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Why I Believe the Dead Are Alive By William Dudley Pelley

 

Chapter VII
STRANGE AID IN MY BUSINESS

THE SUMMER of 1929, which now came on, seemed to be one full program of a series of psychical happenings. I had seen evidences of discarnate guidance so pronounced in my affairs up to this time, that there no longer remained any friends whom the world called dead were not only alive but in touch with me and intensely interested in everything I did.

This attitude of mind left the door wide open for anything to happen. I consequently happened. And I grew to think little of it. As I have said elsewhere in these pages again and again, by admitting the imponderable we have the ponderable demonstrated.

I accepted the fact that the dead were not only alive but far more sentient and active than people are in the mortal state. And while unusual occurrences brought their quota of surprise, in the main I ceased to be awed.

I continued the taking of psychical transcripts day after day and night after night. Two outstanding events occurred to show how supernormal guidance manifested.

The first was the sale of my third novel, “Drag,” as a motion-picture; the second was the writing of my fourth novel, “Golden Rubbish.”

I WAS taking a doctrinal message in the apartment of a friend one evening early in the summer when there came an informal aftermath to the discourse. The Friend who had been transmitting the communication always chatted a few moments with me before ringing off on the Cosmic Wire. This particular evening he declared to me:

We rejoice to tell you that something extremely pleasant is in prospect for you. We look ahead and see a man in a certain office signing papers of sale on literary property which you own, that will mean a large amount of money for you.

I have always been skeptical of messages which purported to predict “large amounts of money,” legacies, and other expositions of unusual good fortune. It

Why I Believe the Dead Are Alive

has been my experience that if these things are to happen, they will happen anyway. To talk about them and discuss them in advance frequently sets vibrations in motion that defeats the end in materialization.

Besides, it is a favorite dodge of the mischief-makers to predict wonderful good fortune that fails to materialize and thus cause loss of faith and confidence in psychical interpretation. So I said”

“That’s fine. When and how does it happen?”

The answer came in the clearest clairaudience:

“Tomorrow morning you will receive a phone-call from a man here in the city who wants to buy the rights of your novel “Drag”. He will make you an offer that seems ridiculously low. Do not accept it at once. Wait for my voice instructing you. I will advise you what is going on in the inside of his brain; he has been instructed to buy the work within a certain price but he will not tell you what that price is, at first; you set your figure high a nd bargain with him; when you come within the neighborhood of the price he has been authorized to pay, I will advise you and do you close your deal. Do you refuse to be hoaxed or intimidated? He wants this book and is willing to pay a satisfactory sum for it. I will be an unseen third party to the deal because you are in need of the funds to carry on our mutual work. Do not forget. No matter how the trading goes, wait for my voice advising you when to close your deal.”

I WENT home wondering whether I confronted a new manifestation of mischief. Those were anxious sequences, waiting for the Higher Counsel to prove up in event whether or not the voices could be trusted.

Nevertheless, around 8:30 the following morning I was awakened by the ringing of the phone near the head of my bed. My motion-picture agent was on the wire.

“I’ve just received a call from First National Pictures,” he informed me. “They’re interested in buying the movie rights to ‘Drag’ to make into a production starring Dick Barthelmess. We’re to have a conference with their New York purchasing representative at ten o’clock. Please be at my office and we’ll go over and discuss the deal together.”

At ten o’clock we were in the office of the picture concern on upper Madison Avenue. I learned that my Counselor of the evening before had been absolutely accurate in his statements. The trading commenced. Pursuing the tenets of his calling, our buyer started in by telling me what a frightful writer I was, and how the novel that he wanted to purchase was shop-worn goods that I ought to feel honored to have First National make for nothing. But he graciously condescended to refuse—by which the transfer of the rights might become valid in law.

WHAT no one in that room, at least in mortal form, knew but myself was the fact that we three mortals were not alone. I could “feel” the vibration of my unseen Friend’s presence in my sensitized left side like a galvanic battery. I knew he

Why I Believe the Dead Are Alive

was standing about 20 inches from my left shoulder, taking in all that transpired. Clearly in my Inner Ear came his voice. “Tell him you want the following amount of money for the rights,” and a sum was named almost three times what our buyer had first proposed.

I did so.

“Are you craze?” cried our buyer. “We wouldn’t pay that much for movie rights to a best seller by a first class author!”

“Suppose we split the difference,” suggested my agent.

”Never!” cried the picture man, “but I’ll come up three hundred dollars.”

“Then I’ll come down three hundred,” I rejoined, making the result equally as absurd.

Up and down, back and forth we jockeyed. Again and again my unseen counselor at my shoulder advised me at each new offer:

“He’s not telling the truth as to the highest price he’s been authorized to pay. Keep on trading.”

Several times we drifted off upon other subjects. Again and again we came back to how much the movie rights to the book were worth. It had been ten o’clock when we entered the buyer’s office. At a quarter to twelve he jumped to his feet, thumped a copy of the book upon his desk and cried” “Listen to me, both of you! I’m going to tell you the topnotch price I can possibly offer you. If you don’t want to trade on it, everything’s off.” He named a new price.

Distinctly and emphatically in my ear my counselor cried”

“He’s telling you the truth. Accept it and close your deal. But make him give you a certified check before you leave this office.”

“Okay,” I said aloud. “ But only on condition that you draw my check at once.” I walked out with the check in my pocket.

THE adept student in psychical phenomena may raise the question concerning this episode as to whether or not the whole affair might not have been my clairvoyant powers coupled with the practice of cryptothesis or subconscious mind-reading which I translated to myself in terms of a discarnate voice of an unseen friend at my elbow.

My answer is” it was indeed possible but not probable. I base this contention on the vibratory phenomena that went with his presence, and the nature of his asides to me clairaudiently from time to time during the trading. He gave me a more or less literal recount of exactly the thoughts that were transpiring in that buyer’s mind, things which it would not be in the nature of my own perceptions, conscious or subconscious, to receive. Also, if I had this gift of cryptothesis, why should it be confined only to business deals of this kind? Why do I not have it for use in a hundred other situations? I solemnly affirm that I have not. It was only for this one sequence that the clairaudient voice came to me advising me so. Try as I may, I cannot summon a repetition of the performance at will.

Why I Believe the Dead Are Alive

I TOOK the money, relieved a badly strained financial situation which had accrued from pulling up stakes and moving to New York from California. Then a month or so later a similar phenomenon happened “out of a clear sky” so to speak.

Again I was in communication clairaudiently taking a doctrinal message. The voice added:

“During the week that is ahead, you are going to be invited to a dinner with a certain New York publisher. He will proposition you to write a book for him. When he makes you the proposal, do you accept it. The book will be dictated to you by us for a very special purpose in connection with the work you are doing. He will make you the proposal at our instigation although he will not be aware of it.”

At the time I received this news I had no intention of writing a new novel. I was far too busy with other things. But two or three days passed and then I was suddenly invited to go to the old Waldorf-Astoria to hear a lecture by Dr. Crandon, husband of the famous trance-medium, Marjory, of Boston. The friend who gave me the invitation mentioned offhandedly that she had also invited one of the members of the publishing firm of G. P. Putnam Sons to go along with us. We would have dinner first and drive over for the lecture afterward.

THERE, apparently, was the opening that had been predicted. I accepted both invitations and on the evening in question sat through the meal with no proposals coming from my newly-found publisher friend. Not until we were approaching the Waldorf in a cab did the talk turn on the literary work that I might have in prospect. I mentioned something to the effect that I had had such poor luck with my last publisher that I had no heart to write another novel for anyone just then.

“Do you mean you’re thinking of changing publishers?” he demanded. “Perhaps,” I bantered, “if I got a proposition good enough.”

“We wouldn’t take you away from another publisher unless you wanted to make the break yourself,” he declared. “But if you’re seriously thinking of changing, won’t you come and see me before signing up with anybody else?” Again the voice seemed to know what it had been talking about. I said that I’d drop in and talk him about it the following afternoon.

TO MAKE a lengthy episode brief, I had a new contract for three novels signed, sealed, delivered, and stored away in my safe deposit box, within a week! But what to write about?

I recall that I was not in an especial “story-telling mood” … the creative impulse was not really strong enough just then—with all that was happening to me

Why I Believe the Dead Are Alive

psychically—to apply myself over the extended period of time that a book requires for its composition.

I went home and looked through my old manuscripts of partially-written plots such as every writer had stored away in his bureau drawers against faulty inspiration. Finally I found the beginning of a story that I had begun three years before and abandoned. It presented possibilities and as I had the product s old before it was produced, I felt justified in reopening the yarn and seeing how it went under possible psychic guidance.

No sooner had I revamped the premise of the plot and gotten launched in the first two or three chapters, than I was aware of that strange vibratory exhilaration at my left shoulder.

Someone was standing there, directing what I was writing!

Chapters flowed out from beneath my typewriter keys with amazing facility. It seemed time after time that I was merely taking dictation. The language and the style were not my own. I would type whole pages swiftly as my fingertips could touch the keys.

The moment came finally when I leaned back in some perplexity and demanded:

“Is someone literally dictating this story to me?”

The answer came distinctly: of course!

I asked: “Who is it?”

Whereup I heard the name of a world-famous author spoken as plainly as I might have heard it addressed to me across a telephone wire.

“I can’t believe it.” I told a friend who later came into the room. “Who should a man so famous spend his time following me around, giving me a story in his own style, when he’ll never get any credit for having composed it? I feel as though I were sailing under false colors, anyhow.”

Within a week I was getting absolute proof that this great author—several years dead—was indeed aiding me, and the reasons why he was doing so.

He spoke to me confirming it, by a voice heard in a room by half a dozen people who were present at the episode!

I TALK WITH “DEAD” FRIENDS