FIRST SITTING WITH MRS I had sittings with Mrs. Piper years ago, before the Society was organised or her name was publicly known. On the occasion of my first visit to her, she was, I think, in a little house on Pinckney Street in Boston. At this time she went into a trance, but talked instead of writ ing. The first person who claimed to be present was my father. He had died in Maine at the age of ninety. He had never lived in Boston, nor, indeed, had he visited there for a great many years, so that there was no possibility that Mrs. Piper should ever have seen him and no likelihood of her having known anything about him. She described him at once with accuracy, pointing out certain pecu liarities which the ordinary observer, even if he had ever seen him, would not have been likely to notice. Without any ques tion on my part, she told me that it was my father, and added: "He calls you Judson." This, though a little fact, is striking enough to call for notice. Jud son is my middle name. It had been given me when I was born, at the request of my father's daughter, a half-sister. She, however, had died suddenly in another State, and had never seen me. In all my boyhood all the members of the family except my father and my half brother, soon to be referred to, had al ways called me Minot. Father had called me Judson through my boyhood, as I always supposed, out of a tender feeling for the daughter who had given me the name. For fifteen or twenty years, how ever, before his death he had fallen into the family way and had also called me Minot. It struck me, then, as peculiar
and worthy of note that Mrs. Piper should actually describe him, and, among other personal peculiarities which she mentioned, should have called up this tiny fact from the oblivion of the past. She went on to say: "Here is somebody else besides your father. It is your brother, - no, your half-brother, and he says his name is John"This John was my mother's boy. Then Mrs. Piper went on to describe with somewhat painful ac curacy, partly in pantomime and partly by speech, the method of his death; and she added: "When he was dying, how he did want to see his mother!"Now this half-brother John had also been in the habit of calling me Judson in the years long past. It had been a good many years since I had seen him. He had never lived in Boston, and there is no conceivable way by which Mrs. Piper could have known anything about him. He was not consciously in my mind, and I was not expecting to hear from him. He had died a year or two before this in Michigan, in precisely the way in which the medium had described the facts. As to his exclamation about his mother, it came to me as peculiarly personal and appropriate, because he was one of those who would be spoken of as a"mother boy." He was passionately devoted to her.