P. G. Wodehouse




Although nobody who had met him was likely to get George Cyril Wellbeloved confused with the poet Keats, it was extraordinary on what similar lines the two men's minds worked. ``Oh, for a beaker of the warm South, full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene!'' sang Keats, licking his lips, and ``Oh, for a mug of beer, with, if possible, a spot of gin in it!'' sighed George Cyril Wellbeloved, licking his; and in quest of the elixir he had visited in turn the Emsworth Arms, the Wheatsheaf, the Waggoner's Rest, the Beetle and Wedge, the Stitch in Time, the Jolly Cricketers and all the other hostelries at which Market Blandings pointed with so much pride.
But everywhere the story was the same. Barmaids had been given their instructions, pot boys warned to be on the alert. They had placed at his disposal gingerbeer, ginger ale, sarsaparilla, lime juice and on one occasion milk, but his request for the cup that clears today of past regrets and future fears was met with a firm nolle prosequi . Staunch and incorruptible, the barmaids and the pot boys refused to serve him with anything that would have interested Omar Khayyam, and he had come away parched and saddened.



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