Mamma went to Galveston in 1907 to spend December through Christmas with her folks. Christmas Day fell on a Wednesday that year, so there was no "long weekend" for Daddy to come over and help celebrate. He had to stay in Beaumont on the job, and then take a quick trip by train on Christmas Eve, bringing his family back on Christmas night.
They Were staying at Mrs. Hearn's then, 219 Main St., a semi-family-light-housekeeping hotel typical of early Beaumont. Daddy kept very busy at work all day; but in the evening there was nothing to do, with his family gone, and the rooms seemed to close in on him.
Often after supper, which he sometimes ate at the Crosby House across from the S. P. station, he would wander around there aimlessly. That was where he had kissed his wife and little girl and baby boy goodbye early in December.
One Saturday night, "pay day", he was walking beside the tracks feeling lonely, his hands shoved into his pockets. He had been paid in bills, not the usual slver dollars, and had the roll gripped in one hand.
"Hand's up," a voice suddenly ordered him, and he snapped out of his reverie to find himself confronted by a tramp. His hands flew into the air and he stood quietly allowing the tramp to frisk him. Of course, his money was in his hand, only a few small coins, change from supper, remaining in his pocket.
"Sorry, buddy," presently the tramp apologized, patting him on the chest, "you're as bad off as I am."
And he shuffled away, leaving Daddy much relieved, and hightailing it back to Mrs. Hearn's.
Cast of characters:
Daddy: Andre Hutt Newton
Mamma: Matilda (nee Gruetzmacher) Newton
"Little Girl": Elizabeth Newton
"Baby Boy": Wilben Newton