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!

The Invisible Man

We are introduced to a man wrapped head to toe and arriving into town on a chilly February who had stopped in Iping, a place which didn’t see visitors this time of year and so when he’d dropped into an Inn, the proprietor made sure to show what she was worth, since her new guest didn’t bother to haggle with her. When she moved to take his coat and hat, he informed her he’d rather keep it on, which is when she noticed how fully covered he was, with his wide spectacles, etc. When she goes back into the parlor to give him some more accouterments to his meal, she sees he’s taken off a few articles of clothes and is shocked by the bandages on his face. Thereafter she tries to get information about what may have happened to him out of him, with no luck and so satisfied herself with observations as he stayed in the parlor, pacing and talking to himself. I prefer the tone of this book so far, it’s humorous and mysterious.

Mrs. Hall was trying to unleash courage enough to go back into the parlor to ask if her guest would care for late-afternoon tea, when the clock repairman came, giving her an excuse to enter the room. After agreeing to let the man do his work, the bandaged guest makes clear he’s a scientist who had come to Iping to try and work through some of his experiments and would be needing solitude and from this point on would require as few disturbances as could be managed, due to his accident making his eyes ache periodically and being extremely sensitive and annoyed if in this state. He then called the clock repairman out on trying to stay longer than necessary, barely masking his rage, which got the man moving and when he’d gone out and met Mr. Hall on his way back to the inn, told him of his mysterious guest which seemed odd and should look out for trouble from him, which Mr. Hall did look into once he’d arrived, expressing to Mrs. Hall to check his belongings closely when they were delivered.

Hall and Fearenside were bringing the man’s luggage when Fearenside’s dog attacks the owner of the luggage. After realizing the damage done, he makes for his room, shortly thereafter being followed by Hall, who when he enters the stranger’s room sees something inexplicable and one he can’t come to terms with for being thrown out of the room by the stranger. When they finally get his luggage to his room, he makes himself quite busy unpacking crates filled with bottles of all sorts and mixing tubes. He from then on begins conducting his experiments which makes a mess in the room, upsetting Mrs. Hall, but being dealt with by he informing her to add it to his bill, at his annoyance of being interrupted by her for tea, as well as upon this visit noticing his eyes being more recessed than usual and Mrs. Hall reminding him of the lock on the door if he was so opposed to being disturbed.

Fearenside is then mentioned speaking of what he’d seen of the stranger’s mottled skin-tone, his leg being black and nose being pink, thinking this meant he was racially mixed. Also whilst he still got under Mrs. Hall’s skin for his lack of upkeep for the room, he payed his bills on time, quelling her frustration and using this as her argument stance, to Hall’s dislike and mistrust of their guest. The stranger, whilst usually staying close to his room, would venture out to the most secluded places, when he did go out at all and covered up despite the temperature. The Stranger usually scared anyone who met him, one being shamed by his fear when the stranger had his hat off and the light from an establishment illumined his skull. He also had a tendency of scaring children, boys disliking him and vice versa. A rumor began as to the reason for his bandages and one man started an investigation of him which was futile, but Cuss the doctor of the town became extremely curious and decided to visit the man one day to leave shortly after ten minutes with, seemingly the shock of his life. Cuss then head’s to the vicar’s to unload what he’s encountered, firstly making note he’d asked for a donation to a Nurse fund to the Stranger, then became quite nosy in discovering what he was experimenting on, soon seeing the Stranger had no hand. When he asked further about how his sleeve could lay how it did, the stranger gave him a closer look which scared the nosiness right out of him, ha-ha; even the vicar had a laugh at the end of Cuss’s story.

Mr. and Mrs. Hall, meanwhile were going into the cellar to soften the beer they cure. When Mr. Hall had gone to fetch the desired ingredient they needed to add, he noticed the Stranger’s door was not how it had been fastened before and decided to investigate. When he figures the guest is not there, he relays this to his wife who comes up to see for herself, then they both heard the door open and shut from downstairs and headed down to look, then hearing sneezing which they each thought the other was responsible for. Then some “paranormal” activities started happening with them they couldn’t grasp and in the end got them out of the guest’s room. Mr. Hall calls in a local “expert” since the Mrs. became too much overwhelmed by the experience and to confirm what they were undergoing was something explainable. The man they called Mr. Wadgers believed it to be witchcraft, but then everyone who’d gathered to discuss and figure out what was happening saw the guest come out of the room and shut the door in all their faces, which everyone then thought Mr. Hall should go and ask the Stranger about what was happening, but didn’t get far in their endeavor.

After which the Stranger goes to the Coach and Horses for a few hours staying unmolested whilst there, even when ringing the bell for service since Mrs. Hall had heard of the burglaries and had divined what must have happened, deciding to ignore the Stranger’s summons. After going back to his room and then some time later requesting for Mrs. Hall, she comes and asks if he’s ready for his bill, whilst he’s complaining about not having his meals served him, she making him aware he must settle the bill she’d been waiting on and he had been awaiting a payment, which she no longer cared to wait for if he wasn’t going to pay what he owed already. He then tries to assure her of money he’s acquired and willing to use as payment, but before she would accept this, she demands to know what has been going on concerning his comings and goings and he acquiesces, showing her his lack of face and placing in her hand his nose, frightening her again and everyone else inside witnessing his lack of physical body, all running out of the establishment and those seeing everyone coming out, running to them to learning the news. Mr. Jaffers and Mr. Hall come with a warrant for the stranger’s arrest, which is a struggle when the stranger realizes what the constable, Mr. Jaffer’s planned, soon disrobing to the point of not being able to be hand-cuffed, continuing to disrobe so as to make it impossible for capture, but also announcing he didn’t plan on resisting. The constable shouts for someone to stop him and Mr. Hall gets assaulted in the process of trying to assist, but Mr. Jaffer’s has the Stranger for some time, before he makes good his escape out the door with the crowd pouring out around him and fleeing through the town. Then he makes it to the outskirts where Gibbons is dozing and hears cursing pass him with no body to accompany for the words and makes haste back to the town.

We are then introduced to Thomas Marvel, starting with his appearance. We soon discover he’s contemplating the boots he’s had over the boots which were given in charity, soon speaking to someone behind him about his being torn between the choosing. When Thomas finally turns to compare the boots of the Stranger, he sees no one. When the disembodied voice tries to keep the man calm, Thomas gets defensive and demands to know the voice’s whereabouts. When he gets jostled by empty space, he becomes even more concerned of his sanity and believes it to be caused by drinking, the voice expressing to him he isn’t drunk. When the voice threatens to throw stones at him, Thomas is disbelieving and then begins to see them being thrown at him, scaring the wits out of him even more, but soon being convinced of the Stranger’s existence by explaining it to him a couple more times and ways, soon explaining why he’s come to “show” himself to Thomas, even letting him feel his face, which is bearded, soon having Thomas believe in his physicality and trying to enlist his help, threatening him if he betrays his trust, but Thomas wanted to help him however he could.

The people of Iping were at first paranoid of the Stranger still being about, but were soon taken over by Whit-Monday’s festivities, since it had been looked forward to all month. A few people, even whilst taken up by their activities, saw a stranger enter the town and head to the Coach and Horses, also noticing his odd behavior and before entering, seemed to struggle with whether to do so until ultimately deciding to go in, we then hear the goings on of what the stranger seemed to be doing. He exits the building and goes to a gate-post and lights his clay pipe. One of the store-owner’s, Old Fletcher senses suspicion in the new stranger’s demeanor and soon realizes he’s acting like he’s about to nick something, running after him once he sees he’s got a bundle of items after disappearing for a moment to collect them, running off with Fletcher behind him until he’s tripped up, losing him.

We are then given the necessary information as to what happened inside whilst we saw what happened from Fletcher’s perspective. Mr.’s Cuss and Bunting had gone into the stranger’s room for further investigation whilst Jaffer’s convalesced at home with his friends well-wishings. They soon discovered the Stranger’s diary, which doesn’t help them much since it seems to be in code. Mr. Cuss figures out some of it is in what looks like Russian with Greek throughout, which Bunting should have been able to shed some light upon for supposedly knowing some Greek, but apparently lost his ability quite a bit. He began to cover his inability to decipher the words, but was saved by someone entering the room asking where the bar was. They direct him out of the room and he leaves, closing the door behind him, as asked. The two men are left to contemplate the strange man who entered the room and then moved on to the unbelievable happenings in the town as of late. Then Cuss recognizes some Greek letters, but before he can decipher them, they both feel a pressure on their necks and a threat to stop what they’re doing or else physical violence will be in their immediate futures, which left them both staring at each other in horror. After convincing the two of his being able to overpower them, they agree to work with him, he soon is able to receive what is requested, from what we learned from Fletcher’s side.

Then we see from the bar what Mr. Huxter, Mr. Hall, and Teddy Henfrey were witnessing, Huxter observing Thomas whilst Hall soon heard a scuffle within the Stranger’s quarters, Teddy and he moving in this direction. Mr. Hall calls to them to make sure everything is alright, still curious and suspicious of their noise and smelling chemicals. Mrs. Hall soon sees them and asks why they’re listening at the door, Hall, trying to convey she should come and listen, but she not playing and they move off to confide in her quietly what’s happening. She tries to uncover a reasonable explanation for what they shared with her and then they all see Mr. Huxter from across the street yelling about the thief and see his complex fall. Soon, everyone who tried to follow the escaping Thomas wound up being tripped or thrown aside in some way, before-which, people were thinking Thomas was the invisible man now visible.

Whilst all this is happening, Mrs. Hall had stayed indoors next to the register and Mr. Cuss believed as long as Thomas held the package of items, he’d stay visible; the dope. Soon, the Stranger is hit and becomes enraged, following Mr. Cuss back indoors, warning Bunting to get out of there, which he does. Everyone clears out of the street as the invisible man wreaks his havoc. After two hours people felt it safe to go back outside, the invisible man leaving Iping.

Meanwhile, Thomas and the invisible man are traveling still and apparently Thomas has been trying to ditch the invisible man, which he doesn’t take kindly to. Thomas maintains he didn’t try to do it on purpose, not knowing the area at all. The Stranger moves onto how he’d been treated in the town and it was bad enough how they learned about his being invisible, Thomas being his only reliable enough visible companion, which Thomas tries to talk himself down about being a bad choice, which the Stranger had started to be candid about, but him being his only option. They pass through a town with the invisible man making his presence known only to Thomas, warning him not to try any funny business, Thomas resigning to do as asked.

They reach Port Stowe, a fictitious town and Thomas is engaged in conversation by an elderly seaman, which made Thomas uncomfortable and fearful. The mariner goes on to pursue his mostly one-sided conversation, first regarding the books lying next to Thomas and then speaking of a newspaper which had interesting findings in it of an invisible man. Thomas plays dumb and the mariner goes on to describe what had happened at the Coach and Horses. Thomas tries to fish for information of whether any accomplices are mentioned, which the mariner confirms there was no mention of. When Thomas is reassured he might not be near the Stranger at the moment, he confides in the man he had more facts of the invisible man, which perks the mariner’s interest, when he seems to be prodded by the invisible man a certain way to make him end the conversation and rescind his statements to the mariner about the whole thing being a hoax, upsetting the mariner since he’d spent all his time describing the news to Thomas, he walking off in an awkward way when the mariner sees a bundle of folded bills levitating away which is when we are told of men seeing this happen about town, to end in the pocket of Thomas.

The next chapter begins with Dr. Kemp sitting in a room I finally understand the meaning of since the days of Mr. Belvedere the TV series. He’d been marveling his work he hoped would get him in a private Society, when he sees, most likely Thomas running down a hill toward his home. He had been used to people coming to him with talks of the invisible man and believed him to be one of those, but noticed how slowly his running seemed to be getting him. Those on the streets found Thomas’ state worrisome as he hurried straight down the street. People began making haste indoors as they found out the invisible man was coming.

We then see a barman conversing with a black-bearded man when they and a cab man in the bar begin hearing the commotion outside. The barman guesses it’s a fire. Thomas streaks in not long after, distraught by the invisible man following him; a policeman inside helps him get the door shut and tries to get more information out of him. Thomas tries to explain how he’d escaped the companionship of the invisible man again, when a powerful shock to the door puts him in terror and the policeman investigates the identity of whomever is on the other side. The barman let’s Thomas hide behind the bar due to his display of being panic-stricken. Meanwhile the policeman considers reopening the door to distinguish who’s out there, the lawman mentions not being properly attired with weapons which the black-bearded man showed was unnecessary by displaying his gun, promising not to shoot to kill, but would aim at the intruder’s legs. They soon come to realize not all the doors were fastened and the invisible man could already be within their midst, which they soon recognize to be true when Thomas is hauled off by an unseen force with the barman and policeman trailing behind, the barman getting a grip on the invisible man. The two are able to land some blows before he escapes their grasp and soon follow him outdoors where a tile is thrown at them. The black-bearded man retaliates with gun-fire in the direction of where the tile had been thrown, soon requesting someone to go see if a body could be found, believing he would’ve had to hit his mark after five shots.

During which time, Dr. Kemp has heard the shots go off from his study and wonders what the local “asses” could be doing. He doesn’t investigate and instead focuses on his work with lackluster enthusiasm until his bell rings, perking his curiosity when his maid doesn’t come to inform him who had called, he goes to see and realizes it was a ding-dong ditch, going back to his study to continue his work, finishing at two in the morning. He was on his way downstairs for a night-cap when he notices a spot on the floor, its consistency to blood and upon further investigation detects his door-handle smeared in like-wise form. He goes inside to discover more blood on his sheets and a depression on his bed-clothes like someone had been sitting on them, then spooking himself out of believing he’d heard someone speak, he closes his bedroom door, even though he was adrenalized and comes across a bloody rag hanging in the air before him. This is when the invisible man makes his presence officially realized to Kemp who disbelieves until feeling the invisible fingers when he reaches out, throwing himself into a panic moreso than before. The invisible man pleads for him to calm himself, needing his help, but not receiving Kemp’s counsel without further struggle at first, having to restrain, then threaten him.

