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

5. BY ADVICE OF COUNSEL (continued)

'Next day we gets up late and has a good breakfast, and sits on the lawn and smokes. The sun was shining, the little birds was singing, and there wasn't a thing, east, west, north, or south, that looked like work. If I had been asked my address at that moment, on oath, I wouldn't have hesitated a second. I should have answered, "No. 1, Easy Street." You see, Jerry Moore was one of these slow, simple fellers, and you could tell in a moment what a lot he thought of Gentleman. Gentleman, you see, had a way with him. Not haughty, he wasn't. More affable, I should call it. He sort of made you feel that all men are born equal, but that it was awful good of him to be talking to you, and that he wouldn't do it for everybody. It went down proper with Jerry Moore. Jerry would sit and listen to him giving his views on things by the hour. By the end of the first day I was having visions of sitting in that garden a white-baked old man, and being laid out, when my time should come, in Jerry's front room.'

He paused, his mind evidently in the past, among the cigars and big breakfasts. Presently he took up his tale.

'This here Jerry Moore was a simple sort of feller. Deafies are like that. Ever noticed? Not that Jerry was a real deafy. His hearing was a bit off, but he could foller you if you spoke to him nice and clear. Well, I was saying, he was kind of simple. Liked to put in his days pottering about the little garden he'd made for himself, looking after his flowers and his fowls, and sit of an evening listening to Gentleman 'olding forth on Life. He was a philosopher, Gentleman was. And Jerry took everything he said as gospel. He didn't want no proofs. 'E and the King of Denmark would have been great pals. He just sat by with his big blue eyes getting rounder every minute and lapped it up.

'Now you'd think a man like that could be counted on, wouldn't you? Would he want anything more? Not he, you'd say. You'd be wrong. Believe me, there isn't a man on earth that's fixed and contented but what a woman can't knock his old Paradise into 'ash with one punch.

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