True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young. Page: 178
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178 TRUE STORIES OF OLD
a six-shooter. Unfortunately the only pistol he could get was an
old army pistol that was large, heavy and hard to handle. Billy
took this and went back to get his man. He stood on the corner
and waited. Before long the brute showed up, and, not knowing
Billy's intentions, advanced on him as though he were going to
attack him again. Then Billy pulled out his artillery and the
fellow turned and fled. Billy fired one shot and took after the
man. The gun was so heavy he had to hold it up with both
hands. He would run up close, stop, cock his pistol and, hold.
ing it with both hands, would fire at the fellow. It was strictly
a running fight and extended from Congress to Preston, clearing
the sidewalk of everybody except Billy and his victim. I am
not certain, but I think Billy hit his man once or twice. I am
certain of one thing, though: that is that Billy came in for general
condemnation for being so bad a shot and not having killed
the brute the first shot out of the box. The only extenuating
circumstance was that Billy claimed the gun was so heavy he
could not handle it with any degree of satisfaction and that he
had done his best and could have done no more under thie circumstances.
Billy was fond of practical jokes, and on one occasion he
came near ruining a fine oration by one of Houston's most brilliant
lawyers, by asking a question and making a fool remark
just at the wrong time. The occasion was a lecture or rather
oration on the tariff question, the object being to explain what
the tariff really is. The oration was in the opera house and
the great power of the speaker being known, the affair was
made something of a society event and the house was crowded
with ladies. Billy was there in all his glory, seated away back
in the gallery. The speaker had nearly completed his address
when Billy stood up and called out: "May I ask you a question,
major?" The major recognized him and answered: "Certainly,
"Did I understand you to say that the tariff was a tax on
everybody, though so concealed that its presence is not recognized
"That is correct in substance," said the major.
"All right, major," said Toole. "That puts the drinks on
you. It's all I wanted to know," and he went out of the hall.
The interruption and the irrelevant reply of Billy so upset
the major that he forgot "where he was at" and made a halting
and stumbling close of an address that had started off brilliantly
and been, to the time of Billy's interruption, one of the bett
efforts of his life.
For many days after that Billy kept his eye skinned for the
major and always succeeded in seeing him first. He knew it
would not do to meet the major until he cooled off.
I have often wondered how Billy managed to die a natural
death, for, according to 'all chances and probabilities, he should
have been killed a dozen times. He did more to be killed for
than nine-tenths of those who were actually killed. Not long ago
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/m1/178/: accessed April 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .