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Posts Tagged ‘Peggy Mainwaring’

What happens when a banking professional like Suvarna Sanyal, who has spent a life time poring over bulky ledgers and checking debit and credit figures, turns his attention to one of the popular stories dished out by P G Wodehouse? Well, he simply whips up a series of illustrations which figure some of the better known characters from the canon in some selected scenes from the story!

Residents of Plumsville would recall that this is the only story in the canon which is narrated by Jeeves. Savour below the results of his labour of love which, incidentally, have already undergone a scrutiny under the precise microscope of an expert in all Plummy matters.

 

I want to explain to you why I am speaking to you directly, instead of letting Mr Wooster present one of his tales.  I have been asked quite frequently to explain any formula I might have for success in my profession, and have concluded it could be summarised as ‘Resource and Tact’.  I hope the example of this story will show you what I mean.

 

 

 

“Oh, dash it, Jeeves!” he said, sort of overwrought. “I wish at least you’d put it on another table for a change.”

“Sir?” I said.

 

 

I should mention that Mr Wooster then told me he was considering adopting a kid, but also wondering whether to give up his London flat, take a house, and have his sister and her three little girls to live with him.  But I avoided the blunder of outwardly expressing my disapproval of the idea at this juncture.

Well, it was a respite, and I welcomed it. But I began to see that a crisis had arisen which would require adroit handling. 

 

 

Mr Wooster wearied of Brighton after two days, and decided to return home, and we started back about 5 on a fine summer’s day.  We had only gone about two miles when I noticed a red-haired young person of about 12, with a snub nose and an extremely large grin, seeking a lift.  She seemed to me to have the air of one who had been absenting herself from school without leave.

 

 

 

“I’m going to get into a frightful row,” she began. “Miss Tomlinson will be perfectly furious. I thought I could get back in time so that nobody would notice I’d gone, but I got this nail in my shoe.”

“Oh, I say, this is rather rotten,” he observed. “Isn’t there anything to be done? I say, Jeeves, don’t you think something could be done?”

“I think it would be a legitimate subterfuge were you to inform the young lady’s school-mistress that you are an old friend of the young lady’s father; that you had been passing the school and had seen the young lady at the gate and taken her for a drive. Miss Tomlinson’s chagrin would no doubt in these circumstances be sensibly diminished if not altogether dispersed.”

 

 

The young one was delighted at this generous offer, and as I turned in at the gates of a house of imposing dimensions, and brought the car to a halt at the front door, she volunteered her name.

 

 

I decided it might be simpler if I explained the situation to Miss Tomlinson, who proved to have a handsome but strong-minded appearance, and she recalled to my mind Mr Wooster’s Aunt Agatha.  ‘She had the same penetrating gaze and that indefinable air of being reluctant to stand any nonsense.’

I went on to explain to her that Mr Wooster is an extremely retiring gentleman.

“He is an extremely retiring gentleman, madam, and would be the last to suggest it himself, but, knowing him as I do, I am sure that he would take it as a graceful compliment if you were to ask him to address the young ladies. He is an excellent extempore speaker.”

“A very good idea!” said Miss Tomlinson, decidedly.

 

 

I drove round to the stables, and although the car was in excellent condition, I seemed to feel that something would go wrong with it, something which I would not be able to put right for a couple of hours. One gets these presentiments.

It was about half an hour later that Mr Wooster came into the stable-yard, and complained that he had lost his cigarette case.  He then went on to extol the virtues of his recent companions.

“Extremely so, sir,” I said. 

“But a bit exhausting en masse.  And they giggle so much.  Makes a fellow feel a bit of an ass.  And they stare at you.”

“When I was employed as a page-boy at a school for young ladies, sir, they had a regular game which they used to play when a male visitor arrived. They would stare fixedly at him and giggle, and there was a small prize for the one who made him blush first.”

“I’d no idea small girls were such demons.”

“More deadly than the male, sir.”

 

 

Mr Wooster returned to the company of the girls, while I took tea with the maids in the kitchen, after which I returned to the stable-yard, and Peggy Mainwaring appeared.  She asked me to return Mr Wooster’s cigarette case to him, which she said he must have dropped somewhere.

She then told me he was going to give a lecture to the school.

 

 

She had barely scampered off to rejoin her friends when a deeply perturbed Mr Wooster came round the corner.

 

 

And within minutes, Miss Tomlinson appeared, and spoke to Mr Wooster.

 

 

The large schoolroom was situated on the ground floor, with commodious French windows, which, as the weather was clement, remained open throughout the proceedings. By stationing myself behind a pillar on the porch or veranda which adjoined the room, I was enabled to see and hear all. It was an experience which I should be sorry to have missed. Mr Wooster indubitably excelled himself.

Mr. Wooster is a young gentleman with practically every desirable quality except one. I do not mean brains, for in an employer brains are not desirable. The quality to which I allude is hard to define, but perhaps I might call it the gift of dealing with the Unusual Situation.

 

 

Miss Tomlinson  made a short but graceful speech of introduction, stressing the fact that he was Mr Bertram and no other breed of Wooster. But before he was able to open his mouth, the young ladies burst into a species of chant, of which I am glad to say I remember the words, if not the tune.

 

 

The performance, which was notably devoid of cooperative effort, seemed to smite Mr Wooster like a blow. And then he tottered forward.

Girls!” said Miss Tomlinson. She spoke in a low, soft voice, but the effect was immediate. Perfect stillness instantly descended upon all present. I am bound to say that, brief as my acquaintance with Miss Tomlinson had been, I could recall few women I had admired more. She had grip.

 

 

I fancy that Miss Tomlinson had gauged Mr Wooster’s oratorical capabilities pretty correctly by this time, and had come to the conclusion that nothing much in the way of a stirring address was to be expected from him.

“Perhaps,” she said, “as it is getting late, and he has not very much time to spare, Mr. Wooster will just give you some little word of advice which may be helpful to you in after-life, and then we will sing the school song and disperse to our evening lessons.”

She looked at Mr Wooster, who passed a finger round the inside of his collar. It was painful to see his brain endeavouring to work.

“We will now sing the school song,” said Miss Tomlinson, rising like an iceberg.

 

 

I hurried round to the car, and in a very few moments Mr Wooster came tottering up. I had climbed into my seat and was about to start the engine, when voices, including those of Miss Tomlinson,  made themselves heard.  At the first sound of them Mr Wooster sprang with almost incredible nimbleness to the floor covering himself with a rug. The last I saw of him was a pleading eye.

When Miss Tomlinson asked about the whereabouts of Bertie Wooster, I expressed helplessness, but she went on, obviously stirred with emotion.

“Mademoiselle has just found several girls smoking cigarettes in the shrubbery.  They stated Mr Wooster had given them the horrid things.  I think the man is out of his senses.”

 

 

One night about a week later, I took the whisky and siphon into Mr Wooster’s study.

“Jeeves, this is dashed jolly.  A sort of safe, restful feeling.  Soothing.  That’s the word,” he said.

“Indeed, sir.  By the way, sir, have you succeeded in finding a suitable house yet?

“House?  What do you mean, house?”

“I understood, sir, that it was your intention to give up the flat and take a house of sufficient size to enable you to have your sister, Mrs. Scholfield, and her three young ladies to live with you.”

Mr Wooster shuddered strongly.

 

 

 

So, how does one manage bosses and ensure they never go round the bend when they get too enthusiastic about an idea of theirs? Jeeves would heartily recommend ‘tact’ and ‘resource’!

