Tramp from the Southland Said He Had Read of "Buffalo's Perfect Weather"
The Buffalo Evening News April 20,1901
"Are you guilty or not guilty of being a tramp? Judge Van Natter asked James Thompson, 41 years old, who gave his occupation as an electrical engineer when he was arraigned before the judge in sunrise court this morning.
"Am I obliged to answer this question?" asked Thompson, glaring at the judge and the dozen of policemen in the court room.
"You have the option of pleading and you will be given a fair trial and enjoy all your constitutional rights," answered the judge. "Hurry up, guilty or not guilty?"
"Before I answer that question directly, judge, I wish to make a few remarks. I will be as brief as the circumstances permit. I come from the South, the beautiful sunny South, where there is no ice, no snow, and no beastly weather. I have been reading the newspapers for a good many years and every time I pick up one it seems to contain something about 'Buffalo's perfect weather' or 'Buffalo's delightful weather.' I came here to look for a job, and now I wish I hadn't. Say, of all the beastly, mean, horrible weather I have ever encountered in my life, Buffalo is positively the worst. When this policeman tapped me on the shoulder early this morning and ask me if I wasn't a tramp I welcomed his grasp. Yes, I'm a tramp. Ship me back South, won't you?"
"Thirty days," said the judge. "It's too bad to send
a man to the Penitentiary who has as much humor in him as you, but there's no
help for it."
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