Best Short Stories eBook

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

Sometimes a situation which to the kind of a mind which requires certainty seems hopeless can be adjusted in the most common-place manner: 

Congressman Charles R. Davis of Minnesota relates that one afternoon a train on a Western railroad stopped at a small station, when one of the passengers, in looking over the place, found his gaze fixed upon an interesting sign.  Hurrying to the side of the conductor, he eagerly inquired:  “Do you think that I will have time to get a soda before the train starts?”

“Oh, yes,” answered the conductor.

“But suppose,” suggested the thirsty passenger, “that the train should go on without me?”

“We can easily fix that,” promptly replied the conductor.  “I will go along and have one with you.”


A Turkish story runs that, dying, a pious man bequeathed a fortune to his son, charging him to give L100 to the meanest man he could find.

A certain cadi filled the bill.  Accordingly the dutiful son offered him L100.

“But I can’t take your L100,” said the cadi.  “I never knew your father.  There was no reason why he should leave me the money.”

“It’s yours, all right,” persisted the mourning youth.

“I might take it in a fictitious transaction,” said the cadi, relenting.  “Suppose—­I’ll tell you what I’ll do.  I’ll sell you all that snow in the courtyard for L100.”

The young man agreed, willing to be quit of his trust on any terms.  Next day he was arrested, taken before the cadi, and ordered to remove his snow at once.  As this was a command the young man was utterly unable to execute, he was fined L20 by the cadi for contumacy.

“At least,” the young man said ruefully as he left the court, “father’s L100 went to the right man.”


If you are going to be too fussy about your own particular brand of beauty then you must expect to reap the consequences.

An actor visited a beauty doctor to see if he could have something done for his nose.  The beauty doctor studied the organ, and suggested a complicated straightening and remoulding process—­cost, twenty guineas.

“I may go you,” said the actor thoughtfully.  He stroked his nose before the mirror, regarding it from all sides.  “Yes, I think I’ll go you.  But, look here, do you promise to give my nose—­er—­ideal beauty?”

The surgeon grew meditative.

“As to ideal beauty, I can’t say,” he replied at last.  “Why, my friend I couldn’t help improving it a lot if I hit it with a hammer.”


We cannot all of us be truly literary.  Most of us lead busy lives and, after all, is it of any real importance to be familiar with the world’s greatest writers?  No doubt this may all depend upon our occupation, as the following conversation reveals.

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Best Short Stories from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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