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It should be stated that the stance, thus far, was not witnessed by myself; but the circumstances were afterwards detailed by the general, whose perfect trustworthiness is beyond question. At this juncture that is, while the wads were still lying on the table a most remarkable incident happened. The medium suddenly arose, opened the folding-doors, and invited me in to take part in the se'ance. After resuming his seat, he remarked to me: " There is a spirit here who refuses to communicate until you are allowed to
be present. He says his name is G------ (mentioning a
common Christian name). Have you any deceased friend by that name ? " I answered, No, not remembering, for the moment, any one bearing that name. The medium then handed me a pencil, and said : " Touch one of those wads with the pencil; then open it, and you will find that it is a letter addressed to G------."
I touched one of the six wads, at random of course, and upon opening it found, to my surprise, that it was a letter
addressed by the sitter to his deceased brother G------. The
brother was also a very dear friend of mine; but his exalted position in life precluded me from ever addressing him by his Christian name, and I had not been consciously thinking of him during the seance. Then the medium again addressed me, as follows :
" Fold the letter again, place it with the others, and mix them all together. Then take the pencil and touch another wad; and the one you touch you will find to be a letter addressed to M------."
This was done, and the wad touched proved to be a letter addressed to the party named by the medium. A third time this feat was performed with the same result. To say that we were surprised is but feebly to express our emotions. The first success might be attributable to coincidence, supposing the medium to be in possession of the name. The chances were one to six, and it is within easy range of coincidence that I should have hit upon the right letter. In the second trial the chances were also one to six, per se ; but the chances that I should succeed twice in succession