THE LADIES' HOME JOURNAL
from THE LADIES' HOME JOURNAL
Warding Off a Catastrophe
A fat woman entered a crowded street car and, seizing a strap, stood directly in front of a man seated in the corner. As the car started she lunged against his newspaper and at the same time trod heavily on his toes.
As soon as he could extricate himself he rose and offered her his seat.
"You are very kind, sir," she said, panting for breath.
"Not at all, madam," he replied; "it's not kindness; it's simply self-defense."
Not What She Expected
A charming, well-preserved widow had been courted and won by a physician. She had children. The wedding-day was approaching, and it was time the children should know they were to have a new father. Calling one of them to her she said: "Georgie, I am going to do something before long that I would like to talk about with you."
"What is it, Ma ?" aiked the boy.
"I am intending to marry Doctor Jones in a few days, and——"
"Bully for you. Ma, Does Doctor Jones know it ?"
The morning class had been duly instructed and enlightened upon the subject of our national independence. Feeling sure she had made a real and lasting impression with her explanations and blackboard illustrations the young teacher began with the usual round of questions:
"Now, Sammy Smith, where was the Declaration of Independence signed?"
Sammy, with a shout of glee: "At de bottom, ma'am—that's what you said!"
He Had Certainly Met Him
A traveler going to New Zealand was asked by a friend if he would inquire, while there, as to the whereabouts of the friend's grandfather, Jeremiah Thompson.
"Certainly," said the traveler, and wherever he went he asked for news of the ancestor, but without avail.
One day he was introduced to a fine old Maori of advanced age. "Did you ever meet with an Englishman named Jeremiah Thompson?" he asked.
A smile passed over the Maori's face. "Meet him?" he repeated. "Why, I ate him!"
No Place Like Home
A Bostonian died, and when he arrived at St. Peter's gate he was asked the usual questions:
"What is your name, and where are you from ?"
The answer was, "Mr. So-and-So, from Boston."
"You may come in," said St. Peter, "but I know you won't like it."
She Felt Bad When Well
An old lady, really quite well, was always complaining and "enjoying poor health," as she expressed it. Her various ailments were to her the most interesting topic in the world. One day a neighbor found her eating a hearty meal, and asked her how she was.
"Poor me," she sighed, "I feel very well, but I always feel bad when I feel well, because I know I am going to feel worse afterward."
Drove Him Mad
They took him to the sanatorium moaning feebly: "Thirty-nine, thirty-nine."
"What does he mean by that?" the attendant inquired.
"It's the number of buttons on the back of his wife's new frock," the family doctor explained.
Tweedledum or Tweedledee
Joseph Chamberlain was the guest of honor at a dinner in an important city. The Mayor presided, and when coffee was being served the Mayor leaned over and touched Mr. Chamberlain, saying, "Shall we let the people enjoy themselves a little longer, or had we better have your speech now?"
It Was Mary's Own Idea
"Did you mail my letter, Mary?" asked her mistress. "It was an important one, you know."
"Yis, mum, indeed I did."
"But why have you brought back the two cents I gave you for the stamp?"
"Sure, I didn't have to use it, mum," replied Mary. "I slipped th' letther into th' box whin nobody was lukin'."
He Couldn't Very Well
A husband was being arraigned in court in a suit brought by his wife for cruelty.
"I understand, sir," said the Judge, addressing the husband, "that one of the indignities you have showered upon your wife is that you have not spoken to her for three years. Is that so?"
"It is, your Honor," quickly answered the husband.
"Well, sir," thundered the judge, "why didn't you speak to her, may I ask?"
"Simply," replied the husband, "because I didn't want to interrupt her."
A Coat That Wouldn't Come Off
The inspector asked the boys of the school he was examining: "Can you take your warm overcoats aff?" "Yes, sir," was the response. "Can the bear take his warm overcoat off?" "No, sir." "Why not?" There was silence for a while, and then a little boy spoke up: "Please, sir, because God alone knows where the buttons are."
The Young Housewife's Latest
In the cook's absence the young mistress of the house undertook, with the help of a green waitress, to get the Sunday luncheon. The flurried maid, who had been struggling in the kitchen with a coffee machine that refused to work, confessed that she had forgotten to wash the lettuce.
"Well, never mind, Eliza. Go on with the coffee, and I'll do it," said the considerate mistress. "Where do you keep the soap?"
He Did His Best
A hungry Irishman went into a restaurant on Friday and said to the waiter:
"Have yez any whale?"
"Have yez any shark?"
"Have yez any swordfish?"
"Have yez any jellyfish?"
"All right," said the Irishman. "Then bring me ham and eggs and a beefsteak smothered wid onions. The Lord knows I asked for fish."
The Power Behind
At a prayer-meeting a good old brother stood up and said he was glad to give the following testimony:
"My wife and I," he said, "started in life with hardly a cent in the world. We began at the lowest round of the ladder, but the Lord has been good to us and we have worked up—we have prospered. We bought a little farm and raised good crops. We have a good home and a nice family of children, and," he added with much emphasis, "I am the head of that family."
After he sat down his wife promptly arose to corroborate all that he had said. She said that they had started in life with hardly a cent, the Lord had been good to them and they had prospered; they did have a farm and good crops, and it was true they did have a fine family of children. But she added with satisfaction, "I am the neck that moves the head."
Some visitors who were being shown over a pauper lunatic asylum, says "Harper's Weekly," inquired of their guide what method was employed to discover when the inmates were sufficiently recovered to leave.
"Well," replied he, "you see, it's this way. We have a big trough of water, and we turns on the tap. We leave it running, and tells 'em to bail out the water with pails until they've emptied the trough."
"How does that prove it?" asked one of the visitors.
"Well," said the guide, "them as ain't idiots turns off the tap."
He Had Left the Cards All Right
The high-born dame was breaking in a new footman—stupid but honest.
In her brougham, about to make a round of visits, she found she had forgotten her bits of pasteboard. So she sent the man back with orders to bring some of her cards that were on the mantelpiece in her boudoir, and put them in his pocket.
At different houses, she told the footman to hand in one, and sometimes a couple, until at last she told Jeames to leave three at one house.
"Can't do it, mum."
"I've only got two left—the ace of spades and the seven of clubs."
And That Settled It
"If ye please, mum," said the ancient hero, in an appealing voice, as he stood at the back door of the cottage on washday, "I've lost my leg——"
"Well, I ain't got it," snapped the woman fiercely,
And the door closed with a bang.
What Do You Think the Porter Did?
A lady in the centre seat of the parlor car heard the request of a fellow-passenger directly opposite asking the porter to open the window, and, scenting a draft, she immediately drew a cloak about her.
"Porter, if that window is opened," she snapped testily, "I shall freeze to death."
"And if the window is kept closed," returned the other passenger, "I shall surely suffocate."
The poor porter stood absolutely puzzled between the two fires.
"Say, boss," he finally said to a commercial traveler seated near by, "what would you do?"
"Do?" echoed the traveler. "Why, man, that is a very simple matter; open the window and freeze one lady. Then close it and suffocate the other."
She Said It
A visitor of noble birth was expected to arrive at a large country house in the North of England, and the daughter of the house, aged seven, was receiving final instructions from her mother.
"And now, dear," she said, "when the Duke speaks to you do not forget always to say 'your Grace.'"
Presently the great man arrived, and after greeting his host and hostess he said to the child, "Well, my dear, and what is your name?" Judge of his surprise when the little girl solemnly closed her eyes and with clasped hands exclaimed, "For what we are about to receive may we be truly fankful, amen."
His Idea of Genius
A young man once said to Thomas A. Edison, the inventor; "Mr. Edison, don't you believe that genius is inspiration?"
"No," replied Edison; "genius is perspiration."
Took the Wrong House
On one of the Southern railroads there is a station-building that is commonly known by travelers as the smallest railroad station in America. It is of this station that the story is told that an old farmer was expecting a chicken-house to arrive there, and he sent one of his hands, a newcomer, to fetch it. Arriving there the man saw the house, loaded it on to his wagon and started for home. On the way he met a man in uniform with the words "Station Agent" on his cap.
"Say, hold on. What have you got on that wagon?" he asked.
"My chicken-house, of course," was the reply.
"Chicken-house be jiggeredl" exploded the official. "That's the station!"
And Tommy Did
"And now," said the teacher, "I want Tommy to tell the school who was most concerned when Absalom got hung by the hair ?"
The Prayer of Cyrus Brown
"The proper way for a man to pray," Said Deacon Lemuel Keyes, "And the only proper attitude, Is down upon his knees."
"No, I should say the way to pray," Said Reverend Doctor Wise, "Is standing straight, with outstretched arms, And rapt and upturned eyes."
"Oh, no; no, no," said Elder Slow, "Such posture is too proud: A man should pray with eyes fast closed And head contritely bowed."
"It seems to me his hands should be Austerely clasped in front, With both thumbs pointing toward the ground," Said Reverend Doctor Blunt.
"Las' year I fell in Hodgkin's well Head first," said Cyrus Brown, "With both my heels a-stickin' up, My head a-p'inting down,
"An' I made a prayer right then an' there— Best prayer I ever said, The prayingest prayer I ever prayed, A-standing on my head."
—SAM WALTER FOSS.
Couldn't Tell Which
Jones had come home later than usual and had ready a good explanation, but his wife gave him no chance, and immediately began to tell him what she thought of him. He endured it patiently all evening, quietly read his paper and went to bed. His wife was still talking.
When he was almost asleep he could hear her still scolding him unmercifully. He dropped off to sleep and awoke after a couple of hours, only to hear his wife remark:
"I hope all the women don't have to put up with such conduct as this."
"Annie," said Jones, "are you talking again or yet?"
The Greater Calamity
Two or three urchins were running down a long and very steep flight of steps, when the foremost stumbled and fell headlong twenty to thirty feet, and was only stopped near the bottom by doubling backward around the newel-post. It looked as though his back was broken, and that he was a dead small boy, but he gathered himself up, thrust his hands anxiously in his trousers' pockets, and ejaculated;
"B' gosh, I b'l'eve I lost a cent."
Her First Railroad Ride
An old lady in Missouri took her first railroad trip last week, says "The Butter Democrat." She noticed the bell-cord overhead, and, turning to a boy, she said: "Sonny, what's that for?" "That, marm," he said, with a mischievous twinkle in his eye, "is to ring the bell when you want something to eat."
Shortly afterward the old lady reached her umbrella up to the cord and gave it a vigorous pull. The train was in the middle of a trestle. The whistle sounded, the brakes were pulled on, the train began to slacken its speed, windows were thrown up, questions asked, and confusion reigned among the passengers. The old lady sat calmly through it all.
Presently the conductor came running through the train and asked: "Who pulled the bell?"
"I did," replied the old lady meekly.
"Well, what do you want?" asked the conductor impatiently.
"Well," said the old lady meditatively, "you may bring me a ham sandwich and a cup of tea, please."
The Parson and the "Light"
A parson had had a call from a little country parish to a large and wealthy one in a big city. He asked time for prayer and consideration. He did not feel sure of his light. A month passed. Some one met hie youngest son. "How is it, Josiah; is your father going to B———?"
"Well," answered the youngster judicially, "paw is still prayin' for light, but most of the things is packed."
Turn About is Fair Play
Last Christmas a middle-aged tinplate-worker married a widow whose acquaintance he had made but a few weeks before while working some little distance away from home.
"Sarrah," he said nervously, after the guests had departed, "I 'ave a weddin' present for ye."
"What is it, John?" said Sarrah with a smirk.
"I 'ope ye won't be 'fended, Sarrah," said John, more agitated than ever, "but it is—er—er—it is five of 'em."
"Five of wat?" asked Sarrah.
"Five children!" blurted out John desperately, anticipating a scene. "I didn't tell ye I 'ad children—five of 'em."
Sarrah took the news quite calmly; in fact, she appeared relieved.
"Oh, well, John," she said, "that do make it easier for me to tell ye. Five is not so bad as me, watever. Seven I 'ave got!"
"Wat!" howled John.
"Seven," repeated Sarrah composedly. "That is my weddin' present to ye, John."
His Only Chance
"Is there a man in all this audience," demanded the female lecturer on woman's rights, "that has ever done anything to lighten the burden on his wife's shoulders? What do you know of woman's work? Is there a man here," she continued, folding her arms, and looking over the assembly with superb scorn, "that has ever got up in the morning, leaving his tired, worn-out wife to enjoy her slumbers, gone quietly downstairs, made the fire, cooked his own breakfast, sewed the missing buttons on the children's clothes, darned the family stockings, scoured the pots and kettles, cleaned and filled the lamps, and done all this, if necessary, day after day, uncomplainingly? If there be such a man in this audience let him rise up! I should really like to see him!"
And, in the rear of the hall, a mild-looking man in spectacles, in obedience to the summons, timidly arose. He was the husband of the eloquent speaker. It was the first time he had ever had a chance to assert himself.
He Saw Them, All Right
Two officers were sent to arrest a Quaker; his wife met them at the door and said, "Walk in, gentlemen; my husband will see thee."
After waiting some time they got impatient and called the woman, saying, "You said we should see your husband presently."
"No, friend," she replied; "I said he would see thee—he did see thee, did not like thy looks, and went out by the back door."
An Easy Way to Stop It
William Penn was once urging a man he knew to stop drinking to excess, when the man suddenly asked:
"Can you tell me of an easy way to do it?"
"Yes," Penn replied readily, "it is just as easy as to open thy hand, friend."
"Convince me of that," the man exclaimed, "and I will promise upon my honor to do as you tell me."
"Well, my friend," Penn answered, "whenever thee finds a glass of liquor in thy hand, open that hand before the glass touches thy lips, and thee will never drink to excess again."
The man was so struck by the simplicity of the great Quaker's advice that he followed it and reformed.
What Brought Them?
A rural school has a pretty girl as its teacher, but she was much troubled because many of her pupils were late every morning. At last she made the announcement that she would kiss the first pupil to arrive at the schoolhouse the next morning. At sunrise the largest three boys of her class were sitting on the doorstep of the schoolhouse, and by six o'clock every boy in the school and four of the directors were waiting for her to arrive.
Give and Take
An English statesman on one occasion, when engaged in canvassing, visited a working-man's house, in the principal room of which a pictorial representation of the Pope faced an illustration of King William, of pious and immortal memory, in the act of crossing the Boyne.
The worthy man stared in amazement, and seeing his surprise the voter's wife exclaimed;
"Shure, my husband's an Orangeman and I'm a Catholic."
"How do you get on together?" asked the astonished politician.
"Very well, indade, barring the twelfth of July, when my husband goes out with the Orange procession and comes home feelin' extry pathriotic."
"Well, he always takes the Pope down and jumps on him and then goes straight to bed. The next morning I get up early, before he is awake, and take down King William and pawn him and buy a new Pope with the money. Then I give the old man the ticket to get King William out."
Too Much of a Good Thing
"I've got the very thing you want," said the stableman to a ruralist in search of a horse; "a thorough-going road horse. Five years old, sound as a quail, $175 cash down, and he goes ten miles without stopping."
The purchaser threw his hands skyward.
"Not for me," he said, "not for me. I wouldn't gif you five cents for him. I live eight miles out in de country, und I'd haf to walk back two miles."
Had Missed It
"What are you crying for, my poor little boy?" said a man to a crying boy.
"Pa fell downstairs."
"Don't take on so, my boy. He'll get better soon."
"That isn't it. Sister saw him fall—all the way. I never saw nuffen."
Denied the Only Shade
It was a broiling hot day in the park, and those walking therein were well-nigh exhausted, when a very stout old lady came bustling along one of the paths, closely followed by a rough-looking tramp.
Twice she commanded him to leave her, but Still he followed just behind.
At last the old lady, quite disgusted, turned angrily around and said:
"Look here, my man, if you don't go away I shall call a policeman."
The poor fellow looked up at her with a tear in his eye, and then remarked:
"For goodness' sake, mum, have mercy and don't call a policeman, for ye're the on'y shady spot in the park."
Wanted to Make Her Happy
In one of the many hospitals in the South a bright, busy-looking and duty-loving woman hustled up to one of the wounded soldiers who lay gazing at the ceiling above his cot. "Can't I do something for you, my poor fellow?" said the woman imploringly. The "poor fellow" looked up languidly. The only things he really wanted just at that time were his discharge and a box of cigars. When he saw the strained and anxious look on the good woman's face, however, he felt sorry for her, and with perfect sang froid he replied: "Why, yes; you can wash my face if you want to."
"I'd be only too glad to," gasped the visitor eagerly.
"All right," said the cavalier gallantly, "go ahead. It's been washed twenty-one times already to-day, but I don't mind going through it again if it'll make you any happier."
A noted mathematician, considered by many a wonder, stopped at a hotel in a small town in Missouri. As usual, in such places, there were a number of drummers on hand; there was also a meeting of some medical men at the place, who used the hotel as headquarters. One of the doctors thought it would be quite a joke to tell the mathematician that some of the M.D.'s had concluded to kidnap him and take out his brains to learn how it was he was so good in mathematics. He was then asked by them what he was going to do about it. He replied: "Why, I shall simply go on without brains just as you doctors are doing."
Not a Complaint at All
The good priest had come to his parishioner after the funeral of the latter's mother-in-law to express condolences.
"And what complaint was it, Pat," he asked sympathetically, "that carried the old lady off?"
"Kumplaint, did yi ask, father?" answered Pat. "Thir wuz no kumplaint from anybody. Everybody wuz satisfied."
He Caught It, But——
The ferry-dock was crowded with weary homegoers when through the crowd rushed a man—hot, excited, laden to the chin with bundles of every shape and size. He sprinted down the pier, his eyes fixed on a ferryboat only two or three feet out from the pier. He paused but an instant on the string-piece, and then, cheered on by the amused crowd, he made a flying leap across the intervening stretch of water and landed safely on the deck. A fat man happened to be standing on the exact spot on which he struck, and they both went down with a resounding crash. When the arriving man had somewhat recovered his breath he apologized to the fat man. "I hope I didn't hurt you," he said. "I am sorry. But, anyway, I caught the boat!"
"But, you idiot," said the fat man, "the boat was coming in!"
He Didn't Mind
A certain railway in Michigan has a station entitled Sawyer's Mills, but usually entitled, for short, Sawyer's.
A rural couple on one of the trains attracted much attention by their evident fondness for each other until the brakeman thrust his head in the doorway of the car and called out, "Sawyer! Sawyer!"
"Reuben" suddenly assumed the perpendicular and indignantly exclaimed, "Well, I don't care if you did; we've been engaged three weeks."
He Announced His Intentions
Young man and his lady-love attended a protracted meeting which was being held in the village church. Arriving late they found the church filled, but a gentleman arose and gave the lady his seat, while the young man was ushered far away to a seat in another part of the building.
The service grew warm and impressive.
"Will those who want our prayers please stand up?" said the preacher.
At this juncture the young man thought it was getting late and he would get his sweetheart and go home, but not just knowing where she sat he rose to his feet and looked over the audience.
The minister, mistaking his intentions, asked: "Young man, are you seeking salvation?"
To which the young man responded: "At present I am seeking Sal Jackson!"
As a Last Resort
"Well, doctor," said the patient who was an incessant talker, "why in the world don't you look at my tongue, if you want to, instead of writing away like a newspaper editor? How long do you expect I am going to sit here with my mouth wide open?"
"Just one moment more, please, madam," replied the doctor; "I only wanted you to keep still long enough so that I could write this prescription."
He Got the Information
At a country fair a machine which bore a sign reading, "How to Make Your Trousers Last," occupied a prominent position in the grounds and attracted much attention, says "Harper's Weekly." A countryman who stood gaping before it was told by the exhibitor, a person with a long black mustache, a minstrel-stripe shirt, and a ninety-four-carat diamond in a red cravat, that for one cent deposited in the slot the machine would dispense its valuable sartorial advice. The countryman dug the required coin from the depths of a deep pocket and dropped it in the slot. Instantly the machine delivered a card on which was neatly printed:
"Make your coat and waistcoat first."
After Many Trials
He WAS a sad-faced American tourist, and as he seated himself in a London restaurant he was immediately attended by an obsequious waiter.
"I want two eggs," said the American—"one fried on one side and one on the other."
"'Ow is that, sir ?" asked the astounded waiter.
"Two eggs—one fried on one side and one on the other."
"Very well, sir."
The waiter was gone several minutes, and when he returned his face was a study.
"Would you please repeat your border, sir?"
"I said, very distinctly, two eggs—one fried on one side and one on the other."
