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94 Works of Saki (Hector H. Munro)

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Sredni Vashtar

Story type: Horror

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Conradin was ten years old, and the doctor had pronounced his professional opinion that the boy would not live another five years. The doctor was silky and effete, and counted for little, but his opinion was endorsed by Mrs. De Ropp, who counted for nearly everything. Mrs. De Ropp was Conradin’s cousin and guardian, and […]

Gabriel-Ernest

Story type: Literature

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‘There is a wild beast in your woods,’ said the artist Cunningham, as he was being driven to the station. It was the only remark he had made during the drive, but as Van Cheele had talked incessantly his companion’s silence had not been noticeable. ‘A stray fox or two and some resident weasels. Nothing […]

The Lumber Room

Story type: Literature

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THE children were to be driven, as a special treat, to the sands at Jagborough. Nicholas was not to be of the party; he was in disgrace. Only that morning he had refused to eat his wholesome bread-and-milk on the seemingly frivolous ground that there was a frog in it. Older and wiser and better […]

The Cobweb

Story type: Literature

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THE farmhouse kitchen probably stood where it did as a matter of accident or haphazard choice; yet its situation might have been planned by a master-strategist in farmhouse architecture. Dairy and poultry-yard, and herb garden, and all the busy places of the farm seemed to lead by easy access into its wide flagged haven, where […]

The Open Window

Story type: Literature

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“MY aunt will be down presently, Mr. Nuttel,” said a very self-possessed young lady of fifteen; “in the meantime you must try and put up with me.” Framton Nuttel endeavoured to say the correct something which should duly flatter the niece of the moment without unduly discounting the aunt that was to come. Privately he […]

The Story-Teller

Story type: Literature

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IT was a hot afternoon, and the railway carriage was correspondingly sultry, and the next stop was at Templecombe, nearly an hour ahead. The occupants of the carriage were a small girl, and a smaller girl, and a small boy. An aunt belonging to the children occupied one corner seat, and the further corner seat […]

Tobermory

Story type: Literature

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It was a chill, rain-washed afternoon of a late August day, that indefinite season when partridges are still in security or cold storage, and there is nothing to hunt—unless one is bounded on the north by the Bristol Channel, in which case one may lawfully gallop after fat red stags. Lady Blemley’s house-party was not […]

The Background

Story type: Literature

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“That woman’s art-jargon tires me,” said Clovis to his journalist friend. “She’s so fond of talking of certain pictures as ‘growing on one,’ as though they were a sort of fungus.” “That reminds me,” said the journalist, “of the story of Henri Deplis. Have I ever told it you?” Clovis shook his head. “Henri Deplis […]

It was in the second decade of the twentieth century, after the Great Plague had devastated England, that Hermann the Irascible, nicknamed also the Wise, sat on the British throne. The Mortal Sickness had swept away the entire Royal Family, unto the third and fourth generations, and thus it came to pass that Hermann the […]

“It would be rather nice if you would put Clovis up for another six days while I go up north to the MacGregors’,” said Mrs. Sangrail sleepily across the breakfast-table. It was her invariable plan to speak in a sleepy, comfortable voice whenever she was unusually keen about anything; it put people off their guard, […]

“A man is known by the company he keeps.” In the morning-room of his sister-in-law’s house Groby Lington fidgeted away the passing minutes with the demure restlessness of advanced middle age. About a quarter of an hour would have to elapse before it would be time to say his good-byes and make his way across […]

"Ministers Of Grace"

Story type: Literature

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Although he was scarcely yet out of his teens, the Duke of Scaw was already marked out as a personality widely differing from others of his caste and period. Not in externals; therein he conformed correctly to type. His hair was faintly reminiscent of Houbigant, and at the other end of him his shoes exhaled […]

“Who and what is Mr. Brope?” demanded the aunt of Clovis suddenly. Mrs. Riversedge, who had been snipping off the heads of defunct roses, and thinking of nothing in particular, sprang hurriedly to mental attention. She was one of those old-fashioned hostesses who consider that one ought to know something about one’s guests, and that […]

A Matter Of Sentiment

Story type: Literature

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It was the eve of the great race, and scarcely a member of Lady Susan’s house-party had as yet a single bet on. It was one of those unsatisfactory years when one horse held a commanding market position, not by reason of any general belief in its crushing superiority, but because it was extremely difficult […]

The Recessional

Story type: Literature

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Clovis sat in the hottest zone but two of a Turkish bath, alternately inert in statuesque contemplation and rapidly manoeuvring a fountain-pen over the pages of a note-book. “Don’t interrupt me with your childish prattle,” he observed to Bertie van Tahn, who had slung himself languidly into a neighbouring chair and looked conversationally inclined; “I’m […]

The Hounds Of Fate

Story type: Literature

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In the fading light of a close dull autumn afternoon Martin Stoner plodded his way along muddy lanes and rut-seamed cart tracks that led he knew not exactly whither. Somewhere in front of him, he fancied, lay the sea, and towards the sea his footsteps seemed persistently turning; why he was struggling wearily forward to […]

“Heavens!” exclaimed the aunt of Clovis, “here’s some one I know bearing down on us. I can’t remember his name, but he lunched with us once in Town. Tarrington–yes, that’s it. He’s heard of the picnic I’m giving for the Princess, and he’ll cling to me like a lifebelt till I give him an invitation; […]

Peace Of Mowsle Barton

Story type: Literature

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Crefton Lockyer sat at his ease, an ease alike of body and soul, in the little patch of ground, half-orchard and half-garden, that abutted on the farmyard at Mowsle Barton. After the stress and noise of long years of city life, the repose and peace of the hill-begirt homestead struck on his senses with an […]

The Peace Offering

Story type: Literature

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“I want you to help me in getting up a dramatic entertainment of some sort,” said the Baroness to Clovis. “You see, there’s been an election petition down here, and a member unseated and no end of bitterness and ill-feeling, and the County is socially divided against itself. I thought a play of some kind […]

The Way To The Dairy

Story type: Literature

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The Baroness and Clovis sat in a much-frequented corner of the Park exchanging biographical confidences about the long succession of passers-by. “Who are those depressed-looking young women who have just gone by?” asked the Baroness; “they have the air of people who have bowed to destiny and are not quite sure whether the salute will […]

Story Of St. Vespaluus

Story type: Literature

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“Tell me a story,” said the Baroness, staring out despairingly at the rain; it was that light, apologetic sort of rain that looks as if it was going to leave off every minute and goes on for the greater part of the afternoon. “What sort of story?” asked Clovis, giving his croquet mallet a valedictory […]

The Music On The Hill

Story type: Literature

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Sylvia Seltoun ate her breakfast in the morning-room at Yessney with a pleasant sense of ultimate victory, such as a fervent Ironside might have permitted himself on the morrow of Worcester fight. She was scarcely pugnacious by temperament, but belonged to that more successful class of fighters who are pugnacious by circumstance. Fate had willed […]

“I want to marry your daughter,” said Mark Spayley with faltering eagerness. “I am only an artist with an income of two hundred a year, and she is the daughter of an enormously wealthy man, so I suppose you will think my offer a piece of presumption.” Duncan Dullamy, the great company inflator, showed no […]

The Easter Egg

Story type: Literature

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It was distinctly hard lines for Lady Barbara, who came of good fighting stock, and was one of the bravest women of her generation, that her son should be so undisguisedly a coward. Whatever good qualities Lester Slaggby may have possessed, and he was in some respects charming, courage could certainly never he imputed to […]

Wratislav

Story type: Literature

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The Grafin’s two elder sons had made deplorable marriages. It was, observed Clovis, a family habit. The youngest boy, Wratislav, who was the black sheep of a rather greyish family, had as yet made no marriage at all. “There is certainly this much to be said for viciousness,” said the Gr�fin, “it keeps boys out […]

The Quest

Story type: Literature

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An unwonted peace hung over the Villa Elsinore, broken, however, at frequent intervals, by clamorous lamentations suggestive of bewildered bereavement. The Momebys had lost their infant child; hence the peace which its absence entailed; they were looking for it in wild, undisciplined fashion, giving tongue the whole time, which accounted for the outcry which swept […]

The Chaplet

Story type: Literature

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A strange stillness hung over the restaurant; it was one of those rare moments when the orchestra was not discoursing the strains of the Ice-cream Sailor waltz. “Did I ever tell you,” asked Clovis of his friend, “the tragedy of music at mealtimes? “It was a gala evening at the Grand Sybaris Hotel, and a […]

