Fetch the Doctor, Jeeves!

by idontlikegravy [Reviews - 14]

  • All Ages
  • None
  • Crossover, General

Author's Notes:
Disclaimer: If you recognise them, they aren’t mine, and even if you don’t, they aren’t mine either. All characters and likenesses etc. belong to the BBC and whoever controls the P.G. Wodehouse estate.

For once, Jeeves and I were of one opinion; it was decidedly not cricket to wear whites in the middle of November. I had been on my way to a spot of lunch with dear old Aunt Dahlia, when this decidedly odd chap bundled his way into my life. His hair was kept long and in a manner that can only be described as floppy, and this, added to the crumpled cricket whites, gave the fellow the appearance of being a rather louche individual. Naturally, I quite admired this aspect and felt favourably about the man instantly, though I could tell that Jeeves was disapproving, as his eyebrow was raised its customary eighth of an inch.

We had been trundling down the road in the trusty sports saloon on our way to Brinkley Court. Jeeves was driving because I was a little worse for wear after a long night involving a rather interesting wager and rather too much gin. In fact I was feeling quite out of sorts, and altogether queer, not even wishing to touch Jeeves’ excellent eggs and b. at that morning’s repast. I emphasise the rather fragile nature of my condition only to stress the impact upon my nerves when, turning a corner, this distinctly odd bean came running out of a field and waved us down.

Breathlessly, the young man greeted us with a bright cheery grin and thrust his hand into mine.

“Hullo, I’m the Doctor. Could I trouble you for a lift? I’m in a frightful rush to get somewhere, and I’m afraid my transportation has thrown a wobbly and left me without an alternative.”

Well, this was dashed forward, and even I thought it a tad impolite to not even wait for the introduction to be reciprocated. Jeeves seemed to be on the verge of apoplexy, as his eyebrow moved much further than its regular eighth of an inch. But never let it be said that a Wooster left a man in a jam at the side of the road.

“Well, Doctor, I’m Bertie Wooster. Hate to see a fellow in a tight spot, hop in.”

Well, Doctor what-ever-his-name-was took me at my word and sprung over the side of the car and into the rear seat, crushing my favoured Alpine hat with the pink feather. I noticed a smug twitch at the corner of Jeeves’ mouth and I shot him a look that would have sent down a wild elephant. Changing the subject, Jeeves glanced at our strange new companion and asked what I thought was a rather obvious q.,

“Sir, forgive me if I speak out of turn, but are you aware that there is a piece of limp celery pinned to your lapel?”

“Oh, yes. Celery is a marvellous restorative; I keep it there for emergencies.”

At this, Jeeves’ eyebrow was raised for the third time in as many minutes. I hadn’t seen the old boy this flustered since Gussie Fink-Nottle had suggested he would be unable to take care of his newts. Yes, indeed, the man who is able to flap the unflappable Jeeves is a man of unique talents. Anxious to ease the tension and be on our way, I enquired as to the good Doctor’s destination, and was more than a little consternated to discover that his and mine were one and the same. To wit, he was headed for Brinkley Court, on some matter of no small urgency, from what I could divine.

My head was filled with terrible images. What dread medical malady could have befallen dear old Aunt Dahlia, that a medical man should be compelled to make haste to Brinkley? Or indeed, perhaps some awful accident had struck down another member of the household. I was all of a tiz, and would have continued in this vein for the remainder of the journey, were it not for steadfast Jeeves. Not for the first time, he had appeared to have read my mind, and anticipating an enquiry of my own, he asked our hitchhiker as to his purpose at Brinkley.

The response was not as expected.

“There is a certain object that belongs to me, left in the care of Mr. Travers, which I have to retrieve.”

Well, I was agog at this information, naturally, and extremely curious. Not heeding the fate of the fabled cat, I let my curiosity take reign and made further enquiries as we journeyed along.

It turns out that this Doctor John Smith, as he finally identified himself, was the son of a good friend of Uncle Tom, also named Doctor John Smith. John Smith senior had entrusted a statuette to Uncle Tom’s care, a small objects d’art of the family heirloom type. Concealed about this statue was a document of no small importance, and it was this that John Smith junior now sought to retrieve.

“It’s a matter of life and death,” as he put it, somewhat melodramatically.

We arrived at Brinkley in good time and made a bee-line for Uncle Tom’s study. After saying hello and making the necessary introductions, I made a discreet withdrawal so the two could talk business. Jeeves would have been quite astounded by how quickly and quietly I withdrew from the room, I’m not even sure he could have done better; I was like the proverbial mouse.

I headed out to the garden to find Aunt Dahlia, who Uncle Tom had indicated was pottering about in the azaleas. As I rounded the corner and approached the begonia walk, or some such contrivance, that ran under the window of said study where Tom and Smith were ensconced, I overheard raised voices.

It is common knowledge among the Drones Club members that Bertram Wooster is not one to eavesdrop. But, the voices were loud enough to be heard quite clearly without any effort. Besides, I felt responsible in a way, having brought the erstwhile Doctor into the Brinkley fold, as it were. They were obviously arguing about Smith’s statue.

“Damn it, man! It is of the most vital importance that you return it to me. Millions will die!”

Smith seemed to be overreacting again, after all it was only a statue, but one never knows in this age of microdots and such. It was just possible that there was some secret of national security or the like imprinted on the statue’s big toe.

Smith didn’t strike me as a spy but the more I thought about it, the more he did seem like one of those effete Cambridge secret service types. Thinking things inside were sounding dangerously close to violence, I rushed back inside to pour oil on troubled w.

I reached the study door in time to see Doctor Smith being pushed unceremoniously out of it. I enquired as to the difficulty in as friendly a manner as I could. The good Doctor was surprisingly forthcoming.

“He says I can’t possibly be the son of the man who gave him the statue. Apparently I gave, I mean, he gave it to him only last year and didn’t seem old enough to have a grown son. I mean, of all the idiotic…” he trailed off, waving his hands in a vaguely Uncle Tom direction. “If only the old girl hadn’t had one of her moments. I’d meant to come much later than this.”

I ignored this last bit of gibberish, clearly the poor man was so distressed that he didn’t know quite what he was saying. I offered to talk to Uncle Tom on his behalf, but he was adamant that the old chap wouldn’t see reason.

“No, it’s no good. I shall have to retrieve it myself.”

“You mean steal it?!” I asked in hushed but shocked tones. What sort of a man had I brought into my Aunt’s home? Of course, I am in no position to be casting the first stone, having myself committed one or two acts of larceny in a good cause, but this was something else entirely.

“I only need the paper it conceals, and then old Travers could have the dratted thing back. But he won’t even let me hold the statue now. He’s convinced I want to smash it,” Smith explained, “Listen, you know this place pretty well, would you help me?”

Well, I know any reasonable man would have said no and reported him immediately to the police, or the nearest asylum. But there was something about the man that inspired confidence in him. After receiving assurances from him that the statue would be restored to Uncle Tom in one piece, and would never actually leave the house, I agreed to aid him that very night.

At midnight, I would sneak downstairs and let Smith in through the study window. He said that was all I would need to do, that he could take care of everything else. It seemed a reasonably simple plan, so after dinner I retired to my room to wait.

Jeeves of course, was the first to throw a bucket of cold water over the scheme. As I explained the details of the plan his eyebrow climbed to ever dizzying heights, although all he said was, “Indeed, sir?” in that annoying and supercilious tone he often adopts. It is of course only annoying because he has usually spotted a flaw that I have failed to notice and he is invariably correct. I sighed and asked him what the problem was.

“Nothing at all, sir. It just strikes me as a little strange that Doctor Smith wishes to steal a statue but not actually remove it from the house.”

“Well, it’s technically not stealing, because it’s rightfully his. And even if it isn’t, he won’t be taking it anywhere, he just wants the document.”

“Indeed, sir, but that is the second curious fact that instantly concerns me. There is no visible paper attached to the statue in question. Therefore it must be concealed within the statue. So how does he intend to retrieve said paper?”

“I see where you’re going with this, Jeeves, but Smith assured me that the statue would be replaced unharmed. I’m sure he knows what he’s doing.”

“Indeed, sir.” Well, that was the end of that conversation, and I dismissed Jeeves to begin my wait until the witching hour.

I crept down the stairs as the large clock in the hall began to strike the midnight hour. Reaching the study, I tried the door and sighed with relief when I found it unlocked. Crossing the floor quickly, I let Smith in through the French doors as arranged.

He moved over to Uncle Tom’s display case. I couldn’t see what he was doing, but there was a blue glow and a curious buzzing noise, before the door popped open. He lifted the statue out of the case, and unscrewed the head. I smiled smugly, and couldn’t wait to tell Jeeves that I had been right in this instance.

Just as Smith replaced the statue in the case, the lights flicked on and there was Uncle Tom, stood in his nightgown, his elephant gun in his hand.

“What in God’s name is going on here?” he blustered. I stood there, frozen like a rabbit in the headlamps of a motorcar, but Smith was fast and like lightning he sprinted for the exit, diving out to freedom as Uncle Tom raised his gun and fired, sending shards of glass everywhere. He then turned the weapon to me and demanded, “Just what are you playing at Wooster?”

“I believe I can help you there, sir.” Jeeves to the rescue once again. What would I do without him? “Mr. Wooster expressed his suspicions to me earlier that Doctor Smith might attempt to purloin the statue that he seemed so desperate to acquire. Indeed, he had lain in wait here, and was about to apprehend the villain in the act when you yourself appeared.”

“Really? Well, that’s jolly brave of you, Bertie, my lad. Well done.”

At that moment Aunt Dahlia appeared on the scene, and all h. broke loose. “What on Earth has been going on here? Who shot my window?!”

Well, suffice to say that much apportioning of blame went on into the wee small hours. The window was boarded up and the butler was put on patrol in case Smith decided to return. As I returned to my room, I managed to express my gratitude to Jeeves for his sterling performance, and he was his usual modest self.

The next a.m., I decided to beat a hasty retreat to London and, after a quick breakfast, Jeeves loaded up the motor and we were away. Around half an hour from Brinkley, who should be standing in the road but that fellow Smith. I instructed Jeeves to stop and he did.

“I just wanted to thank you, Bertie, you have no idea how important this information is,” he said, waving what looked like a square of glass. I was beginning to think that Doctor Smith wasn’t a spy, but was actually slightly mad.

He waved farewell and ran off to, of all things, a police telephone box! What a police box was doing in the middle of a field in Worcester I have no idea, but there it was. That sealed the deal as far as I was concerned, Smith was quite clearly barking mad and I would be quite happy if we never encountered him again. I expressed as much to Jeeves as we drove off.

“Indeed, sir,” he replied, but he seemed distracted by something in the rear view mirror. I glanced around, but I could see nothing of note. I gave him a friendly warning about watching the road before settling down for a little nap on the way back to London.