The Jeeves Omnibus - Vol 2: (Jeeves & Wooster): No. 2

Contents

Also by P.G. Wodehouse

Title Page

Right Ho, Jeeves

Dedication

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Joy in the Morning

Preface

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Carry on, Jeeves

Dedication

Chapter 1: Jeeves Takes Charge

Chapter 2: The Artistic Career of Corky

Chapter 3: Jeeves and the Unbidden Guest

Chapter 4: Jeeves and the Hard-Boiled Egg

Chapter 5: The Aunt and the Sluggard

Chapter 6: The Rummy Affair of Old Biffy

Chapter 7: Without the Option

Chapter 8: Fixing it for Freddie

Chapter 9: Clustering Round Young Bingo

Chapter 10: Bertie Changes His Mind

Copyright

Also by P. G. Wodehouse

Fiction

Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen

The Adventures of Sally

Bachelors Anonymous

Barmy in Wonderland

Big Money

Bill the Conqueror

Blandings Castle and Elsewhere

Carry On, Jeeves

The Clicking of Cuthbert

Cocktail Time

The Code of the Woosters

The Coming of Bill

Company for Henry

A Damsel in Distress

Do Butlers Burgle Banks

Doctor Sally

Eggs, Beans and Crumpets

A Few Quick Ones

French Leave

Frozen Assets

Full Moon

Galahad at Blandings

A Gentleman of Leisure

The Girl in Blue

The Girl on the Boat

The Gold Bat

The Head of Kay’s

The Heart of a Goof

Heavy Weather

Hot Water

Ice in the Bedroom

If I Were You

Indiscretions of Archie

The Inimitable Jeeves

Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit

Jeeves in the Offing

Jill the Reckless

Joy in the Morning

Laughing Gas

Leave it to Psmith

The Little Nugget

Lord Emsworth and Others

Louder and Funnier

Love Among the Chickens

The Luck of Bodkins

The Man Upstairs

The Man with Two Left Feet

The Mating Season

Meet Mr Mulliner

Mike and Psmith

Mike at Wrykyn

Money for Nothing

Money in the Bank

Mr Mulliner Speaking

Much Obliged, Jeeves

Mulliner Nights

Not George Washington

Nothing Serious

The Old Reliable

Pearls, Girls and Monty Bodkin

A Pelican at Blandings

Piccadilly Jim

Pigs Have Wings

Plum Pie

The Pothunters

A Prefect’s Uncle

The Prince and Betty

Psmith, Journalist

Psmith in the City

Quick Service

Right Ho, Jeeves

Ring for Jeeves

Sam me Sudden

Service with a Smile

The Small Bachelor

Something Fishy

Something Fresh

Spring Fever

Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves

Summer Lightning

Summer Moonshine

Sunset at Blandings

The Swoop

Tales of St Austin’s

Thank You, Jeeves

Ukridge

Uncle Dynamite

Uncle Fred in the Springtime

Uneasy Money

Very Good, Jeeves

The White Feather

William Tell Told Again

Young Men in Spats

Omnibuses

The World of Blandings

The World of Jeeves

The World of Mr Mulliner

The World of Psmith

The World of Ukridge

The World of Uncle Fred

Wodehouse Nuggets (edited by Richard Usborne)

The World of Wodehouse Clergy

The Hollywood Omnibus

Weekend Wodehouse

Paperback Omnibuses

The Golf Omnibus

The Aunts Omnibus

The Drones Omnibus

The Jeeves Omnibus 1

The Jeeves Omnibus 3

Poems

The Parrot and Omer Poems

Autobiographical

Wodehouse on Wodehouse (comprising Bring on the Girls, Over Seventy, Performing Flea)

Letters

Yours, Plum

 

RIGHT HO, JEEVES

 

To
Raymond Needham, K.C.
With Affection and Admiration

1

 

‘JEEVES,’ I SAID
, ‘may I speak frankly?’

‘Certainly, sir.’

‘What I have to say may wound you.’

‘Not at all, sir.’

‘Well, then –’

No – wait. Hold the line a minute. I’ve gone off the rails.

I don’t know if you have had the same experience, but the snag I always come up against when I’m telling a story is this dashed difficult problem of where to begin it. It’s a thing you don’t want to go wrong over, because one false step and you’re sunk. I mean, if you fool about too long at the start, trying to establish atmosphere, as they call it, and all that sort of rot, you fail to grip and the customers walk out on you.

Get off the mark, on the other hand, like a scalded cat, and your public is at a loss. It simply raises its eyebrows, and can’t make out what you’re talking about.

And in opening my report of the complex case of Gussie Fink-Nottle, Madeline Bassett, my cousin Angela, my Aunt Dahlia, my Uncle Thomas, young Tuppy Glossop and the cook, Anatole, with the above spot of dialogue, I see that I have made the second of these two floaters.

