'Sir?' cried Beach, startled out of his butlerian calm. He swallowed a little convulsively. For eighteen months and more, ever since Lady Constance Keeble had first begun to cast her fly and hook over the murky water of the artistic world and jerk its denizens on to the pile carpets of Blandings Castle, Beach had had his fill of eccentricity. But until this moment he had hoped that Psmith was going to prove an agreeable change from the stream of literary lunatics which had been coming and going all that weary time. And lo! Psmith's name lead all the rest. Even the man who had come for a week in April and had wanted to eat jam with his fish paled in comparison.
'Prod him in the ribs, sir?' he quavered.
'Prod him in the ribs,' said Psmith firmly. 'And at the same time whisper in his ear the word "Aha!" '
Beach licked his dry lips.
'Aha! And say it came from me.'
'Very good, sir. The matter shall be attended to,' said Beach.
And with a muffled sound that was half a sigh, half a death-rattle, he tottered through the green-baize door.