Works in the Herald 1934

Fourway Farm,
September 27th, 1934.

Dear Ab,

We have got your letter and are pleased to know that you have saw reason at last, and agree that I shall hang on to the three guineas you sent which I intended to do in any case.

Regarding the investment of the forty six pound seventeen which my prompt action saved you from losing well, Ab, I am very cautious about giving that sort of advice.

But I will say strait off that I would not entertain serious the offer of the kind gentleman who wishes to make you his partner in a growing bizness wot will give you three quid a week income for life after the first year.

I should imagin that at the end of a year the main trouble would be not only to find the income, but likewise the capital, and likewise the kind gentleman.

The other philantrofist what offers you a half share in a secret airy plane invention to make macheens perch in trees is not quite the kind of bloke I would incourage.

As for advising you how to use the money I aint so certain.

I aint King Solomon to be giving wise advise, nor yet I aint old Paul Kruger who in my umble opinion come a good second.

You will remember how two brothers once come to Paul and told him their old man had died and left them his farm in two equal shares; but they couldent agree betwix theirselves as what was fare.

So old Paul he told the oldest boy to divide up the property into what he thought was two fair and equil shares so that when he had done that all ackording to his conscience then the youngest one was to take his pick.

Well, Ab, when I first heard that story, it struck me as a pretty deep bit of wisdom. But when old George Jimble our leading J.P. tried the same game up in this districk many years ago somehow it dident work out quite the same.

When old man Jibstock hopped the twig up here in 1900 he left his farm in the same loose way - jist equil shares to his two boys, Jim and Joe Jibstock.

Well, after they had planted the old man the two boys got disputing and argifying without getting nowhere.

So the upshot of it was they took their troubles along to George Jimble, J.P.

Well, George remembered the old yarn about Paul Kruger, and he thinks to himself here is an easy way to collect five per cent and please everyone.

So he tells Jim, the oldest boy, to run a line through a plan of the old farm so as to whack it up into what he reckoned was a fair and square half and half divvy. "Then," says old George, "I am going to give young Joe here his pick of the two portions. So, you see, Jim, you can't do nothin' else but play dead straight and above board and according to Cocker."

Well, this here Jim Jibstock was a pretty long-headed lad; and there was two things he knoo what mite turn to his profit. He knoo that brother Joe was dead nuts on Susie Plowfoot, whose old man owned the land next door. He knoo, also, that no matter how the farm was divided young Joe would be sure to pick the bit next to Plowfoot's, so he could join the properties after he married Susie and have a nice self-contained farm.

Well, you can imagine how that clever Jim divided up that property of his old man's. But when it came for young Joe to pick next morning in Jimble's offis, what does he do but choose the bit with all the good water and grass land and leave Jim the starved bit of ground next Plowfoot's.

Well, bleeve me, Jim Jibstock was a sore man that day. But not near so sore as he was two year later when he had to sell his starvation bit of land and found out the secret buyer was young brother Joe, who was doing nicely, thank you, and all set marry Susie Plowfoot next week.

I don't know how this story can help you invest your forty odd quid, Ab, my boy. But it may teach you that it don't pay to over-reach too fur.

Love from all at home.

Your aff. father.

Herald, 29 September 1934, p6

This poem was originally published without a title.

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2003