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The shadow world

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Title:TheShadowWorld
Author:HamlinGarland
ReleaseDate:September13,2007[eBook#22593]
Language:English
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THE
SHADOWWORLD


BY


HAMLINGARLAND
AUTHOROF
"THECAPTAINOFTHEGRAY-HORSETROOP"
"MONEYMAGIC"ETC.


Publisherslogo


NEWYORKANDLONDON

HARPER&BROTHERSPUBLISHERS
MCMVIII


Copyright,1908,byHAMLINGARLAND.
Copyright,1908,byTHERIDGWAYCOMPANY.
Allrightsreserved.
PublishedSeptember,1908.




CONTENTS

FOREWORD
CHAPTERI
CHAPTERII
CHAPTERIII
CHAPTERIV


CHAPTERV
CHAPTERVI
CHAPTERVII
CHAPTERVIII
CHAPTERIX
ADDENDUM


FOREWORD
This book is a faithful record, so far as I can make it, of the most marvellous
phenomena which have come under my observation during the last sixteen or
seventeenyears.Ihaveusedmynotes(madeimmediatelyafterthesittings)and
alsomyreportstotheAmericanPsychicalSociety(ofwhichIwasatonetimea
director) as the basis of my story. For literary purposes I have substituted
fictitious names for real names, and imaginary characters for the actual
individuals concerned; but I have not allowed these necessary expedients to
interferewiththeprecisetruthoftheaccount.
For example, Miller, an imaginary chemist, has been put in the place of a
scientist much older than thirty-five, in whose library the inexplicable "third
sitting"tookplace.Fowler,also,isnotintendedtodepictanindividual.Theman
inwhoseshoeshestandsisoneofthemostwidelyreadanddeeplyexperienced
spiritistsIhaveeverknown,andIhavesincerelytriedtopresentthroughFowler
the argument which his prototype might have used. Mrs. Quigg, Miss Brush,
Howard,theCamerons,andmostoftheothers,arepurelyimaginary.Theplaces
in which the sittings took place are not indicated, for the reason that I do not
wishtoinvolveanyunwillingwitnesses.
In the case of the psychics, they are, of course, delineated exactly as they
appeared to me, although I have concealed their real names and places of
residence.Mrs.Smiley,whoseadmirablepatienceunderinvestigationmakesher
an almost ideal subject, is the chief figure among my "mediums," and I have
triedtogiveherattitudetowardusandtowardherfaithassheexpresseditinour
sittings, although the conversation is necessarily a mixture of imagination and
memory. Mrs. Hartley is a very real and vigorous character—a professional
psychic,itistrue,butawomanofintelligenceandpower.ThoseinprivatelifeI
have guarded with scrupulous care, and I am sure that none of them, either
private or professional, will feel that I have wilfully misrepresented what took
place. My aim throughout has been to deal directly and simply with the facts
involved.
I have not attempted to be profound or mystical or even scientific, but I have
triedtopresentclearly,simply,andasnearlywithoutbiasaspossible,anaccount
ofwhatIhaveseenandheard.Theweightofevidenceseems,atthemoment,to


beonthesideofthebiologists;butIamwillingtoreopenthecaseatanytime,
althoughIam,aboveall,amanoftheopenair,oftheplainsandthemountains,
anddonotintendtoidentifymyselfwithanybranchofmetapsychicalresearch.
Itisprobable,therefore,thatthisismyoneandfinalcontributiontothestudyof
theshadowworld.
HAMLINGARLAND.
CHICAGO,July,1908.


THESHADOWWORLD



I
A hush fell over the dinner-table, and every ear was open and inclined as
Cameron, the host, continued: "No, I wouldn't say that. There are some things
thatareprettywellestablished—telepathy,forinstance."
"Idon'tbelieveevenintelepathy,"assertedMrs.Quigg,averypositivejournalist
whosatathisright."Ithinkeventhatismerecoincidence."
Severalvoicesroseinachorusofprotest."Ohno!Telepathyisreal.Why,I've
hadexperiences—"
"Thereyougo!"repliedMrs.Quigg,stillintheheatofheropposition."Youwill
alltellthesamestory.YourfriendwasdyinginBombayorVienna,andhisspirit
appearedtoyou,àlaJournalofPsychicResearch,withamessage,attheexact
hour,computingdifferenceintime(whichnooneeverdoes),andsoon.Iknow
thatkindofthing—butthatisn'ttelepathy."
"Whatistelepathy,then?"askedlittleMissBrush,whopaintsminiatures.
"Ican'tdescribeathingthatdoesn'texist,"repliedMrs.Quigg."Thewordmeans
feelingatadistance,doesitnot,professor?"
Harris, a teacher of English, who seldom took a serious view of anything,
answered,"Ishouldcallitalong-distancetouch."
"Do you believe in hypnotism, Dr. Miller?" asked Miss Brush, quietly
addressingherneighbor,ayoungscientistwhosespecialtywaschemistry.
"No,"repliedhe;"Idon'tbelieveinasingleoneofthesesupernaturalforces."
"Youmeanyoudon'tbelieveinanythingyouhavenotseenyourself,"saidI.
TothisMillerslowlyreplied:"IbelieveinVienna,whichIhaveneverseen,butI
don'tbelieveinaViennadoctorwhoclaimstobeabletohypnotizeamansothat
hecansmilewhilehislegisbeingtakenoff."
"Oh,that'safact,"statedBrierly,theportrait-painter;"thathappenseverydayin
ourhospitalshereinNewYorkCity."


"Haveyoueverseenitdone?"askedMiller,bristlingwithopposition.
"No."
"Well," asserted Miller, "I wouldn't believe it even if I saw the operation
performed."
"Youdon't believeinanymysteryunlessit isfamiliar,"said I, warming tothe
contest.
"Icertainlydonotbelieveinthesechildishmysteries,"respondedMiller,"andit
isstrangetomethatmenlikeSirOliverLodgeandSirWilliamCrookesshould
believeinslate-writingandlevitationandalltherestofthathocus-pocus."
"Nevertheless,hypnotismisafact,"insistedBrierly."Youmusthavesomefaith
inthebigbooksonthesubjectfilledwithproof.Thinkofthetests—"
"Idon'tcallitatesttostickpinsintoaperson'stongue,"saidMrs.Quigg."We
newspaperpeopleallknowthatthereareinthehypnoticbusinesswhattheycall
'horses'—that is to say, wretched men and boys, women sometimes, who have
trainedthemselvessothattheycanholdhotpennies,eatredpepper,anddoother
'stunts'—we'vehadtheirconfessionstimesenough."
"Yes, but their confessions are never quite complete," retorted young Howard.
"WhenIwasincollegeIhadoneofthese'horses'appealtomeforhelp.Hewas
out of a job, and I told him I'd blow him to the supper of his life if he would
renderupthesecretsofhistrade.Hetookmyoffer,butjarredmebyconfessing
thattheprofessorreallycouldhypnotizehim.Hehadtomakebelieveonlypart
ofthetime.His'stunts'weremostlyreal."
"It'sthesamewaywithmediums,"saidI."Ihavehadagooddealofexperience
with them, and I've come to the conclusion that they all, even the most
untrustworthyofthem,startwithatleastsomesmallbasisofabnormalpower.Is
it not rather suggestive that the number of practising mediums does not
materially increase? If it were a mere matter of deception, would there not be
thousands at the trade? As a matter of fact, there are not fifty advertising
mediums in New York at this moment, though of course the number is kept
downbythefeelingthatitisabitdisreputabletohavethesepowers."
"You're too easy on them," said Howard. "I never saw one that wasn't a cheap
skate."


AgainIprotested."Don'tbehasty.Thereareniceones.Myownmotherhadthis
powerinheryouth,somyfathertellsme.HerpeoplewerelivinginWisconsin
atthetimewhenthispsychicforcedevelopedinher,andthesettlersfrommany
miles around came to see her 'perform.' An uncle, when a boy of four, did
automaticwriting,andoneofmyauntsrecentlywrotetome,inrelationtomy
bookTheTyrannyoftheDark,thatfortwoyears(beginningwhenshewasabout
seventeen)thesepowersofdarknessmadeherlifeahell.Itwon'tdotobehasty
incondemningthemediumswholesale.Therearemanydecentpeoplewhoare
possessed bystrangeforces,butareshyof confessingtheirabnormalities.Ask
your family physician. He will tell you that he always has at least one patient
whoistroubledbyoccultpowers."
"Medicalmencallit'hysteria,'"saidHarris.
"Whichdoesn'texplainanything,"Ianswered."Manyapparentlyhealthypeople
possessthemoreelementaryofthesepowers—oftenwithoutknowingit."
"Wearealltelepathicinsomedegree,"declaredBrierly.
"Perhaps all the so-called messages from the dead come from living minds," I
suggested—"I mean the minds of those about us. Dr. Reed, a friend of mine,
once arranged to go with a patient to have a test sitting with a very celebrated
psychicwhoclaimedtobeabletoreadsealedletters.Justbeforetheappointed
day,Reed'spatientdiedsuddenlyofheart-disease,leavingasealedletteronhis
desk. The doctor, fully alive to the singular opportunity, put the letter in his
pocket and hastened to the medium. The magician took it in his hand and
pondered.Atlasthesaid:'Thiswaswrittenbyamannowinthespiritworld.I
cannotsenseit.Thereisn'tamediumintheworldwhocanreadit,butifyouwill
sendittoanypersonanywhereontheplanetandhaveitreadandresealed,Iwill
tellyouwhatisinit.Icannotgetthewordsunlesssomemindintheearth-plane
hasabsorbedthem.'"
Harrisspokefirst."Thatwouldseemtoproveasortofuniversalmindreservoir,
wouldn'tit?"
"That is the way my friend figured it. But isn't that a staggering hypothesis? I
haveneverhadasealedletterread,butthepsychicresearchpeopleseemtohave
absolutelyprovedpsychometrytobeafact.AfteryoureadMyersyouareready
tobelieveanything—ornothing."
Thehostessrose."Supposewegointothelibraryandhavemoreghoststories.


Come,Mr.Garland,wecan'tleaveyoumenheretotalkyourselvesoutonthese
interestingsubjects.Youmustletusallhearwhatyouhavetosay."
Inmoreorlessjocosemoodthecompanytroopedouttothelibrary,whereafire
was glowing in the grate and easy-chairs abounded. The younger people,
bringingcushions,placedthemselvesbesidethehearth,whileItookaseatnear
Mrs.CameronandHarris.
"There!"saidMissBrush,withagurgleofdelight."Thisismoreliketheproper
light and surroundings for creepy tales. Please go on, Mr. Garland. You said
you'dhadagooddealofexperience—tellusallaboutit.Ialwaysthinkofyouas
a trailer, a man of the plains. How did you happen to get into this shadow
world?"
"ItcameaboutwhileIwaslivinginBoston.Itwasin1891,orpossibly1892.A
friend,theeditoroftheArena,askedmetobecomeamemberoftheAmerican
Psychical Society, which he was helping to form. He wished me to go on the
Board of Directors, because, as he said, I was 'young, a keen observer, and
withoutemotionalbias'—bywhichhemeantthatIhadnotbeenbereaved."
"Quiteright;thelossofachildorawifeweakenseventhebestofusillogical,"
commentedHarris."Nomanwhoismourningarelativehasanybusinesstobe
callinghimselfaninvestigatorofspiritualism."
"Well,theupshotwas,Ijoinedthesociety,becameamemberoftheExecutive
Board,was made aspecialcommitteeon'physicalphenomena'—thatistosay,
slate-writing, levitation, and the like—and set to work. It was like entering a
new,vague,andmysteriousworld.ThefirstcaseIinvestigatedbroughtoutone
ofthemostfundamentalofthesefacts,whichis,thatthisshadowworldliesvery
closetothesunny,so-callednormalday.Thesecretaryofthesocietyhadalready
begun to receive calls for help. A mechanic had written from South Boston
askingustoseehiswife'sautomaticwriting,andafarmerhadcomedownfrom
Concordtotellusofahauntedhouseandthemysteriousrappingsonitswalls.
AlmostinadayIwasmadeawareoftheillusorysideoflife."
"Whyillusory?"askedBrierly.
"Letuscallitthatforthepresent,"Ianswered."Amongthosewhowrotetous
wasawomanfromLowellwhosedaughterhaddevelopedstrangepowers.Her
account,sostraightforwardandsoprecise,determinedustoinvestigatethecase.
Therefore,oursecretary(ayoungclergyman)andItookthetrainforLowellone


autumn afternoon. We found Mrs. Jones living in a small, old-fashioned frame
housestandinghardagainstthesidewalk,andthroughtheparlorwindows,while
we awaited the psychic, I watched an endless line of derby hats as the town's
mechanicsploddedby—incessantremindersofthepractical,hard-headedworld
thatfilledthestreet.Thiswas,indeed,atypicalcase.Inhalfanhourwewereall
sittingaboutthetableinadimlight,whilethesweet-voicedmotherwastalking
with'Charley,'her'poltergeist'—"
"Whatisthat,please?"askedMrs.Quigg.
"The word means a rollicking spirit who throws things about. I did not value
whathappenedatthissitting,fortheconditionswereallthepsychic'sown.Bythe-way,shewasalarge,blond,strappinggirloftwentyorso—oneofthemillhands—not in the least the sickly, morbid creature I had expected to see. As I
say,theconditionsweresuchastomakewhattookplaceofnoscientificvalue,
andIturnedinnoreportuponit;butitwasallverycurious."
"Whathappened?Don'tskip,"badeMrs.Cameron.
"Oh,thetablerappedandheavedandslidabout.Achaircrawledtomylapand
atlasttothetopofthetable,apparentlyofitsownmotion.Alittlerocking-chair
movedtoandfropreciselyasifsomeoneweresittinginit,andsoon.Itwasall
unconvincing at the time, but as I look back upon it now, after years of
experience,Iaminclinedtothinkpartofitatleastwasgenuine.Andthisbrings
me to say to Mrs. Quigg, and to any other doubter, that you have only to step
asideintosilenceandshadowandwaitforamoment—andthebewilderingwill
happen, or you will imagine it to happen. I will agree to furnish from this
companyamediumthatwillastonishevenourmaterialisticfriendMiller."
Therewasaloudoutcry:"Whatdoyoumean?Explainyourself!"
"I am perfectly certain that if this company will sit as I direct for twenty-one
daysatthesamehour,inthesameroom,underthesameconditions,phenomena
willdevelopwhichwillnotmerelyamazebutscaresomeofyou;andasforyou,
Mrs.Quigg,youwhoaresocertainthatnothingeverhappens,youwillbethe
firsttoturnpalewithawe."
"Tryme!Iamwildtobe'shown.'"
Harris was not so boastful. "You mean, of course, that some of these highly
culturedladieswoulddevelophysteria?"


"I am not naming the condition; I only say that I have seen some very hardheaded and self-contained people cut strange capers. The trance and
'impersonation'usuallycomefirst."
"Let'sdoit!"criedoutMissBrush."Itwouldbesuchfun!"
"You'dbethefirstto'gooff,'"saidI,banteringly.
Harrisagreed."Sheisneuropathic."
"I propose we start a psychic society here and now," said Cameron. "I'll be
president, Mrs. Quigg secretary, and Garland can be the director of the awful
rites.MissBrush,youshallbethe'mejum.'"
"Ohno,no!"shecried,"pleaseletsomeoneelsebeit."
Thisamusedme,butIseizeduponCameron'snotion."Iacceptthearrangement
providedyoudonotholdmeresponsibleforanyilleffects,"Isaid."It'sticklish
business.Therearemanywhoholdthewholeprocessdiabolic."
"Isthehousereadyforthequestion?"askedCameron.
"Ay,ay!"shoutedeveryonepresent.
"Thesocietyisformed,"announcedCameron."Aspresident,Isuggestasitting
rightnow.Howaboutit,Garland?"
"Certainly!" I answered, "for I have an itching in my thumbs that tells me
somethingwitchingthiswaycomes."
Theguestsroseinaflutterofpleasedexcitement.
"Howdowegoatit?"askedMrs.Cameron.
"Thefirstrequisiteisasmalltable—"
"Whyatable?"askedMrs.Quigg.
"Thetheoryisthatithelpstoconcentratethemindsofthesitters,anditwillalso
furnishaconvenientplacetorestourhands.Anyhow,allthegreatinvestigators
beganthisway,"Ireplied,pacifically."Wemayalsorequireapencilandapad."
Millerwasonhisdignity."Ideclinetositatatableinthatfoolishway.Ishall
lookoninlonelygrandeur."


