The Garden of Survival HTML version

Chapter 1
IT will surprise and at the same time possibly amuse you to know that I had the instinct
to tell what follows to a Priest, and might have done so had not the Man of the World in
me whispered that from professional Believers I should get little sympathy, and probably
less credence still. For to have my experience disbelieved, or attributed to hallucination,
would be intolerable to me. Psychical investigators, I am told, prefer a Medium who
takes no cash recompense for his performance, a Healer who gives of his strange
powers without reward. There are, however, natural-born priests who yet wear no
uniform other than upon their face and heart, but since I know of none I fall back upon
yourself, my other half, for in writing this adventure to you I almost feel that I am writing
it to myself.
The desire for confession is upon me: this thing must out. It is a story, though an
unfinished one. I mention this at once lest, frightened by the thickness of the many
pages, you lay them aside against another time, and so perhaps neglect them
altogether. A story, however, will invite your interest, and when I add that it is true, I feel
that you will bring sympathy to that interest: these together, I hope, may win your
attention, and hold it, until you shall have read the final word.
That I should use this form in telling it will offend your literary taste--you who have made
your name both as critic and creative writer--for you said once, I remember, that to tell a
story in epistolary form is a subterfuge, an attempt to evade the difficult matters of
construction and delineation of character. My story, however, is so slight, so subtle, so
delicately intimate too, that a letter to some one in closest sympathy with myself seems
the only form that offers.
It is, as I said, a confession, but a very dear confession: I burn to tell it honestly, yet
know not how. To withhold it from you would be to admit a secretiveness that our
relationship has never known--out it must, and to you. I may, perhaps, borrow--who can
limit the sharing powers of twin brothers like ourselves?--some of the skill your own
work spills so prodigally, crumbs from your writing-table, so to speak; and you will
forgive the robbery, if successful, as you will accept lie love behind the confession as
your due.
Now, listen, please! For this is the point: that, although my wife is dead these dozen
years and more--I have found reunion and I love. Explanation of this must follow as best
it may. So, please mark tie point which for the sake of emphasis I venture to repeat: that
I know reunion and I love.
With the jealous prerogative of the twin, you objected to that marriage, though I knew
that it deprived you of no jot of my affection, owing to the fact that it was prompted by
pity only, leaving the soul in me wholly disengaged. Marion, by her steady refusal to
accept my honest friendship, by her persistent admiration of me, as also by her