True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young. Page: 187
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HOUSTON AND HOUSTONIANS 187
attending them. Right out under the trees were 'faro banks,
roulette tables and every kind of gambling, and everybody
seemed to have plenty of money. There were beautiful women
and elegantly dressed men. and waiters passing round with all
kinds of drinks.
"Finally an elegantly dressed gentleman, wearing a stovepipe
hat, came up and, calling me by name, welcomed me to hell.
'You don't tell me this is hell,' I said. 'Yes,' said the devil, 'this
is it; how do you like it?'
"'God Almighty, man,' said I, but the devil popped his hand
over my mouth before I could finish. 'Don't. use that name
down here, Jim,' he said.
"Then hd took me everywhere and showed me what a fine place
he had. I was beginning to feel thankful to old Moses for
throwing me out of his sorting shop, but just then we came to
a big flat rock. It was so hot it looked blue. The devil did
not say a word, but I knew right off that I had to pull my shoes
off and get on that rock.
"'Look here, old man,' I said to the devil; 'can't we cut this
part of the performance out? You know what a good friend of
yours I've been.'
"'Yes, Jim,' said he. 'I know you have always worked for
me and I feel grateful to you for it, but I can't help you now.
It's the rule and nobody can break a rule in hell. Why, the
whole place would fall to pieces if I broke a rule or allowed one
to be broken.'
"I saw there was no way out of it, so I pulled off my shoes
and mounted the rock. When I did so I heard my mother say,
'Keep rubbing.' Then I came to and found that the women were
rubbing my hands and feet with pepper and mustard to keep
up circulation. I got well, but could not handle anything or
walk for a week or two because of blistered hands and feet."
"Now, you see, I know all about hell, because I've been there
and have seen it. The other thing happened to Jack. Jack and
Lige McGowan were great friends. They were over on the old
White Oak bridge one moonlight night and got to talking about
the hereafter. Jack said a man was the same as a tree, and
that when he was dead he was dead, and that was all there was
about it. Lige didn't know so much about that. So, after arguing
awhile, they agreed that the first one that died should
come back to the survivor and tell him all about it, or as much
as he could. They shook hands over the agreement About
a month after that Jack had been dealing faro until late. The
game broke up about 3 o'clock and everybody except Jack and
another man went home. It was a hot summer night and the
moon was full. Jack and the other man concluded to lie down
on a big table and sleep there instead of going home. Jack
says the other man dropped off to sleep as soon as he lay down,
but that he was lying there, wide awake, looking out of the big
window which he was facing. All on a sudden he saw Lige
McGowan come walking across Main Street, right up in the air.
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/m1/187/: accessed December 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .