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lo be turee steers, and three heifers; and the increase, which by a fair computation arises by their growth and production, is the man's right of whom the ox was borrowed ; and if it go on for ten years, or any longer term, it is computed what three bulls and three cows might have produced in that space of time, and all that produce is due to the creditor.
If a man lie with the wife of another man who is his superior, he forfeits thirty head of cattle, besides beads and shovels in abundance; but if the men are of equal degree, then the fine is twenty beasts only. * In this country of Anterndroea, they are not addicted to such a plurality of wives as in some other parts of the island. If a man have but two wives here, and his brother or an intimate friend come to visit him, he never scruples to let him lie with one of them.
The nearest of kin, even brother and sister, marry, if they have not the same mother.
One brother, after the decease of another, often takes his wife; nay, his father's too, and lies with them, if they be not their own mothers.
To lie with one of the king's or prince's wives, is death by the established laws.
My master Mevarrow was jealous of a young man's being great with his wife, or, as he said, was well assured he used to lie with her. Whether he had any just grounds for such a suspicion, I cannot say; yet every body expected the young man would be killed for it; but his brother being a chief man, and a favourite of the deaan's, and the civil wars coming on, he seemed at that juncture to take little notice of it; but two years after the offence, when those dissentions were appeased, the man being constantly in his view, he determined to punish him; and, accordingly, when the young man, his brother, and some few slaves of us that attended them, were in the woods, it being so contrived, under pretence of stealing and killing a cow, he and deaan Sambo drew the young man into a re
* A man can put away his wife at pleasure,
mote part of the woods, at a considerable distance from us, and in a short time we heard him halloo three times, at which instant deaan Mevarrow arose, and pretende ing to stretch himself with his lance in his hand, he struck the young man's brother through the body. This so surprised us all, that some of us ran one way, and some few another, imagining our master mad; and some went home and positively asserted it as fact, this person whorn he killed not being the adulterer. He had been our master's counsel-keeper, it is true, and knew all the secret recesses of the women and cattle; and taking it for granted that he would turn his enemy and revenge his brother's death, thought it most ad visable to despatch him likewise. Deaan Sambo killed the supposed adulterer that moment the halloo was made, which was the signal agreed on between them; hut whether he was apprized of deaan Mevarrow's wicked design upon the other, I cannot determine, for there were several others whom he brought there, as if he intended they should be witnesses of it. As deaan Sambo was the executioner, I was inclined to think there was more than suspicion, for that he was no cruel man, I was very sensible, by experience. I must own I had entertained a very favourable opinion before of my mistress, as I had never observed any thing like it in her conduct; but I had now almost done, not only with this family, but the country likewise; for every circumstance in my affairs had some tendency to promote my departure and escape, which, at length, I effected.
Not long after this, it happened, whilst I stole out to visit my own plantation (my corn, &c., being near ripe) that some of my cattle broke into the plantation of a principal man, and did him some considerable damage. My fellow.slaves soon informed me of the misfortune, and went to seek the beasts; but they were driven home by the planter's servants with very heavy complaints : I knew the danger of going within reach, or, indeed, within sight of my master; and therefore turned aside into the wood, to consider what measures were best to be taken. At length, I recollected the friendship between deaan Olaavor and deaan Mevarrow: and for that reason went directly to him, and laid my unhappy case before him, and begged he would use his best endeavours to reconcile me to my master. He readily complied with my request, made me very welcome, and desired me to stay, not only that night, but the next day and night too, and then assured me, that he would go with me himself; but business would not permit him to go before. By this means I was absent long enough to alarm them, and give them just grounds to suspect that I had deserted. Deaan Olaavor, however, went with me according to his promise, and after he had expostulated the case with my master, and obtained pardon, I was sent for in, and restored to favour, with only some friendly admonitions for my better conduct for the future. As soon as their conversation relating to my fault and pardon was over, they fell into discourse on other matters; and deaan Mevarrow put his hand to his mouth, which is an action they frequently use to express their surprise at any thing more than
Deaan Olaavor, says he, I sent yesterday for an umossee, to consult with him about Robin, and to know what was become of him. After he had conjured a long time, he assured me, that I should see Robin once more; but the next time he went away, I should never see him again in the capacity of his servant or slave; for he will have a new master to the northward, with whom he will tarry but a short time; and then he will still go farther northward and have more masters; till, at length, he will return to his native country. I listened, I own, not only with attention, but pleasure, to what he said, though I put no great confidence in these fortune-tellers. Just as I was getting up to go home to my wife, my master called me; stay, says he, I have something to say to you before you go. Perceiving that I looked a little startled and surprised; I shall do you no harm, says he, only secure you. The unossee was sent for immediately, and then I found
they were going to enchant me (as they imagined) that I should not run away. I had seen this magical farce acted before upon such slaves as they are jealous of, frequently forcing an oath upon them by the demon Fermonner. And when these poor wretches have after, wards attempted to fly, and bewildered themselves in woods and unfrequented paths, or hurt themselves by any fall, or any common accident, they are weak enough to imagine that the demon Fermonner was the cause; that he confounded them, and dazzled their eyes in such a manner that they should not find their way. Two or three instances of this kind in an age, are enough to make fools give credit to the whole.
