ARTICLES

Frederick Marion portrait

Frederick Marion

Real name Josef Kraus. Born in Prague on 15 October 1892 and educated at the Commercial Academy in the same town. In the Foreword to Marion's In My Mind's Eye R. H. Thouless and B. P. Wiesner said, "We can say definitely that we are satisfied that Marion shows paranormal capacities of an unusually high order under strictly controlled experimental conditions". In this book Marion describes how he was launched on his stage career by his spectacular success in locating certain objects which had been hidden in various parts of the city of Prague by a committee composed of police and other townsmen.

A Quartette of Mysteries

- Frederick Marion -

          FROM TIME to time I have used my abilities to help the police of various countries, but most of the mysteries I have encountered have come to me by way of the consulting-room and demonstration platform rather than through official channels. I do not keep a record of my consultations; unlike the psychiatrist, I am helped no whit by prolonged study of a case-book. But I can recall a dozen cases at random in which I was able to unravel apparently insoluble mysteries. They were not always dramatic mysteries - some, perhaps, were trivial - but the application of psychic powers to solve them is of no small importance.

Here, then, I shall set down a quartette of mysteries and relate the manner in which they were solved.

*     *     *     *     *

One day in the early thirties the people of Zurich were mystified by the newspaper story concerning Professor X - a man well known in Zurich and of considerable renown in the medical world.

Professor X had disappeared from the flat where he lived with his wife and family. At first this had caused only mild anxiety, but with his continued disappearance came profound alarm. The police were called in and made widespread enquiries; the last known movements of the missing man were studied and cross-checked; photographs and descriptions were circulated in the Swiss newspapers. None of this diligence produced a happy result. The mystery remained as deep as ever.

About this time I happened to be passing through Zurich on a lecture-demonstration tour. I am not in the habit of reading up all the local news in the towns through which I pass, and consequently I knew nothing whatsoever about the mystery of the vanished professor.

Concentration During a Private Experiment
My eyes are open, but I am seeing nothing of my surroundings.

After my first demonstration in Zurich I was asked by the Society of Physicians there if I would demonstrate for them at an intimate little soirée the following evening. I agreed to appear and the matter was arranged accordingly. The next evening I gave a number of experiments before this keen and attentive body of professional men. For me there was nothing particularly outstanding about any of the mental phenomena produced, but some time after commencing my demonstration I touched upon one experiment which created an uproar in the room.

One of the visitors handed me a picture post-card with some greetings written upon it. As usual, the greetings consisted of a couple of brief sentences and an unreadable signature. I held the card in my hand and began to concentrate. After a moment or two I gave a description of the writer's appearance and personality. Then:

"The writer of the card has been undergoing a period of mental and moral depression. This has been brought about by unhappy circumstances created in his family circle. He goes away to a station and he takes a train to some destination not far from Zurich. He has in his pockets a booklet which seems to be something like a passport - yes, probably a passport - and also a gold cigarette-case with the figure of an angel embossed in enamel on the outside. He leaves the train at a small station and walks along the beach at the side of a lake. He walks for a long time and finally stops at a place where he has to look down on to the waters of the lake. He stands there for some time, and suddenly jumps into the water..."

By this time I was in a state of considerable mental agitation, but was compelled to go on. I continued, describing the way the man had struggled in the water, instinctively fighting to save himself ... how his strength slowly ebbed away so that he could struggle no more ... how the waters closed in over him and he sank down to his death. I even made it clear that the body of this man had been caught up in some form of underwater weeds and remained trapped in that position.

This was the story I told on handling the greetings post-card.

I was quite unable to continue with any further phenomena, because all tragic experiments are very exhausting for me. In this case it was as if I myself had undergone the mental and physical agonies of the drowning man's last moments.

Nobody seemed to be concerned about the fact that the demonstration had concluded so quickly. All the guests were far too busy discussing the result of my last effort. There was a tremendous air of excitement throughout the whole room. The gentleman who had handed me the post-card called for silence while he spoke a few explanatory words.

At the St. Regis Hotel
In an issue of The Sketch during the early months of 1940, there appeared a page of "Cabaret Impressions" by Feliks Topolski. This is the impression I made upon the artist during one of the card experiments in my performance.

"Ladies and gentlemen," he said in a quiet, controlled voice, "I am sorry to tell you that this post-card was received by me several months ago from Professor X. As you all know, he has been missing for several days. I hoped that Mr. Marion might be able to help solve the mystery of this disappearance, and that is why I handed him the post-card without giving any clue as to the writer. It is better that we should know the truth, but I did not dream that we should hear such a terrible revelation."

He went on to make a few more remarks, saying that what I had recounted would be placed at the disposal of the police, and eventually the soirée broke up.

The next day a gentleman came to see me, announcing himself as the solicitor of Professor X. He had heard the story of my demonstration the previous evening and wanted to know if I could give still further help by trying to gain more detailed impressions of the tragic occurrence. He had brought with him a map showing all the lakes, large and small, within a fifty-mile radius of Zurich.

"You feel confident in the accuracy of my impressions?" I queried as I watched him spreading the map, a look of anticipation on his face.

He nodded. "But of course, Mr. Marion. You see, the police ..." He shrugged and made a gesture of helplessness with widespread fingers. "The police have been told of your experiment. They say the theory of suicide is improbable because Professor X was a happy man, well loved and content in the bosom of his family."

"What do the police think then?" I asked.

My visitor smiled a little ruefully.

"They say that either the professor went on a journey without telling anybody about it, or that he is suffering from loss of memory."

"And you disagree with them?"

The solicitor hesitated for a moment, looking at me keenly.

"There is one point about your experiment which, to me, was very convincing," he said slowly. "This is known only to a very few people, but the fact is that the professor was not happy and contented as he was thought to be. Recently there have arisen various family troubles. They have distressed him to such an extent that I firmly believe they might provide a motive for suicide."

I nodded. "That was a point I touched upon when doing the experiment, but nobody seemed to attach much importance to it. Well, let's see if we can get a little more information."

The solicitor had brought with him further samples of the missing man's handwriting, as well as the large-scale map. I got to work with the material at hand, and after some time managed to pin-point the tiny lake in question.

My visitor thanked me heartily for my assistance and left, saying that he would arrange to have the edges of the lake dragged in the places which fitted in with various descriptive details I had given him.

And that is very nearly the whole story.

Two days later the body of Professor X was recovered from the waters of the lake, where it had lain trapped beneath the surface by weeds. In the pocket of his jacket was a passport ... and a gold cigarette-case with an angel embossed in enamel on the outside.

*     *     *     *     *

The year 1910.

In a park in Sydney a little girl of three is skipping along the sandy yellow paths in the bright summer sun, the watchful eye of a nursemaid upon her.

A passing friend offers the nursemaid a welcome opportunity for a few words of gossip, and for a matter of minutes the small charge is forgotten. A sudden mild anxiety as the nursemaid realizes that the little girl is no longer in sight, and then increasing panic and frantic scurrying through the broad lanes between the flower-beds as her calls remain unanswered.

The little girl is lost, and a frightened nursemaid returns, sobbing and breathless, to tell the parents. For a few hours the police treat the matter as an everyday routine job; but the hours turn to days, and still no news comes to bring relief to the heartbroken parents. Their child has disappeared as if from the face of the earth, and all investigation and cross-questioning prove fruitless.

Weeks, months, years roll by, and the mystery remains unsolved. The authorities are helpless, the case is dropped and is relegated to a brief, unemotional account in the official records.

In 1930 - twenty years later - certain Australian newspapers announce the arrival of "... Fred Marion, the famous Czech medium" in Sydney, and the threads of this tragic story are picked up again...

