From Hell to Breakfast Page: 63
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LEAVES OF MESQUITE GRASS
By DONALD DAY
ONE OF THE MOST PLEASANT experiences of
my life was an excursion made several summers ago
into the realm and time of early Texas through the
medium of her early newspapers. It was no slow train but
rather a pokey oxcart that creaked past an unfolding pano-
rama of life geared to the tempo of a siesta one moment and
of a swift moving horse urged on by a Comanche war whoop
Here in a microcosm life was pictured without censorship
but with the prejudice of splendid haters who were not
afraid to die for their principles because they knew how to
live with their liquor; here was a drama of men with its
Ahabs and its Stubbs in the raw; here was a Houston that
no speculative writer yet has been able to re-create; here was
Lamar giving Texas a New Deal with all the immortal
chicaneries tied into its futile promises; and, here was a mer-
chant advertising raw whiskies and a new shipment of ele-
gant calicos and fine chinas.
Prairies carpeted by flowers (called gardens by newcomers)
meandered by; I smiled at the editor who said of Houston
that "Many of the eastern despots have built up flourishing
cities in the desert, but it has been left to the experiment of
a modern adventureer to build up a city to perpetuate his
name in a mud hole"; I sat on a drygoods box beside raw-
boned men whittling their Republic in the Congressional
shanty; I heard the whine of a bullet on its mission toward
the heart of an Indian; I saw the puzzled look on the face
of the old Indian fighter as he read his Bible and it occurred
to him that the Commandment "Thou shalt not kill" might
mean a Redskin; and I knew that newspapers were men in
those days and not just syndicated propaganda.
Here’s what’s next.
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Dobie, J. Frank (James Frank), 1888-1964. From Hell to Breakfast, book, 1944; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc67649/m1/71/: accessed February 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Press.