M: Legion of Super-Heroes v.5 #7 (August 2005), art by Barry Kitson and Chris Blythe
R: Legion of Super-Heroes v.5 #18 (July 2006), art by Barry Kitson and Nathan Eyring
(Click picture to Gim Allon-size)
Packy was feeling mildly surprised that, considering how deeply in love he was with Beatrice, the recent embrace had not revolted him more. He had not enjoyed it, of course. He could scarcely have been expected to do that. But it had not really revolted him. He was, however, conscious of a feeling of relief that Beatrice had not been an eyewitness of the episode.Is there any reader in any doubt who will wind up with whom at the end this novel?
Jane was thinking rather along the same lines. It would be too much, naturally, to say that she had derived any pleasure from Packy's kiss. On the other hand, it had not jarred every fibre of her being. But she was glad Blair had not happened to be looking on at the moment.
'Still, you did get here, didn't you, Duke?' said Miss Putnam, smiling in a roguish sort of way. 'And how nice it will be for you, having somebody to talk to in your own language. I was saying to the Vicomte only just now that, however well you speak a foreign language, it is never quite the same.'Miss Putnam, in keeping with the Wodehouse Rule of Maximum Occupancy of Imposters, is also not who she seems:
A somewhat strained pause followed the delivery of this dictum. For the space of perhaps a quarter of a minute the French aristocrats stared at one another dumbly. Here, you would have said, watching them, were two strong, silent Frenchmen.
Mr Carlisle was the first to rally from the shock.
'Parfaitement,' he said.
'Alors,' said Packy.
'Nom d'une pipe!'
There was another pause. It was as if some theme of deep interest had been exhausted.
Packy indicated the sky, as if something to which he felt the visitor's attention should be directed.
'Parbleu!' said Mr Carlisle, rather meanly falling back on old stuff.
They paused again. Packy, except for 'Oo la la' which he did not quite know how to bring in, had now shot his bolt.
But Mr Carlisle was made of sterner stuff....after what he would have been the first to confess a bad two minutes, was his resourceful self once more.
'But really, my dear fellow,' he said, with a light laugh, 'all this is vairy delightful, but you must not tempt me, no. My English is not good, and I promise my instructeur that always I would speak it only. You understand?'
The interval of silence had enabled Packy to dig up a really hot one.
'C'est vrai,' he said, with a glance at Miss Putnam which suggested that, in his opinion, would hold her for awhile. 'Mais, c'est vrai, mon vieux. Oo lá lá, c'est vrai! I also, study the English and do not want to speak the French.'
'Presenting Kate Amelia Putnam, of the James B. Flaherty Detective Agency of New York," she said amiably, holding the pistol in her hand on a steady line with Mr Carlisle's pelvis. 'Drop that gun. And you,' she added to Packy, 'keep your hands up.'(Although, in this little stuffed reader's opinion, this dénouement is slightly ruined by exposing it several chapters before to the reader, well before Packy and Oily discover it at the point of a gat. But I'm second-guessing Mr Wodehouse, and we all know that leads to tears.)
Mr Carlisle's automatic dropped to the floor. Miss Putnam seemed well content.
'...When I married you, my late husband's sister Mabel made herself extremely unpleasant. She seemed to consider that a woman who had been Mrs Wilmot Brewster ought to be satisfied for life. I'm not sure that when Wilmot died she would not have liked me to commit suttee.'...and groan-worthy...
'I was only joking. Commit suicide. When an Indian dies, his widow burns herself on the grave. They call it suttee.'
A wistful look came into Mr Gedge's face. It was just his luck, he seemed to be thinking, that an unkind fate had made the late Wilmot Brewster a Californian and not an Indian.
'I knew a man who was fired for removing a spot from his employer's clothing.'...to lines even Chico Marx might be ashamed to utter:
'What a shame!' said Jane. 'Why?'
'It was a ten-spot,' explained Packy.
'.,.Did they deport you?'But nobody describes scenery the way Wodehouse does. He ought to have been a writer for Town and Country:
'Oh, no. My mamma send a cable that I should go out West to Colorado. I left New York to arrive there. It was a great wrench.'
'You were sorry to go?'
'No, I liked going. I had fun.'
'Then why was it a great wrench?'
'Because it was. A great cattle-wrench.'
'I get you,' said Packy, 'Your habit of dropping into Yiddish is a little confusing at times, but I get you.'
He found Mrs Gedge in the Venetian Suite, a large apartment with a heavily carved ceiling which always looked as if it were going to come down and bean you.So, in short, Hot Water: oo la la.