Forty years at El Paso, 1858-1898; recollections of war, politics, adventure, events, narratives, sketches, etc., by W. W. Mills. Page: 30 of 163
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FORTY YEARS AT EL PASO.
then for weeks he might not have a customer worthy of
Another man would labor almost incessantly night
and day for a time in filling some Government contract,
and then for months, perhaps, no other opportunity
would offer for the exercise of his energy. It was "enforced
idleness." But in the long run these men expended
as much effort, physical and mental, in chasing
the nimble dollar as the most plodding, methodical Chicago
business man of today.
Profits were often great and risks were always great.
I do not think the desire for money, for its own sake,
was as strong as in older communities, and this led to
what we called liberality and what the wise call extravagance.
If any man had devoted all his energies
to accumulating and hoarding money he would have
been viewed with disfavor by his neighbors, and at that
time men were in many ways dependent upon the good
will of their fellows.
If any gentleman did not care to bet on the horse
race or to "sit in" at the poker game, no one criticised
his peculiarity, because each granted to the other the
right he claimed for himself, to do as he pleased about
such amusements. But if such a one gave out that he
thus refrained because he feared to set a bad example
to others or because he feared Divine wrath, his sincerity
would have been doubted, and frankness and canlor
were rated among the essential virtues.
-J Within the memory of men still living there occurred
an incident which illustrates men's views of law and
order in those days. A certain desperado had been
getting drunk and riding into stores and saloons and
firing his pistols at random in the streets and threatening
people's lives, till the "good citizens" became weary.
Here’s what’s next.
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Mills, William W. Forty years at El Paso, 1858-1898; recollections of war, politics, adventure, events, narratives, sketches, etc., by W. W. Mills., book, 1901; Chicago. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6112/m1/30/?q=Forty%20Years%20at%20El%20Paso,%201858-1898:%20Recollections%20of%20War,%20Politics: accessed October 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .