Cigars kept in a case are influenced every time the case is opened. Whatever of taint there may be in the atmosphere rushes into the case, and is finally taken up by the cigars. Even though the cigars have the appearance of freshness, it is not the original freshness in which they were received from the factory. They have been dry, or comparatively so, and have absorbed more moisture than has been put in the case, and it matters not what that moisture may be, it can never restore the flavor that was lost during the drying-out process.

After all, it is a comparatively simple matter to take good care of cigars. All that is necessary is a comparatively airtight, zinc-lined chest. This should be

behind the counter in a place where the temperature is even. When a customer calls for a cigar the dealer takes the box out of the chest, serves his customer, and then puts the box back again. The box being opened for a moment the cigars are not perceptibly affected. The cigars in the close, heavy chest are always safe from atmospheric influences, as the boxes are closed, and the chest is open but a moment, while the dealer is taking out a box from which to serve his customer.

Some of the best dealers have either a large chest or a cool vault in which they keep their stock, taking out from time to time whatever they need for use. Some have a number of small chests, in which they keep different brands, so as to avoid opening and closing one particular chest so often.

It may be said that it is only the higher priced cigars that need special care in handling, although the cheaper grades are not to be handled carelessly. The Havana cigars are more susceptible to change, for there is a delicacy of flavor to be preserved that is never present in the cheaper grades of cigars.

Every dealer must, of course, make a display in his show case, but he need not serve his patrons with these cigars. The shrinkage in value of the cigars in the case is merely a business proposition of profit and loss.