Powder and Shot




P. G. Wodehouse.

A letter, possibly unsent, from P. G. Wodehouse to Don Iddon, March 1954. Iddon, “a sleekly combed English reporter,” wrote a weekly column about life in Manhattan for the Daily Mail. “Many [British] readers,” Time wrote in 1951, “rely on Iddon’s hodgepodge of gossip, press-agentry, and political hip-shooting for much of their U.S. news.”

Dear Iddon.

A word for your guidance. Do you realize, you revolting little object, that the copyright of a letter belongs to the writer of it? If you plan to continue your practice of publishing private letters sent to your private address, you are liable to come up against someone who thinks you worth powder and shot—which I don’t—and get into trouble.

Of course, only a confirmed cad and bounder would do such a thing, but I suppose your answer to that would be that you are a confirmed cad and bounder.

You say in your column that I am ‘angry’ with you. Not at all. When I am annoyed by a cockroach, I step on it and demolish it, but I am not angry with it.

You have my permission to publish this one.

P. G. Wodehouse