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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