Part The Second
First things must, of course, be considered primarily and, having stopped for some lubrication of the alcoholic variety (very charitably provided by Wentbridge for his beloved cousin, naturally), we set about the onerous task that lay before us - transforming the dank creature into a delight for the ladies.
The general soggy atmosphere which congregated around him, giving him much the air of an upright puddle was not helping. Ensuring that his pocketbook was well furnished, we sallied forth to a reputed clothier of my acquaintance. All of my sartorial skills were stretched to the limit in order to transform Wentbridge from a bedraggled and dewy pool of a man into a dashing and waxed-mustachioed Squire-esque figure of desire. I failed, naturally*, but his overall demeanour was at least improved by my efforts. Of course, as Wenters was having himself fully outfitted, it seemed much simpler to add a few gewgaws and doodads for myself on the same ticket - to avoid unnecessary confusion, naturally.**
Now, as we all are aware, clothes do maketh the man but finely trimmed tresses and suitably coiffed whiskers must not be overlooked. A Swift visit to Bruno, the official maintainer of the Squirely follicles, soon had Wentbridge looking substantially less like he had been dragged through a rain-soaked hedge backwards.Again, Bruno could only work with the materials with which he was supplied and, as such, my own magnificent set of luxuriant and much-tousled lip-warmers were in no danger of being surpassed.Still and all, while not a patch on his considerate cousin, the chap was beginning to display a rudimentary amount of promise, much like a lump of coal which may contain...well, not a diamond but at the very least some iron pyrites.
And so, on to the next phase. Time to let the donkey sniff the carrot, as it were. There was only one way to be sure that all this primping and perfumery had paid off - a meeting between the boy himself and his unrequited object of affection, with yours truly firmly ensconced in the vicinity, ready to assist at the drop of a handkerchief.
However, the best laid plans, as they say (those anonymous killjoys who are tediously twee yet typically true), often come a right cropper. And this plan was to be no exception...
To Be Expanded
* Your humble narrator is very much inimitable in that respect.
** Although I still maintain that he took an unrequited amount of umbrage at my jewel-encrusted, monogrammed tiepin.