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

12. POTS O'MONEY (continued)

'My uncle shot his bolt when he got me into the bank. That finished him, as far as I'm concerned. I'm not his only nephew, you know. There are about a hundred others, all trailing him like bloodhounds.'

Mr Sheppherd coughed the small cough of disapproval. He was feeling more than a little aggrieved.

He had met Owen for the first time at dinner at the house of his uncle Henry, a man of unquestioned substance, whose habit it was to invite each of his eleven nephews to dinner once a year. But Mr Sheppherd did not know this. For all he knew, Owen was in the habit of hobnobbing with the great man every night. He could not say exactly that it was sharp practice on Owen's part to accept his invitation to call, and, having called, to continue calling long enough to make the present deplorable situation possible; but he felt that it would have been in better taste for the young man to have effaced himself and behaved more like a bank-clerk and less like an heir.

'I am exceedingly sorry for this, Mr Bentley,' he said, 'but you will understand that I cannot--It is, of course, out of the question. It would be best, in the circumstances, I think, if you did not see my daughter again--'

'She's waiting in the passage outside,' said Owen, simply.

'--after today. Good-bye.'

Owen left the room. Audrey was hovering in the neighbourhood of the door. She came quickly up to him, and his spirits rose, as they always did, at the sight of her.

'Well?' she said.

He shook his head.

'No good,' he said.

Audrey considered the problem for a moment, and was rewarded with an idea.

'Shall I go in and cry?'

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