365S: How to Tell Bad News (Solved!)

I am trying to find a story from 45 to 50 years ago. My mother was an English teacher and had a stash of older literature including a story that follows this story line. I believe it was English literature.
A man returns to the train station nearest his home after a long trip. His footman picks him up in a buggy and during the trip home they talk.
So Jeaves, how are things at home? Well sir, I hate to tell you but your fathers dog died. What? He wasn’t an old dog. Pray tell how did he die? Well sir, he overate himself to death. How could that be. What did he get a hold of that he was able to overeat? Well sir, he overate horse meat. And where would he get so much so much horse meat. All of your fathers horses died. Oh my, what killed my father’s horses? They died carrying water to put out the fire.
And on and on it goes. The house burned down from all the candles that were lit for the funeral of his mother. 
I want to say the title is How To Tell Bad News.
I really appreciate your help on this.

5 thoughts on “365S: How to Tell Bad News (Solved!)

  1. Gill

    In the first link, I’ve accidentally sent you to page 2 of the results. Please hit the “prior page” button (once there), and that’ll get you to the bulk of the relevant volumes.

    Sorry about that.

  2. Mary R. Kiang

    Looks like Gill found a source!
    Your mother may have had this book: McGuffey’s Fifth Eclectic Reader by William Holmes McGuffey.
    It includes the “How to Tell Bad News” story.
    You can buy a copy online or read the complete text through The Project Gutenberg EBook version (page 81): https://www.gutenberg.org/files/15040/15040-pdf.pdf

    In researching this, it seems that many versions of this tale exist and older ones may be titled “No news” and are known as “A Climax of Horrors” stories.


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