Summary – The Code of the Woosters Pelham Grenville P. G. Wodehouse

Bertie Wooster, a young Englishman, is the hero in a series Woodhouse novels. Jeeves is his companion. The novels are a comedy of errors. Characters often find themselves in absurd situations but come out with their honor. Bergie is in a quandary as he fulfills the task of Dahlia in the Worcester Code. He is instructed to go to an antique shop to sell an old silver milk cow. Uncle Tom, who has a large collection of antique silver, says he will buy it cheaply. Bergie is met by Judge Watkin Baset upon his arrival at the store. Bassett fined Bergie just a few days before for taking a helmet from a cop. Sir Bassett, who also collects silver, is considered a rival to Uncle Tom. Aunt Dahlia views him as a liar. Bergie is recognized by the judge and he reads a moral to him about how it is wrong to steal other people’s stuff. While listening, Bergie almost pulled Bassett’s umbrella. But the judge didn’t call police and left the shop. Worcester starts to argue with the owner of this shop, proving that the milkman cow is the work a modern Dutch master and has no brand. Worcester is invited by the owner to visit the old brand. Worcester steps on the kitten at the threshold, falls and jumps out the shop door like a robber. Bergie, who is standing at entrance, bumps into Bassett and discovers that Worcester has robbed a shop. Bertie escapes from the police.

At home, he finds a telegram from his friend Gassi asking him to come to his bride’s estate and make peace with her. Gassi’s bride happens to be the daughter of Bassett Madleine. Bertie is terrified at the thought of seeing the judge again. Madeleine then invites him to her wedding. Jeeves tells Worcester to go. Aunt Dahlia arrives and asks Bertie to go. She invites him to go to Bassett’s estate and steal a milkman-cow from him, because he managed to buy it under his nose from Uncle Tom, who ate too much at Bassett’s dinner and didn’t come to the store on time to buy. Bassett was very clever in setting things up and Uncle Tom became ill. Worcester refused to steal the cow, but Aunt Dahlia blackmails Worcester, saying that he won’t allow her to keep her company and enjoy Anatole’s exquisite cuisine. This is too much for Worcester.

Bertie arrives at the estate without meeting the owners. He wanders the house, but suddenly he sees a milkman-cow hiding in the closet of the living room. He reaches out and hears a voice behind him: «Hands up!» This is Roderick Spode standing next to him, snatching a revolver, and thinks he has caught a thief. Sir VATIN appears, and in his amazement, recognizes in the unsolicited guest a thief who had stolen an antique shop’s revolver. His daughter Madeleine, in love with Worcester, is already asking him how he can give him a sentence. Bassett’s surprise, they greet each other. Bassett is shocked to learn that the policeman who abducted his daughter’s silver, bags, helmets, umbrellas, and silver can’t be her friend. Worcester is trying prove that he didn’t rob the antique shop. He simply tripped on the cat and ran too fast onto the street. Madeline defends him. She tells her dad that Bertie simply wanted to see his silver collection, as he was a member of the tribe Traverse – Uncle Tom. Bassett freezes in his place as if struck by lightning.

Madeline informs Bergie, then, that Gassi and Madeline have reconciled and that the wedding will be held. Bertie meets with Gassi, who tells him that Aunt Dahlia is coming to Bassett’s estate. He tells Bertie that Roderick Spode is in love with Madeleine, but does not want to marry her, as he sees his calling in becoming the director of the fascist organization «Saviors of Britain», better known as «Black Shorts» . Batkin, however, is engaged to his aunt. Spode views himself as a knight guarding Madeleine. He threatened Gassi to roll his eyes if he did. Gassi himself is a big lover of newts and brought them with him to Bassett’s estate, they live in his bedroom – he studies how the full moon affects the love period of newts. Bassett smells newts every day.

Gassi informs Worcester that he writes down his observations and thoughts on Spode and Watkin in a notebook. It is then that he can tell everyone so much about Bassett, that no one would ever wonder how such an extreme moral and physical freak could be tolerated. Sir Watkin, for example, choking down on a bowl soup and it “resembles a Scottish express going through a tunnel.” Spoud’s sight eating asparagus “radically alters the notion of man as the crowning jewel of nature.” Gassi is shocked to discover that his notebook has been lost. He is also panicked because he knows what will happen if the notebook falls into the wrong hands. Gassi suddenly recalls that the notebook was dropped by him when he took the fly from the eye of Stephanie Bassett, Bassett’s niece. She obviously picked it up. Friends go to Stephanie’s house and get the book.

Bertie sees Stephanie speaking to a policeman after her dog bit him. Stefania says that she won’t give up on the book. First, she talks about her fiancé Vicar Harold Linker – in order to win her heart completely, he must, like Worcester, take off his helmet from a policeman. Worcester, who knows him from college, tells Stiffy Harold would definitely mix everything up. She then says she must appease her uncle who will be against her marriage. They aren’t rich after all. She had a plan. Harold can be a hero to Sir Watkin. Worcester must steal the milkman-cow. Harold will fight for it. Bassett then agrees to marry Worcester. A second time, she threatens to throw her uncle and refuses to give Gassi the notebook.

Worcester meets Gassi, who tells him the terrible news. He then invites Worcester to steal his book. Aunt Dahlia arrives with the news that Uncle Tom has received a letter in the mail from Sir Watkin. It contains a proposal to exchange Uncle Tom’s milkman-cow for Anatol’s cook. Uncle Tom continues to ponder the matter. She is devastated by the loss of her aunt’s cook and urges Worcester to do what is right – to steal the poor milkman. He tells her Spode and Vatkin knew their intentions and Spode threatened Worcester that he would make a cutlet of him if he disappeared. Aunt Dahlia suggests that you find evidence against Spoud and blackmail them. This idea is supported by Jeeves and claims that such information can be obtained in a club for gentlemen’s servants called «Young Ganymede,» because a servant of a person like Spode must be a member of the club and according to the charter of the club provide all the information about his master. Jeeves, himself a member of this club, will be given such information.

Gassi flees from Spoud who is trying to kill him because Madeleine’s engagement was disrupted again by Madeleine, Gassi having met Stephanie in her living room, and believing that she was alone, trying to search her to pick up the book. Madeline saw all this and was able to interpret it in her own way.

Jeeves reports that Spoud can be intimidated by mentioning the name Julia and saying everything about her is known. Worcester is unable to tell him what exactly. However, just mentioning Yulalia’s name will suffice to terrorize Spoud. Bergie Worcester has an immediate opportunity to review all of this. Spode then bursts into a room looking for Gassi. Worcester tells him to get away and immediately wants to give the name. But then, he realizes that he forgot it. Gassi flees and Worcester traps Spoud under a sheet. When he finally gets out and is about to break Worcester’s bones, Bertie suddenly remembers the name of Julia and calls him – Spoud is terrified and becomes submissive, like a child.

Jeeves and Worcester search Stiffy’s room for a notebook, but to no avail. Stiffy herself arrives and says that Pinker’s engagement was ruined because he refused the helmet from the policeman. Pinker suddenly crawls in the window holding a helmet. Stiffy is thrilled and says that Worcester is available to assist them with the abduction as well as the return of their milkman. Worcester rejects the offer and demands Gassi’s book. After a lengthy argument, Stiffy stipulates that Worcester must go to her uncle and ask for her hand. Vatkin will be shocked and will call her. She will then reassure him by saying that Worcester did not ask for her hands but Vicar Pinker. This should make his uncle’s life easier. It happens. Stiffy doesn’t give it away. She says she kept it in the milkman. Oates, the local police officer, is also watching.

Worcester explains to Madeline the reasons for Gassi’s act, which she misinterpreted, and asks to pick up the book, taking it out of the milkman, but it is not there. Spoud is furious and wants to give it to Watkin. She is forced to surrender to Worcester who takes her. Gassi allowed the newts to go into the bath and Batkin wanted the opportunity to swim in it. But Madeleine’s wedding is still at risk. Gassi can pressure the future father-in law only by taking control of the milkman. In order to get him back, he must agree to everything. Vatkin hired Oates police officers to protect the milkman. You can distract a policeman only by telling him that a helmet was found in Worcester’s room – this is how Jeeves proposes to solve this problem.

As friends think of what to do next, someone attacks a policeman who is trying to arrest a thief for stealing the milk and cream. Aunt Dahlia is the thief, and she asks Bergi if she can hide the milkman in her room. Bassett, the policeman and Worcester, who were suspected of having stolen a helmet, were about searching his room. Gassi wants to hide from Bassett in his room, but he still reads his notebook. Gassi asks him to lower himself on knitted sheets that hang from a window to ground. Jeeves is thrilled – he gives Gussey Worcester his suitcase and a milkman, and helps him to get down from the window.

The search in Worcester’s room yielded nothing, as Bertie threw the helmet out of the window, but, alas, the butler saw it and brought the helmet, however, the spouse appeared, took the blame on himself and said that he had stolen the helmet with his own hand. Bassett did nothing to initiate criminal proceedings against him because he was engaged with his aunt. After their departure, Jeeves confesses to Worcester that he blackmailed Spoud with the mention of Yulalia, he also offers to blackmail Watkin by initiating a criminal case for the unlawful arrest and defamation of Worcester’s identity with witnesses in connection with the disappearance of the milkman and helmet. Worcester does just that, demanding instead of monetary compensation Bassett’s consent to the marriage of Madeleine and Gassi, and along with Stephanie and Pinker. Bassett agrees.

At the end of the novel, Worcester still asks Jeeves to talk about Yulalia – the secret is that Spode secretly makes sketches of lingerie, because he contains a store selling it, known as the «Yulalia Salon». It is possible that his fascist colleagues will discover this and make a scandal. “It is impossible to be a successful dictator while drawing sketches of women’s underwear,” Spode said.

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