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- The Dream Doctor - 5/59 -
Kennedy now drew from a large envelope in which he protected it, the typewritten note which had been found on Maitland. He said nothing about the "suicide" as he quietly began a new line of accumulating evidence.
"There is an increasing use of the typewriting machine for the production of spurious papers," he began, rattling the note significantly. "It is partly due to the great increase in the use of the typewriter generally, but more than all is it due to the erroneous idea that fraudulent typewriting cannot be detected. The fact is that the typewriter is perhaps a worse means of concealing identity than is disguised handwriting. It does not afford the effective protection to the criminal that is supposed. On the contrary, the typewriting of a fraudulent document may be the direct means by which it can be traced to its source. First we have to determine what kind of machine a certain piece of writing was done with, then what particular machine."
He paused and indicated a number of little instruments on the table.
"For example," he resumed, "the Lovibond tintometer tells me its story of the colour of the ink used in the ribbon of the machine that wrote this note as well as several standard specimens which I have been able to obtain from three machines on which it might have been written.
"That leads me to speak of the quality of the paper in this half- sheet that was found on Mr. Maitland. Sometimes such a half-sheet may be mated with the other half from which it was torn as accurately as if the act were performed before your eyes. There was no such good fortune in this case, but by measurements made by the vernier micrometer caliper I have found the precise thickness of several samples of paper as compared to that of the suicide note. I need hardly add that in thickness and quality, as well as in the tint of the ribbon, the note points to person as the author."
No one moved.
"And there are other proofs--unescapable," Kennedy hurried on. "For instance, I have counted the number of threads to the inch in the ribbon, as shown by the letters of this note. That also corresponds to the number in one of the three ribbons."
Kennedy laid down a glass plate peculiarly ruled in little squares.
"This," he explained, "is an alignment test plate, through which can be studied accurately the spacing and alignment of typewritten characters. There are in this pica type ten to the inch horizontally and six to the inch vertically. That is usual. Perhaps you are not acquainted with the fact that typewritten characters are in line both ways, horizontally and vertically. There are nine possible positions for each character which may be assumed with reference to one of these little standard squares of the test plate. You cannot fail to appreciate what an immense impossibility there is that one machine should duplicate the variations out of the true which the microscope detects for several characters on another.
"Not only that, but the faces of many letters inevitably become broken, worn, battered, as well as out of alignment, or slightly shifted in their position on the type bar. The type faces are not flat, but a little concave to conform to the roller. There are thousands of possible divergences, scars, and deformities in each machine.
"Such being the case," he concluded, "typewriting has an individuality like that of the Bertillon system, finger-prints, or the portrait parle."
He paused, then added quickly: "What machine was it in this case? I have samples here from that of Dr. Boss, from a machine used by Mr. Masterson's secretary, and from a machine which was accessible to both Mr. and Mrs. Maitland."
Kennedy stopped, but he was not yet prepared to relieve the suspense of two of those whom his investigation would absolve.
"Just one other point," he resumed mercilessly, "a point which a few years ago would have been inexplicable--if not positively misleading and productive of actual mistake. I refer to the dreams of Mrs. Maitland."
I had been expecting it, yet the words startled me. What must they have done to her? But she kept admirable control of herself.
"Dreams used to be treated very seriously by the ancients, but until recently modern scientists, rejecting the ideas of the dark ages, have scouted dreams. To-day, however, we study them scientifically, for we believe that whatever is, has a reason. Dr. Ross, I think, is acquainted with the new and remarkable theories of Dr. Sigmund Freud, of Vienna?"
Dr. Ross nodded. "I dissent vigorously from some of Freud's conclusions," he hastened.
"Let me state them first," resumed Craig. "Dreams, says Freud, are very important. They give us the most reliable information concerning the individual. But that is only possible"--Kennedy emphasised the point--"if the patient is in entire rapport with the doctor.
