The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 50, July 1946 - April, 1947 Page: 26
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
game stopped. In keeping with the larger life of the place,
however, when I asked them the way to the oil field, they good-
naturedly showed me the road. As I went down the road, with
a sneaking grin I thought of the incident as typical of Sour
Lake, for instead of the scamps fleecing me, I had got them for
a glass of beer.
I landed at the town in the afternoon. I had had no dinner
but was not particularly hungry. I had nowhere to go, no
definite plan for the immediate future. I had simply come to
the place to get work and was blandly meeting difficulties as
they arose. Several young men whom I knew worked around
the oil fields, and one of these, Will Collins, I particularly hoped
to find with the purpose of getting him to help me until I could
get a start. I had not counted on the difficulty of finding a man
in a seething mass of humanity, ten thousand souls perhaps,
scattered over several miles of territory; but I set out, con-
fidently hunting the needle in the haystack.
By chance, toward night, I did meet Ben Roberts, another
boy whom I knew. The ties of acquaintance between Ben and
me were strong enough to justify my applying to him for
assistance. By way of reply, he said he was broke too. He said
he had been sick, and I could see that he was not in a cheerful
mood. We strolled along together on the edge of the oil field
and after a while we met a man whom Ben knew. After a few
words with the man, Ben asked him how much money he had.
The man told him thirty cents. Ben told him to give it to him.
The man did so, and Ben gave the money to me.
By late evening I was beginning to feel a little weak. I
had had an attack of malaria a short time before, and the
hardship of riding all night without sleep and doing without
meals was no doubt telling on me. I went on to the business
part of town that night and ate a five-cent supper; then I spent
the other twenty-five cents for a bed. Next morning the pro-
prietor of the sleeping place kindly gave me a cup of coffee and
some tea cakes for breakfast.
That morning I began hunting in earnest for some one I
knew, particularly Will Collins. What I did throughout the
morning I can not now remember in a detailed way, but the
events of the evening are more clear. I recall having a fever
and lying down on a pine log by the roadside and sweating it
off. The fever was not severe, and after it left me, I got up
and went on my way, not a great deal the worse. The day was
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 50, July 1946 - April, 1947, periodical, 1947; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101117/m1/42/: accessed June 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.