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A little humour on the Scottish Question

Will the Scots stay with the English, the Welsh, and the Northern Irish as members of the United Kingdom? A question so important deserves some humorous insight from PG Wodehouse. In Wodehouse's story The Custody of the Pumpkin, Lord Emsworth tries to persuade his Scottish head-gardener, who has resigned, to return.

. . .He galloped swiftly to where Angus McAllister stood brooding over the tulip bed.


The head-gardener's beard waggled grimly. He looked at his late employer with cold eyes. It is never difficult to distinguish between a Scotsman with a grievance and a ray of sunshine, and Lord Emsworth, gazing upon the dour man, was able to see at a glance into which category Angus McAllister fell. His tongue seemed to cleave to his palate, but he forced himself to speak.

'McAllister. . .I wish. . .What I want to say,' faltered Lord Emsworth humbly, 'is, have you accepted another situation yet?'

'I am conseederin' twa.'

'Come back to me! pleaded his lordship, his voice breaking. '. . .Come back to me!'

Angus McAllister gazed woodenly at the tulips.

'A' weel--' he said at length.

'You will?' cried Lord Emsworth joyfully. 'Splendid! Capital! Excellent!'

'A' didna say I wud.'

'I thought you said "I will',' said his lordship, dashed.

I didna say "A' weel; I said "A' weel",' said Mr McAllister stiffly. 'Meaning' mebbe I might, mebbe not.'

Lord Emsworth laid a trembling hand upon his shoulder.

'McAllister, I will raise your salary.'

The beard twitched.

'Dash it, I'll double it.'

The eyebrows flickered.

'McAllister. . .Angus. . .' said Lord Emsworth in a low voice. 'Come back! The pumpkin needs you.'

To which I can only add, Don't go!

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