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

ONE EXPLANATION

At the meeting of the Afro-American Debating Club the question of capital punishment for murder occupied the attention of the orators for the evening.  One speaker had a great deal to say about the sanity of persons who thus took the law into their own hands.  The last speaker, however, after a stirring harangue, concluded with great feeling:  “Ah disagrees wif capital punishment an’ all dis heah talk ’bout sanity.  Any pusson ’at c’mits murdeh ain’t in a sanitary condition.”

REMORSE

“I got son in army,” said a wrinkled old chief to United States Senator Clapp during his recent visit to an Indian reservation in Minnesota.

“Fine,” exclaimed the Senator.  “You should be proud that he is fighting for all of us.”

“Who we fight?” the redskin continued.

“Why,” the Senator replied, surprised.  “We are fighting the Kaiser—­you know, the Germans.”

“Hah,” mourned the chief.  “Too dam bad.”

“Why bad?” protested Senator Clapp, getting primed for a lecture on Teutonic kultur and its horrors.

“Too dam bad,” repeated the old Indian.  “Couple come through reservation last week.  I could killed um, easy as not.  Too dam bad.”

He wrapped his face in his blanket and refused to be comforted.

THE REAL CULPRIT

The Crown Prince had been so busy that he hadn’t had time to get together with his father and have a confidential chat.  But one evening when there was a lull in the 808-centimeter guns, they managed to get a few moments off.  The Crown Prince turned to his father and said: 

“Dad, there is something I have been wanting to ask you for a long time.  Is Uncle George really responsible for this scrap?”

“No, my son.”

“Well, did Cousin Nick have anything to do with it?”

“Not at all”

“Possibly you did?”

“No, sir.”

“Then would you mind telling me who it was?”

The anointed one was silent for a moment.  Then he turned to his son and said: 

“I’ll tell you how it happened.  About two or three years ago there was a wild man came over here from the United States, one of those rip-roaring rough riders that you read about in dime novels, but he certainly did have about him a plausible air.  I took him out and showed him our fleet.  Then I showed him the army, and after he had looked them over he said to me, ‘Bill, you could lick the world,’ And I was damn fool enough to believe him.”

A MATTER OF NOMENCLATURE

A Negro was recently brought into police court in a little town in Georgia, charged with assault and battery.  The Negro, who was well known to the judge, was charged with having struck another “unbleached American” with a brick.  After the usual preliminaries the judge inquired: 

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