from Wiffledown Way (A Sunny Novel Fraught with Dread)


“I say, Heeves, might you draw me a bath?”

“I might, sir. Which would your prefer, pen or ink?”

I winced. Heeves was my gentleman’s gentleman and a man whose keen intuition and intelligence I greatly admired and – truth be told – relied on. However, it was his sense of humor I could do without.

Still, for good or ill, we were virtually inseparable, as what gentleman worthy of the name does not have a gentleman’s gentleman to do his bidding. Besides, without Heeves, how on earth would I dress myself?  Why, I’d wind up with my waistcoat on my head and be the laughingstock of London.

“I surmise you’ll be attending the Bafflemyte’s dinner party this evening, sir?”

“That indeed is my intention, Heeves, and I’ll require your skilled service behind the wheel at, say, sevenish?”

“Very good, sir.” He nodded sharply.  “Sevenish on the nose. I’ll draw your bath now, sir, unless you prefer I remain here looking peevish.”

“The bath, Heeves, that will be all, thank you… just the bloody bath.”

He turned on his heels and oozed away. Did I mention how Heeves has this uncanny knack of exiting a room?  It’s as if he vaporizes and leaves one wondering if he’d ever actually been there at all.

“And no newts in there this time!” I shouted.
I was looking forward to seeing Priscilla at the party, although I feared there might be a few speed bumps I’d first have to scale – namely, Sir Henry Bafflemyte,  who – how shall I put it?  – detested me. Why he detested me I will leave to your imagination. To make matters worse, it was no secret in Wiffledown that Sir Henry maintained a lascivious, albeit discreet, eye on Miss Pemburton. Much like the lecherous eye of the family pedophile.  Quite understandable in light of the fact Lady Bafflemyte was a harridan of grotesque proportions. Indeed, she might easily have been mistaken for a monument in Hyde Park honoring Bigfoot.

So why, you may well wonder, was the Booster invited to this bally affair?

Good question, but to be perfectly candid, it wouldn’t be a tale worth your precious  time were I simply to lounge in bed playing Tiddlywinks, now would it.

I glanced at the beastly cuckoo on the wall and calculated that I had precisely two hours to spiffy up. (Blast that dashed precision!)

Plenty of time for the drugs to kick in.


First Draft