The Discordant Note

A writer recites an incident in a circle which he once attended, which

so thoroughly illustrates the point just made, that we think it worth

while to reproduce it here. He says: "On one occasion in particular, we

had a remarkable illustration of the detrimental influence of one or two

sitters. It occurred at a seance at which a number of mediums were

present, and, under ordinary circumstances, successful results would

have been practically certain; but this was not an ordinary seance--at

least, not in the opinion of one lady who apparently imagined that she

had been invited to discover fraud, and that the rest of us were

suspicious characters. Up to the moment of her appearance in the circle

we were a happy family of sociable folk, and enjoyed a very pleasant

season of conversational interchange. When, however, the said lady,

accompanied by a friend, joined the company, there was a silence that

could be felt. The social temperature fell rapidly--people visibly

stiffened and became constrained. The two ladies appeared to feel afraid

to speak lest they should say anything that might be used by the

mediums, and spoke in monosyllables. Sitting bolt upright, grim and

silent, they drew up to the table, and when the phenomena began they

displayed no signs of interest. Their 'detective' attitude was so

objectionable that even those who had endeavored to thaw out these

self-constituted Sherlock Holmeses, gave up the attempt, and, in

consequence, what had promised to be a really enjoyable evening, proved

one of the most uncomfortable it has been our lot to experience."

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