He got hold of a push-bike alongside the waggons for some distance, finishing up on a limber. Spuggy was sent up to the trenches in the morning. He was under heavy shell fire when his engine seized up. His brigade was retreating, and he was in the rear of it, so, leaving his bicycle, he took to his heels, and with the Germans in sight ran till he caught up a waggon.
Mead, who went on his "push-bike" every evening along the Hog's Back to Guildford, was never tired of singing the praises of his generous mistress. "She's a real good sort," he would tell his friends in the bar of the Lion or the Angel. "She knows how to treat a man. She's a widow, and good-looking. I suppose she'll marry again.
"The key of the back door, sir?" "Precisely. The Brinkley Court back-door key." "But it is at the Court, sir." I clicked the tongue, annoyed. "Don't be frivolous, my dear old butler," I said. "I haven't ridden nine miles on a push-bike to listen to you trying to be funny. You've got it in your trousers pocket." "No, sir. I left it with Mr. Jeeves." "You did what?" "Yes, sir. Before I came away.
Presently I pulled up before the big old seventeenth-century posting-house in the long, quiet village of Ripley, once noted in the late Victorian craze of the "push-bike" as being the Mecca of the daring cyclist who ran out of London and back.
"If I met you half way the girl would have her meals in the passage. And I don't suppose she'd like it, and anyhow she'd be in everybody's way." "And this when I've just been of real use to you." "So you ought to be. You were indirectly responsible for the accident that gave Kate the swollen knee. It was your wretched old push-bike that she fell over." Luke wagged his ears. "Indirectly," he said.
Indeed, taking it for all in all, it seemed to me that, with the possible exception of being bitten by sharks, there was virtually no front-page disaster that could not happen to a fellow, once he had allowed his dear ones to override his better judgment and shove him out into the great unknown on a push-bike, and I am not ashamed to confess that, taking it by and large, the amount of quailing I did from this point on was pretty considerable.