6. The Clairvoyants
"Do you believe in dreams?" Constance Dunlap looked searchingly at her
interrogator, as if her face or manner betrayed some new side of her
Mrs. deForest Caswell was an attractive woman verging on forty, a chance
acquaintance at a shoppers' tea room downtown who had proved to be an
"I have had some rather strange experiences, Mildred," confessed Constance
"Because--" the other woman hesitated, then added, "why should I not tell
you! Last night, Constance, I had the strangest dream. It has left such an
impression on me that I can't shake it off, although I have tried all day."
"Yes? Tell me about it."
Mildred Caswell paused a moment, then began slowly, as if not to omit
anything from her story.
"I dreamt that Forest was dying. I could see him, could see the doctor and the
nurse, everything. And yet somehow I could not get to him. I was afraid, with
such an oppressive fear. I tried--oh, how I tried! I struggled, and how badly I
felt!" and she shuddered at the very recollection.
"There seemed to be a wall," she resumed, "a narrow wall in the way and I
couldn't get over it. As often as I tried, I fell. And then I seemed to be pursued
by some kind of animal, half bull, half snake. I ran. It followed closely. I
seemed to see a crowd of people and I felt that if I could only get to that
crowd, somehow I would be safe, perhaps might even get over the wall and--I
woke up--almost screaming."
The woman's face was quite blanched.
"My dear," remonstrated Constance, "you must not take it so. Remember--it
was only a dream.
"I know it was only a dream," she said, "but you don't know what is back of it."
Mildred Caswell had from time to time hinted to Constance of the growing
incompatibility of her married life, but as Constance was getting used to
confidences, she had kept silent, knowing that her friend would tell her in
"You must have guessed," faltered Mrs. Caswell, "that Forest and I are not--
not on the best of terms, that we are getting further and further apart."
It rather startled Constance to hear frankly stated what she already had
observed. She wondered how far the estrangement had gone. The fact was
that she had rather liked deForest Caswell, although she had only met her
friend's husband a few times. In fact she was surprised that momentarily there
flashed through her mind the query as to whether Mildred herself might be
altogether blameless in the growing uncongeniality.