"Begin! begin!" cried out Gagool, in her thin, piercing voice; "the hyenas are hungry, they howl for food. Begin! begin!" Then for a moment there was intense stillness, made horrible by a presage of what was to come.
The king lifted his spear, and suddenly twenty thousand feet were raised, as though they belonged to one man, and brought down with a stamp upon the earth. This was repeated three times, causing the solid ground to shake and tremble. Then from a far point of the circle a solitary voice began a wailing song, of which the refrain ran something as follows:
"What is the lot of man born of woman?"
Back came the answer rolling out from every throat in that vast company:
Gradually, however, the song was taken up by company after company, till the whole armed multitude were singing it, and I could no longer follow the words, except in so far as they appeared to represent various phases of human passions, fears, and joys. Now it seemed to be a love-song, now a majestic swelling war-chant, and. last of all a death-dirge, ending suddenly in one heartbreaking wail that went echoing and rolling away in a volume of bloodcurdling sound. Again the silence fell upon the place, and again it was broken by the king lifting up his hand. Instantly there was a pattering of feet, and from out of the masses of the warriors strange and awful figures came running towards us. As they drew near we saw that they were those of women, most of them aged, for their white hair, ornamented with small bladders taken from fish, streamed out behind them. Their faces were painted in stripes of white and yellow; down their backs hung snakeskins, and round their waists rattled circlets of human bones, while each held in her shrivelled hand a small forked wand. In all there were ten of them. When they arrived in front of us they halted, and one of them, pointing with her wand towards the crouching figure of Gagool, cried out:
"Mother, old mother, we are here."
"Good! good! good!" piped out that aged iniquity. "Are your eyes keen, Isanusis"(witch doctresses), "ye seers in dark places?"
"Good! good! good! Are your ears open, Isanusis, ye who hear words that come not from the tongue?"
Source of this article：http://fywzc.gqonline.net/news/235c599288.html
Copyright statement: The content of this article was voluntarily contributed by internet users, and the views expressed in this article only represent the author themselves. This website only provides information storage space services and does not hold any ownership or legal responsibility. If you find any suspected plagiarism, infringement, or illegal content on this website, please send an email to report it. Once verified, this website will be immediately deleted.