"She has a message: 'The man will pay up and all will be well. Be a good man, Wat, and we will be happier here then ever we were on earth'."

The man put his hand over his eyes. As the seeress stood irresolute the tall young secretary half rose and whispered something in her ear. The woman shot a swift glance over her left shoulder in the direction of the visitors.

"I'll come back to it," said she.

She gave two more descriptions to the audience, both of them rather vague, and both recognized with some reservations. It was a curious fact that her details were such as she could not possibly see at the distance. Thus, dealing with a form which she claimed had built up at the far end of the hall, she could none the less give the colour of the eyes and small points of the face. Malone noted the point as one which he could use for destructive criticism. He was just jotting it down when the woman's voice sounded louder and, looking up, he found that she had turned her head and her spectacles were flashing in his direction.

"It is not often I give a reading from the platform," said she, her face rotating between him and the audience, "but we have friends here to-night, and it may interest them to come in contact with the spirit people. There is a presence building up behind the gentleman with a moustache -- the gentleman who sits next to the young lady. Yes, sir, behind you. He is a man of middle size, rather inclined to shortness. He is old, over sixty, with white hair, curved nose and a white, small beard of the variety that is called goatee. He is no relation, I gather, but a friend. Does that suggest anyone to you, sir?"

Malone shook his head with some contempt. "It would nearly fit any old man," he whispered to Enid.

"We will try to get a little closer. He has deep lines on his face. I should say he was an irritable man in his lifetime. He was quick and nervous in his ways. Does that help you?"

Again Malone shook his head.

"Rot! Perfect rot," he muttered.

"Well, he seems very anxious, so we must do what we can for him. He holds up a book. It is a learned book. He opens it and I see diagrams in it. Perhaps he wrote it -- or perhaps he taught from it. Yes, he nods. He taught from it. He was a teacher."

Malone remained unresponsive.

"I don't know that I can help him any more. Ah! there is one thing. He has a mole over his right eyebrow."

Malone started as if he had been stung.

"One mole?" he cried.

The spectacles flashed round again.

"Two moles -- one large, one small."

"My God!" gasped Malone. "It's Professor Summerlee!"

"Ah, you've got it. There's a message: 'Greetings to old --' It's a long name and begins with a C. I can't get it. Does it mean anything?"


In an instant she had turned and was describing something or someone else. But she had left a badly-shaken man upon the platform behind her.

It was at this point that the orderly service had a remarkable interruption which surprised the audience as much as it did the two visitors. This was the sudden appearance beside the chairman of a tall, pale-faced bearded man dressed like a superior artisan, who held up his hand with a quietly impressive gesture as one who was accustomed to exert authority. He then half-turned and said a word to Mr. Bolsover.

"This is Mr. Miromar of Dalston," said the chairman. "Mr. Miromar has a message to deliver. We are always glad to hear from Mr. Miromar."

The reporters could only get a half-view of the newcomer's face, but both of them were struck by his noble bearing and by the massive outline of his head which promised very unusual intellectual power. His voice when he spoke rang clearly and pleasantly through the hall.

"I have been ordered to give the message wherever I think that there are ears to hear it. There are some here who are ready for it, and that is why I have come. They wish that the human race should gradually understand the situation so that there shall be the less shock or panic. I am one of several who are chosen to carry the news."

"A lunatic, I'm afraid!" whispered Malone, scribbling hard upon his knee.

The Land of Mist Page 10

Arthur Conan Doyle

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