Theotherswereeagerto"sitin,"asyoungHowardcalledit,andsoonnineofus
were seated about an oblong mahogany table. Brierly was very serious, Miss
Brushecstatic,andMrs.Harrisrathernervous.
I was careful to prepare them all for failure. "This is only a trial sitting, you
know,merelytogetourhandsin,"Iwarned.
"Mustwekeepstill?"
"Ohno!Youmaytalk,ifyoudosoquietly.Pleasetouchfingers,soastomakea
complete circuit. I don't think it really necessary, but it sometimes helps to
produce the proper mental state; singing softly also tends to harmonize the
'conditions,' as the professionals say. Don't argue and don't be too eager. Lean
backandrest.Takeapassiveattitudetowardthewholeproblem.Ifindthewhole
processveryrestful.Harris,willyouturndownthelightsbefore—"
"There!"saidMiller,"thehocus-pocusbegins.Whynotperforminthelight?"
"Subdued light will bring the proper negative and inward condition sooner," I
replied, taking a malicious delight in his disgust. "Now will some one sing
'Annie Laurie,' or any other sweet, low song? Let us get into genial, receptive
mood. Miller, you and your fellow-doubters please retire to the far end of the
room."
Inavoicethattrembledalittle,Mrs.Harrisstartedthedearoldmelody,andall
joinedin,producingasoftandlullingchorus.
AttheendofthesongIasked,matter-of-factly:"Aretheconditionsright?Are
wesittingright?"
Mrs.Quiggsharplyqueried,"Whomareyoutalkingto?"
"The'guides,'"Ianswered.
"The'guides'!"sheexclaimed."Doyoubelieveintheguides?"
"I believe in the belief of the guides," was my cryptic rejoinder. "Sing again,
please."
Ireallyhadnofaithintheconditionsofthecircle,butforthejokeofitIkeptmy
sittersinplacefornearlyanhourbydintofpretendingtohearcreakingsandto
feelthrobbings,untilatlastlittleMissBrushbecameverydeeplyconcerned."I
feel them, too," she declared. "Did some one blow on my hands? I felt a cold


wave."
Harrisgotupabruptly."I'lljointhedoubters,"saidhe."Thistomfooleryistoo
idioticforme."
Cameron followed, and Mrs. Quigg also rose. "I'll go with you," she said,
decidedly. I was willing to quit, too, but Mrs. Harris and Miss Brush pleaded
withmetocontinue.
"Closeupthecircle,then.ProbablyHarriswasthehoodoo.Thingswillhappen
now,"Isaid,briskly,thoughstillwithoutanyfaithintheexperiment.
Hardly had Harris left the table when a shudder passed over Mrs. Harris, her
headlifted,andhereyesclosed.
"What'sthematter,Dolly?"whisperedMrs.Cameron."Doyoufeelfaint?"
"Don'tbealarmed!Mrs.Harrisisonlypassingintoasleep.Notaword,Harris!"
Isaid,warningly."Pleasemovefartheraway."
In the dusky light the faces of all the women looked suddenly blanched and
strangeastheentrancedwomanseizeduponthetablewithherhands,shakingit
hardfromsidetoside.Thetable seemedtowaketodiabolic energyunderher
palms. This was an unexpected development, and I was almost as much
surprisedastheotherswere.
"Singagain,"Icommanded,softly.
As they sang, Mrs. Harris withdrew her hands from the table and sat rigidly
erect, yet with a peaceful look upon her face. "She does it well," I thought. "I
didn't think it in the quiet little lady." At length one hand lifted and dropped
limply upon the table. "It wants to write," said I. "Where is the pad? I have a
pencil."
AsIputapencilunderthehand,itwasseizedinaverysingularway,andalmost
instantlyMrs.Camerongasped,"That'sverystrange!"
"Hush!"saidI."Wait!"
Holdingthepencilclumsilyasacrippledpersonmightdo,thehandcreptover
the paper, and at last, after writing several lines, stopped and lay laxly open. I
passedthepadtoBrierly."Readitaloud,"Isaid.


Hetookittothelightandread:
"Sara, be not sceptical. Believe and you will be happier. Life is only the
minutestsegmentofthegreatcircle.
MARTIN."
"Myfather!"exclaimedMrs.Cameron."Letmeseethewriting."Brierlyhanded
thepadtoher.Shestareduponitinaweandwonder."Itishisexactsignature—
and Dolly held the pen just as he did—he was paralyzed toward the last—and
couldonlywritebyholdinghispenthatway."
"Look!it'smovingagain,"Iexclaimed.
Thehandcaughtupthepencil,and,holdingitbetweenthethumbandforefinger
inapeculiarway,beganmovingitintheair.Brierly,whosatopposite,translated
these movements. "She is drawing, free-hand, in the air. She is sketching the
outline of a boat. See how she measures and plumbs her lines! Are you
addressingme?"heaskedofMrs.Harris.
Thesleepernodded.
"Can'tyouwrite?"Iasked."Can'tyouspeak?"
Alowgurgleinthethroatwastheonlyansweratthemoment,butafterafew
trials a husky whisper began to be heard. "I will try," she said, and suddenly
begantochuckle,rollingupononehipandthrowingonefootovertheotherlike
amantakinganeasyattitude.Shenowheldthepencilasifitwereacigarette,
laughingagainwithsuchgeneroustonethattheotherwomenrecoiled.Thenshe
spoke,huskily."Youknow—SanRemo—Sands,"camebrokenlyfromherlips.
"Sands?"queriedthepainter;"whoisSands?"
"Sands—SanRemo—boats."
Thepainterwaspuzzled."Idon'trememberanySandsatSanRemo.Itmustbe
somestudentIknewinParis.Isthatwhatyoumean?"
Mrs. Harris violently nodded. As abruptly as it came, this action left her, and
thenslowly,imperceptibly,herexpressionchanged,alookofineffablematernal
sweetnesscameintoherface;sheseemedtocradleatinybabeuponherarm.At
lastshesighed,"Oh,thepityofit,thepityofit!"


Foraminutewesatinsilence,socompellingwerehergesturesandhertone.At
lastIasked,"Hasanyoneherelostalittlechild?"
Mrs.Cameronspoke,hesitatingly,"Yes—Ilostalittlebaby—yearsago."
"Sheisaddressingyou—perhaps."
Mrs. Harris did not respond to this suggestion, but changed into an
impersonation of a rollicking girl of rather common fibre. "Hello, Sally!" she
cried out, and Mrs. Cameron stared at her in blank dismay as she asked, "Are
youtalkingtome?"
"YoubetIam,youoldbago'wool.RememberGeny?Rememberthenighton
thedoor-step?Ooo!butitwascold!Youweretoblame."
"Whatisshetalkingabout?"Iasked,seeingthatMrs.Cameronwasreluctantto
answerthischallenge.
"Sheseemstobeimpersonatinganoldclass-mateofmineatcollege—"
"That'swhat!"brokeinthevoice.
Mrs.Cameronwenton,"HernamewasEugeniaHull—"
"Is yet," laughed the voice. "Same old sport. Couldn't find any man good
enough.Youdidn'tlikeme,butnomatter;Iwanttotellyouthatyou'reindanger
offire.Don'tplaywithfire.Becarefuloffire—"
Againacalmblanknessfelluponthepsychic'sdelicateandsensitiveface,and
thehandoncemoreslowlycloseduponthepencil.
"My father again!" exclaimed Mrs. Cameron. "How could Dolly have known
thatheheldhispeninjustthatway?Sheneversawhim."
"Do not place too much value on such performances," I cautioned. "She has
probably heard you describe it. Or she might have taken it out of your
subconsciousmind."
The pencil dropped. The hand lifted. The form of the sleeper expanded with
power. Her face took on benignity and lofty serenity. She rose slowly,
impressively, and with her hand upraised in a peculiar gesture, laid a blessing
upontheheadofherhostess.Therewassomuchofsweetnessandtolerancein
herface,somuchofdignityandpowerineverymovementthatIwasmovedto


applaud the actress. As we all sat thus, deeply impressed by her towering
attitude,Mrs.Cameronwhispered:"Why,itisBishopBlank!Thatisexactlythe
wayheheldhishand—hisrobe!"
"Isitthebishop?"Iasked.
The psychic bowed and in solemn answer spoke. "Tell James all will yet be
well,"shesaid,and,makingthesignofblessingoncemore,sankbackintoher
chair.
Meanwhiletheirreverentribaldsinthefarendoftheroomweredisturbingthe
solemnityofallthiscommunionwiththeshades,andatmysuggestionwewent
up-stairstoMrs.Cameron'sownsitting-room,wherewecouldbequiet.Seizing
amomentwhenMrs.Harriswasfreefromthe"influence,"Iwokeherandtold
herwhatwewereabouttodo.ShefollowedMrs.Cameronreadily,althoughshe
seemedalittledazed,andfiveofuscontinuedthesitting,withMrs.Quiggand
Cameron looking on with perfectly evident doubt of our psychic's sincerity.
Harriswasrigidlyexcluded.
InthequietofthisroomMrs.Harrispassedalmostimmediatelyintotrance—or
whatseemedlikeatrance—andranswiftlyoverallherformerimpersonations.
Voicesucceededvoice,almostwithoutpause.Thesweetmotherwiththechild,
the painter of San Remo, the jovial and slangy girl, the commanding and
majestic figure of the bishop—all returned repeatedly, in bewildering mixture,
droppingaway,oneaftertheother,withdisappointingsuddenness.Andyeteach
timethemessagesgrewalittlemoredefinite,alittlemorecoherent,untilatlast
they all cleared up, and this in opposition to our thought, to our first
interpretations. It developed that the painter was not named "Sands," but
"Felipi," and that he was only trying to tell Brierly that to succeed he should
paintrocksandsandsandoldboatsatSanRemo."Pauline,"thewomanwhohad
seemed to hold a babe, was a friend of Mrs. Cameron's who had died in
childbirth.Andthenswiftly,unaccountably,allthesegentleorgenialinfluences
were scattered as if by something hellish, something diabolic. The face of the
sweetlittlewomanbecamefiendishinline.Herlipssnarled,herhandsclawed
like those of a cat, and out of her mouth came a hoarse imprecation. "I'll tear
yourheartout!"shesnarled."I'llkillyousoulandbody—I'llripyoulimbfrom
limb!" We all recoiled in amazement and wonder. It was as if our friend had
suddenlygoneinsane.
I confess to a feeling of profound astonishment. I had never met Mrs. Harris


