This is part of an ongoing effort by the members of the Blandings Yahoo! Group to document references, allusions, quotations, etc in the works of P. G. Wodehouse. These notes are by Neil Midkiff, with contributions from others as credited below.

The book was published by Herbert Jenkins in the UK on 18 April 1951 (left) and by Doubleday in the USA on 11 October 1951 (right). The two book editions are very similar in text details, with mostly UK spellings (colour, favourite, etc.) in both. Some of the oaths mentioning the name of God are modified in the UK edition.

An earlier version with some differences in names and details had appeared as a serial titled “Phipps to the Rescue” in Collier’s in the US in 1950; see this page for details.

Page references in these notes are based on the 1951 USA first edition.


Chapter One

Runs from p. 7 to p. 22 in the 1951 Doubleday edition.

when the weather is not unusual (p. 7)

Wodehouse would use a similar opening sentence later:

As always when the weather was not unusual the Californian sun shone brightly down on the Superba-Llewellyn motion picture studio at Llewellyn City.

Pearls, Girls and Monty Bodkin (1972)/The Plot That Thickened (1973), ch. 1

The month was May (p. 7)

Average temperatures for Beverly Hills in May: highs of 71°F, lows of 56°F. Typical total rainfall for the month is 0.3 inches.

[In the Collier’s serial, the month was June.]

Alamo Drive (p. 7)

There is no Alamo Drive in Beverly Hills, but in 1936–37 the Wodehouses had rented a house at 1315 Angelo Drive, “miles away up at the top of a mountain, surrounded by canyons in which I am told rattlesnakes abound.” (Letter to William Townend, 7 November 1936) The owner was health-food proponent Gayelord Hauser. The house was then new, built in the English style, and has a swimming pool and a tree-lined driveway (see p. 41, below). Google Maps aerial view. The inference is that once again Wodehouse was writing about a place he knew well.

looked like a Roman emperor (p. 7)

See Something Fishy.

yoghurt (p. 8)

It is tempting to attribute this reference to the Wodehouses’ former landlord Gayelord Hauser. The only other mention of yoghurt so far found in Wodehouse is the following year, in Pigs Have Wings, ch. 4, in reference to the Hon. Galahad Threepwood’s robust appearance despite his age and lifestyle:

…he might have been a youngish teetotaller who had subsisted from boyhood on yoghurt, yeast, wheat germ and blackstrap molasses.

Compare this, from Be Happier, Be Healthier by Hauser (1952):

…the wonder foods I have talked so much about: yeast, wheat germ, yogurt, blackstrap molasses and milk powder…

The yogurt I remember from my youth, often home-cultured from starter, was thinner in consistency than the commercial yogurts now available, so “drinking” it was a more reasonable description then than now.

like a motorman’s glove (p. 8)

In Heavy Weather, ch. 2 (1933), Monty Bodkin, writing the “Uncle Woggly to His Chicks” column in Tiny Tots, had acknowledged that spinach tastes like a motorman’s glove.

University of Southern California at Los Angeles (p. 8)

Perhaps deliberately, Wodehouse is mixing the names of two institutions: the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), run by the State of California, and the University of Southern California (USC), a private university. From 1315 Angelo Drive, UCLA is easily visible only a mile or two to the south-southwest. USC, by contrast, is some ten miles to the southeast.

[The Collier’s serial calls it simply “the University of California at Los Angeles” here.]

an apartment on Park Avenue (p. 9)

The Wodehouses had moved into a duplex penthouse apartment at 1000 Park Avenue, New York City, in June 1950.

a bird in a gilded cage (p. 10)

See Hot Water.

Wasted my substance. (p. 10)

See Biblia Wodehousiana.

a hundred dollars (p. 10)

Using Consumer Price Index data, the purchasing power of $100 in 1951 was roughly equivalent to $1,150 in 2022.

good old Bill … Wilhelmina (p. 11)

In the Collier’s serial, her name is Jane.

blood is thicker than water (p. 11)

Despite the proverb (see The Mating Season) the fact is that a sister-in-law by marriage is not a blood relative, so Smedley’s reliance on the proverb is invalid.

committee of supply (p. 11)

See Laughing Gas, the only other use of this term so far found in Wodehouse.

The good man taking his rest. (p. 11)

Even though this phrase sounds classical or even Biblical, a Google Books search for this phrase turns up exactly one result prior to Wodehouse, and a great number in Wodehouse.

The good man taking his rest after his day’s work, and smoking his long clay pipe…

Early New York, by Robert B. Roosevelt (1904)

It was a peaceful picture—the good man taking his rest; and for me it had an added attractiveness in that it suggested that Sam was doing by day what my information had prevented him from doing in the night.

The Little Nugget, ch. 26 (1913)

One contemplates with a sense of pleasure (that pleasure which one feels at the sight of the good man taking his rest), the vision of President Wilson putting the cover on his typewriter after all these weary months…

“Watchman, What of the Night?” (1916)

From within, through the open transom, came the rhythmical snoring of a good man taking his rest after the labors of the day.

“Dear Old Squiffy” (1920; in Indiscretions of Archie, ch. 8, 1921)

How pleasant if one could leave him so—the good man taking his rest.

The Girl on the Boat, ch. 11 (1922)

In the Anne Boleyn Room Captain Biggar, the good man taking his rest, was dreaming of old days on the Me Wang River, which, we need scarcely inform our public, is a tributary of the larger and more crocodile-infested Wang Me.

Ring for Jeeves (1953)/The Return of Jeeves (1954), ch. 15

He slept, the good man taking his rest after a busy day.

Something Fishy/The Butler Did It, ch. 26 (the last sentence of the book)

restoring his tissues (p. 12)

See Bill the Conqueror.

There is a time for tickling cats under the ear (p. 12)

See Biblia Wodehousiana.

wear the mask (p. 12)

See Laughing Gas.

Rodin’s Penseur (p. 12)

See Summer Lightning.

the balloon had not yet gone up (p. 12)

See The Luck of the Bodkins.

Duty, stern daughter of the voice of God (p. 12)

A reference to the poem “Ode to Duty” by William Wordsworth (written 1805, published 1807).

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

Two other references in Wodehouse:

[English policemen lurking on a chilly night] do not wince nor cry aloud. “Duty, stern daughter of the voice of God,” they say to themselves, and go on lurking.

Uncle Dynamite, ch. 9 (1948)

Concerts meant nothing to P. C. Popjoy. Duty, stern daughter of the Voice of God, told him, concert or no concert, to walk his beat at night, and he walked it.

“Big Business” (in A Few Quick Ones, 1959; this reference is not in earlier magazine versions)

french windows (p. 13)

See Summer Lightning.

dictaphone (p. 13)

See Bill the Conqueror.

[Capitalized as a trademark in the Collier’s serial.]

executive capacity (p. 14)

In the older sense of “executive” as the one who does the actual work, rather than the administrator who does the planning; see Bill the Conqueror.

restorative (p. 14)

See Sam the Sudden.

Saint Bernard dogs (p. 14)

See Something Fresh.

be of good cheer, Phipps (p. 15)

See Biblia Wodehousiana.

sent him up the river (p. 15)

Slang for sending him to prison; the Sing Sing prison at Ossining, New York, is some thirty miles north of New York City along the Hudson River.

alarm and despondency (p. 15–16)

See Ukridge.

Macbeth seeing Banquo’s ghost (p. 16)

See Shakespeare Quotations and Allusions in Wodehouse.

Walls have ears. (p. 16)

See Laughing Gas.

silver threads among the gold (p. 17)

An allusion to a popular song of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a sentimental love song written to an aging sweetheart about one’s hair turning gray. The sheet music is online at Duke University; the music was composed by H. P. Danks, with lyrics by Eben E. Rexford; it was first published in 1873. A popular early recording by John McCormack is online at YouTube.

Nature’s bachelors (p. 18)

You who read this are probably a happy married man, constitutionally unable to realize the intensity of the instinct for self-preservation which animates Nature’s bachelors in time of peril.

“Honeysuckle Cottage” (1925; in Meet Mr. Mulliner, 1927)

“It is not merely,” he resumed, evidently having followed some train of thought, “that, as one of Nature’s bachelors, I regard the married state with alarm and concern.”

Lancelot Mulliner’s Uncle Theodore in “Cats Will Be Cats” (1932; in Mulliner Nights, 1933)

“Mr. Wooster is an agreeable young gentleman, but I would describe him as essentially one of Nature’s bachelors.”

Jeeves, in Thank You, Jeeves, ch. 18 (1934)

Ever hear of still waters? … They run deep. (p. 17–18)

“I’m one of them still waters that runs deep.”

“By Advice of Counsel” (1910)

to go on a toot (p. 18)

See Uncle Fred in the Springtime.

shout from the house tops (p. 19)

See Biblia Wodehousiana.

diary (p. 20)

Possibly an allusion to the diary of film star Mary Astor, whose husband found her diary with explicit details of her love affairs and used it as evidence in a divorce and child-custody case in the middle 1930s.

“Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly” (p. 22)

From “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man (of Mine)”—one of the most popular songs from Show Boat by Oscar Hammerstein II and Jerome Kern. Helen Morgan as Julie introduced it in 1927 on Broadway and sang it in the 1936 film (clip at YouTube).

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

Beverly-Wilshire (p. 22)

A luxury hotel, built in 1928 at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. It is now branded as a Four Seasons Hotel.

Palm Beach suits (p. 22)

Though some use the term generically, this has been a brand name beginning in 1922 for men’s clothing designed for warm-weather climates, from lightweight wool gabardines to cotton, seersucker, and linen suits, jackets, and trousers for summer wear.

Chapter Two

Runs from p. 23 to p. 33 in the 1951 Doubleday edition.

the Purple Chicken (p. 23)

We first encounter this Bohemian eatery in The Small Bachelor (1926/27).

the Colony (p. 23)

A New York City restaurant on Sixty-first Street off Madison Avenue, founded in 1919, and famous during the 1920s and later for being patronized by society leaders, performers, politicians, and high rollers. Like the Purple Chicken in Wodehouse’s fiction, it served liquor during Prohibition. It closed in 1971.

the Pavillon (p. 23)

A French restaurant, Le Pavillon, in New York City that set the standards for French cuisine in America for decades. An offshoot of a restaurant in the French pavilion of the 1939 New York World’s Fair, it opened on Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, in 1941; moved to Park Avenue in 1957; closed in 1971.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

wasting their substance (p. 23)

See Biblia Wodehousiana.

an egg whisk into his soul (p. 23)

You could see that it had got right in amongst him and churned him up like an egg whisk.

The Code of the Woosters, ch. 7 (1938)

Clunk, the old reliable, had given him a certain amount of physical relief, but this had been offset by the fact that his soul was feeling as if it had been churned up by an egg whisk.

Quick Service, ch. 3 (1940)

“Mother!” she exclaimed in the rich contralto which for years had been stirring up Bill Oakshott’s soul like an egg whisk.

Uncle Dynamite, ch. 10 (1948)

All through Reginald’s deeply moving performance she had sat breathless, her mind in a whirl and her soul stirred up as if by an egg whisk.

“Big Business” (in A Few Quick Ones, 1959)

It would be exaggerating to say that even now his soul was altogether at peace, but the illusion that it was being churned up by an egg whisk had unquestionably diminished in intensity.

“Life with Freddie” (in Plum Pie, 1966)

[an egg beater in the Collier’s serial.]

cheesecake zone of Hollywood (p. 24)

Here, “cheesecake” refers to photographs of smiling, attractive young women (as if saying “cheese” for the photographer).

he had had his being (p. 24)

See Biblia Wodehousiana.

neo-Vorticist (p. 24)

In The Small Bachelor we had read of typical residents of Greenwich Village: “some rising interior decorator, some Vorticist sculptor or a writer of revolutionary vers libre.” See Wikipedia for more on the original Vorticist movement. The term “neo-vorticist” is found as early as 1924 in fiction: “Truthful James” by William Upson.

[surrealist in the Collier’s serial.]

Blondie … Dagwood Bumstead (p. 24)

The leading characters in the Blondie newspaper comic strip created by Chic Young in 1930 and still running today under the direction of his son Dean Young. Blondie was originally a flapper and Dagwood a wealthy playboy; the two characters were married in 1933.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

No … Molotov (p. 25)

Vyacheslav Molotov (1890–1986) was a Soviet politician and diplomat for many years; he had headed the Soviet delegation to the conference that formed the United Nations in 1945 as Minister of Foreign Affairs; at the time of this novel’s writing he was First Deputy Premier.

A British newsreel clip from 1946 titled “ ‘No No’ Says Molotov” can be seen on YouTube; the announcer says “When Molotov says ‘No,’ No it is.”

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

Mr. Bones (p. 25)

See The Girl in Blue.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

The Old Reliable (p. 26)

In the Collier’s serial, Jane Shannon is The Old Master everywhere this phrase occurs.

Corned Beef Hash Betty Grable (p. 26)

The Hollywood motion picture studios had large cafeterias called commissaries for the convenience of performers and workers, who could get meals without leaving the studio lot. Wodehouse has fun here and elsewhere with their habit of naming various dishes in honor of film stars.

See also p. 35 below.

And it was on the very next afternoon, as he sat with Rosalie in the commissary sharing with her a Steak Pudding Marlene Dietrich, that Montrose noticed that the girl was in the grip of some strong excitement.

“Monkey Business” (1932; in Blandings Castle and Elsewhere, 1935)

I had just mentioned roast pork with boiled potatoes and cabbage and was about to go on to Mutton Stew Joan Clarkson, when I was conscious of a violent blow or buffet on the top of the head.

“The Juice of an Orange” (1933; in Blandings Castle and Elsewhere, 1935)

The heaviness of a storm-tossed soul had brought Bulstrode to the commissary for a frosted malted milk once more, and there, toying with—respectively—a Surprise Gloria Swanson and a Cheese Sandwich Maurice Chevalier, were Mabelle Ridgway and Ed. Murgatroyd.

“The Castaways” (1933; in Blandings Castle and Elsewhere, 1935)

While having a Malted Milk Greta Garbo with some of the old lags in the commissary one morning about halfway through my term of sentence, I was told of one very interesting case.
 …scarcely knowing why, he turned and went off to the commissary and had a Strawberry and Vanilla Nut Sundae Mary Pickford.

“The Girl in the Pink Bathing Suit” in America, I Like You (1956)/Over Seventy (1957)

La Belle Dame Sans Merci (p. 27)

Literally, “the merciless beautiful woman”; a reference to a ballad by John Keats.

curled up with Keats’s latest (p. 27)

No doubt Joe actually knew that Keats had died in 1821; he’s cracking a joke here for Kay’s benefit, though his levity is having the opposite effect. Compare:

“When I have a leisure moment, you will generally find me curled up with Spinoza’s latest.”

Bertie Wooster to Florence Craye in Joy in the Morning, ch. 2 (1946)

“Ah, what can ail thee, wretched wight?” (p. 27)

The original 1819 edition of the poem, at the link two notes above, begins:

O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
 Alone and palely loitering?

Joe is quoting from the revised edition of the poem, published in 1820.

[But in the Collier’s serial, Joe quotes the original edition as given here.]

on a plate with watercress around her (p. 28)

See Leave It to Psmith.

By the beard of Sam Goldwyn (p. 28)

See The Luck of the Bodkins.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

“Stand back. I am armed.” (p. 28)

“Stand back!” he shouted, waving it over his head. “Stand back, sir! I am armed!”

“Sir Roderick Comes to Lunch” (1922; in The Inimitable Jeeves, 1923)

“Stand back, woman,” I cried. “I am armed!”

Laughing Gas, ch. 26 (1935)

“Stand back!” I cried, for I was prepared to defend myself with iron resolution.

Joy in the Morning, ch. 9 (1946)

“Stand back!” cried Oofy, brandishing his panama hat. “I am armed!”

“Leave It to Algy” (in A Few Quick Ones, 1959)

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

get hell from Emily Post (p. 28)

Wodehouse’s language got a little rougher and freer after his World War Two internment camp experiences; here the idea of an etiquette expert “giving him hell” makes for a piquant contrast. See Summer Moonshine.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

homme sérieux (p. 29)

A serious man; see the phonetic om seerioo in the notes to Uncle Fred in the Springtime.

pulps (p. 29)

Mass-circulation magazines printed on lower-quality wood-pulp paper, similar to newsprint. Many of Wodehouse’s earliest stories were published in pulp magazines when his career was getting started, before magazines with more critical standards and better printing began to accept his work.

Superba-Llewellyn (p. 29)

One of Wodehouse’s fictional Hollywood studios, first encountered in The Luck of the Bodkins (1935) under the leadership of Ivor “Ikey” Llewellyn; later mentioned in several other novels.

Saturday Evening Post (p. 29)

One of the widest-circulation of the higher-class American weekly magazines; Wodehouse wrote for them for many years, with serialized novels and short stories appearing from 1915 through 1965, and a number of reprints in later issues. See the menu of early appearances here at Madame Eulalie for more.

[a richly bound dictionary in the Collier’s serial, no doubt to avoid naming a rival magazine.]

Station W.J.Z. (p. 30)

At the time of writing, the call letters WJZ were used by a New York AM radio station, originally broadcasting in 1921 from Newark, New Jersey; after 1923 in Manhattan under the ownership of RCA; from 1927 the flagship of the NBC Blue Network, later to become the American Broadcasting Company in 1945. From 1941 to 1953 it broadcast on a frequency of 770 kHz on the AM dial. Currently the WJZ call letters are used by AM and FM radio stations in Baltimore, Maryland, and the descendant of the New York station now uses WABC as its call letters.

[Merely a radio station in the Collier’s serial.]

wealth beyond the dreams of avarice (p. 30)

There are two possible eighteenth-century sources for what has become a stock phrase; see for citations from Edward Moore and Samuel Johnson.

all for the best in this best of all possible worlds (p. 32)

See Something Fresh.

“She can’t eat me … not a vegetarian.” (p. 33)

“She couldn’t eat me,” said George valiantly.
“I don’t know so much. She is not a vegetarian.”

The Small Bachelor, ch. 1.4 (1926/27)

Chapter Three

Runs from p. 34 to p. 43 in the 1951 Doubleday edition.

Santa Claus and Good King Wenceslas (p. 34)

In the Collier’s serial, the list here is “Santa Claus, Diamond Jim Brady and Good King Wenceslas”.

the Beverly Hills hotel (p. 34)

A landmark at 9641 Sunset Boulevard since its 1912 construction, its exterior has been a pink stucco landmark with green accents since a 1948 renovation. Google Earth aerial view of façade.

[In the Collier’s serial, this scene is at the Beverly Wilshire hotel.]

punched a hole in a dam (p. 35)

Having uttered these words, Sigsbee Horatio stood gazing at his wife with something of the spell-bound horror of a man who has bored a hole in a dam and sees the water trickling through and knows that it is too late to stop it.

The Small Bachelor, ch. 5.2 (1926/27)

She felt as if she had punched a hole in a dam and were watching thousands perish in the valley below.

If I Were You, ch. 13 (1931)

Driven me out into the snow (p. 35)

See Heavy Weather.

my hat on the side of my head (p. 35)

See The Mating Season.

Queen of the May (p. 35)

See the last two lines of the poem at Laughing Gas.

brusheroo (p. 35)

Originally American slang for “brush-off” meaning a dismissal. The first citation in the OED is from 1941.

Malted Milk Bette Davis (p. 35)

See p. 26, above.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

well-to-do millionaire (p. 36)

Compare the tautology “rich millionaire”; see Bill the Conqueror.

I forgot to mail it (p. 37)

In earlier stories set in the UK, Ukridge and Bingo Little forget to post letters (see Very Good, Jeeves). Here, in an American setting, the verb “to mail” is used in both US and UK editions.

like officers and gentlemen (p. 38)

See Blandings Castle and Elsewhere.

[like gentlemen in the Collier’s serial.]

Screwball Centre (p. 38)

From the context, this seems to refer to Hollywood, and indeed the Collier’s serial has “Hollywood” here. Google Books search finds no earlier use of this phrase, and indeed no other usage before 1973, for either spelling of center/centre.

Wodehouse first used “screwball” in Uncle Fred in the Springtime (1939), ch. 8, in which Lord Ickenham asks Sir Roderick Glossop:

“You are going to Blandings Castle now, no doubt, to inspect some well-connected screwball?”

This is the second citation in the OED for the colloquial sense of screwball meaning an eccentric or crazy person; their first citation is from 1933.

goodwill and effects (p. 38)

Respectively referring to the name and reputation of an established business and to its assets.

now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party (p. 38)

See The Code of the Woosters.

soft snaps (p. 39)

Slang, originating in the US about 1840, for an easy job, an undertaking with light duties and pleasant rewards. One OED citation is from Wodehouse’s Carry On, Jeeves! (1925).

putrescent (p. 39)

Literally meaning “becoming rotten,” the sense here is equivalent to “stinking rich.” Wodehouse had used the adjective twice before, still figuratively, but as a denigration closer to its root meaning:

“…if only their rotten, putrescent, twopenny-ha’penny incubator had worked…”

Love Among the Chickens, ch. 14 (1906 edition)

“A little more of this putrescent mixture for you, sir.”

The Gem Collector, ch. 6 (1909)

Santa Monica … games of chance (p. 40)

A coastal city, southwest of Beverly Hills, which resisted being incorporated into Los Angeles. My research has not found that gambling was permitted openly there; in fact there are no casinos in the city today even with legalized gambling. But in the 1930s, ships anchored offshore in Santa Monica Bay, outside the three-mile limit of state law jurisdiction, offered games of chance; see this Los Angeles Almanac article.

doom, desolation and despair (p. 41)

This phrase appears to be a Wodehouse coinage, but compare “ruin, desolation and despair” in The Mating Season.

“And then what? I’ll tell you what. Doom, desolation and despair.”

Pigs Have Wings, ch. 9 (1952)

I had had some idea of going into the possibility of Aunt Agatha reading the contents of the club book and touching on the doom, desolation and despair which must inevitably be my portion if she did, but I saw that it would be fruitless or bootless.

Much Obliged, Jeeves, ch. 11 (1971)

See also p. 183, below.

Napoleon retreating from Moscow (p. 41)

Napoleon’s attempt to invade Russia in 1812 was defeated as much by the winter weather as by the Russian army. He lost the greater part of the 400,000 men he set out with in the course of the retreat from Moscow. [MH]

Wodehouse made a number of references to this retreat:

Tell you what it was just like. Reminded me of it even at the time: that picture of Napoleon coming back from Moscow. The Reverend was Napoleon, and we were the generals; and if there were three humpier men walking the streets of London at that moment I should have liked to have seen them.

Not George Washington, ch. 18 (1907)

Mike nodded. A sombre nod. The nod Napoleon might have given if somebody had met him in 1812, and said, “So you’re back from Moscow, eh?”

The Lost Lambs, ch. 2 (1908; in Mike, 1909)

As readily might one of the generals of the Grand Army have opened conversation with Napoleon during the retreat from Moscow.

Love Among the Chickens, ch. 23 (1906 and 1909 editions)

Napoleon’s retreat from Moscow was a picnic by the side of it.

“Helping Freddie” (1911; in My Man Jeeves, 1919)

Sam appeared again in a gap in the trees, walking slowly and pensively, as one retreating from his Moscow.

The Little Nugget, ch. 14 (1913)

The dark moments of optimistic minds are sacred, and I would no more have ventured to break in on Ukridge’s thoughts at that moment than, if I had been a general in the Grand Army, I would have opened conversation with Napoleon during the retreat from Moscow.

Love Among the Chickens, ch. 23 (1921 edition)

Searching the records for an adequately gloomy parallel to the taxicab journey to the theatre which followed it, one can only think of Napoleon’s retreat from Moscow.

Jill the Reckless/The Little Warrior, ch. 2.2 (1920)

It was Ukridge retreating from Moscow.

“The Début of Battling Billson” (1923; in Ukridge, 1925)

With all his worldly prospects swept away and a large bruise on his person which made it uncomfortable for him to assume a sitting posture, you might have supposed that the return of Lancelot Mulliner from Putney would have resembled that of the late Napoleon from Moscow.

“Came the Dawn” (1927; in Meet Mr. Mulliner, 1927)

Mac had many admirable qualities, but not tact. He was the sort of man who would have tried to cheer Napoleon up by talking about the Winter Sports at Moscow.

Summer Lightning, ch. 2.2 (1929)

“Resigned,” said Monty firmly. He was not going to reveal his Moscow to this woman.

Heavy Weather, ch. 5 (1933)

“And you,” said Lord Ickenham to the woman Connie, who was looking like a female Napoleon at Moscow.

“Uncle Fred Flits By” (1935; in Young Men in Spats, 1936)

In the aspect of the two men, as they shambled through the french windows, there was a crushed defeatism which would have reminded Napoleon, had he been present, of the old days at Moscow.

Quick Service, ch. 10 (1940)

In the manner of Gordon Carlisle as half an hour later he entered the presence of his wife, Gertie, there still lingered a suggestion of Napoleon returning from Moscow.

Cocktail Time, ch. 13 (1958)

Reaching the mainland some moments later and squelching back to the house, accompanied by Bobbie, like a couple of Napoleons squelching back from Moscow, we encountered Aunt Dahlia…

Jeeves in the Offing/How Right You Are, Jeeves, ch. 16 (1960)

The afternoon was well advanced by the time Bill returned from London. When he did so, there was that in his demeanour which would have reminded students of history of Napoleon after his experiences in Moscow.

Company for Henry, ch. 7.4 (1967)

To be obliged to retreat in disorder from a stricken battlefield always tends to lower the spirits. Napoleon, who had this experience at Moscow, made no secret of the fact that he did not enjoy it.

The Girl in Blue, ch. 12.1 (1970)

I suppose if you had asked Napoleon how he had managed to get out of Moscow, he would have been a bit vague about it, and it was the same with me.

Much Obliged, Jeeves, ch. 8 (1971)

stuffed eelskin (p. 41)

See The Inimitable Jeeves.

a broad gateway and a tree-lined strip of concrete drive … a house invisible from where he sat (p. 41)

The driveway at 1315 Angelo Drive (see the aerial view linked above, p. 7) is still flanked by trees which screen the house from the roadway. Google Maps street view of driveway and gate in 2021.

Stately Homes of Hollywood (p. 41)

A parallel to the Stately Homes of England, of course.

Do It Now (p. 42)

See Leave It to Psmith.

first crack out of the box (p. 42)

See The Inimitable Jeeves.

had the stuff in sackfuls (p. 42)

See Full Moon.

Crœsus (p. 42)

King of Lydia, reigned circa 585 to circa 546 bc; legendary for his wealth.

[Midas in the Collier’s serial.]

Chapter Four

Runs from p. 44 to p. 60 in the 1951 Doubleday edition.

One would have said … and one would have been right (p. 44)

The opening phrase usually is followed by a contrasting statement or something like “and one would have been in error” as in A Pelican at Blandings, Bill the Conqueror, Bring On the Girls, Do Butlers Burgle Banks?, Heavy Weather, Ice in the Bedroom, Service With a Smile, and many other instances. But Wodehouse created humor by reversing our expectations here and at least one other time:

Here, one would have said, and in saying would have been a hundred per cent correct, were two minds with but a single thought.

Barmy in Wonderland/Angel Cake, ch. 17 (1952)

sob sister (p. 44)

American colloquial term for a female journalist who writes sentimental articles or gives advice on problems submitted by readers. The OED has citations beginning 1912, including the 1936 one from Wodehouse:

“It’s one of the things the sob-sisters are sure to write up.”

Laughing Gas, ch. 18 (1936)

“I came home all tired out from a heavy day at the office—I was a sob sister then on one of the evening papers…”

Leila Yorke in Ice in the Bedroom, ch. 12 (1961)

Phipps came shimmering through the door (p. 45)

A feat usually ascribed to Jeeves:

There was Jeeves, standing behind me, full of zeal. In this matter of shimmering into rooms the man is rummy to a degree. You’re sitting in the old arm-chair, thinking of this and that, and then suddenly you look up, and there he is. He moves from point to point with as little uproar as a jelly-fish.

“Jeeves and the Hard-Boiled Egg” (1917; in Carry On, Jeeves, 1925)

Jeeves came shimmering down the hall, the respectful beam of welcome on his face.

“Jeeves and the Spot of Art” (1929; in Very Good, Jeeves, 1930)

“Excuse me, sir,” he said, shimmering towards old Stoker and presenting an envelope on a salver.

Thank You, Jeeves, ch. 20 (1934)

It was perhaps a couple of ticks later, or three, that Jeeves came shimmering up.

Joy in the Morning, ch. 15 (1946)

I laid down the writing materials and was preparing to turn in for the night, when Jeeves came shimmering in.

The Mating Season, ch. 27 (1949)

‘Jeeves,’ he began, at length finding speech, but Jeeves was shimmering through the door.

Ring for Jeeves, ch. 15 (1953)

I was, in short, in buoyant mood and practically saying ‘Tra la’, when I observed Jeeves shimmering up in the manner of one desiring audience.

Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit, ch. 15 (1954)

When Jeeves came shimmering in next morning with the breakfast tray, I lost no time in supplying him with full information re the harrow I found myself the toad under.

Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves, ch. 10 (1963)

Jeeves came shimmering in shortly after she had left.

Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen, ch. 8 (1974)

Israelite in the desert, watching manna descending from the skies (p. 45)

See Biblia Wodehousiana.

posing as a butler for your own subtle ends (p. 47)

Compare Horace Appleby in Do Butlers Burgle Banks? (1968), head of a gang of burglars, who does just this.

“Where the sauce comes from?” (p. 47)

An allusion to a catchphrase in the comic play Charley’s Aunt by Brandon Thomas (1897) in which the title character (actually a young man in disguise as a middle-aged woman) is said to be “from Brazil, where the nuts come from” at least half a dozen times.

United States of Northern America (p. 47)

A term not used in the USA, but a few of Wodehouse’s British characters word it this way. It may be a way of distinguishing the USA from Mexico, whose official name in Spanish is Estados Unidos Mexicanos (United States of Mexico).

“I must confess to a momentary sensation of surprise, sir. I had supposed that you were in the United States of Northern America.”

Gascoigne in “The Luck of the Stiffhams” (1933; in Young Men in Spats, 1936)

Freddie found himself chafing at the apparent impossibility of ever obtaining co-operation in the country of his birth. He sighed for the happier conditions prevailing in the United States of northern America, where you got it at every turn.

Full Moon, ch. 9.2 (1947)

There was no question that the current younger generation knew how to handle those little problems with which the growing girl is so often confronted. This was particularly so, it appeared, if their formative years had been passed in the United States of Northern America.

Pigs Have Wings, ch. 1.4 (1952)

weighing her in the balance (p. 47)

See Biblia Wodehousiana.

Three Dead at Midways Court (p. 48)

Wodehouse had used Midways Hall as the name of the birthplace of Kay Derrick in Sam the Sudden (1925). In Uncle Fred in the Springtime, ch. 14 (1939), Lord Bosham has been reading Three Dead at Mistleigh Court.

the Heavy (p. 48)

Theatrical and literary jargon for the villain of the piece.

[Simply The criminal in the Collier’s serial.]

straight and narrow path (p. 49)

See Biblia Wodehousiana.

an article in the Yale Review about the Reformed Criminal (p. 49)

“Didn’t you read my series in the Yale Review on the Problem of the Reformed Criminal? I point out very clearly that there is nobody with such a strong bias towards honesty as the man who has just come out of prison.”

Hamilton Beamish in The Small Bachelor, ch. 1.4 (1926/27)

[The Collier’s serial omits in the Yale Review.]

burned child (p. 50)

See The Girl in Blue.

Earl of Powick, in Worcestershire (p. 50)

The title is fictitious, but the village of Powick in Worcestershire is where the young Wodehouse visited the home of his grandmother Lydia Lea Wodehouse (1809–1892) for two weeks every summer.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

The Plays of William Shakespeare (p. 50)

During the Second World War, when Wodehouse was interned by the German invaders of France, the only books he brought with him to internment camp were Tennyson’s poems and the Complete Works of William Shakespeare.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

college days (p. 50)

Wodehouse had earlier compared the camaraderie of fellow prisoners to college alumni:

 “At Sing Sing. I see in the paper that tomorrow and the day after they are inaugurating the new Osborne Stadium. All the men of my class will be attending and I must go too.”
 “Must you really?”
 “I certainly must. Not to do so would be to show a lack of college spirit. The boys are playing Yale and there is to be a big dinner afterward.”

“Keeping In with Vosper” (1926; in The Heart of a Goof, 1926)

See also scholarship, p. 98, below.

giraffe blood (p. 50)

In Jill the Reckless/The Little Warrior, ch. 16.1 (1920/21), Otis Pilkington is called “the human giraffe.” In The Small Bachelor, ch. 4.4, Officer Garroway had “a neck which suggested that he might be a throw-back to some giraffe ancestor.”

maddest, merriest day of all the glad new year (p. 50)

See the poem at Laughing Gas.

broke a hundred (p. 51)

Completed eighteen holes of golf in fewer than a hundred strokes.

He was feeling that this was going to put him right off his game. He doubted if he would break a hundred to-day—after this.

Doctor Sally, ch. 13 (1932)

one touch of nature makes the whole world kin (p. 51)

From Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida; see Shakespeare Quotations and Allusions in Wodehouse.

Wodehouse had used “One Touch of Nature” as the title in The Man With Two Left Feet of the story published in a magazine as “Brother Fans” (1914).

Nick Schenk (p. 51)

Actually Nicholas M. Schenck (1881–1969), partner of Marcus Loew in amusement parks and theater chains; after Loew’s death in 1927, head of Loew’s Incorporated, which owned the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios.

much less talk into that sewing-machine thing (p. 52)

Wodehouse himself had trouble when he tried writing by dictation; see Ukridge.

Empress of Stormy Emotion (p. 52)

This title is also applied to Grayce Llewellyn in Bachelors Anonymous, ch. 7 (1973), and to Mrs. Schnellenhamer in magazine versions of “The Rise of Minna Nordstrom” (1933; in Blandings Castle and Elsewhere, 1935, she is called the Queen of Stormy Emotions). Compare Hortensia Burwash, Empress of Molten Passion, in “The Juice of an Orange” (1933; in Blandings Castle and Elsewhere, 1935).

Louise de Querouaille (p. 52)

Current reference works spell her name as Louise de Kéroualle (1649–1734), daughter of a nobleman in Brittany, France, and mistress of King Charles II of England from about 1671; she bore him a son in 1672 who was created Duke of Richmond at the age of three. In 1673 she was granted the titles of Baroness Petersfield, Countess of Fareham, and Duchess of Portsmouth, giving her an enormous income.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

curled up before her like carbon paper (p. 53)

In the days before photocopiers, duplicate documents were often prepared using carbon paper, a thin sheet coated on one side with a dark, waxy pigment which would be inserted between two sheets of plain paper so that anything typed or written (with a firm pen such as a ball-point) on the upper sheet would be transferred to the lower sheet, the carbon copy.

Since only one side of the flimsy carbon paper is coated, changes in humidity can cause carbon paper to curl.

For years she had been moving in a world of men who frisked obsequiously about her and curled up like carbon paper if she spoke crossly to them, and she had become surfeited with male worship.

Uncle Dynamite, ch. 14 (1948)

Many a fellow who looks like the dominant male and has himself photographed smoking a pipe, curls up like carbon paper when confronted with one of these relatives.

The Mating Season, ch. 6 (1949)

Armand Vecsey … played superbly, and when he dished out the Chinese suite he had composed, the brave and the fair curled up like carbon paper…

Bring On the Girls, ch. 6 (1953)

L. G. Trotter curled up beneath her eye like a sheet of carbon paper.

Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit, ch. 20 (1954)

“And yet that man, that haughty butler, curls up like a sheet of carbon paper if I look squiggle-eyed at him.”

Ice in the Bedroom, ch. 4 (1961)

His face crumpled up like a sheet of carbon paper.

Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen, ch. 19 (1974)

Screen Topics, Screen Secrets (p. 53)

The first appears to be fictional, but a real Screen Secrets magazine was published monthly by Fawcett Publications from April 1928 until its name was changed to Screen Play Secrets in April 1930.

[Simply fan magazines in the Collier’s serial.]

the Johnston office (p. 54)

The self-censoring board set up by the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors Association beginning in the 1920s, originally called the Hays Office after the first director, Will Hays. In 1946 Eric Johnston (1896–1963) became the president, and changed the group’s name to the Motion Picture Association of America. The industry’s attempt to regulate its own content was intended to forestall government censorship of movies by states and cities, which had sometimes required editing different versions of prints to accommodate the sensibilities of various localities.

Mrs. Siddons (p. 54)

Sarah Siddons (1755–1831), a Welsh-born actress famous for portraying Lady Macbeth and other imperious roles.

the mother of the Gracchi (p. 54)

Cornelia, daughter of the Roman general Scipio Africanus, of the second century b.c.; renowned for her investment in the political careers of her sons Tiberius and Gaius, sons of the consul Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, and for her interest in literature and languages. Several painters have portrayed her; see Wikipedia for images and a fuller biography.

Jacob Glutz (p. 55)

In “The Juice of an Orange” and “The Rise of Minna Nordstrom” (both 1933; in Blandings Castle and Elsewhere, 1935), the Medulla-Oblongata studio is headed by a Sigismund Glutz. Jacob is presumably a brother, son, or nephew who has taken over the business and given it the doubly-hyphenated name Medulla-Oblongata-Glutz, no doubt intended by Wodehouse to remind us of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. His firm makes an offer for the film rights to Cocktail Time in Wodehouse’s 1958 novel of the same title.

Lytton Strachey … Life of Queen Victoria (p. 56)

A famous 1921 biography of the late Queen (online at Google Books), by Lytton Strachey (1880–1932), a founding member of the Bloomsbury Group of writers and critics.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

Shipped out to Hollywood … in a crate of twelve (p. 57)

Wodehouse satirized the Hollywood studio’s aggressive recruitment of capable writers several times, notably in “The Castaways” (1933; in Blandings Castle and Elsewhere, 1935) and an article appearing under various titles:

The demand for authors at Hollywood has led to the revival of the old press-gang. Competition between the studios has become so keen that nowadays no one is safe even if he merely looks like an author.

“The Fatal Lure of Hollywood” in Daily Mail, December 7, 1929

“Slaves of Hollywood” in Saturday Evening Post, December 12, 1929

“The Hollywood Scandal” in Louder and Funnier (1932)

The demand for authors in those early talkie days was so great that it led to the revival of the old press-gang. Nobody was safe even if he merely looked like an author.

“The Girl in the Pink Bathing Suit” in America, I Like You (1956) and Over Seventy (1957)

Dorothy Dix (p. 58)

See Money in the Bank.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

do right by our Nell (p. 58)

See Ice in the Bedroom.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

secrecy and silence (p. 59)

See Very Good, Jeeves.

his bed had not been slept in (p. 59)

See Summer Lightning.

Boys will be boys (p. 59)

See A Damsel in Distress.

we shall pass this way only once (p. 59)

I shall pass this way but once; any good that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being; let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.

Etienne de Grellet (1773–1855)

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

increase the sum of human happiness (p. 59)

The only useful knowledge is that which teaches us how to seek what is good and avoid what is evil; in short, how to increase the sum of human happiness.

John Stuart Mill, Speech on the Utility of Knowledge (1823)

“If I had money, I could increase the sum of human happiness a hundredfold.”

Lord Biskerton in Big Money, ch. 10.1 (1931)

“Stuff and nonsense.” (p. 59)

See A Damsel in Distress.

look for the silver lining (p. 60)

See Bill the Conqueror.

Chapter Five

Runs from p. 61 to p. 70 in the 1951 Doubleday edition.

the easy insouciance of the Red Indian at the stake (p. 61)

The US first edition has the misprint “stage” for “stake” here.

See Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen for other Wodehouse allusions to this situation.

Roget (p. 61)

See Summer Moonshine.

the base Indian who threw away a pearl richer than all his tribe (p. 62)

From Othello; see Shakespeare Quotations and Allusions in Wodehouse.

joint (p. 62)

By this time, using “joint” refer to a house is merely slangy and informal; it has lost the overtones of criminality it had earlier connoted. See Sam the Sudden.

out-Arthurs Treacher (p. 62)

English film and stage actor Arthur Treacher (1894–1975) often played butler and manservant roles, including the role of Jeeves in the film titled Thank You, Jeeves (1936), which unfortunately had little to do with Wodehouse’s novel of the same title.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

“spends his whole time sneaking around in your bedroom” (p. 63)

Reminiscent of Lord Uffenham, masquerading as butler Cakebread in Money in the Bank (1941), who offends Clarissa Cork by looking for a mouse in her bedroom cupboard (ch. 3), and of Sir Roderick Glossop, masquerading as butler Swordfish in Jeeves in the Offing/How Right You Are, Jeeves (1960), who finds the silver cow-creamer in Wilbert Cream’s bedroom.

solar plexus (p. 63)

See The Luck of the Bodkins.

Galatea (p. 64)

See Leave It to Psmith.

hot stuff (p. 65)

See A Damsel in Distress.

‘Yoicks! Tally ho!’ (p. 65)

See a pair of annotations at The Mating Season.

Ovaltine (p. 66)

A brand of milk-flavoring powders, introduced in 1904 in Switzerland as Ovomaltine since the original recipe included egg and malt extract, and in Britain as Ovaltine in 1909. See Wikipedia for more history and details of the various formulations and trade names, some of which contain cocoa. In any case, it appears that Adela Cork takes a cup of flavored warm milk before retiring.

This is the only reference to Ovaltine so far found in Wodehouse.

[chocolate drink in the Collier’s serial.]

knockout drop or Mickey Finn (p. 66)

See Money for Nothing.

[knockout drop or mickey finn in the Collier’s serial.]

Third Avenue bartender (p. 66)

Wodehouse apparently thought of Third Avenue in Manhattan as a locality for less-reputable characters and situations.

“I was wondering was I on Third Avenue, or was I standing on me coco, or what was I doin’ anyhow.”

Spike Mullins in The Intrusions of Jimmy/A Gentleman of Leisure, ch. 13 (1910)

“You’re going out on the old trail again—which begins in Third Avenue and ends in Sing Sing.”

Jimmy Pitt in The Intrusions of Jimmy/A Gentleman of Leisure, ch. 30 (1910)

“As a young man, in the course of a political argument in a Third Avenue saloon in New York, I was once struck squarely on the topknot by a pewter tankard in the capable hands of a gentleman of the name of Moriarty…”

Lord Ickenham in Cocktail Time, ch. 22 (1958)

B. picture (p. 67)

Hollywood studio designation for an inexpensively-produced feature, one that might be shown as the second half of a double feature. Many thrillers, Westerns, and other genre movies were produced under this category, and often these served as a training ground for directors and young actors. Despite limitations of budget and shooting schedules, the studios’ technical expertise often made these enjoyable as well as profitable.

Horror Stories (p. 67)

In this case, a real magazine, though one which had ceased publication by the time of this novel. Popular Publications issued Horror Stories monthly from 1935 to 1941.

[one of the science magazines in the Collier’s serial.]

trying to turn her into a lobster (p. 67)

Compare the tale told by Mr. Mulliner in “A Slice of Life” (1926; in Meet Mr. Mulliner, 1927)

yeggs (p. 68)

A yegg is a burglar; see the end notes to The Intrusion of Jimmy (1910, also as A Gentleman of Leisure) for a 1910 Wodehouse usage and the derivation.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

quarter-witted (p. 69)

The only usage of this insult so far found in Wodehouse.

Oxford accent (p. 69)

See Cocktail Time.

sneak preview (p. 69)

Hollywood studios would sometimes show an as-yet-unreleased picture in a movie theater as an unannounced substitution for whatever that theater was currently showing, in order to get unbiased audience reactions and to gauge the need for further editing or retakes.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

Chapter Six

Runs from p. 71 to p. 82 in the 1951 Doubleday edition.

the most licentious of clubmen (p. 71)

A stereotype for what might later be called a playboy.

Why, last night, he recalled, Judson had behaved for all the world like a Licentious Clubman in a super-film being the life and soul of one of those parties out of which the Censor cuts three thousand feet the moment he sees it.

Bill the Conqueror, ch. 2.1 (1924)

The impression he had received on the previous afternoon had been of a licentious clubman operating on all twelve cylinders, and that was the impression he received now.

Uncle Dynamite, ch. 8.2 (1948)

Johnny was thinking hard thoughts about his old school-fellow, Norbury-Smith, whose attitude toward Belinda Farringdon at lunch had seemed to him far too closely modelled on that of a licentious clubman of the old silent films…

Cocktail Time, ch. 18 (1958)

“…there was an affectionate look in Porky’s eye when Plug said you reminded him of a licentious clubman in the films which it would have done you good to see.”

“Freddie, Oofy and the Beef Trust” (1948; in A Few Quick Ones, 1959)

Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” (p. 72)

See Heavy Weather.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

morning of mornings (p. 73)

A phrase widely used in literature to mean one very special morning; in some devotional writing it refers to the first Easter or to the Second Coming of Christ, but it is common enough in a secular sense that no religious connotation need be assumed here.

He was seeing everything through rose-coloured spectacles on this morning of mornings: but, even making the necessary allowances for that, he was bound to admit that she looked extraordinarily attractive.

Big Money, ch. 3 (1931)

“Yes, here I am,” said Roscoe, marvelling not a little that on this morning of mornings the pimpled bloodhound should not have got more of the holiday spirit.

Something Fishy/The Butler Did It, ch. 24 (1957)

Surely, he felt, Freddie could not stay away from the premises on this morning of mornings.

“The Fat of the Land” (in A Few Quick Ones, 1959)

smiling faces about him (p. 73)

See Summer Lightning.

play with her as on a stringed instrument (p. 73)

See The Clicking of Cuthbert.

ewe lamb (p. 73)

See Biblia Wodehousiana.

Mike Romanoff’s (p. 74)

Harry F. Gerguson (born Hershel Geguzin in Lithuania, 1890–1971) pretended to be Prince Michael Dmitri Alexandrovich Obolensky-Romanoff, nephew of Czar Nicholas II, and opened upscale restaurants in Beverly Hills popular with the film community; the first, operating 1941–62, was located at 326 N. Rodeo Drive.

Mocambo (p. 74)

A nightclub at 8588 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, according to the 1951 phone book. It opened in 1941, decorated with a Latin-American theme, and featured big band music for dancing. It closed in 1958.

Ciro’s (p. 74)

A nightclub at 8433 Sunset Boulevard, operating under that name from 1940 to 1957; the location currently houses The Comedy Store. All three of these establishments were frequented by top Hollywood stars, so Joe and Smedley were having an adventurous and expensive evening.

a pea from under the shell (p. 75)

A variant on the pea-and-thimble trick: see The Code of the Woosters.

joints on Ventura Boulevard (p. 75)

Here “joint” has a disreputable connotation of lower-class bars. Ventura Boulevard runs east-and-west through the San Fernando Valley, along the traditional route of El Camino Real, the trail between the Spanish missions. At the time of this novel, it was part of U.S. Route 101, but since 1960 that designation applies to the Ventura Freeway which mostly parallels the boulevard.

Joe and Smedley have had to cross the Hollywood Hills and Santa Monica Mountains northward several miles over the Cahuenga Pass or through Laurel Canyon in order to get from the classy Hollywood nightclubs to this more plebeian neighborhood.

imitation of Beatrice Lillie (p. 75)

See The Code of the Woosters.

Gunga Din (p. 75)

A famous narrative poem by Kipling, told by a British soldier in India about a native water bearer; see online text at the Poetry Foundation. Many of Wodehouse’s characters recite it.

tidings of great joy (p. 75)

See Biblia Wodehousiana.

brought the good news from Aix to Ghent (p. 76)

Joe, like other Wodehouse characters, reverses the direction from Browning’s narrative poem. See Hot Water.

a fish on a slab (p. 76)

See Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen.

a stocking full of sand (p. 77)

Compare stuffed eelskin as above (p. 41); see The Inimitable Jeeves.

Mr. Marsupial (p. 79)

Presumably the man mentioned in Laughing Gas, ch. 12 (1936):

It will be no use Love sending a gift of roses to Cosmo Booch, noted press agent, or Dikran Marsupial, ace director, for some little time to come, because they won’t be able to smell ’em.

Wodehouse used the surname again in an article in Punch, August 18, 1954, later incorporated into America, I Like You and Over Seventy:

Every day one reads in the gossip columns another of those heart-warming announcements to the effect that Lotta Svelte and George Marsupial are holding hands and plan to merge as soon as the former can disentangle herself from Marcus Manleigh and the latter from Belinda Button, and one knows that George and Lotta are not going to let the side down.

worms down the back of your neck (p. 79)

A softer substitute for beetles; see Summer Lightning.

“We are not amused.” (p. 79)

See The Girl in Blue.

“that sunny smile of yours, Adela. I want to see it split your face from side to side” (p. 80)

“Bring out the motor-oil and jam,” said Lockhart, lighting a cigarette with a wax vesta, and a cynicism only equalled by that of the cruel smile which split his face into two exact halves.

“Women, Wine and Song!”, ch. 46 (1908)

A merry grin split his face.

The Intrusions of Jimmy/A Gentleman of Leisure, ch. 22 (1910)

Young Bingo unleashed a grin that split his face in half.

“Comrade Bingo” (1922; in The Inimitable Jeeves, 1923)

An instant before one might have thought that it would have been impossible for this stripling to smile, so strained and careworn had been his face; but now his head seemed suddenly to split in the middle.

Bill the Conqueror, ch. 13.2 (1924)

I was looking at her a bit anxiously all this while to see how she was taking the thing, and at this moment her face seemed suddenly to split in half. For an instant she appeared to be all mouth, and then she was staggering about the grass, shouting with laughter and waving the trowel madly.

“Without the Option” (1925; in Carry On, Jeeves, 1925/27)

The smile which had been splitting my face faded.

Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves, ch. 7 (1963)

His smile of gratification nearly split his face in half.

“Life with Freddie” (in Plum Pie, 1966/67)

the life of Reilly (p. 81)

Compare the life of Riley in Summer Moonshine.

[the life of Riley in the Collier’s serial.]

the Queen of Sheba welcoming King Solomon (p. 81)

See Biblia Wodehousiana.

“Of all sad words … It might have been” (p. 82)

See Leave It to Psmith.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

Chapter Seven

Runs from p. 83 to p. 95 in the 1951 Doubleday edition.

the language of the eye (p. 83)

After a brief inspection he proceeded to supplement the language of the eyes with the spoken word.

“How Kid Brady Took a Sea Voyage” (1907)

Ann was constrained to make her meaning plainer than by the language of the eye.

Piccadilly Jim, ch. 1 (1917)

The official could not hear what they were saying, and would not have been able to understand it even if he could have heard; but he was an expert in the language of the eyes.

The Adventures of Sally/Mostly Sally, ch. 3.2 (1922)

This woman gave me a pain in the neck, and I endeavoured to express as much in the language of the eyes.

“Ukridge Sees Her Through” (1923; in Ukridge, 1925)

Bald-headed politicians stared back at white-whiskered financiers, replying in the language of the eye that they did not know.

“Pig-hoo-o-o-o-ey!” (1927; in Blandings Castle and Elsewhere, 1935)

This would result in her popping her head out, and then he would blow a silent kiss and she would blow a silent kiss and he would tell her in the language of the eyes that his heart was still hers and what not.

“The Luck of the Stiffhams” (1933; in Young Men in Spats, 1936)

I consulted Jeeves once more in the language of the eyebrow. He raised one of his. I raised one of mine. He raised his other. I raised my other. Then we both raised both.

Right Ho, Jeeves, ch. 18 (1934)

I looked at Jeeves. He looked at me. I did not speak, save with the language of the eyes, but his trained senses enabled him to read my thoughts unerringly.

The Code of the Woosters, ch. 12 (1938)

“You can’t conduct a delicate negotiation like this over the telephone. You need the language of the eye … those little appealing gestures of the hand.”

Uncle Fred in the Springtime, ch. 5 (1939)

And even if he had been unable to read the language of the eyes, her opening words would have enlightened him.

Money in the Bank, ch. 12 (1941)

“You don’t have to forbid people houses after looking at them as he looked at me over the Surprise Salt Shaker. The language of the eyes is enough.”

Joy in the Morning, ch. 7 (1946)

Much has been written of the language of the eyes, but except between lovers it is never a very satisfactory medium of communication.

“Birth of a Salesman” (1950; in Nothing Serious, 1950)

she was a dreamer—aren’t we all? (p. 83)

Alluding to the song “I’m a Dreamer, Aren’t We All?” by DeSylva, Brown, and Henderson, sung by Janet Gaynor in the 1929 film Sunny Side Up. Sheet music online at the Johns Hopkins libraries. Film clip at YouTube.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

Louella Parsons (p. 84)

See Blandings Castle and Elsewhere.

fiend with hatchet who had just slain six (p. 84)

See Blandings Castle and Elsewhere.

washed by the authorities (p. 85)

“Do you know that this morning I was washed by the authorities?”

“The Long Arm of Looney Coote” (1923; in Ukridge, 1925)

those priests of Baal who gashed themselves with knives (p. 86)

See Biblia Wodehousiana.

Simon Legree (p. 86)

See Money in the Bank.

Broadway turkeys (p. 87)

Plays that flopped. The OED has American slang citations beginning in 1927.

the quality of mercy. It isn’t strained, you know. (p. 87)

Alluding to The Merchant of Venice; see Shakespeare Quotations and Allusions in Wodehouse.

Falernian wine (p. 88)

A strong white wine in ancient Roman times, late-harvested from Aglianico grapes on the slopes of Mount Falernus so as to be high in sugars, leading to a high alcohol content of about 15 percent, and usually aged in clay amphorae to mellow it and deepen its colors. It was highly regarded and consequently expensive.

Pliny, of course, had a few old school friends who thought he was a wonder—or, at any rate, told him so when they had made quite sure that he was going to pay for the last round of Falernian wine…

“My Gentle Readers” (Strand, August 1930; also in Louder and Funnier, 1932)

the general consensus of informed opinion in these degenerate days is that the year begins on 1st January—but what reason have we for supposing so. One only . . . that the ancient Romans said it did. But what ancient Romans? Probably a bunch of souses who were well into their fifth bottle of Falernian wine.

Bring On the Girls, ch. 17.2 (1953)

“I’m giving dinner to some friends of my Aunt Dahlia’s, and she strictly warned me to lay off the old Falernian because my guests are teetotallers.”

Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit, ch. 2 (1954)

Diogenes Laertius, of course, had a few friends who thought he was great—or, at any rate, told him so when they had made quite sure he was picking up the tab for the round of Falernian wine…

“Put Me Among the Earls” (section 3) in America, I Like You (1956)

tramp cyclist (p. 88)

See The Mating Season.

stag at eve (p. 88)

See Heavy Weather.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

doin’ what comes naturally (p. 89)

An allusion to a song, “Doin’ What Comes Natur’lly,” from Irving Berlin’s 1946 musical comedy Annie Get Your Gun. Original Broadway cast recording at YouTube featuring Ethel Merman as Annie Oakley.

[The whole sentence is replaced by Why shouldn’t he? in the Collier’s serial.]

sub-titles (p. 89)

Unlike the subtitles on foreign-language sound films, typically superimposed in white over the lower portion of the screen image, dialogue titles in silent films were typically on separate cards which interrupted the action; in modern cinema jargon these are called intertitles. This was done for both technical and practical reasons; superimposing the titles over the action would have added steps to the laboratory process which would have resulted in a loss of film clarity, and interspersing the titles between sections of action made it easier to replace the titles with ones translated into another language. They were called sub-titles because they were subsidiary to the “main titles” at the beginning which gave the film’s title, director, cast, and so forth.

Just a black tie. (p. 89)

See The Code of the Woosters.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

it’s a poor heart that never rejoices (p. 89)

See the linked comment at Gilbert & Sullivan References in Wodehouse for a likely literary source, and see the fourth item below that comment for more Wodehouse usages of the phrase.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

top of the wardrobe (p. 91)

Here, wardrobe means a free-standing piece of furniture for storing clothes on hangers and possibly also in drawers, as opposed to a clothes closet built into a wall. More often today referred to as an armoire in the USA. It may be paired with a matching cupboard, also free-standing, with shelves or drawers for clothing and linen.

Using the top of either as a hiding place is common in Wodehouse:

“ ‘They never thought of the top of the cupboard, the thing any experienced crook thinks of at once, because … he knows it is every woman’s favourite hiding-place.’ ”

The Code of the Woosters, ch. 7 (1938)

I’ve read more mystery stories than you could shake a stick at, and they have taught me something—viz. that anybody with anything to hide invariably puts it on top of the cupboard or, if you prefer it, the armoire.

Jeeves in the Offing, ch. 8 (1960)

 “The Prosser ice is at Castlewood.”
 “On top of the wardrobe in our bedroom, that’s what.”

Ice in the Bedroom, ch. 6 (1961)

“I’d go straight for the top of the cupboard, because that’s where women always put stuff they want to hide.”

The Girl in Blue, ch. 9.2 (1970)

the Grand Concourse of the New York Central Railroad terminal (p. 91)

Usually simply called “Grand Central Terminal” or, colloquially, “Grand Central Station”; see Piccadilly Jim.

[The sentence ends was it the Grand Concourse? in the Collier’s serial.]

basilisk (p. 91)

See Ice in the Bedroom.

Evil Eye Fleagle of Brooklyn … full whammy (p. 92)

A character in Al Capp’s “Li’l Abner” newspaper comic strip, a villain dressed in a zoot suit whose speech was Brooklynese. His ordinary supernatural gaze, which he called a “whammy,” could stop a charging bull in its tracks. According to the description on this auction site, his full whammy can level Mount Rushmore.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

fifty thousand dollars (p. 93)

To account for inflation based simply on the Consumer Price Index from 1951 to 2022, multiply dollar amounts in this book by 10.4; other measures of relative values give a factor of 17 for the household purchasing power value. See for a discussion of inflation measures.

unmasked her batteries (p. 95)

See Summer Lightning.

Chapter Eight

Runs from p. 96 to p. 101 in the 1951 Doubleday edition.

what in motion picture circles is called a ‘take’ (p. 96)

An actor’s reaction to a situation as displayed by a facial expression or pose directed at the camera (and thus at the eventual viewing audience). If it is succeeded by a second expression or pose showing a delayed reaction upon further thought, it is called a ‘double take’.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

eyes seemed to protrude from their sockets (p. 96)

See Thank You, Jeeves.

“Hi-jacked!” (p. 96)

Both US and UK first editions spell this word with a hyphen as above, but Wodehouse, or his editors, were not completely consistent with its various forms. In the Collier’s serial it is “Hijacked!”

In Big Money (1931) we read “hi-jacker” in the UK first edition and “hijacker” in the US; in Laughing Gas (1936) it is “hijacker” in both US and UK.

Los Angeles Examiner (p. 96)

A morning newspaper founded by William Randolph Hearst in 1903. In 1962 it would merge with the afternoon Los Angeles Herald-Express to form the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, which would operate until 1989.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

“I know she can’t,” said Bill. “But she has.” (p. 96)

“That reminds me of the story of the feller who was in in prison, and his friend comes and asks why, and the feller tells him, and the friend says, ‘Lord-love-a-duck, they can’t put you in prison for that.’ ‘I know they can’t,’ says the feller, ‘but they have.’ ”

Money in the Bank, ch. 28 (1942)

It reminds me of George Ade’s story of the man who was in prison and a friend went to see him and asked what he had done. The man told him, and the friend said, “But they can’t put you in prison for that.” “I know they can’t,” said the man, “but they have.”

Letter to Bill Townend, cited as May 22, 1945, in Performing Flea (1953) and as April 6, 1945, in Author! Author! (1966)

It was like the story of the chap who was in prison and a friend calls and asks him why and the chap tells him and the friend says But they can’t put you in prison for that and the chap says I know they can’t, but they have.

Much Obliged, Jeeves, ch. 14 (1971)

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

Variety (p. 97)

Founded in 1905 in New York City as a weekly newspaper covering theater and vaudeville, it branched out in 1933 to Los Angeles with Daily Variety reporting on motion pictures.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

Walter Winchell (p. 97)

See Money in the Bank.

hide your light beneath a bushel (p. 97)

See Biblia Wodehousiana.

scholarship at Sing-Sing (p. 98)

Another allusion to a prison as if to a college; see p. 50, above.

Lyly … Euphues … burned child (p. 98–99)

See The Girl in Blue.

Fort Knox (p. 99)

The colloquial name of the United States Bullion Depository, located adjacent to the U.S. Army post of Fort Knox, Kentucky. It was built in 1936 to house the majority of the gold reserves held by the United States Government.

“I’ve about as much chance of tapping him for the needful as I have of strolling into Fort Knox with a spade and bucket and helping myself to contents.”

Barmy in Wonderland, ch. 17 (1952)

‘What do you mean, gambler? The Venus Island Development Corporation’s as sound as Fort Knox.’

Service with a Smile, ch. 11 (1961)

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

Gaspard the Miser (p. 100)

The villain in the French operetta Les Cloches de Corneville, which was a hit in Paris in 1877. It had one season in London in 1878 under the title The Chimes of Normandy. [NTPM]

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

meet at Philippi (p. 100)

See Shakespeare Quotations and Allusions in Wodehouse.

some clinging material which will accentuate rather than hide my graceful outlines (p. 101)

Her willowy figure was clothed in some clinging material of a beige colour…

Dolly Molloy in Money for Nothing, ch. 9.4 (1928)

Glancing around, I perceived Corky approaching. She was accompanied by Sam Goldwyn and was looking, as is her wont, like a million dollars, gowned in some clinging material which accentuated rather than hid her graceful outlines, if you know what I mean.

The Mating Season, ch. 9 (1949)

Half an hour later Sebastian Beach, crossing the hall, heard his name spoken and, turning, saw that what had come into his life was a sinuous form clad in some clinging material which accentuated rather than hid its graceful outlines.

Gloria Salt in Pigs Have Wings, ch. 5.3 (1952)

Her eyes were considerably bluer than the skies above, she was wearing a simple summer dress which accentuated rather than hid the graceful outlines of her figure, if you know what I mean, and it was not surprising that Wilbert Cream, seeing her, should have lost no time in reaching for the book of poetry and making a bee line with her to the nearest leafy glade.

Phyllis Mills in Jeeves in the Offing, ch. 13 (1960)

[hide my many charms in the Collier’s serial.]

Forked lightning (p. 101)

Usually, but not always, used by Wodehouse as a metaphor for something that happens in a flash.

And when the new umpire arrived, he proceeded without delay or preamble to cut the next three balls like forked lightning past third man to the boundary.

“Signs and Portents” (1906)

His air of being on the point of shooting out forked lightning left him.

Baxter in “The Crime Wave at Blandings” (1936; in Lord Emsworth and Others, 1937)

“I tell you, when I saw him coming up those stairs, I was into the closet quicker than forked lightning.”

Chimp Twist in Money in the Bank, ch. 12 (1942)

When she told butlers to close windows she expected an imitation of forked lightning.

Quick Service, ch. 11 (1940)

I am one of those cautious shower-bathers who put a toe in first and then, if all seems well, another toe, and, in a word, sort of lead up to the thing: and it became apparent almost immediately that what the man up top wanted to see was something in the nature of an imitation of forked lightning striking a mountain torrent.

Letter to Bill Townend about internment camp conditions, cited as May 11, 1942 in Performing Flea (1953) and as February 5, 1945 in Author! Author! (1966)

Chapter Nine

Runs from p. 102 to p. 109 in the 1951 Doubleday edition.

Virginia creeper (p. 102)

A climbing flowering vine native to eastern and central North America, Parthenocissus quinquefolia, sometimes called “five-leaved ivy” as a rough translation of its Latin name, but more closely related to the grape vine than to true ivy. It can climb smooth surfaces with the aid of small adhesive pads that grow on the tips of its tendrils, and easily reaches heights up to 100 feet.

Swinging himself up by this, he must then turn a double back-somersault over the wire netting, leap the Virginia creeper, dodge the water-pipe, and clamber down the ivy of the adjoining wall.

“For Love or Honour”, ch. 13 (1907)

And who is that climbing nimbly up the Virginia creeper? Why, the hero.

The White Feather, ch. 18 (1905/07)

The first person I saw when I finally tottered out at journey’s end, feeling as if I had been glued to the cushioned seat since early boyhood and a bit surprised that I hadn’t put out tendrils like a Virginia creeper, was my cousin Thomas.

The Mating Season, ch. 18 (1949)

native hue of resolution … sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought (p. 102)

From Hamlet; see Shakespeare Quotations and Allusions in Wodehouse.

zero hour (p. 102)

See The Mating Season.

Ouled Nail dancer (p. 102)

See Nothing Serious.

[The sentence ends with nautch dancer. here in the Collier’s serial.]

the shape of things to come (p. 102)

See Uncle Fred in the Springtime.

pleasant and instructive evening (p. 103)

Reminiscent of Uncle Fred’s “pleasant and instructive afternoons” (cf. e.g. “Uncle Fred Flits By” [1935, collected in Young Men in Spats, 1936]).

trodden on a tin-tack (p. 103)

Stepped on a thumbtack, especially of the older style in which the point is stamped out from a single piece of sheet metal (“tin”).

I fancy I will produce a screed which will make this anonymous lessee feel as if he had inadvertently seated himself upon a tin-tack.

Psmith, Journalist, ch. 9 (1909/15)

She had had her back to me, and at the sound of my voice she executed a sort of leap or bound, not unlike a barefoot dancer who steps on a tin tack halfway through the Vision of Salome.

“Without the Option” (1925; in Carry On, Jeeves, 1930)

The light faded from her face, and in its stead there appeared the hurt, bewildered look of a barefoot dancer who, while half-way through The Vision of Salome, steps on a tin tack.

Thank You, Jeeves, ch. 9 (1934)

This was not a sceptical “Oh,” a sneering “Oh,” one of those acid “Oh’s” which, emitted by the girl he loves, make a man feel as if he has stepped on a tintack.

The Luck of the Bodkins, ch. 6 (1935)

She started as if she had stepped on a tin-tack.

April June in Laughing Gas, ch. 21 (1936)

And it is proof of the depth of the latter’s passion that these discoveries, though each had caused him to behave for an instant like a barefoot dancer who has inadvertently stepped on a tintack, did not weaken it to any noticeable extent.

Biffen’s Millions/Frozen Assets, ch. 9.2 (1964)

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial; the sentence ends at the word leaped.]

terra firma (p. 103)

Latin for “solid ground.” Used by Wodehouse as early as The Pothunters (1902).

glorious technicolor (p. 103)

Technicolor was the trademark of a series of color motion-picture photographic processes, beginning in 1916 with two-color photography (red and green primary colors) and successively improved until a three-color process became available for animation in 1932 and for live-action photography in 1934; the three-color Technicolor process was used for such iconic films as The Wizard of Oz and Gone With the Wind and served as the standard of color quality through the 1950s, when cheaper processes became available.

The phrase “glorious Technicolor” seems first to have been used in advertisements in 1930, even when referring to two-color scenes within otherwise black-and-white films, and soon became a cliché adopted by reviewers and journalists as well. After the introduction of the three-color process the term became even more widely used.

Cole Porter’s lyric for “Stereophonic Sound” in Silk Stockings (1955) mentions “glorious Technicolor”; Fred E. Basten’s 1980 book about the company and its processes was titled Glorious Technicolor: the Movies’ Magic Rainbow.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

Look how the floor of heaven is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold (p. 103)

From The Merchant of Venice: see Shakespeare Quotations and Allusions in Wodehouse.

