Soon after her arrival at Weinsberg, and while still a perfect stranger to her surroundings, while in her somnambulic condition, she said that a man was near her and desired to speak with her, but that she could not understand what he wanted to say. She said he squinted terribly, and that his presence disturbed her, and she desired him to go away. On his second appearance, some weeks later, she said he brought with him a sheet of paper with figures upon it, and that he came up from a vault directly underneath her room.
As a matter of fact, the wine vaults of Mr. F., a wine merchant doing business the next door, extended under Mme. Hauffe's apartment, and Kerner, who was an old resident of the place, recognized from the seeress's description of her visitor a man who formerly was in Mr. F.'s employ as manager and bookkeeper. This man had died six years before, and had left something wrong with his accounts - in fact, there was a deficit of 1,000 florins, and the manager's private book was missing. The widow had been sued for the amount, and the matter was still unsettled. Again and again did this apparition come to Mme. Hauffe, bringing his paper and entreating her to interest herself in this affair. He declared that the necessary paper to clear up the whole matter was in a building sixty paces from her bed.
Mme. Hauffe said that in that building she saw a tall gentleman engaged in writing in a small room, which opened into a large one where there was a desk and chests; that one of the chests was open, and that on the desk was a pile of papers, among which she recognized the missing document.
The wine merchant, being present, recognized the office of the chief bailiff, who had the business in charge. Kerner went at once to the office and found everything as described, but, not finding the missing paper, concluded that her clairvoyance was at fault.
Mme. Hauffe, in her description of the paper said it had columns of figures upon it, and at the bottom was the number 80. Kerner prepared a paper corresponding to this description, and at the next seance presented it to her as the missing document. But she at once rejected it, saying the paper was still where she had before seen it.
On renewing the search the paper was found as described, and the bailiff was to bring it on the following day. He came accordingly. In her sleep, the seeress exclaimed:
"The paper is no longer in its place, but this is wonderful. The paper which the man always has in his hand lies open. Now I can read more: 'To be carried to my private book,' and that is what he always points to."
The bailiff was astonished, for instead of bringing the paper with him as Kerner had directed, he had left it lying open on his desk. All these things are attested by the bailiff, the wine merchant, Kerner, and others who witnessed them. Kerner himself visited the seeress more than a thousand times, and although during the first part of his observations he was skeptical, he was never able to detect her in the slightest attempt at deception. She was in no way elated over her peculiar power, on the contrary, she disliked to speak of it, and would gladly have been free from it altogether. Her clairvoyant powers were tested by hundreds of excellent observers during the last four years of her life.
The case of Alexis, the noted French somnambulist and clairvoyant, is worthy of notice here. I remember very well the account of a stance at a gathering of prominent Americans in Paris in 1853, of which the following is an abstract:-
Thick masses of cotton were bound firmly over his eyes in such a manner as to render it impossible for him to see in the ordinary way, and in this condition he described pictures, read signatures of letters folded in several envelopes, played games of cards with almost uniform success, and, being asked to select the best pianist in the room from a number present, who simply presented their hands for his inspection, he quickly selected a young man not yet eighteen years old, who had won four first prizes at the Conservatoire, and was really the best pianist of his age in Europe.
In playing cards he picked up the trick with a rapidity and certainty which showed how clearly he knew the position of the cards upon the table. Keeping those dealt to him in his left hand he held the card he intended to play in his right, and never once changed the card upon the play of his partner. He knew his adversary's hand as well as his own. The writer adds: "The cards used were bought by myself, half an hour before, so that any suspicion of prepared cards would be idle and absurd."
It remains to note some more recent instances reported by persons well known and specially qualified to judge of their truthfulness and value.
The first case which I will present is embodied in a report "On the Evidence of Clairvoyance," by Mrs. Henry Sidgwick, wife of Prof. Sidgwick, formerly president of the Society for Psychical Research. It was furnished by Dr. Elliott Coues of Washington, D. C, where the incident occurred, and was afterward investigated by Mr. F. W. H. Myers, secretary of the society. Both the persons participating in the incident were well known to Prof. Coues, and were both persons of prominence, one, Mrs. C, being well known as a writer and lecturer, and the other, designated as Mrs. B., was well known for her rare psychic faculties and her absolute integrity.
The incidents of the case are simple and unimportant, but they have a special value on account of their clearness, freedom from the possibility of external suggestion, and the well known ability and integrity of the reporter. The following are the points in the case: -
In Washington, D. C, January 14, 1889, between 2 and 3 o'clock P. M., Mrs. C, having been engaged in writing in the Congressional Library, left the building at 2:40 o'clock, and one or two minutes later was at her residence, in Delaware