HOUSTON AND HOUSTONIANS 77
patiently and made the most strenuous promises that he would
investigate the thing and punish the guilty persons.
By next morning Sinclair, who had thought over the thing,
wrote an indignant letter to the conductor, charging him with
having attempted to take his life. He said that he had called
to pass the usual congratulations, having found the house
lighted and everybody up, and that just as he knocked on the
door the conductor had exploded a concealed mine on him and
had come near killing him.
"Sin" took the offensive from the start and won out. It was
not so difficult to do, either, for it was against reason to believe
that a man would fix up such a thing and then voluntarily get.
right in front of it himself.
Bill Glass investigated, got clews and abandoned them and
finally gave up and informed the conductor that he was unable
to solve the mystery.
That old cannon lay out on the sidewalk in front of the conductor's
house for a long time and was finally taken away by the
Federal authorities and shipped North. The conductor had
been in the Federal army and, as the gun was a Confederate
cannon, no doubt that New Year's night was not the first time
it had been fired at him.
Just imagine the deputy chief under Chief Noble engaging in
anything like that today. The thing is scarcely thinkable.
NCE, when I was living in New Orleans, a young fellow
asked me if I had ever been on a big cattle ranch and
when I told him I had he offered to bet me that I could
not tell how a cow, that was lying down, got up. I had seen
thousands of them get up, but when I got to thinking about it,
I could not tell him to save my life. Then he asked me how
a horse got up, and I could not tell that, either. Since that
day I have always known that a cow gets on her hind feet first
and a horse gets on his front feet first. That shows how little
we observe things that occur constantly under our very noses.
Now, while most of the Chronicle readers may be better informed
on cows and horses than I was, I am willing to take a
small amount that not half a dozen of them can tell how an
alligator opens his mouth. All the rest of the thousands will
say that he opens it by raising his upper jaw; that the lower
jaw lies flat on the ground and that the upper one rises. Last
week, I admit, I would have said the same thing, but I know
better now, for I have been reading up on alligators, and the
natural history sharp whose book I read says that the alligator's
jaws open far back, even behind the ears, where they are
hinged or articulated into each other. The efect is that whoen
the alligator opens his mouth his neck becomes somewhat beat
upward, giving him the appearance of having moved the upper
instead of the lower jaw. That-was a new one en me, and I
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 16, 2014.