The butler didn't do it…it was locums!

There I was, innocently reading the Dover Thrift Edition of "Victorian Tales of Terror," when suddenly, like a phantom in the night, contingent labor cast its shadow over me as I turned a page and read...

"Bring one of your best men, and come with me to the haunted mill.  But first let me exact from you a pledge of honor that, if our journey should result in nothing, you will keep the matter secret, as I am very sensitive to ridicule." 

"He looked at me in amazement, and then, as he burst into a hearty laugh, exclaimed: 'I say, my friend you are over-working yourself.  It's time you got a locum tenens, and took a holiday.'"

The story in which that was written, "The Corpse Light," was originally published in 1899.  I was reminded how long the concept of contingent labor has been around.  But the earliest reference to it that I can find to contingent usage is still this one, from 1347.

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