Cautionil

The coroner, in view of an inquest and even then, a post-mortem in the tropics, on a body exhumed after seven days, would hardly be reliable. It is excessively difficult to get information out of a West Indian negro. The bump of caution should be extraordinarily developed. On being questioned, Quashie will invariably give a misleading answer he may not see the drift of your question, but, for fear of incriminating himself or others, will always put one off the scent as much as possible. I...

Snakes

Some of the adjacent islands, however, are unhappily renowned for their deadly snakes. In St. Lucia, where venomous serpents abound, between twenty and thirty persons fall victims to their deadly bite every year. In Trinidad, not only is the rattle snake anything but a rare sight, but a most fatal little serpent, called the coral snake, is frequently found lurking in the garden beds. A most beautiful little reptile, hardly a foot long, and of the most vivid red...

Obeah

That the best thing they could do was to take no notice of our sloop when she came into the little bay. We advanced noiselessly towards the overturned boat, where our enemy, like a hermit crab, was lying in wait* to pounce down on the first cask we landed. Getting close up behind, we could hear him whistling very softly to himself, no doubt already reckoning his share of such a fine haul. 'By Jove the sloop must be worth four hundred or five hundred pounds and the cargo perhaps two hundred...

Caciques Funeral

Cacique* His hair is gathered in a bunch on the crown of his head, and decorated with feathers of gorgeous colouring. His shrivelled face is painted bright with scarlet roucou and rings of black and white paint, while through his nose a crimson feather has been thrust. His olive chest, almost covered with curious devices in brilliant colours, is further decorated with ghastly necklaces of human teeth, mingled with thin plates of purest gold, while in his hands are placed the spear and heavy...

Contents

Ideas on religion Protestants venus Roman Catholics Coolies Comp re and Macoml Churehes in Grenada Creole patois 88 Slavery in the West Indies Laws protecting slaves-Exaggerated reports of cruelties Ineradicable fondness of the negro for bush life Example given by Aniaba State of Hayti Revolts of the slaves The King Christophe 48 Wonderful power of a blessed candle The ordeal by eau de Cologne Quashie's love for litigation Scenes in police court Fortune-telling Pique Imitation * Buried treasure...

Plague of Ants

In the extreme, and frequently have I been astounded at the marvellous sagacity of these tiny little insects. A plague of ants once fell on Grenada, and nearly ruined the colony. These were a small species, called sugar ants, from their ruinous effects on the sugar-cane, and appeared first in the colony about the year 1770. They were first noticed on the Western coast, and were supposed to have been imported from Martinique. They spread on all sides with wonderful rapidity, destroying in...

Lizards

For getting mixed up in their drapery. These bright little green lizards are wonderfully numerous and often very tame, frequently taking up their abodes in window curtains or among the ferns. They are almost exactly similar to the green lizard found in the South of England, and, if caught by their caudal appendage, possess the same property of leaving their tails behind them. I was once sitting in the veranda, watching, a little green lizard darting about after the flies it became very bold,...

West Indies Witchcraft

But furnished cool retreats to countless troops of monkeys, while here and there, along the sea ihon, groups of Carib huts may have existed and tarred as homes to the warlike and formidable savages which populated these'Windward Islands. I try to realise that the glistening white sail now shining on the horizon is the Pinto or the St. Maria with Columbus and thePinzons on board, and the astonishment and wonder of the primitive islanders on seeing for the first time what seemed to them gigantic...

O

The West Indies are certainly in need of fresh blood, and every advantage should be offered to bond Jidc European c lonists to induce them to come and settle permanently in these colonies, make their homes in them, and devote their energy and capital to the introduction of new industries and the development of those already started. The present English inhabitants of the West Indies are mostly officials, who stay four or five years in the islands, draw their salaries, live economically, and...

L

Nor are the English ideas on the climate more erroneous than the general belief in the wealth of the West Indies. West Indian, at home, seems synonymous with millionaire, and suggests to many, visions of bloated slave-owning planters, eking out a splendid existence on what is left of their livers. Alas how far from the truth. We will not go so far as to say that the West Indies are played out on the contrary, there is no doubt a large fund of vitality still left in these colonies, but their...

Negro Remedies

The death of a child is much more regretted than the demise of a parent, as children represent so much capital and value to a mother and father. Disputes often occur between a man and a woman as to which of them shall have the custody of an illegitimate child. A woman having four or five children, can rest on her laurels, and subsist on the money earned weekly by her brats in the small gang employed on a sugar estate. Talking of registration of deaths, it is frequently very difficult to...

Boys

The mistake that so many people make of not knowing who is a lady and who is not. Now we come to u hoys ' and they are equal to any plague of Egypt. Be he fourteen or forty years old, men servants are nearly always called boys in the West Indies, and if the female servants are bad, they are worse. Among the boys1' I have had, I might mention the boy who would wear my clothes, the boy who galloped out my horses at night, the boy who gav drum dances in the dining-room when I left home for a...

An electric Girl

Where young girls have been found endued with remarkable powers. Many of my readers will remember seeing in the papers, some four or five years ago, accounts of a young girl in Kent, I believe, who was endowed with the wonderful property of causing all the furniture of the room in which she happened to be, to jump about and indulge in most wonderful movements and activity. A great many papers took up the case, and the phenomenon was observed by numbers of people. The young girl as suddenly as...