True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young. Page: 218
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218 TRUE STORIES OF OLD
Billy, "the bouncer," deals whiskey for everybody over a board
counter that takes up nearly one whole side of the house. Billy
got his name of "Bouncer" from a habit he had of butting into
every fight that got started, not playing any favorites, but choking
off both parties engaged in battle. This habit of Billy's
does not lead to peace; it leads the other way, for gents, even
timid ones, felt safe to start war when they knew Billy was
going to put a stop to it at the very jump.
"Now, 'Farmer Joe' was no more of a farmer than you are.
He gets his name from a habit he has of wearing his hair and
beard long. He was the most peaceful man on earth. He hated
a row worse than any one and when war was declared by anybody
he would not stay and witness it, he was so peace-loving.
He was so gun-shy it was painful, and whenever two gentlemen
started to argue with their artillery, Joe would leave the room
even if he had to do the sash act in order to get out. You understand
that the sash act was going out of the window in so
great a hurry as to take sash and all with you.
"As I have said, Joe deals monte for the Mexicans in the
front part of the building. He is not very strong financially, his
bank roll being only about $40. The Mexicans know Joe is peaceful
and they make him take a heap of their sass, for they know
Joe would rather have abuse than a fight any time. I call to
mind one of the funniest things I ever witnessed in which Joe
played a leading part. There is a little consumptive Mexican
playing against his game. A dispute comes up between them.
The Mexican is very sassy. Joe sees Billy standing near and
knowing he will stop the fight, he concludes to soak the Mexican
one for luck. He bats the Mexican. The Mexican don't know
anything about fighting and goes for Joe like a woman. He
grabs him by the hair with one hand and by the beard with
the other. Then he begins to pick Joe the same as if he is a
chicken. He swipes a handful of hair out of Joe's face and
another handful out of his head. In a minute he has Joe looking
like a cross between a half-picked chicken and a dog with
mange. At the first start Billy comes round from behind the
bar to interfere, but changes his mind and stands there viewing
the battle. It shore was a funny battle, too. They sways this
way and they sways that way and finally they sways against
Joe's table and upsets it, scattering his bank roll all over the
floor. The other Mexicans, seeing everybody watching the fight,
went for the money, and Joe told me afterward that he did not
get but about $8 of it back after the war was over.
"'Don't that beat hell?' says Joe, looking at me when he and
the Mexican drops loose from each other because they were
out of wind and could go no longer, 'Don't that beat hell? Here
I been for three years. There's been more'n five hundred fights
started durin' that time and this is the first one Billy ever let
go to a finish.'
"I wanted to laugh, but I held in because I saw tears in Joe's
eyes. Being pulled to pieces that way by a consumptive Mexi-
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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/m1/218/: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .