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The Book

Title: The Book
Author: Derien
Date: 2005-02-20.
Fandom: P.G. Wodehouse.
Summary: Mike finds a book Psmith had been reading that implies something about Psmith which he hadn't guessed at.
Word Count: 687
Notes: Set just after the end of "Mike." They have the bulk of their last year at Sedleigh to go through before going on to college, making them about seventeen. Oh, I know I should not do this. But I already have. I am evil and bad because I'm writing about something I have absolutely no firsthand knowledge of - Greek texts. Does anyone have A) any idea what text he might be reading? and B) any crits at all regarding this little short? Anything might be helpful if I decide to keep going with this.
Disclaimer: Standard - I don't own these characters, I just borrow them for a little fun of an evening.

* * *

Psmith had got himself laid up in Infirmary, likely for the night, having turned his ankle badly by stepping into a rabbit hole, so Mike was alone in their study desultorily attempting some translation. It didn't go near as easily without his friend there to make a game of giving him clues - Psmith was much better at Greek, to the point he could read Greek texts for pleasure, or so he let on. Sometimes Mike had to wonder if the other just held a book up in front of his face to shut people out when he wanted time to think. He seemed endlessly pleased by that one little red book with the gold designs. If he truly read Greek for pleasure he must have read that one a hundred times. It must be much more fascinating than the usual texts they were set to translate by their forms masters. Mike reasoned that it might make him much better at Greek if he had something to translate which was at least a bit interesting. He had seen Psmith tuck the book into the small locking cabinet beneath the bookshelf several times. Psmith had always kept the key to that cabinet in his waistcoat pocket, but now the cabinet door had been broken by Mr. Downing and, though shut, was not secure. Mike opened the door and peeked in. There wasn't much in there, really - a few odds and ends. For a moment he thought the book was gone, but then he pushed aside a scarf (what was that doing there?) on a whim and caught a glimmer of the gold design on it's spine. It struck him as odd that a book which Psmith often read should have found it's way to the very back and under something else when there was really so very little in the cabinet. He pulled it out and sat down at his desk to see if there was something in Greek worth reading.

Half an hour later his face was burning red, and he got up and locked the door to the study. He sat back down in his chair rather shakily and stared at the book on the table as if it were a viper. This was what Psmith had been reading the other day in his lawn chair while Mike had sat next to him reading a letter from his sister? No wonder he casually tucked it into his jacket pocket when a master approached. Mike supposed it certainly WAS more interesting than the usual texts they were set to translate. Which texts, he realized now, had been changed, made suitable for schoolboys, because some of this sounded quite familiar while other bits... Well, everyone knew what everyone said about the Greeks, but he hadn't really thought of it as something like this. He picked the book up again, gingerly, and flipped the pages, noticing which were most worn and where the book wanted to fall open. He chose a page which it fell open to as his next attempt at translation. There were plenty of words he didn't recognize, but enough that he did. Yes, both of the characters on this page were in the masculine. And, as he had suspected, it turned out to be a rather racey passage.

When the bell rang for lockup he was startled, though he had lit a candle some time before. He hurriedly shoved the book back into it's place at the back of the cabinet behind the scarf and hoofed it to his dormitory, where he proceeded to lie awake for quite some time, thinking.

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