 

(Related Posts:

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2019/06/28/when-bertie-entertains-thoughts-of-having-children-around

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2019/06/08/lord-emsworth-and-the-girl-friend-a-visual-version)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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P G Wodehouse has etched out the kids in his works with much finesse.  When it comes to ranking these kids on a Richter scale of Roguishness, our task is not too difficult. If Edwin, Thos and Seabury secure the top ranks, kid Blumenfeld, Bonzo and Sebastian Moon occupy the middle order. Kid Clementina, Oswald and Peggy Mainwaring appear to be competing for the lower ranks.

We also get to meet kids who can only earn a negative rank on the Richter scale of Roguishness. Their conduct is as pure as driven snow.

Prudence Baxter does not herself outsmart the real winners at an Egg and Spoon race. It is Jeeves’ desire to help a Bingo in distress which helps her to claim the prize.

Bingo Junior wins a baby contest and is blissfully unaware of the extent to which his accomplishment boosts up the morale of his father. He…

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The prattle of tender feet around one keeps one very much alive and contented. Especially so when one happens to be in a phase of life where one can have the luxury of observing their behaviour at close quarters without having to worry about their mundane needs. Other then providing unalloyed joy and sparkling mirth, it also provides one an opportunity to grow spiritually.

When a Bollywood diva casts a spell

Take the case of a one-year old toddler who takes Master Thos to be his role model. If Thos was infatuated with a Hollywood diva, he happens to be besotted with one of the Bollywood divas. Play this particular song on the TV, and he goes into a trance which even the most advanced practitioners of Zen might not have experienced. Meals get forgotten. Toys cease to be of any consequence. Those around him might not even exist.

Sonam Kapoor, the diva in question, may be delighted to know of the brand equity she carries in the mind space of this young one. There is a good chance that he might even earn the distinction of being the youngest ever fan of a Bollywood diva.

One can only hope and pray that, as he grows, he never gets to emulate the goofy schemes of Thos the Terrible. In fact, thanks to the benign influence of the diva, perhaps there is a chance that he would end up performing such noble deeds as walking a few miles to fetch a newspaper for a guest or carrying any other injured young one on his tender shoulders, so as to win over the affections of his heart-throb.

The sincerity with which he expresses his fondness for the song featuring Sonam Kapoor is something which deserves to be emulated. It teaches us the innate goodness in all things musical, artistic and beautiful.

By being under the spell of a silver screen diva, he is merely following a long-held tradition of his ancestors. Soon, though, moving doors, books or other items may take his fancy.

He also demands equality in treatment vis-a-vis other kids in the immediate vicinity. If that does not come by, he knows how to shriek and attract the attention of his seniors, so justice gets meted out. This is invariably the scenario when some ice cream is getting distributed.

There are also times when he reminds one of Algernon Aubrey Little. When the father’s boss came visiting some time back, he was a model of ideal behaviour. No tantrums. No yells. Only some cute smiles. Peace prevailed. A promotion on the job soon followed.

Norway Schhol Art 1

A respect for technical gizmos

The other young boy, all of four years old, reminds one of Edwin the scout. It is not that his daily acts of mercy include dousing fires with paraffin and setting cottages on fire. But he does try to reverse-engineer and repair an egg-boiler, with catastrophic results.

Anything that moves attracts his attention. Curious to the core, he would tend to dismantle the gadget and then look on helplessly when attempting to put it together again. Door locks get fondled with much love. Remote controlled toy cars or toy boats are never safe in his vicinity. A family senior testing blood sugar or injecting insulin is an object to be closely observed and supported.

As he has grown, cell phones and iPads have gained his respect as reliable sources of perennial entertainment. Thus, these are no longer subjected to the kind of rigorous quality tests he used to conduct in his formative years. In his younger days, he has dunked many a cell phone in a mug of piping hot tea, marvelling at their steadfastness when compared to, say, biscuits.

One is yet to notice if, like Edwin, he is an expert on ant behaviour. But dogs, pigs, cows and horses do come in for stark appraisals under his watchful eye.

Locking up people inside dark rooms comes naturally to him. So does sneaking up from behind and suddenly yelling in one’s ear, thereby leaving one all of a twitter. Often, sudden bouts of some karate moves make one run for cover, lest one may need to review one’s medical insurance cover. Tying up one’s shoe laces surreptitiously makes him burst into uncontrollable laughter, much to the chagrin of the party of the other part.

Dealing with him is very instructive. His knowledge of all things mechanical and electronic makes one humble. One simply aspires to be a quick learner like him, so as to be able to quickly absorb the latest that technology has to offer and make progress in life, as defined by contemporary standards.

Norway School Art 2

A goofy mind, a tender heart

Consider also the case of a young girl of 6 odd years whose flair for drawing, painting and singing is often a talking point. But beneath the veneer of sophistication and innocence lies a mind which could churn out goofy schemes at the drop of a hat. The likes of Roberta Wickham and Stiffy Byng could learn quite a few tricks of the trade from her.

Much like Peggy Mainwaring, she is used to staring and giggling at odd times, leaving the party of the other part shaken to the core. A relentless chatter emanating from her often leaves one yearning for some peace and quietitude. A continuous barrage of queries fired at one leaves one exasperated at times. The value of courage and perseverance is thus learnt the hard way.

Compassion comes naturally to her. She loves being surrounded by pets she can shower her motherly affection on. When a bitter feud with a younger sibling results into the latter getting hurt, she gets immediately transformed into a caring and loving nurse. But Homo Sapiens often get bluntly ticked off by her for the slightest of perceived infractions on their part.

When germs of acute goofiness strike, the sky is the limit. A younger sibling’s trousers are found wet in the middle of the night. Wisdom dawns when one notices the empty bottle of drinking water by the side of the bed. Guilt-less pleasure is felt when the younger sibling gets a reprimand for an act of omission committed by her own self.

Post-ablutions, she turns out to be a great bathroom singer, requesting the support of a senior to clean up. ‘Potty is over’ is belted out, in tune with a nursery rhyme like ‘Twinkle twinkle little star….’.

Her receptivity is not to be taken lightly. When it is playing time at a friend’s place, she realizes the rest, solitude and enjoyment the hapless mother would experience while she is away. The hapless mother’s rights to such well-deserved rest and recuperation come in for open and frank criticism.

Norway School Art 3

Competing with the Bermuda Triangle

Yet another case which merits consideration is that of a young lass of 7 years who is built along the lines of Kid Clementina. She is a not-so-quiet saint-like child, when in a good mood. When taken out for a movie and a dinner, she is full of gratitude. She gazes at her benefactor in silent admiration. But while at home, a stubbornness tests the patience of the seniors around.

Great deal of perseverance is required so she may partake of any single meal which may last well over 90 minutes. Each morsel is punctuated by a commercial break, so to say. Unless, of course, the meal comprises a pizza alone, followed by the temptation of either an ice cream or a chocolate.

The threat of changing the WiFi password alone works wonders and makes her obey various commands at home. Fond of playing such brainy games as chess, she is quick to perceive that an attempt is being made to make her falsely win the game of patience and strategy. She resents such acts of chivalry. Her artistic skills are remarkable. So is her passion for karate.

There being no ink pots around these days, one is sure that she is unable to put any sherbet in the same in her classroom. But messing up the password of the iPad of a schoolmate comes readily to her. Rapid progress gets made by her in the realm of mastering all kinds of technical gizmos.

She believes in keeping one on one’s toes. While going out of the house in a hurry, one suddenly finds one’s footwear missing. Or, a ping-pong ball resting inside one of the shoes. A toothbrush can suddenly vanish, leaving one gnashing one’s teeth in disbelief and dismay. A toothpaste tube could get replaced by a cold cream tube. Unless one is alert and agile, the experience leaves an unpleasant taste in the mouth, literally as well as figuratively. One’s shaving kit could go into hiding for two weeks, leaving one feeling like a distressed soul pining for one’s beloved, beard and all. One’s favourite comb could get hidden, leaving one shuddering at the prospect of making an appearance in public. Overall, the house appears to provide stiff competition to the Bermuda Triangle.

Norway School Art 4

A Core of Innocence

Put any two of the kids together and the results could be disastrous. Put all four of them together and the foundations of civilization start quivering.

The combined goofiness of a group of kids is directly proportional to the square of the number of kids together.

Unlike what the Theory of Relativity postulates about there being an upper limit for the speed of light, one does not believe there could be an upper limit for kids’ goofiness. With three kids of his own, Einstein himself might have been in agreement with this proposition.

Their interpersonal interactions are more like sinusoidal curves, putting the Dow Jones Index and the Sensex to shame. Loving embraces are quickly followed by bitter arguments, accompanied by loud background music and tantrums of all kind.

Their minds are highly creative. Their imagination is vivid and fertile. More often than not, they are a reflection of what one is and how one behaves in their presence. In a way, they hold a clear mirror to us, especially when it comes to ethics, values and social leanings.

It is true that kids are simply adorable. Perhaps because their external sheath of goofiness is built around a core of touching innocence – a virtue which one loses as one advances in age. They radiate the purity of their chaste souls, yet to be corrupted by social prejudices and materialistic considerations. A sheltered upbringing obviously helps.

Towards spiritual progress

mothersymbolmeaningThe Mother of Sri Aurobindo Ashram has spoken of twelve attributes which help a spiritual aspirant to make progress. Sincerity. Humility. Gratitude. Perseverance. Aspiration. Receptivity. Progress. Courage. Goodness. Generosity. Equality. Peace.

Being with kids surely paves the way for rapid spiritual progress, besides keeping one amused and entertained at all times.

The challenge of minimizing Screen Time

While families have shrunk, technology has entered the family space. For hapless parents, there are two challenges. One, that of minimizing Screen Time, weaning away kids from gadgets and involving them in outdoor activities. Two, that of imparting them the values which would last them a life time. Perhaps it is time to consciously revert back to the joint family system. More about this in another blog post.

(Related Posts:

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2015/06/09/some-plumsville-kids-and-the-richter-scale-of-roguishness-part-1-of-3

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/when-masters-thos-bonzo-and-moon-rise-in-love

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2016/11/20/bringing-up-kids)

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P G Wodehouse has etched out the kids in his works with much finesse.  When it comes to ranking these kids on a Richter scale of Roguishness, our task is not too difficult. If Edwin, Thos and Seabury secure the top ranks, kid Blumenfeld, Bonzo and Sebastian Moon occupy the middle order. Kid Clementina, Oswald and Peggy Mainwaring appear to be competing for the lower ranks.

We also get to meet kids who can only earn a negative rank on the Richter scale of Roguishness. Their conduct is as pure as driven snow.

Prudence Baxter does not herself outsmart the real winners at an Egg and Spoon race. It is Jeeves’ desire to help a Bingo in distress which helps her to claim the prize.

Bingo Junior wins a baby contest and is blissfully unaware of the extent to which his accomplishment boosts up the morale of his father. He is too young even to understand that he saves his Godfather, Oofy Prosser, from the prospect of getting married. A soul’s awakening, as it were.

Here is a recap of the antics of some of the kids we come across in Plumsville, broadly recounted in an increasing order of roguishness.

 

Algernon Aubrey Little and the Soul’s Awakening

Proving lucky for the father

Well, here is a son who proves lucky for his father, Bingo Little, when he happened to be the editor of Wee Tots, a journal for the nursery and the home. P P Purkiss, the miserly proprietor of this rag, was adept at shrugging off Bingo’s apologetic hints at giving him a raise. The tightness of money and the rising cost of pulp paper were brought up as and when the old miser was endeavoured to be touched for an increase in the pay packet.

