Good Stories from The Ladies Home Journal

Part 3 out of 3

"I defy you to prove it," said "Everybody's."

"Let's form a ring and have them fight it out," suggested a rank
outsider--"The Clipper."

At this, however, there was a protest from one hitherto silent. A
soft soprano voice spoke.

"Gentlemen," it said, "would you fight in the presence of ladies?"

Whereupon the rest of the magazines took off their hats, and one by
one lapsed into respectful silence, as THE LADIES' HOME JOURNAL,
arranging its skirts anew with gentle precision, passed out on its
way to church.

_Cheer Up, Everybody_

The visiting missionary at an almshouse stopped for a moment to speak
to a very old lady and inquire, after her health and welfare. "Thank
you, sir," replied the old lady. "Yes, indeed, I've a great deal to
be thankful for. I've two teeth left and they're opposite each

_A New Kind of Bait_

After weeks of waiting and longing for the sport, rods, reels, gaff,
creel--everything was in readiness for a week's trout-fishing.

The young wife, smiling joyously, hurried into the room, extending
toward her husband some sticky, speckled papers.

"For goodness' sake," he exclaimed, "what on earth are you doing with
those old fly-papers?"

"I saved them for you from last summer, dear," she answered. "You
know you said you always had to buy flies when you went fishing."

_He Could Supply Specimens_

"And what did my little darling do in school today?" a mother asked
of her young son--a "second-grader."

"We had Nature study, and it was my turn to bring a specimen," said
the boy.

"That was nice. What did you do?"

"I brought a cockroach in a bottle, and I told teacher we had lots
more, and if she wanted I would bring one every day."

_Was It His Ghost_?

A well-known publisher has the entrance to his private office guarded
by one of his editors, a small man, who, as the day wears on, sinks
down in a little heap in his high-backed chair under the weight of
the manuscripts he has to read. The publisher was exceedingly proud
of his friendship with a prominent Congressman, who usually called
when he was in New York.

One day the huge form of the Speaker of the House of Representatives
loomed up before the little editor, with the evident intent of
bearing down upon the private office.

"Back!" shouted the little editor, waving a slender arm with much
vigor. "Back! Go back to the offith and thend in your card."

The Congressman paused, inclined his head to view the obstacle that
opposed his progress, and smiled. Then he turned on his heel and did
as he was directed.

Of course the publisher bustled out personally to conduct the great
man into the private office. When his visitor had departed the
publisher came forth in a rage. The little editor shriveled before
him as he began:

"What do you mean by holding up one of my oldest friends in this
fashion? Don't you know he's at perfect liberty to walk into my
office at any time without so much as knocking?"

"Yeth," admitted the little editor feebly.

"Then what do you mean by holding him up and subjecting him to such
discourtesy ?"

"I thought he wath Dr. John Hall."

"Dr. John Hall!" exclaimed the exasperated publisher "Don't you know
that Dr. John Hall is dead?"

"Yeth," returned the little editor with earnest sincerity. "That'th
what bothered me."

_Willie's April Fool on Mamma_!

Little Willie had a very pretty governess, and on April first he
rather startled his mother by rushing in to her and saying:

"Mamma, there's a strange man upstairs who has just put his arm
around Miss Wilson's waist, and kissed her several times----"

"What?" said the mother, as she jumped up to pull the bell for the

"April fool, Mamma!" said Willie, in great glee. "It wasn't a
strange man at all. It was Papa!"

_Full Particulars Given_

A small boy who had recently passed his fifth birthday was riding in
a suburban car with his mother, when they were asked the customary
question, "How old is the boy?" After being told the correct age,
which did not require a fare, the conductor passed on to the next

The boy sat quite still as if pondering over some question, and then,
concluding that full information had not been given, called loudly to
the conductor, then at the other end of the car: "And mother's

_News for the Bishop_

A newly-rich woman, who was anxious to make a favorable impression in
her neighborhood, decided to show her collection of antiques to the
Bishop when he called. The time came, and one by one she displayed
the whole collection, giving him the history of each piece. Finally
she pointed to the most prized article in the lot. "There," she
said, pointing impressively to an old yellow teapot. "That teapot
was used in the Boston Tea-party."

_A Case of Mutual Application_

MR. WOOD, a man very fond of playing jokes, met his friend, Mr.
Stone, and at once inquired jocosely:

"Hello, Stone, how are Mrs. Stone and all the little pebbles?"

"Fine," said Mr. Stone, "all well, thank you," and then, with a
twinkle in his eye: "How are Mrs. Wood and all the little splinters?"

_She Didn't Sleep Well_

A woman who lives in an inland town, while going to a convention in a
distant city spent one night of the journey on board a steamboat. It
was the first time she had ever traveled by water. She reached her
journey's end extremely fatigued. To a friend who remarked it she

"Yes, I'm tired to death. I don't know as I care to travel by water
again. I read the card in my stateroom about how to put the
life-preserver on, and I thought I understood it; but I guess I
didn't. Somehow, I couldn't go to sleep with the thing on."

_They Planned a Little Surprise for Him_

On a west-bound train scheduled for a long trip a very large,
muscular man fell asleep and annoyed all the passengers by snoring
tremendously. Reading, conversation or quiet rest was an
impossibility. Finally a drummer, carrying half a lemon in his hand,
tiptoed over to a little boy who sat behind the snorer.

"Son," said the drummer impressively, "I am a doctor, and if that man
doesn't stop snoring he'll die of apoplexy. Watch your chance, and
as soon as his mouth opens a little wider, lean over and squeeze this
lemon into it."

_He Knew Only One_

A teacher had been telling her class of boys that recently worms had
become so numerous that they destroyed the crops, and it was
necessary to import the English sparrow to exterminate them. The
sparrows multiplied very fast and were gradually driving away our
native birds.

Johnny was apparently very inattentive, and the teacher, thinking to
catch him napping, said;

"Johnny, which is worse, to have worms or sparrows?"

Johnny hesitated a moment and then replied:

"Please, I never had the sparrows."

_He Proved It Was Logical_

A lawyer was defending a man accused of housebreaking, and said to
the court:

"Your Honor, I submit that my client did not break into the house at
all. He found the parlor window open and merely inserted his right
arm and removed a few trifling articles. Now, my client's arm is not
himself, and I fail to see how you can punish the whole individual
for an offense committed by only one of his limbs."

"That argument," said the judge, "is very well put. Following it
logically, I sentence the defendant's arm to one year's imprisonment.
He can accompany it or not, as he chooses."

The defendant smiled, and with his lawyer's assistance unscrewed his
cork arm, and, leaving it in the dock, walked out.

_The Old Man Knew Best_

"I took three bottles of your medicine, and I feel like a new woman,"
read the testimonial. "John," she said in a shrill, piping voice, "I
think this is exactly what I need. I have been feeling bad for quite
a spell back, and the lady was symptomated just exactly as I feel. I
believe I will try three bottles and see if it will make a new woman
out of me."

"Not much, Maria," said John, with tremendous earnestness. "Not if I
know it. I don't mind spending three dollars on you if you feel bad,
but I ain't a-goin' to have you made into any of these here new
women, gaddin' about the city to women's clubs and savin' the country
that don't need savin'. You jest mix up some sulphur and molasses
and take it, and you will feel better, but don't let me hear no more
of this new-woman nonsense."

_Watch and Pray_

A pompous old Bishop was one morning breakfasting at a country inn
where it had been his lot to spend the night. As he approached the
table he found at his place a fine trout well cooked and tempting.
He closed his eyes to say his grace before meat, not noticing a
Quaker gentleman seated opposite, who, with a mischievous smile,
reached over quickly and scooped the fish over to his own plate.

Having finished his prayer the Bishop opened his eyes and prepared to
enjoy the trout, but to his surprise and dismay it had disappeared.

The jolly Quaker, eying the Bishop, at the same time demolishing the
trout, said with feigned solemnity:

"Bishop, thee must 'watch and pray'--'watch and pray.'"

_No Doubt About That_

The fresh spring breezes were blowing through the open windows of the
schoolroom, and George Washington was the momentous question in hand.

"Why do you think George Washington was the first man?" asked the

"Because he was 'first in war, first in peace, and first in the
hearts of his countrymen.'"

Another boy then raised his hand.

"Well, Johnny, who do you think was the first man?" said the teacher.

"Don't know his name," answered Johnny, "but I know George Washington
was not the first man, 'cause my history says he married a widow, so
there must have been a man ahead of him."

_All's Fair in Love_

A poor couple went to the priest for marriage, and were met with a
demand for the marriage fee. It was not forthcoming. Both the
consenting parties were rich in love and in their prospects, but
destitute of financial resources. The father was obdurate. "No
money, no marriage."

"Give me l'ave, your riverence," said the blushing bride, "to go and
get the money."

It was given, and she sped forth on the delicate mission of raising a
marriage fee out of pure nothing. After a short interval she
returned with the sum of money, and the ceremony was completed to the
satisfaction of all. When the parting was taking place the
newly-made wife seemed a tittle uneasy.

"Anything on your mind, Catherine ?" said the father.

"Well, your riverence, I would like to know if this marriage could
not be spoiled now."

"Certainly not, Catherine. No man can put you asunder."

"Could you not do it yourself, father? Could you not spoil the

"No, no, Catherine. You are past me now. I have nothing more to do
with your marriage."

"That aises me mind," said Catherine, "and God bless your riverence.
There's the ticket for your hat. I picked it up in the lobby and
pawned it."

_An Addition to the Catechism_

An enterprising superintendent was engaged one Sunday in catechizing
the Sunday-school pupils, varying the usual method by beginning at
the end of the catechism.

After asking what were the prerequisites for the Holy Communion and
confirmation, and receiving satisfactory replies, he asked:

"And now, boys, tell me what must precede baptism?"

A lively urchin shouted out: "A baby, sir!"

_No Two Ways About It_

A colored preacher who had only a small share of this world's goods,
and whose salary was not forthcoming on several occasions, became
exasperated. At his morning service he spoke to his church members

"Bredern and sistern, things is not as should be. You 'must not
'spects I can preach on u'th an' boa'd in Heben."

_The Maid Knew a Thing or Two_

"Madam," said the book-agent as the door was opened by a very comely
maid, "I am selling a new book on etiquette and deportment."

"Oh, you are," she responded. "Go down there on the grass and clean
the mud off your feet."

"Yes'm," and he went. "As I was saying, ma'am," he continued as he
again came to the door, "I am sell----"

"Take off your hat! Never address a strange lady at her door without
removing your hat."

"Yes'm." And off went the hat. "Now, then, as I was saying----"

"Take your hands out of your pockets. No gentleman ever carries his
hands there."

"Yes'm," and his hands clutched at his coat lapels. "Now, ma'am,
this work on eti----"

"Throw out your cud. If a gentleman uses tobacco he is careful not
to disgust others by the habit."

"Yes'm," and the tobacco disappeared. "Now, ma'am," as he wiped his
brow, "in calling your attention to this valuable----"

"Wait. Put that dirty handkerchief out of sight. I don't want your
book. I am only the hired girl. You can come in, however, and talk
with the lady of the house. She called me a liar this morning and I
think she needs something of the kind."

_Under Similar Conditions_

"Speaking of men falling in love and ardently pursuing the object of
their affections, you needn't make fun of any one, John. You were
bound to have me, but you can't say I ever ran after you."

"Very true, Anastasia, the trap never runs after the rat, but it
gathers him in all the same."

_His First Move_

A bashful cowboy, returning from the plains to civilized society
after an absence of several years, fell desperately in love at first
sight with a pretty young girl whom he met at a party.

On leaving the house that evening the young lady forgot her
overshoes, and the hostess, who had noticed the Westerner's
infatuation, told the young Lochinvar that he might return them to
the girl if he wished. The herder leaped at the chance and presented
himself in due time at the young lady's house. She greeted him

"You forgot your overshoes last night," he said, awkwardly handing
her the package.

"Why, there's only one overshoe here!" she exclaimed, as she thanked
him and opened it.

"Yes, Miss," said he, blushing. "I'll bring the other one tomorrow.
Oh, how I wish that you were a centipede!" And with that he turned
and sped away down the street.

_His "Catch" Was Delayed_

Tommy went fishing the other day without his mother's permission.
The next morning one of his chums met him and asked: "Did you catch
anything yesterday, Tommy?"

"Not till I got home," was the rather sad response.

_Using His Friends_

A visitor from New York to the suburbs said to his host during the

"By-the-way, your front gate needs repairing. It was all I could do
to get it open. You ought to have it trimmed or greased or

"Oh, no," replied the owner, "oh, no, that's all right."

"Why is it?" asked the visitor.

"Because," was the reply, "every one who comes through that gate
pumps two buckets of water into the tank on the roof."

_He Did--After That_

A young man who persisted in whispering loudly to the lady who
accompanied him to a symphony concert, telling her what the music
"meant," what sort of a passage was coming next, and so on, caused
serious annoyance to every one of his immediate neighbors. Presently
he closed his eyes and said to his companion:

"Did you ever try listening to music with your eyes shut? You've no
idea how lovely it sounds!"

Thereupon a gentleman who sat in the seat in front of the young man
twisted himself about and said gravely:

"Young man, did you ever try listening to music with your mouth shut?"


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