"Now, the dream is not an absurd and senseless jumble, but a perfect mechanism and has a definite meaning in penetrating the mind. It is as though we had two streams of thought, one of which we allow to flow freely, the other of which we are constantly repressing, pushing back into the subconscious, or unconscious. This matter of the evolution of our individual mental life is too long a story to bore you with at such a critical moment.
"But the resistances, the psychic censors of our ideas, are always active, except in sleep. Then the repressed material comes to the surface. But the resistances never entirely lose their power, and the dream shows the material distorted. Seldom does one recognise his own repressed thoughts or unattained wishes. The dream really is the guardian of sleep to satisfy the activity of the unconscious and repressed mental processes that would otherwise disturb sleep by keeping the censor busy. In the case of a nightmare the watchman or censor is aroused, finds himself overpowered, so to speak, and calls on consciousness for help.
"There are three kinds of dreams--those which represent an unrepressed wish as fulfilled, those that represent the realisation of a repressed wish in an entirely concealed form, and those that represent the realisation of a repressed wish in a form insufficiently or only partially concealed.
"Dreams are not of the future, but of the past, except as they show striving for unfulfilled wishes. Whatever may be denied in reality we nevertheless can realise in another way--in our dreams. And probably more of our daily life, conduct, moods, beliefs than we think, could be traced to preceding dreams."
Dr. Ross was listening attentively, as Craig turned to him. "This is perhaps the part of Freud's theory from which you dissent most strongly. Freud says that as soon as you enter the intimate life of a patient you begin to find sex in some form. In fact, the best indication of abnormality would be its absence. Sex is one of the strongest of human impulses, yet the one subjected to the greatest repression. For that reason it is the weakest point in our cultural development. In a normal life, he says, there are no neuroses. Let me proceed now with what the Freudists call the psychanalysis, the soul analysis, of Mrs. Maitland."
It was startling in the extreme to consider the possibilities to which this new science might lead, as he proceeded to illustrate it.
"Mrs. Maitland," he continued, "your dream of fear was a dream of what we call the fulfilment of a suppressed wish. Moreover, fear always denotes a sexual idea underlying the dream. In fact, morbid anxiety means surely unsatisfied love. The old Greeks knew it. The gods of fear were born of the goddess of love. Consciously you feared the death of your husband because unconsciously you wished it."
It was startling, dramatic, cruel, perhaps, merciless--this dissecting of the soul of the handsome woman before us; but it had come to a point where it was necessary to get at the truth.
Mrs. Maitland, hitherto pale, was now flushed and indignant. Yet the very manner of her indignation showed the truth of the new psychology of dreams, for, as I learned afterward, people often become indignant when the Freudists strike what is called the "main complex."
"There are other motives just as important," protested Dr. Boss. "Here in America the money motive, ambition--"
"Let me finish," interposed Kennedy. "I want to consider the other dream also. Fear is equivalent to a wish in this sort of dream. It also, as I have said, denotes sex. In dreams animals are usually symbols. Now, in this second dream we find both the bull and the serpent, from time immemorial, symbols of the continuing of the life-force. Dreams are always based on experiences or thoughts of the day preceding the dreams. You, Mrs. Maitland, dreamed of a man's face on these beasts. There was every chance of having him suggested to you. You think you hate him. Consciously you reject him; unconsciously you accept him. Any of the new psychologists who knows the intimate connection between love and hate, would understand how that is possible. Love does not extinguish hate; or hate, love. They repress each other. The opposite sentiment may very easily grow."
The situation was growing more tense as he proceeded. Was not Kennedy actually taxing her with loving another?
"The dreamer," he proceeded remorselessly, "is always the principal actor in a dream, or the dream centres about the dreamer most intimately. Dreams are personal. We never dream about matters that really concern others, but ourselves.
"Years ago," he continued, "you suffered what the new psychologists call a 'psychic trauma'--a soul-wound. You were engaged, but your censored consciousness rejected the manner of life of your fiance. In pique you married Price Maitland. But you never lost your real, subconscious love for another."
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