10 TRUE STORIES OF OLD
man, and both he and the man knew that. No doubt it had
influence in getting the other fellow's goat, for I don't think
any of Ben's many antagonists ever succeeded in hitting him,
while if he ever missed one of them the fact is not on record.
"I knew Cain Norton, Tom Clark, King Fisher, Ben Thompson,
Billy Thompson, Mat Woodlief and others of lesser prominence.
There was one who, had he lived, would have made his mark.
That was Buck Stacy, whose career was cut short by General
John R. Baylor, who had him court-martialed and shot for killing
a fellow soldier after Baylor had issued an order against
any further private killings. Buck was really a very game man
and had all the elements about him that go to make the real
"The gamest man among all the game ones was Cain Norton.
In all his private wars I don't believe he ever gave himself a
single thought. His own safety was a matter of utter indifference
to him. He made no calculations about the future or the
present, except to get his man, which he always did. On one
occasion I saw him when another 'bad man' had the drop on
him. Cain had only a knife, while the other fellow had a pistol.
Cain first laughed at him, and then cursed and taunted him,
daring him to shoot. 'He Was willing to risk being killed so
that he would get a chance to close in with his knife and take
the fellow with him. The man he was facing had a reputation
as a killer, but Cain's coolness got his goat and he ended by
backing out of the door and leaving t6wn.
'"Tom Clark was another cool one. I have often thought
about Tom's case and have concluded that among some of his
ancestors was one of those old knights errant, who spent their
time hunting up wrongs or imaginary wrongs of other people,
or doing something for the advancement of their lady love.
Tom was a Areat lady's man and would fight for the protection
of any wrja, the wrinkled old hag as quickly as for the fairest
gir7O Qe or two notches on his pistol's handle represented
the exit of men who had so far forgotten themselves as to strike
women in Tom's presence. It was that knightly feature in his
character that led to his taking off. One Sunday morning Tom
was in the old market house in San Antonio when a Mexican
struck a woman in the face with his hand. Tom knew none of
the people, but he promptly bent his six shooter dver the fellow's
head. The chap drew a knife and made for Tom, who
shot him dead. There was a big crowd of Mexicans there and
they made a rush for Tom. He fired three shots and got three
of them. Then the cylinder of hit pistol got jammed and he
snapped on an empty chamber and then, hurling the useless pistol
in their faces, folded his arms and quietly waited the in-
Young, Samuel Oliver. True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young.. Galveston, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth24646/. Accessed July 11, 2014.