It is less of a novel and more of a collection of short stories featuring Wooster, Bingo and Jeeves. It works well as a concept for practically every other chapter sets up an intellectual challenge for Jeeves to intervene and resolve.
The psychology of the individual is in full flow as Jeeves unerringly spots the nub of the matter. His running feud with Wooster on the latter’s weird and colour challenged preferences for accessories such as socks, cummerbund, tie and swats all bit dust in deference of Jeeves being acknowledged to be a living genius when it comes to managing the affairs of the human heart or bettering the bookies odds.Embed from Getty Images
The overture is a perfect beauty – it is an innocuous story of Bertie’s dear friend Bingo falling in love with a waitress and having to buttress all support he can get to convince his uncle in favour of the alliance. His uncle’s will matters a lot since he sponsors Bingo who otherwise is quite short of the funds. We seem to be merrily coasting along to endgame when a twist in the tale appears and seems to have a spanner in the works. Well, not really when we finally learn of Jeeves master strategy in the case.
Matrimony is still in the air as the drift heads Wooster’s way – it is a proposal made by the rather indomitable Aunt Agatha (far superlative in her dictum than Aunt Dahlia) and Bertie seems to doomed for a while. But bigger games are afoot and a neat trick is played using a pearl necklace. Jeeves saves the day and Bertie even gets to score a point against his aunt.
But the relief does not last long as his aunt now decides to pair him up with Honoria Glossop, daughter of the notable alienist Sir Roderick Glossop. In shades of Bobbie Wickham, Honoria too is a determined lady who brooks no dissent. She seems to fancy Bertie and feels that she could mould him into a man. Bertie does seem to be a piece of Lamb who needs to be protected and groomed to meet the exacting standards of manhood prescribed to by dashing ladies like Bobbie and Honoria. Luckily Bertie is redeemed again thanks to an episode involving Cats, stolen hats and half-eaten Fish.
Bingo’s string of love affairs continue and indeed every new episode seems to be a model example of true love till it comes to a tragic end. To spice things up Bingo gets involved in all sorts of betting ranging from Horses to Clergymen’s sermon timings to games at a Village Fair. One learns the true intricacies of the unpredictable world of gambling and the desperate extent to which competitors extend themselves in order to spike the show and tilt the turf in their favour. The adventures continue as Bingo even loses a gamble involving his courtship of a lady in the countryside.
The affairs finally draw to end when Bingo fulfills his potential by finally marrying a waitress as he envisaged in the first place – it is only a slight jar that it is a different waitress and in the end turns out to be not even a waitress. Still possibly a fitting end to the affairs as by now we have had enough to Bingo’s adventures and are happy to see him settle down in happy matrimony.
But the ‘all’s-well-that-ends-well’ ending is effected at a price – the reputation of Bertie Wooster is maligned once again and by none less than Jeeves himself. Of course it is all done in the spirit of friendship and so Wooster recovers his vim and zest for life as he doffs his hat once again to Jeeves – the magician who skillfully maneuvers people and positions into a favourable configuration and contributes his mite to the benefit of the mankind.