True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young. Page: 101
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HOUSTON AND HOUSTONIANS 101
The climax was reached, however, not through any ill treatment
or anything of that kind, but, strange to say, through the
efforts of one of the negro drivers to beautify one of the horses
he was driving. This horse had a rather long tail, and probably
it was because the horse switched this long tail in his face and
not for the purpose of making the horse more attractive, as the
negro claimed, that the latter determined to cut it off. Whatever
the cause that led to this act, the fact remains that when Tom
came in his lot one hot Saturday evening he found his horse
with a much abbreviated tail and the fly season just under good
Tom looked at the poor horse wagging his patch of tail and
then exploded. It is no use to quote his language, for The Chronicle
would not publish what he said. He ended by informing
the negro that unless he had that tail back on the horse by
Monday morning he was going to hear something drop. The idea
of growing a new tail on a horse in so short a time was so
absurd that the negro thought Tom was joking and would never
think of the thing again. He was sb sure that this was true
that, instead of throwing up his job and keeping out of Tom's
way, as he would have done had he been wise, he showed up
bright and early Monday morning prepared to take his team out
Just as he was ready to drive away Tom showed up. He carefully
examined the horse's tail, just as if he expected to find it
grown out again and, discovering that it was still in a nubbin'
state, without a word he made a lunge at the negro's head with
his big fist. The negro was too quick for him, however, and
dodged to the other side of the wagon. Unfortunately for the
egro, when he dodged he got between the wagon and a high
board fence and was thus penned up, with no way out except
through or over Tom, who took up a position closing the way
The negro became desperate and tried to argue with Tom, but
that did no good. Tom advanced slowly but surely until he gbt
within easy striking distance, and then he lammed loose with
his fist. The negro lowered his head and received the blow on
the top of it, thus rendering the blow harmless. The negro was
thoroughly desperate by this time, so when Tom hit him he
straightened up and aimed a 'kick at Tom's belly with all the
strength he had in him. Now Tom had on what in these days
would be called a "sweater." It was a big woolen shirt, loosely
fitting, that came down well on his waist and was worn outside
his Pants. Tom dodged in his turn. The negro's foot flew up,
caught the lower edge of the shirt in front and peeled it upward1
clear over Tom's head, just like skinning a piece of sausage.
Tom was rendered absolutely helpless in a moment and could
neither see nor use his arms, which were bound fast by the
shirt. Before he could extricate himself the negro rushed past
him and attempted to get over the high board fence. There was
a big post in the yard and the negro took refuge on top of this.
He was pched up there, about 20 feet from the GPu,4. wbf
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Young, Samuel Oliver. True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young., book, 1913; Galveston, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth24646/m1/101/: accessed July 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .