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When the Delicately Nurtured Get Ahead

He admired Joan’s courage, he was relieved that her venture had ended without disaster, and he knew that she deserved whatever anyone could find to say in praise of her enterprise: but, at first, though he tried to crush it down, he could not help feeling a certain amount of chagrin that a girl should have succeeded where he, though having the advantage of first chance, had failed. The terms of his partnership with Joan had jarred on him from the beginning.

A man may be in sympathy with the modern movement for the emancipation of woman and yet feel aggrieved when a mere girl proves herself a more efficient thief than himself. Woman is invading man’s sphere more successfully every day; but there are still certain fields in which man may consider that he is rightfully entitled to a monopoly–and the purloining of scarabs in the watches of the night is surely one of them.

Obesity

On the theory, given to the world by William Shakespeare, that it is the lean and hungry-looking men who are dangerous, and that the “fat, sleek-headed men, and such as sleep o’ nights,” are harmless, R. Jones should have been above suspicion.

The Gravity of Challenges

Trouble, after all, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

The Perks of an Advanced Age

Among the compensations of advancing age is a wholesome pessimism, which, though it takes the fine edge off of whatever triumphs may come to us, has the admirable effect of preventing Fate from working off on us any of those gold bricks, coins with strings attached, and unhatched chickens, at which ardent youth snatches with such enthusiasm, to its subsequent disappointment. As we emerge from the twenties we grow into a habit of mind that looks askance at Fate bearing gifts. We miss, perhaps, the occasional prize, but we also avoid leaping light-heartedly into traps.

As we grow older and realize more clearly the limitations of human happiness, we come to see that the only real and abiding pleasure in life is to give pleasure to other people.

When the Heart Stands Still

To say that Baxter’s heart stood still would be physiologically inexact. The heart does not stand still. Whatever the emotions of its owner, it goes on beating. It would be more accurate to say that Baxter felt like a man taking his first ride in an express elevator, who has outstripped his vital organs by several floors and sees no immediate prospect of their ever catching up with him again. There was a great cold void where the more intimate parts of his body should have been.

The Perils of Handling a Millionaire

Success had made Mr. Peters, in certain aspects of his character, a spoiled child.

At the moment when Ashe broke the news he (Mr. Peters) would have parted with half his fortune to recover the scarab. Its recovery had become a point of honor. He saw it as the prize of a contest between his will and that of whatever malignant powers there might be ranged against him in the effort to show him that there were limits to what he could achieve. He felt as he had felt in the old days when people sneaked up on him in Wall Street and tried to loosen his grip on a railroad or a pet stock. He was suffering from that form of paranoia which makes men multimillionaires. Nobody would be foolish enough to become a multimillionaire if it were not for the desire to prove himself irresistible.

The Honourable Freddie hated piercing stares. One of the reasons why he objected to being left alone with his future father-in-law, Mr. J. Preston Peters, was that Nature had given the millionaire a penetrating pair of eyes, and the stress of business life in New York had developed in him a habit of boring holes in people with them. A young man had to have a stronger nerve and a clearer conscience than the Honourable Freddie to enjoy a tete-a-tete with Mr. Peters.

Of Cat Fights

The unpleasantness opened with a low gurgling sound, answered by another a shade louder and possibly more querulous. A momentary silence was followed by a long-drawn note, like rising wind, cut off abruptly and succeeded by a grumbling mutter. The response to this was a couple of sharp howls. Both parties to the contest then indulged in a discontented whining, growing louder and louder until the air was full of electric menace. And then, after another sharp silence, came war, noisy and overwhelming.

Standing at Master Waffles’ side, you could follow almost every movement of that intricate fray, and mark how now one and now the other of the battlers gained a short-lived advantage. It was a great fight. Shrewd blows were taken and given, and in the eye of the imagination you could see the air thick with flying fur.

Louder and louder grew the din; and then, at its height, it ceased in one crescendo of tumult, and all was still, save for a faint, angry moaning.

Pleasures of the Table

Occasions of feasting and revelry like the present were for him so many battlefields, on which Greed fought with Prudence.

(Related Post:

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2021/04/30/some-evergreen-life-lessons-from-something-fresh-part-1)

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A Singular Absence of Morality

Once the Cheops of the Fourth Dynasty goes missing and the needle of suspicion points to a forgetful Lord Emsworth, Mr Peters veers around to the view that:

‘There’s no morality among collectors, none.’

Rupert Baxter, having served collectors in a secretarial capacity earlier in his career, also knows that collectors who would not steal a loaf of bread even if they are starving do fall before the temptation of a coveted curio.

A Female Who Aims to Break the Glass Ceiling

The feisty heroine of Something Fresh could well be a role model for the younger females who have to bear with prying eyes, eve teasing and inappropriate advances in all spheres of life. This is how Plum describes her at one stage:

Her eyes were eyes that looked straight and challenged. They could thaw to the satin blue of the Mediterranean Sea, where it purrs about the little villages of Southern France; but they did not thaw for everybody. She looked what she was–a girl of action; a girl whom life had made both reckless and wary–wary of friendly advances, reckless when there was a venture afoot.

While ticking off Ashe Marson on the subject of who steals the scarab, this is how she retorts:

‘That’s simply your old-fashioned masculine attitude toward the female, Mr. Marson. You look on woman as a weak creature, to be shielded and petted. We aren’t anything of the sort. We’re terrors! We’re as hard as nails. We’re awful creatures. You mustn’t let my sex interfere with your trying to get this reward. Think of me as though I were another man. We’re up against each other in a fair fight, and I don’t want any special privileges. If you don’t do your best from now onward I shall never forgive you.’

Gone are the days when the parents would urge upon their daughters to leave for their husband’s home and hearth with a submissive attitude, meekly submitting to the demands of her newly acquired family. It was like a one-way ticket, the only escape route being death.

Armed with a decent education, a higher level of literacy and renewed self-confidence, females no longer submit to bullying by the party of the other part. They demand a life of self-respect and dignity. They aim to break as many glass ceilings as they possibly can.  

Like many of his other heroines, Plum has been prescient in modeling Joan as an emancipated individual in a misogynistic society. He modeled her close to a century back, when Rosa Parks was an unknown name and the feminist movement was beyond anyone’s imagination in the Western world.      

The Perks of Being Woolly Headed

Many of us take a liking to Lord Emsworth, simply owing to his woolly headedness. His memory span is rather short, thereby leaving his mind uncluttered and relatively free to potter about in his gardens, taking care of the Empress of Blandings and, occasionally, an odd pumpkin or two. One suspects that his worries, if any, are limited only to what he is passionate about.     

Except for a few of life’s fundamental facts, like the drawer in which his cheque book is and that he has a young idiot like Freddie on his hands as a son, he does not remember anything for more than a few minutes. He could always rely on Rupert Baxter, his indefatigable secretary, to supply any other information that may become necessary.

Thus, he may be accused of lacking in subtler emotions of life, but he leads an extremely happy life. A success does not unduly uplift his spirits, nor does a failure dampen his spirits too much. In other words, he is already living a life based on the principle of detachment and equipoise recommended by Bhagavad Gita, the 5,500 years old scripture of Indian origin.

The secret of his state of happiness is that he does not worry too much about things which are beyond either his areas of interest or control. Whereas lesser mortals like us are often twiddling our thumbs trying to figure out the ways and means of controlling a surging pandemic, the future of humanity in the face of rapid advances in technology, global warming and even the political aspirations of a wannabe super power on the global front, he, blessed with a deep sense of contentment, keeps attending to the the Achillea, the Bignonia Radicans, the Ampanula, the Digitalis, the Euphorbia, the Funkia, the Gypsophila, the Helianthus, the Iris, the Liatris, the Monarda, the Phlox Drummondi, the Salvia, the Thalictrum, the Vinca and the Yucca in his extensive gardens.  

He shows us that the key to leading a happy life lies not in worrying but being contented with what life has already offered one.    

Securing an Opening and Being Disobedient  

When Ashe Marson walks into Mr Peter’s den for securing an assignment, he is full of gall. Looking the boss in the eye and giving it back to him occasionally earns him not only the assignment but also a long term career offer. The diet-exercise regime unleashed upon him to cure his dyspepsia gradually starts showing results. The employer-employee relationship here has a dash of disobedience on part of the latter but it does get results.

‘You’re a wonder,’ said Mr Peters. ‘You’re sassy and you have no respect for your elders and betters, but you deliver the goods. That’s the point. Why, I am beginning to feel great.’

After the scarab is restored and the assignment at hand is over, Mr Peter is impressed enough to offer him a career in watching over his health. He graciously accepts the offer to shift base to America, along with Joan Valentine, the love of his life. We are already aware that Ashe is conscious that a future in which Joan did not figure would be so unsupportable as not to bear considering.

Alas, much like Psmith and Eve of the Leave it to Psmith fame, both are never heard of again anywhere else in the canon.  

Thinking on One’s Feet

In the servant’s hall, when the true identity of Joan Valentine comes under focus, Ashe is quick to divert the group’s attention by imitating a fight between cats. This amuses the group no end and his popularity index goes up quite a notch.

Of Literature and Mental Prowess

In his earlier days, Freddie Threepwood had been persuaded to experiment with high brow literature in Greek, Latin and English. But he had shown a sheep-like stolidity in declining the rich fare. However, the Adventures of Gridley Quayle brought romance and excitement into his otherwise dull life. He had finally found the kind of literature that suited his mental prowess.

While devouring one of the escapades of the famed detective, he prefers to be left all alone. He objects to his reveries broken in upon not only by officious relatives but even by Aline, his fiancée. His inclination to relish his solitude makes her scratch the fixture and return him to store.

The Art and Science of Investigation

Courtesy Ashe Marson, we also get an inkling of the kind of tactics detectives apply to crack a case. They have their own methods. Inductive reasoning is one. A dash of intuition is another. Being a pitiless observer while remaining invisible is yet another. Waiting for coincidences is another important ingredient in cracking a case.

Sleuths at Scotland Yard and at similar other outfits might find these inputs of some use.    

Suspecting Everything

The Efficient Baxter earns his living by suspecting everything around him. His chief characteristic is a vague suspicion of his fellow human beings. He does not suspect them of any definite crime; he simply suspects them. Miss Willoughby describes him as a Nosy Parker.

His sense of duty deserves to be emulated. He takes a proprietary interest in all things at the Castle. His whole being revolts at the thought of allowing the sanctity of the museum to be violated. He performs his duties even by enduring considerable discomforts, physical as well as mental.

Nature has not intended him to be a night-bird. But he spends nine consecutive nights keeping a strict vigil on the proceedings on the ground floor hall from a discreetly placed chair in the gallery which runs above it. Alas, the suspect does not walk into the trap.

In the call of duty, he even undergoes mental anguish and withstands a public rebuke from Lord Emsworth. After an unpleasant encounter on the staircase, he manages to survive as many as six bullets fired in dark from the latter’s pistol. When the lights get switched on, he is found on the floor, duly accompanied by a cold tongue, a knife, a fork, some bread, a corkscrew and a bottle of white wine.    

The monstrous accusation he earns by way for a reward of his efforts is narrated thus:

‘My dear Baxter, if your hunger is so great that you are unable to wait for breakfast and have to raid my larder in the middle of the night, I wish to goodness you would contrive to make less noise about it. I do not grudge you the food — help yourself when you please — but do remember that people who have not such keen appetites as yourself like to sleep during the night. A far better plan, my dear fellow, would be to have sandwiches or buns — or whatever you consider most sustaining — sent up to your bedroom.’

Besides being a ceaseless vigilante, he also uses tact. Nipping Mr Pater’s do-it-yourself approach towards recovering the scarab in the bud, he does not embarrass his guest. Rather, he speaks of Mut and Bubastis, of Ammon and the Book of the Dead.

Those who wish to shine in their careers could draw a lot of inspiration from Rupert Baxter.

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Some Evergreen Life Lessons from ‘Something Fresh’ (Part 1)

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When it comes to the oeuvre of P G Wodehouse, Stephen Fry says that ‘You don’t analyse such sunlit perfection, you just bask in its warmth and splendour.’

With due respects to him, yours truly would beg to differ. As someone who suffers from the 3rd and final stage of a pleasurable affliction alluded to as Wodehousitis, I cannot but analyse the sunlit perfection of his narratives. In a world full of hatred and conflicts, one survives on the metaphorical juice of the oranges of his whodunits. Unless one analyses, one does not extract the maximum possible juice out of these luscious oranges. My Guardian Angels have conspired thus, and I just cannot help myself.

