Uncle William: the man who was shif'less eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 164 pages of information about Uncle William.

“It wasn’t that,” the young man broke in.  “I did see her.  I know now.  I saw her face for a minute as plain as I see yours.  She was looking straight at me and I saw all of a sudden what a fool I was.”

“You’re getting better,” said Uncle William.

“Do you think so?  I was afraid—­” he hesitated.

“You thought mebbe you was a-goin’ to die?”

“Well—­I have heard that people see clearly—­It came over me in a flash so—­”

“Lord, no!” Uncle William chuckled.  “You’re jest gettin’ your wits back, that’s all.  I shouldn’t wonder if you’d be real pert by the time we get there.  I cal’ate you’ll be considabul help to me—­dish-washin’ an’ so on.”

The towers and chimneys behind them dwindled.  The smoke of the city faded to a blur and grew to clear azure.  The wind blew against their faces.  After a little the young man got to his feet.  “I’m going to walk awhile.”  He spoke defiantly.

“Walk right along,” said Uncle William, cheerfully.

He tottered a few steps, and held out his hand.

Uncle William chuckled.  “I reckoned you’d want a lift.”  He placed a strong hand under the young man’s arm.  They paced back and forth the length of the deck.  “Feel good?” asked Uncle William.

The young man nodded.  “I shall go alone to-morrow.”

“Yes, I reckon you will,” soothingly.  “And the further north we get, the better you’ll feel.  It’s cur’us about the North.  The’ ‘s suthin’ up there keeps drawin’ you like a needle.  I’ve known a man to be cured jut by turnin’ and sailin’ that way when he was sick.  Seem ’s if he stopped pullin’ against things and just let go.  You look to me a little mite tired.  I’d go below for a spell if I was you.”

The young man went below and slept.  When he woke he felt better, as Uncle William had predicted.  At Halifax he insisted on sending a telegram to Sergia.  After that he watched the water with gleaming face, and when they boarded the John L. Cann and the shores of Arichat shaped themselves out of space, he was like a boy.

Uncle William leaned forward, scanning the wharf.  “There’s Andy!” he exclaimed.


“Right there.  Don’t you see him—­dangling his legs over the edge?”

“Hallo, Andy!” The young man’s voice had a joyous note.

Andy grunted.

When they landed, he held out a limp hand.  “Got any duds?” he asked indifferently.

“There’s my box and hisn and some traps down below.  He’s gone down to look after ’em,” said Uncle William.  “Juno come back?”


The young man appeared on deck with his hand-bag.  “How are you, Andy?”

Andy nodded.

“He says she ain’t come back,” said Uncle William.


“Juno.  She must ‘a’ been gone as much as a week, ain’t she, Andy?”

“Two weeks last night,” said Andy.

“Tuh-tuh!” Uncle William’s tongue expressed concern.  “We’ll hev to go look for her.  You goin’ to row us up?”

Project Gutenberg
Uncle William: the man who was shif'less from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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