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Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

The Code of the Woosters

Categories: [ Books/Wodehouse ]

ISBN: 9780091739874

© Amazon.fr

Published in 1938.

Gussie Fink-Nottle presses Bertie Wooster to come and help him, because his engagement to Madeline Basset, Sir Watkin's daughter, is off. Wooster, afraid that if Madeline doesn't marry Gussie she would turn to him once again, goes for a visit at Totleigh Towers. Just before leaving, he is told by his Aunt Dahlia that she counts on him to steal a silver cow-creamer now in Sir Watkin's collection. Dahlia's husband had planned to buy it before Basset, but the latter tricked him. Since Dahlia's magazine's funding depends on her husband's mood, she has to get that cow creamer back. But as soon as Wooster arrives at Totleigh Towers, he is under suspicion of wanting to steal the silver piece by Roderick Spode, a brutal and wannabe Dictator friend of Sir Watkin's. Just after that, Gussie tells Wooster that he lost the booklet where he wrote all sorts of awful (but so true) things about Spode and Basset in order to give him the courage to make a speech at his coming wedding. If the booklet falls into the hands of the father of the bride, the wedding could be cancelled, and Bertie doesn't want that to happen. He soon learns that the booklet has been found by Stiffy Byng, Madeline's cousin who wants to marry Harold Pinker, the curate of the village. But Sir Watkyn would never agree on her marrying only a curate, so Stiffy is continuously scheming to get Harold accepted by her uncle. She wants Bertie to steal the cow-creamer and get Harold to stop the thief and retrieve the silver piece. Bertie refuses, but Stiffy blackmails him with the booklet. But Wooster being under constant surveillance by Spode, he would be the prime suspect automatically, so he cannot do it. Moreover, Stiffy doesn't like the village's constable, Oates, and asks Pinker to steal his helmet. Pinker first refuses, but finally does it by love for Stiffy. Finally, Dahlia steals herself the cow-creamer and gives it to Bertie to hide it, but Bertie knows that his room is going to be searched because Oates and Basset believe he has the stolen helmet. Then arrives Gussie who wants to flee the place with Wooster's car after Sir Watkin read the famous booklet, and Jeeves suggest to hide the cow creamer in a suitcase and give it to Gussie to deliver to Bertie's place in London. Oates and Sir Watkin search the room, find no cow creamer but do find the helmet (which had been hidden there by Stiffy) and want to throw Bertie into jail. Jeeves eventually manages to blackmail Spode (using Spode's secret, known by Jeeves from his gentlemen's gentlemen's club Book), already used earlier by Wooster to get Spode off his neck, to make him confess the theft of the helmet. In these circumstances, Oates' and Basset's search of the room is abusive, and Wooster threatens to sue Basset on that ground if he doesn't allow Stiffy's and Pinker's and Madeline's and Gussie's weddings, which Sir Watkin agrees upon.

[ Posted on November 10th, 2009 at 13:05 | no comment | ]