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that two persons were intently watching me; The girl spoke with a passionate energy one was Wynn, whom I had taken into my which set aside fear—“I am not with them of counsel at the outset; with a glance he directed my own will, God knows! They said they had my attention to my other observer, the young a claim to me, that they were my only relatives, girl on the platform. Her hands were firmly and I feared it was true. Thank God, it is not clasped, her lips slightly apart, and her dilated true! Do not, oh, do not let them take me eyes, fixed full upon me, expressed an inde- away with them !" scribablo blending of pleading and terror. I am unused to the melting mood, but I con
But my work with Leffingwell was not yet fess the girl's words and tones appealed to me done; the audience had perceived the change as no acting ever did. Indeed, the effect on all in his countenance, but supposed it the result of present was electric. his own efforts. Now, however, they began to Wynn spoke in a low tone with his sister, suspect some counter-plot. Wynn, well-known who sat next him, and both arose and went toto the whole assembly, broke the silence with a ward the platform. Miss Wynn addressed Janfew words.
et Ware, who looked in her face searchingly a " It happens that an individual possessing a moment, and then clung to her arm. higher degree of the power to which Mr. Lef I resumed my dialogue with Mr. Leffingfingwell lays claim is present this evening, so well. that the fowler is apparently taken in his own " Has Miss Ware relatives? and if any, who snare."
are they?” Several exclamations of “Good! Let the “ An uncle, her mother's brother, Paul Willgentleman come forward,” were the response. iams."
I did not, however, leave my place, but asked " Where is he now?" to be allowed to interrogate Mr. Leffingwell; an “In Boston." immediate and perfect stillness succeeded. The And now, reader mine, if you doubt whether replies were made by Leffingwell with deliber- all this be very convincing, I acknowledge the ate distinctness.
reasonableness of your doubts, but then and My first query was, “Were you six years ago there I did not take time to weigh the matter. in Concord, New Hampshire ?"
It was, however, no part of my plan to estab Answer. “I was."
lish the identity of Leffingwell and Mark Tufts, “Will you allow me to look at your left even if such a result had been possible. I dehand ?"
cided to withdraw the influence, which, as all He replied by withdrawing it from the sling experimenters in this bizarre branch of psywhich supported it, unwrapping from it the en-chology are aware, is comparatively an easy veloping handkerchief, and held it out. The process. The man awoke, much as from an fourth finger and a part of the third were wanting. ordinary sleep, looked about him, and finally,
“ Is Leffingwell the name by which you were as he recognized the place and missed Janet, known in Concord ?”
with whom Wynn and his sister had withdrawn, " It is not."
his features assumed à ludicrous mixture of “Is the young woman who accompanies you bravado and consternation, visibly heightened a relative either of yourself or of Mrs. Leffing- as I approached him. Intimidation, though, well?"
was not my sole object. I spoke to him in a "Of neither."
tone audible to himself only. “Is she voluntarily associated with you ?” “ You are foiled with your own weapons, "No."
Tufts,” said I. “There are several of us who “ What is her real name ?”.
know you; I have no personal grudge against “Janet Ware."
you, and if you are discreet--this return to " Why is she thus connected with you ?” your native State scarcely looks like it--you will
"She believes herself Mrs. Leffingwell's not delay to make the distance between yourniece."
self and the State Prison wider than it is now. ** She supposes this through the agency of You have not exposed yourself to-night, but you yourself and Mrs. Leffingwell ?”
have put it in our power to expose you at a mo"Through our agency."
ment's warning." At this juncture Janet Ware, since such was He scrutinized my features rapidly; I perthe girl's name, who had listened with intense mitted it a moment, and then walked away. interest to every word of our colloquy, made an He exchanged a few sentences with Mrs. Lefattempt to rise. Mrs. Leffingwell arrested her fingwell, and then approaching the audience, motion, at the same time addressing to her a assured them that it was not his fault if an enwhispered remark.
tertainment different from that laid down in I spoke to the woman then with a degree of the programme had been offered them this evenconfidence for which I felt full warrant : “Mrs. ing. That he hoped to meet them again toLeffingwell, let me assure you that it will be for morrow evening, when he would resume the your interest, your own and Mr. Leffingwell's, subject, and, he trusted, convince the most skepto remain passive." There was more, probably, tical that peither himself nor Mrs. Leffingwell in my tones than in my words, for the woman urged claims of any kind which they were unable cowered and desisted.
satisfactorily to establish, VOL. XV.-No. 87.--Z
I doubted if they would let him go, but they MY THEORY, AND A FEW FACTS did, I presume on account of the presence of
AGAINST IT. Mrs. Leffingwell.
AM not a “Spiritualist." My bells are The next morning the Leffingwells were gone. never rung or my tables moved by unseen They had taken the midnight train down. If hands. I believe that the "mediums” are humthey had waited they might have had Wynn's bugs and impostors; and I have no more desire company, for he went to Boston in the morn- to inquire into the way in which they get up ing train. As he had arranged previously to their “manifestations” than I have to investigo at this time, and as his usual stopping-place gate the manner in which Signor Blitz or Prowas the Revere House, the drama of the preced- fessor Anderson perform their sleight-of-hand ing evening did not probably influence him in tricks. Of the two, I think these much the those circumstances; but it may have furnish- cleverer and more respectable performers. Nor ed the motive which prompted him to inquire have I any faith in ghosts, omens, presentiof the clerk if Mr. Paul Williams were among ments, and supernatural warnings. I believe the guests, and the reply being affirmative, it them to be the product of weak nerves or overmay have induced him to seek out that gentle-excited imaginations. Any occasional coinciman.
dence between the omen and the event I hold The result was the confirmation in each par- to be purely accidental. ticular of the items elicited from Tufts.
Such is my theory. In general it is perfectly Janet Ware was the daughter of Mr. Will- satisfactory to me. But I own that I can not iams's only sister, who had married, and with reconcile with it certain incidents with which I her husband removed to Illinois. Their sole was closely connected. I have propounded my child was Janet, and when she had attained theory. I will now narrate the incidents. her twelfth year both her parents fell victims Many years ago-five-and-twenty or thereto that fearful scourge, cholera. A neighbor abouts — two lads, Harry Burton and George had taken home the child, and written to Mr. Walters, entered my counting-room on the same Williams a letter which never reached its des- day. They were sons of old friends of mine, tination. A year afterward Mr. and Mrs. Lef- though they had never seen or heard of each fingwell, on a tour through the Western States, other till they found themselves seated at the had accidentally encountered Janet, and dis- same desk in my office. There was a strange coyered in her such a susceptibility to the odic likeness between these lads; not close enough, influence, so termed by Mr. Leffingwell, as to certainly, to make it difficult to distinguish make her a very desirable acquisition. She them; but none the less perplexing on that acwas timid and easily wrought upon, and the count. The complexion, the color of the hair myth of kinship, invented on the spur of the and eyes, were altogether different, and there moment, had been overpowering.
was no very striking similarity in the general The child had a tolerably hard discipline, cast of the features. The likeness lay rather though it might have been worse. For the six in the absolute identity of expression. The months and more that she had been wandering glance of the eye and the turn of the mouth about, good care had been taken that she should were the same in both. The tone of the voice find no opportunity of escape, and entire seclu- was exactly alike. To the last I could never, sion, except when under the eye of Mr. and by the ear, distinguish which was speaking. Mrs. Leffingwell, secured to her at least a de- Their movements and gestures were similar. gree of immunity from bad influences.
In a word, their resemblance was spiritual Mr. Williamg was induced to accompany rather than material. It was as though one Wynn on his return to Epping; and when he soul animated two bodies. saw Janet, who bore her mother's name, her It was not a little singular also_since one strong resemblanco to that mother was to him came to us from Massachusetts and the other convincing proof that his sister's child stood from Virginia—that they were dressed precisely before him.
alike. This continued to be the case ever aftI have since seen a full-length portrait by erward. I do not believe that there was any Sully of Mrs. Ware before her marriage. I direct understanding to this effect, or that either should unhesitatingly have pronounced it an of them was fairly conscious of it. Another incomparable likeness of Janet, or, as she is coincidence was that they were born on the now, Mrs. Wynn. There were just the same same day, and, as nearly as could be ascertainlarge, shadowy, violet eyes fringed with lashes ed, at the very same moment. of uncommon length and richness; the same From the first, these lads conceived a great low, pearly brow and profuse brown waving fondness for each other. We read of love at hair with golden lights on it; the same faint first sight—theirs was friendship at first sight. tinge on the cheek, just like the inside of a sea- They became almost inseparable. shell; the same curve of the bright red lip; the In my counting-room George and Harry grew same poise of the head on the white slender | up to be two as fine young fellows as one would neck. A little sad I should say the face is, wish to see, and gave promise of becoming capbut Elinor, Wynn's sister, now my wife, affirms ital men of business. Partly on their own acthat Janet is as cheerful a little sprite as over count, and partly from old friendship to their gladdened a man's hearth-stone.
