Romance is hardly my area of expertise, though with all the friends I’ve counseled and comforted in their time of need you’d be forgiven for thinking that it was. But even I could see the romance in sitting out on the deck of Aunt Dahlia’s yacht in the middle of the night when everyone else was asleep below deck, watching the moonlight ripple over the Mediterranean. It was just the sort of thing I needed after another attempt at courting gone awry to restore my faith in the spirit of love - if not that female in particular.
I had wandered out of my quarters with such a thought in mind to find none other than my man Jeeves already at it, bathed in pearly moonlight as he gazed out on the calm sea. He looked especially brainy in the low light, like one of those poet chappies pondering their latest verses, but somehow keener; his gaze aimed to pierce the depths rather than lost in dreamland.
He turned at my less than stealthy appearance and made to toss away his cigarette, but I stopped him and instead asked for a light, taking out a cigarette of my own.
“Is there anything you require, sir?”
“No, just poking my head out to admire the moonlight and what not.” I joined Jeeves by the rail, just a foot or two away, to look out on the sea. “It really is something.”
It wasn’t really the sort of thing I could put my finger on. Maybe Jeeves would have a word for it. The man didn’t quite look relaxed, but there was a certain serene composure to him that put the rest of us to shame.
“Reminds you of the old homestead, what?” I piped up.
“I always thought you must be from one of those quaint seaside fishing villages, you know, with how you always seem so at home out on the water, savoring the sea breeze, not to mention the fishing, what?”
“Quite the opposite, sir.”
“Really? You, a landlubber? From one of those little towns surrounded by idyllic pastures, eh?”
”No, sir. I was hardly aware that the ocean existed. I was raised rather further north, in the moors.”
I shivered a little at the thought despite the warm sea air. There was something almost chilling about the way Jeeves said it, as though he had been hidden away in a lonesome hut on some windswept tor.
“A pleasant change of pace, then!” I stopped myself short of clapping the fellow on the shoulder.
“I expect you to enjoy it to the utmost,” I said with all the masterful dignity I could muster.
“Thank you, sir.”
After a moment I said, “I don’t suppose you’d mind if I hovered about a bit longer, breathing that sea air, what?”
“Not at all, sir.” I fancied I saw the corner of his lips twitch upward an eighth of an inch, but it was hard to be sure in the dark.
We both leaned against the rail, lost in our own reflections as we watched the moonlight dancing on the water below that lapped gently against the side of the boat. My eyes frequently flickered back over to Jeeves, marveling at whatever thoughts were plainly stirring in that great brain of his.