Bertie Changes His Mind

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"Bertie Changes His Mind" is a short story by P. G. Wodehouse, and features the young gentleman Bertie Wooster and his valet Jeeves. The story was published in The Strand Magazine in the United Kingdom in August 1922, and in Cosmpolitan in the United States in the same month. The story was also included in the 1925 collection Carry On, Jeeves.

It is the only Jeeves story narrated from the perspective of Jeeves. In the story, Jeeves becomes concerned after Bertie starts considering living with his sister and three nieces. He arranges for Bertie to speak to an audience of young girls.

Bertie wants a daughter. Jeeves protests that adoption is a long and difficult process. Bertie recalls that his sister Mrs. Scholfield and her three daughters will be back from India next week, and proposes that he buy a house and live with them. Jeeves disapproves, and suggests they go to Brighton. Jeeves enjoys Brighton, but Bertie grows bored after two days. They head back to London.

While driving, Jeeves sees a girl waving, and stops. Bertie offers her a lift. Grateful, she says she will get in trouble with Miss Tomlinson when she gets back to school for leaving. Jeeves suggests that Bertie pretend he is a friend of the girl's father and took her for a drive. At the school, Bertie follows the girl, Peggy Mainwaring (pronounced "Mannering"), inside. Later, Jeeves tells Miss Tomlinson that Mr. Wooster is an eminent figure and would be delighted to give a speech to the girls, and she approves. Afterward, Jeeves considers that something might go wrong with Bertie's car.

Later, Bertie finds Jeeves smoking by the car. Bertie, who has lost his cigarette case, asks to smoke one of Jeeves's. While they smoke, Jeeves tells Bertie that in his youth, he was a page-boy in a school for young ladies, and that the girls often stared and giggled at guests to make them uncomfortable. This makes Bertie nervous. Later, Peggy returns Bertie's cigarette case to Jeeves, claiming that Bertie must have dropped it. She is excited to hear Bertie speak because the girls like to sit and stare at guest speakers. She leaves, and Bertie appears, telling Jeeves to start the car, because he learned Miss Tomlinson expects him to speak to the girls. Jeeves tells him the car is out of order and will take a little time to repair.

Despairingly, Bertie goes to speak to the girls in a large schoolroom. Jeeves watches from behind a pillar outside. Bertie stammers, and only manages to mention a gambling tip and a story about a stockbroker and a chorus girl, which upsets Miss Tomlinson. Jeeves leaves to ready the car. Soon, Bertie comes to ask if the car is ready. Jeeves replies that he has just finished fixing the car. Bertie nervously says that his speech went well, but now is the time to leave. Hearing voices approach, Bertie hides under a rug in the back of the car. Miss Tomlinson approaches the car, telling Jeeves that some girls were found smoking cigarettes given by Mr. Wooster. After she leaves, Bertie tells Jeeves to get a move on.

This page was last edited on 7 February 2018, at 04:20.
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bertie_Changes_His_Mind under CC BY-SA license.

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