Even the name of the sitter had been withheld from the medium, for the purpose of testing her telepathic powers, and for the further purpose of convincing one of those present that spirits of the dead had nothing to do with the manifestations. The members of the party introduced each other by fictitious names, and talked spiritism to the medium until "harmonious conditions" were established, when the seance began. "I see an immense building," she began, "with a great number of rooms in it. In one of these rooms I see you, seated at a large desk, with a great many papers upon it. I see drawings, apparently of machinery, spread out upon the desk before you. It seems to me that you must have something to do with patent rights." She was informed that her conjecture was thus far correct. It should here be remembered that a medium should always be encouraged by a frank acknowledgment when he is correct. It encourages him, puts him at his ease, and constitutes a suggestion that he is able to perceive the truth in reference to that particular person; and, consequently, helps him to proceed correctly with other manifestations.

"But," continued the lady, "this is not your only occupation. I see you in your library at home, surrounded by books and manuscripts. You appear to be writing a book".

She then went on to describe correctly all the bookcases and other furniture in the room, and then said, -

"I see the pathway by which you have arrived at your present conclusion in reference to the subject of your book. It is all strewn with rubbish and weeds, all of which you have thrown aside. But you see a great light ahead, and are pursuing that with perfect confidence and steadiness of purpose".

"Am I in the right path? " inquired the examiner.

"I cannot tell, for I cannot perceive the subject on which you are writing. I think you are, however, for the light ahead seems so clear".

After a pause she added, -

"You are making one mistake. You think that you are doing it all yourself. But you are not. You are constantly guided by a great spirit".

"Who is he?" was asked, with all the greater interest because the gentleman was writing a book, and, like every other author, felt that he had perceived "a great light;" moreover, if he was sure of anything connected with it, he was sure that he was doing it himself, without the aid of any spirit or spirits. "Give me the name of my spirit friend and guide," he added.

"I cannot do that to-day," she replied, with the true commercial instinct of the professional medium; "come to-morrow, and I will try to give you the name".

Accordingly, the same party visited her the next day, when she made every effort to obtain the name, but without success. It should be stated here that the lady was a slate-writing medium. Communication after communication was written, but without signature, and all efforts to obtain the name were futile. Finally the gentleman said, in an aside apparently not intended for the ears of the medium, "I think I know who it is. It must be either A B [naming a living friend in Washington], or my brother, C D [giving his own name]," for he had no brother, living or dead. Immediately a communication was written out, signed by the supposed spirit brother, announcing the fact that he, and he alone, was the inspiring power in charge of the literary work named, that he was the "guardian spirit" of the gentleman, over whom he was "constantly watching," etc.

The emotions created by the affecting terms of the communication can be imagined when it is stated that all present, save the medium, knew that the name was that of the sitter, and that he never had a brother. But these emotions quickly gave place to wonder and admiration when it was discovered that the signature was an almost exact reproduction of his own, with all its salient peculiarities faithfully reproduced.

Comment upon this wonderful admixture of genuine telepathic power and conscious or unconscious fraud will not be indulged in, save to remark that the first day's proceedings exhibited marvellous telepathic power under the most perfect test conditions. As to the second day's performance, it need only be said that if the communication had been from a genuine spirit, struggling in vain to remember his own name, it shows that even spirits are controlled by the subtle power of suggestion; for he had no hesitation in assuming the name of the sitter when that name was suggested, and he so completely identified himself with that person as to reproduce his signature with marvellous accuracy. It may be said that a fraud was perpetrated upon the medium. To this the plea of guilty must be entered, together with a plea of extenuating circumstances, in that it was done in pursuit of scientific truth. Whether the interests of truth were subserved, the reader must judge for himself. To that end he must ask himself the question whether it is not more probable that this manifestation was of the subjective entity of the medium rather than of an independent, disembodied spirit.

Conceding the inherent power in mankind to convey and receive telepathic communications, it must be evident that telepathy is a sufficient explanation of what occurred the first day. It is true that the medium thought that the information thus obtained was conveyed to her by disembodied spirits. But that does not change the facts; and when a phenomenon is explicable by reference to known natural laws, we have neither occasion nor logical right to seek an explanation in the realm of the supernatural. The second day's performance is as easily explicable under the well-known laws of hypnotism. The medium was in a partially hypnotic state, her subjective mind was active and in control of her physical powers, and was necessarily perfectly amenable to control by suggestion from any source. In obedience to the law of auto-suggestion, it believed itself to be a disembodied spirit. It acted in that capacity far enough to write communications of the standard, indefinite character common to such productions, but could give no name, for the simple reason that there was no name to give, and none had been suggested.

But the instant a name was suggested it seized upon it, and, in pursuance of the suggestion that it represented the sitter's brother, wrote just such a communication as the logic of the situation dictated, believing, without a doubt, that it was actually the spirit of the deceased brother of the sitter. It may be asked why, if the medium was possessed of such wonderful telepathic power, did she not perceive the fact that she was being imposed upon, that the sitter was not sincere in his professions of a belief in spiritism, and that he had not a brother in the spirit-land. Simply because she was controlled by the universal law of suggestion, and the oral suggestions had been made that he was a believer, and that he had a brother deceased. If she had disbelieved the statement, it would have constituted an exception to the operation of a natural and universal law, - a suspension, in fact, of the laws of nature.

On the other hand, if we are to discard the foregoing explanation and hold that it was actually a disembodied spirit controlling the medium, we must presuppose a spirit without a name, or without sufficient intelligence to remember his name. Either supposition, if it does no violence to common-sense, is contrary to all the teachings of spiritists, who have led us to believe that the law of spirit-life is that of eternal progress; that all truth stands revealed to the perception of the disembodied soul. It would cause one to lose confidence in his guardian angels if he were forced to believe that a short residence in the spirit-land could reduce the immortal mind to such a state of imbecility.