A preacher from the Southwest tells the story of a man he describes as the “undisputed chief of the village bums in our home town.” They called him “Governor Campbell”:
None of us ever thought to ask when he had drifted into town or what sequence of moral traps he had been caught in that reduced him to a shiftless, shameless old derelict. And no one seemed to know how the absurd title, “Governor” was fastened on him. I can’t remember a time when he wasn’t out on the street in clear weather sponging quarters. One quarter meant he ate that day. Two quarters meant he would get drunk for supper. The quarters tossed him on the street meant neither charity or sympathy. They were frightened, nervous, superstitious quarters, tossed by people who knew human wreckage when they saw it, and expected nothing but further human wreckage ever to come of it.
That’s why he shocked them so when he would step out…
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