The first encounter that Johnny has with Rab is when Johnny is searching for work after injuring his hand. Rab doesn't even have to ask Johnny anything, but knows that he's hungry. He gives him something to eat. They begin to talk and before Johnny knows it he's told Rab everything. Even though Rab is two years older than Johnny he seems much more mature than that. Eventually, he offers Johnny a job at the press. Johnny resists, however, still believing that he can get a job as an apprentice or artisan somewhere.