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Ben Thompson Taunts the Mighty Railroads  

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tracesoftexas
(@tracesoftexas)
Honorable Member Admin

Richard Harding Davis wrote:


"Whenever they could do so, Westerners liked to have fun with the mighty railroads, taunting and teasing, obstructing and annoying. During the time that Ben Thompson, a gambler-gunman-lawman, was marshal of Austin, Texas, the railroad refused to cooperate with him in a certain legal matter, and he resolved to square accounts. An elite daily express train was the pride of the road, keeping to exact schedules, the engineers boasting that watches could be set by their arrivals and departures.

One day Ben Thompson drove his buggy upon the track right in front of the locomotive just as it was preparing to pull out. At the first emission of steam, Thompson covered the engineer with his revolver and ordered him to hold the train. In a leisurely manner the marshal then called to acquaintances on the station platform and carried on bantering talk with them for several minutes while the engineer cursed and fumed.

When Thompson was certain that the express would be late at its next station, and probably all along the line, he slowly picked up his reins, slapped his horse into motion, and rolled the buggy off the tracks with a parting shout at the engineer: "You needn't think, sir, that any corporations can hurry me!"

 

----- Richard Harding Davis, The West from a Car Window, 1892

Beauty is only skin deep but Texas is to the bone.

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Posted : 3rd February 2020 6:48 pm
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