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Showing: 1-10 results of 539

THE SISTERS THERE was no hope for him this time: it was the third stroke. Night after night I had passed the house (it was vacation time) and studied the lighted square of window: and night after night I had found it lighted in the same way, faintly and evenly. If he was dead, I thought, I would see the reflection of candles on the darkened blind for I knew that two candles must be set at the head of a corpse. He had often said to me: "I am not... more...

Crossing from Holyhead to Ireland one night the captain of the steamer and myself, during an hour's talk on the bridge, found that we each had sailed in a certain Australian coasting steamer more than twenty years before—he as chief officer and I as passenger; and her shipwreck one Christmas Eye (long after), which was attended by an appalling loss of life, led us to talk of "pig-headed" skippers generally. His experiences were large, and... more...

BILL THE BLOODHOUND There's a divinity that shapes our ends. Consider the case of HenryPifield Rice, detective. I must explain Henry early, to avoid disappointment. If I simply said he was a detective, and let it go at that, I should be obtaining the reader's interest under false pretences. He was really only a sort of detective, a species of sleuth. At Stafford's International Investigation Bureau, in the Strand, where he was employed, they... more...

ELIZA'S HUSBAND "Suppose," I said to one of the junior clerks at our office the other day, "you were asked to describe yourself in a few words, could you do it?" His answer that he could describe me in two was no answer at all. Also the two words were not a description, and were so offensive that I did not continue the conversation. I believe there are but few people who could give you an accurate description of themselves. Often in the train... more...

THE NIGHT-BORN It was in the old Alta-Inyo Club—a warm night for San Francisco—and through the open windows, hushed and far, came the brawl of the streets. The talk had led on from the Graft Prosecution and the latest signs that the town was to be run wide open, down through all the grotesque sordidness and rottenness of man-hate and man-meanness, until the name of O'Brien was mentioned—O'Brien, the promising young pugilist who... more...


INTRODUCTION When Edward J. O'Brien asked me to cooperate with him in choosing each year's best English short stories, to be published as a companion volume to his annual selection of the best American short stories, I had not realized that at the end of my arduous task, which has involved the reading of many hundreds of stories in the English magazines of an entire year, I should find myself asking the simple question: What is a short story? I... more...

CHAPTER I At nine o'clock in the evening the body of the house at the Theatres des Varietes was still all but empty. A few individuals, it is true, were sitting quietly waiting in the balcony and stalls, but these were lost, as it were, among the ranges of seats whose coverings of cardinal velvet loomed in the subdued light of the dimly burning luster. A shadow enveloped the great red splash of the curtain, and not a sound came from the stage,... more...

INTRODUCTION When in October, 1870, I sailed into the harbour of Apia, Samoa, in the ill-fated ALBATROSS, Mr Louis Becke was gaining his first experiences of island life as a trader on his own account by running a cutter between Apia and Savai'i. It was rather a notable moment in Apia, for two reasons. In the first place, the German traders were shaking in their shoes for fear of what the French squadron might do to them, and we were the... more...

CAPTAIN "BULLY" HAYES In other works by the present writer frequent allusion has been made, either by the author or by other persons, to Captain Hayes. Perhaps the continuous appearance of his name may have been irritating to many of my readers; if so I can only plead that it is almost impossible when writing of wild life in the Southern Seas to avoid mentioning him. Every one who sailed the Austral seas between the "fifties" and "seventies,"... more...

PREFACE Writing not long ago to my oldest literary friend, I expressed in a moment of heedless sentiment the wish that we might have again one of our talks of long-past days, over the purposes and methods of our art. And my friend, wiser than I, as he has always been, replied with this doubting phrase "Could we recapture the zest of that old time?" I would not like to believe that our faith in the value of imaginative art has diminished, that... more...