Best Short Stories eBook

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

There was silence, and then an older lawyer walked slowly to the front of the room and deposited a ten-dollar bill with the clerk.  He then addressed the judge as follows: 

“Your honor, I wish to state that I have twice as much contempt for this court as any man in the room.”


A violinist was bitterly disappointed with the account of his recital printed in the paper of a small town.

“I told your man three or four times,” complained the musician to the owner of the paper, “that the instrument I used was a genuine Stradivarius, and in his story there was not a word about it, not a word.”

Whereupon the owner said with a laugh:  “That is as it should be.  When Mr. Stradivarius gets his fiddles advertised in my paper under ten cents a line, you come around and let me know.”


Jimmie giggled when the teacher read the story of the man who swam across the Tiber three times before breakfast.

“You do not doubt that a trained swimmer could do that, do you?”

“No, sir,” answered Jimmie, “but I wonder why he did not make it four and get back to the side where his clothes were.”


She was a widow who was trying to get in touch with her deceased husband.

The medium, after a good deal of futile work, said to her: 

“The conditions this evening seem unfavorable.  I can’t seem to establish communication with Mr. Smith, ma’am.”

“Well, I’m not surprised,” said the widow, with a glance at the clock.  “It’s only half-past eight now, and John never did show up till about three A.M.”


Private Jones was summoned to appear before his captain.

“Jones,” said the officer, frowning darkly, “this gentleman complains that you have killed his dog.”

“A dastardly trick,” interrupted the owner of the dog, “to kill a defenseless animal that would harm no one!”

“Not much defenseless about him,” chimed in the private, heatedly.  “He bit pretty freely into my leg, so I ran my bayonet into him.”

“Nonsense!” answered the owner angrily.  “He was a docile creature.  Why did you not defend yourself with the butt of your rifle?”

“Why didn’t he bite me with his tail?” asked Private Jones, with spirit.


Dr. Harvey Wiley tells the following story:  Sleepily, after a night off, a certain interne hastened to his hospital ward.  The first patient was a stout old Irishman.

“How goes it?” he inquired.

“Faith, it’sh me breathin’, doctor.  I can’t get me breath at all, at all.”

“Why, your pulse is normal.  Let me examine the lung-action,” replied the doctor, kneeling beside the cot and laying his head on the ample chest.

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