Best Short Stories eBook

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

“Why did you hit this man?”

“Jedge, he called me a damn black rascal.”

“Well, you are one, aren’t you?”

“Yessah, I is one.  But, Jedge, s’pose somebody’d call you a damn black rascal, wouldn’t you hit ’em?”

“But I’m not one, am I?”

“Naw, sah, naw, sah, you ain’t one; but s’pose somebody’d call you de kind o’ rascal you is, what’d you do?”


Early in the war J.B. adopted a French soldier and furnishes him with a monthly allowance of tobacco.  Incidentally, he is also lubricating his rusty French by carrying on a correspondence with his “filleul de guerre” who writes him from the trenches, “somewhere in France.”

In a recent letter, the soldier informed his American benefactor that “hier j’ai tue deux Boches.  Ils sont alles a l’enfer.” (Yesterday I killed two Boches.  They went straight to hell.) The censor wrote between the lines, “Il est defendu de dire ou est l’ennemi.” (It is forbidden to tell where the enemy is!)


A visitor to a Glasgow working woman whose son was at the front was treated to a fluent harangue on the misdeeds of that “auld blackguard,” the Kaiser.  She ventured to suggest that we should love our enemies and pray for them.

“Oh, but I pray for him, too.”

“What do you say?”

“I say, ‘Oh, Lord, deal wi’ yon old blackguard, saften his heart, and damp his powther.’”


Walking through the village street one day, the widowed Lady Bountiful met old Farmer Stubbs on his way to market.  Her greeting went unnoticed.

“Stubbs,” said she, indignantly, “you might at least raise your hat to me!”

“I beg your pardon, m’lady,” was the reply, “but my poor wife ain’t dead moren’ two weeks, and I ain’t started lookin’ at the wimmen yet!”


Tommy Tonkins was keen on baseball and particularly ambitious to make his mark as a catcher.  Any hint, however small, was welcomed if it helped on his advance in his department of the game.  When he began to have trouble with his hands, and somebody suggested soaking them in salt water to harden the skin, he quickly followed the advice.

Alas! a few days later Tommy had a misfortune.  A long hit at the bottom of the garden sent the ball crashing through a neighbor’s sitting-room window.  It was the third Tommy had broken since the season began.

Mrs. Tonkins nearly wept in anger when Tommy broke the news.

“Yer father’ll skin yer when ’e comes ’ome to-night,” she said.

Poor Tommy, trembling, went outside to reflect.  His thoughts traveled to the strap hanging in the kitchen, and he eyed his hands ruefully.

Project Gutenberg
Best Short Stories from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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