True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young. Page: 112
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112 TRUE STORIES OF OLD
they never sell coffee in them. Loui always had half a dozen
duels on hand after he had had his fun. Those duels in New
Orleans are the same as the French duels. They go out and
poke at each other with little swords that look like knitting
needles, long drawn out. Finally one will stick the other through
the skin of his arm and their honor is satisfied. Then they embrace
and go off somewhere to eat a good breakfast.
One night a little Frenchman came in our office to send a
telegram and got sassy about it. Old man Thompson called him
down and started to kick him out of the door, but the chap was
too quick for him and got away. In half an hour two young men,
who said they were their friend's "witnesses," brought Thompson
a challenge. The old man accepted it at once and told the 'wit:
nesses' that since he was challenged he had the right to choose
weapons and that he would take double-barrel shotguns, loaded
with buckshot and fight at ten paces.
"The 'witnesses' left, and we never saw any of them after
that. The old man used to say that if his terms had been accepted
he would have been the one to leave.
"I did see a sure enough duel over there, though. It was
fought between a man named Williams and another named
Sydnor. This Sydnor-I'll tell you about it-was a big planter.
He owned one of the largest plantations in Mississippi. He was
fine folk, too. He married a Guafney and one of his brothers
was talked of for tEe Senate at once. He raised long staple
cotton, which, you know, is the best in the world. I have often
wondered why they don't try to raise more of it in Texas. There
are lots of things the Texas farmers could raise if they would
only realize that they can do so. Texas is certainly a great
state. I have been living here for over 40 years and the longer
I stay here the prouder I grow of the state.
"By the way, I started to tell you a good joke. What was it
about? Do you know?"
I did know that it was about Sarah Bernhardt and I also knew
that he had started to tell be about a real duel he had witnessed,
but I had too much sense to refresh his memory, and made my
escape. I realized that I had not gotten the information I
wanted, but I concluded it were best to give that up and seek
elsewhere, and thus escape having to. listen to a condensed,
though rather disjointed history of some one's life. \
The foregoing perhaps reads as if it were prepared for the
occasion. It is an aboslutely correct report of what occurred and
I have a good witness who will testify that it is correct. The
worst part about it was that it was told very slowly and consumed
nearly an hour in the telling.
AN ALL-'ROUND NEWSPAPER MAN.
I ONCE heard a public speaker who got his quotations mixed,
declare in the most dramatic manner: "A rolling stone
is the noblest work of God." If that be true then Wm. R.
Sinclair has about as much nobility about him as one man can
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/m1/112/: accessed May 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .