“For any type of trauma, mental or physical, even if it was incurred a long time ago,” said Basil. “For disorders of the blood, for festering conditions, black-and-blue spots, or a tendency to bleed. To prevent the formation of pus. For evil-smelling secretions. If the muscles are tender and feel bruised. For abscesses that fail to ripen. For the harmful effect of trauma, financial loss, rage, and revenge; for impotence brought on by excessive sexual activity. If a person fears illness, or sudden death, or great crowds, or public places.”
He lifted a small herb from the soil.
“If there is a compelling urge to pick at the scalp, or at the bed, or at the wall. If the head feels hot and the body cold. If the right eye seems larger than the left, if blood oozes from the ears. If there is a sensitivity to high-pitched sounds.”
Karolina squatted next to Basil. He held up the herb for her to see.
“If the skin looks dark and spotty, and the smallest abrasion turns into a bruise. If the person dreams of death and of mutilated bodies, wakes up in a state of terror—all these things indicate the use of the remedy prepared from this herb,” he said.
Karolina studied the herb attentively. She did not know if Basil was making fun of her. He seemed perfectly serious …
Read more this week in Little Star Weekly
Little Star loves Ingrid Winterbach. We featured a large section of her first novel to appear in English, The Book of Happenstance, in our second issue, and her second, To Hell With Cronjé, in our online diary. Her new book, The Elusive Moth shares with The Book of Happenstance a heroine drawn to taxonomy—two women whose strong impulses and appetites are harnessed to a formidable, meticulous intellect. In The Elusive Moth our heroine observers the strange, often violent and inscrutable inhabitants of the little rural town to which she has come to do field work with the same classifying eye as the insects she studies in the veld. Read all Ingrid Winterbach’s books: each is a hard gem, of a different color.