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A Couple Of Unclean Coyotes
by [?]

There are times when language seems made, as Talleyrand would say, to conceal thought; times when in no known tongue can one body forth his indignation or express a tithe of his contempt–he gropes in vain for invectives that bear upon their sulphurous wings an adumbration of his anger. One must sometimes stand speechless before a subject, else burn his lips with blasphemy or befoul them with billingsgate. Two months ago my attention was called to a precious pair of attorneys at San Antonio, Texas, who seem to have not only touched the profoundest depths of subter-brutish degradation, but to have wallowed there like swine in an open sewer, proud of their own dishonor, infatuated with their rank disgrace. Time and again I have been requested to hold them up to the scorn of human-kind, and time and again I have essayed the subject only to find the product of my pen unprintable–it would have melted the type and burned a hole in an asbestos mailbag. But indignation cools as the days run, philosophy asserts itself, and perchance I can speak of these offenders in language sufficiently polite to escape the attention of the police. The facts may be summarized as follows: A modest, well-behaved German girl named Wulff was brutally assaulted and raped on a lonely road by a negro named Robinson, who decoyed her to the place of her undoing by telling her mother that he had been commissioned by a reputable white woman to secure a serving-maid. His victim dragged herself back to her mother’s door, and, half dead with grief and fright, related the awful story of her despoilment. The lying coon was apprehended and tried for his hellish crime. There could not be the slightest doubt regarding his guilt. He was fully identified. His general bad character was amply proven. The doctors declared that the child had been forcibly despoiled. The neighbors testified that she had returned to her home with torn and muddy clothing, half strangled and crying. The good character of plaintiff was demonstrated beyond peradventure of a doubt. Yet in San Antonio, that Mecca of Southern chivalry, there stood forth two white-skinned lawyers to defend the lecher. These were McAnderson and E. D. Henry. Do not forget these names–they represent the sum and crown of infamy. They are names with which to conjure evil spirits. By one shameful act they have been “damned to everlasting fame.” Henceforth when babes are naughty their mothers will affright them with these foul bogey-men. In almighty Milton’s catalogue of unclean demons there is naught so damnable. These two champions of a rape-fiend first attempted to establish an alibi, to prove that the girl was lying about their sweet-scented protege–that she was laying claim to a sexual distinction which she did not deserve. That having failed miserably, the attorneys changed their tactics. They knew that their client was guilty, yet were anxious to turn the black son of Perdition loose upon society. They admitted that he had debauched the girl, but insisted that it was with her consent–that this modest little German maid was the black brute’s mistress. They scared up a brace of worthless brutes who testified to having seen plaintiff bathing naked in a creek with the prisoner at the bar. It was quickly demonstrated that these fellows were guilty of deliberate falsehood. The perjured witnesses were impeached. To say that defendant’s attorneys did not know when they placed these witnesses on the stand that they would exploit a foul calumny cooked up for the occasion, were to brand them as hopeless fools. If they did know it they were knaves–and they are welcome to impale themselves on either horn of the dilemma they like. They next attempted to badger and browbeat the poor girl into an admission that she had made an assignation with the Senegambian. The local papers in reporting the case said the language used by these chivalrous (?) Southern gentlemen to the plaintiff was unprintable. They secured no admission of guilt–not one word that could be distorted to her discredit; but they did succeed in driving the child into hysterics with their brutal insults and damnable innuendos. Remember that this was not Muckle-Mouth Meg who was thus publicly accused of criminal intimacy with a coon, but a 16-year old maid of respectable family who was seeking a situation as housemaid to assist her mother. But the foul-mouthed and foul-minded creatures who had undertaken to save the neck of the ravisher cared naught for a young girl’s reputation. The villain Robinson was given a life-term in the penitentiary–and his attorneys expressed themselves as “satisfied with the verdict.” Why were they satisfied? Because they knew that their client deserved to hang like a sheep-stealing hound. It was a brutal confession that in questioning the good name of Miss Wulff, in branding her as the mistress of a black, they were guilty of a more heinous crime than the beast who defiled her body. And this actually happened in San Antonio, a city whose very name thrills every fibre of American manhood–a city from whose turrets the flags of five nations have proudly fluttered–a city whose every foot of soil has been time and again baptised with the blood of the brave–a city that twice within the century has put Thermopylae to shame! Yet I am told that these unclean birds, who befoul so fair a nest are allowed to live in San Antonio, to walk her streets, to elbow her proud sons and look her proud daughters in the face! How have the mighty fallen! There was a time when to have breathed a word against the good name of an honest girl, howsoever humble, would have meant the bowie-knife’s fearful plunge and a dead face staring at the stars. It were curious to reflect what would have happened had the victim of Ethiopian lust been Lady Vere de Vere instead of a scullery maid! What would have happened? Why, the brute would have been torn limb from limb and his carcass fed to the buzzards, while any man who dared hint that she was his paramour would have been hanged higher than Haman. “The trail of the serpent is over us all,” the golden calf has become our supreme god, and even in the South it now matters much whether a woman seeking justice be clothed in gowns of Worth or linsey-wolsey.