Blawger’s Note: Now normally I don’t abide the “Spoiler” rule, but if one hasn’t read the story and wants to be properly surprised, I’m hoping the reader has stopped much sooner than this point, but if not, I’ll let it be known I’ll be using the invisible man’s given name from this point on. Griffin finally introduces himself, apparently having attended college with Kemp. He has trouble believing this, but after Griffin describes how he looked in college and tries to repetitiously explain how and why he’d become invisible, he then asks for a drink due to his injury, Kemp complying to the request, not truly accepting Griffin’s reality. Griffin soon puts this to rest by requesting clothing and food. Kemp agrees to give him what he asks, but is still incapable of believing what he’s experiencing.

Whilst Griffin eats, he tries to explain how his blood becomes visible after coagulation which is still blowing Kemp’s mind as he asks to know more, but Griffin wishes to eat more before going into the long blundering tale and also wished to stay overnight, so whilst Kemp left to look for more food downstairs, Griffin awaits his return, then after eating an enormous meal, he calls for a cigar and as the smoke was exhaled, one could see his throat and nose outlined by the smoke. Kemp joins him for a drink after as Griffin postulates how they’ll work together whilst Kemp “badgered” Griffin to know how he’d become this way and Griffin firmly stating to let him finish his cigar before going into it. Instead Griffin raves about Thomas getting away from him and wanting to recover him before he got away, but also requiring sleep for not having but a few dozes during the past three days. Kemp asks where Griffin had gotten the money, which Griffin had mentioned when raving of how Thomas had gotten away with his money and books, but declined divulging to him anymore, not explaining how he’d become invisible either, verbalizing his pain. Kemp still offers his room for the night and Griffin announces his paranoia of being caught and how gullible it was of him to announce it to Kemp.

After checking the room, Griffin confesses of how he’s too sleep-deprived to share much at the moment and again confirms how he needs Kemp’s help. Griffin still shows his distrust by locking Kemp out of his bedroom, in mid-threat upon being back-stabbed, Kemp reiterates how he’d given Griffin his word. Kemp goes downstairs talking to himself forcefully of where in nature there are invisible creatures. Kemp then goes to look at his newspapers to determine if there was anything he could divulge to corroborate Griffin’s story, coming upon the story told by the mariner to Thomas and then looking at another paper for any extra research he could notice, landing on one other and wondering what Griffin’s true motives were. After reading the reprinted story of Iping, he took the report with a grain of salt. Kemp tries to make sense of why Griffin would be trying to stalk the tramp, Thomas, coming to the conclusion Griffin had become a homicidal maniac. He contemplated until early dawn too caught up in the fascination to sleep, his servants waking to witness him still consumed by his thoughts. He directs them to make enough breakfast for two and to stay in the lower quarters of his home. Kemp reads his morning paper, which doesn’t add many new facts of the night before nor how Thomas became involved. He requests his housemaid to acquire as many newspapers as she can so he can read as much of the news as the reporters had been able to gather. Arriving at the same conclusion Griffin had gone crazy, he pondered as to what he could do now Griffin had landed at his doorstep. He decides to send a note to the chief of police at Port Burdock, during which he hears Griffin awake and shattering a glass, which he took as his queue to go and rap on the door to ascertain what was happening.

When Griffin admits Kemp, he witnesses Griffin having an explosion of temporary anger due to not remembering the injury to his arm, Kemp also realizing this is common for him. After seeing his fit of rage, he felt his note being sent was the right course to take and invites Griffin to breakfast, asking about how he became invisible. We discover where Griffin happened upon the substance which would turn him invisible and how old he was when he’d discovered it. Griffin goes on to explain how he discovered the fourth dimension (a different definition than used for The Time Machine. This referring to the refraction of light and color as opposed to being time related.) Griffin goes on to explain how light would reflect off certain surfaces, focusing on glass. Kemp directs him around to explaining how the Human body could be included to the likes of glass and Griffin scoffs at how much time it had taken for Kemp to forget his physics, going on to mention types of fiber which could be transparent, including the Human body other than blood and the black pigment of hair. Griffin then reveals why he’d kept his research to himself and how he’d accidentally made a breakthrough in physiology by coming up with turning blood colorless. Griffin then states to Kemp why he’d gone through with it, being unfulfilled in his work, but also needing funding he’d acquired underhandedly.

Griffin describes his lack of compassion towards his father and his untimely death, how he saw the funeral and how his work had been progressing. He didn’t feel badly for his father and only felt obligated to attend his funeral for appearances sake. He then describes in some detail how he first made a piece of cloth disappear, soon trying his experiment on a cat which almost worked, but for the claws and eyes, soon shooing it out of his little room, not to hear from her again other than four days later when people were gathered around a grating where they heard meowing. Griffin then describes how consumed he was for four years by his research and becoming exhausted, self medicating as a way to rest. His landlord began to question what he’d been doing in the apartment and gave him the third degree, Griffin ending the badgering by forcibly getting him out his door, locking him out.

Griffin considered his next move, which couldn’t involve a move for lack of money, also worrying about what would happen with his belongings if more investigation were pursued. He then takes action by sending forward his three diaries and cheque-book, which Thomas now had, to a place which kept packages and letters. When he got back, he saw the landlord was trying to sneak up the stairs and so brushes past him slamming his door shut, but the landlord continued to incessantly knock repetitively throughout the day. Meanwhile Griffin had begun the undertaking of using the drugs necessary to change his blood color and at this time the landlord finally tried to slip an eviction notice under his door, which is when Griffin quickly opened the door and saw the look on the landlord’s face, making him retreat rapidly away. Griffin goes to a mirror to notice his face was completely white. Which wasn’t the end of the process of course, he now understood why the cat had put up such a fuss, his night filled with pain and delirium.

When Griffin wakes, he realizes the process had worked, but for a couple different spots, which he decided in undertaking the process once more and upon completion and sleep, he is awoken by the landlord again with heavies to start the process of his removal. He dissembles his set up of scientific equipment and then hears one of the men had charged the door, making Griffin angry, but goes more quickly in gathering his belongings before they do get in. He’s able to get out of the window before they smash through his door and when they’ve satisfied their curiosity of what wasn’t in the room, Griffin goes back in and messes with them before setting fire to the house. He now realizes how much he could get away with since he wasn’t visible.

