17 JUNE 1972, Page 31

Tale of a dog's tail

Nephew Wilde

Many years ago, my Aunt Maude drove her Austin 10 down the High Street in Guildford on the way to have tea with Amelia, Lady St Urban. As she tried to arrange her hair with the help of the driving mirror the car veered sharply onto the pavement scattering the afterneon shoppers like ears of corn. She finally came to rest when she collided in a stall selling crockery. " Don't let any of that broken glass get under my tyres," she shouted to the bewildered owner of the stall. "I'm late as it is; I cannot be delayed longer by bits of your broken glass." She then started to drive on. But certain high pitched shrieks caused her to slow down and looking round, saw a young urchin holding up a small dog. " Ma'am, Ma'am," he said, " Yov'e done in doggie's tail." "I've done what?" exclaimed my Aunt. "You've done in doggie's tail!" the child screamed. Although Aunt Maude could have driven a twenty-ton lorry through a playground of children without blinking, the thought of the dog in pain tore savagely at her heart. "Here, child, take him to the vet," she said, pressing a sovereign into a grimy hand. Whereupon the child dropped the dog (which sprang into the car) and scarpered. On examination, Aunt Maude discovered the dog's tail to be in working order. Savagely she tore the gears renting her full fury on the Austin. This was enjoyed by the dog which excitedly wagged the tail. It was then that Aunt Maude ran her discerning eye over the animal and realised she has as her passenger a very well bred, pedigree. Not once did it cross her mind to report this victim of an obvious hoax.

She was even more pleased a few hours later when she left Lady St Urban's tea party fingering ten gold sovereigns, having sold the animal to another guest, Gwendolyn WrightPryce. A rather dubious deal, in fact, as Mrs Wright-Pryce knew full well that Aunt Maud was privy to her relationship with the handsome young actor Carl Forlk. Although she ;)ositively detested animals, she had bought Aunt Maud's silence. Was it surprising, I thought, that Aunt Maud could leave a small fortune when she handled her finances in such a way? And what was my record? There was that night I lost a packet playing craps in some seedy club; my adventures on the turf; and, of course, my latest dealings on the stockmarket.

Aunt Maude had been able to capitalise on her setback. With this in mind, and being an eternal optimistic at heart. I have taken the view that I should be rather more daring with my money. This is my strategy: I read that the Amey Group, currently is in the throes of bidding for British Dredging, and Consolidated Gold Fields has made an offer for Amey itself. So, on the basis that if Amey's own bid succeeds its total earnings will be diluted (it is an all-equity deal), and it will be in a vulnerable position, while Consolidated Gold Fields, however, will have to raise its offer to succeed. Thus 1 buy Amey.