Now Lord Gripewater, writing from Gripewater Towers, in reply to " Ex-Service " man, wishes to say that he denies the allegations in the letter, and that he, Lord Gripewater, is not in the least bit windy. And Colonel Boomer, writing from Boomer Court, in reply to " Doubtful," wishes emphatically to state that in his autobiography, the term second division is a purely military one, and in any case it is Scrubbs and not Shrubs.
I am sure you will be sorry to hear that Lady Bargain is unable to be with us to-night. As you know, she was a foundation shareholder in one of our subsidiary companies. She lost most of her fortune with us, poor lady. She is unable to be with us through some little forgetfulness in one of the London stores, as I understand she is now under lock and key, and I think it might be a kindly action on our part if we sent her a letter of congratulation on the way she has lived up to the old bargain motto, "Help Yourself." We'll have a show of hands on that afterwards.
Now with regard to the Annual- General Report. There were four copies sent out altogether. As you know, we are rather short of stationery. I think I am right, Mr. Harris, in saying four copies? Yes. Two without stamps and two without envelopes, and if those shareholders who have received a copy would they be good enough to read it over to the others who
  are not so lucky, they would be be helping their directors very considerably.
Now we can congratulate ourselves upon the fact that the report is very much louder this year than last. The main feature, of course, is the Debenture Issue of last week, secured on the office furniture. This is to rank pari-passu with the regurgitating Debenture Issue of last year, secured on the office gas-meter. But as you know, that particular issue was not the success we had hoped for, as the mortgagees, the Gas Light and Coke Company, foreclosed on the meter when they came to cut off the supply. . . . Well, we needn't go into those details now.
But in spite of these setbacks, I do feel we can offset the setbacks by the very real economies we have accomplished in the office—because we are now running the office without gas and without furniture. A further gesture towards economy has been made by your directors when it was decided at their private meeting to move the entire office into the passage. This, however, has not yet been confirmed.
We can congratulate ourselves upon the fact that our ordinary shares have never been so cheap as they have been in the open market to-day. The price is ridiculously low, and in comparison with the very expensive shares of other companies I do feel that we have answered a public demand for a really cheap
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