True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young. Page: 121
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HOUSTON AND HOUSTONIANS 121
"It comes at last, just as Riley knew it was coming, and Fish
strikes him for a stake.
"'Look here,' says Riley, 'I've been watching you and I think
I can trust you to make your own stake. I won't give you money
for whiskey, but I'll stake you for a monte game against these
"Riley does it, and when he does so he makes Fergerson, who
runs the regular monte game, mad, for Fergerson can't stand
Mexicans around him.
"Riley gives him a place for his table and stakes him for about
$40. Fish is happy and the Mexicans are happy, but Fergerson
is mad plumb through. The first night Fish blows the whole
bank roll in at the bar before Riley finds out what he is doing.
When Riley comes in and finds what Fish is doing he kicks him
out in the street and chases the Mexicans out, too. Fish is in
a bad fix. His money and loafing place are both, gone, so he
takes up at a low dive where Mexicans are treated the same
as folks. In about a week they get tired of him there and chase
him and he is in for good. Fish finally takes up with a tinhorn
gambler who lets him sleep in his room, but they ain't got no
money for whiskey, so Fish gets sober. He comes whining to
Riley and strikes him for enough money to buy a coat. Riley
sees how ragged he is and feels sorry for him so gives him the
money. Instead of getting the coat he buys a couple of gallons
of whiskey and he and his tinhorn friend set in for a good
drunk. Finally the whiskey gives out and Fish don't know what
to do. He comes to Riley and fairly slobbers for help. Riley
won't listen to him and tells him he better go off somewhere and
die. Fish don't get mad. What Riley says to him about dying
puts an idea in his head. 'Look here,' he says to Riley. 'That's
a good point you makes. Suppose I just makes out I dies, won't
that turn the trick?"
"Fish gets close to Riley and says: 'Supposing I make out
I'm dead. Then you collect funeral expenses from the boys.
You kin bury a box, give me the funeral expenses and I kin skip
out of town.'
"Riley falls for it at once. He sees a chance to get rid of
Fish and at the same time make the boys pay nearly all the
expenses. He tells Fish to come up to his place and talk it
over. They do talk it over and then Riley and Doc. Matchet
have a talk.
"The next evening Fish comes in Riley's place and he don't
look good, either. He is feeling bad sure enough, for he is
needing whiskey bad. Riley gives him a couple of scoops and
some of the boys throw other drinks Into him. After he gets
to looking so much better that nobody notices him particular, and
just when everybody forgets he's there, he throws up his hands,
Jerks up one leg, falls down on the fiooland goes off n abeut
twenty fits to the minute. You've seen chickens with their.heads
cut off. Well, they ain't deuce high to the capers Fish cut u.
Finally he subsides a little and Doc. Matchet and Riley makes
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/m1/121/: accessed December 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .