The Priest Appeared, Covered With
Bangles, And Holding A Wand On Which Tinkled Numberless Little
Bells, And Wearing Garlands Of Red And White Flowers Round His Neck,
And A Black Mantle, On Which Were Embroidered The Ugliest Fiends
You Can Imagine.
Horns were blown and drums rolled incessantly.
And oh, I forgot to tell you there was also a kind of fiddle, the
secret of which is known only to the Shanar priesthood.
is ordinary enough, made of bamboo; but it is whispered that the
strings are human veins.... When Captain Pole took possession of
the priest's body, the priest leapt high in the air, and then rushed
on the ox and killed him. He drank off the hot blood, and then
began his dance. But what a fright he was when dancing! You know,
I am not superstitious.... Am I?... "
Sham Rao looked at us inquiringly, and I, for one, was glad, at
this moment, that Miss X - - was half a mile off, asleep in the howdah.
"He turned, and turned, as if possessed by all the demons of Naraka.
The enraged crowd hooted and howled when the priest begun to inflict
deep wounds all over his body with the bloody sacrificial knife.
To see him, with his hair waving in the wind and his mouth covered
with foam; to see him bathing in the blood of the sacrificed animal,
mixing it with his own, was more than I could bear. I felt as if
hallucinated, I fancied I also was spinning round.... "
Sham Rao stopped abruptly, struck dumb.
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