When bachelor Uncle Adam announced that he was driving into The City for a two/three-day stay, the relatives were uncertain if they should greet the news with jubilation or trepidation. The first, because they'd not need to fret over what he might be up to on his farm; the latter, because they couldn't be sure what he might be up to while in The City.
''What you aim to do there?'' probed Cousin Prue.
''Go window shopping,'' was all he'd answer.
Uncle Adam had hired Eldridge, Brother John and Aunt Lizzie's seventeen-year-old, to stay at his place and handle the choring while he was away. When Eldridge phoned home three afternoons later to inform them that Uncle Adam had returned and that they could come get him, Aunt Lizzie asked, ''Did he bring back anything?''
''That he did.''
Eldridge's giggle chilled her blood. ''Come see.''
Which they did at once, stopping only to pick up Granpa along the way. When they drove into Adam's yard and stepped out of the car, he met them, beaming. ''Feast your eyes on my latest,'' he said, pointing to the back porch. There, leaning against the wall, was a three-foot-by-six-foot stained glass window, with real old-fashioned leadwork, and sporting almost as many colors as a kaleidoscope.
Aunt Lizzie gasped. ''That's what you went for?''
''I told you I was going window shopping,'' Uncle Adam reminded her. ''Had to looksee in at least a couple dozen antique shops before I found what I wanted.''
''But what d'you want it for?'' (Aunt Lizzie is still not quite clear as to why Uncle Adam had installed the stereo system in his milking-barn.)
''It'll give me an in-church feeling when I read my Testament there Sunday afternoons,'' Uncle Adam replied. ''All them patterned colors shining onto me and the Good Book are bound to lift my mind.''
''Sitting there looking like you're dressed in a harlequin's outfit!'' Aunt Lizzie exclaimed. ''It's downright demented.''
Granpa stopped chuckling long enough to break in. ''What'd you pay out for it?''
''More'n would have made it a steal for me, but less'n would have made it a robbery for the dealer.'' Uncle Adam ran his fingers lovingly over the window. ''Ain't it a beaut? Look how thick that glass is; look how deep them colors are. Look at that leadwork - 'most as thick as my forefinger. They don't make 'em like that these days.''
''Nor put 'em in a house any day,'' Aunt Lizzie snapped.
''The dealer said it'd come out of an old church that'd had to give way for an expressway. Been blessed by a bishop, he said.''
Brother John pursed his lips. ''I bet that raised the price.''
''He give me that information after we'd agreed on the price.''
Granpa cackled. ''I reckon the next thing you'll pick up's a pew to set by the window, to polish the room off proper.''
Uncle Adam nodded. ''I told the dealer to scout around and let me know if he located a smallish one.'' He winked at Granpa. ''With a padded seat, if possible.''