Wooster’s adventures seem to move in familiar circles but they are no less interesting on account of the same. So Wooster is back in Brinkley to serve the interests of Aunt Dahlia. He gets caught up once again in an engagement that threatens to see him finally succumb to matrimony.
Things turn a pickle fairly fast and it is the ever reliable Jeeves who come to the rescue and saves the bacon.Embed from Getty Images
It is complicated without Bertie wanting it to be such. He is headed to Brinkley where he will run into the company of Florence to whom he now stands formally affianced since she has broken off with Stilton Cheesewright who refused to oblige her and sport a moustache. Bertie has indeed made a career in being the default stand-by fiancé for many spirited ladies who keep breaking off with their Prince Charming.
To add to the fun a rapprochement is effected between the sundered hearts but the ceasefire breaks down again shortly. And in the wings waits Percy Gorringe who is playing the part of the unrequited lover to perfection. (Yet another stock option in Wodehouse world). By now we know a bit about the mechanics that Wodehouse chooses to employ and can early on spot on the Percy would come handy to resolve the mess when it is time for the Curtain call.
Aunt Dahlia is busy as she has other fish to fry – she is trying to convince L G Trotter, a media mogul, to buy her own publication ‘Milady Boudoir’ as it had bled losses for years and a sore point with Uncle Tom. To this end she humours Mrs L G Trotter and the son Percy.
Adding some twists to the tale is the expected arrival of Lord Sidcup (Roderick Spode) whose expertise in assessing silver and pearls leads to some crazy plans. It involves Bertie messing up a robbery attempt to show that Aunt Dahlia’s pearl string has been stolen (to cover the exigency of Aunt Dahlia having pawned it to fund a top end columnist Daphne Dolores Morehead as part of the salting the mine exercise).
Disaster looms on multiple fronts – Trotter is not able to appreciate Anatole’s culinary skills and an upset stomach causes him to think of escaping from Brinkley and not sign up to purchase the paper. Aunt Dahlia risks being exposed to Uncle Tom with regards to her escapades with the pearls and Wooster is at peril of finally getting married to Florence who has great plans to reform him commencing with making him read T S Eliot.
Jeeves finally steps in and effects a dramatic reversal of fortunes. One needs to appreciate Wodehouse for always plotting well and the mechanical efficiency with which problems are redressed certainly has a magical quality to it. Of course a lot of it has to do with foresight since red herrings have been laid and rescue options planted in the game from the early pages of the adventure.
And so once again we reach an ‘all-is-well-that-ends-well’ conclusion marvelling the beauty of the solution deployed by Jeeves – it shows a great understanding of human behaviour and is right up the alley so far as the psychology of the individual is concerned. Wooster too comes off rather well at the end of the tale and unlike some of his previous escapades the current one does not besmirch his escutcheon. There is of course the trifle matter of dispute regarding Wooster growing a moustache – in true tribute style Jeeves wins the appeal and Bertie obliges by promising to shave it off.