Money for nothing, p.1
Larger Font   Reset Font Size   Smaller Font       Night Mode Off   Night Mode

       Money for Nothing, p.1
Download  in MP3 audio

           P. G. Wodehouse
Money for Nothing


  Table of Contents

  Praise for the author

  About the Author

  By the Same Author

  Title Page

  Copyright Page

  Title

  Dedication

  Chapter 1 INTRODUCING A YOUNG MAN IN LOVE I

  II

  III

  IV

  Chapter 2 HEALTHWARD HO

  Chapter 3 HUGO DOES HIS DAY'S GOOD DEED

  Chapter 4 DISTURBING OCCURRENCES AT A NIGHT-CLUB I

  II

  III

  IV

  V

  VI

  Chapter 5 MONEY FOR NOTHING I

  II

  III

  IV

  V

  Chapter 6 MR CARMODY AMONG THE BIRDS I

  II

  III

  IV

  Chapter 7 A CROWDED NIGHT I

  II

  III

  IV

  V

  VI

  VII

  VIII

  Chapter 8 TWO ON A MOAT I

  II

  III

  Chapter 9 KNOCK-OUT DROPS I

  II

  III

  IV

  V

  Chapter 10 ACTIVITY OF SOAPY MOLLOY I

  II

  III

  Chapter 11 JOHN IN CAPTIVITY I

  II

  Chapter 12 UNPLEASANT SCENE BETWEEN TWO OLD FRIENDS I

  II

  Chapter 13 MR MOLLOY SPEAKS ON THE TELEPHONE I

  II

  III

  Chapter 14 NEWS FOR JOHN I

  II

  Chapter 15 PLAIN SPEECH FROM AN ANCESTOR I

  II

  III

  IN ARROW BOOKS Laughing Gas

  Visit our special P.G.Wodehouse website www.wodehouse.co.uk

  P.G. Wodehouse

  'The ultimate in comfort reading because nothing bad ever happens in P.G. Wodehouse land. Or even if it does, it's always sorted out by the end of the book. For as long as I'm immersed in a P.G. Wodehouse book, it's possible to keep the real world at bay and live in a far, far nicer, funnier one where happy endings are the order of the day' Marian Keyes

  'You should read Wodehouse when you're well and when you're poorly; when you're travelling, and when you're not; when you're feeling clever, and when you're feeling utterly dim. Wodehouse always lifts your spirits, no matter how high they happen to be already' Lynne Truss

  'P.G. Wodehouse remains the greatest chronicler of a certain kind of Englishness, that no one else has ever captured quite so sharply, or with quite as much wit and affection' Julian Fellowes

  'Not only the funniest English novelist who ever wrote but one of our finest stylists. His world is perfect, his stories are perfect, his writing is perfect. What more is there to be said?' Susan Hill

  'One of my (few) proud boasts is that I once spent a day interviewing P.G. Wodehouse at his home in America. He was exactly as I'd expected: a lovely, modest man. He could have walked out of one of his own novels. It's dangerous to use the word genius to describe a writer, but I'll risk it with him' John Humphrys

  'The incomparable and timeless genius – perfect for readers of all ages, shapes and sizes!' Kate Mosse

  'A genius . . . Elusive, delicate but lasting. He created such a credible world that, sadly, I suppose, never really existed but what a delight it always is to enter it and the temptation to linger there is sometimes almost overwhelming' Alan Ayckbourn

  'Wodehouse was quite simply the Bee's Knees. And then some'

  Joseph Connolly

  'Compulsory reading for anyone who has a pig, an aunt – or a sense of humour!' Lindsey Davis

  'I constantly find myself drooling with admiration at the sublime way Wodehouse plays with the English language' Simon Brett

  'I've recorded all the Jeeves books, and I can tell you this: it's like singing Mozart. The perfection of the phrasing is a physical pleasure. I doubt if any writer in the English language has more perfect music' Simon Callow