Arlington Stringham made a joke in the House of Commons. It was a thin House, and a very thin joke; something about the Anglo-Saxon race having a great many angles. It is possible that it was unintentional, but a fellow-member, who did not wish it to be supposed that he was asleep because his eyes […]

Adrian

Story type: Literature

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A CHAPTER IN ACCLIMATIZATION His baptismal register spoke of him pessimistically as John Henry, but he had left that behind with the other maladies of infancy, and his friends knew him under the front-name of Adrian. His mother lived in Bethnal Green, which was not altogether his fault; one can discourage too much history in […]

The Unrest-Cure

Story type: Literature

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0n the rack in the railway carriage immediately opposite Clovis was a solidly wrought travelling-bag, with a carefully written label, on which was inscribed, “J. P. Huddle, The Warren, Tilfield, near Slowborough.” Immediately below the rack sit the human embodiment of the label, a solid, sedate individual, sedately dressed, sedately conversational. Even without his conversation […]

Fate

Story type: Literature

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Rex Dillot was nearly twenty-four, almost good-looking and quite penniless. His mother was supposed to make him some sort of an allowance out of what her creditors allowed her, and Rex occasionally strayed into the ranks of those who earn fitful salaries as secretaries or companions to people who are unable to cope unaided with […]

The Bull

Story type: Literature

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Tom Yorkfield had always regarded his half-brother, Laurence, with a lazy instinct of dislike, toned down, as years went on, to a tolerant feeling of indifference. There was nothing very tangible to dislike him for; he was just a blood-relation, with whom Tom had no single taste or interest in common, and with whom, at […]

Shock Tactics

Story type: Literature

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On a late spring afternoon Ella McCarthy sat on a green-painted chair in Kensington Gardens, staring listlessly at an uninteresting stretch of park landscape, that blossomed suddenly into tropical radiance as an expected figure appeared in the middle distance. “Hullo, Bertie!” she exclaimed sedately, when the figure arrived at the painted chair that was the […]

Morlvera

Story type: Literature

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The Olympic Toy Emporium occupied a conspicuous frontage in an important West End street. It was happily named Toy Emporium, because one would never have dreamed of according it the familiar and yet pulse-quickening name of toyshop. There was an air of cold splendour and elaborate failure about the wares that were set out in […]

The Seven Cream Jugs

Story type: Literature

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“I suppose we shall never see Wilfred Pigeoncote here now that he has become heir to the baronetcy and to a lot of money,” observed Mrs. Peter Pigeoncote regretfully to her husband. “Well, we can hardly expect to,” he replied, “seeing that we always choked him off from coming to see us when he was […]

The Occasional Garden

Story type: Literature

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“Don’t talk to me about town gardens,” said Elinor Rapsley; “which means, of course, that I want you to listen to me for an hour or so while I talk about nothing else. ‘What a nice-sized garden you’ve got,’ people said to us when we first moved here. What I suppose they meant to say […]

The Sheep

Story type: Literature

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The enemy had declared “no trumps.” Rupert played out his ace and king of clubs and cleared the adversary of that suit; then the Sheep, whom the Fates had inflicted on him for a partner, took the third round with the queen of clubs, and, having no other club to lead back, opened another suit. […]

The Oversight

Story type: Literature

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“It’s like a Chinese puzzle,” said Lady Prowche resentfully, staring at a scribbled list of names that spread over two or three loose sheets of notepaper on her writing-table. Most of the names had a pencil mark running through them. “What is like a Chinese puzzle?” asked Lena Luddleford briskly; she rather prided herself on […]

Hyacinth

Story type: Literature

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“The new fashion of introducing the candidate’s children into an election contest is a pretty one,” said Mrs. Panstreppon; “it takes away something from the acerbity of party warfare, and it makes an interesting experience for children to look back on in after years. Still, if you will listen to my advice, Matilda, you will […]

There were a number of carved stone figures placed at intervals along the parapets of the old Cathedral; some of them represented angels, others kings and bishops, and nearly all were in attitudes of pious exaltation and composure. But one figure, low down on the cold north side of the building, had neither crown, mitre, […]

Luitpold Wolkenstein, financier and diplomat on a small, obtrusive, self-important scale, sat in his favoured cafe in the world-wise Habsburg capital, confronted with the Neue Freie Presse and the cup of cream-topped coffee and attendant glass of water that a sleek- headed piccolo had just brought him. For years longer than a dog’s lifetime sleek-headed […]

A Bread and Butter Miss

Story type: Literature

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“Starling Chatter and Oakhill have both dropped back in the betting,” said Bertie van Tahn, throwing the morning paper across the breakfast table. “That leaves Nursery Tea practically favourite,” said Odo Finsberry. “Nursery Tea and Pipeclay are at the top of the betting at present,” said Bertie, “but that French horse, Le Five O’Clock, seems […]

The Phantom Luncheon

Story type: Literature

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“The Smithly-Dubbs are in Town,” said Sir James. “I wish you would show them some attention. Ask them to lunch with you at the Ritz or somewhere.” “From the little I’ve seen of the Smithly-Dubbs I don’t thing I want to cultivate their acquaintance,” said Lady Drakmanton. “They always work for us at election times,” […]

The Penance

Story type: Literature

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Octavian Ruttle was one of those lively cheerful individuals on whom amiability had set its unmistakable stamp, and, like most of his kind, his soul’s peace depended in large measure on the unstinted approval of his fellows. In hunting to death a small tabby cat he had done a thing of which he scarcely approved […]

The Guests

Story type: Literature

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“The landscape seen from our windows is certainly charming,” said Annabel; “those cherry orchards and green meadows, and the river winding along the valley, and the church tower peeping out among the elms, they all make a most effective picture. There’s something dreadfully sleepy and languorous about it, though; stagnation seems to be the dominant […]

Louis

Story type: Literature

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“It would be jolly to spend Easter in Vienna this year,” said Strudwarden, “and look up some of my old friends there. It’s about the jolliest place I know of to be at for Easter–“ “I thought we had made up our minds to spend Easter at Brighton,” interrupted Lena Strudwarden, with an air of […]

“Are they any old legends attached to the castle?” asked Conrad of his sister. Conrad was a prosperous Hamburg merchant, but he was the one poetically-dispositioned member of an eminently practical family. The Baroness Gruebel shrugged her plump shoulders. “There are always legends hanging about these old places. They are not difficult to invent and […]

The Bag

Story type: Literature

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“The Major is coming in to tea,” said Mrs. Hoopington to her niece. “He’s just gone round to the stables with his horse. Be as bright and lively as you can; the poor man’s got a fit of the glooms.” Major Pallaby was a victim of circumstances, over which he had no control, and of […]

The Soul of LapLoshka

Story type: Literature

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Laploshka was one of the meanest men I have ever met, and quite one of the most entertaining. He said horrid things about other people in such a charming way that one forgave him for the equally horrid things he said about oneself behind one’s back. Hating anything in the way of ill-natured gossip ourselves, […]

The little stone Saint occupied a retired niche in a side aisle of the old cathedral. No one quite remembered who he had been, but that in a way was a guarantee of respectability. At least so the Goblin said. The Goblin was a very fine specimen of quaint stone carving, and lived up in […]

Judkin Of The Parcels

Story type: Literature

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A figure in an indefinite tweed suit, carrying brown-paper parcels. That is what we met suddenly, at the bend of a muddy Dorsetshire lane, and the roan mare stared and obviously thought of a curtsey. The mare is road-shy, with intervals of stolidity, and there is no telling what she will pass and what she […]

The Minister for Fine Arts (to whose Department had been lately added the new sub-section of Electoral Engineering) paid a business visit to the Grand Vizier. According to Eastern etiquette they discoursed for a while on indifferent subjects. The minister only checked himself in time from making a passing reference to the Marathon Race, remembering […]

A West-Country epic The Cricks lived at Toad-Water; and in the same lonely upland spot Fate had pitched the home of the Saunderses, and for miles around these two dwellings there was never a neighbour or a chimney or even a burying-ground to bring a sense of cheerful communion or social intercourse. Nothing but fields […]

The opening of a large new centre for West End shopping, particularly feminine shopping, suggests the reflection, Do women ever really shop? Of course, it is a well-attested fact that they go forth shopping as assiduously as a bee goes flower-visiting, but do they shop in the practical sense of the word? Granted the money, […]

The Lost Sanjak

Story type: Literature

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The prison Chaplain entered the condemned’s cell for the last time, to give such consolation as he might. “The only consolation I crave for,” said the condemned, “is to tell my story in its entirety to some one who will at least give it a respectful hearing.” “We must not be too long over it,” […]

Egbert came into the large, dimly lit drawing-room with the air of a man who is not certain whether he is entering a dovecote or a bomb factory, and is prepared for either eventuality. The little domestic quarrel over the luncheon-table had not been fought to a definite finish, and the question was how far […]

Reginald In Russia

Story type: Literature

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Reginald sat in a corner of the Princess’s salon and tried to forgive the furniture, which started out with an obvious intention of being Louis Quinze, but relapsed at frequent intervals into Wilhelm II. He classified the Princess with that distinct type of woman that looks as if it habitually went out to feed hens […]

The Mouse

Story type: Literature

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Theodoric Voler had been brought up, from infancy to the confines of middle age, by a fond mother whose chief solicitude had been to keep him screened from what she called the coarser realities of life. When she died she left Theodoric alone in a world that was as real as ever, and a good […]

The Baker’s Dozen

Story type: Literature

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Characters – MAJOR RICHARD DUMBARTON MRS. CAREWE MRS. PALY-PAGET Scene–Deck of eastward-bound steamer. Major Dumbarton seated on deck-chair, another chair by his side, with the name “Mrs. Carewe” painted on it, a third near by. (Enter R. Mrs. Carewe, seats herself leisurely in her deck-chair, the Major affecting to ignore her presence.) Major (turning suddenly): […]

Cross Currents

Story type: Literature

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Vanessa Pennington had a husband who was poor, with few extenuating circumstances, and an admirer who, though comfortably rich, was cumbered with a sense of honour. His wealth made him welcome in Vanessa’s eyes, but his code of what was right impelled him to go away and forget her, or at the most to think […]

The Strategist

Story type: Literature

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Mrs. Jallatt’s young people’s parties were severely exclusive; it came cheaper that way, because you could ask fewer to them. Mrs. Jallatt didn’t study cheapness, but somehow she generally attained it. “There’ll be about ten girls,” speculated Rollo, as he drove to the function, “and I suppose four fellows, unless the Wrotsleys bring their cousin, […]

In a first-class carriage of a train speeding Balkanward across the flat, green Hungarian plain two Britons sat in friendly, fitful converse. They had first foregathered in the cold grey dawn at the frontier line, where the presiding eagle takes on an extra head and Teuton lands pass from Hohenzollern to Habsburg keeping–and where a […]

Tea

Story type: Literature

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James Cushat-Prinkly was a young man who had always had a settled conviction that one of these days he would marry; up to the age of thirty-four he had done nothing to justify that conviction. He liked and admired a great many women collectively and dispassionately without singling out one for especial matrimonial consideration, just […]

Louise

Story type: Literature

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“The tea will be quite cold, you’d better ring for some more,” said the Dowager Lady Beanford. Susan Lady Beanford was a vigorous old woman who had coquetted with imaginary ill-health for the greater part of a lifetime; Clovis Sangrail irreverently declared that she had caught a chill at the Coronation of Queen Victoria and […]

The Toys Of Peace

Story type: Literature

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“Harvey,” said Eleanor Bope, handing her brother a cutting from a London morning paper of the 19th of March, “just read this about children’s toys, please; it exactly carries out some of our ideas about influence and upbringing.” “In the view of the National Peace Council,” ran the extract, “there are grave objections to presenting […]

Forewarned

Story type: Literature

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Alethia Debchance sat in a corner of an otherwise empty railway carriage, more or less at ease as regarded body, but in some trepidation as to mind. She had embarked on a social adventure of no little magnitude as compared with the accustomed seclusion and stagnation of her past life. At the age of twenty-eight […]

It was Christmas Eve, and the family circle of Luke Steffink, Esq., was aglow with the amiability and random mirth which the occasion demanded. A long and lavish dinner had been partaken of, waits had been round and sung carols; the house-party had regaled itself with more caroling on its own account, and there had […]

