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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 242 pages of information about The Book of Dreams and Ghosts.

THE DUCKS’ EGGS

A little girl of the author’s family kept ducks and was anxious to sell the eggs to her mother.  But the eggs could not be found by eager search.  On going to bed she said, “Perhaps I shall dream of them”.  Next morning she exclaimed, “I did dream of them, they are in a place between grey rock, broom, and mallow; that must be ’The Poney’s Field’!” And there the eggs were found. {11b}

THE LOST KEY

Lady X., after walking in a wood near her house in Ireland, found that she had lost an important key.  She dreamed that it was lying at the root of a certain tree, where she found it next day, and her theory is the same as that of Mr. A., the owner of the lost cheque. {11c}

As a rule dreams throw everything into a dramatic form.  Some one knocks at our door, and the dream bases a little drama on the noise; it constructs an explanatory myth, a myth to account for the noise, which is acted out in the theatre of the brain.

To take an instance, a disappointing one:—­

THE LOST SECURITIES

A lady dreamed that she was sitting at a window, watching the end of an autumn sunset.  There came a knock at the front door and a gentleman and lady were ushered in.  The gentleman wore an old-fashioned snuff-coloured suit, of the beginning of the century; he was, in fact, an aged uncle, who, during the Napoleonic wars, had been one of the English detenus in France.  The lady was very beautiful and wore something like a black Spanish mantilla.  The pair carried with them a curiously wrought steel box.  Before conversation was begun, the maid (still in the dream) brought in the lady’s chocolate and the figures vanished.  When the maid withdrew, the figures reappeared standing by the table.  The box was now open, and the old gentleman drew forth some yellow papers, written on in faded ink.  These, he said, were lists of securities, which had been in his possession, when he went abroad in 18—­, and in France became engaged to his beautiful companion.

“The securities,” he said, “are now in the strong box of Messrs. —–­;” another rap at the door, and the actual maid entered with real hot water.  It was time to get up.  The whole dream had its origin in the first rap, heard by the dreamer and dramatised into the arrival of visitors.  Probably it did not last for more than two or three seconds of real time.  The maid’s second knock just prevented the revelation of the name of “Messrs. —–­,” who, like the lady in the mantilla, were probably non-existent people. {13}

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