I was reading the rest of the story from alluded to by Odd Wisconsin and was shocked by the matter of fact nature of its conclusion. The description of Pinneo is vivid:
After he had endured a week’s drunk, his red face and bare breast shone in the sun with a peculiar brilliancy, and he was a sight as seen in the morning after a night’s lodging under a tree, or under some outhouse shelter, as he shook himself and started for his morning potation at the nearest drinking house.
He had not worn shoes for years, and in his drunken frolics he had acquired the habit of kicking out grubs and roots with his bare toes. This he was often induced to do for a drink, and many was the grub kicked out of King Street by Pinneo long before Nicholson pavement or the office of street commissioner was thought of. His feet looked in shape and color like mud turtles, and his toes resembled so many little turtle heads half drawn in, so bruised and battered were they by hard usage.
The conclusion is matter of fact:
Pinneo had but little to commend him even to a passing notice still he was a type of many vagabond frontier men who whatever their origin accomplished nothing useful in life. They generally lived and died wretchedly, as did this Pinneo who lost his life in a miner’s cabin his clothes taking fire while he was on one of his drunken frolics.
He was burned alive? That seems to be a strong argument for sobriety, as does this modern example. Waking up minus $41,093 and your pants is a good reason to quit drinking.