Allow me, therefore, to capture here some of the life-enriching lessons which dot the vide canvas of one of his works, Something Fresh – tips on well being, riding the socio-economic divide, the spirit of enterprise, the art and craft of delegating tasks, communication, exploring career options, the art of badmouthing seniors, becoming indispensable, suspecting everything, the true meaning of chivalry, being a superman, expressing one’s love, behaving like a millionaire, avoiding nervous breakdowns, being spiritual and the like.

By no means are these exhaustive. Many of you may have a different view of this work of Plum’s. Well, here is my humble take.

Health is Wealth

Following the prescription dished out by Ashe Marson – Larsen Exercises (all twenty nine of these), scientific deep breathing, cold baths and brisk walks –  helps one to remain as fit as a fiddle. Plenty of fresh air and no cigars are highly recommended. Cities may resent exercising in the open. But perseverance pays, and a sense of indifference sets in soon enough. Owners of nearby hotels, if any, regard one without a smile. The hotel employees continue to perform their duties impassively. The children are no longer interested in looking at one. Even the cat keeps rubbing its backbone against the railings unheeding.    

A frugal diet based on nuts and grasses helps. Understandably, this needs nerves of chilled steel, denying the sumptuous feast which would invariably be on offer. Prudence needs to prevail over greed. Pleasures of the table are best forsaken. Of course, it helps to have loving daughters like Aline Peters around who will do likewise and set a fine example for their fathers to behave. They themselves may suffer pangs of hunger at night. Their turning pale and thin may get commented upon by aspiring lovers. But the feudal spirit must prevail.  

Even the chewing habits assume significance. Lord Emsworth is of the view, as shared by him with Adams, the head steward at the Senior Conservative Club, that partaking large mouthfuls of food amounts to one digging one’s own grave with one’s teeth. Food should never be gobbled, he believes; Americans do this when young and ruin their digestion. Each mouthful needs to be chewed at least 33 times before being allowed to slide down the hatch.

Mr Peters shows to us that it is fatal to get angry at meals. His case proves that temper and indigestion are positively correlated with each other; as one goes a notch higher, so does the other. Thinking beautiful thoughts helps. Earlier, he had been advised by a New York specialist to avoid nervous breakdowns by taking up a hobby. That is how he had become an avid collector of scarabs.  

Even Baxter is aware that insufficient sleep made a man pale and sallow, and he had always aimed at the peach-bloom complexion which comes from a sensible eight hours between the sheets.   

Life Below the Stairs  

Something Fresh presents to us a sneak peek into the life below the stairs in a castle.  

It takes a bevy of servants to keep things running in an orderly fashion at Blandings Castle. There is a rigid hierarchy here, backed by customs and rituals which need to be scrupulously observed. Under the auspices of Mr Beach and Mrs Twemlow, things are always done properly at the Castle, with the right solemnity. There are strict rules of precedence among the servants. A public rebuke from the butler is the worst fate that can befall a defaulting member of this tribe.

Kitchen maids and scullery maids eat in the kitchen. Chauffeurs, footmen, under-butlers, pantry boys, hall boy, odd man and steward’s-room footman take their meals in the servants’ hall, waited on by the hall boy. The stillroom maids have breakfast and tea in the stillroom, and dinner and supper in the hall. The housemaids and nursery maids have breakfast and tea in the housemaid’s sitting-room, and dinner and supper in the hall. The head housemaid ranks next to the head stillroom maid. The laundry maids have a place of their own near the laundry, and the head laundry maid ranks above the head housemaid. The chef has his meals in a room of his own near the kitchen.

There is not much of a behavioural difference between our corporate citizens and those who work below the stairs. Both love discussing the idiosyncrasies of those above them.

Beach believes that with all the breach of promise cases being foisted on to the rich men, Anarchy is getting the Upper Hand and the Lower Classes are getting above themselves. Rampant Socialism is to be blamed; so are the cheap newspapers, which tempt the Lower Classes to get Above Themselves.       

Compassion for this class of persons is a desirable quality indeed. Towards the very end of the narrative, when Joan feebly objects to Ashe Marson kissing her in the open on the pretext of a scullery-maid looking out of the kitchen window, he responds thus:

‘Scullery-maids have few pleasures. Theirs is a dull life. Let her see us.’

A Contrast in Upbringing

There is a stark difference between the upbringing of Aline Peters and Joan Valentine. This tells us why their attitudes towards life are so very distinct. The contrast between the haves and the have-nots of the society is brought into sharp focus.

One of the compensations Life offers to those whom it has handled roughly is that they can take a jaundiced view of the petty troubles of the sheltered. Just like beauty, trouble is in the eyes of the beholder. Aline may not be able to endure with fortitude the loss of even a brooch whereas Joan has to cope with situations which often mean the difference between having just enough to eat and starving. For the reward of a thousand pounds, she finds it worth her effort to accompany Aline to Blandings Castle as a lady’s maid.

Free Masonry and the Spirit of Enterprise

The narrative also draws our attention to the Free Masonry amongst those live in large cities and on small earnings. Since both Joan and Ashe contribute to two different publications of the Mammoth Publishing Company, an instant bond gets formed between the two. Ashe feels like one who meets a boyhood’s chum on a desert island.

Joan even acts as a muse and helps Ashe overcome his writer’s block, when he is trying to figure out what a wand of death could be.

‘Why, of course it’s the sacred ebony stick stolen from the Indian temple which is supposed to bring death to whoever possesses it. The hero gets hold of it, and the priests dog him and send him threatening messages. What else could it be?’

When Ashe calls himself a failure, Joan is livid and asks him to start something new. Living in the biggest city in the world, she believes, means chances of adventure are simply shrieking to him on every side. She exhorts him thus:

‘Don’t get into a groove. Be an adventurer. Snatch at the next chance, whatever it is.’

Sane advice for entrepreneurs of all hues, sizes and shapes. The ideal adventurer needs a certain lively inquisitiveness. He is not content to mind his own affairs. Joan’s eloquence has the effect of pulling Ashe out of his laziness. His sense of enterprise gets rekindled, prompting him to assist Mr Peters in recovering his scarab, despite the fact that he is not an easy person to work with.

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ashokbhatia

The placid streets of the village of Market Blandings were adorned on this June afternoon by a jaunty figure in a pale grey suit and matching derby hat and by his companion, somewhat less well-attired, in patched tweed and a battered straw boater.

The natty dresser dabbed his brow with a silk handkerchief, for the day was warm. Beach, the butler who had driven them down from Blandings Castle, had opted to remain at the Emsworth Arms for a cool one, while Galahad, for it was he, and his brother Clarence, the ninth Earl of Emsworth, strolled off to the tobacconist.

“I had a letter from young Ronnie the other day,” said Gally.

“Ah, yes, Ronnie. Yes, indeed. Ronnie who? “ asked Lord Emsworth courteously.

“Your nephew Ronnie. Ronald Overbury Fish. You know, Clarence- Julia’s boy— pink face, married Sue Brown, prettiest girl in three counties.”

“Ah yes, Ronnie, of…

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While etching out some of the feline and canine characters, P G Wodehouse never fails to amuse, entertain and educate. Many of you may agree that even when he decides to capture the spirit of a hearty brawl among different members of these species, he excels himself.

Consider these fight scenes captured by him.  

‘The unpleasantness opened with a low gurgling sound, answered by another a shade louder and possibly more querulous. A momentary silence was followed by a long-drawn note, like rising wind, cut off abruptly and succeeded by a grumbling mutter. The response to this was a couple of sharp howls. Both parties to the contest then indulged in a discontented whining, growing louder and louder until the air was full of electric menace. And then, after another sharp silence, came war, noisy and overwhelming.

Standing at Master Waffles’ side, you could follow almost every movement of that intricate fray, and mark how now one and now the other of the battlers gained a short-lived advantage. It was a great fight. Shrewd blows were taken and given, and in the eye of the imagination you could see the air thick with flying fur. Louder and louder grew the din; and then, at its height, it ceased in one crescendo of tumult, and all was still, save for a faint, angry moaning.’

(Something Fresh)

‘There is about any dog fight a wild, gusty fury which affects the average mortal with something of the helplessness induced by some vast clashing of the elements. It seems so outside one’s jurisdiction. One is oppressed with a sense of the futility of interference. And this was no ordinary dog fight. It was a stunning mêlée, which would have excited favourable comment even among the blasé residents of a negro quarter or the not easily-pleased critics of a Lancashire mining-village. From all over the beach dogs of every size, breed, and colour were racing to the scene: and while some of these merely remained in the ringside seats and barked, a considerable proportion immediately started fighting one another on general principles, well content to be in action without bothering about first causes. The terrier had got the poodle by the left hind-leg and was restating his war-aims. The raffish mongrel was apparently endeavouring to fletcherize a complete stranger of the Sealyham family.

The only reason why dog fights do not go on forever is that Providence has decided that on each such occasion there shall always be among those present one Master Mind; one wizard who, whatever his shortcomings in other battles of life, is in this single particular sphere competent and dominating.

At Roville-sur-Mer it was the red-haired young man. His dark companion might have turned from him in disgust: his services might not have seemed worth retaining by the haughty Scrymgeour: he might be a pain in the neck to “the family”; but he did know how to stop a dog fight. From the first moment of his intervention calm began to steal over the scene. He had the same effect on the almost inextricably entwined belligerents as, in mediaeval legend, the Holy Grail, sliding down the sunbeam, used to have on battling knights. He did not look like a dove of peace, but the most captious could not have denied that he brought home the goods. There was a magic in his soothing hands, a spell in his voice: and in a shorter time than one would have believed possible dog after dog had been sorted out and calmed down; until presently all that was left of Armageddon was one solitary small Scotch terrier, thoughtfully licking a chewed leg. The rest of the combatants, once more in their right mind and wondering what all the fuss was about, had been captured and hauled away in a whirl of recrimination by voluble owners.

(The Adventures of Sally)

Homo sapiens pride themselves on being superior to other species. But the scenarios described above, do these not remind us of bitter fights in our board rooms or even at our homes? The need for a dynamic leader is also brought home so very clearly.

Some introspection would lead us to conclude that when raw anger and impotent rage takes us over, there is little difference between members of different species. In fact, human beings have refined the art far better. We go a step ahead and start fighting others at the mental level, deliberately twisting facts and doing and saying things which would torment the souls of the party of the other part. Avarice and greed overcome our prudence. Human values get thrown out of the window. As to grudges against others, we carry these within us for a very long time, ruining our own health.     

This might well explain why the likes of Augustus and Bartholomew often treat us with a sense of dignified detachment and cast supercilious gazes at us, the lesser mortals.   

(Note: With due respects to Plum, passages quoted above have been slightly edited, so as to focus only on the fight part.)

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At the 2nd Annual General Meeting of the shareholders of the Global Corona Corporation (GCC), Roderick Spode, the Vice President (Operations) of the company, presented his Annual Report for the period from April 2020 to March 2021.

Here are some of the salient features of his report.

  1. Due to the aggressive marketing policies followed by GCC, brand Covid has captured a major share of the market during the year under reference. As of now, close to 136 million people have suffered from this onslaught, while as many as 2.94 million have kicked the bucket. This has reduced the pressure on the limited resources of our planet.
  2. If the world population is taken to be 7.8 billion, during the last year, GCC has touched a mere 0.02% of human beings. This shows the immense market potential which lies untapped for the products and services of GCC in the times to come. We have already trained an army of Red Shorts volunteering to help us expand our footprints across all the continents. The Honourable Frederick Threepwood, the famous marketing guru who is an expert at selling Donaldson’s Dog Joy biscuits, is already on our panel of distinguished advisors.
  3. Enthused by our success so far and its future potential,  several mutants of the virus have also got launched in quick succession, keeping the Homo sapiens in a continuous state of fear and stress, twiddling their thumbs trying to figure out ways and means of countering the pandemic.
  4. This has spurred a faster transformation to digital ways of handling transactions and led to a faster evolution of Industrial Revolution 4.0. Aunt Dahlia, who had always thrived on communicating by means of telegraphic means, is delighted at the simple life she lives now. Aunt Agatha now resorts to using video calls to give a piece of her mind to her errant nephew, Bertie Wooster.
  5. Reduction of Global CO2 emissions, leading to a cleaner environment, promoting healthier flora and fauna, making Lord Emsworth a happy man.
  6. Fault lines in managing economies have been exposed and the severe limitations of capitalism brought back in focus. Billionaires world over have improved their personal wealth by 54% during the period, while the poor are struggling to keep their body and souls together. Perhaps they followed what Ukridge preached that one accumulates only when one speculates. Those who believe in get-rich-quick schemes based on the stock market are also quickly learning to live with get-poor-quick outcomes instead. Office bearers of the Senior Conservative Club are appalled at the number of nouveau riche billionaires on their waiting list seeking membership.
  7. Globally, politicos heading the so-called democratic countries have been successfully nudged to shed their sheep-wool clothing and instead reveal their wolf-like dictatorial ambitions. Truth has been revealed for the greater good, though human rights and journalistic freedoms have been trampled upon ruthlessly. Taking a leaf out of my own outrage when a prized silver cow creamer goes missing, opposition leaders and intellectuals have been beaten into a jelly. One salutes such leaders who have nerves of chilled steel and would not mind either getting hit by a potato in the eye at election rallies or having to kiss babies dribbling at their mouths at Bonny Baby contests.
  8. Many countries have quickly learnt the art of covering up deficiencies in their economic growth and health infrastructure, keeping their statisticians busy perfecting their models of exponential smoothening. We live in an increasingly macho and muscle-flexing world, aided and abetted by our social media giants, devoid of noisy and argumentative democracies and led by leaders who decide policies based on window-dressed data submitted by Yes-persons around them. The prospects for an unbridled growth of GCC’s operations are indeed brighter.
  9. Companies in several sectors and specialists of hues, sizes and shapes are laughing all the way to their banks: pharmaceuticals, personal hygiene, immunity boosters, physical fitness, motivators, loony doctors, yoga-gurus-turned-business-honchos, management experts, mentors, internet service providers and online streaming platforms launched by the likes of Perfecto-Zizzbaum Corporation, to name only a few.
  10. A massive restructuring of jobs, highlighting the following needs of the businesses: (a) getting rid of the deadwood, (b) rapid re-skilling and (c) downsizing physical infrastructure while encouraging work-from-home. Mike Jackson has already helped organizations to go in for such changes.
  11. In turn, husbands reluctant to learn such home making skills as cooking, cleaning dishes, changing diapers and doing the laundry are mending their ways. They are realizing the true meaning of chivalry, as recommended by Bertie Wooster. Homemakers, overwhelmed by the continuous presence of a dominating spouse and naughty children at home are queuing up for consultations with such loony doctors as Sir Roderick Glossop.   
  12. Getting business owners and CEOs to hone their skills of Decision Making in Extreme Uncertainty, thereby making them hotter on their jobs. In turn, they enrich the syllabi of premier management institutes the world over. Rupert Psmith is now a much sought after consultant on the subject, even helping CEOs to respect values and ethics in their decision making, identify the core purpose of their businesses and thus making their organizations evolve into conscious ones.
  13. Improving the resilience of the hoi polloi who had so far been unable to handle the harsh slings and arrows of Fate with equanimity and aplomb. Reginald Jeeves is conducting some useful workshops to attend to this segment of our operations.
  14. Cupid is busy with his e-initiatives. Betrothed couples keep postponing a walk down the aisle, thereby keeping the tender flame of love alive. This has helped many of them to live through an extended period of intense romance, delaying the mummification of the corpse of love which often takes place after a marriage gets sanctified.
  15. Highlighting the effectiveness of the following anti-depressants: quality time with loved ones, an abundance of the milk of human kindness, literature, fine arts, uplifting movies and humour as effective anti-depressants.
  16. Promoting a healthier lifestyle amongst the couch potatoes by promoting Larsen Exercises, walking, cycling, partaking nourishment which would meet with the approval of Laura Pyke and feasting on tissue restoratives with such ingredients as turmeric, basil and the like.
  17. Spiritual evolution of the human species by allowing them adequate time to connect with their inner selves and practice meditation as well as introspection.

The Annual General Meeting was followed by a world premiere of the award winning movie The Corona Gladiators, presented by Mr Schnellenhamer, the head of the Perfecto-Zizzbaum Corporation.

The premiere was followed by a lavish spread dished out by Anatole, God’s gift to our gastric juices.

On the occasion, all the shareholders also received gift coupons of Eulalie Soeurs, the premium brand of ladies’ lingerie. 

(The GCC grapevine would make us believe that Roderick Spode could soon be promoted to head the company as its Chief Executive Officer.)

(Illustration courtesy Mr Suvarna Sanyal)

(https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2020/07/25/the-corona-gladiators-proposal-for-a-plummy-movie

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A 90 year young Peggy Mainwaring, a fan whom Plum would like to greet,

Still giggles and stares at speakers who forget speech and shuffle their feet.

 

As a friendly lion-tamer cast in the Aunt Dahlia mould,

Her steely gaze often demands perfection, though her heart is of pure gold.

 

Quite a few Berties and Angelas has she dandled on her sprightly knees,

 Brimming over with the feudal spirit, soothing the clan like a gentle breeze.

 

Her lair is full of hearty laughter, joy and dollops of Plummy bliss,

 Lavish spreads of Anatole-kind greet visitors before they get a parting kiss.

 

Melodies of the likes of Madan Mohan and Salil Chaudhary waft in the air,

Insightful poems of famous poets get read while she rocks in her chair.

 

She follows the Laura Pyke regime when it comes to her frugal diet,

Lining of her intestine stands her by, she thinks twice before taking a bite.  

 

Oh, what a transformation she has witnessed in these 90 years,

Wars, acts of terror and news of genocides have reached her ears.

 

She may miss fountain pens, LP records and telegrams,

Not to forget a cell-and-internet-free placid life, noisy cars and trams.

 

She has witnessed a man landing on the moon, a space mission to Mars,

The tragedy of having the time to network with the world but not with ours.

 

She has seen shrinking TV sets and shorter global hauls,

Several generations passing by, sprouting glitzy malls and highway tolls.

 

A transition from the rustic sophistication of Varanasi and many a boat ride,

To the hustle and bustle of a metro she has taken in her joyful stride. 

 

Time sits lightly on her mind and has certainly made her more wise,

Family and friends can lean on her shoulders, despite challenges that arise.

 

She continues to be young at heart, in her inspiration we find, 

As always, her advice is practical, objective, frank and kind.

 

With a chin up attitude, the elixir of eternal youth she has already found,

Drinking deep from the rivulets of life, a spirit of joie de vivre profound.

 

She is just short of ten to hit a century, surely a result of her positivity,

We all salute you, eager to learn more secrets of your longivity.

 

(Ms Sushama Varma is an avid fan of P G Wodehouse. Her permission to share this composition here is gratefully acknowledged.) 

Related posts:

My dear Clarence

Dear Jasper John, Happy Birthday!

 

 

 

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ashokbhatia

As ever, Jeeves entered the room at the exact time. Neither too soon or too late, but just when I was about to begin to open my eyes, the honest man shimmered into view holding the salver with the invigorating cup of morning tea.

‘Good morning, Jeeves’, I said.

‘Good morning, sir’, said Jeeves.

‘What’s the weather like, outside?’

‘Extremely clement, sir. A balmy afternoon can be expected.’

‘Just the thing to encourage a chap to go for a constitutional around the park after breakfast, preparatory for a good lunch at Simpson’s, eh, Jeeves?’

‘Under usual circumstances, most definitely, sir.’

There was a clearly unhappy undertone in that. Almost imperceptible to the untrained ear, but definitely there. I decided to probe further into the matter.

‘Is anything the matter, Jeeves? Is the park being drilled for oil? Is the Serpentine being converted into some sort of dam to generate electricity…

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Oh, Woman, Woman, I said to myself, not for the first time, feeling that the sooner that sex was suppressed, the better it would be for all of us.

(Bertie Wooster)

Jane Abbott

We run into her in Summer Moonshine. A girl of spirited nature, she is courageous herself and is an admirer of courage in others. She is fair minded and does not like reneging on her promises. She is a small, slim and pretty girl of twenty, with fair hair and a boyish jauntiness of carriage. Often, in her cornflower-blue eyes, there is a tender light which comes into the eyes of women when they are dealing with a refractory child or a misguided parent.

Her conscious but perplexed soul is torn between two love interests. The manner in which she goes about making up her mind is a quality for many of us to emulate. Analytics and mindfulness does not help her; a heartful approach to problem solving alone does.

Jill Mariner

We get introduced to her in Jill the Reckless. She is portrayed as a sweet-natured and wealthy young woman who, at the opening, is engaged to a knighted Member of Parliament, Sir Derek Underhill. Her journey through life is depicted as one through financial disaster, an adventure with a parrot, a policeman and the colourful proletariat, a broken engagement, an awkward stay with some grasping relatives, employment as a chorus girl, and the eventual finding of true love.

Lavender Briggs

Secretary to Lord Emsworth in Service With a Smile, Miss Briggs is a tall young girl, with a cold, haughty eye, harlequin glasses, and what her former employer Lord Tilbury describes as hair like seaweed. She becomes the bane of Emsworth’s life with her haughty efficiency. Requiring capital to start her own typing business, her schemes to acquire it by stealing the Empress gets her fired from her job, but her friendship with Uncle Fred sees her through.

Her character has hidden depths. If you happen to know of any teetotal bar, do please convey the details to her; she would much appreciate the kind gesture.

Whereas Lord Emsworth considers Miss Briggs to be worse than Rupert Baxter, Galahad Threepwood, as of Galahad at Blandings, believes that she may not have been as intolerable as Rupert Baxter, but she had come very close to achieving that difficult feat.

Rosie M Banks

Rosie M. Banks is a fictional romance novelist. A tall, lissome girl with soft, soulful brown eyes and a nice figure, she is devoted to her Pekingese dogs, owning as many as six at one time.

She is the author of works such as: All for LoveA Red, Red Summer RoseMadcap MyrtleOnly a Factory GirlThe Courtship of Lord StrathmorlickThe Woman Who Braved AllMervyn Keene, Clubman‘Twas Once in MayBy Honour Bound; and A Kiss at Twilight. She also wrote the Christmas story “Tiny Fingers”.

According to Jeeves, her books make for a very light, attractive reading. But Bertie describes her writing as some of the most pronounced and widely-read tripe ever put on the market.

She is a fine husband-tamer. Bingo Little, who, in his bachelor days, kept coming under the spell of as many as six females, gets transformed into a highly devoted husband in his post-nuptials phase of life. When it comes to keeping his lady-love happy and contented, there is little that he leaves to chance. When his sporting spirits make him blow up a month’s allowance on an animal which refuses to live up to his expectations, he even takes up the onerous task of tutoring someone like Thos. He quietly bears the dietary deprivations and disparaging remarks in the presence of Laura Pyke, Rosie’s school chum.

 Sally Nicholas 

She is described as a small, trim, wisp of a girl with the tiniest hands and feet, the friendliest of smiles, and a dimple that comes and goes in the curve of her rounded chin. Her eyes are a bright hazel; her hair a soft mass of brown. She has an air of distinction and carried her youth like a banner.

A democratic girl, pomposity is a quality which she thoroughly dislikes, even if it is her brother who is the guilty party. She works in NY as a taxi dancer and vigorously pursues her theatrical ambitions. A role model, indeed, for business leaders and start-up founders of our times. (Adventures of Sally)

Dr Sally Smith  

She is an American general practitioner in medicine, with abiding interest in golf. Her skills at the game impress even someone like the nerve specialist Sir Hugo Drake.

When Bill nervously confesses his feelings for her, he gets a rather unemotional response. Sally says she still has not met the right man. Sally continues to turn down Bill until she sees him do some paperwork for his dairy farm. Seeing that he does in fact work, she ends up falling for him.

She is described as a small girl and as being extremely pretty.

Sue Brown

A chorus girl, Sue is the daughter of Dolly Henderson. A tiny girl, mostly large eyes and a wide smile, she has a dancer’s figure and catches the eye of many a man, including Percy Pilbeam and in the past Monty Bodkin, to whom she was engaged for a spell, but when we first meet her in Summer Lightning, she has been fiancée to Ronnie Fish for some nine months.

Galahad Threepwood, who adored her mother in his youth, has a fatherly affection for her, and aids her considerably in her hopes of marrying Ronnie; although his sister Julia at one point accuses Gally of being her actual father, in fact Dolly Henderson married Jack Cotterleigh, an Irish Guardsman, while Gally was in South Africa. After her mother’s death, they moved to America for a time.

 

Veronica Wedge

The daughter of Lady Hermione and Colonel Wedge is a spectacularly attractive girl, a fact which never ceases to amaze her doting father and attracts many a fashion photographer whenever she appears in public. She has a direct way about her, and invariably follows her parents’ instructions to the letter, even when it comes to falling in love. Her extreme beauty is matched by her extreme simplicity of mind, a fact which does not put off Tipton Plimsoll when he meets her shortly before her twenty-third birthday, in Full Moon.

Tipton cashes in on her love for jewelry, eventually persuading her to elope to a registry office in the climax of Galahad at Blandings. 

 

Of Female Empowerment

Staunch advocates of gender parity will be pleased to note that Wodehouse has created women characters which not only call the shots in their men’s lives but also pursue their own career interests with a single-minded devotion, alacrity and aplomb. They make a wide range of career choices and make a success of the same.

Of course, his men do make unkindly comments about women. But they also recognize women’s enablement of the human race going. In any case, Wodehouse is not like Nietzsche, who warns the better sort of reader not to venture out among the ladies without a stick or a whip. Some clans may drag their women about by the hair, but Wodehouse’s gentlemen are far too inhibited. So far from going after women with whips, they can’t even go back on incautious engagements—a man’s word is his bond, and it wouldn’t do for a preux chevalier to refuse an offer made by someone from the tribe of the delicately nurtured. Nor do they believe in bandying about the name of any woman. Even if they are aware that they happen to be merely a stop-gap arrangement in the scheme of things of someone like Bobby Wickham, who, by quoting their despicable candidature to their discerning parents, merely wish them to approve the alliance really intended. We end up realizing that Wodehouse agrees with Macbeth’s witches, at least when they say that fair may be foul: he presents men as sorely tried by the fair sex.

Even conscientious men, duly frocked in the service of the Lord, find that women are apt to bring them as close to the peril of being defrocked as would be humanely possible. Stiffy Byng tries to get her man to pinch a policeman’s helmet to even a private score.

Women are not like gentle­men, who have a code in these things:

She was fully aware that she was doing something which even by female standards was raw, but she didn’t care. The whole fact of the matter is that all this modern emancipation of women has resulted in their getting it up their noses and not giving a damn what they do.

A Unique Therapeutic Proposition

In a way, there is much in common between Wodehouse’s works and those of Jane Austen. Both happen to follow strict codes. Both play out as movies rated under the category ‘U’, thereby making them a family affair. Sex is taboo.

In Plumsville, friendly romps and jocular embraces are taken a jaundiced view of. Impersonation and white lies dished out in the course of a boat ride meet with approval; So do the pinching of umbrellas, policemen’s helmets, scarabs, silver cow creamers and such members of the animal kingdom as cats, dogs and pigs. Bunging in a policeman into a cooling stream is not scoffed at. One is forever living in a world which is essentially decent, uplifting and far away from the kind of trials and tribulations one faces in real life. Practical jokes do get played, albeit within limits.

Plum’s works happen to be an effective balm for a weary and wounded soul. Women of all kinds, irrespective of their Goofiness Quotient, contribute in no small measure towards building this unique therapeutic property of his works.

(Related Posts:

Some More Shades of Women in Plumsville 3.0

Different Shades of Women in Plumsville 2.0 (Aunts and Seniors)

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2014/04/12/different-shades-of-women-in-plumsville

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2014/10/30/of-bertie-goofy-females-and-the-wooster-clan

https://honoriaplum.com/2017/02/20/money-in-the-bank-review-by-john-lagrue

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2020/02/14/some-tips-on-the-art-and-science-of-courtship-from-rupert-psmith)

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You know, the more I see of women, the more I think that there ought to be a law. Something has got to be done about this sex, or the whole fabric of society will collapse, and then, what silly asses we shall all look.

(Bertie Wooster)

 

 

 

Aline Peters

Freddie Threepwood’s fiancee in Something Fresh, Aline is the daughter of J Peterson Peters, the American millionaire. She is a gentle, kindly girl who dotes on her father to the extent of starving herself to support his struggle with dyspepsia, and is in turn adored by George Emerson, who she finds too volcanic and over-dashing for her tastes.

Her old school friend Joan Valentine thinks she has been spoiled by too much ease, and that having to fight a little for her independence would be the making of her; Emerson, on the other hand, thinks her perfect. She eventually realizes her long-standing love for him, when he shows signs of weakness and brings out her mothering instinct.

One of the interesting aspects of life highlighted by Plum in Something Fresh is the personality contrast between Aline Peters and Joan Valentine. One is born with a silver spoon in her mouth, so to say, whereas the other has to struggle through life to survive and do well.

 

Anne Benedick

Her laugh is so musical and silvery that she evokes deeper emotions in Jeff; something he realizes is nothing but unalloyed love. Her laugh conjures up visions of a cozy home on a winter’s night, with one’s slippers on one’s feet, the dog on one’s lap, an open fire in the grate and the good old pipe drawing nicely.

We meet her in Money in the Bank. She is 23 years old and a secretary-companion to Clarissa. In secret, she is engaged to Lionel.

For Jeff Miller, at the first sight of Anne Benedick:

There was something about this visitor that seemed to touch some hidden chord in his being, sending joy bells and torchlight processions parading through the echoing corridors of his soul. Romeo, he fancied, must have experienced a somewhat similar, though weaker, emotion on first beholding Juliet.

When Jeff gets hit on the head during a tussle with the Molloys, Anne cries out for Jeff’s sake. The two get engaged in a cellar. The true location of the diamonds occurs to Lord Uffenham and he retrieves them from that spot. Anne agrees to marry Jeff.

 

 

Cora Starr

When it comes to her Goofiness Quotient, Cora (‘Corky’) Pirbright can easily be treated at par with the likes of Roberta Wickham and Stiffy Byng. She does not boast of having red hair, but would always approve of anything that seems likely to tend to start something. Alas, we get to meet her only in The Mating Season. 

When Constable Dobbs gets bit in the leg by Sam Goldwyn, thereby obstructing him in performing his duties to the Crown, she puts the animal’s case extremely well, pointing out that it had probably been pushed around by policemen since it was a slip of a puppy and so was merely fulfilling a legitimate aspiration if it took an occasional nip at one. When Dobbs refuses to accept her view and takes the animal in his custody, all she has to do is to snap her fingers and egg on one of the men around her to go about strewing frogs all over the chokey concerned.

Her uncle Sidney may not be chuffed at the prospect of having someone like Thos around the vicarage, she believes that it is good for a clergyman to have these trials. These make him more spiritual, and consequently hotter at his job.

Though differing from Aunt Agatha in almost every possible respect, Corky has this in common with that outstanding scourge, she is authoritative. When she wants you to do a thing, you find yourself doing it.

