fest their annoyance when intruded upon, by swarming about ones head, getting into hair, ears, eyes, and nose. After their hives are cleaned they make no mistake as to their homes, every insect returning with unerring precision to its own quarters. At each entrance a bee sentinel constantly stands, to give warning of approaching danger, when, from within, the door is immediately blockaded.
We must not forget to mention the Ez, the genuine wizard, supposed to call to his aid the black art for evil purposes, whereas the medicine man is believed to be a good magician. The Ez may and does "bewitch" those who offend him, but the medicine man can break the spell. They are very careful to make this distinction between magician and sorcerer.
While in the eastern part of Yucatan, we frequently heard people speak of the Jew's Book, a medical work bearing that title. At last it fell into our hands—not a printed copy, though it has been put in type, but the old Spanish manuscript. The contents rather astonished us. As a cure for leprosy, patients are advised to drink the water in which an unplucked turkey buzzard has been boiled for three hours!
However, we found some very important recipes. Here, for instance, is one to cure the bewitched: "First take a root of vervain, cook it in wine and make the patient drink it. This will be thrown up. To know if the person is bewitched, pass over him a branch of the plant called skunk. If the leaves turn purple, the patient is bewitched. To free him from the enchantment, let him wear a cross made from the root of the skunk plant." The odor of that plant would most undoubtedly remove all charm from any person!
Side by side with those absurd prescriptions, there are others quite in accordance with the materia medica. The book is believed to have been written by a white man, and many white people and half-breeds have the greatest confidence in it. As for the Indians, they summon the medicine man to give them herbs and dispel the evil power of the wizard that has prostrated them.