The Royal County Arbiter

01 February 2006

"She Brought Them Gumbo And A Coffin"

First new entry in a long time. Please forgive our tardy ways.

Now, on with the meat: I found my first ever BookCrossing book last week! The sticker on the title page reads:

Howdy! Hola! Bonjour! Guten Tag!
I'm a very special book. You see, I'm traveling around the world making new friends. I hope I've met another friend in you. Please go to and enter my BCID number. You'll discover where I've been and who has read me, and can let them know I'm safe here in your hands. Then... READ and RELEASE me!
We visited the site, and found that it had travelled in a package of books from the city of New Orleans. Here it is:

Voodoo in New Orleans, by Robert Tallant

Voodoo In New Orleans, by Robert Tallant. First published in 1946, but this copy is from 1974, and is subtitled "The bizarre practices of a strange and living cult - from Africa to practices of the present day." Mr. Tallant died in 1957.

We haven't yet read the book fully, but Myrtle and I have found some choice quotes to give a rough idea of what's inside:

"That Voodoo woman kept snakes and black cats, spiders and trained roosters and all sorts of other awful living creatures in that house."


"There was one rich family my mother knew who had a daughter who wanted to marry a man they didn't like. They went to Marie Laveau and paid her a lot of money and she promised to break up the affair. She took four pigeons and got 'em drunk and she wrote four letters and put one in each of the poor drunk pigeons' mouths. They flew away God knows where, and that boy and girl never did get married. Oh, she was an evil woman!"


"The chicken we found was a big rooster and it was all dressed up in a coat and pants, a hat, a collar and a tie. His legs was tied wit' about a hundred yards of white cord. On the tomb where he was, I found three nickels. I took that rooster home, but the poor thing died."

Most interesting to us so far is a merchant list of Voodoo supplies. Here are our top picks:

Drawing Powder
Cinammon Powder
Delight Powder
Yellow Wash
Van Van
Get Together Drops ($1)
Dice Special
War Water
Moving Powder
Draw Across Powder
Boss-Fix Powder (25¢)
Lucky Lucky Powder
Good Luck Drops
Mad Luck Drops
Extra Good Luck Drops
Fast Luck Drops
Luck Around Business
Robert Vinegar
Easy Life Powder ($2.50)
Lucky Jazz
Come To Me Powder
Mad Water
Mexican Luck
Angel's Delight (not this)
High John Root
As You Please Powder
Bend Over Oil
Goofer Dust (50¢)
Controlling Powder
Devil's Shoe Strings (25¢)
XXX³ Cross Powder
Lucky Floor Drops

Myrtle's favourite is Robert Vinegar. Immaturely, mine is Bend Over Oil. As a wild stab at interactivity, what's yours?

BookCrossing is a really great idea, and I'm thrilled to have become inadvertantly involved. I wonder who will be next to read about Marie Laveau and her dressed-up roosters?

Now, take this Goofer Dust and follow our links!

Great R. Tallant photographs from the New Orleans Public Library. answers some questions.
Buy Voodoo In New Orleans today, complete with ugly new cover!


Blogger pinklefish:

You can buy quite a few of those supplies in markets in parts of London. I've seen 'Come to me' powder!

11:08 am  
Anonymous Robert:

I have some Robert Vinegar if you'd like some. I will swap it for a quart of controlling powder.

2:49 pm  
Blogger pinklefish:


1:36 am  
Blogger han:

I'll have a quarter of Mad Luck drops!

12:33 am  
Anonymous routard:

Another excellent entry. My mate is a keen rambler but because he is under 35 he calls himself a nu-rambler ;) He has one of those sat-nav systems and the ramblers play a game where they bury a tin at particular co-ordinates and leave messages and things for other ramblers who find it. I’ll try and find out the name of it.

12:36 pm  

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