It's Bunter and Viscount Saint-George, in a bedroom at the Mitre pub in Oxford, the night before Lord Peter's wedding...
‘Are you out of your mind?’
This was not the response the Viscount had expected.
‘I say! There’s no need to be like that about it.’
‘Really?’ Bunter crossed hurriedly to the window and shut it, closed the curtains, and turned the key in the door.
‘That’s more like it,’ said Lord Saint-George, with what Bunter realised to his horror was a drunken attempt at a come-hither smile. This was what came of not imbibing more of the champagne himself. He clawed at his hair, seized Saint-George by the shoulders and put him forcibly into a chair, took the dressing table chair himself, and attempted to think rationally.
‘There’s no need to be rough,’ the Viscount went on. ‘I mean, unless you like it that way.’
Bunter reminded himself that a black eye in church tomorrow would help nobody.
‘Even,’ said Bunter, with what would have been a commendable effort to be calm had there been anybody present capable of commending it, ‘if I were the sort to fancy men – and may I make it absolutely plain to your lordship that I am not – and even supposing that I might be so misguided as to fancy your type, how can you possibly imagine that I would be so utterly stupid as to fuck my employer’s underage nephew in a public house bedroom the night before his wedding? Roughly or otherwise.’
‘If it were the night before my wedding’ said Saint-George, ‘I’d thank you for it.’
Bunter closed his eyes, before rapidly thinking better of it.
‘I only hope for the sake of your bride that your wedding is some way off.’
‘Nasty. Anyhow, I don’t see what the problem is. Uncle Peter’s fearfully open-minded you know.’
‘I see. So when I answer the bell a little late and say, ‘I’m so sorry, my lord, I didn’t hear the bell on account of having my John Thomas up your nephew’s arse,’ you expect him to shrug and say ‘Carry on, old chap’?’
‘Certainly not!’ said Saint-George, shocked. ‘Uncle Peter couldn’t be expected to put up with the bell not being answered. Besides, it wouldn’t happen; that’s not my thing at all, and he’s dead to the world thanks to that bromide you dosed him up with, and don’t think I don’t know what you –’
‘I strongly advise your lordship not to complete that sentence.’ Saint-George nodded dumbly from behind the hand covering his mouth and nose. Thumb and forefinger pinched sharply and then released. Bunter unlocked the door.
‘I am going to lock you in, my lord. It seems the safest way. I regret that the accommodation lacks a private bathroom, but there’s a chamber pot under the bed, and a water jug on the table. I suggest you make good use of them both. I am going to bed - alone.’ He hauled Saint-George the short distance from chair to bed, removed shoes, jacket, and after a moment’s consideration, trousers with professional speed, and made for freedom, pausing only to set the alarm clock for ten. A surprisingly steely hand grasped him around the wrist.
‘Look here, I’m sorry about misunderstanding and, well, I just wondered, would you otherwise? I mean, if I weren’t underage in a pub bedroom and Uncle Peter’s nephew and all that?’ The Viscount looked up at him from the pillow with a pathetic air, almost certainly entirely feigned.
‘No, my lord.’
‘Oh well, no harm in asking. Don’t forget to get me up in good time, or aren’t I allowed to say that?’
Bunter smiled despite himself. ‘Very good, my lord. I shall wake you at six o’clock for a cold bath.’
‘You’re a hard man, Bunter.’
‘Yes, my lord.’
‘I’m saying nothing,’ said Lord Saint-George.