A scene from Gravity's Rainbow, as lived by Bertram Wooster

Now, I need not tell the faithful Reader of my works how many times my faithful Friend and steadfast Butler Jeeves, a Chosen man in any concievable sense, has saved my Preterite hide in one sticky situation or another.  But allow me if you will to examine the one such incidence for which I am perhaps the most unspeakably grateful for his seemingly divine intervention - a matter which went beyond petty trifles such as life and Death.

It was just a nice dinner at first, or at least as nice as they get during War times, and I was having a halfway pleasant shore leave, excepting certain incidents you may recall involving, among other things, giant octopi and beguiling temptresses on the beach.  These are however other stories, and during this one I was just attempting to sit down and have a nice spot of port over my evening meal. The conversation, however, started taking a slightly unsettling turn over the course of our dinner towards, of all things, Rockets.  Now don't get me wrong, I've nothing against a nice long-range explosive projectile now and again, but over the course of this stay I'd heard quite enough of the valves and propellents and what-have-you and I was starting to get a small bit piqued. When one hears such talk in London, for example, it seems par for the course, the city being a veritable missile magnet, but on shore leave one usually prefers and expects a more relaxed subject, more along the lines of mixed drinks or cigarette brands. One Mr. Bloat struck me as particularly interested in this topic, however, and kept returning specifically to the innovation of the German V-2. Aside from a general exhaustion on the subject I was a bit troubled by a personal reaction I seemed to have to this specific piece of equipment, something my psychoanalyst friends would certainly have a ball with and which would be a real reputation-ruiner if word got out, but which the Reader of the less delicate sex may understand better when he considers his own attachments to certain items of no inherent allure.

The old Wooster nerves were getting progressively more stressed over the course of the evening and my steadfast Jeeves must have noticed, because at one point came a subtle cough from a corner of the room which seemed to have sprung up as suddenly as the man who now inhabited it. I would know Jeeves's subtle coughs anywhere, and I grasped immediately that my Salvation was on the way.

'Do excuse the interruption, sir, but do you perchance remember the game we played with Aunt Agatha and the other guests at Bimsly manner during our last stay?'

I got the trick of it immediately. Wanting to cry out, 'Jeeves, you're a genius!' I instead opted for the old Wooster subterfuge, telling him loudly what a wonderful memory that was and how much fun it would be to play with this fine group around the table.  Soon we had the requisite champagne, the waiters were on alert to refill any empty glasses, and the festivities could begin.

I introduced then the concept of the night's entertainment, a traditional Wooster family drinking game (so I said) which involved accusing others by name of having stolen some trifle from a certain royal personage and then the next in line denying the accusation in turn. As it was so prosaically explained to me by an American colleague, 'You mess up, you drink up.'

We being military type chappies, it didn't take long for this to become quite the little competition. Within the hour we were through fifteen bottles of the House's finest and I, having been somewhat more reserved in my play, slipped unnoticed out the back door with Jeeves following tight but silent behind, a nice new suit awaiting him as soon as we got to a place where we could buy one.

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