Title: A Rum Thing Indeed
Characters: Bertie, Jeeves, House
Disclaimer: Don't own them. Never will.
Summary: Bertie discovers American TV
Author note: Crossover ficlet written several years ago for zulu and never posted anywhere. Just found it on my hard drive.
“I say, Jeeves,” I remarked. “This is a puzzler and no mistake.”
“Indeed, sir?” replied Jeeves, holding the shoe he was polishing up to the light and inspecting it carefully. There was something about the tone of the fellow’s voice that I didn’t like. Perhaps it was the hangover I was nursing. But it seemed to me that Jeeves had managed to fill the two syllables of the word “indeed” with something very like impertinence. And I was not in the mood for impertinence. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I was feeling disgruntled, but I was far--very far--from gruntled.
I replied with some asperity. “When I say, ‘This is a puzzler, Jeeves,’ I rather expect an offer of help. Not the implication that I am a fat-head to whom the smallest thing is a puzzle.”
Jeeves put the shoe back down on the hotel carpet and addressed me with a suitably respectful demeanor. “I regret that I gave offence sir. None was intended. May I be of any assistance?”
“I certainly hope so, Jeeves,” It was hard to stay angry with the man, and besides I needed his considerable brainpower—the man eats only fish—to help solve the current mystery. Without budging from my place on the sofa, I pointed the remote control toward the large television ensconced in the hotel’s wooden console. “That fellow, who’s always solving mysteries—what’s his name?” I began. It was on the tip of my tongue.
“Sherlock Holmes, sir?”
“Good Lord, no. I’m referring to this chap, the medical man—there.” Jeeves turned his gaze toward the screen and squinted for a moment.
“That’s the name—House,” I responded. I knew Jeeves wouldn’t let me down. The man has a brain the size of Cornwall, and a vocabulary to match. Eponymous, indeed. “Does he not remind you of someone?” I continued. ‘It’s been driving me crazy, trying to figure out where I’ve seen him before. One minute he looks like the Prince Regent, and then he looks like an old Army chap I knew. Just when I think I’ve got it, it slithers from my grasp like a whatsit in the morning thingummy.”
“A whatsit in the morning thingummy, sir?”
“The poet Whosit, Jeeves,” and I gave him a look that could only be described as smug. “You’re not the only one who can quote the classics, you know. Now, apply your grey matter to question at hand.”
Jeeves cocked his head to one side and studied the screen. His brow furrowed. You could practically hear the gears and cogs whirring away in his prodigious brain. “There is a certain resemblance to…” he glanced at me and then frowned.
“Yes, Jeeves?” I said eagerly.
“I was going to say, to your Uncle Jimmy.”
“The Uncle Jimmy who ran off to America and married a Rockette?”
“Only problem is, this chap’s a doctor. I don’t think Uncle Jimmy had it in him to be a doctor somehow.” Jeeves winced just then—not at my words, but at something Uncle Jimmy’s look-alike had said. I nodded sympathetically. “And even Uncle Jimmy wouldn’t have referred to a woman’s…chest…as ‘funbags.’”
“I seriously doubt it, sir. Not to mention the fact that this Dr. House speaks with an American accent, and your Uncle Jimmy is British.”
“Quite so.” I sighed. “Rum thing this American television.”
“Why, only a few minutes before this broadcast began I was watching another one that featured a British alienist, working for the police. And I could swear I had seen him before, too. Quite recently, in fact. Do we know any British alienists?”
“I believe the correct modern terminology is psychoanalyst. Or psychiatrist. And no, I am pleased to say, sir does not number any psychiatrists among his close personal friends.”
I sighed again and lay back among the sofa cushions. It was the rare occasion when Jeeves’ massive intellect let me down. I tossed away the remote control.
“Well, Jeeves, as I said, This is a puzzler and no mistake.”
“Indeed, sir.” </>