"Missy," whispered Shooba, "in my country when I young, chief get mad with chief more stronger, not fight with spears. Call Witch doctor and make Medicine. Stronger chief, him come dead one day soon. Maybe bumbye you and me make some Medicine?" My lips curl'd somewhat. Poor old Shooba making medicine against the Hyndses. "You go now and think some. I stay here, and think some, too.
And that was all. Although we examined every inch of that floor, every board of the walls, and made the most scrupulously careful search of the cabinets and the chest. I even dared pass my hands over Jessamine herself. Shooba the witch doctor had done the unexpected.
And in the Sleep his Snake came and show'd him the untying of the Knot, and the Turning of the Keye. In proof whereof Shooba took me by the hand & Show'd me the Watcher in the Darke. "Do but one thing more for me, old Shooba: Put out the Fire in my Brain, Shooba, for I would Sleep. And I would Sleep here, in Secret, where none but the Watcher may see."
I blinked at him. Immersed in the tragedy of the woman Jessamine, her piteous fate had put all thought of everything save herself out of my mind. "Shooba hid them, between a night and a morning. Shooba brought her here, between a night and a morning. Where should the jewels be but here?"
"I will ask my Snake if he knows anything of Keyes," said Shooba. And remembering the Overseer, I did not smile, but gave him the Paper. I like not to think of Shooba's Snake. Then buried we mine Uncle in the Hynds tomb and my Aunt was left to wander ghostlike, seeking for what she should never find. Oh, why did not they leave Richard and me alone! I repent not.
And remembering her, the delight vanished. With stunning force the meaning of this discovery came home to me. I had found the unfindable! This, this was where Shooba had hidden them between a night and a morning, Shooba the "skilfullest workman on Hynds place." One fancied him here, in the dead of night, while all Hynds House slept a drugged sleep.
Once old Shooba cur'd me of a pestilent Fever, with Simples, when I was a little Child, and our Leech had given me Over, nor did he Bleed me once. Now Shooba's Back was Bleeding, and I might not help him! Now in the night I had gone secretly to his Hut to fetch him such poor little Comforts as I might secretly get & give.
"He was greatly in Dread of Dying, for that he was in mortal Terrour of old Shooba, fearing to Meet that Evil Being outside of the Flesh. Had been with Shooba when the wretched Creature passed away, a harden'd Heathen among Convert'd & Profess'd Christians. Said he was a Snake Soul. "The man was craz'd with Fear, dreading Shooba to be even then in the Room.
I whispered, remembering Freeman's diary. "A slave, an unlettered slave. How he discovered it I do not know. But he did discover it. He knew, and the Hyndses did not. In regard to this same slave, a curious item was set down by Richard's son: "'This day Black Shooba's son told me of a heathen song Shooba made before he died and swore him to forget not.
And, that Freeman thinks his Brother Guilty and a Thief: A Hynds a Thief! so that Hynds House hangs Heavy above his head. And that Emily begins to Hate Freeman, who Loves her. She thinks he hath play'd Judas. I shall have Pleasant dreams! Never shall they Find where Shooba hid the Gems, between a night and a morning.