At length the wrinkled old wizard enters with solemn. pace, and with a leering sneer in his haggard countenance, shakes his projecting noddle: Ha! Well I see you have him fast. I told you so. Who is he that shall presume to despise my prophetic spirit? You see as much is proved true, as the time will permit. Neglect my advice for the future; and look to the northward for your slave. But you may look, and send too in vain ; it will be then too late. The spirits who are at my command may do somewhat now.
What (says deaan Olaavor, who was not so great a bigot as deaan Mevarrow, notwithstanding his lulu-bay) has proved true ? Robin never ran away at all, he would have been here yesterday, if I could have spared time; so that there is nothing at all in what you talk of. Pray, venerable sage, says deaan Mevarrow, (interrupting Olaavor,) pray proceed; I sent for you on purpose to take your advice. Prepare your charms.
Away goes the fumbling old fool to work, scraping a root, and mixing several ingredients together, which, I was well satisfied, had neither good nor harm in them; (for I was afraid of nothing but his nose dropping into it;) muttering all the time, between his few broken teeth, words that neither he, nor any one else knew the meaning of. When the dose was prepared, he called it the fermonner, and put it into some carravances, which were boiled on purpose, and it was given me in a calabash. But
before I took it, he hung several roots about me; one over my eyes, another at my back, one upon my breast, and one upon each leg, giving each of them a distinct name: then scraping a small quantity from each of them, and putting it into the mess of carravances, I was ordered to eat it, which I did without the least fear or reluctance; in the mean time he pronounced his curses, as well as prayers over me. Whenever (says he) he thinks of running away, remember, O thou, deaan Fermonner, how he has eaten what belongs to thee; and also, O ye, &c. [Here he named all the spirits belonging to other charmed roots.] how he has eaten what belongs to you; and if he offer to run away, arise in his stomach, O deaan Fermonner, and make him so sick that he shall be incapable of stirring. And ye, which have hung at his back break it asunder; let his breast be tormented with pain, and his legs fettered as with parra-pingos; and if he attempt to fly, join all your united forces, and break his legs whenever he jumps and steps over any thing that lies in his way. Thus the old dotard went on for a long time, but in a more abrupt manner, and without any method. He tossed his hands about, and changed his voice almost every minute. He made, in short, a hundred impertinent repetitions and cant words of his own invention, and foamed like a fanatical enthusiast. When he had quite tired himself with preaching, he took off the charm and made me lick every individual root. Now let him go, says he, where he will; the demons which regard these charms will soon inform me where he is, and I shall acquaint his master.
I had a holiday that day; for my master was in a good humour, being highly delighted with what he had done; and sent a proper servant to do my business. When I came home, I found my wife in a very melancholy posture, being under great concern for fear I should be killed. She would have provided something for me to eat, but I had dined, I told her; and then related to her the whole affair. She was overjoyed to find I got off so well, and was surprised that I should