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Full text of "A magician's tour, up and down and round about the earth : being the life and adventures of the American Nostradamus, Harry Kellar"

THE LIBRARY 

OF 

THE UNIVERSITY 
OF CALIFORNIA 



The JOHN J. and HANNA M. MCMANUS 

MORRIS N. and CHESLEY V. YOUNG 

Collection 



MAGICIAN'S TOUR 

UP AND DOWN AND ROUND ABOUT 

THE EAETIT. 

BEING THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF THE AMERICAN NOSTRADAMUS, 

HARRY KELLA.R 

EDITED BY HIS FAITHFUL "FAMILIAR/ 5 

"SATAN, JUNIOR " 



CHICAGO: 

DONOHUE, HENNEBERRY & CO, 

407-425 DEARBORN STREET 



COPYRIGHTED, 
BY HARRY KELLAE-; 



GIFT 



V 



TO 

THE HONORABLE MR. FREDERIC CONDE" WILLIAMS 

OF THE SUPREME COURT OF MAURITIUS, 

THIS VOLUME is RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED, 

BY 

THE AUTHOR 



058 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE. 

CHAPT T-STABT IN LIFE, - - 

II. THE BULL FIGHT, - 
III. TRIUMPHAL TOUR THROUGH MEXICO, 
IV. IN THE ROLE OF PROPHET, 
V. THROUGH SOUTH AMERICA, 
VI. AROUND THE HORN, 
VII. SHIPWRECK AND REVERSES, 
VIII. FIRST Bow IN THE COLONIES, - 

AT 

IX DINING WITH THE MAHARAJAH, 

wo 

X. BOAR HUNT IN JAVA, 
XI. THE CITY OF SHANGHAI, 
XII AT THE COURT OF AVA, - 
XIII. THE SPIRITUALIST EXCITEMENT, 

XIV. IN THE PUNJAUB, - 

XV. IN BOMBAY, 
XVI THE JUGGLERS OF INDIA, - 
XVII, IN AFRICA, 
XVIII. HARD LUCK TURNS, 
XIX. BEFORE HER MAJESTY, 

XX KlMBERLEY DIAMOND FIELDS, " - 

XXI SUBSTITUTE FOR JAILS, - 

1ftft 

XXII. CHINESE GORDON, - - ~ 

XXIII. AMONG THE KANGAROOS, 
XXIV. " JOHNNY NEWSKY," 
XXV. THE ELEPHANT HUNT, 
XXVL IN NEW YORK AND PHILADELPHIA, 
XXVII. KELLAR AND SPIRITUALISM, - 
XXVIIL AT HIS OLD HOME, 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



THE BULL FIGHT, 15 

FOREST SCENE IN PERU, ..... 23 

THE PALM TREE, ... 27 

A GATE OF MANDALAY, 31 

RAPID TRANSIT IN MEXICO, - - 37 

VIEW OF MANDALAY, CAPITAL OF BURMAH, - 39 

KING THEBAW AND HIS TWO QUEENS, - - 47 

THE KING'S PAGODA, MANDALAY, 55 

THE SACRED WHITE ELEPHANT, MANDALAY, - - C3 

COSTUME OF BURMESE AMBASSADORS, 71 

THE SLAUGHTER-GATE AT LUCKNOW, 79 

THE TAJ-MAHAL AT AGRA, - 87 

ROYAL PALACE AT MANDALAY, - 91 

THE SNAKE-CHARMER OF INDIA, - - 101 

VIEW OF CAIRO, EGYPT, 109 

FOREST SCENE, ISLAND OF MAURITIUS, 117 

THE WHITE TERRACE, - 125 

THE PINK TERRACE, - -133 

A KANGAROO HUNT IN AUSTRALIA, - - 139 

A ZULU KRAAL, - 143 

SCENES IN THE STREETS OF HEOGO, JAPAN, - - 151 

LADIES OF CEYLON, - 157 

AN ELEPHANT HUNT CEYLON, - - - - 163 

VALETTA, THE CAPITAL OF MALTA, - 169 

THE PHAROS AT ALEXANDRIA, EGYPT, - - 175 

NEAR HAY, NEW SOUTH WALES, - 177 

SCEXE NEAR LAUXCKSTON, TASMANIA, - - 181 

A GVMPIE MINEH, - - 183 

GRAVES OF THE CALEPHS, - - . . .. 193 



A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 



CHAPTER I. 

START IN LIFE. 

"Come lithe and listen, gentles to me, 
And I'll rede ye a lay of grammarye." 

So years ago sang good honest Thomas Ingoldsby, 
the venerable and good humored pillar of the Angli- 
can Church, whose words have delighted generation 
after generation since the worthy Dean himself was 
laid away with his forbears in the odor of sanctity. 
That which is to follow in these pages is not indeed a 
tale by any means as gruesome or hair-raising as the 
legend of the Spectre Drummer Boy of Salisbury Plain, 
or that of Blondie Jacke of Shrewsbury ; it is merely 
the simple narration of certain incidents in the life of 
an American " Wizard " who, whilst honestly confessing 
that he is not in league with any spirits whatever, red 
or white, black or gray, goes on night after night 
producing illusions that either Nostradamus, or Rug- 
gieri, or even the awful Merlin himself would assuredly 
have been unable to do, with all their charms and incan- 
tations. Added to this the subject of this sketch, hav- 
ing circumnavigated the globe a baker's dozen or so of 
times, has had a good many perilous adventures by 
flood and field, the relation of some of which may serve 
to while away an idle hour to such of his countrymen 
and women who happen to chance upon this screed in 
the hap-hazard reading of light literature. It may be 

(9) 



10 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

surmised that this " yarn " can be commenced without 
any one feeling that awful necessity of prosecuting it 
to the bitter end, which accompanies the perusal of 
the ordinary e very-day novel. It is like a modern 
farce you can begin at the end or in the middle, and 
the effect is equally pleasing. 

The above is intended as an ingenious means 
of deluding people into reading a preface, who 
would " skip " it directly if the word " Preface" were 
printed on the top in big letters. But as a junior devil 
I am naturally of an antic disposition, and so may be 
easily imagined to be sitting on my reader's shoulder 
grinning, and girding, and mopping, and mowing 
heartily at the success of my device. 

Being after all a good natured devil, and not 
desirous of anything but fun and true enjoyment of 
mankind, I will at once seriously begin what I have to 
say, which is to tell what I know of the life and adven- 
tures on this planet of the master whom I have served 
so long and so faithfully, and whose obedient " familiar " 
I am. 

Well, then, my master's name, that is the name by 
which he is known to all, even to good people down 
here (or up here) is Harry Kellar, who is known wher- 
ever the English language is spoken, and in a great 
many places where it is not. Of course, everybody in 
these United States is perfectly aware of the bitter con- 
troversy that has raged for many years amongst very 
learned pundits, as to whether Kellar is an actual, 
ordinary, every-day man, with a bald head and an 
amiable disposition, as he appears to the casual observ- 
er, or whether his plump and pleasing person is merely 
an attractive mask which covers the foul proportions 
of an intimate chum of the monarch of the place we 
never mention. The way in which the strife on this 
question continues, and occasionally waxes more and 
more dangerously virulent, amuses me, as I of course 
happen to know amongst the multitude of things 



START IN LIFE. 11 

with which I am acquainted, that Harry -Kellar 
came into the world in the way usually adopted by 
ordinary mortals. He was in fact born in the little 
Town of Erie, in Pennsylvania, in the scorching days 
of the summer of the year 1849. Thus he was mani- 
festly too young to be one of the California pioneers, 
who were by tradition bound to arrive in the land of 
El Dorado in the fall of '49, or the spring of '50 at 
latest, but he has all the same picked up some of the 
stray nuggets which he found lying loose around there 
on the occasion of his several visits. My master chose 
this obscure town to be born in with set purpose. All 
great men are born in out-of-the-way places, as no 
doubt you have noticed. You, yourself, who read 
this for instance, unless, as is not impossible, you, wor- 
shipful sir, are a royal personage and so born u in the 
purple" under palace roof, reflect fame upon the com- 
paratively remote place where you first opened your 
baby eyes upon this lunatic world. 

My master's father was a sturdy early settler of Erie. 
In fact he lives there yet. He was a quiet, honest, law- 
abiding creature, whose aspirations for his boy consisted 
in educating him as well as he knew how, and giving 
him a trade. Fancy, a trade for such a one as my mas- 
ter, a being who would not quail even in the awful pres- 
ence of great Hermes himself! The notion was absurd, 
but the good man, Papa Kellar, wasn't to be blamed. 
How should he know by instinct the mighty destiny of 
his offspring? So he apprenticed' him to a village com- 
pounder of drugs. Heavens ! what fun he had, and what 
a life the druggist led. He didn't know the properties 
of all the drugs by intuition, but he soon learned them, 
though it was rather an expensive study in more ways 
than one. He found out quickly how to compound one 
of those draughts they so commonly send us labelled 
" hanstus catharticus, etc." and was accounted a very 
promising youth. He wasn't satisfied with the dai- 
ly routine oi' his work at Dr. Squills' drug store, but was 



12 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

forever making surreptitious experiments, which occa- 
sionally were attended with serious results. For 
instance, one day he charged a copper vessel with soda 
and sulphuric acid, and the result was a terrible explo- 
sion, that knocked a hole through the office floor over- 
head, and very nearly sent one of the proprietors heaven- 
ward. This experience, and the sharp reminder he re- 
ceived from his employer, convinced him that the drug 
business was neither healthful nor profitable to a youth 
of his bent, and he decided to shake the dust of Erie 
from off his feet. There is a good deal of dust in Erie. 
The Fates and an accommodating freight train were 
propitious, and within the next few days Erie had lost 
a druggist's apprentice, and New York City had gained 
a newsboy. Young Kellar did not long remain on the 
streets of New York, however. He wasn't of the mate- 
rial which is content to vegetate even in the Metropolis. 
His bright face, his energy, and his winning way soon 
attracted the attention of Rev. Robert Harcourt, an 
English clergyman, whose kind heart prompted him to 
take a personal interest in the little Arab. It was a 
turning point in young Kellar's career. He went with 
the good clergyman, and was finally adopted by him, 
and taken away to Canandaigua, N.Y. Mr. Harcourt 
became very much attached to his young protege He 
placed him under the care of a competent private tutor, 
with the intention of preparing him for the Church. 
Mr. Harcourt's intentions were good, but his hopes were 
not destined to be fulfilled. The youth had no ambition 
to take holy orders. He felt restless under the restraint 
that was imposed upon him. He wanted liberty, free- 
dom ; he wanted to see the world. No parent could have 
been kinder to him than was his adopted father, but the 
attempt to force his inclinations had the effect of making 
the career that had been chosen for him more distasteful 
than it otherwise would have been. 

Young Kellar had seen an occasional sleight-of-hand 
performer, and the wonders which these wandering 



START IN LIFE. 13 

illusionists performed inspired him with the desire to 
go and do likewise. He decided to become a presti- 
digitateur, if possible ; and when a healthy, hearty, 
clear-headed boy comes to such a determination, the 
world is apt to be the gainer. Soon after this he saw 
an advertisement in a Buffalo paper, to the effect that the 
Fakir of Ava, a well-known conjurer, wanted a boy to 
travel with him, and learn to be a magician. This was 
touching fire to light wood. Young Kellar was in a 
blaze of excitement in a moment. He determined to 
apply for the place, and with him, even then, to decide 
was to act. He at once set out for Buffalo, and went 
to the Fakir's residence, a magnificent country-seat 
about two miles out of the city. When he entered the 
yard, the Fakir's little black-and-tan dog jumped at 
him in a friendly way, and showed great delight at the 
meeting. 

The Fakir soon appeared, and after he had talked 
with the boy for a short time, said : u I have had about 
one hundred and fifty applications for the place, but 
that little dog has shown great animosity to every boy 
that entered the gate until you came. You are the 
first one he has made friends with. I will give you a 
trial." 

Of course there are plenty of people who will think 
that all this was mere chance, and the Fakir (who, by 
the way, was not in the least like one of the tribe who 
go by that name now-a-days, and are to be found by 
the score on Union Square, New York), would have 
taken any other nice, chubby-faced boy that might 
have happened to suit the fancy of the black-and-tan 
dog. You and I, dear reader, know better, and are 
quite aware that the whole business was arranged by 
that peculiar " Kismet," or supernatural power, that 
guides the uncertain footsteps of embryo nineteenth 
century magicians. 

Anyhow, in this way my master began his career, 
as a sort of acolyte or imp to that celebrated necro- 



14 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

mancer, known as the Fakir of Ava. To this day he 
cherishes the memory of that little black-and-tan dog, 
as that of a very dear friend. In speaking of this 
eventful period of his life, Mr. Kellar long afterward 
said : " I have never had occasion to regret the step I 
then took, for the dear old Fakir, who is now (1886) 
living in retirement in Detroit, Mich., is, and always 
has been, one of my best and truest friends.'* 

After having traveled for several seasons with the 
Fakir, and with him visiting nearly every part of the 
United States, my master concluded to start out on 
his own account. He told the Fakir what he intended 
to do, and the kind old man gave him a good outfit of 
apparatus, at the same time saying : " There is no use 
advising you not to go on the road, since you are de-. 
termined to do it. So go forth, and may you prosper." 
The neophyte went forth, but did not prosper to any 
great extent for some time. 

He made his first essays in small towns in Michigan, 
barely earning money enough to pay his expenses. 
He pluckily kept going, however, until he reached 
South Bend, Ind. There he met a man named Baily, 
who made a proposition to act as his manager. The 
new-found friend was plausible and smooth-spoken, 
and an agreement was speedily arrived at. Baily took 
charge of the box-office, and left town between two 
days, taking with him the entire receipts, and leaving 
poor Kellar without money with which to pay the bills. 
The result was that the sheriff attached all of his 
apparatus, and left him with nothing but the clothes 
he wore. 

Our magician now knew for the first time what it 
was to be " stranded " in a strange town. But he was 
not the kind of a man to give up. He walked out of 
South Bend in a snow storm, and followed the railroad 
track to a station called Salem Crossing. There he 
boarded a freight train, and the conductor kindly 
allowed him to ride free to Chicago. Once in the 



16 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

Garden City, he proceeded directly to the Chicago & 
North-Western Railway station, and got on a passen- 
ger train bound for Milwaukee, His intention was to 
" work " the conductor for a free ride, but that individ- 
ual was obdurate, and he put the crest-fallen magician 
off the train at Rose Hill, one of Chicago's burying 
grounds. 

There was a significance in this fact that would 
have had a depressing effect on most people, but 
Kellar had no intention of laying his magical ambition 
in the grave just then. He settled down for a walk to 
Waukegan, and after many weary hours' tramp through 
the snow, during which he counted the telegraph poles 
along the line, and discovered that there were just 
twenty-seven to the mile, he arrived safely, but foot- 
sore and weary, at his destination. He immediately 
called on the proprietor of Phoenix Hall, and after 
a pleasant chat with him, flattered his vanity by prais- 
ing the brilliant fancy that had led hintuto pitch upon 
the name " Phoenix," for a place that had been built 
over the ashes of another hall. The proprietor became 
very gracious, and purred softly like a cat, when the 
conjurer proposed to hire the hall for the next two 
nights. The old fellow did not forget to mention, 
however, that his rule was to have the rent strictly in 
advance. Mr. Kellar was once more very complimen- 
.tary, and it was finally agreed that the question of 
rent should stand over until 8 o'clock on the evening 
of the first performance. My master was young in 
those days, and sanguine, and felt sure that by that 
time there would be enough money in the box-office to 
pay the rent. He then went and ordered a quantity 
of flaming hand-bills, announcing the show, and there- 
after called on the state assessor to arrange about his 
license. At that time, (1867) a United States license 
of $ 20 per year, or a proportionate sum for a fractional 
part of a year, had to be paid by every entertainment 
of that kind. My master gave the assessor a number 



START IN LIFE. 17 

of free tickets, and ascertained that the license for the 
portion of the year still to run would be about $4. Of 
course he Was Just as well able to pay $4,000. How- 
ever, he put a bold face on the matter, and asked the 
functionary to make out the receipt. The assessor 
was very busy at the time, and asked the magician to 
call in the afternoon. This suited the case exactly. 
My master told the assessor that he would be rushed 
to death with work up to the very moment of his 
appearance,- and he asked him to send his collector to 
the box-office on the evening of the entertainment. In 
view of the number of free tickets he had accepted, 
the assessor could not well refuse, and so that matter 
was settled. 

But all was not plain sailing yet. Upon returning 
to the printing office for his hand-bills, a bill for 810 
was handed to him, with the reminder that they al- 
ways received pay in advance. My master told the 
proprietor that he hadn't a cent in the world, but that 
he had good prospects, and was honest. The Wauke- 
ganer was a little bit incredulous, but even at that ad- 
vanced age he was at that time only nineteen my 
master could with ease perform the curious feat known 
as " talking the hind leg off a donkey," and so he soon 
gained his point, and the announcements, and started 
out to stick them up all over the place himself. No 
one seemed to suspect that the smooth-faced youth 
was agent, proprietor, and artist rolled in one. 

There was at the hotel a very persevering lightning- 
rod man, who was selling shares in a new company 
that had been started for the purpose of manufacturing 
a copper-pointed lightnkig-rod. The shares were nom- 
inally fifty dollars each, and he had found quite a 
number of subscribers, the most enthusiastic of them 
all being the landlord of the hotel. This agent offered 
four shares in his concern for the first night's receipts, 
saying that the shares would soon be above par, and 
that there would be a good profit on the investment. 



18 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

Kellar said he didn't care to sell out for stock in this 
company, although he had no doubt it would be a good 
investment, but that if the agent would give him two 
shares and sixty dollars in cash, he would hand over 
the first night's returns. To these terms the lightning- 
rod man consented. About this time, Mr. Kellar con- 
sidered a bird in hand worth a million in the bush. 
He sold the two shares to the landlord for fifty dollars, 
which sum, together with the sixty dollars in cash he 
had before received, made him feel that; he was the 
richest man in the world. He certainly was then one 
of the happiest. He immediately called on the 
printer and paid his bill with all the dignity of a mil- 
lionaire. He next went to the assessor's office and 
paid the license, and he also paid the hall rent for the 
two nights in advance. 

Up to this time it had not occurred to him how he 
was going to give the entertainment, his time having 
all been taken up in arranging the business matters. 
Now that everything looked bright, he prepared for the 
performance. He procured some tin disks from the 
tinsmith for the " Aerial Treasury," got a pack of 
cards for card tricks, ordered two tin cups for the coffee 
and milk trick, procured three candle boxes, and cov- 
ered them with white paper so that they looked quite 
neat, and in place of strips of blue and white paper 
used saw-dust, of v/hich there was an abundance in the 
hall. He arranged an ordinary champagne bottle for 
the bottle trick, and used a small kitten instead of a 
Guinea pig. In this way he managed to provide quite 
an interesting entertainment. 

In one of his tricks he borrowed a ring* apparently 
destroying it. He then produced an envelope ad- 
dressed to some prominent person in the audience, and 
inside this envelope would be found another envelope 
addressed to some one else, and so on for ten or twelve 
changes, each cover, of course, being smaller than the 
one enclosing it. The very last envelope contained 



THE BULL FIGHT. 19 

the borrowed ring, perfectly restored. On this occa- 
sion, he had obtained the names of several prominent 
persons, which he wrote on the envelopes prepared for 
the trick. When he asked to borrow a ring, a very 
pretty little lady, with snapping black eyes, handed 
him a small band with a solitaire diamond setting. He 
made a few remarks about some conjurers using cum- 
bersome apparatus, whereas he depended entirely on 
the dexterity of his hands to accomplish his wonders. 
He scorned to use apparatus (for the best reason in 
the world, he had none to use), and calling a small boy 
on the stage, he gave him what appeared to be the bor- 
rowed ring. There was no scenery, and at the back of 
the stage there were three windows. Under these 
windows flowed a stream of water. Mr. Kellar told 
the lad to throw the ring out of the window into the 
stream. He then produced the prepared envelopes. 
The first name was called. A gentleman stood up, 
opened the flap, and read the name on the next cover, 
and so the package passed to about ten different per- 
sons. Of course when it came to the last one, Mr. 
Kellar intended to say, " There you will find the bor- 
rowed ring." Imagine his surprise and delight, when, 
on the last name being called, the little lady who had 
so kindly loaned the ring, arose. He told her to open 
the envelope and she would find her ring within. 
There was a dead silence for a moment, and then the 
magician was greeted with rounds of loud and pro- 
longed applause. The lady belorfged to one of the first 
families of the town, and it was without pre-arrange- 
rnent that she loaned her ring, and that her name ap- 
peared on the last envelope. Mr. Kellar didn't know 
who the persons were that were on his list for the 
trick. He only knew that they were in the audience, 
as he had requested the doorkeeper to give him the 
names of some of the leading people in the hall, and Miss 
W's appeared among the rest. It was the best trick 



20 

he ever performed, and it brought him a crowded house 
for the following night. 

He had a heavy pocket, a light heart, and was in 
high spirits at the favorable turn his fortunes appeared 
to have taken. Of course all this good luck was to be 
set down to the credit of the young lady with black 
eyes. She was his " genius of the ring." 



CHAPTER II. 

THE BULL FIGHT. 

From Waukegan, my master went to LaCrosse, 
Wisconsin, where he met the Davenport Brothers & 
Fay. Spiritual Mediums. He joined them, first as 
assistant, then as agent, and afterwards as business 
manager. He travelled with them over the greater 
part of the United States (including California) and 
Canada, over the Continent of Europe, through Russia, 
via Riga, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Nijni-Novgorod and 
Odessa; thence back again to the United States. In 
the summer of 1871, he piloted them through Texas. 
They travelled all over that State in wagons. There 
was no railroad beyond Hearne then, and their route 
was from Galveston to Houston, Columbus, San 
Antonio, Austin, Lampasas Springs, Dallas, and Shreve- 
povt, and thence by boat down the river to New Or- 
leans. 

From Lampasas to Dallas the road ran through a 
very wild country, and there had been considerable 
trouble with the Comanche Indians in that section. 
They had made several raids on the cattle ranches. 
One morning as my master was quietly jogging along 
(two days in advance of the company) over a rolling 
prairie, he heard whooping and yelling behind him, as 



THE BULL FIGHT. 21 

if pandemonium had broken loose. He turned, and to 
his horror, saw three Indians riding toward him from 
different directions. They were coming on at full tilt, 
and when they saw him whipping his horse, they yelled 
all the more. He had no arms, and he felt that the 
chase would very likely be a short one. He expected 
every moment to have a bullet crash through his skull, 
and lie was mentally picturing himself scalped and left 
as food for -the vultures. Suddenly, at the top of a 
rise, he saw a large herd of cattle, and a number of 
white cowboys, who took in the situation at a glance. 
They had a hearty laugh at Mr. Kellar's expense, for 
the Indians were also cowboys, belonging to the same 
gang, and they had been scouring the country in search 
of stray cattle. He was a long time in getting over 
his agitation, and his poor pony was so injured in his 
breathing, that he was never good for anything after- 
ward. 

In the spring of 1873, Prof. Fay and Mr. Kellar left 
the Davenport Brothers, and formed the combination 
known as " Fay & Kellar." They travelled through 
Canada that summer. In the fall they took a tour 
through the Southern States, going through Florida to 
Key West, where they were " stranded " for lack of 
funds. There Mr. Kellar became acquainted with Cap- 
tain McKay, the proprietor of a cattle steamer running 
from Tampa, via Key West, to Havana. He also be- 
came intimately acquainted with Capt. Gushing, U. S. 
N. Captain McKay offered Mr. Kellar a passage to 
Cuba, telling him that there was a splendid opening 
for him there, and promising that if Mr. Kellar could 
make no satisfactory arrangements, he would bring him 
back to Key West. Mr. Kellar went with him, leaving 
Mr. Fay at Key West awaiting results. Upon arriving 
at Havana, Mr. Kellar called on Senor Albisti, and 
made a contract with him for a tour of the entire 
Island of Cuba, to play in the principal theaters. Mr. 
Kellar sent for Fay and the baggage, and they com- 



22 A MAGICIAN* S TOUE. 

menced operations at the Albisu Theater, in Havana. 
The Lucca-DeMurska Opera Company were then sing- 
ing at the Tacon Theater. The Kellar & Fay receipts 
the first night were over $3,000. The Governor Gen- 
eral occupied a box, and paid for it like a man and a 
soldier, and this doubtless contributed much to the 
success of the venture. 

At this time my master was not familiar with the 
Spanish language. He knew German well, and had a 
fair knowledge of Latin, but these accomplishments did 
not help him much among the descendants of the Old 
Castilians. The usual way in such cases is to hire an 
interpreter, but the man available for the work, de- 
manded three hundred dollars a night, and in other 
respects, seemed to imagine himself the principal fea- 
ture of the show. Then came out that spirit of splendid 
independence, which animated Kellar's ancestors at 
Concord and Lexington. He could not brook the idea 
of giving himself up altogether to the mercies of an in- 
terpreter, who might not, improbably, say all sorts of 
things that, to put it mildly, would be directly contrary 
to the facts. He determined to be his own interpreter. 
Being always apt in this regard, he had all his speeches 
written out in good colloquial Spanish, and carefully 
committed them to memory. 

His knowledge of Latin assisted him materially, in 
at once comprehending what he was talking about. 
As a matter of fact, this scheme added to the attrac- 
tiveness of the entertainment. His Spanish was good 
enough to make every person in the audience under- 
stand him, and it was at times bad enough to be very 
funny. It was not long before he could speak the lan- 
guage fluently. Thereafter Mr. Kellar always depend- 
ed upon himself to do his own talking. Whenever he 
finds it necessary to address an audience, with whose 
language he is unfamiliar, he recalls his Cuban expe- 
rience, and gets out of his difficulty in the same way. 
He now speaks with perfect ease North American, 



24 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Fiji, Tamil, 
Mahratta, Arabic, and of course Pennsylvania Dutch. 
Besides these, he has enough knowledge of Scandina- 
vian, to get along with an audience in Stockholm, or 
Copenhagen ; is entirely at home with the peasants in 
Brittany, and has a sufficient acquaintance with the 
Romaic, to enable him to pass for a Romany Rye. 

While in Havana, Mr. Kellar attended a bull fight 
at the Plaza de Torres. The Plaza is an enormous 
circular building, or coliseum, with an immense ring in 
the center, and seats ranged in tiers around the sides, 
like a circus. It was a magnificent afternoon. The 
sun shone brightly; the intense blueness of the sky 
was flecked with fleecy white clouds, and the faintest 
suspicion of a breeze toyed lightly with the costly laces 
of the dark-eyed Cuban beauties. The Plaza was 
crowded with the elite and fashion of the city. It 
was super-crowded by the throng of the lower clashes, 
whose eager faces testified to their love of the national 
sport. 

They had not long to wait. Precisely at the hour 
named for the beginning of the sport, the Juez, or 
Judge, gave a signal, and a clamorous bugle-call 
summoned the Torreros. A gay looking lot they were, 
tricked out in their bright and gaudy costumes. Some 
were mounted on horse-back, armed with sharply 
pointed poles , others were on foot, and brandished flags 
and banderillas. 

They salute the judge and audience. All retire 
save the mounted picadores. A large gate is clumsily 
flung open. There is an instant's pause, then dashes 
into the ring an enormous Spanish bull. Around the 
Plaza runs a murmur of admiring applause. What a 
superbly magnificent brute ! A tawny massive head, 
strong, sturdy shoulders, and madly enraged, wicked 
eyes ! He hesitates a moment, then throws up his 
head, as if in disdain of the gaping multitude, and 



THE BULL FIGHT. 25 

makes a wild dash at one of the horsemen. The pica- 
dor quickly wheels his sorry looking steed to one side, 
and receives the bull with his pointed pole. 'Tis only 
an insignificant prick, scarcely drawing the blood, 
but it thoroughly maddens the enraged animal. He 
turns so rapidly that the picador has no chance of es- 
cape. A savage, headlong dash, and the unfortunate 
horse is disemboweled, and the rider thrown heavily 
to the ground. He is evidently injured, for he makes 
an awkward effort to arise. Poor devil ! He will 
never again flaunt his gaily decked lance. A mad 
rush, a low, shuddering sound, a human being is tossed 
high in the air, and the white horns of the bull flash to 
the bright sunshine the red life blood of their victim. 
The excitement is intense. The vast audience 
has risen to its feet, and as the body of the picador 
falls limply to the ground, their pent-up feelings find 
a vent in savage "-Bravo Torro," "Bravo Torro!" 
(" Well done, bull ! " Well done, bull ! ") 

The animal looks wonderingly around, as though 
satisfied with its bloody work. The pause is taken 
advantage of. Man and beast, dead picador and dead 
horse are drawn from the ring. The ground is cleaned. 
The audience resume their seats, and the sport pro- 
ceeds. 

A very sprightly looking youth now bounds lightly 
into the ring. In his hands are two sticks, barb-pointed, 
and frilled with white paper. With a stick in either 
hand, he walks up directly in front of the bull. The 
animal gazes curiously at this new adversary, seeming- 
ly at a loss what to make of him. But only for an in- 
stant. The massive head is lowered, and the animal 
dashes madly forward. The youth flinches not an 
iota, and just as one imagines that the bull is upon 
him, he steps nimbly to one side, and adroitly, but oh ! 
how 'firmly and accurately, implants his sticks, one 
upon either shoulder of the animal. Then he sends a 



26 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

quick but graceful salute to the beauty and fashion 
ranged above him, and runs for shelter behind one of 
the many safety shields that surround the ring. 

Now comes the matador. He is conscious that the 
eyes of the city are upon him. His head is thrown 
high in the air, his bearing is proud and erect, and he 
carries his sword with the grace of a Roman gladiator. 
In his left hand is a red flag. The bull eyes his new 
foe distrustfully. He is no longer on the aggressive. 
But the matador knows his quarry. He brandishes his 
red flag across the bull's eyes. He gradually works 
the animal into a fierce passion. It dashes at its tor- 
mentor. But the matador quickly steps aside, leaving 
the bull to toss the flag high over its horns. This 
baiting is repeated for a few times. Then the audi- 
ence, wearying of such harmless sport yell loudly, 
" kill, kill." 

Now the matador almost imperceptibly draws him- 
self together. He approaches the bull, stands directly 
in front of him, and waves the tantalizing red flag. 
The bull hesitates at this new form of attack. The 
delay is fatal. With a sudden lunge the matador 
thrusts his unerring sword between the shoulders of 
the animal, the blade passing through the heart and 
out on the other side of the body. The huge beast 
falls on its front legs. The massive head is thrown up 
once in a last proud defiance, then falls, and the 
dark blood spurts in torrents from the gaping wound. 
The crowd yells itself hoarse with delight. And the 
matador retires, the proudest man in that vast con- 
course. 

Four splendid mules, gaily caparisoned, with many 
colored ribbons braided in their manes and tails, are 
now brought into the arena and fastened to the dead 
beast. They drag it once around the course, and every 
neck is craned to get a glimpse of the torro, which 
fought so hard for its life. Then, amid blowing of 



TRIUMPHAL TOUR THROUGH MEXICO. 27 

bugles, the mules and their load disappear, the ground 
is cleansed, room is made for, and the crowd await, the 
next victim. 

Bull fights take place in Havana every Thursday 
and Sunday afternoon. 




THE PALM TREE. 



28 A MAGICIAN'S TOTJB. 



CHAPTER III. 

TRIUMPHAL TOUR THROUGH MEXICO. 

After their brilliant success in Havana, Messrs. 
Kellar & Fay made a triumphal tour through Cuba, and 
in March, 1874, sailed for Mexico, on board the 
Royal Mail Steamship Eider. Their first stopping 
place was Vera Cruz. It was there my master was 
initiated into a new degree of the ways not only of 
Mexico, but of the world. The theater, where their 
entertainment was given, had a gallery with an entrance 
away from that which led to the main body of the 
house. Of course a magician can do almost anything, 
but he could not, as his associate was not built on the 
plan of the famous bird of Sir Boyle Roche, arrange to 
take money at two widely separated doors at the same 
time. The spirit was all right, but the flesh was in the 
way, so a native of good promise was installed at the 
gallery door. By actual count the occupants of the 
gallery numbered 261, but the Mexican door-keeper 
insisted that 47 only had been admitted, and that was 
all the money he would account for. Kellar was so net- 
tled, by being thus tricked by a Greaser, that he never 
afterward would trust one of them in a similar position. 
The Vera Cruzan's dishonesty was too monumental to 
be relished even by a. professional deceiver. 

Vera Cruz is a delightful place to emigrate from. 
It is a sleepy old Mexican city, where, if one were tired 
of life, didn't mind mosquitoes, and were content to 
live on frijoles and mescal, and sleep one's days away, 
existence might be supportable. To a soul with a love 
of the beautiful, there is one thing in Vera Cruz that 
is an eternal joy, and at which, like the Falls of Niagara, 



TRIUMPHAL TOUR THROUGH MEXICO. 29 

the more one gazes the more one is enraptured. This 
is Orizaba, mighcy, magnificent Orizaba, whose grand 
snow-capped head can be seen one hundred miles out 
at sea, when approaching the city of the True Cross. 
I think there is nothing grander in nature than 
the tall crest of Orizaba, bathed in roseate light, tow- 
ering majestically above the clouds at sunrise. 
Benignant and beautiful, it seems the guardian spirit 
of the bright land of the Montezurnas, which, as a sen- 
tentious Yankee once very aptly observed, " is one of 
the fairest spots on earth, only the inhabitants are so ob- 
stinate and lazy that they won't carry out the intentions 
of the Almighty concerning it." I once sat for hours 
on the veranda of the hotel at Santa Anna in the Cafe 
Major, in Vera Cruz, gazing at Orizaba, with a fascina- 
tion that took me far away from my surroundings. I 
was there when, for once in its sleepy existence, Vera 
Cruz woke up and was for the time absolutely lively. 
Thirty thousand Frenchmen had just landed, under the 
command of the now disgraced Marshal Bazaine, to 
bolster up, with their bayonets and sabres, the rather 
insecure throne of Maximilian of Hapsburg. This 
good, honest, simple-minded sailor had allowed him- 
self to be persuaded by the Man of Destiny, called 
the Genius of the Second Empire, who, with 
Baron Haussman and Emile Rouher, recreated Paris, 
into being made a puppet Emperor, over a people who 
would have none of him, and who soon afterward 
turned and rent him. In the autumn of 1862, Sacrifi- 
cio Bay was alive with the big fleet of transports, which 
had carried Bazaine and his pion pions from France. 
There were some forty sails lying off the little island, 
conspicuous amongst them the iron clad Normandie, 
with the flag of the Vice-Admiral, who commanded 
the squadron. There also were the old Massena, the 
Trouville, the Redoutable, the Gorner, and a host of 
others, whilst on the rocks, a mile or so below the grim 
Castle of San Juan d' Ulloa, lay the remains of the 



30 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

sloop Chaptal, which had been wrecked in a recent 
"Norther." 

Vera Cruz was gay with the bright uniforms of the 
soldiers of France, whose bugles and tambourines 
resounded on the streets at all hours. There were 
grim Turcos, alert Zouaves, the dashing Chasseur d' 
Afrique, in his tasty Bleue de Ciel jacket, trimmed 
with black Maltese lace, the farruche Cuirassiers of the 
guard, and the saucy, quick-tripping pion-pion. Skir- 
mishes with the guerilla forces of Juarez were frequent, 
and a few real battles had been fought. The invading 
force had hardly as yet, suffered a check of any kind, 
and so with the usual elan of the Gallic race, were 
in high feather. I, junior devil as I was at that time, 
dined that night at the "mess" of a regiment of 
Chasseurs, and a very good dinner we had too; supplies 
were plentiful. Under the shadow of mighty Orizaba, 
we discussed many a flask of good Bordeaux that 
night, and as I rode back to my posada, under the sol- 
emn stars, I thought of the bitterness which the native 
must necessarily feel at the presence of this foreign in- 
vader in his midst. For then it was all in the nature 
of a big spree, a military promenade, which they didn't 
even call by any other name than an armed interven- 
tion. That intervention, however, cost France dearly 
in blood and treasure, and brought untold suffering 
to at least one widow, whose mind has been a 
blank since the fatal day of Queretaro. Poor Maximil- 
ian ! Poor Carlotta ! Truly the lot of a monarch is not 
always a happy one, especially when he is not of the 
same race as the people over whom he rules. His 
parsimonious Highness, Alfred of England, I think 
showed excellent judgment when he respectfully 
declined the proffered diadem of Greece, and preferred 
to take his chances as prospective Lord High Admiral 
of England, and such advantage as may accrue from 
being brother-in-law to a Czar of all the Russias. 

From Vera Cruz my master proceeded by rail toward 




31 



A GATE OF MANDALAY. 



See page 80 



32 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

the City of Mexico. One of the novelties of travel on 
the railroad was the presence of a car-load of soldiers 
on each train for protection against the hordes of 
bandits who infested the country. There were ban- 
dits everywhere, and sometimes not even the presence 
of troops was sufficient to save the passengers from 
being robbed. 

Kellar went through Cordova, and Orizaba, and by 
a branch road to Puebla. In the City of Mexico the 
exhibitions he gave caused a tumult of excitement. 
Many of the Mexicans were ignorant; many others who 
were not ignorant were as superstitious as the peons. 
It was but natural that such marvels as Kellar perform- 
ed should effect both of these classes profoundly. 
The popular agitation reached its height when two of 
the leading newspapers of the capital, U E1 Pajaro Verde" 
and "El Siglo XIX," espoused the cause of theshriekers 
and bitterly denounced my master, warning the popu- 
lace against him, and demanding his expulsion from 
the country. But there was another party in Mexico, 
as always in any land and with any people, the party 
of progress, of intelligence, of thrift, and of culture. 
While the rabble and their newspaper mouthpieces 
were shouting " He is in league with the devil ; he 
is el mismo Demonic*, who is permitted to walk the 
earth for a season ," the better classes were packing 
El Gran Teatro Nacional to the doors at every per- 
formance, So great did the tumult become, so des- 
perate was the frenzy into which the bigoted among 
the people were wrought, that the Government sup- 
plied a guard of one hundred soldiers to protect the 
theater and the Magician. Fortunately their ser- 
vices were not needed. Ignorance is usually cow- 
ardly. The marvels my master wrought awed his ene- 
mies. Not even when drunk with pulque or aguardiente, 
as well as with fanaticism, dared they expose themselves 
to his power. This dread stood him in good service when 
subsequently traveling in the provinces. 



TRIUMPHAL TOUR THROUGH MEXICO. 33 

After leaving the City of Mexico his first stop was 
at Tula, thence he went to Queretaro, where the ill- 
fated Emperor Maximilian was shot. He visited the 
tragic spot, of course moralized as a good traveler should 
over the hollowness of human ambition, and then meas- 
urably avenged the Austrian by mystifying and terror- 
izing his executioners. As an illustration of the law- 
lessness which then prevailed in many parts of Mexico, 
Kellar tells of a celebrated robber chief who had estab- 
lished himself on the roadside, within sight of the City 
of Queretaro, but on the opposite side of a quebrada, or 
deep gulch. So bold was he that he had put up a sign 
which read, in effect, " Whoever passes here with less 
than $25 in his bolsillo (pocket) shall receive twenty- 
five lashes on his bare back. " But it needed no such 
sign to tell Kellar that he was among bandits and mur- 
derers. 

It is a Mexican custom for each passer by to throw 
a stone, usually bearing the sign of the cross rudely 
scratched upon it, on every place where a person is 
known to have been killed. Throughout the entire coun- 
try my master found these mute monuments of murder. 
When traveling he often heard of murders before him, 
and murders behind him, and it was by no means a rare 
occurrence to see a diligence driven into the city when 
not one of the passengers had on a stitch of clothing 
beyond what could be improvised out of newspapers. 
They had been robbed and stripped by knights of the 
road, and were fortunate to have lost only their money 
and their clothes. It may seem strange that Kellar 
would deliberately go into such dangers, but remember 
that Mexican doubloons and dollars will buy comforts 
anywhere, and then, 

"If a path is dangerous known, 
The danger's self is lure alone. " 

There were times, however, when despite his trusty 
Winchester, and his heavy navy revolver, he would 
have been glad to be in a quieter land. 

3 



34 A MAGICIAN'S TOUK. 

After leaving Queretaro, Kellar continued his jour- 
ney among the cities of old Mexico. The first stop 
was at Celaya, and the second at Guanajuato, the 
latter having a population of about 40,000. 

Whenever the Magician appeared, he was greeted 
witli crowded houses, and a tidal wave of excitement 
accompanied him wherever he went. At Leon, he 
found a native or half-breed population of about 
100,000, who, although phenomenally lazy and shift- 
less, were devout to the verge of fanaticism. When a 
throng of devotees passed in the street, every person 
was expected to kneel. Kellar always regarded the 
prejudices of a people, and, of course, in Leon did as 
the Leonians did. A European traveler, who was in 
the city at that time, was not so wise in his generation. 
He stood as the worshipers passed him, and a moment 
later a Mestizo had given him a fatal stab in the back. 
Those who were not familiar with the customs of the 
country, had no doubt that the assassin would be pun- 
ished, but in this they were mistaken. The butcher 
was held to be justified for his cowardly deed, and 
there was no pretense of interfering with him. 

From Leon, Kellar went to Lagos, and then, as 
often at other times on the journey, his only covering 
at night was a horse-blanket, for the adobe inclosures 
within which they rested were without roofs, and the 
traveler frequently thought himself lucky to find a safe 
mud floor to lie on." From Lagos, my master proceeded 
to Aguas Calientes, over a road so rugged that the dili- 
gence broke down at a bridge, and he was delayed for 
a week, while a new conveyance was being procured. 
When he finally reached the town, he found the 
theater with no roof except a huge spread of canvas. 
While his performance was going on the rain came 
down in torrents, and the large audience was driven 
from the building. 

On the way from Aguas Calientes to Zacatecas, 
Kellar was a witness of an occurrence which very 



TRIUMPHAL TOUR THROUGH MEXICO. 35 

clearly shows why revolutions used to be so frequent 
in Mexico. There was a lack of patriotism among the 
soldiers. On this occasion, (May, 1874) the driver of 
the diligence stopped when he saw a commotion among 
a large number of soldiers on a rise of ground in the 
road some distance ahead of him. After considerable 
time the soldiers all disappeared, leaving only their 
officers standing in the highway. The diligence was 
signaled to approach, and it was learned that the 
soldiers formed a detachment of two regiments under 
the command of General Rocha. One of the regiments 
was suspected of being disloyal, and it had been dis- 
armed by the other. But when the "loyal " soldiers 
found themselves in possession of a double assortment 
of arms, they proceeded to desert in a body. Some of 
Kellar's companions then jokingly said of him, " He 
puts soldiers to flight." In truth, the soldiers didn't 
know he was near, but so great was the sensation the 
fame of the Magician had caused throughout this 
region, that it is more than probable had he made 
the effort, he could have stampeded both regiments. 
Even braver men shrink from the supernatural. 
Kellar made a very successful trip to Durango. These 
journeys consumed much time, and the cost of trans- 
portation was so great, that no attempt was made to 
carry a cabinet from one city to another. A new cab- 
inet was built in every town where the magician 
appeared. It completely dumbfounded the Mexicans 
to see wonders performed in a cabinet which had 
been built under their very eyes. There could be no 
trick about such an affair. 

From Zacatecas, Kellar proceeded to Guadalaj ira, 
where he found a magnificent theater. Plis reception 
befitted the place it was grand. Although many 
years have since elapsed, the fame of the Magician is 
still preserved among the Mexicans. During this trip 
my master had been making a great deal of money, and 
although he was as liberal as a prince, and his neces- 



36 

sary expenses were great, his wealth steadily .ncreased. 
Of course hard cash was a dangerous commodity to 
carry in a land infested with bandits, consequently 
bills of exchange were bought in one town on the next 
he was to visit, and although the rate of exchange was 
from 2i to 20 per cent, between towns, it was better 
to be partly robbed by bankers, than to be entirely 
stripped by knights of the road. In Guadalajara, how- 
ever, bills of exchange could only be purchased on the 
City of Mexico, and that would not do. Money could 
only be safely transported under Government escort, 
and that Kellar did riot care to pay for. It was an 
audacious piece of business, but he determined to risk 
his savings in a $10,000 trick. He had accumulated 
$10,000 in golden doubloons which he had with him, 
and he decided to try and get them to the coast with- 
out paying tribute to either Government, bankers or 
robbers. He had a zinc trunk in his outfit which, 
among- much rubbish, contained two cans of black 
asphaltum. This was in a court-yard where any one 
could get at it. It had stood there most of the time 
he had been in Guadalajara, and every person about 
the premises was familiar with it. The doubloons 
were secretly sunk in the varnish, and they were 
so firmly held by it, that they did not make any 
noise when the trunk was moved. The trunk was 
strapped on the back of a mule, and this and other 
mules, under the charge of two muleteers, were started 
for Manzanillo two days in advance of Kellar's own 
departure. It was a slow, laborious and dangerous 
journey for my master, and a whole day was spent in 
crossing La Baranca (a break in the Cordilleras). A 
pleasant and profitable stop was made at Colima. 
Some six hours after leaving that place, the advance train 
mules was overtaken. The zinc-trunk mule was miss- 
ing he had strayed. Kellar appeared indifferent, but 
his heart was in his boots. The muleteers, when 
spoken to, made light of the disappearance, and de- 



TRIUMPHAL TOUR THROUGH MEXICO. 87 

elared that the mule would show up in time. The 
lock on the zinc trunk had a chain connection on the 
outside, which " clinked " when the mule walked. Tn 
about two hours Kellar's quick ear caught the " clink." 
It was like the music of angels to him. His money 
was safe. The mule had gone into the chaparral to 
browse, and had carried his golden treasure as uncon- 
cernedly and as safely as if he had been loaded with 
iron ore. 

The Magician ended his trip proper through Mexico 
in 1874 at Manzanillo, on the Pacific Coast. He still 
had designs on Mazjitlan, but he was forced to wait two 
weeks before the jerky little steamer, Ancon, could 
take him to his new destination At Mazatlan he met 
with marvelous success, and there was promise of greater 
harvests, if he would but continue his stay in the land 
of Montezumas. The golden doubloons which awaited 
him in the interior were not attractive enough, how- 
ever, to lure him to any further experience with saddle 
mules, diligences and bandits. 




RAPID TRANSIT IN MEXICO. 



38 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 



CHAPTER IV. 

IN THE ROLE OF PROPHET. 

The difficulties of transportation which my master 
had encountered in his trip through Mexico were many. 
The entire journey from the City of Mexico northwest 
to the Pacific coast was made either on mule back or 
summa diligentia, on the top of a diligence. In either 
case the traveler had a rough time of it. When in a 
diligence he longed for a mule ; when on a mule he 
longed for a diligence ; and in his dreams he was made 
into animated powder by both. But to the taste un- 
trained the staple food of the country was worse than 
its transportation facilities. Everywhere, except in the 
large cities, it consisted of sandwiches made of tortillas 
and frijoles. In other words, pancakes of coarse corn 
meal and beans, for breakfast, dinner, supper, and be- 
tween meals. As one ultimately tires of quail on toast, 
tortillas and fiijoles would very naturally become mo- 
notonous, particulary as they are so interlarded with 
Chili peppers that the victim at first feels as if actually 
eating fire. There are peppers and more peppers, but if 
there are any hotter than those the Mexicans eat so free- 
ly they would be a godsend to any country where fuel is 
scarce. It takes some time for even a" wizard to become 
accustomed to that kind of fare, and then he sighs for 
the flesh-pots of a more temperate civilization. 

Concerning the theaters of Mexico, Kellar is enthusi- 
astic. They are usually large, well-built, and hand- 
somely furnished. Sometimes, it is true, as in the 
case of the one at Aguas Calientes, the roof was like 
that immortalized by the Arkansaw Traveler, which 
couldn't be fixed when it rained, and which needn't be 



40 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

when it didn't rain ; but ordinarily they were beyond 
criticism. Why shouldn't they be ? The Government 
built them, and the people enjoyed them. Paternalism 
might have gone a step further and made the entertain- 
ments free, but it didn't. To these, the only open 
sesame for the masses was their own reals. 

That Kellar's impressions of and experiences in 
Mexico are not peculiar to himself is evidenced by the 
following extracts from an article by Hon. David A. 
Wells, printed in the Popular Science Monthly for 
April, 1886. Regarding Mr. Bayard Taylor's experi- 
ence in Mexico in 1850, Mr. Wells writes : " It was not 
enough to have journeyed," as he expresses it, " for 
leagues in the burning sun, over scorched hills, with- 
out water or refreshing verdure, suffering greatly from 
thirst, until 1 found a little muddy water at the bottom 
of a hole ; to have lived on frijoles and tortillas (the 
latter so compounded with red pepper that, it is said, 
neither vultures nor wolves ever touch a dead Mexican) 
and to have found an adequate supply of even these at 
times very difficult to obtain ; to sleep without shelter 
or upon the dirt floors of adobe huts, or upon scaffolds 
of poles, and to have even such scant luxuries impaired 
by the invasions of hogs, menace of ferocious dogs, and 
by other enemies ' without and within,' in the shape 
of swarms of fleas, mosquitoes and other vermin ; but, in 
addition to all these he was robbed and left bound and 
helpless in a lonely valley, if not with the expectation, 
at least with a feeling of complete indifference, on the 
part of his ruffianly assailants as to whether he perished 
by hunger, or cold, or effected a chance deliverance." 
And if any one were to travel to-day over the same 
route that Bayard Taylor followed, and under the same 
circumstances of personal exposure, he would undoubt- 
edly subjected to a like experience. 

In August, 1878, Hon. John W. Forster, then United 
States Minister to Mexico, writing from the City 
of Mexico, to the Manufacturers Association of the 



IN THE ROLE OF PROPHET. 41 

Northwest at Chicago, made the following statement 
concerning the social condition of the country at that 
time : " Not a single passenger train leaves this city 
(Mexico) or Vera Cruz, the (then) termini of the only 
completed railroad in the country, without being es- 
corted by a company of soldiers to protect it from 
assault and robbery. The manufacturers of this city, 
who own factories in the valley within sight of it, in 
sending out money to pay the weekly wages of their 
operatives, always accompany it with an armed guard, 
and it has repeatedly occurred during the last twelve 
months (1878), that the street railway-cars from this 
city to the suburban villages have been seized by bands 
of robbers, and the money of the manufacturers stolen. 
Every mining company which sends its metal to this 
city to be coined, or shipped abroad, always accompa- 
nies it by a strong guard of picked men ; and the plant- 
ers and others who send money or valuables out of the 
city do likewise. The principal highways over which 
the diligence lines pass are constantly patrolled by the 
armed rural guard, or the Federal troops; and yet 
highway robbery is so common that it is rarely even 
noticed in the newspapers.' 7 

Kellar dined on the 4th of July, 1874, with the 
American Consul at Mazatlan, but before being ready 
to leave the city he was taken sick, and for a month he 
was unable to travel. Tortillas, frijoles and Chili pep- 
pers had at length accomplished their dire mission. 
When sufficiently recovered he took a steamer for 
Panama, and at that point re-embarked on the steamer 
Rimac, bound for Callao, in South America. 

A magician should always and everlastingly be wide 
awake in order to amount to anything, and Kellar is 
very much so. He soon learned that the steamer would 
stop at midnight that the officers might take sound- 
ings. There was a large number of well-to-do Peru- 
vians and Chilanos on board, but they were ignorant 
of how a magician foretells events, and on this igno- 



42 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

ranee my master decided to play. He spoke Spanish 
like a native, and he soon appeared among the passen- 
gers and in words of portentous weight declared that 
at midnight, sharp, the vessel would stop ! Some of 
the Spaniards laughed him to scorn, while others ap- 
peared to be impressed by his earnest manner. All 
remained on watch, however, as if they were seeing an 
old year out, and when, on the stroke of 12 the engines 
stopped, consternation was pictured on many a face, 
and every passenger on the steamship believed they 
had a veritable wonder-worker and prophet among 
them. At this distance and to American readers, this 
may seem like a small event to cause a sensation among 
intelligent people ; but it should be remembered that 
probably not one of them had ever seen a magician 
with one half of Kellar's ability. It was instantly 
noised about the ship that this was the man whose 
marvelous acts had made him a sulphurous hero 
in Mexico. During the remainder of the trip he was 
an object of awe to the passengers, and when they 
landed at Callao, his fame was at once spread through- 
out the city. It was a rare stroke of business on the 
conjurer's part. The people of Callao and the sur- 
rounding country were soon talking about him with 
much interest as if he had been a new President. 



THROUGH SOUTH AMERICA. 43 



CHAPTER V. 

THROUGH SOUTH AMERICA. 

It was late in the summer of 1874 that Kellar began 
his memorable South American trip. The best classes 
in Callao, just as everywhere else, thronged to his en- 
tertainments, and all were dumbfounded by his more 
ambitious efforts to mystify. The Cabinet business 
never failed to make a profound sensation, as well, in- 
deed, it might. Wandering "mediums" had given 
some weak seances which were thought remarkable by 
many, even as the work of spirits, but here was a man 
who, by human agency, did what no medium ever 
dreamed of attempting. 

While Kellar was in Lima on this trip he 
enjoyed the sensation of being shot at by soldiers. 
Revolutions are about as frequent as earthquakes in 
many parts of South America, and earthquakes are as 
common as thunder showers in the United States in 
summer. While my master was in the great plaza of 
Lima before the palace, one day the President of Peru 
appeared with his military guard. A soldier of the 
guard, who was a tool of an insurrectionary league, 
fired at the President, and then effected his escape. 
The populace that thronged the plaza was used to this 
kind of thing, and everybody rushed to the shelter of 
the heavy columns which supported the fronts of the 
building facing the square, and formed a sort of arcade. 
They had scarcely reached the friendly cover when the 
guard fired a volley after them, chipping pieces of plas- 
ter and stone from the buildings, and sprinkling the 
ground with flattened bullets. No one was hurt so far 



44 A MAGICIAN'S 

as Kellar saw, but it is not a pleasant thing to be 
made a target even by Peruvian soldiers. 

Daring a performance at the leading theater in Lima, 
my master had a costly experience. He found himself 
in the hands of the law, without suspecting that he 
was an offender. Every country has its customs, and 
in lands where revolutions are frequent and the amount 
of cash at the disposal of the Government limited, one 
of those customs is likely to squint toward contributions 
to the exchequer. It was into that trap that Kellar 
walked. His performance had progressed swimmingly 
to the Dark Seance, and while that was in progress, 
some one in the gallery struck a light. Kellar always 
insists that there shall be no interference of this kind, 
so he stepped to the front of the stage and addressing 
the audience said that the striking of a light would not 
be permitted. A few minutes later he was arrested by 
soldiers, one hundred of whom had rushed on the 
stage. He was kept a prisoner in the Mayor's office 
for twenty-four hours and fined a hundred sols (dol- 
lars), and the receipts of the box-office (about $1500) 
were confiscated. His offense was that he had spoken 
to the audience without asking the permission of the 
Juez, or Judge of the theater, who occupied a private 
box in the center of the auditorium. This was getting 
knowledge at a great cost, but one beauty of such a 
lesson is that it is never forgotten. This custom pre- 
vailed everywhere in South America except in Brazil. 
The proper way to recognize it was to conveniently 
slip a few sols into the Judge's hand ; then, when the 
audience was to be spoken to, smile and say : " By 
kind permission of the Juez" etc., and the sweetness 
of the answering smile would load the air like the 
breath of the flowers that bloom in the spring. My 
master is one of those apt creatures upon whom it isn't 
necessary that a house should fall in order to wake 
them up, and after this he became just as alert in ad- 
ministering the necessary sauce to a Juez as in tipping 



THROUGH SOUTH AMERICA. 45 

a waiter. He was never fined again in South Amer- 
ica. 

At Lima Kellar was invited by Superintendent 
Ciley, of the Oroya Railroad Company, to take 
a trip over that road. Probably no railroad in the 
world was ever built in the face of greater natural ob- 
stacles. This is the railroad the construction of which 
made Harry Meiggs so famous and rich. It required 
not only great engineering skill but the expenditure of 
a vast amount of money to complete the work, and the 
loss of human life was appalling. But human life is 
not valued very highly in that country. Men are 
easier to get than money. The engine on which Kel- 
lar took his trip was named La Favorita, and on the 
journey he stood on the famous Verugas bridge, which 
is believed to be the highest trestle bridge in the world. 
The creek which gives its name to the bridge is dread- 
ed by every person who is ever required to work in its 
waters. No matter who it may be, mayordomo or 
peon, if he is long in the water of Verugas Creek he 
will be covered with bleeding warts. Another notable 
point on this picturesque road is La Cima Tunnel, 
15,640 feet above the level of the sea. Think of it! 
A mountain pierced for the passage of a railroad over 
three miles above tidewater! People who live on the 
Atlantic coast of the United States can have no clear 
idea of such tremendous heights. 

