No fince; jes de big trees whut de owls an' de rain-doves sot in an' mourn an' sob, an' whut de wind sigh an'
cry frough. An' byme-by somefin' jes brush' li'l' Mose on de arm, which mek' him run jes a bit more faster.
An' byme-by somefin' jes brush' li'l' Mose on de cheek, which mek' him run erbout as fast as he can. An'
byme-by somefin' grab' li'l' Mose by de aidge of he coat, an' he fight' an' struggle' an' cry' out: 'Dey ain't no
ghosts. Dey ain't no ghosts.' An' dat ain't nuffin' but de wild brier whut grab' him, an' dat ain't nuffin' but de
leaf ob a tree whut brush' he cheek, an' dat ain't nuffin' but de branch ob a hazel-bush whut brush he arm. But
he downright scared jes de same, an' he ain't lose no time, 'ca'se de wind an' de owls an' de rain-doves dey
signerfy whut ain't no good. So he scoot' past dat buryin'-ground whut on de hill, an' dat cemuntary whut
betwixt an' between, an' dat grabeyard in de hollow, twell he come' to de pumpkin-patch, an' he rotch' down
an' tek' erhold ob de bestest pumpkin whut in de patch. An' he right smart scared. He jes de mostest scared li'l'
black boy whut yever was. He ain't gwine open he eyes fo' nuffin', 'ca'se de wind go, 'You-you-o-o-o!' an' de
owls go, 'Whut-whoo-o-o-o!' an' de rain-doves go, 'Oo-oo-o-o-o!'
He jes speculate', 'Dey ain't no ghosts,' an' wish' he hair don't stand on ind dat way. An' he jes cogitate', 'Dey
ain't no ghosts,' an' wish' he goose-pimples don't rise up dat way. An' he jes 'low', 'Dey ain't no ghosts,' an'
wish' he backbone ain't all trembulous wid chills dat way. So he rotch' down, an' he rotch' down, twell he git' a
good hold on dat pricklesome stem of dat bestest pumpkin whut in de patch, an' he jes yank' dat stem wid all
'Let loosen my head!' say' a big voice all on a suddent.
Dat li'l' black boy whut he name is Mose he jump' 'most outen he skin. He open' he eyes, an' he 'gin' to shake
like de aspen-tree, 'ca'se whut dat a-standin' right dar behint him but a 'mendjous big ghost! Yas, sah, dat de
bigges', whites' ghost whut yever was. An' it ain't got no head. Ain't got no head at all! Li'l' black Mose he jes
drap' on he knees an' he beg' an' pray':
'Oh, 'scuse me! 'Scuse me, Mistah Ghost!' he beg'. 'Ah ain't mean no harm at all.'
'Whut for you try to take my head?' ask' de ghost in dat fearsome voice whut like de damp wind outen de
''Scuse me! 'Scuse me!' beg' li'l' Mose. 'Ah ain't know dat was yo' head, an' I ain't know you was dar at all.
'Ah 'scuse you ef you do me dis favor,' say' de ghost. 'Ah got somefin' powerful important to say unto you,
an' Ah can't say hit 'ca'se Ah ain't got no head; an' whin Ah ain't got no head, Ah ain't got no mouf, an' whin
Ah ain't got no mouf, Ah can't talk at all.'
An' dat right logical fo' shore. Can't nobody talk whin he ain't got no mouf, an' can't nobody have no mouf
whin he ain't got no head, an' whin li'l' black Mose he look', he see' dat ghost ain't got no head at all. Nary
So de ghost say':
'Ah come on down yere fo' to git a pumpkin fo' a head, an' Ah pick' dat ixact pumpkin whut yo' gwine tek, an'
Ah don't like dat one bit. No, sah. Ah feel like Ah pick yo' up an' carry yo' away, an' nobody see you no more
for yever. But Ah got somefin' powerful important to say unto yo', an' if yo' pick up dat pumpkin an' sot in on
de place whar my head ought to be, Ah let you off dis time, 'ca'se Ah ain't been able to talk fo' so long Ah
right hongry to say somefin'.'
So li'l' black Mose he heft up dat pumpkin, an' de ghost he bend' down, an' li'l' black Mose he sot dat pumpkin
on dat ghostses neck. An' right off dat pumpkin head 'gin' to wink an' blink like a jack-o'-lantern, an' right off
dat pumpkin head 'gin' to glimmer an' glow frough de mouf like a jack-o'-lantern, an' right off dat ghost start'
to speak. Yas, sah, dass so.
'Whut yo' want to say unto me?' inquire' li'l' black Mose.
'Ah want to tell yo',' say' de ghost, 'dat yo' ain't need yever be skeered of ghosts, 'ca'se dey ain't no ghosts.'
An' whin he say dat, de ghost jes vanish' away like de smoke in July. He ain't even linger round dat locality
like de smoke in Yoctober. He jes dissipate' outen de air, an' he gone intirely.
So li'l' Mose he grab' up de nex' bestest pumpkin an' he scoot'. An' whin he come' to be grabeyard in de
hollow, he goin' erlong same as yever, on'y faster, whin he reckon' he 'll pick up a club in case he gwine have
trouble. An' he rotch' down an' rotch' down an' tek' hold of a likely appearin' hunk o' wood whut right dar. An'
whin he grab' dat hunk of wood----
'Let loosen my leg!' say' a big voice all on a suddent.
Dat li'l' black boy 'most jump' outen he skin, 'ca'se right dar in de paff is six 'mendjus big ghostes, an' de
bigges' ain't got but one leg. So li'l' black Mose jes natchully handed dat hunk of wood to dat bigges' ghost, an'
''Scuse me, Mistah Ghost; Ah ain't know dis your leg.'
An' whut dem six ghostes do but stand round an' confabulate? Yas, sah, dass so. An' whin dey do so, one say':
''Pears like dis a mighty likely li'l' black boy. Whut we gwine do fo' to reward him fo' politeness?'
An' anudder say':
'Tell him whut de truth is 'bout ghostes.'