a chapter from
Two weary porters at the King’s Cross terminus of the Great Northern Railway were thinking about going home, when a breathless, simple-looking countryman rushed up to them with anxious enquiries for a certain train. It had gone. He was crushed. “Whatever was he to do? He had been sent up from Cambridge with a big hamper of those sausages for which the University town is celebrated—a very special order. Was there no other train?” “No.” The poor fellow seemed overwhelmed. “As it is too late to find another market,” he complained, “the whole lot will be lost.” Then a happy thought seemed to strike him as more of the railway men gathered round, and he inquired ingratiatingly, “Would you care to buy the sausages; if you would, you could have them for fourpence a pound? If I keep them, they will probably go bad before I can dispose of them.” The idea took—“Real Cambridge Sausages” at fourpence a pound was not to be sneezed at. The dainties, neatly packed in pounds, went like the proverbial hot cakes. Shouldering the empty basket, and bidding his customers a kindly goodnight, the yokel set off to find a humble lodging for the night. Grateful smiles greeted the purchasers when they got home. Frying pans were got out and the sausages were popped in, and never was such a sizzling heard in the railway houses—or rather never should such a sizzling have been heard. But somehow they didn’t sizzle. “They are uncommon dry; seem to have no fat in ’em,” said the puzzled cook. They were dry, very dry, for closer investigation showed that the “prime Cambridge” were nothing but skins stuffed with dry bread! The railway staff of King’s Cross were long anxious to meet that simple countryman from Cambridge.