True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young. Page: 225
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HOUSTON AND HOUSTONIANS 225
fellow that evening, but I could never get a chance to shoot
him, for he would never give me an excuse to do it."
"But, captain," said I, for I always called him captain, and
he liked it. "But, captain, why did you not catch him instead
of killing him? You could have done so easily."
He did not like my suggestion and answered a bit hotly:
"Because I didn't want to catch him. Wasn't I hired to work
for the best interests of this community, and that's what I done.
If I'd made him come back there would have been his board
and then his trial would've cost a lot more. I plugs him in the
back of the head. It costs about $15 to plant him and there you
are. Look at the money I save the community."
Being a policeman was second nature with the old man and
though he married a widow, who owned a snug little farm near
town, and the old man could have lived in comparative ease the
rest of his life, he hung on to his job to the last. The old man
did not have a tooth in his head and as he disdained to wear
"stone teeth," as he called them, his nose and chin nearly met
every time he closed down on his quid of tobacco, which was
all the time, for he was an incessant chewer.
One afternoon Alex Erichson was showing Marshal Lord and
a few other gentlemen, who were in his office, a Manhattan sixshooter,
so called because the New York police had just been
armed with them. After admiring the pistol, Marshal Lord
went to his safe and brought out an old Allen pistol, also known
as a "pepper box." A good many jokes were made at the expense
of the old pistol, but old man Laken took up for it.
"You can laugh at it as much as you want, but all the same
I got three dagoes with one of them pistols over in New Orleans
one night. That is, I got two right there and the other one
croaked next day in the Charity Hospital."
Of course, he was pressed for particulars and told the following
"It's thirty years ago and I was a watchman at one of the big
warehouses on the levee. I noticed three dagoes moseying 'round
and acting queer, so I watched 'em. One night I saw 'em go
in an old shanty, so I snuck up and tried to get a peep at 'em.
I could see 'em but couldn't hear what they were saying, so I
snuck around back of the house where there was a window.
There I could hear 'em, but it didn't do no good, for they were
talking dago, and I didn't understand what they were saying.
While I was trying to get close to the window I stepped on a
bottle and liked to fell down. I made lots of fuss trying to
catch myself and the dagoes look around and saw me. They
jumped up. One pulled a long knife and another made a dive
at the candle to blow it out. I dropped him before he got to
it and the other two ran to the front door and commenced trying
to open it. I ran around the house and got there just as they
came out of the door. I pulled down on the one in front and
got him and then I lammed it to the other one."
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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/m1/225/: accessed June 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .