Frank rose the next day, put on his new clothes, and headed to the address Low had given him. He found himself standing in front of a nondescript stone storefront in Pittenweem, quietly tucked on an out-of-the-way side street. The faded, painted sign that hung over the door read “Alexander B. White, Proprietor. Golf Clubs.” Frank tried the door handle; the shop was open. He walked in as the bell over the door announced him.
A spry, white-haired man came in from the back, wiping his hands on a cloth. The shop smelled of sawdust and varnish, and the wood floor creaked with every step.
“May I help you?”
Frank pulled out the note Low had given him.
“Sir, I am fresh from the war and am looking for work. Charles Low at the Rosie said you might be hiring.” He handed the address he had been given to the man. “Are you Mr. White?”
“Aye, that I am, lad. So, you are looking for work? Are ye good wi’ yer hands?”
“I believe I am, but honestly, I’ve never been tried. I worked at the Rosie as a messenger. I joined the Forty-Second when I was but fifteen.”
“The Forty-Second, aye? From St. Andrews?”
“Aye, the Two-Seven. I made corporal.”
Alexander White studied Frank closely.
“And wha’s your name, lad?”
“Frank Sharp, sir.”
“Did you see action?”
“Aye, sir. I was stationed on the Western Front.”
“Well, ye must ha’ been lucky to come back in one piece. I lost two sons to the Western Front.”
“I am sorry fer yer loss, sir.” Frank hung his head and looked down on the cap he held in two hands.
After an uncomfortable silence, the man said, “Aye, I can use a lad. Where do you bide?”
“Wellsgreen, near the Rosie.”
“Ye don’t mind coming o’er to Pittenweem?”
“I don’t mind going anywhere in Fife for work.”
“I cannae pay ye much tae start. I’m thinking that the links will start up again as men come back and spend the money they earned in the service. I promise ye I will gie ye a raise as soon as I can, but I cannae afford more than eight shillings a week. Not now. But if ye show promise and if the business picks up, I would like tae get ye fifteen shillings a week. But for noo, that’s just a goal.”
“Any work is better than none. I have ambition. I want to marry. I will take the work, and thank ye. I’ve been told I’m a clever lad. I won’t disappoint you.”
“Start Monday, then. Nine o’clock.”
“Thank you, Mr. White. Thank you very much.” Frank shook Alexander White’s hand firmly, and then he turned and left.
As he rode his bike back to Wellsgreen, he smiled. He had a job until something better came around.
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