Griffin also noticed how difficult it was to walk at times without seeing his body, but he managed well enough from the first. He gets his first taste of being almost caught not long after he is run into by a man with a big load in his arms, which he is fortunate to escape before being truly detected. He’s chased by a dog who catches his smell, but stops following when the Salvation Army crowd gets in the way, Griffin waiting on some steps for them to pass then being spotted by two street urchins who have seen his muddy footprints go up the stairs but not come down, soon noticing the mud outlining his feet, to his horror. Soon after hopping the wall to the next doorway though, he has more than a few people noticing the boys exclaiming of running feet and try to follow him, but he loses them once his feet begin to dry. He notices after how people are running to the fire he had set to his home, containing all of his belongings, but for the three books and cheque-book, which is where Griffin pauses and Kemp bids him continue. Griffin goes to a place, in this era imaginary, sounding like a mall or a shop has a wide variety of wares, like Bed, Bath and Beyond or Walmart. After the place closed up and all the staff had left and locked up, Griffin had gone about searching for clothing, soon feeling humanity return to his psyche. He then searches and determines there is enough food in the grocery area and beds down to sleep for the night with quilts, having dreams which aren’t comforting. He is awoken by a nightmare and then hears voices of night crew or almost-opening crew, which see him for the clothes he’s swiped, he is then chased for some time before finally leaving his clothing behind due to the day being warmer, then trying to figure out his next move and how to check on the packages he’s sent for himself.

We then learn the downside of being invisible and what lengths Griffin had to go in order to stay transparent. After, Griffin mentions of soon coming up with a plan on how to get clothing and a disguise for his face. He ends up at a costume shop after almost getting pushed into the street in front of a hansom. With the idea of nicking what he needed as well as any available cash from the store, he doesn’t consider the sharpness of hearing of the old man whom owned the masquerade shop he’d planned on lifting from. Griffin gets in to his private quarters with some difficulty and then gets stuck there until the old man finished eating, following him downstairs to his kitchen, then back up once nothing of interest was occurring and his feet were growing cold. Griffin withdraws back to his little living area and makes some noise which brings the old man back upstairs for a moment, before resuming his cleaning up, then getting ready to go upstairs, Griffin has trouble passing him without being noticed, again the old man wondering if he’s heard movement, but then continuing upstairs, soon hearing Griffin’s not-as-quiet-as-he-believes moving along with him and the old man becoming confused, then angry, checking downstairs once more for intruders before entering his room and shutting the door before Griffin can squeeze in, deciding to explore the rooms downstairs as quietly as possible, observing most being empty, but one with clothing he’s rifling through until hearing the old man approach again, this time with a gun and after inspecting the room from the door, decides “she” could be responsible and goes off again, locking the door behind him, which Griffin soon realizing he’s now trapped, first angry and then making a bit of noise so the old man would return, more angry than ever and at one point touching Griffin, moving back with amazement.

Soon excusing his physical contact and hastily trying to lock all the doors in his house, Griffin stops him with a blow to the head with a stool. Kemp stops his story, exclaiming he was in the wrong, but Griffin excuses this with the explanation of normal considerations are for normal people to abide by, then trying to justify what he was doing with his invisible position, Kemp stating he sees both sides of the case, but soon changing his stance so Griffin will continue his story. After restraining the man, Griffin goes on his way of securing something to eat and taking another look at the old clothes in the room he was trapped in. He then goes about gathering any funds he saw fit to take which were plentiful enough, soon bravely making his way onto the street once more, visible and unnoticed. He heads for a restaurant to eat and after ordering becomes flustered in the knowledge he wouldn’t be able to eat it, leaving and going to another to posit he required a private room due to disfiguration, which they oblige. Then he contemplated all the reasons for why he’d wanted to become invisible and realizes the downsides once getting the desired objects of affection. Kemp tries to keep Griffin talking and soon asks how he’d come to Iping, quickly going over the fates of the constable and whomever else had gotten in Griffin’s way upon his escape, confiding in Kemp he’d come to him with the idea of how to return himself visible once he’d finished acquiring the ingredients he wanted, invisibly. Griffin continues to rant of the plentiful people who dumbly got in his way and why they couldn’t keep to themselves, making his goals much more difficult to attain, Kemp accepting his position and seeming empathetic.

Kemp soon sees the men he’s waiting for through the window and tries to block Griffin’s view with his body, trying to keep Griffin talking, revealing to him where Thomas had decided to “hide” himself. Griffin also discloses his plans of trying to leave the country, but needing a compatriot to help him, feed and let him rest. Griffin continues with what needs to be done about how some people now know of his existence as an invisible man, leading into the need for killing, which Kemp repeats, but asks him to elaborate, for not necessarily agreeing. Griffin continues describing a need for power, but not explaining the reason for this, then hearing movement downstairs, which Kemp plays off as “nothing” and trying to keep his attention on him by asking more questions imploring him to at least trust in the nation to be his helpers of sorts. Griffin’s attention has now swayed upon hearing someone upon the stair, mentioning this to Kemp, who disregards this, which makes Griffin decide to go check. Kemp soon makes it obvious he’s in on the capture and Griffin disrobes, but doesn’t make it out the door before Kemp closes it. Griffin soon has the door open enough for him to get out though and falls on top of Kemp, both of them falling to the floor, the Chief of police making his way upstairs, stopping to see Kemp struggle with the still robed figure and being flung down a couple times. Griffin assaults the Chief as well, making his way out of the house and ruining Kemp’s up to then, perfect plan of capture.

Kemp soon confesses of the terrible ideas Griffin has in mind for the country, the Chief responding to the affirmative, but Kemp continues with the diagnosis of Griffin not being in his right mind and how the country must lock up everything and be on look out, as well as the police Chief needing to call in help to secure train stations, etc. to watch for Griffin’s move to escape. He, still trying to get at his books, the Chief wishing for Kemp to join him and share more of his ideas, which he does as they meet a car which will drive them to the station. Kemp shares dogs being able to catch his smell and how he can be seen if his food is still digesting. Kemp then mentions needing powdered glass, which the Chief agrees to only if Griffin gets out of hand, which Kemp is certain will happen if he’s willing to do all he’s told him. Kemp confides how Griffin believes he’s separated himself from humanity.

We then see how Griffin, once getting out of Kemp’s house, is in such a rage, he assaults a child near his gate and no one hears of him until late afternoon. We soon learn how this happens with the knowledge the police force, train and shop owners all begin locking up their goods and doors so as no trespassers could pass. We then learn of a murder which had happened involving a man Griffin had for some reason attacked and killed mercilessly. We are given suppositions as to why Griffin would murder the man in question and how he may have spent his night for not being able to enter anyone’s home. We then observe Griffin would have found some way of getting food and sleep and returning to a semblance of his re-emerging former self; rage and the resolve to make his last stand against the people of his country.

