P. G. Wodehouse: The Man Upstairs and Other Stories

3. DEEP WATERS (continued)

'George's,' said Mr Mifflin, 'is essentially a chivalrous nature. At any crisis demanding a display of the finer feelings he is there with the goods before you can turn round. His friends frequently wrangle warmly as to whether he is most like Bayard, Lancelot, or Happy Hooligan. Some say one, some the other. It seems that yesterday you saved him from a watery grave without giving him time to explain that he could save himself. What could he do? He said to himself, "She must never know!" and acted accordingly. But let us leave George, and return--'

'Thank you, Mr Mifflin.' There was a break in her laugh. 'I don't think there is any necessity. I think I understand now. It was very clever of you.'

'It was more than cleverness,' said Mr Mifflin, rising. 'It was genius.'

* * * * *

A white form came to meet George as he re-entered the veranda.

'Mr Callender!'

He stopped.

'I'm very sorry I said such horrid things to you just now. I have been talking to Mr Mifflin, and I want to say I think it was ever so nice and thoughtful of you. I understand everything.'

George did not, by a good deal; but he understood sufficient for his needs. He shot forward as if some strong hand were behind him with a needle.

'Miss Vaughan--Mary--I--'

'I think I hear aunt calling,' said she.

* * * * *

But a benevolent Providence has ordained that aunts cannot call for ever; and it is on record that when George entered his box on the two hundredth night of that great London success, Fate's Footballs, he did not enter it alone.

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