Returning to Callao, Kellar proceeded by steamer 
to Islay, landing by means of a surf-boat. Continuing 
his journey he went to Arequipa, and visited Lake Titi- 
caca, the highest body of water on the globe. Thence 
he traveled to Cuzco, the ancient city of the Incas, and 
then to Mollendo, and afterward to Arica. At all of 
these places he gave entertainments, and in every in- 
stance he was greeted by large and enthusiastic audi- 
ences. The better classes of people crowded to see the 
wonders he performed, and wherever he went the fame 
of his achievements penetrated to every class in society. 



46 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

The marvels of the Cabinet, the Dark Seance, and the 
skill which he showed as a prestidigitateur completely 
won the favor of the people. It was a triumphal pro- 
gress. Nothing was too good for him. He was the 
idol of the hour, and more than that, for to this day 
the story of what he did is told among the South Amer- 
icans, with the embellishments that tradition usually 
gives to facts. 

At Arica, Kellar saw the United States steamship 
Wateree two miles inland from the ocean, where she 
was carried, by a tidal wave. The vessel then stood 
up as if ready to be launched, her iron hull apparently 
uninjured, and the skeleton of her paddle-wheels stand- 
ing out like the frame-work an extinct monster. But 
there wasn't a splinter of wood to be found on her ; 
relic hunters had dug it all out. Those tidal waves 
are bad neighbors. But while they hurled the big 
ship of war into the interior of Peru, they were tender 
with our conjurer, who was "rocked in the cradle of 
the deep " very gently, after the manner of the Pacific. 

From Arica, Kellar next went to Tacna, and 
again received a royal welcome. He relates that 
having accepted an invitation of a Spanish gentlemen 
to visit him at his hacienda and take dinner, he was 
treated to one of the dishes peculiar to that country. 
Nearly everybody knows that the Guinea pig is a na- 
tive of South America, but few know that it is .good to 
eat. Now my master has a tenderness for Guinea pigs. 
Any one can tell that by the way he hauls one out of 
a bottle at every performance. He handles this little 
rodent as Izaak Walton strung a worm on a hook as 
if he loved it. And he does love it, but in 1874, he 
loved it alive, and would not have thought of deliber- 
ately eating one. But that was before his visit to 
Tacna. Now he wonders why Guinea pig is not a 
common item on dainty bills of fare. His Spanish 
friend at the hacienda had Guinea pig for dinner. The 
magician, enjoyed the delicate meat without knowing 



48 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

what it was, and marveled much at the sweetness and 
tenderness, the juicy excellence and delightful flavor 
of the dish. It was rabbit and reed birds combined ; it 
was fine of grain, firm of texture and as seductive as 
terrapin at $36 a dozen (to the man who doesn't pay 
the bill). In fact it was almost too good to be true, 
and the American Merlin hoped it wasn't true when 
his host said 'twas Guinea pig. But it really was the little 
spotted thing that every school boy has thought to lift 
by the tail that he might see its eyes drop out. 

From Tacna the magician proceeded to La Paz, and 
then to Iquique. In that part of Peru it never rains, 
and the water the people use is either got by distilla- 
tion or by bringing it to the city in boats from moro 
favored localities. An exciting incident of the visit to 
Iquique was the setting of the theater on fire by incen- 
diaries. It occurred just after a performance, conse- 
quently there was no loss of life, but in spite of all the 
sand the people could throw on the burning structure 
it was reduced to ashes ; the stage alone was uninjured. 
The fire stopped at the very point where, had it pro- 
ceeded further, the magician's apparatus would have 
been burned. This fact made even a greater sensation 
than the fire itself, and my master was said to be pro- 
tected by demons. Some of the more intelligent citi- 
zens only made such remarks in jest, but the mass of 
the people actually believed that he was under the es- 
pecial protection of the devil. This belief was further 
strengthened when the Magician, after visiting Antafa- 
gosta, the only sea-port in Bolivia, proceeded on the 
steamer Atacama, Captain Harris, for Caldera ; they 
had not gone far before the vessel was suddenly struck 
so severely from below that she was nearly turned on 
her beam ends. The superstitious among the passen- 
gers believed that my master was the cause of the 
trouble, but in reality it was a seaquake that frightened 
them. Such occurrences are not infrequent in that 
latitude ; they often result in the terrible tidal waves 



THROUGH SOUTH AMERICA. 49 

that do so much damage to shipping and property 
along the coast. 

After visiting Copiapo by rail, Kellar returned to 
Calderaand then proceeded to Coquimbo and to Ovalle. 
His next step was at Santiago, and there he won the 
good will of the Intendente, Don Benjamin Vicuna 
McKenna, who was afterward President of the Repub- 
lic, by giving a performance in a theater on Santa 
Lucia Hill, which was a part of his plan of beautifying 
and embellishing the city. The Teatro Nacional was 
occupied by an opera company, so Kellar gave one 
performance afterward in a small theater in Santiago, 
and it caused such a sensation that the town fairly 
went wild. A demand was then made by " El Ferro 
Carril" (The Railroad), a leading newspaper of the 
place, that Kellar should have the Teatro Nacional, and 
be permitted to charge extra prices, and so great a cla- 
mor was made by the public that the opera company was 
ousted. With every performance the furor increased. 
My master was treated like a prince. The Intendente 
invited him to a dinner where preserved rose-leaves 
were part of the bill of fare, and all the best citizens 
delighted to honor him. 

Kellar next went to Valparaiso, where he found that 
Salvini had followed Ristori. The great tragedian was 
appearing in " La Morte Civil " to empty benches. 
Kellar was idle at Valparaiso for two weeks, be- 
cause the theater was engaged by McDonough's Black 
Crook Company. At this time an event occurred 
which well showed the hot blood and mercurial dispo- 
sition of the people. A lady member of the company 
was discharged, and .this offended a large party of her 
friends. Leona Dare was with the company, and one 
night soon afterward, while she was descending from 
the trapeze on a rope which was coiled around her leg, an 
admirer in the audience arose and shouted " Leona, yo 
te amo" (Leona, I love thee). This was accepted as a 
challenge by the other party, and a bloody fight began. 

4 



50 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

Two of the soldiers who were called in were stabbed. 
The guilty young bloods were arrested and taken to 
prison, but a mob of their chums so intimidated the 
Intendente that he released the culprits. 

Kellar's season at Valparaiso was not very success- 
ful. It was the only cit}^ in which he did not add to 
his store during his South American trip of 1874-75. 
The fault was in the theater, the Teatro Victoria. 
When the theater was built a great number of share- 
holders were concerned in the enterprise, and two en- 
tire rows of the best private boxes in the house were 
reserved for them (the best part of the house is por- 
tioned off into private boxes), after the manner of the 
Academy of Music in Philadelphia and some other 
theaters here at home. Any entertainment given in 
the theater was expected to shoulder this deadhead 
giant. It was financial suicide to do it, and it was very 
risky not to do it. Kellar preferred to be independent, 
and get along as best he could without the stockhold- 
ers' assistance. The\ r interfered with his success, but 
they could not affect his standing with the people. 
(The Teatro Victoria has since been burned.) 

After visiting Talcahuano and Concepcion, he went 
by rail to Chilian, and then by coach to Talca. There 
he had a startling experience fighting fire. The thea- 
ter in Talca had no gas-fixtures, and to light the place 
recourse was had to oil *amps. Those used to light 
the stage were placed on brackets, one above the other, 
on each side in the wings. Another primitive arrange- 
ment was the mechanism which managed the curtain. 
There was no windlass, and a number of Cholas, or 
native Indians were secured, who lifted the curtain by 
taking hold of its upper end, and using themselves as 
counterweights. This worked well enough, until one 
of the Cholas upset a lamp, and set the theater on fire. 
A panic ensued, but Kellar, springing to the front of 
the stage, quieted the audience by a word, ordered 
those in the rear to go out first, and then, stripping off 



AROUND THE HORN. 51 

his dresscoat, used it in assisting to extinguish the fire. 
The audience filed out quietly, waited outside until 
the fire was put out, came back on their checks (which 
are always retained by a South American audience) 
and cheered the Magician wildly when he resumed the 
performance. Kellar received great praise for his cool- 
ness and presence of mind. He was himself surprised 
at the promptness with which the audience obeyed his 
orders. It was probably because of their habits of life. 
In matters of moment they are trained to trust to the 
direction of superior minds. 



CHAPTER VI. 

AROUND THE HORN. 

On the third of February, 1875, Kellar, having re- 
turned to Valparaiso, embarked on the steamer Bri- 
tannia for Monte Video, via the Strait of Magellan. The 
vessel stopped at Punta Arenas for coal, and there 
were seen a large number of natives from Tierra del 
Fuego and Patagonia. Punta Arenas is situated al- 
most at the extreme southern tip of South America, 
and is used by the Chilian Government for a penal 
colony. The commanding officer received the Magi- 
cian with great consideration, for his fame had pene- 
trated even to that remote point. The commandant 
was particularly anxious to impress the natives with 
the power of civilized man, and he induced Kellar to 
try his arts on the half-naked savages. My master at 
once proceeded to harangue the natives by means of 
an interpreter, and when a large number had gathered 
close around them, he surprised and startled them by 
a variety of sleight-of-hand tricks ; then, assuming a 
fierce look, he told them he could burn the earth, if he 
so desired, and to prove it he would set the ground on 



52 A MAGICIAN'S TOUK. 

fire. Now, the land of Punta Arenas is covered to a 
considerable depth with white sand. While Kellar 
had been mystifying the natives, his assistant had 
mixed some chlorate of potash and white sugar in 
equal parts, and filled a deep hole in the sand with it, 
without attracting attention. When all was ready, 
Kellar secretly produced a small bottle of sulphuric 
acid, and dipping the end of his wand in the liquid, 
waved it about his head and shouting, " Burn, O 
Earth ! " thrust the dampened end of the stick into the 
mixture in the sand. Instantly a column of flame, 
white and dazzling, shot into the air, and with screams 
of dismay, the natives broke for the hills. Not one of 
them stopped until completely out of sight, and 
they could not be induced by any means to return. 
It is not often that so simple a chemical experiment 
produces such marked results. 

My master landed in Monte Video on the 17th of 
February, 1875. There had been a change of Govern- 
ment just previously, and the new President, thinking 
that the best way to silence his newspaper opponents 
was to get rid of them, invited them to his house, had 
them all arrested and taken on board of a condemned 
brig then lying in the harbor. The name of this vessel 
was the Puig, and she was sent to sea with sealed 
orders, and with the newspaper men securely fastened 
below decks. What became of these men no one ever 
knew. An effort was made to land them in Brazil, 
but the authorities would not permit it. There was a 
story to the effect that they were finally put ashore in 
Cuba, but more probably they went to watery graves. 
Our entertainments were given at the Teatro Solis, 
and caused a sensation. There was at Monte 
Video a Barcelona conjurer who called himself Pro- 
fessor Jam, but by the newspapers he was dubbed in 
derision " prestidigitador Barceloens." He was very 
jealous of my master, and wanted to tie him in the 
cabinet trick. Of course my master had no objection 



AROUND THE HORN. 53 

to being tied by a conjurer, provided his rival risked 
something on the issue. It was finally agreed that the 
wager should be 82,000 a side, the money of the loser 
to go to certain deserving charities. There was a tre- 
mendous audience when the test was made. Jam 
brought a small, hard rope, privately marked. He 
tied the American with fiendish care and severity, but 
in fifteen seconds the latter was free. The discomfited 
Jam slunk out of the house, and refused to pay a cent 
ot his wager, Kellar having, with the confidence born 
of his own honesty, neglected to see that the money 
was put up. Soon afterward a young man, who 
claimed to be a professional, applied to my master for 
food and assistance. My master gave him breakfast, 
$40 to pay his arrearages of board, and $8 for his pas- 
sage to Buenos Ayres. At our first entertainment in 
that city, this thankless beggar came on the stage with 
Jam to do the tying. My master refused to submit to 
them unless money was put up on the result. Jam 
blustered, whereupon Kellar told the story of his ex- 
perience with these men in Monte Video, and the 
audience hustled them out of the building. Jam was 
then, it is to be presumed, "jam satis." 

From Buenos Ayres Kellar proceeded to Rosario 
by steamer. His next stopping place was Cordova, 
where he was not allowed to give his performance on 
account of the religious prejudice of the people. It 
was maintained that he had dealings with the devil, 
and that those who patronized him would do so at the 
peril of their souls. A number of the gauchos, or na- 
tive horsemen of the Pampas, were not so superstitious. 
When the magician announced that he would do some 
of the rope-tying and cabinet business at the hotel 
they crowded around, and when they saw what he did 
they were dumbfounded. Our next stay was at Rio 
Grand de Sul. From there we went to Santos by 
steamer, and to San Paulo over the famous cable road 
up the mountain. My master then proceeded to the 



54 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

coffee district of Campinas, gifejtig an ( xhibition before 
the thrifty coffee planters of thu^ secnon, and after- 
ward went to Rio Janeiro, where he was patronized 
by the dear old Kmperor, that enlightened Potentate, 
who is the friend of all progress, and so good a ruler as 
to almost make an American feel inclined toward a 
monarchy. At Rio, speculators sold the tickets for the 
entertainments at four and five times the regular price, 
and still there was a struggle for seats. Nothing like 
it had been known in the amusement annals of the city. 
Here my master was attacked by the yellow- fever, 
and for a time was in a very dangerous condition, but 
he soon recovered and went to Pernambuco, and thence 
to Bahia. At the latter place there was some trouble 
in getting the theater. The Government furnishes 
the theater free of charge, and it is a rule that any 
company occupying it must give certain nights in. the 
week to any other company visiting the place. The 
theatrical company that was on tho ground when we 
arrived sought to prejudice the people against us. We 
drew a big house, but during the Dark Seance a clique 
in the audience threw large stones on the stage, smash- 
ing the doors of the cabinet, and putting my master in 
great bodily peril. There were no more dark seances 
at Bahia. Our engagement at Rio de Janeiro was won- 
derfully successful in every way, and it was with real 
regret that on the 27th of July, 1875, we sailed in tho 
royal mail steamship Boyne for England, and bade 
adieu to our many kind friends in Rio. The tour of 
South America had been in all respects satisfactory. 
My master had made many valued acquaintances, he 
had been welcomed^ with enthusiasm, and patronized 
with liberality at almost every stopping place, and 
while gaining doubloons he had also been gaining 
reputation. This was enough to cheer any man, and 
as he saw the shores of Brazil disappear below the 
horizon he felt almost as if leaving his native land. 




I 





56 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 



CHAPTER VII. 

SHIPWRECK AND REVERSES. 

At the Cape Verde Islands the steamer stopped for 
coal, and we amused ourselves by throwing small coins 
into the deep, clear water, and admiring the skill with 
which the native boys would dive below the sinking 
bits of metal and let them- drop into their hands. For 
a pittance the boys would dive entirely under the 
steamer. The next stop made by the steamer was at 
Lisbon, and here United States Minister Benjamin 
Moran came on board to proceed to London. As soon 
as my master met Mr. Moran, the latter warned the 
Magician that the trip was likely to end in a shipwreck. 
Kellar laughed incredulously, but Mr. Moran con- 
tinued very seriously, saying: "I have never been on 
board of a steamer yet without an accident of some kind 
occurring. It seems to be my fate. So now don't be 
surprised if something serious takes place." In a fog, 
two days later, on the 13th of August, the steamer ran 
into the Ushant Rocks, in the Bay of Biscay, and 
Mr. Moran's gloomy forebodings were realized. The 
steamer was a total wreck, and the passengers lost 
everything except their lives. Two of the crew were 
drowned. The rest reached the Island of Moleno, 
from which they were rescued by a French man-of-war 
and taken to Brest, whence they were forwarded to 
their several destinations. The French Government 
treated .us very kindly, paid all our expenses, and in 
every respect behaved in such a way as to strengthen 
the entente cordiale that has existed between America 
and France since the days of La Fayette. This ship- 
wreck was a cruel blow to my master. His magical out- 



SHIPWRECK AND REVERSES. 57 

fit was magnificent, perhaps the most costly in the 
world. He had two large chests filled with curios from 
Mexico and South America, including stuffed birds, ima- 
ges, a Mexican saddle mounted with solid silver, a 
Mexican suit that cost $500, and specimens of the gold 
and silver currency of every country he had visited. 
He also had about $8,000 worth of cut and uncut Brazil- 
ian diamonds. Nothing of all this was saved. He lost 
over $25,000 by the shipwreck. 

Misfortunes, never come singly, and so my good 
patron found to his cost. During his Mexican and 
South American trip, he had sent his surplus funds 
from time to time by draft to his bankers, Messrs. 
Duncan, Sherman & Co., of New York City. When 
he reached London after his shipwreck, almost the 
first news he heard, was that Messrs. Duncan, Sher- 
man & Co. had failed. Kellar went to Mr. J. S. 
Morgan in London, and told his story, and Mr. Mor- 
gan, with characteristic liberality, advanced $500 to 
help -him to New York, saying that if he saved any- 
thing from the wreck of the firm, he could pay the 
$500 to Messrs. Drexel, Morgan & Co., in New York, 
and that if he did not, there was an end of it. Mr. 
Anthony J. Drexel, of Philadelphia, was a passenger 
on the same steamer, and he soon made the acquaint- 
ance of the Magician. When he had learned the story, 
he said : " It is too bad that a man like you should go 
to the wall. If you put your case in my hands, I will 
advance you one-third of your claim. If I collect 
more, I will place it to your credit ; if I collect less, 
I will trust to your honor to pay me sometime. In 
any case, I will charge you nothing for my services." 
It almost made my master glad that he had met with 
reverses, since it showed him so much of true manhood 
and genuine sympathy. He found friends in need 
who were friends indeed. 

Upon arriving at New York he learned that one 
draft, worth about $3,500 at the rate of exchange then 



58 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

existing, had not been passed to his credit on the books 
of the firm, but had been sent to London for collection. 
Through the kindness and co-operation of Judge 
Shipmau, the assignee of Messrs. Duncan, Sherman & 
Co., the amount of this draft was saved, and we imme- 
diately returned to London, where the money ad- 
vanced by Mr. Morgan was paid back, and another 
outfit procured. As soon as we were again in condi- 
tion to take to the road, we took the steamer Medway 
to St. Thomas, where business was good ; to Kingston, 
Jamaica, where it was bad ; then to Panama, Guaya- 
quil, Gallao, Lima, La Serena, and Valparaiso. In 
most of these cities we did well, but bad luck again 
struck Kellar at Valparaiso, and he returned to Pana- 
ma, where he met Ling Look and Yamadeva, two fam- 
ous Chinese brothers. They were specialists of excep- 
tional merit. Ling Look was a marvelous " Fire-King," 
while Yamadeva was a contortionist of such rare 
powers, that he was known as the " Man-Serpent," 
and his every movement was as graceful as a cat. 
Kellar formed a combination with these men under the 
title of " Royal Illusionists." The party went to New 
York by the steamer Andes, narrowly escaping ship- 
wreck off Hatteras in the March Equinoctial of 1876. 
After a short stay in New York, the trio crossed over- 
land to California, and began an engagement at Bald- 
win's Academy of Music, in San Francisco, on the 
evening of May 15, 1876. For three weeks they 
"drew the town," and the newspapers of that city 
had nothing but praise for them. 

At the close of the season at the Academy, the 
Royal Illusionists visited many cities of the in- 
terior. While at "Virginia City, Nevada, a number 
of Piute Indians attended a matinee. The braves tried 
to appear unconcerned, and maintained considerable 
composure of countenance, yet their eyes occasionally 
protruded in an unseemly manner in spite of all they 
could do. The squaws gave full vent to their feelings, 



FIRST BOW IN THE COLONIES. 59 

and at times rocked themselves to and fro and laughed 
immoderately. 

On the Centennial 4th of July, we were at Salt 
Lake City, Brigham Young being among the most 
interested in the audience. About this time my mas- 
ter decided to visit Australia and the far east. Pas- 
sage was accordingly taken from San Francisco, in the 
steamship Australia. Among our fellow passengers 
were George Rignold " Henry V"; Fred Thome, and 
Mr. and Mrs. John Hall, comedians ; Miss Jennie 
Klaus, the famous violinist ; Charles Pratt, pianist, and 
James Allison, the Australian impresario. With such 
companions, the time passed very pleasantly aboard 
ship. 

The steamship touched at the Sandwich Islands, 
but we made no stop until we reached Sydney, New 
South Wales, where Kellar placed himself under the 
management of Mr. Al. Hayman. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

FIRST BOW IN THE COLONIES. 

The Royal Illusionists at the Victoria Theatre made 
their first bow to the Colonies in the presence of a big 
audience ; among others were Governor and Lady 
Robinson and suite. The entertainment was a great 
success. The Royal Illusionists became the talk of the 
town. Every performance was crowded, and the 
papers seemed never to tire of telling of the wonders 
performed. 

A very effective trick, which Kellar was then per- 
forming, and which he had received with his last Lon- 
don outfit, was known as the " Flying Cage." This 
trick had made a sensation in San Francisco, and, in- 
deed, wherever shown. It made more than a sensation 



60 A MAGICIAN'S TOUE. 

in Sydney. From wonder and surprise some good 
people in that city passed to the horror stage after they 
had seen the " Flying Cage " a number of times. In 
their wisdom they decided that the live bird, which 
the cage contained when exhibited to the audience, 
could not be made to so completely and instantane- 
ously disappear without suffering bodily harm. They 
denounced the trick as cruel, and one of them, who 
used three stars as a signature, wrote a long letter to 
the Sydney Herald, in which he protested against such 
an exhibition, unless it could be shown that the bird 
was not hurt. Now, my master is one of the most 
tender hearted men that ever lived. He never per- 
forms a trick of any kind that gives pain to a living 
creature. He was, therefore, very much amused by 
the commotion his trick excited, and when Mr. Three 
Stars's communication appeared in the Herald, he re- 
sponded as follows: 

Sir: In the Herald of this morning a letter is pub- 
lished reflecting upon one of the most brilliant portions of the 
Royal Illusionists' performances. The writer, under the 
influence of three stars, takes up his pen, and after laying 
down some axioms of persons named, Oudin (does he mean 
Houdin?) boldly makes the insinuation that, in the Vic- 
toria Theatre, a poor little canary is killed or maimed every 
night in the following performance : "A casre containing 
a canary is held by the operator close to his breast ; with- 
out turning from the audience he simply counts 1, 2, 3, and 
the cage and canary vanish before the very eyes of the 
spectators. The cage is, of course, what is known as a 
'trick cage ;' it collapses into a very small compass, and is 
easily passed away by the performer." The writer then 
says, there is a strong belief that a canary is killed every 
time this trick is performed, and in the most marvelously 
innocent and bland manner asks that a few respectable per- 
sons might have it proved to them, without disclosing the 
trick, that the canary is unhurt. 

It will surprise no one acquainted with the author 
of the letter, to hear him first explain the allusion to his 



FIRST BOW IN THE COLONIES. 61 

perfect satisfaction, for he says, "Of course the cage col- 
lapses," and then in fear and trembling almost, says, "if it 
does not, how on earth is it done ?" 

The only answer I have for " Three Stars " is, that I 
will satisfactorily prove to the editor of the Evening N~ews 
and the editor of the Herald that I have had only the one and 
the same educated bird since I came to the Colony, with 
the exception of the night when my bird was indisposed, 
and that it remains uninjured. I will perform this trick in 
any place and at any time the gentlemen referred to may 
decide upon. 

I thank the writer for the very tender regard he evinces 
toward my pet canary. 

Yours, etc., 

HARRY KELLAR, 
Royal Illusionist. 

To completely remove any suspicion on the part of 
the public that the performance of the u Flying Cage" 
trick was in the least degree prejudicial to the bird, 
Kellar performed the experiment under the cir- 
cumstances explained in the following extract from 
the Sydney Herald : 

" More than ordinary attention has been lately directed 
to that particularly clever trick by Professor Kellar, the 
'Flying Cage.' It has been asserted that a canary was 
killed upon each repetition of the trick, and a consequent- 
imputation of cruelty fell upon the 'illusionists' company. 
This charge, for which there was no foundation whatever, 
the Illusionists determined to disprove, and they did so 
yesterday afternoon in the presence of the principal officers 
of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 
Messrs. Want and Lett. We were also present at the 
performance, and our own previous belief in the harmless- 
ness of the trick was fully confirmed by the experiment so 
cleverly performed within a few feet of our eyes. Mr. 
Want held the tame little bird in his hand, while Mr. Lett 
fastened a thread of silk around one of his legs. On being 
placed in the ' Flying Cage,' Dickey was much more anxious 
for some few moments to remove the silk than to attend to 
his duty. After a little coaxing Mr. Kellar secured his 



62 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

attention. The bird hopped upon the perch, and bird and 
cage were gone. Astonishment was scarcely overcome, 
whan Mr. Kellar produced the bird encumbered with his 
foot rope, and in perfect health. Mr. Lett then removed 
the silk and the canary hopped about the stage, until told 
to go into his ordinary dwelling place, which he at once 
did. There was not the slightest appearance of fright even 
upon the bird, and although the secret of his mysterious 
and lightning-like disappearance remains untold, the fact 
that no cruelty whatever .takes place was most satisfactorily 
proved, and the public need fear no more to patronize this 
perfectly * legitimate ' trick, although ' Robert Oudin,' 
whoever he was, has been quoted to the contrary." 

The following letter confirming the above remarks has 
been handed to us for publication: 

" Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. 
Sydney, 3rd October, 1876. Mr. A. HAYMAN, Manager 
Royal Illusionists. Dear Sir, It affords us much pleasure 
to testify that at your invitation we have attended a special 
performance of Mr. Kellar's flying cage trick. Mr. Kellar 
having produced a trained canary, we marked it secretly, 
for the purpose of identification, and placed it in the cage. 
He then, standing at a distance of less than three yards 
from us, caused the bird and cage to disappear in precisely 
the same way as at his public performance. The same bird 
was immediately afterwards restored to us perfectly unin- 
jured, and in a condition which enables us to state that it 
had, apparently, suffered no pain whatever. In justice to 
Mr. Kellar, and for the satisfaction of the public, we have 
no objection to your making use of this communication. 
Yours truly, R. Chas. Want, Chairman of Committee ; 
Chas. Lett, Hon. Sec. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty 
to Animals." 

The " flying cage" gained in popularity, if possible, 
by these events. It became a favorite subject for the 
cartoonists. Many a politician was made to look 
ridiculous in the eyes of the public, by being made to 
figure as the canary in the " flying cage." As an 
, the Sydney Punch of October li, 1876, gave 



64 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

a full page cartoon, which it entitled "The Mudgee 
4 Cage Trick,' " and described as follows : 

44 Prof. Kellar Rouse, M.P. (log): Do not be 
alarmed, ladies and gentlemen ; I do not kill the little 
animal ; I simply make him disappear. One ! two ! 
three ! (Poor P g t disappears.)" 

Mr. Piggott is represented in this cartoon as a 
"Laughing Jackass," an Australian bird of peculiar 
build and still more peculiar voice. 

The Royal Illusionists then made a very successful 
tour through Australia and the Colonies. At Melbourne 
they met Cooper & Bailey's circus (afterward con- 
solidated with the Barnum show), and five theatres, 
with good attractions, were at the same time open in 
the city. Notwithstanding the competition, Kellar 
and his associates enjoyed a large patronage, and 
created a sensation. During this engagement a 
ludicrous incident took place one evening whilst the 
44 Cabinet Seance " was about to commence, on Mr. 
Hayman coming forward and asking for volunteers for 
the committee. A gentleman familiar to some of the 
audience stepped upon the stage, closely followed by 
another young gentleman, who invited himself. The 
latter was well dressed, of good appearance, and he 
can be best described as a colonial young man, of good 
position and evidently brimming over with well, say 
confidence. He proceeded to tie up Mr. Cunard, the 
first gentleman doing the same office for Keilar. 
After the tying was over, the cabinet feats were per- 
formed in precisely the same manner as hitherto that 
is, Kellar always getting loose first. This did not 
satisfy our young friend, who, with an air of triumph, 
boasted that the medium he had tied (Mr. Cunard) 
had not succeeded 7 *n freeing himself. He further 
stated that he had seen Maskeleyne and Cook ; that 
he 4t knew how it was all done," and if he were 
allowed he would tie Kellar so that the latter 
could not untie himself. My master expressed his readi- 



FIEST BOW IN THE COLONIES. 65 

ness to afford the gentleman the opportunity of 
satisfying his ambition ; but Mr Hay man quickly 
suggested that as Yamadeva had yet to be tied with 
waxed cords, the desired chance of exhibiting his 
dexterity, and putting the performers to the blush, 
was at hand. The offer was accepted. Yamadeva 
came forward, and the usual length of waxed cord 
placed in the young aspirant's hand. He said it was 
not long enough. Two other pieces were brought to 
him (a quiet smile passing over Mr. Hayman's face in 
the meantime), and he proceeded slowly and deliber- 
ately to tie them together. Then he commenced. 
After putting the cord round the wrists, he laced it 
through and through tightly between the fingers. A 
slight objection was at first made by Yamadeva, who, 
however, seemed to think better of it, and permitted 
the somewhat painful operation to be finished. At the 
conclusion the young gentleman came forward, and said 
with modest confidence, " If he gets out of that, he 
beats me ; I'll give in." Yamadeva went to the 
cabinet. The doors were closed, and almost instantly 
his two hands, free, were thrust through the lozenge- 
shaped openings. A few seconds later he came out of 
the cabinet free, amid shrieks of laughter at the 
modest young man. As a reward of merit one witty 
lady threw the latter a bouquet, which he lifted, no- 
wise abashed, and kissed. Mr. Hayinan stated that he 
showed at once his utter ignorance of rope tying, by 
asking for additional rope, as all skillful tyers, and 
there are plenty of them in London, used very short 
cords, which were much more difficult to loosen. 

Other very interesting rope-tying tests were made 
at every stopping place, and Kellar and his com- 
panions never failed to confound those who sought to 
outwit them. The Bendigo Independent, of March 14, 
1877, describes one of these experiences as follows : 

" The feats of the Davenport Brothers in the cabinet 
were fully explained and applauded, as on the first even- 
5 



66 A MAGICIAN'S TOUK. 

ing. Professor Fay's " holding trick " was also exposed, 
the audience being quite surprised at the perfect simplicity 
of what was at one time considered by many to be done 
by the assistance of some unknown agency. Professor 
Kellar explained a trick performed by a person in America, 
styling himself a Spiritualist, and, at his request, Yamadeva 
performed it with the greatest of ease, viz., going into the' 
cabinet, and in a few seconds placing a ring, which had 
been put in his mouth, on to one of his fingers after his 
hands had been bound together by a waxed cord, emerging 
from the cabinet with his hands bound as before. When 
this was done on the previous evening a Spiritualist present 
challenged Mr. Kellar to do the Davenport flour trick, 
which challenge was accepted, and last night the Profes- 
sor not only performed it with the greatest of ease, but ex- 
posed the manner in which it was, to the great amusement 
of the audience, which fully testified its appreciation of the 
clever manner in which it was gone through." 

At Cdoktown we met King Jacky Jacky,the chief of 
a tribe of natives. His dusky majesty acquired his 
title by a trade he made with the English Government. 
In exchange for his land he was given a large brass 
badge with " King Jacky Jacky " engraved upon it, 
and he wore the emblem with as much pride as if it 
had really been an indication of royal rank. On this 
occasion he was accompanied by a comely " gin," or 
woman, whom we afterward discovered was his queen. 
King Jacky Jacky was very haughty, but unbent his 
dignity so far as to beg a sixpence with which to buy 
tobacco. The coin was given him, whereupon he told 
his wife to also asjs for sixpence, but she gave a grunt 
of disapproval and moved off in a sulky way. The 
royal temper began to boil at this, and King Jacky 
Jacky, with a profound shake of his head, declared, 
" She no get sixpence ; me lick her to-night." My 
master remonstrated with the king, telling him he 
should not strike a woman ; that she was bashful as 
became a lady and a queen, and ended by giving him 
a sixpence for her. This so delighted the king that he 



DINING WITH THE MAHARAJAH. 67 

agreed to give a war dance in Mr. Kellar's honor that 
evening. Before going to the dance the party provided 
themselves with about a sovereign's worth of tobacco 
for the bucks, beads and trinkets for the gins, and 
put the whole tribe in ecstacies by the presents. The 
dance was the same as that of most savage tribes, 
jumping about in a circle, beating the breast, screech- 
ing wildly, and waving weapons in the air. Soon after 
this we left Australia and embarked for the far East. 
The voyage was pleasant, and in a few days after enjoy- 
ing the fragrance of the spicy breezes that blow over 
the Banda Sea, we passed Borneo and anchored at 
Singapore. 



CHAPTER IX. 

DINING WITH THE MAHARAJAH. 

Singapore is the capital of the Strait Settlements, 
and is a lively, thriving place. All the steamers of the 
Peninsular and Oriental Company touch there on the 
way to and from China, as well as those of the " Sas- 
soon " line, and the big tea steamers from Hankow, 
Shanghai, and other Chinese cities. There are usually, 
also, several ships of war lying in the roads, and at the 
time of our visit the big English ironclad, "Audacious," 
with the flag of Admiral Ryder, and the paddle yacht 
44 Vigilant," one of the prettiest specimens of naval 
architecture afloat, were at anchor. 

The Admiral and the officers, as well as scores of 
blue-jackets, attended our performances, and my master 
also received the honor of an invitation to the Govern- 
ment House, and gave an entertainment before the 
Governor, Sir Andrew Clarke, and his staff. The 
Government House is a magnificent white marble 
palace, situated in a veritable garden of Eden, about 



68 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

three miles from Singapore. Flowers and tropical 
plants of every description abound in this paradise, 
and the house itself, with its enormous cool verandahs, 
vast rooms with polished mahogany floors, and general 
palatial splendor, is about as desirable a residence as 
the human mind can conceive. It ought to be a good 
house, seeing that it cost nearly half a million sterling 
to build. There is nothing mean about Great Britain, 
so far as providing lodgement for her colonial governors 
goes. 

Amongst the party present on the occasion of our 
visit, was the Maharajah of Johore. This potentate is 
a fine, intelligent looking man of about fifty years of 
age, whose principality adjoins Singapore. He is a de- 
voted friend and ally of the English, and is to a great 
extent Anglicized in his tastes. He wears the native 
dress, and follows the precepts of the Koran, by ab- 
staining (publicly at any rate) from the use of wine. 
He drinks champagne, however, which " advanced " 
Mohammedans affect to look upon only as a species of 
" sherbet." This is what one may call " whipping the 
devil around the stump," but as a junior devil, I really 
don't think it is much harm. At the Maharajah's 
palace at Johore, about ten miles from Singapore, from 
which island it is separated only by a small strait, he 
keeps " open house " all the time, and invariably has 
half a dozen or more English staying there. He is the 
soul of hospitality, and his guests are provided with 
anything they may happen to fancy. Horses, carriages, 
shooting and hunting equipments, yachts, etc., are at 
their service simply on the expression of a desire. 

The Maharajah has the reputation of never allowing 
any reputable foreign visitor to pass through Singa- 
pore without an invitation to Johore. He was gra- 
ciously pleased to extend his hospitality to our party, 
and we drove over to Johore (in his carriages) one 
evening, after the heat of the day had subsided. It 
was a charming drive, though we suffered some 



DINING WITH THE MAHARAJAH. 69 

peril by reason of the troops of monkeys in the 
branches of the tall palm trees on the road, that 
occasionally amused themselves by pelting us with 
big cocoanuts. It was on a Saturday evening, and we 
arrived at Johore just in time for dinner at 8 o'clock. 
In the Far East 8 o'clock is the ordinary dinner hour, 
that is to say, with foreigners. The natives dine when- 
ever and wherever the opportunity offers. The Maha- 
rajah's palace is larger than the Government House at 
Singapore, and is probably capable of accommodating 
about three hundred guests. It was a brilliant moon- 
light evening, and we were preceded by a mounted 
escort, bearing flaming torches, and were received in 
the court yard by a detachment of the Maharajah's 
body guard, and attended to our apartments. Having 
changed our clothes, we were conducted to the dining- 
room, a splendid white marble hall, magnificently fur- 
nished and ornamented with arms and hunting tro- 
phies, grinning heads of the enormous tigers with 
which the adjacent jungle abounds, elephants' tusks, 
alligator jaws, and so on. After dinner, which lasted 
till nearly 11 o'clock, we were taken to a sort of am- 
phitheatre near by where we smoked our cheroots, and 
were treated to a tiger and elephant fight. It was a 
fearsome spectacle, and rendered more wildly barbaric 
by the red light shed by two torches. The beasts 
fought squarely, and it seemed at one time as if the 
great feline would never loose his hold on the pachy- 
derm's shoulder. The latter, " trumpeting " wildly, 
however, belabored the tiger with furious blows from 
his trunk, and finally succeeded in getting the big 
striped " cat " under his gigantic knees, where he had 
him at his mercy, and in a short time the tiger was 
only good to have a rug made of his skin. After this 
exciting, and it must be confessed rather brutal, exhi- 
bition, we adjourned to the smoking room, where the 
night came nearly slipping into day before we sought 
our couches, and roused the " punkah- wallahs " to 



70 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

their work. Sleep in cither Singapore or Johore would 
be impossible without a punkah. They are too close to 
the equator. So there is a punkah over every bed, and a 
patient, meek and mild Malay coolie pulls it unceas- 
ingly during the night. Six o'clock in the morning, 
however, found us splashing and rolling in the clear, 
refreshing river, our chota-hazra (or little breakfast) 
of coffee and fruit and eggs, with the inevitable B. and 
S. having been served to us at 5:30, so that we might 
enjoy the air before the sun got over the tops of the 
date palms. After our bath, horses were ready, and 
we went for a ten mile ride into the jungle, and back 
to "tiffin" at 1:30. " Tiffin," in the Far East, and 
especially under the luxuriously hospitable roof of the 
Maharah of Johore, is a serious matter. As an every 
day affair it is a great deal more sumptuous and elabo- 
rate than many of the so-called " banquets" I have, in 
my capacity of a junior devil, attended in this country. 
There is material in attendance, and more than that, 
good cooks are by no means rare. The " artist " who 
serves the Maharajah is a man of high repute, and 
lives up to his reputation. Our " tiffin " on this occa- 
sion was a " poem." Twenty-three dishes were served, 
including, of course, the " curry," for which that part 
of the world is famous. People in America who have 
never visited the Far East, haven't the foggiest notion 
what " curry " really is. I have seen many attempts 
made in this country and in England to make " curry," 
but they have all been dismal failures. The fact is, 
that no one can make curry properly unless he has 
the necessary ingredients fresh to his hand. The 
pimento, the green peppers, and the various spices, 
must all be gathered fresh daily, and the rice must be 
cooked with the Trn'sterious skill known only to the 
Hindoo and the Malay. When served, every grain is 
separate from its fellows, and is perfectly dry, instead 
of the clammy mass that usually makes its forlorn 
appearance on American tables. Then there is the 





COSTUME OF BURMESE AMBASSADORS. 
71 See page 90 



72 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

dish fashioned after the manner of a " Pope Joan " 
board, and containing all manner of appetizing relishes 
and zests, including the famous dried fish known as the 
44 Bombay duck." A curry of fish, or vegetables, or 
frogs' legs, prepared by a Malay cook, and eaten at the 
moment it is ready, is a dish fit not only for gods, but 
for well educated junior and senior devils, and I know 
that it always makes my tail curl with delight. The 
onl} T objection is, that at big " tiffins " the curry is 
served after one has already eaten such a lot of food 
that hardly a crevice is left for it. 

We passed the afternoon inspecting the Maharajah's 
splendid stable and the beautiful gardens of the palace, 
and when the shades of evening began to grow long, 
we reluctantly bade adieu to the lovely place and 
drove back to Singapore. 

The following Sunday we dined with the Hon. Mr. 
Whampoa, a Chinese gentleman, who is a member of 
the Legislative Council of the Straits Settlements, and 
a millionaire merchant. Mr. Whampoa has a beauti- 
ful house some six miles from Singapore, and is just as 
hospitable as the Maharajah. " Whampoa's Gardens " 
are celebrated all over the world, and are one of the 
principal "sights" of Singapore. The old gentleman 
is a great, big, portly fellow, speaks English perfectly, 
and has most distinguished manners. His dinners are 
famous, and require a specially good trencherman to 
appreciate properly, seeing that, in fact, they consist of 
two distinct dinners, the first in the Chinese fashion, 
consisting of bird's-nest soup, shark's fins, decayed plov- 
ers' eggs, and all the rest of the long list of Celestial 
delicacies, with hot samshu, in porcelain cups; and the 
second, a regular European feed, commencing with hors 
d'oeuvres,soup, and so on, straight through to dessert, 
with a selection of choice vintages. Mr. Whampoa never 
permits his guests to turn out after dinner, but one is 
expected to stay till night, and one's apartments are as- 
signed on arrival. Dinner is at 8:30, and usually lasts 



BOAR HUNT IN JAVA. 73 

until midnight, after which the host and the guests sit 
around the room in Chinese fashion, the chairs all 
around the walls, and chat and smoke with occasional 
intervals for B. and S. until they feel inclined to retire. 
The host does not appear in the morning, but the Cho- 
ta-hazra is always accompanied by a present of some 
trifling value, and "Mr. YVhampoa's compliments and 
thanks," and then carriages are at the door to take one 
back to town. Poor, good, old Whampoa, he enter- 
tains no more, having been gathered to his ancestors 
some three or four years ago. 



CHAPTER X. 

BOAR HUNT IN JAVA. 

The Royal Illusionists enjoyed a pleasant visit to 
Singapore, and from thance procesded to Java, landing 
at Batavia, the capital of Dutch India. The city is 
situated on both sides of the river Jacatra, in a swampy 
plain at the head of a capacious bay. The streets are 
usually straight and regular, and many of them are 
from 100 to 200 feet wide, while in not a few cases 
there is a canal in the center, lined with stone and de- 
fended by low parapets, while almost every street and 
square is fringed with trees. The houses of the better 
classes resemble country villas. Even the stores have 
gardens in front, and but for the signs would not be 
suspected of being devoted to trade. It was a pleasant 
sight to see the plump and pretty Dutch ladies sitting in 
front of their homes in the cool of the day, clad in white 
jackets and serangs, the latter being a strip of calico 
wound about the loins and forming a sort of skirt. My 
master noted as a curious fact that the children of Euro- 
peans are much darker than their parents. He found 
the theater the Opera Gebouw to be remarkably 



74 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

well ventilated. A good piazza ran around it, and the 
walls were only high enough to keep those on the out- 
side from looking in, ample space being left between 
the top of the wall and the roof support, to permit of 
the free circulation of air. The theater belonged to a 
club, and was given free of charge. 

But while his party was received with much popular 
favor at Batavia, my master had a very unpleasant ex- 
perience there. It is a law in Java that strangers 
must register and announce to the proper authorities the 
object of their visit, and the time they propose to stay. 
The penalty for failing to do this is 15 guilders a day 
for each person. Kellar had no intimation that 
this was the case until about a month, when offi- 
cers swooped down upon him. To be fined under such 
circumstances was peculiarly galling, particularly as the 
sum demanded was a very large one. Kellar imme- 
diately set about to secure a remittal of the fine, and 
through the efforts of the American Consul and the 
intervention of the Governor-General's son succeeded. 
From Batavia we went to Semarang, Sourabaya, 
Solo, Djok-Djakarta and Soerakarta, appearing before 
the Rajah in his palace in the latter place. 

The Royal Illusionists next visited Pekalongan, 
landing in a surf boat.- There was a tremendous surf 
on the bar, and the boat was rowed up the small stream 
a distance of five miles to the town. My master played 
at the Club Harmonie, and was courted by the best 
people. The Club paid 2,000 guilders for the enter- 
tainment. The audience was very select, being com- 
posed only of the families and friends of the Club 
members. Kellar was delayed at Pekalongan for 
five days while waiting for a steamer. It was with ex- 
ceptional pleasure, therefore, that he accepted the in- 
vitation of an American gentleman, who owned a large 
sugar plantation and refinery in that neighborhood, to 
go with him on a boar hunt. Wild boars were very 
numerous on his estates, and as the ground was dan- 



BOAR HUNT IN JAVA. 75 

gerous for horses, because of the roughness and the 
many small holes that abounded, it was arranged that 
the party should go on foot armed with Remington rifles 
and swords or machettos. The orthodox fashion was to 
be on horseback and armed with boar spears. A number 
of good dogs accompanied the party, and they soon 
started up a magnificent old boar, who sprang from his 
lair with a grunt of defiance, and tossed his head for a 
moment as if doubtful whether to charge or run away. 
He decided that discretion was the better part of valor, 
and made a dash for the cane. As he did so, 
Kellar fired, wounding him in the flank. The savage 
brute instantly turned, and like a flash made straight 
for his assailant. A young English gentleman, Mr. 
Kennedy, seeing my master's danger, ran to his assist- 
ance, and, with his machetto, dealt the boar a blow 
across the shoulders that caused him to turn and at- 
tack his new foe. Mr Kennedy was not quick enough 
to avoid the charge. The boar ripped his thigh open 
with one slash of his murderous tusks, and would have 
disemboweled him in a moment had not Kellar 
rushed in and given the brute a tremendous blow 
across the small of the back with his sword, which 
rendered him helpless. Mr. Kennedy's wound was 
found to be an ugly one. It reached to the bone, and 
was long enough to admit a man's open hand. The 
rest of the party speedily came upon another boar, and 
the man who had so generously risked his life to save 
that of a friend, was tenderly assisted to the house. 
My master had all the boar hunting he cared for at 
that time. 

On arriving at the overseer's house, my master saw 
a very large orang-outang sitting in a swing and lazily 
swaying himself to and fro. The overseer's daughter, 
a girl of about six years, ran up to the orang and told 
him to get out, as she wanted to have a swing herself. 
As the old fellow did not offer to budge, the little girl 
began to vigorously box his ears. My master looked 



76 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

on horror-stricken, expecting to see the huge brute re- 
sent the blows, and knowing well the great strength 
possessed by these anthropoid apes, as well as the surly 
tempers of the old ones. Imagine his surprise and de- 
"light, therefore, when he saw the orang put his hand 
to his head and moan piteously, as if begging for 
mercy. The little girl still continued her blows, how- 
ever, and the big orang finally got out of the swing, 
allowing the little fairy to take his place. He then 
moved the swing for her with all the intelligence of a 
human being. Kellar was greatly impressed with 
these apes, which he believes are well worthy of their 
name, orang-outang (Malay for " Man of the Woods "). 
They display in many respects as much intelligence as 
the lowest order of savages, and have many peculiarities 
that are startlingly human. 

From Pekalongan, Kellar and his party went by 
steamer to Bangkok, and afterward performed before the 
King of Siam, who was so highly pleased that he wanted 
to confer the order of the White Elephant on Kellar. A 
public exhibition was given in a bungalow, arid this 
delighted the subjects as much as the previous enter- 
tainment had charmed their royal master. Bangkok is 
a striking city both in its extent, the strange archi- 
tecture of its more important buildings, and the luxu- 
riant greenness of its trees, which grow profusely 
everywhere. The streets are in many cases traversed 
by canals, and the houses raised on piles, while a large 
part of the population dwell in floating houses moored 
along the river sides in tiers three or four deep. The 
ordinary buildings are composed of wood, or bamboo 
work, but the temples and palaces are of more solid con- 
struction, and are gorgeously ornamented. One of the 
most conspicuous objects in the city is the great 
Pagoda, which towers majestically above all the sur- 
rounding buildings. On approaching Bangkok by the 
river (Menam Chow Phya) the steamer sweeps around 
the bend of the stream, frequently so close to the bank 



BOAR HUNT IN JAVA. 77 

that the branches of the trees brush the water. This 
is the source, probably, of the story of the Straits of 
Balam-Banjang, which are said to be so narrow that 
the monkeys jam their tails off in the shears of the blocks 
of passing vessels. The stream is very rapid, and be- 
ing shallow, only vessels of light draught can ascend 
to the city. There are few sights more beautiful 
than the appearance of Bangkok as one comes up from 
the sea. The tall spires of the " wats," or Buddhist 
temples, of which there are a vast number, glisten in 
in the sun. These are beautifully decorated in Mosaic 
work of myriad colors, and the extreme top is equally 
gilded. Flags of all nations float from the various con- 
sulates, and the White Elephant of Siain, on a red 
field is seen on the native ships of war and over the 
numerous palaces. On the banks are the beautiful 
gardens belonging to the royal family and the nobles. 
Siam is exceptionally well off in regard to rulers, 
and the greatest care is exercised that there shall be 
no break or hitch in the succession. There is 
a First King, who is the actual sovereign, and a 
Second King, who is maintained in royal state so 
as to be ready at all times to assume the throne in case 
anything happens to the First King. At the time 
of our visit the First King, His Majesty Chu Phra 
Chula Longkorn, was a young man of twenty-five, and 
the Second King was his uncle. In addition to this, 
there was a Regent, who had held office during the 
minority of the First King, and still retained his style 
and title as well as his emoluments. The river is the 
principal highway of Bangkok, and is alive constantly 
with crafts of all descriptions darting hither and thither 
over the swift and rather turbid waters. There are 
boats of all kinds, from the stately barge of some high 
government official pulling twenty or thirty oars, to 
the primitive canoe of the fruit-seller propelled by one 
paddle. All the foreign " Hongs," or business houses, 
have their private boats also, and each of these is orna- 



78 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

merited with the flag of the country the house rep- 
resents. The stars and stripes were over the house of 
Russell & Co., a charming place with a big garden and 
a lawn leading to the river's edge. Like the foreign- 
ers in every other settlement in the Far East, the 
temporary dwellers in Bangkok exercise the most gen- 
erous hospitality, and a stranger will not remain at the 
Hotel Falk very many hours before he receives an 
invitation to take up his quarters in one of the houses. 
It so happened that whilst we were in Bangkok 
there occurred the ceremony of the cremation of the 
body of a recently deceased exalted lady, no less 
than the wife of the Regent and aunt of the First King. 
This " function " took place in a bamboo grove about 
half a mile from the palace of the Regent. An open 
space was cleared, and in the center was erected a 
very pretty altar made of green bamboo branches split 
in half. The affair was very gracefully built, and re- 
sembled a very pretty Corinthian cross. At the height 
of about six feet was a pile of short bamboo faggots, 
each one tipped with gold leaf. A large marquee was 
erected right in front of the altar for tk the quality," as 
they say in Ireland, and all around were canvas booths, 
with acrobats, tumblers, jugglers, and as many enter- 
tainments of this sort as are usually to be seen at a 
county fair. Around the foot of the altar were ranged 
a band of musicians (?) who made a frightful charivari 
with tom-toms and other native instruments, their 
efforts being aided by the moans aud lamentations of a 
score of professional mourners. In a small tent re- 
posed the remains of the lamented deceased. There 
wasn't much left of the " remains," by the way, as the 
old lady had been dead about a month, but what there 
was was quite sufficient to prove conclusively that she 
had died in the odor of sanctity. As a mark of special 
favor we were taken in one by one to view the remains. 
Although as a junior devil I am of course not unfa- 
miliar with the fragrance of roast missionary, barbecued 



80 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

lawyer and other toothsome dishes, I must confess that 
I should not have been sorry if I had been "left out" 
in this invitation. The old lady had been a little old 
lady apparently. ' At any rate all that was left of her 
in the white satin-lined rosewood coffin might have 
been easily put into a big envelope. After we had 
paid our respects we were conducted to the big mar- 
quee, placed in seats which commanded an excellent 
view of the altar, and served with champagne and 
other " restoratives." Presently the royal party ar- 
rived. The household of the Regent in gorgeous blue 
uniforms with white ornaments, the mourning color of 
Siam, and all, of course, wearing the graceful t; Sarong " 
draped artistically between the limbs in a fashion that 
would make any professional " breeches " maker turn 
green with envy. Then came the ladies of the Zenana, 
clad all in pure white, and looking as melancholy as if 
the old lady had been mother-in-law to them all. Then 
followed more guards and the venerable Regent himself, 
a fine grizzled old party, with a merry twinkling eye and 
a rubicund visage. He was accompanied by his rela- 
tives, the two brothers of the First King, the son of the 
Second King, and was attended by a brilliant staff. 
These all took seats in the pavilion erected for their 
especial use, and then the real fun began. The coffin 
was brought out, and, borne on the shoulders of men of 
the old lady's household, was placed on the top of the 
decorated faggots. The tom-toms thumped louder, the 
mourners howled piteously, and the attendants, at a 
given signal, fired the pile, which had previously been 
saturated with imflammable oil. Each member of the 
family then put in his or her special faggot, the old 
Regent putting his torch last. The flames blazed fierce- 
ly up, the bamboo sputtered and crackled, and fire 
waved, and in a very short space the entire structure, 
coffin, and the exalted " remains," were consumed, and 
nothing but a pile of ashes remained As soon as this 
was accomplished, we withdrew, having been most 



BOAR HUNT IN JAVA. 81 

agreeably entertained, and having formed the conclu- 
sion that cremation, at any rate in the Siamese manner, 
is a very excellent notion. 

. There was to be a dance the same evening at the 
house of Captain Bush, the Captain of the Port and 
Commander-in-Chief of the Siamese Navy. Captain 
Bush was (and I hope still is) an American who had 
lived many years in Siam, and enjoyed high royal 
favor. He was a jolly " old salt," as hospitable as an 
Arab, and went Jephthah, Judge of Israel, " one bet- 
ter," in that he had two fair (or rather dark) daugh- 
teis, whom he loved passing well, and who were the 
belles of Bangkok. Of course, we were all bidden to 
the dance, but when I asked the King's younger 
brother, Prince Paradox (or a name that sounded like 
that) whether we should see him at the Bush dance, 
he replied sorrowfully, "No, indeed. I'm afraid not. 
I have to stay here till the fire is quite burnt out, and 
then when the moon shows over the towers of War Po 
(the big Buddhist temple), I have to accompany the 
priests to the river and cast my excellent old aunt's 
ashes in the waters, with appropriate ceremonies." I 
was sorry for H, R. H., but as I was graciously ac- 
corded another waltz by the lovely Alice (was it Alice, 
Uno, or Lucy ?) in consequence of his absence, I was 
consoled. My master and I danced that night till the 
gunpowder ran out at the heels of our boots, and went 
to bed in our snug quarters at the Russell house about 
daylight, dreaming of Alice's eyes and cremation. 
This was the result of the u funeral baked meats," fol- 
lowed by hospitable Captain Bush's punch. However, 
as we were to leave Bangkok the next day, and had a 
fortnight's sea voyage in which to pull ourselves to- 
gether, it didn't matter very much. 



82 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 



CHAPTER XL 

THE CITY OF SHANGHAI. 

We rolled up the China Sea past the fatal spot 
where the bones of the " Stanly " lie, past Hong Kong 
and Formosa and on to Shanghai, at which place we 
first went out on the Bubbling Well road five or six 
miles to a summer resort known as the Hermitage. 
The road lay through cotton fields, where natives were 
seen picking cotton, spinning and weaving it all by 
hand. We were also impressed with the great number 
of mounds which covered the ground, and which 
proved to be the graves of dead Chinamen. The rev- 
erence of the Chinese for their ancestors is remarkable. 
A grave is held sacred. But this devotion to their 
dead did not inspire us with any great affection for 
the race. One could not help being interested, how- 
ever, in a country where, as Wingrove Cook has said, 
" the roses have no fragrance, and the women no petti- 
coats ; where the laborer has no Sabbath, and the mag- 
istrate no sense of honor ; where the needle points to 
the south, and the sign of being puzzled is to scratch 
the antipodes of the head ; where a place of honor is on 
the left hand, and the seat of intellect is the stomach ; 
where to take off your hat is an insolent jesture, and 
to wear white garments is to put yourself into mourn- 
ing." 

The city of Shanghai is divided into four u conces- 
sions," American, English, French and native. A 
beautiful, broad drive along the river front, known as 
the Bunda, leads through the English and French sec- 
tions, and ends at the American town. It is lighted 



THE CITY OF SHANGHAI. 83 

with electric lights, and is the favorite promenade and 
driveway for foreigners. 

The hotels in Shanghai furnish cards to guests, on 
which are the Chinese characters for certain words and 
their English pronunciation. By this means the 
stranger can give orders to his jiniricksha man, or 
chair coolies, and travel about independent of a guide. 
For instance, for " post-office " he would say Bawling 
Su sing Kwan ; for " North China Herald," Zsling ; 
for u theatre," Sing song house ; for " hurry-up," chop 
chop ; for " stop," man man. My master found the 
coolies to be very ungrateful. The Government price- 
list is about 50 cents a day per man, but, wishing to 
be liberal with them, my master would give each man 
$ 1.50 or more, and in every instance the coolie would 
demand additional pay, thinking it was ignorance or 
fear that actuated the stranger. The first time this was 
tried on my master, he took the money back and then 
paid the legal 50 cents, whereupon the coolie kissed his 
hand. My master regularly offered an extra fee after- 
ward, in a vain effort to find a grateful coolie. 

The filth of the native town of Shanghai is disgust- 
ing. The streets are very narrow and the stench 
dreadful. Pools of stagnant water are frequent, and a 
thick, green scum invariably covers them. From these 
pools clouds of gnats and flies arise, but the Chinamen 
seem to be perfectly indifferent to the insects. 

