PG Wodehouse

The Old Reliable

First Published 1951

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PG Wodehouse The Old Reliable

When Carmen Flores, the volcanic Mexican star, perished in an aeroplane crash, her palatial Hollywood home was bought furnished by Mrs. Adela Cork, the famous Adela Shannon of the silent films. All the late Senorita Flores's personal belongings remained on the premises, and the thought occurred to Mrs. Cork's impecunious brother-in-law, Smedley, that among them might well be the Flores diary´┐Ża highly revealing document in which, so rumour said, were faithfully recorded the more intimate details of Carmen's chequered love-life. Smedley knew that such a diary, with its undercover revelations of many of Hollywood's great, would represent a source of untold wealth in his hands since everybody it named would pay highly to suppress it. And Smedley needed the cash. It was therefore unfortunate that Phipps, Mrs. Cork's English butler, a dignified figure who had served three years at Sing-Sing for safe-blowing, should come LO a similar decision, and the story deals with the rivalry of the two for possession of the diary, witti Ivli&. Cork intervening to considerable purpose at the critical moment. Over this turmoil of events broods like a providence Wilhelmina ('Bill') Shannon, Adela's sister. It is Bill who unravels the tangled threads and incidentally brings together her young friend, Joe Davenport, and the independent Kay. No wonder they called her the Old Reliable!