Perhaps originating in West Virginia, this is story has several variations. Many people will be familiar with this story from the Scary Stories series, where the traveler is scared off by Martin.
So a preacher was riding through bad weather. He was on a schedule; perhaps he needed to give a sermon or preside over a funeral. Whatever the reason, he was trying to make the most distance he could before the weather made him stop.
However, since he had to get somewhere and this being the nature of the universe the weather got so bad that he had to stop-and stop soon. He found himself riding passed a long drive. Deciding to take his chances he turned his horse down the drive and found himself in front of a large house, obviously abandoned and in shambles. The roof looked sturdy and there was even a building to leave his horse in overnight; he decided to stay.
The preacher muttered to himself, “Well, the Lord will provide even if we don’t like the answer” and shouldered his way into the front hall. Finding living room complete with a fireplace-and even some wood-he wondered if his prayers hadn’t in fact been answered. So he built a small fire and by the light of the flames and the passing storm he settled in to read his Bible.
Eventually a large black cat sauntered into the room. Pastor was startled but then laughed at himself-he couldn’t be the only one in need of shelter.
“Good night, Mr. Cat”, he said.
The cat looked at him levelly and said in return, “Just wait until Emmet comes.”
Even more nervous than before, Pastor said, “Well, the Lord will provide even if we don’t like the answer.”
Soon after the first cat appeared, another black cat even sleeker and fatter than the first slid into the room. The two cats sat in the corner of the room. The second said to the first,
The first replied, “Just wait until Emmet comes.”
The preacher tried to go back to his reading but the two cats kept distracting him. A sound made him look up to the door again. At the door was a third black cat, at least as big as the other two put together and with eyes glowing as brightly as the fire in the grate.
“And what should we do with him?” He asked.
“Just wait until Emmet comes”, replied the second.
With that the preacher stood up and slammed his Bible closed with an audible thump.
“Well, I thank you for your hospitality,” he said, “But you’ll have to apologize to Emmet for me when he comes. I have something I forgot to attend to. Good-bye.”