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Conjure Woman Reviews

"The Conjure Woman." By Charles W. Chesnutt. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Cushing & Co. The study is of North Carolina "darky" life on a plantation, and the stories have for their central motive the act of some old conjure man or woman who compounds "the goopher mixtry" or "wuks de roots."

The dialect is not easy reading, but it seems well studied, and all of the tales are acquisitions to our folklore. "The Conjurer's Revenge" is one of the best, but there creeps into "Sis' Becky's Pickaninny" a little bit of refined white superstition that is well observed--for it was the power of a rabbit's foot, and that, as is known all over the South, is a strong enough "conjuration" to fetch anybody. As the old darky here says: "De fo'-foot ain' got no power. It has ter be de hin' foot, suh; de lef' hin' foot er a grabeya'd rabbit, kilt by a cross-eyed nigger on a da'k night in de full er de moon."

The darky, Julius, who tells this story to the sick wife of the planter, has a wonderful rabbit's foot There is nothing more said on the subject after Julius has told his story, but somehow the wife gets rapidly well and, convalescent. She sends her husband to get a handkerchief out of her "blue dress."

"I went to execute the commission. When I pulled the handkerchief out of her pocket something else came with it and fell on the floor. I picked up the object and looked at it. it was Julius' rabbit's foot."

Anon. "Hoodooed." Baltimore The Sun. (Apr. 15, 1899): n.p.