Bertram Wilberforce Wooster—generally known as Bertie—is a wealthy, idle young man about town and the employer of the perfect valet, Jeeves, who is always getting him out of trouble. In The Code of the Woosters , Bertie's Aunt Dahlia sends him to an antique shop to "sneer at a cow...
Bertram Wilberforce Wooster—generally known as Bertie—is a wealthy, idle young man about town and the employer of the perfect valet, Jeeves, who is always getting him out of trouble. In The Code of the Woosters, Bertie's Aunt Dahlia sends him to an antique shop to "sneer at a cow creamer." The object of this is to drive the price down so that Dahlia's husband, Tom, who collects eighteenth-century silver, will be able to buy the item at a reduced cost.
Bertie bungles the task, and the cow creamer ends up in the hands of Tom's rival collector, Sir Watkyn Bassett. Bertie knows Sir Watkyn's daughter, Madeline, and is able to visit the Bassetts at their home, Totleigh Towers, with the aim of stealing the cow creamer back.
Once at Totleigh, Bertie becomes embroiled in the affairs of Madeline and his friend Gussie Fink-Nottle, who are engaged, and Sir Watkyn's niece, Stiffy Byng, who wants to marry the local curate, Harold "Stinker" Pinker, also an old friend of Bertie's.
Madeline believes that Gussie is having an affair with Stiffy and decides that she will marry Bertie instead. This prospect fills Bertie with horror: Madeline, though beautiful, has a childish, sentimental personality that irritates him. The situation is further complicated by the fact that Roderick Spode, a violent and temperamental friend of Sir Watkyn who has founded a right-wing political group and aspires to be a fascist dictator, is in love with Madeline and wants to beat both Bertie and Gussie in trifling with Madeline's affections.
The tangle is resolved when Aunt Dahlia gains possession of the cow creamer, Madeline and Gussie are reunited, and the menace of Spode is nullified by Jeeves's discovery that merely saying the word "Eulalie" will make him immediately docile. At the end of the novel, Jeeves reveals to Bertie that the word refers to Spode's business designing ladies' underwear, which he is afraid his political followers will discover. As Bertie remarks, you can either be a dictator or design lingerie: "One or the other, not both."