fathers, I had them much at my house, and was
by no means sorry to perceive a strong affection took their departure. The separation was to springing up between them and Agnes and Mary be for so short a time that few regrets mingled Clay, the pretty twin-nieces of my wife. with the parting. All that evening and the
For a long time I was puzzled to guess how next day Mary was as gay and happy as usual. the couples were to pair off. Each of the young Why should she not be? What evil had she men seemed to be equally attentive to each of to apprehend ? the sisters. I could perceive no division of af “Well, Mary," said I, as she was about to fection. I used sometimes to wonder if each of retire the next evening, "where do you supthe young men did not love both of the girls, pose your husbands are now?" and vice versa. However, I suppose there was "In Buffalo, I presume; I hope they are as a difference perceptible to their hearts. In due happy as I am. What a lovely night it is!" time I learned that it was to be George and she added, drawing aside the curtains and lookMary, and Harry and Agnes.
ing out into the calm moonlight. “Surely But God willed that the two-fold marriage nothing evil could happen on a night like this.” was not to take place. Agnes was called to And she bade us good-night with her usual pass the portals of the Silent Land. This be- glad smile. reavement seemed to draw still closer, if possible, the bonds between the survivors; and I was roused from sleep by an eager, continuwhen at length George and Mary married, there ous rapping at my chamber-door. It seemed was no thought that Harry should leave them. as though some one, faint with mortal terror,
In due time the young men left my counting- was seeking entrance. room and established themselves in business, “Who's there?” I exclaimed, springing to with flattering prospects. Then came the great the door. crash of 1837, in which so many of our mercan “It's me~Mary. For Heaven's sake let me tile houses went down. Among those which in. Oh God!" were swept away was the house of Burton and I opened the door, and there stood, or rathWalters. I would gladly have assisted them, er cowered, Mary Walters. Her snowy night but it was beyond my power. My own house, drapery was not whiter than her white face. which had stood unmoved for a quarter of a The pale dawn mingling with the faint gas-light century, was sorely shaken, and barely weath- in the hall made her look still more ghastly. ered the storm.
Her large eye was dilated with horror; her George and Harry clung together in advers- breath came and went in quick, convulsive ity as closely as they had done in prosperity. gasps. Together they had failed, and together they “In Heaven's name, Mary, what is the matwould re-establish their fortunes. They went ter? What has happened?” I asked, as I bore to New Orleans and recommenced business her to the sofa. under the old name. Success crowned their "Dead! dead! Both dead-George and efforts, and before many years the house of Harry! I heard him call me, and I could not Burton and Walters had gained a firm position go to him. Oh my God, have mercy upon me!” in the Crescent City. From New Orleans up The wild paroxysm soon passed away. She the Mississippi and Ohio, and across the lakes, became calm and composed. But a look of they were known, personally and by reputation, stony, unutterable woe settled upon her face, at every point for business.
more fearful than the wildest burst of agony. During all these years their friendship re "Tell us what has frightened you, Mary. mained unbroken. They had but one home, Was it a dream ?" and a stranger could never have told which was “ A dream? No. It was all real! I heard the head of the family. Mary was equally dear him call me with his dying breath, and I could to both. She was seen with one as often as not help him-could not go to him!” with the other, and with both oftener than with Her voice sounded low and hollow, but she either. Her friends used jestingly to call her went on speaking with the utmost distinctness : Mrs. “Burton-and-Walters,” and would ask “I was awakened by hearing his voice callher how her husbands” were.
ing me. I know it was he. You can not disIn their frequent visits to New York my house tinguish his tones from Harry's; I can. «Mary! was invariably their home. They had passed Mary!' he said; and his voice sounded low and the summer and early autumn of 1852 with us, faint, as though it came from a thousand miles and were ready to return to New Orleans. Harry away. Yet it was clear and audible, as though and George had business to transact on the riv- breathed into my ear." er, which might detain them somewhat. My “Why, you foolish child, you have been self and wife were to start for New Orleans by dreaming. It's all over now.' sea in about a week; and, at our earnest re “I was not dreaming. I was as broad awake quest, Mary was induced to remain to accom as I am now. Could he call me, and I sleep pany us, while Burton and Walters went overland. We all expected to be in New Orleans "All a dream,” said my wife; “I have had at about the same time.
the same a hundred times when my husband On the evening of October 4th (I must now has been away." be particular about dates), George and Harry " So I thought at first, and I looked around,
I lay upon
to be sure where I was. I saw every object in a tone of deeper agony. Then for a moment the room.