It was my first visit to Australia, and I found myself delivering lecture-demonstrations in halls filled to capacity. Once my name became well known in any town I used to give private sittings for those who felt themselves to be in need of my advice.

After one particular lecture I was approached by an elderly couple, their lined faces stamped deeply with enduring sorrow. They handed me a tiny metal pendant, obviously antique, and asked me if I could gain any impressions from it. They told me nothing of the history of the pendant, a fact which pleased me greatly for reasons which I have explained elsewhere.

I received strong and clear-cut impressions as soon as I began the experiment.

"This has been closely connected with a little girl who ran away many years ago," I told the parents (as they later proved to be). "She is playing in a park, and stops to speak to a lady - a lady past middle age. The lady takes the child by the hand and they walk away together. The lady is a married woman. She and her husband have always longed for children, but have been unable to have any. This fierce desire overwhelms the lady and she takes the child away, to call it her own. The child grows up with this couple. She becomes a singer. Her voice is a beautiful soprano and she achieves success."

That was the sum of the impressions I received, and I have seldom seen such a reaction as took place in the parents as they heard this news of the child who had been stolen from them so many years before. They told me the story as it was known to them, and begged me to make a journey with them through every large town in Australia, searching the theatres in an effort to find the missing girl. They were willing, they said, to spend every penny they possessed if only I would agree.

I was touched by their piteous pleading, but explained gently that such a search might take several years. An attempt to solve the mystery in this way was quite impractical. If they could think of some other way in which I might assist, then I would be willing to help.

The couple exchanged desperate glances.

"You say the girl ... our daughter ... has made a success in singing," said the gentleman. "Surely there must be records of her voice. There can only be a limited number of sopranos who are good enough to have recordings made. Would you recognize the voice if you heard it?"

I affirmed this readily, for the impression of the girl's voice had been so strong and distinctive that I knew I should recognize it anywhere. The gentleman made all arrangements, and two days later he asked if I would visit a large store with him. There we sat in a booth while scores of records were played, waiting for the voice I hoped would come. The task was exhausting, but just as I was beginning to lose hope of any success I heard the voice I knew to be that of the missing girl. I wish I could reveal her name, for even though it could not be classed as famous it is at least familiar in many countries; but my position in the affair was a confidential one, and I am bound to respect this.

Yes. The girl was found. Her 'mother' had died, and she was living with her 'father', who broke down and confessed to the abduction when confronted by the real parents.

The girl was twenty-three, and had looked upon him as her father for as long as she could remember. The situation was not a pretty one. Even the reunion with their daughter, who did not know them, could not erase the sorrow of twenty years from the hearts of her parents. My own part played, I did not follow up what must have been a rather distressing sequel. Whether any action was taken against the man I do not know.

From the theoretical point of view, the main interest of this case was the fact that the time-lag of twenty years proved in no way detrimental to the accuracy of my impressions and to the overall success of the experiment.

*     *     *     *     *

And now a more ordinary tale from the case-book. It is only occasionally that I have carried out an experiment with men and women of established fame or who later became famous; and though such stories have a wider general interest, tragedy and comedy throughout life are no more tragic or comic in the lives of the famous than in the lives of those who fail to hitch their wagon to a star.

In the Latvian town of Riga, shortly after the First World War, I was visited, by a well-nourished, comfortable-looking old lady. She had come, she told me rather distractedly, about a Very Unpleasant Affair. I could almost hear the capital letters as she uttered the words.

She sank into a chair at my invitation and sighed heavily.

"It's all so mysterious, Mr. Marion. Our quiet home-life is completely shattered. Even my husband is moody and upset. For nearly thirty years we've been together, and without a cross word between us, and now..."

I could see that we were going to be some time in getting to the crux of the matter, and hastily broke in to ask the lady if she would please tell me in a few words the nature of her trouble and the way in which she thought I might help.

She bridled.

"Really, it's not as easy as that. I'm so agitated and nervous I simply don't know where to start."

