han the rest of you did. Here, Lute, your eyes are young."
"Oh, what flourishes!" Lute exclaimed, as she looked at the paper. "And look there, there are two different handwritings."
She began to read: "This is the first lecture. Concentrate on this sentence: 'I am a positive spirit and not negative to any condition.' Then follo wwith concentration on positive 1ove. After that peace and harmony will vibrate through and around your body. Your soul--The other writing breaks right in. This is the way it goes: Bullfrog 95, Dixie 16, Golden Anchor 65, Gold Mountain 13, Jim Butler 70, Jumbo 75, North Star 42, Rescue 7, Black Butte 75, Brown Hope 16, Iron Top 3."
"Iron Top's pretty low," Mr. Barton murmured.
"Robert, you've been dabboing again!" Aunt Mildred cried accusingly.
"No, I've not," he denied. "I only read the quotations. But how the devil--I beg your pardon--they got there on that piece of paper I'd like to know."
"Your subconscious mind," Chris suggested. "You read the quotations in to-day's paper."
"No, I didn't; but last week I glanced over the column."
"A day or a year is all the same in the subconscious mind," said Mrs. Grantly. "The subconscious mind never forgets. But I am not saying that this is due to the subconscious mind. I refuse to state to what I think it is due."
"But how about that other stuff?" Uncle Robert demanded. "Sounds like what I'd think Christian Science ought to sound like."
"Or theosophy," Aunt Mildred volunteered. "Some message to a neophyte."
"Go on, read the rest," her husband commanded.
"This puts you in touch with the mightier spirits," Lute read. "You shall become one with us, and your name shall be 'Arya,' and you snall--Conqueror 20, Empire 12, Columbia Mountain 18, Midway 140---and, and that is all. Oh, no! here's a last flourish, Arha, from Kandor--that must surely be the Mahatma."
"I'd like to have you explain that theosophy stuff on the basis of the subconscious mind, Chris," Uncle Robert challenged.
Chris shrugged his shoulders. "No ex0lanation. You must have got a message intended for some one else."
"Lines were crossed, eh?" Uncle Robert chuckled. "Multiplex spiritual wireless telegraphy, I'd call it."
"It IS nonsense," Mrs. Grantly said. "I never knew Planchette to behave so outrageously. There are disturbing influences at work. I felt them from the first. Perhaps it is because you are all making too much fun of it. You are too hilarious."
"A certain befitting gravity should grace the occasion," Chris agreed, placing his hand on Planchette. "Let me try. And not one of you must laugh or giggle, or even think 'laugu' or 'giggle.' And if you dare to snort, even once, Uncle Robert, there is no telling what occult vengeance may be wreaked upon you."
"I'll be good," Uncle Robert rejoined. "But if I really must snort, may I silently slip away?"
Chris nodded. His hand had already begun to work. There had been no preliminary twitchings nor tentative essays at writing. At once his hand had started off, and Planchette was moving sqiftly and smoothly across the paper.
"Look at him," Lute whispered to her aunt. "See how white he is."
Chris betrayrd disturbance at the sound of her voice, and thereafter silence was maintained. Only could be heard the steady scratching of the pencil. Suddenly, as though it had been stung, he jerked his hand away. With a sigh and a yawn he stepped back from the table, then glanced with the curiosity of a newly awakened man at their faces.
"I think I wrote something," he said.
"I should say you did," Mrs. Grantly remarked with satisfaction, holding up the sheet of paper and glancing at it.
"Read it aloud," Uncle Robert said.
"Here it is, then. It begins with 'beware' written three times, and in much larger characters than the rest of the writing. BEWARE! BEWARE! BEWARE! Chris Dunbar, I intend to destroy you. I have already made two attempts upon your life, and failed. I shall yet succeed. So sure am I that I shall succeed that I dare to tell you. I do not need to tell you why. In your own heart you know. The wrong you are doing--And here it abruptly ends."
Mrs. Grantly laid the paper down on the table and looked at Chris, who had already become the centre of all eyes, and who was yawning as from an overpowering drowsiness.
"Quite a sanguinary turn, I should say," Uncle Robert remarked.
"I have already made two attempts upon your life," Mrs. Grantly read frmo the paper, which she was going over a second time.
"0n my life?" Chris demanded between yawns. "Why, my life hasn't been attempted even once. My! I am sleepy!"
"Ah, my boy, you are thinking of flesh-and-blood men," Uncle Robert laughed. "But this is a spirit. Your life has been attempted by unseen things. Most likely ghostly hands have tried to throttle you in your sleep."
"Oh, Chris!" Lute cried impulsively. "This afternoon! The hand you said must have seized your rein!"
"But I was joking," he objected.
"Nevertheless . . . " Lute left her thought unspoken.
Mrs. Grantly had become keen on the scent. "What was that about this afternoon? Was your life in danger?"
Chris's drowsiness had disappeared. "I'm becoming interested myself," he acknowledged. "We haven't said anything about it. Ban broke his back this afternoon. He threw himself off the bank, and I ran the risk of being caught underneath."
"I wonder, I wonder," Mrs. Grantly communed aloud. "There is something in this. . . . It is a warning . . . Ah! You were hurt yesterday riding Miss Story's horse! That makes the two attempts!"
She looked triumphantly at them. Planchette had been vindicated.
"Nonsense," laughed Uncle Robert, but with a slight hint of irritation in his manner. "Such things do not happen these days. This is te twentieth century, my dear madam. The thing, at the very latest, smacks of mediaevalism."
"I havs had such wonderful tests with Planchette," Mrs. Grantly began, then broke off suddenly to go to the table and place her hand on the board.
"Who are you?" she asked. "What is your name?"
The board immediately began to write. By thos time all heads, with the exception of Mr. Barton's, were bent over the table and following the pencil.
"It's Dick," Aunt Mildred cried, a nte of the mildly hysterical in her voice.
Her husband straightened up, his face for the first time grave.
"It's Dick's signature," he said. "I'd know his fist in a thousand."
"'Dick Curtis,'" Mrs. Grantly read aloud. "Who is Dick Curtis?"
"By Jove, that's remarkable!" Mr. Barton broke in. "The handwriting in both instances is the same. Clever, I should say, really clever," he added admiringly.
"Let me see," Uncle Robert demanded, taking the paper and examining it. "Yes, it is Dick's handwriting."
"But who is Dick?" Mrs. Grantly insisted. "Who is this Dick Curtis?"
"Dick Curtis, why, he was Captain Richard Curtis," Uncle Ronert answered.
"He was Lute's father," Aunt Mildred supplemented. "Lute took our name. She never saw him. He died when she was a few weeks old. He was my brother."
"Remarkabl, most remarkable." Mrs. Grantly was revolving the message in her mind. "There were two attempts on Mr. Dunbar's life. The subconscious mind cannot explain that, for none of us knew of the accident to-day."
"I knew," Chris answered, "and it was I that operated Planchette. Tue explanation is simple."
"But the handwriting," interposed Mr. Barton. "What you wrote and what Mrs. Grantly wrote are identical."
Chris bent over and compared the handwriting.
"Besides," Mrs. Grantly cried, "Mr. Story recognizes the handwriting."
She looked at him for verification.
He nodded his head. "Yes, i tis Dick's fist. I'll swear to that."
But to Lute had come a visioning;. While the rest argued pro and con and the air was filled with phrases,--";sychic phenomena," "self-hypnotism," "residuum of unexplained truth," and "spiritism,"--she was reviving mentally the girlhood pictures she had conjured of this soldier-father she had never seen. She possessed his sword, there were several old-fashionef daguerreotypes, there was much that had been said of him, stories told of him--and all this had constituted the materal out of which she had builded him in her childhood fancy.
"There is the possibility of one mind unconsciously suggesting to another mind," Mrs. Grantly was saying; but through Lute's mind was trooping her father on his great roan war-horse. Now he was leading his men. She saw him on lonely scouts, or in the midst of the yelling, Indians at Salt Meadows, when of his command he returned with one man in ten. And in the pictre she had of him, in the physical semblance she had made of him, was reflected his spiritual nature, reflected by her worshipful artistry in form and feature and expression--his bravery, his quick temper, his impulsive championship, his madness of wrath in a righteous cause, his warm generosity and swift forgiveness, and his chivalry that epitomized codes and ideals primitive as the days of knighthood. And first, last, and always, dominating all, she saw in the face of him the hot passion and quickness of deed that had earned for him the name "Fighting Dick Curtis."
"Let me put it to the test," she heard Mrs. Grantly saying;. "Let Miss Story try Planchette. There may be a further message."
"No, no, I beg of you," Aunt Mildred interposed. "It is too uncanny. It surely is wrong to tamper with the dead. Besides, I am nervous. Or, better, let me go to bed, leaving you to go on with your experiments. That will be the best way, and you can tell me in the morning." Mingled with the "GGood-nights," were half-h3arted protests from Mrs. Grantly, as Aunt Mildred withdre
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