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[Review of The Conjure Woman]

The half-dozen tales of Aun' Peggy, the "cunjuh 'oman," told by an old plantation darky, are delightfully frank in their supernaturalism and lose in effectiveness only by the deep policy imputed to their relater. That the marvelous tale of the goophered grape-vine was concocted by Uncle Julius only to secure his own enjoyment of the vineyard, is a discovery which calls his own credulity in question. The thrill of the "Gray Wolf's Ha'nt" evaporates on finding the legend to be but the guardian of Uncle Julius's bee-tree. But in the current of the stories one has no thought of such a rude jar against the actual. The conjure woman "wuks" her roots, and Po' Sandy becomes a tree, Primus turns into a white mule, and Hot foot Hannibal, by the agency of a dollbaby with red-pepper feet, is brought low. Uncle Julius's scepticism cannot rob one of the belief that this was the real religion of the old plantation; the goopher "mixtry," not the overseer's lash, the dreaded power.