Tom and Jerry, and Jack LondonI've been reading Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune. Terrific book.
Clark's father, W.A. Clark, went west to seek his fortune (coincidentally, just around the time that both sides began a draft during the Civil War), and one passage in particular made me take notice:
In Salt Lake, he loaded up his wagon with flour, butter, tobacco, and eggs. He took a great deal of risk by investing in the eggs, paying a wholesale price of twenty cents a dozen and knowing they would freeze on the return trip north to Bannack. The men shoveled snow for seven days solid on the journey and saw the cattle of other travelers freeze to death in their yokes. When they reached Bannack, W.A. sold the eggs to miners for use in a brandy and eggnog concoction called a Tom and Jerry, each dozen eggs now worth three dollars retail.
One of my favorite short stories is "The One Thousand Dozen" (you can read it at the link, and it's a tremendous piece of writing) by Jack London. He writes about the same kind of situation, only with a very different ending.
I've never seen anything like it mentioned anywhere else.