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By Hugh B. Cave

A wierd younger guy, Barry Clinton. not like such a lot younger missionaries, who got here to the island to avoid wasting souls, this one had include a belligerent skepticism and a using decision to conflict ailment and starvation.

He had come to the Ile du Vent with a Bible and some meager scientific offers, able to make the little Caribbean island a greater position during which to live.

The pass at the Drum is the tale of the unusual friendship of Barry Clinton and Catus Laroche, excessive priest of vodun, the savage, ritualistic faith which no white guy had ever dared defy. It tells of the tormented, embittered passions of the opposite islanders—white and black—and how they undermined the bond among those males, altering their mutual admire into brooding, vengeful hatred, and turning the island's drowsy, sunlit tranquility right into a feverish, drum-pounding battleground.

Hugh B. Cave, whose wisdom and deep knowing of existence and customs within the West Indies unusual his prior works, has written the following an explosive, dramatic novel of Christianity and voodoo on a Caribbean island.

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Nobody wanted to go away now. Catus rose, clutching the 2 chickens. They have been nonetheless alive. that they had recovered from the surprise of being whirled approximately his head past. sooner than all of the fires he knelt and held the birds as regards to the little piles of foodstuff, ready patiently for them to courageous the warmth and peck on the choices. "The chickens needs to eat," Micheline stated, "or the loa won't settle for them. " The sacrifice needs to point out its willingness to be sacrificed? Barry shook his head, mystified. either chickens ate, and the watchers' murmur of approval was once a legitimate like a delicate wind blowing throughout the cavern. Catus passed one of many birds to an assistant. jointly the 2 houngans handed alongside the road of smoking fires, plucking the birds' necks and letting the feathers fall into the flames. Catus' powerful black hands closed over the bare necks of the chickens and twisted their heads from their our bodies. The hounsis leaned again on their little chairs, thrust their naked ft ahead, picked up the iron cook-pots among their toes and set them at the spikes. Catus and his helpers poured water and oil into the pots. The drumming grew to become thunder back. Dancers got here ahead. They have been neophytes, Micheline defined hurriedly; these tending the fires have been all kanzo, graduates of this very ritual. The rookies begun a sluggish yanvalou in regards to the put up, blurring the good-looking cornmeal drawings with their shuffling toes. The kanzos additional pine sticks to their already blazing fires. "The chickens could be cooked within the zins," Micheline acknowledged. "Then—but you can find. " The pots bubbled and smoked and the drums thundered and spectators joined the servitors in a fast shuffling dance that appeared to bring forth possessions. one after the other a dozen or extra dancers fell out of line. a few threw up their palms and shouted. a few dropped writhing to the floor. a few danced extra furiously, clearing an area round them with the rate and violence in their hobbies. "Many loa are current tonight," Micheline stated flippantly. "It is usually so whilst Catus attracts the vevés and Louis beats the maman drum. " So those have been the gods of vodun, those women and men throwing themselves approximately, waving their palms, squirming at the flooring. Barry watched and frowned. Did the gods do not anything else yet display their presence? Did they by no means seek advice from their devotees flippantly? He studied faces he knew. Daure Cesar's used to be the masks of a sleepwalker. Catus' used to be outdated with fatigue. The face of Micheline, who had risen to participate within the dance, used to be that of a passionate younger animal who present in dancing a unencumber for stored-up urges. i do not comprehend those humans, Barry advised himself. I merely idea I did. AT A sign FROM CATUS the sacrificial chickens, now completely cooked, have been lifted from the pots and transferred to plates. Into the boiling oil went cornmeal and herbs, to be vigorously stirred by way of the hounsis till once again the pots bubbled and smoked. The drums have been just a mutter within the darkness. The dancing had ceased. Micheline, at the bench back, came across Barry's knee together with her arms.

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