uniform with speed, Boko most likely tarrying to finalize his needs with Percy. Bertie also learns Boko, upon supplying Stilton with said coat, had learned of his suspicion Bertie had been behind the missing uniform, Boko redirecting his attention to Edwin seeming a better fit, Boko then thinking he’d detoured Stilton sufficiently. The idea only holding so much water when relying on Stilton not ever seeing Bertie in his work attire, otherwise he wouldn’t have a chance with Stilton discovering what he’d done.

Bertie relays his own plan to Boko, it being foiled by his car stalling, but hailing help from a kindly citizen, he getting to the party by midnight. Boko gives him a hard time for being late, he then informing of Percy drinking at the bar, Bertie realizing how serious this could be if he was incapable of comprehension. Once Boko explains how whilst Percy may have met Clam, Bertie still needed to approach him, he pushes him to attend to this immediately. Fortunately, Percy is entertaining a group of revelers, so Bertie has made it in time, and when reaching his uncle, the group scurries off to dance. Bertie greets Percy, the man hesitantly placing him, since the helmet was larger than expected, Bertie being chortled at more than he liked. When he plainly regards Percy’s drinking habits, his uncle doesn’t deny them, and admits he planned on celebrating heartily, being well on his way.

Bertie senses at this rate he’ll be able to mold Percy to his will, he learning Percy and Clam had their meeting, and Percy had made out like a bandit, Bertie buttering his ego for good measure, and Percy quite receptive, but then wishing to hole up somewhere less musical to take his much too small shoes off, which gave Bertie the perfect suggestion of offering Boko’s car as a kick-back spot, Percy agreeing and taking extra restorative along. When Percy’s nice and comfy, Bertie broaches the subj. of Boko, it not going well, since Percy, whilst in a glorious mood to all men, didn’t include Boko among them, he arguing of Nobby’s father entrusting her care to him and wouldn’t overlook a Boko. Bertie stays strong though, and attempts to speak the good of Boko, but what stalls Percy is learning he had also booted Edwin, but still not being convinced, until learning where he’d be heading the next month, the miles leaving him starry-eyed, Bertie using the opportunity to send Boko in to finish the kill, and he awaying home, depositing uniform into the lake, and off to sleep, but not before relinquishing a porpentine from his bed to the wilder outdoors, Bertie then easing into sleepy time.

Bertie had heard upon awaking in the morning, a saw which he attributed to Boko, wanting to shut him up, but deciding to let him rest due to his return being quite late. Bertie was then about to frolic in the lake when Nobby comes a-bicycling, she essentially swimming with happiness. She relates the news from Boko being quite in their favor, she giving him a peck and going to the house. As Bertie splashed about in the water though, he remembers how he forgot to see if Nobby had forwarded his letter to Florence, not stressing too much, he moving on to how Boko was set for marrying quickly for already having stored the license for quick and easy use, then easing his mind about the police uniform carrying no indication Bertie had worn it, regardless if Stilton eyed him accusingly. Bertie goes back to change, ready to get closer to the appetizing smells of breakfast, Nobby and Boko chatting, and Boko including him, detailing how he’d fared with Percy, they now thick as thieves.

When Boko asks about how Bertie had disposed of police get up, he agrees he’d gotten rid of it correctly, Bertie then hearing boots and sensing Stilton was approaching, his thoughts being realized by viewing the man through the window, and Bertie greeting him warmly, Stilton informing him he was arresting him, the three feigning innocence and wondering why he would choose Bertie as his nick-er, Stilton stating how Edwin had his whereabouts corroborated by many, he then detailing why he believed Bertie was his man, Edwin having planted the porcupine, saw Stilton’s uniform, he also hearing an eye-witness at the party see a man in an over-sized cop outfit. Bertie is readying to be taken in, when Boko comes up with he needing a warrant, and since Stilton wasn’t certain, would check with his Sergeant first, Boko quickly relating Bertie would have to leg it overseas whilst he still had a chance, Bertie agreeing this to be best and have Jeeves meet him with his belongings, he then hearing a pissed off Percy in Boko’s garage.

Bertie sharply inhales, stuck to the s[pot], with a look of shock frozen to his face. He understood the issue at hand not being in Boko’s favor any longer, he hearing the inclination for blood in Percy’s voice and oaths, knowing the headway the two had made was now a fond memory of bygone hours. Bertie was then detecting his need for Jeeves, when the man himself makes himself known behind him. Bertie shares the deets, frustrated once more with Jeeves’ calm, unphased, and through the relaying, remembers his own problem with the police, considering how he’d acquire his vehicle with Percy currently lodged there, Bertie likening his feral Uncle to a jungle cat caged, the man would go after Bertie first due to he being within range. Jeeves offers to soothe Percy upon releasing him, though, giving Bertie a chance to retreat, he stating of bringing the car around after, and would later join him with his possessions. As Bertie returns to Boko’s, he hopes his new information would affect Boko in a particularly negative way, due to his absent-minded locking up of Percy.

Bertie doesn’t get the scene he imagined to break with his fate-crushing news, but Boko’s reaction didn’t fail in its serious realization, and as Boko walks through how such a misstep could happen, Nobby is interrupting with cursing insults, Boko responding to her with pet names as he quieted her so he could continue, he having left Percy in his car whilst he joined a couple dances, then to the bar, only then thinking to inform Nobby of the news, so rushing to his ride, not seeing Percy, most likely unconscious and scrunched up on the floor by this point, and off to celebrate he and Nobby’s good fortune. Percy interrupts Boko as he’s forgiving Nobby her rash words, Jeeves following behind, the angered man still attired in his Sinbad the sailor costume, the dead stare enough to get Boko against the wall with intimidation. Percy what’d repeatedly, Boko offering a sardine, Nobby piping in of he feeling better with breakies administered, but Percy not agreeing, asking Bertie for his horse-whip. After Bertie gets confirmation from Boko of he not owning one, Percy sends Jeeves for his, giving instructions as to where he thought it was, and if not found, to have a look about. Jeeves accepts this task, but nonchalantly slips in of Agatha possibly having a helpful perspective, as well. It takes a few moments before Percy registers this, he sitting heavily and holding onto a jam jar like a life-preserver, Jeeves informing him she’d returned without notice last evening.

Bertie regards Percy’s state being similar to Lot’s wife when she was transformed into a salt container, since he’d gone rigid, except for gently twitching whiskers. Jeeves informs of Agatha’s son, Thomas having recovered and her presence no longer necessary. Bertie felt for the Unc, he knowing what Percy’d be in for if Agatha learned of his gussied up night. Nobby oozing sadness for Percy’s situation, stating the obvious of what he’d have to do to go over his reasons for being out all hours, this getting Percy moving again, calling for Jeeves, whom relays Agatha’s state of agitation and quoting the last words he’d heard before leaving, she questioning the housemaid with disbelief in learning Percy hadn’t slept in his bed last night. Percy looks at Bertie helplessly, his suggestion of confessing and hoping she saw reason being shut down, since she’d think he’d have more terrible a motive and females tended to speak with unrelenting speed, he realizing he’d have to take his fate like a man. Even Bertie’s suggestion of Jeeves coming up with a way out seeming impossible to Percy, until Jeeves confirms of working on a plan which had promise, but then retracts it once Percy updates of no longer giving permission to Boko and Nobby’s engagement, which Percy begrudgingly considers when realizing it would be required for this idea to work.

Unfortunately, Percy didn’t see the plan as plausible, since it didn’t include why he was dressed up, but Jeeves has a way out by selling Agatha of he being out to discuss wedding plans later, and then staying over could be supported with a change of clothes lent to him by Bertie. The latter watches Percy’s wilted demeanor flourish into a healthy flower once more, he following Percy out, Boko then blocking them, making certain Percy confirms his b[lessing] of their marriage, he giving the tormented green light, but this time Boko not leaving it to chance of being backed out on, wanting the agreement on paper. Percy’s optimism dips upon realizing he wouldn’t be able to get out from living through a wedding, he relenting to this, and the result tucked away by Nobby. Bertie then is re-consumed by his own dire fate with Stilton’s return, he having acquired his warrant, only requiring a signature from a Justice of the P, he then pleasantly greeting Percy, but getting the man up in arms when noting his outfit, Percy denying knowing of the party, and Stilton back-pedaling and apologizing, but Percy now unleashed, goes on a rampage of indignation, even coming up with a reason for the costume due to Boko and Nobby requesting him to don the frivolity.

Stilton attempts to get back on [res] the crux of the matter, and asks if he’d sign his warrant, Jeeves detailing what Stilton’s reasons were and in the explanation, Percy being Bertie’s alibi. Stilton attempts to argue Edwin’s testimony sealing the truth, but Percy supports Bertie’s scoffing such a witness. Jeeves then tries to give some magnanimous leeway on Stilton’s behalf, Percy unaware of Edwin wanting retribution for Bertie’s kicking him, but he dismissing this, going on his own steam of the police, as a whole having been going downhill due to their blind ambitions for advancement, ending with sympathy for Bertie’s being accused. Stilton doesn’t end it there though, pissed Percy would deny him, he gives him one more chance to sign, Percy making it clear what he thought of Stilton’s state-of-mind and his warrant, the beat-down cop leaving heavy-footed and broken-spirited. Percy hastens them to continue, wanting Bertie’s unwavering support when confronting Agatha, and so Bertie escorts the man to suit and bathroom, returning to be updated by Nobby of she and Boko’s immediate wedding pending upon Boko returning with his car and motoring to London, she concluding by complimenting Jeeves once more.

Bertie interrupts her well-deserved praise to inquire of the letter for Florence, she guiltily having forgotten and Edwin having cleaned out her room, offering the Jeeves remedy, then biffing off. Jeeves however, hadn’t a clue, Bertie dismissing him to the kitchen to get the only protein he remembered being available for his consumptive needs: anchovy paste. Bertie leaves for the garden to brood about his terrible fate, Edwin being “the Fons et origo” (source of origin) of his problems. Bertie then fantasizes of how fortunate being in China would be, able to condemn Edwin with “the Death of the Thousand Cuts”, Stilton then returning, keeping Bertie in place as he had been attempting to step away from him. Stilton updates the score of Bertie no longer in line to marry Florence, since he’d quit being an officer and Florence had taken him back, Bertie surrounded by light and birdsong, Stilton then off and Bertie streaking to the kitchen to inform the empathetic Jeeves of the good news, hastening they leave, then remembering his agreement to support Percy, Jeeves confessing he’d fabricated Agatha’s return, and they should hasten escape before Percy came down, Bertie on board with this train, he half remembering on their journey back of the expression of their experience at Steeple Bumpleigh containing the word “Joy”, realizing he’d gone over this bit at the start.

Satisfying as usual, Wodehouse staying strong. Still love them and I’m glad I acquired as many as I have so far, and will definitely seek out the rest.

The Code of the Woosters

 

Bertie rings for Jeeves whilst still under his covers, and upon his arrival, learns the hour was in the morning, Bertie confused due to the fog making it dark. He then sends Jeeves to acquire a tonic due to having overdone the drink the night before, what with his friendly adieu to Gussie before his wedding. Bertie knocks back the drink given him, and after a little time, feels a bit better. Jeeves then states of having a brochure, when Bertie asks, he immediately suspicious, since he knew Jeeves wanted him to schedule an around-the-world cruise for himself and had already turned the idea down. Bertie then explains further, why he had no interest, among them being no more room for educational experiences, which Jeeves had likened the trip being similar. Bertie quickly changes the subj. to Gussie, since sensing Jeeves’ displeasure by Bertie’s excuses. He notes of how well Gussie has been holding up, then gives flashback to when he’d swiped a cop’s hat and had been fined, this judge being Madeline’s father. Jeeves then informs Dahlia having called for Bertie to ring her, he deciding to go visit instead, unaware of what he was about to step into. He walks in to find Dahlia reviewing papers for her magazine, she stating of how busy she was, he unable to join her for lunch for a meeting with a novelist she had arranged, and had wanted him to go view a cow-creamer (giving away this TV show cover). The idea being Bertie was to show distaste for the item so when Tom goes to purchase, he’d get a good price, also giving Dahlia the opening to ask for monetary coverage upon acquiring her novelist. Bertie is then given ideas on different actions to perform and what to say, since the shaking of the head wasn’t doable this day: the drink forbidding it. They then discuss Gussie’s sobriety, yet still having a cool head when asked to make speeches these days, Bertie summarizing Gussie’s history for the latecomers of introduction to him.

Bertie then shares where Gussie was at the moment and the upcoming wedding, Bertie stating he definitely wouldn’t be in attendance. Dahlia also in the same boat since Sir Watkyn had attempted to steal Anatole after she and Tom entertained him, Tom and he having a healthy rivalry over silver. Dahlia then gives a paper for Bertie to pass along to Jeeves for opinion, he then off to sneer at cow-creamer. When Bertie arrives, he was surprised to see the shop-owner attending to Sir Watkyn Bassett, he with Roderick Glossop, whom is first introduced to Bertie, here. When Sir Watkyn notices Bertie, after speaking with the owner, he goes over to him to mention having remembered him, but not his name or the crime he’d committed, Roderick pointing out his rehabilitation must not have been as thorough as Sir Watkyn thought, since Bertie was leaning on Bassett’s umbrella, Bertie attempting an apology, Roderick suggesting they call a cop, Bertie saved by Bassett deciding he didn’t want to mar his day with the trouble, and the two leaving. Bertie then addresses the shop keeper the way his aunt wanted whilst wishing he could leave for another of Jeeves’ tonics, Watkyn and Roderick having taken it out of him. When Bertie saw the creamer, he was questioning why his Uncle would pay for such a dark-looking spirited cow. The owner is surprised by his reaction and suggests Bertie have a look at the stamp to show it was English, Bertie on his way to do so nonchalantly, when tripping over the cat, making him dash out the door like a thief. He runs straight into Sir Watkyn, whom calls to Roderick to get the police. When a cop arrives shortly, Bertie exits quickly, thinking to go to the Drones, but then decides on a Turkish bath. It rejuvenating as wanted and when arriving home, being greeted by a pile of telegrams.

Bertie now had misgivings when receiving telegrams, but upon closer inspection, found all three were from Gussie, which worried him since this involved Madeline’s single-hood. (Bertie even almost complete’s the Latin “A sound mind in a sound body” phrase, missing only the last word.) He felt brought down by the seriousness of his possible predicament, he “sinking into a (c)hair and passed an agitated (h)and over the (b)row. Bertie then discussing with Jeeves how he’d learned of the trouble, he suggesting Bertie write back with his concerns to Gussie for ideas since he couldn’t inquire to the Bassetts. Gussie soon solves it, Bertie receiving word, along with Madeline and Stiffy replying, as well. Jeeves was deciding they should be on their way soon, when Dahlia came to call. Bertie offers her some breakies whilst Jeeves packed for Totleigh Towers, which his aunt was glad to hear, for she was there to insist Bertie do as he was planning, she proceeding to share how his Uncle had set Bassett on the scent of his cow-creamer, buying it before Tom could recover from their lobster-eating. Dahlia then shares her idea of not allowing Sir Watkyn to get away with his underhanded play, planning on swiping the creamer back, and Bertie tasked with the swiping. He was mid-decline, but Dahlia goes for the jugular, knowing Bertie’s weakness, Anatole, she leaving Bertie in a dark mood with his bacon, Jeeves ready for them to leave.

Whilst Bertie drove, he discussed how difficult times were on this particularly lovely afternoon. He has much to say about the devilry of aunts, but moves on to his further adventures with Sir Watkyn, which Jeeves hadn’t been apprised of, he amused upon the telling, but offering his sympathy, since this is coupled with Bertie going to help Gussie, as well of course, Stiffy having a task for him on top of everything. When arriving, Bertie discovers the place fairly abandoned with Sir Watkyn off with Roderick, Gussie walking about the grounds, and Madeline wandering around, but he was content with the solitude, contemplating how much more difficult his thieving would now be with Roderick present. Bertie then spots a room overstuffed with glass cases, he setting eyes, and hands on the cow-creamer once more, upon entering and noting its case was unlocked and open. Bertie hadn’t decided what his plan was, he still surprised by locating it so quickly, and unable to finish thinking of it with Roderick now pointing a gun at him.

Bertie describes Roderick to the butler, at some point as being Dictator-like, he an intimidatingly tall fellow, leaving Bertie speechless for enough time to have Sir Watkyn called, bringing Bertie back to himself with the ludicrous outfit he wore. Meanwhile Roderick’s story of how he’d discovered Bertie definitely made him seem guilty, Bertie making his first word when they began discussing his possible sentence time. Nothing was made of it though, due to Bertie finding his pitch on a level with Dahlia’s, and then Madeline comes in, she immediately making it clear through general chat with Bertie of they knowing each other on a buddy level, Sir Watkyn coming to grips with this silently, but once realizing this was one-and-the-same Wooster, he shares of how he’d known Bertie as a thief, Madeline not believing a word. Finally, Bertie gets his turn to share how many mistakes they’d made with his history and story, moving ever closer to his reason for handling the cow-creamer, Madeline supplying the obvious reason when announcing Bertie’s relation to Tom Travers, Sir Watkyn having true motives dawn on him. Bertie then sends wire to Dahlia of her plan sinking with Sir Watkyn’s dawning of Wooster origins, he then returning to Madeline and feeling dread with the damage to her engagement. She, as her way, supposed he was there for one more moment with her, likening him to a poet whom died for his unmet love. After Bertie confusedly acknowledges the comparison, he mentions receiving a wire from Gussie over some issue he’d had with her, Madeline explaining it had been resolved, Gussie explaining the reason he was so close to her cousin’s eye hadn’t been for untoward reasons. She then mentions how Gussie’s demeanor had changed a bit, he not so much a wilting flower in confrontations or public speaking, Bertie agreeing, but surprised to hear how Gussie had insulted Roderick, he not believing a word and thinking Madeline had exaggerated the scene. Bertie lets it go and moves on to how much full support he gave to their joining souls, believing it should take place sooner than it was, Madeline impressed with his being so big about his unrequited position and positive statements of Gussie and their love, they parting ways so Bertie could take tea and she off to do something house-related, in Bertie’s mind. Before entering, Bertie heard Gussie speaking to Roderick in a way which would suggest perhaps Madeline hadn’t puffed out her story of Gussie after-all.

Bertie goes in to see Gussie has well made himself comfortable, even naming Bertie a “muddle-headed ass” when learning he hadn’t brought the requested book with him. Bertie’s tea at Totleigh Towers isn’t remembered happily, but usually taking tea in the country is a treasured time when Bertie flourishes, but his “sense of ‘ease'” had diminished for Gussie’s odd behaviour, and finally getting his chance to inquire when Gussie and he were left alone, he confirming Madeline and he were good again, and Bertie’s aunt was to be expected later tonight, Bertie completely unaware of this and at first in denial, but then knowing she was coming to make sure he’d go through with his duty she’d appointed. Bertie then asks after Gussie’s new outburst of honesty upon intimidating people, Jeeves being the cause and Bertie getting ready for Gussie’s story-time about his aided epiphany. Gussie begins with his realization of needing to make a speech at the wedding to come, specifically to perform this in front of Roderick and Sir Watkyn. He also confides how he’d learned Roderick apparently had loved Madeline for years and Sir Watkyn approved of them being married. Gussie also mentions Spode’s ambition of actually becoming a Dictator, as his look belied. Gussie going on to mention how the two had become chummy being caused by Sir Watkyn planning on marrying Stiffy’s aunt. Gussie then detours the subj. back to Sir Watkyn’s displeasure of Gussie marrying Madeline, and Roderick making no effort to veil his threats to Gussie, even though Roderick had noted whilst having no intention of trying to win Madeline, he saw himself as her champion of sorts, so his thoughts on abusing Gussie involved on the possibility he ever hurt her. So, of course this shook Gussie’s resolve and the snub he received from Bassett upon learning he’d brought his newts, of which he was experimenting the effects of a full moon on their mating time, didn’t equal happy moments for him. At his darkest hour, Gussie had remembered Jeeves, and hope dawned, Jeeves giving him the idea to see all those he spoke in front of, as underneath him, which made him immune to fear, and the other helpful aid was a notebook which Gussie had listed all terrible thoughts of those he would normally feel intimidation, but when asked where it was, Bertie sensed the damage such a notebook could have, if read, Gussie realizing he must have misplaced it.

Bertie proceeds by relating how certain situations give one the sense it will stay strong through the years, Bertie sharing one of his own from his school days about his headmaster, and the search of the enticing biscuits. Gussie’s news trumped the terrible feeling he’d gotten when caught, but Gussie was unbothered with his lack of notebook due to his memory retaining all. Bertie was amazed with Gussie not spotting the danger, hr describing Gussie as impulsive and mischievous, in French, in regards to his character. After Bertie inquires how in-depth his writing had gone, he then nonchalantly supplies how interested Sir Watkyn would be when reading it, Gussie’s content exterior crumbling. Gussie is then wondering how Sir Watkyn would take his writing style, Bertie deciding canceling the wedding being within the cards. When Gussie inquires what could be done and Bertie doesn’t know, he gives hope to a “higher power”, Gussie then remembers Jeeves, Bertie thinking even this was beyond Jeeves’ level of ability, he having Gussie walk-through his movements with his notebook, Gussie uncovering when and where it must’ve occurred, then also realizing whom must’ve found it, he being too distracted with convincing Madeline of the fly incident being harmless at the time. Gussie then has Bertie go meet Stiffy in town, where he remembered she was heading, and to watch out for her canine companion, whom has the bite of a snake. When Bertie got to the gate at the driveways end though, he thought how meeting her there seemed the best bet for success. As Bertie contemplated over his discernment of Madeline’s character to consistently listen to her pa-pa, he noticed a commotion escalating in the road. Bertie witnesses a bike-cop off-duty and serene, unaware he was being stalked by a Scottie, the man’s fate decided since he was also steering no-handed, so when the Scottie hit him, he fell straight into a ditch, the Aberdeen terrier looking down at his paw-ie-work.

Stiffy Byng then shows up, Bertie realizing he should’ve expected her, what with Gussie’s warning of the sharp-toothed brute. Stiffy let the cop know what she thought of his fall, which had left him looking like a bunch of mixed diced fruit, possibly shocking her little pooch. The man looks hurt by her words, especially after she addressed her dog as she calls him ugly, the officer then relates of this incident being the second time Bartholomew has targeted him and would be delivering Stiffy a summons. She responds to this with plans to battle it in court and would have a witness, then recognizing Bertie, the policeman commanding Bertie to wait for a subpoena, he then listing his wounds and mental state in his notepad before riding along. Bertie then inquires if she had Gussie’s book, she confirming this, Bertie showing such relief as to belt out a yell which got Bartholomew to bare a look of disdain and a Gaelic response in growl form. Stiffy then states how the writing seemed uncharacteristic of Gussie, believing a better subj. would be Officer Eustace Oates, complaining about how Bart was being unfairly singled out, Bertie describing the face she pulls, a moue –> pout, after confirming Oates did seem set on giving her a summons. Stiffy goes on to mention this would only mean more work for her Uncle Watkyn, whom Bertie learns was still a judge and had only retired from his previous court. Bertie shows sympathy for Stiffy’s situation, but hoping he could edge her back to Gussie’s notebook, she confessing how Bertie’s nicking of the officer’s helmet had inspired her to have the same done to Oates, by Harold, her fiance, she swearing Bertie to secrecy, he asking about the man and learning he was a curate, but after cautioning Stiffy about the immorality of having a curate steal, Stiffy then mentions Bertie’s college buddy being Harold, he finally deducing he was his old friend Stinker, and upon this revelation discovers the likelihood of Stinker making off with helmet in one peace was quite slim, Bertie warning Stiffy of this and she disregarding it, Bertie noting she was set to have it play out, so gives the advice on how to have Stinker get a better chance of success.

Bertie then thinks Jeeves’ idea of an around-the-world trip may have had merit, at the least to shelter him from watching friends get into trouble, but Stiffy grabs his attention again by reminding him of the telegram she’d sent having to do with how she planned on buttering Sir Watkyn up with the idea. Bertie attempts to block any plans for his involvement, but Stiffy knew how to make him listen: Bart’s unleashing working well. Stiffy begins with how Gussie’s engagement had started the difficulty, since Sir Watkyn certainly didn’t obtain a pleasant mood from it, which spurred the secrecy of her own. The idea was to make Stinker attractive enough to her Uncle for him to bestow a vicarage upon him, which then led in to the rest of her plan, Bertie attempting to squash it outrightly, until hearing it involved his stealing Sir Watkyn’s cow-creamer, he letting her finish sharing the dastardly plan, and Bertie turning it down, thusly only seeing disaster if Stinker was involved, he then requesting the notebook for Gussie, divulging the reason why he was invested in it being Madeline’s attachment to him if Gussie left the picture. Stiffy then decides a good old-fashioned blackmailing of Bertie was next on the docket, he surprised, but noting how he seemed to be accumulating those, and all around mealtimes, Spode then greeting him. Roderick informed him of how he’d detected whom and why Bertie was after the cow-creamer, Bertie being closely monitored now, Spode promising to beat him soft if the cow-creamer disappeared, Jeeves then walking up to inform Bertie of Dahlia requesting his presence to converse an important issue, Spode leaving and Bertie preparing Jeeves for a huddle afterwards.

Bertie is dressing for dinner and asking for Jeeves’ thoughts, since he’d told him the latest news on their way back to the house. Unfortunately, Jeeves hadn’t found a remedy, yet, Bertie disappointed, but deciding perhaps a lesson from detective novels could be applied, listing all the facts, Jeeves willing to try, and so Bertie itemizes his terrible multi-pickle, Jeeves interrupting the train of thought with his sympathies and advice on Bertie’s trouser legs being adjusted for stylish length. Bertie then considers Jeeves may only need more time to reflect, deciding his time at supper may allude some hidden answer. Bertie then reminisces on all the previous ladies who had put him in an unsavory position, but Stiffy topped them all, he then remembering his needing to speak with Dahlia and his hesitancy to do so due to she most likely having come before reading his telegram and would have to confess his new position on the matter. Jeeves suggests he dress to the nines for confidence, which works, Gussie then entering. Bertie sees Gussie didn’t yet know of his fate having yet been decided, Bertie trying to give the developments gently, Jeeves retrieving the requested brandy, then he enlisting Jeeves to explain to Dahlia their meeting would have to wait. When Bertie shares the terrible events to come, Gussie is quite overcome, Bertie staying calm, and Gussie soon doing the same, questioning the reasons, when it happened, and if she could be jesting, Bertie sharing all, except vaguely to the first.

When Gussie discovers what Stiffy was asking of Bertie, the latter again had to quash the idea, Gussie attempting a different solution, but Bertie not going to man-handle Stiffy so as to knock the notebook loose, if on her person. Gussie then speaks of how yellow Bertie had become, then warning him a black tie would better suit, due to the white one he wore would bring notice to himself, Gussie leaving, and Dahlia coming in. Bertie starts with an apology for canceling their meeting, moving on to proceed with news, she giving her own first, and Bertie stricken when hearing it involved Anatole, a letter from Sir Watkyn offering a trade for cow-creamer for chef, Tom actually giving the proposition thought. Dahlia then ready for updates on the cow-creamer scheme, Bertie getting Jeeves to bring document of pickle-list, Jeeves then sent for more brandy, Bertie showing her said paper, then explaining the extra details of Spode learning of their subterfuge and Bertie’s fate upon implementation, Dahlia drinking the brandy given, then thinking of how they could detour Spode if a terrible secret of his could be found to coax inaction, Bertie reminding they had no such information, she then leaving due to no other ideas. Bertie hangs on to this line of thought, though, but is talking himself out of it when Jeeves supports the idea, deciding they should look into possible dirt at his gentlemen’s personal gentlemen club, the Junior Ganymede, where the club had a book of everything about employers. Bertie then realizes he could be one of those written about, Jeeves confirming his every tale was listed. After assuring Bertie the book was only available to members. Jeeves offers being able to phone for information on Spode immediately for emergency purposes, he melting away to start his task, informing Bertie of the news of Gussie and Madeline’s engagement being off, then the dinner gong ringing.

Bertie regretted being tortured mentally so as to affect his enjoyment of a superb meal, especially after seeing Gussie and Madeline’s expressions during the event, their only conversation resulting in Gussie receiving two condiments he didn’t ask for, Bertie ready to have dinner finish so he could get the deets from Gussie, but he didn’t get the chance since Gussie dashed off after the last female left, leaving Bertie with Roderick and Sir Watkyn, he leaving soon after, having enough seeing the two speaking quietly and looking at him, he then deciding either Jeeves or Gussie would look for him in his room. When he arrives, he passes time reading his mystery novel, and before being able to fully immerse, is walked in upon by Spode, to Bertie’s amazement, knowing by the look on his face he wasn’t there to apologize. Instead, Spode thrust open his cupboard, thinking he’d detect Gussie, Bertie offering to give him a message, Spode replying of dislocating his neck. Upon further inquiry as to the reason, he learns Spode believed Gussie toyed with ladies hearts and tossed them like garbage. Bertie promised to pass it on and Spode leaves, Bertie marveling of this being so similar to Gussie’s run in with Tuppy. (See? He knows the stories mirror one another! I say this to all those who read Wooster stories and spout how “everything starts sounding the same”, if you’ve been reading the same stories I have, you’d still love them, and would notice the differences, and may have been reading them too consecutively, but I haven’t had a problem in those regards as of yet, and I’m halfway through the series.) Bertie contemplated when Spode had found out of Gussie’s failure to keep Madeline happy, then got back into his thriller, which made hearing Gussie’s disembodied voice call to him, all the more disconcerting as he crawled out from under the bed.

Bertie’s physical reaction to Gussie scaring him left him unable to communicate, Bertie noting Gussie looked like an animal hunted, albeit with tortoise-shell specs. Gussie regards the almost-catch, locking the door for precaution, Bertie upon verbal ability asking what had gone wrong with Madeline, Gussie flinching for the obvious pain of subj., but Bertie unable to let it lie. Gussie relates it had more to do with Stiffy and during the time she’d been singing downstairs, Gussie attempting to implement his ill-thought out plan of checking her stockings, unaware Madeline was obscured, looking for sheet music and seeing the oaf, Gussie so ashamed with the relation, immediately asking if Bertie was gifted in knotting sheets, losing Bertie on the swift change. Gussie explains himself and his plan of borrowing Bertie’s car to first go to London, then perhaps California. Bertie surprised with the news of Gussie actually intimidated by Spode, now. He also learning Gussie had attempted making up at dinner, but Madeline not having it, he then realizing Gussie only needed his notebook back to prove his reasons were above-board, but Bertie losing him with the French of: to understand everything it is to excuse everything, Gussie instead wondering where Stiffy would hide the book, Bertie suggesting her room, Gussie agreeing the idea was sound since Stiffy was in the village for an event with Stinker, but had lost all confidence with Spode after him, Gussie now ready to give it up for lost cause and having Bertie help him knot sheets, but Bertie refusing, to Gussie’s dissatisfaction, but Bertie gives it back by stating of having believed Gussie had back bone, he agreeing he did, but didn’t want it damaged, he throwing Bertie looks before scurrying out, Bertie continuing his book until being aware of Jeeves. He saw a look on Jeeves which implied positive results, remembering what he’d gone through to accomplish this, Bertie excited to hear good news. Jeeves admits his call was fruitful and Spode did have secrets, whilst Jeeves being unable to explain the meaning, he was able to share with Bertie to inform Spode of he knowing the information regarding Eulalie, it lessening any damage Spode could plan for him. Bertie skeptical, but upon assurance from Jeeves if he mentioned this, Spode would falter, Bertie mulled this over, still uncertain, but trusting in Jeeves, then relinquishing the newer news of Gussie’s predicament, Bertie mentioning Gussie would need this information to save his neck. He goes off in search of the Fink-Nottle, only to discover him at home-base, knotting Bertie’s sheets.

Bertie easily sneaks up on him and cries out his indignation of seeing his bed being mussed, scaring the fish face out of Gussie, he explaining to Bertie, in response to his going against Bertie’s wishes, Spode had been awaiting him in his room, otherwise he would be knotting his own sheets, Bertie then trying to quell his fears, Bertie again using French to fill in “Spode, that threat”, he relating of knowing and yet not knowing what would stop Spode, he then hearing footsteps approaching them, and readying for a demo, Spode walking in and devilishly appreciative of seeing Gussie, approaching slowly and ignoring Bertie, focusing on Gussie cowering against the wall, until Bertie makes enough noise and insults to gather his attention, he regaining Gussie’s esteem, Spode distracted, and Bertie continuing his barrage of verbal harassment, he about to end the mystery of what he knew, when he realizes, he no longer knew, Spode ready to move forward on Gussie, the latter again frightened, but then regaining some bravery, he swiping a painting on the wall near him and depositing it on Spode’s noggin, but upon using the soft end, didn’t stop him for long, Bertie having enough time to wrap Spode in the knotted sheet, the man ensnaring himself the more he lunged at the quickly departing Gussie, Bertie wrongly deciding to tap a vase on Spode’s pate, Bertie losing footing and Spode getting hold of his jacket. Bertie thinks quickly and uses his lit ciggy on Spode’s hand to disengage him, Bertie plummeting for the door, only to be met by another body. Dahlia is soon heard cursing, and all three end up rolling near each other, Dahlia belting out her objections since first seeing Spink-Bottle belting down the hall, Bertie knocking in to her, and Spode tickling her ankle, he letting go, and Dahlia asking for details, Bertie starting with introductions, Spode regaining balance and intently staring at Bertie, the look bumping Bertie’s scare list from Jeeves’ temporary replacement and dangerous meeting with butler from #1, to 2.

Spode then demands Dahlia leave for what he planned for Bertie, but Dahlia wasn’t having it, she inadvertently reminding Bertie what he’d forgotten when Spode came toward him threateningly, his pronouncement, stopping Spode swiftly, his attitude changing as quickly. Dahlia is properly impressed with the turnaround, Bertie crediting Jeeves with the useful name, he hinting at his supposition about it, Dahlia back on track with Bertie being clear to swipe cow-creamer, he squashing her plan forthrightly and explaining before this was possible, the notebook needed a change of hands. Dahlia then reveals Bertie may have quite a time locating it, if not properly informed, he effectively staying his action, but Dahlia then allowing he could check if only to busy himself, whilst she thought of a more productive plan. Bertie realized his searching at this juncture was useless and reads more mystery novel, a section inspiring him, he then readying to share his revelation with Jeeves, but first thanking him for his secret weapon. Bertie then proceeds by quoting the desired passage, believing Stiffy would choose where all women chose to hide valuables according to this fiction: top of the cupboard. Jeeves is questioning Bertie’s faithful logic, but he is now on a roll and wishes only to have Jeeves follow loyally, but as he gets closer to Stiffy’s room, his bravery begins to falter, more so to do with Jeeves’ obv. lack of support, and upon entering Stiffy’s room, if it wasn’t where he believed, he’d have plenty of room to search. Bertie was stopped from his task by an unexpected inhabitant, Bart, Bertie and Jeeves hopping upon high furniture before being et.

They each sit in silence for some time until Jeeves supplies not seeing the book in the cabinet. Bertie is exacerbated by currently not being bothered where the book was and Jeeves lack of light bulb on how to extricate themselves off of their high perches. He thinks back to another whom had been in a similar situation, sympathizing with the blast to the ego it dealt, esp. when one’s fam. had origins of somewhat enviable stature. He then voices his disgust to Jeeves, being undermined by a terrier and how Totleigh Towers was verging on becoming similar to a leper colony, but with different species of animal. Bertie then drifts to reminiscing of the time he’d been stuck on a roof for a livid swan and whether they should attempt Jeeves’ remedy for the bird situation, but he noting their lack of raincoat, Bertie suggesting a sheet since it did the trick on Spode. Jeeves doesn’t deny the idea having merit, but wouldn’t go so far as to initiate action, Bertie resorting to tossing a candle stump at Bart for feeling disrespected by the looks he gave, but pup utilized the snack, Stiffy entering after. Bertie notices she wasn’t acting her usual high-spirited self, she not at all bothered by their sitting areas, Bertie asking if she’d leash Bart, and she not open to it for their maledom. Bertie tries a diff. tactic (point d’appui – location troops are waiting before battle), asking after the event she’d been attending. Stiffy relates how it had ended with her engagement to Stinker cut since he wouldn’t pinch Eustace’s helmet. Bertie feigns empathy and mentions how it seemed the notebook no longer mattered for her so it wouldn’t make a difference if she gave it up, she not caring, but needing to oblige later, about to detail where, when she heard a tapping from her balcony, she discovering Stinker, forgetting for a mo. she was unhappy with him, but then treating him coldly until learning he’d done the thieving deed, opening the glass door to allow him entry, but not doing so until Stiffy had sequestered the hound in the cupboard, Bertie supposing the pup had fallen asleep, due to silence from within.

After Stinker comes inside, his clumsiness intact, one could see his conscience was beating him for his crime, Stiffy so pleased she only asked what occurred in the retrieval. He about to oblige when spotting Bertie, glad to hear from Stiffy it wasn’t stress-induced and greeting him heartily, as well as Jeeves, the two climbing down. Whilst Bertie and he made pleasantries, Stiffy was trying on the helmet, once Stinker seeing this, bringing his guilt to his attention again, knocking furniture over until sitting, considering how damaging to his career this could become, Stiffy taking pity once seeing he was upset and he finally giving the story of how he’d acquired the item. Eustace being seen on Stinker’s thoughtful walk, swiping it from the ground where Eustace left it, Bertie taking offense to Stinker not following the “rules” of the game, but Stiffy sticking up for her again-love. The topic of why Bertie was in Stiffy’s room then being touched on, and she realizing he was again at her mercy, sharing with Stinker of the cow-creamer plan being on. Stinker quite happy to hear this, the time being confirmed with Stiffy and she answering for Bertie agreeing to all, upon the two returning to the balcony, he ranting about Stinker being o.k. with him being blackmailed, Jeeves stating Stinker didn’t know, to Bertie’s surprise. Once he accepts this and Stiffy returns inside, he resorts to taking on the character of a book and demanding Stiffy get him the notebook presently, he divulging Jeeves’ deductions as his own, and she betraying the spot-on-ness of it, resorting to syrupy-sweetness so he’d agree anyways, it not working, and so switching to teary sorrow, he explaining his case which sounded reasonable, but receiving no reply other than more bawling, Jeeves then putting in of having figured another option involving she and Bertie announcing their plans of marriage to Sir Watkyn and upon his unfavorable reaction, she confessing it was actually Stinker, making him react more kindly to the lesser of the two evils, Bertie not seeing value in the idea, but Stiffy overly ecstatic. Bertie plainly opposes the idea, refusing to play, demanding for the notebook, but Stiffy one up’s him with sharing to Uncle Watkyn all which had occurred, Bertie stuck and referencing Kipling, again (from Right Ho, Jeeves). Upon leaving to begin his mission, giving Jeeves a look of ‘he knoweth not what he does’.

Bertie expresses how he normally keeps a stiff lip, but his task given truly brought him down. Bertie felt the same as his long ago meeting with the headmaster in late afternoon after attempting to obtain the biscuits not working out, he going in to see Sir Watkyn, whom was currently speaking with Eustace. Bertie became more apprehensive, he asking Bassett for a mo. to chat, the man reluctantly agreeing. Sir Watkyn finishes his chat with Eustace, he leaving, Sir Watkyn then turning his attention to Bertie, sharing of Eustace’s missing helmet. Bertie tries to obtain more details, but Sir Watkyn had bid for more patience, the information coming out soon enough. Bertie gets the Sir Watkyn’s tougher idea of a sentence out of him though, it not being something Bertie wished to experience. Sir Watkyn then gets back to the reason for Bertie’s visit, the latter easing into it after what he’d learned, he giving Gussie as example to the topic of love and also of the algae seaweed, plus newts, Sir Watkyn not following, but Bertie by then getting over his nerves and stating his point, asking for Stiffy’s hand, he taking the news as badly as expected, calling for the butler to locate Stiffy for a talk, and she showing up fairly quickly, asking to confirm Bertie’s statement, she replying to the negative which Sir Watkyn was glad to hear, but when learning it was for the love of a curate, wasn’t fully satisfied. Bassett starts by denying her viability due to youth, but she then listing off Stinker’s good qualities, Sir Watkyn not biting though, so Stiffy returning to Bertie being the man she’d marry, since Bassett believed money was the key, Bertie and Bassett arguing against her reasoning. Sir Watkyn then deciding Stinker was preferable and gives consent, Bertie meeting her outside the office where she remembered Eustace having mentioned he suspected her, esp. with having found her other glove, Bertie then criticizing Stinker, but Stiffy wondering where a good hiding spot for the helmet would be, Bertie ignoring this and asking about where the notebook was, Stiffy giving in and confessing it was in the cow-creamer. Bertie now pondered how he’d get it, until being informed Madeline wished to see him, Bertie sensing the reason, but deciding to consent to the meeting, going off to the drawing room.

Bertie walks in to see Madeline glumly playing the piano, he feeling as if he should be running far away, but instead greeting her with an unsettled, “What, ho.”, Madeline not being able to get beyond saying his name a couple times, but finally spitting out how due to her engagement with Gussie ending, she’d be able to accept Bertie’s offer, he willing to fight for the old chum by letting her know she hadn’t done Gussie any favors, Madeline interrupting him repeatedly what with knowing Gussie’s true unfaithful nature, Bertie attempting to get his defense out, but giving up, and stating in French: to understand everything is to forgive everything, Madeline telling Bertie of his sweetness in trying, but how his role would be to aid her in forgetting Gussie’s charm, then planning on informing Sir Watkyn, Bertie exclaiming to refrain, what with once already close to the groom’s hat moments ago, and sharing with Madeline only the part where Stiffy was getting approval for her own marriage to Stinker, Madeline then realizing the improbability of Gussie being after Stiffy. Bertie then has Madeline’s attention so as to recount what had occurred, Madeline skeptical and planning on verifying all of it with the notebook in the cow-creamer, Bertie playing “Happy Days Are Here Again” single finger-style, but Bertie still suspicious of something going wrong, he correct when Madeline returns without notebook and was unable to detect the thing, now not so ready to believe it was true, she confirming Bertie’s assumption, he unable to reason why Stiffy would lie. Bertie leaves Madeline to contemplate when hearing loud noises near his room and seeing Roderick pounding on Gussie’s door. Bertie, feeling like he’d been bullied by both Bassetts and Byng, and deciding to take his frustration out on Spode. After getting his attention, Bertie exasperatedly asks why he was trying his patience by going after his buddies, Spode extracting the notebook where Gussie had written of Spode being a “pompous ass”, when Bertie takes it with a shout of happiness, he letting Spode know he was commandeering the document and Spode should leave, he doing so, and Bertie knocking on Gussie’s door, having to convince him it was truly him since he thought it possible Spode could throw his voice, he finally opening the door and giving him the book to show Madeline, Bertie returning to his room to see Jeeves going about his business, he deciding to forget about the uncomfortable posish he’d put him in, and instead updating him of their plans to leave tomorrow for his tasks being complete. He then recaps Stiffy’s results going off without a hitch, and Gussie was currently showing the reality of the notebook to Madeline, but then Gussie walks in to share the wedding being canceled again.

Bertie had trouble believing the update, until finally requesting brandy from Jeeves, Gussie not taking the news lightly, either and whilst Bertie couldn’t understand it, he didn’t question. He did however, object to Gussie hanging himself with the knotted sheet in his bedroom, after which denying Gussie, getting further detail on the canceled marriage, Sir Watkyn opposing to newts being housed in the tub, Gussie explaining how his tank had broken. Bertie then hears the rest of the reason Sir Watkyn was set in his feelings having to do with seeing them in the bath and informing Gussie of letting them down the drain, Gussie insulting him no end, and more so when Madeline had been bid to go to bed. Bertie was going to try and help solve the issue when Gussie adds he’d insulted the cow-creamer, Bertie then coming up with a plan which involved the passing on of the theft of cow-creamer. Bertie has Jeeves agreement with Gussie’s power with cow-creamer in hand, but he sharing how Eustace had been added to the creamer’s guard, Jeeves reminding Bertie of the Stoker potting shed incident. Jeeves applying the same tactic to a different aim, this being Eustace’s helmet, rather than a lady. Gussie brightens with the plan and Jeeves informs Bertie of how Eustace had ended up pointing the finger at him, whom he believed had committed the crime for Stiffy, Gussie returning only to inform of Eustace being on his way to him soon, but upon hearing how Gussie had relinquished his notebook to Sir Watkyn, Bertie saw the plan as bust.

Bertie then attempts to think of a plan at Gussie’s insistence, he figuring if Sir Watkyn was about to bathe, as a robe implies, he wouldn’t be immediately reading the notebook, esp. since he’d automatically stuck it in his pocket, and would’ve legged it to the, in French: bathroom, leaving the room empty for Gussie to regain said book. Gussie then hopes to have Bertie do the deed for him (needy bastard). Gussie finds bravery in Madeline’s photo, but doesn’t get far, reporting back to Bertie of Spode giving him trouble. Bertie losing his patience, showing his face, and urging Gussie on his way, whilst Spode attempted to have Bertie compromise by allowing some type of violence upon Gussie, Bertie staying firm. As Spode shares a couple of the gems Gussie had written about him, Jeeves comes back with the brandy and states his tardiness was caused by helping Eustace with a bloody accident, whilst defending the cow-creamer from thievery, Spode lumbering off and Jeeves detailing how Eustace was taking a smoke break outside the room, when hearing noises of cow-creamer molestation, and once going in to confirm cow-creamer’s disappearance and hearing a figure exit through the window, he follows, and a second figure punches him in the face (Bertie’s confusion in learning there were two figures, making him name them Pat and Mike, a recurring pair of names, but Jeeves settles on A and B), Bertie naming Stinker as culprit, and the first perpetrator Eustace believing to be Bertie. This news entertained him a bit since knowing Eustace had already planned to shake-down his room for his helmet, and was describing how he’d act when nothing was found when Dahlia hoofed in tossing the cow-creamer at him to hide.

This development threw Bertie to the point of duck noises, pleading with Jeeves with eye contact for assistance, he getting his shot, as needed. Bertie then describing himself, in French, as a “valiant knight”, but feeling like he should conk his aunt with the last readily available object not destroyed already, Dahlia unaware and sharing her good luck despite the man in blue being so near. Bertie then gets his chance to inform the dear soul of how hot Bertie’s lodgings were, she cooling with the news, and making plain the boys would be responsible for the revisions of tactic, neither able to oblige, Bertie instead suggesting it go in a suitcase for the simple reason being sick of looking at it, Gussie entering and looking for cover once again, this time from Sir Watkyn, he having read the notebook, and how Gussie had temporarily escaped him, Dahlia losing her patience and ready to throw him out, but once she hears of Gussie’s plan to go out the window, she ready to oblige him, Jeeves making it more motivational with the suggestion of Gussie taking the suitcase with him since he’d be borrowing the car, Bertie and Dahlia properly amazed by the simplicity, everyone pitching in to get Gussie down, and nothing going wrong in the course, Dahlia leaving to hear how the “enemy” was making out. Bertie was now visibly relieved and ready for Jeeves to finish packing for their departure next day so he could retire, Jeeves then detecting the policeman’s helmet.

Bertie, now hardened by his experiences, took this with the first instinctive step of locking the door, Jeeves reprimanding him for his terrible hiding spot, but Bertie making him aware this one was because of Stiffy, he then going off on a tangent regarding the fates of all who came into contact with any offspring of the Byng/Pinker union, he getting back on track, but not before Stiffy makes an appearance. Bertie again teaching her the error she made by presuming the helmet would be safe in Bertie’s care, she then believing Bertie would take the heat, but he again having to inform of how serious Sir Watkyn was taking the matter and once she tried to tell of Stinker’s sensitivity compared to Bertie’s and it fails to hit, she reminds him of the Code of the Woosters, Bertie’s resolve weakening, and finally giving in to her, she supplying moral support of the ability to discover a fine hiding spot and leaving the two, happily. Bertie is ready for the old fate to be sealed when Jeeves shares his fresh idea of tossing the helmet out the window and quickly, since footsteps could be heard coming their way. Dahlia, Sir Watkyn, and Eustace Oates come in, the relative sharing of Sir Watkyn’s intentions, Bertie chortling, aunt following suit, and confiding how Sir Watkyn was about to make a fool of himself, the news of his whereabouts when cow-creamer was stolen, only temporarily pausing him, Bertie then having Jeeves call Spode for back up. This gives Sir Watkyn pause, but sticks to his assumption as Bertie and Dahlia continued to suggest other wild possibilities to who took the cow-creamer, Bertie hitting a nerve when mentioning his Uncle, and so, Sir Watkyn leaves the cow-creamer’s current residence for the mo, to focus on detecting the officer’s helmet, Bertie relishing how ridiculous their search made them look, Sir Watkyn stating how he must apologize, and Bertie letting him stand through a rant he only wished he could’ve remembered, due to it being his top work, but during his wind down, Bassett seemed to lose interest, opting his attention behind Bertie, where the butler stood with the helmet upon platter.

Bertie marvels at this butler’s ability to ooze in like fog, then conscious of the other’s reactions, describing what each looked like. Oates first to move, grabbing his helmet with mother bird emotion, Sir Watkyn inquiring where it had been located, the butler letting out with having seen it dropped from Bertie’s window, Sir Watkyn dismissing him and ready to get Bertie. Dahlia comes to his rescue though, when blurting of how the butler seemed to be setting him up, Bertie letting her run with it, and she ending by an attempt at claiming to having solved the issue. Sir Watkyn doesn’t follow her suggestion though, he staying fixed on Bertie’s guilt, and his resolve to have the culprit serve time, Dahlia still working to change his mind, but only gets Bertie his last night’s stay in his room rather than at the station. Oates was ordered to take watch below Bertie’s window, to his disappointment, and Sir Watkyn asks to speak with Dahlia for a mo, the two sauntering out, and Bertie locked in. He considers soberly his soon-to-be prison life, he settling on detecting a bar of soap to chuck at Oates to buoy his spirits when he heard the doorknob, Jeeves outside and Bertie sketching the events up to then. Jeeves remarks his sympathies, Bertie then learning of Spode having gone for a walk so wasn’t available for the now useless eyewitness of alibi, and also found Stiffy in a funk over her forbidden love, Sir Watkyn not open to Stinker’s proposal due to his part in aiding the cow-creamer swiper to safely allude justice. Bertie empathizes with Stiffy’s situation, asking if Jeeves had any ideas to fix either Stiffy, Gussie, or his own plight, Jeeves having none of the above, only an inkling for Bertie which needed more time for development.

Bertie, believing time was of the essence, thought perhaps he should adopt Stoker’s plan to knock out his guard for escape, Jeeves in mid-decline when he reports of Dahlia and Sir Watkyn heading his way, Bertie hoping Jeeves would consider the desperate plan. Dahlia enters alone with news of his freedom, but not looking gratified, she confessing it was in exchange for Anatole, Bertie aghast and unwilling for such a future to be lived, he instead agreeing with aunt upon his release to have a menu of his choosing, coming up with the particulars right then, nixing her idea of having, in French, something like, ‘flowers of cream of zucchini’ in preference of his ‘eaten apple of love’, the rest of the menu including fresh caviar, little devils, and chicken with other oddly placed words (me, wishing I’d learned French, if only to understand the nonsense). They call Bassett back in, gladly surprising him with the news of declining his insulting offer. They each then remember a dish for Bertie’s list, Dahlia adding ‘Nuns of the Mediterranean Sea fennel’, and Bertie wanting ‘Saddle of lamb with lettuce in Greek’. Sir Watkyn is properly steamed and decides Bertie will go to the station to spend his night, he rudely calling Jeeves over to get Oates, and he being informed Spode was on his way to speak with him, Sir Watkyn annoyed by the timing. Spode enters and confesses to the helmet crime, Bertie and Sir Watkyn agog, he then excusing himself and Bertie dismissing Sir Watkyn after he’d apologized, he then wondering how this had happened, calling to Jeeves with the supposition he’d done something, and Jeeves allowing he’d spoken with Spode and the likelihood of getting away with it, for Sir Watkyn marrying his aunt.

Bertie attempts once more to plead with Jeeves for details about Eulalie, since he’d used it to get Spode to cooperate, but doesn’t succeed, he then getting as comfy as he could manage between the knotted sheets, discussing how unfortunate it was for Stiffy and Gussie, Jeeves then sharing how Bertie could bring Sir Watkyn to court for wrongful arrest and defamation of character, plenty of testimony and witnesses to support this. Bertie wonders whether he should take such lengths, Jeeves giving him the idea of how if only posed to Bassett, may make him open to Madeline and Stiffy’s betrothals, Bertie so elated he gets Bassett immediately and give his demands. The wishes are granted, Bertie even getting his fiver fine back, he ready to settle for sleep when he hears a sneeze through the open window, Sir Watkyn having not informed Oates of the events (or Jeeves, depending on how it’s seen, since Watkyn had already asked, but I supposed hadn’t confirmed he still wanted this to be done), this making Bertie quite content. Before ending his night though, he tries again to have Jeeves speak of Eulalie, bribing of going on the cruise around-the-world if he spilled, Jeeves considering carefully, then giving the deets on Spode’s involvement with a women’s underwear design business, this possibly ruining his reputation as wannabe Dictator, Bertie properly satisfied and Jeeves letting him know the cruise tickets already being reserved, he leaving Bertie, and Bertie reflecting on all those important, now being happy, drifting off to a revitalizing sleep. I believe I’ve been losing my ability to praise properly for doing it so often, this one on par with the rest. To the next!

Truckers (The Bromeliad Trilogy #1)

The beginning tells of the lifespans of nomes and the differences of other species. Some of their tenets from when they moved into the Arnold Bros. (est. 1905) is shared. Then a day when a lorry crashes is mentioned, but this being a false start and moving further back to a dismally wet, rainy day. Masklin was hunting for food when he notes of the lorry stopping as usual, he running to get Grimma and the others before the lorry drove off again. Masklin returns to the lorry whilst Grimma gets the others ready to go as they slowly made it to the truck and were hoisted into it, one of the old men dropping the Thing. Masklin also hears the footsteps of the lorry driver, he believing there wasn’t time to retrieve it. After being convinced he must get it, he does, but the lorry begins moving.

Masklin is pulled up whilst the lorry moved faster, he hearing and smelling loud and nasty pollutants from the truck. Masklin then considers the possibility of death and where nomes go when they die. After being brought in from his loud elevator ride, the number of nomes there used to be is mentioned, but since the takeover of man, the areas they used to live were harder to uncover.It’s also told of how much more difficult it was to hunt for their group without as many hunters, Grimma having the hope of Spring bringing natural foodstuffs, like berries, etc. The difficulties there were in returning with food, when found, as well as their process for keeping their home warm and deterring predators is also made clear. At one point Masklin confessing to Grimma of wanting to leave for not being appreciated for all he did for them, Grimma attempting to convince him to stay, even whilst feeling guilty for sensing his being right.

After having this conversation, Masklin contemplated the lives of the humans, seemingly having it much easier, then a flashback of he hearing a scream, and upon investigation sees a fox, he taking out his anger and frustration on the creature by stabbing it in the leg to save Torrit. Even after driving the fox away into traffic, they still act as if he hadn’t done enough, he not entertaining their lack of thankfulness. Then back in real time, Grimma fretting over the older nomes missing their meal and how long their trip would be, Torrit calm for the Thing knowing what they’d do next, Masklin not having heard the Thing say or do anything before. When Masklin looks outside the truck, he can’t make out where they are, and when they stop and he checks again, he sees many lorries and humans roaming about. Masklin goes out to gauge the place, but then they hear a click and silence after, until seeing a human-like creature descending from the ceiling and surveying his surroundings, he built stockier than a sumo wrestler and looking hardcore.

Masklin is looking about outside and discovering an edible apple core as well as a rat with a collar, someone exclaiming for he not to kill it once he’d reached for his spear. Whom he saw looked like a nome, but wasn’t wearing the proper nome-attire. The weirdly dressed nome began interrogating Masklin until he learned what Masklin was doing, his tone changing. The nome is resistant to believing Masklin was from outside, he inquiring of what it was like, Masklin not sure how to describe the nature of outdoors, the odd nome describing it like one would the interior of a house. The nome finally gets a grip on himself to finally give his name, Angalo, and his rat, Bobo. Angalo is also impressed by the old people Masklin was traveling with, he leading them to where his father was and they learning they were in the perfect place, the Store.

The Book of Nome mentions how the indoor nomes lived, forgetting the outside, they having wars with nomes in other departments. Meanwhile Angalo has led the group to a hole in the wall, Granny Morkie insisting it was a rat hole and wouldn’t go inside, Grimma describing how the inside didn’t look like a rat hole for the stairs and lights. When they get to the bottom, they see more nomes than they’ve heard of being in one place before, all eating and walking through aisles and some walking rats, some ladies walking mice, and Granny Morkie disapproving of the whole scene. After Angalo explains some of the foods they saw, and the group pretending to know some of them, Angalo offers them to go and sample, anyone asking to mention it would go on the Haberdasheri account, Masklin being the only one to hang back, asking questions about Angalo’s father, he learning of how many title’s the man held, he seemingly important.

When they meet the man, he doesn’t believe they are from the Outside, saying the Thing was “amusing”. Masklin attempts to convince him, but the Duke allows only the possibility they came from an area of the store which hadn’t been fully explored. Masklin openly asks why the Duke would bother fighting with his own kind, upsetting the Duke to the point of he dismissing them from his presence to go where they will, but would not be accepted to the Haberdasheri. Masklin then considers how ridiculous nomes with food reacted as opposed to those who go without, then believing humans may not be as dumb as presented since the nomes were stealing items made by them. Masklin almost had an interesting reply to a thought of the humans brain similarities to a rat when Grimma asks Angalo what became of the nomes who didn’t join a department, it being a lamentable life, but he believing them and positive of his father lightening up. Masklin then seeing more of the Store and noting it was incomparable to the lorry since being infinitely larger.

Masklin decides he’d be returning outside for an odd feeling of being watched which he shares with Grimma, he letting her know he’d help the group settle in a spot but then would leave to help ease his mind, Grimma believing it was more because he wouldn’t be needed to hunt for food any longer. More information about the different territories is given, Millineri being a faction which wasn’t currently fighting with the Haberdasheri, Angalo encouraging their group shouldn’t have trouble being taken in by one of the factions. Granny Morkie dismisses him and has Torrit lead them on. Masklin then becomes annoyed when Torrit mentions the Thing helping them, Masklin insisting to know what the Thing has actually said to Torrit. He struggles to explain, Masklin calling him out on it, Grimma standing up for him, and as Torrit feels the pressure of relaying the Thing’s value, it speaks out loud, Masklin now impressed, but Torrit in shock since it hadn’t spoken aloud before, he dropping it, lights illuminating it all over. Masklin is first to comply with the Thing’s wishes of being nearer the electrical wires. Torrit is still processing the renewed chatter of the Thing, sharing how the nome before him told of the Thing not having spoken for hundreds of years.

As this is being discussed, Masklin is mesmerized by the patterns the lights are making on the Thing, which reminded him of a time he’d seen a human sign, the nomes guessed the meaning and Masklin the only one attempting to think outside the norm. The Thing then states thousands of years have passed, repeatedly. Masklin being the only one brave enough to respond to it, the Thing begins to ask probing questions of terms their kind used to know, Masklin stating they didn’t anymore. After the Thing is told their current whereabouts, Granny Morkie becomes impatient for them to consider their next move. The Thing responds with information on their past, but Masklin thought it was referring to someone named Shipwrecked, the Thing then informing them the sorts of tasks it could be used for, but Masklin not understanding the words. Everyone agreed they didn’t want what they didn’t understand, so Masklin conveys the group only wanted to “go home, and be safe”, no one knowing how famous this quote would become in the future for nomes. The Thing withdrew to essentially a “working sign” indicated by all lights shutting off, but for one, Grimma asking what their next move should be and Granny responding with how Angalo made it seem their lives would be quite bleak.

An overview with what the Thing was attempting to do for the nomes is shared and what the previous chapter contained, through excerpt of the Book of Nome. The group spent their “night” in a small space next to some large wooden walls, they noticing the Thing seemed to have developed what looked like a small satellite dish and some additional lights. Meanwhile Granny was first to voice of more noise than last time being heard, Masklin looking through a crack in the wall which revealed a horde of humans, the Store open. Masklin then asks the Thing about humans, the Thing stopping and starting the main task previously requested. Then an old nome they didn’t know began to speak with them about the humans, introducing himself as Dorcas del Icatessen, Masklin was at the end of his patience with nomes treating him like he didn’t know anything when the Thing informs him, they would need Dorcas, he overhearing and thinking the Thing was a small radio. Dorcas then offers to take them with him to where he stayed, he showing how he’d made use of the human elevator to aid him, not being so good with so many steps these days, Granny resisting, but then agreeing due to being shocked by Dorcas referring to her as “madam”.

When they arrive on Dorcas’ floor, they also learn how he’d gotten away with his own space since no one else had figured how to work human contraptions. Dorcas also showed them his drawing of what he believed nomes from outside should look like, explaining the reason of body shape. Masklin inquires why none of the Store nomes didn’t end the mystery by looking for themselves, realizing after, the nomes inside would be blinded by the sunlight since living in such dim light their whole lives. Dorcas asks to know everything they can remember of Outside as the Thing flashed a second green light of progress. As the nomes ate, they chat of different subjects, Dorcas mentioning his status as inventor with focus on electricity, Dorcas then asked about the Outside, Masklin sharing the name of the moon and not knowing why it was there at night. They were chatting about why the nomes happened to be living in the Store, when Grimma interrupts to learn about whom the person was to have started it, Dorcas not being able to divulge much since the Thing came out of his work mode to state the monitoring of telecommunications. The nomes take his big words in stride, the Thing finally realizing they didn’t understand, it discovering they understood the word destroyed, after attempting a simpler terminology which also landed on deaf ears. The Thing then relates the Store would be destroyed in twenty one days and needed to inform the community leaders.

The Book of Nome then tells of deaf ears being plentiful since none of the leaders would believe the bad news. The group being followed as they shadow Dorcas looking for the most open-minded, but not by much, Abbot, Masklin attempting to calm him with the prospect of having plenty of time, but Dorcas knowing it wouldn’t be easy since many didn’t believe the Outside existed. Dorcas tries to keep them away from crowded nome areas since they didn’t have a department and it was dangerous for them, but they get ambushed by bandits from Corsetry, regardless, the group discussing how to handle the attempt at robbing them and whether to comply. Masklin returns with the answer of respectfully declining, but when the bandits move to grab Granny, they get the surprise of a slap for each who touched her. Torrit held his own against one, as Grimma dropped another. After Masklin makes it clear what they were doing was wrong, he gives the leader a chance to leave, he and his gang taking it.

Dorcas was quite amused by the scene and wondered aloud what the Abbot would make of them, they walking on to Stationeri. When they arrive, they learn this group is obviously the oddballs of the communities since they knew how to read and write. When the Abbot and the group were in his guest hall, the Abbot refused to acknowledge the presence of Masklin and bunch, only speaking with Dorcas, the Abbot not receptive to the news of the Store closing since it seemed to occur every year, and nothing happened. When Masklin sets the Thing in front of the Abbot, it describes what it was and what it had understood from the Store computers, but the Abbot was stubborn to believe, dismissing them. One young Stationeri monk gets their attention, wanting to speak with the Outsiders. After asking about the Thing and whether they believed what it said was true, Torrit tells of how long it had been looked after by the men in his family. The monk, Gurder introduces himself and confesses to being the Abbot’s assistant, asking if they’d follow him, since the Abbot was aware of something different in the Store and was worried. Granny Morkie complying if snacks would be in attendance, Gurder acquiescing to send for some.

The Book of Nome mentions the unrest over the new signs not being understood when expecting ones for Christmas once more, but those up only showing “Clearance Sale”. Gurder guides them through a place with many books which were closely guarded, the Thing stating the necessity of acquiring them, but Gurder unable to do so, he leading them to a place where the Abbot waited once more, he commanding Gurder to show them the food whilst he spoke with acting leader, Masklin, the Thing staying behind as well to speak with the Abbot, whom begins by smiling awkwardly, confirming he had Masklin’s name right, which he had, Masklin relating being confused by the Abbot’s conduct earlier, he explaining he had to officially shun them since many Abbots before him would’ve done the same, and if he suddenly changed, it would look bad and make him sound crazy. The Abbot then explains politics more clearly than ever I heard before, politics is about being certain, not about “being right or wrong”. The Abbot also speaks of how they helped the nomes in the Store through some wars, using “cunning and common sense and diplomacy”.

