She had been standing by the window during the interview and was quite evidently growing more and more nervous. With a bow Kennedy placed her at her ease on a chaise lounge.
“Now,” he continued, standing near her, but out of sight, “you must try to remain free from all external influences and impressions. Don’t move. Avoid every use of a muscle. Don’t let anything distract you. Just concentrate your attention on your psychic activities. Don’t suppress one idea as unimportant, irrelevant, or nonsensical. Simply tell me what occurs to you in connection with the dreams—everything,” emphasized Craig.
I could not help feeling surprised to find that she accepted Kennedy’s deferential commands, for after all that was what they amounted to. Almost I felt that she was turning to him for help, that he had broken down some barrier to her confidence. He seemed to exert a sort of hypnotic influence over her.
“I have had cases before which involved dreams,” he was saying quietly and reassuringly. “Believe me, I do not share the world’s opinion that dreams are nothing. Nor yet do I believe in them superstitiously. I can readily understand how a dream can play a mighty part in shaping the feelings of a high-tensioned woman. Might I ask exactly what it is you fear in your dreams?”
She sank her head back in the cushions, and for a moment closed her eyes, half in weariness, half in tacit obedience to him. “Oh, I have such horrible dreams,” she said at length, “full of anxiety and fear for Morton and little Morton. I can’t explain it. But they are so horrible.”
Kennedy said nothing. She was talking freely at last.
“Only last night,” she went on, “I dreamt that Morton was dead. I could see the funeral, all the preparations, and the procession. It seemed that in the crowd there was a woman. I could not see her face, but she had fallen down and the crowd was around her. Then Dr. Maudsley appeared. Then all of a sudden the dream changed. I thought I was on the sand, at the seashore, or perhaps a lake. I was with Junior and it seemed as if he were wading in the water, his head bobbing up and down in the waves. It was like a desert, too—the sand. I turned, and there was a lion behind me. I did not seem to be afraid of him, although I was so close that I could almost feel his shaggy mane. Yet I feared that he might bite Junior. The next I knew I was running with the child in my arms. I escaped—and—oh, the relief!”
She sank back, half exhausted, half terrified still by the recollection.
“In your dream when Dr. Maudsley appeared,” asked Kennedy, evidently interested in filling in the gap, “what did he do?”
“Do?” she repeated. “In the dream? Nothing.”
“Are you sure?” he asked, shooting a quick glance at her.
“Yes. That part of the dream became indistinct. I’m sure he did nothing, except shoulder through the crowd. I think he had just entered. Then that part of the dream seemed to end and the second part began.”