Other Fan Fiction ❯ Jeeves and the Emerald Necklace ❯ Chapter 1

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Jeeves And the Emerald Necklace

That ghastly affair about which I'm about to tell you started, as always, with my dear Aunts. Aunts,  I must say, are a bally trial to one's nervous system And reputation. And this Wooster happens to have two of them, each one every bit as taxing to me as the other. One, Aunt Agatha, Lady Worplesdon, is under the delusion that yours truly must marry, which I don't have the slightest desire to do. And another, Mrs Dahlia Travers, though being a perfectly good sort, is for some reason sure that Bertram shall do everything for her, which usually involves some sort of illegal deeds And in some cases brought yours truly in jail through No fault of his own. And when they both are on my case, the conséquences are usually awful as it was in this case.

My Aunt Agatha, distracting me from my morning tea, barraged into my flat And declared,  as was her won't,  that I had to marry And that she found just the right girl for me, which usually meant that the girl was either an overbearing tyrant or a fraud. This time it was a nièce of some friend of her, Lady Felicia Montague, somewhere down Gloucestershire way. And as it's bally useless to gainsay a Aunt Agatha, for she listens to No one, I sighed heavily And told my man Jeeves to pack my belongings.

'Well, you heard, Jeeves, I have to go to these bally Montagues,' I said with resognation. 'Another one of Aunt Agatha's blasted protégées, what?'

'Indeed, my Lord,' my faithful Jeeves said compassionately.

Jeeves, you see, is a wonder, I don't know what  I would do without this man. He's awfully clever, like one of those great detective chaps, And unbending loyal to yours truly. Sometimes  I wonder what I have done to deserve this amazing man, but Jeeves says it's my good heart.

''Do you know something about these Montagues,  Jeeves?'  I asked not doubting that he had. And indeed, the good fellow said instantly:

'Of course, my Lord. Marquess Montague, a very wealthy man, his wife, Lady Felicia, a fashionable Lady,  And their nièce, Honourable Penelope Windermere, a very spirited but kind young Lady. '

'And is it her that Aunt Agatha wants me to marry?' I mused.

'Perhaps, my Lord,' Jeeves said gently. 'But if it is so, you need not fear this time, for Miss Windermere isn't the one to marry one she doesn't love, And she is forward enough to say so. $

 I heaved a deep relieved breath. 

'Very well, then!'  I beamed.

'Indeed, my Lord, ' Jeeves smiled with a corner of his mouth.

But just as that threat was off my chest, who would call me but my Aunt Dahlia.

'Hello, Bertie, young hound!' She boomed. 'I want you to do something for me.'

Now, after what I told you about this Aunt, you understand why  I was filled with deep foreboding at these words. And Indeed, I wasn't wrong.

'What is it, Aunt Dahlia?'  I asked coolly.

'Well, I want you to go to Montague Hall And pinch something for Uncle Tom,'

'Not again, Aunt,' I said reproachfully. 'You know very well how those things usually end for me, don't you?”

'Bertie, that cad Montague seized an emerald necklace right under from Tom's nose, And Tom is awfully grumpy about all this matter,' Aunt Dahlia explained. 'Won't you do a liitle service for your Aunt? '

'Not this time, Aunt Dahlia,' I said firmly. 'And don't tell me about Anatole's cooking, we Woosters are a humble sort And we can do without Anatole's cooking for a time.'

'Fine,' Aunt Dahlia sighed. 'Stay in London And I hope a bus runs over you.'

'I love you too, Aunt Dahlia,' I said And hung up.

But then Aunt Agatha called And said who my prospective fiancee was, And my spirits fell again. Isabelle Rackstraw, Lady Felicia's nièce from South Africa, one of those loud girls surrounded by dogs. Not my type absolutely even if  I wanted to marry which  I really didn't.

So it was with a heavy heart that yours truly departed for Montague Hall.

Montague Hall was in a nice little village called Kembleford, with a lovely old Gothic church And little sandstone houses decked with flowers. I was driving through it's little streets, Jeeves in the passenger seat, when I saw a lovely girl passing us, tall, with nice figure And black curly hair, dressed very tastefully in a slick red dress, And with a broad smile on her Face. 

'What ho!' I greeted her as cheerfully as I could in my present state, stopping, of course.

Honourable Bunty Windermere was walking along a street in Kembleford, when she saw a lovely red two seater with two men in it. One was about forty, tall And slender with wavy auburn hair And kind blue eyes, in a light brown tweed suit with a red And white  duamond patterned knit vest And a cheerful orange tie, with a gentle smile on his open Face, though rather sad looking, he was at the wheel. Another man, in the passenger seat, was taller And stronger than the first one, also older. He was wearing a black tailcoat with black tie And gray pinstripe trousers, his Face was calm And his hair was black And slick. At times he was casting anxious looks at the first gentleman And mildly disapproving looks at his tie. Obviously he was the first gentleman's valet. Bunty liked them And was a bit intrigued. She was about to greet them when the driver said, 'What ho!' amiably, stopping his car.

'Hello,' Bunty greeted them smiling broadly. 'What brings you here?'

'Oh, I'm a guest at Montague Hall,' the auburn haired man smiled gently. ''Bertram Wooster, Lord Yaxley, at your service, And this is my valet Reginald Jeeves. And you?'

'Honourable Penelope Windermere, Lady Montague's nièce, but call me Bunty,' she smiled broadly. 

'Oh, right ho, And you can call me Bertie,' Lord Yaxley smiled broadly.

Bunty nodded smiling broadly. 

'I say, do you know Isabelle Rackstraw, she's your cousin or something?' Bertie asked frowning gently.

'Isabelle Rackstraw? The one from South Africa saying that she's Aunt Felicia's distant cousin, I must say I don't like her any bit, too loud,' Bunty said instantly.

'Oh bother,' Bertie's Face fell. 'Just as I feared!'

'Why??' Bunty asked mystified.

'Well, you see, my Aunt Agatha, Lady Worplesdon, wants me to marry that menace,' Bertie sighed heavily. 'She has an idée fixe to get me married. '

'And you dont want to marry?' Bunty smiled. 

'No, I bally well don't!' Bertie said vehemently. 'Especially not with one of Aunt Agatha's protégées, they're usually bally awful like that Rackstraw! And I can't tell Aunt Agatha off, it's just not polite!'

Bunty smiled mischievously.

'Bertie, I understand that you need to be engaged?' she asked looking at him sideways. 'What if  I become your fiancée?' She saw a horrified look on Lord Yaxley's Face. 'Don't worry, I mean a fictive engagement.'

'You mean a smokescreen?' Bertie said instantly, And his Face lit up.

'Yes, exactly,' Bunty smiled broadly. 'I'm a daughter of a Viscount, after all.'

Bertie nodded smiling broadly.

Jeeves, who was silent all this time, nodded with approval.

'A very good idea, if I may say so, madam.'

Bunty nodded smiling,

'So your Aunt will be satisfied, And later we can tell that it just didn't click,' Bunty smiled broadly.

Bertie nodded hotly, Jeeves nodded calmly.

'So,' Bertie said, jumping out of his car quickly, 'I'll dash off a telegram to Aunt Agatha now, what?'

Bunty nodded smiling. She liked this man And his valet very much. It was a pity that Bertie was twenty years her senior, And a confirmed Bachelor, it seems. And she felt very sorry for him, Lady Worplesdon was an awful woman, dictatorial And snobbish at that. How was it that sweet, gentle Bertie was her nephew? Oh well, it happens, she thought.

 Bertie offered his hand to her gallantly, And they walked along the narrow street. Jeeves meanwhile parked Lord Yaxley's car And followed them like a shadow. Bunty showed Bertie to the post office.

Bertie walked into the post office arm in arm with her. He smiled to her, walked to the telegraph counter And coughed gently.

'A telegram please,' he said to the girl at the counter. She nodded, and he started to dictate.

'Aunt Agatha, comma, congratulate me, comma, I'm engaged, Stop. Best wishes, comma, Bertie, Stop.' He smiled broadly to the telegraph operátor. 'That will be all, thanks.'

The girl looked at him, named the price, And he reached into his breast pocket And paid. She looked smiling at him, 'Congratulations, sir!'

'Oh, thanks awfully,' Bertie said smiling gently.

Bunty And Jeeves smiled at him, Bunty broadly, Jeeves slightly.

Bertie offered his hand to Bunty again, And they walked out of the post office.

'Oh well, so that's done,' Bertie sighed And his Face lit up. 'Thanks awfully, Bunty old thing!'

'Oh, not at all, Bertie,' Bunty smiled broadly. 

Lord Yaxley smiled broadly at her, 'So, let's go for a walk around here, what? You can show me your town, it's pretty lovely.'

'Oh, of course, Bertie,' Bunty smiled broadly. Jeeves smiled with a corner of his mouth.

When they we're walking cheerfully around the village, Bertie asked, 'I say, what's with this Bunty thing, a school nickname, I suppose?'

'You're quite right, Bertie,' Bunty smiled broadly. Bertie smiled broadly in answer. 'Well, I'm not surprised in the least, I have heaps of school friends with nicknames like Bingo, Boko, Tuppy or Catsmeat. Don't ask, been at Malvern Prep together, thirty years by now.'

Bunty nodded smiling.

'And you inherited your title, I think, don't be offended, Bertie, but you don't look like a judge.'

'No offence taken, you're quite right,' Bertie waved his hand. 'Inherited it from my Uncle George, a jolly good soul, may he rest in peace. He married late in his life, so I was his direct heir.'

'And you don't want to marry at all,' Bunty squinted. 

'Yeah, so it will pass to one of my cousins, I have plenty,' Bertie smiled nonchalantly. 

Bunty smiled broadly. 

At this point they met Mrs Mccarthy, the parish secretary.

'Oh hullo, Mrs M,' Bunty smiled broadly. 'Mrs Bridget McCarthy, Bertram, Lord Yaxley, And his man Reginald Jeeves, my friends.'

Bertie smiled to the elderly Lady cheerfully, 'Good afternoon, Mrs McCarthy.'

Mrs McCarthy looked Bertie And Jeeves over And then nodded.

'Good afternoon, my Lord, good afternoon, Mr Jeeves.'

'Good afternoon, madam,' Jeeves said politely.

'Bertie is one of the guests of my aunt's,' Bunty supplied. 'I'm showing him the neighbourhood.'

Mrs Mccarthy nodded And hurried on her business.

'Our parish secretary,' Bunty supplied. Bertie nodded.

Well, I say, when I met Bunty Windermere,  I liked her instantly. A very good, understanding girl, dashed clever too. When she learned about my predicament, she proposed a fictive engagement to me. Well, I instantly agreed, dashed off a t. to Aunt Agatha saying that I'm engaged,  And Bunty went to show Kembleford to me, we had a jolly good time. And Jeeves approved of Bunty's intelligence too, And that's saying something, don't you know.

Then we went to Montague Hall, a splendid old édifice surrounded by a lovely park, And how glad  was I not to having avoid the Rackstraw menace And not having to steal anything for a change.

'Well, how do you like my ancestral home, Bertie?' Bunty smiled gently.

'Oh, it's very lovely, thanks,' Bertie smiled broadly. 'I hear your Uncle is an antiques collector?' 

'Yes, he has rather an extensive collection, Bertie, shall I show it to you?'

'Oh, by all means, old thing,' Bertie smiled broadly. 

Bunty showed the Montague collection to him. He seemed to dwell longer on the emerald necklace that her uncle lately bought. 'Splendid, isn't it, Bertie?'

'Oh Yes,' Bertie said gently, looking at the necklace at length. It was a necklace of large viridian emeralds in gentle silver fittings. Bertie then shook his head And smiled broadly to Bunty, 'Well, let's go along, shall we?' Bunty nodded smiling broadly. 

Bunty introduced Bertie to her Aunt And Uncle, he was polite to them as to everyone, so it all went well. Aunt Felicia even sympathised with him for being Lady Worplesdon's nephew. 

