Encountered this humorous article in an issue of the Cochise Review of Bisbee, on Feb. 23, 1901, and the only way to tell it is to do so in its entirety. So here goes:
One On Uncle Billy.
Uncle Billy Plaster, like most people who have arrived at a mature age, has a hobby on which he is more or less “touchy.” Uncle Billy’s pet hobby is Texas, which he considers about the best place on earth, and hopes that when he dies his soul may be assigned to the precincts of the storied Alamo.
Some months ago Uncle Billy was foreman of the grand jury at Tombstone when the case of a young man who had robbed the lodging house of Mary Tack [in Bisbee] of a number of blankets came before the inquisitorial body. Mary was a witness before the jury and after answering several questions volunteered the statement that she did not wish to prosecute the boy, as “he was from Texas and could not help stealing.”
This was a stunner for Uncle Billy, and if Mary had known it, a critical moment for her. After Uncle Billy had recovered from his astonishment at the, to him, almost blasphemous sentiment, he roared out, “Turn the son of a gun loose.”