The Necromancers eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 302 pages of information about The Necromancers.

His kettle was singing pleasantly on the hob, and a tray glimmered in the firelight on the little table, as the woman had left it; and it was not until he had poured himself out a cup of tea that he saw on the white cloth an envelope, directed to him, inscribed “By hand,” in the usual handwriting of persons engaged in business.  Even then he did not open it at once; it was probably only some note connected with his chief’s affairs.

For half an hour more he sat on, smoking after tea, pondering that which was always in his mind now, and dwelling with a vague pleasant expectancy on what Sunday night should bring forth.  Mr. Vincent, he knew, was returning to town that afternoon.  Perhaps, even, he might look in for a few minutes, if there were any last instructions to be given.

The effect of the medium on the young man’s mind had increased enormously during these past weeks.  That air of virile masterfulness, all the more impressive because of its extreme quiet assurance, had proved even more deep than had at first appeared.

It is very hard to analyze the elements of a boy’s adoration for a solid middle-aged gentleman with a “personality”; yet the thing is an enormously potent fact, and plays at least as big a part in the sub-currents that run about the world as any more normal human emotions.  Psychologists of the materialistic school would probably say that it was a survival of the tribe-and-war instinct.  At any rate, there it is.

Added to all this was the peculiar relation in which the medium stood to the boy; it was he who had first opened the door towards that strange other world that so persistently haunts the imaginations of certain temperaments; it was through him that Laurie had had brought before the evidence of his senses, as he thought, the actuality of the things of which he had dreamed—­an actuality which his religion had somehow succeeded in evading.  It was not that Laurie had been insincere in his religion; there had been moments, and there still were, occasionally, when the world that the Catholic religion preached by word and symbol and sacrament, became apparent; but the whole thing was upon a different plane.  Religion bade him approach in one way, spiritualism in the other.  The senses had nothing to do with one; they were the only ultimate channels of the other.  And it is extraordinarily easy for human beings to regard as more fundamentally real the evidence of the senses than the evidence of faith....

Here then were the two choices—­a world of spirit, to be taken largely on trust, to be discerned only in shadow and outline upon rare and unusual occasions of exaltation, of a particular quality which had almost lost its appeal; and a world of spirit that took shape and form and practical intelligibility, in ordinary rooms and under very nearly ordinary circumstances—­a world, in short, not of a transcendent God and the spirits of just men made perfect, of vast dogmas and theories, but of a familiar atmosphere, impregnated with experience, inhabited by known souls who in this method or that made themselves apparent to those senses which, Laurie believed, could not lie....  And the point of contact was Amy Nugent herself....

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The Necromancers from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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