The Chinese are said to be obtuse-nerved, and meas- 
urably insensible to suffering. Certainly the punish- 
ments inflicted on culprits in that country are of a char- 
acter to shock an American. At the native jail in 
Shanghai one can see prisoners in cages, and undergo- 
ing various kinds of punishment. One of the caging 
processes is as follows : The culprit is put into a cage , 
through the top of which his head protrudes, and 
which is just long enough to allow the tips of his toes 
to touch the ground. In this position, hanging, as it 
were, by the neck, with just enough support from his 



84 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

r 

feet to prevent his neck from dislocating, the wretch 
must rem;iin for days, until starvation and exhaustion 
put an end to his suffering. Often the offense, which 
is an excuse for this torture, is of the most trivial 
nature. 

A number of brand new, British-built Chinese ships 
of war were- lying at Shanghai. These vessels are' 
known as the Alphabetical Fleet, because each one is 
named after a letter of the Greek alphabet. These 
vessels were all armed with guns of the newest pat- 
erns, and were for the most part offijered by foreign- 
ers, though the sailors are Chinamen. They are of the 
corvette and " sloop-of-war " type, and are very effi- 
cient war ships, though, as in case of a rupture with a 
foreign country, should their officers resign their com- 
missions, they would certainly fall an easy prey to the 
enem} 7 . The Chinese are the most industrious people 
in the world, but they are not " great'' as fighters, and 
without energetic leaders are utterly useless at criti- 
cal moments. With a chief in whom they trust, like 
" Chinese Gordon," for instance, they will fight val- 
iantly indeed, having, in fact, no fear of death ; and the 
achievements of the "ever victorious army " show that 
there is good stuff in them, from a military point of 
view, if only the leader is sagacious and strong enough 
to bring it into action. 

At the Hermitage, Yamadeva burst a blood vessel 
while playing bowls, and he could no longer take part 
in the entertainments. My master and Ling Look con- 
tinued, however, at the Lyceum Theatre. It was here 
we made the acquaintance of the famous Chang, the 
Chinese giant. They were all in the theater between 
performances, and the light was rather dim. At the 
time of the introduction my master was standing in 
the depression occupied by the orchestra, and Chang 
was sitting in one of the front row seats. When Ling 
Look presented his friend, my master had no idea that 
Chang was a giant, and as the latter slowly arose to his 



THE CITY OF SHANGHAI. 85 

feet the advantage he had of standing on a higher 
level made him appear to be almost ten feet high. It 
was a startling sight, and my master, for a moment, was 
dumb with surprise. Chang was then a prosperous tea 
merchant in Shanghai. He escorted Kellar through 
the tea-houses of the city and took him to a Chinatown 
theater, where he occupied a box, for which they paid 
$5. Every occupant of the box was served with a cup 
of tea made then and there. A little tea would be put 
in the bottom of a small bowl, a cup inverted over the 
tea and hot water poured into the bowl. The tea was 
drank without sugar or milk. After the tea, nargilehs 
(Turkish pipes) were served. There was no scenery, 
and the gallery ran over the stage. When a man was 
killed in the course of the play, he would immediately 
get up and walk off the stage. An interesting feature 
of the performance was the dancing of a woman said to 
have the smallest feet to be found in China. They 
really were but about three inches long, being little more 
than soft hoof's, still she danced airily, and was sur- 
prisingly light and graceful in her movements. 

Before ending his Shanghai season, my master ac- 
companied his friend Riley, of the Grand Central Ho- 
tel, on a pie tsant shooting trip up the Yang-tse-Kiang 
to Shantung. A shooting trip up the u Grand Canal" 
in a houseboat from Shanghai, is the acme of luxurious 
sport, The boat is just as comfortable as a house, and, 
in Far Eastern fashion, supplied with every possible 
comfort and luxury. During the night the coolies 
walk along the bank towing the boat, and when your 
" boy" calls you at daylight, you find yourself in the 
midst of "preserves," which extend for scores and 
scores of miles into the country devastated during the 
Taeping revolution, and which is still desolate. Game 
of all sorts abounds, however, and just putting on over- 
boots and a solar topee, one can jump on shore and 
"walk up" ten or fifteen brace of birds and, perhaps, 
a deer, before the butler is heard calling from the boat 



86 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

for breakfast. Then back you come, take a dip in the 
canal, get a fresh suit of pajamas, and sit down to bat- 
tle with a gigantic appetite. The middle of the day is 
too hot for shooting, and, besides, the birds lie 
close ; but towards four o'clock you l-egin work again 
and continue till dusk, and dinner, afterwards pipes and 
whist and numerous B's and S's, and to bed early so as 
to be "fit"' the following morning. Whilst you are 
asleep the coolies tow the boat a few miles further up 
the canal, so that you have fresh ground each day. 
When you get back to Shanghai, after a week's ab- 
sence, you have a boat load of " fijjies" and other 
game, and have had a royal time. 

My master is an excellent " snap " shot, and con- 
tributed his quota to each day's bag. It seems rather 
odd that, considering the apparent " hard-up-ness " of 
the inhabitants and the terrible strait to which every 
failure in the rice crop reduces them, they should not 
avail themselves of all this enormous supply of game 
at their very doors. But " these 'ere haythen is a queer 
lot," as the celebrated Mr. Corney Delaney observed, 
and if they don't know any better than to live on 
" swampseed " and the interiors of fowls, when they 
might have roast pheasant every day if they would 
take the trouble, it is nobody's fault but their own. 



88 A MAGICIAN'S TOUK. 



CHAPTER XII. 

AT THE COURT OF AVA. 

From Shanghai my master and Ling Look went to 
Foochow and Amoy and thence to Hong Kong. Ya- 
madeva died on the way, and his remains were buried 
in the "Happy Valley," the European Cemetery of 
Hong Kong and one of the most beautiful burial places 
in the world. Soon after reaching Hong Kong, Ling 
Look became sick and had to go to the hospital. My 
master played in Theatre Royal and had a very suc- 
sessful season. After finishing his engagement there, he 
was induced to give a performance at the Polok (Chi- 
nese) theater. He had a crowded house, and not a 
few mandarins of prominence were in the audience. 
When a committee was required for the rope-tying 
test, Kellar induced two mandarins to come upon 
the stage to put the rope on him. They were quite 
skillful in the tying, but before allowing my master to 
go into the cabinet one of them stooped over to* take a 
last and closer look at the knot, while he was in this 
position the other mandarin picked up a tambourine 
that was lying near, and with it hit his stooping com- 
panion a sharp rap on the back. Then with a face of 
blank, child-like innocence, such as only a Chinaman 
can assume, he quickly passed the tambourine behind 
his own back, and stood holding it there as quietly and 
unconcernedly as if asleep. As soon as he felt the 
blow, the stooping mandarin popped up. his head and 
looked around in surprise. Noting the blank look of 
his comrade, knowing that Kellar could not have 
dealt the blow, and seeing that there was no one else 
on the stage, the Chinaman's knees began to smite each 



AT THE COURT OF AVA. 89 

other, his jaw fell, and with a screech of terror he ran 
from the theater, while the audience, which was in the 
secret, fairly screamed with laughter. But their laugh- 
ter did not last long. The magician had no sooner taken 
his place in the empty cabinet than musical instruments 
began to clatter, hands appeared, and such other evi- 
dences of supernatural presence were given, that the 
audience almost to a man rushed from the theater 
shouting frantically, some of them screaming in "-pid- 
gin" English, "He belong Debillo!" It was useless to 
attempt to get them back. They had seen enough. 
If my master had been a veritable demon with a forked 
tail, cloven feet and a breath of flame, their fright could 
not have been greater. 

After this engagement two of the Chinese committee- 
men visited my master, dropping their pigtails in token 
of respect as they appeared before him. They pre- 
sented him with two ten-pound cases of the choicest 
Chinese tea, such as is worth in China upward of $4 
per pound, and is only drank by the high mandarins. 
Accompanying the tea. was a note of which the follow- 
ing is a copy: 

"To our very clear friend Mr. Kellar. Hoping he 
will accept this with a smile." 

My master took the tea on board the American ship 
Great Admiral, from Boston, drank some of it with the 
Captain and his wife, and gave the rest to them. It 
had a delightful aroma, and was to other tea what the 
best Havana cigar is to one made of cabbage leaves 
stained with tobacco juice. 

Having lost his two companions, my master took Mr. 
John Hodgkins as his assistant. They went over to 
Macao, a Portuguese settlement forty miles distant, and 
played" in the Club Theatre. While at Macao, Kel- 
lar visited the famous grotto where Camoens wrote the 
Luciad, a grand poem in praise of Portugal, the coun- 
try from which he was an exile. 

The next stopping place was Manila, to reach which 



90 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

Kellar crossed the China Sea on the little steamer 
Esmeralda, encountering a terrific hurricane on the 
way. A great earthquake occurred the day after his 
arrival. Prominent churches were destroyed, and 
many public buildings were ruined. The insig- 
nificance of human power, when compared with 
the forces of nature, was very strongly impressed upon 
my master by the event. He opened at the Teatro 
Espanol, and found to his delight that the earthquake 
did not interfere with his business. He was surprised 
to see the number of Chinamen at Manila who have 
become Catholics, but that was only until he knew that 
in no other way could they arrive at a dignity which 
would permit them to marry or do business in that 
city. 

From Manila we took a trip to Ilo-Tlo, one of the 
most beautiful islands in the world, and the gem of the 
Philippine group. Thence we returned to Singapore 
and to Penang in the Straits of Malacca, and afterward 
across to Moulmain in Burmah, whence we took a 
steamer to Rangoon, where we performed in the Can- 
tonment Theater, half way between the town proper 
and the Great Pagoda. 

The Magician received an invitation from the King, 
through his agent, to visit him at the Court of Ava, 
and appear before his Majesty and the royal princes 
and nobles at the capital. We embarked on a small 
steamer, and after traveling up the Irrawaddy, a dis- 
tance of about 700 miles, arrived at Mandalay, where 
we were met by an escort of priests and nobles, and, 
mounted on elephants, were conducted through long 
rows of bamboo houses, carved temples, and gold cov- 
ered Pagodas to the royal palace of Ava. We passed 
through a gate, and were detained in an outer court 
where we were ordered to remove our shoes and await 
the pleasure of his Majesty. After waiting there for 
nearly an hour, we were informed that we could pro- 
ceed and arrange the apparatus, which had been sent 



AT THE COtlRT OF AVA, 




^ ROYAL PALACE, MANDALAY. 

in previously. Then we were conducted through two 
moru rooms, and then entered the grand audience 
chamber, in one end of which a rude stage had been 
erected for our use. At the other end was a high ele- 
vation, on which were placed a number of screens of 
lattice work, from behind which persons could see, but 
could not be seen. After all the arrangements for the 
performance were complete, my master still had to wait 
an hour before the interpreter announced that his 
Majesty was ready to have the entertainment proceed. 
The King and the ladies of the royal household were 
behind the screens, and the performer could not get a 
glimpse at them. When the King was announced, the 
aobles prostrated themselves before the screens until 
their faces touched the ground, and they remained in 
that position until the master of ceremonies gave 
signal for them to about face, when they turned their 
faces towards the* stage, but were still on their hands 



92 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

and knees, and so stayed during the entire perform- 
ance. We were ordered to prostrate ourselves, but 
when we explained that it would be impossible for us 
to give our performance in that position, we were gra- 
ciously permitted to retain an upright posture. When 
the performance was over, we were informed that His 
Majesty was so highly delighted with the entertain- 
ment that he would honor us by allowing us to look 
upon his countenance. The center screen was drawn 
aside, and we beheld his Majesty reclining on a satin 
couch. A number of white silk umbrellas were spread 
out above him. He is the only person in the kingdom 
who is allowed a white umbrella. It is the emblem of 
royalty. The quality of parasols ranges from white 
satin through all grades of gold, half gold, green silk, 
yellow silk, etc., to cotton; the umbrella in Burmah 
denotes the rank of the owner. 

The King, with a sort of grunting, harsh voice, con- 
versed with us through the interpreter. He desired 
that we should make our home in the capitaj. He 
would appoint my master conjuror to the Lord of the 
White Elephant. He should have every luxury he de- 
sired, and finally when all of his tempting offers had 
been declined, he demanded that Kellar leave his 
apparatus at the Court, and impart its mysterious 
power to one of his own subjects. This, my master 
explained, would be an impossibility, as the good genii 
who aided him would not care to transfer their services 
to others, and besides, they wouk 1 be very angry if the 
Magician's plans were interfered with. All of this, of 
course, I in my character of junior devil, most cordially 
approved and endorsed. This seemed to impress his 
Majesty, and he made my master promise to give an- 
other performance at the capital before he returned to 
his own country. 

We were then permitted to see the sacred White 
Elephant, a huge beast not nearly as white as Bar- 
num's. He was inclosed in a magnificent room. His 



AT THE COURT OF AVA. 93 

food was served on silver plates ; his water trough was 
lined with gold, and his body was covered with the 
richest cloth of gold and satin. My master and his as- 
sistants passed the remainder of the day roaming about 
the city. At night they had very comfortable quarters 
assigned them at the palace, where they slept on mats, 
Burmese fashion. The next day they performed again 
before the ro} r al household, and on the following day 
they intended to return to Rangoon by steamer, but 
the king gave positive orders not to allow them to leave 
the capital. As the steamers left only once every ten 
days, they became alarmed lest the king might take 
some other notion into his head before the ten days 
were over. But all their threats and prayers were in 
vain, and they were compelled to remain, as the king 
would not allow them '^o remove their luggage from 
the palace. They were treated like princes during 
their sojourn in the city, and besides having all their 
expenses paid, the king made them a present of 5,000 
rupees (about $2,500). When the day carno for the 
next steamer to sail, they were reluctantly permitted 
to depart, and then only after much pleading and 
through the kind efforts of the Rev. Mr. Walsh, an 
American missionary. Even then my master was forced 
to leave his cabinet as security that he would return 
at an early date. He says he intends some day to 
redeem that cabinet. 

Coming down the river we passed through the petro- 
leum district, and the steamer took on a cargo of oil 
which was veiy abundant. Both sides of the river 
were studded with native towns, and in each could be 
seen a gold-covered pagoda, giving additional charm to 
a picture that was as strange as it was beautiful. We 
breathed more freely when we were once more safely 
landed at Rangoon, under the protection of the English 
flag, which, next to the glorious stars and stripes, my 
master believes to be the most cheering sight an Amer- 
ican can see abroad. 



94 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 



CHAPTER XIII. 

THE SPIRITUALIST EXCITEMENT. 

While at Monemein we watched with very much 
interest the work of a number of elephants employed 
about a saw mill. The sagacity of these animals was 
wonderful. The one tending the saw would throw 
the slabs and bad lumber to one side on a rub- 
bish pile, and lay each perfect piece of lumber as 
smoothly and evenly in its place as if guided by human 
intelligence. In many places, while on our Indian tour, 
we saw elephants doing work which it would seem 
could only have been performed by a reasoning animal. 
After making profitable visits to Rangoon and Akayab, 
my master and I went to Calcutta, and opened at the 
Chowringbee Theatre, on the evening of December 30, 
1877. During our stay we appeared before the 
Viceroy, Lord Lytton, and a great number of other not- 
ables, including the Nizam of Secundrabad ; Sir Salar 
Jung, Prime Minister of the Nizam ; the Marajah of 
Scinde ; and the Marajah of Jeypore. Kellar was 
most cordially welcomed by the newspapers, as well as 
by the people of Calcutta. The Indian Daily Neivs said : 
" During the past twenty-five years we have witnessed 
most of the entertainments of this class given in Eng- 
land and throughout Europe, and we can have no 
hesitation in saying that Mr. Kellar in his illustrations 
of the high art of prestidigitation has never been sur- 
passed." The Englishman characterized the perform- 
ance as " wonderful and most entertaining," while 
The Statesman declared that " whoever visits the 
really wonderful performance will get fully his money's 
worth of pleasure and surprise." 



THE SPIRITUALIST EXCITEMENT. 95 

In Calcutta, as elsewhere, my master publicly chal- 
lenged the " mediums " to produce at any one of their 
seances a single wonder that he could not reproduce 
on the stage as a trick, and to make the matter inter- 
esting, he proposed to hand $ 200 to some charity of 
the city in case of failure. The Calcutta papers took 
the challenge up and called on the " mediums " in the 
community to show how real a thing Spiritualism was. 
As a result, the following correspondence took place : 

To the Editor of the Englishman. SIR: I beg to state 
that I have visited the performances of the Royal Illusion- 
ists every night they have performed at the Theatre Royal, 
and advised my friends who have not seen them to go like- 
wise. I have no fault to find with their clever burlesque 
of the Davenport seance ; first, because their imitations 
were well done ; and secondly because as is well known 
to all spiritualists, the lower phenomena of rope-tying have 
formed a portion of the stock-in-trade of the leading pro- 
fessors of the magic art for years. Spiritualism does not 
rest its sure foundations on such phenomena. That phase, 
and it is a phase, has been proved in my own circle by our 
private medium in the abnormal shape, having been tied in 
all sorts of ways by his guides, is simply one of the stepping 
stones toward the door of the temple of knowledge beyond, 
and can be successfully imitated, as all the lower or similar 
phenomena can, by any clever conjurer who may make it 
his study. A rather singular admission, however, was made 
by Mr. Kellar last evening (if I understood him properly) 
namely, that he traveled with the Davenports for years, 
assisted them in the cabinet, and knew all their secrets and 
tricks. Mr. Kellar did not say whether as a professed me- 
dium or conjuror. But it does not follow because the 
seance a-la-Davenport can be imitated, it is not genuine. 
In the early history of the celebrated brothers they were 
well known as spiritual mediums, whatever they may now 
pass for; and I am by no means satisfied that what I have 
witnessed on several occasions at the entertainments of the 
Illusionists is really the same phenomena that I witnessed 
through the Davenports, though it resembles it so closely 
as to pass muster with the audience generally. Last even- 



96 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

ing there were jubilant remarks made that " Spiritualism 
was now exposed;" but such logic was sadly at fault, as it 
does not necessarily follow that a thing may not be genuine 
because it can be successfully imitated. The Egyptian 
magicians performed the miracles of Moses, but on that ac- 
count were the latter false? But to return to what I began. 
I was well pleased to be a quiet witness of all that passed, 
until I heard Mr. Kellar make a statement respecting Mr. 
Foster, the great spiritual medium. Mr. Kellar said that he 
would do all the tricks performed by spiritual mediums, in- 
cluding those of Mr. Foster, after having witnessed them 
three times. He threw down the challenge to them all. 
Though I am not a medium or a spiritualist, I am deeply 
interested, and therefore accept Mr. Kellar's challenge. I 
ask him to perform to the satisfaction of the audience and 
to mine, this " trick," which the late Dr. Ashburner relates 
in his work entitled " Animal Magnetism and Spiritualism " 

ne 323) as having been done by Mr. Foster in London. 
t is as follows : " Sir William Jopham, with the 
concurrence of Foster, fixed an early hour for dinner. 
There were only the three of us at the dinner table. The 
servant placed the soup tureen on the table. No sooner 
had I helped my friends to soup than Sir William, who 
had preferred the seat with his back to the fire, requested 
permission to alter his mind as t! e fire was too much for 
him. He went to the opposite side of the table, forgetting 
to take his napkin with him. Immediately a hand, as real 
as the hand of any of us, appeared and lifted the napkin 
into the air gently and gracefully, and then dropped it 
carefully on the table. Almost simultaneously, and while 
we were still engaged over our soup, one side of the rining 
table was lifted up by some unseen power, and the 
moderator lamp did not fall from its place on the center of 
the table. The decanters, salt cellars, wine glasses, knives 
and forks, water carafes, and tumblers all remained in their 
places, although the top of the table sloped to very nearly 
an angle of 45 degrees. There was a wonderful conversa- 
tion of my glass, china and lamp. The servant, who was 
waiting on us, stared and lifted up both his arms, exclaim- 
ing, 'Law, well I never !' And the next moment he cried 
out, * Do look at the pictures,' which, with their ten heavy 



THE SPIRITUALIST EXCITEMENT. 97 

frames had appeared to strive how far they could quit the 
wall and endeavor to reach the dinner table." Dr Ash- 
burner, who was a man of high standing in his profession, 
goes on to say, " The appearance of hands is by no means 
an unusual phenomenon One evening I witnessed the 
appearance of nine hands floating over the dining table." 
Now since Mr. Kellar took occasion to go out of his way 
to throw a shaft at Mr. Foster and other spiritual mediums, 
1 hereby challenge him to produce at his illusion such 
detached hands as thosa which appeared through Mr. 
Foster's mediumship, over the dinner table of Dr Ash- 
burner in London. Since Mr. Kellar does his clever 
conjuring tricks in the light, let him do these if he can. 
For instance, one of these detached hands might be sent to 
catch the canary which he allowed to escape into the body 
of the theatre. If he cannot do this, I will call on him to 
withdraw what he said of Mr. Fostej and others. 

In conclusion I may add, that I consider the Royal 
Illusionists very clever, and recommend all to go and see 
them. As for the adverse expression of opinion respecting 
spiritualism or its mediums, on their part or by any portion 
of their audience, I care very little. I know it to be true; 
have faithfully and patiently investigated its evidences 
both in and out of the circle, for many years, and proved 
them true. GEORGE DALE DONALDSON. 

Calcutta, January 5, 1878. 

To the Editor of the Englishman. Sir : In reply to 
the letter of George Dale Donaldson, published in your 
issue of this morning, I beg to say that the gentleman's 
interpretation of my challenges to mediums is not correct. 
He requests me to reproduce certain experiments men- 
tioned in Dr Ashburner's work, entitled " Spiritualism and 
Animal Magnetism." My challenge to mediums is this : I 
unequivocally and without reservation pronounce the so- 
called phenomena of spiritualism a humbug, and denounce 
all mediums as frauds. I hereby agree to wager the sum 
of Rs. 1000 or more, that I can fully, completely and satis- 
factorily perform and expose any manifestations of so-called 
spirit-power which I am permitted to witness three times. 
I have often attended Mr. Foster's seances, but I have 
never seen him do any such wonderful tricks as ascribed 
7 



98 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

to him in the work of Dr. Ashburner. If Mr. Donaldson 
can produce any medium who will cause detached hands to 
appear, such as are noted in his letter of to-day, I will give 
Rs. 2000 to any charitable institution in this city if I can- 
not reproduce the same results. I will conclude by saying, 
that when persons set themselves up as mediums, pro- 
fessionally or otherwise, and lead people to believe that 
they are bringing before them facts proving the immor- 
tality of the soul, they are doing a very solemn thing 
indeed, and the person who would for gain trifle with the 
most sacred feelings of our nature by pretending to do 
this, while all the time he is only carrying on an elaborate 
scheme of deception, is beneath contempt, and ought to be 
held up to the scorn of every honest man in the community. 
I consider it a duty to expose such frauds, and discourage 
them in their nefarious works. 

HARRY KELLAR, 

Illusionist. 
Theatre Royal, Calcutta, January 8, 1878. 

To the Editor of the Englishman. SIR : I thought 
the absurd statement of Mr. Kellar at the Theatre Royal, 
the other evening, respecting the tricks of spiritual medi- 
ums and what he could do, were but empty chaff ; his con- 
duct with reference to my letter of yesterday confirms me in 
that opinion. Last evening he again repeated his remarks 
regarding mediums; but, instead of performing the trick 
which one of these despised mediums is reputed, on the best 
authority, to have done in London, he shuffled out of it by 
throwing out a ridiculous challenge, which he very well 
knew he was safe in doing, as in this part of the world no 
such powerful medium is known to exist, and therefore 
could not be accepted. But Mr. Kellar, who said he knew 
all the noted American mediums, and could do all their 
tricks, surely ought to have kept his word when I chal- 
lenged him to perform that of Foster's, as recorded in my 
letter. When a noted juggler like Mr. Kellar asperses the 
characters of thousands of honorable spiritual mediums 
(both men and women), as he had done before a public 
audience and in his letter of this morning, he ought to be 
able to prove his assertions. And in what better way could 
he have done this than by doing what I asked him to do ? 



THE SPIRITUALIST EXCITEMENT. 99 

It is evident, notwithstanding his cleverness as a conjurer, 
he knows no more of the nature of spiritual phenomena 
than a great many who go to laugh at his so-called expos- 
ures. His burlesque of the Davenport seance is but a sorry 
one; it is true that it resembles that of the famous brothers 
in many respects. 

That the Davenports were genuine spiritual mediums I 
firmly believe* I regret that mixing with the world in 
their travels has tended to demoralize them; but whether 
their manifestations are now supplemented by ordinary 
conjuring or not, I know that formerly they were genuine 
mediums, and, as such, were recognized by all classes in 
the Old and New Worlds. 

To simplify matters between Mr. Kellar and myself, I 
shall forego my challenge to him about the spirit hands, 
and only ask him to allow one of the committee to enter 
the cabinet with him, and then cause the instruments to 
play, the same as was the case in the famous seance of the 
Davenport Brothers. 

I await his acceptance of this challenge, yes or no, in 
plain terms. I shall be present, on Saturday evening, and 
Mr. Kellar can then give his consent to the above from the 
stage. GEORGE DALE DONALDSON. 

January 9, 1878. 

To the Editor of the Englishman. SIR: It is a matter 
of regret to me that I have again to notice the latest pro- 
duction of Mr. Donaldson. For the sake of brevity I will 
pass by his abusive and offensively personal remarks on 
myself, and proceed to deal with the point of his letter. I 
will allow Mr. Donaldson, or any gentleman of his own 
choosing, to come upon the stage on Saturday; I will also 
have some gentleman from the audience (not a spiritualist) 
who attended one of the Davenport seances; I will do all 
that the Davenports did under similar conditions; I will 
^.llovv Mr. Donaldson to enter the cabinet with me. I have 
fully explained the Davenport seance to the entire satis- 
faction of every intelligent person who has seen the per- 
formances of the famous brothers, at the seance we present 
nightly at the Theatre Royal. 

I look forward with interest to Saturday, and hope to see 



100 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

the amount of Mr. D's wager handed over to some charity, 
and trust that he will afterwards, like his friends, the 
Davenports, drop the spiritualistic theory, and admit that it 
is only a miserable burlesque on the movements of a higher 
development of which we know very little, and which 
ignorance will not be done away with until our spirits join 
the spirit land beyond the grave; and then, I trust, our 
power of perception will increase, our faculties will be 
ennobled, our employment will be higher, and we shall find 
other and. more exalted work than shifting knives, forks and 
glasses, or even pictures, for our " untabernacled spirits." 

HARRY KELLAR. 
CALCUTTA, January 10, 1878. 

When the evening for the test arrived, the crowd 
in the theater was so great that, although many extra 
chairs were placed in the orchestra stalls, large num- 
bers of people could not gain admittance. Concerning 
this performance the Englishman of January 14, 1878, 
said : " The chief attraction of the evening, however, 
was the entertainment, in the course of which the 
tricks of so-called mediums were exposed. Three gen- 
tlemen formed a committee, and Kellar, having 
been securely tied with ropes for the cabinet trick, Mr. 
George Dale Donaldson was expected to come on the 
stage, but he did not enter an appearance, although 
loudly called for by the audience in every part of the 
house. It was amusing to see everywhere gentlemen 
on the tip-toe of expectation, turning to the nearest 
person, with whom he was unacquainted, in the hope 
that he was the man. George Dale, however, was, 
like ihe spirits he believes in, invisible, and although 
he was again called for, when Mr. Kellar, in the full 
blaze of gas light, untied the knots with which he was 
bound, and exposed the 4 Fay ' seance, he did not 
think it prudent to show his face. But the entertain- 
ment was none the less an agreeable surprise to those 
who had not witnessed it before, while those who had 
were as mightily perplexed to find out how it was 
done. At the conclusion of the performance, Mr. 




See page 116. 



102 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

Kellar intimated, for the information of G. D. D. and 
his fellow believers in 4 Spiritualism,' that he was 
willing to stand by the terms of his challenge, and 
meet them at any appointed time for the purpose in- 
dicated in these columns. Here is an opportunity for 
mediums and believers, of which they should not be 
slow of availing themselves." 

When the Magician's challenge had failed to bring a 
defender of spiritualism to the point of attempting to 
tie him in public, it had the effect of bringing a pro- 
fessor of knot-mak'ng to the front, as the following 
correspondence shows : 

To the Editor of the Indian Daily News. SIR : See- 
ing lately several letters passing between Mr. George D. 
Donaldson and Mr. Kellar, of the Royal Illusionists, and 
the former not turning up on Saturday to make his chal- 
lenge good, T now beg to propose to Mr. Kellar that he 
allow me to tie him in a similar manner as the famous Dav- 
enport Brothers were tied in Liverpool some years ago, and 
out of which they found it impossible to extricate them- 
selves. 1 name Friday evening next as the appointed time, 
and if Mr. Kellar accepts my challenge through your paper, 
I shall be there without fail. 

Yours, etc., W. T. HART, 

Comdr. Ship Compta. 

To the Editor of the Indian Daily News. SIR : In 
reply to Captain Hart's challenge, which appeared in your 
issue of this morning, and in which he proposes to tie me 
"in a similar manner as the Davenport Brothers were tied 
in Liverpool some years ago, and 01 'it of 'which they found it 
impossible to extricate themselves" 1 beg to say that I ac- 
cept Captain Hart's challenge unconditionally, the trial of 
skill to take place at the Theatre Royal, Chowringhee, on 
Friday evening next. I will allow Captain Hart to tie me 
to his own satisfaction, and I will release myself in less time 
than he will occupy in tying me ; if I can not do this, I will 
publicly acknowledge my defeat. As Captain Hart is one 
of the gentlemen who formed the committee that tied the 



THE SPIRITUALIST EXCITEMENT. 103 

famous mediums in Liverpool, I shall be prepared to meet 
with some extraordinary rope-tying on Friday evening. 
Yours, etc., HARKY KELLAR, 

Royal Illusionist. 
CALCUTTA, 15th January, 1878." 

To the Editor of the Indian Daily News. SIR : I 
have noted Mr. Kellar's acceptance of my challenge. I will 
be at the Theatre Royal Friday evening, and will tie Mr. 
Kellar in such a manner that I feel convinced it will be im- 
possible for him to release .himself. 

Ypurs, etc., W. T. HART, 

Comdr. Ship Compta. 

Captain Hart was not the man to confine his efforts 
to the columns of the newspapers. He meant what he 
said, and he confidently believed that he could tie 
Kellar as effectually as he had helped to tie the Dav- 
enport Brothers. How he fared in his attempt is thus 
told by the Englishman of January 21, 1878 : 

" After the usual exhibition of Mr. Kellar's unrivaled 
skill at legerdemain, the cabinet seance was introduced, 
Mr. Kellar releasing himself almost instantaneously from a 
rope artfully tied by a practiced nautical man, and drawn 
so tightly as to cut the wrist. Mr. Kellar subsequently re- 
tied himself in the brief space of three seconds. This busi- 
ness having been gone through, Captain Hart was invited 
to try his skill, and, having rejected the rope previously 
used, was allowed to operate with a much thinner one of his 
own. The tying was of a complicated character, involving 
Mr. Kellar's neck as well as his arms, and occupied some 
time. The cabinet doors being closed, there was a pause, 
and some people thought they observed an expression of 
triumph on Captain Hart's face. Any confidence he may 
have felt in the result, however, was of short duration, for 
soon the sound of a loose rope was distinctly heard, and in 
forty seconds from the closing of the cabinet Mr. Kellar 
emerged a free man, with the untied rope in his hand, amid 
the enthusiastic applause of the'audience." 

Captain Hart, with the hearty, straightforward hon- 



104 

esty of the typical sailor, acknowledged his defeat in a 
letter, of which the following is a copy : 

To the Editor of the Indian Daily N"ews. SIR : I con- 
sider it but i'air on ray part and justice to Mr. Harry Kellar, 
that I should publicly acknowledge, through the columns 
of the press, my inability to securely tie Mr. Kellar last Fri- 
day evening, at the Theatre Royal, although he submitted 
to be tied in a most complicated manner ; in fact, by the 
only known knots that most effectually puzzled the Daven- 
port Brothers in Liverpool a few years a<re. After almost 
an hour's struggle they found it impossible to free them- 
selves; but Mr. Kellar was only forty seconds in accomplish- 
ing what I, and all who witnessed it, consider a grand 
triumph. In fact, the applause that greeted Mr. Kellar on 
emerging from the cabinet free testified that fact, and was 
as gratifying to me as it must have been to the great illu- 
sionist. Yours, etc., W. T. HART, 

Com dr. Ship Compta. 

It can well be imagined that the Magician's success 
added to his already very high reputation. His skill was 
the talk of Calcutta, and his entertainments drew 
crowded audiences of the best people. The Indian 
Charivari of February 1, 1878, voiced the popular 
feeling very neatly, in a half-page cartoon, which was 
intended to show a bond from which the Magician could 
not free himself. Kellar was represented as stand- 
ing on his stage with two beautiful ladies, each of whom 
had one of his hands clasped in both of hers. Beneath 
the cartoon was the following : 

" KELLAR VANQUISHED. 

"After the masculine Hart's failure to bind Mr. Kellar, 
Charivari would suggest a trial of feminine H(e)arts, with 
the utmost confidence that the great illusionist would be 
powerless to free himself." 

Before leaving Calcutta, Kellar gave a benefit 
for the children of indigent Freemasons, netting about 
900 rupees, and he also joined with other artists in giv- 
ing a benefit to John Flynn, an injured member of 



Itf THE PUNJAITB. 105 

"Wilson's Great World Circus," which was then in 
that city. On another occasion he appeared at the 
Corinthian Theatre in 'a benefit to Mr. J. C. Fuell, who, 
on account of continued ill health, had been ordered 
home to England. Whenever my master appeared at 
a benefit of this kind he was forced to close his the- 
atre for the night, but it has ever been a pleasure for 
him to contribute his services to meritorious objects, 
and he has regularly made it a point not to allow his 
selfish interests to interfere with his duty to others. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

IN THE PTJNJAUB. 

From Calcutta the Royal Illusionists proceeded to 
Allahabad, and on this trip had a practical demonstra- 
tion of the deadly character of the cobra's bite. This 
snake is common in India, despite the efforts made to 
exterminate it. Among the passengers on the train 
was a handsome young lady of apparently good estate, 
as she traveled first-class. She had no sooner retired 
to her berth than she gave a piercing shriek and sprang 
to the floor of the car. A cobra, hidden among the 
coverings, had bitten her on the arm. The injured 
member had soon swollen to twice its natural size, her 
face became puffed beyond recognition, and she died 
after suffering terrible agony for about three hours. 
The snake had probably crept into the berth to keep 
warm. Although at most times the temperature in 
India is uncomfortably high, in the cold season 
strangers, as well as snakes, feel the necessity of plenty 
of covering. Kellar always provided himself with 
plenty of thick clothing on such occasions, and the 
wisdom of his course was frequently made manifest. 

There are a number of features peculiar to railroad 



106 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

travel in India. Four classes of tickets are sold, and 
the accommodation varies accordingly. The first pas- 
sengers have the use of a regular bath room in one end 
of their car, and but four people are put in one com- 
partment. The second-class fare is one-half the first- 
class, and the conveniences are considerably restricted. 
Passengers of both of these classes, however, have 
comfortable sleeping rooms at their disposal without 
extra charge. The third- class travelers pay one-half as 
much as second-class patrons, and the fourth-class are 
carried for one-half of what it costs the third-class to 
travel, but they are herded into the cars like cattle. 

While on the way to Allahabad, tbe train stopped at 
Benares Junction, and my master's companion, Mr. 
Hodgkins, asked one of the natives at the station for a 
glass of water. Now Hindoos believe the touch of a 
no-caste man is defiling, no matter what his position 
may be, and their custom, when gi\ing a foreigner a 
drink, is to pour the water into his mouth. In this case 
the native was leisurely proceeding in the orthodox 
style, when the impulsive and impatient Hodgkins 
seized the earthen cup, drank in the natural way before 
the astonished Hindoo could prevent him from doing 
so, and then handed back the empty vessel. The na- 
tive in anger dashed the cup to the ground, breaking 
it into a dozen fragments, and serious trouble appeared 
imminent. ''.' The magic influence of the rupee, however, 
avoided bloodshed. 

At Allahabad we appeared at the Railway Theatre. 
One of the novel experiences of our stay in this town 
was the hideous wailing of jackalls and hyenas in the 
streets at night. These animals are useful as scaven- 
gers, but to the stranger they seem like evil spirits, so 
much do their cries resemble the voice of a human be- 
ing i\i distress. 

From Allahabad the Illusionists went to Lucknow, 
where they had additional proof that in India caste 
is everything. The man who sweeps your room will 



IN THE PCTNJAUB. 107 

not take an empty cup from your hand ; your groom 
will not cut a little grass; a coolie would carry any 
load, however offensive, on his head, but, even in a 
matter of life and death, would refuse to carry a man, 
for that is the business of another caste. Whether it 
be Brahmin or Sudra, a priest in a temple, or a ryot in 
a field, the highest or the lowest, each has his pecu- 
liar duties, and to those only will he devote himself. 
Even the excommunicated or outcast pariahs, form 
castes among themselves. There are grades even of 
misery. But strict as the Hindoos are among them- 
selves in the matter of caste, they are, if possible, even 
more strict in their relations with the outside world. 
Even a beggar on the street feels himself superior to 
the no-caste foreigner of whom he solicits alms. 

While in Lucknow we played in the (Jhuddermunzil 
Club Theatre. The season was a remarkable one, and 
my master's fame penetrated to every hut in the city. 
When leaving the theater one day with his assistant, 
he saw a party of Hindoos eating chow in the shade of 
the building. The shadow of the assistant fell on 
one of the dishes, and immediately the party was in a 
state of angry excitement. To be threatened by ryots 
was not an unusual occurrence in the case of Europeans 
unused to their ways, but on this occasion the Hindoos 
seemed frantic. They smashed the dishes on which 
the polluting shadow had fallen, and then made a rush 
for Kellar's trembling assistant. Now it so hap- 
pened that some of the party had seen my master on 
the stage, and as the Magician sprang forward to pro- 
tect his friend he was recognized. Instantly there was 
a shout of warning that it was the Nautch- Wallah, and 
the entire crowd prostrated themselves, mumbling 
what was evidently a prayer for protection. A moment 
later they were slinking away, hiding themselves be- 
hind dakh yharrys (bullock carts), and glancing over 
their shoulders to see that the Magician was not about 
to call down the powers of darkness upon them. Like 



108 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

all ignorant people the Hindoos are very superstitious, 
and, although their native jugglers do wonderful things 
with snakes and baskets and the like, they could not 
understand how such marvels as Kellar performed 
were within the power of a man who claims no assist- 
ance from the spirit world. 

From Lucknow we went on to Delhi. The intention 
had been to give an exhibition in the Town Hall, and 
after much difficulty we succeeded in engaging it. We 
engaged a native to stick posters in every available 
place. After the work was done the Chief of Police 
(Hamilton) sent an order commanding that every bit 
of paper should be torn down, and the surfaces to 
which it had been stuck washed clean. The prospects 
for a good house were not very encouraging, but 
my master had been making a great deal of money, 
and he felt independent. He accordingly packed his 
apparatus and prepared to leave the place. At the 
railroad station he wrote a letter to the Chief of Police, 
telling him he could take his coolies and tear down 
the paper at his leisure. Of course the Dehli papers 
got hold of the story, and they poked a great deal of 
fun at the cranky official, who was himself forced to 
see to the scrubbing of the dead walls, while Kel- 
lar " folded his tents like the Arabs and silently stole 
away." 

At Agra the Magiciati visited the celebrated Moti 
Masjid, or Pearl Mosque, said to be the most elegant 
mosque of Indian Mohammedan architecture. It meas- 
ures 235 feet east and west, by 190 feet north and 
south, and the court-yard is 155 feet square. The 
building is raised on a terrace, and is almost entirely 
composed of white marble. But Agra is even more 
famous for the Taj-Mahal, a splendid mausoleum, built 
by the Emperor Shah Jahan, for the remains of his 
favorite wife, Mumtaza Mahal. The building is of 
white marble, with four tall minarets of the same ma- 
terial, one at each corner. The enclosure, including 



110 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

the gardens and outer courts, is a parallelogram of 1,860 
feet by more than 1,000 feet. The tomb stands on a 
raised platform 18 feet high, faced with white marble, 
and is exactly 813 feet square. The building is an 
early example of that system of inlaying with precious 
stones, which became characteristic of the style of the 
Moguls after the death of Akbar. All the spandrills 
of the Taj, all the angles and more important architect- 
ural details, are heightened by being inlaid with 
precious stones, such as agates, bloodstones, jaspers 
and the like. These are combined in wreaths, scrolls 
and frets, as exquisite in color as they are beautiful. 
It is said that 20,000 workmen worked steadily for 
twenty-two years to complete the structure. 

After a visit to Cawnpore, Kellar went to Jey- 
pore, where he visited the Rajah's palace and witnessed 
a grand fete. Elephants were dressed in rich housings, 
and there was an almost dizzying amount of barbaric 
pomp and splendor connected with the proceedings. 
At Benares my master visited the famous monkey 
temple, the Doorgha Kond, which, although ostensibly 
devoted to the worship of the Goddess Doorgha, is in 
reality the dwelling of swarms of large yellow monkeys 
which overrun a quarter of the city. They are main- 
tained and carefully tended by the Brahmins, who 
imagine them to possess certain holy attributes. These 
monkeys are very mischievous, but to kill, or even 
maltreat one would be very likely to result in the 
death of the person so offending. At Cawnpore and 
also at Delhi, as well as at other places in India, my 
master saw large numbers of these protected monkeys. 
As this visit was made during what is the winter season 
in that country, the monkeys were usually seen hud- 
dled together in an effort to keep warm. 



IN BOMBAY. Ill 



CHAPTER XV. 

IN BOMBAY. 

All of the prominent towns of the Punjaub were visit- 
ed by the Illusionists, and business was generally 
good. On the 14th of February, 1878, they opened at 
the Framjee Cowasjee Institute, in Bombay, and speed- 
ily created a sensation. The Illusionists took part in a 
grand testimonial to Mr. John Wilson (of the Great 
World Circus) " under the patronage and in the imme- 
diate presence of Sir Richard Temple, the Governor, 
and suite," as the Bombay newspapers expressed it. 
The season in Bombay would have been exceptionally 
pleasant but for the Parsee owner of the Institute 
where the performances were given. He was a con- 
scienceless creature, with a perfect genius for extortion. 
The curtain was extra, the lamps were extra, the oil in 
the lamps was extra, and so it went. When the Illu- 
sionists were ready to leave, the Parsee discovered a 
blotched place in one of the planks in the stage, and he 
wanted my master to partially rebuild the theater be- 
cause of it. The impulsive Mr. Hodgkins at this point 
once more came to the front, and kicked the grasping 
landlord to the bottom of the stairs. Of course this 
was illegal, and also, of course, the Parsee was not slow 
in getting out a warrant for Mr. Hodgkins' arrest; but 
Kellar took good care to* see that his companion 
did not fall into the way of the officers, and so the Par- 
see nursed his wrath, and his covetousness and his 
sores, and got no salve for either. 

On the whole, my master has not such an exalted 
opinion of the Parsees as a good many other people en- 
tertain. Their mode of treating dead bodies of their 



112 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

caste disgusted him. They build tall towers, with 
a grating over the top, and on this grating the bodies 
of their dead are laid. Vultures and the elements 
remove the flesh, and the bones tumble through the 
grating into the hollow interior of the tower. Often a 
bird flying over the city with a piece of Parsee flesh in 
his mouth drops a portion of the carrion, and as the 
flight of these scavengers is frequently over the Mala- 
bar Hill, where the city reservoir is located, the water 
is often polluted by this filth. While my master was 
there, the Government was seriously considering the 
project of roofing the reservoir to protect the water 
from such contamination. 

We put up at the Bycullah Hotel while in Bombay, 
and were very much amused by the sagacity displayed 
by the myriads of crows with which the city swarms. 
The crows are protected by law, and they seem to 
know it, but they do not presume too much on the 
fact. It is like catching a weasel asleep to outwit one 
of them. And yet they were very bold. Sometimes in 
the early morning at Chota-hazra, if the window was 
open, scarcely a moment would elapse before a crow 
would be on the sill, and with many a hesitating step 
and wise look the bird would edge up to the coveted 
toast and with a dash would seize it and fly cawing to 
his comrades outside. There were always scores of 
crows in the trees about the hotel, and often my master 
would throw pieces of bread toward them. In every 
instance a crow would dart from his perch, and, getting 
under the falling fragment, catch it in his beak before 
it could reach the ground. A friend induced my 
master to tie a long, but very fine, thread to a piece of 
meat and throw it with a number of other pieces of 
meat to the ground. Not a crow offered to touch the 
dainty morsels. At length they began to fly about 
them, then they alighted near the meat, and soon every 
piece, except the one to which the thread was tied, 
was eaten up. A servant of the hotel once set a trap 



IN BOMBAY. 113 

for a rat, and a dishcloth blew from a neighboring bush 
and covered the trap. A foolish crow put his foot 
on the cloth and was caught. Instantly there was the 
wildest excitement in the crow colony, and as soon as 
the victim had been released from the trap, his com- 
panions set on him and pecked and pounded him to 
death. Theft, and even murders seem to be winked at 
by Bombay crows, but stupidity is a crime they will not 
condone. 

The native town of Bombay literally swarms with 
people, and their peculiarities excite much wonder and 
surprise in the minds of strangers. They will not kill 
any animal, and they carry their tenderness so far as 
not only to scatter rice for the birds, but to sprinkle 
sugar near the ant hills for the benefit of those indus- 
trious little toilers. It is the custom in India for cer- 
tain classes to burn the bodies of the dead, and every 
day during our stay in Bombay, we saw numbers of 
naked bodies of the dead carried through the town to 
the burning ghat, where they were either wholly or 
partially consumed before being thrown into the water. 
The Parsees, whose custom in this as in many other 
respects differs from that of the Mohammedans, have a 
bitter feud with the latter, and the result is that the 
police have often to interfere to protect them. 

Of course we visited the famous Caves of Elephanta, 
in the Bay of Bombay, and marveled much at their 
wonderful peculiarities. But the time came all toe? 
soon when we had^to bid adieu to India. The parting 
seemed to be regretted by the people as well as by my 
master. According to the Bombay G-azette, he gave his 
last entertainment " to a house crowded from floor to 
ceiling, and long before the advertised time for com- 
mencing, not even standing room could be had for 
money. The audience was composed of the elite of 
the city." 



114 A MAGICIAN'S TOUK. 



CHAPTER XVI. 

THE JUGGLERS OF INDIA. 

Naturally on his first visit to India Kellar was 
curious to see something of the famous jugglers, of 
whom travelers have told such marvelous tales. He 
went out of his way to meet any famous performer 
who could only be reached in that manner, and the re- 
sult was that between the time he landed at Calcutta 
and the time he embarked at Bombay, he had witnessed 
about everything of note in the juggling line that the 
country afforded. The opinion he formed, after seeing 
all they could show him, was that, apart from their 
skill as snake charmers, in the basket trick, and one or 
two other illusions, the ability of the entire fraternity 
of Indian jugglers is beneath contempt. 

He had heard a great deal about the " wonderful 
mango trick," in which the native jugglers were said 
to plant a mango seed in the earth, whence it would 
be seen to sprout and gradually grow into a full sized 
mango tree, blossom and ripen fruit in full view of the 
spectators. It was further declared that the fruit 
would be handed around to whomsoever cared to taste 
of it. Stories to this effect had been told by so many 
travelers of repute, that Kellar really expected to 
find some merit in the trick. At Allahabad, Cawnpore, 
Lucknow, Delhi and Bombay he saw native jugglers 
who did the mango trick, and each time they performed 
it precisely as follows : The fakirs, usually about five 
or six in number, would squat on the ground, and the 
spokesman would ask the spectators to select a spot of 
earth on which they desired the trick to be performed. 
This being done he would pick up the earth with a 



THE JUGGLERS OF INDIA. 115 

small pointed instrument in order to make a soft spot; 
then putting up a skeleton frame of tripod shape, he 
would throw a shawl or cloth over it so as to make a 
sort of tent. One of the conjurers, wearing a long 
robe, with wide sleeves, would then produce a mango 
seed, and placing both hands and arms under the 
improvised tent, would plant the seed, his hands and 
arms being out of sight under the tent during the 
operation. His comrades would then perform some 
simple tricks with cups and balls, etc., after which 
the cover over the tripod would be removed, and a 
small sprout would be seen in the side of the mango 
seed. When the cover was again thrown over the 
tripod the fellow with the long sleeves would once 
more put his arms under the tent so formed. After 
another interval of three or four minutes the cover 
would be again removed, and there would be seen a 
branch of a mango tree about two feet high, bearing a 
few mangoes, some green and others ripe. The latter 
would be plucked and distributed among the spectators. 
The secret of this trick is so shallow that it hardly 
merits explanation. The man who placed his hands 
under the cover first inserted the sprout in the seed, 
and the next time he drew from his ample sleeve a 
branch cut from a neighboring mango tree, and thrust 
the cut end into the earth, which had previously been 
softened. At Allahabad the branch with the fruit 
toppled over, showing, instead of roots, the cut end of 
the limb, and thus was dispelled forever one of the 
illusions that had caused my master to marvel much, 
when reading about the wonders of Hindoo magicians. 
Most of the wonders attributed to Oriental jugglers 
have never existed anywhere outside of the imagina- 
tions of those who tell them. The writers who declare 
that they have seen such impossible feats performed, 
as throwing a ball of twine in the air to form a sort of 
Jack-and-the-bean-stalk, up which the juggler climbed 
out of sight, pulling the string after him, and that th e 



116 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

pistol shot of a companion conjurer brought the aerial 
climber to the earth in fragments, which, when 
brought together, became a living, uninjured man 
again, must have had their brains steeped in hash- 
eesh. 

The feats of snake charming, however, are marvel- 
ous, and, if tricks, they utterly defy detection. In 
speaking of an experience with the snake charmer at 
Allahabad, my master says: " A fellow came into my 
room with nothing but a breech clout, and said, 
4 Plenty big snake here, Sahib. Plenty big snake in 
room.' I told him to go off; that I'd seen all his 
snake tricks, and did not want to be bothered, but he 
insisted upon it that there were plenty of snakes in the 
room, so I told him he could come in and call them 
out if he wanted to. He stood up in the middle of 
the floor and began to play on a sort of flute he had 
with him. Now mind you, there was no furniture in 
the apartment but a cot bed and two or three chairs. 
He had not played two minutes before I saw the sheet 
on the bed rise up till it looked like a small tent, and then 
an enormous cobra crawled out and coiled itself on the 
floor, with its head erect and its tongue darting out in 
anger. In an instant I saw other serpents approaching 
from the corners of the apartment, and they placed 
themselves alongside of their companion. The fakir, 
still playing on his flute, led the way to the door, and 
the snakes followed him. He paused on the threshold, 
and they reared their heads and hissed at him in anger. 
Just as I was beginning to get nervous, another fakir 
crept up behind him and cut their heads off with a 
sharp sword which he carried. I could learn nothing 
about this trick, if it was a trick." 

In many other instances we saw marvels performed 
with snakes, and were also greatly pleased with the 
basket trick, of which much has been written, and of 
which the secret had been well kept. When he found 
a juggler who made a specialty of this trick, my mas- 




FOREST SCENE, ISLAND OF MAURITIUS. 



11? 



See page 180 



118 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

ter watched him closely, and this is what he saw. 
Having explained to the small company what he pro- 
posed to do, the juggler allowed them to select a spot 
on the turf in the open air where the trick should be 
performed. Here he stationed himself with a basket, 
with a hinged lid, at his feet, a little boy at his side 
and a sharp sword in one hand. He wore nothing but 
a breech clout. The company surrounded the con- 
jurer in a circle so close that there was no possibility 
for any person to pass it without detection. The jug- 
gler placed the child in the basket, closed the lid, and 
began muttering a seeming incantation. While still 
praying he wove a large white cloth about his arm, 
arid suddenly threw it over the basket, binding one 
end. He then drew the cloth towards him, brought it 
up around his waist and tucked the end in his clout, 
leaving a portion to hang down in front in graceful 
folds. This much done, he plunged the sword through 
the basket. As the child's agonizing cries were heard, 
the man drew back the sword all dripping with blood. 
Again and again was the sword thrust into the basket, 
the child's heart-rending screams growing fainter and 
fainter until they ceased altogether. The juggler asked 
that the basket be examined. It was opened and 
found to be empty. A gleeful shout was heard. The 
company looked in the direction from whence it 
came, and there sat the juggler's child on the limb of a 
small tree waving his arms and seeming as happy as a 
bird. Kellar paid the juggler two rupees (one 
dollar) and the secret of the trick was explained to 
him. He marveled at first that the man was willing 
to explain the mystery for' so small a sum, but he soon 
discovered that only those who wore the Indian jug- 
gler's costume, the breech clout, could perform it. 
The trick is done in this way: The child is well trained. 
After he is placed in the basket, he watches his oppor- 
tunity, and when the juggler spreads the cloth, 
the youngster slips from his hiding place, under 



THE JUGGLERS OF INDIA. 119 

the cover of the cloth, crawls under the jug- 
gler, grasps a strap about the man's waist, and 
draws himself up between the juggler's legs. 
The cloth when brought about the man's waist 
hides the little fellow, who, from his unsuspected re- 
treat, utters the piercing shrieks of the dying child. 
With a sponge saturated with a red liquid the juggler 
produces the blood stains. When the spectators rush 
forward to look into the basket, the boy slips from his 
place of concealment and makes his presence manifest 
wherever he has been directed to go. 

Another trick which interested Kellar was per- 
formed by a fakir, whose outfit was a bowl of muddy 
water. He began operations by sprinkling some of the 
water on the ground, and then setting the bowl down on 
the dampened place. He would then put a small artifi- 
cial duck in the water of the bowl. As soon as the duck 
was relieved from the fakir's hand, it would disappear 
under water. The fakir would squat a couple of feet 
or so from the bowl, and pound on a tom-tom, or small 
drum. Suddenly the duck would appear on the sur- 
face of the water in the bowl, but when a stranger's 
hand approached it, down it would go, and so, to the 
monotonous pounding of the drum, the bird would 
swim or dive as if alive. The secret of this trick is 
simple. The bottom of the bowl was pierced with a 
small hole, through which a horse hair was passed. 
The end of the hair within the bowl was attached to 
an imitation duck lighter than water. The other end 
of the hair was held by the fakir. The water sprinkled 
on the ground was to hide that which dripped through 
the hole in the bowl. All being ready, and the light 
duck being hidden beneath the muddy water, a heavy 
duck was placed in the bowl, and of course imme- 
diately sank out of sight. A slacking of the horse 
hair caused the light duck to appear whenever the fa- 
kir so desired, and a pull on the hair promptly took it 
out of sight. The pounding of the tom-tom served as 



120 

a blind for any movement the fakir's hand might 
make. 

A very good trick was performed with half a dozen 
colors of powdered sugar, white, black, red, yellow, green 
and blue. The fakir would take a small spoonful of each 
color in his mouth, one after the other, and chew and 
swallow them. Then at the call of his audience he 
would blow any one of the colors from his mouth in a 
cloud. To do this trick the juggler had previously pre- 
pared six small capsules, each one containing a quantity 
of sugar of a particular color. These capsules were 
concealed in his mouth, three in either cheek. The 
sugar he seemed to eat was really swallowed. When 
any color was called for he would simply work the cap- 
sule containing that variety to the tip of his tongue, 
break the case with his teeth, and puff the dry sugar 
into the air before his astonished patrons. 

In a few instances Kellar saw a juggler throw a 
quantity of sand into a bucket of water, and take it 
out as dry as if from an oven. In these cases the sand 
had been prepared by sifting it into a certain kind of 
melted wax, which gave an invisible and waterproof 
coating to each particle. 

But the ordinary tricks of these world-famed conjurers 
were greatly inferior to those exhibited by the common 
sleight-of-hand performers, that visit fairs in Europe 
and America. The tricks already described are the 
only ones Kellar saw in India which are worth the 
mentioning. 



IN AFEICA. 



CHAPTER XVII. 

IN AFRICA. 

From Bombay we moved northward to Kurachee 
and to Bassarah on the Persian Gulf, and thence by a 
small side wheel river steamer up the Tigris to the far- 
famed city of Bagdad. The steamer was covered 
around the cabin with plates of heavy sheet iron as a 
protection against the attacks of roving bands of rob- 
bers, who had a short time previously fired into the 
steamer from the river's bank. Instead of the glorious 
city of the Arabian Nights, we found nearly all of the 
large palaces and temples in ruins. The houses were 
low one and two story buildings, with the usual Ori- 
ental court yard in the center. There seems to be 
considerable trade going on, however, as the bazars 
were crowded with a motley throng of humanity, com- 
prising Arabs, Jews, Christians, Turks, Armenians, 
and a variety of other nationalities, all clad in the gar- 
ments peculiar to their countries, and using the lan- 
guage of their homes as far as possible. Much of the 
business of the city is conducted at little stands in the 
streets. There were then a few English merchants at 
Bagdad, and they seemed to be prosperous. The city 
contains a splendid arsenal, which is under the super- 
intendence of British officers. In fact, it is difficult 
anywhere throughout the East to find a spot where 
the British have not found their way. 

Bagdad reminds one much of Alexandria and Cairo. 
Hundreds of donkeys crowded the narrow streets, and 
camels are to be seen everywhere. The natives are 
kindly and hospitable, but all have a languid, don't- 
care-a-cent-if-school-keeps-or-not sort of air. An 



122 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

English merchant, a Mr. Williams, entertained my 
master and his companion very kindly. 

There is a great wealth of interesting ruins in Bag- 
dad. On the top of one large tower was an enormous 
stork's nest, which had been visited by the storks for 
many years, they always returning to their old haunt 
at the beginning of the nesting season. The weather 
in Bagdad was so hot that it required some nerve to 
go into the street between the hours of 10 a. m. and 4 
p. m., and as there was no suitable place in the city in 
which to give a performance, my master was forced to 
be content to be simply a looker-on there. But 
he had no cause to regret that he had visited the fa- 
mous city of the Caliphs. From Bagdad he returned 
to Bassarah, where he took the B. I. S. S. Co.'s steamer 
for Aden, and in that city we had to wait two weeks 
for a steamer on which to proceed to Zanzibar. 
While in Aden, Kellar gave a performance at the 
hotel. The British Admiral then commanding the 
East India station, furnished awnings, lumber for a 
stage, and men to put it up, as well as the band of his 
flag ship for an orchestra. The Admiral not only 
would not accept any free passes for the entertain- 
ment, but he insisted on buying whole rows of seats for 
himself and friends. 

From Aden, the Illusionists proceeded down the 
east coast of Africa, and made their first stop at Zan- 
zibar. The Sultan of Zanzibar is wise after the man- 
ner of absolute monarchs. He hasn't much of a king- 
dom, but he makes the most of it, and he rivals Solo- 
mon himself in the size of his harem. Of course His 
Imperial Effulgence is dusky in hue ; that is a South 
African peculiarity. But for all that he was educated 
in Europe, and with the languages and culture of that 
quarter of the world he also acquired a fancy for its 
women. French girls fill his harem, and rumor says 
there are five hundred there. However that may be, 



IN AFRICA. 123 

there is a small army of them, and they are kept hid- 
den from eyes profane. 

The Sultan had heard of the fame of Kellar, and 
the Magician was easily persuaded to appear at the pal- 
ace. The Sultan's Major Domo was a darky named 
Capt. Mahomet, a thrifty old schemer, who allowed 
Kellar 1,000 rupees for giving the entertainment, 
and, as afterward transpired, told his Imperial master 
that the charge was 5,000 rupees. The extra 4,000 
rupees found their way into Major Domo's pocket, and 
thus did he trick the trickster and measurably com- 
pensate himself for being able to speak fifteen lan- 
guages. The performance was given in the open air 
on the plaza before the palace, the invisible beauties of 
the hareni audibly expressing their delight, and the 
populace who were admitted to one side of the plaza 
often shrinking back with awe. 

At Mozambique a brief stop was made, and the 
Royal Illusionists played for the Portuguese Club, mak- 
ing a great hit. Thence they went to Durban, Natal, 
where, on the evening of April 27, 1878, they opened 
at the Trafalgar Theatre. Shortly after this my mas- 
ter was taken sick with the Daingue fever, and was a 
sufferer from it for two weeks. At one time he was 
not expected to live. The best physicians in the place 
could not help him. When matters had reached such 
a crisis that hope had departed, an old sea captain was 
allowed to experiment with the sufferer. He simply 
applied cold compresses, and within twenty-four hours 
my master was on his feet again. The Illusionist did 
excellently at Durban, as also at Pietermaritzburg, 
where Kellar met, and became intimately ac- 
quainted with, Bishop Colenso. At Port Elizabeth, 
{Cellar's artistic successes were renewed, the Ob- 
server declaring, " It is incomparably the most ^mark- 
able display the colonists have ever witnessed." 

On June 8, 1878, my master opened at the Athe- 
naeum in Cape Town, entering upon a wonderfully sue- 



124 A MAGICIAN'S Tomt. 

cessful season of thirteen weeks. Among his patrons 
were Sir Bartle Frere, G. C. B., G. C. S. I., and all of 
the leading citizens. My master here engaged Signora 
Neri and Signor Nulli, prima donna and pianist of the 
Italian Opera Company, who contributed to the popu- 
larity of the entertainment. So notable did the enter- 
tainment at the At hen ee um become, that on one occa- 
sion the principal of the public schools gave out as a 
copy to the writing class, "Kellar, the Royal Illusion- 
ist, is very clever," and on that day every school boy 
in Cape Town practiced with his pen on a statement 
which their elders, as well as themselves, heartily en- 
dorsed. The newspapers were lavish in their praise of 
the performances. The Times said : " Every evening 
Mr. Kellar has had to turn people from the doors." 
The Argus remarked : " Anything more refined and 
artistic could hardly be witnessed in any city of the 
world. Last evening the hall was filled with as intel- 
ligent an audience as is ever gathered in this citv Jit a 
public entertainment, and, without exception, all pro- 
nounced the result marvelous." In reporting the per- 
formance, the Times said: "On Monday night Mr. F. 
G. Goodhffe and Mr. A. G. Jones tied the 'mediums.' 
Mr. Goodliffe mentioned incidentally that he had tied 
Maskelyne and Cooke, and this gave Mr. Kellar the 
opportunity of alluding to an unfair criticism, which 
had appeared in one of the leading journals of the- 
town. He was very glad, indeed, that there was a 
gentleman present who had tied Maskelyne and Cooke, 
and he would ask him to give his verdict at the con- 
clusion of the performance. The seances were then 
gone through, the tying was done with the greatest 
care, and at the conclusion Mr. Goodliffe expressed his 
opinion to the effect that this was the most clever per- 
formance of its kind he had ever witnessed." In an- 
other issue the Times stated : " On Monday night Dr. 
Shaw, of the South African College, was one of the 
committee who held the performer, and at the conclu- 



126 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

Bion of the seance he stated that the performance was 
the most marvelous and the most mysterious he had 
ever seen." The challenges to mediums were contin- 
ued at Cape Town, and Kellar also repeated his 
statement that he did not believe any person could tie 
him so securely that he could not free himself. Con- 
cerning the tying, a correspondent of the Cape Town 
Evening Star, of June 19, 1878, wrote as follows: 
44 Mr. Kehoe, the proprietor of the Nova Scotia Hotel, 
and who lias had, I believe, a great experience in sea 
life, intimated his willingness to engage the Illusionist, 
and a challenge was made by him and accepted by 
Kellar. The terms were brief. Kehoe stipulated that 
he should be allowed to use his own rope. Kellar re- 
plied that he accepted the challenge without reserva- 
tion of any kind. Kehoe had formerly successfully tied 
4 Maxamilian,' and there were many who were fully 
persuaded of his ability to ' fix ' the Illusionist. On 
the other hand, the Illusionist was equally confident 
tnat no one could 4 fix' him, and with such directly 
conflicting opinions some bets were booked on the 
event. 

" The last evening was to decide the matter, and at 
about half-past seven o'clock a large crowd had gath- 
ered round the doors of the Athenaeum. Seats were at 
a premium, and yet only those who had been wise 
enough to secure seats in the course of the preceding 
day could be admitted. Five shillings each for gallery 
seats or standing room below were freely offered, but 
had to be declined, and at least as many people were 
turned away as would have again filled the hall. 
Among the audience were Sir David Tennant, Speaker 
of the House of Assembly; the Secretary for Native Af- 
fairs ; the Commissioner of Crown Lands and Public 
Works ; Mr. Kirkvvood, M. L. A.; Mr. Goldschmidt, 
M. L. A., and many others. 

44 The cabinet seance brought to the stage a committee 
of three. While Kellar was being tied by one in a 



IN AFRICA. 127 

simple square knot, another interposed and asked if 
Kellar would object to being tied by him and in his 
way. Kellar answered that he would, upon which the 
committeeman, with execrable taste, looked up at the 
gallery and spoke to the gods in Dutch. Beyond a 
doubt this sceptic scoffer and very clever man thought 
he had 'done' the Illusionists. The bad taste of the 
proceedings seemed somewhat to annoy Kellar, who 
asked the comrnitteemen to speak in English, 4 a lan- 
guage we all understand,' and added : 4 this is not a 
rope-tying exhibition ; it is an expose of spiritualism, 
but when it is over you may tie me in any way you like, 
arid if I cannot release myself I will give you 100. ' 

44 This silenced the sceptic, and the cabinet seance 
was proceeded with. In that part of it where Kellar 
has the hat on his head, his hands tied behind his back, 
and yet transfers the hat to the head of another, the 
very clever committeeman was specially sent to fasten 
the doors of the cabinet. Before he could even fasten 
one, Kellar banged the hat on his head with just the 
faintest soup etm of* malice. The astonished committee- 
man jumped back some three or four feet, and thence- 
forward was cowed. There was no more winking at 
the gods, no 4 knowing ' postures, but in their place a 
positive refusal to venture near the Magician, and subse- 
quently a declaration that 4 it beat him altogether.' 

44 This concluded, Mr. Hodgkins did the pillory test, 
an even more wonderful exhibition than the last, and 
next Kellar called upon Kehoe to come on to the stage 
and decide the challenge. Kehoe responded to the call 
without delay, and produced from his pocket a piece of 
coir (three-eighths of an inch) rope, eleven feet 
six inches long. While carefully uncoiling this, Kehoe 
made a speech somewhat in this strain: 4 Our friend 
here said no one could tie him ; I thought I could, and 
we had the challenge in the papers. At first I had 
some doubts about being able to do it, but since the 
spiritualist case in the Supreme Court this morning 



128 A MAGICIAN'S TOUK, 

(loud laughter), when the spirits lost (more laughing), 
I think I shall be able to tie him so he can't get out.' 

" Kehoe then drew Kellar's hands behind his back, and 
commenced to bind him, the latter only stipulating that 
he should not cut his flesh. Sharply, and as one who 
thoroughly understood what he was doing, and had 
done it before, Kehoe lashed the hands together, round 
and round, with many a sailor's device, and finally ex- 
hausted the rope in as neat and apparently secure a tie 
as could be wished. Two ship captains among the 
audience testified to the genuine and thorough charac- 
ter of the lashing, and expressed their conviction that 
it would 4 do ' the Illusionist, while someone else de- 
clared the lashing would fc hold a man-of-war.' The 
whole operation had occupied two minutes and a 
quarter. Kellar himself expressed his doubt whether 
he should be able to release himself, and confessed that 
he had never been so well tied in the course of his ex- 
perience. He then jumped into the cabinet, and ' time ' 
was taken. Fifty seconds passed by, and the sceptic 
began to look triumphant, when suddenly a hand ap- 
peared through one of the openings in the cabinet, and 
seventeen seconds later Kellar himself appeared quite 
free, but with his wrists lacerated by the new rope. 

" He was cheered and applauded to the echo, the hall 
ringing with shouts of ' Bravo, Kellar!' until one was 
almost deafened. 

" So ended the Kehoe-Kellar challenge. That Kellar 
was secured as perhaps few other men could secure 
him, is beyond doubt, and his triumph was therefore the 
greater. It was a feat that will not soon be forgotten. 

tk In many instances spiritualists, who saw the won- 
ders Kellar performed, declared that he was a 
powerful physical medium, without the moral courage to 
acknowledge himself as such. Immediately following 
the Kehoe test, a spiritualist wrote in this strain to the 
Cape Times, and wound up by saying, ' It is very 
wrong for him to abuse such power, and so ridicule, 



IN AFRICA. 129 

for the sake of popularity, what I believe to be a great 
truth.' ' 

Kellar added to his popularity in Cape Town 
by refusing to play on the nights set apart in aid of the 
fund for the widows and orphans of the men drowned 
in the " Eurydice." All of the papers commented on 
this generous act, and the Evening Star, of June 20, 
1878, said : " His Excellency, the Governor, is about 
to extend for a second time, his patronage to Mr. 
Kellar. This act on the part of his Excellency shows 
a great appreciation of the merit of the Illusionist, and 
may be regarded as a graceful acknowledgment of the 
excellent taste and generous good feeling displayed by 
him in declining to perform on the evenings set apart 
for the entertainments in aid of those distressed by the 
loss of the Eurydice." 

The Illusionists took their farewell of a Cape Town 
audience on the afternoon of the 23d of June, and for 
that occasion appeared in the Exhibition Building. 
The Times said concerning the entertainment : " Not- 
withstanding the mud, which rendered it almost im- 
possible to walk the streets of Cape Town on Saturday, 
and the showers of rain almost up to the hour of the 
entertainment, the largest crowd which has ever been 
seen in the Exhibition building was present to greet 
the Illusionists. The band of the Connaught Rangers 
opened the performance with an overture." 

During his stay at the Cape, Kellar became very 
well acquainted with Lieut. Col. F. A. Weatherley. 
All that time there were mutte rings of the storm that 
afterward swept over Zululund,and cost the lives of so 
many British soldiers. Many people at the Cape de- 
spised the Zulus, but Col. Weatherley had a different 
opinion. He told Kellar that if war came, the 
Zulus would be found to be brave and desperate 
fighters. Like a brave man, he was not afraid to say 
that he dreaded the contest, and well he might. He 
fell in the disastrous fight on the Zlobarie Mountain, on 



130 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

the 28th of the following March. The career of this 
gallant soldier was a most creditable one. He was a 
son of Mr. Ilderton Weatherley, of Toronto, Canada, 
a grandson of Mr. John Weatherley, of Wellington, 
near Newcastle-on-Tyne. He was educated at Berlin, 
and served some time in an Austrian cavalry regiment, 
after which he entered the British army, joining the 
14th Light Dragoons, with which he served in the 
Crimea, and took part in the charge of the Light 
Brigade at Balaklava, the battle of Tehernaya, and the 
siege and capture of Sebastopol. Subsequently chang- 
ing into the 6th Dragoons, he served in India during 
the mutiny in the campaign at Oude. On returning 
to England he retired from the service and was subse- 
quently in command of the Artillery Volunteers at 
Brighton, which position he resigned in 1877, upon go- 
ing to South Africa to take possession of his property 
in the Transvaal. He had been a great favorite with 
Sir Bartle Frere during his service in India, and when 
the Zulu war broke out, he raised a picked corps of 
Lancers, and was placed in command of the Border 
Cavalry, with which he rendered great service to 
Colonel Evelyn Wood. At the battle of Zlobane his 
little troop, consisting of about sixty men, ascended 
the mountain and held the hidden enemy in check un- 
til the retreat was sounded, but when they turned and 
descended, they were at once surrounded by the Zulus, 
who rushed out upon them from the caves and krantzes 
of the Zlobane and the neighboring mountain. Col. 
Weatherley and his son, who was serving under him 
as a lieutenant, fought desperately, as, indeed, did 
every one of the little troop ; but they were soon over- 
powered by numbers, the circle of savage warriors 
gradually narrowed, and only one officer and five men 
survived to return to camp, after having their horses 
killed under them, and themselves hiding among the 
rocks until the darkness of night enabled them to es- 



HARD LUCK TURNS. 131 

cape. When last seen Col. Weatherley was support- 
ing his wounded son on one arm, while with the other 
he was slashing right and left at the furious assailants 
who surrounded him. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

HARD LUCK TURNS. 

On the 24th of June, 1878, Kellar left Cape 
Town on the steamship German, bound for England. 
He celebrated the fourth of July on board ship. The 
"Star Spangled Banner" and " God Save the Queen" 
were given to a chorus of popping corks, and all went 
merrily as well as patriotically. On the 14th of July, 
the Magician landed at Southampton. After a short sea- 
son in that c'ty, he proceeded to London, where he se- 
cured a new outfit, and soon after started for Havana 
via St. Thomas, on the Royal mail steamship Medway. 
A terrible hurricane was encountered on the way, but 
the good vessel carried its passengers safely to their 
destination. 

Our tour of Cuba financially was most disastrous. 
The country was in an unsettled condition, and the 
people did not seem to care to be amused or mystified. 
We visited Matanzas, Cardenas, Villa Clara, Cienfue- 
gos and Trinidad, among other places, and lost money 
everywhere. Returning to Havana we embarked for 
New York on the steamer Saratoga, determined to 
make a venture on American soil. 

On the 9th of December, 1878, under the manage- 
ment of the Redpath Lyceum Bureau, my master 
opened at Horticultural Hall, in Boston. One of his 
attractions at this time was the famous automaton, 
Psycho, and the entertainment he gave was one of 
great excellence. But, although the Boston newspa- 



132 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

pers gave him strong support, and although his audi- 
ences were delighted with what they saw, his season 
was not a financial success. Heller, the magician, had 
died in Philadelphia but a short time previously, and 
the similarity of names made most people believe that 
Kellar was trying to make capital out of the dead 
man's reputation. The New York Sun voiced this 
popular feeling in a very cutting article, which was 
generally copied, and which turned the tide still more 
strongly against my master. A Boston Herald reporter 
one day handed him the following extract: 

" Heller is hardly dead before we read of 4 Kellar 
the Wizard ' performing in Boston. Of course Kellar 
aims to profic by the reputation that Heller left, by 
adopting a close imita ion of Heller's name. This is 
not an uncommon practice." 

In the issue of the Herald of December 21, the re- 
porter thus describes what followed : " So that is from 
the New York Sun'' said Kellar. He laughed heartily 
and went on : " Why, my boy, I have a better title to 
my professional name than Heller had to his. Mine is 
my own. His true name was Palmer, and be adopted 
the cognomen under which he traveled. The idea 
that I am trying to build up a reputation on his name 
is too funny. Why, my name is really spelled Keller, 
and some years ago I changed the last vowel to * a,' so 
that it should not be confounded with his. Heller and 
I were warm personal friends, and we have often 
spoken of the curious similarity of our' names. Had 
this charge in the Sun been made by a Western paper, or 
oi;e in any part of the world except the Atlantic States, 
I would not care a fig for it, for I am better known 
elsewhere than here, and the absurdity of the imputa- 
tion would be apparent. Just look at this." 

Mr. Kellar produced a scrap-book filled with news- 
papers, and criticisms and programmes of his perform- 
ances, printed in a dozen languages, and dating back 
four or five years. In every one of them his name ap- 



134 A MAGICIAN'S TOCJE. 

pears as lie gives it now. Then lie brought out a mass 
of documents, some of which were executed far back 
in the '60 , and every one bore the name "Keller.'' 

"These o!d ones," he said, "were v/ritten and 
printed befoie I altered the 4 e ' to 'a,' as I told you. 
I think they furnish pretty good proof that I am not 
'profiting' by 'adopting a close imitation of Heller's 
name.' ' 

The reporter acknowledged that they did, and turn- 
ing over the scrap-book found much material which in- 
terested him. There were programmes and newspaper 
excerpts in English, da ed in San Francisco and other 
California cities ; Carson and Virginia City, Nev. ; Salt 
Lake City, Utah ; Sydney, Australia (when und< j r the 
patronage of His Excellency Sir Hercules Robinson, K. 
C. M. G.. etc., and in presence of the Honorable Lady 
Robinson and suite, appear on the programme), New 
Castle, Brisbane, Bathurst, Melbourne, Victoria, Sand- 
hurst, Adelaide, and other antipodean cities; Singa- 
pore; Dutch bills and newspaper extracts dated in 
Batavia, Java, Handelsblad, Soerabaja and Samarang ; 
English and Chinese bills, the lat r er very curious, 
dated Shangai and Hong Kong (one at the last-named 
place announcing a performance " under the distin- 
guished patronage of His Excellency, John Pope Hen- 
nessey, C. M. G., Governor, etc."); Spanish and English 
programmes, and clippings dated Manila; English and 
Arabic ditto from Calcutta, Bombay and Allahabad ; 
more in English from Natal, Cape Town (a lace trim- 
med satin programme dated at the latter place, an- 
nounces a benefit to Mr. Kellar " under the distin- 
guished patronage of His Excellency Right Hon. Sir 
IJ.irtle Frere, G. C. B., G. C. S. L, etc.," and another 
satin "bill" from .the former, a leiformance " under 
the distinguished presence of His Excellency Sir Rich- 
aid Temple and suite "); still others in Spanish from 
Havana, and so on a collection which would delight 



HARD LUCK TURNS. 185 

the heart of a " professional " play-bill collector, a 
printer, or a linguist. 

But it takes time to remove a popular prejudice, no 
matter how unjust, as my master found to his cost. 
After his Boston season he made a flying visit to 
friends in the West, and on his return trip had a pleas- 
ant experience, which the Boston Herald of January 
15, 1879, describes as follows: 

"On returning from Cleveland, Ohio, Mr. Kellar encoun- 
tered a snow-block west of Buffalo, which detained the train 
a number of hours. Mr. Kellar, who is noted for his genial 
humor and spirit of fun, beguiled the hours by extracting 
gold pieces from a rustic old gentleman's whiskers, to the 
delight of all present, and the utter discomfiture of the sim- 
ple old gentleman, who finally became excited at the large 
quantities of gold found in his beard, and declared he 
would not allow Kellar to take another cent from his whisk- 
ers. Immediately retiring to a quiet corner in the smoking 
car, he, by the aid of a pocket comb, made a thorough 
search through his beard and moustache. Failing in this 
he returned to Mr. Kellar and demanded the money taken 
from his person, and it was with much difficulty he was per- 
suaded it was a trick." 

Similar episodes are common in the experiences of 
any clever sleight-of-hand performer, and create much 
innocent amusement. 

On the evening of February 3, 1879, my master op- 
ened at Concert Hall, in Philadelphia, and again, al- 
though the newspapers were all that could be desired, 
the public patronage was not forthcoming. Bad luck 
" followed fast and followed faster," and for about ten 
weeks my master manfully fought against it, hoping 
for a turn in the tide. During that time his expenses 
were over $1,000 a week, and his receipts averaged less 
than $12 a night. It was with difficulty that he got 
money enough to carry him to Washington, where he 
had an engagement with Mr. John Ford. The stigma 
of the Heller name still followed him. He had two 



136 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

weeks of very bad business, and being " flat broke," 
in desperation he advertised a Sunday night lecture on 
Spiritualism, to be delivered in the National Theatre. 
Mr. Ford furnished the theater and the advertising, 
and took half of the gross receipts. The place was 
packed on the night of the lecture. The speaker 
quickly had the close attention of the audience. He 
exposed the methods of the mediums, and all went 
smoothly until he came to the Davenport cabinet test. 
At this point a venerable and dignified appearing gen- 
tleman arose in the audience, and challenged my mas- 
ter to allow him to tie him in the same way that he had 
tied the Davenport Brothers. He said that if permit- 
ted to do this he would defy Kellar to do what the 
Davenports had done. The man was very earnest, and 
declared that if Kellar failed to get loose when tied 
he was a fraud, and that if he did get loose it would be by 
spirit agency. Nothing could have happened to better 
please my master. He promptly invited the old gen- 
tleman upon the stage. The committee of one took 
great pains with his tying, and with many neat devices 
bound his hands behind his back. During the tying some 
sensitive and sj^mpathetic persons in the audience had 
cried " shame," when they saw the vicious energy 
with which the cord was being drawn, but my master 
assured them that it was all right. Having finished 
his work to his satisfaction, the old gentleman turned 
to the audience with an air which plainly said, 4 * I 
have him now. Let him do his business if he can." 
The sceptic's back was no sooner turned to him, than 
my master slipped one hand from its lashings and 
tapped the old gentleman on the shoulder, saying, " If 
you have my two hands tied behind my back, I must 
have a third hand." This was greeted with thunders 
of applause, ladies as well as gentlemen rising and 
cheering, and hundreds of voices shouting, " Bravo, 
Kellar ! " The old gentleman himself joined in the 
applause, and said he gave it up. 



HARD LUCK TtfRlsrs. 187 

This episode caused so great a sensation in Wash- 
ington that two more Sunday evening lectures were 
given to crowded houses, and ray master was once 
more comfortably on his feet, so far as money matters 
went, and furnished him with funds to go to Rich- 
mond, Va. Business again was frightfully bad. He 
opened in a large theater to $1.50, and at the end of 
three clays had barely money enough left to take him 
back to New York. His fortunes were now at a low 
ebb, but his self-reliance never for a moment weakened. 

Arriving in New York, and feeling very disconsolate, 
my master met an old friend, Col. Willard P. Tisdell, 
of Washington, D. C., who kindly advanced money to 
pay for the passage of himself and assistants to Brazil, 
on the steamer Rio de Janeiro. It was at Rio that my 
master had met with the greatest financial success of 
his career, and it was to that city that his thoughts 
naturally turned when stranded in the States. Before 
leaving New York he wrote to Messrs McClure & 
McDonald of London, his lithographers, telling them 
that he had no printing, but also telling them that he 
had no money and no prospect of getting any except 
in South America. If they were willing to trust him 
for a small amount say <50 worth they might ship 
it at once to him at Rio, and he would be very grateful. 
The voyage to Brazil was uneventful. Kellar and 
his party landed at Para, and played without printing, 
getting money enough to proceed to Rio. At the capi- 
tal he found over .200 worth of printing, which had 
been sent him by Messrs. McClure & McDonald, and 
this confidence of theirs cheered him mightily. He 
engaged the large Imperial Theatre, and found that his 
money had again given out. Expenses were very 
heavy at Rio. He went to the Emperor to get his 
patronage, for everything depended on the success of 
the opening night, June 10, 1879. Dom Pedro was 
very gracious, but he said he had an engagement at 
Petropolis for that date, and asked Kellar to defer 



138 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

his opening until the 12th. Delay meant ruin to my 
master, for he had the theater engaged, and the rent 
must be paid. He said to the Emperor, however, if 
he would come on the second night it would do. Dom 
Pedro II, with that liberality and tenderness which 
has always characterized his relations with reputable 
artists of every class, waved his hand deprecatingly, 
and said in tones that sounded to Kellar like the 
voice of an angel, "Ze engagement in Petropolis is not 
an important one. I shall be zere on ze Tuesday/' 
He came with the Empress and occupied the imperial 
box, and after the entertainment sent the Magician a 
present of 500 milreis. He visited the theatre four 
times during Kellar's stay at Rio, and appeared to 
be very much delighted with the performance. My 
master's success was enormous. Col. Tisdell was paid 
the money he had so generously advanced. The same 
steamer that brought the printing from the London 
firm carried back Kellar's draft for the amount. 
He had once more touched Fortune's fingers and gold 
was pouring into his coffers. His old love for Rio 
revived with double fervor. He adored the place. To 
him it appeared to be the loveliest spot on earth. And 
well he might admire it, for the natural features of the 
place are of a high order. The city of Rio Janeiro is 
chiefly built on a narrow, undulating plain, extending 
for six miles along- the bay, and several rocky hummocks, 
which rise from the low ground, give the city a pictur- 
esque appearance. The harbor is one of the best in 
the world. It is an irregular basin penetrating inland 
fifteen miles, and varying in width from two to nine 
miles. The entrance is only 1700 yards wide, and is 
betw.een two steep hills, the eastern about 1000 feet 
and the western 1270 feet in height. The latter is a 
conical, isolated mass of gneiss, called Pao de Assucar 
(sugar loaf). At its base is a fort, and on the opposite 
side another, forming the salient points of a system of 
fortifications designed to be impregnable. Just within 



140 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

and nearly midway of the entrance is an isolated rock 
also strongly fortified. The basin soon widens, and the 
shores winding in deep curves form beautiful ba^s and 
coves. Many islands are scattered over its surface, the 
largest of which are cultivated, and many of them are 
fortified. Numerous streams empty into the basin, 
adding much to the charm of the scenery. 

From Rio Kellar proceeded to Montevideo and 
Buenos Ayres, at each place doing a big business. He 
afterward made a successful tour through the provin- 
cial towns of Brazil, and then, "with pockets full of 
money," returned to England. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

BEFORE HER MAJESTY. 

It was early in November, 1879, that he landed on 
the u Little Isle," and on the 8th of that month he 
opened at the Winter Gardens in Southport. His 
success was instantaneous. The Southport Critic said 
of him : " Mr Kellar's illusions are simply wonderful, 
and no modern enchanter has created more surprises 
where it is difficult to create surprises at all." After 
a very successful season of one week at Southport, my 
master went to Edinburgh, where he opened at 
Waverley Hall. At this time he added three automata 
to his collection Echo, a wonderful cornet player ; 
Phono, a performer on another musical instrument ; 
and Clio, a sketch artist of such skill as to quickly 
make a crayon portrait of any person indicated by the 
audience. These, with Psycho, made perhaps the 
most marvelous collection of the kind in the possession 
of any one entertainer. The canny Scotchmen found 
much to admire and wonder at in the entertainments 
at Waverley Hall. The Daily Review declared the 



BEFORE HER MAJESTY. 141 

performance to be. " one of the most excellent ever 
provided for tin Edinburgh audience." The Scotsman^ 
the Cpurant) and the Evening News were also very 
complimentary in their notices. My master remained 
in Edinburgh for thirteen weeks, doing a good busi- 
ness and winning the favor of many of the most 
prominent people of the city. He had visits from the 
Duke of Buccleuch and his son, the Earl of Dalkeith, 
whom he had met at Bombay ; from Prof. Blackie, Sir 
Noel Payton, Sir Daniel McNee, and other distin- 
guished personages. After his Edinburgh season the 
Magician visited most of the cities and large towns of 
the United Kingdoms, meeting with a cordial reception 
everywhere. In March of 1880, he made a short 
engagement with Miss Haidee Heller (sister of 
the late Robert Heller), to give her famous second 
sight experiments at his entertainments, with the 
assistance of Mr. Warren Wright, and the new feature 
added, if possible, to the popularity of the perfor- 
mances. 

On the 29th of April, 1880, Kellar was com- 
manded to appear before the Queen, at Balmoral 
Castle, and Her Majesty seemed to be very much 
pleased with the entertainment. 

During most of the remainder of the year 1880, my 
master traveled in England and Scotland, being well 
patronized by the people, and very favorably spoken 
of by the press. At Brighton he played for a week 
under the patronage of the Mayor, Henry Davey, Esq., 
J.P., and everywhere he enjoyed the support of the 
best people. There was no feature on the programme 
which was not favorably commented on, but the 
cabinet manifestations and the automata were, per- 
haps, most marvelous to the average audience. The 
following extract from the Sussex Post of October 12, 
1880, very fairly represents the usual comments of the 
press on that subject : 



142 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

"In the second portion of the entertainment, the 
audience is introduced to three of the most marvelous 
automata we have ever seen. They are Clio, the whist 
playing and calculating gentleman ; Phono, the juvenile 
cornet player ; and Arno, the sketching automaton, a 
dwarf figure mounted on a pedestal composed of a glass 
cylinder, which, not only in response to the command of 
Kellar, moved its hand and head in any direction, but 
solved the most intricate of mathematical problems pro- 
posed by members of the audience. A gentleman near us 
asked for the cube of 7,649, and, as rapidly as the cards 
containing the numerals could be lifted, the answer was 
given, namely, 447,521,580,449. Several equally great 
problems were solved. This automaton, whatever the 
intelligent cause, is certainly a marvel of mechanical skill, 
the nearest rival to it being the wonderful chess playing 
automaton, ' Mephistopheles,' which created such a sensa- 
tion in Brighton last season. The cornet player is almost 
AS wonderful. The figure of a small boy sits on a chair 
and performs in an expressive manner various popular airs 
to the pianoforte accompaniment. We have heard the 
'Carnival de Venice,' with variations, performed less 
effectively by amateurs of repute, than it was by Phono 
last evening The sketching automaton is also a source of 
much amusement. It last evening produced an excellent 
portrait of Sir Walter Scott, and, judging from samples of 
its artistic skill, which we have seen, its dexterity in that 
direction is equal to that of either of its confreres in the 
other departments. The entertainment is brought to a 
close by some clever spirit manifestations, Kellar being the 
medium. Altogether the entertainment is a delightful 
one, and one that cannot fail to please all who witness it." 

When in that neighborhood my master received an 
invitation from the Mayor of Cambridge to play in 
Guild Hall before the college boys. He found the 
youngsters to be a wild and hilarious set, who did their 
best to make it very lively for the Magician. Their 
interruptions were mainly confined to words, however, 
and Kellar answered their sallies after their own 
kind. Everybody was in the best of humor, and at 



BEFORE HER MAJESTY. 



143 



the conclusion of the entertainment the boys took 
Kellar on their shoulders and carried him to a banquet- 
ing hall, where a nice supper was served. He was 
requested to give a second performance, but declined, 
as one such experience was enough. 

Early in December, 1880, my master embarked at 
London for Gibraltar, where he played in the Garrison 




A ZULU KRAAL. 

Theatre. Thence he proceeded to Malta, performing 
in the Theatre del Opera, and to Alexandria and 
Cairo, doing a very good business at each place. Re- 
turning to Spain, he appeared at Lisbon, and then 
proceeded to Funchal, in Madeira. In the latter place 
he stayed for two weeks, meeting with success, 
and then took a steamer for the Cape of Good Hope, 
landing at Cape Town on New Year's da} r , 1881. 

The season was not a propitious one for entertain- 
ments of any kind. The Boer war had just broken out, 



144 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

and the Basuto war was in progress. Nearly every 
family had sons or relatives at the front, and the 
excitement was very great. Despite these drawbacks, 
Kellar was welcomed with much cordiality on his 
return to South Africa, and the automata, which were 
the most novel part of the entertainment, excited 
much wonder and favorable comment. After a very 
successful season in Cape Town, Kellar proceeded 
to Port Elizabeth and Graaff Reinet. At the last- 
named place, he played for one night in the Stadt-Huis ; 
but so great was the prejudice excited among the 
worthy burghers by the diablerie of the performance, 
that they refused the use of the Huis for another exhi- 
bition. They declared that they would not encourage 
a man who had dealings with the devil. 

At Grahamstown my master did a splendid business 
in Albany Hall. His next objective point was King 
Williamstown, to reach which he was forced to take a 
long journey by coach. On the way he crossed the 
Fish River, near which point they encountered a large 
number of lion-killing apes, an extremely fierce, strong 
and aggressive member of the monkey family. At 
a distance these huge apes have a strong resemblance 
to lions, their heavy manes contributing to the illusion. 
They filed across the road in front of the teams, and 
then for a time sat on their haunches by the side of the 
way, barking. The drivers of the teams frequently 
stopped until the apes moved on. A suggestion was 
made that a shot be fired among them, but those who 
were acquainted with the habits of the animal, declared 
that to anger them would be to bring the whole mob 
upon the train, and would probably result in the death 
of every living creature about it. The apes were 
allowed to depart in peace. 

From King Williamstown my master went to East 
London and Panmuir, and then to Queenstown by rail. 
At the last-named place, he played to good audiences 
for three nights, and then started on a twenty-five 



BEFORE HEE MAJESTY. 145 

days' journey by bullock wagon to Kimberley, in the 
heart of the Diamond District. If anything will try a 
man's temper it is to ride for a month in a wagon of 
any kind ; but when that wagon is without springs 
and is dragged by eighteen bullocks, the man's anat- 
omy, as well as his temper, is likely to reach a state of 
collapse. 

After leaving Queenstown, the scenery became 
parklike, and even in a driving rain one could not help 
expressing admiration of it. When about twenty-five 
miles from Queenstown the party crossed the Bush- 
man's Hook, a very steep hill up which the road winds 
at an angle of about forty-five degrees. It was a very 
toilsome ascent, and it required the combined efforts 
of three trains (fifty-four oxen) to pull their wagon to 
the top. The caravan consisted of eight wagons, each 
of which had a team of eighteen bullocks. The first 
contained Mr. Kellars paraphernalia, and the others 
were laden with merchandise for Kimberley. It is 
usual when one wagon gets stuck, for the other teams 
to come to its assistance, and it is a case of " help one 
another " at eaeli bad spot of road or hill. Once on 
top of the " Hook" the travelers found a wide expanse 
of country with ever changing scenery. From the top 
of the hill to Molieno, the road runs through a rolling 
country, with here and there a clump of trees. It was 
then the rainy season and they found the roads very 
bad. At times the wagons would sink below the 
hubs in mud. Then there would be a hitching-on of 
all the oxen to one wagon, and the drivers would yell 
like demons at the poor brutes, shouting " Treck, 
Treck !" to urge them on. From Bourgersdorp to 
Bethulie Mission Station is about eighty miles, the 
latter half of the distance being through a very beauti- 
ful country, which descends into the Orange Valley. 
The road wound around Kloofs and under the sides of 
hills, until at last it was a relief to get to the bottom 
and see the Orange River rolling over its rocky bed. 
10 



146 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

This river is a noble stream^ but before the bridge was 
built at Bethulie it was a great bar to commerce and 
communication. Now, however, it is spanned by a 
splendid bridge nearly one-quarter of a rnile long. 

The Orange River divides the Cape Colony from the 
Orange Free State. Every wagon entering the Free 
State was then taxed 2, equal to $10 U. S. money. This 
tax was apparently imposed for the purpose of keeping 
the roads in as bad a condition as possible. From Be- 
thulie the travelers passed through a grand country, 
well wooded, well watered, and very fertile. Al 
though cattle and sheep were plentifully scattered all 
over the face of the landscape, and notwithstanding 
there were innumerable well cultivated farms, they 
could not purchase one mouthful of food from the 
Boers, and had it not been for the fact that they had 
laid in a large stock of canned provisions at Queens- 
town, they must have fared badly. Kellar learned 
that English tramps, at the first rush for the diamond 
fields, overrun the country, and were treated with 
uniform kindness by the Dutch settlers, but that their 
hospitality had been abused in the most shameful man- 
ner. Often, when a Boer would give food and shelter 
to one of these tramps, he would find in the morning 
that his house had been robbed by the ingrate. They 
were excusable, therefore, for their hatred of all who 
speak the English language. 

While in this vicinity Mr. Kellar and his party be- 
came very desirous to get some fresh meat. The 
reader may think they could have spared an ox or two 
from the nine pairs hitched to each wagon, because the 
reader didn't see them. As it was, the wagons often 
pulled the teams. Besides, it was a mutton day with 
my master, and so, in accordance with a custom of the 
country, he seized a sheep and had it killed, and de- 
posited on the gate-post of the Boer's house thirty 
shillings in payment for the creature. The enraged 
Dutchman didn't see the money a person rarely does 



BEFORE HER MAJESTY. 147 

when a Magician handles it and he raised such a 
crowd of his friends that Kellar was seized and 
bound with a rope. The Magician astonished the 
Boers by doing not the great Sampson act, but the 
great Kellar act. He untied the rope in a twinkling 
and threw it in his captors' faces. 

It takes a great deal to astonish a Boer, but these 
farmers were nearly paralyzed. They didn't let the 
trickster go, however; they simply surrounded him at 
a respectful distance, and took him to their head man, 
a long-bearded, hard-headed, incredulous old burgher 
who believed nothing he didn't see and only half he 
did see. He scouted, in jerky Dutch, the wonderful 
story that was told, and called for the rope. There 
was a twinkle in my master's eye when Mynheer began 
to tie him, but he said nothing until the Boer had 
finished his work and with a grunt of satisfaction 
tucked the last end of the rope out of sight. The grin 
of assurance was still on the Dutchman's face when 
Kellar suddenly flung the rope, like a great coiling 
serpent, on to the roof of the man's house. The Boer's 
jaw dropped, his smile gave place to a look of super- 
stitious terror. He shouted, as all fled from the 
Magician, that the devil was among them; that his 
house would be haunted ; that bad luck would follow 
them. Kellar could only reassure them by climb- 
ing up and getting the rope. There was no lack of 
free mutton after that.* 

*During the spring of 1883, while Mr Kellar was filling a very 
successful engagement at the Arch Street Opera House in Phila- 
delphia, the substance of this Boer incident was published in the 
Philadelphia Record. On the succeeding day Mr. Kellar received the 
following letter : 

" PHILADELPHIA, March 28, 1886. 
MR. KELLAR 

DEAR SIR : I read in to-day's Record your experience with the 
Boers in South Africa. There are a great many people who would 
only consider that as an advertisement and not place any trust in it, 
but I may say that I can verify your statement, as I have parsonal 
knowledge of the fact. I was in Jagersfontein, Orange Free State, at 



148 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 



CHAPTER XX. 

KIMBERLEY DIAMOND FIELDS. 

Fauresmith had risen to some importance, owing to 
the development of the Jagersfontein diamond mines. 
The surroundings of the town were very beautiful, 
and there were many charming walks and drives. 
From Jagersfontein to Kimberley the road ran through 
a flat plain and crossed the Riet and Modder rivers, 
both of which streams the travelers were obliged to 
ford, as there were no bridges then (1881) at Jagers- 
fontein. 

Kellar went in advance of the bullock train, 
taking only one wagon and eighteen young bull- 
ocks. He was warned that he would not be able to 
get through, but that he would surely get stuck on the 
roads. As my master was very anxious to reach Kim- 
berley at an early day, he determined to push on and 
take the risk. At the Riet River he found the water 
low, but a bad bank on the opposite side stopped fur- 
ther progress. At this point he was overtaken by a 
Dutch wagon train, also bound for Kimberley, and, after 

the time, and jailer of the Jagersfontein prison. Your fame is well 
known throughout the Cape, and this feat, which you describe so 
well, near Bethulie, will be handed down among those ignorant 
Boers for generations. I went to Port Elizabeth in the early part of 
'79, and returned home in the fall of '82. Your traveling experience 
in bullock-wagons brings back old recollections. I trust you will 
be as successful here as at the Cape. 

Respectfully, 

GEO. D. JOHNSON, I.D.B. 

No. 1512 South Thirteenth Street." 

The I.D.B. following Mr. Johnson's name stands for "Inde- 
pendent Diamond Broker," and indicates that once upon a time he 
traded in diamonds at Kimberley without saying ' ' by your leave " 
to the Government. 



KIMBERLEY DIAMOND FIELDS. 149 

much bickering, the leader, a gray-headed old sinner, 
agreed to help Kellar across on payment of 7 
($35), which exorbitant sum he paid with the best 
grace his ruffled mind would permit. He continued in 
the wake of the Dutch wagons until they reached the 
Modder River, where they all arrived late at night, too 
late to cross, as the river was very dangerous and the 
night as dark as Egypt. So they all encamped on the 
bank of the river. My master, however, remembering 
his experience at the Riet River, determined not to be 
caught again in a similar manner. He lay awake 
all night, and very early in the morning of the follow- 
ing day, gave orders to yoke in and start across the 
river. The current was very swift, and the water just 
touched the bottom of the wagon. After entering the 
river he pulled up stream about two hundred yards be- 
fore he crossed to the opposite bank. He found this 
bank a little less than perpendicular, and full of ruts 
and soft mud, and there was only room for one wagon 
to go over at a time. Kellar pushed on and blocked 
the way with his wagon, and of course stuck 
fast. When the Dutchmen awoke they saw the state 
of affairs, and sent to know what lie would pay them 
to help pull him up. The Magician, knowing that they 
could not pass him without first taking him up. the 
hill, told them he was in no hurry, but could wait for 
his own train. However, if they chose to pull him out 
in order to be able to pass themselves, they were wel- 
come to do so. After a grea'j many kfc Verdamte Eng- 
landers" and other curses, they pulled my master's 
wagon up the hill, and he went on his way rejoicing. 
From this point we had no further trouble until we 
reached the Kimberley Diamond Fields, one of the 
wonders of the world. Kimberley differed from any 
other place Kellar had ever visited. All of the 
houses were of galvanized iron. The streets were 
malodorous receptacles of empty sardine tins, broken 
bottles, dead dogs and cats and refuse generally. Ev- 



150 A MAGICIAN'S TOTTE. 

erybody was busy and on the rush. All seemed to be 
diamond-mad, and at night they spent their time 
drinking bad whiskey, fighting, and in other amuse- 
ments. The Kimberley mine is a deep basin that was 
once the crater of a volcano. More than five thousand 
men were employed in the pit. The hundreds of wire 
ropes running down from all sides to bring up the 
" blue," gave it the appearance of a huge spider's web. 
The walls around the sides of the mine are clearly de- 
fined by a rocky reef, while the center of the crater is 
filled with bluish clay, in which the diamonds are im- 
bedded. This clay in the mine is hard as rock, and 
must be drilled and blasted. It is then put into 
buckets and hauled to the surface, where it is carted 
away to the tables (fiat fields) and left to the ac- 
tion of the elements for about three months. This 
causes it to crumble, and it is then ready for the 
"wash-up," where it goes through a process of wash- 
ing. The mud is carried away by the water, the gravel 
and stones being passed over a series of sieves. The 
very large stones are thrown on one side, while the 
smaller ones are carried on to a large sorting table, and 
the manager with a scraper carefully sorts this residue, 
picking out the precious stones. The smallest gems 
are instantly detected, and nothing escapes his eagle 
eye. In dry weather the streets of Kimberley are one 
mass of floury dust, that enters every crevice ; and on 
rainy days the streets present the appearance of rivers 
of blue mud. When the rains are severe and long 
continued, the mines fill with water, and appear like 
immense reservoirs. Powerful steam pumps then work 
for weeks to remove the water, so that the mines can 
be worked again. Besides the water plague, there is 
an occasional caving in of the reef, which entails 
months of hard work for hundreds of men to clear away 
before operations can be resumed. 




SCENES IN THE STREETS OF HEOGO, JAPAN. 
lgl See page 190 



152 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 



CHAPTER XXL 



SUBSTITUTE FOB JAILS. 

At Kimberley the Magician's success was enormous, 
the golden harvest well repaying him for the hardships 
he had undergone. For six weeks the Theatre Royal 
was regularly crowded with delighted audiences. At 
Kimberley Mr. Hodgkins, who had continued with my 
master since the sickness of Ling Look at Hong Kong-, 
left the company to become secretary of the Royal 
Stock Exchange. When last heard of by my master, Mr. 
Hodgkins was still at Kimberley and doing well. In 
addition to his prominence in civil life, he had become 
a major in the British Cape Army. A benefit perform- 
ance in aid of the Carnarvon Hospital, which my 
master gave at Kimberley, netted nearly $ 500. 

From Kimberley we went by bullock wagons 
through the Orange Free 'State to Bossof, to Bloem- 
fontein, to Harry-Smith and New-Castle. At the last- 
named place we met Aylward, formerly of the Natal 
Witness, whose articles against the English were so 
scathing that he was forced to take refuge with the 
Boers. In 1886 my master again met Aylward in New 
York, a veritable soldier of fortune. He had had a 
wonderful career, and had been mixed up in a great 
many schemes against England, having been a Fenian 
and what not. Aylward has considerable ability as a 
writer, and his book on " The Transvaal " is exceed- 
ingly interesting. 

From New-Castle we traveled on to Pietermaritz- 
burg, where we became acquainted with Hon. Freder- 
ick Conde Williams, then Chief Justice of Natal, and 
one of those broad-minded, whole-souled men, who 



SUBSTITUTE FOR JAILS. 153 

make the world better for having lived in it. Justice 
Williams was at one time Chief Justice of Kingston, 
Jamaica, and now (1886) is a Judge of the Supreme 
Court of Mauritius. He has novel opinions on the 
question of punishment for crime, and my master 
became very much interested in his views. In the 
Pall Mall Gazette of February 5, 1886, Justice Will- 
iams published the following paper, which summarized 
his conclusions on this subject: 

A SUBSTITUTE FOE JAILS. 

Some experience as a practicing barrister on circuit and 
in London, and more as one of her Majesty's judges in 
various colonies, have commended to the writer the follow- 
ing conclusions and suggestions upon the subject of crime 
and punishment. They are epitomized as much as possi- 
ble, in the earnest hope that they may not prove wearisome 
to the reader and to the thinker, but rather that this "seed 
sown by the wayside " may bear some goou fruit ; if not in 
the acceptance of the principle of the one chief change 
which is advocated, at least in increased consideration 
attracted to a subject very highly important to humanity. 

Offenses against public order may be regarded as one of 
two classes minor offenses, or contraventions ; and serious 
offenses, or crimes. This article concerns chiefly the latter 
class. Punishment for crime may be considered to possess 
a threefold object first, correctional, as applied to its sub- 
ject ; secondly, deterrent, in the case of its subject and of 
the public ; thirdly, remedial, in the case of its subject. 
Our present punitive system fulfills, of course, in a certain 
measure, the first or corrective function although not, 
perhaps, in so effective a form as the systems of the past, 
which certainly afforded far less costly methocs of corrective 
punishment than ours. Our present punitive system, in its 
purely correctional aspect, may be more theoretically hu- 
mane than its predecessors ; but is it essentially advisable, 
in the interests of humanity, that the correction which the 
naughty bov receives in a flagellation at the paternal hand, 
should in fne case of the naughty man be represented by 
long terms of hard labor and penal servitude, undergone at 
considerable expense to the public ? If the criminal him- 



154 A MAGICIAN'S TOUK. 

self were consulted, he might possibly, as an alternative, 
desire a return to earlier and simpler methods. It is con- 
ceivable that many "jail birds" of to-day might well pre- 
fer a few hours per diern for a short season in the pillory, 
or a flogging at a cart's tail, or the loss of an ear, or even a 
turn or two on the rack, to imprisonment with the hard 
labor of shot-drill or treadmill, extending to months or 
even years. But in whatever respect our present punitive 
system fulfils the first or merely corrective function of pun- 
ishment for crime, it but very partially fulfills the second or 
deterrent function in its influence on the criminal or on 
the public ; and fulfills its third function, in its remedial 
effect on the subject punished, scarcely, it is to be feared, 
at all. 

Experience has failed to prove that severe punishments 
have, in their bearing upon crime, a deterrent influence 
proportioned to their severity. When death was the pen- 
alty of theft beyond the value of a shilling or so, there 
were probably quite as many thefts in proportion to the 
population, and in consideration of the circumstances of 
the time, as there, are now. And that brutal punishments 
tend to the brutalization of their subjects and of the pub- 
lic is an accepted theory of the day, and a theory with 
which the writer is little inclined to quarrel. As regards 
the subjects of crime, our present punitive system, so far 
from operating as a deterrent and a remedial influence, 
acts, on the contrary, to state the matter without mincing 
it, as a powerful incentive to the production and the main- 
tenance of a criminal class. For one person whose punish- 
ment points him to better courses, or effectually warns him 
from evil ones, there are a dozen at least to whom the jail, 
with its companionships and associations, and with its after 
legacy of degradation and haunting police supervision, is 
the very nurserv of a prolonged and professional career of 
crime. It is this last and gravest consideration which, as 
We cannot return to brutal punishments as an alternative 
to imprisonment, prompts the suggestion to abolish jails 
and convict establishments altogether as an element in the 
punishment of crime, except in the case of those who have 
proved beyond human doubt that they can never again be 
trusted with liberty. The confirmed and habitual criminal 



SUBSTITUTE FOR JAILS. 155 

of our present system may never have had, as a known and 
marked " jail bird, " a fair and free chance of recovering 
himself, and becoming" a useful member of society. Given 
him that fair and free chance, and given it over and over 
again to no purpose, let him, as a wholly useless and abso- 
lutely dangerous criminal wastethrift, be deprived alto- 
gether either of freedom or of life. The death penalty, 
under such a system, might be either entirely abolished or 
entirely extended to meet the case of the habitual criminal. 
But for the convict who is not an habitual criminal, what 
should be his punishment? If jails and penal settlements 
have fined the honest citizen without adequately correct- 
ing, or deterring, or reforming the dishonest and the bad, 
what measure of penalty shall be meted out, supposing our 
suggestion to be adopted, to the occasional perpetrator of 
crime? Let us try a moral penalty. Let us have recourse 
to a means whereby every conviction shall be recognized 
by its subject as a certain and irrevocable step towards the 
total surrender of life or liberty, if he persists in evil 
courses, while it leaves him with equal consciousness that it 
is in his own power before that consummation is reached at 
any moment to turn to a wholesome life, and in that event 
to bury his past from human ken. Like the first murderer, 
whose sentence was determined by Almighty wisdom, he 
should have a "mark set upon" him as the consequence 
even of his first crime; but, unlike Cain, his "mark" should 
not be such as to be seen and known of all men. Let 
means be devised whereby the criminal shall carry about 
with him such definite and indelible marks of past convic- 
tion as shall not, on the one hand, be generally apparent; 
but, on the other hand, shall be always readily ascertain- 
able upon a fresh conviction for crime. In the multiply- 
ing of these indelible marks, the ostensible punishment 
for each offense should consist; and when such marks are 
found, upon the infliction of a subsequent punishment, to 
have reached a certain number, the criminal's term of 
liberty for the remainder of his natural life, or his term of 
existence itself, should, ipso facto, expire. In the meantime, 
the penalty of the contravention might be applied to the 
criminal, upon each conviction, as a correctional influence, 
according as his judge might think it advisable. 



156 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

The simplest and most effectual method of keeping the 
record of marks would consist in marking the subject liter- 
ally. A system of individual registration of each criminal 
and of each offense would be exceedingly troublesome and 
costly, and would, besides, involve many difficulties as to 
identification, rendering its operation uncertain. A livset 
system, compelling every criminal to carry about a record 
of his convictions, would put a premium on forgery, fraud, 
and all sorts of 'dodges' to secure a clean bill of health, or 
to destroy or alter an unclean one. The effectual marking 
must be a marking indeed, and no independent record of 
it would be necessary or even perhaps advisable. The pain 
of a needle's prick for each indelible puncture is all that 
need be involved; a thousand such trifling pangs are volun- 
tarily endured in the ordinary process of tattooing. There 
is, of course, a ludicrous side to the entire suggestion; but 
the writer pleads that it may not be dismissed with nothing 
more than a laugh. The marks should naturally be made 
on a concealed portion of the body. The law should pro- 
vide safeguards for secrecy upon the part of those who 
make them or see them, until they arrive at the maximum 
which deprives their bearer of liberty or life. A register 
must be kept of those who have proved that any kindred 
marks which they bear are natural, or have been made ac- 
cidentally or out of malice. For the rest, the marks them- 
selves, without further confirmation or corroboration, should 
afford prima facie evidence of former convictions fot 
crime. Suppose that twelve of such tattoo marks are held 
sufficient to forfeit a man's life or liberty, unless he can 
show to the satisfaction of authority that they have not 
been inflicted upon him in the way of legal punishment. 
Conviction of a first crime, possessing no features of extraor- 
dinary aggravation, would entail upon him a first tattoo 
mark with the punishment of a contravention added or not 
added, according to the judge's discretion, and a succession 
of similar convictions should add one mark each to the 
record. Or if a cumulative system of marking wore 
adopted (and there maybe something to say for cumulative 
marking, when marking only is the chief and permanent 
penalty exacted for each offense), the second conviction 
might be visited with two marks, and the third with three, 




157 



LADIES OF CEYLON. 



See page 196 



158 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

while a fifth conviction, carrying the total number of marks 
beyond the maximum of twelve, would involve the life pen- 
alty. Where the crime itself presented features of extraor- 
dinary aggravation, its punishment might be the addition 
of two or more marks to the living record, instead of one; 
and these gradations of guilt in crime, along with the 
number of marks to be awarded them, should be strictly 
defined by law, either with or without the proviso that no 
first offense shall be visited with the maximum marks in- 
volving the immediate life penalty to a first offender. To 
the solitary act of crime, however atrocious, surely one 
place of penitence might be accorded. 

" Such, in brief, is the suggestion which it is the object of 
this paper to bring forward; and the writer claims for it 
the following among other merits: That it would rescue 
first offenders from the fearful, lifelong consequences which 
now too often attend a single false step into crime. That it 
would afford a free and unfettered locus penitentice to every 
criminal, so long as a locus penitentice is likely to be of any 
good service. That, while stamping out in the long run the 
habitual criminal, it would rescue every criminal from be- 
ing confirmed in his criminality by force of compulsory asso- 
ciation and police persecution. That it would be eminently 
economical to the public purse, involving the abolition of our 
convict establishments and jails, and possibly a reduction 
in our police force, which expends its energies largely on 
watching and tracking old offenders. And, last but not 
least, that it would put an end to the ridiculous and scan- 
dalous anomalies which every day's experience shows to 
attend the apportionment of punishment to crime in the 
criminal courts of our country and of her colonies anoma- 
lies to which enlightened judges like the present Lord 
Chief Justice of England have taken occasion from time to 
time to allude. 'On Saturday,' says the late issue of a 
Birmingham newspaper, * for the second time during the 
Warwick assizes, the Lord Chief Justice commented upon 
disproportionate sentences. It transpired that a prisoner 
named Christopher Owen, charged with stealing two fowls, 
had already undergone eighteen months' imprisonment for 
a similar offense, whereupon his lordship said: " I cannot 
impose such a sentence as that. What should I do if a 



SUBSTITUTE FOR JAILS. 159 

prisoner came before me for committing some outrageous 
crime, if eighteen months is not too much for stealing two 
fowls?" His lordship then proceeded to pass a sentence of 
of six weeks' imprisonment with hard labor.' Unfortu- 
nately for the sacred cause of mercy combined with justice, 
few judges hold kindred views." 

Justice Williams was very much interested in 
Kellar, and. found much to amuse, instruct and mystify 
him in his performances. As their intimacy grew, 
and he became familiar with some of the Magician's 
experiences, he urged upon my master the advisa- 
bility of writing a book, in which the story of his 
various tours of the world should be told, and to 
that inspiration the present volume owes its existence. 

