Best Short Stories eBook

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


An elderly woman who was extremely stout was endeavoring to enter a street car when the conductor, noticing her difficulty, said to her: 

“Try sideways, madam; try sideways.”

The woman looked up breathlessly and said:  “Why, bless ye, I ain’t got no sideways!”


A Scottish soldier, badly wounded, requested an army chaplain to write a letter for him to his wife.  The chaplain, anxious to oblige, started off with “My dear Wife—­”

“Na, na,” said the Scotsman, “dinna pit that doon.  Ma wife canna see a joke.”


A German, whose wife was ill at the Seney Hospital, Brooklyn, called the first evening she was there and inquired how she was getting along.  He was told that she was improving.

Next day he called again, and was told she was still improving.  This went on for some time, each day the report being that his wife was improving.

Finally, one day he called and said: 

“How iss my wife?”

“She’s dead.”

He went out and met a friend, and the friend said: 

“Well, how is your wife?”

“She’s dead.”

“Ooh!  How terrible!  What did she die of?”



An American Negro stevedore assigned to the great docks in southwestern
France had written several letters to his black Susanna in Jacksonville,
Fla., when she wrote back saying: 

“You-all don’t nevah tell me nothin’ ’bout de battle a-tall.  Tilda Sublet’s Dave done wrote her all about how he kotched two Germans all by hisself and kilt three mo’.”

The stevedore was reluctant to tell his girl that he was doing manual labor and that his only accoutrement was the tinware from which he ate his war bread, “slum” and coffee.  His reply ran: 

“Dear Sue:  De battle am goin’ on.  You would faint if I tole yuh de full details.  Ah’m standin’ in blood up to mah knees, and every time Ah move Ah step on a daid German.  We’re too close to use our rifles, and we’re bitin’ and gougin’ ’em.  At one time me and two othah niggahs was hangin’ onto de Crown Prince wid our teeth, an’ old Papa Kaiser done beat us off wid a fence rail untwell ree-umfo’s-ments come!”


One evening just before dinner the wife, who had been playing bridge all the afternoon, came in to find her husband and a strange man (afterward ascertained to be a lawyer) engaged in some mysterious business over the library table upon which were spread several sheets of paper.

“What are you doing with all that paper, Henry?” demanded the wife.

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