Texian Stomping Grounds Page: 24
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TEXIAN STOMPING GROUNDS
She simply went right on through, letting the splintered planks fly
where they would. And so, too, did she finish with the front
Following Aunt Rhody, in periodical bursts, came the rest
of the congregation. Aged men, young men, courted girls,
trotted up to the edge of the timber to see what the screaming
was all about. They arrived there singly and in small groups.
On arriving, each was filled with a community of spirit, anxious
to lend a helping hand to those so apparently in distress. After
one look at the swinging skeleton, there was no more community
spirit. They gasped, screamed, shifted into high gear. The
path was open, the bars down. They flitted like shadows, up the
lane, through the gate, around the barn.
As suddenly as it had begun, the stampede was over. The
white men by the gate were doubled in laughter. Then, suddenly,
there was silence. A harsh, clanking noise filled the air. It
seemed to come from directly by the skeleton. That was a
horse of another color. The watchers became rigid. Then, sud-
denly, and in unison, they took a sharp inhale of clean night air.
Three ghostly shapes emerged in a huddle from the timber and
formed a line before the swinging skeleton.
For an era, as the minds of men run, the three ghostly forms
stood thus rigidly fixed. A thin rattle reached their ears. The
three ghostly forms leaped high into the air, flattened in a
horizontal plane, and shot like arrows up the lane toward the
watchers. The three Barkley boys had just dropped tin pans
and sticks and lit out. The safety pins at their necks held the
sheets in place at that one spot only. Speed and air resistance
did the rest. The three ghosts, when viewed from a distance,
simply leaped into the air, flattened and shot up the lane.
Up by the gate, this caused a certain amount of confusion-
but no indecision. There was no one there when the Barkley
boys went by. Nor did they tarry to ask the why of the broken
gates. They simply took such conveniences for granted. They
saw men dashing down the road ahead, and felt, from what they
had seen, that there was a good reason why they should follow
where others led.
One young Negro afterwards gleefully confessed, "Ah never
Here’s what’s next.
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Dobie, J. Frank (James Frank), 1888-1964. Texian Stomping Grounds, book, 1941; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc67663/m1/32/: accessed August 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Press.