“Mr. Marigny?” said Miss Ames, eagerly anxious for the seance to begin.
“Yes, madam. You are three minutes late!”
“I couldn’t help it—the traffic is very heavy at this hour.”
“And you should have come alone. I cannot concentrate with an alien influence in the room.”
“Oh, the boy isn’t an alien influence. He’s a little friend of mine—he’ll do no harm.”
“I’ll go out, if you say, mister,” Fibsy turned his indifferent gaze on the clairvoyant.
“You’ll do nothing of the sort,” spoke up Miss Ames. “I’m accustomed to seances, Mr. Marigny, and if you’re all right—as I was told you were—a child’s presence won’t interfere.”
Evidently the psychic saw he had no novice to deal with, and he accepted the situation.
“What do you want to know? “he asked his client.
“Who killed Sanford Embury—or, did he kill himself.” I want you to get into communication with his spirit and find out from him. But I don’t want any make-believe. If you can’t succeed, that’s all right—I’ll pay your fee just the same. But no poppycock.”
“That’s the way to look at it, madam. I will go into the silence, and I will give you only such information as I get myself.”
The man leaned back in his chair, and gradually seemed to enter a hypnotic state. His muscles relaxed, his face became still and set, and his breathing was slow and a little labored.
Fibsy retained his vacuous look he even fidgeted a little, in a bored way—and rarely glanced toward the man of “clear sight.”
Miss Ames, though anxious for results, was alert and quite on her guard against fraud. Experienced in fake mediums, she believed Willy Hanlon’s assertion that this man was one of the few genuine mystics, but she proposed to judge for herself.
At last Marigny spoke. His voice was low, his tones monotonous and uninflected.
“Aunt Abby—Aunt Westminster Abbey” the words came slowly.
Miss Ames gave a startled jump. Her face blanched and she trembled as she clutched Fibsy’s arm.
“That’s what Sanford used to call me!” she whispered. “Can it really be his spirit talking to me through the medium!”
“Don’t worry,” the voice went on, “don’t grieve for me—it’s all right—let it go that I took my own life—”
“But did you, Sanford—did you? “Miss Ames implored.
“It would be better you should never know.”
“I must know. I’ve got to know! Tell me, Sanford. It wasn’t Eunice?
“No—it wasn’t Eunice.”
“Was it—oh, San—was it—I?”
“Yes, Aunt Abby—it was. But you were entirely irresponsible —you were asleep—hypnotized, perhaps—perhaps merely asleep.”
“Where did I get the stuff?”
“I think somebody hypnotized you and gave it to you—”
“I don’t know—it is vague—uncertain—But you put it in my ear —remember, Aunt Abby, I don’t blame you at all. And you must not tell this. You must let it go as suicide. That is the only way to save yourself—”