Thank You, Jeeves

 

Bertie is in his apartment playing his banjolele and feeling pensive. He then shares with Jeeves of seeing Stoker and his daughter, Pauline in town, Jeeves stating their presence shouldn’t effect him regardless of what had happened in New York. Jeeves does make the point of they being in town should scarcely mean he’d run into them, London being a place where it was easy to avoid people, apparently. Bertie then proceeds to mention whom he’d seen with them being Lord Chuffnell’s Aunt Myrtle and Glossop. Jeeves then mentions Roderick Glossop had asked to meet with Bertie, surprising him due to their rocky encounters in the past. Bertie is so flabbergasted by this and uninterested in confrontation, he commands Jeeves to borrow a neighbor’s dog to sic upon Glossop. Bertie then gives detail to why he’d react so poorly to such news. After, why he’d decided to act unaccommodating is shown, but since Glossop had arrived whilst Bertie was playing his banjolele, he was in a light-hearted mood and also thought the only reason Glossop could be there was to apologize, but when Bertie greets Glossop with magnanimity, he’s given nothing more than a grunt. Bertie is about to match his cold demeanor when Glossop lays into his sanity again and how his playing of the beloved instrument was annoying his neighbors, in particular one of Glossop’s patients, and he was there to unceremoniously attempt to get Bertie to stop, but Bertie had been annoyed by the yappy dog owned by the woman downstairs and so Glossop promises the issue wouldn’t be at an end yet, which for Bertie was the case, for after doing a musical set, he receives a call from the manager of the building which gave him the option to either stop playing or move, Bertie choosing to leave, then informing Jeeves. When Jeeves makes it clear he would put notice if Bertie planned on moving to the country, Bertie attempts to pep talk him into staying even after learning Jeeves could barely take the playing as well, the accepting of his resignation soon following.

Bertie then goes walking and upon turning a corner in Piccadilly, sees Chuffy. A bit of background on him and his status is related, Bertie considering he may have a place for him to rent. Chuffy though, had a lunch meeting with no other than Glossop, Bertie doing his best to talk him out of it, but due to the possibility of Glossop wanting his estate for the summer, couldn’t risk it and promises to dine with Bertie the next night, which Bertie states of being unable to do for leaving, wanting to know if he could hook him up with a cabin, Chuffy able to with ease. Bertie then mentions of having let go Jeeves upon questioning, Chuffy seeming quite interested. Bertie going off to the Drones after, and considering how he would have other musicians (of the black persuasion, this being the second time mentioned in a no longer used form, sort of way) to learn from due to their musical prowess. Bertie then speaks to Jeeves once more to make sure he had no guilt in his decision to leave, Jeeves letting him know Chuffy had offered a position to him which he accepted, Bertie now miffed Chuffy’d given him the wrong impression with his inquiries, Bertie then letting Jeeves know they would be in the same area and made a meeting spot.

Bertie mentions how the boys at the Drones had reacted to his sharing of leaving. They believing he’d be bored to death, but after a few days of being in his new home, had no feeling in this regard whatsoever. After, he debates whether to add more scenic details to his description of his environment, having received opposing opinions, Bertie decides to keep it short, detailing what he saw, then of his new valet, Brinkley speaking with the Sergeant, Bertie including how a yacht had docked in the harbour during the night. The mention of Brinkley then makes me certain of the show covering this story, it playing out a bit differently, but soon beginning to match up, fairly. Bertie then hears his car horn honking and upon seeing the boy pushing it, almost supplies him with a whack, but then realizing he’s Chuffy’s aunt’s son, reeling himself in. Seabury’s ranking among other terrible children Bertie had met is listed, he making the top five. Seabury then shares he was there to invite Bertie to lunch, so Bertie informs his man and drives off with the kid, he then learning it was a party and it being too late to go back to change. Seabury then shares of how they were now staying with Chuffy due to a stink in their home, Bertie making a joke and the boy shutting him down, then asking for money for protection, Bertie declining. When he arrives and parks, Bertie asks Chuffy about his cousin’s odd request, Chuffy explaining Seabury’s reasoning, Bertie noting how Chuffy seemed different and inquiring further in this area. When Chuffy responds cryptically, Bertie asks plainly why he’s so happy, Chuffy relenting, even though Bertie admitted to being unable to keep a secret, it being Chuffy’s aunt would soon marry Glossop. Bertie not seeing the good in this set up other than Glossop and Seabury completely deserving each other, Chuffy attempting to convince Bertie to start liking Glossop for his sake, but agreeably gives in when he knows it won’t happen. Bertie then discovers whom Glossop had found to take Chuffy’s estate off his hands, as well next seeing Stoker pulling up with his daughter, Pauline, son Dwight, and Glossop himself.

This lineup had taken Bertie by surprise, he attempting to act as respectably as possibly, to cover his reddening face. Meanwhile Chuffy hadn’t noticed the two men staring at Bertie with distaste, Pauline greeting him warmly and unphased by the males with her staring with varying degrees of indifference. Pauline goes on to explain how she tried getting in touch with Bertie and he dazedly mentioning having left town, she seeing as much. Soon after a little more awkward conversation, Lady Chuffnell ushers the group in and leaves Bertie whom hadn’t noticed until he was alone with Chuffy once more, whom was looking at him oddly. Chuffy wondered how well Bertie must know Pauline, the response being he didn’t much at all, Chuffy stating it seemed much more with how she acted and Bertie confirming she treated everyone this way. Chuffy undoubtedly giving the impression of having a thing for her with how he responds. Chuffy then inquires what areas of conversation to avoid with Stoker, Bertie deciding anything involving him would be a bad idea and he being better off to sit out the afternoon gathering, Chuffy agreeing if Bertie’s assessment was accurate. Once Chuffy decides he should join the others, Bertie mentions he also noticing the squirrelly way Chuffy acted whilst talking about Pauline, Bertie seeming a bit annoyed, but since they did have many common qualities, he seeing the value of helping the two nurture the budding romance. Bertie gets the chance to broach the subject with Pauline when she gets him alone outside and sits on a bench, Bertie starting with the reason he’d come there. Pauline then speaks of her father and Glossop not being Bertie’s biggest fans, she then easing into the subject of Chuffy, which upon using his first name, confuses Bertie for not having heard it before, but then Pauline defends him and makes Bertie look at her sideways. Pauline revealing she knows he likes her back, but hasn’t said so yet which confuses her, Bertie assuring due to the few days which have passed she should give him time, she confiding a strange, dreamy, fantasy of  what Chuffy reminded her of, and Bertie not getting why she’d have such a thought, she unable to explain, and after Bertie mentions how men go through certain measures before making declarative steps, Pauline notices someone approach, Bertie realizing it was Jeeves.

Jeeves is there to inform of Pauline’s father asking after her, Bertie confirming what she’d said to him was in the forefront of his mind, and then speaking with Jeeves with plans to leave, then considers asking his advice regardless of their differences, Jeeves lending his ear. Bertie begins by making certain Jeeves knew of Chuffy’s feelings for Pauline, he agreeing and Bertie knowing Chuffy being a quick operator, didn’t understand what could be holding him back. Jeeves brings insight, it being caused by Chuffy’s financial straits, then going on to share where Stoker had gotten his fortune, Bertie surprised by the amount and specifics Jeeves had on the subject. Jeeves also mentions how Chuffy had assured of Stoker signing by using himself as a bargaining chip, and for all of Jeeves’ good ideas, he currently didn’t have one which would work to aide Chuffy. Bertie then decides he’ll use jealousy as a way to get Chuffy moving, Jeeves not agreeing with Bertie’s fuel to get Chuffy going, but Bertie having decided he didn’t mind a knock from a buddy if it meant helping him get the girl, then asking Jeeves to supply him with sandwiches and drink, and when to begin informing the desirables to begin flocking to him, Jeeves going along without a fight.

When Jeeves returns with the requested snackies, he also mentions of no news regarding the sale of Chuffy’s estate, but of a party for Dwight being held on the yacht with everyone present invited, the two boys one upping the other on experience with yachts, Stoker deflating the ego fight by mentioning of hiring the black minstrels for the boy’s birthday which descended the two in another ego fight, but Jeeves had completed his part of Bertie’s plan, one issue arising since Pauline and Chuffy had been chatting and could potentially arrive together, Jeeves knowing a way of detaining Chuffy for a spot longer. Pauline finally arrives and before she could say what she was beginning to say, Bertie sees whom he believes is Chuffy coming and plants a kiss on her head, but instead noted it was Pauline’s father, Bertie lucky the man hadn’t kicked him for already believing Pauline and he were more than friendly, instead retrieving his daughter and walking off, dirty look at Bertie intact all the while. Chuffy then comes to confront Bertie about he not mentioning having been engaged to Pauline, Bertie not believing it important due to its being short lived, then realizing he’d been lucky Chuffy hadn’t seen the failed kiss due to his serious disposition currently. Once learning Bertie no longer had feelings for Pauline and she had feelings for Chuffy, he relaxed, then stated he’d already become engaged to her and Stoker had agreed to buy his home. Bertie then going to see Jeeves whom mentioned the spiked tension between the youngsters of the group once more, which damaged the deal of Stoker buying the estate due to the sequence of events which followed, Bertie quite pleased by the fates of the two boys involved, Jeeves concluding the story by giving everyone’s current whereabouts. Bertie then inquires how Jeeves had come by the information of why Stoker planned on keeping Pauline on the yacht for the remainder of their stay, which worried Bertie since it involved his kiss and Chuffy having overheard the conversation as well, he wanting to display his anger upon Bertie. Jeeves then comes up with the idea of Bertie giving the intention of only doing so in congratulations of their engagement and was only brotherly in nature, Bertie needing to meditate over getting away with this plan. Jeeves had then properly assumed Chuffy would be awaiting Bertie’s arrival back at his cottage, Chuffy popping up as soon as Bertie made his presence known, acting intimidating. Bertie does insert the story of the intention behind his kiss and after a few moments, Chuffy calms and declares he would still be marrying Pauline, regardless of his financial stability. Bertie then mentions how Jeeves could be Pauline and Chuffy’s go between by letter to set up a meeting since Chuffy had agreed with Stoker of he being Jeeves’ new employer. After perfecting his plan, Chuffy backslides into doubt, Bertie having to repeatedly confirm there was nothing between he and Pauline, Chuffy in the end taking his word. Bertie then deciding he’s going to town for a bite and show, relieving Brinkley for the night, whom he didn’t care for at all. When Bertie had returned to his room, he found a shocking sight of Pauline in his bed and pajamas.

Bertie then investigates why Pauline had swam ashore to his bedroom, soon learning Jeeves had helped her and had also mentioned of Bertie being pleased to help accompanied with a backward compliment, Bertie getting hung up on it a bit. Pauline then continues about how she got in and if Brinkley were to have seen her he would’ve heard her enter, especially having done so through his bedroom, Bertie now wondering where the man could be. Pauline suggesting he may have gone on a crawl, in which case they should be safe, when a knock on the door is heard. She thought it could be her father and doused the candle, making Bertie more ill at ease, whomever at the door not letting up the knocking regardless. When Bertie does finally get the door he’s happy to discover it isn’t Stoker, but the Sergeant and his nephew, the young officer reporting of the broken window and mentioning seeing someone enter, they now insisting on searching the house. Bertie shuts this down quickly enough even after the Sergeant goes on a bit about police being blocked from doing their job, after which Bertie informs Pauline he’ll be retiring to the garage. As he makes the walk though, he’s interrupted by the Sergeant once more, apologizing and letting Bertie on his way, he attempting to get comfy in his car and failing, due to the Sergeant making another misplaced appearance and apologizing, now thinking Bertie was an odd duck, but once being left, Bertie knowing sleep would evade him, then he decides to try a tool shed he’d seen on the grounds. After getting comfortable and even becoming sleepy again, he’s again interrupted by the officers, Bertie becoming quite annoyed and deciding officers should have a touch of being shackled if this was going to be the way he was hassled. After making it clear whom he was to the two interlopers once more, they start their apologetic spiel and discussed reasons of Bertie being a bit odd to choose these places for sleep, but finally leave and Bertie having his moment of unconsciousness taken away once again by Chuffy.

How well received Bertie reacts to visits from his buddies is regarded, with the exception of the timing being right, this not a prime moment. What’s more, the Sergeant was present as well, the man explaining he’d found Chuffy near the harbour, Bertie thinking how much more convenient it could’ve been if he’d come early enough to see Pauline ashore. Instead Bertie found himself again having to defend his reasons for sleeping outside, Chuffy not understanding his argument for having a comfortable bed indoors, Bertie comes up with it being caused by a spider, thinking the idea was the perfect deterrent, but found out soon enough this had only made Chuffy decide to have he and the Sergeant escort him upstairs and kill the bug, Bertie aghast at the possibility. So due to not having a proper explanation handy, he low blows the Sergeant and dashes off, but only runs into a garden-related tool, the men carrying him into his cottage and straight into his bed with no surprising guests, to Bertie’s bewilderment. Chuffy then dismisses the Sergeant and goes about getting Bertie more comfortable, whilst Pauline emerges from her hiding place and happily greets Chuffy whom stares at her, quite unsure what to make of her presence there. She unaware of his confusion and not so happy look, goes to him only to be turned away which then makes her ask why he was reacting so coldly. After a few words from Chuffy, she slowly comprehends how she must look and becomes angry. Chuffy thinking he knows what’s been going on and revealing how he knew of she and Bertie’s short engagement and still thought there was warm feelings between them, Pauline not setting him straight, but declaring her pure dislike of him, not wanting to see him again and Bertie interjecting with details of an uncle whom had pigs, due to being a part of the subject between Pauline and Chuffy. In the end, Chuffy gracelessly makes his exit, Pauline making her view clear of she not caring about his pain from his spill toward the door, physically or otherwise.

Pauline then requests Bertie to leave the room so she could change and return to the yacht, Bertie hoping for a conversation about Chuffy, but she not wanting to think of him anymore. Bertie mistakenly pressing the matter even after she threatened violence upon his head, and despite getting his word in, she maintains her return and Bertie is left alone to fail sleeping, feeling sorry for the two ex-lovers. So he goes downstairs and after fixing himself a drink, discovers a letter from Pauline which mentioned having taken his coat and a rowboat back instead. After Bertie felt calm enough to contemplate sleep once more, he receives a knock on the door, expecting the Sergeant again, but getting an eyeful of Stoker, whom didn’t look kindly at all. He lets himself in and Bertie has an opportunity to answer smartly to his inquiries, then stating his daughter was in his premises, and after searching to uncover nothing, apologizes and wonders where she could be, Bertie seeing the moment most likely being something it wasn’t, similar to seeming Stoker’s equal. After Stoker leaves, Bertie makes sure no one else will turn up before turning in, the next time being woken by tweeting birdies and readying himself for breakfast.

After which he noted how he seemed too happy for the events he’d witnessed not long earlier, he believing he should be planning for a reunion when Jeeves pays him a visit. Bertie takes the time to catch him up on the previous evening’s misfortune and asks for Jeeves expertise, he needing time and was there to deliver a letter from Stoker which contained an invitation. Jeeves shares how it may have been caused by the conversation he’d had with Stoker earlier, having spoken with him of the events occurring in New York, revealing the other side to Glossop’s stories of Bertie. Which upon hearing Stoker having amended his views on Bertie and turning on Glossop, he thanks Jeeves for his efforts and decides to accept the invite for being able to plead Chuffy’s insanity, Jeeves building on his unformed idea with using the quarrel inflaming Chuffy’s unwellness. Bertie then gives confirmation of the time he should be expected and next he’s on board, Stoker mentioning how small of a dinner party it would be with Pauline feeling ill, Bertie’s plan going up in smoke. Conversation was scarce during the meal, but when they were having their after-dinner smoke, Bertie landed on a topic Stoker could entertain, it being about his yacht. Stoker then offers to show Bertie around, going to the bedrooms, and through politeness gets Bertie inside one of the rooms, locking him in.

After a little time waiting, Stoker returns, being vague as to why he’d placed Bertie in his current confinement, only sharing he was setting up the concert, Bertie having him explain the reason in detail, Stoker sharing he’d been stopped by the Sergeant to identify a person in his custody and it being Pauline. After hearing his perspective on what must have occurred, Bertie’s unable to defend any reason Pauline would’ve been inside his cottage, especially after stating otherwise. Despite this though, Stoker’s mentioning all this was to ensure he no longer thought of Bertie the same way and wouldn’t be opposing his engagement to Pauline, Bertie taken aback, but doesn’t confirm his thought being correct, which lets Stoker continue his extended reason for Bertie being detained was so he couldn’t give reason to leave until the wedding happened, he leaving to get back to his son’s party and sending his man with pajamas for Bertie. Meanwhile Bertie was struggling with his upcoming matrimonial setup due to knowing the love Pauline and Chuffy must still have for each other. When Jeeves arrives with said bed items, Bertie believes he’s safe once hearing Jeeves had spoken with Pauline, but Jeeves puts him straight by making him aware, Pauline hadn’t shown negativity toward their scheduled betrothal.

Next Jeeves supplies the idea of Bertie fleeing the yacht if acceptable to him, he mentioning what would be acquired if Bertie wanted to do so successfully, upon hearing it, Bertie thinking Jeeves had cracked, but he explaining of the minstrels leaving soon since their performance had finished, Bertie able to make a getaway with them, he now in typical awe of Jeeves’ intellect and says as much, then laying back for the smearing of shoe polish. After implementing the plan and it concluding with no hitches, Jeeves stands with Bertie outside his gate getting seriously amused by Bertie’s appearance, Bertie inquiring what his next steps should be, and Jeeves listing off the bullet points, the more important of which had Bertie preparing a trip out of the country to lie low. Bertie then asks after Jeeves, he stating he’ll be going back to Chuffy’s employ and Bertie thanking him once more (the title making it clear this is what the story would reflect) and mentioning including a little something when he wrote to him with his whereabouts. Bertie, satisfied with being alone since Brinkley still hadn’t turned up, but also due to his state of appearance, was attempting a wash which does nothing, he about to obtain butter, remembering this was necessary in getting shoe polish removed, when he heard a sound downstairs, thinking of the possibility it could be Stoker, and so being quiet and careful, upon listening further, heard whomever throwing items about in the sitting room, he making out the figure to be a drunk Brinkley. Bertie shouts at him and once Brinkley realizes where the voice had come from, picks up a knife and goes after Bertie, thinking him devilish, Bertie having forgotten his state, dashes back to his bedroom in pure terror, and then a description of how he’d have shared this tale with his nonexistent grandchildren to indicate camaraderie with them of his fear and how his reception of Stoker at this moment would’ve been warmly welcomed.

Bertie then speaking to Brinkley through the door to assure him of his identity, Brinkley thinking Bertie was inside the room with the devil and, Bertie hearing another person outside with Brinkley, soon realizes it was the Sergeant. Thinking at first he was saved and then figuring, perhaps not, due to his appearance and the Sergeant’s penchant for detainment which didn’t suit Bertie for his current trouble with Stoker. As Bertie listened, Brinkley now sounded quite sober whilst explaining what he thought had happened to Bertie inside the bedroom with the devil, but the Sergeant focused on Brinkley’s weapon currently in hand. Once circling to Brinkley’s reasons for said knife, the Sergeant knocks, but Bertie doesn’t speak, and Brinkley excuses himself, Bertie then looking out the window and deciding this would be an acceptable means of avoiding the situation, beginning to devise his accessories to do so, but this doesn’t do much good for the Sergeant having seen Brinkley decide to overturn a lamp to set the cottage ablaze, the two fleeing outdoors and Bertie still in his room until seeing the happy little flame appear. Bertie noting of taking his banjolele until remembering where he’d left it, currently couldn’t be reached, jumping out the window hastily. He runs off and sits himself a fair distance away in the wood, contemplating his next steps, which again gets hung up on his lack of banjolele and soon switches to how to acquire butter, so he could catch the train, ending with trailing Jeeves to Chuffy’s to impress upon him the task of fetching butter. Bertie makes his little trip successfully and without getting too lost on the way, being seen by a worker of the house and scaring her to the floor.

Bertie reflects on how a reaction so severe could be caused by something so insignificant as shoe polish and how if he’d only had a tan she may well have treated him with formal greeting. Bertie decides to withdraw once hearing people notice the girls reaction from inside. He goes to the front of the house and considers his next move, hearing Seabury yelling, making Bertie content. He then views someone he believed he recognized until then figuring whom he actually saw was Brinkley, he making such a loud knock, he was met by Chuffy himself, not pleased by his abrasive action and giving Brinkley a chase with periodic kick for Chuffy not being receptive to his question of whether the devil had paid him a visit. Bertie takes the opportunity to ask Chuffy for some butter since he can’t seem to get in touch with Jeeves, and so gets right behind Chuffy as he passes and scares the daylights out of him, not considering doing it gently until too late. Chuffy still doesn’t give Bertie a decent response of being happy to see him, so Bertie attempts to butter him up a bit, as it were, congratulating him on his butt-kicking, explaining whom Brinkley was to him, and what he’d done to the cottage. When Chuffy gets a better view of what Bertie looks like, he again wonders of Bertie’s sobriety, Bertie proving himself sound-ish of mind and ready to detail his adventure fully, so he could finally ask for the butter he required to catch the train. Once finishing his tale, Bertie could sense it wasn’t hitting an empathetic ear, especially when Chuffy shows surprise of Bertie trying to escape when a beautiful girl was ready to marry him, and her father giving his blessing. Bertie mentions of how she loved Chuffy though, and he denying this, he stating whilst he did love her she obviously wanted Bertie due to swimming right to him last night. Chuffy deciding he wouldn’t supply butter, but would wait until Bertie saw sense and went through with marrying Pauline, since he wanted her happy. After Chuffy stalks off, Bertie has gone deep into thought for some time and not noticing Jeeves turn up, until finally picking up on his gentle way of getting his attention.

Bertie again, had a great way of using metaphor in being relieved in seeing Jeeves, soon relaying what had happened since the Bertie’s escape off the yacht. After conclusion, Jeeves offers to obtain butter as well as some other little relaxants to ease Bertie’s stresses. Bertie then asks after what had happened to Seabury, Jeeves updating him and how it had been resolved, the answer being outlandish in reference to whom they referred. Being more surprising was the one in question agreeing to black face whilst constituting the entertainment for Seabury. He having in mind to set up some trickery for Glossop due to unpaid protection fee, Bertie then remembering to send Jeeves hastily for butter, waiting for his return, but not before hearing Seabury start shouting again. Bertie sees an odd sight of Glossop emerging, Jeeves reporting what he’d heard from an eye witness whom worked there, Glossop’s engagement off as a result. Jeeves then noting how Glossop would soon be in a tight spot for his appearance, Bertie feeling sorry for him and detailing how he would’ve reacted if Glossop had been his buddy. Jeeves then had to break the news of Seabury having emptied the house of butter for his vengeful plan.

Bertie was stunned once more by his unfortunate situation, wanting Jeeves to show more emotion in these situations, but as it was, only being able to offer a place for Bertie to spend the night until morning so Jeeves could bring him the necessities to wash himself. As Bertie walked to the other house for the night, he thought of those responsible for his current unhappiness, he realizing he maintained a change of heart towards Glossop. By this time Bertie had reached his destination and began to cautiously break in, reminding himself of the failed B and E’s he’s had before, but Bertie then seeing the back door open a little, he now even more timid for the possibilities of what he could run into within. Bertie soon learning Brinkley was inside, and what his next move would be. Bertie for the second time, being glad he waited since he soon heard some shouting, at first receding, and then heading straight at Bertie, the object of Brinkley’s insanity now being correctly identified. After Brinkley locked himself back inside, Bertie makes himself known to Glossop, he taking it the most subdued, but still needing time to recover from his run in with Brinkley. Bertie agrees the two of them must at this moment put aside their differences and work together, Glossop then sharing of what had occurred after Bertie had seen him leave Chuffnell Hall, Bertie then having to confess they wouldn’t have shelter at his cottage, as well as the inability to wash, and the reason. This returned Glossop’s dower mood, until he cleverly figured the garage was still available to them and with it, petrol to wash up in, Bertie not seeing the value in returning for himself so shares with Glossop of having to journey alone, he wanting to await Jeeves, then confiding how Glossop would have to break into the garage, the two parting after making lunch plans for a future date.

Bertie then confesses the comfort level a summer house brings, it being severely low, and now thinking how he should’ve went with Glossop so he could wash immediately and even drive to London rather than taking a train. Bertie couldn’t bring himself to go through with it though, knowing the Sergeant would be too close for comfort and so lays back and tries to sleep. This time succeeding even after giving up, waking in the morning ready to lay in to some nonexistent breakfast and then deciding to see if Jeeves had arrived, getting paranoid he could miss him. When he’s close he spies a parlour-maid setting out a tray with morning snackies which Bertie couldn’t ignore, thinking he had it planned well, but upon testing his theory, heard someone outside the door as he’s lifting the tray cover, so instead hides at the desk to hear Jeeves making a phone call, he not disturbed at all, finishing his call, and inquiring why Bertie had stopped back at Chuffy’s residence, Bertie explaining the situation, and Jeeves filling Bertie in to Lady Chuffnell’s new outlook, Bertie now ready to consume the breakfast when he heard someone new about to enter, so hides once more, it being Stoker.

Bertie would’ve liked to have viewed the scene, but settled to listen as Stoker began with some heat regarding Jeeves’ quick retreat, and upon having Jeeves explain, is silent for a moment, then thanks Jeeves for having saved him from possible legal issues. Stoker inquires if Bertie had been seen and where he was heading, Stoker deciding to take a walk to the Dower house once Jeeves had shared Bertie’s plans. After Bertie has time to pop back up to bleed his being awe-struck by Jeeves again, he must retreat again for Pauline entering. After which she seemingly had an enlightening conversation with Jeeves about Bertie, the status of Lady Chuffnell, and Chuffy, she going off, but then Bertie hearing someone getting into the breakfast tray and thinking Pauline had come back, Bertie aching in knowing the lovely kippers were being consumed. So even whilst knowing popping up on people didn’t work well, he did so upon Pauline whom handled it not well at all, Chuffy finally making an appearance and sweeping Pauline off her terrified feet, she glad to be swept as Bertie witnessed.

Bertie considers the situation he watched was one which shown whether a man maintained a chivalrous nature, Bertie being subjected to a sight he didn’t wish to see or hear and so withdrawing back under the table, and when Chuffy had calmed Pauline a bit, he asks what had frightened her, Bertie deciding this to be an ample time to reappear. Chuffy looking annoyed, but everyone seeming a bit O-k with his current look now and so Bertie brings up with Chuffy the matter of his first name and wanting to discuss it in more detail, mentioning having a laugh at the Drones about it, Chuffy getting serious about what would happen if Bertie did. Bertie then shares a story which makes Chuffy demand he cease, Bertie’s intention to attempt to show how close Pauline and he had been. Bertie then reminds them how Pauline’s father still believed she was marrying him, but he assuring her he’d handle it, which was met with humorous incredulity, Bertie having the chance to prove himself as they hear footsteps approach. They see Stoker looking a bit worn, Pauline asking what had happened, he confessing his trek to the Dower house being met with a man throwing potatoes, Bertie thinking of how admirable Brinkley’s opinionated attitude was when required, and surprising Stoker with his appearance, giving an amusing reason for looking burnt. Bertie then gets on track with beginning his break down of whom Pauline would marry. Unfortunately for them all, Stoker wasn’t having it, Chuffy not taking his stubbornness well, Bertie then admiring the shiner Stoker had received from a thrown potato, knowing how difficult it was from personal experience. Then upon Stoker learning Glossop had beat the shit out of Seabury, he began reconsidering not buying the estate out of spite since it was what Chuffy had been relying on so he could marry Pauline, but then Pauline ruined their progress after mentioning he could apologize to Glossop, Bertie sensing it going south. Everyone became stuck in the ugly silence until Jeeves drifts in with a telegram for Stoker, but made it sound epic for the details, Stoker not impressed and grabbing the letter. Once reading it he learns the will which would’ve made them rich was being disputed, so they could lose everything, Chuffy then excited since he’d be on the same level as Pauline and they could resume their plans. Stoker planning on fighting the dispute, mentioning Glossop’s help, the group wondering how he would manage this due to their little falling out, Stoker now seeing their fight through different eyes, believing they were like brothers who fought. Jeeves then comes in again, Stoker hastily dismissing him even though Jeeves was attempting to assert of knowing where Glossop currently was since none of them knew for certain.

Jeeves withdraws and everyone calls him back for the the news being Glossop had been arrested and placed in the larger of two potting sheds on the grounds which the describing of was about to give Stoker a popped blood vessel. Why the Sergeant’s nephew had put him there is shared, it making sense but still being an odd choice. After getting the completed story as to where Sergeant Dobson was, and the nephew currently awaiting Chuffy due to his status as Justice of the Peace, Jeeves exits and Lady Chuffnell then enters with barely an acknowledgement toward Bertie’s black face, but goes to Chuffy, upset about Glossop’s arrest. Then Stoker realizes the futility of having Glossop testify for him since being found in black face, as well (making him seem cuckoo). Everyone then loses track of what to do, Bertie having given up temporarily, until ringing Jeeves and reminding Chuffy of his usefulness, then recapping Jeeves of the situation to receive a simple fix in response which aggravates Stoker once more, but in the end decides if he can get them out of this nonsense he should like to hear it, Bertie cutting Jeeves off to be certain of two terms, of which being certain Stoker would purchase Chuffnell Hall, and wouldn’t force Pauline upon Bertie. Jeeves then suggests an easy way of getting Dobson away from the shed, and due to his orders, wouldn’t admit to disobeying. Stoker does bring up the good point of whether the cops were able to figure it out or not, if they spoke about it, as they inevitably would, the story would get out. Instead Jeeves proposed Bertie be substitute for Glossop as prisoner which once Bertie keeps attempting to discover reasons not to be put through the short end, everyone starts rubbing the ole ego, softening him up, but what seals it is the promise of breakfast, Bertie following Jeeves out.

The aftermath of Bertie’s breakfast is described, he and Jeeves discussing the happenings of the day being quite stressful, the sight of Chuffy in his Justice of the Peace “uniform” throwing Bertie off, but he praising Jeeves for his part being played well, even learning of the letter of the will being contested was a contrivance of Jeeves, Bertie now saddened in knowing the odds of Jeeves ever being on the market for reemployment being slim. When Jeeves enquires Bertie’s next move, he shares he planned on going back to his apartment in the city due to his banjolele being crisped in the fire and wasn’t getting another, Brinkley having tainted his love of the instrument. Jeeves then asks whether Bertie would consider rehiring him since he didn’t have the interest of being in a married man’s employ. The question shocks Bertie, but thanks Jeeves and the story ends. As entertaining as the others and I hope to get it for my personal library soon.

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Sideways

We are immediately thrust into the packing of the Narrator to join his buddy, Jack on a road trip to wine country before getting married in ten days and whilst this trip was over the Narrator’s budget, he needed the vacay due to his stressed reactions to living in L.A.; (I can relate), this all happening on a Friday and each Chapter stating the day we are witnessing. Then the Narrator gets a call which doesn’t give Caller I.D., so when he hears the message from his landlord, Roman who is begrudgingly threatening eviction for being late on rent which then prompts the Narrator, Miles to turn down the volume of the playing message since he’d heard this speech before, we learn this is nothing new for him. We also get a display of the first word I have no clue of the meaning to: jeremiad, a long and mournful complaint, which is referring to Roman’s prolonged message.

Miles continues his packing which consisted of an encompassing companion of wine as well as a couple other novels he didn’t plan on reading, then getting a phone call from his agent, Evelyn who was phoning to inform Miles of the potentially good news of an editor liked his book and would be passing it along to other senior editors for perusal and approval, the novel in question being one which had been passed around for the past year to any takers for publishing. Miles wasn’t going to get his hopes up, but then divulges he’s about to go on a trip, she asking where and if he had any writing done, besides. He fibbing about having something epic around the corner, we then learning of his divorce and ex-girlfriend which hadn’t lasted long, she then giving him encouraging words and they hanging up, Miles trying to stay optimistic. He gets on his way to the meeting spot where Jack agreed to find him, it being at a wine-tasting spot they’d been to before, we getting more details on it’s neighboring businesses as well as the place itself and it being the perfect spot to taste the vast selection after the owner went home for the wine connoisseur feeling his salary a sick joke. We then learn Miles’ soft spot for a particular wine.

Miles is then greeted by the regulars, he noticing it was already lively and then giving introductions to those he knew, he then notices three non-regular young females who were conversing in their own little party. After Miles asks some preliminary questions about the wine they’d chosen and if they liked the same wine he did, without saying it was his favorite and getting a unfavorable answer, he leaves them alone and continues his wine-tasting which we are given the facts of their vineyard location and flavor. As Miles talks with Carl, who’d come back from Spain, he’s told one of the dark-haired girl’s friends who hadn’t liked Pinot was staring and smiling at him, but he not actually interested since they didn’t have the same taste in wine, which led him into asking why one of the other regulars, Jerry was schmoozing it up with the dark-headed lady. He getting an answer only horse-shoed back to how he should be acting if he ever wanted to be in a relationship again, the afternoon moving on after and Miles waiting for Jack to arrive. Another regular shows up, Dani, an Australian looker who would go around without a bra, apparently, greeting Miles with a close hug which made him swoon for not being close to a woman for so long. They chat whilst getting more buzzed and Miles shares of the good news of his rep. calling which elicits a request of wanting to read his book from Dani, who apparently has said this before and nothing has ever been done about it, after which Miles misreads her closing in near his face to mean she was going in for a kiss and it actually being a covert whisper about Jerry making his “killer” move.

Not long after when Miles is a little more properly sloshed, he gives the information to Dani if she and her fiancé didn’t work out, she should give him a ring which prompts her to giving him a serious looking kiss in front of the crowd around them, but the two knowing if anything else were to be done, it would ruin their friendship, so they make light of their moment until Miles vaguely hears Jerry, the man who was talking to one of the young new wine-tasters make a comment about Miles he didn’t quite like the sound of and decided to put reality into their world by inquiring of Jerry’s wife. The three ladies, surprised and disgusted all leave after Jerry tries to back-pedal with the comment he wasn’t wearing a ring and Dani finds the whole moment hilarious. Jerry stalks off, but Miles doesn’t let him off the hook easily when they share a look, making another comment involving his wife which gets everyone in the tasting area laughing, egging Jerry to return and get physical with Miles which then gets Graham to come in to angrily disengage the two. Jerry is directed out of the store and then Jack makes his long awaited entrance, getting caught up on the story and how Jerry had a tendency to piggyback dates off of Miles current love interests. Graham then, to help celebrate and start Jack and Miles vacation brought out a personal bottle of “sparkling wine” of the Pinot variety, Dani having a taste and after being invited with the boys on their trip, declining, and leaving them to their group talk.

Graham then mentions how he’d seen Miles’ ex-wife inside the wine store recently, Miles having to pretend he didn’t care and getting the idea she hadn’t been alone and was buying some wine, Jack and he then leaving after making their own purchases and Jack insisting on driving Miles’ vehicle since he was obviously well into the sauce-y side of his drink, his behavior so far in the wine-tasting spurring on  he’d be too far gone to start their drive and it being the vehicle-of-choice for their trip. Jack drives them along a couple of freeways until almost hitting some cars in front of him when he decides to wash Miles’ windshield, then trying to make conversation by asking about what life had going on for Miles, he revealing the optimistic publishing deal, we then learning a bit more about Jack and his fiancée’s up-down relationship and Miles’ inability to get why they were getting married. Jack then goes fishing for a bottle of wine which completely wets Miles eyeballs for its rare and point driven greatness, Jack wanting to open it and being dissuaded by Miles, they going for a less important vintage and toasting to good times to come. Miles then informs Jack of needing to make a slight detour to his mother’s home, it being her birthday and needing to go wish her a happy one since it was relatively on their way, Jack consenting and insisting Miles get her a proper gift of flowers, not only the wine he’d purchased. We then get a rundown of what was going on in his mother’s life, it not being much since his father died, but she living comfortably with her small dog and when they arrive, she not at first recognizing her son, but then surprised he’d gotten her flowers since he hadn’t before, she then inviting them in.

After Jack and he look at some of his old photos his mother had hanging, they join her outside on the patio for drinks. Jack entertains Miles mother with his news of marriage and how Miles was his best man, his mother then confiding a sultry tale from her past, Miles bowing out and letting Jack take the brunt of her flashback, he going back indoors to carry out his true purpose for going to his mother’s, being to get into a safe, but forgetting the year his mother was born stopping his would-be theft and gets Jack’s attention to see if he could weasel the information out of her. Jack is successful and chiding Miles on his inability to remembering the easy number, Miles going back to the study to open the safe and withdrawing the needed amount within whilst Jack entertained his mother for a few more minutes. When Miles is done, they all go inside for dinner and Miles goes to the car for more wine. They eat and drink heartily, his mother digressing into Miles saving his soul and believing he didn’t go to church enough, he assuring her of his stability and then making for the bathroom, overhearing his mother and Jack talking of how he was doing. When he returns, she offers him money in case he needed it, he declining, then thinking her dog is being kind, deciding to try and rub his belly, but gets bit instead and pours himself another drink.

The two wake early in the morning, not realizing at first they are still at Miles’ mother’s home and when they get their bearings, Miles writes a quick note of farewell, debates on raiding his mother’s cash stash once more, figuring once is good enough and they moving out to the car, groping for sunglasses within for the raging hangovers they both sported, Jack wanting breakfast. They stop at a coffee shop and Miles takes the opportunity to wait for the bank nearby to open so he can make the money-order needed to keep him from getting evicted, whilst also discussing why the waitress wasn’t sexy to Miles because of her age, but how Jack didn’t feel the same way, arguing the construction workers she was also waiting on were of the same opinion. After Miles makes his call to his landlord to inform of the incoming money-order, they are on their way to Santa Ynez Valley and when they get there, instead of setting up camp at a motel, they go straight to a vineyard for a tasting, Miles coaching Jack on how he expected him to swirl-air-swallow the wine with each tasting, Jack completely ready to employ his instructions. Miles then purchases a wine which is highly spoken about and they taste it outside with Jack bringing sandwiches, they discussing what Miles was actually looking for to prove he wasn’t picky about the kind of woman he’d get into a relationship with.

They then pick a motel to stay at and head back out once Jack has figured what kind of masseuse he could hire for later, they then getting into a chat about the waitress Jack was eyeing from the bar, Miles confessing how he knew she was married and had found this out from a previous visit, she and her husband having difficulties, but not remembering the specifics. Jack couldn’t let go Miles knew this goddess-of-womanhood and tried to stoke the flames, but failing and they eating their meals and walking back to their motel; I must digress to the facts which there are many minor conversations which move this story along, as well, but my review is already looking beefy, but this plot is quite smooth as it goes along and one should definitely read it if looking for an informative and buddy-buddy themed story. Jack then decides they must continue the night partying and Miles figured the best place for it would be back at the motel bar, Miles getting them some wine and Jack calling his fiancée, he getting mad and needing to call back for having hung up on her, this being when Miles is introduced to another bar-drinker who invites him boar-hunting, but Miles respectfully declines.

When Jack gets back from his phone call which began with voice-mail, Maya comes in and Jack again resumes his role as wing-man. Miles then feels the urge to try karaoke and when returning discovers Jack has talked him up to Maya about being on the verge of publication and wanting to know what their plans were for the night, Miles completely blowing it by saying they’ll be returning to their room to crash, she bowing out quickly enough and the both returning to their room, Jack giving Miles crap for his blatancy and how Maya wasn’t wearing her wedding ring at the bar. When they get into their room, Jack advises Miles to not answer their room phone under any circumstances, it already blinking, Miles then asking again what was up between he and his fiancée, instead of an answer they both call it a night, Miles waking later to relieve himself into a cup on the nightstand since Jack was talking in the bathroom and he being surprised by the contents later on.

They awaken in mid-afternoon to get some lunch and Jack takes the opportunity to lay into Miles for messing up the night for them both. Jack then confides how serious he was to get laid once more before the big ax fell, they finishing their meals and heading to their next vineyard. They realize they’d arrived too early and had to wait an hour, Jack then confessing why he and his fiancée, Babs were having arguments, it being about Miles being the best man, his ex-wife being at the wedding and how she’d gotten remarried the week before, Jack trying to work it out so he wouldn’t have to give Miles up for his best man. When the tasting-room opens, Miles decides on the wine which seems will continue to become tastier as they savored and feels better about the news Jack had unloaded on him, after their picnic, moving to another vineyard. The next place they hit strikes out, but the one after seemed to go better, until the wine-pourer approaches the two for seeming to be getting louder than the rest and having a hilarious time, Miles calling where she was from by how she looked before she began speaking, which confirmed his supposition. Jack took aim, though and made the wine-pourer, Terra, his new mark and being successful at the play, as well whilst Miles stood disgustedly to the side as his conscience, ignored. When Terra moves away for a moment to pour for the only other people in the room, Jack confirms of closing the deal for them both when it came to Terra and Maya, Miles giving up his cause when he saw how much Terra seemed to be interested. They leave after Jack gets Terra’s number, she knowing Maya and helping Jack hook up a double date for them all later, hopefully. Jack laying in on Miles for almost confessing to Terra his impending wedding and not to talk to the ladies of it anymore.

When they go for lunch, Jack gets the confirmation call to their date, Miles surprised it was actually happening. They get back to their room and nap until nightfall, the both getting ready, Jack taking a phone call from Babs and preparing for their date. When they get to the restaurant of choice, Jack gives Miles an uplifting coaching as to the story Miles was to stick with and try to keep him level-headed due to having had a couple drinks before arriving, they go inside and greet the ladies, the night starting well and optimistically. The night begins to wind down for Miles when he goes past the point of no return and gets a bit more sloshed, adjourning to the bathroom when he sees Jack get the moves made on him and he accidentally entering the ladies room, making a call to his ex which doesn’t end well, returning to the table and falling to the floor when trying to sit down, the ladies making a visit to the restroom whilst Jack tried to get Miles back on track. The ladies come back and Terra offers they sojourn to hers for night-caps, etc. She leaving with Maya and giving directions to Jack who was about to be surprised by the hefty bill they’d built. They get to Terra’s in one piece, but the directions being a little mystifying with the darkened roads and once getting in, Miles still in a funk and wanting to be alone, but Jack moving him along until they each had a room with their ladies. Miles talking wine with Maya and Terra and Jack having fun with Tom Jones. After talking for awhile in the kitchen, they hear Terra and Jack move off into the bedroom and they migrate to the couch to be more comfortable and continue their drifting conversation. Maya makes the first move on Miles which he doesn’t want to get too caught up in, but doesn’t ruin, they having a pleasant evening.

Miles wakes in his motel room, with Maya’s bag on a chair and he not smelling anything, but probably a bit of, body odor. He then wonders where Jack is and how thinking about Jack cheating on his fiancée with one of her friends, made him ill. Then Maya knocks on the bathroom door and walks in, offering coffee and croissants, Miles only having the stomach for coffee. She confesses to him she liked him, but they didn’t “get dirty” together, he glad of it since he wouldn’t have been able to remember it anyways, after she leaves, he going to the pancake house. After making his order of the same oatmeal and coffee to the same waitress as last time, Miles then goes over what he was going to do when it came to stepping down as best man, Jack coming in after he began thinking of the messages which had been left at their motel, one being from his ex-wife about what they’d talked about in their last phone call, it making him feel crappy.

Miles then gives Jack his messages, he commanding Jack call her right then, being told to leave the room, which he did willingly they both agreeing the golf course would be their next point of interest, Jack wanting to stop at the next winery for a drink, but Miles not stopping since knowing they would be closed and he not planning on drinking until later. When they get ready to golf, Miles makes the deal with Jack if he didn’t cheat he’d give him “six strokes a side”, which I’m unfamiliar with the meaning of, but will give me a chance to understand these golf terms since I’ll be reading P.G. Wodehouse’s Golf Omnibus. It seems Jack is close to winning until he makes a big mistake which loses him the game, Jack then confessing how he might need to see Terra again which upsets Miles, but in the end having to forgive him for charming him again. Miles then gets mad at Miles again for making a second date for them at the Hitching Post, Miles opting to go to a movie instead, after which driving by the Hitching Post then deciding to head toward Solvang. When he gets back to the motel, Jack still hasn’t come back, but the red light on the phone for messages was flashing and he found out he was pretty popular, having messages from Jack, Maya and Babs for him and Babs for Jack, Miles returning only Maya’s call.

Miles goes for a ride after breakfast since Jack wasn’t at the motel still, but when he returns he discovers Jack in the throes, with Terra, they laughing at being interrupted and Miles quickly moving back out of the room. Jack and Terra then meet Miles in the bar, she leaving not long after they sit and then Miles getting into Jack about his tryst with Terra, he believing he was now in love and may need to postpone the wedding. Jack walks off when Miles goes to the restroom, he then seeing Brad once more who offered again to take him boar hunting, Jack is seen talking on his cell and Miles decides to wait to see if Jack wanted to come, Jack having already made plans for them at Terra’s later. Miles wins this argument though and they prepare by getting some wine and Jack following the boar-hunter’s truck to his shooting spot, complaining the whole way there about wanting to ditch him and go to Terra’s place instead.

When they cut away to another trail and park at a spot overlooking Brad’s truck, they have a few moments of being able to drink and Jack begins to wonder where Brad was, they then getting a good idea when shots are heard and puffs of dirt are unsettled near them, Jack running off and Miles following, the former realizing Brad seems to be shooting at them. Miles isn’t entirely convinced until he goes back to the car and tries to shout at Brad who is hidden in the foliage, getting shot at again and returning to Jack to figure out a game-plan, being to return with Miles to see if they can talk to Brad together, but when they see him near Miles’ jeep, they go with Miles’ plan of Jack waiting for him to shout out a greeting to Brad and then come up behind him with the wine bottle and whack him good with it. Miles gets up to where he can see Brad is rooting around his car, he calling out and Jack coming out to learn Brad was unarmed, he changing his tactic into a body slam getting Brad on the ground and the duo being in charge of the little slime who was claiming he was only trying to scare them. Miles and Jack have their chance to return the favor and Miles then offers Brad a deal which involved taxiing them around on the day of the wine festival, Brad of course being interested by this point. They relieve him of his gun and wallet to motivate him to meet them on the day and time requested, the two going back to the motel and Jack realizing he’d hurt his ribs somehow, Miles still making him laugh and Jack having to beg him to stop, this after Jack tries to have a considerate conversation about Miles thoughts on the ability to love someone for life.

The next day Miles takes Jack to the hospital to get examined for his hurt rib, Miles reading a question and answer section in a women’s magazine to sense how one could determine whether their spouse was having an affair, which Miles rationalized the cause of its commonness. He tries a self-esteem test after assessing the waiting room of its other occupants which told of how dark his emotions might be, then deciding to check his messages which had another from his ex Victoria and various others. Jack returns more pissed off with the news of a fracture to his ribs and a quip from Miles which gets him angrier and once Miles lightens his mood a little he offers they go to Hearst Castle, Miles reserving their spot on a pay phone whilst Jack called Babs and when Miles returns, notices his worried look, asking Miles if he’d talked with Babs and whether he could’ve said something damaging about Jack to Miles’ ex-wife, Victoria, Miles claiming he wouldn’t have done whilst smashed.

They go to a restaurant and discuss some of the reasons why Miles was annoyed with Jack, one being he’d been surprised by Jack getting dirty with Terra on his bed, they ordering their food, neglecting wine as they’d promised, quickly eating and leaving for the castle. When they reach the tour bus, Miles isn’t enchanted with the ride what with the group he was touring with, but when they got out and were led around the grounds and lastly inside, it became surreal as to how someone would actually live in the now historical museum. Jack saw it differently, believing it was the perfect example of American aspiration, wanting something similar for himself and asking Miles why he wouldn’t, upon the answer questioning everyone on the bus if they had a drink for his obviously in-need friend and upon getting no takers, sits down. When they return where they began Miles suggests they go to Babcock Winery, Jack agreeing wholeheartedly. They get there not long before closing, but the pourer indulges them and they thank him by buying a case of wine plus a bottle of another which seemed to make their heads spin.

They hang around outside after the Winery closes, Jack calling Terra to see if she and Maya were interested in hooking up for dinner, Miles walking off and Jack sharing the details after, Miles taking him down with how his opinion seemed to change again even after their run in with the boar-hunter, but trying to stay positive as to Jack’s ultimate fidelity once married. When they go to meet the ladies at the designated restaurant, Miles notices some differences in the ladies’ appearances as he sees them, most likely due to his less severe alcoholic state. When the ladies go to confer, Jack confides in Miles of his decision with Babs to invest a pretty hefty amount toward Miles’ writing career, which he promptly turns down, Jack trying to get him to accept with the knowledge of what he and his future wife stood to gain upon their marriage vows. Terra then comes back to proposition a spa on the boys, Miles being the one to ultimately decide and agreeing they should after he reasoned how Jack and Babs’ generous investment would leave him unfettered and less stressed about paying his mother and creditors back.

They stop at their hotel room after Maya gets off work and grab their bathing suits, Maya showing Miles the wine she’d brought, making him blaspheme God with its rarity. When they arrive at the spa, they swiftly change into their suits and get to cracking open the wine, everyone reveling in its blend. Soon Jack and Terra take command of the cabana reserved and Maya gets herself worked up over Miles who is torn by the dishonesty he had to keep away from Maya, but ultimately falls in line with her way of thinking, especially when she gets a room of their own and he goes about getting down, the way she had for him in the Jacuzzi, we getting a new description for the bean all the guys who strive for it want to bag and then they getting to the dirty with no safety net; which surprises me. When they all reconvene at their car and Miles is dropped off with Maya and Jack stays with Terra, Miles invites Maya inside and they get close, Miles realizing he’s falling for her and deciding to confess Jack’s nasty secret, Maya not taking it well since Jack had severely lied to Terra, she knowing Terra would be exceptionally hurt by this reality. After they go to sleep and Terra wakes up around dawn, she confesses a pretty exceptional deal herself, leaving Miles with his own betrayal to deal with.

When Jack comes into the motel room a bit later, Miles greets him with a kiss from his fist to Jack’s face laying him out on the floor and bewildered as to why Miles would make him bleed so profusely, Miles being quite clear as to the why and wondering what Jack’s explanation could be, he revealing how the idea of paying Maya was Terra’s idea. After he further explains his reasoning, Miles is starting to get it, but not able to move past it, furthermore, Jack is starting to detect his nose may be broken from his tap, Miles driving him once more to the hospital and getting the news from the doctor it well may be broken and getting Jack’s nose x-rayed to be certain. After an hour wait Miles is told Jack is going to need more work on his nose if he didn’t want to have a honker forever, his look in the car when adding his sunglasses making Miles bust into uncontrolled laughter and their friendship on the mend, they both going golfing in preference to another winery and having some fun when a couple of golfers try to mess with them.

When they get back to their motel room, Jack notices Terra’s car and starts freaking out she was in their room, Miles still not having told him he’d spilled the beans to Maya, but trying to get him to go in and talk with her, they both walking closer, but Jack periodically stopping with apprehension which we soon observe is founded when Terra makes her presence felt by shooting off Brad’s rifle and chasing the two away, Jack stopping to plead forgiveness, she too hurt and angered by his betrayal. She leaves him with a couple more injuries before the cops arrive and Jack comes up with a decent enough story to cover up the shooting. When the cops leave, Jack decides to surprise Miles with an impromptu cover story, Miles car needing to match and he getting extremely pissed off in the process even though Jack tried mollifying him with being the one to pay for the damage. They go to eat at a café and Jack tries to amend the situation by letting Miles choose whatever he wanted to drink and then obtaining another woman to sooth his sorrows with for the night, getting Miles to drive him to hers and pick him up for the festival in the morning.

At dawn Miles is awakened by Jack pounding on the door and yelling for him, he too groggy to get why he’d be at the door, getting his story about how he’d had to bolt from the bartender’s home early in the morning because she was married and her husband had walked in, Jack thinking Miles should help him get back over there to retrieve his wallet, left with his clothes in the adulteress’ house, Miles thinking he was Planter’s nuts. He starts the drive after Jack confides he’d had the two wedding rings in his wallet, they being irreplaceable, but unfortunately Miles still being torn about this terrible plan. Miles eventually gets talked into doing Jack’s dirty work of the retrieval of his wallet. He then notices the partially opened sliding glass door and hears odd noises from inside, barely audible, but also noticing what looked like Jack’s jeans draped over a chair. The wallet wasn’t inside though and ended up being in a spot which the husband and wife would both see it being swiped, Miles taking what seemed like the best moment to try to pinch it, but ultimately ending up in the pool out front at the end of his oxygen supply, being put in the position by the angered husband. Jack comes to his rescue and they drive back to Buellton for a celebratory breakfast before the wine festival began. Brad is waiting for them when they finish and Miles checks his messages before they get started to the festival, one message being from his agent, whom he postponed the return call to until he’d had a couple of tastings.

They get on their way, but Jack stops their proceeding when he notices Miles is in an introspective mood, they taking a walk in a field and Miles coming clean as to why he was acting distant, conceding to Jack he didn’t want to be his best man, Jack trying to convince him and failing, Miles finally agreeing after Jack decides he won’t get married unless Miles is present as his best man, the three continuing on their journey to the wine festival. When they finally arrive and realize the crowd they would be contending with at the tasting areas, Miles not only is told of Maya being nearby, but decides to call his agent at last for the news. When he gets off the phone he tries a different wine and Maya is seen speaking with Jack, he getting acknowledgment from Maya. Miles then makes a scene by chugging from the spit bucket since the wine pourer wouldn’t fill his glass and kept him from drinking the one he’d poured himself. Jack comes to his rescue once more and he helps him out where Brad then helps them both get back to his car to take him to the ocean upon request. Miles being completely wasted by now, fought to get into the water, Jack having to drag him back to shore, Miles than throwing up the nasty leftovers of other people’s spit and asking whether it was true Jack had spoken with Maya about accompanying him to the wedding, he confirming and she wanting him to call her for specifics. They get some dinner before making their journey to Los Olivos where the impending wedding would be held, Jack admitting he’d somehow hurt his ankle chasing Miles into the ocean.

When morning arrives, Jack and Miles revisit the hospital once more, now having an awkwardly joke-y rapport with the intern, Jack learning out he’d fractured his ankle and would have to get it set. Jack comes out from his high on Vicodan and before they get all the way to Paso Robles for the wedding Jack surprises Miles with one more piece of damage to his car to fortify their story for his injuries. When they arrive at Babs’ parents place, Miles drops Jack off and checks into a motel as quickly as possible, getting some dinner and retiring to his room, letting Jack know his number when he got back. He gets a call from Jack after he’d gone to sleep, he hoping Miles would dance with Babs at the reception for not being able to himself, Jack professing how grateful he was for the time they’d had and Miles agreeing to his request, he then receiving a call back from Maya, who turns his invitation to be his date down for having to work, she trying to get to the bottom of what Miles actually felt for her and he being honest. She shares him what she believed his true feelings were and then giving him hope by asking the details for the reception, letting him be optimistic she’ll at least think about joining him.

Miles gets through the wedding without cracking up and remembers he promised to dance with Babs otherwise would have split after the vows. At the reception, Miles dances with Babs and uncovers more of her misgivings to their story about how Jack got broken and also finally gets a close-up look of his ex and her new husband, revealing more news which solidified they truly having separate lives now. Maya surprises Miles by showing up after he’d gotten a few drinks in him and she gets him to come with her to a quiet spot to talk privately, outside the wedding party. We’re left with Miles having a moment of clarity and Maya’s thoughts on the newlyweds longevity. This story was so easy to read the plot almost seems inconsequential, but it was funny and worth it overall and I’ll probably end up checking out further works by Rex Pickett.

Bone Vol. 2: The Great Cow Race

For the first volume. The second volume starts with Thorn showing Fone around the festivities of the Spring Fair. Thorn lets us know Fone and his cousins only have a few more days to stay in Barrel Haven, since Smiley and Phoney are almost done washing dishes for the room and board they’ve acquired and in the meantime she wants to show Fone a good time and decides to look for a honey-booth, with the cuter honey-sellers to buy from, pretty much deflating any love Fone was harboring for the moment. Thorn soon realizes what she’s looking for and gets two honeycombs. Soon Fone and the honey-seller are squaring off for a fight when Fone realizes he can make his arm muscle bulge larger than the young man and proposes arm wrestling, happily. Thorn puts a stop to it after though and rushes off with Fone in tow. Thorn gives him a peice of her mind when they’re alone though, expressing to him she’s had enough of his confrontational behavior and can join her when he’s through showing off his masculinity; at least it’s the impression I got.

Fone soon steps upon some honey and comes up with a plan to get on Thorn’s good side again. He goes over his plan as he executes it, but soon realizes his folly upon noticing the distance he’s travelled up the tree without making it to the hive, yet. Fone doesn’t understand why he isn’t seeing a swarm when he discovers the location of the honey and a humongous bee walks up and takes his flaming grass like it’s a smoking implement. Back at the bar, Smiley is getting caught up in tasks and being told by Phoney to put out the food which was waiting to be had by a customer. Smiley then relates why he hasn’t gotten to it yet with the knowledge he’s found a couple of guys willing to bet on the race, perking Phoney’s interest. When he’s told of the good bets, he then comes up with some numbers for Smiley to return with to make sure no one bets on Gran’ma Ben, making it plain for Smiley they’re fixing the race so they can win and how they’ll be “splitting” the goods. Then Phoney asks him if he’s ever seen any monsters about asking for him, Smiley giving it a good long think, annoying Phoney. Then Mr. Down makes Smiley get back to work waiting on customers, making sure Phoney realizes he’s keeping his eye on him, then complimenting his chef’s hat in a way which again annoys Phoney. We then see Gran’ma Ben running, training for the race and chatting with a local of how she’s been feeling, soon being approached by more men about whether they thought she looked well and in shape. Gran’ma Ben is soon talking to more townspeople of their lack of faith in her winning and betting on the mystery cow. Then we see Fone coming back to the festival with his huge honey-comb prize, hoping Thorn will be pleased, but sees her sitting off in a quiet spot under a tree with the honey-seller.

We see Phoney taking bets when Fone walks up and almost ruins Phoney’s position of bookie. Then they get into why Phoney has to try and “make a living” in this way, when Smiley walks up in his mystery cow costume, working Phoney up into a frenzy with the possibility of him being seen by the locals before the time is right. Smiley then tries to convince Phoney of his skills as a cow, when Fone asks why he’s dressed up and Phoney comes up with it being a part of a promotion they’re using for the race. Fone isn’t buying it and asks what else he’s been up to, confiding in him of how he’s seen the rat creatures after him, Phoney denying knowing what it’s all about. Then Smiley relays Phoney a message from Lucius which gets him back to the bar quickly enough, but Fone makes sure to inform Phoney he’s going to have to straighten his act before they get back to Boneville. Then it’s night and we see hooded figures walking along, soon they feel they are being followed and one runs off with a child who was with them, soon leaving the little girl by herself, he walking toward a dark figure outlined by the stars, then coming back for her to make her stay in Deren Gard, commanding her not to follow.

Then we uncover what creature the girl must follow. Soon they reach a cave, when he hears something close-by, which is when we see the little girl inside the cave amongst dragons. After, we see Thorn wake up and upon waking Fone, confides in him about her strange dream she had and go on to talk of how Gran’ma Ben had reacted to the dragon, knowing she isn’t divulging everything to them. Thorn then tries to figure out why the dreams she’s having have come back, since she used to have them when she was younger. Fone brings out the map they’d used to get there, after she asked about it and realized she’d drawn it, soon they’re trying to figure out if what her dream showed, was real, Fone deciding they should show Gran’ma Ben since Thorn was too confused to figure out its reality or not. Thorn decides to wait until after the race to confess about it, not wanting to make her more concerned about anything else, soon suggesting they go sleep, but Fone seems to struggle with this prompt.

Gran’ma Ben greets the group the next morning at breakfast in the bar, soon deciding to have a jog to “loosen up”: fifty or sixty miles loose, but then changes her mind upon hearing talk around the bar of her being too old to win, again. Lucius tries to cheer her up, but it doesn’t do much, especially when Phoney chimes in with support, but only makes her suspicious, going back to her room, sending for tea. Phoney makes a mistake when he thinks to offer Lucius a chance at betting against Gran’ma Ben, putting no pressure and informing him he’ll be open for bets until the start of the race, which makes him wonder about Phoney’s reasons, I imagine. Fone is seen trying to ask Thorn on a “walk-around-the-fair-date”, which she has to decline from for already promising Tom the honey-seller. We then see Lucius asking around about what the deal is with everyone betting on the mystery cow rather than Rose. Lucius then plants the fact nobody has even seen the mystery cow and once confirming it amongst themselves of the truth of this, Phoney happens to walk up mentioning the cow again, everyone dead silent, he unaware of the reason, but upon threats to his person, Phoney promises to show the “scary” cow by noon. Thorn is then shown looking for Tom and seeing him with another girl, who looks like a Disney princess, relating to her he was walking with her and she was welcome to “tag” if she so wished, which she didn’t and they walk off.

Fone is reading a book in the woods and is chatted up by Ted, popping out of nowhere. Ted gets right to the point of Fone needing to be straight with Thorn instead of mooning about in the woods because of her. Ted guesses his timid reasonings and suggests he write her instead. He isn’t for it at first, but Ted convinces him and he tries his hand at some love poetry. Ted goes off, promising to return and then we see rat creatures hiding behind Fone in the foliage. They argue how they’ll eat him after debating whether to bring him back to Kingdok instead, settling on their tummies. They creep up and Fone gets some rhyming advice from one without considering who’s doing the helping, at first. We then see Phoney approaching the barn with the mystery cow, the betters following him. After Phoney warns them to stay quiet, they being loudly threatening anyways, they hear a loud noise, we then see who’s making it, within the barn. Phoney still offers the chance to take a look, but with it seeming too life-threatening a risk, no one partakes, instead going off to locate good seats before the race starts, Phoney hearing the bell chime, which signified the start of the race being close at hand. Phoney then makes sure Smiley is ready to begin for the race, as well. We then see Gran’ma Ben approaching the starting line with Thorn calling after her. She wishes her luck and then asks Lucius if he’s seen Fone, which he hadn’t since breakfast, which makes Thorn wonder where he is, knowing he wouldn’t miss the race. We then see Fone’s pack and letter still in the woods.

When the race is about to start, Phoney gets Smiley ready to move in for the starting line, knowing no one else will be getting a close look at his grunge-y looking cow costume. Phoney confirms once more with Smiley he knows what to do and then goes racing back to his betting booth to see about any last takers. Lucius walking up to take a bet for Gran’ma Ben to win, which surprises the hoo-hah out of Phoney since he won’t be able to pay off Lucius’ bet compared to his own. He high-tails it back to Smiley to be sure he tries to win the race instead, which panics Phoney so badly he tries to step into Smiley’s suit so they have double the running power, but doesn’t get fully into the suit before the race is on. Apparently Gran’ma Ben and the mystery cow are neck to neck before entering the woods, meanwhile Thorn is still worrying about Fone as she watches the race. We then see Fone is having a race of his own, keeping ahead of the rat creatures, definitely giving them a good work out in the hunt of him. Soon though, he falls down a sharp decline, cuddled with one of the rat creatures until hitting a tree, Fone hanging onto the one, until the other falls onto his compatriot, making them all fall into more branches near the bottom, giving Fone his chance to make off into the woods and running into the possum kids, warning them of who’s chasing him, they all hiding until they’ve passed, which soon have the kids upset they didn’t help Fone in some way, coming up with a plan and one returning to update their mother what’s happening.

Meanwhile, the mystery cow is ahead of Gran’ma Ben and she’s decided to try and get a closer look at them, but the mystery cow falls over a ledge in their haste to get away, falling amongst many rat creatures and soon they’re running away from the horde, Fone behind Smiley now and when catching up to them, Smiley’s surprise Fone’s running the race with them. We then see the two possum kids revising their plan upon seeing Fone’s cousin is with him, then realizing the big stampede which was heading towards them, not only including the cows. When mystery cow collides with a rat creature, stopping both in their tracks, Gran’ma Ben sees them entangled and gets extremely steamed, everyone screaming to get away from her screaming, charging at them all. Soon, Lucius and the others all see the insane sight heading out of the woods, surprising everyone. Gran’ma Ben ignoring the Bones and everyone else, getting ahead of them and winning the race, watching the others pass her and ready to exact revenge upon the Bones.

Then we see Gran’ma Ben making her way through the woods with the Bones, Thorn, and Lucius; Phoney, “drippings with goo”, making him silent for the ride. We learn after Phoney got an old fashioned “licking” for his trouble-making. Smiley and he soon figuring out they will be dividing their time between doing chores for Gran’ma Ben and Lucius since she paid off Phoney’s debt and with the time to be decided upon, at the two’s discretion; Phoney, of course making a stand, but being quieted due to their still perilous journey back, not knowing where the rat creatures had run off to. Soon they get to talking about who will protect them if the rat creatures do come back and possibly are watching them right then, when they hear rustling in the trees, Lucius taking a closer look, not seeing anything and so moving on to their destination, being the farm. Fone keeps watching and soon sees the dragon looking at them from the bushes. A little further ahead, the Hooded One is shown watching them from above, in a tree. We then see a rat creature, during the day, ahead of the other and calling the “all clear”, both worried as to what Kingdok will have to say of their failure in capturing Fone again.

One makes clear to the other no one will find out and they would hide for a few days until everything calmed a bit. One of them freaking out repeatedly and babbling of how much had gone wrong until the other shouts for silence, then commiserating on their hunger. The conversation goes on for a bit, soon ending with the one’s favorite food item and annoying the other making the first pay for his big mouth, then taking a nap. We see Gran’ma Ben and group have returned to the farm after and Lucius gauges the damage done to the farm-house. Gran’ma soon confides in Lucius why she’d decided to rescue the Bones from their disastrous fate, being the only connection between her and the rat creatures. Soon they discuss the natures of the three, she trusting Fone Bone wouldn’t lie, Phoney is definitely a trouble-maker and Smiley, a simple lad. Lucius soon makes his worries known to Rose and she quells his nervousness for her by mentioning to him she won’t have to fight the rat creatures alone if they do come back earlier than judged since the dragon has returned. Lucius then has his supposition confirmed Fone actually does know of the dragon, as well as Thorn, Rose then hinting at the other part of the truth being not yet safe for Thorn to learn. Rose decides they should wait and figure whether the rat creatures are solely after the Bones and meanwhile Lucius and she will have fun using Phoney as a work horse, but will first rest whilst it’s still safe during the day. Fone gets first watch since he’d been able to get a few winks on the ride and soon goes off a ways to try and finish his love note. Then we get a little poem which shows the little possum kids playing. We also see the start of work and how Lucius gets nailed in the head with a plank by one of the Bones.

Lucius soon asks Smiley’s help to secure the rope which was keeping him from falling to his death, wondering what had kept Smiley, he alluding to how he’d been thinking of how vast of a fix-up job they were embarking on for the farm-house, perhaps needing to upgrade some more and wanting him to wait to share his opinion until hearing his plan out, but the dragging out of it is putting Lucius in a murdering mood. Smiley sharing his plan, but soon getting to reminiscing about his job in Boneville, making Lucius keep him on track with handing him enough shakes for the shingling, but is flustered to the point of being the cause of his own falling off the roof, which Smiley watches, being so distracted he’s unable to light his cigar for the fascination of it, but upon the crashing of his body on the way down and it becoming quiet, he lays back on the roof and accepting his current surroundings will suffice in the absence of Boneville, thus ending the second volume. It’ll be a treat to start the third. By this time it is also possible to read Bone Sourcebook.