The Masked Troubadour

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"The Masked Troubadour" is a short story by English comic writer P. G. Wodehouse, which first appeared in the U.K. in the December 1936 issue of the Strand. It was included in the UK collection Lord Emsworth and Others (1937), and in the U.S. equivalent Crime Wave at Blandings. It stars young Drones Club member Freddie Widgeon.

"Reggie and the Greasy Bird" is a rewritten version of the story with different settings and main characters, created because Wodehouse needed the money for his taxes.[1] It appeared in the U.S. in the November 28, 1936 issue of The Saturday Evening Post, and was later included in booklet 9 of Plum Stones, a collection of Wodehouse oddities and rarities.

"The Masked Troubadour"[edit]

Plot

Freddie Widgeon is heartbroken and penniless, again, to no surprise of his Drones Club fellows such as Catsmeat Potter-Pirbright. And his uncle Lord Blicester will only provide should Freddie seduce and marry Dora Pinfold, who does Good Works in a sort of a mission over on Notting Hill. Falling in love with the girl as is his habit, Freddie borrows a few bob to shower the Notting Hill mothers with cocoa and buns, but loses it betting against young Egbert and his slingshot, so he must enter an Amateur Night competition to recover his funds and woo Miss Pinfold. Unfortunately, with the drunken pianist Jos. Waterbury as his accompanist, this may be harder than it sounds.

Notes

The titular troubadour is Freddie Widgeon, who sings accompanied by the pianist and wears a mask in order to avoid being recognized by his uncle, who he fears may be in the audience.

"Reggie and the Greasy Bird"[edit]

Plot

Reggie Mumford is heartbroken and penniless, again, to no surprise of his Junior Rotters Club fellows such as Beano Bagshot. And his uncle Lord Uppingham will only provide should Reggie seduce and marry Constance Rackstraw, who does Good Works in a sort of a mission over on Notting Hill. Falling in love with the girl as is his habit, Reggie borrows a few bob to shower the Notting Hill mothers with cocoa and buns, but loses it on a bet, so he must enter an Amateur Night competition to recover his funds and woo Miss Rackstraw. Unfortunately, with pianist Sid Montrose as his accompanist, and Ginger Murphy with an egg, this may be harder than it sounds.

Notes

The titular "greasy bird", slang for an unctuous person, is pianist Sid Montrose.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Sources consulted
Endnotes
  1. ^ Reggie, "Wodehouse short stories: Reggie and the Greasy Bird", op. cit., citing Wodehouse scholar Tony Ring from his notes for Plum Stones.