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Mike - Chapter XLVI - THE DECORATION OF SAMMY Post by :netpower Category :Long Stories Author :P G Wodehouse Date :June 2011 Read :3558

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Smith leaned against the mantelpiece in the senior day-room at
Outwood's--since Mike's innings against Downing's the Lost Lambs had
been received as brothers by that centre of disorder, so that even
Spiller was compelled to look on the hatchet as buried--and gave his
views on the events of the preceding night, or, rather, of that
morning, for it was nearer one than twelve when peace had once more
fallen on the school.

"Nothing that happens in this luny-bin," said Psmith, "has power to
surprise me now. There was a time when I might have thought it a
little unusual to have to leave the house through a canvas shoot at
one o'clock in the morning, but I suppose it's quite the regular thing
here. Old school tradition, &c. Men leave the school, and find that
they've got so accustomed to jumping out of window that they look on
it as a sort of affectation to go out by the door. I suppose none of
you merchants can give me any idea when the next knockabout
entertainment of this kind is likely to take place?"

"I wonder who rang that bell!" said Stone. "Jolly sporting idea."

"I believe it was Downing himself. If it was, I hope he's satisfied."

Jellicoe, who was appearing in society supported by a stick, looked
meaningly at Mike, and giggled, receiving in answer a stony stare.
Mike had informed Jellicoe of the details of his interview with Mr.
Barley at the "White Boar," and Jellicoe, after a momentary splutter
of wrath against the practical joker, was now in a particularly
light-hearted mood. He hobbled about, giggling at nothing and at
peace with all the world.

"It was a stirring scene," said Psmith. "The agility with which
Comrade Jellicoe boosted himself down the shoot was a triumph of mind
over matter. He seemed to forget his ankle. It was the nearest thing
to a Boneless Acrobatic Wonder that I have ever seen."

"I was in a beastly funk, I can tell you."

Stone gurgled.

"So was I," he said, "for a bit. Then, when I saw that it was all a
rag, I began to look about for ways of doing the thing really well. I
emptied about six jugs of water on a gang of kids under my window."

"I rushed into Downing's, and ragged some of the beds," said Robinson.

"It was an invigorating time," said Psmith. "A sort of pageant. I was
particularly struck with the way some of the bright lads caught hold
of the idea. There was no skimping. Some of the kids, to my certain
knowledge, went down the shoot a dozen times. There's nothing like
doing a thing thoroughly. I saw them come down, rush upstairs, and be
saved again, time after time. The thing became chronic with them. I
should say Comrade Downing ought to be satisfied with the high state
of efficiency to which he has brought us. At any rate I hope----"

There was a sound of hurried footsteps outside the door, and Sharpe, a
member of the senior day-room, burst excitedly in. He seemed amused.

"I say, have you chaps seen Sammy?"

"Seen who?" said Stone. "Sammy? Why?"

"You'll know in a second. He's just outside. Here, Sammy, Sammy,
Sammy! Sam! Sam!"

A bark and a patter of feet outside.

"Come on, Sammy. Good dog."

There was a moment's silence. Then a great yell of laughter burst
forth. Even Psmith's massive calm was shattered. As for Jellicoe, he
sobbed in a corner.

Sammy's beautiful white coat was almost entirely concealed by a thick
covering of bright red paint. His head, with the exception of the
ears, was untouched, and his serious, friendly eyes seemed to
emphasise the weirdness of his appearance. He stood in the doorway,
barking and wagging his tail, plainly puzzled at his reception. He was
a popular dog, and was always well received when he visited any of the
houses, but he had never before met with enthusiasm like this.

"Good old Sammy!"

"What on earth's been happening to him?"

"Who did it?"

Sharpe, the introducer, had no views on the matter.

"I found him outside Downing's, with a crowd round him. Everybody
seems to have seen him. I wonder who on earth has gone and mucked him
up like that!"

Mike was the first to show any sympathy for the maltreated animal.

"Poor old Sammy," he said, kneeling on the floor beside the victim,
and scratching him under the ear. "What a beastly shame! It'll take
hours to wash all that off him, and he'll hate it."

"It seems to me," said Psmith, regarding Sammy dispassionately through
his eyeglass, "that it's not a case for mere washing. They'll either
have to skin him bodily, or leave the thing to time. Time, the Great
Healer. In a year or two he'll fade to a delicate pink. I don't see
why you shouldn't have a pink bull-terrier. It would lend a touch of
distinction to the place. Crowds would come in excursion trains to see
him. By charging a small fee you might make him self-supporting. I
think I'll suggest it to Comrade Downing."

"There'll be a row about this," said Stone.

"Rows are rather sport when you're not mixed up in them," said
Robinson, philosophically. "There'll be another if we don't start off
for chapel soon. It's a quarter to."

There was a general move. Mike was the last to leave the room. As he
was going, Jellicoe stopped him. Jellicoe was staying in that Sunday,
owing to his ankle.

"I say," said Jellicoe, "I just wanted to thank you again about

"Oh, that's all right."

"No, but it really was awfully decent of you. You might have got into
a frightful row. Were you nearly caught?"

"Jolly nearly."

"It _was you who rang the bell, wasn't it?"

"Yes, it was. But for goodness sake don't go gassing about it, or
somebody will get to hear who oughtn't to, and I shall be sacked."

"All right. But, I say, you _are a chap!"

"What's the matter now?"

"I mean about Sammy, you know. It's a jolly good score off old
Downing. He'll be frightfully sick."

"Sammy!" cried Mike. "My good man, you don't think I did that, do you?
What absolute rot! I never touched the poor brute."

"Oh, all right," said Jellicoe. "But I wasn't going to tell any one,
of course."

"What do you mean?"

"You _are a chap!" giggled Jellicoe.

Mike walked to chapel rather thoughtfully.

Content of CHAPTER XLVI - THE DECORATION OF SAMMY (P G Wodehouse's novel: Mike)

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CHAPTER XLVII - MR. DOWNING ON THE SCENTThere was just one moment, the moment in which, on going down to thejunior day-room of his house to quell an unseemly disturbance, he wasboisterously greeted by a vermilion bull terrier, when Mr. Downing wasseized with a hideous fear lest he had lost his senses. Glaring downat the crimson animal that was pawing at his knees, he clutched at hisreason for one second as a drowning man clutches at a lifebelt.Then the happy laughter of the young onlookers reassured him."Who--" he shouted, "WHO has done this?"(Illustration: "WHO--" HE SHOUTED, "WHO HAS DONE THIS?")"Please, sir,

Mike - Chapter XLV - PURSUIT Mike - Chapter XLV - PURSUIT

Mike - Chapter XLV - PURSUIT
CHAPTER XLV - PURSUITThese things are Life's Little Difficulties. One can never tellprecisely how one will act in a sudden emergency. The right thing forMike to have done at this crisis was to have ignored the voice,carried on up the water-pipe, and through the study window, and goneto bed. It was extremely unlikely that anybody could have recognisedhim at night against the dark background of the house. The positionthen would have been that somebody in Mr. Outwood's house had beenseen breaking in after lights-out; but it would have been verydifficult for the authorities to have narrowed the search down anyfurther than