Our sittings continued four or five consecutive evenings, and hundreds of communications and answers to questions were given by different intelligences or personalities, with entirely different modes of expression and different kinds of writing; some were religious, some philosophical, some were anxious to give advice, and some were profane; this last-mentioned phase appearing especially if we were persistent in inquiring too closely into the identity and former condition of the communicating personality.

On one occasion a message was written which was so strange in its appearance that none of us could at first make it out. At length we discovered some familiar negro phrase, and applying this key, we found we had a message of regular plantation negro talk, bearing a very strong resemblance to Uncle Remus's talk to the little boy, which some of us had just been reading. On asking who the "intelligence" was, it wrote, "Oh, I'se a good ole coon."

"Neither Miss V. nor myself had ever heard such a dialect spoken, nor knew that any sort of person of the negro race was ever called a "coon."

On another occasion, Miss V. was anxious to know and asked Planchette if a relative of hers, whom she named, was staying in town that night. The answer came, "Yes." Where is he stopping?" Answer: "At the H. House." "What is he doing now?" Answer : "He has just finished his dinner, settled his bill at the cashier's desk, and is now walking up Broadway with his cousin." She afterward learned that this information was correct in every particular.

On the last evening of our experiments the force displayed in the writing was something surprising. Miss V. always experienced a certain amount of pain in her arms while writing, as if she were holding the electrodes of a battery through which a mild current was passing. On this occasion the pain was almost unbearable, so that she frequently cried out, and was obliged to remove her hands from the board for relief.

The writing was so violent that it could be heard in the next room, and at times it seemed as though the board would surely be broken. Seeing so much force exhibited, I allowed my fingers merely to touch the surface of the board, but so lightly that my hands did not move with it at all, but simply retained contact, the board sliding along beneath them. The writing continued with just the same violence. I then called the attention of Miss V. to what I was doing, and requested her to adjust her hands in a similar manner. She did so, and the instrument continued to write several words, with gradually diminishing force, moving under our hands, while our hands did not follow at all the movements of the instrument, until at length it gradually stopped, like a machine when the power is turned off.

Miss V. does not reside in the city, but while I was writing this chapter she was in town, and spent a few hours at my house. We were both anxious to try Planchette again. When we placed our fingers upon the board, the writing commenced at once, and intelligent answers were given to about twenty questions, some of the answers, especially those relating to distant friends, being quite contrary to our impressions and our hopes, but they were afterward found to be true.

We remembered the experiment just related, which was made more than four years ago. The force on this occasion was not at all to be compared with what it was then, but we said, "Now, Planchette, we want to ask a favor of you; will you repeat the experiment of four years ago, and move under our hands, while our hands remain stationary? "It replied, "Since you are so polite, I will try; perhaps I can move it a little."

We then planted our elbows firmly upon the table, curved our wrists, so as to allow the tips of our fingers to rest in the lightest possible manner upon the surface of the board. Four of us were watching with great interest for the result. After a moment's hesitation, slowly the board moved nearly an inch and stopped, but the movement was so obvious and decided, and without any movement of our hands, that a simultaneous shout went up from us all, and "Well done, Plan-chette!" The experiment was successfully repeated several times, the tracing of the pencil in each case showing a movement of from one to two inches.

A most valuable series of experiments in Plan-chette-writing was recently carried on by the late Rev. Mr. Newnham, vicar of Maker, Davenport, England, a member of the Society for Psychical Research, together with his wife. They were fully reported to Mr. F. W. H. Myers, secretary of the society.

The experiments extended over a period of eight months, and more than three hundred questions and answers were recorded. Mrs. Newnham alone was the operator, and the important peculiarity in these experiments was, that although quite in her normal condition, yet in no instance here related did she see the question written to which she wrote the answer, nor did she hear it asked, nor did she have any conscious knowledge, either of question or answer, until the answer was written and read. She sat upon a low chair at a low table some eight or ten feet from her husband, while he sat at a rather high table, with his back to her. In this position he silently wrote out the questions, it being impossible for her to see either the paper, the motion of his hand, or the expression of his face, and their good faith, as well as that of many intelligent witnesses, is pledged to the truth of this statement.

Mr. Newnham remarks that Planchette commenced to move immediately upon the first trial, and often the answer to questions prepared as just described was commenced before the question was fully written out.

At their first sitting, finding that the instrument would write, he proposed, silently, in writing, six questions, three the answers to which might be known to Mrs. Newnham, and three relating to his own private affairs, and of which the answers could not have been known to her. All six were immediately answered in a manner denoting complete intelligence, both of the question and the proper answer. He then wrote : "Write down the lowest temperature here this winter." Answer: "8." The actual lowest temperature had been 7.6 degrees, so 8 was the nearest whole degree, but Mrs. Newnham remarked at once that had she been asked the question she should have written 7, and not 8, because she did not remember the fraction, but did remember that the figure was 7 something.