James Richmond's
California Story

Encounter With a CrazyMan

"And Father, where were you when you had the squabble with the crazy man?" Oh yes, well I was traveling around Stockton viewing the town and concluded to take a look at the new Asylum for the insane and itís surroundings.

The kind and gentlemanly usher showed me around the building. I saw some sad sights. We came to a room with only one window and that heavily barred. I looked in and saw a big burly fellow pacing back and forth the length of his room. The Dr. came along just then and entered into conversation with me. He gave me a short history of the man they caught. He had suddenly become so violent that they had shut him in this room thinking he would quiet down. But he had now been there over a week. They passed his food through the window grate. They felt anxious to control him but no one dared venture inside the door. And said the Dr. I will give any man one hundred dollars that will have the strength and pluck to go in there and subdue him enough so that I can clap a straight jacket on him. "Well Doctor", I said "where is your money? Here is your man."

I looked the crazy man over and concluded the only way would be to get my hands on his windpipe. One hundred dollars would be quickly earned and Mr. Crazy Man would be where he could be managed. The Dr. looked at me as though he doubted my ability, "I warn you", he said, "that he is as fierce and strong as a lion." "I am not afraid," said I, "Well," said the Dr., "If he is able to get the best of you, we will help you all we can."

They opened the door and I walked in while he stood with his back to me. of course he had not heard our talk. He wheeled around and saw me standing there. He stood an instant as if surprised and surveyed me. I met his gaze without flinching. With a oath and a growl like a wild animal he came for me. As he came I sprang for his throat so suddenly that he did not realize what I meant. I had him before he knew it. I got a good grip. Of course he made it quite lively for a few moments and I received a pair of black eyes to remember him by. I knew my grip was all that would save me. With his wind cut off he soon began to weaken. And you may be sure I did not release my hold until I had him on the floor. Then the Dr. and his attendant came in and secured him in a straight jacket. I learned afterwards that he had killed one man before they had gotten him in this room. I got my hundred dollars and my board with the Dr. while he fixed my black eyes with a beef steak which was also free gratis.