Re: Вудхаус П. Г. - Дживс в отпуске на английском языке

'He won't.'
     'I would.'
     'But  you aren't trying to get the Conservative Association of  the
Market  Snodsbury  division to choose you as  their  candidate  at  the
coming  by-election. Upjohn is, and it's vitally important for  him  to
address the multitude tomorrow and make a good impression, because half
the  selection  committee have sons at the school and  will  be  there,
waiting to judge for themselves how good he is as a speaker. Their last
nominee  stuttered, and they didn't discover it till the time came  for
him  to  dish  it out to the constituents. They don't want  to  make  a
mistake this time.'
     'Yes,  I  get you now,' I said. I remembered that Aunt  Dahlia  had
spoken to me of Upjohn's political ambitions.
     'So that fixes that,' said Bobbie. 'His future hangs on this speech,
and we've got it and he hasn't. We take it from there.'
     'And what exactly is the procedure?'
     'That's  all arranged. He'll be ringing up any moment  now,  making
inquiries.  When  he does, you step to the telephone  and  outline  the
position of affairs to him.'
     'That's right.'
     'Why me?'
     'Jeeves deems it best.'
     'Well, really, Jeeves! Why not Kipper?'
     'Mr Herring and Mr Upjohn are not on speaking terms, sir.'
     'So  you  can see what would happen if he heard Reggie's voice.  He
would  hang up  haughtily, and all the weary work to do again.  Whereas
he'll drink in your every word.'
     'But, dash it-'
     'And,  anyway, Reggie's gone for a walk and isn't available.  I  do
wish you wouldn't always be so difficult, Bertie. Your aunt tells me it
was  just  the same when you were a child. She'd want you to  eat  your
cereal,  and you would stick your ears back and be stubborn and non-co-
operative, like Jonah's ass in the Bible.'
     I  could  not let this go uncorrected. It's pretty generally  known
that when at school I won a prize for Scripture Knowledge.
     'Balaam's ass. Jonah was the chap who had the whale. Jeeves!'
     'To  settle  a bet, wasn't it Balaam's ass that entered  the  nolle
     'Yes, sir.'
     'I told you so,' I said to Bobbie, and would have continued grinding
her  into  the  dust,  had not the telephone at  this  moment  tinkled,
diverting  my  mind from the point at issue. The sound  sent  a  sudden
chill through the Wooster limbs, for I knew what it portended.
     Bobbie, too, was not unmoved.
     'Hullo!' she said. 'This, if I mistake not, is our client  now.  In
you go, Bertie. Over the top and best of luck.'
     I  have  mentioned before that Bertram Wooster, chilled steel  when
dealing with the sterner sex, is always wax in a woman's hands, and the
present case was no
exception  to the r. Short of going over Niagara Falls in a  barrel,  I
could think of nothing I wanted to do less than chat with Aubrey Upjohn
at this juncture, especially along the lines indicated, but having been
requested by one of the delicately nurtured to take on the grim task, I
had  no  option.  I  mean, either a chap's preux or he  isn't,  as  the
Chevalier Bayard used to say.
     But  as  I  approached the instrument and unhooked  the  thing  you
unhook,  I was far from being at my most nonchalant, and when  I  heard
Upjohn  are-you-there-ing at the other end my manly  spirit  definitely
blew  a fuse. For I could tell by his voice that he was in the testiest
of moods. Not even when conferring with me at Malvern House, Bramley-on-
Sea, on the occasion when I put sherbet in the ink, had I sensed in him
a more marked stirred-up-ness.
     'Hullo? Hullo? Hullo? Are you there? Will you kindly answer me? This
is Mr Upjohn speaking.'
     They always say that when the nervous system isn't all it should be
the  thing to do is to take a couple of deep breaths. I took six, which
of  course  occupied a certain amount of time, and the delay noticeably
increased  his  umbrage. Even at this distance one could  spot  what  I
believe is called the deleterious animal magnetism.
     'Is that Brinkley Court?'
     I could put him straight there. None other, I told him.
     'Who are you?'
     I had to think for a moment. Then I remembered.
     'This is Wooster, Mr Upjohn,'
     'Well, listen to me carefully, Wooster.'
     'Yes,  Mr  Upjohn. How do you like the "Bull and Bush"?  Everything
pretty snug?'
     'What did you say?'
     'I was asking if you like the "Bull and Bush".'
     'Never mind the "Bull and Bush".'
     'No, Mr Upjohn.'
     'This is of vital importance. I wish to speak to the man who packed
my things.'
     'What do you mean by Jeeves?'
     'You  keep  saying "Jeeves" and it makes no sense.  Who  packed  my
     'Oh, Jeeves is the man's name?'
     'Yes, Mr Upjohn.'
     'Well,  he  carelessly omitted to pack the notes for my  speech  at
Market Snodsbury Grammar School tomorrow.'
     'No, really! I don't wonder you're sore.'
     'Saw whom?'
     'Sore with an r.'
     'No, sorry. I mean with an o-r-e.'
     'Yes, Mr Upjohn.'
     'Are you intoxicated?'
     'No, Mr Upjohn.'
     'Then you are drivelling. Stop drivelling, Wooster.'
     'Yes, Mr Upjohn.'
     'Send for this man Jeeves immediately and ask him what he did  with
the notes for my speech.'
     'Yes, Mr Upjohn.'
     'At once! Don't stand there saying "Yes, Mr Upjohn".'
     'No, Mr Upjohn.'
     'It is imperative that I have them in my possession immediately.'
     'Yes, Mr Upjohn.'
     Well,  I  suppose, looking at it squarely, I hadn't made much  real
progress and a not too close observer might quite possibly have got the
impression  that I had lost my nerve and was shirking  the  issue,  but
that didn't in my opinion justify Bobbie at this point in snatching the
receiver from my grasp and bellowing the word 'Worm!' at me.
     'What did you call me?' said Upjohn.
     'I  didn't  call  you  anything,'  I  said.  'Somebody  called  me
     'I wish to speak to this man Jeeves.'
     'You do, do you?' said Bobbie. 'Well, you're going to speak to  me.
This  is  Roberta Wickham, Upjohn. If I might have your kind  attention
for a moment.'
     I must say that, much as I disapproved in many ways of this carrot-
topped Jezebel, as she was sometimes called, there was no getting  away
from it that she had mastered the art of talking to retired preparatory
schoolmasters. The golden words came pouring out like syrup. Of course,
she  wasn't  handicapped, as I had been, by having sojourned  for  some
years beneath the roof of Malvern House, Bramley-on-Sea, and having  at
a malleable age associated with this old Frankenstein's monster when he
was going good, but even so her performance deserved credit.
     Beginning with a curt 'Listen, Buster,' she proceeded to sketch out
with  admirable  clearness the salient points in the situation  as  she
envisaged  it, and judging from the loud buzzing noises that came  over
the  wire, clearly audible to me though now standing in the background,
it was evident that the nub was not escaping him. They were the buzzing
noises  of  a man slowly coming to the realization that a woman's  hand
had got him by the short hairs.
     Presently they died away, and Bobbie spoke.
     'That's fine,' she said. 'I was sure you'd come round to our  view.
Then  I  will be with you shortly. Mind there's plenty of ink  in  your
fountain pen.'
     She  hung up and legged it from the room, once more giving vent  to
those animal cries, and I turned to Jeeves as I had so often turned  to
him before when musing on the activities of the other sex.
     'Women, Jeeves!'
     'Yes, sir.'
     'Were you following all that?'
     'Yes, sir.'
     'I gather that Upjohn, vowing ... How does it go?'
     'Vowing he would ne'er consent, consented, sir.'
     'He's withdrawing the suit.'
     'Yes,  sir. And Miss Wickham prudently specified that he do  so  in
     'Thus avoiding all rannygazoo?'
     'Yes, sir.'
     'She thinks of everything.'
     'Yes, sir.'
     'I thought she was splendidly firm.'
     'Yes, sir.'
     'It's the red hair that does it, I imagine.'
     'Yes, sir.'
     'If  anyone  had told me that I should live to hear  Aubrey  Upjohn
addressed as "Buster" ...'
     I  would have spoken further, but before I could get under way  the
door  opened,  revealing Ma Cream, and he shimmered silently  from  the
room.  Unless expressly desired to remain, he always shimmers off  when
what is called the Quality arrive.


     This was the first time I had seen Ma Cream today, she having  gone
off  around noon to lunch with some friends in Birmingham, and I  would
willingly not have seen her now, for something in her manner seemed  to
suggest  that  she spelled trouble. She was looking more like  Sherlock
Holmes  than ever. Slap a dressing-gown on her and give her  a  violin,
and  she  could have walked straight into Baker Street and no questions
asked. Fixing me with a penetrating eye, she said:
     'Oh, there you are, Mr Wooster. I was looking for you.'
     'You wished speech with me?'
     'Yes. I wanted to say that now perhaps you'd believe me.'
     'I beg your pardon?'
     'About that butler.'
     'What about him?'
     'I'll tell you about him. I'd sit down, if I were you. It's a  long
     I sat down. Clad to, as a matter of fact, for the legs were feeling
     'You remember I told you I mistrusted him from the first?'
     'Oh ah, yes. You did, didn't you?'
     'I said he had a criminal face.'
     'He can't help his face.'
     'He can help being a crook and an impostor. Calls himself a butler,
does  he? The police could shake that story. He's no more a butler than
I am.'
     I did my best.
     'But think of those references of his.'
     'I am thinking of them.'
     'He  couldn't  have stuck it out as major-domo to a  man  like  Sir
Roderick Glossop, if he'd been dishonest.'
     'He didn't.'
     'But Bobbie said -'
     'I remember very clearly what Miss Wickham said. She told me he had
been with Sir Roderick Glossop for years.'
     'Well, then.'
     'You think that puts him in the clear?'
     'I  don't, and I'll tell you why. Sir Roderick Glossop has a  large
clinic down in Somersetshire at a place called Chuffnell Regis,  and  a
friend  of mine is there. I wrote to her asking her to see Lady Glossop
and  get  all the information she could about a former butler  of  hers
named  Swordfish. When I got back from Birmingham just now, I  found  a
letter  from  her. She says that Lady Glossop told her  she  had  never
employed a butler called Swordfish. Try that one on for size.'
     I continued to do my best. The Woosters never give up.
     'You don't know Lady Glossop, do you?'
     'Of course I don't, or I'd have written to her direct.'
     'Charming  woman, but with a memory like a sieve.  The  sort  who's
always losing one glove at the theatre. Naturally she wouldn't remember
a  butler's name. She probably thought all along it was Fotheringay  or
Binks or something. Very common, that sort of mental lapse. I was up at
Oxford  with  a man called Robinson, and I was trying to think  of  his
name  the  other day and the nearest I could get to it was Fosdyke.  It
only  came  back  to  me when I saw in The Times a few  days  ago  that
Herbert Robinson (26) of Grove Road, Ponder's End, had been had  up  at
Bosher Street police court, charged with having stolen a pair of  green
and  yellow checked trousers. Not the same chap, of course, but you get
the  idea.  I've no doubt that one of these fine mornings Lady  Glossop
will  suddenly  smack herself on the forehead and  cry  "Swordfish!  Of
course!  And all this time I've been thinking of the honest  fellow  as
     She sniffed. And if I were to say that I liked the way she sniffed,
I  would  be  wilfully deceiving my public. It was the  sort  of  sniff
Sherlock  Holmes would have sniffed when about to clap the  darbies  on
the chap who had swiped the Maharajah's ruby.
     'Honest fellow, did you say? Then how do you account for this? I saw
Willie just now, and he tells me that a valuable eighteenth-century cow-
creamer  which he bought from Mr Travers is missing. And where  is  it,
you  ask? At this moment it is tucked away in Swordfish's bedroom in  a
drawer under his clean shirts.'
     In  stating that the Woosters never give up, I was in error.  These
words  caught me amidships and took all the fighting spirit out of  me,
leaving me a spent force.
     'Oh, is it?' I said. Not good, but the best I could do.
     'Yes, sir, that's where it is. Directly Willie told me the thing had
gone, I knew where it had gone to. I went to this man Swordfish's  room
and searched it, and there it was. I've sent for the police.'
     Again  I  had that feeling of having been spiritually knocked  base
over apex. I gaped at the woman.
     'You've sent for the police?'
     'I have, and they're sending a sergeant. He ought to be here at any
moment.  And shall I tell you something? I'm going now to stand outside
Swordfish's door, to see that nobody tampers with the evidence. I'm not
going  to take any chances. I wouldn't want to say anything to  suggest
that I don't trust you implicitly, Mr Wooster, but I don't like the way
you've  been  sticking  up  for  this  fellow.  You've  been  far   too
sympathetic with him for my taste.'
     'It's just that I think he may have yielded to sudden temptation and
all that.'
     'Nonsense. He's probably been acting this way all his life. I'll bet
he was swiping things as a small boy.'
     'Only biscuits.'
     'I beg your pardon?'
     'Or crackers you would call them, wouldn't you? He was telling me he
occasionally pinched a cracker or two in his salad days.'
     'Well,  there you are. You start with crackers and you end up  with
silver  jugs. That's life,' she said, and buzzed off to keep her vigil,
leaving  me kicking myself because I'd forgotten to say anything  about
the  quality of mercy not being strained. It isn't, as I dare  say  you
know, and a mention of this might just have done the trick.
     I was still brooding on this oversight and wondering what was to be
done for the best, when Bobbie and Aunt Dahlia came in, looking like  a
young  female  and an elderly female who were sitting  on  top  of  the
     'Roberta  tells me she has got Upjohn to withdraw the libel  suit,'
said Aunt Dahlia. 'I couldn't be more pleased, but I'm blowed if I  can
imagine how she did it.'
     'Oh, I just appealed to his better feelings,' said Bobbie, giving me
one  of those significant glances. I got the message. The ancestor, she
was  warning  me, must never learn that she had achieved  her  ends  by
jeopardizing the delivery of the Upjohn speech to the young scholars of
Market  Snodsbury Grammar School on the morrow. 'I told  him  that  the
quality of mercy ... What's the matter, Bertie?'
     'Nothing. Just starting.'
     'What do you want to start for?'
     'I  believe  Brinkley Court is open for starting in at  about  this
hour, is it not? The quality of mercy, you were saying?'
     'Yes. It isn't strained.'
     'I believe not.'
     'And  in  case you didn't know, it's twice bless'd and becomes  the
throned  monarch better than his crown. I drove over to the  "Bull  and
Bush"  and put this to Upjohn, and he saw my point. So now everything's
     I uttered a hacking laugh.
     'No,'  I  said, in answer to a query from Aunt Dahlia. 'I have  not
accidentally  swallowed  my tonsils, I was merely  laughing  hackingly.
Ironical that the young blister should say that everything is fine, for
at  this very moment disaster stares us in the eyeball. I have a  story
to  relate  which  I  think  you  will agree  falls  into  the  fretful
porpentine class,' I said, and without further pourparlers I  unshipped
my tale.
     I  had  anticipated  that it would shake them to  their  foundation
garments, and it did. Aunt Dahlia reeled like an aunt struck behind the
ear with a blunt instrument, and Bobbie tottered like a red-haired girl
who hadn't known it was loaded.
     'You  see  the set-up,' I continued, not wanting to rub it  in  but
feeling  that they should be fully briefed. 'Glossop will  return  from
his afternoon off to find the awful majesty of the Law waiting for him,
complete  with  handcuffs.  We  can hardly  expect  him  to  accept  an
exemplary  sentence  without a murmur, so his first  move  will  be  to
establish his innocence by revealing all. "True," he will say,  "I  did
pinch this bally cow-creamer, but merely because I thought Wilbert  had
pinched it and it ought to be returned to store," and he will go on  to
explain his position in the house - all this, mind you, in front of  Ma
Cream. So what ensues? The sergeant removes the gloves from his wrists,
and  Ma  Cream asks you if she may use your telephone for a moment,  as
she  wishes  to  call her husband on long distance. Pop  Cream  listens
attentively to the tale she tells, and when Uncle Tom looks in  on  him
later, he finds him with folded arms and a forbidding scowl. "Travers,"
he  says,  "the  deal's off." "Off ?" quivers Uncle  Tom.  "Off,"  says
Cream.  "O-ruddy-double-f. I don't do business with  guys  whose  wives
bring  in loony-doctors to observe my son." A short while ago Ma  Cream
was  urging me to try something on for size. I suggest that you do  the
same for this.'
     Aunt  Dahlia had sunk into a chair and was starting to turn purple.
Strong emotion always has this effect on her.
     'The only thing left, it seems to me,' I said, 'is to put our trust
in a higher power.'
     'You're right,' said the relative, fanning her brow. 'Go and  fetch
Jeeves, Roberta. And what you do, Bertie, is get out that car of  yours
and  scour the countryside for Glossop. It may be possible to head  him
off.  Come  on, come on, let's have some service. What are you  waiting
     I  hadn't  exactly  been waiting. I'd only been thinking  that  the
enterprise had more than a touch of looking for a needle in a  haystack
about  it. You can't find loony-doctors on their afternoon off just  by
driving  around  Worcestershire  in a car;  you  need  bloodhounds  and
handkerchiefs  for  them to sniff at and all that  professional  stuff.
Still, there it was.
     'Right-ho,' I said. 'Anything to oblige.'


     And, of course, as I had anticipated from the start, the thing was a
wash-out.  I  stuck it out for about an hour and then,  apprised  by  a
hollow  feeling  in the midriff that the dinner hour  was  approaching,
laid a course for home.
     Arriving there, I found Bobbie in the drawing-room. She had the air
of  a girl who was waiting for something, and when she told me that the
cocktails would be coming along in a moment, I knew what it was.
     'Cocktails, eh? I could do with one or possibly more,' I said.  'My
fruitless  quest  has  taken  it out of me.  I  couldn't  find  Glossop
anywhere. He must be somewhere, of course, but Worcestershire  hid  its
secret well.'
     'Glossop?'  she said, seeming surprised. 'Oh, he's  been  back  for
     She wasn't half as surprised as I was. The calm with which she spoke
amazed me.
     'Good Lord! This is the end.'
     'What is?'
     'This is. Has he been pinched?'
     'Of course not. He told them who he was and explained everything.'
     'Oh, gosh!'
     'What's the matter? Oh, of course, I was forgetting. You don't know
the latest developments. Jeeves solved everything.'
     'He did?'
     'With a wave of the hand. It was so simple, really. One wondered why
one  hadn't thought of it oneself. On his advice, Glossop revealed  his
identity and said your aunt had got him down here to observe you.'
     I reeled, and might have fallen, had I not clutched at a photograph
on   a  near-by  table  of  Uncle  Tom  in  the  uniform  of  the  East
Worcestershire Volunteers.
     'No?' I said.
