You can watch Geoffrey Holder's performance here.
|Geoffrey Holder as Baron Samedi in Live and Let Die (1973).|
|Even today, voodoo ritualistic objects can still be seen in Martinique.|
|The Gran Zongle was a real voodoo quimboiseur in the 1960's who may have killed up to 402 people with his particularly lethal brand of black magic according to his suicide note.|
Standing up to his full height, the Grand Zamy lit the black candles on the chandelier and said, “Spirits, I invoke you, tell me how I can solve this young woman’s problem.”
The black candles flickered for a minute and then mysteriously snuffed out. Taking out a deck of tarot cards, he asked her to shuffle them and cut them, and then he spread them out on his desk in the form of a cross. After turning them over, he studied them with great concentration and said, “You are caught between two warring people…or perhaps you are caught in the middle of something, possibly between two choices. I see two people together, sharing and exchanging cups, perhaps an unexpected encounter that can change the course of your life. Perhaps it is a new passion or a new love. This is the Ace of Wands. Over there the Ace of Cups represents a new love or a fork in the road, a new path or a struggle between two choices. Beware of overconfidence, the danger of rushing in too soon. I see difficult times ahead: great strife. I see a maiden, bound and blindfolded, surrounded by danger and cannot see her way out. I see a powerful, broad-shouldered man carrying a great burden. He is in command and has the burden of responsibility. This is the Ace of Swords over there. Finally, I see an awakening to a new, greater challenge. I see a large goal ahead of you down the road. That is all I see, Mam’selle. I believe your problem is not too severe and can be solved by a simple potion.”
“Are you sure?” said Emilie.
“I've dealt with much worse cases.”
“Are these potions dangerous? I mean, can they cause great harm?”
“My dear, anything can be dangerous if applied in the incorrect dosage,” he said. “That is why one must always consult an expert. For ten francs I will prepare a powder for your fiancé that will calm his ardor and hopefully cause him to break off your engagement. Perhaps that will set your destiny in motion. Have no fear that irreparable harm will come to him, at least from the potion." He erupted into a house-shaking laughter that caused her hair to stand on end.
Emilie opened her purse and extracted ten francs and handed them over to the Grand Zamy. He placed the money in a strong box, locked it, and immediately went to the wall and selected a few bottles containing different powders and herbs. He mixed them in a wooden bowl and added some crushed beetles from a bottle, a bit of tafia, and then poured the mixture into a sachet which he handed to Emilie.
“There you are, Mam’selle,” he said. “Give me the young man's name and date of birth.” She gave him the information and he wrote it down. “Good. Now listen carefully. The next time he comes to visit, light a white candle in front of a mirror and place this powder in his rum punch. In a short while his behavior will start to change. He may seem erratic at first, and perhaps even appear to be sick but he will ask for his ring back and your problem will be solved.”
“Is it that simple?” she said.
The Grand Zamy smiled. “For you my dear it is simple, for me it is a bit more complicated. I will recite the appropriate incantations, perform sacrifices, petition the spirits—but that is the special task of the herbalist. I do not expect a fine, young lady like you to sacrifice a chicken.”
The Grand Zamy roared with laughter at his little joke while Emilie almost jumped out of her seat. She clutched the sachet, thanked the quimboiseur, and hurried out of the store.