Pagunan Lunar Calendar

Part Five: The Missionaries, Morality, Conflict and Decline

At the beginning of the Nineteenth Century reports of the deplorable moral conditions of the natives of Nullenesia began to circulate in Europe arousing concern in some quarters despite the islands' remoteness. The Missionary Society of Hamburg received an urgent appeal from a German captain describing what he had seen which caused some of the board members to openly weep for the lost souls of the Pagu children. The board agreed that there was a desperate need for something to be done; the Pagu were not just heathens but completely godless and lived in a state of moral depravity never before encountered. Sodom and Gomorrah could hardly have been worse. The Society resolved that it would offer what assistance it could, but due to financial constraints and the disruptions resulting from the Napoleonic War they were unable to respond until 1816. In that year with the help of the good Christian captain they dispatched three young and eager, recently ordained seminary graduates to work among the Pagu, and hopefully establish a church and a school. The captain who made regular calls at Big Island agreed to help them and look after their welfare.

The records of the commission that investigated the conduct of the first missionary expedition revealed that the three young missionaries unfortunately arrived on the day of a Pagunan Full Moon bacchanal. No natives were available to help them unpack and set up and they were obliged to accept the local hospitality. What they could not avoid seeing exceeded their worst fears. They huddled in prayer while all around them swirled a sea of depravity. The next day they gave thanks that they had not been tempted to join in the carnal activities despite the lewd displays and apparent enticements proffered by the natives. The experience made them realize the immensity of the task they faced and they prayed that the Good Lord would give them the strength to carry out their mission.

Starting with only a basic lexicon the young missionaries set about learning the local language and customs in order to be able to proselytize among the Pagu. Luckily the language was simple and regular, and proved easy to learn and pronounce. Soon they were able to begin telling the natives about the great God of the white man who lived in Heaven, and who was all knowing, all seeing and all powerful. The listeners seemed impressed particularly when told that the God had created everything, the whole world and not just humans. The Pagu were impressed and wanted to know if the white man's God made mistakes. The young ministers, unaware that He was being compared with Lizard, assured the Pagu that He was without fault. They tried to explain the basic tenets of Christianity and told the Pagu that through faith in their God, and His son Jesus, they could go to Heaven and live forever. The listeners had many questions: What was faith? they wanted to know. Was it like knowing when there would be a full moon? Was it wishing? They had words for wishing, hoping and expecting but no word for faith. How did one acquire faith? If faith was being certain about something how could one be sure? And why would one want to live forever even if Heaven was a very nice place? Wouldn't people get tired of it? Wouldn't people want a rest after a long life?

Despite their best efforts the Pagu remained confused about the Trinity; God the Father, God the Son and the Holy Spirit. A woman wanted to know if the Holy Spirit was female. What about God the Mother? and God the Daughter? The young missionaries tried to explain that God was male but to mollify the women they told them about Mary, the mother of Jesus. Did God the Father make her pregnant? Would he make them pregnant? The ministers explained that Jesus was born without sin. When told that meant without any sex, the women were disappointed and expressed their sympathy. The missionaries tried to explain Original Sin, how Adam and Eve had disobeyed God by eating the fruit and were expelled from the Garden of Eden, and had to cover their privates. They found the idea strange. Did God really expect people to obey Him? And Original Sin, what was wrong with it? They knew their old god Lizard never expected people to obey him or see anything wrong with sex. Satan? So he goes around trying to tempt people, so what? However the Pagu generally agreed that the Ten Commandments were a good idea but they couldn't understand why the Christian God, if he was all powerful, was concerned about other gods and graven images. If he's a big god he should be like a big man and not worry about things like that.

The young missionaries came to realize some of the problems they were up against. The Pagu had no concept of evil or sin, they didn't even have words for them. This, they believed, explained their total lack of morals. They also lacked a clear concept of private property but on the whole they found them truthful, kind and peaceful.

They also began hearing about Lizard, and saw men wearing his mask and scales going to the No Moon festivals, and asked about him. The Pagu told them he used to be their god, but he wasn't very good so they no longer had a god. Gods, they told them, were maybe a good idea, but that priests were bad. After Lizard people thought about gods, and having gods, and they still wondered. Even after hearing about the Great Cataclysm the missionaries found it had to understand the concept of an ex-god. Didn't the Christians have any ex-gods? What about the god who caused the flood in the story they told about Noah? While the Pagu said they liked the Christian God, they said he was smarter and more powerful than Lizard, they thought he could be made a lot better. Some of the Bible stories they told about Him did not make Him out to be very nice, and they suggested a few ways the missionaries could improve their God. This exasperated the young clerics and they prayed and asked themselves how well they were doing, for despite the widespread interest they had few solid converts who knew their catechism. They figured that it would be easier to proselytize among those who had a false god rather than those who had no god at all.

They were however pleased and proud that they had remained chaste despite being exposed to the flagrantly immoral behaviour of the Pagu particularly around the full moon. That they had not been pushed to participate was a blessing although they were denied the opportunity to refuse. They thought perhaps that their white collars and full black attire, so different from the colourful and scant coverings of the natives, afforded them some protection. They could not however avoid the strange lewd curiousity of some, particularly the young women, about when they were born and what were the names of their moons. Much of it did not make sense and sounded occult. In any case they did not think it appropriate to answer personal questions. The situation seemed strange and one of them recalled that on their voyage out that a sailor had told them the women were not willing unless you had a magic word, but that if you did they would do anything you wanted, and, if they liked they could have young boys too. The sailor offered to sell them some magic words but the young ministers politely declined.

One of this first group, Ludwig Werner a brilliant theologian and linguist, quickly learnt the local language, set about compiling a Pagu-German dictionary and in the process devised a phonetic writing for Pagu. He looked forward to the day when most Pagu would be able to read the Gospels in their own language. Werner's curiousity led him to investigate other aspects of Pagunan culture and he found out about their lunar calendar and unique way of counting. The lunar year is made up of thirteen lunar months, each beginning with the full moon. While other societies have used lunar calendars, the Chinese and Muslims amongst others, the Pagu were unique in using a thirteen month calendar. We don't know the reasons why they chose a thirteen month, 384 day year rather than a twelve month 354 day year which is closer to the 365 day solar year. In their tropical oceanic climate without pronounced seasonal variation, the difference may not have been that important. Adjustments for things like planting crops and harvesting wild fruit could be easily made as needed. The main use of their calendar, as with other lunar calendars, was for formal and ceremonial purposes; holidays, scheduling of events and names The date of Easter in Christian religions is partly determined on the basis of lunar calculations which is why it can vary over a month in terms of the solar calendar. Werner became a proponent of the Pagunan calendar and advocated its universal adoption.

