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Soup deliveryman ends up in hot water with a judge

December 17, 2006

Dec. 17, 1900: W.L. Rowe took his work seriously -- so seriously that he went to great lengths to do it well. But forced into court for speeding, he learned, "The law must and shall be obeyed, even if the soup at the Women's Club House gets cold," The Times reported.

"Mr. Rowe admitted that he rode as though he were on the wings of the morning, but he had an excuse. He was carrying soup from a caterer's to the Women's Club. He was afraid it would get cold," the newspaper said.

"Down Spring Street tore Mr. Rowe, wild-eyed and with tensioned nerves, his gallant steed straining every tendon," The Times reported.

Rowe turned onto 9th Street "smash, bang, into a terrified streetcar that was standing in the way. The collision yanked off a piece of the step of his wagon and shivered the car, but Rowe only glanced solicitously at the soup, and, seeing it safe, dashed madly on."

He didn't even stop when a police officer gave chase -- and was caught only after making his delivery.

The judge told Rowe "$2 or two days." He paid, but with a smile, The Times said: "He might suffer and perish in the hands of the Philistines; but he got the soup there hot."

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