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Doubtful "Character"

Hearing that very good wages were being paid to Trawler Deck hands, Erchie - a Newhaven joiner - went along to Leith to apply for a job. He was informed by the Skipper that he could only take on men with good references as to character. As the disappointed joiner was turning away he saw with envy the next applicant accepted after producing what he heard the Skipper to say was a first-rate certificate of honesty.

Before leaving the harbour, however, Erchie was recalled by the Skipper and informed that as a second man was wanted in a hurry, he would be taken on after all.
The ship had only been a day at sea when the new hand - with the testimonials - was given the job of doing some hammering at the head of the mast. Suddenly a heavy sea struck the ship and the workman - his tools with him - was swept overboard.
Meeting the Skipper shortly afterwards Erchie stopped him to inquire " Dae ye mind thon chiel ye tuik on yesterday wi the graun character ? "
" Ay, ay man " replied the Skipper. " bit whit about it ?"
" Weill " answered Erchie, with no trace of excitement, "he's awa wi yir haimmer."

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