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24 Works of Ellis Parker Butler

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"Pigs Is Pigs"

Story type: Literature

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Mike Flannery, the Westcote agent of the Interurban Express Company, leaned over the counter of the express office and shook his fist. Mr. Morehouse, angry and red, stood on the other side of the counter, trembling with rage. The argument had been long and heated, and at last Mr. Morehouse had talked himself speechless. The […]

Dey Ain’t No Ghosts

Story type: Literature

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ONCE ‘pon a time dey was a li’l black boy whut he name was Mose. An’ whin he come erlong to be ’bout knee-high to a mewel, he ‘gin to git powerful ‘fraid ob ghosts, ‘ca’se dey’s a grabeyard in de hollow, an’ a buryin’-ground on de hill, an’ a cemuntary in betwixt an’ between, […]

Thin Santa Claus

Story type: Literature

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The Chicken Yard That Was a Christmas Stocking Mrs. Gratz opened her eyes and looked out at the drizzle that made the Christmas morning gray. Her bed stood against the window, and it was easy for her to look out; all she had to do was to roll over and pull the shade aside. Having […]

Our First Burglar

Story type: Literature

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When our new suburban house was completed I took Sarah out to see it, and she liked it all but the stairs. “Edgar,” she said, when she had ascended to the second floor, “I don’t know whether it is imagination or not, but it seems to me that these stairs are funny, some way. I […]

On the sixteenth of June Mr. Rollin Billings entered his home at Westcote very much later than usual, and stealing upstairs, like a thief in the night, he undressed and dropped into bed. In two minutes he was asleep, and it was no wonder, for by that time it was five minutes after three in […]

The Water Goats

Story type: Literature

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“And then,” said the landscape gardener, combing his silky, pointed beard gently with his long, artistic fingers, “in the lake you might have a couple of gondolas. Two would be sufficient for a lake of this size; amply sufficient. Yes,” he said firmly, “I would certainly advise gondolas. They look well, and the children like […]

Solander’s Radio Tomb

Story type: Literature

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“Pigs Is Pigs” Butler quite surpasses himself in this story. The intricacies in radio are so great, and the changes occur so quickly that no one can afford to make a will wherein a radio provision figures. Once we thought of having a radio loud speaker installed in our coffin to keep us company and […]

Philo Gubb, wrapped in his bathrobe, went to the door of the room that was the headquarters of his business of paper-hanging and decorating as well as the office of his detective business, and opened the door a crack. It was still early in the morning, but Mr. Gubb was a modest man, and, lest […]

Buried Bones

Story type: Literature

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When Mr. Gubb went to the house of Mr. Jonas Medderbrook to pay him the money he had received for solving the mystery of Henry, the Educated Pig, he found the house closed, locked and deserted, and on the door was pinned a card that said simply, and in a neat handwriting:– Gone to Patagonia. […]

Philo Gubb sat on an upturned bundle of rolls of wall-paper in the dining-room of Mrs. Pilker’s famous Pilker mansion, in Riverbank, biting into a thick ham sandwich. It was noon. Mr. Gubb ate methodically, taking a large bite of sandwich, chewing the bite long and well, and then swallowing it with a wonderful up […]

The Half Of A Thousand

Story type: Literature

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Philo Gubb sat in his office in the Opera House Block with a large green volume open on his knees, reading a paragraph of some ten lines. He had read this paragraph twenty times before, but he never tired of reading it. It began began– Gubb, Philo. Detective and decorator, b. Higginsville, Ia., June 26, […]

The Anonymous Wiggle

Story type: Literature

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Any one reading a history of the detective work of Philo Gubb, the paper-hanger detective, might imagine that crime stalked abroad endlessly in Riverbank and that criminals crowded the streets, but this would be mere imagination. For weeks before he took on the case of the Anonymous Wiggle, he had been obliged to revert to […]

Waffles And Mustard

Story type: Literature

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It would not be true to say that Mr. Gubb had become suspicious of Mr. Medderbrook’s honesty. The fact that the cashier of the Riverbank National Bank told him the Utterly Hopeless Gold-Mine stock was not worth the paper it was printed on did pain him, however. It pained Mr. Gubb to think his father-in-law-to-be […]

The Missing Mr. Master

Story type: Literature

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That evening Mr. Gubb received a short note from Mr. Medderbrook that was in the form of a bill or statement. It read: “Due from P. Gubb to J. Medderbrook, $11,900. Please remit,”–so he put on his hat and walked to Mr. Medderbrook’s elegant home. “I want you to hurry up with what you owe […]

The Progressive Murder

Story type: Literature

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When Philo Gubb paid Mr. Medderbrook the one hundred dollars he had received for retrieving the Dragon’s Eye, Mr. Medderbrook was not extremely gracious. “I’ll take it on account,” he said grudgingly, “but it ought to be more. It only brings what you owe me for that Utterly Hopeless Gold-Mine stock down to eleven thousand […]

The Dragon’s Eye

Story type: Literature

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It was with great pleasure that Mr. Gubb carried four hundred and ninety dollars to Mr. Medderbrook, and his intended father-in-law received him quite graciously. “This is more like it, Gubb,” he said. “Keep the money coming right along and you’ll find I’m a good friend and a faithful one.” “I aim so to do […]

The Chicken

Story type: Literature

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Philo Gubb, with three rolls of wall-paper under his arm and a pail of mixed paste in one hand, walked along Cherry Street near the brick-yard. On this occasion Mr. Gubb was in a reasonably contented frame of mind, for he had just received his share of the reward for capturing the dynamiters and had […]

The Two-Cent Stamp

Story type: Literature

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The house in Tenth Street where Philo Gubb was doing a job of paper-hanging when he made the happy error of capturing the dynamiters while seeking the un-burglars was the home of Aunt Martha Turner, a member of the Ladies’ Temperance League of Riverbank. The members of the Ladies’ Temperance League–and Aunt Martha Turner particularly–had […]

The Un-Burglars

Story type: Literature

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Although Detective Gubb’s experience with the oubliette-elevator did not lead to the detection of the dynamiters for whom a reward of five thousand dollars was offered, it resulted in the payment to him of one half of three fines of five hundred dollars for each of the three stores of whiskey he had unearthed. With […]

The Oubliette

Story type: Literature

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The discovery that Syrilla was the daughter of Jonas Medderbrook (born Jones) was a great triumph for Philo Gubb, but while the “Riverbank Eagle” made a great hurrah about it, Philo Gubb was not entirely happy over the matter. Having won a reward of ten thousand dollars for discovering Syrilla and five hundred dollars for […]

The Eagle’s Claws

Story type: Literature

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As Philo Gubb boarded the train for Riverbank after recovering the silver loving-cup from the interior of the petrified man, he cast a regretful glance backward. It was for Syrilla. There was half a ton of her pinky-white beauty, and her placid, cow-like expression touched an echoing chord in Philo Gubb’s heart. Philo felt, however, […]

The Pet

Story type: Literature

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On the morning following his capture of the Hard-Boiled Egg, the “Riverbank Eagle” printed two full columns in praise of Detective Gubb and complimented Riverbank on having a superior to Sherlock Holmes in its midst. “Mr. Philo Gubb,” said the “Eagle,” “has thus far received only eleven of the twelve lessons from the Rising Sun […]

The Hard-Boiled Egg

Story type: Literature

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Walking close along the wall, to avoid the creaking floor boards, Philo Gubb, paper-hanger and student of the Rising Sun Detective Agency’s Correspondence School of Detecting, tiptoed to the door of the bedroom he shared with the mysterious Mr. Critz. In appearance Mr. Gubb was tall and gaunt, reminding one of a modern Don Quixote […]

Goat-Feathers

Story type: Literature

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No human being ever tells the whole truth about himself. We seem to be born liars in that particular, all of us, and I am no different. I’m starting out now to tell the bitter, agonizing truth about myself, but before I am through I shall probably be lying at the rate of a mile […]