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Title: Best Short Stories
Author: Masson, Thomas L., 1866-1934 [Compiler]
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Best Short Stories" ***

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Collected by THOMAS L. MASSON



There is a wide difference of opinion, even among the most
discriminating critics, as to what constitutes the point of a good joke.
Aside from varying temperaments, this is largely due to one's experience
with life in general. Or intimate acquaintance with certain phases of
life gives us a subtler appreciation of certain niceties, which would be
lost upon those who have not traveled over that particular path. The
doctor, the lawyer, the family man, and the soldier, each have their
minds sensitized to their own fields of thought. Human nature, however,
works according to universal laws, and a really first-class joke strikes
home to the majority.

The compiler of this collection has had it in mind to get as much
variety as possible, while at the same time to use only such material as
serves to illustrate some easily recognizable human trait.

It is almost needless to say that this book should not be read
continuously. It should be taken in small doses, as it is highly

Many old friends will be noticed in the crowd. But old friends, even
among jokes, should not be passed by too lightly.



A young lieutenant was passed by a private, who failed to salute. The
lieutenant called him back, and said sternly:

"You did not salute me. For this you will immediately salute two hundred

At this moment the General came up.

"What's all this?" he exclaimed, seeing the poor private about to begin.

The lieutenant explained.

"This ignoramus failed to salute me, and as a punishment, I am making
him salute two hundred times."

"Quite right," replied the General, smiling. "But do not forget, sir,
that upon each occasion you are to salute in return."


It is never wise to jump to conclusions. Always wait until the evidence
is all in.

A Jersey man of a benevolent turn of mind encountered a small boy in his
neighborhood who gave evidence of having emerged but lately from a
severe battle.

"I am sorry," said the man, "to see that you have a black eye, Sammy."

Whereupon Sammy retorted:

"You go home and be sorry for your own little boy--he's got two!"


A certain Irishman was taken prisoner by the Huns. While he was standing
alone, waiting to be assigned to his prison, or whatever fate awaited
him, the Kaiser came up.

"Hello," said the Kaiser. "Who have we here?"

"I'm an Irishman, your honor."

Then he winked solemnly.

"Oi say," he continued. "We didn't do a thing to you Germans, did we?
Eh, old chap?"

The Kaiser was horrified. Calling an orderly he said to him:

"Take this blasphemer away and put a German uniform on him, and then
bring him back."

Shortly the Irishman was returned, in a full German uniform.

"Well," said the Kaiser, "maybe you feel better now. How is it?"

Pat grabbed him by the arm, and leaning over, whispered:

"Oi say, we gave them Irish Hell, didn't we?"


The wife of a successful young literary man had hired a buxom Dutch girl
to do the housework. Several weeks passed and from seeing her master
constantly about the house, the girl received an erroneous impression.

"Ogscuse me, Mrs. Blank," she said to her mistress one day, "but I like
to say somedings."

"Well, Rena?"

The girl blushed, fumbled with her apron, and then replied, "Vell, you
pay me four tollars a veek--'

"Yes, and I really can't pay you any more."

"It's not dot," responded the girl; "but I be villing to take tree
tollars till--till your husband gets vork."


Even married life does not affect some people unpleasantly, or take away
the fine spirit of their charity.

A certain factory-owner tells of an old employee who came into the
office and asked for a day off.

"I guess we can manage it, Pete," says the boss, "tho we are mighty
short-handed these days. What do you want to get off for?"

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

"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

"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

"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

"'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

"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.

"Why not?" asked the judge. "It won't cost you anything. Why don't you
want a lawyer?"

"Well, jedge, Ah'll tell you, suh," said the old man, waving his
tattered old hat confidentially. "Hit's dis way. Ah wan' tah enjoy dem
chickens mahse'f."


The historic colored preacher who held forth so strenuously after the
Civil War has almost become obsolete, but in certain sections he still
holds his own, as the following sermon, taken from _Life_, will show:

Brederen an' Sisterin: I done read de Bible from kiver to kiver, from
lid to lid an' from end to end, an' nowhar do I find a mo' 'propriate
tex' at dis time, when de whole worl' is scrimmigin' wid itse'f, dan de
place whar Paul Pinted de Pistol at de Philippines an' said, "Dou art de

Kaiser Bill ob Germany is de man, an' Uncle Sam done got de pistol
pinted his way, an' goin' to pull de trigger, lessen Bill gits off his
perch, like dat woman Jezebel dat sassed Ahab from de roof top.

Ahab say to his soldiers, "Go up an' th'ow dat woman down," an' dey
th'ew her down. Den he say, "Go up an' th'ow her down again," an' dey
th'ew her down again; an' he say, "Take her back up an th'ow her down
seben times," an' dey th'owed her down seben times, an' ast if dat ain't

But Ahab done got his dander up, an' say, "No! Dat ain't enough. Th'ow
her down sebenty times seben."

And afterwards dey done pick up twelve baskets ob de fragments dereob.

Dat's what gwine ter happen ter dat Bill Heah Him Hollerin.

De Good Book done fo'told dis here war, an' jist how it gwine ter end.
Don't it say about de four beasts in de book of Relations, what spit
fire an' brimstone, meanin' de Kaiser, de Turks, de Ostriches, and de
Bullgeraniums, case two ob dem beasteses is birds, an' Ostriches an'
Turkys is birds. De bigges' beast is de Kaiser, case he uses Germans to
pizen his enemies. De newspapers say as how diseases is all caused by
Germans gittin' in de food an' bein' breathed in de lungs, givin' folks
hydrophobia an' lumbago an' consumption.

Dis brings us to de time when Abraham led de chillun ob Israel into
Egypt, an' Moses led 'em out again case de folks ob Egypt so bad dey
shoot craps all day, and eben make Faro de king. Dey take all de money
'way from de Jews an' raise de price ob cawn an' hay till de po' Jews
can't live.

Rockefeller-Morgan Faro, de king, say dey can't go, but Moses done got
de Lawd on his side, an' he crossed de Red Sea in submarines, so Faro
got drowned wid all his host. De mummy ob dat same Faro is still alive
in de big museums ob de world, but whar de host is no man can tell.

Dat de way de Wall Street gang dat been raisin' de price ob food gwine
ter pass in dey checks--in de Red Sea ob blood ob dis war.

Moses an' de Jews went trabelin' ober de desert till one day dey gits so
hungry dey makes a fatted calf ob gold while Moses up on Mount Sinai
gittin' de law laid down. Moses come er-cussin' back an' busted de Law
ober Aaron's head, an' den dey killed de fatted calf an' put a ring on
his finger. For de prodigal done return, an' dey is mo' rejoicin' ober
one sinner sabed dan ninety an' nine what doan know 'nuff to put deir
money in de contribution box instead ob shootin' it 'way on craps.

Oh, I knows you backsliders, an' ef any ob you doan come across while
Dekin Jones passes de box, I'se gwine ter preach nex' Sunday on what
happened ter de money-chasers in de temple.

We will now sing two verses ob "Th'ow Out de Lifeline, Anoder Ship
Sinkin' To-day."


The hobo knocked at the back door and the lady of the house appeared.

"Lady," he said, "I was at the front--"

"You poor man!" she exclaimed. "One of war's victims. Wait till I get
you some food, and you shall tell me your story. You were in the
trenches, you say?"

"Not in the trenches. I was at the front--"

"Don't try to talk with your mouth full. Take your time. What deed of
heroism did you do at the front?"

"Why, I knocked, but I couldn't make nobody hear, so I came around to
the back."


Did it ever occur to you that a man's life is full of cussedness? He
comes into the world without his consent, and goes out against his will,
and the trip between is exceedingly rocky.

When he is little, the big girls kiss him; when he is big, the little
girls kiss him. If he is poor, he is a bad manager; if he is rich, he's
a crook. If he is prosperous, everybody wants to do him a favor; if he
needs credit, they hand him a lemon.

If he is in politics, it is for graft; if out of politics, he is no good
to his country. If he doesn't give to charity, he's a tightwad; if he
does, it's for show. If he is actively religious, he is a hypocrite; and
if he takes no interest in religion, he is a heathen.

If he is affectionate, he is a soft mark; if he cares for no one, he is
cold-blooded. If he dies young, there was a great future for him; if he
lives to an old age, he missed his calling.

If you don't fight, you're yellow; if you do, you're a brute.

If you save your money, you're a grouch; if you spend it, you're a
loafer; if you get it, you're a grafter, and if you don't get it, you're
a bum.

_So what's the use?_


Even certain professors, who are supposed to be immune from commercial
inducements are sometimes financially overcautious. A party of tourists
were watching Professor X as he exhumed the wrapt body of an ancient

"Judging from the utensils about him," remarked the professor, "this
mummy must have been an Egyptian plumber."

"Wouldn't it be interesting," said a romantic young lady, "if we could
bring him to life?"

"Interesting, but a bit risky," returned Professor X. "Somebody might
have to pay him for his time."


A young planter in Mississippi had an old servant called Uncle Mose, who
had cared for him as a child and whose devotion had never waned. The
young man became engaged to a girl of the neighborhood who had a
reputation for unusual beauty and also for a very violent temper.
Noticing that Uncle Mose never mentioned his approaching marriage, the
planter said:

"Mose, you know I am going to marry Miss Currier?"

"Yassuh, I knows it."

"I haven't heard you say anything about it," persisted the planter.

"No, suh," said Mose. "Tain't fo' me to say nothin' 'bout it. I's got
nothin' to say."

"But you must have some opinion about so important a step on my part."

"Well, suh," said the old negro with some hesitation, "yo' knows one
thing--the most p'izonest snakes has got the most prettiest skins."


The new change in social conditions to be brought about by the war is
illustrated in the following advertisements taken from _Life_:


HUSBAND AND WIFE would like position as gardener and cook, or will do
anything. 23 years in last place as czar and czarina. Salary not so
important as permanent place in quiet, peaceful atmosphere. Address
ROMANOFF, this paper.

EMPLOYERS, giving up royalty, would like to secure position for their
king. Steady, experienced, thoroughly broken to crown and sceptre.
Distance no objection. Will go anywhere. Small salary to start.
CONSTANTINE, 49 Greece, in rear. (Ring Sophy's bell.)

YOUNG MONARCH, 28 years old, 4 years as king in last place, would accept
like position in small, tranquil country, Latin preferred. No objection
to South America. Light, rangy and stylish, very fast, and thoroughly
broken to bombs and revolutions. MANUEL J. PORTUGAL, London.

KING AND QUEEN, Swedish, expecting to make change shortly, would like
position as gardener and coachman, cook and laundress. Good home more
important than salary. A1 references. Address GUS and VICKY, care this

EMPEROR, 29 years as Kaiser in present position, expecting to be at
liberty shortly, owing to change in employers' circumstances, would like
place as assassin, or pig-sticker in abattoir. No aversion to blood.
Cool, resourceful, determined. Address EFFICIENT, care this paper.


Thus, seeking to be kind and fraternal, but at the same time perfectly
honest, if we make mistakes, we may still comfort ourselves with the
assurance which his Irish Catholic servant once expressed to the devout
and learned Bishop Whately.

"Do you really believe," he asked her, "that there is no salvation
outside of the Roman Catholic Church?"

"Shure, an' I do," she replied, "for that's what the praist ses."

"Well, then, what is going to become of me?"

"Oh, that's all right," she answered, with an Irish twinkle in her eyes.
"Yer riverence will be saved by yer ignorince."


"We are thorry to thay," explained the editor of the Skedunk _Weekly
News_, "that our compothing-room wath entered lath night by thome
unknown thcoundrel, who thtole every 'eth' in the ethtablithment, and
thucceeded in making hith ethcape undetected.

"The motive of the mithcreant doubtleth wath revenge for thome
thuppothed inthult.

"It thall never be thaid that the petty thpite of any thmall-thouled
villain hath dithabled the _Newth_, and if thith meet the eye of the
detethtable rathcal, we beg to athure him that he underethtimated the
rethourceth of a firtht-clath newthpaper when he thinkth he can cripple
it hopelethly by breaking into the alphabet. We take occathion to thay
to him furthermore that before next Thurthday we thall have three timeth
ath many etheth ath he thtole.

"We have reathon to thuthpect that we know the cowardly thkunk who
committed thith act of vandalithm, and if he ith ever theen prowling
about thith ethtablithment again, by day or by night, nothing will give
uth more thatithfaction than to thoot hith hide full of holeth."


They were seated in a tramcar--the mother and her little boy.

The conductor eyed the little boy suspiciously. He had to keep a lookout
for people who pretended that their children were younger than they
really were, in order to obtain free rides for them.

"And how old is your little boy, madam, please?"

"Three and a half," said the mother truthfully.

"Right, ma'am," said the conductor, satisfied.

Little Willie pondered a minute. It seemed to him that fuller
information was required.

"And mother's thirty-one," he said politely.


"I am taking some notes about civic pride," said the urbane stranger, as
he wandered into the up-to-date community. "I suppose you have such a

"Well, I should say we had," said the corner real estate agent. "I am
loaded with it myself."

"Good!" replied the agent, taking out his memo-book. "I'll make a note
of it. This, you will understand, is a more or less scientific inquiry,
and I shall make my estimates as carefully as possible, with all due
regard to the human equation. Who, should you say, has the most civic
pride in town?"

"That is some problem," replied the agent, "but you might go across the
way to the Woman's Club. Out of courtesy to the ladies I am ready to
yield the palm."

"Yes," said the president of the Woman's Club when she had heard the
visitor's errand. "We have the most civic pride, of course. The Town
Council thinks it has, and the Board of Education thinks it has, but pay
no attention to them; we are on the job day and night; as a factory for
turning out civic pride, nobody in this vicinity can beat us. You want
to hear my lecture on the subject at the next meeting."

"Thanks," said the visitor, "but you will appreciate that in these
piping times of war, I am a busy man, and must hurry on. Has anybody
else any civic pride here that you could name?"

He was presented with a list and went about town getting them all down.
At the end of several days, all the organizations in town that dealt in
civic pride got together and arranged for a banquet for the
distinguished stranger. They were immensely proud that he had come among

It was a great affair. The mayor, who was swelling with civic pride,
vied with the president of the Woman's Club. It was, indeed, a
neck-and-neck race between them as to who had the greater quantity of
civic pride.

At the end of the banquet, when they were all bidding the guest good-bye
with tears streaming down their faces, the only pessimist in town got up
and said:

"Excuse me, ladies and gentlemen, for obtruding my repellent personality
on this joyful assemblage, but our dear guest will not, I am sure,
object to answering a simple question. I have no civic pride myself, but
do you mind, sir, telling me the object of your visit to this lovely
little burg?"

"Certainly not," said the guest, as he prepared to take a quick slant
through the door, "no objection at all. You see, my friends, civic pride
is the only thing that the government hasn't taxed. You'll get your
bills a little later, based on your own estimates. Much obliged for all
your first-hand information."


"Johnny, it was very wrong for you and the boy next door to fight."

"We couldn't help it, father."

"Could you not have settled your differences by a peaceful discussion
of the matter, calling in the assistance of unprejudiced opinion, if
need be?"

"No, father. He was sure he could whip me and I was sure I could whip
him, and there was only one way to find out."


The sergeant-major had the reputation of never being at a loss for an
answer. A young officer made a bet with a brother officer that he would
in less than twenty-four hours ask the sergeant-major a question that
would baffle him.

The sergeant-major accompanied the young officer on his rounds, in the
course of which the cook-house was inspected. Pointing to a large copper
of water just commencing to boil, the officer said:

"Why does that water only boil round the edges of the copper and not in
the centre?"

"The water round the edge, sir," replied the veteran, "is for the men on
guard; they have their breakfast half an hour before the remainder of
the company."


Levi Cohen was looking very dejected. That morning he left the house
with five pounds in his pocket to try his luck at the races, but, alas!
he had returned at nightfall footsore and weary, and nothing in his
possession but a bad half-penny.

No wonder his better half was in a bad temper. "How is it," she snapped,
"that you're so unlucky at the races, and yet you always win at cards?"

"Well, my dear," responded Levi, meekly, "you see, it's this way: I
don't shuffle the horses."


A keen-eyed mountaineer led his overgrown son into a country

"This here boy's arter larnin'," he announced. "What's yer bill o'

"Our curriculum, sir," corrected the school-master, "embraces geography,
arithmetic, trigonometry--"

"That'll do," interrupted the father. "That'll do. Load him up well with
triggernometry. He's the only poor shot in the family."


"Now, my dear girl," said Bluebeard, "remember you can go anywhere in
the house but the pantry. That is locked up, and the key will be placed
under the mat. Remove it at your peril."

Consumed with curiosity, Mrs. Bluebeard could scarcely wait until her
husband had cranked his machine before she was trying the key. It fitted
perfectly. She turned it, and entered. Within was the finest collection
of provisions that she had ever seen: at least a hundred dozen eggs
preserved in water, sacks of potatoes, barrels of wheat--in fact, a
complete commissary department.

And then, as she looked out of the window, she gave a faint scream. Her
husband was returning. He had a puncture. She retained her presence of
mind, however, long enough to step to the telephone. Just as she had
finished delivering the message Bluebeard entered.

"Ha!" he exclaimed. "So you have forced the pantry. I see flour on your
lips. Prepare to die."

Mrs. Bluebeard only smiled.

"Not so fast," she muttered. At this moment Herbert Hoover entered the

"So you are the wretch who has been storing up private food supplies,
contrary to my orders!" he exclaimed. "Ninety days in jail!"

Whereupon Mrs. Bluebeard, waving her late lord and master farewell,
prepared to beat up a luscious eggnog.


Sandy Macpherson came home after many years and met his old sweetheart.
Honey-laden memories thrilled through the twilight and flushed their
glowing cheeks.

"Ah, Mary," exclaimed Sandy, "ye're just as beautiful as ye ever were,
and I ha'e never forgotten ye, my bonnie lass."

"And ye, Sandy," she cried, while her blue eyes moistened, "are just as
big a leear as ever, an' I believe ye jist the same."


An alien, wishing to be naturalized, applied to the clerk of the office,
who requested him to fill out a blank, which he handed him. The first
three lines of the blank ran as follows:




The answers follow:

Name, Jacob Levinsky.

Born, Yes.

Business, Rotten.


Pat O'Flaherty, very palpably not a prohibitionist, was arrested in
Arizona recently, charged with selling liquor in violation of the
Prohibition law. But Pat had an impregnable defense. His counsel, in
addressing the jury, said:

"Your Honor, gentlemen of the jury, look at the defendant."

A dramatic pause, then:

"Now, gentlemen of the jury, do you honestly think that if the defendant
had a quart of whiskey he would sell it?"

The verdict, reached in one minute, was "Not guilty."


A full-blown second lieutenant was endeavoring to display his great
knowledge of musketry. Sauntering up to the latest recruit, he said:

"See here, my man, this thing is a rifle, this is the barrel, this is
the butt, and this is where you put the cartridge in."

The recruit seemed to be taking it all in, so the officer, continuing,

"You put the weapon to your shoulder; these little things on the barrel
are called sights; then to fire you pull this little thing, which is
called the trigger. Now, smarten yourself up, and remember what I have
told you; and, by the way, what trade did you follow before you
enlisted? A collier, I suppose!"

"No, sir," came the reply; "I only worked as a gunsmith for the
Government Small Arms Factory."


On the evening before a solar eclipse the colonel of a German regiment
of infantry sent for all the sergeants and said to them:

"There will be an eclipse of the sun to-morrow. The regiment will meet
on the parade ground in undress. I will come and explain the eclipse
before drill. If the sky is cloudy the men will meet in the drill shed,
as usual."

Whereupon the ranking sergeant drew up the following order of the day:

"To-morrow morning, by order of the colonel, there will be an eclipse
of the sun. The regiment will assemble on the parade ground, where the
colonel will come and superintend the eclipse in person. If the sky is
cloudy the eclipse will take place in the drill shed."


Two brothers were being entertained by a rich friend. As ill luck would
have it, the talk drifted away from ordinary topics.

"Do you like Omar Khayyam?" thoughtlessly asked the host, trying to make
conversation. The elder brother plunged heroically into the breach.

"Pretty well," he said, "but I prefer Chianti."

Nothing more was said on this subject until the brothers were on their
way home.

"Bill," said the younger brother, breaking a painful silence, "why can't
you leave things that you don't understand to me? Omar Khayyam ain't a
wine, you chump; it's a cheese."


An old South Carolina darky was sent to the hospital of St. Xavier in
Charleston. One of the gentle, black-robed sisters put a thermometer in
his mouth to take his temperature. Presently, when the doctor made his
rounds, he said:

"Well, Nathan, how do you feel?"

"I feel right tol'ble, boss."

"Have you had any nourishment?"


"What did you have?"

"A lady done gimme a piece of glass ter suck, boss."


He was a mine-sweeper, and, home on leave, was feeling a bit groggy. He
called to see a doctor, who examined him thoroughly.

"You're troubled with your throat, you say?" said the doctor.

"Aye, aye, sir," said the sailor.

"Have you ever tried gargling it with salt and water?" asked the doctor.

The mine-sweeper groaned.

"I should say so!" he said. "I've been torpedoed seven times!"


A British soldier was walking down the Strand one day. He had one leg
off and an arm off and both ears missing and his head was covered with
bandages, and he was making his way on low gear as best he could, when
he was accosted by an intensely sympathetic lady who said:

"Oh, dear, dear! I cannot tell you how sorry I am for you. This is
really terrible. Can't I do something? Do tell me, did you receive all
these wounds in real action?"

A weary expression came over that part of the soldier's face that was
visible as he replied:

"No, madam; I was cleaning out the canary bird cage, and the d----d bird
bit me!"


How modern are the old fellows. Here is a story related by Cicero in one
of his letters which will recall the embarrassments we have ourselves
felt in the presence of the unexpected.

Cicero gives an account to his friend of a visit he had just received
from the Emperor Julius Cæsar. He had invited Julius to pass a few days
with him, but he came quite unexpectedly with a thousand men! Cicero,
seeing them from afar, debated with another friend what he should do
with them but at length managed to encamp them. To feed them was a less
easy matter. The emperor took everything quite easily, however, and was
very pleasant, "but," adds Cicero, "he is not the man to whom I should
say a second time, 'if you are passing this way, give me a call.'"


Every seat was occupied, when a group of women got in. The conductor
noticed a man who he thought was asleep.

"Wake up!" shouted the conductor.

"I wasn't asleep," said the passenger.

"Not asleep! Then what did you have your eyes closed for?"

"It was because of the crowded condition of the car," explained the
passenger. "I hate to see the women standing."


What may be the Kaiser's ultimate fate is thus amusingly told by _Life_
of the scene in Hell on a certain day:

"What's all the racket about?" said Satan, stepping out of the Brimstone
Bath, where he was giving two or three U-boat commanders an extra

"Poor old Hohenzollern has got it in the neck at last," said
Machiavelli, who was hosing off the premises with vitriol in
preparation for a new squad of shirtwaist-factory owners.

Satan listened attentively. Indeed, it was true. The Hohenzollerns had
been booted off the throne of Germany.

"Well, that's tough," said Satan. "I never could see why they chivied
those poor Hohenzollerns so. They were perfect devils. I have often said
so. Poor old Bill! Why, he was one of the best pupils I ever had. I
heard someone say that he had made Belgium a hell upon earth. Wasn't
that a compliment?"

"Not only that," said Machiavelli; "he had the novel idea of making the
sea a hell, too. He and Tirpitz did magnificent work. Not even a party
of schoolgirls could go on the water without getting torpedoed. They
drowned I don't know how many innocent women and children in a manner
worthy of the highest education."

"That deportation of non-combatants from Lille was excellent, too,"
mused Satan.

"Don't forget the shooting of Miss Cavell," said Machiavelli. "And there
was the bombing of unfortified towns, and the poison gas. Why, in my
palmiest days I never thought of anything so choice as that poison gas.
I told Borgia about it, and she went green with envy."

"You're right, Mac," said Satan, treading in his excitement on a
captain of Uhlans who was hanging out to cool; "that Kaiser is a regular
prince of darkness. When he gets down here (and I guess he will pretty
soon) we'll omit the setting-up exercises and put him right into
advanced tactics. Come to think of it, there were those prison camps,
too, where he allowed captured soldiers to rot with filth and disease
without any physicians. Excellent!"

"There's only one drawback," said Machiavelli regretfully. "The man has
raised so much hell on earth that I doubt if there's much we can teach
him down here. Really, he's not an amateur at all, but a professional. I
don't know whether it wouldn't be more punishment to send him to heaven
instead. As a matter of fact, down here he'll feel perfectly at home."

"I guess we can still think up one or two little novelties for him,"
said Satan, as he opened a trap-door and let a dozen of Billy Sunday's
converts drop into the blazing sulphur.


When Julia Ward Howe died, memorial services in her honor were held at
San Francisco, and the local literary colony attended practically en
masse to pay by their presence a tribute to the writer.

A municipal officer was asked to preside. Dressed in his long frock coat
and his broad white tie, he advanced to the edge of the platform to
launch the exercises and introduce the principal eulogist. He bowed low
and spoke as follows:

"Your attendance here, ladies and gents, in such great numbers shows San
Francisco's appreciation of good literature. This meeting is a great
testimonial to the immortal author of 'Uncle Tom's Cabin'--the late
Julia Ward Howard!"


