Best Short Stories eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 175 pages of information about Best Short Stories.

On the evening before a solar eclipse the colonel of a German regiment of infantry sent for all the sergeants and said to them: 

“There will be an eclipse of the sun to-morrow.  The regiment will meet on the parade ground in undress.  I will come and explain the eclipse before drill.  If the sky is cloudy the men will meet in the drill shed, as usual.”

Whereupon the ranking sergeant drew up the following order of the day: 

“To-morrow morning, by order of the colonel, there will be an eclipse of the sun.  The regiment will assemble on the parade ground, where the colonel will come and superintend the eclipse in person.  If the sky is cloudy the eclipse will take place in the drill shed.”


Two brothers were being entertained by a rich friend.  As ill luck would have it, the talk drifted away from ordinary topics.

“Do you like Omar Khayyam?” thoughtlessly asked the host, trying to make conversation.  The elder brother plunged heroically into the breach.

“Pretty well,” he said, “but I prefer Chianti.”

Nothing more was said on this subject until the brothers were on their way home.

“Bill,” said the younger brother, breaking a painful silence, “why can’t you leave things that you don’t understand to me?  Omar Khayyam ain’t a wine, you chump; it’s a cheese.”


An old South Carolina darky was sent to the hospital of St. Xavier in Charleston.  One of the gentle, black-robed sisters put a thermometer in his mouth to take his temperature.  Presently, when the doctor made his rounds, he said: 

“Well, Nathan, how do you feel?”

“I feel right tol’ble, boss.”

“Have you had any nourishment?”


“What did you have?”

“A lady done gimme a piece of glass ter suck, boss.”


He was a mine-sweeper, and, home on leave, was feeling a bit groggy.  He called to see a doctor, who examined him thoroughly.

“You’re troubled with your throat, you say?” said the doctor.

“Aye, aye, sir,” said the sailor.

“Have you ever tried gargling it with salt and water?” asked the doctor.

The mine-sweeper groaned.

“I should say so!” he said.  “I’ve been torpedoed seven times!”


A British soldier was walking down the Strand one day.  He had one leg off and an arm off and both ears missing and his head was covered with bandages, and he was making his way on low gear as best he could, when he was accosted by an intensely sympathetic lady who said: 

“Oh, dear, dear!  I cannot tell you how sorry I am for you.  This is really terrible.  Can’t I do something?  Do tell me, did you receive all these wounds in real action?”

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Best Short Stories from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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