Mulliner's Buck-U-Uppo

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"Mulliner's Buck-U-Uppo" is a short story by the British comic writer P. G. Wodehouse. A part of the Mr. Mulliner series, the story was first published in the United States by Liberty Magazine on September 4, 1926 and in the UK in The Strand in November 1926, and collected in Meet Mr. Mulliner (1927).[1] A BBC TV adaptation of the story first aired on 12 December, 1978 in the series Wodehouse Playhouse starring John Alderton as Augustine Mulliner and Belinda Carroll as Jane Brandon. [2]


Augustine Mulliner, a meek and mild young curate, arrives in Lower-Briskett-in-the-Midden to assist the vicar, the Rev. Stanley Brandon and falls in love with the vicar's daughter, Jane Brandon. The young lovers wonder how to approach the fierce vicar about their love when a package arrives from Augustine Mulliner's aunt containing a tonic, Buck-U-Uppo (it works directly on the corpuscles). Mulliner takes a tablespoonful as recommended by his aunt and becomes more confident and assertive. The next morning, after another tablespoonful, he rescues a visiting bishop chased up a tree by a dog and firmly ends a quarrel between the bishop and the vicar, receives the vicar's blessings for his love for Jane, saves the bishop from being forced to wear thick winter woolies, and becomes the bishop's secretary. On returning to his rooms, he finds a letter from his cousin Wilfred Mulliner (A Slice of Life) explaining that the tonic, mistakenly sent to Augustine, is meant for steeling the nerves of elephants in India ("too often elephants, on sighting the tiger, have turned and galloped home," he writes). Augustine promptly writes for three cases of Buck-U-Uppo!


The creation of Wilfred Mulliner, one of Mr. Mulliner's brothers, Buck-U-Uppo is a tonic invented 'primarily with the object of providing Indian Rajahs with a specific which would encourage their elephants to face a tiger of the jungle with a jaunty sang-froid'.[3] The dose for an adult elephant is a teaspoonful mixed with the elephant's morning mash and, since the various characters in the Mulliner stories take glassfuls, it is hardly surprising that statues get painted pink and Bishops frequent nightclubs dressed in Sinbad the Sailor costumes! Buck-U-Uppo features in three Mulliner stories: Mulliner's Buck-U-Uppo, The Bishop's Move, and Gala Night.