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VOODOO ISLANDStage 2Haiti is an island where people do not always die - theyonly sleep. Voodoo can bring dead people back to life.Voodoo can speak to the spirits of all things, alive ordead. Voodoo is the magic of Haiti. There are stillpeople, today, who use voodoo magic to speak to thedead. Or perhaps you don't believe in magic . ?This is a story about the fight between the old world andthe new world. James Conway wants to bring the newworld to Haiti. He wants to build new houses, shops,and hotels. Most of all, he wants to make money. Kee isan old man who understands and loves the old world.Kee has very little money; he is not an 'important'person in the new world. But Kee understands people.Kee understands James Conway better than JamesConway understands himself. And Kee understandsvoodoo.Michael Duckworth, the author of this story, is anexperienced teacher and writer. He lives and works nearOxford.OXFORD BOOKWORMSSeries Editor: Tricia Hedge

OXFORD BOOKWORMSStage 1 (400 words)Love or Money? Rowena AkinyemiThe Elephant Man Tim VicaryThe Monkey's Paw W.W. JacobsWhite Death Tim VicaryStage 2 (700 words)Michael Jackson Jen DennistonSherlock Holmes Short Stories Sir A. Conan DoyleThe Love of a King Peter DaintyThe Piano Rosemary BorderVoodoo Island Michael DuckworthStage 3 (1000 words)Frankenstein Mary ShelleyGo, Lovely Rose H.E. Bates (short stories)Skyjack! Tim VicaryThe Picture of Dorian Gray Oscar WildeStage 4 (1400 words)Desert, Mountain, Sea Sue LeatherThe Hound of the Baskervilles Sir A. Conan DoyleStage 5 (1800 words)Ghost Stories retold by Rosemary BorderThe Bride Price Buchi EmechetaStage 6 (2500 words)Cry Freedom John BrileyTess of the d'Urbervilles Thomas HardyFor a current list of titles, please refer to the Oxford English catalogue.

Voodoo IslandMichael DuckworthOXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS1989

Oxford University PressWalton Street, Oxford OX2 6DPOxford New York TorontoDelhi Bombay Calcutta Madras KarachiPetaling Jaya Singapore Hong Kong TokyoNairobi Dar es Salaam Cape TownMelbourne Aucklandand associated companies inBerlin Ibadanand the OXFORD ENGLISHare trade marks of Oxford University PressOXFORD, OXFORD ENGLISHLOGOISBN 0 19 421635 7 Oxford University Press1989All rights reserved. No pan of this publication maybe reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted,in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical,photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the priorpermission of Oxford University Press.This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not,by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out orotherwise circulated without the publisher's prior consentin any form of binding or cover other than that in which it ispublished and without a similar condition including thiscondition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.Illustrated by Caroline della PortaPrinted in Great Britain byRichard Clay Ltd, Bungay, Suffolk

1Island in the Sun1.11111·., ( :onway put away his business papers and satli.11 k in his seat. He looked out of the aeroplanew1111low lown at the warm blue sea below. Far away,111 rl1l' hright sun, there were the long white beaches ofdu· 1sla11 l of Haiti. Behind them, he could just see the·.111.ill wooden houses and the deep green leaves of the1 nwnut trees, which were moving lazily in the soft.iltl'rnoon wind.'It looks beautiful, doesn't it?' Conway looked at theThe coconut trees were moving slowly in the wind.1

Voodoo Islandwoman sitting next to him. 'Very nice,' he answered.'Is this your first visit to Haiti?' the woman asked.'Yes, but I'm not here as a visitor,' said Conway. 'Ihave a building company - it's called ConwayConstruction. My company has offices all over theworld - America, Europe, Africa. We're very big inAustralia too - everyone in Australia has heard thename Conway. I'm coming to get an office here, buysome land, build a few hotels, you know. The land isvery cheap here - you can buy a piece of land to build asmall town on, for a few thousand dollars. Sorry, Idon't know your name. I'm Mr Conway, JamesConway. Just call me Conway.''I'm Karen Jackson.''Nice to meet you, Karen. What do you do? Haveyou got a job, or are you married?''I'm at Harvard University.''From the University? Are you a secretary there?''No, I'm a doctor. I'm teaching medicine.''A doctor! That's interesting. What are you doinghere in Haiti? Are you on holiday? I know you teachersget long holidays.'Karen Jackson was beginning to dislike the man.'No,' she said. 'I'm going to work in the hospital atPort au Prince. And while I'm here, I'm going to dosome work for my book.'2

Island in the Sun'Voodoo works, and it can be very dangerous.'3

Voodoo Island'Are you writing a book? What is it about?''Voodoo.''Voodoo!' laughed Conway. 'Are you telling me thatsomeone is paying you to come here and write aboutvoodoo? I know Haiti is not America, but voodoo! Ithought people stopped believing in that years ago.''Oh, no,' said Karen. 'People still believe in it. Yousee, it works, and it can be very dangerous.''Surely you don't believe in voodoo, do you?''Yes, I do. We don't really understand voodoo m4

Island in the SunAmerica. Most people think it's magic. They think itcan kill people.''That's right. I remember hearing about it. Peoplewho use voodoo get a picture of a person or make adoll, don't they? Then they put pins or knives into it,and the person feels terrible pain.''Yes, that's right,' Karen answered. 'I have aphotograph here in one of my books about voodoo.Look, there's one of the dolls. It's not a child's doll it's made from coconuts. You see, the face is a coconut,and someone has drawn eyes, a nose, and a mouth onit. And look, there's a pin in the doll's stomach. A fewdays later the man came to hospital because hisstomach hurt. He knew that someone was usingvoodoo against him. The pain was terrible, but thedoctors couldn't find anything wrong with him. In theend, he died.'Conway was surprised. 'So you think that was magicbecause there was no reason for it,' he said. 'But you'rea doctor, aren't you? You don't believe in magic, doyou?''Voodoo is more than magic. I don't believe inmagic, but I know that voodoo can be very dangerous.I want to understand how it works. Here in Haiti thereare still a few people who know how to use voodoo.They are called "houngans". There are still a few5

Voodoo Island"houngans" in the villages in the country. And that'swhy I'm here. I want to meet some of them and talk tothem. Of course they aren't all bad people. They canuse voodoo to help people, like doctors. But they canuse it to hurt people too.''But we're living in the modern world!''Yes, but the people here are very sure that voodoo isreal. Teachers, business people, doctors, everyonebelieves in it . or they are afraid of it. And perhapsthat's why it works. After all, if you believe you are ill,you can be ill. And if you really think you're gettingbetter, you can get better. If you think that someone istrying to kill you, then you can die . because you areso afraid.''Well, that's a good story,' laughed Conway. 'If Ineed some voodoo, I'll come and see you.''OK,' said Karen. 'Excuse me for a minute.' She gotup and walked to the back of the plane. She was boredand angry with Conway, because he thought heunderstood everything and he never listened to otherpeople.

2The Book of Baron SamediWhile she was away, Conway looked at the open bookon her seat. There was a picture on the page whichshowed a black man with open eyes and bright whiteteeth. He was laughing, but he looked frightening anddangerous. Conway read the words below the picture:'Baron Samedi, the strongest and most dangerous ofall the voodoo houngans. No one knows who BaronSamedi is, but they believe he is both dead and alive.He lives in two different worlds. Many people are sofrightened of him that they are afraid to say his name.'Baron Samedi, the strongest of the voodoo houngans.7

Voodoo IslandConway looked at the picture. 'Baron Samedi!' helaughed. 'How can these people be so stupid? Still, itwill be easy to make money if they think like children.'A few minutes later, Karen came back. She pickedup the book and put it in her bag. As she was sittingdown, the lights in the aeroplane came on.'We are going to arrive at Port au Prince airport in afew minutes. Please stay in your seats and put out yourcigarettes. The time in Haiti is 3.15. It is a warm dayand it is 30 C. We hope you have enjoyed fl.ying withAir Haiti, and we hope that you will fly with us again.Thank you.'Down below them, in the village of Bussy, not far fromPort au Prince, Kee was in his small wooden houseamong the trees. Outside, a few brown chickens weretrying to find something to eat in the garden. Therewas not much rain in the summer and the ground wasdry and dusty. The old man Kee was sitting by thewindow in the front room. Suddenly he felt thatsomething was wrong. In the garden the wind blewharder, and the dust from the dry ground flew intothe air. He stood up, went to the window and lookedout.'I can feel danger,' he thought. 'Someone bad iscoming.' He looked out into the trees, but he couldn't8

The Book of Baron SamediKee was in his small wooden house among the trees.9

Voodoo Islandsee· anything. Then he looked up at the sky, and sawthe plane just before it went behind a cloud on its wayto Port au Prince airport.3The Building BusinessAfter nine months in Haiti, Conway was a happy man.His business was going well, and he was making a lotof money. He had a large office in Port au Prince,a big house, and hundreds of people were workingfor him. He had some land near Port au Prince,and he was building a new town. There were alreadyhundreds of new houses, and many people knew thename Conway Construction. But Conway had aproblem, and he wanted to see a business friend,Jacques Remy.The telephone on his desk rang. He picked it up.'Yes?''Mr Remy is here to see you, Mr Conway,' said hissecretary.'Send him in immediately.' A few moments later,Jacques Remy came into the room.10

The Building Business'Jacques, it's nice to see you. Thank you for coming.Sit down.''Thanks,' said Jacques. 'You said on the phone thatyou had a problem.''Yes,' said Conway. 'You helped me buy the land forthe new town when I first came to Haiti. Some of thehouses are ready, and people are living in them. Butnow I need more land.''You can buy land anywhere,' said Jacques.'I know, but I want a piece of land near my houses.People will need shops, and perhaps I can build a hoteltoo, and some more houses.''What piece of land do you want?' asked Jacques.'Well, that's the problem.' Conway took out a pencil'I can only build the shops and houses on this hill.'11

Voodoo Islandand a piece of paper, and began to draw a map. 'Mostof the houses are here,' he said. 'Now, I can't build onthe south or the east side of the houses because of thesea. On the north side the land is no good. There is toomuch water in it. So I can only build on the west side. Ican only build on this hill.''Good,' said Jacques. 'Buy the hill and then you canbuild more houses on the other side too.''I want to,' said Conway, 'but there's a problem. Hewent over the desk and picked up a photograph. It wasa photograph of a graveyard. He gave the photographof the graveyard to Jacques. 'You see, it won't be easy.I want to build on the graveyard.'Jacques looked at the photograph carefully. 'It's very'I want to build on this graveyard.'12

The Voodoo Manold,' he said, 'and that's good. If only a few people gothere, perhaps you can buy it. But if it is new and a lotof people go there, they will be angry, and it will bedifficult to buy it. Go and look at the stones. Find outhow old the place is. I'll talk to some friends. Perhapsthey can help.''Thank you very much, Jacques. I won't forget this.''It's nothing,' said Jacques. 'Tell me how old thestones are, and I'll .ring you again in a few days.'4The Voodoo ManA big lorry drove past Kee's house. It was going veryfast and it made a lot of noise. Before Conway built thenew town, Kee's village was a quiet place. There wereonly a few small cars. Now big lorries went past everyfive minutes, carrying things for the new buildings. Keewas a very unhappy old man. He was sitting in hissmall house, looking out into the garden.Another big lorry went past the window.He heard the sound of a car coming down the road.The car stopped near the house, and a woman got out.13

Voodoo IslandShe was young and well dressed. She walked up to thegate at the end of Kee's garden and waited. Kee sawher and went out of the house, down the wooden stepsand into the garden.'Hello,' she said, looking at the old man. 'Can Icome in?''Yes, of course,' answered Kee. 'What can I do foryou?'The woman opened the gate and came up to Kee.'My name is Karen Jackson,' she said, 'Dr Jackson. I'man American. I'm working at the big hospital in Port auPrince, and I'm doing some work for my book.''I see,' said Kee. 'But why do you want to talk tome?'Karen Jackson walked up to the gate of Kee's garden.14

The Voodoo Man'I'm wntmg a book about voodoo,' she said.'Everyone here talks about you. They all say you arethe best houngan in Haiti. They say you are a verystrong and good houngan, and that you always helppeople.'Kee smiled. 'I try to help good people,' he said.'Come into the house, Dr Jackson. Let me get you adrink and we can talk.'Kee and Karen went into the house and began totalk. Karen told him about her life and her work, andwhy she was in Haiti. Kee told her about his life andtalked for a long time about the old Haiti and thepeople he remembered.'Everything is changing,' he said. 'When I was ayoung man, we lived with our families. We worked inthe coffee fields. We helped each other. Friends weremore important than money. People were good andkind. But everything is different'now. Business peoplecome from America and Europe and start banks andbig companies. All the young men go t