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- The Blind Spot - 70/71 -
Beware ye of sacrilege! Lest I take from ye all that I have given ye, and the day be postponed--beware ye of sacrilege!
For a moment the strange light stood still, so that the checked millions might read. Then it turned upon the dais.
There it spread, and hovered over the group, until it seemed to work them together--the Nervina to Harry, the Aradna to Hobart. Not one of them knew what it was; they obeyed by impulse--it was their destiny; the Chosen, and the queens.
The light stopped at the foot of Dr. Holcomb. Then the strangest thing happened.
Out of the light--or rather, from where it bathed the snowstone-- came a man; a man much like Holcomb, bearded and short and kindly.
He was the real Jarados!
Unhesitatingly the professor stepped up beside him. Then followed Hobart and the Aradna, Harry and the Nervina, and lastly, from the crowd of Bars, MacPherson. The whole concourse in the temple stopped in awe and terror.
Only for a second. Then the Jarados and all at his side--were gone.
And upon the snow-stone there stood a sword of living flame.
It stood there for just a breath, exactly where the group had been.
And it was gone.
That was all.
No; not quite all. For when the Blind Spot closed that night at 288 Chatterton Place, there came once more the deep, solemn peal of the Bell of the Jarados.
Were this account merely a work of fiction, it would harmonise things so as to have no unaccountables in it. As it is, the present writers will have to make this quite clear:
It is not known why the Rhamda Avec failed to show himself at the crucial moment. Perhaps he could have changed everything. We can only surmise; he has not been seen or heard from since.
Which also is true of Mr. Chick Watson. He disappeared immediately after the closing of the Spot, saying that he was going to Bertha Holcomb's home. No trace has been found of either to date. Doubtless the reader has noted advertisement in the papers, appealing to the authorities to report any one of Watson's description applying for a marriage licence.
As for his two friends, Wendel and Fenton, together with the Aradna and the Nervina, they and MacPherson and the doctor absolutely vanished from all the knowledge, either of the Thomahlia or the earth. The Jarados alone can tell of them.
Mme. Le Fabre, however, feels that she can explain the matter satisfactorily. Abridged, her theory runs:
"There is but one way to explore the Occult. That way is to die.
"For all that we were so strongly impressed with the reality of Mr. Watson, I am firmly convinced that he was simply a spirit; that everything we saw was spirit manifestation.
"Dr. Holcomb and all the rest have simply gone on to another plane. We shall never see them again. They are dead; no other explanation will hold. They are spirits."
Giving this version to the public strictly for what it is worth, the present writers feel it only right to submit the conclusions reached by Dr. Malloy and concurred in by Drs. Higgins and Hansen, also, with reservations, by Professor Herold and by Miss Clarke.
"To a certain extent, and up to a certain point, it is possible to account for the astonishing case of the Blind Spot by means of well-known psychological principles. Hallucinations will cover a great deal of ground.
"But we feel that our personal experiences, in witnessing the interior of the Thomahlia cannot be thus explained away. Our accounts tally too exactly; and we are not subject to group hypnosis.
"To explain this we believe a new hypothesis is called for. We submit that what we saw was not unreal. Assuming that a thing is real or unreal, and can never be in a third state which is neither one nor the other, then we should have to insist that what we saw was REAL.
"We stand ready and prepared to accept any theory which will fit all facts, not merely a portion."
Again refraining from any comment we pass on to the more exhaustive opinion of Sir Henry Hodges. Inasmuch as this seems to coincide very closely with the hypothesis of Professor Holcomb, and as the reputation of Sir Henry is a thing of weight, we are quoting him almost verbatim:
"There is a well-known experiment in chemistry, wherein equal quantities of water and alcohol are mixed. Let us say, a pint of each. Now, the resulting mixture ought to be a quart; but it is not. It is somewhat less than a quart.
"Strange, indeed, to the novice, but a commonplace to every student of the subject. It is strange only that, except for Dr. Holcomb and this man Avec, science has overlooked the stupendous significance and suggestion of this particular fact.
"Now, consider another well-known fact: No matter how you try you cannot prevent gravity from acting. It will pull every object down, regardless of how you try to screen it from the earth.
"Why? Because gravity penetrates all things. Again, why? Why should gravity penetrate all things?
"The answer is, because gravity is a function of the ether. And the ether is an imponderable substance, so impalpable that it passes right through all solids as though they were not there.
"These are two highly suggestive points. They show us, first, that two substances can exist within the space formerly thought to be completely filled by one. Second, they show that ALL substances are porous to the ether.
"Very well. Bear in mind that we know nothing whatever directly about the ether; our knowledge is all indirect. Therefore--
"It may be that there is more than one ether!
"Conceive what this means. If there were another ether, how could we become aware of it? Only through the medium of some such phenomenon as the Blind Spot; not through ordinary channels. For the ordinary channels are microscopes and test-tubes, every one of which, when traced to the ultimate, is simply a concrete expression of THE ONE ETHER WE KNOW!
"In the nature of the case our five senses could never apprehend a second ether.
"Yet, knowing what we do about the structure of the atom, of electronic activity, of quantels, we must admit that there is a huge, unoccupied space--that is, we can't see that it is occupied-- in and between the interstices of the atom.
"It is in the region, mingled and intertwined with the electrons which make up the world we know so well, that--in my opinion--the Thomahlian world exists. It is actually coexistent with our own. It is here, and so are we. At this very instant, at any given spot, there can be, and almost certainly is, more than one solid object--two systems of materiality, two systems of life, two systems of death. And if two, why, then, perhaps there are even more!
"Holcomb is right. We are Infinity. Only our five senses make us finite."
Charlotte Fenton does not indulge in speculation. She seems to bear up wonderfully well in the face of Harry Wendel's affinity for the Nervina, and also in the face of her brother's disappearance. And she philosophically states:
"When Columbus returned from his search for the East Indies, he triumphantly announced that he had found what he sought.
"He was mistaken. He had found something else--America.
"It may be that we are all mistaken. It may be that something entirely different from what any one has suspected has been found. Time will tell. I am willing to wait."
To make it complete, it is felt that the following statement of General Hume is not only essential, but convincing to the last degree.
"My view regarding this mystery is simply this: I have eyes, and I have seen. I don't know whether the actors were living or dead. I am no scientist; I have no theory. I only know. And I will swear to what I saw.
"I am a soldier. The two men who are bringing this to press have shown me their copy.
"It is correct."
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