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Revelation

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I had always been aware, of course, that Mr. Wooster wrote. I knew of his efforts for Mrs. Travers and her publication, Milady's Boudoir. That he had composed a somewhat questionable article titled "What the Well-Dressed Man is Wearing" did not encourage me to read his work, though I frequently observed him bent over his writing desk, one end of his fountain pen tucked between his teeth, with a look of contemplation in his eyes.

What I had not understood was how extensive his writings were. Mr. Wooster's bedchamber was furnished with a cabinet that he ordinarily kept locked. I did not inquire after its contents; I had rather imagined it was where he kept his diaries, and it was not my place to pry into such private matters without cause. Late one afternoon, however, he had mistakenly left the small door to the cabinet lying open when he left our abode to join his friends at the Drones club. I bent to close the offending aperture when my eye was caught by Mr. Wooster's name displayed prominently on the spines of several of the books within.

Unable to help myself, I reached within and drew forth four volumes, all apparently authored by Mr. Wooster. My name was featured prominently in the titles of each. I found myself quite shocked by this turn of events. Surely he would have mentioned something of this magnitude?

It was with great trepidation that I opened the first of the volumes. I will admit I was uncertain what I would find. His praise for me has been quite prolix in the years I have been in his employ but I had never suspected he would attempt to offer his approbation in print; certainly not without informing me. His genial and outspoken nature had never left me cause to believe he had been publishing entire novels without my knowledge. How could he have hidden such a thing?

After reading the first three pages of Carry On, Jeeves I found myself unable to stop. The opening story in the volume told the tale of our first meeting, which I remembered quite vividly. I had always appreciated Mr. Wooster's musical talent, with the exception of the banjolele incident, but this; I had never suspected the skill with which he wrote, and found myself quite overcome.

Taking the books back to my chamber, I read through them quickly. The prose, like Mr. Wooster himself, was entirely charming. His often self-deprecating humor flowed through every page. I found myself smiling, even laughing aloud at his reminisces of our mutual adventures. His turns of phrase were clever and his plots compelling. If not every word in each tale was the absolute truth it was of no concern. The books themselves were published as fiction and this, combined with the outrageous absurdity of many of the stories, was protection enough from potential outrage or hurt feelings.

Mr. Wooster's various friends and relations were rendered with a keen but forgiving eye for their foibles. His own nature was portrayed as both generous to a fault and, less forgivably, slightly dim. He made himself the focus of much of the humor in the tales, the victim of occasionally unscrupulous dealings and minor blackmail. Our conversations were repeated, often word for word, in his inimitable style. I'd had no idea that his memory for these things was so keen, nor his wit so sharp. His command of the language astonished me, though I knew it should not. After all, I heard him speak every day in just such a fashion. But to see our words in print like this, to see the private thoughts lurking behind his sometimes-disjointed attempts at explanation, offered me a rare and precious glimpse at the depths he concealed.

By the time I finished the last of them, breathless with laughter, I had a new appreciation for Mr. Wooster's hidden intelligence. Setting the books on my bedside table, I pondered his words. Within these tales, taken individually, one could see his respect for my talents. I found the thought most agreeable. My own fondness for the young master was shown with a subtlety I had never suspected within him. In that moment, I feared that he had, unknowingly, pierced the veil that concealed the true depths of my regard for him. The cumulative effect, however, sparked a cold thread of fear within me.

Suddenly apprehensive, I opened one of the books again, my eyes lighting upon these words:

“Mingled with the ecstasy which the sight of him aroused in my bosom was a certain surprise that he should be acting as cup-bearer."

Ecstasy. The sight of me, in his own words, aroused ecstasy within him.

The implications of this brought forth within me an amalgamation of hope and dread; hope that, perhaps, my own deeply buried emotions might be returned, and dread of the consequences should such a thing become public knowledge. That he had concealed his writings from me suggested he was aware of the conclusions to which I might come. It also implied that he was unaware of my own feelings, though they were displayed on every page. Breathless, I carried the books back to his room and replaced them, closing the cabinet and reassuring myself it was locked.

As I returned to the sitting room, Mr. Wooster's bright, somewhat inebriated, "What ho!" greeted me. As I took his hat and whangee, our eyes met.

"Good evening, sir." I composed myself as quickly as I could, but something in his glance caught me. There was a spark of unease in his manner. "I have closed the cabinet door you left open this afternoon," I informed him.

He flushed. "Did you, old thing?" Mr. Wooster took a quick breath. "A b. and s. would be just topping, I think." I prepared the drink for him, his fingers brushing mine as I handed him the glass. "I don't suppose you had a look-in when the door was open."

"I did, sir."

A slight, shy smile crossed his lips. "I wondered if you might."

The tension within my breast shattered. "I had not realized how talented a writer you were, sir."

His smile lit the room.