The old cost of doing business in the land of the free and home of the brave, thanks to H. L. Mencken:
The fact that the Hon. Jacobus Hook gave away 62,350 cigars during the year 1912 has aroused the jealousy of the Hon. James Young, and the two are now engaged in a gigantic struggle for the 1913 championship. The Hon. Mr. Young, so I hear, has sent such huge orders to Havana that he is getting 25-cent cigars at 3.33 cents apiece. Meanwhile, Colonel Hook has added 150 hands to the force in his private fabrico at Pinar del Rio, and, in addition, he has bought land for a new factory on Gay street. His expenditure for cigar bands alone will be $1,500 this year, and he will cut down 125 acres of cedar forest to make boxes. His leading brands continue to be the La Cuerda, the El Hofbraeu and the Pride of Old Town. The first named is a demi-blond cigar, cut in Empire style, with a violet band and a high, spicy flavor. The second is a short, squat brunette, with a scarlet bandeau around its equator. The third is a long, rakish smoke with pale, xanthous spots, suggesting flecks of mayonnaise. It is a very powerful cheroot, with fumes strong enough to loosen the scalp, and Colonel Hook reserves it for newspaper reporters, job-seekers and the judiciary.