The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 6, Issue 8 (April 1, 1932.)
No one could enter the Chief's room without becoming impressed with the neat little placards which hung on the walls.
One that always caught the eye and set one thinking contained the injunction, “Never take hold of a Loose Rope,”
“What does that mean?” the Chief was asked.
“Oh,” said the Chief with a smile; “that is a sea-faring man's motto. If a sailor takes hold of a ‘loose rope’ one of three things is bound to happen. He will suffer a bad fright or a bad fall or a funeral. And so no sea-faring man trusts a ‘loose rope,’ and what is good for the old salt is equally good for the land-lubber.”
“Yes; but what are ‘Loose Ropes?’”
“There are plenty of them, and they all seem to cause trouble,” said the Chief. “History is full of examples of men pulling at ‘Loose Ropes.’ Cain, for instance, trusted to a ‘Loose Rope’ when he allowed his anger to get the better of him so much so that he killed his brother. Ananias and Sapphira, too, used the same kind of rope when they sought to tell lies to gain favour,”
“The meaning is plain,” said the Chief. “Never do wrong in the hope that it will bring good. Wrong hurts at all times.”page 48