Jeremy Garnet, author, craves peace and quiet. Stanley Featherstonehaugh Ukridge is not the man to provide it. Against his better instincts, Jeremy allows himself to persuaded to help Ukridge run a chicken farm at Combe Regis, Dorsetshire. With the chicken farm located at the top of the hill, everything is bound to go downhill . . .

Given Ukridge's idiosyncratic management style, the question is not will disaster strike? but how soon? Disease among the chickens, disaffection among the creditors . . . it's only a matter of time!

Jeremy, however, is less worried about the chicken farm than he is about a certain naval lieutenant, Tom Chase, who seems far too friendly with Phyllis Derrick, a young woman with whom Jeremy has fallen in love. And his prospects of wooing Phyllis look distinctly less rosy when Ukridge's bad manners upset Phyllis's father; Jeremy's well-intentioned intervention merely makes matters worse.

But Jeremy comes up with a plan for regaining Professor Derrick's favour. Bribing the professor's boatman to stage an accident, Jeremy ensures that he is on the scene to 'rescue' the professor from drowning. The plan works, and good relations are restored. But, having spilled his passenger, the boatman is soon spilling the beans, and Jeremy isn't just back at square one, he's no longer in the game.

Fortunately, there are other games. Golf, for instance. Two years running, Professor Derrick has lost in the final of the local golf club championship but, with his nemesis no longer in town, he hopes to make it third time lucky. Only one thing stands between him and his desire: his opponent is a better golfer — Jeremy!

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