"MY boy," said an aged Father to his fiery and disobedient Son, "a hot temper is the soil of remorse. Promise me that when next you are angry you will count one hundred before you move or speak."
No sooner had the Son promised than he received a stinging blow from the paternal walking-stick, and by the time he had counted to seventy-five had the unhappiness to see the old man jump into a waiting cab and whirl away.
The Conscientious Official
WHILE a Division Superintendent of a railway was attending closely to his business of placing obstructions on the track and tampering with the switches he received word that the President of the road was about to discharge him for incompetency.
"Good Heavens!" he cried; "there are more accidents on my division than on all the rest of the line."
"The President is very particular," said the Man who brought him the news; "he thinks the same loss of life might be effected with less damage to the company's property."
"Does he expect me to shoot passengers through the car windows?" exclaimed the indignant official, spiking a loose tie across the rails. "Does he take me for an assassin?"
The Tried Assassin
AN Assassin being put upon trial in a New England court, his Counsel rose and said: "Your Honour, I move for a discharge on the ground of 'once in jeopardy': my client has been already tried for that murder and acquitted."
"In what court?" asked the Judge.
"In the Superior Court of San Francisco," the Counsel replied.
"Let the trial proceed - your motion is denied," said the Judge. "An Assassin is not in jeopardy when tried in California."
The Ingenious Patriot
HAVING obtained an audience of the King an Ingenious Patriot pulled a paper from his pocket, saying:
"May it please your Majesty, I have here a formula for constructing armour-plating which no gun can pierce. If these plates are adopted in the Royal Navy our warships will be invulnerable, and therefore invincible. Here, also, are reports of your Majesty's Ministers, attesting the value of the invention. I will part with my right in it for a million tumtums."
After examining the papers, the King put them away and promised him an order on the Lord High Treasurer of the Extortion Department for a million tumtums.
"And here," said the Ingenious Patriot, pulling another paper from another pocket, "are the working plans of a gun that I have invented, which will pierce that armour. Your Majesty's Royal Brother, the Emperor of Bang, is anxious to purchase it, but loyalty to your Majesty's throne and person constrains me to offer it first to your Majesty. The price is one million tumtums."
Having received the promise of another check, he thrust his hand into still another pocket, remarking:
"The price of the irresistible gun would have been much greater, your Majesty, but for the fact that its missiles can be so effectively averted by my peculiar method of treating the armour plates with a new- "
The King signed to the Great Head Factotum to approach.
"Search this man," he said, "and report how many pockets he has."
"Forty-three, Sire," said the Great Head Factotum, completing the scrutiny.
"May it please your Majesty," cried the Ingenious Patriot, in terror, "one of them contains tobacco."
"Hold him up by the ankles and shake him," said the King; "then give him a check for forty-two million tumtums and put him to death. Let a decree issue declaring ingenuity a capital offence."
The Christian Serpent
A RATTLESNAKE came home to his brood and said: "My children, gather about and receive your father's last blessing, and see how a Christian dies."
"What ails you, Father?" asked the Small Snakes.
"I have been bitten by the editor of a partisan journal," was the reply, accompanied by the ominous death-rattle.
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