He also presented symptoms of fever, body aches, unusual tingling sensations, and blue lips due to cyanosis. A couple of days later, he died... Sort of.
After being buried, Narcisse drifted in a timeless semi-conscious state. That's when a bokor (Voodoo priest) and a couple of henchmen exhumed him, bound him up, and whisked him away to farm in a sugar plantation for the next two years. And he was not alone. The bokor had another zombie workers, which he fed one meal a day: a paste made of sweet potatoes, cane syrup, and zombie cucumber. Yes, it sounds ridiculous, but zombie cucumber is an effective narcotic: it is suposed to once have made British soldiers so high that they could see their house from Virginia.
Nevertheless, Narcisse said the bokor took his soul and he had no will to resist. He only escaped when one of the zombies rebelled against the abuse and killed their captor with a hoe. Free from the curse, the zombies were able to wander off.