William M. Chase used to tell this story:

"I was standing on a railway platform in Japan, waiting for a train, and
whiling away my time by watching a particularly beautiful sunset.

"Suddenly a freight train pulled in and, stopping in front of me, cut
off my view. Being a good American, and trained in a very proper respect
for 'business,' I merely turned philosophically away and proceeded to
look at something else. In a moment, however, the station master
appeared at my side and inquired with the politest of bows if I had
been enjoying the sunset.

"I admitted that I had, and smilingly accepted his apology for the
intrusion of the train. 'Of course I recognized that trains were the
first consideration in stations,' I said.

"Imagine my surprise, then, when the little Japanese shook his head
firmly. 'But no,' he said, bowing even more deeply than before, 'the
train must not be allowed to obstruct the honorable artistic traveler's
honorable æsthetic enjoyment'--or words to that effect. 'I will cause it
to withdraw,'

"And he actually did precisely that!"


The Englishman's undying love for certain civilized things is thus
portrayed by R. Richard Schayer in _Life_.

In a gorse bush a hundred yards beyond his trench lay Lieutenant
Fitzhugh Throckmorton of the King's Own Rifles, asleep at his post. For
hours he had lain there, searching the position of the enemy through his
binoculars. Overcome by fatigue, he had nodded, drowsed, and finally

The sun hung low in the western mists when Throckmorton awoke. He
glanced at his wristwatch and sprang to his feet with an oath.
Regardless of peril, he turned and sprinted toward his trench. His was
not a nature to count the risk when duty, however delayed, called. Every
German sniper within range sent shot upon shot after the flying figure.
The enemy's trenches took up the hunt and fairly blazed with rifle and
machine gun fire. The bullets hummed in Throckmorton's ears like a swarm
of savage hornets. They snarled and bit at the turf about his feet like
a pack of wolves.

With a last desperate burst of speed, his clothing tattered with bullet
holes, the Lieutenant gained his trench and leaped down to its cover.
His face, wearing an expression of mingled hope and despair, he rushed
to the bomb-proof dug-out where sat his Colonel and brother officers.
They looked up at him with cold eyes. One glance and Throckmorton's
heart failed him. He was too late.

They had finished tea.


A Scottish doctor who was attending a laird had instructed the butler of
the house in the art of taking and recording his master's temperature
with a thermometer. On paying his usual morning call he was met by the
butler, to whom he said: "Well, John, I hope the laird's temperature is
not any higher to-day?"

The man looked puzzled for a minute, and then replied: "Weel, I was just
wonderin' that mysel'. Ye see, he deed at twal' o'clock."


The average foreigner can rarely comprehend the geographical area of the
United States, as was quite fully illustrated by the Englishman and his
valet who had been traveling due west from Boston for five days. At the
end of the fifth day master and servant were seated in the smoking-car,
and it was observed that the man was gazing steadily and thoughtfully
out of the window. Finally his companion became curious. "William," said
he, "of what are you thinking?"

"I was just thinking, sir, about the discovery of Hamerica," replied the
valet. "Columbus didn't do such a wonderful thing, after all, when he
found this country, did he, now, sir? Hafter hall's said an' done, 'ow
could 'e 'elp it?"


The sniper is ever prevalent on the western front. A certain Colonel,
who was by the way quite unpopular with his regiment, was one afternoon
sitting in a shack, when a report was heard and a bullet whizzed over
his head.

Calling a private, he said testily:

"Go out and get that sniper."

The man was gone for some time, but he eventually returned with Fritz.
He had not got him in, however, before he began to belabor him fiercely.

"What are you beating up that Hun for?" asked a comrade.

"He missed the Colonel," whispered the other.


Miss Amy Lowell, sister of President Lowell of Harvard, is not only a
distinguished poetess, being by many considered the head of the Vers
Libre school in this country, but she is also the guardian of a most
handsome and stately presence.

Oliver Herford, himself a poet and wit, doubtless inspired by envy,
recently remarked of her that

"One half of Amy Lowell doesn't know how the other half lives."


A couple of Philadelphia youths, who had not met in a long while, met
and fell to discussing their affairs in general.

"I understand," said one, "that you broke your engagement with Clarice

"No, I didn't break it."

"Oh, she broke it?"

"No, she didn't break it."

"But it is broken?"

"Yes. She told me what her raiment cost, and I told her what my income
was. Then our engagement sagged in the middle and gently dissolved."


William Williams hated nicknames. He used to say that most fine given
names were ruined by abbreviations, which was a sin and a shame. "I
myself," he said, "am one of six brothers. We were all given good,
old-fashioned Christian names, but all those names were shortened into
meaningless or feeble monosyllables by our friends. I shall name my
children so that it will be impracticable to curtail their names."

The Williams family, in the course of time, was blessed with five
children, all boys. The eldest was named after the father--William. Of
course, that would be shortened to "Will" or enfeebled to "Willie"--but
wait! A second son came and was christened Willard. "Aha!" chuckled Mr.
Williams, "Now everybody will have to speak the full names of each of
these boys in order to distinguish them."

In pursuance of this scheme the next three sons were named Wilbert,
Wilfred, and Wilmont.

They are all big boys now. And they are respectively known to their
intimates as Bill, Skinny, Butch, Chuck, and Kid.


No man is ever willing to admit that he has any prejudices. But
sometimes the facts confront him sternly, as in the case of the two
gentlemen in the following dialogue:

BRIGGS: I wonder why it is that when men like Bryan and Billy Sunday
accept good money we have a tendency secretly to despise them.

GRIGGS: Well, I presume because they are posing to be disinterested.
When they take away such big returns we set them down as hypocrites.

BRIGGS: But they have a right to make a living.

GRIGGS: You might say that of any one else--any get-rich-quick chap,
for example, provided he can get away with it.

BRIGGS: But the get-rich-quick man is cheating his customers.

GRIGGS: Well, a good many people feel that both Bryan and Sunday are
cheating their customers. I don't say they are, mind you. I am only
giving that side of the argument, and, according to it, they are
deluding their customers with false hopes. Bryan says that a combination
of free silver, grape juice, and peace will cure all ills, and he gets
five hundred dollars a lecture for saying it. Billy Sunday gets
thousands of dollars for dragging hell out into the limelight. They are
both popular forms of amusement. They divert the mind. Why shouldn't
they be paid? There are far worse moving-picture shows than Bryan or

BRIGGS: You believe that, now, don't you? Be honest and say it's your
genuine opinion, and not put it off on someone else.

GRIGGS _(Lowering his voice_): Well, I'll tell you, old chap. I believe
it about Bryan, but not about Sunday. Sunday's all right. He hates
money! How do you feel about it?

BRIGGS: You're wrong. I believe it about Sunday, but not about Bryan.
Bill Bryan is all right. He's a patriot. I wouldn't trust Sunday, but
W.J. Bryan's whole thought is for others. (_Looking at his watch_.)
Heavens! I didn't realize it was so late. I must rush off.

GRIGGS: Is it that late? I must hurry away also. Where are you going?

BRIGGS: I'm going to hear Sunday. Where are you going?

GRIGGS: I'm going to hear Bryan.


When James B. Reynolds was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, Senator
Root sent for Mr. Reynolds one day to discuss with him some matters
concerning a trade conference in Paris which Mr. Reynolds had been
selected to attend.

"I suppose," said Mr. Root, "you speak French?"

"Well, yes," responded Mr. Reynolds. "I know a little French. I have no
trouble to make the waiters and the cab drivers understand me."

"I see," said Mr. Root. "But, Mr. Reynolds, suppose there should be no
waiters and cab drivers at the conference?"


Much sobered by the importance of the news he had to communicate,
youthful Thomas strode into the house and said breathlessly:

"Mother, they have a new baby next door, and the lady over there is
awful sick. Mother, you ought to go right in and see her."

"Yes, dear," said his mother. "I will go over in a day or two just as
soon as she gets better."

"But, mother," persisted Thomas. "I think you ought to go in right away;
she is real sick, and maybe you can do something to help."

"Yes, dear," said the mother patiently, "but wait a day or so until she
is just a little better."

Thomas seemed much dissatisfied at his mother's apparent lack of
neighborly interest, and then something seemed to dawn upon him, for he
blurted out:

"Mother, you needn't be afraid--it ain't catching."


Burton Holmes, the lecturer, had an interesting experience while in
London. He told some Washington friends a day or two ago that when he
visited the theatre where he was to deliver his travelogue he decided
that the entrance to the theatre was rather dingy and that there should
be more display of his attraction.

Accordingly, he suggested to the manager of the house that the front be
brightened up at night by electrical signs, one row of lights spelling
his name "Burton" and another row of lights spelling the name "Holmes."

The manager told him it was too much of an innovation for him to
authorize and referred him to the owner of the theatre. Mr. Holmes
traveled several hours into the country to consult with the owner, who
referred him to his agent in the city. The agent in turn sent Mr. Holmes
to the janitor of the theatre.

"I talked with the janitor and explained my plan to him for about an
hour," Mr. Holmes said. "Finally, after we had gone into every detail of
the cost and everything else, the janitor told me that the theatre was a
very exclusive and high-class theatre, and that he would not put up the
sign. I asked him why?"

"Because it would attract too much attention to the theatre," the
janitor replied.


The fine art of concealment is thus formulated by Carolyn Wells, writing
in _Life_:

Once upon a time there lived an elderly millionaire who had four
nephews. Desiring to make one of these his heir, he tested their

He gave to each a one-hundred-dollar bill, with the request that they
hide the bills for a year in the city of New York.

Any of them who should succeed in finding the hidden bill at the end of
the year should share in the inheritance.

The year being over, the four nephews brought their reports.

The first, deeply chagrined, told how he had put his bill in the
strongest and surest safety deposit vaults, but, alas, clever thieves
had broken in and stolen it.

The second had put his bill in charge of a tried and true friend. But
the friend had proved untrustworthy and had spent the money.

The third had hidden his bill in a crevice in the floor of his room, but
a mouse had nibbled it to bits to build her nest.

The fourth nephew calmly produced his hundred-dollar bill, as crisp and
fresh as when it had been given him.

"And where did you hide it?" asked his uncle.

"Too easy! I stuck it in a hotel Bible."


Soldiers have to do their own mending when it is done at all, and it
appears--although few persons would have guessed it--that the thoughtful
War Office supplies them with outfits for that purpose. Otherwise, this
joke would be impossible.

Everything was ready for kit inspection; the recruits stood lined up
ready for the officer, and the officer had his bad temper all complete.
He marched up and down the line, grimly eyeing each man's bundle of
needles and soft soap, and then he singled out Private MacTootle as the
man who was to receive his attentions.

"Toothbrush?" he roared.

"Yes, sir."


"Yes, sir."


"Yes, sir."

"Hm! You're all right, apparently," growled the officer. Then he barked:


"Oh, very well, thank you," said the recruit amiably. "How's yours?"


There is a story of Bransby Williams, famous impersonator of Dickens's
characters, which will come home to many of us in these days of food

He had a hard time before he "arrived," and hunger was a familiar
companion. One night he had to play in a sketch in which he was supposed
to consume a steak pudding.

"Imagine my surprise," he says, "when a real, good, smoking hot steak
and kidney pudding arrived on the scene. 'My eye!' I exclaimed to
myself. I had to cut it and serve it, and in the ordinary course of
events we should have got through this stage meal in about five or six

"But not to-night! I made up my mind that that pudding should not be
wasted, but eaten, and I commenced in earnest. I made the best meal I
had had for days, and improvised conversation till it was all polished


Mr. Budger and his wife were continually at variance regarding their
individual capabilities of making and keeping a good fire. He contended
that she did not know how to make a fire, nor how to keep one after it
was made. She, on the other hand, maintained that he never meddled with
the fire that he didn't put it out--in short, that he was a perfect fire
damper; and, as he was always anxious to stir up things in the varous
fireplaces, she made a practice of hiding the poker just before it was
time for him to come into the house. One night there was an alarm of
fire in the village and Budger flew for his hat and coat.

"Where are you going, my dear?" asked his wife.

"Why, there's a fire, and I'm going to help put it out."

"Well, my love," responded Mrs. Budger, "I think the best thing you can
do is to take the poker along with you."


Two young Irishmen in a Canadian regiment were going into the trenches
for the first time, and their captain promised them five shillings each
for every German they killed.

Pat lay down to rest, while Mick performed the duty of watching. Pat
had not lain long when he was awakened by Mick shouting:

"They're comin'! They're comin'!"

"Who's comin'?" shouts Pat.

"The Germans," replies Mick.

"How many are there?"

"About fifty thousand."

"Begorra," shouts Pat, jumping up and grabbing his rifle, "our fortune's


A sturdy Scot, 6 feet 5 inches in height, is a gamekeeper near
Strafford. One hot day last summer he was accompanying a bumptious
sportsman, of very small stature, when he was greatly troubled by gnats.
The other said to him:

"My good man, why is it that the gnats do not trouble me?"

"I daresay," replied the gamekeeper, with a comprehensive glance at the
other's small proportions, "it will be because they havna' seen ye yet!"


Tim Casey, a juror, rose suddenly from his seat and hastened to the door
of the courtroom. He was prevented, however, from leaving the room, and
was sternly questioned by the judge.

"Yes, your honor, I'll explain meself," said the juror. "When Mr. Finn
finished his talking me mind was clear all through, but whin Mr. Evans
begins his talkin' I becomes all confused an' says I to meself, Taith,
I'd better lave at once, an' shtay away until he is done,' because, your
honor, to tell the truth, I didn't like the way the argument was going."


The local pawnbroker's shop was on fire, and among the crowd of
spectators was an old woman who attracted much attention by her sobs and
cries of despair.

"What is the matter with you?" a fireman said. "You don't own the shop,
do you?"

"No," she wailed, "but my old man's suit is pawned there, and he don't
know it."


We cannot deny that one of the great questions of the day among
tradespeople is how to get their bills paid. Neither can we deny that we
have all been over-extravagant. This little story (which is really a
satire) contains its moral.

One bright morning Mr. Dobson, an American gentleman in excellent
circumstances, and yet (quite singular to relate of any American
gentleman!) constantly harried by his bills, conceived of a brilliant
idea. Thereupon he said to Mrs. Dobson:

"My dear, let us pay cash for one day."

"How absurd!"

"It may seem so, but you must admit that it is a brand-new idea, and
therefore worth while for you, as a modern woman, to try."

This was the only possible way in which the astute Mr. Dobson could have
persuaded his wife to try his ideas. They both agreed, and he gave her a
hundred dollars in bright, new bills. Taking the same amount himself, he
began his day.

It would be easily possible for us to make a story out of this by
recording the incidents of that day. But they would be too painful for
modern readers, who insist upon being amused. Sufficient is it to
observe that at night the Dobsons met each other face to face.

"I have been grossly insulted by four people," said Mrs. Dobson, who
looked very much the worse for wear. "By a saleswoman in a department
store, my milliner, my shoemaker, and my glovemaker. I offered them all
cash, and it will take years to reinstate myself with them again."

"I got in wrong with my haberdasher and my hatter," said Dobson, "and
then quit for the day. I didn't have the courage to attempt to buy
anything more. Your people, by the way, sent collectors to collect last
month's bills. Also, I calculated this afternoon that if we should pay
cash for everything, it would cost me twice my income."

"How much does it cost now?"

"I don't know--that's the strange part of it. But, my dear, isn't it
worthwhile to learn something, even by making such a mistake?"

At this point Mrs. Dobson, who had been softly shedding tears, braced up
and impulsively put her arms about her erring husband's neck.

"Never mind, dear," she said, "we must face this together. We are
probably ruined, but we are both comparatively young, and we will live
it down side by side."


In these days of the conservation of fuel no wonder a certain gentleman
was disturbed.

"You've made a mistake in your paper," said this indignant man, entering
the editorial sanctum of a daily paper. "I was one of the competitors
at that athletic match yesterday, and you have called me 'the well-known
light-weight champion.'"

"Well, aren't you?" inquired the editor.

"No, I'm nothing of the kind, and it's confoundedly awkward, because I'm
in the coal business."


A kindergarten teacher entering a street-car saw a gentleman whose face
seemed familiar, and she said, "Good evening!"

He seemed somewhat surprised, and she soon realized that she had spoken
to a stranger. Much confused, she explained: "When I first saw you I
thought you were the father of two of my children."


Some time after the Civil War James Russell Lowell was asked to go to
Chicago to deliver a political speech upholding the Republican Party. It
was a great occasion, for Russell was easily the foremost literary and
political figure of the day, and his coming was widely advertised. But
at the last moment, just before the address was to be delivered, for
certain political reasons it was deemed inexpedient by the managers of
the affair to have Russell talk politics, and so a hurried announcement
was made that Mr. Russell, instead of speaking on the issues of the day,
would deliver his celebrated lecture on Shakespeare. This he did, it
having been correctly described by critics as the best lecture on the
great poet ever delivered.

After the lecture was over, however, one of the Chicago politicians, who
doubtless had never heard of Shakespeare, was in his disappointment led
to exclaim:

"Hum! I suppose he thought anything was good enough for us!"


The critical instinct grows by what it is fed upon. No matter how well
you may do, some people are never satisfied and this is especially true
in families.

A Philadelphia divine was entertaining a couple of clergymen from New
York at dinner. The guests spoke in praise of a sermon their host had
delivered the Sunday before. The host's son was at the table, and one of
the New York clergymen said to him: "My lad, what did you think of your
father's sermon?"

"I guess it was very good," said the boy, "but there were three mighty
fine places where he could have stopped."


We must not always look down upon those innocent people who may not have
had the same cultural influences we have had, although it is some
difficult not to smile at their point of view:

Sir Frederick Kenyon, the Director of the British Museum and a man of
great knowledge, has had all sorts of funny experiences with visitors

Once he was showing a distinguished lady visitor some of the priceless
treasures of which he is the custodian, but for a long time nothing
seemed to interest her very much.

Then suddenly he noticed a change. Her face lighted up and she leaned

"What is it, madam?" asked Sir Frederick, gratified at this tardy sign
of awakening appreciation. "Pray do not hesitate to ask if there is
anything you would like to know."

"So good of you!" chirruped the lady. "I wish you would tell me what
brand of blacklead you use on those iron ventilators that are let into
the floor. We have the same sort of things at my house, but my maids
never get them to shine half so brilliantly."


Anybody who, a stranger, has tried to find his way about Boston will
understand the experience of Mr. Hubb, a native who was addressed by his
friend Mr. Penn, from Philadelphia.

"They say," remarked Mr. Penn, "the streets in Boston are frightfully

"They are," replied Mr. Hubb. "Why, do you know, when I first went there
I could hardly find my way around."

"That must be embarrassing."

"It is. The first week I was there I wanted to get rid of an old cat we
had, and my wife got me to take it to the river a mile away."

"And you lost the cat all right?"

"Lost nothing! I never would have found my way home if I hadn't followed
the cat!"


Doris was radiant over a recent addition to the family, and rushed out
of the house to tell the news to a passing neighbor.

"Oh, you don't know what we've got upstairs."

"What is it?" the neighbor asked.

"A new baby brother," said Doris, and she watched very closely the
effect of her announcement.

"You don't say so," the neighbor exclaimed. "Is he going to stay?"

"I think so," said Doris. "He's got his things off."


In a trench over in Flanders, during a slight lull in the engagement, a
soldier was making an impromptu toilet. He lowered his head for an
instant and thereby caught a cootie. As he did so, a shell fragment flew
by, just where his head had been. He held the cootie in hand
meditatively for a moment, and then said:

"Old fellow, Oi cawnt give you the Victoria Cross, but I can put you


One of the ladies who first introduced interpretative dancing--whatever
that is--into this country has fleshened up considerably since the days
of her initial terpsichorean triumphs among the society folk along the
eastern sea-board. Nevertheless, she continues to give performances to
select audiences of artistic souls.

Not long ago Finley Peter Dunne, the humorist, was lured to one of these
entertainments. The lady, wearing very few clothes, and, as a result of
their lack, looking even plumper than usual, danced in an effect of
moonlight calcium beams.

As Dunne was leaving, one of the patronesses hailed him.

"Oh, Mr. Dunne," she twittered, "how did you enjoy the madame's

"Immensely," said Dunne. "Made me think of Grant's Tomb in love."


The wonders of modern science never cease to be of absorbing interest
and even the following story, which is supposed to take place in the
near future, may be more realistic than we now think possible, although
it is rather hard on our good friends the doctors.

"Be seated, sir," said the distinguished practitioner.

The man who had entered the doctor's office a few moments before in
obedience to the invitation sank into a luxurious chair. The doctor
looked at him casually, and, touching an indicator at the side of his
desk, said:

"What a pleasant day."

"Yes, it is."

A nurse appeared at the door.

"Turn on number nine hundred and eleven," said the doctor.

"Very well, sir."

The doctor turned to the patient.

"I heard a most amusing story the other day," he said.


"Just a moment. I am quite sure you will be interested in hearing it,"
He told the story.

The patient stirred impatiently in the chair, although the story was
amusing and he laughed at it.

"By the way," he began, looking at his watch.

The doctor got up. He turned off the switch at his desk.

"It is all right, sir. You may go now."

"But I came in to see you about--"

"Yes, the operation has been performed. I should be a little bit careful
for a few days if I were you. Don't play golf or walk excessively."

"You mean to say that--"

"Your appendix has been removed in accordance with your symptoms."

The patient smiled incredulously.

"When did you do it?" he asked.

"While you were sitting there. Perfectly simple. It was absorbed."

"How did you know what was the matter with me?"

"That chair sends a record of your symptoms--in fact, diagnoses your
case completely--to the laboratory. All you needed was to have your
appendix removed, and by turning on number nine hundred and eleven it
was absorbed in three minutes. Nothing strange, sir. Quite usual, I
assure you."

The man got up. His face grew rather pale. He advanced to the desk.

"How much do I owe you?" he asked.

The doctor smiled again.

"That has all been arranged, sir."

"What do you mean?"

"According to the new State law which has just gone into effect, while
you were being operated on your property was transferred to me. Good
morning, sir. Call again."


Changing others over to suit yourself is not always the easiest thing in
the world, although it is often tried. The head of a large firm thought
he would try it, and his experience is related by one of the "boys" in
the office:

The old man--for we always referred to the head of the firm in this
way--called the young fellow in to him one day and said:

"Look here, young man; you've got to be more agreeable. I want everybody
in this place to have a smiling face. If I didn't think you had ability
I would have fired you long ago. Your manners are bad. Make 'em better.
Don't be a grouch."

The young chap didn't seem to take kindly to this advice. The frown on
his face was still there. But he bowed and said:

"All right, sir."

Then the old man--for it was his busy morning--called another young
fellow in and said:

"Look here, young man; I don't want you to be so genial. You're always
telling funny stories around the place and waiting on the girls. Your
sunny smile is all right, but you carry it too far. Why, when you come
around everybody stops work. Get down to business."

"That reminds me, sir," said the young chap--but his employer waved him

"Do as I tell you," he said sternly, "or--"

At the end of another week the old man called them both into his office.

"Neither of you seems to be improving in the way I want. But I have an
idea. I'm going to put your desks next to each other. That ought to do
it. You're both good men, but you lean too far in the opposite
directions. Run away now and act on each other."

At the end of still another week, however, when once more they both
stood in front of him, he betrayed his disappointment.

"It doesn't seem to work," he exclaimed. "What's the matter with you
boys, anyway? I thought my experiment would cure both of you, but it
doesn't seem to work."

Turning to Mr. Sunshine, he said:

"Look here; why hasn't he done you any good?"

Mr. Sunshine beamed and chuckled.

"Well, sir," he said, "I can't help it. Why, that fellow over there
hasn't got a thing in the world to worry him. He isn't married, his
salary is really more than he needs. He has no responsibilities, and if
he should die to-morrow nobody would suffer. But he hasn't got sense
enough to have a good time. He strikes me as being such a joke that it
makes me laugh harder than ever."

Turning to Mr. Gloom, the old man said:

"Well, how about you? Why hasn't this chap done you any good?"

Mr. Gloom looked more sour than ever.

"He hasn't the slightest idea of the problems that confront me," he
said, "or what I suffer. But what really makes me mad is this: He has a
wife and four young children on his hands, on the same salary I get. How
they manage I don't know. It isn't living at all. And when I see a
fellow like that, who ought to be worried to death all the time--and who
would be if he looked the facts squarely in the face--grinning and
telling stories like a minstrel, it makes me so d----d mad that I can't
see straight."


There are certain family privileges which we all guard jealously:

An attorney was consulted by a woman desirous of bringing action against
her husband for a divorce. She related a harrowing tale of the
ill-treatment she had received at his hands. So impressive was her
recital that the lawyer, for a moment, was startled out of his usual
professional composure. "From what you say this man must be a brute of
the worst type!" he exclaimed.

The applicant for divorce arose and, with severe dignity, announced:
"Sir, I shall consult another lawyer. I came here to get advice as to a
divorce, not to hear my husband abused!"


At one time in his varied career Mark Twain was not only poor, but he
did not make a practice of associating with millionaires. The paragraph
which follows is taken from an open letter to Commodore Vanderbilt. One
paragraph of the "Open Letter" is worth embalming here:

Poor Vanderbilt! How I pity you: and this is honest. You are an old man,
and ought to have some rest, and yet you have to struggle, and deny
yourself, and rob yourself of restful sleep and peace of mind, because
you need money so badly. I always feel for a man who is so poverty
ridden as you. Don't misunderstand me, Vanderbilt. I know you own
seventy millions: but then you know and I know that it isn't what man
has that constitutes wealth. No--it is to be satisfied with what one
has; that is wealth. As long as one sorely needs a certain additional
amount, that man isn't rich. Seventy times seventy millions can't make
him rich, as long as his poor heart is breaking for more. I am just
about rich enough to buy the least valuable horse in your stable,
perhaps, but I cannot sincerely and honestly take an oath that I need
any more now. And so I am rich. But you, you have got seventy millions
and you need five hundred millions, and are really suffering for it.
Your poverty is something appalling. I tell you truly that I do not
believe I could live twenty-four hours with the awful weight of four
hundred and thirty millions of abject want crushing down upon me. I
should die under it. My soul is so wrought upon by your helpless
pauperism that if you came to me now, I would freely put ten cents in
your tin cup, if you carry one, and say, "God pity you, poor


Many a young man has succumbed to his environment. The hero of the
following moving tale is no exception:

She was waiting for him at the station. It was two o'clock in the
afternoon, and he had to go back that evening on the midnight train. He
acted like a man in a dream, but, none the less, he appeared to know
precisely what he was about.

As the train drew up the station was crowded. There she was in the
midst of the crowd, smiling and beckoning to him. Without a moment's
hesitation, and before she even realized what was happening, he sprang
forward, put his arms around her, and planted a clinging kiss on her
lips. She blushed intensely and whispered as well as she could:

"Oh, you mustn't!"

He made no reply. His eyes were fixed. Half frightened, she led the way
to the motor car. They got in. He promptly took her hand. She attempted
to motion to him that the chauffeur was in front and could see their
reflection in the glass windshield. He merely threw both arms around her
and almost crushed her, as he kissed her over and over again. Her face
showed surprise and indignation.

"You mustn't! We're not engaged."

"As if that mattered," he muttered, taking another kiss.

The motor car arrived at her home. They got out. They entered the house.
Her mother came forward to receive them. Suddenly, without warning, he
sprang forward and kissed her, throwing his arms about her like a
cyclone. Her mother, attempting to free herself, gasped. This young
man--whom she scarcely knew! The girl herself stared at him in open-eyed

At this moment the maid entered the room. As she stepped forward the
young man caught sight of her. Wasting no time, and before the surprised
mother and daughter could stop him, he had folded the maid in his arms
and kissed her also. She screamed, and finally ran away.

There was an aunt visiting them. This gentle, middle-aged spinster was
dozing in the next room. Aroused by the maid's screams, she hurried into
the room. But no sooner did this remarkable young man visitor see her
than he promptly grabbed her, and covered her face with kisses.

The girl's father all this time had been quietly smoking on the piazza.
Hearing the commotion he hurried also into the room, just in time to see
the spinster lady, almost fainting with terror, tear herself loose.

"He's been kissing every one of us," murmured the girl's mother. "There
must be something the matter with him."

The girl's father caught the young man squarely by the shoulders and
faced him about.

"He kissed me at the station--before everybody!" sobbed the girl. "Then
he kissed mama and the maid and Aunt Jane."

"What is the meaning of this?" said the girl's father, sternly. "How
dare you, sir, abuse our hospitality?"

The young man shuddered. His eyes closed. Still in the clutch of his
host, there was a tragic silence. Then he opened them once more and
gazed feebly about him. He passed his hand wearily over his forehead.

"Forgive me!" he whispered. "It is not my fault. I live in bachelor
quarters in town. My friends had all gone away and there was nothing for
me to do but go to the moving picture shows night after night. I have
been doing this for weeks. In the moving pictures the young man hero
kisses everybody he meets. It's the regular thing--nothing but kissing,
kissing, all the time. My mind has been unhinged by it. Forgive me and
take me to some asylum."

Then he burst into tears, threw his arms about the old gentleman--and
kissed him, and they led the poor wretch away.


At a military church service during the South African War some recruits
were listening to the chaplain in church saying, "Let them slay the
Boers as Joshua smote the Egyptians," when a recruit whispered to a

"Say, Bill, the old bloke is a bit off; doesn't he know it was Kitchener
who swiped the Egyptians?"


An American lady at Stratford-on-Avon showed even more than the usual
American fervor. She had not recovered when she reached the railway
station, for she remarked to a friend as they walked on the platform:
"To think that it was from this very platform the immortal bard would
depart whenever he journeyed to town!"


"I canna get ower it," a Scotch farmer remarked to his wife. "I put a
twa shillin' piece in the plate at the kirk this morning instead o' ma
usual penny."

The beadle had noticed the mistake, and in silence he allowed the farmer
to miss the plate for twenty-three consecutive Sundays.

On the twenty-fourth Sunday the farmer again ignored the plate, but the
old beadle stretched the ladle in froat of him and, in a loud, tragic
whisper, hoarsely said:

"Your time's up noo, Sandy."


Jennie, the colored maid, arrived one morning with her head swathed in
bandages--the result of an argument with her hot-tempered spouse.

"Jennie," said her mistress, "your husband treats you outrageously. Why
don't you leave him?"

"Well, I don' 'zactly wants to leave him."

"Hasn't he dragged you the length of the room by your hair?" demanded
her mistress.

"Yas'm, he has done dat."

"Hasn't he choked you into insensibility?"

"Yas'm, he sho has choked me."

"And now doesn't he threaten to split your head with an ax?"

"Yas'm, he has done all dat," agreed Jennie, "but he ain' done nothin'
yet so bad I couldn't live wid him."


Andy Donaldson, a well-known character of Glasgow, lay on his deathbed.

"I canna' leave ye thus, Nancy," the old Scotsman wailed. "Ye're ower
auld to work, an' ye couldna' live in the workhoose. Gin I dee, ye maun
marry anither man, wha'll keep ye in comfort in yer auld age."

"Nay, nay, Andy," answered the good spouse; "I couldna' marry anither
man, fer whit wull I daw wi' twa husbands in heaven?"

Andy pondered over this, but suddenly his face brightened.

"I ha'e it, Nancy!" he cried. "Ye ken auld John Clemmens? He's a kind
man, but he's no' a member o' the kirk. He likes ye, Nancy, an' gin
ye'll marry him, 'twill be a' the same in heaven. John's no' a
Christian, and he's no' likely to get there."


One morning, Mollie, the colored maid, appeared before her mistress,
carrying, folded in a handkerchief, a five-dollar gold piece and all her
earthly possessions in the way of jewelry.

This package she proffered her mistress, with the request that Miss
Sallie take it for safe keeping.

"Why, Mollie!" exclaimed the mistress in surprise. "Are you going away?"

"Naw'm, I ain' goin' nowheres," Mollie declared. "But me an' Jim Harris
we wuz married this mawnin'. Yas'm, Jim, he's a new nigger in town. You
don' know nothin' 'bout him, Miss Sallie. I don' know nothin' 'bout him
myself. He's er stranger to me."

Miss Sallie glanced severely at the little package of jewelry.

"But, Mollie," she demanded, "don't you trust him?"

"Yas'm," replied Mollie, unruffled. "Cose I trus' him, personally--but
not wid ma valuables."


How to own your own home is a problem which confronts the great
majority. That it is oftentimes easily solved, however, is revealed by
the following simple experience as related by H.M. Perley in _Life_:

How did we do it? Simply by going without everything we needed. When I
was first married my salary was thirty dollars a month.

My mother-in-law, who lived with us, decided to save enough out of my
salary to build us a home.

When the cellar was finished, I became ill and lost my position, and had
to mortgage the cellar to make my first payment.

Although we went without food for thirty days the first year, we never
missed a monthly payment.

The taxes, interest on mortgage, and monthly payment on house were now
three times the amount of my earnings.

However, by dispensing with the service of a doctor, we lost our father
and mother-in-law, which so reduced our expenses that we were able to
pay for the parlor floor and windows.

In ten years seven of our nine children died, possibly owing to our diet
of excelsior and prunes.

I only mention these little things to show how we were helped in saving
for a home.

I wore the same overcoat for fifteen years, and was then able to build
the front porch, which you see at the right of the front door.

Now, at the age of eighty-seven, my wife and I feel sure we can own our
comfortable little home in about ten years and live a few weeks to enjoy


"Mars John," excitedly exclaimed Aunt Tildy, as she pantingly rushed
into a fire-engine house, "please, suh, phonograph to de car-cleaners'
semporium an' notify Dan'l to emergrate home diurgently, kaze Jeems
Henry sho' done bin conjured! Doctor Cutter done already distracted two
blood-vultures from his 'pendercitis, an' I lef him now prezaminatin' de
chile's ante-bellum fur de germans ob de neuroplumonia, which ef he's
disinfected wid, dey gotter 'noculate him wid the ice-coldlated
quarantimes--but I b'lieves it's conjuration!"


A lady had the misfortune to lose her season ticket for the railway. On
the same evening she had a call from two boys, the elder of whom at once
handed her the lost ticket. The lady, delighted at the prompt return of
her property, offered the boy a shilling for his trouble. The lad
refused to accept it, telling the lady he was a Boy Scout, and that no
member of the Boy Scouts is allowed to accept any return for a service

Just as the coin was about to be placed back in the purse of the lady,
the boy, looking up into her face, suddenly blurted out:

"But my wee brither's no' a Scout."


Sometimes a situation which to the kind of a mind which requires
certainty seems hopeless can be adjusted in the most common-place

Congressman Charles R. Davis of Minnesota relates that one afternoon a
train on a Western railroad stopped at a small station, when one of the
passengers, in looking over the place, found his gaze fixed upon an
interesting sign. Hurrying to the side of the conductor, he eagerly
inquired: "Do you think that I will have time to get a soda before the
train starts?"

"Oh, yes," answered the conductor.

"But suppose," suggested the thirsty passenger, "that the train should
go on without me?"

"We can easily fix that," promptly replied the conductor. "I will go
along and have one with you."


A Turkish story runs that, dying, a pious man bequeathed a fortune to
his son, charging him to give £100 to the meanest man he could find.

A certain cadi filled the bill. Accordingly the dutiful son offered him

"But I can't take your £100," said the cadi. "I never knew your father.
There was no reason why he should leave me the money."

"It's yours, all right," persisted the mourning youth.

"I might take it in a fictitious transaction," said the cadi, relenting.
"Suppose--I'll tell you what I'll do. I'll sell you all that snow in the
courtyard for £100."

The young man agreed, willing to be quit of his trust on any terms. Next
day he was arrested, taken before the cadi, and ordered to remove his
snow at once. As this was a command the young man was utterly unable to
execute, he was fined £20 by the cadi for contumacy.

"At least," the young man said ruefully as he left the court, "father's
£100 went to the right man."


If you are going to be too fussy about your own particular brand of
beauty then you must expect to reap the consequences.

An actor visited a beauty doctor to see if he could have something done
for his nose. The beauty doctor studied the organ, and suggested a
complicated straightening and remoulding process--cost, twenty guineas.

"I may go you," said the actor thoughtfully. He stroked his nose before
the mirror, regarding it from all sides. "Yes, I think I'll go you. But,
look here, do you promise to give my nose--er--ideal beauty?"

The surgeon grew meditative.

"As to ideal beauty, I can't say," he replied at last. "Why, my friend I
couldn't help improving it a lot if I hit it with a hammer."


We cannot all of us be truly literary. Most of us lead busy lives and,
after all, is it of any real importance to be familiar with the world's
greatest writers? No doubt this may all depend upon our occupation, as
the following conversation reveals.

The slight man with the bulging brow leaned forward and addressed the
complacent looking individual with a look of almost human intelligence.
It was a monotonous railway journey.

"Wonderful transportation facilities to-day, sir," he ventured. "As we
have been bowling along, my mind has unconsciously been dwelling on
Jane Austen. Think of it, sir, only one hundred years ago and no
railroads. Have we really lost or gained? Marvelous girl, that, sir.
Masterpiece of literature when she was twenty-one, and no background but
an untidy English village. You've heard of Jane Austen, I presume?"

"Can't say I have."

The slight man smiled sympathetically.

"I get a great deal of pleasure from books," he went on. "Bachelor.
Marvelous solace. May know Wordsworth's famous lines, eh? 'Books we know
are a substantial world,' etc. Perhaps you have read something of Thomas
Love Peacock?"

"Never heard of him."

"Ah! Missed a great deal. Wonderful satirist, that. But still, I must
admit that neither he nor Miss Austen are common. Now there's Mark
Twain--for general reading, rain or shine, can't be beaten. American to
the core, sir. Smacks of the soil. Perhaps he missed any warm love
interest--but a delightful humorist, sir. You read him regularly, I

"Can't say I do."

"Of course, sir, books are not all. I agree with our old friend,
Montaigne, about that. By the way, which do you prefer, Dickens or

"Can't say, sir. They're strangers to me."

"Perhaps you've heard of a man named Walter Scott. As his name implies,
he was born in Scotland. He wrote books, you know--novels, stories.
Rather good, eh? Human interest--wholesome reading--and all that sort of

"Don't recall him."

The slight man rose up in his seat. He bore down hard upon the stranger.

"Possibly," he suggested, "in the course of your deep and intimate
intercourse with men and affairs, you may recall the name of an
individual named Shakespeare."

"Yes, I think I remember."

"How about Macaulay, the greatest essayist in England, and Homer, the
prince of ancient poets, with seven birthplaces? Then there's Emerson
and Longfellow and Goethe and--"

He paused and grabbed the other man by the collar.

"My friend," he said, "you don't seem interested in the world's greatest
authors. May I inquire what your occupation in life is?"

The other man nodded gravely, even austerely.

"Certainly, sir," he replied. "I'm a holiday salesman in Buncum's
Department Store Book Shop."


The code of manners enjoyed by the Germans needs scarcely any further
illumination, but the following incident may serve as further light upon
this threadbare subject.

A physician boarded a crowded crosstown car. A woman was standing, and a
big German seated, sprawling over twice the space necessary. Indignantly
the doctor said to him:

"See here! Why don't you move a little so that this tired woman may have
a seat?"

For a moment the German looked dazed. Then a broad smile spread over his
countenance as he answered:

"Say, dot's a joke on you, all right! Dot's my vife!"


In view of the spirit of comradeship shown between officers and men,
this story is at least open to question, but it may have happened in
some former war.

The lieutenant was instructing the squad in visional training.

"Tell me, Number One," he said, "how many men are there in that
trench-digging party over there?"

"Thirty men and one officer," was the prompt reply.

"Quite right," observed the lieutenant, after a pause. "But how do you
know one is an officer at this distance?"

"'Cos he's the only one not working, sir."


The officer of the day, during his tour of duty, paused to question a
sentry who was a new recruit.

"If you should see an armed party approaching, what would you do?" asked
the officer.

"Turn out the guard, sir."

"Very well. Suppose you saw a battleship coming across the
parade-ground, what would you do?"

"Report to the hospital for examination, sir," was the prompt reply.


During a political campaign in New York a Tammany leader on the East
Side, a self-made man and one not entirely completed yet in some
respects, was addressing a mass meeting of Italian-born voters on
behalf of the Democratic ticket.

"Gintlemen and fellow citizens," he began, "I deem it an honor to be
permitted to address you upon the issues of the day. I have always had a
deep admiration for your native land. I vinerate the mimory of that
great, that noble Eyetalian who was the original and first discoverer of
this here land of ours.

"Why, gintlemen, at me mother's knee I was taught to sing that inspirin'
song: 'Columbus, the Jim of the Ocean'!"

Whereupon there was loud applause.


Mr. Johnsing had an enthusiastic admirer in Little Eph Jones.

"Yes, suh," he concluded one of his eulogies, "Mistuh Johnsing is the
biggest man what evuh was."

"Bigger than General Grant?" queried the white man to whom he was

"Suttinly Mistuh Johnsing is a bigguh man than General Grant," affirmed

"Bigger than President Wilson?"

"Of co'se he's bigguh than President Wilson."

"Bigger than God?"

"Well--well--" stammered Eph. "You see, Mistuh Johnsing's young yet."


Unfortunately we've mislaid the judge's name, but his court room is in
New Bedford, Mass. Before him appeared a defendant who, hoping for
leniency, pleaded, "Judge, I'm down and out."

Whereupon said the wise judge: "You're down but you're not out. Six


Availing herself of her ecclesiastical privileges, the clergyman's wife
asked questions which, coming from anybody else, would have been thought

"I presume you carry a memento of some kind in that locket you wear?"
she said.

"Yes, ma'am," said the parishioner. "It is a lock of my husband's hair."

"But your husband is still alive!" the lady exclaimed.

"Yes, ma'am, but his hair is gone."


The Germans will be immensely hated after this war. They will be the
pariahs of the future.

Already we see signs of German hatred everywhere. At a reception the
other night in a neutral city, the guest of honor said to a man who had
just been presented to her:

"You are a foreigner, are you not? Where do you come from?"

"From Berlin, ma'am," he answered.

The lady stared at him through her lorgnette.

"Dear me!" she said. "Couldn't you go back and come from somewhere


They were two sweet young American girls, able, beautiful, versatile,
patriotic to the core, rushed to death. And one of them said

"What have you been doing?"

And the other one as breathlessly replied:

"Doing! My dear, I hate to tell you. I got up at six. I drove a car
forty miles to camp. I knitted a sweater and a pair of socks in between.
I went to a Red Cross meeting. I acted as bridesmaid. I read a book on
the war. I took a last lesson in first aid. I canned eighty cans of
vegetables and, oh--!"

"Do tell me!"

"Why, will you believe me, I have been so busy all day that I almost
forgot to get married!"


A well-known society performer volunteered to entertain a roomful of
patients of the Colney Hatch Lunatic Asylum, and made up a very
successful little monologue show, entirely humorous. The audience in the
main gave symptoms of being slightly bored, but one highly intelligent
maniac saw the whole thing in the proper light, and, clapping the
talented actor on the shoulder, said: "Glad you've come, old fellow. You
and I will get along fine. The other dippies here are so dashed
dignified. What I say is if a man is mad, he needn't put on airs about


Mose approached the registration booth hesitatingly, and being accosted
by the official in charge, assured that dignitary that he had just
walked ten miles to register.

"Well, Mose, what branch of the service would you like to be placed
in?" inquired the official.

"How about the cavalry?"

"What will Ah have ter do in de calvary?"

"Oh, you won't have to do anything but ride a horse all the time."

Mose scratched his woolly noggin in perplexity for a few moments, and
finally said: "Nawssur, Ah don't believe Ah wants ter jine the calvary."

"What's the matter with the cavalry, Mose?"

"Well, yer see, boss, hit's jest like dis: When y'awl blow dem bugles
ter retreet, Ah don't want ter be troubled wid no hoss."


Jimmie, very proud of his first job and weekly salary of $6.83,
purchased a Liberty Bond on the installment plan. That evening he saw in
the newspaper that John D. Rockefeller had invested in Liberty Bonds to
the extent of $10,000,000.

Turning to his mother, Jimmie said proudly, "Well, ma, two of us
Americans have done our duty, anyhow."


A woman doctor of Philadelphia was calling on a young sister, recently
married, who was in distress. In response to the doctor's inquiry the
newly-wed said:

"I cooked a meal for the first time yesterday, and I made an awful mess
of it."

"Never mind, dearie," said the doctor, cheerfully; "it's nothing to
worry about. I lost my first patient."


An ingenious American has invented a device to prevent such motoring
accidents as arise from over-speeding. He describes his contrivance as

"While the car is running fifteen miles an hour a white bulb shows on
the radiator, at twenty-five miles a green bulb appears, at forty a red
bulb, and, when the driver begins to bat 'em out around sixty per, a
music-box under the seat begins to play 'Nearer, My God, to Thee.'"


A visiting minister, preaching in a town famous for its horse races,
vigorously denounced the sport. The principal patron of the church
always attended the races, and of this the clergyman was later informed.

"I am afraid I touched one of your weaknesses," said the pastor, not
wishing to offend the wealthy one, "but it was quite unintentional, I
assure you."

"Oh, don't mind that," said the sportsman genially. "It's a mighty poor
sermon that don't hit me somewhere."


Johnson, a bachelor, had been to call on his sister, and was shown the
new baby. The next day some friends asked him to describe the new
arrival. The bachelor replied: "Um--very small features, clean shaven,
red faced, and a very hard drinker!"


The ocean liner was rolling like a chip, but as usual in such instances
one passenger was aggressively, disgustingly healthy.

"Sick, eh?" he remarked to a pale-green person who was leaning on the

The pale-green person regarded the healthy one with all the scorn he
could muster. "Sick nothing!" he snorted weakly. "I'm just hanging over
the front of the boat to see how the captain cranks it!"


A young married couple who lived near a famous golf-course were
entertaining an elderly aunt from the depths of the country.

"Well, Aunt Mary, how did you spend this afternoon?" asked the hostess
on the first day.

"Oh, I enjoyed myself very much," replied Auntie with a beaming smile,
"I went for a walk across the fields. There seemed to be a great many
people about, and some of them shouted to me in a most eccentric manner,
but I just took no notice. And, by the way," she went on, "I found such
a number of curious little round white things. I brought them home to
ask you what they are."


A colored man entered the general store of a small Ohio town and
complained to the storekeeper that a ham that he had purchased there a
few days before had proved not to be good.

"The ham is all right, Joe," insisted the storekeeper.

"No, it ain't, boss," insisted the other. "Dat ham's sure bad."

"How can that be," continued the storekeeper, "when it was cured only
last week?"

Joe reflected solemnly a moment, and then suggested:

"Maybe it's done had a relapse."


A celebrated author thus sketched out his daily programme to an
interviewer: Rise at 11; breakfast at 12; attention to mail; a few
afternoon calls; a ride in the park; dinner; the theatre, and then to

"But when do you do your literary work?" he was asked.

"Why, the next day, of course," was the reply.


At a parade of a company of newly-called-up men the drill instructor's
face turned scarlet with rage as he slated a new recruit for his

"Now, Rafferty," he roared, "you'll spoil the line with those feet. Draw
them back at once, man, and get them in line."

Rafferty's dignity was hurt.

"Plaze, sargint," he said, "they're not mine; they're Micky Doolan's in
the rear rank!"


The manager of a big Australian sheep-ranch engaged a discharged sailor
to do farm work. He was put in charge of a large flock of sheep.

"Now, all you've got to do," explained the manager, "is to keep them on
the run."

A run is a large stretch of bushland enclosed by a fence, and sheep have
many ingenious methods of escaping from their own to neighboring runs
and so getting mixed up with other flocks.

At the end of a couple of hours the manager rode up again--the air was
thick with dust as though a thousand head of cattle had passed by.

At last he distinguished the form of his new shepherd--a collapsed heap
prone upon the ground. Surrounding him were the sheep, a pitiful,
huddled mass, bleating plaintively, with considerably more than a week's
condition lost.

"What the dickens have you been doing to those sheep?" shrieked the
almost frantic manager.

The ex-sailor managed to gasp out: "Well, sir, I've done my best. You
told me to keep them on the run, and so I hunted them up and down and
round--and now--I'm just dead beat myself."


To instill into the mind of his son sound wisdom and business precepts
was Cohen senior's earnest endeavor. He taught his offspring much,
including the advantages of bankruptcy, failures, and fires. "Two
bankruptcies equal one failure, two failures equal one fire," etc. Then
Cohen junior looked up brightly.

"Fadder," he asked, "is marriage a failure?"

"Vell, my poy," was the parent's reply, "if you marry a really wealthy
woman, marriage is almost as good as a failure."


It was Easter eve on leap year, and the dear young thing, who had been
receiving long but somewhat unsatisfactory visits from the very shy
young man, decided she might take a chance. Robert had brought her a
splendid Easter lily.

"I'll give you a kiss for that lily," she promised blushingly.

The exchange was duly, not to say happily, made. Robert started
hurriedly toward the door.

"Why, where are you going?" asked his girl in surprise.

"To the florist's for more Easter lilies!" he replied.


"What are you studying now?" asked Mrs. Johnson.

"We have taken up the subject of molecules," answered her son.

"I hope you will be very attentive and practise constantly," said the
mother. "I tried to get your father to wear one, but he could not keep
it in his eye."


Senator Hoar used to tell with glee of a Southerner just home from New
England who said to his friend, "You know those little white round

"Yes," replied the friend; "the kind we feed to our horses?"

"The very same. Well, do you know, sir, that in Boston the enlightened
citizens take those little white round beans, boil them for three or
four hours, mix them with molasses and I know not what other
ingredients, bake them, and then--what do you suppose they do with the


"They eat 'em, sir," interrupted the first Southerner impressively;
"bless me, sir, they eat 'em!"


At the meeting of the Afro-American Debating Club the question of
capital punishment for murder occupied the attention of the orators for
the evening. One speaker had a great deal to say about the sanity of
persons who thus took the law into their own hands. The last speaker,
however, after a stirring harangue, concluded with great feeling: "Ah
disagrees wif capital punishment an' all dis heah talk 'bout sanity. Any
pusson 'at c'mits murdeh ain't in a sanitary condition."


"I got son in army," said a wrinkled old chief to United States Senator
Clapp during his recent visit to an Indian reservation in Minnesota.

"Fine," exclaimed the Senator. "You should be proud that he is fighting
for all of us."

"Who we fight?" the redskin continued.

"Why," the Senator replied, surprised. "We are fighting the Kaiser--you
know, the Germans."

"Hah," mourned the chief. "Too dam bad."