After the Abbot noted how Masklin had all the qualities of a leader, he gave him sound advice about not underestimating people, then he moved on to his memory of seeing the Arnold Bros (est. 1905) for himself when he was young. He inquiring about Masklin’s home, which as he spoke of it now, seeing more of the good than the bad. After, Masklin invites him to come with them when the Store is demolished, the Abbot declining pleasantly for having other plans, he sending for Gurder to show Masklin out and educate him a bit, but to leave the Thing whilst he rested, and once Masklin’s brief education was done, to return. The Abbot begins by asking the Thing what it was and its function, the Thing giving more detail about the nomes ship and its other task of returning them home safely, the Abbot at first seemingly to understand well enough. As he sends Masklin and Gurder out, he also mentions upon their return he’d have a task for them. Gurder takes them to where the Book of Nome was kept and began reading, Granny first to interrupt with questions about whether the Store had been built for nomes, and what was there before, he then sending the elders of the group to wait for them in the Food Hall as he showed Masklin and Grimma how he knew of seasons, but not weather.

The Book of Nome about the signage within being ignored by humans. As Gurder led them along, Masklin learned the Stationer weren’t considered a department since only boys were chosen from each department every year so they could serve the entire Store. Grimma asked why women weren’t chosen, Gurder stating it was caused by women’s inability to read due to overheating. Ha! Grimma plays it down, but Masklin knew the tone as a start of trouble. They then note how respectfully the nomes acted around Gurder. When they reach the Haberdasheri department, Gurder points out the odd sign, as well as the usual ones, he wondering what they could mean, also worrying over the shelves not being restocked anymore. Grimma asked why they didn’t ask Arnold Bros (est. 1905), himself what was happening, but Gurder balked at the idea and the only one to see him being the Abbot. When they get back to the elders, they inform them the Abbot had asked for them, they doing so after Torrit marveled over the soft read and nearly choking when foxes are mentioned.

When Masklin and Gurder go in to see the Abbot, he’s deep in thought, he sharing what the Thing had told him sounding demented, and eventually decides they had to ask Arnold Bros (est. 1905) what the truth was. Gurder attempts to dissuade him due to it being a perilous undertaking, the Abbot agreeing and so sending the two in his stead. On their way out Masklin asks about whom Bargains Galore was, Gurder explaining she was the opposite and enemy of Prices Slashed. Gurder then departs to gather some belongings for their trek, planning on leaving immediately since if they didn’t, he’d lose his nerve. Meanwhile the Abbot was still questioning the Thing about how they arrived and was told of nomes relationships to humans in the past in the hopes of developing the technology of metal so they could return to the main ship, the Abbot also asking about what agriculture was and having reached his limit of understanding which resulted in a funny response by the Thing. The Abbot continued to listen about astronomy and drifted off happily as he listen to the Thing go on.

The Book of Nome then describes Arnold Bros (est. 1905)’s sign which indicated someone would be available to answer questions if something can’t be found. Meanwhile Masklin is speaking on Grimma’s behalf to join them, Gurder not wanting her to come due to the danger, it not being suitable for a female. Masklin’s viewpoint was if she wanted to accompany them she should, women stepping into dangerous situations plenty, but Gurder not brought up to think this way. Grimma insists since no one needed her to stay, in the end Gurder relenting, Masklin unimpressed with their journey to the Kiddies Klothes and Toys Department, where a kind people lived, no danger occurring at all. The Klothians offer them a guide to the “moving stairs”, these people on a higher floor and not getting many visitors, their food coming from the staff restroom (break-room). The guide points them to the escalator and retreats, Gurder nervous due to the superstition of Arnold Bros (est. 1905) was said to be waiting at the top and an unfinished thought relating to when nomes die. Grimma is first to sprint forward to see if it’s true, impatient by all the dallying. They get to the top with nothing terrible happening, Gurder leading them on.

They go down the hall to find the general manager’s office, Masklin volunteering to go in first, the room dark, and the carpet thicker, the three eventually making it onto the desk, no Arnold Bros (est. 1905) to be found. What Gurder does discover is a letter confirming the closing of the store and the construction of what would be built in its place. Gurder takes this news badly, needing help to move after it’s decided they would take the letter with them for the Abbot, and Masklin noticing a shadow heading in their direction caused by the lamplight. Masklin sees the man’s hat which spelled “security”, he ready to incapacitate him if he saw Grimma and Gurder on the floor, but he doesn’t. Gurder becomes uncontrollably emotional, getting the attention of the security, the cleaning lady working her way down the hall with a vacuum. As Masklin rejoins the other two, they consider a better hiding spot, Gurder insistent the woman is Bargain’s Galore come to protect them, Masklin and Grimma letting him believe what he wanted since he was calmer, the group escaping through an opening in the floor, their return to The Kiddies Klothes Department taking half a day since Gurder kept breaking down. After being fed and requesting an escort back, they make it to Stationery just in the nick.

The Abbot seemed ill in the way of being close to death, he indicating for Masklin to come closer, and requests he ask Granny Morkie to step out. She had provided one of her medicines which tended to pack a wallop. She agreeably goes and Gurder has the chance of relaying the letter, the Abbot instructing their people would have to leave. He then relates to Masklin of what the Thing had shown and told of the universe. He commanding Masklin to get everyone Home, and then dying, and Masklin wondering aloud to the Thing of how he was going to convince everyone to leave. Next, the odd funeral for the Abbot, Masklin not having known a nome die of old age before, and the customs of a service being new to him. When Gurder attempts to explain the dead’s ability to possibly return to see them once more as a spirit, no one understands, so he has them visit the gardening department to see if a demonstration could be given. As they walked through the fake grass and seed packets of flowers Masklin had not seen in the real world, Gurder inquires if it was similar to the Outside, Masklin relating the differences. They also see the garden gnomes people buy to adorn their lawns, Gurder believing these were Arnold Bros (est. 1905)’s way to show nomes lived after death, the area this falls apart being their weren’t any female gnomes.

Torrit shares a story where he’d actually seen a gnome out in the world when he was a boy with his grandpa, the priest whom had been giving them the tour becoming quite upset for the group not comprehending their ideas. Granny Morkie reluctantly attempts to soothe him whilst Torrit insists of what he’d shared of his memory to be true. Then Gurder, whom wasn’t happy to learn the former Abbot had chosen him to take his place is covered, he not liking the idea of leading, but everyone else being in agreement with the former Abbot’s decision. Gurder believed he wouldn’t be suitable due to his Doubt over the Outside which Masklin supposed was partly the reason the former Abbot picked Gurder. The group, as well as the rulers of other Departments were currently in the area for important meetings, Gurder sensing Masklin had a plan, he knowing if he was going to convince all the nomes they’d be able to take everything with them so all could leave safely was going to be a delicate process, Masklin going over all the important details learned from the Thing. Especially of the larger Ship still waiting for the nomes’ return in space. Masklin then shares the plan with Gurder whom was preparing his speech as the new Abbot, Masklin insisting Gurder needing to break the plan to all at the same time.

In the Book of Nome, Gurder gets the leaders to listen to Masklin as he shares his plan. Masklin has difficulty convincing them though, the Duke Haberdasheri vocal of the absurdity, but Angalo looking starry-eyed. When the Duke had heard enough, once Masklin mentions the stealing of a truck to get them and all their belongings out, some followed whilst few waited in the back near the door, uncertain. The Count of Ironmongri and the Baroness del Icatessen stayed to listen, Masklin going on to say everyone would need to cooperate in order for the plan to succeed which would mean to share previously secret information from individual Departments, Masklin also mentions how Stationery would be extending to anyone who wanted to learn to read, including women, would have the opportunity, due to needing as many as possible to begin reading books so they’d learn the information, if any, needed to survive and help with the plan, Gurder balking at the idea, but not disagreeing. Grimma then gets the chance to mention how she’d already begun to learn to read which interested the Baroness, Masklin divulging how they had a driver’s manual to study and if humans could do it, they wouldn’t have a problem.

The two leaders were convinced enough to share the news with their people, the grand total of volunteers being twenty-eight, Masklin seeing it as a fair start until others decided to join, he conveying to Grimma of how the instructing process would go and how he thought she should continue to learn to read more so they could think critically and have the right words to explain things properly. Gurder was still prickling over Masklin’s open offer to everyone learning to read, but made it so he’d have to go along to save face. Masklin then had Gurder look into the books which would help them understand certain words and the possibility of uncovering one which would help a nome learn to drive a human truck, complications unfolding, but working it out one at a time.

When they’d made it to a truck, Angalo had insisted learning to read so he could assist with the driving, he getting to the drivers seat, and Masklin knowing he was now the only nome whom knew anything about trucks, but it still not being much, which was why he’d be hiding so he could accompany a human driver to learn the process. The only other unknown was why the trucks were loaded with product and came back with product, the thought being they were the same trucks, but the process took no longer than two days, so Angalo would hopefully be able to explain upon returning. Masklin not looking forward to describing to Angalo’s parents the scenario if he was lost, but knowing Angalo had the motivation, this as Dorcas mentions the possibility of discovering an easier way to get nomes into the trucks. Another work in progress.

The Book of Nome then regards the status of Angalo’s trip. Masklin was sleeping in Stationery when a group of nomes are seen waiting for him, books in hand. Masklin gets exasperated with the books and how their usefulness wasn’t straight forward. A particularly quick, but not quite attentive reader came up with an idea involving taking a human hostage with a “gnu” and forcing said human to drive them wherever they wanted, Masklin too tired to disagree and replying he’d keep it among the working ideas. Masklin then asks the Thing what a gnu was, it being an antelope, he then realizing the nome’s idea wouldn’t work, the Thing suggesting Masklin sleep, he overextended on what they needed to do, and dropping off after sharing his worries. A couple days passed and another issue arose when they realized the garage door button was high up on a wall, as well as Gurder informing Masklin he found a map.

After showing the map to Masklin, it was “logical” guesswork as to where they were and then the truck returns during this exchange, without Angalo. Masklin rushes to the truck, one of the nomes knowing for certain it’s the same one for the license plate. When Masklin reaches the nomes already at the window who inform him of it being dark and seeing no one within, Masklin decides he wants them to lower him inside while someone else goes the long way to the steps to the door. Masklin is lowered to the ground, he going to get in through the bottom of the truck somehow, but when he does, he discovers Angalo’s jacket, and no Angalo, so he goes back out and shows the group of nomes who’s imaginations of what could have happened run wild, Masklin attempting to keep the possibilities logical, when the Duke shows up, motioning for his son’s jacket, asking the odds of detecting Angalo Outside, Masklin knew it wouldn’t be easy, but the possibility still there, and the Duke then offering as many people necessary to operate the truck so they could go out and search.

When fifty Haberdasheri show up at night, Masklin immediately put those who seemed able, on to the reading program. Gurder argued with their status being basic soldier-types, but Masklin sensed they would need them. The material found in the books ranged so widely between all genres, Masklin found it difficult to decide what to ignore, especially with the fiction books which no one understood couldn’t occur (usually) in reality. For instance, when the same reader found Alice in Wonderland and thought the “Drink Me” bottles could be utilized for one nome among them to drive the truck, Masklin decided to err on the side of safety and dedicated a night with some others to search the Store for a bottle of the tincture, it nowhere to be found, then noticing some of the information in the books weren’t easily discovered in the Store and why Arnold Bros (est. 1905) would keep them at all. Masklin had found a book for children with constellations and other facts of the sky which he knew was true, he enjoying looking at it when he was overloaded with other responsibilities. He shared some of the names with the Thing to see if it knew them, but due to differing knowledge of the names, it failed to be recognized. Masklin inquires what the name of the nome planet was, but Masklin learned the Sun they’re from isn’t the same as the one in the Milky Way Galaxy. He also learns how many planets nomes had gone to, it a large, impressive number, and when considering his task of moving a measly truck, made his difficulty seem insignificant.

The Book of Nome then alludes to one of their own having returned from the Outside by vehicle, and how vast the Outside was in size. Angalo then returns after four days, exhilarated, dirty, and tired, but eager to share what he’d seen. The nomes who heard him, found he’d seen plenty and how majestic the Store looked from Outside. He also wrote down what a sign in front of the building had on it, most of the nomes able to read now, it being another reference to a “Closing down sale”. After, Angalo fell asleep still raving over the sights, later Masklin visits to notice Angalo’s eyes still brilliant with his new adventure. Granny Morkie was watching over him and discouraged any talk of excitement already having dealt with the Duke, Masklin stating his need to speak with him, Granny Morkie allowing him some time, Angalo chattering about all he’d seen and how he’d gotten lost, Masklin then able to ask about how the trucks were driven, Angalo showing his detailed notes, but it seeming quite complicated, Masklin becomes overwhelmed with how they’d manage to pull it off.

Angalo looks for confirmation of his notes being well-written, but Masklin looking unhappy, he letting Angalo know he’d given him much to think over, Angalo then blurting excitedly over the other Stores he’d seen and the possibility of other nomes living there, Masklin urging Angalo to rest. Masklin walks out of the room to witness Granny Morkie facing off with the Duke from taking his son and provide his own care in recovery. When the Duke saw Masklin, he decides to give in, but they then negotiate the minutes allowed for visits, and after coming to an agreement, he catching up with Masklin on how well the people he’d sent were working out, Masklin conveying their value, and the Duke offering to aid him any way he could, before walking off. Masklin asks Granny Morkie’s opinion of why the Duke seemed to be acting strangely, she stating it was because he had to think about something which put him at unease.

Masklin is next shown moaning over the amount of steps one must learn to drive a truck with Gurder and Grimma, he about to share his most recent idea when Vinto, the imaginative reader walks in with a fresh idea from a book. Masklin was in the middle of turning him away when Grimma encourages him to listen, Masklin doing so and Gurder passive-aggressively questioning the sort of wild idea he was bringing this time, Vinto showing them an illustration of a human caught by nomes with rope, Gurder recognizing the story as Gulliver’s Travels, but Masklin becoming inspired, and then yelling of his moment of eureka. After the Store closed, Masklin and a few dozen others go to where the trucks are parked and test out the pedals, Masklin unable to move one by himself without quite a few others to help.

Dorcas then brainstorms with Masklin of how they could work the pedals, he deciding a lever would be needed, they testing the idea with a long piece of wood lowered through the door, and after learning how many levers it would take, Masklin mentioning the use of ropes with squads of nomes moving the truck where they wanted. Dorcas figuring the only issue being the noise (to him, fixable), and the need for training (everything would be set up in time, but a day for training the nomes, would not be enough), Dorcas suggesting Masklin locate a small practice truck, as well as thinking over how he was going to get the elderly and children on-board. Masklin open to any ideas, Dorcas deciding they’d meet up again the next night, he having an idea which could solve the practice and entrance for minors and elderly nomes. Masklin’s only other concern was for the nomes acting like it was life as usual, he noting even the leaders weren’t completely convinced, Masklin resting and waking an hour later when the panic began.

The Book of Nome has a poem which has the rhythm of a song (Skip to My Lou works pretty well) and about escape. The Store is then mentioned being currently quiet on a work day, the nomes attempting to reassure themselves nothing was amiss, but then humans arriving to remove the remainder of the product off the shelves and into trucks, they also removing floorboards, this setting a panic into motion, Gurder waking Masklin to inform him of what was happening, and Masklin then asking the Thing which explained the fourteen days until demolition didn’t include the time for the removal of stock, Masklin advising the people to gather as much food as they could, but some good news coming in the form of a member of Dorcas’ group, the humans storing everything in a convenient spot.

The Book of Nome then gives detail of the humans making nomes relocation easier by loading a variety of items onto the trucks. Masklin is informed by Dorcas of the items being loaded in the garage, a couple runs already having been made and Dorcas deducing the travel wasn’t far due to their quick return to the Store. So far the items being moved were carpets and mannequins which nomes debated about the latter’s immobility being caused for some religious reasons. The two were deciding whether the humans would be able to clear the Store in a day, Dorcas struggling to come up with a way of securing one of the trucks, he confident the new Ironmongery exiles would be able to help, and as Masklin left, became worried with the looks they gave him being hopeful of his working everything out.

News looked grim since many items were being moved out and when Masklin returns to Dorcas, he’s told one positive development being Dorcas had lifted a part of the truck which would keep the humans from driving off, since it contained many items they could utilize. Dorcas having gone to great lengths with back up plans to be certain the humans didn’t succeed in fixing the truck, Masklin satisfied and then speaking to the Thing about where they’d need to go once in the truck, he told of where an airline was, and Masklin knowing the Thing would be nonoperational until they were next around electricity, Masklin losing drive on his next move, Grimma entering when Masklin desperately needed to vent his stress, she giving him tough love by informing him of the nomes asking for him, to get himself together, and start making a plan. Masklin gets defensive, but Grimma snaps him into game face mode, and looks on the bright side of the Thing’s last words being read as, they would succeed, it only depending on the length of time it could take.

When night fell, and the last human gave up attempting to fix the lights in the garage due to Dorcas’ handiwork, the nomes got to fixing what was ‘broke’. Masklin learning it could take about an hour to get the truck in working order. As they were getting on, Granny Morkie was ‘cattle herding’ all the nomes into the back, and doing so with efficiency due to her natural talent. Once realizing Granny Morkie had taken care of Masklin’s only other idea of checking boxes, he returned to the cab of the truck due to not having left himself a task, and after watching Dorcas attempt to lead a practice for the nomes grouped at the gear shifts, Masklin asks about progress, the update not being positive, but they being ready to give it a whirl and deal with the hiccups on the fly, and when the time came, Masklin, Angalo, the Thing, Gurder (in case of any ‘splainin’ to Arnold Bros. (est. 1905) was needed), and Grimma were all in front, Gurder asking why she was up front with them, Masklin responding it was to help him read, he not being as quick as she.

Grimma set up The High Way Code and related the first instruction to check the mirror, no one knowing why, but Masklin still checking, not noticing anything but himself, Gurder deciding he should be the one to relay to the others they were ready to go after Grimma had taken initiative, but then giving Masklin the duty, he asking to start the engine, the air then alive with vibration, Angalo assuring him he’d get accustomed, the next signal to move forward not going as planned, since they ended up in reverse and hitting something, making the engine die, Dorcas going off on the teams on gears. As he does, Gurder is overcome with they moving at all, Angalo annoyed they hadn’t gone far. Then Dorcas informed of they ready to attempt it again, Angalo glad, since then smelling petrol, so when the time came to open the garage, Dorcas and Masklin having trouble hearing each other at first, but Dorcas wanting practice time for the teams, and when conveyed to skip it and get the garage open, Masklin discovers Dorcas had forgotten to fix it, this the perfect time for security (Prices Slashed) to walk in with flashlight in hand, Angalo noticing the bad (in many ways) cigarette in his mouth, he explaining why to Masklin, and then when security reached the door, Gurder speaks biblically in anger for the man to leave with his ciggie, he giving (what I imagine the same look as Flash from Zootopia)  when coming to the realization of, in this case, terror, he moving quicker than nomes are used to seeing a human move, but drops his ciggie, Masklin and Angalo yelling to their signaler to sign for Dorcas to inform the teams to shake a tail feather out of there. Masklin urging them to go faster to hit the door, which to a nome still looks like sauntering, they successfully breaking through though, and on to the street with little difficulty, they hearing the phwoosh of fire Angalo had expected.

The Book of Nome plainly states the items and departments all needing to go. Also, the Book describes the store going out with a “bang”, when it was actually a “whoomph”. None of the nomes paid this much attention due to the all encompassing need to follow the directions Angalo dictated quickly, not hitting any cars, fortunately, but did hit a store window in passing, stopping soon after when hitting a wall, the group needing a powwow about a more efficient way to steer, and to detect the headlights lever. As this is discussed, Masklin decides he, Grimma, and Gurder would go check those in the back whilst Angalo and Dorcas hashed it out. They found Granny Morkie helping a nome with a broken leg caused by a falling box, then Masklin invited Gurder a look Outside, he surprised by the rain. After hearing the “singing” cars, Gurder views the burning Store, he taking it better than Masklin expected. They return inside and Angalo had worked out a new string-pulling system to help with what he wanted done with the gears below. Angalo then attempted to have the lights turned on, instead getting the windshield wipers and radio, the switch for the lights discovered soon after, turning the radio off, which they couldn’t understand, but had news of the fire and the missing truck, they moving sort of along the road, and it close to midnight, the town fairly asleep, and then when a sign is misinterpreted as working, Masklin has them quickly stop for a hole in the middle of the road, Angalo meekly asking to back up.

When next they attempt to figure out what a roundabout is, Angalo obviously becomes a speed demon, they again stopping abruptly, Masklin and Grimma putting the smack down on Angalo and Gurder, the latter for not giving correct information and arguing, Masklin especially getting on everyone to start cooperating with each other for all the nomes relying on them, Angalo finally calming down enough to take Grimma’s original advice of taking it slow. Then when Masklin was considering a place to stop, they see Prices Slashed with a cop car, Angalo ready to knock into him, but Masklin grabbing a string for them to steer clear, they instead backing into the cop car, Angalo taking over again, and vying for Gurder to agree it would’ve been acceptable to hit Prices Slashed, but Gurder unsure it was the same being, Angalo having lost faith and Gurder forming the idea, if Arnold Bros (est. 1905) was in one place, he could be in all places, needing to think further on it. They they notice the cop car behind them, Masklin asking Angalo to get to another road when available, then going to report what’s occurring to Dorcas, Masklin having a plan needing pliers, Dorcas offering to join him.  When the truck stops, the police car stops more forcefully, the two men running and wrenching the door open, wondering where the driver had gone, they checking the bushes, Masklin and Dorcas dashing to the car, and quickly returning to the truck, it starting, the cops running for the car, but unable to start the ignition. The truck was abandoned and discovered a couple days later, the battery, wires, light bulb, radio, and switch missing, only the strings left.

The Book of Nome relates of a “New Place”, for keeps, and of a silent “Outsider”. The nomes had settled in a quarry after running hurriedly through fields, fussiness about the Outside and the state of the food found being dealt with in stride, and Dorcas even finagling some electricity, Masklin getting the Thing close to it, and only receiving a response of a few lights flashing. He was content not to bother the Thing until they accomplished more, this resulting in the passing of a few seasons, they fast-forwarding to Summer. Masklin was on watch with a button Dorcas had installed so if Masklin saw danger, those below would see a light turn on. Dorcas also had students to instruct on the finer points of electric. Masklin considering how whilst they were getting comfortable, he knew the probability of they having to pack up again someday, something they’d need to look forward to, he then looking below where he sat, Grimma teaching a few young nomes to read, he then thinking about how the departmental nomes tented to tiff fairly often and looked to him as mediator, he reminding himself of their true home, he glad though, they at least aware of the goal, their current location in view of the airport, he having sent a large team to investigate more closely, the last bit a conversation between Masklin and Dorcas of they considering the likelihood of being able to hijack a jet, Dorcas believing it possible due to only having three wheels.

One thing is for sure, this story is great for kids (the sensible ones), conquering one’s fear, teamwork, planning, organization. Another thing, this beats the movie ten-fold, I was intrigued only until catching the dialogue after a few minutes, finding other pastimes as I listened, I’m looking forward to the sequel.

Stupid, Stupid Rat-Tails (Issue 1-3)

 

So I said I’d be continuing the Bone series immediately, but it turns out there’s a side story to read, which apparently involves the Founder of Boneville, Big Johnson Bone (great name). Big Johnson, before he discovered Rolling Bone River on his adventures as a frontier hero, is currently happy to be on the road, his companion bringing to light of he having been kicked out of town, so not having much choice, the other speaker being a monkey, Mr. Pip whom was riding atop a donkey, and had won him in a card game, Mr. Pip accused Johnson of having cheated. Johnson denies this, stating it was luck which had made his hand a winner, but Mr. Pip had seen a card fall from his sleeve, Johnson clarifying by relating a rambling story of why this had occurred, but by the time he’d finished, the monkey and donkey were asleep. The next day, Johnson is relating another tale of asparagus, when Mr. Pip notices Johnson seemed to be drawing a map, he explaining of how he could draw a map of somewhere they hadn’t been yet rather than helping them return to where they were, he being a great explorer and when being accused a liar, makes one of those statements which one would demand retribution from a higher power to strike them down, Johnson asking for a twister, and actually getting one. Johnson makes himself useful, though when they’re caught up in the twister by getting a hold of a tree trunk and grabbing hold, commanding Mr. Pip and donkey to do likewise and ride out the storm. They soon get spit out of the twister, Johnson claiming to have been done with the ride anyways, and the three landing near some rat creatures. They run off, with the rat creatures in hot pursuit, Mr. Pip in woe to his fate (I am noticing the change in writing since it isn’t Smith this time, it’s only slightly annoying, but since the story moves along, it’s fairly ignorable). The rat creatures lose the group though, and the two decide to go back to wait for more mammals to fall from the sky. After realizing the creatures were no longer chasing them, Johnson attempts to orient himself to his surroundings, and is blown away by the beautiful sight of a place unknown. Mr. Pip hears something rustling and gets scared, but Johnson, being sick of running, whips out a dagger to defend them with, but uncovers a family of mice whom talk a lot of breakfast and whether Johnson had appeared because of Lily’s wish. Johnson is soon bombarded by many questions, starting with whom Johnson was and then repeating whether he was there to save them like Lily had wished, Johnson asking what they could need saving from in a beautiful place like their home, they all leading him to someone called Stillman, whom would explain the situation. They soon meet other creatures of the forest, everyone asking about where he’d come from and whether Johnson would save them when Stillman makes his appearance known by dropping a rock on Johnson’s head and commanding he leave, the creatures of the forest sticking up for Johnson, he asking why Stillman was throwing rocks when he could be breathing fire, Stillman explaining of the fire reflux he had upon trying, making himself ill. Johnson empathizing the unfortunateness of Stillman’s situation and then learns why the forest critters needed saving, Stillman relaying it being caused by the rat creatures attempting to expand their territory and eating the younger animals parents. Johnson then considers if these rat creatures were one and the same to those who had chased him and his companions, Johnson deciding to peace pipe for a moment and have a think on a way to help everyone out of the rat creature problem. A view of the rat creature Queen conversing with one of her subjects of being groomed and the loss of her husband to bad pork. Then the two rat creatures who had run into Bone and group came in to inform their Queen of the creatures falling from the sky and their escape, she commanding a party to be made to discover them and bring them back to her. As the rat creatures searched, Johnson was telling another yarn about trapping critters and being the best, which was similar to what the rat creatures were doing, but he explaining the main differentiation between himself and the rat creatures was he was going to help the animals defeat the rat creatures, they watching on the group around their campfire. Stillman then makes the point of the group being better off waiting for the dragon council to restate a new protector of the forest before Johnson brought them to war with the rat creatures, but Johnson being adamant they needed to act first, the rat creatures agreeing and stepping into the light, Johnson relating this experience to be like another with mountain lions, this issue ending. So, it moves along, but it does get repetitive with the rambling anecdotes of Johnson; I prefer Jeff Smith, thank you, but as a completist, I will be finishing due to the series only including three parts. So away on to the next!

 

 

Big Johnson is relating his story of mountain lions as he begins to kick rat creatures’ booty. Other creatures who have cornered some of the young critters, before closing in further hear cries of pain, which stops them, they looking around to identify where the sounds are coming from. They see what’s happening to their comrades, they being tossed around by their tails, the critters shouting to Big Johnson words of encouragement. Stillman is struggling with not doing anything to help and so decides on dropping a rock on the rat creatures, but it backfires by hitting Johnson on the head, freeing the rat creature, and all deciding to retreat, but not empty-handed, grabbing two critters of the forest before leaving. When the rat creatures relate what had happened to them, the Queen decides to recruit her son to deal with Johnson. Meanwhile Johnson was coming to his senses, sort of, and talking of the handy uses the rat creatures bodies could be used for to make some cash. Johnson then describes a plan where everyone would be able to help rescue the two young animals, Mr. Pip thinking he’d cracked how Johnson had a story for everything, including how he’d lost and regained his sanity, which he did, but Mr. Pip’s idea was a bit different from the real story. The animals were quite scared of going to fight the rat creatures though, so Johnson tries to remember the last time he’d been afraid, unable to do so, but knowing at some point he had, and attempted to comfort them with encouraging words. One animal gets motivated, and decides to go along, back to Queen Maud for her speech to her people and how she was going to need their assistance is then shown. The rat creatures run off to do her bidding, the Queen’s son, stuck somehow and trying to struggle loose so he can come along too. In the forest, another animal is now bent on tagging along, as well, stressing Stillman with the madness of the situation. Johnson decides Mr. Pip would stay with Stillman and the other animals to relate his story if anything happened which wasn’t planned, Pip agreeing. As Johnson and group walked, they inquired of his other adventures, Johnson obliging, and whilst he continued to describe a scary story, some rat creatures had begun trailing them and gave themselves away with getting spooked by the story. The rat creatures run off, Johnson after them, but he runs into the Queen’s son, he a big’n, asking if they were the creatures his mama had told him about which were giving her headaches. Meanwhile, Stillman was still beating himself up about being a failure at his job, Pip trying to quiet him for not being able to do anything about it now. Stillman has grown some courage though, and decides to attempt to do his job properly, leaving the camp, the donkey going after him with Pip complaining of breaking the promise they’d made to Johnson to stay and relate his story, he riding atop the donkey. Back to Johnson whom was convincing the big rat creature, Tyson of they not being mammals, Tyson believing him and leaving the message if they were to run into the mammals to let them know of he coming for them. Johnson and group are almost home free when some other rat creatures rat them out. Tyson grabs them, but then Stillman has caught up and actually makes his aim when he lobs another rock at a rat creature, but not in time before Tyson consumes Johnson and the rest, Mr. Pip trying to interest the rat creatures in a pet: himself. This installment was a little less annoying, so I’m glad to report I’m not as hesitant to finish the last.

 

Tyson is currently having some issues with a tummy ache and being scolded for not chewing before consuming. The rat creature guards were then leading the captured, Mr. Pip, Stillman, and donkey to having a word with the Queen before they shared the same fate as their friends, Stillman again giving himself a hard time, and Mr. Pip contemplating a position as cook for the rat creatures. When they meet the Queen, she shuts Mr. Pip down on the front of he being another servant, so he plays to her ego, but all it does is help her decide in which order she would eat them, then scolding Tyson some more about he needing to learn to chew if he was ever going to be king. What’s happened with Big Johnson and the others is given, they being in the throat hole still, and Johnson deciding the only way out was down. Mr. Pip and gang were in the pantry, of course, they a bit disappointed by Stillman not being able to save them, he again accepting his failure wholeheartedly. Pip was stressing how he hadn’t won the Queen over, the rat creatures advising them to stop worrying, for tainting their meaty flavors, and what they had in store for the rest of the forest being similar. This prospect must have made Stillman ill, since next is the rat creatures crispy and in shock Stillman could breathe fire, Pip being faced away from them and complaining of the noise for attempting to figure a way out. Meanwhile Johnson is relating another story of how slippery another experience he had was in comparison of their current surroundings not being as bad, the area rumbling, and Tyson announcing of not feeling well, still. The doctor is sent for, whom gives guesses as to what could be ailing Tyson, seeing inside his stomach again to view Johnson and kids still falling, until hitting the juicy bottom and being met with more creatures on the “shore”, they being the parents of the orphaned children, a happy reunion ensuing. Stillman is now going off to confront the Queen, viewing she is still pleading with the doctor for a diagnosis, then being interrupted by one of her minions. He reports of Stillman escaping, he coming right to them, but then realizing how many rat creatures he was soon to be dealing with, the doctor trying to coax out any wood elves which may be causing Tyson’s problem. Johnson is now trying to rally the group into building a fire, due to he being chilled, they making a honking bonfire, one of the kids even locating a musical instrument, Johnson ready to rock. Tyson is feeling the heat and the doctor then hears singing, thinking the culprit is fire sprites, Tyson now becoming sick to his stomach, he hurling Johnson and group out, Stillman being urged to blast some fire at the Queen, Tyson then attempting to defend her. Johnson has the idea to have the donkey run up Tyson’s tail, the same idea as before, to use Tyson’s “rudder” in his favor. When Tyson passes out from his doing a partial removal of his own body, the Queen believes Johnson wouldn’t dare to do anything similar to her, Johnson admiring her fur coat. The group leaves and they inquire of where Johnson would go, they wanting him to stay as their protector, but he reminding them of Stillman’s usefulness, and he needing to see more of the world. As the animals discuss how events could have turned out without Johnson having been there, Stillman then defends himself after hearing another downside, upon turning around, realizing it was the dragon from the high council, Red Dragon. Red Dragon then decides Stillman was doing a fine job and appointed him his position again, officially, Stillman ready for the challenge. The Queen is then speaking with her subjects of how the new decree of tail-cutting-off day would be implemented and the reason being caused by Johnson and his usage of them. Johnson is relating his tale to a visitor in his trade shop, and discovering how he’d purchased it and had Mr. Pip running it, the man seeing his new head wear, and Johnson saying farewell to continue adventuring. A fit ending since we now know why the rat creatures go around without tails, this shaped up to be a fairly decent story.

We then get the Bone: Holiday Special Premiere Edition, which is a fun one. Now, back to the main story!

Right Ho, Jeeves

 

We begin in the middle of a conversation between Bertie, whom was about to confess something he believed could hurt Jeeves’ feelings in some way, but Jeeves assuring him otherwise, Bertie about to let loose when Bertie, the Narrator stops his retelling to confess he not being on-point. He unsure of where to begin the story, explaining the ways a story can quickly go south. He goes back to mention the other players in this being Gussie, Madeline, Cousin Angela, Aunt Dahlia, Uncle Thomas, Tuppy, and Anatole. Bertie then describes his trip to Cannes marking the beginning and Jeeves declining to come, Bertie instead going with his Aunt Dahlia and her daughter, Angela. Tuppy, Angela’s fiancée, bowing out at the last, and Aunt Dahlia’s husband, Tom, staying home. We get the gist of their stay and their trip back to London to their home, Brinkley Court where Tuppy would join them a couple days later, and Bertie going home to drop his luggage and prepare for dinner at the Drones. As he does this, Jeeves and he chit chat until Gussie is brought up, which surprises Bertie when learning Gussie had been calling after him, Gussie being a country type whom enjoyed his research of newts in his garden pond, hating London. Bertie then catching Jeeves up on how long it had been since Gussie’s last visit to the city and his penchant for his newts.

Bertie then gives Gussie’s back-story behind where the newt-love began, and ever since being wrapped up with them, he confirming with physical description of Gussie to be certain Jeeves was speaking of one and the same, Jeeves relating it could well be so, and also able to share the reason for his resurfacing being caused by love. Jeeves then divulges more about whom Gussie was actually attempting to get a hold of being Jeeves, Gussie having been recommended by Sippy, a fellow student with Gussie way back when. We then get a recap of how Jeeves had helped Sippy, and Gussie’s situation being similar. Bertie then wonders of the girl whom had stolen Gussie’s affections, and learning it was Madeline, and then deciding the match had merit, we getting an idea of Bertie’s viewpoint when giving the example of seeing her at Cannes and the flighty questions she’d ask. He gives Jeeves the o-k to meddle, and Jeeves continues his unpacking of Bertie’s bag as he dressed, Jeeves making Bertie aware he’d found a questionable garment in his bag, which Bertie knew he would soon have to defend. Bertie hearkens back to when and where he’d worn it, knowing the possibility of Jeeves “making a scene” over it. Bertie prepares well, stating the jacket had been bought, after Jeeves had assumed the jacket was someone else’s, and Bertie planning on breaking it in more at Pongo Twistleton’s party the next day, Jeeves accepting this, and Bertie learning he’d be staying in regardless of his kind offer of Jeeves taking the night off since he expected Gussie to drop by, Bertie suggests full service for him and his love, going off to the Drones. Bertie speaks, or more like, is spoken to by Pongo most of the night, and when returning home, walks in on Gussie, dressed in a way described devilish and Mephistophelesian, he conversing with Jeeves.

Bertie greets him confusedly, caused by Gussie’s appearance, and when Gussie asks his opinion of his outfit, Bertie skirts an answer to regard his being in London and how long it’d been since he’d last visited, Bertie then stating how nice of a party it must be Gussie was planning to attend, Gussie not answering and instead sending Jeeves to be sure his cab was still waiting for him, when Jeeves had gone, Gussie lets the conversation go silent as Bertie made himself a drink, then letting the old boy off the hook by confessing he’d heard of Gussie’s situation from Jeeves. Gussie not pleased to know Jeeves had shared his private business, but Bertie dismissing this and giving his blessing, asking after how they’d met, Bertie then also supplying his aid and back up to Gussie, which he thanks him for, but makes known Jeeves’ assistance being the real jewel to him, Bertie stung by his words, especially since his conversation about his dress jacket had been criticized. Bertie then asks what Jeeves had done to help Gussie so far, it being the advice to attend this party and to top it off in a Mephistopheles get-up, which burns Bertie all the more due to Jeeves displeasure over his jacket when he was suggesting Gussie go around in red tights. Bertie attempts to convince Gussie to skip the party, but Gussie couldn’t since she’d be leaving after, and whilst Gussie felt the plan would ultimately fail, he also knew it was possible he could pull it off and could get what he wanted. Gussie then digresses into metaphor involving newts, Bertie arguing the point of Gussie not having the love of Madeline if he were one of his amphibious obsessions, he arguing he would if she also were one, Bertie then getting pressure in his head from the pointless disagreement. Bertie ends the line of subject by regaining his point of Gussie skipping the date altogether, but he adamantly refusing since she would be off to the country the next day, Bertie giving in. Jeeves then returning with news of the cab being outside, Gussie bidding Bertie farewell, and Bertie turning his attention on Jeeves, (we catching up to where we began the story), Bertie getting down to Jeeves’ reasoning behind his plan for Gussie and how Bertie differed from Jeeves’ outlook on the results, he believing Jeeves’ plans tended to be on the complex side and deciding he would take over the reigns forthwith, Jeeves accepting this straight away, Bertie then sharing of plans to see Gussie the next day, but forgetting to do so what with the telegrams arriving.

We learn the order of which telegram comes first and their contents, which confounded Bertie and started a telegram chat which still left him baffled, this after spending a couple months with his aunt already, finally calling for Jeeves’ opinion which pointedly suggested he do as the telegram made plain:”come at once”. Bertie then considers the request impossible for his plans on attending the birthday party, leading in to the differing opinion on the jacket, Jeeves staying firm with not relenting his dislike of the garment like Bertie believed he would someday. Bertie lets this go and details his plan of wiring his aunt of coming around in a week or so, reasoning it should be a tolerable wait. Bertie then readies for the party, and gets home dead early in the morning, ready to pass out when Jeeves interrupts with news of his aunt’s presence, she busting in.

Bertie first reminds us dear readers of he being consistent in giving credit where it’s deserved, and his Aunt Dahlia being one of the good ones. We then recap on previous escapades Bertie had with his aunt. Bertie after, pondering why Dahlia would bombard him at such an hour after so recently returning home, he believing other tasks more pressing than visiting him before his morning tea. Bertie decides to play a silent non-indulgent humor, his aunt breaking it with her idea of what he looked like, she inquiring if it was caused by his late night, Bertie agreeing it was due to Pongo’s late party. Dahlia then commands he dress, Bertie unbelieving and then groaning with unwillingness, Jeeves entering with non-reviving, but comforting tea. Bertie then asks the meaning of her being there (she at first being a smarty pants and referring to his tea), she hinting of Bertie accompanying her back at hers and she having a task for Bertie. After his questioning further, she gets down to the quick of it being for Bertie to give away prizes at a grammar school since the original person had to decline. Dahlia then relents to Bertie having a couple days to recover from his partying night, but Bertie not quite agreeing to Dahlia’s chore for him, especially after the add-on of having to prepare a speech, but Dahlia goes for the low blow of Bertie not being welcome in her home and in extension Anatole, her chef’s cooking ever again. Bertie’s still attempting to convince her he wouldn’t be the greatest choice, she giving reasons why she couldn’t ask his Uncle, and Bertie relating how terrible the last time he’d given a speech at a school had gone, Dahlia making it clear the whole event would be dry and she’d be glad of a laugh, she reiterating of seeing him within a couple days. This exchange leaving Bertie in a funk, Jeeves then entering to announce Gussie was present.

When they go through their proper greetings, Bertie cuts to the quick of Jeeves no longer working his case, Bertie ready to take the reigns. Gussie had entered the room looking desperate, the emotion visually becoming more pronounced when he heard the news, he then sharing his reasons for coming by was to be instructed on his next move since Madeline had gone to stay with some people in the country, but once Gussie shared the name Travers, Bertie realizes the issue was a thing of the past, he confessing his aunt’s home was where Madeline had gone, and he could take him there as an honored guest, Jeeves not having the genetics on his side in regards to he having reason or ability to get Gussie entrance, Bertie requiring to make note of this. He then describes the surroundings of Brinkley practically pushing the romance and possibility of engagement right in to one’s lap, Gussie being boosted by Bertie’s words. Bertie rings for Jeeves to retrieve him telegraph paper and pencil, after which Bertie writes to his Aunt Dahlia of Gussie coming to call at Brinkley, he then giving said telegram to Gussie for delivery, he happy to do so. Bertie realizes, through discussion with Jeeves, Gussie should stay away from fatty meat, so prepares a second telegram to meet Gussie at Brinkley with his sage advice. Bertie then confesses to Jeeves his other plan for Gussie was to have his aunt offer the job of giving prizes out to Gussie, Bertie relating his inability to keep this work, and Gussie unable to say no should his aunt ask him.

Following, is the back and forth telegram messaging between Bertie, Gussie, and Aunt Dahlia, the last replying first with negative tones on why Bertie sent his friend to her home, Bertie then receiving confused word from Gussie about Bertie’s additional message about meat, he only replying to add not to eat kidneys. Bertie then hears from his aunt which confirmed his senses of Gussie growing on her, was spot on, but when she mentioned Bertie would still be expected, Bertie drops the bomb of being unable to make the engagement, his aunt responding with bodily threats. After Bertie waited a little longer though, his wish came true with another telegram from Dahlia confirming she’d gotten Gussie to replace him, and he was no longer obligated to come, but she still wished him ill harm. Bertie was extensively relieved and had a night out at the Drones, retiring at home with no issues on his mind. The next morning however, brought surprising news by telegram informing him of the troubles of his cousin Angela and Tuppy Glossop, Bertie realizing he’d have to go to Brinkley Court to be with his aunt in her time of upheaval, he sending Jeeves ahead with luggage by train, he to follow by car after his lunch appointment.

Bertie is then seen driving and in thought over Tuppy and Angela’s issues, distressed especially since he’d been rooting for the two, knowing them both so well. He believed they matched each other, even knowing relationships had there ups-and downs, Bertie thinking Tuppy knew his limit by now. He sped forth to Dahlia’s so he could hear the whole story from the source. He made the trip in good time and was even confided in by Dahlia of being glad to see him, the usual feeling given by members of his family closer to disgusted revulsion. Bertie comforts her, uncertain of how she felt and guessing aloud. “Her usually cheerful map was clouded, and the genial smile conspic. by it’s absence.” Needed a reminder of what the ‘a’ was. She affirmed her worry, and mentions how she should be giving him a piece of her mind for his cowardly way of getting out of prize-giving, but allows him a pass since he came, and also thought “Spink-Bottle” a win, as long as he didn’t digress about newts. Dahlia also mentions her worry about Tom, her husband. Bertie calls him Uncle Tom and Dahlia alludes to how every time he does she imagines him black with a banjo (I didn’t get around to reading Uncle Tom’s Cabin, but I do enjoy Dahlia’s mindset.), but her worry was over his reaction to her loss in gambling, and this at a time when she needed funding for her weekly journal Milady’s Boudoir. Bertie was confused because of how long it was taking for Dahlia’s paper to take off (two years), she clearly stating Bertie would stay bewildered until he did a paper for himself, she also giving reply to how welcome Tom had been up to this point on the subject of money, his mood changing with the income tax representatives bothering him for more cash, and now he raving about it since her return home.

Bertie wasn’t surprised since knowing his Uncle couldn’t give up a fight when it came to his bankroll, regardless of its immensity. Dahlia mentions how Tom’s only source of comfort was Anatole’s menu, the two praising Anatole’s goodness, Dahlia after a few moments remembering her reasons for starting this conversation and getting back on track with why Angela and Tuppy were arguing, it shark-fin related. Apparently Angela, during vacation in Cannes, had met with a shark whilst aquaplaning: being towed by boat and riding behind attached it. Angela had been tossed, regained her board only to get knocked off again by a shark, and whilst gaining the attention of the driver to come back for her, she felt this shark nipping at her ankles. So when Angela relayed this story to Tuppy, he gives no reaction, and when she finished, suggested it could have been a log, but she reminded him it had jumped at her, so he allows it could have been a harmless fish, she angrily calling him names of idiocy, and he not comprehending her near fatality. Bertie definitely empathized with his cousin’s view, he knowing the few times one’s likely to have vibrant stories to share only to have someone play it down as nothing special. Well, from there it got worse as both stubbornly, on one side, and possibly ignorant on the other, both kept pointing faults out on the other until the engagement disintegrated. Bertie’s aunt again giving relief for Bertie having come, but he says some back-lashing words which his aunt is then reminded of having need of Jeeves. Bertie’s face is the only part of him to show shock, he sitting, but knowing the shock would’ve spread if in another, more upright position. Bertie then speaks his mind in what he’d thought of Jeeves’ handiness of late, he believing those who immediately sought Jeeves should at least allow him a shot at the problem first.

Dahlia sensed Bertie was in opposition to Jeeves for some reason, he denying there was any issue (but relates to us, dear readers) of a cause for his surliness stemming from Jeeves’ neglect in packing Bertie’s beloved jacket, he having seen it in his closet, it still hanging, so he remedied this by including it among his own items, but believed Jeeves was pulling a fast one on him. Dahlia brings him back to the subject of having Jeeves help Angela and Tuppy’s situation, but Bertie again pipes in, she should allow him to test his plan to renew their love, Dahlia insisting he stay out of it, and refusing to listen to his plan. Bertie leaves her as she wished, in the metaphorical dark, and goes outside where he sees a figurative dark cloud over Tuppy, whom was slinging stones at a flowerpot. Tuppy is reintroduced with a shared story of he and Bertie’s past, when Tuppy had pranked him and Bertie still rankled, but not so much as to enjoy his unhappiness of his engagement falling apart. One could see by Bertie’s look and demeanor he meant to aid fixing Tuppy’s situation. Tuppy didn’t respond with gladness, but dazed emptiness of emotion. He asked whether Bertie was staying or visiting, Bertie toying with the idea of confessing his intention to help Angela and he, but decides not to, since some people don’t take help lightly. Bertie gives an answer which brings indifference, Tuppy then bringing up how Bertie most likely heard of his troubles, Bertie confirming and asking why Tuppy would denounce Angela’s shark, he sharing his side of the story, which included defending himself from being called “material” due to wondering aloud about Anatole’s food decisions. Bertie agrees this to be good reasoning, but if love shall prevail, shouldn’t he have let her win this one, Tuppy unable to deny his love for her, but she also requiring an ego hit. Bertie is unable to accept his words and asks Tuppy what happened to his kind, romantic self, Tuppy wondering where Angela’s good qualities had gone, especially after being told he had a double chin. Bertie attempts to have Tuppy overlook this and fix their fight, but Tuppy refuses due to other fat points Angela had made. Bertie tries to keep Tuppy in perspective about his words to Angela, but he saw them as helpful, not purposely hurtful. Bertie now knew how difficult his task would be, he supposing aloud of Angela being torn up by their feud. Bertie then suggesting she’s putting on a “mask” to hide her true emotions, and a way of giving sign to a truce would be to make a grand gesture of pushing their upcoming meal away (TV show also covering this story). Tuppy has trouble with this at first since it’s Anatole’s cooking which is desired by all who come across him, but Bertie reminds Tuppy he can go down to the kitchen in the night to satiate his palate, which upon hearing, brightens Tuppy into agreeing, he assuming Jeeves came up with the plan and disbelieving Bertie could manage anything so perfect, Bertie taking offense, but his displeasure going unnoticed, he instead reminding Tuppy the time was ripe to dress for dinner.

Bertie was still most affected by Tuppy’s close-minded thoughts, it especially hurtful to give due credit to an employee whom was subordinating Bertie’s jacket. He eventually obtains composure by bath, the most aiding accessory being a toy duck. Once the calming bath was through, he’s met by Jeeves whom greets him formally and hands Bertie his socks, upon request. Bertie then mentions Jeeves supposition of the task he’s given himself being quite the doozy and being met with agreement by Jeeves. Bertie then eases Jeeves’ mind by assuring he’s handled the issue accordingly, Jeeves politely asking for details, and he being secretive, but then sharing a plan of feigned peril for Tuppy to show how much he cared by making certain of Angela’s safety, Bertie nixing and closing the “subj.”. Silently, Bertie is worrying and saddened by Jeeves failing ability of coming up with a decent plan, Jeeves again responding in a way which has Bertie defending his sound plan from criticism. Then Bertie critiques Jeeves’ way of making his reply sound dubious of Bertie’s success. Jeeves agreeing to work on this, but once Bertie confides his plan, Jeeves again gives him the impression of questioning the soundness of it, Bertie overlooking the cracks Jeeves thought were holes, he instead asking for his white jacket, Jeeves seeming to smugly mention his forgetfulness to pack it, and Bertie confessing of his good fortune in supplying it for himself, and for Jeeves to bring it from the hall. When Bertie’s aunt first catches sight of him, she likens him to a group of men in a musical.

Bertie learns his aunt’s mood may be caused by his Uncle still being in a bad mood. Bertie attempting to come up with an alternative to his aunt’s mess, but learning a new fact which pinches the idea. Bertie then discovers Dahlia could join the crew of non-eaters, he not explaining himself clearly at first, but once she understood what Bertie meant, she was quite pleased and decided to take part. When the guests sat to dinner, Bertie was not prepared for the serious atmosphere and was quite happy when it was done, everyone in a particular mood, Bertie especially surprised by Gussie’s deathly appearance since last he’d seen him. After the meal, Bertie was deciding to catch up with Gussie, but got caught up with a game of backgammon with his aunt until she was pulled away to speak with Anatole. Bertie discovers Gussie in the garden, he not receiving him well, quite upset over Bertie pawning off his prize-giving onto him, he prepared for this unpleasant confrontation. He makes it seem like Gussie taking over this task was a part of his plan to show the many sides of Gussie, which Bertie does fair enough selling, only needing to claim how simple his speech at the girls school had gone. Bertie then councils Gussie through his inability to ask for Madeline’s hand. Gussie coming around to the idea, but then fretting over what he’ll have to say once Bertie “tags him in”, he giving him a phrase Jeeves had said to him and then some interesting metaphors Madeline had come up with. Bertie rounds off the turns of phrase until steering Gussie to the main, then suggesting he have a couple shots beforehand to even the nerves, Gussie sharing he’d never imbibed, to Bertie’s surprise, but Gussie would need to work with what he allowed himself, o.j., then Bertie runs through the plan with him before leaving him to it. Bertie going off to locate Madeline to begin his part, but realizing upon viewing her, how she wasn’t one of his most bosom of buddies and this could be a bit uncomfortable for him. Bertie sallies forth, though, getting Madeline into the yard and struggling with where to go from there, more figuratively than literal.

Bertie first begins by giving example to how straight forward his conversation with Madeline could’ve gone if she were a different sort, it being hashed out relatively quickly. Madeline was prone to being affected by twilight though, and Bertie knew he was going to have trouble speaking with her, she supplying chat which involved the stars, Bertie listening to the sorts of diverse subjects Madeline would bring to his attention, before she referring to a single star which didn’t support her “daisy-chain” metaphor, he thinking she needed to choose which she believed, but ignores this since realizing he could use the subject matter as a lead-in when she veers off course over some rabbits nearby. Madeline shares how when she was younger she believed rabbits were gnomes (is it odd or simply because I’m reading two British authors at the same time being the reason they both have gnomes in their stories?), this somehow relating to her idea of seeing a fairy queen. Bertie lets this slide and finally pipes in about how her comment about “shedding tears” earlier, related to an “aching heart” someone on the property was dealing with, Madeline guessing who it could be, Bertie getting more annoyed as she kept getting it wrong, but finally he indirectly spouting the point of “this aching heart” relating to the inability of confessing this love for Madeline, she getting misty-eyed and Bertie tired with the effort, he not realizing Madeline thought he was speaking of himself until she replied how she had noticed the looks he’d been giving her at Cannes, he now knowing he was in too deep to back out now, but was dismayed with the idea of being engaged to a girl like Madeline. Bertie awaits her to finish explaining painfully, but was lucky by the end of it, she turning his misproposal down. Bertie is so relieved, he accepts this readily, she apologizing and Bertie easing her mind, quite content with her suggestion of staying friends, she looking at him with compassion, and he wanting to explain how fine it was, but resisting, there being a long enough pause for Bertie’s mind to wander when Madeline had picked up the subj. again to wish she could return his feelings, but they needing to keep this little confession a secret, she spiraling into wanting to share a thought with him since they were truly friends, Bertie sensing out loud she felt love for another, she agreeing, and Bertie thinking how he didn’t look forward to breaking the news to Gussie, Bertie believing it would push him over the edge. He gives example of the two spectrums by mentioning his buddy Bingo whom bounces back quickly from disappointment, Gussie lying on the other side, the kind to pine. Madeline was explaining how the man she spoke of hadn’t shown signs of affection for her yet, but details how they first met, Bertie realizing it must be Gussie she was describing, he so relieved and surprised, a “wow” escapes, startles Madeline, and he making an excuse to withdraw as Gussie comes forward. Bertie now certain their fates were locked together, adjourning to the smoking room for a celebratory drink.

Bertie walks us through the making of his liquid delight and drinks with his feet up in an armchair (I had one of those funny images of his feet being above his head, heh), he thinking of how Gussie could already have done the deed and could already be hashing out plans, making Bertie glad for the newt-loving fool. Bertie is interrupted with his fluffy thoughts by whom he assumed was Tuppy walking in quietly and making himself a drink, as well. Bertie had forgotten his second case temporarily due to the supposed success of Gussie’s. He getting right into how Tuppy was doing, whether Angela had approached him and all, Tuppy flustered for his empty stomach, and relaying Angela hadn’t so much as stepped near him, Bertie then looking on the upside possibility Angela was currently searching for him, Tuppy believing she hadn’t even noticed his ultimate sacrifice, Bertie again attempting to show how it didn’t seem likely she hadn’t noticed at all, he listing the courses and Tuppy interrupting due to not having eaten them. Bertie changes tactics by trying to leave him words of strength, which does the opposite since Bertie again reminded him of food, this time from the pantry, and after Bertie realized his ignorant mistake, the two sit in silence for awhile.

Tuppy gets up only to show his frustration through the attacking of furniture, Bertie respectfully averting his eyes, until Tuppy picks up the reigns of chat once more, he speaking of the topic of Angela, and through his thorough examining of the matter, he detects the theory there was “dirty work” all over the tiff, Bertie disagreeing once Tuppy mentions it couldn’t have been caused by his inconsiderate words of the shark. Tuppy thinks Angela already wanted to end the engagement using the shark as a catalyst. Tuppy believing she must’ve fallen for another whilst at Cannes. He then making direct threats to the unlucky fella if he ever saw him, then exits. Bertie waiting a beat before heading for the drawing room to locate Angela for a chat. He only discovers his aunt, whom didn’t look pleased due to her appetite raging, she informing Bertie of Angela already having gone up to her room early due to a headache, the news not sounding good to him. Dahlia inquiring why he wanted to know and he relaying he’d wanted to walk and talk with her, Dahlia taking the opportunity to detail a favor involving Bertie drowning himself in the pond, and after his aunt describing she would dance on his grave. Bertie was hurt and bitter by her words likening himself to a girl he’d read about in a book whom didn’t wish to remain in the house if she was going to take such abuse.

Bertie calms for recollecting her empty insides, he asking straight out why she was ‘biting his head off’, his intuition being sound, she mentioning her food lust, and he proposing the same raid to the kitchen for steak and kidney pie. This doesn’t ease her mind though, since Tom was not receptive to being empathetic to Dahlia’s lack of eating, he wounded over Anatole putting in his notice because of all the untouched plates. Bertie apologizes sincerely what with the part he’d played in the mess, Tom truly overwhelmed with the loss, Dahlia’s handout less likely. Bertie was short on remedies now, but willing to make the effort, Dahlia showing him what staggering looked like whilst in a sitting position. She making clear on her unfinished threat if he were so bold to attempt another fix-it project, but Bertie leaves the room, hearing what sounded like the Tennyson volume sitting beside his aunt fly at the door, he not dwelling on this and going out to the lawn to ruminate on some ideas, hearing a groan of which he thought could be from his Uncle Tom, but deciphers the forms on the bench to be Jeeves and Gussie. What was so hard to understand for Bertie was Gussie seemed to be in a negative state, when he gets close enough, Jeeves greets him, but Gussie bids him farewell with the plan of walking to the pond to drown himself, Jeeves suggesting this isn’t the best plan, so Gussie takes his word, making known how everyone he’s encountered, including Mrs. Travers had been nothing but nice to him, and instead would go for a stroll.

Bertie is perfectly flummoxed by Gussie’s attitude, asking Jeeves how it could’ve gone so badly with Bertie’s training Gussie beforehand, Jeeves relaying how Gussie had gone off-course and instead of proposing, blasted Madeline with a flurry of newt-talk. At first Bertie couldn’t fathom how this could’ve happened, but after further detail of Gussie becoming too nervous and began to chatter aimlessly, Bertie reminisces of his own experience with a dentist. He then imagining how the failure could’ve went down and when using the conversation model between he and dentist, he discovers how easily it could’ve caved in. Bertie also learning the amount of time Gussie had to share this subject line before Madeline opted to return indoors. Bertie understanding how demanding a job helping Gussie was going to be, he usually asking Jeeves’ advice by now, but instead sharing the situation needing careful thinking over and wishing Jeeves a good night, Bertie reflecting on what option would be optimal as he goes.

Bertie relates how he has luck sleeping on a problem and the solution revealing itself by morning, which it had, he having a new plan for Gussie to admit his feelings: alcohol. Bertie was ready to share his idea with Jeeves when he came in with Bertie’s tea, but Tuppy comes in after Jeeves, he looking rough, Jeeves fluidly exiting, and Tuppy wanting to share his woes with Bertie after he declined to listen to Bertie’s new strategy. Bertie then refrains in preference to hearing why, Tuppy describing how he’d gone at one a.m. to snack in the kitchen, he encountering Angela, Dahlia, and Tom, the last thinking burglars were invading, so was packing heat, as well. The conversation being relived by Tuppy was upsetting him since Angela was able to make him feel fat once more. She continually pressing the button even as they all returned to their rooms, Bertie playing at positivity, but Tuppy certain Angela was in love with another and disgusted by him. Bertie then kills the idea she fell in love at Cannes, saying they’d spent most of their time together, she not close to anyone, but himself, he not helping the sharing of this by describing Angela’s name for herself in their youth. Tuppy stays in thoughtful silence until the gong for breakfast is heard, he off like lightning, and Bertie believing he’d done good with both his current and upcoming plans, and ready to share with Jeeves as he retrieved the tea tray.

Bertie begins his engaging Jeeves with noting Tuppy’s unkempt look, Bertie explains his most recent woe, still believing Angela held the old torch, and had a new idea to get her aimed in the right direction, he deciding a good roast of Tuppy will get Angela to defend him regardless of their anger toward each other. Bertie gets the light bulb from a similar experience he had with a girl whom was insulting her fiance, Bertie agreeing with her without knowing this fact, and she reacting unfavorably upon Bertie. Once he’d settled the time-frame, having Jeeves make note of Angela off with friends currently, he set his sights upon Gussie’s love issue. Bertie plainly refers to Gussie as a b.m. and lists why when Jeeves attempts to show decorum, the main example being of the costume and not going to the party, Bertie making note even on the off-chance Gussie had made it, due to his straight-edge sensibilities, would not have proposed, and so Bertie planned on spiking Gussie’s o.j. with a hefty amount of gin. He then has to school Jeeves once more on his inflection of his ‘sirs’, Jeeves explaining Bertie’s plan was a bit forward, since Bertie didn’t know how sensitive Gussie could be to the spirit, but shares a story about a parrot to help explain, Bertie not catching the gist and focusing only on Gussie not being a winged creature, fully intending to implement his plan. He then relates the reason he’s waiting for the next day to begin, it being for Gussie hosting the prize-giving and would be able to kill two birds with his gin high, but when Bertie adds perhaps Jeeves should be the one to spike Gussie’s juice due to having easier access, Jeeves apologetically declines, Bertie wounded by this, but not taking it personally.

Bertie didn’t recognize the names of Angela’s buddies, and she likely having a great time, for barely making it back in time to change for dinner, Bertie catching her afterwards in the drawing room, and looking like she needed a friendly ear. They speak cordially, but familiarly with one another, Bertie inviting her for a stroll, Tuppy then upsetting a mini-table with breakables atop it, startling Dahlia, and Tom pitching in with a teacup, Tuppy apologizing, but Angela giving him a look of being above it, they continuing out and planting themselves on a bench, Bertie starting off slow with easy chat, they beginning with Angela’s day-long stay with the Stretchley-Budds, she helping them with the set up for a party for the servants, Anatole not attending for wanting to return to where he was valued. Angela was ready to go indoors due to the dew, but Bertie extends her stay by offering his lap as a shoe-guard against the ghastly nature, she accepting and they idly conversing, it slowly dying off, and Bertie hearing rustling in the bushes, debating its weaselly origins, then going straight into the candid, Angela admitting to the wedding being off for sure, Bertie going in for the kill and laying Tuppy a new one, Angela replying how she’d believed they were chums, he denying this, and relying on past experience to aid the believability. He struggles with his words since he didn’t truly have hard feelings toward the nitwit, but attempting once more, his last go confusing her, and then himself for having to repeat it multiple times, but then he explains himself so thoroughly, it hurt him to go on, what with the expunging of all oxygen in the relation and he not enjoying being so harsh, but finishing it off like a champ. After all of this, and no reaction from her, Bertie is in awe by her indifference, but then as she’s still staring at the bushes, she agrees with Bertie’s tirade, he not having planned for this off-chance possibility, taking a moment to form a response. Before he has a chance though, Angela goes on with relish and states other bad qualities Tuppy had, even going for his hair thinning, she then deciding to return indoors, Tuppy of course, exiting from his bushy cocoon.

Bertie senses a defensive stance was needed, repositioning himself behind the bench, he then gauging Tuppy’s physical appearance giving signs of his fury. Bertie plays innocent whilst Tuppy stays fixated on harming him, he staying calm and using the bench as buffer as he attempts to explain his uncouth opinions of Tuppy, interrupting himself with talk of haggis (ingredients) and Tuppy’s background (Scotch). One part during his wait for Tuppy to realize his intentions, he notes the beetle which had stayed its post on Tuppy’s head having finally buzzed off quite hilariously. Then again, Tuppy’s confession of he believing Bertie was getting the love bug for Angela, (worth the read in itself due to Bertie’s innocent reaction of cousins being anything other than blood relatives being snort-worthy, as well) especially with his reply, but still not convincing Tuppy until mentioning an interest at Cannes with another girl. When defending his choice of Madeline being his heart-puller, Tuppy is stunned to a stop from his lunging at Bertie (along with Bertie’s backtracking with Madeline’s odd opinion of stars and rabbits truly tickling me), he’s finally convinced upon hearing Madeline had declined interest in Bertie. Tuppy has a couple more instances of flare up due to remembering the choice of words Bertie had used against him, but Bertie reminds him it was all for the plan of his roast, and Bertie realizing Angela must’ve seen Tuppy in the bush to maker her say all those sensitive topics, she reappearing then for another jab consisting of a plate of sandwiches for Tuppy, Bertie finally getting his release from the fluctuating safety of the chat, he following Angela back in as they hear the plate knocked over angrily, Angela enchanted with the calm night (love it!).

Next morning Bertie contemplates his inability to rejoin Angela and Tuppy’s souls, so he instead changes to Gussie’s situation at hand. He having executed his spiking of juice with much effort according to he, as acting cupid, overcoming the issues, and able to catch some z’s in the midst of needing to obtain the jug from the kitchen. Fortunately, Bertie’s timing was fine since he ran into Gussie practicing his speech on the lawn, Bertie more certain once speaking with the nervous nerd, he’d made the right decision. He then brings up of having good tidings, but once Gussie begins to guess and none of his hopes of the school for some reason shutting down, Bertie gives Gussie a general upbeat phrase to say since he had nada in the speech department. Bertie then attempts to assure Gussie he should speak with Madeline again, Gussie not seeing the point since making a fool of himself and believing she couldn’t stand him anymore. Then after Bertie failed to make impression with a partially remembered story, Gussie insists Bertie leave him to figure out what he’ll say. As Bertie obliges, this moment had been his deciding factor whether to proceed as planned, he off to the kitchen for the o.j., and when entering his room with Jeeves already present, he comes to learn Jeeves had decided to rally round and succumb to Bertie’s plan, already lacing something upon having a worrisome exchange whilst Bertie napped. He was pleased, but thought a bit more in the juice couldn’t hurt for safety purposes, and when Jeeves shares of having shared an anecdotal story for Gussie’s use, he leaving him, Bertie is in mid-pour, and an obviously sloshed Gussie walks in, Bertie making certain Gussie had willingly imbibed, he confirming this with the knowledge of consuming much whiskey. Bertie was currently quite glad of a large picture obscuring the tainted juice, they then going down to lunch, everyone quite solemn since it wasn’t Anatole’s meals. After, Bertie returns to his room to get ready to go to the school, Gussie already being taken there, Jeeves and he slowly understand, Gussie had consumed the pitcher of o.j., the two unable to imagine the events which could come from such a highly inexperienced intoxication.

