Two years ago English journalist Jerry Shoesmith had met American
journalist Kay Christopher on the Mauretania.
And now they meet again
in a Paris police station - a very good scene this, for openers: Wodehouse
was obviously remembering how he and his wife had been pushed around by the
Paris police in 1944. Kay is engaged to a stuffed-shirt Englishman at the
Paris Embassy. Her brother Biff had saved the life of Lord Tilbury's
brother and will inherit a million pounds on condition he is not arrested
before the age of thirty. Only a week to go, but the urge to drink is
strong and, when drunk, he finds the urge to sock cops strong. And, working
for Lord Tilbury, who thinks he should have his brother's million pounds,
is Percy Pilbeam, who tries to get Biff drunk and seeking cops to sock.
Lord Tilbury's secretary is Gwendoline Gibbs and he is in love with her and
will marry her. Lord Tilbury's niece, who is his hostess in the Wimbledon
Common mansion, Linda Rome, will marry Biff. They had been engaged years
before. Jerry will marry Kay.
There is a sequence of debaggings in Valley Fields. Henry Blake-Somerset
(he's the mother-dominated stuffed-shirt Embassy chap) had twice been
debagged by rowdies at Oxford. Now he is debagged by the debagged Pilbeam,
and Lord Tilbury and Biff Christopher make up the chain, each clothing
himself in the bags of the next comer. Surprisingly funny as told here, but
hasn't Lord Tilbury been debagged, in Valley Fields, before? Yes, in Ice in
We find in this book a whole new list of authors from whom Wodehouse
quotes: Shelley, Du Maurier, Robert Service, Alexander Woollcott, Theodore
Dreiser, Horace (in Latin), Shakespeare (Henry IV), Malory, Burke, Defoe,
Raymond Chandler and Mickey Spillane.
Source: Richard Usborne. Plum Sauce. A P G Wodehouse Companion.