Best Short Stories by Various - HTML preview

PLEASE NOTE: This is an HTML preview only and some elements such as links or page numbers may be incorrect.
Download the book in PDF, ePub, Kindle for a complete version.

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

EFFECTIVE

 

Some people are always optimists:

 

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

 

"Why?"

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

"Did he take them back?"

 

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

 

GERMAN ARITHMETIC

 

1 German equals 10 unkultured foreigners.

 

2 soldiers equal 10 civilians. 3 officers equal 12 privates.

 

4 treaties equal 8 scraps of paper.

 

5 poisoned wells equal 1 strategic retreat.

 

6 iron crosses equal 1 ruined cathedral.

 

7 Zeppelin raids equal 7 demonstrations of frightfulness.

 

8 eggs equal 8 hearty meals (common people).

 

9 eggs equal 1 appetizer (aristocracy).

 

10 deported Belgians equal 10 unmarked graves.

 

11 torpedoed neutrals equal 11 disavowals.

 

12 Gotts equal 1 Kaiser.

 

A DIFFICULT PASSAGE

 

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

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

WHERE VERMONT SCORED

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

THE LIMIT

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

"Paddy has been run over and killed."

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

NO TELLING

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Whereupon the farmer grinned and replied:

 

"Maybe you will. I am sowing hemp."

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

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

The baby tipped the scales at thirty-five pounds!

 

EVIDENCE

 

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

 

"Not guilty, sir," replied the prisoner.

 

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

 

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

 

"And what made you think he was intoxicated?"

 

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

 

A FUTURE STATESMAN

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

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

 

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

 

SMARTY!

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

HOW TO TELL A WELL-BRED DOG

 

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

 

If he has a disease calling for specialists,

 

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

 

If he costs more than a six-cylinder roadster,

 

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

 

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

 

If he refuses to wear anything but imported leather collars,

 

If he has to sleep on a silk cushion.

 

If he dies before you can get him home.

 

Then he is a well-bred dog.

 

TRY IT AND SEE

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

WHAT HE MIGHT HAVE BEEN

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

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

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

Mike paused a moment, and answered:

 

"Oi would have been a sexton."

 

CONCLUSIVE

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

WHY NOT?

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

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

 

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

 

"No, on the floor."

 

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

 

"No; I've rolled it up!"

 

HOW COULD HE KNOW?

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

The dentist looked at his assistant. "I am afraid to give him gas," he said. "Why?" asked the assistant.

 

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

 

IN ADVANCE

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

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

 

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

 

NO FREE ADVERTISING

 

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

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

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

WHY NOT?

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

THE SAME OLD HOURS

 

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

The medium, after a good deal of futile work, said to her: "The conditions this evening seem unfavorable. I can't seem to establish communication with Mr. Smith, ma'am."

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

 

WHY NOT?

 

Private Jones was summoned to appear before his captain.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

FIGURATIVELY SPEAKING

 

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

 

"How goes it?" he inquired.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

SOME SPEED

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

"He was scared stiff," said one Tommy.

 

"Did he run?" asked another.

 

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

 

A DEEP-LAID PLAN

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

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

 

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

 

ONLY ONE THING FOR HIM

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

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

 

A TEST OF FRIENDSHIP

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

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

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

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

 

BLISSFUL IGNORANCE

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

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

 

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

 

GRATEFUL TO THE DOCTOR

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

HE MIGHT BE, BUT SHE WASN'T

Dinah had been troubled with a toothache for some time before she got up enough courage to go to a dentist. The moment he touched her tooth she screamed. "What are you making such a noise for?" he demanded. "Don't you know I'm a 'painless dentist'?"

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

 

A SPORTING PROPOSITION

 

An Arkansas man who intended to take up a homestead claim in a neighboring state sought information in the matter from a friend.

"I don't remember the exact wording of the law," said the latter, "but I can give ye the meanin' of it all right. It's like this: The government of the United States is willin' to bet one hundred and sixty acres of land against fourteen dollars that ye can't live on it five years without starvin' to death."

THE PROPOSAL

He was a morbid youth and a nervous lover. Often had he wished to tell the maiden how he longed to make her all his own. Again and again had his nerve failed him. But to-night there was a "do-or-die" look in his eye.

They started for their usual walk, and rested awhile upon his favorite seat--a gravestone in the village churchyard. A happy inspiration seized him. "Maria," he said in trembling accents--"Maria! When you die--how should you like to be buried here with my name on the stone over you?"

KNEW MORE ABOUT HENS THAN HISTORY

After reading the famous poem, "The Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers," to the class, the teacher said: "As a drawing exercise suppose you each draw, according to your imagination, a picture of Plymouth Rock."

All but one little fellow set to work. He paused and finally raised his hand.

 

"What is it, Edgar?" the teacher asked.

 

"Please, ma'am," Edgar piped out, "do you want us to draw a hen or a rooster?"

 

CHARITY

 

Bishop Penhurst was talking, in Boston, about charity.

"Some charities," he said, "remind me of the cold, proud, beautiful lady who, glittering with diamonds, swept forth from a charity ball at dawn, crossed the frosty sidewalk, and entered her huge limousine.
"A beggar woman whined at the window:

"'Could ye give me a trifle for a cup of coffee, lady?'

 

"The lady looked at the beggar reproachfully.

 

"'Good gracious!' she said. 'Here you have the nerve to ask me for money when I've been tangoing for you the whole night through! Home, James.'

 

"And she snapped the window shut in the beggar's face indignantly."

 

ADVICE TO MABEL

A London man just back from the States says that a little girl on the train to Pittsburgh was chewing gum. Not only that, but she insisted on pulling it out in long strings and letting it fall back into her mouth again.

"Mabel!" said her mother in a horrified whisper. "Mabel, don't do that. Chew your gum like a little lady."

 

NOT A NATIVE

 

A New York man took a run not long ago into Connecticut, to a town where he had lived as a boy.

On his native heath he accosted a venerable old chap of some eighty years, who proved to be the very person the Gothamite sought to answer certain inquiries concerning the place. As the conversation proceeded the New Yorker said:

"I suppose you have always lived around here?"

 

"No," said the old man, "I was born two good miles from here."

 

HE GOT IT TWICE

 

They were twins. It was bathing time and from the twins' bedroom came sounds of hearty laughter and loud crying. Their father went up to find the cause.

 

"What's the matter up here?" he inquired.

 

The laughing twin pointed to his weeping brother. "Nothing," he giggled, "only nurse has given Alexander two baths and hasn't given me any at all."

TOO MUCH One of the Scottish golf clubs gives a dinner each year to the youngsters it employs as caddies. At the feast last year one of the boys disdained to use any of the forks he found at his place, and loaded his food into himself with his knife. When the ice-cream course was reached and he still used his knife, a boy who sat opposite to him, and who could stand it no longer, shouted:

"Great Scot! Look at Skinny, usin' his iron all the way round!"

 

THE DIGNITIES OF OFFICE

This story--which is perhaps true and perhaps not--is being told in many Italian messrooms. On one of his royal tours, King Victor Emmanuel spent the night in a small country town, where the people showed themselves unusually eager in caring for his comfort. So when he had gone to bed, he was surprised to be wakened by a servant who wanted to put clean sheets on his bed. However, he waited good-naturedly while it was done, and wished the servant good-night. He had dozed off to sleep, when he was roused for the second time by a rap on the door; and the servant reappeared, asking to change the sheets again.

Naturally, the King asked why the change was made so often. The servant answered reverently, "For oneself, one changes the sheets every week; for an honored friend, every day; but for a king, every hour."

FAME

 

A Long Island teacher was recounting the story of Red Riding Hood. After describing the woods and the wild animals that flourished therein, she added:

 

"Suddenly Red Riding Hood heard a great noise. She turned about, and what do you suppose she saw standing there, gazing at her and showing all its sharp, white teeth?"

 

"Teddy Roosevelt!" volunteered one of the boys.

 

NO PEACE FOR HIM

 

Willie was out walking with his mother, when she thought she saw a boy on the other side of the street making faces at her darling.

 

"Willie," asked mother, "is that horrid boy making faces at you?"

 

"He is," replied Willie, giving his coat a tug. "Now, mother, don't start any peace talk-you just hold my coat for about five minutes."

BOILED Not long ago the editor of an English paper ordered a story of a certain length, but when the story arrived he discovered that the author had written several hundred words too many.

The paper was already late in going to press so there was no alternative--the story must be condensed to fit the allotted space. Therefore the last few paragraphs were cut down to a single sentence. It read thus:

"The Earl took a Scotch high-ball, his hat, his departure, no notice of his pursuers, a revolver out of his hip pocket, and finally, his life."

 

FORCED INTO IT

 

Even the excessive politeness of some men may be explained on purely practical grounds. Of a certain suburbanite, a friend said:

 

"I heard him speaking most beautifully of his wife to another lady on the train just now. Rather unusual in a man these days."

 

"Not under the circumstances," said the other man. "That was a new cook he was escorting out."

 

HOODOOED

 

Appealing to a lady for aid, an old darky told her that through the Dayton flood he had lost everything he had in the world, including his wife and six children.

"Why," said the lady, "I have seen you before and I have helped you. Were you not the colored man who told me you had lost your wife and six children by the sinking of the Titanic?"

"Yeth, ma'am, dat wuz me. Mos' unfort'nit man dat eber wuz. Kain't keep a fam'ly nohow."

 

SAFE DEPOSIT

 

An old lady, who was sitting on the porch of a hotel at Asheville, North Carolina, where also there were a number of youngsters, was approached by one of them with this query:

 

"Can you crack nuts?"

 

The old lady smiled and said: "No, my dear, I can't. I lost all my teeth years ago."

 

"Then," said the boy, extending two hands full of walnuts, "please hold these while I go and get some more."

 

THE MATTER WITH KANSAS

Governor Capper, of Kansas, recently pointed out what he deemed to be the "matter with Kansas." The average Kansan, he said, gets up in the morning in a house made in Michigan, at the sound of an alarm clock made in Illinois; puts on his Missouri overalls; washes his hands with Cincinnati soap in a Pennsylvania basin; sits down to a Grand Rapids table; eats Battle Creek breakfast food and Chicago bacon cooked on a Michigan range; puts New York harness on a span of Missouri mules and hitches them to a South Bend wagon, or starts up his Illinois tractor with a Moline plow attached. After the day's work he rides down town in a Detroit automobile, buys a box of St. Louis candy for his wife, and spins back home, where he listens to music "canned" in New Jersey.

THE BETTER WAY

 

Charles M. Schwab, congratulated in Pittsburgh on a large war order contract which he had just received from one of the warring nations, said:

 

"Some people call it luck, but they are mistaken. Whatever success I have is due to hard work and not to luck.

 

"I remember a New York business man who crossed the ocean with me one winter when the whole country was suffering from hard times.

 

"'And you. Mr. Schwab,' the New Yorker said, 'are, like the rest of us, I suppose, hoping for better things?'

 

"'No, my friend,' I replied. 'No, I am not hoping for better things. I've got my sleeves rolled up and I'm working for them.'"

 

A HORSE PSYCHOLOGIST

Twice as the horse-bus slowly wended its way up the steep hill the door at the rear opened and slammed. At first those inside paid little heed, but the third time they demanded to know why they should be disturbed in this fashion.

"Whist!" cautioned the driver. "Don't spake so loud. He'll overhear us."

 

"Who?"

"The hoss. Spake low. Shure Oo'm desavin' the crayture. Every toime he 'ears th' door close he thinks wan o' yez is gettin' down ter walk up th' hill, an' that sort o' raises 'is sperrits."

STILL NOT SATISFIED Mrs. Higgins was an incurable grumbler. She grumbled at everything and everyone. But at last the vicar thought he had found something about which she could make no complaint; the old lady's crop of potatoes was certainly the finest for miles round.

"Ah, for once you must be well pleased," he said, with a beaming smile, as he met her in the village street. "Everyone's saying how splendid your potatoes are this year."

 

The old lady glowered at him as she answered:

 

"They're not so poor. But where's the bad ones for the pigs?"

 

A COAXER

The latest American church device for "raising the wind" is what a religious paper describes as "some collection-box." The inventor hails from Oklahoma. If a member of the congregation drops in a twenty-five cent piece or a coin of larger value, there is silence. If it is a ten-cent piece a bell rings, a five-cent piece sounds a whistle, and a cent fires a blank cartridge. If any one pretends to be asleep when the box passes, it awakens him with a watchman's rattle, and a kodak takes his portrait.

AUTOMATIC "EFFICIENCY"

A young lady telephone operator recently attended a watch-night service and fell asleep during the sermon. At the close the preacher said, "We will now sing hymn number three forty-one--three forty-one."

The young lady, just waking in time to hear the number, yawned and said, "The line is busy."

 

THE WINNER

While Chopin probably did not time his "Minute Waltz" to exactly sixty seconds, some auditors insist that it lives up to its name. Mme. Theodora Surkow-Ryder on one of her tours played the "Minute Waltz" as an encore, first telling her audience what it was. Thereupon a huge man in a large riding suit took out an immense silver watch, held it open almost under her nose, and gravely proceeded to time her. The pianist's fingers flew along the keys, and her anxiety was rewarded when the man closed the watch with a loud slap and said in a booming voice: "Gosh! She's done it."

TAXED TO CAPACITY

A friendly American who has just arrived in London brings a story of Edison. The great inventor was present at a dinner in New York to which Count Bernstorff had also found his way. The Count spoke of the number of new ships which Germany had built since the war began. He was listened to respectfully enough, although a little coldly, because the sympathies of the party were not with him or Germany.
When he had stopped, Edison looked up and said in a still, small voice, and with a serious face:

"Must not the Kiel Canal be very crowded, your Excellency?"

 

GASTRONOMICAL

 

A man and a woman entered a café.

 

"Do you want oysters, Louise?" asked the man, as he glanced over the bill of fare.

 

"Yes, George," answered the woman, "and I want a hassock, too."

 

George nodded, and as he handed the waiter his written order, he said:

 

"Bring a hassock for the lady."

 

"Yes, sir," answered the waiter, "one hassock."

 

A moment later the waiter, apparently puzzled, approached the man, and leaning over him, said:

 

"Excuse me, sir, but I have only been here two days and do not want to make any mistakes. Will the lady have the hassock broiled or fried?"

 

A LITERAL CENSOR

 

Joe T. Marshall, formerly of Kansas, recently became the father of an eight-pound boy, and wished to cable the news to his family in America.

 

The censor refused to allow the message to go through.

 

"What's the matter?" Marshall asked indignantly.

 

"We aren't permitted to announce the arrival of Americans in France!"

 

UP TO HIM

David Belasco was smiling at the extravagant attentions that are lavished by the rich upon pet dogs. He spoke of the canine operations for appendicitis, the canine tooth crownings, the canine wardrobes, and then he said:

"How servants hate these pampered curs! At a house where I was calling one cold day the fat and pompous butler entered the drawing-room and said:

 

"'Did you ring, madam?' "'Yes, Harrison, I wish you to take Fido out walking for two hours.'

 

"Harrison frowned slightly. 'But Fido won't follow me, madam,' he said.

 

"'Then, Harrison, you must follow Fido.'"

 

NOT IN THE TACTICS

 

A company of very new soldiers were out on a wide heath, practising the art of taking cover. The officer in charge of them turned to one of the rawest of his men.

 

"Get down behind that hillock there," he ordered, sternly, "and mind, not a move or a sound!"

A few minutes later he looked around to see if they were all concealed, and, to his despair, observed something wriggling behind the small mound. Even as he watched the movements became more frantic.

"I say, you there!" he shouted, angrily, "do you know you are giving our position away to the enemy?"

 

"Yes, sir," said the recruit, in a voice of cool desperation, "and do you know that this is an anthill?"

 

A GUILTY CONSCIENCE

A young fellow who was the crack sprinter of his town--somewhere in the South--was unfortunate enough to have a very dilatory laundress. One evening, when he was out for a practice run in his rather airy and abbreviated track costume, he chanced to dash past the house of that dusky lady, who at the time was a couple of weeks in arrears with his washing.

He had scarcely reached home again when the bell rang furiously and an excited voice was wafted in from the porch:

 

"Foh de Lawd's sake! won't you-all tell Marse Bob please not to go out no moh till I kin git his clo'es round to him?'"

 

MAKING IT FIT

 

"Did you hear about the defacement of Mr. Skinner's tombstone?" asked Mr. Brown a few days after the funeral of that eminent captain of industry.

 

"No, what was it?" inquired his neighbor curiously.

 

"Someone added the word 'friends' to the epitaph." "What was the epitaph?"

 

"'He did his best.'"

 

A LESSON IN MANNERS

 

This is the way the agent got a lesson in manners. He called at a business office, and saw nobody but a prepossessing though capable-appearing young woman.

 

"Where's the boss?" he asked abruptly.

 

"What is your business?" she asked politely.

 

"None of yours!" he snapped. "I got a proposition to lay before this firm, and I want to talk to somebody about it."

 

"And you would rather talk to a gentleman?"

 

"Yes."

"Well," answered the lady, smiling sweetly, "so would I. But it seems that it's impossible for either one of us to have our wish, so we'll have to make the best of it. State your business, please!"

AN UNFORTUNATE AFFAIR

"Look here," yelled the infuriated bridegroom of a day, dashing wildly into the editor's room of the country weekly; "what do you mean by such an infernal libel on me in your account of our wedding?"

"What's the matter?" asked the editor calmly. "Didn't we say that after your wedding tour you would make your home at the Old Manse?"

 

"Yes," howled the newly made benedict, "and just see how you've spelled it."

 

And the editor looked and read:

 

After their wedding tour the newly married couple will make their home at the Old Man's.

 

CURIOSITY

"Children," said the Sunday-school superintendent, "this picture illustrates to-day's lesson: Lot was warned to take his wife and daughters and flee out of Sodom. Here are Lot and his daughters, with his wife just behind them; and there is Sodom in the background. Now, has any girl or boy a question before we take up the study of the lesson? Well, Susie?"

"Pleathe, thir," lisped the latest graduate from the infant class, "where ith the flea?"

 

THE SIMPLE POLITICAL LIFE

 

The American characteristic which demands ornaments and "fixin's" to all ceremonies, as contrasted with genuine simplicity, is thus scored by Judge Pettingill of Chanute:

"My ambition in life," said the Judge, "is to be the organizer of a lodge without flub-dub, gold tassel uniforms, red tape ritual, a regiment of officers with high-sounding titles, a calisthenic drill of idiotic signs and grips, a goat, and members who call each other 'brother.' I would name the presiding officer 'it,' and its first by-law would provide for the expulsion of the member who advocated the wearing of a lodge pin."

PIGTAILS AND MOUSTACHES

 

When Wu Ting Fang was Minister to the United States from China, he visited Chicago. A native of the Windy City said to him at a reception:

 

"Mr. Wu, I see there is a movement in China to abolish the pigtails you wear. Why do you wear the foolish thing, anyhow?"

 

"Well," countered Mr. Wu, "why do you wear your foolish moustache?"

 

"Oh, that's different," said the Chicago man; "you see I've got an impossible mouth."

 

"So I should suppose," retorted Mr. Wu, "judging from some of your remarks."

 

HIS SEARCH FOR THE PRACTICAL

 

"Now," it was explained to Aladdin, "this is a wonderful lamp. Rub it and a genie appears."

 

"I see little to that," he replied. "What I want is a lamp that won't go out on my automobile and get me pinched by a traffic cop."

 

HARD UP FOR WIND

Everything in the dear old village seemed the same to Jones after his absence of four years. The old church, the village pump, the ducks on the green, the old men smoking while their wives gossip--it was so restful after the rush and bustle of the city. Suddenly he missed something.
"Where's Hodge's windmill?" he asked in surprise. "I can only see one mill, and there used to be two."

The native gazed thoughtfully round, as if to verify the statement. Then he said slowly:

 

"They pulled one down. There weren't enough wind for two on'em!"

 

HE KNEW BRYAN

At a recent political convention two of the delegates were discussing the religious affiliations of prominent statesmen, when one of them, a Baptist, observed to the other, who was a Methodist:

"I understand that William Jennings Bryan has turned Baptist."

 

"What?" exclaimed the Methodist. "Why, that can't be!"

 

"Yes, it is," persisted the Baptist.

 

"No, sir," continued the Methodist; "it can't be true. To become a Baptist one must be entirely immersed."

 

"Yes, that is very true; but what has that to do with it?"

 

"Simply this," returned the Methodist: "Mr. Bryan would never consent to disappear from public view as long as that."

 

HIS NEED

John Hendricks, a singular Western character, awoke one morning to find himself wealthy through a rich mining strike. Soon he concluded to broaden his mind by travel, and decided to go to Europe Boarding the ship, he singled out the captain and said: "Captain, if I understand the way this here ship is constructed it's got several water-tight compartments?"

"Yes, sir."

 

"Water's all on the outside--can't none get in nohow?"

 

"No, sir."

 

"Captain," said Hendricks, decidedly, "I want one o' them compartments--I don't care what it costs extry."

ALL OR NOTHING Senator Jim Nye of Nebraska tells this story to illustrate some of the evils of prohibition. The Senator said, apropos of his visit to a "dry" town.

"After a long speech and then talking to all the magnates of the neighborhood, I went to bed dry as a powder horn. I could not sleep and as soon as it was daylight I went down into the dining room: As I sat there the mistress of the house came in and said 'Senator, you are up early.' I said: 'Yes, living in the West so long, I am afflicted with malaria, and I could not sleep.' She went over to a tea caddy, took out a bottle and said: 'Senator, this is a prohibition town, you know, but we have malaria and we find this a good antidote. I know it will do you good.'"

The Senator seized the bottle with avidity and thankfulness. He settled again in his seat by the window, more in harmony with the world. Then the head of the house came in and said: "Senator, you are up early." He replied: "Yes, malaria, you know." "Well," said the old gentleman, "we have a cure for that. This is a prohibition town; it is good thing for our work people; but I have a little safety in my locker," and he produced a bottle.

After the old gentleman left the two sons came in and said: "Senator, are you fond of livestock?" The Senator by that time was fond of everything and everybody. He said: "Yes, I love livestock, I have plenty of it on my ranch." They said: "Come out to the barn and we will show you some." They took him out to the barn, closed the doors, and said: "Senator, we know you must have had a hard time last night. We have no livestock but we have a bottle in the haymow." Senator Nye then said:

"The trouble with a prohibition town is that when you most need it you can't get it, and when it does come it is like a Western flood, too much of it."

 

BUSINESS IS BUSINESS

 

Eugene was a very mischievous little boy and his mother's patience was worn to the limit. She had spoken very nicely to him several times without effect. Finally she said:

 

"You are a perfect little heathen!"

 

"Do you mean it?" demanded Eugene.

 

"Indeed, I do," said the mother.

 

"Then, mother," said the boy, "why can't I keep that ten cents a week you gimme for the Sunday-school collection? I guess I'm as hard up as any of the rest of 'em."

 

THE BOOTBLACK'S GENEROSITY

 

When Paderewski was on his last visit to America he was in a Boston suburb, when he was approached by a bootblack who called:

 

"Shine?"

 

The great pianist looked down at the youth whose face was streaked with grime and said:

 

"No, my lad, but if you will wash your face I will give you a quarter."

 

"All right!" exclaimed the youth, who forthwith ran to a neighboring trough and made his ablutions.

 

When he returned Paderewski held out the quarter, which the boy took but immediately handed back, saying:

 

"Here, Mister, you take it yourself and get your hair cut."

 

ON DUTY ELSEWHERE

An Irish soldier had lost an eye in battle, but was allowed to continue in the service on consenting to have a glass eye in its place. One day, however, he appeared on parade without his artificial eye.

"Nolan," said the officer, "you are not properly dressed. Why is your artificial eye not in its place?"

 

"Sure, sir," replied Nolan, "I left it in me box to keep an eye on me kit while I'm on parade."

 

THE KAISER'S LAST WORD

 

Arthur Train, the novelist, put down a German newspaper at the Century Club, in New York, with an impatient grunt.

 

"It says here," he explained, "that it is Germany who will speak the last word in this war."

 

Then the novelist laughed angrily and added:

 

"Yes, Germany will speak the last word in the war, and that last word will be 'Kamerad!'"

 

A REVISED CLASSIC--THE SLEEPING BEAUTY

 

When the Prince entered the enchanted castle he noticed about it an air of unusual quiet, as if there were a meeting of the American Peace Society.

 

"Everybody is asleep," he muttered. "There isn't a single defense gun mounted on a parapet. I don't believe there is a rifle on the premises. No ammunition, either."

 

Walking rapidly upstairs, he saw a couple of servants lying prone. "This reminds me of the time I lived in the suburbs," he continued.

 

Entering one of the sleeping-rooms, he discovered the celebrated beauty, sound asleep, in the four-poster.

 

"This must be a frame-up," he observed. "I see it all. If I wake her up, I shall have to marry her."

 

He was about to pass down the stairs, when a voice stopped him.

"Well, why not?" said the voice. "The young woman has not received a modern education. She cannot drive a motor, play bridge, insist upon your going to the most fashionable restaurant and ordering eight dollars' worth of worthless imitation food, dance like a fiend, and spend money generally like the manager of an international war. She's been asleep so long that she might be just the one you want."

"By Jove!" exclaimed the Prince. "And to think I might have gone off without her!" So saying, he did the proper thing.

 

SPECIALLY ENDOWED

 

"Some un sick at yo' house, Mis' Carter?" inquired Lila. "Ah seed de doctah's kyar eroun' dar yestidy."

 

"It was for my brother, Lila."

 

"Sho! What's he done got de matter of 'im?"

"Nobody seems to know what the disease is. He can eat and sleep as well as ever, he stays out all day long on the veranda in the sun, and seems as well as anyone, but he can't do any work at all."

"He cain't--yo' says he cain't work?"

 

"Not a stroke."

 

"Law, Mis' Carter, dat ain't no disease what yo' broth' got. Dat's a gif!"

 

NO JOQUE

 

The difficulties of western journalism are illustrated by the following notice from The Rocky Mountain Cyclone:

AD ASTRA PER ASPERA We begin the publication ov the Rocy Mountain Cyclone with some phew diphiculties in the way. The type phounder phrom whom we bought our outphit phor this printing ophice phailed to supply us with any ephs or cays, and it will be phour or phive weex bephore we can get any. We have ordered the missing letters and will have to get along without them until they come. We don't lique the loox ov this variety ov spelling any better than our readers, but mistaix will happen in the best ov regulated phamilies, and iph the ephs and c's and x's and q's hold out we shall ceep (sound the c hard) the Cyclone whirling aphter a phashion till the sorts arrive. It is no joque to us, it's a serious aphair.

ELIMINATION

 

To meet every situation which arises, and to do it in diplomatic language, is only the gift of the elect:

 

"Waiter, bring me two fried eggs, some ham, a cup of coffee, and a roll," said a traveler in a city of the Middle West.

 

"Bring me the same," said his friend, "but eliminate the eggs."

 

"Yessir," said the waiter.

 

In a moment he came back, leaned confidentially and penitently over the table, and whispered:

 

"We 'ad a bad accident just before we opened this mornin', sir, and the 'andle of the liminator got busted off. Will you take yer eggs fried, same as this 'ere gentleman?"

 

HIS GREAT AMBITION

 

No true American likes to acknowledge that he has a superior, even in his own family.

Little Sydney had reached the mature age of three and was about to discard petticoats for the more manly raiment of knickerbockers. The mother had determined to make the occasion a memorable one. The breakfast table was laden with good things when the newly breeched infant was led into the room.

"Ah!" exclaimed the proud mother, "now you are a little man!"

 

Sydney, thoughtfully displaying his garments to their full advantage, edged close to his mother and whispered, "Can I call pa Bill now?"

 

GUIDE

 

Our boys in France need little guidance to become on good terms with the French girls. The following hints at conversation have therefore been made as simple as possible:

Bong swah, mad-mwa-zell! Vou zay tray beautiful. Kesker say votr name? Zhe swee Edward Jones. Vooley voo take a walk? Eecy ate oon fine place to sit down. Bokoo moon to-night, nace paw? Avay voo ever studied palmistry? Donney mwa votr hand.

Votr hand ay tray soft! Dahn lay Zaytah Unee are bokoo girls, may voo zay more beautiful than any of them. Chay mwa zhe nay pah seen a girl that could touch voo!
Voo zay oon peach! Le coleur de votr yer ay tray beautiful. Votr dress ay bokoo dress. Donney mwa oon kiss? Zhe voo zame!

APPREHENDING THE KAISER

Early in the war the Kaiser was haled before a Virginia court. At least that was the intention of Charles L. Zoll, justice of the peace of Broad Run district, Loudoun County, who delivered into the hands of the Sheriff this warrant:

Commonwealth of Virginia, County of Loudoun, to wit:

 

To the Sheriff of the said county:

Wheras, Woodrow Wilson has this day made oath before me, a justice of said court, that William Hohan Zollern, alias Wilhelm, has at various times and places between July, 1914, and November, 1917, committed murder, assault, and arson upon the bodies of various people and sundry properties, against the peace and dignity of the Government of the United States, the State of Virginia and Broad Run district in

particular.

These are therefore in the name of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Government of the United States to command you to forthwith apprehend the said William Hohan Zollern, alias Kaiser Wilhelm, and bring his body before me at my office in Aushburn, Va., to answer said charges, and there and then be dealt with according to law.

And by the power vested in me I hereby extend your jurisdiction to the Continent of Europe and I do by these presents declare the said William Hohan Zollern, alias Kaiser Wilhelm, to be an outlaw, and offer as a reward for his apprehension three barrels of corn, five bushels of potatoes and meat of ham, said ham to weigh not less than

twenty-one pounds nor more than thirty-five pounds.

And you are moreover required to summon Marshal Joffre, Albert, King of the Belgians; Victor Emanuel of Italy and George V to appear at same time and place as witnesses in behalf of the Commonwealth touching the matter said complaint.

Given under my hand and seal this 28th day of November, 1917.

 

CHARLES L. ZOLL, Justice of the Peace.

JUSTICE TO T. R. In the English royal library at Windsor, in the centre of the magazine table, there is a large album of pictures of many eminent and popular men and women of the day. This book is divided into sections--a section for each calling or profession. Some years ago Prince Edward, in looking through the book, came across the pages devoted to the pictures of the rulers of the various nations. Prominently placed among these was a large photograph of Colonel Roosevelt.

"Father," asked Prince Edward, placing his finger on the Colonel's picture, "Mr. Roosevelt is a very clever man, isn't he?"

 

"Yes, child," answered King George with a smile. "He is a great and good man. In some respects I look upon him as a genius."

A few days later, King George, casually glancing through the album, noticed that President Roosevelt's photograph had been removed and placed in the section devoted to "Men and Women of the Time." On asking the Prince whether he had removed the picture, the latter solemnly replied: "Yes, sir. You told me the other day that you thought Mr. Roosevelt a genius, so I took him away from the kings and emperors and put him among the famous people."

HE WAS NOT A PROHIBITIONIST

When the question of America's being prepared for war was uppermost Representative Thomas Heflin, of Alabama, told the following story to illustrate his belief that we ought always to be ready:

"There was an old fellow down in north Alabama and out in the mountains; he kept his jug in the hole of a log. He would go down at sundown to take a swig of mountain dew-mountain dew that had never been humiliated by a revenue officer nor insulted by a green stamp. He drank that liquid concoction that came fresh from the heart of the corn, and he glowed. One evening while he was letting the good liquor trickle down his throat he felt something touch his foot. He looked down and saw a big rattle-snake coiled ready to strike.

"The old fellow took another swig of the corn, and in defiance he swept that snake with his eyes.

 

"'Strike, dern you, strike, you will never find me better prepared.'"

 

HE SCORNED THE THOUGHT

The father of a certain charming girl is well known in this town as "a very tight old gentleman." When dad recently received a young man, who for some time had been "paying attention" to the daughter, it was the old gentleman who made the first observation:
"Huh! So you want to marry my daughter, eh?"

"Yes, sir; very much, indeed."

 

"Um--let me see. Can you support her in the style to which she has been accustomed?"

 

"I can, sir," said the young man, "but I am not mean enough to do it."

 

RIVALRY

A young American artist who has just returned from a six months' job of driving a British ambulance on the war front in Belgium brings this back straight from the trenches: "One cold morning a sign was pushed up above the German trench facing ours, only about fifty yards away, which bore in large letters the words: 'Got mit Uns!' One of our cockney lads, more of a patriot than a linguist, looked at this for a moment and then lampblacked a big sign of his own, which he raised on a stick. It read: 'We Got Mittuns, Too!'"

IMPERSONAL

 

A pretty girl at an evening party was bantering a genial bachelor on his reasons for remaining single.

"No-oo. I never was exactly disappointed in love," he said. "I was what you might call discouraged. You see, when I was very young I became very much enamored of a young lady of my acquaintance. I was mortally afraid to tell her of my feeling, but at length I screwed up my courage to the proposing point. I said, 'Let's get married,' And she said, 'Why, who'd have us?'"

AND HE SUCCEEDED

 

The military strategist is born not made.

 

For example:

Two youngsters, one the possessor of a permit, were fishing on a certain estate when a gamekeeper suddenly darted from a thicket. The lad with the permit uttered a cry of fright, dropped his rod, and ran off at top speed. The gamekeeper was led a swift chase. Then, worn out, the boy halted. The man seized him by the arm and said between pants: "Have you a permit to fish on this estate?"

"Yes, to be sure," said the boy quietly.

 

"You have? Then show it to me."

 

The boy drew the permit from his pocket. The man examined it and frowned in perplexity and anger.

 

"Why did you run when you had this permit?" he asked.

 

"To let the other boy get away," was the reply. "He didn't have any."

 

NO CHANGE IN SHYLOCK

An old woman who lived in the country recently visited some friends in the city. During her stay she was taken to see "The Merchant of Venice," a play she had witnessed more than thirty years before, and which she had always had a strong desire to see again. Calling next day, a friend asked her how the previous night's performance compared with that of thirty years ago.

"Well," she replied, "Venice seems to have smartened up a bit, but that Shylock is the same mean, grasping creature that he used to be."

 

ENOUGH

 

After all, only a feminine mind can be truly broadminded and make a correct deduction of a whole from a knowledge of a part. Said a certain lady in a shop:

 

"I want a pair of pants for my sick husband."

 

"What size?" asked the clerk.

 

"I don't know, but he wears a 14-1/2 collar."

 

HE OBEYED

A certain woman demands instant and unquestioning obedience from her children. One afternoon a storm came up and she sent her little son John to close the trap leading to the flat roof of the house.

"But, mother," began John.

 

"John, I told you to shut the trap."

 

"Yes, but, mother--"

 

"John, shut that trap!"

 

"All right, mother, if you say so--but--"

"John!" Whereupon John slowly climbed the stairs and shut the trap. Two hours later the family gathered for dinner, but Aunt Mary, who was staying with the mother, did not appear. The mother, quite anxious, exclaimed, "Where can Aunt Mary be?"

"I know," John answered triumphantly, "she is on the roof."

 

FAIR WARNING

 

Andrew Carnegie said:

"I was traveling Londonward on an English railway last year, and had chosen a seat in a non-smoking carriage. At a wayside station a man boarded the train, sat down in my compartment, and lighted a vile clay pipe.

"This is not a smoking carriage," said I.

 

"'All right, Governor,' said the man. 'I'll just finish this pipe here.'

 

"He finished it, then refilled it.

"'See here,' I said, 'I told you this was not a smoking carriage. If you persist with that pipe I shall report you at the next station to the guard.' I handed him my card. He looked at it, pocketed it, but lighted his pipe nevertheless. At the next station, however, he changed to another compartment.

"Calling the guard, I told him what had occurred, and demanded that the smoker's name and address be taken.

 

"'Yes, sair,' said the guard, and hurried away. In a little while he returned. He seemed rather awed and, bending over me, said apologetically:

 

"'Do you know, sir, if I were you I would not prosecute that gent. He has just given me his card. Here it is. He is Mr. Andrew Carnegie.'"

 

PREPAREDNESS

 

Scotchmen are proverbial for their caution.

Mr. MacTavish attended a christening where the hospitality of the host knew no bounds except the several capacities of the guests. In the midst of the celebration Mr. MacTavish rose up and made rounds of the company, bidding each a profound farewell.

"But, Sandy, man," objected the host, "ye're not goin' yet, with the evenin' just started?"

 

"Nay," said the prudent MacTavish. "I'm no' goin' yet. But I'm tellin' ye good-night while I know ye all."

 

FULL SPEED AHEAD

He was the slowest boy on earth, and had been sacked at three places in two weeks, so his parents had apprenticed him to a naturalist. But even he found him slow. It took him two hours to give the canaries their seed, three to stick a pin through a dead butterfly, and four to pick a convolvulus. The only point about him was that he was willing.

"And what," he asked, having spent a whole afternoon changing the goldfishes' water, "shall I do now, sir?"

 

The naturalist ran his fingers through his locks.

 

"Well, Robert," he replied at length, "I think you might now take the tortoise out for a run."

 

PLAYING SAFE

 

A lady recently selecting a hat at a milliner's asked, cautiously:

 

"Is there anything about these feathers that might bring me into trouble with the Bird Protection Society?"

 

"Oh, no, madam," said the milliner.

 

"But did they not belong to some bird?" persisted the lady.

"Well, madam," returned the milliner, pleasantly, "these feathers are the feathers of a howl; and the howl, you know, madam, seein' as 'ow fond he is of mice, is more of a cat than a bird."

WORDS FAILED HER

 

The budding authoress had purchased a typewriter, and one morning the agent called and asked:

 

"How do you like your new typewriter, madam?"

 

"It's wonderful!" was the enthusiastic reply. "I wonder how I ever done my writing without it."

 

"Would you mind," asked the agent, "giving me a little testimonial to that effect?"

 

"Certainly not," she responded. "I'll do it gladly."

Seating herself at the machine, she pounded out the following: Aafteb Using thee Automatid Backactiom atype write, er for thre emonth %an d Over. I unhesittattingly pronoun ce it tobe al ad more than th e Manufacturss claim! for it. Durinb the tim e been in myy possessio n $i thre month it had more th an paid paid for itse*f in thee saVing off tim e anD laborr?

ONE WAY OUT

One of the congregation of a church not far from Boston approached her pastor with the complaint that she was greatly disturbed by the unmelodious singing of one of her neighbors.

"It's positively unbearable!" she said. "That man in the pew in front of us spoils the service for me. His voice is harsh and he has no idea of a tune. Can't you ask him to change his pew?"

The good pastor was sorely perplexed. After a few moments' reflection, he said, "Well, I naturally would feel a little delicacy on that score, especially as I should have to tell him why I asked it. But I'll tell you what I might do." Here his face became illuminated by a happy thought. "I might ask him to join the choir."

HOW WAR BEGAN

 

There have been a great many explanations for war, but the following appears to have its special merits:

 

The world was supplied with an original producer; namely, Woman.

 

Woman produced babies.

 

The babies grew up and produced tradespeople.

 

The tradespeople produced goods with which to supply the woman.

 

The goods, coming into competition with each other, owing to the different parts of the world wherein they were manufactured, produced trouble.

 

The trouble produced international jealousies.

 

The international jealousies produced war.

 

Then the war proceeded to destroy the women and babies, because it was through woman in the beginning that war became possible.

MATRIMONIAL ENDURANCE A happily married woman, who had enjoyed thirty-three years of wedlock, and who was the grandmother of four beautiful little children, had an amusing old colored woman for a cook.

One day when a box of especially beautiful flowers was left for the mistress the cook happened to be present, and she said: "Yo' husband send you all the pretty flowers you gits, Missy?"

"Certainly, my husband, mammy," proudly answered the lady.

 

"Glory!" exclaimed the cook, "he suttenly am holdin' out well."

 

MISSING IT

 

The folks in the southern part of Arkansas are not noted for their speed.

A man and his wife were sitting on their porch when a funeral procession passed the house. The man was comfortably seated in a chair that was tilted back against the house, and was whittling a piece of wood. As the procession passed, he said:

"I reckon ol' man Williams has got about the biggest funeral that's ever been held around hyer, Caroline."

 

"A purty good-sized one, is it, Bud?" queried the wife, making no effort to move.

 

"Certainly is!" Bud answered.

 

"I surely would like to see it," said the woman. "What a pity I ain't facin' that way!"

 

THE OBVIOUS PLACE

What is known in a certain town as "A Shop Carnival" was being held, and little girls represented the various shops. One, dressed in a white muslin frock gaily strung with garlands of bonbons, advertised the local sweet shop.

When the festival began she fairly glistened with attractive confectionery, but as time wore on her decorations grew less. Finally, at the end of the last act, not a bonbon was to be seen.

"Why, Dora," cried the stage manager, "where in the world are all your decorations? Have you lost them?"

 

"Oh, no," replied Dora; "they're perfectly safe. I'm wearing them inside."

THEIR OPPORTUNITY In war times Cupid is not only active but overworked, and people who have never loved before do not wait upon ceremony. In the spring of 1918, a certain rector, just before the service, was called to the vestibule to meet a couple who wanted to be married. He explained that there wasn't time for the ceremony then. "But," said he, "if you will be seated I will give you an opportunity at the end of the service for you to come forward, and I will then perform the ceremony."

The couple agreed, and after a stirring war sermon at the proper moment the clergyman said: "Will those who wish to be united in the holy bond of matrimony please come forward?"

Thereupon thirteen women and one man proceeded to the altar.

 

DOING HIS DUTY, BUT--

That time-honored subject the wife who talks and the husband who endures never ceases to be a source of inspiration to the humorist, and it is truly astonishing how many new ways it can be treated:

One day the telephone bell rang with anxious persistence. The doctor answered the call of a tired husband.

 

"Yes?" he said.

 

"Oh, doctor," said a worried voice, "something seems to have happened to my wife. Her mouth seems set and she can't say a word."

 

"Why, she may have lockjaw," said the medical man.

 

"Do you think so? Well, if you are up this way some time next week you might step in and see what you can do for her."

 

ANTICIPATING THE PLEASURE

 

Will Hogg of Texas says that down in Houston one Monday morning a Negro boy in his employ came to him with a request.

 

"Boss," said the darky, "I'd lak to git off nex' Friday fur the day."

 

"What for?" inquired Hogg.

 

"Got to go to a fun'el."

 

"Whose funeral is it?"

 

"My uncle's." "When did your uncle die?"

 

"Lawd, boss, he ain't daid yit!"

 

"Then how do you know his funeral is going to take place on Friday?"

 

"'Case dey's gwine hang him Thursday!"

 

HIS COMPLAINT

 

To be truthful and at the same time diplomatic is one of the rarest of combinations, and only a small boy would be equal to it:

Johnny's manners had been improving at home, but at what a cost to his appetite when he had an invitation to dine at a boy friend's house! His hostess said, concernedly, when dessert was reached, "You refuse a second helping of pie? Are you suffering from indigestion, Johnny?" "No, ma'am; politeness."

PUTTING IT UP TO THE HORSE

Pat had just joined a horse regiment, and was undergoing the necessary practice in the riding school. After a particularly desperate attempt to unseat its rider, the horse managed to entangle a hoof in one of the stirrups.

"Begorra," said Pat, "if you're comin' on, then I'm gettin' off!"

 

THE WORM TURNED

A party of engineers were tracing a township line across some farm lands in Illinois. As chance would have it, the line passed directly through a large barn having double doors on each side of it, and they found they could continue their measurements through the barn by opening the doors and thus avoiding the dreaded détour. The owner watched their progress with considerable interest, but made no comment until they had reached the farther side of the barn, when he asked:

"Thet a railroad ye-all surveyin' fer?"

 

"Certainly," replied the chief.

The farmer meditated a bit as he closed the barn doors behind them, when he remarked, somewhat aggressively, "I hain't got no objections ter havin' er railroad on my farm, but I'll be darned ef I'm goin' ter git up at all hours of the night ter open and shet them doors fer yer train ter go through!"

MAKES A DIFFERENCE The German may understand his own point of view, but he hates exceedingly to have that point of view taken, even in part, by any one else.

An official who has scrutinized the reports made by German diplomatic representatives to their Government before the declaration of war furnishes this extract from one of them:

"The Americans are very rough. If you call one of them a liar he does not argue the matter after the manner of a German gentleman, but brutally knocks you down. The Americans have absolutely no Kultur."

SOLVING A GREAT PROBLEM

 

The whole Irish question, and its perfect solution--at least from one side--is summed up by the reply given by an Irishman to a professor, who, when they chanced to meet, said:

 

"Pat, tell me, now, what is your solution to the world problem?"

 

"Well, sor," replied Pat, "I think we should have a world democracy--with an Irishman for king!"

 

DIAGNOSED

 

Starting with a wonderful burst of oratory, the great evangelist had, after two hours' steady preaching, become rather hoarse.

 

A little boy's mother in the congregation whispered to her son, "Isn't it wonderful? What do you think of him?"

 

"He needs a new needle," returned the boy sleepily.

 

GETTING EVEN

The captain and the mate on board the Pretty Polly were at loggerheads. They scowled whenever they met, and seized opportunities of scoring off each other with fearful glee. Each took a turn at making the day's entries in the log-book, and the mate, when making his entries, was very surprised to find, in the captain's handwriting, the words:

"June 2nd, 1917.--Mate drunk."

 

He stared at it wrathfully a moment, then a slow grin broke over his face. He took his pen and wrote:

 

"June 3rd, 1917.--Captain sober."

 

KNEW HIS BUSINESS A bellhop passed through the hall of the St. Francis Hotel whistling loudly.

 

"Young man," said Manager Woods sternly, "you should know that it is against the rules of this hotel for an employee to whistle while on duty."

 

"I am not whistling, sir," replied the boy, "I'm paging Mrs. Jones's dog."

 

THEN THINGS HAPPENED

Though she was old she wasn't by any means incapable of supporting herself; and at the fresh, youthful age of seventy-nine she went into the business of providing teas for perspiring cyclists, and storing the cycles of those travellers who decided that they had better return by train. Her first customers were four young men who left their cycles in her charge while they explored the neighborhood. For each cycle she gave them a ticket with a number upon it.

Late at night the tourists returned.

 

The old woman led them to their cycles with a smile of self-satisfaction on her face.

 

"You'll know which is which," she told them, "because I've fastened duplicate tickets on them."

 

They gratefully thanked her; and when they found their cycles they discovered that the tickets were neatly pinned into each back tire!

 

WASN'T CALLING HER DEAR

 

Desirous of buying a camera, a certain fair young woman inspected the stock of a local shopkeeper.

 

"Is this a good one?" she asked, as she picked up a dainty little machine. "What is it called?"

 

"That's the Belvedere," said the handsome young shopman politely.

 

There was a chilly silence. Then the young woman drew herself coldly erect, fixed him with an icy stare, and asked again:

 

"Er--and can you recommend the Belva?"

 

SOMETHING!

A young Irishman recently applied for a job as life-saver at the municipal baths. As he was about six feet six inches tall and well built, the chief life-saver gave him an application blank to fill out.

"By the way," said the chief life-saver, "can you swim?"

 

"No," replied the applicant, "but I wade like blazes!"

 

NOT ENOUGH SCENERY

The Negro stevedores of the southern states of the American Union have been conscripted and shipped in great numbers to ports in France for unloading the incoming American steamers. Their cheerfulness has quite captivated the gayety loving French, who never tire of listening to their laughter and their ragtime songs. When the "bosses" want to get a dockyard job done in double-quick time they usually order a brass band to play lively Negro tunes alongside the ship. Every stevedore thereupon "steps lively," and apparently his heavy labor becomes to him a light and joyous task. One stevedore, to whom the Atlantic voyage had been a test, exclaimed: "Mah goodness! Ah never knew dere was so much water between dem tew countries! Dere ain't enuf scenery for me, no sah, an' if de United States don't build a bridge across dat dere Atlantic, Ah's agwine to be a Frenchman for life."

IAN HAY'S FATE

 

Captain "Ian Hay," on one of his war lecture tours, entered a barber's shop in a small town to have his hair cut.

 

"Stranger in the town, sir?" the barber asked.

 

"Yes, I am," Ian Hay replied. "Anything going on here to-night?"

 

"There's a war lecture by an English fighter named Hay," said the barber; "but if you go you'll have to stand, for every seat in the hall is sold out."

 

"Well, now," said Ian Hay, "isn't that provoking? It's always my luck to have to stand when that chap Hay lectures."

 

CAMOUFLAGE

After a "push" some of the lads of the Northumberland Fusiliers who entered one of the captured villages set about making things comfortable for themselves. Seeing a large wooden box some distance away, they made tracks to commandeer it On the way back an officer met them and queried:

"Here, lads, where are you going with that?"

 

"This old egg-box, sir--we're taking it along to our dug-out, sir," one of them explained. "Egg-box be hanged!" retorted the officer.

 

"Why, that's the general's roll-top desk!"

 

HAPPY ENDING WANTED

A charming, auburn-haired nurse tells the story. She bent over the bed of one badly wounded man and asked him if he would like anything to read. The soldier fixed a humorous eye on her and said, "Miss, can you get me a nice novel? I'd like one about a golden-haired girl and a wounded soldier with a happy ending." After this the pretty nurse looks down contemptuously on civilian compliments.

A SKEPTIC

 

A colored Baptist was exhorting. "Now, breddern and sistern, come up to de altar and have yo' sins washed away."

 

All came up but one man.

 

"Why, Brudder Jones, don't yo' want yo' sins washed away?"

 

"I done had my sins washed away."

 

"Yo' has? Where yo' had yo' sins washed away?"

 

"Ober at de Methodist church."

 

"Ah, Brudder Jones, yo' ain't been washed, yo' jes' been dry cleaned."

 

A PERSON OF DISCERNMENT

 

A Quaker had got himself into trouble with the authorities, and a constable called to escort him to the lock-up.

 

"Is your husband in?" he inquired of the good wife who came to the door.

 

"My husband will see thee," she replied. "Come in."

 

The officer entered, was bidden to make himself at home, and was hospitably entertained for half an hour, but no husband appeared. At last he grew impatient.

 

"Look here," said he, "I thought you said your husband would see me."

 

"He has seen thee," was the calm reply, "but he did not like thy look, and so he's gone another way."

 

AN OLD HAND

 

After two months at Rockford Private Nelson got his leave at last, and made what he conceived to be the best use of his holiday by getting married.

 

On the journey back at the station he gave the gateman his marriage certificate in mistake for his return railway ticket.

 

The official studied it carefully, and then said: "Yes, my boy, you've got a ticket for a long, wearisome journey, but not on this road."

 

A TRUE OPTIMIST

It was Christmas Eve in camp, and very cold at that. There was a certain amount of confusion owing to the Christmas festivities and leave, and so forth, and one man was unable to find any of his outer garments. He wandered about, asking all his mates if they knew where they were.

"Has any one seen my b-b-blanket?" he demanded, and was told that no one had.

 

"Has any one seen my t-t-trousers?"

 

No answer.

 

The unfortunate Tommy scratched his head for a moment.

 

"Well, I'm jolly g-g-glad I have got a nice w-w-warm pair of sus-sus-suspenders."

 

TIT FOR TAT

 

The young couple were dawdling over a late breakfast after a night at an ultra smart party.

 

"Was it you I kissed in the conservatory last night?" hubby inquired.

 

She looked at him reminiscently: "About what time was it?"

 

TOO GOOD TO BE WASTED

 

A lady of great beauty and attractiveness, who was an ardent admirer of Ireland, once crowned her praise of it at a party by saying:

 

"I think I was meant for an Irishwoman."

 

"Madam," rejoined a witty son of Erin, who happened to be present, "thousands would back me in saying you were meant for an Irishman."

 

HE UNDERSTOOD

 

The pale-faced passenger looked out of the car window with exceeding interest. Finally he turned to his seat mate.

"You likely think I never rode in the cars before," he said, "but the fact is, pardner, I just got out of prison this mornin' and it does me good to look around. It is goin' to be mighty tough, though, facin' my old-time friends. I s'pose, though, you ain't got much idea how a man feels in a case like that."

"Perhaps I have a better idea of your feelings than you think," said the other gentleman, with a sad smile. "I am just getting home from Congress."

 

TOUCHY

Lysander, a farm hand, was recounting his troubles to a neighbor. Among other things he said that the wife of the farmer who employed him was "too close for any use." "This very mornin'," said he, "she asked me: 'Lysander, do you know how many pancakes you have et this mornin'?' I said, 'No, ma'am; I ain't had no occasion to count 'em,' 'Well,' says she, 'that last one was the twenty-sixth.' And it made me so mad I jest got up from the table and went to work without my breakfast!"

THE INTELLIGENT CAT

 

Two suburban gardeners were swearing vengeance on cats.

 

"It appears to me," one said, "that they seem to pick out your choicest plants to scratch out of the ground."

 

"There's a big tomcat," the other said, "that fetches my plants out and then sits and actually defies me."

 

"Why don't you hurl a brick at him?" asked the first speaker.

 

"That's what makes me mad," was the reply. "I can't. He gets on top of my greenhouse to defy me."

 

PRIDE

 

A little boy was on his knees recently one night, and auntie, staying at the house, was present.

 

"It is a pleasure," she said to him, afterward, "to hear you saying your prayers so well. You speak so earnestly and seriously, and mean what you say, and care about it."

 

"Ah!" he answered, "ah, but, auntie, you should hear me gargle!" ROBBING HIMSELF

 

"Germany's claim that she imports nothing, buys only of herself, and so is growing rich from the war, is a dreadful fallacy."

 

The speaker was Herbert C. Hoover, chairman of the American Food Board.

"Germany," he went on, "is like the young man who wisely thought he'd grow his own garden stuff. This young man had been digging for about an hour when his spade turned up a quarter. Ten minutes later he found another quarter. Then he found a dime. Then he found a quarter again.

"'By gosh!' he said, 'I've struck a silver mine,' and, straightening up, he felt something cold slide down his leg. Another quarter lay at his feet. He grasped the truth: There was a hole in his pocket."

PESSIMISTS

 

Out at the front two regiments, returning to the trenches, chanced to meet. There was the usual exchange of wit.

 

"When's the bloomin' war goin' to end?" asked one north-country lad.

 

"Dunno," replied one of the south-shires. "We've planted some daffydils in front of our trench."

 

"Bloomin' optimists!" snorted the man from the north. "We've planted acorns."

 

DELAYED

 

The way they take air raids in England is illustrated by the following conversation from Punch:

"Just ask Dr. Jones to run round to my place right away. Our cook's fallen downstairs-broke her leg; the housemaid's got chicken-pox, and my two boys have been knocked down by a taxi."

"I'm sorry, sir, but the doctor was blown up in yesterday's air raid, and he won't be down for a week."

 

HOW MARY LOST A TIP

Soon after a certain judge of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island had been appointed he went down into one of the southern counties to sit for a week. He was well satisfied with himself.
"Mary," he said to the Irish waitress at the hotel where he was stopping, "you've been in this country how long?"

"Two years, sir," she said.

 

"Do you like it?"

 

"Sure, it's well enough," answered Mary.

"But, Mary," the judge continued, "you have many privileges in this country which you'd not have in Ireland. Now at home you would never be in a room with a justice of the Supreme Court, and chatting familiarly with him."

"But, sure, sir," said Mary, quite in earnest, "you'd never be a judge at home."

 

A LITTLE TOO THRIFTY

 

Secretary of War Baker tells a story of a country youth who was driving to the county fair with his sweetheart when they passed a booth where fresh popcorn was for sale.

 

"My! Abner, ain't that nice?" said the girl.

 

"Ain't what nice?" asked Abner.

 

"Why, the popcorn, it smells so awfully good," replied the girl.

 

"It does smell kind o' fine," drawled the youth. "I'll jest drive a little closer so you can get a better smell."

 

BEYOND HIM

 

A young couple, speeding along the country highway, were stopped by the justice of the peace.

 

"Ten and costs for reckless driving," announced the justice.

 

"Listen," said the young man, "judge, we were on our way to have you marry us."

 

"Twenty and costs, then!" cried the justice. "You're more reckless than I thought you were."

 

ITS NAME

 

In a kindergarten class flags were shown, and in answer to a question a little girl gave the response that was expected of her: "This is the flag of my country."

 

"And what is the name of your country?" was the next question.

 

"'Tis of thee," was the prompt reply.

 

THE ORIGINAL METHOD

 

Katherine and Margaret found themselves seated next each other at a dinner-party and immediately became confidential.

 

"Molly told me that you told her that secret I told you not to tell her," whispered Margaret.

 

"Oh, isn't she a mean thing!" gasped Katherine. "Why, I told her not to tell you!"

 

"Well," returned Margaret, "I told her I wouldn't tell you she told me--so don't tell her I did."

 

GIVE US THE CHANCE

 

When Booth Tarkington was visiting Naples he was present at an eruption of Vesuvius.

 

"You haven't anything like that in America, have you?" said an Italian friend with pride.

 

"No, we haven't," replied Tarkington; "but we've got Niagara Falls that would put the d--

 

-d thing out in five minutes."

 

A DELIGHTFUL EXPERIENCE!

We often take delight in fancying what we would do if things were really reversed in this oftentimes trying world: and particularly what we would do to the president of our bank. Here is a little story which gives the pleasant variety:

"I have come in to borrow some money from you," said the bank president timidly, as he stood before one of his depositors, nervously twirling his hat in his hand.

 

"Ah, yes," said the depositor, gazing at him severely. "But you don't expect to get it, do you?"

 

"I had hoped to."

 

"What collateral have you to offer?"

 

"My bank with all the money in it."

 

"All the people in the bank?" "Yes."

 

"Please say 'Yes, sir.' It is more respectful."

 

"Thank you, sir."

 

"Um! Ah! Will you put in your own family?"

 

"Yes, sir, I'll throw in my family also."

 

"Your prospects in life? Don't hesitate, man. Remember you are up against it."

 

"Well, yes, sir."

 

"How much money do you want?"

 

"One thousand dollars."

"Dear me! For such a small amount as that I shall have to charge you at least six per cent. If you were a regular millionaire and wanted, say, half a million, I could let you have it for three or four per cent."

"Yes, sir. I appreciate your generosity."

 

The depositor handed the president of the bank, who was now almost completely bathed in a cold perspiration, a blank form.

 

"Here," he said, "sign this."

 

"Do you wish me to read it first, sir?"

"What! Read something you wouldn't understand anyway? No. I'll tell you what's in it. It mortgages yourself, your bank, all the people in it, your family, all your property, and your soul Sign here."

The bank president signed with trembling fingers, got a piece of paper which entitled him to the privilege of entertaining a thousand dollars for six months at his own expense, and withdrew.

Then the depositor, smiling to himself and rubbing his hands, said:

 

"Aha! I'll teach these fellows to know their places!"

DAD WAS WISE When the conversation turned to the subject of romantic marriage this little anecdote was volunteered by H.M. Asker, a North Dakota politician:

"So you were married ten years ago. Took place in the church, I suppose, with bridesmaids, flowers, cake, and the brass band?"

 

"No; it was an elopement."

 

"An elopement, eh? Did the girl's father follow you?"

 

"Yes, and he has been with us ever since."

 

KINDNESS

Private Simpkins had returned from the front, to find that his girl had been walking out with another young man, and naturally asked her to explain her frequent promenades in the town with the gentleman.

"Well, dear," she replied, "it was only kindness on his part. He just took me down every day to the library to see if you were killed."

 

MORE SCOTCH THRIFT

Harry Lauder tells the following story about a funeral in Glasgow and a well-dressed stranger who took a seat in one of the mourning coaches. The other three occupants of the carriage were rather curious to know who he was, and at last one of them began to question him. The dialogue went like this:

"Ye'll be a brither o' the corp?"

 

"No, I'm no' a brither o' the corp."

 

"Weel, ye'll be his cousin?"

 

"No, I'm no' a cousin."

 

"At ony rate ye'll be a frien' o' the corp?"

"No, I'm no' that either. Ye see, I've no' been very weel masel," the stranger explained complacently, "an' my doctor has ordered me carriage exercise, so I thocht this would be the cheapest way to tak' it."

WORTH A CHANCE

 

The small boy stood at the garden gate and howled and howled and howled. A passing lady paused beside him.

 

"What's the matter, little man?" she asked in a kindly voice.

 

"O-o-oh!" wailed the youngster. "Pa and ma won't take me to the pictures to-night."

 

"But don't make such a noise," said the dame, admonishingly. "Do they ever take you when you cry like that?"

 

"S-sometimes they do, an'--an' sometimes they d-d-don't," bellowed the boy. "But it ain't no trouble to yell!"

 

CHANGE FOR THE BETTER

"We were bounding along," said a recent traveller on a local South African single-line railway, "at the rate of about seven miles an hour, and the whole train was shaking terribly. I expected every moment to see my bones protruding through my skin. Passengers were rolling from one end of the car to the other. I held on firmly to the arms of the seat. Presently we settled down a bit quieter; at least I could keep my hat on and my teeth didn't chatter.

"There was a quiet-looking man opposite me. I looked up with a ghastly smile, wishing to appear cheerful, and said:

 

"'We are going a bit smoother, I see.'

 

"'Yes,' he said, 'we're off the track now,'"

 

BIG CHANCES BOTH WAYS

 

The famous physician and the eminent clergyman were deep in a discussion which threatened to become acrimonious.

 

"You see," said the minister sarcastically, "you medical men know so much about the uncertainties of this world that I should think you would not want to live."

 

"Oh, I don't know," responded the physician caustically. "You clergymen tell us so much about the uncertainties of the next world that we don't want to die."

 

WARNING TO AUTHORS

One of Mr. Kipling's trees was injured by a bus, the driver of which was also landlord of an inn. Kipling wrote this man a letter of complaint, which the recipient sold to one of his guests for ten shillings. Again the angry author wrote, this time a more violent letter, which immediately fetched one pound.

A few days later Kipling called on the landlord and demanded to know why he had received no answer to his letters.
"Why, I was hoping you would send me a fresh one every day," was the cool reply. "They pay a great deal better than bus driving."

CONSIDERING FATHER

Does the American woman always consider her lesser half? The following tale shows that she does, although the lady's husband undoubtedly moved in a lower sphere. She was at that period in her existence where she gave literary afternoons and called her collegegraduated daughter to her side and said:

"This afternoon, as I understand, we attend the Current Events Club, where Miss Spindleshank Corkerly of New York and Washington will give us her brief and cheery synopsis of the principal world events during the last month."

"Yes, mother."

 

"This evening the Birth Control Association meets at Mrs. Mudhaven's, where I shall read my paper on the Moral Protoplasm."

 

"Yes, mother."

"To-morrow morning the Efficiency Circle will assemble here for its weekly discussion and will be addressed by Professor Von Skintime Closhaven on the Scientific Curtailment of Catnaps."

"Yes, mother."

"To-morrow afternoon the Superwoman's Civic Conference Committee will take up the subject of the Higher Feminism, and in the evening the Hygienic Sex Sisters will confer with the superintendent of our school system on several ideas for our schools which we have in mind."

"Yes, mother. That brings us up to Thursday. What shall we do on that evening?"

 

"I thought, my dear, that we would take a night off and go to the movies with your dear father."

 

STORIES ABOUT JAMES GORDON BENNETT

 

Many are the stories told of the late James Gordon Bennett. One, more than any other, reveals one of his weaknesses--a disinclination to acknowledge an error.

Before taking up his residence abroad he frequently breakfasted at Delmonico's, then downtown. One Christmas morning he gave the waiter who always served him a small roll of bills. As soon as opportunity offered the waiter looked at the roll, and when he recovered his equilibrium took it to Mr. Delmonico. There were six $1,000 bills in the roll. The proprietor, sensing that a mistake had been made, put them in the safe.

When the publisher next visited the café Mr. Delmonico told him the waiter had turned the money in. He added he would return it as Mr. Bennett departed.

 

"Why return it? Didn't I give it to him?"

 

"Yes. But, of course, it was a mistake. You gave him $6,000."

 

"Mr. Delmonico," replied Bennett, rising to his full height, "you should know by this time that James Gordon Bennett never makes a mistake."

A pressman had just returned to work after a protracted spree. His face was battered, an eye was blackened, and an ear showed a tendency to mushroom. The night of his return was one on which Mr. Bennett visited the pressroom. He saw Mr. Bennett before Mr. Bennett saw him, and, daubing a handful of ink on his face, he became so busy that Bennett noticed him.

"Who is that man?" he asked the foreman. "What do you pay him?"

 

The foreman gave him the information.

 

"Double his salary," replied Mr. Bennett. "He's the only man in the place who seems to be doing any work."

A dramatic critic, still a well-known writer, lost his place because he would not get his hair cut. Bennett in Paris asked him why he wore his hair so long and was told because he liked it that way. An order sending him to Copenhagen followed. When his return was announced by a secretary, Bennett asked if he had had his hair cut, and being informed that he had not, ordered him to St. Petersburg. On his return from Russia, still unshorn, he was sent to the Far East.

"Has he had his hair cut?" asked Bennett when his return was once more announced.

 

"No, sir," replied the secretary, "it's as long as ever."

 

"Then fire him," replied Bennett. "He's too slow to take a hint to suit me."

 

STAYING ON THE JOB

In introducing the Honorable W.G. McAdoo to an audience of North Carolinians in the Raleigh Auditorium, Governor T.W. Bickett had occasion to refer to the North Carolina trait of stick-to-it-ness. He used as an example the case of Private Jim Webb, a green soldier and a long, lanky individual from the farm who had never been drilled in his whole life and knew even less about the usages and customs of war, so when he was conscripted into the North Carolina divisions in the late war between the states, he was given only a week's drill and then assigned to duty.

His regiment was in the Peninsular campaign, and Jim was soon put on guard duty, being given, as his first post, a place along the river bank, and cautioned to stick to his post under any conditions, to watch closely for the enemy, and to allow no one to pass who could not give the countersign.

"Obey your instructions," said the officer of the guard, "and I will return at two o'clock with relief. Do not leave your post under any conditions."

Promptly at two o'clock the officer returned, to find Jim gone. He searched long and diligently, but no trace of Jim. Finally he called, lowly at first, then louder, seeking to know if Jim were in the vicinity or had been captured. Finally came Jim's answering voice from out in the middle of the river, "Here I be."

"What in the world are you doing out there?" asked the indignant officer. "Did I not tell you not to leave your post?"

 

"I hain't moved, nuther," replied the indignant Jim; "the durn river's riz."

 

BUSINESS IS BUSINESS

 

"May I see you privately?"

 

The well-dressed stranger approached the mayor of the suburban town with the air of one who knew his business. When they were alone he said:

 

"I want to apply for the position of village burglar."

 

"Village burglar!"

"Yes, sir. I guarantee results, I only rob one house a week. This includes a clean getaway. When a man, no matter how conscientious, attempts any more than this, he is bound to deteriorate. By employing me regularly you get the best results."

"What inducements do you offer?"

"Your village will be advertised regularly and in the most efficient manner. I will guarantee to keep away all other burglars, thus insuring the comfort and safety of your police. I return all goods stolen. If it is necessary at any time to wound any of your citizens, I will pay half of the hospital expenses. Salary five thousand a year. Can furnish references."

"Nothing else?" "My dear sir, what more do you want?"

 

The mayor shook his head, as rising, he indicated that the interview was over.

"Sorry, my friend," he said, "that I can't accept your offer, but I am just closing a contract with a man who not only will burglarize our village regularly on your terms, but also will turn over to us as a rebate one-half of the salary he gets from the burglary insurance company that employs him."

HIS FAVORITE BEAST

Harris Dickson, on a hunting trip in Sunflower County, Mississippi, met an old darky who had never seen a circus in his life. When the Big Show came in the following season to Dickson's town of Vicksburg he sent for the old man and treated him to the whole thing--arrival of the trains, putting up the tents, grand free street parade, menagerie, main performance, concert, side show, peanuts, red lemonade, and all.

The old darky followed his white patron through with popping eyes, but saying never a word. Late in the afternoon they got back to the Dickson home.

 

"John," said Dickson, "you enjoyed it?"

 

"Boss," said John fervently. "Ah shore did!"

 

"What did you like the most?"

 

"Mistah Dickson," answered John, "Ah shore laked hit all."

 

"Well, what impressed you most?"

 

"Well, suh, boss," he said, "Ah reckin hit waz dat dere animul you calls de camuel."

 

"The camel, eh? Well, what was so remarkable about the camel?"

 

"He suttinly is got such a noble smell!"

 

A LONG STORY

 

"May I ask the cause of all this excitement?" asked the stranger in the little village.

 

"Certainly," replied the countryman. "We're celebrating the birthday of the oldest inhabitant sir. She's a hundred and one to-day."

"Indeed! And may I ask who is that little man, with the dreadfully sad countenance, walking by the old lady's side?"
"Oh, that's the old lady's son-in-law, sir. He's been keeping up the payments on her lifeinsurance for the last thirty years!"

A DUAL REPUTATION

As Grantland Rice tells the story, a certain distinguished English actor, whom we may safely call Jones-Brown, plays a persistent but horrible game of golf. During a recent visit to this country the actor in question occasionally visited the links of a well-known country club in Westchester County, near New York.

After an especially miserable showing of inaptness one morning, he flung down his driver in disgust.

 

"Caddy," he said, addressing the silent youth who stood alongside, "that was awful, wasn't it?"

 

"Purty bad, sir," stated the boy.

 

"I freely confess that I am the worst golfer in the world," continued the actor.

 

"Oh, I wouldn't say that, sir," said the caddy soothingly.

 

"Did you ever see a worse player than I am?"

"No, sir, I never did," confessed the boy truthfully; "but some of the other boys was tellin' me yistiddy about a gentleman that must be a worse player than you are. They said his name was Jones-Brown."

ALWAYS SAFETY FIRST

 

"You say that you want some name engraved on this ring," said the jeweller to the bashful young man.

 

"Yes; I want the words, 'George, to his dearest Alice' engraved on the inside of the ring."

 

"Is the young lady your sister?"

 

"No; she is the young lady to whom I am engaged."

 

"Well, if I were you I would not have 'George, to his dearest Alice' engraved on the ring. If Alice changes her mind you can't use the ring again."

"What would you suggest?" "I would suggest the words, 'George, to his first and only love,' You see, with that inscription you can use the ring half a dozen times. I have had experience in such matters myself."

SURPRISING

Pat came to the dentist's with his jaw very much swollen from a tooth he desired to have pulled. But when the suffering son of Erin got into the dentist's chair and saw the gleaming pair of forceps approaching his face, he positively refused to open his mouth. The dentist quietly told his page boy to prick his patient with a pin, and when Pat opened his mouth to yell the dentist seized the tooth, and out it came. "It didn't hurt as much as you expected it would, did it?" the dentist asked, smilingly.

"Well, no," replied Pat, hesitatingly, as if doubting the truthfulness of his admission. "But," he added, placing his hand on the spot where the little boy pricked him with the pin, "begorra, little did I think the roots would reach down like that."

TRUE OPTIMIST

Among the passengers on a train on a one-track road in the Middle West was a talkative jewelry drummer. Presently the train stopped to take on water, and the conductor neglected to send back a flagman. An express came along and, before it could be stopped, bumped the rear end of the first train. The drummer was lifted from his seat and pitched head first into the seat ahead. His silk hat was jammed clear down over his ears. He picked himself up and settled back in his seat. No bones had been broken. He drew a long breath, straightened up, and said: "Well, they didn't get by us, anyway."

INDISSOLUBLE PARTNERS

Memory and Imagination had a discussion as to which was the greater. "Without me," said Memory, "your buildings, your fine castles, would all go down. I alone give you power to retain them."

"Without me," said Imagination, "there would be no use of retaining them, for, indeed, they wouldn't be there. I am the great builder."

 

"And I the great recorder."

 

"It appears, then, that no one of us is greater than the other. Yet I would not change places with you."

 

"Why not?" said Memory.

 

"Because," replied Imagination, "without you I can still keep on creating over and over."

 

At the end of a year Memory came back. "What have you done?" asked Memory.

 

"Nothing," said Imagination.

 

"And you were wrong when you said that without me you could still go on creating."

 

"Yes. I did not realize how dependent I was upon you. What have you been doing during the year?"

 

"Reviewing some old friends. That was all I could do."

 

"Then we are practically equal."

 

"Yes. Let us live together hereafter in harmony, carrying on our door this legend:

 

There is no Memory without Imagination, And no Imagination without Memory."

 

DEPENDED ON THE MULE

Speaking at a political gathering, Congressman Frederick W. Dallinger, of Massachusetts, referred to the many amusing incidents of the schoolrooms, and related a little incident along that line.

A teacher in a public school was instructing a youthful class in English when she paused and turned to a small boy named Jimmy Brown.

 

"James," said she, "write on the board, 'Richard can ride the mule if he wants to,'"

 

This Jimmie proceeded to do to the satisfaction of all concerned.

 

"Now, then," continued the teacher when Jimmy had returned to his place, "can you find a better form for that sentence?"

 

"Yes, ma'am," was the prompt response of Jimmy. "'Richard can ride the mule if the mule wants him to.'"

 

CROWN PRINCE CALLED DOWN

Some years before the war the German Crown Prince got a very neat call-down from Miss Bernice Willard, a Philadelphia girl. It was during the Emperor's regatta, and the two mentioned were sitting with others on the deck of a yacht. A whiff of smoke from the Prince's cigarette blowing into the young lady's face, a lieutenant near by remarked:

"Smoke withers flowers." "It is no flower," said the prince, jocularly, "it is a thistle."

 

Miss Willard raised her eyes a trifle.

 

"In that case," she said, "I had better retire or I shall be devoured"

 

HUMBLED

 

Mrs. Mellon did not wish to offend her new cook.

"John," she said to the manservant, "can you find out without asking the cook whether the tinned salmon was all eaten last night? You see, I don't wish to ask her, because she may have eaten it, and then she would feel uncomfortable," added the good soul.

"If you please, ma'am," replied the man, "the new cook has eaten the tinned salmon, and if you was to say anything to her you couldn't make her feel any more uncomfortable than she is."

IS THIS TACT?

 

An officer on board a warship was drilling his men.

 

"I want every man to lie on his back, put his legs in the air, and move them as if he were riding a bicycle," he explained. "Now commence."

 

After a short effort one of the men stopped.

 

"Why have you stopped, Murphy?" asked the officer.

 

"If ye plaze, sir," was the answer, "Oi'm coasting."

 

WARNED IN TWENTY YEARS

 

Several Scotchmen were discussing the domestic unhappiness of a mutual friend.

 

"Aye," said one, "Jock McDonald has a sair time wi' that wife o' his. They do say they're aye quarrelin'."

"It serve' him richt," said another feelingly. "The puir feckless creature marrit after coortin' only eight year. Man, indeed, he had nae chance to ken the wumman in sic a short time. When I was coortin' I was coortin' twenty year."

"And how did it turn out?" inquired a stranger in the party.

 

"I tell ye, I was coortin' twenty year, an' in that time I kenned what wumman was, an' so I didna marry."

 

BEGINNING EARLY

Jack disliked being kissed, and, being a handsome little chap, sometimes had a good deal to put up with. One day he had been kissed a lot. Then, to make matters worse, on going to the picture palace in the evening, instead of his favorite cowboy and Indian pictures, there was nothing but a lot more hugging and kissing.

He returned home completely out of patience with the whole tribe of women.

 

After he had tucked into bed mother came in to kiss him good-night.

 

He refused to be kissed.

 

Mother begged and begged, till in disgust he turned to his father, who was standing at the doorway looking on, and said:

 

"Daddy, for the love of Heaven, give this woman a kiss!"

 

DISCERNING

 

"Daisy," remarked the teacher, "don't love your cat too much. What would you do if it died--you wouldn't see it again?"

 

"Oh, yes; I should see it in heaven."

 

"No, dear, you're mistaken; animals cannot go to heaven like people."

 

Daisy's eyes filled with tears, but suddenly she exclaimed triumphantly:

 

"Animals do go to heaven, for the Bible says the Promised Land is flowing with milk and honey, and, if there are no animals, where do they get the milk?"

 

ROTUND

 

An elderly woman who was extremely stout was endeavoring to enter a street car when the conductor, noticing her difficulty, said to her:

 

"Try sideways, madam; try sideways."

 

The woman looked up breathlessly and said: "Why, bless ye, I ain't got no sideways!"

 

BEYOND THE SENSE OF HUMOR

 

A Scottish soldier, badly wounded, requested an army chaplain to write a letter for him to his wife. The chaplain, anxious to oblige, started off with "My dear Wife--" "Na, na," said the Scotsman, "dinna pit that doon. Ma wife canna see a joke."

 

A NEW COMPLAINT

A German, whose wife was ill at the Seney Hospital, Brooklyn, called the first evening she was there and inquired how she was getting along. He was told that she was improving.

Next day he called again, and was told she was still improving. This went on for some time, each day the report being that his wife was improving.

 

Finally, one day he called and said:

 

"How iss my wife?"

 

"She's dead."

 

He went out and met a friend, and the friend said:

 

"Well, how is your wife?"

 

"She's dead."

 

"Ooh! How terrible! What did she die of?"

 

"Improvements!"

 

SOME FIGHT

An American Negro stevedore assigned to the great docks in southwestern France had written several letters to his black Susanna in Jacksonville, Fla., when she wrote back saying:

"You-all don't nevah tell me nothin' 'bout de battle a-tall. Tilda Sublet's Dave done wrote her all about how he kotched two Germans all by hisself and kilt three mo'."

The stevedore was reluctant to tell his girl that he was doing manual labor and that his only accoutrement was the tinware from which he ate his war bread, "slum" and coffee. His reply ran:

"Dear Sue: De battle am goin' on. You would faint if I tole yuh de full details. Ah'm standin' in blood up to mah knees, and every time Ah move Ah step on a daid German. We're too close to use our rifles, and we're bitin' and gougin' 'em. At one time me and two othah niggahs was hangin' onto de Crown Prince wid our teeth, an' old Papa Kaiser done beat us off wid a fence rail untwell ree-umfo's-ments come!"
TOO STRONG A TERM

One evening just before dinner the wife, who had been playing bridge all the afternoon, came in to find her husband and a strange man (afterward ascertained to be a lawyer) engaged in some mysterious business over the library table upon which were spread several sheets of paper.

"What are you doing with all that paper, Henry?" demanded the wife.

 

"I am making a wish," meekly responded the husband.

 

"A wish?"

 

"Yes, my dear. In your presence I shall not presume to call it a will."

 

NOT FOR HER TO SAY

 

The value of travel oftentimes depends upon who travels.

 

Mrs. Williams, who had recently returned from abroad, was attending an afternoon tea which was given in her honor.

 

"And did you actually go to Rome?" asked the hostess.

 

"I really don't know, my dear," replied Mrs. Williams. "You see, my husband always bought the tickets."

 

AN EXPERT

"So," said the old general, "you think you would make a good valet for an old wreck like me, do you? I have a glass eye, a wooden leg, and a wax arm that need looking after, not to mention false teeth, and so forth."

"Oh, that's all right, general," replied the applicant, enthusiastically; "I've had lots of experience. I worked six years in the assembling department of a big motor-car factory."

 

SHE ADMITTED IT

 

Our ideals are often a personal matter and, after all, it is just as well to be humble about our achievements A certain woman was brought before a magistrate.

 

"It appears to be your record, Mary Moselle," said the magistrate, "that you have been thirty-five times convicted of stealing."

 

"I guess, your honor," replied Mary, "that is right. No woman is perfect." A BENEFACTOR OF MANKIND

 

This story teaches us a very old moral.

 

The man of whom it is told was travelling in a railroad train when he leaned forward confidentially to the man in the next seat:

 

"Excuse me, sir," he said. "You're not going to get off at the next station, are you?"

 

"No, sir."

 

"Then that will give me time to tell you. Are you aware, sir, what is the matter with this great country?"

 

"No, sir."

"As I thought. It's due entirely to misunderstanding. We are always jumping to conclusions about others. That makes us suspicious. Result, constant friction. Take you and me, for example. At present we are comparative strangers. But when we get to know each other better we shall slowly but surely come to realize that each of us is trying to do our best, and--"

"But I don't want to know you any better."

"Precisely. Exactly. That's what causes all the trouble. I judge you and you judge me too hastily. As you become better acquainted with my motives you will gradually come to realize that deep down in my heart is a passionate desire to benefit my fellowmen. Same here. My tendency is to treat you as a stranger, not to give you credit for noble generosity and genuine civic virtue. But I am determined to overcome this attitude and recognize you as a brother. I know I'm a hundred years ahead of my age, but someone must make the sacrifice."

The train stopped and the other man got up and, leaning over, grabbed him by the arm.

 

"I'm changing my mind," he said; "guess I will get off at this station. By-by. Sorry I can't know you better."

The pioneer in human progress sat for some time after the train had started, pondering on the deep problem of destiny. Suddenly, however, he clapped his hands to his pockets and ran forward to the conductor.

"Say, conductor," he whispered, hoarsely, "did that man I was talking to get off at the last station?"

 

"Yes, sir; did you lose anything?" The human benefactor smiled sadly.

"Not in comparison with what the world has lost," he replied. "The human race has lost one of those priceless ideas which, in the course of centuries, sometimes come to real genius only to be abandoned. I lost only my watch."

THE SILVER LINING

He was a Scot, with the usual thrifty characteristics of his race. Wishing to know his fate, he telegraphed a proposal of marriage to the lady of his choice. After waiting all day at the telegraph office he received an affirmative answer late at night.

"Well, if I were you," said the operator who delivered the message, "I'd think twice before I'd marry a girl who kept me waiting so long for an answer."

 

"Na, na," replied the Scot. "The lass for me is the lass wha waits for the night rates."

 

FRENCH POLITENESS

As a truly polite nation the French undoubtedly lead the world, thinks a contributor to a British weekly. The other day a Paris dentist's servant opened the door to a woebegone patient.

"And who, monsieur," he queried in a tender tone, "shall I have the misery of announcing?"

 

SIMPLE FAITH

The Methodist minister in a small country town was noted for his begging propensities and for his ability to extract generous offerings from the close-fisted congregation, which was made up mostly of farmers. One day the young son of one of the members accidentally swallowed a ten-cent piece, much to the excitement of the rest of the family. Every means of dislodging the coin had failed and the frightened parents were about to give up in despair when a bright thought struck the little daughter, who exclaimed: "Oh, mamma, I know how you can get it! Send for our minister; he'll get it out of him!"

LIMITED DISSIPATION

 

A small, hen-pecked, worried-looking man was about to take an examination for life insurance.

 

"You don't dissipate, do you?" asked the physician, as he made ready for tests. "Not a fast liver, or anything of that sort?"

 

The little man hesitated a moment, looked a bit frightened, then replied, in a small, piping voice: "I sometimes chew a little gum."

 

THE LIMIT

The manager of a factory recently engaged a new man and gave instructions to the foreman to instruct him in his duties. A few days afterward the manager inquired whether the new man was progressing with his work.

The foreman, who had not agreed very well with the man in question, exclaimed angrily:

 

"Progressing! There's been a lot of progress. I have taught him everything I know and he is still an ignorant fool."

 

A PERFECT PROGRAM

This story has the merit of being true, anyhow: The official pessimist of a small Western city, a gentleman who had wrestled with chronic dyspepsia for years, stood in front of the post office as the noon whistles sounded.

"Twelve o'clock, eh?" he said, half to himself and half to an acquaintance. "Well, I'm going home to dinner. If dinner ain't ready I'm going to raise hell; and if it is ready I ain't going to eat a bite."

"TIPPERARY" IN CHINESE

 

The Chinese have put "Tipperary" into their own language, and native newspapers print the chorus as follows:

Shih ko yuan lu tao Ti-po-lieh-li, Pi yao ti jih hsing tsou. Shih ko yuan lu tao Ti-polieh-li, Yao chien we ngai tzu nu, Tsai hui Pi-ko-ti-li, Tsai chien Lei-ssu Kwei-rh,
Shih ko yuan lu tao Ti-po-lieh-li, Tan wo hsin tsai na-rh.

This is the literal translation:

This road is far from Ti-po-lieh-li, We must walk for many days, This road is far from Ti-po-lieh-li, I want to see my lovely girl, To meet again Pi-ko-ti-li, To see again Leissu Kwei-rh, This road is far from Ti-po-lieh-li, But my heart is already in that place.

NON FIT

She was a very stout, jolly-looking woman, and she was standing at the corset counter, holding in her hand an article she was returning. Evidently her attention had been suddenly drawn to the legend printed on the label, for she was overheard to murmur, "'Made expressly for John Wanamaker.' Well, there! No wonder they didn't fit me!"

HIS BY RIGHT An Irish chauffeur in San Francisco, who had been having trouble with numerous small boys in the neighborhood of his stand, discovered one day on examining his car that there was a dead cat on one of the seats. In his anger he was about to throw the carcass into the street, when he espied a policeman.

Holding up the carcass, he exclaimed: "This is how I am insulted. What am I to do with it?"

 

"Well, don't you know? Take it straight to headquarters, and if it is not claimed within a month it becomes your property."

 

BEST OF REASONS

A teacher was giving a lesson on the circulation of the blood. Trying to make the matter clearer, he said: "Now, boys, if I stood on my head the blood, as you know, would run into it, and I should turn red in the face."

"Yes, sir," said the boys.

 

"Now," continued the teacher, "what I want to know is this: How is it that while I am standing upright in the ordinary position the blood doesn't rush into my feet?"

 

And a little fellow shouted: "Why, sir, because yer feet ain't empty."

 

A STORY FROM THE FRONT

One day an ammunition dump blew up. Cordite was blazing, shells and bombs bursting, and splinters and whole shells flying everywhere in the vicinity. The atmosphere was full of smoke and resounding with metallic whines. Out of a shack hard by came a darky, loaded to the waterline with kit, blankets, rifle, etc., and up the road he dangled.

"Here! Where are you going?" shouted an officer.

 

"I ain't goin', suh," panted the darky. "I's gone."

 

EQUATORIAL MICHIGAN

Representative Billy Wilson, who dwells in Chicago, found himself in the upper peninsula of Michigan doing some fishing and hunting. While there he conversed with the guide that he had hired in order to have somebody around to talk to.

"Must get mighty all-fired cold up here in winter," remarked Wilson one morning.

 

"Yes, it often gets away down to forty-five below zero," replied the native.

 

"Don't see how you stand it," said the Congressman. "Oh, I always spend my winters in the South," explained the guide.

 

"Go South, eh? Well, well! That's enterprising. And where do you go?"

 

"Grand Rapids," said the guide.

 

SCRIPTURAL

 

The college boys played a mean trick on "Prexy" by pasting some of the leaves of his Bible together. He rose to read the morning lesson, which might have been as follows:

"Now Johial took unto himself a wife of the daughters of Belial." ( He turned a leaf.) "She was eighteen cubits in height and ten cubits in breadth." (A pause, and careful scrutiny of the former page.)

He resumed: "Now Johial took unto himself a wife," etc. ( Leaf turned.) "She was eighteen cubits in height and ten cubits in breadth, and was pitched within and without--" (Painful pause and sounds of subdued mirth.) "Prexy" turns back again in perplexity.

"Young gentlemen, I can only add that 'Man is fearfully and wonderfully made'--and woman also."

 

THE FACT WAS

Saying is one thing and doing is another. In Montana a railway bridge had been destroyed by fire, and it was necessary to replace it. The bridge engineer and his staff were ordered in haste to the place. Two days later came the superintendent of the division. Alighting from his private car, he encountered the old master bridge-builder.

"Bill," said the superintendent--and the words quivered with energy--"I want this job rushed. Every hour's delay costs the company money. Have you got the engineer's plans for the new bridge?"

"I don't know," said the bridge-builder, "whether the engineer has the picture drawed yet or not, but the bridge is up and the trains is passin' over it."

 

THE LAST WORD, AS USUAL

The ways of a woman are supposed to be past finding out, but after all there are times when her logic is irresistible as in the case of a certain wife who had spent her husband's money, had compromised him more than once, had neglected her children and her household duties, and had done everything that woman can do to make his life a failure.

And then, as they were both confronted by the miserable end of it all, and realized that there was no way out of it, he said:
"Perhaps I ought not to appear to be too trivially curious, but I confess to a desire to know why you have done all this. You must have known, if you kept on, just what the end would be. Of course, nobody expects a woman to use her reason. But didn't you have, even in a dim way, some idea of what you were doing?"

She gazed at him with her usual defiance, a habit not to be broken even by the inevitable.

 

"Certainly I did. It was your fault."

 

"My fault! How do you make that out?"

 

"Because I have never had the slightest respect for you."

 

"Why not?"

 

She actually laughed.

 

"How could you expect me to have any respect for a man who could not succeed in preventing me from doing the things I did?"

 

FRUGAL TO THE END

Not long ago a certain publication had an idea. Its editor made up a list of thirty men and women distinguished in art, religion, literature, commerce, politics, and other lines, and to each he sent a letter or a telegram containing this question: "If you had but forty-eight hours more to live, how would you spend them?" his purpose being to embody the replies in a symposium in a subsequent issue of his periodical.

Among those who received copies of the inquiry was a New York writer. He thought the proposition over for a spell, and then sent back the truthful answer by wire, collect:

 

"One at a time."

 

NOT MUCH TO TALK ABOUT

There was an explosion of one of the big guns on a battleship not long ago. Shortly afterward one of the sailors who was injured was asked by a reporter to give an account of it.

"Well, sir," rejoined the jacky, "it was like this: You see, I was standin' with me back to the gun, a-facin' the port side. All of a sudden I hears a hell of a noise; then, sir, the ship physician, he says, 'Set up an' take this,'"

FOLLOWING INSTRUCTIONS YOUTH (with tie of the Stars and Stripes): I sent you some suggestions telling you how to make your paper more interesting. Have you carried out any of my ideas?

EDITOR: Did you meet the office boy with the waste-paper basket as you came upstairs?

 

YOUTH: Yes, yes, I did.

 

EDITOR: Well, he was carrying out your ideas.

 

NO PLACE FOR HIM

On the western plains the sheepman goes out with several thousand head and one human companion. The natural result is that the pair, forced on one another when they least want it, form the habit of hating each other.

An ex-sheepman while in a narrative mood one evening was telling a party of friends of a fellow he once rode with. "Not a word had passed between us for more than a week, and that night when we rolled up in our blankets he suddenly asked:

"'Hear that cow beller?'

 

"'Sounds to me like a bull,' I replied.

 

"No answer, but the following morning I noticed him packing up.

 

"'Going to leave?' I questioned.

 

"'Yes,' he replied.

 

"'What for?'

 

"Too much argument,'"

 

IN THE OLD DAYS

 

Lord Northcliffe at a Washington luncheon was talking about the British Premier.

"Mr. Lloyd George is the idol of the nation," he said. "It is hard to believe how unpopular he was, at least among the Unionists, once. Among the many stories circulated about Mr. Lloyd George's unpopularity at that time there was one which concerned a rescue from drowning. The heroic rescuer, when a gold medal was presented to him for his brave deed, modestly declared:

"'I don't deserve this medal. I did nothing but my duty. I saw our friend here struggling in the water. I knew he must drown unless someone saved him. So I plunged in, swam out to him, turned him over to make sure it wasn't Lloyd George, and then lugged him to safety on my back.'"

TAKING NO CHANCES

 

A big darky was being registered.

 

"Ah can't go to wah," he answered in re exemption, "foh they ain't nobody to look afteh ma wife."

 

A dapper little undersized colored brother stepped briskly up and inquired, "What kind of a lookin' lady is yoh wife?"

 

TOO PERSONAL

Upon the recent death of an American politician, who at one time served his country in a very high legislative place, a number of newspaper men were collaborating on an obituary notice.

"What shall we say of the former senator?" asked one of the men.

 

"Oh, just put down that he was always faithful to his trust."

 

"And," queried a cynical member of the group, "shall we mention the name of the trust?"

 

AN ACROBAT IN THE SQUAD

 

Sergeant (drilling awkward squad): "Company! Attention, company! Lift up your left leg and hold it straight out in front of you!"

One of the squad held up his right leg by mistake. This brought his right-hand companion's left leg and his own right leg close together. The officer, seeing this, exclaimed angrily:

"And who is that blooming galoot over there holding up both legs?"

 

HIS SYSTEM WAS A COMPLETE ONE

We know that the achievements of American business experts are often beyond belief. Whether the following story is true, or is merely a satire, must be left to the judgment of the acute reader:

"May I have a few moments' private conversation?"

The faultlessly dressed gentleman addressed the portly business man, standing upon the threshold of his office.
"This is a business proposition, sir," he said, rapidly closing the door and sinking into a seat beside the desk. "I am not a book agent, nor have I any article to sell. I have come to see you about your wife."

"My wife!"

"Yes, sir. Glancing over the society column of your local paper, I am informed that she is about to take her annual autumn trip to Virginia. You will, or course, have to remain behind to take care of your vast business interests. Your wife, sir, is a charming and attractive woman, still in the bloom of youth. Have you, sir, considered the possibilities?"

The other man started to get up, his face red with rage.

 

"You--" he began.

"One moment, sir, and I think I can satisfy your mind that my motives are pure as alabaster. This is an age of machinery, of science and invention, and, above all, of efficiency. I am simply carrying this idea of efficiency into the domestic life, which, as you are doubtless aware, is so much more important than the physical. One moment, sir. I can furnish you with the highest credentials. This is purely professional, I can assure you. Will give bond if you so desire. My proposition is this: I will accompany your wife on her trip, always, when travelling, at a respectful distance, you understand, and it will be my pleasure as well as business to amuse and interest her during her stay. I do everything--play tennis, bridge, dance all the latest steps, know the latest jokes, can sing, converse on any subject or remain silent, am a life-saver, can run an auto, flirt discreetly, and, in fact, am the most delightful companion for a wife that you can imagine. Remember, sir, that unless you engage my services your wife is at the mercy of all the strangers she may meet and being in that peculiar condition of mind where she is bound to be attracted by things that would otherwise seem commonplace, there is no telling what the end might be. But with me she is perfectly safe. I guarantee results. I insure your heart's happiness against the future. Terms reasonable. I can refer you to--"

In reply the enforced host rose up, and, taking him not too gently by the arm, led him to the door.

"My friend," he said, coldly, "your proposition of safety first doesn't interest me. No, sir! I'm sending my wife to Virginia in hopes that she will actually fall in love with somebody else, so I won't have to endure what little I see of her any more, and here you come in to spoil my future. No, sir!"

His visitor turned and faced him with a bright smile.

"My dear sir," he said, "wait. Business man that you are, you do not understand the extent of our resources, which cover every emergency. In accordance with our usual custom, I have already met your wife at a bridge party, and I might say that she is crazy about me. Now, sir, for double the price of my regular fee and a small annual stipend, which is about half the alimony you might have to pay, I will agree to marry and take her off your hands in six months, making you happy for the rest of your life. Sign here, please. Thank you."

FACING THE TRUTH

 

Sanderson was on a visit to Simpkins, and in due course, naturally, he was shown the family album.

"Yes," said Simpkins, as he turned the leaves, "that's my wife's second cousin's aunt Susan. And that's Cousin James, and that's a friend of ours, and that--oh, now, who do you think that is?"

"Don't know," said Sanderson.

 

"Well, that's my wife's first husband, my boy."

 

"Great Scot! What a perfect brainless-looking idiot. But excuse me, old fellow, I didn't know your wife was a widow when you married her."

 

"She wasn't," said Simpkins stiffly. "That, sir, is a portrait of myself at the age of twenty."

 

HE GOT RESULTS, ANYWAY

American troops who during the early days of the European War were landed in France received a more careful and prolonged training than could possibly be given the most of the regiments hurriedly raised during the Civil War. The story goes that a raw battalion of rough backwoodsmen, who had "volunteered," once joined General Grant. He admired their fine physique, but distrusted the capacity of their uncouth commander to handle troops promptly and efficiently in the field, so he said:

"Colonel, I want to see your men at work; call them to attention, and order them to march with shouldered arms in close column to the left flank."

 

Without a moment's hesitation the colonel yelled to his fellow-ruffians:

 

"Boys, look wild thar! Make ready to thicken and go left endways! Tote yer guns! Git!"

 

The manoeuvre proved a brilliant success and the self-elected colonel was forthwith officially commissioned.

 

THE TWO TREATMENTS

 

President Wilson an ardent advocate of every kind of social reform, is fond of telling a story about an old teamster.

 

This old fellow said to the treasurer of the concern one day:

 

"Me and that off horse has been workin' for the company seventeen years, sir."

 

"Just so, Winterbottom, just so," said the treasurer, and he cleared his throat and added: "Both treated well, I hope?"

 

The old teamster looked dubious.

 

"Wall," he said, "we wus both tooken down sick last month, and they got a doctor for the hoss, while they docked my pay."

 

COMPREHENSIVE

 

There is nothing like taking precautions.

 

In the following colloquy Mr, Casey, so far as we can judge, neglected nothing. Mrs. Casey said to him:

 

"Me sister writes me that every bottle in that box we sent her was broken. Are ye sure yez printed 'This side up with care' on it?"

 

"Oi am," said Casey emphatically. "An' for fear they shouldn't see it on the top Oi printed it on the bottom as well."

 

BITING REPROOF

 

During a dust-storm at one of the army camps, a recruit sought shelter in the cook's tent.

 

"If you put the lid on that camp kettle you would not get so much dust in your soup."

 

"See here, my lad, your business is to serve your country."

 

"Yes," replied the recruit, "but not to eat it."

 

DISCRIMINATIVE

 

On a road in Belgium a German officer met a boy leading a jackass and addressed him in heavy jovial fashion as follows:

 

"That's a fine jackass you have, my son. What do you call it? Albert, I bet!"

 

"Oh, no, officer," the boy replied quickly. "I think too highly of my King."

 

The German scowled and returned: "I hope you don't dare to call it William."

 

"Oh, no, officer. I think too highly of my jackass."

 

NOTHING TO LOSE

An author has favored us with the following anecdote, which is taken from the opening of a chapter in a forthcoming book dealing with the war. It is another example of the pioneer character of ministerial service with us. The varieties of opportunity are constantly changing, but out in the front, according to the needs of our day and generation, there stands the Unitarian with the equipped mind and the ready hand. "A year ago, in London, a man originally from New York State came up and spoke to me as a fellow-American. He wore the garb of a Canadian officer. After I had answered his query as to what I was doing in England, he said: 'My work is rather different. I am looking after the social evil and venereal diseases in the Canadian Army.' 'Then you are a medical man?' 'No, said he, 'I tried to get my English medical friends to take hold of the work, but they said that they had their reputations to look after. I have no reputation to lose. I am simply a Unitarian clergyman.'"

BAIT

When Mike Flaherty abandoned South Boston for Lynn and hired a cottage with a bit of a back yard the first thing he did was to hurry back to the Hub of the Universe and purchase a monkey. "Divil a wurrd" of his scheme would he disclose to his old cronies in Boston. But afterward he let out:

"'Twas like this: I chained the monk to a shtick in me yard, and the coal thrains do be passin' all day foreninst, and on iv'ry cairr do be a brakeman. In one waik, begorra, I had two tons of coal in me cellar, and the monk never wanst hit."

BASEBALL "OVER THERE"

In a camp "Over There" the Turkish prisoners are allowed some freedom and among other things our American boys introduced them to the game of baseball. The Turks did remarkably well at it. One of them stepped up to the bat one day, and taking it firmly in his hand turned to the east and salaaming said in a reverent voice "Allah, assist thy servant." He then made a three bagger.

The next player to the bat was an American boy who was not going to let that Turk beat him. He also stepped up to the bat, clasped it firmly in his hand, salaaming to the east said, "You know me, Al,' keeping up with the Turk."

You may also like...