True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young. Page: 130

130 TRUE STORIES OF OLD
and most prominently so, too. The real trouble was that none
* of the boys wanted a stampede, through fear of being left alone
behind or of getting too far ahead and thus finding himself alone
there.
All went well until about half of our perilous journey had been
made. Then inside the graveyard a great white object was
seen to rise up and the only boys left on the scene were those
who had not seen it. Be it said to their credit, however, that
they asked no questions and started after their more fortunate
companions at a breakneck speed. It was only a newspaper
in which some one who had carried flowers out there had thrown
aside, but had it been a devil with ten horns it could not have
been more potent in starting that crowd. We did not stop until
we reached town and then we halted only because we were out
of breath. That was quickest time ever made over that old
San Felipe road and that piece of newspaper was responsible
for our getting home much sooner than we otherwise would
have gotten there. The other day I read a story of a negro
who had been left in a haunted house with a bottle of whiskey
and the promise that he would be given $5 the next morning
if he remained there all night. About midnight something happened
and the negro promptly tore out the front side of the
house and left. Four days after he was seen coming' up the
road. "Where have you been?" asked one of the fellows who
had hired him to stay in the house. "Why, boss," the negro
replied, "I been comin' back." That was our fix exactly. We
reached our goal so quickly that getting there did not count
at all.
But the negroes' strongest belief was, and is yet, centered in
the hoodoo and they fear a hoodoo negro worse than they fear
the devil himself. It is somewhat remarkable that they are
prepared to believe in hoodoo white men as well as hoodoo negro
men.
I remember a laughable instance of this kind of faith on their
part. A friend of mine had a cook who was absolutely no cook
at all, but his wife liked something about her and would not
consent to her being discharged. My friend was in despair, but
finally thought of a plan for getting rid of her. He acted mysteriously
and when she was in hearing he would mumble nonsense
and repeat a kind of Jargon in a low tone. This bore
fruit and she began to watch his every movement with evident
suspicion. One day he saw her go in.hes room, which was in
the back yard, and he could see that she was watching him
through a crack in the door. He slipped up and made a mark
on the steps with a piece of red chalk. When she came out
she avoided that mark as though it were a snake and she poured
hot ashes and lye all over it. My friend, a few days later, saw
her go into her room again and take a position from which she
could watch him. He had prepared himself for Just such a
situation. He slipped up and placed a small package, done up
in red flannel, under the steps and crept cautiously away. He

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Young, Samuel Oliver. True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young., book, 1913; Galveston, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth24646/m1/130/ocr/: accessed September 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .

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