With an inward sigh I leaned back and prepared myself for a long and rambling story. There are many people who simply cannot summarize, and when they come to me as clients I let them have their own way. I find that it saves time in the long run, and results come more quickly than if I were to pester them with instructions.

So for a few minutes I talked with the old lady about one or two general matters, and finally allowed her to steer our conversation along the lines she desired. Her story was long and rather incoherent in places, but the gist of it was this: A few days earlier she had gone to the front door of her house to pay a fairly large bill. To pay this bill she had taken a bank-note of large denomination from a small drawer in the dining-room. The change for this was given in the form of another bank-note, which she returned to the drawer. The next day the drawer was still locked, as she had left it, but the banknote had disappeared from inside.

"You can imagine what a shock it was to me, Mr. Marion," said my client, shaking her head sadly. "You see, there are only three of us in the family - my husband, my son and myself. I've asked them both if they have come across the note, and we've searched everywhere, but it doesn't seem to be any use."

She hesitated for a moment, looking slightly embarrassed.

"Then there's the maid," she continued slowly. "Of course we've always thought her a nice girl, and she's been with us for three years now. I can't say that we've ever had reason to think she might be dishonest ... but, really you know, we can't see that there is any other solution."

She moved uncomfortably and elaborated upon the point. It was quite fantastic to think that the husband would steal his own money. The son was an upright, healthy young man who could have had that sum of money simply for the asking if he had cared to speak. That left only the maid. She had been questioned, but insisted that she knew nothing about the matter. The atmosphere in the house was growing unbearably tense, and the members of the household were beginning to avoid meeting each other's eyes. It seemed absurd that such a small thing could cause so much uneasiness, but there it was.

"You haven't definitely accused the maid?" I asked. "I mean, she is still working in your house?"

My client nodded.

"Yes. She's still working in the house, but we haven't accused her. As a matter of fact ... we looked in her trunk while she was having her half-day yesterday. We didn't find the money, but of course that doesn't mean anything. She went to see her sister that afternoon, and she could easily have taken the money with her."

I began to think that I had heard all that it was necessary for me to hear.

"What is it that you wish me to do?" I asked. "Find out who stole the money?"

The lady frowned.

"I'd like you to find some proof that the maid stole the money," she replied rather tartly, "and if possible to discover where the money is now."

"Surely that's more a matter for the police?"

But no. My client didn't want to get the girl into trouble. She wasn't particularly worried about the money. What she really wanted was to know for certain whether she could trust the girl or not; whether she could retain the maid in her employ without anxiety. I made arrangements for the lady to return and see me the next day. She was to bring specimens of the handwriting of her husband, her son, the maid and herself.

She arrived at the time appointed, bringing the necessary samples of handwriting. I dealt with each person in turn, gradually building up a picture of the household and the personalities concerned. I described the flat where my client lived, and then concentrated on the time when she had last handled the missing money. Many of the impressions I received were quickly identified by the lady, but I simply could not get any clue as to the theft of the money.

I turned my attention to the maid's handwriting, and after a few moments' concentration told my client that her suspicions of the girl were quite groundless. This statement was received with obvious disapproval.

"It's all very well for you to say that, Mr. Marion," she said coldly. "If it wasn't the maid, then who am I to suspect? My husband? My son?"

I realized that we were not getting anywhere very quickly and so I began all over again; but this time I tried to focus my mind upon the occurrence itself, rather than upon the personalities concerned. Almost at once I began to speak of "... a book ... with red covers ... gold lettering on the cover..."

There were one or two other details, and then I stopped and asked my client if she could recollect any such book in her flat. She shrugged doubtfully. There were, it seemed, plenty of books in the place, and no doubt quite a number of them would have red covers. Perhaps the gold-printed title would help to narrow down the search a little.

"Have you read a book of this description at any time?" I asked.

The lady shook her head vigorously.

"Not as far as I can remember."

I tried one or two more experiments, and finally summed up my conclusions by telling the lady:

"Forget the idea that the maid is responsible for this theft. Go home now and make a minute search of the whole house. Take all books that tally with the description I gave you, and go through each one of them page by page. When you have done all this, ring me up and let me know the result. But don't forget - the whole thing must be done with absolute thoroughness."

It was the next morning before I heard from the troubled lady. When finally the telephone call came through she had an almost incredible story to tell me. She and her husband and her son had searched the whole of the house. There had been but very few books tallying with the description I had given her, and a minute search of their pages had revealed nothing. Disappointed with the poor result following their high hopes of a solution, they had gone to bed.

Early next morning the lady went to the door to pay the milkman his weekly account. Standing idly in the doorway as he wrote out a receipt in his book, she suddenly found herself stiffening with excitement as she realized that he was scribbling in a book with red covers and gold title-print.

A flood of forgotten memories came rushing back to her mind, released by visual contact with the clue for which the whole family had been searching. She remembered that at the time she had last handled the bank-note, receiving it in change after paying a furniture bill, the milkman had arrived just as she was concluding her dealings with the other man.

Still in something of a whirl, the lady realized that there was more to come if only she could rack her memory sufficiently. But already the milkman was turning to go.

On the spur of the moment she abruptly demanded to see the order and receipt book. The tradesman looked surprised and then rather frightened. His manner became odd and hesitant. After mumbling stupidly for a moment or two he announced gruffly that as a matter of fact he had found a bank-note in his order book after leaving this flat the previous week. He had intended to bring it back straight away, but somehow or other he'd kept putting it off.

He begged the lady not to tell his employers, as he had never really intended to keep the note. He would bring it back that very day. And so on...

In the quietness of her room my client went into deep thought, reconstructing the happening of the previous week as her memory kept supplying tiny pieces of the jig-saw puzzle.

When the milkman arrived on the day of the theft she had just finished dealing with the furniture-man. She had the bank-note in her hand when settling up with the milkman, using small change for that purpose. He had left his order-book on the ledge just inside the door while going back to his cart for the day's order. She distinctly remembered that while sorting out some change she had slipped the bank-note into the leaves of the order-book for a moment, simply to prevent it blowing away.

This, briefly, is the story my client told me over the phone.

I learned later that the frightened man had indeed returned the money to her shortly after her phone-call to me. She made no report of the matter to his employers, and so the affair was closed.

Trivial? Perhaps it is; but from the human point of view I was particularly pleased with the success of my experiment - not because I helped the lady to recover her money, but because I feel that without my intervention the girl who was a maid in the house might have lived on under a stigma of dishonesty throughout her service in that household; and I think her happiness quite as important as that of anybody else.

And if you are not interested in that side of the question, then the story still remains a very fine example of the tortuous way in which memory may deceive us and of the subtle functioning of cryptaesthesic revelations.

*     *     *     *     *

If all the world be a stage, it is very seldom that we actors in the apparently incoherent play of life have the privilege of reading with unmistakable clarity a cue-line written on the scroll of destiny particularly if it is a cue on which we have to 'come in'. On one occasion I was thus privileged.

One afternoon in the Czech health spa of Senohraby I sat waiting to play an unrehearsed part in the destiny of another man - a part that had been reviewed twenty years earlier by a man who must have been an occult adept. I wish very much that I knew his name.

The previous day I had delivered a lecture-demonstration, and now, as was my custom, I held myself ready to give consultations to any who required my help.

My visitor was a middle-aged man, brisk, strong-featured and of dominant bearing. He was dressed with that unobtrusive excellence so expensive to attain, and did not seem the type who might be in need of assistance. He gave me his name, wasting no words in generalities. For reasons which will be obvious I shall have to call him Mr. P―. Plunging straightway into the reason for his visit, he proved to be an incisive and vivid speaker.

"In my youth, Mr. Marion," he began his story, "I spent many years in the Diplomatic Service, assigned to our Consulate in the U.S.A. I wasn't what could be called a big-shot, but I worked hard and did my job efficiently. I progressed, and found myself without any cause for complaint as far as my finances were concerned. I enjoyed my work, too, which was a great thing. One day, quite by chance, I was given the address of a man about whom I'd heard one or two remarkable things. I'm sorry to say I've forgotten his name. A number of my friends had been to see him, and it appeared that he was a seer, a clairvoyant of some type. I had always been rather sceptical about that sort of thing, though I'd never encountered it personally. My friends insisted that this man had predicted a number of events in their various lives, and his prescience had been verified.

"Well, I had this man's card in my pocket, and one day, for no sound reason that I can possibly think of, I went along to see him. I think most people are slightly drawn towards anything mysterious, and perhaps I was attracted by an inner curiosity. So I called on the gentleman. I must admit that I was very little impressed by the results of my interview. The fellow told me a number of things which could easily have applied to ninety per cent of the young fellows dressed as I was and speaking as I did. He said I was in a strange country and that I wasn't satisfied with my present position. Soon there would be a great improvement in my affairs, involving a change which would take me back to my mother-country. This change, he said, would not be in any way connected with my present occupation. I would branch out in a fresh sphere, and from then onwards my career would be meteoric and I would reach a very high position.

"I was beginning to think that this was the usual optimistic sugar-and-honey of the regular fortune-teller, but he went on to say that after some years of success and high position I should suddenly find my little world tumbling about me. The blow would fall with frightening suddenness, involving terrible complications which would bid to overthrow all the security gained from my previous success. My name, my career, would hang on a thread only. This seemed rather drastic, but at the time I was more amused than concerned. True to form, as I thought, the seer produced the silver lining to the clouds over my future by saying that just at the moment when I felt at the end of my tether, then I would meet a man - a man gifted with abilities similar to his own - who would immediately show me the way out of my dilemma.

"When I left this chap, I naturally thought the matter over. His statement that I was in a strange country was not at all clever. My accent was sufficient to tell him that. In saying that I was not satisfied with my present occupation he was quite wrong. And as far as the rest of his ideas were concerned - well, that simply remained to be seen. On the face of it, not a very bright piece of clairvoyance. I felt rather sheepish to think I'd been silly enough to go and see this fellow, and so I tried to put the matter out of my mind. A few days later I received a letter from a friend in Czechoslovakia. He said that he could be instrumental in getting me a position in a leading bank in my home town. Did I want him to take action? Reading this letter, I immediately had a great desire to take up my friend's offer. Until this moment there had been no wish for a change on my part. The mere reading of this letter made me feel dissatisfied with my present state.

"After very little thought I resigned and accepted the offer. From the day I arrived back home I felt happier and more satisfied. I took up the new job full of energy and with confidence in my abilities. I went from strength to strength and progressed to ever higher positions. In a few years I became a director of the bank, and so my life has been more or less a tale of success and pleasure. That is my position today, Mr. Marion. I am P―, director of the ― Bank, a man of high standing in the capital.

"But six months ago something occurred which has jeopardized the whole of my future security and family happiness. The bank of which I am a director is in a state of financial danger, and this has been brought about by certain transactions for which I was mainly responsible. My fellow directors have realized that my operations have placed the bank in a precarious position, and today I am faced with the alternative of voluntarily resigning, or waiting until I am ignominiously forced to do so. This has been the situation for the past two or three weeks, and I've been worried into insomnia. Even if I retire voluntarily, as I've considered doing, I should still be a very unhappy man.

"Today I rose very early in the morning with the vague idea of going somewhere ... anywhere in the hope of gaining inspiration as to how I should act. From Prague I took a ticket here to Senobraby, a couple of hours' journey. There was no particular reason why I should have chosen this place, but it just happened that way. When I alighted at the station the first thing I saw was a poster on the wall, announcing the details of your lecture-demonstration last night and the fact that you would be giving private consultations today.

