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'The Devil and Tom Walker' by Washington Irving

Before we begin our story, let us go back three hundred years to the late sixteen hundreds. In those years, one of the most famous men in the world was Captain William Kidd. Captain Kidd was a pirate. He sailed the seas, capturing any ships he found. He and his men took money from these ships. Captain Kidd hid this money in different places.

  


'The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County' by Mark Twain

A friend of mine in the East asked me to visit old Simon Wheeler, to ask about my friend's friend, Leonidas W. Smiley. I did as my friend asked me to do and this story is the result.

I found Simon Wheeler sleeping by the stove in the ruined mining camp of Angel's.



  


'A Pair of Silk Stockings' by Kate Chopin

 Little Missus Sommers one day found herself the unexpected owner of fifteen dollars. It seemed to her a very large amount of money. The way it filled up her worn money holder gave her a feeling of importance that she had not enjoyed for years.



  


The Boarded Window by Ambrose Bierce

 In eighteen thirty, only a few miles away from what is now the great city of Cincinnati, Ohio, lay a huge and almost endless forest. The area had a few settlements established by people of the frontier. Many of them had already left the area for settlements further to the west. But among those remaining was a man who had been one of the first people to arrive there.



  


'The Whirligig of Life' by O. Henry

Justice of the Peace Benaja Widdup sat in the doorway of his office smoking his pipe. The Cumberland Mountains of Tennessee rose blue-gray in the afternoon sky. A bird, a speckled hen, walked down the main street, making foolish sounds.



  


'The Purloined Letter' by Edgar Allan Poe

 One evening in Paris, during the autumn of eighteen forty-five, I went to visit a friend, Auguste Dupin. We were smoking our pipes and talking when the door of his apartment opened. Mister Germont, the head of the Paris police force, came into the room.



  


President Lincoln Is Shot at Ford's Theatre

  On April ninth, eighteen sixty-five, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his army to Union General Ulysses Grant. Within weeks, the Civil War would be over.



  


The Law of Life by Jack London

  The old Indian was sitting on the snow. It was Koskoosh, former chief of his tribe. Now, all he could do was sit and listen to the others. His eyes were old. He could not see, but his ears were wide open to every sound.



  


"How We Kept Mother's Day" by Stephen Leacock

Of all the different ideas that have been started lately, I think that the very best is the notion of celebrating once a year Mothers Day.We decided to have a special celebration of Mothers Day. We thought it was a fine idea. It made us realize how much Mother had done for us for years, and all the efforts and sacrifices that she had made for our sake



  


The Open Boat by Stephen Crane. Part I

Crane was traveling from the United States to Cuba as a newspaper reporter. One night, his ship hit a sandbar. It sank in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Florida. Most of the people on board got into lifeboats. Crane was among the last to leave. There were three others with him: the ships captain, the cook, and a sailor.

These four men climbed into the only remaining lifeboat. The boat was so small that no one believed it could stay afloat for very long. None of the four men thought he would ever reach the shore. But the men fought the seas bravely, with all their strength. Would they finally reach land?  



  


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