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Nine Short Stories

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Author: Rex Stout
Published: 1917
Language: English
Wordcount: 44,078 / 126 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 90.3
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 6,466
Added to site: 2005.12.17 12302

An Officer and a Lady
The Rope Dance
Warner & Wife
Jonathan Stannard's Secret Vice
A Tyrant Abdicates
Rose Orchid
The Pay Yeoman
An Agacella Or
The Mother of Invention

Show Excerpt

I ain't going to hurt you."

"You may call me Major Wentworth," was all the reply he got.

"All right, major. But come, what's the use--"

"Stop! If you move again like that I'll shoot. I wonder what's the matter with Hilda. She sleeps very lightly." This last to herself.

Bill looked interested.

"Is Hilda a big sort of a woman in a blue nightgown?"

"Yes. Hawe you seen her7" The brown eyes filled with sudden alarm. "Oh! Where is she? Is she hurt?"

"Nope." Bill chuckled. "Kitchen floor. Chloroform. I was eatin' strawberry shortcake when she come in."

The major frowned.

"I suppose I must call my father. I hate to disturb him--"

"He's incapable, too," announced Bill with another chuckle. "Tied up with sheets and things. You see, major, we're all alone. Tell you what I'll do. There's a suitcase full of silver down on the library window sill. I'll agree to leave it there--"

"You certainly will," the major nodded. "And you'll leave the other

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 4.8 from 4 reviews: *****
Lisa Carr

Good stories, well-written, with a few typos in the transcription. The stories are character-driven, often dealing with personal conflicts, with a little burglary, embezzlement, military desertion, and fraud thrown in. I liked Warner & Wife best. The stories hold up well, it's only when someone mentions a hansom cab or a burro that you realize they are not modern stories.
It's a comfortable book.

Leah A. Zeldes

Good reads from a master.


I agree with the previous reviewer who likened these stories to those of O Henry. All nine are wry, humorous and, more often than not, have an enjoyable reversal at or near the end. Perfect short stories, in other words.

[Side note: there are some minor transcription errors throughout, no doubt from the OCR process, but these do not affect comprehension or enjoyment.]

What a joy to find this collection of Rex Stout short stories. As a fan of his mysteries of Nero Wolf and Archie, I expected this collection to be short mystery stories. Instead I found some gentle, humorous and often insightful stories. I found myself being reminded of some of O'Henry's writing.



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