True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young. Page: 171
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HOUSTON AND HOUSTONIANS 171
some things and that the fellow who takes Mr. Fly for a fool
is almost one himself.
Now, the concerted action on the part of flies when I pick
up my swatter, precludes any other idea than that flies can
talk. If I could hear and understand their language I am confident
I would hear some old fellow call out: "Git He's got
his swatter. This is no place for us!" When you see dozens
of them take wing as one fly and rush out of the window, you
can safely bet that something like that has been said by one
of their pickets and that they have acted promptly on the warning.
This is not written to fill space but is a record of actual occurrences
and of the evidence of high intelligenee.of the fly.
He has simply got more sense than anybody credits him with
JIM AND SHORTY.
AM Y FIRST meeting and acquaintance with those kings of
Bohemian printers, if there are any such things,
"Shorty" Parish and Jim Baker, dates from the summer
of 1880. I had just begun newspaper work and was in the
editorial room of the Post late one night when "Shorty" and
Jim came in. They had evidently been in luck, for they were
pretty well loaded and were in the best of humor.
"So you are going to run a newspaper," said "Shorty." "You
are making a big mistake. There's nothing in it. Quit it
while you've got time. It eats up more money than anything in
the world. A newspaper is the only thing that ever beat the
devil and that is the only good thing I ever heard about one of
them. Yes, I'll tell you how it was. A man sold his soul to the
devil for all the money he could spend, the devil to produce
every Saturday night. That man sure had a good time. He
spent money for everything he could think of, but the devil al-.
ways had the cash on Saturday night. The man built railroads,
ship canals, erected big dams and went into every big thing he
could hear of, but the devil always promptly paid the bills. The
man got desperate, for the time was drawing near for him to
settle with the devil. One day he established a newspaper, just
as you and Gail Johnson, are doing. The first and second payments
were made promptly by the devil, but the old chap
began to look blue. In a few months the devil asked for a
little extension of time and at the end of the next weeks h
gave up the job altogether and tore up the contract Now that
a true story and you better take warning from it."
"Shorty" then asked for what he caed "brain food," hh
was his name for newspapers, and taking a lare bundle Of
exchanges, he. waddled away in company with Jim Baker.
These were the two most distingushed memb of the
"bummers" crowd that ever-graced Houston, Ga eton and other
Teas cities, where there was any printtnW to -be done. They
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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/m1/171/: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .