Best Short Stories eBook

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


The manager of a factory recently engaged a new man and gave instructions to the foreman to instruct him in his duties.  A few days afterward the manager inquired whether the new man was progressing with his work.

The foreman, who had not agreed very well with the man in question, exclaimed angrily: 

“Progressing!  There’s been a lot of progress.  I have taught him everything I know and he is still an ignorant fool.”


This story has the merit of being true, anyhow:  The official pessimist of a small Western city, a gentleman who had wrestled with chronic dyspepsia for years, stood in front of the post office as the noon whistles sounded.

“Twelve o’clock, eh?” he said, half to himself and half to an acquaintance.  “Well, I’m going home to dinner.  If dinner ain’t ready I’m going to raise hell; and if it is ready I ain’t going to eat a bite.”


The Chinese have put “Tipperary” into their own language, and native newspapers print the chorus as follows: 

  Shih ko yuan lu tao Ti-po-lieh-li,
  Pi yao ti jih hsing tsou. 
  Shih ko yuan lu tao Ti-po-lieh-li,
  Yao chien we ngai tzu nu,
  Tsai hui Pi-ko-ti-li,
  Tsai chien Lei-ssu Kwei-rh,
  Shih ko yuan lu tao Ti-po-lieh-li,
  Tan wo hsin tsai na-rh.

This is the literal translation: 

  This road is far from Ti-po-lieh-li,
  We must walk for many days,
  This road is far from Ti-po-lieh-li,
  I want to see my lovely girl,
  To meet again Pi-ko-ti-li,
  To see again Lei-ssu Kwei-rh,
  This road is far from Ti-po-lieh-li,
  But my heart is already in that place.


She was a very stout, jolly-looking woman, and she was standing at the corset counter, holding in her hand an article she was returning.  Evidently her attention had been suddenly drawn to the legend printed on the label, for she was overheard to murmur, “’Made expressly for John Wanamaker.’  Well, there!  No wonder they didn’t fit me!”


An Irish chauffeur in San Francisco, who had been having trouble with numerous small boys in the neighborhood of his stand, discovered one day on examining his car that there was a dead cat on one of the seats.  In his anger he was about to throw the carcass into the street, when he espied a policeman.

Holding up the carcass, he exclaimed:  “This is how I am insulted.  What am I to do with it?”

“Well, don’t you know?  Take it straight to headquarters, and if it is not claimed within a month it becomes your property.”


A teacher was giving a lesson on the circulation of the blood.  Trying to make the matter clearer, he said:  “Now, boys, if I stood on my head the blood, as you know, would run into it, and I should turn red in the face.”

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Best Short Stories from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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