Saturday, January 24, 2009

P.G. Wodehouse - 6

From ‘The Small Bachelor’

Nothing could make a woman of Mrs. Waddington’s physique ‘leap from the chair’: but she had begun to rise slowly like a balloon half-filled with gas, and her face had become so contorted and her eyes so bulging that any competent medical man of sporting tastes would have laid seven to four on a fit of apoplexy in the next few minutes. (pg 86-87)

‘Engaged to George?’ said Molly. ’Yes, its quite true. I am. By a most extraordinary chance we met this afternoon in Central Park near the Zoo…..’
’Well, anyway, we walked round for awhile, looking at the animals, and suddenly he asked me to marry him outside the cage of the Siberian yak.’
’No, sir!’ exclaimed Sigsbee H. with a sudden strange firmness, the indulgent father who for once in his life asserts himself. ’When you get married, you’ll be married in St Thomas’s like any other nice girl.’
’I mean it was outside the cage of the Siberian yak that he asked me to marry him.’
’Oh, ah!’ said Sigsbee H. (pg 88-89)

From ‘The Girl on the Boat’

………..when suddenly a sharp pain shot through his right arm, and he spun round with a cry.
It seemed to Sam that he had been bitten, and this puzzled him, for New York crowds, though they may shove and jostle, rarely bite.
He found himself face to face with an extraordinarily pretty girl.
…………….She was not the prettiest girl he had ever seen. She was the third prettiest. He had an orderly mind, one capable of classifying and docketing girls.
…………….At last he told himself, he was in love, really in love, and at first sight too……………………..Oh, to clasp this girl to him and …
But she had bitten him in the arm. That was hardly the right spirit. That, he felt, constituted an obstacle.
“Oh, I’m so sorry!” she cried.
Well, of course, if she regretted her rash act…After all, an impulsive girl might bite a man in the arm in the excitement of the moment and still have a sweet, womanly nature…
“The crowd seems to make Pinky-Boodles so nervous.”
Sam might have remained mystified, but at this juncture there proceeded from the bundle of rugs in the neighbourhood of the girl’s lower ribs a sharp yapping sound…….
………..”I hope he didn’t hurt you much. You’re the third person he’s bitten today.” She kissed the animal in a loving and congratulatory way on the tip of his black nose. “Not counting waiters at the hotel, of course,” she added. And then she was swept from him in the crowd, and he was left thinking of all the things he might have said-all those graceful, witty, ingratiating things which just make a bit of difference on these occasions. (pg 19-21)

Billie had been standing near the wall, inspecting the portrait of the late Mr.Josiah Appleby, of which the kindest thing one can say is that one hopes it did not do him justice (pg 127)

Eustace closed his eyes. After all this girl had fought lions, tigers, pumas, cannibals, and alligators in her time with a good deal of success. There might be a sporting chance of victory for her when she moved a step up in the animal kingdom and tackled his mother. He was not unduly optimistic, for he thought she was going out of her class; but he feflt faintly hopeful. (pg 167)

“………………Rufus Bennett’s word is his bond. Rufus Bennett is a white man!”
……………”I am not disputing Mr.Bennett’s claim to belong to the Caucasian race………..” (pg 183)

From ‘Uncle Dynamite’

Sir Aylmer Bostock’s collection of African curios was probably the most hideous, futile and valueless that even an ex-Governor had ever brought home with him, and many of its items seemed to take Pongo into a different and a dreadful world.
And he had picked up and started to scrutinize the nearest to hand, a peculiar sort of what-not executed in red mud by an artist apparently under the influence of trade gin, and was wondering why even an untutored African should have been chump enough to waste on an effort like this hours which might have been more profitably employed in chasing crocodiles or beaning the neighbours with his knobkerrie

Ever since his meeting that afternoon with Lord Ickenham, Bill Oakshott’s emotions had been rather similar to those which he would have experienced, had he in the course of a country walk discovered that his coat tails had become attached to the rear end of the Scotch express en route from London to Edinburgh.

Pongo uttered a curious hissing sound like the death-rattle of a soda-water siphon.

This was unfortunate, for we have made no secret of Sir Aylmer Bostock’s views on nervous gigglers. The ex-Governor had never actually fallen on a nervous giggler and torn him limb from limb, but that was simply because he had not wanted to get himself involved in a lot of red tape.

Her father might look like a walrus and her mother like something starting at a hundred to eight in the two-thirty race at Catterick Bridge, but Hermione herself, tall and dark, with large eyes, a perfect profile and an equally perfect figure, was an Oriental potentate’s dream of what the harem needed

‘Plank?’ he said, speaking raspingly. ’Did I hear her call you Major Plank?’
’That’s right,’ said Lord Ickenham. ’Major Plank.’
’Are you Major Brabazon-Plank, the explorer?’
’I am.’
‘So am I,’ said the gentleman, evidently rather impressed by the odd coincidence.

From ‘Cocktail Time’

……as snug as a bug in a rug

From ‘Psmith Journalist’

…..his remarks sound like the output of a gramophone with a hot potato in its mouth

….Your narratives, Comrade Maloney, always seem to me to suffer from a certain lack of construction. You start at the end, and then you go back to any portion of the story which happens to appeal to you at the moment, eventually winding up at the beginning

“I had a cat oncest,” said Mr. Jarvis……“dat ate beetles and got thin and used to tie itself into knots.”
“A versatile animal,” agreed Mr. Psmith

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