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Fisher's River
(North Carolina)
Scenes and Characters (1859)

  
 

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XXII.---TARE AND TRET:  AN ALABAMA STORY.

This is a rule in all our arithmetics, which originated in commerce, and for the benefit of commercial men.  Tare, in commerce, means the allowance or abatement of a certain weight or quantity form the weight or quantity of a commodity sold in a cask, chest, bag, or the like, which the seller makes to the buyer on account of the weight of such cask, chest, or bag;  or the abatement may be on the commodity sold.  Tret, in commerce, means an allowance to purchasers, for waste or refuse matter, of four per cent. on the weight of commodities.

Now it isn't every body that understands these commercial rules, and I shall not stop to discuss the justness of them.  I vouch for the above definitions, for they are taken verbatim from Webster.  But all men do not see Webster nor our arithmetics, nor do they "cipher" as far as "Tare and Tret."  "Thar ain't no use in cipherin' as fur as that, " says the uneducated farmer.

On account of this neglect, a one-cotton-bale man, of Butler County, Alabama, got "sloshin mad" in Greenville, the capital of said county.

About the time the Montgomery and Pensacola Railroad reached Greenville, a copperas-breeches, piny-woods man "druv" into town with his bale of cotton, well packed and "neat as a pin," and wished to make it buy a great variety of things --- a little of the "good critter" among the rest.  He soon found a purchaser, for cotton was bearing a good price.  The cotton was weighed, the money was "forked over," and a small deduction made for the "tare."

One-bale.  Tar! whar the devil is thar any tar on it?  Thar warn't a tar-bucket in a mile of the gin-screw.

Merchant.  Hold still, friend; we merchants always deduct a certain amount for the tare, which is to indemnify us against loss by the attachment of extraneous matter to the bales.

One-bale.  Bull and Injens!  The devil you do!  By hoky! thar ain't no tar nur any o' yer extranus matter on it.  It's jist as clean as the 'oman's bed-quilt.  You can't swindle this boy;  he's walked too many chalk-lines fur that.

Merchant.  I tell you, friend, the tare must be deducted.  Every thing in trade must be made whole, and done up according to rule.

One-bale.  Jubiter Ammon!  Mebbe you mean that my bale is tore, by you sayin' it must be made whole.  Dem it!  Whar's yer eyes, man?  Thar ain't a hole in it, nur a-tored place.  Now what you got to say, Mr. Tighty?

Merchant.  This much:  here's your money.  You are the tightest customer I've run up against lately.

One-bale.  You mout a knowed that ef yod'd a bin smart, and jist a peeped at my physmahogany.  I've gi'n ye one more kink.

 

 

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