"In that moment, Mr. Marion, the dormant memory of that twenty-year-old prediction awoke in me, and I felt that the final word was about to be spoken. Everything that the seer predicted in my life had come to pass according to his prophecy. There remained only one thing more - that in my present trouble I should meet a man with abilities similar to that of the seer himself, and that this man should guide me to safety.

"I went straight to the hall where you had given your lecture, and enquired for your hotel. And now here I am, Mr. Marion, keeping an appointment with destiny, as it seems to me. What have you to tell me?"

During the whole of this intriguing story I had remained silent. There had been no idea in my mind as to how I should proceed to help my visitor. Normally I should have asked for a specimen of his handwriting in order to make some form of contact, but on this occasion I changed my custom.

With the final pleading words of the story I was abruptly aware of certain positive and unmistakable impressions streaming into my mind. The ideas came so quickly that I could hardly form the necessary phrases fast enough.

"You've told me everything but the reason for the dangerous financial transactions you initiated, Mr. P―," I said, making no effort to choose my words carefully. "Your judgment warned you against them, but you were compelled to carry on because you are in the hands of a blackmailer."

My visitor looked at me very queerly, his face strained and taut.

"This blackmailer," I went on, "claims to have certain letters written by you. If they were published your reputation would be ruined and your family life shattered. The blackmailer has instructed you to advise these financial transactions being carried out by your bank, and by virtue of this he is garnering a large fortune. Both of you know that if it goes on any longer then you will be forced to resign. But the blackmailer doesn't care about that. He will have made his pile by that time. And you are afraid to oppose him."

P― was gazing at me with an expression of utter bewilderment on his face. He had spoken no word of confirmation during my declaration, but this was hardly necessary. For myself, I hardly seemed to be speaking of my own volition. No sooner had I described the background of my visitor's troubles than I received a clear impression as to what action he should take. It was very simple.

"You've come to me for help," I went on, "and it is easily given. The person who is blackmailing you does not possess the letters he claims to hold! He knows the details that you wish to keep hidden, but he has no proof whatsoever. Call his bluff. That is all you have to do; you will never be troubled by him again."

My visitor made to speak, but he had difficulty in controlling his voice and it was several seconds before he could frame a word. His tacit agreement with my revelation of what he had thought was his own secret was sufficient confirmation of my accuracy.

"Are you ... quite sure, Mr. Marion, that if I refuse to obey this person, then he will cease his ... his sinister activities?"

"There's nothing he can do to harm you," I replied. "His knowledge of this indiscretion in your past is useless to him. He has no proof in his possession."

I could almost see relief and new courage flooding into my client as he heard these words. He thanked me with a simplicity and fervour that were patently sincere, and we parted. A few weeks later I received a message from him. The whole tone of the letter was one of bubbling vitality and happiness. My ideas had been absolutely correct, it seemed. His dark days were over and his work of recovery in the matter of the bank's finances was progressing famously. The shadow had been lifted from his life.

A strange case, this, and one that stands out in my memory, for I have often brooded over the identity of the seer in America who made such a startlingly accurate prediction involving myself. According to P―, the seer had not used any form of contact to attain his results. There had been no palmistry or crystal-gazing; and the peculiar point, for my part, is that on this particular occasion I myself worked without any form of cryptaesthesic contact - a thing I never do under normal circumstances.

It is a rather ghostly feeling to find yourself with a star role in one of destiny's little playlets - with a break of twenty years between the two acts. To me it seemed as if a spectral prompter was whispering my lines to me across the chasm of Time.

Note: 

The above article was taken from Frederick Marion's In My Mind's Eye (New York, Melbourne, Sydney, Cape Town: Rider and Co., N.D.). A review and critique of this book by Theodore Besterman, and a reply by Marion, was published in the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research Vol. XXXV. No. 656, January/ February 1950 pp. 187-195 and is reproduced with permission at http://www.zem.demon.co.uk/soalreview.htm

Other articles by Frederick Marion

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