Best Short Stories eBook

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

“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: 

Project Gutenberg
Best Short Stories from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook