The story took place many years before the boy under the table was born. Itconcerned a young man making his way in life in a northern city where there wasmuch unemployment and ﬁerce competition for jobs. He was called Edwin and was adistant relative of the family. Unable to ﬁnd work, he borrowed a handcart and wentaround the local tailoring and dressmaking ﬁrms buying up, or scrounging, unwantedmaterial. He then pushed the handcart to market and sold the material to passingcustomers. After a few months, he had started to make a reasonable living. Then, oneafternoon, while he was having a cup of tea at the market cafe, someone stole hisentire stock. He had spent all his money that morning buying the material and wasdistraught. Fortunately, a young butcher working in the market took pity on him andgave him a shilling (15c) which, in those days, was enough to get him back on hisfeet again.Years later, Edwin would point to that single act of generosity and declare that it wasthe moment his fortunes changed for the better. Some weeks later, he left the marketand started to buy and sell scrap metal. One success led to another and, movingfurther north, he gradually built up a successful scrap metal empire. His name and hisyards were clearly visible from trains approaching several large cities. With theproﬁts, he bought a large country mansion to match his rather large wife, took hisfamily abroad on holidays, and sent his children to the ﬁnest public schools. Havingentered politics with the right party, he became chairman of the city council and evenserved a term as mayor. A knighthood was sure to follow. Needless to say, when heretired, Edwin was a millionaire, and, in those days, that really meant something.One day, dressed in an expensive camel hair coat, he went to visit his variousrelatives and passed the market where his working life began. Ensuring that hischauffeur driven limousine was parked where it wouldn’t be vandalised, he made hisway into the building. He had to return there for one last time. To his delight, hediscovered that his benefactor, the butcher, was still running a meat stall. He askedthe old butcher if he could remember him, but the man just looked puzzled and shookhis head.‘Well, my name is Edwin. Forty years ago, I worked here selling material from ahandcart. One day, you helped me out when my stock was stolen. You gave me ashilling.’The butcher then remembered and said he believed that Edwin had done quite wellfor himself in the intervening years. Edwin agreed, but admitted that he had failed toreturn the shilling to the butcher before leaving the market for a new life.