The Tutwork men divide their pairs into lesser gangs, called corps or cores each corps consisting of two or three men; they work alternately, relieving each other throughout the twenty-four hours. Thus a pair of six men will divide into three corps, each working eight hours a day.
An account is opened at the counting-house with the taker or principal man of the pair, wherein he is debited with the value of all tools delivered to him by the smith, and the expences of sharpening and repairing them during the taking, or term of the contract, also, with the candles, gunpowder, and other articles used by him and his partners, with the charges on hauling up the waste to the surface, and likewise with cash advanced, called subsist. After the taking is out, the account is credited with the amount arising from the measurement of the ground at the agreed price, and with the tools and other articles returned unemployed. The pay-day is generally about a fortnight after the taking ends, when the balances are paid.
Tribute pitches require much more calculation in estimating the price at which they can be worked, and a more complicated set of accounts during their progress.
The proportion of the value of the ore to be allowed the workmen, must depend on the amount they can procure in a given time and at a given expense. Therefore the size and productiveness of the lode, the hardness of the ground, the quality of the ore, and the cost of hauling to the surface, as well as dressing it for sale, and the market price of the metal, are important elements in the calculation.
To the habit of investigation induced by this plan of payment may probably be attributed a great deal of the intelligence observable among the Cornish tributers, and to the desire of making
- See Pryce.