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85 Works of Richard Harding Davis

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Hefty Burke was once clubbed by a policeman named McCluire, who excused the clubbing to His Honour by swearing that Hefty had been drunk and disorderly, which was not true. Hefty got away from the Island by swimming the East River, and swore to get even with the policeman. This story tells how he got […]

The Nature Faker

Story type: Literature

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Richard Herrick was a young man with a gentle disposition, much money, and no sense of humor. His object in life was to marry Miss Catherweight. For three years she had tried to persuade him this could not be, and finally, in order to convince him, married some one else. When the woman he loves […]

Billy and the Big Stick

Story type: Literature

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Had the Wilmot Electric Light people remained content only to make light, had they not, as a by-product, attempted to make money, they need not have left Hayti. When they flooded with radiance the unpaved streets of Port- au-Prince no one, except the police, who complained that the lights kept them awake, made objection; but […]

The Other Woman

Story type: Literature

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Young Latimer stood on one of the lower steps of the hall stairs, leaning with one hand on the broad railing and smiling down at her. She had followed him from the drawing-room and had stopped at the entrance, drawing the curtains behind her, and making, unconsciously, a dark background for her head and figure. […]

We had had so many office-boys before Gallegher came among us that they had begun to lose the characteristics of individuals, and became merged in a composite photograph of small boys, to whom we applied the generic title of “Here, you”; or “You, boy.” We had had sleepy boys, and lazy boys, and bright, “smart” […]

A Walk Up The Avenue

Story type: Literature

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He came down the steps slowly, and pulling mechanically at his gloves. He remembered afterwards that some woman’s face had nodded brightly to him from a passing brougham, and that he had lifted his hat through force of habit, and without knowing who she was. He stopped at the bottom of the steps, and stood […]

Rags Raegen was out of his element. The water was his proper element– the water of the East River by preference. And when it came to “running the roofs,” as he would have himself expressed it, he was “not in it.” On those other occasions when he had been followed by the police, he had […]

The “trailer” for the green-goods men who rented room No. 8 in Case’s tenement had had no work to do for the last few days, and was cursing his luck in consequence. He was entirely too young to curse, but he had never been told so, and, indeed, so imperfect had his training been that […]

Young Harringford, or the “Goodwood Plunger,” as he was perhaps better known at that time, had come to Monte Carlo in a very different spirit and in a very different state of mind from any in which he had ever visited the place before. He had come there for the same reason that a wounded […]

Miss Catherwaight’s collection of orders and decorations and medals was her chief offence in the eyes of those of her dear friends who thought her clever but cynical. All of them were willing to admit that she was clever, but some of them said she was clever only to be unkind. Young Van Bibber had […]

It was very hot in the Park, and young Van Bibber, who has a good heart and a great deal more money than good-hearted people generally get, was cross and somnolent. He had told his groom to bring a horse he wanted to try to the Fifty-ninth Street entrance at ten o’clock, and the groom […]

Van Bibber’s Burglar

Story type: Literature

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There had been a dance up town, but as Van Bibber could not find Her there, he accepted young Travers’s suggestion to go over to Jersey City and see a “go” between “Dutchy” Mack and a colored person professionally known as the Black Diamond. They covered up all signs of their evening dress with their […]

Van Bibber as Best Man

Story type: Literature

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Young Van Bibber came up to town in June from Newport to see his lawyer about the preparation of some papers that needed his signature. He found the city very hot and close, and as dreary and as empty as a house that has been shut up for some time while its usual occupants are […]

The Exiles

Story type: Literature

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I The greatest number of people in the world prefer the most highly civilized places of the world, because they know what sort of things are going to happen there, and because they also know by experience that those are the sort of things they like. A very few people prefer barbarous and utterly uncivilized […]

Ranson’s Folly

Story type: Literature

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PART I The junior officers of Fort Crockett had organized a mess at the post-trader’s. “And a mess it certainly is,” said Lieutenant Ranson. The dining-table stood between hogsheads of molasses and a blazing log-fire, the counter of the store was their buffet, a pool-table with a cloth, blotted like a map of the Great […]

The Scarlet Car

Story type: Literature

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I THE JAIL-BREAKERS For a long time it had been arranged they all should go to the Harvard and Yale game in Winthrop’s car. It was perfectly well understood. Even Peabody, who pictured himself and Miss Forbes in the back of the car, with her brother and Winthrop in front, condescended to approve. It was […]

In the Fog

Story type: Literature

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CHAPTER I The Grill is the club most difficult of access in the world. To be placed on its rolls distinguishes the new member as greatly as though he had received a vacant Garter or had been caricatured in “Vanity Fair.” Men who belong to the Grill Club never mention that fact. If you were […]

The Bull Called Emily

Story type: Literature

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We were sitting at a corner table in a certain small restaurant hard by where Sixth Avenue’s L structure, like an overgrown straddlebug, wades through the restless currents of Broadway at a sharpened angle. The dish upon which we principally dined was called on the menu Chicken a la Marengo. We knew why. Marengo, by […]

Hoodwinked

Story type: Literature

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Spy stories rather went out of fashion when the armistice was signed. But this one could not have been told before now, because it happened after the armies had quit fighting and while the Peace Conference was busily engaged in belying its first name. Also, in a strict manner of speaking, it is not a […]

John J. Coincidence

Story type: Literature

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Somebody said once that facts are stubborn things, which is a lie. Facts are almost the most flexible things known to man. The historian appreciates the truth of this just as the fictionist recognises and is governed by the opposite of it, each according to his lights. In recording the actual, the authentic, the definite, […]

How Ethan A. Pratt, formerly of South New Medford, in the State of Vermont, came to be resident manager and storekeeper for the British Great Eastern Company, Ltd., on Good Friday Island, in the South Seas, is not our present concern. Besides, the way of it makes too long a tale for telling here. It […]

Quality Folks

Story type: Literature

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In our town formerly there were any number of negro children named for Caucasian friends of their parents. Some bore for their names the names of old masters of the slavery time, masters who had been kindly and gracious and whose memories thereby were affectionately perpetuated; these were mainly of a generation now growing into […]

The Luck Piece

Story type: Literature

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Until now Trencher–to give him the name by which of all the names he used he best was known–had kept his temper in hobbles, no matter what or how great the provocation. As one whose mode of livelihood was trick and device outside the law it had behooved him ever to restrain himself from violent […]

The Broken Shoelace

Story type: Literature

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I In the aching, baking middle of a sizzling New York’s summer, there befell New York’s regular “crime wave.” When the city is a brazen skillet, whereon mankind, assailed by the sun from above and by the stored-up heat from below, fries on both sides like an egg; when nerves are worn to frazzle-ends; when […]

Boys Will Be Boys

Story type: Literature

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When Judge Priest, on this particular morning, came puffing into his chambers at the courthouse, looking, with his broad beam and in his costume of flappy, loose white ducks, a good deal like an old-fashioned full-rigger with all sails set, his black shadow, Jeff Poindexter, had already finished the job of putting the quarters to […]

The Gallowsmith

Story type: Literature

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This man that I have it in mind to write about was, at the time of which I write, an elderly man, getting well along toward sixty-five. He was tall and slightly stooped, with long arms, and big, gnarled, competent-looking hands, which smelled of yellow laundry soap, and had huge, tarnished nails on the fingers. […]

The Card-Sharp

Story type: Literature

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I had looked forward to spending Christmas with some people in Suffolk, and every one in London assured me that at their house there would be the kind of a Christmas house party you hear about but see only in the illustrated Christmas numbers. They promised mistletoe, snapdragon, and Sir Roger de Coverley. On Christmas […]

Playing Dead

Story type: Literature

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To fate, “Jimmie” Blagwin had signalled the “supreme gesture.” He had accomplished the Great Adventure. He was dead. And as he sat on his trunk in the tiny hall bedroom, and in the afternoon papers read of his suicide, his eyes were lit with pleasurable pride. Not at the nice things the obituaries told of […]

The Naked Man

Story type: Literature

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In their home town of Keepsburg, the Keeps were the reigning dynasty, socially and in every way. Old man Keep was president of the trolley line, the telephone company, and the Keep National Bank. But Fred, his son, and the heir apparent, did not inherit the business ability of his father; or, if he did, […]

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

Story type: Literature

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Before he finally arrested him, “Jimmie” Sniffen had seen the man with the golf-cap, and the blue eyes that laughed at you, three times. Twice, unexpectedly, he had come upon him in a wood road and once on Round Hill where the stranger was pretending to watch the sunset. Jimmie knew people do not climb […]

The Sailorman

Story type: Literature

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Before Latimer put him on watch, the Nantucket sailorman had not a care in the world. If the wind blew from the north, he spun to the left; if it came from the south, he spun to the right. But it was entirely the wind that was responsible. So, whichever way he turned, he smiled […]

The Mind Reader

Story type: Literature

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When Philip Endicott was at Harvard, he wrote stories of undergraduate life suggested by things that had happened to himself and to men he knew. Under the title of “Tales of the Yard” they were collected in book form, and sold surprisingly well. After he was graduated and became a reporter on the New York […]

The Invasion Of England

Story type: Literature

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This is the true inside story of the invasion of England in 1911 by the Germans, and why it failed. I got my data from Baron von Gottlieb, at the time military attache of the German Government with the Russian army in the second Russian-Japanese War, when Russia drove Japan out of Manchuria, and reduced […]

Blood Will Tell

Story type: Literature

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David Greene was an employee of the Burdett Automatic Punch Company. The manufacturing plant of the company was at Bridgeport, but in the New York offices there were working samples of all the punches, from the little nickel-plated hand punch with which conductors squeezed holes in railroad tickets, to the big punch that could bite […]

Of some college students it has been said that, in order to pass their examinations, they will deceive and cheat their kind professors. This may or may not be true. One only can shudder and pass hurriedly on. But whatever others may have done, when young Peter Hallowell in his senior year came up for […]

The Red Cross Girl

Story type: Literature

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When Spencer Flagg laid the foundation-stone for the new million-dollar wing he was adding to the Flagg Home for Convalescents, on the hills above Greenwich, the New York REPUBLIC sent Sam Ward to cover the story, and with him Redding to take photographs. It was a crisp, beautiful day in October, full of sunshine and […]

The Bar Sinister

Story type: Literature

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PART I The Master was walking most unsteady, his legs tripping each other. After the fifth or sixth round, my legs often go the same way. But even when the Master’s legs bend and twist a bit, you mustn’t think he can’t reach you. Indeed, that is the time he kicks most frequent. So I […]

A Derelict

Story type: Literature

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When the war-ships of a navy lie cleared for action outside a harbor, and the war-ships of the country with which they are at war lie cleared for action inside the harbor, there is likely to be trouble. Trouble between war-ships is news, and wherever there is news there is always a representative of the […]

An Unfinished Story

Story type: Literature

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Mrs. Trevelyan, as she took her seat, shot a quick glance down the length of her table and at the arrangement of her guests, and tried to learn if her lord and master approved. But he was listening to something Lady Arbuthnot, who sat on his right, was saying, and, being a man, failed to […]

La Lettre d’Amour

Story type: Literature

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When Bardini, who led the Hungarian Band at the Savoy Restaurant, was promoted to play at the Casino at Trouville, his place was taken by the second violin. The second violin was a boy, and when he greeted his brother Tziganes and the habitues of the restaurant with an apologetic and deprecatory bow, he showed […]

“Hefty” Burke was one of the best swimmers in the East River. There was no regular way open for him to prove this, as the gentlemen of the Harlem boat-clubs, under whose auspices the annual races were given, called him a professional, and would not swim against him. “They won’t keep company with me on […]

Outside The Prison

Story type: Literature

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It was about ten o’clock on the night before Christmas, and very cold. Christmas Eve is a very-much-occupied evening everywhere, in a newspaper office especially so, and all of the twenty and odd reporters were out that night on assignments, and Conway and Bronson were the only two remaining in the local room. They were […]