I shall have to hark back a bit. And taking it for all in all and weighing this against that, I suppose the affair may be said to have had its inception, if inception is the word I want, with that visit of mine to Cannes. If I hadn’t gone to Cannes, I shouldn’t have met the Bassett or bought that white mess jacket, and Angela wouldn’t have met her shark, and Aunt Dahlia wouldn’t have played baccarat.

Yes, most decidedly, Cannes was the
point d’appui
.

Right ho, then. Let me marshal my facts.

I went to Cannes – leaving Jeeves behind, he having intimated that he did not wish to miss Ascot – round about the beginning of June. With me travelled my Aunt Dahlia and her daughter Angela. Tuppy
Glossop,
Angela’s betrothed, was to have been of the party, but at the last moment couldn’t get away. Uncle Tom, Aunt Dahlia’s husband, remained at home, because he can’t stick the South of France at any price.

So there you have the layout – Aunt Dahlia, Cousin Angela and self off to Cannes round about the beginning of June.

All pretty clear so far, what?

We stayed at Cannes about two months, and except for the fact that Aunt Dahlia lost her shirt at baccarat and Angela nearly got inhaled by a shark while aquaplaning, a pleasant time was had by all.

On July twenty-fifth, looking bronzed and fit, I accompanied aunt and child back to London. At seven p.m. on July twenty-sixth we alighted at Victoria. And at seven-twenty or thereabouts we parted with mutual expressions of esteem – they to shove off in Aunt Dahlia’s car to Brinkley Court, her place in Worcestershire, where they were expecting to entertain Tuppy in a day or two; I to go to the flat, drop my luggage, clean up a bit, and put on the soup and fish preparatory to pushing round to the Drones for a bite of dinner.

And it was while I was at the flat, towelling the torso after a much-needed rinse, that Jeeves, as we chatted of this and that – picking up the threads, as it were – suddenly brought the name of Gussie Fink-Nottle into the conversation.

As I recall it, the dialogue ran something as follows:

SELF
:     Well, Jeeves, here we are, what?

JEEVES
:  Yes, sir.

SELF
:     I mean to say, home again.

JEEVES
:  Precisely, sir.

SELF
:     Seems ages since I went away.

JEEVES
:  Yes, sir.

SELF
:     Have a good time at Ascot?

JEEVES
:  Most agreeable, sir.

SELF
:     Win anything?

JEEVES
:  Quite a satisfactory sum, thank you, sir.

SELF
:     Good. Well, Jeeves, what news on the Rialto? Anybody been phoning or calling or anything during my abs.?

JEEVES
:  Mr Fink-Nottle, sir, has been a frequent caller.

I stared. Indeed, it would not be too much to say that I gaped.

‘Mr Fink-Nottle?’

‘Yes, sir.’

‘You don’t mean Mr Fink-Nottle?’

‘Yes, sir.’

‘But Mr Fink-Nottle’s not in London?’

‘Yes, sir.’

‘Well, I’m blowed.’

And I’ll tell you why I was blowed. I found it scarcely possible to give credence to his statement. This Fink-Nottle, you see, was one of those freaks you come across from time to time during life’s journey who can’t stand London. He lived year in and year out, covered with moss, in a remote village down in Lincolnshire, never coming up even for the Eton and Harrow match. And when I asked him once if he didn’t find the time hung a bit heavy on his hands, he said, no, because he had a pond in his garden and studied the habits of newts.

I couldn’t imagine what could have brought the chap up to the great city. I would have been prepared to bet that as long as the supply of newts didn’t give out, nothing could have shifted him from that village of his.

‘Are you sure?’

‘Yes, sir.’

‘You got the name correctly? Fink-Nottle?’

‘Yes, sir.’

‘Well, it’s the most extraordinary thing. It must be five years since he was in London. He makes no secret of the fact that the place gives him the pip. Until now, he has always stayed glued to the country, completely surrounded by newts.’

‘Sir?’

‘Newts, Jeeves. Mr Fink-Nottle has a strong newt complex. You must have heard of newts. Those little sort of lizard things that charge about in ponds.’

‘Oh, yes, sir. The aquatic members of the family
Salamandridae
which constitute the genus
Molge
.’

‘That’s right. Well, Gussie has always been a slave to them. He used to keep them at school.’

‘I believe young gentlemen frequently do, sir.’

‘He kept them in his study in a kind of glass-tank arrangement, and pretty niffy the whole thing was, I recall. I suppose one ought to have been able to see what the end would be even then, but you know what boys are. Careless, heedless, busy about our own affairs, we scarcely gave this kink in Gussie’s character a thought. We may have exchanged an occasional remark about it taking all sorts to make a world, but nothing more. You can guess the sequel. The trouble spread.’

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