Oppressive silence, and then a dazed "Very well, sir."
This time he was gone longer, and when he returned he said anxiously:
"Would it be awsking too much, sir, to 'ave you repeat your border, sir? I cawn't think I 'ave it right, sir, y'know."
"Two eggs," said the American sadly and patiently—"one fried on one side and one on the other."
More oppressive silence and another and fainter "Very well, sir."
This time he was gone still longer. When he returned his collar was unbuttoned, his hair disheveled and his face scratched and bleeding. Leaning over the waiting patron he whispered beseechingly:
"Would you mind tyking boiled heggs, sir? I've 'ad some words with the cook."
It Was His Only Tie
One morning, as Mark Twain returned from a neighborhood morning call, sans necktie, his wife met him at the door with the exclamation; "There, Sam, you have been over to the Stowes's again without a necktie! It's really disgraceful the way you neglect your dress!"
Her husband said nothing, but went up to his room.
A few minutes later his neighbor—Mrs. S.—was summoned to the door by a messenger, who presented her with a small box neatly done up. She opened it and found a black silk necktie, accompanied by the following note:
"Here is a necktie. Take it out and look at it. I think I stayed half an hour this morning. At the end of that time will you kindly return it, as it is the only one I have?—MARK TWAIN."
BILLY: "Gentlemen, before we begin to operate, if you will hold the patient's hands and feet I'll get that four cents out of his right-hand pocket."
The Feminine Point of View
The Willoughbys had said good-by to Mrs. Kent. Then Mr. Willoughby spoke thoughtfully:
"It was pleasant of her to say that about wishing she could see more of people like us, who are interested in real things, instead of the foolish round of gayety that takes up so much of her time and gives her so little satisfaction, wasn't it?"
His wife stole a sidewise glance at his gratified face, and a satirical smile crossed her own countenance.
"Very pleasant, George," she said clearly. "But what I knew she meant, and what she knew that I knew she meant, was that my walking-skirt is an inch too long and my sleeves are old style, and your coat, poor dear, is beginning to look shiny in the back."
"Why—what—how——" began Mr. Willoughby helplessly; then he shook his head and gave it up.
He Had Faith in the Doctor
A young English laborer went to the register's office to record his father's death. The register asked the date of death.
"Well, father ain't dead yet," was the reply; "but he will be dead before morning, and I thought it would save me another trip if you would put it down now."
"Oh, that won't do at all," said the register. "Why, your father may be well before morning."
"Ah, no, he won't," said the young laborer. "Our doctor says he won't, and he knows what he's given father."
What He Used the Milk For
A clergyman had been for some time displeased with the quality of milk served him. At length he determined to remonstrate with his milkman for supplying such weak stuff. He began mildly:
"I've been wanting to see you in regard to the quality of milk with which you are serving me."
"Yes, sir," uneasily answered the tradesman.
"I only wanted to say," continued the minister, "that I use the milk for drinking purposes exclusively, and not for christening."
Nothing if Not Polite
An interested visitor who was making the final call in the tenement district, rising, said:
"Well, my good woman, I must go now. Is there anything I can do for you?"
"No, thank ye, mem," replied the submerged one. "Ye mustn't mind it if I don't return the call, will ye? I haven't any time to go slummm' meself."
Her Little Game
As a married couple were walking down one of the main thoroughfares of a city the husband noted the attention which other women obtained from passers-by, and remarked to his better half:
"Folks never look at you. I wish I had married some one better looking."
The woman tartly replied: "It's your fault. Do you think a man will stare at me when you're walking with me? You step behind and see whether men don't look at me."
The husband hung back about a dozen yards, and for the length of the street was surprised to see every man his wife passed stare hard at her and even turn around and look after her.
"Sure, lassie!" he exclaimed as he rejoined her, "I was wrong and take it back. I'll never say aught about your looks again."
The wife had made a face at every man she met.
A Case of Adaptation
Two dusky small boys were quarreling; one was pouring forth a volume of vituperous epithets, while the other leaned against a fence and calmly contemplated him. When the flow of language was exhausted he said;
"Are you troo?"
"You ain't got nuffin' more to say?"
"Well, all dem tings what you called me you is."
What Would Happen
A woman agitator, holding forth on the platform and presenting the greatness other sex, cried out: "Take away woman and what would follow?"
And from the audience came a clear, male voice: "We would."
Couldn't Fool Him That Far
Years ago, when telephones were still a novelty, a farmer came to town one day and called on a lawyer friend of his whom he supplied with butter, and who had had a telephone recently put in his office.
"Need any butter this morning?" asked the farmer.
"Well, I don't know," answered the lawyer. "Wait a minute. I'll ask my wife about it."
After speaking through the 'phone he went on; "No; my wife says no."
The farmer's face was a study for a moment. Then he broke out with: "Look-a-here, Mr. Lawyer, I may be a 'Rube' and have my whiskers full of hay and hayseed, but I'm not such a big fool as to believe that your wife is in that box!"
And They Wondered!
At a banquet held in a room, the walls of which were adorned with many beautiful paintings, a well-known college president was called upon to respond to a toast. In the course of his remarks, wishing to pay a compliment to the ladies present, and designating the paintings with one of his characteristic gestures, he said: "What need is there of these painted beauties when we have so many with us at this table?"
She Had Him That Time
It was the same old story of a man who refused to tell his wife the outcome of a business transaction in which, naturally, she took a deep interest.
"No," he sneered, "I won't tell you. If I did you'd repeat it. You women can never keep a secret."
"John," said the woman quietly, "have I ever told the secret about the solitaire engagement ring you gave me eighteen years ago being paste?"
Necessity: Not Choice
A woman hurried up to a policeman at the corner of Twenty-third Street in New York City.
"Does this crosstown car take you down to the Bridge toward Brooklyn?" she demanded.
"Why, madam," returned the policeman, "do you want to go to Brooklyn?"
"No, I don't want to" the woman replied, "but I have to."
Mr. Beecher's Prescription
A country clergyman once called on Mr. Beecher and asked his advice about what to do with persons who go to sleep in church.
"Well," said Mr. Beecher, "I'll tell you what I do. When I first came to Plymouth Church I gave the sexton strict orders that if he saw any person asleep in my congregation he should go straight to the pulpit and wake up the minister."
A Recipe for a Bridal Couple
It was on a train going through Indiana. Among the passengers was a newly-married couple, who made themselves known Co such an extent that the occupants of the car commenced passing sarcastic remarks about them. The bride and groom stood the remarks for some time, but finally the latter, who was a man of tremendous size, broke out in the following language at his tormentors: "Yes, we're married—just married. We are going one hundred and sixty miles farther, and I am going to 'spoon' all the way. If you don't like it you can get out and walk. She's my violet and I'm her sheltering oak."
During the remainder of the journey they were left in peace.
Both of the Same Kind
A lady stepped from the Limited Express at a side station, on a special stop order. To the only man in sight she asked:
"When is the train for Madison due here, please?"
"The train went an hour ago, ma'am: the next one is to-morrow at eight o'clock."
The lady in perplexity then asked:
"Where is the nearest hotel?"
"There is no hotel here at all," replied the man.
"But what shall I do?" asked the lady. "Where shall I spend the night?"
"I guess you'll have to stay all night with the station agent," was the reply.
"Sir!" flashed up the lady, "I'd have you know I'm a lady."
"Well," said the man as he strode off, "so is the station agent."
"Follow the Leader"
A young curate was asked to take a Sunday-school class of girls of eighteen or nineteen years each, which had formerly been taught by a lady. The young clergyman consented, but insisted upon being properly introduced to the class. The superintendent accordingly took him to the class for this purpose and said:
"Young ladies, I introduce to you Mr. Chase, who will in future be your teacher. I would like you to tell him what your former teacher did each Sunday so that he can go on in the same way. What did she always do first?"
And then a miss of sixteen said: "Kiss us."
Very Easily Explained
A neighbor whose place adjoined Bronson Alcott's had a vegetable garden in which he took a great interest. Mr. Alcott had one also, and both men were especially interested in their potato patches. One morning, meeting by the fence, the neighbor said, "How is it, Mr. Alcott, you are never troubled with bugs, while my vines are crowded with them?"
"My friend, that is very easily explained," replied Mr. Alcott. "I rise very early in the morning, gather all the bugs from my vines and throw them into your yard."
Proved His Teacher Wrong
Little Willie's father found his youthful son holding up one of his rabbits by the ears and saying to him: "How much is seven times seven, now?"
"Bah," the father heard the boy say, "I knew you couldn't. Here's another one. Six times six is how much?"
"Why, Willie, what in the world are you doing with your rabbit?" asked the father.
Willie threw the rabbit down with disgust. "I knew our teacher was lying to us," was all he said.
"Why, how?" asked his father.
"Why, she told us this morning that rabbits were the greatest multipliers in the world."
At the Department Store
A man with a low voice had just completed his purchases in the department store, says the "Brooklyn Eagle."
"What is the name?" asked the clerk.
"Jepson," replied the man.
"Oh, yes, Jefferson."
"No, Jepson; J-e-p-s-o-n."
"That's it. You have it. Sixteen eighty-two——"
"Your first name; initial, please."
"Excuse me, it isn't O. K. You did not understand me. I said 'Oh'."
"No; rub out the O. and let the K. stand."
The clerk iooked annoyed. "Will you please give me your initials again?"
"I said K."
"I beg your pardon, you said O. K. Perhaps you had better write it yourself."
"I said 'Oh'——"
"Just now you said K."
"Allow me to finish what I started. I said 'Oh,' because I did not understand what you were asking me. I did not mean that it was my initial. My name is Kirby Jepson."
"No, not O., but K. Give me the pencil, and I'll write it down for you myself. There, I guess it's O. K. now."
The Worst Death There Is BY BILL NYE
It is now the proper time for the cross-eyed woman to fool with the garden hose. I have faced death in almost every form, and I do not know what fear is, but when a woman with one eye gazing into the zodiac and the other peering into the middle of next week, and wearing one of those floppy sunbonnets, picks up the nozzle of the garden hose and turns on the full force of the institution, I fly wildly to the Mountains of Hepsidam.
Water won't hurt any one, of course, if care is used not to forget and drink any of it, but it is this horrible suspense and uncertainty about facing the nozzle of a garden hose in the hands of a cross-eyed woman that unnerves and paralyzes me.
Instantaneous death is nothing to me. I am as cool and collected where leaden rain and iron hail are thickest as I would be in my own office writing the obituary of the man who steals my jokes. But I hate to be drowned slowly in my good clothes and on dry land, and have my dying gaze rest on a woman whose ravishing beauty would drive a narrow-gauge mule into convulsions and make him hate himself t'death.
A Long-Lived Family
A "dime museum" manager, having heard of a man 123 years of age, journeyed to his home to try and secure him for exhibition purposes.
"Well, my friend," said the museum manager, "the proofs of your age seem to be all right. Now, how would you like to come to my place, just do nothing but sit on a platform and let people look at you, and I will pay you $100 a week ?"
"I'd like it all right," answered the aged man. "But I couldn't go, of course, unless I had my father's consent."
"Your father!" gasped the manager. "Do you mean to say your father is alive?"
"Yes, indeed," replied the man.
"Well, where is your father? Home here?" asked the manager.
"Oh, yes," was the answer. "He's upstairs, putting grandfather to bed!"
Silenced the Ringleader
The head teacher in a Sunday-school was much worried by the noise of the pupils in the next room, At last, unable to bear it any longer, he mounted a chair and looked over the partition. Seeing a boy a little taller than the others talking a great deal, he leaned over, hoisted him over the partition, and banged him into a chair in his room, saying:
"Now be quiet."
A quarter of an hour later a smaller head appeared around the door and a meek little voice said:
"Please, sir, you've got our teacher."
Got Out of That, All Right
"My dear," said a wife to her husband, "do you realize that you have forgotten that this is my birthday ?"
"Yes, dearie, I did forget it," replied the husband. "Isn't it natural that I should? There isn't really anything about you to remind me that you are a day older than you were a year ago."
He Simply Looked That Way
The man in the smoker was boasting of his unerring ability to tell from a man's looks exactly what city he came from. "You, for example," he said to the man next to him, "you are from New Orleans?" He was right.
"You, my friend," turning to the man on the other side of him, "I should say you are from Chicago?" Again he was right.
The other two men got interested.
"And you are from Boston?" he asked the third man.
"That's right, too," said the New Englander.
"And you from Philadelphia, I should say?" to the last man.
"No, sir," answered the man with considerable warmth; "I've been sick for three months: that's what makes me look that way!"
What She Would Like
A little girl stood in a city meat-market waiting for some one to attend to her wants. Finally the proprietor was at liberty, approached her and said benignantly, "Is there anything you would like, little girl?"
"Oh, yes, sir, please: I want a diamond ring, and a seal-skin sacque, a real foreign nobleman, and a pug dog, and a box at the opera, and, oh, ever so many other things; but all Ma wants is ten cents' worth of bologna."
The Highest Price in the Store
A rich American woman visited a Japanese art shop in Paris. It happened to be a dull, dark afternoon. She looked at the bronzes, jewels, drawings and other things, and finally, pointing toward a dusky corner, she said to the polite young salesman: "How much is that Japanese idol over there worth?"
The salesman bowed, and answered: "About five hundred thousand francs, madam. It is the proprietor."
From Different Points
"Father, you were born in California, you say?"
"Yes, my son."
"And mother was born in New York ?"
"And I was born in Indiana?"
"Yes, my boy."
"Well, father, don't it beat the Dutch how we all got together!"
So Son: So Father?
A small boy who had been very naughty was first reprimanded, then told that he must take a whipping. He flew upstairs and hid in the far corner under a bed. Just then the father came home. The mother told him what had occurred. He went upstairs and proceeded to crawl under the bed toward the youngster, who whispered excitedly, "Hello, Pop, is she after you, too?"
How Could He?
"Papa" was becoming impatient at the lateness of the hour when he remarked: "I can't see why that young fellow who is calling on Minnie hasn't sense enough to go home. It's near midnight."
"The dear little brother" of the family just then came in, heard his father's remark, and ventured some light:
"He can't go, father. Sister's sitting on him."
Couldn't Leave Town
A lawyer had a horse that always balked when he attempted to cross a certain bridge leading out of the village. No amount of whipping or urging would induce him to cross it, so he advertised him for sale: "To be sold for no other reason than that the owner would like to leave town."
He Knew His Father
"Suppose," said a father to his little boy, "you have half an apple and I give you another half. How much have you?"
"A whole apple," said the boy.
"Well," continued the father, "suppose you had a half dollar and I gave you another half dollar. What would you have then?"
"A fit," promptly answered the boy.
A Valuable Office Boy
The employer was bending over a table, looking at the directory. The new office boy slipped up quietly and poked a note into his hand. The surprised employer opened it, and read:
"Honored Sir—Yer pants is ripped."
She Had a Question to Ask
A certain prominent dry-goods merchant is also a Sunday-school superintendent. Not long since he devoted the last few moments of the weekly session to an impressive elucidation of the parable of the Prodigal Son, and afterward asked with due solemnity if any one of the "little gleaners" present desired to ask a question. Sissy Jones's hand shot up.
"Very well," he said, designating her with a benevolent finger and a bland smile, "what is it you would like to know, Cecilia?"
"Please, what's the price of them little pink parasols in your show-window?"
The Only Time When He Does
A "Subscriber" once wrote to an editor and asked: "Please tell me, does a man in running around a tree go before or behind himself?"
The editor answered:
"That depends. If he is trying to catch himself, necessarily he follows himself, and consequently goes behind. If, on the contrary, he is running away from himself, the deduction leads to the very obvious conclusion that he precedes himself, and consequently goes before. If he succeeds in catching up with himself, and passes himself, at the moment of passing he neither precedes nor follows himself, but both he and himself are running even. This is the only case where he does not go before or behind himself."
In the Absence of a Tip
"Excuse me, madam, would you mind walking the other way and not passing the horse?" said an English cabman with exaggerated politeness to the fat lady who had just paid a minimum fare, with no fee.
"Why?" she inquired.
"Because if 'e sees wot 'e's been carrying for a shilling 'e'll 'ave a fit," was the freezing answer.
Her Father Didn't Like It
A young man told his girl the other night that if she didn't marry him he'd get a rope and hang himself right in front of her house. "Oh, please, don't do it, dear," she said; "you know father doesn't want you hanging around here."
He Didn't Mind His Going Once
An elderly gentleman, a stranger in New York and not sure of his way, stopped a young man on Fifth Avenue and said:
"Young man, I would like very much to go to Central Park."
The young man became thoughtful for a moment, and then, looking the old gentleman in the face, said:
"Well, I don't mind your going just this once, but don't ever, ever ask me to go there again."
It was a pitiful mistake, an error sad and grim. I waited for the railway train; the light was low and dim. It came at last, and from a car there stepped a dainty dame, and, looking up and down the place, she straight unto me came. "Oh, Jack!" she cried, "oh, dear old Jack!" and kissed me as she spake; then looked again, and, frightened, cried, "Oh, what a bad mistake!" I said, "Forgive me, maiden fair, for I am not your Jack; and as regards the kiss you gave, I'll straightway give it back." And since that night I've often stood upon that platform dim, but only once in a man's whole life do such things come to him.
A Kiss in the Rain by SAMUEL MINTURN PECK
One stormy morn I chanced to meet A lassie in the town; Her locks were like the ripened wheat, Her laughing eyes were brown. I watched her as she tripped along Till madness filled my brain, And then—and then—I know 'twas wrong— I kissed her in the rain.
With raindrops shining on her cheek Like dewdrops on a rose, The little lassie strove to speak, My boldness to oppose; She strove in vain, and quivering, Her fingers stole in mine; And then the birds began to sing, The sun began to shine.
Oh, let the clouds grow dark above, My heart is light below; 'Tis always summer when we love, However winds may blow; And I'm as proud as any prince, All honors I disdain: 'She says I am her rain beau since I kissed her in the rain.
What He Had Re(a)d
An Irishman, says "The Rochester Times," recently went before Judge Stephens to be naturalized.
"Have you read the Declaration of Independence?" the Court asked.
"I hov not," said Pat.
"Have you read the Constitution of the United States?"
"I hov not, yer Honor."
The Judge looked sternly at the applicant, and asked:
"Well, what have you read?"
Patrick hesitated but the fraction of a second before replying:
"I hov red hairs on me neck, yer Honor."
Apostle and Epistle
A man riding through the mountains of Tennessee stopped one evening to water his horse before a little cabin, outside of which sat an old colored woman watching the antics of a couple of piccaninnies playing near by.
"Good-evening, Aunty," he called. "Cute pair of boys you've got. Your children?"
"Laws-a-massy! Mah chillun! 'Deed, dem's mah daughteh's chilluns. Come hyah, you boys."
As the boys obeyed the summons the man inquired their names.
"Clah to goodness, sah, dem chilluns is right smaht named!" said the old woman. "Ye see, mah daughteh done got 'ligion long ago, an' named dese hyah boys right out de Bible, sah. Dis hyah one's named Apostle Paul, an' de uddah's called Epistle Peter."
More than Enough
An eight-year-old boy went to a church picnic, and, being a favorite with the ladies, had been liberally supplied with good things to eat. Later in the day one of the ladies noticed the boy sitting near a stream with a woebegone expression on his face and his hands clasped over his stomach.
"Why, what's the matter, Willie?" she kindly asked. "Haven't you had enough to eat?"
"Oh, yes'm," said the boy. "I've had enough. I feel as though I don't want all I've got."
His Only Request
A pretty young girl was walking through a Richmond hospital with delicacies for the sick and wounded. She overheard a suffering young Confederate officer say, "Oh, my Lord!"
Wishing to rebuke him slightly she came to his bedside and said:
"I think that I heard you call upon the name of the Lord. I am one of His daughters. Is there anything that I can do for you?"
He looked upon the lovely face.
"Yes," he said, "please ask Him to make me His son-in-law."
A Good Majority
A well-known English surgeon was imparting some clinical instructions to half a dozen students, according to "The Medical Age." Pausing at the bedside of a doubtful case he said: "Now, gentlemen, do you think this is or is not a case for operation?"
One by one each student made his diagnosis, and all of them answered in the negative.
"Well, gentlemen, you are all wrong," said the wielder of the scalpel, "and I shall operate to-morrow."
"No, you won't," said the patient, as he rose in his bed; "six to one is a good majority; gimme my clothes."
Ready to Accommodate Her
Attorney-General Moody was once riding on the platform of a Boston street car, standing next to the gate that protected passengers from cars coming on the other track. A Boston lady came to the door of the car, and, as it stopped, started toward the gate, which was hidden from her by the men standing before it.
"Other side, please, lady," said the conductor.
He was ignored as only a born-and-bred Bostonian can ignore a man. The lady took another step toward the gate.
"You must get off the other side," said the conductor.
"I wish to get off on this side," came the answer in tones that congealed that official into momentary silence. Before he could explain or expostulate Mr. Moody came to his assistance.
"Stand to one side, gentlemen," he remarked quietly. "The lady wishes to climb over the gate."
A New Name for Them
One rainy afternoon Aunt Sue was explaining the meaning of various words to her young nephew. "Now, an heirloom, my dear, means something that has been handed down from father to son," she said.
"Well," replied the boy thoughtfully, "that's a queer name for my pants."
He Wanted to Know
A bishop in full robes of office, with his gown reaching to his feet, was teaching a Sunday-school class. At the close he said he would be glad to answer any questions.
A little hand went up, and he asked: "Well, my boy?"
"Can I ask?" said the boy.
"Certainly," said the Bishop; "what is it ?"
"Well," asked the boy, "is dem all you've got on, or do you wear pants under dem?"
Woman's Love and Man's Love
"There's just two things that break up most happy homes," observed a philosopher.
"What's them?" inquired a listener.
"Woman's love for dry goods an' man's love for wet goods, b'gosh!"
At a country fair out in Kansas a man went up to a tent where some elk were on exhibition, and stared wistfully up at the sign.
"I'd like to go in there," he said to the keeper, "but it would be mean to go in without my family, and I cannot afford to pay for my wife and seventeen children."
The keeper stared at him in astonishment. "Are all those your children?" he gasped.
"Every one," said the man.
"You wait a minute," said the keeper. "I'm going to bring the elk out and let them see you all."
One Button was in Use
A school principal was trying to make clear to his class the fundamental doctrines of the Declaration of Independence.
"Now, boys," he said, "I will give you each three ordinary buttons. Here they are. You must think of the first one as representing Life, of the second one as representing Liberty, and the third one as representing the Pursuit of Happiness. Next Sunday I will ask you each to produce the three buttons and tell me what they represent."
The following Sunday the teacher said to the youngest member:
"Now, Johnnie, produce your three buttons and tell me what they stand for."
"I ain't got 'em all," he sobbed, holding out two of the buttons. "Here's Life an' here's Liberty, but mommer sewed the Pursuit of Happiness on my pants."
A restaurant-keeper hung out this sign:
"Coffee: Such as Mother Used to Make."
A customer asked, pointing to the sign:
"Is your coffee really such as mother used to make?"
"It is," replied the proprietor.
"Then," said the man with a reminiscent look, "give me a cup of tea."
Wasn't Delicate at All
A young man, not regarded as a very desirable suitor, had called upon a young lady a number of times, each time to be told by the maid that "Miss Florence was not well today."
One day, in response to his card, the young lady's mother, who was a recent accession to the newly-rich ranks, and whose education was not as sure as it might be, appeared and explained once more to the young man that the daughter was not well.
"I am very sorry, indeed," said the young man as he rose to go, "that your daughter is so delicate."
"Delicate?" sniffed the mother; "Florence dell'cate? Not at all. Why, she is the most indelicate girl you ever met."
A Live Topic
A member of the faculty of the University of Chicago, according to "Harper's Weekly," tells of the sad case of a young woman from Indiana who was desirous of attaining social prominence in Chicago.
Soon after her arrival there she made the acquaintance of a student at the university to whom she took a great fancy.
Evidently it was at this time she realized for the first time that her early education had been neglected, for she said to a friend:
"I suppose that, as he is a college man, I'll have to be awful careful what I say. Whatever will I talk about to him?"
The friend suggested history as a safe topic. To her friend's astonishment she took the advice seriously, and shortly commenced in earnest to "bone up" in English history.
When the young man called, the girl listened for some time with ill-concealed impatience to his talk of football, outdoor meets, dances, etc., but finally she decided to take the matter in her own hands. She had not done all that reading for nothing; so, a pause in the conversation affording the desired opportunity, she suddenly exclaimed, with considerable vivacity:
"Wasn't it awful about Mary, Queen of Scots?"
"Why, what's the matter?" stammered the student, confused.
"My gracious!" almost yelled the girl from Indiana, "didn't you know? Why, the poor thing had her head cut off!"
The After-College Girl's Complaint
A lady was calling on some friends one summer afternoon. The talk buzzed along briskly, fans waved and the daughter of the house kept twitching uncomfortably, frowning and making little smothered exclamations of annoyance. Finally, with a sigh, she rose and left the room.
"Your daughter," said the visitor, "seems to be suffering from the heat."
"No," said the hostess. "She is just back home from college and she is suffering from the family grammar."
It All Seemed So Unnecessary
A city man once had occasion, says "Lippincott's Magazine," to stop at a country home where a tin basin and a roller-towel on the back porch sufficed for the family's ablutions. For two mornings the "hired man" of the household watched in silence the visitor's efforts at making a toilette under the unfavorable auspices, but when on the third day the tooth-brush, nail-file, whisk-broom, etc., had been duly used and returned to their places in the traveler's grip, he could suppress his curiosity no longer, so boldly put the question: "Say, Mister, air you always that much trouble to yo'se'f?"
Overdid it a Bit
A famous statesman prided himself on his success in campaigning, when called upon to reach a man's vote through his family pride.
On one of his tours he passed through a country town when he came suddenly upon a charming group—a comely woman with a bevy of little ones about her—in a garden. He stopped short, then advanced and leaned over the front gate.
"Madam," he said In his most ingratiating way, "may I kiss these beautiful children?"
"Certainly, sir," the lady answered demurely.
"They are lovely darlings," said the campaigner after he had finished the eleventh. "I have seldom seen more beautiful babies. Are they all yours, marm?"
The lady blushed deeply.
"Of course they are—the sweet little treasures," he went on. "From whom else, marm, could they have inherited these limpid eyes, these rosy cheeks, these profuse curls, these comely figures and these musical voices?"
The lady continued blushing.
"By-the-way, marm," said the statesman, "may I bother you to tell your estimable husband that ———, the Republican candidate for Governor, called upon him this evening?"
"I beg your pardon," said the lady, "I have no husband."
"But these children, madam—you surely are not a widow ?"
"I fear you were mistaken, sir, when you first came up. These are not my children. This is an orphan asylum!"
One on the Doctor That Time
A prominent physician, whose specialty was physical diagnosis, required his patients, before entering his private consultation-room, to divest themselves of all superfluous clothing in order to save time. One day a man presented himself without having complied with this requirement.
"Why do you come in here without complying with my rules?" demanded the doctor. "Just step into that side room and remove your clothing and then I'll see you. Next patient, please!"
The man did as requested, and after a time presented himself in regular order duly divested of his clothing.
"Now," said the doctor, "what can I do for you ?"
"I just called," replied the man, "to collect that tailoring bill which you owe us."
Anxious About Him
One winter's day a very bowlegged tramp called at a home in Ontario and stood to warm himself by the kitchen stove. A little boy in the home surveyed him carefully for some minutes, then finally approaching him, he said: "Say, mister, you better stand back; you're warping!"
The Only Way He Could Help
Chief Justice Matthews, while presiding over the Supreme Court at Washington, took the several Justices of the Court for a run down Chesapeake Bay. A stiff wind sprang up, and Justice Gray was getting decidedly the worst of it. As he leaned over the rail in great distress, Chief Justice Matthews touched him on the shoulder and said in a tone of deepest sympathy: "Is there anything I can do for you, Gray?"
"No, thank you," returned the sick Justice, "unless your Honor can overrule this motion."
He Was Willing to Oblige
A young North Carolina girl is charming, but, like a great many other charming people, she is poor. She never has more than two evening gowns in a season, and the ruin of one of them is always a very serious matter to her. She went to a little dancing-party last week and she wore a brand-new white frock. During the evening a great big, red-faced, perspiring man came up and asked her to dance. He wore no gloves. She looked at his well-meaning but moist hands despairingly, and thought of the immaculate back of her waist. She hesitated a bit, and then she said, with a winning smile;
"Of course I'll dance with you, but, if you don't mind, won't you please use your handkerchief?"
The man looked at her blankly a moment or two. Then a light broke over his face.
"Why, certainly," he said.
And he pulled out his handkerchief and blew his nose.
Not All the Time, But——
A man saw a waiter in a restaurant spill a tureen of tomato soup over a young lady's white gown.
The young lady, instead of flying into a passion, smiled. She said it didn't matter. She continued to eat and to talk as though nothing had happened.
This so impressed the man that he got an introduction to the young lady, proposed to her at the end of a month or so, and was accepted.
Some time after the marriage he spoke of the tomato-soup accident.
"I shall never forget it," said the bride.
"Your conduct," said the man, "was admirable."
"I remember," she said, "that I did behave very well at the time; but I wish you could have seen the marks of my teeth on the bedpost that night."
Necessity and Invention
A mother with her seven children started away on a journey. After entering the car the largest child was laid out flat on the seat, and the remaining six then sat upon him in a row.
When the conductor came around to collect the fares the mother counted her money, handed it over, smiled, and suavely said: "Sir, the oldest is under six."
Taking No Chances
An epileptic dropped in a fit on the streets of Boston not long ago, and was taken to a hospital. Upon removing his coat there was found pinned to his waistcoat a slip of paper on which was written:
"This is to inform the house-surgeon that this is just a case of plain fit: not appendicitis. My appendix has already been removed twice."
Too Much Curiosity
A dangerous operation was being performed upon a woman. Old Doctor A———, a quaint German, full of kindly wit and professional enthusiasm, had several younger doctors with him. One of them was administering the ether. He became so interested in the old doctor's work that he withdrew the cone from the patient's nostrils and she half-roused and rose to a sitting posture, looking with wild-eyed amazement over the surroundings. It was a critical period, and Doctor A——— did not want to be interrupted. "Lay down, dere, voman," he commanded gruffly. "You haf more curiosity as a medical student."
They Were Both Charged
A little girl, brushing her hair, found that it "crackled," and asked her mother why it did.
"Why, dear, you have electricity in your hair," explained the mother.
"Isn't that funny?" commented the little one. "I have electricity in my hair, and Grandmother has gas in her stomach."
Could Use the Other Kind, Too
"Here," said the salesman, "is something we call the 'lovers' clock.' You can set it so it will take it two hours to run one hour."
"I'll take that," said Miss Jarmer with a bright blush. "And now, if you have one that can be set so as to run two hours in one hour's time or less, I think I'd like one of that kind, too."
A Regard for Appearance
A milliner endeavored to sell to a colored woman one of the last season's hats at a very moderate price. It was a big white picture-hat.
"Law, no, honey!" exclaimed the woman. "I could nevah wear that. I'd look jes' like a blueberry in a pan of milk."
A frivolous young English girl, with no love for the Stars and Stripes, once exclaimed at a celebration where the American flag was very much in evidence:
"Oh, what a silly-looking thing the American flag is! It suggests nothing but checker-berry candy."
"Yes," replied a bystander, "the kind of candy that has made everybody sick who ever tried to lick it."
Kipling at a Luncheon
At a tea the other day, says "The New York Sun," a woman heard the following remarks made about her favorite author. She turned to listen, amazed by the eccentricities of conduct narrated.
"Yes, you know," the hostess was saying, "Kipling came in and behaved so strangely! At luncheon he suddenly sprang up and wouldn't let the waitress come near the table. Every time that she tried to come near he would jump at her.
"He made a dive for the cake, which was on the lower shelf of the sideboard, and took it into the parlor to eat it. He got the crumbs all over the sofa and the beautiful rug.
"When he had finished his cake he simply sat and glared at us."
The visitor finally could not control herself, and asked:
"Excuse me, but are you speaking of Mr. Rudyard Kipling?"
"Mr. Rudyard Kipling?" echoed the hostess. "Oh, no; Kipling is our dog!"
Getting His Trousseau Ready
The kindly 'Squire of the neighborhood was just leaving from a friendly social visit to Mrs. Maguire.
"And your son, Mrs. Maguire?" said the 'Squire as he reached for his hat. "I hope he is well. Busy, I suppose, getting ready for his wedding tonight ?"
"Well, not very busy this minit, 'Squire," answered the beaming mother. "He's upstairs in bed while I'm washing out his trousseau."
There Was a Chance
"Going to send your boy on an ocean trip, are you?" said a friend to a father.
"Yes," replied the father. "You see, if there is anything in him I think a long sea voyage will bring it out."
Deserved to be Tried
The Judge was at dinner in the new household when the young wife asked: "Did you ever try any of my biscuits, Judge?"
"No," said the Judge, "I never did, but I dare say they deserve it."
End of the Honeymoon
An old married man happened to meet a beaming bridegroom on the latter'S first day at business after the wedding trip.
"Hello!" said he; "finished your honeymoon yet?"
"I don't know," replied the happy husband, smiling. "I have never been able to determine the exact meaning of the word honeymoon."
"Well, then, has your wife commenced to do the cooking yet?"
If You Have a Mole
No one is said to be without a mole or two, and these are some of the prognostications that mole-wearers may draw from their brown ornaments;
A mole on the right side of a man's forehead denotes wonderful luck; on the right side of a woman's forehead, gifts from the dead.
On the left side of a man's forehead a mole denotes a long term in prison, on the left side of a woman's forehead, two husbands and a life of exile.
A man with a mole in the middle of his forehead has a cruel mind; a woman with such a mole is foolish and envious.
A mole on the neck in man or woman promises a long and happy life, wealth and fame.
A man with a mole on the left side of the upper lip rarely marries, and such a mole in the case of a woman denotes suffering.
On the right side of the upper-lip a mole promises great good fortune to both sexes.
Her Own Eyes Good Enough for Him
A little Scotch boy's grandmother was packing his luncheon for him to take to school one morning. Suddenly looking up in the old lady's face, he said:
"Grandmother, does yer specs magnify?"
"A little, my child," she answered.
"Aweel, then," said the boy, "I wad juist like it if ye wad tak' them aff when ye're packin' my loonch."
How Did He Know?
After dinner, when the ladies had gone upstairs, the men, over their coffee and cigars, talked, as men will, of love.
All of a sudden the host cried in a loud voice:
"I will tell you, gentlemen, this is the truth: I have kissed the dainty Japanese girl. I have kissed the South Sea Island maiden. I have kissed the slim Indian beauty. And the girls of England, of Germany, even of America, I have kissed, but it is most true that to kiss my wife is best of all."
Then a young man cried across the table:
"By Heaven, sir, you are right there!"
So Mother—So Son
Vincent was altogether too garrulous in school to please his teachers. Such punishments as the institution allowed to be meted out were tried without any apparent effect upon the boy until at last the head Master decided to mention the lad's fault upon his monthly report.
So the next report to his father had these words: "Vincent talks a great deal."
Back came the report by mail duly signed, but with this written in red ink under the comment: "You ought to hear his mother."
An Endless Wash
In one of the lesser Indian hill wars an English detachment took an Afghan prisoner. The Afghan was very dirty. Accordingly two privates were deputed to strip and wash him.
The privates dragged the man to a stream of running water, undressed him, plunged him in, and set upon him lustily with stiff brushes and large cakes of white soap.
After a long time one of the privates came back to make a report. He saluted his officer and said disconsolately:
"It's no use, sir. It's no use."
"No use?" said the officer. "What do you mean? Haven't you washed that Afghan yet?"
"It's no use, sir," the private repeated. "We've washed him for two hours, but it's no use."
"How do you mean it's no use ?" said the officer angrily.
"Why, sir," said the private, "after rubbin' him and scrubbin' him till our arms ached I'll be hanged if we didn't come to another suit of clothes."
Once Dead Always Dead
The hero of the play, after putting up a stiff fight with the villain, had died to slow music, says a storyteller in "The Chicago Tribune."
The audience insisted on his coming before the curtain.
He refused to appear.
But the audience still insisted.
Then the manager, a gentleman with a strong accent, came to the front.
"Ladies an' gintlemen," he said, "the carpse thanks ye kindly, but he says he's dead, an' he's goin' to stay dead."
Had to Get it Done Somehow
A little boy bustled into a grocery one day with a memorandum in his hand.
"Hello, Mr. Smith," he said. "I want thirteen pounds of coffee at 32 cents."
"Very good," said the grocer, and he noted down the sale, and put his clerk to packing the coffee. "Anything else, Charlie?"
"Yes. Twenty-seven pounds of sugar at 9 cents."
"The loaf, eh? And what else?"
"Seven and a half pounds of bacon at 20 cents."
"That will be a good brand. Go on."
"Five pounds of tea at 90 cents; eleven and a half quarts of molasses at 8 cents a pint; two eight-pound hams at 21 1/4 cents, and five dozen jars of pickled walnuts at 24 cents a jar."
The grocer made out the bill,
"It's a big order," he said. "Did your mother tell you to pay for it?"
"My mother," said the boy, as he pocketed the neat and accurate bill, "has nothing to do with this business. It is my arithmetic lesson and I had to get it done somehow."
A Personal Demonstration
Chatting in leisurely fashion with Prince Bismarck in Berlin Lord Russell asked the Chancellor how he managed to rid himself of importunate visitors whom he could not refuse to see, but who stuck like burrs when once admitted.
"Oh," replied Bismarck, "I have my easy escape. My wife knows people of this class very well, and when she is sure there is a bore here and sees them staying too long she manages to call me away on some plausible pretext."
Scarcely had he finished speaking when the Princess Bismarck appeared at the door. "My dear," she said to her husband, "you must come at once and take your medicine; you should have taken it an hour ago."
Not for Him
A quiet and retiring citizen occupied a seat near the door of a crowded car when a masterful stout woman entered.
Having no newspaper behind which to hide he was fixed and subjugated by her glittering eye. He rose and offered his place to her. Seating herself—without thanking him—she exclaimed in tones that reached to the farthest end of the car:
"What do you want to stand up there for? Come here and sit on my lap."
"Madam," gasped the man, as his face became scarlet. "I beg your pardon, I—I——"
"What do you mean?" shrieked the woman. "You know very well I was speaking to my niece there behind you."
Such a Pleasant Room
"It ain't ev'rybody I'd put to sleep in this room," said old Mrs. Jinks to the fastidious and extremely nervous young minister who was spending a night at her house.
"This here room is full of sacred associations to me," she went on, as she bustled around opening shutters and arranging the curtains. "My first husband died in that bed with his head on these very pillers, and poor Mr. Jinks died settin' right in that corner. Sometimes when I come into the room in the dark I think I see him settin' there still.
"My own father died layin' right on that lounge under the winder. Poor Pa! He was a Speeritualist, and he allus said he'd appear in this room after he died, and sometimes I'm foolish enough to look for him. If you should see anything of him tonight you'd better not tell me; for it'd be a sign to me that there was something in Speeritualism, and I'd hate to think that.
"My son by my first man fell dead of heart-disease right where you stand. He was a doctor, and there's two whole skeletons in that closet that belonged to him, and half a dozen skulls in that lower drawer.
"There, I guess things'll do now——
"Well, good-night, and pleasant dreams."
Giving a Woman Her Rights
The car was full and the night was wet. The bell rang, the car stopped, and a lady entered. As she looked tired a nice old gentleman in the corner rose and inquired in a kind voice, "Would you like to sit down, ma'am? Excuse me, though," he added; "I think you are Mrs. Sprouter, the advocate of woman's rights."
"I am, sir," replied the lady calmly.
"You think that women should be equal to men?" further queried the old gentleman.
"Certainly," was the firm reply.
"You think that they should have the same rights and privileges?" was the next question.
"Most emphatically," came from the supporter of woman's rights.
"Very well," said the kind old gentleman, sitting down again, "just stand up and enjoy them."
A Riddle to Willie
I asked my Pa a simple thing; "Where holes in doughnuts go?" Pa read his paper, then he said: "Oh, you're too young to know."
I asked my Ma about the wind: "Why can't you see it blow?" Ma thought a moment, then she said: "Oh, you're too young to know."
Now, why on earth do you suppose They went and licked me so? Ma asked: "Where is that jam?" I said: "Oh, you're too young to know."
Under Her Bed
Mrs. Hicks was telling some ladies about the burglar scare in her house the night before.
"Yes," she said, "I heard a noise and got up, and there from under the bed I saw a man's legs sticking out."
"Mercy," exclaimed a woman—"the burglar's legs?"
