“Spiritualism is a wonderful thing,” said the Observer in a retrospective tone. “As a source of valuable information, it beats the Encyclopedia Brittanica in an easy hand gallop; the tonsorial artist is not in its class and even the ‘Intelligence Office,’ pales into innocuous desuetude beside it.
“Had it not been for a recent visit to a medium, I should never have learned many important truths which affect me very closely. In the first place I should not have known that I have a little brother and sister in ‘spirit life.’ I had always considered myself an only child and all of my relatives and friends cherished the same illusion. You may imagine my astonishment, then, at receiving messages from Brother Charley and Sister Ida, both of whom the medium described with marvelous attention to detail. They told me not to worry—that it would all come right, and that they were always with me, which is comforting and shows how affectionate children can be—even in spirit life.
“The next revelation which came from the ‘other side’ was the statement that a dark cloud which was then hovering over me, would soon pass away. This was interesting as well as instructive and, as I was idly speculating as to the exact location of the cloud, I was suddenly startled to learn that two beautiful young women—one fair and wealthy, the other dark and poor, but accomplished—had won my heart and that I was hesitating as to which one I loved the more.
“This was somewhat distressing and wholly unpremeditated on my part. I caught myself hoping, with a vague sense of guilt, that my wife wouldn’t hear of it, for I knew it would worry her and bring about complications between us. Perhaps this was the dark cloud, I ruminated, and felt cheered by the assurance that it would soon pass away. The spirit that told me these things was evidently in a communicative mood and had, no doubt, looked up my case very carefully.
“‘You are very sensitive,’ she told me—I use the word ‘she’ advisedly, for no masculine spirit could possibly have ferreted out all these facts. ’You touch many natures closely and benefit by this faculty.’ I had just borrowed a little money from a friend and wondered if anything personal was intended by the word ‘touch.’ But I cast this thought aside as unworthy—no spirit would resort to slang.
“‘Do you often hear voices, indistinctly?’ continued the spirit, ‘strange voices which seem to call you and then sink away?’ I thought of the telephone and wondered how she could have known.
“‘Yes,’ I said, I hear them every day.’
“‘Ah!’ said the spirit, ‘you are mediumistic.’
“I started. ‘Is it painful?’ I asked, ‘or likely to become chronic?’
“The medium sat bolt upright in her chair and rubbed her eyes violently. ‘Your levity has destroyed the conditions,’ she said. ’Two dollars, please.’
“I paid the money, and, in going out, I met a man looking at his watch in an irritated way.