Kellar's next stop was at Durban, and here he 
was delightfully received. The following extract from 
the Natal Mercury, of June 21, 1881, gives a fair idea 
of the tone of the press criticism throughout South 
America : 

Who is Kellar? He is one of the cleverest public enter- 
tainers who ever visited Durban, or anywhere else. He is 
one of the most wonderful platform magicians we have ever 
seen, and our memory goes back to the palmy days of the 
great Wizard of the North. We were very glad that he 
had such a good house to welcome him on Saturday night, 
at the Trafalgar, and have little fear that, as the fame of 
his wondrous performances spreads through the town, he 
will have overflowing audiences. There is a finish and 
grace about Mr. Kellar's entertainments that takes us back 
to some of those well ordered scenes at home, say at the 
Egyptian Hall, Piccadilly. Indeed there semblance to the 
exhibition of Maskelyne and Cooke at the Egyptian- Hall, 
London, is quite striking, as we have at Mr. Kellar's in per- 
fection all the astounding, automata, which Maskelyne has 
made himself famous with. There is nothing in Mr. Kel- 
lar's performance to offend the most delicate rnind, and yet 
there is enough in it to puzzle and baffle the wisest and 
shrewdest Durbanites and we have a few wise and shrewd 
ones amongst us. Kellar is a most excellent master of the 



160 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

black art, a perfect Prince of Darkness, if he will permit 
us to so libel him; and yet he works his spells with such 
ease and nonchalance, that we sit still, quite content to be 
so deliciously humbugged. He is a sorcerer of the first 
water, a most gentlemanly necromancer; and, although 
Dante would have condemned him to eternal punishment, as 
he does all magicians indiscriminately, we hope he will live 
long to dazzle his patrons with his wonders. Is that enough 
about him? It is surely high enough praise, and unless 
we look up the dictionary, we cannot find any better to say 
of Kellar. As to describe his performance, that is not 
possible. W^e are still so overwrought with the spell he 
worked on us, that all the dear delusions of the night have 
become mixed up in one pleasant phantasmagoria. We 
shall try to collect our thoughts before we write about him 
again, and meanwhile we cordially recommend any in Dur- 
ban, or out of it, who want to pass as pleasant a couple 
of hours as they could wish, to go and see Kellar; he is at 
the Trafalgar every night this week. 



CHAPTER XXII. 

CHINESE GORDON. 

From Durban Kellar went to Port Louis, Mau- 
ritius, on the steamer Lapland. He found the Victo- 
ria Loftus troupe occupying the theater, but they left 
on the steamer that brought the Magician to Port Louis, 
thus leaving him a free field. His reception amounted 
to an ovation. The place was packed nightly. Special 
trains were run from Curepipe, and other points, and 
the popular enthusiasm was unbounded. The Govern- 
ment gave the theater and* gas free, and Kellar 
gave a benefit performance for the poor of the city, 
which netted upwards of 1,000 rupees. It was on the 
12th of August that Mr. Kellar opened at Port Louis, 
and it was on the evening of the 5th of September that 



CHINESE GORDON. 161 

he made his last appearance. Following is the account 
of Kellar's last appearance, as given in the Senti- 
nel of Mauritius, of September 6, 1881 : 

MR. KELLAR'S LAST PERFORMANCE. 

Last night Mr. Kellar appeared at the theater once 
more, in a benevolent character. The last performance but 
two, which has been given on his own account, was for the 
benefit of the poor of Port Louis, and last night he lent his 
services to a brother artist. If he has been able to be so 
generous during the very short stay he has been amongst 
us, the credit of his acts must be equally divided between 
himself and that public which has so highly appreciated his 
talents as & prestidigitateiir, and so liberally extended to 
him their patronage. On every occasion of his appearance 
ho has drawn good houses, and when the theater has not 
been actually crowded, there has been always some coun- 
ter-attraction in the shape of a ball, or some other public 
gathering. It can, therefore, be truly said of Mr. Kellar, 
that he has been one of the most successful artists that has 
visited this island for several years past. And it will be 
admitted that he fully deserves all he has achieved. His 
various feats of prestidigitation are simply marvelous to all 
but the initiated, and they are performed with an amount 
of ease and dexterity that imparts to them an appearance of 
reality. That they can be enjoyed more than once has 
been proved by the appearance, night after night, of the 
same persons not merely of men desirous of passing away 
their time, but of whole families who can not attend public 
assemblies without incurring some expense, and sacrificing 
their personal convenience. 

Passing from conjuring to the second part of the per- 
formance, the audience is puzzled to understand the mar- 
velous calculating powers of Psycho. No intelligent per- 
son believes that those powers are inherent in a mere auto- 
maton. We can understand the possibility of the me- 
chanical construction of a figure capable of reading a 
series of numbers, and solving the most difficult arithmet- 
ical problems. But, in order to do that, these must have 
been calculated beforehand, and the figure could only 
answer them, and none other, whilst their number must be 
11 



of necessity restricted within certain limits. Whereas, 
with regard to Psycho, any member of the audience may 
propound any problem he or she pleases, either in square 
or cube root r the answer to which may be a whole number 
or in decimals. Such being the case, it is evident that the 
human intelligence which controls the movements of the 
figure has to make calculations and combinations of figures 
in the time necessary to write down the results, which 
leave the spectators bewildered as to the way in which 
they are obtained. Echo, the cornet player, and Clio, the 
sketching figure, have each attracted a great share of atten- 
tion. 

The dark seance has puzzled the public as much as any 
other part of the performance. Mr. Kellar is tied fast by 
the hands to a chair, in which he takes his seat inside the 
cabinet. Any member of the audience is at liberty to tie 
Mr. Kellar, and, as a matter of fact, there is always a com- 
mittee to represent the audience. In ten seconds he is 
untied, and performs many marvelous feats, and when the 
door is opened he is found tied as before. It would be 
tedious, however, to recapitulate all the different features 
which rendered the whole performance a very attractive 
one. It is enough to say that no one has left the theater 
disappointed ; on the contrary, the majority of those who 
went have repeated their visit more than once. 

Should this paper precede Mr. Kellar to any of the 
countries he may happen to visit, all we have to say is 
** Go and see him." 

If the people of Port Louis were delighted with 
Kellar, he was charmed with them and their 
beautiful island. From its mountainous character 
Mauritius is most picturesque, and its scenery is 
exquisitely varied. There are three principal masses 
of mountains. The most important is the Ponce 
range, which consists of one principal ridge with 
several lateral spurs. Overlooking Port Louis are the 
singular peaks of the Ponce (2650 feet), so called from 
its supposed resemblance to the human thumb, and 
the still loftier Pieter Botte, a tall obelisk of bare rock 




163 



AN ELEPHANT HUNTCEYLON. 



See page 196 



164 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR 

crowned with a globular mass of stone. The 
favorite place of residence is Curepipe, situated 
about 1800 feet above the sea. The climate there 
resembles that of the South of France. Extensive 
sugar plantations, and the vegetation of both the torrid 
and temperate zones, give a peculiar charm to the 
landscape. Although now under English rule, Mauri- 
tius has largely retained its old French laws and 
customs, and the island is still markedly French in 
language, habits and predilections. 

At Port Louis Kellar became acquainted with 
Colonel Charles G. Gordon (" Chinese " Gordon) and 
took a trip with him to Bourbon Reunion, one of the 
most delightful islands in the Indian Ocean. The 
climate is salubrious despite the great summer heat, 
and a large population live happily on its sloping 
mountain sides and its high central plateaus. Col. 
Gordon and my master visited Selazee, a station on 
the mountain, from which a magnificent view was 
obtained. Col. Gordon was a great admirer of the 
beautiful, and he was enthusiastic over the scene. In 
a newspaper interview in February, 1885, Kellar 
gave his experience with Col. Gordon in the following 
language : 

"I met Col. Gordon on April 8, 1881, on the Island 
of Mauritius, in the Indian Ocean. He was on his 
way home to England, and had stopped to visit brother 
officers of the garrison. I had been invited to mess by 
military friends, and was introduced to a slightly built, 
tall man, apparently about forty years of age. He 
was of fair complexion, with blonde hair, blonde 
mustache, slightly streaked with gray, and the 
merest suggestion of side whiskers. ' Colonel Gordon ' 
were the words used in the introduction, and I never 
dreamed that the unassuming man who grasped my 
hand was the famous c Chinese ' Gordon. 

" My first impression of Gordon, before I learned his 
military titie, and, in fact, before I was introduced, 



CHINESE GORDOtf. 165 

was that he was a shrewd business man traveling for 
pleasure. He wore no uniform, and his manner 
suggested nothing of the service, nor conveyed any idea 
of position or authority. Yet from the start I was 
attracted to him. There was something magnetic about 
him, and you were drawn to the man without knowing 
or caring why. It flatters me to say that the attraction 
seemed to be mutual, and although I was with Gordon 
for only two weeks, a warm and lasting friendship 
grew up between us. When I left, he gave me these 
cards of introduction." 

Mr. Keller showed two small visiting cards, in the 
corners of which " Chinese " Gordon had written a few 
words in pencil. One read as follows : 

Sir Thomas Wade, K.C.B. 

Colonel Charles G. Gordon^ 

Royal Engineers. 
To introduce 

Mr. Kellar. 

The plate was engraved in a very small and neat 
script, with no flourishes or ornamentation. The other 
card was to this effect : 

To introduce Mr Kellar. 

Colonel Charles G. Gordon, 

Royal Engineers. 

A Son Excellence, 

Li Hung Chang, 

Grand Secretary. 

" When I was leaving the island of Mauritius on my 
way to India, Col. Gordon asked me whether I intend- 
ed to stop in China again, and on my answering in the 
affirmative, he gave these introductions, remarking 
that they might be of service to me. Sir Thomas 
Wade was British Minister at Pekin, and Chang was 
the Grand Secretary of the Empire. When I reached 
China I had no opportunity of presenting them, and so 



166 A MAGICIAN'S TOUU. 

they remain in my possession, as souvenirs of a 
magnificent man. 

14 Gordon was a constant attendant at my perform- 
ances. He was an enthusiast, bright, brilliant and 
jovial a jolly, unassuming man of the world. He 
made a splendid companion anywhere, but more 
particularly aboard ship, where one's amusements are 
limited, and where time hangs heavily on one's hands. 
We made a trip together to the Island of Bourbon. 
A few days later he left for home by way of Aden, on 
the French steamer Dupleix. That was the last I 
have ever seen of ' Chinese ' Gordon, though I hope to 
meet him again." 

Long after Col. Gordon had been butchered by the 
followers of El Mahdi, at Khartoum, in the Soudan, 
on the 27th of December, 1884, Kellar had faith 
that he would turn up all right. He could not for a 
long time believe that a man of his peculiar magnetism 
and wonderful power over barbarous and semi-barbar- 
ous people would be killed by them. Treachery was 
a danger that the Magician did not take into considera- 
tion, for he did not believe that any one would be 
false to Col. Gordon. 

The steamer Maurice-Reunion took my master to 
Bombay, where he played at the Gaiety Theatre to 
mod-era tety good audiences. On the invitation of Mr. 
Cowasjee Framjee, the proprietor of Lowjee Castle, he 
gave a special performance before a select party of Eng- 
lish ladies and gentlemen, receiving 1,000 rupees in 
payment. He next visited Allahabad, Cawnpore, 
Lucknow, Delhi and Agra, with indifferent success 
throughout, and barely paying expenses. He then 
proceeded to Calcutta, where for two months he had 
the grandest success of his career, outside of Brazil. 

Kellar's performances were, as before, given at 
the Chowringhee Theatre Royal, and he enjoyed the 
patronage of the Marquis of Ripon ; Sir Ashley Eden, 
G. C. S. L, Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal; General 



CHINESE GORDON. 167 

Sir Donald H. Stewart, G. C. B., C. S. L, Commander- 
in-Chief in India, and of other notables. The popular 
estimate of the Magician's ability was clearly expressed 
in the Asian of January 3, 1882, as follows: 

" For many a day, 
We have heard people say 
That a wondrous magician was Heller ; 
Change the H into K, 
And the E into A, 
And you have his superior in Kellar." 

While filling this engagement at Calcutta, Kel- 
lar heard much of the manifestations produced by Mr. 
Eglinton, a professed spiritual medium, who was giv- 
ing seances there. As my master was advertised as an 
exposer of the frauds of so-called mediums, his pres- 
ence in the city at this juncture caused something of a 
sensation in spiritualistic circles. Mr. Gordon, chief 
of the Howra police, and his wife, were firm believers 
in Mr. Eglinton's supernatural power. Mrs. Gordon 
was also a stanch supporter of the Theosophists, a sect 
that claims to hold intercourse with God and superior 
spirits, the members of which consequently attained 
superhuman knowledge by physical processes, as by 
theurgic operations of some ancient Platonists, or by 
the chemical processes of the German fire philosophers. 
It was not long before Mrs. Gordon sent Kellar an 
invitation to dine with her, and it was then that she 
proposed that he arrange a time when he could be 
present at one of Mr. Eglinton's seances. Mrs. Gordon 
was a refined lady, and a woman of superior intelli- 
gence, combined with a remarkable knowledge of the 
world, and an abundance of sound common sense. She 
was very anxious to convince the Magician of the truth 
of spiritualism, and to bring him to a realizing sense of 
the wrong he was doing by his so-called exposes. 
Mrs. Gordon described a remarkable seance she had 
had with Madame Blavatski, at Simla, when in broad 
daylight, at Mrs. Gordon's request, a shower of roses 



168 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

fell upon the table, apparently through the ceiling, 
without visible cause. She also told how she recov- 
ered a jewel that had been lost some years before. 
Kellar was convinced that Mrs. Gordon gave a faithful 
description of the phenomena as they appeared to her, 
and whether her senses had been deceived, or not, that 
was a matter on which he could not pass judgment. 
She was certainly honest in her conviction. Madame 
Blavatski's character was not such as to render her in- 
capable of deceit. She was a Russian Princess, and 
had had a checkered career as an adventurist. 

On the first evening that Kellar could devote to 
that purpose he visited Mr. Eglinton's seance, and was 
very much surprised by what he saw. He afterward 
attended a dark seance, given by the same gentleman, 
and saw even more startling manifestations. He de- 
scribed both of these experiences in the letters given 
below: 

To the Editor of the Indian Daily News. SIR : In 
your issue of the 13th of January, I stated that I should be 
glad of an opportunity of participating in a seance, with a 
view of giving an unbiased opinion as to whether in my ca- 
pacity of a professional presticUgitateur, I could give a nat- 
ural explanation of effects said to be produced by spiritual 
aid. I am indebted to the courtesy of Mr. Eglinton,the spi rit- 
ualistic medium now in Calcutta, and of his host, Mr. J. 
Mougens, for affording me the opportunity I craved. 

It is needless to say I went as a skeptic, but I must own 
I have come away entirely unable to explain, by any nat- 
ural means, the phenomena that 1 witnessed on Tuesday 
evening. I will give a brief description of what took place. 

I was seated in a brilliantly lighted room with Mr. Eg- 
linton and Mr. Meugens. We took our places around a 
common teak-wood table, and after a few minutes the table 
began to sway violently backwards and forwards, and I 
heard noises such as might be produced by some thumping 
under the table. I tried to discover the cause of this move- 
ment, but was unable to do so. After this, Mr. Eglinton 
produced two common school slates, which 1 sponged, 



170 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

cleaned and rubbed dry with a towel myself. Mr. Eglinton 
then handed me a box containing small crumbs of slate pen- 
cil. I selected one of these, and, in accordance with Mr. 
Eglinton's directions, placed it on the surface of one of the 
slates, placing the other slate over it, then firmly grasping 
the two slates at one of the corners. Mr. Eglinton then 
held the other corner, our two free hands being clasped to- 
gether. The slates were then lowered below the edge of 
the table, but remained in full view, the room remaining light 
all the time. Instantaneously I heard a scratching noise, as 
might be produced by writing on a slate. In about fifteen 
seconds I heard three distinct knocks on the slates, and I 
then opened them and found the following writing : 

"My name is Geary. Don't you remember me? We 
used to talk of this matter at the St. George's. I know bet- 
ter now." 

Having read the above I remarked that I knew no one 
by the name of Geary. 

We then placed our hands on the table, and Mr. Eglin- 
ton commenced repeating the alphabet until we came to 
the letter " G," when the table began to shake violently. 
This process was repeated till the name of Geary was 
spelled. 

After this Mr. Eglinton took a piece of paper and a pen- 
cil, and, with a convulsive movement difficult to describe, 
he wrote very indistinctly the following words: 

" I am Alfred Geary, of the Lantern. You know me 
and St. Ledger." 

Having read this I suddenly remembered having met 
both Mr. Geary and Mr. St. Ledger at Cape Town, South 
Africa, about four years ago, and the St. George's Hotel is 
the one I lived at there. Mr. Geary was the editor of the 
Gape Lantern. I believe he died some three years ago. 
Mr. St. Ledger was the editor of the Cape Times, and, I 
believe, is so still. Without going into details, I may 
mention that subsequently a number of other messages 
were written on the slates, which I was allowed to clean 
each time before they were used. 

In respect to the above manifestations, I can only say 
that I do not expect my account of them to gain general 
credence. Forty-eight hours before, I should not have be- 



CHINESE GOBDON. 171 

lieved anyone who had described such manifestations under 
similar circumstances. 1 still remain a skeptic as regards 
spiritualism, but I repeat my inability to explain or account 
for what must have been an intelligent force that produced 
the writing on that slate, which, if my senses are to be re- 
lied on, was in no way the result of trickery or sleight-of- 
hand. Yours, etc., HARRY KELLAR. 
Calcutta, January 25, 1882. 

To the Editor of the Indian Daily News. SIR : As 
you have been interested in my experiences with the spir- 
itualists in Calcutta, I send you an account of a to me 
wonderful dark seance that I attended on Sunday night. 
A party consisting of Mr. J. Meugens, Lord William Beres- 
ford, Mrs. Gordon, Mr. and Mrs. Nicholls, Mr. Eglinton 
and myself, met at No. 1 Commercial Building, Sunday 
evening. We assembled in a large room with very little 
furniture in it, and all the doors were bolted from inside 
and examined by me. The party of. eight then seated 
themselves around a plain teak-wood table, on which were 
placed two musical boxes, a zither and a scroll of paper. 
The party having joined hands to form a circle, 1 having 
hold of Mr. Eglinton's on one side, the lights were put out. 
Almost immediately afterwards I felt Mr. Eglinton's leg 
brushing past mine as he commenced to ascend. As he 
got up to the full extent of my arm, still keeping a firm hold 
on my hand, 1 jumped on a chair and subsequently mounted 
on the table. Mr. Eglinton still continued to ascend, and 
for a few seconds lifted me off my feet, several inches 
above the table, and I slid backwards on to my seat. The 
party joining hands again, several of us, myself among the 
number, were sensible of the touch of cold, clammy hands 
that felt more like the wing of a bat than anything else I 
can describe, though the feel of the fingers was distinct. 
After this, small green lights appeared and disappeared on 
and around the table. We then heard the musical boxes 
being wound up, and then they commenced playing fast 
or slow, as directed by any of our party. I asked that 
three notes only should be played, and then one, which 
was immediately done. The boxes then commenced float- 
ing about the room, the large box descending lightly on 



172 A 

my head three times. One of the party suggested that the 
same box should touch Lord W. Beresford, and the box 
tapped him lightly three times on the head. The 
zither next passed close by my head, just brush- 
ing my forehead. Shortly after a slight rav of moon- 
light was visible through a portion of the win- 
dow shutters. I leaned back in my chair so as to get 
this beam of light in a line with my vision, and 
almost immediately I saw the zither pass across, and ap- 
peared to be floating by itself. One of the audience then 
requested that it should play "Home, Sweet Home," and 
the plaintive air was distinctly heard. Without detailing 
the other phenomena, 1 may state that my chair was sud- 
denly jerked from under me with great force, and when 
the light was turned up I found it on the table. In con- 
clusion let me state that, after a most stringent trial and 
strict scrutiny of these wonderful experiences, I can arrive 
at no other conclusion than that there was no trace of 
trickery of any form/ nor was there in the room any mech- 
anism or machinery by which could be produced the phe- 
nomena which had taken place. The ordinary method by 
which Maskelyne and other conjurers imitate levitation, or 
the floating test, could not possibly be used in the room in 
which we were assembled. 

Yours, etc., HARRY KELLAR. 

The Magician was naturally very much exercised by 
what he had seen. He sought for means to reproduce, 
by natural means, all that Mr. Eglinton had done, 
except the levitation. He succeeded after much study 
and many experiments. Of course he makes no claim 
to performing the tricks by the same means that Mr. 
Eglinton used. It may be that he uses the same 
method, and it may be otherwise. He simply knows 
that he produces the same results. He explained to 
his own satisfaction how Mr. Eglinton could have 
gained information regarding his Cape friends men- 
tioned in the writing on the slate. When Kellar 
played at Cape Town, in 1878, he performed at the 
Athenaeum Hall. The proprietor of the hall, Mr. 



CHINESE GOKDON. 173 

Hutchinson, was a noted spiritualist, and when he 
found that my master was exposing spiritual phenom- 
ena, lie set himself in strong opposition, and wrote many 
letters to the Gape papers denouncing the Magician. 
This action only had the effect of increasing Kel- 
lar's business. His houses were crowded nightly by 
the best people, and on the occasion of Sir Bartle 
Frere's visit both houses of Parliament adjourned and 
attended in a body. Mr. Eglinton followed Kellar 
at the Cape, and, as the latter long afterward ascer- 
tained, was the guest of Mr. Hutchinson. Is there 
anything unreasonable in the supposition, therefore, 
that Mr. Hutchinson told Mr. Eglinton a great deal 
about Kellar's affairs and his friends at the Cape 
of Good Hope ? 

Regarding the levitation feat, my master has never 
been able to reach a satisfactory explanation. What 
puzzles him most is how he could have been pulled up 
by Mr. Eglinton without feeling his own weight on his 
hand and arm. He seemed to lose gravity. Whether 
the occurrence was actual, and not a mere mental illu- 
sion, he is not prepared to say. It assuredly was a 
wonderful and unaccountable performance. Kellar 
regretted that he had no other opportunity to witness 
similar manifestations. 

The Magician brought his season at Calcutta to a 
close while he was still enjoying excellent patronage. 
Daniel Bandmann reached the city with his company, 
and he had no place in which to give his performances. 
My master, with his usual liberality, turned his unex- 
pired lease over to Mr. Bandmann without royalty or 
compensation of any kind. 

Before leaving Calcutta Kellar went with Mr. 
Bandmann, at midnight, in a gharry, to 'visit the 
famous burning ghats, or open crematories, on the 
steps at the river side where dead bodies are incinera- 
ted. It was a weird and impressive sight. They saw 
a number of bodies burned, but were most impressed 



174 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

with the actions of a poor blind woman, whose 
daughter was dead. She WHS too poor to get fuel 
enough to make a proper pyre, so she arranged a small 
one. The body of the dead girl was trussed very 
much as that of a chicken would be that was about to 
be baked. There was not fire enough to completely 
consume the remains. The bodies of rich Hindoos are 
burned with a fire made of costly wood, and so in these 
last rites the treatment of the dead indicates the wealth 
and position of the deceased. 



CHAPTER XXIII. 

AMONG THE KANGAROOS. 

From Calcutta Kellar went to Batavia, Java, 
his season there reaching from the 5th to the 23d 
of March, 1882. He became a victim of Java fever 
during this visit, and was very sick, but a good consti- 
tution and good care brought him through, and at the 
end of April he sailed for Melbourne, Australia, where 
he opened in St. George's Hall on May 6th, under 
the management of Mr. James Allison. Here, as else- 
where, his performances created a furore, and the 
more notable features were reproduced in an illustrated 
paper, the Sketcher. He played in St. George's Hall 
until June 7th, and then made a very satisfactory tour 
of the smaller towns in that part of Australia. Cross- 
ing to New Zealand, he continued his successes in the 
principal towns of that colony, receiving flattering 
notices from the newspapers generally, and add- 
ing to his fame as a magician. Thus the remainder of 
the year 1882 was passed, and with the opening of the 
year 1883 Kellar found himself at Poverty Bay, on the 
east coast of New Zealand. There he had another ex- 
perience with the rope-tying doubter, this time an old 




THE PHAROS AT ALEXANDRIA, EGYPT. 



175 



176 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

man-o'-war's man named George Rowley, a well-known 
character at the Bay. Rowley had a special rope, and 
spent ten minutes in doing the tying. In five sec- 
onds, after entering the cabinet, a hand was shown at 
the loop-hole, and in one minute and thirty-five seconds 
Kellar emerged with the rope in his hand. 

From Poverty Bay we went to Tauranga, and then 
to Ohinerautu by coach, the route leading through 
Kauri groves and over hills. Ohinemutu is on the 
shores of Lake Rotarua. The surrounding country 
abounds with hot springs, in which the native Maoris 
cook their food, and there are many geysers which at 
intervals throw columns of steam and boiling water into 
the air. The holes filled with boiling water are so 
numerous that the stranger must exercise great caution 
to avoid falling into them. The springs are constantly 
starting up in unexpected places, so that no one knows 
when he is on safe ground. The sulphur springs, of 
which there arc many, are believed to be a specific for 
blood and skin disorders. There certainly ought to be 
some redeeming virtue in them, as the odor they 
emit is about as foul as can well be conceived of. 

The Maoris have, degenerated into a set of lazy, 
drunken loafers, the men spending for drink the money 
they receive for the rent of their land, while the 
women only do such work as they must. At Ohine- 
mutu Kellar visited the native temple, where the 
Maoris held their cannibal feasts only a few years be- 
fore, when their custom was to devour their prisoners 
of war after first having boiled them in hot springs. 
Near Ohinemutu is a spring which emits a gas which 
quickly produces unconsciousness, if inhaled. 

From Ohinemutu we continued to Lake Tarawera 
where Kellar engaged two female guides and sev- 
eral oarsmen to take us across the lake to one of the 
grandest sights on earth, the Pink and White terraces. 
For the entire oufit he paid 4. We were rowed 
across the lake to a small stream, where we disem- 



AMONG THE KANGAROOS, 



177 



barked and crossed through scrubby trees and over 
rocks to the White Terrace. This is a series of steps 
or platforms, one above the other, covered with a 
glossy substance that shone and sparkled in the sun- 
light like crystal. On the top of the terrace is a boil- 
ing geyser, which sends its scalding water over the 
glossy incline, adding constantly new layers to the 
glittering crust. From this point we were conducted 
through hundreds of hot geysers and mud volcanoes, to 




12 



NEAR HAY NEW SOUTH WALES. 



178 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

a place called " The Devil's Hole." The name is fit- 
ting. The " Hole " is a stinking, screeching, rumbling, 
boiling caldron, which vomits forth volumes of steam 
and black rnud. The heat, the foul smell, the steam 
and the noise suggest Dante's Inferno. Many of the 
geysers in that vicinity might well be classed as infernal. 
Sounds like the rumbling of thunder, the screeching 
of locomotives and the rattle of machinery are min- 
gled with the hissing of steam, and the effect is start- 
ling and terrible. 

The Pink Terrace was found to be even more beauti- 
fnl than the White Terrace. There were about twenty- 
five steps, or platforms, of pink crystal, each about 
six feet high, and the entire district is little better than 
one seething, hissing, roaring caldron, wild, weird, and 
terrible beyond description. It is a sight which once 
seen can never be forgotten. The path in one instance 
led close by the mouth of a geyser which was quiet but 
a few minutes at a time. There was only room for 
one person to pass at a time, and Kellar's guides 
were very merry over his hesitancy to make the neces- 
sary dash. At the termination of the tour my master's 
guides took him to a pool of warm water, and told him 
that he must bathe. As he was entirely in care of the 
dusky beauties, he obeyed the order, and after a most 
refreshing dip returned to Wiaroa, where the chief 
ordered a grand " ha ka," or national war dance, in 
honor of the visitor and the $ 17.50 which the Magician 
paid him. The dance was similar to the war dances of 
most savage tribes, and consisted mainly of violent 
jumping around in a circle, beating the breasts with the 
hands, and shouting the word 44 Ha ka," with an inter- 
val between the syllables. The women of the tribe 
took a significant part in the dance. 

The next stop was in Aukland, and thence via Sid- 
ney to Hay in New South Wales, where my master 
met his old partner, Mr. Fay, who was with him on 
bis first South American trip, and who had given up the 



AMONG THE KANGAKOOS. 179 

show business after the shipwreck in the Bay of Biscay. 
Mr. Fay had invested his South American savings 
thriftily, and had established a general store at Hay, 
where he was doing an excellent business. Mr. Fay 
welcomed his old companion heartily, and among other 
efforts to amuse him took him on a kangaroo hunt. 
They drove about five miles out of Hay through the 
bush to a large rolling plain, where they found a herd 
of several hundred kangaroos grazing. They stopped 
when about five hundred yards from the animals, 
without having alarmed them. A pack of excel- 
lent kangaroo dogs (a species of Scotch grayhounds), 
was with the party, and these were at once let loose. 
The dogs made a bee-line for the herd, and each select- 
ing a kangaroo, followed it regardless of the others. 

Mr. Fay's favorite dog, Prince, chose an " old man" 
kangaroo, and forced him around in a circle to within 
a stone's throw of where Kellar stood. Both were 
going at a very rapid gait, and the kangaroo appeared 
like a ball rolling over the ground. It was a short but 
beautiful race. Every moment Prince was shortening 
the distance between them, until finally he seized the 
kangaroo by the tail and upset him, and before the 
" old man " could recover himself, Prince had him by 
the throat. One of the other dogs chased an " old 
man " to a water hole. The kangaroo got into the 
middle of the sink and calmly awaited the dog's ap- 
proach, his intention being to drown him. This he cer- 
tainly could have done had not the hunters come to the 
dog's assistance. Kangaroos when chased by dogs in- 
variably run for these natural water holes, of which 
there are many in that part of Australia. As the kan- 
garoo has very long hind legs he can stand in the 
deepest part of the water. When the dog swims up 
to him, he will use his fore paws to push the dog's nose 
under water, and will soon succeed in drowning him. 
An " old man " kangaroo will show fight when 
cornered, and they convert their hind feet into very 



180 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

effective weapons, occasionally succeeding in disem- 
boweling a man or horse by a vicious stroke. 

We had a splendid day's sport, and landed five large 
kangaroos and one smaller one, the latter just as we 
were returning to Hay. We saw a large number of 
emus on the plain, but could not get near enough to 
shoot any of them. The kangaroos in the Riverena 
district are so plentiful that at certain seasons of the 
year it is a struggle for existence between them and 
the cattle. t They often eat up all the grass. The 
Australian government pays a reward of one shil- 
ling per scalp for all that are killed. The kangaroo is 
excellent as food, being not unlike venison. Kangaroo 
haunch and kangaroo tail soup are common articles of 
diet in many Australian hotels. 

The country about Hay is divided into large stations, 
or ranches, and they are all separated by wire fences, 
often six or eight feet high. Kangaroos leap over the 
fences with as much unconcern as if they did not exist. 
The ground is very dry in the summer season (Decem- 
ber, January and February). There is not a pebble or 
stone of any kind to be found within many miles of 
Hay, and sometimes when the day is particularly hot 
the country is covered with innumerable sand spouts, 
just like the water spouts at sea, the dust rising hun- 
dreds of feet in the air, and moving like hugh spectres 
along the river banks. 

From Hay my master proceeded to Melbourne, send- 
ing his baggage via Wagga Wagga and Albany, while 
lie took a short cut by coach over the Old Man Plain 
to Deneliquin, where he took a car for the coast. 
While crossing the plain the coach was struck by a 
terrific southerly "buster," a sort of cyclone very 
common in that section. The " buster " was followed 
by a down-pour of hail, the coach was upset, the 
horses became unmanageable and landed in a gully, and 
one passenger was seriously injured. The tempera- 
ture changed suddenly from about 95 to the freezing 



AMONG THE KANGAROOS. 



181 




SCENE NEAR LAUNCESTON, TASMANIA. 

point, and the half frozen passengers were forced to 
walk about two miles to the post station. 

From Melbourne my master made. a visit to the then 
recently discovered bio- trees at Fernshaw, about sev- 
enty miles distant. These trees are situated in a 
mountain valley, on tin* Iioa 1 waters of the Yara 
River (the Yara's expanded mouth forms the magnifi- 
cent port of Melbourne), and are the tallest trees in 
the world. Specimens have been measured that were 



182 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

four hundred and seventy-eight feet high, and over 
fifty feet in circumference. The tallest trees in the 
Yosemite group in California only reach a height of 
about three hundred and fifty feet; but the girth of 
some of them is considerably greater than that of any 
at Fe rash aw. 

My master next went to Launceston, Tasmania, and 
then through that island to Hobart Town. The magnifi- 
cent harbor at this place was much admired, and the 
wonderful variety and amount of fish to be found in 
the waters of the harbor excited astonishment. All 
Australian waters teem with fish, but at Hobart Town 
the best of the finny tribes seemed to have fixed their 
aristocratic residences. Kellar was delighted with 
Tasmania, as indeed he had been with many parts 
of New Zealand, and portions of Australia. But Tas- 
mania seemed a perfect garden spot. The fruit trees 
were so heavily laden that the boughs were break- 
ing from the weight. It was about as near to an 
earthly paradise as man can reasonably hope to find. 
The scenery near Launceston, the waterfalls and 
rapids, are very beautiful. 

From Hobart Town we made a trip through Queens- 
town, and at Gympie met the great Herr Daniel Band- 
mann and Miss Louise Beaudet, playing " Hamlet " in 
an old tumble-down place, with a kitchen scene for the 
palace and an ordinary wooden chair for a throne. In 
the first week in 1883 we halted at Maryboro', and 
here we met The Charles Turner and Annis Montague 
Opera Company. During much of this Queensland 
trip my master was in competition with Mr. Archibald 
Forbes, the famous English war correspondent and 
lecturer. Mr. Forbes was drawing crowded houses, 
and other entertainments suffered when his was 
around. 

At Mackay my master first came in contact with the 
Coolie trade for the sugar plantations of Queensland. 
The Coolies are South Sea Islanders who are brought 



AMONG THE KANGAROOS. 



183 



in large cargoes on sailing ships, and disposed of at 
auction to the highest bidder for three or four years' 
service. The poor fellows, as a rule, are kidnapped 
from their island homes, and brought to Queensland 
on speculation by the captains of the vessels. The 
Australian Government, for decency's sake, sends an 
agent with the slavers, and he is supposed to see that 
no natives are carried away by force, but these agents, 
as a rule, are a worthless lot of fellows, and not infre- 
quently share with the captains in the profits of the 




A GYMPIE MINER. 

trade. Kellar had a long talk with one of these 
Government agents (a fellow who was drunk much of 
the time), and from him received many details of 
" Blackbirding." The usual way of capturing Coolies, 
he said, was to entice a number of them on board ship 
on pretense of making them presents, or trading with 
them. An interpreter would induce one of the poor 
ignorant fellows to put his mark to a contract which he 
could not understand, and the sailors would then force 



184 

the whole party down below and keep them there till 
the ship was far out at sea. If a question was raised, 
the mark on the contract was declared to be the signa- 
ture of a Chief. Sometimes the natives resist, and 
even succeed in overpowering their captors, and then 
we hear terrible stories of the massacre of a white crew 
in the South Seas. Whoever thinks these pictures are 
overdrawn should read the Queenslander, a weekly 
publication of Brisbane, for the months of March, 
April, May and June, 1883. The money paid at the 
auction sales for the Coolies is nominally to reimburse 
the captains for the cost of their passage. The men 
often bring as high as 30 or <40 each ($150 or 
$200), 

Our Magician was very handsomeiy treated oy the 
newspapers of Queensland, .as well as by the people. 
The Maryborough Chronicle, of June 6, 1883, said : 
" Colonists owe a debt of gratitude to accomplished 
performers, like Mr. Kellar, for visiting such out-of- 
the-way places as Queensland. This gentleman is so 
eminently superior as an exponent of a very amusing 
and instructive art, that he is thoroughly deserving of 
recognition wherever he goes." 

Kellar's trip along the northeast coast of Queens- 
land was on Captain Traver's steamer, the Nor- 
mandy, and was inside the famous Barrier Reef, 
which skirts that coast for many hundred miles. One 
of the incidents of the long trip was the catching of a 
monstrous shark, the first large one my master had 
ever taken. The. great number of sharks in these 
waters gives an unpleasant sensation to visitors, who 
see the big man-eaters darting about; but the natives 
pay but little regard to them, and swim around with 
the grace of mermen and the confidence of ducks. At 
Thursday Island Kellar saw about a dozen natives 
of New Guinea, who were in charge of a commissioner. 
They were finely built, yellow, muscular and intelli- 
gent. At Captain Traver's request the Magician per- 



"JOHNNY NEWSKY." 185 

formed a few commonplace tricks, which surprised 
them very much, and when one of his assistants played 
on a cornet they were astonished beyond all bounds. 
Kellar was much disgusted with the natives of the 
northeast part of Queensland. They are wild, savage 
cannibals, and but a trifle above the monkey in the 
scale of intelligence. 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

"JOHNNY NEWSKY." 

From Thursday Island the steamer continued across 
the Gulf of Carpentaria to Port Darwin, the principal 
town of North Australia. There Kellar gave one 
performance while the steamer waited, and then pro- 
ceeded to Singapore. While at Singapore he heard 
the boom of a terrible explosion, which occurred dur- 
ing the latter part of August, 1883, and resulted in the 
disappearance of the Island of Krakatoa in the Strait 
of Sunda, and the appearance of two islands in that 
vicinity, and which caused the destruction of many 
towns and the death of nearly 100,000 persons. The 
Java Sea and the southern part of the China Sea were 
literally covered with floating pumice stone, and the 
City of Batavia was covered to the depth of from four 
to six inches with ashes. At Colombo, Ceylon, the 
water receded so that for a time the shipping was left 
high and dry. The Government of Singapore thought 
the sound was that of men-of-war having a fight at 
sea, and a dispatch boat was sent out for over three 
hundred miles to ascertain what the trouble was. 

Singapore has several streets occupied exclusively 
by Chinese houses of ill-fame. The girls are brought 
from Canton and other inland towns of China via Hong 
Kong on English steamers, on the pretense that they 



186 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

will get situations in Singapore and the Straits settle- 
ments. When they reach Singapore they are taken to 
these infamous dens and forced to lead lives of shame. 
The houses are licensed by the English authorities, and 
should any one of these unfortunates attempt to leave, 
they are forced to go back by the police. The poor 
wretches have their fares charged to them, and they 
pay an exorbitant rate for board, etc., and as they are 
not permitted to leave Singapore until the debt is paid, 
the creatures who run the dens take good care to keep 
them in debt until they are too old and ugly to satisfy 
the requirements of their wretched calling. Some- 
times we do hear of the authorities of Hong Kong stop- 
ping a cargo of these women as they pass through the 
town, but this only on rare occasions, and when there 
has been some pressure brought to bear by European 
visitors to the country. But as long as the Govern- 
ment of Singapore receives large revenues from the 
license issued to these places, there is little hope that 
the infamous trade wiil be suppressed. Is there any 
wonder missionaries accomplish so little in their at- 
tempt to Christianize the natives? 

From Singapore we went again to Hong Kong, 
where, for the second time, we met the Victoria Loftus 
troupe. Mr. Jeff. D'Angeles was the commander of 
the company, and with him Kellar enjoyed a number 
of pleasant jaunts' to points of interest. At the Happy 
Valley they visited the graves of Ling Look* and 

*In our issue dated November 30, 1878, we published intelligence 
of the death of Ling Look in Hong Kong, China, in December, 1877. 
Some months thereafter a performer styling himself the original Ling 
Look appeared and performed in the music halls in England. This 
caused many of the original Ling Look's friends to rejoice that he 
was still living. Harry Kellar, of the Royal Illusionists, with whom 
Ling Look left this country and traveled to Australia, India and 
China, where he left the company after the death of his brother Yam- 
adeva, now writes to a gentleman in this city, from Liverpool, Eng- 
land, November 10th, regarding an interview with the pretended 
Ling Look. From this letter we have been permitted to extract the 
following: " I came all the way from Scotland to see the man calling 



"JOHNNY NEWSKY." 187 

Yamadeva, his two companions in the original Royal 
Illusionists combination. Beautiful tombstones were 
placed over each. 

Throughout the English Colonies, and also in China 
and Japan, my master was treated with marked kind- 
ness by resident Englishmen. They were of a better 
class than the stranger usually encounters in England. 
Kellar, when among them, never felt as if in a 
strange country. He was at home. While he did not 
always approve of the English colonial policy, he has 
the greatest respect for the English officials and public 
servants of these colonies. They are, as a rule, high 
minded, noble, intelligent gentlemen, whom it is a 
pleasure and an honor to meet. Among those in Hong 
Kong who were particularly kind and hospitable to 
the Magician were Mr. Harry Wicking,and Colonel Par- 
nell, a brother of Stewart Parnell, a thoroughly loyal 
British subject. 

After a very satisfactory season in Hong Kong, of 
which the Hong Kong Telegraph of August 31, 1883, 
said they were " the best performances ever given 
within the walls of the city hall," Kellar visited 
Japan, making his first stop at Nagasaki, a pretty place 
in the Southern Island. He enjoyed the jinriksha 

himself Ling Look, now performing in this city, only to find Mm an 
impostor. I had corresponded with this man for some days, and his 
letters deceived me and led me to believe that he was actually my old 
companion. He certainly knows all of Ling Look's past life, and 
must have been in constant correspondence with him while we were 
making our tour through China and Australia. . I introduced myself 
to this man as a friend of Kellar, and questioned him on our route, 
etc., and he gave me satisfactory answers, until I asked him about what 
month we arrived at Hong Kong, when he told me in April. Now, 
we were there in October. He also stated that the name of the hotel 
in Hong Kong was the Victoria, whereas it was the Hong Kong Hotel 
at which we stayed (there being no Victoria Hotel). I asked him if 
he would know Kellar, and he replied, ' Do you think I am an im- 
postor ?' I said 'Yes.' I then told him 'I am Kellar,' when he 
immediately took his hat and left the room. 

"P. S. You may show this letter to the editor of the Clipper, and 
he has my permission to publish it if he so desires." New York Clip- 
per, Nov. 29, 1879. 



188 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

rides through the beautiful, clean but narrow streets, 
and could not help remarking the great contrast to the 
filthy condition of Chinese towns. The harbor of 
Nagasaki is one of the loveliest spots in the world. It 
is a deep bay, or inlet, about four miles long, studded 
with fairy islands, and at its apex is almost in the shape 
of a gigantic horseshoe, surrounded by high hills 
clothed with trees and verdure. Around these hills 
also are innumerable native burying places. It 
happened that at the period of our visit there occurred 
the annual Japanese " decoration day." Instead 
of ornamenting the graves with flowers, as we do 
at home, the Japs cover the sepulchres with gaily 
painted lanterns. These are lighted at dusk, and the 
effect is wonderfully beautiful, the whole country for 
miles around being thus illuminated. 

In the harbor of Nagasaki, and connected with the 
city by a handsome bridge, is the island of Desima. 
This is a Dutch settlement, and was occupied by 
colonists two hundred years before any other foreigners 
were permitted to settle in Japan. The island is an 
artificial one, and was built by the colonists, who, being 
regarded by the Japanese as barbarians, were not 

Eermitted to reside on the sacred soil of the country, 
o the persevering and thrifty Hollanders constructed 
Desima, upon which they were permitted to live 
in peace, although the natives regarded them with 
the contemptuous scorn a warlike race always 
entertains for mere traders. No more than three 
Dutchmen were allowed to visit Nagasaki at the 
same time. They were compelled to be in their own 
quarters by sunset, and a military guard was stationed 
at the end of the bridge to make sure that none of them 
disobeyed their orders. Once each year a ship from 
Holland was permitted to enter the harbor to bring 
the settlers her cargo for the purpose of barter. She 
went back filled with tea and rice and silk. Other 
communication there was none. This state of things 



"JOHNNY NEWSKY." 189 

the patient and slow-moving Dutch endured for more 
than two centuries, content in the knowledge that they 
were the only foreigners in the land of the rising sun, 
and though the port of Nagasaki, as well as Yokohama, 
Kobe, Hakodadi, and the other " treaty ports," have 
for thirty years past been " open," and now swarm 
with Americans, English, Germans, French, andj a 
mixed rabble from all the corners of the earth, the 
steady-going Dutch continue to jog along in their old 
fashioned manner at Desima. The island is not as 
large as the British settlement of Shameen at Canton, 
which is notoriously too small to play cricket on. 
Desima is about a quarter of a mile long and nearly 
two in breadth. Crossing the bridge from Nagasaki 
and its busy hives of people, one finds himself suddenly 
in an Amsterdam in little. The same spick and span 
cleanliness ; the white houses with green blinds and 
tiles ; the prim gardens with shrubs cut into the shape 
of impossible birds and beasts ; the same stolid, slow, 
good natured huis-frau in white cap and short, coarse 
white dress, are all to be seen on the little 
island twenty thousand miles from the land of dikes, 
windmills and schnapps. 

In Nagasaki we attended the peculiar Japanese 
" function " known as a " Johnny Newsky." This is 
a sort of native dance, supported altogether by women. 
The dance is somewhat after the style of the famous 
"bee" dance of the Egyptian Almelis, only that the 
pretty little rosy cheeked Jap "Moosies" are a vast 
deal more alluring than their prototypes in the land of 
Isis and Osiris. A " Johnny Newsky " can be readily 
arranged for at a fixed price per performer. It is usual 
that these shall be identical in number with the spec- 
tators, and the audience seldom consists of more than 
ten or a dozen. Tea and saki are served during the 
entertainment by the " Kotsikis," or barmaids, and 
generally speaking a well-conducted "Johnny Newsky" 
is attended with a great deal of fun. 



190 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 



CHAPTER XXV. 

THE ELEPHANT HUNT. 

From Nagasaki we went through the famous inland 
sea of Japan, passing through the wonderful Simoni- 
saki Straits, where the swift current rushes between 
shores that are but a few rods apart. The sight is a 
grand and beautiful one, and the many islands with 
which the sea is studded add to the charm of the place. 
At night, when the steamer was near the Straits, the 
surface of the sea was alive with fishermen's junks. 
Each junk carried a large torch at the bow, and the 
effect was that of a monster torchlight procession ex- 
tending as far as the eye could reach. The steamer 
had difficulty in working its way among the swarm of 
junks without running some of them down. 

At Hiogo, or Kobe, my master played in the Gym- 
nasium to crowded houses. He then went to Yoko- 
hama, where his triumphs were repeated in the 
Gaiety Theatre. At Yokohama he made the acquaint- 
ance of Mr. Fred Deacon, proprietor of a very large 
curio establishment. Mr. Deacon took the Magician 
about the city in a pony carriage, showing him all 
the important and interesting places in the vicinity. 
The peculiarities of Japanese lite, which he then saw 
to excellent advantage, interested him greatly. He 
was very much pleased with the- Japanese people. 
Their thrift, their honesty and their cleanliness, as 
well as their ingenuity and industry, delighted him. 
The influence of Western civilization is being felt in 
Japan, but many of the old customs remain. The 
whole of a Japanese house is one .room. If apartments 
are wanted, screens of paper are slid into grooves be- 



THE ELEPHANT HUNT. 191 

tween its mats on the floor and a room is partitioned 
off in a few minutes. Of course there is no privacy ill 
such houses, but Japanese do not seem to care for pri- 
vacy. Going to bed is ridiculously simple. Every- 
body takes a hot bath, and puts on his dry clothes 
again, and over the clothes draws a long wadded wrap- 
per with enormous sleeves. A thick quilt is put on 
the floor, and a .pillow of wood shaped like a cradle 
rocker, and having a wad of paper to rest the neck on, 
is placed at the head. When the Jap lies down, an- 
other thick quilt is drawn over him. A tray of food, 
smoking utensils and a lighted lantern are always with- 
in reach of the sleeper. When the Jap gets up in the 
morning he shakes himself out, rolls quilt, bedrobe and 
pillow into a package, shuts it up in a cupboard, dusts 
his matting, and is ready for the day. There are no 
stoves, no chairs, no stairs in a Japanese house. Cook- 
ing is done in little portable furnaces, and everybody 
sits on the floor. Everything is curious to the stranger. 
The carpenter pulls his plane toward him when at 
work. He saws on the up stroke, holding the wood 
with his foot, and does almost everything in a way 
which is just the opposite of European or American 
custom. The Japanese are as honest as the sun where 
the missionaries have not been. It is as natural for a 
Jap to be honest as for a Chinaman to be dishonest. 

While at Yokohama, Kellar visited the great 
Ditibutz of Japan, which is a monstrous idol of such 
size that four men can stand on his thumb. The grand 
and " perfect " mountain Fujiyama, with its crown 
of snow,- can be seen from all parts of the island, and 
it gives impressiveness to a landscape of exceptional 
beauty. The Magician returned to Nagasaki on the 
steamer Kivah, the vessel on which Yamadeva died sev- 
eral years before. The voyage was a rough one, and a 
typhoon was encountered in the Inland Sea. The storm 
was of such violence that many junks were wrecked 
and many lives were lost. 



i92 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

On board of one of the Mitisbishu Company's steam- 
ers, Kellar set out in September, 1883, for Vladi- 
vostock, Siber.a. He was warmly welcomed at the 
only Russian naval station on the Pacific, and what he 
saw there gave him a desire to make a tour of Russia 
proper. He gave several performances at Vladivo- 
stock with great success, and found the inhabitants 
remarkably intelligent and hospitable. They were 
anxious to do all in their power to please their visitors. 

My master's next stop was at Shanghai, where he 
did a very poor business, owing to the fact that two 
other magicians had been there just before him, both 
swindling shows. He did not tarry long, but went to 
Hong Kong, where he met Colonel Gilder, of the New 
York Herald, a very pleasant gentleman, who, in the 
interest of his paper, was watching the progress of the 
Franco-Chinese War. Excitement was running very 
high among the Chinese, and about this time they at- 
tacked and burned the greater portion of the European 
town in Canton. The boastful spirit of the Chinese 
was well shown in one of their illustrated papers, 
which published a cartoon representing about one hun- 
dred Europeans running in terror from a single fierce 
Chinaman, who flourished a sword in each hand. 

Inflammatory notices were distributed through the 
country with a vie\v to stirring up the Chinese against 
the foreigners. One of them was to the following ef- 
fect : 

" These foreign devils are far inferior to the Chinese 
race in every respect. Of course some people will say 
4 How is it, if they are inferior, that they can do all 
these wonderful things, make steamboats, telegraphs 
and implements of war ? ' We answer this by saying 
that they kidnap our children, eat their brains, and use 
their flesh and fat in their devilish incantations;" and 
much more in the same vein. 

The Chinese men-of-war in the harbor had native 
officers whose insolent swagger was ridiculous. They 



194 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

would parade the streets, with long silk robes trailing 
the ground, play billiards, drink and carry on like 
rowdies of any other nation. It was their delight io 
be personally offensive to Europeans, crowding them 
out of their way whenever opportunity offered, and 
using insulting language at all times. Kellar visited 
a native merchant named Sun Shing, with whom 
he was acquainted, and who was noted for his intelli- 
gence and ability. A conversation to this effect en- 
sued : 

Kellar "Well, Sun, what will you do when the 
Frenchmen come down here with their men-of-war and 
clean you fellows all out ? " 

Sun" Hah ! You sabe Flenchman ? " 

Kellar" Yes." 

Sun " Flenchman, he belongee alle samee one piecie 
lat (rat)." 

Kellar-" Yes." 

Sun " You sabe Chinaman ? " 

Kellar " Yes, I sabe Chinaman. " 

Sun "Chinaman he belongee alle samee one piecie 
cat. By and by cat jumpee on lat (rat), chop, chop 
(quick). No more lat (rat)." 

The Chinaman's prophecy came very near being 
true. 

Of course there was not much encouragement for a 
showman to remain in China under existing circum- 
stances, so Kellar soon left Hong Kong for Manila. 
He arrived there about the middle of October, and 
played in the Teatro do Tondo with enormous 
success. A terrific hurricane came on while he was at 
Manila, but noticing the threatening clouds, he ordered 
his assistants to go with him to the theater and pack 
their trunks, which were solid and waterproof. They 
had scarcely finished their work when the roof of the 
theater was lifted off and everything that was exposed 
was drenched. The Magician's apparatus escaped with- 
out damage, through his forethought and promptness. 



THE ELEPHANT HUNT. 195 

The famous cigar factory of Manila, covering about 
six acres, and giving employment to about ten thousand 
women, was one of the attractive features of the place. 
The city is the capital of the Philippine Islands and 
the center of Spanish commerce in the East. 

Kellar next took a trip among the islands of the 
Philippine group to Ilo Ho, and thence he proceeded 
to Hong Kong once more, where he took a French 
steamer to Saigon, in Cochin China. Sargon is a very 
beautiful, clean little town, and the theater is like a 
fairy palace in a flower garden. It is supported by the 
government, and artists are allowed use of it free of 
charge. There was great excitement because of the 
Tonquin war. French troops were arriving every day, 
and the whole town was in a state of war preparation. 
The French authorities vied with each other to make 
my master's stay a pleasant one, and the letters he 
brought to the mayor from friends in the Mauritius 
stimulated that official to inajiy kind offices. Steamers 
land about two miles from Saigon, and the route from 
the landing to the town is through a jungle, which is 
said to be infested with tigers. But my master did not 
see any tigers, and he was soon afloat bound for Batavia 
the third time. On his way he saw the sea still covered 
with pumice stone, from the Krakatoa eruption, al- 
though it was near the end of December, almost 
four months after the great upheaval. Business in 
Batavia was good, and so it was in Penang, to which 
place Mr. Kellar went via Singapore. The Island of 
Penang formerly belonged to the King of Qneda in 
Malacca, but was given by him in 1785 as a marriage 
portion with his daughter, who married Captain Light, 
the. master of a British ship trading in the Straits. 
The English East India Company bought the island 
from Light in 1786, and afterward in consideration of an 
annual income paid to the king, the sovereignty of the 
island was ceded to them. 
A visit was next made to the mines of Perak, where 



196 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

my master gave two performances on a good certainty, 
and then took the steamer Assam for Ceylon. He land- 
ed at Colombo in March, 1884, and stayed there two 
weeks waiting for a steamer by which he could take 
passage for England. He gave one performance in the 
Club Theatre, and called on Arabi Pasha, the exile 
from Egypt, who was teaching a school. Arabi wore 
a fez after the Turkish fashion. He was quiet and un- 
assuming, and received the Magician very kindly. 

While Kellar was in Ceylon, a former Governor 
visited the island, and an elephant hunt was gotten up 
in his honor. My master was invited and Baron 
Stracey and a number of other English gentlemen also 
took part in the hunt. The party went by railroad 
over the mountains to near Kandy. They then took 
dhak-gharrys to the jungle, and were ready for the 
sport. Elephant hunting as there carried on is rather 
elephant catching. The big beasts are neither shot nor 
injured in any other way, but are driven into enclosures 
or stockades, and taken something like a big fish in a 
big net. A great army of beaters scour the country 
for miles around and drive a herd of elephants toward 
a corral. Great wings, formed of trees, posts and 
brushwood interlaced, are first encountered by the 
huge animals, and these direct their course to a smaller 
and stronger enclosure, which leads by a narrow en- 
trance to a still smaller enclosure, and this in turn 
opens into the corral proper, which is made very strong 
by posts chained together. As soon as the herd has 
been frightened into the corral, the entrance is closed, 
and the elephants are prisoners. Tame female elephants 
are then put in among the wild ones, and while the 
gallant males are busy making love to the new comers, 
skillful attendants slip unnoticed into the corral and 
chain the legs of the tuskers. The rest is simple. 
It does not take the elephants long to comprehend 
the situation, and before many weeks have passed 
the wildest of them are as tractable as so many cattle. 



IN NEW YORK AND PHILADELPHIA. 197 



CHAPTER XXVI. 

IN NEW YOKK AND PHILADELPHIA. 

