PG Wodehouse

Service With a Smile

First Published 1961

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PG Wodehouse Service With a Smile

The morning sun shone benignly down on Blandings Castle and the various inmates, their breakfasts digested, were busy with the tasks of the day.
Beach, the butler, was in his pantry reading an Agatha Christie: the Duke of Dunstable, who had come uninvited to the Castle and showed no sign of ever leaving, was spelling his way through The Times. Lady Constance, Lord Emsworth's sister, was in her boudoir writing a letter to her American friend, James Schoonmaker; and Lord Emsworth was making his way to the headquarters of the Empress of Blandings, his pre-eminent sow, three times silver medallist in the Fat Pigs Class at the Shropshire Agricultural Show.
It was on this unsuspecting community that Frederick, 5th Earl of Ickenham, descended like a genial genie of the lamp. Accompanied by his young friend Bill Bailey he swept through the Castle like a cleansing fire, straightening the wayward path of love, despatching unwanted guests, and gracefully restoring to his host the wonder pig that evil men had sought to steal.
And when these tasks were done his handsome face betrayed the pleasure he felt; Frederick, Earl of Ickenham, had given service with a smile.