Page:Devil-Worship in France 1896.djvu/148

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tortures, and returned the dummy to a cupboard, after which they proceeded to the crucifixion of a living pig. The third act was an agonising experience for the doctor, being nothing less than the sacrifice of one of the brethren, the selection being determined by lot. The doctor, in his quality of visitor, was, it is true, spared the chance of being himself the victim, but he nearly became executioner. One of the Chinese adepts having been chosen, to his intense satisfaction, and approved by some mechanical movements on the part of the dragon-headed Baphomet, permitted his limbs to be removed, and then earnestly invoked the assistance of the “Charleston brother” for the purpose of severing his head. It was an honour invariably accorded to the visitor of the highest grade. The doctor, who could not bring himself to the point, was saved at the last moment by the miraculous levitation of Phileas Walder from an immense distance, this occult personage having become transcendently cognisant of what was going forward in China, and being anxious to interrogate the severed head as to the possible