"A telephone call for you, Your Highness," said Jeeves.
"Oho! Jolly good! And about time, too; no one ever calls anymore. It's as silent as the grave in here, Jeeves. I'm rattling around in this gilded cage all day long like an old stick! I may as well be in prison. Well, who is it? No, don't say; I know who it is. It's the Prince of Wales, isn't it? Dear Charles. You know, we used to play horsie. But one day he said, 'Get off, Fatty!' How father roared with laughter. I felt a bit hurt, I must say. I was 36 at the time.
"I can tell by the blank look on your face it isn't Charles. Very well; it's the Duchess of York. Damn fine woman. Mother of my children, you know. Now certainly one doesn't want to see a picture in every newspaper in the world of the mother of one's children having her toes sucked by some old baldie. But we all have our little indiscretions. Yes, even the royal family. We're not saints, Jeeves. Very close to it, of course.
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"The shake of your head suggests to me that it isn't Sarah. In which case it's the Queen of England. Do you dream of her, Jeeves? We all do, don't we? I dream that she's inviting me for tea. We sit down, and it's nice and cosy. The corgis are at her feet. And then I'm at her feet, and she's stroking my hair. Lovely. Pass me the telephone, Jeeves. I've not heard from mother in ever such a long time."
"The call is from America, Your Excellency," said Jeeves. "Representatives from US law enforcement agencies request your co-operation into the Jeffrey Epstein investigation."
"Tell them to go to Hell," I said.
I've never seen that woman before in my life. Not once. Never. Wouldn't know her if I fell over her. Wouldn't know her from Adam. Well, perhaps I could distinguish that one was male and the other was nubile and rather comely. But damn it all, you just have to look at that photograph to see they have photoshopped my hand clasping her narrow little teenage waist.
"A telephone call for you, Your Majesty," said Jeeves.
I glared at him. "Now look here," I said. "I've bent over backwards trying to co-operate. On at least three occasions this year, I've offered my assistance as a witness to the Department of Justice. But what happened? I'll tell you what happened. They reacted to my first two offers by breaching their own confidentiality rules and claiming I had offered zero co-operation. One wonders, Jeeves, if they are perhaps seeking publicity rather than accepting the assistance proffered. It's a stitch-up; that's what it is, you know. 'Let's tell wicked lies about Fat Andy. It'll make us look good.' Well, I'm no one's plaything, damn it all!"
"It is, in fact, your accountants, Your Regal Eminence," said Jeeves. "They worry you are in arrears. They wonder at your ability to meet expenses and maintain your household staff."
"Tell them to go to Hell," I said.
I dreamed I met Jeffrey for tea. The cups burned our hands and lips. The heat of the place brought me out in a sweat. We were in Hell.
The telephone rang and rang and rang. I roared, "Damn it all, Jeeves! Can't you get that?"
But he made no reply.
I wandered the corridors and the rooms looking for him. All the lights were off. "Jeeves," I called out. "Jeeves."
The telephone just kept ringing. Night fell. I felt my way along the walls with my hands.