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About The Sunday Oregonian. (Portland, Ore.) 1881-current | View This Issue
THE srVDAY OREGONIAX, PORTLAND, 3IAT 17, 1908.
C V!. ' '
BY M. B. WELLS. '
liT' hardest superstition to
I down," says W. T. Stead,
the eminent London joural
Ist, "is the superstition that there
are no such things as ghosts."
That is all very well for Mr. Stead,
living as he does in the English me
tropolis where one has at command
all the ancient, medieval, and mod
ern conveniences, including spooks,
apparitions, clanking chains and dis
mal groans that can be turned on
and off like the gas, and where the
strong arm of British justice protects
even the most officious iconoclast
from violence at the hands of the un
initiated whose cherished delusions
are held up to derisive scorn.
For my part, while I believe with
Mr. Stead, I have no little sympathy,
and great respect for that vast ma
jority, not one of ,wnom has ever set
eyes on a single ghost.
I am personally acquainted with a
number of Individuals who belong to
this highly suspicious, but entirely
creditable majority. Among them is
my friend Jones. Jones has behind
him a long and most sensational an
cestry. One medieval progenitor
was tortured for heresy by the in
quisition, another was a Rosicrucian,
and a third was hanged for robbing
a church. In later days, a grand
mother's aunt was burned at the
stake for witchcraft, and a male de
scendent of that unlucky relative
was convicted and sentenced to the
United States Senate for 18 years.
Jones contends, and with some
reason, too, that if anyone had a lot
of wailing specters bothering around,
he ought to be the man. He never
saw one, and he insists, of course,
that there "hain't" any. When Jones
talks about ghosts he gets very ex
cited, and his language often suffers.
I have told him of a few of the
more satisfactory spooks I have met,
but he will have none of them. He
says that I am the original "Come
on," and that I ought to keep my
money, or give it to the Baby Home,
instead of spreading it around so
foolishly. Nevertheless, I have hopes
that Jones will sit up some day and
take notice of the truth.
Not long ago I stood iij the pres
ence of a ghost, or perhaps to be
more accurate, the ghost stood in my
presence, or to be more accurate
still, the ghost floated around the
room where I was present. In dis
cussing grave matters like this, it is
well to state the exact truth.
I did not see the ghost myself, bit
the medium did, and I am confident
that he was telling the truth. I had
given him three dollars, and for that
amount of money he could afford to
tell most anything.
The ghost was a lady. From the
description given by the medium,
who could see her distinctly enough,
it seemed that she was my wife's
great-grandmother, a relative whom
I have never seen. The old lady
looked at me longingly and affection
ately, said that a fat friend of mine
would soon be sick, and then van
ished, even from the astral sight of
the medium. He tried to call her
back, but she wouldn't come, and I
have never seen her since.
I admit that this experience was
expensive, considering the brief in
terval that elapsed between the time
when I gave up my three dollars and
when I was ushered out into the
glaring sunshine, afflicted with sad
uncertainty as to the ultimate where
abouts of my long-lost great-grand-mother-in-law,
and a prey to anxiety,
regarding the physical welfare of
some one of my corpulent friends,
who was about to be stricken with
SENSATIONAL, episodes happening at
the National Capital in which Con
gressmen were the leading figures was
the topic In which a number of gentle
men participated, nays the Washington
Tost, when an old inhabitant broke in
with the remark that he considered the
attack upon Senator Sumner of Mas
sachusetts by Representative Preston S.
Brooks, of South Carolina, as the great
est Incident of the character that was
being discussed that ever happened in any
hall of legislation.
"It was more than 50 years ago." said
the old gentleman, "when this unhappy
circumstance occurred. To be more ex
act. It took place in the latter part of the
month of May. IMS. That would make it
6 years ago next month. I remember
the event very well, for I was in the
Senate chamber soon after Brooks made
his assault and saw pieces of the broken
gutta percha cane wtth which he'slruck
the Senator lying near Mr. Sumner's
"Of course there was intense exclte7
ment and it extended all over the civil
iied world. In many quarters great In
dignation was expressed, and particularly
in England, where Mr. Sumner, because
of his well-known championship of the
abolition of slavery, was a great favor
ite. Brooks was arrested and taken be
fore Justice Hollingshead. one of the
most prominent of the Washington jus
"The district courts did take some ac
tion, however. A short time after the
assault Mr. Brooks was taken before
Judge Crawford, who fined him In the
sum of 30o.
"The intense excitement did not die
out for some time. Mr. Sumner's col
league In the Senate, who was Henry
Wilson, afterward Vice-President during
the second administration of General
Grant, made a speech In which he char
acterized the attack upon Sumner as bar
Notwithstanding the brevity of the
communication, the evidential value
of the seance was complete. I know
for certain that my wife had a great
grandmother, and the fact that a fat
friend of mine did get sick proves
everything that the old lady said.
Unfortunately I told Jones about it.
He said that I was "stung" again,
that he had three or four fat, sick
friends himself, and that I ought to
have taken a singing lesson. Instead.
"They only cost two dollars more
apiece," he eaid, "and you could
have had a whole half-hour for your
It was a long time before I said
anything to Jones about Professor
Harrison. The professor ran a ghost
emporium over on the East Side,
where the rents were cheap and he
could carry a large assortment of
voices, gurgles, groans, phantom
lights and other occult things at
marked down prices. '
I first got Into touch with the
Professor through another friend of
mine whom I will call the Judge.
The Judge believes firmly in the doc
trine of reincarnation, and hopes,
some day, to meet a ghost who will
agree with him.
To digress for a moment. It Is a
curious fact that ghosts, who, like
ministers, are supposed to know all
about what happens to one after he
is dead, almost unanimously dispute
the theory of reincarnation. They
(the ghosts) say that they are dead
now, and that they can't remember
ever being dead before, and that
there's nothing to it.
"But," objected the Judge, one
night after Dr. Wellman had finished
an apparently very learned disquisi
tion on super-terrestial metaphysics,
"you informed me the other evening
that, when you were alive, you did
not believe in the survival of human
consciousness after death. Is it not
possible, being mistaken then, that
you may be wrong about reincarna
It may be well to explain here that
Dr. Wellman is a remarkably well
preserved ghost, who has been a
ghost for 300 years. We heard him
shouting through a horn in a dark
room one night at 50c a head. The
Doctor, during physical life, was a
shoemaker In Germany. Since then
he has advanced considerably, hav
ing taken the 33d degree, and earned
the honorary title of D. A. M. N.
(Doctor of Astral Metaphysics and
"The dead see and know all
things," asserted the Doctor solemn
ly in a ministerial voice.
"That Wellman is an ass," said
the Judge to me, after we had gone
outside. "He doesn't know what he
is talking about, and I am not going
back any more."
"I know of a medium," continued
the Judge, as he paused In a shel
tered doorway to light a cigar, "that
has an Irishman for a control who
used to be a bartender In St. Louis
before the war. Let's go over to
morrow night and see him. He isn't
a D. A. M. N. fool anyway."
The next evening we went to see
the Irish spook at Professor Harri
son's. On our way we met Jones, who
wanted to know if I had much money
with me, and where I was going.
Jones can be fearfully offensive "and
tiresome at times.
"I'll tell you, Jones," I explained
evasively, yet truthfully, "we are go
ing to see a friend of the Judge's.
We'll have to hurry, because he may
be dead before we get there."
When we arrived at the Profes
sor's, the show was about to begin.
There were ten of us, including the
Professor and his wife, all alive.
Unlike other mediums, the Profes-
WERE QUICK TO FIGHT
Events at tlie National Capital Half a Century Ago.
barous and ruffianly and used other lan
guage of a character that induced Mr.
Brooks to challenge him to fight a duel.
Wilson, however, was averse to the code
"Anson Burlingame, also of Massa
chusetts, made a speech in the House of
Representatives in which he cited the kill
ing of Abel by Cain and said Brooks
smote Sumner as Cain smote his brother.
This led Brooks to challenge Burlingame,
who said he would meet Brooks and nego
tiate things on the Canada side of
Niagara Falls. Brooks was ready to
fight and willing to go, but several friends
who were willing that he should fight
did not think he should go so far north
for the purpose and he was prevailed
upon not to go. As I understand It, he
was persuaded against his own will to
follow the advice of his friends, and the
end of this phase of the matter wa that
both of these gentlemen were put under
heavy bonds not to fight.
"This period of the year 1866 was full of
sensational Incidents. It was in the same
month that Brooks caned Sumner that
Representative Herbert, of California,
shot and killed a waiter at Willard's Ho
tel whose name was Keating. There had
been some sharp talk between Keating
and the Congressman while the latter was
breakfasting, and a conversation which
was carried on In rather low tones at last
broke forth In a violent and (certainly
on the part of the Congressman) undig
nified quarrel. Then there came a scuf
fle and Herbert shot the waiter. He
was of course arrested and tried. He
had two trials, in fact, for the jury at
first disagreed, but on the second trial
he was acquitted. I think a witness tes
tified that Keating was holding Herbert
under the dining-room table and was
pounding him, and a case of self-defense
was thereby created. At this time the
American, or Know Nothing party, was
prominent in the land. Now Keating
was an Irishman and a. rather popular
Vdrbatim conversations With my a
VWIFI GROSCr- QlsNDMOTttER, AMD MYy
sor pulls off his performance without
much preliminary foolishness. I will
say, too, that the Professor is very
genial and democratic, and his sean
ces are well worth the money. .
, We were seated comfortably
around a table, holding hands in a
circle. No sooner were the lights
turned out than an excitable lady
who sat next to me remarked with a
"I feel the current so strong to
night. I'm sure we are going to get
something good. Don't you think
"I wouldn't be surprised," replied
the Professor, in a confident tone.
I didn't feel the current myself,
but then, there must be someone
present who feels the psychic cur
Pretty soon an electrician, who sat
on the other side of the table, said
he saw some sparks, and the seance
The horn, which previously had
been placed In the center of the ta
ble, began to tremble and rattle, and
then a loud Hibernian voice filled the
man. His friends attributed his killing
to race hatred and denounced Herbert
and all his friends in unmeasured terms.
"There was something akin to an in
ternational question that grew out of
this tragic circumstance. It. appeared
that the testimony of the Minister from
The Hague, whose name I do not now
recall, was desired by the United States
Attorney for this district to testify in
the case, but the Minister declined to
accede to the attorney's request. He
had been a witness to the occurrence in
the hotel dining-room, and with the ex
ception of a friend of Mr. Herbert, was
the only witness. However, the Minis
ter declined to go to the court and give
evidence on grounds of International law,
but he would go to the State Depart
ment, he said, and testify to the truth
in the matter. Mr. Marcy. who was then
the Secretary of State, did not like the
position taken by the Minister and ac
cordingly requested the American Minis
ter at The Hague to refer It to the Min
ister of Foreign Affairs at that capital.
All the members of the Diplomatic Corps
in this city took sides with the Minister
from The Hague. The result of all the
correspondence, etc., was that the Min
ister did not testify in the case.
"There came near being a duel between
two well-known lawyers of this city dur
ing the course of proceedings in the Her
bert trial. One of these gentlemen was
Daniel Ratcliffe and the other Walter
Lenox. Lenox at one time had been
Mayor ot the city. Both were rather
hotheaded and both favored the' duello
In certain circumstances. They had a
war of words In the courtroom and the
lie was passed. Now among a certain
class of gentlemen in this community
that meant a fight at that period. These
prominent lawyers actually did have a
collision in the courtroom, but were
separated. Before arrangements for a
meeting on the field of honor, however.
"Good evening, ladles and gents."
"Good evening, Mike," responded
the Judge, "I am glad to see you."
The Judge, of course, didn't see
him, but It is quite the conventional
and proper thing at a spook-fest to
tell an Invisible ghost that you see
him. It puts him at ease, and he
works better. On the same princi
ple, perhaps, that a famous prima
donna cannot sing behind a screen,
or, if Paderewski played in the dark,
people wouU think that It was a
pianola. Anyway, the Judge was
glad to see htm, and he said so.
"How long since you have had a
drink, Mike?" asked the electrician.
"About half an hour ago," re
"How is that?" asked the electri
cian in surprise. "I didn't know
they drank in Heaven."
"I'm not in Hivven."
"That's too bad, Mike, but where
"Im just dead, an' it's not bad at
all, at all. It's like beln' at home,
only it isn't hot like it was in St.
"But how about that drink?" per-
both were arrested and required to give
bonds not to engage in a duel.
"There were other sensational events
about this time, one ot which was a diffi
culty between Mr. Sherman, afterward
Senator Sherman, of Ohio, and a Mr.
Wright, of Tennessee, both distinguished
members of the House of Representa
tives. Sherman threw a batch of wafers
into Wright's face and the Tennesseean
made an attempt to strike his opponent.
There were widespread rumors of a duel
to be the outcome ot this, but the re
ported meeting was a flash In the pan.
In fact, there was no challenge from
"It was in this same year that Presi
dent Pierce refused to recognize further
Mr. jCrampton as the British Minister,
because, 'as it was declared, her Majes
ty's government was endeavoring to re
cruit soldiers in the United States for
service in the war against Russia. There
was naturally much excitement, but di
plomacy managed to settle the difficulty
If I could have my dearest wish fulfilled.
And take my choice of all earth's treas
And ak from Heaven whatso'er I willed,
I'd ask for you.
No man I'd envy, neither low nor -high.
Nor Klnr In castle old or palace new;
rd hold Golconda's mines less rich than 1,
If I bad you.
Toll and privation, poverty and care.
Undaunted I'd defy, nor future woo;
Having my wife, no Jewels else I'd wear;
If she were you.
Little rd care how lovely she might be.
How graced with every charm, how fond,
E'en though perfection, she'd be naught to
Were she not you.
There is more charm for my true loving
In everything you think, or say. or do.
Than all the joys of heaven could e'er im
part. Because it's you.- -
sisted the. electrician. "D'ye mind
whin you stropped . at that saloon
on Grand Avenue and Morrison
street befure ye came up here?"
"Er-er urn," stammered the man
of dynamos, volts and amperes con-
fusedly. "I wasn't feeling just right,
so I stopped in and "
"Yis," interrupted Mike, "an' ye
tuk a Scotch highball. I was sthand
ing right by ye. Ye got the sody
wather and the other physical parts,
an' I got the spirits, which was the
best part of it b'dad!"
"Mike," inquired the Judge, no
ticing that the electrician was silent,
"Do you know Dr. Wellman?"
"Do I know that lobster? Sure I
do. He's right here in the room
now, tryin' to butt in wid a long talk
about the wan-ness of ultimate
WHAT. I'll swat him .in the astral
plexus, If ye say so, Judge. He'll
think he's the ray-incarnation of Jim
"Do you believe in reincarnation,
wid a step-ladder brow was tellin'
"I don't know much about it,
WANTED: AN ANSWER TO AGNOSTIC
Ministers Called on to Refute the Attack on Revealed Religion, by a Xonogenarlan.
BY CHARLES A. COMSTOCX.
AM a plain, wayfaring man, content
to allow the sentinels on the watch
towers of creed do my thinking for
me. I have been fairly impressed with
the orthodox attitude as to things mun
dane and celestial, taking it for granted
that the Bible, to men of understanding,
gave a reasonable and straightforward
method of attaining to eternal life, and
that Jehovah, the Uod of the Christians,
was a loving and all-wise Father.
I confess that I came to this attitude
and conviction, from hearsay. I never
read the Bible, because it seemed to my
benighted understanding to have little or
no consecutive relationship it being, as
it were, disjointed and dlscoursive. I
was content to leave it to pilots more
skilled than I to thread through, to guide
me safely on the road.
I believe that I am one of a type of
millions in this country who give a nom
inal adhesion to Christianity, willing to
"stand up and be counted" as believing
In that faith. It has. therefore, been
with no little consternation that I came
across a two-column article in last Sun
day's Oregonian, by a man nearly 10
years of age, a Mr. James Stout, who
has written with reference to the Bible,
our heavenly Father. Moses, Christ and
religious belief in general in violent and
vituperative abuse in a way that has
greatly startled me, and I see clearly
why such outspoken unbelief should be
suppressed, even If the pains and penal
ties of the inquisition should be invoked
as of old.
But what fills me with greater astonish
ment is. that our ministers and laymen
who are schooled to confront such op
ponents with the sword of the spirit, who
vaunt themselves as doughty warriors
(which has given the church militant an
exalted name for prowess and courage to
withstand tts foes) have one and all re
Judge, but I'm thinkin' it's all right.
A fierce-lookin' spook fr'm Hamburg
me about It the other day."
"Did he say who he was?"
"He did, but It was wan o" thlm
Dutch names, an' I can't ray-mimber.
It spunded something. like Chop an'
"Was It Schopenhauer?"
"That's th' boy. He says to me:
'Mike, that ray-Incarnation's the
right dope,' says he."
"' How d'ye know?' says I."
"You read my book, an' ye'll know
all about it,' says he."
"Did you read it, Mike?"
"Not on yer life. Judge. Thim
Dutch furriners think they own the
"Do you remember the name of
the book, Mike?"
"I'll nivver furgit it."
"What was it."
"The World is William's or Pretty
Near." Whin thim Dutchies get over
f Ireland we'll sind them back wid
notice to Willie that he's not the
only big noise. That's what we
"You are mistaken in the name of
the book, Mike. It is The World as
Will and Idea."
"Mebbe, ye'er right. Judge. Any
way, that sounds more like th' book
that Dr. Wellman over there in th'
corner has under his arm."
"How can a spirit hold a solid
book under his arm, Mike?"
"It's an astral dooplicate, an that
tired to their tents as if there are nc
enemies besieging the citadel of our faith.
I flattered myself that men competent
to deal with Mr. Stout and expose his
fallacies would come trooping in numbers
to the defense of our religion and our
sacred standard-bearers, whom it seems
profanation to stigmatize; so far not one
has entered the lists to refute him. What
is the matter? Some might aver that his
accusations have been made and answered
a thousand times. For the edification of
many like myself, let us hear it repeated
For my own part Mr. Stout's letter has
set me thinking and enough of the Bible
is quoted to incline me to see that our
THE PRINCIPLE OF TURBINES
ONE can think of few things harder to
describe than the turbine engine, al
though in principle it is simplicity Itself.
A child's pinwheel is the idea one can
start with, the pin representing the shaft.
But In order to get a more economical
use of steam than by blowing a jet
against a pinwheel design In the open
air let it be Inclosed In a large pipe or
cylinder. Then to get the greater power
or purchase of the steam against these
blades It is necessary to get them as far
from the shaft as possible and there are
a great number of these blades, very
small and fixed on the outside of a cylin
der, in the center of which cylinder is the
shaft. This cylinder with Its blades stick
ing out all over its surface Is tightly en
cased in another fixed cylinder, leaving
just room for the blades to revolve. Then
as the steam is blown through between
the inner and outer cylinders the- numer
ous blades take up this power and quickly
makes the contints of the book much
lighter. Judge. Th' Doc. goes around
f all th' meetin's like this, an' whin
he gits a chance, he reads a chapter
or two an' looks like he wrote it his
self." "Does he understand it?"
"Not th' doc. He always gets mad
whin I ask him what it means."
"Speaking of reincarnation,
Mike," began the Judge again, "I "
"You'll excuse me, Judge," Inter
rupted Mike, "There's a spirit
sthanding by that can't hold himself
together much longer, an' if I don't
give him th' horn now, he'll explode,
an' he won't be able to get back."
The horn, under the impulse of
the anxious and unstable newcomer,
circled rapidly around the room,
seemingly over our heads. An
abrupt voice shouted:
"Dr. Jig! Dr. Jig! Dr. Jig!"
"Does anyone know Dr. Jig?" In
quired the profesuor
No one answering, the Professor
"We don't know you. Doctor. You
are in the wrong place. Good by."
The horn fell to the table with a
clatter, and it was evident that he
had exploded, although we didn't
hear the report.
"Mike," I finally called after a
long silence, "are you still there?"
' "Sure I am," replied Mike, giving
the horn a shake.
I didn't know Dr. Jig, but before
he passed out, he lived in my neigh
borhood, and I knew who he was.
"Mike," I asked, "Can you get Dr.
Jig back here again? I want to speak
"I'll thry," said Mike obligingly,
but he was pretty mad whin he wlnt
"The vibrations lv anger," ex
plained Mike, "are sharp, jagged
strakes iv light, an' they are a
sthrong dish-integratin' foorce. Did
anyone of ye see the lights?"
"I didn't see the lights," spoke up
the electrician, "but I thought some
one had burnt out a fuse."
"The Doc Is comin'," announced
Mike, "a little at a time. There's
his left leg now. Th' rest of him will
be along pretty soon. That's a good
boy, Doc. Stheady now! Here's the
horn, Doc. Here's a gintleman that
wud like t' spake wid ye."
"You you probably don't remem
ber me, Doctor," I Baid hesitatingly,
"but there's my friend Jones. He
told me that you attended his father-in-law
once when he was sick. He
said that you were a good doctor,
and that he was sorry that you
A psychic sense, that I did not
know I had, told me at this point
that the Doctor was considerably
mollified, so I went on:
"My friend Jones doesn't believe
in this sort of thing, and I thought if
I brought him around, you might
convince him. . He has a whole lot
of dead and distinguished relatives.
I'll tell Mike about them, and he'll
help you hunt them up."
"If your friend Jones does not
care to know the truth, he is prob
ably not fit to receive It. 'Who hath
ears to hear, let him hear, " quoted
the Doctor gloomily.
"That's all right, Doc," I said hur
riedly, "but you don't understand
Jones. We'll show him, won't we,
"You bring him In, an" we'll fix
him 'plenty," said Mike, as he took
the horn from the quickly disinte
"I didn't hear you tell Mike any
thing about Jones," remarked the
Judge, after the seance was over.
"No, but I told everything I could
think of to the professor, and it
comes to the same thing. I'll get
even with Jones, If it costs me ten
dollars a minute."
Father Is not one, after all, of all
lovlngness. Are we to understand that as
we were made in his image, with all our
frailties and shortcomings that it is
therefore to be tolerated In him?
If Mr. Stout is wrong I want to know
it. It does not seem to me right that
those who can refute him (assuming that
they can) draw themselves into their
shells, or like the ostrich, stick their
heads In the sand, thinking they have
hidden themselves from public view. They
are mistaken. I want his allegations re
futed so as not to lose faith in what I
have been taught. It is due me and thou
sands like me.
Portland, Or.. May II.
start the inner cylinder and its shaft re
volves with extreme rapidity.
Again, to get still better results from
the jets of steam, rows of blades are
placed on the Inside of the casing or fixed
cylinder in such a way that the rows ot
blades on the moving cylinder Just fit
in or dovetail together, these fixed blades
serving to reverse the direction of the
steam before It strikes the next row of
movable blades. Tne blades that are fur
thest from the intake of high pressure
steam are made larger, so as to take up
better the rapidly expanding vapor, and
this process is carried on through various
steps until a full vacuum is reached. All
of the thousands of small blades, both in
the movable and fixed rows, are curved.
The English Episcopal clergy are dis
carding the old soft felt hat they have
worn so long, and are adopting a stiff one
made of smooth black felt, shaped like
the straw-ton hat, that is called In Eng
land a "bloater." The new bat is said to
be "smart and yet sober."