74 TRUE STORIES OF OLD
shooting like a fiend. That charge was too much for the Yank.
He forgot all about the advancement of his lady love and thought
only of the retirement of himself. He turned tail and broke
for his camp with the old chap right behind him, coming like
a prairie fire. In spite of the danger, the boys could not keep
from yelling, and the Yanks were doing the same. The old fellow
chased that 'knight' right into his camp and tried to hit
him with his empty six-shooter after he caught him.
"The Yanks were dead-game sports. They had seen that it
was a fair fight, and they refused to take advantage of the
situation. They had their doctor fix the old chap's eye and
then they turned him loosb and let him go back to his own
regiment. Some of the boys used to say they sent him back
with a guard of honor, but I always omit that part when I tell
"Now if you knew the old fellow you would be prepared to believe
this story, or any other that would bring out his gameness.
He was like one of those blue-legged crabs in a tub that
throws up both arms, ready for battle every time anybody looks
at him. The old man was always looking for trouble, with the
result that, after his reputation was established, he was always
treated with the most distinguished consideration and courtesy.
"Now, from what I have told you about the old man you
would think that nothing on earth could rattle him, and that
he had nerves made out of galvanized iron. He had nothing
of the kind, but was one of the most nervous men you ever
saw. He would stand up and fight the devil himself with knife
or pistol, and never a whimper, but if any one sprang a surprise
on him he would go all to pieces. I suspect he was ticklish.
I remember I gave him a great surprise and he gave me one
in return that I remembered for a long time. He was walking
down Houston Street, in San Antonio, and I walked up behind
him and slapped him on the shoulder. He squatted down on
the ground and squealed like a wildcat and then rose with a
bowie knife in his hand and chased me for two blocks. He was
simply crazy from nervousness and did not know what he was
doing. I heard afterward that he did the same thing in the
legislative hall at Austin and came near killing one of his friends
who came up behind him and nudged him. You can bet I never
tried to flank nor come up in his rear after that. I would dodge
him until he could see me advancing from in front, and even
then I watched out for signs of war from him. The old fellow
always carried two derringers and a bowie knife and it is a
wonder he did not kill off half his friends.
"He was a great believer in dueling, but I don't think he ever
fought a duel unless that tournament with the Yankee might
be called one. He was always in too great a hurry to wait for
the seconds to arrange the affair. Poor old fellow. He has been
dead now many years, but the next time you are in San Antonio
and come across any old-timers you ask them about 'Professor
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 25, 2014.