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Title: That Reminds Me - A Collection of Tales Worth Telling
Author: Anonymous
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.

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                           *That Reminds Me*

                         *A Collection of Tales
                             Worth Telling*

                   "_Show me a Nation’s humor, and I
                   will show you its civilization._"

                         GEORGE W. JACOBS & CO.

                            COPYRIGHT, 1905,
                       BY GEORGE W. JACOBS & Co.
                      _Published, October, 1905_.

                              *BY THE WAY*

If nonsense is to wisdom near allied and truth is often spoken in a
jest, which are facts known to very casual observers, there is much more
than the passing laugh to be derived from such a collection of anecdote,
repartee, and pleasantry as that gathered together in this volume.

For some years the _Public Ledger_ of Philadelphia, and earlier the
_Philadelphia Times_, before the two journals were united, have offered
premiums for contributions to a column of jests called "Tales Worth
Telling."  With the permission of Mr. George W. Ochs of the _Public
Ledger_, the best of these are now collected and published in permanent
form for a wider audience in the belief that they will be enjoyed beyond
the confines of the newspaper’s community and for longer than the day
for which it is made and serves its purposes.

There is much Americanism in these "Tales."  They have the flavor of our
soil; the relish of our nationality.  While some are plants of foreign
growth removed to our atmosphere in which they have taken on a new
appearance, there are touches of human nature and character in all of

If all these anecdotes seem not to be equally laugh-provoking, it is the
fate of anecdotes.  They are meant for different minds; they have
different objects.  If any shall teach a lesson, or point a moral while
it at the same time fetches a smile, its purpose will not be lost.

Such humor, springing, as it does, from the people, much of it being
caught at first hands from those who invented it to be transcribed for
the newspaper in which it first appeared and now to be preserved in this
volume, illustrates many important truths in our American character.
Let that not be forgotten!  "Show me a nation’s humor and I will show
you its civilization," is a sentiment worthy to become a proverb.  There
is hope for the man or the race of men which is gifted with the sense of
humor if the mind and lips remain clean and reverent.

The Chinese can read this book as well as our occidentals.  It can be
perused backward or forward and will need no index or table of contents.
It can be taken all at once if time and taste call for it, or it may be
confidently opened by the skipper and skimmer of books who travels
hither and thither and assails his literature only at vulnerable points.
It may perhaps be taken up a second time, when, reader, if some of these
stories seem to be old friends, you must be certain not to chide and
revile this little volume, but compliment yourself upon owning a very
retentive mind.

                        *BEATEN AT HIS OWN GAME*

The champion liar of the town was outdoing himself on his pet topic, the
Civil War.  "Talk of mud," he was saying, "our campaign in the
Wilderness was the worst.  It rained for days without letting up.  When
it did stop we started off with our artillery.  Soon we came to a
regular water hole, but we drove straight along, and do you know that
first team went right out of sight."

A newcomer then took the floor. "I’ve seen some mud, too," he said.
"When I was a boy, one day after a terribly wet spring, I saw a hat out
in the road, right in a big puddle, so I waded out to get it.  Maybe now
you won’t believe me, but there was a man under that hat.  Says I, ’Why,
hello! can’t I help you out?’  ’Oh, no,’ says he, ’guess I can get
along.  I’m a-horse back.’"

                        *THE ABSENT BOY’S FAULT*

A certain Sunday-school teacher had a regular set of questions that she
asked every Sunday.  Beginning with the first boy she would ask, "Who
made you?" to which he would reply, "The Lord."  Then she would
regularly ask the second boy, "Who was the first man?" and he would
reply, "Adam."

One Sunday the first boy was away, and of course the second boy moved
into his place.  As usual, the teacher began by asking, "Who made you?"

The boy replied, "Adam."

"No, that is not right," said the teacher.  "The Lord made you."

"I guess not," the child replied.  "The boy that the Lord made is away

                       *THE "ONE HORSE" RAILROAD*

It was a train of only two cars on a miserable branch railroad, and was
jogging along at a distressingly low rate of speed when all of a sudden
it came to a dead stop.  One of the passengers, whose patience had
become exhausted, asked a brakeman the cause of delay.

"There’s a herd of cows on the track," he answered.

In about ten minutes the train got under way again, jerking along
convulsively for about a mile or two, when it came to a halt.  An old
man sitting near the door turned to the brakeman, who was plainly
annoyed by the many questions, and said irritably:

"What in thunder is the matter, anyhow?"

"Why, we’ve caught up to the cows again!" the brakeman answered.

                             *A POSTSCRIPT*

The editor of a rural paper visited a large city just after the shooting
of Mr. McKinley and took great interest in the newspaper bulletins
informing the public of the president’s condition.  Shortly after the
editor’s return home, Deacon Jones was taken seriously ill, and the
following bulletins were promptly posted:

10.00 A.M--Deacon Jones no better. ll.00 A.M.--Deacon Jones has relapse.
12.30 P.M.--Deacon Jones weaker.  Pulse failing. 2.15 P.M.--Deacon
Jones’s family summoned. 3.10 P.M--Deacon Jones has died and gone to

Later in the afternoon a traveling salesman happened by, stopped to read
the bulletins, and, going to the board, added:

4.10 P.M.--Great excitement in Heaven; Deacon Jones has not yet arrived.
The worst is feared.

                          *HOW COULD HE KNOW*

Jim Murphy had been accused of selling liquor illicitly and the
prosecuting attorney was endeavoring to make Pat, a job teamster, admit
that he had delivered liquor to the defendant.  He stated that he had
once delivered freight to Murphy and that part of that freight was a
barrel, but when asked what the barrel contained he replied that he did
not know.

"Don’t know!  Wasn’t the barrel marked?" asked the attorney.

"Yis, sor."

"Then how dare you tell the court that you don’t know what was in it?"

"Because, sor, the barrel was marked ’Jim Murphy’ on one end and
’Bourbon Whiskey’ on the other.  How the divil did I know which was in

                               *A SECRET*

A man who had purchased a fine-looking horse soon discovered that the
animal was blind, and after several weeks he succeeded in disposing of
her, as the defect did not seem to lessen her speed nor detract from her
general appearance. The next day the new owner of the horse appeared.

"Say, you know that mare you sold me?" he began.  "She’s stone blind."

"I know it," replied her past owner with an easy air.

"You didn’t say anything to me about it," said the purchaser, his face
red with anger.

"Well, you see," replied the other, "that fellow who sold her to me
didn’t tell me about it and I just concluded that he didn’t want it

                          *AT THE WRONG DOOR*

The following story is told of an American gentleman who was recently
stopping with his wife at the Hotel Cecil in London.

The first evening there she happened to return somewhat earlier than her
spouse.  Arriving at the door of what he supposed was his own room and
finding it locked, he tapped and called, "Honey."  No answer came and he
again called more loudly, "Honey."  Still there was no reply, and
becoming somewhat uneasy, he shouted the endearing term with his full
strength. This time an answer came and in a male voice.

"Go away, you blithering idiot!  This is a bathroom, not a blooming

                    *HOW IT MIGHT NOT HAVE HAPPENED*

Hon. James M. Beck tells the following story of an argument made by a
rural barrister before a justice in a court in Pennsylvania.

The case was one in which the plaintiff sought to recover damages from a
railroad company for the killing of a cow.  During the course of his
argument, the country lawyer used this expressive sentence:

"If the train had been run as it should have been ran, or if the bell
had been rung as it should have been rang, or if the whistle had been
blown as it should have been blew, both of which they did neither, the
cow would not have been injured when she was killed."

                          *NOT A GOOD SWIMMER*

Two men in the West were to be hanged for horse stealing.  The place
selected was the middle of a trestle bridge spanning a river.  The rope
was not securely tied about the neck of the first man to be dropped, and
the knot slipped; he fell in the river and immediately swam for the
shore.  As they were adjusting the rope for the second culprit, an
Irishman, he remarked:

"Will yez be sure and tie that good and tight, ’cause I can’t swim."

                      *THE IRISHMAN AND HIS MULE*

General Sheridan was once asked at what little incident he had laughed
the most.

"Well," he said, "I do not know, but always laugh when I think of the
Irishman and the army mule.  I was riding down the line one day, when I
saw an Irishman mounted on a mule, which was kicking its legs rather
freely.  The mule finally caught its hoof in the stirrup, when, in the
excitement, the Irishman exclaimed, ’Well, if you’re going to get on,
I’ll get off.’"

                            *BUSINESS HABIT*

Some time ago a tramp was walking along, asking the pedestrians whom he
met for alms.  He stopped in front of the shop of a Jewish second-hand
merchant; suddenly he entered it and appreached the dealer, saying,

"Excuse me, sir, but would you kindly give me a few pennies for a bed?"

The man looked at him and said with a characteristic business-like air,

"Vare is dot ped?  Let me see it."

                           *A TEACHER’S JOYS*

A Philadelphia school-teacher tells this story:

"Last week I was teaching a spelling lesson to a class of little
second-graders. The word ’each’ occurred, was written, on the board, and
from it I expected to derive ’peach,’ ’reach,’ ’teach,’ etc. Pointing to
the word, I said, ’Can any child give a sentence using "each"?’

"A hand was unhesitatingly thrust up and a little German girl replied,
’Does your back each?’"

                             *FAMILY PRIDE*

A number of little girls were boasting of the rank of their respective
families. They had passed from clothes to personal appearance, then to
interior furnishings, and finally came to parental dignity.  The
minister’s little girl boasted:

"Every package that comes for my papa is marked D.D."

"And every package that comes for my papa is marked M.D.," retorted the
daughter of the physician.

Then followed a look of contempt from the youngest of the party.
"Hugh," she exclaimed, "every package that comes to our house is marked

                         *ON THE WITNESS STAND*

Thomas Barry, a Boston lawyer, was recently examining an Irish witness
in a municipal court in a suit having to do with an accident on the
street cars.  Here is a fragment of the information elicited by the
lawyer’s advice that the witness give an account of the disaster in his
own words.

"Well, the man fell in th’ str-reet as’ the car-r passed; thin th’ car-r
stopped, an’ we all ran out.  The cr-rowd gathered ar-round th’ man and
shouted: ’He’s kilt; he’s kilt!’  Thin Oi jumped in, pulled a dozen of
the spalpeens out uv th’ way and yells at ’em: ’Yez thick-heads, yez!
If the man’s kilt why in Hivvin’s name don’t yez stand to one side and
let him have a br-reath of air-r."

                         *DEFECTIVE EDUCATION*

A well-known citizen of Baltimore was recently spending a few days with
his wife at Atlantic City.  When he seated himself in the dining-room on
the evening of his arrival he discovered that he could not read the
menu, as he had left his glasses in his room.  His wife was in the same
predicament, so calling a waiter he said:

"Read that to me and I will give you half a dollar."

Quick as a flash the waiter replied:

"’Scuse me, boss, but I ain’t had much ejication maself!"

                         *UNAVOIDABLE LAUGHTER*

"Mary," said a lady to her cook, "I must insist that you keep better
hours and that you have less company in the kitchen at night.  Last
night you kept me from sleeping because of the uproarious laughter of
one of your women friends."

"Yis, mum, I know," was the reply; "but she couldn’t help it.  I was
tellin’ her how you tried to make cake one day."

                           *SHE WAS EXCUSED*

One evening as the mother of a little niece of Phillips Brooks was
tucking her snugly into bed, the maid stepped in and said there was a
caller waiting in the parlor.  The mother told the child to say her
prayers and promised that she would be back in a few minutes.  The
caller remained only a short time and when the mother went up-stairs
again, she asked the little girl if she had done as she was bidden.

"Yes, mamma, I did and I didn’t," she said.

"What do you mean by that, dear?"

"Well, mamma, I was awfully sleepy so I just asked God if He wouldn’t
excuse me to-night and He said, ’Oh, don’t mention it, Miss Brooks.’"

                         *A WRONG TRANSLATION*

Senator Quay was fond of telling a story of an experience of his in a
country hotel near Pittsburg.

Hanging on the wall in the parlor was an inscription, "Ici on parle
Français."  The Senator noted the sign and turning to the landlord said,
"Do you speak French?"

"No," the man replied, "United States will do for me."

"Well, then," said Quay, "why do you have that notice on the wall?  That
means, ’French is spoken here.’"

"Well, I’ll be blamed!" ejaculated the hotel-keeper.  "A young chap sold
that to me for ’God bless our home.’"

                        *GETTING EVEN WITH HIM*

Mr. W----, who used to be president of the Seaboard Air Line, is a good
friend of Mr. S----, president of the Southern Railway.  The friends of
the two are fond of springing upon them this story:

In sending out complimentary passes to officials of the Seaboard system
it happened through error that the Southern sent to Mr. W---- a pass
marked "Not good on the Washington and South-western Limited."  When he
received it Mr. W---- looked up the Seaboard pass that was to be sent to
Mr. S----.  With a pen he wrote across it:

"Not good on passenger trains."

                       *COMING DOWN LIKE A LADY*

A young lady was entertaining callers one evening when her little sister
came down the stairway in a noisy manner. "Frances," said the annoyed
elder sister, "you came down-stairs so that you could be heard all over
the house.  Now, go back and come down properly."

Frances retired, and in a few minutes reentered the parlor.

"Did you hear me come down-stairs this time, Marjie?" asked the little
girl anxiously.

"No, dear; this time you came down like a lady."

"Yes’m," explained Frances, exhibiting some pride and satisfaction in
her performance, "this time I slid down the banisters."

                       *NOT A POPULAR CANDIDATE*

A dispute arose on a train one election day as to who would be elected
Governor of Pennsylvania.  One man stoutly maintained that Pattison
would be elected, while another said Pennypacker would receive an
immense majority.  An Irishman on the train offered twenty-five dollars
on the first-named candidate.

"You’re both mistaken," said a religious-looking man after the
discussion had gone on for some time.

"Bedad! who will be Governor, thin?" asked the Celt.

"The Lord," said the old man solemnly. "He will be Governor of

There was silence for a moment, and then the Celt shouted out:

"Begorry, an’ I bet you twenty-five dollars that He don’t carry

                         *JOHNNY’S CONSCIENCE*

A teacher in one of our city schools defined conscience as "something
within you that tells you when you have done wrong."

"Oh, yes," said a little lad at the end of the room, "I had it once last
summer after I’d eaten green apples, but they had to send for a doctor."

                         *NOT TO BE DISSUADED*

A number of salesmen were discussing the subject of traveling through
the South.

"I have often wondered," said one of them, "how those boys, who take
your hats in the dining-rooms of southern hotels and place them in a
rack without checks know which hat to give you.  If thought I would try
and fool one.  One day when I had finished lunch, and the boy had handed
me my hat, I tried it on and pretended it was a misfit.

"’This is not my hat,’ I said, but he was ready with his answer.

"’Dat may not be youah hat, sah,’ he replied calmly, ’but it am de hat
what you gib me when you come in.’"

                        *AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE*

An Irishman walked into a men’s furnishing goods store the other day and

"Oi want to get somethin’ fer mournin’ wear, but Oi don’t know exactly
what the coostom is.  What do they be wearin’ now fer mournin’?"

"It depends," explained the salesman, "on how near the relative is for
whom you wish to show this mark of respect. For a very near relative,
you should have an all black suit.  For some one not so near you may
have a broad band of black on the left arm or a somewhat narrower one
for somebody more distant."

"Och! is that it?  Well, thin, gimme a shoe string.  It’s me woife’s

                         *SQUARING THE ACCOUNT*

A practical joker of New York City tells this story upon himself, and
declares that the experience cured him of his bad habit:

On my arrival at San Francisco, as a joke I sent to a friend of mine at
home, well known for his aversion to spending money, a telegram, with
charges to collect, reading, "I am perfectly well."

The information evidently was gratifying to him, for about a week after
sending the telegram an express package was delivered at my room, on
which I paid four dollars for charges.  Upon opening the package I found
a large New York street paving block, on which was pasted a card, which
read, "This is the weight your recent telegram lifted from my heart."

                            *THE IRISH BULL*

Two Celts who had been backsliding in their religious duties, had taken
the pledge and were trying to summon sufficient courage to attend
church.  Each disliked the idea of going because of the gossip it would
create, so they agreed to be present at the same service on the
principle that misery loves company.

"But, Casey," asked one, "how am Oi to know if yez be there?"

"Why, Patr-rick, if Oi get ther-re fur-ist Oi’ll make a chalk mar-rk on
the wall beside th’ dure."

"A good plan, faith," said Patrick; "an’ Casey, if Oi get ther-re
fur-ist Oi’ll rub the mar-rk out so that yez’ll know."

                              *MORE BULLS*

This is submitted as an ideal example of the Irish "bull":

Roger: "Timothy, yez is dr-unk."

Timothy: "Roger, Oi’m not--an’ if ’Oi was sober-r yez would not dare to
say so."

Roger: "An’ Timothy, if yez was sober-r yez’d have sinse enough to know
ye wuz dr-runk."

                         *THE INTELLIGENT GOAT*

Three colored men were discussing the intelligence of different animals.
One favored the dog; another, the horse; but old Peter Jackson said, "In
my opinion de goat am de ’telligentest critter livin’.  De goat kin
read, I saw him do it.  Once I wuz walkin’ down street dressed in mah
best suit, an’ wearin’ mah new plug hat. When I got down on de main
street, I seed a billboa’d on which it said: ’Chew Jackson’s Plug.’  A
goat wuz standin’ thar when I passed an’ when I wuz about ten feet away
he must hab recognized me, for de next thing I knew, I went sailin’ in
de mud.  When I looked ’roun’ dat goat wuz chewin’ mah plug hat for all
he wuz worth.  Gem’men, da is no question in mah mind about de
’telligence ob de goat.  He am a wondah."

                          *WHERE THEY GET IT*

George Ade, not long ago, was speaking of the curious ideas some
children have of the most ordinary things.  Ade then said the story he
was about to tell actually occurred in Indiana, his native State.  There
was a little boy, who, on seeing a pan of warm, freshly-drawn milk,
inquired where the cows got their milk.

"Where do you get your tears?" was the reply.

"Gee!" exclaimed the youngster, "do you have to spank the cows?"

                             *NEAR ENOUGH*

It was a Maine girl of whom the story is told that she refused to marry
a most devoted lover until he had amassed a fortune of ten thousand
dollars.  After some expostulation he accepted the verdict and went to
work.  About three months after this bargain had been made the young
lady, meeting her lover, said:

"Well, Charley, how are you getting along?"

"Oh, very well indeed," Charley returned cheerfully.  "I’ve eighteen
dollars saved."

The young lady blushed and looked down at the toes of her walking boots.
"I guess," she said, faintly, "I guess, Charley, that’s about near

                            *A CLOSE SHAVE*

A little girl asked her mother if there were any men in heaven.

"Mamma," she said, "I never saw a picture of an angel with a beard or a
mustache.  Do men ever go to heaven?"

"Oh! yes," replied her mother, "men go to heaven, but it’s always by a
close shave."

                          *TOO MUCH LIKE HOME*

Three men determined to rob a certain house.  So, on the night chosen
for the deed, they gathered in front of the building.  One of them
entered and started up-stairs.  He had his boots on and, when near the
landing, they squeaked.  A female voice was heard in one of the rooms.

"You go right down-stairs and take those boots off.  I’m tired of having
to clean up mud and dirt after you.  March right down and take them

The burglar turned about, went down the steps, and joining his
companions, said:

"Boys, I couldn’t rob that house, it seems too much like home."

                       *A DISTINGUISHED VISITOR*

It happened on an inauguration day in Washington and a member of a
governor’s staff was, for the first time, arrayed in his full uniform.
When he arrived at the Capitol, he remembered having left something at
his boarding-house and turned back after it.  The landlady’s small
daughter answered the bell.  She did not recognize the lodger in his
showy and magnificent dress.

"Who is it?" asked the mother before going into the parlor.

"I don’t know, mamma, but I think it’s God."

                             *HOW HE KNEW*

In a New York court, counsel for the defense, in a case of assault, was
questioning a witness for the prosecution. "Now, you say you saw the
quarrel between the two men?"

"Yes," replied the man, who happened to be a carpenter.

"How far away from them were you?"

"Just four yards, two feet, three and one-half inches."

"What do you mean?" shouted the attorney.  "You don’t mean to say that
you can measure distance that accurately with your eye?"

"No," said the carpenter, quietly; "but I knew some fool would ask me,
so I measured it."

                              *WORSE YET*

Henry H. Rogers, the Copper and Standard Oil magnate, was visited
recently by one of his friends who has been under the weather for
months. Mr. Rogers inquired kindly after the health of his caller.

"I have been staying down at Lakewood, New Jersey, for six months," was
the reply, "and I’ve been pretty low.  In fact, I never was in so bad a
state before."

Mr. Rogers smiled and asked quietly:

"You’ve never been in Montana, have you?"

                         *AMENITIES OF THE BAR*

Judge Norton was solemn, stern and dignified to excess.  He was also
egotistical, and sensitive to ridicule.  Judge Nelson was a wit and
careless of decorum. He did not like Judge Norton.

At a Bar supper Judge Norton in an elaborate speech, referring to the
early days of Wisconsin, described with tragic manner a thunder-storm
which once overtook him in riding the circuit; the scene was awful,
"and," said the Judge, "I expected every moment the lightning would
strike the tree under which I had taken shelter."

"Then," interrupted Nelson, "why in thunder didn’t you get under another

                           *AT SUNDAY-SCHOOL*

In a down-town Sunday-school a few Sundays ago the teacher asked a class
of girls: "Can any little girl here tell me what the Epistles are?"

"I think I know," said one child.

"Well, Dorothy?"

"The Epistles were the Lady Apostles."

                        *A STORY ABOUT CHICAGO*

Two New York women were lunching together at a favorite café.

"One hears strange stories about Chicago," said the woman in the
chinchilla tricorne, "but I never believed half of them until I went
there a while ago on a visit.  Will you believe, my dear, that I went to
a dinner where there was a little silver trumpet beside each soup

"What were they for?" inquired the girl with the violets.

"I didn’t know at first, but I found out later that they were called
’soup coolers,’ and were used for blowing the soup!" said the traveled

                            *A BRIGHT PUPIL*

A pupil in one of the rural schools of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, was
told by his teacher to form a sentence with the word "cuckoo" in it.
The youngster at once replied, "Chust because she made those cuckoo

                          *A VIEW IN SCOTLAND*

Two smart young men from London once came upon a respectable-looking
shepherd in Argyleshire, and accosted him with:

"You have a very fine view here--you can see a great way."

"Yu ay, yu ay, a ferry great way."

"Ah! you can see America here, I suppose?"

"Farrar than that."

"How is that?"

"Yu jist wait tule the mists gang awa’ and you’ll see the mune."

                      *A SLIGHT MISUNDERSTANDING*

Colonel Maltby tells of a neighbor of his at St. David’s who went home
at a rather unusual hour of the day.

"Can you tell me of my wife’s whereabouts?" he asked of the family

Bridget hesitated for a moment and then replied, "Faith, to tell ye the
truth, I really belave they’re in the wash."

                            *THE SKYSCRAPER*

At a recent dinner there were present a Frenchman and his wife who had
recently come to America.  They were having some difficulty with our

In the course of the conversation, the Frenchman remarked to his
neighbor at table, "I haf moosh interest in your high beeldings in zis
countree.  Vot you call zem--sky creepers?"

"Oh, no," broke in his wife, "zat iss not right.  It iss sky

                            *POOR JUDGMENT*

"But, papa," protested Gladys, "I am not a bit too young to marry.  You
know perfectly well that you married mamma when she was eighteen, and I
am a whole year older than that."

"I know, but I never thought much of your mother’s judgment in that

                      *HE WOULD TAKE IT WITH HIM*

Horace T. Eastman, the inventor of the locomotive pilot, is said to be
responsible for this story.

"I was sitting in a drug store waiting to get a prescription filled,
when a young Irishman entered.  He pointed to a stack of green castile
soap and said:

"’Oi want a loomp o’ thot.’

"’Very well, sir,’ said the clerk, ’will you have it scented or

"’Oi’ll take ut with me,’ said the Irishman."


"Who can tell me who our first President was?" asked the teacher.

"George Washington," instantly answered a bright boy.

"George Washington was our first President," replied the teacher, "and
this is what you should have said.  Never reply to such questions in
monosyllables. Now, who can tell me what I have on my feet?"

"Shoes," spoke up one boy.

"You have not answered correctly. Who can answer that question in a
correct manner?"

"Stockings," suggested another boy.

"No, no, no!  That is not the way."

At this a boy in a back seat began to wave his hand eagerly.  "Well,
what have I on my feet, Johnnie?"

"Corns," replied John triumphantly.

                       *THE UNPRONOUNCEABLE HYMN*

An anecdote is narrated of a negro evangelist who held evening services
in a chapel formerly used by the Anglican Church.  In a hymnal, which
had been left there, he found an old familiar hymn suitable for his
sermon, but the Roman number CXIX somewhat confused him and he was not
at once able to announce it.

As was the custom, he read the verses through, still showing signs of
embarrassment and then reread the first stanza. This did not seem to aid
him or the congregation, and at last he straightened himself and said
with dignity, "Brethren, let us sing the Skeesix Hymn."

                           *A PAINFUL DEATH*

During a celebrated murder trial in New York City there were among the
many interested spectators two men, between whom the following
conversation occurred:

"The evidence will convict the prisoner sure," remarked one.

"Not only convict him, but will hang him," returned the other.

"Man alive!  They don’t hang murderers in New York!"

"Well, what do they do with them?"

"Kill them with elocution."

                                *HE DID*

Judge Parker is said to tell as a favorite story the tale of a young man
in Savannah named Du Bose, who invited his sweetheart to take a buggy
ride with him.  The young woman had a very fetching lisp.  When they
reached a rather lonesome bit of road the young man announced:

"This is where you have to pay toll. The toll is either a kiss or a

"Oh, Mr. Du Both!" exclaimed his companion.

                             *NOT AT HOME*

A caller stopped at the house of a certain man and asked if he was at

"’Deed, an’ he’s not," replied the woman who answered his ring.

"Can you tell me where he is?"

"I cannot."

"When did you see him last?"

"At his funeral."

"And who may you be?"

"I’m his remains," said the widow, and she closed the door.

                            *MIXED PROVERBS*

On a cabbage patch owned by a negro in a Southern community oil was
found. Speculators offered the negro $20,000, which was accepted without
waiting to consider another proposition, said to be worth $40,000.

"What is this about your cabbage patch?" inquired a neighbor of the
negro.  "I understand you have sold it for $20,000."

"Yas, that’s true, boss," replied the negro.  "Yo’ see, men come picking
round my place an’ dey say dar’s oil heah.  Dey say, ’We gib yo’
$20,000.’  I say  ’All right.’"

"I am told if you had waited a day or two you might have sold it for

"Yas, dat mebbe so; but a bird in the hand’s th’ nobles’ work of God!"

                           *AN ENDLESS CHAIN*

A lady who was visiting the home of a friend had just given each of the
children a penny.  When the savings bank was produced and the coins were
deposited therein, the lady made the remark that the children had a lot
of money.

"Oh, yes," said little Mary.  "Mamma is very good to us.  Every time we
take our castor oil without crying she gives us a penny."

"And what do you do with all the money?" asked the visitor.

"Why, mamma buys some more castor oil with it!"

                           *IT WOULD DEPEND*

Franklin B. Gowen at one time tried a case in court against a man who
was defended by a lawyer named Browne. The issue involved was an
important one and every point was vigorously contested.  During the
trial Mr. Gowen frequently referred to Mr. Browne as "Mr. Brow-nie,"
which embarrassed the lawyer so much that the presiding judge noticed
it.  "Mr. Gowen, the name of the plaintiff’s counsel is Browne, not
Brow-nie.  Now, my name is Greene, G-r-e-e-n-e, and you wouldn’t call me
Gree-nie, would you?"  To which Mr. Gowen replied, "That will depend
altogether on how you decide this case."

                           *NECESSARY LABOR*

The other Sunday two small boys were industriously digging in a vacant
lot, when a man who was passing stopped to give them a lecture.

"Don’t you know that it is a sin to dig on Sunday, unless it be a case
of necessity?" asked the good man.

"Yes, sir," timidly replied one of the boys.

"Then why don’t you stop it?"

"’Cause this is a case of necessity," replied the little philosopher.
"A feller can’t fish without bait."

                         *THE RETORT COURTEOUS*

Daniel Webster was noted for his ready wit, and the following example of
it is told by a man whose father heard the statesman’s retort:

Webster was standing one afternoon on Pennsylvania Avenue, in
Washington, talking with a Senator from South Carolina.  Between them
there was a certain ill-concealed enmity.  As they were talking a drove
of mules was driven past them.  The Senator remarked:

"Webster, why don’t you bow?  There go some of your constituents."

Quick as a flash Webster took off his hat, and, bowing gravely, replied:

"Yes, Senator, we are sending them down South to teach school."

                          *A RESPONSIVE CHORD*

A woman of Madison County, New York, was in Washington during the second
term of President Cleveland and with her husband took occasion to go to
see the chief executive at one of the large public receptions.  All was
new and grand to the couple, but the sight of the endless line of
handshakers elicited the genuine sympathy of the old woman for the First
Lady of the Land.  No doubt, this feeling was considerably stimulated by
her own weariness from long standing in line, which had about exhausted
her strength as well as her patience.  When finally she did reach the
president and his wife, she exclaimed:

"Mrs. Cleveland, be you very tired?"

With quick adaptability and very gentle earnestness, Mrs. Cleveland

"Yes, I be."

                            *HE WAS RAISED*

A year ago a manufacturer hired a boy.  For months, there was nothing
noticeable about him except that he never took his eyes off the machine
he was running.  A few weeks ago, the manufacturer looked up from his
work to see the boy standing beside his desk.

"What do you want?" he asked.

"Want my pay raised."

"What are you getting?"

"Three dollars a week."

"Well, how much do you think you are worth?"

"Four dollars."

"You think so, do you?"

"Yes, sir, an’ I’ve been thinkin’ so fer three weeks, but I’ve been so
blame busy, I haven’t had time to speak to you about it."

                           *NOT A FAIR HEAD*

An Irishman was arrested and convicted for killing a man in a fight at a
fair by cracking him over the head with a shillalah.  At the trial it
was shown that the victim possessed a very thin skull and the Irishman
being asked if he had anything to say before sentence was pronounced,

"No, your honor; but was that a skull for a man to go to a fair with?"

                           *AN UNUSUAL SIGHT*

A captain of an English regiment stationed at Natal, while paying off
his company, chanced to give one of his new recruits a Transvaal half
crown which bears the image and superscription of Paul Kruger.  The
fellow soon returned with the coin and, throwing it on the table,
declared it was bad.  The officer took the piece of money and rang it on
the table.

"It sounds all right, Atkins: what’s the matter with it?" he asked.

"Well, sir," replied Atkins, "if you say it’s all right, it’s all right,
but it’s the first time I’ve seed the Queen with whiskers on."

                            *VERY LONG AGO*

In the northwestern section of the city there is a teacher who has
charge of a primary class.  One morning she was giving her pupils a
lesson on the Civil War and wished to impress on their minds how long
ago it had occurred.

"Just think, children," she said, "it was so long ago that even I don’t
remember it."

"O-o-o-o Gee!" exclaimed one of the boys.

                           *FASHIONABLE LOVE*

Little Mary’s big sister was engaged to Mr. Brown, who was away on a
trip with Mary’s brother.  Her father was writing to his son and
prospective son-in-law and asked the little girl if she had any message
to send to Mr. Brown.

"What shall I say, papa?" asked she

"Why," said the father, "I believe it is the fashion to send your love."

A few minutes later her father inquired, "And what shall I say to
brother Tom?"

"Well," replied the little miss, with a sigh, "you may send my
fashionable love to Mr. Brown and my real love to brother Tom."

                            *NOT THEIR SORT*

One warm summer day, Bishop C----, who is fond of donning old clothes
and tramping through the mountains of West Virginia, entered an inn
where several men were drawn up at the bar.

"Come join us," called out one of the men hospitably.

"No, thank you," said the bishop. "The fact is, I never drink."

"Do you eat hay?" retorted the West Virginian, nettled at the bishop’s
refusal and eying him quizzically.

"No," was the bland reply.

"Then I say," drawled the mountaineer looking at the others to see the
effect of his witticism, "then I say, you’re not fit company for man or

                          *FOLLOWING THE SEA*

Two Irishmen had taken a day off and had gone on a little pleasure trip
to Atlantic City.  Walking beside the sea one of them exclaimed:

"Pat, would yer like to follow the sea always?"

"Shure, an’ that Oi would," replied Pat, "if Oi could go the whole
distance on the boardwalk."

                      *HE RESPECTFULLY SUBSCRIBED*

One of the stories attributed to Bishop Potter concerns a young and
inexperienced clergyman who had just been called to a city charge.  At
the end of the first month his salary was paid by a check, and he took
it to the bank and passed it in at the paying-teller’s window. The
official looked at it and then passed it back.

"It’s perfectly good," he said, "but I will have to ask you to indorse

The young clergyman took his pen and wrote across the face of the check,
"I respectfully subscribe to the sentiments herein expressed."

                          *PROOF OF ACCIDENT*

The lady of the house was congratulating herself on obtaining a very
good cook--the only trouble was her carelessness.

One day hearing a dish fall and break, and the cook’s remark, "Hup,
there she goes!" she called her, and said:

"Can’t you be more careful?  You seem to enjoy breaking dishes."

"Indade," replied the cook consolingly, "’tis only cheap chinyware you
use; shure, there’s no pleasure in breakin’ thot koind."

                          *A POWERFUL POISON*

A certain high school teacher amused his students the other day during a
lecture on chemistry by relating a story about an old German professor
who, in narrating the fact that cyanide of potassium was a very deadly
poison, went so far as to say that "one drop of this stuff placed on the
tongue of a rabbit would kill the strongest man!"

                            *WHY HE LAUGHED*

On one occasion, Dan Leno, the London comedian, had appeared at a house
in Park Lane, and given his best entertainment.  The languor of his
listeners made him feel not too happy, and he was glad to retire to the
dressing-room allotted him.  While he was removing the paint a very
young peer, who had strolled after him, told Leno in the most approved
drawl that some of his sayings had really been rather funny.

"Especially that one, you know, where your wife made a pancake on a
gridiron and the pancake slipped through and put the fire out.  That
made me laugh awfully, because I know what a gridiron is. I have seen

                             *A SAFEGUARD*

One cool day last June, just after the public bathhouses had been
opened, a boy of ten or twelve came into school with his hair very wet.
The teacher at. once surmised that he had been indulging in a bath, and
asked him about it.  He admitted the fact.

"Weren’t you afraid you’d take cold?" she asked.

"No, ma’am, the water is filtered."

                           *HOW SHE DEPARTED*

At an employment bureau, an Irish girl was asked regarding her past
record. She gave satisfactory replies to all the questions, but had no
reason for leaving the place she had last held.  Finally she was asked
point blank:

"Now tell me, did you have any words with your mistress that led to your
giving up the position?"

"Niver a wor-rd, sor," she was quick to respond, "niver a wor-rd, shure;
Oi jist quietly locked the dure in the bathroom whin she was insoide,
tuk all me things, sor, and lift the place."

                       *CONCEALING HIS CONTEMPT*

That doughty Pennsylvanian, Thaddeus Stevens, once displayed so much
annoyance and disgust with the decision in a case on which he was
engaged that he reached for his hat and started out of the court-room in
the most informal way.  Near the door he was stopped by the voice of the

"Mr. Stevens, are you trying to express your contempt for the court?"

"No, your honor," Stevens replied, "I am trying to conceal it."

                         *THE PHYSICIAN’S FEE*

A very eminent physician had cured a little girl of a dangerous illness.
"Doctor," said the mother, "I really don’t know how to express my
gratitude, but thought perhaps you would be so kind as to accept this
purse embroidered by my own hands."

"Madam," replied the doctor coldly, "small presents serve to sustain
friendships; but they don’t sustain our families. A physician’s visits
should be rewarded in money."

"But, doctor," said the lady alarmed and wounded, "speak, tell me the

"Two hundred dollars, madam."

The lady opened the embroidered purse, took out five bank notes of one
hundred dollars each, gave two to the doctor, put the remaining three
back in the purse, bowed coldly and departed.

                              *TWO TO ONE*

Seated in a crowded traction car some time since was a very-stout woman
who weighed about three hundred pounds, and beside her, squeezing into a
space about three inches broad, was a messenger boy--one of those very
small abused-looking boys.

The stout woman, after looking about the car for a while, noticed two
young ladies standing near her and, turning to the small boy beside her,

"Little boy, why don’t you get up and let one of those young ladies sit

"Why don’t you get up and let ’em both sit down?" replied the boy much
to the amusement of the rest of the passengers.

                            *A GOOD REASON*

A professor tells this story at his own expense:

He was instructing a class of boys about the circulation of the blood
and to make sure that they understood him he said, "Can you tell me why
it is that if I stood on my head the blood would rush to my head, and
when I stand on my feet, there is no rush of blood to the feet?"

Then a small boy after pausing for a short time answered, "It is because
your feet are not empty, sir."

                             *IN MOURNING*

His wife had been dead but a few weeks when a young farmer living near
Reading, Pennsylvania, a typical Berks County German, made good the
deficiency and married again.  That there should be no violation of the
proprieties, however, was soon made plain by his treatment of the
bride’s proposal that he drive her to town on the following Sunday.

"What!" he exclaimed, "you sink I ride out wit anoter woman so soon
after the deat’ of my wife?"


The friends of a certain merchant had been interested for several months
in a house which he had been building in the suburbs.  It was a modern
dwelling the exterior of which was attractive, but few had yet seen the
interior.  One morning friend met the merchant on a trolley car.

"So your house is built at last?" said the friend.


"But I thought the plans didn’t suit you?"

"Oh, they don’t," came the reply; "but they suit my wife, the architect,
and the cook."

                       *PRE-NUPTIAL CONFIDENCES*

She was an exacting young woman and before she would promise to marry
him, he had to answer a great many questions relating to his past life.
He thought he had given her a very fair account of himself, but, just
when the wedding ceremony was about to take place, he remembered an
omission and, fearing that she might have cause for future reproach, he
whispered in her ear:

"Mary, there is one thing I have not told you yet.  I am a Universalist.
Does it matter, love?"

"No, I guess not, dear," said the bride serenely, "I am a somnambulist."

                        *WONDERED HOW THEY MET*

Not very far from one of our large cities lives a happy little family of
three, father, mother and a little lad of about five years.

"Father, where were you born?" asked the youthful heir.

"In Chester," replied his father.

"And where was mother born?"

"Your mother was born in London."

"But father, where was I born?"

"My child, you were born in Philadelphia. Why do you ask?"

"Oh, nothing, only I think it’s very funny how we three people ever met
one another."

                        *AFTER DEATH IN AFRICA*

Two old-time darkies were engaged in a discussion of death and its
mysteries when Uncle Mose said:

"Reuben, does you b’lieve dat whin a pusson dies he kin turn into a dorg
er a chicken?"

"Well, I dunno," answered Reuben, "ef you had yo’ way whin you dies,
would you turn to a chicken?"

"Dat depend altogedder."

"Altogedder on what?"

"On whedder er not you lived in de nearabouts."

                           *IS AND HAS BEEN*

An Englishman went into a restaurant in a New England town and was
served for his first course with a delicacy unknown to him.  So he asked
the waiter what it was and the waiter replied:

"It’s bean soup, sir."

Upon this the Englishman rejoined in high dudgeon, "I don’t care what
it’s been, I want to know what it is."

                       *THE COMPENSATION OF LIFE*

Bridget and Pat were sitting on a sofa reading an article on "The Laws
of Compensation."

"Just fancy," exclaimed Bridget, "accordin’ to this, whin a mon loses
wan av ’s sinses another gits more developed. For instance, a bloind mon
gits more sinse av hearin’ an’ touch, an’----"

"Shure an’ it’s quite thrue," answered Pat, "Oi’ve noticed it mesilf.
Whin a mon has wan leg shorter than the other, begorre the other’s

                         *IN THE SLEEPING CITY*

A young New Yorker was in Philadelphia recently to call upon a few
friends, expecting to return to New York on a midnight train.  Being
detained longer than he had expected, he determined to remain in the
city all night.  When he had been told in four different first class
hotels that there was no room to be had he began to despair, but at the
fifth he was more successful.

"Not until tonight," he remarked to the clerk at the hotel where he was
finally accommodated, "did I put any stock in the saying that
Philadelphia is a great place to sleep in; but it must be, seeing that
people come here to pay hotel rates for the privilege."

                         *A NATURAL CONCLUSION*

A bad little boy who lives in a suburb of the city crawled under the bed
the other day when his mother wanted to punish him.  She could not get
him out without considerable difficulty and consequently decided to let
him remain there until his father returned in the evening from the city.

When the father arrived and was told of the trouble, he started to crawl
under the bed to bring out the disobedient child, but was very much
astonished when the little fellow called out, "Hello, is she after you,

                             *HIS APOLOGY*

There was an old judge in Pennsylvania whose decisions, in consequence
of numerous reversals, did not always command universal respect.  One
day in a case on which he was sitting, one of the lawyers lost patience
at his inability to see things in a certain light and, in the heat of
the moment, remarked that the intellect of the Court was so dark that a
flash of lightning could not penetrate it. For this contempt, the judge
demanded a public apology.  The following day the lawyer accordingly
appeared before his honor and made amends by saying:

"I regret very much that I said the intellect of the Court was so dark
lightning could not penetrate it.  I guess it could. It is a very
penetrating thing."

                        *ALWAYS WANTED THE BEST*

An old German couple, living in a quiet town, had met slight financial
reverses which caused the wife considerable worriment, while her better
half was inclined to take the matter philosophically and make the best
of the situation.  In the course of her complaints, she one day said:

"Ach!  I vish I vas dead."

"I don’t," said her husband.  "I vish I vas in a beer saloon."

"Dot’s it!  Dot’s it!" replied the spouse.  "Dot’s chust like you.  You
always vants de best."

                         *ACCORDING TO WEIGHT*

The scene was a crowded street car. The car stopped and a very thin man
started to work his way out.  He had great difficulty in squeezing
through a space between two very stout men and at last got angry.

"People who ride on street cars ought to pay according to weight," he
snapped to the conductor.

"If they did," answered one of the big fellows good naturedly, "the car
wouldn’t stop for you."

                             *LARGE ENOUGH*

One day last summer two small boys were playing near the country road.
A young lady approached them.

"Little boy," said she, "can you tell me if I can get through this gate
to the pike?"

"Yes’m, I think so.  A load of hay went through five minutes ago."

                             *SO HE WOULD*

Charlie Brown, aged ten years, has a baby brother about three weeks old,
of which he is very proud.  A neighbor who delights to tease met Charlie
on the street a few days ago and said to him:

"Charlie, what makes that baby over at your house cry so much?  I never
heard a baby cry so often.  Why it cries all the time."

Charlie looked at his interlocutor a moment and replied:

"If you had no hair on your head, and no teeth in your mouth, and your
legs were so weak you couldn’t stand up, I reckon you would feel like
crying, too."

                            *TO HELP HER ON*

The following story is told of President Roosevelt: Once he had to
recite an old poem beginning:

    "At midnight in his guarded tent,
      The Turk lay dreaming of the hour
    When Greece, her knee in suppliance bent,
      Should tremble at his power."

He got only as far as "When Greece, her knee," when he stopped.  Twice
he repeated "Greece, her knee" and then he broke down.

The old professor beamed on him over his glasses and remarked "Greece
her knee once more, Theodore.  Perhaps she’ll go then."

                          *COMPARATIVE VALUES*

Two elderly men recently met for the first time in many years, and a
part of their conversation was overheard, as follows:

"And how many children have you, John?"

"Eight, five boys and three girls. How many have you?"

"Ne’er a one.  Can’t you spare me one of yours?"

"No.  What I have, I wouldn’t take a million dollars apiece for; and,"
he added reflectively, "I wouldn’t give five cents for another."


General Joe Wheeler tells a story of an Irishman who presented himself
for cavalry duty at the recruiting station at Selma, Alabama, at the
outbreak of the Civil War.  He was very enthusiastic but very raw and
gave the fencing master a great deal of trouble.  He began to improve,
however, after the eighth or ninth lesson and his instructor, upon
obtaining a few satisfactory replies as to thrusts, parries, etc.,
asked, "Now, Pat, what would you do were your opponent to feint?"

"Faint, is it?" came from the recruit. "Why, shure and Oi’d tickle him
wid me sword to see if he was shammin’."

                         *NO CAUSE FOR ANXIETY*

"I wish, Susan," said a fond mother to her new nursemaid, "that you
would use a thermometer to ascertain if the water is the right
temperature when you give the baby his bath."

"Oh," replied Susan cheerfully, "don’t you worry about that.  I don’t
need any thermometer.  If the little ’un turns red the water is too hot,
if he turns blue, it’s too cold and there you are."

                           *HIS FUTURE STATE*

A young city girl, teaching school for a session in the country, was
struggling with the reading lesson.  She wrote the word man on the
blackboard and asked a boy of six how the word was pronounced.  The
young hopeful said he did not know.

"Now listen while I spell it," she continued; "m-a-n.  What does that
sound like?"

"I don’t know," the youngster answered quite truthfully.

Still the teacher persisted.  "What will they call you when you grow
up?" said she.

Then, a light suddenly breaking over his face, the lad answered, "Why,

                            *A LOVE LETTER*

A gentleman recently found the following letter in the chamber of his
negro coachman who had lately been dismissed from service:

"DEAR MR. GOINGS:--Last night I dreamed that you and me was walking in a
garden full of beautiful flowers, lilies, and roses, and pineys but you
were the beautifullest of all, Mr. Goings.  I would risk my life
crossing the ocean on a spiderweb to kiss your sweet sugar lips. Mr.
Goings, let me give you a hint of my love.  Please send me a bottle of

"From your lovingist,

                        *COULD NOT BE EXCHANGED*

"Well, Bobbie," said a kindly old gentleman to a little friend of his,
aged five, "what’s new up at your house?"

"Nothin’ much ’cept I’ve got a new baby brother."

"You don’t mean it!  Well, I suppose you’re very fond of him?"

"Nope; he’s no good--yells all the time."

"Why don’t you send him back?"

"Can’t; we’ve used him four days already."

                           *THE SOFT ANSWER*

A clergyman visiting the house of one of his parishioners caught a young
lady of the house in the act of curling her hair with a curling iron.
He exclaimed, "My dear young lady, if God intended your hair to be curly
He would curl it Himself."

"He did curl it when I was little," she replied, "but I am now grown up.
He thinks I can take care of it myself."

                            *CAME DOWN HARD*

Freddie is a boy of five years and he has a little brother who is just
beginning to walk.  The younger brother’s name is Frank and while
Freddie likes him in a certain way, his nose has been rather out of
joint since his arrival.  The other day he said to his mother:

"Ma, did our baby come right from heaven?"

"Yes, my son," replied the mother.

"Well, then," said the young hopeful, "I guess he must have lit on his
feet; that’s what makes him so bow-legged."

                           *KNEW HIS FATHER*

A boy was asked by his teacher, if his father borrowed from him one
hundred dollars and promised to pay him back at the rate of ten dollars
per week, how much would his father owe him at the of seven weeks.

The boy told the teacher one hundred dollars.

"What!" said the teacher, "after seven weeks!  From that, Johnny, I see
you know nothing about arithmetic."

"I may not know anything about arithmetic, teacher," said the boy, "but
I know my father."

                          *PHILADELPHIA BLOOD*

A story is told of an old lady who has lived all her life in Walnut
Street, as have generations of her family before her. The other day she
is said to have consulted a young physician fresh from his honors at the
University of Pennsylvania.

"What do you think is the matter with me?" asked the lady.

"I am inclined to think that your blood is not pure, madam.  I’ll have
to give you something to purify it."

"Sir!" said the old lady with dignity, "you are probably not aware that
I belong to one of the oldest families in Philadelphia."

                          *SOUTHERN CHIVALRY*

He was an old negro who had imbibed some of the traditional Southern
politeness.  He was sitting in a crowded car when a lady entered it and
looked about for a seat.  He immediately arose and, bowing, offered her
his place.  Scanning his spare figure and white hair, she said:

"But I do not wish to deprive you of your seat."

With chivalrous tone and a deep bow he replied:

"There’s no depravity, madam, no depravity."

                            *KNEW HER TOUCH*

The story is told of a citizen of a small town in Pennsylvania who, in
the early days of the telephone, walked into a country store where he
saw the instrument suspended from the wall.  Upon being told what it
was, he said he would like to talk to his wife whom he had left in a
rage some hours before.  He picked up the receiver, rang the bell, and
said to "Central":

"I want to talk to Sarah."

At that moment a severe storm broke over the wires and knocked the man
down.  As he picked himself up, he said:

"I know that’s Sarah.  I can tell her every time."

                          *THE CHINESE RETORT*

A city official was one of a party which attended the funeral of a
Chinaman.  He exhibited a great deal of interest in the curious services
at the grave, and noticed that, among other things, a roasted duck was
left there by the departing mourners.  Calling one of the Chinamen
aside, he asked:

"Why did you leave that duck on the grave?  Do you think the dead man
will come out and eat it?"

"Yeppee," replied the laundry-man, "alle samee as le white deadee man
come out and smellee flowlers."

                         *A PERSUASIVE LAWYER*

A man in North Carolina was saved from conviction for horse stealing by
the powerful plea of his lawyer.  After his acquittal by the jury the
lawyer asked:

"Honor bright, now, Bill, you did steal that horse, didn’t you?"

"Now look a here, judge," was the reply, "I allers did think I stole
that horse, but since I heard your speech to that ’ere jury, I’ll be
doggoned if I ain’t got my doubts about it."

                            *NO HESITATION*

A burly, broad-shouldered man passed through the gates at the Central
station a few days ago and hurried with his two solid-looking suit cases
toward a Pullman porter who stood stiffly and erect beside the steps of
a parlor car attached to the train.  The passenger who was long on suit
cases but short on breath asked the proud-looking porter:

"Does this train stop at Rahway?"

"No, sah," replied the negro in a superior manner.  "This train do not
stop at Rahway, sah, it do not even hesitate at Rahway." BARBARIC

An elderly Quaker gentleman, riding a carriage with a fashionable girl
decked with a profusion of jewelry, heard her complaining of the cold.
Shivering, in her lace gown and shawl as light as a cobweb, she
exclaimed: "What shall I do to get warm?"

"I really don’t know," replied the Quaker solemnly, "unless thee should
put on another breastpin."

                           *ABSENCE OF MIND*

A devout and religious man is the clergyman of a parish not twenty miles
south of Chicago.  His congregation was somewhat amused at the
singularity of one of his announcements one evening recently, which was
as follows:

"Remember our communion services next Sunday forenoon.  The Lord will be
with us during the morning service and the Bishop in the evening."

                         *WAITING FOR A FRIEND*

In one of our large department stores an obliging salesman had taken
every roll of cloth but one from the shelves to show to a persistent
woman.  The last roll was on the top shelf.

"You needn’t bother any more," she replied to the weary clerk who was
about to reach for the remaining roll, "I was simply waiting for a

"Madam," said the clerk, "if you think she’s in the last roll, I’ll
gladly get it down for you."

                          *A LITTLE KNOWLEDGE*

An old negro in a South Carolina town was arrested for stealing
chickens, and as he bore a rather bad reputation it was quite hard to
secure counsel for him.  At last a young lawyer, who had known Rastus
for a long time, took his case, to the great joy of the old fellow.  At
his trial the judge asked him:

"Are you the defendant?"

The old fellow was perplexed for a moment, and then replied:

"No, sah, dat’s de defendant, sah," pointing proudly to his counsel,
"I’se de man wot stole de chickens."

                          *WEATHER INFLUENCES*

Two young lawyers, both trying to make reputations as orators, happened
to be pitted against each other in argument. Both spoke at great length,
and in closing the second speaker remarked that he was sorry to find his
brother on the wrong side, for there was every reason why they should
agree.  "We were raised together, we studied together, we were born on
the same day."

"Did I understand you to say that you were born on the same day?"
questioned a listener.

"Yes," came the prompt reply.

"On the very same day?"

"Yes, sir."

"Then it must have been a very windy day."

                       *HE FOUND A BETTER PLACE*

Mark Twain, while at his summer residence, prepared one evening to take
a drive, and expecting to remain out until late, told the stable boy
that he need not wait for him.  He directed the fellow, however, when he
had finished his work to lock the stable and place the key under a
stone, the location of which Mr. Clemens described with much exactness.
When the humorist reached home after his drive, he was surprised to find
that the key was not in the place selected.  When his patience had been
exhausted, he awoke the boy, who explained, as he started out to find
the missing key:

"Mr. Clemens, I found a better place to hide it!"

                         *NOT WORTH THE PRICE*

At a club in Washington one evening a justice of the Supreme Court was
introduced to a well-known New York business man who is given to
boasting of the large income he enjoys.

With the apparent purpose of impressing those about him, the New Yorker
remarked that, as nearly as he could tell, his income exceeded $100,000.
"I must make as much as that," said he.  "Why it costs me $80,000 a year
to live."

"Dear me," remarked the justice blandly.  "Really, that’s too much!  I
wouldn’t pay it--it isn’t worth it!"

                     *THE BAD BOY IN THE BACK SEAT*

A teacher in one of the schools near Philadelphia had one day been so
much disturbed by the buzzing of lips and shuffling of feet of the
children that she was on the verge of distraction.  Finally she said,
"Children, I cannot stand so much noise.  Please be quiet for a little
while, at least.  Let me see if you can’t be so still that you could
hear a pin drop."

Instantly every child became as still as a mouse, and the solemnity
continued until a little boy in a back seat piped out, with marked

"Well, let her drop!"

                     *NATURE NO RESPECTER OF DAYS*

There is an excellent old lady, a strong advocate of the enforcement of
the Blue Laws, who is very fond of the good things of the table, and for
this reason she does her own marketing.  One Monday morning found her,
bright and early, selecting some fine pears from her marketman.

"Are you sure," she asked, "that these pears were not picked on Sunday?"

"I don’t know ’bout that," said the man, with a grin, "but I do know
they growed on Sunday."

                          *WHAT THE AIR LACKS*

It is said that Dr. S. Weir Mitchell, returning late from a party in a
neighboring city, once awakened his son to tell him a story he thought
too good to keep till morning.  A lady had been introduced to him, and,
considering him scientific man, wished to direct her conversation

"Doctor," said she, "don’t you think the cause of so much sickness is
the want of sozodont in the air?"


While speeding along the pike in his automobile, McC---- saw a man and a
dog far ahead of him, the dog running in and out of the bushes.  As he
whizzed past a moment later the dog darted out ahead of the machine to
bark at it, was run over, and instantly killed.  McC---- stopped his
machine and returned.

"I’m very sorry, sir," he said consolingly to the man, "will that make
it all right?"  He held out a ten dollar bill.

"It will," replied the man, coolly taking the money and putting it in
his pocket.

As the automobile flew down the road he looked sympathetically at the
remains and soliloquized:

"Poor little devil!  I wonder whose dog it was?"

                        *FAVORED HIGH SALARIES*

A country minister was one day talking to one of his flock who ventured
the opinion that ministers ought to be better paid.

"I am glad to hear you say that," the minister, "I am pleased that you
think so much of the clergy; and so you think we should have bigger

"Yes," said the old man, "ye see we’d get a better class of men."

                         *AN ENERGETIC VIDOCQ*

A man who was "wanted" by the police had been photographed in six
different positions, and the pictures were duly circulated among the
police.  A few days after the set of portraits had been issued, the
chief of police in a county town wrote to police headquarters of the
city in search of the malefactor as follows:

"I duly received the pictures of the six miscreants whose capture is
desired.  I have arrested five of them, and the sixth is under
observation and will be secured shortly."

                           *A LAWYER’S JOKE*

Some time ago a well-known lawyer remitted in settlement of an account
to the publisher of a paper in the West a two dollar bill which was
returned with the brief statement: "This note is counterfeit; please
send another."

Two months passed before hearing from the lawyer again, when he
apologized for the delay, saying:

"I have been unable until now to find another counterfeit two dollar
bill, but hope the one now enclosed will suit, professing at the same
time my inability to discover what the objection was to the other, which
I thought as good a counterfeit as I ever saw."

                          *HELPING THE HORSES*

A gentleman riding on the front platform of a down-town horse-car,
noticed standing beside him a tired-looking Irishman who held a heavy
bundle on his shoulder.

"Why don’t you set that bundle down on the platform?" asked Mr. L----.

"Sure," said the Celt, "those poor horses have all they can do to dr-rag
the car and the payple.  Oi’ll carry the bundle."

                        *DISCREDITED THE STORY*

A well-known character in a small town in New Jersey, having returned
after a year’s absence, was accosted by an acquaintance as follows:

"Hello, Bill, where in the world have I you been?  I heard you were dead
long ago."

"I heerd o’ that meself," Bill replied, "but I knowed it was a lie soon
as I heerd it."

                        *A LAW-ABIDING CITIZEN*

Representative H----, of Iowa, sent some garden seeds to a constituent
one spring.  They were enclosed in one of the regular franked government
envelopes, bearing the words: "Penalty for private use three hundred
dollars."  A few days later, H---- received this letter:

"DEAR MR. H----: I don’t know what to do with those garden seeds you
sent me.  I notice it is three hundred dollars fine for private use.  I
don’t want to use them for the public; I want to plant them in my
private garden, and can’t afford to pay three hundred dollars for the
privilege.  Won’t you see if you can fix it so I can use them privately,
for I am a law-abiding citizen and do not want to commit any crime."


Two Irishmen were arguing in regard to the spiritualistic leanings of
the late Ferdinand J. Dreer.

"Well," said one, "he moight have been a bit foolish an’ belaved in
banshee an’ the loike, but he knew enough to have himself cr-remated."

"An’ do yez be thinkin’ that’s a good thing?" said the other.

"Why, mon, I do that!  Whin yez is cr-remated yez can have the remains
put in a tin box and kerry thim ar-round in your vist pocket wid yez."

                          *THE RESPECTFUL SON*

The obedient boy is a treasure, but in trying to be polite he sometimes
slips up. The father of this lad had brought him up to be courteous to
his elders on all occasions.  Upon going to a distant school, his father
had told him to telegraph home "Yes," if he found everything
satisfactory and had arrived safely. He did so, but the busy parent had
forgotten the arrangement and, being puzzled, telegraphed back, "Yes,
what?"  The answer came, "Yes, sir."

                      *A JOKE IN A SERIOUS PLACE*

Certainly no one would think of reading a dictionary for amusement or
pleasure--as the Irishman said, he would lose the thread of the story in
the great mass of detail.  Nor would one expect to find jokes in such a
book, barring Mark Twain’s about the carbuncle.  But that learned and
otherwise serious dictionary, the Century, contains at least one
laughable entry.

Under the word "question" is the following:

"To pop the question--see pop."

                          *INSIDE INFORMATION*

A Christian Scientist, while walking in the country, met a small boy
sitting under an apple-tree doubled up with pain.

"My little man," she said, "what is the matter?"

"I ate some green apples," moaned the boy, "and oh, how I ache!"

"You don’t ache," answered the apostle of Mrs. Eddy; "your pain is
imagination. It’s all in your mind."

The boy looked up in grave astonishment at such a statement and then
replied in a most positive manner:

"That’s all right; you may think so, but I’ve got inside information."

                            *ADJOINING LAND*

A man soliciting aid for foreign missions, was refused with the reply:
"I don’t believe in foreign missions.  I want what I give to benefit my

"Well," rejoined the caller, "whom do you regard as your neighbors?"

"Why, those around me."

"Do you mean those whose land joins yours?"


"How much land do you hold?"

"About five hundred acres."

"And how far through the earth do you think you own?"

"Why, I have never thought of it before, but I suppose I own half-way

"Exactly.  I suppose you do; and I want this money for the heathen whose
land adjoins yours at the bottom."

                              *VAIN HOPES*

The principal, in questioning the boys of the lower classes of a school,
asked them many questions as to citizenship. At last she came to an
all-important question.

"Now," she said slowly, "as every boy has ambition, I would like to know
how many boys in this room would like to be president of the United

Every boy, save one, raised his hand. The teacher looked in a surprised
manner at the little fellow whose hand remained in his lap.

"Why, Bob," she exclaimed, "haven’t you any desire to become president
of this great country?"

"I’d like to, all right," replied Bob, mournfully, "but ’tain’t no use.
I’m a Democrat."

                             *AT THE FERRY*

A colored man of Alabama who ran a ferry was one day thus accosted by a
poor white man:

"Uncle Mose, I want to cross but haven’t got no money."

Uncle Mose scratched his head.

"Doan you got no money ’t all?" he queried.

"No," said the wayfaring stranger, "I haven’t a cent."

"But it done cost you but three cents," insisted Uncle Mose, "ter cross
de ferry."

"I know," said the white man, "but I haven’t got three cents."

Uncle Mose was in a quandary.

"Boss," he said, finally, "I done tell ye what, er man what’s not got
three cents am jes’ ez well off on dis side ob de ribber as on de

                            *WELL SUPPLIED*

Little Tommy sat away back in church with his mamma.  It was his first
experience.  Everything was wonderful to him. By and by the collection
was taken, but imagine the surprise of Tommy’s mother when the usher
passed the plate to hear Tommy say:

"No, thank you, sir, got some money of my own."

                            *A HUNGRY MULE*

A young mule had been shipped on a freight train to a farmer in Fauquier
County, Virginia.  A tag, with shipping directions thereon, had been
tied securely around his neck with a rope, but, in the course of the
journey, the mule’s hunger, and natural depravity had tempted him to
chew up both tag and rope.  This gave the negro brakeman great concern.
He hurried to the conductor in the caboose.

"Marse George," he cried, "for de Lawd, where yo’ specs to put off dat
mule?  ’E done eat up where ’es gwine."

                       *WHY SNAKES WERE CREATED*

Little Margie had spent all her life in the country and, living near the
mountains, had frequently heard of the large snakes to be found in the
many holes and crevices of their rocky slopes.  Her mother, who was
greatly afraid of the reptiles, had one day remarked that she could see
no use for such loathsome creatures and wondered why they were created.

The next morning Margie sat in a brown study, her chin upon her hand.
Presently, looking up, she said:

"Mamma, I know why God made snakes."

"Why, dear?" asked her mother.

"When He got through makin’ the world it was full of holes, so He made
snakes to fill up the holes," the child explained.

                     *FORGOT WHAT ELECTRICITY WAS*

"Mr. Blank, can you tell us what electricity is?"

Mr. Blank squirmed in his seat, hemmed and hawed for a time, and finally

"I did know, professor, but I’ve forgotten."

The professor gazed at the student with an expression of unspeakable
sorrow.  Then he said sadly:

"Mr. Blank, you do not know what you have done.  Alas! what a sad loss
to science!  You are the only man that ever lived who has known what
electricity is--and you have forgotten."

                             *NOT THE SAME*

A young woman who had recently taken charge of a small kindergarten,
entered a trolley car the other day, and as she took her seat smiled
pleasantly at a gentleman sitting opposite.  He raised his hat, but it
was evident that he did not know her.

Realizing her error, she said, in tones audible throughout the entire

"Oh, please excuse me!  I mistook you for the father of two of my

She left the car at the next corner.

                             *AT ANY COST*

A darky preacher was lost in the happy selection of his text, which he
repeated in vigorous accents of pleading.

"Oh, bredern, at de las’ day dere’s gwine to be sheep an’ dere’s gwine
to be goats.  Who’s gwine to be de sheep, an’ who’s gwine to be de

A solitary Irishman who had been sitting in the back of the church,
listening attentively, rose and said:

"_Oi’ll_ be the goat.  Go on; tell us the joke, Elder.  Oi’ll be the


Mrs. D---- decided to move into the country for the summer, and was both
surprised and delighted to learn that an old friend of hers resided in
the same place.  Meeting this friend on the street, Mrs. D---- said:

"I am quite a near neighbor of yours now; I have taken a house by the

"Oh, I do hope you will drop in some day," replied the friend.

                           *WAS HE ANSWERED?*

A Bishop in full robes of office, with his gown reaching to his feet,
was teaching a Sunday-school class.  At the close he said he would be
glad to answer any questions.

A little hand went up, and he asked:

"Well, my boy?"

"Can I ask?" said the boy.

"Certainly," said the Bishop, "what is it?"

"Well," asked the boy, "is dem all you’ve got on, or do you wear pants
under dem?"

                         *NOT THAT KIND OF EGG*

A vegetarian sitting next to a stranger in a restaurant before long took
occasion to advertise his creed by telling him that all meat was
injurious, and that the human diet should be strictly vegetarian.

"But," replied the stranger, "I seldom eat meat."

"You just ordered eggs," said the vegetarian.  "An egg is practically
meat; because it eventually becomes a bird."

"The kind of eggs I eat never become birds," answered the stranger

"Good heavens!" cried the vegetarian. "What kind of eggs do you eat?

"Principally boiled eggs," said the stranger.

                          *KNEW HIS BUSINESS*

Two young men entered a café of a well-known city hotel the other
evening. It happened that a new and very young wine clerk was behind the
bar and the two customers resolved to have some fun with him.

"Give me," said one, "a seltzer water."

"And I," said the other, "will have some vicious water."

Without hesitating, the barkeeper placed a bottle of absinthe before the
last man to order.

"What’s this?" he asked.

"It’s the most vicious of anything we keep, sir," calmly replied the

                        *HOW TO SAVE GAS BILLS*

A city merchant who has a passion for reading out-of-town newspapers and
also for answering many of the advertisements he finds in them tells
this on himself:

The other day he answered an advertisement in one of the New York papers
stating that for one dollar a method for saving gas bills would be sent.
In two days he received a printed slip by mail which read: "Paste them
in a scrap-book."

                       *A DIFFERENCE OF WORDING*

A reader at the Free Library was much offended at what was considered
the incompetency of the librarian of whom she demanded a book called
"Wait a Minute."  The assistant protested she had never heard of the
volume, but the inquirer insisted that a friend had read the book and
had returned it only the day before.  A thorough search of the catalogue
failed to reveal the title recorded so the unhappy reader had to depart
without it.  Later in the day, she returned and apologized, saying the
book she wished was entitled "Tarry Thou Till I Come."

                           *THE MEANEST MAN*

The following is a conversation overheard between two small boys in a
city street not long ago.  The first boy said to the second boy:

"Gee, your father must be dreadful mean; he’s a shoemaker and you have
to wear them old shoes."

The second boy answered, "You needn’t talk; your father is mean, too,
’cause he is a dentist and your baby’s only got one tooth."

                           *TOO OLD TO LEARN*

One of the students in an Eastern university, wishing to turn an honest
penny during his vacation, decided to introduce a new and popular
cyclopædia into the country districts.  Needless to say, he had many
queer and amusing experiences. At one place he found an old farmer
working in the fields.

"I’d like to sell you a new cyclopædia," said the agent.

"Well, young feller," said the farmer, "I’d like to have one, but I’m
afeerd I’m too old to ride the thing."

                          *A NATURAL MISTAKE*

Freddie went to the country with his father and mother for a month’s
stay. The lad had been always used to city life, and naturally saw much
in the country that was new and surprising.  One day a circus came to
the village.  He with the other boys, was permitted to watch the circus
men at work.

At luncheon he astonished the household by exclaiming, "Oh, mamma! what
do you think?  I was over where they’re putting up the circus, and
they’re filling the ring full of breakfast food."

                        *A PRAYER FOR STRENGTH*

At one of our theological seminaries it is the custom for the students
to take their turns in asking a blessing before meals.  Last term the
meats had not been as tender as the students thought they should be, and
the eyes of the faculty were opened to the fact when one day a young
student offered the following blessing:

"O Lord, give us strength to eat this meat!"

                         *SORRY FOR THE QUEEN*

An English professor wrote on the blackboard in his laboratory:

"Professor Wilson informs his students that he has this day been
appointed honorary physician to her Majesty, Queen Victoria."

In the morning he had occasion to leave the room, and found on his
return that some student-wag had added to the announcement the words:

"God save the Queen."

                          *FAMILIES SUPPLIED*

Auntie (to her young niece): Guess what I know, Mary.  There’s a little
baby brother up-stairs!  He came this morning when you were asleep.

Mary: Did he?  Then I know who brought him.  It was the milkman.

Auntie: What do you mean, Mary?

Mary: Why, I looked at the sign on his cart yesterday, and it said,
"Families supplied daily."


A Philadelphia business man tells this story on himself:

"You know in this city there are two telephone companies," he said, "and
in my office I have a telephone of each company.  Last week I hired a
new office boy, and one of his duties was to answer the telephone.  The
other day, when one of the bells rang, he answered the call, and then
came in and told me I was wanted on the ’phone by my wife.

"’Which one?’ I inquired quickly, thinking of the two telephones, of

"’Please, sir,’ stammered the boy, ’I don’t know how many you have.’"

                          *HIS ANSWER CORRECT*

A young man was taking the civil service examination, and was
exasperated at the irrelevance of some of the questions.  One question

"How many British troops were sent to this country during the American

The young man shook his head for a moment, and, much annoyed, wrote the

"I don’t know, but a darned sight more than went back."

                      *THE LANDLADY’S INDIGNATION*

"Well, how did you rest last night?" asked the landlady of the new

"I didn’t rest much," he replied, "I was troubled all night with

"Sir," was the landlady’s indignant comment, "I’ve never heard such a
complaint before in my twenty-two years a housekeeper, and I’d have you
know, sir, I’ve had your betters as my boarders! Moreover," she went on,
as he began to mumble an explanation, "I do not believe you, sir, and am
willing to board you free if you find a single one in that bed."

                         *A TEMPERANCE SERMON*

At a recent dinner, Colonel McC---- made a speech in which he said that
his frequent going to dinners tended to impair his digestive apparatus.
He concluded by saying that he was somewhat in the position of the
editor of the country weekly who announced in one issue of his paper:

"For the evil effects of intemperance, see our inside."

                          *BOOKS AND AUTHORS*

A teacher in the Girls’ High School vouches for the story of an incident
which occurred during the examination of one of her classes in English
literature.  One of the questions was:

"Give a quotation, name of book in which it appears, and name of the
author of the book."

Here is the answer turned in by one of the girls:

"The Lord’s Prayer, the Bible, by God."

                           *WHAT HE HAD READ*

An unlettered Irishman’s application to the Court of Naturalization
resulted in the following dialogue:

Judge: "Have you read the Declaration of Independence?"

Applicant: "No, sir."

Judge: "Have you read the Constitution of the United States?"

Applicant: "No, sir."

Judge: "Have you read the history of the United States?"

Applicant: "No, sir."

Judge: "No?  Well, what have you read?"

Applicant: "Oi have some red hair on the back of me neck, your honor."

                           *THE ELDER’S NEED*

Bishop Potter tells of an incident that occurred at a negro
camp-meeting.  The presiding elder had a voice like a fog-horn and used
it to the full in exhortation.

"Lord," he prayed, "give us power! Give us, Lord, power!  We want power,
oh, Lord!  Power is what we want--more power!  Give us power we beseech

"Elder," came a voice from the seats, "yo’ is shuh wrong.  ’Tain’t power
what yo’ need, but idees."

                        *THE NUMBER INCOMPLETE*

Perhaps he invented the story, but a well-known photographer tells this
for a fact.  A woman entered his studio.

"Are you the photographer?"

"Yes, madam."

"Do you take children’s pictures?"

"Yes, certainly."

"How much do you charge?"

"Three dollars a dozen."

"Well," said the woman, sorrowfully, "I’ll have to see you again.  I’ve
only got eleven."

                            *NONE TO INJURE*

It is told of a certain normal school professor, that a student once
asked him whether peroxiding the hair is injurious to the brain.

"No," replied the professor, positively.

"Why, I’ve heard it is," said the student.

"No," repeated the professor.  "Any person who peroxides the hair hasn’t
any brain to injure."

                           *DOUBTFUL PRAISE*

During the Civil War an old negro was overheard praying.  "Oh, Lord," he
said, "bress the Union soldiers!  Bress General Grant!  Oh, Lord, he is
coming down here to save us.  Oh, bress General Grant!  He has a white
face, but he’s got a black heart."

                         *BRITISH PERSPICACITY*

Charles Francis Adams was escorting an English friend about Boston.
They were viewing the different objects of attraction and came finally
to Bunker Hill. They stood looking at the splendid monument, when Mr.
Adams remarked:

"This is the place, sir, where Warren fell."

"Ah!" replied the Englishman, evidently not very familiar with American
history.  "Was he seriously hurt by his fall?"

Mr. Adams looked at his friend. "Hurt!" said he, "he was killed, sir."

"Ah! indeed!" the Englishman replied, still eying the monument and
commencing to compute its height in his own mind.  "Well, I should think
he might have been--falling so far."

                             *A FUNNY DOG*

Mildred is a bright little girl of six. The other day she was with her
mother in the park when she saw a dog whose species was entirely new to

That evening she thus described it to her father:

"It was such a funny dog, father; it looked about a dog and a half long,
and only half a dog high; and it had only four legs, but looked as if it
ought to have six."

Needless to say, the father recognized from her graphic description that
Mildred had seen a dachshund.

                           *A LINCOLN STORY*

In 1862 an intimate friend of President Lincoln visited him in
Washington, finding him rather depressed in spirits as the result of the
reverses then repeatedly suffered by the Federal troops.

"This being President isn’t all it is supposed to be, is it, Mr.
Lincoln?" said his visitor.

"No," Lincoln replied, his eye twinkling for a moment.  "I feel
sometimes like the Irishman who, after being ridden on a rail, said: ’If
it wasn’t for the honor av th’ thing, I’d rather walk.’"

                         *MIGHT HAVE TAKEN IT*

An old negro was taken ill and called in a physician of his own race to
prescribe for him; but the old man did not seem to improve, and
eventually a white physician was summoned.  Soon after his arrival, Dr.
---- felt the old man’s pulse for a moment and then examined his tongue.

"Did your other doctor take your temperature?" he asked.

"I don’t know, boss," the sick man answered feebly, "I hain’t missed
anything but my watch as yit."

                        *A NEW LEAF IN THE BOOK*

A New York man recently gained a Missouri girl for his bride by the
elopement method.  The girl was somewhat romantic, and when the ceremony
had been performed and the telegram sent apprising her parents of what
had taken place, she looked soulfully up into the eyes of her husband
and said, "Dear, we have added a leaf to our book of life to-day,
haven’t we?"

"Yes," replied the happy groom, "I guess it must be the fly-leaf."

                          *A POWERFUL REMEDY*

One day, while running a fox, Major ---- was violently thrown and
rendered insensible.  Until a doctor could be procured, his old colored
servant was asked to care for him.  When the doctor arrived, he found
the major quietly smoking on his veranda, and was curious to know what
medicine had effected such miraculous results.  Uncle John, being
questioned, explained his mode of treatment as follows:

"Massa bus’ his insides an’ I give him allum an’ rozum."

"What for?" asked the astonished physician.

"De allum to draw de parts togidder an’ de rozum to sodder dem."

                            *DAMAGES ENOUGH*

An old colored woman was seriously injured in a railway accident.  One
and all her friends urged the necessity of suing the wealthy railroad
corporation for damages.

"I ’clar’ to gracious," she scornfully replied to their advice, "ef dis
ole nigga ain’t done git more’n nuff o’ damages! What I’se wantin’ now
and what I’se done gwine to sue dat company foh is repairs."

                          *COALS TO NEWCASTLE*

A benevolent old gentleman one day saw a rural-looking man sitting on a
stone wall swinging his legs and gazing earnestly at the telegraph
wires.  Going over to the yokel he said:

"Waiting to see a message go ’long, eh?"

The man grinned and said, "Ay."

The benevolent old gentleman got on the wall and for the next quarter of
an hour tried hard to dispel his ignorance.

"Now," he said at last, "as you know something about the matter, I hope
you will spread your knowledge among your mates on the farm."

"But I don’t work on a farm," replied the rural citizen.

"Where, then, may I ask?"

"Me and my mates are telegraph linesmen and we are testing a new wire."

                          *KNEW HOW TO GET IT*

A prominent New Yorker has a wife who is a model of all the domestic
virtues.  Among her accomplishments is a talent for bread-making and she
naturally takes great pride in having her loaves turn out well.  One
evening after setting her bread as usual, her eight-year-old son came
running up-stairs crying, "Mamma, mamma, a mouse has jumped into your
bread pan!"

The good woman was much perturbed. "Did you take him out?" she asked.

"No’m, but I did just as well.  I threw the cat in, an’ she’s diggin’
after him to beat the band!"

                              *STILL LOST*

Sir C. Purdon Clarke, during his New York visit, often went to the
Metropolitan Museum unaccompanied, and walked homeward through Central
Park.  One afternoon, near the Obelisk, he saw a scantily clad woman
crying, and spoke to her.

"I want to go to the Brooklyn bridge," she explained, "and I’ve lost my

Unaccustomed to New York street mendicants, the London art enthusiast
supplied sympathy, directions as to route, and a liberal allowance of
car fare.  Three days afterward he was stopped by the same woman, who
again wanted to go to the Brooklyn bridge.

"Goodness gracious!" exclaimed Sir Purdon, "haven’t you got to the
bridge yet?"

                       *A STORY OF LLOYD OSBORNE*

Lloyd Osborne, kinsman and collaborator of Robert Louis Stevenson,
called on the cashier of a leading magazine one day, after vainly
writing several times for a check due him.

"I am sorry," explained the cashier, "but Colonel So-and-So who always
signs our checks, is confined at home with the gout."

"But, my dear man," expostulated the author-collector, "does he sign
them with his feet?"

                             *DIDN’T MIND*

"I suppose, Jerry," said the eminent statesman, looking through his
pocket-book for a new dollar bill, "like a lot of other folks nowadays,
you would rather have clean money?"

"Oh, that’s all right, Senator," said the cabman.  "I don’t care how you
made your money."

                            *NOT UP-TO-DATE*

Thomas A. Edison is very fond of children.  While on a visit recently he
was endeavoring to amuse the son of the host, when the youngster asked
him to draw an engine.  Mr. Edison promptly set to work, and, thinking
it would please the child, he added a couple of extra smokestacks and
several imaginary parts. When the plan was completed the boy eyed it
critically; then he turned to the inventor with disapproval in every

"You don’t know much about engines, do you?" he said with infantile
frankness.  "Engines may have been that way in your time, but they’ve
changed a whole lot since then."

                            *LION AT LARGE*

At a certain school, in the "jograffy" class, the teacher had been at
great pains to define and impress upon the children the meaning of the
word "equator," defined as "an imaginary line which surrounds the
world."  When by repetition they were thought to have it letter perfect,
she complimented them and told them to repeat it at home, and surprise
their parents with the extent of their knowledge.

"Uncle, have you ever seen a quator?" said one little tot.

"No, my dear, I don’t even know what it is."

"Why, it’s a menagerie lion that runs round the world."

                      *CHARACTERISTIC PORTRAITURE*

A young man in a New England town started in the livery business, and
one of the first things he did was to have a sign painted representing
himself holding a mule by the bridle.  He was particularly proud of this
stroke of business enterprise, and asked of his wife:

"Is that not a good likeness of me?"

"Yes," she replied, "it is a perfect picture of you; but who is the
fellow holding the bridle?"

                           *INNOCENCE ABROAD*

An old Southern darky was sent for the first time to the post-office to
mail four letters, and was told to buy stamps for them.

"Boss," he said, looking in through the stamp window, "how much do it
tek ter sen’ fo’ letters for Massa Johnson?"

"Eight cents," replied the clerk, from within the window.

"Dat so?" interjected the negro.

"Yes, uncle."

The old darky took out a leather bag and worried from it eight coppers.
Laying these on the counter, he said:

"Well, yo’ c’n let ’em go ’long."

"But where are the letters?" asked the clerk.

"Whar is day?  Why, I done drapt ’em in de hole ’roun’ yonder."


There was a darky in southern Tennessee named Eph. Friday, who died a
short time ago.  Eph. was neither a member of a church nor of a lodge
and thus had no one to deliver an address or prayer at his burial.  At
last an old uncle consented to say a few remarks for the departed soul.
As the coffin was being lowered into the grave the old uncle said to the
assembled mourners:

"Eph. Friday, we trusts you hab gone to de place whar we spects you

                        *FOLLOWING INSTRUCTIONS*

An army officer, in his expense list on Government service, put down:

"Porter, ten cents."

The officer was requested to report to the War Office, where he was

"While executing public duty refreshments are not chargeable to the

"The item does not represent refreshments," replied the officer, "but a
fee to a carrier."

"You should have said ’porterage,’" was then explained to him.

When the officer had occasion to take a hansom, remembering
instructions, he wrote in his accounts:

"Cabbage, fifty cents."

                           *A CHEERFUL GIVER*

Bobby’s father had given him a ten-cent piece and a quarter of a dollar,
telling him he might put one or the other on the contribution plate.

"Which did you give, Bobby?" his father asked when the boy came home
from church.

"Well, father, I thought at first I ought to put in the quarter," said
Bobby, "but then just in time I remembered ’The Lord loveth a cheerful
giver,’ and I knew I could give the ten-cent piece a great deal more
cheerfully, so I put that in."


Vincent was altogether too garrulous in school to please his teachers.
Such punishments as the institution allowed to be meted out were tried
without any apparent effect upon the boy, until at last the head master
decided to mention the lad’s faults upon his monthly report.

So the next report to his father had these words:

"Vincent talks a great deal."

Back came the report by mail duly signed, but with this written in red
ink under the comment:

"You ought to hear his mother."

                              *AN EXAMPLE*

The teacher was explaining to her scholars the meaning of the word
"transparent."  "Anything," she said, "is called transparent that can be
seen through.  Now, Willie, can you give me an example?"

"Yes, ma’am," replied the boy.  "A hole in the fence at the baseball

                            *POINT OF VIEW*

A Wilkesbarre woman recently engaged as nurse a Scotch girl just come to
this country.

It appears that one Sunday the lady induced the nurse, who is the
strictest sort of Presbyterian, to attend a beautiful church just
erected in Wilkesbarre.

When the girl returned her mistress asked her if she hadn’t found the
church a fine one.

"Yes, ma’am," responded the girl, "it is very beautiful."

"And the singing," said the lady, "wasn’t that lovely?"

"Oh, yes," replied the nurse, "it was very lovely, ma’am, but don’t you
think it’s an awful way to spend the Sabbath?"

                    *PAY INCREASED TO $4 RIGHT AWAY*

The boss was bending over a table, looking at the directory.  The new
office boy slipped up quietly and poked a note into his hand.  The
surprised boss opened it and read:

"Honored Sir--Yer pants is ripped."

                      *OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF BABES*

"Why, Mabel," said a mother to her four-year-old daughter, "you’ve got
one of your stockings on wrong side out."

"I put it on that way," explained the little miss, "’cause there’s a
hole on the other side."

                     *FOR ALL POSSIBLE EMERGENCIES*

"This is glorious!" exclaimed the fair maid, as the automobile struck a
smooth stretch of country road, and the young man let the machine go at
full speed. "But who are those two men that have been following us in a
runabout all morning?"

"Never mind them," he replied.  "One is the repair man, and the other’s
the surgeon."

                           *TIME FOR CHANGE*

Not long ago three scientific gentlemen from an Eastern institution
visited a certain Montana mine.  One of the men was evidently of a most
nervous temperament, and on the ascent, by means of the usual bucket, he
thought he perceived signs of weakness in the rope by which the bucket
was suspended.

"How often," inquired he of the attendant, when the party was about
half-way up, "how often do you change these ropes?"

"Oh, about every three months," carelessly replied the attendant.  Then
he added thoughtfully, "We’ll change this one to-morrow, if we get up

                           *INCOME DWINDLED*

An old negro who had been working for a cotton planter for many years,
came to his employer and said:

"I’se gwine to quit, boss."

"What’s the matter, Mose?"

"Well, sah, yer manager, Mistah Wintah, ain’t kicked me in de las’ free

"I ordered him not to kick you any more.  I don’t want anything like
that around my place."

"Ef I don’t git any more kicks I’se gwine to quit.  Every time Mistah
Wintah used to kick and cuff me when he done git mad, he always git
’shamed of hisse’f and gimme a quarter.  I’se done los’ enuff money
a’ready wid dis heah foolishness ’bout hurtin’ mah feelin’s."

                             *GETTING EVEN*

A young bride was recently invited to a bridge luncheon, and after
spending a delightful afternoon was told by her hostess that she was in
debt to the amount of seventy-five dollars.

Mrs. ----, unaware that she had been playing for money, mournfully
confided her woes to her husband, and he immediately wrote a check for
seventy-six dollars and fifty cents and sent it to the hostess.

The hostess, believing that a mistake had been made, informed him that
he had sent a dollar and a half too much. Mr. ----, however, returned it
with the curt statement that the seventy-five dollars settled the bridge
score, and the balance was for his wife’s luncheon.

                           *CHARGED THE JURY*

By some peculiar election twist, an old negro was elected a justice of
the peace in the backwoods of Georgia.

His first case happened to be one in which the defendant asked for a
trial by jury.  When the testimony was all in and the argument had been
concluded, the justice seemed somewhat embarrassed.  Finally one of the
lawyers whispered to him that it was time to charge the jury.  Looking
at the jury with a grim, judicial air, the judge said:

"Gentlemen ob de jury, sense dis is a very small case, I’ll jes’ charge
y’all a dollar an’ a ha’f a-piece."

                          *SHOULD BE FAMILIAR*

General Horace Porter told the following:

"In the mountains of New Hampshire I met one of the colored troops, who
was still fighting nobly, driving a stage on a county route, and asked
him, ’What is your name?’

"’George Washington, sah.’

"I said: ’That is a name that is well known to everybody in this

"’I reckon, sah, it ought to be.  I’se been drivin’ heah evah since da

                           *HE COULD CURE IT*

Dr. William Osler, of Johns Hopkins and Oxford, tells this story:

An old darky quack, well known in a certain section of the South, was
passing the house of a planter whose wife was reported to be dangerously
ill.  Stopping at the gate he called to one of the hands:

"I say, Rastus, how’s the missus?"

"Well," replied Rastus, "the doctah done say dis mawnin’ dat she

"Humph!  Dat ain’t nothin’, chile," said the old quack, with an air of
superior wisdom.  "Why, I’ve done cured convalescence in twenty-foah

                       *THE NEW NATURAL HISTORY*

A hard-working fancy dealer had ransacked the whole shop in his efforts
to please an old lady who wanted to purchase a present--"anything real
nice"--for her granddaughter.  For the fifteenth time she picked up and
critically examined a neat little satchel.

"Are you quite sure that this is genuine alligator skin?" she inquired.

"Positive, madam," quoth the dealer. "I shot that alligator myself."

"It looks rather soiled," said the lady.

"That, madam, is where it struck the ground when it tumbled off the

                          *DURABILITY WANTED*

A New York editor tells a story of a man who was the father of twelve
children, all of whom had been rocked to sleep by the same toe and in
the same cradle.  The toe stood it all right, but the cradle had begun
to show signs of wear toward the end of the rocking period of the

"John," said the wife one day, looking fondly at the cradle at her side,
"this old cradle has done good service, but it is about worn out.  I am
afraid it is nearly gone!"

"That’s right," assented the husband. Reaching into his pocket he pulled
out a ten dollar bill.  "Here you are.  Next time you go to the city get
a new one. Get a good one this time; one that’ll last."

                            *MEN NOT EQUAL*

Some years ago the Chief Justice of the United States found that the
tire of one of his wheels was loose and kept slipping off.  Coming to a
little stream he drove into it and got one little section of the wheel
wet; then drove out and backed his horse, and the same part of the wheel
went into the water again.  Thus he kept going backward and forward, all
the time wetting the same part of the wheel.

A negro saw the situation and told the justice to back into the water
again.  He did so, and the negro took hold of the spokes of the wheel
and, turning it slowly, soon had it wet all around.

"Why, I never thought of that," cried the chief justice.

"Well," replied the darky, "some men just nat’ly have more sense than

                          *CRUELTY OF SCIENCE*

A little boy was once given two images of plaster, coated on the outside
with pink sugar.  He wanted to eat the images, but he was warned on no
account to do so.

"They are poison," he was told.  "If you eat them, it will kill you."

However, the boy was dubious.  He been cheated before this by grown-up
people.  Finally he had a young friend to spend the day with him, and
that night it was discovered that one of the images had disappeared.
His mother, nearly frantic, rushed to him.

"Harold," she said, "where is that pink image?"

Harold frowned, as he answered defiantly: "I gave it to Richard, and if
he’s alive to-morrow, I’m going to eat the other one myself."

                          *A LITERAL SCHOLAR*

A professor of the Cornell Law School tells the following story of a
student in one of his freshmen classes:

The members of the class had been answering questions in moot-court, and
the subject under discussion was a cow which had been killed by a
railway train. Each student was required to fill out a paper on the

"This brilliant youth," says the professor, "wrote with all seriousness
after ’Disposition of the Carcass’: ’Mild and gentle.’"

                       *ESTABLISHED HIS IDENTITY*

In a Kentucky court room, a prominent lawyer of that state was defending
a prisoner charged with horse stealing, and a witness was swearing as to
the identity of the stolen horse.

"How do you know this is the same horse?" asked the lawyer.

"Why, I just know it is," said the witness.

"Well, how?" again asked the man of law.

"I can’t tell exactly how; but I know it is as well as I know that you
are General H----."

"Well, how do you know that I am General H----?"

"Because just before dinner I heard Mr. C---- say, ’General H----, let’s
go and take a drink, and you went."

                         *WAS REMARKED BEFORE*

A certain good clergyman was once riding in a city street-car, and when
passing a large and very handsome church a fellow-passenger turned to
him and said:

"If these Christians would stop building fine churches and give the
money to the poor, it would be more to their credit."

"I’ve heard that remark before," was the quiet rejoinder.

"Indeed! and by whom, may I ask?"

"Judas Iscariot!" was the crushing answer.

                            *A NOVEL PULPIT*

A Washington correspondent of a religious paper recently assigned to the
Rev. Dr. S---- a rather novel pulpit. The Doctor had preached from the
text, "The gates of hell shall not prevail against you."  He must have
been not a little surprised, if he saw the account of the sermon, to
read in the words of the correspondent, "Dr. S---- then preached from
the gates of hell."

                        *CAUGHT IN HIS OWN NET*

Mr. S---- was counsel in a will case for the contestants, who were
endeavoring to show that the testator was of unsound mind.  One of the
dead man’s friends was being examined.

"Did not the old man talk to himself when he was alone?" interrogated
the lawyer.

"I do not know," replied the witness.

"What!" exclaimed the attorney, "you do not know, and yet you claim to
be an intimate friend of his!  How can you explain your ignorance of
this fact?"

"Because," replied the man, undisturbed, "I was never with him when he
was alone."

                           *WHAT SHE WANTED*

An old lady on her first railroad trip remarked the bell cord overhead,
and was told by a mischievous boy that it was to ring when it was
desired to get anything to eat.

Shortly afterward the old lady reached her umbrella up to the cord and
gave it a vigorous pull.  The whistle sounded, brakes were put on, the
train began to slacken its speed.  Presently the conductor came rushing
through the train and asked:

"Who pulled the bell?"

"I did," replied the old lady, meekly.

"Well, what do you want?" snapped the official, impatiently.

"You may bring me some ham sandwiches and a cup of tea, if you will."

                              *NO WONDER*

A certain well-known scientist in Washington was left in charge of his
family of small children, as his wife expected to be absent some hours.
Upon her return in the early evening she found the house unusually
quiet, and wished to know what had become of the children.

The husband explained that, as they had been rather noisy he himself had
put them to bed without waiting for her return.

"I hope they gave you no trouble," she said.

"No," replied the scientist, "with the exception of the one in the cot
here. He objected a good deal to my undressing him and putting him to

The wife went to inspect the cot.

"Why," she exclaimed, "that’s little Sammy from next door!"

                       *WAS IT MONEY HE WANTED?*

A professor in a Washington law school had occasion to illustrate to his
class the smallness of the world. "Gentlemen," he said, "let me state my
own experience.  While in Paris last summer I met a man from my own home
town; then again in Venice I met him; and again in London.  This year
while visiting Yellowstone Park, I met him again, and----"

"I say, professor," broke in one of the class, "wouldn’t it have been
better to have paid the man instead of keeping him following you that

                         *REVERSED BLACKSTONE*

A certain justice of the peace in a Western town had reached a
conclusion as to a question of law highly satisfactory to himself.  He
refused to entertain an argument by the opposing counsel.

"If your honor pleases," counsel pleaded, "I should like to cite a few
authorities upon the point."

"The court knows the law and is thoroughly advised in the premises,"
snapped the justice.

"It was not," continued counsel, "with an idea of convincing your honor
that you were wrong, but I did want so much to show you what a fool old
Blackstone was."

                         *VALUE OF ADVERTISING*

At a recent political meeting, the speakers were much disturbed by a man
who called constantly for a Mr. Henry. Whenever a new speaker came on
this man bawled out, "Henry!  Henry!  I call for Mr. Henry!"

After several interruptions of this kind, a very young man ascended the
platform and began to speak, when again came the call for Mr. Henry.
The chairman now arose and remarked that it would oblige the audience if
the gentleman would refrain from any further calls, as Mr. Henry was now

"Is that Mr. Henry?" cried the disturber of the meeting.  "Why, that’s
the little cuss that told me to holler!"

                             *A PAT RETORT*

A young Western man applied to Richard Olney, when Secretary of State,
for the position of consul at one of the smaller Chinese ports.

"Are you aware, Mr. Blank, that I never recommend to the President the
appointment of a consul unless he speaks the language of the country to
which he desires to go?  Now, I suppose, you do not speak Chinese?"

Whereupon the Westerner grinned broadly.  "If, Mr. Secretary," said he,
"you will ask me a question in Chinese, I shall be happy to answer it."

He got the appointment.

                         *THEORY AND PRACTICE*

"There is a woman of my acquaintance," says a physician, "who has more
ideas with respect to scientific hygiene than has a whole colony of
physicians. She is unmistakably ’up’ on microbes and bacteria.

"A friend was one day engaged in conversation with this lady, which
incidentally touched upon her hobby, when the little girl of the
household appeared.

"’Mamma,’ said she, ’I would like to go over to Katharine’s for a

"’And why?’ asked the mother.

"’Oh,’ explained the scientifically reared youngster to the utter horror
of her careful mother, ’I lent her my chewing gum yesterday, and now I
want it myself.’"

                         *AS HE UNDERSTOOD IT*

"During the taking of a religious census of the District of Columbia one
winter," relates a Representative from Tennessee, "a couple of young
ladies who were engaged in the work stopped at my home on Capitol Hill,
and when the bell rang it was answered by the negro boy I brought from
Tennessee with me.  One of the ladies asked him:

"’Will you please tell me who lives here?’

"’Yessum; Mistah Johnsing,’ was the answer.

"’Is he a Christian?’

"’No, ma’am.  He’s er Congressman from Tennersee.’"

                             *"OF COURSE"*

A husband had given his wife a sum of money and shown her how to deposit
it in the bank, and how to pay her little bills thereafter with checks.
About a month later she came to him in a high state of indignation.

"Harry," she said, "the other day the bank sent me a note saying I had
overdrawn my account and they wanted five dollars and a quarter to
balance it.  I sent it to them right away, but they were not satisfied.
They are still bothering me."

"You say you sent the five and a quarter?"

"I did, that very day," said she.

"That’s strange," he commented; "how did you send it?"

"Why, I sent them a check, of course."

                           *HOW TO FOOL THEM*

It had long been the custom of a certain Vassar professor to call on the
young ladies at recitations in alphabetical order, and it did not take
the girls long to figure out just when their turns would come, and
neglect or prepare the lessons, accordingly.  After years of this system
the professor was grieved to find out how the young Portias were taking
advantage of him.  He chided the girls severely, adding:

"Since you are not to be trusted, I shall fool you by abolishing the old
method.  Hereafter I shall begin at the end of the alphabet and go

                   *WANTED TO DRESS LIKE THE OTHERS*

Little Elizabeth was allowed to stand on the landing and feast her eyes
on the handsome women in evening dress at her mother’s party.  Presently
she beckoned to her mother and anxiously asked:

"Mother, may I take off my guimpe?"

"Mercy, no," said her mother; "it is the middle of winter and you would
take your death of cold."

"Well," said the child, regretfully, "look there; nearly all the ladies
have theirs off."

                         *EVENING UP ACCOUNTS*

During the South African War, letters sent home by British soldiers had
to pass through the hands of a censor.  A certain private had sent four
or five letters home, and portions had been obliterated by the censor
and were therefore illegible on their arrival at their destination.  He
decided to even accounts with the censor, and at the foot of the next
letter he wrote: "Please look under the stamp."

At the censor’s office the letter was opened and read as usual.  The
officer in charge spent some time in steaming the stamp from the
envelope, but his feelings can be better imagined than described when he
read these words:

"Was it hard to get off?"

                        *WALKER BLAINE’S ADVICE*

In the days of the old University Club at Washington, there was a
certain objectionable person who had succeeded in gaining admission to
the club, in spite of its exclusiveness.  One day this vulgarian became
extremely noisy in the card-room; so much so that a certain indignant
member of the club blurted out:

"See here!  If you’ll resign from this organization I’ll give you five
hundred dollars."

The objectionable person left the room in high dudgeon.  Chancing to
meet on the stairway Walker Blaine, the son of the then Secretary of
State, the aggrieved man related the incident, adding: "Now what shall I
do about this?"

"I would advise you to stand pat," replied Mr. Blaine.  "I think he will
make it a thousand dollars."

                            *THE CANNY SCOT*

In an English railway compartment two travelers were seated--an American
and a keen-eyed old Scotchman.

When the guard came to take up their tickets, the latter had great
difficulty in locating his.  He kept the official waiting so long, while
he rummaged through his many pockets, that the ticket taker went on his
way, saying that he would come back to find out the result of the

When the guard had gone the American saw the lost piece of cardboard
protruding from the old fellow’s mouth and promptly notified its owner,
thinking it a case of absent-mindedness.

Whereupon the wily Scot rejoined: "Don’t you think I know it?  But the
ticket’s a month old, and I’m a-suckin’ off the date."

                             *HER "KISMET"*

A fashionable woman had a bit of statuary bearing the inscription
"Kismet."  A housemaid dusting the room asked the mistress:

"Shure, m’am, what’s the m’anin’ of the ’ritin’ on the bottom of this?"

"Oh, you mean ’Kismet.’  It means ’fate,’" replied the mistress.

Bridget was limping painfully when out with her sweetheart not long
afterward, and he asked: "What’s the matter, Bridget?"

"Faith," was the answer, "I have the most terrible corns on me kismet."

                             *GOOD REASON*

Representative Adamson, of Georgia, says that when he was judge of his
county court a fellow was before him charged with having stolen a pair
of pantaloons--they call them "britches" in Georgia. There were several
witnesses, but the evidence was rather meagre, and the accused was
acquitted.  He was told that he could go, but he remained in his seat.
His lawyer, to whose successful defense he owed his liberty, hinted to
him that he was free to depart, but he didn’t budge.

"I don’t want to go," said the fellow.

"And why?" asked the lawyer.

"Let the witnesses go first."


"Why, sir, I’ve got on the ’britches’ I stole."

                              *WISE CHILD*

Down at the seashore small Miss Margery, aged four, was walking along
the bluff with a friend of her mother’s, who had accompanied the family
on a day’s outing.

"Don’t go so near the edge," cautioned the child’s companion, as the
venturesome little one frolicked in the dangerous places, and as the
advice was unheeded, added: "It won’t be my fault if you fall over."

"No," said Margery, "but you’ll be the one blamed for it."

                             *SIMILAR KIND*

"Now, boys," said the schoolmaster during an examination in geography,
"what is the axis of the earth?"

Johnny raised his hand promptly.

"Well, Johnny, how would you describe it?"

"The axis of the earth," said Johnny, proudly, "is an imaginary line
which passes from one Pole to the other, and on which the earth

"Very good," exclaimed the teacher. "Now, could you hang clothes on that
line, Johnny?"

"Yes, sir," was the reply.

"Indeed," said the examiner, a little disconcerted, "and what sort of

"Imaginary clothes, sir."

                              *HIS WANTS*

"Would ye be so kind, ma’m, as to let me have a needle and thread?"
asked the tramp.

"Why, yes," said the housewife, "I can let you have that."

"Thank ye, ma’m.  Now, could ye let me have a bit of cloth for a patch?"

"Yes, here is some."

"Thank ye very much.  It’s a diffirunt color from my suit, I see; but
p’r’aps ye could spare some of your husband’s old clothes that this
patch will match."

"Well, I declare!  You’re clever.  I guess I’ll have to give you a

"Thank ye greatly.  I see it’s a little too large, ma’m, so would ye
kindly furnish me with a good meal to see if I can fill it?"

                           *MIGHT NOT USE IT*

A salesman was sent to call on Mr. C----, "the meanest rich man in
town," to try to induce him to purchase a lot in the new cemetery.  In a
half hour he was back again.

"Couldn’t get him, eh?" said the superintendent.

"No," said the salesman.  "He admitted that the lots were fine ones, but
he said that if he bought one he might not get the value of his money in
the end."

"Why," said the superintendent, "there’s no fear of that.  The man will
die some day, won’t he?"

"Yes," said the salesman, "but he says he might be lost at sea."

                           *CAUSE FOR MIRTH*

A professor in a certain college was giving his students a lecture on
"Scotland and the Scots."  "These hardy men," he said, "think nothing of
swimming across the Tay three times every morning before breakfast."

Suddenly a burst of laughter came from the centre of the hall, and the
professor, amazed at any one daring to interrupt him in the middle of
his discourse, angrily asked the offender what he meant by such unruly

"I was just thinking, sir," replied the student who laughed, "how the
poor Scots would get their clothes after making the third trip across."

                          *NOT SO REMARKABLE*

A school teacher who was giving a lesson on "food" was interrupted by
one of his pupils.

"Please, sir," he said, "Jimmy says he knew a baby that was brought up
on elephant’s milk, and it gained ten pounds in weight every day."

"James ought not to tell you such rubbish," said the teacher.  "Whose
baby was it that was brought up on elephant’s milk?"

"Please, sir," answered Jimmy, "it was the elephant’s."

                        *NOT LITERALLY INTENDED*

A good old Methodist, obliged to remain in the city over Sunday, started
out to attend service in one of the churches of his own faith; but
losing his way, and seeing an open church door just across the street,
he entered there, not knowing to what creed the congregation held.  As
the service progressed, his religious emotions waxed warmer and warmer,
until he finally gave vent to them by shouting out, "Praise God!"

Immediately one of the ushers tapped him on the shoulder, saying, "You
can’t do that in this church, sir."

                             *NOT POSSIBLE*

The day was warm, the children restless, the teacher impatient.  One
curly-haired boy was moving his jaws faster with chewing-gum than his
brain had ever been known to work.  His feet were in the aisle.  A smile
was on the face of more than one pupil when the teacher said:

"Take that gum out of your mouth and put your feet in."

                            *ALL HIS WEALTH*

It was at a fashionable wedding in Savannah.  The bridegroom had no
visible means of support save his father, who was rich; but when he
repeated that portion of the service he said boldly:

"’With all my worldly goods I thee endow!’"

Whereupon the father said in a stage whisper that could be heard all
over the church:

"Heavens!  There goes his bicycle!"

                           *WERE PREJUDICED*

It is known that a jury, theoretically, is composed of a set of
unprejudiced men with open minds, still there may be occasions when a
slight personal feeling invades their ranks.  Such was evidently the
thought borne in upon the tailor who, rising to state his case, and
having declined the services of a lawyer for reasons best known to
himself, looked over the jurymen and then turned to the judge.

"It’s no use for me to tell you about this case, your honor," he said,
dejectedly, "not unless you dismiss that jury and get in a new lot.
There isn’t a man among ’em but owes me something for clothes."

                          *KNEW HIS AUDIENCE*

Bishop Ames tells a story of a slave master in Missouri in the olden
time of negro vassalage, who said to his chattel:

"Pompey, I hear you are a great preacher."

"Yes, massa, de Lord do help me powerful sometimes."

"Well, Pompey, don’t you think the negroes steal little things on the

"I’se mighty ’fraid they do, massa."

"Then, Pompey, I want you to preach a sermon to the negroes about

After a brief reflection, Pompey replied:

"You see, massa, dat wouldn’t never do, ’cause ’twould trow such a
col’ness over de meetin’."

                           *LOVE OF ACCURACY*

Mark Twain had an aged negro servant, who some time ago celebrated his
wedding anniversary by inviting in twelve friends to a ’possum dinner.
Twelve by no means marked the extent of the servant’s friends, and those
unbidden to the feast concluded that, after all, they did not think much
of it.  One of the more progressive started the report that instead of
’possum the host served plain coons.

The next day Mr. Clemens said to the servant, "Jim, I’ve found you a
truthful fellow.  I want you to tell me honestly which you had for
dinner last night, ’possum or coons?"

The old servant hesitated, but in an instant said, "Which do you mean,
Mistah Clemens, on the table or around the table?"

                           *NON-UNION LABOR*

A bookseller in Oklahoma purchased a lot of books at a sale.  Finding
several sets of Charles Dickens’s works in this stock, he decided to
make a special price on them, so he put all of them in the large show
window, with the following sign in very large letters:

"Charles Dickens Works All Week for Two Dollars."

A Kansas farmer who had drifted down that way walked up to this window.
Reading the sign he said:

"Now, that’s what’s the matter with this country.  The idea of a man
working all week for two dollars."

                         *A WEALTH OF MEANING*

This is told of a Philadelphian whose mother-in-law was alarmingly ill.
One night a physician who was attending her shook his head and said,

"She has got to go to a hot climate. Mind, I don’t mean a warm place,
but a hot one."

The son-in-law disappeared, but soon emerged from the cellar carrying an
axe. Handing it to the doctor, he exclaimed:

"Here, Doc, you do it; I can’t."

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "That Reminds Me - A Collection of Tales Worth Telling" ***

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