During the drive, Bertie remarks to Jeeves how even if the prize-giving goes south, Gussie should definitely ace his proposal when attempted, Bertie thinking Gussie would gain the air of Cagney. Jeeves then informs Bertie of Gussie already having obtained his engagement before leaving, he pleasantly surprised, but allowing how well his plan, not Jeeves’, had worked. When they arrived and Bertie sees Gussie being directed to his seat, he was hit by traumatic nostalgia of his own speech-giving moment. He considering anyone who was familiar with drinking would be able to detect the lack of sobriety of Gussie. Bertie doesn’t engage with the proceedings until noting how Gussie attempted to cross his legs a repeatedly until having to correct the headmaster a couple of times on the pronunciation of his name, Gussie responding with a happily forgiving “you silly ass” being quite hilarious. Also, before this point, Dahlia became aware of Gussie’s buzz. The headmaster deciding whether to turn the floor to Gussie what with his colorful outbursts thus far, but Gussie takes the decision away when announcing his speech-y time, he getting quite a reception from the boys, and actually not bombing. He even has a moment to speak of Tom and his opinion of the state of the world not being beautiful (the main motif of Gussie’s speech), and still going strong on crowd likability. Then right as Bertie was glad he wasn’t seated with his family, Gussie spots him and calls him out as a pessimist. Finally, he’s interrupted with the task of giving the prizes, after the first handed out, Gussie’s likability slowly drops. He attempts to speak with each child, but when Scripture Knowledge was presented, and Bertie’s name again lingered on, Bertie makes his way out, getting to bed and passing out, he awoken by Jeeves for dinner. He is given the details of what happened after and how quickly the ceremony ended, Jeeves then relaying of Gussie losing his engagement, Bertie overcome with this update, but they then interrupted by Tuppy collapsing outside Bertie’s door.

Bertie wasn’t receptive to the look in Tuppy’s eye, and he wasn’t keen to notice Jeeves had done his usual habit of trickling out quietly, but it seemed he worried over this for nothing, Tuppy explaining his reason for coming was to apologize. Bertie misinterpreted the reason for the apology being related to Tuppy’s prank on him with the rings at the pool, but he clarifies by stating it was for not believing his love for Madeline. Now though, Tuppy was certain Gussie had stolen Angela from him, regardless of Bertie relating he loved “the Bassett”, too. Tuppy will have none of this since being told by Angela of Gussie and her engagement, surprising him, Jeeves entering after Tuppy leaves to inflict death upon Gussie, Jeeves then pointing out Bertie’s plan to discover Gussie needed no more than a glance to his bed, Gussie in the midst from crawling out from underneath it. Unfortunately for Gussie, he hadn’t much time to relax, since after Jeeves locked the door per Gussie’s request, Tuppy came back, Gussie making for the closet before Tuppy barges in and claiming he knew Gussie was in there, only to be shocked when he emerged and dashed out, Tuppy following after overcoming his surprise, Bertie then dismissing Jeeves in order to give these new developments serious contemplation.

Fortunately, Bertie was of Wooster stock, so his need for thinking over the problem took mere moments, he deciding he must speak with the angelic player, Angela, she admitting her motives, as for being for the entertainment, Tuppy supplying this in spades. Bertie attempts to have her end the game, but she having no intention of doing so, offhandedly insulting Bertie, and he letting her alone. He was disheartened by Angela’s unsympathetic view of her joke, he remembering a quote by Kipling of the (f)emale of the (s)pecies being more (d)eadly than the (m)ale. Bertie decided it was time for brain food, on his way, discovering Dahlia ahead of his mindset. She showed she was in better spirits by offering him some of her snack, and the two chatting about the servants party, then moving to Gussie, Bertie sensing she hadn’t heard of his engagement since she raved about how wonderful his performance had been at the school. Dahlia also mentions how her mood couldn’t be turned due to Anatole deciding to stay on. Then Dahlia’s butler enters to inform her of Gussie potentially stirring up Anatole,after all of Dahlia’s hard work convincing him to retract his notice.

This news seemed to freeze all who heard, Bertie’s apple slice chewing the only noise to break the silence, and upon further inquiry by Dahlia, the couple learn Gussie was sitting on the roof and disturbing Anatole’s ability to slumber with making faces at him. Dahlia was off like a shot when her butler, Seppings said it had “upset” Anatole, Bertie and he quickly following Dahlia up the stairs. The scene they run to is an obvious displeased Anatole shaking his fists at the skylight where Gussie gazed down with the look of a fish, Bertie sympathetic to Anatole’s plight. When Dahlia asks Anatole what’s happened, he gives his version in quite an eclectic choice of words, Bertie agreeing with him without provocation (even though to see the dialogue, it’s quite a “mixed” explanation). Anatole continues his rant of how he attempted to learn Gussie’s reasons for staring down at him, but nothing comes of it, he ending in French, (many versions to choose from) “I do not care what type of vile chap. It’s stupid to make like a bird, go away.” Dahlia attempting to soothe Anatole, but ends up stirring him up with a misinterpreted choice of words, Anatole again threatening to leave, everyone showing Gussie the error of his ways by gesture or dirty look. Bertie finally figures what Gussie was conveying through facial signs: he was stuck up there, so they then endeavored to open the skylight, and once Gussie was secured in the room, was unable to explain himself. Dahlia gives up after attempting to extract some detail of Gussie’s reasoning, she suggesting Bertie get him out of there and give him some ice for his head, whilst she again attempted to calm Anatole. Bertie then asks Gussie if Tuppy had been chasing him again, and, in French, a “shiver” going through him. Bertie considers aloud Gussie should away to his room before Tuppy picked up his scent once more. Once he was properly tucked away behind locked door, Bertie makes his way back to the dining room for more fruit salad and a further ponder, Dahlia joining him soon after with request of a drink, Bertie in his element and supplying hastily. He then attempts empathy, but is greeted with he being compared to Attila the Hun, to his dismay, she then explaining Anatole’s plan to leave the next day and also learning of Angela and Gussie’s engagement, she no longer caring if Bertie planned to fix these new problems what with not seeing how it could get worse. Bertie then is given a letter by Jeeves from the Bassett, whom decided she was going to marry him, Bertie wailing his dismay.

Bertie realized he wouldn’t be able to decline now he had been reclaimed, he giving the letter a second perusal and not landing an idea until some snacking was had, first the sequence of events which would get Angela and Tuppy together, as well as Gussie and Madeline trying again, coming to him. Bertie decides after another slice of cheese, he’d locate Madeline, but this needn’t have been a necessity since Madeline wandered in not long after the thought was shared. The conversation which follows is full of one repeating the other and apologies for speaking at the same time. When Madeline gets her side out, she confesses her affection for Bertie, but still held a flame for Gussie. Madeline couldn’t see a reconciliation between them though, then Angela comes in and the two ladies commence in congratulating and well-wishing each other, Bertie taking the moment to excuse himself for a think, going outside and literally bumping into Jeeves. He takes a moment to measure whether Jeeves could help him with his situation, and decides to give him a shot, but only if he could refrain from making Bertie give up his mess jacket, he agreeing, then offering his previous suggestion and Bertie too hard up to poo-poo the plan. They discuss the finer points and decide half an hour after midnight would meet the hour of execution of the idea to commence.

Bertie then compares how country living as opposed to London living affects his actions; For instance, at night in the country, Bertie’s imagination takes over and he’s more susceptible to the heebies with the possibility of the supernatural taking him by surprise. What was currently bothering him, though was in knowing it was time to ring the fire bell and the shock of the noise it would make in the deadly quiet. He then remembers another chap from the Drones having a similar experience and he only concerned about his own timely escape when the alarm sounded (the difference here being, he wasn’t currently in love, which Bertie didn’t catch). None of this mattered due to the results being Bertie walking with everyone to the lawn, Bertie calling Jeeves over to discuss how the plan didn’t go accordingly, Jeeves then alerting Bertie  to Dahlia attempting to get his attention about why he’d rung the bell, she taking his excuse well enough and declaring she would return to bed when Gussie states of all doors being locked, Dahlia then losing it, and ranting about the failed loyalty of their butler. As she continued, Jeeves waited patiently to catch her attention, and upon doing so, calms Dahlia with giving an idea, she prompting him to share, he revealing a bicycle was at their disposal and Dahlia immediately voting Bertie be the rider, he attempts to deflect the task and fails, he then moodily beginning his ride, thinking of the dark joke Jeeves told of two men becoming one due to a tandem bicycle collision with a van. Moving forward to Bertie arriving at the Manor, he confesses how the ride had changed him to a more serious soul, especially when learning from Sepping, Jeeves currently had the back door keys (this is also added in the TV show), Bertie returning to Brinkley to learn why he’d been sent on this ride-around.

Bertie describes how he felt closer to scorned women (in reference to the saying). When he reaches Brinkley, he’s greeted by Madeline, he wanting to give Jeeves a piece of his mind, but Bertie waiting patiently, as the two soon begin misunderstanding each other again, he learning Jeeves was currently in the dining room, and also the time he’d ‘uncovered’ the house key. Madeline then drags out another piece of information she wished to share, getting caught up with comparison of Bertie to the knights of the Round Table, finally hinting at what she required, Bertie obliging once understanding it was about their coupledom, he then excusing himself so he could change. Bertie was so lightened by this news, he didn’t even feel anger toward Jeeves anymore. Then Tuppy greets him, only then returning from the cellar with liquid refreshment, he catching Bertie up on he and Angela making up after Bertie shared of Tuppy being back in the game with Angela, he then resuming to the dining room when Dahlia called, she in better spirits, as well since Anatole withdrew his notice once more and Tom had given her a cheque for her paper. Bertie continued to his task of bathing and was met by Jeeves upon the finish, Bertie so intent on questioning about everyone’s happiness, he didn’t even regard the inquiry of how his journey had been. Bertie gets Jeeves explanation on how the rest of his plan came down to psychology and if the group had a common irritation (Bertie), they’d resolve their own issues, which had gone as planned. Bertie realizes he could use an omelette after Jeeves shared the anecdote with the necessity of breaking some eggs. When Jeeves returns with revitalizing refreshments, Bertie asks Jeeves if he was troubled over anything, Jeeves confessing to ruining by iron, his mess jacket, Bertie verging on anger, but then giving French phrase, ‘What is the purpose of it?’, ‘generous wrath’, wouldn’t be worth it, Bertie taking the news on the chin, and continuing his consumption of omelette eating.


As usual, loved this one, and am still pleased with recognizing how closely the TV series kept the story-line so on point. Also, the reason I won’t quote excerpts of the book, usually is firstly, there are plenty of reviewers who do, and also due to the hilarity of the conversations between characters, since they are so genuine and deadpan in the reading, it must be read all at once since the back-story is usually important and one wouldn’t necessarily get the same gleefulness seeing it in mid-magic. To the next!

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow & other selections

We begin with The Author’s Account of Himself, which describes of he having enjoyed discovering new places, which bothered his parents, but he exploring all the spots known for robbery, murder, or ghosts, one day viewing a vast scenery from a hill, impressing him with its many miles. From then on studying books about travel and neglecting his school work, he traveling to watch ships sail away and fantasizing of the adventures they’d had so far away. He goes on to contemplate, after seeing parts of America, to go to Europe to see the history of his origin. He concludes with having and not knowing whether it was luck or not of being able to travel many countries and studying the scenery like a tourist rather than a “philosopher”, he going so far as to sketch a few scenes from the places he’d been for friends and how differently his choice for sketches would be from a landscape painter, whom would choose the secret, lesser known spots rather than the tourist attraction areas.

Then The Legend of Sleepy Hollow begins with a description of Tarry Town (not important), which explains where the name stems from: housewives in the next town, caused by their spouses going to the bar, then we learn of an especially quiet spot a short distance from the town, the only noise coming from a brook and birds. Inhabitants of this area coming from the Dutch and the glen known as Sleepy Hollow. The town had rumors surrounding it which indicated there were hex-like powers within it. Many odd sightings and feelings being experienced by the people, one leading apparition being the Headless Horseman. The story behind the Horseman’s origins is of he being a Hessian trooper whom was hit by a cannon-ball in the Revolutionary War, the ghost having some space to ride, it being said to go as far as a churchyard where he was supposedly buried. We then are told of Ichabod Crane whom had stayed there some thirty years previous to teach the children, then receiving description of his physical character (which reminds me of Johnny Depp’s version more than the TV show version). His school house is shown and how it was easy to enter, but if closed, was rigged for being difficult to escape from, as well as the sort of teacher he was when it came to corporal punishment, but had a “justice” about whom he’d target. He also tended to chum about with the older boys and made rounds of the children’s homes when it came to room and board. The scene painted of Crane is wildly different than those portrayed, except, again with perhaps Depp’s role, if only he’d been focused on multiple ladies, as mentioned in the story; the boy’s eye wandered, for sure. 

Crane attempted to make himself useful for his staying though, doing chores in and outside of the property’s of the farmers hosting him. He also orchestrated and taught the local church choir, he being quite popular among the ladies for his fancy dress and speech, but also having the latest news to share with each home he entered. He also enjoyed reading a book of witchcraft by the brook until dark after he taught class, singing as he made his way to whichever home he stayed. He also enjoyed spending time with the wives as they spun clothes, sharing ghost and scary stories, Crane doing the same with his choice of reading and scientific facts. Crane did become spooked by his walk home some nights due to sounds or mistaken view of shrubbery. One day he’s running into a barely legal girl whom was daughter to a man of prominent stature, Crane having been to the man’s home once, he imagining what his dinners must look like with such meaty variety, he then viewing the inside of the farmer’s home. Crane contemplated how he’d win Katrina, the girl’s heart, especially since there was already plenty of contenders and the main one being a young man called Brom, a tough, mischievous, good-humored hooligan whom sometimes did horse ride-bys with his buddies late at night making loud whooping noises, waking the ladies up who knew the culprit immediately upon listening. Back to Crane’s woo, though, even knowing Brom was testing his luck with Katrina, Crane couldn’t give up and made his move as well, but more toned down, Brom hearing about it anyways, and his threat of what he’d do to Crane getting back to him, he making sure to avoid Brom, but he getting at Crane other ways, like his school house being vandalized. Besides these happenings, one afternoon Crane receives an invitation to a party at the Van Tassel’s, Katrina’s family, this happening on a school day and prompting Crane to rush the rest of the lessons and let the kids out early so he could prepare.

There is also multiple reference of Crane being similar to the “knight-errant”, he again having this air as he rode to Katrina’s, looking quite a figure atop the horse he’d borrowed. When he’d arrived, the other guests were noted in attempting to look their smartest, Crane noticing, but not acknowledging Brom, the two entering, and Crane bringing his attention to all the yummy goodness around him (the man loved his food). Then he has a dance with Katrina, as Brom watched, and afterwards goes to listen to a conversation with her father, officially losing his momentum by leaving Katrina alone, the loser. Crane heard the group sharing terrifying tales of every kind, soon landing on the Horseman, Crane hears the latest of a man’s run in and where the Horseman was seen most often, as well as a story from Brom with his encounter. After a bit more stories are related, the party breaks up, people go home, except for Crane, whom waits for a moment to speak with Katrina, whom he thought he was at the top of the game with. The Narrator doesn’t know the details of the conversation though, only knowing Crane didn’t stay long after and wasn’t happy. He waking his horse with disrespect and riding by the gnarly tree, but having another moment of uncertainty when coming to a brook where the man of the namesaked tree had been held up. Crane attempts to rush by the obstacle, but now the horse resists stubbornly, unwilling to obey his savagely made demands. Then he notices a presence in the dark, Crane calling out for an answer and getting none, so begins humming a psalm (hilariously), the creature moving into the horse’s blind spot, and Crane realizing it was the Horseman.

Crane rides off, attempting to lose him, but regardless of speeding up or slowing down, the Horseman matches his pace. When Crane notices where his head was though, it renewed his energy to flee, the horse taking a route of his own decision, it leading past a “goblin bridge” and the church. Crane’s saddle then comes loose and he slides back and forth as the horse runs in a panic. Crane then notices he’s approaching the bridge Brom had lost the Horseman, Crane not as lucky since getting across, he looking behind him and seeing the Horseman readying to chuck his head at him, Crane attempts to avoid it, but the Horseman has some spot on aim, for it connecting directly with his head. Crane falls hard, and all ride on without him, his horse scampering home and no one noticing Crane missing until after he’d missed his class, they tracking his hat down first, but nothing of the man was found, his school house closing. Someone visiting Sleepy Hollow from the city however, knew Crane was alive and doing well for himself, but the wives preferred to remember his disappearance being related to the Horseman’s doing, a farm boy claiming to have heard psalm singing at the deserted school house. Definitely unlike the adaptations; an alright tale, but does read like an overview, and knowing how much of a butt Crane is, definitely makes his horrendous scare much more satisfying.

There is then a Postscript where we learn the Narrator heard the story at a meeting, the man sharing of getting the response of amused laughter except for one whom asked of the moral, the man responding of life having ups and downs and he himself not believing parts of the story either, the man having a confused expression by the answer.

Rip Van Winkle is then related by introducing the story being discovered in a deceased Diedrich Knickbocker’s papers. The man having written the tale and how it was either loved or dismissed, it being said he should’ve spent his time in some other way, but since he wasn’t alive, there being no harm in sharing the story now. We truly begin with mention of the Kaatskill mountains, which changed color and shape depending on the hour and weather. This story also following descendants of the Dutch, who lived in a village at the bottom of the mountain. We discover Rip Van Winkle lives among them and is a pleasant sort. He marrying an opposite personality from himself, so when his domestic tiffs were gossiped about, he consistently had the unanimous support for his side. Even the children of the village “sang his praises” since he’d teach them new games, make them toys, and told all sorts of stories. The one area he lacked was the motivation to keep up with his own household chores, but offering assistance to others, as well as having abundant patience with the most mind-dulling pastimes, i.e. fishing, hunting were his shtick. Rip didn’t have any luck when it came to the weather being on his side when necessary to do farm work, and so his was the lease successful in the village. His children weren’t any better for him, his son looking like a street rat, and his wife constantly berating his laziness, so to escape, he would walk about outside. Wolf, his dog was looked with the same contempt as Rip by his wife since she believed the dog wasn’t helping her husband’s lackadaisical ways. His marriage didn’t get any easier with time, so Rip began attending a club of sorts where the great thinkers of the neighborhood would meet.

The men of the group weren’t safe from Mrs. Van Winkle though, she going after all of them when it came to sharing the blame for Rip’s kickback lifestyle. It was this kind of situation where Rip would go off to the woods with Wolf, one day he going squirrel hunting, getting higher onto the Kaatskills, soon tiring himself and resting, then realizing it would be well dark by the time he returned to the village, he not excited by the reception he expected from his wife, but when planning on descending, hears his name being called, surprised anyone would be in such a deserted spot, but he thinking it was a villager in need, going to meet the stranger and helping him with his load, they walking higher into the mountain. Rip is curious of why this man carried liquor and was complacent with the diversion. They reach the man’s desired location where other oddly attired men were passing their time playing a bowling game. Whilst their actions conveyed good times, it was quiet, and none were smiling. Rip was put off by their behavior, he helping divvy out the drink upon request, the men accepting and going back to their game.

Once Rip no longer felt he was being watched, he tastes the keg, it being a flavor he enjoyed, soon having enough to put him to sleep. He awakens at the spot he originally sees the stranger when it’s light, he thinking he’d slept there the night and what excuse he’d need for wifey. He looks for his gun and discovers an old one falling apart, concluding the men of the night before must have robbed him. He then decides to return to the place where they’d been, the route now containing a stream which was dry before. When he gets to the spot where there should be a place to enter the clearing, there was none, Rip having to resign himself to being without gun or dog, and needing to put up with the confrontation his wife would surely bring to him since he couldn’t put off going home for being famished. When he reaches town he was baffled by not recognizing anyone he saw, and upon copying the gesture of the men to rub their chins, he realizes is beard had grown quite a bit. He also notices the houses and names over the doors weren’t familiar, as well as the building he knew no longer standing, but the landscape having stayed unchanged.

Rip locates his home which had decayed greatly, as well as a skinny dog which must’ve been Wolf hanging around the property, but no longer knew him. He then goes to his club’s meeting place, discovering a different scene with a man talking about politics, the place no longer lazy, but busy with people. When the politicians notice his odd appearance and being noticed by the women and children, they each inquire how he voted, and the like, Rip responding with confusion. When another man asks whom he was looking for, Rip names his friends, their fates ranging from death to holding a place in Congress. Rip felt so forlorn to the changes he blurts of anyone knowing “Rip Van Winkle”, some immediately recognizing the name and pointing to a man standing against a tree, Rip now questioning his own identity, he relating this when someone asks his name, he not knowing what to say. He having forgotten he had a son with his moniker, apparently. When a young lady approaches him with her child, also speaking the name of Rip, her child’s name, Rip asks whom she was, he learning about his wife, how long he’d been missing, twenty years, and what they’d thought had become of him. Rip then informs her of whom he was to her, an older woman walking up and recognizing him as her neighbor. He then finally gets his chance to share his short story of what happened to him.

Everyone had trouble believing his story until the local historian vouched for Rip about the Kaatskills being haunted by odd entities, the man relating how his father had seen a similar scene, and he himself had heard the noise of their bowling. After this, the party disperses to resume their election, Rip’s daughter inviting him to stay with her and her husband, he one of the boy’s whom would climb on his back all those years past, Rip’s son employed on their farm, but maintaining the disposition of his father, doing all work, but his own. Rip began to continue his old ways, and whilst seeing some old friends, preferred making new ones with the younger age group, he becoming a fixture of the neighborhood, but also having to become updated about the war and he now being a U.S. citizen. Rip did take up his post once more outside the inn to share his story with those who hadn’t heard, the details being on the minds of similarly nagged husbands, hoping for a fate like his. Mr Knickerbocker then corroborates the story by having spoken with Rip Van Winkle, himself and seeing a certificate stamped by a justice’s hand as proof of the truth. Fairly how I remember it the from the first time I’d heard it, odd tale upon rereading. 

We next have a Postscript of a story of a squaw whom managed the day and night, doing all the work of making the new moon and what happened with the old (basically recycled). She was in charge of the snow and storms, as well, and there was also a mischievous spirit whom would trick Indian hunters, we learning where the spirit liked to stay, Indians respecting the spot by leaving it unmarred by hunting animals there, etc. One Indian didn’t do so and paid for the slight when he touched something which shouldn’t have been moved, ending in his death and was connected to a stream which is still joined by the Hudson, the stream called the Kaaterskill. I do enjoy Native American mythology and due to this also being short, is a nice little break before the next.

The Spectre Bridegroom takes place in Germany and follows a Baron Von Landshort, whom comfortably lived in his family home, his neighbors keeping up with the feud their families had fueled for two centuries or so. The Baron had one daughter, whom was smart and beautiful, being given her education by her two aunts. This knowledge not as spectacular as made out to be, but considering the era, I suppose was still a fine enough accomplishment. When further explanation of her ability to follow instruction is given, it makes aware how she wouldn’t fall for a man without explicit measure to do so. We learn as well, of the family he would invite to his parties, praising his greatness and would agreeably listen to his tales relating to the portraits on the walls. Reminds me of my grandfather, hopefully my interpretation is wrong in thinking the Baron’s family enjoyed his company only for his sharing of the wealth. The story moves to the main point of when the Baron was expecting his daughter’s bridegroom to arrive. The marriage was arranged by the Baron and another agreeable dignitary, the two being betrothed and not meeting until right before the wedding day. The young man, for being in the Army and delayed for unknown reason, gave mention of when to expect him. Whilst the household was preparing for his arrival, the aunts prepared the girl’s dress and counseled her on how to carry herself when they first met, but the day drags on and soon into night with no Count in sight.

The Count’s perspective is then shown, his blasé attitude of not feeling rushed to make his appearance and how he’d waylaid himself in preference to visiting a friend in arms, nearby. The two catch up and decide to accompany each other due to their destinations lying in the same direction a ways. They unhurriedly journey through a forest and are molested (older definition) by robbers, they almost being overpowered until the Count’s men join in, the Count sustaining a terrible wound which a doctor attempts to heal, but making clear the Count’s odds not being good. The Count gives his friend his dying wish for him to travel to his bride’s home and explain why he hadn’t shown up. His buddy, Starkenfaust held trepidation in going through with the Count’s last request since his family were enemies of the Baron’s family and also due to his news not being fortuitous. Starkenfaust was intrigued by setting his own eyes on the beauty of this bride, though and couldn’t deny his inclination for escapades of these kind.

Meanwhile the Baron endeavored to postpone the feast, the meat already overdone for the evening getting later, he ready to reluctantly proceed when he finally hears sounds of approach from the gate. When the Baron sets eyes on the stranger whom he presumes to be his late guest, he babbles on and interrupts the man so often, he decides to wait to explain, the bride then making her appearance. The man becomes mesmerized and no longer fights to make his explanation known, the group proceeding to the banquet hall. The groom then only entertains himself with conversation with the blushing bride, she taken with her groom’s handsome countenance. The party starts well, but the man seemed to become weighed down with his secret, the bride soon becoming affected. After one of the Baron’s tales, the groom decides to leave, the Baron surprised since he’d prepared for the man to rest there for the night. The man shares of having other plans and when the Baron follows him out, the man claims he’s a ghost, he riding off for his funeral and the Baron sharing the news with his guests. The story of the Count’s demise is confirmed next day, the Baron’s guests staying for his “comfort”, and the bride downcast by the news.

The second night of the bride’s mourning, one of her aunts had stayed with her in her room, the woman falling asleep, and the widow-bride then hearing music, going to her window to again see the specter, the aunt having awoken due to the music and seeing the same, fainting straight away. The aunt thenceforth refused to sleep in the room, the girl not wishing to sleep in any other, the aunt vowing not to relate their supernatural visit until one morning, the girl goes missing and the aunt spills the frightful tale, two workers supporting the possibility of the specter carrying her off for hearing hooves at midnight. The Baron sends scouts to search for her, but was joined by the specter and his daughter as he was readying to search, as well. The man then explains fully what had occurred the previous nights of his visits and had wedded the girl, since. The Baron accepts this in preference to the alternative, everything working out to their advantages in the end. If not for the criss-cross, this story reminds me of Corpse Bride. Quick and entertaining, if not a bit corny.

English Writers on America states the mentality of English views on American writing, of which they are biased due to the English reviewers. I’d also agree with Irving’s opinion of the English being top dog with “graphical descriptions”. He also states we, as Americans also offer the “worst” of the Englishmen, the “good” ones going to more exciting and remote locales. Those whom travel here, getting a small-minded view of the world’s greatest “political experiments”. The ideas being attempted to relate getting lost by the minor viewpoint of “surface…interests”. The disappointment of these viewpoints colored by their idea of money falling in their laps, etc. The true beauty of America lost in translation. I’m hesitant to agree with Irving’s view here. He lets his rant end with this, wanting to address it due to other Americans apparently dwelling on this. He then attempts to calm aching egos with words of optimism about America. He goes on to mention the differences of writers between England and the U.S., claiming England is bashing the U.S. in their news articles. Haven’t researched, can’t comment. Irving claims England will regret their words when they need the U.S. as compatriots. This is where I begin to skim since Irving seems to have been writing this as a political piece during his time of not accepting his place in the government, but sharing strong opinions. The last bit describes of extricating wisdom from England’s perspective of the U.S. to make Americans stronger. Not my favorite, if I had more experience with multiple time periods politics, perhaps.

The Mutability of Literature begins with the ideas of partial dreaming and our Narrator in such a state whilst hanging about Westminster Abbey, his lazy thoughts being interrupted by loud, happy boys from Westminster School playing football in the passages, our Narrator withdrawing to the library to escape their noise. The church officer unlocks the rarely used room to the library, it being above ground level, the Narrator barely hearing the boys now, and even less after the bells for prayer were rung, he viewing the small table and unused inkwells, pens, and a few books sitting atop it. Our Narrator pays these no mind as he takes a quarto and settles in an elbow chair, but then is overcome by the somber air of the place, and how futile the lives of authors be! As he thought this, the quarto “yawned” awake and began to speak in its archaic tongue, our Narrator attempting a modern translation. The book complained of not being read for two hundred years and would prefer the dean open the library to the school so the books had better chance of being opened and aired, but the Narrator argues the bright side of the book not being worn out so often, the quarto’s counterparts most likely already dust. The book didn’t see the value of this since it had been meant to circulate many hands, but the Narrator maintains the luck of the book being it hadn’t been constantly used, but preserved. He goes on to compare other authors works having already been forgotten, the book noting those mentioned being quite older than it. The Narrator then mentions an author of whom’s work has helped the mutability of literature, but a public library making him cry in knowing the books within would most likely be forgotten in a century.

The book mentions a few popular titles from its day, but the Narrator informs how their time had passed. He spoke of how long before the printing press, works of literature weren’t so common and works of genius would have their time and fade out, whilst now, if those works were to stay, the new wonders of literature combined would leave the reader “in the endless maze of literature.” Doesn’t sound terrible, to me. The Narrator mentions how the expanse of choices overwhelms people, so we only end up reading reviews, and critics are helpful for what they do, by weeding out the failures. The quarto then asks after Shakespeare, the Narrator denying his work had been forgotten due to unparalleled originality, but commentators of his collection were drowning out his work from only knowing its pure beauty. The quarto laughed its back cover off (not literally), the Narrator taking slight offense and defending the poet as being a writer whom wrote from the heart, which helps gain immortality. Due to his poetic style, he has an edge over prose writers (they going on too long), he able to capture the essence of the spirit. (The Narrator is wrong about settings needing to possibly be changed, even though his mention of Chaucer in regards to this is true) he launching into another speech when interrupted by the church officer whom was there to close the library, the Narrator noticing the book had stopped responding, and even when returning a couple times after this, didn’t hear a peep from the book again, uncertain whether he dreamt it all up. Fascinating, usually I’m a sucker for literature-themed literature, and it certainly wasn’t bad, but I do believe I’m tiring of Irving’s style. His talk of archaic language makes me respond with “ain’t you the pot calling the kettle”, etc.

Westminster Abbey first describes the Fall being gloomy and our Narrator walking through the Abbey describing his course of seeing a church officer making him imagine the man was a ghost drifting through the corridors. He then details the age of tombstones and walls, but then a sliver of sunlight makes the building itself show some elegance. He then ponders over three abbots’ gravestones, reading their names. Once the bell tolls the hour, he moves on to another part of the inside of the abbey, impressed by its enormity and how it made one aware of the noise made by walking through. He then considers how once great men fought for a place among the dead for their tombstone to be among so many others. He relating Poet’s Corner where monuments and such, house sculptures of Shakespeare and others. The Narrator gives homage to the sacrifice authors make for their work and how it services humanity for their thoughts preserved. After, he goes to the burial chamber of kings which used to be chapels. Each room carried a different statuary scene which brought to the Narrator’s mind one was seeing an estate which showed a legendary city with the inhabitants turned into stone (so, Medusa’s lair?). He is also affected by how the people of those times had a direct and proud way of writing the inscriptions of those who died. The Narrator then describing a monument across from Poet’s Corner which he didn’t find incredible, since it was a terrible display of wife being targeted by death with her husband watching. As the Narrator experiences this, he’s periodically struck with the noise of life from outside which confuses the sadness of the place. It was getting closer to dark and the sounds begin to lessen as evening prayers were starting. He stood outside Henry VII’s chapel, it located up some steps and looking through a depressing, but impressive arch, the place seeming hesitant to allow anyone to walk through such a dazzling place. More detail of the inside is given, its Gothic and magnificent surroundings (one would probably be better off experiencing it in person, but the usefulness of this text lies in the inability to go or its eventual destruction). The Narrator contemplates how once this place had looked new and lighter, now dreary and deserted with birds nesting in the ornamental corners of the ceiling. He then shows the room with Queen Elizabeth, and the other, her “victim”, Mary, resting on a bench for all of his walking. He hears the priest speaking his sermon, and the organ playing giving the place another side of nuance. He sits and allows the music to entrance him as the day grew later. Before leaving the abbey, he visits Edward the Confessor’s shrine, where other kings and queens are also housed. When viewing the tomb, he noted it had been vandalized, he leaving the way he came in, noticing the jolting sound of the closing door, and its echoes within. The Narrator then realizes only the moment after stepping out, the memories of what he’d seen were fading, like a joke of death. The Narrator also has revelation to the history of the place eventually falling and being forgotten. Fascinating only if one enjoys architectural and Gothic description.

The Creole Village is an overview of the mixed population in Louisiana of French, Spanish, and Indian, the French characteristics seeming to surface to the top of the other genetics as most prominent. The language also being the main form of communication, which makes them indifferent to politics and would follow blindly to whatever rules the government implemented, and the few older men who were followed simply because they were authoritative. The people lived with a lack of money lust which was also confusing to our Narrator. He mentioning having met an unofficial leader of one of these villages, he describing the man as having original Gallic features, and traveled with a black servant, whom looked quite content, we learning our Narrator’s thoughts on this being atypical for black men, contrasting this with Indians. We are also introduced to another man of the village, he being a school teacher, playing sports, and surveying land, we learning the men’s opposite personality to their canine companions. The group was heading back to these two men’s village, upon arrival, they receiving a warm welcome by the townspeople. Each man goes off with their families, the Narrator following the teacher home, where he and his family chatted of gossip. The Narrator then walks about town, seeing how most everything was French in architecture and clothing, with some Gallic construction. He heard the fiddle of the teacher which he would’ve returned to hear and see the festivities involved, but the steamboat was close to disembarking, he hoping the village stayed as it was, unmarred by money and greed, the next stop being a place of which the opposite was occurring. The village was expanding and life was richer and more complicated, the Narrator desperately wondering the fate of the Creole village. Surprise there, I suppose. Easy read and interesting viewpoint.

English and French Character has the Narrator explaining how he saw his role of viewership and being an important judge of character between the French and English, he relating how the English stuck with their own; the French and English staying unmixed. We then get a braid of facts, of the English and French personalities, the former being consistent and precise, whilst the latter is fast to conclusions, etc. The French seize the day whilst the English prepare for the worst. The French social, the English reserved and prefer solitude. French are masters of wit, English, humor (Agreed), as well as the former having more decadent taste, the latter having a vast imagination (Agreed, again). We then get the correlation of their political stances. This one is short, but interesting with its simplicity. Especially good for those interested in Sociology/History.

The Tuileries & the Windsor Castle gives the impression of being similar to “Westminster Abbey” and the previous essay, the Narrator entertaining himself by giving French character to national buildings. In the Tuileries, the Narrator describes the military doing their usual fare on base, we learning some men lounged whilst others patrolled, and detailing the building itself being quite sophisticated, but every nook having an occupant, whether they be court employees or royalty and their families. The royalty varied in status, those who having fallen in stature, living modestly within their rooms. It goes on about how surprisingly many children and nursemaids resided inside, this description before Windsor Castle had its repairs and additions since the author made it sound as if the place was crumbling. I called it, easy read, pleasant enough if wanting detail of military and royalty living in a castle like a motel.

The Field of Waterloo immediately makes known of this essay expanding on the French and English character. The two opposites and both fit for the other’s competition, the best example being by their armed forces, each having long pasts filled with wins, the Battle of Waterloo then being referenced as the latest in their facing off, one side showing courage and the other stubborn motivation. Then we are given how the English, since not receiving the command to fire, stood in their ranks bravely as the French came at them. A moment of humanity is relived by how a French soldier spares an Englishman since he’d dropped his weapon. Both sides fight exemplarily to the point of not being able to figure who’s side showed the most ‘character’, the Narrator painting a pleasant and worn picture of the time he’d visited the war-zone. The essay concluding with details of a man called De Latour d’Auvergne. Enjoyable one, giving some extra insight to go with the reading of Les Miserables.

I hate to do this, but due to the next story, Knickerbocker’s History of New York being a part of a much larger work, I must wait until I get my hands on the entirety.

Also, to prelude the start of A Tour on the Prairies, since I read some favorable reviews and one which made me question whether I’d want to read the full volume, I’ll be using these excerpted stories before deciding to commit to the whole collection.

A Bee Hunt gives location as being in a spectacular forest, camp near dead trunks where non-farmed bees reside nearby, a search party soon goes off in search of one of the bee hives, our Narrator accompanying when invited. They soon come across the lure for the bees so the group could be lead to their honey stores, they choosing a destructive way of getting to the honey, chopping the tree down. As the group and neighboring hives utilizing the honey, the bees returned to the hive, at first confused by the change to location of their hive, then fly to a nearby tree, possibly considering their next move (the queen most likely smooshed). The group leaves a lot of the honey there, discussing how animals of the forest would clean it out, especially bears. Depressing, well written, and having me question whether I’m a fair-weather fan of this style and period of writing, but definitely have decided I’m not enjoying these topics, so will go straight to the Crayon Miscellany.

On Astoria, due to there apparently being better resources out there (this being repetitious in style), I’ll be a’skippin’ ahead, didn’t sit well with it being another excerpt, anyways.

Since I can’t say I care about Oliver Goldsmith, the man, or the history, moving ahead. Plus, there’s Wikipedia for a reason, right? *wink*

Here I go again, I’d prefer reading Tales of a Traveller in it’s full text, which will now take longer, since Phoenix Public Library is a joke.

Might as well add The Alhambra to the ever elongating list, as well.

The Guests from Gibbet Island relates of a well known village called Communipaw where a building looking dilapidated and evil-looking has been standing for many years, where gangs of malnourished dogs roamed about, and in front of the building stood a platform looking like the sort one lynchings were performed on, but was only a post to hang signs, the building before being used as a bar, where a well-remembered meeting of men was held, they having discovered New Amsterdam. The owner of the establishment would hang mysterious signs and was entertained by the mystery it instigated among the patrons. Then introduction to Yon Yost Vanderscamp is given, he the prankster variety, pulling tricks like putting gunpowder secretly in pipes of the regulars, Vanderscamp was the nephew of the proprietor, Tuenis Van Gieson, and he looking upon him as a son, took this with humor. Gieson, however would have his patience tried by a man called Pluto, he a mystery himself since arriving during a storm in bad shape, no one knowing his origins. Gieson revived him to health, but soon learned Pluto didn’t speak the same language, since when asking his home, he would point to Gibbet Island, which everyone knew wasn’t populated. He stayed long enough to learn some Dutch and was seen as a goblin of the bar, he doing odd jobs when he felt charitable. Pluto enjoyed most being in a boat or raft, fishing, and wouldn’t be detoured by stormy weather, he also having bonded to only Vanderscamp, he tutoring the boy to be the most irritating mischief-maker, the two riding off in the ocean until Vanderscamp was cultured on all the bays and islands in the area. During one of these excursions, the two disappear for longer than usual, no one minding since their village was quiet for once. When Gieson died, the bar closed, Vanderscamp the heir, but years passed with no return. Until he did many years later, looking grizzled and with a crew of like demeanor. Vanderscamp had plans on reopening the bar for he and his fellows, well-off merchants, he changing the bar to a raucous place. The men essentially turning the place into a piratical resting house.

Pluto, looking more rough for the passing years was treated roughly, but seemed to enjoy the put downs and abuse, he egging on the violent behavior until the men took their wild night out on the town, the locals withdrawing indoors. Vanderscamp would insist on renewing old acquaintances though, until the day his crew and he would leave, when next to return, to be a surprise. The locals realized Vanderscamp’s new role as a successful pirate, their town now his safe-haven. The British government soon took notice to the piracy though, and on Gibbet Island, hung some of Vanderscamp’s crew, he and Pluto escaping capture, the townspeople hoping his demise had been delivered elsewhere. Unfortunately, their return is made, but Vanderscamp had found himself a wife, of ill-temper, he having changed his ways and ready to retire in his hometown. Vanderscamp was soon seen dealing with shady, but unassuming men, the idea being he was trafficking stolen goods. One night, a trade had occurred and Vanderscamp was a bit on the alcoholically toasty side, as a storm began to brew, Pluto rowing them past Gibbet Island, where the bodies of his comrades still hung, Vanderscamp regarding the dead kindly, the two getting to shore at midnight, he knowing his wife wouldn’t greet him kindly, but not expecting the news of guests awaiting inside, he going up to see them, and shocked to discover the gallows-men, he backing out and falling down the stairs, losing his life. From then on the house was considered haunted. Pluto acted more off his rocker, and one night the town heard screams, but ignored them, some brave enough, checking the next day to see the place a mess supposedly, by the storm, and Vanderscamp’s wife strangled. Later, fishermen discovered Pluto’s boat and he close to Gibbet Island, all seeming to have received terrible fates.

Surprisingly engaging, not much of a ghost story, but I’m no longer expecting much from Irving.

The Legend of Don Munio Sancho de Hinojosa begins with a convent at Silos in Castile, a decomposing, but majestic memorial of the Hinojosa family. A scene where a knight conquers men and women, and they repenting is shown, but due to its age, the meaning harder to understand for anyone other than an expert. The tale was protected in Spanish texts and is as follows. Long ago, many hundred years previous, there lived a courtly man named Don Munio, etc., he owner of a castle along the borders, and making a name for himself as being known for brutality, he having many trophies of his conquests, and when he wasn’t off to war (Shout out to Curtis! Showed me and my buddy the proper way to go to war is with metal bowl upon head, and spoon in hand!), he enjoying hunting of all sorts, being married to a gentle soul, not cut out for his daredevil lifestyle. One day as he’s on the hunt, a group of Moors both male and female, wearing expensive accessories were walking in his line of sight, they not carrying weapons, as well as a young man and woman, quite taking in the looks department, on a horse, Don Munio took advantage of this happy coincidence, calling his men, and they taking them as prisoners, the young man, once learning whom had captured them, praising Don Munio for his successes and offering all their possessions if he allowed them to continue forward to their wedding, Don Munio then offering for they to stay with him, as guests for fifteen days, Don Munio’s wife greeting the new bride with sisterly affection and led her inside, and as promised, they celebrating for two weeks and a day, Don Munio gifting them wonderful handmade trinkets (presumably), and got them safely on their way. Years later,Don Munio answers the call of war against the Moors once more, his wife distraught, he promising to make this his final fight, the battle was a lengthy and wound-heavy one, Don Munio rallying the troops so their king could flee, Don Munio and many of his men dying in the effort, Don Munio taken out by a familiar face, and upon realizing whom he’d slain, felt deep regret. Meanwhile, Don Munio’s wife waited anxiously, and on one night, a guard sounded the sign for a party on the road, they believing Don Munio had returned (true) with Moorish prisoners (not so much), the young man kneels guiltily before Don Munio’s wife, and the ancient scene erected was made at the young Moor’s expense. The ghostly part happening the same day of Don Munio’s death, he and his men seen at a church, they disappearing when approached. It concludes by mentioning if there’s any doubt to the story, check History of the Kings of Castile and Leon by Fray Prudencio de Sandoval, Bishop of Pamplona, in the History of the King Alonzo VI on page 102.

I do give props for the specificity, this one a charming way to end an up and down collection. Recommended to history and or sociology buffs.