"Why bad?" protested Senator Clapp, getting primed for a lecture on
Teutonic kultur and its horrors.

"Too dam bad," repeated the old Indian. "Couple come through reservation
last week. I could killed um, easy as not. Too dam bad."

He wrapped his face in his blanket and refused to be comforted.


The Crown Prince had been so busy that he hadn't had time to get
together with his father and have a confidential chat. But one evening
when there was a lull in the 808-centimeter guns, they managed to get a
few moments off. The Crown Prince turned to his father and said:

"Dad, there is something I have been wanting to ask you for a long time.
Is Uncle George really responsible for this scrap?"

"No, my son."

"Well, did Cousin Nick have anything to do with it?"

"Not at all"

"Possibly you did?"

"No, sir."

"Then would you mind telling me who it was?"

The anointed one was silent for a moment. Then he turned to his son and

"I'll tell you how it happened. About two or three years ago there was a
wild man came over here from the United States, one of those rip-roaring
rough riders that you read about in dime novels, but he certainly did
have about him a plausible air. I took him out and showed him our fleet.
Then I showed him the army, and after he had looked them over he said to
me, 'Bill, you could lick the world,' And I was damn fool enough to
believe him."


A Negro was recently brought into police court in a little town in
Georgia, charged with assault and battery. The Negro, who was well known
to the judge, was charged with having struck another "unbleached
American" with a brick. After the usual preliminaries the judge

"Why did you hit this man?"

"Jedge, he called me a damn black rascal."

"Well, you are one, aren't you?"

"Yessah, I _is_ one. But, Jedge, s'pose somebody'd call you a damn black
rascal, wouldn't you hit 'em?"

"But I'm not one, am I?"

"Naw, sah, naw, sah, you ain't one; but s'pose somebody'd call you de
kind o' rascal you _is_, what'd you do?"


Early in the war J.B. adopted a French soldier and furnishes him with a
monthly allowance of tobacco. Incidentally, he is also lubricating his
rusty French by carrying on a correspondence with his "_filleul de
guerre_" who writes him from the trenches, "somewhere in France."

In a recent letter, the soldier informed his American benefactor that
"_hier j'ai tué deux Boches. Ils sont allés à l'enfer._" (Yesterday I
killed two Boches. They went straight to hell.) The censor wrote between
the lines, "_Il est defendu de dire où est l'ennemi._" (It is forbidden
to tell where the enemy is!)


A visitor to a Glasgow working woman whose son was at the front was
treated to a fluent harangue on the misdeeds of that "auld blackguard,"
the Kaiser. She ventured to suggest that we should love our enemies and
pray for them.

"Oh, but I pray for him, too."

"What do you say?"

"I say, 'Oh, Lord, deal wi' yon old blackguard, saften his heart, and
damp his powther.'"


Walking through the village street one day, the widowed Lady Bountiful
met old Farmer Stubbs on his way to market. Her greeting went unnoticed.

"Stubbs," said she, indignantly, "you might at least raise your hat to

"I beg your pardon, m'lady," was the reply, "but my poor wife ain't dead
moren' two weeks, and I ain't started lookin' at the wimmen yet!"


Tommy Tonkins was keen on baseball and particularly ambitious to make
his mark as a catcher. Any hint, however small, was welcomed if it
helped on his advance in his department of the game. When he began to
have trouble with his hands, and somebody suggested soaking them in salt
water to harden the skin, he quickly followed the advice.

Alas! a few days later Tommy had a misfortune. A long hit at the bottom
of the garden sent the ball crashing through a neighbor's sitting-room
window. It was the third Tommy had broken since the season began.

Mrs. Tonkins nearly wept in anger when Tommy broke the news.

"Yer father'll skin yer when 'e comes 'ome to-night," she said.

Poor Tommy, trembling, went outside to reflect. His thoughts traveled to
the strap hanging in the kitchen, and he eyed his hands ruefully.

"Ah!" he muttered, with a sigh. "I made a big mistake. I ought to 'ave
sat in that salt and water!"


A more kind-hearted and ingenuous soul never lived than Aunt Betsey, but
she was a poor housekeeper. On one occasion a neighbor who had run in
for a "back-door" call was horrified to see a mouse run across Aunt
Betsey's kitchen floor.

"Why on earth don't you set a trap, Betsey?" she asked.

"Well," replied Aunt Betsey. "I did have a trap set. But land, it was
such a fuss! Those mice kept getting into it!"


An Italian, having applied for citizenship, was being examined in the
naturalization court.

"Who is the President of the United States?"

"Mr. Wils'."

"Who is the Vice-President?"

"Mr. Marsh'."

"Could you be President?"



"Mister, you 'scuse, please. I vera busy worka da mine."


During the cross-examination of a young physician in a lawsuit, the
plaintiff's lawyer made disagreeable remarks about the witness's youth
and inexperience.

"You claim to be acquainted with the various symptoms attending
concussion of the brain?" asked the lawyer.

"I do."

"We will take a concrete case," continued the lawyer. "If my learned
friend, counsel for the defence, and myself were to bang our heads
together, would he get concussion of the brain?"

The young physician smiled. "The probabilities are," he replied, "that
the counsel for the defence would."


The admiration which Bob felt for his Aunt Margaret included all her

"I don't care much for plain teeth like mine, Aunt Margaret," said Bob,
one day, after a long silence, during which he had watched her in
laughing conversation with his mother. "I wish I had some copper-toed
ones like yours."


An American editor had a notice stuck up above his desk that read:
"Accuracy! Accuracy! Accuracy!" and this notice he always pointed out to
the new reporters.

One day the youngest member of the staff came in with his report of a
public meeting. The editor read it through, and came to the sentence:
"Three thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine eyes were fixed upon the

"What do you mean by making a silly blunder like that?" he demanded,

"But it's not a blunder," protested the youngster. "There was a one-eyed
man in the audience!"


"Why did you strike this man?" asked the Judge sternly.

"He called me a liar, your honor," replied the accused.

"Is that true?" asked the Judge, turning to the man with the mussed-up

"Sure, it's true," said the accused, "I called him a liar because he is
one, and I can prove it."

"What have you got to say to that?" asked the Judge of the defendant.

"It's got nothing to do with the case, your honor," was the unexpected
reply. "Even if I am a liar I guess I've got a right to be sensitive
about it, ain't I?"


The evening lesson was from the Book of Job, and the minister had just
read, "Yea, the light of the wicked shall be put out," when immediately
the church was in total darkness.

"Brethren," said the minister, with scarcely a moment's pause, "in view
of the sudden and startling fulfilment of this prophecy, we will spend a
few minutes in silent prayer for the electric lighting company."


A member of Congress and his wife had been to Baltimore one afternoon.
When they left the train at Washington, on their return, the wife
discovered that her umbrella, which had been entrusted to the care of
her husband, was missing.

"Where's my umbrella?" she demanded.

"I fear I have forgotten it, my dear," meekly answered the statesman.
"It must still be in the train."

"In the train!" snorted the lady. "And to think that the affairs of the
nation are entrusted to a man who doesn't know enough to take care of a
woman's umbrella!"


Johnny stood beside his mother as she made her selection from the
huckster's wagon, and the farmer told the boy to take a handful of
cherries, but the child shook his head.

"What's the matter? Don't you like them?" asked the huckster.

"Yes," replied Johnny.

"Then go ahead an' take some."

Johnny hesitated, whereupon the farmer put a generous handful in the
boy's cap. After the farmer had driven on, the mother asked:

"Why didn't you take the cherries when he told you to?"

"'Cause his hand was bigger'n mine."


A woman owning a house in Philadelphia before which a gang of workmen
were engaged in making street repairs was much interested in the work.

"And which is the foreman?" she asked of a big, burly Celt.

A proud smile came to the countenance of that individual as he replied:

"Oi am, mum."

"Really?" continued the lady.

"Oi kin prove it, mum," rejoined the Irishman. Then, turning to a
laborer at hand, he added, "Kelly, ye're fired!"


We had a new experience the other day (relates a writer in the _Atlantic
Monthly_) when we picked up two boatloads of survivors from the----,
torpedoed without warning. I will say they were pretty glad to see us
when we bore down on them. As we neared they began to paddle
frantically, as though fearful we should be snatched away from them at
the last moment. The crew were mostly Arabs and Lascars, and the first
mate, a typical comic magazine Irishman, delivered himself of the
following: "Sure, toward the last some o' thim haythen gits down on
their knees and starts calling on Allah: but I sez, sez I, 'Git up afore
I swat ye wid the ax handle, ye benighted haythen; sure if this boat
gits saved 't will be the Holy Virgin does it or none at all, at all!
Git up,'sez I."


For an hour the teacher had dealt with painful iteration on the part
played by carbohydrates, proteids, and fats, respectively, in the
upkeep of the human body. At the end of the lesson the usual test
questions were put, among them: "Can any girl tell me the three foods
required to keep the body in health?" There was silence till one maiden
held up her hand and replied: "Yer breakfast, yer dinner, and yer


A certain man whose previous record was of the best was charged with a
minor offense. Law and evidence were unquestionably on the side of the
defense, but when the arguments had been concluded a verdict of "guilty"
was given and a fine imposed.

The lawyer for the defense was sitting with his back toward the
magistrate. Without changing his position or rising to address the
court, he remarked:

"Judge, please fine me for contempt of court."

The magistrate inquired:

"What d'ye mean, sir? You haven't committed contempt."

"I have," came from the old lawyer. "It's silent."


London children certainly get some quaint views of life. An instance of
this recently occurred in an East End Sunday-school, where the teacher
was talking to her class about Solomon and his wisdom.

"When the Queen of Sheba came and laid jewels and fine raiment before
Solomon, what did he say?" she asked presently.

One small girl, who had evidently had experience in such matters,
promptly replied:

"'Ow much d'yer want for the lot?"


Quite recently a warship of the Atlantic Fleet found it necessary to
call for a few hours at a military port on the coast of Ireland. Tommy
Atkins, meeting a full-bearded Irish tar in the street a couple of hours
later, said:

"Pat, when are you going to place your whiskers on the reserve list?"

"When you place your tongue on the civil list," was the Irish sailor's


Although Alfred had arrived at the age of 21 years he showed no
inclinaton either to pursue his studies or in any way adapt himself to
his father's business.

"I don't know what I will ever make of that son of mine," bitterly
complained his father, a hustling business man.

"Maybe he hasn't found himself yet," consoled the confidential friend.
"Isn't he gifted in any way?"

"Gifted?" queried the father. "Well, I should say he is! He ain't got a
thing that wasn't given to him."


The time was registration day; the place was a a small town in Southern
Illinois. There was no girl. He was a gentleman of color, and the
registrar was having considerable trouble explaining the whys and
wherefors of the registration. At last Rastus showed a faint glimmer of

"Dis heyah registrashum fo' de draf' am a whole lot like 'lection
votin', ain't it?" he asked uncertainly.

"Yes," answered the kindly registrar.

Rastus scratched his head in troubled doubt. He was thinking deeply.
Presently his brow cleared and a smile spread over his face. He had
come to a decision.

"Den I votes for Julius Jackson ter be drafted," he said. "I nebah did
hab no use fo' dat niggah."


James, 4 years old, had been naughty to the point of evoking a whipping
from his long-suffering mother, and all day long a desire for revenge
rankled in his little bosom.

At length bedtime came, and, kneeling beside her, he implored a blessing
on each member of the family individually, his mother alone being
conspicuous by her absence. Then, rising from his devout posture, the
little suppliant fixed a keenly triumphant look upon her face, saying,
as he turned to climb into bed:

"I s'pose you noticed you wasn't in it."


Little Willie--in small boy stories the central figure is nearly always
named Little Willie--came running into the house, stuttering in his

"Mommer," he panted, "do you know Archie Sloan's neck?"

"Do I know what?" asked his mother.

"Do you know Archie Sloan's neck?" repeated her offspring.

"I know Archie Sloan," answered the puzzled parent; "so I suppose I must
know his neck. Why?"

"Well," said Willie, "he just now fell into the back-water up to it."


"The Kaiser and Hindenburg," said Edsell Ford, son of Henry Ford, "and
the crown prince and the other German big-wigs can never mention the war
without saying that it was forced upon them, that they are fighting in
defense of the fatherland, that their enemies are to blame for all the
bloodshed, and so forth.

"The way the Germans insist on this defense talk of theirs, in season
and out of season," he went on, "reminds me of the colored preacher who
always preached on infant baptism.

"A deputation waited on him one evening and asked him if he wouldn't
please drop infant baptism for a time. He said he'd try to meet the
deputation's wishes and the following Sunday he announced as his text,
'Adam, Where Art Thou?'

"This text, brethern and sistern,' said the preacher, 'can be divided
into fo' heads. Fust, every man is somewhar. Second, most men is whar
they hain't got no business to be. Third, you'd better watch out or
that's whar you'll be yourself. Fo'th, infant baptism. And now, brethern
and sistern, I guess we might as well pass up the first three heads and
come immediately to the fo'th--infant baptism.'"


Here is a story of the late Lord Haversham's schooldays. Glancing
through his pocket-book, his mother saw a number of entries of small
sums, ranging from 2s. 6d. to 5s., against which were the letters "P.G."
Thinking this must mean the Propagation of the Gospel, she asked her son
why he did not give a lump sum and a larger amount to so deserving a

"That is not for the Propagation of the Gospel," he replied. "When I
cannot remember exactly on what I spend the money I put 'P.G.,' which
means 'Probably grub.'"


A Connecticut farmer was asked to assist at the funeral of his
neighbor's third wife and, as he had attended the funerals of the two
others, his wife was surprised when he declined the invitation. On being
pressed to give his reason he said, with some hesitation:

"You see, Mary, it makes a chap feel a bit awkward to be always
accepting other folks's civilities when he never has anything of the
same sort of his own to ask them back to."


Here is a story our wounded boys have brought back from the front about
Sir Douglas Haig.

Sir Douglas was, some few weeks ago, in a great hurry to get to a
certain place. He found his car, but the chauffeur was missing. So Sir
Douglas got in the car and drove off by himself. Then the driver
appeared and saw the car disappearing in the distance.

"Great Scot!" cried the driver, "there's 'Aig a-driving my car!"

"Well, get even with him," said a Tommy, standing by, "and go and fight
one of 'is battles for him."


A judge presiding over a court in Washington, D.C., was administering
the oath to a boy of tender years, and to him put the following

"Have you ever taken the oath? Do you know how to swear, my boy?"

Whereupon the lad responded: "Yes, sir. I am your caddie at the Chevy
Chase Club."


Alderman Curran, of New York City, worked his way through Yale College.
During his course he was kept very busy by the various jobs he did to
help with his expenses. On graduation he went to New York, and was even
busier than he had been in New Haven.

After some months of life in New York, a friend met him and said,
"Henry, what are you doing?"

"I have three jobs," replied Mr. Curran, "I am studying law, I am a
newspaper reporter, and I am selling life insurance."

"How do you manage to get it all in?" said the friend.

"Oh," replied Mr Curran, "that's easy enough. They're only eight-hour


A quaint story is told to exemplify the pride that every man should take
in the work by which he makes a living.

Two street sweepers, seated on a curbstone, were discussing a comrade
who had died the day before.

"Bill certainly was a good sweeper," said one.

"Y-e-s," conceded the other thoughtfully. "But don't you think he was a
little weak around the lamp-posts?"


His face was pinched and drawn. With faltering footsteps he wended his
way among the bustling Christmas crowd.

"Kind sir," he suddenly exclaimed, "will you not give me a loaf of bread
for my wife and little ones?" The stranger regarded him not unkindly.
"Far be it from me," he rejoined, "to take advantage of your
destitution. Keep your wife and little ones; I do not want them."


A "Tommy," lying in a hospital, had beside him a watch of curious and
foreign design. The attending doctor was interested.

"Where did your watch come from?" he asked.

"A German give it me," he answered.

A little piqued, the doctor inquired how the foe had come to convey this
token of esteem and affection.

"E 'ad to," was the laconic reply.


A well-known banker in a downtown restaurant was eating mush and milk.

"What's the matter?" inquired a friend.

"Got dyspepsia."

"Don't you enjoy your meals?"

"Enjoy my meals?" snorted the indignant dyspeptic. "My meals are merely
guide-posts to take medicine before or after."


The quick wit of a traveling salesman, who has since become a well-known
proprietor, was severely tested one day. He sent in his card by the
office-boy to the manager of a large concern, whose inner office was
separated from the waiting-room by a ground-glass partition. When the
boy handed his card to the manager the salesman saw him impatiently tear
it in half and throw it in the wastebasket; the boy came out and told
the caller that he could not see the chief. The salesman told the boy to
go back and get him his card; the boy brought out five cents, with the
message that his card was torn up. Then the salesman took out another
card and sent the boy back, saying: "Tell your boss I sell two cards for
five cents."

He got his interview and sold a large bill of goods.


"Fore!" yelled the golfer, ready to play. But the woman on the course
paid no attention.

"Fore!" he shouted again with no effect.

"Ah," suggested his opponent in disgust, "try her once with 'three


It was in a churchyard. The morning sun shone brightly and the dew was
still on the grass.

"Ah, this is the weather that makes things spring up," remarked a
passer-by casually to an old gentleman seated on a bench.

"Hush!" replied the old gentleman. "I've got three wives buried here."


They gave the old lady the only unoccupied room in the hotel--one with a
private bath adjoining. The next morning, when the guest was ready to
check out, the clerk asked:

"Did you have a good night's rest?"

"Well, no, I didn't," she replied. "The room was all right, and the bed
was pretty good; but I couldn't sleep very much, for I was afraid
someone would want to take a bath, and the only way to it was through my


An Ohio man was having a lot of trouble piloting a one-tent show through
the Middle West. He lost a number of valuable animals by accident and
otherwise. Therefore, it was with a sympathetic mien that one of the
keepers undertook the task of breaking the news of another disaster. He
began thus:

"Mr. Smith, you remember that laughin' hyena in cage nine?"

"Remember the laughing hyena?" demanded the owner, angrily. "What the
deuce are you driving at?"

"Only this, Mr. Smith: he ain't got nothing to laugh at this morning."


Two pals, both recently wedded, were comparing the merits of their

"Ah, yes," said George, who was still very much in love, "my little
woman is an angel! She couldn't tell a lie to save her life!"

"Lucky bounder!" said Samuel, sighing. "My wife can tell a lie the
minute I get it out of my mouth!"


The worried countenance of the bridegroom disturbed the best man.
Tiptoeing up the aisle, he whispered:

"What's the matter, Jock? Hae ye lost the ring?"

"No," blurted out the unhappy Jock, "the ring's safe eno'. But, mon,
I've lost ma enthusiasm."


A story illustrative of the changes in methods of warfare comes from a
soldier in France who took a German officer prisoner. The soldier said
to the officer: "Give up your sword!" But the officer shook his head and
answered: "I have no sword to give up. But won't my vitriol spray, my
oil projector, or my gas cylinder do as well?"


It was just after a rainstorm and two men were walking down the street
behind a young woman who was holding her skirt rather high. After an
argument as to the merits of the case, one of the men stepped forward
and said: "Pardon, me, miss, but aren't you holding your skirt rather

"Haven't I a perfect right?" she snapped.

"You certainly have, Miss, and a peach of a left," he replied.











A soldier in the English Army wrote home: "They put me in barracks; they
took away my clothes and put me in khaki; they took away my name and
made me 'No. 575'; they took me to church, where I'd never been before,
and they made me listen to a sermon for forty minutes. Then the parson
said: 'No. 575. Art thou weary, art thou languid?' and I got seven days
in the guardhouse because I answered that I certainly was."


A famous jockey was taken suddenly ill, and the trainer advised him to
visit a doctor in the town.

"He'll put you right in a jiffy," he said.

The same evening he found Benjamin lying curled up in the stables,
kicking his legs about in agony.

"Hello, Benny! Haven't you been to the doctor?"


"Well, didn't he do you any good?"

"I didn't go in. When I got to his house there was a brass plate on his
door--'Dr. Kurem. Ten to one'--I wasn't going to monkey with a long shot
like that!"


Here is a story of a London "nut" who had mounted guard for the first

The colonel had just given him a wigging because of the state of his
equipment. A little later the colonel passed his post. The nut did not
salute. The indignant colonel turned and passed again. The nut ignored

"Why in the qualified blazes don't you salute?" the colonel roared.

"Ah," said the nut, softly, "I fawncied you were vexed with me."


Pat walked into the post-office. After getting into the telephone-box he
called a wrong number. As there was no such number, the switch-attendant
did not answer him. Pat shouted again, but received no answer.

The lady of the post-office opened the door and told him to shout a
little louder, which he did, but still no answer.

Again she said he would have to speak louder. Pat got angry at this,
and, turning to the lady, said:

"Begorra, if I could shout any louder I wouldn't use your bloomin' ould
telephone at all!"


Some people are always optimists:

"Beanborough," said a friend of that gentleman, "always looks on the
bright side of things."


"Well, the other day I went with him to buy a pair of shoes. He didn't
try them on at the store, and when he got home he found that a nail was
sticking right up through the heel of one."

"Did he take them back?"

"Not much. He said that he supposed the nail was put there intentionally
to keep the foot from sliding forward in the shoe."


1 German equals 10 unkultured foreigners.

2 soldiers equal 10 civilians.

3 officers equal 12 privates.

4 treaties equal 8 scraps of paper.

5 poisoned wells equal 1 strategic retreat.

6 iron crosses equal 1 ruined cathedral.

7 Zeppelin raids equal 7 demonstrations of frightfulness.

8 eggs equal 8 hearty meals (common people).

9 eggs equal 1 appetizer (aristocracy).

10 deported Belgians equal 10 unmarked graves.

11 torpedoed neutrals equal 11 disavowals.

12 Gotts equal 1 Kaiser.


"I thought you were preaching, Uncle Bob," said the Colonel, to whom the
elderly Negro had applied for a job.

"Yessah, Ah wuz," replied Uncle; "but Ah guess Ah ain't smaht enough to
expound de Scriptures. Ah almost stahved to deff tryin' to explain de
true meanin' uv de line what says 'De Gospel am free,' Dem fool niggahs
thought dat it meant dat Ah wuzn't to git no salary."


A gentleman from Vermont was traveling west in a Pullman when a group of
men from Topeka, Kansas, boarded the train and began to praise their
city to the Vermonter, telling him of the wide streets and beautiful
avenues. Finally the Vermonter became tired and said the only thing that
would improve their city would be to make it a seaport.

The enthusiastic Westerners laughed at him and asked how they could make
it a seaport being so far from the ocean.

The Vermonter replied that it would be a very easy task.

"The only thing that you will have to do," said he, "is to lay a
two-inch pipe from your city to the Gulf of Mexico. Then if you fellows
can suck as hard as you can blow you will have it a seaport inside half
an hour."


"Hey, kid!" yelled the game warden, appearing suddenly above the young
fisherman. "You are fishing for trout. Don't you know they ain't in

"Sure," replied the youth, "but when it's the season for trout they
ain't around, and when it ain't the season there's lots of 'em. If the
fish ain't a-goin' to obey the rules, I ain't neither."


He was a very small boy. Paddy was his dog, and Paddy was nearer to his
heart than anything on earth. When Paddy met swift and hideous death on
the turnpike road his mother trembled to break the news. But it had to
be, and when he came home from school she told him simply:

"Paddy has been run over and killed."

He took it very quietly; finished his dinner with appetite and spirits
unimpaired. All day it was the same. But five minutes after he had gone
up to bed there echoed through the house a shrill and sudden
lamentation. His mother rushed upstairs with solicitude and sympathy.

"Nurse says," he sobbed, "that Paddy has been run over and killed."

"But, dear, I told you that at dinner, and you didn't seem to trouble at

"No; but--but I didn't know you said Paddy. I--I thought you said


A rather patronizing individual from town was observing with
considerable interest the operations of a farmer with whom he had put up
for a while.

As he watched the old man sow the seed in his field the man from the
city called out facetiously:

"Well done, old chap. You sow; I reap the fruits."

Whereupon the farmer grinned and replied:

"Maybe you will. I am sowing hemp."


Along the Fox River, a few miles above Wedron, Ill., an old-timer named
Andy Haskins has a shack, and he has made most of the record fish
catches in that vicinity during forty years. He has a big record book
containing dates and weights to impress visitors.

Last summer a young married couple from Chicago camped in a luxurious
lodge three miles above old Haskins's place. A baby was born at the
lodge, and the only scales the father could obtain on which to weigh the
child was that with which Andy Haskins had weighed all the big fish he
had caught in ten years.

The baby tipped the scales at thirty-five pounds!


Circumstantial evidence is not always conclusive. But certain kinds of
it cannot be disputed. In the following colloquy the policeman appears
to have the best of it.

"Not guilty, sir," replied the prisoner.

"Where did you find the prisoner?" asked the magistrate.

"In Trafalgar Square, sir," was the Bobby's reply.

"And what made you think he was intoxicated?"

"Well, sir, he was throwing his walking-stick into the basin of one of
the fountains and trying to entice one of the stone lions to go and
fetch it out again."


All the talk of hyphenated citizenship has evidently had its effect upon
a San Francisco youngster, American born, who recently rebelled fiercely
when his Italian father whipped him for some misdemeanor.

"But, Tomaso," said one of the family, "your father has a right to whip
you when you are bad."