Kellar's homeward trip was to Aden and through 
the Red Sea and Suez Canal. When on the 
canal he found the weather so cold that even over- 
coats failed to produce a satisfactory degree of warmth. 
A stiff breeze from the north did the mischief. At 
Malta he played in the Opera House, and at Gibraltar 
he appeared for one night in the Garrison Theatre, 
while the steamer waited. His audience was large and 
enthusiastic. Continuing his journey by the steamer 
Ravena of the P. & O. line, he soon reached England, 
and at once proceeded to fit up for an American tour. 
He added some important features to his apparatus, 
and renewed such of his outfit as had suffered from 
the hard usage of an around-the-world trip. When he 
finally landed in New York he was possessed of an ex- 
ceptionally fine magical collection. Before opening his 
regular season in New York, he gave some private ex- 
hibitions to members of the press. The New York 
Dramatic News of August 12, 1884, contained the fol- 
lowing concerning one of these exhibitions, which is 
here reproduced as giving a very fair notion of the 
Magician's entertainment, as witnessed by hundreds of 
thousands of people during the next two years : 

The Professor ascended the stage, and brought out a 
beautifully finished automaton dressed a la Turk, which he 
invited us to inspect. After that solemn duty had been 
performed, the Turk was placed upon a glass stand, and the 
Professor came to us with the statements, that the delicate 
mechanism of the figure could be controlled by force of 
will. We thought of the number 4,384, and whispered 



198 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

the number in the ear of the performer, who was standing 
with his back to the stage, when the Turk instantly set the 
number up in figures before our astonished eyes. We 
then wrote a question, which was instantly answered in the 
same manner. Then the performer handed us a common 
slate and a number of Webster's dictionaries. We ex- 
amined the slate, and after seeing it carefully cleaned, 
closed it and selected one of the dictionaries. Then we 
inserted a card between the leaves at random, and handed 
the book to the Professor, the slate which we had kept 
closed remaining on our lap all this time. The Professor 
then asked which word on either side of the pages we 
wished written on the slate. We selected the first on the 
left hand page. The tiny bit of pencil, which had been 
placed inside the slate, began to scratch away, and on 
opening the slate we found not only the word but the de- 
finition in full, written in a plain, bold hand. This ex- 
periment was varied with several popular works of fiction, 
until we became convinced that anything the Professor chose 
could be written on a blank slate when closed and held by 
any one. The Professor then requested us to write a question 
on one of our own cards, which we enclosed in an envelope 
and gave to him. This being done, he placed it to his 
forehead for an instant, when the wonderful Turk began a 
series of gesticulations, which ended in his producing our 
question plainly written on a sheet of paper, to which was 
attached a v.ry reasonable answer. We were then re- 
quested to hand the Professor any coin or bank note. A 
national promise to pay was produced, when the Professor 
stepped upon a plate of glass with his face towards us, and 
back towards the automaton, when the wonderful piece of 
machinery instantly produced the number of the note, 
without the least word or sign from any one. A cabinet 
was then brought on the stage and taken to pieces. We 
examined every part, and saw it put together again, which 
was the work of a moment. The Professor called our 
attention to the cabinets used by the Davenports and other 
so-called mediums, and then directed us to close the door, 
which was done, when instantly a frightful uproar began 
on the inside. The door was opened and the cabinet found 
to be empty. We looked under, over and behind the 



IN NEW YORK AND PHILADELPHIA. 199 

cabinet, then closed the door once more, when spirit hands, 
faces and death heads appeared above, under and at a 
small window in the cabinet. We opened the door with 
the same result as before. The door was closed for a third 
time, and we were requested to think of some one we 
wished to see or hear. We thought of Arbuckle when 
instantly a cornet appeared at the window, and the well 
known solo, "Down upon the S'wanee River," was exe- 
cuted in a style that would have done credit to the great 
virtuoso. We sat spell-bound, until the Professor opened 
the door and disclosed the empty interior for the third 
time. The door was again closed, when out through the 
closed side apparently came a female face and form, fol- 
lowed by a skeleton six feet high. The skeleton walked 
about the stage, danced, threw its arms about, and finally 
raised one fleshless hand to its grinning skull, and per- 
formed the decapitation act by taking the skull from the 
body and sending it spinning over our heads, the jaws 
rattling like a pair of castanets all the time. The skull 
flew around the hall, then returned to its former place and 
the whole affair vanished it was impossible to tell how or 
where. The Professor then came forward and said: 
" Sometimes I am seized by an unknown force, and trans- 
ported over the heads of the audience. Now, as I cannot 
control this force, I wish you to remain perfectly quiet, as 
any demonstration might prove fatal to me." We noticed 
a merry twinkle in his eye, but said nothing, for slowly 
but surely the Professor began to rise until his head was 
above the top of the gallery, when he advanced over our 
heads, came to a full stop and hung, like Mahomet's coffin, 
suspended in mid-air. Slowly he passed around the room, 
and finally returned to the stage without accident. He 
then called attention to the fact that there were no wires, 
or mechanical appliances of any kind used, and we saw 
from the course of his flight and our close proximity to 
him, that any mechanical support was impossible. The 
Professor proposed to give several more experiments, but 
we were satisfied. 

Kellar opened at the Park Theatre in New 
York, on the 22nd of September, 1884, to very good 



200 A 

audiences. After two weeks he went to the Athenaeum 
Hall in Brooklyn, for a fortnight, and, returning to 
New York, put in six weeks at the Grand Opera 
House Hall. He was very handsomely treated by the 
New York newspapers. Following are extracts from 
a few of them : 

"The best exhibition of magical skill we have ever 
seen." Tuvf, Field and Farm. 

" His tricks brought out rounds of applause." Tribune. 

u The entertainment was a success from beginning to 
end." Clipper. 

"One of the most astonishing performances ever given 
in New York." Journal. 

" Mr. Kellar's Kellarisms out-Heller the late Mr. Heller's 
Hellerisms." Brooklyn Times. 

" So startling were the tricks performed, that a sense of 
fear and awe possessed many who were present." News. 

"The wonders were warmly applauded by a large 
audience." Post. 

" Improvement on the tricks of the Davenport Brothers." 
Times. 

"The entertainment called for much applause." Tele- 
gram. 

t; A very interesting entertainment." Herald. 

On the evening of December 15, 1884, we began a 
season at the Egyptian Hall in Philadelphia, and made 
the unprecedented run of 323 consecutive perform- 
ances there. The season was strikingly successful 
from a pecuniary, as well as from an artistic point of 
view. Nothing like it had ever before been seen in 
the Quaker City. During many successive weeks the 
full capacity of the hall was taxed to accommodate 
the throngs that crowded to the entertainment, and 
the patronage was among the best classes in Phila- 
delphia. 

My master's pronounced antagonism to the claims 
of spiritual mediums, gave him peculiar prominence at 
this juncture, because of an investigation which was 



IN NEW YORK AND PHILADELPHIA. 201 

being conducted by a commission of prominent 
scientific men. Mr Adam Seyhert was a Philadelphia!! 
of wealth and leisure. At middle age he conceived 
the idea that he had a mission in regard to spiritualism, 
and he associated much with mediums. Many philan- 
thropic notions possessed him. At one time he tried 
to raise a sentiment in the community that soda and 
other mineral waters were preferable to alcoholic 
drinks. He succeeded in raising the standard of 
bakers' bread, and he gave the city the clock and bell 
that are now (1886) in the steeple of Independence 
Hall. Mr Seybert was one of the dupes of the Katie 
King fraud, and he was victimized in various ways by 
the mediums. When he died he directed that 
his body be cremated, and he left $60,000 for the 
maintenance of a chair of " Moral and Intellectual 
Philosophy" in the University of Pennsylvania. A 
condition of the bequest was " that the incumbent of 
the chair should, either individually or in conjunction 
with a Commission of the University Faculty, make a 
thorough and impartial investigation of all systems of 
morals, religion and philosophy, which assume to 
represent the truth, and particularly of modern 
spiritualism." The condition was accepted, and in 
1883 a commission composed of the following gentle- 
men began an investigation : Dr. William Platt Pepper, 
Rev. George S. Fullerton, Dr. Horace Howard Furness, 
Prof. Joseph Laidy, Prof. R. E. Thomson, Dr. August 
Koenig and Mr. Coleman Sellers. The Commission 
has paid particular attention to clairvoyance, mesmer- 
ism, animal magnetism, second sight, prophecy, and 
materialization, but never let the public hear a word 
about their opinions as the investigation proceeded. 
In the matter of spiritualism, before going far the 
committee made one very important distinction. Tli^y 
divided the question of the validity of any manifesta- 
tion into two questions: 

First Is the phenomenon actual or apparent ; that 



202 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

V 

is, does one see, or feel, or hear it, or does he only 
think he sees, or feels, or hears it ; does it exist only 
in his imagination ? 

Second If the phenomenon is real, what produces 
it? Natural or supernatural agencies? Human 
beings or spirits? 

Invitations were sent out to all of the great 
mediums of the country, and to all who profess to 
expose mediums, to come before the commission. Dr. 
Henry Slade, the slate writer, gave six sittings, for 
which he received $300. Maud Lord came on from 
New York, and the bright lights among the mediums 
responded from every point of the compass. And the 
exposers came too. Foremost among them was 
Kellar, and it was pretty generally understood by 
those interested in the matter, that what he produced 
by admitted natural means before the commission, 
surprised the members more than had the performances 
of any person who claimed to operate by spirit power. 
Kellar would not say what tests he had given, and 
the commission will not make any public announce- 
ment until its final report is prepared, but it is 
probable that the following indicates one line of 
experiments which were shown on that occasion : 

Philadelphia Record, Feb. 18, 1885 : 

On Monday afternoon Professor Kellar gave a private 
seance at Egyptian Hall, to several newspaper representa- 
tives. Mr. Kellar's object was to demonstrate that he could 
produce by natural agencies what Dr. Slade professes to 
accomplish by spiritualism. Mr. Kellar, after assigning the 
gentlemen present to places around the table, and within 
two feet of himself, produced nine slates, and, after wash- 
ing their surfaces, selected two ; then placing a piece of 
pencil between them he held them aloft in full sight of 
every one present. Immediately a scratching sound was 
heard, and, on opening the slates, the following message was 
found written in plain characters :' 

" It would perhaps be easier to believe that these mani- 



IN NEW YORK AND PHILADELPHIA. 203 

festations are the result of spiritual power, than that they 
are merely a conjurer's trick. They can, however, all be 
traced to natural causes." 

Two more slates were selected, and held beneath the 
table by the magician's right hand, the thumb of which was 
all the time in sight of all the company. After considerable 
scratching, this message appeared : 

" Just returned from the Soudan. Gordon is alive and 
will return safely to England. BEN ALLAH." 

The third slate similarly held, stated : 

" With such undoubted evidence of a spirit world, why 
will you persist in doubting it ?" 

Below the above message appeared Prof. Kellar's signa- 
ture in Chinese characters. 

As a final test of his power, the following question was 
written on a slate : " What is the height of the Washing- 
ton Monument ? " This the Professor was not allowed to 
see. He, however, placed the slate beneath the table as 
before. In a short time the scratching sound was heard, 
and, on placing the slate on the table, the following answer 
was given on the obverse side: "We have never visited 
Washington Monument, therefore can not give its height." 

Professor Kellar then requested the gentlemen to join 
hands, after which spirit rappings were produced, and the 
Professor, in an explanatory way, said : " It is just such 
exhibitions as I have given you that lead credulous people 
to believe in spiritualism." 

The one hundreth performance at Egyptian Hall 
was made memorable to my master by the receipt of a 
$550 watch and a $125 chain. Kellar at each per- 
formance did his famous trick with finger rings bor- 
rowed from persons in the audience. The last of the 
rings is regularly found tied by a ribbon about the 
neck of a Guinea pig, which is taken from a bottle 
from which a variety of liquors has just been poured. 
When Kellar broke the bottle on the night in ques- 
.tion 4 to pull out the Guinea pig, he found the watch 
and chain fastened to the animal, and a card inscribed: 
44 Call for Col. Mann." As soon as the surprised Magi- 



204 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

ciiin could collect his senses, he made the call, and 
Col. William B. Mann presented him with the watch 
in a neat speech, to which my IE aster could scarcely 
find words to reply. The house was crowded and the 
audience applauded long and lustily. 

A pleasant episode of this engagement was a visit 
from the venerable " Fakir of Ava," with whom 
Kellar learned the art and mystery of his calling. The 
Fakir was delighted with the progress his pupil had 
made, and was apparently as much mystified by some 
of the experiments as any one in the audience. In a 
conversation with a friend, the Fakir was afterward 
asked : 

" What constitutes a great magician ? " 

<l Quickness of mind, gumption, mother wit, the 
power to take an audience with you from the start," 
replied the Fakir. " I will give you an example from 
my own career, of what I mean: I was showii.g in 
Nashville, Tennessee. At my first seance, Mrs. Polk, 
the widow of the ex-President, was present. I asked 
her to let me take her bonnet, which she did after 
some hesitation and urging on the part of some of her 
husband's brothers, who were present also. I took the 
bonnet, and before her very eyes, and before going 
back to the stage, tore it in half, apparently, by acci- 
dent. I appeared very much frightened at what I had 
done, but said I would do what I could to repair the 
mischief. I pointed my conjurer's cannon at the ceil- 
ing and fired. Immediately the bonnet fell to the floor. 
I picked it up and handed it to Mrs. Polk, asking her 
in the meantime if it was hers. She examined it care- 
fully, and said it was. That insured my success in the 
place, and I played to crowded houses for a week. 
Now, how do you suppose I did it?" 

" You didn't tear up the bonnet," replied the friend 
promptly. 

"Yes I did," said the Fakir. " That's precisely 
where I made my hit. The bonnet which fell from the 



IN NEW YORK AND PHILADELPHIA. 205 

ceiling was a precise duplicate of Mrs. Folk's bonnet, 
which I had had made by a milliner as soon as I saw 
the original the day before, and also ascertained that 
Mrs. Polk would be at the exhibition. You see I 
wanted to play my first trick on a person so prominent 
that every one would know that collusion was impos- 
sible, and I wanted to utterly mystify that person, as I 
could not have done had I gone back to the stage and 
done my trick there. You see it took the audience with 
me from the start. It's more the knowledge of human 
nature, than any particular dexterity, which consti- 
tutes the conjurer." 

" Is the art advancing?" 

" Bless you, yes. These slate tricks, table tippings, 
and so forth, we of the old school never dreamed of." 

About the middle of March the famous pugilist, 
John L. Sullivan, was in Philadelphia t > meet Dom- 
inick McCaffrey in a glove fight. He first had an en- 
counter witli Kellar, however. The following 
from the Philadelphia Times of March 18, 1885, ex- 
plains the occurrence: 

After John L. Sullivan had eaten a couple of pounds 
of rare beefsteak at breakfast yesterday morning, at the Gi- 
rard House, he sauntered about the hotel until noon, and 
then took a walk out to the Chestnut street bridge, with his 
trainer, Patsy Sheppard. His cheeks were rosy when he 
got back to the hotel at nearly two o'clock, and he remarked 
to Sheppard that he felt as strong as an ox. At two o'clock 
the Boston slugger and Sheppard went to the matinee at 
Egyptian Hall. When Professor Kellar began his cabinet 
trick, he invited a committee to go on the stage and tie him. 
The audience shouted for Sullivan, who, with Mr. George 
Lovell, went on the stage. They used a piece of rope sim- 
ilar to a bell cord on street cars to tie Kellar with. Sulli- 
van took hold of one end of the rope, and Lovell held the 
other. In trying to tie the Professor's right wrist, they 
broke the rope in two pieces, as if it had been a piece of 
twine. A new rope was obtained, and Kellar was finally 
tied. He then invited Sullivan to go into the cabinet with 



206 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

him. Sullivan went, and, in relating his experience last 
night, said : 

*' I never was so much surprised in my life, as I was a 
few minutes after 1 went into Kellar's cabinet. 1 said to 
him, 'What are you going to do with me now?' and the next 
thing I knew my overcoat was gone. I felt all around for 
it, but couldn't find it, and then I was chucked out of the 
cabinet on to the stage, as if I had been shot out of a can- 
non. My inside coat was turned inside out, and I lay 
sprawling on the stage as if somebody had tucked me in the 
jugular. I'll be blanked if Kellar isn't the strongest little 
man 1 ever saw. I got my overcoat back, and turned my 
inside coat right side out, and got off the stage. I don't 
want any more cabinet business; not this trip, anyhow." 
It was the first defeat the champion had ever met with. 

My master also had an amusing experience with the 
great tragedian, Edwin Booth. It was on the after- 
noon of April 13, 1885, that Mr. Booth, Mr. William 
M. Singerley and Dr. Furness, a member of the Sey- 
bert Commission, attended a private seance at Egyp- 
tian Hall, and it was a very much surprised tragedian 
who shook hands with the Magician Kellar at the 
close of the performance. It was the cabinet trick. 
Kellar, after being securely tied to a chair with the as- 
sistance of Mr. Booth, asked the great actor to put his 
head inside of the cabinet. Mr. Booth did so, and in a 
twinkling his hat which he wore was transferred to the 
Magician's head, while he appeared in Kellar's hat. 
The look of blank astonishment that spread over Mr. 
Booth's face was ludicrous in the extreme. Kel- 
lar, still securely tied, called for the cabinet doors to 
be closed. In an instant a great racket was being 
made inside, and naked arms were thrust through 
the apertures in the doors. " Well !" said Dr. Furness, 
dodging a tambourine that came flying out of the cab- 
inet, " what do you think of it. Booth?" " I think," 
said the tragedian, shouting into the doctor's ear 
trumpet, " that it is the devil." A plain flat table was 
then produced, and Mr. Booth was asked to place his 



KELLAR AND SPIRITUALISM. 207 

hands on it, and let his thumbs touch those of Kellar, 
who stood on the opposite side. This was done, and 
the table was lifted into the air. Mr. Booth let go, 
and in a moment more Kellar brought it down 
with a loud crash, breaking off one of the legs. 

Kellar gave a number of " benefit " perform- 
ances during his stay in Philadelphia, and he took a 
prominent part in the grand performance in aid of the 
Actors' Fund, at the Academy of Music on the 9th 
of April, 



CHAPTER XXVII. 

KELLAR AND SPIRITUALISM. 

WHILE in Philadelphia, Kellar was sharply 
attacked by the Banner of Light, a Boston publication 
in the interest of spiritualism. What Editor Colby 
was pleased to term his " gross inconsistency " was 
harped on with much energy. Kellar's statement 
that he had traveled with the Davenport Brothers as 
their assistant, was denied by the Banner on the 
alleged authority of Mr. Ira Davenport, the father of 
the brothers. The Banner continues : 

The Davenports left New York on the 27th of August, 
1864, accompanied by Rev. J. B. Ferguson, a gentleman of 
education and position, formerly a clergyman of Nashville, 
Tenn., as their agent. He was forty-seven years of age, a 
man of integrity and honor, of high religious principles, 
purity of character, deep thought, and eloquent expression, 
and eminently adapted to the service upon which he at this 
time entered. He accompanied the brothers to Europe as 
an interpreter to the public of the objects and nature of the 
manifestations made in their presence. Is it likely that 
such a person would have allowed the assistance, interfer- 
ence or presence in any responsible position, of this Kellar, 
who admits that he was " a boy " at the time V 



208 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

Mr. Kellar says : "I was the assistant at a private 
seance, which the Davenport Brothers gave in London to 
a number of gentlemen, among whom were Dion Bouci- 
cault, Charles Reade, Algernon Borthwick, Lord Bury, 
Captain Inglefield and others. The brothers were both 
tied in their cabinet. Lord Bury stepped up and leaned 
over one of them to examine the knot, when the other 
quickly slapped him on the back. There was a murmur in 
the room. These great men were struck with awe. Now, 
let me tell you, this rope trick depends upon mere physical 
dexterity, and the slap was made like a flash and pretty 
hard." But here is the description Dion Boucicault wrote 
of it : "A small, white, delicate female hand suddenly 
appeared above one of the doors of the cabinet. It quiv- 
ered for several seconds, and then, slowly descending, 
tapped Lord Bury gently on the shoulder, and then melted 
in air." Mr. Kellar adds : " It is just in this way that 
otherwise sensible people allow their senses to be deceived, 
and their imaginations preyed upon." 

Now let us see how far these sensible people allowed 
such disastrous consequences; and to do so go to Mr. 
Boucicault himself. The seance to which Mr. Kellar re- 
fers occurred in Mr. Boucicault's house, on the evening of 
October 11, 18G4. In addition to those whom Mr. Kellar 
mentions as having been present, were, Sir Charles Nichol- 
son, Sir John Gardner, Sir C. Lennox Wyke, Rev. E. H. 
Newenham, Rev. W. Ellis, Mr. James Matthews, Mr. I. 
Willes, Mr. H. E. Ornerod, Mr. J. W. Kaye, Mr. J. A. 
Bostock, Mr. H. J. Rideout, Mr. Robert Bell, Mr. J. N. 
Mangles, Mr. H. N. Dunphy, W. Tyler Smith, M. D., Mr. 
E.Tyler Smith, Mr. T. L." Co ward, John Brown, M. D. 
and the eminent author and publisher, Mr. Robert Cham- 
bers. These are they whom this conjurer, Kellar, flippantly 
alludes to as having had their senses deceived, and their 
imaginations preyed upon. 

On October 12th, the day after the seance, Mr. Bouci- 
cault wrote an account of it to the editor of the London 
Daily New**, a copy of which lies before us. In the course 
of Mr. B's letter, occurs the following passage, referring to 
the incident mentioned by Mr. Kellar; compare it with 
Mr. Kellar's version : 



KELLAR AND SPIRITUALISM. 209 

"While Lord Bury was stooping inside the cabinet, the 
the door being open and the two operators seen to be 
seated and bound, a detached hand was clearly observed to 
descend upon him, and he started back, remarking that a 
hand had struck him. Again, in the full light of the gas 
chandelier, and during an interval in the seance, the doors 
of the cabinet being open, and while the ligatures of the 
Brothers Davenport were being examined, a very white, 
thin female hand and wrist quivered for several seconds in 
the air above. The appearance drew a general exclama- 
tion from all the party." 

The Banner of Light editors deny that there are 
any fraudulent mediums. When a medium is caught 
in a trick, the Banner people insist that he was simply 
under the control of wicked spirits, who maliciously 
try to make trouble wherever they can. No amount 
of u exposure " can convince such men of fraud on the 
part of a medium, and their credulity is equaled by 
that of thousands of those who endorse the spiritual- 
istic doctrine. The following extract from the Banner 
of Light of the same date as tbat which contained the 
extract quoted above, shows the childlike confidence 
with which assertions of the mediums are received by 
many spiritualists : 

THE ALLEGED EXPOSUEE OF MOTT. 

There is no question in our mind but that Mr. J. H. 
Mott is a bona fide medium, netwithstanding the allega- 
tions of fraud against him which have recently appeared in 
the Kansas City and other newspapers. The people where 
he belongs, intimate friends and acquaintances, who have 
had sittings with him very many times, all attest to his 
reliability as a medium for the physical manifestations. 
Skeptics may imagine that they ha\ 7 e really exposed him 
by " squirting " analine upon the spirit forms, and subse- 
quently finding the same on the body of the medium; yet 
this fact proves nothing in the light of the knowledge 
which practical experience in such matters has demon- 
strated, not only to us but others who have given the subject 
close attention. For instance, when the Allen Boy me- 

14 



210 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

dium visited Portland, Me., several years ago, and held 
seances there under the patronage of Mr. J. B. Hall, then 
connected with the Portland Press, a reporter bedaubed a 
portion of his back hair with printers' ink, then stood at the 
aperture from which spirit hands and arms issued. The re- 
sult upon this particular occasion was, that, after the spirit 
hand pulled the reporter's hair, a request was made to see 
the medium's hand; when, lo and behold ! ink was seen 
upon the medium's fingers, which was decided then and 
there to be a conclusive proof of fraud. Even Mr. Hall, 
the manager of the medium, was perplexed in regard to 
the case, and wrote to us for an explanation, if one could 
be given. After consultation with several of our spirit 
friends, we were informed that the ink from the hair 
pulled by the spirit hand, as above described, was simply 
an electrical transfer from the spirit's hand to the medium's 
that, consequently, the medium had committed no fraud 
whatever. It was also told us that if we would procure a 
certain number of individuals, whom the spirits named, and 
hold a circle under spirit direction, they could prove that 
the Allen Boy medium was innocent of the least trickery; 
and we were requested to write to Mr. Hall to ask his 
friends to suspend judgment in the case, until we had ex- 
perimented with a physical medium, in regard to the trans- 
fer of colors. 

We then secured the services of an excellent physical 
medium, Mrs. Annie Lord Chamberlain, who will corrob- 
orate our statement, and held our seance in the Banner 
Building, where she was located at the time. After firmly 
securing Mrs. C. to her chair (which was stapled to the 
floor) we seated the company around the table. The mu- 
sical instruments, excepting the brass drum, which was 
suspended to the ceiling ten feet above the medium's 
head, we took into our printing office one story below, not 
allowing any one present to know what we intended not 
even the medium herself. We then crocked the bass 
drumstick with a thin coating of black ink, so that if any 
one should handle it, the ink would be transferred; we also 
striped the large bell-handle (four inches in length) with 
red ink; on another instrument we made three dots with 
blue ink. We subsequently placed the various instruments 



KELLAR AND SPIRITUALISM. 211 

upon a side table out of reach of the medium, took our 
seats on the right of the lady, placing a friend on the left 
to be sure she did nothing with her left hand, while the 
right hand was passing continually, during the beating of 
the drums and ringing of the bells, over the back of our 
left hand. At this time the light was extinguished, and 
while it remained so the drum was beaten and the bells 
rung. Upon turning on the gas, to our astonishment and 
to the astonishment of every one in the room, the drum- 
stick was seen falling from the drum, and upon examining 
the medium it was ascertained that the hollow of her right 
hand was completely crocked with black ink, precisely as it 
would have been, had she handled the drumstick. Thus 
the fact that a materialized hand did the drumming was 
fully demonstrated. We also found a streak of red ink, 
an exact counterpart of that upon the bell handle, on the 
neck of the medium; besides the dots on another part of 
her form were reported as having been seen by the ladies 
who subsequently examined her person, thus proving con- 
clusively to every one present the absolute fact of the 
transference of colors by spirit agency alone. 

Taking these facts into consideration then, .what is the 
hypothesis in regard to the analine coloring fluid which 
was found upon the medium Mott? Simply that it was an 
electrical transfer, and nothing else. We fully agree with 
our Philadelphia contemporary, Mind and Matter, which 
says: "The doubt about the case prevented a consideration 
in that connection, of the demonstrated fact that marks 
left upon the dress or person of a spirit form, had been 
found upon the medium, when the marked spirit form was 
seen to vanish as it was absorbed by the medium from 
whose organism it had emanated." 

When spiritualists themselves (to say nothing of skep- 
tics) learn more fully of the subtle laws which govern 
genuine mediumship in all its phases, they will be less 
swift to condemn, as some do, these subjects of the spirit- 
world workers; and hence we fully agree with the paper 
above mentioned, that " a great outrage has been perpe- 
trated upon Mrs. Mott." 



212 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 



CHAPTER XXVIII. 

AT HIS OLD HOME. 

After a short Brooklyn season, and a series of 
performances at Atlantic City, Asbury Park, and other 
seaside resorts, my master paid a professional visit 
to Erie, his old home. The Erie Herald of Sept. 12, 
1885, says : " Since the announcement that Harry 
Kellar, the celebrated magician, had come home on a 
visit, and would give a series of entertainments at 
the Opera House, JVIonday, Tuesday and Wednesday, 
and Wednesday matinee, the manager of the Opera 
House has had a steady demand for seats." The 
Dispatch lovingly called him " Erie's demon.'* Con- 
cerning the performance, the Herald of Sept. 15th 
said: 

Never did the Park Opera House contain a more appre- 
ciative audience than that which filled it to overflowing last 
evening, to witness Kellar's wonderful performance. Great 
as is the reputation which he has made abroad, the people 
of his native city could hardly believe that he had attained 
such a high degree of proficiency. It would require a 
couple of columns of space to describe the performance in 
detail. It is enough to say that the promises made in re- 
gard to it were more that fulfilled. The expression of one 
enthusiastic gentleman who sat watching the performance 
of the great magician " He's the devil himself " was in 
a modified sense the general sentiment. In short, Kellar's 
exhibition is marvelous. Everybody was charmed, not 
only by his skill, but by his stage presence and his easy 
and polished manner. The impression which he made 
upon his audience was that of the gentleman and scholar. 
Erie feels proud of the great and only Kellar. 



AT HIS OLD HOME. 218 

The Herald of Sept. 17th said : 

Last evening Harry Kellar gave his farewell perform- 
ance at the Opera House. The audience was a representa- 
tive one, and was even larger than either of those of the 
two preceding nights. At the conclusion of his perform- 
ance, Mr. Kellar thanked his audience for the manner in 
which they had received him in this, his native place. He 
assured them he would remember them with gratitude. 
During his stay in this city he renewed hundreds of ac- 
quaintances. Before leaving, he made his parents presents 
of good sized checks, and gave his nieces a gold watch 
each. 

The Dispatch said : 

On Monday night, Harry Kellar, the renowned presti- 
digitator and a native of Erie, opened a three nights' 
engagement to a packed house, and gave such universal 
satisfaction, that for the next two nights there was no stand- 
ing room, and many were tu-rned away. He is not only 
the most accomplished master of the " black art" who ever 
visited Erie, but he is also a polished gentleman, and a 
thorough student and scholar. 

On the 21st of September, 1885, the Magician in- 
augurated a New York season at the Comedy Theatre, 
Broadway and Twenty-ninth Street. His success was 
unequivocal. The World, the Journal, the Graphic, 
Tid Bits, the Police Gazette, and other papers made 
his entertainment the subject of elaborate illustrated 
articles. The Clipper published his portrait, cabinet 
size, with a very complimentary notice, and he was 
most cordially welcomed on every hand. At one 
performance Rev. Henry Ward Beecher was an inter- 
ested spectator, and after the entertainment he 
complimented Kellar, by saying that most of the 
tricks were beyond his comprehension, although he 
was familiar with the methods employed by almost all 
of the modern magicians. The one hundred and fifty- 
ninth performance of the New York season was 
celebrated on the evening of February 2, 1886, by the 



214 A MAGICIAN'S TOUR. 

presentation of a handsome souvenir to each lady and 
child in the crowded audience. 

The New York season was brought to a close on 
February 19th, after a run of 179 consecutive per- 
formances, and on the 15th of the following month my 
master returned to Philadelphia, giving performances 
at the Arch Street Opera House, to large audiences, 
until May, when he took the road. His first stop was 
for a week at Wilmington, Del., thence to Pittsburgh, 
Cincinnati, Chicago (at the latter place he made the 
longest run on record, 103 nights), and the principal 
cities of the West and Southwest, meeting with a 
gratifying reception everywhere. 

Having thus briefly sketched the more or less 
supernatural and decidedly checkered career of my 
great master, I, his " familiar," and in this instance 
his scribe, take leave of him and my polite readers for 
the time. We shall meet again, however, if my 
readers are by any means interested in what I have 
set down. Wizards and sorcerers are immortal, and 
their fame, at any rate, lives after them. The Magician, 
like the King, lives for ever. 




BEAUTIFUL MISS MENTON. 



THE MENTONS. 



WAS IT A CRIME? 



BY C. F. R, HAYVVARD. 




CMICAOO: 

DONOHUE, HENNEBERRY & CO 

407-425 DEARBORN STREET 



COPYRIGHT, 1887, 

IT B. B. DONNELLEY & SOWS, 
CHICAGO 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTBB. PA6K. 

I. OLD ENEMIES MEET, .... g 

II. AMID RETORTS AND FURNACES, -22 

III. BEAUTIFUL HELENE MENTON, 8? 

IV. IT WAS HARDLY MURDER, 35 

V. "WHY NOT MORE THAN FRIENDS," 43 

VI IT WAS A SWELL NIGHT AT THE MENTONS, - 54 

VII. " SHE is A SHE DEVIL," .... 66 

VIII. "MY GOD! THIS is AWFUL," - 75 

IX. "BUT is IT RETRIBUTION! RETRIBUTION!" - 86 

X. "I CALL GOD TO WITNESS THAT I DID NOT KILL 

PAUL DENMAN," 94 
XI. HER HAND RELAXED ITS HOLD UPON THE RAIL- 
ING, AND SHE FELL FROM THE WITNESS CHAIR, 103 
XII. "THANK GOD THERE IS LlGHT AHEAD," - 117 
XIII. A BURNING DESIRE FOR REVENGE UPON THE 

MAN WHO HAD ROBBED ME OF MY LOVE, - - 127 

XIV. "NOT GUILTY," ..... 140 
XV. THINK OF TRE AWFUL VENGEANCE SHE WREAKED 

THROUGH YOU. ..... 152 



THE MENTONS. 

WAS IT A CRIME? 



CHAPTER I. 

OLD ENEMIES MEET. 

" What a strange old gentleman your father is, 
Miss Menton," said Mrs. Mittens. 

Mrs. Mittens is one of those women who look to 
be anywhere between thirty and fifty. Her eyes 
are faded ; so are Tier cheeks, though she has found 
a means of partly disguising the hard wrinkles 
which have made eccentric zig-zag lines through 
them. When she speaks it is apologetically; when 
she laughs it is hysterically, and when she is silent 
it pains one to look at her. 

She had seen old Mr. Menton on several occa- 
sions caught furtive glimpses of him as he had 
passed a door, or slipped silently up the stairway. 
But she had never heard Miss Menton speak of 

him; and this had set Mrs. Mittens to thinking. 

o 12 



10 "WAS IT A CKIME? 

There was one quality which this washed-out 
little widow possessed in all its pristine vigor she 
was as inquisitive as she had been twenty years 
before; and the peculiar fact that Miss Menton' s 
father never joined in the conversations of his 
daughter's guests never even gave his presence to 
the nightly assemblages in his own house, con- 
vinced Mrs. Mittens that there was some secret 
reason for his mysterious conduct. She had been 
eagerly awaiting an opportunity to apply the in- 
quisitorial pump to Miss Menton. 

It offered itself in this way: The old gentleman, 
still vigorous under the weight of sixty years, with 
eyes like a hawk's, which glittered under a fringe 
of shaggy gray brows, had, a moment prior to Mrs. 
Mittens' question, entered the dining-room. After 
recognizing its half dozen occupants with a digni- 
fied bow, he had requested his daughter to come to 
his study before she retired. That was all. He 
had gone out as he had entered, and his footsteps 
soon died away as he ascended the stairs leading to 
his study. 

"Strange! How, strange, Mrs. Mittens? I do 
not understand you." 

Miss Menton spoke with an icy deliberation 
which chilled little Mrs. Mittens to the marrow. 



OLD ENEMIES MEET. 11 

She stared at Miss Menton helplessly for a moment, 
and then gathered her wits sufficiently to make 
answer that she had merely meant to remark " that 
Mr. Menton didn't seem to like society." 

The beautiful woman who had caused Mrs. 
Mittens' discomfiture thawed a little. Throwing 
back her head she said, with a patronizing smile: 

" Father is devoted to his studies. He has but 
little time for society. But I'm sure he would feel 
hurt if he knew you thought him unsocial." 

This sugared sarcasm was wholly lost upon Mrs. 
Mittens. She was glad to escape so easily, and she 
suppressed herself for the remainder of the evening. 

Mr. Lawrence Montague, a stage-struck young 
man who had become an actor, but who had never 
been able to convince even the critics that he knew 
anything about his art he was really not a bad 
fellow, off the stage had just asked the fair 
hostess if she did not think that realism in art was 
robbing the stage of its romance, when a servant 
brought in a card. Miss Menton looked at it. 

" Show them up," she said. 

" Mr. Wheeler and a friend," she added, turning 
to her guests. " I wonder who the friend is? I 
beg your pardon, Mr. Montague; what did you say 
about realism ? " 



12 WAS IT A CRIME? 

"I said," repeated the actor, impiessively, -'that 
realism is crowding r/ 

"Ah! here's Mr. Wheeler," said Col. McPhister, 
who had been half-dozing in an easy chair in the 
corner; and poor Mr. Montague did not get the 
sympathy which his romantic nature and his ideal- 
ized views of the dramatic art craved. 

None of the company thought it unusual that 
Wheeler should bring a friend to a house where he 
himself was merely a visitor, without the formality 
of first asking permission of the hostess. There 
was nothing conventional about the Mentons. One 
did about as one pleased at their house. 

Mr. Henry Wheeler, artist and magazine scrib- 
bler, a constant caller at the Mentons, entered, 
accompanied by his friend. 

" My old chum, Mr. Denman," said he, present- 
ing his companion to Miss Menton. 

Wheeler's friend had entered the doorway as 
self-possessed as an indifferent man of the world 
could be. But when he raised his eyes to recognize 
the introduction, he changed color perceptibly; and 
Miss Menton turned pale. She stared at the man 
before her as if in doubt whether to take the hand 
he had extended. His embarrassment was too pain- 



OLD ENEMIES MEET. 13 

ful to witness. Finally Miss Menton said with 
much sweetness and grace: 

" Mr. Denman is welcome as all of Mr. Wheel- 
er's friends are;" and she at once turned her atten- 
tion to her guests, entertaining them with a rare 
tact which had made her famous. 

But Paul Denman did not recover his equanimity 
so readily. He sat pale and silent throughout the 
evening. His one or two attempts to appear at ease 
were awkward failures. Wheeler, who had witnessed 
with surprise the embarrassment which the meeting 
between his friend and Miss Menton had caused 
both, watched him as closely as he could without 
attracting the attention of the others, and tried to 
conceive a satisfactory explanation. 

It was with a feeling of infinite relief that Den- 
man saw him rise and say good night to Miss Men- 
ton, and he smiled for the first time during his brief 
stay in the Menton house when the woman, the sud- 
den meeting with whom had so visibly affected him, 
held out her hand and very frankly and cordially 
bade him repeat his visit soon. 

Paul Denman was not a man whose appearance 
invited confidence, though it was not altogether 
unprepossessing. He was tall, well built, with good 
features, and an easy, graceful carriage. But there 



14 WAS IT A CEIME? 

was a something about him that repelled one. A phy- 
siognomist would have said that his eyes were deceit- 
ful, his mouth cruel and sensual. Whatever it was in 
his nature that told one he was not a man to trust, 
readers of human nature were not slow to discover 
its presence. Children were afraid of him, and 
good women avoided him. And yet he was popular, 
in a way, with men. He was a brilliant conversa- 
tionalist, and delightfully entertaining as a raconteur. 
He had been absent from New York for eight years 
since the death of his father, who had left him a 
snug patrimony which he might by industry have 
enlarged into a magnificent fortune, but which he 
had chosen to friiter away in the fleeting enjoyments 
of a fast life. 

When Wheeler met him by accident that morn- 
ing he had not been two hours ashore from the 
Etruria, which had brought him back to his native 
land. They had been chums at college, though 
there had never been much sympathy between them, 
and Wheeler had not hesitated to inquire if he had 
come back to America to go to work for a living. 

" Not quite so bad as that," Denman had replied, 
" but devilish close to it. By economy " and he 
laughed derisively to show, his contempt for the 



OLD ENEMIES MEET. 15 

word " I suppose I can scrub along for a couple of 
years longer as a gentleman." 

Wheeler had invited him to be his guest until 
he should decide whether he would remain in New 
York, or go to San Francisco to visit a sister who 
resided there, and Denman had accepted. Wheeler 
was one of the few persons whom Denman really 
liked or thought he liked. 

" One would not have much trouble in guessing 
that the occupant of these rooms is an artist," said 
Denman, as he lit his cigar, and sank comfortably 
into a large chair and gazed lazily about him, upon 
their return from the Mentons. He seemed to have 
forgotten all about the unpleasant episode of an 
hour before. 

Wheeler had three rooms. The two larger ones 
were connected by folding doors, which were always 
open. A small apartment, adjoining the real parlor 
which Wheeler used as a studio, in which he 
painted passable pictures and wrote clever sketches 
and critiques was the artist's bedroom. They 
were seated in the studio. The walls were deco- 
rated with all sorts of odd conceits. There were 
studies in crayon, water color and oil, half -finished 
pictures, a few really good paintings by other 
artists and a dozen or more rare engravings and 



16 WAS IT A CHIME? 

etchings. A collection of old swords, lances, daggers 
and pistols, with a shield in the center, hung upon 
the wall, arranged with artistic effect. On the man- 
tel beneath there were two very delicate statuettes, 
a clock, and half a dozen smaller objects. An easel 
stood in one corner of the studio, on which there 
was a stretched canvas with a blue sky background 
painted across the top, and a few dim outlines 
scratched on the lower half. The front room 
Wheeler called his chamber of state, An old-fash- 
ioned bedstead, high and Puritanical in its severity, 
stood in one corner. The half dozen chairs which 
were scattered about were old style and unique. 
Wheeler had succeeded admirably in producing an 
antique effect of the tout ensemble. 

The artist was not in his usual cheerful mood. 
His thoughts reverted to the meeting between Miss 
Menton and Denman. Again and again he tried to 
solve the mystery of that strange expression in Miss 
Menton' s eyes, the sudden pallor of her face, and 
the embarrassment of Denman. While his friend 
was admiring the general arrangement of the rooms 
and their furnishings, Wheeler arose and walked to 
the fire-place; looked thoughtfully into its vacant 
blackness, and then suddenly turned to Denman and 
asked earnestly: 



OLD ENEMIES MEET. 17 

" What is there between you and Miss Menton ? " 

A shade of annoyance crossed his friend's face. 
He moved uneasily in his chair. 

" Nothing," he answered, evasively. 

" But you have met her before? " 

"Yes." 

"Where?" 

" In Paris." 

"When?" 

" Five years ago." 

"Were you intimately acquainted with her?" 

"No." 

"It was not a love affair then?" with a nervous 
attempt at a laugh. 

"No." 

Wheeler looked relieved. Denman arose and 
walked to the window. 

"Do you get a good light for your work here? " 
he asked. 

" Good enough," answered Wheeler, absently. 
" But tell me," he added, impulsively, " why should 
your meeting with Miss Menton have caused you so 
much embarrassment? " 

Denman frowned. " See here, old man," said he, 
turning from the window and looking his compan- 
ion square in the face, " it can do you no good to 



18 WAS IT A CBIME? 

know anything about why I was for the moment 
upset to find myself face to face with Miss Menton. 
If you had told me the name of the woman whom I 
was to meet, I would not have gone with you. How- 
ever, I am surprised that she recognized me. We 
were never even friends. Let that satisfy you for 
the present. Some day I may tell you the whole 
story though it would probably put you to sleep," 
and Denman yawned as if the mere thought of it 
were soporific. 

To Wheeler there was something exasperating 
in Denman' s manner. He felt, too, that his friend 
was concealing something from him ; but he merely 
said: 

"Very well; as you please. Of course it's no 
affair of mine." 

Wheeler tried to say this as if he really did not 
care to know the history of the "affair;" but he 
soon relapsed into a moody silence. Denman looked 
at his friend furtively, and, without changing his 
expression, picked up a comic paper which was lying 
upon the table and began to turn its leaves list- 
lessly. He only half guessed the reason of Wheel- 
er's inquisitiveness. He thought it was merely idle 
curiosity. It never entered his head that Wheeler 
was in love with Miss Menton, and Wheeler himself 



OLD ENEMIES MEET. 19 

would not have^ admitted it, for the reason that he did 
not know it. And in truth he was not in love with her, 
though with an artist's eye he had admired the lines 
of her superb figure ; and the peculiar dreaminess of 
her red-brown eyes had impressed him strangely. 
But an infatuation for the beautiful Miss Menton 
had been growing within him none the less strong 
because of his unconsciousness of it. It never 
occurred to him that he might one day find it diffi- 
cult to get out of the meshes into which he had vol. 
untarily plunged. 

The meeting between Denman and Miss Menton, 
the former's refusal to explain the cause of the pal- 
pable uneasiness of both attending it; Denman's 
evident desire to conceal from him the history of 
their acquaintance in Paris, and Miss Menton's sud- 
den change from coldness to warmth,- as she invited 
Denman to repeat his visit all this irritated 
Wheeler, and he lashed himself into a silent passion 
of jealousy. He made himself believe that he was 
simply annoyed because Denman had not given him 
his full confidence, to which he convinced himself 
he was entitled through the fact that he had been 
the cause of their meeting. 

Henry Wheeler was an impulsive, warm-hearted 
fellow of thirty-two; as susceptible to kindness as 



20 WAS IT A CKIME? 

to sunshine ; moody at times, always illusionary, and, 
though of a cheerful, open disposition, a victim to 
presentiments. He lacked poise. If the day on 
which he was about to seek a purchaser for his last 
painting or critique were cloudy, he regarded it as 
an omen of failure. If he were contemplating an 
undertaking, the success of which seemed doubtful, 
he would flip a coin in the air. If it fell "tails" 
when he had mentally called "heads," he would try 
the charm again, and if with the same result, he 
would either turn from his purpose in morbid dis- 
couragement or go about it weighed down by the 
conviction that he would fail. His moral nature 
was a weathercock, which swung more easily to the 
right than to the wrong, but which any wind, good 
or bad, could move, were it strong enough. 

The physical man was pronounced. He stood 
six feet in his stockings, and was of symmetrical 
proportions. A pair of hazel eyes looked out at 
you from under a high brow, almost abnormally 
developed at the sides, where the hair grew away 
from the temples. A phrenologist would have said 
that the organs of ideality and sublimity were devel- 
oped so greatly in excess of the other organs as to 
make it impossible for Henry Wheeler to view the 
affairs of every-day life from a practical standpoint. 



OLD ENEMIES MEET. 21 

It is very rarely that a man of his temperament 
attains perfect physical development; and Wheeler 
would not have attained it but for his great love of 
the fields and the water. He would stroll for hours 
across the rolling farms on the Hudson, happy to be 
alone with the birds and flowers; and he found 
scarcely less delight in sailing and rowing. He 
was a paradox in more ways than in his mental and 
physical temperament. Though possessed of great 
spirituality, yet he was at times grossly material; 
though tender hearted as a woman and generous in 
his instincts, yet he could be guilty of the most 
atrocious and cruel selfishness. He never studied 
himself, nor attempted to solve the lack of harmony 
in his nature. 

A yawn from Denman aroused Wheeler from his 
feverish musings. He chided himself for having 
acted so ungraciously to a guest, and with as much 
cheerfulness of countenance as he could assume, he 
showed Denman to his room, and bade him good night. 

Denman' s eyes glittered with coarse desire as he 
sat upon the edge of the bed, deep in thought. He 
arose, disrobed, and as he turned out the gas mut- 
tered to himself : 

" I wonder if it would be as dangerous to culti- 
vate the Mentons in New York as it was in Paris." 



CHAPTEK II. 

AMID RETORTS AND FURNACES. 

Little Mrs. Mittens told the truth when she said 
that Mr. Menton was " a strange old gentleman," 
and she might have added that Miss Menton was a 
strange young lady. Between this odd pair there 
existed a relation that was utterly devoid of the 
affection natural between father and daughter. 
They seemed to be nothing more than good friends, 
who understood each other's idosyncrasies, and tole- 
rated them. 

The old man spent most of his time in the study. 
It was in the roof. No one but Menton and his 
daughter had ever set foot within the threshold 
since the old man had completed the arrangement 
of his retorts, furnaces, surgical instruments, chemi- 
cals, and books. The servants were almost afraid to 
pass the door. You could not have hired the cham- 
bermaid to enter this terrible apartment indeed, 
the strange ways of the Mentons, with the added 
mystery of the old man's laboratory, made it almost 
impossible for them to keep a servant longer than a 

22 



AMID RETORTS AND FURNACES. 23 

month. The servants liked Miss Menton well 
enough, for she permitted them to do about as they 
pleased, and seemed to be an ordinary mortal like 
themselves. But the old man was a constant source 
of terror to them. Even their lively imaginations 
could not picture the inside of his laboratory suffi- 
ciently horrible. They were confident that he was 
in league with the devil; and the cook, who had 
never seen him, but who had been filled with fear 
and wonder by the tales the chambermaid and 
dining-room girl had told her touching the old 
man's peculiarities very much exaggerated, of 
course, and colored as highly as the imaginations 
of these simple women could paint them would 
not have been at all surprised if this magician in 
the attic should take it into his head to transport 
the house, servants and all, to the infernal regions 
by one wave -of the wand which she felt assured was 
always convenient to his hand. Nothing but her 
laziness kept her in the Menton kitchen. She was 
opposed to early rising; and the Mentons did not 
breakfast till ten. 

There was one thing which the servants did not 
attempt to explain; and that was, what Mr. Menton 
did with so many dogs. Nearly every week a fresh 
dog was coaxed or driven into the old gentleman's 



24 WAS IT A CRIME? 

study. Menton would go out for a walk and come 
back with a dog. When once the door of the 
"study" had closed upon the canine the night 
knew his howl no more. Thus old Menton' s 
mystery was always associated with dogs, and the 
cook was of the opinion that he ate them. 

Lucius Menton was a true savant. He was un- 
known to the world, though one or two of his 
friends were members of the French Academy; but 
he had never written anything for the scientific 
magazines, and knew only three scientific men in 
New York; one, a doctor whose countenance was so 
evil that no Christian would have him at his bed- 
side; the second, a chemist who was employed by 
one of the large chemical manufacturing firms of 
New York; and the third, a specialist in physiology 
a man who would have won a name in the world 
had he not made the mistake of experimenting on 
himself in order that he might fully appreciate the 
condition of mental exaltation produced by opiates. 
This man eked out a precarious existence by assist- 
ing as a proof reader in a house which published 
medical works. 

These men were not in Menton' s confidence. O, 
No! He treated them with consideration because 
they were at times useful to him ; but not one of 



AMID RETORTS AND FURNACES. 27 

them had ever been in his study, and he was always 
careful that they should not find the slightest indi- 
cation to lead them to the secret of his investiga- 
tions. He had an income which made it possible 
for him to live in ease without a thought of to-mor- 
row or time. He was of French blood, and, as a 
fitting conclusion to the dissipations of his youth, 
had married a French ballet dancer, who had died 
five years after giving birth to a beautiful girl 
whom Menton had always regarded very much as he 
would the child of a friend, which he was in honor 
bound to rear. He had named her Helene. She 
had traveled all over the world with him, and had 
grown to have some interest in her father's scien- 
tific studies, though she spent only as much time in 
his company as pleased her; and he never bothered 
himself to inquire how she occupied herself when 
he was busy with his books and experiments. 

In fact he did not care. He believed in neither 
religion nor ethics, and though not coarse in his 
nature, was totally devoid of moral refinement. 
With all this, he was kind to the poor, cultured, and 
apparently a gentleman of the old school. Such 
were Lucius Menton' s surroundings when we find 
him devoting the ripe strength of his intellect to 
the investigation of a theory which, if proved, 



28 WAS IT A CRIME? 

would startle the physiological world. It was to 
this end that he was continually luring stray dogs 
to his laboratory, where, by the aid of vivisection, 
he might demonstrate the error of the established 
theory of the circulation of the blood. He fondly 
hoped to some day burst upon the scientific world 
like a comet, and in a blaze of glory show the old 
fogies that the lungs, not the heart, are the organs 
which pump the life blood through the arteries of 
the body. 

He was seated at his desk, writing rapidly, his 
eyes aglow with enthusiasm when his daughter en- 
tered. Her guests had departed. She had come at 
her father's request and with a purpose of her 
own. 

"I'm nearing the end," said the old man, throw- 
ing down his pen, and clenching his fists through 
nervous excitement; "my theory is right and it 
will be accepted it must be accepted!" 

Miss Menton had heard this before. It did not 
elate her ; indeed, if she had fully believed her father 
had really accomplished his great undertaking she 
was not in a mood to rejoice with him. 

"I hope so," she said indifferently, and then 
with a sudden burst of feeling which seemed to in- 
tensify the peculiar redness of her eyes, and in a 



AMID RETORTS AND FURNACES. 29 

voice trembling with only half suppressed passion, 
she exclaimed: 

"I have found him!" 

"Who?" and Menton frowned. He did not 
like to have his great discovery disposed of so flip- 
pantly for any "he." 

"Denman! 1 ' 

"Denman!" repeated the old man in surprise. 
" Well, what do you propose to do with him now 
that you have found him?" he continued coolly 
after a pause. He picked up his pen and turned to 
his writing 

Miss Menton was silent. The quiet of the 
laboratory, heavy with the stale fumes of acids and 
gases, was broken only by the scratching of Men- 
ton's pen, and the rustle of the silk which covered 
Miss Menton' s heaving bosom. The fire died out 
of her eyes. Her lips trembled. She looked 
vacantly toward the window : 

" I don't know," she answered hopelessly. 

" Where did you find him ?" asked the old man 
grimly. 

" Here." 

"What, in New York?" 

" In this very house," and the color came back 
to Miss Menton' s cheeks, and her eyes blazed again. 



30 WAS IT A CRIME? 

" He did not seek you? " 

" No. "Wheeler brought him. He seemed 
frightened when he stood face to face with me. 
He could not have known that he was going to 
meet me. And I was startled, too; but I recov- 
ered myself much quicker than he did." 

" I am not surprised at that," and the old man 
gazed upon his daughter admiringly. " But I 
suppose you will forget the past, and let him go? 
It will save trouble and annoyance." 

"Forget!" The woman drew up her superb 
figure to its full height. She looked a very 
Phsedre. " Forget! Never! " she hissed. " Can I 
forget that it was he who robbed me of the man 
I loved, of position, wealth, and happiness ? Can I 
forget that but for his act I might to-day be a 
Countess? No! No." 

" But what do you purpose to do?" asked the 
old man, without a trace of sympathy in his voice. 
His daughter did not answer. After a moment of 
thought she said in a strained voice: 

"If he is as anxious to make love to me as he 
was once, I may give him an opportunity." 

"What then?" 

" Wait and see." With a nervous laugh Miss 
Menton started toward the door, and after a con- 



AMID RETORTS AND FURNACES. 31 

ventional and meaningless good night, she left the 
room. The old man was alone with his retorts 

and bottles. He soliloquized : "She'll pay 

that poor devil principal and interest on the debt 
she owes him. Of course, he will make a fool of 
himself over her if she gives him the slightest 
encouragement they all do. Well, if she can take 
her revenge in tliat way, it's harmless enough 
But what if the fellow has no heart to break? " 



CHAPTEK III. 

BEAUTIFUL HELENE MENTON. 

Helene Menton was more beautiful and fascina- 
ting at thirty than she had been at twenty. She 
was a rare woman a beautiful animal, and clear 
and sparkling in her intellectuality. It is doubtful 
if she could have become a truly good woman 
under any circumstances. She had inherited the 
passionate nature of her mother, with its attendant 
lack of moral balance, together with the selfish, 
indifferent temperament of her father; and these 
hereditary traits were as strongly marked as is the 
color of a child born of negro parents. Such as 
she was nature had made her. She had no desire 
to be better; she might have been much worse. 
She was tall, sinuous, and yet not slender. Her 
figure contained all the charms which plumpness 
gives, with the dignity and grace which are almost 
inseparable from slenderness. There was a magnet- 
ism in her presence which sent a thrill through 
m.en who were susceptible to physical beauty. Her 
eyes which had exerted so strange an influence 

32 



BEAUTIFUL HELENS MENTON. 33 


over Henry Wheeler, despite the natural aversion 

he had felt for the woman upon meeting her for 
first time were of that odd combination of color 
which to the student of faces denotes a peculiarly 
passionate nature and pronounced will power. 
Had she been born a man, and become a soldier, 
she would have moved men to great deeds of daring 
by her personality, and the magnetism of her eyes. 

Her position in society was- equivocal. In 
truth, it must be admitted that she did not move in 
what is called society. She never went out except 
to the play and the opera, and the only people she 
knew in New York were those who came to her 
house. And a queer lot they were; artists, actors, 
Bohemian writers, one or two retired army officers, 
and a few women, whose only accomplishments were 
an ability to talk a great deal, sing a little, and 
dress decently. These women were not what one 
would call comme il faut, and yet one could not 
prove that the lives they led were not above 
reproach. They stood upon that neutral ground 
which lies between admitted virtue and pronounced 
wickedness. Miss Men ton was head and shoulders 
above this collection of femininity, intellectually 
and morally, too. 

She was resigned to existence as she found it; 



34 WAS IT A CRIME? 

never craved that society which was beyond her 
or if she did her ambition was known to no one but 
herself and did not burden her mind with specu- 
lations upon what may come after death. 

A bad woman the gentle reader will say. 
Bad? Yes; but is she responsible for it? Her 
very individuality was inherited. She can not 
make herself better than she is. Her surroundings 
would forbid that, had she the desire. It is not 
pleasant to draw the picture of a woman who has all 
the graces of body and mind, and yet who is as 
empty of holy womanly sentiment as a statue is of 
feeling. But the duty of the writer is to show you 
the people in this strange episode of the nineteenth 
century as they really existed. It would be a more 
pleasing task to give virtues to all of them, and 
warm, open natures; but it would not be a true 
picture. If you can find anything in Miss Menton 
to admire, cherish it. If you can not, at least 
remember that she is the child of Lucius Menton, 
and a French ballet dancer; and be charitable. 



CHAPTEK IV. 

IT WAS HARDLY MURDER. 

Denman became a constant visitor at the Men- 
tons. He was there almost nightly, and by the 
good natured people who gathered there was voted 
the wittiest and cleverest of Miss Menton's guests. 

Wheeler viewed Denman's popularity and the 
advancement he seemed to be making in Miss Men- 
ton's good graces with displeasure. He grew mor- 
bid and restless. Once or twice he resolved to 
remain away from the Meriton house and the 
unhealthful atmosphere which permeated it, and 
devote himself to honest work with brush and pen. 
But these resolutions were np sooner made than 
broken. He felt miserable in that atmosphere; but 
he was in despair when out of it, especially when 
his imagination pictured Denman and Miss Menton 
chatting gaily together. 

