I could see that the eyelids opened and shut independently of each
other and apparently with no relation to the movement of Namatusi's
hands. Similar movements would sometimes cause one eye to open,
sometimes the other, sometimes both together, sometimes neither.
Was this how the oracle worked? Did one shut eye mean "Refuse" and two open eyes "Accept", and so on? I never knew.
it reminds me that with one client of mine it was I who "read the
oracle". The client was the late Mr. Calipé, member of a firm of
well-known London gem dealers. He was in the habit of making very low
first offers, steadily increasing his bid. Now, he always wore a
certain peaked cap in his shop, and as he stood behind his counter
poking into the parcel of stones under consideration with his pencil,
every offer was punctuated by a slight clockwise twist of the cap so that
the peak changed its position as his bidding proceeded. After a while I
began to notice that his final bid always coincided with the return of
the centre of the peak to a point aligned with the root of his nose.
And once having made this great discovery, I never again let a parcel
go until that cap had assumed its normal position.
pays you to watch people's idiosyncrasies. But in that case the old
gentleman was such a keen judge that probably I did not make much on my
discovery, after all!
has had many more uses than as beads or in the form of figurines with
magical properties. The Gauls, for instance, used it for ornamenting
their helmets and weapons. The mandarins of China of a certain rank