Bertie describes her as being one of those lissom girls of medium height whose map has always been worth more than a passing glance. In repose, it has a sort of meditative expression, as if she were a pure white soul thinking beautiful thoughts, and, when animated, so dashed animated that it boosts the morale just to look at her. Her eyes are a kind of browny hazel and her hair rather along the same lines. The general effect is of an angel who eats lots of yeast.

Corky is said to have been wowing the customers with her oomph and espièglerie since she was about sixteen. She distinctly took the eye. Two years in Hollywood had left her even easier to look at than in her earlier times when she used to attend dancing classes with Bertie.

When introduced to her, Gussie Fink Nottle’s thoughts are along the following lines:

It’s extraordinary that a girl as pretty as that should also have a razor-keen intelligence and that amazing way of putting her arguments with a crystal clarity which convinces you in an instant that she is right in every respect.

Esmond Haddock, who is in love with her, thinks she is an angel in human shape. Old Pirbright introduced the two of them. Their eyes met. And it was not more than about two days after that they talked it over and agreed that they were twin souls.

But Esmond’s aunts did not like actors. In their young days, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, actors were looked on as rogues and vagabonds. As to the aunts, her stock was plainly down in the cellar and the market sluggish.

Corky refuses to consider the idea of hitching up with Esmond unless he defies his aunts, and he very naturally gets the vapours at the mere idea. She thinks he has allowed them to oppress him from childhood, and it’s time he threw off the yoke. She wants him to show her that he is a man of intrepid courage. Her matrimonial plans thus hit a snag, since there is not even a remote chance that Esmond would ever stand up to Dame Daphne Winkworth, and the Misses Charlotte, Emmeline, Harriet, and Myrtle Deverill and make them play ball.

But Bertie and Jeeves conspire to ensure that the two end up walking down the aisle.

 

Dolly Molloy

The newcomer was a girl in the middle twenties, of bold but at the moment rather sullen good looks. She had the bright hazel eyes which seldom go with a meek and contrite heart. Her colouring was vivid, and in the light from the window her hair gleamed with a sheen that was slightly metallic.

(Sam the Sudden)

This is Dora (“Dolly”) Molloy (née Gunn), a young American woman, known to her friends as Fainting Dolly, from her practice of swooning into the arms of rich-looking strangers as a prelude to picking their pockets, hence her alternative nickname of Dolly the Dip.

She is brassy, golden-haired shoplifting wife of Soapy, the brains of the couple. Unlike her husband, Dolly is a firm believer in direct action: in Money in the Bank, Jeff Miller considers her to have the executive abilities of Lady Macbeth.

 

Elizabeth Boyd

She is a hard-working beekeeper in Brookport, Long Island, where she lives with her irresponsible brother “Nutty”, Claude Nutcombe Boyd. A letter from Jerry informs them that Nutcombe’s money went to someone called Lord Dawlish.

When we get introduced to her in Uneasy Money, Elizabeth Boyd is twenty-one, though with her hair tumbling about her shoulders she could have been taken by us to be a child. It is only when we peer into her eyes and notice the resolute tilt of the chin that we realize that she is a young woman very well able to take care of herself in a difficult world. Her hair is very fair and her eyes brown and very bright. These are valiant eyes, full of spirit; eyes, also, that see the humour of things. Her chin, small like the rest of her, is strong; and in the way she holds herself there is a boyish jauntiness.

In New York, Bill sends a letter to Elizabeth offering to split the money, but she sends a reply refusing it. However, circumstances eventually bring them together and love blossoms aboard a train. They plan to get married when the train reaches New York and later run a big bee farm together.

 

Eve Halliday

In Leave it to Psmith, Eve first catches Psmith’s eye while sheltering from the rain under the awning of a coal merchant’s joint opposite the Drones. She takes up an assignment at the Blandings Castle, cataloguing the library, a feat which has not been attempted since the year 1885.

Eve gets by on a small annuity from a late uncle, but frequently has to find work due to tempting but expensive hats, gloves and other necessities. She is a person of dash and vigour. Gazing into her soul, one is apt to find such finer sentiments there as honesty, sympathy and intelligence.

She is a girl of medium height, very straight and slim; and her fair hair, her cheerful smile, and the boyish suppleness of her body all contributed to a general effect of valiant gaiety, a sort of golden sunniness – accentuated by the fact that, like all girls who looked to Paris for inspiration in their dress that season, she often wears black.

A highly attractive young girl, Eve is adept at deflecting proposals from young men like Freddie, but finds Psmith’s advances more difficult to fend off. Capable and efficient, she works hard at her cataloguing job despite Psmith’s attempts to lure her away; a faithful and reliable friend, she does much to help her friend Phyllis get the money she deserves. By the end of the narrative, she is engaged to Psmith.

 

Honoria Glossop

Most of us are already aware that Honoria Glossop is the daughter of Sir Roderick Glossop and the elder sister of Oswald Glossop. Large, brainy, and athletic, she has an assertive personality and a forceful voice. Her laughter is said to make a noise like that of the Scotch express going under a bridge.

She plays every kind of sport, and Bertie suspects she may have boxed for her university. She has a strong presence; Bertie notes that there is something about Honoria which makes almost anybody you meet in the same room seem sort of under-sized and trivial by comparison. She is interested in intellectual pursuits, and reads Nietzsche and Ruskin.

Egged on by Aunt Agatha, Bertie reluctantly agrees to get married to her. While engaged to her, Bertie ruefully describes the time spent with her as follows:

….not a day had passed without her putting in some heavy work in the direction of what Aunt Agatha had called ‘moulding’ me. I had read solid literature till my eyes bubbled; we had legged it together through miles of picture-galleries; and I had been compelled to undergo classical concerts to an extent you would hardly believe… I had just been saying to myself, ‘Death, where is thy jolly old sting?’

But when the eminent doctor pops up for a spot of lunch at his place, the presence of few cats in his bedroom ensure that he is saved from the gallows.

To Bertie, she is simply nothing more nor less than a pot of poison. One of those dashed large, brainy, strenuous, dynamic girls you see so many of these days.

Plum has left behind for us a wide spectrum of women characters. Each one is a unique specimen, even though some of them might sound like duplicates of each other.

 

(Few more women characters to follow in the next post on the subject!)

(Related Posts:

Different Shades of Women in Plumsville 2.0 (Aunts and Seniors)


Of Bertie, Goofy Females and the Wooster Clan

Bertie, Jeeves and the Internet of Things

Some Tips on the Art and Science of Courtship from Rupert Psmith

Different Shades of Women in Plumsville

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