Tales of the Congaree

By Edward C. L. Adams; Robert G. O'Meally | Go to book overview

Jack-Ma-Lantern

Jake: Who you reckon dat walk up and down dat ditch an' 'bout dat mash?

Bruzer: I ain't know.

Jake: Ain't you see 'em wid dat light bob up and down like dey lost sumpen?

Bruzer: I ain't know who dey is, dey must be sumpen perticular make 'em walk all around in de rain an' brier. I see 'em but I ain't know wuh ail 'em.

Hooten: You sure God ain't know. Dat ain't no people. Dat's a Jack-ma-lantern an' you best l'um 'lone. You ain't know what kind of danger dey lead you in if you follow 'em.

Jake: Wuh make dey lead you in danger. Ain't you kin stop follow 'em when you see danger.

Hooten: If dey gits a holt on you and you follow 'em, it don't lead you to no good. When you starts to follow, one mind will tell you l'um 'lone and turn back, and another mind will tell you follow 'em, and you follow 'em.

Jake: What's a Jack-ma-lantern?

Hooten: A Jack-ma-lantern is a sperrit. It is a evil sperrit. It is ole folks. Sinful ole folks. It is folks wuh ain't 'lowed in heben and can't get in hell, and dey punishment is to wander in de bad places and on de bad night, and dey business is enticing mens to follow 'em, an' dey ain't got no res', les' dey entice mens to lef' de right road. Is you 'member Ole man Lunnen? Well you know he been a ole man, and he been wise, and ole man Lunnen tell me, he say, one time he been walking down de road and he been wid dis same ole man, July Uncle, dey call him "Hock," and say, him and Hock walk down dis road and dey see a light walking right out in dat dere mash and Hock say he guh see who it is and ole man Lunnen say he try to 'suade Hock to stay in de road. Hock say he ain't scared he guin dere and ole man Lunnen say he ain't guh have nothin' to do wid it, and Hock left him, and ole man Lunnen say de last time he see Hock dat night Hock been failin' in de hole and scramblin' in de brier, and dat night Hock ain't come home

-72-

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