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thority by law to reject any bid offered, but in such cases they are charged with the fees. A lien is usually given on the tobacco for warehouse charges and fees.
Buyers may make reclamations on the inspectors, when the tobacco in the hogshead is inferior to the samples by which it is sold. Each inspector, before entering upon his duties, is required to give bonds for the faithful performance of his duties, and for prompt payment of all reclamations granted. Inspection fees range at 40 cents to $1 per hogshead. At the larger centers of the warehouse system the "breaks," or sales, are attended by buyers from all parts of Europe, and the principal cities of America, interested in the export trade, as shown in the illustration, Fig. 79. The methods of conducting these sales are practically the same at other markets, at Cincinnati and Louisville, as may be seen from Figs. 80 and 81.
Ordinarily, there is keen competition for the better grades of leaf. Sometimes there is a fancy demand for the first of the new crop, or for some special mark, or for some special purpose. An instance in point was the public sale by Mr. S. P. Carr, at the Richmond tobacco exposition of 188S, of a fine hogshead of Kentucky White Burley for the remarkable price of $4,555.90, or at the rate of $3.10 per pound.
In the Yellow Tobacco Districts of North Carolina and Virginia, the bundles of leaf after stripping are put on sticks and hung in the barn until taken to market, but much leaf goes to market directly from the stripping room. Most growers, however, prefer to wait until spring, when the tobacco is ordered and either packed in wagon beds, and thus taken to market, or, what is regarded as much better, is packed in tierces (as in east Tennessee) about four feet high, three feet in diameter at the smaller head, ancLthree feet two inches at the larger. In such tierces tiffi^bacco is packed loosely, PG. g YELLOW TOBACCO "BREAK'" t AUCT'ON 'ALE, 'N NORTH CAROL'NA.
At the sale 'llustrated' the tobacco break was About one-th*rd med*um grade cutters for cigarettes' some lemon wrappers for plugs' twenty per cent (ti English strips and cutters' balance medium grade and nondescript. and carried to market. The weight of such a fierce, packed, is about 250 pounds. Larger tierces are used in Virginia and North Carolina, which hold from 400 to 600 pounds of loosely packed tobacco.
The day it is offered for sale, the larger head is taken out and the tierce inverted. The tobacco slips out and stands without support on the floor of the warehouse. If two different grades are put in the same tierce, some strips of paper are laid between them. Each grade is placed in a separate pile on the floor of the warehouse, with a card showing the owner, weight, warehouse, number, etc. The leaf is sold according to the farmer's grades, and just as he directs. The principal markets, however, prefer to have the leaf carefully assorted in grades of a specified character, established by the rules of the board of trade. No receipt is given a farmer if he comes in a wagon and delivers his tobacco, attending to the sale himself. But if shipped in hogsheads, tierces, or open crates, by freight, the farmer sends to the warehouse his bill of lading. The warehouse then pays the freight, deducting it from his sales account.
On auction days, these warehouses are filled with a crowd of buyers and curiosity seekers. The auctioneer stands on a box set on wheels, which admits of its being easily moved from pile to pile. At each one he solicits bids; that is, you are told, if you are a stranger, that he is doing so. At all events, he is using his tongue, his hands, and his body to the best advantage. His jargon is unintelligible to all but the initiated. Meanwhile, the buyers are pulling the piles apart, and examining the character of the tobacco, as the bids are made and cried by the auctioneer. As fast as a pile is sold, a clerk takes down the price and puts upon the card the name of the buyer. The hired employees of each buyer take up the piles as they are sold, in large, square baskets, four feet long and wide and six inches deep, and carry them away. Everything is cleaned up at once, so as to leave the floor space empty for the next sale. All is activity and motion, some 150 piles being sold in an hour. The same thing is repeated, until the contents of the warehouse have all been disposed of at auction, to
FIO. 8'2. WEIGHING TOBACCO HOGSHE.IDS PREVIOUS TO SAMPLING.
the highest bidder. The engraving in Fig. 82 is from a photograph of a typical scene at a sale of yellow tobacco.
Five hundred sales in a warehouse in a morning is not an uncommon occurrence. Generally, the first sale is followed by other sales at other warehouses, the crowd going from one to the other. Latterly, the system has been adopted of letting the owner withdraw his tobacco after the sale, if the price does not suit him. This is done to prevent effective combines between the buyers, or to beat the trusts. A certain hour is fixed at which the bids must be cashed. Failure to comply with this rule puts the buyer on the black list, and his purchasing ability is at an end. The farmer goes to the office in the building, gets his money, less the handling and selling commission, and goes where he pleases.
The piles rest on warehouse baskets made for the purpose, and are circular in shape and pyramidal in form, the hands being laid in a circle and in layers, the butts out. These piles .vary in size from a few pounds to hundreds. After the sale is over, the floor is cleaned, and the work of filling it for the next sale begins. Immediately after the sale, bills are made out by clerks and an account of the sale given, or sent, to the owner, generally the same day. The buyers at these sales are both manufacturers and speculators. The manufacturers prefer to get their stock direct from planters' hands. It is then not bruised or broken by handling, and is not stuck together when prizing in the hogsheads. The warehouse sales are fair and open, where the farmer gets cash and where the article is always sold to the highest bidder. The warehouse charges are as follows, with two per cent commission additional: One to 50 pounds, 20 cents; 50 to 100 pounds, 25 cents; 100 to 200 pounds, 50 cents; 200 to 300 pounds, 75 cents; 300 to 600 pounds, $I; 6OO to 1000 pounds, $1.50, and 1000 pounds and upward, $2. These sale warehouses are well lighted from the roof, so that the colors of the tobacco may be easily seen. The proprietor of the warehouse receives a commission on each sale for the use of his warehouse, and cooperative warehouses are also feasible.
The Export Trade.—Numerous concerns, individual or corporate, are engaged in buying and shipping yellow tobacco, for both the home and foreign trade. After buying it, the hogsheads are replaced on the tobacco and it is conveyed to the dealers' warehouse,