Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 26, 1915.djvu/286

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276 Obeah in the West Indies.

scented castor, and certain other things, but " nothing else on that table to save my life."

No importance seems to have been attached to four letters that were also found in the defendant's house ; but it was stated that he had strenuously endeavoured to resist the sergeant's taking possession of a piece of paper which he had discovered in a drawer, and upon which he found his own name written in full: " Henry James Geen." The defendant seized it with one hand and tried to disfigure it, but with the help of two other constables the sergeant managed to retain possession of it. In all probability it was intended as a charm for him to work the spell of " over- looking" the sergeant, who was the head of the local police in Nevis, so as to prevent him from carrying out his duty. From some of the questions asked the defendant in cross- examination it would seem that he had also been engaged in a similar attempt against the prosecuting counsel !

The result of this case does not seem to appear in the magistrate's notes of the evidence, but I understand that he was convicted and punished.

A similar prosecution took place at the same place in the following month (October), when Theophilus Dasent of Gingerland, in the island of Nevis, and no doubt a relation of the defendant in the last case, was charged with similar malpractices. In this case, however, a considerable number of letters were found by the police in the defendant's possession, — a circumstance which obeah men very seldom allow to occur — and formed a very important feature in the proceedings.

The usual "instruments of obeah" were discovered during a previous search of the defendant's premises by the police, consisting of:

A keg containing white lime and hair. Bottles containing carbolic oil, and something white like — but not — a fruit salt. Kerosene oil and quicksilver. In a locked-up room were found phials of Florida water, turpentine, oil, and parcels