The Golden Days (The Story of the Stone, Vol. 1)

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I’ve decided to pair down this review due to how long it took to complete and my own inability to motivate a full edit. So here is the Epilogue about the main characters instead.

Regardless, though, I am hooked, and I’ll be quite happy to continue the series (with time). In the Appendix we learn who Bao-yu had seen the fates for in the fairy’s library, beginning with Skybright’s terrible fate by slanderers. Aroma does marry, Caltrop/Ying-lian is murdered by Xue Pan’s horrible wife, Xin Jin-gui. As for Bao-chai and Dai-yu, they are represented as two halves of a perfect woman and the meaning behind their songs are up for debate as to whether the first or second refer to one or the other, or the first to both, or the first and second about Bao-yu, alone. There are other characters explained, but I’ll only list those I remember, the last being Xi-feng, whom will have an unfulfilled life which may end in divorce.

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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.

The Mating Season

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Bertie states his overall pep had plummeted upon beginning his sentence at Deverill Hall, he having been summoned by Agatha to look after Thos for a few days. Jeeves admits his circumstances could’ve been better, Bertie attempting optimism of at least this being preferred to other options. He then backtracks to allow explanation of what had happened, Agatha coming to him to state of he putting Thos up in his flat whilst he went to doctors and shows before Bertie was sent to Deverill Hall where buddies of hers would house him whilst he pitched in at a village concert, he having gotten a good word from a vicar’s niece. So, he knowing his fate was sealed, was in no way comforted to learn Gussie would also be at Deverill Hall, as well. Bertie then mentions being calmed if he knew more about those who would be surrounding him, Jeeves supplying his host called Esmond Haddock, Bertie recognizing the handle and Jeeves informing him it was because he was related to the owner of a popular morning-after remedy, his father marrying a Deverill, their marriage thought of as a mésalliance – inferior social class marrying above their station, Deverill having needed the dough. Bertie mentions how well informed Jeeves was, he confessing to having a family member working for Deverill Hall, his Uncle Charlie Silversmith. Bertie then learning Esmond was single and lived with five aunts, Bertie considering Gussie’s presence may be a blessing with so many females about.

Bertie inquires why Gussie was also attending, Jeeves having heard from the man himself, whom had dropped in whilst Bertie was oot and aboot. Bertie asks how he’d been, and Jeeves noting of his seeming down, since he’d decided to go to Deverill Hall when Madeline had been going, but she having changed her plans to support a friend whom had love trouble. Bertie gets a bit colorfully mean when describing how Madeline’s idea of pepping up wouldn’t help any soul due to she being the one “God forgot”, but understood why Gussie’d be miffed. Also, Gussie confessed to Jeeves of their relationship currently simmering, this prospect putting Bertie on understandable edge. His attitude clearly showed his worry wouldn’t ease until ‘proof-of-purchase’ between the two was official. Bertie attempts feeling the bright-side by down-playing the chill between the two as temporary, and when hearing the doorbell, presumes it’s Thos, instructing Jeeves as to when the boy was expected to be ready to attend a show at the Old Vic, but Jeeves revealing it was more likely Pirbright, or Catsmeat, as Bertie likes to say, whom currently awaited entry. Jeeves relays of he and his sis, Corky also having called earlier, Bertie surprised since he expected Corky would be in Hollywood, Jeeves relaying she was currently vacationing, and earlier went to a film with Thos after they’d had tea. Bertie then inquires after the two sibs: Corky doing fine, but Catsmeat on the rocky side. Bertie decides to have Jeeves let the man in, and confirms Catsmeat’s look of woe.

Bertie mentions how uncommon Catsmeat being a negative sort was, then mentions his fam having an entertainment background, Corky also in the biz since teenage-dom, she having dynamism and (espièglerie – roguishness). Catsmeat, usually the best friend player on stage, keeps his temperament the same as when not working, friends at the Drones who have done his play, saying he’s a “Groucho Marx” type. Currently, Catsmeat was looking so down as to be as depressed as a character from “a Russian drama”, Bertie then apologizing for having missed he and Corky earlier. Catsmeat explains Corky was the niece whom had spoken on Bertie’s behalf, he telling of their religious relation. Bertie thinks the country life would drive her nuts, but Catsmeat relates how she was in her element, then informs him of doing a two-man act from his play, Bertie now warming to the idea of having to perform, but wondering and learning why Catsmeat hadn’t gotten the part, it being due to his bad standing with the females at Deverill Hall, Bertie wanting his opinion of what he was in for, but Catsmeat revealing he didn’t know them, they only disliking him because he was getting hitched to their niece, which brought him to his purpose of coming, Bertie supplying restorative which did its duty.

Catsmeat begins by declaring his pure affection for Gertrude, the two head-over-heels, but of course, upon her mother and aunts hearing of this, it going terribly, since they had a discriminative view of actors, and Gertrude unable to go against her mother. On top of this, Catsmeat would soon be on his way to Hollywood for a job and didn’t want to leave before attaching the ole ball and chain (like Joy in the Morning), this because of Esmond, Gertrude’s fam preferring she marry Moneybags, he also a charmer whom had already attempted to go after Corky. Catsmeat then comes to how he planned for Bertie to help, which was to Siamese twin himself to Gertrude to dissuade any alone romantic time with Esmond, Bertie allowing he must rally round due to their vast school history, Catsmeat quite pleased, and offering his services to any favor Bertie may have, which made him recall Gussie (poulet rôti au cresson – roast chicken with watercress– yum) and didn’t want him talking himself out of his union with Madeline, Bertie believing Catsmeat could charm the gloom away. He at first hesitates, but agrees when learning Bertie’s plans tied him, the latter now calmed and unknowing how the next day would find him.

Apparently, the next day brought positive attitudes, Bertie sending Thos off to Borstal, and he in grand ole mood, going through his day with ease, his suspicions perking when coming home to certain noises of dog and lady, Bertie curious what this could mean, and walking in to be brought down by a mixed breed dog as Corky watched with affection. Bertie describes her looks being finer than before, but they being great at the start, as well. He tells how she’d be high on the list of beauties if considered for the cast in a desert island role. She then introduces her pup, and inquires after Bertie’s health, etc and vice versa, they going through the motions, and catching up on the deets of missing each other the day before, as well as being certain he’d gotten the Pat and Mike script, and Bertie confirming he’d been studying it, then inquiring whom had gotten the opposite role, Corky sharing it was a Constable Dobbs. She makes clear when Bertie is to whack Dobbs with the umbrella in the play, he was to do so with gusto, she defending her uncle on his behalf, since Dobbs was an atheist, he shoving it in her uncle’s face whenever he could.

Bertie steps up to the challenge proudly, Corky thanking him. She then shares how the town expected his comic stylings to be top billing, the rest of the show-runners being residents of the area, and Esmond even singing a ditty, her tone changing upon voicing the name. Bertie catches on, and broaches the subj. sensitively, Corky confiding what had occurred when Bertie relayed what he’d heard. After stating of dropping Esmond due to being a coward at standing up to his aunts, Bertie defends the act, but notes of Corky ignoring his words, a common act for the females in regard to Bertie. Corky confesses how despite calling off their wedding due to he not having the courage to share their plans with his aunts, she was still gaga for him. Bertie was aware of the emotion this brought up in her, but doesn’t get too mushy with sentiments, he moving on to the aunts and Corky believing he’d dislike them, calling them “bitches”, Bertie gladly distracted by her dog again, since knowing Corky’s family had difficulty in solidifying their plans of marriage, she stating similarly in Catsmeat’s regard with Gertrude, the man himself interrupting them as they start to speak of his best options. The two greet him and note his deflated manner wordlessly. Bertie senses Catsmeat was also dealing with the aftermath of a night of drinking so has Jeeves respond in kind by a request for his elixir. When Bertie sees Catsmeat’s attempt to nod off, he’d been readying to allow it, but Corky shakes him up to inquire why he’d broken his promise to stay sober, Catsmeat blaming Gussie’s company made it impossible. He then proceeds to relate of Gussie getting sentenced to fourteen days for being threatened by Catsmeat to swim in the Trafalgar fountain and a cop catching him, Jeeves then returning with drink.

Bertie recalls a memory of his twelfth year whilst at Malvern House, a private educational institution where a Reverend Upjohn relayed a story about a soldier, whom did an unselfish act, and upon completing the moral of the story, getting on Bertie’s case for having an absent-minded look on his face. Bertie resists taking Jeeves’ remedy himself, Catsmeat’s health looking much restored, he then peeved about Jeeves’ reaction to his remembering when Gussie was expected at Deverill, and his current jail-birdery. The only fortunate part so far was Catsmeat revealing Gussie had been quick enough to not give his real name, Jeeves then decides to deposit the currently teething mutt in the kitchen, he unable to focus on Bertie’s important issues. Corky then inquires why Bertie was so invested, he confessing he and Madeline’s difficult history, going through where it’d begun with Gussie being too shy to begin the pourparlers (preliminary discussion) and Bertie offering to relay Gussie’s feelings, and Madeline keeping him as back-up fiancé if needs arise, Corky seeing his point.

Bertie then describes his worst fear would be realized if he had to attend his own wedding, revealing his middle name: B.W.W. (only initials will I supply). Corky had seen a picture of Madeline and hadn’t met her, not knowing her looks, whilst having much, didn’t compensate for her personality, which she had daisies and fairies filling the mold. She also admits to not knowing Gussie, Bertie suggesting she ask around to confirm his thoughts on the couple being two peas, etc. She then confirms Bertie’s worry on flapping in the wind if Madeline decided to look elsewhere for marriage, he making clear his only option, if Madeline changed her plans in order to become his little wife, he’d have no option other than to agree, she then wondering how Bertie would be able to leave Madeline ignorant to Gussie’s current whereabouts, Bertie relying on Jeeves. The man himself walks in and determines there is a way out, but questioned whether Bertie would accept it, he describing someone would need to pretend to be Gussie, and if Bertie couldn’t get a buddy to do it, would need to take on the personality himself.

Bertie definitely soured on the idea, and then recalls Catsmeat, he yelling for him, waking him, and then has Jeeves repeat his plan to him, Catsmeat agreeing it was a great idea when thinking Bertie would be playing the role (Bertie’s gentle coaxing being a hilarious moment), but Bertie sharing of they preferring he did it, Catsmeat backing out immediately. Bertie empathizes with Catsmeat’s negative memory of the fellow, he resorting to the same go-to as his buddies do on his behalf, he beginning with Catsmeat being within range of Gertrude, Corky supporting this, but Catsmeat piling on reasons for Gussie being characteristically at odds with himself, he being a schmo of maximum degree whilst Catsmeat was seen as a prized specimen, concluding how no one would be fooled, but Bertie being able to pull off the deception in spades.

Bertie immediately is taken aback, Corky giving Catsmeat a hard time, since he was giving up the opportunity to sway Esmond’s interest, but Catsmeat content to let Bertie handle the situation the way they agreed. Bertie then steps up to the dirty job with grace, Catsmeat satisfied, bows out to Bertie’s room for more uninterrupted z’s, Corky also leaving due to other plans, she informing how devastated the townsfolk would be when updated Bertie would be subbed with Gussie. Bertie stops her before she leaves without her dog, she detailing how she hoped to have Bertie bring him with him to Deverill in order to warm her Uncle to the idea, Bertie having reservations on how a canine like him would make him look. Corky reminds him it’d be Gussie whom they all would believe had brought the pup and would most likely be happier it was a mutt than lizards. After she’d hastened out, Jeeves lets on how he understood Bertie’s unfair circumstance, then quotes Marcus Aurelius, Bertie unimpressed and ready to get a move on before it became too late.

Bertie notes how whilst he hadn’t arrived at the witching hour, he had been terribly late, his car not helping his timing, and once he’d gotten to the doorbell, it was twenty after eight. On a previous occasion, Bertie is reminded of a moment with Jeeves where he’d quoted something from the Middle Ages which gave impression to being suspicious of the surroundings (Roland going to the Dark Tower, which I had been unaware was something before Stephen King, but now I’ve researched further, it makes more sense), Bertie understanding this sentiment, since he admired the aesthetic greatness of the property, but also couldn’t ignore the aunts soon to be in his midst and Esmond’s eventual loathing for him due to his mission. When Bertie is greeted by an impressively large butler, he makes certain to correct his presumption of being himself and claims Gussie’s name. Charlie Silversmith made Bertie feel like a blushing young idler (flâneur), Jeeves’ Uncle Charlie an imposing fellow, the dog reacting with unrest, Bertie feeling for the pup, and Charlie stating he’d have the dog led to the stables, then pointing Bertie to a sink, since dinner had begun without him and he wouldn’t be able to change clothes, Bertie quite rattled by this, but hanging in there, he then thrown to the dogs, aunts all around him, he lastly noting Esmond and Gertrude at the end of the table.

Bertie understood Catsmeat’s point of view of the girl’s charm, he pondering the young lovers’ fates as the aunts continued their mystifying choice of discussion, but then another aunt brings conversation around to having met the vicar, and if Augustus could explain the nature of the “cross-talk act”, Bertie alright with this, since he hadn’t wanted to allow Gussie to get a bad rap for not joining the chat and then having Madeline learn of this. Bertie describes the skit, it getting an all around thumbs-down from the aunts, they supporting Gussie not being in the play and how Madeline would’ve disapproved, anyways. This news froze Bertie to the core, he not considering Madeline’s posish on the subj, he realizing he’d have to warn Corky she’d need to discover a new Pat. The aunts then move on to how they’d heard Bertie was the right sort for acts of this kind, wondering where he could be, the chap must being the eccentric sort. Dame Daphne, lead aunt, declares how Agatha had mentioned debating whether Bertie would be better off “in a home”, these words souring Bertie a bit, he believing some kinder words should’ve been on the docket what with relenting to leading Thos about for the last few days; “a thankless aunt”, indeed. Bertie would’ve been glad for a proper drink, but was getting the Gussie treatment (definitely covered in the TV show). Then an aunt mentions Bertie’s escapade with cop helmet, Bertie sharing the actual story for them, but moving on when realizing it wasn’t helping his case for lightening the mood, he telling a tale of two deaf men on a train, one aunt stating and relaying this to the deaf aunt in their presence. Bertie, unfortunately now having to relate the not so nice joke, goes as expected, the deaf aunt getting a more friendly version, the aunts eventually bowing out and Bertie moving toward Esmond to have a chat and hopefully a nightcap.

As Bertie got a better view of Esmond, he again could relate why Catsmeat would be up in arms of a man of this caliber after his lady love. Esmond looks the sort to be a sensitive, handsome soul with the body of a broad fighter. Bertie waits patiently whilst Esmond took his time starting a conversation, Bertie drinking in the well-filled wine carafe, until Esmond spoke of not having quite understood his story, Bertie relaying it with confusion after Esmond spoke of hearing “Woking”, but he stating he got it before Bertie could correct himself. Esmond then notices Bertie’s bothered look when he refills his glass, Esmond offering him some, which Bertie snaps for with innocence of “trying it”. The two get on rather well as they continue their wining together, Esmond taking a leap at confiding his feelings to Gussie, Bertie having forgotten, but bedazzled by Esmond’s top-notch hosting skills, saying so, and the two side-tracking with compliments to each other, Esmond noting how he felt comfortable enough with Gussie to reveal why he was down, he head-over-heels for Corky.

Then Esmond explains how the nonsense of he loving his cousin, Gertrude had come from a film, he testing the idea in order to make Corky jealous after she’d ended their courting, Bertie properly lightened in knowing Catsmeat’s girl was safe, Bertie wanting to reassure Esmond of Corky still having loads of affection for him, but satisfies with moral support, Esmond allowing his will still being strong, especially after Corky had enlisted his singing talents for the concert, he only plagued by nerves, regardless of his being beloved by townsfolk, but betting on the good feedback to warm Corky further, he sharing the song he planned to sing being a little ditty written by two of his aunts. This worries Bertie a bit, Esmond offering to sing it for his opinion, and starting at the chorus, Bertie halting him for thinking it was he relaying being on a phone, Esmond clarifying it was a hunting tune (the next few beats had me laughing out loud for the absurdity, great stuff!), Bertie having to suggest he leave out adding Gussie’s name at the end of a line, Esmond taking it one more time, Bertie then suggesting he may want to flesh out the chorus due to the repeating words, he giving a fair substitute, and then laying on a few more adds for safety measures, Esmond properly thankful and in awe at his cleverness.

The two continue working on the lyrics, Bertie taking his gusto a bit too far, Dame Daphne walking in and huffing about the state of them, Bertie getting his first glimpse of a put-down Esmond, he losing respect for the fellow as he explained the need for practice. She informs and commands he join Gertrude for a game of backgammon, he leaving heavy-footed, and then turning her attention to Bertie and inquiring whether he was responsible for the pup in the stable, Bertie having forgotten the mutt, then relaying he’d been keeping him for Corky, her attitude darkening, as he shared of Corky’s reasons for this, Daphne then informing him, dog had broken out and was amongst those in “the drawing-room”.