The most curious thing was that they counted by thirteens instead of tens like the rest of the world. Pagunan arithmetic was derived from its calendar; the names and symbols of the thirteen months were simply applied to their numbers. The symbols, like Roman Numerals, were cumbersome where multiplication and division were required, but the Pagu had little need of these calculations. Children learning to count would use their ten fingers, their two eyes and their nose; Using their right little finger on the nose as "one", they would count around through eyes and left hand to nose thirteen. The Pagu kept track of months but not years beyond personal reckoning: Why does it matter exactly Why would one need to know precisely? The thirteen numbers were taken from the names of the months. Thirteen of anything was called a year. They would speak of a year of coconuts, or a year and seven months for twenty coconuts. There was little need for counting high numbers and probably the highest finite quantity they contemplated was a year of years or 169. Beyond that they would say that there were many yearyear stars for example. To anyone who asked they would reply that the Great Cataclysm occurred many yearyear years ago.

Ludwig Werner was the first outsider to understand the Pagunan calendar and its moon name prohibitions. The one shown here is based on a sketch Werner prepared with a traditional circular design similar to those found on ancient stone calendars from pre cataclysmic times. The months are counted clockwise from the top. The year began with the lunar anniversary of the Big Wave or Sxi full moon, their New Year's day, although they don't know exactly how many years ago it was. Each month began on the full moon with a bacchanal commemorating the adolescent orgy which enabled the Pagu to survive. The full moon was probably celebrated very differently under Lizardism. In the middle of the month just before the new moon, when they believed the mind was most clear and passions weak they held their No Moon Festival, their main cultural performances. Werner also drew up a table of compatibility. From an almanac he was able to calculate that he was a Velnee, Ludwig Velnee Werner born on Velnee Vewlet.

We can only speculate about the origins of the moon name prohibitions. A religious rationale makes as much sense as anything else I can think of. Schwartz believes that they increased in importance after the cataclysm. He reasoned that the cataclysm not only wiped out the religious and political structures, but their whole cosmological understanding including most of their mythology and science. What remained, almost by default, was the calendar and the moon name prohibitions, became much more important and perhaps rigid. At times we should be skeptical of Schwartz. This is not a particularly compelling or even necessary argument given the generally relaxed attitudes of the Pagu.

Although Ludwig strove gamely to remain chaste this information in the context of his compatibility exposed him to temptation he could not resist. Lalila was a beautiful, intelligent Hetig widow with a talent for language and remarkably firm tits for her age. His guilt was assuaged by his confidence in God's infinite mercy which he hoped extended to her adolescent daughters, two of whom were compatible. Then one full moon day during the season when priests' mushrooms were abundant, Jesus attired in long flowing robes appeared to him and told him that the Pagu were directly descended from Himself and Mary Magdalene. This revelation greatly lightened the burden on his conscious, and became an article of faith. He immersed himself in Pagunan philosophy and peoweoh.

Meanwhile things were not going well with their proselytizing. When they first began preaching the Pagu seemed keen on hearing their message and sometimes over a thousand would come to hear them, and in the smaller settlements and on the lesser islands almost everybody would attend. Then the natives' interest waned, especially after the missionaries began attacking their immorality, and soon they considered themselves fortunate if they could draw a hundred. However a growing number learnt the simple alphabet and signs, and messages and graffiti, not very flattering to their efforts, began to be scratched on green bamboo stalks and scrawled in mud paint on walls. Their mission was faced with failure.

When the missionary society found out that Ludwig Werner had set up housekeeping with a widow and her daughters they ordered him home immediately. Werner declined to be disciplined and discovered he could get by without his minister's stipend by painting pictures of naked native girls and selling them to visiting seamen. Some even say that his work inspired that of Paul Gaugin but anyone with the slightest knowledge of the subject knows this is absurd. The missionary society decided that henceforth only married clergymen with their wives would be sent to Nullennesia and recalled the other two as a precaution.

A second and better prepared and provisioned group of specially trained and experienced married ministers and their families was sent out with their families in 1821 with the idea of establishing four parishes on the south coast of Big Island. Among them was Adolphus Johannes Weiss, his wife Constance and their five year old son Timothy. Constance was an accomplished singer who could accompanying herself on the piano, and an experienced choir leader. The Reverend Weiss was a man of deep conviction noted for his determination and orthodoxy. He was also a fair linguist being fluent in Dutch, French and English with a background in Latin and Greek.

While a number of other early missionaries left behind journals and diaries, his, My Life Among the Pagu: Bringing God and Civilization to Nullenesia, is by far the most interesting and candid. Although it spans a period of less than ten years it reveals more, often inadvertently, about the mind and customs of the "savages", as he usually refers to them, than other sources. Fortunately for our purposes his journal was never published or even edited for publishing. Given the sensibilities of the time large parts of it would certainly have been suppressed and many of its valuable insights into both the Pagus and the missionary mentality would have been lost. Weiss never completed it as he intended, and it only exists in his own erratic and sometimes almost illegible handwriting. We were fortunate to obtain it from one of his American descendants who did not understand German and had only a vague idea of its contents. Where I have quoted from the journal it is my free translation from the original German which was written in the rather florid style of the period,

As soon as Weiss was proficient in Pagu he began translating the Gospels into the local language using Werner's dictionary and phonetic alphabet. He also set about adding to Werner's dictionary which became the standard work for missionaries and other scholars.

In one of his first Journal entries after arriving in Nullenesia he laments:

"The Pagu are truly pagan. (this may be one of his few attempts at humour) It is hard to imagine a more degenerate and debauched race. They are absolutely without any sense of modesty or morals. I doubt if Dante himself could have imagined anything approaching their state of debasement. Yet they are most cheerful and kind, and appear healthy even though they insist on bathing themselves in streams and the sea everyday. God knows how they avoid its debilitating effects. I have strictly forbidden Timothy from bathing more than once a week and have already had to administer a painful reminder. God knows what temptations he would be exposing himself to even at his tender age with frequent latherings."

Within two years Weiss had identified what he believed were the two main obstacles to converting the Pagu. One was the vestiges of Lizardism which permeated their society and thinking although he was not so naive as to believe that they still worshipped him. He felt that Lizard's continued presence in the culture even, or especially as a failed god was an impediment to the their acceptance of Christianity. In a later entry he bitterly complains:

"The savages insist on making comparisons. Sometimes I have difficulty convincing them that Salvation is not some kind of "completion" where they get wings instead of tails. And they complain that Heaven doesn't sound as good as the Paridisiacal Islands that Lizard promised. A few even want to know if they can drink kava in Heaven".

