Crippled man and $500

[page 59, line 23]

I must tell you this, and I’m sure — I’ll promise ¬†you I’ll quit. Tom Thorpe — some of you know Tom Thorpe — and Frank Watts, they — they practiced together in Judge Frank Wilson’s court. And Henry — I mean, Winter King was the judge in Criminal District Court Number 1 before Frank Wilson. And I represented a no-good boy charged with rape. And Frank and Tom represented the State. Well, we got into it. We tried it, and he was convicted and given what I thought was a reasonable sentence. His father thought so too. So his father, after it was all over with, he said, “How much do I owe you?” He had paid me a little bit. I said, “You don’t owe me anything.” He was a crippled man. He had an old walking stick he made out of a tree limb he had gotten. And “No,” he said, “No. I do owe you.” I said, “No.” I said, “You just take care of yourself. I’m satisfied.” He said, “I tell you what I’m going to do. I’m going to pay you $500.” Now that’s when $500 was a lot of money. Well, I told him, “Don’t worry about it.”

Several years went by. One Saturday morning — I was in the Davis Building at that time, and my office door opened in the hall. The elevator opened up and her came this old man, with that same stick I guess, with a sack under his arm, a brown paper sack. He brought it in and put it on my desk. “I come to pay you.” We counted it out, $500 that that man had saved over years. Now, that didn’t happen to me very often, but it happened that time.

And then, you talked about John Stoffer. This cane was given to me by John Stoffer, and I wouldn’t take a thing in the world. And I wanted to ask you to do one other thing, and I’ll quit. I’ll give you, if you’ll contact me I’ll give you Barbara Stoffer’s — John Stoffer’s wife’s address. John — I mean Barbara and John were from Ohio, and they moved down here and John practiced law here. And then those of us who knew John realized before they moved back that John was sick. He had cancer. Now, he was in a hurry to get back to Ohio to build a house for his wife. He built Barbara a new house up there. And Barbara told me that John told her, said, “I want you to emblazon the map of the State of Texas on my tombstone because that’s where I’d rather live than anywhere else.” And she did that, and she lives up there.

Well, folks I want to thank you and it’s been wonderful to know you. I wouldn’t take anything — I consider you to be my friends and my family. And I close by telling you, if you don’t know the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal savior, I would like to recommend him to you because he is a great judge of the universe, and I hope to practice law with you at his bench in heaven forever. Thank you.

(Applause.)

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