Best Short Stories eBook

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

We had a new experience the other day (relates a writer in the Atlantic Monthly) when we picked up two boatloads of survivors from the——­, torpedoed without warning.  I will say they were pretty glad to see us when we bore down on them.  As we neared they began to paddle frantically, as though fearful we should be snatched away from them at the last moment.  The crew were mostly Arabs and Lascars, and the first mate, a typical comic magazine Irishman, delivered himself of the following:  “Sure, toward the last some o’ thim haythen gits down on their knees and starts calling on Allah:  but I sez, sez I, ’Git up afore I swat ye wid the ax handle, ye benighted haythen; sure if this boat gits saved ’t will be the Holy Virgin does it or none at all, at all!  Git up,’sez I.”


For an hour the teacher had dealt with painful iteration on the part played by carbohydrates, proteids, and fats, respectively, in the upkeep of the human body.  At the end of the lesson the usual test questions were put, among them:  “Can any girl tell me the three foods required to keep the body in health?” There was silence till one maiden held up her hand and replied:  “Yer breakfast, yer dinner, and yer supper.”


A certain man whose previous record was of the best was charged with a minor offense.  Law and evidence were unquestionably on the side of the defense, but when the arguments had been concluded a verdict of “guilty” was given and a fine imposed.

The lawyer for the defense was sitting with his back toward the magistrate.  Without changing his position or rising to address the court, he remarked: 

“Judge, please fine me for contempt of court.”

The magistrate inquired: 

“What d’ye mean, sir?  You haven’t committed contempt.”

“I have,” came from the old lawyer.  “It’s silent.”


London children certainly get some quaint views of life.  An instance of this recently occurred in an East End Sunday-school, where the teacher was talking to her class about Solomon and his wisdom.

“When the Queen of Sheba came and laid jewels and fine raiment before Solomon, what did he say?” she asked presently.

One small girl, who had evidently had experience in such matters, promptly replied: 

“’Ow much d’yer want for the lot?”


Quite recently a warship of the Atlantic Fleet found it necessary to call for a few hours at a military port on the coast of Ireland.  Tommy Atkins, meeting a full-bearded Irish tar in the street a couple of hours later, said: 

“Pat, when are you going to place your whiskers on the reserve list?”

“When you place your tongue on the civil list,” was the Irish sailor’s reply.

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Best Short Stories from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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