“‘Sahib!’ Cushai whispered to me, when he saw it and heard of our adventure. ’Sahib! Beware! Nahra was a clever man. He must have used the spirit of the white tiger as his tool. Let the medicine man examine the scar.’
“I did so. I took Eric to a Dr. Nicholson, who lived close by.
“He looked at the wound curiously for a few moments, and then said to me—he was renowned for his plain speaking—’Mr. De Silva, there’s no use beating about the bush, and prolonging the agony unnecessarily for you and your wife. The boy’s got leprosy—God alone knows how! At the most he may live six weeks.’
“The shock, of course, was terrible. Eric had to be isolated from everyone—even from those who loved him best—and died within a month.
“‘Sahib, I knew!’ Cushai said to me the day of the funeral, ’I knew some disaster would befall you. Nahra was a wonderful man, and his curse had to be fulfilled. You may rest assured, however, nothing further will befall you, for I saw Nahra in a vision this morning, and he told me both his and the white tiger’s spirit were now on friendly terms, and would trouble you no more.’
“My wife and I left the place at once, and for a long time I lived in a hell of suspense lest she should develop the infernal disease. By a merciful providence, however, she did no such thing, but, on the contrary, picked up in health in the most marvellous fashion; indeed, she only told me yesterday, she felt better than she had done for years. I’ve told you the story, O’Donnell—and it is true in every detail—because it goes a long way to substantiate your theory that animals, as well as human beings, have a future life.”
“I am absolutely sure they have!” I replied.
Jungle Animals and Psychic Faculties
It is, of course, impossible to say whether animals of the jungle possess psychic faculties, without putting them to the test, and this, for obvious reasons, is extremely difficult. But since I have found that such properties are possessed—in varying degree—by all animals I have tested, it seems only too probable that bears and tigers, and all beasts of prey, are similarly endowed.
It would be interesting to experiment with a beast of prey in a haunted locality; to observe to what extent it would be aware of the advent of the Unknown, and to note its behaviour in the actual presence of the phenomena.
BIRDS AND THE UNKNOWN
BIRDS AND THE UNKNOWN
As Edgar Allan Poe has suggested in his immortal poem of “The Raven,” there is a strong link between certain species of birds and the Unknown.