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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesThe Swoop! Or How Clarence Saved England - Part Two - Chapter 3 - A BIRD'S-EYE VIEW OF THE SITUATION
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The Swoop! Or How Clarence Saved England - Part Two - Chapter 3 - A BIRD'S-EYE VIEW OF THE SITUATION Post by :lildeebo Category :Long Stories Author :P G Wodehouse Date :June 2011 Read :3023

Click below to download : The Swoop! Or How Clarence Saved England - Part Two - Chapter 3 - A BIRD'S-EYE VIEW OF THE SITUATION (Format : PDF)

The Swoop! Or How Clarence Saved England - Part Two - Chapter 3 - A BIRD'S-EYE VIEW OF THE SITUATION

Part Two Chapter 3 - A BIRD'S-EYE VIEW OF THE SITUATION


Clarence read the news of the two engagements on the tape at the office
of his paper, but the first intimation the general public had of it was
through the medium of headlines:--

MUSIC-HALL SENSATION
INVADING GENERALS' GIGANTIC SALARIES
RUMOURED RESENTMENT OF V.A.F.
WHAT WILL WATER-RATS DO?
INTERVIEW WITH MR. HARRY LAUDER

Clarence chuckled grimly as the tape clicked out the news. The end had
begun. To sow jealousy between the rival generals would have been easy.
To sow it between two rival music-hall artistes would be among the
world's softest jobs.

Among the general public, of course, the announcement created a
profound sensation. Nothing else was talked about in train and omnibus.
The papers had leaders on the subject. At first the popular impression
was that the generals were going to do a comedy duo act of the
Who-Was-It-I-Seen-You-Coming-Down-the-Street-With? type, and there was
disappointment when it was found that the engagements were for
different halls. Rumours sprang up. It was said that the Grand Duke had
for years been an enthusiastic amateur sword-swallower, and had,
indeed, come to England mainly for the purpose of getting bookings;
that the Prince had a secure reputation in Potsdam as a singer of songs
in the George Robey style; that both were expert trick-cyclists.

Then the truth came out. Neither had any specialities; they would
simply appear and deliver lectures.

The feeling in the music-hall world was strong. The Variety Artists'
Federation debated the advisability of another strike. The Water Rats,
meeting in mystic secrecy in a Maiden Lane public-house, passed fifteen
resolutions in an hour and a quarter. Sir Harry Lauder, interviewed by
the _Era_, gave it as his opinion that both the Grand Duke and the
Prince were gowks, who would do well to haud their blether. He himself
proposed to go straight to America, where genuine artists were cheered
in the streets and entertained at haggis dinners, and not forced to
compete with amateur sumphs and gonuphs from other countries.

Clarence, brooding over the situation like a Providence, was glad to
see that already the new move had weakened the invaders' power. The day
after the announcement in the press of the approaching _debut of
the other generals, the leader of the army of Monaco had hurried to the
agents to secure an engagement for himself. He held out the special
inducement of card-tricks, at which he was highly skilled. The agents
had received him coldly. Brown and Day had asked him to call again.
Foster had sent out a message regretting that he was too busy to see
him. At de Freece's he had been kept waiting in the ante-room for two
hours in the midst of a bevy of Sparkling Comediennes of pronounced
peroxidity and blue-chinned men in dusty bowler-hats, who told each
other how they had gone with a bang at Oakham and John o'Groats, and
had then gone away in despair.

On the following day, deeply offended, he had withdrawn his troops from
the country.

The strength of the invaders was melting away little by little.

"How long?" murmured Clarence Chugwater, as he worked at the
tape-machine. "How long?"

Content of Part Two Chapter 3 - A BIRD'S-EYE VIEW OF THE SITUATION (P G Wodehouse's novel: The Swoop! or How Clarence Saved England)

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Part Two Chapter 4 - CLARENCE HEARS IMPORTANT NEWSIt was Clarence's custom to leave the office of his newspaper at oneo'clock each day, and lunch at a neighbouring Aerated Bread shop. Hedid this on the day following the first appearance of the two generalsat their respective halls. He had brought an early edition of the paperwith him, and in the intervals of dealing with his glass of milk andscone and butter, he read the report of the performances.Both, it seemed, had met with flattering receptions, though they hadappeared nervous. The Russian general especially, whose style, said thecritic, was somewhat reminiscent of
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Part Two, Chapter 2 - AN IMPORTANT ENGAGEMENTHistorians, when they come to deal with the opening years of thetwentieth century, will probably call this the Music-Hall Age. At thetime of the great invasion the music-halls dominated England. Everytown and every suburb had its Hall, most of them more than one. Thepublic appetite for sight-seeing had to be satisfied somehow, and themusic-hall provided the easiest way of doing it. The Halls formed acommon place on which the celebrity and the ordinary man could meet. Ifan impulsive gentleman slew his grandmother with a coal-hammer, only asmall portion of the public could gaze upon
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