"No, my dear, my husband's legs. He had heard the noise, too."
Didn't Think He Was Polite
They were on their honeymoon. He had bought a catboat and had taken her out to show her how well he could handle a boat, putting her to tend the sheet. A puff of wind came, and he shouted in no uncertain tones:
"Let go the sheet."
"Let go that sheet, quick."
Still no movement. A few minutes after, when both were clinging to the bottom of the overturned boat, he said:
"Why didn't you let go that sheet when I told you to, dear?"
"I would have," said the bride, "if you had not been so rough about it. You ought to speak more kindly to your wife."
He Had a Large Reach
President Eliot, of Harvard, on a visit to the Pacific Coast, met Professor O. B. Johnson, of the University of Washington, says "The New York Tribune." In the course of the conversation President Eliot asked the Westerner what chair he held.
"Well," said Professor Johnson, "I am professor of biology, but I also give instruction in meteorology, botany, physiology, chemistry, entomology and a few others."
"I should say that you occupied a whole settee, not a chair," replied Harvard's chief.
When Fighting Really Began
An aged, gray-haired and very wrinkled old woman, arrayed in the outlandish calico costume of the mountains, was summoned as a witness in court to tell what she knew about a fight in her house. She took the witness-stand with evidences of backwardness and proverbial Bourbon verdancy. The Judge asked her in a kindly voice what took place. She insisted it did not amount to much, but the Judge by his persistency finally got her to tell the story of the bloody fracas.
"Now, I tell ye, Jedge, it didn't amount to nuthn'. The fust I knowed about it was when Bill Saunder called Tom Smith a liar, en Tom knocked him down with a stick o' wood. One o' Bill's friends then cut Tom with a knife, slicin' a big chunk out o' him. Then Sam Jones, who was a friend of Tom's, shot the other feller and two more shot him, en three or four others got cut right smart by somebody. That nachly caused some excitement, Jedge, en then they commenced fightin'."
The Wrong Kind of a Baby
In a certain home where the stork recently visited there is a six-year-old son of inquiring mind. When he was first taken in to see the new arrival he exclaimed:
"Oh, mamma, it hasn't any teeth! And no hair!" Then, clasping his hands in despair, he cried: "Somebody has done us! It's an old baby."
A Poser for the Salesman
"It's not so much a durable article that I require, sir," said Miss Simpkins. "I want something dainty, you know; something coy, and at the same time just a wee bit saucy—that might look well for evening wear."
Not in the Army, After All
A Methodist negro exhorter shouted: "Come up en jine de army ob de Lohd."
"Ise done jined," replied one of the congregation.
"Whar'd yoh jine?" asked the exhorter.
"In de Baptis' Chu'ch."
"Why, chile," said the exhorter, "yoh ain't in the army; yoh's in de navy."
[Transcriber's Note: The copy of this book I was working from was missing pages 71-74 inclusive.]
Her Literary Loves
A talented young professor who was dining one evening at the home of a college president became very much interested in the very pretty girl seated at his left. Conversation was somewhat fitful. Finally he decided to guide it into literary channels, where he was more at home, and, turning to his companion, asked;
"Are you fond of literature?"
"Passionately," she replied. "I love books dearly."
"Then you must admire Sir Walter Scott," he exclaimed with sudden animation. "Is not his 'Lady of the Lake' exquisite in its flowing grace and poetic imagery? Is it not——"
"It is perfectly lovely," she assented, clasping her hands in ecstasy. "I suppose I have read it a dozen times."
"And Scott's 'Marmion/" he continued, "with its rugged simplicity and marvelous description—one can almost smell the heather on the heath while perusing its splendid pages."
"It is perfectly grand," she murmured.
"And Scott's 'Peveril of the Peak' and his noble 'Bride of Lammermoor'—where in the English language will you find anything more heroic than his grand auld Scottish characters and his graphic, forceful pictures of feudal times and customs? You like them, I am sure."
"I just dote upon them," she replied.
"And Scott's Emulsion," he continued hastily, for a faint suspicion was beginning to dawn upon him.
"I think," she interrupted rashly, "that it's the best thing he ever wrote."
How Grandma Viewed Them
"I'm glad Billy had the sense to marry a settled old maid," said Grandma Winkum at the wedding.
"Why, Grandma?" asked the son.
"Well, gals is hity-tity, and widders is kinder overrulin' and upsettin'. But old maids is thankful and willin' to please."
So Easy When it is Explained
A woman riding in a Philadelphia trolley-car said to the conductor:
"Can you tell me, please, on what trolley-cars I can use these exchange slips? They mix me up somewhat."
"They really shouldn't, madam," said the polite conductor. "It is very simple: East of the junction by a westbound car an exchange from an eastbound car is good only if the westbound car is west of the junction formed by said eastbound car. South of the junction formed by a northbound car an exchange from a southbound car is good south of the junction if the northbound car was north of the junction at the time of issue, but only south of the junction going south if the southbound car was going north at the time it was south of the junction. That is all there is to it."
Sixty Girls Not One Too Many
A New York firm recently hung the following sign at the entrance of a large building: "Wanted: Sixty girls to sew buttons on the sixth floor."
One on the President
When the President alighted at Red Hill, Virginia, a few months ago, to see his wife's new cottage, he noticed that an elderly woman was about to board the train, and, with his usual courtesy, he rushed forward to assist her. That done, he grasped her hand and gyve it an "executive shake." This was going too far, and the woman, snatching her hand away and eying him wrathfully, exclaimed: "Young man, I don't know who you are, and I don't care a cent; but I must say you are the freshest somebody I've ever seen in these parts."
No Doubt of it
The lesson was from the "Prodigal Son," and the Sunday-school teacher was dwelling on the character of the elder brother. "But amidst all the rejoicing," he said, "there was one to whom the preparation of the feast brought no joy, to whom the prodigal's return gave no pleasure, but only bitterness; one who did not approve of the feast being held, and had no wish to attend it. Now can any of you tell who this was?" There was a short silence, followed by a vigorous cracking of thumbs, and then from a dozen little mouths came the chorus: "Please, sir, it was the fatted calf."
The Lesson Stopped
The teacher was taking a class in the infant Sabbath-school room and was making her pupils finish each sentence to show that they understood her.
"The idol had eyes," the teacher said, "but it could not——"
"See," cried the children.
"It had ears, but it could not——"
"Hear," was the answer.
"It had lips," she said, "but it could not——"
"Speak," once more replied the children.
"It had a nose, but it could not——"
"Wipe it," shouted the children; and the lesson had to stop a moment.
The Wrong One
A young man had been calling now and then on a young lady, when one night, as he sat in the parlor waiting for her to come down, her mother entered the room instead, and asked him in a very grave, stern way what his intentions were.
He turned very red, and was about to stammer some incoherent reply, when suddenly the young lady called down from the head of the stairs:
"Mamma, mamma, that is not the one."
A Good Pair of Boots
"You know," said a "smart" young man to a girl, "some one has said that 'if you would make a lasting pair of boots take for the sole the tongue of a woman.'"
"Yes," replied the girl, "and for the uppers you ought to take the cheek of the man who said it."
Not Just the Right Place
A bashful young couple, who were evidently very much in love, entered a crowded street car.
"Do you suppose we can squeeze in here?" he asked, looking doubtfully at her blushing face.
"Don't you think, dear, we had better wait until we get home?" was the low, embarrassed reply.
What Else Could He Be?
There is a man who is the head of a large family, nearly every member of which is a performer on some kind of musical instrument.
A friend who was visiting the house of this man referred to the fact, remarking that it must be a source of great pleasure to the family, but to this observation the father made no reply.
"Really," continued the friend, "it is remarkable. Your younger son is a cornetist, both your daughters are pianists, your wife is a violinist, and, I understand, the others are also musicians. Now what are you, the father of such a musical combination ?"
"I," replied the old man sadly—"I am a pessimist."
He Had to Stand Up
An American doctor built an elegant home, says the "San Francisco Chronicle"; his bathroom was exceptionally beautiful, being of white marble with silver hardware; a music-box was concealed in the room. After completion of the home an Englishman came to visit the doctor. Now the English always show great respect for their sovereign and their country, and this one was no exception.
After showing his home to the Englishman the doctor remembered the fondness English people have for the bath, and escorted his guest to the bathroom, and while there turned on the music-box, wishing to give his guest a pleasant surprise as he bathed. Then he left his friend in the bathroom.
About an hour later the Englishman joined his host in the drawing-room. The doctor immediately asked what his guest thought of the bathroom. The Englishman replied: "It is beautiful, beautiful."
"Well," said the doctor, "how did you like my music-box?"
Said his guest with great disgust in his tones:
"Bah! That music-box! The old thing played 'God Save the King,' and I had to stand up the whole time I was trying to bathe."
His Heartbreaking Task
"Darling," said the bride, "I had a terrible feeling of sadness come over me this afternoon—a sort of feeling that you were doing something that would break my heart if I knew of it. Think, sweet, what were you doing, now, this afternoon at four o'clock?"
"Dearest," replied the husband tenderly and reassuringly, "at that hour I was licking stamps and pasting them on envelopes."
Easily Accounted For
An Irishman, upon arriving in America, was asked his name at Ellis Island. He gave it.
"Speak louder," said the officer.
He repeated it.
"Louder," again said the officer; "why, man, your voice is as soft as a woman's!"
"Well," said Pat, "that might be. Me mother was a woman."
The Retort Courteous!
A merry party being gathered in a city flat made such a racket that the occupant of a neighboring apartment sent his servant down with a polite message asking if it would be possible for the party to make less noise, since, as the servant announced, "Mr. Smith says that he cannot read."
"I am very sorry for Mr. Smith," replied the host. "Please present my compliments to your master, say that I am sorry he cannot read, and tell him I could when I was four years old!"
When He Left
A prominent man called to condole with a lady on the death of her husband, and concluded by saying, "Did he leave you much?"
"Nearly every night," was the reply.
A Popular Store
The salesman in a large department store wore a troubled look. "You must be severely tried," said a man standing by. "There are all sorts and conditions of people in the world,"
"Yes, there are," said the salesman, "and they're all here, too!"
He Couldn't Bend
A young man engaged board and lodging in a private family who were extremely devout. Before each meal a long grace was said. To their dismay and horror the new boarder sat bolt upright while the others at table reverently bowed their heads. When the second day passed and the young man evinced no disposition to unbend, the good lady of the house could endure the situation no longer.
"Atheism?" asked she sharply.
"No, madam," humbly responded the new boarder; "boil."
Really, All the Same
As the railroad train was stopping an old lady, not accustomed to traveling, hailed the passing conductor and asked:
"Conductor, what door shall I get out by?"
"Either door, ma'am," graciously answered the conductor. "The car stops at both ends."
He Had a Good Excuse
"Good-morning, Mrs. Stubbins," said the parson; "is your husband at home?"
"'E's 'ome, sir, but 'e's abed," replied Mrs. Stubbins, who had just finished hanging a pair of recently-patched trousers on the clothesline.
"How is it he didn't come to church on Sunday? You know we must have our hearts in the right place."
"Lor', sir," retorted the faithful wife,"'is 'eart's all right. It's 'is trouziz!"
One of Lincoln's Little Notes
President Lincoln once wrote to General McClellan, when the latter was in command of the army. General McClellan, as is well known, conducted a waiting campaign, being so careful not to make any mistakes that he made very little headway. President Lincoln sent this brief but exceedingly pertinent letter:
"My Dear McClellan: If you don't want to use the army I should like to borrow it for a while."
"Yours respectfully, A. LINCOLN."
A group of drummers were trading yarns on the subject of hospitality, says "Lippincott's Magazine," when one of them took up his parable thus:
"I was down in Louisiana last month travelin' cross country when we kinder got lost in a lonesome sort of road just about dark, and when we saw a light ahead I tell you it looked first rate. We drove up to the light, findin' 'twas a house, and when I hollered the man came out and we asked him to take us in for the night. He looked at us mighty hard, then said, 'Wall, I reckon I kin stand it if you kin.'
"So we unhitched, went in, and found 'twas only a two-room shanty and just swarmin' with children. He had six from four to 'leven years old, and as there didn't seem to be but one bed, me an' Stony was wonderin' what in thunder would become of us.
"They gave us supper, and then the old woman put the two youngest kids to bed. They went straight to sleep. Then she took those out, laid them over in the corner, put the next two to bed, and so on. After all the children were asleep on the floor the old folks went in the other room and told us we could go to bed if we wanted to, and, bein' powerful tired out, we did.
"Well, sir, the next morning when we woke up we was lying over in the corner with the kids, and the old man and the old woman had the bedl"
Cold Comfort That
A country minister who lived quite a distance from his church was overtaken on the way over one Sunday morning by a heavy shower. The rain poured in torrents, and by the time he arrived at the church he was almost drenched. Shaking the water from his hat and coat he remarked:
"Really, friends, I am almost too wet to preach."
"Oh, never mind," replied one of his congregation; "you'll be dry enough in the pulpit!"
She was a winsome country lass, So William on a brief vacation, The time more pleasantly to pass, Essayed flirtation. And while they strolled in twilight dim, As near the time for parting drew, Asked if she would have from him A "billet-doux." Now this simple maid of French knew naught, But doubting not 'twas something nice, Shyly she lifted her pretty head, Her rosy lips together drew, and coyly said, "Yes, Billy—do," And William—did.
When Pat Laughed Last
A short time ago two Englishmen on a visit to Ireland hired a boat for the purpose of having a sail.
One of the Britons, thinking he would have a good joke at Pat's expense, asked him if he knew anything about astrology.
"Be jabers, no," said Pat.
"Then that's the best part of your life just lost," answered the Englishman.
The second Englishman then asked Pat if he knew anything about theology.
"Be jabers, no," answered Pat.
"Well," the second said, "I must say that's the very best part of your life lost."
A few minutes later a sudden squall arose and the boat capsized. Pat began to swim. The Britons, however, could not swim, and both called loudly to Pat to help them.
"Do you know anything about swimology?" asked Pat.
"No," answered both Englishmen.
"Well, be jabers," replied Pat, "then both of your lives is lost!"
Could Eat, but Couldn't See
A farmer who went to a large city to see the sights engaged a room at a hotel, and before retiring asked the clerk about the hours for dining.
"We have breakfast from six to eleven, dinner from eleven to three, and supper from three to eight," explained the clerk.
"Wa-al, say," inquired the farmer in surprise, "what time air I goin' ter git ter see the town?"
How She Got It
A little girl was sent by her mother to the grocery store with a jug for a quart of vinegar.
"But, mamma," said the little one, "I can't say that word."
"But you must try," said the mother, "for I must have vinegar and there's no one else to send."
So the little girl went with the jug, and as she reached the counter of the store she pulled the cork out of the jug with a pop, swung the jug on the counter with a thud, and said to the astonished clerk:
"There! Smell of that and give me a quart!"
What the "Grip" Is
Asked what made him look so ill, an Irishman replied, "Faith, I had the grip last winter." To draw him out the questioner asked, "What is the grip, Patrick?"
"The grip!" he says. "Don't you know what the grip is? It's a disease that makes you sick six months after you get well!"
Wouldn't Have Been Strange
Two women were strangers to each other at a reception. After a few moments' desultory talk the first said rather querulously:
"I don't know what's the matter with that tall, blond gentleman over there. He was so attentive a while ago, but he won't look at me now."
"Perhaps," said the other, "he saw me come in. He's my husband."
A Place for Jeremiah
A certain prosy preacher recently gave an endless discourse on the prophets. First he dwelt at length on the minor prophets. At last he finished them, and the congregation gave a sigh of relief. He took a long breath and continued: "Now I shall proceed to the major prophets."
After the major prophets had received more than ample attention the congregation gave another sigh of relief.
"Now that I have finished with the minor prophets and the major prophets, what about Jeremiah? Where is Jeremiah's place?"
At this point a tall man arose in the back of the church. "Jeremiah can have my place," he said; "I'm going home."
The One Thing He Wanted
After waiting the usual five or ten minutes the new arrival was served with the first dinner course of soup. Hesitating a moment as he glanced at his plate, the guest said to the waiter:
"I can't eat this soup."
"I'll bring you another kind, sir," said the waiter as he took it away.
"Neither can I eat this soup!" said the guest a trifle more emphatically, when the second plate was served.
The waiter, angrily but silently, for the third time brought a plate of soup.
"I simply can't eat this soup!" once more said the guest, in a low, emphatic tone.
By this time the waiter was furious and called the hotel proprietor, while the guests at the nearby table looked over that way with curious glances.
"Really, sir, this is unusual. May I ask why can't you eat any of our soups?" demanded the proprietor.
"Because I have no spoon," replied the guest quietly.
Why He Would Like It
The little son of the minister, at Sunday dinner, said at the family table:
"Father, I wish I could be 'a doorkeeper in the House of the Lord,' as you said this morning."
"Indeed," said the minister-father, with a pleased look across the table at his wife.
"Yes," said the boy, "for then I wouldn't have to listen to the sermon."
Why Mr. Duffy's Nose was Red
The late Mr. Duffy, of Keene, New Hampshire, says "The Boston Herald," was well known for his life-long total abstinence from intoxicants, which seemed somewhat at variance with the fact that his nose was very red.
On one occasion, when on business in a liquor saloon in his neighborhood, a drummer came in to sell cigars. To gain the good graces of the bartender he invited all in the place to drink, to which invitation all readily responded save Mr. Duffy.
The drummer went to him, and slapping him on the shoulder, said: "I say, old man, what are you going to have?"
"I thank you, sir-r, but I niver dhrink," was Duffy's quiet reply.
"What, you never drink?" said the drummer with a sarcastic laugh. "Now, if you never drink, will you please tell me what makes that nose of yours so red?"
The impertinence of the questioner at once aroused the irascibility of the old gentleman, and he replied: "Sir-r, it is glowing with proid because it is kept out of other people's business."
Why He Knew
A prominent Judge, who was an enthusiastic golfer, had occasion to question a boy witness in a criminal suit.
"Now, my boy," said the Judge, "are you sure that you know the nature and significance of an oath—that is, what an oath really means?"
The boy looked up at the Judge in surprise, and then answered:
"Why, of course I do, Judge. Don't I caddy for you at the Country Club?"
Her Idea of Remembrance
Two negroes were talking about a recent funeral of a member of their race, at which funeral there had been a profusion of floral tributes. Said the cook:
"Dat's all very well, Mandy; but when I dies I don't want no flowers on my grave. Jes plant a good old watermelon-vine; an' when she gits ripe you come dar, an' don't you eat it, but jes bus' it on de grave, an' let de good old juice dribble down thro' de ground!"
Did He Win Her?
Conversation lagged for a moment, according to a "Life" story, then, as he sipped his tea, he remarked quietly, but with a meaning emphasis, "You are to be married."
"Mercy me! To whom?" was the startled reply.
"To me; I came today on purpose to tell you."
The Dog wasn't Touched
"Madam," said the conductor as he punched a ticket, "I am very sorry, but you can't have your dog in this car. It is against the rules."
"I shall hold him in my lap all the way," she replied, "and he will not disturb any one."
"That makes no difference," said the conductor. "Dogs must ride in the baggage-car. I'll take and fasten him for you."
"Don't you touch my dog, sir," exclaimed the young lady excitedly. "I will trust him to no one," and with indignant tread she marched to the baggage-car, tied her dog and said: "Remember, please, I don't want a soul here to touch my dog or untie him: you understand?"
The baggage crew said they did.
As the train approached her station the young lady, hailing the conductor, asked: "Is my dog all right?"
"I don't know, miss," replied the conductor.
"Don't know?" she replied. "Why don't you know? It's your business to know. You haven't touched him or untied him?"
"No; we didn't touch or untie him, and that's just it. You tied him to a trunk checked for two stations back. The trunk had to be put off, and so we threw the dog off with the trunk!"
Not the Kind She Wanted
"Which way, please, to the corset department?" she asked of the floor-walker.
"Straight back, madam."
"No, not straight back," was the reply. "I want a straight front."
His Last Request
JUDGE (to prisoner just condemned to death): "You have the legal right to express a last wish, and if it is possible it will be granted,"
PRISONER (a barber): "I should like just once more to be allowed to shave the District Attorney."
Why He Really Wanted to Go
"Would you mind if I went into the smoking-car, dear?" asked the bridegroom in a tender voice.
"What! to smoke, sweetheart?" questioned the bride.
"Oh, dear, no," replied the young husband; "I want to experience the agony of being away from you, so that the joy of my return will be all the more intensified."