Tomaso's eyes flashed. "I am a citizen of the United States," he
declared. "Do you think that I am going to let any foreigner lick me?"


William Dean Howells, at a dinner in Boston, said of modern American
letters: "The average popular novel shows, on the novelist's part, an
ignorance of his trade, which reminds me of a New England clerk. In a
New England village I entered the main-street department store one
afternoon and said to the clerk at the book counter: 'Let me have,
please, the "Letters of Charles Lamb".' 'Post-office right across the
street, Mr. Lamb,' said the clerk, with a polite, brisk smile"


If he defies all the laws of natural beauty and symmetry,

If he has a disease calling for specialists,

If he cannot eat anything but Russian caviar and broiled sweetbreads,

If he costs more than a six-cylinder roadster,

If he must be bathed in rose water and fed out of a cutglass bowl,

If he cannot be touched by the naked hand, or patted more than twice a

If he refuses to wear anything but imported leather collars,

If he has to sleep on a silk cushion.

If he dies before you can get him home.

Then he is a well-bred dog.


A few years ago, while watching a parade in Boston in which the Stars
and Stripes were conspicuous, a fair foreigner with strong
anti-American proclivities turned to a companion, and commenting on the
display, pettishly remarked:

"That American flag makes me sick. It looks just like a piece of
checkerberry candy."

Senator Lodge, who was standing near by, overheard the remark, and
turning to the young lady, said:

"Yes, miss, it does. And it makes everyone sick who tries to lick it."


Being well equipped physically, Michael Murphy had no difficulty in
holding his job as village sexton, until the first interment, when he
was asked to sign the certificate. "Oi can't write," said Mike, and was

Out of a job, Mike turned to contracting and in time became wealthy and
a figure in his community. When he applied to the leading bank for a
loan of fifty thousand dollars, he was assured that he could get it--and
was asked to sign the necessary notes. Again he was obliged to reply:
"Oi can't write."

The banker was astounded. "And you have accumulated all this wealth and
position without knowing how to write!" he exclaimed. "What would you
have been to-day if you could write?"

Mike paused a moment, and answered:

"Oi would have been a sexton."


Two Irishmen were working on the roof of a building one day when one
made a mis-step and fell to the ground; the other leaned over and
called: "Are ye dead or alive, Mike?"

"I'm alive," said Mike, feebly.

"Sure, yer such a liar I don't know whether to believe ye or not."

"Well, then, I must be dead," said Mike, "for ye would never dare to
call me a liar if I were alive."


They were a very saving old couple, and as a result they had a
beautifully furnished house. One day the old woman missed her husband.
"Joseph, where are you?" she called out.

"I'm resting in the parlor," came the reply.

"What, on the sofy?" cried the old woman, horrified.

"No, on the floor."

"Not on that grand carpet!" came in tones of anguish.

"No; I've rolled it up!"


The youth seated himself in the dentist's chair. He wore a wonderful
striped shirt and a more wonderful checked suit and had the vacant stare
of "nobody home" that goes with both.

The dentist looked at his assistant. "I am afraid to give him gas," he

"Why?" asked the assistant.

"Well," said the dentist, "how can I tell when he's unconscious?"


In a rural court the old squire had made a ruling so unfair that three
young lawyers at once protested against such a miscarriage of justice.
The squire immediately fined each of the lawyers five dollars for
contempt of court.

There was silence, and then an older lawyer walked slowly to the front
of the room and deposited a ten-dollar bill with the clerk. He then
addressed the judge as follows:

"Your honor, I wish to state that I have twice as much contempt for
this court as any man in the room."


A violinist was bitterly disappointed with the account of his recital
printed in the paper of a small town.

"I told your man three or four times," complained the musician to the
owner of the paper, "that the instrument I used was a genuine
Stradivarius, and in his story there was not a word about it, not a

Whereupon the owner said with a laugh: "That is as it should be. When
Mr. Stradivarius gets his fiddles advertised in my paper under ten cents
a line, you come around and let me know."


Jimmie giggled when the teacher read the story of the man who swam
across the Tiber three times before breakfast.

"You do not doubt that a trained swimmer could do that, do you?"

"No, sir," answered Jimmie, "but I wonder why he did not make it four
and get back to the side where his clothes were."


She was a widow who was trying to get in touch with her deceased

The medium, after a good deal of futile work, said to her:

"The conditions this evening seem unfavorable. I can't seem to establish
communication with Mr. Smith, ma'am."

"Well, I'm not surprised," said the widow, with a glance at the clock.
"It's only half-past eight now, and John never did show up till about
three A.M."


Private Jones was summoned to appear before his captain.

"Jones," said the officer, frowning darkly, "this gentleman complains
that you have killed his dog."

"A dastardly trick," interrupted the owner of the dog, "to kill a
defenseless animal that would harm no one!"

"Not much defenseless about him," chimed in the private, heatedly. "He
bit pretty freely into my leg, so I ran my bayonet into him."

"Nonsense!" answered the owner angrily. "He was a docile creature. Why
did you not defend yourself with the butt of your rifle?"

"Why didn't he bite me with his tail?" asked Private Jones, with spirit.


Dr. Harvey Wiley tells the following story: Sleepily, after a night off,
a certain interne hastened to his hospital ward. The first patient was a
stout old Irishman.

"How goes it?" he inquired.

"Faith, it'sh me breathin', doctor. I can't get me breath at all, at

"Why, your pulse is normal. Let me examine the lung-action," replied the
doctor, kneeling beside the cot and laying his head on the ample chest.

"Now, let's hear you talk," he continued, closing his eyes and

"What'll Oi be sayin', doctor?"

"Oh, say anything. Count one, two, three, and up," murmured the interne,

"Wan, two, three, four, five, six," began the patient. When the young
doctor, with a start, opened his eyes, he was counting huskily: "Tin
hundred an' sixty-nine, tin hundred an' sivinty, tin hundred an'


An English storekeeper went to the war and left his clerk behind to look
after things. When he was wounded and taken to the hospital, what was
his surprise to find his clerk in the cot next to him.

"Well, I thought I left you to take care of the store," said the

"You did," answered the clerk, "But you didn't tell me I had to look
after your women folks as well as the store. I stood it as long as I
could and then I said to myself: 'Look here, if you've got to fight, you
might as well go and fight someone that you can hit.'"


It was a dull day in the trenches, and a bunch of Tommies had gathered
and were discussing events. After a while the talk turned on a big Boche
who had been captured the night before.

"He was scared stiff," said one Tommy.

"Did he run?" asked another.

"Run?" replied the first. "Why, if that Boche had had jest one feather
in his hand he'd 'a' flew."


"Would you mind letting me off fifteen minutes early after this, sir?"
asked the bookkeeper. "You see, I've moved into the suburbs and I can't
catch my train unless I leave at a quarter before five o'clock."

"I suppose I'll have to," grumbled the boss; "but you should have
thought of that before you moved."

"I did," confided the bookkeeper to the stenographer a little later,
"and that's the reason I moved."


A three-hundred-pound man stood gazing longingly at the nice things
displayed in a haberdasher's window for a marked-down sale. A friend
stopped to inquire if he was thinking of buying shirts or pyjamas.

"Gosh, no!" replied the fat man wistfully. "The only thing that fits me
ready-made is a handkerchief."


Andy Foster, a well-known character in his native city, had recently
shuffled off this mortal soil in destitute circumstances, although in
his earlier days he enjoyed financial prosperity.

A prominent merchant, an old friend of the family, attended the funeral
and was visibly affected as he gazed for the last time on his old friend
and associate.

The mourners were conspicuously few in number and some attention was
attracted by the sorrowing merchant. "The old gentleman was very dear to
you?" ventured one of the bearers after the funeral was over.

"Indeed, he was," answered the mourner. "Andy was one true friend. He
never asked me to lend him a cent, though I knew that he was practically
starving to death."


It was during the nerve-racking period of waiting for the signal to go
over the top that a seasoned old sergeant noticed a young soldier fresh
from home visibly affected by the nearness of the coming fight. His face
was pale, his teeth chattering, and his knees tried to touch each other.
It was sheer nervousness, but the sergeant thought it was sheer funk.

"Tompkins," he whispered, "is it trembling you are for your dirty

"No, no, sergeant," said he, making a brave attempt to still his limbs.
"I'm trembling for the Germans; they don't know I'm here."


A Chinaman was asked if there were good doctors in China.

"Good doctors!" he exclaimed. "China have best doctors in world. Hang
Chang one good doctor; he great; save life, to me."

"You don't say so! How was that?"

"Me velly bad," he said. "Me callee Doctor Han Kon. Give some medicine.
Get velly, velly ill. Me callee Doctor San Sing. Give more medicine. Me
glow worse--go die. Blimebly callee Doctor Hang Chang. He got no time;
no come. Save life."


Dinah had been troubled with a toothache for some time before she got up
enough courage to go to a dentist. The moment he touched her tooth she

"What are you making such a noise for?" he demanded. "Don't you know
I'm a 'painless dentist'?"

"Well, sah," retorted Dinah, "mebbe yo' is painless, but Ah isn't."


An Arkansas man who intended to take up a homestead claim in a
neighboring state sought information in the matter from a friend.

"I don't remember the exact wording of the law," said the latter, "but I
can give ye the meanin' of it all right. It's like this: The government
of the United States is willin' to bet one hundred and sixty acres of
land against fourteen dollars that ye can't live on it five years
without starvin' to death."


He was a morbid youth and a nervous lover. Often had he wished to tell
the maiden how he longed to make her all his own. Again and again had
his nerve failed him. But to-night there was a "do-or-die" look in his

They started for their usual walk, and rested awhile upon his favorite
seat--a gravestone in the village churchyard. A happy inspiration
seized him. "Maria," he said in trembling accents--"Maria! When you
die--how should you like to be buried here with my name on the stone
over you?"


After reading the famous poem, "The Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers," to
the class, the teacher said: "As a drawing exercise suppose you each
draw, according to your imagination, a picture of Plymouth Rock."

All but one little fellow set to work. He paused and finally raised his

"What is it, Edgar?" the teacher asked.

"Please, ma'am," Edgar piped out, "do you want us to draw a hen or a


Bishop Penhurst was talking, in Boston, about charity.

"Some charities," he said, "remind me of the cold, proud, beautiful lady
who, glittering with diamonds, swept forth from a charity ball at dawn,
crossed the frosty sidewalk, and entered her huge limousine.

"A beggar woman whined at the window:

"'Could ye give me a trifle for a cup of coffee, lady?'

"The lady looked at the beggar reproachfully.

"'Good gracious!' she said. 'Here you have the nerve to ask me for money
when I've been tangoing for you the whole night through! Home, James.'

"And she snapped the window shut in the beggar's face indignantly."


A London man just back from the States says that a little girl on the
train to Pittsburgh was chewing gum. Not only that, but she insisted on
pulling it out in long strings and letting it fall back into her mouth

"Mabel!" said her mother in a horrified whisper. "Mabel, don't do that.
Chew your gum like a little lady."


A New York man took a run not long ago into Connecticut, to a town where
he had lived as a boy.

On his native heath he accosted a venerable old chap of some eighty
years, who proved to be the very person the Gothamite sought to answer
certain inquiries concerning the place. As the conversation proceeded
the New Yorker said:

"I suppose you have always lived around here?"

"No," said the old man, "I was born two good miles from here."


They were twins. It was bathing time and from the twins' bedroom came
sounds of hearty laughter and loud crying. Their father went up to find
the cause.

"What's the matter up here?" he inquired.

The laughing twin pointed to his weeping brother. "Nothing," he giggled,
"only nurse has given Alexander two baths and hasn't given me any at


One of the Scottish golf clubs gives a dinner each year to the
youngsters it employs as caddies. At the feast last year one of the boys
disdained to use any of the forks he found at his place, and loaded his
food into himself with his knife. When the ice-cream course was reached
and he still used his knife, a boy who sat opposite to him, and who
could stand it no longer, shouted:

"Great Scot! Look at Skinny, usin' his iron all the way round!"


This story--which is perhaps true and perhaps not--is being told in many
Italian messrooms. On one of his royal tours, King Victor Emmanuel spent
the night in a small country town, where the people showed themselves
unusually eager in caring for his comfort. So when he had gone to bed,
he was surprised to be wakened by a servant who wanted to put clean
sheets on his bed. However, he waited good-naturedly while it was done,
and wished the servant good-night. He had dozed off to sleep, when he
was roused for the second time by a rap on the door; and the servant
reappeared, asking to change the sheets again.

Naturally, the King asked why the change was made so often. The servant
answered reverently, "For oneself, one changes the sheets every week;
for an honored friend, every day; but for a king, every hour."


A Long Island teacher was recounting the story of Red Riding Hood. After
describing the woods and the wild animals that flourished therein, she

"Suddenly Red Riding Hood heard a great noise. She turned about, and
what do you suppose she saw standing there, gazing at her and showing
all its sharp, white teeth?"

"Teddy Roosevelt!" volunteered one of the boys.


Willie was out walking with his mother, when she thought she saw a boy
on the other side of the street making faces at her darling.

"Willie," asked mother, "is that horrid boy making faces at you?"

"He is," replied Willie, giving his coat a tug. "Now, mother, don't
start any peace talk--you just hold my coat for about five minutes."


Not long ago the editor of an English paper ordered a story of a certain
length, but when the story arrived he discovered that the author had
written several hundred words too many.

The paper was already late in going to press so there was no
alternative--the story must be condensed to fit the allotted space.
Therefore the last few paragraphs were cut down to a single sentence. It
read thus:

"The Earl took a Scotch high-ball, his hat, his departure, no notice of
his pursuers, a revolver out of his hip pocket, and finally, his life."


Even the excessive politeness of some men may be explained on purely
practical grounds. Of a certain suburbanite, a friend said:

"I heard him speaking most beautifully of his wife to another lady on
the train just now. Rather unusual in a man these days."

"Not under the circumstances," said the other man. "That was a new cook
he was escorting out."


Appealing to a lady for aid, an old darky told her that through the
Dayton flood he had lost everything he had in the world, including his
wife and six children.

"Why," said the lady, "I have seen you before and I have helped you.
Were you not the colored man who told me you had lost your wife and six
children by the sinking of the _Titanic_?"

"Yeth, ma'am, dat wuz me. Mos' unfort'nit man dat eber wuz. Kain't keep
a fam'ly nohow."


An old lady, who was sitting on the porch of a hotel at Asheville, North
Carolina, where also there were a number of youngsters, was approached
by one of them with this query:

"Can you crack nuts?"

The old lady smiled and said: "No, my dear, I can't. I lost all my teeth
years ago."

"Then," said the boy, extending two hands full of walnuts, "please hold
these while I go and get some more."


Governor Capper, of Kansas, recently pointed out what he deemed to be
the "matter with Kansas." The average Kansan, he said, gets up in the
morning in a house made in Michigan, at the sound of an alarm clock made
in Illinois; puts on his Missouri overalls; washes his hands with
Cincinnati soap in a Pennsylvania basin; sits down to a Grand Rapids
table; eats Battle Creek breakfast food and Chicago bacon cooked on a
Michigan range; puts New York harness on a span of Missouri mules and
hitches them to a South Bend wagon, or starts up his Illinois tractor
with a Moline plow attached. After the day's work he rides down town in
a Detroit automobile, buys a box of St. Louis candy for his wife, and
spins back home, where he listens to music "canned" in New Jersey.


Charles M. Schwab, congratulated in Pittsburgh on a large war order
contract which he had just received from one of the warring nations,

"Some people call it luck, but they are mistaken. Whatever success I
have is due to hard work and not to luck.

"I remember a New York business man who crossed the ocean with me one
winter when the whole country was suffering from hard times.

"'And you. Mr. Schwab,' the New Yorker said, 'are, like the rest of us,
I suppose, hoping for better things?'

"'No, my friend,' I replied. 'No, I am not hoping for better things.
I've got my sleeves rolled up and I'm working for them.'"


Twice as the horse-bus slowly wended its way up the steep hill the door
at the rear opened and slammed. At first those inside paid little heed,
but the third time they demanded to know why they should be disturbed in
this fashion.

"Whist!" cautioned the driver. "Don't spake so loud. He'll overhear us."


"The hoss. Spake low. Shure Oo'm desavin' the crayture. Every toime he
'ears th' door close he thinks wan o' yez is gettin' down ter walk up
th' hill, an' that sort o' raises 'is sperrits."


Mrs. Higgins was an incurable grumbler. She grumbled at everything and
everyone. But at last the vicar thought he had found something about
which she could make no complaint; the old lady's crop of potatoes was
certainly the finest for miles round.

"Ah, for once you must be well pleased," he said, with a beaming smile,
as he met her in the village street. "Everyone's saying how splendid
your potatoes are this year."

The old lady glowered at him as she answered:

"They're not so poor. But where's the bad ones for the pigs?"


The latest American church device for "raising the wind" is what a
religious paper describes as "some collection-box." The inventor hails
from Oklahoma. If a member of the congregation drops in a twenty-five
cent piece or a coin of larger value, there is silence. If it is a
ten-cent piece a bell rings, a five-cent piece sounds a whistle, and a
cent fires a blank cartridge. If any one pretends to be asleep when the
box passes, it awakens him with a watchman's rattle, and a kodak takes
his portrait.


A young lady telephone operator recently attended a watch-night service
and fell asleep during the sermon. At the close the preacher said, "We
will now sing hymn number three forty-one--three forty-one."

The young lady, just waking in time to hear the number, yawned and said,
"The line is busy."


While Chopin probably did not time his "Minute Waltz" to exactly sixty
seconds, some auditors insist that it lives up to its name. Mme.
Theodora Surkow-Ryder on one of her tours played the "Minute Waltz" as
an encore, first telling her audience what it was. Thereupon a huge man
in a large riding suit took out an immense silver watch, held it open
almost under her nose, and gravely proceeded to time her. The pianist's
fingers flew along the keys, and her anxiety was rewarded when the man
closed the watch with a loud slap and said in a booming voice: "Gosh!
She's done it."


A friendly American who has just arrived in London brings a story of
Edison. The great inventor was present at a dinner in New York to which
Count Bernstorff had also found his way. The Count spoke of the number
of new ships which Germany had built since the war began. He was
listened to respectfully enough, although a little coldly, because the
sympathies of the party were not with him or Germany.

When he had stopped, Edison looked up and said in a still, small voice,
and with a serious face:

"Must not the Kiel Canal be very crowded, your Excellency?"


A man and a woman entered a café.

"Do you want oysters, Louise?" asked the man, as he glanced over the
bill of fare.

"Yes, George," answered the woman, "and I want a hassock, too."

George nodded, and as he handed the waiter his written order, he said:

"Bring a hassock for the lady."

"Yes, sir," answered the waiter, "one hassock."

A moment later the waiter, apparently puzzled, approached the man, and
leaning over him, said:

"Excuse me, sir, but I have only been here two days and do not want to
make any mistakes. Will the lady have the hassock broiled or fried?"


Joe T. Marshall, formerly of Kansas, recently became the father of an
eight-pound boy, and wished to cable the news to his family in America.

The censor refused to allow the message to go through.

"What's the matter?" Marshall asked indignantly.

"We aren't permitted to announce the arrival of Americans in France!"


David Belasco was smiling at the extravagant attentions that are
lavished by the rich upon pet dogs. He spoke of the canine operations
for appendicitis, the canine tooth crownings, the canine wardrobes, and
then he said:

"How servants hate these pampered curs! At a house where I was calling
one cold day the fat and pompous butler entered the drawing-room and

"'Did you ring, madam?'

"'Yes, Harrison, I wish you to take Fido out walking for two hours.'

"Harrison frowned slightly. 'But Fido won't follow me, madam,' he said.

"'Then, Harrison, you must follow Fido.'"


A company of very new soldiers were out on a wide heath, practising the
art of taking cover. The officer in charge of them turned to one of the
rawest of his men.

"Get down behind that hillock there," he ordered, sternly, "and mind,
not a move or a sound!"

A few minutes later he looked around to see if they were all concealed,
and, to his despair, observed something wriggling behind the small
mound. Even as he watched the movements became more frantic.

"I say, you there!" he shouted, angrily, "do you know you are giving our
position away to the enemy?"

"Yes, sir," said the recruit, in a voice of cool desperation, "and do
you know that this is an anthill?"


A young fellow who was the crack sprinter of his town--somewhere in the
South--was unfortunate enough to have a very dilatory laundress. One
evening, when he was out for a practice run in his rather airy and
abbreviated track costume, he chanced to dash past the house of that
dusky lady, who at the time was a couple of weeks in arrears with his

He had scarcely reached home again when the bell rang furiously and an
excited voice was wafted in from the porch:

"Foh de Lawd's sake! won't you-all tell Marse Bob please not to go out
no moh till I kin git his clo'es round to him?'"


"Did you hear about the defacement of Mr. Skinner's tombstone?" asked
Mr. Brown a few days after the funeral of that eminent captain of

"No, what was it?" inquired his neighbor curiously.

"Someone added the word 'friends' to the epitaph."

"What was the epitaph?"

"'He did his best.'"


This is the way the agent got a lesson in manners. He called at a
business office, and saw nobody but a prepossessing though
capable-appearing young woman.

"Where's the boss?" he asked abruptly.

"What is your business?" she asked politely.

"None of yours!" he snapped. "I got a proposition to lay before this
firm, and I want to talk to somebody about it."

"And you would rather talk to a gentleman?"


"Well," answered the lady, smiling sweetly, "so would I. But it seems
that it's impossible for either one of us to have our wish, so we'll
have to make the best of it. State your business, please!"


"Look here," yelled the infuriated bridegroom of a day, dashing wildly
into the editor's room of the country weekly; "what do you mean by such
an infernal libel on me in your account of our wedding?"

"What's the matter?" asked the editor calmly. "Didn't we say that after
your wedding tour you would make your home at the Old Manse?"

"Yes," howled the newly made benedict, "and just see how you've spelled

And the editor looked and read:

  After their wedding tour the newly married couple will
  make their home at the Old Man's.


"Children," said the Sunday-school superintendent, "this picture
illustrates to-day's lesson: Lot was warned to take his wife and
daughters and flee out of Sodom. Here are Lot and his daughters, with
his wife just behind them; and there is Sodom in the background. Now,
has any girl or boy a question before we take up the study of the
lesson? Well, Susie?"

"Pleathe, thir," lisped the latest graduate from the infant class,
"where ith the flea?"


The American characteristic which demands ornaments and "fixin's" to all
ceremonies, as contrasted with genuine simplicity, is thus scored by
Judge Pettingill of Chanute:

"My ambition in life," said the Judge, "is to be the organizer of a
lodge without flub-dub, gold tassel uniforms, red tape ritual, a
regiment of officers with high-sounding titles, a calisthenic drill of
idiotic signs and grips, a goat, and members who call each other
'brother.' I would name the presiding officer 'it,' and its first by-law
would provide for the expulsion of the member who advocated the wearing
of a lodge pin."


When Wu Ting Fang was Minister to the United States from China, he
visited Chicago. A native of the Windy City said to him at a reception:

"Mr. Wu, I see there is a movement in China to abolish the pigtails you
wear. Why do you wear the foolish thing, anyhow?"

"Well," countered Mr. Wu, "why do you wear your foolish moustache?"

"Oh, that's different," said the Chicago man; "you see I've got an
impossible mouth."

"So I should suppose," retorted Mr. Wu, "judging from some of your


"Now," it was explained to Aladdin, "this is a wonderful lamp. Rub it
and a genie appears."

"I see little to that," he replied. "What I want is a lamp that won't go
out on my automobile and get me pinched by a traffic cop."


Everything in the dear old village seemed the same to Jones after his
absence of four years. The old church, the village pump, the ducks on
the green, the old men smoking while their wives gossip--it was so
restful after the rush and bustle of the city. Suddenly he missed

"Where's Hodge's windmill?" he asked in surprise. "I can only see one
mill, and there used to be two."

The native gazed thoughtfully round, as if to verify the statement. Then
he said slowly:

"They pulled one down. There weren't enough wind for two on'em!"


At a recent political convention two of the delegates were discussing
the religious affiliations of prominent statesmen, when one of them, a
Baptist, observed to the other, who was a Methodist:

"I understand that William Jennings Bryan has turned Baptist."

"What?" exclaimed the Methodist. "Why, that can't be!"

"Yes, it is," persisted the Baptist.

"No, sir," continued the Methodist; "it can't be true. To become a
Baptist one must be entirely immersed."

"Yes, that is very true; but what has that to do with it?"

"Simply this," returned the Methodist: "Mr. Bryan would never consent to
disappear from public view as long as that."


John Hendricks, a singular Western character, awoke one morning to find
himself wealthy through a rich mining strike. Soon he concluded to
broaden his mind by travel, and decided to go to Europe Boarding the
ship, he singled out the captain and said: "Captain, if I understand the
way this here ship is constructed it's got several water-tight

"Yes, sir."

"Water's all on the outside--can't none get in nohow?"

"No, sir."

"Captain," said Hendricks, decidedly, "I want one o' them
compartments--I don't care what it costs extry."


Senator Jim Nye of Nebraska tells this story to illustrate some of the
evils of prohibition. The Senator said, apropos of his visit to a "dry"

"After a long speech and then talking to all the magnates of the
neighborhood, I went to bed dry as a powder horn. I could not sleep and
as soon as it was daylight I went down into the dining room: As I sat
there the mistress of the house came in and said 'Senator, you are up
early.' I said: 'Yes, living in the West so long, I am afflicted with
malaria, and I could not sleep.' She went over to a tea caddy, took out
a bottle and said: 'Senator, this is a prohibition town, you know, but
we have malaria and we find this a good antidote. I know it will do you

The Senator seized the bottle with avidity and thankfulness. He settled
again in his seat by the window, more in harmony with the world. Then
the head of the house came in and said: "Senator, you are up early." He
replied: "Yes, malaria, you know." "Well," said the old gentleman, "we
have a cure for that. This is a prohibition town; it is good thing for
our work people; but I have a little safety in my locker," and he
produced a bottle.

After the old gentleman left the two sons came in and said: "Senator,
are you fond of livestock?" The Senator by that time was fond of
everything and everybody. He said: "Yes, I love livestock, I have plenty
of it on my ranch." They said: "Come out to the barn and we will show
you some." They took him out to the barn, closed the doors, and said:
"Senator, we know you must have had a hard time last night. We have no
livestock but we have a bottle in the haymow." Senator Nye then said:

"The trouble with a prohibition town is that when you most need it you
can't get it, and when it does come it is like a Western flood, too much
of it."


Eugene was a very mischievous little boy and his mother's patience was
worn to the limit. She had spoken very nicely to him several times
without effect. Finally she said:

"You are a perfect little heathen!"

"Do you mean it?" demanded Eugene.

"Indeed, I do," said the mother.

"Then, mother," said the boy, "why can't I keep that ten cents a week
you gimme for the Sunday-school collection? I guess I'm as hard up as
any of the rest of 'em."


When Paderewski was on his last visit to America he was in a Boston
suburb, when he was approached by a bootblack who called:


The great pianist looked down at the youth whose face was streaked with
grime and said:

"No, my lad, but if you will wash your face I will give you a quarter."

"All right!" exclaimed the youth, who forthwith ran to a neighboring
trough and made his ablutions.

When he returned Paderewski held out the quarter, which the boy took but
immediately handed back, saying:

"Here, Mister, you take it yourself and get your hair cut."


An Irish soldier had lost an eye in battle, but was allowed to continue
in the service on consenting to have a glass eye in its place. One day,
however, he appeared on parade without his artificial eye.

"Nolan," said the officer, "you are not properly dressed. Why is your
artificial eye not in its place?"

"Sure, sir," replied Nolan, "I left it in me box to keep an eye on me
kit while I'm on parade."


Arthur Train, the novelist, put down a German newspaper at the Century
Club, in New York, with an impatient grunt.

"It says here," he explained, "that it is Germany who will speak the
last word in this war."

Then the novelist laughed angrily and added:

"Yes, Germany will speak the last word in the war, and that last word
will be '_Kamerad!_'"


When the Prince entered the enchanted castle he noticed about it an air
of unusual quiet, as if there were a meeting of the American Peace

"Everybody is asleep," he muttered. "There isn't a single defense gun
mounted on a parapet. I don't believe there is a rifle on the premises.
No ammunition, either."

Walking rapidly upstairs, he saw a couple of servants lying prone.

"This reminds me of the time I lived in the suburbs," he continued.

Entering one of the sleeping-rooms, he discovered the celebrated beauty,
sound asleep, in the four-poster.

"This must be a frame-up," he observed. "I see it all. If I wake her up,
I shall have to marry her."

He was about to pass down the stairs, when a voice stopped him.

"Well, why not?" said the voice. "The young woman has not received a
modern education. She cannot drive a motor, play bridge, insist upon
your going to the most fashionable restaurant and ordering eight
dollars' worth of worthless imitation food, dance like a fiend, and
spend money generally like the manager of an international war. She's
been asleep so long that she might be just the one you want."

"By Jove!" exclaimed the Prince. "And to think I might have gone off
without her!" So saying, he did the proper thing.


"Some un sick at yo' house, Mis' Carter?" inquired Lila. "Ah seed de
doctah's kyar eroun' dar yestidy."

"It was for my brother, Lila."

"Sho! What's he done got de matter of 'im?"

"Nobody seems to know what the disease is. He can eat and sleep as well
as ever, he stays out all day long on the veranda in the sun, and seems
as well as anyone, but he can't do any work at all."

"He cain't--yo' says he cain't work?"

"Not a stroke."

"Law, Mis' Carter, dat ain't no disease what yo' broth' got. Dat's a


The difficulties of western journalism are illustrated by the following
notice from _The Rocky Mountain Cyclone_:


We begin the publication ov the _Rocy Mountain Cyclone_ with some phew
diphiculties in the way. The type phounder phrom whom we bought our
outphit phor this printing ophice phailed to supply us with any ephs or
cays, and it will be phour or phive weex bephore we can get any. We have
ordered the missing letters and will have to get along without them
until they come. We don't lique the loox ov this variety ov spelling any
better than our readers, but mistaix will happen in the best ov
regulated phamilies, and iph the ephs and c's and x's and q's hold out
we shall ceep (sound the c hard) the _Cyclone_ whirling aphter a
phashion till the sorts arrive. It is no joque to us, it's a serious


To meet every situation which arises, and to do it in diplomatic
language, is only the gift of the elect:

"Waiter, bring me two fried eggs, some ham, a cup of coffee, and a
roll," said a traveler in a city of the Middle West.

"Bring me the same," said his friend, "but eliminate the eggs."

"Yessir," said the waiter.

In a moment he came back, leaned confidentially and penitently over the
table, and whispered:

"We 'ad a bad accident just before we opened this mornin', sir, and the
'andle of the liminator got busted off. Will you take yer eggs fried,
same as this 'ere gentleman?"


No true American likes to acknowledge that he has a superior, even in
his own family.

Little Sydney had reached the mature age of three and was about to
discard petticoats for the more manly raiment of knickerbockers. The
mother had determined to make the occasion a memorable one. The
breakfast table was laden with good things when the newly breeched
infant was led into the room.

"Ah!" exclaimed the proud mother, "now you are a little man!"

Sydney, thoughtfully displaying his garments to their full advantage,
edged close to his mother and whispered, "Can I call pa Bill now?"


Our boys in France need little guidance to become on good terms with the
French girls. The following hints at conversation have therefore been
made as simple as possible:

  Bong swah, mad-mwa-zell! Vou zay tray beautiful.
  Kesker say votr name?
  Zhe swee Edward Jones.
  Vooley voo take a walk?
  Eecy ate oon fine place to sit down.
  Bokoo moon to-night, nace paw?
  Avay voo ever studied palmistry?
  Donney mwa votr hand.
  Votr hand ay tray soft!
  Dahn lay Zaytah Unee are bokoo girls, may voo zay more beautiful
    than any of them.
  Chay mwa zhe nay pah seen a girl that could touch voo!
  Voo zay oon peach!
  Le coleur de votr yer ay tray beautiful.
  Votr dress ay bokoo dress.
  Donney mwa oon kiss?
  Zhe voo zame!


Early in the war the Kaiser was haled before a Virginia court. At least
that was the intention of Charles L. Zoll, justice of the peace of Broad
Run district, Loudoun County, who delivered into the hands of the
Sheriff this warrant:

   Commonwealth of Virginia, County of Loudoun, to wit:

   To the Sheriff of the said county:

   Wheras, Woodrow Wilson has this day made oath before me, a justice of
   said court, that William Hohan Zollern, alias Wilhelm, has at various
   times and places between July, 1914, and November, 1917, committed
   murder, assault, and arson upon the bodies of various people and
   sundry properties, against the peace and dignity of the Government of
   the United States, the State of Virginia and Broad Run district in

   These are therefore in the name of the Commonwealth of Virginia and
   the Government of the United States to command you to forthwith
   apprehend the said William Hohan Zollern, alias Kaiser Wilhelm, and
   bring his body before me at my office in Aushburn, Va., to answer
   said charges, and there and then be dealt with according to law.

   And by the power vested in me I hereby extend your jurisdiction to
   the Continent of Europe and I do by these presents declare the said
   William Hohan Zollern, alias Kaiser Wilhelm, to be an outlaw, and
   offer as a reward for his apprehension three barrels of corn, five
   bushels of potatoes and meat of ham, said ham to weigh not less than
   twenty-one pounds nor more than thirty-five pounds.

   And you are moreover required to summon Marshal Joffre, Albert, King
   of the Belgians; Victor Emanuel of Italy and George V to appear at
   same time and place as witnesses in behalf of the Commonwealth
   touching the matter said complaint.

   Given under my hand and seal this 28th day of November, 1917.

   CHARLES L. ZOLL, Justice of the Peace.


In the English royal library at Windsor, in the centre of the magazine
table, there is a large album of pictures of many eminent and popular
men and women of the day. This book is divided into sections--a section
for each calling or profession. Some years ago Prince Edward, in
looking through the book, came across the pages devoted to the pictures
of the rulers of the various nations. Prominently placed among these was
a large photograph of Colonel Roosevelt.

"Father," asked Prince Edward, placing his finger on the Colonel's
picture, "Mr. Roosevelt is a very clever man, isn't he?"

"Yes, child," answered King George with a smile. "He is a great and good
man. In some respects I look upon him as a genius."

A few days later, King George, casually glancing through the album,
noticed that President Roosevelt's photograph had been removed and
placed in the section devoted to "Men and Women of the Time." On asking
the Prince whether he had removed the picture, the latter solemnly
replied: "Yes, sir. You told me the other day that you thought Mr.
Roosevelt a genius, so I took him away from the kings and emperors and
put him among the famous people."


When the question of America's being prepared for war was uppermost
Representative Thomas Heflin, of Alabama, told the following story to
illustrate his belief that we ought always to be ready:

"There was an old fellow down in north Alabama and out in the mountains;
he kept his jug in the hole of a log. He would go down at sundown to
take a swig of mountain dew--mountain dew that had never been humiliated
by a revenue officer nor insulted by a green stamp. He drank that liquid
concoction that came fresh from the heart of the corn, and he glowed.
One evening while he was letting the good liquor trickle down his throat
he felt something touch his foot. He looked down and saw a big
rattle-snake coiled ready to strike.

"The old fellow took another swig of the corn, and in defiance he swept
that snake with his eyes.

"'Strike, dern you, strike, you will never find me better prepared.'"


The father of a certain charming girl is well known in this town as "a
very tight old gentleman." When dad recently received a young man, who
for some time had been "paying attention" to the daughter, it was the
old gentleman who made the first observation:

"Huh! So you want to marry my daughter, eh?"

"Yes, sir; very much, indeed."

"Um--let me see. Can you support her in the style to which she has been

"I can, sir," said the young man, "but I am not mean enough to do it."


A young American artist who has just returned from a six months' job of
driving a British ambulance on the war front in Belgium brings this back
straight from the trenches: "One cold morning a sign was pushed up above
the German trench facing ours, only about fifty yards away, which bore
in large letters the words: 'Got mit Uns!' One of our cockney lads, more
of a patriot than a linguist, looked at this for a moment and then
lampblacked a big sign of his own, which he raised on a stick. It read:
'We Got Mittuns, Too!'"


A pretty girl at an evening party was bantering a genial bachelor on his
reasons for remaining single.

"No-oo. I never was exactly disappointed in love," he said. "I was what
you might call discouraged. You see, when I was very young I became very
much enamored of a young lady of my acquaintance. I was mortally afraid
to tell her of my feeling, but at length I screwed up my courage to the
proposing point. I said, 'Let's get married,' And she said, 'Why, who'd
have us?'"


The military strategist is born not made.

For example:

Two youngsters, one the possessor of a permit, were fishing on a certain
estate when a gamekeeper suddenly darted from a thicket. The lad with
the permit uttered a cry of fright, dropped his rod, and ran off at top
speed. The gamekeeper was led a swift chase. Then, worn out, the boy
halted. The man seized him by the arm and said between pants: "Have you
a permit to fish on this estate?"

"Yes, to be sure," said the boy quietly.

"You have? Then show it to me."

The boy drew the permit from his pocket. The man examined it and frowned
in perplexity and anger.

"Why did you run when you had this permit?" he asked.

"To let the other boy get away," was the reply. "He didn't have any."


An old woman who lived in the country recently visited some friends in
the city. During her stay she was taken to see "The Merchant of Venice,"
a play she had witnessed more than thirty years before, and which she
had always had a strong desire to see again. Calling next day, a friend
asked her how the previous night's performance compared with that of
thirty years ago.

"Well," she replied, "Venice seems to have smartened up a bit, but that
Shylock is the same mean, grasping creature that he used to be."


After all, only a feminine mind can be truly broadminded and make a
correct deduction of a whole from a knowledge of a part. Said a certain
lady in a shop:

"I want a pair of pants for my sick husband."

"What size?" asked the clerk.

"I don't know, but he wears a 14-1/2 collar."


A certain woman demands instant and unquestioning obedience from her
children. One afternoon a storm came up and she sent her little son John
to close the trap leading to the flat roof of the house.

"But, mother," began John.

"John, I told you to shut the trap."

"Yes, but, mother--"

"John, shut that trap!"

"All right, mother, if you say so--but--"


Whereupon John slowly climbed the stairs and shut the trap. Two hours
later the family gathered for dinner, but Aunt Mary, who was staying
with the mother, did not appear. The mother, quite anxious, exclaimed,
"Where can Aunt Mary be?"

"I know," John answered triumphantly, "she is on the roof."


Andrew Carnegie said:

"I was traveling Londonward on an English railway last year, and had
chosen a seat in a non-smoking carriage. At a wayside station a man
boarded the train, sat down in my compartment, and lighted a vile clay

"This is not a smoking carriage," said I.

"'All right, Governor,' said the man. 'I'll just finish this pipe here.'

"He finished it, then refilled it.

"'See here,' I said, 'I told you this was not a smoking carriage. If you
persist with that pipe I shall report you at the next station to the
guard.' I handed him my card. He looked at it, pocketed it, but lighted
his pipe nevertheless. At the next station, however, he changed to
another compartment.

"Calling the guard, I told him what had occurred, and demanded that the
smoker's name and address be taken.

"'Yes, sair,' said the guard, and hurried away. In a little while he
returned. He seemed rather awed and, bending over me, said

"'Do you know, sir, if I were you I would not prosecute that gent. He
has just given me his card. Here it is. He is Mr. Andrew Carnegie.'"


Scotchmen are proverbial for their caution.

Mr. MacTavish attended a christening where the hospitality of the host
knew no bounds except the several capacities of the guests. In the midst
of the celebration Mr. MacTavish rose up and made rounds of the company,
bidding each a profound farewell.

"But, Sandy, man," objected the host, "ye're not goin' yet, with the
evenin' just started?"

"Nay," said the prudent MacTavish. "I'm no' goin' yet. But I'm tellin'
ye good-night while I know ye all."


He was the slowest boy on earth, and had been sacked at three places in
two weeks, so his parents had apprenticed him to a naturalist. But even
he found him slow. It took him two hours to give the canaries their
seed, three to stick a pin through a dead butterfly, and four to pick a
convolvulus. The only point about him was that he was willing.

"And what," he asked, having spent a whole afternoon changing the
goldfishes' water, "shall I do now, sir?"

The naturalist ran his fingers through his locks.

"Well, Robert," he replied at length, "I think you might now take the
tortoise out for a run."


A lady recently selecting a hat at a milliner's asked, cautiously:

"Is there anything about these feathers that might bring me into trouble
with the Bird Protection Society?"

"Oh, no, madam," said the milliner.

"But did they not belong to some bird?" persisted the lady.

"Well, madam," returned the milliner, pleasantly, "these feathers are
the feathers of a howl; and the howl, you know, madam, seein' as 'ow
fond he is of mice, is more of a cat than a bird."


The budding authoress had purchased a typewriter, and one morning the
agent called and asked:

"How do you like your new typewriter, madam?"

"It's wonderful!" was the enthusiastic reply. "I wonder how I ever done
my writing without it."

"Would you mind," asked the agent, "giving me a little testimonial to
that effect?"

"Certainly not," she responded. "I'll do it gladly."

Seating herself at the machine, she pounded out the following:

Aafteb Using thee Automatid Backactiom atype write, er for thre emonth
%an d Over. I unhesittattingly pronoun ce it tobe al ad more than th e
Manufacturss claim! for it. Durinb the tim e been in myy possessio n $i
thre month it had more th an paid paid for itse*f in thee saVing off tim
e anD laborr?


One of the congregation of a church not far from Boston approached her
pastor with the complaint that she was greatly disturbed by the
unmelodious singing of one of her neighbors.

"It's positively unbearable!" she said. "That man in the pew in front of
us spoils the service for me. His voice is harsh and he has no idea of a
tune. Can't you ask him to change his pew?"

The good pastor was sorely perplexed. After a few moments' reflection,
he said, "Well, I naturally would feel a little delicacy on that score,
especially as I should have to tell him why I asked it. But I'll tell
you what I might do." Here his face became illuminated by a happy
thought. "I might ask him to join the choir."


There have been a great many explanations for war, but the following
appears to have its special merits:

The world was supplied with an original producer; namely, Woman.

Woman produced babies.

The babies grew up and produced tradespeople.

The tradespeople produced goods with which to supply the woman.

The goods, coming into competition with each other, owing to the
different parts of the world wherein they were manufactured, produced

The trouble produced international jealousies.

The international jealousies produced war.

Then the war proceeded to destroy the women and babies, because it was
through woman in the beginning that war became possible.


A happily married woman, who had enjoyed thirty-three years of wedlock,
and who was the grandmother of four beautiful little children, had an
amusing old colored woman for a cook.

One day when a box of especially beautiful flowers was left for the
mistress the cook happened to be present, and she said: "Yo' husband
send you all the pretty flowers you gits, Missy?"

"Certainly, my husband, mammy," proudly answered the lady.

"Glory!" exclaimed the cook, "he suttenly am holdin' out well."


The folks in the southern part of Arkansas are not noted for their

A man and his wife were sitting on their porch when a funeral procession
passed the house. The man was comfortably seated in a chair that was
tilted back against the house, and was whittling a piece of wood. As the
procession passed, he said:

"I reckon ol' man Williams has got about the biggest funeral that's ever
been held around hyer, Caroline."

"A purty good-sized one, is it, Bud?" queried the wife, making no effort
to move.

"Certainly is!" Bud answered.

"I surely would like to see it," said the woman. "What a pity I ain't
facin' that way!"


What is known in a certain town as "A Shop Carnival" was being held, and
little girls represented the various shops. One, dressed in a white
muslin frock gaily strung with garlands of bonbons, advertised the local
sweet shop.

When the festival began she fairly glistened with attractive
confectionery, but as time wore on her decorations grew less. Finally,
at the end of the last act, not a bonbon was to be seen.

"Why, Dora," cried the stage manager, "where in the world are all your
decorations? Have you lost them?"

"Oh, no," replied Dora; "they're perfectly safe. I'm wearing them


In war times Cupid is not only active but overworked, and people who
have never loved before do not wait upon ceremony. In the spring of
1918, a certain rector, just before the service, was called to the
vestibule to meet a couple who wanted to be married. He explained that
there wasn't time for the ceremony then. "But," said he, "if you will be
seated I will give you an opportunity at the end of the service for you
to come forward, and I will then perform the ceremony."

The couple agreed, and after a stirring war sermon at the proper moment
the clergyman said: "Will those who wish to be united in the holy bond
of matrimony please come forward?"

Thereupon thirteen women and one man proceeded to the altar.


That time-honored subject the wife who talks and the husband who endures
never ceases to be a source of inspiration to the humorist, and it is
truly astonishing how many new ways it can be treated:

One day the telephone bell rang with anxious persistence. The doctor
answered the call of a tired husband.

"Yes?" he said.

"Oh, doctor," said a worried voice, "something seems to have happened to
my wife. Her mouth seems set and she can't say a word."

"Why, she may have lockjaw," said the medical man.

"Do you think so? Well, if you are up this way some time next week you
might step in and see what you can do for her."


Will Hogg of Texas says that down in Houston one Monday morning a Negro
boy in his employ came to him with a request.

"Boss," said the darky, "I'd lak to git off nex' Friday fur the day."

"What for?" inquired Hogg.

"Got to go to a fun'el."

"Whose funeral is it?"

"My uncle's."

"When did your uncle die?"

"Lawd, boss, he ain't daid yit!"

"Then how do you know his funeral is going to take place on Friday?"

"'Case dey's gwine hang him Thursday!"


To be truthful and at the same time diplomatic is one of the rarest of
combinations, and only a small boy would be equal to it:

Johnny's manners had been improving at home, but at what a cost to his
appetite when he had an invitation to dine at a boy friend's house! His
hostess said, concernedly, when dessert was reached, "You refuse a
second helping of pie? Are you suffering from indigestion, Johnny?" "No,
ma'am; politeness."


Pat had just joined a horse regiment, and was undergoing the necessary
practice in the riding school. After a particularly desperate attempt to
unseat its rider, the horse managed to entangle a hoof in one of the

"Begorra," said Pat, "if you're comin' on, then I'm gettin' off!"


A party of engineers were tracing a township line across some farm lands
in Illinois. As chance would have it, the line passed directly through a
large barn having double doors on each side of it, and they found they
could continue their measurements through the barn by opening the doors
and thus avoiding the dreaded détour. The owner watched their progress
with considerable interest, but made no comment until they had reached
the farther side of the barn, when he asked:

"Thet a railroad ye-all surveyin' fer?"

"Certainly," replied the chief.

The farmer meditated a bit as he closed the barn doors behind them, when
he remarked, somewhat aggressively, "I hain't got no objections ter
havin' er railroad on my farm, but I'll be darned ef I'm goin' ter git
up at all hours of the night ter open and shet them doors fer yer train
ter go through!"


The German may understand his own point of view, but he hates
exceedingly to have that point of view taken, even in part, by any one

An official who has scrutinized the reports made by German diplomatic
representatives to their Government before the declaration of war
furnishes this extract from one of them:

"The Americans are very rough. If you call one of them a liar he does
not argue the matter after the manner of a German gentleman, but
brutally knocks you down. The Americans have absolutely no _Kultur_."


The whole Irish question, and its perfect solution--at least from one
side--is summed up by the reply given by an Irishman to a professor,
who, when they chanced to meet, said:

"Pat, tell me, now, what is your solution to the world problem?"

"Well, sor," replied Pat, "I think we should have a world
democracy--with an Irishman for king!"


Starting with a wonderful burst of oratory, the great evangelist had,
after two hours' steady preaching, become rather hoarse.

A little boy's mother in the congregation whispered to her son, "Isn't
it wonderful? What do you think of him?"

"He needs a new needle," returned the boy sleepily.


The captain and the mate on board the _Pretty Polly_ were at
loggerheads. They scowled whenever they met, and seized opportunities of
scoring off each other with fearful glee. Each took a turn at making the
day's entries in the log-book, and the mate, when making his entries,
was very surprised to find, in the captain's handwriting, the words:

"June 2nd, 1917.--Mate drunk."

He stared at it wrathfully a moment, then a slow grin broke over his
face. He took his pen and wrote:

"June 3rd, 1917.--Captain sober."


A bellhop passed through the hall of the St. Francis Hotel whistling

"Young man," said Manager Woods sternly, "you should know that it is
against the rules of this hotel for an employee to whistle while on

"I am not whistling, sir," replied the boy, "I'm paging Mrs. Jones's


Though she was old she wasn't by any means incapable of supporting
herself; and at the fresh, youthful age of seventy-nine she went into
the business of providing teas for perspiring cyclists, and storing the
cycles of those travellers who decided that they had better return by
train. Her first customers were four young men who left their cycles in
her charge while they explored the neighborhood. For each cycle she gave
them a ticket with a number upon it.

Late at night the tourists returned.

The old woman led them to their cycles with a smile of self-satisfaction
on her face.

"You'll know which is which," she told them, "because I've fastened
duplicate tickets on them."

They gratefully thanked her; and when they found their cycles they
discovered that the tickets were neatly pinned into each back tire!


Desirous of buying a camera, a certain fair young woman inspected the
stock of a local shopkeeper.

"Is this a good one?" she asked, as she picked up a dainty little
machine. "What is it called?"

"That's the Belvedere," said the handsome young shopman politely.

There was a chilly silence. Then the young woman drew herself coldly
erect, fixed him with an icy stare, and asked again:

"Er--and can you recommend the Belva?"


A young Irishman recently applied for a job as life-saver at the
municipal baths.

As he was about six feet six inches tall and well built, the chief
life-saver gave him an application blank to fill out.

"By the way," said the chief life-saver, "can you swim?"

"No," replied the applicant, "but I wade like blazes!"


The Negro stevedores of the southern states of the American Union have
been conscripted and shipped in great numbers to ports in France for
unloading the incoming American steamers. Their cheerfulness has quite
captivated the gayety loving French, who never tire of listening to
their laughter and their ragtime songs. When the "bosses" want to get a
dockyard job done in double-quick time they usually order a brass band
to play lively Negro tunes alongside the ship. Every stevedore thereupon
"steps lively," and apparently his heavy labor becomes to him a light
and joyous task. One stevedore, to whom the Atlantic voyage had been a
test, exclaimed: "Mah goodness! Ah never knew dere was so much water
between dem tew countries! Dere ain't enuf scenery for me, no sah, an'
if de United States don't build a bridge across dat dere Atlantic, Ah's
agwine to be a Frenchman for life."


Captain "Ian Hay," on one of his war lecture tours, entered a barber's
shop in a small town to have his hair cut.

"Stranger in the town, sir?" the barber asked.

"Yes, I am," Ian Hay replied. "Anything going on here to-night?"

"There's a war lecture by an English fighter named Hay," said the
barber; "but if you go you'll have to stand, for every seat in the hall
is sold out."

"Well, now," said Ian Hay, "isn't that provoking? It's always my luck to
have to stand when that chap Hay lectures."


After a "push" some of the lads of the Northumberland Fusiliers who
entered one of the captured villages set about making things comfortable
for themselves. Seeing a large wooden box some distance away, they made
tracks to commandeer it On the way back an officer met them and queried:

"Here, lads, where are you going with that?"

"This old egg-box, sir--we're taking it along to our dug-out, sir," one
of them explained.

"Egg-box be hanged!" retorted the officer.

"Why, that's the general's roll-top desk!"


A charming, auburn-haired nurse tells the story. She bent over the bed
of one badly wounded man and asked him if he would like anything to
read. The soldier fixed a humorous eye on her and said, "Miss, can you
get me a nice novel? I'd like one about a golden-haired girl and a
wounded soldier with a happy ending." After this the pretty nurse looks
down contemptuously on civilian compliments.


A colored Baptist was exhorting. "Now, breddern and sistern, come up to
de altar and have yo' sins washed away."

All came up but one man.

"Why, Brudder Jones, don't yo' want yo' sins washed away?"

"I done had my sins washed away."

"Yo' has? Where yo' had yo' sins washed away?"

"Ober at de Methodist church."

"Ah, Brudder Jones, yo' ain't been washed, yo' jes' been dry cleaned."


A Quaker had got himself into trouble with the authorities, and a
constable called to escort him to the lock-up.

"Is your husband in?" he inquired of the good wife who came to the door.

"My husband will see thee," she replied. "Come in."

The officer entered, was bidden to make himself at home, and was
hospitably entertained for half an hour, but no husband appeared. At
last he grew impatient.

"Look here," said he, "I thought you said your husband would see me."

"He has seen thee," was the calm reply, "but he did not like thy look,
and so he's gone another way."


After two months at Rockford Private Nelson got his leave at last, and
made what he conceived to be the best use of his holiday by getting

On the journey back at the station he gave the gateman his marriage
certificate in mistake for his return railway ticket.

The official studied it carefully, and then said: "Yes, my boy, _you've_
got a ticket for a long, wearisome journey, but not on this road."


It was Christmas Eve in camp, and very cold at that. There was a certain
amount of confusion owing to the Christmas festivities and leave, and so
forth, and one man was unable to find any of his outer garments. He
wandered about, asking all his mates if they knew where they were.

"Has any one seen my b-b-blanket?" he demanded, and was told that no one

"Has any one seen my t-t-trousers?"

No answer.

The unfortunate Tommy scratched his head for a moment.

"Well, I'm jolly g-g-glad I have got a nice w-w-warm pair of


The young couple were dawdling over a late breakfast after a night at an
ultra smart party.

"Was it you I kissed in the conservatory last night?" hubby inquired.

She looked at him reminiscently: "About what time was it?"


A lady of great beauty and attractiveness, who was an ardent admirer of
Ireland, once crowned her praise of it at a party by saying:

"I think I was meant for an Irishwoman."

"Madam," rejoined a witty son of Erin, who happened to be present,
"thousands would back me in saying you were meant for an Irishman."


The pale-faced passenger looked out of the car window with exceeding
interest. Finally he turned to his seat mate.

"You likely think I never rode in the cars before," he said, "but the
fact is, pardner, I just got out of prison this mornin' and it does me
good to look around. It is goin' to be mighty tough, though, facin' my
old-time friends. I s'pose, though, you ain't got much idea how a man
feels in a case like that."

"Perhaps I have a better idea of your feelings than you think," said the
other gentleman, with a sad smile. "I am just getting home from


Lysander, a farm hand, was recounting his troubles to a neighbor. Among
other things he said that the wife of the farmer who employed him was
"too close for any use." "This very mornin'," said he, "she asked me:
'Lysander, do you know how many pancakes you have et this mornin'?' I
said, 'No, ma'am; I ain't had no occasion to count 'em,' 'Well,' says
she, 'that last one was the twenty-sixth.' And it made me so mad I jest
got up from the table and went to work without my breakfast!"


Two suburban gardeners were swearing vengeance on cats.

"It appears to me," one said, "that they seem to pick out your choicest
plants to scratch out of the ground."

"There's a big tomcat," the other said, "that fetches my plants out and
then sits and actually defies me."

"Why don't you hurl a brick at him?" asked the first speaker.

"That's what makes me mad," was the reply. "I can't. He gets on top of
my greenhouse to defy me."


A little boy was on his knees recently one night, and auntie, staying at
the house, was present.

"It is a pleasure," she said to him, afterward, "to hear you saying your
prayers so well. You speak so earnestly and seriously, and mean what you
say, and care about it."

"Ah!" he answered, "ah, but, auntie, you should hear me gargle!"


"Germany's claim that she imports nothing, buys only of herself, and so
is growing rich from the war, is a dreadful fallacy."

The speaker was Herbert C. Hoover, chairman of the American Food Board.

"Germany," he went on, "is like the young man who wisely thought he'd
grow his own garden stuff. This young man had been digging for about an
hour when his spade turned up a quarter. Ten minutes later he found
another quarter. Then he found a dime. Then he found a quarter again.

"'By gosh!' he said, 'I've struck a silver mine,' and, straightening up,
he felt something cold slide down his leg. Another quarter lay at his
feet. He grasped the truth: There was a hole in his pocket."


Out at the front two regiments, returning to the trenches, chanced to
meet. There was the usual exchange of wit.

"When's the bloomin' war goin' to end?" asked one north-country lad.

"Dunno," replied one of the south-shires. "We've planted some daffydils
in front of our trench."

"Bloomin' optimists!" snorted the man from the north. "We've planted


The way they take air raids in England is illustrated by the following
conversation from _Punch_:

"Just ask Dr. Jones to run round to my place right away. Our cook's
fallen downstairs--broke her leg; the housemaid's got chicken-pox, and
my two boys have been knocked down by a taxi."

"I'm sorry, sir, but the doctor was blown up in yesterday's air raid,
and he won't be down for a week."


Soon after a certain judge of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island had been
appointed he went down into one of the southern counties to sit for a
week. He was well satisfied with himself.

"Mary," he said to the Irish waitress at the hotel where he was
stopping, "you've been in this country how long?"

"Two years, sir," she said.

"Do you like it?"

"Sure, it's well enough," answered Mary.

"But, Mary," the judge continued, "you have many privileges in this
country which you'd not have in Ireland. Now at home you would never be
in a room with a justice of the Supreme Court, and chatting familiarly
with him."

"But, sure, sir," said Mary, quite in earnest, "you'd never be a judge
at home."


Secretary of War Baker tells a story of a country youth who was driving
to the county fair with his sweetheart when they passed a booth where
fresh popcorn was for sale.

"My! Abner, ain't that nice?" said the girl.

"Ain't what nice?" asked Abner.

"Why, the popcorn, it smells so awfully good," replied the girl.

"It does smell kind o' fine," drawled the youth. "I'll jest drive a
little closer so you can get a better smell."


A young couple, speeding along the country highway, were stopped by the
justice of the peace.

"Ten and costs for reckless driving," announced the justice.

"Listen," said the young man, "judge, we were on our way to have you
marry us."

"Twenty and costs, then!" cried the justice. "You're more reckless than
I thought you were."


In a kindergarten class flags were shown, and in answer to a question a
little girl gave the response that was expected of her: "This is the
flag of my country."

"And what is the name of your country?" was the next question.

"'Tis of thee," was the prompt reply.


Katherine and Margaret found themselves seated next each other at a
dinner-party and immediately became confidential.

"Molly told me that you told her that secret I told you not to tell
her," whispered Margaret.

"Oh, isn't she a mean thing!" gasped Katherine. "Why, I told her not to
tell you!"

"Well," returned Margaret, "I told her I wouldn't tell you she told
me--so don't tell her I did."


When Booth Tarkington was visiting Naples he was present at an eruption
of Vesuvius.

"You haven't anything like that in America, have you?" said an Italian
friend with pride.

"No, we haven't," replied Tarkington; "but we've got Niagara Falls that
would put the d----d thing out in five minutes."


We often take delight in fancying what we would do if things were really
reversed in this oftentimes trying world: and particularly what we would
do to the president of our bank. Here is a little story which gives the
pleasant variety:

"I have come in to borrow some money from you," said the bank president
timidly, as he stood before one of his depositors, nervously twirling
his hat in his hand.

"Ah, yes," said the depositor, gazing at him severely. "But you don't
expect to get it, do you?"

"I had hoped to."

"What collateral have you to offer?"

"My bank with all the money in it."

"All the people in the bank?"


"Please say 'Yes, sir.' It is more respectful."

"Thank you, sir."

"Um! Ah! Will you put in your own family?"

"Yes, sir, I'll throw in my family also."

"Your prospects in life? Don't hesitate, man. Remember you are up
against it."

"Well, yes, sir."

"How much money do you want?"

"One thousand dollars."

"Dear me! For such a small amount as that I shall have to charge you at
least six per cent. If you were a regular millionaire and wanted, say,
half a million, I could let you have it for three or four per cent."

"Yes, sir. I appreciate your generosity."

The depositor handed the president of the bank, who was now almost
completely bathed in a cold perspiration, a blank form.

"Here," he said, "sign this."

"Do you wish me to read it first, sir?"

"What! Read something you wouldn't understand anyway? No. I'll tell you
what's in it. It mortgages yourself, your bank, all the people in it,
your family, all your property, and your soul Sign here."

The bank president signed with trembling fingers, got a piece of paper
which entitled him to the privilege of entertaining a thousand dollars
for six months at his own expense, and withdrew.

Then the depositor, smiling to himself and rubbing his hands, said:

"Aha! I'll teach these fellows to know their places!"


When the conversation turned to the subject of romantic marriage this
little anecdote was volunteered by H.M. Asker, a North Dakota

"So you were married ten years ago. Took place in the church, I suppose,
with bridesmaids, flowers, cake, and the brass band?"

"No; it was an elopement."

"An elopement, eh? Did the girl's father follow you?"

"Yes, and he has been with us ever since."


Private Simpkins had returned from the front, to find that his girl had
been walking out with another young man, and naturally asked her to
explain her frequent promenades in the town with the gentleman.

"Well, dear," she replied, "it was only kindness on his part. He just
took me down every day to the library to see if you were killed."


Harry Lauder tells the following story about a funeral in Glasgow and a
well-dressed stranger who took a seat in one of the mourning coaches.
The other three occupants of the carriage were rather curious to know
who he was, and at last one of them began to question him. The dialogue
went like this:

"Ye'll be a brither o' the corp?"

"No, I'm no' a brither o' the corp."

"Weel, ye'll be his cousin?"

"No, I'm no' a cousin."

"At ony rate ye'll be a frien' o' the corp?"

"No, I'm no' that either. Ye see, I've no' been very weel masel," the
stranger explained complacently, "an' my doctor has ordered me carriage
exercise, so I thocht this would be the cheapest way to tak' it."


The small boy stood at the garden gate and howled and howled and howled.
A passing lady paused beside him.

"What's the matter, little man?" she asked in a kindly voice.

"O-o-oh!" wailed the youngster. "Pa and ma won't take me to the pictures

"But don't make such a noise," said the dame, admonishingly. "Do they
ever take you when you cry like that?"

"S-sometimes they do, an'--an' sometimes they d-d-don't," bellowed the
boy. "But it ain't no trouble to yell!"


"We were bounding along," said a recent traveller on a local South
African single-line railway, "at the rate of about seven miles an hour,
and the whole train was shaking terribly. I expected every moment to see
my bones protruding through my skin. Passengers were rolling from one
end of the car to the other. I held on firmly to the arms of the seat.
Presently we settled down a bit quieter; at least I could keep my hat on
and my teeth didn't chatter.

"There was a quiet-looking man opposite me. I looked up with a ghastly
smile, wishing to appear cheerful, and said:

"'We are going a bit smoother, I see.'

"'Yes,' he said, 'we're off the track now,'"


The famous physician and the eminent clergyman were deep in a discussion
which threatened to become acrimonious.

"You see," said the minister sarcastically, "you medical men know so
much about the uncertainties of this world that I should think you would
not want to live."

"Oh, I don't know," responded the physician caustically. "You clergymen
tell us so much about the uncertainties of the next world that we don't
want to die."


One of Mr. Kipling's trees was injured by a bus, the driver of which was
also landlord of an inn. Kipling wrote this man a letter of complaint,
which the recipient sold to one of his guests for ten shillings. Again
the angry author wrote, this time a more violent letter, which
immediately fetched one pound.

A few days later Kipling called on the landlord and demanded to know why
he had received no answer to his letters.

"Why, I was hoping you would send me a fresh one every day," was the
cool reply. "They pay a great deal better than bus driving."


Does the American woman always consider her lesser half? The following
tale shows that she does, although the lady's husband undoubtedly moved
in a lower sphere. She was at that period in her existence where she
gave literary afternoons and called her college-graduated daughter to
her side and said:

"This afternoon, as I understand, we attend the Current Events Club,
where Miss Spindleshank Corkerly of New York and Washington will give us
her brief and cheery synopsis of the principal world events during the
last month."

"Yes, mother."

"This evening the Birth Control Association meets at Mrs. Mudhaven's,
where I shall read my paper on the Moral Protoplasm."

"Yes, mother."

"To-morrow morning the Efficiency Circle will assemble here for its
weekly discussion and will be addressed by Professor Von Skintime
Closhaven on the Scientific Curtailment of Catnaps."

"Yes, mother."

"To-morrow afternoon the Superwoman's Civic Conference Committee will
take up the subject of the Higher Feminism, and in the evening the
Hygienic Sex Sisters will confer with the superintendent of our school
system on several ideas for our schools which we have in mind."

"Yes, mother. That brings us up to Thursday. What shall we do on that

"I thought, my dear, that we would take a night off and go to the movies
with your dear father."


Many are the stories told of the late James Gordon Bennett. One, more
than any other, reveals one of his weaknesses--a disinclination to
acknowledge an error.

Before taking up his residence abroad he frequently breakfasted at
Delmonico's, then downtown. One Christmas morning he gave the waiter who
always served him a small roll of bills. As soon as opportunity offered
the waiter looked at the roll, and when he recovered his equilibrium
took it to Mr. Delmonico. There were six $1,000 bills in the roll. The
proprietor, sensing that a mistake had been made, put them in the safe.

When the publisher next visited the café Mr. Delmonico told him the
waiter had turned the money in. He added he would return it as Mr.
Bennett departed.

"Why return it? Didn't I give it to him?"

"Yes. But, of course, it was a mistake. You gave him $6,000."

"Mr. Delmonico," replied Bennett, rising to his full height, "you should
know by this time that James Gordon Bennett never makes a mistake."

A pressman had just returned to work after a protracted spree. His face
was battered, an eye was blackened, and an ear showed a tendency to
mushroom. The night of his return was one on which Mr. Bennett visited
the pressroom. He saw Mr. Bennett before Mr. Bennett saw him, and,
daubing a handful of ink on his face, he became so busy that Bennett
noticed him.

"Who is that man?" he asked the foreman. "What do you pay him?"

The foreman gave him the information.

"Double his salary," replied Mr. Bennett. "He's the only man in the
place who seems to be doing any work."

A dramatic critic, still a well-known writer, lost his place because he
would not get his hair cut. Bennett in Paris asked him why he wore his
hair so long and was told because he liked it that way. An order sending
him to Copenhagen followed. When his return was announced by a
secretary, Bennett asked if he had had his hair cut, and being informed
that he had not, ordered him to St. Petersburg. On his return from
Russia, still unshorn, he was sent to the Far East.

"Has he had his hair cut?" asked Bennett when his return was once more

"No, sir," replied the secretary, "it's as long as ever."

"Then fire him," replied Bennett. "He's too slow to take a hint to suit


In introducing the Honorable W.G. McAdoo to an audience of North
Carolinians in the Raleigh Auditorium, Governor T.W. Bickett had
occasion to refer to the North Carolina trait of stick-to-it-ness. He
used as an example the case of Private Jim Webb, a green soldier and a
long, lanky individual from the farm who had never been drilled in his
whole life and knew even less about the usages and customs of war, so
when he was conscripted into the North Carolina divisions in the late
war between the states, he was given only a week's drill and then
assigned to duty.

His regiment was in the Peninsular campaign, and Jim was soon put on
guard duty, being given, as his first post, a place along the river
bank, and cautioned to stick to his post under any conditions, to watch
closely for the enemy, and to allow no one to pass who could not give
the countersign.

"Obey your instructions," said the officer of the guard, "and I will
return at two o'clock with relief. Do not leave your post under any

Promptly at two o'clock the officer returned, to find Jim gone. He
searched long and diligently, but no trace of Jim. Finally he called,
lowly at first, then louder, seeking to know if Jim were in the vicinity
or had been captured. Finally came Jim's answering voice from out in the
middle of the river, "Here I be."

"What in the world are you doing out there?" asked the indignant
officer. "Did I not tell you not to leave your post?"

"I hain't moved, nuther," replied the indignant Jim; "the durn river's


"May I see you privately?"

The well-dressed stranger approached the mayor of the suburban town with
the air of one who knew his business. When they were alone he said:

"I want to apply for the position of village burglar."

"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

"Nothing else?"

"My dear sir, what more do you want?"

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

"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."


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

"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!"


"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!"


As Grantland Rice tells the story, a certain distinguished English
actor, whom we may safely call Jones-Brown, plays a persistent but
horrible game of golf. During a recent visit to this country the actor
in question occasionally visited the links of a well-known country club
in Westchester County, near New York.

After an especially miserable showing of inaptness one morning, he flung
down his driver in disgust.

"Caddy," he said, addressing the silent youth who stood alongside, "that
was awful, wasn't it?"

"Purty bad, sir," stated the boy.

"I freely confess that I am the worst golfer in the world," continued
the actor.

"Oh, I wouldn't say that, sir," said the caddy soothingly.

"Did you ever see a worse player than I am?"

"No, sir, I never did," confessed the boy truthfully; "but some of the
other boys was tellin' me yistiddy about a gentleman that must be a
worse player than you are. They said his name was Jones-Brown."


"You say that you want some name engraved on this ring," said the
jeweller to the bashful young man.

"Yes; I want the words, 'George, to his dearest Alice' engraved on the
inside of the ring."

"Is the young lady your sister?"

"No; she is the young lady to whom I am engaged."

"Well, if I were you I would not have 'George, to his dearest Alice'
engraved on the ring. If Alice changes her mind you can't use the ring

"What would you suggest?"

"I would suggest the words, 'George, to his first and only love,' You
see, with that inscription you can use the ring half a dozen times. I
have had experience in such matters myself."


Pat came to the dentist's with his jaw very much swollen from a tooth he
desired to have pulled. But when the suffering son of Erin got into the
dentist's chair and saw the gleaming pair of forceps approaching his
face, he positively refused to open his mouth. The dentist quietly told
his page boy to prick his patient with a pin, and when Pat opened his
mouth to yell the dentist seized the tooth, and out it came. "It didn't
hurt as much as you expected it would, did it?" the dentist asked,

"Well, no," replied Pat, hesitatingly, as if doubting the truthfulness
of his admission. "But," he added, placing his hand on the spot where
the little boy pricked him with the pin, "begorra, little did I think
the roots would reach down like that."


Among the passengers on a train on a one-track road in the Middle West
was a talkative jewelry drummer. Presently the train stopped to take on
water, and the conductor neglected to send back a flagman. An express
came along and, before it could be stopped, bumped the rear end of the
first train. The drummer was lifted from his seat and pitched head first
into the seat ahead. His silk hat was jammed clear down over his ears.
He picked himself up and settled back in his seat. No bones had been
broken. He drew a long breath, straightened up, and said: "Well, they
didn't get by us, anyway."


Memory and Imagination had a discussion as to which was the greater.
"Without me," said Memory, "your buildings, your fine castles, would all
go down. I alone give you power to retain them."

"Without me," said Imagination, "there would be no use of retaining
them, for, indeed, they wouldn't be there. I am the great builder."

"And I the great recorder."

"It appears, then, that no one of us is greater than the other. Yet I
would not change places with you."

"Why not?" said Memory.

"Because," replied Imagination, "without you I can still keep on
creating over and over."

At the end of a year Memory came back.

"What have you done?" asked Memory.

"Nothing," said Imagination.

"And you were wrong when you said that without me you could still go on

"Yes. I did not realize how dependent I was upon you. What have you been
doing during the year?"

"Reviewing some old friends. That was all I could do."

"Then we are practically equal."

"Yes. Let us live together hereafter in harmony, carrying on our door
this legend:

  There is no Memory without
  And no Imagination without


Speaking at a political gathering, Congressman Frederick W. Dallinger,
of Massachusetts, referred to the many amusing incidents of the
schoolrooms, and related a little incident along that line.

A teacher in a public school was instructing a youthful class in
English when she paused and turned to a small boy named Jimmy Brown.

"James," said she, "write on the board, 'Richard can ride the mule if he
wants to,'"

This Jimmie proceeded to do to the satisfaction of all concerned.

"Now, then," continued the teacher when Jimmy had returned to his place,
"can you find a better form for that sentence?"

"Yes, ma'am," was the prompt response of Jimmy. "'Richard can ride the
mule if the mule wants him to.'"


Some years before the war the German Crown Prince got a very neat
call-down from Miss Bernice Willard, a Philadelphia girl. It was during
the Emperor's regatta, and the two mentioned were sitting with others on
the deck of a yacht. A whiff of smoke from the Prince's cigarette
blowing into the young lady's face, a lieutenant near by remarked:

"Smoke withers flowers."

"It is no flower," said the prince, jocularly, "it is a thistle."

Miss Willard raised her eyes a trifle.

"In that case," she said, "I had better retire or I shall be devoured"


Mrs. Mellon did not wish to offend her new cook.

"John," she said to the manservant, "can you find out without asking the
cook whether the tinned salmon was all eaten last night? You see, I
don't wish to ask her, because she may have eaten it, and then she would
feel uncomfortable," added the good soul.

"If you please, ma'am," replied the man, "the new cook has eaten the
tinned salmon, and if you was to say anything to her you couldn't make
her feel any more uncomfortable than she is."


An officer on board a warship was drilling his men.

"I want every man to lie on his back, put his legs in the air, and move
them as if he were riding a bicycle," he explained. "Now commence."

After a short effort one of the men stopped.

"Why have you stopped, Murphy?" asked the officer.

"If ye plaze, sir," was the answer, "Oi'm coasting."


Several Scotchmen were discussing the domestic unhappiness of a mutual

"Aye," said one, "Jock McDonald has a sair time wi' that wife o' his.
They do say they're aye quarrelin'."

"It serve' him richt," said another feelingly. "The puir feckless
creature marrit after coortin' only eight year. Man, indeed, he had nae
chance to ken the wumman in sic a short time. When I was coortin' I was
coortin' twenty year."

"And how did it turn out?" inquired a stranger in the party.

"I tell ye, I was coortin' twenty year, an' in that time I kenned what
wumman was, an' so I didna marry."


Jack disliked being kissed, and, being a handsome little chap, sometimes
had a good deal to put up with. One day he had been kissed a lot. Then,
to make matters worse, on going to the picture palace in the evening,
instead of his favorite cowboy and Indian pictures, there was nothing
but a lot more hugging and kissing.

He returned home completely out of patience with the whole tribe of

After he had tucked into bed mother came in to kiss him good-night.

He refused to be kissed.

Mother begged and begged, till in disgust he turned to his father, who
was standing at the doorway looking on, and said:

"Daddy, for the love of Heaven, give this woman a kiss!"


"Daisy," remarked the teacher, "don't love your cat too much. What would
you do if it died--you wouldn't see it again?"

"Oh, yes; I should see it in heaven."

"No, dear, you're mistaken; animals cannot go to heaven like people."

Daisy's eyes filled with tears, but suddenly she exclaimed triumphantly:

"Animals do go to heaven, for the Bible says the Promised Land is
flowing with milk and honey, and, if there are no animals, where do they
get the milk?"


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


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

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.

"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

"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


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."

The train stopped and the other man got up and, leaning over, grabbed
him by the arm.

"I'm changing my mind," he said; "guess I will get off at this station.
By-by. Sorry I can't know you better."

The pioneer in human progress sat for some time after the train had
started, pondering on the deep problem of destiny. Suddenly, however, he
clapped his hands to his pockets and ran forward to the conductor.

"Say, conductor," he whispered, hoarsely, "did that man I was talking to
get off at the last station?"

"Yes, sir; did you lose anything?"

The human benefactor smiled sadly.

"Not in comparison with what the world has lost," he replied. "The human
race has lost one of those priceless ideas which, in the course of
centuries, sometimes come to real genius only to be abandoned. I lost
only my watch."


He was a Scot, with the usual thrifty characteristics of his race.
Wishing to know his fate, he telegraphed a proposal of marriage to the
lady of his choice. After waiting all day at the telegraph office he
received an affirmative answer late at night.

"Well, if I were you," said the operator who delivered the message, "I'd
think twice before I'd marry a girl who kept me waiting so long for an

"Na, na," replied the Scot. "The lass for me is the lass wha waits for
the night rates."


As a truly polite nation the French undoubtedly lead the world, thinks a
contributor to a British weekly. The other day a Paris dentist's servant
opened the door to a woebegone patient.

"And who, monsieur," he queried in a tender tone, "shall I have the
misery of announcing?"


The Methodist minister in a small country town was noted for his begging
propensities and for his ability to extract generous offerings from the
close-fisted congregation, which was made up mostly of farmers. One day
the young son of one of the members accidentally swallowed a ten-cent
piece, much to the excitement of the rest of the family. Every means of
dislodging the coin had failed and the frightened parents were about to
give up in despair when a bright thought struck the little daughter, who
exclaimed: "Oh, mamma, I know how you can get it! Send for our minister;
he'll get it out of him!"


A small, hen-pecked, worried-looking man was about to take an
examination for life insurance.

"You don't dissipate, do you?" asked the physician, as he made ready for
tests. "Not a fast liver, or anything of that sort?"

The little man hesitated a moment, looked a bit frightened, then
replied, in a small, piping voice: "I sometimes chew a little gum."


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

"Yes, sir," said the boys.

"Now," continued the teacher, "what I want to know is this: How is it
that while I am standing upright in the ordinary position the blood
doesn't rush into my feet?"

And a little fellow shouted: "Why, sir, because yer feet ain't empty."


One day an ammunition dump blew up. Cordite was blazing, shells and
bombs bursting, and splinters and whole shells flying everywhere in the
vicinity. The atmosphere was full of smoke and resounding with metallic
whines. Out of a shack hard by came a darky, loaded to the waterline
with kit, blankets, rifle, etc., and up the road he dangled.

"Here! Where are _you_ going?" shouted an officer.

"I ain't goin', suh," panted the darky. "I's gone."


Representative Billy Wilson, who dwells in Chicago, found himself in the
upper peninsula of Michigan doing some fishing and hunting. While there
he conversed with the guide that he had hired in order to have somebody
around to talk to.

"Must get mighty all-fired cold up here in winter," remarked Wilson one

"Yes, it often gets away down to forty-five below zero," replied the

"Don't see how you stand it," said the Congressman.

"Oh, I always spend my winters in the South," explained the guide.

"Go South, eh? Well, well! That's enterprising. And where do you go?"

"Grand Rapids," said the guide.


The college boys played a mean trick on "Prexy" by pasting some of the
leaves of his Bible together. He rose to read the morning lesson, which
might have been as follows:

"Now Johial took unto himself a wife of the daughters of Belial." (_He
turned a leaf._) "She was eighteen cubits in height and ten cubits in
breadth." (_A pause, and careful scrutiny of the former page_.)

He resumed: "Now Johial took unto himself a wife," etc. (_Leaf turned._)
"She was eighteen cubits in height and ten cubits in breadth, and was
pitched within and without--" (_Painful pause and sounds of subdued
mirth._) "Prexy" turns back again in perplexity.

"Young gentlemen, I can only add that 'Man is fearfully and wonderfully
made'--and woman also."


Saying is one thing and doing is another. In Montana a railway bridge
had been destroyed by fire, and it was necessary to replace it. The
bridge engineer and his staff were ordered in haste to the place. Two
days later came the superintendent of the division. Alighting from his
private car, he encountered the old master bridge-builder.

"Bill," said the superintendent--and the words quivered with energy--"I
want this job rushed. Every hour's delay costs the company money. Have
you got the engineer's plans for the new bridge?"

"I don't know," said the bridge-builder, "whether the engineer has the
picture drawed yet or not, but the bridge is up and the trains is
passin' over it."


The ways of a woman are supposed to be past finding out, but after all
there are times when her logic is irresistible as in the case of a
certain wife who had spent her husband's money, had compromised him more
than once, had neglected her children and her household duties, and had
done everything that woman can do to make his life a failure.

And then, as they were both confronted by the miserable end of it all,
and realized that there was no way out of it, he said:

"Perhaps I ought not to appear to be too trivially curious, but I
confess to a desire to know why you have done all this. You must have
known, if you kept on, just what the end would be. Of course, nobody
expects a woman to use her reason. But didn't you have, even in a dim
way, some idea of what you were doing?"

She gazed at him with her usual defiance, a habit not to be broken even
by the inevitable.

"Certainly I did. It was your fault."

"My fault! How do you make that out?"

"Because I have never had the slightest respect for you."

"Why not?"

She actually laughed.

"How could you expect me to have any respect for a man who could not
succeed in preventing me from doing the things I did?"


Not long ago a certain publication had an idea. Its editor made up a
list of thirty men and women distinguished in art, religion, literature,
commerce, politics, and other lines, and to each he sent a letter or a
telegram containing this question: "If you had but forty-eight hours
more to live, how would you spend them?" his purpose being to embody the
replies in a symposium in a subsequent issue of his periodical.

Among those who received copies of the inquiry was a New York writer. He
thought the proposition over for a spell, and then sent back the
truthful answer by wire, collect:

"One at a time."


There was an explosion of one of the big guns on a battleship not long
ago. Shortly afterward one of the sailors who was injured was asked by a
reporter to give an account of it.

"Well, sir," rejoined the jacky, "it was like this: You see, I was
standin' with me back to the gun, a-facin' the port side. All of a
sudden I hears a hell of a noise; then, sir, the ship physician, he
says, 'Set up an' take this,'"


YOUTH (_with tie of the Stars and Stripes_): I sent you some suggestions
telling you how to make your paper more interesting. Have you carried
out any of my ideas?

EDITOR: Did you meet the office boy with the waste-paper basket as you
came upstairs?

YOUTH: Yes, yes, I did.

EDITOR: Well, he was carrying out your ideas.


On the western plains the sheepman goes out with several thousand head
and one human companion. The natural result is that the pair, forced on
one another when they least want it, form the habit of hating each

An ex-sheepman while in a narrative mood one evening was telling a party
of friends of a fellow he once rode with. "Not a word had passed between
us for more than a week, and that night when we rolled up in our
blankets he suddenly asked:

"'Hear that cow beller?'

"'Sounds to me like a bull,' I replied.

"No answer, but the following morning I noticed him packing up.

"'Going to leave?' I questioned.

"'Yes,' he replied.

"'What for?'

"Too much argument,'"


Lord Northcliffe at a Washington luncheon was talking about the British

"Mr. Lloyd George is the idol of the nation," he said. "It is hard to
believe how unpopular he was, at least among the Unionists, once. Among
the many stories circulated about Mr. Lloyd George's unpopularity at
that time there was one which concerned a rescue from drowning. The
heroic rescuer, when a gold medal was presented to him for his brave
deed, modestly declared:

"'I don't deserve this medal. I did nothing but my duty. I saw our
friend here struggling in the water. I knew he must drown unless someone
saved him. So I plunged in, swam out to him, turned him over to make
sure it wasn't Lloyd George, and then lugged him to safety on my back.'"


A big darky was being registered.

"Ah can't go to wah," he answered in _re_ exemption, "foh they ain't
nobody to look afteh ma wife."

A dapper little undersized colored brother stepped briskly up and
inquired, "What kind of a lookin' lady _is_ yoh wife?"


Upon the recent death of an American politician, who at one time served
his country in a very high legislative place, a number of newspaper men
were collaborating on an obituary notice.

"What shall we say of the former senator?" asked one of the men.

"Oh, just put down that he was always faithful to his trust."

"And," queried a cynical member of the group, "shall we mention the name
of the trust?"


Sergeant (_drilling awkward squad_): "Company! Attention, company! Lift
up your left leg and hold it straight out in front of you!"

One of the squad held up his right leg by mistake. This brought his
right-hand companion's left leg and his own right leg close together.
The officer, seeing this, exclaimed angrily:

"And who is that blooming galoot over there holding up both legs?"


We know that the achievements of American business experts are often
beyond belief. Whether the following story is true, or is merely a
satire, must be left to the judgment of the acute reader:

"May I have a few moments' private conversation?"

The faultlessly dressed gentleman addressed the portly business man,
standing upon the threshold of his office.

"This is a business proposition, sir," he said, rapidly closing the door
and sinking into a seat beside the desk. "I am not a book agent, nor
have I any article to sell. I have come to see you about your wife."

"My wife!"

"Yes, sir. Glancing over the society column of your local paper, I am
informed that she is about to take her annual autumn trip to Virginia.
You will, or course, have to remain behind to take care of your vast
business interests. Your wife, sir, is a charming and attractive woman,
still in the bloom of youth. Have you, sir, considered the

The other man started to get up, his face red with rage.

"You--" he began.

"One moment, sir, and I think I can satisfy your mind that my motives
are pure as alabaster. This is an age of machinery, of science and
invention, and, above all, of efficiency. I am simply carrying this idea
of efficiency into the domestic life, which, as you are doubtless aware,
is so much more important than the physical. One moment, sir. I can
furnish you with the highest credentials. This is purely professional, I
can assure you. Will give bond if you so desire. My proposition is this:
I will accompany your wife on her trip, always, when travelling, at a
respectful distance, you understand, and it will be my pleasure as well
as business to amuse and interest her during her stay. I do
everything--play tennis, bridge, dance all the latest steps, know the
latest jokes, can sing, converse on any subject or remain silent, am a
life-saver, can run an auto, flirt discreetly, and, in fact, am the most
delightful companion for a wife that you can imagine. Remember, sir,
that unless you engage my services your wife is at the mercy of all the
strangers she may meet and being in that peculiar condition of mind
where she is bound to be attracted by things that would otherwise seem
commonplace, there is no telling what the end might be. But with me she
is perfectly safe. I guarantee results. I insure your heart's happiness
against the future. Terms reasonable. I can refer you to--"

In reply the enforced host rose up, and, taking him not too gently by
the arm, led him to the door.

"My friend," he said, coldly, "your proposition of safety first doesn't
interest me. No, sir! I'm sending my wife to Virginia in hopes that she
will actually fall in love with somebody else, so I won't have to endure
what little I see of her any more, and here you come in to spoil my
future. No, sir!"

His visitor turned and faced him with a bright smile.

"My dear sir," he said, "wait. Business man that you are, you do not
understand the extent of our resources, which cover every emergency. In
accordance with our usual custom, I have already met your wife at a
bridge party, and I might say that she is crazy about me. Now, sir, for
double the price of my regular fee and a small annual stipend, which is
about half the alimony you might have to pay, I will agree to marry and
take her off your hands in six months, making you happy for the rest of
your life. Sign here, please. Thank you."


Sanderson was on a visit to Simpkins, and in due course, naturally, he
was shown the family album.

"Yes," said Simpkins, as he turned the leaves, "that's my wife's second
cousin's aunt Susan. And that's Cousin James, and that's a friend of
ours, and that--oh, now, who do you think that is?"

"Don't know," said Sanderson.

"Well, that's my wife's first husband, my boy."

"Great Scot! What a perfect brainless-looking idiot. But excuse me, old
fellow, I didn't know your wife was a widow when you married her."

"She wasn't," said Simpkins stiffly. "That, sir, is a portrait of myself
at the age of twenty."


American troops who during the early days of the European War were
landed in France received a more careful and prolonged training than
could possibly be given the most of the regiments hurriedly raised
during the Civil War. The story goes that a raw battalion of rough
backwoodsmen, who had "volunteered," once joined General Grant. He
admired their fine physique, but distrusted the capacity of their
uncouth commander to handle troops promptly and efficiently in the
field, so he said:

"Colonel, I want to see your men at work; call them to attention, and
order them to march with shouldered arms in close column to the left

Without a moment's hesitation the colonel yelled to his fellow-ruffians:

"Boys, look wild thar! Make ready to thicken and go left endways! Tote
yer guns! Git!"

The manoeuvre proved a brilliant success and the self-elected colonel
was forthwith officially commissioned.


President Wilson an ardent advocate of every kind of social reform, is
fond of telling a story about an old teamster.

This old fellow said to the treasurer of the concern one day:

"Me and that off horse has been workin' for the company seventeen years,

"Just so, Winterbottom, just so," said the treasurer, and he cleared his
throat and added: "Both treated well, I hope?"

The old teamster looked dubious.

"Wall," he said, "we wus both tooken down sick last month, and they got
a doctor for the hoss, while they docked my pay."


There is nothing like taking precautions.

In the following colloquy Mr, Casey, so far as we can judge, neglected
nothing. Mrs. Casey said to him:

"Me sister writes me that every bottle in that box we sent her was
broken. Are ye sure yez printed 'This side up with care' on it?"

"Oi am," said Casey emphatically. "An' for fear they shouldn't see it on
the top Oi printed it on the bottom as well."


During a dust-storm at one of the army camps, a recruit sought shelter
in the cook's tent.

"If you put the lid on that camp kettle you would not get so much dust
in your soup."

"See here, my lad, your business is to serve your country."

"Yes," replied the recruit, "but not to eat it."


On a road in Belgium a German officer met a boy leading a jackass and
addressed him in heavy jovial fashion as follows:

"That's a fine jackass you have, my son. What do you call it? Albert, I

"Oh, no, officer," the boy replied quickly. "I think too highly of my

The German scowled and returned:

"I hope you don't dare to call it William."

"Oh, no, officer. I think too highly of my jackass."


An author has favored us with the following anecdote, which is taken
from the opening of a chapter in a forthcoming book dealing with the
war. It is another example of the pioneer character of ministerial
service with us. The varieties of opportunity are constantly changing,
but out in the front, according to the needs of our day and generation,
there stands the Unitarian with the equipped mind and the ready hand. "A
year ago, in London, a man originally from New York State came up and
spoke to me as a fellow-American. He wore the garb of a Canadian
officer. After I had answered his query as to what I was doing in
England, he said: 'My work is rather different. I am looking after the
social evil and venereal diseases in the Canadian Army.' 'Then you are a
medical man?' 'No, said he, 'I tried to get my English medical friends
to take hold of the work, but they said that they had their reputations
to look after. I have no reputation to lose. _I am simply a Unitarian


When Mike Flaherty abandoned South Boston for Lynn and hired a cottage
with a bit of a back yard the first thing he did was to hurry back to
the Hub of the Universe and purchase a monkey. "Divil a wurrd" of his
scheme would he disclose to his old cronies in Boston. But afterward he
let out:

"'Twas like this: I chained the monk to a shtick in me yard, and the
coal thrains do be passin' all day foreninst, and on iv'ry cairr do be a
brakeman. In one waik, begorra, I had two tons of coal in me cellar, and
the monk never wanst hit."


In a camp "Over There" the Turkish prisoners are allowed some freedom
and among other things our American boys introduced them to the game of
baseball. The Turks did remarkably well at it. One of them stepped up to
the bat one day, and taking it firmly in his hand turned to the east and
salaaming said in a reverent voice "Allah, assist thy servant." He then
made a three bagger.

The next player to the bat was an American boy who was not going to let
that Turk beat him. He also stepped up to the bat, clasped it firmly in
his hand, salaaming to the east said, "You know me, Al,' keeping up with
the Turk."


      Accounting for It               23
      Accuracy                       101
      Acrobat in the Squad, An       243
      Advice to Mabel                141
      Alas! Too Late!                 35
      Allegro                        119
      All or Nothing                 159
      Always Get the Facts             4
      Always Safety First            216
      Anglomaniac, An                 93
      And He Succeeded               173
      Another Engagement             100
      Anticipating the Pleasure      184
      Appraised                       71
      Appreciation                   119
      Apprehending the Kaiser        168
      Archie's Neck                  109
      Arrival of Wilhelm, The         31
      Automatic "Efficiency"         149
      Bait                           251
      Balls                           89
      Bargain-counter Golf           116
      Baseball "Over There"          251
      Bay State Solomon, A            83
      Beginning Early                222
      Benefactor of Mankind, A       228
      Best of Reasons                235
      Better Way, The                147
      Beyond Him                     200
      Beyond the Sense of Humor      224
      Big Chances Both Ways          206
      Biting Reproof                 249
      Blissful Ignorance             137
      Boiled                         144
      Bootblack's Generosity, The    162
      Business Is Business      161, 212
      Cæsar Visits Cicero             30
      Camouflage                     191
      Can This Be True?                4
      Cash!                           50
      Cautious Mourner                98
      Change for the Better          206
      Charity                        140
      Clincher, A                     26
      Coaxer, A                      149
      Comparison                      58
      Compliments of the Day          46
      Comprehensive                  249
      Comrades!                       57
      Conclusive                     130
      Connoisseur, A                  28
      Considering Father             207
      Couldn't Be Bothered            85
      Crown Prince Called Down       220
      Curiosity                      156
      Dad Was Wise                   205
      Danger Signals                  87
      Deep-laid Plan, A              136
      Deep One, A                    104
      Delayed                        198
      Delightful Experience, A       201
      Depended on the Mule           219
      Deserved the Legacy             75
      Diagnosed                      187
      Diagnosing Himself              81
      Didn't Suit Him                 49
      Didn't Want to Rob Him         114
      Difference, The                118
      Difficult Passage, A           123
      Dignities of Office, The       143
      Diplomat, A                    117
      Disadvantage, A                 84
      Discerning                     223
      Discriminative                 249
      Doing His Duty, But            183
      Doing Unto His Neighbor        124
      Dual Reputation, A             215
      Durable                        101
      Easy Adjustment, An             70
      Easy Matter, An                 72
      Ecclesiastical Dues Enforced    69
      Eclipse, The, to Order          27
      Effective!                     122
      Elimination                    166
      Endurance                      180
      Enough!                        174
      Envy?                           38
      Equatorial Michigan            236
      Evidence                       126
      Experienced                    113
      Expert, An                     227
      Facing the Truth               246
      Fact Was, The                  237
      Fair Warning                   175
      Fame                           144
      Figuratively Speaking          134
      Flattering Explanation, A       49
      Following Instructions         240
      Forced Into It                 145
      French Politeness              231
      Frugal to the End              239
      Full Particulars Free           19
      Full Spead Ahead               177
      Futile Experiment, A            39
      Future Statesman, A            127
      Gastronomical                  151
      Gentle Dissolution, A           39
      German Arithmetic              122
      Get-rich-quick Scheme, A        48
      Getting Even              109, 187
      Gifted Youth, A                107
      Give Him Time                   82
      Give Us the Chance             201
      Grateful to the Doctor         138
      Great Relief in Heaven           7
      Guide!                         167
      Guilty                          38
      Guilty Conscience, A           153
      Had Had Treatment               29
      Had His Rights                 102
      Had Heard Him Before            54
      Had to Be Settled               21
      Happy Ending Wanted            192
      Hard Knock, A                  100
      Hard Up for Wind               157
      Heaven Sent                     47
      He Couldn't Have Missed It      37
      He Got It Twice                142
      He Got Results Anyway          247
      He Knew Bryan                  158
      He Knew the Law                 10
      He Might be, but She Wasn't    138
      He Obeyed                      175
      Her Domestic Instincts          55
      Her Own                         64
      Her Prayer                      98
      He Scorned the Thought         171
      He Understood                  195
      He Was Broad Minded              6
      He Was Not a Prohibitionist    170
      High Finance                    15
      His Application                 25
      His by Right                   234
      His Complaint                  184
      His Favorite Beast             214
      His Generosity                 114
      His Great Ambition             167
      His Lack                        23
      His Need                       159
      His Search for the Practical   157
      His System Was a Complete One  243
      Historical                      63
      His Ultimatum                  107
      Hoodooed                       145
      Horse Psychologist, A          148
      How Could He Know?             131
      How He Got Them                 29
      How Mary Lost a Tip            199
      How to Tell a Well-bred Dog    128
      How War Began                  180
      Humbled                        221
      Ian Hay's Fate                 191
      Immortal!                       33
      Impersonal                     172
      Improvement!                    76
      In Advance                     131
      Inconsiderate                   99
      Indissoluble Partners          218
      In Memoriam                     83
      In Our Melting Pot              81
      Intelligent Cat, The           196
      In the Old Days                241
      Is This Tact?                  221
      It Happened in Illinois        108
      "It Is Forbidden"               97
      Its Name                       200
      Jeems Henry Was Conjured!       73
      Joe's Diagnosis                 89
      Joy of Eating                  115
      Just Answered                  120
      Justice to T.R.                169
      Kaiser's Last Word, The        163
      Keeping It in the Family        74
      Kindness                       204
      Knew His Business              188
      Knew His Job                    92
      Knew More About Hens Than History, 140
      Last Resort                     56
      Last Word, The, as Usual       238
      Lesson in Manners, A           154
      Life, The                       84
      Life's Eternal Query            14
      Limit, The                124, 232
      Limited Dissipation            232
      Literal Censor, A              151
      Little too Thrifty, A          199
      Long Story, A                  215
      Looked That Way                 57
      Makes a Difference             186
      Making It Fit                  154
      Man He Left Behind, The        135
      Manna                           47
      Mark Twain on Millionaires      64
      Matrimonial Endurance          180
      Matrimonial Profundity          15
      Matter of Nomenclature, A       96
      Matter with Kansas, The        146
      Memories                        69
      Might Draw Business             43
      Misleading                      88
      Missed His Chance                6
      Missing It                     181
      Mistaken Identity?              53
      Mistakes Will Happen            87
      More Scotch Thrift             204
      Moving Tale, A                  65
      Much Simpler                   105
      New Complaint, A               224
      New Régime, The                 16
      New Servant-girl Story           5
      "Next!"                         58
      No Change in Shylock           174
      No Danger                       43
      Non Fit                        234
      No Free Advertising            132
      No Joque                       165
      No Peace for Him               144
      No Place for Him               240
      No Telling                     125
      No Use for It                  121
      Not a Native                   141
      Not Enough Scenery             190
      Not For Her to Say             227
      Nothing to Lose                250
      Not in the Tactics             153
      Not Much to Talk About         240
      Not So Difficult                75
      Nourishment                     28
      Obeying Orders                  91
      Obvious Place, The             182
      Old Hand, An                   193
      On Duty Elsewhere              162
      One Explanation                 94
      One on Him                      80
      One Way Out                    179
      On Her Nerves                   50
      Only one Thing for Him         136
      Oriental Politeness             34
      Original Method, The           201
      "Over Here"                     13
      Perfectly Natural              117
      Perfect Program, A             232
      Perpetual Motion               113
      Person of Discernment, A       193
      Pessimists                     198
      Pigtails and Moustaches        157
      Playing Safe                   178
      Point of Honor, The              3
      Poser, A                        42
      "Prayer of the Unrighteous"    101
      Preparedness                   176
      Pride                          197
      Pride in the Daily Task        114
      Probably Right                 111
      Proper Spirit, The             112
      Proposal, The                  139
      Proving It                     104
      Purely Literary                 90
      Putting It up to the Horse     185
      Ready-witted Parson, A         103
      Real Culprit, The               95
      Record Breaker, A              126
      Remorse                         94
      Revealed                        80
      Revised Classics           24, 163
      Rivalry                        172
      Robbing Himself                197
      Rotund                         224
      Safe                            45
      Safe Deposit                   146
      Same Old Hours, The            133
      Scotch Thrills                  25
      Scriptural                     236
      Sensitive                      121
      Sermon on the War, A, By Parson Brown, 10
      She Admitted It                228
      She Knew Him                    48
      Silent Contempt                106
      Silver Lining, The             230
      Simple Faith                   231
      Simple Political Life, The     156
      Skeptic, A                     192
      Smarty!                         26
      Smarty!                        127
      Soft Answer, A                  88
      Solving a Great Problem        186
      Some Fight                     225
      Some Speed                     135
      Something!                     189
      Specially Endowed              165
      Sporting Proposition, A        139
      Staying on the Job             211
      Still Companionable             70
      Still Not Satisfied            148
      Still Unbeaten                  22
      Stock Suffrage Argument, A     103
      Story from the Front, A        235
      Stories about James Gordon Bennett, 209
      Sunshine, Mr., and Mr, Gloom    61
      Surprising                     217
      Table of Comparison             92
      Taking no Chances              242
      Taxed to Capacity              150
      Test of Friendship, A          136
      Teuton Way, The                118
      Their "Bit"                     86
      Their One Topic                110
      Their Opportunity              182
      Then Things Happened           188
      They Meant to Be Fair           40
      They Were so Glad to See Him    19
      This Happened in Chicago        53
      "Tipperary" in Chinese         233
      Tit for Tat                    194
      Too Forward                     90
      Too Good to Be Wasted          195
      Too Long a Shot                120
      Too Much!                  52, 142
      Too Personal                   242
      Too Strong a Term              226
      Touchy                         196
      Try It and See                 128
      Try This                       115
      True Optimist, A          194, 217
      Two Treatments, The            248
      Unchangeable                     9
      Uneasy                         116
      Unfortunate Affair, An         155
      Unprepared  Base Threatened     98
      Unreturned Favors              112
      Up to Him                      152
      Vulnerable                      87
      Warned in Twenty Years         222
      Warning to Authors             207
      Wasn't Calling Her Dear        189
      Welcoming the Actor             85
      What Did Solomon Say?          107
      What He Might Have Been        129
      When the "S" Fell Out           18
      Where Ignorance Is Bliss        17
      Where Vermont Scored           123
      Who Could Tell?                 36
      Why Be Polite Anyway?           31
      Why Not?             130, 132, 133
      Why Should He Know?             77
      Winner, The                    150
      Words Failed Her               178
      Worm Turned, The               185
      Worse!                         118
      Worth a Chance                 205
      Yankee Fodder                   93

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