Good Stories from the Ladies' Home Journal online

. (page 1 of 6)
Online LibraryVariousGood Stories from the Ladies' Home Journal → online text (page 1 of 6)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Produced by Al Haines








_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

_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 ?"

_Of Course_

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

"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

_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,

"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

"Simply," replied the husband, "because I didn't want to interrupt

_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

"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."

_Easy Enough_

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."

"How's that?"

"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

_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 _per_spiration."

_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

_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 ?"

TOMMY: "Abs'lom."

_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."


_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,

"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

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

"What then?"

"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

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

"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

_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

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

"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."

_Easy Enough_

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

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

_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

_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

1 3 4 5 6

Online LibraryVariousGood Stories from the Ladies' Home Journal → online text (page 1 of 6)