Keep­ing Mr Rev­enue from the new door...

Daily Mail - - Money Mail -

WHILE work­ing for an old chap a few years ago, my brief was to re­move his old wooden front door and re­place it with one of those uPVC ones with ar­ti­fi­cial lead-light in­serts. He was a cab driver and was about to re­tire. He owned a rather nice Granada es­tate that he seemed will­ing to sell to me for a good price, but al­though I was tempted, I didn’t have the £1,500 he wanted. So it was back to work and the re­moval of the door and its frame. As I pulled out the sill, the old cast-iron air vent be­neath it fell down, but luck­ily it didn’t break. The ends of the hall­way joists were ex­posed, and there, a few feet in, was what looked like an old rusty bis­cuit tin. I stretched my arm and pulled it out of the cob­webs. The tin was stuffed with £20s and £50s. ‘Blimey,’ said my mate. ‘Do you reckon he knows about it?’ ‘Well, he soon will, be­cause I’m go­ing to tell him when he wakes up,’ says hon­est me through grit­ted teeth. How much was that cab of his again? It wouldn’t even make a dent in this lot. And what about a nice hol­i­day, or some presents for the kids? Tempt­ing! But no, I’d never pinched any­thing from any­one — Ma and Pa would turn in their graves. So the con­tents of the tin would re­main in situ. Some time later, the old gent stag­gered along the hall­way to ask if we wanted a brew. ‘Err, guv, this was un­der your floor­boards,’ I ven­tured. ‘What are you do­ing with that tin?’ he said, snatch­ing it from my grasp. Later, the work on the front door nearly fin­ished, he re­turned. ‘I’m sorry if I seemed rude, but you had one of my lit­tle nest eggs I’ve got stashed around the house and man­aged to keep from Mr Rev­enue. Part of my pen­sion, so to speak. Had any more thoughts about buy­ing the Granada?’ I some­times won­der, es­pe­cially when I am eat­ing a bis­cuit, whether he en­joyed his re­tire­ment. I’ve now re­tired, too, and for the life of me I just can’t re­mem­ber where that bloom­ing job was.

Trevor Mur­din, Leigh-on-Sea, Es­sex.

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