In such a night as this (p. 103)

From The Merchant of Venice: see Shakespeare Quotations and Allusions in Wodehouse.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

There’s not the smallest orb which thou beholdest (p. 103)

From The Merchant of Venice: see Shakespeare Quotations and Allusions in Wodehouse.

all of a twitter (p. 104)

See The Inimitable Jeeves.

heeby-jeebies (p. 104)

See Hot Water.

[In the Collier’s serial Phipps to the Rescue, spelled “heebie jeebies.”]

The hour will produce the man. (p. 104)

See Cocktail Time.

But if it is true that the Hour produces the Man, it is also true that it remorselessly reveals the washout.

Hot Water, ch. 7 (1932)

The hour produced the man.

Money in the Bank, ch. 3 (1942)

Nobby speculated as to the chances of somebody some day murdering Edwin, and we agreed that the hour must eventually produce the man.

Joy in the Morning, ch. 12 (1946)

The hour has produced the man. It always does.

Spring Fever, ch. 14 (1948)

She was on the point of giving it a third prod, when the hour produced the man.

The Mating Season, ch. 21 (1949)

Late though it was, the hour had produced the man.

Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit, ch. 14 (1954)

“It’s all over but the shouting. The hour has produced the man.”

Cocktail Time, ch. 4 (1958)

The eleventh hour had produced the man.

“The Fat of the Land” (in A Few Quick Ones, 1959)

As so often happens, the hour had produced the man.

Do Butlers Burgle Banks?, ch. 8.2 (1968)

And in due season the hour produced the man, as the expression is.

Much Obliged, Jeeves, ch. 16 (1971)

It has been well said that the hour can always be relied on to produce the man.

Bachelors Anonymous, ch. 9.2 (1973)

And the hour, which was getting on for six o’clock, produced the man.

Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen, ch. 14 (1974)

sang-froid (p. 105)

French for “coolness of blood.”

prosperity is just around the corner (p. 106)

Though commonly attributed to President Herbert Hoover during the Great Depression, the slogan had appeared in business journals and advertising as early as 1908 and 1914. In 1923, an electrical journal stated: “For two years the Rotary Clubs have been plastering the billboards with gaudy posters announcing, ‘Prosperity is just around the corner.’ ”

In the 1931 musical comedy Of Thee I Sing, Ira Gershwin had spoofed this, when the President’s wife announces that she is expecting a baby, as “Let’s sing to every citizen and for’gner / Posterity is just around the corner.” Both here and in Wodehouse and Bolton’s Bring On the Girls (1953), this is misquoted as “Prosperity”.

mules (p. 107)

Slippers with an open back.

leaped up like that of the poet Wordsworth (p. 107)

See Summer Moonshine.

[In the Collier’s serial, the sentence ends at leaped omitting the poetic reference.]

cheesemite (p. 107)

See Full Moon.

mot juste (p. 108)

See Right Ho, Jeeves.

twin stars (p. 108)

See Money for Nothing.

alabaster (p. 108)

See Laughing Gas.

His heart stood still (p. 108)

To say of anyone’s heart that it stood still is physiologically inexact. The heart does not stand still. It has to go right on working away at the old stand, irrespective of its proprietor’s feelings.

Full Moon, ch. 3.4 (1947)

eyes protruding from their sockets (p. 108)

See Thank You, Jeeves.

Chapter Ten

Runs from p. 110 to p. 120 in the 1951 Doubleday edition.

spearhead of the movement (p. 110)

“She’s one of the ringleaders—the spearhead of the movement, if you like to put it that way.”

“The Amazing Hat Mystery” (1933; in Young Men in Spats, 1936)

“He,” said Reggie coldly, “was the spearhead of the movement.”

The Luck of the Bodkins, ch. 2 (1936)

“Now while Connie realizes, of course, that I was the spearhead of the movement, for I gather that Beach gave me away fairly completely, it is quite possible that she may be suspecting you of complicity in the affair.”

Galahad to Lord Emsworth in Pigs Have Wings, ch. 8 (1952)

“Besides, I told you he is the spearhead of the movement which disapproves of my moustache.”

Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit, ch. 4 (1954)

Every morning I read in the papers a long article by another of those doctors who are the spearhead of the movement.

“Smokers of the World, Unite” (in Punch, August 4, 1954; also in Over Seventy, ch. 12.4, 1957)

bowler hat (p. 110)

A bowler hat has a hard, rounded crown; it is sometimes called a Derby hat in America. See Summer Lightning.

[derby hat in the Collier’s serial.]

Well met by moonlight, proud Phipps (p. 110)

Here, as well as in two other places, Wodehouse reverses Oberon’s line from A Midsummer Night’s Dream; see Shakespeare Quotations and Allusions in Wodehouse.

Mariana at the Moated Grange (p. 110)

Tennyson tells us that Mariana said “He cometh not”; see Cocktail Time.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

six bisques and a beating (p. 110)

Expressed in golf jargon, Smedley could have given Mariana a handicap and still have been ahead of her in apprehension. See A Glossary of Golf Terminology.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

mid-season form (p. 111)

See Full Moon.

One desires to give satisfaction. (p. 111)

A wish often expressed by Jeeves, as in these examples among many:

“Very good, sir. I shall endeavour to give satisfaction.”

“Leave It to Jeeves” (1916; in My Man Jeeves, 1919)

“I endeavor to give satisfaction, sir.”

“Jeeves Takes Charge” (1916; in Carry On, Jeeves, 1925)

One desires to give satisfaction.

The Mating Season, ch. 8 (1949)

It is my aim to give satisfaction.

“Jeeves Makes an Omelette” (in A Few Quick Ones, 1959)

present at the birth of a star (p. 111)

The first appearance of the story we know as “The Rise of Minna Nordstrom” was titled “A Star Is Born” in the American magazine, March 1933.

a German Boxer (p. 113)

The oldest of the three breeds of boxer dogs, larger and stockier than the American or English boxers. All three breeds are illustrated and described at A-Z Animals online.

“I shall follow your future career with considerable interest.” (p. 113)

See A Damsel in Distress.

morality clause (p. 114)

After the Hollywood scandals of the early 1920s, in order to protect the reputation of the industry, studios added a “morality clause” to their contracts with performers, allowing them to dismiss players whose transgressions might make them unpopular with audiences.

“Listen,” he went on, placing a cube of ice in his tumbler, “don’t tell old Schnellenhamer you saw me here. There’s a morality clause in my contract.”

Little Johnny Bingley, to Wilmot Mulliner in a speakeasy, in “The Nodder” (1933; in Blandings Castle and Elsewhere, 1935)

blushful Hippocrene (p. 115)

Although in Greek mythology, Hippocrene was a spring of sacred water, bringing artistic inspiration from the Muses to those who drank it, Keats, in “Ode to a Nightingale”, spoke of it as if it were a red wine, and Wodehouse’s characters use it in that sense, or for alcoholic drink in general.

 Wyatt came back, brandishing a jug of water and a glass.
 “Oh, for a beaker full of the warm south, full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene! Have you ever tasted Hippocrene, young Jackson? Rather like ginger-beer, with a dash of raspberry-vinegar. Very heady. Failing that, water will do. A-ah!”

“Jackson, Junior”, ch. 19 (1907; in Mike, 1909)

Long association with the members of the Drones has put me pretty well in touch with the various ways in which an overdose of the blushful Hippocrene can take the individual, but I had never seen anyone react quite as Gussie was doing.

Right Ho, Jeeves, ch. 17 (1934)

Now, it was Freddie’s practice—and a very prudent practice, too—to carry on his person, concealed in his hip pocket, a small but serviceable flask full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene.

“Fate” (1931; in Young Men in Spats, 1936)

Like the poet Keats on a similar occasion, he wanted a drink. Oh, he was saying to himself as he mounted the stairs, for a beaker full of the warm South, full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene, and by a singular piece of good fortune he had the makings in a flask on the table beside his bed.

Quick Service, ch. 11 (1940)

I wanted brandy, too. Either that or something equally restorative. Oh, I was saying to myself, for a beaker full of the warm south, full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene.

The Mating Season, ch. 23 (1949)

“I got engaged to be married yesterday, and you know how it is when the heart is young and the laughing love god doing his stuff. You dance. You sing. You get the party spirit. You reach out for the blushful Hippocrene and celebrate till your eyes bubble.”

Mervyn Potter in Barmy in Wonderland, ch. 1 (1952)

Although nobody who had met him would have been likely to get George Cyril Wellbeloved confused with the poet Keats, it was extraordinary on what similar lines the two men’s minds worked. “Oh, for a beaker full of the warm South, full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene!” sang Keats, licking his lips, and “Oh, for a mug of beer with, if possible, a spot of gin in it!” sighed George Cyril Wellbeloved, licking his….

Pigs Have Wings, ch. 5 (1952)

And while the blushful Hippocrene of which she had just imbibed her share had been robust and full of inner meaning, it had obviously merely scratched the surface.

Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit, ch. 12 (1954)

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

saw the light (p. 116)

Bill uses an expression for Phipps’s reform from criminality that is also often used for a sudden religious awakening; see The Code of the Woosters.

Sweet Adeline (p. 117)

A popular romantic ballad of 1903, music by Harry Armstrong, lyrics by Richard Husch Gerard; more frequently heard in four-part male barbershop harmony than as a solo.

I, so to speak, took the high road, and you took the low road (p. 118)

See Leave It to Psmith.

toper (p. 119)

A hard drinker, a drunkard; the OED has citations from 1673 to 1898, and says the word is now chiefly literary. Wodehouse used it only a few times:

“What appalling muck. Like vitriol. How on earth can you and your fellow topers drink it for pleasure?”

Gussie Fink-Nottle in The Mating Season, ch. 23 (1949)

A man has to be a pretty tough toper not to knock off after the shock of finding yaks among those present.

Letter to Bill Townend, February 25, 1931, in Author! Author! (1962)

had fallen from him like a garment (p. 119)

See A Damsel in Distress.

the natural man beneath (p. 119)

That is, man in his uncivilized state.

Comprehension came into his eyes, and the natural man in him peeped through the polish.

Love Among the Chickens, ch. 22 (1906/1909/1921 editions)

Scenes, he had gathered, were of all things what polite society most resolutely abhorred. The natural man in him must be bound in chains. The sturdy blow must give way to the honeyed word.

The Intrusions of Jimmy/A Gentleman of Leisure, ch. 12 (1910)

amour-propre (p. 119)

French: self-esteem, vanity, sense of personal dignity.

[vanity in the Collier’s serial.]

poltroon (p. 119)

A coward; the OED says it is now chiefly archaic or humorous. Wodehouse made frequent use of it as an insult. See Something Fresh for its derivation.

[Replaced with yellow in the Collier’s serial.]

pete (p. 120)

See Hot Water.

Jimmy Valentine (p. 120)

A character in a 1903 O. Henry short story titled “A Retrieved Reformation,” a safecracker released from prison who commits a few more robberies, then reforms after falling in love. Paul Armstrong dramatized it in 1910 as the play Alias Jimmy Valentine, which was filmed in both silent and sound productions; see Wikipedia for more details of versions and adaptations.

Chapter Eleven

Runs from p. 121 to p. 128 in the 1951 Doubleday edition.

thanking heaven, fasting, for a good man’s love (p. 121)

Referring to As You Like It: see Shakespeare Quotations and Allusions in Wodehouse.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

brusheroo (p. 121)

Originally American slang for “brush-off” meaning a dismissal. The first citation in the OED is from 1941.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

keister (p. 122)

See the alternate spelling keester at Hot Water.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

The workings of your mind are a sealed book to me (p. 123)

See Biblia Wodehousiana.

grapple him to my soul with hoops of steel (p. 123)

Paraphrasing Polonius: see Shakespeare Quotations and Allusions in Wodehouse.

You mock at my grey hairs and will probably sooner or later bring them in sorrow to the grave (p. 123)

See Biblia Wodehousiana.

The Voice That Breathed O’er Eden (p. 123)

See Laughing Gas.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

simp (p. 123)

Colloquial shortening of “simpleton”; here used affectionately rather than in a derogative sense.

arabesque (p. 124)

Here, referring to a pattern of scrolling or interlacing lines as in Islamic art, rather than to the ballet position of the same name: it would be difficult to trace lines on the carpet while standing on one foot!

grin like a Cheshire cat (p. 125)

Most of Wodehouse’s references to the Cheshire cat in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland are to its habit of appearing and disappearing, as in A Damsel in Distress. Here, its grin is the most important thing, and the original illustrations by John Tenniel are essential; page 91 at the link shows the grinning cat, and scrolling down to page 94 shows the grin remaining as the cat slowly vanishes.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

Milton Berle (p. 125)

American comedian (1908–2002), beginning as a child actor in films and on stage, then active in vaudeville and radio. As the host of the Texaco Star Theatre on NBC television from 1948 to 1953, he was one of the most visible stars of the new medium at the time this book was written.

[The UK first edition has Groucho Marx instead here.]

a butterfly, flitting from flower to flower (p. 126)

See The Code of the Woosters.

Like Mr. Churchill, there were things up with which she would not put (p. 126)

Winston Churchill is popularly supposed to have reacted with this phrase to a pedantic copyeditor who had corrected a sentence that ended in a preposition. Our good friends Patricia T. O’Conner and Stewart Kellerman, avid Wodehouse fans, write the Grammarphobia blog online, and a great article there discusses this apocryphal attribution.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

strip-tease dancer and a performing flea (p. 127)

Bertie Wooster had first mentioned the dancer alone, when complaining that Spode was invading his room:

“Really, one gets about as much privacy in this house as a strip-tease dancer.”

The Code of the Woosters, ch. 7 (1938)

“I wonder if you know the one about the strip-tease dancer and the performing flea. Or, rather, no, not that one,” I said, remembering that it was a conte scarcely designed for the gentler sex and the tots.

Bertie to the Aunts at Deverill Hall in The Mating Season, ch. 5 (1949)

See also the annotations to The Mating Season.

Marcus Aurelius (p. 127)

See The Clicking of Cuthbert.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

imitate four Hawaiians (p. 127)

Phipps was about to perform a vaudeville routine made famous by Joe Cook (1890–1959) in the 1920s; an excerpt is online at Futility Closet.

looked … with a wild surmise (p. 128)

See The Inimitable Jeeves.

Chapter Twelve

Runs from p. 129 to p. 137 in the 1951 Doubleday edition.

alcoholic stimulants (p. 129)

Smaller quantities of alcohol can seem like a stimulant in some persons, as it provides quick energy and can lower inhibitions, but in larger doses its depressant effect is even more powerful. See Bill the Conqueror.

Wine is a mocker and strong drink is raging (p. 129)

See Biblia Wodehousiana.

a fun-loving Babylonian monarch of the old school (p. 129)

See Biblia Wodehousiana.

melody contained certain barbershop chords (p. 130)

Wodehouse’s musical knowledge was slight, according to his daughter, and this is an example of his occasional inaccuracy. By definition, chords are part of harmony rather than melody. Barbershop chords are only possible when multiple voices are singing together; typical barbershop arrangements are for four male voices, although sometimes sung by mixed or female groups as well. The characteristic sound of barbershop harmony comes from chords arranged so that the overtones of multiple voices reinforce each other, sounding almost as if other, higher notes are accompanying the voices.

sozzled (p. 130)

See Very Good, Jeeves.

major-domo (p. 130)

An Anglicized version of Spanish mayordomo and Italian maggiordomo, the chief official of a princely household; by extension, the head servant of a wealthy household, a butler.

 “My name is Eugene Robinson, sir. I am Mr. Wodehouse’s major-domo.”
 “His what?”
 “Butler,” said Plum.

Bring On the Girls, ch. 12.4 (1953)

as if the Last Trump had sounded (p. 130)

See Biblia Wodehousiana.

beezer (p. 131)

The nose; see Hot Water.

[nose in the Collier’s serial.]

let’s have a gargle (p. 131)

The OED cites the Sporting Times (often called the “Pink ’Un” in other stories mentioning the Pelican Club) from 1889 as their first example of the slang use of gargle to mean a drink of liquor.

[The Weasel] had been in none too amiable a mood, owing to the fact that his passengers, absorbed in their own selfish thirsts, had poured into the public house, intent on slaking them, without thinking to invite him to join them in a gargle.

Summer Moonshine, ch. 19 (1938)

“You think there is a possibility that he paused at a pub for a gargle?”

The Mating Season, ch. 24 (1949)

That gargle from the decanter had made him feel capable of cutting out a dozen Freddies, and it now occurred to him that a gargle from the flask might help the good work along still further.

Full Moon, ch. 4.4 (1947)

“I wouldn’t ’ave the nerve to do a job nowadays without I took a gargle first. And I can’t take a gargle, because gargling’s sinful.”

Augustus Robb in Spring Fever, ch. 14 (1948)

“You find me enjoying a well-earned gargle, like Caesar in his tent the day he overcame the Nervii.”

Uncle Dynamite, ch. 6.3 (1948)

Gally, he was aware, was a man with a feeling heart, a man who could be relied upon to look indulgently on such of his fellow men as wanted a gargle and wanted it quick.

Pigs Have Wings, ch. 5 (1952)

Arriving at Barribault’s, I found him in the lobby where you have the pre-luncheon gargle before proceeding to the grill-room…

Much Obliged, Jeeves, ch. 3 (1971)

pie-eyed (p. 131)

See Right Ho, Jeeves.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

little brother of all mankind (p. 132)

See Hot Water.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

Comes the Revolution, they’ll be hanging on lamp posts (p. 132)

Comes the Revolution, blood’ll be running in streams down Park Avenue (p. 133)

“A way,” said Syd ominously, “that’ll lead ere long to tumbrils in Piccadilly and blood running in rivers down Park Lane.”

Syd Price in If I Were You, ch. 3 (1931)

Outwardly he was all respectfulness, but inwardly you could see that he was a man who was musing on the coming Social Revolution and looked on Bertram as a tyrant and an oppressor.…He said nothing, merely looking at me as if he were measuring me for my lamp-post.…What he really wanted was to see me sprinting down Park Lane with the mob after me with dripping knives.

Bertie Wooster speaking of Brinkley in Thank You, Jeeves, ch. 6 (1934)

“One of these days you’ll see blood flowing in streams down Park Lane and the corpses of the oppressors hanging from lampposts.”

George Cyril Wellbeloved, in Service With a Smile, ch. 5.2 (1961)

“Well, a sensitive man doesn’t like to be reminded every half second that he is one of the untouchables, liable at any moment to be strung up on a lamp post or to have his blood flowing in streams down Park Lane.”

Lord Ickenham, in Cocktail Time, ch. 9 (1958)

“Always seemed to be brooding silently on the coming revolution, when he would be at liberty to chase me down Park Lane with a dripping knife.”

Bertie Wooster speaking of Bingley/Brinkley, in Much Obliged, Jeeves, ch. 4 (1971)

[First quoted sentence, referring to lamp posts, omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

Grinding the face of the poor and taking the bread out of the mouths of the widow and the orphan. (p. 133)

See Biblia Wodehousiana.

unequal to the intellectual pressure of the conversation (p. 133)

See A Damsel in Distress.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

a back number (p. 135)

Literally, an older issue of a periodical; figuratively “yesterday’s news”: no longer current or important.

the silver screen (p. 135)

The projection screen at the front of a motion-picture theater; by extension, the movie industry as a whole.

Wine when it is red … stingeth like an adder (p. 135)

See Biblia Wodehousiana.

ruddy (p. 135)

A milder substitute for the taboo adjective “bloody” as in swearing “by God’s blood.”

The Shadow (p. 136)

See The Mating Season.

“Time for Bedfordshire.” (p. 137)

A longtime jocular substitution for “bed”; see Green’s Dictionary of Slang for citations since the seventeenth century; some are innocent, as here, and some have naughtier connotations.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

Chapter Thirteen

Runs from p. 138 to p. 144 in the 1951 Doubleday edition.

A little folding of the hands in sleep (p. 138)

See Biblia Wodehousiana.

I’d rather see than be one (p. 138)

Quoting an 1895 nonsense poem by Gelett Burgess:

I never saw a Purple Cow,
I never hope to see one;
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I’d rather see than be one.

the state of man … suffers the nature of an insurrection (p. 138)

Brutus in Julius Caesar spoke of “the acting of a dreadful thing” rather than a hangover; see Shakespeare Quotations and Allusions in Wodehouse.

bromo-seltzer (p. 138)

Though uncapitalized in both US and UK first editions, this was actually a trademark for a headache and hangover remedy invented in 1888 and marketed by the Emerson Drug Company. It included sodium bromide, a tranquilizer now banned because of its toxicity, an analgesic (either acetaminophen or a precursor of it), and the antacid sodium bicarbonate as well as citric acid to make it fizz when dissolved in water.

[the fizz water in the Collier’s serial.]

brilliantly lit (p. 138)

Green’s Dictionary of Slang has citations for “lit” in the sense of drunk beginning in 1899.

pickled herring (p. 138)

For pickled meaning drunk, see Very Good, Jeeves. Herring is an ocean fish sometimes sold in pickled form, but this seems to be Wodehouse’s only use of “pickled herring” in either literal or metaphorical sense.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

a thin sheet of tissue paper between her and heaven (p. 139)

Wodehouse probably borrowed this imagery from British author Arthur Binstead (1861–1914), a member of the original Pelican Club:

It has been said that a pair of large blue eyes, a tiny waist, a tapering ankle in a brown silk stocking, and a tailor-made frock will often make a man feel as if there was only a thin sheet of tissue paper between Heaven and himself.…

Binstead: Gal’s Gossip, p. 112 (1899)

You’re the cream in her coffee, you’re the salt in her stew (p. 139)

A slight alteration of the lyrics to “You’re the Cream in My Coffee” by DeSylva, Brown, and Henderson, from their 1928 musical Hold Everything. An early recording by Ruth Etting is online at YouTube.

less than the dust beneath your chariot wheels (p. 140)

See Summer Moonshine.

Mrs. Langtry (p. 140)

Lillie Langtry (1853–1929), an actress known as “The Jersey Lily”; famous for her beauty, and for being a mistress of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII.

Hedy Lamarr (p. 140)

Stage name of Hedwig Kiesler (1914–2000), Austrian-born American film star, once called “the most beautiful woman in films.” [JD]

pure as the driven snow (p. 141)

See The Code of the Woosters.

Bob Hope (p. 141)

British-born American comedian (1903–2003), active in vaudeville, radio, films, and television for eight decades, renowned for the timing of his wisecracks.

Passion Magazine (p. 141)

Probably intended fictitiously; the FictionMags Index shows a single issue of a Passion Stories magazine from February 1934.

[a magazine in the Collier’s serial.]

Old Westbury, Long Island (p. 141)

See Bill the Conqueror.

[Merely Long Island in the Collier’s serial.]

Service and Co-operation (p. 141)

See Laughing Gas.

Oh, woman, in our hours of ease … pain and anguish (p. 142)

See Heavy Weather.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

shower kisses on your upturned face (p. 142)

See the endnotes to “In Alcala” (1909).

Mencken says not (p. 143)

American journalist H. L. Mencken (1880–1956), a scholar of American English, wrote an article called “The Vocabulary of the Drinking Chamber” in the New Yorker, November 6, 1948. A substantial excerpt is online at The Manhattans Project.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

commiseration and satisfaction were nicely blended (p. 143)

See Leave It to Psmith.

He stirred, he moved, he seemed to feel the rush of life along his keel (p. 144)

A slightly reworded allusion to a Longfellow poem: see Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen.

Chapter Fourteen

Runs from p. 145 to p. 150 in the 1951 Doubleday edition.

the Claims to Apostolic Succession of the Church of Abyssinia (p. 146)

See Young Men in Spats.

He put a man with a broken nose right on the subject of the Apostolic Claims of the Church of Abyssinia.

“Archibald and the Masses” (1935; in Young Men in Spats, 1936)

“He’s probably deep in a discussion of the apostolic claims of the church of Abyssinia or something.”

Something Fishy/The Butler Did It, ch. 10 (1957)

“It was one night when we were all having supper at Romano’s, and they had disagreed about the apostolic claims of the church of Abyssinia, which was odd because it was generally about politics that Stiffy disagreed with people.”

A Pelican at Blandings, ch. 11.1 (1969)

Angry passions rose (p. 146)

See Right Ho, Jeeves.

smiling the boy fell dead (p. 146)

See The Mating Season.

a kind-hearted woman who wants to bring the young folks together in springtime (p. 147)

“I don’t want any thanks. Only too glad to help. Bring the young folks together, that’s what I say.”

Lord Uffenham in Money in the Bank, ch. 20 (1942)

“Bring the young folks together, that’s what I say.”

Lord Uffenham in Something Fishy/The Butler Did It, ch. 16 (1957)

“I ought, of course, to hasten to the seat of war and try to start the dove of peace going into its act—have a bash, in other words, at seeing what a calm, kindly man of the world can do to bring the young folks together, if you get what I mean.”

Bertie in Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves, ch. 4 (1963)

truly rural (p. 147)

A tongue twister used as a sobriety test; see A Damsel in Distress.

“His master’s voice” (p. 147)

See Ice in the Bedroom.

business (p. 147)

Theatrical jargon for the actions to be performed as part of a play’s scene.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

would have hissed the words if there had been an ‘s’ in them (p. 148)

And in this connection I want to state that it’s all rot to say you can’t hiss a word that hasn’t an “s” in it. The way he pushed out that “You!” sounded like an angry cobra….

“Jeeves and the Yule-Tide Spirit” (1927; in Very Good, Jeeves, 1930)

The word ‘poem’ was flitting from lip to lip, and it was only too evident that, had there been an ‘s’ in the word, those present would have hissed it.

“The Fiery Wooing of Mordred” (1934; in Young Men in Spats, 1936)

“Quick!” she hissed, and it’s all rot to say you can’t hiss a word that hasn’t an ‘s’ in it. She did it on her head.

Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit, ch. 13 (1954)

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

red-hot spikes (p. 149)

I had been dreaming that some bounder was driving spikes through my head—not just ordinary spikes, as used by Jael the wife of Heber, but red-hot ones.

The Code of the Woosters, ch. 1 (1938)

But though an unseen hand had begun at brief intervals to drive red-hot spikes rather briskly through his temples, his heart was light and he was in two minds about whistling a gay tune.

Something Fishy/The Butler Did It, ch. 5 (1957)

the agony … was forgotten in the thrill of ecstasy (p. 149)

Irving Stone’s novel about Michelangelo, The Agony and the Ecstasy, was not written until 1961, so cannot be the source of this pairing of words. The phrase used as Stone’s title appears a few times in nineteenth-century devotional literature, such as this 1832 essay; Wodehouse may have been browsing the libraries of his clerical uncles, or may have happened upon this pairing independently.

Cherubim and Seraphim (p. 150)

The two highest orders of angels. See Biblia Wodehousiana.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

“She would die for one little rose from your hair.” (p. 150)

A Google Books search finds no earlier usage of this phrase than the first excerpt below, so, although it sounds as if it were a quotation, it may be original with Wodehouse.

“He worships you. He adores you. He would die for one little rose from your hair.”

Lord Ickenham, speaking of Pongo in Uncle Dynamite, ch. 11 (1948)

“And you would die for one little rose from her hair?”

Lord Ickenham to Bill Bailey in Service With a Smile, ch. 3 (1961)

“She didn’t actually say she would die for one little rose from your hair, but that was the impression she conveyed.”

Tipton Plimsoll to Wilfred Allsop in Galahad at Blandings, ch. 6.3 (1965)

someone who has annoyed Errol Flynn (p. 150)

Tasmanian-born Errol Flynn (1909–1959) was famous for swashbuckling roles in Hollywood films from 1935 until his death, and also notorious as a womanizer, drinker, and brawler in his private life. One well-reported fight between Flynn and director John Huston took place in 1945 at the home of David O. Selznick; an account is online at

Chapter Fifteen

Runs from p. 151 to p. 160 in the 1951 Doubleday edition.

Grand National (p. 151)

See The Inimitable Jeeves.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

the air of an Amazon (p. 151)

Wodehouse’s allusions to this mythological warlike tribe of women were few. The first below refers to female spectators at prize fights; the second to a chorus girl, Sue Brown.

And if you will but marry me,
 Bedelia, then perhaps
My second I will let you be
 In all my future “scraps.”

“To an Amazon” (1904)

There was in her small body the spirit of an Amazon.

Heavy Weather, ch. 7 (1933)

resembling Napoleon Bonaparte (p. 152)

As a general rule, Lord Emsworth was an early and a sound sleeper, one of the few qualities which he shared with Napoleon Bonaparte being the ability to slumber the moment his head touched the pillow.

“Lord Emsworth Acts for the Best” (1926; in Blandings Castle and Elsewhere, 1935)

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

Piccadilly Circus (p. 152)

A public space in London’s West End where several major roads connect, linking shopping and theatre districts, therefore busy with both pedestrian and vehicle traffic.

Toots (p. 152)

Besides Gladys Fauntleroy in this book, the only other women nicknamed Toots so far found are Alice, Lady Abbott, in Summer Moonshine (1938) and a glancing reference to Lady “Toots” Fosdyke in Full Moon, ch. 7 (1947).

Mervyn Potter slangily addresses J. G. Anderson as Toots in Barmy in Wonderland, ch. 1 (1952); Barbara Crowe used to call Raymond Bastable “Toots” in Cocktail Time, ch. 24 (1958).

As an actual surname, George Mackintosh had “a good job with the old-established legal firm of Peabody, Peabody, Peabody, Peabody, Cootes, Toots, and Peabody” in “The Salvation of George Mackintosh” (1921; in The Clicking of Cuthbert, 1922).

like billy-o (p. 153)

See A Damsel in Distress.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

queen of her sex (p. 153)

See If I Were You.

Boris Karloff (p. 153)

See The Mating Season.

Abou ben Adhem … deep dream of peace (p. 154)

See A Damsel in Distress.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

expecting a cable (p. 154)

A cable is a telegram sent via one of the transatlantic telegraph cables laid across the ocean floor in Victorian times.

[expecting a cable or a telephone call in the Collier’s serial.]

Bourbon highball (p. 156)

A drink of bourbon whiskey mixed with soda or ginger ale, served with ice in a tall glass.

a toad beneath the harrow (p. 156)

See The Clicking of Cuthbert.

the sheeted dead who squeaked and gibbered in the Roman streets a little ere the mightiest Julius fell (p. 156)

From Hamlet; see Shakespeare Quotations and Allusions in Wodehouse.

[Omitted at this spot in the Collier’s serial, but the later phrase “squeaking and gibbering” was retained.]

tortoiseshell (p. 156)

A color pattern found almost exclusively on female cats, combining two colors in patches of “red” (which can also be orange, yellow, or cream) and “black” (which can also be chocolate, gray, blue, or tabby-striped). If significant patches of white are also present, the cat is called calico instead.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

five hundred and fifty-seven bottles (p. 157)

This exaggeration for an indefinite large number recalls the Heinz slogan of fifty-seven varieties.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

“Bottles, bottles everywhere, in case you want a drink.” (p. 157)

Lord Topham catches the rhythm of a classic poem:

Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.

Coleridge: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

stirred in its winding cloths (p. 158)

Smedley’s hopes are compared to a body once thought dead, but which moves when being prepared for burial.

take arms against this sea of troubles and by opposing end them (p. 159)

From Hamlet’s most famous soliloquy; see Shakespeare Quotations and Allusions in Wodehouse.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

bottle, one, people striking for use of (p. 158)

A style of describing inventory items by category in increasing order of specificity, common in both business and military jargon of the time.

the old lemon (p. 159)

One’s own head. Wodehouse’s use of it in Bertie’s voice in “Jeeves in the Spring-Time” (1921) is the first citation in the OED for this sense of the phrase.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

Time, the great healer (p. 159)

See Right Ho, Jeeves.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

Tallulah Bankhead (p. 159)

See Young Men in Spats.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

walking … imbeciles they call policemen in Beverly Hills (p. 160)

Wodehouse, an avid walker, was one of very few people who actually walked anywhere in Beverly Hills. I recall reading, but cannot now locate, an account of his being stopped by the Beverly Hills police and asked for his identification, since pedestrians there were considered suspicious. [NM]

[The sentence with imbeciles is omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

Chapter Sixteen

Runs from p. 161 to p. 172 in the 1951 Doubleday edition.

hewn from the living rock (p. 161)

Carved into solid rock, as a statue.

She was sitting so stiffly upright on a hard chair and had so much the appearance of having been hewn from the living rock that every time she opened her mouth it was as if a statue had spoken.

Piccadilly Jim, ch. 3 (1917)

His face still looked as though hewn from the living rock, but into his eyes had crept an expression which in another man might almost have been called sentimental.

“Mother’s Knee” (1920; in Indiscretions of Archie, 1921)

The menacing woman did not even bow. She looked as if she had been hewn from the living rock.

Hot Water, ch. 13.2 (1932)

Angela might have been hewn from the living rock.

Right Ho, Jeeves, ch. 9 (1934)

Since entering the apartment he had been sitting with folded arms, as if hewn from the living rock.

Uncle Fred in the Springtime, ch. 5 (1939)

Compare also:

He pictured Inspector Jarvis as a man who might have been carved out of some durable substance like granite, and that was the material which seemed to have been used in assembling this zealous officer.

Pigs Have Wings, ch. 9.3 (1952)

Canasta (p. 161)

A card game of the rummy family, invented in 1939 in South America and introduced into the USA in 1949, where it quickly became popular. This seems to be its only mention in Wodehouse.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

full whammy (p. 161)

See p. 92, above.

Galba—or Vitellius or Caligula (p. 161–62)

Galba was the sixth Roman emperor, ruling from 68 to 69 ad; he was murdered by his successor Otho. Vitellius defeated Otho, and ruled for three months in late 69; he was executed by the soldiers of his successor Vespasian. Caligula was the third Roman emperor, ruling from 37 to 41 ad until assassinated by the Praetorian Guard conspiring with senators and courtiers.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

the bone structure of our heads (p. 162)

“The fact of the matter is, sir, women haven’t got the heads men have got. I believe it’s something to do with the bone structure.”

