For the first time, the debut novel of the English humorist, which has not yet been translated into Bulgarian, is published in our country Sir PG Woodhouse – “Trophy Hunters”. Published in 1902, the novel predates the Jeeves and Wooster era, but offers the same fun we’ve come to associate with the work of the twentieth century’s greatest humorist.
Bulgarian readers can now enjoy this colorful and incredibly funny story, which appears in a deluxe edition translated by Deyan Kyuchukov and with the lovely artist cover Damyan Damyanov (IC “Siela”).
At St. Austin’s School for Young Gentlemen there was a real excitement. Summer is here with its dreamy promise of a well-deserved break, but before students can dive in, they must prove their mettle and skills in the annual sports fest.
And just when it seems nothing can distract the young British Lions from the upcoming competitions, three cups from the school pavilion disappear without a trace. Everyone is a suspect – including the talented athlete Jim Thomson.
A series of dramatic revelations blow the case and word reaches all the way to Scotland Yard, who send an investigating officer. After all, where have well-bred British gentlemen ever been heard of and seen involved in so unpardonable a robbery?
Tarnished reputations to be cleared, comical situations, chases through the forest and furious principals await you within the pages of the hilarious novel “Trophy Hunters”. And the corridors of the seemingly peaceful St. Austin School will become the scene of a masterful theater of dizzying adventures and excitement, conducted by the skillful – and devilishly witty – pen of the maestro Woodhouse.
Colorful and absurd, colorful, multi-layered and carrying the authentic atmosphere of the first years of the last century, “Trophy Hunters” is a testament to the birth of a comedic visionary of unparalleled scope.
Because, like himself PG Woodhouse said: “one doesn’t laugh much when alone”. And one thing is clear – in his stories, one will always find a company with whom to laugh heartily and bring a colorful explosion of emotions into the gray everyday life.
Iz “Trophy Hunters” by PG Woodhouse
THIEVES UNDERTAKE AND STEAL
It had been customary since the annual race for the contestants to stay the night in town, so Tony didn’t get home until breakfast the next day. The residential buildings at St. Austin’s surrounded the school building, the two largest of which were the Headmaster’s and Meervale’s. Tony was placed in the second. He was just approaching from the station in the company of Welch, his roommate, who had participated in Aldershot as a fencer, when at the entrance they encountered Robinson, Tony’s personal recruit. Robinson was considered by many to be among the favorites to run the quarter mile in the small classes. Despite his tender age, he knew well that even the most talented runner could fail due to insufficient preparation, so for weeks he had been subjecting himself to a draconian regime – getting up in the wee hours and running around the track without putting anything in his stomach, except a glass of milk and a piece of bread.
But today it seemed that his mind was occupied by things more serious than sports. He had news. He was overflowing with news that he couldn’t wait to share with the new arrivals. Normally, he should be embarrassed by the presence of such prominent school luminaries, but with Tony things were different. If you’ve been serving someone undercooked eggs and burnt sandwiches for two or three semesters, social differences and prejudices sort of melt away.
And the news was fresh, completely fresh – the kind that no one could say scornfully, “What, did you just find out?”
– Hi Graham. He’s back already, huh? he began. The fact was obvious and Tony nodded.
– Congratulations on the victory in the middle category!
– The telegram, of course, had overtaken the winner. “By the way, Graham, do you know what happened?” There will be an awful lot of fuss about it. Someone broke into the Pavilion and got inside.
– Nonsense! How do you know?
– The glass of one of the windows has been completely removed. I noticed it in the morning on my way to the track.
– Which room?
– To the rugby team. The window facing the dormitories.
“Strange,” Welch said. – What would a thief be looking for in this room? In general, they don’t even leave a hair comb in it.
Robinson’s eyes widened with excitement. It was beyond his wildest expectations. Not only were they unaware of the burglary, but they had no idea of the recent event that had made the room in question such a suitable hunting ground for would-be robbers. Few things bring more exquisite pleasure than being the first to open someone’s eyes.
“Dear God, so you haven’t heard?” But also where to hear after you left for Aldershot before they make the decision.
– What decision?
To transfer all sports awards from the teacher’s room to the Pavilion and lock them in that room. I think they raised them to one. What I wouldn’t give to see the Old Man’s face when he found out. It won’t hurt if you go tell him now, just be careful he doesn’t have a fit. Exciting as hell, isn’t it?
“What an idiotic idea,” Tony exclaimed. “The silver in the bowls alone is probably worth more than fifty pounds.” How could they leave all this in the Pavilion?
“Pretty dumb,” agreed Welch. “I wonder who thought of it.”
“Listen, Robinson,” Tony said. – You’d better run and change, because you’ll be late for breakfast. We will inspect the scene.
Robinson disappeared in the direction of the sleeping quarters, and the two of them headed for the Pavilion. Indeed, the glass of one of the windows was missing, neatly removed from the frame.
– Shall we take a look inside? Welch suggested.
“Okay,” Tony agreed. – Help me get on the ledge, I’m all stiff.
“Do you see anything?”
– No. Just some cloth that I guess covered the prizes. Now I understand how easily they penetrated. All they had to do was remove the glass, pull the latch on the frame and it was done. Shall I come in and take a look?
– Better not. If there really was a theft, we shouldn’t touch anything.
“Bad job,” Tony said once he was back on solid ground. – I wonder if they will catch the perpetrator. Let’s go home now, we’re quite late.
Twenty minutes later, Tony broke away from the rapt crowd clamoring for a detailed account of the previous day’s events and reached his study where he found James Thomson, Alan Thomson’s brother. Already at breakfast he had noticed his preoccupied look and now he inquired as to the reason.
“Hey Jim, you seem a little tired.” Are you sick? – No, I’m fine, but I have a little problem. I wanted to discuss it with you.