Saturday, 12 October 2013

Jeeves and the Crack of Doom

With grateful thanks to the Hon Bertie Wooster, who has allowed us to reproduce the text of his speech to us last night, "There and Back again in Spats"

I don't know about you, but when I've just had to save the whole world, by casting an artifact of great power and intrinsic value into a volcanic fissure, and as a result am sitting on a crumbling ledge over a lava flow, I'm inclined not to be so oojah - cum - spiff as normal. As I suffered from the day's exertions, I felt like the morning after the Drones Club Darts tournament.

"Crikey, Jeeves," I said.  "That was a near miss."

"Indeed, Sir."

"I mean, that time I accidentally got engaged to Arwen Evenstar, and Aragorn son of Arathorn wanted to break my spine in three places, that was close...."

"I believe it was four, Sir."

"Jeeves, we are about to die horribly in the shadow-lands of Mordor, having cast my Uncle Tom's antique cow-creamer into the Crack of Doom - Sir Watkin Bassett having wrenched it from my hand and fallen into the flowing magma with it; just as I had been falling in love with its sconces and gadroon foils and whatnot myself. Is this the time to be overly-precise about the number of breaks in my spine that Strider wanted to inflict on me?"

" Perhaps not, Sir "

"And then there was that time that Eowyn fell in love with me and wanted to mould me."

"A consummation most devoutly to be avoided, Sir. "

(This Eowyn, I should say for the new followers, is one of those muscular, Rohanin girls - never happier than when disembowelling an Uruk-Hai, or sending a Ring-wraith to its eternal doom. Being moulded by her would certainly have been extremely painful, so I made sure I avoided it. Not if I were the only boy in the world, and she were the only Nazgul.)

I realised that Jeeves had shimmered away. When he returned, I was amazed to discover he had managed to mix me up one of his "bracers". I downed it in one.

Now the thing about this pick-me-up of Jeeves is, as the magic works one is apt to reel somewhat. My skull seemed to bounce off the orc helmet I was wearing. But once my eyes had ricocheted off the Misty Mountains and back into my head, I felt much better. Mordor seemed a rosier place.

"Jeeves, " I exclaimed, "you stand alone."

"Thank you, Sir. The egg yolks give much-needed protein. The sherry cushions the nervous system. And the orc blood was an emergency replacement as I could not find any tomato juice in the lair of the Nameless One "

"It's OK,  Jeeves, you can say his name now. Spoderon's power was tied up with the cow-creamer. Now it is broken, his power is no more. See where the armies of Orcs of the Black Shorts return to their foul homeland, the EDL.

"But do you remember Aunt Dahlia's words: Even that loathsome boil, Bassett, may have something yet to do? But for him, Jeeves, I could not have destroyed the Cow-creamer. The Quest would have been in vain, even at the bitter end. So let us forgive him! For the Quest is achieved and now all is over. I am glad you are here with me. Here at the end of all things, Jeeves."

"Yes, Sir "

At that moment I heard what sounded like the words, "Tally ho! Yoiks! Hark forard!" floating over on the vile wind that blew across Mordor. I started, visibly.

"Surely, Jeeves, that's not my Aunt Dahlia?"

"Indeed, Sir. I forgot to inform you that Mrs Travers wished to speak with you."

"But Aunt Dahlia fell into the Pit at Totleigh  Towers while fighting the Balrog."

"Indeed, Sir."

"Bertie, you look like you've been out on the tiles all night," announced the ancestor, from the back of the eagle she'd flown in on.

"Good to see you, aged A," I responded. "The shiny white outfit suits you."

"Never mind that, it's all very well saving the world of men and removing the shadow from the earth. I need you back to scour Brinkley Court. Gussy Fink-Nottle has taken over the place and turned it into a newt farm."

"Delighted to join you, I replied, "will Bingo Little and Tuppy Glossop be there? "

"I doubt it. The last I heard, they were smashing up your Aunt Agatha's place with a bunch of ents."

(This other aunt, I should explain, is the one that eats goblins, and sacrifices elves at the full moon.)

"Well, I shall be glad to assist," I said, as Jeeves and I climbed aboard a handy eagle. "And I shall look forward to enjoying once again Monsieur Anatole's marvellous cooking."

At this, the ancestor gave me the information that turned my heart to ice.

"I'm afraid there won't be any of Anatole's cooking. Elrond Half-Elven won him off your Uncle Tom in a game of cards. He has taken him off across the Sundered Seas to be the chef for the Elder Folk."

"Jeeves," I said, "when we get back to Brinkley, you can burn my white mess jacket with the golden buttons. And my plus fours you can give to the poor. But you can pack my mithril waist-coat and black tie."

"Do I take it that you are planning another journey, Sir?"

"Indeed I am, Jeeves. If Anatole has gone then there is nothing left in Nether Middle Earth for me. Bring me my banjolele - we're off to the Grey Havens "

"Very good, Sir."


  1. Wow! Masterfully done! I never wondered if Tolkien and Wodehouse knew each other, surely they must have. But they couldn't have collaborated any better than this! I love it!

  2. Brilliant. I laughed so hard that I couldn't breathe.


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