Kemp receives a letter by Griffin which shows what he’s learned and how he plans on attacking them for the start of his reign of “terror”, he being the Terror. Kemp confirms the death threat is written by Griffin and then proceeds to write letters of his own, one to the Chief of Police, sending his maid out to deliver them. Chief Adye comes to call and states his maid hadn’t reached her destination before being assaulted and asks what his letter was about. After the predicament Kemp found himself, he began hearing glass from his windows shattering, the Chief deciding to go back for the bloodhounds, not far away. Kemp lends his revolver to the Chief for his return trip, and is met by Griffin asking him to go back into the house. The Chief declines and Griffin begins his assault, wrestling the gun away from him and demanding he go back to the house, which the Chief says is useless, for Kemp won’t let him back in, Griffin replying with pity for him. When the Chief finally agrees to go back, he tries and fails to grab the pistol again, Griffin putting him down, seemingly for good; Kemp watches all of this from his window upstairs, soon losing sight of the gun. Then he hears the ringing of his bell and incessant knocking upon his front door, not answering and checking the windows and door to be sure of them all being secured, then seeing his housemaid and two policemen slowly approaching his home. The blows to the windows and door soon resume and Kemp hears the ringing of the bell, presumably by the policemen. Kemp goes to get the door and updates them as to what’s occurred. Griffin is soon attacking all of them, one of the policemen disabling him by whacking the gun out of his hand with a fireplace poker. Griffin disables the policeman in return and the second officer finally lays a blow upon Griffin which knocks him down, presumptuously. Soon the officer doesn’t know where Griffin is and Kemp and the housemaid have vanished, the two officers now left to figure out where they’d gone.

We then are given the perspective of Kemp’s next door neighbor, a Mr. Heelas, who didn’t believe the invisible man existed, but after awaking from his nap with a bad feeling saw all of the damage to Kemp’s house and couldn’t believe such wreckage could have occurred in such a short time, he sees the housemaid and Mr. Kemp escaping the house through the window midst crashing and the sound of glass breaking, he running straight for Mr. Heelas. Mr. Heelas takes action by getting all of his house-workers to lock the place down and turns Kemp away before he can get in. Kemp makes his way around the house with the invisible feet leaving prints not far behind him, Mr. Heelas being able to see this happen. Kemp runs all the way back to town with an option of hopping on to a tram or heading for the police station, ultimately deciding the police station a better destination, but then decides differently making his way through an alley, soon being followed by townspeople. When he notices they’re trying to make a trap for the invisible man he’s about to help them with words of direction when Griffin catches up and begins his assault. Griffin gets a good few blows in and is going for the killing death grip when he’s knocked by a construction worker, effectively stopping his violence. When the crowd tries to hold him down, though, Griffin makes a second effort to break free, then cries of surrender which makes Kemp try to hold back the men who have a grip on Griffin. A space is made, but the construction worker whom is helping to hold Griffin down is sure to announce Griffin may well be faking his injuries. Kemp believes otherwise and feels for life, not successful, then a woman begins to see Griffin is becoming visible, soon everyone else notices this as well. Not long after, Griffin’s angry expression is seen, even in death and a sheet to cover him is called for, removing his body to the Jolly Cricketers house.

The epilogue has Thomas giving his side of of the story and where he wished us to believe Griffin’s three books actually were. We realize Kemp is still asking after them and Adye has recovered from his injury and continues to question Thomas, but no one would know of the true location of the books until Thomas croaked. An easy read to get through once it really gets going. Dramatic and fast-paced by the last few chapters; I enjoyed it and I’m glad I read it.

Buddha, Vol. 5: Deer Park (Buddha #5)

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For the fourth volume in the series. The next volume begins with Devadatta scouting for warriors to compete for the palace competition, which eventually leads him to Tatta and offering him a slightly different opportunity to join the royal guard. Tatta isn’t interested, but Devadatta doesn’t give up easily. Tatta weighs his options after he realizes he can invade Kosala, agreeing after. They immediately begin training which is more detailed than Tatta bargained for. Devadatta also gives him etiquette techniques he must follow as well, which doesn’t sit well with Tatta at first, but soon enough they’re on their way to visit the King to put Tatta to the test. He impresses the prime minister and Tatta is hired with Devadatta staying on as his manager. Devadatta soon learns of the King Bimbisara’s distress over being killed by his son at the age of forty-one and soon gets the chance to ask the Prince his opinion on the subject, which makes the eight-year-old steam with anger before riding off on his horse. Devadatta believes he and the boy would get along famously due to the lad’s intelligence, but right after those thoughts, they discover the Prince has been attacked by a killer elephant.

Bimbisara soon dispatches a reward to any one man who would go to the mountain to kill the elephant and return the Prince safely. Devadatta elects Tatta, who declines immediately, but Migaila has already gotten his belongings ready for him to go and convinces him to agree with it by suggesting he use his power to enter animals, which he’d not done in years, but couldn’t argue. Soon after getting to the mountain, he locates the elephant trying to bust a tree the Prince had climbed. Tatta goes a safe distance away to try and possess the elephant, which doesn’t work in time for the wind changes and the elephant notices his presence. After getting chased, Tatta gives the animal a killing blow and then almost gets hit with his own blade, but the beast still doesn’t die and so Tatta informs the Prince he is safe and he’s going to follow the elephant. When the Prince reports what happened to Bimbisara, the King orders his soldiers to go track the man down. Meanwhile Tatta detects where the elephant was heading and why the elephant tried to kill any human who got near. When he requests the King to let the elephant alone to die how he wants, at first Bimbisara doesn’t want to comply, but soon Tatta confides them why he should allow it, convincing him to be compassionate.

When Tatta is back home, Devadatta seems almost disgusted by Tatta’s inability to finish off the elephant since he’d been a thief and brigand before. Migaila explains the reason for Tatta’s change in character being due to Siddhartha and how he’d saved her life and Tatta wanted to emulate him. Devadatta has trouble following the point of his endeavor talking with Bimbisara about the subject and getting the advice to go see Siddhartha for himself. When Devadatta goes to look for Siddhartha, he’s annoyed to see he isn’t at the tree the monk said he was, but after speaking to a couple of Siddhartha’s followers, detects he’s in a cave. Devadatta was expecting to be intimidated by Siddhartha, but upon seeing him loses his fear and requests an hour of Siddhartha’s time, which he is reluctant to give and after asking why he’s in the cave instead of outside, Siddhartha confesses of Mara bothering him for the last week at the tree and how he’s been trying to rid himself of it since all it’s doing is making him ascertain a way to die in blissful enlightenment. Devadatta maintained feeding off the weak is the only way to survive and this is why Siddhartha is being plagued by his thoughts, to which Siddhartha denies, but in the end, Devadatta claims he will show him he is right, ending the chapter with the narrative of expecting a tragedy to soon occur.

We begin the second with the Prince not wanting to continue riding his horse due to the thoughts of the elephant coming to mind and when told to study on the subjects which will help him be King, he spots Devadatta and asks to play cards with him. After the Prince loses his King card, he gets upset and is told he will be able to master the game in a year, they move on to pitcher-batter. The King and Queen see how their son is becoming more light-hearted from Devadatta’s influence and whilst the Queen is reluctant to his changing her son, the King believes Devadatta could become a great advisor to him. Then a message from Kosala comes about wanting to have a duel between the two to abate the border conflict once and for all, so the King enlists Tatta’s skill as a fighter. After first declining and then being tricked into accepting by Devadatta, Tatta goes to see what the fighter from Kosala looks like, since he happened to be close by. Upon seeing the man he was to fight was a giant, he then overhears a soldier describe to the giant what kind of man Tatta is, which was mythological in description. After hearing the giant had seen and gotten advice from Siddhartha though, he approaches him after the soldier leaves and they begin bonding over each knowing Siddhartha and Tatta tries to relate to the giant what Siddhartha was like when he was young. Then we get their introductions, Tatta officially meeting Yatala. Tatta goes his seperate way when they both agree to the fate which will befall them the next day when they fight and when Migaila asks why he’s feeling oddly about the match the next day, he confides in her of how he’s feeling insecure about the fight and not having felt this before, to which Migaila states for him to try and let it go, to rest for the coming competition. The next day the rules of the duel are given, making it official the loser must fall and death must follow. The fight is officially begun and the chapter ends.

When they begin, Yatala has the upper hand, but then Tatta gets a blow in to be given another, as well and the fighting continues. They make it to the first break and the Prince wants to supply Tatta with a better weapon, but is told by his father the rules allow only for the weapon he already has, making the Prince go off and talk with Devadatta about it, who says they should wait and see what happens, thinking Tatta will come up with a plan if he lasts the half hour to defeat Yatala the next day. The next round, Tatta makes better headway and is saved by the end of the timed duel, due to resume the next day. Tatta is getting a verbal lashing by the royal priest when the Prince gives him a token of luck. When he gets home to Migaila he shares his plan to extend the game so he can request the next day’s continuation occur in Kosala and go through with his revenge. Migaila reminds him of his promise to Siddhartha to become his first disciple and she professes they will be their together, to confirm Tatta will survive his mission in Kosala. The second part of the fight is shown after and Devadatta is seen with two masked hired men who will help fix the fight. When Tatta and Yatala start, Tatta makes good headway, but then gets into trouble, getting cocky and putting himself in a metaphorical corner, when Yatala falls inexplicably and shouts for Tatta to finish him, but Tatta refuses to comply, knowing foul play is at hand and voices his thought. The King steps in and allows the match to be scored a draw on account of the suspicion and gets Yatala the best medical examiner to diagnose him.

They discern Yatala was poisoned and hasn’t been overcome by this deathly discovery. Devadatta then goes to the same assassin and requests a different sort of potion. After it being provided, he tests it out through sneak attack upon the supplier, being satisfied with the results. We then see the King declaring he will have the assassin be searched for when Devadatta reveals he knows who it was and would like some time to catch him, but the King refuses wanting a name so he can have him brought to him to be judged. Then we see Tatta and Migaila asleep when she gets up to drink some water and Tatta learns what she drank was the poison Devadatta had acquired. Devadatta shows up after Tatta figures out what had happened and fills him in on the reason she was treated with so little regard and lies to him about what “she had done”. In the end, Devadatta has her arrested after showing Tatta the planted poison she had used against Yatala. Devadatta then reveals what will happen to her and how he can save her, which is to travel to Kosala, where they will judge her. The plan was for Tatta to intercept them on the way and retrieve Migaila without killing her captors. He proceeds with his plan, taking them out one by one and leaving a couple to go and inform of their captive being dead. Tatta then decides to flee to the forest of trials as a safe-haven for them.

Tatta tracks him down to some ruins and Devadatta perceives Tatta’s plan, deciding he would see what Siddhartha would do. Tatta locates Siddhartha and congratulates him on his enlightenment, they retreat to his cave and Devadatta curiously looks in on them trying to decipher what Siddhartha could possibly do for them, enjoying the hopelessness of their situation. After Siddhartha is told of Migaila’s poisoned throat, he tries to meditate to identify the truth of her missing voice. Siddhartha helps her unearth her voice again, surprising and devastating Devadatta’s “master plan”. Then Siddhartha notices Devadatta in eye-sight and asks Tatta who it is after he was thanking him for helping Migaila speak again. When Siddhartha gets closer and hears Devadatta’s awed speech, he remembers him, to Tatta’s surprise and then Devadatta asks to become his disciple. Siddhartha asks some preliminary questions and makes Devadatta consider his actions up to this point and whether they were for himself or others. His questions remind Devadatta of Naradatta from his youth and upon Tatta, Migaila and his return home, he starts to consider making an organization to widen the publicity of Buddha’s teachings, becoming more firm with his idea of becoming Buddha’s “manager”.

Siddhartha starts the next chapter in his cave when a deer appears inside and Siddhartha believes the deer wants him to follow him out, but it’s raining and Siddhartha tries to reason with the deer to stay until the weather clears. The deer tries biting Siddhartha’s robe to bring him forward and eventually persuades him out into the rain among other animals, soon realizing the Niranjana River is flooding. Siddhartha then understands the deer had saved him from drowning to stand among the animals in safety. When the weather clears up he allows the deer to show him where he should go next, soon running into a man named Upaka who doesn’t believe Siddhartha when he informs him he’s attained enlightenment and doesn’t have a master, then enquiring where he’s going. Upaka seems to sneer at the idea of Siddhartha following a “beast” on where to head to next and planning to enlighten those there. After Upaka wanders off, Siddhartha continues his journey four hundred miles to Sarnath. When they reach the “Deer Park”, Siddhartha is content with the area and observes other Samanna there including some old “friends” who negatively take the news of Siddhartha’s enlightenment. When they leave, the deer leads him to a comfortable spot to sit and then has the deer as his first official disciple, talking of situations the deer would get in and how to be unafraid of death when it comes. A parable is told, ending the chapter of a deer king whom sacrificed his life to save his kin-folk, impressing upon the human king who hunted them to stop hunting in their forest ever again.

The next chapter begins with the other Samanna wondering who Siddhartha will teach when no one is there, Dhepa being told Siddhartha is teaching the deer. Dhepa doesn’t believe it and goes to see the truth to the ascetic’s words. Dhepa butts into Siddhartha teaching the deer and stops him from continuing by accusing him of sorcery. When they go back to their area, Dhepa begins wondering where all his group had gone, realizing they’d gone to listen to Siddhartha’s sermons. Then we are told a story of an ox who wants to become human. When Siddhartha finishes, the ascetics who left Dhepa ask him to continue and when they return Dhepa chastises them for getting “seduced” by Siddhartha’s words and they in return advise him to try listening to one of his sermons sometime. When Siddhartha was going to continue to give sermons to the deer, he hears a baby deer which was caught in a slope near an ant hill and tries to save it before it gets killed, which Dhepa takes advantage of by convincing himself it’s the perfect trial for Siddhartha to endure. He and the baby deer get bit, but the deer survives and he does as well, but needs more time to heal, the two ascetics having changed their minds to how Dhepa trained them, deciding to go off to the other side of the forest with only one ascetic left to accompany Dhepa. Before making it there though, they see men lying dead, arrows sticking out of them, and Dhepa realizes a war must be going on not long before he ends up getting hit as well, after which, we see an army marching and the chapter ends.

The next begins with Tatta going against the Kosalan army trying to get to the General. When the General shows himself atop an elephant and refuses to fight fairly, Tatta brings him down to his level by force. When he gives Tatta information about Prince Crystal’s sleeping habits, Tatta spares him even though the General is now disgraced and wants death, but Tatta runs off not caring to grant the General’s request. We then see Prince Crystal discover Siddhartha among the deer. Once introductions are given, Prince Crystal takes offense to Siddhartha’s name of Buddha and commands his elephant to crush him because he was blocking his path and ignored the command for him to move. The elephant refuses and Prince Crystal tries to shoot an arrow at Siddhartha, which deer kept leaping in front of to protect him. Prince Crystal then retreats in fear and we go on to see where Tatta’s headed. He had spied on the Prince and noticed he’d been cooped up in his camp for a couple days, upon letting the soldiers know, they wanted to raid them as soon as they could. Tatta stops them, wanting to kill him by himself and deciding to wait until Thursday, which the general agrees to after Tatta allows he attack on Friday. Before Thursday arrives though, the Prince goes off at night on his horse and Tatta follows, still planning on his attack.

The Prince though, has gone in search of Buddha, not caring about anything else. We then see Siddhartha with the group of ascetics who are with Dhepa and what had happened to him in the last chapter. Siddhartha is still trying to figure out a way to help him as the rest of the ascetics focus on the negative qualities and actions Dhepa had done to Siddhartha and he is defending Dhepa by sharing the one thing which was positive. Siddhartha then begins trying to elicit a compatible blood type to transfuse Dhepa’s with and recognizes the only one which works is his own. Then Prince Crystal shows up, commanding Siddhartha to rise and he refusing due to the transfusion, which he explains and the boy not caring, bringing out his sword, adamant in getting Siddhartha to obey him. When the Prince threatens to stab Siddhartha, Tatta comes out and clashes swords with him. Siddhartha stops him and Tatta retreats, torn with how he’ll complete his revenge if he can’t kill the Prince. Then Dhepa begins coming around as Prince Crystal retreats in shame of Tatta getting the best of him, ending the volume. This one was a bit harder to get through, but still pretty good with the Yatala part of the story; I’ll be glad to start the next.

Before Watchmen: Ozymandias/Crimson Corsair

We begin with Ozymandias describing his accomplishments and how history has the final word of whether something is right or wrong. We are given brief description of the reason his parents decided to emigrate to America and the timeline thereof. Then Adrian describes his exceptional acumen from an early age. When his intelligence begins to draw attention, like The Incredibles, his father had to teach his son to “slow down” so as not to draw attention to himself, teaching him the lesson of life not being fair. Adrian gets further lessons with the helpful hands of bullies. His father wanted to deal with it for him, but Adrian had a different plan to take care of it himself. Adrian requested patience from his parents who were worried about his daily beatings, assuring them it would end soon; Adrian doesn’t disappoint. Only it didn’t quite end as he’d hoped. After graduating high school early and studying at Harvard, Adrian gets terrible news regarding his parents. Adrian goes on a journey to discover everything he can about his namesake, Alexander of Macedonia. Adrian then decides to give away his inheritance so he could prove his worthiness to match his idol’s accomplishments. He follows his route from Turkey onwards. After completing his trek, he goes to New York to build upon his savings through the stock market when he meets Miranda St. John. His focus on building his empire though, helps crumble his relationship. He’s wracked with guilt and is about to report the accident which comes from his neglect when ideas of how Alexander would have handled the situation circles his mind, deciding it better to deal with himself. He takes a lesson from other masked vigilantes in the papers and throws together a costume. Then he makes a promise to the drug dealer who supplied Miranda with the drug which ended her: he would regret his role in her death; promising start, I like it.

After four days, Adrian gets a lead and which gives him a run for his money; for a moment, anyways. Adrian gets the information he’s after without much resistance and he heads to the restaurant given and follows his lead out. He gets to the seemingly “abandoned” warehouse and sneaks to a spot to confirm his suspicions, zeroing in on the boss. Adrian makes his move with careful calculation. He gets everyone in the warehouse including the boss with grace and enough time for some disdainful comebacks then he waits for the authorities and comes up with his alias. Adrian continues his crime-fighting rampage after his success. After his continuing good luck, Adrian decides to research the fates of masked crime-fighters who came before him so he could avoid mistakes if possible. He comes across the mystery of Hooded Justice and begins to set his sight on perhaps tracking him down. It takes him pretty close to the truth when another mask confronts him violently. they are evenly matched until his opponent cheats. Adrian uses his planned defeat (so he says) to gather information on the mask. He lets his search take a backseat when he hears of Dr. Manhattan, though. He starts plans to construct a shelter for himself in Antarctica and the renting and construction of fallout shelters in general. Whilst his plans were underway, he’d take down more crime-gangs at night. After completing said mission, a police officer gives him an invitation to which Adrian had no interest in attending until being told Dr. Manhattan would be there, as well. He ends up playing to the crowd with Comedian for the event. After a couple other greetings from masks, he sees Dr. Manhattan, introduces himself and proceeds to listen in on a conversation between him and Nite Owl, discovering an interesting phenomenon. Before Dr. Manhattan leaves with Janey, he addresses Adrian whilst he was still hidden, unnerving him again.

Adrian’s fortress is completed and he begins to shed his former identity to start afresh what he’s become. He begins his study of Dr. Manhattan and his continued research brings one video of him which concerns him. In the meantime he also sees the ad for Hollis’ retirement and is soon summoned by the President, which he expected. Proceeding forward, Adrian sees the new masks replacing the old, seemingly more odd than before. During this time he’s also begun producing a perfume for mass marketing. Then, years after not hearing from Captain Metropolis, he gets invited to the first meeting of the Crime-busters. The group fell apart when Comedian started being difficult, making Adrian realize he’d have to save the world himself. He begun researching everything science fiction to discover an idea, finally discovering it after a second round of viewings. After genetically engineering Bubastis, Adrian goes to England and is met up by Dr. Manhattan, which he had an enlightening conversation with, which we don’t get details of.

After Adrian acquires his small island, he has work started and also has his personal assistant, Marla make the island disappear from public records. Once Nixon lets Dr. Manhattan loose on Vietnam, Adrian calls a press conference, making a big reveal to the public whilst other masks continue on, maintaining violence for violence. It escalates when the police strike after being denied their raise, giving rise to a riot, which Adrian helps quell. He gets a visit from Dr. Manhattan after, seeming to know what Adrian has in mind and doesn’t care. Adrian undertakes making a science fiction film with the best scientists, writers, artists and filmmaker he can hire and takes them to his island to work on it. Adrian’s plans continue to thicken as he enlists the help of Moloch upon his parole. Comedian discovers Adrian’s island and plans to detect what is actually there, not knowing it isn’t what he thinks. He discovers more than he bargains for and Adrian overhears him go to Moloch to vent, from having Moloch’s apartment bugged. The conclusion to Ozymandias is dramatic and entertaining making me yearn for more, but now I’m on to the Crimson Corsair.

