Best American Humorous Short Stories HTML version
The husbands took on the politely surly look required of them. The blonde son's eyes still
sought the brunette daughter, but it was furtively done and quite unsuccessfully, for the
daughter was now doing a little glaring on her own account. The blonde matron had just
swept her eyes across the daughter's skirt, estimating the fit and material of it with
contempt so artistically veiled that it could almost be understood in the dark.
The big bays swung to the brow of the hill with ease, and dashed into a small circular
clearing, where a quaint little two-story building, with a mossy watering-trough out in
front, nestled under the shade of majestic old trees that reared their brown and scarlet
crowns proudly into the sky. A long, low porch ran across the front of the structure, and a
complaining sign hung out announcing, in dim, weather-flecked letters on a cracked
board, that this was the "Tutt House." A gray-headed man, in brown overalls and faded
blue jumper, stood on the porch and shook his fist at the stage as it whirled by.
"What a delightfully old-fashioned inn!" exclaimed the pretty daughter. "How I should
like to stop there over night!"
"You would probably wish yourself away before morning, Evelyn," replied her mother
indifferently. "No doubt it would be a mere siege of discomfort."
The blonde matron turned to her husband. The pretty daughter had been looking at the
picturesque "inn" between the heads of this lady and her son.
"Edward, please pull down the shade behind me," she directed. "There is quite a draught
from that broken window."
The pretty daughter bit her lip. The brunette matron continued to stare at the shade in the
exact spot upon which her gaze had been before directed, and she never quivered an
eyelash. The young man seemed very uncomfortable, and he tried to look his apologies to
the pretty daughter, but she could not see him now, not even if her eyes had been all
They were bowling along through another avenue of trees when the driver suddenly
shouted, "Whoa there!"
The horses were brought up with a jerk that was well nigh fatal to the assortment of
dignity inside the coach. A loud roaring could be heard, both ahead and in the rear, a
sharp splitting like a fusillade of pistol shots, then a creaking and tearing of timbers. The
driver bent suddenly forward.
"Gid ap!" he cried, and the horses sprang forward with a lurch. He swung them around a
sharp bend with a skillful hand and poised his weight above the brake as they plunged at
terrific speed down a steep grade. The roaring was louder than ever now, and it became