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

“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.”

PIGTAILS AND MOUSTACHES

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.”

HIS SEARCH FOR THE PRACTICAL

“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.”

HARD UP FOR WIND

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!”

HE KNEW BRYAN

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.”

HIS NEED

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?”

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