  'Quite simply, the master of comic writing at work' Jane Moore

  'To pick up a Wodehouse novel is to find oneself in the presence of genius – no writer has ever given me so much pure enjoyment'

  John Julius Norwich

  'P.G. Wodehouse is the gold standard of English wit' Christopher Hitchens

  'Wodehouse is so utterly, properly, simply funny' Adele Parks

  'To dive into a Wodehouse novel is to swim in some of the most elegantly turned phrases in the English language' Ben Schott

  'P.G. Wodehouse should be prescribed to treat depression. Cheaper, more effective than valium and far, far more addictive'

  Olivia Williams

  'My only problem with Wodehouse is deciding which of his enchanting books to take to my desert island' Ruth Dudley Edwards

  The author of almost a hundred books and the creator of Jeeves, Blandings Castle, Psmith, Ukridge, Uncle Fred and Mr Mulliner, P.G. Wodehouse was born in 1881 and educated at Dulwich College. After two years with the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank he became a full-time writer, contributing to a variety of periodicals including Punch and the Globe. He married in 1914. As well as his novels and short stories, he wrote lyrics for musical comedies with Guy Bolton and Jerome Kern, and at one time had five musicals running simultaneously on Broadway. His time in Hollywood also provided much source material for fiction.

  At the age of 93, in the New Year's Honours List of 1975, he received a long-overdue knighthood, only to die on St Valentine's Day some 45 days later.

  Some of the P.G. Wodehouse titles to be published by Arrow in 2008

  JEEVES

  The Inimitable Jeeves

  Carry On, Jeeves

  Very Good, Jeeves

  Thank You, Jeeves

  Right Ho, Jeeves

  The Code of the Woosters

  Joy in the Morning

  The Mating Season

  Ring for Jeeves

  Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit

  Jeeves in the Offing

  Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves

  Much Obliged, Jeeves

  Aunts Aren't Gentlemen

  UNCLE FRED

  Cocktail Time

  Uncle Dynamite

  BLANDINGS

  Something Fresh

  Leave it to Psmith

  Summer Lightning

  Blandings Castle

  Uncle Fred in the Springtime

  Full Moon

  Pigs Have Wings

  Service with a Smile

  A Pelican at Blandings

  MULLINER

  Meet Mr Mulliner

  Mulliner Nights

  Mr Mulliner Speaking

  GOLF

  The Clicking of Cuthbert

  The Heart of a Goof

  OTHERS

  Piccadilly Jim

  Ukridge

  The Luck of the Bodkins

  Laughing Gas

  A Damsel in Distress

  The Small Bachelor

  Hot Water

  Summer Moonshine

  The Adventures of Sally

  Money for Nothing

  The Girl in Blue

  Big Money

  P.G. WODEHOUSE

  Money for

  Nothing

  This eBook is copyright material and must not be copied, reproduced, transferred, distributed, leased, licensed or publicly performed or used in any way except as specifically permitted in writing by the publishers, as allowed under the terms and conditions under which it was purchased or as strictly permitted by applicable copyright law. Any unauthorised distribution or use of this text may be a direct infringement of the author's and publisher's rights and those responsible may be liable in law accordingly.

  ISBN 978140906374
2

  Version 1.0

  www.randomhouse.co.uk

  Published by Arrow Books 2008

  1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2

  Copyright by The Trustees of the Wodehouse Estate

  All rights reserved

  This electronic book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher's prior consent in any form other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser

  First published in the United Kingdom in 1928 by Herbert Jenkins Ltd

  Arrow Books

  The Random House Group Limited

  20 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London, SW1V 2SA

  www.rbooks.co.uk

  www.wodehouse.co.uk

  Addresses for companies within The Random House Group Limited can be

  found at: www.randomhouse.co.uk/offices.htm

  The Random House Group Limited Reg. No. 954009

  A CIP catalogue record for this book

  is available from the British Library

  ISBN: 9781409063742

  Version 1.0

  Money for

  Nothing

  TO

  IAN HAY BEITH

  1 INTRODUCING A YOUNG MAN IN LOVE

  I

  The picturesque village of Rudge-in-the-Vale dozed in the summer sunshine. Along its narrow High Street the only signs of life visible were a cat stropping its backbone against the Jubilee Watering Trough, some flies doing deep-breathing exercises on the hot window-sills, and a little group of serious thinkers who, propped up against the wall of the Carmody Arms, were waiting for that establishment to open. At no time is there ever much doing in Rudge's main thoroughfare, but the hour at which a stranger, entering it, is least likely to suffer the illusion that he has strayed into Broadway, Piccadilly, or the Rue de Rivoli is at two o'clock on a warm afternoon in July.

  You will find Rudge-in-the-Vale, if you search carefully, in that pleasant section of rural England where the grey stone of Gloucestershire gives place to Worcestershire's old red brick. Quiet – in fact, almost unconscious – it nestles beside the tiny river Skirme and lets the world go by, somnolently content with its Norman church, its eleven public-houses, its pop. – to quote the Automobile Guide – of 3,541, and its only effort in the direction of modern progress, the emporium of Chas Bywater, Chemist.

  Chas Bywater is a live wire. He takes no afternoon siesta, but works while others sleep. Rudge as a whole is inclined after luncheon to go into the back room, put a handkerchief over its face and take things easy for a bit. But not Chas Bywater. At the moment at which this story begins he was all bustle and activity, and had just finished selling to Colonel Meredith Wyvern a bottle of Brophy's Paramount Elixir (said to be good for gnat-bites).

  Having concluded his purchase, Colonel Wyvern would have preferred to leave, but Mr Bywater was a man who liked to sweeten trade with pleasant conversation. Moreover, this was the first time the Colonel had been inside his shop since that sensational affair up at the Hall two weeks ago, and Chas Bywater, who held the unofficial position of chief gossip-monger to the village, was aching to get to the bottom of that.

  With the bare outline of the story he was, of course, familiar. Rudge Hall, seat of the Carmody family for so many generations, contained in its fine old park a number of trees which had been planted somewhere about the reign of Queen Elizabeth. This meant that every now and then one of them would be found to have become a wobbly menace to the passer-by, so that experts had to be sent for to reduce it with a charge of dynamite to a harmless stump. Well, two weeks ago, it seems, they had blown up one of the Hall's Elizabethan oaks and as near as a toucher, Rudge learned, had blown up Colonel Wyvern and Mr Carmody with it. The two friends had come walking by just as the expert set fire to the train and had had a very narrow escape.

  Thus far the story was common property in the village, and had been discussed nightly in the eleven tap-rooms of its eleven public-houses. But Chas Bywater, with his trained nose for news and that sixth sense which had so often enabled him to ferret out the story behind the story when things happen in the upper world of the nobility and gentry, could not help feeling that there was more in it than this. He decided to give his customer the opportunity of confiding in him.

  'Warm day, Colonel,' he observed.

  'Ur,' grunted Colonel Wyvern.

  'Glass going up, I see.'

  'Ur.'

  'May be in for a spell of fine weather at last.'

  'Ur.'

  'Glad to see you looking so well, Colonel, after your little accident,' said Chas Bywater, coming out into the open.

  It had been Colonel Wyvern's intention, for he was a man of testy habit, to inquire of Mr Bywater why the devil he couldn't wrap a bottle of Brophy's Elixir in brown paper and put a bit of string round it without taking the whole afternoon over the task: but at these words he abandoned this project. Turning a bright mauve and allowing his luxuriant eyebrows to meet across the top of his nose, he subjected the other to a fearful glare.

  'Little accident?' he said. 'Little accident?'

  'I was alluding—'

  'Little accident!'

  'I merely—'

  'If by little accident,' said Colonel Wyvern in a thick, throaty voice, 'you mean my miraculous escape from death when that fat thug up at the Hall did his very best to murder me, I should be obliged if you would choose your expressions more carefully. Little accident! Good God!'

