The profits on cocoa cultivation being very large, every acre of land fit to produce cocoa is being planted up, not only in Grenada, but in Trinidad and other colonies, and it is very much to be feared that in a few years the supply will-exceed the demand, and these colonies, which persist in putting all their eggs in one basket will at no distant date find themselves in the same predicament as they were in, fifty years ago, with their sugar.
West Indian planters have a good many queer notions on agriculture, and a European visiting these colonies is generally astonished to see the great part which the moon is supposed to play in connection with planting and agriculture. Nearly all the planter's work on an estate seems to be regulated by the phases of the moon, and most agriculturists will wax most indignant if it be suggested to them that a great part of their ideas on the subject are nonsense.
The moon, however, does, undoubtedly, seem to have a far greater influence on vegetation in the tropics than in more temperate climes, and seeds planted within three days before or after the full moon rarely oome to anything good. Bamboos or other wood cut down at the wrong phase of the moon, crumble away to dust very soon, while the same timber, felled at the right time, lasts three times as long. Indian corn sown at the full moon rarely produces anything, and vegetables run to leaves and jield little or no fruit.
Many planters, however, gp mwsSfci tetfi&Kt*
that almost everything should be regulated by the phases of our satellite. One, in fact, goes so far as to have his hair cut only at the new moon, and many other just as curious fancies are quite common in the islands.
The rays of the moon, in the tropics, seem to be much more powerful than they are in more northern latitudes, and any one with good eyes can read even small print by the light of the full moon. An idea is prevalent in many of the islands that the beams of the full moon are very injurious, and persons walking in the moonlight may often be noticed carrying open umbrellas. There is no greater pleasure, however, to be had in the West Indies than a ride in the moonlight, the bright beams of our satellite shed a silver sheen over the broad ocean, the roads gleam white and free from dust, while a cool breeze from the sea waves the cocoa-nut branches on the roadsides, and makes the horse wild for a gallop.
Jumbies—Ghosts—Silk-cotton-trees—Vandalism of Scotch planter—Palmistcs—Inhabitants of Grenada—Coloured people — Quashie—Happy country — Grenada houses — Bijou villa—A tropical garden—Negro wedding—Wedding feast—Quashie as a letter writer—Parochial Boards— Unruly members—Government of Grenada.
There are English " Ghosts,'" German " Geiste," French " Revenants," so also are there West Indian "Jumbies" or "Duppies." All the world over are people to be found steadfastly believing in the shadowy presence on earth of visitors from the ghostly spirit world. Every other person one meets will be found to have had once in their lives, at least, some mysterious visitation or unexplained adventure with regard to the shadow world, and so positive are these in their assertions, that one is loath to" put down as nonsense all one hears of the mysterious visitations of the children of night. As might be expected, Quashie with bis love for and unshaken belief in the uncanny, has profound faith in the existence of "Jumbies," and one might as well endeavour to persuade him that day is night as convince him that the spirits of dead people no longer haunt the earth. Much as he is terrified by Obeah and Loupsgarou, he is imbued with a still greater awe of Jumbies, and only mentions them with the greatest reluctance. Every one has seen a Loupgarou, but Jumbies9 and Duppies9 visits are comparatively rare, and accordingly, the greater the mystery the greater the fear.
According to Creoles, some houses, old ones especially, are particularly affected by Jumbies, and anyone living in a house having this gruesome reputation finds it extremely difficult to get a servant of any sort to stay in the place. This is not, however, without its advantages, and I know a doctor who assiduously keeps up and encourages the reputation his house has gained for being an abode of Jumbies. Not once in three months does he get a night call, and if there be a serious case demanding the immediate presence of the doctor, six or seven messengers at least will have to be sent in a body, who require to keep up their courage when nearing the neighbourhood of the doctor's residence by the martial sounds produced by beating tin pots or tom-toms.
I rented for some time a place rejoicing in the name of "Paradise.99 It was in rather a lonely situation and had no near neighbours. On account of the reputation the house bore, namely, of being haunted by troops of Jumbies, it was with the greatest difficulty that I could induce a groom to sleep in the
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