The peculiarity of Wheeler's passion was that it 
probably would never have assumed serious propor- 
tions if Paul Denman had not come upon the scene, 
and, by the mystery of his former acquaintance with 



36 WAS IT A CRIME: 

Miss Menton, aroused his jealousy, which in turn 
had increased his infatuation. 

He did as other impressionable men had done 
before him: refused to listen to reason and rushed 
headlong into a sea of misery with his eyes open. 
Denman was not. long in discovering his friend's 
unhappy condition. He liked Wheeler, and with a 
seriousness unusual with him, he asked: 

"Tell me frankly: do you really care for that 
woman?" 

Wheeler's face flushed, and he asked hotly: 
" By what right do you speak of Miss Menton as 
'that woman?'" 

" Well, call her Miss Menton, if you please. But 
I see that it is not necessary to repeat my question ; 
you evidently care a great deal for her. I'm sorry 
for you, my friend." 

"I don't want your sympathy," said Wheeler, 
sulkily; "you seem to be as much in need of condo- 
lence as I." 

Paul Denman laughed. " Not at all, my dear 
fellow," he said. " There is not the slightest dan- 
ger of my heart ever becoming entangled there." 

This satisfied Wheeler for a moment. Then he 
asked: "If you dislike her so much why do you 
spend so much of your time at her house? " 



IT WAS &AHDLY MURDEB. 87 

-* She is very pretty," replied Denman, twisting 
his moustache; "and one can't meet pretty women 
every day, and clever ones at that." 

To hear Miss Menton discussed in this insolent 
manner was unbearable. "You are trifling with 
her then," exclaimed Wheeler. At that moment he 
would have laid down his life to defend the woman 
whom he did not even thoroughly respect. 

Denman looked at him in genuine- surprise. 
" Wheeler," said he, " you really seem to have some 
faith in Miss Menton. You don't know her. She 
is not worthy of your confidence certainly not of 
your love." 

Wheeler rose and paced nervously up and down 
the room. Denman watched him with much con- 
cern. He honestly pitied him. Suddenly Wheeler 
stopped in front of Denman' s chair. His face was 
very white. 

" Denman," he said, his voice tremulous with the 
intensity of his feelings, " we are friends. Friend- 
ship has its obligations. I beg of you to tell me 
what you know of Miss Menton. Why is she 
not worthy of my confidence? Why is she not 
worthy of the love of any man? Explain to me 
the mystery that lies between you. How came you 



38 WAS IT A CRIME? 

to know her in Paris ? Tell me all. I have a right 
to know." 

"I would rather not," answered Denman, 
gravely. 

"But you said you would, and I hold you to 
your promise." 

"You are mistaken, Wheeler; I did not promise, 
for I never intended to tell you. I merely said that 
perhaps I would tell you. However, you shall hear 
the story. I have never told it to anyone else, and 
I now tell it to you in the confidence of friendship. 
The secret which you so desire to know concerns 
me more closely than it does Miss Menton. I 
killed her lover." 

"Murdered him!" exclaimed Wheeler, starting 
to his feet in horror. 

"Hear me out," said Denman, motioning with 
his hand for Wheeler to resume his seat. "I 
killed him in a duel. It was his life or mine. It 
would have been mine but for an accident. The 
circumstances which led up to the duel were these: 
Five years ago I was in Paris. You have never 
been in Paris. Multiply the wickedness of New 
York by ten, and you will only approximate the 
gilded degeneracy of the French capital. Being 
young, rich, and with a desire to leave no pleasure 



IT WAS HAKDLY MUEDER. 89 

untasted, I plunged into dissipations of every 
description. The Mentons lived in Paris very 
much as they live here. It was not difficult to get 
into their house. I was taken to it by a friend, just 
as you took me to see Miss Menton here in New 
York. I saw men playing cards; there was a gene- 
ral air of looseness about the place at least it 
seemed so to me. I took it for granted that it was 
a gaming place, and I had not a doubt but that the 
beautiful woman who presided over it was the decoy 
that led men to their ruin. To me, an American, 
the presumption was natural that this woman was 
like hundreds of others in Paris. I was wrong in 
my first supposition. Her house was not a gam- 
bling den; and perhaps she was not so bad a 
woman as I believed. But I did not discover my 
error until too late. Heated with wine, upon taking 
my departure, I said something to Miss Menton 
which she construed as an insult. You should have 
seen her eyes flash! Nothing daunted, I returned 
the next evening. I was refused admittance; that 
is to say, in polite terms, ' Miss Menton was not at 
home.' This angered me. To be kicked out of 
such a place made me frantic. I felt sure that I 
was not culpable. I did not believe that any pure 
woman could lead the life that woman led. By that 



13 



40 WAS IT A CBIME? 

reasoning I excused my action, and I hated her 
heartily. 

" Three nights later I entered a cafe". Not ten 
feet from the table at which I had taken a seat, sat 
Miss Meuton and a fine looking fellow a German 
Count, as I afterward learned. Still smarting under 
the humiliation she had put upon me, I boldly and 
insultingly stared and sneered at the woman. Her 
companion could not but observe it. He crossed to 
where I sat and demanded an explanation and an 
apology. I laughed in his face. He slapped me 
with his open hand. I retaliated in a very un- 
Parisian way by knocking him down. Upon regain- 
ing his feet he handed me his card, and demanded 
mine. I gave it to him. As I expected, on the 
following day I received a challenge. You may be 
surprised, but the prospect of a duel delighted me. 
It had been the ambition of my silly youth to fight 
one, and one of the first things I did on arriving in 
Paris was to secure a fencing master you remember 
how much I liked fencing at college? Well, under 
this Frenchman's training I became, as I thought, 
very proficient. The Count's challenge gave me 
the very opportunity I had been longing for. I 
accepted it, and much to his surprise, chose rapiers. 
He had supposed that being an American I would, 



IT WAS HARDLY MURDER. 41 

of course, choose pistols they have an idea over 
there that every American carries a revolver and 
uses it on the slightest provocation. 

" We fought in Belgium. I very soon made two 
discoveries: first, that fighting a duel with naked 
swords was quite a different thing from a combat 
with foils, with the face protected by a mask; and 
second, that the Count was more than my match. 
Twice he lunged at me so wickedly that it was with 
the greatsst difficulty I parried his thrust. I acted 
entirely on the defensive. After we had been on 
guard for, say three minutes, he began to act as if 
he intended to finish me at once. He advanced 
cautiously. I retreated as well as I could, but he 
continued to approach, disengaging his sword by 
quick feints. It unnerved me. I thought my time 
had come. In sheer terror I ducked my head and 
involuntarily extended my sword arm. It saved my 
life; for it so happened that at that very instant the 
Count was preparing to lunge. His blade passed 
harmlessly over my shoulder; mine penetrated his 
heart ran clear through him. He gasped, threw 
up his arms, and fell dead. I returned to Paris, 
took the first train for London, and two days later 
was steaming toward India. I have not been in 
Paris since," 



42 WAS IT A CRIME? 

During the recital of this story, Wheeler had not 
once removed his eyes from the man who had so 
coolly and graphically detailed the killing of another. 

"I am glad you told me," he said in a con- 
strained voice. " I can not say that I blame you. 
It was hardly murder. But do you think this 
Count was Miss Menton's lover I mean in the 
French significance?" 

"You know as much about that as I do," re- 
turned Deiiman, recovering his old free-and-easy 
manner. "For my part, I mean to find out. To 
that end I am a visitor at her house. If he was, 
why should not I, the victor take his place ? " 

Wheeler recoiled. " This is horrible," he said. 
" I should think you would shun rather than seek 
her. I believe," continued Wheeler, with conviction, 
" that your opinion of the woman is wrong, and that 
you will be sorry if you try to prove that it is right." 

"What! Haven't I cured you?" exclaimed 
Denman. 

"No; you admit yourself that you do not "know; 
that you only surmise." 

"Let's drop the subject," said Denman. "No 
good can come of a further discussion of it." 

They did not speak of Miss Menton again until 
three weeks later. 



CHAPTEE V. 

"WHY NOT MORE THAN FRIENDS?" 

Wheeler found Miss Menton alone when he 
called a few nights after he had become possessed 
of Denman's secret. He looked into her eyes with 
a new interest in their beautiful possessor. "A 
good opportunity to study her," he thought as he 
took the hand which she charmingly extended as he 
entered. 

"It's not often I have the pleasure of a quiet 
conversation with you, now," he said. 

"Is it really a pleasure?" she asked, gently. 

" A very great one," Wheeler replied. 

"Then you must come often in the afternoon, 
when .1 am always alone You may be sure the 
pleasure of our talks will be mutual. But where is 
Mr. Denman to-night?" 

Wheeler's spirits sank. " Oh, he'll drop in later, 
I suppose," he replied, indifferently. But he could 
not entirely conceal his annoyance. " Why does 
she think of him, after what has happened?" he 
asked himself. " Can it be that Denman's opinion 

43 



44 WAS IT A CRIME? 

of her is right ? " The thought was misery. He 
sat silent and morose. The change in his expres- 
sion and manner did not escape Miss Menton. That 
it conveyed an intelligence was evident from the 
softer light that came into her eyes. 

"Let us not talk about him," she purred insin- 
uatingly. "I want to tell you of a conversation I 
had with Professor Eyse you know the professor, 
the old gentleman who knows so much about physi- 
ology and who comes here to talk with papa some- 
times? Of course you do. Well, just before you 
came, he was telling me of some very wonderful 
things that have been done recently by the French 
psychologists, who have been investigating hyp- 
notism. Do you believe in it ?" 

"Most assuredly," said Wheeler, happy once 
more. 

"What do you think it is; magnetism or some- 
thing of that sort?" 

"No; not exactly, though something like the 
hypnotic condition may be produced by magnetism. 
To tell the truth, I don't know much about it only 
enough to believe in it." 

" It seems to me," said Miss Menton, with a per- 
ceptible shudder, " that there must be something 
supernatural about it" 



WHY NOT MORE THAN FRIENDS? 47 

"Don't you believe her; she knows better," said 
a voice. 

They looked up. There stood old Mr. Menton. 
He laughed. " Don't let me interrupt your learned 
conversation," said he; "I'm merely looking for 
the daily paper s." 

He found them on the floor, near where his 
daughter was sitting. As he started to leave the 
room he turned to Wheeler and said jocosely: 
" Don't let my daughter deceive you. She is not so 
silly as to believe in the supernatural in anything. 
She would not be my daughter if she were." 

Wheeler smiled, for want of something better to 
do. Miss Menton followed her father with her eyes 
as he went out of the door. It was not an affection- 
ate glance that she gave him. 

At this moment Col. McPhister and Mr. Mon- 
tague were announced. The former came in briskly ; 
the latter strode in as if he were making the fifth 
entrance in the r6le of Hamlet. 

"We were talking about hypnotism," said 
Wheeler, who had a real interest in the subject. 
"What do you know about it, Colonel? We are 
sadly in need of enlightenment." 

"Never heard of it," grunted the old warrior, 



48 WAS IT A CHIME? 

gallantly lifting the hand of the fair hostess to his 
lips. 

"A most entertaining subject," said Montague 
with a superior air; "one which appeals to all con- 
templative minds, and one to which I have given 
much thought." 

" If that's the case, I suppose you've exhausted 
it," barked the Colonel, with rasping sarcasm; "but 
what's it like, anyway?" 

Mr. Montague did not deign to reply. He even 
turned his back upon the grumpy Colonel. 

"It's something like mesmerism," volunteered 
"Wheeler. 

" Then it's a damned humbug if you'll excuse 
my emphasis," replied the Colonel, promptly. 

Miss Menton smiled. His "emphasis" was par- 
doned. He knew it would be. He had often 
offended in the same way, and had been forgiven 
every time. 

"Yes," the old fellow continued, "I've seen a 
good deal of that kind of humbug. It's a good 
enough thing to write about, and it may interest 
scientific men to fool away their time over it, but a 
man's a fool to believe in it, all the same. It's like 
the mind cure something for women to talk about 



WHY NOT MORE THAN FRIENDS? 49 

good enough for infants and idiots, but nonsense 
for level-headed men." 

" The mind cure, as you vulgarly call it," said 
Mr. Montague, interjecting himself into the conver- 
sation with mild dignity, "is one of the trans- 
cendental discoveries of our time. It proves that 
thought is; that matter is not." 

" The devil it does," said the Colonel, contempt- 
uously. 

Mr. Montague was above noticing the interrup- 
tion. " You are a metaphysician, are you not, Miss 
Mentoii?" he continued. 

"I'm afraid my knowledge of metaphysics is not 
great enough to entitle me to that distinction," 
smiled Miss Menton. 

" Beg pardon, but you do not understand me," 
explained Montague with a kindly patronizing air 
that was so ridiculous that Wheeler almost laughed 
aloud; " I meant to ask if you had not studied the 
science of curing what is commonly called disease 
by the influence of the mind?" 

" And do you call that metaphysics ? " broke in 
the Colonel, impatiently. " How long does it take 
to learn it?" 

" I mastered it in two weeks," said Mr. Mon- 
tague, with considerable emphasis ; " but, of 



50 WAS I? A. CRIME? 

course," he added, " I had no part to play in that 
time." 

" Except the part of a fool," said McPhister, 
sotto voce. He went on in a loud, aggressive voice, 
as if his intelligence had been outraged: " Two 
weeks, do you say? And you call yourself a meta- 
physician ! Why, my dear sir, it may surprise you, 
but there are men men of brains, too who have 
studied metaphysics for a lifetime who dare not 
call themselves metaphysicians. Metaphysicians 
made in two weeks! Bosh! I am pained to tell 
you, sir, that your philosophy is even worse than 
your acting a damned sight worse, sir," and the 
Colonel sat down very hard in a very soft chair. 
The old fellow was disgusted, and he did not con- 
ceal it. But if he thought he could hart Mr. Mon- 
tague's feelings he was mistaken. That aesthetic 
representative of the art histrionic had only pity for 
the vulgar materialism of his military friend. He 
made no reply. 

Wheeler had been very much amused by the 
passage at words between McPhister and Montague. 
He admired the old soldier for his blunt nature as 
much as he disliked Montague for his weak-minded 
pretentiousness. Turning to Miss Menton, he 
said, pleasantly: 



WHY NOT MOEE THAN FRIENDS? 51 

" If our belligerent friends will permit me, we'll 
resume our instructive conversation on hypnotism. 
So you really believe there is something supernat- 
ural about it?" 

" Papa has given me a reputation for such pro- 
nounced materialism that you would not believe me 
if I were to say yes," replied Miss Menton, elevat- 
ing her brows. 

The Colonel was already dozing; Montague was 
at the other end of the room making himself believe 
he was criticizing an etching. 

"I would believe anything you might say." 
Wheeler said this in a low voice almost a whisper ; 
so low that only the ears for which it was intended 
heard it. 

Miss Menton gave him a glance that made his 
blood tingle. McPhister was soon sound asleep, and 
Montague, having sense enough to see that he was 
de trop, took his departure. It was the shortest 
call he had ever made at the Menton house, When 
they were alone, save for the sleeping presence of 
the Colonel, Miss Menton placed her hand confid- 
ingly on Wheeler's arm and said: 

" Do not think me bold, Mr. Wheeler, but I feel 
drawn toward you; we shall always be friends, shall 
we not?" 



52 WAS IT A CRIME? 

"Why not more than friends?" lie asked, 
eagerly, taking her hand and holding it in both of 
his, as he looked tenderly into her eyes. 

Miss Menton sighed. " That .can never be," she 
said, with a sad smile; "besides, I could not make 
you happy But we may always be friends. I need 
friends, Mr. Wheeler." 

The voice was so soft, so sweet, that Wheeler 
would have sworn its possessor was as good a 
woman at heart as ever breathed. He was about 
to say something foolish when Miss Menton said, 
prettily : 

"I move the previous question; let's go back to 
hypnotism." 

"Anything you like," said Wheeler. "Hypno- 
tize me, if you want to ; you already have me under 
a spell." 

Miss Menton rose suddenly and walked over to 
the mantel. She trembled violently. Could 
Wheeler have seen the expression on her face he 
would have been startled by its awfulness. It was 
that of a person who has conceived an idea that 
frightens even the mind which has created it. But 
when Miss Menton returned to her seat her face was 
calm, and only *ne strange light that burned in her 



WHY NOT MORE THAN FRIENDS? 58 

eyes indicated her mental excitement; and Wheeler 
did not notice this. 

"I believe I could hypnotize you," said Miss 
Menton, slowly; "for it seems to me that sympa- 
thetic natures have power over one another." 

Wheeler was at the point of putting her hand to 
his lips to prove that the sympathy to which she 
referred existed, when McPhister awoke with a 
snort and asked Wheeler to go to lunch with him. 
The artist was not hungry, and he would have 
declined the Colonel's invitation had not Miss Men- 
ton risen from her chair, prepared to bid them good 
night, thus indicating that she was not averse to 
bringing the conversation to an end. 

Wheeler left the house in company with the Col- 
onel in a feverish daze. He was not sure whether 
he was satisfied or not with the result of his visit. 

When they had gone Miss Menton began to pace 
nervously up and down the room. Her face was a 
study a combination of fear, doubt and determina- 
tion. She stopped short in her walk. "I'll try it, 
anyway," she said. She turned out the lights. A 
moment later she was alone in her chamber. 



CHAPTEE VI. 

IT WAS A SWELL NIGHT AT THE MENTONS. 

Wheeler got on famously with Miss Menton after 
their psychological interview. He thought he dis- 
covered new qualities in her every day. She 
seemed more thoughtful. In her society he found 
peace and contentment, and he was quite satisfied to 
let matters run as they would. He was not in love 
with her ; but the sentiment he entertained was very 
much like love. 

Denman still remained his guest. They had 
pleasant chats at night before retiring, and Den- 
man's friendship for Wheeler increased. The two 
weeks prior to the night at the Menton house, which 
will be described presently, were the most peaceful 
that Wheeler had enjoyed for years, and Denman 
seemed to have been refined by his association with 
the artist. Apparently he had abandoned his cam- 
paign on Miss Menton' s affections much to 
Wheeler's relief. All the good in the man seemed 
to have suddenly come to the surface. His conver- 
sation was not so coarse and flippant as it had been, 

54 



IT WAS A SWELL NIGHT AT THE MENTONS. 55 

and he was less cynical in his criticisms of persons 
and things. He once actually considered the advis- 
ability of opening an office and beginning the prac- 
tice of law. Wheeler had laughed at him. " You 
will not do that until the banks return your checks 
unpaid," he said, and Denman had laughingly 
admitted that his friend was about right. 

It was a swell night at the Mentons. The par- 
lors had not contained so many guests for a year. 
It was an informal gathering; and its size was due 
to the coincidence of a great many of Miss Menton' s 
acquaintances having taken it into their heads at 
the same time to pay her a visit. Professor Ryse 
was there, with his friend Dr. Grip who looked 
like a caricature; Mr. Landis, the chemist; Mrs. 
Mittens (her first appearance since the sudden con- 
gealing Miss Menton had given her some weeks 
before) ; Mr. Montague and a friend who could act, 
but who could not do anything else, and who could 
do that only under the stage manager's coaching; 
Col. McPhister; Judge Blackwood, a sedate looking 
man, who, through the invitation of McPhister that 
night made his first appearance in the Menton 
circle, and half a dozen other men and women who 
cut no greater figure in this strange episode than 
they did in Miss Men ton's reception that night; they 



6 WAS IT A CHIME? 

were useful simply as a background. Wheeler and 
Denman dropped in about nine o'clock. They were 
both in high spirits. The conversation had drifted 
through one channel into another, and out again 
into vagueness, until finally it ran against the 
theme in which the greatest number of those present 
seemed to be most interested. It was psychology. 

Professor Eyse introduced it by referring casu- 
ally to the wonderful feat in mind reading which a 
young man had accomplished in Boston. 

" This young man," continued the Professor with 
the air of a man who speaks ex cathedra, " suc- 
ceeded in finding a small scarf pin which had been 
concealed in a fireplace in a house nearly a mile 
distant from the room in which he sat, blindfolded, 
and in the presence of a committee. The person 
who concealed the pin was also a member of the 
committee. The mind reader was placed in a car- 
riage. The committee man, who had hidden the pin 
took a seat beside him. The reins were placed in 
the mind reader's hands. There was a constant 
contact between the hands of the mind reader and 
the person who concealed the pin. After some hesi- 
tation the mind reader drove straight to the house 
where the pin was hidden and found it without 
difficulty." 



IT WAS A SWELL NIGHT AT THE MENTONS. 57 

" He must have had a confederate," remarked 
Judge Blackwood. 

" No," replied the Professor, " I am quite sure 
the test was honest. Several members of the com- 
mittee occupied seats in the carriage with him. 
There was no opportunity for deception." 

" Do you not think it can be explained by muscle 
reading, and more reasonably than by mind read- 
ing?" ventured Mr. Landis. "There are a number 
of scientific men in Boston who investigated the 
matter and convinced themselves that it was really 
muscle reading. It seems to me quite natural that 
the person who hid the pin, and kept its location 
constantly in his mind, should have unconsciously 
directed the young man to the object by muscular 
pressure on his hand, or by some other indication 
of that nature. The sympathy between the mind 
and the muscles is strong, you know." 

" I do not put any faith in that theory," said the 
Professor. " I have not the slightest doubt of the 
truth of what is called mind reading. Tests have 
been made by the use of the galvanometer. The 
mind reader has held one end of a wire, the subject 
the other. When the galvanometer was applied to 
the wire there was a perceptible deflection of the 
needle. To me this proves what I have always 



58 WAS IT A CRIME? 

maintained in theory, that thought is what one 
might call, an electric essence. But I see no reason 
why one should question the genuineness of mind- 
reading, when more wonderful psychological phe- 
nomena thrust themselves under our eyes every 
day. The experiments which the French scientists 
have made in hypotism and successful experiments, 
too indicate that we are as yet infants in our un- 
derstanding of the subtle qualities of the mind and 
its power." The Professor was eloquent. It was 
his favorite theme. 

"Is this hypnotic power a special natural gift, 
or can it be acquired?" asked the Judge, who had 
become interested in the subject. 

" Any one can acquire it, though there are still 
quacks who profess that it is possessed by but 
few persons. I was discussing this question at 
some length with Miss Menton on my last visit," 
continued the Professor, " and was describing to 
her a remarkable case which has just been reported 
from ." 

" Yes," interrupted Miss Menton hastily, but not 
rudely; "the Professor told me all about this won- 
derful power, and how easily it can be acquired. I 
feel that I could exercise it myself with a little 



IT WAS A SWELL NIGHT AT THE MENTONS. 59 

practice," and Miss Menton laughed lightly as she 
tapped her fingers with her closed fan. 

"I haven't the slightest doubt of it," said the 
Professor. " The only requisite would be a willing 
subject and the proper conditions. There is noth- 
ing mysterious about the power, and the sooner the 
charlatans are exposed the better. Miss Menton 
could produce the hypnotic sleep as readily as any 
one could." 

" Let's have an experiment," said the Judge, 
who believed in improving opportunities as fast as 
they presented themselves, when they promised in- 
struction. 

" Wouldn't that be nice," chimed in Mrs. Mit- 
tens; " it reminds me of the time my sister and I 
sat down at a table at Madame La Grange's and 
tried to get the spirits to move it." 

Professor Eyse looked at the faded little widow 
with benignant pity. 

"Won't you try the experiment?" urged the 
Judge, turning to the Professor. 

"I beg you'll excuse me," Eyse answered. "It 
will be more amusing to let some of the young peo- 
ple try it. The result will be the same, I think" 

" I'm willing to try my power," said Miss Men- 
ton. Her face was flushed with excitement, and her 



60 WAS IT A CRIME? 

eyes blazed with a light that was peculiarly intense. 
"Who will be my subject?" 

" I will," said Denman promptly. He had no 
faith in Miss Men ton's ability to mesmerize him, 
but he was quite ready to undergo the pleasure of 
the experiment. 

" So will I, Miss Menton," said Wheeler, rising 
and crossing to where Miss Menton stood; " and my 
claim is the prior one. Don't you remember I 
offered myself as a subject once before?" 

Miss Menton remembered it only too well ; but 
she only said: "Did you? Well, then you shall 
be my subject. ' First come, first served,' you 
know," she added with benignity to Denman. 
"Your turn will come," and she laughed almost 
hysterically. 

Denman good-naturedly withdrew in favor of 
Wheeler, and as Miss Menton made preparations 
for the test, Montague remarked to McPhister, 
" What a gay mood Miss Menton is in to-night. I 
have not seen her so lively for a long time," and the 
Colonel nodded. 

The fair hostess placed a chair in the middle of 
the room, and at her direction Wheeler took his seat 
in it with mock gravity. He was quite willing to 



IT WAS A SWELL NIGHT AT THE MENTONS. 61 

be hypnotized, but like Denman, he doubted Miss 
Menton's ability to do it. 

"Now I must have some small, bright object," 
said she, assuming the air of the platform experi- 
menter in mesmerism; "something round and 
bright." 

"I have just what you want," said Colonel 
McPhister, as he unhooked from his watchchain a 
small gold sphere. He handed it to Miss Menton. 

" What makes it so heavy, Colonel? " she asked. 

"There's a bullet inside of it," he replied; 'lit 
was inside of me once. When the surgeon cut it 
out I asked for it. When I got so I could walk to 
a jeweler's I had it incased in a gold shell. I carry 
it as a cheerful memento," and the Colonel smiled 
grimly. 

Miss Menton shuddered and turned pale. Ryse 
thought she was going to faint. "How awful!" 
she exclaimed; and Wheeler thought to himself, 
" How tender hearted she is! " 

" Now let's begin," said Miss Menton, recovering 
her spirits, though her face was still pale and a 
wild excitement burned in her eyes. 

"I'm ready," said Wheeler, assuming an air of 
resignation. 

After enjoining silence Miss Menton took a seat 



62 WAS IT A CRIME? 

immediately in front of Wheeler. At her direction 
he placed his left hand in her right. Then with 
her left hand she held the golden bullet, grasped 
between the thumb and fore finger, immediately in 
front of Wheeler and about two inches above his 
eyes. 

" That is one of the simplest ways of producing 
artificial somnambulism," explained Professor Ryse. 

" I must have quiet perfect quiet," said Miss 
Menton with mock severity; and then to Wheeler: 
"Now put your mind in a quiet, receptive con- 
dition, and fix your gaze intently upon this little 
ball." 

Wheeler did so. He stared at it with an earnest- 
ness that made even Miss Menton smile; Mrs. Mit- 
tens tittered audibly, and Colonel McPhister burst 
into a loud guffaw. This broke the spell. Wheeler 
laughed outright, and Miss Menton in prettily as- 
sumed displeasure declared that she would make no 
more experiments in the presence of flippant people. 
" I am confident I could hypnotize Mr. Wheeler if 
we could be left alone," she said with earnest con- 
viction. 

"I've no doubt of it," chuckled McPhister to 
himself. 

"Let's give her a trial," said the Professor. 



IT WAS A SWELL NIGHT AT THE MENTONS. 63 

" She's only a novice and can surely do better if 
left alone with her subject." 

At his suggestion they all retired to an adjoin- 
ing room, closing the door behind them, and leaving 
Miss Menton and Wheeler alone. Three minutes 
had not passed before Miss Menton called, " Come 
in." McPhister, the Professor, Denman, Montague, 
Judge Blackwood and the others re-entered the 
drawing-room. They found Wheeler sitting in the 
chair precisely as they had left him, except that his 
eyes were closed. 

" He seems to be asleep," said the Professor. 

"He's shamming," said Denman, incredulously. 

" You may be sure he's not," retorted Miss Men- 
ton, sharply. "He is completely hypnotized. I 
will prove to you that he is absolutely under the 
influence, and under my control." 

She stuck a pin in his arm. Wheeler did not 
move nor evince the slightest indication of pain. 
Then she made him laugh, weep, declaim and sing, 
much to the amusement of all who were assembled, 
save Judge Blackwood, who regarded these phenom- 
ena more seriously. 

"Will Mr. Wheeler have any recollection of this 
when he conies to himself ? " he asked of Professor 
Eyse. 



64 WAS IT A CRIME? 

" Not the slightest." 

"I will send him to Paris," exclaimed Miss 
Menton, with a sudden impulse. There was quiet 
for a moment. "What do you see?" she asked, 
placing her hand upon Wheeler's head. 

The subject's lips moved, but no sound came 
from them. After a short interval he began to 
speak slowly and without animation: 

"I see a large restaurant. A lady and gentle- 
man are seated at a table. They are talking. Now 
the gentleman rises and goes over to another table 
where a dark complexioned man is sitting. ' There 
is a quarrel The gentleman slaps the dark man in 
the face. The dark man knocks him down." 

"What else do you see?" 

There was another pause, then Wheeler con- 
tinued in the same slow manner. "A beautiful 
woman sits alone and weeps." 

" Well, we'll let her weep," said Miss Menton, 
with a harsh laugh, putting her hands to her 
temples nervously. 

"Now," she said, turning to her astonished 
guests, "if you will all retire I will bring my subject 
out of his sleep. You know it will not do to let you 
see how this is done," she added, with an air of 
mystery. 



IT WAS A SWELL NIGHT AT THE MENTONS. 65 

The Professor led the way into the next room. 
Denman was very white and his legs trembled 
under his weight as he followed the others, but he 
said nothing. After a few moments had passed, 
Miss Menton came to the door again and opened it. 
" Now you can come in," she said, " Mr. Wheeler is 
himself again." 

Wheeler was standing by the mantel examining 
his face as reflected in the mirror. He looked dazed 
and sheepish as he turned to the many eyes that 
were looking at him so quizzically. 

" Well, how did I do?" he asked. 

"You were a fine subject," said the Judge, "and 
afforded us much entertainment. I would not have 
believed so wonderful a thing could be done, had I 
not seen it with my own eyes." 

The others congratulated him, and particularly 
Miss Menton, upon the success of the experiment. 
A few moments later, at McPhister's suggestion, 
Judge Blackwood and himself started to go. The 
others of the gathering soon followed. Wheeler 
went down the stairs out into the cool air with 
Denman, like a man walking in his sleep. He did 
not seem to have fully recovered from his hypnotic 
nap. 



CHAPTEK VII. 

"SHE IS A SHE DEVIL." 

They walked several blocks in silence. Wheeler 
was too much engrossed in thought to speak, and 
Denman was so angry that he dared not trust him- 
self to refer to what had just taken place in Miss 
Men ton's parlors. Wheeler proposed that they stop 
at a restaurant which they were passing. 

" I think a cup of coffee will do me good," said 
he; "I feel stupid and heavy." 

" I should think you would," remarked Denman 
with bitter sarcasm. 

" What do you mean ? " asked Wheeler in surprise. 
They entered the restaurant and seated themselves 
at a table. 

"After you have given your order I will tell 
you," replied Denman, shortly. "All I want is a 
pint of claret and some crackers," said he, turning 
to the waiter. Wheeler gave his order, and 
repeated his question. He was hurt by Denman' s 
manner. 

" I mean that you have made a fool of yourself," 




ii \ 



"SHE IS A SHE DEVIL." 09 

said Denman, angrily, "by permitting that woman 
to put her nonsense into your head." 

" But you offered yourself as a subject, too. 
Where's the difference?" 

Denman laughed contemptuously. 

" What are you driving at? " said Wheeler, knit- 
ting his brows. 

" You act your part very well, Wheeler." Den- 
man's voice was bitter, and his manner was insinu- 
atingly insulting. Wheeler was not slow to resent it. 

"Do you mean to say that I am not telling you 
the truth when I say that I'm utterly ignorant of 
what took place while I was under Miss Menton's 
influence?" he demanded, rising and looking down 
at Denman sternly. There was not a trace of color 
in his cheeks. 

Denman saw that he was wrong. " If you give 
me your word as a gentleman that what you say is 
true, I accept it, and apologize. But I will tell you 
what happened. You will then be better able to 
judge whether I was altogether to blame for sus- 
pecting you." 

He related all that had taken place while 
Wheeler was in the hypnotic sleep, repeating, 
almost word for word, Wheeler's description of the 
scene in the French cafe". 



70 WAS IT A CHIME? 

Wheeler was amazed and alarmed. '* What a 
dangerous power," he said with an expression of 
awe. " She must have said those words mentally 
which I uttered, and conveyed them to my mind in 
that way. But what could have been her object?" 

" To show me that she has not forgotten. Your 
description brought back that scene very vividly, I 

assure you. W T as it for this she encouraged me to 



come to her house ? Her manner to-night filled me 
with a strange fear. I shall never set foot in her 
house again." Denman kept his word. 

"I do not blame you for suspecting me," said 
Wheeler with gentle frankness, all his anger disap- 
pearing; "but do not be blue about it. I shall 
never let her experiment on me again. You may be 
sure of that. However, I do not think you need 
fear Miss Menton; she is a very tender-hearted 
woman." 

" She is a she devil," said Denman savagely. 

Wheeler did not answer. He saw that his friend 
was out of sorts and he pitied him. There was a 
silence between them for a moment. " Let us go 
home," said Wheeler, rising abruptly. 

Denman kept his seat. "Wheeler," said he, 
moodily, " I think we had better part. That woman 
exerts a dangerous influence over you. You do not 



"SHE IS A SHE DEVIL." 71 

see her as I do. She hates me, and is sure to break 
our friendship sooner or later. Why not escape 
that unpleasantness ? Let us go our different ways 
from this point. You go to your rooms ; I will go 
to a hotel. I feel wretched to-night and want to be 
alone. I will send for my luggage to-morrow." 

" I won't listen to it," interrupted Wheeler. 

" But I am determined." 

" Well, then, at least do not make me feel that I 
have driven you from me. Go to-morrow, if you 
will, but come home with me to-night. I beg you 
will show me that much consideration. I think it 
due me, don't you? " 

Denman reluctantly consented. They arose 
and left the restaurant in silence. 

" That's a strange pair," said the waiter to the 
cashier; "quarreling one minute and good friends 
the next. If I'd 'a been the slender chap I'd 'a 
never held out to have the other one come and sleep 
with me if he didn't want to," 

But the cashier evinced no interest in the mat- 
ter, and the waiter strolled leisurely down the hall 
to attend to the wants of an old gentleman, who had 
for ten minutes been vainly trying to get somebody 
to bring him something to eat. 
u 



72 WAS IT A CHIME? 

Denman and Wheeler soon reached the latter' s 
quarters. 

" Cheer up, old man," said the artist; "I never 
saw you so down in the mouth before. You'll 
be all right in the morning." 

" I hope so.'" 1 

They bade each other good night. It was very 
cordial on Wheeler's part. Each retired to his own 
room. The little clock on the mantel, with its 
sweet, far-away-sounding bell, was just striking the 

hour of twelve. 

****** 

It is one of those brilliant nights in November. 
The moon is at its full. The stars glitter in the 
steely air, and the earth slumbers peacefully in the 
pale light. The heavens are glorious in their radi- 
ance. They reflect none of the blackness and mis- 
ery of the .great city, whose pulse is not stilled, even 
in the hour of sleep. 

The moon's rays penetrate the room in which 
Denman sleeps. One can almost distinguish every 
article in the room and even beyond, in the stu- 
dio, the outlines of the furniture can be seen dimly. 

The clock on the mantel, with its soft, mellow 
bell, is sounding the hour of three. The figure of 
a human being comes out of the darkness and 



"SHE IS A SHE DEVIL," 73 

moves slowly toward the center of the studio. It 
stands for a moment motionless. 

It crosses slowly and softly to the fireplace. It 
seems to be searching for something on the mantel 
- no ; it is above the mantel, for it reaches up to 
the collection of arms, which can be seen dimly in 
the faint light. The hand moves mechanically over 
the lower part of the heavy shield which forms a 
center piece around which the knives, pistols and 
sabers are arranged and finally rests on the 
handle of a poniard. This it removes cautiously 
and noiselessly. Grasping it tightly in its hand, 
the figure advances slowly toward the front room. 
The only sound is the breathing of Denman. His 
sleep is deep and healthful. Just at this moment 
he turns from his side and lies full upon his back; 
but his sleep is not broken 

The ghost-like figure continues to approach. Its 
walk is slow, almost stately. It has entered the 
front chamber. It pauses an instant. Now it 
clutches the poniard more "tightly and resumes its 
measured tread across the large room to the bed 
where Denman lies. 

It stoops over the sleeping man. With great 
deliberation it pulls down the covering, and with its 
left hand locates the exact position of Penman's 



74: WAS IT A CHIME? 

heart; then, with a downward stroke, plunges the 
poniard into it up to the hilt. 

Denman gives a faint gasp, and is dead, 
The figure in white relaxes its grasp upon the 
handle of the poniard, and slowly straightens to an 
erect position. Its hand is empty. The bright 
handle of the poniard glistens in the moonlight. Its 
blade is hidden in the heart of Wheeler's friend. 
With the same mechanical motion that has charac- 
terized its every motion in this silent tragedy, the 
white form slowly retraces its steps to the rear room, 
and disappears noiselessly in the darkness. 

All is quiet. A murder has been done, without 
a sound to give evidence of the deed, and without 
human recognition. The moon is shining. Its 
rays fall upon the dead body of Paul Denman. 



i 

i 



CHAPTEE VIII 

"MY GOD! THIS is AWFUL !*' 

As Denman was generally a late riser, Wheeler 
was not surprised when he awoke at nine o'clock to 
find his friend not yet out of bed. At any other 
time he would have gone out to breakfast and left 
Denman to sleep as long as he liked ; but knowing 
that Denman would keep his word, and seek new 
quarters that day, he felt it incumbent upon himself 
as host, to be present when the man with whom he 
was about to part for so strange a reason, should 
take his leave. So, after he had finished dressing, 
he called out in a cheery voice: "I say, old man! 
Isn't it about time you were crawling out? " 

There was no answer. Wheeler gave an extra 
stroke of the brush to his hair, and called again. 
Still no answer. "He sleeps like a log," he said to 
himself as he crossed the studio and entered the 
front chamber. The sight which met his eyes fairly 
curdled his blood. 

Upon the bed, only half covered, lay Paul Den- 
man, dead. His eyes were wide open, set in an 

75. 



76 WAS IT A CRIME? 

expression of agony. His hands were raised above 
his head, tightly clasped. The breast of his night 
shirt was stained with blood, and there was a pool of 
it on the bed near the left side of the body. Near 
the stain on the night robe the handle of a dagger 
stood upright. The blade was buried to the hilt in 
the heart of the motionless body which lay before 
Wheeler's terrified gaze. 

"My God! This is awful!" he exclaimed, and 
under an impulse of extreme terror he ran to the 
window, raised it with frantic haste and cried : 

" Murder ! Help ! Murder ! " 

Then he returned to the bed on which Denman 
lay. A sudden desire to remove the dagger from 
the bloody wound took possession of him. He leaned 
over the body of his dead friend ; but the instant his 
hand touched the poniard he recoiled with an 
undefinable horror. 

He stood gazing at the ghastly spectacle, almost 
helpless. He made an effort to collect his thoughts 
to do something ; but he was like one who has 
lost his reason. 

There were sounds of hurried feet upon the 
stairs, and a moment later loud knocks upon the 
door. It occurred to Wheeler then, for the first 
time, that all the doors were locked. This recalled 



"MY GOD! THIS is AWFUL!" 77 

him to something like his normal mental condition. 
He hurriedly unlocked the door. A policeman 
entered the room, and peered about inquiringly, 
still holding the knob of the door. A dozen or more 
persons, who had followed him up the stairs, attempt- 
ed to squeeze fcheir way in, but the officer drove them 
back and closed the door. 

"What's the matter?" he asked. 

" Matter ? Can't you see," said Wheeler pointing 
to the bed. 

" When did this happen?" 

Wheeler calmed himself sufficiently to describe 
briefly how he had risen, dressed, entered the front 
room to awaken Denman, and found him dead. 

" Were all the doors locked? " asked the officer. 

"I suppose so," said Wheeler. "This door is 
always locked. I have not tried the other one, which 
leads into my studio. That's the one I use, and I'm 
sure I locked it last night." 

He started toward the studio door. " Let me 
see," said the officer peremptorily. This door was 
also locked; evidently just as Wheeler had left it 
the night before. 

" There is something mysterious about this," said 
the officer to himself, casting a suspicious glance at 
Wheeler. 



78 WAS IT A CRIME? 

" Can't we take that knife out? " asked the artist, 
with a shudder. 

"No. I will have the Coroner here in a few 
moments. Leave the body as it is." The officer 
leaned over and examined the handle of the dagger. 

"Have you ever seen this knife?" turning to 
Wheeler. 

The smell of the blood made Wheeler sick and 
dizzy, as he bent over the rigid form. " Why! " he 
exclaimed, rising in surprise, "it belongs to me. 
Here is its fellow," and he led the officer into the 
studio to the collection of arms over the mantel. 
He was right ; the poniard on the right of the shield 
was missing; the other was in its proper place on 
the left. 

" He must have committed suicide," said Wheeler, 
with conviction. "Poor fellow!" 

"Was there any reason why he should?" The 
policeman asked this as a matter of form. He was 
not impressed with the suicide theory. 

" Perhaps not," said Wheeler thoughtfully, 
"though he was not in his usual spirits when he re- 
tired." 

" That will be looked into," said the officer. " I 
will notify the Coroner at once I must ask you to 
come with me." 



"MY GOD! THIS is AWFUL!" 79 

"I am very faint; I have not had my breakfast 
yet," explained Wheeler. " I will go and get it and 
return at once." 

" I will go with you." These words, and the 
officer's manner, suggested to Wheeler the first 
thought that he would naturally be suspected of the 
murder of Denman; but he dismissed it as not 
worthy of serious consideration. 

" Yery well," said he, with dignity. " Come with 
me if you wish. It will only take me a few mo- 
ments." 

They left the scene together. The policeman 
locked the door and put the key in his pocket. On 
their way to a neighboring restaurant he telephoned 
for the Coroner. Wheeler was just finishing a 
chop when the Coroner entered the dining-room. 

"Is the corpse here?" he asked with an air 
which indicated that he was ready for business. 

"No, sir; just around the corner. This gen- 
tleman," pointing to Wheeler " occupied rooms with 
the deceased (the policeman spoke as if he were 
giving his testimony). He was in the room with 
the body, with the doors locked, when I was 
called." 

Wheeler gave the officer a contemptuous look. 
To the Coroner he said: "My name is Henry 



80 WAS IT A CHIME? 

Wheeler. I'm an artist (the preserver of the peace 
jumped to the conclusion that he was a song and 
dance man). The dead man was my friend." 

"What was his name?" asked the Coroner. 

"Paul Deriman." 

The Coroner made a note in a small book which 
he took from his pocket. Then he said: "Come, 
Mr. Wheeler, let us go at once and get this busi- 
ness off our hands as soon as possible." 

Wheeler accompanied the representatives of the 
law to his rooms. " This is murder," said the Cor- 
oner, as he bent over the corpse and examined the 
position of the body and the expression of the face. 

"Might it not have been suicide?" asked 
Wheeler. 

"No." The Coroner spoke with decision. "I'm 
sure it was not. If he had plunged that knife into 
his heart himself he never would have removed his 
hand. He would have retained his grip upon the 
handle, and you would have found him in that way. 
Muscular action ceased too soon after the knife 
entered the heart to have permitted his hand to be 
removed." 

Wheeler was silent. He did not agree with the 
Coroner; but he did not think it worth while to 
argue the point over Denman's death. 



"MY GOD! THIS is AWFUL !" 81 

" Well," said the Coroner briskly, " we may as 
well take that knife out now," and he leaned over, 
and with some little difficulty removed the poniard. 
The blood had congealed around it, and set it firmly 
in its death sheath. " He has not been dead more 
than five or six hours," he added. Turning sud- 
denly to Wheeler, he said, " My dear sir, I am com- 
pelled to perform an unpleasant duty. I shall have 
to place you in charge of this officer." 

"You can not think I killed my friend," ex- 
claimed Wheeler in horror. 

"I have not formed any opinion," replied the 
man of inquests, with much tact. "You will be sus- 
pected ; you can see that yourself indeed, you are 
suspected. It is, therefore, my duty to have you 
placed under arrest." 

" But can I not give bail? " 

" That will be for the magistrate to decide." 
The Coroner wrapped the knife in a piece of paper 
and put it in his pocket. " Come," he said, " I 
will go to the Police Judge with you. If he will 
admit you to bail you will have no further annoy- 
ance until the inquest is held. You will have to be 
there, of course." 

" But," expostulated Wheeler, beginning to lose 
his temper, "YOU have no right to suspect me. Do 



82 WAS IT A CBIME? 

you suppose that if I had committed a murder I 
would take no precaution to conceal it? Is it rea- 
sonable that I would call for an officer to come and 
find me with the doors locked? Could I not have 
averted suspicion in a hundred ways?" 

" That's all very true, Mr. Wheeler. I'm sorry 
for you; but you are the victim of circumstances. 
My advice to you is to keep cool, and get the best 
lawyer you can find in New York to defend you. It 
is better for you to come quietly and avoid sensa- 
tion as much as possible." 

Wheeler saw that there was no alternative. He 
accompanied the Coroner and the officer down the 
stairs out into the street, past a gaping crowd which 
had assembled at the door. 

They found the recorder in his private office. It 
did not take long to issue a warrant for the arrest 
of Henry Wheeler, charging him with the killing 
of Paul Denman. The Coroner suggested that as 
Mr. Wheeler was held merely on suspicion, and was 
prepared to give bonds for his appearance, it would 
be well to permit him to send for his bondsmen at 
once. The recorder placed the bail at $20;000, and 
Wheeler hurriedly wrote and dispatched a note to 
Mr. Ellersly, a rich merchant who had bought 
many of his pictures, and whom he regarded as a 



"MY GOD! THIS is AWFUL!" 83 

patron, to come at once and bring with him another 
bondsman. Half an hour later, Mr. Ellersly, a 
bluff, genial-faced old gentleman, appeared accompa- 
nied by his partner Mr. Furst. Without a moment's 
hesitation, after listening to Wheeler's nervously 
narrated story: of the tragedy, they signed a bond 
for his appearance. Mr. Furst left them at the 
door, after assuring Wheeler that he would do all 
that lay in his power to aid him." 

"Now you must get a good lawyer" said Mr. 
Ellersly to Wheeler " do you know one? " 

"No; except by reputation," 

" Well, I do " said Mr. Ellersly. " My friend 
Jack Wright Jack and I were boys together is 
just the man, He is not a criminal lawyer, but he 
will take an interest in your case, and do you more 
good than any professed criminal lawyer could. Do 
you know, if I were charged with a crime, and was 
innocent of it, I would get a lawyer who had never 
figured in the criminal courts, but who had the con- 
fidence of judges ; but if I were guilty, I would re- 
tain a criminal lawyer as soon as possible the 
more criminal the better. Now as you are innocent 
it is plain you don't want a criminal lawyer ; but 
one like Jack Wright." 

The old gentleman's hearty manner was a tonic 



84 WAS IT A CHIME? 

to Wlieeler. He grasped Mr. Ellersly's hand and 
thanked him as only a man who is in desperate 
straits can thank the one who brings succor and 
hope. Mr. Ellersly called a cab. They entered it, 
and were driven to the office of John C. Wright, 
Esq. 

Lawyer Wright was about the age of Mr. Eller- 
sly, say sixty. His face was grand in its strength of 
will and character. Thoughtful gray eyes looked 
straight at you from beneath a broad projecting 
brow. Here was a man on whom a weak brother 
might lean with full confidence in his strength and 
honor. When he had heard Wheeler's story, recited 
in exact detail, he asked, kindly but very seriously: 
" Have you told me all," Mr. Wheeler. 

"Everything." 

" You do not think it possible for a person to 
have entered the room at night, by other means 
than the door?" 

" No unless by the window." 

"That's not likely. Is there anything which 
could be construed into a cause that would warrant 
the suspicion that you had committed this crime 
anything that could be made to appear as a motive?" 

Wheeler thought a moment. * " No," he answered 
" I can think of nothing." 



"MY GOD! THIS is AWFUL I 1 ' 85 

" Eeturn to-morrow, and we will go deeper into 
the case " said Mr. Wright. " I have other business 
that must be disposed of at once. But you may 
trust me not to forget you. You shall have my 
best efforts, for the sake of my old friend " and he 
gazed affectionately upon Mr. Ellersly, who grasped 
his hand warmly, and said, " Always the same, old 
Jack." 

Mr. Ellersly insisted that Wheeler should ac- 
company him to his home. " Eeturning to your 
rooms is out of the question" he said. "It would 
unsettle your nerves and they are in a pretty bad 
condition already c You need all the strength you 
have. Come and make your home with me until 
this thing's all over." There were grateful tears in 
Wheeler's eyes, as he re-entered the carriage with 
his big-hearted patron. 



CHAPTER IX. 

"BUT IT is RETRIBUTION' RETRIBUTION!" 

Miss Menton stood at tlie window and looked 
down into the street. She had been restless all 
day. The excitement of the night before had 
brought on a nervous headache. She had tried to 
read, but even the latest French novel failed to 
interest her. The servants were surprised to see 
her rise from the table leaving her breakfast almost 
untouched; and she had eaten very sparingly at 
lunch. It was an unusual thing for Miss Menton 
to be without appetite. Even her father noticed it. 

"What is the matter?" he had asked. 

" Nothing. I will be all right by evening," she 
had answered, as she abruptly left the dining-room. 

Turning from the window, Miss Menton rang 
for a servant. " Go out and buy me an evening 
paper," she said. The girl soon returned. 

"There's bad news in that paper, Miss!" she 
said, excitedly, as she placed a copy of The Tele- 
gram in Miss Menton' s lap. 

"What is it?" 

86 



! 5 
I * 




87 



"BUT IT is RETRIBUTION! 89 

Miss Menton looked up suddenly, and with in- 
terest. Any kind of news was welcome if it would 
drive away the ennui from which she was suffering. 

"Mr. Denman has been murdered, and Mr. 
Wheeler has been arrested," replied the servant, 
breathlessly. "It's awful, ain't it, Miss?" 

Miss Menton turned deathly pale, put her hand 
to her heart convulsively, and sank back in her 
chair. Thinking she had fainted, the girl started 
to leave the room to call old Mr. Menton. 

" Never mind," said Miss Menton, recovering 
herself with an effort. "I am better now. It was 
a great shock to me. You may go, Mary," 

" She was awfully fond of one of them," said 
Mary to the cook, to whom she hastened to tell the 
news which she had read in The Telegram, before 
giving it to Miss Menton, "but I can't tell which. 
I think it's Mr. Wheeler, though." The cook and 
Mary settled themselves comfortably for a long 
talk. They had not had so exciting a subject for 
conversation for a long time. 

Miss Menton opened the paper with trembling 
ringers. . Under flaming head lines she found this 
sensational account of the mysterious death of Paul 
Denman. It did credit to the reporter who wrote 
it, considering that he had devoted only two hours 



90 WAS IT A CHIME? 

of liis legs and brains to the collection and the 
embellishment of the facts ( ?) : 

Paul Den man and Henry Wheeler occupied 
rooms together on Sixth avenue, near Thirty-fourth 
street. Denman was a man of leisure, having, it is 
understood, an assured income. Wheeler is well- 
known in artistic circles. He is said to be an artist 
of promise, and has exhibited several paintings at 
the Academy. He is also a frequent contributor to 
the magazines. These men were apparently friends. 

As Officer Sullivan was passing the house this 
morning, at about nine o'clock, he heard a cry of 
" Murder! Help! " He looked up and saw a man 
standing at an open window. This man was 
Wheeler. It was he who had cried for help. Officer 
Sullivan hurried promptly to the scene. To his 
surprise he found the door of the room locked. He 
demanded admittance. After a short delay the 
door was opened. The officer found Mr. Denman 
lying dead upon the bed with a knife in his heart. 
His suspicions were at once aroused. He believed 
that a foul murder had been committed. Wheeler 
pretended to be very much grieved at the death of 
his friend. He said he had found him dead upon 
rising a few moments before, but he could give no 
satisfactory explanation of how the crime could 



"BUT IT is RETRIBUTION!" 91 

have been committed by anybody but himself. He 
tried at first to make the Coroner who was sum- 
moned by Officer Sullivan believe that Mr. Den- 
man had died by his own hand, but the Coroner did 
not accept that theory. He had Wheeler arrested. 
The prisoner furnished bonds at the Jefferson Mar- 
ket Police Court. The reporter tried to find him to 
get his statement, but was unable to do so, the 
alleged murderer disappearing very mysteriously 
after leaving the police court. 

The evidence against him thus far is circumstan- 
tial; but it so strong that Officer Sullivan thinks 
there is not the slightest doubt of his guilt. He 
devoted the entire morning to working up the case, 
and he has discovered what he believes to be a valu- 
able clue. A waiter in a restaurant on Sixth avenue, 
about six blocks from the house in which the murder 
was committed, tells a story which connects Wheeler 
very closely with the crime. His name is John 
Snyder. He is on what is called the " night watch " 
in the restaurant in question. He begins work at 
noon and stops at two o'clock the next morning. 
This morning he was on his way down town " tak- 
ing an airing "- as he expressed it to the officer, 
before going to work. It so happened that he was 
passing Uie house where Wheeler and the murdered 



92 WAS IT A CRIME? 

man lived just as Wheeler was brought out by the 
Coroner and Officer Sullivan. He says he recognized 
him at once as one of the two men who had been in 
the restaurant in which he (the waiter) is employed, 
on the night before. These men had high words, 
and one of them rose to his feet, as if about to strike 
the other. Snyder says that Wheeler was this man. 
He went on to tell Officer Sullivan that the quarrel 
seemed to have been amicably settled, and that the 
man whom he recognizes in Wheeler, begged the 
other to go home with him if only for that night. 
He seemed to be particularly anxious, so Snyder 
says, that his companion should go home with him. 
Upon hearing this story Officer Sullivan took the 
waiter to the morgue and showed him Denman's 
body. Without hesitation Snyder pronounced it to 
be that of the man with whom Wheeler had had the 
quarrel in the restaurant the night before. 

This would seem to establish a motive for the 
crime, though it is not yet known what the quarrel 
was about. Certain it is, however, that Snyder's 
testimony will aid the authorities to unravel the 
mystery. The Coroner says Denman had not been 
dead more than seven hours when he was called. 
The date of the inquest has not yet been set. - 

Miss Menton gazed vacantly before her. The 



"BUT IT IS KETKIBUTION ! " 93 

paper had fallen from her hands. She seemed 
dazed unable to comprehend the full meaning of 
what she had read. She heaved a profound sigh. 
"Poor Wheeler/' she murmured, and an expression 
of true pity softened her face. 

"But it is a retribution retribution!" she 
added hysterically, and she staggered out of the 
room. 



CHAPTEE X. 

"I CALL GOD TO WITNESS THAT I DID NOT KILL 
PAUL DENMAN." 

Mr. Ellersly insisted on going to lawyer 
Wright's office with Wheeler, when the latter 
started down town to keep his appointment. The 
old gentleman's heart went out to the young artist 
in his suffering. 

"You need a friend, my boy, and I intend to 
devote myself to you until this bad business is 
ended," said he. "I am convinced of your inno- 
cence, and it will help others to believe in it if the 
world sees that your friends stand by you." 

"Yes; but can we make the world believe it?" 
Wheeler asked, moodily. 

He had passed a sleepless night. His face Avas 
pale and worn, and there were dark circles beneath 
his eyes. The strain was beginning to tell on him 
already. The more lie thought of the situation in 
which circumstances had placed him, the clearer it 
became that it would be difficult to prove his inno- 
cence. After reading the statement of the waiter, 

94 



"I CALL GOD TO WITNESS." 95 

Snyder, in the morning papers, he had been filled 
with a sudden fear. He had entirely forgotten the 
incident in the restaurant. It came back to him now 
with startling force. He saw that its bearing upon 
the case would be magnified by those who were dis- 
posed to believe him guilty. So depressed was he 
that he felt that only a miracle could save him. He 
tried to formulate a theory to explain Denman's 
death by other means than suicide, but he failed at 
the very start. Denman had no enemies at least, 
none that he knew of; and besides, even if an 
enemy had desired his death, how could it have 
been accomplished? Were not all the doors locked, 
and every means of entrance barred? It was pos- 
sible, of course, for the murderer to have entered 
by the aid of a pass key, but that was not likely. 
In despair he turned to his first impression, that 
Denman had died by his own hand; but even that 
theory seemed weaker to him than it had the day 
before. Leaving out of consideration the Coroner's 
presumption that if Denman had stabbed himself 
death would have followed so suddenly that he 
would not have had the strength or will to remove 
his hand from the poniard Wheeler could not 
entirely convince himself that Denman would have 



96 WAS IT A CRIME? 

had the moral courage to end his own life. Still, 
there was no other way to solve the mystery. 

" Come, come," said Mr. Ellersly, cheerily; " keep 
up your courage. Jack Wright will get us out of 
this; you may depend upon it." 

" I hope so," said Wheeler, in a voice indicative 
of anything but hope. 

They had reached the lawyer's office. Mr. 
Wright was waiting for them or rather, for 
Wheeler. He seemed surprised to see Mr. Ellersly. 
The latter noticed it. " You'll see a good deal of 
me, Jack," he said; " more than you have seen for 
years. I intend to stay right with this matter until 
you have brought my young friend out all right." 

