Into the Zombie Underworld
Credit: Photograph by Ben Lowy
XII
Madame Zicot had been so close – that was the worst thing of all. She told me that she spent the next year and a half in a maddening and futile attempt to find Nadathe. To this very day, she still hears rumors. The most painful one was this: that Nadathe had had a baby. Some said that she was in northern Haiti, or in the Artibonite Valley. People meaning well enough told her that they had heard that Nadathe was dead, dead in the definitive sense of the word, that Madame Zicot should grieve and put her heart at rest.

Madame Zicot became certain that the secret societies were now actively impeding her progress. One night she had a meeting with a guide who promised to help her find Nadathe, but that evening, she says, a mystical sleep sent by her enemies came over her. She couldn't wake up, and the opportunity was lost.

She hadn't given up hope entirely. A story from the north of Haiti cheered her. There, an old sorcerer died and his children, having been converted to Protestantism, released his zombie slaves.

But there were times when hope flagged. She once tried to sell Nadathe's clothes. She took them to her cousin Margaret's house and began to weep. Margaret said, "The tears still haven't finished in your eyes." And Madame Zicot said, "No, the Good Lord still hasn't given me to forget."