Bertie finds himself sticking up for Sam Goldwyn, (Mr. dog-sir) he usually composed “compos.”, but his current mood stemming from his bond to Bertie, which he found sweet. Daphne told of seeing it in a more serious light, since Charlotte was currently overcoming her trauma of giving the animal a piggy-back ride, of which was forced upon her, Bertie seeing this as just desserts for writing such a sub-par tune. Daphne then informs how Charlie had sustained injury, but getting the dog into a closet, the next move being to ship him to the vicarage, which upon Bertie offering to take care of, is instead told to call it a night. Bertie was satisfied with this suggestion, since the going rate usually had a guest sitting through many dull entertainments, Bertie ready to contact Jeeves. Charlie appears out of nowhere when Daphne mentions his name, Bertie thinking the talent must be genetic, and before the man leaves him, Bertie asks him to send for his man, not expecting Catsmeat, but getting him.

Bertie considers how he’d have reacted in Childe Roland’s era where peeps were getting transformed left and right, the idea of Jeeves being turned into Catsmeat handled with ease and grace, but he having a shock making him look like the lovesick wolf, eyes a-pop (this being where I would normally supply an image, but nothing up to par, so for those who haven’t seen The Mask, watch it, laugh, and know to what I refer). Bertie mistakenly refers to Catsmeat by his name, he reminding him he was his butler, Meadowes, and informs him Jeeves wouldn’t be able to attend, Bertie looking to the wall and inquiring why he hadn’t joined him. Catsmeat explains it was due to his Uncle figuring something was amiss if he saw Jeeves was suddenly employed by Gussie. Whilst Bertie allowed this, he wondered why Jeeves hadn’t confided this to him, Catsmeat relaying how it had dawned on him after Bertie had gone and the idea of bringing Charlie in on the deets wouldn’t have worked due to the man’s strict morals.

Catsmeat then shares how he’d required fortification after meeting the man, he afterward going off on a tangent about the cooking sherry he’d tasted and the parlour maid whom gave it to him, she engaged to the local law enforcement, Dobbs, and when Bertie brings them back on topic about why Catsmeat had decided to come as his butler, he expands on how it would be his reason to shadow Gertrude, but when Bertie isn’t behind his cause, Catsmeat immediately gets chilly, then talking Bertie out of all of his ideas of any other place about town he could’ve stayed, moving on to whether he’d approached Gertrude, yet, she having received a moment to see him, and in complete shock when recognizing him. The two hadn’t spoken though, Bertie then sharing Esmond’s words, which were quite a comfort to Catsmeat, he then deciding to go, but Bertie informing him to relay to Corky of he having to decline the role of Pat, Catsmeat agreeing, Bertie’s good news for him not keeping his emotions on the high side. Bertie was able to remedy this with a good novel of “Murder at Greystone Grange“, this lulling him to unconsciousness, but right before nodding off, believing he’d heard the commotion of another guest downstairs, and upon the morn, his tea being brought by Charlie, whom still seemed frazzled about the dog, Bertie inquires if he’d heard rightly of a late guest, Charlie not denying this and stating it was Wooster, he then leaving him with the confusion of his name, Jeeves then coming in with his breakfast.

Bertie was in such a state, fresh off his reading about supernatural subjects, he at first believed Jeeves was an apparition, but when smelling the bacon, comes to his senses, Jeeves greeting him and stating how he’d rightly supposed Bertie would want to take breakfast solitarily. He comments on his Uncle Charlie’s seriousness, Jeeves agreeing to this and Bertie in awe he’d called the man Charlie, what with his personality not seeming friendly enough for it. He then gives opinion on the yumminess of the bacon, the two chatting of the goodness of kippers and ham also aiding the positivity in starting the day. Bertie then remembers a question needing asking, he wanting to learn the meaning of Jeeves’ presence, the man supplying he’d come with Gussie, Bertie quite shocked with the news. They then get to the thick of how Gussie had gotten released, a palm getting greased, and Esmond not knowing the meaning of trying times. Jeeves then explains how Gussie needed to be present at the Hall in order to write daily to Madeline, Bertie realizing this logic, and Jeeves then explaining on Gussie not being happy because of having to fill in for him in the stage act, as well as how Bertie had been handling Gussie’s doings at the Hall thus far, he knowing if Madeline was apprised he’d be in trouble.

Then, turning to Catsmeat’s matter of love, Jeeves reveals he having confided in him, Bertie marveling at how common it was, and Jeeves enjoying his ability to aid the lovesick, and this need having brought on the idea of he going in Jeeves’ place. Bertie shares how it would’ve been nice if they’d thought to warn him, he then making certain Jeeves had learned Catsmeat’s trouble was fairly fixed, but Esmond still having a time in front of him, Bertie catching Jeeves up on how Esmond planned to win Corky’s love publicly, but Corky not flipping for anything short of a rebellion against his aunts, Jeeves considering the request possible, since if Esmond did get good ratings from the crowd, he may well find the courage to stand up to aunts, Bertie reminded of Bingo’s situation being similar, he then giving Jeeves the task of getting those about town to lend their cheers to Esmond, also making certain Jeeves set up a meeting place for he and Gussie to catch up, the post office being decided on in an hour, Bertie then requesting the start for a dip in the tub.

Bertie gets caught up in his bathing due to a bout of crooning to himself, and so discovers Gussie waiting for him at the place of government shipping of products, he noticing his bad mood, and learning he would have preferred prison what with having to put up with being Bertie being quite a nuisance, also realizing how Deverill would forever relate his person to Gussie’s appearance. Gussie proceeds with how the aunts of Deverill Hall were treating him as if a leper and brought up how Bertie was bringing his name down, as well, what with his drunken singing. Bertie explains how Esmond had required this and he hadn’t actually been drunk, but toasty, suggesting Gussie deny everything should Madeline hear anything, elaborating how the scene could be open for interpretation, which Gussie allows, but hopes Bertie can be mindful of his actions moving forward, and when Bertie brings up Catsmeat as a segue, Gussie is fired up by the new subj., since Catsmeat had been the cause of his jail time. Gussie then inquires about the two-man act, Bertie proceeding with care, he handing the script over to him as explanation.

As Gussie reads, he has a look of non-acceptance, and once learning Catsmeat was the author, sextuple-snorts his derision and speaks of not being surprised, then continues how misinformed Catsmeat sounded when it came to his characterization of Irishmen, and then has to be told the play had jokes sprinkled throughout, of which he had been unaware, and on top of this, learns the other player would be a police officer, halting him completely, since he’d be expected to hit the man with an umbrella and he’d already done this in Trafalgar Square, outright refusing, even deciding to let Corky know his decision firsthand, but promptly shuts up on sight of her, she coming toward them, along with her pup, Bertie deciding Corky’s ability to sway was definitely in order, and once greeting her and introducing her to Gussie, informs her of his being on-the-fence, and left her to her abilities. Bertie gets to his room un-harassed by aunts, and some time later Gussie reappears at his door looking quite pleased, explaining how after speaking with Corky, she’d made everything seem much more palatable. Gussie goes on to state how Bertie not performing was most likely best, since he wasn’t right for the role, the former defending his abilities. Gussie goes on to tell what Corky had said on the matter, which had himself looking perfect for the act.

Bertie sees the futility in arguing and lets him be, deciding to mention, regardless, Madeline would be opposed, so wouldn’t be able to prove himself anyways, then attempting to knock Gussie down by bringing up his issues with hitting Dobbs the cop, Gussie updating how Dobbs had been replaced, he arguing with Corky and then Sam Goldwyn biting him, the cop detaining the pup until learning whether he had a history of attacks, Gussie happy Catsmeat would be his new partner, and then gave Bertie the poems he needed to memorize for the performance, Madeline having requested this of Gussie, but he now quite happy to pass the task on, Bertie not feeling well with his new discomfiture.

Bertie’s V-shaped (possibly verse) melancholic days don’t become brighter, and when the second day of the week finds him, he’s ever closer to needing a variety of booze, his situation crying out for relief. What was truly bothering him most, though was how Gussie was acting, and the start stemming from their post-post office discussion, Gussie’s words tipping Bertie off and then laying its eggs in his brain until certainty of Gussie’s new love for Corky was plain, the aunts of Deverill Hall noticing the same and their comments not conducive to an Aunt Agatha report, Gussie practically Corky’s accessory since first meeting, and Bertie not wanting to fathom how Agatha would react. When he decides to share his woes with Jeeves, he learns Gussie had allowed him to go to a lecture back in London, so Bertie would have to seriously consider his problem, singly and deciding he’d have to press upon Corky how she could ease his mind by pushing Gussie away. So he biffs off to locate her when he’s called to by Dame Daphne, whom was poisoning some bugs in her rose garden, Bertie wary of her needle-carrying hand, what with the serious look on her face, he learning Gussie had apparently not sent a line to Madeline, she having sent a telegram, and Dame Daphne for-shaming Gussie on his insensitive conduct, Bertie wobbly with the news, he likening it to a Drones lad, Widgeon taking him by surprise on the street with an earful of horn.

Bertie again had bad imaginings of Madeline’s curiosity getting the best of her if Gussie didn’t write soon, he overcome by this for a little while before getting himself to walk again, and then ponders on how Corky, the fons et origo (origin) had doomed him. There was a time in their dancing days when Bertie had retaliated against Corky via wooden dumb-bell, which he’d regretted up to this point, but now hoped he’d get a second chance. As he practiced his lead-in to the conversation, he sees Corky in her car, but she busy about to attend to her uncle’s duties and having to rain-check his chat, she then sharing how Gussie was currently grabbing the soup required for her stop and after, the old lady she was visiting would keep her regaling Hollywood stories, she also sharing how handy Gussie had been for her lately, and also relating how Bertie’s cousin, Thos had gotten in touch with her about the autographed pictures she’d given him being a hit at his school, the boys normally not paying over 9p, but he getting 12p, she sharing how she’d also given him permission to visit on his mid-term break, then Gussie returns, puppy dog agog, until Corky drives off and Bertie pokes him between the ribs, and asks why he wasn’t writing Madeline, he giving the excuse of being booked solid for time because of the two-man act, Bertie demanding he drop her a line today, regardless, he looking put upon and then deciding he wouldn’t do it, to punish her for leaving him alone there, and when Bertie gives him ‘one last chance’, he sticks to his inaction and walks away, Bertie returning to see Catsmeat smoking one of his ciggies and looking like he was blissfully thinking of Gertrude.

Seeing Bertie helps him resurface, he having planned to discuss something in particular, Bertie replying with stink for having gotten tired of him, he believing Catsmeat had taken the job as his butler flippantly and hadn’t done anything to prove his loyalty to the position. Catsmeat updates how his letters via Jeeves to Gertrude was going quite well, and Bertie agrees it was bully for him, but Gussie was becoming an issue with his resistance in writing Madeline. Catsmeat sees the issue stemming from Gussie heart-ing Corky, and explaining why Corky was keeping Gussie strung being to do with proving to Esmond she was desired. Catsmeat then suggests Bertie confess to Corky Esmond’s true feelings, Bertie thinking the time may have passed what with Madeline’s last telegram, but Catsmeat holding out everything could be fixed. He gives the opinion Bertie should write Madeline in the guise of Gussie, he even supplying the note for him to copy, then informing him he had plans with Queenie, whom was having trouble with her fiance’ Dobbs, Queenie unable to get over his Atheism. So, Bertie writes out the letter, of which was to be envied for its perfect tone, and after dropping it off, hears Corky a-calling.

Bertie makes it so Corky can’t escape him like she’d done earlier, she making certain she wasn’t in for more Hollywood chat, then going off on how long-winded the old lady she’d visited had been, Bertie again having to wait until she remembered whom had started this conversation. When he mentions the subject of Gussie, and was explaining how he’d spoken with Catsmeat, she again interrupts to make sure they were both on the same page of knowledge regarding his plan to convince Gertrude to run off and marry him, Corky’s investment in this being how Esmond would handle the news. Bertie realizes her ploy in relation to Gussie was on point and jumps into setting Corky on the true path, she exceptionally pleased by the update, he then cluing her in on Jeeves contribution for when Esmond performed at the show, she realizing with the proper reception, he could grow some balls. Bertie then compares a similar scenario regarding Bingo Little, his wife, the novelist Rosie M. Banks, they now also with baby, and Bingo’s issue with acquiring a raise, and after his tot won a contest, had the courage to demand his raid, and receives it. Corky was readying to implement her part like Jeeves, getting an amenable crowd ready, but Bertie is adamant in finishing his request by making certain she was on-board with his Save Bertie’s Bachelorhood (WordPress gives me Bachelorhood, but so many other real words get the red-line?! Poppycock!), she agreeing without a fight. Bertie’s fresh relaxation was not to be kept, for upon returning to his room, Catsmeat places the news of Agatha soon to be in their midst, as an added bonus.

Bertie took the news soberly, he visibly stricken, but biding his time until Catsmeat had more information, he making the trip to London for Jeeves’ help. Catsmeat returns in the late afternoon to Bertie’s now supposedly masked anticipation, he retelling his experience thoroughly and ending with Jeeves’ idea involving Aunt Agatha leaving right quick when discovering ‘Young Thos’ was missing from school. The idea was to lure the boy into escape upon learning a favorite movie star was within meeting distance, a back up to the 5 quid also in reserve to sweeten the deal. Bertie believed the celeb would be plenty, though. Catsmeat thought he’d reward the lad regardless, since knowing Aunt Agatha would surely give him hell for bouncing out of school, Bertie commending him. As they discuss Corky and how easily she’d taken Catsmeat’s plan, they receive telegrams and Catsmeat urges Bertie to open them despite being addressed to Gussie. Catsmeat leaves Gussie to cheer up Queenie, Bertie’s resolve to wait for Real Gussie weakening. He submits, and opens one, it from Jeeves confirming all had gone accordingly, but instead of leaving the second letter alone, he learns it’s from Madeline and she on her way to Deverill Hall.

Bertie takes the news with grace, ‘hands holding head’. He waits for Catsmeat to return, waylaying him along with Queenie, whom had an unpleasant film-watching experience. Bertie didn’t have patience to ‘tut tut’ her misfortune, though, handing Catsmeat the note from Madeline. He makes a joke at Bertie’s expense for having caved on his morals and then admits they needed a plan, Bertie reminding him of how he’d helped this mess by getting Gussie into trouble in the first. Catsmeat makes valid claims of Bertie’s part in the matter, which in turn allows him to let sleeping dogs, etc. They then plan on discussing a new ruse to keep Madeline in the dark. The evening doesn’t end early, unfortunately, guests from around a 20 mile radius attending, so when Bertie saw his room it was nearly midnight, Catsmeat having left a note revealing he was off to implement his cracker jack of a plan the next day, with Bertie’s car to carry him. Knowing this partially eased Bertie’s anxiety, but knew it could be hit or miss with Catsmeat due to years before, seeing a comment written about him by their principal as he’d been questing for biscuits. Bertie prepares for sleep with a smoke when Gussie presents himself, complaining about the waste of time din din was, due to the guests and Corky not being present. Gussie then reveals he was there to borrow a tie from Bertie, whom hoped Gussie’s upcoming visit with Corky would knock him out of the sky with haste. Gussie then admits to finally having written to Madeline, Bertie realizing his earlier letter to her would now be suspicious. Gussie wasn’t pleased he’d gone rogue, but also not sweating it, since he’d broken off their engagement.

The Larches is described with the locals receiving the company’s ‘h’ and ‘c’ water (pff). Bertie was off to retrieve the letter of Doom before Madeline got hold of it and was considering the repercussions for his actions if the Constabulary found him out, but believed the felony justified his reasons. So, Bertie secreted himself in a bush at the address expecting the letter, including the pacing being mot juste to strolling. He then muses on how Nature turns her back on lurv as he’s accosted by the bright and warm weather along with a friendly multi-legged creature walking upon his person. As he deals with this, more worrisome is whether the proper requirements for his plan to work will be given to him. As he’s surprised by a ginger cat, someone opens a window nearby and a maid pops out the front door to dust a mat. Bertie sees to the dining room and thinks Madeline could very well come down for breakies when the mailman arrives and Bertie’s hopes are dropped, since Mr. Mailman was a young flirt and would be taking his time. Bertie readies himself to pounce when postman biffs off and the maid does as he thought and sets the mail at the table. This doesn’t gladden Bertie for long, since now the maid didn’t leave as he’d hoped, taking a smoke until scurrying off upon hearing something (Madeline). Bertie gets his dash of luck though, since she heads for the garden. The moment is of course marred by Bertie’s flowering cowardice, but also someone walking in with a dog which would’ve effected Bertie’s mission, as well, this being Madeline’s buddy. Bertie realizes this pup would definitely blow his cover, but kitty then took the opportunity to flee, the dog going after, and Madeline’s friend bringing up the tail-end. When he saw the trio turn the corner, Bertie fetches the letter. Unfortunately, he sees the girl and dog heading back toward him as he was in mid-getaway, so he multiple “nipped” his way to a room across the hall.

Bertie discovers he may have located Madeline’s buddy, Hilda’s room, due to the feminine quality and sports equipment strewn about. Bertie leaves this be in preference to the window of Freedom, but a red-faced gardener blocks his want of an unnoticed escape. So, like Bertie’s ill will to the lazy maid, he loathed this stand-about man. As he saves a framed photo of Madeline from falling as he was pacing, he had a light bulb mo. Gussie needed to have  a reminder of whom he was dumping, in Bertie’s fevered brain, so swiping the picture for Gussie as a possibility for his love to rekindle seemed like a good bet (supporting his optimism with other unlikely scenarios). Then, he is interrupted by an approaching maid, so thinking a bit less slowly, he ends up behind a sofa. The maid is called away from her hovering by Hilda, Madeline soon joining her. Whilst listening to them, Bertie felt empathy for her, believing she was emo about lurv. Madeline talks to her chum about the “happy flowers”, then shares her worry over Gussie’s lack of letters and wanting to see him sooner, Hilda not giving a toss.

As they talk, Bertie is brought up in regards to his yearning love for Madeline and how difficult for him it must be to write dictated letters to sweet, sweet Madeline. Hilda then becomes suicidally dark when admitting to having a firearm secreted away in her room, but backhandedly assures she wasn’t in danger of going through with it. She then puts her 2 cents in on how Madeline should handle Gussie, thinking Bertie a better option, since he had money. Madeline wasn’t amused and neither was Bertie, she then starts, seeing her picture wasn’t where it used to be, on the table. Hilda suggests she ask the maid and as Madeline checks, Hilda allows her big pup to wander off the couch, where he immediately snuffles around Bertie, surprised by what his nose leads him to, backing off and sound the doggy alarm. Madeline returns, shocked to see Hilda with her pistol and leaving Bertie with questions as to Hilda’s plan of action. As Hilda explains to Madeline what she had in mind, she speaks at the mystery man to reveal himself.  Madeline screams upon seeing Bertie as Hilda contemplates a good frisking to see if Bertie had more stolen goods on him. Madeline shares Bertie’s identity with Hilda, she leaving them to talk out Bertie’s issue of obv. love with Madeline. Bertie meanwhile, wasn’t looking forward to the experience.

Bertie attempts to relieve the silence with a general statement about the weather and his reason for being there only to pop by and update Madeline of Gussie’s health, as well as why he had Madeline’s portrait being for Gussie’s use, ofc! Bertie doesn’t receive the calming response his words deserved, though. Instead Madeline looks saddened, asking Bertie if he’d read a particular Rosie Banks novel, she giving him the plot, and he commenting as she goes (hilariously). When she finishes, Bertie couldn’t believe the reason Banks’ crap was so popular. Madeline then likens Bertie to the protagonist who’s love was spurned and dies before getting a happily ever after. Madeline shares why Hilda was being emo was caused by a man called Harold hogging the tennis ball they were on the same team to swat. She ended their engagement because of this turd thinking he was more talented and should shoulder the game. Madeline finished by how torn up she was, when Hilda reenters with a tune on her lips, she having received a letter from the oaf and would forgive him in a couple of days.

Hilda then relays how Claude Pirbright had dropped by to see Madeline and before she goes, gives Bertie a kind word about the “predicament of unrequited nonsense” she found the two of them in and how they’d laugh about it in their grey years, perhaps a bit mistily. Hilda returns back inside after an encouraging word for the gardener outside, she learning how Bertie also knew “Beefy” Harold Anstruther and her plans to return Bertie where he belonged, beside Madeline. She invites him to breakies, but he declines since he wanted to catch Catsmeat for any news, he withering at the thought of her influence on Madeline as he goes. When he sees Catsmeat coming though, he was speed-racing to the point of missing Bertie’s attempts at flagging him down, so returns for nourishment and then Deverill Hall.

So, the ride back wasn’t the most convenient and the first person Bertie recognizes is his cuz, “young Thos”, whom immediately calls attention to Bertie’s drabness, he swatting him as he passed. Corky then greets him from her car, mentioning how Sidney, her unc. had taken to Thos and she thought of him fondly, Bertie of course surprised by any sort of goodwill in relation to his cousin seeming out of place. She explains how Thos offered to bludgeon the local cop for nicking Sam Goldwyn and saw his invitation as sweet. As Bertie struggled with this news, Corky goes on to speak of Catsmeat whom received news from his love, Gertrude about her eagerness to run off with him. Bertie’s response makes her realize he was distrait and had taken a side-trip to hell before getting back to Deverill. Corky listens to his tale attentively, Bertie quite pleased she didn’t interrupt and even gasped at appropriate deets. After which, Bertie couldn’t help but think, due to all his vibrant living, Death coming a-knocking didn’t sound terrible.

Corky did supply some decent information in return, though; Catsmeat had been able to redirect the Bassett away from Deverill, Bertie responding with praise to the above. Corky though, hadn’t shared his uplifted feeling quite as much, she expounding how Bertie’s news about the portrait and Mervyn Keene made her wonder if perhaps more should’ve been done. This stops Bertie cold, metaphor of what Catsmeat’s attempt to help looked like being closer to inadvertent torture ensuing. Upon hearing what he had said of Bertie to dissuade Madeline distressed him to his core. Madeline’s reaction of course, containing the flowery response one expects. Corky supported the idea of seeing the bright side and at how the knowledge had stopped Madeline for now. Bertie made use of this supportive realization, minimizing the fear, she supportive of he seeing the ‘correct’ view. Bertie learns she planned on working on Gussie upon finishing a job for her. Bertie catches the implication immediately and wasn’t detoured by Thos tipping him as he entered the car, Corky avoiding providing any more information about this ‘job’, to Bertie’s animal instinctive fear, but learned Esmond Haddock had found his way to Deverill upon returning from his walkabout.

Dame Daphne had made a new rule about port not concluding supper anymore and Bertie had yet to find time to speak with Esmond, since his arrival. His chance is given, though when meeting him in some area of the estate, the two starting with pleasantries until Bertie mentions seeing Corky outside. Esmond attempts to inquire more, but has a swallowing attack (similar to ‘whatting’), before asking Wooster if ‘Wooster’ was with her, Bertie confirming her solo ‘flying’ and Esmond showing heat over how often Gussie (Wooster) did seem to hang about her as of late. Bertie doesn’t help his emotion by supplying how long he/Gussie had known Corky since childhood and leaving thoughts of youthful dance class and passing time together wasn’t leaving Esmond with a soothing head-space.

Esmond asks about Bertie and Gussie’s history, as well, he relating how popular he’d been as a school boy and his general likability, Esmond focusing on perceived character flaws and not having gotten good vibes from Gussie’s Wooster persona, giving the metaphor of Gorgonzola cheese being his home of origin. Bertie attempts to soften Esmond’s view, but is rebuffed by how Aunt Daphne had only just mentioned Bertie’s bad behavior with the policeman helmet snatching. When Bertie explains the reasoning for said transgression, Esmond regards Bertie’s view with distaste. He states how this tom foolery wasn’t an isolated incident. Bertie this time letting this be and Esmond continuing about how they’d be ready for any Wooster mischief since the local fuzz was on board to capturing him for any misstep and Esmond would be able to throw the 30 day book at him. Bertie felt the possible heat as he and Esmond split off, talking aloud of Jeeves being handy, now. The man himself appears looking quite rejuvenated, his usual mysterious poofing out of nowhere, alive and well.

Jeeves begins cordially, asking if allowed to provide an opinion, Bertie eager to hear his wisdom. Even after clarifying, it was on the topic of attire, Bertie welcoming the dig and even supplies one to Jeeves to see if he determined the issue correctly. Jeeves believed he overshot a bit, but decided he’d certainly been better put together before (soine), Bertie immediately word relation-popping a half thought through song involving ‘Swanee River’, but leaves it be. As Jeeves states his intention of cleaning Bertie’s suit, it is noticed the not-so-foolish young sir was preoccupied with anxiety. Jeeves put forth how he’d thought how Thos was in place and Aunt Agatha not being, was going accordingly. Bertie agrees, but clarifies the main course of issues sprung from Gussie because of he being targeted by fuzz, as well of course the mysterious errand Corky had in store for Gussie. Which reminds Jeeves how Esmond would be set for a friendly audience, Bertie continuing on the topic of Corky and how she required revenge for her dog’s arrest and knew she’d be planning something for fuzz Dobbs. Which meant, if she planned on using Gussie in relation to illegal activities, he’d definitely be clinked. Before Jeeves can reply, Bertie concludes with a statement which he notes was Jeeves-like and had expected his reply to cover the range mentioned, being Gussie wouldn’t intentionally break the law due to his upbringing and nature, but also knew how impressionable he was, especially with Corky involved. So all of this was putting Bertie on edge, but was buoyed by Jeeves offering to speak to him in order to provide reason. The topic turns to Catsmeat’s happiness and back to Esmond’s warm public, before Bertie mentions Gussie’s possible whereabouts and to acquire Thos’ bludgeon. They end their conversation to begin their tasks for the day, when Bertie sees Gussie exiting a cottage, this being the Police HQ, and he being accompanied by Dobbs.

Bertie marveled at the officer and his particular body type: Robust, but petite horizontally. He was noted to also look quite steely in strength. Currently, he seemed to be experiencing a trying situation what with the look he was sporting. Gussie greets the officer as he passes to enter the office and as soon as he’s out of sight, Bertie accosts Gussie with need for explanation. Officer Dobbs comes back out with a shovel before Gussie can answer, scattering frogs which had been sitting upon it, Gussie then suggests Bertie and he move along, afterward wasting time with declaring whom Dobbs was, the two confirming this for a moment. Gussie repeats his agreement several times as he gathered his thoughts, then he relates to Bertie’s single run-in with the law and how unpleasant it is. Bertie asks the obvious question then, what had Gussie done, the man stating he’d been “strewing frogs” about. Specifically, in Dobbs’ boudoir, our Vicar Catsmeat having thought of the ruse.

Corky was whom had put the idea to action though, she becoming irate over Dobbs’ dislike of her pooch, she thinking one of God’s plagues may lighten his heart toward Sam Goldwyn, she enlisting Gussie’s help, since he was so willing. Bertie was in shrieking agony within at how Gussie had gone so far in life without a stint in a mental institution. Upon hearing how Gussie had been caught, he’d only just been able to make out like a proper bandit, since Dobbs hadn’t caught him in the act and there wasn’t any proof, Gussie having straight up lied when Dobbs asked if he’d brought them in, he then announcing abruptly how he’d best let Corky know Sam Goldwyn would be stuck, what with the ole boy now having a history as a snapper, this being when Gussie was making his way out, being trailed by Dobbs, Bertie hoping nothing and no one worse would cross his path.

Bertie stealthily continued on, believing he could hear Aunts echoing voices in the distance, and thinking he’d bypassed them successfully, then sees the one Aunt he’d wanted to avoid: Dame Daphne. Unlike some who had the power to acknowledge monsters and retreat quickly, Bertie became stuck there, he responding to her inquiry as to whether he’d written Madeline and he also supplying carefully why he looked frumpy being due to going to visit Madeline, Dame Daphne horrifyingly pleased and sending for some OJ. Uncle Charlie, finally turns up after a couple jangles from the bell, explaining his delay was caused by his daughter becoming engaged. Bertie was surprised because Silversmith was related to the girl, Queenie and then trying to remember why he recognized the fiance’s name of Meadowes. Silversmith admits Meadowes was Fink-Nottle’s ‘personal attendant’, his look implying to Bertie, the man saw him as a family style equal. Bertie is now worried, Dame Daphne orders OJ for Bertie and insists he change. Bertie requests Meadowes bring his drink so he could congratulate him. When Catsmeat finally appears, Bertie gauges he looked a bit cloudy-eyed from his new status.

The first thing to pass Catsmeat’s lips is his misfortune. Bertie immediately enlisting Jeeves’ help when Catsmeat asks for his suggestion on how to fix his upcoming event. Catsmeat is led into describing how he’d gotten to this point. He begins with how he’d been in such a dreamy mood from Gussie’s message, he’d found himself in the servant’s hall where he came across Queenie crying. In an attempt to comfort her, he’d cooed encouraging words and then began kissing her better; like a sibling, according to him. Which is how Silversmith found them, she setting upon his knee, his arm about her waist and Silversmith, accompanied by Gussie, (Dun, Dun, DUN!). Silversmith’s reaction was at first potentially damaging for Catsmeat, Queenie deciding their engagement was the simplest solution. This being cause for Gussie to send a new message for their plans being open once more, with the exception of Catsmeat still having to do his cross-talk act, Bertie countering with he being stuck with a Christopher Robin poem, Catsmeat shooting back at least it wasn’t Pooh poems, Bertie relenting.

The show was to begin at 8:15 pm, Bertie sitting among the crowd for the start, he now understanding why Corky had been annoyed with the talent, but the audience, of course not being concerned with the quality. These talents were the Kegley-Bassington brood. As Bertie peered at the unyielding faces of the men about him regarding the show thus far, Bertie didn’t feel hopeful of his chances, and to top it off with Reverend Pirbright opening the show with a speech, gave Bertie insight as to the type of host he was, it not being the high energy jokester sort, but Bertie listing his collection of reasons for being somber having to do with Corky, Gussie, and young Thos staying in the spare room. Pirbright focuses his introduction on the Church Organ he then introducing the first act, an unimpressive violinist, before Kegley-Bassingtons began, the first of them escaping jabs, Bertie thinking he may survive, each girl getting fair enough reaction.

George K-B was up next, he reciting a poem which didn’t suit his nature and his family from the wings starting the poem for him when they thought he’d forgotten, he begrudgingly and quickly saying the words and the masses being acceptant, Bertie hoping this boded well for his odds. The act after got the crowd in a decent mood, but then Catsmeat and Gussie fuck it up with their lackluster performance, the two each looking and sounding foully sad and moody. This makes the dialogue sound darker and the punch lines failing to hit. Then Gussie stops speaking his responses and Catsmeat does both sides of the conversation, which by the end, the two retreat with bowed heads, Esmond up next and singing a-hunting, etc. The young man had prepared properly with booze, he getting the wildest response, and giving 4 encores and the crowd still staying receptive. The next act was an odd dance, the crowd after she’d finished, began chanting for Esmond’s return to stage. They winning their wish, Intermission dropping after, Bertie going out for a smoke quite pleased and then chilled with the realization Christopher Robin was no longer available in his brain, he reminded of the idea of drink, immediately awaying to the bar.

As he has a look-see about the place, he spots Jeeves at a table, having a “meditative” beer. Jeeves greets him per his usual way and confirms his mission was a success, regarding retrieval of the cosh from Master Thomas, but Bertie must attempt twice to steer Jeeves toward the subject of his being quite up the hole. Jeeves listens as he describes the depths of his being through the wood, Jeeves probing over Bertie’s used memory methods, he relaying the bar was the attempt, Jeeves immediately suggesting a double brandy, which Bertie doubles. As he begins, he only vaguely recalls the poem included a “hoppity hoppity hop”, but completely recalled ‘”Ben Battle”‘ Jeeves being of the opinion George Kegley-Bassington “barely” performed well enough to pass. Bertie clarifies his reason for mentioning it was because he no longer had any leftover space for Christopher Robin, the liquid memory booster not boosting. Jeeves suggests they hand over the responsibility to Esmond, whom should welcome another chance to impress his fans, he having a book which would’ve been to prompt Bertie with the lines if need be. He contemplates whether to allow Jeeves to ask, reasoning how well-liked Esmond currently was, which was his deciding factor.

As he awaits outside the bar looking at the stars, he’s interrupted by Gussie in costume inquiring if he’d acquire some brandy for him. Bertie provides without a third-degree to his buddy’s non-milky request and watches as he gulps half and describes the flavor as appalling which then gives Bertie the chance to ask why he’d wanted it, since he’d already finished his performance shittily. Gussie acknowledges how most would be if they had the task of breaking out a dog from the clink, as well. Bertie now wished for brandy and confesses how Gussie should reconsider what with Esmond wanting a reason to put Gussie away and Dobbs was waiting for his chance, too. Gussie gains confidence with the fact of Dobbs being busy watching the show, Bertie feeling slightly better for him, and Gussie not caring since he was all about impressing Corky, biffing off thusly. Jeeves then arrives stating his success, Bertie noting he must’ve needed some buttering what with the length of time passing. Jeeves informs it was actually caused by Dobbs, whom had mentioned having decided to skip the remainder of the concert in preference of a good book at his cottage. Bertie’s face shows his shock, he revealing why he was frazzled. Jeeves inquires if Bertie would want to attempt in helping Gussie escape. Bertie didn’t see hope in this, but agrees, and as they make their way to Dobbs, Bertie wonders what would make Jeeves exclaim with a “coo!” or “crumbs!” and learns Jeeves hope doesn’t waiver if there be breath left (decent rule of thumb). Bertie disagrees with his philosophy and fantasizes Gussie has already been caught by Dobbs.

As Jeeves disagrees, they are overcome by Corky, whom had seen Gussie pass not long before. As Bertie is unloading the most recent information regarding Dobbs’ whereabouts, they hear a barking increase in volume as it approaches closer, Corky berating Bertie for almost scaring her, Sam Goldwyn belting his way at them happily. After Corky secures pup in car, she mentions crashing the Hall later, then leaves hastily. Not long do the two stand before hearing a tapping noise, Jeeves veering Bertie to darkness before they see Gussie and Dobbs running by, Bertie impressed with Gussie’s green be-bearded skill. It wasn’t long before Gussie’s instincts fail him though, since if he’d kept running, he’d have been free as a bird, but instead, like a bird, shimmies up a tree, instead.

Dobbs, now caught up, suggests he climb down, Jeeves saving the simpleton with his recently acquired cosher. Jeeves also offers to remove the green gummed-on beard for Gussie, whom is quite dazed himself at this point. Bertie aways back to the bar for another restorative before going back to the Hall for snacks and a change of wardrobe. Bertie also gave fancy to the ease with which Jeeves seemed to have comfortably resorted to violence and whether it could ever be turnt upon himself, but settled with knowing Jeeves would have to forget etiquette completely. He is encompassed by stray thoughts as Gussie appears without beard and cleaned up, reminding Bertie of his need to change, what with buffet snacks downstairs to look forward to, he also noticing Gussie’s nervous energy.

Bertie focused on dressing until a groan escapes Gussie’s throat as he stares at a picture of a woman being stared at by a gentleman, Gussie inquiring if Bertie had ever had reality shine blatantly upon him, he describing his mo. had arrived when Dobbs had been standing under the tree reasoning for Gussie to give up, he realizing his lurv had been killed. Corky was a solid gal, but brought too much liveliness to Gussie’s existence. Bertie was so happy, his delayed reaction of whoopying scared Gussie into biting his tongue, Bertie apologizing, but also explaining how the news deserved it, since Madeline was so obviously his boo, and he would sing gustily with everyone for the newlyweds upon their wedding day.

It’s by this point Bertie notices Gussie’s visible discomfort, since he was in a new mess and he wished Bertie would end the love story he imagined for him with Madeline, since he was still operating under the notion of his final letter to her having been to end things. Bertie sets him straight, Gussie still believing Bertie to be a dumb ass, but belied his nature when succeeding with this, Gussie planning to visit Madeline immediately. Bertie, in the mo. of “bien être”  = well being, reminds himself to slow down with his congratulatory whimsy, since other lovers were still pending. As he was preparing to leave for his sammie, Esmond comes in, but like a horse “curvetting”: a series of jumps on the ‘hind legs’.

After Bertie greets and invites him to sit, he’s met with a look of disbelief. Esmond can’t imagine how he’d be able to sit and after “loo loo looing” awhile Bertie mentions how much he appreciated Esmond taking over the poems, which had gone fine for him. Bertie reminds Esmond he hadn’t shared why he was in such a good mood had been due to Corky, and as he was revving up his explanation, Bertie blew his bubble in the telling a of couple times, since he could sense where Esmond was heading, he getting him back by admitting Bertie didn’t look like he’d have been a deep thinker from the time of boyhood. Regardless, Bertie states what Esmond must’ve done to impress Corky, Esmond confirming, but one small thing still being in the way, he having to stand up to his aunts to prove he wasn’t being pushed over by them.

Bertie agrees this should be done, but Esmond is peeved by this, since he doesn’t know how he’d go about it, Bertie again suggesting the answer lies with Jeeves. Esmond takes his word and goes off in search of the man, Bertie having a celebratory ciggie, due to every lover being in order, minus Catsmeat. Bertie then sees Jeeves arrive, the two catching up in regards to Gussie’s most recent London plan, Corky’s tentative engagement and Esmond requesting his assistance. Jeeves accepts, but currently was helping his Uncle Charlie serve refreshment. Esmond then returns, Bertie mentioning where Jeeves had gone and Esmond replying, they need follow, due to being late themselves. Dame Daphne appears to ask where he’d been, he for once being a smart ass in reply. she heading upstairs and he leading Bertie to the drawing room, where it wasn’t long before Uncle Charlie announced Dobbs’ arrival.

The upper class guests and homeowners had varying displays of curiosity. Dobbs announces having a couple reasons for showing up, the first having to do with speaking with Reverend Sidney about being struck by a thunderbolt, and before Sidney could respond, Dobbs is body checked by Queenie, whom had forgiven him and obviously expected her engagement ring returned. Again, varying emotions are viewed, Uncle Charlie not drawn in, but drawing out Queenie from Dobbs’ arms, he coming back to himself and scheduling a talk with the Reverend for tomorrow. Bertie remembers the other task Dobbs had come about. Dobbs asks for Wooster, which upon hearing, Esmond becomes serious with the judgement of the Justice of the Peace. Dobbs goes through his story and Jeeves pipes up when Esmond inquires where he was now, and when learning he had gone to London and Jeeves was his attendant, he states wanting to speak with him in the near future, for previously discussed reasons. In the meantime, Jeeves gives Wooster an alibi so as to sully Dobbs’ story, also disappointing Esmond.

Then, Dobbs realizes Catsmeat was the only leftover culprit, which surprises everyone including Bertie, since he couldn’t believe Jeeves would overlook screwing Catsmeat over. Esmond calls for Meadowes to be brought, Jeeves obliging. Once presented, they catch him up to his predicament, and Gertrude overcome with the prospect of missing Catsmeat for 30 days, the two embrace and kiss with passion, disturbing the aunts. Once Esmond learns from Corky Meadowes was actually her brother, Catsmeat, he lightens his mood, especially when he reveals his plans to marry Gertrude once getting back to London. Esmond quiets the “banshee”-like aunts, and after setting the two on the path to using his car, suggests Dobbs go look in on Gertrude, Corky bringing Esmond’s attention to how his Aunts had been in uproar this whole time and Dame Daphne had been disturbed enough to come see what had occurred.

The four Aunts catch her up and she asks for confirmation in a way which would intimidate Bertie, but Esmond makes like he’s shooing flies, acting the most in charge of Aunts as Santa is of reindeer. Esmond states he’d approved of Gertrude and Catsmeat’s marriage, since he’d be marrying Corky, whom was starry-eyed with acceptance and adoration of he growing a pair. Esmond goes for a stroll with her and Bertie retires to his room. Upon doing so, he finds all of the troubled lovers had been handled, he readying for sleepy-time as Jeeves appears. Bertie gives him props and learns Thos had written his mother about how well he’d been getting on, leading to her arrival and knowing Bertie was there. Jeeves already had an escape plan ready for him, but Bertie at first shows his instinctual fear, and then takes a lesson from Esmond, deciding he’ll face Aunt Agatha, with the back up of the cosher being available, he strolling out with purpose.

I continue enthusiastically!

The Martian

Image result for the martian book cover

 

I saw the film first, so I’ll be looking forward to recognizing any similarities, and whether I agree with the back-of-book reviews comparing this to Robinson Crusoe (hopefully not) or Mysterious Island.

Log Entry: Sol 6 – Mark has lost hope, after almost a week into a couple months start of what should’ve been a wonderful trip, having turned south. He supposes who would even get his journal, perhaps a century into the future someone would get the chance to read it. Mark then declares, despite what the crew had believed, he hadn’t died on Sol 6, he going back to describe the Ares Program, the first crew having completed their mission successfully and returning as courageous celebrities. Same for Ares 2, and Ares 3 was the assignment Mark had been a part of, he the lowest ranked. He considers whether anyone would discover his log before the crew died of octeganarianism and doesn’t hold a grudge against them. He goes into details of how missions to Mars are done, the crew arriving by a ship called Hermes, and when they were on the ship, care packages being sent to them by auto-piloted mini-ships, they arriving at Mars in time, Hermes only getting slight speed, a nuclear reactor helping them get there, so they reach Mars after a little over four months, then taking a specialized vehicle to go to the surface, the crew’s belongings already waiting for them. Fourteen auto-piloted ships deliver all items required for their task, then sends the crew when it’s confirmed all had arrived safely, this taking nearly three years.

When the second crew had been on their way back, supplies for the third crew had already been sent out, he then going on about how awesome the MAV (Mars ascent vehicle) was, and how let down he was when it wasn’t there when he’d woken. Mark states how his almost being killed and his subsequent survival had occurred through absurd circumstances. The mission is made to withstand sandstorms up to a 150 kph degree, but they’d gotten hit with 175 wind speed. After they’d taken shelter for an hour with no decreased change, they receive word from NASA to pack it in, everyone having to leave for the MAV before the wind destroyed it, Mark getting stabbed in the side when an antenna array came loose and hit him, one of his crew-mates reaching for him helplessly (this part, sensibly was, of course in the film). He survives because he’d landed face down, and his blood had helped seal the hole in his suit, and then being awoken by the incessant beeping of the oxygen alarm in his suit being tripped. He explains how his suit had used the CO2 to equalize his breathable air, but when it ran out, the suit switched to using oxygen, he now risking death of breathing too much (having to love the unusual possibility due to being on an oxygen-less planet).

Fortunately, his copious amount of training left him with how to handle this, he needing to remove the antenna before sealing the tear, which pained him, but was able to slap the breach kit successfully, now having to return to shelter the Hab, since his suits oxygen level being at a hefty 85%, he glad to see the Hab was whole, but the MAV no longer on planet, quite a blow. Which was when he realizes his situation being hopeless, but soldiering on, getting to the Hab and removing his suit, and inspecting the damage he’d taken. It wasn’t pretty, but the Hab had exceptional medical supplies, so he applies anesthetic, cleans the puncture, sews 9 stitches, and voila! Healed-a-roony. He even had the antibiotics necessary for definite recovery. After this, he checks to make certain he didn’t have any means of contact, he relating how due to each suit showing the status of all crew members bio levels, he understood why they hadn’t recovered him. Considering all of this, the summation of Mark’s problems included: no communicado, no one knowing his status of life, the Hab being built to last about a month, and if the machine which made oxygen failed, or his water supplier malfunctioned, or if the Hab received a tear, Mark be daid; which he would be anyways when his food ran out.

Log Entry: Sol 7 – After Mark wakes, his mood has improved, he goes over his inventory, the food available reasonably lasting him almost a year, he still having plenty of EVA suits, and whilst the satellite had been wind-swept, the Hab had stood strong. The MDV had been knocked about, but had potential use for scrapping parts, he also still had two rovers, only needing to be unearthed, and the use of the solar power cells needing only minimal easy maintenance. He also had a temporary back up to the oxygenator, both working properly, as well as the water source, but no back up available, he also having plenty of vitamins (Yay!), morphine his back up plan if escaping becomes improbable. The next mission, if not postponed would happen in four years, he needing to discover a way to transmit a message, his main goal being to repair the radio.

Log Entry: Sol 10 – Mark has attempted to locate the satellite dish three times with no luck, and the dish was hopelessly messed up. Fortunately, he still had plenty of CO2 filters, but needed to use them wisely as he cleaned up the solar array. Besides this, he also began considering starting his attempt at growing plants, the seeds brought not edible, but the Earth soil possible to use with the dirt on Mars.

Log Entry: Sol 14 – Mark mentions where he’d acquired his botany degree, interested because of the science, as opposed to the “hippies” around him, he stating of now saving and recovering all bowel movements and leftover uneaten food for future use, already concocting his manure, he then planning how he’d make more usable soil, and dedicating all floor space to the garden.

Log Entry: Sol 15 – Mark is realizing what a task he’s set for himself, making small progress, but not bothered by the time involved. His next goal is to begin joining the bacteria to the dirt, treating himself to a full meal for his hard work.

Log Entry: Sol 16 – Mark has now remembered the need for water, and the amount necessary not quite equaling the amount he had available, but decides to relinquish with some to test. Upon mixing the manure was the difficult part, it massively stinky business. Changing the subject, he relates of this being Turkey day, and how his family had most likely gotten through his funeral recently and must not be having a great time, he realizing they were his reason to get through, to make up for the mourning they were dealing with.

Log Entry: Sol 22 – Mark has made ample progress with the soil, but his mood takes a dive after his meal and listening to his crew mate’s Beatles collection. He’d calculated his work not alleviating his starvation, figuring the potatoes would be his salvation, but the work not leaving him with too many days of healthy caloric intake. He’d make it to Sol 490, but had to reach 1,420 when the next crew would arrive. So, now he was without ideas for how to cover the food needed to survive throughout the time necessary.

Log Entry: Sol 25 – Mark relays how the old math word problems was exactly how he planned to survive. He states how he was attempting to discover enough ways to get calories for 1,425 days, a sol being 39 minutes longer, and he having to figure out how to make at least 1100 calories daily. He walks through how much all extra space could give him for planting purposes, besides all of the Hab, he calculating he’d nearly survive the time needed, but he still also requiring water he didn’t have.

Log Entry: Sol 26 – To keep from over thinking, Mark shovels more dirt inside, he then having to go back out to clean off the solar cells due to a sandstorm passing through, and then afterward bringing more dirt in rather than wait, deciding after, a portion of his real estate was ready for an attempt at planting, readying the potatoes for submersion, and comforted in knowing the project should have him working with more potatoes in 40 days, he then treating himself to a full meal and having exhausted the Beatles collection, moving on to another crew-mate’s entertainment, reluctantly choosing Three’s Company (not a terrible choice).

Log Entry: Sol 29 – A new problem came in the form of the pop tents airlocks being a different size from the ones for the Hab, and if he wanted the plants he planned on putting inside the tents to grow, he needed to uncover a way of getting to them which would save as much air as possible, but decides he had to risk it, setting up the dirt within them both. He shares of having used to be a Dungeons and Dragons player in high school, fessing up to his nerdy roots, and not having used a magic power involving water which would be perfect in his situation, now. Then he gives up the issue for the evening to finish an episode where the landlord misconstrues a situation (the formula).

Log Entry: Sol 30 – Mark considers a life-threatening plan to obtain water he required, but the time coming where he’d be applying new soil, and if he didn’t water his crop, the plant’s would die. What he debated to remedy the problem, was to make the water himself, first stating how using the O2 tanks wouldn’t be great if he required them later as a back up in some way, he then describing the MAV platform which was able to gather CO2 in the atmosphere, the real problem stemming from the hydrogen, which the fuel cells had a bit of, but they giving so much more as they were as opposed to how little water it would make, he then bringing up the MDV and how their pilot had left him with plenty of fuel to get the hydrogen for the water, the problem laying with how to get it out safely, and if he did, how he’d contain the hydrogen, he moving on to how Three’s Company would survive with the replacement of Chrissy.

Log Entry: Sol 32 – Mark has discovered many problems with how he was going to synthesize more water, he walking through what he’d have to do to make it happen. For instance, the process of acquiring O2 and waiting for it to be turned into H2O would take a little under a month, which is a bit of a wait. The space needed to keep the hydrogen was also an issue, so he decided to skip the little steps and go straight to discovering a way to store it as water (first editing issue “what’s what” should’ve been ‘that’s what’, tsk! Hopefully it was addressed in a newer edition I’m unaware of and don’t care to research), the way he had to proceed being delicate, the chances of explosive death, quite probable, but if successful, all he’d have to be aware of is making certain not to use up all the O2. So, to end his day of brainstorming, he sets up the MAV to have available CO2, prepared himself a half ration meal, and finished Three’s Company, he preferring Mr. Furley to the Ropers (which, if I remember correctly, I agree with).

Log Entry: Sol 33 – Mark is writing as if this could be his last time to journal, he starting the hydrazine releasing process, taking them all into the Hab, he ending the entry and then restarting another as Sol 33(2) to inform of still kicking, he explaining how he dressed and the steps he took to slowly extract the hydrazine, he then building a small, make-shift tent with NASA expensive bags and duct tape, to keep his science project safe, the bag see-through for more convenient looky-loo ability, then attaching a space-suit hose to it, which he rigged with string from some clothing to attach near the top of the Hab, so he’d have a flue for smoke. He then had to discover a way to ignite fire in his fire-retardant environment, he locating a wooden cross among one of his crew-mates possessions, he using oxygen to ignite it with an electrical spark, he then able to burn up the hydrazine which escaped, Mark now able to add fifty more liters of water to his reserve.

Log Entry: Sol 34 – Mark updates of the hydrazine process consuming his night, but the task now complete, he commenting on erring on the side of carefulness rather than speed. The humidity jumped up quite a bit, and the constant alarms for fire, oxygen level, and humidity were becoming a normal background noise for him, the fire alarm stopping first, and he expecting the humidity alarm to take the longest to cease its song. Mark also had the good news of his water tank being full, he depositing some in a space-suit, readying to pass out, and stating of this being the first time since Sol 6, of being in great spirits, his hope for survival being uplifted.

Log Entry: Sol 37 – …And then dropped as he states of how screwed he was, currently transcribing from Rover 2, he having escaped the Hab. He details of having gone through his conversion of hydrogen a few times, and then realizing he hadn’t been able to burn up the extra inside the Hab, and after analyzing how much was inside by containing some of the air in a plastic bag and going to a rover to list what was most prevalent in his air, hydrogen being way too high. So, he stays in the rover where he would remain for a couple of days and attempt to plan out how to de-bomb the Hab.

Log Entry: Sol 38 still has Mark within the rover, except he’s calmed enough to figure out how to dissipate the hydrogen. He explains his plan involving the atmospheric regulator upon messing with its ability to gauge when to stop accumulating oxygen, this way the hydrogen on its own was as dangerous as an eraser. Mark describes how he’d slowly burn the hydrogen until it was gone, the only problem being his dirt would be useless, he partially satisfied with his plan, and giving his brain a rest, discovering the commander’s USB and protein bar in the rover, Mark having made a second part to Sol 38 to complain of the music she’d brought, not saying what it was (most likely disco).

Log Entry: Sol 39 brings Mark’s eureka moment, he saving the bacteria through forced hibernation, which happens on Earth at winter, but this requiring he bag up the potato plants and settle them in a rover temporarily. Then, he runs through the order in which he’d go about his plan: plants moving first, the 1°C temperature in the Hab next, after which getting the O2 to 1%, then whipping up some fire for the hydrogen to die. Mark ends by not feeling quite satisfied with his plan, but off he would go to try it!

Log Entry: Sol 40 shows he wasn’t entirely able to pull it off, the first hiccup coming from the regulator’s programming withstanding Mark’s tinkering to unhinge its ability to replenish the O2, it only gong down to 15%, so he turns to some vents to tape all but one so he could finish tricking the regulator to pull out more O2, and then shuts down the regulator when it reached his goal. He even was able to begin forcing out the hydrogen, up until blowing himself across the room and knocking his oxygen mask off, fortunately a spacesuit was close by and he was able to put on the helmet before losing consciousness, he then determining he’d forgotten to release the air vents again upon burning the hydrogen. He then turns the regulator back on and notices he’d been smart to triple layer his clothes, the top layer gone, second layer holey, and bottom layer in fair quality, he not able to come up with the cause for the explosion, so spends the night in the rover again, eating well, and listening to music, the next day filled with equipment checks.

Log Entry: Sol 41 – Mark begrudgingly goes about testing all the systems to decipher how the explosion came about, and from where. The first handful he tested bolstered his hope, he then testing his dirt, which luckily survived, as well. As he tidied the place, he considered how the explosion occurred, his idea involving oxygen having somehow gotten in, believing it had been because of his decision not to wear a spacesuit, and the mask he’d been breathing through had been the culprit, since he was blowing out the oxygen. He gives himself a hard time for not realizing this sooner, but besides his nearly fatal breath taking, his water production was right on schedule. He rewarded his day of hard labor with a full meal and began the TV show, Dukes of Hazzard.

Log Entry: Sol 42 has Mark relating how he’d also decided to give himself some sleep-in time, what with almost a handful of crap nights in the rover. When he did get up, he finished more clean-up work and re-planted the potatoes. His days playing with hydrazine also being decided in not being quite over, since he still had a ways to go before reaching his required water goal, he having a safer idea so he wouldn’t have to relive, or possibly die in another explosion. Mark states of watching TV whilst he waited for the process to complete, he already believing General Lee can totally run faster than a cop car, and also wondered why Rosco didn’t arrest the guys when they were on their farm? (Fair idea.)

Venkat Kapoor is then followed to his office in the Johnson Space Center, seeing he had almost fifty emails to wade through, but wouldn’t deal with yet, for this day being Mark’s memorial service, the President making a speech, his crew-mates each saying a few words from the space ship, they still ten months from getting back, and Venkat, the director of Mars operations, having passed. He is then visited by Teddy Sanders, Venkat wanting approval for satellite images to estimate the damage from the storm, thinking a new mission could still be planned for what remained on Mars. Teddy understood his reasons, but didn’t want to give permission because the pictures would be viewable to the public, Mark’s body still possible to see, Teddy informing they would have to bide their time for twelve months, Venkat suggesting they put out a statement where the next mission sent out would also be to retrieve the body, this making the satellite images more palatable and possibly allowed sooner.

Mindy Park keeps tabs on satellite images and sends them off, this time she getting a request from Venkat, when she realized what the images would be for, she looks through them to satisfy her interest, she then seeing something which gave her pause, immediately calling security to send her the emergency number for Venkat. He arrives dressed casually, due to the early hour, Mindy stuttering and pointing out the image she was viewing, Venkat not understanding, she explaining how the pop-tents were up, how they were placed and the logs not mentioning them, she then becoming upset when she asks about the solar cells and how they weren’t covered in sand, she concluding by confiding not having noticed a body, fully breaking down, and Venkat shocked. He then shares the findings with Teddy and the director of media relations, Annie, she freaking out. Teddy goes through all the same motions of denial Venkat had, but the clincher being how the rover had been found along with the damage done to the MAV, Teddy then deciding they’d hold back the images for twenty-four hours so Annie could work on a statement to accompany the pictures, he then giving Venkat full reign of who he wanted to help get communication to Mark, this now his main duty, Teddy readying for a personal trip to Mark’s parents, needing to deliver the news in person, Annie being informed of the chat being a bittersweet one, since Mark had a good chance of dying on his wait for a rescue.

Venkat’s task wasn’t starting off well, the two workers he was speaking with unable to discover a way to talk with Mark, his only means of doing so having blown away, or was on the MAV. Annie was hyper-aware of how she’d from then on be perceived in the footage of this ground-breaking news speech, and believed her face betrayed nothing, the media dead silent and then fully cacophonous upon hearing the news. A week later still had NASA bombarded by media frenzy daily, Teddy speaking at the most recent one about how willing all who could, did offer to help, he assuring NASA would be focusing their energies on Mark until he was brought back, dead or alive, and no footage had been caught of him, yet. Venkat goes to Teddy’s office to give positive feedback on the speech and inform of the plan the Ares 4 crew truly wanted to implement, but would be risking six lives in the process, Teddy of course denying the go-ahead, Venkat also updating on not having any ideas to assist Mark’s survival as of yet, they discussing how someone got along all by themselves whilst believing no one was attempting rescue, Teddy wondering what Mark must be thinking of at this moment.

Log Entry: Sol 61 – Mark is pondering how Aquaman could command whales, since they were mammals, this being illogical!

Log Entry: Sol 63 – Everything is working out well for Mark now, he’s acquired enough water and ’70s shows are keeping him content. His concern now involved contacting NASA by getting to Ares 4 and in essence, the MAV. He isn’t in a hurry to think of a solid idea to get there though, due to how many years he had as it was. His preliminary list of what he’d need on the long trip kept him busy, but his main thinker was the power supply required. He planned on adding the power supply from the other rover, and to preserve the power, he’d need to dress in layers, then calculate how much distance and time it’d take to drive to Ares 4, as well as the amount of solar cells he’d have to acquire, he then considering how dull the wait would be for them to soak up the power necessary, he worrying about this when the resolution came to him, and was then able to focus on retrieving the battery for the rover he was taking.

Log Entry: Sol 64 – Mark learns the trouble from the battery didn’t stem from the detaching, but where he’d place it on the other rover. His idea to remedy this came by way of the resin he’d used to patch his suit, and making make-shift “saddlebags” for the rover, and after, testing the durability, which upon satisfaction with his handiwork, decides having both power cells plugged being unnecessary and would attach the fresh one as needed.

Log Entry: Sol 65 – After finishing placing the solar cells on the roof of the rover, he had lunch and readied to gather his potatoes and replant the next bunch, this being about forty Earth days since he’d planted them. The ones he’d grown were mini in comparison to the usual, but would do well as his new potato-plant-growers, he figuring if he could keep this up, he’d survive quite awhile. His next choice of pastime would be some Agatha Christie, Hercule Poirot.

Log Entry: Sol 66 – Mark names his rover mission “Sirius” and will be gauging how far a single solar cell will get him, but only as a test, so would be driving a certain distance and then turning back, until the cell dies and would still be in reasonable distance to the Hab, he also preparing with triple layer of clothes.

Log Entry: Sol 67 – With the first mission done, Mark deems it a fail, he at first driving the same route until flattening his ‘road’, then feeling too chilled, the insulation not doing the job after awhile. Mark is bummed and has to consider a better save on cells, he hoping inspiration may come from Poirot, more thinking needing done.

Log Entry: Sol 68 – Mark isn’t proud of his new plan, since it would be putting him in more danger than he’d done so far. His idea involved the “RTG (radioisotope thermoelectric generator)”, which = plutonium – 238 (BttF ref, here), this junk more dangerous then the ‘normal’ kind, it radiating enough heat to cook off of all by its lonesome, so the heat isn’t rescuable, and is used for the MAV whilst there wasn’t a crew to keep it running. So, when the Commander drove off to bury it, Mark had seen the direction she’d taken, and would be able to detect it with the flag she’d planted to keep anyone from accidentally getting close. New task, now was to simultaneously test his hybrid rover and look for the flag, Sirius 2 mission to follow.

Log Entry: Sol 69 – A new realization hits Mark once out of sight of the Hab, his surroundings helping to sober his reality of total isolation, the fact the Hab was his only connection to society making him uneasy, but fortunately, locating the RTG was quite simple, the unnerving bit occurring when picking up the well-encased radiation-supplier. Mark learns with RTG riding shotgun, and without the heater on, kept the interior at 98.6 degrees, mission accomplished. He then tore out the insulation of the rover until the RTG was the main heating source, leaving himself a patch-up amount in case it got too cold, then declaring Sirius 3 would commence the next day.

Log Entry: Sol 70 – This entry is written during the mission and so far going fine, the end amount driven being a little over 50 miles in almost three and a half hours. The time was good, but obviously had much potential for change when he actually got out to the rocky bits, he then setting up the solar cells for recharge and was settling for some Poirot reading during his twelve hour wait, then considering how NASA would’ve reacted to his RTG usage, believing cowering for fear being on the docket.

Log Entry: Sol 71 – The time to recharge was estimated correctly, Mark returning to Hab when done, he then organizing his plan for Sirius 4, thinking it’d be definitely more than one day to accomplish. He goes about acquiring everything necessary for an almost three week outing, then figures the best way to keep his potatoes alive before readying to embark on his journey the next day.

Venkat takes an interview about how they took every opportunity to obtain pictures of Mark’s living area, they receiving help in Europe, as well, he sharing how often they were able to get pictures, and then details his movements so far, regarding his test drives and the possibility of his plan to get to Ares 4, which Venkat hoped Mark would put off what with JPL testing new additions to the MDV, so it could fly after its initial landing, the idea having developed enough to not put everyone at risk. The interviewer asks whether the tests would truly be useful with their current time-frame, Venkat basically alluding to how they’ve surprised themselves before, and whilst they couldn’t speculate on Mark’s likelihood of survival, they aimed to do all they could to get him back whilst breathing and consciousness were intact.

Mindy is then shown feeling quite overwhelmed with all the main leaders of the project in the room, Venkat, Bruce, from JPL, Mitch, flight director for Ares 3, and Annie then joining them, Mindy looking up to her. Venkat asks about how she thought he’d done on his interview as she sits, she informing how he could’ve left out the bit of getting Mark back whilst living, the other possibility occurring to people. She then essentially relays he could fuck off if he couldn’t take the truth when he gets defensive. Bruce then inquires if Teddy was joining them or not, Annie not answering, Mitch then asking whom Mindy was and couldn’t get over how she wasn’t a head of department, Venkat sticking up for her before Teddy walks in asking for updates on Mark, Venkat informing it was unchanged and Annie interjecting with the news of no one having caught on to the RTG when Teddy brings it up.

Venkat describes how Mark would be safe from death as long as it didn’t crack open, Bruce then supplying news on the MDV project, he noting how Teddy hadn’t signed off on their original plan, and Teddy saying his name warningly, Bruce continuing with details on how they planned on making the MDV lighter and were finalizing their data, Teddy then welcoming Mindy, she answering his question about the orbit gaps, and then is instructed to bring it down to under five minutes, she agreeing without knowing how she’d accomplish this. When Teddy brings up Mitch’s email, the man inquires of when they should share with Ares 4 crew of Mark’s survival, he pushing to let them know, but Teddy making final call and believing they should wait until they had a solid plan for his rescue, Mitch not liking the outcome.

Teddy then inquires of how Mark would survive until Ares 4 came, Venkat detailing the main problem being lack of food, and they usually requiring nine months, Mark needing it in three, Bruce then agreeing it would be handled and Teddy assuring they’d get the funding necessary, Venkat then mentioning how they’d have to borrow a booster from another mission in order to get the fuel required for the trip, since the planets weren’t aligned in such a way to make it easy, Teddy agreeing to it and Bruce reiterating they’d get on it, Teddy replying how Mark’s diet depended on it. Venkat absorbed his early evening caffeine high what with the crazy hours he was pulling, along with all the borrowing he was doing for this project, and was currently typing up a letter to a congressman in regards to his needing to get the votes so they could receive more cash.

Mindy interrupts with news of Mark having driven off with purpose, Venkat staying hopeful it was a test again, but Mindy clarifying how his movements told another story, Venkat becoming serious when thinking how Mark didn’t have a chance making it to Ares 4, Mindy then sharing he wasn’t going in the direction for it anyways and wanted to head home for some shut eye when stating how Mark was charging up the solar cells and how long it normally took, Venkat accepting this. Next, the same interviewer is speaking with a post office worker about the stamps made for Mark and how these would be the first made for someone still alive, the post office attempting to recall them and how due to the amount already sold, wouldn’t become very lucrative, the interviewer then speaking with a psychologist for the Ares missions, the woman describing Mark’s personality which would help his survival, but also how his humor helped his team, which led to discussions of how the crew still didn’t know about Mark, the interviewer then discussing Mark’s current movements suggesting he hadn’t given up, yet, the psychologist posing both possibilities if Mark did decide to give up, as well.

Venkat is then seen typing still, and Bruce on speakerphone, the two talking of how they planned on getting Mark’s attention if getting the food supply there, Bruce stating their idea to use the comm system sent with it to auto broadcast to the Hab and or rovers, as well as a way to get Mark to turn on his comm in the first place, Venkat liking the idea and not stressing at all of this possibly being unnecessary if Mark drives to Ares 4, the two getting off the line and Venkat reading an email from Mindy about Mark moving. When he goes to see her and how Mark was traveling, Venkat has an idea dawn on him, she relaying the latitude and longitude of where he was and of the Hab, he leading her to the map of Mars in their break room and drawing where the two points were and the two deducing he was aiming for Pathfinder, Venkat realizing what Mark had in mind for his attempt to communicate, immediately calling Bruce to update him on the new hope, he designating Bruce the task of rounding up all who worked on the 1997 mission, then giving Mark mad props.

Log Entry: Sol 79 – Mark is now a little over a week on his outing, his regiment for the day falling into a normal schedule, his waste is saved for when he returned, and after doing his ‘bidness’ he checks the solar cells, and then gathers them, continuing to drive almost two hours at 25 kph and switches out the first cell, driving a couple more hours and using the RTG until becoming too hot, switching between it and the duct-taped hole in the rover, so to keep from overheating and becoming too chilled. When he uses up the cells, he’d taken to dumping them closely around the rover instead of setting them up, since doing so became tedious work, but what truly sucked is his twelve hour wait, he now wishing he was back at the Hab looking after his taters, realizing how messed up it was to want to be ‘home’ in the Hab. During his long idle time, he’s plagued with the questions of how he’d get the required gear to make the long trip to Ares 4, the ’70s music and TV along with Poirot, helping and when sleepy, bunking down amongst his shit, literally and passing out.

Log Entry: Sol 80 – 100 km from Pathfinder or Carl Sagan Memorial Station, Mark notes how due to his status as “King of Mars”, he could refer to it however he so pleased, he was still in the thick of the trip, and his directions were a challenge, his idea to use the maps available to determine landmarks had failed, since not recognizing any marks, so he follows Phobos, which circles Mars twice daily, it being good enough as a guide. By Sol 75, his route had become more simple, he naming the valley after his commander, since she loved geology. After passing the valley though, he was back to following Phobos, reading into the god it was named after and considering it could be bad juju, but then he recognized a small depression in the land letting him know how close he was to his destination, stopping there, and knowing where he’d be hitting next and getting settled for his twelve hour break.

Log Entry: Sol 81 – Quite close to Pathfinder, but ran out of charge with 22 km left, his route easily recognizable now and once making it, due to clear weather, he believed he could follow his own tracks back, then lying out the cells, and deciding to take a stroll to stave off the crazies of cramped quarters, thinking about how many firsts he was accumulating by his actions, he going on to admit how much he wanted to talk to anyone about whatever, so he’d be acquiring another first the next day when reclaiming a “Mars probe”.

Log Entry: Sol 82 – And then, success, Pathfinder exactly in the spot it should’ve been, he then also locating Sojourner, which he put in the rover, then going to work to retrieve the probe, he making a rope so he could detach the central panel, and then getting it to the rover, but saving the hoisting until the next day, he already planning on cutting in half the amount of solar panels he would use on the return trip, and also considered if getting Sojourner up and running, how he’d speak to, and how NASA would talk back through Sojourner.

Log Entry: Sol 83 – Mark did some hard labor to get the panel on the roof, he making a ramp, but with a 20 kg suit to drag around, as well, he having quite a time hauling rocks necessary for the building of the ramp, but once securing the panel and solar cells, realizing he needed to collapse the ramp carefully before driving off so it didn’t damage the rover, but upon doing so, it only taking an hour, he could now safely return with his broken 200 kg radio.

Log Entry: Sol 90 – A week after going to Pathfinder, he’d been keeping to his own tracks, but it only getting him so far, so when there were no more tracks to follow, he started using Phobos again, only requiring to get 40 km in range of the Hab to pick up the signal, now optimistic of survival and upon each stop, collecting rock and soil samples, which he began to enjoy. (The story is picking up with interesting little plot points.)

Log Entry: Sol 92 – Mark receives a couple seconds from the Hab signal, weather being clear, since he knew he was at least 100 km away, he then beginning to watch The Six Million Dollar Man, relating to one of the episodes about a space probe from Venus accidentally landing on Earth and fighting humans, Mark wary of Pathfinder, in case it decided to turn on him.

Log Entry: Sol 93 – Mark was now in range of the Hab signal, 24,718 meters to go, he expecting to make it by the next day, but would be able to walk it if necessary, he thinking how his inactivity had messed up his back and missing Beck, the guy you go to for back cracking. Mark thought about how he wouldn’t even have cared if Beck gave him shit about the importance of stretching, he then recalling a sardine-like training session with all of them which he’d prefer about now, and crossed his fingers he could fix Pathfinder.

Log Entry: Sol 94 – Back at the Hab and ecstatic, taking advantage of its ginormous size and spazzing out expansively, turning on the required machines, and checking the plants, everything good, he then adds his waste to the designated areas, does a system check, and kicks back for a little bit, then reattaches the solar panels to the Hab, and has a much easier time getting Pathfinder down. Afterward, reluctantly driving the rover once more to bury the RTG, then off to beddy-bye in a proper camp bed, content to know he had a proper shitter to use in the morning.

Log Entry: Sol 95 – Mark was a repair fiend today, he first cleaning the solar panels of Sojourner, then having a looky loo at Pathfinder, setting up a work space outside the Hab for it, and detaches the seriously dead battery, hooking up Pathfinder to a power line. As for the heating implements, he guts more from the other rover, doing all he could, and now had to see if it would do the trick.

Log Entry: Sol 96 – Nothing’s changed with Pathfinder, Mark able to tell by lack of antenna movement, obviously JPL’s Pathfinder team wouldn’t be hanging around attempting to make contact (), but he knew if a signal was noticed by SETI and The Deep Space Network, they’d give word to the proper peeps, but Mark staying positive, since knowing it could only require more time to heat, Sojourner also still unmoving, he having to stop thinking about it for now. Then, Pathfinder does a system check after booting up, looks for a signal, and locks on. Venkat and all present freak out when Pathfinder comes online, Bruce also elated, a quickly put together team having been working to get the old system compatible with the new one, Venkat then getting more details on how long it’d take for the communication to hit Pathfinder and how many systems were running, they able to receive image in about twenty minutes.

Log Entry: Sol 97 – Mark has now noticed Pathfinder doing its thang, in shock, but happy to know Earth knew he’d survived, also aware his idea had been a long shot, but would soon be chatting with people again, regardless of whether he made it until rescue, and once returning to the Hab, has an emotional moment, thinking how he’d now have to figure out how to delete the more cringe-worthy entries he’d made, but first, to talk to peeps. Venkat is then in a press conference updating them on receiving transmission, how Sojourner couldn’t be contacted, yet and Mark would have to let them know how to communicate, another dead obvious question answered before Venkat returns for updates on the imagery, nothing so far, but soon they getting image slowly, as the view took in more, they getting two notes from Mark.

Log Entry: Sol 97 (2) – Mark excitedly relays how he’d gotten a yes, then coming up with a way for them to speak to him by using ASCII, he telling them about the state of the Hab, his crops, how he survived, then grabbing Sojourner, but the little bastard still not getting signal, and NASA would be working on a better way to communicate, Mark ending by leaving a message for his family and relaying to the commander, “disco sucks”. Meanwhile, Venkat is running out of steam and working in his ‘new’ break room office, an engineer coming in and sharing painfully slowly of how his team had come up with a way Mark could hack his rover so they could message chat, he then getting a call from Annie about the pressure she was getting from the press for still not having a photo of Mark after 24 hours of communication, Venkat irritated, but willing to attempt it the next time.

Log Entry: Sol 98 – Mark is giddy to start chatting again, he rising early and waiting, then getting the first message which warned of a longer message to come for the hack, he preparing appropriately and receiving his first instructions, as well as the need for a picture, so Mark writes a note, and poses ’70s style.
Annie is now annoyed with Mark’s note, but Venkat not caring and hanging up on her, then he speaks with the engineer about a quicker way of getting their directions across, but would involve Mark’s team, Venkat denying this, so onward with snail pace. Log Entry: Sol 98 (2) – So, attempting to get all the text down became tricky, Mark learning laptops no work in Mars atmosphere, he resorting to taking a picture of the messages as he wrote them, he then rewriting them inside, and planning on inputting them in the morning.

Venkat and crew awaited for the system update, Mark having already put the data in, and Tim, the smart-aleck computer guy, nonchalantly relaying it had come online as they’d been chatting, Venkat then begins his messages to Mark by introducing himself and letting him know how long they’d been tracking him, their plan to replenish his supplies and the rescue mission. Mark returns with the news making him happy, inquiring how the crew took his survival and a shout out to his mom. Venkat responds by asking about his crops, then informs him of the crew being in the dark for now. Mark replies about how he’d planted the crops and how long they’d last him, then berating in colorful phrasing for not informing the crew, yet. Venkat mentions of having botanists check his work, in case of error, and to refrain from cursing since they were live, Mark responding with text: (.Y.).

Teddy finishes speaking with the President, Mitch enters for a word, and the update being positive, finally. He then determining Teddy must know why he’d dropped in, and his guess being correct, Mitch sharing how he should’ve had the call to tell the crew from the start, but had allowed Venkat and he to take the shots, so Teddy share’s his agreement, and Mitch gratefully leaves to do so.

Mark had been working hard on Hab tasks, so he was now sleeping extra soundly, having sweet dreams. A memory of the commander getting everyone up when they’d first arrived, proceeding, Mark resisting, but giving in upon threat of being turned out of bed. He gets himself and some of the other crew breakfast packets, one of them only wanting coffee, the commander then relaying their assignments before a storm hit. Three of the crew view the storm’s progress being quicker than having sounded, but they getting as much samples as possible before hearing how much time they had before the storm hit them, heading back to the Hab. The crew are in the Hab again, feeling the speed of the wind outside as one of the crew members relays the messages from Houston, the commander then making the order to gear up and wait at the MAV. As Mark and crew walk, he gets hit by debris as he’s talking with one of his crewmates about how to keep the MAV steady, they then searching for him as the pilot turns on the MAV and relays they’d been called back, officially, the team searching a little longer, before the commander orders them to go to the MAV as she looks around a bit longer, she attempting anything which could locate Mark, the pilot then deals with the MAV being tipped and using fuel to return it back to place, the commander then agreeing reluctantly to return, she giving the order to launch and they making it to space.

Four months after this, Beck is noting plant growth and returning to the crew, now waiting for emails, and when they arrive, it was noticed there was a voicemail to them all, everyone shocked by the news of Mark and it coming directly from Mitch, everyone slowly having their spirits lifted until Commander Lewis speaks of how she’d left him. Meanwhile, the Ares 3 Hab was being made extra durable, and everyone okay working overtime for the pay being exceptionally noice.

Log Entry: Sol 114 – Mark has now had time to come down from his honeymoon phase with speaking to NASA, since they now were giving Mark advice on how to grow his crops. Fortunately, he can take it or leave it, the main upside being the emails, he also now knowing how he’d get picked up by Ares 4 and his duties afterward, also learning Morse code as backup to Pathfinder crapping out. Next, the Hab material goes through inspection after setting, then being approved for use.

Log Entry: Sol 115 – He receives word he’d correctly figured the amount of food would last him until Sol 900, he expecting to be replenished by Sol 856, also he’d finally received a message from Lewis, she detailing how she felt responsible and Mark’s reply supporting her decision, but accepting the beer offer. Then, details on the shipping of the Hab material, and when arriving at the destination, how they added the necessary items to go with it.

Log Entry: Sol 116 – Mark is now readying for his second harvest, giving him 400 taters and in a little under two weeks; they’d be ripe for the pickin’. His plan on storing them is to chuck them outside, he then sharing an email from Venkat regarding of not sharing his message with the Botany Team to essentially, fuck off, he believing Mark should consider their input, and he letting Mark know how the Cubbies did, and wouldn’t be getting new tunes. Venkat also states he should be aware of a meeting coming up to make sure he hadn’t made any foreseeable bad moves to get himself left behind. Mark’s reply was to inform the group they’d have to set up their “witch hunt” without him, and he’d deny any wrong doing they came up with in pointing the finger at Lewis, as well as ending with every one of this group’s female family members being hoes. “The presupply probes for Ares 3” were sent up and landed on Mars with no issue, it now sitting for its almost two year wait.

Log Entry: Sol 117 – Mark is having a hiccup with the water reclaimer not working properly, the amount of water being made lower than usual, so NASA is having a fit trying to get him to help them figure out what’s up. Then, the Hab is set up by Lewis and Beck, it holding the air they put into it.

Log Entry: Sol 118 – Mark short-hands the conversation between NASA and he about why the reclaimer won’t work and he suggests he check it out, NASA having an hours long meeting about it, and denying he allowed to touch it, so Mark touches it. He’d determined rightly what had happened having to do with a clogged tube from mineral build up, he then getting it working again, informing NASA, and they begrudgingly accepting this. Then, description of how the Hab survived the wind, but a weak area of the canvas having yet to be noticed.

Log Entry: Sol 119 – Mark is awoken by a fairly mini storm, he now deciding to check Pathfinder to make sure it was still working properly, then the cleaning of the solar cells (insert nth Martian joke here, all of which are entertaining), as well as requiring the building of a storage unit for chucked taters, so they didn’t migrate in high wind. Now Mark had all of the tasks which needed handling, he set about getting it done. As he depressurized the Hab, it had finally seen its last ability to stretch, it ripping all the way around and the airlock shooting off with Mark still in it, he barely conscious as he hits ground, and when he comes to enough to realize his face plate had cracked, as well as the airlock, then seeing the torn Hab, he responds with disbelief.

Audio Log Transcript: Sol 119 – Mark has angrily given up, his air now close to gone, he readying for death, since having reached the point where solving issues was no longer desired.

Audio Log Transcript: Sol 119 (2) – He has calmed down and attempts to discover another way out of his predicament. The airlock not being a part of the Hab anymore one issue, it leaking, and his broken face plate also unhelpful, he deciding a good ponder was in order.

Audio Log Transcript: Sol 119 (3) – He discovers he’s in deep shit, but the shit ain’t as deep as it could be. Now, he was out of his suit, could hear the leak, but couldn’t see it, so good ole fire-making plan returns for a comeback show. He uses a bunch of shaved arm hair as his burning material, then tests out his idea.

Audio Log Transcript: Sol 119 (4) – It takes four tries, but he locates the crack, now though, he having to decide how to use his patch-up kit. So, first he uses the duct-tape on the airlock and it works.

Audio Log Transcript: Sol 119 (5) -It’s still stable, so now it’s the matter of fixing the EVA suit, he concluding he’d have to use some fabric from the suit to cover the crack and then press the leftover fabric against his body until he located a safe spot.

Audio Log Transcript: Sol 119 (6) – Mark’s idea works well, he sealing both openings, but also succeeding in getting his hand stuck to his helmet, fortunately he being able to get loose without losing a lot of skin, only problem was, after seeing if the air would hold, he’d wasted so much oxygen, he’d only left himself four minutes worth to work with.

Audio Log Transcript: Sol 119 (7) – So, Mark knows he had to repair the Hab and going to a rover still meant eventual death, he remembering placing the suit he’d taken with him back in the Hab, so now he had to decide out of the three suits, which would fit him, which to choose, and where would they be found after the blast. Another issue was how far he currently was from the Hab, the time he’d waste getting there being an issue which needed remedying.

Audio Log Transcript: Sol 119 (8) – Mark discovers he had to get the airlock to roll, the third time, the charm and he getting it to tip and slide, but he now having to do the same thing many times to make a difference.

Audio Log Transcript: Sol 120 – Mark was sore (achy, not mad, necessarily), but he got it done. The main issue stemmed from how each body slam didn’t guarantee a knock over, he continuing throughout the night and getting ten meters away, he now having been stuck in the airlock for 24 hours, so running though his plan and back up plan, and hoping for the best.

Log Entry: Sol 120 – Mark reaches the rover, plan not totally working out, being one-armed and all, so his search took more time, he locating one suit, but it being stuck under a table, and he couldn’t pull it free one-handed, but he was able to grab another patch kit and helmet, so high-tailed it to the rover in the nick. When he figures out Pathfinder wasn’t online what with it getting power from the Hab, he isn’t too worried, since it had been far enough from the blast radius to still work, so with fixing his suit a bit more and being out of immediate danger, it was time for some sleep.

Log Entry: Sol 121 – Mark fixes his leakage problem, he then able to get the EVA suit free, worrying about the Hab the next day.

Log Entry: Sol 122 – Mark writes a message to NASA with rocks, then gauged the damage to the Hab, support poles still usable, and the airlock hole, a big one, but manageable, the main issue his plants being unsalvageable, and the math giving the conclusion of if he had to wait until Sol 856, he wouldn’t need a rescue mission, it’d be about recovery.

Mark gets his test message to NASA, Venkat responding and getting the updates on damage and how much food Mark had, Venkat then giving the estimate of what had occurred and to vary his comings and goings between the two remaining airlocks, Mark requesting updates for solving his food problem. Bruce gives the low down to his team, since they didn’t have much time, they nixing the plan to send any other items and only focus on food, the landing also able to take some impact, as long as the distance to Mark was reasonable.

Next message from Venkat let Mark know they’d send the foodstuffs right before deadly starvation hit, Mark alright with not receiving back up oxygenator or reclaimer, he still having the ones there working properly, the amount of water he had still workable, Venkat then sharing the name of the probe: Iris and the goddess traveling quickly and responsible for rainbows, Mark open for smart-ass remark, and taking it.

An astrodynamicist has finished plotting the orbital path for the probe for 25 days, it taking almost until four a.m. to finish, he then emailing his manager about the details and slight differences between days, but began a sentence after which he didn’t dare finish and instead got some coffee. Teddy readies to make a speech to high-positioned people of NASA, he having Venkat begin with status updates, he sharing how Ares 3 and 4 fought for who would run the supplies, Venkat letting Ares 3 win, acknowledging Ares 4 was upset, but would have plenty coming up to keep them busy. Teddy moves to Mitch about launch updates, he stating the plan, and how Venkat would take over after initial launch. Annie’s up next with daily updates on Mark going strong to the press and a CNN show designated to him was most popular for a couple weeks running.

Teddy then introduces the man whom was responsible for helping launch, and giving information on the booster, it being a little needy, but testing continual every few days. Teddy then gets to Bruce, he updating about the probe, his team behind schedule by a couple weeks, and estimated requiring a little over a couple more to finish, so Teddy then brainstorming where the extra time could come from, they discussing if it could be squeezed from Mark’s food saving, the doctor claiming he was already going well below the amount needed. Teddy then turns to shortening inspection time, getting percents on how often it detected issues and whether those problems resulted in a failed mission, he then has the doctor have Mark ration for four extra days in case they needed it. Meanwhile, the astrodynamicist, Rich decides after speaking with his boss, Mike, he’d rather take a vacation for a personal project then finish the satellite adjustments he’d been asked to complete a couple weeks before, Mike having verbally signed off before having Rick get him his work.

Then, Mark is updated on the state of his care package, and they working on a busy work list, since Mark was essentially twiddling his thumbs, so a schedule soon to be forwarded. Iris was getting packed up for shipping after two solid months of work, everyone tired and happy. Annie is then shown giving information on launch date and how long it’d take to arrive being a little over half a year and what would be sent with the food including music and letters, Annie then having to remind them whilst money may be getting spent, they were also logging many experiment hours on Mars which wouldn’t have been obtained with only their assigned missions.

Mitch then makes certain Venkat is praying to all his gods everything goes accordingly as they ready the launch, Venkat doing his part and then trying to stay positive the launch would go smoothly, the checks continuing as Teddy watched from his private observation room, Annie walking back and forth in her office surrounded by TV screens, Bruce sitting among his colleagues in the cafeteria, all the engineers hopeful. Even Mark’s crew was listening in, then Mitch states Flight was go for launch and the countdown begins, Rich not noticing as he continued his project, Iris lifting off with only some slight shaking where it was kept on course. Then it’s learned what the shaking had caused to happen, Mark’s protein cubes having been shaken free, and they melting and moving to a spot within, to intensify the shakiness.

This is noted by the flight director, they keeping tabs on it, meanwhile, the protein liquid has a chance to solidify if given enough time, but it didn’t, the whole mess getting thrown against a bolted area which broke on impact, it quickly going to shit from there, the probe failing, and Teddy readying his second speech upon conference of the press. Venkat sat in his office, not answering calls, then getting a message from Mark inquiring about the launch.

Mark writes to Martinez because his doctor prescribed him to do so, he soberly asking for him to speak with his parents on the off-chance he croaks, but he wasn’t giving up, only planning ahead. Meanwhile, Guo Ming, a China National Space admin is chatting to his boss about Mark and the likelihood he would starve than be saved. He confesses they could intervene, the two discussing how to make it happen and deciding it’d have to be by communication through agency first, then share with their respective governments. Teddy’s reaction to what he’d heard suggested over the phone, only met with a short silence before agreement.

Mark spends most of his letter to Johanssen calling her a hot nerd, essentially. Bruce is explaining to the team of having 28 days til China’s gifted launch and how they needed a certain amount of the probe to be food and how much would be available as buffer for the high speed impact due to pairing down the build so as to make deadline. After, Venkat gets a visit from Rich at astrodynamics, whom wanted to share an idea, since he believed their current plan would fail, Venkat impressed after reading his work.

Mark’s letter to Vogel was partial blame for how he was now having to do boring experiments and he being a “super-villain”, since he’s German and had a base on Mars. Venkat is now sharing the news with a few associates at their Project Elrond meeting (LOTR), he revealing how Rich’s idea would have them helping Mark 39 sols earlier than their projected time. Bruce comes up with the issue of this plan being a flyby rather than a pick up. As the group continues to discuss, they are faced with 2 options to save Mark, and Venkat believed they should decide rather than go to Commander Lewis. As they talk, Venkat relates how if they decided to send Hermes instead, it had a better chance of success. So, they could go with the idea where there’d be a greater chance of killing a single person or an idea with a lower probability of killing 6 people and after they figured it out, let Teddy make the deciding vote, Mitch piping in about having Lewis decide, but Venkat dismissing this.

They end with allowing for 39 hours of research and not to speak or email anyone and only discuss with those present. Mark next writes to Beck, he advising he should confess how he feels to Johanssen, but wait until they finish the mission, plus Lewis killing them if she found out. When Venkat and team get together again, Teddy decides to go with the Rich Purnell Maneuver, which pisses Mitch off, since the best option seemed like the previously mentioned and Mitch berated Teddy for it. He continues to insult him until storming out, the one lady present interrupting Teddy’s apology on Mitch’s behavior to admit she’d been hoping he’d kick his ass for being a coward.

Mark’s letter to Lewis is formal, but forgiving her, since he suspected she’d still be blaming herself for his situation and then segues into her baffling love of disco. Next, Vogel is checking email when he gets a file in jpeg form and when it doesn’t open, takes a walk to see if Johanssen can assist, she figuring out it was a different format and was a math formulae, Vogel surprised by the ETA using the Rich Purnell Maneuver. Later, Vogel shares the gravity of what he’d been sent to the rest of the crew to decide whether they’d rather go rogue, everyone taking time to think it over than jumping in like Martinez. Lewis then inquires whether Johanssen would be able to get around the manual override, she considering it’d be fairly easy. Lewis ended the meeting with a 24 hour window where anyone could change their minds, but the smiles she saw on all their faces told her they would stick with their vote. Brendan, from Mission Control gets a headset communication from CAPCOM regarding an odd message about Hermes changing course and Rich Purnell’s name being mentioned, Brendan adamant to learn whom he was.

Meanwhile, Mitch has been called by Teddy to explain why he’d given the Rich Purnell Maneuver to the crew, admitting they hadn’t any proof, but it being obvious Mitch was the culprit. Mitch uses similarly said words from the meeting in response: How they should focus on the massive amount of work needing to be done. Teddy confirms Annie the media rep wouldn’t be including how the decision had been made. Teddy is continuing to stress how serious of a situation Mitch had put them in and himself if the crew died, Mitch noting how whomever had done it, hadn’t forced anyone’s hand and Lewis wasn’t a shit commander, so would’ve decided with sound mind and not emotionally. Teddy ends with stating how he’d let go of Mitch if he discovered proof he’d been responsible, Mitch saying he’d rather take a hail Mary to “save lives” otherwise, he’d be Teddy (ooOOOHH!!).

Log Entry: Sol 192 – Mark’s in shock to learn the crew was coming for him, he absorbing the load of work ahead for the process of travel and modifications estimated at 95 sols, proceeding to describe the few complicated steps he’d be dealing with at the start, leaving Venkat’s instructions to be listed in his hand when concerning how he would be able to cut a hole in one of the rovers. He’d have fun with extreme voltage power in the near future.

Log Entry: Sol 193 – The project ended up being fairly safe, since he’d be disconnecting power before working on it, but Venkat’s next instructions seemingly simple normally, being semi-tricky on Mars: to draw the outline before cutting. Mark gets clever again and uses duct tape. He was able to get 75 hole punches done and gave himself a full ration, since he’d have to be rescued after a certain amount of sols and he could spare some extra rations if death were coming anyways.

Log Entry: Sol 194 – It would take 4 more sols to complete the drilling, he also picking “Stayin’ Alive” by the Beegees as his theme tune.

Log Entry: Sol 195 – Mark gives an update on how many holes he’d drilled, Venkat’s response being one of an arrogant prat, they thinking he’d have more done by now. He’d also discovered the bacteria rich soil he’d left had survived the extreme cold temps.

Log Entry: Sol 196 – A big life-taking boo-boo has been made, he having started drilling for the day, the drill power malfunctioning and fixed, not making anything of it. He goes through a full day’s work and reports getting 131 more holes done, awaiting the usual half hour for a reply, he sending another message, then beginning to dread, he troubleshooting the problem. Eventually, he realizes a lead had become detached and a short may have occurred, noticing the massive poop: he’d fried Pathfinder’s “delicate electronics” and wouldn’t have contact with Earth.

Log Entry: Sol 197 – Mark takes a breath for some self-pity then moves on, since he was still going to receive a visit from Hermes and whilst difficulty had increased, he could still succeed. He leaves a Morse message about what happened and then sets to planning a way to get to Schiaparelli, making up a new scientific unit name: pirate-ninjas, he also coming up with a way of saving 3.6 pirate-ninjas (kilowatt – hours per sol) by dumping his wee-wee and poops on Mars’ surface, it a punishment for trying to kill him all those times.

Log Entry: Sol 198 – Mark does some more clever-making and calculates not actually requiring as much CO2 being used, having 44.1 pirate-ninjas and he using 7.35. He did have to continue researching how to power the regulator (1 of the Big Three).

Log Entry: Sol 199 – Mark discovers a new dangerous way to work things, he only using the oxygenator when actually using it and would reheat his return air with his trusty radioactive plutonium, saving him 21.5 pirate-ninjas. After double-checking his calculations, he warms to the idea of this working.

Log Entry: Sol 200 – Today was filled with rock redistribution into the rover to test the weight he’d be hauling. It didn’t amount to much, unfortunately. He’d probably take about 92 days with recharging stops (ick). Mark decides to break for the rest of the day, having ached his back from rock shifting.

Log Entry: Sol 201- Mark learns he actually had significantly ached out his back, so medication and radiation play-day! He sets up a rig to bathe in, since he hadn’t had one since Earth and back pain needed handling. It was mm-mm, necessary.

Log Entry: Sol 207 – He took a week off to recover from his back pain, spending his free time between hot bathing twice daily, 70s reruns, and planning how to get more solar panels atop the rovers to extend his drive time. Since he hadn’t attempted any Morse messages for 6 days, he updates NASA then takes a bath.

Log Entry: Sol 208 – Solar panels experimentation placement was today’s goal. The result looked similar to Beverly Hillbillies truck and wasn’t a success. He did come up with a shelving alternative though, which he’d implement the next day.

Log Entry: Sol 209 – Mark puts a fire under his booty to finish his plan, since he’d left the panels detached and woke up to a fairly chilly atmosphere, tolerable, but motivational. He got a strut off of the MAV to tinker with for his shelf. After working and installing, he’s pleased with the result and tests durability by chucking rocks at his handy work. The shelving was stable, he adding the solar panels and did a test drive, success abounding and fist pumps excessively exercised, he then reattaching cells for warm morning in the Hab.

Log Entry: Sol 211 – Happy clam-like mood what with not breaking his vehicle began his day, and so could focus on chucking all unnecessary items, so he could fit himself and more supplies, he even making room for 2 huge batteries from the Hab inside his gutted trailer-rover. With this done, he’ll now be able to travel 100 kilometers per day (4 out of 5 days, that is). Since he knew the China launch was happening in a couple days, he was feeling nervous for his crew-mates and everyone’s well-being again, he knowing in order to learn how it went, would happen upon his arrival at Schiaparelli.

Lewis is seen having a conversation with her hubby about their docking with the China probe in a few days and his acquire of an original print of Abba’s greatest hits album. Meanwhile, Venkat and Teddy have traveled to China and were still looking forward to Customs after their 14 hour flight. As they’re queuing, a man from the China Space admin locates and shares how they’d be able to get directly to their rooms due to having been given authorization to bypass Customs as guests of the country. Vogel also gets the chance to catch up with his wife, updates of their children and his mother, and how his wife had gotten a free trip to Houston to make their communication easier. Teddy has a moment to communicate to another Chinese Space admin official about Mitch’s job ethic, Teddy confessing how trying he could be, the official, Guo Ming noting the statement with a laugh. Beck is catching up with his sister about why he’d have to be the one to manually drive the Hermes in case anything went awry with the docking procedure and how each member of the crew had multiple duties. Venkat was working on spreadsheets when Mitch enters and gives updates about the probe attachment going perfectly, Mitch admits he was alright with being seen as a dick by everyone if the Hermes succeeded on its mission – this stemming from how he’d suspected his meal the night before contained an eyeball.

Martinez was speaking with his wife, whom was having their young son wave at the camera, he noting he could tell she was angered, due to the length of extended time he’d be away, but the two, of course being able to move forward. Venkat was interviewing an update to CNN from China regarding the process and why they were launching from China, as well as what would happen if the probe required being handled manually. Johanssen is having an unfortunate conversation with her father about the stress she’s putting on he and her mother. Johanssen then reveals, after much prodding why she was so certain she’d for sure survive the trip and what she’d be consuming on the latter half of her journey to do so, but to only reveal to her mother the food supply would last her. The launch goes perfectly and through a conversation Venkat has with Zhu Tao, whom had fought for their probe to launch with his government, it’d never be done. Venkat sensitively notes Mark would have a chance now, but Zhu Tao pointing out the Chinese were still coming out as a loss more than a gain for being a pioneer in one area of space travel. Meanwhile, the crew was now readying to dock and succeed with no complications. Lewis helps the 2 dock crew unsuit whilst Johanssen and Martinez start inventory of the supplies, he joking about whom Johanssen would’ve chosen to eat first, he cracking about how he was “corn-fed” and had prime muscles, she ignoring him.

Log Entry: Sol 376 – Mark completes rover mods and specifies life support staying constant being the difficult bit, everything else being only a ton of work, which he briefly goes over, since he’d been neglecting the log. He wasn’t quite ready to move, but since he knew rescue was coming, he’d take it easier what with not wanting to further injure himself, and also being more diligent with logs, since they may be read one day (…Hi).

Log Entry: Sol 381 – He takes a mo. to contemplate laws on Mars and figures out the law would fall under the category of “International waters”. He goes on to note how only whilst using and inhabiting NASA property does American laws apply, so when he reaches the new base and enters Ares 4, he’ll be a space pirate until receiving permission from NASA once contact is made.

Log Entry: Sol 383 – Free time usually contained TV watching, but also trip planning, it being an eclectic terrain, but hopefully still manageable, attempting to stay positive about the easier bits.

Log Entry: Sol 385 – Today included planning and making a tent so he didn’t cramp himself on the longer trip. He decides to use one of his pop-tents which had once been re-purposed for his potato farm and was a lifeboat for the rover originally. He planned for it to easily attach to the rover so he’d have access to the computer and then expand the space so he’d be able to move about with all the comfort of an upright walker. Glue will be its main adhesive necessity.

Log Entry: Sol 387 – Exact measurements of how much material being needed was a must, since he no longer had much spare fabric, deciding he’d have to cut the Hab and reattach it a little bit lopsided and smaller, but still usable for 62 sols. He triple checks his calculations and outline before dinner. He had saved the last few food packs for special occasions, naming them accordingly and considering changing the label of his final meal of his stay from “Last Meal”, for obvious connotations, he back to eating potatoes, which apparently was getting tired, but also gladly he being isolated what with what could be eking back out of him.

Log Entry: Sol 388 – Breakies was a tater with hot water and a caffeine pill, since real coffee had been consumed long ago. Inventory of Hab and moving anything which wouldn’t depressurize well was next on the docket, and upon completion, would be ready to art-project the Hab canvas. Upon getting the pieces he required, he then went about resealing and finding all the leaks. When done, he wanted to sleep, but was paranoid with any noise he heard being one of a leak, so sleeping pill city, tonight!

Log Entry: Sol 389 – Survival occurred and had helped the decision of no more sleepy pill consumption in his future, since he’d woken at mid-day, his project being to set up his bedroom. 1st test succeeds, but only an hour, the first overnight use being when he’d actually need it, since he had no way of exiting through the bedroom.

Log Entry: Sol 390 – Mark finishes preparing, but still feels like more needed doing. He’d be driving off on Sol 449, which gave him 59 sols to fix any issues and test everything, after which deciding what would remain behind. Then, he’d be mapping his route with a not-so-clear satellite map, and continued to make certain nothing was forgotten. He’d been dreaming of getting off Mars since Sol 6, but ditching the Hab terrified him so, WWaAAD? = What Would an Apollo Astronaut Do? Fool would drink 3 whiskey sours, drive his Corvette to the launchpad, and fly to the moon in a smaller space than Mark’s rover. H’what bad-asses.

Log Entry: Sol 431 – Mark is game-planning the best way to pack, making sure anything which is freeze-safe would be stored in the trailer. Most of his taters would be stored outside the rover, and the rest inside for convenient consumption. The rest of the items he’d leave in the rover would be reserved for emergency materials and tools, as well as a box and lid for toilet accessories. Meanwhile, Venkat has visited Mindy and asks for updates regarding Mark’s movements being caught. He also reveals she’d be solely tracking Mark for the time being, since she was most familiar on what to look for in doing so. She remarks how this project was a useless one, since they’d not be able to interfere even if Mark required it, Venkat responding by inquiring how long she’d been working for the government. (Yeah…)

Log Entry: Sol 434 – The dry run would be occurring, the tricky bit being to keep carbon dioxide low during the detachment from the Hab. After, he tests it to make sure it was working, which it was, so he returns to the Hab for it to have an overnight test.

Log Entry: Sol 435 – Mark awakes to good read outs, he then checking his bedroom, but this time, upon opening, it pops like a pimple. He reinforces the weak seam and saves another test for the following day.

Log Entry: Sol 436 – Caffeine is gone, headache took over after slow upsy daisy, O2 helping disappear the symptom. Then, 2nd bedroom test, which he decides to allow an 8 hour period for the bedroom to stay inflated, he plans his trip more fully and his route, which he knows could change what with he not having all mapping specifics. Venkat and group have joined a meeting with Mindy and another fella, Mindy updating all about Mark’s mysterious room and the work he’d been doing with the Hab and AREC. The mystery man, Randall then shares how low grade dust storms were approaching Mark’s route area which lasts for months at a time. The issue being, sunlight would be limited, making Mark’s solar panels less effective and NASA not being able to monitor him until he exits the dust storm.

Log Entry: Sol 439 – Today would be full test day, to make certain everything worked in tandem. He’d also be leaving life support in the rover on overnight to determine how much power was used. The Hermes crew have a meeting regarding status of degradation of the craft, everyone keeping on top of the so far, minor repairs, except for Martinez’s room baking him and he not able to move into Mark’s room since it had the same issue, due to being next door, so Lewis moves Beck in with Johanssen, and didn’t care they’d started “a thing”, due to this being an out of the ordinary mission, as long as duties were kept up, Martinez cracking a “Million-mile-high club” line.

Log Entry: Sol 444 – So, Mark tests the driving for 5 sols and he loves his bedroom. He fixes it to receive proper heat and even rigged a mini microwave to heat taters, the room making his cramped quarters much more agreeable. After completing his other dry run tests and nothing going wrong, he’s on schedule for departure date.

Log Entry: Sol 449 – Mark’s day has come, the taters all cooked now and ready for meal times. He checks everything including motors, also having gutted the Hab, likening it to the Giving Tree. He then shuts it all down for the last time, even though he knew the shut down didn’t matter much, but felt since it was a part of the original mission procedure, he may as well in tribute. Mark then has a mo. to listen to how silent it was in the Hab without all the attachments on. After, he is ready as he can be for the 45 sols of driving ahead.

Log Entry: Sol 458 – He reaches Mawrth Vallis after 10 sols and his driving and living space are working well enough. He hadn’t actually noticed his reaching Mawrth Vallis until a day after, since the valley was too wide to see the walls. Meanwhile, Venkat is again speaking with CNN about Mark’s approach in 12 days  to the dust storm and he won’t notice he’s entered it until he slowly makes progress through it, only dimly realizing visibility will change daily along with lower solar panel charging. Venkat does allow Mark may sense an issue sooner than they calculate, he being best to work through it due to his having lived there for so long.

Log Entry: Sol 462 – Nothing interesting happened today, and tomorrow would be chill recharge day. This trip, Mark was using latitude and longitude to plot his course, he fashioning his from a tube, string, weight, and some object with degree marks, then checking the sky for Deneb. He then mentions how in the process of possibly calculating incorrectly, he’d be lost on Venus because of his mistake (Roronoa Zoro-style). Mindy, tracking Mark’s trail and cc-ing everyone who wanted his Morse messages sent, also adds 5 sols until he entered the dust storm. Mark’s message stated he was calculating arrival at Sol 494.

Log Entry: Sol 466 – Mark states his arrival in Arabia Terra, if he’s done his math proper, going into detail about how he figured it out without a sea level to go by. He goes on to include how he’d need to keep his peepers wary of going up a crater in this area.

Log Entry: Sol 468 – He got between two craters safely and deciphered how far he’d gone, as well as being almost halfway through his journey, this being 20 sols in. As he moves along he also collects rock samples on the possibility he’d have weight clearance to bring them. For the next few days he’d have to negotiate around Marth Crater. Lewis chats with Martinez about Mark having entered the dust storm the previous day and how they must consider he may not be able to meet them, Martinez being fairly positive, Mark would find a way, he being a crafty boy, Lewis playing devil’s advocate and Martinez being a smarty, offering to bet a bill, she declining because it was life and death, but he knowing it was due to she knowing Mark’s chances were still positive.

Log Entry: Sol 473 – Mark’s on his 5th “Air Day”, everything going accordingly, and would soon get better once he was parallel to Marth Crater. He was currently in Crater Cuntry forming a triangle around him, he declaring it shall thenceforth be titled the Watney Triangle. He’s got 1,435 kilometers before Schiaparelli and he already knew what landmark to look for upon passing the remainder of craters. Mark had also begun noticing the recharge had been taking more time, believing it to be an age issue for the batteries.

Log Entry: Sol 474 – Mark boo-booed and came to the edge of Marth Crater, so would wait until nightfall to calculate his posish, he also allowing this early stop to aid the solar cells in charging longer.

Log Entry: Sol 475 – He saw poops, Marth Crater being directly ahead of him. So, in order to make a more educated decision on whether to go north or south, he walked to the peak, which was a bitch in the EVA suit, he fantasizing the a-typical mo. with grand-kids about how HE had it more difficult in his younger days, on Mars. He reaches the rim of Marth and noticed the extra amount of dust, he comparing each direction, behind him still clear. As he continues to suspect, he realizes the shit be deep. He quickly concludes he’d need to decide a direction to flee. He also realized NASA must be pulling their hair out, and he had no plan coming to mind, yet. Mindy begins her shift, she mirroring Mark’s sleep patterns for convenience. She immediately notices Mark wasn’t doing his normal driving, and reading his message, calls Venkat’s personal line.

Log Entry: Sol 476 – Mark is confident he can figure a plan, so far gauging the severity of the storm by how much charge had been lost, it being 3%. So, he knew as long as the percentage stayed small, he’d have a decent chance of not getting deathly stuck. He had to discover how quickly the storm was progressing, so he’d sit for a day and compare the wattage charge. The plan was to set power cells 40 kilometers apart and compare each wattage to decide which best way to move. Hopefully south would be clearer, since it’d be quickest to reach base, and in the meantime he’d allow the cells to charge, what with the impromptu free day.

Log Entry: Sol 477 – Mark decides his 2nd EVA suit would be the timestamp he’d track the solar cells with. After testing, he notes which direction the storm was going, seeming to be east to west.

Log Entry: Sol 478 – He can’t determine whether it looked dustier, but the risk of testing the power cells was worth it in the grand scheme. He also reiterates his being done with potatoes, deciding Western Australia would be the spot for him, due to it’s extreme farthest position from Idaho.

Log Entry: Sol 479 – Mark feels time being wasted, since he’d be backtracking where he’d been yesterday to collect the power cells. Fortunately, the readings made it clear he’d need to travel the better way, so as to be wasting less time as the storm drifted away. Only downside was having to follow his same path tomorrow.

Log Entry: Sol 480 – He sensed he was getting past the storm and hoped the shape of it was a circle, which means he’d soon notice his percentage returning to normal, otherwise, he fucked. He also knew the ETA for Sol 494 was not applicable and the crew would be there by Sol 549, plus he had the MAV mods to complete.

Log Entry: Sol 482 – Today was an Air Day and relaxation was Agatha Christie’s: Evil Under the Sun, with speculation of Linda Marshall being whodunit. The annoyance of not knowing how quickly he could get through this was occupying his mind, as well, but at least he was still in the lead to the storm, only managing 37 kilometers the the full 90. He still would take the Air Day, due to being so far ahead and since he couldn’t tell how much difference it’d make what with the possible storm size. He then also considers how many Earthlings must know all these facts except him.

Log Entry: Sol 484 – The storm was past now, he still hoping it was round, otherwise, buh-bye. Only bitch is he’s majorly in the wrong area, Terra Meridiani, and had to travel 1,030 kilometers projected sol being 498 to arrival, which would make a 4 sol waste due to “The Nearly-Mark-Killin’ storm” and left him 44 sols for mods.

Log Entry: Sol 487 – Mark discovers if he wants to waste 4 sols, he could get to the rover, Opportunity. There was a radio, which he wanted to use because he’d become fond of speaking to Earth. He knew it was dumb though, he only 11 sols away from the MAV.

Log Entry: Sol 492 – The bedroom would need to be modified upon getting to the MAV, he recognizing he now believed he could actually make it. He also decides he’d make the trailer his bedroom and the tent would be used for The Big Three (Two of the three, anyways).

Log Entry: Sol 497 – Tomorrow Mark will be at the entrance to Schiaparelli, today being an Air Day, he well ready to be there, it going to take 3 more sols to reach the MAV and Mark couldn’t wait to “be in Giovanni Schiaparelli’s favorite hole!”. The crater had been under a barrage of wind 4 million years, dust and sand particles collecting at the bottom of the basin, the sand spilling outward, making the Entrance Ramp. Due to weather, gravity made the ramp become pressed in varying degrees, some spots hard and others the opposite, leaving the basin savagely unsmooth. So, as Mark approaches carefully, it’s all for naught, since he drove into a soft area, which rolled his rover, scattered the solar cells, the trailer breaking free and toppling, as well. Meanwhile, Mark’s rover slides bumpingly 20 meters before hitting more rough sand, stopping him. The pressure seal saves him for the time being. All the Department leads are being informed by Mindy what she thought happened at Mark’s crash area. In 9 minutes they’d receive another shot of the site, Venkat requesting she keep him updated.

Log Entry: Sol 498 – Mark relates how he was currently typing this entry whilst the rover was turned on its side. Fortunately Mark had emergency-balled himself and wasn’t injured, everything seeming functional with only the bedroom coming loose. Mark’s concern was the state of the solar cells, he also considering the damage to the trailer what with his vital life support was housed there, hopefully still within it. He then calculates having enough time to get everything up and going at some point. He figured he had 220 kilometers left to the MAV, so he only had to get the life support to remain functional for 51 more sols. So, he EVAs and things weren’t stellar, but not bad either. Three solar cells were kaput, maybe being able to get a few watts out with luck. The trailer seemed fine other than being turned over and the time constraint of flipping it right, before the balloon on the roof popped. So, he had his tasks ahead of him and remembered to write to NASA. Mindy reports the short message to Venkat, whom asks rhetorical questions he expected to be answered, so Mindy replies with sarcasm, Venkat attempting to throw his position power at her and she not giving a shit due to her now “paparazzi” status and it going hand-in-hand with smart-assery.

Log Entry: Sol 499 – Sleeping on the toppled rover wasn’t a blast, but the Vicodin helped, he then dedicates his time to turning the rover over, since he’d be able to use it as lever for the trailer after. He had cabling he could use as rope, which he would then tie to a drilled bit in the harder ground. This rights the rover and he performs a system check. It works, and had been ready to fix the trailer next, but daylight was lost due to his position in the crater. So, he’d have to hope the balloon would last another night, he at least having his bedroom.

Log Entry: Sol 500 – Unpopped trailer still and a larger task of righting it, since digging was involved. He’d be attaching the rover and have the trailer tip and right itself, which works. He did have to spend another night waiting to check if the equipment inside still worked, though. His meal of a tater being loathed with the venom of people-murdering level.

Log Entry: Sol 501 – Entrance into the trailer was quite heated, but both oxygenator and regulator were in proper condition. Fixing and reconnecting was simpler after this, so now he only had to figure a way to warn himself of powdery drops until reaching Schiaparelli Basin proper. He decides, with a short segue into a fantasy about a Mars lady romance, he’ll drive slow enough to prepare for a tire going into one and would also maintain more traction. He’d be able to begin the next day, hoping to finish the process in 8 hours. He concludes how being a heroic astronaut could make him popular with the ladies, which in turn was quite a good motivator to survive. Mindy relates Mark’s most recent positive message of fixes being done, Bruce relating there were a few issues on their mod procedures, but would share in a couple days when he returned. Venkat okays Annie to share with the media Mark’s good news.

Log Entry: Sol 502 – Today, Mark drove at a snail’s crawl, like his pappy did when he’d drive the family 8 hours to his aunt’s house. His slow progress didn’t turn up any pitfalls, though and he was able to eat another food packet.

Log Entry: Sol 503 – He hadn’t been able to get full recharge, but he was 148 kilometers away from the MAV, so he wasn’t too worried.

Log Entry: Sol 504 – Mark is about 50 kilometers away now, tomorrow he could finally get there. He also discovers NASA had turned on the MAV’s homing signal, so his rover could be directed right to it. He reports receiving signal to NASA. Mark reaches the MAV next day as expected, the celebratory fist-pumping and ramp hugging preceding his entrance into the airlock.

Log Entry: Sol 505 – Currently Mark awaited inside the rover until the MAV finished its system check and was pumped with air. The only mind-numbing bit being the wait time between communication with NASA. Houston congratulates Mark and he updates them more, they requesting he store his urine from here on. Bruce returns sleeplessly to Venkat’s office stating procedures were complete, but Venkat wouldn’t be pleased. It takes a bit of time before Venkat becomes more surprised and worried by what Bruce was suggesting would be removed, he not having gotten to the worst of it. Everything included, they also would be removing the front of the MAV and it would be covered by Hab tarp and an engine would be removed, on top of it. After all the sims and testing it was thought to be able to work, Venkat absorbing this. Mark’s reaction to receiving the same news, conveyed much more incredulity.

Log Entry: Sol 506 – So, Mark decides to use the MAV as his work space, his previous plan not serving him as well. Meanwhile, Lewis states Martinez had killed Mark, Johanssen having set a sim with near impossible success rate. Lewis gives him encouragement and they reset to a new scenario, he having 3 weeks to practice. She checks with Vogel on their course being on track and Beck on his connecting with Mark when the time came, everything in order.

Log Entry: Sol 526 – Mark starts disabling everything, only semi-nostalgic for his pirating days of doing as he pleased. He was currently littering the remains outside the MAV, turning it into a Sanford & Son dump, noting Lewis truly needed help with her 70s issue.

Log Entry: Sol 529 – He was converting water into fuel for his rocket, he soon having opportunity to admit he’d pissed “rocket fuel”. Johanssen gets the chance to contact Mark, to his surprise. The two joke and Mark thanks them for returning for him. At one point, Martinez gets a hold of the keyboard to message Mark to prepare for crazy lovemaking, Mark stating how much he’d missed them all.

Log Entry: Sol 543 – Mark believes he’s completed all the mods properly and won’t know if it’ll launch until he actually does. He notes how the Ruskies had safer craft and they “were death traps”. Lewis goes over their plan since the next day would be Thundercats, go. She gets updates on everyone’s tasks being done and ready for use. After, she goes over what everyone would do upon Mark’s progress upward. Everyone had the night off to rest up. Mitch gets the count to when MAV will launch being in 16 hours and some odd minutes and seconds, he preparing for change of shift. Venkat and Annie watch, she revealing the camp out of reporters outside from around the world. Venkat reveals Mission Control would lack control if anything went wrong.

Log Entry: Sol 549 – Mark was feeling righteous fear about his ass soon to be projectiled in four hours into space. He was currently suited inside the MAV, he also having eaten the last meal pack and leaving 41 potatoes. He leaves his rock samples in an easy to recover area in case NASA one day found the notion. Mark’s plan on killing himself in case he didn’t go quick, involved breathing nitrogen. He was still not connecting to the fact he was truly leaving, what with his simple routine over this one and a half years. He was ready to fuck off, already.

Everyone on Earth was watching. Mark’s parents were on the edge of their seats, a NASA rep ready to answer their questions. Johanssen’s voice is heard through the TV as she confirms preflight checklist was ready to be gone through. Mitch was watching in Mission Control and was confirmed their clocks were synced with Hermes. Mark requests Martinez to refrain from rolling the rocket, Johanssen reminding Martinez how odd it’d be handling the ship without being smushed against her seat. Beck, meanwhile is giving Vogel permission to release his tether if need be, Vogel not confirming he would, since Lewis hadn’t okayed it. When Mark feels the lift off, it’s so abrasive he can’t breathe. He also notices the Hab canvas whipping back and forth, probably not good. Martinez is noticing the rocket is flying drunkenly for some reason, Lewis attempting to contact Mark. He heard her, but couldn’t decipher her words, he seeing the rip in the canvas get bigger quickly. He then sees how beautiful the red sky is before turning black, which was also cool.

Once Mark hits space, Martinez gets more control, Lewis still not able to reach Mark, so asks Johanssen if she’s figured his orbit, they soon realizing he’d be short 68 kilometers. They adjust fuel accordingly. Annie is now asking Venkat to tell her what had occurred due to how quickly it had gone down. Venkat details how the team had used the fuel to meet Mark, but wouldn’t be able to slow down to catch him. Meanwhile, Lewis and team learn Mark’s vitals were steady. Mark regains consciousness and updates Lewis on his possible broken rib, she telling him the shit they were up and he seeing the shite, indeed. Mark comes up with an idea to use a cut in the arm of his suit like Iron Man, but they continue thinking. Lewis jumps on Mark’s idea and instead applies it to Hermes, they having a better chance of catching Mark. As Mitch and Venkat hear what’s happening Venkat states numbly how the team was planning to rupture the craft on purpose, Annie quickly leaving to report this to the press. Lewis requests Vogel cook up a little bomb to open an airlock.

After Lewis conveys this to Mark, Vogel quickly makes a pipe bomb with a beaker and sugar. Johanssen is setting up the airlock and has a sweet moment with Beck before he goes through, Vogel turning up with the bomb a minute later. Everyone is ready and in position with 28 seconds left, Lewis, Martinez, and Johanssen strapping themselves in. Venkat, Mitch, and Teddy are all feeling the pressure as they wait. When Johanssen flips the switch, the quick bomb tears the inner airlock door open. After, everything is still working and they receive better propelling than projected, Beck readies to collect the Asset. He jumps out, Vogel spotting him with the tether in hand and secured to the wall. Beck makes it to MAV, connects tethers to Mark and they fly through space together like butterflies making sweet, sweet love, Vogel keeping the tether taut. They make it inside without issue and Lewis relays everyone is back on Hermes to Houston and the rest of the world. Whilst everyone exalted at the news, Teddy takes his speech from the blue folder to join Annie to address the press, he stating to Venkat he hadn’t prepared a red folder speech, and ordering him to get the crew home.

Log Entry: Mission Day 687 – Mark is still coming to terms with not being on Mars anymore. He’d broken a couple ribs on his ride, being pulled into the Hermes being quite painful, but he screaming like a shrilly baby off mic. After, Beck gets him to the makeshift sick bay and the 2 wait for decompression. When Beck first removes Mark’s helmet, he’s hit with his gnarly stank, everyone high-fiving, for other reasons, as well most like. As he waited for his painkillers to hit, so he could shower, he continues to process how many organizations and people helped to save his ass, giving humanity the benefit of when a fellow was in danger, instinct would make us come to aid, regardless of how humanity seems like 99% of the time… (raised eyebrow). He ends with the list of ways this supports his previous statement and whilst he was recovering and smelled “like a skunk took a shit on some sweat socks”, he was hella happy, even with 211 days left til Erf.

Worth it, ended abruptly since my last comment upon finish was, “That’s it?!”, but there were some funny lines which should’ve been used more in the film. This book definitely gets exciting throughout and filled me with adrenaline because of how well it’s written. I will read more by Weir.

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.