The wind sweeping among the rocks in a gale, will at times, form at it were, notes or peculiar noises, which will, with other sounds of rustling branches, the cry of wild fowl and the beat of the sea on the shore, all taking place concurrently, cause the listener to imagine he hears voices. Again, who has not, when walking by a noisy babbling brook, where it falls among rocks and other impediments in a quiet place, heard as he has thought voices as of persons conversing at a distance? Many trout-fishers will have heard these sounds, and know the reason of their being heard; they can fully explain the cause, but I doubt if they could explain the curious experiences related in this chapter.
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2: I am aware that these things are but trifles to the Theosophists and Esoteric Buddhists, who profess to project their astral bodies, and play many other hocus pocus tricks of transmitting voices and articles to immense distances. They may therefore be able to explain these phenomena, I cannot; still I have the belief that there is some spirit-force which can and does act as a medium between distant persons who are in sympathy with each other.
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A FAIRY POOL—WONDERS OF THE DEEP—PORTRAIT OF A POET—THE CAVE OF FAUCONNAIRE—A LETTER FROM HOME AND MY ANSWER TO IT.
As the weather towards the end of winter was very uncertain, I did but little boat-fishing, except on very fine days, when the sea was fairly calm, and I had a longing for a certain kind of fish. At such times I would embark for an hour or two, and rarely came home empty-handed.
Crabs and lobsters I soon got tired of, and I think most people who could eat their fill of them for the mere catching would do the same; but a nice sole or slice of turbot takes a long time to satiate one’s appetite.
Although little could be done in the garden or field during the winter days I was never idle; that is, I never indulged in lying in bed or letting the time slip dreamily by, so as to induce the belief that I was enjoying myself. No, that would not suit me at all, for my disposition was to be ever on the go—seeing, hearing, or trying to learn something. Thus I knew almost every rock and cranny round the island, as I was always poking and ogling into odd crannies and pools to see what I could discover. Among my favourite places was the Fauconnaire, which being surrounded at every tide, was always having fresh life and vegetation brought to it by the ever-moving sea.
There were many pools and wonderful little caves round this curious, conical island, of which I knew, and into whose recesses I loved to pry; and although I visited them frequently they seemed ever new to me.