Wooster and Jeeves

  1.             ‘...it was to the English colonist like a revolt of the domestic staff...It was as
  2. though Jeeves had taken to the jungle’ (Graham Greene, Ways of Escape)
  3. Malaria, sleeping sickness, bilharzia, yellow fever — Wooster
  4. had seen them all afflict his faithful Jeeves:
  5. now a new disease was rife among the Kikuyu,
  6. carried not by mosquitoes or tsetse flies, but on the tip of a simi or panga.
  7. The shrieking of baboons seemed deafening as he stepped
  8. onto the veranda, and scanned the horizon, muttering a mild oath.
  9. Even his own docile houseboy had succumbed, he suspected, and taken the vile oath,
  10. had lapped up a gourd of goat’s blood (Bertie Wooster
  11. shuddered at the thought) then stuck a thorn seven times into the goat’s eyeball.
  12.             Under the steps
  13. to an outhouse he’d found blood-stained banana leaves. Summoned, Jeeves
  14. just shook his head, and murmured, ‘Mau Mau...panga...
  15. Bwana beware...’ Beneath, coiled like a snake, was an animal intestine the Kikuyu
  16. believed had magical powers...closing his eyes, Bertie recalled the first Kikuyu
  17. he’d hired, and the private oath
  18. to treat them kindly that he’d made; their pangas
  19. caught the sun, and flamed when they moved. The rich red soil of Wooster
  20. Farm was perfect for sisal and maize; he set to work some fifty Jeeves
  21. to clear the bush, and plough the land, and together, step by step
  22. they battled the wilderness...Abruptly, dusk fell. Shrouded figures were stepping
  23. out of the Aberdare forest, heading for an isolated homestead or Kikuyu
  24. collaborator. Their leader, Colonel Jeeves,
  25. whistled like a bird, and his men advanced. Tonight an oath-
  26. breaking traitor, or maybe a Wooster
  27. would wake to an unfamiliar noise, and moonlight on a falling panga.
  28. ‘Is this,’ the British Club’s leading man demanded, clutching the air, ‘a panga
  29. which I see before me, the handle toward my hand?’ Steps
  30. on the gravel prated softly of watchmen guarding young Woosters —
  31. that, or the approach of murder most foul. The Kikuyu
  32. rebel must be unseamed from the nave to the chops, the hateful oath
  33. retracted, and poor deluded Jeeves
  34. restored to his senses. It was decreed, therefore, that any Jeeves
  35. or witchdoctor caught killing a sheep or a goat with a panga
  36. in order to administer a Mau Mau oath
  37. of allegiance, must die. The guilty mounted the steps
  38. to makeshift gallows, commending their souls to their Kikuyu
  39. Ngai. The last thing they saw was the razor-wire of Camp Wooster.
  40. One morning Bertie Wooster was studying the newspaper. Many Jeeves
  41. had come and gone. But was this dead Kikuyu, his panga
  42. by his side, the one who’d stopped him stepping on a cobra? Yes, it was him, he’d
  43.             take an oath!