Treating of Certain Scientific
Events Succeeding the Wedding Journey of William and
Sacharissa took the chair. She
knew nothing about parliamentary procedure; neither
did her younger, married sister, Ethelinda, nor the
recently acquired family brother-in-law, William Augustus
“The meeting will come to order,”
said Sacharissa, and her brother-in-law reluctantly
relinquished his new wife’s hand all
but one finger.
“Miss Chairman,” he began, rising to his
The chair recognized him and bit into a chocolate.
“I move that our society be known as The Green
“Why limited?” asked Sacharissa.
“Why not?” replied her sister, warmly.
“Well, what does your young man mean by limited?”
“I suppose,” said Linda,
“that he means it is to be the limit. Don’t
“Certainly,” said Destyn, gravely; and
the motion was put and carried.
The chair casually recognized her younger sister.
“I propose that the object of
this society be to make its members very, very wealthy.”
The motion was carried; Linda picked
up a scrap of paper and began to figure up the possibility
of a new touring car.
Then Destyn arose; the chair nodded
to him and leaned back, playing a tattoo with her
pencil tip against her snowy teeth.
He began in his easy, agreeable voice,
looking across at his pretty wife:
“You know, dearest and
Sacharissa, over there, is also aware that,
in the course of my economical experiments in connection
with your father’s Wireless Trust, I have accidentally
discovered how to utilize certain brand-new currents
of an extraordinary character.”
Sacharissa’s expression became
skeptical; Linda watched her husband in unfeigned
“These new and hitherto unsuspected
currents,” continued Destyn modestly, “are
not electrical but psychical. Yet, like wireless
currents, their flow eternally encircles the earth.
These currents, I believe, have their origin in that
great unknown force which, for lack of a better name,
we call fate, or predestination. And I am convinced
that by intercepting one of these currents it is possible
to connect the subconscious personalities of two people
of opposite sex who, although ultimately destined
for one another since the beginning of things, have,
through successive incarnations, hitherto missed the
final consummation marriage! which
was the purpose of their creation.”
“Bill, dear,” sighed Linda,
“how exquisitely you explain the infinite.”
“Fudge!” said Sacharissa; “go on,
“That’s all,” said
Destyn. “We agreed to put in a thousand
dollars apiece for me to experiment with. I’ve
perfected the instrument here it is.”
He drew from his waistcoat pocket
a small, flat jeweler’s case and took out a
delicate machine resembling the complicated interior
of a watch.
“Now,” he said, “with
this tiny machine concealed in my waistcoat pocket,
I walk up to any man and, by turning a screw like the
stem of a watch, open the microscopical receiver.
Into the receiver flow all psychical emanations from
that unsuspicious citizen. The machine is charged,
positively. Then I saunter up to some man, place
the instrument on a table like that touch
a lever. Do you see that hair wire of Rosium
uncoil like a tentacle? It is searching, groping
for the invisible, negative, psychical current which
will carry its message.”
“To whom?” asked Sacharissa.
“To the subconscious personality
of the only woman for whom he was created, the only
woman on earth whose psychic personality is properly
attuned to intercept that wireless greeting and respond
“How can you tell whether she
responds?” asked Sacharissa, incredulously.
He pointed to the hair wire of Rosium:
“I watch that. The instant
that the psychical current reaches and awakens her,
crack! a minute point of blue incandescence
tips the tentacle. It’s done; psychical
communication is established. And that man and
that woman, wherever they may be on earth, surely,
inexorably, will be drawn together, even from the
uttermost corners of the world, to fulfill that for
which they were destined since time began.”
There was a semirespectful silence;
Linda looked at the little jewel-like machine with
a slight shudder; Sacharissa shrugged her young shoulders.
“How much of this,” said
she, “is theory and how much is fact? for,
William, you always were something of a poet.”
“I don’t know. A
month ago I tried it on your father’s footman,
and in a week he’d married a perfectly strange
“Oh, they do such things, anyway,”
observed Sacharissa, and added, unconvinced:
“Did that tentacle burn blue?”
“It certainly did,” said Destyn.
Linda murmured: “I believe in it.
Let’s issue stock.”
