The delighted wonder surrounding a cat that has learned to talk quickly turns to dismay when the feline's conversation involves the scandalous remarks he's overheard. "Tobermory" abounds in the irony for which its author, Saki, is well known and admired. Along with the other short stories in this first-rate anthology, it showcases the talents of a renowned British writer. Other stories include Anthony Trollope's "The Parson's Daughter of Oxney Colne," a subtle study of the psychological cost of maintaining self-esteem; Thomas Hardy's "The Fiddler of the Reels," in which a village girl is seduced by the beguiling melodies of a diabolical musician; and M. R. James's "Oh, Whistle, and I'll Come to You, My Lad," the tale of a vacationing professor who conjures up the unexpected with an artifact from a ruined medieval church. "The Haunted House," by Charles Dickens, and Rudyard Kipling's story of a golden-haired ghost, "The Phantom 'Rickshaw," also venture into the supernatural. Additional selections include D. H. Lawrence's "The Prussian Officer," H. G. Wells's "Under the Knife," and Robert Louis Stevenson's "A Lodging for the Night," plus stories by John Galsworthy, Wilkie Collins, and others.