It was September twenty-second the first day of Fall. The day began with very cold misting rain falling. The sky was grey and there was a constant cool breeze blowing. Strange things had been happen around the town of Ashville. The town hall was packed with citizens expressing their concerns and fears about all the strange things that had been happening aroud town. So mayor Samuel Smith decided to set a town meeting for ten p.m that night at Ashville town hall to discuss all the thing that had been happening around the town of Ashville. The town of Ashville was well know for there fall pumpkin crops. People from all around would come to Ashville just to buy pumpkins and enjoy the fall decorations. The fall harvest was only days away. The town would close down for three days for the fall harvest . It took everyone in town to harvest and display the pumpkins in time for the fall sales. So this was not a good time for starange thing to be happening around Ashville. At ten p.m. Ashville town hall was packed with citizens ready to discuss their concerns. Mayor Samuel Smith began the meeting with a reminder of an old town legend the haunting of Ezra Cates. Mayor Samuel Smith said," the legend is Ezra cates was a citizen of Ashville long ago .He was the best pumpkin carver in town.He always won the pumpkin carving contest that was an event at the Ashville fall Festival held the night after the pumpkin harvest was complete. One year he got second place. He was so angry that he said," he would never attend the Ashville fall festival again. Upon his death he said he would haut the fall pumpkin harvest and the Ashville Fall Festival forever." The towns citizens looked around shocked. There was lots of whispers ,"could it be?" "Is it the ghost of Ezra Cates here to haunt the fall pumpkin harvest and the Ashville fall festival?" Mayor Samuel Smith said," quiet everyone." "Now lets began the meeting with a few stories about what has been going on around town." First , Sheriff Daniel Robbins said," the Henson boys have vanished there is not so much as a trace to be found of them. This was three days ago." Mayor Samuel Smith said," Mr. Thomas Stanley your next" "i was setting in my house reading my newspaper. All was quiet then out of nowhere laughter came from outside my front door. I ran as fast as i could to see who was there,but no one not even a clue." said Mr. Thomas Stanley . Mayor Samuel Smith said," Mrs. Sarah Hardwood your turn to speak." "I had been picking apples all day . I had to stop for a break. I went inside for a cool drink for just a minute. When i came back my basket was there but my apples were gone." Mrs. Sarah Harwood said. "Mayor Samuel Smith said,"Mr. John Smith you are next." "I was outside finishing my daily chores .I was behind with my work. It was late and was already dark out.I seen a light flashing in the dark in the distance . There was not a person that i could see. The light began to move toward my barn and inside it went. I began to run to see what it was. When i got there the light was gone . Nothing in the barn had been changed all was still in its place. I thought for sure i was just seeing things." said Mr. John Smith. Mayor Samuel Smith said,"we are all out of time for tonight . Lets all go home and think about what we have heard tonight. We will hold another meeting on the twenty-third at ten p.m. We will then discuss what we are going to do. The meeting is done lets all go home. Don't forget keep an eye out from Ezra Cates." Everyone started out the door. Once outside everyone was saying their goodbyes. Mrs. Sarah Hardwood said, " does everyone hear the sound of laughter?" Everyone said,"Yes." Mr. Thomas Stanley said ,"that is exactly what i heard at my house." Sheriff Daniel Robbins said ,"everyone quiet and follow me." They all very quietly began walking toward the sound of laughter.As they got closer they could tell the sound was coming from behind the old shoe store. Sheriff Daniel Robbins said ," I'll go first." They creept around the corner very quietly. What they saw was shocking . It was Jim and steve Henson. Sheriff Daniel Robbins said," boys where have you been. We have been looking for you for three days. Jim said,"We ran away from home, but only for a while. We were going back home. We hide in a cave behind Mr. John Smith barn." Why boys did you run away." asked Sheriff Danel Robbins. Steve Henson said," we didn't want to have to work during the fall pumpkin harvest. So we ran away and hide." "Did you boys take Mrs. Sarah hardwoods apples out of her basket?" asked , Sheriff Daniel Robbins. "Yes", said the boys. Mr. Thomas Stanley asked , "was you outside my house laughing last night ?" Jim said,"yes Mr. Stanley we were out playing after dark." Mrs. Henson the boys mother said," I am very disappoted in you two ." Then, Mr. Henson the boys father said," boys you will get double the work during the fall pumpkin harvest.You will pay Mrs. Sarah Hardwood for the apples you took out of her basket with you harvest pay. You will help Mr. Thomas Stanley and Mr. John smith with bailing of their hay to make up for the trouble you caused." The sheriff said ,"that should be punishment enough for all the trouble you two caused." Mayor Samuel Smith said,"now that we know all this was caused by the Heson boys and they have been punished . We can all go home and get some rest . The fall harvest starts in just two days." Everyone agreed, and began walking back toward the town hall. When they got back to main street Mr. Thomas Stanley said," Can all of you see the flickering light in the old bell tower window?" Everyone looked shocked and said,"yes." Mr. Thomas Stanley said could it be ? Mr. Ezra Cates here to help us with the fall harvest in two days?"
(Robert Ezra Cates"shoemaker" 8-21-1667/2-18-1729)