en-es  Leave it to Jeeves
Leave it to Jeeves (1916).

By P.G. Wodehouse (1881-1975).

Jeeves--my man, you know--is really a most extraordinary chap. So capable. Honestly, I shouldn't know what to do without him. On broader lines he's like those chappies who sit peering sadly over the marble battlements at the Pennsylvania Station in the place marked "Inquiries." You know the Johnnies I mean. You go up to them and say: "When's the next train for Melonsquashville, Tennessee?" and they reply, without stopping to think, "Two-forty-three, track ten, change at San Francisco." And they're right every time. Well, Jeeves gives you just the same impression of omniscience.

As an instance of what I mean, I remember meeting Monty Byng in Bond Street one morning, looking the last word in a grey check suit, and I felt I should never be happy till I had one like it. I dug the address of the tailors out of him, and had them working on the thing inside the hour.

"Jeeves," I said that evening. "I'm getting a check suit like that one of Mr. Byng's."

"Injudicious, sir," he said firmly. "It will not become you."

"What absolute rot! It's the soundest thing I've struck for years."

"Unsuitable for you, sir."

Well, the long and the short of it was that the confounded thing came home, and I put it on, and when I caught sight of myself in the glass I nearly swooned. Jeeves was perfectly right. I looked a cross between a music-hall comedian and a cheap bookie. Yet Monty had looked fine in absolutely the same stuff. These things are just Life's mysteries, and that's all there is to it.

But it isn't only that Jeeves's judgment about clothes is infallible, though, of course, that's really the main thing. The man knows everything. There was the matter of that tip on the "Lincolnshire." I forget now how I got it, but it had the aspect of being the real, red-hot tabasco.

"Jeeves," I said, for I'm fond of the man, and like to do him a good turn when I can, "if you want to make a bit of money have something on Wonderchild for the 'Lincolnshire.'"

He shook his head.

"I'd rather not, sir."

"But it's the straight goods. I'm going to put my shirt on him."

"I do not recommend it, sir. The animal is not intended to win. Second place is what the stable is after."

Perfect piffle, I thought, of course. How the deuce could Jeeves know anything about it? Still, you know what happened. Wonderchild led till he was breathing on the wire, and then Banana Fritter came along and nosed him out. I went straight home and rang for Jeeves.

"After this," I said, "not another step for me without your advice. From now on consider yourself the brains of the establishment."

"Very good, sir. I shall endeavour to give satisfaction."

And he has, by Jove! I'm a bit short on brain myself; the old bean would appear to have been constructed more for ornament than for use, don't you know; but give me five minutes to talk the thing over with Jeeves, and I'm game to advise any one about anything. And that's why, when Bruce Corcoran came to me with his troubles, my first act was to ring the bell and put it up to the lad with the bulging forehead.

"Leave it to Jeeves," I said.

I first got to know Corky when I came to New York. He was a pal of my cousin Gussie, who was in with a lot of people down Washington Square way. I don't know if I ever told you about it, but the reason why I left England was because I was sent over by my Aunt Agatha to try to stop young Gussie marrying a girl on the vaudeville stage, and I got the whole thing so mixed up that I decided that it would be a sound scheme for me to stop on in America for a bit instead of going back and having long cosy chats about the thing with aunt. So I sent Jeeves out to find a decent apartment, and settled down for a bit of exile. I'm bound to say that New York's a topping place to be exiled in. Everybody was awfully good to me, and there seemed to be plenty of things going on, and I'm a wealthy bird, so everything was fine. Chappies introduced me to other chappies, and so on and so forth, and it wasn't long before I knew squads of the right sort, some who rolled in dollars in houses up by the Park, and others who lived with the gas turned down mostly around Washington Square--artists and writers and so forth. Brainy coves.

Corky was one of the artists. A portrait-painter, he called himself, but he hadn't painted any portraits. He was sitting on the side-lines with a blanket over his shoulders, waiting for a chance to get into the game. You see, the catch about portrait-painting--I've looked into the thing a bit--is that you can't start painting portraits till people come along and ask you to, and they won't come and ask you to until you've painted a lot first. This makes it kind of difficult for a chappie. Corky managed to get along by drawing an occasional picture for the comic papers--he had rather a gift for funny stuff when he got a good idea--and doing bedsteads and chairs and things for the advertisements. His principal source of income, however, was derived from biting the ear of a rich uncle--one Alexander Worple, who was in the jute business. I'm a bit foggy as to what jute is, but it's apparently something the populace is pretty keen on, for Mr. Worple had made quite an indecently large stack out of it.

Now, a great many fellows think that having a rich uncle is a pretty soft snap: but, according to Corky, such is not the case. Corky's uncle was a robust sort of cove, who looked like living for ever. He was fifty-one, and it seemed as if he might go to par. It was not this, however, that distressed poor old Corky, for he was not bigoted and had no objection to the man going on living. What Corky kicked at was the way the above Worple used to harry him.

Corky's uncle, you see, didn't want him to be an artist. He didn't think he had any talent in that direction. He was always urging him to chuck Art and go into the jute business and start at the bottom and work his way up. Jute had apparently become a sort of obsession with him. He seemed to attach almost a spiritual importance to it. And what Corky said was that, while he didn't know what they did at the bottom of the jute business, instinct told him that it was something too beastly for words. Corky, moreover, believed in his future as an artist. Some day, he said, he was going to make a hit. Meanwhile, by using the utmost tact and persuasiveness, he was inducing his uncle to cough up very grudgingly a small quarterly allowance.

He wouldn't have got this if his uncle hadn't had a hobby. Mr. Worple was peculiar in this respect. As a rule, from what I've observed, the American captain of industry doesn't do anything out of business hours. When he has put the cat out and locked up the office for the night, he just relapses into a state of coma from which he emerges only to start being a captain of industry again. But Mr. Worple in his spare time was what is known as an ornithologist. He had written a book called American Birds, and was writing another, to be called More American Birds. When he had finished that, the presumption was that he would begin a third, and keep on till the supply of American birds gave out. Corky used to go to him about once every three months and let him talk about American birds. Apparently you could do what you liked with old Worple if you gave him his head first on his pet subject, so these little chats used to make Corky's allowance all right for the time being. But it was pretty rotten for the poor chap. There was the frightful suspense, you see, and, apart from that, birds, except when broiled and in the society of a cold bottle, bored him stiff.

To complete the character-study of Mr. Worple, he was a man of extremely uncertain temper, and his general tendency was to think that Corky was a poor chump and that whatever step he took in any direction on his own account, was just another proof of his innate idiocy. I should imagine Jeeves feels very much the same about me.

So when Corky trickled into my apartment one afternoon, shooing a girl in front of him, and said, "Bertie, I want you to meet my fiancee, Miss Singer," the aspect of the matter which hit me first was precisely the one which he had come to consult me about. The very first words I spoke were, "Corky, how about your uncle?"

The poor chap gave one of those mirthless laughs. He was looking anxious and worried, like a man who has done the murder all right but can't think what the deuce to do with the body.

"We're so scared, Mr. Wooster," said the girl. "We were hoping that you might suggest a way of breaking it to him."

Muriel Singer was one of those very quiet, appealing girls who have a way of looking at you with their big eyes as if they thought you were the greatest thing on earth and wondered that you hadn't got on to it yet yourself. She sat there in a sort of shrinking way, looking at me as if she were saying to herself, "Oh, I do hope this great strong man isn't going to hurt me." She gave a fellow a protective kind of feeling, made him want to stroke her hand and say, "There, there, little one!" or words to that effect. She made me feel that there was nothing I wouldn't do for her. She was rather like one of those innocent-tasting American drinks which creep imperceptibly into your system so that, before you know what you're doing, you're starting out to reform the world by force if necessary and pausing on your way to tell the large man in the corner that, if he looks at you like that, you will knock his head off. What I mean is, she made me feel alert and dashing, like a jolly old knight-errant or something of that kind. I felt that I was with her in this thing to the limit.

"I don't see why your uncle shouldn't be most awfully bucked," I said to Corky. "He will think Miss Singer the ideal wife for you."

Corky declined to cheer up.

"You don't know him. Even if he did like Muriel he wouldn't admit it. That's the sort of pig-headed guy he is. It would be a matter of principle with him to kick. All he would consider would be that I had gone and taken an important step without asking his advice, and he would raise Cain automatically. He's always done it."

I strained the old bean to meet this emergency.

"You want to work it so that he makes Miss Singer's acquaintance without knowing that you know her. Then you come along----" "But how can I work it that way?"

I saw his point. That was the catch.

"There's only one thing to do," I said.

"What's that?"

"Leave it to Jeeves."

And I rang the bell.

"Sir?" said Jeeves, kind of manifesting himself. One of the rummy things about Jeeves is that, unless you watch like a hawk, you very seldom see him come into a room. He's like one of those weird chappies in India who dissolve themselves into thin air and nip through space in a sort of disembodied way and assemble the parts again just where they want them. I've got a cousin who's what they call a Theosophist, and he says he's often nearly worked the thing himself, but couldn't quite bring it off, probably owing to having fed in his boyhood on the flesh of animals slain in anger and pie.

The moment I saw the man standing there, registering respectful attention, a weight seemed to roll off my mind. I felt like a lost child who spots his father in the offing. There was something about him that gave me confidence.

Jeeves is a tallish man, with one of those dark, shrewd faces. His eye gleams with the light of pure intelligence.

"Jeeves, we want your advice."

"Very good, sir."

I boiled down Corky's painful case into a few well-chosen words.

"So you see what it amounts to, Jeeves. We want you to suggest some way by which Mr. Worple can make Miss Singer's acquaintance without getting on to the fact that Mr. Corcoran already knows her. Understand?"

"Perfectly, sir."

"Well, try to think of something."

"I have thought of something already, sir."

"You have!"

"The scheme I would suggest cannot fail of success, but it has what may seem to you a drawback, sir, in that it requires a certain financial outlay."

"He means," I translated to Corky, "that he has got a pippin of an idea, but it's going to cost a bit."

Naturally the poor chap's face dropped, for this seemed to dish the whole thing. But I was still under the influence of the girl's melting gaze, and I saw that this was where I started in as a knight-errant.

"You can count on me for all that sort of thing, Corky," I said. "Only too glad. Carry on, Jeeves."

"I would suggest, sir, that Mr. Corcoran take advantage of Mr. Worple's attachment to ornithology."

"How on earth did you know that he was fond of birds?"

"It is the way these New York apartments are constructed, sir. Quite unlike our London houses. The partitions between the rooms are of the flimsiest nature. With no wish to overhear, I have sometimes heard Mr. Corcoran expressing himself with a generous strength on the subject I have mentioned."

"Oh! Well?"

"Why should not the young lady write a small volume, to be entitled--let us say--The Children's Book of American Birds, and dedicate it to Mr. Worple! A limited edition could be published at your expense, sir, and a great deal of the book would, of course, be given over to eulogistic remarks concerning Mr. Worple's own larger treatise on the same subject. I should recommend the dispatching of a presentation copy to Mr. Worple, immediately on publication, accompanied by a letter in which the young lady asks to be allowed to make the acquaintance of one to whom she owes so much. This would, I fancy, produce the desired result, but as I say, the expense involved would be considerable."

I felt like the proprietor of a performing dog on the vaudeville stage when the tyke has just pulled off his trick without a hitch. I had betted on Jeeves all along, and I had known that he wouldn't let me down. It beats me sometimes why a man with his genius is satisfied to hang around pressing my clothes and whatnot. If I had half Jeeves's brain, I should have a stab, at being Prime Minister or something.

"Jeeves," I said, "that is absolutely ripping! One of your very best efforts."

"Thank you, sir."

The girl made an objection.

"But I'm sure I couldn't write a book about anything. I can't even write good letters." "Muriel's talents," said Corky, with a little cough "lie more in the direction of the drama, Bertie. I didn't mention it before, but one of our reasons for being a trifle nervous as to how Uncle Alexander will receive the news is that Muriel is in the chorus of that show Choose your Exit at the Manhattan. It's absurdly unreasonable, but we both feel that that fact might increase Uncle Alexander's natural tendency to kick like a steer."

I saw what he meant. Goodness knows there was fuss enough in our family when I tried to marry into musical comedy a few years ago. And the recollection of my Aunt Agatha's attitude in the matter of Gussie and the vaudeville girl was still fresh in my mind. I don't know why it is--one of these psychology sharps could explain it, I suppose--but uncles and aunts, as a class, are always dead against the drama, legitimate or otherwise. They don't seem able to stick it at any price.

But Jeeves had a solution, of course.

"I fancy it would be a simple matter, sir, to find some impecunious author who would be glad to do the actual composition of the volume for a small fee. It is only necessary that the young lady's name should appear on the title page."

"That's true," said Corky. "Sam Patterson would do it for a hundred dollars. He writes a novelette, three short stories, and ten thousand words of a serial for one of the all-fiction magazines under different names every month. A little thing like this would be nothing to him. I'll get after him right away."

"Fine!"

"Will that be all, sir?" said Jeeves. "Very good, sir. Thank you, sir."

I always used to think that publishers had to be devilish intelligent fellows, loaded down with the grey matter; but I've got their number now. All a publisher has to do is to write cheques at intervals, while a lot of deserving and industrious chappies rally round and do the real work. I know, because I've been one myself. I simply sat tight in the old apartment with a fountain-pen, and in due season a topping, shiny book came along.

I happened to be down at Corky's place when the first copies of The Children's Book of American Birds bobbed up. Muriel Singer was there, and we were talking of things in general when there was a bang at the door and the parcel was delivered.

It was certainly some book. It had a red cover with a fowl of some species on it, and underneath the girl's name in gold letters. I opened a copy at random.

"Often of a spring morning," it said at the top of page twenty-one, "as you wander through the fields, you will hear the sweet-toned, carelessly flowing warble of the purple finch linnet. When you are older you must read all about him in Mr. Alexander Worple's wonderful book--American Birds."

You see. A boost for the uncle right away. And only a few pages later there he was in the limelight again in connection with the yellow-billed cuckoo. It was great stuff. The more I read, the more I admired the chap who had written it and Jeeves's genius in putting us on to the wheeze. I didn't see how the uncle could fail to drop. You can't call a chap the world's greatest authority on the yellow-billed cuckoo without rousing a certain disposition towards chumminess in him.

"It's a cert!" I said.

"An absolute cinch!" said Corky.

And a day or two later he meandered up the Avenue to my apartment to tell me that all was well. The uncle had written Muriel a letter so dripping with the milk of human kindness that if he hadn't known Mr. Worple's handwriting Corky would have refused to believe him the author of it. Any time it suited Miss Singer to call, said the uncle, he would be delighted to make her acquaintance.

Shortly after this I had to go out of town. Divers sound sportsmen had invited me to pay visits to their country places, and it wasn't for several months that I settled down in the city again. I had been wondering a lot, of course, about Corky, whether it all turned out right, and so forth, and my first evening in New York, happening to pop into a quiet sort of little restaurant which I go to when I don't feel inclined for the bright lights, I found Muriel Singer there, sitting by herself at a table near the door. Corky, I took it, was out telephoning. I went up and passed the time of day.

"Well, well, well, what?" I said.

"Why, Mr. Wooster! How do you do?"

"Corky around?"

"I beg your pardon?"

"You're waiting for Corky, aren't you?"

"Oh, I didn't understand. No, I'm not waiting for him."

It seemed to roe that there was a sort of something in her voice, a kind of thingummy, you know.

"I say, you haven't had a row with Corky, have you?"

"A row?"

"A spat, don't you know--little misunderstanding--faults on both sides--er--and all that sort of thing."

"Why, whatever makes you think that?"

"Oh, well, as it were, what? What I mean is--I thought you usually dined with him before you went to the theatre."

"I've left the stage now."

Suddenly the whole thing dawned on me. I had forgotten what a long time I had been away.

"Why, of course, I see now! You're married!"

"Yes."

"How perfectly topping! I wish you all kinds of happiness."

"Thank you, so much. Oh Alexander," she said, looking past me, "this is a friend of mine--Mr. Wooster."

I spun round. A chappie with a lot of stiff grey hair and a red sort of healthy face was standing there. Rather a formidable Johnnie, he looked, though quite peaceful at the moment.

"I want you to meet my husband, Mr. Wooster. Mr. Wooster is a friend of Bruce's, Alexander."

The old boy grasped my hand warmly, and that was all that kept me from hitting the floor in a heap. The place was rocking. Absolutely.

"So you know my nephew, Mr. Wooster," I heard him say. "I wish you would try to knock a little sense into him and make him quit this playing at painting. But I have an idea that he is steadying down. I noticed it first that night he came to dinner with us, my dear, to be introduced to you. He seemed altogether quieter and more serious. Something seemed to have sobered him. Perhaps you will give us the pleasure of your company at dinner to-night, Mr. Wooster? Or have you dined?"

I said I had. What I needed then was air, not dinner. I felt that I wanted to get into the open and think this thing out.

When I reached my apartment I heard Jeeves moving about in his lair. I called him.

"Jeeves," I said, "now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party. A stiff b.-and-s. first of all, and then I've a bit of news for you."

He came back with a tray and a long glass.

"Better have one yourself, Jeeves. You'll need it."

"Later on, perhaps, thank you, sir."

"All right. Please yourself. But you're going to get a shock. You remember my friend, Mr. Corcoran?"

"Yes, sir."

"And the girl who was to slide gracefully into his uncle's esteem by writing the book on birds?"

"Perfectly, sir."

"Well, she's slid. She's married the uncle."

He took it without blinking. You can't rattle Jeeves.

"That was always a development to be feared, sir."

"You don't mean to tell me that you were expecting it?"

"It crossed my mind as a possibility."

"Did it, by Jove! Well, I think, you might have warned us!"

"I hardly liked to take the liberty, sir."

Of course, as I saw after I had had a bite to eat and was in a calmer frame of mind, what had happened wasn't my fault, if you come down to it. I couldn't be expected to foresee that the scheme, in itself a cracker-jack, would skid into the ditch as it had done; but all the same I'm bound to admit that I didn't relish the idea of meeting Corky again until time, the great healer, had been able to get in a bit of soothing work. I cut Washington Square out absolutely for the next few months. I gave it the complete missin-baulk. And then, just when I was beginning to think I might safely pop down in that direction and gather up the dropped threads, so to speak, time, instead of working the healing wheeze, went and pulled the most awful bone and put the lid on it. Opening the paper one morning, I read that Mrs. Alexander Worple had presented her husband with a son and heir.

I was so darned sorry for poor old Corky that I hadn't the heart to touch my breakfast. I told Jeeves to drink it himself. I was bowled over. Absolutely. It was the limit. I hardly knew what to do. I wanted, of course, to rush down to Washington Square and grip the poor blighter silently by the hand; and then, thinking it over, I hadn't the nerve.
Absent treatment seemed the touch. I gave it him in waves.

But after a month or so I began to hesitate again. It struck me that it was playing it a bit low-down on the poor chap, avoiding him like this just when he probably wanted his pals to surge round him most. I pictured him sitting in his lonely studio with no company but his bitter thoughts, and the pathos of it got me to such an extent that I bounded straight into a taxi and told the driver to go all out for the studio.

I rushed in, and there was Corky, hunched up at the easel, painting away, while on the model throne sat a severe-looking female of middle age, holding a baby.

A fellow has to be ready for that sort of thing.

"Oh, ah!" I said, and started to back out.

Corky looked over his shoulder.

"Halloa, Bertie. Don't go. We're just finishing for the day. That will be all this afternoon," he said to the nurse, who got up with the baby and decanted it into a perambulator which was standing in the fairway.

"At the same hour to-morrow, Mr. Corcoran?"

"Yes, please."

"Good afternoon." "Good afternoon."

Corky stood there, looking at the door, and then he turned to me and began to get it off his chest. Fortunately, he seemed to take it for granted that I knew all about what had happened, so it wasn't as awkward as it might have been.

"It's my uncle's idea," he said. "Muriel doesn't know about it yet. The portrait's to be a surprise for her on her birthday. The nurse takes the kid out ostensibly to get a breather, and they beat it down here. If you want an instance of the irony of fate, Bertie, get acquainted with this. Here's the first commission I have ever had to paint a portrait, and the sitter is that human poached egg that has butted in and bounced me out of my inheritance. Can you beat it! I call it rubbing the thing in to expect me to spend my afternoons gazing into the ugly face of a little brat who to all intents and purposes has hit me behind the ear with a blackjack and swiped all I possess. I can't refuse to paint the portrait because if I did my uncle would stop my allowance; yet every time I look up and catch that kid's vacant eye, I suffer agonies. I tell you, Bertie, sometimes when he gives me a patronizing glance and then turns away and is sick, as if it revolted him to look at me, I come within an ace of occupying the entire front page of the evening papers as the latest murder sensation. There are moments when I can almost see the headlines: 'Promising Young Artist Beans Baby With Axe.'"

I patted his shoulder silently. My sympathy for the poor old scout was too deep for words.

I kept away from the studio for some time after that, because it didn't seem right to me to intrude on the poor chappie's sorrow. Besides, I'm bound to say that nurse intimidated me. She reminded me so infernally of Aunt Agatha. She was the same gimlet-eyed type.

But one afternoon Corky called me on the 'phone.

"Bertie."

"Halloa?"

"Are you doing anything this afternoon?"

"Nothing special."

"You couldn't come down here, could you?"

"What's the trouble? Anything up?"

"I've finished the portrait."

"Good boy! Stout work!"

"Yes." His voice sounded rather doubtful. "The fact is, Bertie, it doesn't look quite right to me. There's something about it--My uncle's coming in half an hour to inspect it, and--I don't know why it is, but I kind of feel I'd like your moral support!"

I began to see that I was letting myself in for something. The sympathetic co-operation of Jeeves seemed to me to be indicated.

"You think he'll cut up rough?"

"He may."

I threw my mind back to the red-faced chappie I had met at the restaurant, and tried to picture him cutting up rough. It was only too easy. I spoke to Corky firmly on the telephone.

"I'll come," I said.

"Good!"

"But only if I may bring Jeeves!"

"Why Jeeves? What's Jeeves got to do with it? Who wants Jeeves? Jeeves is the fool who suggested the scheme that has led----" "Listen, Corky, old top! If you think I am going to face that uncle of yours without Jeeves's support, you're mistaken. I'd sooner go into a den of wild beasts and bite a lion on the back of the neck."

"Oh, all right," said Corky. Not cordially, but he said it; so I rang for Jeeves, and explained the situation.

"Very good, sir," said Jeeves.

That's the sort of chap he is. You can't rattle him.

We found Corky near the door, looking at the picture, with one hand up in a defensive sort of way, as if he thought it might swing on him.

"Stand right where you are, Bertie," he said, without moving. "Now, tell me honestly, how does it strike you?"

The light from the big window fell right on the picture. I took a good look at it. Then I shifted a bit nearer and took another look. Then I went back to where I had been at first, because it hadn't seemed quite so bad from there.

"Well?" said Corky, anxiously.

I hesitated a bit.

"Of course, old man, I only saw the kid once, and then only for a moment, but--but it was an ugly sort of kid, wasn't it, if I remember rightly?"

"As ugly as that?"

I looked again, and honesty compelled me to be frank.

"I don't see how it could have been, old chap."

Poor old Corky ran his fingers through his hair in a temperamental sort of way. He groaned.

"You're right quite, Bertie. Something's gone wrong with the darned thing. My private impression is that, without knowing it, I've worked that stunt that Sargent and those fellows pull--painting the soul of the sitter. I've got through the mere outward appearance, and have put the child's soul on canvas."

"But could a child of that age have a soul like that? I don't see how he could have managed it in the time. What do you think, Jeeves?"

"I doubt it, sir."

"It--it sorts of leers at you, doesn't it?"

"You've noticed that, too?" said Corky.

"I don't see how one could help noticing."

"All I tried to do was to give the little brute a cheerful expression. But, as it worked out, he looks positively dissipated."

"Just what I was going to suggest, old man. He looks as if he were in the middle of a colossal spree, and enjoying every minute of it. Don't you think so, Jeeves?"

"He has a decidedly inebriated air, sir."

Corky was starting to say something when the door opened, and the uncle came in. For about three seconds all was joy, jollity, and goodwill. The old boy shook hands with me, slapped Corky on the back, said that he didn't think he had ever seen such a fine day, and whacked his leg with his stick. Jeeves had projected himself into the background, and he didn't notice him.

"Well, Bruce, my boy; so the portrait is really finished, is it--really finished? Well, bring it out. Let's have a look at it. This will be a wonderful surprise for your aunt. Where is it? Let's----" And then he got it--suddenly, when he wasn't set for the punch; and he rocked back on his heels.

"Oosh!" he exclaimed. And for perhaps a minute there was one of the scaliest silences I've ever run up against.

"Is this a practical joke?" he said at last, in a way that set about sixteen draughts cutting through the room at once.

I thought it was up to me to rally round old Corky.

"You want to stand a bit farther away from it," I said.

"You're perfectly right!" he snorted. "I do! I want to stand so far away from it that I can't see the thing with a telescope!" He turned on Corky like an untamed tiger of the jungle who has just located a chunk of meat. "And this--this--is what you have been wasting your time and my money for all these years! A painter! I wouldn't let you paint a house of mine! I gave you this commission, thinking that you were a competent worker, and this--this--this extract from a comic coloured supplement is the result!" He swung towards the door, lashing his tail and growling to himself. "This ends it! If you wish to continue this foolery of pretending to be an artist because you want an excuse for idleness, please yourself. But let me tell you this. Unless you report at my office on Monday morning, prepared to abandon all this idiocy and start in at the bottom of the business to work your way up, as you should have done half a dozen years ago, not another cent--not another cent--not another--Boosh!"
Then the door closed, and he was no longer with us. And I crawled out of the bombproof shelter.

"Corky, old top!" I whispered faintly.

Corky was standing staring at the picture. His face was set. There was a hunted look in his eye.

"Well, that finishes it!" he muttered brokenly.

"What are you going to do?"

"Do? What can I do? I can't stick on here if he cuts off supplies. You heard what he said. I shall have to go to the office on Monday."

I couldn't think of a thing to say. I knew exactly how he felt about the office. I don't know when I've been so infernally uncomfortable. It was like hanging round trying to make conversation to a pal who's just been sentenced to twenty years in quod.

And then a soothing voice broke the silence.

"If I might make a suggestion, sir!"

It was Jeeves. He had slid from the shadows and was gazing gravely at the picture. Upon my word, I can't give you a better idea of the shattering effect of Corky's uncle Alexander when in action than by saying that he had absolutely made me forget for the moment that Jeeves was there.

"I wonder if I have ever happened to mention to you, sir, a Mr. Digby Thistleton, with whom I was once in service? Perhaps you have met him? He was a financier. He is now Lord Bridgnorth. It was a favourite saying of his that there is always a way. The first time I heard him use the expression was after the failure of a patent depilatory which he promoted."

"Jeeves," I said, "what on earth are you talking about?"

"I mentioned Mr. Thistleton, sir, because his was in some respects a parallel case to the present one. His depilatory failed, but he did not despair. He put it on the market again under the name of Hair-o, guaranteed to produce a full crop of hair in a few months. It was advertised, if you remember, sir, by a humorous picture of a billiard-ball, before and after taking, and made such a substantial fortune that Mr. Thistleton was soon afterwards elevated to the peerage for services to his Party. It seems to me that, if Mr. Corcoran looks into the matter, he will find, like Mr. Thistleton, that there is always a way. Mr. Worple himself suggested the solution of the difficulty. In the heat of the moment he compared the portrait to an extract from a coloured comic supplement. I consider the suggestion a very valuable one, sir. Mr. Corcoran's portrait may not have pleased Mr. Worple as a likeness of his only child, but I have no doubt that editors would gladly consider it as a foundation for a series of humorous drawings. If Mr. Corcoran will allow me to make the suggestion, his talent has always been for the humorous. There is something about this picture--something bold and vigorous, which arrests the attention. I feel sure it would be highly popular."

Corky was glaring at the picture, and making a sort of dry, sucking noise with his mouth. He seemed completely overwrought.

And then suddenly he began to laugh in a wild way.

"Corky, old man!" I said, massaging him tenderly. I feared the poor blighter was hysterical.

He began to stagger about all over the floor.

"He's right! The man's absolutely right! Jeeves, you're a life-saver! You've hit on the greatest idea of the age! Report at the office on Monday! Start at the bottom of the business! I'll buy the business if I feel like it. I know the man who runs the comic section of the Sunday Star. He'll eat this thing. He was telling me only the other day how hard it was to get a good new series. He'll give me anything I ask for a real winner like this. I've got a gold-mine. Where's my hat? I've got an income for life! Where's that confounded hat? Lend me a fiver, Bertie. I want to take a taxi down to Park Row!"

Jeeves smiled paternally. Or, rather, he had a kind of paternal muscular spasm about the mouth, which is the nearest he ever gets to smiling.

"If I might make the suggestion, Mr. Corcoran--for a title of the series which you have in mind--'The Adventures of Baby Blobbs.'"

Corky and I looked at the picture, then at each other in an awed way. Jeeves was right. There could be no other title.

"Jeeves," I said. It was a few weeks later, and I had just finished looking at the comic section of the Sunday Star. "I'm an optimist. I always have been. The older I get, the more I agree with Shakespeare and those poet Johnnies about it always being darkest before the dawn and there's a silver lining and what you lose on the swings you make up on the roundabouts. Look at Mr. Corcoran, for instance. There was a fellow, one would have said, clear up to the eyebrows in the soup. To all appearances he had got it right in the neck. Yet look at him now. Have you seen these pictures?"

"I took the liberty of glancing at them before bringing them to you, sir. Extremely diverting."

"They have made a big hit, you know."

"I anticipated it, sir."

I leaned back against the pillows.

"You know, Jeeves, you're a genius. You ought to be drawing a commission on these things."

"I have nothing to complain of in that respect, sir. Mr. Corcoran has been most generous. I am putting out the brown suit, sir."

"No, I think I'll wear the blue with the faint red stripe."

"Not the blue with the faint red stripe, sir."

"But I rather fancy myself in it."

"Not the blue with the faint red stripe, sir."

"Oh, all right, have it your own way."

"Very good, sir. Thank you, sir."

Of course, I know it's as bad as being henpecked; but then Jeeves is always right.

You've got to consider that, you know. What?

Published in the US Saturday Evening Post, February 5, 1916.
unit 1
Leave it to Jeeves (1916).
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 2
By P.G.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 3
Wodehouse (1881-1975).
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 4
Jeeves--my man, you know--is really a most extraordinary chap.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 5
So capable.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 6
Honestly, I shouldn't know what to do without him.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 8
You know the Johnnies I mean.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 11
And they're right every time.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 12
Well, Jeeves gives you just the same impression of omniscience.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 15
"Jeeves," I said that evening.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 16
"I'm getting a check suit like that one of Mr.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 17
Byng's."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 18
"Injudicious, sir," he said firmly.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 19
"It will not become you."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 20
"What absolute rot!
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 21
It's the soundest thing I've struck for years."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 22
"Unsuitable for you, sir."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 24
Jeeves was perfectly right.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 25
I looked a cross between a music-hall comedian and a cheap bookie.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 26
Yet Monty had looked fine in absolutely the same stuff.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 27
These things are just Life's mysteries, and that's all there is to it.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 29
The man knows everything.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 30
There was the matter of that tip on the "Lincolnshire."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 33
He shook his head.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 34
"I'd rather not, sir."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 35
"But it's the straight goods.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 36
I'm going to put my shirt on him."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 37
"I do not recommend it, sir.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 38
The animal is not intended to win.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 39
Second place is what the stable is after."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 40
Perfect piffle, I thought, of course.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 41
How the deuce could Jeeves know anything about it?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 42
Still, you know what happened.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 44
I went straight home and rang for Jeeves.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 45
"After this," I said, "not another step for me without your advice.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 46
From now on consider yourself the brains of the establishment."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 47
"Very good, sir.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 48
I shall endeavour to give satisfaction."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 49
And he has, by Jove!
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 52
"Leave it to Jeeves," I said.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 53
I first got to know Corky when I came to New York.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 57
I'm bound to say that New York's a topping place to be exiled in.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 60
Brainy coves.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 61
Corky was one of the artists.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 62
unit 65
This makes it kind of difficult for a chappie.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 70
unit 71
He was fifty-one, and it seemed as if he might go to par.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 73
What Corky kicked at was the way the above Worple used to harry him.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 74
Corky's uncle, you see, didn't want him to be an artist.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 75
He didn't think he had any talent in that direction.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 77
Jute had apparently become a sort of obsession with him.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 78
He seemed to attach almost a spiritual importance to it.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 80
Corky, moreover, believed in his future as an artist.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 81
Some day, he said, he was going to make a hit.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 83
He wouldn't have got this if his uncle hadn't had a hobby.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 84
Mr. Worple was peculiar in this respect.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 87
But Mr. Worple in his spare time was what is known as an ornithologist.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 92
But it was pretty rotten for the poor chap.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 95
I should imagine Jeeves feels very much the same about me.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 97
The very first words I spoke were, "Corky, how about your uncle?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 98
The poor chap gave one of those mirthless laughs.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 100
"We're so scared, Mr. Wooster," said the girl.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 101
"We were hoping that you might suggest a way of breaking it to him."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 105
or words to that effect.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 106
She made me feel that there was nothing I wouldn't do for her.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 109
I felt that I was with her in this thing to the limit.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 111
"He will think Miss Singer the ideal wife for you."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 112
Corky declined to cheer up.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 113
"You don't know him.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 114
Even if he did like Muriel he wouldn't admit it.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 115
That's the sort of pig-headed guy he is.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 116
It would be a matter of principle with him to kick.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 118
He's always done it."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 119
I strained the old bean to meet this emergency.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 121
Then you come along----" "But how can I work it that way?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 122
I saw his point.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 123
That was the catch.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 124
"There's only one thing to do," I said.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 125
"What's that?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 126
"Leave it to Jeeves."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 127
And I rang the bell.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 128
"Sir?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 129
said Jeeves, kind of manifesting himself.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 134
I felt like a lost child who spots his father in the offing.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 135
There was something about him that gave me confidence.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 136
Jeeves is a tallish man, with one of those dark, shrewd faces.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 137
His eye gleams with the light of pure intelligence.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 138
"Jeeves, we want your advice."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 139
"Very good, sir."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 140
I boiled down Corky's painful case into a few well-chosen words.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 141
"So you see what it amounts to, Jeeves.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 143
Understand?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 144
"Perfectly, sir."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 145
"Well, try to think of something."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 146
"I have thought of something already, sir."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 147
"You have!"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 152
"You can count on me for all that sort of thing, Corky," I said.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 153
"Only too glad.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 154
Carry on, Jeeves."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 156
"How on earth did you know that he was fond of birds?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 157
"It is the way these New York apartments are constructed, sir.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 158
Quite unlike our London houses.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 159
The partitions between the rooms are of the flimsiest nature.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 161
"Oh!
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 162
Well?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 171
"Jeeves," I said, "that is absolutely ripping!
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 172
One of your very best efforts."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 173
"Thank you, sir."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 174
The girl made an objection.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 175
"But I'm sure I couldn't write a book about anything.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 176
I can't even write good letters."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 180
I saw what he meant.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 184
They don't seem able to stick it at any price.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 185
But Jeeves had a solution, of course.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 188
"That's true," said Corky.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 189
"Sam Patterson would do it for a hundred dollars.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 191
A little thing like this would be nothing to him.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 192
I'll get after him right away."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 193
"Fine!"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 194
"Will that be all, sir?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 195
said Jeeves.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 196
"Very good, sir.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 197
Thank you, sir."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 200
I know, because I've been one myself.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 204
It was certainly some book.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 206
I opened a copy at random.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 209
You see.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 210
A boost for the uncle right away.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 212
It was great stuff.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 214
I didn't see how the uncle could fail to drop.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 216
"It's a cert!"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 217
I said.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 218
"An absolute cinch!"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 219
said Corky.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 223
Shortly after this I had to go out of town.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 226
Corky, I took it, was out telephoning.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 227
I went up and passed the time of day.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 228
"Well, well, well, what?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 229
I said.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 230
"Why, Mr. Wooster!
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 231
How do you do?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 232
"Corky around?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 233
"I beg your pardon?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 234
"You're waiting for Corky, aren't you?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 235
"Oh, I didn't understand.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 236
No, I'm not waiting for him."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 238
"I say, you haven't had a row with Corky, have you?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 239
"A row?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 241
"Why, whatever makes you think that?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 242
"Oh, well, as it were, what?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 244
"I've left the stage now."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 245
Suddenly the whole thing dawned on me.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 246
I had forgotten what a long time I had been away.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 247
"Why, of course, I see now!
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 248
You're married!"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 249
"Yes."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 250
"How perfectly topping!
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 251
I wish you all kinds of happiness."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 252
"Thank you, so much.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 253
Oh Alexander," she said, looking past me, "this is a friend of mine--Mr.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 254
Wooster."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 255
I spun round.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 257
unit 258
"I want you to meet my husband, Mr. Wooster.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 259
Mr. Wooster is a friend of Bruce's, Alexander."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 261
The place was rocking.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 262
Absolutely.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 263
"So you know my nephew, Mr. Wooster," I heard him say.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 265
But I have an idea that he is steadying down.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 267
He seemed altogether quieter and more serious.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 268
Something seemed to have sobered him.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 270
Or have you dined?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 271
I said I had.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 272
What I needed then was air, not dinner.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 273
I felt that I wanted to get into the open and think this thing out.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 274
When I reached my apartment I heard Jeeves moving about in his lair.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 275
I called him.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 277
A stiff b.-and-s. first of all, and then I've a bit of news for you."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 278
He came back with a tray and a long glass.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 279
"Better have one yourself, Jeeves.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 280
You'll need it."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 281
"Later on, perhaps, thank you, sir."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 282
"All right.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 283
Please yourself.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 284
But you're going to get a shock.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 285
You remember my friend, Mr.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 286
Corcoran?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 287
"Yes, sir."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 289
"Perfectly, sir."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 290
"Well, she's slid.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 291
She's married the uncle."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 292
He took it without blinking.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 293
You can't rattle Jeeves.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 294
"That was always a development to be feared, sir."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 295
"You don't mean to tell me that you were expecting it?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 296
"It crossed my mind as a possibility."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 297
"Did it, by Jove!
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 298
Well, I think, you might have warned us!"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 299
"I hardly liked to take the liberty, sir."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 302
I cut Washington Square out absolutely for the next few months.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 303
I gave it the complete missin-baulk.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 307
I told Jeeves to drink it himself.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 308
I was bowled over.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 309
Absolutely.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 310
It was the limit.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 311
I hardly knew what to do.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 313
Absent treatment seemed the touch.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 314
I gave it him in waves.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 315
But after a month or so I began to hesitate again.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 319
A fellow has to be ready for that sort of thing.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 320
"Oh, ah!"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 321
I said, and started to back out.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 322
Corky looked over his shoulder.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 323
"Halloa, Bertie.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 324
Don't go.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 325
We're just finishing for the day.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 327
"At the same hour to-morrow, Mr.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 328
Corcoran?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 329
"Yes, please."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 330
"Good afternoon."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 331
"Good afternoon."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 334
"It's my uncle's idea," he said.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 335
"Muriel doesn't know about it yet.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 336
The portrait's to be a surprise for her on her birthday.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 340
Can you beat it!
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 345
I patted his shoulder silently.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 346
My sympathy for the poor old scout was too deep for words.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 348
Besides, I'm bound to say that nurse intimidated me.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 349
She reminded me so infernally of Aunt Agatha.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 350
She was the same gimlet-eyed type.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 351
But one afternoon Corky called me on the 'phone.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 352
"Bertie."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 353
"Halloa?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 354
"Are you doing anything this afternoon?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 355
"Nothing special."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 356
"You couldn't come down here, could you?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 357
"What's the trouble?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 358
Anything up?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 359
"I've finished the portrait."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 360
"Good boy!
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 361
Stout work!"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 362
"Yes."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 363
His voice sounded rather doubtful.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 364
"The fact is, Bertie, it doesn't look quite right to me.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 366
I began to see that I was letting myself in for something.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 367
The sympathetic co-operation of Jeeves seemed to me to be indicated.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 368
"You think he'll cut up rough?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 369
"He may."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 371
It was only too easy.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 372
I spoke to Corky firmly on the telephone.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 373
"I'll come," I said.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 374
"Good!"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 375
"But only if I may bring Jeeves!"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 376
"Why Jeeves?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 377
What's Jeeves got to do with it?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 378
Who wants Jeeves?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 382
"Oh, all right," said Corky.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 384
"Very good, sir," said Jeeves.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 385
That's the sort of chap he is.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 386
You can't rattle him.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 388
"Stand right where you are, Bertie," he said, without moving.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 389
"Now, tell me honestly, how does it strike you?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 390
The light from the big window fell right on the picture.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 391
I took a good look at it.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 392
Then I shifted a bit nearer and took another look.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 394
"Well?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 395
said Corky, anxiously.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 396
I hesitated a bit.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 398
"As ugly as that?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 399
I looked again, and honesty compelled me to be frank.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 400
"I don't see how it could have been, old chap."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 402
He groaned.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 403
"You're right quite, Bertie.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 404
Something's gone wrong with the darned thing.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 407
"But could a child of that age have a soul like that?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 408
I don't see how he could have managed it in the time.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 409
What do you think, Jeeves?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 410
"I doubt it, sir."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 411
"It--it sorts of leers at you, doesn't it?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 412
"You've noticed that, too?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 413
said Corky.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 414
"I don't see how one could help noticing."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 415
"All I tried to do was to give the little brute a cheerful expression.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 416
But, as it worked out, he looks positively dissipated."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 417
"Just what I was going to suggest, old man.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 419
Don't you think so, Jeeves?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 420
"He has a decidedly inebriated air, sir."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 422
For about three seconds all was joy, jollity, and goodwill.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 424
unit 426
Well, bring it out.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 427
Let's have a look at it.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 428
This will be a wonderful surprise for your aunt.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 429
Where is it?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 431
"Oosh!"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 432
he exclaimed.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 434
"Is this a practical joke?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 436
I thought it was up to me to rally round old Corky.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 437
"You want to stand a bit farther away from it," I said.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 438
"You're perfectly right!"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 439
he snorted.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 440
"I do!
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 444
A painter!
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 445
I wouldn't let you paint a house of mine!
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 447
He swung towards the door, lashing his tail and growling to himself.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 448
"This ends it!
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 450
But let me tell you this.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 452
Then the door closed, and he was no longer with us.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 453
And I crawled out of the bombproof shelter.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 454
"Corky, old top!"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 455
I whispered faintly.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 456
Corky was standing staring at the picture.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 457
His face was set.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 458
There was a hunted look in his eye.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 459
"Well, that finishes it!"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 460
he muttered brokenly.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 461
"What are you going to do?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 462
"Do?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 463
What can I do?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 464
I can't stick on here if he cuts off supplies.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 465
You heard what he said.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 466
I shall have to go to the office on Monday."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 467
I couldn't think of a thing to say.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 468
I knew exactly how he felt about the office.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 469
I don't know when I've been so infernally uncomfortable.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 471
And then a soothing voice broke the silence.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 472
"If I might make a suggestion, sir!"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 473
It was Jeeves.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 474
He had slid from the shadows and was gazing gravely at the picture.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 477
Perhaps you have met him?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 478
He was a financier.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 479
He is now Lord Bridgnorth.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 480
It was a favourite saying of his that there is always a way.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 482
"Jeeves," I said, "what on earth are you talking about?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 484
His depilatory failed, but he did not despair.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 488
Mr. Worple himself suggested the solution of the difficulty.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 490
I consider the suggestion a very valuable one, sir.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 494
I feel sure it would be highly popular."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 496
He seemed completely overwrought.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 497
And then suddenly he began to laugh in a wild way.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 498
"Corky, old man!"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 499
I said, massaging him tenderly.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 500
I feared the poor blighter was hysterical.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 501
He began to stagger about all over the floor.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 502
"He's right!
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 503
The man's absolutely right!
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 504
Jeeves, you're a life-saver!
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 505
You've hit on the greatest idea of the age!
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 506
Report at the office on Monday!
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 507
Start at the bottom of the business!
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 508
I'll buy the business if I feel like it.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 509
I know the man who runs the comic section of the Sunday Star.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 510
He'll eat this thing.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 511
unit 512
He'll give me anything I ask for a real winner like this.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 513
I've got a gold-mine.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 514
Where's my hat?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 515
I've got an income for life!
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 516
Where's that confounded hat?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 517
Lend me a fiver, Bertie.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 518
I want to take a taxi down to Park Row!"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 519
Jeeves smiled paternally.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 522
Corky and I looked at the picture, then at each other in an awed way.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 523
Jeeves was right.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 524
There could be no other title.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 525
"Jeeves," I said.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 527
"I'm an optimist.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 528
I always have been.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 530
Look at Mr. Corcoran, for instance.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 531
unit 532
To all appearances he had got it right in the neck.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 533
Yet look at him now.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 534
Have you seen these pictures?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 535
unit 536
Extremely diverting."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 537
"They have made a big hit, you know."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 538
"I anticipated it, sir."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 539
I leaned back against the pillows.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 540
"You know, Jeeves, you're a genius.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 541
You ought to be drawing a commission on these things."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 542
"I have nothing to complain of in that respect, sir.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 543
Mr. Corcoran has been most generous.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 544
I am putting out the brown suit, sir."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 545
"No, I think I'll wear the blue with the faint red stripe."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 546
"Not the blue with the faint red stripe, sir."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 547
"But I rather fancy myself in it."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 548
"Not the blue with the faint red stripe, sir."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 549
"Oh, all right, have it your own way."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 550
"Very good, sir.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 551
Thank you, sir."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 553
You've got to consider that, you know.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 554
What?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 555
Published in the US Saturday Evening Post, February 5, 1916.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None

Leave it to Jeeves (1916).

By P.G. Wodehouse (1881-1975).

Jeeves--my man, you know--is really a most extraordinary chap. So capable. Honestly, I shouldn't know what to do without him. On broader lines he's like those chappies who sit peering sadly over the marble battlements at the Pennsylvania Station in the place
marked "Inquiries." You know the Johnnies I mean. You go up to them and say: "When's the next train for Melonsquashville, Tennessee?" and they reply, without stopping to think, "Two-forty-three, track ten, change at San Francisco." And they're right every time. Well, Jeeves gives you just the same impression of omniscience.

As an instance of what I mean, I remember meeting Monty Byng in Bond Street one morning, looking the last word in a grey check suit, and I felt I should never be happy till I had one like it. I dug the address of the tailors out of him, and had them working on
the thing inside the hour.

"Jeeves," I said that evening. "I'm getting a check suit like that one of Mr. Byng's."

"Injudicious, sir," he said firmly. "It will not become you."

"What absolute rot! It's the soundest thing I've struck for years."

"Unsuitable for you, sir."

Well, the long and the short of it was that the confounded thing came home, and I put it on, and when I caught sight of myself in the glass I nearly swooned. Jeeves was perfectly right. I looked a cross between a music-hall comedian and a cheap bookie. Yet Monty had looked fine in absolutely the same stuff. These things are just Life's
mysteries, and that's all there is to it.

But it isn't only that Jeeves's judgment about clothes is infallible, though, of course, that's really the main thing. The man knows everything. There was the matter of that tip on the "Lincolnshire." I forget now how I got it, but it had the aspect of being the real, red-hot tabasco.

"Jeeves," I said, for I'm fond of the man, and like to do him a good turn when I can, "if you want to make a bit of money have something on Wonderchild for the 'Lincolnshire.'"

He shook his head.

"I'd rather not, sir."

"But it's the straight goods. I'm going to put my shirt on him."

"I do not recommend it, sir. The animal is not intended to win. Second place is what the stable is after."

Perfect piffle, I thought, of course. How the deuce could Jeeves know anything about it? Still, you know what happened. Wonderchild led till he was breathing on the wire, and then Banana Fritter came along and nosed him out. I went straight home and rang
for Jeeves.

"After this," I said, "not another step for me without your advice. From now on consider yourself the brains of the establishment."

"Very good, sir. I shall endeavour to give satisfaction."

And he has, by Jove! I'm a bit short on brain myself; the old bean would appear to have been constructed more for ornament than for use, don't you know; but give me five minutes to talk the thing over with Jeeves, and I'm game to advise any one about
anything. And that's why, when Bruce Corcoran came to me with his troubles, my first act was to ring the bell and put it up to the lad with the bulging forehead.

"Leave it to Jeeves," I said.

I first got to know Corky when I came to New York. He was a pal of my cousin Gussie, who was in with a lot of people down Washington Square way. I don't know if I ever told you about it, but the reason why I left England was because I was sent over by my Aunt Agatha to try to stop young Gussie marrying a girl on the vaudeville stage, and I got the whole thing so mixed up that I decided that it would be a sound scheme for me to stop on in America for a bit instead of going back and having long cosy chats about the thing with aunt. So I sent Jeeves out to find a decent apartment, and settled down for a bit of exile. I'm bound to say that New York's a topping place to be exiled in. Everybody was awfully good to me, and there seemed to be plenty of things going on, and I'm a wealthy bird, so everything was fine. Chappies introduced me to other chappies, and so on and so forth, and it wasn't long before I knew squads of the right sort, some who rolled in dollars in houses up by the Park, and others who lived with the gas turned down mostly around Washington Square--artists and writers and so forth. Brainy coves.

Corky was one of the artists. A portrait-painter, he called himself, but he hadn't painted any portraits. He was sitting on the side-lines with a blanket over his shoulders, waiting for a chance to get into the game. You see, the catch about portrait-painting--I've looked
into the thing a bit--is that you can't start painting portraits till people come along and ask you to, and they won't come and ask you to until you've painted a lot first. This makes it kind of difficult for a chappie. Corky managed to get along by drawing an occasional picture for the comic papers--he had rather a gift for funny stuff when he got
a good idea--and doing bedsteads and chairs and things for the advertisements. His principal source of income, however, was derived from biting the ear of a rich uncle--one Alexander Worple, who was in the jute business. I'm a bit foggy as to what jute is, but it's apparently something the populace is pretty keen on, for Mr. Worple had made quite an indecently large stack out of it.

Now, a great many fellows think that having a rich uncle is a pretty soft snap: but, according to Corky, such is not the case. Corky's uncle was a robust sort of cove, who looked like living for ever. He was fifty-one, and it seemed as if he might go to par. It
was not this, however, that distressed poor old Corky, for he was not bigoted and had no objection to the man going on living. What Corky kicked at was the way the above Worple used to harry him.

Corky's uncle, you see, didn't want him to be an artist. He didn't think he had any talent in that direction. He was always urging him to chuck Art and go into the jute business and start at the bottom and work his way up. Jute had apparently become a sort of
obsession with him. He seemed to attach almost a spiritual importance to it. And what Corky said was that, while he didn't know what they did at the bottom of the jute business, instinct told him that it was something too beastly for words. Corky, moreover,
believed in his future as an artist. Some day, he said, he was going to make a hit. Meanwhile, by using the utmost tact and persuasiveness, he was inducing his uncle to cough up very grudgingly a small quarterly allowance.

He wouldn't have got this if his uncle hadn't had a hobby. Mr. Worple was peculiar in this respect. As a rule, from what I've observed, the American captain of industry doesn't do anything out of business hours. When he has put the cat out and locked up the office for the night, he just relapses into a state of coma from which he emerges only to start being a captain of industry again. But Mr. Worple in his spare time was what is known as an ornithologist. He had written a book called American Birds, and was writing another, to be called More American Birds. When he had finished that, the presumption
was that he would begin a third, and keep on till the supply of American birds gave out. Corky used to go to him about once every three months and let him talk about American
birds. Apparently you could do what you liked with old Worple if you gave him his head first on his pet subject, so these little chats used to make Corky's allowance all right for the time being. But it was pretty rotten for the poor chap. There was the frightful
suspense, you see, and, apart from that, birds, except when broiled and in the society of a cold bottle, bored him stiff.

To complete the character-study of Mr. Worple, he was a man of extremely uncertain temper, and his general tendency was to think that Corky was a poor chump and that whatever step he took in any direction on his own account, was just another proof of
his innate idiocy. I should imagine Jeeves feels very much the same about me.

So when Corky trickled into my apartment one afternoon, shooing a girl in front of him, and said, "Bertie, I want you to meet my fiancee, Miss Singer," the aspect of the matter
which hit me first was precisely the one which he had come to consult me about. The very first words I spoke were, "Corky, how about your uncle?"

The poor chap gave one of those mirthless laughs. He was looking anxious and worried, like a man who has done the murder all right but can't think what the deuce to do with the body.

"We're so scared, Mr. Wooster," said the girl. "We were hoping that you might suggest a way of breaking it to him."

Muriel Singer was one of those very quiet, appealing girls who have a way of looking at you with their big eyes as if they thought you were the greatest thing on earth and wondered that you hadn't got on to it yet yourself. She sat there in a sort of shrinking way, looking at me as if she were saying to herself, "Oh, I do hope this great strong
man isn't going to hurt me." She gave a fellow a protective kind of feeling, made him want to stroke her hand and say, "There, there, little one!" or words to that effect. She made me feel that there was nothing I wouldn't do for her. She was rather like one of those innocent-tasting American drinks which creep imperceptibly into your system so
that, before you know what you're doing, you're starting out to reform the world by force if necessary and pausing on your way to tell the large man in the corner that, if he looks
at you like that, you will knock his head off. What I mean is, she made me feel alert and dashing, like a jolly old knight-errant or something of that kind. I felt that I was with her in this thing to the limit.

"I don't see why your uncle shouldn't be most awfully bucked," I said to Corky. "He will think Miss Singer the ideal wife for you."

Corky declined to cheer up.

"You don't know him. Even if he did like Muriel he wouldn't admit it. That's the sort of pig-headed guy he is. It would be a matter of principle with him to kick. All he would consider would be that I had gone and taken an important step without asking his advice, and he would raise Cain automatically. He's always done it."

I strained the old bean to meet this emergency.

"You want to work it so that he makes Miss Singer's acquaintance without knowing that you know her. Then you come along----"

"But how can I work it that way?"

I saw his point. That was the catch.

"There's only one thing to do," I said.

"What's that?"

"Leave it to Jeeves."

And I rang the bell.

"Sir?" said Jeeves, kind of manifesting himself. One of the rummy things about Jeeves is that, unless you watch like a hawk, you very seldom see him come into a room. He's like one of those weird chappies in India who dissolve themselves into thin air and nip through space in a sort of disembodied way and assemble the parts again just where they want them. I've got a cousin who's what they call a Theosophist, and he says he's often nearly worked the thing himself, but couldn't quite bring it off, probably owing to having fed in his boyhood on the flesh of animals slain in anger and pie.

The moment I saw the man standing there, registering respectful attention, a weight seemed to roll off my mind. I felt like a lost child who spots his father in the offing. There was something about him that gave me confidence.

Jeeves is a tallish man, with one of those dark, shrewd faces. His eye gleams with the light of pure intelligence.

"Jeeves, we want your advice."

"Very good, sir."

I boiled down Corky's painful case into a few well-chosen words.

"So you see what it amounts to, Jeeves. We want you to suggest some way by which Mr. Worple can make Miss Singer's acquaintance without getting on to the fact that Mr.
Corcoran already knows her. Understand?"

"Perfectly, sir."

"Well, try to think of something."

"I have thought of something already, sir."

"You have!"

"The scheme I would suggest cannot fail of success, but it has what may seem to you a drawback, sir, in that it requires a certain financial outlay."

"He means," I translated to Corky, "that he has got a pippin of an idea, but it's going to cost a bit."

Naturally the poor chap's face dropped, for this seemed to dish the whole thing. But I was still under the influence of the girl's melting gaze, and I saw that this was where I started in as a knight-errant.

"You can count on me for all that sort of thing, Corky," I said. "Only too glad. Carry on, Jeeves."

"I would suggest, sir, that Mr. Corcoran take advantage of Mr. Worple's attachment to ornithology."

"How on earth did you know that he was fond of birds?"

"It is the way these New York apartments are constructed, sir. Quite unlike our London houses. The partitions between the rooms are of the flimsiest nature. With no wish to
overhear, I have sometimes heard Mr. Corcoran expressing himself with a generous strength on the subject I have mentioned."

"Oh! Well?"

"Why should not the young lady write a small volume, to be entitled--let us say--The Children's Book of American Birds, and dedicate it to Mr. Worple! A limited edition could be published at your expense, sir, and a great deal of the book would, of course, be given over to eulogistic remarks concerning Mr. Worple's own larger treatise on the
same subject. I should recommend the dispatching of a presentation copy to Mr. Worple, immediately on publication, accompanied by a letter in which the young lady asks to be allowed to make the acquaintance of one to whom she owes so much. This
would, I fancy, produce the desired result, but as I say, the expense involved would be considerable."

I felt like the proprietor of a performing dog on the vaudeville stage when the tyke has just pulled off his trick without a hitch. I had betted on Jeeves all along, and I had known that he wouldn't let me down. It beats me sometimes why a man with his genius is satisfied to hang around pressing my clothes and whatnot. If I had half Jeeves's brain, I should have a stab, at being Prime Minister or something.

"Jeeves," I said, "that is absolutely ripping! One of your very best efforts."

"Thank you, sir."

The girl made an objection.

"But I'm sure I couldn't write a book about anything. I can't even write good letters." "Muriel's talents," said Corky, with a little cough "lie more in the direction of the drama, Bertie. I didn't mention it before, but one of our reasons for being a trifle nervous as to
how Uncle Alexander will receive the news is that Muriel is in the chorus of that show Choose your Exit at the Manhattan. It's absurdly unreasonable, but we both feel that that fact might increase Uncle Alexander's natural tendency to kick like a steer."

I saw what he meant. Goodness knows there was fuss enough in our family when I tried to marry into musical comedy a few years ago. And the recollection of my Aunt Agatha's
attitude in the matter of Gussie and the vaudeville girl was still fresh in my mind. I don't know why it is--one of these psychology sharps could explain it, I suppose--but uncles and aunts, as a class, are always dead against the drama, legitimate or otherwise. They
don't seem able to stick it at any price.

But Jeeves had a solution, of course.

"I fancy it would be a simple matter, sir, to find some impecunious author who would be glad to do the actual composition of the volume for a small fee. It is only necessary that the young lady's name should appear on the title page."

"That's true," said Corky. "Sam Patterson would do it for a hundred dollars. He writes a novelette, three short stories, and ten thousand words of a serial for one of the all-fiction
magazines under different names every month. A little thing like this would be nothing to him. I'll get after him right away."

"Fine!"

"Will that be all, sir?" said Jeeves. "Very good, sir. Thank you, sir."

I always used to think that publishers had to be devilish intelligent fellows, loaded down with the grey matter; but I've got their number now. All a publisher has to do is to write
cheques at intervals, while a lot of deserving and industrious chappies rally round and do the real work. I know, because I've been one myself. I simply sat tight in the old apartment with a fountain-pen, and in due season a topping, shiny book came along.

I happened to be down at Corky's place when the first copies of The Children's Book of American Birds bobbed up. Muriel Singer was there, and we were talking of things in
general when there was a bang at the door and the parcel was delivered.

It was certainly some book. It had a red cover with a fowl of some species on it, and underneath the girl's name in gold letters. I opened a copy at random.

"Often of a spring morning," it said at the top of page twenty-one, "as you wander through the fields, you will hear the sweet-toned, carelessly flowing warble of the purple finch linnet. When you are older you must read all about him in Mr. Alexander Worple's
wonderful book--American Birds."

You see. A boost for the uncle right away. And only a few pages later there he was in the limelight again in connection with the yellow-billed cuckoo. It was great stuff. The
more I read, the more I admired the chap who had written it and Jeeves's genius in putting us on to the wheeze. I didn't see how the uncle could fail to drop. You can't call a chap the world's greatest authority on the yellow-billed cuckoo without rousing a certain disposition towards chumminess in him.

"It's a cert!" I said.

"An absolute cinch!" said Corky.

And a day or two later he meandered up the Avenue to my apartment to tell me that all was well. The uncle had written Muriel a letter so dripping with the milk of human kindness that if he hadn't known Mr. Worple's handwriting Corky would have refused to believe him the author of it. Any time it suited Miss Singer to call, said the uncle, he
would be delighted to make her acquaintance.

Shortly after this I had to go out of town. Divers sound sportsmen had invited me to pay visits to their country places, and it wasn't for several months that I settled down in the
city again. I had been wondering a lot, of course, about Corky, whether it all turned out right, and so forth, and my first evening in New York, happening to pop into a quiet sort of little restaurant which I go to when I don't feel inclined for the bright lights, I found
Muriel Singer there, sitting by herself at a table near the door. Corky, I took it, was out telephoning. I went up and passed the time of day.

"Well, well, well, what?" I said.

"Why, Mr. Wooster! How do you do?"

"Corky around?"

"I beg your pardon?"

"You're waiting for Corky, aren't you?"

"Oh, I didn't understand. No, I'm not waiting for him."

It seemed to roe that there was a sort of something in her voice, a kind of thingummy, you know.

"I say, you haven't had a row with Corky, have you?"

"A row?"

"A spat, don't you know--little misunderstanding--faults on both sides--er--and all that sort of thing."

"Why, whatever makes you think that?"

"Oh, well, as it were, what? What I mean is--I thought you usually dined with him before you went to the theatre."

"I've left the stage now."

Suddenly the whole thing dawned on me. I had forgotten what a long time I had been away.

"Why, of course, I see now! You're married!"

"Yes."

"How perfectly topping! I wish you all kinds of happiness."

"Thank you, so much. Oh Alexander," she said, looking past me, "this is a friend of mine--Mr. Wooster."

I spun round. A chappie with a lot of stiff grey hair and a red sort of healthy face was standing there. Rather a formidable Johnnie, he looked, though quite peaceful at the moment.

"I want you to meet my husband, Mr. Wooster. Mr. Wooster is a friend of Bruce's, Alexander."

The old boy grasped my hand warmly, and that was all that kept me from hitting the floor in a heap. The place was rocking. Absolutely.

"So you know my nephew, Mr. Wooster," I heard him say. "I wish you would try to knock a little sense into him and make him quit this playing at painting. But I have an idea that
he is steadying down. I noticed it first that night he came to dinner with us, my dear, to be introduced to you. He seemed altogether quieter and more serious. Something seemed to have sobered him. Perhaps you will give us the pleasure of your company at dinner to-night, Mr. Wooster? Or have you dined?"

I said I had. What I needed then was air, not dinner. I felt that I wanted to get into the open and think this thing out.

When I reached my apartment I heard Jeeves moving about in his lair. I called him.

"Jeeves," I said, "now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party. A stiff b.-and-s. first of all, and then I've a bit of news for you."

He came back with a tray and a long glass.

"Better have one yourself, Jeeves. You'll need it."

"Later on, perhaps, thank you, sir."

"All right. Please yourself. But you're going to get a shock. You remember my friend, Mr. Corcoran?"

"Yes, sir."

"And the girl who was to slide gracefully into his uncle's esteem by writing the book on birds?"

"Perfectly, sir."

"Well, she's slid. She's married the uncle."

He took it without blinking. You can't rattle Jeeves.

"That was always a development to be feared, sir."

"You don't mean to tell me that you were expecting it?"

"It crossed my mind as a possibility."

"Did it, by Jove! Well, I think, you might have warned us!"

"I hardly liked to take the liberty, sir."

Of course, as I saw after I had had a bite to eat and was in a calmer frame of mind, what had happened wasn't my fault, if you come down to it. I couldn't be expected to foresee that the scheme, in itself a cracker-jack, would skid into the ditch as it had done; but all the same I'm bound to admit that I didn't relish the idea of meeting Corky again until time, the great healer, had been able to get in a bit of soothing work. I cut Washington Square out absolutely for the next few months. I gave it the complete missin-baulk. And then, just when I was beginning to think I might safely pop down in that direction and gather up the dropped threads, so to speak, time, instead of working the healing wheeze, went and pulled the most awful bone and put the lid on it. Opening the paper one morning, I read that Mrs. Alexander Worple had presented her husband with a son and heir.

I was so darned sorry for poor old Corky that I hadn't the heart to touch my breakfast. I told Jeeves to drink it himself. I was bowled over. Absolutely. It was the limit. I hardly knew what to do. I wanted, of course, to rush down to Washington Square and grip the poor blighter silently by the hand; and then, thinking it over, I hadn't the nerve.
Absent treatment seemed the touch. I gave it him in waves.

But after a month or so I began to hesitate again. It struck me that it was playing it a bit low-down on the poor chap, avoiding him like this just when he probably wanted his pals to surge round him most. I pictured him sitting in his lonely studio with no company
but his bitter thoughts, and the pathos of it got me to such an extent that I bounded straight into a taxi and told the driver to go all out for the studio.

I rushed in, and there was Corky, hunched up at the easel, painting away, while on the model throne sat a severe-looking female of middle age, holding a baby.

A fellow has to be ready for that sort of thing.

"Oh, ah!" I said, and started to back out.

Corky looked over his shoulder.

"Halloa, Bertie. Don't go. We're just finishing for the day. That will be all this afternoon," he said to the nurse, who got up with the baby and decanted it into a perambulator which was standing in the fairway.

"At the same hour to-morrow, Mr. Corcoran?"

"Yes, please."

"Good afternoon."

"Good afternoon."

Corky stood there, looking at the door, and then he turned to me and began to get it off his chest. Fortunately, he seemed to take it for granted that I knew all about what had happened, so it wasn't as awkward as it might have been.

"It's my uncle's idea," he said. "Muriel doesn't know about it yet. The portrait's to be a surprise for her on her birthday. The nurse takes the kid out ostensibly to get a breather, and they beat it down here. If you want an instance of the irony of fate, Bertie, get acquainted with this. Here's the first commission I have ever had to paint a portrait, and
the sitter is that human poached egg that has butted in and bounced me out of my inheritance. Can you beat it! I call it rubbing the thing in to expect me to spend my afternoons gazing into the ugly face of a little brat who to all intents and purposes has hit me behind the ear with a blackjack and swiped all I possess. I can't refuse to paint the portrait because if I did my uncle would stop my allowance; yet every time I look up and catch that kid's vacant eye, I suffer agonies. I tell you, Bertie, sometimes when he
gives me a patronizing glance and then turns away and is sick, as if it revolted him to look at me, I come within an ace of occupying the entire front page of the evening papers as the latest murder sensation. There are moments when I can almost see the
headlines: 'Promising Young Artist Beans Baby With Axe.'"

I patted his shoulder silently. My sympathy for the poor old scout was too deep for words.

