Full Online Books
Authors Authors Short Stories Short Stories Long Stories Long Stories Funny Stories Funny Stories Love Stories Love Stories Stories For Kids Stories For Kids Poems Poems Essays Essays Nonfictions Nonfictions Plays Plays Folktales Folktales Fairy Tales Fairy Tales Fables Fables Learning Kitchen Learning Kitchen
Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Free Classified Website Without Registration Free Classified Website Daniel Company
Twitter Twitter Add book
Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesWhite Feather - Chapter IV - THE BETTER PART OF VALOUR
Famous Authors (View All Authors)
White Feather - Chapter IV - THE BETTER PART OF VALOUR Post by :JohnG Category :Long Stories Author :P G Wodehouse Date :June 2011 Read :2941

Click below to download : White Feather - Chapter IV - THE BETTER PART OF VALOUR (Format : PDF)

White Feather - Chapter IV - THE BETTER PART OF VALOUR


The borough of Wrykyn had been a little unfortunate--or fortunate,
according to the point of view--in the matter of elections. The latter
point of view was that of the younger and more irresponsible section of
the community, which liked elections because they were exciting. The
former was that of the tradespeople, who disliked them because they got
their windows broken.

Wrykyn had passed through an election and its attendant festivities in
the previous year, when Sir Eustace Briggs, the mayor of the town, had
been returned by a comfortable majority. Since then ill-health had
caused that gentleman to resign his seat, and the place was once more
in a state of unrest. This time the school was deeply interested in the
matter. The previous election had not stirred them. They did not care
whether Sir Eustace Briggs defeated Mr Saul Pedder, or whether Mr Saul
Pedder wiped the political floor with Sir Eustace Briggs. Mr Pedder was
an energetic Radical; but owing to the fact that Wrykyn had always
returned a Conservative member, and did not see its way to a change as
yet, his energy had done him very little good. The school had looked on
him as a sportsman, and read his speeches in the local paper with
amusement; but they were not interested. Now, however, things were
changed. The Conservative candidate, Sir William Bruce, was one of
themselves--an Old Wrykinian, a governor of the school, a man who
always watched school-matches, and the donor of the Bruce Challenge Cup
for the school mile. In fine, one of the best. He was also the father
of Jack Bruce, a day-boy on the engineering side. The school would have
liked to have made a popular hero of Jack Bruce. If he had liked, he
could have gone about with quite a suite of retainers. But he was a
quiet, self-sufficing youth, and was rarely to be seen in public. The
engineering side of a public school has workshops and other weirdnesses
which keep it occupied after the ordinary school hours. It was
generally understood that Bruce was a good sort of chap if you knew
him, but you had got to know him first; brilliant at his work, and
devoted to it; a useful slow bowler; known to be able to drive and
repair the family motor-car; one who seldom spoke unless spoken to, but
who, when he did speak, generally had something sensible to say. Beyond
that, report said little.

As he refused to allow the school to work off its enthusiasm on him,
they were obliged to work it off elsewhere. Hence the disturbances
which had become frequent between school and town. The inflammatory
speeches of Mr Saul Pedder had caused a swashbuckling spirit to spread
among the rowdy element of the town. Gangs of youths, to adopt the
police-court term, had developed a habit of parading the streets
arm-in-arm, shouting "Good old Pedder!" When these met some person or
persons who did not consider Mr Pedder good and old, there was
generally what the local police-force described as a "frakkus".

It was in one of these frakkuses that Linton had lost a valuable tooth.

Two days had elapsed since Dunstable and Linton had looked in on Sheen
for tea. It was a Saturday afternoon, and roll-call was just over.
There was no first fifteen match, only a rather uninteresting
house-match, Templar's _versus Donaldson's, and existence in the
school grounds showed signs of becoming tame.

"What a beastly term the Easter term is," said Linton, yawning. "There
won't be a thing to do till the house-matches begin properly."

Seymour's had won their first match, as had Day's. They would not be
called upon to perform for another week or more.

"Let's get a boat out," suggested Dunstable.

"Such a beastly day."

"Let's have tea at the shop."

"Rather slow. How about going to Cook's?"

"All right. Toss you who pays."

Cook's was a shop in the town to which the school most resorted when in
need of refreshment.

"Wonder if we shall meet Albert."

Linton licked the place where his tooth should have been, and said he
hoped so.

Sergeant Cook, the six-foot proprietor of the shop, was examining a
broken window when they arrived, and muttering to himself.

"Hullo!" said Dunstable, "what's this? New idea for ventilation? Golly,
massa, who frew dat brick?"

"Done it at ar-parse six last night, he did," said Sergeant Cook, "the
red-'eaded young scallywag. Ketch 'im--I'll give 'im--"

"Sounds like dear old Albert," said Linton. "Who did it, sergeant?"

"Red-headed young mongrel. 'Good old Pedder,' he says. 'I'll give you
Pedder,' I says. Then bang it comes right on top of the muffins, and
when I doubled out after 'im 'e'd gone."

Mrs Cook appeared and corroborated witness's evidence. Dunstable
ordered tea.

"We may meet him on our way home," said Linton. "If we do, I'll give
him something from you with your love. I owe him a lot for myself."

Mrs Cook clicked her tongue compassionately at the sight of the obvious
void in the speaker's mouth.

"You'll 'ave to 'ave a forlse one, Mr Linton," said Sergeant Cook with
gloomy relish.

The back shop was empty. Dunstable and Linton sat down and began tea.
Sergeant Cook came to the door from time to time and dilated further on
his grievances.

