[8 Nov. 1955]

Dear Esther:

Here is a recent one I think you'll enjoy. 'A young ordained minister was sent up to the Porcupine to take his first charge with the advice to pay especial attention to the spiritual welfare of the miners. He went to the Foreman of a Section and urged him to come with his gang to the church to hear his first sermon. They came expecting to sit at the back of the church, but to their dismay they were ushered to the front row of twelve seats on the explicit orders of the minister.

When the minister saw the twelve faces and the twenty-four eyes glaring at him malignantly, he got very nervous and when the time came for the sermon he became utterly inhibited in speech. He forgot the sermon and the text, but he remembered one incident. He couldn't see the congregation – no people but those twelve damn miners. So he shouted out (addressing them), "What did Moses say when he came down from the mount?" No answer. Again, louder this time, "I say what did Moses say when he came down from the mount?" No answer. Again the third time (still with his eyes on the foreman), "What did Moses etc." The foreman couldn't stand it any longer and yelled out – "Look it here, bloody reverend, I'll stand sucker for the bunch, What the hell did he say?" The minister had a stroke and had to be carried out.'

Bless you, Ned.