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.

Andy eased in to the wharf with cautious eye.  He threw the rope to Uncle William and busied himself with the sail.

Uncle William peered down upon him.  “Got quite a nice mess, didn’t ye?”


“How’d they run?”


“Ye got some halibut.”

“A few.”  Andy admitted it grudgingly.  His tone implied that the Creator withheld halibut out of pure spite.  The ways of the universe were a personal grievance to Andy.

“Quite a nice mess,” said Uncle William.  “Goin’ to unload?”

“Nope—­wait for the tide.”

“Ye’ll jest about make it,” said Uncle William.  He glanced at the sky.  “I’ll come down and help ye clean, like enough, after supper.”

Andy climbed up in silence.  His somber face appeared above the edge of the wharf.  Uncle William looked down on it, smiling.  “I’ve got good news for ye, Andy.”

“Huh?” Andy paused half way.

Uncle William nodded.  “You’ll be reel tickled about it.  I’m goin’ to have a new boat—­right off.”

“Ye be?” Andy’s mouth remained open.  It took in the sky and the bay and Uncle William’s smile.

“Right off.  I knew ye’d be glad.”

The mouth came together.  “Where you goin’ to get it?”

“He’s got some money.”  Uncle William nodded toward the cliff.

Andy looked.  “He’s poor as poverty.  He’s said so—­times enough.”

Uncle William smiled.  “He’s had luck—­quite a run o’ luck.  He’s been sellin’ picters—­three-four on ’em.”

“What’s picters!” said Andrew, scornfully.  He scrambled on to the wharf with a backward glance at the Andrew Halloran.  “You won’t buy no boat off o’ picters, Willum.  A boat costs three hunderd dollars—­a good one.”

“I was cal’atin’ to pay five hunderd,” said Uncle William.

“You was?” Andy wheeled about.  “You wont’ get it out o’ him!” He jerked a thumb at the cliff.

Uncle William chuckled.  “Now, ye’ve made a mistake, Andy.  He’s got that much and he’s got more.”  The gentle triumph in Uncle William’s tone diffused itself over the landscape.

Andy took it in slowly.  “How much?” he asked at last.

“Six-seven thousand,” said Uncle William.

“What!” Andy’s feet scuffed a little. “’T ain’t reasonable,” he said feebly.

“No, ’t ain’t reasonable.”  Uncle William spoke gently.  “I was a good deal s’prised myself, Andy, when I found how high they come—­picters.  Ye can’t own a gre’t many of ’em—­not at one time.”

“Don’t want to,” said Andy, caustically.

“No, you wouldn’t take much comfort in ’em,” said William. “’T is cur’us ‘t anybody should want a picter o’ my old hut up there ’nough to pay—­how much d’ye s’pose they did pay for it, Andy?”

Andy glanced at it contemptuously.  It glowed in the light of the late sun, warm and radiant. “’T ain’t wuth a hunderd,” he said.

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