"Gentlemen from the school they come in 'ere and says ain't it all a
joke and exciting and what not. But I says to them, you 'aven't got to
live in it, I says. That's what it is. You 'aven't got to live in it, I
says. Glad when it's all over, that's what I'll be."

"'Nother jug of hot water, please," said Linton.

The Sergeant shouted the order over his shoulder, as if he were
addressing a half-company on parade, and returned to his woes.

"You 'aven't got to live in it, I says. That's what it is. It's this
everlasting worry and flurry day in and day out, and not knowing what's
going to 'appen next, and one man coming in and saying 'Vote for
Bruce', and another 'Vote for Pedder', and another saying how it's the
poor man's loaf he's fighting for--if he'd only _buy a loaf,
now--'ullo, 'ullo, wot's this?"

There was a "confused noise without", as Shakespeare would put it, and
into the shop came clattering Barry and McTodd, of Seymour's, closely
followed by Stanning and Attell.

"This is getting a bit too thick," said Barry, collapsing into a chair.

From the outer shop came the voice of Sergeant Cook.

"Let me jest come to you, you red-'eaded--"

Roars of derision from the road.

"That's Albert," said Linton, jumping up.

"Yes, I heard them call him that," said Barry. "McTodd and I were
coming down here to tea, when they started going for us, so we nipped
in here, hoping to find reinforcements."

"We were just behind you," said Stanning. "I got one of them a beauty.
He went down like a shot."

"Albert?" inquired Linton.

"No. A little chap."

"Let's go out, and smash them up," suggested Linton excitedly.

Dunstable treated the situation more coolly.

"Wait a bit," he said. "No hurry. Let's finish tea at any rate. You'd
better eat as much as you can now Linton. You may have no teeth left to
do it with afterwards," he added cheerfully.

"Let's chuck things at them," said McTodd.

"Don't be an ass," said Barry. "What on earth's the good of that?"

"Well, it would be something," said McTodd vaguely.

"Hit 'em with a muffin," suggested Stanning. "Dash, I barked my
knuckles on that man. But I bet he felt it."

"Look here, I'm going out," said Linton. "Come on, Dunstable."

Dunstable continued his meal without hurry.

"What's the excitement?" he said. "There's plenty of time. Dear old
Albert's not the sort of chap to go away when he's got us cornered
here. The first principle of warfare is to get a good feed before you

"And anyhow," said Barry, "I came here for tea, and I'm going to have

Sergeant Cook was recalled from the door, and received the orders.

"They've just gone round the corner," he said, "and that red-'eaded one
'e says he's goin' to wait if he 'as to wait all night."

"Quite right," said Dunstable, approvingly. "Sensible chap, Albert. If
you see him, you might tell him we shan't be long, will you?"

A quarter of an hour passed.

"Kerm out," shouted a voice from the street.

Dunstable looked at the others.

"Perhaps we might be moving now," he said, getting up "Ready?"

"We must keep together," said Barry.

"You goin' out, Mr Dunstable?" inquired Sergeant Cook.

"Yes. Good bye. You'll see that we're decently buried won't you?"

The garrison made its sortie.

* * * * *

It happened that Drummond and Sheen were also among those whom it had
struck that afternoon that tea at Cook's would be pleasant; and they
came upon the combatants some five minutes after battle had been
joined. The town contingent were filling the air with strange cries,
Albert's voice being easily heard above the din, while the Wrykinians,
as public-school men should, were fighting quietly and without unseemly

"By Jove," said Drummond, "here's a row on."

Sheen stopped dead, with a queer, sinking feeling within him. He
gulped. Drummond did not notice these portents. He was observing the

Suddenly he uttered an exclamation.

"Why, it's some of our chaps! There's a Seymour's cap. Isn't that
McTodd? And, great Scott! there's Barry. Come on, man!"

Sheen did not move.

"Ought we...to get...mixed up...?" he began.

Drummond looked at him with open eyes. Sheen babbled on.

"The old man might not like--sixth form, you see--oughtn't we to--?"

There was a yell of triumph from the town army as the red-haired
Albert, plunging through the fray, sent Barry staggering against the
wall. Sheen caught a glimpse of Albert's grinning face as he turned. He
had a cut over one eye. It bled.

"Come on," said Drummond, beginning to run to the scene of action.

Sheen paused for a moment irresolutely. Then he walked rapidly in the
opposite direction.

Content of CHAPTER IV - THE BETTER PART OF VALOUR (P G Wodehouse's novel: White Feather)

If you like this book please share to your friends :

White Feather - Chapter V - THE WHITE FEATHER White Feather - Chapter V - THE WHITE FEATHER

White Feather - Chapter V - THE WHITE FEATHER
CHAPTER V - THE WHITE FEATHERIt was not until he had reached his study that Sheen thoroughlyrealised what he had done. All the way home he had been defendinghimself eloquently against an imaginary accuser; and he had built up avery sound, thoughtful, and logical series of arguments to show that hewas not only not to blame for what he had done, but had acted in highlystatesmanlike and praiseworthy manner. After all, he was in the sixth.Not a prefect, it was true, but, still, practically a prefect. Theheadmaster disliked unpleasantness between school and town, much moreso between the sixth form of the


CHAPTER III - SHEEN RECEIVES VISITORS AND ADVICEWhile Sheen had been interviewing Stanning, in study twelve, fartherdown the passage, Linton and his friend Dunstable, who was in Day'shouse, were discussing ways and means. Like Stanning, Dunstable haddemanded tea, and had been informed that there was none for him."Well, you are a bright specimen, aren't you?" said Dunstable, seatinghimself on the table which should have been groaning under the weightof cake and biscuits. "I should like to know where you expect to go to.You lure me in here, and then have the cheek to tell me you haven't gotanything to eat. What