‘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- something.’
‘That’s it. A nice imbroglio you’ve landed me in. Thanks to you …’
‘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.’
‘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, sir.’
‘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?’
‘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.