A Patron of Art

Story type: Literature

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Young Carstairs and his wife had a studio at Fifty-seventh Street and Sixth Avenue, where Carstairs painted pictures and Mrs. Carstairs mended stockings and wrote letters home to her people in Vermont. Young Carstairs had had a picture in the Salon, and was getting one ready for the Academy, which he hoped to have accepted […]

Andy M’Gee was a fireman, and was detailed every evening to theatre duty at the Grand Opera House, where the Ada Howard Burlesque and Comic Opera Company was playing “Pocahontas.” He had nothing to do but to stand in the first entrance and watch the border lights and see that the stand lights in the […]

A Recruit At Christmas

Story type: Literature

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Young Lieutenant Claflin left the Brooklyn Navy-yard at an early hour, and arrived at the recruiting-office at ten o’clock. It was the day before Christmas, and even the Bowery, “the thieves’ highway,” had taken on the emblems and spirit of the season, and the young officer smiled grimly as he saw a hard-faced proprietor of […]

Young Travers, who had been engaged to a girl down on Long Island for the last three months, only met her father and brother a few weeks before the day set for the wedding. The brother is a master of hounds near Southampton, and shared the expense of importing a pack from England with Van […]

Eleanore Cuyler

Story type: Literature

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Miss Eleanore Cuyler had dined alone with her mother that night, and she was now sitting in the drawing-room, near the open fire, with her gloves and fan on the divan beside her, for she was going out later to a dance. She was reading a somewhat weighty German review, and the contrast which the […]

Of course, Van Bibber lost all the money he saved at the races on the Fourth of July. He went to the track the next day, and he saw the whole sum melt away, and in his vexation tried to “get back,” with the usual result. He plunged desperately, and when he had reached his […]

Van Bibber At The Races

Story type: Literature

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Young Van Bibber had never spent a Fourth of July in the city, as he had always understood it was given over to armies of small boys on that day, who sat on all the curbstones and set off fire-crackers, and that the thermometer always showed ninety degrees in the shade, and cannon boomed and […]

A Wasted Day

Story type: Literature

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When its turn came, the private secretary, somewhat apologetically, laid the letter in front of the Wisest Man in Wall Street. “From Mrs. Austin, probation officer, Court of General Sessions,” he explained. “Wants a letter about Spear. He’s been convicted of theft. Comes up for sentence Tuesday.” “Spear?” repeated Arnold Thorndike. “Young fellow, stenographer, used […]

A Peace Manoeuvres

Story type: Literature

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The scout stood where three roads cut three green tunnels in the pine woods, and met at his feet. Above his head an aged sign-post pointed impartially to East Carver, South Carver, and Carver Centre, and left the choice to him. The scout scowled and bit nervously at his gauntlet. The choice was difficult, and […]

A Question of Latitude

Story type: Literature

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Of the school of earnest young writers at whom the word muckraker had been thrown in opprobrium, and by whom it had been caught up as a title of honor, Everett was among the younger and less conspicuous. But, if in his skirmishes with graft and corruption he had failed to correct the evils he […]

The Spy

Story type: Literature

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My going to Valencia was entirely an accident. But the more often I stated that fact, the more satisfied was everyone at the capital that I had come on some secret mission. Even the venerable politician who acted as our minister, the night of my arrival, after dinner, said confidentially, “Now, Mr. Crosby, between ourselves, […]

The Messengers

Story type: Literature

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When Ainsley first moved to Lone Lake Farm all of his friends asked him the same question. They wanted to know, if the farmer who sold it to him had abandoned it as worthless, how one of the idle rich, who could not distinguish a plough from a harrow, hoped to make it pay? His […]

My Buried Treasure

Story type: Literature

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This is a true story of a search for buried treasure. The only part that is not true is the name of the man with whom I searched for the treasure. Unless I keep his name out of it he will not let me write the story, and, as it was his expedition and as […]

The Last Ride Together

Story type: Literature

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A SKETCH CONTAINING THREE POINTS OF VIEW What the Poet Laureate wrote. “There are girls in the Gold Reef City, There are mothers and children too! And they cry ‘Hurry up for pity!’ So what can a brave man do? “I suppose we were wrong, were mad men, Still I think at the Judgment Day, […]

On the Fever Ship

Story type: Literature

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There were four rails around the ship’s sides, the three lower ones of iron and the one on top of wood, and as he looked between them from the canvas cot he recognized them as the prison-bars which held him in. Outside his prison lay a stretch of blinding blue water which ended in a […]

Prentiss had a long lease on the house, and because it stood in Jermyn Street the upper floors were, as a matter of course, turned into lodgings for single gentlemen; and because Prentiss was a Florist to the Queen, he placed a lion and unicorn over his flower-shop, just in front of the middle window […]

Love Me, Love My Dog

Story type: Literature

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Young Van Bibber had been staying with some people at Southampton, L. I., where, the fall before, his friend Travers made his reputation as a cross-country rider. He did this, it may be remembered, by shutting his eyes and holding on by the horse’s mane and letting the horse go as it pleased. His recklessness […]

The day was cruelly hot, with unwarranted gusts of wind which swept the red dust in fierce eddies in at one end of Main Street and out at the other, and waltzed fantastically across the prairie. When they had passed, human beings opened their eyes again to blink hopelessly at the white sun, and swore […]

Van Bibber’s man Walters was the envy and admiration of his friends. He was English, of course, and he had been trained in the household of the Marquis Bendinot, and had travelled, in his younger days, as the valet of young Lord Upton. He was now rather well on in years, although it would have […]

The Hungry Man was Fed

Story type: Literature

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Young Van Bibber broke one of his rules of life one day and came down-town. This unusual journey into the marts of trade and finance was in response to a call from his lawyer, who wanted his signature to some papers. It was five years since Van Bibber had been south of the north side […]

The Old Time Journalist will tell you that the best reporter is the one who works his way up. He holds that the only way to start is as a printer’s devil or as an office boy, to learn in time to set type, to graduate from a compositor into a stenographer, and as a […]

Her First Appearance

Story type: Literature

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It was at the end of the first act of the first night of “The Sultana,” and every member of the Lester Comic Opera Company, from Lester himself down to the wardrobe woman’s son, who would have had to work if his mother lost her place, was sick with anxiety. There is perhaps only one […]

The Editor’s Story

Story type: Literature

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It was a warm afternoon in the early spring, and the air in the office was close and heavy. The letters of the morning had been answered and the proofs corrected, and the gentlemen who had come with ideas worth one column at space rates, and which they thought worth three, had compromised with the […]

An Assisted Emigrant

Story type: Literature

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Guido stood on the curb-stone in Fourteenth Street, between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue, with a row of plaster figures drawn up on the sidewalk in front of him. It was snowing, and they looked cold in consequence, especially the Night and Morning. A line of men and boys stretched on either side of Guido […]

Cinderella

Story type: Literature

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The servants of the Hotel Salisbury, which is so called because it is situated on Broadway and conducted on the American plan by a man named Riggs, had agreed upon a date for their annual ball and volunteer concert, and had announced that it would eclipse every other annual ball in the history of the […]

A young man runs two chances of marrying the wrong woman. He marries her because she is beautiful, and because he persuades himself that every other lovable attribute must be associated with such beauty, or because she is in love with him. If this latter is the case, she gives certain values to what he […]

A Charmed Life

Story type: Literature

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She loved him so, that when he went away to a little war in which his country was interested she could not understand, nor quite forgive. As the correspondent of a newspaper, Chesterton had looked on at other wars; when the yellow races met, when the infidel Turk spanked the Christian Greek; and one he […]

The Amateur

Story type: Literature

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I It was February off the Banks, and so thick was the weather that, on the upper decks, one could have driven a sleigh. Inside the smoking-room Austin Ford, as securely sheltered from the blizzard as though he had been sitting in front of a wood fire at his club, ordered hot gin for himself […]

The Lost Road

Story type: Literature

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During the war with Spain, Colton Lee came into the service as a volunteer. For a young man, he always had taken life almost too seriously, and when, after the campaign in Cuba, he elected to make soldiering his profession, the seriousness with which he attacked his new work surprised no one. Finding they had […]

