Old St. Andrews



A Tramp Printer



St. Andrews Beacon
April 1, 1897
A Tramp Printer
He was a tramp printer—as poor as Job’s turkey, and as proud and independent as an Indian prince. His breath had about it the perfume of gin and garlic, and his garments savoured of the box car and the barn. All his worldly goods were represented by two weather-worn and sadly wrecked grips, strapped together for the sake of convenience,—pillows by night and companions in arms by day. He looked as if he had floated in with the tide when he struck the Beacon office, but it was soon learned that he had come by rail. At St. Stephen he had ensconced himself in a box car bound to Saint John , but the car was side tracked at Watt, and he had to hustle out and seek for grub. Somebody let him tackle a wood pile, and by this means he got the cravings of the inner man satisfied and a chance opened up to get to St. Andrews. He made a bee-line for the printing office the first thing, and the editor, recognizing in his weather-beaten countenance an old Saint John typo, offered him a chance to lay in a store of provisions. But he wouldn’t accept. “I’m as independent as a hog on ice,” said he. “I’ll work for my grub, or I’ll starve. I’ve been feeding on wind pies and snow pudding for the last six days, and I can get along a day or two longer.” Seeing that he could not be moved, a “stand” was assigned him, and his sun-burned proboscis decorated with a huge pair of spectacles, he went to work. He was coaxed to take a lunch, and finally accepted, by saying it would keep his stomach from rubbing too hard against his backbone. Under the influence of the food and drink he became communicative, and said that after the fire of ’77 he left Saint John and struck out for Galveston, Texas. He labored there until he got a little pile together, when he began travelling, and he has been travelling ever since. He worked the afternoon out, and then having received his wage, hustled off after a store of provender and a “little stimulant.” Tuesday morning he was on the sleepers again with his nose turned in the direction of Saint John.