Salute to Adventurers eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 335 pages of information about Salute to Adventurers.
bought some acres of cleared soil, and had built for me a modest dwelling.  Beside it stood a large brick building, one half fitted as a tobacco shed, where the leaf could lie for months, if need be, without taking harm, and the other arranged as a merchant’s store with roomy cellars and wide garrets.  I relinquished the warehouse by the James Town quay, and to my joy I was able to relinquish Mr. Lambie.  That timid soul had been on thorns ever since I mooted my new projects.  He implored me to put them from me; he drew such pictures of the power of the English traders, you would have thought them the prince merchants of Venice; he saw all his hard-won gentility gone at a blow, and himself an outcast precluded for ever from great men’s recognition.  He could not bear it, and though he was loyal to my uncle’s firm in his own way, he sought a change.  One day he announced that he had been offered a post as steward to a big planter at Henricus, and when I warmly bade him accept it, he smiled wanly, and said he had done so a week agone.  We parted very civilly, and I chose as manager my servant, John Faulkner.

This is not a history of my trading ventures, or I would tell at length the steps I took to found a new way of business.  I went among the planters, offering to buy tobacco from the coming harvest, and to pay for it in bonds which could be exchanged for goods at my store.  I also offered to provide shipment in the autumn for tobacco and other wares, and I fixed the charge for freight—­a very moderate one—­in advance.  My plan was to clear out my store before the return of the ships, and to have thereby a large quantity of tobacco mortgaged to me.  I hoped that thus I would win the friendship and custom of the planters, since I offered them a more convenient way of sale and higher profits.  I hoped by breaking down the English monopoly to induce a continual and wholesome commerce in the land.  For this purpose it was necessary to get coin into the people’s hands, so, using my uncle’s credit, I had a parcel of English money from the New York goldsmiths.

In a week I found myself the most-talked-of man in the dominion, and soon I saw the troubles that credit brings.  I had picked up a very correct notion of the fortunes of most of the planters, and the men who were most eager to sell to me were just those I could least trust.  Some fellow who was near bankrupt from dice and cock-fighting would offer me five hundred hogsheads, when I knew that his ill-guided estate could scarce produce half.  I was not a merchant out of charity, and I had to decline many offers, and so made many foes.  Still, one way and another, I was not long in clearing out my store, and I found myself with some three times the amount of tobacco in prospect that I had sent home at the last harvest.

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Salute to Adventurers from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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