Having recently passed into what my great-grandson Shem calls my Anecdotage, it has occurred to me that perhaps some of the recollections of a more or less extended existence upon this globular mass of dust and water that we are pleased to call the earth, may prove of interest to posterity, and I have accordingly, at the earnest solicitation of my grandson, Noah, and his sons, Shem, Ham and Japhet, consented to put them into permanent literary form. In view of the facts that at this writing, ink and paper and pens have not as yet been invented, and that we have no capable stenographers among our village folk, and that because of my advanced years I should find great difficulty in producing my manuscript on a type-writing machine with my gouty fingers—for, of the luscious fluid of the grape have I been a ready, though never over-abundant, consumer—even if I were familiar with the keyboard of such an instrument, or, if indeed, there were any such instrument to facilitate the work—in view of these facts, I say, I have been compelled to make use of the literary methods of the Egyptians, and with hammer and chisel, to gouge out my "Few Remarks" upon such slabs of stone as I can find upon my native heath.
It is quite interesting, in the light of the contentions of history as to man's earliest realization that the earth is round, to find Methuselah speaking in this fashion. It would seem from this that the real facts had dawned upon the Patriarch's mind even at this early period, and one is therefore disposed to regard as less apocryphal the anecdote recorded in Volume III, Chapter 38, of "The Life and Voyages of Noah," wherein Adam, after being ejected from the Garden of Eden, asked by Cain if he believes the world to be round like an orange, replies...
A Little Book of Christmas, written by John Kendrick Bangs, is a collection of stories and poems set in New York City that capture the essence of Christmas.
“As yet it is only an idea, you know,” said Dobbs; “and if you have ever had any experience with ideas, Tenny, you are probably aware that, unless reduced to a practical basis, an idea is of no more value than a theory.”
“True,” Tenafly replied. “I can demonstrate that in five minutes at the Waldoria. For instance, you see, Dobbsy, I have an idea that I am as hungry as a bear, but as yet it is only a theory, from which I derive no substantial benefit. Place a portion of whitebait, a filet Bearnaise, and a quart of Sauterne before me, and—”
“I see,” said Dobbsy. “Come along.”..
It had been a long and trying day to Jimmieboy, as December 24th usually is to children of his age, who have great expectations, and are more or less impatient to have them fulfilled. He had been positively cross at supper-time because his father had said that Santa Claus had written to say that a much-desired velocipede could not be got down through the chimney, and that he thought Jimmieboy would have to wait until the chimneys had been enlarged, or his papa had built a new house with more commodious flues.
"I think it's just too bad," said Jimmieboy, as he climbed into bed an hour later. "Just because those chimneys are small, I can't have a philocipede, and I've been gooder than ever for two weeks, just to get it."
Then, as his nurse extinguished the lamp and went into the adjoining room to sew, Jimmieboy threw himself back upon his pillow and shed a tear. The tear crept slowly down over his cheek, and was about to disappear between his lips and go back again to where it had started from, when a voice was heard over by the fire-place.
"Can you get it down?" it said.
Jimmieboy sat up and peered over toward the spot whence the voice came, but could see nothing.
"No. The hind wheels won't go through the chimney-pot, and even if they would, it wouldn't do any good. The front wheel is twice as big as the hind ones," said another voice, this one apparently belonging to some one on the roof. "Can't you get it in through the front door?"
"What do you take me for—an expressman?" cried the voice at the fire-place. "I can't leave things that way. It wouldn't be the proper thing. Can't you get a smaller size through?"...
These sufferings involve a loss of appetite for days in advance of the event; a complete derangement of the nervous system, with no chance of recovery for at least ten days preceding the emergent hour, since sleep either refuses to come to one's relief altogether, or coming brings in its train a species of nerve-racking dream which leaves the last estate of the weary slumberer worse than the first. The complication is far more difficult to handle than that involved in the maturity of a promissory note which one is unable to meet; for there are conditions under which a tender-hearted creditor will permit a renewal of the latter sort of obligation, and this thought provides some sort of rift in the cloud of a debtor's despair....
There are moments of supreme embarrassment in the lives of persons given to veracity,—indeed it has been my own unusual experience in life that the truth well stuck to is twice as hard a proposition as a lie so obvious that no one is deceived by it at the outset. I cannot quite agree with my friend, Caddy Barlow, who says that in a tight place it is better to lie at once and be done with it than to tell the truth which will need forty more truths to explain it, but I must confess that in my forty years of absolute and conscientious devotion to truth I have found myself in holes far deeper than any my most mendacious of friends ever got into. I do not propose, however, to desert at this late hour the Goddess I have always worshipped because she leads me over a rough and rocky road, and whatever may be the hardships involved in my wooing I intend to the very end to remain the ever faithful slave of Mademoiselle Veracité. All of which I state here in prefatory mood, and in order, in so far as it is possible for me to do so, to disarm the incredulous and sniffy reader who may be inclined to doubt the truth of my story of how the manuscript of the following pages came into my possession. I am quite aware that to some the tale will appear absolutely and intolerably impossible. I know that if any other than I told it to me I should not believe it. Yet despite these drawbacks the story is in all particulars, essential and otherwise, absolutely truthful.
The facts are briefly these:
It was not, to begin with, a dark and dismal evening. ...
“I don’t recall any other,” said Mr. Whitechoker...
The guests at Mrs. Smithers's high-class boarding-house for gentlemen had assembled as usual for breakfast, and in a few moments Mary, the dainty waitress, entered with the steaming coffee, the mush, and the rolls.
The School-master, who, by-the-way, was suspected by Mrs. Smithers of having intentions, and who for that reason occupied the chair nearest the lady's heart, folded up the morning paper, and placing it under him so that no one else could get it, observed, quite genially for him, "It was very wet yesterday."
"I didn't find it so," observed a young man seated half-way down the table, who was by common consent called the Idiot, because of his "views." "In fact, I was very dry. Curious thing, I'm always dry on rainy days. I am one of the kind of men who know that it is the part of wisdom to stay in when it rains, or to carry an umbrella when it is not possible to stay at home, or, having no home, like ourselves, to remain cooped up in stalls, or stalled up in coops, as you may prefer."
"You carried an umbrella, then?" queried the landlady, ignoring the Idiot's shaft at the size of her "elegant and airy apartments" with an ease born of experience.
"Yes, madame," returned the Idiot, quite unconscious of what was coming....
The houseboat on the river Styx is the afterlife’s hippest meeting spot, and it attracts some of history’s greatest luminaries: William Shakespeare, Confucius, Napoleon Bonaparte, George Washington, and Socrates have all spent time together there. But such illustrious men also attract less savory characters from the past. One of these scoundrels, the great pirate Captain Kidd, seizes an opportunity to pick up some cigars from London with the houseboat. Now the vessel is missing, and there’s only one dead man skilled enough in deduction to track down Kidd and the boat—the world’s foremost detective, Sherlock Holmes.
Meanwhile, Captain Kidd has his hands full, as the stolen boat contains an unexpected set of stowaways who are making his quick jaunt far more difficult than he bargained for. The Pursuit of the House-Boat is a raucous romp through the underworld.
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"WATSON!" by Captain A.E. Dingle
THE ADVENTURE OF THE DIAMOND NECKLACE, by G. F. Forrest
THE STOLEN CIGAR-CASE, by Bret Harte
THE ADVENTURES OF SHAMROCK JOLNES, by O. Henry
MR. RAFFLES HOLMES, by John Kendrick Bangs