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.

“Chowder!” The call rang down from the little house, clear and full.

Both men looked up. “He’s a-callin’ ye,” said Andrew.  There was mingled scorn and respect in the tone.

“You come on up to supper, Andy.  We can talk it over whilst we’re eatin’.”

Andy looked down at his clothes.  “I’m all dirt.”

Uncle William surveyed him impartially.  “Ye ain’t any dirtier ’n ye al’ays be.”

“I dunno’s I be,” admitted Andy.

“Well, you come right along, and after supper we’ll all turn to and help you clean.”

The artist looked up as they entered.  “How are you, Andy?  The fish are running great to-day.”

Andy grinned feebly.  “I’ve heard about it,” he said.  He drew up to the table with a subdued air and took his chowder in gulps, glancing now and then at the smiling face and supple hands on the opposite side of the table.  It was a look of awe tinged with incredulity, and a little resentment grazing the edges of it.


The noon sun shone down upon the harbor.  The warmth of early summer was in the air.  A little breeze ran through it, ruffling the surface of the water.  The artist, from his perch on the rock, looked out over it with kindling eye.

His easel, on the rock before him, had held him all morning.  He had been trying to catch the look of coming summer, the crisp, salt tang of the water, and the scudding breeze.  When he looked at the canvas, a scowl held his forehead, but when he glanced back at the water, it vanished in swift delight.  It was color to dream on, to gloat over—­to wait for.  Some day it would grow of itself on his palette, and then, before it could slip away, he would catch it.  It only needed a stroke—­he would wait.  His eye wandered to the horizon.

A face appeared over the edge of the cliff and cut off the vision.  It was Uncle William, puffing a little and warm.  “Hello.”  He climbed up and seated himself on the rock, stretching his legs slowly to the sun.  “I reckoned I’d find ye here.  Been doin’ her?” He nodded toward the horizon.

The artist looked into the distance with puzzled eyes.  “Her?” He put the word doubtingly.

Uncle William glanced at him sharply.  “Don’t you see nuthin’ over there?” He waved a huge arm at the horizon.

The artist looked again and shook his head slowly.  “I see a color I’d give my eyes to get.”

Uncle William chuckled a little.  “Reckon they ain’t wuth much to ye.”  His hand slid into the pocket of his coat and brought out a small spy-glass.  He slipped the parts into place and adjusted it to his eye.  “There!” He handed it to the young man.  “See if that’ll help ye any.”

The young man took it, looking out over the bay.  “Yes, I see her now.  She’s a schooner.”  He put down the glass.  “Do you mean to say you can see that with the naked eye?”

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