Hello everyone, It has been a while since I have written due to being busy with school and all. I just wanted to share another story . THis story was told to me by my great aunt Mae Etta Harrison-Malone. She is in her late 80's. It is about her and my grandfather's Mississippi Choctaw/Cherokee Grandmother who raised them along with her son Slylvester who was my grandfather and great aunt's father. Their Mother Katie Sims-Washington passed away when the children were young from T.B. This is a true story, but i added a little to it to make it sound more like a story, not just words:
Back sometime between 1875-1890 when north of the Red river was still considered the Indian territories by those in the area. In a area of North East Texas known as Sulphur Springs now, along the Sulphur rivers is where my great great grandma Hanna lived with her husband William Harrison and children. Hanna was a very spiritual woman, who worked the farm along with her husband and kept the house and cared for the children. Hanna was a very petite beautiful woman with long, heavy jet black hair that stopped just below her bottom. She always wore her hair tied up with a stocking or old cloth, because the heaviness of her hair on her petite frame often caused her nose bleeds. Plus tieing it up kept it out of her way to do her work. Hanna Had 2 younger brothers Isham and William one married and living in another town and the youngest Isham, no one really knows where he was or what he was doing. He would pop up every once in a while to pay a visit but it wasnt long before his feet got to itching to get going. She loved and missed her brothers so much and wished and prayed she could see them more often, they are really all of her family that she had left. They were seperated from their mother at the ages of 12, 9, and 7 while in Mississippi, and traveled with their father and others from Mississippi, through, louisiana, arkansas, indian territory and eventually to Texas where they have called home since late 1860's. One afternoon Hanna was hanging laundry to dry and came inside to put her baby boy to sleep and tidy the house, who knows it was a strange day and maybe visitors would come calling. She was a quiet woman but loved when she had visitors, maybe some of the women from the Church. If not she would grab the baby, tie it to her back or front and head out to fish in the river, something she loved to do so much, she loved being outside and she loved fishing, it reminded her of her childhood. Fishing in Mississippi, and bringing the little fish to her mom to clean and cook them. Hanna felt so proud of her fishing abilities. She could always tell by the number of croaks the old toad gave how far or near the next good rain would be, but there was not time for fishing today, there was something strange in the air and she didnt like the way it felt. Hanna tidied the living room and decided to sit and have a glass of water. no more than 5 minutes after she sat, there was knock at her door. Tired, from the days chores, hanna got up to answer the door, expecting one of the church women but getting something much more exciting and unexpected. It was Isham her baby brother she hadnt seen in several years now!!! She was so excited, her prayers had been answered..Here he is her baby brother whom she loved so much and missed even more. She hugged him, kissed him and invited him in. He didnt look like himself, Ishi how are you feeling, where have you been, what have you been up to? All questions she asked her brother. She offered him food and drink but he refused. She didnt understand why, but for some reason he didnt seem to excited to be there. He told her that he had a message for her and he needed to tell her because he loved her, missed her and probley would never see her again.
Hanna was now getting a heavy feeling in her heart, she was feeling now sad, where she once was feeling joyful. Ishi, what is it? She asked him, why dont you sit and relax I am sure some of your friends want to see you, they all have been asking about you. Just then there was a knock at the door, and hanna runs to open it to see that it was Old man Jim and Barry Wayne Sampson two good and old family friends. They came to ask if that was Isham they saw coming through the field, and if so they wanted see their good ole pal to talk about the old days when they worked and schooled together. Hanna was happy that visitors arrived, it broke some of the strangeness she felt in the air since her baby brother came. Where is he, the men asked anxious to see Ishi? He was just right here in the room Hanna informed them..he couldnt have gone far, let me look in the kitchen, or the bed room. He wasnt there, well mabye he stepped out for some air thought Hanna, but there was no sign of Isham. After about 30 minutes of waiting for his return the men needed to leave and get back to workin the fields. The said their good byes and said how they hated that they missed Ishi's homecomming. Hanna said bye to the men, but she was upset, dissapointed and confused, where did Isham go, he was just here, and why would he do his friends this way. Hanna sat down in her favorite chair in the corner and layed her head back with her eyes closed, just when she herd a popping noise. she opened her eyes to see her brother standing beside her chair between the corner and the chair. Frightened she jumped up and let out a quick shout, asking Ishi what he was doing and where he came from? I was right here the whole time sister he told her. She was angry now, he was lying to her, after he stood up his friends. WHy where you hiding, when your friends came, is what she wanted to know. Isham assured her that he didnt hide and that he was there in the corner the whole time, watching, and listening to what was going on. Hanna was very upset now and wanted to cry, why was her brother doing this to her. Seeing her frustration he put his arm around her and let her know how he didnt mean to upset her, but he wasnt lying to her. He could prove it to her. Ishi went on to describe everything his friends were wearing, what was said, when they arrived and when they left, and every detail inbetween. To Hanna's amazement, he was right, every detail and Isham was right!! But, where was Isham? Hanna still wanted to know this. No one saw him in the room, no one heard him enter or leave. But the answer that Hanna recieved she much rather not have heard.
Hanna, my beloved sister, I need to tell you some things. This is the reason I came to you said Isham. I came to you so that you could see me and talk with me for the last time. Hanna didnt know what he was talking about, what he meant, but she listened very carefully. Isham went on to tell her how he had traded his soul for powers and magic, so that he could go to and fro wherever he wanted to go and do what he wanted to do without being seen. He told her how he robbed and killed, soldiers and others and how he stole from many people who never even knew he was there. He had the power to no be seen when he didnt want to be seen. He could make himself invisable and carry out his evil deeds. He told her how young and stupid he was and how greed took over his life. He loved having this power and now it was time for him to pay for it. He knew the time was coming near and he wanted to see her and tell her, so she would know what became of her little brother. Hanna was speechless and didnt know whether to believe him or slap him across the face. Why is he continuing to lie to her after not seeing her all of this time. He told her how he had been in Indian territory robbing and killing soldiers and stealing from them and settlers, and how they couldnt even see him. Hanna didnt know what to say, she just looked at her brother's thin tired body and dark eyes, his hair just touching his shoulders lacked color, its once glistening blackness, just gray now. Isham motioned for hanna to come near, and to watch what he was getting ready to do. He took out a small bottle out of his pocket and he held it up above his head. Isham disappeard just as quickly as a wink of an eye. Hanna screamed out to God. What was this evil she was witnessing? For about 10 seconds Isham was not there...then he appeared just the same way he dissappeared. Hanna was crying hysterically now, almost in sync with the cry of her baby that was now awaken by her noise. Why brother, Why? Is all Hanna wanted to know. But Isham had no answer, he said he had to be going, he hugged his sister, kissed her and left as quickly as he arrived. Never to be seen or heard from again. Up until Hanna's death in 1937 she never saw or heard from her baby brother Ishi again.
Hope you all enjoyed this family story passed down from my great great grandmother to my great aunt. It is shocking but true.
Edited 10/3/2002 4:51:47 PM ET by NUMUNUGIRL