A Voyage to Arcturus HTML version

"That's correct. Perhaps I ought to explain.. .. There will be ladies present, and ladies, you
know, are aesthetically inclined."
"In that case I have no objection. I only hope they will enjoy the performance to the end."
He spoke rather dryly.
"Well, that's all right, then," said Faull. Flicking his cigar into the fire, he got up and
helped himself to whisky.
"Will you come and see the room?"
"Thank you, no. I prefer to have nothing to do with it till the time arrives."
"Then let's go to see my sister, Mrs. Jameson, who is in the drawing room. She
sometimes does me the kindness to act as my hostess, as I am unmarried."
"I will be delighted," said Backhouse coldly.
They found the lady alone, sitting by the open pianoforte in a pensive attitude. She had
been playing Scriabin and was overcome. The medium took in her small, tight, patrician
features and porcelain - like hands, and wondered how Faull came by such a sister. She
received him bravely, with just a shade of quiet emotion. He was used to such receptions
at the hands of the sex, and knew well how to respond to them.
"What amazes me," she half whispered, after ten minutes of graceful, hollow
conversation, "is, if you must know it, not so much the manifestation itself - though that
will surely be wonderful - as your assurance that it will take place. Tell me the grounds of
your confidence."
"I dream with open eyes," he answered, looking around at the door, "and others see my
dreams. That is all."
"But that's beautiful," responded Mrs. Jameson. She smiled rather absently, for the first
guest had just entered.
It was Kent - Smith, the ex - magistrate, celebrated for his shrewd judicial humour,
which, however, he had the good sense not to attempt to carry into private life. Although
well on the wrong side of seventy, his eyes were still disconcertingly bright. With the
selective skill of an old man, he immediately settled himself in the most comfortable of
many comfortable chairs.
"So we are to see wonders tonight?"
"Fresh material for your autobiography," remarked Faull.