summer school rsiChapter 16“Now, Jack,” said Murray, on the third day after his arrival, while they walked in front of the fort, smoking a morning pipe, “it is time that you were off to the new fort. One of our best men has built it, but he is not a suitable person to take charge, and as the salmon season has pretty well advanced we are anxious to have you there to look after the salting and sending of them to Quebec.”At this point I thought it wise to move a little, since secrets of the State should not be made public property; but she would not let me go far, peremptorily stopping me within five yards or so, saying that she feared surprise. So it came to pass that, however unwillingly, I heard all that passed.But there are other respects, equally important, in which the charges brought by Socialists against competition do not admit of so complete an answer. Competition is the best security for cheapness, but by no means a security for quality. In former times, when producers and consumers were less numerous, it was a security for both. The market was not large enough nor the means of publicity sufficient to enable a dealer to make a fortune by continually attracting new customers: his success depended on his retaining those that he had; and when a dealer furnished [76]good articles, or when he did not, the fact was soon known to those whom it concerned, and he acquired a character for honest or dishonest dealing of more importance to him than the gain that would be made by cheating casual purchasers. But on the great scale of modern transactions, with the great multiplication of competition and the immense increase in the quantity of business competed for, dealers are so little dependent on permanent customers that character is much less essential to them, while tsummer school rsi
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