A month later, his exasperation clearly showing in his words and scrawled hand, he wrote:

"Hell. They want to know why God has Hell. I tried to explain and then this savage, I thought she knew better, asked if God enjoyed people suffering in Hell, and if not why. They don't understand that they are here to obey God, not ask questions, silly questions like what good does the Devil do? I mean, really.".

The Reverend Weiss struggled patiently to explain the basic tenets of Christianity, of how God loves all his children, and how through faith they can attain Salvation. One evening while out for a stroll to clear his mind after working on his translation of Luke he chanced upon their seemingly chaotic No Moon Festival. In the light of the small bright fires he observed a man dressed as Lizard in a mask and cloak of leaf scales, gesturing obscenely at other performers as the spectators laugh and cheer. He can't make out what is happening but it is clear to him that something must be done about Lizard and his "infernal masks" but he thought that the time was not yet ripe.

Weiss also felt that he could not tackle the bacchanals, in fact he could seldom bring himself to even think about them, but he began urging his congregation to stay away from the No Moon events. To provide an alternative he and Constance organized a musical evening of hymn singing on the same evenings. With extra rehearsals and the piano carried outdoors for the occasion they were able to attract about a hundred natives, more than usually attended the Sunday service. The reverend was ecstatic but not everyone was happy. A few days later he was accosted by a huge young man known as Stonebreaker. Weiss knew of him, he hung around with sailors when ships were in the harbour, did some trading and spoke a coarse but intelligible pidgin. He was angry because a woman he wanted was singing hymns and not at the No Moon Festival with him. Weiss wrote:

"This savage had the effrontery to say that I was making people do bad things, that I was against, well, what I suppose they think of as culture. He went on to claim that Christianity was maybe good for Germans but not good for the Pagu, and then, I could hardly believe it, he patronizingly said that maybe I didn't know very much, and didn't mean to do bad things. He seemed to think that he was as good as me, if not better, and told me to go back to Germany. I was naturally at a loss for words and decided to ignore him and left but he kept at me. As I recall he said, 'You makem de trick fo' de piple, I's know. Jesus, he lovem de piple, Jesus him, like say, nice guy, but God, Him boss, he makem de piple sick, he makem de big angry wind, him all de God's will stuff', he actually used a scatological term to describe Our Lord. He told me he figured out that God sent the Big Wave because he was jealous of Lizard. It was futile to argue."

A few days later Weiss wrote about finding mud paint scrawls on the front of the church saying GOD KILL CHILDREN, GOD TRICK JESUS and GERMAN GO HOME. He later found that there were similar messages all around the centre of the village. Next Sunday only thirty showed up for the service, and he knew that Stonebreaker was behind the poor attendance.

His next entry is written in his most meticulous penmanship. He tells us that he spent half the day in prayer seeking guidance. Just when he thought he'd made a breakthrough in his battle with Satan he gets his worst setback. God is testing him. God in His infinite Wisdom has put obstacles in his path. He reflects on the travails of Saint Paul, he thinks about how God tested Job, and wonders if his faith is as resolute.

There are no entries for over a week and then nothing of interest for another two when he relates how Timothy who's now eight had argued with him when told what to do, and when his son had persisted he had caned the boy, but he had barely whimpered, and he worried that he had failed to break his son's will. He wonders if God is testing his resolve and vows that next time he will give Timothy eight instead of four strokes. Less than a week later he finds occasion to beat his son again. As he records it:

"After eight sound judicious strokes he was blubbing and begging for mercy. It was like a sign from the Almighty; I knew this time I had won, his will had been broken and I had not failed my son or Him. I was in control. My confidence returned, I would be resolute, and I was prepared to go forth and battle the forces of Satan."

The Reverend Weiss found Stonebreaker down at the beach where outriggers were unloading reeds and firewood for the bacchanal that evening. He was "cavorting immodestly with two wenches". He reminds Stonebreaker of the evil of fornification and that he must mend his sinful ways, he must forsake immorality and pray to God to forgive him his sins:

"The giant savage had the audacity to ask me, 'What sins?' I indicated the two harlots he was molesting and warned him he would burn in Hell's eternal fire. I pointed to the women and told him they would burn too."

Weiss is very surprised when the next day Stonebreaker appears at the gate asking to see him. He is very apologetic and anxious to tell him about a revelation he had last night. Weiss listens with rapt attention as Stonebreaker relates his amazing story. It seems he was lying down in the square looking up at the sparks rising up into the trees and mixing with the stars in the sky and when the full moon was just rising above the hills suddenly it blazed forth brighter and brighter. 'Lika yearyear Sun. Figure it musta been God, Lizard no do that.' he said. Then a figure dressed in black and white like the reverend appeared. He couldn't be sure if it was God or Jesus, but He said, "Stonebreaker, follow me an' all yo sins go way."

"When he had finished his astonishing tale, which reminded me of Saul's epiphany on the road to Damascus, he asked, oddly I thought, if it could have been the mushrooms. I couldn't see that mushrooms could have had anything to do with it. I can't stand them myself and told him not to be concerned. I added that God sometimes works in strange ways."

Over the next few months Stonebreaker visits Weiss regularly seeking instruction in the new religion and professing his faith in Christ the Saviour. He learns quickly and it is a proud day for both of them when the reverend baptizes him Paul, after Saint Paul who also underwent a miraculous conversion. He soon becomes known as Big Paul and his presence in the church attracts others, dozens of mostly young people join, and the congregation increases until the small church almost overflows at the Sunday service. Weiss sees it as a important breakthrough but it still represents only a tiny fraction of the native population and includes none of the more important people. Paul helps him to teach others their catechisms and soon there are a few baptisms every week. Paul is a cheerful, eager and hard working helper. It is like he has found a disciple and he begins to think of doing things he and his wife Constance could not do alone.

Weiss envisages nothing short of a complete reformation of Pagunan society. The first step he sees is the eradication of the vestiges of Lizardism. It is an impediment to the natives acceptance of Christ and His Message. It colours their thinking leading them to make invidious comparisons between Lizard and God, and questioning His Wisdom. He knows from his study of history that paganism persisted in Europe until almost the Second Millennium retarding the acceptance of Christianity. "We must, Clear the way for Christ", he writes and that becomes the title of his next sermon. He explains to Big Paul how he is going to get people to turn in their Lizard masks and burn them in a big bonfire in front of the church. He tells Paul it would be a symbolic gesture that would show the way. The huge man, the Gentle Giant some call him, isn't sure it would work but he agrees to help. At the Sunday service he asks his parishioners to collect as many Lizard masks as they can and turn them over to Paul. It's part of the struggle against Satan. He envisions a huge cleansing fire.

Only three masks are brought in, not enough for a cleansing bonfire, so he gives them to Timothy as targets for his toy bow and arrow. The congregation is disappointed there will be no bonfire so the reverend repeats his appeal, offering as a reward a copy of the church's Book of Prayers which he had translated into Pagu and had just received from the printer in Berlin. By next Sunday almost a hundred masks, most of which they suspect have been freshly carved, have been brought in and his supply of prayer books is exhausted. The natives begin demanding nails, pots and mirrors for the masks. One man tells Paul he can get him two hundred masks if he is prepared to wait another week. Weiss decided that one cleansing bonfire was enough and consoled himself that the sight of all those burning Lizard masks must have had some salutary effect. Then he had the disturbing thought that the real problem was the carvers, not the masks.

The Reverend Weiss knew that he would have to attract some of the more prominent people among the Pagu if he was to be successful in converting the natives. The gains from Big Paul's conversion were short lived and those he brought in, like almost all of his congregation were the poor and misfits. None of the elders or any of the many chiefs, sub-chiefs or sons of chiefs attended his services. His thoughts turned to a women, Sar Li, reputably the daughter of a chief who appeared to held in some esteem. Being cautious about independent women he inquired about her and there was no indication that she was involved in magic or anything to do with the supernatural. While he did not entirely rule out the possibility of witches and possession, Weiss, who regarded himself as an enlightened man, felt that Pagu moral degeneracy and debauchery was more part of their primitive existence than some scheme of Satan. He did not dismiss the possibility of the latter but there was, after all, no false religion, not even a real animism, and the lack of superstition and blasphemy supported this benign view. He had in fact talked with Sar Li on a few occasions, finding her intelligent and well informed, noting in his journal:

"This Sar Li woman appears to be a person of some importance in the village. I have seen so named elders conferring with her and ordinary savages defer to her. She has a somewhat more "stately" house than most and I have seen numbers of young children coming and going, apparently she offers them instruction matters of decorum. They appear relatively well behaved and certainly seem a cut above the savage brats one usually sees around the village. I have prayed to the Good Shepherd that he may help bring her into the fold as she may induce other of their leading people to follow."

Weiss was unaware that Sar Li was at the time the most prominent of the traditional line of wisewomen which included Man Li, whom Bloughart knew, and stretched back to Lon Li, also known as Long Tongue. They served as counsellors, midwives, healers and mentors to the young. Sar Li was also a friend and confidante of Ludwig Werner and Schwartz records informants mentioning her. Weiss did however become suspicious:

"I am not sure if this Sar Li women be an appropriate member of the congregation. On the path to the jetty this morning I encountered a woman of the parish and she asked me if Jesus had a wife. I informed her that Jesus was celibate, which is something they have no word for and I had to use their vulgar terms, in a negative sense of course, to explain what it was. The concept however was beyond the poor woman's comprehension; 'Poor Jesus', she exclaimed as if He deserved pity! I tried, I tried to argue that celibacy was a state of grace and the proper state for the unmarried. I told her it was wrong to engage in coitus outside of marriage. I thought I was getting through to her when she seemed to agree and smiled, saying, 'For no children'. I nodded but then she went on, 'But kissing is good, no?' I believe I knew the kind of kissing she meant, I hear the vice is common among the French. I tried to explain that such kissing was worse than copulation. She looked right at me and said, 'Sar Li say kissing is good.' Such a disgusting, revolting practice! I could not pursue the conversation further and decided that it was perhaps best not to encourage the Sar Li savage."

Weiss was troubled by this information but was not sure what if anything he could do about it. The most important next step he saw was to tackle the appalling state of family discipline among the natives. He would start with his flock. The poor children were growing up with no discipline or moral guidance. While more discipline was obviously required Weiss realized that he couldn't just start advising parents to beat their children. It would be necessary to establish a moral, devotional context to overcome their traditional aversion to corporal punishment. He made inquiries and learnt that the occasional mild slap to warn the very young of danger was the most they ever inflicted. It was also practically unheard of for parents to raise their voice towards a child. Apparently they held some absurd superstition about harming the child. The reverend knew he was faced with a formidable challenge in overcoming these deeply embedded irrational beliefs.

He decided to begin by developing an analogy between God the Father, our Creator who sees everyone, including the humblest Pagu, as his children and the father in the Pagunan family. Just as God loves us, judges and punishes us, so must the father in his family judge and chastize his children. He concludes his entry:

"Only thus, with discipline in the family can a firm moral foundation for progress be established. If we cannot reform the Pagunan family by restructuring it under authority of the father, what hope have we of restructuring Pagunan society under the authority of God the Father."

The Reverend Weiss felt his sermon, God the Father was a success. He had begun by noting the unruly and disrespectful behaviour of their children. Three year olds were insolent and by seven they were rebellious and unmanageable. To make his point obvious he asked the congregation to compare the native children fidgeting and giggling in their seats with his own son sitting attentively with his hands modestly folded across his lap. Afterwards, a woman, obviously confused, asked him what was the matter with his son. He allowed himself an outburst, "There is no bounds to how stupid and ignorant these savages can be." before asking God for patience.

He knew what he'd do if Timothy acted like the native children and he thanked God he had enough sense to see that his son never associated with them. Before he arrived he had been warned that it would be necessary to shield his son from the pernicious influences of the natives, even the youngest, and he had warned Timothy about mingling with the natives and had confined him to the church compound. On the two occasions he had caught him outside, once playing with a Pagunan boy, he had thrashed him soundly. In recognition of the problem, several times a year all the missionary families on the island would get together for a day so the children would not grow up without playmates. The only times Timothy saw and was seen by the natives was in church or when he ventured out with one of his parents. The only Pagu he had much to do with was Sarah, a devout and industrious young woman who had been one of their first converts. She helped Constance around the house and in the garden, and minded Timothy when Constance was at choir rehearsals or teaching embroidery to the parish ladies. Any qualms they may have had about Constance were put to rest by her very circumspect conduct around Timothy.

One day just after Timothy's ninth birthday Sarah asked if she could bring her five year old daughter Lila along, as her own mother was preparing an uncle's corpse for burial that day. Without thinking Constance agreed. When she returned from the embroidery class she found a broadly grinning Timothy with his trousers down receiving a love kiss from little Lila. Constance managed to control herself and Sarah tried to reassure her by pointing out that that the children had compatible moon names, and that Timothy was having fun. When his father found out he was of course furious. He had some understanding of what moon names were and observed perhaps accurately:

"In the guise of prohibitions moon names make everything else permissible. They must be purged from native society, They must adopt our calendar." (As for Timothy) "Given the moral turpitude of his offence and his apparent delight in it, I wonder if any punishment could suffice. I pray to God that twelve hard righteous strokes will be enough to show him the error of his ways."

