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

“Great Scot!  Look at Skinny, usin’ his iron all the way round!”

THE DIGNITIES OF OFFICE

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.”

FAME

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.

NO PEACE FOR HIM

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.”

BOILED

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.”

FORCED INTO IT

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.”

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