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The Seven Purposes by Margaret Cameron 1867 - 1947

 

VI

 

ONE of my letters to Mr. Kendal had been marked "Urgent." On the day of Mrs. Gaylord's departure a telegram came from him, asking that a duplicate of this letter be sent to him at Chicago. It developed later that all my missives, after some delay, had been forwarded from his club to his business address in the South, where, owing to the uncertainty of his plans, his secretary had held them, notifying him by wire of the one evidently demanding immediate attention.

 

After some hesitation—reluctant to shock him by a bald and startling announcement unaccompanied by any explanation of a situation concerning which I was convinced he would be skeptical, if not wholly unsympathetic, and yet impelled by his wife's distressed insistence to reach him before he should go South again—I telegraphed him that I had reason to believe I had been in direct communication for several days with Mary and


 

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others, and asked him to return via New York, if possible. Early that evening I took up a pencil, which moved at once. "Manzie has your message."

 

This could be no one but Mary Kendal. To my inquiry concerning his reception of my telegram she replied: "He is startled. He is wiring you." An expression of her happiness followed, concluding, "He is thinking of me… and I can help him."

 

"Can't you help him unless he is thinking of you?"

 

Apparently this presented difficulties, but after long effort and many false starts she achieved what I felt to be only a part of the answer she had intended. "On power I can."

 

"You mean that you can influence his work? His strength, or accomplishment?"

 

"Yes, but not his heart and soul." After assurances that he would come soon, she thanked me touchingly.

 

Later in the evening she said, "Manzie is so amazed!" When I asked whether he believed it, she returned: "He does now. He has thought. Details personal to him followed.

 

Still later I asked whether Mr. Kendal had telegraphed me, and she said that be had not,


 

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though he had intended to do so. As a matter of fact, be had not at that time received my telegram, but he afterward told me that when it reached him, twelve hours later, his reactions were exactly as she had described them. Also, his intention of telegraphing me immediately was delayed several hours by business necessities. This is one of several instances when a difference of plane has seemed to enable them to look ahead for a limited space and foretell events.

 

The next morning, for the first time in ten days, the pencil was merely a piece of dead wood between my fingers, without impulse. After long delay it moved slowly, making light circles, but no words came.

 

I knew that Mrs. Gaylord had intended to make an effort that day to get into touch with Frederick through a semi-professional medium in her vicinity, and in the evening I took up a pencil, wondering whether we could learn what success had attended the attempt.

 

"Mary."

 

Supposing this to be Mary Kendal, I made some allusion to Mansfield, and was immediately corrected.

 

"No. Mary K."

 

This was surprising, as it was the first time she had responded since my initial effort to


 

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establish this intercourse. She said that Mary Kendal was not present, and that Frederick had met his mother at Mrs. Z——'s, with results only partially satisfactory—which letters from the Gaylord family afterward verified. We suggested that this might have been discouraging, and she replied: "Discouragement is not for Frederick."

 

"How do you know so much about Frederick now?" I asked. "Ten days ago you said you did not know him."

 

"Mrs. Kendal interested me in him. He is for justice, light, and progress. My work, too."

 

To my expressed hope that she found life happier there than it had been for her here she returned, "Yes, I was glad to come, following the statement with the little circle so often used by the others. She, too, said that it meant joy. We have since learned that it means much more, but apparently they were educating us by degrees. In this case the joy was not hers alone, for the renewed communion with her brought me great gladness.

 

Our friendship began long ago, in a Western city, whither she had come in search of health. Both were young, she a few years the elder. She was alone. I never saw any member of her family, and we had few friends in common,


 

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but between us, from the day we met, there was a strong bond of sympathy, which grew to deep affection, notwithstanding many differences between us. She was more widely read than I; I more actively in touch with life than she. She was a church woman; I was not. Her point of view was Eastern, mine at that time entirely Western. Our many disagreements were argued warmly and at length, but at bottom each knew that she could draw at will upon whatever strength or resource the other possessed, and the debt in the end was mine, when her death left a blank to which I could never be quite reconciled.

 

Her brief career seemed to contradict the law of compensation, upon which, until recently, my philosophy of life has been based. Meticulously truthful, scrupulous in all things, strong of purpose, giving of her best to life, life passed her by with a shrug. Keenly sensitive to beauty, whether spiritual, intellectual, or material, she was hampered in its pursuit by limited health and limited means. For years she struggled with uncongenial employment of one sort or another, denying herself the loaf she needed to procure the hyacinth she needed more. Longing for life at its fullest and richest, she scarcely touched its margin. Yearning for high peaks and wide outlook, she


 

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lived always on the plain. When, finally, the path seemed to be opening before her and she was pleasantly established, doing a healing and constructive work for which she was fitted, she died suddenly, still baffled, having given the last proof of her love for humanity by yielding her life for it, worn out by hard work, combating an epidemic in a college town.

 

Rejoiced to learn that at last she was happy, I asked whether she could tell us of her work, and she began, easily: "Yes, on the… on… on the…." After long difficulty she accomplished it. "On the perpetual tour."

 

When she had verified this astonishing statement as correct, I suggested, "'Off ag'in, on ag'in, gone ag'in'?"

 

"That's it." For an eager spirit like Mary K.'s no happier heaven could be imagined.

 

Replying to further questions, she said that it was not just luck that I had caught her that first night. No, neither had she come to me from the other side of the world. "I've been working on you for a month," she said. "Ever since V—— was here." It was considerably more than a month, but time and place seem to have little significance to those on her plane.

 

Shortly after this Annie Manning interrupted again. It was said that Mary K. knew Annie Manning and wished me to find her


 

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brother. Inquiry developed the fact that he was the brother mentioned the first night I used planchette. His name was given as James Manning, and his address, Albany, New York. "United States Ho…." We could not get beyond that. At one time the word seemed to be "Hotel." Unable to find any United States Hotel listed in Albany, I suggested Saratoga, but this was not accepted. Repeatedly asked to write to him, I could obtain no address.

 

Afterward the address was given as Albany, but not New York. Long efforts to write the name of the state resulted in "I…," ending in wavy lines. Suggestions of Illinois and Iowa brought negatives, but the mention of Indiana was greeted with a quick, "Yes." Vain and fatiguing efforts to get the rest of the address resulted in the indefinite "United States Ho…" and at last I gave it up, disappointed.

 

An hour later Annie Manning came again, but I asked her to let me talk to Mary K.

 

"Here! Mary K.," was the prompt response. "Do you remember all the good times?" I told her I did, and thought of them often. "All the many ae… an…." There I lost it. She began it many times, in many ways, apparently trying to get a momentum


 

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that would carry her through. "All the many am… I mean ae… I meant to say anm…." Too tired to continue, again I abandoned the attempt.

 

Annie Manning came once more, making futile efforts to give me her brother's address. She finally said it was "just United States Home." Once she wrote, "just Home." And once, "Honest, that's all."

 

I have never learned the whole truth about Annie Manning, who ceased, after the first fortnight, to manifest herself; whether because she lacked perseverance or because other influences were already at work, I do not know.

 

The next day I took up the pencil, expecting Mary Kendal, with news of her husband, but Mary K.'s strong, underlined signature greeted me instead. She said that Mr. Kendal was coming, adding: "On cen… cent…."

 

"Century?" I suggested. "Twentieth Century Limited?"

 

"No… cen… ce… cent. Finally, she agreed to Century— compromised on it, I learned later. Within five minutes a telegram came from Mr. Kendall—the first word I had received from him— saying that he would arrive in New York Sunday or Monday.

 

When I told him of this experience he exclaimed: Central! New York Central!"


 

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Which, for some reason, had not occurred to me. At the hour when Mary K. gave me this information he had ordered, at his club in Chicago, a ticket for the Lake Shore Limited like the Twentieth Century, a New York Central train. Later, having the ticket actually in his possession, he telegraphed me that he would come by that train, reaching New York Sunday evening, but afterward changed to another road.

 

This second message arrived Saturday afternoon, and I at once inquired of Mary K. why she had said "Century." Instead of her familiar signature, however, "Frederick" was written.

 

Having ascertained that this was Frederick himself, and not a message about him, I asked him to go on.

 

"The Family are happy." At no time during this brief interview had I the slightest inkling of what was coming. As he had been always so courteous in acknowledgment, the first letters led me to think he was beginning his customary "Thank you." Saying that their happiness added greatly to my own, I asked if he had anything else to say.

 

"Yes. At your service…. At the next large family reunion you both will be present, won 't you.


 

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I said we would try to be, and again he wrote his name, indicating that he had nothing more to say, whereupon I called Mary K., reproached her for inaccuracy, and asked why she had said Mansfield Kendal would come by the Century.

 

Apparently despairing of penetrating such density, she replied, merely: "He wanted to leave to-day." Later in the afternoon she said, "He will be perfectly ready to believe," which seemed to me highly improbable.

 

Some things written that afternoon came to my mind before they did to my fingers, and I asked whether she could not write the messages without first telling me what they were to be.

 

"Yes," she returned, "but it is harder for us and more exhausting for you." Weeks afterward, when this separate control of mind and pencil had been more fully demonstrated, it was more fully explained.

 

Remembering her statement that her work took her "on perpetual tour," I asked how long she would be here.

 

"I shall be near you for months," she said, and then began again her never wholly relinquished effort to write the message first attempted two days before. "Ao… an… aon… aem… aeons ago…"—here she made a frantic little joy circle "…we were lovers."

 

This surprised me, for it seemed unlike her


 

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and was absolutely foreign to my thought, but when she had verified it, I asked: "Is reincarnation true, then?"

 

"No. Aeons ago… I was a friend of yours in ——." She mentioned a person whom I have known all my life. Again this seemed utter nonsense, but again she verified it. "We were concerned in being more and more curiously limited… more and more animal." Some of this came readily, some with halting and false starts, which—like Frederick—she crossed out herself.

 

At first this, too, seemed devoid of meaning, but after a little thought I asked whether she meant that we had been associated in some way as pure spirit.

 

"Everybody was pure spirit once, and will be again," was the rapid reply.

 

"Is this life a punishment, then"

 

"No, a beginning of individuality."

 

"Does the individual continue to exist forever?"

 

"Yes."

 

"As pure spirit?" "Yes."

 

"Then how were we associated as pure spirit."

 

"We were the same purpose."

 

Completely puzzled, I asked, "Why do you say we were friends


 

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"He was the larger purpose, of which we were a part." "The original purpose is not all the same, then?"

 

"No, there are many purposes in the beginning, but only one in the end."

 

"Does Frederick know all this?" "All of it."

 

When she said good night, she added, "God bless you," and I asked: "Mary K., how do you see God? Frederick sees Him as light in dark places."

 

"Justice, light, progress."

 

"Is that God, or God's work?" "Tested."

 

"You mean that you have tested it?" "Yes."

 

The next day, Sunday—two weeks from the day she had first talked to me through planchette—she returned to this theme, which still seemed somewhat fantastic to my practical and pragmatical mind, with further allusions to our long association.

 

During the days of confusion and uncertainty before Mr. Kendal replied to my telegram, when his wife constantly implored me to write to him again, and I as constantly refused, insisting that she first show cause why she had misled me about his movements and


 

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whereabouts, I wrung from her an admission that in some way he had put her so far from him that she neither knew nor could learn anything about him, except that he suffered and needed her, which both Mary K. and Frederick verified. I said once to Mary K. that it was incredible that this could be, to which she laconically returned, "It can." After his actual receipt of my telegram, Mary Kendal never returned to me until she came with him, and the character of her earlier banishment, and consequent inability to perceive his movements, was still unexplained.

 

As the hour of his arrival approached I grew uneasy, and asked Mary K. whether he came happily or in dread.

 

"Certainly with o"—the joy circle, and as we have since learned, the circle of completion.

 

When I asked her to write it out in full to reassure me, the pencil ran back, underscoring "certainly." She said further that Mary Kendal was with him, and very happy.

 

"Has Mary Kendal been very unhappy?" I asked. "No. Aeons ago they were one purpose." "What has that to do with it?"


 

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"She knew that he must answer if she could reach him." "Does that hold good of evil purpose, too?" "Yes."

 

PART - 07