This was more than he had ever administered before. And when Weiss found out that Timothy had been secretly learning Pagu, using his own dictionary and Sarah's help, he decided to give the boy another eight. As a man of mercy he decided to wait until his son's lacerated bottom healed before giving him the last eight strokes.

While the Reverend Adolphus J. Weiss is frequently arrogant, prejudiced and narrow minded he is willing to admit that he might occasionally be less than open minded. He was giving a discourse on the profound inferiority of the local culture to Big Paul, who was the only person besides his wife he could discuss his ideas with, and he had in fact just said that the Pagu had no culture at all, when Big Paul had strongly objected:

"He was of course right, I have been wrong to disparage them in such an unequivocal fashion. They do have some culture. However when Paul mentioned the No Moon festivals I had to point out that not only were they contrary to Christian principles but, they were without merit. He persisted in arguing that there was nothing un-Christian about them, claiming that they were entertaining and good fun for everyone. 'We make fun of ourselves', he said, implying they had some cultural purpose. As I had had only a cursory look at them I had difficulty in disputing his claim. When he persisted I reluctantly agreed to go with him to the one being held the next day. He promised that there would be no copulation or buggery. I felt it advisable to demonstrate that I am not the narrow minded, arrogant prude that some think."

The festival was held in a shallow bowl formed by grassy dunes back from the beach a half mile towards the village centre. Weiss admits he felt some discomfort about exposing himself to a pagan festival but he trusted God to understand. Natives were standing and sitting about in no particular order and they found a place near the edge where he wrote, "I felt I could quickly retreat if I had to." He could make no sense of what he saw, There was no clear distinction between "actors" and spectators both of whom seemed to wander about. He longed for some order. In a lengthy harangue the reverend described the event as "loud cacophony" and "chaotic anarchy". He could pick out words but couldn't figure out what was going on. He was outraged by the deliberate frightening of little children by so called bogeymen:

"Then out of the darkness away from the fires four small children came running and shrieking in fear. Chasing them were ghostly masks with jagged teeth worn, I could just discern, by young savages with blackened bodies who moaned, cackled and whistled eerily I wanted to reach out and comfort the little children but Big Paul signalled me not to. As they ran past other masks - they must have been hung from poles - dropped down in front of them. The little children cowered, trembled and sobbed. None of the adults around showed the slightest sympathy and shooed them away if they came near. I can't recall being so dismayed by the cruelty of the savages. Then the bigger girl, possibly six, stood straight and shouted, 'Go away'. The masks made shrill noises and shook all around her menacingly before slowly moving away. I asked Paul what it was all about and he said they were what we would call, 'bogeymen'. Parents tell little children that the bogeyman will eat them if they are bad. Paul told me it was fun and children learn not to be scared. I simply cannot understand how a society can approve of terrorizing little children…

"There was no co-ordination at all. Some of the 'actors' seemed to have no other purpose than to interfere with what others were doing, miming, mocking and making rude obscene gestures. Judging by the mob the savages must love anarchy. At one point two reptilemen - Paul said they were Lizard - began haranguing each other and then they turned on a coconut juggler, who was one of the few legitimate performers, causing him to miss much to the delight of the mindless savages. They have the minds of children. When I mentioned this to Paul he agreed, smiled, and shrugged in the way they do. I could not for the life of me comprehend what he saw in it. Then a man, Paul said he was a respected elder began declaiming loudly. From his words I gathered he was making an impassioned exhortation urging people to help the widows of fishermen lost in a storm. It was the first thing I clearly understood. Apparently the poor women were going hungry. Then a skinny boy no bigger than Timothy, his naked body smeared with mud and wearing a grotesque mask, began parodying the man deliberately interrupting his speech with squawks and lewd gestures. I was appalled but many around me seemed to find it amusing. It was shocking to see such insolence condoned. The wicked child was the very epitome of depravity and I wished I could have thrashed him bloody. I asked Paul how such things could be tolerated. He merely smiled and shrugged again. He told me the boy was playing a brat, that part of the child that must disobey, mock and rebel. He went on to say that they hold these qualities to be precious in children ever since the cataclysm. What utter rot! As if they needed encouraging. Paul went on to say it was like when the boy Jesus used a whip on the 'bankers' at the temple. And here I'd had such great hopes for Paul. Why, I'd even thought that but for his race he had the makings of an excellent minister. I could take no more of the madness and left. The problem of bringing His Message to these savages seemed insurmountable. I thought long and hard, and prayed to The Lord for guidance.

"I could not avoid Paul the next day. I thought I might have offended him but he was in a jolly mood and told me I missed the funniest part when a big fat woman sat on the brat child, and using a very coarse term he said she passed wind in his face. I could barely control my disgust and excused myself."

Weiss's next few entries are diatribes against the Pagu. At one point he even mentions the Full Moon bacchanals, a subject he is usually loathe to mention, and envisions a wrathful God destroying Nullenesia as he did Sodom and Gomorrah. It takes him a week to settle down. He realizes that it is not good enough to just preach to the Pagu, they must also civilize them. It must be he says, a two pronged approach for "Christianity and civilization are but different sides of the same coin" He decides that will be the subject of his next sermon. He made notes in his journal, and after a few false starts which he crossed out, he writes in a firm even hand:

"Civilization...I and my fellow bearers of God's Word came to these islands not just to preach God's Message, but to raise you up out of the depths of your primitive existence, and need I say, depravity. We come to share our learning, our wisdom, our culture, and to set you on the path to progress as well as righteousness.

"Have you ever wondered why we have advanced so far? Why we have great sailing ships with canon that could blast ten of your fishing boats out of the water from a mile away? Why we have factories and cities that you cannot even imagine? The answer is discipline, that, is our not so secret, secret. Discipline. Discipline which leads to hard work. Discipline which leads to clear thinking. Discipline which leads to respectful children, and strong healthy families where children grow up to be decent, industrious God fearing men and women."

Apparently the sermon was a success. The parishioners said they wanted the things the Europeans had and some said they prayed to God for discipline and ships with canon. Weiss wondered if he should have left out the last detail. However the reverend was more deeply troubled by the demon child he'd seen, it was not an isolated incident he discovered, and he couldn't get them out of his mind. The whole thing was "glorifying evil in children" as he saw it. He shared Calvin's theory of infantile depravity: Through the carnal act of conception infants were born with Original Sin. They were naturally evil and only through discipline and breaking their wilfulness could they saved from sin: To encourage such wilfulness was incomprehensible. The question becomes an obsession with him. At one point he writes:

"I fear we must give up on the adults. The only hope may be to remove the children from their families and put them in reformatories, modern reformatories where we can control their every thought and act, and thrash them again and again until they are tractable, and then we must instil God's Message of love, hope, forgiveness and Salvation. We must pray that one of the enlightened nations of Europe, or perhaps America, will annex Nullenesia. Something must be done immediately, souls are being corrupted beyond redemption as I write. This demon child business strikes at the very heart of order and decency. It is far, far worse than heresy. It is clearly one of Satan's devious schemes. It must be utterly destroyed whatever the cost. What are the lives of a few children against the inestimable evil that is being allowed to flourish? We must be careful not to let Satan know that we are on to his plan."

At this point I became convinced that the Reverend Weiss was losing his mind. He wondered if Timothy could be possessed and he suspected that Big Paul was in league with the Devil. However a few days later he scoffs at his earlier fears and talks to Paul about the demon children. When he suggests that they try to destroy the demon child masks Paul points out that every boy over twelve fancies himself a carver, and adds that the masks are pretty crude and simple to make. Weiss feeling threatened wrote:

"I prayed as I never prayed before. I wanted to feel something tangible. I wanted God to speak to me clearly, unambiguously. I was lost. I even felt a touch of envy for those popish monks who can flagellate themselves for solace. I prayed through the night until the eastern sky glowed red. When I awoke it was as if God had spoken. I knew the demon child is not the cause, it is a symptom, a symptom of the weak and ineffectual Pagunan family. The parents are the problem. Their confidence must be built up so they can take control. They must dare to discipline."

Dare to Discipline became the title of his next sermon. He could use the example of his own son and how he did not hesitate to discipline him. As he jotted down notes in his journal he had what he called an '"inspired revelation". He recalled how his own confidence and authority is restored when he can break his son's will. In a heavy determined script he scrawled:

"They must beat their children of course, but not so much for the child's sake as their own. The main problem is not the child's behaviour but the parents inability to provide the necessary guidance and discipline. It is through beating their children that the parents will acquire the control, and moreover the confidence they need to become good parents and Christians. Beating children is a means to the end. Once they have established mastery over their children and earned their obedience they will not have to beat them as often. Why I seldom have to beat Timothy more than twice a month."

The Reverend Weiss sails off on a flight of fancy where he imagines fathers' and mothers' confidence and self esteem soaring as they flog their children's bottoms raw. The solution to the problems of the Pagunan family was brilliant and amazingly simple. "I cannot deny my own genius." he confesses. He does not go so far as to claim that beating children is therapeutic but the concept is there. He concludes. "I owe it to the savages, and to God, to put this into practice." Then he has yet another inspiration:

"Getting parents to discipline their children is likely to fail if it is merely well intentioned advice. The means must be put into their hands, I shall see that every family in the parish has its own Biblical rod. This is not a costly or far fetched idea. I believe I have already demonstrated on my own son that the local bamboo properly fashioned into slats makes a better rod than the finest willow switches from the Bremen marshes, perhaps not as much flex but a better heft with deeper long lasting effects, and bamboo is far more durable. I will have to inform them that they are for application to the posterior only not the back or legs of small children. Why that single clump of bamboo in the compound could supply the whole of Nullenesia for a generation".

He notes that the edges will need to be sanded so they won't cut into the flesh and exclaims with a flourish in his script:

"What a wonderful job for Timothy, rounding the edges of instruments of correction. Rather ironic! It will keep him busy and we all know the Devil makes work for idle hands."

Weiss discussed the project with Big Paul and together they read chapters from the Bible. The reverend felt that Proverbs Twelve best summed it up: "For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth, even the father the son in whom he delighteth." He explained that he wanted every family in the parish to have a Biblical rod. Paul did not seem to understand clearly, he asked if the rods were like magic and Weiss replied that they were in a way. Paul was glad to help and felled a large bamboo stalk which in short order he stripped of branches and topped. Weiss showed him how he wanted it cut into arm lengths and the rounds split into finger width strips. He figures that the piece should make well over two hundred rods. Paul cheerfully trudged off with the long pole on his shoulder telling Weiss he will deliver the rods in a few days. As soon as they were ready Timothy was set to work rounding the edges and ends on a block of limestone. A week later he had worn an inch deep groove in the stone and received a couple of applications of the rods for lack of diligence.

Two weeks after his "inspired revelation" Weiss was set to give his key Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child sermon and drafted notes in a careful script. He decided to begin with quotations from the Bible and explain that God requires the use of the rod. "For Christian parents it's not an option, it's a duty." He continues on a more personal level:

"I have not shied from my duty. You have all seen my son Timothy here in church. He is sometimes naughty as young boys are, and no doubt he is sometimes tempted to greater sins. His generally good behaviour however is due to the judicious application of the Biblical rod, a duty I have not neglected. I know that many of you may be loathe to inflict pain on your child, but do you realize how much greater is the pain of eternal damnation in Hell? Imagine a pig roasting. I'm sure all of you have seen pigs roasting. Now imagine you are the pig, and you are alive and able to feel the heat and the pain. And you never get cooked, it just goes on and on and on. That is what Hell is like!

"Compare that to the minor pain of the rod, trifling and temporary, a mere tickling. But a minor pain that can serve to preserve your child from the infinitely greater pain of being roasted in Hell. Would you not be failing in your responsibilities as a parent if you do not use the rod? If you love your child would you not correct him to save him from the torments of Hell?

"I am aware that the people of these islands have no tradition of using the rod. Some of you may even think that is good. But look around you. All the great civilizations throughout history have used the rod. In the Germanic states we use the rod, we use it liberally, and our strength is growing. England, the most powerful nation there is, is well known for the use of the rod. And they became great because they were prepared to provide their children with the necessary discipline, of which the rod is the principle instrument. Use it for your children's sake."

At the end of the service he personally handed a bamboo cane to the head of each family saying, "When you use this rod in loving chastizement let the Lord guide your hand." That evening he prayed that his flock would rise to the challenge of disciplining their children and achieve a new level of confidence and purpose so that they could receive the blessings of civilization and religion.

Almost a week after he distributed the Biblical rods he had not heard any reports of them being used. Nor had he noticed any improvement in the behaviour of the congregation's children. They were as rowdy and insolent as ever, sticking out their tongues and exposing their posteriors to him, and the parents certainly displayed no more confidence. He was unable to conceal his disappointment. "What is the matter with them? Do they have to be shown how to use a cane?" Later that day on the path to the village centre he met a parishioner who had some particularly obnoxious children and after chatting with her for a minute he asks about the rod she received:

"It is impossible to overestimate the ignorance of these savages. When she said the rod hurt her little boy I tried to tell her that was what it was supposed to do. She then asked me how far she should push it in Can you imagine? I had to tell her it was for hitting her child. The stupid woman, I would have gladly thrashed her.

As he recounts it, not long after that he returned to his study to prepare the morrow's sermon when Weiss notices a new green blotter covering the top of his desk. He thinks it strange as the old one was good for another year. Then on a hunch he checks the refuse outside and finds the old one still wet from ink spilt all over it. And he finds his inkwell almost empty. He immediately realizes that Timothy must be the culprit. As he states:

"Anger started to build up in my heart. I would give the devious child a thrashing he would never forget. Then just as I was about to explode in a rage and fetch him to my study a serene calm engulfed me. God had spoken. Yes, the savages do need to be shown. I gave a silent prayer of thanks for this golden opportunity to thrash my son for the enlightenment of the savages and the glory of God. I did not mention my son's offence to anyone, and worse his attempt to cover it up. The proper time would come."

The next day as the parishioners arrived for the Sunday service he questions some of the parents, and indeed some did not know how to use their Biblical rods. He deliberately kept the service short eliminating a couple of hymns and giving a brief sermon on parental duties, and how the sins of the parents are passed down to their children. He abandoned his original idea of whipping Timothy in front of the alter as indecorous, and decided to hold it outside where the compound fronted on to the beach. He'd placed a sturdy table in front of the palm shaded slope where people could sit. At the end of the service he told the congregation that he's prepared a special lesson on discipline for them. While they move outside he informs his unsuspecting son of his plans. Then perhaps wanting to impress future readers with how reasonable he is, he wrote in an unusually neat script:

"I told him. 'Timothy, if you had come to me when you spilt the ink I would have let you off with your usual eight, but when you compound your clumsiness with the sin of deception I have no choice but to inflict double that.' I was beginning to suspect that eight strokes was not enough to break his will in any case. Last time I could detect a lack of sincerity in his cries. The child started his usual whining and pleading but I remained firm as a good father must. I looked at him sternly, 'You will receive a full sixteen righteous strokes. That is a solemn promise I make you. There will be no slackening off.' I don't think I've ever seen the child looking so contrite. I was aware of the momentous importance of the occasion. The entire future of the church's mission in Nullenesia may depend on his caning. I must choose my words to the congregation with care so they realize the necessity of proper discipline.

His scripted notes are revealing:

"I have gathered you here in the sight of God to witness a sacred parental obligation, the loving chasizement of my son. God commands that we discipline our children and the Bible specifies the instrument, the rod, the veritable Biblical rod you are all familiar with and possess. Some of you may be unsure of the proper way to apply the rod. This is why we are here today. Let there be no mistake, what I am about to do is out of love for my son whom I love very dearly, to correct the error of his ways and lead him back onto the path of righteousness. If you think I am severe, remember there is no mercy in Hell".

He added a note that he should simplify the language. However, according to his subsequent entry things did no go as planned. It was a disaster. He wrote in a frenzied scribble:

"The idiots, the traitors, the blasphemers. I cannot find words to describe the outrage that was perpetrated. Why God? Why? I must pray. My best has not been good enough. I explained things beforehand and they seemed to understand. I had Timothy beside me and I was about to proceed with a practical demonstration of the rod when one of them asks why I am chastizing my son, and when I said he'd ruined a blotter, a large costly desk blotter, a woman in the front row asked me what a blotter was. I should have ignored her as it took a while, most had no idea what a blotter was, and had difficulty understanding that while a blotter is to soak up ink, I didn't want ink spilled on it. Even when I was able to get them to grasp that, they wanted to know why that meant Timothy had to be punished. You can't believe how exasperating the savages can be, I was almost ready to give up at that point. However I said a silent prayer and tried to explain that in addition to the cost, he had not only disobeyed me by using the ink without my permission, but... I wasn't able to go on because several demanded to know if I expected my son to obey me. What nerve, what stupidity. It was proof of the absolute lack of discipline that I was trying to remedy. I decided not to mention that Timothy had compounded his offence by trying to cover it up. I'm sure they would have thought that quite natural and no doubt approved.

"There was no reason for further delay. I was even starting to feel sorry for Timothy standing there patiently waiting for his thrashing, and I decided to get down to the meat of the matter. I ordered Timothy to lower his trousers and bend over the table with his backside towards the congregation so they could better judge the effects. I would have hesitated about such immodesty but the savages are so accustomed to nakedness that I felt no qualms about it, and my son is a year or two shy of the age where such things should embarrass him.

"I took up the bamboo Biblical rod and held it up so that they could see it was identical to the ones they had been given. Then old Two Tooth, Jacob I baptized him, came up and said he didn't get one. I promised him one and let him examine the one I had. He smacked the palm of his hand and his thigh with it and protested that it could hurt my son. Again I explained that it was intended to cause pain which seemed to perplex him. He made some comment which I didn't pick up but which led to loud murmurs and a lot of whispering. It was a couple of minutes before I had the congregation's undivided attention.

"Timothy looking very uncomfortable said he had to pee and I told him to use the facilities inside. I couldn't just let him go behind a tree and it would have detracted from the moral character of the lesson if he had wet himself while the rod was being administered. During the delay I noticed that more people had arrived and more were coming in. Word of the lesson must have gotten around. By the time Timothy returned the crowd must have doubled and it took a while for them to settle down. I had to remind Timothy to lower his trousers again. I took up the rod and lightly tapped his backside to get my spacing. I told them one should never punish in anger, that one should maintain a dignified and respectful attitude towards the child, that one punishes out of love not hate and that one must never be dissuaded by cries for mercy or anguish. That one must be resolute and firm, and not stop until the child's wilfulness is extinguished.

"With that I raised my arm and with God's hand guiding me I laid a smart solid blow across my son's posterior. I continued my ministrations at regular intervals. After five strokes I had failed to get even a whimper out of him so I put all my strength and more into the blows. After eight his bottom was vividly striped but the wilful child was stubbornly holding out, deliberately making things difficult for me. I became more determined than ever and he began to cry out after the tenth stroke and at twelve he began thrashing about. I decided on a break to allow him to calm down a bit. I was pleased by the crowd's intense concentration. I trusted they appreciated the effectiveness of the rod but I could soon see from Timothy's expression that his will was not completely broken. I had promised him a double thrashing and was not about to go back on my word. I wanted to show the savages what real contriteness is like, and how it can lead to not only better behaviour but understanding and control. Reminding the savages to be resolute, I raised my arm and delivered a hard bruising blow across his raw buttocks. Timothy suddenly shrieked, jumped up and began cursing me in Pagu. I was stunned, I cannot repeat what he said. I grabbed his shoulder to hold him down and raised my arm again. Then Stonebreaker leapt forward, grabbed the cane and broke it. After all I've done for him I was shocked, I demanded that he sit down and be quiet. He shouted that the boy did not like the rod and the crowd all started talking at once. I tried to calm them down and get their support. I appealed to their sense of reason and trust in God's Word. I had another rod and was prepared to continue but they had been taken in by Stonebreaker's theatrics. The ungrateful savages became unruly and started shouting. I grabbed Timothy and retreated into the house where I completed the boy's punishment in private not relenting one iota. He was truly sorry when I'd finished, sorrow and fear that would keep him quiet and obedient. Alas, that is what I wanted the savages to see, so they could appreciate the blessings of the Biblical rod. Discipline. Discipline, so that there'd be Faith, Industry and Progress. O God, at times like these your humble servant's own faith is sorely tested. Give me the strength and wisdom to carry on."

We can assume that the Reverend Weiss prayed and perhaps turned to reading the Book of Job for consolation. There are few entries in his journal after this and most of them are brief concerning mundane matters such as the garden and worrying about when a shipment of prayer books will arrive. There is no indication that he held any more services or preached. Only a few of the entries concern us. A few days after Timothy's loving chastizement we find an erratic scribble:

"I have searched everywhere for my beloved Timmy. He is gone, no one has seen him. I even went to one of those abominable pagan No Moon things. I was sure I saw him all mud smeared as a devil child but when I ripped off the mask it wasn't him, and three of them came after me, but with God's help I escaped. I fear Satan may have tricked him just as he did Big Paul. Or maybe he was abducted, poor Timmy. I heard an American ship left the harbour yesterday, I hate to think of the coarse language and immorality the sailors would expose him to. The words he would hear, and learn, words that could drag him down into a life of vice. He is still a child, an innocent if not sinless child. Or worse, the savages may have snatched him, and are subjecting him to their perverted practices right now. They would love to get their hands on an easily led, blond Aryan boy. I dread what they might do him with those bacchanals. Why, O Lord, is there no colonial power to turn to? Even France! (The script quickly becomes small and meticulous.) I can only fervently pray that Timothy has the strength of will to keep himself away from Temptation and Evil. He must refuse even if they force him. When I think of how I have laboured ceaselessly to preserve him from the savages' pernicious ways and practices so he could have a childhood, I almost question God's justice. Every hour I pray for his safe return to the bosom of his loving family… Amen."

He relates a dream, or more a nightmare he had:

"I was sitting at my desk and I noticed this demon child looking down at me. Drool ran from his evil grinning mouth and his warped eyes glowered from deep misshapen sockets. I ripped off the mask but the flesh beneath was the same. Again I ripped off the mask and again he had the same contorted face! He snarled, stuck out his long twisted tongue and spat at me. Though a child no bigger than my beloved Timmy, it was possessed by Satan. I had to save him, I stood, took up a cane and commanded the demon child to bend over my desk, and I started striking his backside with all my strength. The blows seemed to have little effect, he continued to spit and curse and the weals quickly faded almost as I laid them on. Gradually the demon's features receded and I recognized his face as that of a boy, one of the few polite boys in the congregation and he became quiet. Behind him was line of more demon children leading from the door of my study, all leering, smirking and cursing, and making the most obscene gestures. I could see intense hate in their eyes, hate for anything good or wholesome, hate for everything Jesus stood for. I began whipping the next hissing demon and as I lashed her flesh her orifice of elimination grew into a huge generative organ and with her head turned towards me she smiled lewdly like a common harlot. I redoubled my efforts, lashing without mercy until blood splattered and finally I recognized her as Lali, the girl who'd robbed my dear Timmy of his purity. I shoved her aside and began whipping the next demon. It seemed as if I whipped dozens if not hundreds, I lost count. Then there was the boy who rubbed his privates against my desk and was in a state of arousal no matter how hard I lashed him. Nothing would cure him. My arm became tired and felt heavy; I desperately wanted to save him, to free him. Then I remembered the heavy whips they used on prisoners and wished I had one. Suddenly I saw one, a knout with thick knotted thongs, hanging on the wall that could tear the skin from his flesh if necessary. My hopes leapt but when I reached for it, it wasn't there. I don't know all that happened, I whipped the demon boy bloody but his wounds healed as rapidly as I opened them up. And there were more; out my window I could see a line up of demon children as far as the compound gate. They looked at me with blazing eyes, all were laughing, cursing and obscenely fondling themselves. I continued to whip them, so many more, becoming exhausted, slipping on blood and filth. All those who'd been chastized healed and reverted to demons, all laughing, pointing and mocking me.

"I awoke with painful shoulder cramps. Was the dream a message from God? Had I not persevered with sufficient determination? I prayed for the Lord's guidance".

Subsequently Weiss had another dream where:

"Satan invited me to join a vast, grotesque orgy involving hundreds of children, devil children engaged in every carnal act imaginable. I could not bear to watch, but then I saw Timothy drooling and hideously deformed coupled that child of the servant woman, and with a lecherous expression he thrust out his posterior and beckoned to me. He wanted me to…

"When I awoke I realized that Satan has been operating in our midst all along, right under our very noses. Sar Li is part of his scheme. She corrupts the children. I must take the struggle to the Prince of Darkness before it is too late, but how? By any means."

In a feverish undated entry presumably not much later we find:

"I will kill him, that apostate Werner, that lover of savages, that servant of Satan, that kidnapper who stole my son, my dear sweet Timmy. I will see that corrupter of purity dead if it's the last thing I do. The world needs to be purged of such scum. There must be others that want him dead. Every true Christian would rejoice if they knew… I wonder. Maybe I could persuade Stonebreaker to break his neck and speed him on his way to Hell. Or I could hire some scoundrel off one of the ships. That reprobate, I know their kind, he shall die."

On the instructions of the church the Reverend Adolphus Johannes Weiss returned to Germany on the next ship accompanied by his faithful wife Constance. He died in an asylum a few years later, a bitter and disillusioned man.

Copyright ©, Sam Palocson; Kalayaan Publications, Vancouver 2006

Mask Replicas carved by Rohban; Photography by Katie Scarlet

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