This is the story of a gallant officer who loved his profession, his regiment, his country, but above all, whiskey; of his miraculous conversion to total abstinence, and of the humble instrument that worked the miracle. At the time it was worked, a battalion of the Thirty-third Infantry had been left behind to guard the […]

As a rule, the instant the season closed Aline Proctor sailed on the first steamer for London, where awaited her many friends, both English and American–and to Paris, where she selected those gowns that on and off the stage helped to make her famous. But this particular summer she had spent with the Endicotts at […]

The Men Of Zanzibar

Story type: Literature

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When his hunting trip in Uganda was over, Hemingway shipped his specimens and weapons direct from Mombasa to New York, but he himself journeyed south over the few miles that stretched to Zanzibar. On the outward trip the steamer had touched there, and the little he saw of the place had so charmed him that […]

The Long Arm

Story type: Literature

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The safe was an old one that opened with a key. As adjutant, Captain Swanson had charge of certain funds of the regiment and kept in the safe about five thousand dollars. No one but himself and Rueff, his first sergeant, had access to it. And as Rueff proved an alibi, the money might have […]

The God Of Coincidence

Story type: Literature

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The God of Coincidence is fortunate in possessing innumerable press agents. They have made the length of his arm a proverb. How at exactly the right moment he extends it across continents and drags two and two together, thus causing four to result where but for him sixes and sevens would have obtained, they have […]

Young Everett at last was a minister plenipotentiary. In London as third secretary he had splashed around in the rain to find the ambassador’s carriage. In Rome as a second secretary he had served as a clearing-house for the Embassy’s visiting-cards; and in Madrid as first secretary he had acted as interpreter for a minister […]

The Boy Scout

Story type: Literature

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A rule of the Boy Scouts is every day to do some one a good turn. Not because the copybooks tell you it deserves another, but in spite of that pleasing possibility. If you are a true scout, until you have performed your act of kindness your day is dark. You are as unhappy as […]

Somewhere In France

Story type: Literature

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Marie Gessler, known as Marie Chaumontel, Jeanne d’Avrechy, the Countess d’Aurillac, was German. Her father, who served through the Franco-Prussian War, was a German spy. It was from her mother she learned to speak French sufficiently well to satisfy even an Academician and, among Parisians, to pass as one. Both her parents were dead. Before […]

The Deserter

Story type: Literature

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In Salonika, the American consul, the Standard Oil man, and the war correspondents formed the American colony. The correspondents were waiting to go to the front. Incidentally, as we waited, the front was coming rapidly toward us. There was “Uncle” Jim, the veteran of many wars, and of all the correspondents, in experience the oldest […]

The Consul

Story type: Literature

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For over forty years, in one part of the world or another, old man Marshall had, served his country as a United States consul. He had been appointed by Lincoln. For a quarter of a century that fact was his distinction. It was now his epitaph. But in former years, as each new administration succeeded […]

Temptation came to me when I was in the worst possible position to resist it. It is a way temptation has. Whenever I swear off drinking invariably I am invited to an ushers’ dinner. Whenever I am rich, only the highbrow publications that pay the least, want my work. But the moment I am poverty-stricken […]

The Carters had married in haste and refused to repent at leisure. So blindly were they in love, that they considered their marriage their greatest asset. The rest of the world, as represented by mutual friends, considered it the only thing that could be urged against either of them. While single, each had been popular. […]

The Make-Believe Man

Story type: Literature

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I I had made up my mind that when my vacation came I would spend it seeking adventures. I have always wished for adventures, but, though I am old enough–I was twenty-five last October–and have always gone half-way to meet them, adventures avoid me. Kinney says it is my fault. He holds that if you […]

The Frame Up

Story type: Literature

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When the voice over the telephone promised to name the man who killed Hermann Banf, District Attorney Wharton was up- town lunching at Delmonico’s. This was contrary to his custom and a concession to Hamilton Cutler, his distinguished brother-in-law. That gentleman was interested in a State constabulary bill and had asked State Senator Bissell to […]