True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young. Page: 122
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122 TRUE STORIES OF OLD
a landing on him and lugs him into a room where Riley has a
bed. Riley tells me to stay and help hold Fish and then sends
everybody else out 6f the room. Soon as they are gone Fish
sits up in bed and demands a drink. I'm astonished to see Fish
get well so soon, but Riley tells me what's doing and asked me
to help him. We got a lot of chalk and rubbed Fish's face with
it. We pulls his clothes off and lays him out like sure enough
dead folks. The Doc. goes out to get a drink and tells the boys
that Fish is playing nothing but white chips and ain't got more
than a half stack of them left. In a little while he goes out
again and announces that Fish has l6st his stack and backed off
from the table for good.
"It's pretty near dark now and we are having some trouble
with Fish, who wants more whiskey. Finally we give him a big
drink and laying him out again, we invites the boys in to view
the remainders. Everybody comes except Fergerson, who stays
away and sends in word that he's glad the dead-beat, old bum
is dead. After the review is over Riley goes out to the bar and
starts a subscription to bury Fish. He heads it and in no time
he has over a hundred dollars put down. Fergerson puts down
for ten dollars and tells Riley he will pay next day. All the rest
"Riley brings the list in and shows it to Fish to let him see
how anxious the boys are to bury him. Fish takes the list and
reads it carefully. When he comes to Fergerson's -name and
sees it not marked paid, he raises a row. 'You can bet your
sweet life that ground hog can't git no credit from me; I want
the cash and I want it right now. He can't git no credit on my
"Riley argues with him but it does no good. Finally Riley got
mad and told him what Fergerson said about him and how glad
he was when he heard he was dead. That makes Fish wild and
he swears if he don't get that cash he will go out and whip
Fergerson if it breaks up the funeral. Fish demands more whiskey.
Riley gives it to him to keep him quiet, though he is afraid
Fish will be too drunk to get away when the time comes.
"After awhile Fish gets quiet and Riley says he will go out
and get a box to bury Fish in. He leaves me with Fish and cautions
me to keep the door locked. As soon as he is gone Fish
commences again. He is still thinking about Fergerson and
can't get over the idea of his wanting credit on his funeral, and
then abusing the deceased behind his back. He cusses Fergerson
and then demands more whiskey. I argued with him and
tried to show him that if he got drunk he would bust the funeral
and then the boys would take back their money and run him
out of town dead broke. That stopped him for a time, but not
for long, for he came back demanding more whiskey. I saw
there was no way outiof it so after swearing him to keep quiet
I slipped out to get a small bottle. He cumes Fergerson real
good and hard as I go out, but stretches out in bed like he was
dead. I walked out looking as solemn as I could and called for
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/m1/122/: accessed May 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .