Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 26, 1915.djvu/301

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Obeah in the West Indies. 291

previously come to his house and had told him that he was going to give him something that would make him live more easily, and had said that he wanted him to go to Barbados and get two boys to give to the devil in order to get money from the bank ; that he had indeed promised to go, as he was afraid of Montoute, but that he had really no intention of doing so ; and that finally Montoute had gone himself. He now gave a very different account as to v/hat had happened to the boy, and explained that on the 29th September Montoute had come to his house with a little black boy, and had asked him to go with him to St. Luce's to hold a mesmeric seance in connection with St. Luce's hernia, as Montoute had used him as a m.edium in such seances. He stated that he had then gone to St. Luce's, and that there Montoute had put him to sleep, and that on awakening him from his trance Montoute and St. Luce pointed to the ground inside the hut and told him to see what he had done. He was then aghast to see lying before him the body of the boy with his hands cut off and his chest opened ; and not knowing what he might have done during his trance, and believing what they said, he carried out the body and buried it. Subsequently he had been seized with terror, and, running away to the woods, had been arrested there by the police.

This very ingenious defence, based upon the theory of hypnotism, did not, however, commend itself to the jury, who had before them the statements made before the magi- strate, and which were confirmed by the medical evidence given at the trial in the person of the doctor who had been called by the police to examine the contents of a tin pan, which, he said, contained the two hands of a black child ; also a human heart. The hands had been removed at the wrist joint very skilfully, apparently by a practised hand.^ He had also examined the body, of a black boy,

  • It was stated that Montoute was employed in business as a licensed

butcher.