puff ! no matter
off he went into the sea, and there he was puttering around in the water. ₁
— although not in the real smart set — just puttering ₂
his own mountain, mind you —
and told him not to come puttering around there any more.
On second thoughts ₃
When I get all these rocks in place according to plans you’ll see what I mean.
It’ll be a hum-dinger ₄ he began to think calmly and soberly.
He began to reason. She certainly would not
be wasting time puttering around that old no matter ₅
sources (all George Barr McCutcheon)
- “Funny predicament I was just in,” he drawled. “I want to ask what a fellow should have done under the circumstances.”
“I’d have refused the girl, observed “Rip” Van Winkle, laconically.
“Girl had nothing to do with it, old chap,” went on Reggy, dropping into a chair. “Fel-low fell overboard a little while ago,” he went on, calmly. There was a chorus of cries and Brewster was forgotten for a time. “One of the sailors, you know. He was doing something in the rigging near where I was standing. Puff! off he went into the sea, and there he was puttering around in the water.”
“Oh, the poor fellow,” cried Miss Valentine.
— ex Brewster’s Millions (under pseudonym of Richard Greaves; 1903) : 178 : link
description at its own wikipedia page : link
- “That isn’t very much,” she said, with a perplexed frown. “I had an idea that if I wanted to live in style it would cost somewhere around seventy-five or a hundred thousand. I know a woman from Iowa who lives at the Ritz-Carlton and goes about some — although not in the real smart set — and she says it costs five or six thousand a month, just puttering. Maybe you’ve met her out in society. Her name is Bliggs.”
“Bliggs? Um! Name’s not familiar. Of course, you can spend a hundred thousand easily in New York if you get into the right set,” he said.
“That’s just the point,” said she.
— ex Her Weight in Gold (1917) : 217 : link
(same U Virginia copy, via hathitrust) : link
- “’Tain’t necessary,” announced Anderson loftily. “I c’n attend to my own business, if you can’t. Nobody c’n sing the Star Spangled Banner in Dutch without havin’ a charge of intoxication filed ag’in him, lemme tell you that. Git out o’ my way, Alf.”
Mr. Crow’s pride had been touched. The shaft of criticism had gone home. He would arrest Mr. Abraham Lincoln Bonaparte, no matter what came of it. He did not like Mr. Bonaparte anyway. It  was Mr. Bonaparte who had ordered him off Crow’s Mountain — his own mountain, mind you — and told him not to come puttering around there any more.
On second thoughts, he accepted the nominal town sot’s offer to make affidavit against a real offender, but declined his company and assistance in effecting the arrest.
— ex Anderson Crow, Detective, illustrated by John T. McCutcheon (1920) : 96 : link
- “It’s our house, boss,—not yours,” explained Buck Chizler, whose spare time was largely expended in the development, — you might almost say, the financing, — of a flower-bed on the lawn. It was to be the finest flower-bed of them all, he swore. “This is government property and we, the people, are going to do what we please with it.”
“That’s all very fine, Buck, but don’t you think you ought to be spending your spare hours with your wife, instead of puttering around here?”
 “Do you know who the boss of this job is? My wife. I’m nothing but an ordinary day-laborer, a plain Mick, a sort of a Wop, obeying orders. Good gosh, you don’t think I’ve got brains enough to design this flower-bed, do you? No, sirree! It takes an artist to think up a design like this. When I get all these rocks in place according to plans you’ll see what I mean. It’ll be a hum-dinger, A. A. This here thing running off this way is the tail. Come over here and look at it from this side, — it’s upside down from where you’re standin’.”
— ex West Wind Drift (1920) : 335 : link (NYPL copy)
— summary and review among “Some Recent Fiction” in The Baptist 1:44 (November 27, 1920) : 1486 link —
The “Doraine,” a great steamship, sails from a South American port during the war and is never heard from again. This book purports to tell the story of the lost ship. She is rendered helpless by explosives hidden with her by German fiends, and drifts for many days until she finally brings up on an island that is uncharted and unvisited. Here her passengers and crew — 700 all told — land and proceed to build themselves homes and to set up a government. The hero of the story, who becomes the governor of the colony, is a young fellow who left port as a stowaway on the “Doraine.” Besides being almost impossibly efficient, he wins the love of the most attactive and wealthiest young woman among the passengers. In the entire improbability of the story lies much of its charm. No one can complain of a dull page, and the reader is constantly on the qui vive as to what is coming next. It has the fitality and sweep which we have come to expect in everything that Mr. McCutcheon writes.
— there is also a dismissive (on formal and principled objections) review by “R.G.”, under the heading “The Latest Books” in The Argonaut 78: (December 11, 1920) : 378 link
(UC copy, also at hathitrust) : link
- Presently he began to think calmly and soberly. He began to reason. Eulora was a person of action,—quick action. Nothing could divert her from a purpose. If she had come to Moon Village to find him, she certainly would not be wasting time puttering around that old inn, no matter how full it might be of “museum pieces.” No, sir! That wasn’t her way. The first thing she would have done would be to ask Elizabeth if there was such a person as Romeo Egerton in the village, and of course Elizabeth would have answered yes. This would have put an end to all thoughts of the inn. His spirits picked up amazingly. She didn’t know he was in Moon Village. She was merely sight-seeing,—the same as anybody else was who had undertaken the trip to the deserted hamlet.
But his spirits didn’t stay up very long. They went down like a shot with the thought that Elizabeth might possibly mention his name. Even so, the would never think of looking for him in this garret.
— ex Romeo in Moon Village (1924) : 292 : link
review and summary by Henry H. Balos, in The Literary Digest International Book Review (November 1925) : 822-823 : link
George Barr McCutcheon (1866-1928)
wikipedia : link