True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young. Page: 123
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HOUSTON AND HOUSTONIANS 123
a drink. There is a big crowd there'and everybody wants to
hear how Fish cashes in. I am right in the middle of my tale,
and I admit it has taken more time to tell it than I had calculated,
when the barkeep, who is setting out the bug juice for
another round, gives one look over my shoulder, jumps over the
counter and goes out of the front door like a prairie on fire. The
crowd looks where the barkeep was looking and before I know
what's doing I'm alone. I turns around and if I don't know that
Fish is alive I'm here to tell you that I would have gone after
the crowd too. Fish was standing in the door and had the sheet
drawn all around him. Hls face was white like a dead wan and
having so much whiskey in him made him wabbly in the legs
just like a dead man who has just stood up out of his grave. It
sure was a scary sight. Before I could do anything Fish turned
off and made straight for the back room, where'Fergerson was
dealing monte. The room was pretty full and when Fish butts
in nobody looks around, thinking its only some of the boys coming
in to buck the game.
"Fish gets right in the middle of the room before anybody sees
him. Then a Mexican looks round and instantly climbs over
everybody in front of him and lands right on Fergerson's monte
table. Fergerson rises to squash the Mexica and sees Fish.
There's a window 'back of where Fergeson was sitting and he
goes out of it backward. He is in such a hurry that he don't
take time to turn round. The other boys and the Mexicans see
Fish and hell breaks loose. They all try to get out the window
at the same time and naturally tear the whole side of the home
"Riley hears the racket half a mile away and comes in his
buckboard like a streak of lightning, for he guess something
has taken place. When he gets there he Snds nobody but me
and Fish. I am on the floor laughing, while Fish s biahind the
bar helping himself to a big drink out of a bottle. tley don't
ask for explanations. He grabs Fish, throws him on his buckboard
and hurries away with him. He told me afterward that
he gave a Mexican he could trust $20 to take him to the next
town with orders to keep going if he wanted to keep from being
hung by the boys.
"Riley explained to the boys that it must have been a cas
of 'revived mortality,' and that Fish must have wandered off and
been eaten up by wolves. Of course, he gave Fish some money
to live on and he gave the money back to the boys that they
had put up to bury him with, so instead of getting rid of Fish
cheaply, as he calculated, it cost him a good deal. Fish wandered
around and died in San Antonio a few years ago. The fm y
thing was that when he died sure enough and the boys were
chipping in to bury him, Fergeron examined him careful before
he would subscribe a cent. When he found Fish was realy
head he doubled his subscription, he W ro glad."
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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/m1/123/: accessed May 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .