Produced by Al Haines
[Frontispiece: A DRAWING FROM LIFE BY JOHN CECIL CLAY]
A NOVEL WRITTEN FROM
THE OUIJA BOARD
WITH AN INTRODUCTION
THE COMING OF JAP HERRON
Emily Grant Hutchings
COPYRIGHT 1917 BY
PRINTED IN AMERICA
THE COMING OF "JAP HERRON"
On the afternoon of the second Thursday in March, 1916, I responded to an invitation to the regular meeting of a small psychical research society. There was to be a lecture on cosmic relations, and the hostess for the afternoon, whom I had met twice socially, thought I might be interested, my name having appeared in connection with a recently detailed series of psychic experiments. To all those present, with the exception of the hostess, I was a total stranger. I learned, with some surprise, that these men and women had been meeting, with an occasional break of a few months, for more than five years. The record of these meetings filled several type-written volumes.
When word came that the lecturer was unavoidably detained, the hostess requested Mrs. Lola V. Hays to entertain the members and guests by a demonstration of her ability to transmit spirit messages by means of a planchette and a lettered board. The apparatus was familiar to me; but the outcome of that afternoon's experience revealed a new use for the transmission board. After several messages, more or less personal, had been spelled out, the pointer of the planchette traced the words:
"Samuel L. Clemens, lazy Sam." There was a long pause, and then: "Well, why don't some of you say something?"
I was born in Hannibal, and my pulses quickened. I wanted to put a host of questions to the greatest humorist and the greatest philosopher of modern times; but I was an outsider, unacquainted with the usages of the club, and I remained silent while the planchette continued:
"Say, folks, don't knock my memoirs too hard. They were written when Mark Twain was dead to all sense of decency. When brains are soft, the method should be anaesthesia."
Not one of those present had read Mark Twain's memoirs, and the plaint fell upon barren soil. The arrival of the lecturer prevented further confession from the unseen communicant; but I was so deeply impressed that I begged my hostess to permit me to come again. For my benefit a meeting was arranged at which there was no lecturer, and I was asked to sit for the first time with Mrs. Hays.