A day dawned when the bouncing baby stood first in a baby contest. He wasPGW MatingSeason kissed by the wife of a Cabinet Minister and generally fawned upon by all and sundry. The next morning, the proud father, with a strange glow on his face, strode into the miser’s office without knocking, banged the desk and demanded an additional ten fish in his pay envelope starting the following Saturday itself. When P P Purkiss started to go into his act, Bingo Little banged the desk again and said he hadn’t come there to argue. ‘Yes or no, Purkiss!’ he said, and the old miser meekly consented to the proposal.

In The Mating Season, Bertie narrates this incident to Corky while trying to convince her of the soundness of the scheme to ensure that Esmond Haddock’s hunting song at the village concert is greeted with thunderous applause. This, he is sure, would give Esmond the courage to defy his five aunts, thereby gaining her respect, admiration and love.

 

Saving a Godfather from a saunter down the aisle

When Mrs Bingo Little is away to see her mother through while she undergoes some treatment at the Droitwich brine bath, Bingo Little loses his allowance on a Gargoyle which merely finishes in the first six. Oofy Prosser refuses to pitch in to make good a loss of ten quids. Since Bingo has intruded into one of his serious romances, he even expresses his desire to dance on the mangled remains of his corpse in hobnailed boots.

Another ten pound note arrives in the mail from Mrs Little. The money is to allow Bingo to open a bank account in the name of Junior. This also gets wiped off in a bet. Bingo then remembers that Oofy Prosser happens to be the Godfather of the child.

On a fateful morning, the son is left behind alone for some time with Oofy. His frightful company, coupled with his ‘homicidal fried egg’ visage, leaves Oofy convinced of the perils of matrimony. To show his gratitude, he consents to give Bingo Little fifty quids, thereby saving the latter an embarrassing ‘Oh, how could you?’ moment with his better half. (Sonny BoyEggs, Beans and Crupmets)

Prudence Baxter, the Egg and Spoon racer

Prudence Baxter is a small girl who is participating in the Egg and Spoon race at the local village school-treat at Twing. She is pretty excited about the rag-doll she has just won in the Lucky Dip and confides in Bertie her plans to name it Gertrude. (The Purity of the Turf: The Inimitable Jeeves)

Prudence turns out to be a good conversationalist but does not seem to havePGW Inimitable_jeeves the build for a winner. According to Jeeves, she is a long shot. Bingo, wounded to the very depth of his soul by the recently failed Cynthia affair, has thirty quids at ten to one riding on her.

The favourite of bookies instead happens to be a Sarah Mills. She has grace and a practised precision about it. Her egg does not even wobble. As widely predicted, she comes first, followed by Jane Parker, Bessie Clay, Rosie Jukes and, well, Prudence Baxter.

Thanks to Jeeves, the first four in the race forfeit their amateur status and get disqualified. The prize, a handsome work-bag, presented by Lord Wickhammersley, goes consequently to Prudence Baxter!

 

Kid Clementina and the art of celebrating a birthday AWOL

A cousin of Bobbie Wickham, kid Clementina is a quiet, saint-like child.  Bertie is charmed into treating her to dinner and a movie on her thirteenth birthday. Unlike other young women, who snigger and giggle when they are in Bertie’s company, she gazes at her benefactor in silent admiration. She is a sympathetic and attentive listener. Her hands are spotless. Her behavior throughout the evening is unexceptionable. At the conclusion of the proceedings, she even thanks Bertie with visible emotion.

Bobbie is of the opinion that at St Monica’s, Clementina is sourly misjudged.VeryGoodJeeves After all, what is the point in sending a decent kid like her off to bed in the afternoon itself, that too on her birthday, just for putting some sherbet in the ink to make it fizz?

It transpires that the kid is out of her school without leave, and Bertie now has the unenviable task of bunging her in without incurring the wrath of Miss Mapleton, the formidable headmistress who also happens to be a close chum of Aunt Agatha.

Thanks to the super-human intelligence of Jeeves, the mission gets accomplished in a smooth manner, with Bertie earning words of praise from Miss Mapleton, the lion tamer. After all, it is not every day that she comes across a modern young man who can single-handedly tackle burglars in the school garden with much vim and courage. (Jeeves and the Kid Clementina: Very Good, Jeeves)

 

Oswald and the Australian crawl

The brother of the formidable Honoria Glossop, Oswald happens to be one of those supercilious souls who give you the impression that you went to the wrong school and that your clothes do not quite fit.

Young Bingo finds it very difficult to love Oswald. The hapless guy, who happens to be passing through the Honoria-is-my-soul-mate phase of his life just then has no other option but to keep trying. After all, Honoria is devoted to the little brute. (The Hero’s Reward: The Inimitable Jeeves)

Bertie comes up with a scheme to enable Bingo to win over Honoria’s heart.1923 The Inimitable Jeeves mycopy He would shove Oswald into the lake. Bingo would save him.

At the appointed hour, the push from the stone bridge gets made. A kind of yelp emanates. A splash follows. However, Bingo is not where he is supposed to be. The outcome is that Bertie himself has to chuck off his coat and vault over, only to find upon surfacing that Oswald is already swimming ashore, using the Australian crawl. Honoria decides to marry Bertie, so as to be able to reform him.

 

Peggy Mainwaring and the art of unnerving lecturers

In Bertie changes his mind (Carry on, Jeeves), we meet Peggy Mainwaring. She is a red-haired young girl with a snub-nose and an extremely large grin. She is perhaps around twelve years of age.

Having enjoyed her half-holiday at Brighton putting pennies in the slotPGW CarryOnJeeves machine, the poor girl ends up getting a nail in her shoe. This delays her return to the boarding school. Faced with the prospect of incurring the wrath of Miss Tomlinson, the formidable headmistress built along the lines of Aunt Agatha, she is all of a twitter.

Bertie and Jeeves offer her a lift and a solution to her grim predicament. Back at school, Bertie is to present himself as an old friend of the young lady’s father. He is supposed to have taken Peggy out for a short drive.

The subterfuge works. Jeeves portrays Bertie as a celebrity of sorts and manages to persuade Miss Tomlinson to get him to address an assembly of girls.

Peggy’s father, Professor Mainwaring, might be an authority on matters philosophical, but the young woman is quite down to earth in her approach to life. She distributes Bertie’s cigarettes for her friends to relish in the shrubbery. Her views on unnerving guest lecturers are also very straight forward.

‘Oh, I say,’ she said, ‘will you give this to Mr Wooster when you see him?’

 She held out Mr Wooster’s cigarette-case.

‘He must have dropped it somewhere. I say,’ she proceeded, ‘it’s an awful lark. He’s going to give a lecture to the school.’

‘Indeed, miss?’

‘We love it when there are lectures. We sit and stare at the poor dears, and try to make them dry up. There was a man last term who got hiccoughs. Do you think Mr Wooster will get hiccoughs?’

‘We can but hope for the best, miss.’

‘It would be such a lark, wouldn’t it?’

‘Highly enjoyable, miss.’

‘Well, I must be getting back. I want to get a front seat.’

The experience of delivering a lecture to a vast group of giggling and staring young women leaves Bertie shaken and stirred. He drops his plans to get married. He gives up his desire of hearing the prattle of young feet around him.

Jeeves manages to avoid severing an association so very pleasant in every respect.

(To be continued)

(Related Posts:

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2015/06/17/some-plumsville-kids-and-the-richter-scale-of-roguishness-part-2-of-3

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2015/06/25/some-plumsville-kids-and-the-richter-scale-of-roguishness-part-3-of-3

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/when-masters-thos-bonzo-and-moon-rise-in-love)

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