This one also has a good start, giving us where the Crimson Corsair, who first was Gordon, begins his journey and what begins as carefree plans, until witnessing the length the captain of the ship he’s on will go to punish his crew, especially in the way of stealing. Gordon takes it so badly, he threatens the captain to step down from his position, thinking the crew would unite with him; what a terrible miscalculation on his part. He’s been sentenced to a whipping as punishment, even though he was trying to start a mutiny, a crime seemingly worse than stealing. Before having the whipping finished, another ship opens fire on them and, well, it’s quite exciting. Gordon gets dragged underwater, still bound to the cannon for his punishment. He luckily breaks free and swims for an interminable amount of hours, notices a flowing piece of “flotsam” from the ship to rest upon where someone before him didn’t survive, which brings a hungry shark along, scaring him, but switches to survival-mode to keep the creature at bay. He goes into unconsciousness until being found and brought upon another ship, staying asleep until being woken by one calling himself the Crimson Corsair. He soon realizes what ship he’s boarded and the curse he’s acquired for his ignorant mutiny. Gordon tries to come up with a way to be freed and is told of the only way known, which seems impossible. When Gordon wrongly inquires what would happen if he were to leave, the Crimson Corsair takes a valuable bit of Gordon and chucks him overboard, in a way giving him what he wanted.

He floats to a shore, after another unknown amount of time and realizes everything he’s been through thus far was true by the mark left on his chest. Gordon is soon happened upon by slavers after a group of would-be slaves run past him, when he is hit by a stray bullet and supposedly killed by the slavers in pursuit. He is transported back aboard the mythical ship temporarily until being thrust again out into the world, afraid of what he’ll uncover next. He learns he’s on a Spanish slavers ship and is cared for by one of the slaves. In return, Gordon tries to protect her from the Spaniard. He witnesses more cruelty to the slaves after and with the coming birth on-board, he sees the first of the items needed to free his damned soul. Gordon senses his moment to avenge the slaves aboard with the crashing of the ship upon rocks. They slip beneath the water and Gordon is only able to save one. He realizes he’s upon shore and more madness involving the mother of the child ensues. After which Gordon runs away, but towards his captors, from fear. He realizes his mistake and heads deep into the jungle, only to discover it’s inhabited. He is drugged and brought to a place similar to El Dorado or Mayan in nature.

Gordon sees a ritual sacrifice of the people, thinking they’re demons and realizing he’s next in line. The slavers had followed, though, stopping his certain death, for the moment and consigning their own. Then Gordon is again targeted for death until they notice the scar on his chest. They sacrifice another and seem to be putting Gordon through a test, making him drink from the sacrificed man and cast him down among bones. He is spoken to by the witch woman aboard the same slave ship and before having to fight a snake, the witch woman gets Gordon brought back up from the pit of death. he is given the second token for his freedom from the curse and she gives him the second only so he can kill the Crimson Corsair. He’s chained in another room to await sunrise and apparently death. More horror is shown during his wait; this selection is stronger of the four series, thus far. We also discover what the third token is, right near the end, giving a bit of a twist if one isn’t already used to the possible outcome. I can understand how this one could seem a bit confusing by the end, though, leaving one unsure of how Gordon becomes the Crimson Corsair, but one can assume what happened. Still, quite a journey. The last story is about the beginning of Dollar Bill, which I read up to the point of his trying to get into show business, then stopped because I don’t know much about him and didn’t care for the older style of comic illustration. Otherwise a strong collection, which I’ll be moving on to Comedian/Rorschach next.

The Twits

Twits

Mr. Twit is overly hairy, stinky, and full of food in his stomach and beard. A disgusting introduction to a crazy, short story. Meanwhile, his other half, Mrs. Twit is an ugly person, inside and out. She has a glass eye which gives away her ugliness for anyone who needs a visual warning. The Twits are “fans” of practical joking each other. If one surprises the other, it becomes a contest of who can out-disgust or surprise the other. One day the joking becomes more intricate. Mr. Twit decides to give his wife one helluva smack down in return for her getting him to eat worms. She believes she is shrinking and the only cure is for her to be stretched by a bunch of balloons attached to an iron ring which Mrs. Twit is tied from, by the ankles.

In this story, Jackie Gleason would be jealous, because Mr. Twit steals his wish. He sends his wife to the moon. After she gets back, Bird Pie Day is right around the corner and Mr. Twit coats The Big Dead Tree with sticky stuffs and pries whatever type of birds get stuck off of it in the morning. This time, though his plan was foiled by some meddling kids, who in the end run bare-ass back to their mommies and daddies.

We are then taken into the back story behind the monkeys. Mr. Twit was a monkey trainer early on and he wants to become a success so they could do everything upside-down. He basically tortured the poor family of monkeys, but of course that’s only the start. The Twits go and buy guns when Mr. Twit’s repeated plan of painting different areas with glue for the birds to roost fails, repeatedly.

Muggle-Wump, the Papa monkey comes up with the plan of getting the Roly-Poly Bird friend to grab the cage key and set his family free, which he does. Instead of straight escape though, he wants some revenge so he and his bird friends and family enter the Twits home and Animal Farm-style, practical joke the Twits living room before they arrive.

The Twits fall for the idea they are already upside-down and glue their heads to the floor so they would be right-side up from the ceiling living-room floor. The monkeys again make their real escape until they are told of the cold winters, so they then decide to hitch a ride on Roly-Poly back to Africa. When the Twits fate is revealed in the end, everyone celebrated. Dark, funny and a quick read. For my review of, Matilda.

Bully: A True Story of High School Revenge

bully-true-story-high-school-revenge-jim-schutze-paperback-cover-art

This book was such an easy read and since it’s based on true events and is so absurd what these kids did, it makes the reading of it simple to breeze through. The author’s way of describing what goes on and what they may have said fits completely; much better than the movie portrayal. The pictures inside the book also show the damage to the one whom was murdered and descriptions which are pretty disgusting.

It also includes the mug shots of all the kids involved (which most of which have vacant expressions with simple-minded features). Whilst reading this, I started to understand how low on the bar of intelligence these kids were. Most of them had a typical low-middle class upbringing so they weren’t necessarily the pampered kids who develop their clever-bone in private school. These kids were working at being the scum of the earth even before they picked up knives and drugs.  When it updates what they were charged with, most of it is inaccurate, due to how long ago it was written. Puccio, who was charged with the death penalty got his sentence changed to life in prison. Although now three are free while Puccio, the one who did the stabbing, is still in prison.

For the full update:

http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2013-05-11/news/fl-bobby-kent-where-now-20130509_1_bobby-kent-alice-willis-lisa-connelly