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"Quite a while later, I wanted to show a friend my father's gold watch. This was a watch that he had inherited from his great-uncle Tom. As I remember it, the watch was a hunting cased pocket watch, with a gold dial that was absolutely covered with small sapphires. I had always been told that it was extremely valuable. Anyway, it wasn't in the usual place, so I asked my mother where it was. 'In the drawer' she said. 'No it isn't' I stated, 'That's where I looked'. She went to look, found nothing and then searched everywhere, but to no avail. When my father came home she asked him immediately where his watch was and he said, in the tone that we both knew from long experience to be his best lying tone, that it was in the drawer. He continued to protest for several days that it must have been mislaid, but at the same time he exhibited no interest whatsoever in looking for the most valuable thing he possessed. A few days of mother's nagging wore him down, however, and he confessed that he had lost it to Captain Harkness in a game of poker where it had been accepted for a debt of 120. This was at a time when an average weekly wage was about 5. My father's skill at card games was on a par with an earwig playing chess."

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Copyright - John Peirson 2001