It was an axiom with Pongo Twistleton that his Uncle Frederick was one of those people who ought not to be allowed at large. When, therefore, that irresponsible, perennially youthful peer, masquerading as a famous brain specialist, set out to save ‘the Empress of Blandings’, a prize pig belonging to Lord Emsworth, from the clutches of the Duke of Dunstable, and then went on to intervene in the tangled love-affair of Polly Pott and the poet Ricky, Pongo feared the worst. And his fears were amply justified. At the critical moment the Duke’s coldly efficient secretary, the detested Baxter, aided and abetted by Lady Constance Keeble, threatened to wreck the whole gigantic scheme. Blandings Castle was shaken to its very foundations.