The Black Pullet

"The talisman and the ring (Figure No. 19) will




























give you all talents and a profound understanding of all the arts so that you can perform with as much brilliance as the greatest masters and foremost artists. It is sufficient to carry the talisman and the ring in a manner you judge suitable while pronouncing these seven words: Ritas, Onalun, Tersorit, Ombas, Serpitas, Quitathar, Zamarath while adding afterwards the name of the art or the talent which you wish to possess.

"The talisman and the ring (Figure No. 20) will help you to win at lotteries and to make certain when playing a game that you will obtain the fortune of your adversaries. You will place the talisman on your left arm, adjusting it with a white ribbon, and the ring on the little finger of your right hand; then you will say these words: Rokes for a selection, Pilatus for a combination of two numbers, Zotas for dice, Tulitas for four winning numbers, Xatanitos for five winning numbers. Be sure to pronounce all the words when you are on a quine, and for a card game you will pronounce them each time the cards are shuffled, if it is you or your partner, and before commencing you will touch your left arm on the spot where the talisman is to be found with your right hand, and you will kiss your ring. All this must be done without drawing
the attention of your adversary.






























Characters to be engraved on the inside of the ring.

"The talisman and the ring (Figure No. 21) will enable you to direct all the infernal powers against your enemies or against those who would injure your friends. You will carry it in a manner which you consider suitable and pronounce merely these three words: Osthariman, Visantiparos, Noctatur.





























Characters to be engraved on the inside of the ring.

"The talisman and the ring (Figure No. 22) will serve you to recognise what the infernal powers wish to undertake, and you can abort all their projects by placing the talisman on your chest and the ring on the first joint of the little finger of the left hand. You pronounce these words: Actatos, Catipta, Bejouran, Itapan, Marnutus.

Composition of the Talismans and the Rings.

"As it is possible that you have not had the means of making talismans and rings similar to mine," the old man said to me, "you will make them up in the manner which I will indicate. Know that the rings are of bronzed steel with the characters engraved thereon. The talismans should be made of silk cloth in the dimensions of the figures.

No. 1. White satin embroidered in gold.

No. 2. Red satin embroidered in silver.

No. 3. Sky-blue satin embroidered in silver.

No. 4. Black satin embroidered in silver.

No. 5. Green satin embroidered in gold.

No. 6. Violet satin embroidered in silver.

No. 7. Golden-yellow satin embroidered in gold.

No. 8. Lilac satin with shaded silk.

No. 9. Poppy-red satin embroidered in silver.

No. 10. Yellow satin embroidered in black silk.

No. 11. Puce satin embroidered in gold.

No. 12. Dark blue satin embroidered in silver.

No. 13. Pale grey satin embroidered in gold.

No. 14. Rose satin embroidered in silver.

No. 15. Golden-yellow satin embroidered in silver.

No. 16. Orange satin embroidered in silver.

No. 17. Dark green satin embroidered in gold.

No. 18. Black satin embroidered in gold.

No. 19. White satin embroidered in black silk.

No. 20. Cherry satin embroidered in silver.

No. 21. Grey-White satin, shaded.

No. 22. Red satin, embroidered in the middle with gold, the border in silver, and the signs in black and
white silk.
The old man, after having given me this information, replaced all the talismans and rings in the casket.
The spirit who was at my side closed it arid gave him the key. The old man said to me: "All the wonders which have been performed in front of You, my dear son, ought not to leave any doubt of the Power and virtue of these talismans and rings. If you have not experienced any obstacle in your enterprises, it is because your heart is pure, that your soul is without stain, and that virtue, probity, and honour will always be dear to you. A man who had the least reproach to make to himself, who had destroyed the good of others, or who had only the intention of so doing, would not be able to participate in our mysteries. In vain would he have in his possession all that you see, our magical language known to him.
The celestial powers—aerial, infernal, terrestrial, and those of the oceans and fire—would rebel against him. All that he wished to undertake would turn to his shame and his confusion, and at each invocation which he might make, the powers that he implored for help and intervention would answer him:
Renounce thy projects. Thou art guilty. Before commanding us, purify thyself, expiate thy faults.

