“Mr. Bangs,” she cried, “how can I thank you? How can Nelson and I ever, ever thank you?”
Galusha’s embarrassment managed to pump a little color into his wan cheeks. “I—I—ah—dear me, it was nothing,” he stammered. “I—I am—ah—yes, quite so. Please don’t mention it.”
“But I shall mention it. Indeed, I shall. Why, Martha, do you realize who was really responsible for father’s being so suspicious of Marietta Hoag last evening? It was Mr. Bangs here, and no one else. Do you remember I told you that father had been receiving printed things, booklets and circulars, in the mails for the past few days, and that he had been reading them and they seemed to agitate him very much? Do you remember that?”
Martha said of course she remembered it.
“Yes. Well, those circulars and books came from the Psychical Research Society—the people who look up real spirit things and expose the other kind, the fraud kind, you know. Those told all about lots of cases of cheats like Marietta, and father read them, and he confessed to me this morning that they disturbed his faith in her a lot and he was suspicious when the seance began. Don’t you know he hinted something about it?”
“Yes, yes, Lulie, I remember. But what did Mr. Bangs have to do with those circulars and things?”
“He sent them. Or he had them sent, I am sure. They came from Washington and who else could have done it? Who else would have had them sent—from there—to father—and just at the right time? You did have them sent, didn’t you, Mr. Bangs?”
Of course, the others now looked at Galusha and also, of course, this had the effect of increasing his embarrassment.
“Why—why, yes,” he admitted, “I suppose I am responsible. You see, I—well—ah—I have friends at the Washington branch of the Society and I dropped a line requesting that some—ah—literature be sent to Captain Hallett. But it was nothing, really. Dear me, no. How is your father this morning, Lulie?”
Lulie’s face expressed her happiness. “Oh, he is ever and ever so much better,” she declared. “Last night I was so afraid that the shock and the dreadful disappointment and all might have a very had effect upon him, but it hasn’t. He is weak this morning and tired, of course, but his brain is perfectly clear and he talks as calmly as you or I. Yes, a good deal more calmly than I am talking just now, for I am very much excited.”
She laughed a little. Then, with a blush which caused the Boston connoisseur to re-endorse his own estimate of her looks, added: “I just must tell you this, Martha, you and Mr. Bangs, for I know you will be almost as much delighted as I am—of course, I put in the ‘almost.’ This morning, a little while ago, I ventured to mention Nelson’s name to father and to hint that perhaps now that he knew Marietta’s ‘medium’ nonsense to be all a fraud, he would believe as I