Uncle William paused. He looked up to the clear sky. “I shouldn’t need her much more this fall, anyways,” he said. “An’ come spring, I’ll get another. I’ve been needin’ a new boat a good while.”
Andrew grunted. He glanced a little jealously at the Andrew Halloran. “Got the money?” he asked.
“Well, not got it, so to speak,” said Uncle William, “but I reckon I shall have it when the time comes.”
Andrew’s face lightened a little. “What you countin’ on?” he said.
Uncle William considered. “There’s the fish. Gunnion hain’t settled with me yet for my fish.”
Andrew nodded. “Seventy-five dollars.”
“And I’ve got quite a count of lobsters up to the boardin’-house—”
Andrew’s small eyes squinted knowingly. “Out o’ season?”
Uncle William returned the look benignly. “We didn’t date the ’count—just lumped ’em, so much a catch; saves trouble.”
Andrew chuckled. “I’ve saved trouble that way myself.” He made a rough calculation. “It won’t make a hunderd, all told. How you goin’ to get the rest?”
“Mebbe I shall borrow it,” said Uncle William. He looked serenely at the sky. “Like enough he’ll send a little suthin’,” he added.
“Like enough!” said Andrew.
“He mentioned it,” said Uncle William.
“He’s gone,” said Andrew. He gave a light p-f-f with his lips and screwed up his eyes, seeming to watch a bubble sail away.
Uncle William smiled. “You don’t have faith, Andy,” he said reproachfully. “Folks do do things, a good many times—things that they say they will. You o’t to have faith.”
Andrew snuffed. “When I pin my faith to a thing, Willum, I like to hev suthin’ to stick the pin into,” he said scornfully.
They worked in silence. Seagulls dipped about them. Off shore the sea-lions bobbed their thick, flabby black heads inquiringly in the water and climbed clumsily over the kelp-covered rocks.
Andrew’s eyes rested impassively on their gambols. “Wuthless critters,” he said.
Uncle William’s face softened as he watched them. “I kind o’ like to see ’em, Andy—up and down and bobbin’ and sloppin’ and scramblin’; you never know where they’ll come up next.”
“Don’t need to,” grumbled Andy. “Can’t eat the blamed things—nor wear ’em. I tell you, Willum,”—he turned a gloomy eye on his companion,—“I tell you, you set too much store by wuthless things.”
“Mebbe I do,” said William, humbly.
“This one, now—this painter fellow.” Andrew gave a wave of his hand that condensed scorn. “What’d you get out o’ him, a-gabblin’ and sailin’ all summer?”
“I dunno, Andy, as I could jest put into words,” said William, thoughtfully, “what I did get out o’ him.”
“Ump! I guess you couldn’t—nor anybody else. When he sends you anything for that boat o’ yourn, you jest let me know it, will you?”