I spent the summers of 1898 and 1899 an my grandfather's farm in Massachusetts. A memorable weekly treat was the trip by horse cart into Sterling Center, to trade butter and eggs for merchandise at the Mitchell and Sawyer General Store. In those days most transactions went by barter.On the way home from one of these trips, my grandfather told me about a neighbor who had gone to the store to buy his wife a pair of knitting needles, for which the proprietor accepted an egg. It was the custom after each transaction, no matter how small, to offer the customer a drink; so Mr. Mitchell asked the farmer, "What will you have?" He replied, "A whisky with an egg in it." Mr. Mitchell was not happy to give up the egg he had just taken in trade, but nevertheless poured the whisky and broke the egg into it. When the farmer saw that it was double-yolked, however, he said: "Mr. Mitchell, I think you owe me another pair of knitting needles!" .