Chae is the tenant at Peesie's Knapp, a good friend and neighbour of the Guthries. Although he is presented almost as a comic character at times, he approaches the status of tragic hero by the end.
Chae is famous for his socialist principles. This leads him to believe the world will be a place of peace and prosperity when the Germans have been defeated.
He is later disillusioned after seeing how the lands of Kinraddie have been damaged. He has a vision of one of Calgacus' men, who fought the Romans, which reminds him that wars have never solved anything.
Chae has travelled widely in America and South Africa –
a fell wandering billy [chap], as he is described in the Prelude. Although Marget is not his real daughter, he loves her as a father as much as he does his other children.
Unlike his friend John Guthrie, he brings her up in a liberal way, so that Marget is well informed about sex, a knowledge she shares with Chris.
well-liked, and a good worker, described as
one of the handiest billies in Kinraddie. When John Guthrie dies, it is to Chae Chris sends the signal for help and he comforts her after Ewan's death.