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by P. G. Wodehouse
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The plot of this amiable romance is secondary to its style. Wodehouse's masterful language makes high comedy out of situations that would be dull or slapstick in less capable hands. He invites reading aloud, but his effects are fragile, requiring a light, deft touch. Simon Vance's delivery is understated but satis-factory. He has a pleasant voice and a sympathetic feel for the material. But those who have heard the Bertie Wooster series from the BBC may be left wishing for a less restrained performance. J.N. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine
In a day in June, at the hour when London moves abroad in quest of lunch, a young man stood at the entrance of the Bandolero Restaurant looking earnestly up Shaftesbury Avenue-a large young man in excellent condition, with a pleasant, good-humoured, brown, clean-cut face. He paid no attention to the stream of humanity that flowed past him. His mouth was set and his eyes wore a serious, almost a wistful expression. He was frowning slightly. One would have said that here was a man with a secret sorrow. William FitzWilliam Delamere Chalmers, Lord Dawlish, had no secret sorrow. All that he was thinking of at that moment was the best method of laying a golf ball dead in front of the Palace Theatre. It was his habit to pass the time in mental golf when Claire Fenwick was late in keeping her appointments with him. On one occasion she had kept him waiting so long that he had been able to do nine holes, starting at the Savoy Grill and finishing up near Hammersmith. His was a simple mind, able to amuse itself with simple things.
It is an ironical fact that Lady Wetherby was by nature one of the firmest believers in existence in the policy of breaking things gently to people. She had a big, soft heart, and she hated hurting her fellows. As a rule, when she had bad news to impart to any one she administered the blow so gradually and with such mystery as to the actual facts that the victim, having passed through the various stages of imagined horrors, was genuinely relieved, when she actually came to the point, to find that all that had happened was that he had lost all his money. But now in perfect innocence, thinking only to pass along an interesting bit of information, she had crushed Bill as effectively as if she had used a club for that purpose.
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