Pelham Wodehouse - Love Me, Love My Dog

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Pelham Wodehouse - Love Me, Love My Dog
Название: Love Me, Love My Dog
Автор: Pelham Wodehouse
Издательство: неизвестно
ISBN: нет данных
Год: неизвестен
Дата добавления: 10 март 2020
Количество просмотров: 187
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"You bally old rogue!"


"Your lordship," said Keggs, soothingly, " 'as been deceived, has I predicted, by the reely extraordinary likeness. Roberts 'as undoubtedly eclipsed 'imself."


"Do you mean to tell me that dog is the one you showed me in the road? Then how do you account for this? I saw that milk-coloured brute of Roberts's out walking only a moment ago."


"Roberts 'as two, your lordship."


"What?"


"The himage of one another, your lordship."


"What?"


"Twins, your lordship," added the butler, softly.


Lord Bertie upset a chair.


"Your lordship," said Keggs, "if I may say so, 'as always from boy'ood up been a little too 'asty at jumping to conclusions. If your lordship will recollect, it was your lordship's 'asty assertion as a boy that you 'ad seen me occupied in purloining 'is lordship your father's port wine that led to my losing the excellent situation, which I might be still 'oldin', of butler at Stockleigh Castle."


Lord Bertie stared.


"Eh? What? So that----? I see!" he said. "By Jove, I see it all. You've been trying to get a bit of your own back. What?"


"Your lordship! I 'ave done nothing. 'Appily I can prove it."


"Prove it?"


The butler bowed.


"The resemblance between the two animals is extraordinary, but not absolutely complete. Reuben 'as a full set of teeth, but Roberts's dog 'as the last tooth but one at the back missing."


He paused.


"If your lordship," he added with the dignity that makes a good man, wronged, so impressive, "wishes to disprove my assertions, the modus hoperandi is puffectly simple. All your lordship 'as to do is to open the animal's mouth and submit 'is back teeth to a pussonal hinspection."



John Barton alighted from the motor, and, in answer to Keggs's respectful inquiry, replied that he was quite well.


"Where is everybody?" he asked.


"Mr. Keith is out walking, sir. 'Is lordship 'as left. Miss--"


"Left!"


" 'Is lordship was compelled to leave a few days back, sir, 'avin' business in Paris."


"Ah! Returning soon, I suppose?"


"On that point, sir, 'is lordship seemed somewhat uncertain."


"How is Reuben?"


"Reuben 'ave enjoyed good 'ealth, sir. 'E is down by the lake, I fancy, sir, at the present moment, with Miss Ellison."


"I think I might as well go and see him," said John, awkwardly.


"I fancy 'e would appreciate it, sir."


John turned away. The lake was some distance from the house. The nearer he got to it the more acute did his nervousness become. Once or twice after he had caught the gleam of Aline's white dress through the trees he almost stopped, then forced himself on in a sort of desperation.


Aline was standing at the water's edge encouraging Reuben to growl at a duck. Both suspended operations and turned to greet him, Reuben effusively, Aline with the rather absent composure which always deprived him of the power of speech.


"I've taken great care of Reuben, Mr. Barton," she said.


Something neat and epigrammatic should have proceeded from John. It did not.


"I'd like to have you all for my own, wouldn't I, Reuben?" she went on, bending over the snuffling dog, and kissing him fondly in the groove between his eyes.


It was a simple action, but it had a remarkable effect on John. Something inside him seemed suddenly to snap. In a moment he had become very cool and immensely determined. Conversation is a safety- valve. Deprive a man of the use of it for a long enough time, and he is liable to explode at any moment. It is the general idea that the cave-man's first advance to the lady of his choice was a blow on the head with his club. This is not the case. He used the club because, after hanging round for a month or so trying to think of something to say, it seemed to him the only way of disclosing his affection. John was a lineal descendant of the cave-man. He could not use a club, for he had none. But he did the next best thing. Stooping swiftly, he seized Aline round the waist, picked her up, and kissed her.


She stood staring at him, her lips parted, her eyes slowly widening till they seemed to absorb the whole of her face. Reuben, with the air of a dramatic critic at an opening performance, sat down and awaited developments.


A minute before, John would have wilted beneath that stare. But now the spirit of the cave-man was strong in him. He seized her hands, and pulled her slowly towards him.


"You're going to have us both," he said.

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