Two more slates were then seized by the medium, washed, submitted for inspection, and placed upon the table as before. Our hands were again placed upon the slates, and the writing again began. After it had progressed for a few moments, the medium announced that the spirits wanted to write in colors. He thereupon arose, walked to the mantelpiece, and produced a box of colored crayons, all in small bits, about the size of the piece of black slate-pencil with which the writing had been done. We were about to open the slates, to allow the insertion of the crayons, when the medium said that it was unnecessary, as "the colors could be got from the outside just as well." The box of crayons was accordingly placed beside the slate, and the writing was resumed. After a short interval the signal was given that the messages were finished. The general thereupon very carefully separated the slates, to see if there were any colored crayons concealed therein. Only the bit of black slate pencil was there, but four or five different colors had been used in writing the messages.
The results of this stance may be summed up as follows:
The contents of every letter written by the sitter were evidently known to the intelligence which wrote the replies, for every letter received an appropriate answer, save one, which will be noted further on. The answer to each letter was addressed to the name signed to the corresponding letter, and each answer was signed with the name of the person to whom the corresponding letter was addressed.
Six letters were written by the sitter, as before stated. Three of them were written to deceased friends of the sitter, and were couched in such general terms that the replies did not require any specific knowledge on the part of the intelligence which wrote the replies.
Two of the letters were written to living persons, and they were also couched in general terms, requiring no specific knowledge to enable an appropriate reply to be framed.
Each of these five letters received a reply which assumed that its writer was a denizen of the spirit-land. There was no difference in their replies so far as that was concerned.
The sixth letter was addressed to a deceased relative, and was as follows, omitting names:-
Dear A. B., - Whom did you desire to have appointed administrator of your estate? (Signed) C. D.
To this letter the only reply was from the medium's "control," who reported as follows:-
"A. B. is here, but cannot communicate to-day".
The conclusions which are inevitable may be summed as follows: -
1. The slate-writing was done without physical contact with the pencil, either by the medium or any one else. It all occurred in broad daylight. The slates were not handled by the medium, except to wash them and to place his hands upon them (in all cases but one) while the writing was going on. The slates were not for an instant out of sight of the sitter during the whole seance, nor were they out of his custody during that time, after they were washed by the medium. They were then carefully inspected by the sitter, the pencil was placed between them by the sitter, they were tied together by the sitter, and opened by him after the writing was finished. In short, there was no chance for fraud or legerdemain, and there was none.
2. The power which moved the pencil, being clearly not physical, must have been occult. This occult power was either that of disembodied spirits, or that of the medium. Did it proceed from disembodied spirits? Let us see. The replies to the five letters emanated from the same source; that is to say, if the replies to any of them were from disembodied spirits, they were all from disembodied spirits. They were clearly not all from disembodied spirits, for two of the letters were addressed to living persons, and the replies were of the same character as the others. The logical conclusion is inevitable that none of the replies were from disembodied spirits. To put it in the simple form of a syllogism, we have the following: -
The replies to the five letters were all from the same source.
Two of them were not from disembodied spirits.
Therefore, none of them were from disembodied spirits.
The power to produce the slate-writing emanated either from disembodied spirits or from the medium.
It did not emanate from disembodied spirits.
Therefore, it emanated from the medium.
Having now logically traced the phenomenon to the door of the medium, let us see what further evidence there is in support of that conclusion. And first let us inquire, Is there anything inherently improbable in the theory that he was the source of the intelligence which guided, and the power which moved, the pencil ? Was there any intellectual feat performed which rendered it impossible that he should have been its author? The power to read the contents of the six letters was obviously within the domain of telepathy. He was, therefore, just as well equipped for the performance of that feat as a disembodied spirit could be. Suggestion also plays its subtle role in this class of phenomena, as in all others, and relieves the medium of all imputation of dishonesty or insincerity in attributing it to the wrong source. The probability that the power to move the pencil without physical contact resides in the medium, is as great, at least, as the probability that it resides in disembodied spirits. All these questions have, however, been fully discussed, and are mentioned here merely to complete the chain of reasoning.
There was nothing apparent in the answers to the five letters mentioned which would indicate that they emanated from any source other than the medium. They contained no information possessed exclusively by disembodied spirits, although they all purported to emanate from them. The five letters were not, however, framed for the purpose of testing the knowledge possessed by spirits, but merely to show that the replies did not emanate from that source.