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

“Shine?”

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.”

ON DUTY ELSEWHERE

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.”

THE KAISER’S LAST WORD

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!’”

A REVISED CLASSIC—­THE SLEEPING BEAUTY

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.

SPECIALLY ENDOWED

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