Forty years at El Paso, 1858-1898; recollections of war, politics, adventure, events, narratives, sketches, etc., by W. W. Mills. Page: 32 of 163
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FORTY YEARS AT EL PASO.
Mitchell, the leader, "you don't know how to soak a
pistol; watch me." So "Snap" went to the store and
presenting the muzzle of his pistol asked for a loan. He
got it, and went away with the pistol also.
I believe my friend remembers the transaction. Later
this same merchant was called upon by a party of secessionists,
who accused him of being a
and talked to him seriously about the penalty, which
was hanging. My friend was a foreigner and did not
understand our language as well as he does now. I
asked him what he said to them when they threatened to
hang him, and he replied: "Well, I told them that I
had no 'scruples.'" Of course, he meant that he had
no preference for either the Union or Confederate cause.
It is certain that he did not mean that he had no scruples
about being hanged!
An officer of volunteers bought goods of this same
merchant, refused to pay him, swindled him, and because
asked to pay called him a Jew and other pet
names, and finally sent him a formal challenge to fight
a duel. The merchant came to me greatly agitated,
and declared that he would rather die than suffer such
indignities, and asked my advice. I knew that he was in
earnest, and the officer was notified to appear at sunrise
at the graveyard on the hill, distance ten paces, doublebarreled
shotguns loaded with buckshot, to fire at the
word. The officer declined, declaring the terms "barbarous,"
and that ended his career as a valiant son
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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/m1/32/?q=Forty%20Years%20at%20El%20Paso,%201858-1898:%20Recollections%20of%20War,%20Politics: accessed June 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .