"The Conjure Woman, by Charles W. Chesnutt, is a book of seven short stories, written, for the most part, in an elaborate negro dialect that must be nearly as hard to write as it is to read. The stories deal with the superstitious side of the life they depict, hence the title of the volume. They tell how negro people are turned into animals by the conjure folk, and back again, and other queer happenings in the lawless world of witchcraft. In one of the stories, "The Conjurer's Revenge," an old negro gives the history of a club-footed man in the neighborhood. This cripple once stole a shote from a conjure man, not knowing the property relationship between the two. At that time he was young and strong. His crime was discovered supernaturally, and he became straightaway changed into a mule. One day when the conjure man was about to die, he sent for the mule to change him from mulehood into the semblance of humanity again, but expired before the job was quite completed. the other stories in the book treat of natural and supernatural phenomena in much the same semi-human vein.
Published by Houghton, Mifflin & Co., Boston; price, $1.25.