HOUSTON AND HOUSTONIANS 79
left such a snag there. Effort was made to clear the seine by
pulling it sideways, backwards and every other way, but it was
no use, it was evidently badly entangled. One or two of the boys
volunteered to dive down and untangle it. It was rather deep,
so none of them stayed down very long. Finally one fellow,
whose sweetheart was watching him from the bank, took a long
breath and weit down with the evident intention of getting the
seine free, even if he had to haul the log out that was holding it.
He was down less time than any of the others, for he came up
like a rocket, rose away up out of the water and made for the
shore, shouting at the top of his voice the German equivalent
for alligator. He hit the bank, scrambled out, and when he got
breath enough to talk we learned that he had gone down and
actually seized the alligator round the neck before he realized
what it was. When he did find out what he was hugging he
turned loose in a hurry and came out like a tornado.
Then you never heard so much excited talk. Every man there
knew so well what should be done to capture that alligator that
no one would listen to what anybody else said. Talk about the
French being excitable, why a crowd of Germans with an alligator
tangled up in their only seine 10 or 15 feet under the water can
give the Frenchmen cards and spades and then beat them out.
Finally it was determined that the only way to get the alligator
out was to pull him out, and the whole crowd set to work doing
so. It was hard work, for at first the alligator refused to budge.
At last they got him started and you could hear those fellows
shout for a mile or two. At last they got him safely out on the
bank, and he was fighting mad. He had not torn the seine while
he was in the water, but he proceeded to rip it up right and left
now that he was on land. Everybody who had an ax or hatchet
took a dig at him, and that part of the seine which he had not
destroyed was finished by the axmen. It was a wild, howling
crowd that surrounded that alligator, and if he had been the least
sensitive he would have died of fright long before they succeeded
in killing him. No pack of coon dogs ever made such a racket
about a fighting coon as those fellows made around that alligator.
After it was all over they realized what foolish capers
they had cut and laughed heartily at each other's antics. It
was the best and most surprising seining party I ever attended.
There are no alligators in Buffalo Bayou today, at least not
in the city limits, but I suspect that if a careful search were
made one or two might be found up near the head of the bayou.
The little lakes and ponds over in San Jacinto bottom were full
of them a few years ago, and on one occasion I killed four or
five without hardly getting out of my tracks. After doing such
excellent shooting, I shot at a water moccasin five times at a
distance of ten feet and missed him every time. The only way
I can account for it is that the snake got on my nerves, for I
dread even the sight of one.
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 April 26, 2015.