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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/513

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WHERE BANANAS GROW.

pany, at Port Antonio, which supplies its Jamaica fruit to the Philadelphia market, and J. E. Kerr & Co., the leading buyers between Annotto Bay and Lucca, who run steamers to New York. Besides these there are numerous smaller buyers. Unfortunately, it can not be said that all buyers deal fairly with the people, though they keep their trade by taking all fruit that offers, regardless of its quality or fitness. Many of them are dealers in general merchandise, and, by paying their ignorant clients in goods, not only make a double profit, but keep running accounts with them which are never closed and always show a balance on

PSM V44 D513 Loading from a boat in buff bay.jpg
Fig. 5.—Loading from a Boat, Buff Bat.

the dealer's side. While this may not be carried as far as the infamous truck system, which holds the people of the Bahamas in practical slavery, the tendency is the same, and should be sharply checked before its logical conclusion is realized.

And now something as to the people who are engaged in the work of culture and shipment already described. With few exceptions they are native Jamaicans. Some of the most responsible positions in the Boston Fruit Company's offices at Port Antonio and Port Morant are filled by Americans, who with their families form a delightful colony at the former place. To them