Three Men and a Maid by P. G. Wodehouse

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This book with two titles, Three Men and a Maid in the USA and The Girl on the Boat in the UK is a typical P.G. Wodehouse romantic comedy, involving, at various times: a disastrous talent quest, a lawyer with a revolver, a bulldog with a mind of his own and a suit of armour! The maid, or marriageable young woman, of the American title is red-haired, dog-loving Wilhelmina “Billie” Bennet. The three men are Bream Mortimer, a long-time friend and admirer of Billie, Eustace Hignett, a poet of sensitive disposition who is engaged to Billie at the opening of the tale, and Sam Marlowe, Eustace’s would-be-dashing cousin, who falls for Billie at first sight. All four find themselves on an ocean liner headed for England together (hence the British title), along with an elephant-gun-wielding young woman called Jane Hubbard who is smitten with Eustace the poet. Typically Wodehousian romantic shenanigans ensue. Even Estace’s redoubtable mother (a Theosophist author and public speaker) fails to quell the excitement.

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