The vague threat of that menacing sky acted subconsciously upon the minds of both of them.
"Tell me, Enid," said Malone, "of all our wonderful psychic experiences, which is now most vivid in your mind?"
"It is curious that you should ask, Ned, for I was thinking of it at that moment. I suppose it was the association of ideas with that terrible sky. It was of Miromar I was thinking, the strange mystery man with his words of doom."
"And so was I."
"Have you heard of him since?"
"Once and once only. It was on a Sunday morning in Hyde Park. He was speaking to a little group of men. I mixed with the crowd and listened. It was the same warning."
"How did they take it? Did they laugh?"
"Well, you have seen and heard him. You could not laugh, could you?"
"No, indeed. But you don't take it seriously, Ned, do you? Look at the solid old earth of England. Look at our great hotel and the people on the Lees, and the stodgy morning papers and all the settled order of a civilized land. Do you really think that anything could come to destroy it all?"
"Who knows? Miromar is not the only one who says so."
"Does he call it the end of the world?"
"No, no, it is the rebirth of the world -- of the true world, the world as God meant it to he."
"It is a tremendous message. But what is amiss? Why should so dreadful a Judgment fall?"
"It is the materialism, the wooden formalities of the churches, the alienation of all spiritual impulses, the denial of the Unseen, the ridicule of this new revelation -- these are the causes according to him."
"Surely the world has been worse before now?"
"But never with the same advantages -- never with the education and knowledge and so-called civilization, which should have led it to higher things. Look how everything has been turned to evil. We got the knowledge of airships. We bomb cities with them. We learn how to steam under the sea. We murder seamen with our new knowledge. We gain command over chemicals. We turn them into explosives or poison gases. It goes from worse to worse. At the present moment every nation upon earth is plotting secretly how it can best poison the others. Did God create the planet for this end, and is it likely that He will allow it to go on from bad to worse?"
"Is it you or Miromar who is talking now?"
"Well, I have myself been brooding over the matter, and all my thoughts seem to justify his conclusions. I read a spirit message which Charles Mason wrote. It was: 'The most dangerous condition for a man or a nation is when his intellectual side is more developed than his spiritual'. Is that not exactly the condition of the world to-day?"
"And how will it come?"
"Ah, there I can only take Miromar's word for it. He speaks of a breaking of all the phials. There is war, famine, pestilence, earthquake, flood, tidal waves -- all ending in peace and glory unutterable."
The great purple streamers were right across the sky. A dull crimson glare, a lurid angry glow, was spreading in the west. Enid shuddered as she watched it.
"One thing we have learned," said he. "It is that two souls, where real love exists, go on and on without a break through all the spheres. Why, then, should you and I fear death, or anything which life or death can bring?"
She smiled and put her hand in his.
"Why indeed?" said she.
NOTE ON CHAPTER 2
CLAIRVOYANCE IN SPIRITUALIST CHURCHES THIS phenomenon, as exhibited in Spiritualistic churches or temples, as the Spiritualists usually call them, varies very much in quality. So uncertain is it that many congregations have given it up entirely, as it has become rather a source of scandal than of edification. On the other hand there are occasions, the conditions being good, the audience sympathetic and the medium in good form, when the results are nothing short of amazing. I was present on one occasion when Mr. Tom Tyrell, of Blackburn, speaking in a sudden call at Doncaster -- a town with which he was unfamiliar -- got not only the descriptions but even the names of a number of people which were recognized by the different individuals to whom he pointed.