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Chapter 8
On Sunday I went to church. I felt, after the strange phenomena in Mrs. Dane's
drawing-room, and after the contact with tragedy to which they had led, that I
must hold with a sort of desperation to the traditions and beliefs by which I had
hitherto regulated my conduct. And the church did me good. Between the
immortality it taught and the theory of spiritualism as we had seen it in action
there was a great gulf, and I concluded that this gulf was the soul. The
conclusion that mind and certain properties of mind survived was not enough.
The thought of a disembodied intelligence was pathetic, depressing. But the
thought of a glorified soul was the hope of the world.
My wife, too, was in a penitent and rather exalted mood. During the sermon she
sat with her hand in mine, and I was conscious of peace and a deep
thankfulness. We had been married for many years, and we had grown very
close. Of what importance was the Wells case, or what mattered it that there
were strange new-old laws in the universe, so long as we kept together?
That my wife had felt a certain bitterness toward Miss Jeremy, a jealousy of her
powers, even of her youth, had not dawned on me. But when, in her new
humility, she suggested that we call on the medium that afternoon. I realized that,
in her own way, she was making a sort of atonement.
Miss Jeremy lived with an elderly spinster cousin, a short distance out of town. It
was a grim house, coldly and rigidly Calvinistic. It gave an unpleasant impression
at the start, and our comfort was not increased by the discovery, made early in
the call, that the cousin regarded the Neighborhood Club and its members with
The cousin - her name was Connell - was small and sharp, and she entered the
room followed by a train of cats. All the time she was frigidly greeting us, cats
were coming in at the door, one after the other. It fascinated me. I do not like