P. G. Wodehouse: The Man Upstairs and Other Stories


And then I say to myself, 'I will go back to my uncle, and plead with him. I will seize favourable opportunity. I will approach him after dinner when he is in good temper. But for that I must be close at hand. I must be--what's your expression?--"Johnny-on-the-spot".'

My mind is made up. I have my plan.

I have gone back to my uncle's hotel, and I have engaged not too expensive bedroom. My uncle does not know. He still is in his private office. I secure my room.

I dine cheaply that night, but I go to theatre and also to supper after the theatre, for have I not my thousand francs? It is late when I reach my bedroom.

I go to bed. I go to sleep.

But I do not sleep long. I am awakened by a voice.

It is a voice that says, 'Move and I shoot! Move and I shoot!' I lie still. I do not move. I am courageous, but I am unarmed.

And the voice says again, 'Move and I shoot!' Is it robbers? Is it some marauder who has made his way to my room to plunder me?

I do not know. Per'aps I think yes.

'Who are you?' I have asked.

There is no answer.

I take my courage in my 'ands. I leap from my bed. I dash for the door. No pistol has been fire. I have reached the passage, and have shouted for assistance.

Hotel officials run up. Doors open. 'What is it?' voices cry.

'There is in my room an armed robber,' I assure them.

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