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TWENTY-FIRST TALK           423

Society could go on without them, that it could go
on in a way that they could not fully grasp or under-
stand, and «o they actually became hindrances,
though they had previously been great helps. She
herself spoke of that, and certainly there is truth in
it.  It is trouble that weeds out those who have
reached that stage. As I have said, the rest of us
were often very sorry to lose these people. They
were friends whom we had loved, but it would appear
that, as far as the Society was concerned, they had
done their work.  I know that was so in this last
trouble that rose about nine years ago. It seemed
to me, I being to some extent the centre of the
storm centre, that there was great excuse for many
of the people j^vho misunderstood, that it was a very
hard test to set them, and I represented that as well as I
could to some of the Greater People behind—to the
Official, in fact, before whom all deviations from
the normal have to come. He is called in the books
the Maha-Chohan. It was a very daring thing to do,
of course, to ask tor an extension—to ask for an act
of grace from such an Official as that. Naturally
enough, He rather smiled at me, because it was pre-
sumptuous on my part; and when I said that it
seemed to me that the test had been very severe, that
• it was not unreasonable that many should have failed
to come through it, He gave a short laugh. He said:

"Will you be satisfied if the same people throw
aside your President, Mrs. Besant ? " <( Oh yes," I