Back in my boyhood days, traveling men
sustained the reputation of being good fellows, great
jokesters and “tall-story” tellers. The State, and perhaps the
world champion, was Joe Mulhatton, called the “biggest liar”
by all who knew him, and they were legion. On one occasion,
Joe advertised that on a certain date he would be at a certain
town in Southern Kentucky, and buy a carload of cats – imagine
A CARLOAD OF CATS.
course, on the day set, he was far away, but the cats came
from all directions, or rather were brought. Some were brought
in bags over the shoulders of children, who walked, some were
brought on horse or mule-back, others in buggies and wagons,
but there never was such an array of cats of all sorts, sexes,
sizes, colors, etc. The poor owners were doomed to
disappointment and the freight agent had to return an empty
car, instead of one loaded with cats.
afterward, I was telling of this unusual happening to a bunch
of college boys in the college where I was business manager.
After a few weeks, there appeared in the Sunday paper an
advertisement, “Wanted – Cats -- Apply to Prof. --------
Science Hall, ------ College Campus.” You never saw the like
of cats that were brought on Monday. The boys had pulled this
one on a very much-disliked professor, and it went over big.
They never learned who did it.
I learned a year or two later that innocently I had
furnished the idea by telling the boys the Joe Mulhatton cat
story. Two bright students had put the whole thing over.