Adams never smiled during business hours—unless professionally, as it were, when a member made a joke; but he was storing up in the recesses of his highly respectable body a large laugh, to be shared with his wife when he reached home that night. Mrs. Adams never wearied of hearing of the eccentricities of the members of the club. It occurred to Adams that he was in luck to-day. He was expecting a little party of friends to supper that night, and he was a man who loved an audience.
You would never have thought it, to look at him when engaged in his professional duties, but Adams had built up a substantial reputation as a humorist in his circle by his imitations of certain members of the club; and it was a matter of regret to him that he got so few opportunities nowadays of studying the absent-minded Lord Emsworth. It was rare luck—his lordship coming in to-day, evidently in his best form.
“Adams, who is the gentleman over by the window—the gentleman in the brown suit?”
“That is Mr. Simmonds, your lordship. He joined us last year.”
“I never saw a man take such large mouthfuls. Did you ever see a man take such large mouthfuls, Adams?”
Adams refrained from expressing an opinion, but inwardly he was thrilling with artistic fervor. Mr. Simmonds eating, was one of his best imitations, though Mrs. Adams was inclined to object to it on the score that it was a bad example for the children. To be privileged to witness Lord Emsworth watching and criticizing Mr. Simmonds was to collect material for a double-barreled character study that would assuredly make the hit of the evening.
“That man,” went on Lord Emsworth, “is digging his grave with his teeth. Digging his grave with his teeth, Adams! Do you take large mouthfuls, Adams?”
“No, your lordship.”
“Quite right. Very sensible of you, Adams—very sensible of you.
Very sen — What was I saying, Adams?”
P. G. Wodehouse, Something New ch. ii (1915).