**** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE ****

Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!


The Financier
by [?]

At the end of a month Jaguars were steady at 1-1/16; and I had received a report from the mine to the effect that down below they were simply hacking gold out as fast as they could hack, and up at the top were very busy rinsing and washing and sponging and drying it. The next month the situation was the same: Jaguars in London very steady at 1-1/16, Jaguar diggers in West Africa very steady at gold-digging. And at the end of the third month I realized not only that I was not going to have any thrills at all, but (even worse) that I was not going to make any money at all. I had been deceived.

. . . . .

That was where, eighteen months ago, I left the story of my City life. A good deal has happened since then; as a result of which I am once more eagerly watching the price of Jaguars.

A month or two after I had written about them, Jaguars began to go down. They did it (as they have done everything since I have known them) stupidly. If they had dropped in a single night to 3/4, I should at least have had my thrill. I should have suffered in a single night the loss of some pounds, and I could have borne it dramatically; either with the sternness of the silent Saxon, or else with the volubility of the volatile–I can’t think of anybody beginning with a “V.” But, alas! Jaguars never dropped at all. They subsided. They subsided slowly back to 1–so slowly that you could hardly observe them going. A week later they were 63/64, which, of course, is practically the same as 1. A month afterwards they were 31/32, and it is a debatable point whether that is less or more than 63/64. Anyhow, by the time I had worked it out and decided that it was slightly less, they were at 61/64, and one had the same trouble all over again. At 61/64 I left them for a time; and when I next read the financial column they were at 15/16, which still seemed to be fairly near to 1. And even when at last, after many months, I found them down to 7/8 I was not seriously alarmed, but felt that it was due to some little local trouble (as that the manager had fallen down the main shaft and was preventing the gold being shot out properly), and that, when the obstruction had been removed, Jaguars would go up to 1 again.

But they didn’t. They continued to subside. When they had subsided to 1/2 I woke up. My dream of financial glory was over. I had lost my money and my faith in the City; well, let them go. With an effort I washed Jaguars out of my mind. Henceforward they were nothing to me.

And then, months after, Andrew came on the scene. At lunch one day he happened to mention that he had been talking to his broker.

“Do you often talk to your broker?” I asked in admiration. It sounded so magnificent.


“I haven’t got a broker to talk to. When you next chat to yours, I wish you’d lead the conversation round to Jaguars and see what he says.”

“Why, have you got some?”

“Yes, but they’re no good. Have a cigarette, won’t you?”

Next morning to my amazement I got a telegram from Andrew. “Can get you ten shillings for Jaguars. Wire if you will sell, and how many.”

It was really a shock to me. When I had asked Andrew to mention Jaguars to his broker it was solely in the hope of hearing some humorous City comment on their futility–one of those crisp jests for which the Stock Exchange is famous. I had no idea that his broker might like to buy them from me.