True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young. Page: 228
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228 TRUE STORIES OF OLD
try to pick up the check-rack, the layout or what was it he
tried to do?"
"It was not a silver dollar at all," said Egerly. "I was a witness
to the whole affair. It was a five-franc piece."
Then Captain Boyce lost his temper completely.
"That makes a hell of a difference," he shouted. "Whether it
was a dollar or 95 cents, he tried to pick up, cuts a heap of importance.
Egerly, you are a damned fool."
That was too much, and Egerly stripped for action at once, but
friends got between them and prevented a fight.
I remember Egerly being in Houston up to the beginning of
the war. No doubt he went in the army. Anyway, he disap
peared and though I have often thought of him I have never seen
him since. I hope some oldtimer whose memory is better than
mine may know and tell some further facts about him.
The other man, whose name I forget, was the most curious
specimen of humanity I ever saw and was of a type which has
become impossible and therefore extinct today. He was the op
posite of Egerly in every way, for he had no education or refinement
and was simply a bum and nothing else. Strange to say,
he was popular and everybody knew and liked him. He was
born with a flat place on his head where the bump of reverence
is located, according to the phrenologists, and he placed the
highest and the lowest in the land on the same footing. To him
Mr. William M. Rice was "Billy;" Mr. Bremond was "Paul;"
Mr. Shepherd was "Ben," and so on down the line. That, however,
might be construed as simply a bad case of gall and impertinence,
but he had other qualities that distinguished him
above his fellow citizens. He was the most reckless man I ever
saw, and was constantly doing things that would have killed
anybody else. But he seemed to have a charmed life and always
pulled through safely. One night in the old Houston House bar,
down on Franklin Avenue, he provoked a gentleman who had
just landed from the steamboat from Galveston and who was an
entire stranger to him, to such an extent that the gentleman took
out his bowie knife and nearly severed his head from his body.
They laid him out on the floor and the doctors came in, looked
him over and gave him half an hour to live. At the end of the
half hour he was still alive, so they hauled him off to a room
somewhere. He was laid up for a long time but finally got well.
Now I will tell you of his recklessness.
In those days the steamboats would come to near the foot of
Main Street and discharge their cargoes. The bayou was not
quite wide enough for them to turn, so they had to go up a little
further, back into White Oak Bayou, then haul the bow around
and thus head down stream again. During this performance it
was necessary to attach a line to a big cypress stump that stood
on the bank of the bayou some distance beyond the mouth of
White Oak Bayou, so as to hold the bow of the boat in proper
position while backing into White Oak, and then to use a tree
further down stream when turning 'round, so as to head down
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/m1/228/: accessed February 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .