Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: The Wanderings of a Spiritualist
Author: Doyle, Arthur Conan, Sir, 1859-1930
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Wanderings of a Spiritualist" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



  Transcriber's Note:

  Italic text is denoted by _underscores_ and bold text by =equal signs=.
  Obvious punctuation and spelling errors have been corrected.



     Illustration: _Photo: Stirling, Melbourne._ ON THE WARPATH IN
     AUSTRALIA, 1920-21.



_THE
WANDERINGS OF A
SPIRITUALIST_

BY
SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE

AUTHOR OF
"THE NEW REVELATION," "THE VITAL MESSAGE," ETC.

"Aggressive fighting for the right is
the noblest sport the world affords."

_Theodore Roosevelt._

HODDER AND STOUGHTON
LIMITED       LONDON



_By SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE_


THE NEW REVELATION

     Ninth Edition. Cloth, 5/. net.. Paper, 2/6 net.

     "This book is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's confession of faith, very
     frank, very courageous and very resolute ... the courage and
     large-mindedness of this book deserve cordial recognition."--DAILY
     CHRONICLE. "It is a book that demands our respect and commands our
     interest.... Much more likely to influence the opinion of the
     general public than 'Raymond' or the long reports of the Society
     for Psychical Research."--DAILY NEWS.


THE VITAL MESSAGE

                                           Tenth Thousand. Cloth, 5/.

     "Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 'The New Revelation' was his confession
     of faith. 'The Vital Message' seeks to show our future relations
     with the Unseen World."--DAILY CHRONICLE. "... it is a clear,
     earnest presentation of the case, and will serve as a useful
     introduction to the subject to anyone anxious to learn what the new
     Spiritualists claim for their researches and their faith.... Sir
     Arthur writes with evident sincerity, and, within the limits of his
     system, with much broad-mindedness and toleration."--DAILY
     TELEGRAPH. "A splendid propaganda book, written in the author's
     telling and racy style, and one that will add to his prestige and
     renown."--TWO WORLDS.


SPIRITUALISM AND RATIONALISM


                   WITH A DRASTIC EXAMINATION OF MR. JOSEPH M'CABE

     Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's trenchant reply to the criticisms of
     Spiritualism as formulated by Mr. Joseph M'Cabe.
                                                    Paper, 1/. net.

_HODDER & STOUGHTON, Ltd., London, E.C.4_



CONTENTS


                                                                     PAGE

CHAPTER I                                                               9

The inception of the enterprise.--The Merthyr Séance.--Experience
of British lectures.--Call from Australia.--The Holborn
luncheon.--Remarkable testimony to communication.--Is individual
proof necessary?--Excursion to Exeter.--Can Spiritualists continue
to be Christians?--Their views on Atonement.--The party on the
"Naldera."

CHAPTER II                                                             24

Gibraltar.--Spanish right versus British might.--Relics of
Barbary Rovers, and of German militarists.--Ichabod!--Senegal
Infantry.--No peace for the world.--Religion on a liner.--Differences
of vibration.--The Bishop of Kwang-Si.--Religion in China.--Whisky
in excelsis.--France's masterpiece.--British errors.--A procession
of giants.--The invasion of Egypt.--Tropical weather.--The
Russian Horror.--An Indian experiment.--Aden.--Bombay.--The
Lambeth encyclical. A great novelist.--The Mango trick.--Snakes.--The
Catamarans.--The Robber Castles of Ceylon.--Doctrine of
Reincarnation.--Whales and Whalers.--Perth.--The Bight.

CHAPTER III                                                           60

Mr. Hughes' letter of welcome.--Challenges.--Mr. Carlyle
Smythe.--The Adelaide Press.--The great drought.--The wine
industry.--Clairvoyance.--Meeting with Bellchambers.--The
first lecture.--The effect.--The Religious lecture.--The
illustrated lecture.--Premonitions.--The spot light.--Mr.
Thomas' account of the incident.--Correspondence.--Adelaide
doctors.--A day in the Bush,--The Mallee fowl.--Sussex in
Australia.--Farewell to Adelaide.

CHAPTER IV                                                            84

Speculations on Paul and his Master.--Arrival at Melbourne.--Attack
in the Argus.--Partial press boycott.--Strength of the movement.--The
Prince of Wales.--Victorian football. Rescue Circle in
Melbourne.--Burke and Wills' statue.--Success of the
lectures.--Reception at the Auditorium.--Luncheon of the British
Empire League.--Mr. Ryan's experience.--The Federal Government.--Mr.
Hughes' personality.--The mediumship of Charles Bailey.--His alleged
exposure.--His remarkable record.--A test sitting.--The Indian
nest.--A remarkable lecture.--Arrival of Lord Forster.--The
future of the Empire.--Kindness of Australians.--Prohibition.
--Horse-racing.--Roman Catholic policy.

CHAPTER V                                                            114

More English than the English.--A day in the Bush.--Immigration.--A
case of spirit return.--A séance.--Geelong.--The lava
plain.--Good-nature of General Ryrie.--Bendigo.--Down a gold
mine.--Prohibition v. Continuance.--Mrs. Knight MacLellan.
--Nerrin.--A wild drive.--Electric shearing.--Rich sheep stations.
--Cockatoo farmers.--Spinnifex and Mallee.--Rabbits.--The
great marsh.

CHAPTER VI                                                           136

The Melbourne Cup.--Psychic healing.--M. J. Bloomfield.--My
own experience.--Direct healing.--Chaos and Ritual.--Government
House Ball.--The Rescue Circle again.--Sitting with Mrs.
Harris.--A good test case.--Australian botany.--The land of
myrtles.--English cricket team.--Great final meeting in Melbourne.

CHAPTER VII                                                          151

Great reception at Sydney.--Importance of Sydney.--Journalistic
luncheon.--A psychic epidemic.--Gregory.--Barracking.--Town
Hall reception.--Regulation of Spiritualism.--An ether
apport.--Surfing at Manly.--A challenge.--Bigoted opponents.--A
disgruntled photographer.--Outing in the harbour.--Dr. Mildred
Creed.--Leon Gellert.--Norman Lindsay.--Bishop Leadbeater.--Our
relations with Theosophy.--Incongruities of H.P.B.--Of D.D. Home.


CHAPTER VIII                                                         176

Dangerous fog.--The six photographers.--Comic
Advertisements.--Beauties of Auckland.--A Christian
clergyman.--Shadows in our American relations.--The
Gallipoli Stone.--Stevenson and the Germans.--Position of
De Rougemont.--Mr. Clement Wragge.--Atlantean
theories.--A strange psychic.--Wellington the windy.--A
literary oasis.--A Maori séance.--Presentation.

CHAPTER IX                                                           198

The Anglican Colony.--Psychic dangers.--The learned dog.--Absurd
newspaper controversy.--A backward community.--The Maori
tongue.--Their origin.--Their treatment by the Empire.--A
fiasco.--The Pa of Kaiopoi.--Dr. Thacker.--Sir Joseph Kinsey.--A
generous collector.--Scott and Amundsen.--Dunedin.--A genuine
medium.--Evidence.--The Shipping strike.--Sir Oliver.--Farewell.

CHAPTER X                                                            223

Christian origins.--Mithraism.--Astronomy.--Exercising
boats.--Bad news from home.--Futile strikes.--Labour
Party.--The blue wilderness.--Journey to Brisbane.--Warm
reception.--Friends and Foes.--Psychic experience
of Dr. Doyle.--Birds.--Criticism on Melbourne--Spiritualist
Church.--Ceremony.--Sir Matthew Nathan.--Alleged repudiation of
Queensland.--Billy tea.--The bee farm.--Domestic service in
Australia.--Hon. John Fihilly.--Curious photograph by the State
photographer.--The "Orsova."

CHAPTER XI                                                           255

Medlow Bath.--Jenolan Caves.--Giant skeleton.--Mrs.
Foster Turner's mediumship.--A wonderful prophecy.--Final
results.--Third sitting with Bailey.--Failure of State
Control.--Retrospection.--Melbourne presentation.--Crooks.--Lecture
at Perth.--West Australia.--Rabbits, sparrows and sharks.

CHAPTER XII                                                          280

Pleasing letters.--Visit to Candy.--Snake and Flying Fox.--Buddha's
shrine.--The Malaya.--Naval digression.--Indian trader.
--Elephanta.--Sea snakes.--Chained to a tombstone.--Berlin's escape.
--Lord Chetwynd.--Lecture in the Red Sea.--Marseilles.

CHAPTER XIII                                                         303

The Institut Metaphysique.--Lecture in French.--Wonderful
musical improviser.--Camille Flammarion.--Test of materialised
hand.--Last ditch of materialism.--Sitting with Mrs. Bisson's medium,
Eva.--Round the Aisne battlefields.--A tragic intermezzo.
--Anglo-French Rugby match.--Madame Blifaud's clairvoyance.



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


On the War-Path in Australia, 1920-1921           _Frontispiece_

                                                   _Facing page_

How This Book was Written                                      9

The God-Speed Luncheon in London. On this occasion
250 out of 290 Guests rose as testimony that they
were in Personal touch with their Dead                        16

The Wanderers, 1920-1921                                      72

Bellchambers and the Mallee Fowl. "Get along with
you, do"                                                      80

Melbourne, November, 1920                                     96

A Typical Australian Back-Country Scene by H. J.
Johnstone, a Great Painter Who Died Unknown.
Painting in Adelaide National Gallery                        128

At Melbourne Town Hall, November 12th, 1920                  144

The People of Turi's Canoe, after a Voyage of Great
Hardship, at last Sight the Shores of New Zealand.
From a Painting by C. F. Goldie and L. G. A. Steele          208

Laying Foundation Stone of Spiritualist Church at
Brisbane                                                     240

Curious Photographic Effect referred to in Text.
Taken by the Official Photographer, Brisbane.
"Absolutely mystifying" is his Description                   252

Our Party _en route_ to the Jenolan Caves, January 20th,
1921. In Front of Old Court House in which Bushrangers were
Tried                                                        256

Denis with a Black Snake at Medlow Bath                      264



        TO MY WIFE.


    THIS MEMORIAL OF A JOURNEY WHICH
    HER HELP AND PRESENCE CHANGED
    FROM A DUTY TO A PLEASURE.

    A. C. D.

    _July 18/21._



     Illustration: HOW THIS BOOK WAS WRITTEN.



CHAPTER I

     The inception of the enterprise.--The Merthyr Séance.--Experience
     of British lectures.--Call from Australia.--The Holborn
     luncheon.--Remarkable testimony to communication.--Is individual
     proof necessary?--Excursion to Exeter.--Can spiritualists continue
     to be Christians?--Their views on Atonement.--The party on the
     "Naldera."


This is an account of the wanderings of a spiritualist, geographical and
speculative. Should the reader have no interest in psychic things--if
indeed any human being can be so foolish as not to be interested in his
own nature and fate,--then this is the place to put the book down. It
were better also to end the matter now if you have no patience with a
go-as-you-please style of narrative, which founds itself upon the
conviction that thought may be as interesting as action, and which is
bound by its very nature to be intensely personal. I write a record of
what absorbs my mind which may be very different from that which appeals
to yours. But if you are content to come with me upon these terms then
let us start with my apologies in advance for the pages which may bore
you, and with my hopes that some may compensate you by pleasure or by
profit. I write these lines with a pad upon my knee, heaving upon the
long roll of the Indian Ocean, running large and grey under a grey
streaked sky, with the rain-swept hills of Ceylon, just one shade
greyer, lining the Eastern skyline. So under many difficulties it will
be carried on, which may explain if it does not excuse any slurring of a
style, which is at its best but plain English.

There was one memorable night when I walked forth with my head throbbing
and my whole frame quivering from the villa of Mr. Southey at Merthyr.
Behind me the brazen glare of Dowlais iron-works lit up the sky, and in
front twinkled the many lights of the Welsh town. For two hours my wife
and I had sat within listening to the whispering voices of the dead,
voices which are so full of earnest life, and of desperate endeavours to
pierce the barrier of our dull senses. They had quivered and wavered
around us, giving us pet names, sweet sacred things, the intimate talk
of the olden time. Graceful lights, signs of spirit power had hovered
over us in the darkness. It was a different and a wonderful world. Now
with those voices still haunting our memories we had slipped out into
the material world--a world of glaring iron works and of twinkling
cottage windows. As I looked down on it all I grasped my wife's hand in
the darkness and I cried aloud, "My God, if they only knew--if they
could only know!" Perhaps in that cry, wrung from my very soul, lay the
inception of my voyage to the other side of the world. The wish to serve
was strong upon us both. God had given us wonderful signs, and they were
surely not for ourselves alone.

I had already done the little I might. From the moment that I had
understood the overwhelming importance of this subject, and realised how
utterly it must change and chasten the whole thought of the world when
it is whole-heartedly accepted, I felt it good to work in the matter and
understood that all other work which I had ever done, or could ever do,
was as nothing compared to this. Therefore from the time that I had
finished the history of the Great War on which I was engaged, I was
ready to turn all my remaining energies of voice or hand to the one
great end. At first I had little of my own to narrate, and my task was
simply to expound the spiritual philosophy as worked out by the thoughts
and experiences of others, showing folk so far as I was able, that the
superficial and ignorant view taken of it in the ordinary newspapers did
not touch the heart of the matter. My own experiences were limited and
inconclusive, so that it was the evidence of others which I quoted. But
as I went forward signs were given in profusion to me also, such signs
as were far above all error or deception, so that I was able to speak
with that more vibrant note which comes not from belief or faith, but
from personal experience and knowledge. I had found that the wonderful
literature of Spiritualism did not reach the people, and that the press
was so full of would-be jocosities and shallow difficulties that the
public were utterly misled. Only one way was left, which was to speak to
the people face to face. This was the task upon which I set forth, and
it had led me to nearly every considerable city of Great Britain from
Aberdeen to Torquay. Everywhere I found interest, though it varied from
the heavier spirit of the sleepy cathedral towns to the brisk reality of
centres of life and work like Glasgow or Wolverhampton. Many a time my
halls were packed, and there were as many outside as inside the
building. I have no eloquence and make profession of none, but I am
audible and I say no more than I mean and can prove, so that my
audiences felt that it was indeed truth so far as I could see it, which
I conveyed. Their earnestness and receptiveness were my great help and
reward in my venture. Those who had no knowledge of what my views were
assembled often outside my halls, waving banners and distributing
tracts, but never once in the course of addressing 150,000 people, did I
have disturbance in my hall. I tried, while never flinching from truth,
to put my views in such a way as to hurt no one's feelings, and although
I have had clergymen of many denominations as my chairmen, I have had
thanks from them and no remonstrance. My enemies used to follow and
address meetings, as they had every right to do, in the same towns. It
is curious that the most persistent of these enemies were Jesuits on the
one side and Evangelical sects of the Plymouth Brethren type upon the
other. I suppose the literal interpretation of the Old Testament was the
common bond.

However this is digression, and when the digressions are taken out of
this book there will not be much left. I get back to the fact that the
overwhelming effect of the Merthyr Séance and of others like it, made my
wife and myself feel that when we had done what we could in Britain we
must go forth to further fields. Then came the direct invitation from
spiritual bodies in Australia. I had spent some never-to-be-forgotten
days with Australian troops at the very crisis of the war. My heart was
much with them. If my message could indeed bring consolation to bruised
hearts and to bewildered minds--and I had boxes full of letters to show
that it did--then to whom should I carry it rather than to those who had
fought so splendidly and lost so heavily in the common cause? I was a
little weary also after three years of incessant controversy, speaking
often five times a week, and continually endeavouring to uphold the
cause in the press. The long voyage presented attractions, even if there
was hard work at the end of it. There were difficulties in the way.
Three children, boys of eleven and nine, with a girl of seven, all
devotedly attached to their home and their parents, could not easily be
left behind. If they came a maid was also necessary. The pressure upon
me of correspondence and interviews would be so great that my old friend
and secretary, Major Wood, would be also needed. Seven of us in all
therefore, and a cheque of sixteen hundred pounds drawn for our return
tickets, apart from outfit, before a penny could be entered on the
credit side. However, Mr. Carlyle Smythe, the best agent in Australia,
had taken the matter up, and I felt that we were in good hands. The
lectures would be numerous, controversies severe, the weather at its
hottest, and my own age over sixty. But there are compensating forces,
and I was constantly aware of their presence. I may count our adventures
as actually beginning from the luncheon which was given us in farewell a
week or so before our sailing by the spiritualists of England. Harry
Engholm, most unselfish of men, and a born organiser among our most
unorganised crowd, had the matter in hand, so it was bound to be a
success. There was sitting room at the Holborn Restaurant for 290
people, and it was all taken up three weeks before the event. The
secretary said that he could have filled the Albert Hall. It was an
impressive example of the solidity of the movement showing itself for
the moment round us, but really round the cause. There were peers,
doctors, clergymen, officers of both services, and, above all, those
splendid lower middle class folk, if one talks in our material earth
terms, who are the spiritual peers of the nation. Many professional
mediums were there also, and I was honoured by their presence, for as I
said in my remarks, I consider that in these days of doubt and sorrow, a
genuine professional medium is the most useful member of the whole
community. Alas! how few they are! Four photographic mediums do I know
in all Britain, with about twelve physical phenomena mediums and as many
really reliable clairvoyants. What are these among so many? But there
are many amateur mediums of various degrees, and the number tends to
increase. Perhaps there will at last be an angel to every church as in
the days of John. I see dimly the time when two congregations, the
living and those who have passed on, shall move forward together with
the medium angel as the bridge between them.

It was a wonderful gathering, and I only wish I could think that my own
remarks rose to the height of the occasion. However, I did my best and
spoke from my heart. I told how the Australian visit had arisen, and I
claimed that the message that I would carry was the most important that
the mind of man could conceive, implying as it did the practical
abolition of death, and the reinforcement of our present religious views
by the actual experience of those who have made the change from the
natural to the spiritual bodies. Speaking of our own experiences, I
mentioned that my wife and I had actually spoken face to face beyond all
question or doubt with eleven friends or relatives who had passed over,
their direct voices being in each case audible, and their conversation
characteristic and evidential--in some cases marvellously so. Then with
a sudden impulse I called upon those in the audience who were prepared
to swear that they had had a similar experience to stand up and testify.
It seemed for a moment as if the whole audience were on their feet. _The
Times_ next day said 250 out of 290 and I am prepared to accept that
estimate. Men and women, of all professions and social ranks--I do not
think that I exaggerated when I said that it was the most remarkable
demonstration that I had ever seen and that nothing like it had ever
occurred in the City of London.

It was vain for those journals who tried to minimise it to urge that in
a Baptist or a Unitarian assembly all would have stood up to testify to
their own faith. No doubt they would, but this was not a case of faith,
it was a case of bearing witness to fact. There were people of all
creeds, Church, dissent, Unitarian and ex-materialists. They were
testifying to an actual objective experience as they might have
testified to having seen the lions in Trafalgar Square. If such a public
agreement of evidence does not establish a fact then it is indeed
impossible, as Professor Challis remarked long ago, to prove a thing by
any human testimony whatever. I confess that I was amazed. When I
remember how many years it was before I myself got any final personal
proofs I should have thought that the vast majority of Spiritualists
were going rather upon the evidence of others than upon their own. And
yet 250 out of 290 had actually joined hands across the border. I had no
idea that the direct proof was so widely spread.

I have always held that people insist too much upon direct proof. What
direct proof have we of most of the great facts of Science? We simply
take the word of those who have examined. How many of us have, for
example, seen the rings of Saturn? We are assured that they are there,
and we accept the assurance. Strong telescopes are rare, and so we do
not all expect to see the rings with our own eyes. In the same way
strong mediums are rare, and we cannot all expect to experience the
higher psychic results. But if the assurance of those who have carefully
experimented, of the Barretts, the Hares, the Crookes, the Wallaces, the
Lodges and the Lombrosos, is not enough, then it is manifest that we are
dealing with this matter on different terms to those which we apply to
all the other affairs of science. It would of course be different if
there were a school of patient investigators who had gone equally deeply
into the matter and come to opposite conclusions. Then we should
certainly have to find the path of truth by individual effort. But such
a school does not exist. Only the ignorant and inexperienced are in
total opposition, and the humblest witness who has really sought the
evidence has more weight than they.

     Illustration: THE GOD-SPEED LUNCHEON IN LONDON. On this occasion
     250 out of 290 guests rose as testimony that they were in personal
     touch with their dead.

After the luncheon my wife made the final preparations--and only ladies
can tell what it means to fit out six people with tropical and
semi-tropical outfits which will enable them for eight months to stand
inspection in public. I employed the time by running down to Devonshire
to give addresses at Exeter and Torquay, with admirable audiences at
both. Good Evan Powell had come down to give me a last séance, and I had
the joy of a few last words with my arisen son, who blessed me on my
mission and assured me that I would indeed bring solace to bruised
hearts. The words he uttered were a quotation from my London speech at
which Powell had not been present, nor had the verbatim account of it
appeared anywhere at that time. It was one more sign of how closely our
words and actions are noted from the other side. Powell was tired,
having given a sitting the night before, so the proceedings were short,
a few floating lights, my son and my sister's son to me, one or two
greetings to other sitters, and it was over.

Whilst in Exeter I had a discussion with those who would break away from
Christianity. They are a strong body within the movement, and how can
Christians be surprised at it when they remember that for seventy years
they have had nothing but contempt and abuse for the true light-bearers
of the world? Is there at the present moment one single bishop, or one
head of a Free Church, who has the first idea of psychic truth? Dr.
Parker had, in his day, so too Archdeacons Wilberforce and Colley, Mr.
Haweis and a few others. General Booth has also testified to spiritual
communion with the dead. But what have Spiritualists had in the main
save misrepresentation and persecution? Hence the movement has
admittedly, so far as it is an organised religion--and it has already
360 churches and 1,000 building funds--taken a purely Unitarian turn.
This involves no disrespect towards Him Whom they look upon as the
greatest Spirit who ever trod the earth, but only a deep desire to
communicate direct without intermediary with that tremendous centre of
force from and to whom all things radiate or return. They are very
earnest and good men, these organised religious Spiritualists, and for
the most part, so far as my experience goes, are converts from
materialism who, having in their materialistic days said very properly
that they would believe nothing which could not be proved to them, are
ready now with Thomas to be absolutely wholehearted when the proof of
survival and spirit communion has actually reached them. There, however,
the proof ends, nor will they go further than the proof extends, as
otherwise their original principles would be gone. Therefore they are
Unitarians with a breadth of vision which includes Christ, Krishna,
Buddha and all the other great spirits whom God has sent to direct
different lines of spiritual evolution which correspond to the different
needs of the various races of mankind. Our information from the beyond
is that this evolution is continued beyond the grave, and very far on
until all details being gradually merged, they become one as children of
God. With a deep reverence for Christ it is undeniable that the
organised Spiritualist does not accept vicarious atonement nor original
sin, and believes that a man reaps as he sows with no one but himself to
pull out the weeds. It seems to me the more virile and manly doctrine,
and as to the texts which seem to say otherwise, we cannot deny that the
New Testament has been doctored again and again in order to square the
record of the Scriptures with the practice of the Church. Professor
Nestle, in the preface to a work on theology (I write far from books of
reference), remarks that there were actually officials named
"Correctores," who were appointed at the time of the Council of Nicæa
for this purpose, and St. Jerome, when he constructed the Vulgate,
complains to Pope Damasus that it is practically a new book that he is
making, putting any sin arising upon the Pope's head. In the face of
such facts we can only accept the spirit of the New Testament fortified
with common sense, and using such interpretation as brings most
spiritual strength to each of us. Personally, I accept the view of the
organised Spiritual religion, for it removes difficulties which formerly
stood between me and the whole Christian system, but I would not say or
do anything which would abash those others who are getting real
spiritual help from any sort of Christian belief. The gaining of
spirituality and widening of the personality are the aims of life, and
how it is done is the business of the individual. Every creed has
produced its saints and has to that extent justified its existence. I
like the Unitarian position of the main Spiritual body, however, because
it links the movement up with the other great creeds of the world and
makes it more accessible to the Jew, the Mohammedan or the Buddhist. It
is far too big to be confined within the palings of Christianity.

Here is a little bit of authentic teaching from the other side which
bears upon the question. I take it from the remarkable record of Mr.
Miller of Belfast, whose dialogues with his son after the death of the
latter seem to me to be as certainly true as any case which has come to
my notice. On asking the young soldier some question about the exact
position of Christ in religion he modestly protested that such a
subject was above his head, and asked leave to bring his higher guide to
answer the question. Using a fresh voice and in a new and more weighty
manner the medium then said:--

"I wish to answer your question. Jesus the Christ is the proper
designation. Jesus was perfect humanity. Christ was the God idea in Him.
Jesus, on account of His purity, manifested in the highest degree the
psychic powers which resulted in His miracles. Jesus never preached the
blood of the lamb. The disciples after His ascension forgot the message
in admiration of the man. The Christ is in every human being, and so are
the psychic forces which were used by Jesus. If the same attention were
given to spiritual development which you give to the comfort and growth
of your material bodies your progress in spiritual life would be rapid
and would be characterised by the same works as were performed by Jesus.
The one essential thing for all on earth to strive after is a fuller
knowledge and growth in spiritual living."

I think that the phrase, "In their admiration of the man they forgot His
message," is as pregnant a one as I ever heard.

To come back then to the discussion at Exeter, what I said then and feel
now is that every Spiritualist is free to find his own path, and that as
a matter of fact his typical path is a Unitarian one, but that this in
no way obscures the fact that our greatest leaders, Lodge, Barrett,
Ellis Powell, Tweedale, are devoted sons of the Church, that our
literature is full of Christian aspiration, and that our greatest
prophet, Vale Owen, is a priest of a particularly sacerdotal turn of
mind. We are in a transition stage, and have not yet found any common
theological position, or any common position at all, save that the dead
carry on, that they do not change, that they can under proper physical
conditions communicate with us, and that there are many physical signs
by which they make their presence known to us. That is our common
ground, and all beyond that is matter of individual observation and
inference. Therefore, we are not in a position to take on any
anti-Christian agitation, for it would be against the conscience of the
greater part of our own people.

Well, it is clear that if I do not begin my book I shall finish it
before I have begun, so let me end this chapter by saying that in
despite of all superstition we started for Australia in the good ship
"Naldera" (Capt. Lewellin, R.N.R.), on Friday, August 13th, 1920. As we
carried two bishops in addition to our ominous dates we were foredoomed
by every nautical tradition. Our party were my dear, splendid wife, who
has shared both my evidence and my convictions. She it is who, by
breaking up her household, leaving her beloved home, breaking the
schooling of her children, and venturing out upon a sea voyage, which of
all things she hates, has made the real sacrifice for the cause. As to
me, I am fond of change and adventure, and heartily agree with President
Roosevelt when he said that the grandest sport upon earth is to champion
an unpopular cause which you know to be true. With us were Denis,
Malcolm and Baby, concerning whom I wrote the "Three of them" sketches
some years ago. In their train was Jakeman, most faithful of maids, and
in mine Major Wood, who has been mixed up in my life ever since as young
men we played both cricket and football in the same team. Such was the
little party who set forth to try and blow that smouldering glow of
truth which already existed in Australia, into a more lively flame.



CHAPTER II

     Gibraltar.--Spanish right versus British might.--Relics of Barbary
     Rovers, and of German militarists.--Ichabod! Senegal Infantry.--No
     peace for the world.--Religion on a liner.--Differences of
     vibration.--The Bishop of Kwang-Si.--Religion in China.--Whisky in
     excelsis.--France's masterpiece.--British errors.--A procession of
     giants.--The invasion of Egypt.--Tropical weather.--The Russian
     Horror.--An Indian experiment.--Aden.--Bombay.--The Lambeth
     encyclical.--A great novelist.--The Mango trick.--Snakes.--The
     Catamarans.--The Robber Castles of Ceylon.--Doctrine of
     Reincarnation.--Whales and Whalers.--Perth.--The Bight.


We had a favourable journey across the Bay and came without adventure to
Gibraltar, that strange crag, Arabic by name, African in type, Spanish
by right, and British by might. I trust that my whole record has shown
me to be a loyal son of the Empire, and I recognise that we must have a
secure line of communications with the East, but if any change could
give us Ceuta, on the opposite African coast, instead of this outlying
corner of proud old Spain, it would be good policy as well as good
morality to make the change. I wonder how we should like it if the
French held a garrison at Mount St. Michael in Cornwall, which would be
a very similar situation. Is it worth having a latent enemy who at any
time might become an active one, or is it wiser to hold them to us by
the memory of a great voluntary act of justice? They would pay, of
course, for all quays, breakwaters and improvements, which would give us
the money to turn Ceuta into a worthy substitute, which could be held
without offending the pride of a great nation, as old and proud as
ourselves. The whole lesson of this great war is that no nation can do
what is unjust with impunity, and that sooner or later one's sin will
find one out. How successful seemed all the scheming of Frederick of
Prussia! But what of Silesia and of Poland now? Only on justice can you
build with a permanent foundation, and there is no justice in our tenure
of Gibraltar. We had only an hour ashore, a great joy to the children,
and carried away a vague impression of grey-shirted Tommies, swarthy
loungers, one long, cobblestoned street, scarlet blossoms, and a fine
Governor's house, in which I picture that brave old warrior,
Smith-Dorrien, writing a book which will set all the critics talking,
and the military clubs buzzing a year or two from now. I do not know if
he was really forced to fight at Le Cateau, though our sympathies must
always go to the man who fights, but I do feel that if he had had his
way and straightened the salient of Ypres, there would have been a
mighty saving of blood and tears. There were sentimental reasons against
it, but I can think of no material ones--certainly none which were worth
all the casualties of the Salient. I had only one look at the place, and
that by night, but never shall I forget the murderous loop, outlined by
star shells, nor the horrible noises which rose up from that place of
wrath and misery.

On August 19th we were running up the eastern Spanish coast, a most
desolate country of high bare cliffs and barren uplands, studded with
aged towers which told of pirate raids of old. These Mediterranean shore
dwellers must have had a hellish life, when the Barbary Rover was
afloat, and they might be wakened any night by the Moslem yell. Truly,
if the object of human life was chastening by suffering, then we have
given it to each other in full measure. If this were the only life I do
not know how the hypothesis of the goodness of God could be sustained,
since our history has been one hardly broken record of recurring
miseries, war, famine, and disease, from the ice to the equator. I
should still be a materialist, as I was of yore, if it were not for the
comfort and teaching from beyond, which tells me that this is the
worst--far the worst--and that by its standard everything else becomes
most gloriously better, so long as we help to make it so. "If the boys
knew what it was like over here," said a dead soldier, "they would just
jump for it." He added however, "If they did that they would surely miss
it." We cannot bluff Providence, or short-circuit things to our liking.

We got ashore once more at Marseilles. I saw converted German merchant
ships, with names like "Burgomeister Müller," in the harbour, and
railway trucks with "Mainz-Cöln" still marked upon their flanks--part
of the captured loot. Germany, that name of terror, how short is the
time since we watched you well-nigh all-powerful, mighty on land,
dangerous on the sea, conquering the world with your commerce and
threatening it with your arms! You had everything, numbers, discipline,
knowledge, industry, bravery, organisation, all in the highest--such an
engine as the world has never seen. And now--Ichabod! Ichabod! Your
warships lie under the waves, your liners fly the flags of your enemies,
your mother Rhine on either bank hears the bugles of your invaders. What
was wanting in you to bring you to such a pass? Was it not spirituality?
Had not your churches become as much a department of State as the Post
Office, where every priest and pastor was in State pay, and said that
which the State ordained? All other life was at its highest, but
spiritual life was dead, and because it was dead all the rest had taken
on evil activities which could only lead to dissolution and corruption.
Had Germany obeyed the moral law would she not now be great and
flourishing, instead of the ruin which we see? Was ever such an object
lesson in sin and its consequence placed before the world? But let us
look to it, for we also have our lesson to learn, and our punishment is
surely waiting if we do not learn it. If now after such years we sink
back into old ruts and do not make an earnest effort for real religion
and real active morality, then we cumber the ground, and it is time that
we were swept away, for no greater chance of reform can ever come to
us.

I saw some of the Senegal troops in the streets of Marseilles--a whole
battalion of them marching down for re-embarkation. They are fierce,
hard soldiers, by the look of them, for the negro is a natural fighter,
as the prize ring shows, and these have long service training upon the
top of this racial pugnacity. They look pure savages, with the tribal
cuts still upon their faces, and I do not wonder that the Germans
objected to them, though we cannot doubt that the Germans would
themselves have used their Askaris in Europe as well as in Africa if
they could have done so. The men who had as allies the murderers of the
Armenians would not stick at trifles. I said during the war, and I can
clearly see now, that the way in which the war was fought will prove
hardly second to the war itself as a misfortune to the human race. A
clean war could end in a clean peace. But how can we ever forget the
poison gas, the Zeppelin bombardments of helpless cities, the submarine
murders, the scattering of disease germs, and all the other atrocities
of Germany? No water of oblivion can ever wash her clean. She had one
chance, and only one. It was to at once admit it all herself and to set
to work purging her national guilt by punishing guilty individuals.
Perhaps she may even now save herself and clear the moral atmosphere of
the world by doing this. But time passes and the signs are against it.
There can be no real peace in the world until voluntary reparation has
been made. Forced reparation can only make things worse, for it cannot
satisfy us, and it must embitter them. I long for real peace, and
should love to see our Spiritualist bodies lead the van. But the time is
not yet and it is realities we need, not phrases.

Old travellers say that they never remember the Mediterranean so hot. We
went down it with a following breeze which just neutralised our own head
wind, the result being a quivering tropical heat. With the Red Sea
before us it was no joke to start our trials so soon, and already the
children began to wilt. However, Major Wood kept them at work for the
forenoons and discipline still flourished. On the third day out we were
south of Crete, and saw an island lying there which is surely the same
in the lee of which Paul's galley took refuge when Euroclydon was
behaving so badly. I had been asked to address the first-class
passengers upon psychic religion that evening, and it was strange indeed
to speak in those waters, for I knew well that however ill my little
pip-squeak might compare with that mighty voice, yet it was still the
same battle of the unseen against the material, raging now as it did
2,000 years ago. Some 200 of the passengers, with the Bishop of
Kwang-Si, turned up, and a better audience one could not wish, though
the acoustic properties of the saloon were abominable. However, I got it
across, though I was as wet as if I had fallen overboard when I had
finished. I was pleased to learn afterwards that among the most keen of
my audience were every colored man and woman on the ship, Parsees,
Hindoos, Japanese and Mohammedans.

"Do you believe it is true?" they were asked next day.

"We _know_ that it is true," was the answer, and it came from a lady
with a red caste-mark like a wafer upon her forehead. So far as I could
learn she spoke for all the Eastern folk.

And the others? At least I set them talking and thinking. I heard next
morning of a queue of six waiting at the barber's all deep in
theological discussion, with the barber himself, razor in hand, joining
warmly in. "There has never been so much religion talked on a P. & O.
ship since the line was started," said one old traveller. It was all
good-humoured and could do no harm. Before we had reached Port Said all
my books on the subject were lent out to eager readers, and I was being
led aside into remote corners and cross-questioned all day. I have a
number of good psychic photographs with me, some of them of my own
taking, and all of them guaranteed, and I find these valuable as making
folk realise that my words do in truth represent realities. I have the
famous fairy photos also, which will appear in England in the Christmas
number of the _Strand_. I feel as if it were a delay-action mine which I
had left behind me. I can imagine the cry of "Fake!" which will arise.
But they will stand investigation. It has of course nothing to do with
Spiritualism proper, but everything which can shake the mind out of
narrow, material grooves, and make it realise that endless worlds
surround us, separated only by difference of vibration, must work in the
general direction of truth.

"Difference of Vibration"--I have been trying lately to get behind mere
words and to realise more clearly what this may mean. It is a
fascinating and fruitful line of thought. It begins with my electric fan
whizzing over my head. As it starts with slow vibration I see the little
propellers. Soon they become a dim mist, and finally I can see them no
more. But they are there. At any moment, by slowing the movement, I can
bring them back to my vision. Why do I not see it all the time? Because
the impression is so fast that my retina has not time to register it.
Can we not imagine then that some objects may emit the usual light
waves, long enough and slow enough to leave a picture, but that other
objects may send waves which are short and steep, and therefore make so
swift an impression that it is not recorded? That, so far as I can
follow it, is what we mean by an object with a higher rate of vibration.
It is but a feeling out into the dark, but it is a hypothesis which may
serve us to carry on with, though the clairvoyant seems to be not a
person with a better developed physical retina, but rather one who has
the power to use that which corresponds with the retina in their own
etheric bodies which are in harmony with etheric waves from outside.
When a man can walk round a room and examine the pictures with the back
of his head, as Tom Tyrrell has done, it is clear that it is not his
physical retina which is working. In countless cases inquirers into
magnetic phenomena have caused their subjects to read with various parts
of their bodies. It is the other body, the etheric body, the
"spiritual" body of Paul, which lies behind all such phenomena--that
body which is loose with all of us in sleep, but only exceptionally in
waking hours. Once we fully understand the existence of that deathless
etheric body, merged in our own but occasionally detachable, we have
mastered many a problem and solved many a ghost story.

However, I must get back to my Cretan lecture. The bishop was
interested, and I lent him one of the Rev. Charles Tweedale's pamphlets
next day, which shows how sadly Christianity has wandered away from its
early faith of spiritual gifts and Communion of Saints. Both have now
become words instead of things, save among our ranks. The bishop is a
good fellow, red and rough like a Boer farmer, but healthy, breezy, and
Apostolic. "Do mention his kind grey eyes," says my wife. He may die a
martyr yet in that inland diocese of China--and he would not shrink from
it. Meanwhile, apart from his dogma, which must be desperately difficult
to explain to an educated Chinaman, he must always be a centre of
civilisation and social effort. A splendid fellow--but he suffers from
what all bishops and all cardinals and all Popes suffer from, and that
is superannuation. A physiologist has said that few men can ever
entertain a new idea after fifty. How then can any church progress when
all its leaders are over that age? This is why Christianity has
stagnated and degenerated. If here and there one had a new idea, how
could it survive the pressure of the others? It is hopeless. In this
particular question of psychic religion the whole order is an
inversion, for the people are ahead of the clergy and the clergy of the
bishops. But when the laymen lead strongly enough the others will follow
unless they wish to see the whole Church organisation dissolve.

He was very interesting upon the state of Christianity in China.
Protestantism, thanks to the joint British and American Missions, is
gaining upon Roman Catholicism, and has now far outstripped it, but the
Roman Catholic organisations are very wealthy on account of ancient
valuable concessions and well-invested funds. In case of a Bolshevist
movement that may be a source of danger, as it gives a reason for
attack. The Bishop made the very striking remark that if the whites
cleared right out of China all the Christian Churches of divers creeds
would within a generation merge into one creed. "What have we to do,"
they say, "with these old historical quarrels which are hardly
intelligible to us? We are all followers of Christ, and that is enough."
Truly, the converted seem far ahead of those who converted them. It is
the priesthoods, the organisations, the funds and the vested interests
which prevent the Churches from being united. In the meanwhile ninety
per cent. of our population shows what it thinks by never entering into
a church at all. Personally, I can never remember since I reached
manhood feeling myself the better for having gone into one. And yet I
have been an earnest seeker for truth. Verily, there is something deep
down which is rotten. It is want of fact, want of reality, words
instead of things. Only last Sunday I shuddered as I listened to the
hymns, and it amazed me to look around and see the composed faces of
those who were singing them. Do they think what they are saying, or does
Faith atrophy some part of the brain? We are "born through water and
blood into the true church." We drink precious blood. "He hath broken
the teeth in their jaw." Can such phrases really mean anything to any
thoughtful man? If not, why continue them? You will have your churches
empty while you do. People will not argue about it--they will, and do,
simply stay away. And the clergy go on stating and restating incredible
unproved things, while neglecting and railing at those which could be
proved and believed. On our lines those nine out of ten could be forced
back to a reconsideration of their position, even though that position
would not square with all the doctrines of present-day Christianity,
which would, I think, have offended the early Christians as much as it
does the earnest thinkers of to-day.

Port Said came at last, and we entered the Suez Canal. It is a shocking
thing that the entrance to this, one of the most magnificent of the
works of man, are flanked by great sky advertisements of various brands
of whisky. The sale of whisky may or may not be a tolerable thing, but
its flaunting advertisements, Dewar, Johnny Walker, and the rest, have
surely long been intolerable. If anything would make me a total
prohibitionist those would. They are shameless. I do not know if some
middle way could be found by which light alcoholic drinks could
remain--so light that drunkenness would be hardly possible--but if this
cannot be done, then let us follow the noble example of America. It is
indeed shameful to see at the very point of the world where some noble
sentiment might best be expressed these huge reminders of that which has
led to so much misery and crime. To a Frenchman it must seem even worse
than to us, while what the abstemious Mohammedan can think is beyond my
imagination. In that direction at least the religion of Mohammed has
done better than that of Christ. If all those Esquimaux, South Sea
Islanders and others who have been converted to Christianity and then
debauched by drink, had followed the prophet instead, it cannot be
denied that their development would have been a happier and a higher
one, though the cast-iron doctrines and dogmas of the Moslem have
dangers of their own.

Has France ever had the credit she deserves for the splendid faith with
which she followed that great beneficent genius Lesseps in his wonderful
work? It is beautiful from end to end, French in its neatness, its
order, its exquisite finish. Truly the opposition of our people, both
experts and public, was a disgrace to us, though it sinks into
insignificance when compared with our colossal national stupidity over
the Channel tunnel. When our descendants compute the sums spent in
shipping and transhipping in the great war, the waste of merchant ships
and convoys, the sufferings of the wounded, the delay in
reinforcements, the dependence upon the weather, they will agree that
our sin had found us out and that we have paid a fitting price for our
stupidity. Unhappily, it was not our blind guides who paid it, but it
was the soldier and sailor and taxpayer, for the nation always pays
collectively for the individual blunder. Would a hundred million pounds
cover the cost of that one? Well can I remember how a year before war
was declared, seeing clearly what was coming, I sent three memoranda to
the Naval and Military authorities and to the Imperial Council of
Defence pointing out exactly what the situation would be, and especially
the danger to our transports. It is admitted now that it was only the
strange inaction of the German light forces, and especially their want
of comprehension of the possibilities of the submarine, which enabled
our Expeditionary Force to get across at all, so that we might have lost
the war within the first month. But as to my poor memoranda, which
proved so terribly correct, I might as well have dropped them into my
own wastepaper basket instead of theirs, and so saved the postage. My
only convert was Captain, now General, Swinton, part inventor of the
tanks, who acted as Secretary to the Imperial Defence Committee, and who
told me at the time that my paper had set him thinking furiously.

Which leads my thoughts to the question of the torpedoing of merchant
vessels by submarines. So sure was I that the Germans would do this,
that after knocking at official doors in vain, I published a sketch
called "Danger," which was written a year before the war, and depicted
all that afterwards occurred, even down to such small details as the
ships zig-zagging up Channel to escape, and the submarines using their
guns to save torpedoes. I felt as if, like Solomon Eagle, I could have
marched down Fleet Street with a brazier on my head if I could only call
people's attention to the coming danger. I saw naval officers on the
point, but they were strangely blind, as is shown by the comments
printed at the end of "Danger," which give the opinions of several
admirals pooh-poohing my fears. Among others I saw Captain Beatty, as he
then was, and found him alive to the possible danger, though he did not
suggest a remedy. His quiet, brisk personality impressed me, and I felt
that our national brain-errors might perhaps be made good in the end by
the grit that is in us. But how hard were our tasks from our want of
foresight. Admiral Von Capelle did me the honour to say during the war,
in the German Reichstag, that I was the only man who had prophesied the
conditions of the great naval war. As a matter of fact, both Fisher and
Scott had done so, though they had not given it to the public in the
same detail--but nothing had been done. We know now that there was not a
single harbour proof against submarines on our whole East Coast. Truly
the hand of the Lord was over England. Nothing less could have saved
her.

We tied up to the bank soon after entering the Canal, and lay there most
of the night while a procession of great ships moving northwards swept
silently past us in the ring of vivid light cast by their searchlights
and our own. I stayed on deck most of the night to watch them. The
silence was impressive--those huge structures sweeping past with only
the slow beat of their propellers and the wash of their bow wave on
either side. No sooner had one of these great shapes slid past than,
looking down the Canal, one saw the brilliant head light of another in
the distance. They are only allowed to go at the slowest pace, so that
their wash may not wear away the banks. Finally, the last had passed,
and we were ourselves able to cast off our warps and push southwards. I
remained on deck seeing the sun rise over the Eastern desert, and then a
wonderful slow-moving panorama of Egypt as the bank slid slowly past us.
First desert, then green oases, then the long line of rude
fortifications from Kantara downwards, with the camp fires smoking,
groups of early busy Tommies and endless dumps of stores. Here and to
the south was the point where the Turks with their German leaders
attempted the invasion of Egypt, carrying flat-bottomed boats to ford
the Canal. How they were ever allowed to get so far is barely
comprehensible, but how they were ever permitted to get back again
across one hundred miles of desert in the face of our cavalry and
camelry is altogether beyond me. Even their guns got back untaken. They
dropped a number of mines in the Canal, but with true Turkish
slovenliness they left on the banks at each point the long bamboos on
which they had carried them across the desert, which considerably
lessened the work of those who had to sweep them up. The sympathies of
the Egyptians seems to have been against us, and yet they have no desire
to pass again under the rule of the Turk. Our dominion has had the
effect of turning a very poor country into a very rich one, and of
securing some sort of justice for the fellah or peasant, but since we
get no gratitude and have no trade preference it is a little difficult
to see how we are the better for all our labours. So long as the Canal
is secure--and it is no one's interest to injure it--we should be better
if the country governed itself. We have too many commitments, and if we
have to take new ones, such as Mesopotamia, it would be well to get rid
of some of the others where our task is reasonably complete. "We never
let the youngsters grow up," said a friendly critic. There is, however,
I admit, another side to the question, and the idea of permitting a
healthy moral place like Port Said to relapse into the hotbed of
gambling and syphilis which it used to be, is repugnant to the mind.
Which is better--that a race be free, immoral and incompetent, or that
it be forced into morality and prosperity? That question meets us at
every turn.

The children have been delighted by the fish on the surface of the
Canal. Their idea seems to be that the one aim and object of our
excursion is to see sharks in the sea and snakes in Australia. We did
actually see a shark half ashore upon a sandbank in one of the lower
lakes near Suez. It was lashing about with a frantic tail, and so got
itself off into deep water. To the west all day we see the very wild and
barren country through which our ancestors used to drive upon the
overland route when they travelled by land from Cairo to Suez. The smoke
of a tiny mail-train marks the general line of that most desolate road.
In the evening we were through the Canal and marked the rugged shore
upon our left down which the Israelites pursued their way in the
direction of Sinai. One wonders how much truth there is in the
narrative. On the one hand it is impossible to doubt that something of
the sort did occur. On the other, the impossibility of so huge a crowd
living on the rare wells of the desert is manifest. But numbers are not
the strong point of an Oriental historian. Perhaps a thousand or two may
have followed their great leader upon that perilous journey. I have
heard that Moses either on his own or through his wife was in touch with
Babylonian habits. This would explain those tablets of stone, or of
inscribed clay burned into brick, which we receive as the Ten
Commandments, and which only differ from the moral precepts of other
races in the strange limitations and omissions. At least ten new ones
have long been needed to include drunkenness, gluttony, pride, envy,
bigotry, lying and the rest.

The weather grows hotter and hotter, so that one aged steward who has
done 100 voyages declares it to be unique. One passenger has died.
Several stewards have collapsed. The wind still keeps behind us. In the
midst of all this I had an extensively signed petition from the second
class passengers that I should address them. I did so, and spoke on deck
for forty minutes to a very attentive audience which included many of
the officers of the ship. I hope I got my points across to them. I was a
sad example of sweated labour when I had finished. My wife tells me that
the people were impressed. As I am never aware of the presence of any
individual when I am speaking on this subject I rely upon my wife's very
quick and accurate feminine impressions. She sits always beside me,
notes everything, gives me her sympathetic atmosphere which is of such
psychic importance, and finally reports the result. If any point of mine
seems to her to miss its mark I unhesitatingly take it out. It interests
me to hear her tell of the half-concealed sneer with which men listen to
me, and how it turns into interest, bewilderment and finally something
like reverence and awe as the brain gradually realises the proved truth
of what I am saying, which upsets the whole philosophy on which their
lives are built.

There are several Australian officers on board who are coming from the
Russian front full of dreadful stories of Bolshevist atrocities, seen
with their own eyes. The executioners were Letts and Chinese, and the
instigators renegade Jews, so that the Russians proper seem to have been
the more or less innocent dupes. They had dreadful photographs of
tortured and mutilated men as corroboration. Surely hell, the place of
punishment and purgatorial expiation, is actually upon this earth in
such cases. One leader seems to have been a Sadic madman, for after
torturing his victims till even the Chinese executioners struck, he
would sit playing a violin very exquisitely while he gloated over their
agonies. All these Australian boys agree that the matter will burn
itself out, and that it will end in an immense massacre of Jews which
may involve the whole seven millions now in Russia. God forbid, but the
outlook is ominous! I remember a prophecy which I read early in the war
that a great figure would arise in the north and have power for six
years. If Lenin was the great figure then he has, according to the
prophet, about two years more to run. But prophecy is fitful, dangerous
work. The way in which the founders of the Christian faith all foretold
the imminent end of the world is an example. What they dimly saw was no
doubt the destruction of Jerusalem, which seems to have been equally
clear to Ezekiel 600 years before, for his picture of cannibalism and
dispersion is very exact.

It is wonderful what chances of gaining direct information one has
aboard a ship of this sort, with its mixed crowd of passengers, many of
them famous in their own lines. I have already alluded to the officers
returning from Russia with their prophecies of evil. But there are many
other folk with tales of deep interest. There is a Mr. Covell, a solid
practical Briton, who may prove to be a great pioneer, for he has made
farming pay handsomely in the very heart of the Indian plains. Within a
hundred miles of Lucknow he has founded the townlet of Covellpore,
where he handles 3,000 acres of wheat and cotton with the aid of about
the same number of natives. This is the most practical step I have ever
heard of for forming a real indigenous white population in India. His
son was with him, going out to carry on the work. Mr. Covell holds that
the irrigation of the North West of India is one of the greatest wonders
of the world, and Jacob the engineer responsible. I had never heard of
him, nor, I am ashamed to say, had I heard of Sir Leonard Rogers, who is
one of those great men like Sir Ronald Ross, whom the Indian Medical
Service throws up. Rogers has reduced the mortality of cholera by
intravenous injections of hypertonic saline until it is only 15 per
cent. General Maude, I am informed, would almost certainly have been
saved, had it not been that some false departmental economy had withheld
the necessary apparatus. Leprosy also seems in a fair way to yielding to
Rogers' genius for investigation.

It is sad to hear that this same Indian Medical Service which has
produced such giants as Fayrer, Ross, and Rogers is in a fair way to
absolute ruin, because the conditions are such that good white
candidates will no longer enter it. White doctors do not mind working
with, or even under, natives who have passed the same British
examinations as themselves, but they bar the native doctor who has got
through a native college in India, and is on a far lower educational
level than themselves. To serve under such a man is an impossible
inversion. This is appreciated by the medical authorities at home, the
word is given to the students, and the best men avoid the service. So
unless a change is made, the end is in sight of the grand old service
which has given so much to humanity.

Aden is remarkable only for the huge water tanks cut to catch rain, and
carved out of solid rock. A whole captive people must have been set to
work on so colossal a task, and one wonders where the poor wretches got
water themselves the while. Their work is as fresh and efficient as when
they left it. No doubt it was for the watering, not of the population,
but of the Egyptian and other galleys on their way to Punt and King
Solomon's mines. It must be a weary life for our garrison in such a
place. There is strange fishing, sea snakes, parrot fish and the like.
It is their only relaxation, for it is desert all round.

Monsoon and swell and drifting rain in the Indian Ocean. We heard that
"thresh of the deep sea rain," of which Kipling sings. Then at last in
the early morning the long quay of Bombay, and the wonderful crowd of
men of every race who await an incoming steamer. Here at least half our
passengers were disgorged, young subalterns, grey colonels, grave
administrators, yellow-faced planters, all the fuel which is grown in
Britain and consumed in the roaring furnace of India. So devoted to
their work, so unthanked and uncomprehended by those for whom they work!
They are indeed a splendid set of men, and if they withdrew I wonder how
long it would be before the wild men of the frontier would be in
Calcutta and Bombay, as the Picts and Scots flowed over Britain when the
Roman legions were withdrawn. What view will the coming Labour
governments of Britain take of our Imperial commitments? Upon that will
depend the future history of great tracts of the globe which might very
easily relapse into barbarism.

The ship seemed lonely when our Indian friends were gone, for indeed,
the pick of the company went with them. Several pleased me by assuring
me as they left that their views of life had been changed since they
came on board the "Naldera." To many I gave reading lists that they
might look further into the matter for themselves. A little leaven in
the great lump, but how can we help leavening it all when we know that,
unlike other creeds, no true Spiritualist can ever revert, so that while
we continually gain, we never lose. One hears of the converts to various
sects, but one does not hear of those who are driven out by their
narrow, intolerant doctrines. You can change your mind about faiths, but
not about facts, and hence our certain conquest.

One cannot spend even a single long day in India without carrying away a
wonderful impression of the gentle dignity of the Indian people. Our
motor drivers were extraordinarily intelligent and polite, and all we
met gave the same impression.

India may be held by the sword, but it is certainly kept very carefully
in the scabbard, for we hardly saw a soldier in the streets of this,
its greatest city. I observed some splendid types of manhood, however,
among the native police. We lunched at the Taj Mahal Hotel, and got back
tired and full of mixed impressions.

Verily the ingenuity of children is wonderful. They have turned their
active minds upon the problem of paper currency with fearsome results.
Baby writes cheques in quaint ways upon odd bits of paper and brings
them to me to be cashed. Malcolm, once known as Dimples, has made a
series of pound and five pound notes of his own. The bank they call the
money shop. I can trace every sort of atavism, the arboreal, the cave
dweller, the adventurous raider, and the tribal instinct in the child,
but this development seems a little premature.

Sunday once more, and the good Bishop preaching. I wonder more and more
what an educated Chinaman would make of such doctrines. To take an
example, he has quoted to-day with great approval, the action of Peter
in discarding the rite of circumcision as a proof of election. That
marked, according to the Bishop, the broad comprehensive mind which
could not confine the mercies of God to any limited class. And yet when
I take up the oecumenical pronouncement from the congress of Anglican
bishops which he has just attended, I find that baptism is made the
test, even as the Jews made circumcision. Have the bishops not learned
that there are millions who revere the memory of Christ, whether they
look upon him as God or man, but who think that baptism is a senseless
survival of heathendom, like so many of our religious observances? The
idea that the Being who made the milky way can be either placated or
incensed by pouring a splash of water over child or adult is an offence
to reason, and a slur upon the Divinity.

Two weary days upon the sea with drifting rain showers and wonderful
scarlet and green sunsets. Have beguiled the time with W. B. Maxwell's
"Lamp and the Mirror." I have long thought that Maxwell was the greatest
of British novelists, and this book confirms me in my opinion. Who else
could have drawn such fine detail and yet so broad and philosophic a
picture? There may have been single books which were better than
Maxwell's best--the "Garden of Allah," with its gorgeous oriental colour
would, for example, make a bid for first place, but which of us has so
splendid a list of first class serious works as "Mrs. Thompson," "The
Rest Cure," "Vivian," "In Cotton Wool," above all, "The Guarded
Flame"--classics, every one. Our order of merit will come out very
differently in a generation or so to what it stands now, and I shall
expect to find my nominee at the top. But after all, what's the odds?
You do your work as well as you can. You pass. You find other work to
do. How the old work compares with the other fellow's work can be a
matter of small concern.

In Colombo harbour lay H.M.S. "Highflyer," which we looked upon with the
reverence which everybody and everything which did well in the war
deserve from us--a saucy, rakish, speedy craft. Several other steamers
were flying the yellow quarantine flag, but our captain confided to me
that it was a recognised way of saying "no visitors," and did not
necessarily bear any pathological meaning. As we had nearly two days
before we resumed our voyage I was able to give all our party a long
stretch on shore, finally staying with my wife for the night at the
Galle Face Hotel, a place where the preposterous charges are partly
compensated for by the glorious rollers which break upon the beach
outside. I was interested in the afternoon by a native conjurer giving
us what was practically a private performance of the mango-tree trick.
He did it so admirably that I can well understand those who think that
it is an occult process. I watched the man narrowly, and believe that I
solved the little mystery, though even now I cannot be sure. In doing it
he began by laying several objects out in a casual way while hunting in
his bag for his mango seed. These were small odds and ends including a
little rag doll, very rudely fashioned, about six or eight inches long.
One got accustomed to the presence of these things and ceased to remark
them. He showed the seed and passed it for examination, a sort of large
Brazil nut. He then laid it among some loose earth, poured some water on
it, covered it with a handkerchief, and crooned over it. In about a
minute he exhibited the same, or another seed, the capsule burst, and a
light green leaf protruding. I took it in my hands, and it was certainly
a real bursting mango seed, but clearly it had been palmed and
substituted for the other. He then buried it again and kept raising the
handkerchief upon his own side, and scrabbling about with his long brown
fingers underneath its cover. Then he suddenly whisked off the
handkerchief and there was the plant, a foot or so high, with thick
foliage and blossoms, its root well planted in the earth. It was
certainly very startling.

My explanation is that by a miracle of packing the whole of the plant
had been compressed into the rag doll, or little cloth cylinder already
mentioned. The scrabbling of the hands under the cloth was to smooth out
the leaves after it was freed from this covering. I observed that the
leaves were still rather crumpled, and that there were dark specks of
fungi which would not be there if the plant were straight from nature's
manufactory. But it was wonderfully done when you consider that the man
was squatting in our midst, we standing in a semi-circle around him,
with no adventitious aid whatever. I do not believe that the famous Mr.
Maskeleyne or any of those other wise conjurers who are good enough
occasionally to put Lodge, Crookes and Lombroso in their places, could
have wrought a better illusion.

The fellow had a cobra with him which he challenged me to pick up. I did
so and gazed into its strange eyes, which some devilry of man's had
turned to a lapis lazuli blue. The juggler said it was the result of its
skin-sloughing, but I have my doubts. The poison bag had, I suppose,
been extracted, but the man seemed nervous and slipped his brown hand
between my own and the swaying venomous head with its peculiar
flattened hood. It is a fearsome beast, and I can realise what was told
me by a lover of animals that the snake was the one creature from which
he could get no return of affection. I remember that I once had three in
my employ when the "Speckled Band" was produced in London, fine, lively
rock pythons, and yet in spite of this profusion of realism I had the
experience of reading a review which, after duly slating the play, wound
up with the scathing sentence, "The performance ended with the
production of a palpably artificial serpent." Such is the reward of
virtue. Afterwards when the necessities of several travelling companies
compelled us to use dummy snakes we produced a much more realistic
effect. The real article either hung down like a pudgy yellow bell rope,
or else when his tail was pinched, endeavoured to squirm back and get
level with the stage carpenter, who pinched him, which was not in the
plot. The latter individual had no doubts at all as to the dummy being
an improvement upon the real.

Never, save on the west coast of Africa, have I seen "the league-long
roller thundering on the shore," as here, where the Indian Ocean with
its thousand leagues of momentum hits the western coast of Ceylon. It
looks smooth out at sea, and then you are surprised to observe that a
good-sized boat has suddenly vanished. Then it scoops upwards once more
on the smooth arch of the billow, disappearing on the further slope. The
native catamarans are almost invisible, so that you see a row of
standing figures from time to time on the crest of the waves. I cannot
think that any craft in the world would come through rough water as
these catamarans with their long outriggers can do. Man has made few
more simple and more effective inventions, and if I were a younger man I
would endeavour to introduce them to Brighton beach, as once I
introduced ski to Switzerland, or auto-wheels to the British roads. I
have other work to do now, but why does not some sportsman take the
model, have it made in England, and then give an exhibition in a gale of
wind on the south coast. It would teach our fishermen some possibilities
of which they are ignorant.

As I stood in a sandy cove one of them came flying in, a group of
natives rushing out and pulling it up on the beach. The craft consists
only of two planks edgewise and lengthwise. In the nine-inch slit
between them lay a number of great twelve-pound fish, like cod, and tied
to the side of the boat was a ten-foot sword fish. To catch that
creature while standing on a couple of floating planks must have been
sport indeed, and yet the craft is so ingenious that to a man who can at
a pinch swim for it, there is very small element of danger. The really
great men of our race, the inventor of the wheel, the inventor of the
lever, the inventor of the catamaran are all lost in the mists of the
past, but ethnologists have found that the cubic capacity of the
neolithic brain is as great as our own.

There are two robbers' castles, as the unhappy visitor calls them,
facing the glorious sea, the one the Galle Face, the other the Mount
Lavinia Hotel. They are connected by an eight-mile road, which has all
the colour and life and variety of the East for every inch of the way.
In that glorious sun, under the blue arch of such a sky, and with the
tropical trees and flowers around, the poverty of these people is very
different from the poverty of a London slum. Is there in all God's world
such a life as that, and can it really be God's world while we suffer it
to exist! Surely, it is a palpable truth that no one has a right to
luxuries until every one has been provided with necessities, and among
such necessities a decent environment is the first. If we had spent
money to fight slumland as we spent it to fight Germany, what a
different England it would be. The world moves all the same, and we have
eternity before us. But some folk need it.

A doctor came up to me in the hotel and told me that he was practising
there, and had come recently from England. He had lost his son in the
war, and had himself become unsettled. Being a Spiritualist he went to
Mrs. Brittain, the medium, who told him that his boy had a message for
him which was that he would do very well in Colombo. He had himself
thought of Ceylon, but Mrs. B. had no means of knowing that. He had
obeyed the advice thus given, and was glad that he had done so. How much
people may miss by cutting themselves away from these ministers of
grace! In all this opposition to Spiritualism the punishment continually
fits the crime.

Once again we shed passengers and proceeded in chastened mood with
empty decks where once it was hard to move. Among others, good Bishop
Banister of Kwang-si had gone. I care little for his sacramental and
vicarious doctrines, but I am very sure that wherever his robust,
kindly, sincere personality may dwell is bound to be a centre of the
true missionary effort--the effort which makes for the real original
teaching of his Master, submission to God and goodwill to our fellow
men.

Now we are on the last lap with nothing but a clear stretch of salt
water between our prow and West Australia. Our mission from being a sort
of dream takes concrete form and involves definite plans. Meanwhile we
plough our way through a deep blue sea with the wind continually against
us. I have not seen really calm water since we left the Canal. We carry
on with the usual routine of ship sports, which include an England and
Australia cricket match, in which I have the honour of captaining
England, a proper ending for a long if mediocre career as a cricketer.
We lost by one run, which was not bad considering our limited numbers.

Posers of all sorts are brought to me by thoughtful inquirers, which I
answer when I can. Often I can't. One which is a most reasonable
objection has given me a day's thought. If, as is certain, we can
remember in our next life the more important incidents of this one, why
is it that in this one we can remember nothing of that previous
spiritual career, which must have existed since nothing can be born in
time for eternity? Our friends on the other side cannot help us there,
nor can even such extended spiritual visions as those of Vale Owen clear
it up. On the whole we must admit that our Theosophical friends, with
whom we quarrel for their absence of evidence, have the best attempt at
an explanation. I imagine that man's soul has a cycle which is complete
in itself, and all of which is continuous and self conscious. This
begins with earth life. Then at last a point is reached, it may be a
reincarnation, and a new cycle is commenced, the old one being closed to
our memory until we have reached some lofty height in our further
journey. Pure speculation, I admit, but it would cover what we know and
give us a working hypothesis. I can never excite myself much about the
reincarnation idea, for if it be so, it occurs seldom, and at long
intervals, with ten years spent in the other spheres for one spent here,
so that even admitting all that is said by its supporters it is not of
such great importance. At the present rate of change this world will be
as strange as another sphere by the time we are due to tread the old
stage once more. It is only fair to say that though many spiritualists
oppose it, there is a strong body, including the whole French Allan
Kardec school, who support it. Those who have passed over may well be
divided upon the subject since it concerns their far future and is a
matter of speculation to them as to us.

Thrasher whales and sperm whales were seen which aroused the old whaling
thrill in my heart. It was the more valuable Greenland whale which I
helped to catch, while these creatures are those which dear old Frank
Bullen, a childlike sailor to the last, described in his "Cruise of the
Cachelot." How is it that sailors write such perfect English. There are
Bullen and Conrad, both of whom served before the mast--the two purest
stylists of their generation. So was Loti in France. There are some
essays of Bullen's, especially a description of a calm in the tropics,
and again of "Sunrise seen from the Crow's Nest," which have not been
matched in our time for perfection of imagery and diction. They are both
in his "Idyls of the Sea." If there is compensation in the beyond--and I
know that there is--then Frank Bullen is in great peace, for his whole
earthly life was one succession of troubles. When I think of his cruel
stepmother, his dreadful childhood, his life on a Yankee blood ship, his
struggles as a tradesman, his bankruptcy, his sordid worries, and
finally, his prolonged ill-health, I marvel at the unequal distribution
of such burdens. He was the best singer of a chanty that I have ever
heard, and I can hear him now with his rich baritone voice trolling out
"Sally Brown" or "Stormalong." May I hear him once again! Our dear ones
tell us that there is no great gap between what pleases us here and that
which will please us in the beyond. Our own brains, had we ever used
them in the matter, should have instructed us that all evolution,
spiritual as well as material, must be gradual. Indeed, once one knows
psychic truth, one can, reasoning backwards, perceive that we should
unaided have come to the same conclusions, but since we have all been
deliberately trained not to use our reason in religious matters, it is
no wonder that we have made rather a hash of it. Surely it is clear
enough that in the case of an artist the artistic nature is part of the
man himself. Therefore, if he survives it must survive. But if it
survives it must have means of expression, or it is a senseless thing.
But means of expression implies appreciation from others and a life on
the general lines of this one. So also of the drama, music, science and
literature, if we carry on they carry on, and they cannot carry on
without actual expression and a public to be served.

To the east of us and just beyond the horizon lie the Cocos Islands,
where Ross established his strange little kingdom, and where the _Emden_
met its end--a glorious one, as every fair minded man must admit. I have
seen her stern post since then in the hall of the Federal Parliament at
Melbourne, like some fossil monster, once a terror and now for children
to gaze at. As to the Cocos Islands, the highest point is, I understand,
about twenty feet, and tidal waves are not unknown upon the Pacific, so
that the community holds its tenure at very short and sudden notice to
quit.

On the morning of September 17th a low coast line appeared upon the port
bow--Australia at last. It was the edge of the West Australian State.
The evening before a wireless had reached me from the spiritualists of
Perth saying that they welcomed us and our message. It was a kind
thought and a helpful one. We were hardly moored in the port of
Fremantle, which is about ten miles from the capital, when a deputation
of these good, kind people was aboard, bearing great bunches of wild
flowers, most of which were new to us. Their faces fell when they
learned that I must go on in the ship and that there was very little
chance of my being able to address them. They are only connected with
the other States by one long thin railway line, 1,200 miles long, with
scanty trains which were already engaged, so that unless we stuck to the
ship we should have to pass ten days or so before we could resume our
journey. This argument was unanswerable, and so the idea of a meeting
was given up.

These kind people had two motors in attendance, which must, I fear, have
been a strain upon their resources, for as in the old days the true
believers and practical workers are drawn from the poor and humble.
However, they certainly treated us royally, and even the children were
packed into the motors. We skirted the Swan River, passed through the
very beautiful public park, and, finally, lunched at the busy town,
where Bone's store would cut a respectable figure in London, with its
many departments and its roof restaurant. It was surprising after our
memories of England to note how good and abundant was the food. It is a
charming little town, and it was strange, after viewing its settled
order, to see the mill where the early settlers not so very long ago had
to fight for their lives with the black fellows. Those poor black
fellows! Their fate is a dark stain upon Australia. And yet it must in
justice to our settlers be admitted that the question was a very
difficult one. Was colonisation to be abandoned, or were these brave
savages to be overcome? That was really the issue. When they speared the
cattle of the settlers what were the settlers to do? Of course, if a
reservation could have been opened up, as in the case of the Maoris,
that would have been ideal. But the noble Maori is a man with whom one
could treat on equal terms and he belonged to a solid race. The
Aborigines of Australia were broken wandering tribes, each at war with
its neighbours. In a single reservation they would have exterminated
each other. It was a piteous tragedy, and yet, even now in retrospect,
how difficult it is to point out what could have been done.

The Spiritualists of Perth seem to be a small body, but as earnest as
their fellows elsewhere. A masterful looking lady, Mrs. McIlwraith,
rules them, and seems fit for the part. They have several mediums
developing, but I had no chance of testing their powers. Altogether our
encounter with them cheered us on our way. We had the first taste of
Australian labour conditions at Fremantle, for the men knocked off at
the given hour, refusing to work overtime, with the result that we
carried a consignment of tea, meant for their own tea-pots, another
thousand miles to Adelaide, and so back by train which must have been
paid for out of their own pockets and those of their fellow citizens.
Verily, you cannot get past the golden rule, and any breach of it brings
its own punishment somehow, somewhere, be the sinner a master or a man.

And now we had to cross the dreaded Bight, where the great waves from
the southern ice come rolling up, but our luck was still in, and we went
through it without a qualm. Up to Albany one sees the barren irregular
coast, and then there were two days of blue water, which brought us at
last to Adelaide, our port of debarkation. The hour and the place at
last!



CHAPTER III

     Mr. Hughes' letter of welcome.--Challenges.--Mr. Carlyle
     Smythe.--The Adelaide Press.--The great drought.--The wine
     industry.--Clairvoyance.--Meeting with Bellchambers.--The first
     lecture.--The effect.--The Religious lecture.--The illustrated
     lecture.--Premonitions.--The spot light.--Mr. Thomas' account of
     the incident.--Correspondence.--Adelaide doctors.--A day in the
     Bush.--The Mallee fowl.--Sussex in Australia.--Farewell to
     Adelaide.


I was welcomed to Australia by a hospitable letter from the Premier, Mr.
Hughes, who assured me that he would do what he could to make our visit
a pleasant one, and added, "I hope you will see Australia as it is, for
I want you to tell the world about us. We are a very young country, we
have a very big and very rich heritage, and the great war has made us
realise that we are Australians, proud to belong to the Empire, but
proud too of our own country."

Apart from Mr. Hughes's kind message, my chief welcome to the new land
came from Sydney, and took the queer form of two independant challenges
to public debate, one from the Christian Evidence Society, and the other
from the local leader of the materialists. As the two positions are
mutually destructive, one felt inclined to tell them to fight it out
between themselves and that I would fight the winner. The Christian
Evidence Society, is, of course, out of the question, since they regard
a text as an argument, which I can only accept with many qualifications,
so that there is no common basis. The materialist is a more worthy
antagonist, for though he is often as bigotted and inaccessible to
reason as the worst type of Christian, there is always a leaven of
honest, open-minded doubters on whom a debate might make an impression.
A debate with them, as I experienced when I met Mr. MacCabe, can only
follow one line, they quoting all the real or alleged scandals which
have ever been connected with the lowest forms of mediumship, and
claiming that the whole cult is comprised therein, to which you counter
with your own personal experiences, and with the evidence of the cloud
of witnesses who have found the deepest comfort and enlarged knowledge.
It is like two boxers each hitting the air, and both returning to their
respective corners amid the plaudits of their backers, while the general
public is none the better.

Three correspondents headed me off on the ship, and as I gave each of
them a long separate interview, I was a tired man before I got ashore.
Mr. Carlyle Smythe, my impresario, had also arrived, a small alert
competent gentleman, with whom I at once got on pleasant terms, which
were never once clouded during our long travels together upon our tour.
I was fortunate indeed to have so useful and so entertaining a
companion, a musician, a scholar, and a man of many varied experiences.
With his help we soon got our stuff through the customs, and made the
short train journey which separates the Port of Adelaide from the
charming city of that name. By one o'clock we were safely housed in the
Grand Central Hotel, with windows in place of port holes, and the roar
of the trams to take the place of the murmurs of the great ocean.

The good genius of Adelaide was a figure, already almost legendary, one
Colonel Light, who played the part of Romulus and Remus to the infant
city. Somewhere in the thirties of last century he chose the site,
against strong opposition, and laid out the plan with such skill that in
all British and American lands I have seen few such cities, so pretty,
so orderly and so self-sufficing. When one sees all the amenities of the
place, botanical gardens, zoological gardens, art gallery, museum,
university, public library and the rest, it is hard to realise that the
whole population is still under three hundred thousand. I do not know
whether the press sets the tone to the community or the community to the
press, but in any case Adelaide is greatly blessed in this respect, for
its two chief papers the _Register_ and the _Advertiser_, under Sir
William Sowden and Sir Langdon Bonython respectively, are really
excellent, with a worldwide Metropolitan tone.

Their articles upon the subject in which I am particularly interested,
though by no means one-sided, were at least informed with knowledge and
breadth of mind.

In Adelaide I appreciated, for the first time, the crisis which
Australia has been passing through in the shape of a two-years drought,
only recently broken. It seems to have involved all the States and to
have caused great losses, amounting to millions of sheep and cattle. The
result was that the price of those cattle which survived has risen
enormously, and at the time of our visit an absolute record had been
established, a bullock having been sold for £41. The normal price would
be about £13. Sheep were about £3 each, the normal being fifteen
shillings. This had, of course, sent the price of meat soaring with the
usual popular unrest and agitation as a result. It was clear, however,
that with the heavy rains the prices would fall. These Australian
droughts are really terrible things, especially when they come upon
newly-opened country and in the hotter regions of Queensland and the
North. One lady told us that she had endured a drought in Queensland
which lasted so long that children of five had never seen a drop of
rain. You could travel a hundred miles and find the brown earth the
whole way, with no sign of green anywhere, the sheep eating twigs or
gnawing bark until they died. Her brother sold his surviving sheep for
one shilling each, and when the drought broke had to restock at 50s. a
head. This is a common experience, and all but the man with savings have
to take to some subordinate work, ruined men. No doubt, with
afforestation, artesian wells, irrigation and water storage things may
be modified, but all these things need capital, and capital in these
days is hard to seek, nor can it be expected that capitalists will pour
their money into States which have wild politicians who talk lightly of
past obligations. You cannot tell the investor that he is a bloated
incubus one moment, and go hat in hand for further incubation the next.
I fear that this grand country as a whole may suffer from the wild ideas
of some of its representatives. But under it all lies the solid
self-respecting British stuff, which will never repudiate a just debt,
however heavily it may press. Australians may groan under the burden,
but they should remember that for every pound of taxation they carry the
home Briton carries nearly three.

But to return for a moment to the droughts; has any writer of fiction
invented or described a more long-drawn agony than that of the man, his
nerves the more tired and sensitive from the constant unbroken heat,
waiting day after day for the cloud that never comes, while under the
glaring sun from the unchanging blue above him, his sheep, which
represent all his life's work and his hopes, perish before his eyes? A
revolver shot has often ended the long vigil and the pioneer has joined
his vanished flocks. I have just come in contact with a case where two
young returned soldiers, demobilised from the war and planted on the
land had forty-two cattle given them by the State to stock their little
farm. Not a drop of water fell for over a year, the feed failed, and
these two warriors of Palestine and Flanders wept at their own
helplessness while their little herd died before their eyes. Such are
the trials which the Australian farmer has to bear.

While waiting for my first lecture I do what I can to understand the
country and its problems. To this end I visited the vineyards and wine
plant of a local firm which possesses every factor for success, save the
capacity to answer letters. The originator started grape culture as a
private hobby about 60 years ago, and now such an industry has risen
that this firm alone has £700,000 sunk in the business, and yet it is
only one of several. The product can be most excellent, but little or
any ever reaches Europe, for it cannot overtake the local demand. The
quality was good and purer than the corresponding wines in
Europe--especially the champagnes, which seem to be devoid of that
poison, whatever it may be, which has for a symptom a dry tongue with
internal acidity, driving elderly gentlemen to whisky and soda. The
Australian product, taken in moderate doses, seems to have no poisonous
quality, and is without that lime-like dryness which appears to be the
cause of it. If temperance reform takes the sane course of insisting
upon a lowering of the alcohol in our drinks, so that one may be
surfeited before one could be drunken, then this question of good mild
wines will bulk very largely in the future, and Australia may supply one
of the answers. With all my sympathy for the reformers I feel that wine
is so useful a social agent that we should not abolish it until we are
certain that there is no _via media_. The most pregnant argument upon
the subject was the cartoon which showed the husband saying "My dear, it
is the anniversary of our wedding. Let us have a second bottle of ginger
beer."

We went over the vineyards, ourselves mildly interested in the vines,
and the children wildly excited over the possibility of concealed
snakes. Then we did the vats and the cellars with their countless
bottles. We were taught the secrets of fermentation, how the wonderful
Pasteur had discovered that the best and quickest was produced not by
the grape itself, as of old, but by the scraped bloom of the grape
inserted in the bottle. After viewing the number of times a bottle must
be turned, a hundred at least, and the complex processes which lead up
to the finished article, I will pay my wine bills in future with a
better grace. The place was all polished wood and shining brass, like
the fittings of a man-of-war, and a great impression of cleanliness and
efficiency was left upon our minds. We only know the Australian wines at
present by the rough article sold in flasks, but when the supply has
increased the world will learn that this country has some very different
stuff in its cellars, and will try to transport it to their tables.

We had a small meeting of spiritualists in our hotel sitting-room, under
the direction of Mr. Victor Cromer, a local student of the occult, who
seems to have considerable psychic power. He has a small circle for
psychic development which is on new lines, for the neophytes who are
learning clairvoyance sit around in a circle in silence, while Mr.
Cromer endeavours by mental effort to build up the thought form of some
object, say a tree, in the centre of the room. After a time he asks each
of the circle what he or she can see, and has many correct answers.
With colours in the same way he can convey impressions to his pupils. It
is clear that telepathy is not excluded as an explanation, but the
actual effect upon the participants is according to their own account,
visual rather than mental. We had an interesting sitting with a number
of these developing mediums present, and much information was given, but
little of it could be said to be truly evidential. After seeing such
clairvoyance as that of Mr. Tom Tyrell or others at home, when a dozen
names and addresses will be given together with the descriptions of
those who once owned them, one is spoiled for any lesser display.

There was one man whom I had particularly determined to meet when I came
to Australia. This was Mr. T. P. Bellchambers, about whom I had read an
article in some magazine which showed that he was a sort of humble
Jeffries or Thoreau, more lonely than the former, less learned than the
latter, who lived among the wild creatures in the back country, and was
on such terms with our humble brothers as few men are ever privileged to
attain. I had read how the eagle with the broken wing had come to him
for succour, and how little birds would sit on the edge of his pannikin
while he drank. Him at all cost would we see. Like the proverbial
prophet, no one I met had ever heard of him, but on the third day of our
residence there came a journalist bearing with him a rudely dressed,
tangle-haired man, collarless and unkempt, with kind, irregular features
and clear blue eyes--the eyes of a child. It was the man himself. "He
brought me," said he, nodding towards the journalist. "He had to, for I
always get bushed in a town."

This rude figure fingering his frayed cap was clearly out of his true
picture, and we should have to visit him in his own little clearing to
see him as he really was. Meanwhile I wondered whether one who was so
near nature might know something of nature's more occult secrets. The
dialogue ran like this:

"You who are so near nature must have psychic experiences."

"What's psychic? I live so much in the wild that I don't know much."

"I expect you know plenty we don't know. But I meant spiritual."

"Supernatural?"

"Well, we think it is natural, but little understood."

"You mean fairies and things?"

"Yes, and the dead."

"Well, I guess our fairies would be black fairies."

"Why not?"

"Well, I never saw any."

"I hoped you might."

"No, but I know one thing. The night my mother died I woke to find her
hand upon my brow. Oh, there's no doubt. Her hand was heavy on my brow."

"At the time?"

"Yes, at the very hour."

"Well, that was good."

"Animals know more about such things."

"Yes."

"They see something. My dog gets terrified when I see nothing, and
there's a place in the bush where my horse shies and sweats, he does,
but there's nothing to see."

"Something evil has been done there. I've known many cases."

"I expect that's it."

So ran our dialogue. At the end of it he took a cigar, lighted it at the
wrong end, and took himself with his strong simple backwoods atmosphere
out of the room. Assuredly I must follow him to the wilds.

Now came the night of my first lecture. It was in the city hall, and
every seat was occupied. It was a really magnificent audience of two
thousand people, the most representative of the town. I am an
embarrassed and an interested witness, so let me for this occasion quote
the sympathetic, not to say flattering account of the _Register_.

     "There could not have been a more impressive set of circumstances
     than those which attended the first Australian lecture by Sir
     Arthur Conan Doyle at the Adelaide Town Hall on Saturday night,
     September 25th. The audience, large, representative and thoughtful,
     was in its calibre and proportions a fitting compliment to a world
     celebrity and his mission. Many of the intellectual leaders of the
     city were present--University professors, pulpit personalities,
     men eminent in business, legislators, every section of the
     community contributed a quota. It cannot be doubted, of course,
     that the brilliant literary fame of the lecturer was an attraction
     added to that strange subject which explored the 'unknown drama of
     the soul.' Over all Sir Arthur dominated by his big arresting
     presence. His face has a rugged, kindly strength, tense and earnest
     in its grave moments, and full of winning animation when the sun of
     his rich humour plays on the powerful features."

     "It is not altogether a sombre journey he makes among the shadows,
     but apparently one of happy, as well as tender experiences, so that
     laughter is not necessarily excluded from the exposition. Do not
     let that be misunderstood. There was no intrusion of the slightest
     flippancy--Sir Arthur, the whole time, exhibited that attitude of
     reverence and humility demanded of one traversing a domain on the
     borderland of the tremendous. Nothing approaching a theatrical
     presentation of the case for Spiritualism marred the discourse. It
     was for the most part a plain statement. First things had to be
     said, and the explanatory groundwork laid for future development.
     It was a lucid, illuminating introduction."

     "Sir Arthur had a budget of notes, but after he had turned over a
     few pages he sallied forth with fluent independence under the
     inspiration of a vast mental store of material. A finger jutted out
     now and again with a thrust of passionate emphasis, or his big
     glasses twirled during moments of descriptive ease, and
     occasionally both hands were held forward as though delivering
     settled points to the audience for its examination. A clear,
     well-disciplined voice, excellent diction, and conspicuous
     sincerity of manner marked the lecture, and no one could have found
     fault with the way in which Sir Arthur presented his case."

     "The lecturer approached the audience in no spirit of impatient
     dogmatism, but in the capacity of an understanding mind seeking to
     illumine the darkness of doubt in those who had not shared his
     great experiences. He did not dictate, but reasoned and pleaded,
     taking the people into his confidence with strong conviction and a
     consoling faith. 'I want to speak to you to-night on a subject
     which concerns the destiny of every man and woman in this room,'
     began Sir Arthur, bringing everybody at once into an intimate
     personal circle. 'No doubt the Almighty, by putting an angel in
     King William Street, could convert every one of you to
     Spiritualism, but the Almighty law is that we must use our own
     brains, and find out our own salvation, and it is not made too easy
     for us.'"

It is awkward to include this kindly picture, and yet I do not know how
else to give an idea of how the matter seemed to a friendly observer. I
had chosen for my theme the scientific aspect of the matter, and I
marshalled my witnesses and showed how Professor Mayo corroborated
Professor Hare, and Professor Challis Professor Mayo, and Sir William
Crookes all his predecessors, while Russell Wallace and Lombroso and
Zollner and Barrett, and Lodge, and many more had all after long study
assented, and I read the very words of these great men, and showed how
bravely they had risked their reputations and careers for what they knew
to be the truth. I then showed how the opposition who dared to
contradict them were men with no practical experience of it at all. It
was wonderful to hear the shout of assent when I said that what struck
me most in such a position was its colossal impertinence. That shout
told me that my cause was won, and from then onwards the deep silence
was only broken by the occasional deep murmur of heart-felt agreement. I
told them the evidence that had been granted to me, the coming of my
son, the coming of my brother, and their message. "Plough! Plough!
others will cast the seed." It is hard to talk of such intimate matters,
but they were not given to me for my private comfort alone, but for that
of humanity. Nothing could have gone better than this first evening, and
though I had no chairman and spoke for ninety minutes without a pause, I
was so upheld--there is no other word for the sensation--that I was
stronger at the end than when I began. A leading materialist was among
my audience. "I am profoundly impressed," said he to Mr. Smythe, as he
passed him in the corridor. That stood out among many kind messages
which reached me that night.

     Illustration: _Photo: Stirling, Melbourne._ THE WANDERERS, 1920-21.

My second lecture, two nights later, was on the Religious aspect of the
matter. I had shown that the phenomena were nothing, mere material
signals to arrest the attention of a material world. I had shown also
that the personal benefit, the conquest of death, the Communion of
Saints, was a high, but not the highest boon. The real full flower of
Spiritualism was what the wisdom of the dead could tell us about their
own conditions, their present experiences, their outlook upon the secret
of the universe, and the testing of religious truth from the viewpoint
of two worlds instead of one. The audience was more silent than before,
but the silence was that of suspense, not of dissent, as I showed them
from message after message what it was exactly which awaited them in the
beyond. Even I, who am oblivious as a rule to my audience, became aware
that they were tense with feeling and throbbing with emotion. I showed
how there was no conflict with religion, in spite of the
misunderstanding of the churches, and that the revelation had come to
extend and explain the old, even as the Christ had said that he had much
more to tell but could not do it now. "Entirely new ground was
traversed," says my kindly chronicler, "and the audience listened
throughout with rapt attention. They were obviously impressed by the
earnestness of the speaker and his masterly presentation of the theme."
I cannot answer for the latter but at least I can for the former, since
I speak not of what I think but of what I know. How can a man fail to be
earnest then?

A few days later I followed up the lectures by two exhibitions of
psychic pictures and photographs upon a screen. It was certainly an
amazing experience for those who imagined that the whole subject was
dreamland, and they freely admitted that it staggered them. They might
well be surprised, for such a series has never been seen, I believe,
before, including as it does choice samples from the very best
collections. I showed them the record of miracle after miracle, some of
them done under my very eyes, one guaranteed by Russell Wallace, three
by Sir William Crookes, one of the Geley series from Paris, two of Dr.
Crawford's medium with the ecto-plasm pouring from her, four
illustrating the absolutely final Lydia Haig case on the island of
Rothesay, several of Mr. Jeffrey's collection and several also of our
own Society for the Study of Supernormal Pictures, with the fine
photograph of the face within a crystal. No wonder that the audience sat
spellbound, while the local press declared that no such exhibition had
ever been seen before in Australia. It is almost too overwhelming for
immediate propaganda purposes. It has a stunning, dazing effect upon the
spectators. Only afterwards, I think, when they come to turn it all over
in their minds, do they see that the final proof has been laid before
them, which no one with the least sense for evidence could reject. But
the sense for evidence is not, alas, a universal human quality.

I am continually aware of direct spirit intervention in my own life. I
have put it on record in my "New Revelation" that I was able to say that
the turn of the great war would come upon the Piave months before that
river was on the Italian war map. This was recorded at the time, before
the fulfilment which occurred more than a year later--so it does not
depend upon my assertion. Again, I dreamed the name of the ship which
was to take us to Australia, rising in the middle of the night and
writing it down in pencil on my cheque-book. I wrote _Nadera_, but it
was actually _Naldera_. I had never heard that such a ship existed until
I visited the P. & O. office, when they told me we should go by the
_Osterley_, while I, seeing the _Naldera_ upon the list, thought "No,
that will be our ship!" So it proved, through no action of our own, and
thereby we were saved from quarantine and all manner of annoyance.

Never before have I experienced such direct visible intervention as
occurred during my first photographic lecture at Adelaide. I had shown a
slide the effect of which depended upon a single spirit face appearing
amid a crowd of others. The slide was damp, and as photos under these
circumstances always clear from the edges when placed in the lantern,
the whole centre was so thickly fogged that I was compelled to admit
that I could not myself see the spirit face. Suddenly, as I turned away,
rather abashed by my failure, I heard cries of "There it is," and
looking up again I saw this single face shining out from the general
darkness with so bright and vivid an effect that I never doubted for a
moment that the operator was throwing a spot light upon it, my wife
sharing my impression. I thought how extraordinarily clever it was that
he should pick it out so accurately at the distance. So the matter
passed, but next morning Mr. Thomas, the operator, who is not a
Spiritualist, came in great excitement to say that a palpable miracle
had been wrought, and that in his great experience of thirty years he
had never known a photo dry from the centre, nor, as I understood him,
become illuminated in such a fashion. Both my wife and I were surprised
to learn that he had thrown no ray upon it. Mr. Thomas told us that
several experts among the audience had commented upon the strangeness of
the incident. I, therefore, asked Mr. Thomas if he would give me a note
as to his own impression, so as to furnish an independant account. This
is what he wrote:--

                                        _"Hindmarsh Square, Adelaide._

     "_In Adelaide, on September 28th, I projected a lantern slide
     containing a group of ladies and gentlemen, and in the centre of
     the picture, when the slide was reversed, appeared a human face. On
     the appearance of the picture showing the group the fog incidental
     to a damp or new slide gradually appeared covering the whole slide,
     and only after some minutes cleared, and then quite contrary to
     usual practice did so from a central point just over the face that
     appeared in the centre, and refused even after that to clear right
     off to the edge. The general experience is for a slide to clear
     from the outside edges to a common centre. Your slide cleared only
     sufficiently in the centre to show the face, and did not, while the
     slide was on view, clear any more than sufficient to show that
     face. Thinking that perhaps there might be a scientific
     explanation to this phenomenon, I hesitated before writing you, and
     in the meantime I have made several experiments but have not in any
     one particular experiment obtained the same result. I am very much
     interested--as are hundreds of others who personally witnessed the
     phenomenon._"

Mr. Thomas, in his account, has missed the self-illuminated appearance
of the face, but otherwise he brings out the points. I never gave
occasion for the repetition of the phenomenon, for in every case I was
careful that the slides were carefully dried beforehand.

So much for the lectures at Adelaide, which were five in all, and left,
as I heard from all sides, a deep impression upon the town. Of course,
the usual abusive messages poured in, including one which wound up with
the hearty words: "May you be struck dead before you leave this
Commonwealth." From Melbourne I had news that before our arrival in
Australia at a public prayer meeting at the Assembly Hall, Collins
Street, a Presbyterian prayed that we might never reach Australia's
shores. As we were on the high seas at the time this was clearly a
murderous petition, nor could I have believed it if a friend of mine had
not actually been present and heard it. On the other hand, we received
many letters of sympathy and thanks, which amply atoned. "I feel sure
that many mothers, who have lost their sons in the war, will, wherever
you go, bless you, as I do, for the help you have given." As this was
the object of our journey it could not be denied that we had attained
our end. When I say "we," I mean that such letters with inquiries came
continually to my wife as well as myself, though she answered them with
far greater fullness and clearness than I had time to do.

Hotel life began to tell upon the children, who are like horses with a
profusion of oats and no exercise. On the whole they were wonderfully
good. When some domestic crisis was passed the small voice of Malcolm,
once "Dimples," was heard from the darkness of his bed, saying, "Well,
if I am to be good I must have a proper start. Please mammie, say one,
two, three, and away!" When this ceremony had been performed a still
smaller voice of Baby asked the same favour, so once more there was a
formal start. The result was intermittent, and it is as well. I don't
believe in angelic children.

The Adelaide doctors entertained me to dinner, and I was pleased to meet
more than one who had been of my time at Edinburgh. They seemed to be a
very prosperous body of men. There was much interesting conversation,
especially from one elderly professor named Watson, who had known Bully
Hayes and other South Sea celebrities in the semi-piratical,
black-birding days. He told me one pretty story. They landed upon some
outlying island in Carpentaria, peopled by real primitive blacks, who
were rounded up by the ships crew on one of the peninsulas which formed
the end of the island. These creatures, the lowest of the human race,
huddled together in consternation while the white men trained a large
camera upon them. Suddenly three males advanced and made a speech in
their own tongue which, when interpreted, proved to be an offer that
those three should die in exchange for the lives of the tribe. What
could the very highest do more than this, and yet it came from the
lowest savages. Truly, we all have something of the divine, and it is
the very part which will grow and spread until it has burned out all the
rest. "Be a Christ!" said brave old Stead. At the end of countless æons
we may all reach that point which not only Stead but St. Paul also has
foreshadowed.

I refreshed myself between lectures by going out to Nature and to
Bellchambers. As it was twenty-five miles out in the bush, inaccessible
by rail, and only to be approached by motor roads which were in parts
like the bed of a torrent, I could not take my wife, though the boys,
after the nature of boys, enjoy a journey the more for its roughness. It
was a day to remember. I saw lovely South Australia in the full beauty
of the spring, the budding girlhood of the year, with all her winsome
growing graces upon her. The brilliant yellow wattle was just fading
upon the trees, but the sward was covered with star-shaped purple
flowers of the knot-grass, and with familiar home flowers, each subtly
altered by their transportation. It was wild bush for part of the way,
but mostly of the second growth on account of forest fires as much as
the woodman's axe. Bellchambers came in to guide us, for there is no one
to ask upon these desolate tracks, and it is easy to get bushed. Mr.
Waite, the very capable zoologist of the museum, joined the party, and
with two such men the conversation soon got to that high nature talk
which represents the really permanent things of material life--more
lasting than thrones and dynasties. I learned of the strange storks, the
"native companions" who meet, 500 at a time, for their stately balls,
where in the hush of the bush they advance, retreat, and pirouette in
their dignified minuets. I heard of the bower birds, who decorate their
homes with devices of glass and pebbles. There was talk, too, of the
little red beetles who have such cunning ways that they can fertilise
the insectivorous plants without being eaten, and of the great ants who
get through galvanised iron by the aid of some acid-squirting insect
which they bring with them to the scene of their assault. I heard also
of the shark's egg which Mr. Waite had raped from sixty feet deep in
Sydney Harbour, descending for the purpose in a diver's suit, for which
I raised my hat to him. Deep things came also from Bellchambers' store
of knowledge and little glimpses of beautiful humanity from this true
gentleman.

"Yes," he said, "I am mostly vegetarian. You see, I know the beasts too
well to bring myself to pick their bones. Yes, I'm friends with most of
them. Birds have more sense than animals to my mind. They understand you
like. They know what you mean. Snakes have least of any. They don't get
friendly-like in the same way. But Nature helps the snakes in queer
ways. Some of them hatch their own eggs, and when they do Nature
raises the temperature of their bodies. That's queer."

     Illustration: _Photo: W. G. Smith, Adelaide._ BELLCHAMBERS AND THE
     MALLEE FOWL. "GET ALONG WITH YOU, DO!"

I carried away a mixed memory of the things I had seen. A blue-headed
wren, an eagle soaring in the distance; a hideous lizard with a huge
open mouth; a laughing jackass which refused to laugh; many more or less
tame wallabies and kangaroos; a dear little 'possum which got under the
back of my coat, and would not come out; noisy mynah birds which fly
ahead and warn the game against the hunter. Good little noisy mynah! All
my sympathies are with you! I would do the same if I could. This
senseless lust for killing is a disgrace to the race. We, of England,
cannot preach, for a pheasant battue is about the worst example of it.
But do let the creatures alone unless they are surely noxious! When Mr.
Bellchambers told us how he had trained two ibises--the old religious
variety--and how both had been picked off by some unknown local
"sportsman" it made one sad.

We had a touch of comedy, however, when Mr. Bellchambers attempted to
expose the egg of the Mallee fowl, which is covered a foot deep in
mould. He scraped into the mound with his hands. The cock watched him
with an expression which clearly said: "Confound the fellow! What is he
up to now?" He then got on the mound, and as quickly as Bellchambers
shovelled the earth out he kicked it back again, Bellchambers in his
good-humoured way crying "Get along with you, do!" A good husband is the
Mallee cock, and looks after the family interests. But what we humans
would think if we were born deep underground and had to begin our career
by digging our way to the surface, is beyond imagination.

There are quite a clan of Bellchambers living in or near the little
pioneer's hut built in a clearing of the bush. Mrs. Bellchambers is of
Sussex, as is her husband, and when they heard that we were fresh from
Sussex also it was wonderful to see the eager look that came upon their
faces, while the bush-born children could scarce understand what it was
that shook the solid old folk to their marrow. On the walls were old
prints of the Devil's Dyke and Firle Beacon. How strange that old Sussex
should be wearing out its very life in its care for the fauna of young
Australia. This remarkable man is unpaid with only his scanty holding
upon which to depend, and many dumb mouths dependent upon him. I shall
rejoice if my efforts in the local press serve to put his affairs upon a
more worthy foundation, and to make South Australia realise what a
valuable instrument lies to her hand.

Before I left Adelaide I learned many pleasing things about the
lectures, which did away with any shadow cast by those numerous
correspondents who seemed to think that we were still living under the
Mosaic dispensation, and who were so absent-minded that they usually
forgot to sign their names. It is a curious difference between the
Christian letters of abuse and those of materialists, that the former
are usually anonymous and the latter signed. I heard of one man, a lame
stockman, who had come 300 miles from the other side of Streaky Bay to
attend the whole course, and who declared that he could listen all
night. Another seized my hand and cried, "You will never know the good
you have done in this town." Well, I hope it was so, but I only regard
myself as the plough. Others must follow with the seed. Knowledge,
perseverance, sanity, judgment, courage--we ask some qualities from our
disciples if they are to do real good. Talking of moral courage I would
say that the Governor of South Australia, Sir Archibald Weigall with
Lady Weigall, had no hesitation in coming to support me with their
presence. By the end of September this most successful mission in
Adelaide was accomplished, and early in October we were on our way to
Melbourne, which meant a long night in the train and a few hours of the
next morning during which we saw the surface diggings of Ballarat on
every side of the railway line, the sandy soil pitted in every direction
with the shallow claims of the miners.



CHAPTER IV

     Speculations on Paul and his Master.--Arrival at Melbourne.--Attack
     in the Argus.--Partial press boycott.--Strength of the
     movement.--The Prince of Wales.--Victorian football.--Rescue Circle
     in Melbourne.--Burke and Wills' statue.--Success of the
     lectures.--Reception at the Auditorium.--Luncheon of the British
     Empire League.--Mr. Ryan's experience.--The Federal
     Government.--Mr. Hughes' personality.--The mediumship of Charles
     Bailey.--His alleged exposure.--His remarkable record.--A second
     sitting.--The Indian nest.--A remarkable lecture.--Arrival of Lord
     Forster.--The future of the Empire.--Kindness of
     Australians.--Prohibition.--Horse-racing.--Roman Catholic policy.


One cannot help speculating about those great ones who first carried to
the world the Christian revelation. What were their domestic ties! There
is little said about them, but we should never have known that Peter had
a wife were it not for a chance allusion to his mother-in-law, just as
another chance allusion shows us that Jesus was one of a numerous
family. One thing can safely be said of Paul, that he was either a
bachelor or else was a domestic bully with a very submissive wife, or he
would never have dared to express his well known views about women. As
to his preaching, he had a genius for making a clear thing obscure, even
as Jesus had a genius for making an obscure thing clear. Read the
Sermon on the Mount and then a chapter of Paul as a contrast in styles.
Apart from his style one can reconstruct him as a preacher to the extent
that he had a powerful voice--no one without one could speak from the
historic rocky pulpit on the hill of Mars at Athens, as I ascertained
for myself. The slope is downwards, sound ascends, and the whole
conditions are abominable. He was certainly long-winded and probably
monotonous in his diction, or he could hardly have reduced one of his
audience to such a deep sleep that he fell out of the window. We may add
that he was a man of brisk courage in an emergency, that he was subject
to such sudden trances that he was occasionally unaware himself whether
he was normal or not, and that he was probably short-sighted, as he
mistook the person who addressed him, and had his letters usually
written for him. At least three languages were at his command, he had an
intimate and practical knowledge of the occult, and was an authority
upon Jewish law--a good array of accomplishments for one man.

There are some points about Paul's august Master which also help in a
reconstruction of Himself and His surroundings. That His mother was
opposed to His mission is, I think, very probable. Women are dubious
about spiritual novelties, and one can well believe that her heart ached
to see her noble elder son turn from the sure competence of His father's
business at Nazareth to the precarious existence of a wandering
preacher. This domestic opposition clouded Him as one can see in the
somewhat cold, harsh words which He used to her, and his mode of address
which began simply as "Woman." His assertion to the disciples that one
who followed His path had to give up his family points to the same
thing. No doubt Mary remained with the younger branches at Nazareth
while Jesus pursued His ministry, though she came, as any mother would,
to be near Him at the end.

Of His own personality we know extraordinarily little, considering the
supreme part that He played in the world. That He was a highly trained
psychic, or as we should say, medium, is obvious to anyone who studies
the miracles, and it is certainly not derogatory to say that they were
done along the line of God's law rather than that they were inversions
of it. I cannot doubt also that he chose his apostles for their psychic
powers--if not, on what possible principle were they selected, since
they were neither staunch nor learned? It is clear that Peter and James
and John were the inner circle of psychics, since they were assembled
both at the transfiguration and at the raising of Jairus' daughter. It
is from unlearned open-air men who are near Nature that the highest
psychic powers are obtained. It has been argued that the Christ was an
Essene, but this seems hard to believe, as the Essenes were not only
secluded from the world, but were certainly vegetarians and total
abstainers, while Jesus was neither. On the other hand baptism was not a
Jewish rite, and his undergoing it--if He did, indeed, undergo it--marks
Him as belonging to some dissenting sect. I say "if He did" because it
is perfectly certain that there were forgeries and interpolations
introduced into the Gospels in order to square their teaching with the
practice of the Church some centuries later. One would look for those
forgeries not in the ordinary narrative, which in the adult years bears
every mark of truth, but in the passages which support ceremonial or
tributes to the Church--such as the allusions to baptism, "Unless a man
be born again," to the sacrament, "This is my body, etc.," and the whole
story of Ananias and Sapphira, the moral of which is that it is
dangerous to hold anything back from the Church.

Physically I picture the Christ as an extremely powerful man. I have
known several famous healers and they were all men who looked as if they
had redundant health and strength to give to others. His words to the
sick woman, "Who has touched me? Much power" (_dunamis_ is the word in
the original Greek) "has gone out of me," show that His system depended
upon His losing what He gave to others. Therefore He was a very strong
man. The mere feat of carrying a wooden cross strong enough to bear a
man from Jerusalem to Calvary, up a hill, is no light one. It is the
details which convince me that the gospel narrative is correct and
really represents an actual event. Take the incident during that sad
journey of Simon of Cyrene having helped for a time with the cross. Why
should anyone invent such a thing, putting an actual name to the person?
It is touches of this kind which place the narrative beyond all
suspicion of being a pure invention. Again and again in the New
Testament one is confronted with incidents which a writer of fiction
recognises as being beyond the reach of invention, because the inventor
does not put in things which have no direct bearing upon the matter in
hand. Take as an example how the maid, seeing Peter outside the door
after his escape from prison, ran back to the guests and said that it
was his angel (or etheric body) which was outside. Such an episode could
only have been recorded because it actually occurred.

But these be deep waters. Let me get back to my own humble experiences,
these interpolated thoughts being but things which have been found upon
the wayside of our journey. On reaching Melbourne we were greeted at the
station by a few devoted souls who had waited for two trains before they
found us. Covered with the flowers which they had brought we drove to
Menzies Hotel, whence we moved a few days later to a flat in the Grand,
where we were destined to spend five eventful weeks. We found the
atmosphere and general psychic conditions of Melbourne by no means as
pleasant or receptive as those of Adelaide, but this of course was very
welcome as the greater the darkness the more need of the light. If
Spiritualism had been a popular cult in Australia there would have been
no object in my visit. I was welcome enough as an individual, but by no
means so as an emissary, and both the Churches and the Materialists, in
most unnatural combination, had done their best to make the soil stony
for me. Their chief agent had been the _Argus_, a solid, stodgy paper,
which amply fulfilled the material needs of the public, but was not
given to spiritual vision. This paper before my arrival had a very
violent and abusive leader which attracted much attention, full of such
terms as "black magic," "Shamanism," "witchcraft," "freak religion,"
"cranky faith," "cruelty," "black evil," "poison," finishing up with the
assertion that I represented "a force which we believe to be purely
evil." This was from a paper which whole-heartedly supports the liquor
interest, and has endless columns of betting and racing news, nor did
its principles cause it to refuse substantial sums for the advertising
of my lectures. Still, however arrogant or illogical, I hold that a
paper has a perfect right to publish and uphold its own view, nor would
I say that the subsequent refusal of the _Argus_ to print any answer to
its tirade was a real breach of the ethics of journalism. Where its
conduct became outrageous, however, and where it put itself beyond the
pale of all literary decency, was when it reported my first lecture by
describing my wife's dress, my own voice, the colour of my spectacles,
and not a word of what I said. It capped this by publishing so-called
answers to me by Canon Hughes, and by Bishop Phelan--critics whose
knowledge of the subject seemed to begin and end with the witch of
Endor--while omitting the statements to which these answers applied.
Never in any British town have I found such reactionary intolerance as
in this great city, for though the _Argus_ was the chief offender, the
other papers were as timid as rabbits in the matter. My psychic
photographs which, as I have said, are the most wonderful collection
ever shown in the world, were received in absolute silence by the whole
press, though it is notorious that if I had come there with a comic
opera or bedroom comedy instead of with the evidence of a series of
miracles, I should have had a column. This seems to have been really due
to moral cowardice, and not to ignorance, for I saw a private letter
afterwards in which a sub-editor remarked that he and the chief
leader-writer had both seen the photographs and that they could see no
possible answer to them.

There was another and more pleasing side to the local conditions, and
that lay in the numbers who had already mastered the principles of
Spiritualism, the richer classes as individuals, the poorer as organised
churches. They were so numerous that when we received an address of
welcome in the auditorium to which only Spiritualists were invited by
ticket, the Hall, which holds two thousand, was easily filled. This
would mean on the same scale that the Spiritualists of London could fill
the Albert Hall several times over--as no doubt they could. Their
numbers were in a sense an embarrassment, as I always had the fear that
I was addressing the faithful instead of those whom I had come so far to
instruct. On the whole their quality and organisation were
disappointing. They had a splendid spiritual paper in their midst, the
_Harbinger of Light_, which has run for fifty years, and is most ably
edited by Mr. Britton Harvey. When I think of David Gow, Ernest Oaten,
John Lewis and Britton Harvey I feel that our cause is indeed well
represented by its press. They have also some splendid local workers,
like Bloomfield and Tozer, whole-hearted and apostolic. But elsewhere
there is the usual tendency to divide and to run into vulgarities and
extravagances in which the Spiritual has small share. Discipline is
needed, which involves central powers, and that in turn means command of
the purse. It would be far better to have no Spiritual churches than
some I have seen.

However, I seem to have got to some of my final conclusions at Melbourne
before I have begun our actual experience there. We found the place
still full of rumours and talk about the recent visit of the Prince of
Wales, who seems to have a perfect genius for making himself popular and
beloved. May he remain unspoiled and retain the fresh kindliness of his
youth. His success is due not to any ordered rule of conduct but to a
perfectly natural courtesy which is his essential self and needs no
effort. Our waiter at the hotel who had waited upon him remarked: "God
never made anything nearer to Nature than that boy. He spoke to me as he
might have spoken to the Governor." It was a fine tribute, and
characteristic of the humbler classes in this country, who have a vigour
of speech and an independence of view which is very refreshing. Once as
I passed a public house, a broken old fellow who had been leaning
against the wall with a short pipe in his mouth, stepped forward to me
and said: "I am all for civil and religious liberty. There is plenty of
room for your cult here, sir, and I wish you well against the bigots." I
wonder from what heights that old fellow had fallen before he brought up
against the public house wall?

One of my first afternoons in Melbourne was spent in seeing the final
tie of the Victorian football cup. I have played both Rugby and Soccer,
and I have seen the American game at its best, but I consider that the
Victorian system has some points which make it the best of
all--certainly from the spectacular point of view. There is no off-side,
and you get a free kick if you catch the ball. Otherwise you can run as
in ordinary Rugby, though there is a law about bouncing the ball as you
run, which might, as it seemed to me, be cut out without harming the
game. This bouncing rule was put in by Mr. Harrison who drew up the
original rules, for the chivalrous reason that he was himself the
fastest runner in the Colony, and he did not wish to give himself any
advantage. There is not so much man-handling in the Victorian game, and
to that extent it is less dramatic, but it is extraordinarily open and
fast, with none of the packed scrums which become so wearisome, and with
linesmen who throw in the ball the instant it goes out. There were
several points in which the players seemed better than our best--one was
the accurate passing by low drop kicking, very much quicker and faster
than a pass by hand. Another was the great accuracy of the place kicking
and of the screw kicking when a runner would kick at right angles to his
course. There were four long quarters, and yet the men were in such
condition that they were going hard at the end. They are all, I
understand, semi-professionals. Altogether it was a very fine display,
and the crowd was much excited. It was suggestive that the instant the
last whistle blew a troop of mounted police cantered over the ground and
escorted the referees to the safety of the pavilion.

I began at once to endeavour to find out the conditions of local
Spiritualism, and had a long conversation with Mr. Tozer, the chairman
of the movement, a slow-talking, steady-eyed man, of the type that gets
a grip and does not easily let go. After explaining the general
situation, which needs some explanation as it is full of currents and
cross-currents caused by individual schisms and secessions, he told me
in his gentle, earnest way some of his own experiences in his home
circle which corroborate much which I have heard elsewhere. He has run a
rescue circle for the instruction of the lower spirits who are so
material that they can be reached more easily by humanity than by the
higher angels. The details he gave me were almost the same as those
given by Mr. MacFarlane of Southsea who had a similar circle of which
Mr. Tozer had certainly never heard. A wise spirit control dominates the
proceedings. The medium goes into trance. The spirit control then
explains what it is about to do, and who the spirit is who is about to
be reformed. The next scene is often very violent, the medium having to
be held down and using rough language. This comes from some low spirit
who has suddenly found this means of expressing himself. At other times
the language is not violent but only melancholy, the spirit declaring
that he is abandoned and has not a friend in the universe. Some do not
realise that they are dead, but only that they wander all alone, under
conditions they could not understand, in a cloud of darkness.

Then comes the work of regeneration. They are reasoned with and
consoled. Gradually they become more gentle. Finally, they accept the
fact that they are spirits, that their condition is their own making,
and that by aspiration and repentance they can win their way to the
light. When one has found the path and has returned thanks for it,
another case is treated. As a rule these errant souls are unknown to
fame. Often they are clergymen whose bigotry has hindered development.
Occasionally some great sinner of the past may come into view. I have
before me a written lament professing to come from Alva, the bigoted
governor of the Lowlands. It is gruesome enough. "Picture to yourself
the hell I was in. Blood, blood everywhere, corpses on all sides,
gashed, maimed, mutilated, quivering with agony and bleeding at every
pore! At the same time thousands of voices were raised in bitter
reproaches, in curses and execrations! Imagine the appalling spectacle
of this multitude of the dead and dying, fresh from the flames, from the
sword, the rack, the torture chambers and the gibbet; and the
pandemonium of voices shrieking out the most terrible maledictions!
Imagine never being able to get away from these sights and sounds, and
then tell me, was I not in hell?--a hell of greater torment than that to
which I believed all heretics were consigned. Such was the hell of the
'bloody Alva,' from which I have been rescued by what seems to me a
great merciful dispensation of Almighty God."

Sometimes in Mr. Tozer's circle the souls of ancient clerics who have
slumbered long show their first signs of resuscitation, still bearing
their old-world intolerance with them. The spirit control purports to be
a well-educated Chinaman, whose presence and air of authority annoy the
ecclesiastics greatly. The petrified mind leads to a long period of
insensibility which means loss of ground and of time in the journey
towards happiness. I was present at the return of one alleged Anglican
Bishop of the eighteenth century, who spoke with great intolerance. When
asked if he had seen the Christ he answered that he had not and that he
could not understand it. When asked if he still considered the Christ to
be God he threw up his hand and shouted violently, "Stop! That is
blasphemy!" The Chinese control said, "He stupid man. Let him wait. He
learn better"--and removed him. He was succeeded by a very noisy and
bigoted Puritan divine who declared that no one but devils would come to
a séance. On being asked whether that meant that he was himself a devil
he became so abusive that the Chinaman once more had to intervene. I
quote all this as a curious sidelight into some developments of the
subject which are familiar enough to students, but not to the general
public. It is easy at a distance to sneer at such things and to ask for
their evidential value, but they are very impressive to those who view
them at closer quarters. As to evidence, I am informed that several of
the unfortunates have been identified in this world through the
information which they gave of their own careers.

Melbourne is a remarkable city, far more solid and old-established than
the European visitor would expect. We spent some days in exploring it.
There are few cities which have the same natural advantages, for it is
near the sea, with many charming watering places close at hand, while
inland it has some beautiful hills for the week-end villas of the
citizens. Edinburgh is the nearest analogy which I can recall. Parks and
gardens are beautiful, but, as in most British cities, the public
statues are more solid than impressive. The best of them, that to Burke
and Wills, the heroic explorers, has no name upon it to signify who the
two figures are, so that they mean nothing at all to the casual
observer, in spite of some excellent bas-reliefs, round the base, which
show the triumphant start and the terrible end of that tragic but
successful journey, which first penetrated the Continent from south to
north. Before our departure I appealed in the press to have this
omission rectified and it was, I believe, done.

     Illustration: _Photo: Stirling, Melbourne._ MELBOURNE, NOVEMBER,
     1920.

Mr. Smythe, my agent, had been unfortunate in being unable to secure one
of the very few large halls in Melbourne, so we had to confine ourselves
to the Playhouse which has only seating for about 1,200. Here I
opened on October 5th, following my lectures up in the same order as in
Adelaide. The press was very shy, but nothing could have exceeded the
warmth and receptivity of my hearers. Yet on account of the inadequate
reports of the press, with occasional total suppression, no one who was
not present could have imagined how packed was the house, or how
unanimous the audience.

On October 14th the Spiritualists filled the Auditorium and had a
special service of welcome for ourselves. When I went down to it in the
tram, the conductor, unaware of my identity, said, when I asked to be
put down at the Auditorium, "It's no use, sir; it's jam full an hour
ago." "The Pilgrims," as they called us, were in special seats, the
seven of us all in a line upon the right of the chair. Many kind things
were said, and I replied as best I might. The children will carry the
remembrance of that warm-hearted reception through their lives, and they
are not likely to forget how they staggered home, laden with the flowers
which were literally heaped upon them.

The British Empire League also entertained my wife and myself to lunch,
a very select company assembling who packed the room. Sir Joseph Cook,
Federal Chancellor of the Exchequer, made a pleasant speech, recalling
our adventures upon the Somme, when he had his baptism of fire. In my
reply I pulled the leg of my audience with some success, for I wound up
by saying, very solemnly, that I was something greater than Governments
and the master of Cabinet Ministers. By the time I had finished my
tremendous claims I am convinced that they expected some extravagant
occult pretension, whereas I actually wound up with the words, "for I am
the man in the street." There was a good deal of amusement caused.

Mr. Thomas Ryan, a very genial and capable member of the State
Legislature, took the chair at this function. He had no particular
psychic knowledge, but he was deeply impressed by an experience in
London in the presence of that remarkable little lady, Miss Scatcherd.
Mr. Ryan had said that he wanted some evidence before he could accept
psychic philosophy, upon which Miss Scatcherd said: "There is a spirit
beside you now. He conveys to me that his name is Roberts. He says he is
worried in his mind because the home which you prepared for his widow
has not been legally made over to her." All this applied to a matter in
Adelaide. In that city, according to Mr. Ryan, a séance was held that
night, Mr. Victor Cromer being the medium, at which a message came
through from Roberts saying that he was now easy in his mind as he had
managed to convey his trouble to Mr. Ryan who could set it right. When
these psychic laws are understood the dead as well as the living will be
relieved from a load of unnecessary care; but how can these laws be
ignored or pooh-poohed in the face of such instances as this which I
have quoted? They are so numerous now that it is hardly an exaggeration
to say that every circle of human beings which meets can supply one.

Mr. Hughes was good enough to ask me to meet the members of the Federal
Government at lunch, and the experience was an interesting one, for here
round one small table were those who were shaping the course of this
young giant among the nations. They struck me as a practical hard-worked
rough-and-ready lot of men. Mr. Hughes dominated the conversation, which
necessarily becomes one-sided as he is very deaf, though his opponents
say that he has an extraordinary knack of hearing what he is not meant
to hear. He told us a series of anecdotes of his stormy political youth
with a great deal of vivacity, the whole company listening in silence.
He is a hard, wiry man, with a high-nosed Red Indian face, and a good
deal of healthy devilry in his composition--a great force for good
during the war.

After lunch he conducted me through the library, and coming to a
portrait of Clemenceau he cried: "That's the man I learned to admire in
Europe." Then, turning to one of Wilson, he added, "And that's the man I
learned to dislike." He added a number of instances of Wilson's
ignorance of actual conditions, and of his ungenial coldness of heart.
"If he had not been so wrapped in himself, and if he had taken Lodge or
some other Republican with him, all could have easily been arranged." I
feel that I am not indiscreet in repeating this, for Hughes is not a man
who conceals his opinions from the world.

I have been interested in the medium Bailey, who was said to have been
exposed in France in 1910. The curious will find the alleged exposure
in "Annals of Psychical Science," Vol. IX. Bailey is an apport
medium--that is to say, that among his phenomena is the bringing of
objects which are said to come from a distance, passing through the
walls and being precipitated down upon the table. These objects are of
the strangest description--Assyrian tablets (real or forged), tortoises,
live birds, snakes, precious stones, &c. In this case, after being
searched by the committee, he was able to produce two live birds in the
séance room. At the next sitting the committee proposed an obscene and
absurd examination of the medium, which he very rightly resented and
refused. They then confidently declared that on the first occasion the
two live birds were in his intestines, a theory so absurd that it shakes
one's confidence in their judgment. They had, however, some more solid
grounds for a charge against him, for they produced a married couple who
swore that they had sold three such birds with a cage to Bailey some
days before. This Bailey denied, pointing out that he could neither
speak French, nor had he ever had any French money, which Professor
Reichel, who brought him from Australia, corroborated. However, the
committee considered the evidence to be final, and the séances came to
an end, though Colonel de Rochas, the leading member, wound up the
incident by writing: "Are we to conclude from the fraud that we have
witnessed that all Bailey's apports may have been fraudulent? I do not
think so, and this is also the opinion of the members of the committee,
who have had much experience with mediums and are conversant with the
literature of the subject."

Reading the alleged exposure, one is struck, as so often in such cases,
with its unsatisfactory nature. There is the difficulty of the language
and the money. There is the disappearance of the third bird and the
cage. Above all, how did the birds get into the carefully-guarded seance
room, especially as Bailey was put in a bag during the proceedings? The
committee say the bag may not have been efficient, but they also state
that Bailey desired the control to be made more effective. Altogether it
is a puzzling case. On my applying to Bailey himself for information, he
declared roundly that he had been the victim of a theological plot with
suborned evidence. The only slight support which I can find for that
view is that there was a Rev. Doctor among his accusers. I was told
independently that Professor Reichel, before his death in 1918, came
also to the conclusion that there had been a plot. But in any case most
of us will agree with Mr. Stanford, Bailey's Australian patron, that the
committee would have been wise to say nothing, continue the sittings,
and use their knowledge to get at some more complete conclusion.

With such a record one had to be on one's guard with Mr. Bailey. I had a
sitting in my room at the hotel to which I invited ten guests, but the
results were not impressive. We saw so-called spirit hands, which were
faintly luminous, but I was not allowed to grasp them, and they were
never further from the medium than he could have reached. All this was
suspicious but not conclusive. On the other hand, there was an attempt
at a materialisation of a head, which took the form of a luminous patch,
and seemed to some of the sitters to be further from the cabinet than
could be reached. We had an address purporting to come from the control,
Dr. Whitcombe, and we also had a message written in bad Italian. On the
whole it was one of those baffling sittings which leave a vague
unpleasant impression, and there was a disturbing suggestion of cuffs
about those luminous hands.

I have been reading Bailey's record, however, and I cannot doubt that he
has been a great apport medium. The results were far above all possible
fraud, both in the conditions and in the articles brought into the room
by spirit power. For example, I have a detailed account published by Dr.
C. W. McCarthy, of Sydney, under the title, "Rigid Tests of the Occult."
During these tests Bailey was sealed up in a bag, and in one case was
inside a cage of mosquito curtain. The door and windows were secured and
the fire-place blocked. The sitters were all personal friends, but they
mutually searched each other. The medium was stripped naked before the
séance. Under these stringent conditions during a series of six sittings
138 articles were brought into the room, which included eighty-seven
ancient coins (mostly of Ptolemy), eight live birds, eighteen precious
stones of modest value and varied character, two live turtles, seven
inscribed Babylonian tablets, one Egyptian Scarabæus, an Arabic
newspaper, a leopard skin, four nests and many other things. It seems
to me perfect nonsense to talk about these things being the results of
trickery. I may add that at a previous test meeting they had a young
live shark about 1-1/2 feet long, which was tangled with wet seaweed and
flopped about on the table. Dr. McCarthy gives a photograph of the
creature.

My second sitting with Bailey was more successful than the first. On his
arrival I and others searched him and satisfied ourselves he carried
nothing upon him. I then suddenly switched out all the lights, for it
seemed to me that the luminous hands of the first sitting might be the
result of phosphorised oil put on before the meeting and only visible in
complete darkness, so that it could defy all search. I was wrong,
however, for there was no luminosity at all. We then placed Mr. Bailey
in the corner of the room, lowered the lights without turning them out,
and waited. Almost at once he breathed very heavily, as one in trance,
and soon said something in a foreign tongue which was unintelligible to
me. One of our friends, Mr. Cochrane, recognised it as Indian, and at
once answered, a few sentences being interchanged. In English the voice
then said that he was a Hindoo control who was used to bring apports for
the medium, and that he would, he hoped, be able to bring one for us.
"Here it is," he said a moment later, and the medium's hand was extended
with something in it. The light was turned full on and we found it was a
very perfect bird's nest, beautifully constructed of some very fine
fibre mixed with moss. It stood about two inches high and had no sign of
any flattening which would have come with concealment. The size would be
nearly three inches across. In it lay a small egg, white, with tiny
brown speckles. The medium, or rather the Hindoo control acting through
the medium, placed the egg on his palm and broke it, some fine albumen
squirting out. There was no trace of yolk. "We are not allowed to
interfere with life," said he. "If it had been fertilised we could not
have taken it." These words were said before he broke it, so that he was
aware of the condition of the egg, which certainly seems remarkable.

"Where did it come from?" I asked.

"From India."

"What bird is it?"

"They call it the jungle sparrow."

The nest remained in my possession, and I spent a morning with Mr.
Chubb, of the local museum, to ascertain if it was really the nest of
such a bird. It seemed too small for an Indian sparrow, and yet we could
not match either nest or egg among the Australian types. Some of Mr.
Bailey's other nests and eggs have been actually identified. Surely it
is a fair argument that while it is conceivable that such birds might be
imported and purchased here, it is really an insult to one's reason to
suppose that nests with fresh eggs in them could also be in the market.
Therefore I can only support the far more extended experience and
elaborate tests of Dr. McCarthy of Sydney, and affirm that I believe Mr.
Charles Bailey to be upon occasion a true medium, with a very
remarkable gift for apports.

It is only right to state that when I returned to London I took one of
Bailey's Assyrian tablets to the British Museum and that it was
pronounced to be a forgery. Upon further inquiry it proved that these
forgeries are made by certain Jews in a suburb of Bagdad--and, so far as
is known, only there. Therefore the matter is not much further advanced.
To the transporting agency it is at least possible that the forgery,
steeped in recent human magnetism, is more capable of being handled than
the original taken from a mound. Bailey has produced at least a hundred
of these things, and no Custom House officer has deposed how they could
have entered the country. On the other hand, Bailey told me clearly that
the tablets had been passed by the British Museum, so that I fear that I
cannot acquit him of tampering with truth--and just there lies the great
difficulty of deciding upon his case. But one has always to remember
that physical mediumship has no connection one way or the other with
personal character, any more than the gift of poetry.

To return to this particular séance, it was unequal. We had luminous
hands, but they were again within reach of the cabinet in which the
medium was seated. We had also a long address from Dr. Whitcombe, the
learned control, in which he discoursed like an absolute master upon
Assyrian and Roman antiquities and psychic science. It was really an
amazing address, and if Bailey were the author of it I should hail him
as a master mind. He chatted about the Kings of Babylon as if he had
known them all, remarked that the Bible was wrong in calling Belthazar
King as he was only Crown Prince, and put in all those easy side
allusions which a man uses when he is absolutely full of his subject.
Upon his asking for questions, I said: "Please give me some light as to
the dematerialisation and subsequent reassembly of an object such as a
bird's nest." "It involves," he answered, "some factors which are beyond
your human science and which could not be made clear to you. At the same
time you may take as a rough analogy the case of water which is turned
into steam, and then this steam which is invisible, is conducted
elsewhere to be reassembled as visible water." I thought this
explanation was exceedingly apt, though of course I agree that it is
only a rough analogy. On my asking if there were libraries and
facilities for special study in the next world, he said that there
certainly were, but that instead of studying books they usually studied
the actual objects themselves. All he said was full of dignity and
wisdom. It was curious to notice that, learned as he was, Dr. Whitcombe
always referred back with reverence to Dr. Robinson, another control not
present at the moment, as being the real expert. I am told that some of
Dr. Robinson's addresses have fairly amazed the specialists. I notice
that Col. de Rochas in his report was equally impressed by Bailey's
controls.

I fear that my psychic experiences are pushing my travels into the
background, but I warned the reader that it might be so when first we
joined hands. To get back to the earth, let me say that I saw the
procession when the new Governor-General, Lord Forster, with his
charming wife, made their ceremonial entry into Melbourne, with many
workman-like Commonwealth troops before and behind their carriage. I
knew Lord Forster of old, for we both served upon a committee over the
Olympic Games, so that he gave quite a start of surprised recognition
when his quick eye fell upon my face in the line of spectators. He is a
man who cannot fail to be popular here, for he has the physical as well
as the mental qualities. Our stay in Melbourne was afterwards made more
pleasant by the gracious courtesy of Government House for, apart from
attending several functions, we were invited to a special dinner, after
which I exhibited upon a screen my fairy portraits and a few of my other
very wonderful psychic photographs. It was not an occasion when I could
preach, but no quick intelligence could be brought in contact with such
phenomena without asking itself very seriously what lay behind them.
When that question is earnestly asked the battle is won.

One asks oneself what will be the end of this system of little viceroys
in each State and a big viceroy in the Capital--however capable and
excellent in themselves such viceroys may be. The smaller courts are, I
understand, already doomed, and rightly so, since there is no need for
them and nothing like them elsewhere. There is no possible purpose that
they serve save to impose a nominal check, which is never used, upon
the legislation. The Governor-Generalship will last no doubt until
Australia cuts the painter, or we let go our end of it, whichever may
come first.

Personally, I have no fear of Britain's power being weakened by a
separation of her dominions. Close allies which were independent might
be a greater source of moral strength than actual dependencies. When the
sons leave the father's house and rule their own homes, becoming fathers
in turn, the old man is not weakened thereby. Certainly I desire no such
change, but if it came I would bear it with philosophy. I hope that the
era of great military crises is for ever past, but, if it should recur,
I am sure that the point of view would be the same, and that the starry
Union Jack of the great Australian nation would still fly beside the old
flag which was its model.

If one took a Machiavelian view of British interests one would say that
to retain a colony the surest way is not to remove any danger which may
threaten her. We conquered Canada from the French, removing in
successive campaigns the danger from the north and from the west which
threatened our American colonies. When we had expended our blood and
money to that end, so that the colonies had nothing to fear, they took
the first opportunity to force an unnecessary quarrel and to leave us.
So I have fears for South Africa now that the German menace has been
removed. Australia is, I think, loyal to the core, and yet self-interest
is with every nation the basis of all policy, and so long as the British
fleet can guard the shores of the great empty northern territories, a
region as big as Britain, Germany, France and Austria put together, they
have need of us. There can be no doubt that if they were alone in the
world in the face of the teeming millions of the East, they might, like
the Siberian travellers, have to throw a good deal to the wolves in
order to save the remainder. Brave and capable as they are, neither
their numbers nor their resources could carry them through a long
struggle if the enemy held the sea. They are natural shots and soldiers,
so that they might be wiser to spend their money in a strategic railway
right across their northern coast, rather than in direct military
preparations. To concentrate rapidly before the enemy was firmly
established might under some circumstances be a very vital need.

But so long as the British Empire lasts Australia is safe, and in twenty
years' time her own enlarged population will probably make her safe
without help from anyone. But her empty places are a danger. History
abhors a vacuum and finds some one to fill it up. I have never yet
understood why the Commonwealth has not made a serious effort to attract
to the northern territories those Italians who are flooding the
Argentine. It is great blood and no race is the poorer for it--the blood
of ancient Rome. They are used to semitropical heat and to hard work in
bad conditions if there be only hope ahead. Perhaps the policy of the
future may turn in that direction. If that one weak spot be guarded then
it seems to me that in the whole world there is no community, save only
the United States, which is so safe from outside attack as Australia.
Internal division is another matter, but there Australia is in some ways
stronger than the States. She has no negro question, and the strife
between Capital and Labour is not likely to be so formidable. I wonder,
by the way, how many people in the United States realise that this small
community lost as many men as America did in the great war. We were
struck also by the dignified resignation with which this fact was faced,
and by the sense of proportion which was shown in estimating the
sacrifices of various nations.

We like the people here very much more than we had expected to, for one
hears in England exaggerated stories of their democratic bearing. When
democracy takes the form of equality one can get along with it, but when
it becomes rude and aggressive one would avoid it. Here one finds a very
pleasing good fellowship which no one would object to. Again and again
we have met with little acts of kindness from people in shops or in the
street, which were not personal to ourselves, but part of their normal
good manners. If you ask the way or any other information, strangers
will take trouble to put you right. They are kindly, domestic and
straight in speech and in dealings. Materialism and want of vision in
the broader affairs of life seem to be the national weakness, but that
may be only a passing phase, for when a nation has such a gigantic
material proposition as this continent to handle it is natural that
their thoughts should run on the wool and the wheat and the gold by
which it can be accomplished. I am bound to say, however, that I think
every patriotic Australian should vote, if not for prohibition, at least
for the solution which is most dear to myself, and that is the lowering
of the legal standard of alcohol in any drink. We have been shocked and
astonished by the number of young men of decent exterior whom we have
seen staggering down the street, often quite early in the day. The
Biblical test for drunkenness, that it was not yet the third hour, would
not apply to them. I hear that bad as it is in the big towns it is worse
in the small ones, and worst of all in the northern territories and
other waste places where work is particularly needed. It must greatly
decrease the national efficiency. A recent vote upon the question in
Victoria only carried total abstinence in four districts out of about
200, but a two-third majority was needed to do it. On the other hand a
trial of strength in Queensland, generally supposed to be rather a rowdy
State, has shown that the temperance men all combined can out-vote the
others. Therefore it is certain that reform will not be long delayed.

The other curse of the country, which is a real drag upon its progress,
is the eternal horse-racing. It goes on all the year round, though it
has its more virulent bouts, as for example during our visit to this
town when the Derby, the Melbourne Cup, and Oaks succeeded each other.
They call it sport, but I fear that in that case I am no sportsman. I
would as soon call the roulette-table a sport. The whole population is
unsettled and bent upon winning easy money, which dissatisfies them
with the money that has to be worked for. Every shop is closed when the
Cup is run, and you have lift-boys, waiters and maids all backing their
fancies, not with half-crowns but with substantial sums. The danger to
honesty is obvious, and it came under our own notice that it is not
imaginary. Of course we are by no means blameless in England, but it
only attacks a limited class, while here it seems to the stranger to be
almost universal. In fact it is so bad that it is sure to get better,
for I cannot conceive that any sane nation will allow it to continue.
The book-makers, however, are a powerful guild, and will fight tooth and
nail. The Catholic Church, I am sorry to say, uses its considerable
influence to prevent drink reform by legislation, and I fear that it
will not support the anti-gamblers either. I wonder from what hidden
spring, from what ignorant Italian camarilla, this venerable and in some
ways admirable Church gets its secular policy, which must have central
direction, since it is so consistent! When I remember the recent
sequence of world events and the part played by that Church, the attack
upon the innocent Dreyfus, the refusal to support reform in the Congo,
and finally the obvious leaning towards the Central Powers who were
clearly doomed to lose, one would think that it was ruled by a Council
of lunatics. These matters bear no relation to faith or dogma, so that
one wonders that the sane Catholics have not risen in protest. No doubt
the better class laymen are ahead of the clergy in this as in other
religious organisations. I cannot forget how the Duke of Norfolk sent me
a cheque for the Congo Reform Movement at the very time when we could
not get the Catholic Church to line up with the other sects at a Reform
Demonstration at the Albert Hall. In this country also there were many
brave and loyal Catholics who took their own line against Cardinal
Mannix upon the question of conscription, when that Cardinal did all
that one man could do to bring about the defeat of the free nations in
the great war. How he could face an American audience afterwards, or how
such an audience could tolerate him, is hard to understand.



CHAPTER V

     More English than the English.--A day in the Bush.--Immigration.--A
     case of spirit return.--A Séance.--Geelong.--The lava
     plain.--Good-nature of General Ryrie.--Bendigo.--Down a gold
     mine.--Prohibition v. Continuance.--Mrs. Knight
     MacLellan.--Nerrin.--A wild drive.--Electric shearing.--Rich sheep
     stations.--Cockatoo farmers.--Spinnifex and Mallee.--Rabbits.--The
     great marsh.


In some ways the Australians are more English than the English. We have
been imperceptibly Americanised, while our brethren over the sea have
kept the old type. The Australian is less ready to show emotion, cooler
in his bearing, more restrained in applause, more devoted to personal
liberty, keener on sport, and quieter in expression (as witness the
absence of scare lines in the papers) than our people are. Indeed, they
remind me more of the Scotch than the English, and Melbourne on a
Sunday, without posts, or Sunday papers, or any amenity whatever, is
like the Edinburgh of my boyhood. Sydney is more advanced. There are
curious anomalies in both towns. Their telephone systems are so bad that
they can only be balanced against each other, for they are in a class by
themselves. One smiles when one recollects that one used to grumble at
the London lines. On the other hand the tramway services in both towns
are wonderful, and so continuous that one never hastens one's step to
catch a tram since another comes within a minute. The Melbourne trams
have open bogey cars in front, which make a drive a real pleasure.

One of our pleasant recollections in the early days of our Melbourne
visit was a day in the bush with Mr. Henry Stead and his wife. My
intense admiration for the moral courage and energy of the father made
it easy for me to form a friendship with his son, who has shown the
family qualities by the able way in which he has founded and conducted
an excellent journal, _Stead's Monthly_. Australia was lucky ever to get
such an immigrant as that, for surely an honest, fearless and
clear-headed publicist is the most valuable man that a young country,
whose future is one long problem play, could import. We spent our day in
the Dandenong Hills, twenty miles from Melbourne, in a little hostel
built in a bush clearing and run by one Lucas, of good English cricket
stock, his father having played for Sussex. On the way we passed Madame
Melba's place at Lilydale, and the wonderful woods with their strange
tree-ferns seemed fit cover for such a singing bird. Coming back in
Stead's light American car we tried a short cut down roads which proved
to be almost impossible. A rather heavier car ahead of us, with two
youths in it, got embedded in the mud, and we all dismounted to heave it
out. There suddenly appeared on the lonely road an enormous coloured
man; he looked like a cross between negro and black fellow. He must
have lived in some hut in the woods, but the way his huge form suddenly
rose beside us was quite surprising. He stood in gloomy majesty
surveying our efforts, and repeating a series of sentences which
reminded one of German exercises. "I have no jack. I had a jack. Some
one has taken my jack. This is called a road. It is not a road. There is
no road." We finally levered out the Australian car, for which, by the
way, neither occupant said a word of thanks, and then gave the black
giant a shilling, which he received as a keeper takes his toll. On
looking back I am not sure that this slough of despond is not carefully
prepared by this negro, who makes a modest income by the tips which he
gets from the unfortunates who get bogged in it. No keeper ever darted
out to a trap quicker than he did when the car got stuck.

Stead agreed with me that the Australians do not take a big enough view
of their own destiny. They--or the labour party, to be more exact--are
inclined to buy the ease of the moment at the cost of the greatness of
their continental future. They fear immigration lest it induce
competition and pull down prices. It is a natural attitude. And yet that
little fringe of people on the edge of that huge island can never
adequately handle it. It is like an enormous machine with a six
horsepower engine to drive it. I have a great sympathy with their desire
to keep the British stock as pure as possible. But the land needs the
men, and somewhere they must be found. I cannot doubt that they would
become loyal subjects of the Empire which had adopted them. I have
wondered sometimes whether in Lower California and the warmer States of
the Union there may not be human material for Australia. Canada has
received no more valuable stock than from the American States, so it
might be that another portion of the Union would find the very stamp of
man that Queensland and the north require. The American likes a big
gamble and a broad life with plenty of elbow-room. Let him bring his
cotton seeds over to semi-tropical Australia and see what he can make of
it there.

To pass suddenly to other-worldly things, which are my mission. People
never seem to realise the plain fact that one positive result must
always outweigh a hundred negative ones. It only needs one single case
of spirit return to be established, and there is no more to be said.
Incidentally, how absurd is the position of those wiseacres who say
"nine-tenths of the phenomena are fraud." Can they not see that if they
grant us one-tenth, they grant us our whole contention?

These remarks are elicited by a case which occurred in 1883 in
Melbourne, and which should have converted the city as surely as if an
angel had walked down Collins Street. Yet nearly forty years later I
find it as stagnant and material as any city I have ever visited. The
facts are these, well substantiated by documentary and official
evidence. Mr. Junor Browne, a well-known citizen, whose daughter
afterwards married Mr. Alfred Deakin, subsequently Premier, had two
sons, Frank and Hugh. Together with a seaman named Murray they went out
into the bay in their yacht the "Iolanthe," and they never returned. The
father was fortunately a Spiritualist and upon the second day of their
absence, after making all normal inquiries, he asked a sensitive, Mr.
George Spriggs, formerly of Cardiff, if he would trace them. Mr. Spriggs
collected some of the young men's belongings, so as to get their
atmosphere, and then he was able by psychometry to give an account of
their movements, the last which he could see of them being that they
were in trouble upon the yacht and that confusion seemed to reign aboard
her. Two days later, as no further news was brought in, the Browne
family held a séance, Mr. Spriggs being the medium. He fell into trance
and the two lads, who had been trained in spiritual knowledge and knew
the possibilities, at once came through. They expressed their contrition
to their mother, who had desired them not to go, and they then gave a
clear account of the capsizing of the yacht, and how they had met their
death, adding that they had found themselves after death in the exact
physical conditions of happiness and brightness which their father's
teaching had led them to expect. They brought with them the seaman
Murray, who also said a few words. Finally Hugh, speaking through the
medium, informed Mr. Browne that Frank's arm and part of his clothing
had been torn off by a fish.

"A shark?" asked Mr. Browne.

"Well, it was not like any shark I have seen."

Mark the sequel. Some weeks later a large shark of a rare deep-sea
species, unknown to the fishermen, and quite unlike the ordinary blue
shark with which the Brownes were familiar, was taken at Frankston,
about twenty-seven miles from Melbourne. Inside it was found the bone of
a human arm, and also a watch, some coins, and other articles which had
belonged to Frank Browne. These facts were all brought out in the papers
at the time, and Mr. Browne put much of it on record in print before the
shark was taken, or any word of the missing men had come by normal
means. The facts are all set forth in a little book by Mr. Browne
himself, called "A Rational Faith." What have fraudulent mediums and all
the other decoys to do with such a case as that, and is it not perfectly
convincing to any man who is not perverse? Personally, I value it not so
much for the evidence of survival, since we have that so complete
already, but for the detailed account given by the young men of their
new conditions, so completely corroborating what so many young officers,
cut off suddenly in the war, have said of their experience. "Mother, if
you could see how happy we are, and the beautiful home we are in, you
would not weep except for joy. I feel so light in my spiritual body and
have no pain, I would not exchange this life for earth life even it were
in my power. Poor spirits without number are waiting anxiously to
communicate with their friends when an opportunity is offered." The
young Brownes had the enormous advantage of the education they had
received from their father, so that they instantly understood and
appreciated the new conditions.

On October 8th we had a séance with Mrs. Hunter, a pleasant middle-aged
woman, with a soft South of England accent. Like so many of our mediums
she had little sign of education in her talk. It does not matter in
spiritual things, though it is a stumbling block to some inquirers.
After all, how much education had the apostles? I have no doubt they
were very vulgar provincial people from the average Roman point of view.
But they shook the world none the less. Most of our educated people have
got their heads so crammed with things that don't matter that they have
no room for the things that do matter. There was no particular success
at our sitting, but I have heard that the medium is capable of better
things.

On October 13th I had my first experience of a small town, for I went to
Geelong and lectured there. It was an attentive and cultured audience,
but the hall was small and the receipts could hardly have covered the
expenses. However, it is the press report and the local discussion which
really matter. I had little time to inspect Geelong, which is a
prosperous port with 35,000 inhabitants. What interested me more was the
huge plain of lava which stretches around it and connects it with
Melbourne. This plain is a good hundred miles across, and as it is of
great depth one can only imagine that there must be monstrous cavities
inside the earth to correspond with the huge amount extruded. Here and
there one sees stunted green cones which are the remains of the
volcanoes which spewed up all this stuff. The lava has disintegrated on
the surface to the extent of making good arable soil, but the harder
bits remain unbroken, so that the surface is covered with rocks, which
are used to build up walls for the fields after the Irish fashion. Every
here and there a peak of granite has remained as an island amid the
lava, to show what was there before the great outflow. Eruptions appear
to be caused by water pouring in through some crack and reaching the
heated inside of the earth where the water is turned to steam, expands,
and so gains the force to spread destruction. If this process went on it
is clear that the whole sea might continue to pour down the crack until
the heat had been all absorbed by the water. I have wondered whether the
lava may not be a clever healing process of nature, by which this soft
plastic material is sent oozing out in every direction with the idea
that it may find the crack and then set hard and stop it up. Wild
speculation no doubt, but the guess must always precede the proof.

The Australians are really a very good-natured people. It runs through
the whole race, high and low. A very exalted person, the Minister of
War, shares our flat in the hotel, his bedroom being imbedded among our
rooms. This is General Sir Granville Ryrie, a famous hero of Palestine,
covered with wounds and medals--a man, too, of great dignity of bearing.
As I was dressing one morning I heard some rather monotonous whistling
and, forgetting the very existence of the General, and taking it for
granted that it was my eldest boy Denis, I put my head out and said,
"Look here, old chap, consider other people's nerves and give up that
rotten habit of whistling before breakfast." Imagine my feelings when
the deep voice of the General answered, "All right, Sir Arthur, I will!"
We laughed together over the incident afterwards, and I told him that he
had furnished me with one more example of Australian good humour for my
notes.

On October 13th I was at the prosperous 50,000 population town of
Bendigo, which every one, except the people on the spot, believes to
have been named after the famous boxer. This must surely be a world
record, for so far as my memory serves, neither a Grecian Olympic
athletic, nor a Roman Gladiator, nor a Byzantine Charioteer, has ever
had a city for a monument. Borrow, who looked upon a good honest
pugilist as the pick of humanity, must have rejoiced in it. Is not
valour the basis of all character, and where shall we find greater
valour than theirs? Alas, that most of them began and ended there! It is
when the sage and the saint build on the basis of the fighter that you
have the highest to which humanity can attain.

I had a full hall at Bendigo, and it was packed, I am told, by real
old-time miners, for, of course, Bendigo is still the centre of the gold
mining industry. Mr. Smythe told me that it was quite a sight to see
those rows of deeply-lined, bearded faces listening so intently to what
I said of that destiny which is theirs as well as mine. I never had a
better audience, and it was their sympathy which helped me through, for
I was very weary that night. But however weary you may be, when you
climb upon the platform to talk about this subject, you may be certain
that you will be less weary when you come off. That is my settled
conviction after a hundred trials.

On the morning after my lecture I found myself half a mile nearer to
dear Old England, for I descended the Unity mine, and they say that the
workings extend to that depth. Perhaps I was not at the lowest level,
but certainly it was a long journey in the cage, and reminded me of my
friend Bang's description of the New York elevator, when he said that
the distance to his suburban villa and his town flat was the same, but
the one was horizontal and the other perpendicular.

It was a weird experience that peep into the profound depths of the
great gold mine. Time was when the quartz veins were on the surface for
the poor adventurer to handle. Now they have been followed underground,
and only great companies and costly machinery can win it. Always it is
the same white quartz vein with the little yellow specks and threads
running through it. We were rattled down in pitch darkness until we came
to a stop at the end of a long passage dimly lit by an occasional
guttering candle. Carrying our own candles, and clad in miner's costume
we crept along with bent heads until we came suddenly out into a huge
circular hall which might have sprung from Doré's imagination. The
place was draped with heavy black shadows, but every here and there was
a dim light. Each light showed where a man was squatting toad-like, a
heap of broken debris in front of him, turning it over, and throwing
aside the pieces with clear traces of gold. These were kept for special
treatment, while the rest of the quartz was passed in ordinary course
through the mill. These scattered heaps represented the broken stuff
after a charge of dynamite had been exploded in the quartz vein. It was
strange indeed to see these squatting figures deep in the bowels of the
earth, their candles shining upon their earnest faces and piercing eyes,
and to reflect that they were striving that the great exchanges of
London and New York might be able to balance with bullion their output
of paper. This dim troglodyte industry was in truth the centre and
mainspring of all industries, without which trade would stop. Many of
the men were from Cornwall, the troll among the nations, where the tools
of the miner are still, as for two thousand years, the natural heritage
of the man. Dr. Stillwell, the geologist of the company, and I had a
long discussion as to where the gold came from, but the only possible
conclusion was that nobody knew. We know now that the old alchemists
were perfectly right and that one metal may change into another. Is it
possible that under some conditions a mineral may change into a metal?
Why should quartz always be the matrix? Some geological Darwin will come
along some day and we shall get a great awakening, for at present we
are only disguising our own ignorance in this department of knowledge. I
had always understood that quartz was one of the old igneous primeval
rocks, and yet here I saw it in thin bands, sandwiched in between clays
and slates and other water-borne deposits. The books and the strata
don't agree.

These smaller towns, like the Metropolis itself, are convulsed with the
great controversy between Prohibition and Continuance, no reasonable
compromise between the two being suggested. Every wall displays posters,
on one side those very prosperous-looking children who demand that some
restraint be placed upon their daddy, and on the other hair-raising
statements as to the financial results of restricting the publicans. To
the great disgust of every decent man they have run the Prince into it,
and some remark of his after his return to England has been used by the
liquor party. It is dangerous for royalty to be jocose in these days,
but this was a particularly cruel example of the exploitation of a
harmless little joke. If others felt as I did I expect it cost the
liquor interest many a vote.

We had another séance, this time with Mrs. Knight MacLellan, after my
return from Bendigo. She is a lady who has grown grey in the service of
the cult, and who made a name in London when she was still a child by
her mediumistic powers. We had nothing of an evidential character that
evening save that one lady who had recently lost her son had his
description and an apposite message given. It was the first of several
tests which we were able to give this lady, and before we left Melbourne
she assured us that she was a changed woman and her sorrow for ever
gone.

On October 18th began a very delightful experience, for my wife and I,
leaving our party safe in Melbourne, travelled up country to be the
guests of the Hon. Agar Wynne and his charming wife at their station of
Nerrin-Nerrin in Western Victoria. It is about 140 miles from Melbourne,
and as the trains are very slow, the journey was not a pleasant one. But
that was soon compensated for in the warmth of the welcome which awaited
us. Mr. Agar Wynne was Postmaster-General of the Federal Government, and
author of several improvements, one of which, the power of sending long
letter-telegrams at low rates during certain hours was a triumph of
common sense. For a shilling one could send quite a long communication
to the other end of the Continent, but it must go through at the time
when the telegraph clerk had nothing else to do.

It was interesting to us to find ourselves upon an old-established
station, typical of the real life of Australia, for cities are much the
same the world over. Nerrin had been a sheep station for eighty years,
but the comfortable verandahed bungalow house, with every convenience
within it, was comparatively modern. What charmed us most, apart from
the kindness of our hosts, was a huge marsh or lagoon which extended for
many miles immediately behind the house, and which was a bird
sanctuary, so that it was crowded with ibises, wild black swans, geese,
ducks, herons and all sorts of fowl. We crept out of our bedroom in the
dead of the night and stood under the cloud-swept moon listening to the
chorus of screams, hoots, croaks and whistles coming out of the vast
expanse of reeds. It would make a most wonderful hunting ground for a
naturalist who was content to observe and not to slay. The great morass
of Nerrin will ever stand out in our memories.

Next day we were driven round the borders of this wonderful marsh, Mr.
Wynne, after the Australian fashion, taking no note of roads, and going
right across country with alarming results to anyone not used to it.
Finally, the swaying and rolling became so terrific that he was himself
thrown off the box seat and fell down between the buggy and the front
wheel, narrowly escaping a very serious accident. He was able to show us
the nests and eggs which filled the reed-beds, and even offered to drive
us out into the morass to inspect them, a proposal which was rejected by
the unanimous vote of a full buggy. I never knew an answer more
decidedly in the negative. As we drove home we passed a great gum tree,
and half-way up the trunk was a deep incision where the bark had been
stripped in an oval shape some four foot by two. It was where some
savage in days of old had cut his shield. Such a mark outside a modern
house with every amenity of cultured life is an object lesson of how two
systems have over-lapped, and how short a time it is since this great
continent was washed by a receding wave, ere the great Anglo-Saxon tide
came creeping forward.

Apart from the constant charm of the wild life of the marsh there did
not seem to be much for the naturalist around Nerrin. Opossums bounded
upon the roof at night and snakes were not uncommon. A dangerous
tiger-snake was killed on the day of our arrival. I was amazed also at
the size of the Australian eels. A returned soldier had taken up fishing
as a trade, renting a water for a certain time and putting the contents,
so far as he could realise them, upon the market. It struck me that
after this wily digger had passed that way there would not be much for
the sportsman who followed him. But the eels were enormous. He took a
dozen at a time from his cunning eel-pots, and not one under six pounds.
I should have said that they were certainly congers had I seen them in
England.

I wonder whether all this part of the country has not been swept by a
tidal wave at some not very remote period. It is a low coastline with
this great lava plain as a hinterland, and I can see nothing to prevent
a big wave even now from sweeping the civilisation of Victoria off the
planet, should there be any really great disturbance under the Pacific.
At any rate, it is my impression that it has actually occurred once
already, for I cannot otherwise understand the existence of great
shallow lakes of salt water in these inland parts. Are they not the
pools left behind by that terrible tide? There are great banks of sand,
too, here and there on the top of the lava which I can in no way
account for unless they were swept here in some tremendous world-shaking
catastrophe which took the beach from St. Kilda and threw it up at
Nerrin. God save Australia from such a night as that must have been if
my reading of the signs be correct.

     Illustration: A TYPICAL AUSTRALIAN BACK-COUNTRY SCENE. By H. J.
     Johnstone, a great painter who died unknown. (Painting in Adelaide
     National Gallery.)

One of the sights of Nerrin is the shearing of the sheep by electric
machinery. These sheep are merinos, which have been bred as
wool-producers to such an extent that they can hardly see, and the wool
grows thick right down to their hoofs. The large stately creature is a
poor little shadow when his wonderful fleece has been taken from him.
The electric clips with which the operation is performed, are, I am
told, the invention of a brother of Garnet Wolseley, who worked away at
the idea, earning the name of being a half-crazy crank, until at last
the invention materialised and did away with the whole slow and clumsy
process of the hand-shearer. It is not, however, a pleasant process to
watch even for a man, far less a sensitive woman, for the poor creatures
get cut about a good deal in the process. The shearer seizes a sheep,
fixes him head up between his knees, and then plunges the swiftly-moving
clippers into the thick wool which covers the stomach. With wonderful
speed he runs it along and the creature is turned out of its covering,
and left as bare as a turkey in a poulterer's window, but, alas, its
white and tender skin is too often gashed and ripped with vivid lines of
crimson by the haste and clumsiness of the shearer. It was worse, they
say, in the days of the hand-shearer. I am bound to say, however, that
the creature makes no fuss about it, remains perfectly still, and does
not appear to suffer any pain. Nature is often kinder than we know, even
to her most humble children, and some soothing and healing process seems
to be at work.

The shearers appear to be a rough set of men, and spend their whole time
moving in gangs from station to station, beginning up in the far north
and winding up on the plains of South Australia. They are complete
masters of the situation, having a powerful union at their back. They
not only demand and receive some two pounds a day in wages, but they
work or not by vote, the majority being able to grant a complete
holiday. It is impossible to clip a wet sheep, so that after rain there
is an interval of forced idleness, which may be prolonged by the vote of
the men. They work very rapidly, however, when they are actually at it,
and the man who tallies most fleeces, called "the ringer," receives a
substantial bonus. When the great shed is in full activity it is a
splendid sight with the row of stooping figures, each embracing his
sheep, the buzz of the shears, the rush of the messengers who carry the
clip to the table, the swift movements of the sorters who separate the
perfect from the imperfect wool, and the levering and straining of the
packers who compress it all into square bundles as hard as iron with 240
pounds in each. With fine wool at the present price of ninety-six pence
a pound it is clear that each of these cubes stands for nearly a hundred
pounds.

They are rich men these sheep owners--and I am speaking here of my
general inquiry and not at all of Nerrin. On a rough average, with many
local exceptions, one may say that an estate bears one sheep to an acre,
and that the sheep may show a clear profit of one pound in the year.
Thus, after the first initial expense is passed, and when the flock has
reached its full, one may easily make an assessment of the owner's
income. Estates of 10,000 acres are common, and they run up to 50,000
and 60,000 acres. They can be run so cheaply that the greater part of
income is clear profit, for when the land is barb-wired into great
enclosures no shepherds are needed, and only a boundary rider or two to
see that all is in order. These, with a few hands at lambing time, and
two or three odd-job men at the central station, make up the whole
staff. It is certainly the short cut to a fortune if one can only get
the plant running.

Can a man with a moderate capital get a share of these good things?
Certainly he can if he have grit and a reasonable share of that luck
which must always be a factor in Nature's processes. Droughts, floods,
cyclones, etc., are like the zero at Monte Carlo, which always may turn
up to defeat the struggling gamester. I followed several cases where
small men had managed to make good. It is reckoned that the man who gets
a holding of from 300 to 500 acres is able on an average in three years
to pay off all his initial expenses and to have laid the foundations of
a career which may lead to fortune. One case was a London baker who knew
nothing of the work. He had 300 acres and had laid it out in wheat,
cows, sheep and mixed farming. He worked from morning to night, his wife
was up at four, and his child of ten was picking up stones behind the
furrow. But he was already making his £500 a year. The personal equation
was everything. One demobilised soldier was doing well. Another had come
to smash. Very often a deal is made between the small man and the large
holder, by which the latter lets the former a corner of his estate,
taking a share, say one-third, of his profits as rent. That is a plan
which suits everyone, and the landlord can gradually be bought out by
the "cockatoo farmer," as he is styled.

There is a great wool-clip this year, and prices in London are at record
figures, so that Australia, which only retains 17 per cent. of her own
wool, should have a very large sum to her credit. But she needs it. When
one considers that the debt of this small community is heavier now than
that of Great Britain before the war, one wonders how she can ever win
through. But how can anyone win through? I don't think we have fairly
realised the financial problem yet, and I believe that within a very few
years there will be an International Council which will be compelled to
adopt some such scheme as the one put forward by my friend, Mr.
Stilwell, under the name of "The Great Plan." This excellent idea was
that every nation should reduce its warlike expenditure to an absolute
minimum, that the difference between this minimum and the 1914 pre-war
standard should be paid every year to a central fund, and that
international bonds be now drawn upon the security of that fund,
anticipating not its present amount but what it will represent in fifty
years' time. It is, in fact, making the future help the present, exactly
as an estate which has some sudden great call upon it might reasonably
anticipate or mortgage its own development. I believe that the salvation
of the world may depend upon some such plan, and that the Council of the
League of Nations is the agency by which it could be made operative.

Australia has had two plants which have been a perfect curse to her as
covering the land and offering every impediment to agriculture. They are
the Spinnifex in the West and the Mallee scrub in the East. The latter
was considered a hopeless proposition, and the only good which could be
extracted from it was that the root made an ideal fire, smouldering long
and retaining heat. Suddenly, however, a genius named Lascelles
discovered that this hopeless Mallee land was simply unrivalled for
wheat, and his schemes have now brought seven million acres under the
plough. This could hardly have been done if another genius, unnamed, had
not invented a peculiar and ingenious plough, the "stump-jump plough,"
which can get round obstacles without breaking itself. It is not
generally known that Australia really heads the world for the ingenuity
and efficiency of her agricultural machinery. There is an inventor and
manufacturer, MacKay, of Sunshine, who represents the last word in
automatic reapers, etc. He exports them, a shipload at a time, to the
United States, which, if one considers the tariff which they have to
surmount, is proof in itself of the supremacy of the article. With this
wealth of machinery the real power of Australia in the world is greater
than her population would indicate, for a five-million nation, which, by
artificial aid, does the work normally done by ten million people,
becomes a ten-million nation so far as economic and financial strength
is concerned.

On the other hand, Australia has her hindrances as well as her helps.
Certainly the rabbits have done her no good, though the evil is for the
moment under control. An efficient rabbiter gets a pound a day, and he
is a wise insurance upon any estate, for the creatures, if they get the
upper-hand, can do thousands of pounds' worth of damage. This damage
takes two shapes. First, they eat on all the grass and leave nothing at
all for the sheep. Secondly, they burrow under walls, etc., and leave
the whole place an untidy ruin. Little did the man who introduced the
creature into Australia dream how the imprecations of a continent would
descend upon him.

Alas! that we could not linger at Nerrin; but duty was calling at
Melbourne. Besides, the days of the Melbourne Cup were at hand, and not
only was Mr. Wynne a great pillar of the turf, but Mr. Osborne, owner of
one of the most likely horses in the race, was one of the house-party.
To Melbourne therefore we went. We shall always, however, be able in our
dreams to revisit that broad verandah, the low hospitable façade, the
lovely lawn with its profusion of scented shrubs, the grove of towering
gum trees, where the opossums lurked, and above all the great marsh
where with dark clouds drifting across the moon we had stolen out at
night to hear the crying of innumerable birds. That to us will always be
the real Australia.



CHAPTER VI

     The Melbourne Cup.--Psychic healing.--M. J. Bloomfield.--My own
     experience.--Direct healing.--Chaos and Ritual.--Government House
     Ball.--The Rescue Circle again.--Sitting with Mrs. Harris.--A good
     test case.--Australian botany.--The land of myrtles.--English
     cricket team.--Great final meeting in Melbourne.


It was the week of weeks in Melbourne when we returned from Nerrin, and
everything connected with my mission was out of the question. When the
whole world is living vividly here and now there is no room for the
hereafter. Personally, I fear I was out of sympathy with it all, though
we went to the Derby, where the whole male and a good part of the female
population of Melbourne seemed to be assembled, reinforced by
contingents from every State in the Federation. A fine handsome body of
people they are when you see them _en masse_, strong, solid and capable,
if perhaps a little lacking in those finer and more spiritual graces
which come with a more matured society. The great supply of animal food
must have its effect upon the mind as well as the body of a nation. Lord
Forster appeared at the races, and probably, as an all round sportsman,
took a genuine interest, but the fate of the Governor who did not take
an interest would be a rather weary one--like that kind-hearted Roman
Emperor, Claudius, if I remember right, who had to attend the
gladiatorial shows, but did his business there so as to distract his
attention from the arena. We managed to get out of attending the famous
Melbourne Cup, and thereby found the St. Kilda Beach deserted for once,
and I was able to spend a quiet day with my wife watching the children
bathe and preparing for the more strenuous times ahead.

One psychic subject which has puzzled me more than any other, is that of
magnetic healing. All my instincts as a doctor, and all the traditional
teaching of the profession, cry out against unexplained effects, and the
opening which their acceptance must give to the quack. The man who has
paid a thousand pounds for his special knowledge has a natural distaste
when he sees a man who does not know the subclavian artery from the
pineal gland, effecting or claiming to effect cures on some quite
unconventional line. And yet ... and yet!

The ancients knew a great deal which we have forgotten, especially about
the relation of one body to another. What did Hippocrates mean when he
said, "The affections suffered by the body the soul sees with shut
eyes?" I will show you exactly what he means. My friend, M. J.
Bloomfield, as unselfish a worker for truth as the world can show, tried
for nearly two years to develop the medical powers of a clairvoyant.
Suddenly the result was attained, without warning. He was walking with a
friend in Collins Street laughing over some joke. In an instant the
laugh was struck from his lips. A man and woman were walking in front,
their backs towards Bloomfield. To his amazement he saw the woman's
inner anatomy mapped out before him, and especially marked a rounded
mass near the liver which he felt intuitively should not be there. His
companion rallied him on his sudden gravity, and still more upon the
cause of it, when it was explained. Bloomfield was so certain, however,
that the vision was for a purpose, that he accosted the couple, and
learned that the woman was actually about to be operated on for cancer.
He reassured them, saying that the object seemed clearly defined and not
to have widespread roots as a cancer might have. He was asked to be
present at the operation, pointed out the exact place where he had seen
the growth, and saw it extracted. It was, as he had said, innocuous.
With this example in one's mind the words of Hippocrates begin to assume
a very definite meaning. I believe that the surgeon was so struck by the
incident that he was most anxious that Bloomfield should aid him
permanently in his diagnoses.

I will now give my own experience with Mr. Bloomfield. Denis had been
suffering from certain pains, so I took him round as a test case.
Bloomfield, without asking the boy any questions, gazed at him for a
couple of minutes. He then said that the pains were in the stomach and
head, pointing out the exact places. The cause, he said, was some slight
stricture in the intestine and he proceeded to tell me several facts of
Denis's early history which were quite correct, and entirely beyond his
normal knowledge. I have never in all my experience of medicine known so
accurate a diagnosis.

Another lady, whom I knew, consulted him for what she called a "medical
reading." Without examining her in any way he said: "What a peculiar
throat you have! It is all pouched inside." She admitted that this was
so, and that doctors in London had commented upon it. By his clairvoyant
gift he could see as much as they with their laryngoscopes.

Mr. Bloomfield has never accepted any fees for his remarkable gifts.
Last year he gave 3,000 consultations. I have heard of mediums with
similar powers in England, but I had never before been in actual contact
with one. With all my professional prejudices I am bound to admit that
they have powers, just as Braid and Esdaile, the pioneers of hypnotism,
had powers, which must sooner or later be acknowledged.

There are, as I understand it, at least two quite different forms of
psychic healing. In such cases as those quoted the result may be due
only to subtle powers of the human organism which some have developed
and others have not. The clairvoyance and the instinctive knowledge may
both belong to the individual. In the other cases, however, there are
the direct action and advice of a wise spirit control, a deceased
physician usually, who has added to his worldly stock of knowledge. He
can, of course, only act through a medium--and just there, alas, is the
dangerous opening for fraud and quackery. But if anyone wishes to study
the operation at its best let him read a tiny book called "One thing I
know," which records the cure of the writer, the sister of an Anglican
canon, when she had practically been given up by doctors of this world
after fifteen years of bed, but was rescued by the ministrations of Dr.
Beale, a physician on the other side. Dr. Beale received promotion to a
higher sphere in the course of the treatment, which was completed by his
assistant and successor. It is a very interesting and convincing
narrative.

We were invited to another spiritual meeting at the Auditorium.
Individuality runs riot sometimes in our movement. On this occasion a
concert had been mixed up with a religious service and the effect was
not good, though the musical part of the proceedings disclosed one young
violinist, Master Hames, who should, I think, make a name in the world.
I have always been against ritual, and yet now that I see the effect of
being without it I begin to understand that some form of it, however
elastic, is necessary. The clairvoyance was good, if genuine, but it
offends me to see it turned off and on like a turn at a music hall. It
is either nonsense or the holy of holies and mystery of mysteries.
Perhaps it was just this conflict between the priest with his ritual and
the medium without any, which split the early Christian Church, and
ended in the complete victory of the ritual, which meant the extinction
not only of the medium but of the living, visible, spiritual forces
which he represented. Flowers, music, incense, architecture, all tried
to fill the gap, but the soul of the thing had gone out of it. It must,
I suppose, have been about the end of the third century that the process
was completed, and the living thing had set into a petrifaction. That
would be the time no doubt when, as already mentioned, special
correctors were appointed to make the gospel texts square with the
elaborate machinery of the Church. Only now does the central fire begin
to glow once more through the ashes which have been heaped above it.

We attended the great annual ball at the Government House, where the
Governor-General and his wife were supported by the Governors of the
various States, the vice-regal party performing their own stately
quadrille with a dense hedge of spectators around them. There were few
chaperons, and nearly every one ended by dancing, so that it was a
cheerful and festive scene. My friend Major Wood had played with the
Governor-General in the same Hampshire eleven, and it was singular to
think that after many years they should meet again like this.

Social gaieties are somewhat out of key with my present train of
thought, and I was more in my element next evening at a meeting of the
Rescue Circle under Mr. Tozer. Mr. Love was the medium and it was
certainly a very remarkable and consistent performance. Even those who
might imagine that the different characters depicted were in fact
various strands of Mr. Love's subconscious self, each dramatising its
own peculiarities, must admit that it was a very absorbing exhibition.
The circle sits round with prayer and hymns while Mr. Love falls into a
trance state. He is then controlled by the Chinaman Quong, who is a
person of such standing and wisdom in the other world, that other lower
spirits have to obey him. The light is dim, but even so the
characteristics of this Chinaman get across very clearly, the rolling
head, the sidelong, humorous glance the sly smile, the hands crossed and
buried in what should be the voluminous folds of a mandarin's gown. He
greets the company in somewhat laboured English and says he has many who
would be the better for our ministrations. "Send them along, please!"
says Mr. Tozer. The medium suddenly sits straight and his whole face
changes into an austere harshness. "What is this ribald nonsense?" he
cries. "Who are you, friend?" says Tozer. "My name is Mathew Barret. I
testified in my life to the Lamb and to Him crucified. I ask again: What
is this ribald nonsense?" "It is not nonsense, friend. We are here to
help you and to teach you that you are held down and punished for your
narrow ideas, and that you cannot progress until they are more
charitable." "What I preached in life I still believe." "Tell us,
friend, did you find it on the other side as you had preached?" "What do
you mean?" "Well, did you, for example, see Christ?" There was an
embarrassed silence. "No, I did not." "Have you seen the devil?" "No, I
have not." "Then, bethink you, friend, that there may be truth in what
we teach." "It is against all that I have preached." A moment later the
Chinaman was back with his rolling head and his wise smile. "He good
man--stupid man. He learn in time. Plenty time before him."

We had a wonderful succession of "revenants." One was a very dignified
Anglican, who always referred to the Control as "this yellow person."
Another was an Australian soldier. "I never thought I'd take my orders
from a 'Chink,'" said he, "but he says 'hist!' and by gum you've got to
'hist' and no bloomin' error." Yet another said he had gone down in the
_Monmouth_. "Can you tell me anything of the action?" I asked. "We never
had a chance. It was just hell." There was a world of feeling in his
voice. He was greatly amused at their "sky-pilot," as he called the
chaplain, and at his confusion when he found the other world quite
different to what he had depicted. A terrifying Ghurkha came along, who
still thought he was in action and charged about the circle, upsetting
the medium's chair, and only yielding to a mixture of force and
persuasion. There were many others, most of whom returned thanks for the
benefit derived from previous meetings. "You've helped us quite a lot,"
they said. Between each the old Chinese sage made comments upon the
various cases, a kindly, wise old soul, with just a touch of mischievous
humour running through him. We had an exhibition of the useless
apostolic gift of tongues during the evening, for two of the ladies
present broke out into what I was informed was the Maori language,
keeping up a long and loud conversation. I was not able to check it, but
it was certainly a coherent language of some sort. In all this there
was nothing which one could take hold of and quote as absolutely and
finally evidential, and yet the total effect was most convincing. I have
been in touch with some Rescue Circles, however, where the identity of
the "patients," as we may call them, was absolutely traced.

As I am on the subject of psychic experiences I may as well carry on, so
that the reader who is out of sympathy may make a single skip of the
lot. Mrs. Susanna Harris, the American voice-medium, who is well known
in London, had arrived here shortly after ourselves, and gave us a
sitting. Mrs. Harris's powers have been much discussed, for while on the
one hand she passed a most difficult test in London, where, with her
mouth full of coloured water, she produced the same voice effects as on
other occasions, she had no success in Norway when she was examined by
their Psychic Research Committee; but I know how often these
intellectuals ruin their own effects by their mental attitude, which
acts like those anti-ferments which prevent a chemical effervescence. We
must always get back to the principle, however, that one positive result
is more important than a hundred negative ones--just as one successful
demonstration in chemistry makes up for any number of failures. We
cannot command spirit action, and we can only commiserate with, not
blame, the medium who does not receive it when it is most desired.
Personally I have sat four times with Mrs. Harris and I have not the
faintest doubt that on each of these occasions I got true psychic
results, though I cannot answer for what happens in Norway or
elsewhere.

     Illustration: AT MELBOURNE TOWN HALL, NOVEMBER 12TH, 1920.


Shortly after her arrival in Melbourne she gave us a séance in our
private room at the hotel, no one being present save at my invitation.
There were about twelve guests, some of whom had no psychic experience,
and I do not think there was one of them who did not depart convinced
that they had been in touch with preternatural forces. There were two
controls, Harmony, with a high girlish treble voice, and a male control
with a strong decisive bass. I sat next to Mrs. Harris, holding her hand
in mine, and I can swear to it that again and again she spoke to me
while the other voices were conversing with the audience. Harmony is a
charming little creature, witty, friendly and innocent. I am quite ready
to consider the opinion expressed by the Theosophists that such controls
as Harmony with Mrs. Harris, Bella with Mrs. Brittain, Feda with Mrs.
Leonard, and others are in reality nature-spirits who have never lived
in the flesh but take an intelligent interest in our affairs and are
anxious to help us. The male control, however, who always broke in with
some final clinching remark in a deep voice, seemed altogether human.

Whilst these two controls formed, and were the chorus of the play, the
real drama rested with the spirit voices, the same here as I have heard
them under Mrs. Wriedt, Mrs. Johnson or Mr. Powell in England, intense,
low, vibrating with emotion and with anxiety to get through. Nearly
everyone in the circle had communications which satisfied them. One
lady who had mourned her husband very deeply had the inexpressible
satisfaction of hearing his voice thanking her for putting flowers
before his photograph, a fact which no one else could know. A voice
claiming to be "Moore-Usborne Moore," came in front of me. I said,
"Well, Admiral, we never met, but we corresponded in life." He said,
"Yes, and we disagreed," which was true. Then there came a voice which
claimed to be Mr. J. Morse, the eminent pioneer of Spiritualism. I said,
"Mr. Morse, if that is you, you can tell me where we met last." He
answered, "Was it not in '_Light_' office in London?" I said, "No,
surely it was when you took the chair for me at that great meeting at
Sheffield." He answered, "Well, we lose some of our memory in passing."
As a matter of fact he was perfectly right, for after the sitting both
my wife and I remembered that I had exchanged a word or two with him as
I was coming out of _Light_ office at least a year after the Sheffield
meeting. This was a good test as telepathy was excluded. General Sir
Alfred Turner also came and said that he remembered our conversations on
earth. When I asked him whether he had found the conditions beyond the
grave as happy as he expected he answered, "infinitely more so."
Altogether I should think that not less than twenty spirits manifested
during this remarkable séance. The result may have been the better
because Mrs. Harris had been laid up in bed for a week beforehand, and
so we had her full force. I fancy that like most mediums, she habitually
overworks her wonderful powers. Such séances have been going on now for
seventy years, with innumerable witnesses of credit who will testify, as
I have done here, that all fraud or mistake was out of the question. And
still the men of no experience shake their heads. I wonder how long they
will succeed in standing between the world and the consolation which God
has sent us.

There is one thing very clear about mediumship and that is that it bears
no relation to physical form. Mrs. Harris is a very large lady, tall and
Junoesque, a figure which would catch the eye in any assembly. She has,
I believe, a dash of the mystic Red Indian blood in her, which may be
connected with her powers. Bailey, on the other hand, is a little,
ginger-coloured man, while Campbell of Sydney, who is said to have
apport powers which equal Bailey, is a stout man, rather like the late
Corney Grain. Every shape and every quality of vessel may hold the
psychic essence.

I spend such spare time as I have in the Melbourne Botanical Gardens,
which is, I think, absolutely the most beautiful place that I have ever
seen. I do not know what genius laid them out, but the effect is a
succession of the most lovely vistas, where flowers, shrubs, large trees
and stretches of water, are combined in an extraordinary harmony. Green
swards slope down to many tinted groves, and they in turn droop over
still ponds mottled with lovely water plants. It is an instructive as
well as a beautiful place, for every tree has its visiting card attached
and one soon comes to know them. Australia is preeminently the Land of
the Myrtles, for a large proportion of its vegetation comes under this
one order, which includes the gum trees, of which there are 170
varieties. They all shed their bark instead of their leaves, and have a
generally untidy, not to say indecent appearance, as they stand with
their covering in tatters and their white underbark shining through the
rents. There is not the same variety of species in Australia as in
England, and it greatly helps a superficial botanist like myself, for
when you have learned the ti-tree, the wild fig tree and the gum trees,
you will be on terms with nature wherever you go. New Zealand however
offers quite a fresh lot of problems.

The Melbourne Cricket Club has made me an honorary member, so Denis and
I went down there, where we met the giant bowler, Hugh Trumble, who left
so redoubtable a name in England. As the Chela may look at the Yogi so
did Denis, with adoring eyes, gaze upon Trumble, which so touched his
kind heart that he produced a cricket ball, used in some famous match,
which he gave to the boy--a treasure which will be reverently brought
back to England. I fancy Denis slept with it that night, as he certainly
did in his pads and gloves the first time that he owned them.

We saw the English team play Victoria, and it was pleasant to see the
well-known faces once more. The luck was all one way, for Armstrong was
on the sick list, and Armstrong is the mainstay of Victorian cricket.
Rain came at a critical moment also, and gave Woolley and Rhodes a
wicket which was impossible for a batsman. However, it was all good
practice for the more exacting games of the future. It should be a fine
eleven which contains a genius like Hobbs, backed by such men as the
bustling bulldog, Hendren, a great out-field as well as a grand bat, or
the wily, dangerous Hearne, or Douglas, cricketer, boxer, above all
warrior, a worthy leader of Englishmen. Hearne I remember as little more
than a boy, when he promised to carry on the glories of that remarkable
family, of which George and Alec were my own playmates. He has ended by
proving himself the greatest of them all.

My long interval of enforced rest came at last to an end, when the race
fever had spent itself, and I was able to have my last great meeting at
the Town Hall. It really was a great meeting, as the photograph of it
will show. I spoke for over two hours, ending up by showing a selection
of the photographs. I dealt faithfully with the treatment given to me by
the _Argus_. I take the extract from the published account. "On this,
the last time in my life that I shall address a Melbourne audience, I
wish to thank the people for the courtesy with which we have been
received. It would, however, be hypocritical upon my part if I were to
thank the Press. A week before I entered Melbourne the _Argus_ declared
that I was an emissary of the devil (laughter). I care nothing for that.
I am out for a fight and can take any knocks that come. But the _Argus_
refused to publish a word I said. I came 12,000 miles to give you a
message of hope and comfort, and I appeal to you to say whether three or
four gentlemen sitting in a board-room have a right to say to the people
of Melbourne, 'You shall not listen to that man nor read one word of
what he has to say.' (Cries of 'Shame!') You, I am sure, resent being
spoon-fed in such a manner." The audience showed in the most hearty
fashion that they did resent it, and they cheered loudly when I pointed
out that my remarks did not arise, as anyone could see by looking round,
from any feeling on my part that my mission had failed to gain popular
support. It was a great evening, and I have never addressed a more
sympathetic audience. The difficulty always is for my wife and myself to
escape from our kind well-wishers, and it is touching and heartening to
hear the sincere "God bless you!" which they shower upon us as we pass.

This then was the climax of our mission in Melbourne. It was marred by
the long but unavoidable delay in the middle, but it began well and
ended splendidly. On November 13th we left the beautiful town behind us,
and embarked upon what we felt would be a much more adventurous period
at Sydney, for all we had heard showed that both our friends and our
enemies were more active in the great seaport of New South Wales.



CHAPTER VII

     Great reception at Sydney.--Importance of Sydney.--Journalistic
     luncheon.--A psychic epidemic.--Gregory.--Barracking.--Town Hall
     reception.--Regulation of Spiritualism.--An ether apport.--Surfing
     at Manly.--A challenge.--Bigoted opponents.--A disgruntled
     photographer.--Outing in the Harbour.--Dr. Mildred Creed.--Leon
     Gellert.--Norman Lindsay.--Bishop Leadbeater.--Our relations with
     Theosophy.--Incongruities of H.P.B.--Of D.D. Home.


We had a wonderful reception at Sydney. I have a great shrinking from
such deputations as they catch you at the moment when you are exhausted
and unkempt after a long journey, and when you need all your energies to
collect your baggage and belongings so as to make your way to your
hotel. But on this occasion it was so hearty, and the crowd of faces
beamed such good wishes upon us that it was quite a pick-me-up to all of
us. "God bless you!" and "Thank God you have come!" reached us from all
sides. My wife, covered with flowers, was hustled off in one direction,
while I was borne away in another, and each of the children was the
centre of a separate group. Major Wood had gone off to see to the
luggage, and Jakeman was herself embedded somewhere in the crowd, so at
last I had to shout, "Where's that little girl? Where's that little
boy?" until we reassembled and were able, laden with bouquets, to reach
our carriage. The evening paper spread itself over the scene.

"When Sir Conan Doyle, his wife and their three children arrived from
Melbourne by the express this morning, an assembly of Spiritualists
accorded them a splendid greeting. Men swung their hats high and
cheered, women danced in their excitement, and many of their number
rushed the party with rare bouquets. The excitement was at its highest,
and Sir Conan being literally carried along the platform by the pressing
crowds, when a digger arrived on the outskirts. 'Who's that?' he asked
of nobody in particular. Almost immediately an urchin replied, 'The
bloke that wrote "Sherlock Holmes."' When asked if the latter gentleman
was really and irretrievably dead the author of his being remarked,
'Well, you can say that a coroner has never sat upon him.'"

It was a grand start, and we felt at once in a larger and more vigorous
world, where, if we had fiercer foes, we at least had warm and
well-organised friends. Better friends than those of Melbourne do not
exist, but there was a method and cohesion about Sydney which impressed
us from the first day to the last. There seemed, also, to be fewer of
those schisms which are the bane of our movement. If Wells' dictum that
organisation is death has truth in it, then we are very much alive.

We had rooms in Petty's Hotel, which is an old-world hostel with a very
quiet, soothing atmosphere. There I was at once engaged with the usual
succession of journalists with a long list of questions which ranged
from the destiny of the human soul to the chances of the test match.
What with the constant visitors, the unpacking of our trunks, and the
settling down of the children, we were a very weary band before evening.

I had no idea that Sydney was so great a place. The population is now
very nearly a million, which represents more than one-sixth of the whole
vast Continent. It seems a weak point of the Australian system that 41
per cent. of the whole population dwell in the six capital cities. The
vital statistics of Sydney are extraordinarily good, for the death rate
is now only twelve per thousand per annum. Our standard in such matters
is continually rising, for I can remember the days when twenty per
thousand was reckoned to be a very good result. In every civic amenity
Sydney stands very high. Her Botanical Gardens are not so supremely good
as those of Melbourne, but her Zoo is among the very best in the world.
The animals seem to be confined by trenches rather than by bars, so that
they have the appearance of being at large. It was only after Jakeman
had done a level hundred with a child under each arm that she realised
that a bear, which she saw approaching, was not really in a state of
freedom.

As to the natural situation of Sydney, especially its harbour, it is so
world-renowned that it is hardly necessary to allude to it. I can well
imagine that a Sydney man would grow homesick elsewhere, for he could
never find the same surroundings. The splendid landlocked bay with its
numerous side estuaries and its narrow entrance is a grand playground
for a sea-loving race. On a Saturday it is covered with every kind of
craft, from canoe to hundred-tonner. The fact that the water swarms with
sharks seems to present no fears to these strong-nerved people, and I
have found myself horrified as I watched little craft, manned by boys,
heeling over in a fresh breeze until the water was up to their gunwales.
At very long intervals some one gets eaten, but the fun goes on all the
same.

The people of Sydney have their residences (bungalows with verandahs)
all round this beautiful bay, forming dozens of little townlets. The
system of ferry steamers becomes as important as the trams, and is
extraordinarily cheap and convenient. To Manly, for example, which lies
some eight miles out, and is a favourite watering place, the fare is
fivepence for adults and twopence for children. So frequent are the
boats that you never worry about catching them, for if one is gone
another will presently start. Thus, the whole life of Sydney seems to
converge into the Circular Quay, from which as many as half a dozen of
these busy little steamers may be seen casting off simultaneously for
one or another of the oversea suburbs. Now and then, in a real cyclone,
the service gets suspended, but it is a rare event, and there is a
supplementary, but roundabout, service of trams.

The journalists of New South Wales gave a lunch to my wife and myself,
which was a very pleasant function. One leading journalist announced,
amid laughter, that he had actually consulted me professionally in my
doctoring days, and had lived to tell the tale, which contradicts the
base insinuation of some orator who remarked once that though I was
known to have practised, no _living_ patient of mine had ever yet been
seen.

Nothing could have been more successful than my first lecture, which
filled the Town Hall. There were evidently a few people who had come
with intent to make a scene, but I had my audience so entirely with me,
that it was impossible to cause real trouble. One fanatic near the door
cried out, "Anti-Christ!" several times, and was then bundled out.
Another, when I described how my son had come back to me, cried out that
it was the devil, but on my saying with a laugh that such a remark
showed the queer workings of some people's minds, the people cheered
loudly in assent. Altogether it was a great success, which was repeated
in the second, and culminated in the third, when, with a hot summer day,
and the English cricketers making their debut, I still broke the record
for a Town Hall matinée. The rush was more than the officials could cope
with, and I had to stand for ten long minutes looking at the audience
before it was settled enough for me to begin. Some spiritualists in the
audience struck up "Lead, Kindly Light!" which gave the right note to
the assemblage. Mr. Smythe, with all his experience, was amazed at our
results. "This is no longer a mere success," he cried. "It is a triumph.
It is an epidemic!" Surely, it will leave some permanent good behind it
and turn the public mind from religious shadows to realities.

We spent one restful day seeing our cricketers play New South Wales.
After a promising start they were beaten owing to a phenomenal
first-wicket stand in the second innings by Macartney and Collins, both
batsmen topping the hundred. Gregory seemed a dangerous bowler, making
the ball rise shoulder high even on that Bulli wicket, where midstump is
as much as an ordinary bowler can attain. He is a tiger of a man,
putting every ounce of his strength and inch of his great height into
every ball, with none of the artistic finesse of a Spofforth, but very
effective all the same. We have no one of the same class; and that will
win Australia the rubber unless I am--as I hope I am--a false prophet. I
was not much impressed either by the manners or by the knowledge of the
game shown by the barrackers. Every now and then, out of the mass of
people who darken the grass slopes round the ground, you hear a raucous
voice giving advice to the captain, or, perhaps, conjuring a fast bowler
to bowl at the wicket when the man is keeping a perfect length outside
the off stump and trying to serve his three slips. When Mailey went on,
because he was slow and seemed easy, they began to jeer, and, yet, you
had only to watch the batsman to see that the ball was doing a lot and
kept him guessing. One wonders why the neighbours of these bawlers
tolerate it. In England such men would soon be made to feel that they
were ill-mannered nuisances, I am bound to testify, however, that they
seem quite impartial, and that the English team had no special cause for
complaint. I may also add that, apart from this cricketing peculiarity,
which is common to all the States, the Sydney crowd is said to be one of
the most good-humoured and orderly in the world. My own observation
confirms this, and I should say that there was a good deal less
drunkenness than in Melbourne, but, perhaps the races gave me an
exaggerated impression of the latter.

On Sunday, 28th, the spiritualists gave the pilgrims (as they called us)
a reception at the Town Hall. There was not a seat vacant, and the sight
of these 3,500 well-dressed, intelligent people must have taught the
press that the movement is not to be despised. There are at least 10,000
professed spiritualists in Sydney, and even as a political force they
demand consideration. The seven of us were placed in the front of the
platform, and the service was very dignified and impressive. When the
great audience sang, "God hold you safely till we meet once more," it
was almost overpowering, for it is a beautiful tune, and was sung with
real feeling. In my remarks I covered a good deal of ground, but very
particularly I warned them against all worldly use of this great
knowledge, whether it be fortune telling, prophecies about races and
stocks, or any other prostitution of our subject. I also exhorted them
when they found fraud to expose it at once, as their British brethren
do, and never to trifle with truth. When I had finished, the whole
3,500 people stood up, and everyone waved a handkerchief, producing a
really wonderful scene. We can never forget it.

Once more I must take refuge behind the local Observer. "The scene as
Sir Arthur rose will be long remembered by those who were privileged to
witness it. A sea of waving handkerchiefs confronted the speaker,
acclaiming silently and reverently the deep esteem in which he was held
by all present. Never has Sir Arthur's earnestness in his mission been
more apparent than on this occasion as he proceeded with a heart to
heart talk with the spiritualists present, offering friendly criticisms,
sound advice, and encouragement to the adherents of the great movement.

"'He had got,' he said, 'so much into the habit of lecturing that he was
going to lecture the spiritualists.' With a flash of humour Sir Arthur
added: 'It does none of us any harm to be lectured occasionally. I am a
married man myself' (laughter). 'I would say to the spiritualists', "For
Heaven's sake keep this thing high and unspotted. Don't let it drop into
the regions of fortune telling and other things which leave such an ugly
impression on the public mind, and which we find it so difficult to
justify. Keep it in its most religious and purest aspect." At the same
time, I expressed my view that there was no reason at all why a medium
should not receive moderate payment for work done, since it is
impossible, otherwise, that he can live.

Every solid spiritualist would, I am sure, agree with me that our whole
subject needs regulating, and is in an unsatisfactory condition. We
cannot approve of the sensation mongers who run from medium to medium
(or possibly pretended medium) with no object but excitement or
curiosity. The trouble is that you have to recognise a thing before you
can regulate it, and the public has not properly recognised us. Let them
frankly do so, and take us into counsel, and then we shall get things on
a solid basis. Personally, I would be ready to go so far as to agree
that an inquirer should take out a formal permit to consult a medium,
showing that it was done for some definite object, if in return we could
get State recognition for those mediums who were recommended as genuine
by valid spiritual authorities. My friends will think this a reactionary
proposition, but none the less I feel the need of regulation almost as
much as I do that of recognition.

One event which occurred to me at Sydney I shall always regard as an
instance of that fostering care of which I have been conscious ever
since we set forth upon our journey. I had been over-tired, had slept
badly and had a large meeting in the evening, so that it was imperative
that I should have a nap in the afternoon. My brain was racing, however,
and I could get no rest or prospect of any. The second floor window was
slightly open behind me, and outside was a broad open space, shimmering
in the heat of a summer day. Suddenly, as I lay there, I was aware of a
very distinct pungent smell of ether, coming in waves from outside. With
each fresh wave I felt my over-excited nerves calming down as the sea
does when oil is poured upon it. Within a few minutes I was in a deep
sleep, and woke all ready for my evening's work. I looked out of the
window and tried to picture where the ether could have come from; then I
returned thanks for one more benefit received. I do not suppose that I
am alone in such interpositions, but I think that our minds are so
centred on this tiny mud patch, that we are deaf and blind to all that
impinges on us from beyond.

Having finished in Sydney, and my New Zealand date having not yet
arrived, we shifted our quarters to Manly, upon the sea coast, about
eight miles from the town. Here we all devoted ourselves to
surf-bathing, spending a good deal of our day in the water, as is the
custom of the place. It is a real romp with Nature, for the great
Pacific rollers come sweeping in and break over you, rolling you over on
the sand if they catch you unawares. It was a golden patch in our
restless lives. There were surf boards, and I am told that there were
men competent to ride them, but I saw none of Jack London's Sun Gods
riding in erect upon the crest of the great rollers. Alas, poor Jack
London! What right had such a man to die, he who had more vim and
passion, and knowledge of varied life than the very best of us? Apart
from all his splendid exuberance and exaggeration he had very real roots
of grand literature within him. I remember, particularly, the little
episodes of bygone days in "The Jacket." The man who wrote those could
do anything. Those whom the American public love die young. Frank
Norris, Harold Frederic, Stephen Crane, the author of "David Harum," and
now Jack London--but the greatest of these was Jack London.

There is a grand beach at Manly, and the thundering rollers carry in
some flotsam from the great ocean. One morning the place was covered
with beautiful blue jelly-fish, like little Roman lamps with tendrils
hanging down. I picked up one of these pretty things, and was just
marvelling at its complete construction when I discovered that it was
even more complete than I supposed, for it gave me a violent sting. For
a day or two I had reason to remember my little blue castaway, with his
up-to-date fittings for keeping the stranger at a distance.

I was baited at Sydney by a person of the name of Simpson, representing
Christianity, though I was never clear what particular branch of
religion he represented, and he was disowned by some leaders of
Christian Thought. I believe he was president of the Christian Evidence
Society. His opposition, though vigorous, and occasionally personal, was
perfectly legitimate, but his well-advertised meeting at the Town Hall
(though no charge was made for admission) was not a success. His
constant demand was that I should meet him in debate, which was, of
course, out of the question, since no debate is possible between a man
who considers a text to be final, and one who cannot take this view. My
whole energies, so much needed for my obvious work, would have been
frittered away in barren controversies had I allowed my hand to be
forced. I had learned my lesson, however, at the M'Cabe debate in
London, when I saw clearly that nothing could come from such
proceedings. On the other hand, I conceived the idea of what would be a
real test, and I issued it as a challenge in the public press. "It is
clear," I said, "that one single case of spirit return proves our whole
contention. Therefore, let the question be concentrated upon one, or, if
necessary, upon three cases. These I would undertake to prove, producing
my witnesses in the usual way. My opponent would act the part of hostile
counsel, cross-examining and criticising my facts. The case would be
decided by a majority vote of a jury of twelve, chosen from men of
standing, who pledged themselves as open-minded on the question. Such a
test could obviously only take place in a room of limited dimensions, so
that no money would be involved and truth only be at stake. That is all
that I seek. If such a test can be arranged I am ready for it, either
before I leave, or after I return from New Zealand." This challenge was
not taken up by my opponents.

Mr. Simpson had a long tirade in the Sydney papers about the evil
religious effects of my mission, which caused me to write a reply in
which I defined our position in a way which may be instructive to
others. I said:--

"The tenets which we spiritualists preach and which I uphold upon the
platform are that any man who is deriving spirituality from his creed,
be that creed what it may, is learning the lesson of life. For this
reason we would not attack your creed, however repulsive it might seem
to us, so long as you and your colleagues might be getting any benefit
from it. We desire to go our own way, saying what we know to be true,
and claiming from others the same liberty of conscience and of
expression which we freely grant to them.

"You, on the other hand, go out of your way to attack us, to call us
evil names, and to pretend that those loved ones who return to us are in
truth devils, and that our phenomena, though they are obviously of the
same sort as those which are associated with early Christianity, are
diabolical in their nature. This absurd view is put forward without a
shadow of proof, and entirely upon the supposed meaning of certain
ancient texts which refer in reality to a very different matter, but
which are strained and twisted to suit your purpose.

"It is men like you and your colleagues who, by your parody of
Christianity and your constant exhibition of those very qualities which
Christ denounced in the Pharisees, have driven many reasonable people
away from religion and left the churches half empty. Your predecessors,
who took the same narrow view of the literal interpretation of the
Bible, were guilty of the murder of many thousands of defenceless old
women who were burned in deference to the text, 'Suffer no witch to
live.' Undeterred by this terrible result of the literal reading, you
still advocate it, although you must be well aware that polygamy,
slavery and murder can all be justified by such a course.

"In conclusion, let me give you the advice to reconsider your position,
to be more charitable to your neighbours, and to devote your redundant
energies to combating the utter materialism which is all round you,
instead of railing so bitterly at those who are proving immortality and
the need for good living in a way which meets their spiritual wants,
even though it is foreign to yours."

A photographer, named Mark Blow, also caused me annoyance by announcing
that my photographs were fakes, and that he was prepared to give £25 to
any charity if he could not reproduce them. I at once offered the same
sum if he could do so, and I met him by appointment at the office of the
evening paper, the editor being present to see fair play. I placed my
money on the table, but Mr. Blow did not cover it. I then produced a
packet of plates from my pocket and suggested that we go straight across
to Mr. Blow's studio and produce the photographs. He replied by asking
me a long string of questions as to the conditions under which the Crewe
photographs were produced, noting down all my answers. I then renewed my
proposition. He answered that it was absurd to expect him to produce a
spirit photograph since he did not believe in such foolish things. I
answered that I did not ask him to produce a spirit photograph, but to
fulfil his promise which was to produce a similar result upon the plate
under similar conditions. He held out that they should be his own
conditions. I pointed out that any school boy could make a half-exposed
impression upon a plate, and that the whole test lay in the conditions.
As he refused to submit to test conditions the matter fell through, as
all such foolish challenges fall through. It was equally foolish on my
part to have taken any notice of it.

I had a conversation with Mr. Maskell, the capable Secretary of the
Sydney spiritualists, in which he described how he came out originally
from Leicester to Australia. He had at that time developed some power of
clairvoyance, but it was very intermittent. He had hesitated in his mind
whether he should emigrate to Australia, and sat one night debating it
within himself, while his little son sat at the table cutting patterns
out of paper. Maskell said to his spirit guides, mentally, "If it is
good that I go abroad give me the vision of a star. If not, let it be a
circle." He waited for half an hour or so, but no vision came, and he
was rising in disappointment when the little boy turned round and said,
"Daddy, here is a star for you," handing over one which he had just cut.
He has had no reason to regret the subsequent decision.

We had a very quiet, comfortable, and healthy ten days at the Pacific
Hotel at Manly, which was broken only by an excursion which the Sydney
spiritualists had organised for us in a special steamer, with the
intention of showing us the glories of the harbour. Our party assembled
on Manly Pier, and the steamer was still far away when we saw the
fluttering handkerchiefs which announced that they had sighted us. It
was a long programme, including a picnic lunch, but it all went off with
great success and good feeling. It was fairly rough within the harbour,
and some of the party were sea sick, but the general good spirits rose
above such trifles, and we spent the day in goodly fellowship. On Sunday
I was asked to speak to his congregation by Mr. Sanders, a very
intelligent young Congregational Minister of Manly, far above the level
of Australasian or, indeed, British clerics. It was a novel experience
for me to be in a Nonconformist pulpit, but I found an excellent
audience, and I hope that they in turn found something comforting and
new.

One of the most interesting men whom I met in Australia was Dr. Creed,
of the New South Wales Parliament, an elderly medical man who has held
high posts in the Government. He is blessed with that supreme gift, a
mind which takes a keen interest in everything which he meets in life.
His researches vary from the cure of diabetes and of alcoholism (both of
which he thinks that he has attained) down to the study of Australian
Aborigines and of the palæontology of his country. I was interested to
find the very high opinion which he has of the brains of the black
fellows, and he asserts that their results at the school which is
devoted to their education are as high as with the white Australians.
They train into excellent telegraphic operators and other employments
needing quick intelligence. The increasing brain power of the human race
seems to be in the direction of originating rather than of merely
accomplishing. Many can do the latter, but only the very highest can do
the former. Dr. Creed is clear upon the fact that no very ancient
remains of any sort are to be found anywhere in Australia, which would
seem to be against the view of a Lemurian civilisation, unless the main
seat of it lay to the north where the scattered islands represent the
mountain tops of the ancient continent. Dr. Creed was one of the very
few public men who had the intelligence or the courage to admit the
strength of the spiritual position, and he assured me that he would help
in any way.

Another man whom I was fortunate to meet was Leon Gellert, a very young
poet, who promises to be the rising man in Australia in this, the
supreme branch of literature. He served in the war, and his verses from
the front attain a very high level. His volume of war poems represents
the most notable literary achievement of recent years, and its value is
enhanced by being illustrated by Norman Lindsay, whom I look upon as one
of the greatest artists of our time. I have seen three pictures of his,
"The Goths," "Who Comes?" and "The Crucifixion of Venus," each of which,
in widely different ways, seemed very remarkable. Indeed, it is the
versatility of the man that is his charm, and now that he is turning
more and more from the material to the spiritual it is impossible to say
how high a level he may attain. Another Australian whose works I have
greatly admired is Henry Lawson, whose sketches of bush life in "Joe
Wilson" and other of his studies, remind one of a subdued Bret Harte. He
is a considerable poet also, and his war poem, "England Yet," could
hardly be matched.

Yet another interesting figure whom I met in Sydney was Bishop
Leadbeater, formerly a close colleague of Mrs. Besant in the
Theosophical movement, and now a prelate of the so-called Liberal
Catholic Church, which aims at preserving the traditions and forms of
the old Roman Church, but supplementing them with all modern spiritual
knowledge. I fear I am utterly out of sympathy with elaborate forms,
which always in the end seem to me to take the place of facts, and to
become a husk without a kernel, but none the less I can see a definite
mission for such a church as appealing to a certain class of mind.
Leadbeater, who has suffered from unjust aspersion in the past, is a
venerable and striking figure. His claims to clairvoyant and other
occult powers are very definite, and so far as I had the opportunity of
observing him, he certainly lives the ascetic life, which the
maintenance of such power demands. His books, especially the little one
upon the Astral Plane, seem to me among the best of the sort.

But the whole subject of Theosophy is to me a perpetual puzzle. I asked
for proofs and spiritualism has given them to me. But why should I
abandon one faith in order to embrace another one? I have done with
faith. It is a golden mist in which human beings wander in devious
tracks with many a collision. I need the white clear light of knowledge.
For that we build from below, brick upon brick, never getting beyond
the provable fact. There is the building which will last. But these
others seem to build from above downwards, beginning by the assumption
that there is supreme human wisdom at the apex. It may be so. But it is
a dangerous habit of thought which has led the race astray before, and
may again. Yet, I am struck by the fact that this ancient wisdom does
describe the etheric body, the astral world, and the general scheme
which we have proved for ourselves. But when the high priestess of the
cult wrote of this she said so much that was against all our own
spiritual experience, that we feel she was in touch with something very
different from our angels of light. Her followers appreciate that now,
and are more charitable than she, but what is the worth of her occult
knowledge if she so completely misread that which lies nearest to us,
and how can we hope that she is more correct when she speaks of that
which is at a distance?

I was deeply attracted by the subject once, but Madame Blavatsky's
personality and record repelled me. I have read the defence, and yet
Hodgson and the Coulombs seem to me to hold the field. Could any
conspiracy be so broad that it included numerous forged letters, trap
doors cut in floors, and actually corroborative accounts in the books of
a flower seller in the bazaar? On the other hand, there is ample
evidence of real psychic powers, and of the permanent esteem of men like
Sinnett and Olcott, whom none could fail to respect. It is the attitude
of these honourable men which commends and upholds her, but sometimes
it seems hard to justify it. As an example, in the latter years of her
life she wrote a book, "The Caves and Jungles of Hindustan," in which
she describes the fearsome adventures which she and Olcott had in
certain expeditions, falling down precipices and other such escapes.
Olcott, like the honest gentleman he was, writes in his diary that there
is not a word of truth in this, and that it is pure fiction. And yet,
after this very damaging admission, in the same page he winds up, "Ah,
if the world ever comes to know who was the mighty entity, who laboured
sixty years under that quivering mask of flesh, it will repent its cruel
treatment of H. P. B., and be amazed at the depth of its ignorance."
These are the things which make it so difficult to understand either her
or the cult with which she was associated. Had she never lived these men
and women would, as it seems to me, have been the natural leaders of the
spiritualist movement, and instead of living in the intellectual
enjoyment of far-off systems they would have concentrated upon the
all-important work of teaching poor suffering humanity what is the
meaning of the dark shadow which looms upon their path. Even now I see
no reason why they should not come back to those who need them, and help
them forward upon their rocky road.

Of course, we spiritualists are ourselves vulnerable upon the subject of
the lives of some of our mediums, but we carefully dissociate those
lives from the powers which use the physical frame of the medium for
their own purposes, just as the religious and inspired poetry of a
Verlaine may be held separate from his dissipated life. Whilst upon this
subject I may say that whilst in Australia I had some interesting
letters from a solicitor named Rymer. All students of spiritualism will
remember that when Daniel Home first came to England in the early
fifties he received great kindness from the Rymer family, who then lived
at Ealing. Old Rymer treated him entirely as one of the family. This
Bendigo Rymer was the grandson of Home's benefactor, and he had no love
for the great medium because he considered that he had acted with
ingratitude towards his people. The actual letters of his father, which
he permitted me to read, bore out this statement, and I put it on record
because I have said much in praise of Home, and the balance should be
held true. These letters, dating from about '57, show that one of the
sons of old Rymer was sent to travel upon the Continent to study art,
and that Home was his companion. They were as close as brothers, but
when they reached Florence, and Home became a personage in society
there, he drifted away from Rymer, whose letters are those of a splendid
young man. Home's health was already indifferent, and while he was laid
up in his hotel he seems to have been fairly kidnapped by a
strong-minded society lady of title, an Englishwoman living apart from
her husband. For weeks he lived at her villa, though the state of his
health would suggest that it was rather as patient than lover. What was
more culpable was that he answered the letters of his comrade very
rudely and showed no sense of gratitude for all that the family had done
for him. I have read the actual letters and confess that I was chilled
and disappointed. Home was an artist as well as a medium, the most
unstable combination possible, full of emotions, flying quickly to
extremes, capable of heroisms and self-denials, but also of vanities and
ill-humour. On this occasion the latter side of his character was too
apparent. To counteract the effect produced upon one's mind one should
read in Home's Life the letter of the Bavarian captain whom he rescued
upon the field of battle, or of the many unfortunates whom he aided with
unobtrusive charity. It cannot, however, be too often repeated--since it
is never grasped by our critics--that the actual character of a man is
as much separate from his mediumistic powers, as it would be from his
musical powers. Both are inborn gifts beyond the control of their
possessor. The medium is the telegraph instrument and the telegraph boy
united in one, but the real power is that which transmits the message,
which he only receives and delivers. The remark applies to the Fox
sisters as much as it does to Home.

Talking about Home, it is astonishing how the adverse judgment of the
Vice-Chancellor Gifford, a materialist, absolutely ignorant of psychic
matters, has influenced the minds of men. The very materialists who
quote it, would not attach the slightest importance to the opinion of an
orthodox judge upon the views of Hume, Payne, or any free-thinker. It is
like quoting a Roman tribune against a Christian. The real facts of the
case are perfectly clear to anyone who reads the documents with care.
The best proof of how blameless Home was in the matter is that of all
the men of honour with whom he was on intimate terms--men like Robert
Chambers, Carter Hall, Lord Seaton, Lord Adare and others--not one
relaxed in their friendship after the trial. This was in 1866, but in
1868 we find these young noblemen on Christian-name terms with the man
who would have been outside the pale of society had the accusations of
his enemies been true.

Whilst we were in Sydney, a peculiar ship, now called the "Marella," was
brought into the harbour as part of the German ship surrender. It is
commonly reported that this vessel, of very grandiose construction, was
built to conduct the Kaiser upon a triumphal progress round the world
after he had won his war. It is, however, only of 8,000 tons, and,
personally, I cannot believe that this would have had room for his
swollen head, had he indeed been the victor. All the fittings, even to
the carpet holders, are of German silver. The saloon is of pure marble,
eighty by fifty, with beautiful hand-painted landscapes. The smoke-room
is the reproduction of one in Potsdam Palace. There is a great swimming
bath which can be warmed. Altogether a very notable ship, and an index,
not only of the danger escaped, but of the danger to come, in the form
of the super-excellence of German design and manufacture.

Our post-bag is very full, and it takes Major Wood and myself all our
time to keep up with the letters. Many of them are so wonderful that I
wish I had preserved them all, but it would have meant adding another
trunk to our baggage. There are a few samples which have been rescued.
Many people seemed to think that I was myself a wandering medium, and I
got this sort of missive:

     "DEAR SIR,--_I am very anxious to ask you a question, trusting you
     will answer me. What I wish to know I have been corresponding with
     a gentleman for nearly three years. From this letter can you tell
     me if I will marry him. I want you to answer this as I am keeping
     it strictly private and would dearly love you to answer this
     message if possible, and if I will do quite right if I marry him.
     Trusting to hear from you soon. Yours faithfully----._

       _P.S.--I thoroughly believe in Spirit-ualism._"

Here is another.

     "HONORED SIR,--_Just a few lines in limited time to ask you if you
     tell the future. If so, what is your charges? Please excuse no
     stamped and ad. envelope--out of stamps and in haste to catch mail.
     Please excuse._"

On the other hand, I had many which were splendidly instructive and
helpful. I was particularly struck by one series of spirit messages
which were received in automatic writing by a man living in the Bush in
North Queensland and thrown upon his own resources. They were
descriptive of life in the beyond, and were in parts extremely
corroborative of the Vale Owen messages, though they had been taken long
prior to that date. Some of the points of resemblance were so marked and
so unusual that they seem clearly to come from a common inspiration. As
an example, this script spoke of the creative power of thought in the
beyond, but added the detail that when the object to be created was
large and important a band of thinkers was required, just as a band of
workers would be here. This exactly corresponds to the teaching of Vale
Owen's guide.



CHAPTER VIII

     Dangerous fog.--The six photographers.--Comic
     advertisements.--Beauties of Auckland.--A Christian
     clergyman.--Shadows in our American relations.--The Gallipoli
     Stone.--Stevenson and the Germans.--Position of De Rougemont.--Mr.
     Clement Wragge.--Atlantean theories.--A strange
     psychic.--Wellington the windy.--A literary Oasis.--A Maori
     Séance.--Presentation.


My voyage to New Zealand in the _Maheno_ was pleasant and uneventful,
giving me four days in which to arrange my papers and look over the many
manuscripts which mediums, or, more often, would-be mediums, had
discharged at me as I passed. Dr. Bean, my Theosophic friend, who had
been somewhat perturbed by my view that his people were really the
officers of our movement who had deserted their army, formed an
officers' corps, and so taken the money and brains and leadership away
from the struggling masses, was waiting on the Sydney Quay, and gave me
twelve books upon his subject to mend my wicked ways, so that I was
equipped for a voyage round the world. I needed something, since I had
left my wife and family behind me in Manly, feeling that the rapid
journey through New Zealand would be too severe for them. In Mr. Carlyle
Smythe, however, I had an admirable "cobber," to use the pal phrase of
the Australian soldier.

Mr. Smythe had only one defect as a comrade, and that was his
conversation in a fog. It was of a distinctly depressing character, as I
had occasion to learn when we ran into very thick weather among the
rocky islands which make navigation so difficult to the north of
Auckland. Between the screams of the siren I would hear a still small
voice in the bunk above me.

"We are now somewhere near the Three Kings. It is an isolated group of
rocks celebrated for the wreck of the _Elingamite_, which went ashore on
just such a morning as this." (Whoo-ee! remarked the foghorn). "They
were nearly starved, but kept themselves alive by fish which were caught
by improvised lines made from the ladies' stay-laces. Many of them
died."

I lay digesting this and staring at the fog which crawled all round the
port hole. Presently he was off again.

"You can't anchor here, and there is no use stopping her, for the
currents run hard and she would drift on to one of the ledges which
would rip the side out of her." (Whoo-ee! repeated the foghorn). "The
islands are perpendicular with deep water up to the rocks, so you never
know they are there until you hit them, and then, of course, there is no
reef to hold you up." (Whoo-ee!) "Close by here is the place where the
_Wairarapa_ went down with all hands a few years ago. It was just such a
day as this when she struck the Great Barrier----"

It was about this time that I decided to go on deck. Captain Brown had
made me free of the bridge, so I climbed up and joined him there,
peering out into the slow-drifting scud.

I spent the morning there, and learned something of the anxieties of a
sailor's life. Captain Brown had in his keeping, not only his own career
and reputation, but what was far more to him, the lives of more than
three hundred people. We had lost all our bearings, for we had drifted
in the fog during those hours when it was too thick to move. Now the
scud was coming in clouds, the horizon lifting to a couple of miles, and
then sinking to a few hundred yards. On each side of us and ahead were
known to be rocky islands or promontories. Yet we must push on to our
destination. It was fine to see this typical British sailor working his
ship as a huntsman might take his horse over difficult country, now
speeding ahead when he saw an opening, now waiting for a fogbank to get
ahead, now pushing in between two clouds. For hours we worked along with
the circle of oily lead-coloured sea around us, and then the grey veil,
rising and falling, drifting and waving, with danger lurking always in
its shadow. There are strange results when one stares intently over such
a sea, for after a time one feels that it all slopes upwards, and that
one is standing deep in a saucer with the rim far above one. Once in the
rifts we saw a great ship feeling her way southwards, in the same
difficulties as ourselves. She was the _Niagara_, from Vancouver to
Auckland. Then, as suddenly as the raising of a drop-curtain, up came
the fog, and there ahead of us was the narrow path which led to safety.
The _Niagara_ was into it first, which seemed to matter little, but
really mattered a good deal, for her big business occupied the Port
Authorities all the evening, while our little business was not even
allowed to come alongside until such an hour that we could not get
ashore, to the disappointment of all, and very especially of me, for I
knew that some of our faithful had been waiting for twelve hours upon
the quay to give me a welcoming hand. It was breakfast time on the very
morning that I was advertised to lecture before we at last reached our
hotel.

Here I received that counter-demonstration which always helped to keep
my head within the limits of my hat. This was a peremptory demand from
six gentlemen, who modestly described themselves as the leading
photographers of the city, to see the negatives of the photographs which
I was to throw upon the screen. I was assured at the same time by other
photographers that they had no sympathy with such a demand, and that the
others were self-advertising busybodies who had no mandate at all for
such a request. My experience at Sydney had shown me that such
challenges came from people who had no knowledge of psychic conditions,
and who did not realise that it is the circumstances under which a
photograph is taken, and the witnesses who guarantee such circumstances,
which are the real factors that matter, and not the negative which may
be so easily misunderstood by those who have not studied the processes
by which such things are produced. I therefore refused to allow my
photographs to pass into ignorant hands, explaining at the same time
that I had no negatives, since the photographs in most cases were not
mine at all, so that the negatives would, naturally, be with Dr.
Crawford, Dr. Geley, Lady Glenconnor, the representatives of Sir William
Crookes, or whoever else had originally taken the photograph. Their
challenge thereupon appeared in the Press with a long tirade of abuse
attached to it, founded upon the absurd theory that all the photos had
been taken by me, and that there was no proof of their truth save in my
word. One gets used to being indirectly called a liar, and I can answer
arguments with self-restraint which once I would have met with the toe
of my boot. However, a little breeze of this sort does no harm, but
rather puts ginger into one's work, and my audience were very soon
convinced of the absurdity of the position of the six dissenting
photographers who had judged that which they had not seen.

Auckland is the port of call of the American steamers, and had some of
that air of activity and progress which America brings with her. The
spirit of enterprise, however, took curious shapes, as in the case of
one man who was a local miller, and pushed his trade by long
advertisements at the head of the newspapers, which began with abuse of
me and my ways, and ended by a recommendation to eat dessicated corn, or
whatever his particular commodity may have been. The result was a comic
jumble which was too funny to be offensive, though Auckland should
discourage such pleasantries, as they naturally mar the beautiful
impression which her fair city and surroundings make upon the visitor. I
hope I was the only victim, and that every stranger within her gates is
not held up to ridicule for the purpose of calling attention to Mr.
Blank's dessicated corn.

I seemed destined to have strange people mixed up with my affairs in
Auckland, for there was a conjuror in the town, who, after the fashion
of that rather blatant fraternity, was offering £1,000 that he could do
anything I could do. As I could do nothing, it seemed easy money. In any
case, the argument that because you can imitate a thing therefore the
thing does not exist, is one which it takes the ingenuity of Mr.
Maskelyne to explain. There was also an ex-spiritualist medium
(so-called) who covered the papers with his advertisements, so that my
little announcement was quite overshadowed. He was to lecture the night
after me in the Town Hall, with most terrifying revelations. I was
fascinated by his paragraphs, and should have liked greatly to be
present, but that was the date of my exodus. Among other remarkable
advertisements was one "What has become of 'Pelorus Jack'? Was he a lost
soul?" Now, "Pelorus Jack" was a white dolphin, who at one time used to
pilot vessels into a New Zealand harbour, gambolling under the bows, so
that the question really did raise curiosity. However, I learned
afterwards that my successor did not reap the harvest which his
ingenuity deserved, and that the audience was scanty and derisive. What
the real psychic meaning of "Pelorus Jack" may have been was not
recorded by the press.

From the hour I landed upon the quay at Auckland until I waved my last
farewell my visit was made pleasant, and every wish anticipated by the
Rev. Jasper Calder, a clergyman who has a future before him, though
whether it will be in the Church of England or not, time and the Bishop
will decide. Whatever he may do, he will remain to me and to many more
the nearest approach we are likely to see to the ideal Christian--much
as he will dislike my saying so. After all, if enemies are given full
play, why should not friends redress the balance? I will always carry
away the remembrance of him, alert as a boy, rushing about to serve
anyone, mixing on equal terms with scallywags on the pier, reclaiming
criminals whom he called his brothers, winning a prize for breaking-in a
buckjumper, which he did in order that he might gain the respect of the
stockmen; a fiery man of God in the pulpit, but with a mind too broad
for special dispensations, he was like one of those wonderfully virile
creatures of Charles Reade. The clergy of Australasia are stagnant and
narrow, but on the other hand, I have found men like the Dean of Sydney,
Strong of Melbourne, Sanders of Manly, Calder of Auckland, and others
whom it is worth crossing this world to meet.

Of my psychic work at Auckland there is little to be said, save that I
began my New Zealand tour under the most splendid auspices. Even Sydney
had not furnished greater or more sympathetic audiences than those
which crowded the great Town Hall upon two successive nights. I could
not possibly have had a better reception, or got my message across more
successfully. All the newspaper ragging and offensive advertisements had
produced (as is natural among a generous people) a more kindly feeling
for the stranger, and I had a reception I can never forget.

This town is very wonderfully situated, and I have never seen a more
magnificent view than that from Mount Eden, an extinct volcano about 900
feet high, at the back of it. The only one which I could class with it
is that from Arthur's Seat, also an extinct volcano about 900 feet high,
as one looks on Edinburgh and its environs. Edinburgh, however, is for
ever shrouded in smoke, while here the air is crystal clear, and I could
clearly see Great Barrier Island, which is a good eighty miles to the
north. Below lay the most marvellous medley of light blue water and
light green land mottled with darker foliage. We could see not only the
whole vista of the wonderful winding harbour, and the seas upon the east
of the island, but we could look across and see the firths which
connected with the seas of the west. Only a seven-mile canal is needed
to link the two up, and to save at least two hundred miles of dangerous
navigation amid those rock-strewn waters from which we had so happily
emerged. Of course it will be done, and when it is done it should easily
pay its way, for what ship coming from Australia--or going to it--but
would gladly pay the fees? The real difficulty lies not in cutting the
canal, but in dredging the western opening, where shifting sandbanks
and ocean currents combine to make a dangerous approach. I see in my
mind's eye two great breakwaters, stretching like nippers into the
Pacific at that point, while, between the points of the nippers, the
dredgers will for ever be at work. It will be difficult, but it is
needed and it will be done.

The Australian Davis Cup quartette--Norman Brooks, Patterson, O'Hara
Wood and another--had come across in the _Maheno_ with us and were now
at the Grand Hotel. There also was the American team, including the
formidable Tilden, now world's champion. The general feeling of
Australasia is not as cordial as one would wish to the United States for
the moment. I have met several men back from that country who rather
bitterly resent the anti-British agitation which plays such a prominent
part in the American press. This continual nagging is, I am sorry to
say, wearing down the stolid patience of the Britisher more than I can
ever remember, and it is a subject on which I have always been sensitive
as I have been a life-long advocate of Anglo-American friendship,
leading in the fullness of time to some loose form of Anglo-American
Union. At present it almost looks as if these racial traitors who make
the artificial dissensions were succeeding for a time in their work of
driving a wedge between the two great sections of the English-speaking
peoples. My fear is that when some world crisis comes, and everything
depends upon us all pulling together, the English-speakers may
neutralise each other. There lies the deadly danger. It is for us on
both sides to endeavour to avoid it.

Everyone who is in touch with the sentiment of the British officers in
Flanders knows that they found men of their own heart in the brave,
unassuming American officers who were their comrades, and often their
pupils. It is some of the stay-at-home Americans who appear to have such
a false perspective, and who fail to realise that even British
Dominions, such as Canada and Australia, lost nearly as many men as the
United States in the war, while Britain herself laid down ten lives for
every one spent by America. This is not America's fault, but when we see
apparent forgetfulness of it on the part of a section of the American
people when our wounds are still fresh, it cannot be wondered at that we
feel sore. We do not advertise, and as a result there are few who know
that we lost more men and made larger captures during the last two years
of the war than our gallant ally of France. When we hear that others won
the war we smile--but it is a bitter smile.

Strange, indeed, are some of the episodes of psychic experience. There
came to me at my hotel in Auckland two middle-aged hard-working women,
who had come down a hundred miles from the back country to my lecture.
One had lost her boy at Gallipoli. She gave me a long post-mortem
account from him as to the circumstances of his own death, including the
military operations which led up to it. I read it afterwards, and it
was certainly a very coherent account of the events both before and
after the shell struck him. Having handed me the pamphlet the country
woman then, with quivering fingers, produced from her bosom a little
silver box. Out of this she took an object, wrapped in white silk. It
was a small cube of what looked to me like sandstone, about an inch each
way. She told me it was an apport, that it had been thrown down on her
table while she and her family, including, as I understood, the friend
then present, were holding a séance. A message came with it to say that
it was from the boy's grave at Gallipoli. What are we to say to that?
Was it fraud? Then why were they playing tricks upon themselves? If it
was, indeed, an apport, it is surely one of the most remarkable for
distance and for purpose recorded of any private circle.

A gentleman named Moors was staying at the same hotel in Auckland, and
we formed an acquaintance. I find that he was closely connected with
Stevenson, and had actually written a very excellent book upon his
comradeship with him at Samoa. Stevenson dabbled in the politics of
Samoa, and always with the best motives and on the right side, but he
was of so frank and impetuous a nature that he was not trusted with any
inside knowledge. Of the German rule Mr. Moors says that for the first
twelve years Dr. Solf was as good as he could be, and did fair justice
to all. Then he went on a visit to Berlin, and returned "bitten by the
military bug," with his whole nature changed, and began to "imponieren"
in true Prussian fashion. It is surely extraordinary how all the
scattered atoms of a race can share the diseases of the central organism
from which they sprang. I verily believe that if a German had been alone
on a desert island in 1914 he would have begun to dance and brandish a
club. How many cases are on record of the strange changes and wild deeds
of individuals?

Mr. Moors told me that he dropped into a developing circle of
spiritualists at Sydney, none of whom could have known him. One of them
said, "Above your head I see a man, an artist, long hair, brown eyes,
and I get the name of Stephens." If he was indeed unknown, this would
seem fairly evidential.

I was struck by one remark of Mr. Moors, which was that he had not only
seen the natives ride turtles in the South Sea lagoons, but that he had
actually done so himself, and that it was by no means difficult. This
was the feat which was supposed to be so absurd when De Rougemont
claimed to have done it. There are, of course, some gross errors which
are probably pure misuse of words in that writer's narrative, but he
places the critic in a dilemma which has never been fairly faced. Either
he is a liar, in which case he is, beyond all doubt, the most realistic
writer of adventure since Defoe, or else he speaks the truth, in which
case he is a great explorer. I see no possible avoidance of this
dilemma, so that which ever way you look at it the man deserves credit
which he has never received.

We set off, four of us, to visit Mr. Clement Wragge, who is the most
remarkable personality in Auckland--dreamer, mystic, and yet very
practical adviser on all matters of ocean and of air.

On arriving at the charming bungalow, buried among all sorts of
broad-leaved shrubs and trees, I was confronted by a tall, thin figure,
clad in black, with a face like a sadder and thinner Bernard Shaw, dim,
dreamy eyes, heavily pouched, with a blue turban surmounting all. On
repeating my desire he led me apart into his study. I had been warned
that with his active brain and copious knowledge I would never be able
to hold him to the point, so, in the dialogue which followed, I
perpetually headed him off as he turned down bye paths, until the
conversation almost took the form of a game.

"Mr. Wragge, you are, I know, one of the greatest authorities upon winds
and currents."

"Well, that is one of my pursuits. When I was young I ran the Ben Nevis
Observatory in Scotland and----"

"It was only a small matter I wished to ask you. You'll excuse my
directness as I have so little time."

"Certainly. What is it?"

"If the Maoris came, originally, from Hawaii, what prevailing winds
would their canoes meet in the 2,000 miles which they crossed to reach
New Zealand?"

The dim eyes lit up with the joy of the problem, and the nervous fingers
unrolled a chart of the Pacific. He flourished a pair of compasses.

"Here is Hawaii. They would start with a north-westerly trade wind. That
would be a fair wind. I may say that the whole affair took place far
further back than is usually supposed. We have to get back to astronomy
for our fixed date. Don't imagine that the obliquity of the ecliptic was
always 23 degrees."

"The Maoris had a fair wind then?"

The compasses stabbed at the map.

"Only down to this point. Then they would come on the Doldrums--the calm
patch of the equator. They could paddle their canoes across that. Of
course, the remains at Easter Island prove----"

"But they could not paddle all the way."

"No; they would run into the south-easterly trades. Then they made their
way to Rarotonga in Tahiti. It was from here that they made for New
Zealand."

"But how could they know New Zealand was there?"

"Ah, yes, how did they know?"

"Had they compasses?"

"They steered by the stars. We have a poem of theirs which numbers the
star-gazer as one of the crew. We have a chart, also, cut in the rocks
at Hawaii, which seems to be the plot of a voyage. Here is a slide of
it." He fished out a photo of lines and scratches upon a rock.

"Of course," said he, "the root of the matter is that missionaries from
Atlantis permeated the Pacific, coming across Central America, and left
their traces everywhere."

Ah, Atlantis! I am a bit of an Atlantean myself, so off we went at
scratch and both enjoyed ourselves greatly until time had come to rejoin
the party and meet Mr. Wragge's wife, a charming Brahmin lady from
India, who was one of the most gracious personalities I have met in my
wanderings. The blue-turbaned, eager man, half western science, half
eastern mystic, and his dark-eyed wife amid their profusion of flowers
will linger in my memory. Mrs. Wragge was eager that I go and lecture in
India. Well, who knows?

I was so busy listening to Mr. Wragge's Atlantean theories that I had no
chance of laying before him my own contribution to the subject, which
is, I think, both original and valid. If the huge bulk of Atlantis sank
beneath the ocean, then, assuredly, it raised such a tidal wave as has
never been known in the world's history. This tidal wave, since all sea
water connects, would be felt equally all over the world, as the wave of
Krakatoa was in 1883 felt in Europe. The wave must have rushed over all
flat coasts and drowned every living thing, as narrated in the biblical
narrative. Therefore, since this catastrophe was, according to Plato's
account, not very much more than 10,000 years ago there should exist
ample evidence of a wholesale destruction of life, especially in the
flatter lands of the globe. Is there such evidence? Think of Darwin's
account of how the pampas of South America are in places one huge
grave-yard. Think, also, of the mammoth remains which strew the Tundras
of Siberia, and which are so numerous that some of the Arctic islands
are really covered with bones. There is ample evidence of some great
flood which would exactly correspond with the effect produced by the
sinking of Atlantis. The tragedy broadens as one thinks of it. Everyone
everywhere must have been drowned save only the hill-dwellers. The
object of the catastrophe was, according to some occult information, to
remove the Atlantean race and make room for the Aryan, even as the
Lemurian had been removed to make room for the Atlantean. How long has
the Aryan race to run? The answer may depend upon themselves. The great
war is a warning bell perhaps.

I had a talk with a curious type of psychic while I was in Auckland. He
claimed to be a psychologist who did not need to be put _en rapport_
with his object by any material starting point. A piece of clothing is,
as a rule, to a psychometrist what it would be to a bloodhound, the
starting point of a chase which runs down the victim. Thus Van Bourg,
when he discovered by crystal gazing the body of Mr. Foxhall (I quote
the name from memory) floating in the Thames, began by covering the
table with the missing man's garments. This is the usual procedure which
will become more familiar as the public learn the full utility of a
psychic.

This gentlemen, Mr. Pearman, was a builder by trade, a heavy, rather
uneducated man with the misty eye of a seer. He told me that if he
desired to turn his powers upon anything he had only to sit in a dim
room and concentrate his thought upon the matter, without any material
nexus. For example, a murder had been done in Western Australia. The
police asked his help. Using his power, he saw the man, a stranger, and
yet he _knew_ that it was the man, descending the Swan River in a boat.
He saw him mix with the dockmen of Fremantle. Then he saw him return to
Perth. Finally, he saw him take train on the Transcontinental Railway.
The police at once acted, and intercepted the man, who was duly
convicted and hanged. This was one of several cases which this man told
me, and his stories carried conviction with them. All this, although
psychic, has, of course, nothing to do with spiritualism, but is an
extension of the normal, though undefined, powers of the human mind and
soul.

The reader will be relieved to hear that I did not visit Rotorua. An
itinerant lecturer upon an unpopular cause has enough hot water without
seeking out a geyser. My travels would make but an indifferent guide
book, but I am bound to put it upon record that Wellington is a very
singular city plastered upon the side of a very steep hill. It is said
that the plan of the city was entirely drawn up in England under the
impression that the site was a flat one, and that it was duly carried
out on the perpendicular instead of the horizontal. It is a town of fine
buildings, however, in a splendid winding estuary ringed with hills. It
is, of course, the capital, and the centre of all officialdom in New
Zealand, but Auckland, in the north, is already the greater city.

I had the opportunity of spending the day after my arrival with Dr.
Morrice, who married the daughter of the late Premier, Sir R. Seddon,
whom I had known in years gone by. Their summer house was down the Bay,
and so I had a long drive which gave me an admirable chance of seeing
the wonderful panorama. It was blowing a full gale, and the road is so
exposed that even motors are sometimes upset by the force of the wind.
On this occasion nothing more serious befell us than the loss of Mr.
Smythe's hat, which disappeared with such velocity that no one was able
to say what had become of it. It simply was, and then it was not. The
yellow of the foreshore, the green of the shallows, the blue mottled
with purple of the deep, all fretted with lines of foam, made an
exhilarating sight. The whole excursion was a brief but very pleasant
break in our round of work. Another pleasant experience was that I met
Dr. Purdey, who had once played cricket with me, when we were very
young, at Edinburgh University. _Eheu fugaces!_ I had also the pleasure
of meeting Mr. Massey, the Premier, a bluff, strong, downright man who
impresses one with his force and sincerity.

I had the privilege when I was at Wellington of seeing the first edition
of "Robinson Crusoe," which came out originally in three volumes. I had
no idea that the three-decker dated back to 1719. It had a delightful
map of the island which would charm any boy, and must have been drawn up
under the personal guidance of Defoe himself. I wonder that map has not
been taken as an integral part of the book, and reproduced in every
edition, for it is a fascinating and a helpful document.

I saw this rare book in the Turnbull Library, which, under the loving
care of Mr. Anderson (himself no mean poet), is a fine little collection
of books got together by a Wellington man of business. In a raw young
land such a literary oasis is like a Gothic Cathedral in the midst of a
suburb of modern villas. Anyone can come in to consult the books, and if
I were a Wellingtonian I would certainly spend a good deal of time
there. I handled with fitting reverence a first edition of "Lyrical
Ballads," where, in 1798, Coleridge and Wordsworth made their entry hand
in hand into poetical literature. I saw an original Hakluyt, the book
which has sent so many brave hearts a-roving. There, too, was a precious
Kelmscott "Chaucer," a Plutarch and Montaigne, out of which Shakespeare
might have done his cribbing; Capt. Cook's manuscript "Diary," written
in the stiff hand of a very methodical man; a copy of Swinburne's "Poems
and Ballads," which is one of twenty from a recalled edition, and many
other very rare and worthy volumes carefully housed and clad. I spent a
mellow hour among them.

I have been looking up all the old books upon the Maoris which I could
find, with the special intent of clearing up their history, but while
doing so I found in one rather rare volume "Old New Zealand," an account
of a Maori séance, which seems to have been in the early forties, and,
therefore, older than the Hydesville knockings. I only wish every honest
materialist could read it and compare it with the experiences which we
have, ourselves, independently reported. Surely they cannot persist in
holding that such identical results are obtained by coincidence, or that
fraud would work in exactly the same fashion in two different
hemispheres.

A popular young chief had been killed in battle. The white man was
invited to join the solemn circle who hoped to regain touch with him.
The séance was in the dark of a large hut, lit only by the ruddy glow of
a low fire. The white man, a complete unbeliever, gives his evidence in
grudging fashion, but cannot get past the facts. The voice came, a
strange melancholy sound, like the wind blowing into a hollow vessel.
"Salutation! Salutation to you all! To you, my tribe! Family, I salute
you! Friends, I salute you!" When the power waned the voice cried,
"Speak to me, the family! Speak to me!" In the published dialogue
between Dr. Hodgson after his death and Professor Hyslop, Hodgson cries,
"Speak, Hyslop!" when the power seemed to wane. For some reason it would
appear either by vibrations or by concentrating attention to help the
communicator. "It is well with me," said the chief. "This place is a
good place." He was with the dead of the tribe and described them, and
offered to take messages to them. The incredulous white man asked where
a book had been concealed which only the dead man knew about. The place
was named and the book found. The white man himself did not know, so
there was no telepathy. Finally, with a "Farewell!" which came from high
in the air, the spirit passed back to immaterial conditions.

This is, I think, a very remarkable narrative. If you take it as
literally true, which I most certainly do, since our experience
corroborates it, it gives us some points for reflection. One is that the
process is one known in all the ages, as our Biblical reading has
already told us. A second is that a young barbarian chief with no
advantages of religion finds the next world a very pleasant place, just
as our dead do, and that they love to come back and salute those whom
they have left, showing a keen memory of their earth life. Finally, we
must face the conclusion that the mere power of communication has no
elevating effect in itself, otherwise these tribes could not have
continued to be ferocious savages. It has to be united with the Christ
message from beyond before it will really help us upon the upward path.

Before I left Wellington the spiritualists made me a graceful
presentation of a travelling rug, and I was able to assure them that if
they found the rug I would find the travelling. It is made of the
beautiful woollen material in which New Zealand is supreme. The
presentation was made by Mrs. Stables, the President of the New Zealand
Association, an energetic lady to whom the cause owes much. A greenstone
penholder was given to me for my wife, and a little charm for my small
daughter, the whole proceedings being marked with great cordiality and
good feeling. The faithful are strong in Wellington, but are much
divided among themselves, which, I hope, may be alleviated as a
consequence of my visit. Nothing could have been more successful than my
two meetings. The Press was splendidly sympathetic, and I left by a
night boat in high heart for my campaign in the South Island.



CHAPTER IX

     The Anglican Colony.--Psychic dangers.--The learned dog.--Absurd
     newspaper controversy.--A backward community.--The Maori
     tongue.--Their origin.--Their treatment by the Empire.--A
     fiasco.--The Pa of Kaiopoi.--Dr. Thacker.--Sir Joseph Kinsey.--A
     generous collector.--Scott and Amundsen.--Dunedin.--A genuine
     medium.--Evidence.--The shipping strike.--Sir Oliver.--Farewell.


I am afraid that the average Britisher looks upon New Zealand as one
solid island. If he had to cross Cook's Strait to get from the northern
to the southern half, he would never forget his lesson in geography, for
it can be as nasty a bit of water as is to be found in the world, with
ocean waves, mountain winds and marine currents all combining into a
horrible chaos. Twelve good hours separate Wellington in the north from
Lyttelton, which is the port of Christchurch in the south. A very short
railway joins the two latter places. My luck held good, and I had an
excellent passage, dining in Wellington and breakfasting in
Christchurch. It is a fine city, the centre of the famous Canterbury
grazing country. Four shiploads of people calling themselves the
Canterbury Pilgrims arrived here in 1852, built a cathedral, were
practically ruled over by Bishop Selwyn, and tried the successful
experiment of establishing a community which should be as Anglican as
New England is Nonconformist. The distinctive character has now largely
disappeared, but a splendid and very English city remains as a memorial
of their efforts. When you are on the green, sloping banks of the river
Avon, with the low, artistic bridges, it would not be hard to imagine
that you were in the Backs at Cambridge.

At Christchurch I came across one of those little bits of psychic
evidence which may be taken as certainly true, and which can be
regarded, therefore, as pieces which have to be fitted into the jig-saw
puzzle in order to make the completed whole, at that far off date when a
completed whole is within the reach of man's brain. It concerns Mr.
Michie, a local Spiritualist of wide experience. On one occasion some
years ago, he practised a short cut to psychic power, acquired through a
certain method of breathing and of action, which amounts, in my opinion,
to something in the nature of self-hypnotisation. I will not give
details, as I think all such exercises are dangerous save for very
experienced students of these matters, who know the risk and are
prepared to take it. The result upon Mr. Michie, through some disregard
upon his part of the conditions which he was directed to observe, was
disastrous. He fell into an insidious illness with certain psychic
symptoms, and within a few months was reduced to skin and bone. Mr.
Michie's wife is mediumistic and liable to be controlled. One day an
entity came to her and spoke through her to her husband, claiming to be
the spirit of one, Gordon Stanley. He said: "I can sympathise with your
case, because my own death was brought about in exactly the same way. I
will help you, however, to fight against it and to recover." The spirit
then gave an account of his own life, described himself as a clerk in
Cole's Book Arcade in Melbourne, and said that his widow was living at
an address in Melbourne, which was duly given. Mr. Michie at once wrote
to this address and received this reply, the original of which I have
seen:

                                                _"Park Street,
                                                         "Melbourne._

     "DEAR SIR,--_I have just received your strange--I must say, your
     very strange letter. Yes, I am Mrs. Stanley. My husband did die two
     years ago from consumption. He was a clerk in Cole's Arcade. I must
     say your letter gave me a great shock. But I cannot doubt after
     what you have said, for I know you are a complete stranger to me._"

Shortly afterwards Mr. Stanley returned again through the medium, said
that his widow was going to marry again, and that it was with his full
approbation. The incident may be taken by our enemies as illustrating
the danger of psychic research, and we admit that there are forms of it
which should be approached with caution, but I do not think that mankind
will ever be warned off by putting a danger label upon it, so long as
they think there is real knowledge to be gained. How could the motor-car
or the aeroplane have been developed if hundreds had not been ready to
give their lives to pay the price? Here the price has been far less, and
the goal far higher, but if in gaining it a man were assured that he
would lose his health, his reason, or his life, it is none the less his
duty to go forward if he clearly sees that there is something to be won.
To meet death in conquering death is to die in victory--the ideal death.

Whilst I was at Auckland Mr. Poynton, a stipendiary magistrate there,
told me of a dog in Christchurch which had a power of thought
comparable, not merely to a human being, but even, as I understood him,
to a clairvoyant, as it would bark out the number of coins in your
pocket and other such questions. The alternative to clairvoyance was
that he was a very quick and accurate thought-reader, but in some cases
the power seemed to go beyond this. Mr. Poynton, who had studied the
subject, mentioned four learned beasts in history: a marvellous horse in
Shakespeare's time, which was burned with its master in Florence; the
Boston skipper's dog; Hans, the Russian horse, and Darkie of
Christchurch. He investigated the latter himself, as one of a committee
of three. On the first occasion they got no results. On the second,
ninety per cent. of the questions were right, and they included sums of
addition, subtraction, etc. "It was uncanny," he wrote.

I called, therefore, upon Mrs. McGibbon, the owner, who allowed me to
see the dog. He was a dark, vivacious fox terrier, sixteen years old,
blind and deaf, which obviously impaired his powers. In spite of his
blindness he dashed at me the moment he was allowed into the room,
pawing at me and trembling all over with excitement. He was, in fact so
excited that he was of little use for demonstration, as when once he
began to bark he could not be induced to stop. Occasionally he steadied
down, and gave us a touch of his true quality. When a half-crown was
placed before him and he was asked how many sixpences were in it, he
gave five barks, and four for a florin, but when a shilling was
substituted he gave twelve, which looked as if he had pennies in his
mind. On the whole the performance was a failure, but as he had raised
by exhibiting his gifts, £138 for war charities, I took my hat off to
him all the same. I will not imitate those psychic researchers who
imagine that because they do not get a result, therefore, every one else
who has reported it is a cheat or a fool. On the contrary, I have no
doubt that the dog had these powers, though age and excitement have now
impaired them.

The creature's powers were first discovered when the son of the house
remarked one day: "I will give you a biscuit if you bark three times."
He at once did it. "Now, six times." He did so. "Now, take three off."
He barked three times once again. Since then they have hardly found any
problem he could not tackle. When asked how many males in the room he
always included himself in the number, but omitted himself when asked
how many human beings. One wonders how many other dogs have human brains
without the humans being clever enough to detect it.

I had an amusing controversy in Christchurch with one of the local
papers, _The Press_, which represents the clerical interest, and, also,
the clerical intolerance of a cathedral city. It issued an article upon
me and my beliefs, severe, but quite within the limits of legitimate
criticism, quoting against me Professor Hyslop, "who," it said, "is
Professor of Logic at Columbia, etc." To this I made the mild and
obvious retort in the course of my lecture that as Professor Hyslop was
dead, _The Press_ went even further than I in saying that he "_is_
Professor at Columbia." Instead of accepting this correction, _The
Press_ made the tactical error of standing by their assertion, and
aggravated it by head-lines which challenged me, and quoted my statement
as "typical of the inaccuracy of a Spiritualist." As I rather pride
myself on my accuracy, which has seldom been challenged, I answered
shortly but politely, as follows:

     "SIR,--_I am surprised that the news of the death of Professor
     Hyslop has not reached New Zealand, and even more surprised that it
     could be imagined that I would make such a statement on a matter so
     intimately connected with the subject upon which I lecture without
     being sure of my fact. I am reported as saying 'some years,' but,
     if so, it was a slip of the tongue for 'some time.' The Professor
     died either late last year or early in the present one._"

I should have thought that my answer was conclusive, and would have
elicited some sort of apology; but instead of this, _The Press_ called
loudly upon me in a leading article to apologise, though for what I know
not, save that they asserted I had said "some years," whereas I claim
that I actually said "some time." This drew the following rather more
severe letter from me:

     "SIR,--_I am collecting New Zealand curiosities, so I will take
     your leading article home with me. To get the full humour of it one
     has to remember the sequence of events. In a leading article you
     remarked that Professor Hyslop is Professor of Logic. I answered
     with mild irony that he certainly is not, as he had been dead 'some
     years' or 'some time'--which of the two is perfectly immaterial,
     since I presume that in either case you would agree that he has
     ceased to be Professor of Logic. To this you were rash enough to
     reply with a challenging article with large head-lines, declaring
     that I had blundered, and that this was typical of the inaccuracy
     of Spiritualists. I wrote a gentle remonstrance to show that I had
     not blundered, and that my assertion was essentially true, since
     the man was dead. This you now tacitly admit, but instead of
     expressing regret you ask for an apology from me. I have engaged
     in much newspaper controversy, but I can truly say that I can
     recall no such instance of effrontery as this._"

This led to another leader and considerable abuse.

The controversy was, however, by no means one-sided, in spite of the
shadow of the Cathedral. Mr. Peter Trolove is a man of wit as well as
knowledge, and wields a pretty pen. A strong man, also, is Dr. John
Guthrie, whose letter contains words so kindly that I must quote them:

     "_Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stands above it all, not only as a
     courteous gentleman, but as a fair controversialist throughout. He
     is, anyhow, a chivalrous and magnanimous personality, whether or
     not his beliefs have any truth. Fancy quoting authorities against a
     man who has spent great part of his life studying the subject, and
     who knows the authorities better than all his opponents put
     together--a man who has deliberately used his great gifts in an
     honest attempt to get at truth. I do think that Christchurch has
     some need to apologise for its controversialists--much more need
     than our distinguished visitor has to apologise for what we all
     know to be his honest convictions._"

I have never met Dr. John Guthrie in the flesh, but I would thank him
here, should this ever meet his eye, for this kindly protest.

It will be gathered that I succeeded at Christchurch in performing the
feat of waking up a Cathedral City, and all the ex-sleepers were
protesting loudly against such a disturbing inrush from the outer world.
Glancing at the head-lines I see that Bishop Brodie declared it to be "A
blasphemy nurtured in fraud," the Dean of Christchurch writes it down as
"Spiritism, the abrogation of Reason," the Rev. John Patterson calls it
"an ancient delusion," the Rev. Mr. North says it is "a foolish
Paganism," and the Rev. Mr. Ready opines that it is "a gospel of
uncertainty and conjecture." Such are the clerical leaders of thought in
Christchurch in the year 1920. I think of what the wise old Chinese
Control said of similar types at the Melbourne Rescue Circle. "He good
man but foolish man. He learn better. Never rise till he learn better.
Plenty time yet." Who loses except themselves?

The enormous number of letters which I get upon psychic subjects--which
I do my best to answer--give me some curious sidelights, but they are
often confidential, and would not bear publication. Some of them are
from devout, but narrow Christians, who narrate psychic and prophetic
gifts which they possess, and at the same time almost resent them on the
ground that they are condemned by the Bible. As if the whole Bible was
not psychic and prophetic! One very long letter detailed a whole
succession of previsions of the most exact character, and wound up by
the conviction that we were on the edge of some great discovery. This
was illustrated by a simile which seemed very happy. "Have you noticed
a tree covered in spider webs during a fog? Well, it was only through
the law of the fog that we saw them. They were there all the time, but
only when the moisture came could we see them." It was a good
illustration. Many amazing experiences are detailed to me in every town
I visit, and though I have no time to verify them and go into details,
none the less they fit so accurately with the various types of psychic
cases with which I am familiar that I cannot doubt that such occurrences
are really very common. It is the injudicious levity with which they are
met which prevents their being published by those who experience them.

As an amateur philologist of a superficial type, I am greatly interested
in studying the Maori language, and trying to learn whence these
wonderful savages came before their twenty-two terrible canoes came down
upon the unhappy land which would have been safer had as many shiploads
of tigers been discharged upon its beach. The world is very old, and
these folk have wandered from afar, and by many devious paths. Surely
there are Celtic traces both in their appearance, their character and
their language. An old Maori woman smoking her pipe is the very image of
an old Celtic woman occupied the same way. Their word for water is
_wei_, and England is full of Wye and Way river names, dating from the
days before the Germans arrived. Strangest of all is their name for the
supreme God. A name never mentioned and taboo among them, is Io. "J"
is, of course, interchangeable with "I," so that we get the first two
letters of Jove and an approximation of Jehovah. Papa is parent.
Altogether there is good evidence that they are from the same root as
some European races, preferably the Celts. But on the top of this comes
a whole series of Japanese combinations of letters, Rangi, Muru, Tiki,
and so forth, so that many of the place names seem pure Japanese. What
are we to make of such a mixture? Is it possible that one Celtic branch,
far away in the mists of time, wandered east while their racial brethren
wandered west, so that part reached far Corea while the others reached
Ireland? Then, after getting a tincture of Japanese terms and word
endings, they continued their migration, taking to the seas, and finally
subduing the darker races who inhabited the Polynesian Islands, so
making their way to New Zealand. This wild imagining would at least
cover the observed facts. It is impossible to look at some of the Maori
faces without realising that they are of European stock.

I must interpolate a paragraph here to say that I was pleased, after
writing the above, to find that in my blind gropings I had come upon the
main conclusions which have been put forward with very full knowledge by
the well-known authority, Dr. McMillan Brown. He has worked out the very
fact which I surmised, that the Maoris are practically of the same stock
as Europeans, that they had wandered Japan-wards, and had finally taken
to the sea. There are two points of interest which show the date of
their exodus was a very ancient one. The first is that they have not
the use of the bow. The second is that they have no knowledge of metals.
Such knowledge once possessed would never have been lost, so it is safe
to say that they left Asia a thousand years (as a minimum) before
Christ, for at that date the use of bronze, at any rate, was widespread.
What adventures and vicissitudes this remarkable race, so ignorant in
some directions and so advanced in others, must have endured during
those long centuries. If you look at the wonderful ornaments of their
old war canoes, which carry a hundred men, and can traverse the whole
Pacific, it seems almost incredible that human patience and ingenuity
could construct the whole fabric with instruments of stone. They valued
them greatly when once they were made, and the actual names of the
twenty-two original invading canoes are still recorded.

     Illustration: THE PEOPLE OF TURI'S CANOE, AFTER A VOYAGE OF GREAT
     HARDSHIP, AT LAST SIGHT THE SHORES OF NEW ZEALAND. From a painting
     in the Auckland Art Gallery by C. F. Goldie and L. J. Steele.

In the public gallery of Auckland they have a duplicate of one of these
enormous canoes. It is 87 feet in length and the thwarts are broad
enough to hold three or four men. When it was filled with its hundred
warriors, with the chief standing in the centre to give time to the
rowers, it must, as it dashed through the waves, have been a truly
terrific object. I should think that it represented the supreme
achievement of neolithic man. There are a series of wonderful pictures
of Maori life in the same gallery by Goldie and Steele. Of these I
reproduce, by permission, one which represents the starving crew of one
canoe sighting the distant shore. The engraving only gives a faint
indication of the effect of the vividly-coloured original.

Reference has been made to the patient industry of the Maori race. A
supreme example of this is that every man had his tikki, or image of a
little idol made of greenstone, which was hung round his neck. Now, this
New Zealand greenstone is one of the hardest objects in nature, and yet
it is worn down without metals into these quaint figures. On an average
it took ten years to make one, and it was rubbed down from a chunk of
stone into an image by the constant friction of a woman's foot.

It is said that the Tahungas, or priests, have much hereditary knowledge
of an occult sort. Their oracles were famous, and I have already quoted
an example of their séances. A student of Maori lore told me the
following interesting story. He was a student of Maori words, and on one
occasion a Maori chief let slip an unusual word, let us say "buru," and
then seemed confused and refused to answer when the Englishman asked the
meaning. The latter took it to a friend, a Tohunga, who seemed much
surprised and disturbed, and said it was a word of which a paheka or
white man should know nothing. Not to be beaten, my informant took it to
an old and wise chief who owed him a return for some favours. This chief
was also much exercised in mind when he heard the word, and walked up
and down in agitation. Finally he said, "Friend, we are both Christians.
You remember the chapter in the Bible where Jacob wrestled with an
angel. Well, this word 'buru' represents that for which they were
wrestling." He would say no more and there it had perforce to be left.

The British Empire may be proud of their treatment of the Maoris. Like
the Jews, they object to a census, but their number cannot be more than
50,000 in a population of over a million. There is no question,
therefore, of our being constrained to treat them well. Yet they own
vast tracts of the best land in the country, and so unquestioned are
their rights that when they forbade a railway to pass down the centre of
the North Island, the traffic had to go by sea from Auckland until, at
last, after many years, it was shown to the chiefs that their financial
interests would be greatly aided by letting the railway through. These
financial interests are very large, and many Maoris are wealthy men,
buying expensive motor cars and other luxuries. Some of the more
educated take part in legislative work, and are distinguished for their
eloquence. The half-castes make a particularly fine breed, especially in
their youth, for they tend as they grow older to revert to the pure
Maori type. New Zealand has no national sin upon its conscience as
regards the natives, which is more, I fear, than can be said
whole-heartedly for Australia, and even less for Tasmania. Our people
never descended to the level of the old Congo, but they have something
on their conscience none the less.

On December 18th there was some arrangement by which I should meet the
Maoris and see the historic Pa of Kaiopoi. The affair, however, was, I
am sorry to say, a fiasco. As we approached the building, which was the
village school room, there emerged an old lady--a very old lady--who
uttered a series of shrill cries, which I was told meant welcome,
though they sounded more like the other thing. I can only trust that my
informants were right. Inside was a very fine assemblage of atmospheric
air, and of nothing else. The explanation was that there had been a
wedding the night before, and that the whole community had been--well,
tired. Presently a large man in tweeds of the reach-me-down variety
appeared upon the scene, and several furtive figures, including a row of
children, materialised in corners of the big empty room. The visitors,
who were more numerous than the visited, sat on a long bench and waited
developments which refused to develop. My dreams of the dignified and
befeathered savage were drifting away. Finally, the large man, with his
hands in his pockets, and looking hard at a corner of the rafters, made
a speech of welcome, punctuated by long stops and gaps. He then, at our
request, repeated it in Maori, and the children were asked to give a
Maori shout, which they sternly refused to do. I then made a few feeble
bleats, uncertain whether to address my remarks to the level of the
large man or to that of the row of children. I ended by handing over
some books for their library, and we then escaped from this rather
depressing scene.

But it was a very different matter with the Pa. I found it intensely
interesting. You could still trace quite clearly the main lines of the
battle which destroyed it. It lay on about five acres of ground, with
deep swamp all round save for one frontage of some hundreds of yards.
That was all which really needed defence. The North Island natives, who
were of a sterner breed than those of the South, came down under the
famous Rauparaha (these Maori names are sad snags in a story) and
besieged the place. One can see the saps and follow his tactics, which
ended by piling brushwood against the palings--please observe the root
"pa" in palings--with the result that he carried the place. Massacre
Hill stands close by, and so many of the defenders were eaten that their
gnawed bones covered the ground within the memory of living men. Such
things may have been done by the father of the elderly gentleman who
passes you in his motor car with his race glasses slung across his
chest. The siege of Kaiopoi was about 1831. Even on a fine sunlit day I
was conscious of that heavy atmosphere within the enclosure which
impresses itself upon me when I am on the scene of ancient violence. So
frightful an episode within so limited a space, where for months the
garrison saw its horrible fate drawing nearer day by day, must surely
have left some etheric record even to our blunt senses.

I was indebted to Dr. Thacker, the mayor, for much kind attention whilst
in Christchurch. He is a giant man, but a crippled giant, alas, for he
still bears the traces of an injury received in a historic football
match, which left his and my old University of Edinburgh at the top of
the tree in Scotland. He showed me some curious, if ghastly, relics of
his practice. One of these was a tumour of the exact size and shape of a
boxing glove, thumb and all, which he cut out of the back of a boxer
who had lost a glove fight and taken it greatly to heart. Always on many
converging lines we come back to the influence of mind over matter.

Another most pleasant friendship which I made in Christchurch was with
Sir Joseph Kinsey, who has acted as father to several successive British
Arctic expeditions. Scott and Shackleton have both owed much to him,
their constant agent, adviser and friend. Scott's dying hand traced a
letter to him, so unselfish and so noble that it alone would put Scott
high in the gallery of British worthies. Of all modern men of action
Scott seems to me the most lofty. To me he was only an acquaintance, but
Kinsey, who knew him well as a friend, and Lady Kinsey, who had all
Arctic exploration at her finger ends, were of the same opinion.

Sir Joseph discussed the action of Amundsen in making for the pole. When
it was known that Amundsen was heading south instead of pursuing his
advertised intentions, Kinsey smelled danger and warned Scott, who,
speaking from his own noble loyalty, said, "He would never do so
dishonourable a thing. My plans are published and are known to all the
world." However, when he reached the ice, and when Pennell located the
"Fram," he had to write and admit that Kinsey was right. It was a sad
blow, that forestalling, though he took it like the man that he was.
None the less, it must have preyed upon the spirits of all his party and
weakened their resistance in that cruel return journey. On the other
hand Amundsen's expedition, which was conducted on rather less than a
sixth of the cost of the British, was a triumph of organisation, and he
had the good luck or deep wisdom to strike a route which was clear of
those great blizzards which overwhelmed Scott. The scurvy was surely a
slur upon our medical preparations. According to Stefansson, who knows
more of the matter than any living man, lime juice is useless,
vegetables are of secondary importance, but fresh animal food, be it
seal, penguin, or what you will, is the final preventive.

Sir Joseph is a passionate and discriminating collector, and has but one
fault in collecting, which is a wide generosity. You have but to visit
him often enough and express sufficient interest to absorb all his
treasures. Perhaps my protests were half-hearted, but I emerged from his
house with a didrachm of Alexander, a tetradrachm of some Armenian
monarch, a sheet of rare Arctic stamps for Denis, a lump of native
greenstone, and a small nugget of gold. No wonder when I signed some
books for him I entered the date as that of "The Sacking of Woomeroo,"
that being the name of his dwelling. The mayor, in the same spirit of
hospitality, pressed upon me a huge bone of the extinct Moa, but as I
had never failed to impress upon my wife the extreme importance of
cutting down our luggage, I could not face the scandal of appearing with
this monstrous impedimentum.

Leaving Christchurch in the journalistic uproar to which allusion has
been made, our engagements took us on to Dunedin, which is reached by
rail in a rather tiring day's journey. A New Zealand train is excellent
while it is running, but it has a way of starting with an epileptic
leap, and stopping with a bang, which becomes wearisome after a while.
On the other hand this particular journey is beguiled by the fact that
the line runs high for two hours round the curve of the hills with the
Pacific below, so that a succession of marvellous views opens out before
you as you round each spur. There can be few more beautiful lines.

Dunedin was founded in 1848 by a group of Scotsmen, and it is modelled
so closely upon Edinburgh that the familiar street names all reappear,
and even Portobello has its duplicate outside the town. The climate,
also, I should judge to be about the same. The prevailing tone of the
community is still Scottish, which should mean that they are sympathetic
with my mission, for nowhere is Spiritualism more firmly established now
than in Scotland, especially in Glasgow, where a succession of great
mediums and of earnest workers have built up a considerable
organisation. I soon found that it was so, for nowhere had I more
private assurances of support, nor a better public reception, the
theatre being filled at each lecture. In the intervals kind friends put
their motors at my disposal and I had some splendid drives over the
hills, which look down upon the winding estuary at the head of which the
town is situated.

At the house of Mr. Reynolds, of Dunedin, I met one of the most powerful
clairvoyants and trance mediums whom I have tested. Her name is Mrs.
Roberts, and though her worldly circumstances are modest, she has never
accepted any money for her wonderful psychic gifts. For this I honour
her, but, as I told her, we all sell the gifts which God has given us,
and I cannot see why, and within reason, psychic gifts should not also
be placed within the reach of the public, instead of being confined to a
favoured few. How can the bulk of the people ever get into touch with a
good medium if they are debarred from doing so in the ordinary way of
business?

Mrs. Roberts is a stout, kindly woman, with a motherly manner, and a
sensitive, expressive face. When in touch with my conditions she at once
gave the names of several relatives and friends who have passed over,
without any slurring or mistakes. She then cried, "I see an elderly lady
here--she is a beautifully high spirit--her name is Selina." This rather
unusual name belonged to my wife's mother, who died nearly two years
ago. Then, suddenly, becoming slightly convulsed, as a medium does when
her mechanism is controlled by another, she cried with an indescribable
intensity of feeling, "Thank God! Thank God to get in touch again! Jean!
Jean! Give my dear love to Jean!" Both names, therefore, had been got
correctly, that of the mother and the daughter. Is it not an affront to
reason to explain away such results by wild theories of telepathy, or by
anything save the perfectly plain and obvious fact that spirit communion
is indeed true, and that I was really in touch with that dead lady who
was, even upon earth, a beautifully high and unselfish spirit. I had a
number of other communications through Mrs. Roberts that night, and at a
second interview two days later, not one of which erred so far as names
were concerned. Among others was one who professed to be Dr. Russell
Wallace. I should be honoured, indeed, to think that it was so, but I
was unable to hit on anything which would be evidential. I asked him if
his further experience had taught him anything more about reincarnation,
which he disputed in his lifetime. He answered that he now accepted it,
though I am not clear whether he meant for all cases. I thanked him for
any spiritual help I had from him. His answer was "Me! Don't thank me!
You would be surprised if you knew who your real helpers are." He added,
"By your work I rise. We are co-workers!" I pray that it be so, for few
men have lived for whom I have greater respect; wise and brave, and
mellow and good. His biography was a favourite book of mine long before
I understood the full significance of Spiritualism, which was to him an
evolution of the spirit on parallel lines to that evolution of the body
which he did so much to establish.

Now that my work in New Zealand was drawing to a close a very grave
problem presented itself to Mr. Smythe and myself, and that was how we
were to get back to our families in Australia. A strike had broken out,
which at first seemed a small matter, but it was accentuated by the
approach of Christmas and the fact that many of the men were rather
looking for an excuse for a holiday. Every day things became blacker.
Once before Mr. Smythe had been held up for four months by a similar
cause, and, indeed, it has become a very serious consideration for all
who visit New Zealand. We made a forced march for the north amid
constant rumours that far from reaching Australia we could not even get
to the North Island, as the twelve-hour ferry boats were involved in the
strike. I had every trust in my luck, or, as I should prefer to say, in
my helpers, and we got the _Maori_ on the last ferry trip which she was
sure to take. Up to the last moment the firemen wavered, and we had no
stewards on board, but none the less, to our inexpressible relief we got
off. There was no food on the ship and no one to serve it, so we went
into a small hostel at Lyttleton before we started, to see what we could
pick up. There was a man seated opposite to me who assumed the air of
laboured courtesy and extreme dignity, which is one phase of alcoholism.

"'Scuse me, sir!" said he, looking at me with a glassy stare, "but you
bear most 'straordinary resemblance Olver Lodge."

I said something amiable.

"Yes, sir--'straordinary! Have you ever seen Olver Lodge, sir?"

"Yes, I have."

"Well, did you perceive resemblance?"

"Sir Oliver, as I remember him, was a tall man with a grey beard."

He shook his head at me sadly.

"No, sir--I heard him at Wellington last week. No beard. A moustache,
sir, same as your own."

"You're sure it was Sir Oliver?"

A slow smile came over his face.

"Blesh my soul--Conan Doyle--that's the name. Yes, sir, you bear truly
remarkable resemblance Conan Doyle."

I did not say anything further so I daresay he has not discovered yet
the true cause of the resemblance.

All the nerve-wracking fears of being held up which we endured at
Lyttleton were repeated at Wellington, where we had taken our passages
in the little steamer _Paloona_. In any case we had to wait for a day,
which I spent in clearing up my New Zealand affairs while Mr. Smythe
interviewed the authorities and paid no less than £141 war tax upon the
receipts of our lectures--a heavy impost upon a fortnight's work. Next
morning, with our affairs and papers all in order, we boarded our little
craft.

Up to the last moment we had no certainty of starting. Not only was the
strike in the air, but it was Christmas Eve, and it was natural enough
that the men should prefer their own homes to the stokehole of the
_Paloona_. Agents with offers of increased pay were scouring the docks.
Finally our complement was completed, and it was a glad moment when the
hawsers were thrown off, and after the usual uncomfortable preliminaries
we found ourselves steaming in a sharp wind down the very turbulent
waters of Cook's Strait.

The place is full of Cook's memory. Everywhere the great man has left
his traces. We passed Cook's Island where the _Endeavour_ actually
struck and had to be careened and patched. What a nerve the fellow had!
So coolly and deliberately did he do his work that even now his charting
holds good, I understand, in many long stretches of coast. Tacking and
wearing, he poked and pried into every estuary, naming capes, defining
bays, plotting out positions, and yet all the while at the mercy of the
winds, with a possible lee shore always before him, with no comrade
within hail, and with swarms of cannibals eyeing his little ship from
the beach. After I have seen his work I shall feel full of reverence
every time I pass that fine statue which adorns the mall side of the
great Admiralty building.

And now we are out in the open sea, with Melbourne, Sydney and love in
front of our prow. Behind the sun sets in a slur of scarlet above the
olive green hills, while the heavy night fog, crawling up the valleys,
turns each of them into a glacier. A bright star twinkles above. Below a
light shines out from the gloom. Farewell, New Zealand! I shall never
see you again, but perhaps some memory of my visit may remain--or not,
as God pleases.

Anyhow, my own memory will remain. Every man looks on his own country as
God's own country if it be a free land, but the New Zealander has more
reason than most. It is a lovely place, and contains within its moderate
limits the agricultural plains of England, the lakes and hills of
Scotland, the glaciers of Switzerland, and the fiords of Norway, with a
fine hearty people, who do not treat the British newcomer with ignorant
contempt or hostility. There are so many interests and so many openings
that it is hard to think that a man will not find a career in New
Zealand. Canada, Australia and South Africa seem to me to be closely
balanced so far as their attractions for the emigrant goes, but when one
considers that New Zealand has neither the winter of Canada, the
droughts of Australia, nor the racial problems of Africa, it does surely
stand supreme, though it demands, as all of them do, both labour and
capital from the newcomer.



CHAPTER X

     Christian origins.--Mithraism.--Astronomy.--Exercising boats.--Bad
     news from home.--Futile strikes.--Labour Party.--The blue
     wilderness.--Journey to Brisbane.--Warm reception.--Friends and
     foes.--Psychic experience of Dr. Doyle.--Birds.--Criticism on
     Melbourne.--Spiritualist Church.--Ceremony.--Sir Matthew
     Nathan.--Alleged repudiation of Queensland.--Billy tea.--The bee
     farm.--Domestic service in Australia.--Hon. John Fihilly.--Curious
     photograph by the state photographer.--The "Orsova."


The voyage back from New Zealand to Melbourne was pleasant and
uneventful, though the boat was small and there was a sea rough enough
to upset many of the passengers. We were fortunate in our Captain,
Doorby, who, I found, was a literary confrère with two books to his
credit, one of them a record of the relief ship _Morning_, in which he
had served at the time of Scott's first expedition, the other a little
book, "The Handmaiden of the Navy," which gave some of his adventures
and experiences in the merchant service during the great war. He had
been torpedoed once, and had lost, on another occasion, nearly all his
crew with plague, so that he had much that was interesting to talk
about. Mr. Blake, of the _Strand Magazine_, was also on board. A
Unitarian Minister, Mr. Hale, was also a valuable companion, and we had
much discussion over the origins of Christianity, which was the more
interesting to me as I had taken advantage of the voyage to re-read the
Acts and Paul's Epistles. There are no documents which can be read so
often and yet reveal something new, the more so when you have that
occult clue which is needful before Paul can be understood. It is
necessary also to know something of Mythra worship and the other
philosophies which Paul had learned, and woven into his Christianity. I
have stated elsewhere my belief that all expressions about redemption by
blood, the blood of the lamb, etc., are founded upon the parallel of the
blood of the bull which was shed by the Mythra-worshippers, and in which
they were actually baptised. Enlarging upon this, Mr. Hale pointed out
on the authority, if I remember right, of Pfleiderer's "Christian
Origins," that in the Mythra service something is placed over the
candidate, a hide probably, which is called "putting on Mythra," and
corresponds with Paul's expression about "putting on Christ." Paul, with
his tremendous energy and earnestness, fixed Christianity upon the
world, but I wonder what Peter and those who had actually heard Christ's
words thought about it all. We have had Paul's views about Christ, but
we do not know Christ's views about Paul. He had been, as we are told by
himself, a Jewish Pharisee of the strictest type in his youth at
Jerusalem, but was a Roman citizen, had lived long at Tarsus, which was
a centre of Mithraism, and was clearly famous for his learning, since
Festus twitted him with it. The simple tenets of the carpenter and the
fishermen would take strange involved forms in such a brain as that. His
epistles are presumably older than the gospels, which may, in their
simplicity, represent a protest against his confused theology.

It was an enjoyable voyage in the little _Paloona_, and rested me after
the whirlwind campaign of New Zealand. In large liners one loses in
romance what one gains in comfort. On a small ship one feels nearer to
Nature, to the water and even to the stars. On clear nights we had
magnificent displays of the Southern heaven. I profited by the
astronomical knowledge of Mr. Smythe. Here first I was introduced to
Alpha Centauri, which is the nearest fixed star, and, therefore, the
cobber to the sun. It is true that it is distant 3-1/2 years of light
travel, and light travels at about 182,000 miles a second, but when one
considers that it takes centuries for average starlight to reach us, we
may consider Alpha as snuggling close up to us for companionship in the
lonely wastes of space. The diamond belt of Orion looks homely enough
with the bright solitaire Sirius sparkling beside it, but there are the
Magellanic clouds, the scattered wisps torn from the Milky Way, and
there is the strange black space called the Coalsack, where one seems to
look right past all created things into a bottomless void. What would
not Galileo and all the old untravelled astronomers have given to have
one glimpse of this wondrous Southern display?

Captain Doorby, finding that he had time in hand, ran the ship into a
small deserted bay upon the coast, and, after anchoring, ordered out
all the boats for the sake of practice. It was very well done, and yet
what I saw convinced me that it should be a Board of Trade regulation,
if it is not one already, that once, at least, near the beginning of
every long voyage, this should be compulsory. It is only when you come
to launch them that you really realise which of the davits is rusted up,
and which block is tangled, or which boat is without a plug. I was much
impressed by this idea as I watched the difficulties which were
encountered even in that secluded anchorage.

The end of my journey was uneventful, but my joy at being reunited with
my family was clouded by the news of the death of my mother. She was
eighty-three years of age, and had for some years been almost totally
blind, so that her change was altogether a release, but it was sad to
think that we should never see the kind face and gracious presence again
in its old material form. Denis summed up our feelings when he cried,
"What a reception Grannie must have had!" There was never any one who
had so broad and sympathetic a heart, a world-mother mourning over
everything which was weak or oppressed, and thinking nothing of her own
time and comfort in her efforts to help the sufferers. Even when blind
and infirm she would plot and plan for the benefit of others, thinking
out their needs, and bringing about surprising results by her
intervention. For my own psychic work she had, I fear, neither sympathy
nor understanding, but she had an innate faith and spirituality which
were so natural to her that she could not conceive the needs of others
in that direction. She understands now.

Whilst in the Blue Mountains I was forced to reconsider my plans on
account of the strike which has paralysed all coastal trade. If I should
be able to reach Tasmania I might be unable to return, and it would,
indeed, be a tragic situation if my family were ready to start for
England in the _Naldera_, and I was unable to join them. I felt,
therefore, that I was not justified in going to Tasmania, even if I were
able, which is very doubtful. It was sad, as it spoiled the absolute
completeness of my tour, but on the other hand I felt sure that I should
find plenty of work to do on the mainland, without taking so serious a
risk.

It is a terrible thing to see this young country, which needs every hour
of time and every ounce of energy for its speedy development frittering
itself away in these absurd conflicts, which never give any result to
compare with the loss. One feels that in the stern contests of nations
one will arise which has economic discipline, and that none other could
stand against it. If the training of reorganised Germany should take
this shape she will conquer and she will deserve to conquer. It is a
monstrous abuse that Compulsory Arbitration Courts should be
established, as is the case in Australia, and that Unions should either
strike against their decisions, or should anticipate their decisions, as
in the case of these stewards, by forcing a strike. In such a case I
hold that the secretary and every other official of the Union should be
prosecuted and heavily fined, if not imprisoned. It is the only way by
which the community can be saved from a tyranny which is quite as real
as that of any autocrat. What would be said, for example, of a king who
cut off the islands of Tasmania and New Zealand from communication with
the outer world, deranging the whole Christmas arrangements of countless
families who had hoped to reunite? Yet this is what has been done by a
handful of stewards with some trivial grievance. A fireman who objects
to the cooking can hold up a great vessel. There is nothing but chaos in
front of a nation unless it insists upon being master in its own house,
and forbids either employed or employer to do that which is for the
common scathe. The time seems to be coming when Britons, the world over,
will have to fight for liberty against licence just as hard as ever they
fought for her against tyranny. This I say with full sympathy for the
Labour Party, which I have often been tempted to join, but have always
been repelled by their attempt to bully the rest of the State instead of
using those means which would certainly ensure their legitimate success,
even if it took some years to accomplish. There are many anomalies and
injustices, and it is only a people's party which can set them right.
Hereditary honours are an injustice, lands owned by feudal or royal gift
are an injustice, increased private wealth through the growth of towns
is an injustice, coal royalties are an injustice, the expense of the law
is a glaring injustice, the support of any single religion by the State
is an injustice, our divorce laws are an injustice--with such a list a
real honest Labour Party would be a sure winner if it could persuade us
all that it would not commit injustices itself, and bolster up labour
artificially at the expense of every one else. It is not organised
labour which moves me, for it can take care of itself, but it is the
indigent governesses with thirty pounds a year, the broken people, the
people with tiny pensions, the struggling widows with children--when I
think of all these and then of the man who owns a county I feel that
there is something deeply, deeply wrong which nothing but some great
strong new force can set right.

One finds in the Blue Mountains that opportunity of getting alone with
real Nature, which is so healing and soothing a thing. The wild scrub
flows up the hillsides to the very grounds of the hotels, and in a very
few minutes one may find oneself in the wilderness of ferns and gum
trees unchanged from immemorial ages. It is a very real danger to the
young or to those who have no sense of direction, for many people have
wandered off and never come back alive--in fact, there is a specially
enrolled body of searchers who hunt for the missing visitor. I have
never in all my travels seen anything more spacious and wonderful than
the view from the different sandstone bluffs, looking down into the huge
gullies beneath, a thousand feet deep, where the great gum trees look
like rows of cabbages. I suppose that in water lies the force which, in
the course of ages, has worn down the soft, sandy rock and formed these
colossal clefts, but the effects are so enormous that one is inclined to
think some great earth convulsion must also have been concerned in their
production. Some of the cliffs have a sheer drop of over one thousand
feet, which is said to be unequalled in the world.

These mountains are so precipitous and tortuous, presenting such a maze
to the explorer, that for many years they were a formidable barrier to
the extension of the young Colony. There were only about forty miles of
arable land from the coast to the great Hawkesbury River, which winds
round the base of the mountains. Then came this rocky labyrinth. At
last, in 1812, four brave and persevering men--Blaxland, Evans,
Wentworth and Lawson--took the matter in hand, and after many
adventures, blazed a trail across, by which all the splendid hinterland
was opened up, including the gold fields, which found their centre in
the new town of Bathurst. When one reflects that all the gold had to be
brought across this wilderness, with unexplored woodlands fringing the
road, it is no wonder that a race of bushrangers sprang into existence,
and the marvel is that the police should ever have been able to hunt
them down. So fresh is all this very vital history in the development of
a nation, that one can still see upon the trees the marks of the
explorers' axes, as they endeavoured to find a straight trail among the
countless winding gullies. At Mount York, the highest view-point, a
monument has been erected to them, at the place from which they got the
first glimpse of the promised land beyond.

We had been told that in the tropical weather now prevailing, it was
quite vain for us to go to Queensland, for no one would come to listen
to lectures. My own belief was, however, that this subject has stirred
people very deeply, and that they will suffer any inconvenience to learn
about it. Mr. Smythe was of opinion, at first, that my audiences were
drawn from those who came from curiosity because they had read my
writings, but when he found that the second and the third meetings were
as full as the first, he was forced to admit that the credit of success
lay with the matter rather than with the man. In any case I reflected
that my presence in Brisbane would certainly bring about the usual Press
controversy, with a free ventilation of the subject, so we determined to
go. Mr. Smythe, for once, did not accompany us, but the very capable
lady who assists him, Miss Sternberg, looked after all arrangements.

It was a very wearisome train journey of twenty-eight hours; tropically
hot, rather dusty, with a change in the middle, and the usual stuffiness
of a sleeper, which was superior to the ordinary American one, but below
the British standard. How the Americans, with their nice sense of
decency, can stand the awful accommodation their railway companies give
them, or at any rate, used to give them, is incomprehensible, but public
opinion in all matters asserts itself far less directly in America than
in Britain. Australia is half-way between, and, certainly, I have seen
abuses there in the management of trains, posts, telegrams and
telephones, which would have evoked loud protests at home. I think that
there is more initiative at home. For example, when the railway strike
threatened to throttle the country, the public rose to the occasion and
improvised methods which met the difficulty. I have not heard of
anything of the kind in the numerous strikes with which this community
is harassed. Any individual action arouses attention. I remember the
amusement of the Hon. Agar Wynne when, on arriving late at Melbourne, in
the absence of porters, I got a trolley, placed my own luggage on it,
and wheeled it to a cab. Yet we thought nothing of that when labour was
short in London.

The country north of Sydney is exactly like the Blue Mountains, on a
lesser scale--riven ranges of sandstone covered with gum trees. I cannot
understand those who say there is nothing worth seeing in Australia, for
I know no big city which has glorious scenery so near it as Sydney.
After crossing the Queensland border, one comes to the Darling Downs,
unsurpassed for cattle and wheat. Our first impressions of the new State
were that it was the most naturally rich of any Australian Colony, and
the longer we were in it, the more did we realise that this was indeed
so. It is so enormous, however, that it is certain, sooner or later, to
be divided into a South, Middle, and North, each of which will be a
large and flourishing community. We observed from the railway all sorts
of new vegetable life, and I was especially interested to notice that
our English Yellow Mullein was lining the track, making its way
gradually up country.

Even Sydney did not provide a warmer and more personal welcome than that
which we both received when we at last reached Brisbane. At Toowoomba,
and other stations on the way, small deputations of Spiritualists had
met the train, but at Brisbane the platform was crowded. My wife was
covered with flowers, and we were soon made to realise that we had been
misinformed in the south, when we were told that the movement was
confined to a small circle.

We were tired, but my wife rose splendidly to the occasion. The local
paper says: "Carefully concealing all feelings of fatigue and tiredness
after the long and wearisome train journey from Sydney, Lady Doyle
charmed the large gathering of Spiritualists assembled at the Central
Railway Station on Saturday night, to meet her and her husband. In
vivacious fashion, Lady Doyle responded to the many enthusiastic
greetings, and she was obviously delighted with the floral gifts
presented to her on her arrival. To a press representative, Lady Doyle
expressed her admiration of the Australian scenery, and she referred
enthusiastically to the Darling Downs district and to the Toowoomba
Range. During her husband's absence in New Zealand, Lady Doyle and her
children spent a holiday in the Blue Mountains (New South Wales), and
were delighted with the innumerable gorgeous beauty spots there."

After a short experience, when we were far from comfortable, we found
our way to the Bellevue Hotel, where a kindly old Irish proprietress,
Mrs. Finegan, gave us greater attention and luxury than we had found
anywhere up to then on the Australian continent.

The usual press discussion was in full swing. The more bigoted clergy in
Brisbane, as elsewhere, were very vituperative, but so unreasonable and
behind their own congregations in knowledge and intelligence, that they
must have alienated many who heard them. Father Lane, for example,
preaching in the cathedral, declared that the whole subject was "an
abomination to the Lord." He does not seem to have asked himself why the
Lord gave us these powers if they are an abomination. He also declared
that we denied our moral responsibility to God in this life, a
responsibility which must have weighed rather lightly upon Father Lane
when he made so false a statement. The Rev. L. H. Jaggers, not to be
outdone in absurdity by Father Lane, described all our fellow-mortals of
India, China and Japan as "demoniacal races." Dr. Cosh put forward the
Presbyterian sentiment that I was Anti-Christ, and a serious menace to
the spiritual life of Australia. Really, when I see the want of all
truth and charity shown by these gentlemen, it does begin to convince me
of the reality of diabolical interference in the affairs of mankind, for
I cannot understand why, otherwise, such efforts should be made to
obscure, by falsehood and abuse, the great revelation and comfort which
God has sent us. The opposition culminated in an open letter from Dr.
Cosh in the _Mail_, demanding that I should define my exact views as to
the Trinity, the Atonement, and other such mysteries. I answered by
pointing out that all the religious troubles of the past had come from
the attempt to give exact definitions of things which were entirely
beyond the human power of thought, and that I refused to be led along so
dangerous a path. One Baptist clergyman, named Rowe, had the courage to
say that he was on my side, but with that exception I fear that I had a
solid phalanx against me.

On the other hand, the general public were amazingly friendly. It was
the more wonderful as it was tropical weather, even for Brisbane. In
that awful heat the great theatre could not hold the people, and they
stood in the upper galleries, packed tightly, for an hour and a half
without a movement or a murmur. It was a really wonderful sight. Twice
the house was packed this way, so (as the Tasmanian venture was now
hopeless, owing to the shipping strike) I determined to remain in our
very comfortable quarters at the Bellevue Hotel, and give one more
lecture, covering fresh ground. The subject opens up so that I am sure I
could lecture for a week without repeating myself. On this occasion the
house was crowded once more. The theatrical manager said, "Well, if it
was comic opera in the season, it could not have succeeded better!" I
was rather exhausted at the end, for I spoke, as usual, with no
chairman, and gave them a full ninety minutes, but it was nearing the
end of my work, and the prospect of the quiet time ahead of us helped
me on.

I met a kinsman, Dr. A. A. Doyle, who is a distinguished skin
specialist, in Brisbane. He knew little of psychic matters, but he had
met with a remarkable experience. His son, a splendid young fellow, died
at the front. At that moment his father woke to find the young soldier
stooping over him, his face quite close. He at once woke his wife and
told her that their son, he feared, was dead. But here comes a fine
point. He said to the wife, "Eric has had a return of the acne of the
face, for which I treated him years ago. I saw the spots." The next post
brought a letter, written before Eric's death, asking that some special
ointment should be sent, as his acne had returned. This is a very
instructive case, as showing that even an abnormal thing is reproduced
at first upon the etheric body. But what has a materialist to say to the
whole story? He can only evade it, or fall back upon his usual theory,
that every one who reports such occurrences is either a fool or a liar.

We had a pleasant Sunday among the birds of Queensland. Mr. Chisholm, an
enthusiastic bird-lover, took us round to see two very large aviaries,
since the haunt of the wild birds was beyond our reach. Birds in
captivity have always saddened me, but here I found them housed in such
great structures, with every comfort included, and every natural enemy
excluded, that really one could not pity them. One golden pheasant
amused us, for he is a very conceited bird when all is well with him,
and likes to occupy the very centre of the stage, with the spot light
upon him, and a chorus of drab hens admiring him from the rear. We had
caught him, however, when he was moulting, and he was so conscious of
his bedraggled glories that he dodged about behind a barrel, and
scuttled under cover every time we tried to put him out. A fearful thing
happened one day, for a careless maid left the door ajar, and in the
morning seventy of the inmates were gone. It must have been a cruel blow
to Mr. Baldwin, who is devoted to his collection. However, he very
wisely left the door open, after securing the remaining birds, and no
less than thirty-four of the refugees returned. The fate of the others
was probably tragic, for they were far from the mountains which are
their home.

Mr. Farmer Whyte, the very progressive editor of the _Daily Mail_, who
is miles ahead of most journalists in psychic knowledge, took us for an
interesting drive through the dense woods of One Tree Hill. Here we were
courteously met by two of the original owners, one of them an iguana, a
great, heavy lizard, which bolted up a tree, and the other a kangaroo,
who stood among the brushwood, his ears rotating with emotion, while he
gazed upon our halted car. From the summit of the hill one has a
wonderful view of the ranges stretching away to the horizon in all
directions, while at one's feet lies the very wide spread city. As
nearly every dwelling house is a bungalow, with its own little ground,
the Australian cities take up great space, which is nullified by their
very excellent tram services. A beautiful river, the Brisbane, rather
wider than the Thames, winds through the town, and has sufficient depth
to allow ocean steamers to come within cab-drive of the hotels.

About this time I had the usual experience which every visitor to the
States or to the Dominions is liable to, in that his own utterances in
his letters home get into print, and boomerang back upon him. My own
feelings, both to the Australian people and their country, have been so
uniformly whole-hearted that I should have thought no mischief could be
made, but at the same time, I have always written freely that which I
was prepared to stand by. In this case, the extract, from a private
letter, removed from all modifying context, came through as follows:

     "Sir Conan Doyle, quoted in the _International Psychic Gazette_, in
     referring to his 'ups and downs' in Australia, says: 'Amid the
     "downs" is the Press boycott, caused partly by ignorance and want
     of proportion, partly by moral cowardice and fear of finding out
     later that they had backed the wrong horse, or had given the wrong
     horse fair play. They are very backward, and far behind countries
     like Iceland and Denmark in the knowledge of what has been done in
     Spiritualism. They are dear folk, these Australians, but, Lord,
     they want Spirituality, and dynamiting out of their grooves! The
     Presbyterians actually prayed that I might not reach the country.
     This is rather near murder, if they thought their rotten prayers
     would avail. The result was an excellent voyage, but it is the
     spiritual deadness of this place which gets on my nerves.'"

This was copied into every paper in Australia, but it was soon
recognised that "this place" was not Australia, but Melbourne, from
which the letter was dated. I have already recorded how I was treated by
the leading paper in that city, and my general experience there was
faithfully reflected in my remarks. Therefore, I had nothing to
withdraw. My more extended experience taught me that the general level
of intelligence and of spirituality in the Australasian towns is as high
as in the average towns of Great Britain, though none are so far
advanced as towns like Manchester or Glasgow, nor are there the same
number of professional and educated men who have come forward and given
testimony. The thirst for information was great, however, and that
proved an open mind, which must now lead to a considerable extension of
knowledge within the churches as well as without.

My remarks had been caused by the action of the _Argus_, but the _Age_,
the other leading Melbourne paper, seemed to think that its honour was
also touched, and had a very severe leading article upon my
delinquencies, and my alleged views, which was, as usual, a wild
travesty of my real ones. It began this article by the assertion that,
apparently, I still thought that Australia was inhabited by the
aborigines, before I ventured to bring forward such theories. Such a
remark, applied to a subject which has won the assent in varying degrees
of every one who has seriously examined it, and which has its foundation
resting upon the labours of some of the greatest minds in the world, did
not help me to recover my respect for the mentality and breadth of view
of the journals of Melbourne. I answered, pointing out that David Syme,
the very distinguished founder of the paper, by no means shared this
contempt to Spiritualism, as is shown by two long letters included in
his published Life.

This attitude, and that of so many other objectors, is absolutely
unintelligible to me. They must know that this cult is spreading and
that many capable minds have examined and endorsed it. They must know,
also, that the views we proclaim, the continuance of happy life and the
practical abolition of death are, if true, the grandest advance that the
human race has ever made. And yet, so often, instead of saying, "Well,
here is some one who is supposed to know something about the matter. Let
us see if this grand claim can possibly be established by evidence and
argument," they break into insults and revilings as if something
offensive had been laid before them. This attitude can only arise from
the sluggish conservatism of the human brain, which runs easily in
certain well-worn grooves, and is horrified by the idea that something
may come to cause mental exertion and readjustment.

     Illustration: LAYING FOUNDATION STONE OF SPIRITUALIST CHURCH AT
     BRISBANE.

I am bound to add that the general public went out of their way to
show that their Press did not represent their views. The following
passage is typical of many: "The criticism which you have so justly
resented is, I am sure, not in keeping with the views of the majority of
the Australian people. In my own small sphere many of my friends have
been stirred deeply by your theories, and the inspiration in some cases
has been so marked that the fact should afford you satisfaction. We are
not all spiritually defunct. Many are quite satisfied that you are
giving your best for humanity, and believe that there is a tremendous
revelation coming to this weary old world."

The Spiritualists of Brisbane, greatly daring, have planned out a church
which is to cost £10,000, trusting to those who work with us on the
other side to see the enterprise through. The possible fallacy lies in
the chance that those on the other side do not desire to see this
immense movement become a separate sect, but are in favour of the
peaceful penetration of all creeds by our new knowledge. It is on record
that early in the movement Senator Talmadge asked two different spirit
controls, in different States of the Union, what the ultimate goal of
this spiritual outburst might be, and received exactly the same answer
from each, namely, that it was to prove immortality and to unify the
Churches. The first half has been done, so far as survival implies
immortality, and the second may well come to pass, by giving such a
large common platform to each Church that they will learn to disregard
the smaller differences.

Be this as it may, one could not but admire the faith and energy of Mr.
Reinhold and the others who were determined to have a temple of their
own. I laid the foundation stone at three in the afternoon under so
tropical a sun that I felt as if the ceremony was going to have its
immemorial accompaniment of a human sacrifice and even of a whole-burned
offering. The crowd made matters worse, but a friendly bystander with an
umbrella saved me from heat apoplexy. I felt the occasion was a solemn
one, for it was certainly the first Spiritual Church in the whole of
Queensland, and I doubt if we have many anywhere in Australia, for among
our apostolic gifts poverty is conspicuous. It has always amazed me how
Theosophists and Christian Scientists get their fine halls and
libraries, while we, with our zeal and our knowledge, have some bare
schoolroom or worse as our only meeting place. It reflects little credit
upon the rich people who accept the comforts we bring, but share none of
the burdens we bear. There is a kink in their souls.

I spoke at some length, and the people listened with patience in spite
of the great heat. It was an occasion when I could, with propriety, lay
emphasis upon the restraint and charity with which such a church should
be run. The Brisbane paper reports me as follows: "I would emphasise
three things. Mind your own business; go on quietly in your own way; you
know the truth, and do not need to quarrel with other people. There are
many roads to salvation. The second point I would urge is that you
should live up to your knowledge. We know for certain that we live on
after death, that everything we do in this world influences what comes
after; therefore, we can afford to be unselfish and friendly to other
religions. Some Spiritualists run down the Bible, whereas it is from
cover to cover a spiritual book. I would like to see the Bible read in
every Spiritualistic Church with particular attention paid to the
passages dealing with occultism. The third point I would emphasise is
that you should have nothing to do with fortune-telling or anything of
that kind. All fortune-telling is really a feeling out in the dark. If
good things are going to happen to you be content to wait for them, and
if evil is to come nothing is to be gained by attempting to anticipate
it. My sympathies are with the police in their attitude to
fortune-tellers, whose black magic is far removed from the services of
our mediums in striving to bring comfort to those whose loved ones have
gone before. If these three things are lived up to, this church will be
a source of great brightness and happiness."

Our work was pleasantly broken by an invitation to lunch with Sir
Matthew Nathan, at Government House. Sir Matthew impresses one as a man
of character, and as he is a financial authority he is in a position to
help by his advice in restoring the credit of Queensland. The matter in
dispute, which has been called repudiation, does not, as it seems to me,
deserve so harsh a term, as it is one of those cases where there are two
sides to the question, so equally balanced that it is difficult for an
outsider to pronounce a judgment. On the one hand the great squatters
who hold millions of acres in the State had received the land on
considerable leases which charged them with a very low rent--almost a
nominal one--on condition of their taking up and developing the country.
On the other hand, the Government say these leases were granted under
very different circumstances, the lessees have already done very well
out of them, the war has made it imperative that the State raise funds,
and the assets upon which the funds can be raised are all in the hands
of these lessees, who should consent to a revision of their agreements.
So stands the quarrel, so far as I could understand it, and the State
has actually imposed the increased rates. Hence the cry that they have
repudiated their own contract. The result of the squatters' grievance
was that Mr. Theodore, the Premier, was unable to raise money in the
London market, and returned home with the alternative of getting a
voluntary loan in the Colony, or of raising a compulsory loan from those
who had the money. The latter has an ugly sound, and yet the need is
great, and if some may be compelled to serve with their bodies I do not
see why some may not also be compelled to serve with their purses. The
assets of the Colony compare very favourably, I believe, with others,
for while these others have sold their lands, the Government of
Queensland has still the ownership of the main tracts of the gloriously
fertile country. Therefore, with an issue at 6-1/2 per cent., without
tax, one would think that they should have no difficulty in getting any
reasonable sum. I was cinemaed in the act of applying for a small share
in the issue, but I think the advertisement would have been of more
value to the loan, had they captured some one of greater financial
stability.

The more one examines this alleged "repudiation" the less reason appears
in the charge, and as it has assuredly injured Queensland's credit, it
is well that an impartial traveller should touch upon it. The squatters
are the richer folk and in a position to influence the public opinion of
the world, and in their anxiety to exploit their own grievance they seem
to have had little regard for the reputation of their country. It is
like a man burning down his house in the hope of roasting some other
inmate of whom he disapproves. A conservative paper (the _Producer's
Review_, January 10th, 1921), says: "No living man can say how much
Queensland has been damaged by the foolish partisan statements that have
been uttered and published." The article proceeds to show in very
convincing style, with chapter and verse, that the Government has always
been well within its rights, and that a Conservative Government on a
previous occasion did the same thing, framing a Bill on identical lines.

On January 12th my kinsman, Dr. Doyle, with his charming wife, took us
out into the bush for a billy tea--that is, to drink tea which is
prepared as the bushmen prepare it in their tin cans. It was certainly
excellent, and we enjoyed the drive and the whole experience, though
uninvited guests of the mosquito tribe made things rather lively for
us. I prayed that my face would be spared, as I did not wish to turn up
at my lecture as if I had been having a round with Dr. Cosh, and I react
in a most whole-hearted way to any attentions from an insect. The result
was certainly remarkable, be it coincidence or not, for though my hands
were like boxing-gloves, and my neck all swollen, there was not a mark
upon my face. I fancy that the hardened inhabitants hardly realise what
new chums endure after they are bitten by these pests. It means to me
not only disfigurement, but often a sleepless night. My wife and the
children seem to escape more lightly. I found many objects of interest
in the bush--among others a spider's web so strong that full-sized
dragon flies were enmeshed in it. I could not see the creature itself,
but it must have been as big as a tarantula. Our host was a large
landowner as well as a specialist, and he talked seriously of leaving
the country, so embittered was he by the land-policy of the Government.
At the same time, the fact that he could sell his estate at a fair price
seemed to imply that others took a less grave view of the situation.
Many of the richer classes think that Labour is adopting a policy of
deliberate petty irritation in order to drive them out of the country,
but perhaps they are over-sensitive.

So full was our life in Brisbane that there was hardly a day that we had
not some memorable experience, even when I had to lecture in the
evening. Often we were going fourteen and fifteen hours a day, and a
tropical day at that. On January 14th we were taken to see the largest
bee-farm in Australia, run by Mr. H. L. Jones. Ever since I consigned
Mr. Sherlock Holmes to a bee farm for his old age, I have been supposed
to know something of the subject, but really I am so ignorant that when
a woman wrote to me and said she would be a suitable housekeeper to the
retired detective because she could "segregate the queen," I did not
know what she meant. On this occasion I saw the operation and many other
wonderful things which make me appreciate Maeterlinck's prose-poem upon
the subject. There is little poetry about Mr. Jones however, and he is
severely practical. He has numbers of little boxes with a store of
bee-food compressed into one end of them. Into each he thrusts a queen
with eight attendants to look after her. The food is enough to last two
months, so he simply puts on a postage stamp and sends it off to any one
in California or South Africa who is starting an apiary. Several hives
were opened for our inspection with the precaution of blowing in some
smoke to pacify the bees. We were told that this sudden inrush of smoke
gives the bees the idea that some great cataclysm has occurred, and
their first action is to lay in a store of honey, each of them, as a man
might seize provisions in an earthquake so as to be ready for whatever
the future might bring. He showed us that the queen, fed with some
special food by the workers, can lay twice her own weight of eggs in a
day, and that if we could find something similar for hens we could hope
for an unbroken stream of eggs. Clever as the bee is it is clearly an
instinctive hereditary cleverness, for man has been able to make many
improvements in its methods, making artificial comb which is better than
the original, in that it has cells for more workers and fewer drones.
Altogether it was a wonderful demonstration, which could be viewed with
comfort under a veil with one's hands in one's pockets, for though we
were assured they would not sting if they knew we would not hurt them, a
misunderstanding was possible. One lady spectator seemed to have a
sudden ambition to break the standing jump record, and we found that she
had received two stings, but Mr. Jones and his assistants covered their
hands with the creatures and were quite immune. A half-wild wallaby
appeared during our visit, and after some coyness yielded to the
fascination which my wife exercises over all animals, and fed out of her
hand. We were assured that this had never before occurred in the case of
any visitor.

We found in Brisbane, as in every other town, that the question of
domestic service, the most important of all questions to a householder,
was very acute. Ladies who occupied leading positions in the town
assured us that it was impossible to keep maids, and that they were
compelled now to give it up in despair, and to do all their own house
work with such casual daily assistance as they could get. A pound a week
is a common wage for very inefficient service. It is a serious matter
and no solution is in sight. English maids are, I am sorry to say,
looked upon as the worst of all, for to all the other faults they add
constant criticism of their employers, whom they pronounce to be "no
ladies" because they are forced to do many things which are not done at
home. Inefficiency plus snobbishness is a dreadful mixture. Altogether
the lot of the Australian lady is not an easy one, and we admired the
brave spirit with which they rose above their troubles.

This servant question bears very directly upon the Imperial puzzle of
the northern territory. A white man may live and even work there, but a
white woman cannot possibly run a household unless domestic labour is
plentiful. In that climate it simply means absolute breakdown in a year.
Therefore it is a mad policy which at present excludes so rigorously the
Chinese, Indians or others who alone can make white households possible.
White labour assumes a dog in the manger policy, for it will not, or
cannot, do the work itself, and yet it shuts out those who could do it.
It is an impossible position and must be changed. How severe and
unreasonable are the coloured immigrant laws is shown by the fact that
the experienced and popular Commander of the _Naldera_, Captain
Lewellin, was fined at Sydney a large sum of money because three Goa
Indians deserted from his ship. There is a great demand for Indian camel
drivers in the north, and this no doubt was the reason for the
desertion, but what a _reductio ad absurdum_ of the law which comes
between the demand and the supply, besides punishing an innocent victim.

As usual a large number of psychic confidences reached us, some of
which were very interesting. One lady is a clairaudient, and on the
occasion of her mother falling ill she heard the words "Wednesday--the
fifteenth." Death seemed a matter of hours, and the date far distant,
but the patient, to the surprise of the doctors, still lingered. Then
came the audible message "She will tell you where she is going." The
mother had lain for two days helpless and comatose. Suddenly she opened
her eyes and said in a clear strong voice, "I have seen the mansions in
my father's house. My husband and children await me there. I could not
have imagined anything so exquisitely lovely." Then she breathed her
last, the date being the 15th.

We were entertained to dinner on the last evening by the Hon. John
Fihilly, acting Premier of the Colony, and his wife. He is an Irish
labour leader with a remarkable resemblance to Dan O'Connell in his
younger days. I was pleased to see that the toast of the King was given
though it was not called for at a private dinner. Fihilly is a member of
the Government, and I tackled him upon the question of British emigrants
being enticed out by specious promises on the part of Colonial Agents in
London, only to find that no work awaited them. Some deplorable cases
had come within my own observation, one, an old Lancashire Fusilier,
having walked the streets for six months. He assured me that the
arrangements were now in perfect order, and that emigrants were held
back in the old country until they could be sure that there was a place
for them. There are so many out of work in Australia that one feels some
sympathy with those labour men who are against fresh arrivals.

And there lies the great problem which we have not, with all our
experience, managed to master. On the one side illimitable land calling
for work. On the other innumerable workers calling for land. And yet the
two cannot be joined. I remember how it jarred me when I saw Edmonton,
in Western Canada, filled with out-of-workers while the great land lay
uninhabited. The same strange paradox meets one here. It is just the
connecting link that is missing, and that link lies in wise prevision.
The helpless newcomer can do nothing if he and his family are dumped
down upon a hundred acres of gum trees. Put yourself in their position.
How can they hope with their feeble hands to clear the ground? All this
early work must be done for them by the State, the owner repaying after
he has made good. Let the emigrant move straight on to a cleared farm,
with a shack-house already prepared, and clear instructions as to the
best crops, and how to get them. Then it seems to me that emigration
would bring no want of employment in its train. But the State must blaze
the trail and the public follow after. Such arrangements may even now
exist, but if so they need expansion and improvement, for they do not
seem to work.

Before leaving Brisbane my attention was drawn to the fact that the
State photographer, when he took the scene of the opening of the loan,
had produced to all appearance a psychic effect. The Brisbane papers
recorded it as follows: --

"'It is a remarkable result, and I cannot offer any opinion as to what
caused it. It is absolutely mystifying.' Such was the declaration made
yesterday by the Government photographer, Mr. W. Mobsby, in regard to
the unique effect associated with a photograph he took on Thursday last
of Sir A. Conan Doyle. Mr. Mobsby, who has been connected with
photography since boyhood, explained that he was instructed to take an
official photograph of the function at which Sir A. Conan Doyle handed
over his subscription to the State Loan organiser. When he arrived, the
entrance to the building was thronged by a large crowd, and he had to
mount a stepladder, which was being used by the _Daily Mail_
photographer, in order to get a good view of the proceedings. Mr. Mobsby
took only one picture, just at the moment Sir A. Conan Doyle was
mounting the steps at the Government Tourist Bureau to meet the Acting
Premier, Mr. J. Fihilly. Mr. Mobsby developed the film himself, and was
amazed to find that while all the other figures in the picture were
distinct the form of Sir A. Conan Doyle appeared enveloped in mist and
could only be dimly seen. The photograph was taken on an ordinary film
with a No. 3a Kodak, and careful examination does not in any way
indicate the cause of the sensational result." I have had so many
personal proofs of the intervention of supernormal agencies during
the time that I have been engaged upon this task that I am prepared to
accept the appearance of this aura as being an assurance of the presence
of those great forces for whom I act as a humble interpreter. At the
same time, the sceptic is very welcome to explain it as a flawed film
and a coincidence.

     Illustration: CURIOUS PHOTOGRAPHIC EFFECT REFERRED TO IN THE TEXT.
     Taken by the Official Photographer, Brisbane, "Absolutely
     mystifying" is his description.

We returned from Brisbane to Sydney in the Orient Liner "Orsova," which
is a delightful alternative to the stuffy train. The sea has always been
a nursing mother to me, and I suppose I have spent a clear two years of
my life upon the waves. We had a restful Sunday aboard the boat,
disturbed only by the Sunday service, which left its usual effect upon
my mind. The Psalms were set to some unhappy tune, very different from
the grand Gregorian rhythm, so that with its sudden rise to a higher
level it sounded more like the neighing of horses than the singing of
mortals. The words must surely offend anyone who considers what it is
that he is saying--a mixture of most unmanly wailing and spiteful
threats. How such literature has been perpetuated three thousand years,
and how it can ever have been sacred, is very strange. Altogether from
first to last there was nothing, save only the Lord's Prayer, which
could have any spiritual effect. These old observances are like an iron
ball tied to the leg of humanity, for ever hampering spiritual progress.
If now, after the warning of the great war, we have not the mental
energy and the moral courage to get back to realities, we shall deserve
what is coming to us.

On January 17th we were back, tired but contented, in the Medlow Bath
Hotel in the heart of the Blue Mountains--an establishment which I can
heartily recommend to any who desire a change from the summer heats of
Sydney.



CHAPTER XI

     Medlow Bath.--Jenolan Caves.--Giant skeleton.--Mrs. Foster Turner's
     mediumship.--A wonderful prophecy.--Final results.--Third sitting
     with Bailey.--Failure of State Control.--Retrospection.--Melbourne
     presentation.--Crooks.--Lecture at Perth.--West
     Australia.--Rabbits, sparrows and sharks.


We recuperated after our Brisbane tour by spending the next week at
Medlow Bath, that little earthly paradise, which is the most restful
spot we have found in our wanderings. It was built originally by Mr.
Mark Foy, a successful draper of Sydney, and he is certainly a man of
taste, for he has adorned it with a collection of prints and of
paintings--hundreds of each--which would attract attention in any city,
but which on a mountain top amid the wildest scenery give one the idea
of an Arabian Nights palace. There was a passage some hundreds of yards
long, which one has to traverse on the way to each meal, and there was a
certain series of French prints, representing events of Byzantine
history, which I found it difficult to pass, so that I was often a late
comer. A very fair library is among the other attractions of this
remarkable place.

Before leaving we spent one long day at the famous Jenolan Caves, which
are distant about forty-five miles. As the said miles are very
up-and-down, and as the cave exploration involves several hours of
climbing, it makes a fairly hard day's work. We started all seven in a
motor, as depicted by the wayside photographers, but Baby got sick and
had to be left with Jakeman at the half-way house, where we picked her
up, quite recovered, on our return. It was as well, for the walk would
have been quite beyond her, and yet having once started there is no
return, so we should have ended by carrying her through all the
subterranean labyrinths. The road is a remarkably good one, and
represents a considerable engineering feat. It passes at last through an
enormous archway of rock which marks the entrance to the cave
formations. These caves are hollowed out of what was once a coral reef
in a tropical sea, but is now sixty miles inland with a mountain upon
the top of it--such changes this old world has seen. If the world were
formed only that man might play his drama upon it, then mankind must be
in the very earliest days of his history, for who would build so
elaborate a stage if the play were to be so short and insignificant?

     Illustration: OUR PARTY EN ROUTE TO THE JENOLAN CAVES, JANUARY
     20TH, 1921, IN FRONT OF OLD COURT HOUSE IN WHICH BUSHRANGERS WERE
     TRIED.

The caves are truly prodigious. They were discovered first in the
pursuit of some poor devil of a bushranger who must have been hard put
to it before he took up his residence in this damp and dreary retreat. A
brave man, Wilson, did most of the actual exploring, lowering himself by
a thin rope into noisome abysses of unknown depth and charting out
the whole of this devil's warren. It is so vast that many weeks would be
needed to go through it, and it is usual at one visit to take only a
single sample. On this occasion it was the River Cave, so named because
after many wanderings you come on a river about twenty feet across and
forty-five feet deep which has to be navigated for some distance in a
punt. The stalactite effects, though very wonderful, are not, I think,
superior to those which I have seen in Derbyshire, and the caves have
none of that historical glamour which is needed in order to link some
large natural object to our own comprehension. I can remember in
Derbyshire how my imagination and sympathy were stirred by a Roman
lady's brooch which had been found among the rubble. Either a wild beast
or a bandit knew best how it got there. Jenolan has few visible links
with the past, but one of them is a tremendous one. It is the complete,
though fractured, skeleton of a very large man--seven foot four said the
guide, but he may have put it on a little--who was found partly imbedded
in the lime. Many ages ago he seems to have fallen through the roof of
the cavern, and the bones of a wallaby hard by give some indication that
he was hunting at the time, and that his quarry shared his fate. He was
of the Black fellow type, with a low-class cranium. It is remarkable the
proportion of very tall men who are dug up in ancient tombs. Again and
again the bogs of Ireland have yielded skeletons of seven and eight
feet. Some years ago a Scythian chief was dug up on the Southern
Steppes of Russia who was eight feet six. What a figure of a man with
his winged helmet and his battle axe! All over the world one comes upon
these giants of old, and one wonders whether they represented some race,
further back still, who were all gigantic. The Babylonian tradition in
our Bible says: "And there were giants in those days." The big primeval
kangaroo has grown down to the smaller modern one, the wombat, which was
an animal as big as a tapir, is now as small as a badger, the great
saurians have become little lizards, and so it would seem not
unreasonable to suppose that man may have run to great size at some
unexplored period in his evolution.

We all emerged rather exhausted from the bowels of the earth, dazed with
the endless succession of strange gypsum formations which we had seen,
minarets, thrones, shawls, coronets, some of them so made that one could
imagine that the old kobolds had employed their leisure hours in
fashioning their freakish outlines. It was a memorable drive home in the
evening. Once as a bird flew above my head, the slanting ray of the
declining sun struck it and turned it suddenly to a vivid scarlet and
green. It was the first of many parrots. Once also a couple of kangaroos
bounded across the road, amid wild cries of delight from the children.
Once, too, a long snake writhed across and was caught by one of the
wheels of the motor. Rabbits, I am sorry to say, abounded. If they would
confine themselves to these primeval woods, Australia would be content.

This was the last of our pleasant Australian excursions, and we left
Medlow Bath refreshed not only by its charming atmosphere, but by
feeling that we had gained new friends. We made our way on January 26th
to Sydney, where all business had to be settled up and preparations made
for our homeward voyage.

Whilst in Sydney I had an opportunity of examining several phases of
mediumship which will be of interest to the psychic reader. I called
upon Mrs. Foster Turner, who is perhaps the greatest all-round medium
with the highest general level of any sensitive in Australia. I found a
middle-aged lady of commanding and pleasing appearance with a dignified
manner and a beautifully modulated voice, which must be invaluable to
her in platform work. Her gifts are so many that it must have been
difficult for her to know which to cultivate, but she finally settled
upon medical diagnosis, in which she has, I understand, done good work.
Her practice is considerable, and her help is not despised by some of
the leading practitioners. This gift is, as I have explained previously
in the case of Mr. Bloomfield, a form of clairvoyance, and Mrs. Foster
Turner enjoys all the other phases of that wonderful power, including
psychometry, with its application to detective work, the discerning of
spirits, and to a very marked degree the gift of prophecy, which she has
carried upon certain occasions to a length which I have never known
equalled in any reliable record of the past.

Here is an example for which, I am told, a hundred witnesses could be
cited. At a meeting at the Little Theatre, Castlereagh Street, Sydney,
on a Sunday evening of February, 1914, Mrs. Turner addressed the
audience under an inspiration which claimed to be W. T. Stead. He ended
his address by saying that in order to prove that he spoke with a power
beyond mortal, he would, on the next Sunday, give a prophecy as to the
future of the world.

Next Sunday some 900 people assembled, when Mrs. Turner, once more under
control, spoke as follows. I quote from notes taken at the time. "Now,
although there is not at present a whisper of a great European war at
hand, yet I want to warn you that before this year, 1914, has run its
course, Europe will be deluged in blood. Great Britain, our beloved
nation, will be drawn into the most awful war the world has ever known.
Germany will be the great antagonist, and will draw other nations in her
train. Austria will totter to its ruin. Kings and kingdoms will fall.
Millions of precious lives will be slaughtered, but Britain will finally
triumph and emerge victorious. During the year, also, the Pope of Rome
will pass away, and a bomb will be placed in St. Paul's Church, but will
be discovered in time and removed before damage is done."

Can any prophecy be more accurate or better authenticated than that? The
only equally exact prophecy on public events which I can recall is when
Emma Hardinge Britten, having been refused permission in 1860 to deliver
a lecture on Spiritualism in the Town Hall of Atlanta, declared that,
before many years had passed, that very Town Hall would be choked up
with the dead and the dying, drawn from the State which persecuted her.
This came literally true in the Civil War a few years later, when
Sherman's army passed that way.

Mrs. Foster Turner's gift of psychometry is one which will be freely
used by the community when we become more civilised and less ignorant.
As an example of how it works, some years ago a Melbourne man named
Cutler disappeared, and there was a considerable debate as to his fate.
His wife, without giving a name, brought Cutler's boot to Mrs. Turner.
She placed it near her forehead and at once got _en rapport_ with the
missing man. She described how he left his home, how he kissed his wife
good-bye, all the succession of his movements during that morning, and
finally how he had fallen or jumped over a bridge into the river, where
he had been caught under some snag. A search at the place named revealed
the dead body. If this case be compared with that of Mr. Foxhall,
already quoted, one can clearly see that the same law underlies each.
But what an ally for our C.I.D.!

There was one pleasant incident in connection with my visit to Mrs.
Foster Turner. Upon my asking her whether she had any psychic impression
when she saw me lecturing, she said that I was accompanied on the
platform by a man in spirit life, about 70 years of age, grey-bearded,
with rugged eyebrows. She searched her mind for a name, and then said,
"Alfred Russell Wallace." Doctor Abbott, who was present, confirmed
that she had given that name at the time. It will be remembered that
Mrs. Roberts, of Dunedin, had also given the name of the great
Spiritualistic Scientist as being my coadjutor. There was no possible
connection between Mrs. Turner and Mrs. Roberts. Indeed, the
intervention of the strike had made it almost impossible for them to
communicate, even if they had known each other--which they did not. It
was very helpful to me to think that so great a soul was at my side in
the endeavour to stimulate the attention of the world.

Two days before our departure we attended the ordinary Sunday service of
the Spiritualists at Stanmore Road, which appeared to be most reverently
and beautifully conducted. It is indeed pleasant to be present at a
religious service which in no way offends one's taste or one's
reason--which cannot always be said, even of Spiritualistic ones. At the
end I was presented with a beautifully illuminated address from the
faithful of Sydney, thanking me for what they were pleased to call "the
splendidly successful mission on behalf of Spiritualism in Sydney." "You
are a specially chosen leader," it went on, "endowed with power to
command attention from obdurate minds. We rejoice that you are ready to
consecrate your life to the spread of our glorious gospel, which
contains more proof of the eternal love of God than any other truth yet
revealed to man." So ran this kindly document. It was decorated with
Australian emblems, and as there was a laughing jackass in the corner,
I was able to raise a smile by suggesting that they had adorned it with
the picture of a type of opponent with whom we were very familiar, the
more so as some choice specimens had been observed in Sydney. There are
some gentle souls in our ranks who refrain from all retort--and morally,
they are no doubt the higher--but personally, when I am moved by the
malevolence and ignorance of our opponents, I cannot help hitting back
at them. It was Mark Twain, I think, who said that, instead of turning
the other cheek, he returned the other's cheek. That is my unregenerate
instinct.

I was able, for the first time, to give a bird's-eye view of my tour and
its final results. I had, in all, addressed twenty-five meetings,
averaging 2,000 people in each, or 50,000 people in all. I read aloud a
letter from Mr. Carlyle Smythe, who, with his father, had managed the
tours of every lecturer of repute who had come to Australia during the
past thirty years. Mr. Smythe knew what success and failure were, and he
said: "For an equal number of lectures, yours has proved the most
prosperous tour in my experience. No previous tour has won such
consistent success. From the push-off at Adelaide to the great boom in
New Zealand and Brisbane, it has been a great dynamic progression of
enthusiasm. I have known in my career nothing parallel to it."

The enemies of our cause were longing for my failure, and had, indeed,
in some cases most unscrupulously announced it, so it was necessary
that I should give precise details as to this great success, and to the
proof which it afforded that the public mind was open to the new
revelation. But, after all, the money test was the acid one. I had taken
a party of seven people at a time when all expenses were doubled or
trebled by the unnatural costs of travel and of living, which could not
be made up for by increasing the price of admission. It would seem a
miracle that I could clear this great bill of expenses in a country like
Australia, where the large towns are few. And yet I was able to show
that I had not only done so, after paying large sums in taxation, but
that I actually had seven hundred pounds over. This I divided among
Spiritual funds in Australia, the bulk of it, five hundred pounds, being
devoted to a guarantee of expenses for the next lecturer who should
follow me. It seemed to me that such a lecturer, if well chosen, and
properly guaranteed against loss, might devote a longer time than I, and
visit the smaller towns, from which I had often the most touching
appeals. If he were successful, he need not touch the guarantee fund,
and so it would remain as a perpetual source of active propaganda. Such
was the scheme which I outlined that night, and which was eventually
adopted by the Spiritualists of both Australia and New Zealand.

     Illustration: DENIS WITH A BLACK SNAKE AT MEDLOW BATH.

On my last evening at Sydney, I attended a third séance with Charles
Bailey, the apport medium. It was not under test conditions, so that it
can claim no strict scientific value, and yet the results are worth
recording. It had struck me that a critic might claim that there was
phosphorescent matter inside the spectacle case, which seemed to be the
only object which Bailey took inside the cabinet, so I insisted on
examining it, but found it quite innocent. The usual inconclusive
shadowy appearance of luminous vapour was evident almost at once, but
never, so far as I could judge, out of reach of the cabinet, which was
simply a blanket drawn across the corner of the room. The Hindoo control
then announced that an apport would be brought, and asked that water be
placed in a tin basin. He (that is, Bailey himself, under alleged
control) then emerged, the lights being half up, carrying the basin over
his head. On putting it down, we all saw two strange little young
tortoises swimming about in it. I say "strange," because I have seen
none like them. They were about the size of a half-crown, and the head,
instead of being close to the shell, was at the end of a thin neck half
as long as the body. There were a dozen Australians present, and they
all said they had never seen any similar ones. The control claimed that
he had just brought them from a tank in Benares. The basin was left on
the table, and while the lights were down, the creatures disappeared. It
is only fair to say that they could have been removed by hand in the
dark, but on examining the table, I was unable to see any of those
sloppings of water which might be expected to follow such an operation.

Shortly afterwards there was a great crash in the dark, and a number of
coins fell on to the table, and were handed to me by the presiding
control as a parting present. They did not, I fear, help me much with my
hotel bill, for they were fifty-six Turkish copper pennies, taken "from
a well," according to our informant. These two apports were all the
phenomena, and the medium, who has been working very hard of late,
showed every sign of physical collapse at the close.

Apart from the actual production in the séance room, which may be
disputed, I should like to confront the honest sceptic with the
extraordinary nature of the objects which Bailey produces on these
occasions. They cannot be disputed, for hundreds have handled them,
collections of them have been photographed, there are cases full at the
Stanford University at California, and I am bringing a few samples back
to England with me. If the whole transaction is normal, then where does
he get them? I had an Indian nest. Does anyone import Indian nests? Does
anyone import queer little tortoises with long, thin necks? Is there a
depot for Turkish copper coins in Australia? On the previous sitting, he
got 100 Chinese ones. Those might be explained, since the Chinaman is
not uncommon in Sydney, but surely he exports coins, rather than imports
them. Then what about 100 Babylonian tablets, with legible inscriptions
in Assyrian, some of them cylindrical, with long histories upon them?
Granting that they are Jewish forgeries, how do they get into the
country? Bailey's house was searched once by the police, but nothing was
found. Arabic papers, Chinese schoolbooks, mandarins' buttons, tropical
birds--all sorts of odd things arrive. If they are not genuine, where do
they come from? The matter is ventilated in papers, and no one comes
forward to damn Bailey for ever by proving that he supplied them. It is
no use passing the question by. It calls for an answer. If these
articles can be got in any normal way, then what is the way? If not,
then Bailey has been a most ill-used man, and miracles are of daily
occurrence in Australia. This man should be under the strict, but
patient and sympathetic, control of the greatest scientific observers in
the world, instead of being allowed to wear himself out by promiscuous
séances, given in order to earn a living. Imagine our scientists
expending themselves in the examination of shells, or the classification
of worms, when such a subject as this awaits them. And it cannot await
them long. The man dies, and then where are these experiments? But if
such scientific investigation be made, it must be thorough and
prolonged, directed by those who have real experience of occult matters,
otherwise it will wreck itself upon some theological or other snag, as
did Colonel de Rochas' attempt at Grenoble.

The longer one remains in Australia, the more one is struck by the
failure of State control. Whenever you test it, in the telephones, the
telegraphs and the post, it stands for inefficiency, with no possibility
that I can see of remedy. The train service is better, but still far
from good. As to the State ventures in steamboat lines and in banking, I
have not enough information to guide me. On the face of it, it is
evident that in each case there is no direct responsible master, and
that there is no real means of enforcing discipline. I have talked to
the heads of large institutions, who have assured me that the conduct of
business is becoming almost impossible. When they send an urgent
telegram, with a letter confirming it, it is no unusual thing for the
letter to arrive first. No complaint produces any redress. The maximum
compensation for sums lost in the post is, I am told, two pounds, so
that the banks, whose registered letters continually disappear, suffer
heavy losses. On the other hand, if they send a messenger with the
money, there is a law by which all bullion carried by train has to be
declared, and has to pay a commission. Yet the public generally, having
no standard of comparison, are so satisfied with the wretched public
services, that there is a continued agitation to extend public control,
and so ruin the well conducted private concerns. The particular instance
which came under my notice was the ferry service of Sydney harbour,
which is admirably and cheaply conducted, and yet there is a clamour
that it also should be dragged into this morass of slovenly
inefficiency. I hope, however, that the tide will soon set the other
way. I fear, from what I have seen of the actual working, that it is
only under exceptional conditions, and with very rigorous and
high-principled direction, that the State control of industries can be
carried out. I cannot see that it is a political question, or that the
democracy has any interest, save to have the public work done as well
and as economically as possible. When the capitalist has a monopoly, and
is exacting an undue return, it is another matter.

As I look back at Australia my prayers--if deep good wishes form a
prayer--go out to it. Save for that great vacuum upon the north, which a
wise Government would strive hard to fill, I see no other external
danger which can threaten her people. But internally I am shadowed by
the feeling that trouble may be hanging over them, though I am assured
that the cool stability of their race will at last pull them through it.
There are some dangerous factors there which make their position more
precarious than our own, and behind a surface of civilisation there lie
possible forces which might make for disruption. As a people they are
rather less disciplined than a European nation. There is no large middle
or leisured class who would represent moderation. Labour has tried a
Labour Government, and finding that politics will not really alter
economic facts is now seeking some fresh solution. The land is held in
many cases by large proprietors who work great tracts with few hands, so
there is not the conservative element which makes the strength of the
United States with its six million farmers, each with his stake in the
land. Above all, there is no standing military force, and nothing but a
small, though very efficient, police force to stand between organised
government and some wild attempt of the extremists. There are plenty of
soldiers, it is true, and they have been treated with extreme
generosity by the State, but they have been reabsorbed into the civil
population. If they stand for law and order then all is well. On the
other hand, there are the Irish, who are fairly numerous, well organised
and disaffected. There is no Imperial question, so far as I can see,
save with the Irish, but there is this disquieting internal situation
which, with the coming drop of wages, may suddenly become acute. An
Australian should be a sober-minded man for he has his difficulties
before him. We of the old country should never forget that these
difficulties have been partly caused by his splendid participation in
the great war, and so strain every nerve to help, both by an enlightened
sympathy and by such material means as are possible.

Personally, I have every sympathy with all reasonable and practical
efforts to uphold the standard of living in the working classes. At
present there is an almost universal opinion among thoughtful and
patriotic Australians that the progress of the country is woefully
hampered by the constant strikes, which are declared in defiance of all
agreements and all arbitration courts. The existence of Labour
Governments, or the State control of industries, does not seem to
alleviate these evil conditions, but may rather increase them, for in
some cases such pressure has been put upon the Government that they have
been forced to subsidise the strikers--or at least those sufferers who
have come out in sympathy with the original strikers. Such tactics must
demoralise a country and encourage labour to make claims upon capital
which the latter cannot possibly grant, since in many cases the margin
of profit is so small and precarious that it would be better for the
capitalist to withdraw his money and invest it with no anxieties. It is
clear that the tendency is to destroy the very means by which the worker
earns his bread, and that the position will become intolerable unless
the older, more level-headed men gain control of the unions and keep the
ignorant hot-heads in order. It is the young unmarried men without
responsibilities who create the situations, and it is the married men
with their women and children who suffer. A table of strikes prepared
recently by the _Manchester Guardian_ shows that more hours were lost in
Australia with her five or six million inhabitants than in the United
Kingdom with nearly fifty million. Surely this must make the Labour
leaders reconsider their tactics. As I write the stewards' strike, which
caused such extended misery, has collapsed, the sole result being a loss
of nearly a million pounds in wages to the working classes, and great
inconvenience to the public. The shipowners seem now in no hurry to
resume the services, and if their delay will make the strikers more
thoughtful it is surely to be defended.

On February 1st we started from Sydney in our good old "Naldera" upon
our homeward voyage, but the work was not yet finished. On reaching
Melbourne, where the ship was delayed two days, we found that a Town
Hall demonstration had been arranged to give us an address from the
Victorian Spiritualists, and wish us farewell. It was very short notice
and there was a tram strike which prevented people from getting about,
so the hall was not more than half full. None the less, we had a fine
chance of getting in touch with our friends, and the proceedings were
very hearty. The inscription was encased in Australian wood with a
silver kangaroo outside and beautiful illuminations within. It ran as
follows:

"We desire to place on permanent record our intense appreciation of your
zealous and self-sacrificing efforts, and our deep gratitude for the
great help you have given to the cause to which you have consecrated
your life. The over-flowing meetings addressed by you bear evidence of
the unqualified success of your mission, and many thousands bless the
day when you determined to enter this great crusade beneath the Southern
Cross.... In all these sentiments we desire to include your loyal and
most devoted partner, Lady Doyle, whose self-sacrifice equals or exceeds
your own."

Personally, I have never been conscious of any self-sacrifice, but the
words about my wife were in no way an over-statement. I spoke in reply
for about forty minutes, and gave a synopsis of the state of the faith
in other centres, for each Australian State is curiously self-centred
and realises very little beyond its own borders. It was good for
Melbourne to know that Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and New Zealand were
quite as alive and zealous as themselves.

At the end of the function I gave an account of the financial results
of my tour and handed over £500 as a guarantee fund for future British
lecturers, and £100 to Mr. Britton Harvey to assist his admirable paper,
_The Harbinger of Light_. I had already expended about £100 upon
spiritual causes, so that my whole balance came to £700, which is all
now invested in the Cause and should bring some good spiritual interest
in time to come. We badly need money in order to be able to lay our case
more fully before the world.

I have already given the written evidence of Mr. Smythe that my tour was
the most successful ever conducted in his time in Australia. To this I
may add the financial result recorded above. In view of this it is worth
recording that _Life_, a paper entirely under clerical management, said:
"The one thing clear is that Sir Conan Doyle's mission to Australia was
a mournful and complete failure, and it has left him in a very
exasperated state of mind." This is typical of the perverse and
unscrupulous opposition which we have continually to face, which
hesitates at no lie in order to try and discredit the movement.

One small incident broke the monotony of the voyage between Adelaide and
Fremantle, across the dreaded Bight.

There have been considerable depredations in the coastal passenger trade
of Australia, and since the State boats were all laid up by the strike
it was to be expected that the crooks would appear upon the big liners.
A band of them came on board the _Naldera_ at Adelaide, but their
methods were crude, and they were up against a discipline and an
organisation against which they were helpless. One ruffian entered a
number of cabins and got away with some booty, but was very gallantly
arrested by Captain Lewellin himself, after a short hand-to-hand
struggle. This fellow was recognised by the detectives at Fremantle and
was pronounced to be an old hand. In the general vigilance and search
for accomplices which followed, another passenger was judged to be
suspicious and he was also carried away by the detectives on a charge of
previous forgery. Altogether the crooks came out very badly in their
encounter with the _Naldera_, whose officers deserve some special
recognition from the Company for the able way in which the matter was
handled.

Although my formal tour was now over, I had quite determined to speak at
Perth if it were humanly possible, for I could not consider my work as
complete if the capital of one State had been untouched. I therefore
sent the message ahead that I would fit in with any arrangements which
they might make, be it by day or night, but that the ship would only be
in port for a few hours. As matters turned out the _Naldera_ arrived in
the early morning and was announced to sail again at 3 p.m., so that the
hours were awkward. They took the great theatre, however, for 1 p.m.,
which alarmed me as I reflected that my audience must either be starving
or else in a state of repletion. Everything went splendidly, however.
The house was full, and I have never had a more delightfully keen set of
people in front of me. Of all my experiences there was none which was
more entirely and completely satisfactory, and I hope that it brought a
very substantial sum into the local spiritual treasury. There was quite
a scene in the street afterwards, and the motor could not start for the
crowds who surrounded it and stretched their kind hands and eager faces
towards us. It was a wonderful last impression to bear away from
Australia.

It is worth recording that upon a clairvoyante being asked upon this
occasion whether she saw any one beside me on the platform she at once
answered "an elderly man with very tufted eyebrows." This was the marked
characteristic of the face of Russell Wallace. I was told before I left
England that Wallace was my guide. I have already shown that Mrs.
Roberts, of Dunedin, gave me a message direct from him to the same
effect. Mrs. Foster Turner, in Sydney, said she saw him, described him
and gave the name. Three others have described him. Each of these has
been quite independent of the others. I think that the most sceptical
person must admit that the evidence is rather strong. It is naturally
more strong to me since I am personally conscious of his intervention
and assistance.

Apart from my spiritual mission, I was very sorry that I could not
devote some time to exploring West Australia, which is in some ways the
most interesting, as it is the least developed, of the States in the
Federation. One or two points which I gathered about it are worth
recording, especially its relation to the rabbits and to the sparrows,
the only hostile invaders which it has known. Long may they remain so!

The battle between the West Australians and the rabbits was historical
and wonderful. After the creatures had become a perfect pest in the East
it was hoped that the great central desert would prevent them from ever
reaching the West. There was no water for a thousand miles. None the
less, the rabbits got across. It was a notable day when the West
Australian outrider, loping from west to east, met the pioneer rabbit
loping from east to west. Then West Australia made a great effort. She
built a rabbit-proof wire screen from north to south for hundreds of
miles from sea to sea, with such thoroughness that the northern end
projected over a rock which fringed deep water. With such thoroughness,
too, did the rabbits reconnoitre this obstacle that their droppings were
seen upon the far side of that very rock. There came another day of doom
when two rabbits were seen on the wrong side of the wire. Two dragons of
the slime would not have alarmed the farmer more. A second line was
built, but this also was, as I understand, carried by the attack, which
is now consolidating, upon the ground it has won. However, the whole
situation has been changed by the discovery elsewhere that the rabbit
can be made a paying proposition, so all may end well in this curious
story.

A similar fight, with more success, has been made by West Australia
against the sparrow, which has proved an unmitigated nuisance
elsewhere. The birds are slowly advancing down the line of the
Continental Railway and their forward scouts are continually cut off.
Captain White, the distinguished ornithologist, has the matter in hand,
and received, as I am told, a wire a few weeks ago, he being in
Melbourne, to the effect that two sparrows had been observed a thousand
miles west of where they had any rights. He set off, or sent off,
instantly to this way-side desert station in the hope of destroying
them, with what luck I know not. I should be inclined to back the
sparrows.

This Captain White is a man of energy and brains, whose name comes up
always when one enquires into any question of bird or beast. He has made
a remarkable expedition lately to those lonely Everard Ranges, which lie
some distance to the north of the desolate Nularbor Plain, through which
the Continental Railway passes. It must form one of the most dreadful
wastes in the world, for there are a thousand miles of coast line,
without one single stream emerging. Afforestation may alter all that. In
the Everard Ranges Captain White found untouched savages of the stone
age, who had never seen a white man before, and who treated him with
absolute courtesy and hospitality. They were a fine race physically,
though they lived under such conditions that there was little solid food
save slugs, lizards and the like. One can but pray that the Australian
Government will take steps to save these poor people from the sad fate
which usually follows the contact between the higher and the lower.

From what I heard, West Australian immigrants are better looked after
than in the other States. I was told in Perth that nine hundred
ex-service men with their families had arrived, and that all had been
fitted into places, permanent or temporary, within a fortnight. This is
not due to Government, but to the exertions of a peculiar local Society,
with the strange title of "The Ugly Men." "Handsome is as handsome
does," and they seem to be great citizens. West Australia calls itself
the Cinderella State, for, although it covers a third of the Continent,
it is isolated from the great centres of population. It has a very
individual life of its own, however, with its gold fields, its shark
fisheries, its pearlers, and the great stock-raising plain in the north.
Among other remarkable achievements is its great water pipe, which
extends for four hundred miles across the desert, and supplies the
pressure for the electric machinery at Kalgurli.

By a coincidence, the _Narkunda_, which is the sister ship of the
_Naldera_, lay alongside the same quay at Fremantle, and it was an
impressive sight to see these two great shuttles of Empire lying for a
few hours at rest. In their vastness and majesty they made me think of a
daring saying of my mother's, when she exclaimed that if some works of
man, such as an ocean-going steamer, were compared with some works of
God, such as a hill, man could sustain the comparison. It is the divine
spark within us which gives us the creative power, and what may we not
be when that is fully developed!

The children were fishing for sharks, with a line warranted to hold
eighteen pounds, with the result that Malcolm's bait, lead, and
everything else was carried away. But they were amply repaid by actually
seeing the shark, which played about for some time in the turbid water,
a brown, ugly, varminty creature, with fine lines of speed in its
tapering body. "It was in Adelaide, daddy, not Fremantle," they protest
in chorus, and no doubt they are right.



CHAPTER XII

     Pleasing letters.--Visit to Candy.--Snake and Flying Fox.--Buddha's
     shrine.--The Malaya.--Naval digression.--Indian
     trader.--Elephanta.--Sea snakes.--Chained to a tombstone.--Berlin's
     escape.--Lord Chetwynd.--Lecture in the Red Sea.--Marseilles.


It was on Friday, February 11th, that we drew away from the Fremantle
wharf, and started forth upon our long, lonely trek for Colombo--a huge
stretch of sea, in which it is unusual to see a single sail. As night
fell I saw the last twinkling lights of Australia fade away upon our
starboard quarter. Well, my job is done. I have nothing to add, nor have
I said anything which I would wish withdrawn. My furrow gapes across two
young Continents. I feel, deep in my soul, that the seed will fall in
due season, and that the reaping will follow the seed. Only the work
concerns ourselves--the results lie with those whose instruments we are.

Of the many kindly letters which bade us farewell, and which assured us
that our work was not in vain, none was more eloquent and thoughtful
than that of Mr. Thomas Ryan, a member of the Federal Legislature. "Long
after you leave us your message will linger. This great truth, which we
had long thought of as the plaything of the charlatan and crank, into
this you breathed the breath of life, and, as of old, we were forced to
say, 'We shall think of this again. We shall examine it more fully.'
Give us time--for the present only this, we are sure that this thing was
not done in a corner. Let me say in the few moments I am able to snatch
from an over-crowded life, that we realise throughout the land how deep
and far-reaching were the things of which you spoke to us. We want time,
and even more time, to make them part of ourselves. We are glad you have
come and raised our thoughts from the market-place to the altar."

Bishop Leadbeater, of Sydney, one of the most venerable and picturesque
figures whom I met in my travels, wrote, "Now that you are leaving our
shores, let me express my conviction that your visit has done great good
in stirring up the thought of the people, and, I hope, in convincing
many of them of the reality of the other life." Among very many other
letters there was none I valued more than one from the Rev. Jasper
Calder, of Auckland. "Rest assured, Sir Arthur, the plough has gone
deep, and the daylight will now reach the soil that has so long been in
the darkness of ignorance. I somehow feel as if this is the beginning of
new things for us all."

It is a long and weary stretch from Australia to Ceylon, but it was
saved from absolute monotony by the weather, which was unusually
boisterous for so genial a region. Two days before crossing the line we
ran into a north-western monsoon, a rather rare experience, so that the
doldrums became quite a lively place. Even our high decks were wet with
spindrift and the edge of an occasional comber, and some of the cabins
were washed out. A smaller ship would have been taking heavy seas. In
all that great stretch of ocean we never saw a sail or a fish, and very
few birds. The loneliness of the surface of the sea is surely a very
strange fact in nature. One would imagine, if the sea is really so
populous as we imagine, that the surface, which is the only fixed point
in very deep water, would be the gathering ground and trysting place for
all life. Save for the flying fish, there was not a trace in all those
thousands of miles.

I suppose that on such a voyage one should rest and do nothing, but how
difficult it is to do nothing, and can it be restful to do what is
difficult? To me it is almost impossible. I was helped through a weary
time by many charming companions on board, particularly the Rev. Henry
Howard, reputed to be the best preacher in Australia. Some of his
sermons which I read are, indeed, splendid, depending for their effect
upon real thought and knowledge, without any theological emotion. He is
ignorant of psychic philosophy, though, like so many men who profess
themselves hostile to Spiritualism, he is full of good stories which
conclusively prove the very thing he denies. However, he has reached
full spirituality, which is more important than Spiritualism, and he
must be a great influence for good wherever he goes. The rest he will
learn later, either upon this side, or the other.

At Colombo I was interested to receive a _Westminster Gazette_, which
contained an article by their special commissioner upon the Yorkshire
fairies. Some correspondent has given the full name of the people
concerned, with their address, which means that their little village
will be crammed with chars-à-banc, and the peace of their life ruined.
It was a rotten thing to do. For the rest, the _Westminster_ inquiries
seem to have confirmed Gardner and me in every particular, and brought
out the further fact that the girls had never before taken a photo in
their life. One of them had, it seems, been for a short time in the
employ of a photographer, but as she was only a child, and her duties
consisted in running on errands, the fact would hardly qualify her, as
_Truth_ suggests, for making faked negatives which could deceive the
greatest experts in London. There may be some loophole in the direction
of thought forms, but otherwise the case is as complete as possible.

We have just returned from a dream journey to Candy. The old capital is
in the very centre of the island, and seventy-two miles from Colombo,
but, finding that we had one clear night, we all crammed ourselves (my
wife, the children and self) into a motor car, and made for it, while
Major Wood and Jakeman did the same by train. It was a wonderful
experience, a hundred and forty miles of the most lovely coloured
cinema reel that God ever released. I carry away the confused but
beautiful impression of a good broad red-tinted road, winding amid all
shades of green, from the dark foliage of overhanging trees, to the
light stretches of the half-grown rice fields. Tea groves, rubber
plantations, banana gardens, and everywhere the coconut palms, with
their graceful, drooping fronds. Along this great road streamed the
people, and their houses lined the way, so that it was seldom that one
was out of sight of human life. They were of all types and colours, from
the light brown of the real Singalese to the negroid black of the
Tamils, but all shared the love of bright tints, and we were delighted
by the succession of mauves, purples, crimsons, ambers and greens. Water
buffaloes, with the resigned and half-comic air of the London landlady
who has seen better days, looked up at us from their mudholes, and
jackal-like dogs lay thick on the path, hardly moving to let our motor
pass. Once, my lord the elephant came round a corner, with his soft,
easy-going stride, and surveyed us with inscrutable little eyes. It was
the unchanged East, even as it had always been, save for the neat little
police stations and their smart occupants, who represented the gentle,
but very efficient, British Raj. It may have been the merit of that Raj,
or it may have been the inherent virtue of the people, but in all that
journey we were never conscious of an unhappy or of a wicked face. They
were very sensitive, speaking faces, too, and it was not hard to read
the thoughts within.

As we approached Candy, our road ran through the wonderful Botanical
Gardens, unmatched for beauty in the world, though I still give
Melbourne pride of place for charm. As we sped down one avenue an
elderly keeper in front of us raised his gun and fired into the thick
foliage of a high tree. An instant later something fell heavily to the
ground. A swarm of crows had risen, so that we had imagined it was one
of these, but when we stopped the car a boy came running up with the
victim, which was a great bat, or flying fox, with a two-foot span of
leathery wing. It had the appealing face of a mouse, and two black,
round eyes, as bright as polished shoe buttons. It was wounded, so the
boy struck it hard upon the ground, and held it up once more, the dark
eyes glazed, and the graceful head bubbling blood from either nostril.
"Horrible! horrible!" cried poor Denis, and we all echoed it in our
hearts. This intrusion of tragedy into that paradise of a garden
reminded us of the shadows of life. There is something very intimately
moving in the evil fate of the animals. I have seen a man's hand blown
off in warfare, and have not been conscious of the same haunting horror
which the pains of animals have caused me.

And here I may give another incident from our Candy excursion. The boys
are wild over snakes, and I, since I sat in the front of the motor, was
implored to keep a look-out. We were passing through a village, where a
large lump of concrete, or stone, was lying by the road. A stick, about
five feet long, was resting against it. As we flew past, I saw, to my
amazement, the top of the stick bend back a little. I shouted to the
driver, and we first halted, and then ran back to the spot. Sure enough,
it was a long, yellow snake, basking in this peculiar position. The
village was alarmed, and peasants came running, while the boys, wildly
excited, tumbled out of the motor. "Kill it!" they cried. "No, no!"
cried the chauffeur. "There is the voice of the Buddhist," I thought, so
I cried, "No! no!" also. The snake, meanwhile, squirmed over the stone,
and we saw it lashing about among the bushes. Perhaps we were wrong to
spare it, for I fear it was full of venom. However, the villagers
remained round the spot, and they had sticks, so perhaps the story was
not ended.

Candy, the old capital, is indeed a dream city, and we spent a long,
wonderful evening beside the lovely lake, where the lazy tortoises
paddled about, and the fireflies gleamed upon the margin. We visited
also the old Buddhist temple, where, as in all those places, the
atmosphere is ruined by the perpetual demand for small coins. The few
mosques which I have visited were not desecrated in this fashion, and it
seems to be an unenviable peculiarity of the Buddhists, whose
yellow-robed shaven priests have a keen eye for money. Beside the
temple, but in ruins, lay the old palace of the native kings.

I wish we could have seen the temple under better conditions, for it is
really the chief shrine of the most numerous religion upon earth,
serving the Buddhist as the Kaaba serves the Moslem, or St. Peter's the
Catholic. It is strange how the mind of man drags high things down to
its own wretched level, the priests in each creed being the chief
culprits. Buddha under his boh tree was a beautiful example of sweet,
unselfish benevolence and spirituality. And the upshot, after two
thousand years, is that his followers come to adore a horse's tooth
(proclaimed to be Buddha's, and three inches long), at Candy, and to
crawl up Adam's Peak, in order to worship at a hole in the ground which
is supposed to be his yard-long footstep. It is not more senseless than
some Christian observances, but that does not make it less deplorable.

I was very anxious to visit one of the buried cities further inland, and
especially to see the ancient Boh tree, which must surely be the doyen
of the whole vegetable kingdom, since it is undoubtedly a slip taken
from Buddha's original Boh tree, transplanted into Ceylon about two
hundred years before Christ. Its history is certain and unbroken. Now, I
understand, it is a very doddering old trunk, with withered limbs which
are supported by crutches, but may yet hang on for some centuries to
come. On the whole, we employed our time very well, but Ceylon will
always remain to each of us as an earthly paradise, and I could imagine
no greater pleasure than to have a clear month to wander over its
beauties. Monsieur Clemenceau was clearly of the same opinion, for he
was doing it very thoroughly whilst we were there.

From Colombo to Bombay was a dream of blue skies and blue seas. Half
way up the Malabar coast, we saw the old Portuguese settlement of Goa,
glimmering white on a distant hillside. Even more interesting to us was
a squat battleship making its way up the coast. As we came abreast of it
we recognised the _Malaya_, one of that famous little squadron of Evan
Thomas', which staved off the annihilation of Beatty's cruisers upon
that day of doom on the Jutland coast. We gazed upon it with the
reverence that it deserved. We had, in my opinion, a mighty close shave
upon that occasion. If Jellicoe had gambled with the British fleet he
might have won a shattering victory, but surely he was wise to play
safety with such tremendous interests at stake. There is an account of
the action, given by a German officer, at the end of Freeman's book
"With the _Hercules_ to Kiel," which shows clearly that the enemy
desired Jellicoe to close with them, as giving them their only chance
for that torpedo barrage which they had thoroughly practised, and on
which they relied to cripple a number of our vessels. In every form of
foresight and preparation, the brains seem to have been with them--but
that was not the fault of the fighting seamen. Surely an amateur could
have foreseen that, in a night action, a star shell is better than a
searchlight, that a dropping shell at a high trajectory is far more
likely to hit the deck than the side, and that the powder magazine
should be cut off from the turret, as, otherwise, a shell crushing the
one will explode the other. This last error in construction seems to
have been the cause of half our losses, and the _Lion_ herself would
have been a victim, but for the self-sacrifice of brave Major Harvey of
the Marines. All's well that ends well, but it was stout hearts, and not
clear heads, which pulled us through.

It is all very well to say let bygones be bygones, but we have no
guarantee that the old faults are corrected, and certainly no one has
been censured. It looks as if the younger officers had no means of
bringing their views before those in authority, while the seniors were
so occupied with actual administration that they had no time for
thinking outside their routine. Take the really monstrous fact that, at
the outset of a war of torpedoes and mines, when ships might be expected
to sink like kettles with a hole in them, no least provision had been
made for saving the crew! Boats were discarded before action, nothing
wooden or inflammable was permitted, and the consideration that
life-saving apparatus might be non-inflammable does not seem to have
presented itself. When I wrote to the Press, pointing this out with all
the emphasis of which I was capable--I was ready to face the charge of
hysteria in such a cause--I was gravely rebuked by a leading naval
authority, and cautioned not to meddle with mysteries of which I knew
nothing. None the less, within a week there was a rush order for
swimming collars of india rubber. _Post hoc non propter_, perhaps, but
at least it verified the view of the layman. That was in the days when
not one harbour had been boomed and netted, though surely a shark in a
bathing pool would be innocuous compared to a submarine in an anchorage.
The swimmers could get out, but the ships could not.

But all this comes of seeing the white _Malaya_, steaming slowly upon
deep blue summer seas, with the olive-green coast of Malabar on the
horizon behind her.

I had an interesting conversation on psychic matters with Lady Dyer,
whose husband was killed in the war. It has been urged that it is
singular and unnatural that our friends from the other side so seldom
allude to the former occasions on which they have manifested. There is,
I think, force in the objection. Lady Dyer had an excellent case to the
contrary--and, indeed, they are not rare when one makes inquiry. She was
most anxious to clear up some point which was left open between her
husband and herself, and for this purpose consulted three mediums in
London, Mr. Vout Peters, Mrs. Brittain, and another. In each case she
had some success. Finally, she consulted Mrs. Leonard, and her husband,
speaking through Feda, under control, began a long conversation by
saying, "I have already spoken to you through three mediums, two women
and a man." Lady Dyer had not given her name upon any occasion, so there
was no question of passing on information. I may add that the intimate
point at issue was entirely cleared up by the husband, who rejoiced
greatly that he had the chance to do so.

Bombay is not an interesting place for the casual visitor, and was in a
state of uproar and decoration on account of the visit of the Duke of
Connaught. My wife and I did a little shopping, which gave us a glimpse
of the patient pertinacity of the Oriental. The sum being 150 rupees, I
asked the Indian's leave to pay by cheque, as money was running low. He
consented. When we reached the ship by steam-launch, we found that he,
in some strange way, had got there already, and was squatting with the
goods outside our cabin door. He looked askance at Lloyd's Bank, of
which he had never heard, but none the less he took the cheque under
protest. Next evening he was back at our cabin door, squatting as
before, with a sweat-stained cheque in his hand which, he declared, that
he was unable to cash. This time I paid in English pound notes, but he
looked upon them with considerable suspicion. As our ship was lying a
good three miles from the shore, the poor chap had certainly earned his
money, for his goods, in the first instance, were both good and cheap.

We have seen the Island of Elephanta, and may the curse of Ernulphus,
which comprises all other curses, be upon that old Portuguese Governor
who desecrated it, and turned his guns upon the wonderful stone
carvings. It reminds me of Abou Simbel in Nubia, and the whole place has
an Egyptian flavour. In a vast hollow in the hill, a series of very
elaborate bas reliefs have been carved, showing Brahma, Vishnu and Siva,
the old Hindoo trinity, with all those strange satellites, the bulls,
the kites, the dwarfs, the elephant-headed giants with which Hindoo
mythology has so grotesquely endowed them. Surely a visitor from some
wiser planet, examining our traces, would judge that the human race,
though sane in all else, was mad the moment that it touched religion,
whether he judged it by such examples as these, or by the wearisome
iteration of expressionless Buddhas, the sacred crocodiles and
hawk-headed gods of Egypt, the monstrosities of Central America, or the
lambs and doves which adorn our own churches. It is only in the
Mohammedan faith that such an observer would find nothing which could
offend, since all mortal symbolism is there forbidden. And yet if these
strange conceptions did indeed help these poor people through their
journey of life--and even now they come from far with their
offerings--then we should morally be as the Portuguese governor, if we
were to say or do that which might leave them prostrate and mutilated in
their minds. It was a pleasant break to our long voyage, and we were
grateful to our commander, who made everything easy for us. He takes the
humane view that a passenger is not merely an article of cargo, to be
conveyed from port to port, but that his recreation should, in reason,
be considered as well.

Elephanta was a little bit of the old India, but the men who conveyed us
there from the launch to the shore in their ancient dhows were of a far
greater antiquity. These were Kolis, small, dark men, who held the
country before the original Aryan invasion, and may still be plying
their boats when India has become Turanian or Slavonic, or whatever its
next avatar may be. They seem to have the art of commerce well
developed, for they held us up cleverly until they had extracted a rupee
each, counting us over and over with great care and assiduity.

At Bombay we took over 200 more travellers.

We had expected that the new-comers, who were mostly Anglo-Indians whose
leave had been long overdue, would show signs of strain and climate, but
we were agreeably surprised to find that they were a remarkably healthy
and alert set of people. This may be due to the fact that it is now the
end of the cold weather. Our new companions included many native
gentlemen, one of whom, the Rajah of Kapurthala, brought with him his
Spanish wife, a regal-looking lady, whose position must be a difficult
one. Hearne and Murrell, the cricketers, old playmates and friends, were
also among the new-comers. All of them seemed perturbed as to the unrest
in India, though some were inclined to think that the worst was past,
and that the situation was well in hand. When we think how splendidly
India helped us in the war, it would indeed be sad if a serious rift
came between us now. One thing I am very sure of, that if Great Britain
should ever be forced to separate from India, it is India, and not
Britain, which will be the chief sufferer.

We passed over hundreds of miles of absolute calm in the Indian Ocean.
There is a wonderful passage in Frank Bullen's "Sea Idylls," in which
he describes how, after a long-continued tropical calm, all manner of
noxious scum and vague evil shapes come flickering to the surface.
Coleridge has done the same idea, for all time, in "The Ancient
Mariner," when "the very sea did rot." In our case we saw nothing so
dramatic, but the ship passed through one area where there was a great
number of what appeared to be sea-snakes, creatures of various hues,
from two to ten feet long, festooned or slowly writhing some feet below
the surface. I cannot recollect seeing anything of the kind in any
museum. These, and a couple of Arab dhows, furnished our only break in a
thousand miles. Certainly, as an entertainment the ocean needs cutting.

In the extreme south, like a cloud upon the water, we caught a glimpse
of the Island of Socotra, one of the least visited places upon earth,
though so near to the main line of commerce. What a base for submarines,
should it fall into wrong hands! It has a comic-opera Sultan of its own,
with 15,000 subjects, and a subsidy from the British Government of 200
dollars a year, which has been increased lately to 360, presumably on
account of the higher cost of living. It is a curious fact that, though
it is a great place of hill and plain, seventy miles by eighteen, there
is only one wild animal known, namely the civet cat. A traveller, Mr.
Jacob, who examined the place, put forward the theory that one of
Alexander the Great's ships was wrecked there, the crew remaining, for
he found certain Greek vestiges, but what they were I have been unable
to find out.

As we approached Aden, we met the _China_ on her way out. Her
misadventure some years ago at the Island of Perim, has become one of
the legends of the sea. In those days, the discipline aboard P. & O.
ships was less firm than at present, and on the occasion of the birthday
of one of the leading passengers, the officers of the ship had been
invited to the festivity. The result was that, in the middle of dinner,
the ship crashed, no great distance from the lighthouse, and, it is
said, though this is probably an exaggeration, that the revellers were
able to get ashore over the bows without wetting their dress shoes. No
harm was done, save that one unlucky rock projected, like a huge spike,
through the ship's bottom, and it cost the company a good half-million
before they were able to get her afloat and in service once more.
However, there she was, doing her fifteen knots, and looking so saucy
and new that no one would credit such an unsavoury incident in her past.

Early in February I gave a lantern lecture upon psychic phenomena to
passengers of both classes. The Red Sea has become quite a favourite
stamping ground of mine, but it was much more tolerable now than on that
terrible night in August when I discharged arguments and perspiration to
a sweltering audience. On this occasion it was a wonderful gathering, a
microcosm of the world, with an English peer, an Indian Maharajah, many
native gentlemen, whites of every type from four great countries, and a
fringe of stewards, stewardesses, and nondescripts of all sorts,
including the ship's barber, who is one of the most active men on the
ship in an intellectual sense. All went well, and if they were not
convinced they were deeply interested, which is the first stage.
Somewhere there are great forces which are going to carry on this work,
and I never address an audience without the feeling that among them
there may be some latent Paul or Luther whom my words may call into
activity.

I heard an anecdote yesterday which is worth recording. We have a
boatswain who is a fine, burly specimen of a British seaman. In one of
his short holidays while in mufti, in Norfolk, he had an argument with a
Norfolk farmer, a stranger to him, who wound up the discussion by
saying: "My lad, what you need is a little travel to broaden your mind."

The boatswain does his 70,000 miles a year. It reminded me of the doctor
who advised his patient to take a brisk walk every morning before
breakfast, and then found out that he was talking to the village
postman.

A gentleman connected with the cinema trade told me a curious story
within his own experience. Last year a psychic cinema story was shown in
Australia, and to advertise it a man was hired who would consent to be
chained to a tombstone all night. This was done in Melbourne and Sydney
without the person concerned suffering in any way. It was very different
in Launceston. The man was found to be nearly mad from terror in the
morning, though he was a stout fellow of the dock labourer type. His
story was that in the middle of the night he had heard to his horror the
sound of dripping water approaching him. On looking up he saw an
evil-looking shape with water streaming from him, who stood before him
and abused him a long time, frightening him almost to death. The man was
so shaken that the cinema company had to send him for a voyage. Of
course, it was an unfair test for any one's nerves, and imagination may
have played its part, but it is noticeable that a neighbouring grave
contained a man who had been drowned in the Esk many years before. In
any case, it makes a true and interesting story, whatever the
explanation.

I have said that there was an English peer on board. This was Lord
Chetwynd, a man who did much towards winning the war. Now that the storm
is over the public knows nothing, and apparently cares little, about the
men who brought the ship of State through in safety. Some day we shall
get a more exact sense of proportion, but it is all out of focus at
present. Lord Chetwynd, in the year 1915, discovered by his own personal
experiments how to make an explosive far more effective than the one we
were using, which was very unreliable. This he effected by a particular
combination and treatment of T.N.T. and ammonia nitrate. Having
convinced the authorities by actual demonstration, he was given a free
hand, which he used to such effect that within a year he was furnishing
the main shell supply of the army. His own installation was at
Chilwell, near Nottingham, and it turned out 19,000,000 shells, while
six other establishments were erected elsewhere on the same system.
Within his own works Lord Chetwynd was so complete an autocrat that it
was generally believed that he shot three spies with his own hand.
Thinking the rumour a useful one, he encouraged it by creating three
dummy graves, which may, perhaps, be visited to this day by pious
pro-Germans. It should be added that Lord Chetwynd's explosive was not
only stronger, but cheaper, than that in previous use, so that his
labours saved the country some millions of pounds.

It was at Chilwell that the huge bombs were filled which were destined
for Berlin. There were 100 of them to be carried in twenty-five Handley
Page machines. Each bomb was capable of excavating 350 tons at the spot
where it fell, and in a trial trip one which was dropped in the central
courtyard of a large square building left not a stone standing around
it. Berlin was saved by a miracle, which she hardly deserved after the
irresponsible glee with which she had hailed the devilish work of her
own Zeppelins. The original hundred bombs sent to be charged had the
tails removed before being sent, and when they were returned it was
found to be such a job finding the right tail for the right bomb, the
permutations being endless, that it was quicker and easier to charge
another hundred bombs with tails attached. This and other fortuitous
matters consumed several weeks. Finally, the bombs were ready and were
actually on the machines in England, whence the start was to be made,
when the Armistice was declared. Possibly a knowledge of this increased
the extreme haste of the German delegates. Personally, I am glad it was
so, for we have enough cause for hatred in the world without adding the
death of 10,000 German civilians. There is some weight, however, in the
contention of those who complain that Germans have devastated Belgium
and France, but have never been allowed to experience in their own
persons what the horrors of war really are. Still, if Christianity and
religion are to be more than mere words, we must be content that Berlin
was not laid in ruins at a time when the issue of the war was already
decided.

Here we are at Suez once again. It would take Loti or Robert Hichens to
describe the wonderful shades peculiar to the outskirts of Egypt. Deep
blue sea turns to dark green, which in turn becomes the very purest,
clearest emerald as it shallows into a snow-white frill of foam. Thence
extends the golden desert with deep honey-coloured shadows, stretching
away until it slopes upwards into melon-tinted hills, dry and bare and
wrinkled. At one point a few white dwellings with a group of acacias
mark the spot which they call Moses Well. They say that a Jew can pick
up a living in any country, but when one surveys these terrible wastes
one can only imagine that the climate has greatly changed since a whole
nomad people were able to cross them.

In the Mediterranean we had a snap of real cold which laid many of us
out, myself included. I recall the Lancastrian who complained that he
had swallowed a dog fight. The level of our lives had been disturbed for
an instant by a feud between the children and one of the passengers who
had, probably quite justly, given one of them a box on the ear. In
return, they had fixed an abusive document in his cabin which they had
ended by the words, "With our warmest despisings," all signing their
names to it. The passenger was sportsman enough to show this document
around, or we should not have known of its existence. Strange little
souls with their vivid hopes and fears, a parody of our own. I gave baby
a daily task and had ordered her to do a map of Australia. I found her
weeping in the evening. "I did the map," she cried, between her sobs,
"but they all said it was a pig!" She was shaken to the soul at the
slight upon her handiwork.

It was indeed wonderful to find ourselves at Marseilles once more, and,
after the usual unpleasant _douane_ formalities, which are greatly
ameliorated in France as compared to our own free trade country, to be
at temporary rest at the Hôtel du Louvre.

A great funeral, that of Frederic Chevillon and his brother, was
occupying the attention of the town. Both were public officials and both
were killed in the war, their bodies being now exhumed for local honour.
A great crowd filed past with many banners, due decorum being observed
save that some of the mourners were smoking cigarettes, which "was not
handsome," as Mr. Pepys would observe. There was no sign of any
religious symbol anywhere. It was a Sunday and yet the people in the
procession seemed very badly dressed and generally down-at-heel and
slovenly. I think we should have done the thing better in England. The
simplicity of the flag-wrapped coffins was however dignified and
pleasing. The inscriptions, too, were full of simple patriotism.

I never take a stroll through a French town without appreciating the
gulf which lies between us and them. They have the old Roman
civilisation, with its ripe mellow traits, which have never touched the
Anglo-Saxon, who, on the other hand, has his raw Northern virtues which
make life angular but effective. I watched a scene to-day inconceivable
under our rule. Four very smart officers, captains or majors, were
seated outside a café. The place was crowded, but there was room for
four more at this table on the sidewalk, so presently that number of
negro privates came along and occupied the vacant seats. The officers
smiled most good humouredly, and remarks were exchanged between the two
parties, which ended in the high falsetto laugh of a negro. These black
troops seemed perfectly self-respecting, and I never saw a drunken man,
soldier or civilian, during two days.

I have received English letters which announce that I am to repeat my
Australian lectures at the Queen's Hall, from April 11th onwards. I
seem to be returning with shotted guns and going straight into action.
They say that the most dangerous course is to switch suddenly off when
you have been working hard. I am little likely to suffer from that.



CHAPTER XIII

     The Institut Metaphysique.--Lecture in French.--Wonderful musical
     improviser.--Camille Flammarion.--Test of materialised hand.--Last
     ditch of materialism.--Sitting with Mrs. Bisson's medium,
     Eva.--Round the Aisne battlefields.--A tragic
     intermezzo.--Anglo-French Rugby match.--Madame Blifaud's
     clairvoyance.


One long stride took us to Paris, where, under the friendly and
comfortable roof of the Hôtel du Louvre, we were able at last to unpack
our trunks and to steady down after this incessant movement. The first
visit which I paid in Paris was to Dr. Geley, head of the Institut
Metaphysique, at 89, Avenue Niel. Now that poor Crawford has gone,
leaving an imperishable name behind him, Geley promises to be the
greatest male practical psychic researcher, and he has advantages of
which Crawford could never boast, since the liberality of Monsieur Jean
Meyer has placed him at the head of a splendid establishment with
laboratory, photographic room, lecture room, séance room and library,
all done in the most splendid style. Unless some British patron has the
generosity and intelligence to do the same, this installation, with a
man like Geley to run it, will take the supremacy in psychic advance
from Britain, where it now lies, and transfer it to France. Our nearest
approach to something similar depends at present upon the splendid
private efforts of Mr. and Mrs. Hewat MacKenzie, in the Psychic College
at 59, Holland Park, which deserve the support of everyone who realises
the importance of the subject.

I made a _faux pas_ with the Geleys, for I volunteered to give an
exhibition of my Australian slides, and they invited a distinguished
audience of men of science to see them. Imagine my horror when I found
that my box of slides was in the luggage which Major Wood had taken on
with him in the "Naldera" to England. They were rushed over by
aeroplane, however, in response to my telegram, and so the situation was
saved.

The lecture was a private one and was attended by Mr. Charles Richet,
Mr. Gabrielle Delanne, and a number of other men of science. Nothing
could have gone better, though I fear that my French, which is
execrable, must have been a sore trial to my audience. I gave them
warning at the beginning by quoting a remark which Bernard Shaw made to
me once, that when he spoke French he did not say what he wanted to say,
but what he could say. Richet told me afterwards that he was deeply
interested by the photographs, and when I noted the wonder and awe with
which he treated them--he, the best known physiologist in the world--and
compared it with the attitude of the ordinary lay Press, it seemed a
good example of the humility of wisdom and the arrogance of ignorance.
After my lecture, which covered an hour and a quarter, we were favoured
by an extraordinary exhibition from a medium named Aubert. This
gentleman has had no musical education whatever, but he sits down in a
state of semi-trance and he handles a piano as I, for one, have never
heard one handled before. It is a most amazing performance. He sits with
his eyes closed while some one calls the alphabet, striking one note
when the right letter sounds. In this way he spells out the name of the
particular composer whom he will represent. He then dashes off, with
tremendous verve and execution, upon a piece which is not a known
composition of that author, but is an improvisation after his manner. We
had Grieg, Mendelssohn, Berlioz and others in quick succession, each of
them masterly and characteristic. His technique seemed to my wife and me
to be not inferior to that of Paderewski. Needles can be driven through
him as he plays, and sums can be set before him which he will work out
without ceasing the wonderful music which appears to flow through him,
but quite independently of his own powers or volition. He would
certainly cause a sensation in London.

I had the honour next day of meeting Camille Flammarion, the famous
astronomer, who is deeply engaged in psychic study, and was so
interested in the photos which I snowed him that I was compelled to
leave them in his hands that he might get copies done. Flammarion is a
dear, cordial, homely old gentleman with a beautiful bearded head which
would delight a sculptor. He entertained us with psychic stories all
lunch time. Madame Bisson was there and amused me with her opinion upon
psychic researchers, their density, their arrogance, their preposterous
theories to account for obvious effects. If she had not been a great
pioneer in Science, she might have been a remarkable actress, for it was
wonderful how her face took off the various types. Certainly, as
described by her, their far-fetched precautions, which irritate the
medium and ruin the harmony of the conditions, do appear very
ridiculous, and the parrot cry of "Fraud!" and "Fake!" has been sadly
overdone. All are agreed here that spiritualism has a far greater chance
in England than in France, because the French temperament is essentially
a mocking one, and also because the Catholic Church is in absolute
opposition. Three of their bishops, Beauvais, Lisieux and Coutances,
helped to burn a great medium, Joan of Arc, six hundred years ago,
asserting at the trial the very accusations of necromancy which are
asserted to-day. Now they have had to canonise her. One would have hoped
that they had learned something from the incident.

Dr. Geley has recently been experimenting with Mr. Franek Kluski, a
Polish amateur of weak health, but with great mediumistic powers. These
took the form of materialisations. Dr. Geley had prepared a bucket of
warm paraffin, and upon the appearance of the materialised figure, which
was that of a smallish man, the request was made that the apparition
should plunge its hand into the bucket and then withdraw it, so that
when it dematerialised a cast of the hand would be left, like a glove
of solidified paraffin, so narrow at the wrist that the hands could not
have been withdrawn by any possible normal means without breaking the
moulds. These hands I was able to inspect, and also the plaster cast
which had been taken from the inside of one of them. The latter showed a
small hand, not larger than a boy's, but presenting the characteristics
of age, for the skin was loose and formed transverse folds. The
materialised figure had also, unasked, left an impression of its own
mouth and chin, which was, I think, done for evidential purposes, for a
curious wart hung from the lower lip, which would mark the owner among a
million. So far as I could learn, however, no identification had
actually been effected. The mouth itself was thick-lipped and coarse,
and also gave an impression of age.

To show the thoroughness of Dr. Geley's work, he had foreseen that the
only answer which any critic, however exacting, could make to the
evidence, was that the paraffin hand had been brought in the medium's
pocket. Therefore he had treated with cholesterin the paraffin in his
bucket, and this same cholesterin reappeared in the resulting glove.
What can any sceptic have to say to an experiment like that save to
ignore it, and drag us back with wearisome iteration to some real or
imaginary scandal of the past? The fact is that the position of the
materialists could only be sustained so long as there was a general
agreement among all the newspapers to regard this subject as a comic
proposition. Now that there is a growing tendency towards recognising
its overwhelming gravity, the evidence is getting slowly across to the
public, and the old attitude of negation and derision has become
puerile. I can clearly see, however, that the materialists will fall
back upon their second line of trenches, which will be to admit the
phenomena, but to put them down to material causes in the unexplored
realms of nature with no real connection with human survival. This
change of front is now due, but it will fare no better than the old one.
Before quitting the subject I should have added that these conclusions
of Dr. Geley concerning the paraffin moulds taken from Kluski's
materialisation are shared by Charles Richet and Count de Gramont of the
Institute of France, who took part in the experiments. How absurd are
the efforts of those who were not present to contradict the experiences
of men like these.

I was disappointed to hear from Dr. Geley that the experiments in
England with the medium Eva had been largely negative, though once or
twice the ectoplasmic flow was, as I understand, observed. Dr. Geley put
this comparative failure down to the fantastic precautions taken by the
committee, which had produced a strained and unnatural atmosphere. It
seems to me that if a medium is searched, and has all her clothes
changed before entering the seance room, that is ample, but when in
addition to this you put her head in a net-bag and restrict her in other
ways, you are producing an abnormal self-conscious state of mind which
stops that passive mood of receptivity which is essential. Professor
Hyslop has left it on record that after a long series of rigid tests
with Mrs. Piper he tried one sitting under purely natural conditions,
and received more convincing and evidential results than in all the
others put together. Surely this should suggest freer methods in our
research.

I have just had a sitting with Eva, whom I cannot even say that I have
seen, for she was under her cloth cabinet when I arrived and still under
it when I left, being in trance the whole time. Professor Jules Courtier
of the Sorbonne and a few other men of science were present. Madame
Bisson experiments now in the full light of the afternoon. Only the
medium is in darkness, but her two hands protrude through the cloth and
are controlled by the sitters. There is a flap in the cloth which can be
opened to show anything which forms beneath. After sitting about an hour
this flap was opened, and Madame Bisson pointed out to me a streak of
ectoplasm upon the outside of the medium's bodice. It was about six
inches long and as thick as a finger. I was allowed to touch it, and
felt it shrink and contract under my hand. It is this substance which
can, under good conditions, be poured out in great quantities and can be
built up into forms and shapes, first flat and finally rounded, by
powers which are beyond our science. We sometimes call it Psychoplasm in
England, Richet named it Ectoplasm, Geley calls it Ideoplasm; but call
it what you will, Crawford has shown for all time that it is the
substance which is at the base of psychic physical phenomena.

Madame Bisson, whose experience after twelve years' work is unique, has
an interesting theory. She disagrees entirely with Dr. Geley's view,
that the shapes are thought forms, and she resents the name ideoplasm,
since it represents that view. Her conclusion is that Eva acts the part
which a "detector" plays, when it turns the Hertzian waves, which are
too short for our observation, into slower ones which can become
audible. Thus Eva breaks up certain currents and renders them visible.
According to her, what we see is never the thing itself but always the
reflection of the thing which exists in another plane and is made
visible in ours by Eva's strange material organisation. It was for this
reason that the word Miroir appeared in one of the photographs, and
excited much adverse criticism. One dimly sees a new explanation of
mediumship. The light seems a colourless thing until it passes through a
prism and suddenly reveals every colour in the world.

A picture of Madame Bisson's father hung upon the wall, and I at once
recognised him as the phantom which appears in the photographs of her
famous book, and which formed the culminating point of Eva's mediumship.
He has a long and rather striking face which was clearly indicated in
the ectoplasmic image. Only on one occasion was this image so developed
that it could speak, and then only one word. The word was "Esperez."

We have just returned, my wife, Denis and I, from a round of the Aisne
battlefields, paying our respects incidentally to Bossuet at Meaux,
Fenelon at Château Thierry, and Racine at La Ferté Millon. It is indeed
a frightful cicatrix which lies across the brow of France--a scar which
still gapes in many places as an open wound. I could not have believed
that the ruins were still so untouched. The land is mostly under
cultivation, but the houses are mere shells, and I cannot think where
the cultivators live. When you drive for sixty miles and see nothing but
ruin on either side of the road, and when you know that the same thing
extends from the sea to the Alps, and that in places it is thirty miles
broad, it helps one to realise the debt that Germany owes to her
victims. If it had been in the Versailles terms that all her members of
parliament and journalists should be personally conducted, as we have
been, through a sample section, their tone would be more reasonable.

It has been a wonderful panorama. We followed the route of the thousand
taxi-cabs which helped to save Europe up to the place where Gallieni's
men dismounted and walked straight up against Klück's rearguard. We saw
Belleau Wood, where the 2nd and 46th American divisions made their fine
debut and showed Ludendorff that they were not the useless soldiers he
had so vainly imagined. Thence we passed all round that great heavy sack
of Germans which had formed in June, 1918, with its tip at Dormans and
Château Thierry. We noted Bligny, sacred to the sacrifices of Carter
Campbell's 51st Highlanders, and Braithwaite's 62nd Yorkshire division,
who lost between them seven thousand men in these woods. These British
episodes seem quite unknown to the French, while the Americans have very
properly laid out fine graveyards with their flag flying, and placed
engraved tablets of granite where they played their part, so that in
time I really think that the average Frenchman will hardly remember that
we were in the war at all, while if you were to tell him that in the
critical year we took about as many prisoners and guns as all the other
nations put together, he would stare at you with amazement. Well, what
matter! With a man or a nation it is the duty done for its own sake and
the sake of its own conscience and self-respect that really counts. All
the rest is swank.

We slept at Rheims. We had stayed at the chief hotel, the Golden Lion,
in 1912, when we were en route to take part in the Anglo-German
motor-car competition, organised by Prince Henry. We searched round, but
not one stone of the hotel was standing. Out of 14,000 houses in the
town, only twenty had entirely escaped. As to the Cathedral, either a
miracle has been wrought or the German gunners have been extraordinary
masters of their craft, for there are acres of absolute ruin up to its
very walls, and yet it stands erect with no very vital damage. The same
applies to the venerable church of St. Remy. On the whole I am prepared
to think that save in one fit of temper upon September 19th, 1914, the
guns were never purposely turned upon this venerable building. Hitting
the proverbial haystack would be a difficult feat compared to getting
home on to this monstrous pile which dominates the town. It is against
reason to suppose that both here and at Soissons they could not have
left the cathedrals as they left the buildings around them.

Next day, we passed down the Vesle and Aisne, seeing the spot where
French fought his brave but barren action on September 13th, 1914, and
finally we reached the Chemin des Dames--a good name had the war been
fought in the knightly spirit of old, but horribly out of place amid the
ferocities with which Germany took all chivalry from warfare. The huge
barren countryside, swept with rainstorms and curtained in clouds,
looked like some evil landscape out of Vale Owen's revelations. It was
sown from end to end with shattered trenches, huge coils of wire and
rusted weapons, including thousands of bombs which are still capable of
exploding should you tread upon them too heavily. Denis ran wildly
about, like a terrier in a barn, and returned loaded with all sorts of
trophies, most of which had to be discarded as overweight. He succeeded,
however, in bringing away a Prussian helmet and a few other of the more
portable of his treasures. We returned by Soissons, which interested me
greatly, as I had seen it under war conditions in 1916. Finally we
reached Paris after a really wonderful two days in which, owing to Mr.
Cook's organisation and his guide, we saw more and understood more,
than in a week if left to ourselves. They run similar excursions to
Verdun and other points. I only wish we had the time to avail ourselves
of them.

A tragic intermezzo here occurred in our Paris experience. I suddenly
heard that my brother-in-law, E. W. Hornung, the author of "Raffles" and
many another splendid story, was dying at St. Jean de Luz in the
Pyrenees. I started off at once, but was only in time to be present at
his funeral. Our little family group has been thinned down these last
two years until we feel like a company under hot fire with half on the
ground. We can but close our ranks the tighter. Hornung lies within
three paces of George Gissing, an author for whom both of us had an
affection. It is good to think that one of his own race and calling
keeps him company in his Pyrennean grave.

Hornung, apart from his literary powers, was one of the wits of our
time. I could brighten this dull chronicle if I could insert a page of
his sayings. Like Charles Lamb, he could find humour in his own physical
disabilities--disabilities which did not prevent him, when over fifty,
from volunteering for such service as he could do in Flanders. When
pressed to have a medical examination, his answer was, "My body is like
a sausage. The less I know of its interior, the easier will be my mind."
It was a characteristic mixture of wit and courage.

During our stay in Paris we went to see the Anglo-French Rugby match at
Coulombes. The French have not quite got the sporting spirit, and there
was some tendency to hoot whenever a decision was given for the English,
but the play of their team was most excellent, and England only won by
the narrow margin of 10 to 6. I can remember the time when French Rugby
was the joke of the sporting world. They are certainly a most adaptive
people. The tactics of the game have changed considerably since the days
when I was more familiar with it, and it has become less dramatic, since
ground is gained more frequently by kicking into touch than by the
individual run, or even by the combined movement. But it is still the
king of games. It was like the old lists, where the pick of these two
knightly nations bore themselves so bravely of old, and it was an object
lesson to see Clement, the French back, playing on manfully, with the
blood pouring from a gash in the head. Marshal Foch was there, and I
have no doubt that he noted the incident with approval.

I had a good look at the famous soldier, who was close behind me. He
looks very worn, and sadly in need of a rest. His face and head are
larger than his pictures indicate, but it is not a face with any marked
feature or character. His eyes, however, are grey, and inexorable. His
kepi was drawn down, and I could not see the upper part of the head, but
just there lay the ruin of Germany. It must be a very fine brain, for in
political, as well as in military matters, his judgment has always been
justified.

There is an excellent clairvoyante in Paris, Madame Blifaud, and I look
forward, at some later date, to a personal proof of her powers, though
if it fails I shall not be so absurd as to imagine that that disproves
them. The particular case which came immediately under my notice was
that of a mother whose son had been killed from an aeroplane, in the
war. She had no details of his death. On asking Madame B., the latter
replied, "Yes, he is here, and gives me a vision of his fall. As a proof
that it is really he, he depicts the scene, which was amid songs, flags
and music." As this corresponded with no episode of the war, the mother
was discouraged and incredulous. Within a short time, however, she
received a message from a young officer who had been with her son when
the accident occurred. It was on the Armistice day, at Salonica. The
young fellow had flown just above the flags, one of the flags got
entangled with his rudder, and the end was disaster. But bands, songs
and flags all justified the clairvoyante.

Now, at last, our long journey drew to its close. Greatly guarded by the
high forces which have, by the goodness of Providence, been deputed to
help us, we are back in dear old London once more. When we look back at
the 30,000 miles which we have traversed, at the complete absence of
illness which spared any one of seven a single day in bed, the
excellence of our long voyages, the freedom from all accidents, the
undisturbed and entirely successful series of lectures, the financial
success won for the cause, the double escape from shipping strikes, and,
finally, the several inexplicable instances of supernormal, personal
happenings, together with the three-fold revelation of the name of our
immediate guide, we should be stocks and stones if we did not realise
that we have been the direct instruments of God in a cause upon which He
has set His visible seal. There let it rest. If He be with us, who is
against us? To give religion a foundation of rock instead of quicksand,
to remove the legitimate doubts of earnest minds, to make the invisible
forces, with their moral sanctions, a real thing, instead of mere words
upon our lips, and, incidentally, to reassure the human race as to the
future which awaits it, and to broaden its appreciation of the
possibilities of the present life, surely no more glorious message was
ever heralded to mankind. And it begins visibly to hearken. The human
race is on the very eve of a tremendous revolution of thought, marking a
final revulsion from materialism, and it is part of our glorious and
assured philosophy, that, though we may not be here to see the final
triumph of our labours, we shall, none the less, be as much engaged in
the struggle and the victory from the day when we join those who are our
comrades in battle upon the further side.

_Printed in Great Britain by Wyman & Sons Ltd., London, Reading and Fakenham_


"Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has given us a classic."--Sir W. Robertson
Nicoll

       *       *       *       *       *

_The First Volume of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's
History of the War_

=THE BRITISH CAMPAIGN in FRANCE
and FLANDERS     1914=

=With Maps, Plans and Diagrams. FOURTH EDITION=

"After reading every word of this most fascinating book, the writer of
this notice ventures, as a professional soldier, to endorse the author's
claim, and even to suggest that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has understated
the value of a book which will be of enormous help to the student of
this wondrous war as a reliable framework for his further
investigations."--Colonel A. M. Murray, C.B., in the _Observer_.

"A book which should appeal to every Briton and should shame those who
wish to make of none effect the deeds and sacrifices recounted in its
pages."--Professor A. F. Pollard in the _Daily Chronicle_

       *       *       *       *       *

_The Second Volume of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's
History of the War_

=THE BRITISH CAMPAIGN in FRANCE
and FLANDERS      1915=

=With Maps, Plans and Diagrams. SECOND EDITION=

"If any student of the war is in search of a plain statement, accurate
and chronological, of what took place in these dynamic sequences of
onslaughts which have strewn the plain of Ypres with unnumbered dead,
and which won for the Canadians, the Indians, and our own Territorial
divisions immortal fame, let him go to this volume. He will find in it
few dramatic episodes, no unbridled panegyric, no purple patches. But he
will own himself a much enlightened man, and, with greater knowledge,
will be filled with much greater pride and much surer
confidence."--_Daily Telegraph_

       *       *       *       *       *

_The Third Volume of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's
History of the War_

=THE BRITISH CAMPAIGN in FRANCE
and FLANDERS      1916=

=With Maps, Plans and Diagrams=

"We gave praise, and it was high, to the first and second volumes of
'The British Campaign in France and Flanders.' We can give the same to
the third, and more, too. For the whole of this volume is devoted to the
preliminaries and the full grapple of the Battle of the Somme--a theme
far surpassing everything that went before in magnitude and
dreadfulness, but also in inspiration for our own race and in profound
human import of every kind."--_Observer_



_The Fourth Volume of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's
History of the War_

=THE BRITISH CAMPAIGN in FRANCE
and FLANDERS      1917=

=With Maps, Plans and Diagrams=

"If Sir Arthur can complete the remaining two volumes with the same zest
and truth as is exhibited here, it will indeed be a work which every
student who fought in France in the Great War will be proud to possess
on his shelves."--_Sunday Times_

"It will find with others of the series a permanent place in all
military libraries as a reliable work of reference for future students
of the war."--_Observer_

       *       *       *       *       *

_The Fifth Volume of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's
History of the War_

=THE BRITISH CAMPAIGN in FRANCE
and FLANDERS January to July,      1918=

=With Maps, Plans and Diagrams=

"The history shows no abatement in vigour and readableness, but rather
the opposite, and a final volume describing the great counter-attack of
the Allies, leading to their final victory, will bring to a close a
series which, on its own lines, is unsurpassable."--_Scotsman_

"Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has stuck to his great work with admirable
assiduity.... He has produced an accurate and concise record of a
campaign the most glorious and the most deadly in all the history of the
British race, and a record well qualified to live among the notable
books of the language."--_Edinburgh Evening Dispatch_

       *       *       *       *       *

_The Sixth Volume of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's
History of the War_

=THE BRITISH CAMPAIGN in FRANCE
and FLANDERS     July to November, 1918=

=With Maps, Plans and Diagrams=

"Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's concluding volume of the interim history of
the British Campaign on the West Front is as good as any of its
predecessors."--_Morning Post_

"Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 'History of the British Campaign in France and
Flanders' is an authoritative work, which is destined for
immortality.... With full confidence in the historian, with
congratulations on a noble task accomplished, we open the sixth and
final volume."--_British Weekly_

HODDER & STOUGHTON LTD., Warwick Square, London, E.C.4





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Wanderings of a Spiritualist" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home