  Few things in this world are more painful than the realization that an estrangement has occurred between two old friends who for years have jogged amiably along together through life, sharing each other's joys and sorrows and holding the same views on religion, politics, cigars, wine, and the Decadence of the Younger Generation: and Mr Bywater's reaction, on hearing Colonel Wyvern describe Mr Lester Carmody, of Rudge Hall, until two short weeks ago his closest crony, as a fat thug, should have been one of sober sadness. Such, however, was not the case. Rather was he filled with an unholy exultation. All along he had maintained that there was more in that Hall business than had become officially known, and he stood there with his ears flapping, waiting for details.

  These followed immediately and in great profusion: and Mr Bywater, as he drank them in, began to realize that his companion had certain solid grounds for feeling a little annoyed. For when, as Colonel Wyvern very sensibly argued, you have been a man's friend for twenty years and are walking with him in his park and hear warning shouts and look up and realize that a charge of dynamite is shortly about to go off in your immediate neighbourhood, you expect a man who is a man to be a man. You do not expect him to grab you round the waist and thrust you swiftly in between himself and the point of danger, so that, when the explosion takes place, you get the full force of it and he escapes without so much as a singed eyebrow.

  'Quite,' said Mr Bywater, hitching up his ears another inch.

  Colonel Wyvern continued. Whether, if in a condition to give the matter careful thought, he would have selected Chas Bywater as a confidant, one cannot say. But he was not in such a condition. The stoppered bottle does not care whose is the hand that removes its cork – all it wants is the chance to fizz: and Colonel Wyvern resembled such a bottle. Owing to the absence from home of his daughter, Patricia, he had had no one handy to act as audience for his grievances, and for two weeks he had been suffering torments. He told Chas Bywater all.

  It was a very vivid picture that he conjured up. Mr Bywater could see the whole thing as clearly as if he had been present in person – from the blasting gang's first horrified realization that human beings had wandered into the danger zone to the almost tenser moment when, running up to sort out the tangled heap on the ground, they had observed Colonel Wyvern rise from his seat on Mr Carmody's face and had heard him start to tell that gentleman precisely what he thought of him. Privately, Mr Bywater considered that Mr Carmody had ac
ted with extraordinary presence of mind and had given the lie to the theory, held by certain critics, that the landed gentry of England are deficient in intelligence. But his sympathies were, of course, with the injured man. He felt that Colonel Wyvern had been hardly treated and was quite right to be indignant about it. As to whether the other was justified in alluding to his former friend as a jelly-bellied hell-hound, that was a matter for his own conscience to decide.

  'I'm suing him,' concluded Colonel Wyvern, regarding an advertisement of Pringle's Pink Pills with a smouldering eye.

  'Quite.'

  'The only thing in the world that super-fatted old Blackhander cares for is money, and I'll have his last penny out of him, if I have to take the case to the House of Lords.'

  'Quite,' said Mr Bywater.

  'I might have been killed. It was a miracle I wasn't. Five thousand pounds is the lowest figure any conscientious jury could put the damages at. And, if there were any justice in England, they'd ship the scoundrel off to pick oakum in a prison cell.'

  Mr Bywater made non-committal noises. Both parties to this unfortunate affair were steady customers of his, and he did not wish to alienate either by taking sides. He hoped the Colonel was not going to ask him for his opinion of the rights of the case.

  Colonel Wyvern did not. Having relieved himself with some six minutes of continuous speech, he seemed to have become aware that he had bestowed his confidences a little injudiciously. He coughed and changed the subject.

  'Where's that Stuff?' he said. 'Good God! Isn't it ready yet? Why does it take you fellows three hours to tie a knot in a piece of string?'

  'Quite ready, Colonel,' said Chas Bywater hastily. 'Here it is. I have put a little loop for the finger, to facilitate carrying.'

  'Is this Stuff really any good?'

 
Turn Navi Off
Turn Navi On
Scroll Up
Scroll
Add comment

Add comment