Albert Peasemarch, in The Luck of the Bodkins, ch. 15 (1936)

“You will generally find women loosen up less lavishly than men. It’s something to do with the bone structure of the head.”

Uncle Dynamite, ch. 1 (1948)

“All women are like that,” said George Spenlow. “It’s something to do with the bone structure of their heads. They let their imagination run away with them. They entertain unworthy suspicions.”

“Birth of a Salesman” (1950; in Nothing Serious, 1950)

The Duke, a clear-headed man, saw the objection to this immediately, and once again the inability of females to reason anything out impressed itself upon him. It was something, he believed, to do with the bone structure of their heads.

A Pelican at Blandings, ch. 4.1 (1969)

“Sweet suffering soupspoons” (p. 163)

“Sweet suffering soup-spoons!” groaned Bradbury.

“High Stakes” (1925; in The Heart of a Goof, 1926)

“Sweet suffering soup-spoons! What happened then?”

The Small Bachelor, ch. 12 (1926/27)

“But, sweet suffering soup-spoons!” cried Lottie. “You told me——”

The Luck of the Bodkins, ch. 23 (1936)

“Sweet suffering soup-spoons, no! Given a free hand, I wouldn’t touch you with a pair of tongs.”

Laughing Gas, ch. 12 (1936)

“Sweet suffering soup spoons!” cried Mr. Lehman, clutching at his hat, the only stable thing in a whirling universe.

Barmy in Wonderland, ch. 16 (1952)

“Sweet suffering soupspoons!” she vociferated, if that’s the word, anguish written on her every feature. “I wonder what Tom will say when he hears Anatole is leaving!”

Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit, ch. 19 (1954)

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

the trend of modern thought (p. 163)

The bishop came to himself with a start. He had been thinking of an article which he had just completed for a leading review on the subject of Miracles, and was regretting that the tone he had taken, though in keeping with the trend of Modern Thought, had been tinged with something approaching scepticism.

“The Bishop’s Move” (1927; in Meet Mr. Mulliner, 1927)

“Pirbright, this sty is a new sty, with all the latest improvements. It is up to date, in keeping with the trend of modern thought, and, what is more—and this I consider very important—it adjoins the kitchen garden…”

Heavy Weather, ch. 13 (1933)

…it had just occurred to me that in a house like this, where things were sure to be run on old-fashioned lines rather than in a manner of keeping with the trend of modern thought, the butler probably waited at the breakfast table.

The Mating Season, ch. 8 (1949)

when constabulary duty is to be done (p. 164)

A reference to The Pirates of Penzance; see Ukridge.

the early Cecil de Mille period (p. 164)

The UK edition has Cecil B. de Mille here.

Cecil B. DeMille (1881–1959), an American film director and producer, relocated to southern California in 1913 and directed The Squaw Man (1914), the first feature film made in Hollywood.

the young lady of Natchez (p. 164)

A slight misquotation of “Requiem” by Ogden Nash, in I’m a Stranger Here Myself.

Keystone Kops (p. 164)

Comic policemen from silent films made by Mack Sennett’s Keystone Studios from 1912 to 1917.

“You don’t seem able to turn without tumbling over each other like a lot of Keystone Kops!”

Jill the Reckless/The Little Warrior, ch. 14.1 (1920/21)

Postman’s Knock (p. 164)

See The Luck of the Bodkins.

howling like a Banshee (p. 165)

See The Code of the Woosters.

Louis B. Mayer … Zanuck (p. 165)

At this time, respectively the heads of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Twentieth-Century Fox studios.

turned him down … wasn’t right for whimsical comedy (p. 166)

Reminiscent of the movie-struck policemen in “The Rise of Minna Nordstrom” (1933; in Blandings Castle and Elsewhere, 1935), one of whom says:

“When I tried for a job at the Colossal-Exquisite last spring I was turned down on account you said I had no sex-appeal.”

purifying the emotions with pity and terror (p. 168)

For the background from Aristotle, see The Girl on the Boat.

“Skeffington’s make jolly good sloe gin, but they can’t arouse pity and terror.”

Not George Washington, ch. 6 (1907)

In the old Greek tragedies it was a recognized rule that any episode likely to excite the pity and terror of the audience to too great an extent must be enacted behind the scenes.

“Parted Ways” (1914), revised as “Best Seller” (1930; in Mulliner Nights, 1933)

It is all very well to excite pity and terror, as Aristotle recommends, but there are limits. In the ancient Greek tragedies it was an ironclad rule that all the real rough stuff should take place off-stage, and I shall follow this admirable principle.

“The Clicking of Cuthbert” (1921)

As I read over the last few chapters of this narrative, I see that I have been giving the reader rather too jumpy a time. To almost a painful degree I have excited his pity and terror; and, though that is what Aristotle says one ought to do, I feel that a little respite would not be out of order.

The Girl on the Boat/Three Men and a Maid, ch. 15 (1921/22)

“A poignant and uplifting drama of life as it is lived to-day, purifying the emotions with pity and terror.”

“The Rise of Minna Nordstrom” (1933; in Blandings Castle and Elsewhere, 1935)

What I had heard was, of course, of a nature to excite pity and terror, not to mention alarm and despondency, and it would be paltering with the truth to say that I was pleased about it.

Right Ho, Jeeves, ch. 17 (1934)

His appearance alone had been enough to fill the citizenry of Walsingford with pity and terror.

Summer Moonshine, ch. 19 (1938)

The President’s Cup was an event which I always made a point of watching, if I could, considering it a spectacle that purged the soul with pity and terror…

“The Letter of the Law” (1936; in Lord Emsworth and Others, 1937)

“Yes, there’s a lot of elevation and instruction, not to mention pity and terror, to be derived from observing the inmates of this amateur Colney Hatch.”

Money in the Bank, ch. 13 (1942)

But it is seldom that the Woosters think only of self, and I now found the contemplation of the dreadful thing which had come upon this man filling me almost to the brim with pity and terror.

Joy in the Morning, ch. 4 (1946)

Under normal conditions there is about the station of Ashenden Oakshott little or nothing to rouse the emotions and purge the soul with pity and terror.

Uncle Dynamite, ch. 1 (1948)

The whole setup, in short, such as to occasion pity and terror in the bosoms of those who wished him well.

The Mating Season, ch. 3 (1949)

In this macedoine of tragic happenings in and around Blandings Castle, designed to purge the souls of a discriminating public with pity and terror, it has been necessary to devote so much space to Jerry Vail, Penny Donaldson, Lord Emsworth and the rest of them that George Cyril Wellbeloved, we are fully aware, has been neglected almost entirely.

Pigs Have Wings, ch. 5 (1952)

It misses the Aristotelian ideal of pity and terror by a wide margin.

Something Fishy/The Butler Did It, ch. 10 (1957)

Austere theatregoers who hold that musical comedy should be a grim and smileless thing, purging the soul with pity and terror, received a shock the other day when a tuneful trifle called Say, Darling, without a single death scene in it, opened at the Anta on Fifty-Second Street and not only opened but stayed open and is playing to capacity nightly.

America Day by Day, in Punch, June 4, 1958

I had had to leave off at a point where Ma Cream had just begun to spit on her hands and start filling the customers with pity and terror.

Jeeves in the Offing, ch. 10 (1960)

His hard-luck story did not really fill Percy with pity and terror, for, like Linda Rome, he considered that his visitor was quite rich enough already, but he tried to infuse sympathy into his voice.

Frozen Assets/Biffen’s Millions, ch. 6 (1964)

One of the first things a chronicler has to learn, if he is to be any real good at chronicling, is when to ease up and take a breather. Aristotle was all for sticking to pity and terror without a break, but he was wrong. It is a mistake to curdle the reader’s blood all the time.

Pearls, Girls and Monty Bodkin, ch. 6 (1972)

bright city of sorrows (p. 169)

“Ah, Hollywood, Hollywood,” said the butler, who seemed not to like the place. “Bright city of sorrows, where fame deceives and temptation lurks, where souls are shrivelled in the furnace of desire, whose streets are bathed with the shamed tears of betrayed maidens.”

Laughing Gas, ch. 12 (1936)

Forever Amber (p. 170)

See Cocktail Time.

“That tinsel town where tragedy lies hid behind a thousand false smiles” (p. 171)

“There’s the dull despair of living the shallow, glittering life of this tinsel town where tragedy lies hid behind a thousand false smiles.”

Laughing Gas, ch. 12 (1936)

registering (p. 171)

See Right Ho, Jeeves.

Chapter Seventeen

Runs from p. 173 to p. 181 in the 1951 Doubleday edition.

many ways of measuring time (p. 173–74)

The first three paragraphs of this chapter are a slight expansion of a very similar account in Chapter 7 of The Small Bachelor (1926/27); the serialization in Liberty is on this site.

It is clear that Wodehouse consulted the Encyclopedia Britannica; the article in the 1911 edition on “Time, Measurement of” contains nearly all the names and technical details mentioned.

Dollen is actually Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Döllen (1820–1897), Latvian-born astronomer who worked at Russian and Estonian observatories. The spelling of his 1863 work, Die Zeitbestimmung vermittelst des tragbaren Durchgangsinstruments im Verticale des Polarsterns is often incorrect in Wodehouse (both US and UK editions of The Old Reliable have Vertical e) but the US book of The Small Bachelor gets it right. It’s about finding what time it is by celestial observation of stars with portable telescopes. Minor planet 7449 Döllen is named for him.

The US magazine serial of The Small Bachelor says that Döllen’s book was filmed as Why Girls Leave Home; in book editions of The Small Bachelor the title is Purple Sins. Here in The Old Reliable, it is adapted as a musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein called North Atlantic.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

Melancholy had marked him for her own (p. 174)

See A Damsel in Distress.

God was in His heaven and all was right with the world (p. 174)

See Leave It to Psmith.

skipped … like the high hills (p. 174–75)

See Biblia Wodehousiana.

ways and means (p. 175)

A phrase used in English since the fifteenth century for a person’s resources to fulfill their needs, and for a government’s methods of raising revenue.

a bit of the stuff (p. 175)

See Something Fishy.

horn-swoggling highbinder (p. 176)

See The Code of the Woosters.

One cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs (p. 176)

 “She can’t make omelettes without breaking eggs,” I urged.
 “She can’t make them without breaking us,” said Ukridge.

Love Among the Chickens, ch. 14 (1906, also in 1909 and 1921 editions)

You cannot, if I may coin a phrase, make an omelette without breaking eggs.

“Fair Play for Audiences” (in Pall Mall, August 1928, and in Louder and Funnier, 1932)

“One cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs, sir.”

Right Ho, Jeeves, ch. 23 (1934)

“One cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs, Jeeves.”

Thank You, Jeeves, ch. 22 (1934; US edition only)

“You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs.”

“The Masked Troubadour” (1936; in Lord Emsworth and Others, 1937)

“But you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs. Not Shakespeare,” said the Hon. Galahad. “One of my own. Unless I heard it somewhere.”

Full Moon, ch. 9 (1947)

“I was merely wishing to indicate, sir, that you cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs.”

Spring Fever, ch. 11 (1948)

“Well, you can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.”

Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit, ch. 14 (1954)

“You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.”

“Jeeves Makes an Omelet” (1959; in A Few Quick Ones)

You wolf in butler’s clothing (p. 176)

See Biblia Wodehousiana.

Bright city of sorrows (p. 177)

“Ah, Hollywood, Hollywood,” said the butler, who seemed not to like the place. “Bright city of sorrows, where fame deceives and temptation lurks, where souls are shrivelled in the furnace of desire, whose streets are bathed with the shamed tears of betrayed maidens.”

Laughing Gas, ch. 12 (1936)

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

something left over from the Ark (p. 178)

See Biblia Wodehousiana.

flotsam and jetsam (p. 178)

See Laughing Gas.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

lighted matches between his toes (p. 179)

A Google Books search for this phrase returns only Wodehouse books and other later ones which are quoting him.

“I shouldn’t wonder if they weren’t sticking lighted matches between his toes to make him write them cheques,” said Sir Aylmer dispassionately.

Uncle Dynamite, ch. 5.2 (1948)

“It did, I admit, cross my mind that you might possibly care to kidnap George Cyril Wellbeloved and tie him up and force him to reveal where the Empress is hidden by sticking lighted matches between his toes.“

Pigs Have Wings, ch. 8.4 (1952)

”So if she comes asking questions, reveal nothing. Not even if she sticks lighted matches between your toes.”

Ring for Jeeves, ch. 4/The Return of Jeeves, ch. 3 (1953/54)

It is getting so nowadays that you can’t go for a stroll without having some teen-ager hold you up with a gun and stick lighted matches between your toes.

“Say It with Rattlesnakes“ in America, I Like You (1956)

“If they get on to it that you’ve got that document, the mildest thing they’ll do is shove lighted matches between your toes.”

Cocktail Time, ch. 19 (1958)

“I’ll make him return my picture if I have to stick lighted matches between his toes.”

A Pelican at Blandings, ch. 7.5 (1969)

The idea of burgling the vicarage and tying the vicar up and sticking lighted matches between his toes till he disgorged the miniature he dismissed as impracticable.

The Girl in Blue, ch. 13.1 (1970)

…the only way of inducing the L. P. Runkle type of man to part with cash is to kidnap him, take him to the cellar beneath the lonely mill and stick lighted matches between his toes.

Much Obliged, Jeeves, ch. 7 (1971)

“You unbalanced young boll weevil!” (p. 180)

For the insect itself, see Ice in the Bedroom.

“You can’t bluff me, Chimp Twist,” said Dolly, gazing at him with the cold disdain of a princess confronted with a boll weevil.

Sam the Sudden, ch. 13 (1925)

“The home can never be dull if at any moment the husband is able imitate a motor horn or the mating-cry of the boll weevil.”

Hot Water, ch. 2.5 (1932)

“All I’m trying to make you understand is that this boll weevil Green——”

Money in the Bank, ch. 4 (1942)

“What do you mean, you repellent young boll weevil, by socking me with a dashed great club?”

Joy in the Morning, ch. 17 (1946)

“I tell you, Soapy, whenever I think of that undersized boll weevil, I go hot all over, clear down to the soles of my shoes.”

Ice in the Bedroom, ch. 5 (1961)

The young boll weevil amused me.

Bertie referring to Stiffy Byng in Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves, ch. 9 (1963)

Two can live as cheap as one (p. 180)

“Also—a point I was nearly forgetting—two can live as cheap as one.”

Quick Service, ch. 20 (1940)

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

“a soul like a stevedore’s undervest” (p. 181)

In American terminology, a longshoreman’s undershirt.

A girl who has been looking on the man of her choice as a pure white soul and suddenly discovers that he is about as pure and white as a stevedore’s undervest does not say “Oh, yes? Well, I must be off.”

Uncle Dynamite, ch. 12.2 (1948)

“He was as grey as a stevedore’s undervest.”

Ice in the Bedroom, ch. 4 (1961)

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

“some exceedingly nasty questions to answer about this on Judgment Day” (p. 181)

See Biblia Wodehousiana.

Santa Anita (p. 181)

A horse racing track in Arcadia, California, opened in 1934. This is the only mention of it so far found in Wodehouse.

Betty Hutton (p. 181)

A racehorse named after film actress Betty Hutton (1921—2007).

Chapter Eighteen

Runs from p. 182 to p. 193 in the 1951 Doubleday edition.

Battling Phipps (p. 182)

For the history of this sobriquet for a prizefighter, see Battling Nelson in the notes for Ukridge.

welsh rabbit (p. 182)

A dish of melted cheese, usually mixed with ale or beer, milk or butter, and spices, served over toast; also called Welsh rarebit, as it appears in the UK edition.

the height of its fever (p. 182)

See Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen.

stout denial (p. 182)

See Summer Lightning.

doom, disaster and despair (p. 183)

See p. 41, above.

[Merely doom in the Collier’s serial.]

touching (p. 184)

Requesting a loan or gift from someone; this colloquial sense is cited since 1760 in the OED, and is common among Wodehouse’s young-man-about-town characters like Bertie Wooster.

go to the man who’s got twenty thousand dollars (p. 184)

However, one of the fundamental facts of life is that you can’t pick and choose when you want twenty quid—you have to go to the man who’s got twenty quid.

“The Masked Troubadour” (1936; in Lord Emsworth and Others, 1937)

…when you are up against it for a sum like two hundred pounds it is necessary to sink personal prejudices and go to the man who has got two hundred pounds.

Cocktail Time, ch. 5 (1958)

“She knows that when you want a thousand quid, you can’t be finicky, you have to go to the man who’s got a thousand quid, no matter what your scruples.”

Galahad at Blandings, ch. 11.3 (1965)

eleven-inch cigarette holder (p. 185)

See Full Moon.

searched for the leak in life’s gaspipe with a lighted candle (p. 185)

See Piccadilly Jim.

Even such a man, so faint, so spiritless (p. 185)

From Henry IV, Part II, but with ‘dead’ and ‘dull’ transposed; see Shakespeare Quotations and Allusions in Wodehouse.

dog-leg hole (p. 185)

See A Glossary of Golf Terminology.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

letting the sun go down on their wrath (p. 185)

See Biblia Wodehousiana.

the late Florenz Ziegfeld (p. 185)

Wodehouse and Guy Bolton had worked for theatrical producer Ziegfeld (1867–1932) in the 1910s and 1920s. When Sally (New York, 1920) was being produced in London, as Bolton and Wodehouse wrote in Bring On the Girls, ch. 11.3 (1953):

…both Ziegfeld and Kern were vehemently against entrusting [Dorothy Dickson] with such a vitally important role as Sally, Ziegfeld eclipsing himself in the matter of violent cables.

a mis-what’s-the-word (p. 186)

Lord Topham is thinking of misanthrope.

Let ’em eat cake. (p. 187)

See The Girl in Blue.

the mists of doubt and misunderstanding (p. 188)

This sounds like a quotation; the oldest appearance found in a Google Books search is in an 1873 book review, which is unlikely to be the direct source.

milk of human kindness (p. 189)

From Macbeth: see Shakespeare Quotations and Allusions in Wodehouse.

curvetting (p. 189)

See The Inimitable Jeeves.

Lancelot (p. 190)

Several of Wodehouse’s characters have this name, probably because Wodehouse’s youngest brother was named Richard Lancelot Deane Wodehouse (1892–1940). Besides Lord Topham:

L. Lancelot Biffen, editor, in The Small Bachelor (1927)
Lancelot Bingley, artist, in “A Good Cigar Is a Smoke” (1967)
Lancelot, uncle of Monty Bodkin, mentioned in Pearls, Girls and Monty Bodkin (1972)
Lancelot Cooper, house agent, in Pigs Have Wings (1952)
Lancelot Hibbs, lost baby, in “Unpleasantness at Kozy Kot” (1958)
Lancelot “Ginger” Kemp in The Adventures of Sally (1922)
Lancelot Mulliner, artist, in “The Story of Webster” and “Cats Will Be Cats”
Lancelot Bassington Mulliner, poet, in “Came the Dawn” (1927)
Sydney Lancelot Price, barber, in If I Were You (1931)
Lancelot Purvis, barber, in “The Golden Flaw” (1920)
Crispin Lancelot Gawain Scrope in The Girl in Blue (1970)
Lancelot Threepwood, late brother of Lord Emsworth mentioned in Summer Lightning (1929)

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

with three chins (p. 190)

See Very Good, Jeeves.

forty thousand dollars (p. 191)

In Performing Flea, a letter to Bill Townend dated March 28, 1935:

A cable from my New York agent came, saying that he had sold The Luck of the Bodkins and three short stories to the Red Book. $25,000 for Bodkins as against the $40,000 The Post would have paid, but what of it?

nightingales’ tongues (p. 191)

Mentioned by the ancient Roman author Apicius as a rare delicacy favored by wealthy gourmets.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

Imperial Tokay (p. 191)

An exclusive classification of Hungarian sweet wines from the Tokaj region of Hungary and Slovakia, made with the concentrated runoff juice of grapes that have been affected with Botrytis mold (“noble rot”); the juice is so high in sugar content that when fermented, the alcohol content of the wine never rises above five or six percent. The wine has a highly concentrated flavor, and can only be drunk in small quantities; it can be stored for many decades, even over 200 years, and still be drinkable. Of this “eszencia” style, the finest quality was reserved prior to 1918 for the Austro-Hungarian emperors and was never sold to others, so this Imperial Tokay is rare and expensive.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

Erle Stanley Gardner (p. 191)

Author (1889–1970) of eighty-two Perry Mason novels of crime and detection as well as over six hundred other novels, novelettes, and short stories, some published under pseudonyms. One of the most prolific and best-selling of American authors, he employed a team of secretaries to take down his dictation of fiction.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

Frank Yerby (p. 191)

American author (1916–1991) of historical romances, including the best-seller The Foxes of Harrow (1946) which was made into a 1947 Hollywood film.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

Somerset Maugham (p. 191)

W. Somerset Maugham (1874–1965), born in Paris to British parents, studied medicine but never practiced as a doctor. Known for plays, novels, and short stories; several of his works were adapted as films.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

ways of doing down the income tax authorities (p. 192)

Because of his work, his sales, and his residences both in Britain and America, Wodehouse was frequently subjected to what he felt were unreasonable demands for income taxes on both sides of the Atlantic, and he and his lawyers were often involved in court cases with the revenue agencies. Tony Ring’s You Simply Hit Them With an Axe (1995) goes into this history in depth.

clipping coupons (p. 192)

Some forms of investment bonds required the owner to send in paper coupons to receive monthly or quarterly payments of interest on the bond.

unable to raise a bean (p. 193)

Nineteenth-century slang for a coin such as a sovereign or a guinea; more recently, an indefinite amount of money in phrases like not a bean.

seeking whom they may devour (p. 193)

See Biblia Wodehousiana.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

snip (p. 193)

Slang from late Victorian times for a sure winner, something easily won.

Chapter Nineteen

Runs from p. 194 to p. 200 in the 1951 Doubleday edition.

the head upon which all the sorrows of the world had come (p. 194)

See Summer Lightning.

comes under the head of the Marshall Plan (p. 194)

A program of economic assistance from the USA to the countries of Europe that had been devastated by the Second World War; proposed in 1947 by Secretary of State George Marshall; passed by Congress and signed by President Truman as the Economic Recovery Act of 1948.

The UK edition has tends to make one more spiritual here instead.

love feast (p. 194)

See A Damsel in Distress.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (p. 195)

See Biblia Wodehousiana.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

Here, if I mistake not, is our client now (p. 195)

See Thank You, Jeeves.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

plenipotentiary (p. 195)

An ambassador or diplomat entrusted with full authority to make treaties, contracts, and the like on behalf of a ruler or nation.

United States Marines (p. 195)

The sun shone out, the United States Marines arrived, and the millennium set in.

Letter to Bill Townend, February 28, 1920, in Author! Author! (1962)

Perhaps it is simplest to say that his feelings at this juncture were to all intents and purposes those of the garrison besieged by savages in the final reel of a motion-picture super-super-film when the operator flashes on the screen the sub-title, “Hurrah! Here come the United States Marines!”

Sam the Sudden, ch. 6 (1925)

“What I say is what we need here is for the United States Marines to arrive. Aren’t I right?”

“The Juice of an Orange” (1933; in Blandings Castle and Elsewhere, 1935)

As in the final reel of a super-super-film eyes brighten and faces light up at the entry of the United States Marines, so at these words did Mr. Schnellenhamer, Mr. Fishbein and Mr. Zizzbaum perk up as if after a draught of some magic elixir.

“The Rise of Minna Nordstrom” (1933; in Blandings Castle and Elsewhere, 1935)

Thank God, the sun has broken through the clouds and the United States Marines have arrived just as the savages were storming the stockade.

Letter to Bill Townend, March 28, 1935, in Performing Flea (1953)

You will have witnessed much the same sort of thing in the pictures, when the United States Marines arrive in the nick of time to relieve the beleaguered garrison.

The Code of the Woosters, ch. 10 (1938)

“The United States Marines have failed us, my boy. The garrison has not been relieved, the water supply is giving out, and the savages are still howling on the outskirts.”

Uncle Fred in the Springtime, ch. 18 (1939)

And as I don’t know the first thing about fixing a car, my talents being limited to twisting the wheel and tooting the tooter, I had to wait there till the United States Marines arrived.

Joy in the Morning, ch. 26 (1946)

To Bill it was as if he had been one of a beleaguered garrison and the United States Marines, having arrived, had simply turned on their heels and gone off again.

Full Moon, ch. 10.4 (1947)

An awed look had come into his face; the sort of look which members of garrisons beleaguered by savages give one another when somebody says “Here come the United States Marines.”

Spring Fever, ch. 14 (1948)

No fellow, I reasoned, unless he was bringing good news, could look so like the United States Marines.

The Mating Season, ch. 13 (1949)

“Here come the United States Marines, Gally,” she said, and Gally, having replied with a good deal of satisfaction that he could see them with the naked eye, took the glass and drank deeply.

Pigs Have Wings, ch. 1.3 (1952)

His emotions, in fact, were similar in kind and intensity to those which a garrison beleaguered by savages would have experienced, had the United States Marines, having arrived, turned right round and walked off in the opposite direction.

Ring for Jeeves/The Return of Jeeves, ch. 8 (1953/54)

“Be of good cheer, L. G. Trotter, for the United States Marines have arrived. No need for any doctors. Go along with Jeeves, and he will fix you a mixture which will put the old tum in midseason form before you can say ‘Lemuel Gengulphus’.”

Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit, ch. 21 (1954)

Suddenly, like the United States Marines coming to the rescue of the garrison beleaguered by savages, the columnists and the radio and television celebrities plunged into the fray.

“Let Freedom Ring” in Punch, June 15, 1955

“He’s feeling pretty low, poor dear, and if you were to get a boat and row along the dunes shouting ‘Mr. Carpenter! Mr. Carpenter! Come out of there, Mr. Carpenter, the United States Marines have arrived,’ I’m sure he would appreciate it.”

French Leave, ch. 4.3 (1956)

“Looking over their shoulders, they see the United States Marines arriving, and I don’t suppose there is anything that makes bad men, when beleaguering someone, sicker.”

Cocktail Time, ch. 16 (1958)

“She was then faced with the alternative of applying to her father for funds, which would have necessitated a full confession of her rash act, or of seeking some gainful occupation which would tide her over till, as she put it, the United States Marines arrived.”

Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves, ch. 7 (1963)

“You saved my life. The United States Marines never put up a smoother job.”

Biffen’s Millions/Frozen Assets, ch. 5.1 (1964)

He did, however, rise slowly like a hippopotamus emerging from a river bank, his emotions somewhat similar to those of a beleaguered garrison when the United States Marines arrive.

Beach, in A Pelican at Blandings, ch. 3.3 (1969)

“It’s amazing how you always turn up at the crucial moment, like the United States Marines.”

Much Obliged, Jeeves, ch. 4 (1971)

…at this moment the popping of corks and the musical activities of Herman Zilch and His Twelve What-Nots were overtopped by a stentorian voice speaking with something of the timbre of a drill instructor of the United States Marines addressing recruits.

Pearls, Girls and Monty Bodkin/The Plot That Thickened, ch. 7.1 (1972/73)

‘Have you ever seen a garrison besieged by howling savages, with their ammunition down to the last box of cartridges, the water supply giving out and the United States Marines nowhere in sight?’

Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen, ch. 14 (1974)

“I do not follow your drift, madam.”
“I will continue snowing.” (p. 196)

 “I don’t get your drift.”
 “I will continue snowing,” said Millicent coldly.

Summer Lightning, ch. 1.4 (1929)

 “I don’t get your drift.”
 “I will continue snowing.”

Ring for Jeeves/The Return of Jeeves, ch. 9 (1953/54)

 “I don’t get your drift,” he said.
 “I will make myself clearer,” responded Mr. Butterwick. A less austere man might have said, “I will continue snowing.”

Pearls, Girls and Monty Bodkin/The Plot That Thickened, ch. 2.2 (1972/73)

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

trying to hide your light beneath a bushel (p. 197)

See Biblia Wodehousiana.

to have that brain of hers pickled and presented to some national museum (p. 198)

 “I’ll tell you what it is, Beach,” said Hugo earnestly. “When you hand in your dinner-pail in due course of time—and may the moment be long distant!—you’ve got to leave your brain to the nation. You’ve simply got to. Have it pickled and put in the British Museum, because it’s the outstanding brain of the century.”

Summer Lightning, ch. 12.4 (1929)

 “Jeeves,” he went on, emotionally, “you must have that brain of yours pickled and presented to some national museum.”
 “Very good, m’lord.”
 “When you’ve done with it, of course.”

Boko Fittleworth in Joy in the Morning, ch. 29 (1946)

 “When, many years hence, you hand in your dinner pail, you must have your brain pickled and presented to the nation.”

Aunt Dahlia in “Jeeves Makes an Omelette” (in A Few Quick Ones, 1959)

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

a memory like a sieve (p. 199)

 “My sister Constance has often been very vehement about it. I recollect her once comparing my mind to a sieve. I thought it rather clever.”

Lord Emsworth in Heavy Weather, ch. 11 (1933)

 …in order to write an autobiography that really is an autobiography you need a good memory, and mine is more like a sieve than anything human.

“Thanks for the Memory, Such As It Is” in America, I Like You (1956)

 “Charming woman, but with a memory like a sieve.”

Bertie speaking of Lady Glossop in Jeeves in the Offing, ch. 20 (1960)

Home of mean glories and spangled wretchedness (p. 200)

Once again, Wodehouse is reusing butler Chaffinch’s material from Laughing Gas:

 “Bright city of sorrows, where fame deceives and temptation lurks, where souls are shrivelled in the furnace of desire, whose streets are bathed with the shamed tears of betrayed maidens.”
 “Keep it clean.”
 “Hollywood! Home of mean glories and spangled wretchedness, where the deathless fire burns for the outspread wings of the guileless moth and beauty is broken on sin’s cruel wheel.”

Laughing Gas, ch. 12 (1936)

Chapter Twenty

Runs from p. 201 to p. 209 in the 1951 Doubleday edition.

Bioscope (p. 201)

Although this name was used for some early motion-picture projectors, no Hollywood studio under that name has yet been found, so this is probably intended fictitiously.

wash my hands of the matter (p. 201)

See Biblia Wodehousiana.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

“Sweet artichokes of Jerusalem!” (p. 202)

Sigsbee H. Waddington uses this phrase in The Small Bachelor, ch. 18 (1926/27). A Google Books search has not found any other source of the phrase.

“Jerusalem artichoke” is, by the way, a misnomer for the tuberous root of a species of North American sunflower, used as a vegetable. In Italian, sunflower is girasole (“turning with the sun”), and English-speakers misheard the word as Jerusalem.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

give him your head on a charger (p. 204)

See Biblia Wodehousiana.

Louella Parsons (p. 206)

See Blandings Castle and Elsewhere.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

Hedda Hopper (p. 206)

Hedda Hopper, born Elda Furry (1885–1966), was an actress on stage and in films, but was better known as a Hollywood gossip columnist, beginning in the early 1930s on radio and in screen magazines, then, beginning in 1938, writing a nationally syndicated newspaper column, in rivalry with Louella Parsons.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

Hollywood Reporter (p. 206)

The first daily newspaper in Hollywood to concentrate on the motion-picture and entertainment industries, founded in 1930 by Billy Wilkerson (1890–1962), who edited the paper until his death. Since 2010 it has become a weekly digital and print magazine.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

buck and wing dance (p. 206)

See Money in the Bank for the dance of that name, although Bill is suggesting exuberance in general rather than specific choreography.

the deaf adder with whom the charmers had so much trouble (p. 207)

See Biblia Wodehousiana.

Joy cometh in the morning (p. 208)

See Biblia Wodehousiana.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

extra work (p. 208)

Acting on film as part of a crowd scene, with no lines to speak nor individual recognition as a specific character.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

pull your fat head off and make you swallow it (p. 209)

See Right Ho, Jeeves.

Chapter Twenty-One

Runs from p. 210 to p. 217 in the 1951 Doubleday edition.

Wednesday matinée audience (p. 211)

See The Mating Season.

stinker (p. 211)

Here, a flop, an unsuccessful piece of entertainment.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

‘Oh, for the touch of a vanished hand!’ (p. 214)

From Tennyson; see Break, break, break in Young Men in Spats.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

doing the quarter-mile in forty-nine seconds (p. 214)

American runner Lon Myers (1858–1899) had set a record for the 440-yard dash (1/4 mile) in 1881 at 48.6 seconds, but at the time of this book, the world record was set in 1948 by Herb McKenley of Jamaica at 46.0 seconds.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

on an individual skewer smothered in onions (p. 214)

As Wodehouse apparently liked his steaks served:

…he lay there in a sort of delirium, picturing himself getting outside a medium-cooked steak smothered in onions, with grilled tomatoes and floury potatoes on the side…

“The Romance of a Bulb-Squeezer” (1927; in Meet Mr. Mulliner, 1927/28)

He continued to fold her in his arms, but it was with a growing feeling that he wished she had been a steak smothered in onions.

Tubby Vanringham in Summer Moonshine, ch. 24 (1938)

let concealment like a worm i’ the bud feed on my damask cheek (p. 215)

From Twelfth Night: see Shakespeare Quotations and Allusions in Wodehouse.

green and yellow melancholy … like Patience on a monument (p. 215)

From Twelfth Night: see Shakespeare Quotations and Allusions in Wodehouse.

Brigham Young (p. 216)

Second president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (familiarly the Mormons), who led his followers to settle in Utah in 1847, founding Salt Lake City and serving as first governor of the Utah Territory. He had at least 56 wives and 57 children.

[Omitted in the Collier’s serial.]

Henry the Eighth (p. 216)

Famously had six wives, in succession.

King Solomon (p. 216)

See Biblia Wodehousiana.


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