This section is contains more portions of Harris' Grandfather's stories:
"Hard Robert, The Overseer and the Dogs"
"The wicked Hunters and the Peculiar Beast
Grand Pa's Ghost Slave Stories
(By E.J. Harris)
Subject: "Hard Robert, The Overseer and the Dogs"
Another of Grand Pa's fireside stories. "Robert Hardwick, the Overseer, was a very cruel man to the slaves, and was secretly called "Hard Robert" by the slaves. He was always cruel and fault finding ready to abuse and whip. This went on for several years, when finally "Hard Robert" took sick and died. And, oh, what a relief to the poor slaves his death brought. He owned a couple of dogs and tried to train them like himself, and after his death even the dogs were haunted. When the slaves would get together in some part of the yard at leisure on a Sunday afternoon several times, the two dogs had been seen to come running and howling from the fields with their tails under with a terribly frightened manner. This went on so until the dogs died seemingly from worry and fright. Well, the slaves were always talking and abusing "Hard Robert" and expressed their joy at his death. Then on one occasion they went out one Saturday night to a Quilting Supper and Dance and while crossing a field where "Hard Robert" had stood over them many a day with his lash They were still talking and abusing. This was at a late hour and just as they were passing by an old fence, the crowd somewhat divided - yet the terrible groan and the gross under voice was plainly heard these words following the groans: "You have talked, and talked and abused, why not let 'Hard Robert' rest?" From this they were terribly frightened They were about two miles from home and a mile and a half from the quilting party house. So they took to their heels. Part of the crowd made it for home, while the others headed to the place, yet they had to return and make it back for home before day. But this fright checked the slaves from talking and abusing 'Hard Robert' and the writer of this story then a little girl, listened attentively, yet frightened, and after hearing this story I refused to go alone to my little bed in the next room. So the folks had to make a way that night for me to sleep with them, yet I asked for a story the next night and Grandpa at First refused to tell another on account of my being frightened, but I begged for it, so he then told me of his evening work when but a boy. I will tell you this later on Subject: "The Boy's Evening Work. The Calf and the Ghost."
Grand Pa's Slave-Ghost Stories
By E.J. Harris
"The wicked Hunters and the Peculiar Beast". In childhood days while sitting around a bright and comfortable oak fire on many a winter's night, I would sit and listen to the various Slave-Ghost Stories told by my dear old Grandfather, who was once a slave. In writing these I call them stories, but as he said they were from life experiences of his own.
There were a bunch of men, that would go out hunting regular every night of the week including Sunday night, so on one of these Sunday nights, they were surprised and frightened, by a peculiar noise, a sudden light, and the sight of a strange Beast, sitting on the high limb of a Tree Just as the men had gathered under this tree with their Guns in readiness, and calling up their hunitng dogs, there was a terrible groan slowly followed by these expressions, Monday night, Tuesday night, Wednesday night, Thursday night, Friday night, Saturday night and louder still, Sunday night the poor beast can have no rest.
The men was silent, they looked around when suddenly this strange light bursted forth, which almost illuminated the entire part of woods. Then looking up into the tree, they saw this large and peculiar looking object, with terrible large eyes. They wanted to think that it was an owl, but it was too large, and peculiar looking and the eyes were as red as blood. The Dogs began to bark ferociously, and after a few moments the Beast seemed to grow larger, and had started down the tree, when the men broke off in rapid speed for their homes. The light and the groans followed them some distance. But this happening broke up the Sunday night, and all other nights hunting for those wicked men that were not contented to hunt only the nights of the week, I would sometimes be terribly frightened while listening to Grand Pa's Slave-Ghost Stories, yet I enjoyed hearing them, and I yet remember a good many of them In the next week's issue: I will tell you about 'Hard Robert the Overseer and the Dogs."
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