before,butasshewasanintimatefriendofMrs.Cameron,andquiteevidentlya
womanofculture,Icouldnotthinkhersopractisedajokerastobe"puttingall
thison."
While still we sat in silence, another voice uttered a wail of infinite terror and
despair."Ididn'tdoit!Don'tkillme!Itwasnotmywork."Andthen,stillmore
horribletohear,asoundlikethegurglingofbloodcamefromthepsychic'slips,
mixed with babbled, frantic, incoherent words. I had a perfectly definite
impression that she was impersonating some one with his throat cut. Her
grimacesweredisgustingandterrifying.Thewomenshiveredwithhorror.Afew
secondslaterandherfacechanged;thehideousmaskbecamewhite,expressing
rigid,exaltedterror.Herarmsweredrawnbackasiftiedattheelbowbehindher
back. Her head was uplifted, and in a low, monotonous, hushed voice she
prayed:"LordJesus,receive—"
Agasping,gurglingcrycutshortherprayer,and,withtongue protruding from
her mouth, she presented such a picture of a strangling woman that a sudden
clearconceptionofwhatitallmeantcametome."She'simpersonatingawoman
on the scaffold," I explained. "She has shown us a murder, and now she is
depictinganexecution.IsitMrs.R.,ofVermont?"Iasked.
Shenoddedslowly."Saveme!"shewhispered.
"Wakenher,please.Don'tletherdothatanymore,"pleadedMrs.Cameron,in
poignantdistress.
ThereuponIcalledout,sharply:"Thatisenough!Wake!Wake!"
Inanswertomycommandsheceasedtogroan;herfacesmoothedout,andwith
a bewildered smile she opened her eyes. "What are you saying? Have I been
asleep?"
"You have, indeed," I replied, "and you've disclosed a deal of dubious family
history.Howdoyoufeel?"
"I feel very funny around my neck," she answered, wonderingly. "What have
youbeendoingtome?"Sherubbedherthroat."Myneckfeelsasifithadaband
roundit,andmytongueseemsswollen.Whathaveyoubeenabout?"
Iheldupawarninghandtotheothers."Youwentoffintoaquietlittletrance,
that'sall.Iwasmistaken.Eitheryouareapsychicoryoushouldhavebeenan
actress."


As we stood thus confronting one another, Mrs. Cameron came between us,
saying,"Doyouknow,Paulinecameandtalkedwithme—"
AtthewordPaulinethespellseemedtofallagainoverthebrightspiritofMrs.
Harris. Her eyelids drooped, her limbs lost their power, and she sank into her
chairasbefore,ahelplessvictim,apparently,tothehiddenforces.Foramoment
Iwasataloss.Icouldnotbelievethatshewasdeceivingus,butitwaspossible
thatshewasdeceivingherself."Ineithercase,shemustbebroughtoutofthis,"I
decided,and,puttingmyhandsonhershoulders,Isaid:"Ifthereisany'control'
here,letthemstopthis.Wewantnomoreofit.Stopit!"
Mycommandwasagainobeyed,andthepsychicslowlycamebacktoherself,
andasshedidsoIsaid,warningly,toMrs.Cameron:"Donotutteranotherword
ofthisinMrs.Harris'spresence.Sheseemstobeextremelysensitivetohypnotic
influence,andIthinkshehadbettergooutintotheairatonce."
In rather subdued mood we went below to rejoin the frankly contemptuous
membersoftheparty.
"Well,whatluck?"criedHoward.
"Youalllookrathersolemn,"saidHarris."Whataboutit?Dolly,whathaveyou
beendoing?"
Mrs. Cameron described the sitting as wonderful, but Mrs. Harris only smiled
vaguely, and I said: "Your wife seemed to go into a trance and impersonate a
numberofindividuals.Sheshowsallthesignsofarealsensitive."
Harris,whohadbeenstudyinghiswifewithhalf-humorousintentness,nowtook
command. "If you've been shamming, you need discipline; and if you haven't,
youneedadoctor.Ithinkwe'llgohomeandhaveitout,"headded,andshortly
afterledheraway."Somenicecoolairiswhatweneed,"hesaidatthedoor.
No sooner were the Harrises out of the door than the women of the party fell
uponme.
"Whatdoyouthinkofit,Mr.Garland?"askedMrs.Cameron.
"IfMrs.Harriswerenotyourfriend,andifIhadnotseenotherperformancesof
thesamesort,Ishouldinstantlysaythatshewashavingherjokewithus.ButI
haveseentoomuchofthissortofthingtotakeitaltogetherlightly.That'sthe
way this investigating goes. One thing corroborates another. 'Impersonation' in


the case of a public medium may mean nothing—on the part of a psychic like
yourfriendMrs.Harrisitmeansaverygreatdeal.Insupportofthis,letmetell
you of a similar case. I have a friend, a perfectly trustworthy woman, and of
keen intelligence, whose 'stunt,' as she laughingly calls it, is to impersonate
nameless and suffering spirits who have been hurled into outer darkness by
reasonoftheirownmisdeedsorbysomesingularchanceoftheirtakingoff.My
friendseemstobeableinsomewaytofreethesepoor'earth-boundsouls'and
send them flying upward to some heaven. It's all very creepy," I added,
warningly.
"Oh,delightful!Letitbeverycreepy,"calledMrs.Quigg.
"Tobeginwith,myfriendisaskeen-eyed,aslevel-headedasanywomanIknow
—thelastpersonintheworldtobetakenfora'sensitive.'Ihadneversuspected
itinher;butonenightshelaughinglyadmittedhavingbeen'inthework'atone
time,andIbeggedforasitting.Wewerediningatherhouse—JackRoss,aMiss
Wilcox,andI,allintimatefriendsofhers,andsheconsented.Aftersittingafew
minutessheturnedtomeandsaid:'My"guide"ishere.Besuretokeepnearme;
don'tletmefall.'Shestillspokesmilingly,butIcouldseeshewasinearnest.
"'You see,' she explained, 'I seem to leave the body and to withdraw a little
distance above my chair. From this height I survey my material self, which
seems to be animated by an entirely alien influence. Sometimes my body is
moved by these forces to rise and walk about the room. In such cases it is
necessaryforsomefriendtofollowclosebehindme,forbetweenthegoingof
"the spirit" and the return of my "astral self" there lies an appreciable interval
whenmybodyisaslimpasanemptysack.Icameverynearhavingabadfall
once.'
"'Iunderstand,'saidI.'I'llkeepaneyeonyou.'
"In a few moments a change came over her face. She sank into a curious
negativestatebetweentranceandreverie.Herlipsparted,andasoftvoicecame
fromthem.ShespoketoMissWilcox,whosatoppositeher:'Sister—Iamvery
happy. I am surrounded by children. It is beautiful here in the happy valley—
warmandgolden—andoh,themerrychildren!'
"Miss Wilcox was deeply moved by this message and for a moment could not
reply.Atlengthsherecoveredhervoiceandasked,'Areyouspeakingtome?'
"'Yes.Iamworriedaboutmother.Sheissick.Gotoher.Sheneedshelp.Good-


bye!'Thesmilefaded;myfriend'sfaceresumeditsimpersonalcalm.
"'Didyourecognizethespirit?'Iasked.
"Miss Wilcox hesitated, but at last said: 'My sister was active in the work of
caringfororphanchildren.Butthatprovesnothing.Annamayhaveknownit—
thereisnotestinthis.Itmaybeonlymind-reading.'
"'Youarequiteright,'Ireplied.'Butthemessageconcerningyourmothercanbe
tested,canitnot?'
"Atthismomentthefaceofthepsychicsquared,andadeep,slowvoicecame
pulsing forth. 'Why do you wilfully blind your eyes? The truth will prevail.
Mysteryisallaboutyou.Whydoubtthatwhichwouldcomfortyou?'
"'Whoareyou?'Iinquired.
"'IamTheodoreParker,thepsychic'scontrol,'wastheanswer.
"Soon after this my friend opened her eyes and smiled. 'Do you know what
you'vesaid?'Iasked.'Yes,Ialwayshaveadimnotionofwhatisgoingon,'she
answered,'butwhyIammovedtospeakandactasIdoIdon'tknow.Itisjust
the same when I write automatically. I know when I do it, but I can't see the
connection between my own mind and the writing. It is as if one lobe of my
brainkeptwatchovertheactionoftheother.'
"She now passed into another period of immobility and so sat for a long time.
Suddenlyherfacehardened,becamecoarse,common,viciousinline.Flinging
out her hand, she struck me in the breast. 'What do you want of me?' she
demanded,inthevoiceofaharridan.'Whatareyoualldoinghere?You'reanice
lotoffools.'
"'Whoareyou?'Iasked.
"'YouknowwhoIam,'sheanswered,withahoarselaugh.'Asweetbunchyou
are!Where'sJim?'
"'Doesanyonerecognizethis"party"?'Iasked.'Ross,thismustbeoneofyour
set.'
"Ross laughed, and the 'influence,' thrusting her face close to his, blurted out,
menacingly:'Don'tknowme,hey?Well,hereIam.Iwantedashow,andtheylet
mein.Whatyougoingtodoaboutit?'


"'I reckon you lit in the wrong door-yard,' I replied; 'nobody knows you here.
Skiddoo!'
"Shemadeanuglyfaceatme,andstruckatmewithherclaw-likehand.'I'dlike
tosmashyou!'
"'Good-bye,'saidI.'Getout!'Andshewasgone.
"Before a word could be spoken, a look of hopeless, heart-piercing woe came
overmyfriend'sface.Shebegantomoanandwringherhandsmostpiteously.
'Oh, where am I?' she wailed. 'It is so cold, so cold! So cold and dark! Won't
somebodyhelpme?Oh,helpme!'
"Igentlyasked:'Whoareyou?Can'tyoutellusyourname?'
"'Oh,Idon'tknow,Ican'ttell,'moanedthevoice.'It'sallsodarkandcoldand
lonely.PleasetellmewhereIam.I'velostmyname.Allissodarkandcold.Oh,
pityme!Letmecomein.Letmefeelyourlight.I'mfreezing!Oh,pityme.I'm
solonely.It'ssodark.'
"'Comein,'Isaid.'Wewillhelpyou.'
"The hands of the psychic crept timidly up my arm and touched my cheek.
'Thankyou!Thankyou!Oh,thecheer!Oh,thelight!'shecried,ecstatically.'I
see!Iknow!Good-bye!'Andwithasighofecstasythevoiceceased.
"Icanhardlyexpresstoyouthevividandyetsombreimpressionthismadeupon
me. It was as if a chilled and weary bird, having winged its way from the
winter's midnight into a warm room, had been heartened and invigorated, had
rushedawayconfidentandswifttothesun-landsoftheSouth.
"One by one other 'earth-bound souls' who, from one cause or another, were
'unabletofindtheirwayupward,'cameintoourkenlikechilledanddesperate
batscondemnedtowhirlinendlessouterdarknessandsilence—poor,abortive,
anomalous shadows, whose voices pleaded piteously for release. Nameless,
agonized,bewildered,theyclunglikemothstothelightofourpsychic.
"Someofthemappearedtobesufferingalltheterrorsofthedamned,andasthey
moanedandpleadedforlight,thelovelyfaceofmyfriendwasconvulsedwith
agony and her hands fluttered about like wounded birds. Singular conception!
Wonderfulpowerofsuggestion!


"At length, with a glad cry, the last of these blind souls saw, sighed with
happiness,andseemedtovanishupward,asifintosomeunfathomable,fourthdimensionheaven.Thenthesweetfirstspirit,thewomanwiththegladchildren,
returnedtosaytoMissWilcox,'Behappy—Georgeiscomingbacktoyou.'
"Aftershepassed,myfriendopenedhereyesasbefore,clearly,smilingly,and
said,'Haveyouhadenough?'
"'Plenty,'saidI.'Younearlytookmyeyeoutinyourdramaticfervor.Imustsay
yourghostsaremostunhappycreatures.'
"Shebecameveryserious.'Pleasedon'tthinkthatthesespiritsaremyaffinities.
Myworkispurelyphilanthropic,soTheodoreParkerusedtotellmother.Itwas
myduty,hesaid,tocomfortthecheerless,toliberatetheearth-bound,andsoI
hadtohavethesepoorcreatureswaitingaround.That'swhyIgaveitup.Itgotto
be too dreadful. We never could tell what would come next. Murderers and
barnburnersandeveryotheraccursedspiritseemedtobeprivilegedtocomeinto
my poor empty house and abuse it, although Parker and his band promised to
protectme.Istoppedit. Iwillnotsit again,' she said, firmly. 'I don't like it. It
wouldbebadenoughtobedominatedbyone'sdeadfriends,orthedeadfriends
ofone'sfriends,buttobehelplessinthehands ofallthedemonsandsuicides
andmiscreantsoftheotherworldisintolerable.AndifIamnotdominatedby
deadpeople,IfearIamactinginresponsetothemindsofviciouslivingpeople,
andIdon'tlikethat.It'sadreadfulfeeling—can'tyouseeitis?—thisbeingopen
to every wandering gust of passion. I wouldn't let any one of my children be
controlled for the world. Don't ask me to sit again, and please don't let my
friendsknowofmy"gift."'
"Ofcoursewepromised,buttheeffectofthatsittingIshallnotsoonforget.Bythe-way,MissWilcox'phonedandprovedthetruthofhermessage.Hermother
reallywasillandinneedofher."
AsIclosedthisstory,Cameronsaid:"Garland,youtellthatasifyoubelievedin
it."
"Icertainlydobelieveinmyfriend.It'snojokewithher.Sheisquitecertainthat
she is controlled by those 'on the other side,' and that to submit is to lose so
much of her own individuality. You may call it hysteria, somnambulism,
hypnotism,anythingyoulike,butthatcertainpeoplearemovedsubconsciously
toimpersonatethedeadIamquitereadytobelieve.However,'impersonation'is
theleastconvincing(frommypointofview)ofallthephasesofmediumship.I


have paid very little attention to it in the course of my investigation. It has no
valueasevidence.Youarestillinthetattered fringesof 'spiritism,' even when
youhaveseenallthatimpersonationcanshowyou."
"Well,whatdoyousuggestasthepropermethodforthesociety?"
"As I told you at beginning, I have had a great deal of experience with these
elusive 'facts,' and it chances that a practised though non-professional psychic
with whom I have held many baffling sittings, is in the city. I may be able to
inducehertositforus."
"Oh,do,do!"criedMrs.CameronandMissBrushtogether.
"Whoisshe?"askedMiller.
"I'll tell you more about her—next time," I said, tantalizingly. "She is very
puzzling,Iassureyou.Whenandwhereshallwemeet?"
"Here,"saidCameron,promptly."I'mgettinginterested.Bringonyourmarvels."
"Yes,"saidMiller,andhismouthshutlikeasteeltrap."Bringonyourfaker.It
won'ttakeuslongtoexposeherlittlegame."
"Bigger scientific bigots than you have been conquered," I retorted. "All right.
I'llseewhatIcando.We'llmeetoneweekfromto-day."
"Yes,"saidCameron;"comefordinner."
AsIwasgoingout,Mrs.Quiggdetainedme."Ifithadbeenanybodybutnice
littleMrs.Harris,Ishouldsaythatyouhadmadethisallupbetweenyou.Asit
is,IguessI'llhavetoadmitthatthereissomethinginthoughttransferenceand
hypnotism.Youwerehercontrol."
"Thatwillserveforoneevening,"Iretorted."I'llmakeyoudoubttheexistence
ofmatterbeforewefinishthisseriesofsittings."Andwiththisweparted.


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