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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 132 pages of information about Best Short Stories.

“And where did you hide it?” asked his uncle.

“Too easy!  I stuck it in a hotel Bible.”

COMPLIMENTS OF THE DAY

Soldiers have to do their own mending when it is done at all, and it appears—­although few persons would have guessed it—­that the thoughtful War Office supplies them with outfits for that purpose.  Otherwise, this joke would be impossible.

Everything was ready for kit inspection; the recruits stood lined up ready for the officer, and the officer had his bad temper all complete.  He marched up and down the line, grimly eyeing each man’s bundle of needles and soft soap, and then he singled out Private MacTootle as the man who was to receive his attentions.

“Toothbrush?” he roared.

“Yes, sir.”

“Razor?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Hold-all?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Hm!  You’re all right, apparently,” growled the officer.  Then he barked: 

“Housewife?”

“Oh, very well, thank you,” said the recruit amiably.  “How’s yours?”

MANNA

There is a story of Bransby Williams, famous impersonator of Dickens’s characters, which will come home to many of us in these days of food shortage.

He had a hard time before he “arrived,” and hunger was a familiar companion.  One night he had to play in a sketch in which he was supposed to consume a steak pudding.

“Imagine my surprise,” he says, “when a real, good, smoking hot steak and kidney pudding arrived on the scene.  ‘My eye!’ I exclaimed to myself.  I had to cut it and serve it, and in the ordinary course of events we should have got through this stage meal in about five or six minutes.

“But not to-night!  I made up my mind that that pudding should not be wasted, but eaten, and I commenced in earnest.  I made the best meal I had had for days, and improvised conversation till it was all polished off!”

SHE KNEW HIM

Mr. Budger and his wife were continually at variance regarding their individual capabilities of making and keeping a good fire.  He contended that she did not know how to make a fire, nor how to keep one after it was made.  She, on the other hand, maintained that he never meddled with the fire that he didn’t put it out—­in short, that he was a perfect fire damper; and, as he was always anxious to stir up things in the varous fireplaces, she made a practice of hiding the poker just before it was time for him to come into the house.  One night there was an alarm of fire in the village and Budger flew for his hat and coat.

“Where are you going, my dear?” asked his wife.

“Why, there’s a fire, and I’m going to help put it out.”

“Well, my love,” responded Mrs. Budger, “I think the best thing you can do is to take the poker along with you.”

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