A Grain of Rice

Prior to the invention of the lie detector, when suspected criminals were captured and presented before the courts in India, their automatic response to fear was cleverly utilized in arriving at a verdict. The offender was given dry rice to chew, and his ability to do so was the decider. If the culprit was guilty, chewing the rice would be impossible, as his intense fear would dry up his mouth, and so he would confess. On the other hand, an innocent party would soften the rice with a plentiful release of saliva…
 
Source: Traralgon Record, Friday 17 January 1908
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