I kept away from the studio for some time after that, because it didn't seem right to me to intrude on the poor chappie's sorrow. Besides, I'm bound to say that nurse intimidated me. She reminded me so infernally of Aunt Agatha. She was the same gimlet-eyed type.

But one afternoon Corky called me on the 'phone.

"Bertie."

"Halloa?"

"Are you doing anything this afternoon?"

"Nothing special."

"You couldn't come down here, could you?"

"What's the trouble? Anything up?"

"I've finished the portrait."

"Good boy! Stout work!"

"Yes." His voice sounded rather doubtful. "The fact is, Bertie, it doesn't look quite right to me. There's something about it--My uncle's coming in half an hour to inspect it, and--I don't know why it is, but I kind of feel I'd like your moral support!"

I began to see that I was letting myself in for something. The sympathetic co-operation of Jeeves seemed to me to be indicated.

"You think he'll cut up rough?"

"He may."

I threw my mind back to the red-faced chappie I had met at the restaurant, and tried to picture him cutting up rough. It was only too easy. I spoke to Corky firmly on the telephone.

"I'll come," I said.

"Good!"

"But only if I may bring Jeeves!"

"Why Jeeves? What's Jeeves got to do with it? Who wants Jeeves? Jeeves is the fool who suggested the scheme that has led----"

"Listen, Corky, old top! If you think I am going to face that uncle of yours without
Jeeves's support, you're mistaken. I'd sooner go into a den of wild beasts and bite a lion on the back of the neck."

"Oh, all right," said Corky. Not cordially, but he said it; so I rang for Jeeves, and explained the situation.

"Very good, sir," said Jeeves.

That's the sort of chap he is. You can't rattle him.

We found Corky near the door, looking at the picture, with one hand up in a defensive sort of way, as if he thought it might swing on him.

"Stand right where you are, Bertie," he said, without moving. "Now, tell me honestly, how does it strike you?"

The light from the big window fell right on the picture. I took a good look at it. Then I shifted a bit nearer and took another look. Then I went back to where I had been at first, because it hadn't seemed quite so bad from there.

"Well?" said Corky, anxiously.

I hesitated a bit.

"Of course, old man, I only saw the kid once, and then only for a moment, but--but it was an ugly sort of kid, wasn't it, if I remember rightly?"

"As ugly as that?"

I looked again, and honesty compelled me to be frank.

"I don't see how it could have been, old chap."

Poor old Corky ran his fingers through his hair in a temperamental sort of way. He groaned.

"You're right quite, Bertie. Something's gone wrong with the darned thing. My private impression is that, without knowing it, I've worked that stunt that Sargent and those fellows pull--painting the soul of the sitter. I've got through the mere outward appearance, and have put the child's soul on canvas."

"But could a child of that age have a soul like that? I don't see how he could have managed it in the time. What do you think, Jeeves?"

"I doubt it, sir."

"It--it sorts of leers at you, doesn't it?"

"You've noticed that, too?" said Corky.

"I don't see how one could help noticing."

"All I tried to do was to give the little brute a cheerful expression. But, as it worked out, he looks positively dissipated."

"Just what I was going to suggest, old man. He looks as if he were in the middle of a colossal spree, and enjoying every minute of it. Don't you think so, Jeeves?"

"He has a decidedly inebriated air, sir."

Corky was starting to say something when the door opened, and the uncle came in. For about three seconds all was joy, jollity, and goodwill. The old boy shook hands with me, slapped Corky on the back, said that he didn't think he had ever seen such a fine
day, and whacked his leg with his stick. Jeeves had projected himself into the background, and he didn't notice him.

"Well, Bruce, my boy; so the portrait is really finished, is it--really finished? Well, bring it out. Let's have a look at it. This will be a wonderful surprise for your aunt. Where is it? Let's----"

And then he got it--suddenly, when he wasn't set for the punch; and he rocked back on his heels.

"Oosh!" he exclaimed. And for perhaps a minute there was one of the scaliest silences I've ever run up against.

"Is this a practical joke?" he said at last, in a way that set about sixteen draughts cutting through the room at once.

I thought it was up to me to rally round old Corky.

"You want to stand a bit farther away from it," I said.

"You're perfectly right!" he snorted. "I do! I want to stand so far away from it that I can't see the thing with a telescope!" He turned on Corky like an untamed tiger of the jungle who has just located a chunk of meat. "And this--this--is what you have been wasting
your time and my money for all these years! A painter! I wouldn't let you paint a house of mine! I gave you this commission, thinking that you were a competent worker, and this--this--this extract from a comic coloured supplement is the result!" He swung
towards the door, lashing his tail and growling to himself. "This ends it! If you wish to continue this foolery of pretending to be an artist because you want an excuse for idleness, please yourself. But let me tell you this. Unless you report at my office on
Monday morning, prepared to abandon all this idiocy and start in at the bottom of the business to work your way up, as you should have done half a dozen years ago, not another cent--not another cent--not another--Boosh!"
Then the door closed, and he was no longer with us. And I crawled out of the bombproof shelter.

"Corky, old top!" I whispered faintly.

Corky was standing staring at the picture. His face was set. There was a hunted look in his eye.

"Well, that finishes it!" he muttered brokenly.

"What are you going to do?"

"Do? What can I do? I can't stick on here if he cuts off supplies. You heard what he said. I shall have to go to the office on Monday."

I couldn't think of a thing to say. I knew exactly how he felt about the office. I don't know when I've been so infernally uncomfortable. It was like hanging round trying to make conversation to a pal who's just been sentenced to twenty years in quod.

And then a soothing voice broke the silence.

"If I might make a suggestion, sir!"

It was Jeeves. He had slid from the shadows and was gazing gravely at the picture. Upon my word, I can't give you a better idea of the shattering effect of Corky's uncle Alexander when in action than by saying that he had absolutely made me forget for the
moment that Jeeves was there.

"I wonder if I have ever happened to mention to you, sir, a Mr. Digby Thistleton, with whom I was once in service? Perhaps you have met him? He was a financier. He is now Lord Bridgnorth. It was a favourite saying of his that there is always a way. The
first time I heard him use the expression was after the failure of a patent depilatory which he promoted."

"Jeeves," I said, "what on earth are you talking about?"

"I mentioned Mr. Thistleton, sir, because his was in some respects a parallel case to the present one. His depilatory failed, but he did not despair. He put it on the market
again under the name of Hair-o, guaranteed to produce a full crop of hair in a few months. It was advertised, if you remember, sir, by a humorous picture of a billiard-ball, before and after taking, and made such a substantial fortune that Mr. Thistleton was soon afterwards elevated to the peerage for services to his Party. It seems to me that, if Mr. Corcoran looks into the matter, he will find, like Mr. Thistleton, that there is always
a way. Mr. Worple himself suggested the solution of the difficulty. In the heat of the moment he compared the portrait to an extract from a coloured comic supplement. I consider the suggestion a very valuable one, sir. Mr. Corcoran's portrait may not have
pleased Mr. Worple as a likeness of his only child, but I have no doubt that editors would gladly consider it as a foundation for a series of humorous drawings. If Mr. Corcoran will allow me to make the suggestion, his talent has always been for the humorous. There is something about this picture--something bold and vigorous, which arrests the attention. I feel sure it would be highly popular."

Corky was glaring at the picture, and making a sort of dry, sucking noise with his mouth. He seemed completely overwrought.

And then suddenly he began to laugh in a wild way.

"Corky, old man!" I said, massaging him tenderly. I feared the poor blighter was hysterical.

He began to stagger about all over the floor.

"He's right! The man's absolutely right! Jeeves, you're a life-saver! You've hit on the greatest idea of the age! Report at the office on Monday! Start at the bottom of the business! I'll buy the business if I feel like it. I know the man who runs the comic section of the Sunday Star. He'll eat this thing. He was telling me only the other day how hard it was to get a good new series. He'll give me anything I ask for a real winner like this. I've got a gold-mine. Where's my hat? I've got an income for life! Where's that confounded hat? Lend me a fiver, Bertie. I want to take a taxi down to Park Row!"

Jeeves smiled paternally. Or, rather, he had a kind of paternal muscular spasm about the mouth, which is the nearest he ever gets to smiling.

"If I might make the suggestion, Mr. Corcoran--for a title of the series which you have in mind--'The Adventures of Baby Blobbs.'"

Corky and I looked at the picture, then at each other in an awed way. Jeeves was right. There could be no other title.

"Jeeves," I said. It was a few weeks later, and I had just finished looking at the comic section of the Sunday Star. "I'm an optimist. I always have been. The older I get, the more I agree with Shakespeare and those poet Johnnies about it always being darkest
before the dawn and there's a silver lining and what you lose on the swings you make up on the roundabouts. Look at Mr. Corcoran, for instance. There was a fellow, one would have said, clear up to the eyebrows in the soup. To all appearances he had got
it right in the neck. Yet look at him now. Have you seen these pictures?"

"I took the liberty of glancing at them before bringing them to you, sir. Extremely diverting."

"They have made a big hit, you know."

"I anticipated it, sir."

I leaned back against the pillows.

"You know, Jeeves, you're a genius. You ought to be drawing a commission on these things."

"I have nothing to complain of in that respect, sir. Mr. Corcoran has been most generous. I am putting out the brown suit, sir."

"No, I think I'll wear the blue with the faint red stripe."

"Not the blue with the faint red stripe, sir."

"But I rather fancy myself in it."

"Not the blue with the faint red stripe, sir."

"Oh, all right, have it your own way."

"Very good, sir. Thank you, sir."

Of course, I know it's as bad as being henpecked; but then Jeeves is always right.

You've got to consider that, you know. What?

Published in the US Saturday Evening Post, February 5, 1916.