The following sections of this BookRags Literature Study Guide is offprint from Gale's For Students Series: Presenting Analysis, Context, and Criticism on Commonly Studied Works: Introduction, Author Biography, Plot Summary, Characters, Themes, Style, Historical Context, Critical Overview, Criticism and Critical Essays, Media Adaptations, Topics for Further Study, Compare & Contrast, What Do I Read Next?, For Further Study, and Sources.
(c)1998-2002; (c)2002 by Gale. Gale is an imprint of The Gale Group, Inc., a division of Thomson Learning, Inc. Gale and Design and Thomson Learning are trademarks used herein under license.
The following sections, if they exist, are offprint from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction: "Social Concerns", "Thematic Overview", "Techniques", "Literary Precedents", "Key Questions", "Related Titles", "Adaptations", "Related Web Sites". (c)1994-2005, by Walton Beacham.
The following sections, if they exist, are offprint from Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults: "About the Author", "Overview", "Setting", "Literary Qualities", "Social Sensitivity", "Topics for Discussion", "Ideas for Reports and Papers". (c)1994-2005, by Walton Beacham.
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|Table of Contents|
|Start of eBook||1|
|Title: Best Short Stories||1|
|BEST SHORT STORIES||1|
|Published by DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY for REVIEW OF REVIEWS CO. 1922||1|
|BEST SHORT STORIES||1|
|ALWAYS GET THE FACTS||1|
|CAN THIS BE TRUE?||2|
|NEW SERVANT-GIRL STORY||2|
|HE WAS BROAD MINDED||2|
|MISSED HIS CHANCE||2|
|GREAT RELIEF IN HEAVEN||3|
|HE KNEW THE LAW||4|
|A SERMON ON THE WAR BY PARSON BROWN||4|
|LIFE’S ETERNAL QUERY||5|
|THE NEW REGIME||6|
|WHERE IGNORANCE IS BLISS;||7|
|WHEN THE “S” FELL OUT||7|
|FULL PARTICULARS FREE||7|
|THEY WERE SO GLAD TO SEE HIM||8|
|HAD TO BE SETTLED||8|
|ACCOUNTING FOR IT||9|
|A REVISED CLASSIC||9|
|THE ECLIPSE TO ORDER||10|
|HAD HAD TREATMENT||11|
|HOW HE GOT THEM||11|
|CAESAR VISITS CICERO||12|
|WHY BE POLITE ANYWAY?||12|
|THE ARRIVAL OF WILHELM||12|
|ALAS! TOO LATE!||14|
|WHO COULD TELL?||14|
|HE COULDN’T HAVE MISSED IT||14|
|A GENTLE DISSOLUTION||15|
|A FUTILE EXPERIMENT||15|
|THEY MEANT TO BE PAID||15|
|MIGHT DRAW BUSINESS||17|
|COMPLIMENTS OF THE DAY||18|
|SHE KNEW HIM||18|
|A GET-RICH-QUICK SCHEME||19|
|A FLATTERING EXPLANATION||19|
|DIDN’T SUIT HIM||19|
|ON HER NERVES||19|
|THIS HAPPENED IN CHICAGO||20|
|HAD HEARD HIM BEFORE||21|
|HER DOMESTIC INSTINCTS||21|
|LOOKED THAT WAY||22|
|MR. SUNSHINE AND MR. GLOOM||23|
|MARK TWAIN ON MILLIONAIRES||24|
|A MOVING TALE||25|
|ECCLESIASTICAL DUES ENFORCED||26|
|AN EASY ADJUSTMENT||27|
|AN EASY MATTER||28|
|JEEMS HENRY WAS CONJURED.||28|
|KEEPING IT IN THE FAMILY||28|
|NOT SO DIFFICULT||28|
|DESERVED THE LEGACY||29|
|WHY SHOULD HE KNOW?||29|
|ONE ON HIM||30|
|IN OUR MELTING POT||31|
|GIVE HIM TIME||31|
|A BAY STATE SOLOMON||31|
|WELCOMING THE ACTOR||32|
|COULDN’T BE BOTHERED||32|
|MISTAKES WILL HAPPEN||33|
|A SOFT ANSWER||33|
|TABLE OF COMPARISON||35|
|KNEW HIS JOB||35|
|THE REAL CULPRIT||36|
|A MATTER OF NOMENCLATURE||36|
|UNPREPARED BASE THREATENED||37|
|A HARD KNOCK||38|
|HAD HIS RIGHTS||38|
|A READY-WITTED PARSON||39|
|A STOCK SUFFRAGE ARGUMENT||39|
|A DEEP ONE||39|
|PRAYER OF THE UNRIGHTEOUS||39|
|WHAT DID SOLOMON SAY?||40|
|A GIFTED YOUTH||41|
|IT HAPPENED IN ILLINOIS||41|
|THEIR ONE TOPIC||41|
|THE PROPER SPIRIT||42|
|PRIDE IN THE DAILY TASK||43|
|DIDN’T WANT TO ROB HIM||43|
|JOY OF EATING||43|
|THE TEUTON WAY||45|
|TOO LONG A SHOT||45|
|NO USE FOR IT||46|
|A DIFFICULT PASSAGE||46|
|WHERE VERMONT SCORED||46|
|DOING UNTO HIS NEIGHBOR||47|
|A RECORD BREAKER||47|
|A FUTURE STATESMAN||48|
|HOW TO TELL A WELL-BRED DOG||48|
|TRY IT AND SEE||48|
|WHAT HE MIGHT HAVE BEEN||49|
|HOW COULD HE KNOW?||49|
|NO FREE ADVERTISING||50|
|THE SAME OLD HOURS||50|
|THE MAN HE LEFT BEHIND||51|
|A DEEP-LAID PLAN||51|
|ONLY ONE THING FOR HIM||51|
|A TEST OF FRIENDSHIP||51|
|GRATEFUL TO THE DOCTOR||52|
|HE MIGHT BE, BUT SHE WASN’T||52|
|A SPORTING PROPOSITION||52|
|KNEW MORE ABOUT HENS THAN HISTORY||53|
|ADVICE TO MABEL||53|
|NOT A NATIVE||53|
|HE GOT IT TWICE||53|
|THE DIGNITIES OF OFFICE||54|
|NO PEACE FOR HIM||54|
|FORCED INTO IT||54|
|THE MATTER WITH KANSAS||55|
|THE BETTER WAY||55|
|A HORSE PSYCHOLOGIST||55|
|STILL NOT SATISFIED||56|
|TAXED TO CAPACITY||56|
|A LITERAL CENSOR||57|
|UP TO HIM||57|
|NOT IN THE TACTICS||57|
|A GUILTY CONSCIENCE||57|
|MAKING IT FIT||58|
|A LESSON IN MANNERS||58|
|AN UNFORTUNATE AFFAIR||58|
|THE SIMPLE POLITICAL LIFE||58|
|PIGTAILS AND MOUSTACHES||59|
|HIS SEARCH FOR THE PRACTICAL||59|
|HARD UP FOR WIND||59|
|HE KNEW BRYAN||59|
|ALL OR NOTHING||60|
|BUSINESS IS BUSINESS||60|
|THE BOOTBLACK’S GENEROSITY||60|
|ON DUTY ELSEWHERE||61|
|THE KAISER’S LAST WORD||61|
|A REVISED CLASSIC—THE SLEEPING BEAUTY||61|
|AD ASTRA PER ASPERA||62|
|HIS GREAT AMBITION||62|
|APPREHENDING THE KAISER||63|
|JUSTICE TO T. R.||63|
|HE WAS NOT A PROHIBITIONIST||64|
|HE SCORNED THE THOUGHT||64|
|AND HE SUCCEEDED||65|
|NO CHANGE IN SHYLOCK||65|
|FULL SPEED AHEAD||66|
|WORDS FAILED HER||67|
|ONE WAY OUT||67|
|HOW WAR BEGAN||67|
|THE OBVIOUS PLACE||68|
|DOING HIS DUTY, BUT—||69|
|ANTICIPATING THE PLEASURE||69|
|PUTTING IT UP TO THE HORSE||69|
|THE WORM TURNED||69|
|MAKES A DIFFERENCE||70|
|SOLVING A GREAT PROBLEM||70|
|KNEW HIS BUSINESS||70|
|THEN THINGS HAPPENED||70|
|WASN’T CALLING HER DEAR||71|
|NOT ENOUGH SCENERY||71|
|IAN HAY’S FATE||71|
|HAPPY ENDING WANTED||72|
|A PERSON OF DISCERNMENT||72|
|AN OLD HAND||72|
|A TRUE OPTIMIST||73|
|TIT FOR TAT||73|
|TOO GOOD TO BE WASTED||73|
|THE INTELLIGENT CAT||73|
|HOW MARY LOST A TIP||74|
|A LITTLE TOO THRIFTY||75|
|THE ORIGINAL METHOD||75|
|GIVE US THE CHANCE||75|
|A DELIGHTFUL EXPERIENCE!||75|
|DAD WAS WISE||76|
|MORE SCOTCH THRIFT||76|
|WORTH A CHANCE||77|
|CHANGE FOR THE BETTER||77|
|BIG CHANCES BOTH WAYS||77|
|WARNING TO AUTHORS||77|
|STORIES ABOUT JAMES GORDON BENNETT||78|
|STAYING ON THE JOB||79|
|BUSINESS IS BUSINESS||79|
|HIS FAVORITE BEAST||80|
|A LONG STORY||80|
|A DUAL REPUTATION||80|
|ALWAYS SAFETY FIRST||81|
|DEPENDED ON THE MULE||82|
|CROWN PRINCE CALLED DOWN||82|
|IS THIS TACT?||83|
|WARNED IN TWENTY YEARS||83|
|BEYOND THE SENSE OF HUMOR||84|
|A NEW COMPLAINT||84|
|TOO STRONG A TERM||84|
|NOT FOR HER TO SAY||85|
|SHE ADMITTED IT||85|
|A BENEFACTOR OF MANKIND||85|
|THE SILVER LINING||86|
|A PERFECT PROGRAM||87|
|HIS BY RIGHT||87|
|BEST OF REASONS||87|
|A STORY FROM THE FRONT||88|
|THE FACT WAS||88|
|THE LAST WORD, AS USUAL||89|
|FRUGAL TO THE END||89|
|NOT MUCH TO TALK ABOUT||89|
|NO PLACE FOR HIM||90|
|IN THE OLD DAYS||90|
|TAKING NO CHANCES||90|
|AN ACROBAT IN THE SQUAD||90|
|HIS SYSTEM WAS A COMPLETE ONE||91|
|FACING THE TRUTH||92|
|HE GOT RESULTS, ANYWAY||92|
|THE TWO TREATMENTS||92|
|NOTHING TO LOSE||93|
|BASEBALL “OVER THERE”||94|
|INDEX OF TITLES||94|
Release Date: April 20, 2005 [EBook #15667]
Character set encoding: ASCII
*** Start of this project gutenberg EBOOK best short stories ***
Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Jennifer Goslee and
Distributed Proofreading Team.
Collected by THOMAS L. MASSON
A FOREWORD TO EVERYBODY
There is a wide difference of opinion, even among the most discriminating critics, as to what constitutes the point of a good joke. Aside from varying temperaments, this is largely due to one’s experience with life in general. Or intimate acquaintance with certain phases of life gives us a subtler appreciation of certain niceties, which would be lost upon those who have not traveled over that particular path. The doctor, the lawyer, the family man, and the soldier, each have their minds sensitized to their own fields of thought. Human nature, however, works according to universal laws, and a really first-class joke strikes home to the majority.
The compiler of this collection has had it in mind to get as much variety as possible, while at the same time to use only such material as serves to illustrate some easily recognizable human trait.
It is almost needless to say that this book should not be read continuously. It should be taken in small doses, as it is highly concentrated.
Many old friends will be noticed in the crowd. But old friends, even among jokes, should not be passed by too lightly.
THE POINT OF HONOR
A young lieutenant was passed by a private, who failed to salute. The lieutenant called him back, and said sternly:
“You did not salute me. For this you will immediately salute two hundred times.”
At this moment the General came up.
“What’s all this?” he exclaimed, seeing the poor private about to begin.
The lieutenant explained.
“This ignoramus failed to salute me, and as a punishment, I am making him salute two hundred times.”
“Quite right,” replied the General, smiling. “But do not forget, sir, that upon each occasion you are to salute in return.”
It is never wise to jump to conclusions. Always wait until the evidence is all in.
A Jersey man of a benevolent turn of mind encountered a small boy in his neighborhood who gave evidence of having emerged but lately from a severe battle.
“I am sorry,” said the man, “to see that you have a black eye, Sammy.”
Whereupon Sammy retorted:
“You go home and be sorry for your own little boy—he’s got two!”
A certain Irishman was taken prisoner by the Huns. While he was standing alone, waiting to be assigned to his prison, or whatever fate awaited him, the Kaiser came up.
“Hello,” said the Kaiser. “Who have we here?”
“I’m an Irishman, your honor.”
Then he winked solemnly.
“Oi say,” he continued. “We didn’t do a thing to you Germans, did we? Eh, old chap?”
The Kaiser was horrified. Calling an orderly he said to him:
“Take this blasphemer away and put a German uniform on him, and then bring him back.”
Shortly the Irishman was returned, in a full German uniform.
“Well,” said the Kaiser, “maybe you feel better now. How is it?”
Pat grabbed him by the arm, and leaning over, whispered:
“Oi say, we gave them Irish Hell, didn’t we?”
The wife of a successful young literary man had hired a buxom Dutch girl to do the housework. Several weeks passed and from seeing her master constantly about the house, the girl received an erroneous impression.
“Ogscuse me, Mrs. Blank,” she said to her mistress one day, “but I like to say somedings.”
The girl blushed, fumbled with her apron, and then replied, “Vell, you pay me four tollars a veek—’
“Yes, and I really can’t pay you any more.”
“It’s not dot,” responded the girl; “but I be villing to take tree tollars till—till your husband gets vork.”
Even married life does not affect some people unpleasantly, or take away the fine spirit of their charity.
A certain factory-owner tells of an old employee who came into the office and asked for a day off.
“I guess we can manage it, Pete,” says the boss, “tho we are mighty short-handed these days. What do you want to get off for?”
“Ay vant to get married,” blushed Pete, who is by way of being a Scandinavian.
“Married? Why, look here—it was only a couple of months ago that you wanted to get off because your wife was dead!”
“Yas, ay gess so.”
“And you want to get married again, with your wife only two months dead?”
“Yas. Ay ain’t ban hold no grudge long.”
Before introducing Lieutenant de Tessan, aide to General Joffre, and Colonel Fabry, the “Blue Devil of France,” Chairman Spencer, of the St. Louis entertainment committee, at the M.A.A. breakfast told this anecdote:
“In Washington Lieutenant de Tessan was approached by a pretty American girl, who said:
“‘And did you kill a German soldier?’
“‘Yes,’ he replied.
“‘With what hand did you do it?’ she inquired.
“‘With this right hand,’ he said.
“And then the pretty American girl seized his
right hand and kissed it.
Colonel Fabry stood near by. He strolled over and said to Lieutenant de
“‘Heavens, man, why didn’t you tell her that you bit him to death?’”
The following story is from the Libre Belgique, the anonymous periodical secretly published in Brussels, and which the utmost vigilance of the German authorities has been unable to suppress.
Once upon a time Doctor Bethman-Holweg went up to heaven. The pearly gates were shut, but he began to push his way through in the usual German fashion. St. Peter rushed out of his lodge, much annoyed at the commotion.
“Hi, there, who are you?” he demanded.
“I am Doctor Von Bethman-Holweg, the imperial chancellor,” was the haughty reply.
“Well, you don’t seem to be dead; what are you doing around here?”
“I want to see God.”
“Sorry,” replied St. Peter, “but I don’t think you can see him to-day; in fact, he’s not very well.”
“Ah, I’m distressed to hear that,” said the chancellor somewhat more politely. “What seems to be the trouble?”
“We don’t quite know, but we are afraid it is a case of exaggerated ego,” answered St. Peter. “He keeps walking up and down, occasionally striking his chest with his clenched fist, and muttering to himself: ’I am the kaiser! I am the kaiser!’”
“Dear me! that is really very sad,” said the chancellor in a still kindlier tone. “Now I happen to be the bearer of a communication from my imperial master; perhaps it might cheer him up to hear it.”
“What is it?”
“Why, the emperor has just issued a decree, providing that in future he shall have the use of the nobiliary particle; from henceforth he will have the right to call himself ’Von Gott’.”
“Step right in, your excellency,” interrupted St. Peter. “I am very sure the new Graf will be much gratified to learn of the honor done him. Third door to the right. Mind the step. Thank you.”
A story about Lord Kitchener, who was often spoken of as “the most distinguished bachelor in the world,” is being told. A young member of his staff when he was in India asked for a furlough in order to go home and be married. Kitchener listened to him patiently then he said:
“Kenilworth, you’re not yet twenty-five. Wait a year. If then you still desire to do this thing you shall have leave.”
The year passed. The officer once more proffered his request.
“After thinking it over for twelve months,” said Kitchener, “you still wish to marry?”
“Very well, you shall have your furlough. And frankly, my boy, I scarcely thought there was so much constancy in the masculine world.”
Kenilworth, the story concludes, marched to the door, but turned to say as he was leaving: “Thank you, sir. Only it’s not the same woman.”
An old colored man charged with stealing chickens was arraigned in court and was incriminating himself when the judge said:
“You ought to have a lawyer. Where’s your lawyer?”
“Ah ain’t got no lawyer, jedge,” said the old man.
“Very well, then,” said his honor, “I’ll assign a lawyer to defend you.”
“Oh, no, suh; no, suh! Please don’t do dat!” the darky begged.
“Why not?” asked the judge. “It won’t cost you anything. Why don’t you want a lawyer?”
“Well, jedge, Ah’ll tell you, suh,” said the old man, waving his tattered old hat confidentially. “Hit’s dis way. Ah wan’ tah enjoy dem chickens mahse’f.”
The historic colored preacher who held forth so strenuously after the Civil War has almost become obsolete, but in certain sections he still holds his own, as the following sermon, taken from Life, will show:
Brederen an’ Sisterin: I done read de Bible from kiver to kiver, from lid to lid an’ from end to end, an’ nowhar do I find a mo’ ’propriate tex’ at dis time, when de whole worl’ is scrimmigin’ wid itse’f, dan de place whar Paul Pinted de Pistol at de Philippines an’ said, “Dou art de man.”
Kaiser Bill ob Germany is de man, an’ Uncle Sam done got de pistol pinted his way, an’ goin’ to pull de trigger, lessen Bill gits off his perch, like dat woman Jezebel dat sassed Ahab from de roof top.
Ahab say to his soldiers, “Go up an’ th’ow dat woman down,” an’ dey th’ew her down. Den he say, “Go up an’ th’ow her down again,” an’ dey th’ew her down again; an’ he say, “Take her back up an th’ow her down seben times,” an’ dey th’owed her down seben times, an’ ast if dat ain’t enough.
But Ahab done got his dander up, an’ say, “No! Dat ain’t enough. Th’ow her down sebenty times seben.”
And afterwards dey done pick up twelve baskets ob de fragments dereob.
Dat’s what gwine ter happen ter dat Bill Heah Him Hollerin.
De Good Book done fo’told dis here war, an’ jist how it gwine ter end. Don’t it say about de four beasts in de book of Relations, what spit fire an’ brimstone, meanin’ de Kaiser, de Turks, de Ostriches, and de Bullgeraniums, case two ob dem beasteses is birds, an’ Ostriches an’ Turkys is birds. De bigges’ beast is de Kaiser, case he uses Germans to pizen his enemies. De newspapers say as how diseases is all caused by Germans gittin’ in de food an’ bein’ breathed in de lungs, givin’ folks hydrophobia an’ lumbago an’ consumption.
Dis brings us to de time when Abraham led de chillun ob Israel into Egypt, an’ Moses led ’em out again case de folks ob Egypt so bad dey shoot craps all day, and eben make Faro de king. Dey take all de money ‘way from de Jews an’ raise de price ob cawn an’ hay till de po’ Jews can’t live.
Rockefeller-Morgan Faro, de king, say dey can’t go, but Moses done got de Lawd on his side, an’ he crossed de Red Sea in submarines, so Faro got drowned wid all his host. De mummy ob dat same Faro is still alive in de big museums ob de world, but whar de host is no man can tell.
Dat de way de Wall Street gang dat been raisin’ de price ob food gwine ter pass in dey checks—in de Red Sea ob blood ob dis war.
Moses an’ de Jews went trabelin’ ober de desert till one day dey gits so hungry dey makes a fatted calf ob gold while Moses up on Mount Sinai gittin’ de law laid down. Moses come er-cussin’ back an’ busted de Law ober Aaron’s head, an’ den dey killed de fatted calf an’ put a ring on his finger. For de prodigal done return, an’ dey is mo’ rejoicin’ ober one sinner sabed dan ninety an’ nine what doan know ’nuff to put deir money in de contribution box instead ob shootin’ it ’way on craps.
Oh, I knows you backsliders, an’ ef any ob you doan come across while Dekin Jones passes de box, I’se gwine ter preach nex’ Sunday on what happened ter de money-chasers in de temple.
We will now sing two verses ob “Th’ow Out de Lifeline, Anoder Ship Sinkin’ To-day.”
The hobo knocked at the back door and the lady of the house appeared.
“Lady,” he said, “I was at the front—”
“You poor man!” she exclaimed. “One of war’s victims. Wait till I get you some food, and you shall tell me your story. You were in the trenches, you say?”
“Not in the trenches. I was at the front—”
“Don’t try to talk with your mouth full. Take your time. What deed of heroism did you do at the front?”
“Why, I knocked, but I couldn’t make nobody hear, so I came around to the back.”
Did it ever occur to you that a man’s life is full of cussedness? He comes into the world without his consent, and goes out against his will, and the trip between is exceedingly rocky.
When he is little, the big girls kiss him; when he is big, the little girls kiss him. If he is poor, he is a bad manager; if he is rich, he’s a crook. If he is prosperous, everybody wants to do him a favor; if he needs credit, they hand him a lemon.
If he is in politics, it is for graft; if out of politics, he is no good to his country. If he doesn’t give to charity, he’s a tightwad; if he does, it’s for show. If he is actively religious, he is a hypocrite; and if he takes no interest in religion, he is a heathen.
If he is affectionate, he is a soft mark; if he cares for no one, he is cold-blooded. If he dies young, there was a great future for him; if he lives to an old age, he missed his calling.
If you don’t fight, you’re yellow; if you do, you’re a brute.
If you save your money, you’re a grouch; if you spend it, you’re a loafer; if you get it, you’re a grafter, and if you don’t get it, you’re a bum.
So what’s the use?
Even certain professors, who are supposed to be immune from commercial inducements are sometimes financially overcautious. A party of tourists were watching Professor X as he exhumed the wrapt body of an ancient Egyptian.
“Judging from the utensils about him,” remarked the professor, “this mummy must have been an Egyptian plumber.”
“Wouldn’t it be interesting,” said a romantic young lady, “if we could bring him to life?”
“Interesting, but a bit risky,” returned Professor X. “Somebody might have to pay him for his time.”
A young planter in Mississippi had an old servant called Uncle Mose, who had cared for him as a child and whose devotion had never waned. The young man became engaged to a girl of the neighborhood who had a reputation for unusual beauty and also for a very violent temper. Noticing that Uncle Mose never mentioned his approaching marriage, the planter said:
“Mose, you know I am going to marry Miss Currier?”
“Yassuh, I knows it.”
“I haven’t heard you say anything about it,” persisted the planter.
“No, suh,” said Mose. “Tain’t fo’ me to say nothin’ ’bout it. I’s got nothin’ to say.”
“But you must have some opinion about so important a step on my part.”
“Well, suh,” said the old negro with some hesitation, “yo’ knows one thing—the most p’izonest snakes has got the most prettiest skins.”
The new change in social conditions to be brought about by the war is illustrated in the following advertisements taken from Life:
Husband and wife would like position as gardener and cook, or will do anything. 23 years in last place as czar and czarina. Salary not so important as permanent place in quiet, peaceful atmosphere. Address Romanoff, this paper.
Employers, giving up royalty, would like to secure position for their king. Steady, experienced, thoroughly broken to crown and sceptre. Distance no objection. Will go anywhere. Small salary to start. Constantine, 49 Greece, in rear. (Ring Sophy’s bell.)
Young Monarch, 28 years old, 4 years as king in last place, would accept like position in small, tranquil country, Latin preferred. No objection to South America. Light, rangy and stylish, very fast, and thoroughly broken to bombs and revolutions. Manuel J. Portugal, London.
King and Queen, Swedish, expecting to make change shortly, would like position as gardener and coachman, cook and laundress. Good home more important than salary. A1 references. Address Gus and Vicky, care this paper.
Emperor, 29 years as Kaiser in present position, expecting to be at liberty shortly, owing to change in employers’ circumstances, would like place as assassin, or pig-sticker in abattoir. No aversion to blood. Cool, resourceful, determined. Address efficient, care this paper.
Thus, seeking to be kind and fraternal, but at the same time perfectly honest, if we make mistakes, we may still comfort ourselves with the assurance which his Irish Catholic servant once expressed to the devout and learned Bishop Whately.
“Do you really believe,” he asked her, “that there is no salvation outside of the Roman Catholic Church?”
“Shure, an’ I do,” she replied, “for that’s what the praist ses.”
“Well, then, what is going to become of me?”
“Oh, that’s all right,” she answered, with an Irish twinkle in her eyes. “Yer riverence will be saved by yer ignorince.”
“We are thorry to thay,” explained the editor of the Skedunk Weekly News, “that our compothing-room wath entered lath night by thome unknown thcoundrel, who thtole every ‘eth’ in the ethtablithment, and thucceeded in making hith ethcape undetected.
“The motive of the mithcreant doubtleth wath revenge for thome thuppothed inthult.
“It thall never be thaid that the petty thpite of any thmall-thouled villain hath dithabled the Newth, and if thith meet the eye of the detethtable rathcal, we beg to athure him that he underethtimated the rethourceth of a firtht-clath newthpaper when he thinkth he can cripple it hopelethly by breaking into the alphabet. We take occathion to thay to him furthermore that before next Thurthday we thall have three timeth ath many etheth ath he thtole.
“We have reathon to thuthpect that we know the cowardly thkunk who committed thith act of vandalithm, and if he ith ever theen prowling about thith ethtablithment again, by day or by night, nothing will give uth more thatithfaction than to thoot hith hide full of holeth.”
They were seated in a tramcar—the mother and her little boy.
The conductor eyed the little boy suspiciously. He had to keep a lookout for people who pretended that their children were younger than they really were, in order to obtain free rides for them.
“And how old is your little boy, madam, please?”
“Three and a half,” said the mother truthfully.
“Right, ma’am,” said the conductor, satisfied.
Little Willie pondered a minute. It seemed to him that fuller information was required.
“And mother’s thirty-one,” he said politely.
“I am taking some notes about civic pride,” said the urbane stranger, as he wandered into the up-to-date community. “I suppose you have such a thing?”
“Well, I should say we had,” said the corner real estate agent. “I am loaded with it myself.”
“Good!” replied the agent, taking out his memo-book. “I’ll make a note of it. This, you will understand, is a more or less scientific inquiry, and I shall make my estimates as carefully as possible, with all due regard to the human equation. Who, should you say, has the most civic pride in town?”
“That is some problem,” replied the agent, “but you might go across the way to the Woman’s Club. Out of courtesy to the ladies I am ready to yield the palm.”
“Yes,” said the president of the Woman’s Club when she had heard the visitor’s errand. “We have the most civic pride, of course. The Town Council thinks it has, and the Board of Education thinks it has, but pay no attention to them; we are on the job day and night; as a factory for turning out civic pride, nobody in this vicinity can beat us. You want to hear my lecture on the subject at the next meeting.”
“Thanks,” said the visitor, “but you will appreciate that in these piping times of war, I am a busy man, and must hurry on. Has anybody else any civic pride here that you could name?”
He was presented with a list and went about town getting them all down. At the end of several days, all the organizations in town that dealt in civic pride got together and arranged for a banquet for the distinguished stranger. They were immensely proud that he had come among them.
It was a great affair. The mayor, who was swelling with civic pride, vied with the president of the Woman’s Club. It was, indeed, a neck-and-neck race between them as to who had the greater quantity of civic pride.
At the end of the banquet, when they were all bidding the guest good-bye with tears streaming down their faces, the only pessimist in town got up and said:
“Excuse me, ladies and gentlemen, for obtruding my repellent personality on this joyful assemblage, but our dear guest will not, I am sure, object to answering a simple question. I have no civic pride myself, but do you mind, sir, telling me the object of your visit to this lovely little burg?”
“Certainly not,” said the guest, as he prepared to take a quick slant through the door, “no objection at all. You see, my friends, civic pride is the only thing that the government hasn’t taxed. You’ll get your bills a little later, based on your own estimates. Much obliged for all your first-hand information.”
“Johnny, it was very wrong for you and the boy next door to fight.”
“We couldn’t help it, father.”
“Could you not have settled your differences by a peaceful discussion of the matter, calling in the assistance of unprejudiced opinion, if need be?”
“No, father. He was sure he could whip me and I was sure I could whip him, and there was only one way to find out.”
The sergeant-major had the reputation of never being at a loss for an answer. A young officer made a bet with a brother officer that he would in less than twenty-four hours ask the sergeant-major a question that would baffle him.
The sergeant-major accompanied the young officer on his rounds, in the course of which the cook-house was inspected. Pointing to a large copper of water just commencing to boil, the officer said:
“Why does that water only boil round the edges of the copper and not in the centre?”
“The water round the edge, sir,” replied the veteran, “is for the men on guard; they have their breakfast half an hour before the remainder of the company.”
Levi Cohen was looking very dejected. That morning he left the house with five pounds in his pocket to try his luck at the races, but, alas! he had returned at nightfall footsore and weary, and nothing in his possession but a bad half-penny.
No wonder his better half was in a bad temper. “How is it,” she snapped, “that you’re so unlucky at the races, and yet you always win at cards?”
“Well, my dear,” responded Levi, meekly, “you see, it’s this way: I don’t shuffle the horses.”
A keen-eyed mountaineer led his overgrown son into a country schoolhouse.
“This here boy’s arter larnin’,” he announced. “What’s yer bill o’ fare?”
“Our curriculum, sir,” corrected the school-master, “embraces geography, arithmetic, trigonometry—”
“That’ll do,” interrupted the father. “That’ll do. Load him up well with triggernometry. He’s the only poor shot in the family.”
“Now, my dear girl,” said Bluebeard, “remember you can go anywhere in the house but the pantry. That is locked up, and the key will be placed under the mat. Remove it at your peril.”
Consumed with curiosity, Mrs. Bluebeard could scarcely wait until her husband had cranked his machine before she was trying the key. It fitted perfectly. She turned it, and entered. Within was the finest collection of provisions that she had ever seen: at least a hundred dozen eggs preserved in water, sacks of potatoes, barrels of wheat—in fact, a complete commissary department.
And then, as she looked out of the window, she gave a faint scream. Her husband was returning. He had a puncture. She retained her presence of mind, however, long enough to step to the telephone. Just as she had finished delivering the message Bluebeard entered.
“Ha!” he exclaimed. “So you have forced the pantry. I see flour on your lips. Prepare to die.”
Mrs. Bluebeard only smiled.
“Not so fast,” she muttered. At this moment Herbert Hoover entered the house.
“So you are the wretch who has been storing up private food supplies, contrary to my orders!” he exclaimed. “Ninety days in jail!”
Whereupon Mrs. Bluebeard, waving her late lord and master farewell, prepared to beat up a luscious eggnog.
Sandy Macpherson came home after many years and met his old sweetheart. Honey-laden memories thrilled through the twilight and flushed their glowing cheeks.
“Ah, Mary,” exclaimed Sandy, “ye’re just as beautiful as ye ever were, and I ha’e never forgotten ye, my bonnie lass.”
“And ye, Sandy,” she cried, while her blue eyes moistened, “are just as big a leear as ever, an’ I believe ye jist the same.”
An alien, wishing to be naturalized, applied to the clerk of the office, who requested him to fill out a blank, which he handed him. The first three lines of the blank ran as follows:
The answers follow:
Name, Jacob Levinsky.
Pat O’Flaherty, very palpably not a prohibitionist, was arrested in Arizona recently, charged with selling liquor in violation of the Prohibition law. But Pat had an impregnable defense. His counsel, in addressing the jury, said:
“Your Honor, gentlemen of the jury, look at the defendant.”
A dramatic pause, then:
“Now, gentlemen of the jury, do you honestly think that if the defendant had a quart of whiskey he would sell it?”
The verdict, reached in one minute, was “Not guilty.”
A full-blown second lieutenant was endeavoring to display his great knowledge of musketry. Sauntering up to the latest recruit, he said:
“See here, my man, this thing is a rifle, this is the barrel, this is the butt, and this is where you put the cartridge in.”
The recruit seemed to be taking it all in, so the officer, continuing, said:
“You put the weapon to your shoulder; these little things on the barrel are called sights; then to fire you pull this little thing, which is called the trigger. Now, smarten yourself up, and remember what I have told you; and, by the way, what trade did you follow before you enlisted? A collier, I suppose!”
“No, sir,” came the reply; “I only worked as a gunsmith for the Government Small Arms Factory.”
On the evening before a solar eclipse the colonel of a German regiment of infantry sent for all the sergeants and said to them:
“There will be an eclipse of the sun to-morrow. The regiment will meet on the parade ground in undress. I will come and explain the eclipse before drill. If the sky is cloudy the men will meet in the drill shed, as usual.”
Whereupon the ranking sergeant drew up the following order of the day:
“To-morrow morning, by order of the colonel, there will be an eclipse of the sun. The regiment will assemble on the parade ground, where the colonel will come and superintend the eclipse in person. If the sky is cloudy the eclipse will take place in the drill shed.”
Two brothers were being entertained by a rich friend. As ill luck would have it, the talk drifted away from ordinary topics.
“Do you like Omar Khayyam?” thoughtlessly asked the host, trying to make conversation. The elder brother plunged heroically into the breach.
“Pretty well,” he said, “but I prefer Chianti.”
Nothing more was said on this subject until the brothers were on their way home.
“Bill,” said the younger brother, breaking a painful silence, “why can’t you leave things that you don’t understand to me? Omar Khayyam ain’t a wine, you chump; it’s a cheese.”
An old South Carolina darky was sent to the hospital of St. Xavier in Charleston. One of the gentle, black-robed sisters put a thermometer in his mouth to take his temperature. Presently, when the doctor made his rounds, he said:
“Well, Nathan, how do you feel?”
“I feel right tol’ble, boss.”
“Have you had any nourishment?”
“What did you have?”
“A lady done gimme a piece of glass ter suck, boss.”
He was a mine-sweeper, and, home on leave, was feeling a bit groggy. He called to see a doctor, who examined him thoroughly.
“You’re troubled with your throat, you say?” said the doctor.
“Aye, aye, sir,” said the sailor.
“Have you ever tried gargling it with salt and water?” asked the doctor.
The mine-sweeper groaned.
“I should say so!” he said. “I’ve been torpedoed seven times!”
A British soldier was walking down the Strand one day. He had one leg off and an arm off and both ears missing and his head was covered with bandages, and he was making his way on low gear as best he could, when he was accosted by an intensely sympathetic lady who said:
“Oh, dear, dear! I cannot tell you how sorry I am for you. This is really terrible. Can’t I do something? Do tell me, did you receive all these wounds in real action?”
A weary expression came over that part of the soldier’s face that was visible as he replied:
“No, madam; I was cleaning out the canary bird cage, and the d——d bird bit me!”
How modern are the old fellows. Here is a story related by Cicero in one of his letters which will recall the embarrassments we have ourselves felt in the presence of the unexpected.
Cicero gives an account to his friend of a visit he had just received from the Emperor Julius Caesar. He had invited Julius to pass a few days with him, but he came quite unexpectedly with a thousand men! Cicero, seeing them from afar, debated with another friend what he should do with them but at length managed to encamp them. To feed them was a less easy matter. The emperor took everything quite easily, however, and was very pleasant, “but,” adds Cicero, “he is not the man to whom I should say a second time, ‘if you are passing this way, give me a call.’”
Every seat was occupied, when a group of women got in. The conductor noticed a man who he thought was asleep.
“Wake up!” shouted the conductor.
“I wasn’t asleep,” said the passenger.
“Not asleep! Then what did you have your eyes closed for?”
“It was because of the crowded condition of the car,” explained the passenger. “I hate to see the women standing.”
What may be the Kaiser’s ultimate fate is thus amusingly told by Life of the scene in Hell on a certain day:
“What’s all the racket about?” said Satan, stepping out of the Brimstone Bath, where he was giving two or three U-boat commanders an extra flaying.
“Poor old Hohenzollern has got it in the neck at last,” said Machiavelli, who was hosing off the premises with vitriol in preparation for a new squad of shirtwaist-factory owners.
Satan listened attentively. Indeed, it was true. The Hohenzollerns had been booted off the throne of Germany.
“Well, that’s tough,” said Satan. “I never could see why they chivied those poor Hohenzollerns so. They were perfect devils. I have often said so. Poor old Bill! Why, he was one of the best pupils I ever had. I heard someone say that he had made Belgium a hell upon earth. Wasn’t that a compliment?”
“Not only that,” said Machiavelli; “he had the novel idea of making the sea a hell, too. He and Tirpitz did magnificent work. Not even a party of schoolgirls could go on the water without getting torpedoed. They drowned I don’t know how many innocent women and children in a manner worthy of the highest education.”
“That deportation of non-combatants from Lille was excellent, too,” mused Satan.
“Don’t forget the shooting of Miss Cavell,” said Machiavelli. “And there was the bombing of unfortified towns, and the poison gas. Why, in my palmiest days I never thought of anything so choice as that poison gas. I told Borgia about it, and she went green with envy.”
“You’re right, Mac,” said Satan, treading in his excitement on a captain of Uhlans who was hanging out to cool; “that Kaiser is a regular prince of darkness. When he gets down here (and I guess he will pretty soon) we’ll omit the setting-up exercises and put him right into advanced tactics. Come to think of it, there were those prison camps, too, where he allowed captured soldiers to rot with filth and disease without any physicians. Excellent!”
“There’s only one drawback,” said Machiavelli regretfully. “The man has raised so much hell on earth that I doubt if there’s much we can teach him down here. Really, he’s not an amateur at all, but a professional. I don’t know whether it wouldn’t be more punishment to send him to heaven instead. As a matter of fact, down here he’ll feel perfectly at home.”
“I guess we can still think up one or two little novelties for him,” said Satan, as he opened a trap-door and let a dozen of Billy Sunday’s converts drop into the blazing sulphur.
When Julia Ward Howe died, memorial services in her honor were held at San Francisco, and the local literary colony attended practically en masse to pay by their presence a tribute to the writer.
A municipal officer was asked to preside. Dressed in his long frock coat and his broad white tie, he advanced to the edge of the platform to launch the exercises and introduce the principal eulogist. He bowed low and spoke as follows:
“Your attendance here, ladies and gents, in such great numbers shows San Francisco’s appreciation of good literature. This meeting is a great testimonial to the immortal author of ’Uncle Tom’s Cabin’—the late Julia Ward Howard!”
William M. Chase used to tell this story:
“I was standing on a railway platform in Japan, waiting for a train, and whiling away my time by watching a particularly beautiful sunset.
“Suddenly a freight train pulled in and, stopping in front of me, cut off my view. Being a good American, and trained in a very proper respect for ‘business,’ I merely turned philosophically away and proceeded to look at something else. In a moment, however, the station master appeared at my side and inquired with the politest of bows if I had been enjoying the sunset.
“I admitted that I had, and smilingly accepted his apology for the intrusion of the train. ’Of course I recognized that trains were the first consideration in stations,’ I said.
“Imagine my surprise, then, when the little Japanese shook his head firmly. ‘But no,’ he said, bowing even more deeply than before, ’the train must not be allowed to obstruct the honorable artistic traveler’s honorable aesthetic enjoyment’—or words to that effect. ’I will cause it to withdraw,’
“And he actually did precisely that!”
The Englishman’s undying love for certain civilized things is thus portrayed by R. Richard Schayer in Life.
In a gorse bush a hundred yards beyond his trench lay Lieutenant Fitzhugh Throckmorton of the King’s Own Rifles, asleep at his post. For hours he had lain there, searching the position of the enemy through his binoculars. Overcome by fatigue, he had nodded, drowsed, and finally slumbered.
The sun hung low in the western mists when Throckmorton awoke. He glanced at his wristwatch and sprang to his feet with an oath. Regardless of peril, he turned and sprinted toward his trench. His was not a nature to count the risk when duty, however delayed, called. Every German sniper within range sent shot upon shot after the flying figure. The enemy’s trenches took up the hunt and fairly blazed with rifle and machine gun fire. The bullets hummed in Throckmorton’s ears like a swarm of savage hornets. They snarled and bit at the turf about his feet like a pack of wolves.
With a last desperate burst of speed, his clothing tattered with bullet holes, the Lieutenant gained his trench and leaped down to its cover. His face, wearing an expression of mingled hope and despair, he rushed to the bomb-proof dug-out where sat his Colonel and brother officers. They looked up at him with cold eyes. One glance and Throckmorton’s heart failed him. He was too late.
They had finished tea.
A Scottish doctor who was attending a laird had instructed the butler of the house in the art of taking and recording his master’s temperature with a thermometer. On paying his usual morning call he was met by the butler, to whom he said: “Well, John, I hope the laird’s temperature is not any higher to-day?”
The man looked puzzled for a minute, and then replied: “Weel, I was just wonderin’ that mysel’. Ye see, he deed at twal’ o’clock.”
The average foreigner can rarely comprehend the geographical area of the United States, as was quite fully illustrated by the Englishman and his valet who had been traveling due west from Boston for five days. At the end of the fifth day master and servant were seated in the smoking-car, and it was observed that the man was gazing steadily and thoughtfully out of the window. Finally his companion became curious. “William,” said he, “of what are you thinking?”
“I was just thinking, sir, about the discovery of Hamerica,” replied the valet. “Columbus didn’t do such a wonderful thing, after all, when he found this country, did he, now, sir? Hafter hall’s said an’ done, ’ow could ’e ’elp it?”
The sniper is ever prevalent on the western front. A certain Colonel, who was by the way quite unpopular with his regiment, was one afternoon sitting in a shack, when a report was heard and a bullet whizzed over his head.
Calling a private, he said testily:
“Go out and get that sniper.”
The man was gone for some time, but he eventually returned with Fritz. He had not got him in, however, before he began to belabor him fiercely.
“What are you beating up that Hun for?” asked a comrade.
“He missed the Colonel,” whispered the other.
Miss Amy Lowell, sister of President Lowell of Harvard, is not only a distinguished poetess, being by many considered the head of the Vers Libre school in this country, but she is also the guardian of a most handsome and stately presence.
Oliver Herford, himself a poet and wit, doubtless inspired by envy, recently remarked of her that
“One half of Amy Lowell doesn’t know how the other half lives.”
A couple of Philadelphia youths, who had not met in a long while, met and fell to discussing their affairs in general.
“I understand,” said one, “that you broke your engagement with Clarice Collines.”
“No, I didn’t break it.”
“Oh, she broke it?”
“No, she didn’t break it.”
“But it is broken?”
“Yes. She told me what her raiment cost, and I told her what my income was. Then our engagement sagged in the middle and gently dissolved.”
William Williams hated nicknames. He used to say that most fine given names were ruined by abbreviations, which was a sin and a shame. “I myself,” he said, “am one of six brothers. We were all given good, old-fashioned Christian names, but all those names were shortened into meaningless or feeble monosyllables by our friends. I shall name my children so that it will be impracticable to curtail their names.”
The Williams family, in the course of time, was blessed with five children, all boys. The eldest was named after the father—William. Of course, that would be shortened to “Will” or enfeebled to “Willie”—but wait! A second son came and was christened Willard. “Aha!” chuckled Mr. Williams, “Now everybody will have to speak the full names of each of these boys in order to distinguish them.”
In pursuance of this scheme the next three sons were named Wilbert, Wilfred, and Wilmont.
They are all big boys now. And they are respectively known to their intimates as Bill, Skinny, Butch, Chuck, and Kid.
No man is ever willing to admit that he has any prejudices. But sometimes the facts confront him sternly, as in the case of the two gentlemen in the following dialogue:
Briggs: I wonder why it is that when men like Bryan and Billy Sunday accept good money we have a tendency secretly to despise them.
Griggs: Well, I presume because they are posing to be disinterested. When they take away such big returns we set them down as hypocrites.
Briggs: But they have a right to make a living.
Griggs: You might say that of any one else—any get-rich-quick chap, for example, provided he can get away with it.
Briggs: But the get-rich-quick man is cheating his customers.
Griggs: Well, a good many people feel that both Bryan and Sunday are cheating their customers. I don’t say they are, mind you. I am only giving that side of the argument, and, according to it, they are deluding their customers with false hopes. Bryan says that a combination of free silver, grape juice, and peace will cure all ills, and he gets five hundred dollars a lecture for saying it. Billy Sunday gets thousands of dollars for dragging hell out into the limelight. They are both popular forms of amusement. They divert the mind. Why shouldn’t they be paid? There are far worse moving-picture shows than Bryan or Sunday.
Briggs: You believe that, now, don’t you? Be honest and say it’s your genuine opinion, and not put it off on someone else.
Griggs (Lowering his voice): Well, I’ll tell you, old chap. I believe it about Bryan, but not about Sunday. Sunday’s all right. He hates money! How do you feel about it?
Briggs: You’re wrong. I believe it about Sunday, but not about Bryan. Bill Bryan is all right. He’s a patriot. I wouldn’t trust Sunday, but W.J. Bryan’s whole thought is for others. (Looking at his watch.) Heavens! I didn’t realize it was so late. I must rush off.
Griggs: Is it that late? I must hurry away also. Where are you going?
Briggs: I’m going to hear Sunday. Where are you going?
Griggs: I’m going to hear Bryan.
When James B. Reynolds was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, Senator Root sent for Mr. Reynolds one day to discuss with him some matters concerning a trade conference in Paris which Mr. Reynolds had been selected to attend.
“I suppose,” said Mr. Root, “you speak French?”
“Well, yes,” responded Mr. Reynolds. “I know a little French. I have no trouble to make the waiters and the cab drivers understand me.”
“I see,” said Mr. Root. “But, Mr. Reynolds, suppose there should be no waiters and cab drivers at the conference?”
Much sobered by the importance of the news he had to communicate, youthful Thomas strode into the house and said breathlessly:
“Mother, they have a new baby next door, and the lady over there is awful sick. Mother, you ought to go right in and see her.”
“Yes, dear,” said his mother. “I will go over in a day or two just as soon as she gets better.”
“But, mother,” persisted Thomas. “I think you ought to go in right away; she is real sick, and maybe you can do something to help.”
“Yes, dear,” said the mother patiently, “but wait a day or so until she is just a little better.”
Thomas seemed much dissatisfied at his mother’s apparent lack of neighborly interest, and then something seemed to dawn upon him, for he blurted out:
“Mother, you needn’t be afraid—it ain’t catching.”
Burton Holmes, the lecturer, had an interesting experience while in London. He told some Washington friends a day or two ago that when he visited the theatre where he was to deliver his travelogue he decided that the entrance to the theatre was rather dingy and that there should be more display of his attraction.
Accordingly, he suggested to the manager of the house that the front be brightened up at night by electrical signs, one row of lights spelling his name “Burton” and another row of lights spelling the name “Holmes.”
The manager told him it was too much of an innovation for him to authorize and referred him to the owner of the theatre. Mr. Holmes traveled several hours into the country to consult with the owner, who referred him to his agent in the city. The agent in turn sent Mr. Holmes to the janitor of the theatre.
“I talked with the janitor and explained my plan to him for about an hour,” Mr. Holmes said. “Finally, after we had gone into every detail of the cost and everything else, the janitor told me that the theatre was a very exclusive and high-class theatre, and that he would not put up the sign. I asked him why?”
“Because it would attract too much attention to the theatre,” the janitor replied.
The fine art of concealment is thus formulated by Carolyn Wells, writing in Life:
Once upon a time there lived an elderly millionaire who had four nephews. Desiring to make one of these his heir, he tested their cleverness.
He gave to each a one-hundred-dollar bill, with the request that they hide the bills for a year in the city of New York.
Any of them who should succeed in finding the hidden bill at the end of the year should share in the inheritance.
The year being over, the four nephews brought their reports.
The first, deeply chagrined, told how he had put his bill in the strongest and surest safety deposit vaults, but, alas, clever thieves had broken in and stolen it.
The second had put his bill in charge of a tried and true friend. But the friend had proved untrustworthy and had spent the money.
The third had hidden his bill in a crevice in the floor of his room, but a mouse had nibbled it to bits to build her nest.
The fourth nephew calmly produced his hundred-dollar bill, as crisp and fresh as when it had been given him.
“And where did you hide it?” asked his uncle.
“Too easy! I stuck it in a hotel Bible.”
Soldiers have to do their own mending when it is done at all, and it appears—although few persons would have guessed it—that the thoughtful War Office supplies them with outfits for that purpose. Otherwise, this joke would be impossible.
Everything was ready for kit inspection; the recruits stood lined up ready for the officer, and the officer had his bad temper all complete. He marched up and down the line, grimly eyeing each man’s bundle of needles and soft soap, and then he singled out Private MacTootle as the man who was to receive his attentions.
“Toothbrush?” he roared.
“Hm! You’re all right, apparently,” growled the officer. Then he barked:
“Oh, very well, thank you,” said the recruit amiably. “How’s yours?”
There is a story of Bransby Williams, famous impersonator of Dickens’s characters, which will come home to many of us in these days of food shortage.
He had a hard time before he “arrived,” and hunger was a familiar companion. One night he had to play in a sketch in which he was supposed to consume a steak pudding.
“Imagine my surprise,” he says, “when a real, good, smoking hot steak and kidney pudding arrived on the scene. ‘My eye!’ I exclaimed to myself. I had to cut it and serve it, and in the ordinary course of events we should have got through this stage meal in about five or six minutes.
“But not to-night! I made up my mind that that pudding should not be wasted, but eaten, and I commenced in earnest. I made the best meal I had had for days, and improvised conversation till it was all polished off!”
Mr. Budger and his wife were continually at variance regarding their individual capabilities of making and keeping a good fire. He contended that she did not know how to make a fire, nor how to keep one after it was made. She, on the other hand, maintained that he never meddled with the fire that he didn’t put it out—in short, that he was a perfect fire damper; and, as he was always anxious to stir up things in the varous fireplaces, she made a practice of hiding the poker just before it was time for him to come into the house. One night there was an alarm of fire in the village and Budger flew for his hat and coat.
“Where are you going, my dear?” asked his wife.
“Why, there’s a fire, and I’m going to help put it out.”
“Well, my love,” responded Mrs. Budger, “I think the best thing you can do is to take the poker along with you.”
Two young Irishmen in a Canadian regiment were going into the trenches for the first time, and their captain promised them five shillings each for every German they killed.
Pat lay down to rest, while Mick performed the duty of watching. Pat had not lain long when he was awakened by Mick shouting:
“They’re comin’! They’re comin’!”
“Who’s comin’?” shouts Pat.
“The Germans,” replies Mick.
“How many are there?”
“About fifty thousand.”
“Begorra,” shouts Pat, jumping up and grabbing his rifle, “our fortune’s made!”
A sturdy Scot, 6 feet 5 inches in height, is a gamekeeper near Strafford. One hot day last summer he was accompanying a bumptious sportsman, of very small stature, when he was greatly troubled by gnats. The other said to him:
“My good man, why is it that the gnats do not trouble me?”
“I daresay,” replied the gamekeeper, with a comprehensive glance at the other’s small proportions, “it will be because they havna’ seen ye yet!”
Tim Casey, a juror, rose suddenly from his seat and hastened to the door of the courtroom. He was prevented, however, from leaving the room, and was sternly questioned by the judge.
“Yes, your honor, I’ll explain meself,” said the juror. “When Mr. Finn finished his talking me mind was clear all through, but whin Mr. Evans begins his talkin’ I becomes all confused an’ says I to meself, Taith, I’d better lave at once, an’ shtay away until he is done,’ because, your honor, to tell the truth, I didn’t like the way the argument was going.”
The local pawnbroker’s shop was on fire, and among the crowd of spectators was an old woman who attracted much attention by her sobs and cries of despair.
“What is the matter with you?” a fireman said. “You don’t own the shop, do you?”
“No,” she wailed, “but my old man’s suit is pawned there, and he don’t know it.”
We cannot deny that one of the great questions of the day among tradespeople is how to get their bills paid. Neither can we deny that we have all been over-extravagant. This little story (which is really a satire) contains its moral.
One bright morning Mr. Dobson, an American gentleman in excellent circumstances, and yet (quite singular to relate of any American gentleman!) constantly harried by his bills, conceived of a brilliant idea. Thereupon he said to Mrs. Dobson:
“My dear, let us pay cash for one day.”
“It may seem so, but you must admit that it is a brand-new idea, and therefore worth while for you, as a modern woman, to try.”
This was the only possible way in which the astute Mr. Dobson could have persuaded his wife to try his ideas. They both agreed, and he gave her a hundred dollars in bright, new bills. Taking the same amount himself, he began his day.
It would be easily possible for us to make a story out of this by recording the incidents of that day. But they would be too painful for modern readers, who insist upon being amused. Sufficient is it to observe that at night the Dobsons met each other face to face.
“I have been grossly insulted by four people,” said Mrs. Dobson, who looked very much the worse for wear. “By a saleswoman in a department store, my milliner, my shoemaker, and my glovemaker. I offered them all cash, and it will take years to reinstate myself with them again.”
“I got in wrong with my haberdasher and my hatter,” said Dobson, “and then quit for the day. I didn’t have the courage to attempt to buy anything more. Your people, by the way, sent collectors to collect last month’s bills. Also, I calculated this afternoon that if we should pay cash for everything, it would cost me twice my income.”
“How much does it cost now?”
“I don’t know—that’s the strange part of it. But, my dear, isn’t it worthwhile to learn something, even by making such a mistake?”
At this point Mrs. Dobson, who had been softly shedding tears, braced up and impulsively put her arms about her erring husband’s neck.
“Never mind, dear,” she said, “we must face this together. We are probably ruined, but we are both comparatively young, and we will live it down side by side.”
In these days of the conservation of fuel no wonder a certain gentleman was disturbed.
“You’ve made a mistake in your paper,” said this indignant man, entering the editorial sanctum of a daily paper. “I was one of the competitors at that athletic match yesterday, and you have called me ’the well-known light-weight champion.’”
“Well, aren’t you?” inquired the editor.
“No, I’m nothing of the kind, and it’s confoundedly awkward, because I’m in the coal business.”
A kindergarten teacher entering a street-car saw a gentleman whose face seemed familiar, and she said, “Good evening!”
He seemed somewhat surprised, and she soon realized that she had spoken to a stranger. Much confused, she explained: “When I first saw you I thought you were the father of two of my children.”
Some time after the Civil War James Russell Lowell was asked to go to Chicago to deliver a political speech upholding the Republican Party. It was a great occasion, for Russell was easily the foremost literary and political figure of the day, and his coming was widely advertised. But at the last moment, just before the address was to be delivered, for certain political reasons it was deemed inexpedient by the managers of the affair to have Russell talk politics, and so a hurried announcement was made that Mr. Russell, instead of speaking on the issues of the day, would deliver his celebrated lecture on Shakespeare. This he did, it having been correctly described by critics as the best lecture on the great poet ever delivered.
After the lecture was over, however, one of the Chicago politicians, who doubtless had never heard of Shakespeare, was in his disappointment led to exclaim:
“Hum! I suppose he thought anything was good enough for us!”
The critical instinct grows by what it is fed upon. No matter how well you may do, some people are never satisfied and this is especially true in families.
A Philadelphia divine was entertaining a couple of clergymen from New York at dinner. The guests spoke in praise of a sermon their host had delivered the Sunday before. The host’s son was at the table, and one of the New York clergymen said to him: “My lad, what did you think of your father’s sermon?”
“I guess it was very good,” said the boy, “but there were three mighty fine places where he could have stopped.”
We must not always look down upon those innocent people who may not have had the same cultural influences we have had, although it is some difficult not to smile at their point of view:
Sir Frederick Kenyon, the Director of the British Museum and a man of great knowledge, has had all sorts of funny experiences with visitors there.
Once he was showing a distinguished lady visitor some of the priceless treasures of which he is the custodian, but for a long time nothing seemed to interest her very much.
Then suddenly he noticed a change. Her face lighted up and she leaned forward.
“What is it, madam?” asked Sir Frederick, gratified at this tardy sign of awakening appreciation. “Pray do not hesitate to ask if there is anything you would like to know.”
“So good of you!” chirruped the lady. “I wish you would tell me what brand of blacklead you use on those iron ventilators that are let into the floor. We have the same sort of things at my house, but my maids never get them to shine half so brilliantly.”
Anybody who, a stranger, has tried to find his way about Boston will understand the experience of Mr. Hubb, a native who was addressed by his friend Mr. Penn, from Philadelphia.
“They say,” remarked Mr. Penn, “the streets in Boston are frightfully crooked.”
“They are,” replied Mr. Hubb. “Why, do you know, when I first went there I could hardly find my way around.”
“That must be embarrassing.”
“It is. The first week I was there I wanted to get rid of an old cat we had, and my wife got me to take it to the river a mile away.”
“And you lost the cat all right?”
“Lost nothing! I never would have found my way home if I hadn’t followed the cat!”
Doris was radiant over a recent addition to the family, and rushed out of the house to tell the news to a passing neighbor.
“Oh, you don’t know what we’ve got upstairs.”
“What is it?” the neighbor asked.
“A new baby brother,” said Doris, and she watched very closely the effect of her announcement.
“You don’t say so,” the neighbor exclaimed. “Is he going to stay?”
“I think so,” said Doris. “He’s got his things off.”
In a trench over in Flanders, during a slight lull in the engagement, a soldier was making an impromptu toilet. He lowered his head for an instant and thereby caught a cootie. As he did so, a shell fragment flew by, just where his head had been. He held the cootie in hand meditatively for a moment, and then said:
“Old fellow, Oi cawnt give you the Victoria Cross, but I can put you back!”
One of the ladies who first introduced interpretative dancing—whatever that is—into this country has fleshened up considerably since the days of her initial terpsichorean triumphs among the society folk along the eastern sea-board. Nevertheless, she continues to give performances to select audiences of artistic souls.
Not long ago Finley Peter Dunne, the humorist, was lured to one of these entertainments. The lady, wearing very few clothes, and, as a result of their lack, looking even plumper than usual, danced in an effect of moonlight calcium beams.
As Dunne was leaving, one of the patronesses hailed him.
“Oh, Mr. Dunne,” she twittered, “how did you enjoy the madame’s dancing?”
“Immensely,” said Dunne. “Made me think of Grant’s Tomb in love.”
The wonders of modern science never cease to be of absorbing interest and even the following story, which is supposed to take place in the near future, may be more realistic than we now think possible, although it is rather hard on our good friends the doctors.
“Be seated, sir,” said the distinguished practitioner.
The man who had entered the doctor’s office a few moments before in obedience to the invitation sank into a luxurious chair. The doctor looked at him casually, and, touching an indicator at the side of his desk, said:
“What a pleasant day.”
“Yes, it is.”
A nurse appeared at the door.
“Turn on number nine hundred and eleven,” said the doctor.
“Very well, sir.”
The doctor turned to the patient.
“I heard a most amusing story the other day,” he said.
“Just a moment. I am quite sure you will be interested in hearing it,” He told the story.
The patient stirred impatiently in the chair, although the story was amusing and he laughed at it.
“By the way,” he began, looking at his watch.
The doctor got up. He turned off the switch at his desk.
“It is all right, sir. You may go now.”
“But I came in to see you about—”
“Yes, the operation has been performed. I should be a little bit careful for a few days if I were you. Don’t play golf or walk excessively.”
“You mean to say that—”
“Your appendix has been removed in accordance with your symptoms.”
The patient smiled incredulously.
“When did you do it?” he asked.
“While you were sitting there. Perfectly simple. It was absorbed.”
“How did you know what was the matter with me?”
“That chair sends a record of your symptoms—in fact, diagnoses your case completely—to the laboratory. All you needed was to have your appendix removed, and by turning on number nine hundred and eleven it was absorbed in three minutes. Nothing strange, sir. Quite usual, I assure you.”
The man got up. His face grew rather pale. He advanced to the desk.
“How much do I owe you?” he asked.
The doctor smiled again.
“That has all been arranged, sir.”
“What do you mean?”
“According to the new State law which has just gone into effect, while you were being operated on your property was transferred to me. Good morning, sir. Call again.”
Changing others over to suit yourself is not always the easiest thing in the world, although it is often tried. The head of a large firm thought he would try it, and his experience is related by one of the “boys” in the office:
The old man—for we always referred to the head of the firm in this way—called the young fellow in to him one day and said:
“Look here, young man; you’ve got to be more agreeable. I want everybody in this place to have a smiling face. If I didn’t think you had ability I would have fired you long ago. Your manners are bad. Make ’em better. Don’t be a grouch.”
The young chap didn’t seem to take kindly to this advice. The frown on his face was still there. But he bowed and said:
“All right, sir.”
Then the old man—for it was his busy morning—called another young fellow in and said:
“Look here, young man; I don’t want you to be so genial. You’re always telling funny stories around the place and waiting on the girls. Your sunny smile is all right, but you carry it too far. Why, when you come around everybody stops work. Get down to business.”
“That reminds me, sir,” said the young chap—but his employer waved him off.
“Do as I tell you,” he said sternly, “or—”
At the end of another week the old man called them both into his office.
“Neither of you seems to be improving in the way I want. But I have an idea. I’m going to put your desks next to each other. That ought to do it. You’re both good men, but you lean too far in the opposite directions. Run away now and act on each other.”
At the end of still another week, however, when once more they both stood in front of him, he betrayed his disappointment.
“It doesn’t seem to work,” he exclaimed. “What’s the matter with you boys, anyway? I thought my experiment would cure both of you, but it doesn’t seem to work.”
Turning to Mr. Sunshine, he said:
“Look here; why hasn’t he done you any good?”
Mr. Sunshine beamed and chuckled.
“Well, sir,” he said, “I can’t help it. Why, that fellow over there hasn’t got a thing in the world to worry him. He isn’t married, his salary is really more than he needs. He has no responsibilities, and if he should die to-morrow nobody would suffer. But he hasn’t got sense enough to have a good time. He strikes me as being such a joke that it makes me laugh harder than ever.”
Turning to Mr. Gloom, the old man said:
“Well, how about you? Why hasn’t this chap done you any good?”
Mr. Gloom looked more sour than ever.
“He hasn’t the slightest idea of the problems that confront me,” he said, “or what I suffer. But what really makes me mad is this: He has a wife and four young children on his hands, on the same salary I get. How they manage I don’t know. It isn’t living at all. And when I see a fellow like that, who ought to be worried to death all the time—and who would be if he looked the facts squarely in the face—grinning and telling stories like a minstrel, it makes me so d——d mad that I can’t see straight.”
There are certain family privileges which we all guard jealously:
An attorney was consulted by a woman desirous of bringing action against her husband for a divorce. She related a harrowing tale of the ill-treatment she had received at his hands. So impressive was her recital that the lawyer, for a moment, was startled out of his usual professional composure. “From what you say this man must be a brute of the worst type!” he exclaimed.
The applicant for divorce arose and, with severe dignity, announced: “Sir, I shall consult another lawyer. I came here to get advice as to a divorce, not to hear my husband abused!”
At one time in his varied career Mark Twain was not only poor, but he did not make a practice of associating with millionaires. The paragraph which follows is taken from an open letter to Commodore Vanderbilt. One paragraph of the “Open Letter” is worth embalming here:
Poor Vanderbilt! How I pity you: and this is honest. You are an old man, and ought to have some rest, and yet you have to struggle, and deny yourself, and rob yourself of restful sleep and peace of mind, because you need money so badly. I always feel for a man who is so poverty ridden as you. Don’t misunderstand me, Vanderbilt. I know you own seventy millions: but then you know and I know that it isn’t what man has that constitutes wealth. No—it is to be satisfied with what one has; that is wealth. As long as one sorely needs a certain additional amount, that man isn’t rich. Seventy times seventy millions can’t make him rich, as long as his poor heart is breaking for more. I am just about rich enough to buy the least valuable horse in your stable, perhaps, but I cannot sincerely and honestly take an oath that I need any more now. And so I am rich. But you, you have got seventy millions and you need five hundred millions, and are really suffering for it. Your poverty is something appalling. I tell you truly that I do not believe I could live twenty-four hours with the awful weight of four hundred and thirty millions of abject want crushing down upon me. I should die under it. My soul is so wrought upon by your helpless pauperism that if you came to me now, I would freely put ten cents in your tin cup, if you carry one, and say, “God pity you, poor unfortunate.”
Many a young man has succumbed to his environment. The hero of the following moving tale is no exception:
She was waiting for him at the station. It was two o’clock in the afternoon, and he had to go back that evening on the midnight train. He acted like a man in a dream, but, none the less, he appeared to know precisely what he was about.
As the train drew up the station was crowded. There she was in the midst of the crowd, smiling and beckoning to him. Without a moment’s hesitation, and before she even realized what was happening, he sprang forward, put his arms around her, and planted a clinging kiss on her lips. She blushed intensely and whispered as well as she could:
“Oh, you mustn’t!”
He made no reply. His eyes were fixed. Half frightened, she led the way to the motor car. They got in. He promptly took her hand. She attempted to motion to him that the chauffeur was in front and could see their reflection in the glass windshield. He merely threw both arms around her and almost crushed her, as he kissed her over and over again. Her face showed surprise and indignation.
“You mustn’t! We’re not engaged.”
“As if that mattered,” he muttered, taking another kiss.
The motor car arrived at her home. They got out. They entered the house. Her mother came forward to receive them. Suddenly, without warning, he sprang forward and kissed her, throwing his arms about her like a cyclone. Her mother, attempting to free herself, gasped. This young man—whom she scarcely knew! The girl herself stared at him in open-eyed astonishment.
At this moment the maid entered the room. As she stepped forward the young man caught sight of her. Wasting no time, and before the surprised mother and daughter could stop him, he had folded the maid in his arms and kissed her also. She screamed, and finally ran away.
There was an aunt visiting them. This gentle, middle-aged spinster was dozing in the next room. Aroused by the maid’s screams, she hurried into the room. But no sooner did this remarkable young man visitor see her than he promptly grabbed her, and covered her face with kisses.
The girl’s father all this time had been quietly smoking on the piazza. Hearing the commotion he hurried also into the room, just in time to see the spinster lady, almost fainting with terror, tear herself loose.
“He’s been kissing every one of us,” murmured the girl’s mother. “There must be something the matter with him.”
The girl’s father caught the young man squarely by the shoulders and faced him about.
“He kissed me at the station—before everybody!” sobbed the girl. “Then he kissed mama and the maid and Aunt Jane.”
“What is the meaning of this?” said the girl’s father, sternly. “How dare you, sir, abuse our hospitality?”
The young man shuddered. His eyes closed. Still in the clutch of his host, there was a tragic silence. Then he opened them once more and gazed feebly about him. He passed his hand wearily over his forehead.
“Forgive me!” he whispered. “It is not my fault. I live in bachelor quarters in town. My friends had all gone away and there was nothing for me to do but go to the moving picture shows night after night. I have been doing this for weeks. In the moving pictures the young man hero kisses everybody he meets. It’s the regular thing—nothing but kissing, kissing, all the time. My mind has been unhinged by it. Forgive me and take me to some asylum.”
Then he burst into tears, threw his arms about the old gentleman—and kissed him, and they led the poor wretch away.
At a military church service during the South African War some recruits were listening to the chaplain in church saying, “Let them slay the Boers as Joshua smote the Egyptians,” when a recruit whispered to a companion:
“Say, Bill, the old bloke is a bit off; doesn’t he know it was Kitchener who swiped the Egyptians?”
An American lady at Stratford-on-Avon showed even more than the usual American fervor. She had not recovered when she reached the railway station, for she remarked to a friend as they walked on the platform: “To think that it was from this very platform the immortal bard would depart whenever he journeyed to town!”
“I canna get ower it,” a Scotch farmer remarked to his wife. “I put a twa shillin’ piece in the plate at the kirk this morning instead o’ ma usual penny.”
The beadle had noticed the mistake, and in silence he allowed the farmer to miss the plate for twenty-three consecutive Sundays.
On the twenty-fourth Sunday the farmer again ignored the plate, but the old beadle stretched the ladle in froat of him and, in a loud, tragic whisper, hoarsely said:
“Your time’s up noo, Sandy.”
Jennie, the colored maid, arrived one morning with her head swathed in bandages—the result of an argument with her hot-tempered spouse.
“Jennie,” said her mistress, “your husband treats you outrageously. Why don’t you leave him?”
“Well, I don’ ’zactly wants to leave him.”
“Hasn’t he dragged you the length of the room by your hair?” demanded her mistress.
“Yas’m, he has done dat.”
“Hasn’t he choked you into insensibility?”
“Yas’m, he sho has choked me.”
“And now doesn’t he threaten to split your head with an ax?”
“Yas’m, he has done all dat,” agreed Jennie, “but he ain’ done nothin’ yet so bad I couldn’t live wid him.”
Andy Donaldson, a well-known character of Glasgow, lay on his deathbed.
“I canna’ leave ye thus, Nancy,” the old Scotsman wailed. “Ye’re ower auld to work, an’ ye couldna’ live in the workhoose. Gin I dee, ye maun marry anither man, wha’ll keep ye in comfort in yer auld age.”
“Nay, nay, Andy,” answered the good spouse; “I couldna’ marry anither man, fer whit wull I daw wi’ twa husbands in heaven?”
Andy pondered over this, but suddenly his face brightened.
“I ha’e it, Nancy!” he cried. “Ye ken auld John Clemmens? He’s a kind man, but he’s no’ a member o’ the kirk. He likes ye, Nancy, an’ gin ye’ll marry him, ‘twill be a’ the same in heaven. John’s no’ a Christian, and he’s no’ likely to get there.”
One morning, Mollie, the colored maid, appeared before her mistress, carrying, folded in a handkerchief, a five-dollar gold piece and all her earthly possessions in the way of jewelry.
This package she proffered her mistress, with the request that Miss Sallie take it for safe keeping.
“Why, Mollie!” exclaimed the mistress in surprise. “Are you going away?”
“Naw’m, I ain’ goin’ nowheres,” Mollie declared. “But me an’ Jim Harris we wuz married this mawnin’. Yas’m, Jim, he’s a new nigger in town. You don’ know nothin’ ‘bout him, Miss Sallie. I don’ know nothin’ ’bout him myself. He’s er stranger to me.”
Miss Sallie glanced severely at the little package of jewelry.
“But, Mollie,” she demanded, “don’t you trust him?”
“Yas’m,” replied Mollie, unruffled. “Cose I trus’ him, personally—but not wid ma valuables.”
How to own your own home is a problem which confronts the great majority. That it is oftentimes easily solved, however, is revealed by the following simple experience as related by H.M. Perley in Life:
How did we do it? Simply by going without everything we needed. When I was first married my salary was thirty dollars a month.
My mother-in-law, who lived with us, decided to save enough out of my salary to build us a home.
When the cellar was finished, I became ill and lost my position, and had to mortgage the cellar to make my first payment.
Although we went without food for thirty days the first year, we never missed a monthly payment.
The taxes, interest on mortgage, and monthly payment on house were now three times the amount of my earnings.
However, by dispensing with the service of a doctor, we lost our father and mother-in-law, which so reduced our expenses that we were able to pay for the parlor floor and windows.
In ten years seven of our nine children died, possibly owing to our diet of excelsior and prunes.
I only mention these little things to show how we were helped in saving for a home.
I wore the same overcoat for fifteen years, and was then able to build the front porch, which you see at the right of the front door.
Now, at the age of eighty-seven, my wife and I feel sure we can own our comfortable little home in about ten years and live a few weeks to enjoy it.
“Mars John,” excitedly exclaimed Aunt Tildy, as she pantingly rushed into a fire-engine house, “please, suh, phonograph to de car-cleaners’ semporium an’ notify Dan’l to emergrate home diurgently, kaze Jeems Henry sho’ done bin conjured! Doctor Cutter done already distracted two blood-vultures from his ‘pendercitis, an’ I lef him now prezaminatin’ de chile’s ante-bellum fur de germans ob de neuroplumonia, which ef he’s disinfected wid, dey gotter ’noculate him wid the ice-coldlated quarantimes—but I b’lieves it’s conjuration!”
A lady had the misfortune to lose her season ticket for the railway. On the same evening she had a call from two boys, the elder of whom at once handed her the lost ticket. The lady, delighted at the prompt return of her property, offered the boy a shilling for his trouble. The lad refused to accept it, telling the lady he was a Boy Scout, and that no member of the Boy Scouts is allowed to accept any return for a service rendered.
Just as the coin was about to be placed back in the purse of the lady, the boy, looking up into her face, suddenly blurted out:
“But my wee brither’s no’ a Scout.”
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.
The slight man with the bulging brow leaned forward and addressed the complacent looking individual with a look of almost human intelligence. It was a monotonous railway journey.
“Wonderful transportation facilities to-day, sir,” he ventured. “As we have been bowling along, my mind has unconsciously been dwelling on Jane Austen. Think of it, sir, only one hundred years ago and no railroads. Have we really lost or gained? Marvelous girl, that, sir. Masterpiece of literature when she was twenty-one, and no background but an untidy English village. You’ve heard of Jane Austen, I presume?”
“Can’t say I have.”
The slight man smiled sympathetically.
“I get a great deal of pleasure from books,” he went on. “Bachelor. Marvelous solace. May know Wordsworth’s famous lines, eh? ’Books we know are a substantial world,’ etc. Perhaps you have read something of Thomas Love Peacock?”
“Never heard of him.”
“Ah! Missed a great deal. Wonderful satirist, that. But still, I must admit that neither he nor Miss Austen are common. Now there’s Mark Twain—for general reading, rain or shine, can’t be beaten. American to the core, sir. Smacks of the soil. Perhaps he missed any warm love interest—but a delightful humorist, sir. You read him regularly, I presume?”
“Can’t say I do.”
“Of course, sir, books are not all. I agree with our old friend, Montaigne, about that. By the way, which do you prefer, Dickens or Thackeray?”
“Can’t say, sir. They’re strangers to me.”
“Perhaps you’ve heard of a man named Walter Scott. As his name implies, he was born in Scotland. He wrote books, you know—novels, stories. Rather good, eh? Human interest—wholesome reading—and all that sort of thing.”
“Don’t recall him.”
The slight man rose up in his seat. He bore down hard upon the stranger.
“Possibly,” he suggested, “in the course of your deep and intimate intercourse with men and affairs, you may recall the name of an individual named Shakespeare.”
“Yes, I think I remember.”
“How about Macaulay, the greatest essayist in England, and Homer, the prince of ancient poets, with seven birthplaces? Then there’s Emerson and Longfellow and Goethe and—”
He paused and grabbed the other man by the collar.
“My friend,” he said, “you don’t seem interested in the world’s greatest authors. May I inquire what your occupation in life is?”
The other man nodded gravely, even austerely.
“Certainly, sir,” he replied. “I’m a holiday salesman in Buncum’s Department Store Book Shop.”
The code of manners enjoyed by the Germans needs scarcely any further illumination, but the following incident may serve as further light upon this threadbare subject.
A physician boarded a crowded crosstown car. A woman was standing, and a big German seated, sprawling over twice the space necessary. Indignantly the doctor said to him:
“See here! Why don’t you move a little so that this tired woman may have a seat?”
For a moment the German looked dazed. Then a broad smile spread over his countenance as he answered:
“Say, dot’s a joke on you, all right! Dot’s my vife!”
In view of the spirit of comradeship shown between officers and men, this story is at least open to question, but it may have happened in some former war.
The lieutenant was instructing the squad in visional training.
“Tell me, Number One,” he said, “how many men are there in that trench-digging party over there?”
“Thirty men and one officer,” was the prompt reply.
“Quite right,” observed the lieutenant, after a pause. “But how do you know one is an officer at this distance?”
“’Cos he’s the only one not working, sir.”
The officer of the day, during his tour of duty, paused to question a sentry who was a new recruit.
“If you should see an armed party approaching, what would you do?” asked the officer.
“Turn out the guard, sir.”
“Very well. Suppose you saw a battleship coming across the parade-ground, what would you do?”
“Report to the hospital for examination, sir,” was the prompt reply.
During a political campaign in New York a Tammany leader on the East Side, a self-made man and one not entirely completed yet in some respects, was addressing a mass meeting of Italian-born voters on behalf of the Democratic ticket.
“Gintlemen and fellow citizens,” he began, “I deem it an honor to be permitted to address you upon the issues of the day. I have always had a deep admiration for your native land. I vinerate the mimory of that great, that noble Eyetalian who was the original and first discoverer of this here land of ours.
“Why, gintlemen, at me mother’s knee I was taught to sing that inspirin’ song: ’Columbus, the Jim of the Ocean’!”
Whereupon there was loud applause.
Mr. Johnsing had an enthusiastic admirer in Little Eph Jones.
“Yes, suh,” he concluded one of his eulogies, “Mistuh Johnsing is the biggest man what evuh was.”
“Bigger than General Grant?” queried the white man to whom he was talking.
“Suttinly Mistuh Johnsing is a bigguh man than General Grant,” affirmed Eph.
“Bigger than President Wilson?”
“Of co’se he’s bigguh than President Wilson.”
“Bigger than God?”
“Well—well—” stammered Eph. “You see, Mistuh Johnsing’s young yet.”
Unfortunately we’ve mislaid the judge’s name, but his court room is in New Bedford, Mass. Before him appeared a defendant who, hoping for leniency, pleaded, “Judge, I’m down and out.”
Whereupon said the wise judge: “You’re down but you’re not out. Six months.”
Availing herself of her ecclesiastical privileges, the clergyman’s wife asked questions which, coming from anybody else, would have been thought impertinent.
“I presume you carry a memento of some kind in that locket you wear?” she said.
“Yes, ma’am,” said the parishioner. “It is a lock of my husband’s hair.”
“But your husband is still alive!” the lady exclaimed.
“Yes, ma’am, but his hair is gone.”
The Germans will be immensely hated after this war. They will be the pariahs of the future.
Already we see signs of German hatred everywhere. At a reception the other night in a neutral city, the guest of honor said to a man who had just been presented to her:
“You are a foreigner, are you not? Where do you come from?”
“From Berlin, ma’am,” he answered.
The lady stared at him through her lorgnette.
“Dear me!” she said. “Couldn’t you go back and come from somewhere else?”
They were two sweet young American girls, able, beautiful, versatile, patriotic to the core, rushed to death. And one of them said breathlessly:
“What have you been doing?”
And the other one as breathlessly replied:
“Doing! My dear, I hate to tell you. I got up at six. I drove a car forty miles to camp. I knitted a sweater and a pair of socks in between. I went to a Red Cross meeting. I acted as bridesmaid. I read a book on the war. I took a last lesson in first aid. I canned eighty cans of vegetables and, oh—!”
“Do tell me!”
“Why, will you believe me, I have been so busy all day that I almost forgot to get married!”
A well-known society performer volunteered to entertain a roomful of patients of the Colney Hatch Lunatic Asylum, and made up a very successful little monologue show, entirely humorous. The audience in the main gave symptoms of being slightly bored, but one highly intelligent maniac saw the whole thing in the proper light, and, clapping the talented actor on the shoulder, said: “Glad you’ve come, old fellow. You and I will get along fine. The other dippies here are so dashed dignified. What I say is if a man is mad, he needn’t put on airs about it.”
Mose approached the registration booth hesitatingly, and being accosted by the official in charge, assured that dignitary that he had just walked ten miles to register.
“Well, Mose, what branch of the service would you like to be placed in?” inquired the official.
“How about the cavalry?”
“What will Ah have ter do in de calvary?”
“Oh, you won’t have to do anything but ride a horse all the time.”
Mose scratched his woolly noggin in perplexity for a few moments, and finally said: “Nawssur, Ah don’t believe Ah wants ter jine the calvary.”
“What’s the matter with the cavalry, Mose?”
“Well, yer see, boss, hit’s jest like dis: When y’awl blow dem bugles ter retreet, Ah don’t want ter be troubled wid no hoss.”
Jimmie, very proud of his first job and weekly salary of $6.83, purchased a Liberty Bond on the installment plan. That evening he saw in the newspaper that John D. Rockefeller had invested in Liberty Bonds to the extent of $10,000,000.
Turning to his mother, Jimmie said proudly, “Well, ma, two of us Americans have done our duty, anyhow.”
A woman doctor of Philadelphia was calling on a young sister, recently married, who was in distress. In response to the doctor’s inquiry the newly-wed said:
“I cooked a meal for the first time yesterday, and I made an awful mess of it.”
“Never mind, dearie,” said the doctor, cheerfully; “it’s nothing to worry about. I lost my first patient.”
An ingenious American has invented a device to prevent such motoring accidents as arise from over-speeding. He describes his contrivance as follows:
“While the car is running fifteen miles an hour a white bulb shows on the radiator, at twenty-five miles a green bulb appears, at forty a red bulb, and, when the driver begins to bat ’em out around sixty per, a music-box under the seat begins to play ‘Nearer, My God, to Thee.’”
A visiting minister, preaching in a town famous for its horse races, vigorously denounced the sport. The principal patron of the church always attended the races, and of this the clergyman was later informed.
“I am afraid I touched one of your weaknesses,” said the pastor, not wishing to offend the wealthy one, “but it was quite unintentional, I assure you.”
“Oh, don’t mind that,” said the sportsman genially. “It’s a mighty poor sermon that don’t hit me somewhere.”
Johnson, a bachelor, had been to call on his sister, and was shown the new baby. The next day some friends asked him to describe the new arrival. The bachelor replied: “Um—very small features, clean shaven, red faced, and a very hard drinker!”
The ocean liner was rolling like a chip, but as usual in such instances one passenger was aggressively, disgustingly healthy.
“Sick, eh?” he remarked to a pale-green person who was leaning on the rail.
The pale-green person regarded the healthy one with all the scorn he could muster. “Sick nothing!” he snorted weakly. “I’m just hanging over the front of the boat to see how the captain cranks it!”
A young married couple who lived near a famous golf-course were entertaining an elderly aunt from the depths of the country.
“Well, Aunt Mary, how did you spend this afternoon?” asked the hostess on the first day.
“Oh, I enjoyed myself very much,” replied Auntie with a beaming smile, “I went for a walk across the fields. There seemed to be a great many people about, and some of them shouted to me in a most eccentric manner, but I just took no notice. And, by the way,” she went on, “I found such a number of curious little round white things. I brought them home to ask you what they are.”
A colored man entered the general store of a small Ohio town and complained to the storekeeper that a ham that he had purchased there a few days before had proved not to be good.
“The ham is all right, Joe,” insisted the storekeeper.
“No, it ain’t, boss,” insisted the other. “Dat ham’s sure bad.”
“How can that be,” continued the storekeeper, “when it was cured only last week?”
Joe reflected solemnly a moment, and then suggested:
“Maybe it’s done had a relapse.”
A celebrated author thus sketched out his daily programme to an interviewer: Rise at 11; breakfast at 12; attention to mail; a few afternoon calls; a ride in the park; dinner; the theatre, and then to bed.
“But when do you do your literary work?” he was asked.
“Why, the next day, of course,” was the reply.
At a parade of a company of newly-called-up men the drill instructor’s face turned scarlet with rage as he slated a new recruit for his awkwardness.
“Now, Rafferty,” he roared, “you’ll spoil the line with those feet. Draw them back at once, man, and get them in line.”
Rafferty’s dignity was hurt.
“Plaze, sargint,” he said, “they’re not mine; they’re Micky Doolan’s in the rear rank!”
The manager of a big Australian sheep-ranch engaged a discharged sailor to do farm work. He was put in charge of a large flock of sheep.
“Now, all you’ve got to do,” explained the manager, “is to keep them on the run.”
A run is a large stretch of bushland enclosed by a fence, and sheep have many ingenious methods of escaping from their own to neighboring runs and so getting mixed up with other flocks.
At the end of a couple of hours the manager rode up again—the air was thick with dust as though a thousand head of cattle had passed by.
At last he distinguished the form of his new shepherd—a collapsed heap prone upon the ground. Surrounding him were the sheep, a pitiful, huddled mass, bleating plaintively, with considerably more than a week’s condition lost.
“What the dickens have you been doing to those sheep?” shrieked the almost frantic manager.
The ex-sailor managed to gasp out: “Well, sir, I’ve done my best. You told me to keep them on the run, and so I hunted them up and down and round—and now—I’m just dead beat myself.”
To instill into the mind of his son sound wisdom and business precepts was Cohen senior’s earnest endeavor. He taught his offspring much, including the advantages of bankruptcy, failures, and fires. “Two bankruptcies equal one failure, two failures equal one fire,” etc. Then Cohen junior looked up brightly.
“Fadder,” he asked, “is marriage a failure?”
“Vell, my poy,” was the parent’s reply, “if you marry a really wealthy woman, marriage is almost as good as a failure.”
It was Easter eve on leap year, and the dear young thing, who had been receiving long but somewhat unsatisfactory visits from the very shy young man, decided she might take a chance. Robert had brought her a splendid Easter lily.
“I’ll give you a kiss for that lily,” she promised blushingly.
The exchange was duly, not to say happily, made. Robert started hurriedly toward the door.
“Why, where are you going?” asked his girl in surprise.
“To the florist’s for more Easter lilies!” he replied.
“What are you studying now?” asked Mrs. Johnson.
“We have taken up the subject of molecules,” answered her son.
“I hope you will be very attentive and practise constantly,” said the mother. “I tried to get your father to wear one, but he could not keep it in his eye.”
Senator Hoar used to tell with glee of a Southerner just home from New England who said to his friend, “You know those little white round beans?”
“Yes,” replied the friend; “the kind we feed to our horses?”
“The very same. Well, do you know, sir, that in Boston the enlightened citizens take those little white round beans, boil them for three or four hours, mix them with molasses and I know not what other ingredients, bake them, and then—what do you suppose they do with the beans?”
“They eat ’em, sir,” interrupted the first Southerner impressively; “bless me, sir, they eat ’em!”
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.”
“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 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?”
“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 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:
“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?”
“IT IS FORBIDDEN”
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.
“Ah!” he muttered, with a sigh. “I made a big mistake. I ought to ’ave sat in that salt and water!”
A more kind-hearted and ingenuous soul never lived than Aunt Betsey, but she was a poor housekeeper. On one occasion a neighbor who had run in for a “back-door” call was horrified to see a mouse run across Aunt Betsey’s kitchen floor.
“Why on earth don’t you set a trap, Betsey?” she asked.
“Well,” replied Aunt Betsey. “I did have a trap set. But land, it was such a fuss! Those mice kept getting into it!”
An Italian, having applied for citizenship, was being examined in the naturalization court.
“Who is the President of the United States?”
“Who is the Vice-President?”
“Could you be President?”
“Mister, you ’scuse, please. I vera busy worka da mine.”
During the cross-examination of a young physician in a lawsuit, the plaintiff’s lawyer made disagreeable remarks about the witness’s youth and inexperience.
“You claim to be acquainted with the various symptoms attending concussion of the brain?” asked the lawyer.
“We will take a concrete case,” continued the lawyer. “If my learned friend, counsel for the defence, and myself were to bang our heads together, would he get concussion of the brain?”
The young physician smiled. “The probabilities are,” he replied, “that the counsel for the defence would.”
The admiration which Bob felt for his Aunt Margaret included all her attributes.
“I don’t care much for plain teeth like mine, Aunt Margaret,” said Bob, one day, after a long silence, during which he had watched her in laughing conversation with his mother. “I wish I had some copper-toed ones like yours.”
An American editor had a notice stuck up above his desk that read: “Accuracy! Accuracy! Accuracy!” and this notice he always pointed out to the new reporters.
One day the youngest member of the staff came in with his report of a public meeting. The editor read it through, and came to the sentence: “Three thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine eyes were fixed upon the speaker.”
“What do you mean by making a silly blunder like that?” he demanded, wrathfully.
“But it’s not a blunder,” protested the youngster. “There was a one-eyed man in the audience!”
“Why did you strike this man?” asked the Judge sternly.
“He called me a liar, your honor,” replied the accused.
“Is that true?” asked the Judge, turning to the man with the mussed-up face.
“Sure, it’s true,” said the accused, “I called him a liar because he is one, and I can prove it.”
“What have you got to say to that?” asked the Judge of the defendant.
“It’s got nothing to do with the case, your honor,” was the unexpected reply. “Even if I am a liar I guess I’ve got a right to be sensitive about it, ain’t I?”
The evening lesson was from the Book of Job, and the minister had just read, “Yea, the light of the wicked shall be put out,” when immediately the church was in total darkness.
“Brethren,” said the minister, with scarcely a moment’s pause, “in view of the sudden and startling fulfilment of this prophecy, we will spend a few minutes in silent prayer for the electric lighting company.”
A member of Congress and his wife had been to Baltimore one afternoon. When they left the train at Washington, on their return, the wife discovered that her umbrella, which had been entrusted to the care of her husband, was missing.
“Where’s my umbrella?” she demanded.
“I fear I have forgotten it, my dear,” meekly answered the statesman. “It must still be in the train.”
“In the train!” snorted the lady. “And to think that the affairs of the nation are entrusted to a man who doesn’t know enough to take care of a woman’s umbrella!”
Johnny stood beside his mother as she made her selection from the huckster’s wagon, and the farmer told the boy to take a handful of cherries, but the child shook his head.
“What’s the matter? Don’t you like them?” asked the huckster.
“Yes,” replied Johnny.
“Then go ahead an’ take some.”
Johnny hesitated, whereupon the farmer put a generous handful in the boy’s cap. After the farmer had driven on, the mother asked:
“Why didn’t you take the cherries when he told you to?”
“’Cause his hand was bigger’n mine.”
A woman owning a house in Philadelphia before which a gang of workmen were engaged in making street repairs was much interested in the work.
“And which is the foreman?” she asked of a big, burly Celt.
A proud smile came to the countenance of that individual as he replied:
“Oi am, mum.”
“Really?” continued the lady.
“Oi kin prove it, mum,” rejoined the Irishman. Then, turning to a laborer at hand, he added, “Kelly, ye’re fired!”
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.
Although Alfred had arrived at the age of 21 years he showed no inclinaton either to pursue his studies or in any way adapt himself to his father’s business.
“I don’t know what I will ever make of that son of mine,” bitterly complained his father, a hustling business man.
“Maybe he hasn’t found himself yet,” consoled the confidential friend. “Isn’t he gifted in any way?”
“Gifted?” queried the father. “Well, I should say he is! He ain’t got a thing that wasn’t given to him.”
The time was registration day; the place was a a small town in Southern Illinois. There was no girl. He was a gentleman of color, and the registrar was having considerable trouble explaining the whys and wherefors of the registration. At last Rastus showed a faint glimmer of intelligence.
“Dis heyah registrashum fo’ de draf’ am a whole lot like ’lection votin’, ain’t it?” he asked uncertainly.
“Yes,” answered the kindly registrar.
Rastus scratched his head in troubled doubt. He was thinking deeply. Presently his brow cleared and a smile spread over his face. He had come to a decision.
“Den I votes for Julius Jackson ter be drafted,” he said. “I nebah did hab no use fo’ dat niggah.”
James, 4 years old, had been naughty to the point of evoking a whipping from his long-suffering mother, and all day long a desire for revenge rankled in his little bosom.
At length bedtime came, and, kneeling beside her, he implored a blessing on each member of the family individually, his mother alone being conspicuous by her absence. Then, rising from his devout posture, the little suppliant fixed a keenly triumphant look upon her face, saying, as he turned to climb into bed:
“I s’pose you noticed you wasn’t in it.”
Little Willie—in small boy stories the central figure is nearly always named Little Willie—came running into the house, stuttering in his excitement.
“Mommer,” he panted, “do you know Archie Sloan’s neck?”
“Do I know what?” asked his mother.
“Do you know Archie Sloan’s neck?” repeated her offspring.
“I know Archie Sloan,” answered the puzzled parent; “so I suppose I must know his neck. Why?”
“Well,” said Willie, “he just now fell into the back-water up to it.”
“The Kaiser and Hindenburg,” said Edsell Ford, son of Henry Ford, “and the crown prince and the other German big-wigs can never mention the war without saying that it was forced upon them, that they are fighting in defense of the fatherland, that their enemies are to blame for all the bloodshed, and so forth.
“The way the Germans insist on this defense talk of theirs, in season and out of season,” he went on, “reminds me of the colored preacher who always preached on infant baptism.
“A deputation waited on him one evening and asked him if he wouldn’t please drop infant baptism for a time. He said he’d try to meet the deputation’s wishes and the following Sunday he announced as his text, ‘Adam, Where Art Thou?’
“This text, brethern and sistern,’ said the preacher, ’can be divided into fo’ heads. Fust, every man is somewhar. Second, most men is whar they hain’t got no business to be. Third, you’d better watch out or that’s whar you’ll be yourself. Fo’th, infant baptism. And now, brethern and sistern, I guess we might as well pass up the first three heads and come immediately to the fo’th—infant baptism.’”
Here is a story of the late Lord Haversham’s schooldays. Glancing through his pocket-book, his mother saw a number of entries of small sums, ranging from 2s. 6d. to 5s., against which were the letters “P.G.” Thinking this must mean the Propagation of the Gospel, she asked her son why he did not give a lump sum and a larger amount to so deserving a cause.
“That is not for the Propagation of the Gospel,” he replied. “When I cannot remember exactly on what I spend the money I put ‘P.G.,’ which means ‘Probably grub.’”
A Connecticut farmer was asked to assist at the funeral of his neighbor’s third wife and, as he had attended the funerals of the two others, his wife was surprised when he declined the invitation. On being pressed to give his reason he said, with some hesitation:
“You see, Mary, it makes a chap feel a bit awkward to be always accepting other folks’s civilities when he never has anything of the same sort of his own to ask them back to.”
Here is a story our wounded boys have brought back from the front about Sir Douglas Haig.
Sir Douglas was, some few weeks ago, in a great hurry to get to a certain place. He found his car, but the chauffeur was missing. So Sir Douglas got in the car and drove off by himself. Then the driver appeared and saw the car disappearing in the distance.
“Great Scot!” cried the driver, “there’s ’Aig a-driving my car!”
“Well, get even with him,” said a Tommy, standing by, “and go and fight one of ’is battles for him.”
A judge presiding over a court in Washington, D.C., was administering the oath to a boy of tender years, and to him put the following question:
“Have you ever taken the oath? Do you know how to swear, my boy?”
Whereupon the lad responded: “Yes, sir. I am your caddie at the Chevy Chase Club.”
Alderman Curran, of New York City, worked his way through Yale College. During his course he was kept very busy by the various jobs he did to help with his expenses. On graduation he went to New York, and was even busier than he had been in New Haven.
After some months of life in New York, a friend met him and said, “Henry, what are you doing?”
“I have three jobs,” replied Mr. Curran, “I am studying law, I am a newspaper reporter, and I am selling life insurance.”
“How do you manage to get it all in?” said the friend.
“Oh,” replied Mr Curran, “that’s easy enough. They’re only eight-hour jobs.”
A quaint story is told to exemplify the pride that every man should take in the work by which he makes a living.
Two street sweepers, seated on a curbstone, were discussing a comrade who had died the day before.
“Bill certainly was a good sweeper,” said one.
“Y-e-s,” conceded the other thoughtfully. “But don’t you think he was a little weak around the lamp-posts?”
His face was pinched and drawn. With faltering footsteps he wended his way among the bustling Christmas crowd.
“Kind sir,” he suddenly exclaimed, “will you not give me a loaf of bread for my wife and little ones?” The stranger regarded him not unkindly. “Far be it from me,” he rejoined, “to take advantage of your destitution. Keep your wife and little ones; I do not want them.”
A “Tommy,” lying in a hospital, had beside him a watch of curious and foreign design. The attending doctor was interested.
“Where did your watch come from?” he asked.
“A German give it me,” he answered.
A little piqued, the doctor inquired how the foe had come to convey this token of esteem and affection.
“E ’ad to,” was the laconic reply.
A well-known banker in a downtown restaurant was eating mush and milk.
“What’s the matter?” inquired a friend.
“Don’t you enjoy your meals?”
“Enjoy my meals?” snorted the indignant dyspeptic. “My meals are merely guide-posts to take medicine before or after.”
The quick wit of a traveling salesman, who has since become a well-known proprietor, was severely tested one day. He sent in his card by the office-boy to the manager of a large concern, whose inner office was separated from the waiting-room by a ground-glass partition. When the boy handed his card to the manager the salesman saw him impatiently tear it in half and throw it in the wastebasket; the boy came out and told the caller that he could not see the chief. The salesman told the boy to go back and get him his card; the boy brought out five cents, with the message that his card was torn up. Then the salesman took out another card and sent the boy back, saying: “Tell your boss I sell two cards for five cents.”
He got his interview and sold a large bill of goods.
“Fore!” yelled the golfer, ready to play. But the woman on the course paid no attention.
“Fore!” he shouted again with no effect.
“Ah,” suggested his opponent in disgust, “try her once with ’three ninety-eight’!”
It was in a churchyard. The morning sun shone brightly and the dew was still on the grass.
“Ah, this is the weather that makes things spring up,” remarked a passer-by casually to an old gentleman seated on a bench.
“Hush!” replied the old gentleman. “I’ve got three wives buried here.”
They gave the old lady the only unoccupied room in the hotel—one with a private bath adjoining. The next morning, when the guest was ready to check out, the clerk asked:
“Did you have a good night’s rest?”
“Well, no, I didn’t,” she replied. “The room was all right, and the bed was pretty good; but I couldn’t sleep very much, for I was afraid someone would want to take a bath, and the only way to it was through my room.”
An Ohio man was having a lot of trouble piloting a one-tent show through the Middle West. He lost a number of valuable animals by accident and otherwise. Therefore, it was with a sympathetic mien that one of the keepers undertook the task of breaking the news of another disaster. He began thus:
“Mr. Smith, you remember that laughin’ hyena in cage nine?”
“Remember the laughing hyena?” demanded the owner, angrily. “What the deuce are you driving at?”
“Only this, Mr. Smith: he ain’t got nothing to laugh at this morning.”
Two pals, both recently wedded, were comparing the merits of their wives.
“Ah, yes,” said George, who was still very much in love, “my little woman is an angel! She couldn’t tell a lie to save her life!”
“Lucky bounder!” said Samuel, sighing. “My wife can tell a lie the minute I get it out of my mouth!”
The worried countenance of the bridegroom disturbed the best man. Tiptoeing up the aisle, he whispered:
“What’s the matter, Jock? Hae ye lost the ring?”
“No,” blurted out the unhappy Jock, “the ring’s safe eno’. But, mon, I’ve lost ma enthusiasm.”
A story illustrative of the changes in methods of warfare comes from a soldier in France who took a German officer prisoner. The soldier said to the officer: “Give up your sword!” But the officer shook his head and answered: “I have no sword to give up. But won’t my vitriol spray, my oil projector, or my gas cylinder do as well?”
It was just after a rainstorm and two men were walking down the street behind a young woman who was holding her skirt rather high. After an argument as to the merits of the case, one of the men stepped forward and said: “Pardon, me, miss, but aren’t you holding your skirt rather high?”
“Haven’t I a perfect right?” she snapped.
“You certainly have, Miss, and a peach of a left,” he replied.
A soldier in the English Army wrote home: “They put me in barracks; they took away my clothes and put me in khaki; they took away my name and made me ‘No. 575’; they took me to church, where I’d never been before, and they made me listen to a sermon for forty minutes. Then the parson said: ‘No. 575. Art thou weary, art thou languid?’ and I got seven days in the guardhouse because I answered that I certainly was.”
A famous jockey was taken suddenly ill, and the trainer advised him to visit a doctor in the town.
“He’ll put you right in a jiffy,” he said.
The same evening he found Benjamin lying curled up in the stables, kicking his legs about in agony.
“Hello, Benny! Haven’t you been to the doctor?”
“Well, didn’t he do you any good?”
“I didn’t go in. When I got to his house there was a brass plate on his door—’Dr. Kurem. Ten to one’—I wasn’t going to monkey with a long shot like that!”
Here is a story of a London “nut” who had mounted guard for the first time:
The colonel had just given him a wigging because of the state of his equipment. A little later the colonel passed his post. The nut did not salute. The indignant colonel turned and passed again. The nut ignored him.
“Why in the qualified blazes don’t you salute?” the colonel roared.
“Ah,” said the nut, softly, “I fawncied you were vexed with me.”
Pat walked into the post-office. After getting into the telephone-box he called a wrong number. As there was no such number, the switch-attendant did not answer him. Pat shouted again, but received no answer.
The lady of the post-office opened the door and told him to shout a little louder, which he did, but still no answer.
Again she said he would have to speak louder. Pat got angry at this, and, turning to the lady, said:
“Begorra, if I could shout any louder I wouldn’t use your bloomin’ ould telephone at all!”
Some people are always optimists:
“Beanborough,” said a friend of that gentleman, “always looks on the bright side of things.”
“Well, the other day I went with him to buy a pair of shoes. He didn’t try them on at the store, and when he got home he found that a nail was sticking right up through the heel of one.”
“Did he take them back?”
“Not much. He said that he supposed the nail was put there intentionally to keep the foot from sliding forward in the shoe.”
1 German equals 10 unkultured foreigners.
2 soldiers equal 10 civilians.
3 officers equal 12 privates.
4 treaties equal 8 scraps of paper.
5 poisoned wells equal 1 strategic retreat.
6 iron crosses equal 1 ruined cathedral.
7 Zeppelin raids equal 7 demonstrations of frightfulness.
8 eggs equal 8 hearty meals (common people).
9 eggs equal 1 appetizer (aristocracy).
10 deported Belgians equal 10 unmarked graves.
11 torpedoed neutrals equal 11 disavowals.
12 Gotts equal 1 Kaiser.
“I thought you were preaching, Uncle Bob,” said the Colonel, to whom the elderly Negro had applied for a job.
“Yessah, Ah wuz,” replied Uncle; “but Ah guess Ah ain’t smaht enough to expound de Scriptures. Ah almost stahved to deff tryin’ to explain de true meanin’ uv de line what says ‘De Gospel am free,’ Dem fool niggahs thought dat it meant dat Ah wuzn’t to git no salary.”
A gentleman from Vermont was traveling west in a Pullman when a group of men from Topeka, Kansas, boarded the train and began to praise their city to the Vermonter, telling him of the wide streets and beautiful avenues. Finally the Vermonter became tired and said the only thing that would improve their city would be to make it a seaport.
The enthusiastic Westerners laughed at him and asked how they could make it a seaport being so far from the ocean.
The Vermonter replied that it would be a very easy task.
“The only thing that you will have to do,” said he, “is to lay a two-inch pipe from your city to the Gulf of Mexico. Then if you fellows can suck as hard as you can blow you will have it a seaport inside half an hour.”
“Hey, kid!” yelled the game warden, appearing suddenly above the young fisherman. “You are fishing for trout. Don’t you know they ain’t in season?”
“Sure,” replied the youth, “but when it’s the season for trout they ain’t around, and when it ain’t the season there’s lots of ’em. If the fish ain’t a-goin’ to obey the rules, I ain’t neither.”
He was a very small boy. Paddy was his dog, and Paddy was nearer to his heart than anything on earth. When Paddy met swift and hideous death on the turnpike road his mother trembled to break the news. But it had to be, and when he came home from school she told him simply:
“Paddy has been run over and killed.”
He took it very quietly; finished his dinner with appetite and spirits unimpaired. All day it was the same. But five minutes after he had gone up to bed there echoed through the house a shrill and sudden lamentation. His mother rushed upstairs with solicitude and sympathy.
“Nurse says,” he sobbed, “that Paddy has been run over and killed.”
“But, dear, I told you that at dinner, and you didn’t seem to trouble at all.”
“No; but—but I didn’t know you said Paddy. I—I thought you said daddy!”
A rather patronizing individual from town was observing with considerable interest the operations of a farmer with whom he had put up for a while.
As he watched the old man sow the seed in his field the man from the city called out facetiously:
“Well done, old chap. You sow; I reap the fruits.”
Whereupon the farmer grinned and replied:
“Maybe you will. I am sowing hemp.”
Along the Fox River, a few miles above Wedron, Ill., an old-timer named Andy Haskins has a shack, and he has made most of the record fish catches in that vicinity during forty years. He has a big record book containing dates and weights to impress visitors.
Last summer a young married couple from Chicago camped in a luxurious lodge three miles above old Haskins’s place. A baby was born at the lodge, and the only scales the father could obtain on which to weigh the child was that with which Andy Haskins had weighed all the big fish he had caught in ten years.
The baby tipped the scales at thirty-five pounds!
Circumstantial evidence is not always conclusive. But certain kinds of it cannot be disputed. In the following colloquy the policeman appears to have the best of it.
“Not guilty, sir,” replied the prisoner.
“Where did you find the prisoner?” asked the magistrate.
“In Trafalgar Square, sir,” was the Bobby’s reply.
“And what made you think he was intoxicated?”
“Well, sir, he was throwing his walking-stick into the basin of one of the fountains and trying to entice one of the stone lions to go and fetch it out again.”
All the talk of hyphenated citizenship has evidently had its effect upon a San Francisco youngster, American born, who recently rebelled fiercely when his Italian father whipped him for some misdemeanor.
“But, Tomaso,” said one of the family, “your father has a right to whip you when you are bad.”
Tomaso’s eyes flashed. “I am a citizen of the United States,” he declared. “Do you think that I am going to let any foreigner lick me?”
William Dean Howells, at a dinner in Boston, said of modern American letters: “The average popular novel shows, on the novelist’s part, an ignorance of his trade, which reminds me of a New England clerk. In a New England village I entered the main-street department store one afternoon and said to the clerk at the book counter: ’Let me have, please, the “Letters of Charles Lamb".’ ’Post-office right across the street, Mr. Lamb,’ said the clerk, with a polite, brisk smile”
If he defies all the laws of natural beauty and symmetry,
If he has a disease calling for specialists,
If he cannot eat anything but Russian caviar and broiled sweetbreads,
If he costs more than a six-cylinder roadster,
If he must be bathed in rose water and fed out of a cutglass bowl,
If he cannot be touched by the naked hand, or patted more than twice a day,
If he refuses to wear anything but imported leather collars,
If he has to sleep on a silk cushion.
If he dies before you can get him home.
Then he is a well-bred dog.
A few years ago, while watching a parade in Boston in which the Stars and Stripes were conspicuous, a fair foreigner with strong anti-American proclivities turned to a companion, and commenting on the display, pettishly remarked:
“That American flag makes me sick. It looks just like a piece of checkerberry candy.”
Senator Lodge, who was standing near by, overheard the remark, and turning to the young lady, said:
“Yes, miss, it does. And it makes everyone sick who tries to lick it.”
Being well equipped physically, Michael Murphy had no difficulty in holding his job as village sexton, until the first interment, when he was asked to sign the certificate. “Oi can’t write,” said Mike, and was discharged.
Out of a job, Mike turned to contracting and in time became wealthy and a figure in his community. When he applied to the leading bank for a loan of fifty thousand dollars, he was assured that he could get it—and was asked to sign the necessary notes. Again he was obliged to reply: “Oi can’t write.”
The banker was astounded. “And you have accumulated all this wealth and position without knowing how to write!” he exclaimed. “What would you have been to-day if you could write?”
Mike paused a moment, and answered:
“Oi would have been a sexton.”
Two Irishmen were working on the roof of a building one day when one made a mis-step and fell to the ground; the other leaned over and called: “Are ye dead or alive, Mike?”
“I’m alive,” said Mike, feebly.
“Sure, yer such a liar I don’t know whether to believe ye or not.”
“Well, then, I must be dead,” said Mike, “for ye would never dare to call me a liar if I were alive.”
They were a very saving old couple, and as a result they had a beautifully furnished house. One day the old woman missed her husband. “Joseph, where are you?” she called out.
“I’m resting in the parlor,” came the reply.
“What, on the sofy?” cried the old woman, horrified.
“No, on the floor.”
“Not on that grand carpet!” came in tones of anguish.
“No; I’ve rolled it up!”
The youth seated himself in the dentist’s chair. He wore a wonderful striped shirt and a more wonderful checked suit and had the vacant stare of “nobody home” that goes with both.
The dentist looked at his assistant. “I am afraid to give him gas,” he said.
“Why?” asked the assistant.
“Well,” said the dentist, “how can I tell when he’s unconscious?”
In a rural court the old squire had made a ruling so unfair that three young lawyers at once protested against such a miscarriage of justice. The squire immediately fined each of the lawyers five dollars for contempt of court.
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.
“Now, let’s hear you talk,” he continued, closing his eyes and listening.
“What’ll Oi be sayin’, doctor?”
“Oh, say anything. Count one, two, three, and up,” murmured the interne, drowsily.
“Wan, two, three, four, five, six,” began the patient. When the young doctor, with a start, opened his eyes, he was counting huskily: “Tin hundred an’ sixty-nine, tin hundred an’ sivinty, tin hundred an’ sivinty-wan.”
An English storekeeper went to the war and left his clerk behind to look after things. When he was wounded and taken to the hospital, what was his surprise to find his clerk in the cot next to him.
“Well, I thought I left you to take care of the store,” said the storekeeper.
“You did,” answered the clerk, “But you didn’t tell me I had to look after your women folks as well as the store. I stood it as long as I could and then I said to myself: ’Look here, if you’ve got to fight, you might as well go and fight someone that you can hit.’”
It was a dull day in the trenches, and a bunch of Tommies had gathered and were discussing events. After a while the talk turned on a big Boche who had been captured the night before.
“He was scared stiff,” said one Tommy.
“Did he run?” asked another.
“Run?” replied the first. “Why, if that Boche had had jest one feather in his hand he’d ‘a’ flew.”
“Would you mind letting me off fifteen minutes early after this, sir?” asked the bookkeeper. “You see, I’ve moved into the suburbs and I can’t catch my train unless I leave at a quarter before five o’clock.”
“I suppose I’ll have to,” grumbled the boss; “but you should have thought of that before you moved.”
“I did,” confided the bookkeeper to the stenographer a little later, “and that’s the reason I moved.”
A three-hundred-pound man stood gazing longingly at the nice things displayed in a haberdasher’s window for a marked-down sale. A friend stopped to inquire if he was thinking of buying shirts or pyjamas.
“Gosh, no!” replied the fat man wistfully. “The only thing that fits me ready-made is a handkerchief.”
Andy Foster, a well-known character in his native city, had recently shuffled off this mortal soil in destitute circumstances, although in his earlier days he enjoyed financial prosperity.
A prominent merchant, an old friend of the family, attended the funeral and was visibly affected as he gazed for the last time on his old friend and associate.
The mourners were conspicuously few in number and some attention was attracted by the sorrowing merchant. “The old gentleman was very dear to you?” ventured one of the bearers after the funeral was over.
“Indeed, he was,” answered the mourner. “Andy was one true friend. He never asked me to lend him a cent, though I knew that he was practically starving to death.”
It was during the nerve-racking period of waiting for the signal to go over the top that a seasoned old sergeant noticed a young soldier fresh from home visibly affected by the nearness of the coming fight. His face was pale, his teeth chattering, and his knees tried to touch each other. It was sheer nervousness, but the sergeant thought it was sheer funk.
“Tompkins,” he whispered, “is it trembling you are for your dirty skin?”
“No, no, sergeant,” said he, making a brave attempt to still his limbs. “I’m trembling for the Germans; they don’t know I’m here.”
A Chinaman was asked if there were good doctors in China.
“Good doctors!” he exclaimed. “China have best doctors in world. Hang Chang one good doctor; he great; save life, to me.”
“You don’t say so! How was that?”
“Me velly bad,” he said. “Me callee Doctor Han Kon. Give some medicine. Get velly, velly ill. Me callee Doctor San Sing. Give more medicine. Me glow worse—go die. Blimebly callee Doctor Hang Chang. He got no time; no come. Save life.”
Dinah had been troubled with a toothache for some time before she got up enough courage to go to a dentist. The moment he touched her tooth she screamed.
“What are you making such a noise for?” he demanded. “Don’t you know I’m a ’painless dentist’?”
“Well, sah,” retorted Dinah, “mebbe yo’ is painless, but Ah isn’t.”
An Arkansas man who intended to take up a homestead claim in a neighboring state sought information in the matter from a friend.
“I don’t remember the exact wording of the law,” said the latter, “but I can give ye the meanin’ of it all right. It’s like this: The government of the United States is willin’ to bet one hundred and sixty acres of land against fourteen dollars that ye can’t live on it five years without starvin’ to death.”
He was a morbid youth and a nervous lover. Often had he wished to tell the maiden how he longed to make her all his own. Again and again had his nerve failed him. But to-night there was a “do-or-die” look in his eye.
They started for their usual walk, and rested awhile upon his favorite seat—a gravestone in the village churchyard. A happy inspiration seized him. “Maria,” he said in trembling accents—“Maria! When you die—how should you like to be buried here with my name on the stone over you?”
After reading the famous poem, “The Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers,” to the class, the teacher said: “As a drawing exercise suppose you each draw, according to your imagination, a picture of Plymouth Rock.”
All but one little fellow set to work. He paused and finally raised his hand.
“What is it, Edgar?” the teacher asked.
“Please, ma’am,” Edgar piped out, “do you want us to draw a hen or a rooster?”
Bishop Penhurst was talking, in Boston, about charity.
“Some charities,” he said, “remind me of the cold, proud, beautiful lady who, glittering with diamonds, swept forth from a charity ball at dawn, crossed the frosty sidewalk, and entered her huge limousine.
“A beggar woman whined at the window:
“‘Could ye give me a trifle for a cup of coffee, lady?’
“The lady looked at the beggar reproachfully.
“‘Good gracious!’ she said. ’Here you have the nerve to ask me for money when I’ve been tangoing for you the whole night through! Home, James.’
“And she snapped the window shut in the beggar’s face indignantly.”
A London man just back from the States says that a little girl on the train to Pittsburgh was chewing gum. Not only that, but she insisted on pulling it out in long strings and letting it fall back into her mouth again.
“Mabel!” said her mother in a horrified whisper. “Mabel, don’t do that. Chew your gum like a little lady.”
A New York man took a run not long ago into Connecticut, to a town where he had lived as a boy.
On his native heath he accosted a venerable old chap of some eighty years, who proved to be the very person the Gothamite sought to answer certain inquiries concerning the place. As the conversation proceeded the New Yorker said:
“I suppose you have always lived around here?”
“No,” said the old man, “I was born two good miles from here.”
They were twins. It was bathing time and from the twins’ bedroom came sounds of hearty laughter and loud crying. Their father went up to find the cause.
“What’s the matter up here?” he inquired.
The laughing twin pointed to his weeping brother. “Nothing,” he giggled, “only nurse has given Alexander two baths and hasn’t given me any at all.”
One of the Scottish golf clubs gives a dinner each year to the youngsters it employs as caddies. At the feast last year one of the boys disdained to use any of the forks he found at his place, and loaded his food into himself with his knife. When the ice-cream course was reached and he still used his knife, a boy who sat opposite to him, and who could stand it no longer, shouted:
“Great Scot! Look at Skinny, usin’ his iron all the way round!”
This story—which is perhaps true and perhaps not—is being told in many Italian messrooms. On one of his royal tours, King Victor Emmanuel spent the night in a small country town, where the people showed themselves unusually eager in caring for his comfort. So when he had gone to bed, he was surprised to be wakened by a servant who wanted to put clean sheets on his bed. However, he waited good-naturedly while it was done, and wished the servant good-night. He had dozed off to sleep, when he was roused for the second time by a rap on the door; and the servant reappeared, asking to change the sheets again.
Naturally, the King asked why the change was made so often. The servant answered reverently, “For oneself, one changes the sheets every week; for an honored friend, every day; but for a king, every hour.”
A Long Island teacher was recounting the story of Red Riding Hood. After describing the woods and the wild animals that flourished therein, she added:
“Suddenly Red Riding Hood heard a great noise. She turned about, and what do you suppose she saw standing there, gazing at her and showing all its sharp, white teeth?”
“Teddy Roosevelt!” volunteered one of the boys.
Willie was out walking with his mother, when she thought she saw a boy on the other side of the street making faces at her darling.
“Willie,” asked mother, “is that horrid boy making faces at you?”
“He is,” replied Willie, giving his coat a tug. “Now, mother, don’t start any peace talk—you just hold my coat for about five minutes.”
Not long ago the editor of an English paper ordered a story of a certain length, but when the story arrived he discovered that the author had written several hundred words too many.
The paper was already late in going to press so there was no alternative—the story must be condensed to fit the allotted space. Therefore the last few paragraphs were cut down to a single sentence. It read thus:
“The Earl took a Scotch high-ball, his hat, his departure, no notice of his pursuers, a revolver out of his hip pocket, and finally, his life.”
Even the excessive politeness of some men may be explained on purely practical grounds. Of a certain suburbanite, a friend said:
“I heard him speaking most beautifully of his wife to another lady on the train just now. Rather unusual in a man these days.”
“Not under the circumstances,” said the other man. “That was a new cook he was escorting out.”
Appealing to a lady for aid, an old darky told her that through the Dayton flood he had lost everything he had in the world, including his wife and six children.
“Why,” said the lady, “I have seen you before and I have helped you. Were you not the colored man who told me you had lost your wife and six children by the sinking of the Titanic?”
“Yeth, ma’am, dat wuz me. Mos’ unfort’nit man dat eber wuz. Kain’t keep a fam’ly nohow.”
An old lady, who was sitting on the porch of a hotel at Asheville, North Carolina, where also there were a number of youngsters, was approached by one of them with this query:
“Can you crack nuts?”
The old lady smiled and said: “No, my dear, I can’t. I lost all my teeth years ago.”
“Then,” said the boy, extending two hands full of walnuts, “please hold these while I go and get some more.”
Governor Capper, of Kansas, recently pointed out what he deemed to be the “matter with Kansas.” The average Kansan, he said, gets up in the morning in a house made in Michigan, at the sound of an alarm clock made in Illinois; puts on his Missouri overalls; washes his hands with Cincinnati soap in a Pennsylvania basin; sits down to a Grand Rapids table; eats Battle Creek breakfast food and Chicago bacon cooked on a Michigan range; puts New York harness on a span of Missouri mules and hitches them to a South Bend wagon, or starts up his Illinois tractor with a Moline plow attached. After the day’s work he rides down town in a Detroit automobile, buys a box of St. Louis candy for his wife, and spins back home, where he listens to music “canned” in New Jersey.
Charles M. Schwab, congratulated in Pittsburgh on a large war order contract which he had just received from one of the warring nations, said:
“Some people call it luck, but they are mistaken. Whatever success I have is due to hard work and not to luck.
“I remember a New York business man who crossed the ocean with me one winter when the whole country was suffering from hard times.
“‘And you. Mr. Schwab,’ the New Yorker said, ’are, like the rest of us, I suppose, hoping for better things?’
“‘No, my friend,’ I replied. ’No, I am not hoping for better things. I’ve got my sleeves rolled up and I’m working for them.’”
Twice as the horse-bus slowly wended its way up the steep hill the door at the rear opened and slammed. At first those inside paid little heed, but the third time they demanded to know why they should be disturbed in this fashion.
“Whist!” cautioned the driver. “Don’t spake so loud. He’ll overhear us.”
“The hoss. Spake low. Shure Oo’m desavin’ the crayture. Every toime he ‘ears th’ door close he thinks wan o’ yez is gettin’ down ter walk up th’ hill, an’ that sort o’ raises ’is sperrits.”
Mrs. Higgins was an incurable grumbler. She grumbled at everything and everyone. But at last the vicar thought he had found something about which she could make no complaint; the old lady’s crop of potatoes was certainly the finest for miles round.
“Ah, for once you must be well pleased,” he said, with a beaming smile, as he met her in the village street. “Everyone’s saying how splendid your potatoes are this year.”
The old lady glowered at him as she answered:
“They’re not so poor. But where’s the bad ones for the pigs?”
The latest American church device for “raising the wind” is what a religious paper describes as “some collection-box.” The inventor hails from Oklahoma. If a member of the congregation drops in a twenty-five cent piece or a coin of larger value, there is silence. If it is a ten-cent piece a bell rings, a five-cent piece sounds a whistle, and a cent fires a blank cartridge. If any one pretends to be asleep when the box passes, it awakens him with a watchman’s rattle, and a kodak takes his portrait.
A young lady telephone operator recently attended a watch-night service and fell asleep during the sermon. At the close the preacher said, “We will now sing hymn number three forty-one—three forty-one.”
The young lady, just waking in time to hear the number, yawned and said, “The line is busy.”
While Chopin probably did not time his “Minute Waltz” to exactly sixty seconds, some auditors insist that it lives up to its name. Mme. Theodora Surkow-Ryder on one of her tours played the “Minute Waltz” as an encore, first telling her audience what it was. Thereupon a huge man in a large riding suit took out an immense silver watch, held it open almost under her nose, and gravely proceeded to time her. The pianist’s fingers flew along the keys, and her anxiety was rewarded when the man closed the watch with a loud slap and said in a booming voice: “Gosh! She’s done it.”
A friendly American who has just arrived in London brings a story of Edison. The great inventor was present at a dinner in New York to which Count Bernstorff had also found his way. The Count spoke of the number of new ships which Germany had built since the war began. He was listened to respectfully enough, although a little coldly, because the sympathies of the party were not with him or Germany.
When he had stopped, Edison looked up and said in a still, small voice, and with a serious face:
“Must not the Kiel Canal be very crowded, your Excellency?”
A man and a woman entered a cafe.
“Do you want oysters, Louise?” asked the man, as he glanced over the bill of fare.
“Yes, George,” answered the woman, “and I want a hassock, too.”
George nodded, and as he handed the waiter his written order, he said:
“Bring a hassock for the lady.”
“Yes, sir,” answered the waiter, “one hassock.”
A moment later the waiter, apparently puzzled, approached the man, and leaning over him, said:
“Excuse me, sir, but I have only been here two days and do not want to make any mistakes. Will the lady have the hassock broiled or fried?”
Joe T. Marshall, formerly of Kansas, recently became the father of an eight-pound boy, and wished to cable the news to his family in America.
The censor refused to allow the message to go through.
“What’s the matter?” Marshall asked indignantly.
“We aren’t permitted to announce the arrival of Americans in France!”
David Belasco was smiling at the extravagant attentions that are lavished by the rich upon pet dogs. He spoke of the canine operations for appendicitis, the canine tooth crownings, the canine wardrobes, and then he said:
“How servants hate these pampered curs! At a house where I was calling one cold day the fat and pompous butler entered the drawing-room and said:
“‘Did you ring, madam?’
“‘Yes, Harrison, I wish you to take Fido out walking for two hours.’
“Harrison frowned slightly. ‘But Fido won’t follow me, madam,’ he said.
“‘Then, Harrison, you must follow Fido.’”
A company of very new soldiers were out on a wide heath, practising the art of taking cover. The officer in charge of them turned to one of the rawest of his men.
“Get down behind that hillock there,” he ordered, sternly, “and mind, not a move or a sound!”
A few minutes later he looked around to see if they were all concealed, and, to his despair, observed something wriggling behind the small mound. Even as he watched the movements became more frantic.
“I say, you there!” he shouted, angrily, “do you know you are giving our position away to the enemy?”
“Yes, sir,” said the recruit, in a voice of cool desperation, “and do you know that this is an anthill?”
A young fellow who was the crack sprinter of his town—somewhere in the South—was unfortunate enough to have a very dilatory laundress. One evening, when he was out for a practice run in his rather airy and abbreviated track costume, he chanced to dash past the house of that dusky lady, who at the time was a couple of weeks in arrears with his washing.
He had scarcely reached home again when the bell rang furiously and an excited voice was wafted in from the porch:
“Foh de Lawd’s sake! won’t you-all tell Marse Bob please not to go out no moh till I kin git his clo’es round to him?’”
“Did you hear about the defacement of Mr. Skinner’s tombstone?” asked Mr. Brown a few days after the funeral of that eminent captain of industry.
“No, what was it?” inquired his neighbor curiously.
“Someone added the word ‘friends’ to the epitaph.”
“What was the epitaph?”
“‘He did his best.’”
This is the way the agent got a lesson in manners. He called at a business office, and saw nobody but a prepossessing though capable-appearing young woman.
“Where’s the boss?” he asked abruptly.
“What is your business?” she asked politely.
“None of yours!” he snapped. “I got a proposition to lay before this firm, and I want to talk to somebody about it.”
“And you would rather talk to a gentleman?”
“Well,” answered the lady, smiling sweetly, “so would I. But it seems that it’s impossible for either one of us to have our wish, so we’ll have to make the best of it. State your business, please!”
“Look here,” yelled the infuriated bridegroom of a day, dashing wildly into the editor’s room of the country weekly; “what do you mean by such an infernal libel on me in your account of our wedding?”
“What’s the matter?” asked the editor calmly. “Didn’t we say that after your wedding tour you would make your home at the Old Manse?”
“Yes,” howled the newly made benedict, “and just see how you’ve spelled it.”
And the editor looked and read:
After their wedding tour the newly married
make their home at the Old Man’s.
“Children,” said the Sunday-school superintendent, “this picture illustrates to-day’s lesson: Lot was warned to take his wife and daughters and flee out of Sodom. Here are Lot and his daughters, with his wife just behind them; and there is Sodom in the background. Now, has any girl or boy a question before we take up the study of the lesson? Well, Susie?”
“Pleathe, thir,” lisped the latest graduate from the infant class, “where ith the flea?”
The American characteristic which demands ornaments and “fixin’s” to all ceremonies, as contrasted with genuine simplicity, is thus scored by Judge Pettingill of Chanute:
“My ambition in life,” said the Judge, “is to be the organizer of a lodge without flub-dub, gold tassel uniforms, red tape ritual, a regiment of officers with high-sounding titles, a calisthenic drill of idiotic signs and grips, a goat, and members who call each other ‘brother.’ I would name the presiding officer ‘it,’ and its first by-law would provide for the expulsion of the member who advocated the wearing of a lodge pin.”
When Wu Ting Fang was Minister to the United States from China, he visited Chicago. A native of the Windy City said to him at a reception:
“Mr. Wu, I see there is a movement in China to abolish the pigtails you wear. Why do you wear the foolish thing, anyhow?”
“Well,” countered Mr. Wu, “why do you wear your foolish moustache?”
“Oh, that’s different,” said the Chicago man; “you see I’ve got an impossible mouth.”
“So I should suppose,” retorted Mr. Wu, “judging from some of your remarks.”
“Now,” it was explained to Aladdin, “this is a wonderful lamp. Rub it and a genie appears.”
“I see little to that,” he replied. “What I want is a lamp that won’t go out on my automobile and get me pinched by a traffic cop.”
Everything in the dear old village seemed the same to Jones after his absence of four years. The old church, the village pump, the ducks on the green, the old men smoking while their wives gossip—it was so restful after the rush and bustle of the city. Suddenly he missed something.
“Where’s Hodge’s windmill?” he asked in surprise. “I can only see one mill, and there used to be two.”
The native gazed thoughtfully round, as if to verify the statement. Then he said slowly:
“They pulled one down. There weren’t enough wind for two on’em!”
At a recent political convention two of the delegates were discussing the religious affiliations of prominent statesmen, when one of them, a Baptist, observed to the other, who was a Methodist:
“I understand that William Jennings Bryan has turned Baptist.”
“What?” exclaimed the Methodist. “Why, that can’t be!”
“Yes, it is,” persisted the Baptist.
“No, sir,” continued the Methodist; “it can’t be true. To become a Baptist one must be entirely immersed.”
“Yes, that is very true; but what has that to do with it?”
“Simply this,” returned the Methodist: “Mr. Bryan would never consent to disappear from public view as long as that.”
John Hendricks, a singular Western character, awoke one morning to find himself wealthy through a rich mining strike. Soon he concluded to broaden his mind by travel, and decided to go to Europe Boarding the ship, he singled out the captain and said: “Captain, if I understand the way this here ship is constructed it’s got several water-tight compartments?”
“Water’s all on the outside—can’t none get in nohow?”
“Captain,” said Hendricks, decidedly, “I want one o’ them compartments—I don’t care what it costs extry.”
Senator Jim Nye of Nebraska tells this story to illustrate some of the evils of prohibition. The Senator said, apropos of his visit to a “dry” town.
“After a long speech and then talking to all the magnates of the neighborhood, I went to bed dry as a powder horn. I could not sleep and as soon as it was daylight I went down into the dining room: As I sat there the mistress of the house came in and said ’Senator, you are up early.’ I said: ’Yes, living in the West so long, I am afflicted with malaria, and I could not sleep.’ She went over to a tea caddy, took out a bottle and said: ’Senator, this is a prohibition town, you know, but we have malaria and we find this a good antidote. I know it will do you good.’”
The Senator seized the bottle with avidity and thankfulness. He settled again in his seat by the window, more in harmony with the world. Then the head of the house came in and said: “Senator, you are up early.” He replied: “Yes, malaria, you know.” “Well,” said the old gentleman, “we have a cure for that. This is a prohibition town; it is good thing for our work people; but I have a little safety in my locker,” and he produced a bottle.
After the old gentleman left the two sons came in and said: “Senator, are you fond of livestock?” The Senator by that time was fond of everything and everybody. He said: “Yes, I love livestock, I have plenty of it on my ranch.” They said: “Come out to the barn and we will show you some.” They took him out to the barn, closed the doors, and said: “Senator, we know you must have had a hard time last night. We have no livestock but we have a bottle in the haymow.” Senator Nye then said:
“The trouble with a prohibition town is that when you most need it you can’t get it, and when it does come it is like a Western flood, too much of it.”
Eugene was a very mischievous little boy and his mother’s patience was worn to the limit. She had spoken very nicely to him several times without effect. Finally she said:
“You are a perfect little heathen!”
“Do you mean it?” demanded Eugene.
“Indeed, I do,” said the mother.
“Then, mother,” said the boy, “why can’t I keep that ten cents a week you gimme for the Sunday-school collection? I guess I’m as hard up as any of the rest of ’em.”
When Paderewski was on his last visit to America he was in a Boston suburb, when he was approached by a bootblack who called:
The great pianist looked down at the youth whose face was streaked with grime and said:
“No, my lad, but if you will wash your face I will give you a quarter.”
“All right!” exclaimed the youth, who forthwith ran to a neighboring trough and made his ablutions.
When he returned Paderewski held out the quarter, which the boy took but immediately handed back, saying:
“Here, Mister, you take it yourself and get your hair cut.”
An Irish soldier had lost an eye in battle, but was allowed to continue in the service on consenting to have a glass eye in its place. One day, however, he appeared on parade without his artificial eye.
“Nolan,” said the officer, “you are not properly dressed. Why is your artificial eye not in its place?”
“Sure, sir,” replied Nolan, “I left it in me box to keep an eye on me kit while I’m on parade.”
Arthur Train, the novelist, put down a German newspaper at the Century Club, in New York, with an impatient grunt.
“It says here,” he explained, “that it is Germany who will speak the last word in this war.”
Then the novelist laughed angrily and added:
“Yes, Germany will speak the last word in the war, and that last word will be ‘Kamerad!’”
When the Prince entered the enchanted castle he noticed about it an air of unusual quiet, as if there were a meeting of the American Peace Society.
“Everybody is asleep,” he muttered. “There isn’t a single defense gun mounted on a parapet. I don’t believe there is a rifle on the premises. No ammunition, either.”
Walking rapidly upstairs, he saw a couple of servants lying prone.
“This reminds me of the time I lived in the suburbs,” he continued.
Entering one of the sleeping-rooms, he discovered the celebrated beauty, sound asleep, in the four-poster.
“This must be a frame-up,” he observed. “I see it all. If I wake her up, I shall have to marry her.”
He was about to pass down the stairs, when a voice stopped him.
“Well, why not?” said the voice. “The young woman has not received a modern education. She cannot drive a motor, play bridge, insist upon your going to the most fashionable restaurant and ordering eight dollars’ worth of worthless imitation food, dance like a fiend, and spend money generally like the manager of an international war. She’s been asleep so long that she might be just the one you want.”
“By Jove!” exclaimed the Prince. “And to think I might have gone off without her!” So saying, he did the proper thing.
“Some un sick at yo’ house, Mis’ Carter?” inquired Lila. “Ah seed de doctah’s kyar eroun’ dar yestidy.”
“It was for my brother, Lila.”
“Sho! What’s he done got de matter of ’im?”
“Nobody seems to know what the disease is. He can eat and sleep as well as ever, he stays out all day long on the veranda in the sun, and seems as well as anyone, but he can’t do any work at all.”
“He cain’t—yo’ says he cain’t work?”
“Not a stroke.”
“Law, Mis’ Carter, dat ain’t no disease what yo’ broth’ got. Dat’s a gif!”
The difficulties of western journalism are illustrated by the following notice from The Rocky Mountain Cyclone:
We begin the publication ov the Rocy Mountain Cyclone with some phew diphiculties in the way. The type phounder phrom whom we bought our outphit phor this printing ophice phailed to supply us with any ephs or cays, and it will be phour or phive weex bephore we can get any. We have ordered the missing letters and will have to get along without them until they come. We don’t lique the loox ov this variety ov spelling any better than our readers, but mistaix will happen in the best ov regulated phamilies, and iph the ephs and c’s and x’s and q’s hold out we shall ceep (sound the c hard) the Cyclone whirling aphter a phashion till the sorts arrive. It is no joque to us, it’s a serious aphair.
To meet every situation which arises, and to do it in diplomatic language, is only the gift of the elect:
“Waiter, bring me two fried eggs, some ham, a cup of coffee, and a roll,” said a traveler in a city of the Middle West.
“Bring me the same,” said his friend, “but eliminate the eggs.”
“Yessir,” said the waiter.
In a moment he came back, leaned confidentially and penitently over the table, and whispered:
“We ‘ad a bad accident just before we opened this mornin’, sir, and the ’andle of the liminator got busted off. Will you take yer eggs fried, same as this ’ere gentleman?”
No true American likes to acknowledge that he has a superior, even in his own family.
Little Sydney had reached the mature age of three and was about to discard petticoats for the more manly raiment of knickerbockers. The mother had determined to make the occasion a memorable one. The breakfast table was laden with good things when the newly breeched infant was led into the room.
“Ah!” exclaimed the proud mother, “now you are a little man!”
Sydney, thoughtfully displaying his garments to their full advantage, edged close to his mother and whispered, “Can I call pa Bill now?”
Our boys in France need little guidance to become on good terms with the French girls. The following hints at conversation have therefore been made as simple as possible:
Bong swah, mad-mwa-zell! Vou zay
Kesker say votr name?
Zhe swee Edward Jones.
Vooley voo take a walk?
Eecy ate oon fine place to sit down.
Bokoo moon to-night, nace paw?
Avay voo ever studied palmistry?
Donney mwa votr hand.
Votr hand ay tray soft!
Dahn lay Zaytah Unee are bokoo girls, may voo zay more beautiful
than any of them.
Chay mwa zhe nay pah seen a girl that could touch voo!
Voo zay oon peach!
Le coleur de votr yer ay tray beautiful.
Votr dress ay bokoo dress.
Donney mwa oon kiss?
Zhe voo zame!
Early in the war the Kaiser was haled before a Virginia court. At least that was the intention of Charles L. Zoll, justice of the peace of Broad Run district, Loudoun County, who delivered into the hands of the Sheriff this warrant:
Commonwealth of Virginia, County of Loudoun, to wit:
To the Sheriff of the said county:
Wheras, Woodrow Wilson has this day made oath before me, a justice of said court, that William Hohan Zollern, alias Wilhelm, has at various times and places between July, 1914, and November, 1917, committed murder, assault, and arson upon the bodies of various people and sundry properties, against the peace and dignity of the Government of the United States, the State of Virginia and Broad Run district in particular.
These are therefore in the name of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Government of the United States to command you to forthwith apprehend the said William Hohan Zollern, alias Kaiser Wilhelm, and bring his body before me at my office in Aushburn, Va., to answer said charges, and there and then be dealt with according to law.
And by the power vested in me I hereby extend your jurisdiction to the Continent of Europe and I do by these presents declare the said William Hohan Zollern, alias Kaiser Wilhelm, to be an outlaw, and offer as a reward for his apprehension three barrels of corn, five bushels of potatoes and meat of ham, said ham to weigh not less than twenty-one pounds nor more than thirty-five pounds.
And you are moreover required to summon Marshal Joffre, Albert, King of the Belgians; Victor Emanuel of Italy and George V to appear at same time and place as witnesses in behalf of the Commonwealth touching the matter said complaint.
Given under my hand and seal this 28th day of November, 1917.
CHARLES L. ZOLL, Justice of the Peace.
In the English royal library at Windsor, in the centre of the magazine table, there is a large album of pictures of many eminent and popular men and women of the day. This book is divided into sections—a section for each calling or profession. Some years ago Prince Edward, in looking through the book, came across the pages devoted to the pictures of the rulers of the various nations. Prominently placed among these was a large photograph of Colonel Roosevelt.
“Father,” asked Prince Edward, placing his finger on the Colonel’s picture, “Mr. Roosevelt is a very clever man, isn’t he?”
“Yes, child,” answered King George with a smile. “He is a great and good man. In some respects I look upon him as a genius.”
A few days later, King George, casually glancing through the album, noticed that President Roosevelt’s photograph had been removed and placed in the section devoted to “Men and Women of the Time.” On asking the Prince whether he had removed the picture, the latter solemnly replied: “Yes, sir. You told me the other day that you thought Mr. Roosevelt a genius, so I took him away from the kings and emperors and put him among the famous people.”
When the question of America’s being prepared for war was uppermost Representative Thomas Heflin, of Alabama, told the following story to illustrate his belief that we ought always to be ready:
“There was an old fellow down in north Alabama and out in the mountains; he kept his jug in the hole of a log. He would go down at sundown to take a swig of mountain dew—mountain dew that had never been humiliated by a revenue officer nor insulted by a green stamp. He drank that liquid concoction that came fresh from the heart of the corn, and he glowed. One evening while he was letting the good liquor trickle down his throat he felt something touch his foot. He looked down and saw a big rattle-snake coiled ready to strike.
“The old fellow took another swig of the corn, and in defiance he swept that snake with his eyes.
“‘Strike, dern you, strike, you will never find me better prepared.’”
The father of a certain charming girl is well known in this town as “a very tight old gentleman.” When dad recently received a young man, who for some time had been “paying attention” to the daughter, it was the old gentleman who made the first observation:
“Huh! So you want to marry my daughter, eh?”
“Yes, sir; very much, indeed.”
“Um—let me see. Can you support her in the style to which she has been accustomed?”
“I can, sir,” said the young man, “but I am not mean enough to do it.”
A young American artist who has just returned from a six months’ job of driving a British ambulance on the war front in Belgium brings this back straight from the trenches: “One cold morning a sign was pushed up above the German trench facing ours, only about fifty yards away, which bore in large letters the words: ‘Got mit Uns!’ One of our cockney lads, more of a patriot than a linguist, looked at this for a moment and then lampblacked a big sign of his own, which he raised on a stick. It read: ‘We Got Mittuns, Too!’”
A pretty girl at an evening party was bantering a genial bachelor on his reasons for remaining single.
“No-oo. I never was exactly disappointed in love,” he said. “I was what you might call discouraged. You see, when I was very young I became very much enamored of a young lady of my acquaintance. I was mortally afraid to tell her of my feeling, but at length I screwed up my courage to the proposing point. I said, ‘Let’s get married,’ And she said, ’Why, who’d have us?’”
The military strategist is born not made.
Two youngsters, one the possessor of a permit, were fishing on a certain estate when a gamekeeper suddenly darted from a thicket. The lad with the permit uttered a cry of fright, dropped his rod, and ran off at top speed. The gamekeeper was led a swift chase. Then, worn out, the boy halted. The man seized him by the arm and said between pants: “Have you a permit to fish on this estate?”
“Yes, to be sure,” said the boy quietly.
“You have? Then show it to me.”
The boy drew the permit from his pocket. The man examined it and frowned in perplexity and anger.
“Why did you run when you had this permit?” he asked.
“To let the other boy get away,” was the reply. “He didn’t have any.”
An old woman who lived in the country recently visited some friends in the city. During her stay she was taken to see “The Merchant of Venice,” a play she had witnessed more than thirty years before, and which she had always had a strong desire to see again. Calling next day, a friend asked her how the previous night’s performance compared with that of thirty years ago.
“Well,” she replied, “Venice seems to have smartened up a bit, but that Shylock is the same mean, grasping creature that he used to be.”
After all, only a feminine mind can be truly broadminded and make a correct deduction of a whole from a knowledge of a part. Said a certain lady in a shop:
“I want a pair of pants for my sick husband.”
“What size?” asked the clerk.
“I don’t know, but he wears a 14-1/2 collar.”
A certain woman demands instant and unquestioning obedience from her children. One afternoon a storm came up and she sent her little son John to close the trap leading to the flat roof of the house.
“But, mother,” began John.
“John, I told you to shut the trap.”
“Yes, but, mother—”
“John, shut that trap!”
“All right, mother, if you say so—but—”
Whereupon John slowly climbed the stairs and shut the trap. Two hours later the family gathered for dinner, but Aunt Mary, who was staying with the mother, did not appear. The mother, quite anxious, exclaimed, “Where can Aunt Mary be?”
“I know,” John answered triumphantly, “she is on the roof.”
Andrew Carnegie said:
“I was traveling Londonward on an English railway last year, and had chosen a seat in a non-smoking carriage. At a wayside station a man boarded the train, sat down in my compartment, and lighted a vile clay pipe.
“This is not a smoking carriage,” said I.
“‘All right, Governor,’ said the man. ‘I’ll just finish this pipe here.’
“He finished it, then refilled it.
“‘See here,’ I said, ’I told you this was not a smoking carriage. If you persist with that pipe I shall report you at the next station to the guard.’ I handed him my card. He looked at it, pocketed it, but lighted his pipe nevertheless. At the next station, however, he changed to another compartment.
“Calling the guard, I told him what had occurred, and demanded that the smoker’s name and address be taken.
“‘Yes, sair,’ said the guard, and hurried away. In a little while he returned. He seemed rather awed and, bending over me, said apologetically:
“’Do you know, sir, if I were you I would not prosecute that gent. He has just given me his card. Here it is. He is Mr. Andrew Carnegie.’”
Scotchmen are proverbial for their caution.
Mr. MacTavish attended a christening where the hospitality of the host knew no bounds except the several capacities of the guests. In the midst of the celebration Mr. MacTavish rose up and made rounds of the company, bidding each a profound farewell.
“But, Sandy, man,” objected the host, “ye’re not goin’ yet, with the evenin’ just started?”
“Nay,” said the prudent MacTavish. “I’m no’ goin’ yet. But I’m tellin’ ye good-night while I know ye all.”
He was the slowest boy on earth, and had been sacked at three places in two weeks, so his parents had apprenticed him to a naturalist. But even he found him slow. It took him two hours to give the canaries their seed, three to stick a pin through a dead butterfly, and four to pick a convolvulus. The only point about him was that he was willing.
“And what,” he asked, having spent a whole afternoon changing the goldfishes’ water, “shall I do now, sir?”
The naturalist ran his fingers through his locks.
“Well, Robert,” he replied at length, “I think you might now take the tortoise out for a run.”
A lady recently selecting a hat at a milliner’s asked, cautiously:
“Is there anything about these feathers that might bring me into trouble with the Bird Protection Society?”
“Oh, no, madam,” said the milliner.
“But did they not belong to some bird?” persisted the lady.
“Well, madam,” returned the milliner, pleasantly, “these feathers are the feathers of a howl; and the howl, you know, madam, seein’ as ’ow fond he is of mice, is more of a cat than a bird.”
The budding authoress had purchased a typewriter, and one morning the agent called and asked:
“How do you like your new typewriter, madam?”
“It’s wonderful!” was the enthusiastic reply. “I wonder how I ever done my writing without it.”
“Would you mind,” asked the agent, “giving me a little testimonial to that effect?”
“Certainly not,” she responded. “I’ll do it gladly.”
Seating herself at the machine, she pounded out the following:
Aafteb Using thee Automatid Backactiom atype write, er for thre emonth %an d Over. I unhesittattingly pronoun ce it tobe al ad more than th e Manufacturss claim! for it. Durinb the tim e been in myy possessio n $i thre month it had more th an paid paid for itse*f in thee saVing off tim e anD laborr?
One of the congregation of a church not far from Boston approached her pastor with the complaint that she was greatly disturbed by the unmelodious singing of one of her neighbors.
“It’s positively unbearable!” she said. “That man in the pew in front of us spoils the service for me. His voice is harsh and he has no idea of a tune. Can’t you ask him to change his pew?”
The good pastor was sorely perplexed. After a few moments’ reflection, he said, “Well, I naturally would feel a little delicacy on that score, especially as I should have to tell him why I asked it. But I’ll tell you what I might do.” Here his face became illuminated by a happy thought. “I might ask him to join the choir.”
There have been a great many explanations for war, but the following appears to have its special merits:
The world was supplied with an original producer; namely, Woman.
Woman produced babies.
The babies grew up and produced tradespeople.
The tradespeople produced goods with which to supply the woman.
The goods, coming into competition with each other, owing to the different parts of the world wherein they were manufactured, produced trouble.
The trouble produced international jealousies.
The international jealousies produced war.
Then the war proceeded to destroy the women and babies, because it was through woman in the beginning that war became possible.
A happily married woman, who had enjoyed thirty-three years of wedlock, and who was the grandmother of four beautiful little children, had an amusing old colored woman for a cook.
One day when a box of especially beautiful flowers was left for the mistress the cook happened to be present, and she said: “Yo’ husband send you all the pretty flowers you gits, Missy?”
“Certainly, my husband, mammy,” proudly answered the lady.
“Glory!” exclaimed the cook, “he suttenly am holdin’ out well.”
The folks in the southern part of Arkansas are not noted for their speed.
A man and his wife were sitting on their porch when a funeral procession passed the house. The man was comfortably seated in a chair that was tilted back against the house, and was whittling a piece of wood. As the procession passed, he said:
“I reckon ol’ man Williams has got about the biggest funeral that’s ever been held around hyer, Caroline.”
“A purty good-sized one, is it, Bud?” queried the wife, making no effort to move.
“Certainly is!” Bud answered.
“I surely would like to see it,” said the woman. “What a pity I ain’t facin’ that way!”
What is known in a certain town as “A Shop Carnival” was being held, and little girls represented the various shops. One, dressed in a white muslin frock gaily strung with garlands of bonbons, advertised the local sweet shop.
When the festival began she fairly glistened with attractive confectionery, but as time wore on her decorations grew less. Finally, at the end of the last act, not a bonbon was to be seen.
“Why, Dora,” cried the stage manager, “where in the world are all your decorations? Have you lost them?”
“Oh, no,” replied Dora; “they’re perfectly safe. I’m wearing them inside.”
In war times Cupid is not only active but overworked, and people who have never loved before do not wait upon ceremony. In the spring of 1918, a certain rector, just before the service, was called to the vestibule to meet a couple who wanted to be married. He explained that there wasn’t time for the ceremony then. “But,” said he, “if you will be seated I will give you an opportunity at the end of the service for you to come forward, and I will then perform the ceremony.”
The couple agreed, and after a stirring war sermon at the proper moment the clergyman said: “Will those who wish to be united in the holy bond of matrimony please come forward?”
Thereupon thirteen women and one man proceeded to the altar.
That time-honored subject the wife who talks and the husband who endures never ceases to be a source of inspiration to the humorist, and it is truly astonishing how many new ways it can be treated:
One day the telephone bell rang with anxious persistence. The doctor answered the call of a tired husband.
“Yes?” he said.
“Oh, doctor,” said a worried voice, “something seems to have happened to my wife. Her mouth seems set and she can’t say a word.”
“Why, she may have lockjaw,” said the medical man.
“Do you think so? Well, if you are up this way some time next week you might step in and see what you can do for her.”
Will Hogg of Texas says that down in Houston one Monday morning a Negro boy in his employ came to him with a request.
“Boss,” said the darky, “I’d lak to git off nex’ Friday fur the day.”
“What for?” inquired Hogg.
“Got to go to a fun’el.”
“Whose funeral is it?”
“When did your uncle die?”
“Lawd, boss, he ain’t daid yit!”
“Then how do you know his funeral is going to take place on Friday?”
“’Case dey’s gwine hang him Thursday!”
To be truthful and at the same time diplomatic is one of the rarest of combinations, and only a small boy would be equal to it:
Johnny’s manners had been improving at home, but at what a cost to his appetite when he had an invitation to dine at a boy friend’s house! His hostess said, concernedly, when dessert was reached, “You refuse a second helping of pie? Are you suffering from indigestion, Johnny?” “No, ma’am; politeness.”
Pat had just joined a horse regiment, and was undergoing the necessary practice in the riding school. After a particularly desperate attempt to unseat its rider, the horse managed to entangle a hoof in one of the stirrups.
“Begorra,” said Pat, “if you’re comin’ on, then I’m gettin’ off!”
A party of engineers were tracing a township line across some farm lands in Illinois. As chance would have it, the line passed directly through a large barn having double doors on each side of it, and they found they could continue their measurements through the barn by opening the doors and thus avoiding the dreaded detour. The owner watched their progress with considerable interest, but made no comment until they had reached the farther side of the barn, when he asked:
“Thet a railroad ye-all surveyin’ fer?”
“Certainly,” replied the chief.
The farmer meditated a bit as he closed the barn doors behind them, when he remarked, somewhat aggressively, “I hain’t got no objections ter havin’ er railroad on my farm, but I’ll be darned ef I’m goin’ ter git up at all hours of the night ter open and shet them doors fer yer train ter go through!”
The German may understand his own point of view, but he hates exceedingly to have that point of view taken, even in part, by any one else.
An official who has scrutinized the reports made by German diplomatic representatives to their Government before the declaration of war furnishes this extract from one of them:
“The Americans are very rough. If you call one of them a liar he does not argue the matter after the manner of a German gentleman, but brutally knocks you down. The Americans have absolutely no Kultur.”
The whole Irish question, and its perfect solution—at least from one side—is summed up by the reply given by an Irishman to a professor, who, when they chanced to meet, said:
“Pat, tell me, now, what is your solution to the world problem?”
“Well, sor,” replied Pat, “I think we should have a world democracy—with an Irishman for king!”
Starting with a wonderful burst of oratory, the great evangelist had, after two hours’ steady preaching, become rather hoarse.
A little boy’s mother in the congregation whispered to her son, “Isn’t it wonderful? What do you think of him?”
“He needs a new needle,” returned the boy sleepily.
The captain and the mate on board the Pretty Polly were at loggerheads. They scowled whenever they met, and seized opportunities of scoring off each other with fearful glee. Each took a turn at making the day’s entries in the log-book, and the mate, when making his entries, was very surprised to find, in the captain’s handwriting, the words:
“June 2nd, 1917.—Mate drunk.”
He stared at it wrathfully a moment, then a slow grin broke over his face. He took his pen and wrote:
“June 3rd, 1917.—Captain sober.”
A bellhop passed through the hall of the St. Francis Hotel whistling loudly.
“Young man,” said Manager Woods sternly, “you should know that it is against the rules of this hotel for an employee to whistle while on duty.”
“I am not whistling, sir,” replied the boy, “I’m paging Mrs. Jones’s dog.”
Though she was old she wasn’t by any means incapable of supporting herself; and at the fresh, youthful age of seventy-nine she went into the business of providing teas for perspiring cyclists, and storing the cycles of those travellers who decided that they had better return by train. Her first customers were four young men who left their cycles in her charge while they explored the neighborhood. For each cycle she gave them a ticket with a number upon it.
Late at night the tourists returned.
The old woman led them to their cycles with a smile of self-satisfaction on her face.
“You’ll know which is which,” she told them, “because I’ve fastened duplicate tickets on them.”
They gratefully thanked her; and when they found their cycles they discovered that the tickets were neatly pinned into each back tire!
Desirous of buying a camera, a certain fair young woman inspected the stock of a local shopkeeper.
“Is this a good one?” she asked, as she picked up a dainty little machine. “What is it called?”
“That’s the Belvedere,” said the handsome young shopman politely.
There was a chilly silence. Then the young woman drew herself coldly erect, fixed him with an icy stare, and asked again:
“Er—and can you recommend the Belva?”
A young Irishman recently applied for a job as life-saver at the municipal baths.
As he was about six feet six inches tall and well built, the chief life-saver gave him an application blank to fill out.
“By the way,” said the chief life-saver, “can you swim?”
“No,” replied the applicant, “but I wade like blazes!”
The Negro stevedores of the southern states of the American Union have been conscripted and shipped in great numbers to ports in France for unloading the incoming American steamers. Their cheerfulness has quite captivated the gayety loving French, who never tire of listening to their laughter and their ragtime songs. When the “bosses” want to get a dockyard job done in double-quick time they usually order a brass band to play lively Negro tunes alongside the ship. Every stevedore thereupon “steps lively,” and apparently his heavy labor becomes to him a light and joyous task. One stevedore, to whom the Atlantic voyage had been a test, exclaimed: “Mah goodness! Ah never knew dere was so much water between dem tew countries! Dere ain’t enuf scenery for me, no sah, an’ if de United States don’t build a bridge across dat dere Atlantic, Ah’s agwine to be a Frenchman for life.”
Captain “Ian Hay,” on one of his war lecture tours, entered a barber’s shop in a small town to have his hair cut.
“Stranger in the town, sir?” the barber asked.
“Yes, I am,” Ian Hay replied. “Anything going on here to-night?”
“There’s a war lecture by an English fighter named Hay,” said the barber; “but if you go you’ll have to stand, for every seat in the hall is sold out.”
“Well, now,” said Ian Hay, “isn’t that provoking? It’s always my luck to have to stand when that chap Hay lectures.”
After a “push” some of the lads of the Northumberland Fusiliers who entered one of the captured villages set about making things comfortable for themselves. Seeing a large wooden box some distance away, they made tracks to commandeer it On the way back an officer met them and queried:
“Here, lads, where are you going with that?”
“This old egg-box, sir—we’re taking it along to our dug-out, sir,” one of them explained.
“Egg-box be hanged!” retorted the officer.
“Why, that’s the general’s roll-top desk!”
A charming, auburn-haired nurse tells the story. She bent over the bed of one badly wounded man and asked him if he would like anything to read. The soldier fixed a humorous eye on her and said, “Miss, can you get me a nice novel? I’d like one about a golden-haired girl and a wounded soldier with a happy ending.” After this the pretty nurse looks down contemptuously on civilian compliments.
A colored Baptist was exhorting. “Now, breddern and sistern, come up to de altar and have yo’ sins washed away.”
All came up but one man.
“Why, Brudder Jones, don’t yo’ want yo’ sins washed away?”
“I done had my sins washed away.”
“Yo’ has? Where yo’ had yo’ sins washed away?”
“Ober at de Methodist church.”
“Ah, Brudder Jones, yo’ ain’t been washed, yo’ jes’ been dry cleaned.”
A Quaker had got himself into trouble with the authorities, and a constable called to escort him to the lock-up.
“Is your husband in?” he inquired of the good wife who came to the door.
“My husband will see thee,” she replied. “Come in.”
The officer entered, was bidden to make himself at home, and was hospitably entertained for half an hour, but no husband appeared. At last he grew impatient.
“Look here,” said he, “I thought you said your husband would see me.”
“He has seen thee,” was the calm reply, “but he did not like thy look, and so he’s gone another way.”
After two months at Rockford Private Nelson got his leave at last, and made what he conceived to be the best use of his holiday by getting married.
On the journey back at the station he gave the gateman his marriage certificate in mistake for his return railway ticket.
The official studied it carefully, and then said: “Yes, my boy, you’ve got a ticket for a long, wearisome journey, but not on this road.”
It was Christmas Eve in camp, and very cold at that. There was a certain amount of confusion owing to the Christmas festivities and leave, and so forth, and one man was unable to find any of his outer garments. He wandered about, asking all his mates if they knew where they were.
“Has any one seen my b-b-blanket?” he demanded, and was told that no one had.
“Has any one seen my t-t-trousers?”
The unfortunate Tommy scratched his head for a moment.
“Well, I’m jolly g-g-glad I have got a nice w-w-warm pair of sus-sus-suspenders.”
The young couple were dawdling over a late breakfast after a night at an ultra smart party.
“Was it you I kissed in the conservatory last night?” hubby inquired.
She looked at him reminiscently: “About what time was it?”
A lady of great beauty and attractiveness, who was an ardent admirer of Ireland, once crowned her praise of it at a party by saying:
“I think I was meant for an Irishwoman.”
“Madam,” rejoined a witty son of Erin, who happened to be present, “thousands would back me in saying you were meant for an Irishman.”
The pale-faced passenger looked out of the car window with exceeding interest. Finally he turned to his seat mate.
“You likely think I never rode in the cars before,” he said, “but the fact is, pardner, I just got out of prison this mornin’ and it does me good to look around. It is goin’ to be mighty tough, though, facin’ my old-time friends. I s’pose, though, you ain’t got much idea how a man feels in a case like that.”
“Perhaps I have a better idea of your feelings than you think,” said the other gentleman, with a sad smile. “I am just getting home from Congress.”
Lysander, a farm hand, was recounting his troubles to a neighbor. Among other things he said that the wife of the farmer who employed him was “too close for any use.” “This very mornin’,” said he, “she asked me: ‘Lysander, do you know how many pancakes you have et this mornin’?’ I said, ’No, ma’am; I ain’t had no occasion to count ’em,’ ‘Well,’ says she, ‘that last one was the twenty-sixth.’ And it made me so mad I jest got up from the table and went to work without my breakfast!”
Two suburban gardeners were swearing vengeance on cats.
“It appears to me,” one said, “that they seem to pick out your choicest plants to scratch out of the ground.”
“There’s a big tomcat,” the other said, “that fetches my plants out and then sits and actually defies me.”
“Why don’t you hurl a brick at him?” asked the first speaker.
“That’s what makes me mad,” was the reply. “I can’t. He gets on top of my greenhouse to defy me.”
A little boy was on his knees recently one night, and auntie, staying at the house, was present.
“It is a pleasure,” she said to him, afterward, “to hear you saying your prayers so well. You speak so earnestly and seriously, and mean what you say, and care about it.”
“Ah!” he answered, “ah, but, auntie, you should hear me gargle!”
“Germany’s claim that she imports nothing, buys only of herself, and so is growing rich from the war, is a dreadful fallacy.”
The speaker was Herbert C. Hoover, chairman of the American Food Board.
“Germany,” he went on, “is like the young man who wisely thought he’d grow his own garden stuff. This young man had been digging for about an hour when his spade turned up a quarter. Ten minutes later he found another quarter. Then he found a dime. Then he found a quarter again.
“‘By gosh!’ he said, ‘I’ve struck a silver mine,’ and, straightening up, he felt something cold slide down his leg. Another quarter lay at his feet. He grasped the truth: There was a hole in his pocket.”
Out at the front two regiments, returning to the trenches, chanced to meet. There was the usual exchange of wit.
“When’s the bloomin’ war goin’ to end?” asked one north-country lad.
“Dunno,” replied one of the south-shires. “We’ve planted some daffydils in front of our trench.”
“Bloomin’ optimists!” snorted the man from the north. “We’ve planted acorns.”
The way they take air raids in England is illustrated by the following conversation from Punch:
“Just ask Dr. Jones to run round to my place right away. Our cook’s fallen downstairs—broke her leg; the housemaid’s got chicken-pox, and my two boys have been knocked down by a taxi.”
“I’m sorry, sir, but the doctor was blown up in yesterday’s air raid, and he won’t be down for a week.”
Soon after a certain judge of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island had been appointed he went down into one of the southern counties to sit for a week. He was well satisfied with himself.
“Mary,” he said to the Irish waitress at the hotel where he was stopping, “you’ve been in this country how long?”
“Two years, sir,” she said.
“Do you like it?”
“Sure, it’s well enough,” answered Mary.
“But, Mary,” the judge continued, “you have many privileges in this country which you’d not have in Ireland. Now at home you would never be in a room with a justice of the Supreme Court, and chatting familiarly with him.”
“But, sure, sir,” said Mary, quite in earnest, “you’d never be a judge at home.”
Secretary of War Baker tells a story of a country youth who was driving to the county fair with his sweetheart when they passed a booth where fresh popcorn was for sale.
“My! Abner, ain’t that nice?” said the girl.
“Ain’t what nice?” asked Abner.
“Why, the popcorn, it smells so awfully good,” replied the girl.
“It does smell kind o’ fine,” drawled the youth. “I’ll jest drive a little closer so you can get a better smell.”
A young couple, speeding along the country highway, were stopped by the justice of the peace.
“Ten and costs for reckless driving,” announced the justice.
“Listen,” said the young man, “judge, we were on our way to have you marry us.”
“Twenty and costs, then!” cried the justice. “You’re more reckless than I thought you were.”
In a kindergarten class flags were shown, and in answer to a question a little girl gave the response that was expected of her: “This is the flag of my country.”
“And what is the name of your country?” was the next question.
“’Tis of thee,” was the prompt reply.
Katherine and Margaret found themselves seated next each other at a dinner-party and immediately became confidential.
“Molly told me that you told her that secret I told you not to tell her,” whispered Margaret.
“Oh, isn’t she a mean thing!” gasped Katherine. “Why, I told her not to tell you!”
“Well,” returned Margaret, “I told her I wouldn’t tell you she told me—so don’t tell her I did.”
When Booth Tarkington was visiting Naples he was present at an eruption of Vesuvius.
“You haven’t anything like that in America, have you?” said an Italian friend with pride.
“No, we haven’t,” replied Tarkington; “but we’ve got Niagara Falls that would put the d——d thing out in five minutes.”
We often take delight in fancying what we would do if things were really reversed in this oftentimes trying world: and particularly what we would do to the president of our bank. Here is a little story which gives the pleasant variety:
“I have come in to borrow some money from you,” said the bank president timidly, as he stood before one of his depositors, nervously twirling his hat in his hand.
“Ah, yes,” said the depositor, gazing at him severely. “But you don’t expect to get it, do you?”
“I had hoped to.”
“What collateral have you to offer?”
“My bank with all the money in it.”
“All the people in the bank?”
“Please say ‘Yes, sir.’ It is more respectful.”
“Thank you, sir.”
“Um! Ah! Will you put in your own family?”
“Yes, sir, I’ll throw in my family also.”
“Your prospects in life? Don’t hesitate, man. Remember you are up against it.”
“Well, yes, sir.”
“How much money do you want?”
“One thousand dollars.”
“Dear me! For such a small amount as that I shall have to charge you at least six per cent. If you were a regular millionaire and wanted, say, half a million, I could let you have it for three or four per cent.”
“Yes, sir. I appreciate your generosity.”
The depositor handed the president of the bank, who was now almost completely bathed in a cold perspiration, a blank form.
“Here,” he said, “sign this.”
“Do you wish me to read it first, sir?”
“What! Read something you wouldn’t understand anyway? No. I’ll tell you what’s in it. It mortgages yourself, your bank, all the people in it, your family, all your property, and your soul Sign here.”
The bank president signed with trembling fingers, got a piece of paper which entitled him to the privilege of entertaining a thousand dollars for six months at his own expense, and withdrew.
Then the depositor, smiling to himself and rubbing his hands, said:
“Aha! I’ll teach these fellows to know their places!”
When the conversation turned to the subject of romantic marriage this little anecdote was volunteered by H.M. Asker, a North Dakota politician:
“So you were married ten years ago. Took place in the church, I suppose, with bridesmaids, flowers, cake, and the brass band?”
“No; it was an elopement.”
“An elopement, eh? Did the girl’s father follow you?”
“Yes, and he has been with us ever since.”
Private Simpkins had returned from the front, to find that his girl had been walking out with another young man, and naturally asked her to explain her frequent promenades in the town with the gentleman.
“Well, dear,” she replied, “it was only kindness on his part. He just took me down every day to the library to see if you were killed.”
Harry Lauder tells the following story about a funeral in Glasgow and a well-dressed stranger who took a seat in one of the mourning coaches. The other three occupants of the carriage were rather curious to know who he was, and at last one of them began to question him. The dialogue went like this:
“Ye’ll be a brither o’ the corp?”
“No, I’m no’ a brither o’ the corp.”
“Weel, ye’ll be his cousin?”
“No, I’m no’ a cousin.”
“At ony rate ye’ll be a frien’ o’ the corp?”
“No, I’m no’ that either. Ye see, I’ve no’ been very weel masel,” the stranger explained complacently, “an’ my doctor has ordered me carriage exercise, so I thocht this would be the cheapest way to tak’ it.”
The small boy stood at the garden gate and howled and howled and howled. A passing lady paused beside him.
“What’s the matter, little man?” she asked in a kindly voice.
“O-o-oh!” wailed the youngster. “Pa and ma won’t take me to the pictures to-night.”
“But don’t make such a noise,” said the dame, admonishingly. “Do they ever take you when you cry like that?”
“S-sometimes they do, an’—an’ sometimes they d-d-don’t,” bellowed the boy. “But it ain’t no trouble to yell!”
“We were bounding along,” said a recent traveller on a local South African single-line railway, “at the rate of about seven miles an hour, and the whole train was shaking terribly. I expected every moment to see my bones protruding through my skin. Passengers were rolling from one end of the car to the other. I held on firmly to the arms of the seat. Presently we settled down a bit quieter; at least I could keep my hat on and my teeth didn’t chatter.
“There was a quiet-looking man opposite me. I looked up with a ghastly smile, wishing to appear cheerful, and said:
“‘We are going a bit smoother, I see.’
“‘Yes,’ he said, ‘we’re off the track now,’”
The famous physician and the eminent clergyman were deep in a discussion which threatened to become acrimonious.
“You see,” said the minister sarcastically, “you medical men know so much about the uncertainties of this world that I should think you would not want to live.”
“Oh, I don’t know,” responded the physician caustically. “You clergymen tell us so much about the uncertainties of the next world that we don’t want to die.”
One of Mr. Kipling’s trees was injured by a bus, the driver of which was also landlord of an inn. Kipling wrote this man a letter of complaint, which the recipient sold to one of his guests for ten shillings. Again the angry author wrote, this time a more violent letter, which immediately fetched one pound.
A few days later Kipling called on the landlord and demanded to know why he had received no answer to his letters.
“Why, I was hoping you would send me a fresh one every day,” was the cool reply. “They pay a great deal better than bus driving.”
Does the American woman always consider her lesser half? The following tale shows that she does, although the lady’s husband undoubtedly moved in a lower sphere. She was at that period in her existence where she gave literary afternoons and called her college-graduated daughter to her side and said:
“This afternoon, as I understand, we attend the Current Events Club, where Miss Spindleshank Corkerly of New York and Washington will give us her brief and cheery synopsis of the principal world events during the last month.”
“This evening the Birth Control Association meets at Mrs. Mudhaven’s, where I shall read my paper on the Moral Protoplasm.”
“To-morrow morning the Efficiency Circle will assemble here for its weekly discussion and will be addressed by Professor Von Skintime Closhaven on the Scientific Curtailment of Catnaps.”
“To-morrow afternoon the Superwoman’s Civic Conference Committee will take up the subject of the Higher Feminism, and in the evening the Hygienic Sex Sisters will confer with the superintendent of our school system on several ideas for our schools which we have in mind.”
“Yes, mother. That brings us up to Thursday. What shall we do on that evening?”
“I thought, my dear, that we would take a night off and go to the movies with your dear father.”
Many are the stories told of the late James Gordon Bennett. One, more than any other, reveals one of his weaknesses—a disinclination to acknowledge an error.
Before taking up his residence abroad he frequently breakfasted at Delmonico’s, then downtown. One Christmas morning he gave the waiter who always served him a small roll of bills. As soon as opportunity offered the waiter looked at the roll, and when he recovered his equilibrium took it to Mr. Delmonico. There were six $1,000 bills in the roll. The proprietor, sensing that a mistake had been made, put them in the safe.
When the publisher next visited the cafe Mr. Delmonico told him the waiter had turned the money in. He added he would return it as Mr. Bennett departed.
“Why return it? Didn’t I give it to him?”
“Yes. But, of course, it was a mistake. You gave him $6,000.”
“Mr. Delmonico,” replied Bennett, rising to his full height, “you should know by this time that James Gordon Bennett never makes a mistake.”
A pressman had just returned to work after a protracted spree. His face was battered, an eye was blackened, and an ear showed a tendency to mushroom. The night of his return was one on which Mr. Bennett visited the pressroom. He saw Mr. Bennett before Mr. Bennett saw him, and, daubing a handful of ink on his face, he became so busy that Bennett noticed him.
“Who is that man?” he asked the foreman. “What do you pay him?”
The foreman gave him the information.
“Double his salary,” replied Mr. Bennett. “He’s the only man in the place who seems to be doing any work.”
A dramatic critic, still a well-known writer, lost his place because he would not get his hair cut. Bennett in Paris asked him why he wore his hair so long and was told because he liked it that way. An order sending him to Copenhagen followed. When his return was announced by a secretary, Bennett asked if he had had his hair cut, and being informed that he had not, ordered him to St. Petersburg. On his return from Russia, still unshorn, he was sent to the Far East.
“Has he had his hair cut?” asked Bennett when his return was once more announced.
“No, sir,” replied the secretary, “it’s as long as ever.”
“Then fire him,” replied Bennett. “He’s too slow to take a hint to suit me.”
In introducing the Honorable W.G. McAdoo to an audience of North Carolinians in the Raleigh Auditorium, Governor T.W. Bickett had occasion to refer to the North Carolina trait of stick-to-it-ness. He used as an example the case of Private Jim Webb, a green soldier and a long, lanky individual from the farm who had never been drilled in his whole life and knew even less about the usages and customs of war, so when he was conscripted into the North Carolina divisions in the late war between the states, he was given only a week’s drill and then assigned to duty.
His regiment was in the Peninsular campaign, and Jim was soon put on guard duty, being given, as his first post, a place along the river bank, and cautioned to stick to his post under any conditions, to watch closely for the enemy, and to allow no one to pass who could not give the countersign.
“Obey your instructions,” said the officer of the guard, “and I will return at two o’clock with relief. Do not leave your post under any conditions.”
Promptly at two o’clock the officer returned, to find Jim gone. He searched long and diligently, but no trace of Jim. Finally he called, lowly at first, then louder, seeking to know if Jim were in the vicinity or had been captured. Finally came Jim’s answering voice from out in the middle of the river, “Here I be.”
“What in the world are you doing out there?” asked the indignant officer. “Did I not tell you not to leave your post?”
“I hain’t moved, nuther,” replied the indignant Jim; “the durn river’s riz.”
“May I see you privately?”
The well-dressed stranger approached the mayor of the suburban town with the air of one who knew his business. When they were alone he said:
“I want to apply for the position of village burglar.”
“Yes, sir. I guarantee results, I only rob one house a week. This includes a clean get-away. When a man, no matter how conscientious, attempts any more than this, he is bound to deteriorate. By employing me regularly you get the best results.”
“What inducements do you offer?”
“Your village will be advertised regularly and in the most efficient manner. I will guarantee to keep away all other burglars, thus insuring the comfort and safety of your police. I return all goods stolen. If it is necessary at any time to wound any of your citizens, I will pay half of the hospital expenses. Salary five thousand a year. Can furnish references.”
“My dear sir, what more do you want?”
The mayor shook his head, as rising, he indicated that the interview was over.
“Sorry, my friend,” he said, “that I can’t accept your offer, but I am just closing a contract with a man who not only will burglarize our village regularly on your terms, but also will turn over to us as a rebate one-half of the salary he gets from the burglary insurance company that employs him.”
Harris Dickson, on a hunting trip in Sunflower County, Mississippi, met an old darky who had never seen a circus in his life. When the Big Show came in the following season to Dickson’s town of Vicksburg he sent for the old man and treated him to the whole thing—arrival of the trains, putting up the tents, grand free street parade, menagerie, main performance, concert, side show, peanuts, red lemonade, and all.
The old darky followed his white patron through with popping eyes, but saying never a word. Late in the afternoon they got back to the Dickson home.
“John,” said Dickson, “you enjoyed it?”
“Boss,” said John fervently. “Ah shore did!”
“What did you like the most?”
“Mistah Dickson,” answered John, “Ah shore laked hit all.”
“Well, what impressed you most?”
“Well, suh, boss,” he said, “Ah reckin hit waz dat dere animul you calls de camuel.”
“The camel, eh? Well, what was so remarkable about the camel?”
“He suttinly is got such a noble smell!”
“May I ask the cause of all this excitement?” asked the stranger in the little village.
“Certainly,” replied the countryman. “We’re celebrating the birthday of the oldest inhabitant sir. She’s a hundred and one to-day.”
“Indeed! And may I ask who is that little man, with the dreadfully sad countenance, walking by the old lady’s side?”
“Oh, that’s the old lady’s son-in-law, sir. He’s been keeping up the payments on her life-insurance for the last thirty years!”
As Grantland Rice tells the story, a certain distinguished English actor, whom we may safely call Jones-Brown, plays a persistent but horrible game of golf. During a recent visit to this country the actor in question occasionally visited the links of a well-known country club in Westchester County, near New York.
After an especially miserable showing of inaptness one morning, he flung down his driver in disgust.
“Caddy,” he said, addressing the silent youth who stood alongside, “that was awful, wasn’t it?”
“Purty bad, sir,” stated the boy.
“I freely confess that I am the worst golfer in the world,” continued the actor.
“Oh, I wouldn’t say that, sir,” said the caddy soothingly.
“Did you ever see a worse player than I am?”
“No, sir, I never did,” confessed the boy truthfully; “but some of the other boys was tellin’ me yistiddy about a gentleman that must be a worse player than you are. They said his name was Jones-Brown.”
“You say that you want some name engraved on this ring,” said the jeweller to the bashful young man.
“Yes; I want the words, ‘George, to his dearest Alice’ engraved on the inside of the ring.”
“Is the young lady your sister?”
“No; she is the young lady to whom I am engaged.”
“Well, if I were you I would not have ‘George, to his dearest Alice’ engraved on the ring. If Alice changes her mind you can’t use the ring again.”
“What would you suggest?”
“I would suggest the words, ‘George, to his first and only love,’ You see, with that inscription you can use the ring half a dozen times. I have had experience in such matters myself.”
Pat came to the dentist’s with his jaw very much swollen from a tooth he desired to have pulled. But when the suffering son of Erin got into the dentist’s chair and saw the gleaming pair of forceps approaching his face, he positively refused to open his mouth. The dentist quietly told his page boy to prick his patient with a pin, and when Pat opened his mouth to yell the dentist seized the tooth, and out it came. “It didn’t hurt as much as you expected it would, did it?” the dentist asked, smilingly.
“Well, no,” replied Pat, hesitatingly, as if doubting the truthfulness of his admission. “But,” he added, placing his hand on the spot where the little boy pricked him with the pin, “begorra, little did I think the roots would reach down like that.”
Among the passengers on a train on a one-track road in the Middle West was a talkative jewelry drummer. Presently the train stopped to take on water, and the conductor neglected to send back a flagman. An express came along and, before it could be stopped, bumped the rear end of the first train. The drummer was lifted from his seat and pitched head first into the seat ahead. His silk hat was jammed clear down over his ears. He picked himself up and settled back in his seat. No bones had been broken. He drew a long breath, straightened up, and said: “Well, they didn’t get by us, anyway.”
Memory and Imagination had a discussion as to which was the greater. “Without me,” said Memory, “your buildings, your fine castles, would all go down. I alone give you power to retain them.”
“Without me,” said Imagination, “there would be no use of retaining them, for, indeed, they wouldn’t be there. I am the great builder.”
“And I the great recorder.”
“It appears, then, that no one of us is greater than the other. Yet I would not change places with you.”
“Why not?” said Memory.
“Because,” replied Imagination, “without you I can still keep on creating over and over.”
At the end of a year Memory came back.
“What have you done?” asked Memory.
“Nothing,” said Imagination.
“And you were wrong when you said that without me you could still go on creating.”
“Yes. I did not realize how dependent I was upon you. What have you been doing during the year?”
“Reviewing some old friends. That was all I could do.”
“Then we are practically equal.”
“Yes. Let us live together hereafter in harmony, carrying on our door this legend:
There is no Memory without
And no Imagination without
Speaking at a political gathering, Congressman Frederick W. Dallinger, of Massachusetts, referred to the many amusing incidents of the schoolrooms, and related a little incident along that line.
A teacher in a public school was instructing a youthful class in English when she paused and turned to a small boy named Jimmy Brown.
“James,” said she, “write on the board, ’Richard can ride the mule if he wants to,’”
This Jimmie proceeded to do to the satisfaction of all concerned.
“Now, then,” continued the teacher when Jimmy had returned to his place, “can you find a better form for that sentence?”
“Yes, ma’am,” was the prompt response of Jimmy. “’Richard can ride the mule if the mule wants him to.’”
Some years before the war the German Crown Prince got a very neat call-down from Miss Bernice Willard, a Philadelphia girl. It was during the Emperor’s regatta, and the two mentioned were sitting with others on the deck of a yacht. A whiff of smoke from the Prince’s cigarette blowing into the young lady’s face, a lieutenant near by remarked:
“Smoke withers flowers.”
“It is no flower,” said the prince, jocularly, “it is a thistle.”
Miss Willard raised her eyes a trifle.
“In that case,” she said, “I had better retire or I shall be devoured”
Mrs. Mellon did not wish to offend her new cook.
“John,” she said to the manservant, “can you find out without asking the cook whether the tinned salmon was all eaten last night? You see, I don’t wish to ask her, because she may have eaten it, and then she would feel uncomfortable,” added the good soul.
“If you please, ma’am,” replied the man, “the new cook has eaten the tinned salmon, and if you was to say anything to her you couldn’t make her feel any more uncomfortable than she is.”
An officer on board a warship was drilling his men.
“I want every man to lie on his back, put his legs in the air, and move them as if he were riding a bicycle,” he explained. “Now commence.”
After a short effort one of the men stopped.
“Why have you stopped, Murphy?” asked the officer.
“If ye plaze, sir,” was the answer, “Oi’m coasting.”
Several Scotchmen were discussing the domestic unhappiness of a mutual friend.
“Aye,” said one, “Jock McDonald has a sair time wi’ that wife o’ his. They do say they’re aye quarrelin’.”
“It serve’ him richt,” said another feelingly. “The puir feckless creature marrit after coortin’ only eight year. Man, indeed, he had nae chance to ken the wumman in sic a short time. When I was coortin’ I was coortin’ twenty year.”
“And how did it turn out?” inquired a stranger in the party.
“I tell ye, I was coortin’ twenty year, an’ in that time I kenned what wumman was, an’ so I didna marry.”
Jack disliked being kissed, and, being a handsome little chap, sometimes had a good deal to put up with. One day he had been kissed a lot. Then, to make matters worse, on going to the picture palace in the evening, instead of his favorite cowboy and Indian pictures, there was nothing but a lot more hugging and kissing.
He returned home completely out of patience with the whole tribe of women.
After he had tucked into bed mother came in to kiss him good-night.
He refused to be kissed.
Mother begged and begged, till in disgust he turned to his father, who was standing at the doorway looking on, and said:
“Daddy, for the love of Heaven, give this woman a kiss!”
“Daisy,” remarked the teacher, “don’t love your cat too much. What would you do if it died—you wouldn’t see it again?”
“Oh, yes; I should see it in heaven.”
“No, dear, you’re mistaken; animals cannot go to heaven like people.”
Daisy’s eyes filled with tears, but suddenly she exclaimed triumphantly:
“Animals do go to heaven, for the Bible says the Promised Land is flowing with milk and honey, and, if there are no animals, where do they get the milk?”
An elderly woman who was extremely stout was endeavoring to enter a street car when the conductor, noticing her difficulty, said to her:
“Try sideways, madam; try sideways.”
The woman looked up breathlessly and said: “Why, bless ye, I ain’t got no sideways!”
A Scottish soldier, badly wounded, requested an army chaplain to write a letter for him to his wife. The chaplain, anxious to oblige, started off with “My dear Wife—”
“Na, na,” said the Scotsman, “dinna pit that doon. Ma wife canna see a joke.”
A German, whose wife was ill at the Seney Hospital, Brooklyn, called the first evening she was there and inquired how she was getting along. He was told that she was improving.
Next day he called again, and was told she was still improving. This went on for some time, each day the report being that his wife was improving.
Finally, one day he called and said:
“How iss my wife?”
He went out and met a friend, and the friend said:
“Well, how is your wife?”
“Ooh! How terrible! What did she die of?”
An American Negro stevedore assigned to the great
docks in southwestern
France had written several letters to his black Susanna in Jacksonville,
Fla., when she wrote back saying:
“You-all don’t nevah tell me nothin’ ’bout de battle a-tall. Tilda Sublet’s Dave done wrote her all about how he kotched two Germans all by hisself and kilt three mo’.”
The stevedore was reluctant to tell his girl that he was doing manual labor and that his only accoutrement was the tinware from which he ate his war bread, “slum” and coffee. His reply ran:
“Dear Sue: De battle am goin’ on. You would faint if I tole yuh de full details. Ah’m standin’ in blood up to mah knees, and every time Ah move Ah step on a daid German. We’re too close to use our rifles, and we’re bitin’ and gougin’ ’em. At one time me and two othah niggahs was hangin’ onto de Crown Prince wid our teeth, an’ old Papa Kaiser done beat us off wid a fence rail untwell ree-umfo’s-ments come!”
One evening just before dinner the wife, who had been playing bridge all the afternoon, came in to find her husband and a strange man (afterward ascertained to be a lawyer) engaged in some mysterious business over the library table upon which were spread several sheets of paper.
“What are you doing with all that paper, Henry?” demanded the wife.
“I am making a wish,” meekly responded the husband.
“Yes, my dear. In your presence I shall not presume to call it a will.”
The value of travel oftentimes depends upon who travels.
Mrs. Williams, who had recently returned from abroad, was attending an afternoon tea which was given in her honor.
“And did you actually go to Rome?” asked the hostess.
“I really don’t know, my dear,” replied Mrs. Williams. “You see, my husband always bought the tickets.”
“So,” said the old general, “you think you would make a good valet for an old wreck like me, do you? I have a glass eye, a wooden leg, and a wax arm that need looking after, not to mention false teeth, and so forth.”
“Oh, that’s all right, general,” replied the applicant, enthusiastically; “I’ve had lots of experience. I worked six years in the assembling department of a big motor-car factory.”
Our ideals are often a personal matter and, after all, it is just as well to be humble about our achievements A certain woman was brought before a magistrate.
“It appears to be your record, Mary Moselle,” said the magistrate, “that you have been thirty-five times convicted of stealing.”
“I guess, your honor,” replied Mary, “that is right. No woman is perfect.”
This story teaches us a very old moral.
The man of whom it is told was travelling in a railroad train when he leaned forward confidentially to the man in the next seat:
“Excuse me, sir,” he said. “You’re not going to get off at the next station, are you?”
“Then that will give me time to tell you. Are you aware, sir, what is the matter with this great country?”
“As I thought. It’s due entirely to misunderstanding. We are always jumping to conclusions about others. That makes us suspicious. Result, constant friction. Take you and me, for example. At present we are comparative strangers. But when we get to know each other better we shall slowly but surely come to realize that each of us is trying to do our best, and—”
“But I don’t want to know you any better.”
“Precisely. Exactly. That’s what causes all the trouble. I judge you and you judge me too hastily. As you become better acquainted with my motives you will gradually come to realize that deep down in my heart is a passionate desire to benefit my fellowmen. Same here. My tendency is to treat you as a stranger, not to give you credit for noble generosity and genuine civic virtue. But I am determined to overcome this attitude and recognize you as a brother. I know I’m a hundred years ahead of my age, but someone must make the sacrifice.”
The train stopped and the other man got up and, leaning over, grabbed him by the arm.
“I’m changing my mind,” he said; “guess I will get off at this station. By-by. Sorry I can’t know you better.”
The pioneer in human progress sat for some time after the train had started, pondering on the deep problem of destiny. Suddenly, however, he clapped his hands to his pockets and ran forward to the conductor.
“Say, conductor,” he whispered, hoarsely, “did that man I was talking to get off at the last station?”
“Yes, sir; did you lose anything?”
The human benefactor smiled sadly.
“Not in comparison with what the world has lost,” he replied. “The human race has lost one of those priceless ideas which, in the course of centuries, sometimes come to real genius only to be abandoned. I lost only my watch.”
He was a Scot, with the usual thrifty characteristics of his race. Wishing to know his fate, he telegraphed a proposal of marriage to the lady of his choice. After waiting all day at the telegraph office he received an affirmative answer late at night.
