REPORT OF PRIVATE FACTS AND MENTAL CONDITIONS AT A I was sitting again in my study with this same friend, a psychic. Two pages of note-paper were written over automatic ally while the psychic and I were carry ing on an indifferent conversation upon general matters. I took up the notes and said at once to myself, - I did not speak aloud, -"If it were possible, I would take my oath that this was a note written by a friend who has died this year." It had all the characteristic marks of such letters as I used to receive from her while she was living. It was not signed, however. I then said out loud: "Will not the person who is writing this give her name?"Im mediately the name was given, - the maiden name and then the married name. I then began an hour's conversation which was carried on as definitely and intelli gently as it would have been had she been present in the body. I asked the ques tions out loud, and the answers were given either through preconcerted movements of the table or by automatic writing. We went into details of family life. We dis cussed books in which we had been inter ested when we were both young. She gave me the name of one poem which used to be a favourite with us both. In short, the conversation was a perfectly natural and simple one, such as might have been carried on between any two friends. When it was ended, however, I said to myself;"She has not told me any thing which I did not know, and so pos sibly it might all be explained by the theory of mind-reading or telepathy." I did not know how, and so far as my ex perience and reading go, nobody else as yet knows how, but I assumed that it might be possible that the psychic could, in some inexplicable fashion, tap the sources of my information and give me back again what I had unconsciously in the first place given to her. Let this theory be stretched to the utmost and made the most of. It is important to remember, however, that at the time this sitting began, the psychic did not know that such a person as the friend who claimed to be present had ever existed in the universe; so that any knowledge, latent or otherwise, on her part, must be left out of account. This communication was followed by several others of a still more remarkable nature, claiming to come from the same source. I was holding sittings with this friend once a week.
Soon after this, at the very beginning of our sitting, this same friend claimed to be present, and at once began to tell me of mental experiences and sufferings through which her sister in Maine was at that time passing. The psychic knew nothing whatever of this sister, and I was entirely ignorant of the existence of the troubles referred to. The calling her sister by name,
said: "She is passing through the greatest sorrow of her life. I wish I could make her know that I care. I wish you would write to her for me." When I asked her the nature of the trouble, there was a dis tinct and definite hesitancy about reply ing. The impression made on me was that I was treading on delicate ground, and that the question was being considered as to whether I had better be told. At last, as though no other way out of it was seen, she told me that the difficulty was caused by the unfaithfulness and cruelty of her sister's husband. I had never seen this husband but once, and had no way of knowing that the marriage was not perfectly happy. I wrote a letter of in quiry, however, asking whether any special trouble existed, and if the nature of it was such as to make it possible for me to be told what it was. I received a letter by return mail, confirming every word that had been told me, and begging me that the letter might be burned as soon as it was read.
In this letter there was a little human touch that impressed me a good deal. What claimed to be the sister in the in visible had said"I wish I could make her know that I care." In the letter received from Maine, there was the same human feeling out after sympathy which had appeared on the invisible side. She wrote: "When my sister was alive I had someone to whom I could go in my troubles. Now I am all alone." I con fess that this attempting to bridge the gulf by these corresponding outreachings for human sympathy seems to me most natural and very expressive. The pe culiarity of this experience lies in the fact that here the intelligence in Boston, which has shown itself capable of telling where a person is and what she is doing two hundred miles away, now reaches beyond the external physical facts, and gets at the existence of secret sorrows of the heart and comes and tells me of them in the most natural and simple way in the world. And these were precisely such things as this friend would have come to me with had she been living and able to do so. At the same time, let me repeat, they were things of which the psychic by no possibility could have known anything, and which were so far beyond anything that I should have even dreamed or guessed, that they came to me with a great shock, not only of sorrow, but of surprise.