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CAMERA CAPERS

by

B.S.WHITWORTH

What a spiffing start to the day thought D'Arcy Gris-Monde as he watched Jeeves pulling open the curtains and setting his morning tea on the bedside table. "Will you take breakfast sir?" he asked reverentially. "I should jolly well think so Jeeves. A day like this demands it. The Norfolk Meek-Innes are calling this morning. We've planned a bit of a spin in the old Pembletons. Any chance of a spot of picnic lunch being put up?" "I'll see what can be arranged sir"

Topping chap Jeeves, always reliable, thought D'Arcy as he sipped his Darjeeling and settled back on the pillow for a snooze. He surfaced half an hour later to find his motoring clothes had been laid out, the picnic set filled and ready and a breakfast fit for a king awaited his pleasure. "Jeeves, this is wondrous. Could you dig out the old box Brownie so I can take a snap or twain?" "I took the liberty of putting in a new roll of film and have put it on the dresser with your scarf and gloves, sir" Seated at the breakfast table and forking in the kedgeree a thought occurred to D'Arcy "It's like having a proper memory of my own ". His own mind seemed to be a bit of a blank most of the time which gave him a small frisson of worry, which he promptly forgot.

A flurry of chickens and the bark of a two-cylinder machine broke D'Arcy's reverie and he wandered down to the yard to greet the Meek-innes. "What-ho chaps, ready for the picnic?" "I'll say, all warmed up and ready to go!" replied Monty. "My man's been polishing all week"

"The trouble with two-seaters" thought D'Arcy, "nowhere for Jeeves when the memsahib rides postillion". Still, surely he could manage on his own for a few of hours? The car should have been packed by the redoubtable valet but the lady's maid from the next mews was distracting his attention in a most untoward manner.

The cars leapt from the carriage-drive onto the open road and growled through the leafy lanes heading for the moors. Pity there's nowhere for a couple of Purdeys thought D'Arcy. Too early for grouse but there must be something he could take a pop at and no doubt miss. Still, who'd load the bally thing for him as Jeeves wasn't to be there?

The road running up the valley is a fine example of the best of English country lanes which is always a treat to bowl along but of course, they were stuck behind a muck-cart being pulled by a single old cart-horse who had seen better days. Dash it all thought D'Arcy. He knew he should have sent Jeeves ahead in the Humber to clear the route. But that lady's maid, oh perfidious Alberta! Or was it Ambleside? Albinoni?. What was the line he was looking for? Jeeves would surely know. He resolved to ask him later, and promptly forgot all about it.

Suddenly, the sharp turn leading to the climb up the moorside was upon them and the two splendid little motors hauled their cargoes up the steep and badly surfaced road, leaving dust and flying pebbles in their wakes.

Seats out, the cloth spread, the kettle on the spirit stove, cucumber sandwiches and a piece of pie, what more could an Englishman ask for? That's it, a photograph! Where did he put the camera? What did Jeeves say, new film and all? On the dresser, that was it. Oh, I say, that's where it still is! Dash it all, where can a chap get a camera when he needs one? If only Jeeves had gone ahead in the Humber! All that was available was a rather cheap and nasty telephonic apparatus which claimed to be able to capture images. "Better than a poke in the eye with a flying horse" as Aunt Griselda used to say. Here we are at... Dash it all, I've forgotten where we went, Albion, that was it.
What-ho!?

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