“Well, if I were you,” said the operator who delivered the message, “I’d think twice before I’d marry a girl who kept me waiting so long for an answer.”
“Na, na,” replied the Scot. “The lass for me is the lass wha waits for the night rates.”
As a truly polite nation the French undoubtedly lead the world, thinks a contributor to a British weekly. The other day a Paris dentist’s servant opened the door to a woebegone patient.
“And who, monsieur,” he queried in a tender tone, “shall I have the misery of announcing?”
The Methodist minister in a small country town was noted for his begging propensities and for his ability to extract generous offerings from the close-fisted congregation, which was made up mostly of farmers. One day the young son of one of the members accidentally swallowed a ten-cent piece, much to the excitement of the rest of the family. Every means of dislodging the coin had failed and the frightened parents were about to give up in despair when a bright thought struck the little daughter, who exclaimed: “Oh, mamma, I know how you can get it! Send for our minister; he’ll get it out of him!”
A small, hen-pecked, worried-looking man was about to take an examination for life insurance.
“You don’t dissipate, do you?” asked the physician, as he made ready for tests. “Not a fast liver, or anything of that sort?”
The little man hesitated a moment, looked a bit frightened, then replied, in a small, piping voice: “I sometimes chew a little gum.”
The manager of a factory recently engaged a new man and gave instructions to the foreman to instruct him in his duties. A few days afterward the manager inquired whether the new man was progressing with his work.
The foreman, who had not agreed very well with the man in question, exclaimed angrily:
“Progressing! There’s been a lot of progress. I have taught him everything I know and he is still an ignorant fool.”
This story has the merit of being true, anyhow: The official pessimist of a small Western city, a gentleman who had wrestled with chronic dyspepsia for years, stood in front of the post office as the noon whistles sounded.
“Twelve o’clock, eh?” he said, half to himself and half to an acquaintance. “Well, I’m going home to dinner. If dinner ain’t ready I’m going to raise hell; and if it is ready I ain’t going to eat a bite.”
“TIPPERARY” IN CHINESE
The Chinese have put “Tipperary” into their own language, and native newspapers print the chorus as follows:
Shih ko yuan lu tao Ti-po-lieh-li,
Pi yao ti jih hsing tsou.
Shih ko yuan lu tao Ti-po-lieh-li,
Yao chien we ngai tzu nu,
Tsai hui Pi-ko-ti-li,
Tsai chien Lei-ssu Kwei-rh,
Shih ko yuan lu tao Ti-po-lieh-li,
Tan wo hsin tsai na-rh.
This is the literal translation:
This road is far from Ti-po-lieh-li,
We must walk for many days,
This road is far from Ti-po-lieh-li,
I want to see my lovely girl,
To meet again Pi-ko-ti-li,
To see again Lei-ssu Kwei-rh,
This road is far from Ti-po-lieh-li,
But my heart is already in that place.
She was a very stout, jolly-looking woman, and she was standing at the corset counter, holding in her hand an article she was returning. Evidently her attention had been suddenly drawn to the legend printed on the label, for she was overheard to murmur, “’Made expressly for John Wanamaker.’ Well, there! No wonder they didn’t fit me!”
An Irish chauffeur in San Francisco, who had been having trouble with numerous small boys in the neighborhood of his stand, discovered one day on examining his car that there was a dead cat on one of the seats. In his anger he was about to throw the carcass into the street, when he espied a policeman.
Holding up the carcass, he exclaimed: “This is how I am insulted. What am I to do with it?”
“Well, don’t you know? Take it straight to headquarters, and if it is not claimed within a month it becomes your property.”
A teacher was giving a lesson on the circulation of the blood. Trying to make the matter clearer, he said: “Now, boys, if I stood on my head the blood, as you know, would run into it, and I should turn red in the face.”
“Yes, sir,” said the boys.
“Now,” continued the teacher, “what I want to know is this: How is it that while I am standing upright in the ordinary position the blood doesn’t rush into my feet?”
And a little fellow shouted: “Why, sir, because yer feet ain’t empty.”
One day an ammunition dump blew up. Cordite was blazing, shells and bombs bursting, and splinters and whole shells flying everywhere in the vicinity. The atmosphere was full of smoke and resounding with metallic whines. Out of a shack hard by came a darky, loaded to the waterline with kit, blankets, rifle, etc., and up the road he dangled.
“Here! Where are you going?” shouted an officer.
“I ain’t goin’, suh,” panted the darky. “I’s gone.”
Representative Billy Wilson, who dwells in Chicago, found himself in the upper peninsula of Michigan doing some fishing and hunting. While there he conversed with the guide that he had hired in order to have somebody around to talk to.
“Must get mighty all-fired cold up here in winter,” remarked Wilson one morning.
“Yes, it often gets away down to forty-five below zero,” replied the native.
“Don’t see how you stand it,” said the Congressman.
“Oh, I always spend my winters in the South,” explained the guide.
“Go South, eh? Well, well! That’s enterprising. And where do you go?”
“Grand Rapids,” said the guide.
The college boys played a mean trick on “Prexy” by pasting some of the leaves of his Bible together. He rose to read the morning lesson, which might have been as follows:
“Now Johial took unto himself a wife of the daughters of Belial.” (He turned a leaf.) “She was eighteen cubits in height and ten cubits in breadth.” (A pause, and careful scrutiny of the former page.)
He resumed: “Now Johial took unto himself a wife,” etc. (Leaf turned.) “She was eighteen cubits in height and ten cubits in breadth, and was pitched within and without—” (Painful pause and sounds of subdued mirth.) “Prexy” turns back again in perplexity.
“Young gentlemen, I can only add that ’Man is fearfully and wonderfully made’—and woman also.”
Saying is one thing and doing is another. In Montana a railway bridge had been destroyed by fire, and it was necessary to replace it. The bridge engineer and his staff were ordered in haste to the place. Two days later came the superintendent of the division. Alighting from his private car, he encountered the old master bridge-builder.
“Bill,” said the superintendent—and the words quivered with energy—“I want this job rushed. Every hour’s delay costs the company money. Have you got the engineer’s plans for the new bridge?”
“I don’t know,” said the bridge-builder, “whether the engineer has the picture drawed yet or not, but the bridge is up and the trains is passin’ over it.”
The ways of a woman are supposed to be past finding out, but after all there are times when her logic is irresistible as in the case of a certain wife who had spent her husband’s money, had compromised him more than once, had neglected her children and her household duties, and had done everything that woman can do to make his life a failure.
And then, as they were both confronted by the miserable end of it all, and realized that there was no way out of it, he said:
“Perhaps I ought not to appear to be too trivially curious, but I confess to a desire to know why you have done all this. You must have known, if you kept on, just what the end would be. Of course, nobody expects a woman to use her reason. But didn’t you have, even in a dim way, some idea of what you were doing?”
She gazed at him with her usual defiance, a habit not to be broken even by the inevitable.
“Certainly I did. It was your fault.”
“My fault! How do you make that out?”
“Because I have never had the slightest respect for you.”
She actually laughed.
“How could you expect me to have any respect for a man who could not succeed in preventing me from doing the things I did?”
Not long ago a certain publication had an idea. Its editor made up a list of thirty men and women distinguished in art, religion, literature, commerce, politics, and other lines, and to each he sent a letter or a telegram containing this question: “If you had but forty-eight hours more to live, how would you spend them?” his purpose being to embody the replies in a symposium in a subsequent issue of his periodical.
Among those who received copies of the inquiry was a New York writer. He thought the proposition over for a spell, and then sent back the truthful answer by wire, collect:
“One at a time.”
There was an explosion of one of the big guns on a battleship not long ago. Shortly afterward one of the sailors who was injured was asked by a reporter to give an account of it.
“Well, sir,” rejoined the jacky, “it was like this: You see, I was standin’ with me back to the gun, a-facin’ the port side. All of a sudden I hears a hell of a noise; then, sir, the ship physician, he says, ‘Set up an’ take this,’”
YOUTH (with tie of the Stars and Stripes): I sent you some suggestions telling you how to make your paper more interesting. Have you carried out any of my ideas?
EDITOR: Did you meet the office boy with the waste-paper basket as you came upstairs?
YOUTH: Yes, yes, I did.
EDITOR: Well, he was carrying out your ideas.
On the western plains the sheepman goes out with several thousand head and one human companion. The natural result is that the pair, forced on one another when they least want it, form the habit of hating each other.
An ex-sheepman while in a narrative mood one evening was telling a party of friends of a fellow he once rode with. “Not a word had passed between us for more than a week, and that night when we rolled up in our blankets he suddenly asked:
“‘Hear that cow beller?’
“‘Sounds to me like a bull,’ I replied.
“No answer, but the following morning I noticed him packing up.
“‘Going to leave?’ I questioned.
“‘Yes,’ he replied.
“Too much argument,’”
Lord Northcliffe at a Washington luncheon was talking about the British Premier.
“Mr. Lloyd George is the idol of the nation,” he said. “It is hard to believe how unpopular he was, at least among the Unionists, once. Among the many stories circulated about Mr. Lloyd George’s unpopularity at that time there was one which concerned a rescue from drowning. The heroic rescuer, when a gold medal was presented to him for his brave deed, modestly declared:
“’I don’t deserve this medal. I did nothing but my duty. I saw our friend here struggling in the water. I knew he must drown unless someone saved him. So I plunged in, swam out to him, turned him over to make sure it wasn’t Lloyd George, and then lugged him to safety on my back.’”
A big darky was being registered.
“Ah can’t go to wah,” he answered in re exemption, “foh they ain’t nobody to look afteh ma wife.”
A dapper little undersized colored brother stepped briskly up and inquired, “What kind of a lookin’ lady is yoh wife?”
Upon the recent death of an American politician, who at one time served his country in a very high legislative place, a number of newspaper men were collaborating on an obituary notice.
“What shall we say of the former senator?” asked one of the men.
“Oh, just put down that he was always faithful to his trust.”
“And,” queried a cynical member of the group, “shall we mention the name of the trust?”
Sergeant (drilling awkward squad): “Company! Attention, company! Lift up your left leg and hold it straight out in front of you!”
One of the squad held up his right leg by mistake. This brought his right-hand companion’s left leg and his own right leg close together. The officer, seeing this, exclaimed angrily:
“And who is that blooming galoot over there holding up both legs?”
We know that the achievements of American business experts are often beyond belief. Whether the following story is true, or is merely a satire, must be left to the judgment of the acute reader:
“May I have a few moments’ private conversation?”
The faultlessly dressed gentleman addressed the portly business man, standing upon the threshold of his office.
“This is a business proposition, sir,” he said, rapidly closing the door and sinking into a seat beside the desk. “I am not a book agent, nor have I any article to sell. I have come to see you about your wife.”
“Yes, sir. Glancing over the society column of your local paper, I am informed that she is about to take her annual autumn trip to Virginia. You will, or course, have to remain behind to take care of your vast business interests. Your wife, sir, is a charming and attractive woman, still in the bloom of youth. Have you, sir, considered the possibilities?”
The other man started to get up, his face red with rage.
“You—” he began.
“One moment, sir, and I think I can satisfy your mind that my motives are pure as alabaster. This is an age of machinery, of science and invention, and, above all, of efficiency. I am simply carrying this idea of efficiency into the domestic life, which, as you are doubtless aware, is so much more important than the physical. One moment, sir. I can furnish you with the highest credentials. This is purely professional, I can assure you. Will give bond if you so desire. My proposition is this: I will accompany your wife on her trip, always, when travelling, at a respectful distance, you understand, and it will be my pleasure as well as business to amuse and interest her during her stay. I do everything—play tennis, bridge, dance all the latest steps, know the latest jokes, can sing, converse on any subject or remain silent, am a life-saver, can run an auto, flirt discreetly, and, in fact, am the most delightful companion for a wife that you can imagine. Remember, sir, that unless you engage my services your wife is at the mercy of all the strangers she may meet and being in that peculiar condition of mind where she is bound to be attracted by things that would otherwise seem commonplace, there is no telling what the end might be. But with me she is perfectly safe. I guarantee results. I insure your heart’s happiness against the future. Terms reasonable. I can refer you to—”
In reply the enforced host rose up, and, taking him not too gently by the arm, led him to the door.
“My friend,” he said, coldly, “your proposition of safety first doesn’t interest me. No, sir! I’m sending my wife to Virginia in hopes that she will actually fall in love with somebody else, so I won’t have to endure what little I see of her any more, and here you come in to spoil my future. No, sir!”
His visitor turned and faced him with a bright smile.
“My dear sir,” he said, “wait. Business man that you are, you do not understand the extent of our resources, which cover every emergency. In accordance with our usual custom, I have already met your wife at a bridge party, and I might say that she is crazy about me. Now, sir, for double the price of my regular fee and a small annual stipend, which is about half the alimony you might have to pay, I will agree to marry and take her off your hands in six months, making you happy for the rest of your life. Sign here, please. Thank you.”
Sanderson was on a visit to Simpkins, and in due course, naturally, he was shown the family album.
“Yes,” said Simpkins, as he turned the leaves, “that’s my wife’s second cousin’s aunt Susan. And that’s Cousin James, and that’s a friend of ours, and that—oh, now, who do you think that is?”
“Don’t know,” said Sanderson.
“Well, that’s my wife’s first husband, my boy.”
“Great Scot! What a perfect brainless-looking idiot. But excuse me, old fellow, I didn’t know your wife was a widow when you married her.”
“She wasn’t,” said Simpkins stiffly. “That, sir, is a portrait of myself at the age of twenty.”
American troops who during the early days of the European War were landed in France received a more careful and prolonged training than could possibly be given the most of the regiments hurriedly raised during the Civil War. The story goes that a raw battalion of rough backwoodsmen, who had “volunteered,” once joined General Grant. He admired their fine physique, but distrusted the capacity of their uncouth commander to handle troops promptly and efficiently in the field, so he said:
“Colonel, I want to see your men at work; call them to attention, and order them to march with shouldered arms in close column to the left flank.”
Without a moment’s hesitation the colonel yelled to his fellow-ruffians:
“Boys, look wild thar! Make ready to thicken and go left endways! Tote yer guns! Git!”
The manoeuvre proved a brilliant success and the self-elected colonel was forthwith officially commissioned.
President Wilson an ardent advocate of every kind of social reform, is fond of telling a story about an old teamster.
This old fellow said to the treasurer of the concern one day:
“Me and that off horse has been workin’ for the company seventeen years, sir.”
“Just so, Winterbottom, just so,” said the treasurer, and he cleared his throat and added: “Both treated well, I hope?”
The old teamster looked dubious.
“Wall,” he said, “we wus both tooken down sick last month, and they got a doctor for the hoss, while they docked my pay.”
There is nothing like taking precautions.
In the following colloquy Mr, Casey, so far as we can judge, neglected nothing. Mrs. Casey said to him:
“Me sister writes me that every bottle in that box we sent her was broken. Are ye sure yez printed ‘This side up with care’ on it?”
“Oi am,” said Casey emphatically. “An’ for fear they shouldn’t see it on the top Oi printed it on the bottom as well.”
During a dust-storm at one of the army camps, a recruit sought shelter in the cook’s tent.
“If you put the lid on that camp kettle you would not get so much dust in your soup.”
“See here, my lad, your business is to serve your country.”
“Yes,” replied the recruit, “but not to eat it.”
On a road in Belgium a German officer met a boy leading a jackass and addressed him in heavy jovial fashion as follows:
“That’s a fine jackass you have, my son. What do you call it? Albert, I bet!”
“Oh, no, officer,” the boy replied quickly. “I think too highly of my King.”
The German scowled and returned:
“I hope you don’t dare to call it William.”
“Oh, no, officer. I think too highly of my jackass.”
An author has favored us with the following anecdote, which is taken from the opening of a chapter in a forthcoming book dealing with the war. It is another example of the pioneer character of ministerial service with us. The varieties of opportunity are constantly changing, but out in the front, according to the needs of our day and generation, there stands the Unitarian with the equipped mind and the ready hand. “A year ago, in London, a man originally from New York State came up and spoke to me as a fellow-American. He wore the garb of a Canadian officer. After I had answered his query as to what I was doing in England, he said: ’My work is rather different. I am looking after the social evil and venereal diseases in the Canadian Army.’ ’Then you are a medical man?’ ’No, said he, ’I tried to get my English medical friends to take hold of the work, but they said that they had their reputations to look after. I have no reputation to lose. I am simply a Unitarian clergyman.’”
When Mike Flaherty abandoned South Boston for Lynn and hired a cottage with a bit of a back yard the first thing he did was to hurry back to the Hub of the Universe and purchase a monkey. “Divil a wurrd” of his scheme would he disclose to his old cronies in Boston. But afterward he let out:
“’Twas like this: I chained the monk to a shtick in me yard, and the coal thrains do be passin’ all day foreninst, and on iv’ry cairr do be a brakeman. In one waik, begorra, I had two tons of coal in me cellar, and the monk never wanst hit.”
In a camp “Over There” the Turkish prisoners are allowed some freedom and among other things our American boys introduced them to the game of baseball. The Turks did remarkably well at it. One of them stepped up to the bat one day, and taking it firmly in his hand turned to the east and salaaming said in a reverent voice “Allah, assist thy servant.” He then made a three bagger.
The next player to the bat was an American boy who was not going to let that Turk beat him. He also stepped up to the bat, clasped it firmly in his hand, salaaming to the east said, “You know me, Al,’ keeping up with the Turk.”
Accounting for It 23 Accuracy 101 Acrobat in the Squad, An 243 Advice to Mabel 141 Alas! Too Late! 35 Allegro 119 All or Nothing 159 Always Get the Facts 4 Always Safety First 216 Anglomaniac, An 93 And He Succeeded 173 Another Engagement 100 Anticipating the Pleasure 184 Appraised 71 Appreciation 119 Apprehending the Kaiser 168 Archie’s Neck 109 Arrival of Wilhelm, The 31 Automatic “Efficiency” 149 Bait 251 Balls 89 Bargain-counter Golf 116 Baseball “Over There” 251 Bay State Solomon, A 83 Beginning Early 222 Benefactor of Mankind, A 228 Best of Reasons 235 Better Way, The 147 Beyond Him 200 Beyond the Sense of Humor 224 Big Chances Both Ways 206 Biting Reproof 249 Blissful Ignorance 137 Boiled 144 Bootblack’s Generosity, The 162 Business Is Business 161, 212 Caesar Visits Cicero 30 Camouflage 191 Can This Be True? 4 Cash! 50 Cautious Mourner 98 Change for the Better 206 Charity 140 Clincher, A 26 Coaxer, A 149 Comparison 58 Compliments of the Day 46
Page 95Comprehensive 249 Comrades! 57 Conclusive 130 Connoisseur, A 28 Considering Father 207 Couldn’t Be Bothered 85 Crown Prince Called Down 220 Curiosity 156 Dad Was Wise 205 Danger Signals 87 Deep-laid Plan, A 136 Deep One, A 104 Delayed 198 Delightful Experience, A 201 Depended on the Mule 219 Deserved the Legacy 75 Diagnosed 187 Diagnosing Himself 81 Didn’t Suit Him 49 Didn’t Want to Rob Him 114 Difference, The 118 Difficult Passage, A 123 Dignities of Office, The 143 Diplomat, A 117 Disadvantage, A 84 Discerning 223 Discriminative 249 Doing His Duty, But 183 Doing Unto His Neighbor 124 Dual Reputation, A 215 Durable 101 Easy Adjustment, An 70 Easy Matter, An 72 Ecclesiastical Dues Enforced 69 Eclipse, The, to Order 27 Effective! 122 Elimination 166 Endurance 180 Enough! 174 Envy? 38 Equatorial Michigan 236 Evidence 126 Experienced 113 Expert, An 227 Facing the Truth 246 Fact Was, The 237 Fair Warning 175 Fame 144 Figuratively Speaking 134 Flattering Explanation, A 49 Following Instructions 240 Forced Into It 145 French Politeness 231 Frugal to the End 239 Full Particulars Free 19 Full Spead Ahead 177 Futile Experiment, A 39 Future Statesman, A 127 Gastronomical 151 Gentle Dissolution, A 39 German Arithmetic 122 Get-rich-quick Scheme, A 48 Getting Even 109, 187 Gifted Youth, A 107 Give Him Time 82 Give Us the Chance 201 Grateful to the Doctor 138 Great Relief in Heaven 7 Guide! 167 Guilty 38 Guilty Conscience, A 153 Had Had Treatment 29 Had His Rights 102 Had Heard Him Before 54 Had to Be Settled 21 Happy Ending Wanted 192 Hard Knock, A 100 Hard Up for Wind 157 Heaven Sent 47 He Couldn’t Have Missed It 37 He Got It Twice 142 He Got Results Anyway 247 He Knew Bryan 158 He Knew the Law 10 He Might be, but She Wasn’t 138 He Obeyed 175
Page 96Her Domestic Instincts 55 Her Own 64 Her Prayer 98 He Scorned the Thought 171 He Understood 195 He Was Broad Minded 6 He Was Not a Prohibitionist 170 High Finance 15 His Application 25 His by Right 234 His Complaint 184 His Favorite Beast 214 His Generosity 114 His Great Ambition 167 His Lack 23 His Need 159 His Search for the Practical 157 His System Was a Complete One 243 Historical 63 His Ultimatum 107 Hoodooed 145 Horse Psychologist, A 148 How Could He Know? 131 How He Got Them 29 How Mary Lost a Tip 199 How to Tell a Well-bred Dog 128 How War Began 180 Humbled 221 Ian Hay’s Fate 191 Immortal! 33 Impersonal 172 Improvement! 76 In Advance 131 Inconsiderate 99 Indissoluble Partners 218 In Memoriam 83 In Our Melting Pot 81 Intelligent Cat, The 196 In the Old Days 241 Is This Tact? 221 It Happened in Illinois 108 “It Is Forbidden” 97 Its Name 200 Jeems Henry Was Conjured! 73 Joe’s Diagnosis 89 Joy of Eating 115 Just Answered 120 Justice to T.R. 169 Kaiser’s Last Word, The 163 Keeping It in the Family 74 Kindness 204 Knew His Business 188 Knew His Job 92 Knew More About Hens Than History, 140 Last Resort 56 Last Word, The, as Usual 238 Lesson in Manners, A 154 Life, The 84 Life’s Eternal Query 14 Limit, The 124, 232 Limited Dissipation 232 Literal Censor, A 151 Little too Thrifty, A 199 Long Story, A 215 Looked That Way 57 Makes a Difference 186 Making It Fit 154 Man He Left Behind, The 135 Manna 47 Mark Twain on Millionaires 64 Matrimonial Endurance 180 Matrimonial Profundity 15 Matter of Nomenclature, A 96 Matter with Kansas, The 146 Memories 69 Might Draw Business 43 Misleading 88 Missed His Chance 6 Missing It 181 Mistaken Identity? 53 Mistakes Will Happen 87 More Scotch Thrift 204 Moving Tale, A 65 Much Simpler 105 New Complaint, A 224 New Regime, The 16
Page 97New Servant-girl Story 5 “Next!” 58 No Change in Shylock 174 No Danger 43 Non Fit 234 No Free Advertising 132 No Joque 165 No Peace for Him 144 No Place for Him 240 No Telling 125 No Use for It 121 Not a Native 141 Not Enough Scenery 190 Not For Her to Say 227 Nothing to Lose 250 Not in the Tactics 153 Not Much to Talk About 240 Not So Difficult 75 Nourishment 28 Obeying Orders 91 Obvious Place, The 182 Old Hand, An 193 On Duty Elsewhere 162 One Explanation 94 One on Him 80 One Way Out 179 On Her Nerves 50 Only one Thing for Him 136 Oriental Politeness 34 Original Method, The 201 “Over Here” 13 Perfectly Natural 117 Perfect Program, A 232 Perpetual Motion 113 Person of Discernment, A 193 Pessimists 198 Pigtails and Moustaches 157 Playing Safe 178 Point of Honor, The 3 Poser, A 42 “Prayer of the Unrighteous” 101 Preparedness 176 Pride 197 Pride in the Daily Task 114 Probably Right 111 Proper Spirit, The 112 Proposal, The 139 Proving It 104 Purely Literary 90 Putting It up to the Horse 185 Ready-witted Parson, A 103 Real Culprit, The 95 Record Breaker, A 126 Remorse 94 Revealed 80 Revised Classics 24, 163 Rivalry 172 Robbing Himself 197 Rotund 224 Safe 45 Safe Deposit 146 Same Old Hours, The 133 Scotch Thrills 25 Scriptural 236 Sensitive 121 Sermon on the War, A, By Parson Brown, 10 She Admitted It 228 She Knew Him 48 Silent Contempt 106 Silver Lining, The 230 Simple Faith 231 Simple Political Life, The 156 Skeptic, A 192 Smarty! 26 Smarty! 127 Soft Answer, A 88 Solving a Great Problem 186 Some Fight 225 Some Speed 135 Something! 189 Specially Endowed 165 Sporting Proposition, A 139 Staying on the Job 211 Still Companionable 70 Still Not Satisfied 148 Still Unbeaten 22
Page 98Stock Suffrage Argument, A 103 Story from the Front, A 235 Stories about James Gordon Bennett, 209 Sunshine, Mr., and Mr, Gloom 61 Surprising 217 Table of Comparison 92 Taking no Chances 242 Taxed to Capacity 150 Test of Friendship, A 136 Teuton Way, The 118 Their “Bit” 86 Their One Topic 110 Their Opportunity 182 Then Things Happened 188 They Meant to Be Fair 40 They Were so Glad to See Him 19 This Happened in Chicago 53 “Tipperary” in Chinese 233 Tit for Tat 194 Too Forward 90 Too Good to Be Wasted 195 Too Long a Shot 120 Too Much! 52, 142 Too Personal 242 Too Strong a Term 226 Touchy 196 Try It and See 128 Try This 115 True Optimist, A 194, 217 Two Treatments, The 248 Unchangeable 9 Uneasy 116 Unfortunate Affair, An 155 Unprepared Base Threatened 98 Unreturned Favors 112 Up to Him 152 Vulnerable 87 Warned in Twenty Years 222 Warning to Authors 207 Wasn’t Calling Her Dear 189 Welcoming the Actor 85 What Did Solomon Say? 107 What He Might Have Been 129 When the “S” Fell Out 18 Where Ignorance Is Bliss 17 Where Vermont Scored 123 Who Could Tell? 36 Why Be Polite Anyway? 31 Why Not? 130, 132, 133 Why Should He Know? 77 Winner, The 150 Words Failed Her 178 Worm Turned, The 185 Worse! 118 Worth a Chance 205 Yankee Fodder 93