True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young. Page: 70
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70 TRUE STORIES OF OLD
he readily accepted the challenge and chose pistols at 16 paces.
He was told that he must fall dead at the first fire, and stay
dead until they could get his slayer out of the way. The plan
worked beautifully, for the other fellow was game and even
eager to fight, so they had no trouble with him. Early the next
day the principals and their seconds appeared promptly on the
field of honor, away out somewhere beyond the city limits in
the Third Ward. The men were placed, the word given and
at "three" both fired. The challenged man threw his hands
over his heart, wavered a little and then dropped dead, all in
proper form. When he saw his friend fall, the survivor was
panic stricken, and, for the first time realized that his whole
life was to be one of remorse and regret. He wanted to rush
forward and throw himself on the body of his dead friend and
plead for forgiveness, but was restrained by his seconds, who
pointed out to him the necessity for immediate flight. He took
one wistful look at the place where his friend's body was lying
on the grass and then, panic stricken, he started for Mexico on
foot, like a race horse.
After he was well out of sight the dead man got up and the
whole party returned to town to enjoy the joke. There was
only one thing they overlooked in their calculation, that was
the agony and remorse of their victim. He wandered aimlessly
all the morning and finally concluded that there was only one
thing to do to drown his sorrow-return to the city, give himself
up, and be hung for the murder. He felt easier after making
up his mind to return and be hanged, so he started for
town, and when he got there he went to the court house to look
for the sheriff. As he turned the corner of Preston Avenue, he
saw what he supposed was the ghost of his murdered friend
standing in the court house door. The ghost saw him at the
same time and attempted to hide behind the door. The young
man rushed eagerly toward the ghost, but the ghost, concluding
that he had found out the joke that had been played on him and
was coming to take revenge on him for the part he had played
in it, concluded not to wait for him and fled. Then commenced
one of the most wonderful flights and pursuits that has ever
been witnessed on court house square, or anywhere else, so
far as that goes. The ghost rushed through the court house
with the victim close behind him. The ghost gained some slight
advantage by diving into a cigar store, knocking down two or
three people who were in there, wrecking the stand and thus
blocking the way long enough to allow him to reach the back
yard, mount some dry goods boxes and crawl over a fence into
the next yard. The advantage was only slight, however, for
the victim was a good second and reached the next yard, by
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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/m1/70/?rotate=90: accessed January 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .