Best American Humorous Short Stories HTML version
Mr. Buller tied a handkerchief on his head, and Mr. Podington rolled up his life-preserver
and carried it under his arm. Thus they reached the town, where Buller bought a hat,
Podington dispensed with his bundle, and arrangements were made to bring back the
"Runaway in a sailboat!" exclaimed one of the canal boatmen when he had heard about
the accident. "Upon my word! That beats anything that could happen to a man!"
"No, it doesn't," replied Mr. Buller, quietly. "I have gone to the bottom in a foundered
The man looked at him fixedly.
"Was you ever struck in the mud in a balloon?" he asked.
"Not yet," replied Mr. Buller.
It required ten days to put Mr. Buller's sailboat into proper condition, and for ten days
Mr. Podington stayed with his friend, and enjoyed his visit very much. They strolled on
the beach, they took long walks in the back country, they fished from the end of a pier,
they smoked, they talked, and were happy and content.
"Thomas," said Mr. Podington, on the last evening of his stay, "I have enjoyed myself
very much since I have been down here, and now, Thomas, if I were to come down again
next summer, would you mind--would you mind, not----"
"I would not mind it a bit," replied Buller, promptly. "I'll never so much as mention it; so
you can come along without a thought of it. And since you have alluded to the subject,
William," he continued, "I'd like very much to come and see you again; you know my
visit was a very short one this year. That is a beautiful country you live in. Such a variety
of scenery, such an opportunity for walks and rambles! But, William, if you could only
make up your mind not to----"
"Oh, that is all right!" exclaimed Podington. "I do not need to make up my mind. You
come to my house and you will never so much as hear of it. Here's my hand upon it!"
"And here's mine!" said Mr. Buller.
And they shook hands over a new compact.