Best Short Stories eBook

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

“I am making a wish,” meekly responded the husband.

“A wish?”

“Yes, my dear.  In your presence I shall not presume to call it a will.”


The value of travel oftentimes depends upon who travels.

Mrs. Williams, who had recently returned from abroad, was attending an afternoon tea which was given in her honor.

“And did you actually go to Rome?” asked the hostess.

“I really don’t know, my dear,” replied Mrs. Williams.  “You see, my husband always bought the tickets.”


“So,” said the old general, “you think you would make a good valet for an old wreck like me, do you?  I have a glass eye, a wooden leg, and a wax arm that need looking after, not to mention false teeth, and so forth.”

“Oh, that’s all right, general,” replied the applicant, enthusiastically; “I’ve had lots of experience.  I worked six years in the assembling department of a big motor-car factory.”


Our ideals are often a personal matter and, after all, it is just as well to be humble about our achievements A certain woman was brought before a magistrate.

“It appears to be your record, Mary Moselle,” said the magistrate, “that you have been thirty-five times convicted of stealing.”

“I guess, your honor,” replied Mary, “that is right.  No woman is perfect.”


This story teaches us a very old moral.

The man of whom it is told was travelling in a railroad train when he leaned forward confidentially to the man in the next seat: 

“Excuse me, sir,” he said.  “You’re not going to get off at the next station, are you?”

“No, sir.”

“Then that will give me time to tell you.  Are you aware, sir, what is the matter with this great country?”

“No, sir.”

“As I thought.  It’s due entirely to misunderstanding.  We are always jumping to conclusions about others.  That makes us suspicious.  Result, constant friction.  Take you and me, for example.  At present we are comparative strangers.  But when we get to know each other better we shall slowly but surely come to realize that each of us is trying to do our best, and—­”

“But I don’t want to know you any better.”

“Precisely.  Exactly.  That’s what causes all the trouble.  I judge you and you judge me too hastily.  As you become better acquainted with my motives you will gradually come to realize that deep down in my heart is a passionate desire to benefit my fellowmen.  Same here.  My tendency is to treat you as a stranger, not to give you credit for noble generosity and genuine civic virtue.  But I am determined to overcome this attitude and recognize you as a brother.  I know I’m a hundred years ahead of my age, but someone must make the sacrifice.”

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Best Short Stories from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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