That brought a response from John Rutledge, who ran a Florida-based newsletter, The scuttlebutt.
Rutledge ran a story in The scuttlebutt, and Patsy got a phone call from man saying he was her sailor.
What was the scuttlebutt as to his court-martial; was that because he had the unregistered or private weapon?
And you had no information direct or indirect of any kind or character, scuttlebutt, hearsay or otherwise, up to that moment?
Did there come to your attention any scuttlebutt among employees as to any past history of his?
"Just understand that I don't give a hoot in a scuttlebutt if you do turn me over to the police," pursued the man.
Every now and again one or another of them, choked with the dust, went to get a draft of lukewarm water from the scuttlebutt.
What was the scuttlebutt about that particular incident, if any?
Was there any rumor or scuttlebutt that he at one time had been given some psychiatric attention?
Was there any scuttlebutt around the camp in that regard with respect to him?
1805, "cask of drinking water kept on a ship's deck, having a hole (scuttle) cut in it for a cup or dipper," from scuttle "opening in a ship's deck" (see scuttle (v.2)) + butt (n.2) "barrel." Earlier scuttle cask (1777). Meaning "rumor, gossip" first recorded 1901, originally nautical slang, traditionally said to be from the sailors' custom of gathering around the scuttlebutt to gossip. Cf. water-cooler, figurative for "workplace gossip" mid-20c.
Rumors; gossip; presumed confidential information: worry about a slump, according to business scuttlebutt
[1901+ Navy; fr the chitchat around the scuttlebutt, ''drinking fountain, water cask,'' on naval vessels]