"Certainly they took no pains to keep up to date, or to be even tolerable in the new conditions which were already confronting every provincial trader who employed sawyers. In my experience they were drunken to a man. And the worst of it was they they worked in pairs. One sawyer was no good without his mate--he was as useless as one scissor would be. So, on a Monday morning, the one who reached his work first would loaf about waiting for the other, and then, sick of waiting, drift off to a public-house---his home perhaps for a few days or weeks. His mate, coming at last, would presently find that his predecessor had begun boosing; and was likely enough to end a disgusting and wasted day by following suit. He might be, himself in the thick of a great drink by the time that the first man was ready. And so it would go on. I have known sawyers unable to get together and start their week's work until Thursday morning. "
The Wheel-Wright's Shop by George Sturt 1923 (from the years 1884-1891)
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