It is ten days after the events of Summer Lightning. Ronnie Fish is engaged
to chorus girl Sue Brown, and his mother, Lady Julia, is determined to
prevent the marriage. Sue was once briefly engaged to Monty Bodkin. When
she hears that Monty is to come to the castle as Lord Emsworth's secretary
she is very worried that dear Ronnie will get to know and squirm with
jealousy. She rushes up to London to tell Monty they must meet as
strangers, and Ronnie's mother sees them lunching at the Berkeley before
all three take the train to Market Blandings.
Gally has undertaken not to publish his Reminiscences. But Lord Tilbury had
a contract with him and is determined to publish them if he can get at them
by hook (Monty) or crook (Pilbeam). Sir Gregory Parsloe is worried silly
that Gally's book will tell about his scandalous younger days, and he wants
to be the Unionist candidate for the local election to Parliament. Ronnie's
mother is considerably jolted to learn that Gally will tell about her late
husband's scandalous younger days. Lord Tilbury comes down to reason with
Gally and, a pig-enthusiast himself, he covets the Empress.
The book becomes a fast and complicated doubles game - Hunt the
Reminiscences and Steal the Pig - with Beach the butler involved much more
than he likes on both counts. Pilbeam gets drunk and makes an ass of
himself. Lord Tilbury is rolled in the Empress's sty. Gally's manuscript
adds healthy paper-weight to the omnivorous pig. Ronnie and his Sue drive
off into the night with a big cheque from Lord Emsworth for honeymoon
expenses, and they will be married in the morning. It is Gally's finest
hour. Sue is the heroine. The villain is Pilbeam. The enemy is mothers and
aunts. It is a very good book.
N.B. Lord Emsworth and Gally still think it was Baxter, working for Sir
Gregory, who stole the Empress in Summer Lightning.
Source: Richard Usborne. Plum Sauce. A P G Wodehouse Companion.