     'And of course it carried immediate conviction with Mrs Cream. Your
aunt  explained  that she had been uneasy about you for  a  long  time,
because  you  were always doing extraordinary things like sliding  down
water pipes and keeping twenty-three cats in your bedroom and all that,
and Mrs Cream recalled the time when she had found you hunting for mice
under  her son's dressing-table, so she quite agreed that it  was  high
time  you  were  under  the  observation of  an  experienced  eye  like
Glossop's.  She was greatly relieved when Glossop assured her  that  he
was  confident of effecting a cure. She said we must all be very,  very
kind  to  you. So everything's nice and smooth. It's extraordinary  how
things turn out for the best, isn't it?' she said, laughing merrily.
     Whether I would or would not at this juncture have taken her in  an
iron  grasp and shaken her till she frothed is a point on which  I  can
make  no  definite announcement. The chivalrous spirit of the  Woosters
would  probably  have  restrained me, much as  I  resented  that  merry
laughter, but as it happened the matter was not put to the test, for at
this moment Jeeves entered, bearing a tray on which were glasses and  a
substantial  shaker filled to the brim with the juice  of  the  juniper
berry.  Bobbie drained her beaker with all possible speed and left  us,
saying  that  if she didn't get dressed, she'd be late for dinner,  and
Jeeves and I were alone, like a couple of bimbos in one of those movies
where two strong men stand face to face and might is the only law.
     'Well, Jeeves,' I said.
     'Miss Wickham has been telling me all.'
     'Ah yes, sir.'
     'The  words "Ah yes, sir" fall far short of an adequate comment  on
the  situation.  A  nice  ...  what is it?  Begins  with  an  i...  im-
     'Imbroglio, sir?'
     'That's it. A nice imbroglio you've landed me in. Thanks to you ...'
     'Yes, sir.'
     'Don't  say "Yes, sir." Thanks to you I have been widely publicized
as off my rocker.'
     'Not  widely, sir. Merely to your immediate circle now resident  at
Brinkley Court.'
     'You  have held me up at the bar of world opinion as a man who  has
not got all his marbles.'
     'It was not easy to think of an alternative scheme, sir.'
     'And  let  me  tell you,' said, and I meant this  to  sting,  'it's
amazing that you got away with it.'
     'There's a flaw in your story that sticks up like a sore thumb.'
     'It's  no good standing there saying "Sir?", Jeeves. It's  obvious.
The cow-creamer was in Glossop's bedroom. How did he account for that?'
     'On  my  suggestion, sir, he explained that he had removed it  from
your  room,  where  he  had ascertained that you had  hidden  it  after
purloining it from Mr Cream.'
     I started.
     'You mean,' I... yes, thundered would be the word, 'You mean that I
am  now labelled not only as a loony in a general sort of way but  also
as a klept-whatever-it-is?'
     'Merely  to  your immediate circle now resident at Brinkley  Court,
     'You  keep  saying that, and you must know it's  the  purest  apple
sauce.  You  don't  really  think the Creams will  maintain  a  tactful
reserve?  They'll  dine  out  on it for years.  Returning  to  America,
they'll  spread the story from the rock-bound coasts of  Maine  to  the
Everglades of Florida, with the result that when I go over there again,
keen  looks  will  be shot at me at every house I go  into  and  spoons
counted  before I leave. And do you realize that in a few  shakes  I've
got  to  show up at dinner and have Mrs Cream being very, very kind  to
me? It hurts the pride of the Woosters, Jeeves.'
     'My advice, sir, would be to fortify yourself for the ordeal.'
     'There are always cocktails, sir. Should I pour you another?'
     'You should.'
     'And we must always remember what the poet Longfellow said, sir.'
     'What was that?'
     'Something attempted, something done, has earned a night's  repose.
You  have  the  satisfaction  of  having  sacrificed  yourself  in  the
interests of Mr Travers.'
     He  had  found a talking point. He had reminded me of those  postal
orders, sometimes for as much as ten bob, which Uncle Torn had sent  me
in the Malvern House days. I softened. Whether or not a tear rose to my
eye, I cannot say, but it may be taken as official that I softened.
     'How right you are, Jeeves!' I said.