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

3. DEEP WATERS (continued)

'Mr Callender, don't you think this farce has gone on long enough?'

Once, in the dear, dead days beyond recall, when but a happy child, George had been smitten unexpectedly by a sportive playmate a bare half-inch below his third waistcoat-button. The resulting emotions were still green in his memory. As he had felt then, so did he feel now.

'Miss Vaughan! I don't understand.'


'What have I done?'

'You have forgotten how to swim.'

A warm and prickly sensation began to manifest itself in the region of George's forehead.


'Forgotten. And in a few months. I thought I had seen you before, and today I remembered. It was just about this time last year that I saw you at Hayling Island swimming perfectly wonderfully, and today you are taking lessons. Can you explain it?'

A frog-like croak was the best George could do in that line.

She went on.

'Business is business, I suppose, and a play has to be advertised somehow. But--'

'You don't think--' croaked George.

'I should have thought it rather beneath the dignity of an author; but, of course, you know your own business best. Only I object to being a conspirator. I am sorry for your sake that yesterday's episode attracted so little attention. Today it was much more satisfactory, wasn't it? I am so glad.'

There was a massive silence for about a hundred years.

'I think I'll go for a short stroll,' said George.

* * * * *

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