Fred liked to bet on horses and was often lucky on the track. Jack referred to Fred as “Cash Astaire the Big Punter”. This letter shows that despite his success, Fred still worried about his finances.
He uses slang to talk about money. A ‘monkey’ is £500 and a ‘pony’ is £25.
May 6 1937
Enclosed find four fifths of a “Monkey”. Wish we were having it on something instead of ordinary existence difficulties. Well – who knows – maybe we’ll be “taking” the dough from there and the boys before long.
It is not easy for me to send this dough Jack although the world knows I am making a packet. Do you know that I am at this moment in the throes of paying £40,000 Income Tax on my earnings of last year. (I said pounds not dollars).
Next year it will be worse. So its not as rosy as one might think but then what the hell – as you always say – in 100 years from now I’ll meet you in heaven & fly you for a “Pony”.
The only thing that keeps me from having about 6 horses with you is the outrageous Tax in this country. They get you coming & going.
So long Jack –
All the best and write soon –