A Ten Pound Bag
Chapter 120: The Auction
Copyright© 2020 by Emmeran
By: Emmeran, 14 June 2021
Edited: NNPDad, 2 May 2021
Published: 2 May 2021
Jeb caught us coming out of the Tavern and started blabbering on about all the stuff he saw laid out for the auction. It seemed a lot of folk hadn’t economically survived the Panic and we had a huge opportunity to pick up all sorts of equipment. There were also tradesmen who were auctioning off their own shops just to pay off debts and raise cash to start over.
One walkthrough was all it took to convince me that I was about to spend a lot of money. I asked Timmons to go secure us a warehouse and sent Amos off to the bank to tell the manager that I’d need a clerk at the auction to issue drafts on the spot. Then Jeb started to show me what he’d found.
Obviously, the first stop was the carpentry section. That was what Jeb did, after all. There were tool lots from two companies that had folded and just their equipment was there represented by the bank. We also saw one forlorn dude standing around a bunch of nicely kept tools, looking pitiful. He would be the first of more than a few I talked to who were struggling to survive, for whatever reason. I wasn’t a pro, but even I wanted his tools. I took the easy way out - I told Jeb to buy him out fully and recruit him. We’d have him help pick the best of the tools from the other offerings, along with anything unique that we needed. I peeled him off a hundred in St. Louis dollars to use as deposits.
Next, I came upon one of the things I desired the most, a blacksmith and his full shop of tools. I didn’t waste time and recruited him on the spot. He passed my basic requirements and I need someone to do metalwork more than anything else. I told him we’d need a kiln to make iron with as well, and he claimed to know how to do that. A deposit sealed the deal. Well, mostly. It was undecided whether I took him and his tools or I just took the tools. He was fine with either, but we needed to talk some more before I signed him and his family on. So we agreed to meet for dinner on Monday.
I found many other small opportunities and soon had the bank clerk acting as my recorder also. He wrote down everything I did. Amos was a handy runner to have. The last surprise was the wagonwright. Again, I went full court press and set up the same deal that I had with the blacksmith. We’d meet for supper on Monday to confirm the hire.
Other treasures were a millstone setup and a couple of rotary blades for a lumber saw. Both of those setups were a no-brainer and I jumped on them quickly to avoid them going into the auction. The sellers were all allowed to sell right up to a certain time, at which point the lots were locked. The last items of importance were the hay scythes and I bought every one I could find. The cutoff was sounded and I started shopping animals and people.
Timmons caught up with me and asked if I was crazy rich or something, I merely asked him to go see if any boats were going up on the block. We might need another one or two. He merely shook his head and threw his hands in the air as he went off to see if he could find anything. I really hoped he did, because we’d need one to run all summer just to pick up what we’d purchased thus far.