R: Catwoman v.2 #57 (September 2006), art by Adam Hughes
(Click picture to Gojira-size)
The stout young man, whose peculiar behaviour had drawn all this flattering attention from the many-headed and who appeared considerably ruffled by the publicity, had been puffing noisily during the foregoing conversation. Now, having recovered sufficient breath to resume the attack, he addressed himself to George once more.This is, of course, all showing that George is a Good Egg, well-worthy of being loved, yet for much of the novel the love is unrequited:
'Damn you, sir, will you let me look inside that cab?'
'Leave me,' said George, 'I would be alone.'
'There is a young lady in that cab. I saw her get in, and I have been watching ever since, and she has not got out, so she is there now.'
George nodded approval of this close reasoning.
'Your argument seems to be without a flaw. But what then? We applaud the Man of Logic, but what of the Man of Action? What are you going to do about it?'
'Get out of my way!'
'Then I'll force my way in!'
'If you try it, I shall infallibly bust you one on the jaw.'
The stout young man drew back a pace.
'You can't do that sort of thing, you know.'
'I know I can't,' said George, 'but I shall. In this life, my dear sir, we must be prepared for every emergency. We must distinguish between the unusual and the impossible. It would be unusual for a comparative stranger to lean out of a cab window and sock you one, but you appear to have laid your plans on the assumption that it would be impossible. Let this be a lesson to you!'
He draws a deep breath, misled young man. The night is very beautiful. It is near to the dawn now and in the bushes live things are beginning to stir and whisper.Come in the garden, Maud, she doesn't. Poor George! Fred Astaire now, he'd break into a sad sort of dance to while away the dark night, but George can only shuffle home.
Surely she can hear him?
The silver stars looked down dispassionately. This sort of thing had no novelty for them.
'...When I arrived there he was standing on the pavement outside. There were no signs of Maud. I demanded that he tell me her whereabouts...'And like Blandings, which is more populated by imposters than it is the nobility, George's invades the castle posing as a waiter during a grand ball (quite probably the same grand ball seen in this section of the movie):
'That reminds me,' said Lord Marshmoreton cheerfully, 'of a story I read in one of the papers. I daresay it's old. Stop me if you've heard it. A woman says to the maid: 'Do you know anything of my husband's whereabouts?' And the maid replies-'
'Do be quiet,' snapped Lady Caroline. 'I should have thought that you would be interested in a matter affecting the vital welfare of your only daughter.'
'I am. I am,' said Lord Marshmoreton hastily. 'The maid replied: 'They're at the wash.' Of course I am. Go on, Percy. Good God, boy, don't take all day telling us your story.'
"And then, that is one point I wish to make, you know. Ours is an old family, I would like to remind you that there were Marshmoretons in Belpher before the War of the Roses."Au contraire, m'lord. Brooklyn is never far from the point.
"There were Bevans in Brooklyn before the B.R.T."
"I beg your pardon?"
"I was only pointing out that I can trace my ancestry a long way. You have to trace things a long way in Brooklyn, if you want to find them."
"I have never heard of Brooklyn."
"You've heard of New York?"
"New York's one of the outlying suburbs."
Lord Marshmoreton relit his pipe. He had a feeling that they were wandering from the point.
Consider his position, you faint-hearted and self-pitying young men who think you have a tough row to hoe just because, when you pay your evening visit with the pound box of candy under your arm, you see the handsome sophomore from Yale sitting beside her on the porch, playing the ukulele. If ever the world has turned black to you in such a situation and the moon gone in behind a cloud, think of George Bevan and what he was up against. You are at least on the spot. You can at least put up a fight. If there are ukuleles in the world, there are also guitars, and tomorrow it may be you and not he who sits on the moonlit porch; it may be he and not you who arrives late. Who knows? Tomorrow he may not show up till you have finished the Bedouin's Love Song and are annoying the local birds, roosting in the trees, with Poor Butterfly....or this particularly fine piece of pathetic fallacy:
What I mean to say is, you are on the map. You have a sporting chance. Whereas George...Well, just go over to England and try wooing an earl's daughter whom you have only met once-and then without an introduction; whose brother's hat you have smashed beyond repair; whose family wishes her to marry some other man: who wants to marry some other man herself-and not the same other man, but another other man; who is closely immured in a mediaeval castle...Well, all I say is-try it. And then go back to your porch with a chastened spirit and admit that you might be a whole lot worse off.
Unconscious of these eulogies, which, coming from one whose judgment he respected, might have cheered him up, George wandered down Shaftesbury Avenue feeling more depressed than ever. The sun had gone in for the time being, and the east wind was frolicking round him like a playful puppy, patting him with a cold paw, nuzzling his ankles, bounding away and bounding back again, and behaving generally as east winds do when they discover a victim who has come out without his spring overcoat. It was plain to George now that the sun and the wind were a couple of confidence tricksters working together as a team. The sun had disarmed him with specious promises and an air of cheery good fellowship, and had delivered him into the hands of the wind, which was now going through him with the swift thoroughness of the professional hold-up artist. He quickened his steps, and began to wonder if he was so sunk in senile decay as to have acquired a liver.Why, I'll even forgive him this slur against bulls:
Observe Bertram the Bull when things are not going just as he could wish. He stamps. He snorts. He paws the ground. He throws back his head and bellows. He is upset, and he doesn't care who knows it.Let's face it: this is the book that inspired the sight of Fred Astaire dancing in Piccadilly in London. And that is, as I like to say, a Very Good Thing. (But watch out for the taxicabs, Fred! Didn't your mama teach you not to dance in traffic?)