The Man with Two Left Feet and Other Stories, P. G. Wodehouse
The Man with Two Left Feet and Other Stories
P. G. Wodehouse
8:29 h Novels Lvl 7.8 208.9 mb
The Man with Two Left Feet, and Other Stories is a 1917 collection of short stories by P. G. Wodehouse. It is a miscellaneous collection and includes several stories that are more serious than Wodehouse's more well-known comic fiction. Wodehouse biographer Richard Usborne stated that the collection was "mostly sentimental apprentice work", though one light-hearted story, "Extricating Young Gussie", is notable for the first appearance in print of two of Wodehouse's best-known characters, Jeeves and his master Bertie Wooster (although Bertie's surname is not given and Jeeves's role is very small), and Bertie's fearsome Aunt Agatha.

The Man with Two Left Feet
and Other Stories

by
P.
G. Wodehouse


The Man with Two Left Feet and Other Stories

Bill the Bloodhound

There’s a divinity that shapes our ends. Consider the case of Henry Pifield Rice, detective.

I must explain Henry early, to avoid disappointment. If I simply said he was a detective, and let it go at that, I should be obtaining the reader’s interest under false pretences. He was really only a sort of detective, a species of sleuth. At Stafford’s International Investigation Bureau, in the Strand, where he was employed, they did not require him to solve mysteries which had baffled the police. He had never measured a footprint in his life, and what he did not know about bloodstains would have filled a library. The sort of job they gave Henry was to stand outside a restaurant in the rain, and note what time someone inside left it. In short, it is not ‘Pifield Rice, Investigator. No. 1. — The Adventure of the Maharajah’s Ruby’ that I submit to your notice, but the unsensational doings of a quite commonplace young man, variously known to his comrades at the Bureau as ‘Fathead’, ‘That blighter what’s-his-name’, and ‘Here, you!’

Henry lived in a boarding-house in Guildford Street. One day a new girl came to the boarding-house, and sat next to Henry at meals. Her name was Alice Weston. She was small and quiet, and rather pretty. They got on splendidly. Their conversation, at first confined to the weather and the moving-pictures, rapidly became more intimate. Henry was surprised to find that she was on the stage, in the chorus. Previous chorus-girls at the boarding-house had been of a more pronounced type — good girls, but noisy, and apt to wear beauty-spots. Alice Weston was different.

‘I’m rehearsing at present,’ she said. ‘I’m going out on tour next month in “The Girl From Brighton”. What do you do, Mr Rice?’

Henry paused for a moment before replying. He knew how sensational he was going to be.

‘I’m a detective.’

Usually, when he told girls his profession, squeaks of amazed admiration greeted him. Now he was chagrined to perceive in the brown eyes that met his distinct disapproval.

‘What’s the matter?’ he said, a little anxiously, for even at this early stage in their acquaintance he was conscious of a strong desire to win her approval. ‘Don’t you like detectives?’

‘I don’t know. Somehow I shouldn’t have thought you were one.’

This restored Henry’s equanimity somewhat. Naturally a detective does not want to look like a detective and give the whole thing away right at the start.

‘I think — you won’t be offended?’

‘Go on.’

‘I’ve always looked on it as rather a sneaky job.’

‘Sneaky!’ moaned Henry.

‘Well, creeping about, spying on people.’

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