The moonbeams came calmly in all was still. Some one said, “It's all over. at the window, just as they did when I retired. He's dead. Call Burton.' Then I heard a voice, I saw my dress on a chair by the bedside. It apparently from another room, saying, "Good partly hid the open grate. I saw the clock on God! Burton is dead!' With a strong wrench the mantle. I heard it strike two. I was half I burst the invisible bonds that had held me. reassured, and said to myself, 'It was a dream.'| The distant scene faded away. I saw the dawn Then again I heard his voice calling, Mary! streaming in at the window, and heard the Mary!' I tell you it could be only his voice. clock on the mantle strike six. I rushed down Do I not know it? Could I ever mistake it? to your door, where you found me. It seemed as though my name was wrung out I could not but be impressed with the earnfrom his lips by the agonies of death. I tried estness with which she spoke. Still I put the to spring up. I was powerless. I could not best face on the matter. move a limb. I tried to speak, but could not “You were nervous, Mary. Your fancy and utter a sound.”
your fears were unduly excited. You have had “Oh, the night-mare, Mary. You must not a severe attack of the night-mare. It's all over lie upon your back, child.”
Before night you will have a dispatch “It was not the night-mare. I was not ly- telling you that all's well.” ing on my back. Listen to me.
“Mr. Winter,” said she, “you have known my side looking toward the grate, which was me from a child. Did you ever know me to be partly hidden by the chair, upon which hung nervous or fanciful? I was not disquieted. I my clothes. As I lay, incapable of speech or had no evil forebodings. I never went to rest motion, a picture-no, not a picture—a real a happier woman than last night. I never slept scene slowly opened up far within that grate. more calmly than I did until I was awakened It was far off-how far I know not—a thousand by my husband's cry. I was never more fully miles perhaps; but there it was. I saw it. awake and conscious than I was during those My husband was lying in a narrow room, light- long hours of deadly agony. I tell you that I ed by a single lamp, in the extremity of mortal heard my husband's dying voice, and I shall agony. I saw Harry bending over him, vain- never hear it again with my living ears. I tell ly endeavoring to relieve him. At intervals you he is dead—they are dead. I must go this I heard him call my name in the same fearful very day after them. I shall never see them tones that had awakened me—tones that never living, but I must look on their dead faces. yet came from human lips until the seal of Mr. Winter, you will help me now. I must death was upon them. The little room where go." he lay was only half-lighted, and the chair Her piteous look moved me. partly hid it, so that I could only partially “Yes, Mary, I see that you are bent upon it. make it out. It seemed more like the cabin If we do not hear good news to-day, you shall of a vessel than an apartment in a house. But go by the evening train." there he lay, in mortal agony, calling upon me. Toward noon a telegraphic dispatch was I saw all; I heard all. I knew that in my brought to me.
gave it a hasty glance, and body I was lying here in your house, yet in hurried to Mary. soul I was there too. I knew every thing that “Here, my child, is good news ! Is not this passed there and here. I heard every footstep a consoling message from two dead men ? that passed along the pavement here. I saw Listen : ‘Buffalo, October 6, 8 A.M. Start for all the while every thing in my room. I saw Cleveland in an hour. All well.-B. & W.' the calm moonlight shining coldly through the Now, how about your dreams ?” half-drawn curtains. I was there too. In soul “It was no dream,” she replied. “I saw I was in that dark room. I saw the death-dews him dic. I heard his last cry with my own gathering on his forehead. I heard him call-mortal ears. His living voice I shall never ing my name. I heard too, as I remember, hear again. But I may look upon their dead something that sounded like the rush of waters faces. I must go. Will you aid me ?" poppling against the side of a vessel. Then all “But, Mary, you heard
- or thought you was dark. I could see nothing; but I heard heard -- all this in the night; and here you my husband's groans of agony, I heard him have a message from them, alive and well, again and again call my name. The clock on hours afterward." the mantle struck successively three, four, and "If they are not dead now, they will be befive; so I knew that I had lain in speechless, fore I can reach them. It was a forewarning. motionless agony, three hours. Day began I heard his dying voice. I must go. Will you slowly to break here and there—here calm and help me ?” bright, there gusty and overcast. Then, as It was in vain to struggle against this fixed the gray dawn lighted up the room—both rooms idea; and I left her with a promise to see her --that in which I lay in body, and that in which safely on her way. My friend Marston was to my husband's life was ebbing away-I saw there start in a couple of days for New Orleans by new faces. I heard eager voices whispering; the western route, and at my earnest entreaty what they said I could not distinguish. At last he agreed to hasten his departure and go that I heard my husband's voice calling my name in very evening.
At Buffalo they met a score of persons who To do Mrs. Walters justice, this is her first had seen George and Harry leave for Cincin- offense of that kind.” nati in perfect health. Marston and Mary lost So we chatted gayly, over our wine and cino time, and followed on their route. As they gars, of ghosts and omens; of dreams, visions, had intended, Burton and Walters had twice and apparitions ; of spiritual rappings and tastopped over a train to transact some business. ble-turnings; distributing the blame for these At Cincinnati they were almost overtaken ; things pretty impartially between dreams, nightGeorge and Harry were only six hours ahead. mares, roguery, and folly; summing up the The river was too low to allow the usual whole matter in the comprehensive word, steamers to run when fully loaded. But the “ Humbug." Forest City was to run down the next day with Late in the evening, a telegraphic dispatch out freight to Cairo, and there take in a cargo. was left at my door. It was addressed to a Just as they had decided to wait for her, they mercantile friend, who had sent it up to me. learned that the little For, which, it was said, “Ha! here's something about Burton and could run in a heavy dew, was about to start. Walters," said I, as I ran my eye hastily over They took passage on her, and set off without it. delay.
" What is it ? Read it." Marston and his companion learned this at "Memphis, October 12. Cotton, so-andCincinnati, and remained overnight for the For- so. Jones all right. Smith and Parker failed. est City. Although the Fox had eighteen hours' River low. Burton and Walters both dined start, it was hoped that the Forest City would here to-day. Tell Winter.'” overhaul her at Cairo. In this they were dis “Dined! Well, that does not look much appointed. No sooner had they touched the like dead men. I'll wager that at this very wharf than Marston recognized an acquaint-moment Mrs. Walters is enjoying a pleasant
supper with her two husbands," said Watson. “Hallo! Wilson," he shouted. “How are “ After all, she's a woman out of a thousand. you? Is the For in ?"
Here's a happy evening to them! What a pair “Yes, and gone--an hour ago."
Burton and Walters are-_always together. I “ Did you sed Burton and Walters ?” do believe if one should die the other could not
“Yes, they were on board. I saw them survive." off.
“They were always so," I replied. "You “ How were they ? Mrs. Walters is with know they were brought up in my counting
She got frightened, and would follow house." after. We hoped to overtake them here."
Yes, and they are a credit to you,” said “ She need have no fear. They were never Watson. “Give me another cigar. Thank better. They intend to stop at Memphis. You'll you. Don't trouble yourself for a light—this overhaul them there."
will do." The Forest City remained at Cairo for two As he spoke he took up the dispatch which days. From here Marston wrote me a full ac- I had flung upon the table. count of all that had happened. Mary, he said, “Ha! What's this ?” he cried, as his eye was unmoved in her opinion. She was not fell casually on the concluding words.
"Conwild or demonstrative, but calm and sad. “The found their carelessness. They're always makbitterness of death is passed," she said, in reply ing blunders. Did you see how this reads: to all attempts at encouragement. “I shall · Burton and Walters died here to-day.' That's never behold them alive, but I shall look upon how the careless fellows have written it.” their dead faces. You are very kind; I thank So it was; a little indistinctly written inyou for it. But they are dead. I heard his deed, but it was evidently died, not dined. dying words.” “What nervous things women “Of course," said Watson, “it should be are !” moralized Marston. “I wonder what dined. Though, for the matter of that, it's she will say when she meets her husband !" about the same thing in Memphis, judging from
This letter reached me by the evening mail a horrid dinner I once got there. I almost died of the 12th. I will own that I was greatly re- of it. As it is, there's no great harm done, for assured by it; for in spite of myself, I could we know what it should have been. But it not wholly divest myself of a lingering feeling might have done a world of evil. Suppose that something was amiss.
Mrs. Walters had been here! I'll bring those Some friends dined with me that evening. fellows up with a short turn. Come down to Among them was Watson, of the Telegraph the office with me, and see how they'll catch Company. I told them of the whole affair, and it.” made light of Mary's vision and her journey. I We reached the office, and Watson took his took some blame to myself for permitting her to seat at the instrument. The sharp clicking of go on such a wild-goose chase. Perhaps I was the machine was heard as his message flew over not altogether unselfish, for my wife and myself the wires: had anticipated much pleasure from her com “What do you mean by your blunders? You pany on our voyage. “But you know," I add- sent on word that Burton and Walters died, ined, apologetically, “when a woman takes a stead of dined, as it should have been. Mind whim into her head, there's no beating it ont. your p's and q's."