68 TRUE STORIES OF OLD
bought several blocks in most any part of the Third or any
other ward of the city, hence compromises were not difficult
Fifty dollars here, a hundred there and sums of that kind
usually satisfied all claims and resulted in clear titles. The
lawyer waited until he rounded up the whole lot and then he
went to Fitz with his part of the money. It was only a few
thousand dollars, but even that was more money than Fitz
thought there was in the whole world. He promptly kicked his
oyster counter over, threw his knives out in the street, tore
the door of his shanty off its hinges, took his paint brush and
went out in the town to paint it red. The chance that he had
dreamed of all his life had come and he took advantage of it.
His field of operations was limited, so that while he spent
his money freely and bought lots of whiskey for himself and
friends, his roll lasted about three months, though, and when
he finally became a physical and financial wreck he had at least
the doubtful satisfaction of knowing that no one who had preceded
him had ever pulled off a similar stunt.
After laying up for repairs for a week or two Fitz went back
to his old shack, repaired the counter, fixed the door, got new
knives and settled down to his old business just as if nothing
had occurred to interfere with the placid flow of his life.
About six months after he had settled down the same lawyer
bustled in again. "Fitz," said he, "I have found that you own
all of the Second Ward and I'm going to get that for you, too."
"You're not," shouted Fitz. "I'll have nothing to do with it.
I'm through with the whole thing. Why, man, I would not get
on another drunk like that one I had for the whole city of
Houston. Git out of me place."
The lawyer had actually discovered that Fitz had a good claim
to lots of property in the Second Ward, but he could not get
Fitz to assert his claim. "Send 'em to me," he said, "and I'll
give every one of them a clean title and thank them for takin'
it." He did it, too, and gave every man whose title was affected
a quit claim deed.
He knew of no way to enjoy a fortune except to spend the
money for liquor and he had had his fill of that. The lawyer
was disgusted, of course, but could do nothing, so accepted the
inevitable. Fitz continued his oyster business to the end and got
more enjoyment out of it than he did out of the few thousand
dollars that he spent on his great spree.
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 March 14, 2014.