The lawyer's face wore an unusually grave ex- 
pression. 

"I would like to talk with Mr. Wheeler pri- 
vately, if you will kindly leave us alone for a few 
moments, Ellersly," he said. "We have serious 
business on hand, and there must be no misunder- 
standing at the start." 

" He, too, suspects me," said Wheeler to him- 
self, bitterly. 

" Do you want me to go out, Henry? " The old 
man spoke with the solicitude of a father. 

"No, no," replied Wheeler, with feeling "I 



"I CALL GOD TO WITNESS." 97 

have nothing to hide from you; and I want to lay 
my whole heart bare to Mr. Wright." 

" That's well spoken," said the lawyer. " Now 
we shall' know what we are about. To begin with, 
explain to me the story of the waiter, which is 
printed in all the papers this morning. I was dum- 
founded when I saw it; for it does not accord with 
the assurance you gave me yesterday, that there 
was nothing which could be construed as a motive 
to connect you with the crime. Tell me all about 
it." 

"I had forgotten the circumstance," said 
Wheeler, and he spoke with a sincerity that carried 
conviction. " The waiter has exaggerated. There 
was no serious quarrel. It was over in a moment." 

"What was the cause?" 

u We had spent the evening at the house of 
Miss Menton a kind of general resort for men 
about town. The Mentons are scientific people 
that is, the old man is a scientist, and his daughter, 
who lives alone with him, has naturally taken some 
interest in his studies. We had an experiment in 
hypnotism. I was the subject. I permitted myself 
to be put under the hypnotic influence by Miss Men- 
ton, who caused me to describe a certain scene 
which took place several years ago in Paris, in 



98 WAS IT A CKIME? 

which both she and Mr. Deiimau had figured. This 
made Mr. Denman angry. At the restaurant he 
suggested that we part company at once. He knew 
Miss Menton was his enenfy, and he believed she 
had sufficient influence over me to break our friend- 
ship in time. He finally consented to return to my 
rooms that night. That was all." 

"Why did this Miss Menton hate Denman?" 
asked the lawyer. 

"Must I tell you? I pledged my word to Den- 
man that I would never disclose his secret." 

"Your life is in danger, Mr. Wheeler; if that 
secret has the slightest bearing on this quarrel, it 
is your duty to make it known. I insist upon know- 
ing it." 

Wheeler hesitated a moment, and then without 
reserve told Denman' s story. The lawyer followed 
its recital closely. "A very strange case!" he 
muttered. 

"Do you love this woman Miss Menton? " he 
asked abruptly. 

Wheeler flushed. " I admire her very much," 
he admitted. 

" Were you ever in love with her ? " 

"Seriously? No." 

Mr. Ellersly had listened with wonder to Wheel- 



"I CALL GOD TO WITNESS." 99 

er's statement. " How in the world did yon ever get 
into such company ?" he asked, shaking his head 
reprovingly. 

"They are not such bad people," explained 
Wheeler, quickly. " They are very clever, and I 
liked to visit them because there is nothing conven- 
tional about their house." 

"It's always wiser for a man to be conventional, 
even if he does find it dull," put in the lawyer, 
dryly. " Many a man, and woman too, has got 
into trouble by trying to ignore the rules which 
govern society." 

"I can see that very plainly now," said poor 
"Wheeler, dejectedly. 

There was a moment's silence, broken by Mr. 
"Wright, who said: "The line of the State's prose- 
cution which we must meet, is quite clear to me. It 
will be alleged that you were in love with this 
woman; that Denrnan came between, and you grew 
jealous; that after the quarrel in the restaurant you 
seemingly forgave him, and urged him to come to 
your rooms. Why? Simply that you might kill 
him." 

Wheeler almost groaned aloud. Dark as was 
the picture his fears had drawn, it was not so black 
as this. 



100 WAS IT A CRIME? 

" What can I do? " He asked the question hope- 
lessly. 

" Mr. Wheeler," said lawyer Wright, " look me 
squarely in the face. As you expect your life to be 
spared in this world, and forgiveness in the next, 
tell me the truth. Did you kill Paul Denman? " 

Wheeler rose to his feet, raised his right hand 
involuntarily, and with a voice choked with the 
emotions which swelled his bosom, said: " I call 
God to witness that I did not kill Paul Denman. 
A murderous thought never entered my heart." 

He tottered to his seat, and wept like an hysteri- 
cal woman. " This is unmanly, I know," he said, 
attempting to calm himself. "But I can't help it. 
All is dark before me. I feel like a man at the 
bottom of a deep pit, groping around for an outlet, 
and fearing every moment to fall into an awful 
abyss. My mind is a chaos of a thousand vague 
thoughts chasing one another in mad confusion. I 
fear I shall go mad." The wretched man arose 
and paced the floor in a nervous excitement painful 
to witness. 

"He has a highly nervous temperament," said 
Mr. Ellersly to Mr. Wright, by way of explanation. 
" I have always known that." 

"Poor fellow!" and the lawyer arose and 



"I CALL GOD TO WITNESS." 101 

placing his hand on Wheeler's shoulder, said: "I 
believe you are innocent, and I will use my heart 
and brain and soul to make a jury believe so." 

"God bless you!" said Mr. Ellersly wiping a 
tear from his eye. 

This confidence and sympathy made a man again 
of Wheeler. It was what he had craved. He 
began to show an interest in his case. 

"What defense will you make?" he asked. 

The lawyer did not answer at once. After a 
moment's thought he said: "I can't tell until 
after the inquest. I don't know what evidence 
they will produce." 

Wheeler and Mr. Ellersly took their leave, the 
former in better spirits, and .with a faint hope that 
lawyer Wright would be able to clear him with 
honor. 

No new facts were developed by the inquest. 
The Coroner courteously permitted Mr. Wright to 
be present and to cross-examine Snyder the waiter, 
who finally admitted that the quarrel between 
Wheeler and Den man was not a serious one. He 
said he could not tell what the quarrel was about, 
because he only heard a word now and then; he 
judged the men were quarreling from Wheeler's 
actions. The result of the inquest was as Mr. 



102 WAS IT A CRIME? 

Wright had supposed ; Wheeler was held to await 
the action of the grand jury, which, it is needless 
to say, found a true bill against him. 

Wheeler had come to regard Mr. Ellersly's 
house as his home. He remained there until the 
trial took place three weeks later, going nowhere 
except to lawyer Wright's office. Mr. Wright had 
prepared the only defense that could reasonably be 
made. He purposed to show that the relations be- 
tween the men were really friendly, and to deny 
that the testimony of Snyder was sufficient to war- 
rant even the suspicion that Denman had died by 
Wheeler's hand; but had in a moment of despond- 
ency committed suicide. 

" That ought to clear me," said Wheeler, when 
Mr. Wright told him his plan. " There can be no 
doubt that Denman committed suicide." 

"I have very grave doubts," said the lawyer 
seriously; "but it is the only defense we can 
make. The truth is, circumstances are very much 
against us." 

Wheeler's hopes fell again. " If that's the case 
I'm afraid the jury will take the worst view of it." 

The lawyer made no reply. He was afraid 
BO, too. 



CHAPTEE XL 

HER HAND RELAXED ITS HOLD UPON THE RAILING, 
AND SHE FELL FROM THE WITNESS CHAIR. 

On the day of the beginning of the trial of 
Henry Wheeler, charged with the killing of Paul 
Denman, the court room was well filled with specta- 
tors. The Denman murder was still the sensation 
of a great city where sensations are the daily pro- 
duct of the police courts. Up to this time the 
newspaper reporters had not been able to discover 
that there was really a woman in the case, though 
several of them in their speculative articles on the 
mystery had hinted at it, on general principles. 
However, the peculiarity of the crime in itself was 
sufficient to hold public interest. 

When Wheeler entered the court room and took 
a seat by the side of his lawyer there was a buzz of 
whispering voices. The sentiment of the spectators 
was that he did not look like a murderer. He was 
very pale, very thin, and his once erect form was 
slightly stooped. He had suffered during that 
short month more than a man of harder nature could 

103 15 



104 WAS IT A CKIME? 

have suffered in a year. He had been despondent 
ever since Mr. Wright had so frankly told him that 
the chances were against him. 

A fine, drizzling rain was falling without. 
Wheeler regarded this as a bad omen ; and when he 
looked up to the bench and saw Judge Blackwood 
there, his heart sank within him. His mind went 
back to that memorable night in the Menton house. 
Not one of the guests who were present that night 
had come to offer their sympathy yes, one had; 
Colonel McPhister, and he had done it with a 
heartiness characteristic to the man. " The Judge 
will be like the others," Wheeler thought. "He 
will believe that I was in love with that woman, and 
jealous of Denman." 

The day was consumed in getting a jury and 
an exceptional jury it was, composed of sensible 
business men and intelligent mechanics. 

"If we can't get justice from that jury," re- 
marked lawyer Wright to Mr. Ellersly, "we may 
as well give up." 

Mr. Wright's purpose was to gain as much time 
as possible, and he improved every opportunity that 
offered itself to delay the trial. He was not without 
hope that something would turn up that could be 
used to the advantage of his client He was fearful 




105 



SHE FELL FROM THE WITNESS CHAIR. 107 

that lie could not make the suicide theory sufficiently 
strong to overcome the circumstantial evidence 
which the prosecution would offer. 

The next day the examination of witnesses was 
begun. Officer Sullivan testified to the discovery of 
the body, to the fact that the door of the room in 
which the dead man lay was locked when he arrived, 
and he swore that Wheeler seemed to be dazed and 
frightened. The Coroner related the conversation 
which he had with Wheeler ; and the physician who 
made the autopsy satisfied the jury that a man 
could not live long with a knife in his heart, and 
that, consequently, Denman had died almost in- 
stantly. It was his opinion that Denman had not 
been dead more than ten hours when he first saw 
the body, which was at 1 o'clock on the afternoon 
of the discovery of the crime. 

Snyder, the waiter, told a straight story of the 
quarrel in the restaurant. It was evident that he 
was honest, and Mr. Wright's cross-examination did 
not materially weaken the testimony he had given. 

Something of a sensation was created when the 
clerk called the name of Miss Helene Menton. It 
was the first intimation the audience had received 
that there was a woman in the case; and when it 
saw that there was a woman, and a handsome one as 



108 WAS IT A CRIME? 

well, its interest increased one hundred per cent. 
Miss Mentoii came forward and took the stand. 

"How old are you, Miss Men ton?" Question 
by the District Attorney. 

"Thirty." The answer came in a clear, melodi- 
ous voice. 

"Do you know the defendant?" 

"Yes." It was little more than a whisper. 

" Your Honor," interrupted Mr. Wright, " I must 
ask that the witness remove her veil. I do not 
think Miss Menton will object," he added politely. 

Before the Judge could speak Miss Mentoii had 
removed her veil, disclosing a face deadly white. 
Its strange beauty captivated jury and audience at 
once. The examination was continued. 

" Miss Menton, how long have you known the 
defendant?" 

" More than a year." 

"Did you know the deceased?" 

"Yes." 

"How long?" 

" About a month." 

Mr. "Wright hastily scribbled a memorandum on 
the foolscap before him. 

" What were the relations between the defendant 
and the deceased, so far as you could discover?" 



SHE FELL FROM THE WITNESS CHAIR. 109 

" Apparently friendly." 

The District Attorney seemed to be disappointed 
in the answer. He continued: 

" Did the defendant ever express an opinion of 
the deceased to you?" 

" Once, I think. He said that Mr. Denman was 
a strange fellow; that there were some things in 
his character that he liked, and many that he did 
not." 

" Miss Menton, did not the defendant regard 
himself as your lover?" 

"I'm sure I can not say," replied the witness, 
with perfect self-possession, and without change of 
countenance. 

" Did he not make offer of his love to you?" 

" Not exactly." 

" Did he never, in all the time you knew him, 
say anything which led you to believe that he loved 
you?" 

" I don't know how to answer that," said Miss 
Menton with a faint smile. 

"Answer in your own way," said the District 
Attorney encouragingly. Miss Menton after a 
moment's hesitation replied: 

" Once he intimated that he entertained a warmer 



110 WAS IT A CEIME? 

feeling than friendship for me. I think that was 
all." 

" Did he not in many ways show that he thought 
more of you than of other women ? " 

" Perhaps so; your question is difficult to answer." 

"Was not Mr. Wheeler jealous of you?" 

" Not that I know of." 

" Did he have any reason to suppose that Den- 
man, the deceased, was his rival ? " 

" No." It came very sharp and bitter. 

" Might he not have imagined that he had some 
cause to believe so ? " 

"I object to that -question," said Mr. Wright. 
"He's got no business to ask the witness what she 
thinks some one else thought." 

The objection was sustained. 
" Then I will put it in another form," said the 
District Attorney, determined to carry his point. 
"Was there, or had there ever been, anything 
between you and the deceased, which the defendant 
could have construed into a cause for jealousy ? " 

" I refuse to answer that question," said Miss 
Men ton coolly. The jurors opened their eyes very 
wide, and there was quite a stir in the audience. 

" The question is a proper one," said the Judge; 
"the witness will please answer it" 



SHE FELL FROM THE WITNESS CHAIR. Ill 

Miss Menton was defiant for a moment, then she 
answered, apparently with great frankness: 

" I can truthfully say there was never anything 
between Mr. Denman and myself that could have 
made Mr. Wheeler jealous." 

The District Attorney did not press that point 
further. 

" The defendant and the deceased were both 
guests at your house on the night before the mur- 
der, were they not?" he continued. 

"Yes," answered the witness, with a slight 
tremor in her voice. 

"What took place at your house that night?" 

"We had some experiments in hypnotism," 
replied Miss Menton, making a perceptible effort to 
appear at her ease. 

"Well, what was done?" 

" Mr. Wheeler was hypnotized." 

"By whom?" 

" By me." 

"What do you expect to show by this rambling 
examination," interrupted Mr. Wright. 

"You'll find out soon enough. Just be patient," 
replied the District Attorney sarcastically. He went 
on with the examination: 



112 WAS IT A CRIME? 

" Did Mr. Wheeler do anything on that night 
which led you to believe he disliked the deceased? " 
' "No." 

"Did he do anything at which the deceased 
could have taken offense? " 

"Mr. Denman seemed to have taken some 
offense at something Mr. Wheeler said." 

"Said when?" 

"When he was hypnotized." 

"What was it?" 

"I don't know; nothing that appeared to me to 
be a cause for offense. He may have been angry 
because Mr, Wheeler consented to make the experi- 
ment." 

" I shall show before I get through, Your Honor, 
that the quarrel in the restaurant was on this very 
point." Having thus delivered himself, of his 
intentions, the District Attorney announced that he 
had no more questions to ask the witness. 

Mr. Wright began his cross-examination. Miss 
Menton had not made a bad witness that is, she 
had not done much injury to Wheeler's case. It 
would seem to have been politic for Mr. Wright not 
to press her further, but he could not afford to lose 
a possible trick in this game of life and death. 

"Miss Menton," he began, "you say you knew 



SHE PELL FROM THE WITNESS CHAIR. 113 

Mr. Denman about a month. Are you not mis- 
taken?" 

Miss Menton clutched the railing nervously, as 
she answered in a low voice: 

" No." 

" Let your mind go back five years, and see if 
you can not recall a meeting with the deceased 
before you met him in New York two months 
ago?" 

"No." The voice was still lower, and she 
pressed her hand to her heart. Mr. Wright fol- 
lowed up his advantage. He asked in a stern voice, 
which was very effective: 

" Didn't you meet him in Paris five years ago, 
and haven't you good cause to remember that meet- 
ing? Answer my question." 

But the witness was in no condition to answer 
questions. Her hand relaxed its hold upon the 
railing, and she fell from the witness chair in a 
swoon. Her father, who had occupied a seat near 
by, rushed to her side and raised her in his arms. 

" My daughter has been very ill for some days," 
said the old man, addressing the Court. She is suf- 
fering from a nervous affection which I fear is likely 
to end her life at any moment. The excitement has 
been too much for her." 



114 WAS IT A CRIME? 

A carriage was summoned, and Miss Menton, 
still unconscious, was placed in it and hastily con- 
veyed to her home. As it was then late in the 
afternoon, the trial was adjourned to the next day. 

Mr. Wright rubbed his hands with satisfaction 
as he entered his office accompanied by Wheeler and 
Mr. Ellersly. " I don't know what advantage I can 
put this to," he said, "but it's something to have 
got the best of it on the first day. We've got the 
sympathy of the jury to-day. We'll try hard to 
keep it, and we may yet be able to upset this motive 
theory." 

But Wheeler could not see it in that light. He 
feared that all the facts, if they were brought out, 
would make the alleged motive stronger than ever. 

That night, while Mr. Wright was in his library 
at home, busily at work upon a theory that Denman 
had committed suicide through remorse for the 
killing of Miss Menton' s lover a theory which he 
purposed to have Miss Menton aid by her testi- 
mony, a servant brought him a letter. To his sur- 
prise it was from Lucius Menton ; but its contents 
were even more surprising. It read: 

" Come to my house at once. My daughter is 
very ill dying, I fear. She insists upon seeing 
you, and Mr. Ellersly." 



SHE FELL FROM THE WITNESS CHAIR. 115 

Without stopping to speculate upon the object 
of Miss Menton's desire to see him, but feeling in- 
tuitively that it had some important bearing upon 
Wheeler's case, Mr. Wright ordered a cab and drove 
rapidly to Mr. Ellersly's house. That good old soul 
was in bed, but it did not take him long to dress him- 
self. He entered the cab with the lawyer, and soon 
they were at the door of the Mentons. They were 
shown at once to the room where Miss Menton lay. 
The ugly face of Dr. Grip met them at the door. 

"She is very low; she can not live much 
longer," he said as he passed out of the door, 
leaving them alone in the room with the dying 
woman. 

A moment later Mr. Wright re-entered the draw- 
ing room, where Dr. Grip and Menton were quietly 
discussing the efficacy of a new anaesthetic. 

" I must have a stenographer at once," he said 
with only half suppressed excitement. " There is 
no time to lose." 

Dr. Grip volunteered his services as a messenger. 
At Mr. Wright's suggestion he took the cab in 
which the lawyer and Mr. Ellersly had come, and 
which was still standing at the door, and drove to 
the house of Mr. Wright's managing clerk, who was 
soon ready to return with him. 



116 WAS IT A CRIME? 

Upon arriving at the Menton house they found 
Mr. Wright awaiting their return with anxiety. He 
hurried the stenographer into the sick room. The 
door closed behind them. 

Two hours later it opened, and Mr. Wright, 
Mr. Ellersly, and the clerk re-entered the drawing 
room. Lucius Menton was not inquisitive. He 
asked them no questions, and the trio entered their 
cab and drove away. 

Dr. Grip hastened at once to Miss Menton' s bed- 
side. " She seems calmer," he said to Mr. Menton- 
who had followed him into the room, " but she is 
very much weaker. Death may come at any 
moment." 

As lawyer Wright let himself into his house 
with his latch-key he said to himself: " This 
wonderful story may be true I believe it is, but 
can I ever make a jury believe it?" 



CHAPTEB XII. 

" THANK GOD THEEE IS LIGHT AHEAD." 

Johnson, Mr. Wright's clerk and stenographer, 
did not sleep that night. The December sun peeped 
in through the window and found him still at his 
desk. His busy pen did not rest until 'it had 
covered a score or more sheets of close lined legal cap. 
The poor fellow was tired out, but he appreciated 
the importance of the task, and he did not grumble. 
Johnson was a representative of a large class: 
Trustworthy, loyal to his employer, and always will- 
ing. How rare it is that one of these over-worked, 
under-paid clerks, to whom matters of great import 
are entrusted, proves false or recreant! And how 
rare it is that their loyalty is appreciated and 
rewarded ! 

Mr. Wright made his appearance an hour earlier 
than usual that morning, and Mr. Ellersly and 
Wheeler entered the office only a few moments be- 
hind him. 

" What is this hurry and excitement?" asked 
117 



118 WAS IT A CKIME? 

Wheeler. "Mr. Ellersly is very mysterious. He 
will not enlighten me. Is there new hope ? " 

"Yes; let that satisfy you, for I have no time to 
talk now," he answered. " We have a month's work 
to do in a day, and we can't waste a moment." 

Piqued at the abruptness of Mr. Wright's reply, 
Wheeler took a seat near the window, and tried to 
interest himself in the morning paper. He had 
grown indifferent. He did not care much how the 
case might end. 

Court would not open for an hour; and Mr. 
Wright improved every moment of the intervening 
time. On the way down town he had stopped at 
the residence of Dr. Gray, his family physician, 
and left word for him to come to his office as early 
as possible; and the doctor put in an appearance 
shortly after the arrival of Wheeler and Ellersly. 
Wright had a hurried consultation with him in his 
private office. As they came out, and Dr. Gray pre- 
pared to go, he turned to Mr. Wright and said: 

"You may depend upon me. It will not be so 
difficult as you thought. Fortunately Nurgson, the 
celebrated physiologist of Paris, who has made this 
subject a special study, is now in New York. I can 
get you half a dozen other scientific men who will 
give their testimony, and be glad of the opportunity." 



"THANK GOD THERE IS LIGHT AHEAD." 119 

"We must have them to-morrow," said Mr. 
Wright. 

"Do not fear; they will be on hand, I promise 
you." And the doctor hurried away. 

"Have you completed that document, Johnson? " 
asked Mr. Wright. 

The clerk replied that it was all ready for him, 
but that he would like to compare it with his notes 
again. Johnson was a very careful clerk. 

All this hub-bub and mysterious conversation 
awoke Wheeler from his apathy. He knew that 
something must have happened to affect his case 
favorably, but what it was he could not surmise. 
However, he had grown to have such complete con- 
fidence in Mr. Wright that he was quite willing to 
leave the case entirely in the lawyer's hands. Be- 
sides, he had grown weary of speculating upon the 
mystery of Denman's death. He had believed from 
the first that his friend had died by his own hand, 
and no matter how he might reason and theorize he 
always returned to that conclusion. He could not 
understand how any man who knew him could for a 
moment doubt his innocence. 

"Come, Mr. Wheeler; it is time to go." The 
brisk voice of Mr. Wright startled Wheeler from his 
reverie. 



120 WAS IT A CHIME? 

The crier was opening the session when they 
entered the court room. The attendance was larger 
than it had been on any previous day of the trial. 
The newspaper accounts of the testimony of Miss 
Menton, and the dramatic climax which her falling 
from the witness stand in a swoon had caused, had 
created a new interest in the trial; and applicants 
for admission were so numerous that one could 
hardly squeeze into the space between the doors 
and the railings. 

When the jury had entered the box, and the trial 
had been formally resumed, Mr. Wright arose and 
in a grave voice and impressive manner, said: 

" I beg the Court to adjourn this trial for a day. 
New evidence evidence which affects my client 
very closely, which proves his innocence has been 
discovered. I will present it to the Court to-morrow, 
together with the testimony of several witnesses, for 
whom I shall ask the Court to issue subpoanas to- 
day." 

" What is your new evidence? " sneeringly asked 
the District Attorney. "Could you tell us now?" 

" I could, but I will not," answered Mr. Wright 
curtly. 

" The Court will grant the adjournment if you can 
show good cause," said the Judge. 



"THANK GOD THERE is LIGHT AHEAD." 121 

*' I have no wish nor reason to conceal the evi- 
dence which I purpose to introduce," replied Mr. 
Wright. "And I am willing that the gentleman 
who seems determined to have my client punished, 
guilty or not guilty, shall have full opportunity to 
investigate its source, and overcome it if he can." 

"Proceed," said the Court. 

"I purpose to show," continued Mr. Wright, 
speaking with a force and earnestness which com- 
manded the attention and respect of every one in 
the room, " that my client has been the victim of a 
strange plot and as foul as it is strange. I shall 
show that it was his hand that drove the dagger into 
the heart of Paul Denman, but that he is not re- 
sponsible neither to God nor to the law for " 

" I protest," cried Wheeler, with startling vehe- 
mence, jumping to his feet and raising his hand to 
the Judge. "I have been deceived. Whatever 
Mr. Wright may mean by this I shall not consent 
to it, for it is false. I kill Paul Denman ! I a 
murderer! It's a lie! I will not submit! " 

Wheeler was beside himself with excitement. ; 
His eyes dilated and his whole frame shook with 
emotion. The District Attorney smiled, and looked 
at the jury out of the corners of his eyes as much 



122 WAS IT A CHIME? 

as to say: "What do you think of this business 
now?" 

A quiet satisfaction beamed in Mr. Wright's 
eye for a moment. Then turning to Wheeler he 
said, kindly: "You may trust me, Mr. Wheeler. 
Sit down and compose yourself." Wheeler resumed 
his seat in a maze of bewilderment. 

"It's all right, Henry," said Mr. Ellersly, lean- 
ing over and whispering in his ear. 

"I shall show," continued Mr. Wright, after 
quiet had been restored, " that my client committed 
this act while in a hypnotized condition, the scien- 
tific explanation and proof of which will be fur- 
nished in due time. This condition was produced 
in him by the witness who gave her testimony yes- 
terday, and who fainted on the stand Miss Helene 
Menton. I have her dying statement to that effect 
a statement which no court can refuse to receive. 
The poor creature may be dead now ; at the best she 
can last only a few hours." 

It was almost impossible to preserve order in the 
court room. Men and women began talking aloud, 
and the commotion finally became so great that it 
was necessary for the bailiff to assert his muscular 
power as well as his official authority to restore 
quiet. 



"THANK GOD THERE IS LIGHT AHEAD." 125 

The District Attorney was on his feet in an 
instant. 

"This is without precedent " 

" That's true," assented Mr. Wright, parenthet- 
ically. 

" I say it is without precedent," repeated the 
District Attorney, waving his arms like a windmill. 
" Here comes an attorney and asks for delay that 
he may present evidence to prove that his client is 
guilty to which the client very naturally objects. 
And what kind of testimony is it? Why it's as 
ridiculous on its face as an old woman's ghost 
story. I hope Your Honor will not grant an 
adjournment." 

" But the Court will," said Judge Blackwood, 
with a promptness and decision that almost took the 
District Attorney's breath away. " It will not do," 
he continued, gravely, " to scoff at things we can 
not understand, especially when there is a life 
at stake," and the adjournment was granted. 

Wheeler was so weak and nervous when he 
reached Mr. Wright's office that he begged permis- 
sion to go into the private room and lie down. Mr. 
Wright's explanation to the Court, in which he had 
shown that Miss Menton had caused him to do a 
murder, had unmanned him. He dared not think 



126 WAS IT A CRIME? 

of it, and yet the lawyer's words echoed and re- 
echoed through his brain. 

" Now do you see why I did not want to tell 
AVheeler?" said lawyer Wright to Mr. Ellersly 
when they were alone. " I knew that a man of his 
impulsive, nervous nature would be quite certain to 
act just as he did when the secret was revealed. We 
can never make him believe that he committed that 
murder, and that very fact strengthens our case 
with the court and jury. To-morrow I will read the 
confession." 

"Thank God there's light ahead," said Mr. 
Ellersly, fervently. "But poor Wheeler! It will 
blight his life." 

" That's where you are mistaken," answered Mr. 
Wright. " It will not blight his life a whit more 
than it will mine." 



CHAPTER XITL 

A BUBNING DE8IEE FOB BEVENGE UPON THE MAN 
WHO HAD BOBBED ME OF MY LOVE. 

When the Denman murder trial was resumed on 
the following day there were half a dozen scholarly- 
looking men occupying seats within the railing. 
" Those are the experts," said a quid nunc in the 
audience, and those who heard him looked at the 
scientific gentlemen with much the same interest 
they would have exhibited in viewing a collection of 
Bengal tigers. 

When Mr. Wright arose and began to unfold a 
roll of manuscript the audience held its breath, for 
the promised confession, the strangest of all con- 
fessions ever known in the annals of crime of the 
great city of New York, was about to be read. 

" This," said Mr. Wright, " is the statement of 
Helene Menton, made in articulo mortis on the 
twelfth day of December of this year the day 
before yesterday. The unhappy woman since that 
time has gone- before that higher Court where all 
may hope for mercy. Let us hope that she may 

127 



128 WAS IT A CRIME? 

receive it. She died at 12 o'clock last night." 
Mr. Wright continued: "The confession reads 
thus: 

" ' Believing death to be at hand, I, Helene Men- 
ton, as an act of justice to an innocent man, and in 
the hope of forgiveness through this act, solemnly 
declare that I am morally guilty of the murder of 
Paul Denman. That the world may not judge me 
too harshly let me relate the story of my life : I 
will tell why I was moved to be revenged upon the 
man who robbed me of happiness and honor, when 
they were almost within my grasp, after long years 
of misery and neglect. I was born in Paris on the 
30th of June, 1856. My mother, who, at the time 
of her marriage was a dancer of some renown in 
the theatrical world of Paris, died when I was five 
years old, leaving me to my father's care. Even 
my earliest recollections are sorrowful and bitter. 
I craved affection but could not find it. My father 
was cold in his nature. I saw but little of him, as 
most of his time was devoted to his studies. When 
I was eight years old I went with him to India. 
We spent three years there. I was left to the care 
of nurses most of that time. My father had a 
craze to solve the mysteries of occultism. It never 
occurred to him that the nature of his child was 



A BURNING BESIRE FOR REVENGE. 129 

worthy of investigation. From India we went to 
England. Russia soon offered attractions to him. 
So it was, up to my twentieth year we were con- 
stantly journeying from one country to another. 
His associates were mostly scientific men. It made 
no difference what a man's moral character was; so 
long as he was a scholar my father's house was 
always open to him. I grew to womanhood in an 
atmosphere of cynicism, selfishness and material- 
ism. I never knew a truly good woman in my life. 
I have never known the refining influence of home. 
My surroundings have been without sentiment, 
without love, and without a tinge of moral color. 

" ' And yet the woman's heart within me did not 
wither in this unhealthy atmosphere. I had vague 
longings for a life that was not cold, hard and sel- 
fish. I believed that I deserved a kinder fate. My 
hopes seemed about to be realized when Paul Den- 
man thrust himself into my life. We had been 
living in Paris about five years. Those five years 
had been full of misery to me. It would have 
been better for me had I left my father's house and 
sought refuge in a convent. Once I thought of 
doing so; but my father had destroyed my faith in 
religion, by his cold and logical arguments, and I 
turned back to the old life without hope. 



13G WAS IT A CHIME? 

" '.The society which I met at our house in Paris 

I could not call it home was gradually killing 
what little sentiment and tenderness there was left 
in me, when I met the Count Ludwig. He was 
brought to our house by one of my father's friends 

a German. He was the first man I had ever met 
since I had become old enough .to understand 
human motives who seemed to have an honest re- 
spect for me. He talked to me of those things of 
which I had so often thought in my lonely misery 

of home life, of his mother, and once I found 
myself weeping as I listened to his description of 
the beauty and goodness of his sisters, and the 
happiness of one of them in her preparations for her 
approaching marriage to a man she loved and 
respected. These were the first tears I had shed 
since childhood. My grief deeply moved the 
Count. His sympathy was sweet to me and I 
poured out to him the story of my unhappy life. 
"Poor child!" said he, and he took my hand and 
pressed it kindly. From that moment I loved him 
with a love that women who have had affection all 
their lives could not understand. I worshipped 
him. 

" ( He became a constant visitor at our house. I 
held myself aloof as much as possible from the 



A BURNING DESIRE FOR REVENGE. 131 

others who came almost nightly. My father put no 
restraints upon his guests. They played at cards, 
drank till late into the night, and came and went as 
they pleased. This was my father's idea of hospi- 
tality. It amused -him to see men get drunk, and 
he would laugh heartily when they lost their money 
at cards. He never joined them at the gaming 
table. My love for the Count ennobled my aspira- 
tions, and I hated my surroundings with a bitter- 
ness stronger than ever. To my great joy I soon 
discovered that my affection for the Count was 
reciprocated. The bliss of the moment when he 
took me in his arms and kissed me the first kiss 
a lover ever imprinted upon my lips comes back 
to me now, and I am happy, even in these my dying 
moments. I was to be his wife, an honored wife 
and a Countess. I will not deny that the position I 
would secure in society by marrying Ludwig 
increased my desire to become his wife, and influ- 
enced me almost equally with my love for him, in 
naming an early day for the wedding. 

" * I was to get out of the meshes which had held 
me all my life. I was to live among good people,, 
to be respected a Countess. Women who have 
never known what it is to be without the respect of 
the world to be unknown and neglected can not 



132 WAS IT A CHIME? 

appreciate how great was the joy which possessed me 
when I saw the way opened to an honored place in 
in society. I was to have been married to the Count 
in December five years ago. In November Paul 
Denman was brought to our house by a young art 
student a forward young man who had called only 
once or twice before. Denman was one of the coarsest 
men I had ever met. He did not have even the super- 
ficial refinement of the professional rou& He pre- 
sumed that because it was not difficult to be intro- 
duced at our house, and because of the unconven- 
tionality of the life we led, that I was entitled to 
little better treatment than the shameless women of 
the streets. I directed the servants not to admit 
him if he should call again. He came on the fol- 
lowing night. The servants carried out my com- 
mands, and he turned from the door, cursing me and 
every one in the house. I think he was drunk that 
night as well as the night before. 

" * A few nights later, on returning from the opera 
with the Count, happy in his society and in the 
prospect of our approaching marriage, we stopped 
at a cafe, as was our custom after the play or opera. 
This man Denman occupied a seat at a table near 
where we sat. I had not told Ludwig of the insult 
he had offered me. I dared not. Denman seemed 



A BURNING DESIRE FOR REVENGE. 133 

bent upon showing me that he despised me. He 
stared at me so contemptuously and insultingly that 
Ludwig noticed it, and before I could entreat him 
not to pay any attention to him he had crossed to 
where Denman sat. They quarreled. Ludwig was 
the smaller man of the two, and Demnan, the 
coward, took advantage of his physical power; he 
knocked him down. The Count challenged him. 
I begged him not to fight with so low, so base a 
man, but I could not change his purpose. I prayed 
that night for the first time since my childhood. I 
might have known that such prayers as I could offer 
would not be answered; I had 110 right to expect it. 
" ' I never looked upon the face of Ludwig again. 
He fell by the hand of a man his inferior in cour- 
age, in honor, and in manliness. Perhaps it was 
his fate. My father had a passing interest in my 
grief. He searched all Paris for Denman, but 
could not find a trace of him. Two years later we 
came to New York. My father was born here, but 
was educated abroad, and had no love for his native 
country. We live here very much as we did in 
Paris, though my father's associates in New York 
are of a better class, morally, than those who 
gathered around him there. I had drifted back 
into the old life. If anything I grew harder, more 



134 WAS IT A CKIME? 

indifferent than ever, without hope of happiness, 
but with a burning desire for revenge upon the 
man who had robbed me of my love, and cheated 
me of a place among good women. Can I be 
blamed? What else was there for me to live for? 

" * I was leading this miserable existence when 
Mr. Wheeler who, next to the Count, I admired 
more than any one I had ever met brought Den- 
man to our house. He did not know whom he was 
to meet. He trembled under the glance I gave 
him. His conscience made a coward of him. 
From that moment I devoted my every thought to 
devising some means of revenge. Nothing but his 
life would satisfy me. I encouraged him to return. 
I knew his weakness, and seemingly lowered myself 
to the level on which he had placed me. I had not 
yet thought of a way of wreaking my revenge. I 
had only one desire; that was, to kill him. I 
believe it would have resulted in my doing the 
deed with my own hand had not a novel means pre- 
sented itself. The method which I used suggested 
itself to me after a conversation I had with Prof. 
Ryse. He described to me how the investigations 
of hypnotism had been carried to such an extent in 
Paris as to prove beyond a doubt that an impres- 
sion could be conveyed to a person, while in the 



A BUENING DESIRE FOB BEVENGE. 135 

hypnotic state, which could be re-awakened at any 
time that might be determined upon by the opera- 
tor. He showed me the report of a case in which a 
man who had been hypnotized had been directed 
by the person who hypnotized him one week 
from that day and hour, to take off his shoes and 
stockings and walk barefooted for a hundred yards. 
The experiment was a success. The Professor 
pointed out the danger of the abuse of this strange 
power a murder might be done by its aid, he 
said. 

" * My mind acted quickly. I decided to try this 
powerful agent, with which I was familiar in a 
general way. I never thought of Mr. Wheeler as a 
subject until he himself suggested it in a playful 
way. I can not comprehend how I consented to 
make him a partner to my crime. The opportunity 
suggested itself sooner than I had expected. On 
the night of the 6th of November there were a 
number of guests at our house; among them Paul 
Denman, Mr. Wheeler, Dr. Grip, Mr. Landis, 
Colonel McPhister, and his friend Judge Black- 
wood. The conversation turned upon psychology, 
and Prof. Byse, who has made hypnotism the sub- 
ject of thoughtful study and investigation, began to 

16 



186 WAS IT A CRIME? 

describe the advancement which had been made 
in it. 

" ' I felt guilty even in the contemplation of the 
act, and was fearful that Professor -Kyse would go 
on to say that it was possible for a murder to be 
done through its power as he had suggested to 
me. 

" ' I was not unfamiliar with the method of pro- 
ducing the hypnotic trance. I would have known 
how to do it without Professor Ryse's directions. 
To every one in the room but myself the hypnotis- 
ing of Mr. Wheeler was a pleasing experiment 
nothing more. My first attempt failed. I had not 
intended that it should succeed. It was my pur- 
pose to be alone with Mr. Wheeler. I succeeded 
in getting the other members of the company to 
leave the room. Mr. Wheeler was perfectly willing 
to be hypnotized. He suspected nothing, feared 
nothing. 

"'I could not have found a better subject. In a 
very few moments he had, by following my direc- 
tions and gazing fixedly at the small object I held 
in my hand a golden bullet prophetic instru- 
ment, which I had borrowed from Colonel Mc- 
Phister passed into the hypnotic state. It was 



A BURNING DESIRE FOR REVENGE. 137 

then that I called the guests in. I caused Mr. 
Wheeler to do a few of the things which are in the 
alphabet of hypnotism. I could not resist the 
temptation to mentally describe the scene at the 
caf& in Paris, which led to the loss of my lover, the 
blasting of my hopes and to this crime. Mr. 
Wheeler repeated the words aloud. I could see 
that it struck fear to Denman's heart, and I enjoyed 
it with a savage satisfaction. 

" '1 was in doubt as to whether I could convey 
an impression to Mr. Wheeler mentally that would 
be active after I should arouse him from his trance. 
So, pretending that there was a great deal of mys- 
tery connected with the process of bringing him out 
of the sleep, which I did not care to explain, I asked 
the company to leave the room. They did so. It 
was in the moment that they were absent that I 
repeated aloud, and with all the impressiveness I 
could assume, these words: "At three o'clock, get a 
knife and plunge it into Paul Denman's heart." I 
said these words three times. Poor Mr. Wheeler 
repeated them after me, as innocently as he would 
have repeated a prayer. Then I awoke him from 
his trance, and the party dispersed. Suddenly, the 
thought entered my mind that it was impossible for 



138 WAS IT A CRIME? 

Wheeler to carrj out my directions, because ne 
would doubtless be asleep at that hour. I had 
never heard that an impression could be retained 
and put in execution if the subject were in a natural 
sleep at the time when that impression should sug- 
gest itself to the mind. This doubt brought with 
it the hope that my wicked plan would fail. I be- 
gan then to realize how awful it was to make a 
murderer of this innocent man who trusted me. 
The deed was done as I had ordered it: it was done 
at the hour I had named, as the autopsy proves. 
Henry Wheeler is as innocent of the crime as a 
babe unborn. I am the murderess, as much so as if I 
had with my own hand driven the dagger into Paul 
Denman's heart. The persons whose names I have 
mentioned in this, my dying confession, who were 
present when I hypnotized Mr. Wheeler, will attest 
the truth of my statement as to what took place at 
my house. I am about to die. I am not sorry that 
Denman was murdered. I feel that the only crime 
I committed was in making Mr. Wheeler the in- 
strument. By the friendship he once professed 
for me I beg his forgiveness. I was heartbroken 
and desperate when the means was placed in my 
hands to destroy the man who had, without cause, 



A BURNING DESIRE FOR REVENGE. 139 

robbed my life of the only hope and happiness it had 
ever known, and I could not resist the temptation to 
employ it. I die ; glad to quit a world which has 
been so hard to me. Henry Wheeler is no more 
responsible for the death of Paul Denman than is 
the inanimate knife rhich penetrated that bad 
heart.' " 



CHAPTEB XIV. 

"NOT GUILTY." 

During the reading of the dying confession of 
Helene Menton, the voice of Mr. Wright was the 
only sound that broke the stillness of the court 
room. It created a profound sensation, not only 
among the spectators, but among the jurymen. 

Mr. Wright proceeded to prove by Mr. Ellersly 
and Johnson the correctness of the document which 
he had just read, after which Prof. Ryse was called, 
and the taking of what has come to be called 
" expert " testimony was begun. Prof. Ryse first 
described what had taken place at the Menton house 
on the night of the murder, corroborating the testi- 
mony of Miss Menton in every detail, so far as it 
related to what was done in the presence of the 
guests. 

" You are sure that Mr. Wheeler was hypnotized 
by Miss Menton, are you?" asked Mr. Wright. 

" There is no doubt of it." 

" Do you believe it possible for an impression to 
have been conveyed to him while he was in the hyp- 

140 



"NOT GUILTY." 143 

notized state that would impel him to commit an 
act after he should be brought out of that state?" 

"Yes." 

"Do you think it possible for this crime to 
have been committed as set forth in Miss Menton's 
confession?" 

"Yes." 

" Please tell the jury something of the general 
characteristics of the hypnotic power." 

" Hypnotism," began Professor Ryse, " is not yet 
thoroughly understood. The uses to which it may 
be put are more numerous than even the most 
advanced scientific men dreamed of five years ago. 
The hypnotic condition, as nearly as it can be 
defined, is almost a counterpart of somnambulism. 
It is a well established fact that the sleep-walker 
has^ absolutely no remembrance in his waking 
moments of what he has done in his somnambulistic 
tours. It is so in hypnotism. It has been proved, 
by frequent experiments, that a man may be hypno- 
tized on a certain day and have a train of thought 
awakened in his mind by the operator, and then 
be suddenly restored to his normal condition. A 
week later, say, the same man is again put into the 
hypnotic trance. It is quite likely that he will at 
once take up the subject which the operator had 



144 WAS IT A CRIME? 

suggested to his mind when he was in the same 
condition a week before, and continue it until the 
operator directs his thoughts into other channels. 
It has been proved, too, that the operator may con- 
vey impressions to his subjects, which, under a 
command given to the subject at the same time, 
will emerge from the registering ganglia of the 
brain at a day and hour, even weeks distant, and be 
as potent as if the subject were still in the hypnotic 
sleep before the operator." 

"What kind of memory would you call that?" 
asked Mr. Wright. 

" That can only be conjectured. Some writers 
claim that it is purely cerebral memory. There can 
be no doubt that the spinal cord may be educated 
to perform the functions of cerebral memory. I 
believe that actors have unconsciously cultivated 
medullary memory. By its aid they are enabled to 
repeat lines of a part without conscious volition. 
However, wherever the place of retention of an 
impression may be, there can be no question but 
that it is retained. I see no reason to doubt that 
the crime was committed through the hypnotic 
power, in view of the statement of the operator." 

The celebrated Nurgson, the French physiolo- 
gist, could not give his testimony in English, and 



"NOT GUILTY." 145 

it was with some difficulty that the court interpreter 
made clear some of his technical phrases. He 
began by describing the immediate effect of the 
hypnotic influence. Said he: 

" The first step is to put the subject into a pro- 
found sleep a state of complete unconsciousness. 
His mind is a blank. He has no thoughts save 
those which are suggested to him by the operator. 
He is as if in a dreamless sleep; dead, for the time. 
As I have said, mental activity is awakened only 
by the operator. In the ordinary biological condi- 
tion the subject has his eyes open and seems to 
know what is taking place; but in the complete 
hypnotic trance his eyes are almost invariably 
closed. He seems to be in a torpor. His bodily 
movements are slow, and his mind, even under the 
immediate direction of the operator works labori- 
ously. There is an appearance of stupidity about 
him. 

"Some subjects are more susceptible than 
others, though nine persons in ten may be hyp- 
notized. The chief requisite is a willingness to 
submit to the influence. The subject must be in a 
state of mental abstraction; from that state he 
passes by imperceptible stages into the hypnotic 
condition. He becomes, as has been well expressed 



146 WAS IT A CHIME? 

by an English writer, a mere statue of attention, a 
listening, expectant life; a perfectly undistracted 
faculty. While in this expectant condition, any- 
thing that is suggested to the subject is magnified; 
joy is doubly joyful ; fear is doubly fearful. Every 
sense is exalted. The subject's whole being, his 
entire sensibility seems to live in each faculty 
of perception, as it is aroused to action. Even his 
physical strength is increased; his muscles will 
stand a strain that would lacerate them if he were 
in his normal condition. Men who are incapable 
of lifting a hundred pounds can be made to lift 
twice that weight. Persons have been known to 
perform feats while under the hypnotic influence 
which they would not dare even attempt in their 
usual state. 

" Hypnotism is really an artificial sleep. What 
takes place during the time that a person is in that 
sleep may be likened to the dreams that one has in 
his natural sleep of which he has no recollection 
unconscious cerebration. There is nothing super- 
natural about it. There can be no doubt that it is 
a dangerous power. . Properly used, however, it 
may be made of incalculable benefit to mankind. 
Patients on whom operations were to be performed 
have been hypnotized and the operation done with- 



"NOT GUILTY.** 147 

out pain to them and without their knowledge. It 
is the most powerful of all anaesthetics, and alto- 
gether harmless in its effects. Its value in medi- 
cine is just beginning to be understood. Just 
before I left Paris an experiment was made in the 
Salpetriere Hospital, which was more wonderful 
than the exhibition of the power of hypnotism 
which this case affords. A woman who had been 
hypnotized was placed in a chair on one side of a 
screen ; a dumb woman suffering from hysteria was 
seated on the other side. A large magnet was 
placed near the hypnotized dumb woman, and by 
its aid a magnetic current was established between 
the two women. Speech was almost instantly 
restored to the dumb patient; and the other, when 
awakened from the hypnotic condition, was dumb. 
She was unable to utter a sound for several hours, 
but in a very short time recovered the full use of 
her organ of speech." 

"But do you believe that an impression con- 
veyed as you have described, could be put in 
execution while the subject was in his natural 
Bleep?" asked the District Attorney. 

"It is not impossible." 

"Have you ever known of such an instance?" 

M. Nurgson admitted he had not. He added: 



148 WAS IT A CRIME? 

" No man can say to what extent hypnotism may 
be carried. It is one of the most powerful agents 
mankind possesses. The world is only awakening 
to its uses." 

" If murders are to be done by its aid it is bet- 
ter that the world continue in ignorance, I think," 
remarked the District Attorney. 

Other scientific gentlemen were called. They 
all testified to the admitted existence of the hyp- 
notic power, and in various ways described its 
attendant phenomena. They asserted their belief 
in the possibility of the commission of a crime by 
a hypnotic subject at the command of a wicked 
operator. 

The District Attorney had no testimony to offer. 
He had not been able to find a scientific man in 
New York who was willing to go upon the stand 
and deny the existence of the hypnotic power, or 
the possibility that a crime might not be committed 
by its agency. Thus the trial of Henry Wheeler 
was brought to a close, so far as the taking of testi- 
mony was concerned. 

The District Attorney knew that he had lost his 
case; he read it in the faces of the jury, in the 
manner of the Judge, and there could be no doubt 
in his mind as to where the sympathy of the spec- 



"NOT GUILTY." 149 

tators lay. His argument was brief. He showed 
that it had been proved that -Wheeler was found in 
the room with the body of the murdered man, 
and with the doors locked; that there had been a 
quarrel between the prisoner and the deceased on 
the night before the crime was committed, and that 
there was presumptive evidence of the existence of 
jealousy on Wheeler's part, creating a sufficient 
motive for the crime. He sat down, feeling that he 
had done his duty. 

"I leave the case of my client as it stands," 
said Mr. Wright. "The dying words of Helene 
Menton, and the testimony of these eminent men, 
versed in the science of the rnind have, I believe, 
convinced the jury that Henry Wheeler is not 
responsible to his God, nor to the law, for the com- 
mission of this act. The scientific gentlemen, who 
have described this strange power, have told you so. 
If they can not be believed in a matter of this 
nature, who can ? If they do not know, who does ?" 

In charging the jury Judge Blackwood felt it to 
be his duty to lay particular stress upon the im- 
portance of the " expert " testimony. " We live in 
a progressive age," he said, "and it will not do to 
set aside those things which our minds can not at 
first fully grasp. My name is mentioned in the 



150 WAS IT A CRIME? 

confession of Helene Menton. It is true that I 
was present at her house on the night before Paul 
Denman came to his death. I feel it to be my 
duty as a Judge, irregular as it may seem, to assure 
you that on that night I saw indisputable evidence 
of this strange power. Now, if you believe that 
Helene Menton told the truth in her dying words, 
it will be right for you to accept the testimony of 
the scientific gentlemen who have explained the 
known extent of this power, and acquit the prisoner 
at the bar." 

" Thank God for a Judge who is not afraid to 
aid justice," said Mr. Wright to himself. 

The jury retired. It had been absent not more 
than ten minutes when a tipstaff announced that it 
was ready to report. The jurymen filed in and 
took their places. 

"Have you agreed upon a verdict?" asked the 
Judge. 

" We have," responded the foreman. He handed 
a slip of paper to the Clerk who read, aloud: 

"Not guilty." 

A cheer went up from the audience. No attempt 
was made to restore order. Wheeler was hurried 
away by Mr. Wright and Mr. Ellersly. Seated in 



"NOT GUILTY." 151 

the lawyer's office, Mr. Ellersly said with pride, as 
he glanced at Wright: 

" Didn't I tell you, Wheeler, my boy, that Jack 
v/ould get you out of your troubles ?" 

" To him and that noble woman I owe my life," 
replied Wheeler with feeling. 

"What noble woman?" asked Mr. Ellersly in 
surprise. 

" Miss Menton, of course. It was a grand sacri- 
fice; only a noble woman could have made it." 

" What are you talking about? " said Mr. Ellersly 
sharply. " If this noble woman had not died as she 
did you would have been hanged. There was no 
sacrifice about it. Most people confess their crimes 
before they die." 

"You are mistaken in your opinion of Miss 
Menton," replied Wheeler calmly. " She had com- 
mitted no crime. I believe she made that statement 
to save my life, not because it was true. I am as 
sure in my heart of that as I am that I did not 
commit a murder." 

"Who did then?" asked Mr. Ellersly, beginning 
to fear that his friend had gone daft. 

"Denman died by his own hand." Wheeler 
seemed to be annoyed that Mr. Ellersly should 
believe that Denman had been murdered. 



CHAPTEE XV. 

1 'THINK OF THE AWFUL VENGEANCE SHE WREAKED 
THROUGH YOU." 

The Menton house was closed indeed, it was 
the Menton house no longer. With its beautiful 
hostess cold in a new-made grave, with the wonder- 
ful laboratory of Julius Menton denuded of its fur- 
naces and retorts, and their owner over the seas in 
Paris, ending his degenerate days in selfish oblivion, 
it suggested only a memory of the days agone. 
But the drawing room in which Miss Menton had 
held her salons seemed to retain the old atmosphere. 

When Julius Menton advertised the sale of his 
furniture, Henry Wheeler hastened to buy it; and 
when old Menton moved out Wheeler moved in, 
much to the surprise of his friends, who thought he 
should be the last man in the world to take up his 
abode there. Mr. Ellersly protested vehemently. 
He could not comprehend how Wheeler could volun- 
tarily surround himself with the associations which 
lingered around the place. 

" You might as well go to an insane asylum at 
152 



" THINK OF THE AWFUL VENGEANCE.*' 153 

once," he said. " The memories of this place will 
drive you mad." 

" They will be sweet memories to me," Wheeler 
answered, simply. 

And so they were. He placed his easel in the 
old drawing room, and his working hours were 
spent there. He believed he could feel the pres- 
ence of the woman who had spent so many sad and 
bitter moments within its walls. The only grief 
he had was for the loss of her society. In his 
dreamy moods he could imagine himself listen- 
ing again to her voice, and he could see the out- 
lines of her superb form. He erected a monument 
over her grave, and revered her memory with a ten- 
derness that was almost hallowed. At times, his 
friends feared that the shadow which had fallen 
upon his life had unsettled his mind, and yet there 
was nothing in his manner to indicate that he was 
unhappy. Though more thoughtful than of old, 
yet he was as frank and cheerful as ever. He was 
not in need of their sympathy. 

He rarely thought of Denman, and when he did 
it was without tenderness. The friendship which 
had once existed between them was not perpetuated 
in memory. He sometimes felt that he owed it to 



154 WAS if A CRIME'? 

Miss Menton to despise the man who had caused 
her so much misery. 

He painted as he had never painted before, and 
he wrote with a new virility. His character seemed 
to be more stable, his individuality more intense. 
He made a name for himself. Perhaps his strange 
history had something to do with bringing him into 
prominence, for anything or anybody who is unlike 
anything or anybody else is quite sure of attention 
from the world these days. However that may be, 
Wheeler had more commissions than he could fill. 
Thus he had entered a new life. The mystery of 
Paul Denman's death had been a turning point in 
his career. 

One day, five years after the trial, Mr. Ellersly, 
still hale and genial, though whiter of beard and 
hair, sat in Wheeler's studio, watching with interest 
the development of a picture under the artist's 
brush. They had sat for some moments in silence. 
Mr. Ellersly looked long and thoughtfully at a life- 
size, half-length painting in oil which hung upon 
the wall immediately opposite the artist's stool. It 
was an idealized portrait of Miss Menton a truly 
wonderful work in its poetic treatment. 

"Henry," asked Mr. Ellersly, suddenly, "why 
do you have that picture hanging constantly before 



"THINK OF THE AWFUL VENGEANCE." 155 

you?" nodding toward the portrait. "Doesn't it 
give you the blue devils when you look at her, and 
think of the awful vengeance she wreaked through 
you?" 

"Why should it? " asked Wheeler, turning from 
his work, seriously but with evident irritation. 

" Of course it should not," replied Mr. Ellersly, 
quickly and apologetically, "for you are not re- 
sponsible for the act ; but doesn't it call up unpleas- 
ant memories ? " 

"My dear Mr. Ellersly," said Wheeler, "I can 
never forget the kindness you have shown me, nor 
the true friendship and aid you gave me when I 
most needed sympathy and help. But I must beg 
of you not to speak of this matter as if it was I 
who killed Paul Denman. The thought is repul- 
sive to me and equally as absurd. I have never 
talked with you on this subject that is, I have 
never told you what I believe, what I know. 

" Let us admit to start with that Miss Menton 
despised Denman. It is possible that in the bitter- 
ness of feeling which the wrongs he had done her 
engendered, she may have attempted to take her re- 
venge in the way she described in her confession. 
This may be possible ; but I do not believe it. She 
would never have made me a party even an inno- 



156 WAS IT A CRIME? 

cent one to a crime to a murder. However, ad- 
mit that she did intend that I should do a murder. 
Does it follow that I did it? Not at all. If she 
had directed me to fly across the East Elver 'I be- 
lieve those experts would have sworn that it was 
not impossible for me to have done it. The theory 
on which I was cleared of the charge of killing 
Paul Denman was ridiculous. I am very sorry that 
Miss Menton's confession was ever introduced. It 
placed me in an awkward position. I could have been 
cleared by showing that Denman killed himself. 
We were all frightened at the time. For myself I 
know that it was impossible to think clearly. But 
I can see it all very plainly now. 

"Wright should have shown that there was no 
motive to connect me with the crime; that there 
was absolutely no reason why I should have killed 
Denman. We were not rivals, and I was never jeal- 
ous of him, simply annoyed, at first, because I could 
not learn what the relation had been between Den- 
man and Miss Menton in Paris. The fact that I 
was discovered in the room with the doors locked 
conld have been used to my advantage, for a mur- 
derer does not give the alarm to notify the world of 
his crime, and call in witnesses to prove that he is 
the guilty man. The whole theory is wrong. 



157 

" I am convinced that Denman died by his own 
hand. There was no murder about it. He was 
morbid and full of strange fears that night, as he 
himself confessed to me. Probably rejnorse so 
preyed upon his mind as to suggest the ending of a 
useless life. The jury could have been made to see 
this. Wright's theory and his experts were unne- 
cessary. If I committed that crime, don't you 
believe that in all the years that have passed some 
sudden thought would have come to me some 
re-awakened impression that would bring back the 
deed to my mind? There would be a something 
that would tell me that it was really I who killed 
Paul Denman. I have never had such a thought 
never the vaguest kind of impression. On the con- 
trary, my belief that Denman committed suicide 
grows stronger every day. I am a reasonable man; 
I am in health; my brain is not affected, and I can 
understand a proposition as clearly as most men. 
Therefore I refuse to believe that I could commit 
a murder under any influence and not know it. A 
thousand experts could not make me think other- 
wise. I shall believe as I do now to my dying day." 

And he did. 

THE END. 



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