“To issue stock is one thing,”
said Destyn, “to get people to buy it is another.
You and I may believe in Green Mouse, Limited, but
the rest of the world is always from beyond the Mississippi.”
“The thing to do,” said
Linda, “is to prove your theory by practicing
on people. They may not like the idea, but they’ll
be so grateful, when happily and unexpectedly married,
that they’ll buy stock.”
“Or give us testimonials,”
added Sacharissa, “that their bliss was entirely
due to a single dose of Green Mouse, Limited.”
“Don’t be flippant,”
said Linda. “Think what William’s
invention means to the world! Think of the time
it will save young men barking up wrong trees!
Think of the trouble saved no more doubt,
no timidity, no hesitation, no speculation, no opposition
“Any of our clients,”
added Destyn, “can be instantly switched on to
a private psychical current which will clinch the
only girl in the world. Engagements will be superfluous;
those two simply can’t get away from each other.”
“If that were true,” observed
Sacharissa, “it would be most unpleasant.
There would be no fun in it. However,” she
added, smiling, “I don’t believe in your
theory or your machine, William. It would take
more than that combination to make me marry anybody.”
“Then we’re not going
to issue stock?” asked Linda. “I do
need so many new and expensive things.”
“We’ve got to experiment
a little further, first,” said Destyn.
Sacharissa laughed: “You
blindfold me, give me a pencil and lay the Social
Register before me. Whatever name I mark you are
to experiment with.”
“Don’t mark any of our friends,”
“How can I tell whom I may choose.
It’s fair for everybody. Come; do you promise
to abide by it you two?”
They promised doubtfully.
“So do I, then,” said
Sacharissa. “Hurry up and blindfold me,
somebody. The bus will be here in half an hour,
and you know how father acts when kept waiting.”
Linda tied her eyes with a handkerchief,
gave her a pencil and seated herself on an arm of
the chair watching the pencil hovering over the pages
of the Social Register which her sister was turning
“This page,” announced
Sacharissa, “and this name!” marking
it with a quick stroke.
Linda gave a stifled cry and attempted
to arrest the pencil; but the moving finger had written.
“Whom have I selected?”
inquired the girl, whisking the handkerchief from
her eyes. “What are you having a fit about,
And, looking at the page, she saw
that she had marked her own name.
“We must try it again,”
said Destyn, hastily. “That doesn’t
count. Tie her up, Linda.”
“But that wouldn’t
be fair,” said Sacharissa, hesitating whether
to take it seriously or laugh. “We all
promised, you know. I ought to abide by what
“Don’t be silly,”
said Linda, preparing the handkerchief and laying it
across her sister’s forehead.
Sacharissa pushed it away. “I
can’t break my word, even to myself,” she
said, laughing. “I’m not afraid of
“Do you mean to say you are
willing to take silly chances?” asked Linda,
uneasily. “I believe in William’s
machine whether you do or not. And I don’t
care to have any of the family experimented with.”
“If I were willing to try it
on others it would be cowardly for me to back out
now,” said Sacharissa, forcing a smile; for Destyn’s
and Linda’s seriousness was beginning to make
her a trifle uncomfortable.
“Unless you want to marry somebody
pretty soon you’d better not risk it,”
said Destyn, gravely.
“You you don’t
particularly care to marry anybody, just now, do you,
dear?” asked Linda. “No,” replied
her sister, scornfully.
There was a silence; Sacharissa, uneasy,
bit her underlip and sat looking at the uncanny machine.
She was a tall girl, prettily formed,
one of those girls with long limbs, narrow, delicate
feet and ankles.
That sort of girl, when she also possesses
a mass of chestnut hair, a sweet mouth and gray eyes,
is calculated to cause trouble.
And there she sat, one knee crossed
over the other, slim foot swinging, perplexed brows
bent slightly inward.
“I can’t see any honorable
way out of it,” she said resolutely. “I
said I’d abide by the blindfolded test.”
“When we promised we weren’t
thinking of ourselves,” insisted Ethelinda.
“That doesn’t release us,” retorted
her Puritan sister.
“Why?” demanded Linda.
“Suppose, for example, your pencil had marked
William’s name! That would have been im immoral!”
“Would it?” asked
Sacharissa, turning her honest, gray eyes on her brother-in-law.
“I don’t believe it would,”
he said; “I’d only be switched on to Linda’s
current again.” And he smiled at his wife.
Sacharissa sat thoughtful and serious, swinging her
“Well,” she said, at length,
“I might as well face it at once. If there’s
anything in this instrument we’ll all know it
pretty soon. Turn on your receiver, Billy.”
“Oh,” cried Linda, tearfully, “don’t
you do it, William!”
“Turn it on,” repeated
Sacharissa. “I’m not going to be a
coward and break faith with myself, and you both know
it! If I’ve got to go through the silliness
of love and marriage I might as well know who the bandarlog
is to be.... Anyway, I don’t really believe
in this thing.... I can’t believe in it....
Besides, I’ve a mind and a will of my own, and
I fancy it will require more than amateur psychical
experiments to change either. Go on, Billy.”
“You mean it?” he asked, secretly gratified.
“Certainly,” with superb
affectation of indifference. And she rose and
faced the instrument.
Destyn looked at his wife. He was dying to try
“Will!” she exclaimed,
“suppose we are not going to like Rissa’s
possible f fiance! Suppose father
doesn’t like him!”
“You’ll all probably like
him as well as I shall,” said her sister defiantly.
“Willy, stop making frightened eyes at your wife
and start your infernal machine!”
There was a vicious click, a glitter
of shifting clockwork, a snap, and it was done.
“Have you now, theoretically,
got my psychical current bottled up?” she asked
disdainfully. But her lip trembled a little.
He nodded, looking very seriously at her.
“And now you are going to switch
me on to this unknown gentleman’s psychical
“Don’t let him!”
begged Linda. “Billy, dear, how can
you when nobody has the faintest idea who the creature
may turn out to be!”
“Go ahead!” interrupted
her sister, masking misgiving under a careless smile.
Click! Up shot the glittering,
quivering tentacle of Rosium, vibrating for a few
moments like a thread of silver. Suddenly it was
tipped with a blue flash of incandescence.
“Oh, dear! Oh, dear!
There he is!” cried Linda, excitedly. “Rissy!
Rissy, little sister, what have you done?”
“Nothing,” she said, catching
her breath. “I don’t believe that
flash means anything. I don’t feel a bit
different not the least bit. I feel
perfectly well and perfectly calm. I don’t
love anybody and I’m not going to love anybody until
I want to, and that will probably never happen.”
However, she permitted her sister
to take her in her arms and pet her. It was rather
curious how exceedingly young and inexperienced she
felt. She found it agreeable to be fussed over
and comforted and cradled, and for a few moments she
suffered Linda’s solicitude and misgivings in
silence. After a while, however, she became ashamed.
“Nothing is going to happen,
Linda,” she said, looking dreamily up at the
ceiling; “don’t worry, dear; I shall escape
“If something doesn’t
happen,” observed Destyn, pocketing his instrument,
“the Green Mouse, Limited, will go into liquidation
with no liabilities and no assets, and there’ll
be no billions for you or for me or for anybody.”
“William,” said his wife,
“do you place a low desire for money before
your own sister-in-law’s spiritual happiness?”
“No, darling, of course not.”
“Then you and I had better pray
for the immediate bankruptcy of the Green Mouse.”
Her husband said, “By all means,”
without enthusiasm, and looked out of the window.
“Still,” he added, “I made a happy
marriage. I’m for wedding bells every time.
Sacharissa will like it, too. I don’t know
why you and I shouldn’t be enthusiastic optimists
concerning wedded life; I can’t see why we shouldn’t
pray for Sacharissa’s early marriage.”
“You are considering money before my
“But in her case I don’t see why we can’t
conscientiously consider both.”
Linda cast one tragic glance at her
material husband, pushed her sister aside, arose and
fled. After her sped the contrite Destyn; a distant
door shut noisily; all the elements had gathered for
the happy, first quarrel of the newly wedded.
“Fudge,” said Sacharissa,
walking to the window, slim hands clasped loosely
behind her back.