December 19, 2001

Disclaimer: It's all Ces' fault. I feel nothing but respect for the late, great Mr. Wodehouse. This is one of the Canadian shacks. I honestly can't remember who edited which shack, so thanks to the hive mind. Do not archive this without permission.

Shack 28

There are times in a man's life when he has to speak the truth and speak it frankly. This was such a moment. I spoke frankly.

"Well, really, Jeeves."

"Yes, sir."

"I mean, well, really, Jeeves!"

"Yes, sir. May I suggest that it would be advisable to move indoors? The wind chill factor is considerable."

He was perfectly correct, as Jeeves so often is. The wind howled around us like a roaring lion, seeking whom it might devour; it had already devoured my best hat, and it appeared as though the next thing it intended to remove from my head would be my ears. Still, one has certain standards. If you ask around at the Drones, they'll tell you that Bertram Wooster is a pleasant, easy-going sort of fellow, not too high in the instep, always ready to enjoy the charms of the simple life, but there are limits. "Not even a cousin of Pongo's could possibly live in this benighted rest home for elderly caribou. We must have taken a wrong turn."

"Sir, your ears are turning blue."

I thought with regret of my hat, which I rather suspected would live out its days as a silk-lined bird's nest, instilling an appreciation of the finer things in life into the next generation of Canadian tundra warblers. "Very well, Jeeves." I opened the door, and we went inside. "Jeeves?"


"Pongo's cousin doesn't appear to have much in the way of furniture."

"No, sir. But there is a fireplace." Jeeves put the bags down and began to build a fire. I took a turn about the room, wiggling my toes, as there seemed to be some question regarding whether all of them were still attached to my feet.

"Still, one must look on the bright side. I don't imagine Aunt Agatha will ever find me here."

"No, sir."

Said aunt is something of a hellhound in human shape even at the best of times, and after the affair with Claude, Eustace, and the game-keeper's trousers, she had taken an even more radical anti-Bertram stance than usual, bringing to mind a tropical storm working up to flattening a peaceful south sea island. It had seemed wise to put a safe distance between self and aunt for some time, and Pongo's offer to look after his cousin's rustic cabin had seemed just the thing.


"Yes, sir?"

"This cabin doesn't appear to have a bathroom."

"No, sir."

I went to the fireplace, where, thanks to Jeeves's diligent efforts, several logs were now burning merrily. "Nor a kitchen."

"No, sir."

"Nor a bedroom."

"No, sir. I will put the mattress next to the fire."

"Right-ho." I lent a hand with the heaving and dragging, since mattress-moving is not, strictly speaking, a part of Jeeves's usual duties. "But where are you going to sleep?"

"Here, sir."

"Oh." I pondered that for a moment. It seemed to me that he was leaping to conclusions. "But dash it, Jeeves, that isn't — I haven't — it doesn't seem—"

"With all due respect, sir, I believe Mr. Claude, Mr. Eustace, and the game-keeper would disagree."

"Oh. Ah. Yes." Honesty compelled me to admit that he had a point. He usually does. "Well. Carry on, then, Jeeves."

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