64 TRUE STORIES OF OLD
He bought all he could get hold of and a week before Christmas
he had by actual count 400 turkeys. In and around Houston
there was not a turkey for sale that Mr. Collins did not
own. The corner was complete.
Then the unexpected happened. Mr. Collins calculated his
profits, but he did not calculate the power of bad boys to procure
trouble. On the very night that he went to bed congratulating
himself on the success of his scheme, some of those bad
boys cut the straps on his turkey pen gate and the next morning
the pen was empty. Every turkey there had departed for parts
For a moment Mr. Collins was in despair, and then an inspiration
seized him. He put out a board offering fifty cents for
each of his turkeys returned to him. He had handbills scattered
all over the city making the same offer. In an hour after
the appearance of the handbills, boys with turkeys began to
arrive. White boys, negro boys, Mexican boys and all kinds
of boys arrived with turkeys and by night the pen was pretty
full again. The next day the turkey arrivals continued. Mr.
Collins was kept busy paying out fifty-cent pieces. Then the
pen got overcrowded, something that was not the case before,
so Mr. Collins made an investigation and found on examination
of his book that he had paid out $300 and that he had 200 turkeys
more than he had before the boys cut the gate.
It was all true, for the boys had scoured the city and county
and brought in every turkey they could find. He had his own
and everybody else's turkeys, and his corner was an absolute
HOW HAMP COOK WAS ROBBED.
HAVE told this story once before, but it is so good that I
I venture to tell it again, for it is several years ago and
I am sure but few of the readers of The Chronicle have
ever seen or heard of it.
In 1884 we were running a daill paper called the Houston
Chronicle. We did not have any money, but we were all willing
workers and what we lacked in cash we made up for in enthusiasm
and style. As a matter of fact we had more style than
anything else. We had an editor-in-chief and a managing editor,
an exchange editor, a telegraph editor and a city editor. For
a short while we had a sporting editor also, but he got drunk
one night, raised a rough house in Bell's "honketonkl" got
thrown out and making direct for the Chronicle office wrote up
the place in the most lurid style, slipped it upstairs to the
printers and left town, leaving me to face Bell the next day
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 September 22, 2014.