Thursday, May 23, 2024

How to write quality novels

 He held rigid views on the art of the novel, and always maintained that an artist with a true reverence for his craft should not descend to gooey love stories, but should stick austerely to revolvers, cries in the night, missing papers, mysterious Chinamen, and dead bodies - with or without gash in throat. And not even the thought that his aunt had dandled him on her knee as a baby could induce him to stifle his literary conscience to the extend of pretending to enjoy her work. First, last, and all the time, James Rodman had held the opinion - and voiced it fearlessly - that Leila J. Pinckney wrote bilge.

(from Meet Mr. Mulliner, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Concerning blackmailers who squint

     "Yes," he said, looking up, "if my calculations are correct, Leila J. Pinckney wrote in all a matter of nine million one hundred and forty thousand words of glutinous sentimentality at Honeysuckle Cottage, and it was a condition of her will that James should reside there for six months in every year. Failing to do this, he was to foreit the five thousand pounds."

    "It must be great fun making a freak will," I mused. "I often wish I was rich enough to do it."

    "This was not a freak fill. The conditions are perfectly undertandable. James Rodman was a writer of sensational mystery stories, and his aunt Leila had always disapproved of his work. She was a great believer in the influence of envionment, and the reason why she inserted that clause in her will was that she wished to compel James to move from London to the country. She considered that living in London hardened him and made his outlook on life sordid. She often asked him if he thought it quite nice to harp so much on sudden death and blackmailers with squints. Surely, she said, there were enough squinting blackmailers in the world without writing about them."

(from Meet Mr. Mulliner, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

But not that

     "I have guessed your ghastly object, you ghastly object," he said quietly. You want me to photograph you."

    The Mayor shook his head. "Not myself. I realize that that can never be. My daughter."

    "Your daughter?"

    "My daughter."

    "Does she take after you?"

    "People tell me there is a resemblance."

    "I refuse," said Clarence.

(from Meet Mr. Mulliner, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Monday, May 20, 2024

How to ruin an engagement

     "But I'm not going to be married."

    "You're - what did you say?"

    "I'm not going to be married?"

    "But what of Dillingwater?"

    "That's off."


    "Off," said Jane firmly. "I only got engaged to him out of pique. I thought I could go through with it, buoying myself up by thinking what a score it would be off you but one morning I saw him eating a peach and I began to waver. He splashed himself to the eyebrows. And just after that I found that he had a trick of making a sort of funny noise when he drank coffee. I would sit on the other side of the breakfast table, looking at him and saying to myself, 'Now comes the funny noise!' and when I thought of doing all that the rest of my life I saw that the scheme was impossible. So I broke off the engagement."

(from Meet Mr. Mulliner, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Sunday, May 19, 2024

One of those sorts!

 He might have known, he felt, that Desmond Franklyn would be a menace. The man was one of those lean, keen, hawk-faced, Empire-building sort of chaps you find out East - the kind of fellow who stands on deck chewing his moustache with a far-away look in his eyes, and then, when the girl asks him what he is thinking about, draws a short, quick breath and says he is sorry to be so absent-minded, but a sunset like that always reminds him of the day when he killed the four pirates with his bare hands and saved dear old Tuppy Smithers in the nick of time.

(from Meet Mr. Mulliner, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Love counts, but money counts more

     "Does love count for nothing? Surely you love me?"

    "Of course I do, my desert king. When you do that flat-footed Black Bottom step with the sort of wiggly twiggle at the end, I feel as if I were eating plovers' eggs in a new dress to the accompaniment of heavenly music." She sighed. "Yes, I love you, Lancelot. And women are not like men. They do not love lightly. When a woman gives her heart, it is for ever. The years will pass, and you will turn to another. But I shall not forget. However, as you haven't a bob in the world - " She beckoned to the hall-porter. "Margerison."

    "Your ladyship?"

    "Are the front steps clean?"

    "Yes, your ladyship."

    "Then throw Mr. Mulliner out."

(from Meet Mr. Mulliner, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Friday, May 17, 2024

Odd-looking, what?

 Lancelot found himsel in a small, comfortably-furnished room, confronting a dignified-looking old man with a patrician nose and small side-whiskers, who looked like something that long ago had come out of an egg.

(from Meet Mr. Mulliner, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)