Archive for the 'Humorous Stories' Category


By Wells Hastings (1878- ) [From The Century Magazine, April, 1914; copyright, 1914, by The Century Co.; republished by the author’s permission.] “An’ de next’ frawg dat houn’ pup seen, he pass him by wide.” The house, which had hung upon every word, roared with laughter, and shook with a storming volley of applause. Gideon bowed […]

How the Widow Won the Deacon

By William James Lampton ( -1917) [From Harper’s Bazaar, April, 1911; copyright, 1911, by Harper & Brothers; republished by permission.] Of course the Widow Stimson never tried to win Deacon Hawkins, nor any other man, for that matter. A widow doesn’t have to try to win a man; she wins without trying. Still, the Widow […]

Bargain Day at Tutt House

By George Randolph Chester (1869- ) [From McClure’s Magazine, June, 1905; copyright, 1905, by the S.S. McClure Co.; republished by the author’s permission.] I Just as the stage rumbled over the rickety old bridge, creaking and groaning, the sun came from behind the clouds that had frowned all the way, and the passengers cheered up […]

The Duplicity of Hanrgraves

By O. Henry (1862-1910) [From The Junior Munsey, February, 1902. Republished in the volume, Sixes and Sevens (1911), by O. Henry; copyright, 1911, by Doubleday, Page & Co.; reprinted by their permission.] When Major Pendleton Talbot, of Mobile, sir, and his daughter, Miss Lydia Talbot, came to Washington to reside, they selected for a boarding place a house […]

Colonel Starbottle for the Plaintiff

By Bret Harte (1839-1902) [From Harper’s Magazine, March, 1901. Republished in the volume, Openings in the Old Trail (1902), by Bret Harte; copyright, 1902, by Houghton Mifflin Company, the authorized publishers of Bret Harte’s complete works; reprinted by their permission.] It had been a day of triumph for Colonel Starbottle. First, for his personality, as it would have […]

The Buller Podington Compact

BY FRANK RICHARD STOCKTON (1834-1902) [From Scribner’s Magazine, August, 1897. Republished in Afield and Afloat, by Frank Richard Stockton; copyright, 1900, by Charles Scribner’s Sons. Reprinted by permission of the publishers.] “I tell you, William,” said Thomas Buller to his friend Mr. Podington, “I am truly sorry about it, but I cannot arrange for it this year. […]

The Nice People

By Henry Cuyler Bunner (1855-1896) [From Puck, July 30, 1890. Republished in the volume, Short Sixes: Stories to Be Read While the Candle Burns (1891), by Henry Cuyler Bunner; copyright, 1890, by Alice Larned Bunner; reprinted by permission of the publishers, Charles Scribner’a Sons.] “They certainly are nice people,” I assented to my wife’s observation, using the colloquial […]

The Hotel Experience of Mr. Pink Fluker

BY RICHARD MALCOLM JOHNSTON (1822-1898) [From The Century Magazine, June, 1886; copyright, 1886, by The Century Co.; republished in the volume, Mr. Absalom Billingslea, and Other Georgia Folk (1888), by Richard Malcolm Johnston (Harper & Brothers).] I Mr. Peterson Fluker, generally called Pink, for his fondness for as stylish dressing as he could afford, was one of that […]

Elder Brown's Backslide

By Harry Stillwell Edwards (1855- ) [From Harper’s Magazine, August, 1885; copyright, 1885, by Harper & Bros.; republished in the volume, Two Runaways, and Other Stories (1889), by Harry Stillwell Edwards (The Century Co.).] Elder Brown told his wife good-by at the farmhouse door as mechanically as though his proposed trip to Macon, ten miles away, was an […]

The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County

By Mark Twain (1835-1910) [From The Saturday Press, Nov. 18, 1865. Republished in The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, and Other Sketches (1867), by Mark Twain, all of whose works are published by Harper & Brothers.] In compliance with the request of a friend of mine, who wrote me from the East, I called on good-natured, […]