A faint wind moaned through the trees, and Tom feared it might be the
spirits of the dead, complaining at being disturbed. The boys talked
little, and only under their breath, for the time and the place and the
pervading solemnity and silence oppressed their spirits. They found the
sharp new heap they were seeking, and ensconced themselves within the
protection of three great elms that grew in a bunch within a few feet of
Then they waited in silence for what seemed a long time. The hooting of
a distant owl was all the sound that troubled the dead stillness. Tom's
reflections grew oppressive. He must force some talk. So he said in a
"Hucky, do you believe the dead people like it for us to be here?"
"I wisht I knowed. It's awful solemn like, ain't it?"
"I bet it is."
There was a considerable pause, while the boys canvassed this matter
inwardly. Then Tom whispered:
"Say, Hucky--do you reckon Hoss Williams hears us talking?"
"O' course he does. Least his sperrit does."