"If after these emanations he continued to conjure the powers, he would finish by being punished and would without fail lose his life. Remember then, my dear son, that all is possible with virtue and that not one fault will remain unpunished. There are still two prayers which you must be careful to recite before and after each conjuration that you wish to do; here they are:

First Prayer.

The Celestial Fire above is an incorruptable flame, always scintillating, the source of life, fountain of all the Beings, and principle of all things. This flame produces all and nothing perishes except which it consumes: it makes itself known by it-self. This fire cannot be contained in any place; it is without body or matter. It encompasses the skies, and from it emanates a little spark which makes all fire of the Sun, of the Moon, and the Stars. That is what I know of God: do not try to know more because that is beyond you, such judge as thou art. Moreover, know that the unjust or wicked man can-not hide himself in front of God; no address or any excuse can disguise anything from his piercing eyes. All is clear to God: God is everywhere.

Second Prayer.

There is in God as immense profundity of flame; the heart ought not, however, to fear to touch or to be touched by this adorable fire; it will not be consumed by this sweet fire, whose tranquil and perishable heat makes the union, harmony, and duration of the world. Nothing exists except by this fire which is God. No one has engendered it; it is without mother, it knows all, and no one is able to know anything of it. It is immovable in its projects and its name is ineffable. Here then is that which is God; because for us, who are his messengers, we are but a small part of God.

"You see, my son, that all the instructions that I give you have as a basis the respect which one owes to God, Who is the principle of all things and Whose ineffable and limitless goodness fills us to the brim each day with all His goodness, when we render ourselves worthy of it by our respect and our submission to His will and His immutable decree."

The old man after these short reflections said to me: "You have no doubt noticed, my son, that I have spoken to you about the birds to whom I was going to give food, and you have seen spirits who had one with them; when the pieces of gold were deposited at your feet, it was these birds who enabled them to discover it by their instinct and by the magical and cabalistic words which one pronounced. To procure these birds there are difficulties without number that one must conquer, and the profane, those who are not initiated into our mysteries, make useless efforts to obtain them. It is of the marvelous Black Hen that I am going to converse with you. The great Oromasis, father of Zoroaster, was the first who possessed one; it is from him that I possess the secret of calling them into existence, and here is the manuscript in
which is contained the manner of hatching these birds who are as rare as precious." He opened for me at the same time this manuscript whose cover was a thin plate of gold covered with diamonds, rubies, topazes and sapphires whose brilliance it was impossible to bear. The paper was of a dazzling whiteness, and the hieroglyphic characters were traced by hand in rose-coloured ink.

"I will teach YOU to read in this book as I can," he said to me, "but let us occupy ourselves with the way to hatch the Black Hen and to procure the eggs which she will come forth." He took several pieces of aromatic woods such as aloes, cedar, or lemon, laurel, some root of Iris, and some roses whose leaves had been dried in the sun. (Translators note: the author distinctly states leaves, not petals.) He put the lot in a chafing-dish of gold. poured on top thereof balsamic oil of the purest essence, transparent gum, and having pronounced the words: Athas, Solinam, Erminatos, Pasaim, the sun-light penetrated the vault. He placed a glass on the chafing-dish. At the same moment that the sun’s struck the glass, the perfumes and pieces of odorous wood which were in the dish burst into flame, the glass liquified, and an agreeable
odor was diffused in the vault. Very soon nothing was left but cinders. The old man, who had not ceased to watch with the greatest attention, took a golden egg which been in a black velvet bag and which I had not noticed. He opened this egg, closed the burning cinders therein, and placed it then on a black cushion.
He covered it with a faceted rock-crystal bell; then, raising his eyes and his arms toward the vault, he cried: o Sanataper, Ismai, Nontapilus, Ertivaler, Canopistus. The sun seemed to dart its rays on this bell with still greater force and violence.

The bell became the colour of fire, the golden egg disappeared before my eyes, a thin vapour rose in the air, and I saw a little black pullet which stirred, got to its feet and clucked faintly. The old man extended one of his fingers to it, and it placed itself thereon. He then pronounced these two words: Binusas, Testipas, and the winged creature glided onto his breast.

