In 'The Little Brass God,' a 1905 story by Bithia Croker, a statue of 'Kali, Goddess of Destruction,' brings misfortune to its unwitting AngloIndian possessors. First their pets kill each other or are killed in accidents; next the servants get sick or fall downstairs; then the family's lives are jeopardized. Finally the statue is stolen and dropped down a well, thus ending the curse.' This featherweight tale typifies many written between 1880 and 1914. Its central feature, the magic statue, suggests that Western rationality may be subverted by the very