The Earl of Emsworth sat by the sick bed and regarded the Honorable Freddie almost tenderly.

“I fear, Freddie, my dear boy, this has been a great shock to you.”

“Eh? What? Yes⁠—rather! Deuce of a shock, gov’nor.”

“I have been thinking it over, my boy, and perhaps I have been a little hard on you. When your ankle is better I have decided to renew your allowance; and you may return to London, as you do not seem happy in the country. Though how any reasonable being can prefer⁠—”

The Honorable Freddie started, popeyed, to a sitting posture.

“My word! Not really?”

His father nodded.

“I say, gov’nor, you really are a topper! You really are, you know! I know just how you feel about the country and the jolly old birds and trees and chasing the bally slugs off the young geraniums and all that sort of thing, but somehow it’s never quite hit me the same way. It’s the way I’m built, I suppose. I like asphalt streets and crowds and dodging taxis and meeting chappies at the club and popping in at the Empire for half an hour and so forth. And there’s something about having an allowance⁠—I don’t know⁠ ⁠… sort of makes you chuck your chest out and feel you’re someone. I don’t know how to thank you, gov’nor! You’re⁠—you’re an absolute sportsman! This is the most priceless bit of work you’ve ever done. I feel like a two-year-old. I don’t know when I’ve felt so braced. I⁠—I⁠—really, you know, gov’nor, I’m most awfully grateful.”

“Exactly,” said Lord Emsworth. “Ah⁠—precisely. But, Freddie, my boy,” he added, not without pathos, “there is just one thing more. Do you think that⁠—with an effort⁠—for my sake⁠—you could endeavor this time not to make a⁠—a damned fool of yourself?”

He eyed his offspring wistfully.

“Gov’nor,” said the Honorable Freddie firmly, “I’ll have a jolly good stab at it!”