One of the questions I'm most often asked (besides, "how do you keep you beard so lustrous?") is, "how did your Double Eagles get their name?" For years I've been content to let this mystery persist - usually answering with nothing more than a silent shrug - but I believe the time has now come to tell the true tale.
Some decades back, I found myself in the California territory trying my hand at some gold prospecting (I haven't always been a trapper, ya' know). In those days, the US minted a $20 gold coin known as the Double Eagle. At the time, $20 was a near fortune so the folks who carried these coins where considered quite wealthy.
Seeing as how I'd spent most of my days in the wilds of the Oregon Territory, I was unaccustomed to the ways of civilized society. Most notably, that proprietors expected prompt payment once services had been rendered. Back then I was what you might call, "cash poor," mostly because I had no cash and as such, I was unable to purchase the essential items required to stake my gold claim. Fortunately for my entrepreneurial dreams, while I may have been "cash poor" I was also "jerky rich."
During my previous years of isolation in the forest wilderness, I'd become quite good at making beef jerky. And in anticipation of my southerly journey, I'd stocked up my jerky stuffs and - I say this without bragging - it had been a particularly good batch.
Upon my arrival, I quickly came to understand the serious disadvantage I faced without access to hard currency. In that moment, I experienced the first - of what would be many - strokes of genius. I pulled my remaining strips of jerky out of my possibles bag and cut them into generously sized circles. Once finished, I marched into the local mercantile, collected the supplies I needed, and presented these jerky discs to the owner as payment.
The man looked at me with a quizzical gaze, paused for a moment, then bit into one of the coins as one might bite into a hunk of gold to determine its authenticity. Once he tasted the jerky, his eyes closed in delight and after taking a moment to savor the divine flavor, he accepted the handful of coins and allowed me to leave with everything I needed.
I soon lost my enthusiasm for prospecting. The outdoors had always been my first true love, after all. But the experience showed me my true calling lay in the beef jerky arts. And soon after, I began laying the groundwork for my smoked meat empire.
Some years later, the first product I delivered to market were those same coin-sized jerky slices that had delivered me through a tough moment. I named them the Double Eagle as a reminder that as long as I stayed committed to making the world's finest beef jerky, I would never want for anything ever again.
And that, my friends, is the true story of the Double Eagle.