Uncle Lucas approached slowly. He stared in surprise at the little boy in the uncommonly long coat, with a red leather box under his arm. He looked him over from head to toe and then asked severely, "Who are you? And why did the dogs and the bear let you come in here? And why didn't the squirrels smash your head? I can't understand it."
"I am Johnny, son of Peter the Shoemaker, known as the Shoe King. Good morning, dear Uncle. I came here to spend my vacation with you. My father said you would be very happy to see me."
Uncle Lucas opened wide his eyes and exclaimed loudly, "Happy? Happy that a relative comes to eat up everything, to ruin me, to destroy me! Do you think I can afford it? Even if I fed you nothing but dry bread, the expense would be too much for me. My doctor doesn't allow me to spend any money, because it makes me so nervous I could become ill. And I certainly doubt that you could swallow that bread, if you knew how sick each bite would make me."
Here Uncle Lucas started
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