True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young. Page: 107
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HOUSTON AND HOUSTONIANS 107
ject of the paragraph. To illustrate this I will say that the other
day I read one editor's paragraph, in which he said that if he had
a fresh yard egg he would put it in a bank and draw checks
against it. That witty paragraph did not make me think of the
high price of eggs so much as it did of an amusing fight I once
witnessed in which a bag of yard eggs played a prominent part.
I have written of that grand old democratic war horse, Uncle
Dick Wescott, and have told how he "held the fort," sometimes
almost single-handed, against all comers. He was a Democrat
first of all and then a "Southern gentleman" who would have
willingly given up his life any time to prevent even the semblance
of equality between the whites and negroes. He did not
want them to have the same rights at the ballot box, but he
could not prevent them doing so. Like all oldtime Southerners,
he had a warm place in his heart for the old-time negroes, and
was always willing to help them along in the world, except in
the direction of the ballot box. When the white Republicans and
negroes marshaled their forces and beat him in an election, he
let them take the fruits of their victory, for no other reason than
that he could not prevent them doing so. It was not because he
was not willing enough to knock them out.
Uncle Dick always declared that the government had gone only
half way when they gave the negroes the right to vote, and that
to make the thing complete the ballot should have been bestowed
on the mules.
I dwell somewhat at length on Uncle Dick's political views,
because they have bearing on what follows. One afternoon a
very prominent member of the Houston bar got into a discussion
with Uncle Dick, during which the prominent lawyer so far forgot
himself in the heat of argument as to take the stand that the
negro had as much right from a legal point of view to vote as
a white man. Uncle Dick was forced to reluctantly admit that
perhaps that was true, but he stuck to his point that the law was
a fool, or as Mr. Bumble puts it, "the law is a ass." The discussion
attracted quite a crowd, for it was hot and animated and
Uncle Dick punctuated his points by waving a big paper bag of
eggs he held in his right hand. The lawyer had the best of the
argument, of course, and that did not add to Uncle Dick's equilibrium.
Finally Uncle Dick lost his temper, and when the
lawyer drew emphatic attention to "negro rights" Uncle Dick
lost his head and his bag of eggs at the same moment. Before
anyone knew what he was going to do, he smashed the lawyer
full in the face with the bag of eggs. The bag and eggs broke
and that dignified lawyer was turned into the worst scare-crow
anyone ever saw. I had no idea until then that there was so
much material in a bag of eggs. Of course the lawyer could not
see nor hear, either, and before he could find his bearings, friends
seized Uncle Dick and hurried him away. The lawyer swore
vengeance and declared he would shoot the old man on sight, but
before they met againtheir friends patched the matter up-and
Here’s what’s next.
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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/m1/107/: accessed August 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .