The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

book - 'Naga Path', by Ursula Graham Bower, published John Murray 1950

caption: Chapter four. Black Magic
caption: decide to send to Imphal for help to go to Lai-yi
medium: books
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
text: The compounder and I held a hurried conference in the still half-unpacked camp. We checked up on the party's vaccinations. Only he and I were safe; of the others, not one could enter the danger-zone. But even if he and I were to go alone, we still had no lymph or lancets. The only thing we could do for Lai-yi was to send for help.
text: The shortest road to Imphal lay through the infected area. That meant sending round through Ukhrul, a matter of eighty miles. But it couldn't be helped; it was the only chance. We picked the youngest and best of the Tangkhuls. A note was scribbled, and he left that night.
text: The Duncans at Ukhrul forwarded it by a fresh runner. It reached Imphal the evening of the second day. The Civil Surgeon immediately despatched a relief-party, which got to Lai-yi on the fourth day after my letter was written. But, quick as they were, short as the time was, there had still been thirty deaths. Yet there are people opposed to vaccination. How many of them, I wonder, have seen a smallpox outbreak ?