Best Short Stories eBook

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

The beadle had noticed the mistake, and in silence he allowed the farmer to miss the plate for twenty-three consecutive Sundays.

On the twenty-fourth Sunday the farmer again ignored the plate, but the old beadle stretched the ladle in froat of him and, in a loud, tragic whisper, hoarsely said: 

“Your time’s up noo, Sandy.”


Jennie, the colored maid, arrived one morning with her head swathed in bandages—­the result of an argument with her hot-tempered spouse.

“Jennie,” said her mistress, “your husband treats you outrageously.  Why don’t you leave him?”

“Well, I don’ ’zactly wants to leave him.”

“Hasn’t he dragged you the length of the room by your hair?” demanded her mistress.

“Yas’m, he has done dat.”

“Hasn’t he choked you into insensibility?”

“Yas’m, he sho has choked me.”

“And now doesn’t he threaten to split your head with an ax?”

“Yas’m, he has done all dat,” agreed Jennie, “but he ain’ done nothin’ yet so bad I couldn’t live wid him.”


Andy Donaldson, a well-known character of Glasgow, lay on his deathbed.

“I canna’ leave ye thus, Nancy,” the old Scotsman wailed.  “Ye’re ower auld to work, an’ ye couldna’ live in the workhoose.  Gin I dee, ye maun marry anither man, wha’ll keep ye in comfort in yer auld age.”

“Nay, nay, Andy,” answered the good spouse; “I couldna’ marry anither man, fer whit wull I daw wi’ twa husbands in heaven?”

Andy pondered over this, but suddenly his face brightened.

“I ha’e it, Nancy!” he cried.  “Ye ken auld John Clemmens?  He’s a kind man, but he’s no’ a member o’ the kirk.  He likes ye, Nancy, an’ gin ye’ll marry him, ‘twill be a’ the same in heaven.  John’s no’ a Christian, and he’s no’ likely to get there.”


One morning, Mollie, the colored maid, appeared before her mistress, carrying, folded in a handkerchief, a five-dollar gold piece and all her earthly possessions in the way of jewelry.

This package she proffered her mistress, with the request that Miss Sallie take it for safe keeping.

“Why, Mollie!” exclaimed the mistress in surprise.  “Are you going away?”

“Naw’m, I ain’ goin’ nowheres,” Mollie declared.  “But me an’ Jim Harris we wuz married this mawnin’.  Yas’m, Jim, he’s a new nigger in town.  You don’ know nothin’ ‘bout him, Miss Sallie.  I don’ know nothin’ ’bout him myself.  He’s er stranger to me.”

Miss Sallie glanced severely at the little package of jewelry.

“But, Mollie,” she demanded, “don’t you trust him?”

“Yas’m,” replied Mollie, unruffled.  “Cose I trus’ him, personally—­but not wid ma valuables.”

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Best Short Stories from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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