by Murray Leinster
AN AFRICAN NIGHT.
From the juju house the witch doctor emerged, bedaubed with colored earths and bright ashes. The drums renewed their frantic, resounding thunder. The torchbearers capered more actively, and yelled more excitedly. The drumming had gone on all day and its hypnotic effect had culminated in a species of ecstasy in which the blacks yelled and capered, and capered and yelled, without any clear notion of why or what they yelled.
With great solemnity, the witch doctor led forward a young native girl, her face bedaubed with high juju signs. She was in the last stage of panic. If she did not flee, it was because she believed a worse fate awaited her flight than if she submitted to whatever was in store for her now.
Two men stepped forward and threw necklaces of magic import about her neck. Two other men who upon occasion acted as the assistants of the chief witch doctor seized the girl’s hands. The shouting mass of blacks formed themselves into a sort of column.