HOUSTON AND HOUSTONIANS 29
six or seven feet high. He took his stand or rather his squat
behind the house and we waited for the boys to come. Soon we
heard voices and thought the boys were coming.
I had become interested in the game by now and moved off
down the fence so as to give the crowd a second shock as they
passed me. Just as the voices drew near, I chanced to glance
over in the graveyard and my blood grew cold, for there rapidly
advancing right down on May was a great big white thing.
"Look behind you, May!" I yelled, and May looked. When
he saw what was coming he let out a yell one could hear for
a mile, and tore out from behind the house with his white scarecrow
held aloft. He emerged at just what the scientists call the
psychological moment, for his charge was made just in time to
bring him face to face with, not the boys, but two negroes who
were on their way to town.
The negroes were too scared to yell. They gave sharp grunts
like two frightened hogs and the next moment dashed down
the hill and fairly split the bayou wide open in their haste to
get across. May was too badly scared to realize what he was
doing or what was happening. He knew that something terrible
was behind him and coming face to face with two negro men
instead of the boys he expected added to his confusion.
He did not realize that he himself had scared the negroes,
but thought that they, too, had seen the ghost and were leaving
for anywhere to get away from there. He dropped his shirt
and tore off through the woods in the direction of where Schneider's
swimming hole was afterwards located.
I was too scared to run or to do anything but stand and gasp.
However, I soon found out that the ghost was only a big white
dog, presumably on his way home and taking the nearest way
through the graveyard. I yelled to May and tried to stop him,
but he was too frightened to hear me and kept going.
Not caring to stay near the graveyard alone and hating to pass
it by myself as I would have to do, I took after May. I did not
catch up with him until we reached a point near where the
Grand Central depot is now located. He was completely out
of breath and was panting like a dog.
I did not want to do so, but I offered to go back with him to
get his shirt, but he swore that he would not go back there again
for a thousand shirts. The other boys had heard the yells and
when they came to the scene of the disaster they found May's
shirt and brought it along to him.
May swore that he would not have become so demoralized
if he had not have been thinking of a fellow who had committed
suicide a week or two before right back of the powder house.
May said that he was thinking what he would do if that suicide
Young, Samuel Oliver. True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young.. Galveston, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth24646/. Accessed February 27, 2015.