The Necromancers eBook

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

As regards his exact attitude to this girl it is more difficult to write.  On the one side the human element—­those associations directly connected with the senses—­her actual face and hands, physical atmosphere and surroundings—­those had disappeared; they were dispersed, or they lay underground; and it had been with a certain shock of surprise, in spite of the explanations given to him, that he had seen what he believed to be her face in the drawing-room in Queen’s Gate.  But he had tried to arrange all this in his imagination, and it had fallen into shape and proportion again.  In short, he thought he understood now that it is character which gives unity to the transient qualities of a person on earth, and that, when those qualities disappear, it is as unimportant as the wasting of tissue:  when, according to the spiritualists’ gospel that character manifests itself from the other side, it naturally reconstitutes the form by which it had been recognized on earth.

Yet, in spite of this sense of familiarity with what he had seen, there had fallen between Amy and himself that august shadow that is called Death....  And in spite of the assurances he had received, even at the hands of his own senses, that this was indeed the same girl that he had known on earth, there was a strange awe mingled with his old rather shallow passion.  There were moments, as he sat alone in his rooms at night, when it rose almost to terror; just as there were other moments when awe vanished for a while, and his whole being was flooded with an extraordinary ecstatic semi-earthly happiness at the thought that he and she could yet speak with one another....  Imagine, if you please, a child who on returning home finds that his mother has become Queen, and meets her in the glory of ermine and diadem....

But the real deciding point—­which, somehow, he knew must come—­the moment at which these conflicting notes should become a chord, was fixed for Sunday evening next.  Up to now he had had evidence of her presence, he had received intelligible messages, though fragmentary and half stammered through the mysterious veil, he had for an instant or two looked upon her face; but the real point, he hoped, would come in two days.  The public seances had not impressed him.  He had been to three or four of these in a certain road off Baker Street, and had been astonished and disappointed.  The kind of people that he had met there—­sentimental bourgeois with less power of sifting evidence than the average child, with a credulity that was almost supernatural—­the medium, a stout woman who rolled her eyes and had damp fat fingers; the hymn-singing, the wheezy harmonium, the amazing pseudo-mystical oracular messages that revealed nothing which a religiose fool could not invent—­in fact the whole affair, from the sham stained-glass lamp-shade to the ghostly tambourines overhead, the puerility of the tricks played on the inquirers, and all the rest of it—­this seemed as little connected with what he had experienced with Mr. Vincent as a dervish dance with High Mass.  He had reflected with almost ludicrous horror upon the impression it would make on Maggie, and the remarks it would elicit.

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The Necromancers from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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