'Oh, by the way, Lady Worplesdon wants Bertie to marry the Rackstraw of all things, imagine?' Bunty told them. Aunt Felicia And Uncle Monty nodded in sympathy.

'So I said to Bertie that I can be his fiancée,' Bunty smiled broadly. 'Fictive, dont worry. Bertie doesn't want to marry that Rackstraw, you understand, he is a confirmed Bachelor, in fact.'

'Don't worry,  I respect your nièce, I would never think of laying any slight on her,' Bertie said hastily.

Monty and Aunt Felicia nodded. Bertie smiled broadly to her. Bunty smiled broadly to them all.

'It's a wonder that Agatha Worplesdon has such a nice nephew,' Lady Felicia said shaking her head. Bertie shrugged his shoulders. 'She's a sister of my late father, I have to respect her wishes.'

Monty And Aunt Felicia nodded.

Well, the introduction to Lord And Lady Montague went well. They were awfully nice And understood my predicament.  And though at dinner the Rackstraw menace was markedly present with her awful loud laugh And stupid talk, I was safely engaged already, so I wasnt upset. So I went to sleep with a smîle on my lips that day.

Naturally, the next morning all Hell broke loose.

I was awakened at an awfully early hour by the sounds of some bally racket. Shouts, pounding feet And so on. I rang for Jeeves And asked him, 'What the Hell happened, Jeeves?'

'My Lord, it seems the emerald necklace was stolen,' Jeeves informed me gravely. 

'Oh bloody Hell,' was the only thing I managed to say.

'Precisely, my Lord,' Jeeves nodded.

 I rose, feeling all kinds of awful premonitions. I went about my morning toilet And breakfasted in gloomy silence. Jeeves helped me into my clothes, And  I went gdownstairs wirh great trepidation. And it wasn't unfounded, of course. The house was full of police searching all nooks And corners. They we're headed by a bally rude And conceited Inspector by name of Mallory. He called me in his august présence And started asking all kinds of a questions. And of  course I told him truthfully that  I went to look at the bally necklace last evening, And he fished out of Bunty that I was paying great attention to it.

''Well, the case is clear,' Mallory said acidly. 'Bertram Wilberforce Wooster, you are arrested on charge of theft. You may...'

'But, I say!' I tried to protest while Mallory was reciting my rights, but Mallory won't listen to me. So I, Bertram, Lord Yaxley, was arrested on charge on theft And led into local jail.

I was sitting on a dashed hard bench in a local coop And thinking what my Aunt Dahlia, my cousin Angela And all my friends would think about all this, about my honour And reputation, about my good name, And my heart sunk. Suddenly the door opened And Bunty slid in.

'How are you, Bertie?' she asked anxiously.

'Oh, rather good, old thing,' I said bravely.

'Nonsense, how can you be good!?' Bunty stormed. 'That bloody ass Mallory arrested you - you! - on the charge of theft! I won't stand it!'

'But what can you do, old thing?' I sighed wearily. 'Well, if only Jeeves can think of something, but could he, in this situash?'

'Maybe not, but I know someone who will surely extricate you, Bertie,' Bunty said firmly. 'He's an old friend And every bit as clever as Jeeves, And Malory respects him.'

'Oh?' I said, a bit of hope trickling into me.

'Yes, Bertie,' Bunty said resolutely. 'Wait a bit, I'll bring him.'

She departed. Some time later the door opened again And in came a short, stout, kind faced Catholic priest. I gaped. 'Father, I hope I'm not being hanged without trial?' I said dryly.

'Oh No, my Lord,' the priest smiled gently. 'I'm that friend Bunty told you about, I dabble in investigation. My name is Father Brown.'

'Bertram Wooster Lord Yaxley, but you can call me Bertie,' I smiled gratefully to him.

'All right,  Bertie then,' Father Brown sat down near me gently. 'Bunty tells me that you are honest to a fault.'

'Too honest for my own good, it seems,' I sighed heavily. 'Helping all these friends everytime they ask, trying not to offend my Aunts, it's so dashed taxing.'

'You're a gentleman, Bertie, just as Bunty said,' Father Brown smiled kindly. 'She told me you we're sent here by Lady Worplesdon to court Miss Rackstraw, against your will, Yes?'

'Yes,' I sighed heavily. 'She always wants me to marry some awful beazel.'This time it's that Rackstraw menace.'

'Bunty also tells me that you we're inspecting the emerald necklace at length,' Father Brown said gently. I nodded. 

'You see, I have another Aunt, Mrs Dahlia  Travers, And her husband, Tom, is an antique collector, And Lord Montague bought the emerald necklace right under his nose, so Uncle Tom is sulking, And Aunt Dahlia wanted me to steal the necklace, but I firmly refused,' I explained. 'But I was still very curious what all the fuss is about. Beautiful thing, I must say.'

Father Brown nodded. 'Bertie, can you give me your word of honour that you didn't take the necklace?'

'My word of honour, I didn't take that dashed emerald necklace,'  I said firmly. Father Brown nodded. 'Well, Bertie, I'll do my best to help you.'

'Thank you, Father Brown,' I sighed. Father Brown departed.

Some time later there was an awful racket outside, Bunty was forcefully requesting to see me, And some bobby tried to tell her that police station isn't a hotel, but Bunty disregarded him, telling that she had right to see her Fiancé. I smiled, despite my predicament, that girl was spirited indeed. Then a kindly but authoritative male voice commanded the rozzer to let Bunty in. Bunty slid into my cell. 

'Well, Bertie, what did Father Brown say?' Bunty asked anxiously.

'He said that he will help me,' I smiled wryly. 'He's a clever And kind fellow, that priest.'

'So he is,' Bunty smiled gently. 'He will extricate you, Bertie, you can be sure of that. Here, take this.' She handed me a parcel. 'Some sandwiches here, I wasn't sure what you like, so Mrs M made you both Ham And cucumber sandwiches.'

'I like both, thank you, we Woosters are not pernicious,' I smiled gently to her. I took one cucumber sandwich And started devouring it eagerly. 

'Good,' Bunty smiled broadly And  patted me on the shoulder.

'Thanks awfully, old thing,' I smiled.

When Bunty left Bertie, she went to the priest's house. Father Brown, Mrs McCarthy And Sid Carter we're already sitting at the table in the parlour. Bunty was feeling very sorry for Bertie, because when it turned out that the necklace was stolen, of course that bloody idiot Mallory arrested poor Bertie, he always arrested the most obvious suspect, but Bunty was sure Bertie didn't do it.  Bunty went to Bertie's man Jeeves And saw that he was very upset about his master's arrest though he tried not to show it, stoic as he was. She assured Jeeves that Father Brown was a very good detective And was sure to help Bertie if he was innocent, Jeeves nodded, it seemed he was reassured. Bunty went to visit Bertie, told him that he had hope, And then went to Father Brown And told him about Bertie's predicament, stressing how much of a gentleman Bertie was. Father Brown went to visit Bertie And, to Bunty's great relief, said that he was sure of Bertie's innocence. Mrs M made sandwiches for Bertie. Bunty then brought Bertie sandwiches And good news, And was glad to see he was feeling much better, that fellow was very resilient. Then Bunty went to bring Jeeves to the presbytery, but Jeeves preferred to wait outside for some reason.

'Bunty, how is that hapless young man, Lord Yaxley?' Mrs McCarthy asked anxiously. 'Did he like my sandwiches?'

'Oh, Bertie is keeping well And he said that he likes both,' Bunty smiled broadly. Mrs McCarthy nodded satisfied.

'That bloody chump, Malory!' Sid said angrily. 'Snatching the first man who was at the crime scène,  as always!' Father Brown nodded quietly. 'Our Inspector Malory is rash as usually.'

'Well, as Bertie obviously didn't steal the necklace, who was it then?' Bunty asked briskly.

'Well, first, Bunty, who was in the house then?' Father Brown asked. 

'Well, me, Monty, Auntie Felicia, Bertie, that bloody Rackstraw girl And the servants,' Bunty answered instantly.

