Friday, August 13, 2021

Quote of the Week: Perhaps Also Some Sympathy

The noise in the hall had increased rather than subsided. A belated sense of professional duty returned to Glossop and myself. We descended the stairs and began to do our best, in our respective styles, to produce order. It was not an easy task. Small boys are always prone to make a noise, even without provocation. When they get a genuine excuse like the incursion of men in white masks, who prod assistant-masters in the small of the back with Browning pistols, they tend to eclipse themselves. I doubt whether we would ever have quieted them, had it not been that the hour of Buck's visit had chanced to fall within a short time of that set apart of the boys' tea, and that the kitchen has lain outside the sphere of our visitors' operations. As in many English country houses, the kitchen at Sanstead House was at the end of a long corridor, shut off by doors through with even pistol-shots penetrated but faintly. Our excellent cook has, moreover, the misfortune to be somewhat deaf, with the result that, throughout all of the storm and stress in our part of the house, she, like the lady in Goethe's poem, had gone on cutting bread and butter; till now, when it seemed that nothing could quell the uproar, they rose above it the ringing of the bell.

If there is anything exciting enough to keep the Englishman or the English boy from his tea, it has yet to be discovered. The shouting ceased on the instant. The general feeling seemed to be that inquiries could be postponed till a more suitable occasion, but not tea. There was a general movement in the direction of the dining-room.

 - P.G. Wodehouse, The Little Nugget, pp.145-146

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