Best Short Stories

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"Ay vant to get married," blushed Pete, who is by way of being a Scandinavian.

"Married? Why, look here--it was only a couple of months ago that you wanted to get off because your wife was dead!"

"Yas, ay gess so."

"And you want to get married again, with your wife only two months dead?"

"Yas. Ay ain't ban hold no grudge long."


Before introducing Lieutenant de Tessan, aide to General Joffre, and Colonel Fabry, the "Blue Devil of France," Chairman Spencer, of the St. Louis entertainment committee, at the M.A.A. breakfast told this anecdote:

"In Washington Lieutenant de Tessan was approached by a pretty American girl, who said:

"'And did you kill a German soldier?'

"'Yes,' he replied.

"'With what hand did you do it?' she inquired.

"'With this right hand,' he said.

"And then the pretty American girl seized his right hand and kissed it. Colonel Fabry stood near by. He strolled over and said to Lieutenant de Tessan:

"'Heavens, man, why didn't you tell her that you bit him to death?'"


The following story is from the _Libre Belgique_, the anonymous periodical secretly published in Brussels, and which the utmost vigilance of the German authorities has been unable to suppress.

Once upon a time Doctor Bethman-Holweg went up to heaven. The pearly gates were shut, but he began to push his way through in the usual German fashion. St. Peter rushed out of his lodge, much annoyed at the commotion.

"Hi, there, who are you?" he demanded.

"I am Doctor Von Bethman-Holweg, the imperial chancellor," was the haughty reply.

"Well, you don't seem to be dead; what are you doing around here?"

"I want to see God."

"Sorry," replied St. Peter, "but I don't think you can see him to-day; in fact, he's not very well."

"Ah, I'm distressed to hear that," said the chancellor somewhat more politely. "What seems to be the trouble?"

"We don't quite know, but we are afraid it is a case of exaggerated ego," answered St. Peter. "He keeps walking up and down, occasionally striking his chest with his clenched fist, and muttering to himself: 'I am the kaiser! I am the kaiser!'"

"Dear me! that is really very sad," said the chancellor in a still kindlier tone. "Now I happen to be the bearer of a communication from my imperial master; perhaps it might cheer him up to hear it."

"What is it?"

"Why, the emperor has just issued a decree, providing that in future he shall have the use of the nobiliary particle; from henceforth he will have the right to call himself 'Von Gott'."

"Step right in, your excellency," interrupted St. Peter. "I am very sure the new Graf will be much gratified to learn of the honor done him. Third door to the right. Mind the step. Thank you."


A story about Lord Kitchener, who was often spoken of as "the most distinguished bachelor in the world," is being told. A young member of his staff when he was in India asked for a furlough in order to go home and be married. Kitchener listened to him patiently then he said:

"Kenilworth, you're not yet twenty-five. Wait a year. If then you still desire to do this thing you shall have leave."

The year passed. The officer once more proffered his request.

"After thinking it over for twelve months," said Kitchener, "you still wish to marry?"

"Yes, sir."

"Very well, you shall have your furlough. And frankly, my boy, I scarcely thought there was so much constancy in the masculine world."

Kenilworth, the story concludes, marched to the door, but turned to say as he was leaving: "Thank you, sir. Only it's not the same woman."


An old colored man charged with stealing chickens was arraigned in court and was incriminating himself when the judge said:

"You ought to have a lawyer. Where's your lawyer?"

"Ah ain't got no lawyer, jedge," said the old man.

"Very well, then," said his honor, "I'll assign a lawyer to defend you."

"Oh, no, suh; no, suh! Please don't do dat!" the darky begged.

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