'That Isabelle Rackstraw, what can you tell me about her?' Father Brown asked.

'One of those loud dog girls,' Bunty shrugged her shoulders. 'Came to Montague Hall some days ago, told Aunt Felicia she was a cousin of hers from South Africa, And installed herself firmly in our household. Lurks everywhere, surrounded by her pack of dogs, annoys everybody.'

Father Brown nodded. 

'Bunty, could you ask servants where exactly Miss Rackstraw was the last evening?'

'Of course, Father,' Bunty nodded eagerly.

'Sid, could you slip unnoticed into Miss Rackstraw's room And search it?' Father Brown asked. 

'Sure, Father,' Sid smiled broadly. 

Bunty And Sid left the presbytery. 

Jeeves was waiting for them outside, he looked expectantly at them.

'Father Brown sent me to ask servants where Rackstraw was yesterday evening And Sid to search her room,' Bunty reported. Jeeves nodded. 'May I go with you?'

'Oh, of course, Jeeves,' Bunty smiled broadly. Sid Just nodded. 

Jeeves followed them noiselessly.

They came to Montague Hall. Bunty went to the servants quarters, Jeeves followed her like a shadow, while Sid proceeded discreetly to Isabelle Rackstraw's room.

Bunty asked everybody, maids, gardeners, footmen, page boys, but everyone said that Isabelle Rackstraw was walking her dogs, sitting in her room, anywhere but near the Montague collection.

'Well, it's awful,' Bunty concluded. 'It seems it wasn't her after all, but who then?'

Jeeves coughed gently. 'If you allow me, Miss Windermere, I would ask the junior gardener, Elliott, more closely. It seems he's hiding something, he had shifty eyes.'

'Thank you, Jeeves,' Bunty nodded resolutely And went to Elliott's room.

'Elliott, you know, a very good, harmless And  gentle man could go to jail because of you, for theft,' Bunty said forcefully. 'Do you understand what prison does to such men?'

Elliott dropped his head.

'Elliott, tell me where you really we're that evening when you say you we're trimming box bushes under Miss Rackstraw's window And saw her reading?'

Elliott blushed deeply. 'Well, you see, madam, I was on a meeting with Susie Jones, a parlour maid,  in the Lilac bushes on the other end of the garden. If anybody knew I was neglecting my duties. .'

'Don't worry, Elliott, Lady Felicia would be lenient to you if she knows it was love And your evidence saved Lord Yaxley from jail,' Bunty smiled gently And left. 

Meanwhile Sid Carter picked the lock to Isabelle Rackstraw's door And slipped quietly inside. He started searching the drawers And furniture. And sure enough, in the mattress there was the darn necklace wrapped carefully into linen cloth. Sid hemmed contented And left Rackstraw's room.

Bunty returned to Jeeves who was waiting in the servants quarters.

'You we're absolutely right, Jeeves, Elliott was on a tryst,' Bunty beamed. 'You're really a wonder, as Bertie says!'

'Thank you, miss, I endeavour to give satisfaction,' the stoic servant smiled with a corner of his mouth. 'You are a really good  friend to Lord Yaxley, Im very grateful to you.' 

'Not more than you, Jeeves,' Bunty smiled gently. Jeeves just smiled gently.

Meanwhile Sid joined them. 'Its there, hidden in her mattress,' he said succinctly.

'And Elliott didn't see her reading, he was on a tryst,' Bunty beamed.

Jeeves nodded quietly.

'So now we have all the trumps on our hands,' Bunty beamed. 'We can go to Mallory now.'

 'Exactly, miss,' Jeeves nodded calmly.

They returned to the priest's house And related everything to Father Brown And Mrs Mccarthy.  Father Brown listened attentively And nodded.

'I expect Isabelle Rackstraw isn't any cousin of Lady Felicia's but a fraud,' he nodded calmly. Jeeves nodded with agreement.

Father Brown, Bunty, Jeeves And Sid walked to the police station And into Inspector Mallory's office. 

'Well, well, well, if it isn't our amateur detective force again,' Mallory said caustically. 'What do yiu want this time?'

Father Brown started to explain, reinforced by Bunty, Jeeves And Sid.

'I expect you'll find that so called Isabelle Rackstraw is in the police database under entirely another name,' Father Brown finished. Mallory nodded reluctantly. 'Well, I'll investigate this.'

And sure enough, on investigation Isabelle Rackstraw turned to be a South African swindler called May Beresford. Bunty was beaming,  Father Brown smiling benevolently, And Jeeves with a corner of his mouth. Mallory was furious.

The door of my cell clicked again. I wondered who it was this time. To my amazement it was inspector Mallory, looking disgruntled. What the Hell could happen to get him into such state? 'Lord Yaxley,' he said looking very grumpy. 'I must apologise before you, you are free.'

I nearly jumped with joy. 'Apologies taken, old fellow,' I said graciously And walked out of the darn cell whistling 'Putting on the Ritz' loudly. Bunty, Jeeves, Father Brown, Mrs M And an unknown young man waited for me outside. Bunty hugged me impulsively, I blushed but returned her brotherly embrace. 

'I'm so glad for you, Bertie!' she beamed.

'Oh, thanks awfully, old thing,' I smiled gently.

Father Brown And Mrs M smiled softly. 

'Oh, Bertie, that's Sid Carter, our friend, he helped us,' Bunty introduced. 

'Oh, glad awfully to meet you,' I smiled broadly. Sid nodded smiling broadly.

'Lord Yaxley, how did you like my sandwiches?' Mrs M asked anxiously. 

'Oh, very much, thanks awfully,' I reassured her. She nodded smiling gently. 'I hope you didn't have it too hard in the prison, Lord Yaxley?' she asked compassionately.

'Oh No, we Woosters are resilient,' I assured her with a smile. 'Wouldn't be the first time in jailfor me, anyway, through No fault of my own, of course.' Mrs M nodded gently.

'It  was that Rackstraw menace, she's really a swindler called May Beresford,' Bunty supplied And proceeded to tell me about their investigation.

'Well, I'll be!' I muttered. 'Wouldn't be the first time Auntie Agatha tries to set me up with a Criminal.  I wouldn't be even surprised if this Beresford menace is married as well!'

'Why?' Bunty asked curiously. I sighed, 'Let's go somewhere And I'll tell you why.'

We went to the Red Lion pub, And I told them about that Aline Hemingway that posed as a sister of a vicar, in reality her husband, Soapy Sid, how Aunt Agatha met them in Roville sur Mer And tried to set me up with that Hemingway menace, And those Hemmingways tried to swindle me out of a large sum of money And to steal Aunt Agatha's necklace at that, if it wasn't for Jeeves. They listened to me smiling, And Bunty shook her head, 'Oh Bertie!' I smiled broadly to her.

'Bertie, you really are as unlucky as you are kind,' Bunty smiled. 'Good that you have Jeeves.'

'Indeed,' I smiled broadly ans looked at my right hand man. 'Jeeves, Im so very grateful to you!'

'Thank you, sir,' my faithful valet smiled with a corner of his mouth.

'Bertie, I can continue to provide that smokescreen,' Bunty offered gently.

'Thanks awfully, old girl, that would be very kind of you,' I smiled gratefully.

Father Brown And Mrs M looked at us smiling gently, Sid smiled broadly.

We sat in the Red Lion, I told them stories abput my misadventures. They smiled, laughed and ohh'ed at times. And  I was glad to chat with them, they we're dashed good friends.

I passed a few very agreeable days in Kembleford, in company of my friends. And then I returned to London in a very good state of mind. When Aunt Agatha called me next time, I said to her proudly, 'Aunt Agatha, No, it's not that Rackstraw that I'm engaged to. She turned out to be a fraud who pinched an emerald necklace And got me into jail. No, Aunt Agatha, I was let out without a stain on my character. And you should think better before setting me up with criminals, Aunt Agatha!'

She didn't know what to say, And I said, 'Good afternoon, Aunt Agatha,' And hanged up proudly. I looked at Jeeves who was going abput tidying my room, And smiled at him. He smiled with a corner of his mouth.