Best Short Stories eBook

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

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.

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Best Short Stories from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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