The Best Short Stories of 1918

The Best Short Stories of 1918

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Excerpt: on an American like this. No wonder the connection was slow to establish itself. It was a decoration bar, and there must have been six ribbons at least, if not more. For sheer incongruous association, I doubt if you'd find a more pat example in a lifetime than the man I had, on sight, conceived this one to be-the man I may as well say now he actually was-and that bar of ribbons pinned on his khaki-colored coat. Young Homan had caught it, too, and was sending past me his deliberate stare of amazement. It was not exactly as if we thought he hadn't come by them honestly, but more as if we suggested to each other that he couldn't surely have got them in the way decorations were usually got; it seemed somehow impossible that he understood their importance. And there was still something of that in our attitude when, later on, after dinner, we had drifted into the salon with the rest for our coffee, and by a kind of natural gravitation had found ourselves in conversation with our compatriot, whose jocose friendliness led young Homan to ask, half in fun to be sure, where he had got all the decorations. He showed certainly no very proper appreciation of their importance by his answer: "Bought 'em, at the Galleries Lafayette. Get any kind you want there, y' know." We laughed, all of us, for everybody had seen the cases of medals and decorations at the Galleries. I believe for an instant the youngster was half inclined to think he had bought them. I know I was. As some kind of outlandish practical joke, of course. It seemed, absurd as the idea was, so much likelier than that he could have been through the kind of experiences which result in being decorated by foreign governments. And such an imposing array! The scarlet ribbon of the Legion of Honor, the green of the Japanese "Rising Sun," the brilliant stripes of Russian and English decorations, and strange ones I had never seen before! You see, he had turned out much more Middle West...
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Product details

  • Paperback
  • 189 x 246 x 6mm | 218g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236684052
  • 9781236684059