There," said the old man, "is the manner of procuring a Black Hen. In a few days it will be of ordinary size, and I will instruct it in front of you. You will see the instinct of this animal to discover the most hidden treasures and that the smallest particle of gold cannot escape it. Let us give thanks to the Great Being who has permitted us to penetrate these mysteries and to perform such prodigies and marvels. We will say together the two prayers recounted further back." After having fulfilled this duty, he said to me, "My son, this is enough. We will take a little rest." The sun had shone on us for some time. It disappeared, and its light was replaced by that of several chandeliers. The spirit, who had not left us, took a lyre, and accompanying himself he sang in the language of the magicians of the Eternal Power and the marvels of nature.

The old man listened with attention to the accents of the spirit. For myself I was enchanted, arid he smiled in observing me. "This is enough," he said to the spirit. "Before delivering ourselves to rest, I wish to show you the means of having a Black Hen without having recourse to those which I have used, for it would be difficult to obtain the perfumes and the other materials which I placed in the chaffing-dish if others than you or I wished to perform this great work. But if someday you find someone who is worthy of being initiated, here is the means which you should employ. Take an egg which you will expose at noon to the gleams of the sun, observing that it has not the least stain. Then you choose a hen
as black as possible; if it has any feathers of another colour, you will pull them out. You will cover its head with a hood of black material in such a manner that it can-not distinguish anything. You will allow it the use of it's beak. Enclose it in a box lined also with black material, big enough to contain it, and place that in a room where daylight cannot penetrate. Be careful to bring it food only at night. When all these indispensible precautions have been taken, you will give it the egg to sit on, taking care that it is not disturbed by any noise. It all depends on the blackness of this hen, its imagination will be impressed with it, and at the proper time you will see hatched a hen which is completely black. But I repeat to you, is necessary that those who perform this shall be worthy by their wisdom and virtue to participate in these sacred and divine mysteries. For, if we are not able to read the hearts of men, it is not the same with the Great Spirit; all is known to him and he penetrates our most secret intentions and our most hidden thoughts. It is after that that He accords or refuses to us His favours and His gifts.

"Our sitting has been so long," he added, "that We must take some food before delivering ourselves to rest." He clapped his hands three times, and the Slaves, the spirits who had previously appeared, offered themselves again to my attention, and in an instant we had all the viands that could satisfy taste aroma, and the eyes. The meal was very gay; the old man annimated it by his sallies. The spirit was also of the party. I was as inspired, and I joined the conversation. At last sleep weighed down our eyes, and we left the table to taste its sweetness.

The most agreeable dreams lulled me with their cheerful images, and when I awoke daylight lit up our abode. I did not see the old man or the spirit. I thought that they had gone out, and I abandoned myself to my reflections. The present assures me of the future, nothing could make me anxious. If fortune gives happiness, I said to myself, who will be happier than I. I cannot see any wish which will not be accomplished at once; my lot would be envied if it were known by the remainder of men. I want to be able to return to my country soon. As I followed up this idea, I heard a slight noise and saw the old man enter followed by the spirit. They approached me, both took me by the hand, and I left my bed of rest a once.

‘You have rested well, my dear son," the old man said. "During your sleep I went out with the spirit to visit my birds, and I am going to make you acquainted with their talents. At the same instant he touched a spring which was in the wall, a section opened, and seven black birds which I recognised as hens were brought in in a cage by two black slaves. "These animals have a marvelous instinct for finding gold. You will be the judge." He placed several pieces of gold under the cushions, in the crevices of walls under the folds of his turban, then said to the slaves: Tournabos, Fativos, Almabisos. They opened the cage, uncovered the heads of the birds, and the hens came out and flew immediately in the different places where the gold was hidden. They picked up the pieces in their beaks and deposited them at the feet of the old man. He took these birds one after the other and carressed them. He said to me: "You see how tame they are; we will go out for a while on the plain; I have placed in the sand several pieces of gold. We will release our birds, and soon they will have discovered the treasure." He made a sign to the slaves who reclosed the birds in the cage we departed.

As soon as we had come out of the Pyramid for about five hundred paces onto the plain, he released the birds. They went a few paces; soon it seemed that their instinct indicated to them where the treasure was to be found. They flew in that direction, and all seven of them started scratching. They soon discovered the sacks, and one of them started to cackle; we approached and saw the sacks which the old man had hidden. I could not prevent myself from showing my surprise. "My son, you see that all is possible with the aid of God and his powerful protection." We took the sacks and re-entered the Pyramid.

He had the birds re-enclosed with the same precautions as were taken to let them out. He then said to me: "Let us see what condition my new-born is in." He opened a little box lined with down in which he had enclosed it, and already feathers were beginning to appear. "A few more days," he said, "and it will be able to receive the first lessons. He replaced the box in its place. "Since we have been together," said the old man, "we have not gone out; we will make a little excursion into the country and wear the costume of the locality." The spirit covered his head with a turban and dressed completely like a Turk. I did the same, and we prepared to depart. Before leaving I saw the old man take a talisman and a ring. I remarked on it, and he told me that perhaps it might be necessary for us and that precaution was the mother of security. We then went our way and walked quietly for some time. The old man spoke to us of the changes which took place in the world from time to time, of the revolution of the stars and the planets.
He seemed to give notice to us and to fore-shadow things which would follow. All of a sudden a horde of Arabs pounced upon us with raised swords. The old man looked at them without fright, and he raised his hand; the brigands stopped. He pronounced the words prescribed for the talisman (Figure No. 10) and we became invisible. The astonished Arabs looked on all sides without seeing us. It is impossible to paint a picture of the astonishment of these villains. Their chief appeared astounded. The old man smiled. He pronounced the word Natarter in a loud voice, and they took flight with lightening rapidity. "Be calm," said the old man. "For a long time they will not dare to appear in this territory."

We continued walking for some time. The time passed with an extraordinary rapidity; the conversation of the old man was so varied, so instructive, that it was impossible to listen to him without being charmed by all that he said. "Let us return to our abode." After having pronounced these words, he looked at the sun and cried: "Brilliant star, image of the Divinity, thou who vivifies the earth and gives life to nature, receive my homage; may I ere I leave the earth constantly enjoy thy light."

"What has given birth to these somber ideas," I immediately cried. "Why do you think of leaving earth?"

"Ah, my son! Each day which passes, each that we take leads us towards the tomb. Lucky is the just man who can go to sleep in peace in the care of God to enjoy thereafter the rewards promised to virtue. Also, my son, do you believe that I do not concern myself with my last hour? At my age it is permitted to think of it, and I have always lived in a manner so as to be able to die without fear. I am 270 years old, and I have seen many things pass; I will pass also when my turn comes. And now enough of this matter. I see that I trouble you, and that is not my intention. Let us talk of other things.

"The talisman and ring (Figure No. 20) will furnish you with the means to win at lotteries. I wish also to indicate to you an infallible calculation to obtain the same advantages. It is really very simple. You take a game of piquet composed of thirty-two cards. You shuffle them, cut and extract nineteen cards one after the other commencing with that which is underneath. Take their numbers: know, the ace is 11, the king 4, the queen 3, the knave 2, and the other cards their numerical value. Add up the total. Then add the 30 or 31 days of the month in which you find yourself, your age, the day of your birth, that is to say, the first, second or third or such other day, and a date when you have proved something happy or agreeable: you add all these numbers, you take a third of it, and you place in the lottery the numbers which this addition has given you. You can be certain that these numbers will come out in totality or in part on the different wheels. For instance, if you find the numbers 13, 52, 73, you can take again 31, 25, 37, and the unities.
This calculation is infallible. You can convince yourself. The number 30 is priviledged, and it is from this that all is calculated for 3 times 30 makes 90; it is from this that one does not wish to exceed this number in the lottery. It is the same with all games.

"The numbers which have 3 for a root are the most fortunate; odd is all. God, after having created the world and being occupied for six days in establishing the admirable order which exists, rested on the seventh, which is odd. Let us take God as an example and a model in all that we do and we will be assured in all that we undertake. You have noticed, my son, that odd numbers are the basis of all the mysterious operations into which I have initiated you."

We continued our route and arrived at the Pyramid. He opened the door, and we went down. Arriving in the hall, we sat down on a sofa which faced the table on which was the casket of the tasilmans. The old man replaced the one which had served to clear away the Arabs, and we remained in silence for some time.

The old man appeared tired. He reclined on the and soon he was asleep. I cast my eyes on his venerable figure, and I admired his serenity, Calmness spread over all his features. I remarked about this to the spirit who told me: "It is the image of his soul. I have obeyed him for more than a century. You cannot have any idea of his virtue, of his wisdom, of his goodness. His days are numerous, and all are marked by some good deed, of the unhappy he has rescued without their ever knowing who the being was who came to their help. If the eternal Soul who has created all should take the figure of a mortal, it is his which He would borrow. Is not the just man in effect the image of God on earth? Many have taken title, but how many have usurped it and merited little." After having pronounced these words, the spirit got up, knelt on the ground near the old man, and raising his hands and eyes towards heaven, said in a solemn tone which awed me:

"Eternal Spirit, Who hears me and Who reads heart, prolong the life of this virtuous man. Ensure that he adorns by his presence for a long time to come the earth which You enrich with Thy gifts, unless You have reserved for him near Thee a reward worthy of him."

The sentiments with which he expressed these words keenly moved me. Tears wet my eyes, and I fell on my knees as he had.

The old man awoke at this moment, and casting his eyes on us, he said to us with a smile, "What are you doing, my children?" I answered that we were praying to the Great Being to conserve our father for us.
"My good friends," answered the old man, "our life has a term set by Providence which we cannot extend: everything begins, everything must end; God alone is eternal. The only thing which can survive us is the memory of our virtues and the good examples which we have set. While like voyagers we can perceive the course of our destiny and what good or evil we have done as we have been more or less the slaves of our passions, happy is he who has been able to command himself and to distinguish the happiness which is praiseworthy from what is not. For myself, I have been happy enough; I made the distinction in the springtime of my life, and in the winter I taste the sweetness. I shall soon return into the
bosom of Him who has created me; a dream announced it to me in my sleep. In a few hours my soul will leave its mortal remains and will rise towards the celestial regions."

"Oh heavens! my father," I cried, "what do you announce?"

"What you must await like myself, my dear son but I bless my departure since I have the consolation in dying of leaving my heritage to a man who is deserving, who loves virtue, who practices it, and who will never step aside from it. I will inform you of my last wishes, and you will execute them punctually if you love me and if you are grateful."

"Oh my father!" I cried, "can you doubt it?"

"No, my dear son, I do not doubt at all. Now listen to me. All these treasures, all the jewels enclosed in this subterranean apartment, also the talismans and the rings, the slaves, and the birds which you have seen are yours. To you Odous," he said to the spirit, "I cannot do more than pronounce all my tenderness for one whom I have found worthy to succeed me. Love him, serve him as you would me, and from the Celestial Sphere to which I shall soon arise, I will watch over you." He clapped his hands and all the slaves appeared. "Here is your master," he said to them. "Be obedient to him, I order you." They all came and prostrated themselves at my feet. "Extend your hand over them as a sign of domination," the old man said to me. I obeyed. They arose, and the old man’s having made a sign, they disappeared.

He added, "Take the gold urn which you will find in the cabinet on the right and place it on the table.
When I no longer exist, place my body in the middle of this chamber. Take the aromatic woods, which you will find near the coffers filled with gold, and surround me with them. After having poured over the pyre the liquid enclosed in the vase suspended from the roof, you will use the talisman with which I formed the egg in which was enclosed the Black Hen. After having pronounced the mysterious words, you will set the funeral-pile on fire to consume my mortal remains. Take the ashes and enclose them in the urn. Conserve them. Men, cherish my memory; I die content. I would have liked to show you the means of instructing the little Black Pullet, but Heaven which knows our projects has not wished it so.
Odous will teach you; he also knows this secret. I feel my soul ready to fly away. Come, my dear son, dry your tears so that I can press you once again to my heart. Remember, death is only dreaded by the guilty and the unjust man." I approached him and he gave me a last kiss. "Good-bye, my dear son," he said. "Listen to my last wishes."

While I was still bending over the sofa, he expired. I could not help myself saying, while sobbing, that the death of the just is sweet and worthy of envy. I fell almost unconscious at the feet of my benefactor.
Odous brought me back to my senses by observing that we had to obey our father. We then punctually performed that which he had ordered, and soon there remained only the ashes of the most just and most virtuous of men.

I said to Odous, "We will leave this day and make all the necessary arrangements for returning to my country. "I am with you," answered the spirit. "Your wishes are law for me; command and I obey." I had all the slaves brought before me and had them put on French costumes. It sufficed me to have recourse to the talismans. I had all the treasures and the effects which were in the underground vaults transported to the banks of the Nile and provided for the precious urn which I personally kept. Odous found a boat. We went down the river, and very soon we entered the roadstead where a vessel was about to set sail for Marseilles. I boarded with all my people, and soon we were in mid-ocean. The captain of the vessel and the sailors examined us with extreme curiosity. As I spoke all languages at will, they were even more
surprised.

Night came and the wind rose. The captain told me that he feared a storm. I told him that his vessel was good and would resist it. That which he foretold arrived; the sea became furious. Fear and despair were on all faces. The pilot could no longer control the ship. Only I, calm and tranquil, seemed unmoved.
Provided with the talisman and ring (Figure No. 9) and pronouncing the mysterious words, I seized the tiller and the vessel which, the instant before, was the plaything of the winds and the surrounding waves, sailed forward lightly over the vast bosom of the sea. The whole crew regarded me as a god, even giving me that name. "I am but man," I told them. "My friends, I do not frighten easily, I know the art of navigation, and you see, it is only necessary to be composed to stand the storm at bay."

The rest of our voyage was very happy. We arrived at Marseilles, and we passed through quarantine before stepping ashore. I paid for my passage and that of my followers with a generosity which astonished the captain. I gave a present to each man of the crew, and I departed crowned with their blessings. I stayed for some time at Marseilles. Having written to the place of my birth, I found that my parents no longer were alive. They had died during my absence leaving me sole heir to their estates which I sold and the proceeds of which were sent to me. I bought a lovely property on the outskirts of Marseilles, the beautiful sky of Provence pleasing me. I improved my house, and I had a delightful stay.
The riches I possessed were such that I could obtain at will all that I desired, even to place myself to my satisfaction. I had a few friends to whom I gave advice, who followed it, and who were all astonished at their prosperity. They were ignorant as to the source. I did not share my secrets with anyone.

Inclination has made me write this little volume. If those who procure it know how to profit from it and are worthy of penetrating the mysteries and the secrets it contains, they will gamble with luck reserved for virtue and wisdom. They must not become discouraged. Constant and stubborn work will surmount everything says an ancient proverb. They should thus work, and if success does not crown their efforts, they must lay the blame on themselves. It is because they are not pure and virtuous. The incredulous, the ignorant, and many others whom it is useless to designate will treat me as a fool, a visionary, an importunist. It matters little to me. The truth is there. I do not seek to repel injuries, still less censure.
Certain family libraries, which have no other merit than to get hold of what belongs to others, will perhaps make haste to publish a surreptitious edition of this work. This is the only thing which I will punish with a talisman which I am keeping to myself and a ring more curious still. I reserve for myself the decoration the perpetrator with two ears six inches longer than those provided of yore for King Midas who had been well judged. It is a warning which I give in passing to certain editors. You notice that for a sorcerer I do not push my vengeance very far.

And you, for whom I have written this work, you who seek to enlighten yourself, to penetrate, to understand the mysteries and the secrets of nature, work with consistency, persevere, purify yourself to obtain success, the object of your wishes and your desires. Consider that the smallest stain with which your heart and your soul will be contaminated will be an invincible obstacle against success. You will see the harbour without being able to enter and will be shipwrecked at the moment when you believe yourself saved. Watch, pray, hope. Adieu my dear and well loved readers. May you be able to play with all the ease which has become my lot. Amen.

