Jim's uncle is quite generous, providing supplies for cruises and giving the yacht to his nephew when Jim received a university scholarship. He acompannies Jim when his rheumatism lets him - and as there is not much rheumatism about him, it happens quite regularly. In Jim's school years, Uncle Bob didn't allow him to smoke; Jim had to catch up after finishing high school. Bob seems to have taken on a quasi parental role in Jim's life since Jim's only other relation seems to be the Medicinal Aunt and his parents are never mentioned. It is unknown whether Uncle Bob and the aunt (or aunts?)are Bradings.
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Uncle Bob could have been Jim Brading's legal guardian and the money he seemed to have plenty of to spend on Jim may have been from Jim's parents' estate.