"And what does your own body do?"

A pained look came over her face.   "And you won't have it any more?"   "Well, for mesmerism, for example."   HELEN PENCLOSA   A. CONAN DOYLE  

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"And what does your own body do?"

A pained look came over her face.

Now, let me try to be accurate. I loathe her and fear her, yet, while I am under the spell, she can doubtless make me love her. Have stayed away as I said. Surely it must; otherwise, why should I be allowed to come back to consciousness? Ah, what a balm to my heart it is to think so! He is a cheery, practical fellow, and a chat with him will steady my nerves. "Well, you know very well that I could bring you this instant crouching like a spaniel to my feet. You will not find me again in my hour of weakness, when you can insult me with impunity. Have a care what you are doing, Professor Gilroy. You stand in a terrible position. You have not yet realized the hold which I have upon you." She has answered, formally enough, to say that if I should change my mind I should find her at home at the usual hour. We are to have a sitting this evening, and she is to try if she can produce any mesmeric effect upon me. Oh, if only I could hope that she will leave me alone! I don't know how it occurred. This time she has failed. "She revenged herself last night on both of us at once. She saw me leave the ball, and she must have seen you also. She knew how long it would take you to reach home. Then she had but to use her wicked will. Ah, your bruised face is a small thing beside my bruised soul!" Whither had it gone?

"And you won't have it any more?"

She creeps into my frame as the hermit crab does into the whelk's shell. Charles Sadler must know something of this! Mesmerized again by Miss Penclosa. God help me!

"Well, for mesmerism, for example."

Wilson was, as I had anticipated, very exultant over my conversion, and Miss Penclosa was also demurely pleased at the result of her experiment. I had almost despaired of having speech with her when he was called from the room, and we were left for a few moments together. "My poor fan is to get the credit of that experiment. Well, we must try something else. Miss Marden, would you have any objection to my putting you off?" It is the first that I have ever missed.


She was frightened, I could see, though she tried to brazen it out. I suppose it is pitiably weak of me, but this woman gets upon my nerves most terribly. In fact, I was one of the last to arrive and found the room crowded. I could have taken the crutch from her side and beaten her face in with it. At the tenth her eyes were closed, and her breathing was slower and fuller than usual. I was in no very good humor as I followed Wilson to the lady. I poured them out with quivering hands and burning words which might have carried conviction to the most sceptical. And could her influence not reach me in Persia, and bring me back to within touch of her crutch? No, he cannot. Even if none come, I shall live in a hell of apprehension. Wilson and I saw Miss Penclosa. For half an hour I had to endure his fussy talk about his recent research into the exact nature of the spiritualistic rap, while the creature and I sat in silence looking across the room at each other. Who would think that there lurked in her also such vile forces, such odious possibilities! And there was a change in the woman.


She rouses something in me, something evil, something I had rather not think of. Three evenings in succession at home! I have just come back from them, feeling a new man. Worst of all, I must feel as she wills. Never mind! What a glow of satisfaction it gives me to think that, come what may, in the future she can never misunderstand my true feelings toward her. "So much for the mesmeric sleep," said Miss Penclosa. I am no longer master of my own soul. "If ever you heard me speak of love," said I, "you know very well that it was your voice which spoke, and not mine. The only words of truth which I have ever been able to say to you are those which you heard when last we met." No, I believe I am free from her love-but how about her hate? But how came I there, and what did I want? I could not have answered for myself if there had been. I simply COULD not sit still at the table. "Why, it was only the other day that you were saying how interesting it all was, and how determined you were to finish your experiments."