Early tales rescued from the periodicals where they appeared in the 1880s, when the pseudonymous ""Antosha Chekhonte"" became the sole support of his indigent family. Several are skimpy comic vignettes (e.g., ""A Glossary of Terms for Young Ladies""). The better humorous tales (""On the Train,"" ""At the Pharmacy,"" etc.) often closely resemble Chekhov's exuberant one-act plays, while such character-driven stories as ""Intrigues"" and ""In Autumn"" effectively adumbrate his later, greater studies of destroyed idealism and resignation. Translator Constantine's fine Introduction makes the best possible case for accepting even what are, at their weakest, mere ephemera into the glorious Chekhov canon.