Richard Bostwick Reminiscences

Home Page

Welfare Office Stories
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Cab Driving Stories
The Way It Was - 1930
The Gambler And His Gal 1927
The Last One To Know 1926
Just A Couple Of Hustlers 1925
Cash On Delivery 1923
One Born Every Minute 1923
Fun Is Where You Find It 1923
An Ace In The Hole 1922
And A Little Child Shall…
Gold Tooth Murphy
Aiding And Abetting 1929
Buried Treasure 1927
The Good Samaritan
Just A Country Trip
The Prodigal Son
Occupational Hazard
Four Bags Full
Overtime Pay
Above And Beyond The Call
Fourth Down And Ten
Let There Be Light
Take It Or Leave It
Double Or Nothing
The Champ
Three Of A Kind
My Silent Big Spender
N.P.R.R. (Northern Pacific Railroad) Mr. Moody


Prohibition Stories
A Little Competition
Some Did Burn
Last Words


The Good Samaritan

Early one evening, I was cruising the main street in town, looking for a fare. As I slowly proceeded along the street, I spotted a fellow who was taking up the whole sidewalk-he sure was drunk. He was wearing a brand new pair of bib overalls and an un-creased black felt hat-the traditional garb of a well-dressed harvest hand.

As drunk as he was, I was quite surprised he had not been picked up by the police. I pulled over to the curb and asked him if he wanted a cab. He stood looking at me blurry eyed for a moment. Then he came lurching over. As I opened the cab door, he crawled into the back seat and asked me to take him to his hotel. The trouble with that was that he could not remember which hotel he was registered at. I know if I had not picked him up when I did, it would only have been a matter of minutes until the police would have. I hated to see the poor stiff go to jail, so I decided I would try to help him locate his hotel. I drove him over to the Webster, he said that wasn't the one. I then drove him to the Cole Hotel, the Fremont, the Dixon and a few others, but none of them seemed to be the right one. I decided I would try to get him into any hotel as to keep him from being arrested. Besides, I had already spent too much time on him already. I drove him over to the Tweeton Hotel, which was a third-rate hotel on N.P. Avenue that catered to transients. After a little effort, I got him out of the cab and into the hotel lobby. I leaned him up against the counter and told the clerk, “This guy wants a room.” The clerk said, “Okay, that will be $1.50.” At this point the drunk started going through his pockets looking for the necessary cash. He searched his pants and shirt pockets without finding a single cent. The clerk then turned to me and said, “Get the bum out of here!”

Well, I helped him outside and loaded him back into my cab. Here I was-stuck with a drunk who was broke. Sure, I could have set him out on the curb where I had found him. But I kind of felt sorry for the poor stiff, and there was no cab business anyway. As long as I had spent this much time on him already, I decided I would make one more attempt to get him stowed away where he could sleep it off. So I drove him over to the Broadmore Hotel, that upstairs hotel run by my friend Johnny O. After half carrying him up the stairs, I bellied him up against the counter once more, and Johnny O. asked me, “Where in the hell did you find that?” - meaning my friend the drunk. I told Johnny, “This guy needs a room but he's broke.” I then prevailed on Johnny to put him up in one of the back rooms where he could sleep it off. At this point Johnny says, “Who says this gentleman is broke?” With that, Johnny O. reached across the counter and just barely sticking out of the pocket on the bib of the drunk's overalls was the corner of a bill. Johnny plucked the bill out of its hiding place and revealed a brand new $20.00 bill.

He stuck the bill in his pocket and said, “You bet we have a room for this gentleman.” He then guided my ex-passenger down the hall and put him in one of the rooms. I waited until Johnny returned to the front desk. When he asked me, “How much have you got invested in that guy, Dick?”, my answer was, “Half of it!” Johnny then handed me a $10.00 bill. As I went down the stairs to my cab I figured I had just about broke even. Johnny O. perhaps was being a little over paid, but at least the poor stiff would be spared a night in jail, as well as a $20.00 fine for being drunk in public.


Institute for Regional Studies Home Page

Published by the Institute for Regional Studies, NDSU
Updated: 7/30/2007