The Mappined Life

Story type: Literature

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“These Mappin Terraces at the Zoological Gardens are a great improvement on the old style of wild-beast cage,” said Mrs. James Gurtleberry, putting down an illustrated paper; “they give one the illusion of seeing the animals in their natural surroundings. I wonder how much of the illusion is passed on to the animals?” “That would […]

The Hedgehog

Story type: Literature

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A “Mixed Double” of young people were contesting a game of lawn tennis at the Rectory garden party; for the past five-and-twenty years at least mixed doubles of young people had done exactly the same thing on exactly the same spot at about the same time of year. The young people changed and made way […]

Mark

Story type: Literature

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Augustus Mellowkent was a novelist with a future; that is to say, a limited but increasing number of people read his books, and there seemed good reason to suppose that if he steadily continued to turn out novels year by year a progressively increasing circle of readers would acquire the Mellowkent habit, and demand his […]

It was Reggie Bruttle’s own idea for converting what had threatened to be an albino elephant into a beast of burden that should help him along the stony road of his finances. “The Limes,” which had come to him by inheritance without any accompanying provision for its upkeep, was one of those pretentious, unaccommodating mansions […]

The Threat

Story type: Literature

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Sir Lulworth Quayne sat in the lounge of his favourite restaurant, the Gallus Bankiva, discussing the weaknesses of the world with his nephew, who had lately returned from a much-enlivened exile in the wilds of Mexico. It was that blessed season of the year when the asparagus and the plover’s egg are abroad in the […]

Canossa

Story type: Literature

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Demosthenes Platterbaff, the eminent Unrest Inducer, stood on his trial for a serious offence, and the eyes of the political world were focussed on the jury. The offence, it should be stated, was serious for the Government rather than for the prisoner. He had blown up the Albert Hall on the eve of the great […]

Quail Seed

Story type: Literature

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“The outlook is not encouraging for us smaller businesses,” said Mr. Scarrick to the artist and his sister, who had taken rooms over his suburban grocery store. “These big concerns are offering all sorts of attractions to the shopping public which we couldn’t afford to imitate, even on a small scale–reading-rooms and play-rooms and gramophones […]

The Interlopers

Story type: Literature

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In a forest of mixed growth somewhere on the eastern spurs of the Karpathians, a man stood one winter night watching and listening, as though he waited for some beast of the woods to come within the range of his vision, and, later, of his rifle. But the game for whose presence he kept so […]

It was Mrs. Packletide’s pleasure and intention that she should shoot a tiger. Not that the lust to kill had suddenly descended on her, or that she felt that she would leave India safer and more wholesome than she had found it, with one fraction less of wild beast per million of inhabitants. The compelling […]

The Stake

Story type: Literature

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“RONNIE is a great trial to me,” said Mrs. Attray plaintively. “Only eighteen years old last February and already a confirmed gambler. I am sure I don’t know where he inherits it from; his father never touched cards, and you know how little I play – a game of bridge on Wednesday afternoons in the […]

The Forbidden Buzzards

Story type: Literature

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“IS matchmaking at all in your line?” Hugo Peterby asked the question with a certain amount of personal interest. “I don’t specialise in it,” said Clovis; “it’s all right while you’re doing it, but the after-effects are sometimes so disconcerting – the mute reproachful looks of the people you’ve aided and abetted in matrimonial experiments. […]

The Quince Tree

Story type: Literature

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“I’VE just been to see old Betsy Mullen,” announced Vera to her aunt, Mrs. Bebberly Cumble; “she seems in rather a bad way about her rent. She owes about fifteen weeks of it, and says she doesn’t know where any of it is to come from.” “Betsy Mullen always is in difficulties with her rent, […]

The Feast Of Nemesis

Story type: Literature

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“IT’S a good thing that Saint Valentine’s Day has dropped out of vogue,” said Mrs. Thackenbury; “what with Christmas and New Year and Easter, not to speak of birthdays, there are quite enough remembrance days as it is. I tried to save myself trouble at Christmas by just sending flowers to all my friends, but […]

Byzantine Omelette

Story type: Literature

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SOPHIE CHATTEL-MONKHEIM was a Socialist by conviction and a Chattel-Monkheim by marriage. The particular member of that wealthy family whom she had married was rich, even as his relatives counted riches. Sophie had very advanced and decided views as to the distribution of money: it was a pleasing and fortunate circumstance that she also had […]

The Yarkand Manner

Story type: Literature

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SIR LULWORTH QUAYNE was making a leisurely progress through the Zoological Society’s Gardens in company with his nephew, recently returned from Mexico. The latter was interested in comparing and contrasting allied types of animals occurring in the North American and Old World fauna. “One of the most remarkable things in the wanderings of species,” he […]

Cousin Teresa

Story type: Literature

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BASSET HARROWCLUFF returned to the home of his fathers, after an absence of four years, distinctly well pleased with himself. He was only thirty-one, but he had put in some useful service in an out-of-the-way, though not unimportant, corner of the world. He had quieted a province, kept open a trade route, enforced the tradition […]

The Match-Maker

Story type: Literature

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The grill-room clock struck eleven with the respectful unobtrusiveness of one whose mission in life is to be ignored. When the flight of time should really have rendered abstinence and migration imperative the lighting apparatus would signal the fact in the usual way. Six minutes later Clovis approached the supper-table, in the blessed expectancy of […]

The Boar-Pig

Story type: Literature

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“THERE is a back way on to the lawn,” said Mrs. Philidore Stossen to her daughter, “through a small grass paddock and then through a walled fruit garden full of gooseberry bushes. I went all over the place last year when the family were away. There is a door that opens from the fruit garden […]

Laura

Story type: Literature

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“YOU are not really dying, are you?” asked Amanda. “I have the doctor’s permission to live till Tuesday,” said Laura. “But to-day is Saturday; this is serious!” gasped Amanda. “I don’t know about it being serious; it is certainly Saturday,” said Laura. “Death is always serious,” said Amanda. “I never said I was going to […]

The She-Wolf

Story type: Literature

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LEONARD BILSITER was one of those people who have failed to find this world attractive or interesting, and who have sought compensation in an “unseen world” of their own experience or imagination – or invention. Children do that sort of thing successfully, but children are content to convince themselves, and do not vulgarise their beliefs […]

A Touch Of Realism

Story type: Literature

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“I HOPE you’ve come full of suggestions for Christmas,” said Lady Blonze to her latest arrived guest; “the old-fashioned Christmas and the up-to-date Christmas are both so played out. I want to have something really original this year.” “I was staying with the Mathesons last month,” said Blanche Boveal eagerly, “and we had such a […]

Dusk

Story type: Literature

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NORMAN GORTSBY sat on a bench in the Park, with his back to a strip of bush-planted sward, fenced by the park railings, and the Row fronting him across a wide stretch of carriage drive. Hyde Park Corner, with its rattle and hoot of traffic, lay immediately to his right. It was some thirty minutes […]

The Blind Spot

Story type: Literature

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“YOU’VE just come back from Adelaide’s funeral, haven’t you?” said Sir Lulworth to his nephew; “I suppose it was very like most other funerals?” “I’ll tell you all about it at lunch,” said Egbert. “You’ll do nothing of the sort. It wouldn’t be respectful either to your great-aunt’s memory or to the lunch. We begin […]

The Seven Pullet

Story type: Literature

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“IT’S not the daily grind that I complain of,” said Blenkinthrope resentfully; “it’s the dull grey sameness of my life outside of office hours. Nothing of interest comes my way, nothing remarkable or out of the common. Even the little things that I do try to find some interest in don’t seem to interest other […]

LADY CARLOTTA stepped out on to the platform of the small wayside station and took a turn or two up and down its uninteresting length, to kill time till the train should be pleased to proceed on its way. Then, in the roadway beyond, she saw a horse struggling with a more than ample load, […]

The Romancer

Story type: Literature

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IT was autumn in London, that blessed season between the harshness of winter and the insincerities of summer; a trustful season when one buys bulbs and sees to the registration of one’s vote, believing perpetually in spring and a change of Government. Morton Crosby sat on a bench in a secluded corner of Hyde Park, […]

On Approval

Story type: Literature

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OF all the genuine Bohemians who strayed from time to time into the would-be Bohemian circle of the Restaurant Nuremberg, Owl Street, Soho, none was more interesting and more elusive than Gebhard Knopfschrank. He had no friends, and though he treated all the restaurant frequenters as acquaintances he never seemed to wish to carry the […]