Can Such Things Be? eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 221 pages of information about Can Such Things Be?.


Such are the facts of this case.  Margaret Corray is now my wife.  She has never seen Auburn, and during the weeks whose history as it shaped itself in my brain I have endeavored to relate, was living at her home in Oakland, wondering where her lover was and why he did not write.  The other day I saw in the Baltimore Sun the following paragraph: 

“Professor Valentine Dorrimore, the hypnotist, had a large audience last night.  The lecturer, who has lived most of his life in India, gave some marvelous exhibitions of his power, hypnotizing anyone who chose to submit himself to the experiment, by merely looking at him.  In fact, he twice hypnotized the entire audience (reporters alone exempted), making all entertain the most extraordinary illusions.  The most valuable feature of the lecture was the disclosure of the methods of the Hindu jugglers in their famous performances, familiar in the mouths of travelers.  The professor declares that these thaumaturgists have acquired such skill in the art which he learned at their feet that they perform their miracles by simply throwing the ‘spectators’ into a state of hypnosis and telling them what to see and hear.  His assertion that a peculiarly susceptible subject may be kept in the realm of the unreal for weeks, months, and even years, dominated by whatever delusions and hallucinations the operator may from time to time suggest, is a trifle disquieting.”


“The exact time?  Good God! my friend, why do you insist?  One would think—­but what does it matter; it is easily bedtime—­isn’t that near enough?  But, here, if you must set your watch, take mine and see for yourself.”

With that he detached his watch—­a tremendously heavy, old-fashioned one—­from the chain, and handed it to me; then turned away, and walking across the room to a shelf of books, began an examination of their backs.  His agitation and evident distress surprised me; they appeared reasonless.  Having set my watch by his, I stepped over to where he stood and said, “Thank you.”

As he took his timepiece and reattached it to the guard I observed that his hands were unsteady.  With a tact upon which I greatly prided myself, I sauntered carelessly to the sideboard and took some brandy and water; then, begging his pardon for my thoughtlessness, asked him to have some and went back to my seat by the fire, leaving him to help himself, as was our custom.  He did so and presently joined me at the hearth, as tranquil as ever.

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Can Such Things Be? from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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