Best Short Stories eBook

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

“Who is that man?” he asked the foreman.  “What do you pay him?”

The foreman gave him the information.

“Double his salary,” replied Mr. Bennett.  “He’s the only man in the place who seems to be doing any work.”

A dramatic critic, still a well-known writer, lost his place because he would not get his hair cut.  Bennett in Paris asked him why he wore his hair so long and was told because he liked it that way.  An order sending him to Copenhagen followed.  When his return was announced by a secretary, Bennett asked if he had had his hair cut, and being informed that he had not, ordered him to St. Petersburg.  On his return from Russia, still unshorn, he was sent to the Far East.

“Has he had his hair cut?” asked Bennett when his return was once more announced.

“No, sir,” replied the secretary, “it’s as long as ever.”

“Then fire him,” replied Bennett.  “He’s too slow to take a hint to suit me.”


In introducing the Honorable W.G.  McAdoo to an audience of North Carolinians in the Raleigh Auditorium, Governor T.W.  Bickett had occasion to refer to the North Carolina trait of stick-to-it-ness.  He used as an example the case of Private Jim Webb, a green soldier and a long, lanky individual from the farm who had never been drilled in his whole life and knew even less about the usages and customs of war, so when he was conscripted into the North Carolina divisions in the late war between the states, he was given only a week’s drill and then assigned to duty.

His regiment was in the Peninsular campaign, and Jim was soon put on guard duty, being given, as his first post, a place along the river bank, and cautioned to stick to his post under any conditions, to watch closely for the enemy, and to allow no one to pass who could not give the countersign.

“Obey your instructions,” said the officer of the guard, “and I will return at two o’clock with relief.  Do not leave your post under any conditions.”

Promptly at two o’clock the officer returned, to find Jim gone.  He searched long and diligently, but no trace of Jim.  Finally he called, lowly at first, then louder, seeking to know if Jim were in the vicinity or had been captured.  Finally came Jim’s answering voice from out in the middle of the river, “Here I be.”

“What in the world are you doing out there?” asked the indignant officer.  “Did I not tell you not to leave your post?”

“I hain’t moved, nuther,” replied the indignant Jim; “the durn river’s riz.”


“May I see you privately?”

The well-dressed stranger approached the mayor of the suburban town with the air of one who knew his business.  When they were alone he said: 

“I want to apply for the position of village burglar.”

Project Gutenberg
Best Short Stories from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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