The old man did not indicate to me the method of instructing the Black Pullet which he had hatched, but before expiring, he informed me that Odous would impart the important secret to me. When we were installed in my home in Marseilles, I reminded him of the old man’s promise. The Hen was of ordinary size and was eager to satisfy me. It had become so familiar that it hardly ever left me. I took particular care of it during our voyage, and if I have not mentioned this fact, it is because I judged it of little importance. We therefore occupied ourselves with the education of our bird. We placed a piece of gold in the basket where it was in the habit of sleeping and covered its eyes with the hood of which I have already spoken. Two or three days after that preliminary operation, each morning when I took it food to eat, it scratched in its basket, and taking the piece of gold in its beak, it guarded it until I took it.

One can see that the instinct of this bird was as extraordinary as marvelous. Odous said to me, "I have never yet seen as intelligent a one, but also, it is necessary to admit that our good and respected father employed a means to give it birth which was known only to himself and which he had never put into operation in front of me. This proves the tenderness and friendship he had given you. It will be necessary as from tomorrow to hide a piece of gold in the garden. We will carry our Hen to some distance, and we will see if she discovers it." The next morning we did as agreed. I uncovered the head of my bird; it stayed on my knees for some time, looking in different directions. Finally, it jumped lightly to the ground and ran to the foot of a big tree which was opposite us. It started to scratch animatedly. Odous said to me:
"I guarantee that there is some treasure hidden at the foot of that tree. Let the Hen carry on." She scratched all the time and to shorten the operation, I took a spade which the gardner had left nearby, and after having scooped out about two feet, I discovered a case about four feet square and surrounded with iron bands. As we did not have the key, I sent Odous to find the talisman (Figure No. 12). He returned promptly and hardly had I attacked the lock with the ring than it opened, and we discovered several sacks filled with gold and silver, plate, diamonds, jewels, and several other precious objects which were valued at 1,500,000 francs. It seemed that these riches had been concealed in this place during the time of the civil troubles, and as the owners died without revealing their secret, nobody had any knowledge of this deposit. I had bought this property from distant relatives. I could not prevent myself, nor could Odous, from admiring the instinct of our Black Hen, but it was equally necessary for it to find the other piece of hidden gold. We advanced a few steps, and she followed us. Soon she went ahead of us and stopped near the place where the gold was hidden. She soon found it and taking it in her beak, she deposited it at my feet. "Charming bird," I cried! "How precious you are to me. You have put me in the place of a better man, the most tender and respected of fathers to me."

Odous said to me: "See if she will listen to the sacred words which must be pronounced every day to the Black Hen to indicate to her that she must look for things." He then articulated certain words, Nozos, Taraim, Ostus. The Hen appeared to pay attention and to understand because she started to scratch near us and found a ruby mounted in a golden ring. "I am going to pronounce three other words which should indicate to her that she should repose near her master." He then said: Seras, Coristan, Abattuzas. The Hen came and placed herself at my feet. Odous added: "All the hens which you possess know these words but it has taken some time to teach them. One must hold them with a ribbon: when pronouncing the first words, one must make them walk; when pronouncing the second, one stops them. As these birds are endowed with a particular instinct, they then do that which one desires."

Having the casket brought in by my slaves, I added the Pullet’s findings to those which I already possessed.

I had an elegant pavilion constructed of Cremona marble, and I placed the urn containing the ashes of the old man on a black marble pedestal with a silver plaque which expressed my recognition and regrets. I had cypresses and weeping willows planted, and every day at the rising of the sun, I went, followed by Odous, to visit this pavilion and to pass an hour in support of our good father, remembering the lessons and examples of virtue which he had given me. I will cite several events with great solemnity: that on which he saved my life by taking me into the Pyramid and the anniversary of his death. This day was consecrated to grief and meditation in my house. And once every year all my slaves entered the drove which I had had surrounded with a metal grill so that nobody could enter. Also, the thickness of the bushes and the winding paths which had to be wandered through before arriving at the pavilion prevented the most piercing eye from seeing it. My days passed between work, study, meditation, and walking exercise. I received a few visitors in my home, but nobody had an inkling of that which passed in my private life. To live happily, live concealed, as a Sage said. And this proverb is the rule and foundation of my conduct.



Charms and Talismans Section

Main Library