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

“Village burglar!”

“Yes, sir.  I guarantee results, I only rob one house a week.  This includes a clean get-away.  When a man, no matter how conscientious, attempts any more than this, he is bound to deteriorate.  By employing me regularly you get the best results.”

“What inducements do you offer?”

“Your village will be advertised regularly and in the most efficient manner.  I will guarantee to keep away all other burglars, thus insuring the comfort and safety of your police.  I return all goods stolen.  If it is necessary at any time to wound any of your citizens, I will pay half of the hospital expenses.  Salary five thousand a year.  Can furnish references.”

“Nothing else?”

“My dear sir, what more do you want?”

The mayor shook his head, as rising, he indicated that the interview was over.

“Sorry, my friend,” he said, “that I can’t accept your offer, but I am just closing a contract with a man who not only will burglarize our village regularly on your terms, but also will turn over to us as a rebate one-half of the salary he gets from the burglary insurance company that employs him.”

HIS FAVORITE BEAST

Harris Dickson, on a hunting trip in Sunflower County, Mississippi, met an old darky who had never seen a circus in his life.  When the Big Show came in the following season to Dickson’s town of Vicksburg he sent for the old man and treated him to the whole thing—­arrival of the trains, putting up the tents, grand free street parade, menagerie, main performance, concert, side show, peanuts, red lemonade, and all.

The old darky followed his white patron through with popping eyes, but saying never a word.  Late in the afternoon they got back to the Dickson home.

“John,” said Dickson, “you enjoyed it?”

“Boss,” said John fervently.  “Ah shore did!”

“What did you like the most?”

“Mistah Dickson,” answered John, “Ah shore laked hit all.”

“Well, what impressed you most?”

“Well, suh, boss,” he said, “Ah reckin hit waz dat dere animul you calls de camuel.”

“The camel, eh?  Well, what was so remarkable about the camel?”

“He suttinly is got such a noble smell!”

A LONG STORY

“May I ask the cause of all this excitement?” asked the stranger in the little village.

“Certainly,” replied the countryman.  “We’re celebrating the birthday of the oldest inhabitant sir.  She’s a hundred and one to-day.”

“Indeed!  And may I ask who is that little man, with the dreadfully sad countenance, walking by the old lady’s side?”

“Oh, that’s the old lady’s son-in-law, sir.  He’s been keeping up the payments on her life-insurance for the last thirty years!”

A DUAL REPUTATION

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