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Mr. Harcourt, the Secretary of State for the Colonies, at the British
North Borneo dinner, said that a City friend of his was approached with
a view to floating a rubber company. His friend was quite ready. "How
many trees have you?" he asked. "We have not got any trees," was the
answer. "How much land have you?" "We have no land." "What then have you
got?" "I have a bag of seeds!"
There are many tales about the caution of Russell Sage and the
cleverness with which he outwitted those who sought to get some of his
money from him. Two brilliant promoters went to him one time and
presented a scheme. The financier listened for an hour, and when they
departed they were told that Mr. Sage's decision would be mailed to them
in a few days.
"I think we have got Uncle Russell," said one of the promoters. "I
really believe we have won his confidence."
"I fear not," observed the other doubtfully. "He is too suspicious."
"Suspicious? I didn't observe any sign of it."
"Didn't you notice that he counted his fingers after I had shaken hands
with him and we were coming away?"
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